Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's The Little Things...Brotherly Love

My good friend, Heidi, has issued a weekly challenge called "It's The Little Things Thursday" over on her blog, Starts at her words, "we are celebrating the Little Things that make this crazy journey called Motherhood all worth it in the end"!  These are the small moments that pass us by too quickly and are often fleeting.  I hope to capture some of those memories and focus on them for just a moment!

Today's Little Thing is about my boys.  My two boys fight constantly.  They are 2 1/2 years apart in age and The little one is an curious instigator, and the older one is a brute who doesn't like to share. I never realized that the sibling rivalry and the constant bickering and screaming and fighting would start so early.  Yet, just about the time when I think I'll have to separate them for good, I catch a moment of peace between them.  Some shining example of the love the two really do share!  Usually when no one is looking (or at least when they think no one is looking)! 
Walking through the mall recently I looked down to catch a glimpse of Nathaniel leaning forward to hug his baby brother in the stroller.While driving down the street I've looked in the rear view mirror and seen the two boys holding hands in the backseat across their car seats.  Or Alex will reach his hand out and giggle when Nate tickles him back.  In between the screaming and fighting over toys or space on the couch or whose cup is whose, Nathaniel will translate for Alex when Daddy and I just can't seem to make out what he's saying.  "He wants his blanket", Nate will say.  Or "A-yex, I'll find your sippy cup". 
I love when the brotherly love comes out and their yelling turns into squeals of joy and laughter.  When fighting becomes playful wrestling.  When Nathaniel's annoyance of his baby brother turns into a moment of teaching between the two of them, or peaceful playing side by side.  It brings me great joy to see the two of them sitting quietly side by side on their Lighting McQueen couch peacefully watching Yo Gabba Gabba together.  These moments make all the loud chaos and refereeing more than worth it!

Please join us in celebrating the “Little Things”!  Go visit Starts at Eight and add your link to the Mr. Linky (and then leave a comment!).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook...April 27, 2010

FOR TODAY...April 27, 2010

Outside my window...Snow!  Yeah, I know...seriously.  It was 80 a week ago and today it's snowing.  Can't imagine why I have a cold!!!  :)

I am thinking...about how I've been a bit MIA from my blog lately.  So much for NaBloPoMo, I guess. Those problems others were encountering really spooked me.  I wasn't sure how to proceed.  As with everything else if I ignore it long enough it goes away or I forget what bothered me in the first place.  I guess that's a good reason to have a short memory.  

I am thankful boys.  They keep me going and give me a reason to smile, laugh, and TRY every day.  I am always trying to be the best version of myself for them.

From the kitchen...Avery has been upgraded to a larger crate.  She loves going in there just to get away from the boys and is very good about "going to bed" at night when it's bedtime.  I still need to pack up the china cabinet so Dave can move that out of the kitchen and we can make some more progress on our house plans.

I am wearing...a warm fuzzy sweater.  I know it's nearly May, but it's only 50 out today so I thought a sweater was needed.  I wish I had the comfy pants and blanket to go with it, but that will wait until later tonight, I guess.  Then I can snuggle up with my hubby on the couch and really relax!

I am remembering...the fantastic trip to Arizona my sister and I took last week to visit family and be there for my cousin, Todd's wedding.  We had a fabulous time!  I would love to go back when we have more time to travel and see the sights (the Grand Canyon!) but am so glad we were able to get to Sedona.  I will do a whole post about the trip soon to share some of the fantastic photos I was able to get while we were there!

I am shopping tonight.  We are bare bones at home.  Sad thing is, we have a lot of food yet but without the staples, it's nearly impossible to do much with what we have.  When you're on the last roll of toilet paper you know supplies are low!

I am reading...I started reading The Time Traveler's Wife on the plane to Arizona only to realize reading on a plane gives me the same motion sickness that reading in a car does.  So that didn't last long. I assumed that having 5 days without my kids would afford me all sorts of leisure time to read a lot but that didn't happen.  We hung out with family, went swimming, stayed up late, got up early.  There was very little leisure time to be reading my book.  So two weeks later, I'm still on page 6.  Nice.  At this rate I'll finish the book by the time the kids are in college.

I am hoping...this headache goes away and I start feeling better.  

I am hearing...nothing.  Ah.  Sweet nothing.

Pondering these words...
"Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You." Dr. Suess
I love Dr. Suess.  That man is brilliant.  We did an entire unit on Theodor Geisel in one of my college children's literature courses and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  Nathaniel had to pick out his favorite book to take to school for his Star Week today and I was secretly thrilled when he chose Green Eggs and Ham.  

Around the house...laundry is piled up everywhere.  I have been able to keep up on WASHING the laundry lately, but folding and putting it away has fallen desperately behind!  Hopefully I can catch up by the weekend!

On my mind...stress.  I have a to-do list that's a mile long.  Some of list items are personal obligations I've imposed upon myself.  Other things on the list are requirements. For every one thing I check off the list, three things get added.  My eye has started twitching from the stress and I had hives all day yesterday.  I need a massage!  :)

Noticing that...I  am in a much better mood when my kids wake up happy.  Nathaniel woke up this morning and quietly stayed in his room to play until I was ready to get up at 6:45 AM.  I only got mouth from him once and Alex was playful and smiley.  Its days like these that I wish I didn't have to go to work, but alas...

One of my favorite iPod.  I have been plugged into it for over a week.  My office moved at work and the new location is a lot louder than my previous office.  My iPod not only helps me focus on my grant writing, but drowns out all the chaos and noise. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  This week is ridiculously busy.  Besides the 6 grants I have due on Friday (which seeps into my evening life when I'm this far behind), I have grocery shopping that is long overdue, a surprise 80th birthday party to attend for my mother-in-law, and more that I'm sure I've forgotten unless it's staring at me from my calendar.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

I've been struggling with this lately.  I tend to have a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to my children.  I mean I feel it's important to teach them right from wrong and give them boundaries and rules and such. But I also tend to be pretty laid back in their ability to explore their world and make their own choices and mistakes.  So, when my children want to eat mud I let them.  But lately, I've been waffling.  I'm not a big germ-a-phobe, nor do I tend to worry about them getting dirty.  I mean they're boys, first of all, and secondly, what doesn't kill them makes them stronger, no?  Ok, so that's a little exaggerated, but the point is I ate dirt and lived to tell about it.  In fact, I'm sure it was good for me somehow.  I have no doubt that it taught me valuable lessons (that dirt tastes gross) and probably bolstered my immune system (yeah!).  So, why do I struggle with what's right and wrong here?  I'm not sure.  I suspect it's partly because we live in an industrial part of the City and I always fear that our dirt is somehow less healthy than the country bumpkin dirt I ate as a kid 30 years ago.  Weird, I know.  I just don't want one of those kids that's afraid to try new things or get dirty or explore because I made them afraid.  You know?  So I tell them it's yucky and let them decide that it's gross, hopefully before they ingest too much of the toxic stuff.  What do you, as parents, do in this situation?

Monday, April 26, 2010

I ♥ Faces...Smiles

I ♥ Faces is doing a smile challenge and if there's one thing I have, it's photos of some of the best smiles out there.  Namely Alex's.  This kid's smile is downright INFECTIOUS!  Ok, so perhaps I'm partial but it certainly brightens MY day...there's no wonder I call him "Sunshine".  Check it out and then go to I ♥ Faces to check out other faces exercising their smile muscles!  

I took this photo of Alex last week when he and Nathaniel were making me some "dirt casserole soup" for dinner.  Alex had offered me a bite, and I politely declined.  So he decided to try his concoction and flashed me this half hearted "it's so good" smile as he said "dishes" (delicious).  Yeah, I'm not so sure I believe that...

Friday, April 16, 2010


One year ago today I plunged (head first!) into the world of blogging.  I wasn't sure how to start, what to "talk" about, or even why I wanted to do this, but after a year of sharing my stories, my thoughts, and my life in this blogosphere, I am so glad I took that leap and really glad you all have joined me.  I've recently taken pause with worries of the internet's safety.  My technological ineptness is painfully obvious as I tackle how to proceed.  However, I have found a vehicle through which to share a piece of me and leave a mark.  I've been able to chronicle my journey and tell stories about my family, my past, even my day-to-day goings on that will be a journal to look back on long after I have forgotten.  I had big plans to do a remembrance post of some sort, highlight some of my favorite posts or moments from the last year.  But instead I'll just say thank you.  Thank you for coming by and reading and not judging as I share my thoughts in this unconventional manner.  I'm so glad you came!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Arizona Bound

Today my sister and I are on a

headed to 


Our cousin is getting

and we couldn't pass up this opportunity to head out West!  I'll do my best to post while we're gone but I'm not promising anything as it will be dependent upon the reliability of our
options!  In the meantime, I hope everyone is safe and happy and I'll write soon!

Monday, April 12, 2010


I'm taking pause at the moment due to some recent blog posts (here and here) that I've read from some of my favorite bloggers.  According to these two, their photos are being hacked,  stolen, or in one case, her identity is being used entirely by someone who is not her.  This has me a bit spooked and wondering if I, too, should be taking some new precautions to protect my family.  Granted these two incidents are both related to Flickr it seems, which I am not using, but it's still good reason to re-evaluate.  Not sure how to proceed but it has definitely left me speechless.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

10 on 10 : April 2010

Finally, I remembered to participate on the 10th of the month!  It seems the last few months I have completely forgotten 10 on 10.  I haven't even realized it was the 10th of the month until I was already at work (without my camera!) or the day was practically over!  So today I did my best to capture my day through pictures:  One picture an hour for ten hours.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Flashback Friday...April 2006

I thought I'd join back in on this Flashback Friday wave in an effort to pull out some old photos of me and the's fun to see them a few months or a year ago and see how much they've changed!  A friend of mine was in my office at work looking at old photos of Nathaniel the other day and was saying how funny it was to see him so little.  She said "the face looks like Nate's but I keep thinking, who is that little baby?"

Flashback Fridays are a popular blogging theme.  Heidi does them over at Starts at Eight (she's my personal inspiration in this, and many other things!)  I've seen them here and there's a whole list of them here and here, too.  I used to do a version of them but have since gotten away from it for whatever reason(s).  It's definitely not a new idea, but it's a fun one.  What better excuse to dig through old photos and relive some old memories before I forget them all!

Nathaniel, Easter 2006
So I decided to start this week flashing back to this time (April) in 2006.  I was on maternity leave with a brand new baby at home (Nathaniel, of course!) and my life had very recently changed drastically (for the better!!).  There was something to be said about those early days of Motherhood.  I was exhausted, no doubt.  I remember feeling a little bit like I was in a fog for the first few weeks (months?).  But I was on an adrenaline high of some sort, too.  I trudged through my days feeding and burping, changing diapers and rocking to sleep.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.  (Although that gives the illusion that I showered with some regularity but let me tell you...that was a novelty all its own!)

Nathaniel, 4 weeks old (even then with his beloved Boo Bankie)
I loved not having to go to work for the first time since I had started working at 16.  I stayed up late staring at this new creature that I had created, watching him sleep, making sure he was breathing.  I spent early mornings and middle of the night feedings watching VH-1 videos (it was music!) and would drift off to sleep snuggling the most precious thing I've ever been blessed with!  I cried a lot.  I stressed out a lot.  It was hectic with visitors and chaotic with trying to figure it all out.  But I loved it!

No one could have ever have prepared me then for how tremendously different life would be with a little one in it.  They could have told me all day long that it's hard work and that it has its rewards, but it is nothing compared to how challenging, difficult, and gratifying this job of Mom has turned out to be!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's The Little Things...a snail's pace

My good friend, Heidi, has issued a new challenge called "It's The Little Things Thursday" over on her blog, Starts at Eight...I love this idea because our world is too crazy and hectic and life has a way of carrying on without us if we don't take the time to slow down.  This is a great opportunity to stop and focus some (much needed!) attention on the little things that make a difference.  Too often these little things get brushed off, forgotten, or pushed aside for the bigger more demanding things in life.  So join with me as I take a little time each Thursday to highlight some little things that make a BIG difference!

Today is a rainy, dismal day here in Rochester.  After a week or more of gorgeous, unseasonably warm, sunny days, it's day two of this gray miserableness and I'm feeling it.  As I was trudging into work this morning after a short night of sleep, I saw this:

You're probably wondering why I would choose this as my little thing but watching this little guy make his way across the parking lot at a snail's pace (literally!) made me see the bigger picture.  We all have our journey to make.  For this little snail, his journey just to get across the parking lot was way more difficult (and would probably take a lot longer) than my measly day at work.  Yet, undeterred, he pressed on.  He was a welcome reminder about the world at large.  I guess I can't explain it very well, but seeing him lifted my spirits.  I hope to garner some of this little guy's motivation, determination, and spunk.  Despite how gray my day started, I will trudge along, just like my new friend, Spike.  (Is it weird that I just named him?  Never mind, don't answer that!)

For more revelations about the little things that keep us going and make this journey worth it, stop over and pay Heidi a visit.  Link up to her blog and take some inspiration and feel good spirit with you when you leave!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook...April 6, 2010

FOR TODAY...April 6, 2010

Outside my window...the sunny, unseasonably warm skies have gone gray.  They're calling for thunderstorms today which is ok by me...I love sitting in my garage and watching them roll through! 

I am thinking...about preparations for my big trip to Arizona next week!  I am leaving the boys at home and while I'm SUPER excited about making this trip with my sister, I am going to miss them and worry about them while I'm gone.  Not that they won't be in excellent hands (home with Daddy) but still...I can't help but worry!  I have a lot to do before next week though!  Laundry to catch up on, packing to get done, and so on.

I am thankful sister!  She is going shopping with me this afternoon in search of a flattering dress for the wedding in AZ.  It's a big undertaking seeing as I have about 40-50 lbs to lose, so "flattering" is a hard concept!  I hate dress shopping but I want to be comfortable and not look like a house!  My sister has fantastic taste and style and helps alleviate some of the "shock" of trying on dress after dress that looks horrible.  She's good at eyeballing them and knowing if it's even worth trying.  I love my baby sister!

From the Keurig is brewing a fresh, hot cup of mint tea.  I love my Keurig!!

I am usual fare.  Comfy pants, t-shirt.  I would live in them 24/7 if it were possible!

I am remembering...Nathaniel falling asleep while cuddling with me last night.  It was the highlight of my week!  He told me he wanted to "camp out" like we did last weekend so I told him he could come sit with me until his movie was over.  He snuggled up and before I knew it he was snoring in my lap!  Awww!  Seriously a moment to soak in! 

I am lists out the wazoo!  I have lists of things to pack for AZ, lists of things to accomplish for the house, list of projects I'm working on, etc.

I am going...dress shopping with my sister (see above)! 

I am find the motivation and TIME to accomplish the MANY things looming over my head!

I am hearing...the world whipping by at an astonishing pace!

Pondering these words...I was venting to my father the other day about how Nathaniel has turned into a bratty 4-year-old in the last few weeks and I was THISCLOSE to not having the Easter bunny pay him a visit but couldn't figure out how to do that and NOT wind him up in therapy in 10 years.  My father said to me that "the Easter Bunny, like Santa Claus, HAS to come, but he doesn't always have to bring a lot"....Love these words!  So true!  I will be using this wisdom down the road, no doubt!

Around the house...There are projects going on everywhere.  We're trying to get the house de-cluttered, fixed up, and cleaned to put it back on the market and get out of the City.  Dave is replacing curtains, spackling cracks, and I'm supposed to find time to purge stuff, organize our mess and downsize to maximize our space.  It's a BIG project and I'm not doing very well with it so far!!

On my upcoming trip to AZ, several deadlines for work this month, trying to find the time to get the house ready to put it on the market.

Noticing that...this time of the year is always a crazy one.  I'm not sure if it's the Spring Fever thing but it seems March/April are always ridiculously busy for us!

One of my favorite things...weekends.  I LOVE weekends!  Busy ones, quiet ones, in between ones.  I just love not having to go to work and being able to wake up, enjoy a cup of coffee, watch my boys play, and NOT have to rush off anywhere right away.

A few plans for the rest of the week: dress shopping tonight, Walk 'N Talk with Heidi, laundry, packing, cleaning, and hopefully playing outside with the boys a lot more!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
I love the dreamy look in Alex's eyes makes me happy!  "Bo-Bo!"

Be sure to check out other entries at Simple Woman's Daybook!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Walk In the Woods...

Yesterday Nathaniel was lucky enough to go on a walk in the woods with Geema on Easter Sunday.  So Alex and I tagged along...

My Mom is an incredibly smart lady and knows a lot of stuff about a LOT of stuff.  I love every second my boys are able to spend with my parents because I know they are learning rich tradition and some very important knowledge.  I am very grateful to have my parents to pass these things on to my family and keep these lessons and values alive!

Yesterday's nature walk consisted of a lesson in tracking deer.  Grandma taught Nate what to look for and where to look to find deer tracks.  She taught him how to tell what direction the deer is traveling in and how there are big deer and little deer (this time of the year).

Here Grandma is pointing out a deer crossing where the deer travel across the creek.  She showed Nathaniel some raccoon prints on the bank and even showed the boys where the worms make tracks in the creek bed.  So cool!

Just when I thought Nathaniel wasn't paying attention, he stopped and said "Here's one Grandma!" and when I asked him what direction he thought that deer was headed he stopped, looked, and pointed in the RIGHT direction!  Yeah, Geema!

Thanks, Mom, for being such a fantastic role model and wealth of information to me and my children!!  You will never understand how much I fully appreciate all that you have taught ME and all that you are sharing with my boys!  We are SO lucky to have you!

Let me know when the tadpoles are ready and we'll be over for a lesson in amphibious creatures!  :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dry spell

Blame it on the mentally exhausting weekend I've had dealing with my 4-year-old who seems to have turned into a snotty 7-year-old overnight.

It's also quite possible that spending the last 48-72 hours outdoors getting fresh air in this beautiful weather has wiped me out.

The fact that Nathaniel had me up for over three hours in the middle of the night and was STILL up before 7 AM definitely has me pooped for sure!

Or maybe it was the busy day we had celebrating Easter all day long that has my brain on quit mode.

And even more possible, perhaps the three four glasses of wine I had with my Mom at dinner have done me in.

Whatever the excuse, I have nothing remarkable to say tonight.  I did take a TON of fantastic pictures of the boys this weekend however and promise to share those very soon...There really are some cute ones (and LOTS of them!)

Either way, I promised myself I would get to bed early (for me) tonight so I am keeping that promise and making excuses for (another) lame post.  I promise to make up for it!  I hope everyone had a happy Easter with your families!

So, until later...I'm going to go do some of this : tomorrow I have no excuse for being brain dead!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Heck YAYS

Seeing as "Hell's Angels" was already taken, I thought this crew of renegades deserved their own name.

Introducing the "Heck YAYS":

That would be the notorious motorcycle gang comprised of a Yousey, an Aman (not pictured), another Yousey, and a Smith. 

These guys are bad ass.  (Or at least they could have been in another time or place).

In all seriousness, though.  These four guys mean the world to me.  With warm temperatures and dry roads ahead of us, they will be out there on the roads intermingling with all you big trucks, SUV s, and 4-door Sedans.  So be careful!  Watch for them and show some respect!  Thanks!