Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where in the world...

is Alex?

Can you find him in this photo of the disaster in Nathaniel's bedroom?

Here I am!

Needless to say we have quite a bit of work to do in that room today.  Nathaniel managed to throw up all of his toys from every nook and cranny he could find!  It's a disaster.  I seriously worry about losing one of my children in there.  Can you see why?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Able to Leap TALL Buildings...

It seems we have a super hero in our midst. 
Just days ago he was a hard-working, fire-fighting fool -
putting out fires in schools, buildings, and birds nests across the county.

But tonight he's fighting CRIME!  And "bad guys". 
(He even calls it his game of "super heroes and bad guys".) 

Of course, he is always the super hero and Mommy or Daddy gets
the privilege of being the bad guy.  Fun, fun. 

It's hilarious to watch him run up to you and shout,
"Able to leap TALL Bill-dins in a SIN-GULL Bond!"
before he runs away to rescue a damsel in distress, a stranded
kitten, or his baby brother who is narrowly escaping a tragic fall somewhere.

And then there's the flying.  Yes, super heroes MUST fly!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book...January 25, 2010

Since I got slack for "finking out" on this weekly journal, I felt guilted (or should I say "challenged"?) into participating again today.  (Thanks, Heidi!  I can always use the motivation!)

This is from Peggy at The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

FOR TODAY...January 25, 2010

Outside my is dark, the wind is whipping and is repeatedly kicking on the motion light in our driveway.

I am thinking...deep, heavy thoughts.  My brain is weary with profound, meaning-of-life type topics today.

I am thankful two boys who keep me going and give me more than one reason to smile and laugh every day!

From the kitchen...the dirty dishes are calling from dinner ("Pssst....WASH ME!")

I am wearing...a ratty, old t-shirt, the world's most unflattering, yet most comfortable pants of all time, and my new fuzzy bathrobe.

I am call my sister back when I'm done with this.  (Note to Self:  Call my sister back when I'm done with this!!!!)

I am creating...ideas and business plans for the new Etsy adventure my sister and I are embarking on (more on that to come...)

I am bed early (I tell myself that every day though so we'll see.  However, typing this up at 9:30 at night and still having to call my sister back doesn't bode well for my chances yet again tonight...)

I am reading...very little for myself these days.  However, I do have two catalogs I would like to peruse before I call it a night (Birthday Express to plan Nathaniel's upcoming 4th birthday, and One Step Ahead because they just have fantastic, albeit gadgety, type stuff!)  Before bed I read Nathaniel Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop and let him look at his fire truck book with his flashlight "for ONE minute"!

I am wake up tomorrow to sunshine and happy children.  It's amazing what a funk I can start out in when I wake to one or both of them yelling, screaming, crying, or complaining.

I am hearing...thumpity thump music and loud bass from one of my neighbors' cars, the furnace blower, the rustling of Alex in his crib as he flops around trying to get comfortable and/or track down his beloved pacifier.

Pondering these words...Nathaniel asked me the other day if my Mom and Dad were also Daddy's Mom and Dad.  While at first I thought, "Ew! No, honey!  That'd be gross!", I have been reflecting on that question a lot because it's an indication of his little mind making all sorts of interesting connections and trying to figure stuff out.  I love watching his brain grow and expand as he learns how things in this crazy world work.  I could learn a thing or two (or 1000) from him.

Around the house...the couch cushions are still on the floor from where Nathaniel and I snuggled to watch Scooby Doo before his bedtime.

On my many things.  Too many to list here. At least not all in one blog post!

Noticing that...when the furnace isn't running and the TV isn't on, I can clearly hear the ticking of the clock above my mantle and the humming of the (only) light in the living room.

One of my favorite things...I am totally addicted to my camera phone.  I love having it on me to snap a photo of anything, anywhere, and then upload it or send it off to someone (e.g. my husband) who can't be there to witness things firsthand.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Would you believe I really have none?  We are meeting Heidi at the mall on Wednesday for our weekly "walk" and coffee stop.  We should call it "walk and talk" or something, since that's what we do!!  It's food for the soul!  I do have to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday (the 28th) somewhere in there, but otherwise I have no plans!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

I sure do love these boys!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Day of Firsts...

Today has been a day of firsts...

It was the first day I had to figure out how to disinfect my hairbrush after a certain one-year-old thought it would be funny to dip said hairbrush in the toilet.

It was the first day I had to google "how to get crayon off a couch" to find a way to remove the crayon a certain one-year-old thought looked good drawn on my couch.

It was also the first day a certain three-year-old threw a book at me, scratching my arm and after serving his 3-minute time out, he then insisted on bandaging me up with a fitting Godzilla band-aid to say he was sorry.

And then a certain one-year-old decided he needed the Godzilla band-aid more than Mommy and ripped it off my arm in one swift pull.  Ouch.

Believe it or not, it wasn't all bad though.

Today was Alex's first bubble bath.

Alex's first lollypop.

And the first time I've ever witnessed, first hand, a mutual aid response to a dump truck vs. helicopter accident in my very own living room.  I'm serious when I say it's not for the weak at heart.  There was a fire in the dump truck and injuries from what I understand.  Five fire trucks, several police cars, and at least two ambulances of varying sizes responded (lights and sirens!).  It was a sight to behold.

And as if that's not enough firsts for one day...Today was the first time I've ever seen my boys sitting nicely together on their couch and (get this!) playing footsie.  It was adorable!!  And a refreshing change from the fighting and head bashing they usually do together!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I have a dream...

Like the infamous speech given my Martin Luther King , Jr. in 1963.  I, too, have a dream.

Of course, it's not as profound and life altering as the dream Dr. King had for racial equality and an end to discrimination.  Heck, it's not even inspiring, powerful, motivating, or revolutionary.  But it's a dream, nonetheless.

It, too, is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that my two little children will one day live in a home where they will not have to send their mother off to work every day.  A dream where I can make a living from the comfort of my own home, surrounded by those I love most and doing that which brings me joy.

I have a dream today.
And someday I hope to be able to shout, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10 on 10 : January 2010

I can't believe I've been such a 10 on 10 slacker these past two months...In an effort to get back into the game, I offer you these 10 photos taken today.  Roughly one per hour (as I took more than 70 photos today alone so I was able to choose ten to accurately represent my day).  Next month I promise to have my head on straight and give it 100%!

1.  Before heading out into the cold, wintery wonderland, we enjoyed a breakfast of oatmeal and blackberries.  The blackberries went over very well.  The oatmeal, not so much.

2.  We were lucky enough to have a play date planned with two of the best people in the world.  Here, Nathanile gives his little brother (a.k.a. "widdle bwoh-dah") a lesson in NOT getting scratched by a cat.  Too cute!

3.  Best Buddies...(more on this to come in a future post)

4.  When in Rome...

5.  Sometimes the only answer is to dance...


6.  It's the little things in life that make us truly happy...

7.  It is always better to give than to receive...but receiving IS fun!

8.  Teamwork

9.  Don't ask...

10.  Be the good you hope to see in the world. (We  you, Aunt Tiff!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolution Mumbo Jumbo

I am not exactly what you would call a "stick-to-it" type.  When the going gets tough, I bail.  I hate that about myself, but it's mostly true.  That's why this resolution thing is hairy for me.  I always start out with strong convictions, good intentions, and smart ideas but it all goes off track very easily.

I'm a deadline-driven girl.  I need due dates and structured time lines to get stuff accomplished.  I'm a procrastinator in every sense of the word.  If there is a way to put something off, I will find it.  If there is something I can do BEFORE having to do that which I really need to do, I will do it.  But deadlines usually kick me into gear.  At the very last minute, of course.  For some reason, the threat of someone being mad at me or failing to meet a deadline weighs heavily on my mind and motivates me to complete things.  And even though I might procrastinate until the 11th hour, I always rally and come through in the bitter end. 

Anyway, with that said, resolutions are sticky for me.  I have many "self-improvement projects" I'm constantly undergoing.  Many things on my to-do list I'd like to actually accomplish.  But for some reason having the whole year to accomplish them in doesn't sound deadline-y enough.  And I think my expectations *gasp* for realistic goals may be a bit high.

That's why this year I'm tossing aside the lofty "I want to be skinny by 2011" and "I vow to cook like Julia Childs, clean like Mr. Clean, and decorate like Martha Stewart" type goals.  I'm setting aside the vague ambitions to "be happy" or "be a better Mother" and I'm going for something more attainable.  Don't get me wrong, there's definitely room for improvement there and I could certainly use a reminder to tweak my perspective on things from time to time, but as for hard and fast resolutions, I'm simplifying a little this year.

Here goes:

I want to lose 15 lbs before my cousin's wedding (in Arizona!) in April.  I figure that's just shy of 16 weeks away, so a pound a week is a realistic goal.  Now, in good goal-setting technique, I've also thought about how I will do this.  Being realistic, I know I have neither the time, nor the willpower to go back on Weight Watchers full-force at the moment, but I do intend on eating better, with the WW theories in mind.  Loosely "counting" my points, paying attention to the fiber intake, limiting calories and fat...and exercising AT LEAST 3 times a week.  That's not ALL the weight I hope to lose in 2010, but I figured I'd start small - with a DEADLINE of sorts to work towards.  Losing fifteen pounds would get me back to pre-Alex weight and that would be better than where I'm at now!  After I reach that goal I'll work towards my next goal or losing another 20 to get back to my pre-Nate weight...and so on and so forth.  Baby steps!  :)

Next, I want to complete my 101 in 1001 list and get started on that project.  For a refresher on that goal of mine, read here.

Lastly, I want to get my house organized and de-cluttered.  The bigger goal here is to get our house on the market and get it SOLD this year.  It's time to move out of the City and to somewhere bigger and better.  Nathaniel starts school in just over a year and a half and I do NOT want him starting in City schools.  Plus, this 900-something square foot house is closing in on us as the boys get older and their stuff gets bigger!  It's time.  I am learning to part with things I realistically don't need and have agreed to do so more simply (trip to Salvation Army versus trying to Craigslist or Freecycle it all which is VERY time consuming).  Now I just need to find the TIME to tackle my piles.  Again, small doses.  Chip away,  layer by layer.

So, while I will continue working on those self-improvement projects (work on my patience and perspective, be a better mother, etc.) and that to-do list (clean the basement, purge Nate's toys, go through the kids' clothes, etc.)...I will focus my resolution effort for 2010 towards the three goals above. As the year progresses, I will keep you up to date on my progress.  I hope you all will hold me accountable to some degree!  Happy 2010 to you all!  Thanks for following me on this blogging journey in 2009 and I hope you all have a prosperous new year!  May you all accomplish that which YOU set out to take on!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book...January 4, 2010

Here's a new thing I thought I'd try out...from Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook.  It's a list of questions to answer each Monday - a simple journal of sorts, I'd say. Here's my first stab at it...

FOR TODAY...January 4, 2010

Outside my window...the snow is flying, the wind is blowing, it's 15 degrees.

I am thinking...of having a bowl of Special K for an evening snack.

I am thankful for...the silence that takes over my house after the boys are asleep.

From the kitchen...a soft glow is pouring from the light above the sink, dirty dishes are calling, refrigerator is humming (hope that's not a problem!)

I am comfy polka-dot pjs and fuzzy socks.

I am pack a box of baby clothes I am sending off to a mother in need through Pass it On, Baby!.  I've been putting it off too long and can't forget to pack that stuff up so I can get it to the post office tomorrow and off to the woman who needs it more than I do!

I am idea in my head for how to make Dave's birthday special on Thursday.

I am get the rest of this lingering laundry folded and put away before I head to bed.  I think I can, I think I can...

I am reading...blogs.  That's all I have time for these days.  Keeping up with those is enough pressure!

I am hoping...Nathaniel's mouthiness of late is a direct result of his being bored and off school the past few weeks.  He starts back tomorrow and I don't want him to be mouthy to the teachers the way he has been at home!

I am hearing...NOTHING.'s so nice!

Pondering these words...We probably wouldn't worry about what people think about us if we could knew how seldom they do.   -Olin Miller   This was the quote of the day on our company's intranet and I really like them.  I am formulating a blog post around them...stay tuned.

Around the are strewn about in every nook and cranny, laundry needs folding, dishes need washing.

On my many things!  I want to get a hold of Steve to see when I might get my hard drive and iPhoto library back and running again.  It's stressing me out to have no recent photos to easily access and piles (literally!) of memory cards backing up on me that need to be uploaded.  My photo a day blog is behind again and I have so many blog ideas floating around in my head that need pictures to supplement them.  Not to mention all the weekly "contests" (I heart Faces, You Capture) I am missing!!!

Noticing that...typing the paragraph above gave me a headache.  I need to take Nathaniel's advice and "Just breathe in, Honey".

One of my favorite things...these pjs and fuzzy socks.  (Ok, so that's's late!)

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Celebrating Dave's birthday on Thursday, getting Nate back into the swing of school, holiday party for work that I need to find a babysitter for, craft project for Nate

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

It's not often that I have (let alone SHARE) a photo of my husband and I but this one was taken during our weekend at camp for opening day of hunting season and I quite like it.  So, in honor of his 46th birthday on Thursday (the 7th) and our 4th anniversary this past New Year's Eve...I love you, Babe!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Seeing Spots

It all started innocently enough with this:

Aside from that being the cutest child ever to grace this earth (besides, of course, my first child who ties him for first place) that not the most adorable sleeper you've ever laid eyes on?!?  When Alex was itty bitty he lived in this sleeper.  Mostly because I loved it.  In fact, I loved it so much I bought him two more, in different sizes.  One was a sleeping bag style and one was a size 6M that I figured he could grow into.  However, much to my dismay he was too big for this newborn sized one and too small for the bigger one while the season called for it and once he did fit that size, it was warm out (and FLEECE sleepwear is seldom a wise dressing choice in warm temperatures).  Darn him for not growing predictably!  :)

Anyway, this cute polka-dot sleeper, seems benign, right?  That is until I bought him this blanket:

And then there were these diapers, that I was SO excited to learn had gone from a Care Bears theme (when Nathaniel wore them) to beautiful blue and green POLKA DOTS!

And then the obsession unknowingly poured over into MY sleepwear:

and other fashion accessories:

Until finally, I found myself buying things just BECAUSE they had polka dots, regardless of whether or not we needed the things (receiving blankets, long after the swaddling stage...more blankets even though Alex has already decidedly chosen his favorites...a little handmade dinosaur lovey from Etsy because I thought it was too adorable to pass coffee mug...reusable coffee cup reusable shopping bag...a new lunch bag to carry my lunch to work in even though I already had one that I wasn't using).  All with polka dots.  I always had, I mean justifications:
*  Receiving blankets are light weight and would be useful to cover Alex up with in the cooler Spring and Autumn months when a fleece blanket was just too much.  
*  You can never use too many blankets, especially during those pesky cold Upstate NY winters.  
*  I am trying to be green and not have to waste all those cardboard coffee cup jackets they give you at the coffee shops.  
*  This shopping bag would be perfect to carry my stuff to and from work in, how hip and stylish am I?
*  I don't use my other lunch bag because it's ugly, and too big, and too bulky, and ugly (did I say that already?). 

Seriously people.  I think I have an issue.  At one time (albeit BRIEFLY) I  actually reconsidered re-doing the theme in Alex's nursery since they had since come out with an adorable polka-dot design in crib bedding, wall decals, mobile and such.  I'm not kidding.  It would have been A-DORABLE!  Problem?  Well, he was already almost a year old and it just wouldn't have made sense.  Weeks (maybe even days later) he was over the crib bumper stage anyway so it really would have been a waste.

(this is not the actual theme I had wanted to go with in my remodel dream, but this is fantastic, is it not?!)

I mean, really.  I picked a polka-dot theme for Alex's 1st birthday party and then called it a "gum ball" theme to make it not look like I wasn't just insane!  The invites, the cake, even the decorations were polka dotted.

I'm CRAZY for polka-dots!  Both of my blogs even have polka dots on them...I think I need help.  I'm scaring myself...