Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook...March 30, 2010

FOR TODAY...March 30, 2010

Outside my window...sun!  They're calling for "unseasonably warm" temperatures by week's end and I can't wait!  It's so nice to be able to send the kids outside without worrying about their cold fingers or runny noses!

I am thinking...about the list of things we have to do to get our house ready to put on the market.  Alex's room is ready (minus a couple bins that need to go downstairs) and Nate's is closer to ready than it was a couple days ago.  Now if only I could find the time to pack up the china cabinet so Dave can move that out and figure out what to do in our bedroom....

I am thankful for...two healthy children.  They both had their check-ups yesterday (Alex's 18-month and Nathaniel's 4-year) and are fabulously healthy children.  Alex is 22 lbs 10 oz (10th percentile) and 31.75 inches tall (34th).  He's on track developmentally for all things and is fit as a whistle.  Nathaniel is 45 lbs (95th percentile) and 40 inches tall (45th) - that's only 18" shorter than ME! 

From the kitchen...EASTER EGGS!  'Tis the season to stain our fingers, floor, clothes, table, shoes, eggs pretty colors and take lots of pictures of the fun while we're at it!!  Not sure when we'll squeeze that in this week but Easter is this weekend so I better figure it out!

I am wearing...a pair of fabulous new teal shoes I bought at Goodwill with my sister the other day.  We were dress shopping to find new digs to wear to the wedding in Arizona in a couple weeks and I found nothing but my old (constant) feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem.  Fun stuff.  Anyway, the shoes were adorable and CHEAP so they helped lift my spirits (can you say "retail therapy"?!?)!  At some point I'll have to re-tackle that dress issue but I still have two weeks so what's the rush?  HA!  If push comes to shove, I'll just squeeze into some unflattering item I already own and call it a night. 

I am remembering...to contact the mortgage lady to see if she's found anything out about our pre-approval.  Dave is getting antsy so I told him I would follow up.  I can't forget to do that...

I am going...to get back on 101 in 1001 goal.  I totally lost momentum and it's frustrating me.  I hate being the person with big ideas that never GO anywhere so I vow to focus on formulating my goal list and starting that project so I can FINISH something for a change!

I am reading...very little.  I still hope to work that in somewhere, but it hasn't happened yet.  I've even falled behind on my blogs.  I think my reader has over a hundred unread blog posts...I keep up on those that I can but the more involved ones remain unseen.  Just about the time I catch up I miss a day and then fall behind again.  I wish I knew where to draw the line!

I am hoping...to get this day over with soon!  It's been a busy week (already!) and having today behind me will be one day closer to the gorgeous weekend we're planning.  My husband is off this weekend so that's a bonus!

I am hearing...nothing but the typing of my keys, a few cars driving past.  I love the silence.  It's refreshing!

Pondering these words..."Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first" - Mark Twain
In a world where too many people have this entitlement attitude, I think this is a fabulous quote.  What ever happened to the mentality that you get what you WORK for?  To EARN what you have?  This is one thing I hope to instill in my boys.   

Around the house...I am downsizing.  Or at least trying to.  I was in a mood to purge the other day so I went through Nate's toys and pulled out ones that he either has no interest in, were annoying, or just plain too big and we donated them.  He did very well with the idea, actually, only asking to keep two of the toys I had chosen to get rid of.  I did the same with Alex's toys (pulling out toys that he's "over") and will continue that pattern until my house seems less claustrophobic! 

On my mind...I'm still angry that the doctor's office has Nathaniel classified as "obese" because he is (and always has been!) in the 95th percentile for weight.  He's 4-years-old, people.  Seriously?  The doctor wants us to watch what Nate is eating, when, how much, etc.  Apparently his BMI has him in the "obese" range which pisses me off.  That's why I'm focusing on the fact that they're both healthy.  I refuse to instill a complex simply because society wants me to.

Noticing that...Nathaniel's check-ups are always near his birthday which is poorly timed since it's at the end of (a very long Western NY) winter!  He always seems to "bulk" up in the winter and then has his Spring growth spurt where he lengthens out - why can't the doctor weigh him THEN? 

One of my favorite things...my camera.  I (obviously!) love to take photos of anything and everything.  I feel like taking photos is like emblazoning that moment, that expression, that outfit, that cute mannerism, a flower, a sunset, you name it, in my memory and in the world forever. I've been having a recurring dream lately where I am on a trip of a lifetime (Ireland, Switzerland, etc.) or at a wedding or another once-in-a-lifetime event and I've forgotten my camera.  It's horrifying.  I wind up trying to capture what I can with my cell phone (only to be "warned" that I'm out of memory, of course!) and that's just not sufficient!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Busy, busy.  Playdate with the Ayers' tonight.  Walk 'n Talk with Heidi tomorrow, Melon Bean outing with Tiff & Brie on Thursday and then the family and I are heading down to camp to enjoy the beautiful weather they're forecasting.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
I just love Alex's smile.  It's so infectious and lights up my world.  

Stop over to see Peggy at Simple Woman's Daybook and read other weekly entries!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I ♥ Faces...Dramatic B&W

I've been hesitant to join up with the challenges over at I ♥ Faces seeing as my photos are no where near the caliber of the rest of the challengers' photos. However, this week I figured I'd take a quick look to see if I had anything that fit the bill. The theme this week is "Dramatic B & W". I struggled with the "dramatic" part but hopefully this demonstrates some drama:

Stop over to I ♥ Faces to see some fabulous photos in dramatic B&W!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring is in the air!

It's official!  Spring is in the air!  Not just because two weeks ago we SPRANG ahead on the clocks...or because last weekend marked the official start of Spring.  Although that helps.

But even more than that...there's this:

And the promise of these:

And we've been doing a whole lot of this:

And even some of this:

Oh, I can't wait!  Bring on longer days and balmy evenings.  Jaunts outdoors that don't require an hour of prep work to get the boys bundled up.  I look forward to BBQs and morning coffee out on the veranda (that's what we exaggeratedly call the concrete slab that is our patio), sitting in the garage watching thunderstorms, and catching bugs of all shapes and sizes.  I even look forward to the inevitable mud and wet dog smell.  C'mon Spring!  I'm ready!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I just woke up from an evening snuggle (nap) with Nathaniel on the floor of the living room. We were "camping out" (which in tired Mommy language translates into "falling asleep")...at some point I'll either rejoin him or carry his (heavy) self into his bedroom. Though, honestly, I'm leaning towards rejoining him.

So in spirit of keeping with my NaBloPoMo this month, I wanted to post SOMETHING today, but my foggy brain is not composing anything profound so I will share this photo and beg your forgiveness for cheating out tonight:

"Pretty please?  With sugar on top?"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Alex: 18 Months...546 days...13,104 hours...786,240 minutes of you.

It's hard to believe, but Alex is 18-months-old tomorrow!  He has grown up so quickly, even more so than I think Nate did!  He has his older brother to look up to and learn from and it's making a BIG difference!

Digger Fuzz Bucket
You say:
Cheers - "Chiz"
Bite - "Byee"
Ball, apple, orange, anything round - "Bah"
Dip - "Dip, dip"
Outside - "Sigh"
Thanks - "Dunk"
Dog - "Dah"
Good Girl - "Goo Goo"
Yes - "Da" or "Ya"
Pacifier - "Fweh"
You also say: "No", Brother", "Sit", "Hello", "Whoa", "Honk", "Hot", "Tickle, Tickle", "Ma Ma", "Daddy"," Truck" "socks", "Shoes", "uh-oh", "blanket", and "Bye, Bye" (among others I'm sure I'm forgetting!)

You are so tiny and so nimble and quick.
You still wear 12 month clothes (and even some 9 month!)
(I'll find out on Monday how much you weigh and add it here.)

You are the happiest boy I know...so easy going and sweet.
You're shy and cautious.
You're a fantastic climber...my little monkey.
You're a trouble maker, too.
You like to start trouble with your brother and know just what buttons to push.
You love your blue blanket and your pacifier.
You want to be outside as soon as you wake up in the morning!

You laugh and play games like "Where's Alex?" and "Peek-a-boo" 
You communicate very well for your age...it's very refreshing!  You can answer yes and no questions and tell us what you want and when you're all done. 
You jump.
You scream.

You dance by throwing your arms up in the air and spinning in circles!
You love throwing balls and riding horses (Giddy up!).
Bathtime is your favorite part of the day.  You could play in water all day!  (Splash, Splash!)
You're an excellent sleeper.
And you eat all the time.  From the second you get up you want to eat.  It's amazing you're so little!

You love giving Avery hugs...and squeezing her...and laying on her....and trying to ride her.
You snuggle and give LOTS of kisses.
You listen very well and are very patient.
You tend to be sensitive and cry relatively easily. 
You have the biggest eyes and the most beautiful smile.
It's infectious and brightens my darkest days.

I love you, my sunshine!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happiness is...

my boys playing quietly together....

while I peacefully fold 7+ loads of laundry!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook...March 23, 2010

FOR TODAY...March 23, 2010

Outside my window...Rain. Cold. Rain. It really sets the stage for a blah day, you know?

I am thinking...about the many things I want/need to accomplish in the next couple of weeks. We're in the process of preparing our house to put it on the market and I have a LOT of work to do to make it ready. Problem is there just isn't enough time in the day.

I am thankful for...the expected (safe!) return of our Adventure Buddies, Tiff and Brie!

From the kitchen...Avery is whining because she wants to come out and join the chaos but there are just too many toys (a.k.a. "chew toys" to her) scattered around at the moment. She will have to wait until the boys and I can do a "clean up, clean up" bit.

I am wearing...a sweater and pants. Spring was here for a bit but this cold rain that's coming through makes me want to snuggle up again.

I am remembering...almost a year ago, we were up North saying goodbye to a fantastic woman, my Abuelita. It was a great weekend full of family and memories. I miss you, Abuelita!

I am creating...a plan of attack for the organization that has to go on in my home to get the house ready to show. Where to start, what to pack away, what to store...how to make the house marketable so we can get it sold this time!

I am going...to Target with the boys after work. We need baby wipes and I'd like to get some new socks. I'm sick of having my toes poking through the ones I have. It's time.

I am hoping...this sinus headache that's laying low just behind my eyes doesn't start acting up. I'm trying to keep it at bay but this weather isn't helping!

I am hearing...Lady Antebellum on my iPod. Love them!

Pondering these words...Another classic from my work intranet's quote of the day: "I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some from behind" - Dr. Seuss
He is a brilliant man! 

Around the house...Stuff. Lots of stuff. Nathaniel got some great presents for his birthday this past weekend so now we have to figure out how to exchange his new stuff for toys he doesn't play with any more. The problem with that is, if he doesn't play with them it usually means Alex does! Either way we need to downsize and pack (at least!) half of them away to make room. Whenever we get into a new house all those hidden toys will seem brand new! Surprise!

On my mind...I'm frustrated - I spent over an hour perusing my photos last night for one that was perfect to enter for the I ♥ Faces Challenge and came up empty handed. I have thousands of photos and none of them were good enough to hold a candle. It's very frustrating. I'm feeling a little defeated, I guess.

Noticing that...I'm easily defeated. I'm obviously in a mood. 

One of my favorite things...my new Keurig. I love it! It's nice to make a fresh cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in seconds whenever the mood strikes. I want to stock up on a variety of new flavors and have some fun. Can you say "Caffeine High"?!?!  

A few plans for the rest of the week: I have a few lunch plans with friends, a lot of work to do, and I'm looking forward to seeing Tiff and Brie upon their return from NYC this weekend!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
This is Alex's favorite game to play with my brother (a.k.a. Uncle Noah). Whenever Uncle Noah picks him up his face lights up and he immediately leans back. Luckily Noah knows to expect this so he catches him and they play their little counting game. "One, two, THREEEEE!." It's fantastic to watch. This photo was the closest thing I could find that would even possibly fit the "angles" theme over at I ♥ Faces for this week. So instead of posting it there, I'll just put it here for my friends to see! 

To read more daybook entries, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Monday, March 22, 2010

5 things I ♥

After my recent road trip with the boys to NYC to visit Tiff and Brie, I started realizing some things that made my trip SO much nicer. 

I ♥ my (Mom and Dad's) Magellan Maestro GPS.  Oh my, this thing is wonderful.  I was previously very skeptical about the reliability of these things.  I've known too many people who use them and wind up in a vacant parking lot when it's directing them to the closest Friendly's or get more lost trying to use them than not.  A couple years ago I borrowed one from a friend to get to calling hours in Syracuse and we were an hour and a half late because it was guessing at the address.  I had my trusty Mapquest directions that eventually got us there but apparently since the GPS didn't know exactly where the address was, it guessed and it took us MILES out of our way (in the wrong direction!).  Needless to say, I've been converted since that horrendous trip.  While this thing did steer me wrong a couple times, it was more as the result of the steep learning curve associated with such devices than the actual directions it was giving.  I know now that when it says to "keep to the right", that does not mean you must be all the way over to the right or you may end up getting off on an exit you did not mean to take.  Oops!  The GPS was fabulous to have on hand just to find our way to areas of interest once we got there.  As a result, I took a leap of faith (unnatural for me!) and plugged in "Statue of Liberty" before we headed out of NJ and it led me to a fantastic park where I was able to snap some great shots of the Lady Liberty herself before heading home!  It gave me a huge sense of confidence knowing that no matter what I'd get us where we needed to go safely (and know exactly when we'd arrive there!)  No doubt I will be browsing Buy.com or Newegg.com for one of my very own shortly!!

I ♥ cruise control.  Again, I was never much of a fan of it.  I always went the way of the "more gadgets in a car make it more likely to break down" mentality.  However, my new car had it automatically and I didn't want to pay more to get it without, that would have been silly.  Let me tell you though, after a six-and-a-half hour car drive by myself with two small children under the age of 4, I am SO glad now that it had cruise control.  I was able to concentrate more on driving and focus on where we were going (and not being too far right!).  I could just chug along at the correct speed and not worry about getting a ticket (I do have a genetic lead foot, afterall!) or stress about maintaining speed so as not to annoy fellow drivers.  It was fabulous!  Not to mention the cramp I surely would have had driving all that way with my foot on the gas pedal!

I ♥ our cheap portable DVD player.  I know I'm running into a pattern here, but I always thought these things (and the parents who used them) were the devil.  I know, I know.  I have since walked a mile in their shoes and can admit my transgressions.  This silly little freebie we got for signing up for DirecTV (or whatever it was) was a life saver.  Call  me lazy, but I can't imagine entertaining my children by myself for 6 hours without it.  And we only watched a couple movies on it the whole way there and back...the songs, books, games, and snacks I packed alone would not have worked to keep them (and ME!) sane for 6+ hours! I honestly don't know how parents did it "back when".  I know they managed but I'm glad not to have had to.

I ♥ my iPod.  Prior to leaving, I loaded that bad boy up with songs for our listening pleasure.  (Finally those Classic Disney CDs I had to have years ago have paid off!) I've never used my iPod in my car before but it was fabulous to have a Serenity Now (yes, that's what I named it!) playlist at my fingertips.  When the natives were growing restless I fired it up and distracted them with fabulous songs like "Cool to be Uncool" and "Do the Elephant" by The Jimmies.  We rocked out to "We're Knights, That's Right" by The Backyardigans, and were even reminded to eat our vegetables with "Party in My Tummy" by Yo Gabba Gabba.  Fanastic stuff, I tell you.

I ♥ my Joovy Caboose Ultralight double stroller.  Of course I didn't use this on my drive down, but once we got there this thing was fabulous.  While it's not always the easiest to steer (what IS with a total of 60+ lbs of kid on it), I love that it gives Nate freedom when he wants it and gives me control when he needs it.  Alex just hangs out all day long riding along and Nate even fell asleep in it at one point and had room to snooze while I loaded it up with packages and bags and gear.

Most importantly, however, I ♥ my kids.  They travelled so fantastically.  Not only did they require only one (1!) stop in more than 6.5 hours of driving, but they did well the whole weekend.  I had their schedules (napping, eating, sleeping) so screwed up yet they slept well and behaved considerably well, too!  My favorite part of our trip into the City was when Nate charged a few steps ahead of me and ran into someone on the street.  He totally wasn't watching where he was going and before I could say anything he looked at the lady and said "Oops, I'm sorry!".  As I passed the woman I heard her say to her friend "How cute!  That little boy just said he was sorry!".  I was so proud!!  The boys made the trip magnificent!  I honestly had visions of frequent stops along our route to fetch dropped sippy cups, make potty breaks, yell, etc.  Yet even in big boy undies, Nathaniel did fabulously and Alex was a trooper.  They napped (albeit shortly) and snacked, watched a movie, listened to music, told stories, looked out the window at the mountains.  The whole trip was fun and remarkably stress free!  That makes me want to do it again!  Where to next?!?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why 3 is such a great age.

As my oldest nears his 4th birthday (TOMORROW!), I thought I would write down some of the wonders and joys of his 3rd year.

*First and foremost, he can (and does) communicate a LOT better!  Even when you're not sure what he's saying or where he picked something up from, he can reference it.  For example, when he yells "Sym-mu-muh!" and I wonder what he's talking about, I can ask "where is that from?" and he'll say "Sym-mu-muh, is from Sym-mu-muh apples!" - Ah, Cinnamon!  Got it.  This is great when he's quoting one of a hundred movies he loves.  Or when he's telling me something so matter-of-factly and I ask "Where'd you hear that?" and he tells you "The Beast taught me".  Yes, of course!

*His imagination is fantastic!  The story-telling, the play acting, the dramas that unfold in my home these days are a marvel!  I've talked about it before and it never gets old.  I love seeing the world through his magical eyes!

*The conversations we have are second to none!  I love the details he remembers and the photographic memory he has (he certainly didn't get that from ME!).  He remembers what store we bought the ketchup at and what I was wearing the day we spilled a drink at the mall.  He recites slogans from commercials I don't even know.  He even knows the words to songs he's only heard a couple times.  And he's definitely NOT directionally challenged (like ME!) - he knows what direction to turn out of the driveway if we're headed to Target vs. Grandma and Grandpa's house.  If you take a different route to school he knows and "yells" at you for going the wrong way!  The kid kills me!  It's amazing, really!

*I love the cooperation that comes with his being three.  Granted, it's not consistent or all that reliable, but it's there.  I can reason with him more know and explain things to him and that often heads off a lot of the problems and tantrums.  (Now, the sass and attitude are totally different!!  Man, where did that come from!?!?)

*Three brings a maturity that surprised me at his age.  Like the chicken and the egg, I'm not sure which came first (his maturity because of age or his maturity as a result of his newer "big brother" status) but it's obvious!  He's such a little man suddenly!  It's as if being three made him suddenly more trustworthy or less impulsive.  I don't worry about him darting into the street because he "knows better".  I don't worry about his behavior at other people's house (as much) because he's "trained" (for lack of a better word, I guess!) to know what he can and can't get away with.  Does he do things he's not supposed to do?!?  Of course, but I know the signs.  Maybe it's less about maturity and more about experience as a parent to him but I rather like the peace it brings.

I'm sure there are hundreds more wonderful things that have come about with this age but these are some highlights that come readily to mind.  I am sad to see this wonderful age go but am excited to see what "four" brings.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Master of Disguise

Nathaniel is known for his wild imagination, dramatic flair, and theatrical ways.  He is a character, through and through.

Just what or who that character is, however, is always up for interpretation and is anybody's guess.  And it changes daily, err...hourly.

Some people listen for the pitter patter of tiny feet to know their children are awake in the morning.  I know Nathaniel is up for the day when I hear gear being loaded and garb being chosen.  There's no pitter patter.  There are only thuds and bangs and rustles as he picks out his outfit, loads up his equipment, and mounts his horse, fire truck, or motorcycle to head noisily down the hall.

I (literally!) have 100's of photos like these.  He is a sheer master of disguise!  From princesses to knights, firefighters to police officers, pirates to cowboys (and every combination in between!) he is a CHARACTER!  I fully expect to see him on stage someday!  
Your imagination is fabulous, Bug!  I love the world you live in!  
Thanks for adding a definite flair to my life!