Sunday, February 28, 2010


Here, on the last day of February I realize that I successfully made it through my NaBloPoMo challenge for  the month.  Ok, ok.  So it is the shortest month of the year...but I still did it!!

The best part about it?  The best part is that it wasn't hard, difficult, or even challenging.  It was fun.  Therapeutic.  Even refreshing.  I enjoyed having an excuse to sit down and write every night.  It was nice to have a "deadline" to share stories and journal my life's happenings before these little moments get away.  The "requirement" to blog every day kept me on task.  Held me accountable.  I like that.

I found as the month went on that I had more ideas than I could even get out.  I could have posted a few times every day with the ideas I was starting in my head, in saved text messages (where I type them up as I think of things), or in Blogger draft form.  My brain was constantly going (like it usually does) only this time I had somewhere to purge those rampant thoughts and a vehicle through which to steer them into coherent stories.

I received another invite to keep going in March.  A new badge, a new challenge.  I'm considering it.  At the very least I am going to aim to post every day, but March is proving to be a crazy month so if I fall off the wagon, I'll just get back on another time.  We'll see how it goes.  In the meantime, thanks for reading.  I do appreciate it!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow-icane 2010

When Mother Nature sends you a "Snow-icane", what do you do?

Take a vacation day from work and hang out at home with your boys, of course!

We hunkered down inside today and enjoyed some quiet time.  We snuggled.  We laughed.

Alex and I did some reading.

Firefighter Nate treated "En-Juries" sustained from some accident I was unfortunate enough to be a part of.  He put me on a stretcher and stabilized my wounded limbs. 

Then the boys got a little stir crazy so we tried to burn some energy by jumping in the couch cushions for a bit.

Once the weather lightened up a little, we were able to get outside to supervise Daddy while he snow blowed a few paths into our backyard so the boys and puppy had somewhere to run.  The snow was too deep, otherwise.  We got well over a foot of snow in our backyard.  It was up to my knees when I walked through it.  The dog was lost in the snow and Alex would have been lost if he had sat down at all.

Here is Alex standing up in the path Daddy snow blowed.

We ended the day with some warm hot cocoa and dry clothes.  Days like this make winter fun.  It can hang on a little longer, if it must.  At least I know Spring is just around the corner!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Learn Something...Talk Less

As I talked about here, I have been working on paying attention to the lessons in every day.  The problem is, as I learn things about myself and become more self aware, I often like myself less instead of accepting myself more.  However, the first step is becoming aware, right?  Then I can work on improving things that need work, I suppose.  

The first thing I've learned in this little experiment is that I talk too much.  I've always been guilty of it.  I used to get report cards home from school that showed how well I was doing academically but always said I talked too much in class.  Apparently that hasn't changed as I've gotten older.  I get it from my father.  He's a talker.  Considering my social anxieties it's surprising, actually, that I am, too.  I guess it's my way of (over?) compensating for my fears.  Maybe it's because I'm desperate for people's acceptance.  So, what better way to get it than to scare them away by babbling too much.  I know, makes perfect sense, right?

As I realize this flaw of being a "gasbag" (and have had it reinforced by everyone I know), I vow to talk less and listen more.  Talking too much annoys people and I don't want to annoy anyone.  People don't care about my stuff anyway.  I'll "talk" here on my blog instead!  

(Aren't you guys lucky?!?)  :)

That way if you don't want to "listen" you can just stop reading - deal?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook...February 25, 2010

FOR TODAY...February 25, 2010

Outside my window...snow.  There is talk of a snowstorm "of historical proportions" tonight and tomorrow.  Possibility of 2-4' with 74 mph winds.  According to the page Dave got from Accuweather on his work pager, this storm has the potential to look to Western New Yorkers like more of a "snow hurricane" than a blizzard.  They're calling for widespread power outages lasting a week or more.  Sounds fun!  We'll believe it when we see it though.  It all sounds a little dramatic to me!  To be safe, Dave got some gas for the generator and we're stocking up on bread and milk...just in case.
I am thinking...of all the social travel plans we have coming up in the next few weeks.  There's a possibility for a plane trip to NYC to visit Tiff & Brie, a road trip with family to Massachusetts, and a LONG weekend trip to Arizona for Mommy without the boys (!!!) coming up in April. 
I am thankful for...the love and support of many friends who encourage me to be the best I can be and take chances to enrich my life and the life of my family.  My friends are true inspirations who make me realize all things are possible!
From the kitchen...silence.  Except for the soft whisperings of a certain package of Oreos which I'm pretty sure are trying to convince me to eat them.  I will continue pretending to ignore them...
I am wearing...maroon sweatpants, a hand-me-down Harley Davidson T-shirt from my husband, my fuzzy black robe.
I am remembering...that there is a load of laundry in the washer that needs to be switched over to the dryer before I call it a night.  I can't forget to do that or it will be stinky tomorrow and I'll have to start all over.
I am reading...this blog.  It was referenced in another woman's blog I read regularly and I am just pained by her story.  How quickly this could be me, or you, or anyone we know.  How often have I turned my back, left the room to grab a towel or answer the phone.  I take comfort in hearing their splashes, never being far enough away to not hear their laughing and playing.  But it only takes a second to change everything.
I am hoping...that my husband gets to leave work on time tonight and not get ordered to stay longer.  I hope that the weather stays steady and doesn't dump on us as they predict and leave us stranded.  However, if it does get bad, I hope against hope that somehow I won't have to go in to work tomorrow!!
I am hearing...Avery snoring her doggy dreams at my feet.  
Pondering these words..."You fail at 100% of the things you do not try" (or some similar adage)
Around the is painfully quiet.  After the kids go to bed I shut off the TV and just relish in the quiet.  However tonight, after reading the story above, I wish I had someone jumping on me or crying for me.  All the whining I endured earlier in the evening would be music to my ears as I realize how blessed I am with my beautiful boys.
On my mind...the busy month ahead.  I should be getting Nathaniel's birthday party invites out to family and friends.  His party is in three weeks.  There is a lot potentially happening between now and then so I need to prepare a little ahead for a change.  I still don't know what to get him for his birthday.  We have a scooter we bought him for Christmas that we decided to hold off on until his birthday.  I also ordered the Lots And Lots of Firetrucks video set for him.  We've been watching the infomercial on YouTube and he LOVES it!  He even runs around the house singing the song.  I had wanted to get him the LeapFrog Touch Pen thing but would have to order that soon if it's going to get here in time.  Oh, the joys of being a procrastinator.  
Noticing that...drinking Diet Pepsi almost always gives me an instantaneous headache.
One of my favorite laptop.  It makes me feel connected to the world.  It gives me a voice.  And it holds some of my most prized possessions (my PHOTOS!)
A few plans for the rest of the week: Seeing as I'm doing this later in the week than usual, I have few plans left for the rest of the week.  Tomorrow I hope to enjoy some family time with the hubby home from work.  Probably take the kids sledding or at least get them outside this weekend.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Avery is fitting in fine around here.  She's had very few house breaking accidents in the house and seems very smart in picking up commands.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I ♥ Faces...Hands on Fun

There's another fantastic challenge going on over at I ♥ Faces.

The theme this week is "Hands on Fun".

For this week only, a face is not required!

Lately I've taken an interest in capturing the fingers and toes of my boys a lot as they grow so quickly and tell a great story!  I had many I wanted to use but ultimately went with this one of my brother, Noah.

I love how deeply he's concentrating to restring this guitar for my son.  It was just a toy to my three-year-old but his Uncle put a lot of thought and care into making sure it sounded right.  That's the musician in him!  Someday I hope he takes the same patience and shares his knowledge and talent of playing with my son!

Be sure to stop over to I ♥ Faces for some fabulous photos of "Hands on Fun"!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Learn Something


This is a new blog project for Amy over at Bring Yourself. I absolutely adore this idea so I am taking part (sporadically, I'm sure, but I'll do what I can...)

You know the old saying, if you're not learning, you're dying...and who can't stand to learn more? I feel as though the 30s has been primarily the age of introspective learning for me, about me: how I tick, why I tick, learning to accept myself the way I am. As I learn these things, it's important to share and at least document the journey. What a great way to do it!

As Amy writes here:
  "This project is about learning in a different way. I want to learn different things. Instead of big, earth shattering things, I want to learn things that are important to me. I want to find things out about myself and the places I go. I want to explore and investigate the world. Even if that is just by taking my dogs for a walk in the woods or having a conversation with someone I don't know.
  As soon as I learn something, I am going to write it down on the nearest scrap of paper. I will photograph it there and then and share it with you. The sharing will be a part of the learning."

I love it. Will others join me?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Fun

The other day while I was at work, Dave took Nathaniel and the puppy outside (Alex was napping) to build a snow fort.  When he said "snow fort" I pictured a pile of snow dug out so Nate could crawl in it or something.

But, no.

That's not what Dave had in mind.  He cleared off almost the whole yard (which had a LOT of snow!) to make this:

Nathaniel was so proud of "his castle" that he immediately wanted me to help him bundle up so he could go out and show me his fortress.

Alex was up by now so he got to go out and check it out, too.  I love when the weather in Western NY actually allows us to get snow, and get outside to enjoy it.  It's a rarity!

Nate was so proud to show off the castle "he" and Daddy had made.

Even Avery got in on the fun!

I do love winter through the eyes of my children!  But I also look forward to getting to take them outside without the 20 minutes of bundling up that's required first!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

10 things I never thought I'd say...until we welcomed a puppy into our home.

1 - "No, Nate.  The dog is NOT your princess and she does NOT need you to save her right now."

2 - "Alex, get the dog out of your mouth, please."

3 - "Guys!  The puppy is NOT a pillow!  Get off of her!"

4 - "Nathaniel!  When she's making that sound, she's NOT having fun!"

5 - "Just because she pees outside doesn't mean you can!"

6 - "Alex, she is a DOG, not a horse.  Please don't ride her."

7 - "Stop chasing the dog, please!"

8 - "Alex, the puppy's tail is NOT a handle for you to carry her around with!"

9 - "If she's hiding from you it's because she DOESN'T want to play right now."

10 - "No, Alex.  I don't think the puppy wants your Hamburger Helper.  How about YOU eat it?"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Boo Bankie and Bedtime Bear

I want to introduce you to two of Nathaniel's best friends:
Boo Bankie and Bedtime Bear.

Boo Bankie (named by Nathaniel at a very young age) was a shower gift from Aunt Wendy.
Nate has many blankets but for some reason this blanket rose to the top of his favorites and quickly became his trusty go-to.  

Bedtime Bear (also Nathaniel-named) was the first baby thing I bought when I found out I was pregnant.  I wanted something small and cute to look at and start feeling all giddy about.  
The funny thing with Bedtime Bear is that Nathaniel never took any interest in him/her (?) until Alex was born.  When I dug out the bin of infant toys for Alex, Nathaniel found (the at that time unnamed) Bedtime Bear in there and now has to have him/her with him at all times.

I know no matter what to make sure we have Boo Bankie and Bedtime Bear with us wherever we go.  As long as they are in tow to alleviate any bumps in our road, we're fine.

I know someday Nathaniel will have moved on from these little tokens of comfort so I want to relish in them now, while safety and reassurance can still be found within the cotton threads of two well-loved childhood friends.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Avery has finally arrived!  After more than a week of waiting and being put off and almost "releasing" her, only to decide we really wanted her (as long as she wasn't sick)...we finally have her!!!  Dave and the boys picked her up yesterday and we're settling in as you read this.

As promised here, I am delivering the story behind why we chose to get a dog in the first place.

Ok, so Avery's arrival isn't all that spectacular of a story, in and of itself.  However, if you know me, you know I'm not a huge fan of dogs.  So this was a huge decision for me/us!  Don't get me wrong...I like dogs...Just so long as they're other people's dogs, generally.

My vague disagree-ability towards dogs is completely justified, if you ask me.  Albeit requiring significant (more) therapy, apparently, but that's neither here nor there.

See, long story short...I was scratched by a dog when I was little.  Requiring some numerous amount of stitches (double digits is all I remember - 20?  40?  Who knows...but when you're 4-years-old that's a LOT of stitches).  Now the dog wasn't trying to be mean (as some are in similar unfortunate situations), but I was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He was trying to play, as dogs do, so he jumped up on me and when he came down, get the picture.  Add to this ugly scene the trauma of kids at my pre-school being afraid of me and calling me "Frankenstein", and scars you can still see (if you're looking for them) almost *cough* 30 years later and, well, it's just not a fun experience.

I've grown up with dogs my whole life.  Good dogs.  Well-trained dogs.  Search dogs trained to find missing people, even.  Heck, I even owned one once.  He was a good dog.  A needy, high maintenance dog, maybe, but Frodo was great.  Until, that is, he tried to eat my child.

What is that you say?

Eat your child?

Why, yes.  He did - try, that is.  When Nathaniel came home from the hospital, our dog snapped at Nate's skull like he was a squirrel to be munched on.  The quick reflexes of my mother saved his precious newborn head from damage (Thank, God!), but the scene still haunts me!

So why would an accused "dogist" get a dog, you ask?

Well, have you seen this face?!?!

Besides that, have you seen these faces?

She is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen and they simply adore her.

(It's a little Elmyra-ish if you ask me, but she'll learn.)

As I told my husband, I know she will be a lot of work for us.  But she will be SO good for them!  There are lessons in life that I firmly believe only pets can teach you.  I want that for my boys.

I'll admit it.  I wasn't a big fan of getting a dog...but I was a fan of getting her.  She's so sweet and she totally won me over with her gentle spirit and sloppy wet kisses.

I can't really explain it, but for whatever reason, I am super excited to integrate her into our family.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting Old

Last week I went to see Spring Awakening at the RBTL.  I have season passes and this was one of the shows in the line-up.  Let me start by saying that the music was fantastic...but I didn't quite get the story.  I mean, I tend to think I'm pretty intelligent, but there were times I was a little lost.  Of course, I understand it was about heavy stuff.  Set in Germany in 1891, the teenagers in the play were struggling with their sexuality, trying to balance their desires with what was being taught to them by an overly oppressive society.  There are issues of violence, suicide, even abortion.  It's pretty deep.  The problem I had was that it was a little too much - too heavy, too racy.  Even for me.

That's where I start to feel old.  Seriously, I used to be hip, cool, even adventurous.  Now, though...I don't know.  It's like I've lost my edge.  I was physically uncomfortable watching this show at times -what with the show's language (*gasp*) and NUDITY (*GASP*) and all.  

I hate to say it but it seems since I've become a mother, I've turned into a PRUDE!  

I can't help it though.  Everywhere I go, everything I see, everything I do, I'm looking through this new Mom lens.  I see things differently.  It's as if since having my children, I have a higher standard to achieve simply because I'm a mother now.  I have to be a good role model and set a good example - and that colors, influences, even taints everything else.  And there's no "off duty".  This Mom lens, it's always on.    

Obviously my kids weren't at that show.  Yet, as a Mom, I could see all the ways in which it was inappropriate for them.  It's an odd thing, really.  This new hat I wear that has taken over who I used to be.

In many ways I think it's better - that being a Mom has made me a better person.  Or at least, a more conscientious person.   At times, though, I don't even recognize the person I've become.  I seem so un-fun and stick-in-the-mud-ish.  (both real words, I assure you!)  I'm a big fat party pooper who has lost my accepting open-mindedness and my piggish sense of humor and replaced it with serious, grown-up responsibility and duty to my children.   

And they deserve that.  

I just wish I could lighten up a little.  

For them.  

Because they deserve that, too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book...February 15, 2010

FOR TODAY...February 15, 2010

Outside my window...Alex is staring longingly.  These boys have been cooped up too long and need to get out of this house.
I am thinking...about what to do with these boys today.  Also contemplating a decision about whether or not to move forward with our adoption of Avery.  The vet's office is giving us a run around and I can't help but think it's a sign.  I also don't want to give up on her so quickly, though.  The boys have more or less forgotten about getting a dog at all unless we talk about her so I know they won't be devastated.  But I might be.  I know, I know, I don't tend to be a dog fan anyway but I liked the idea of her.  She was sweet.  I told Dave I thought she'd be a lot of work for us but a lot of good for the boys.  I don't know.  Do we continue to wait on her and get dragged along?  I can't help but think we're being screwed somehow.  Or do we figure this is God's way of saying we weren't ready for the challenge anyway?  Lots to think about!!  
I am thankful for...this day off from work.  It's nice to spend the time at home with my family.
From the kitchen...Coffee!!  Yum.  Too bad I can't drink it without being hounded by my coffee-mooching children.  The theory that they wouldn't like the taste didn't work.  I think they'd both drink it if we let them.  I will have to start Alex on "Alex Coffee" like I did with Nate.  Nate's "Nate Coffee" is a coffee cup of milk with a splash of flavored coffee creamer in it.  Until then I'll just fight them off in an attempt to enjoy a lukewarm cup of coffee in peace.

I also hope to wrangle Nathaniel's help in making some oh-so-comforting chocolate chip cookies later.  We'll see if we get that far.
I am wearing...
fuzzy socks, PJ bottoms, my favorite black, long-sleeved Coors Light T-shirt with torn cuffs from being lovingly worn for years...
I am remembering...all the things I have to do at work this week to catch up from the two days I was out last week!
I am creating...nothing at the moment.  I wish I had time to create a lot of projects I have on my mental to-do list.  In the meantime I'll create posts for this blog and use this as my creative outlet.  
I am going...on a trip down to camp at some point to check on things and get the boys out of the house.
I am get laundry finished up today so I can fold it and put it all away to start the work week off on a good foot.  It always feels more organized and together when the laundry is caught up before I go back to work.
I am hearing...
the boys playing, Clifford the Big Red Dog on the TV, the fan on my laptop running.
Pondering these words...In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln
Around the house...
the couch cushions are strewn about on the floor where Nate and I were snuggling and jumping on them earlier.  Does anyone know what "Tin-uh-gah!!" means?  That's what Nathaniel yells before he jumps on me or the pillows.  Hmmm...
On my mind...the decision about the dog.  It's weighing heavily and my husband and I are the world's worst decision makers.  He swears he always has to make the decisions but it feels like I make all the hard decisions!  Also hoping my parents have arrived safely in Cancun where they left for on vacation yesterday.  I swear, I'm not jealous.   (Ok, maybe a little!)
Noticing that...three days is the maximum my husband and I can spend together without driving each other nuts.  He starts getting obnoxious just to annoy me, I swear!
One of my favorite fireplace.  We've enjoyed some wonderfully warm and cozy fires in it these past few days.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Typical weekly fare...I have a deadline at work on Friday so I'll probably be bringing a lot of work home to do after the kids go to sleep.  Walk 'n Talk with Heidi.  I have to call my tax guy to get us an appointment to have our taxes done (sooner rather than later!)
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

There is only so much of this two small boys can handle before they self destruct.  And frankly, I'm tired of stepping on them, tripping over them, and cleaning them up.  So we're outta here!  Off to entertain these boys outside of these four walls.  I see some snow play in our future!!

Happy President's Day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Story

Once upon a time...

there was a beautiful princess, named Brielle.

It just so happened that this beautiful princess had a fabulous Mommy who had been friends with the Mommy of a handsome prince since they, themselves, were little.

The prince, Nathaniel, was born four short months before his princess.  Little did he know that the love of his life was about to sweep in and become his best friend, his cohort, his partner in crime (or at least his partner at the playground, zoo, museum, etc.).

At first they played coy.
Merely stealing glances.
They pretended not to notice the other.
"Eh, she's kinda' cute.", he would say.

Then one day, their eyes met.
 It was all hugs and kisses from there.
The princess and her prince went on MANY adventures together.  There was little they did without the other.  They had cute "pet names" for each other, like "Buddee" and "Free" (Or "Bee").

Watching these two is adorable.  It's easy to say we (the Mommies) push them into it but it's not so.  They just naturally love each other.  Nathaniel is over the moon at the mention of Brie's name and lights up when he sees her.  Sure, I love that they get along.  I love that when they don't get along they're merely squabbling like brother and sister.  And I love that even in Brie's absence, she is still all Nathaniel talks about.  It's true what they say about your first love, I think.  

They're like an old married couple in miniature version.  
They laugh together, they talk, they speak for each other, they whisper and connive, they giggle, they argue, they cry, they come to each other's aid and protection.  
Sometimes they just play quietly side by side.  
Yet the one is still there when the other needs him/her.  

Brie + Nate...sitting in a tree.  

I  can't explain it.  
I only hope it lasts. 
I'm not saying they have to get married.  
Obviously I have no say or control there.  
(Even if I do jokingly call Brie, Nate's "wife".)
I just hope that no matter what, they learn what true friendship is from each other and stay friends.

Either way, right now it's great to witness!  
Even more wonderful since the Mommy of this true princess is one of my closest and dearest friends and I love the time we spend together.  The "adventures" we've been on are fantastic, plentiful... 
and unending.

Thanks for sharing your time, your beautiful daughter, and your friendship with me, Tiff! 
I love you both!
We love you both!

Happy Valentine's Day to you and the loves in your life!