Friday, May 28, 2010

My Magic 8 Ball

Alex has started being called my Magic 8 Ball because I can ask him any question and he gives me a yes or no answer.

It goes something like this:

Me:  "Alex, are you ready for bed?"

Alex:  Shakes his head no.

Me:  "Do you want to snuggle with Mommy?"

Alex:  Nods yes.

Me:  "Alex, are you adorable?"

Alex:  Nods yes.

Me:  "Does Mommy love you?"

Alex:  Nods yes.

Me: "Is Daddy mean?"

Alex: Shakes his head no.

Me:  "Are we going to win the lottery?"

Alex: Shakes his head no.  Then nods yes.

Ok.  So maybe he isn't the most reliable...but it's a fun game, anyway.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's The Little Things...BFF

I have been blessed with many wonderful friends in my life but none that I have known as long as my BFF, Pam.  We met in the 6th grade when were assigned to the same homeroom and we've been (mostly) inseparable every since.  Ok, so there was that year in 11th grade when she hated me, but that's a whole other story!  Seriously, though...Pam is one of those friends you can easily pick right back up with regardless if it's been a week or a year since you last saw her.  She's a genuine, big-hearted person with a fantastic positive spirit and radiating charm.  

This week, to celebrate a bit of a variation on the It's the Little Things Thursday over at Starts At Eight, I want to share a story of a "little thing" in friendship that meant the world to me!  A week or so ago I was having a conversation with Pam at work and the (not-so-uncommon) fact that I am a bit of a pat rack came up.  If I recall correctly, I believe the awful word "hoarder" was used, but we won't reminisce that tiny detail.  

Anyway, that night I got home and was cleaning off my dresser and packing up some stuff to get our house ready for our first showing when I found this:

This, of course, is part of a Best Friends necklace that Pam and I once shared in junior high.  I sent this photo to Pam late that night with a text that said "okay, so maybe I am a hoarder".  She was right.  Some 20 years later I still have this trinket of our friendship from our adolescence.  I guess I DO have issues!

Much to my surprise (and delight!) I received a return text a short time later with this photo, 
saying "Then I am too!!"

Seriously, that small thing, the fact that she, too, had held on to this symbol of our youth and everlasting friendship was HUGE to me.  It's one thing for me to have senseless sentimentalities cluttering around, but Pam is much more practical than I am.  I couldn't believe she had kept it!  It gave me a warm fuzzy and filled me with love!  IWN, Pam!

Please join in focusing on and sharing the "Little Things" that mean a lot and make this journey through motherhood (and LIFE!) worth it in the end!  Stop over at Starts at Eight to link up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

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

FOR TODAY...May 25, 2010

Outside my window...SUNSHINE!  It's a hot one today, but the sun is SO nice to see!

I am thinking...about the fun I will have with my sister this afternoon!  She's bringing my niece over to play in our backyard with the boys! 

I am thankful sister - she's the best!  I am beyond lucky to have her in my life!

From the kitchen...nothing.  It's much too hot to be cooking or staying indoors today!

I am clothes.  I'd prefer to say "capris, a tank top, and flip flops" but alas, that is not possible.

I am put a load of laundry I started yesterday in the dryer before I have to rewash it.

I am have a drink with my sister after work today.  Hopefully the kids will play nicely by themselves so we can sit and talk.

I am hear something soon about the offer we put in on the house in Holley.  A bump notice had to be issued and they have 3 days to release the contingency or sell their house.  So nothing will be final until Friday.  Then the stress and planning begins. 

I am fan.  No A/C here at work and this fan is barely touching the steaminess.

Pondering these words..."Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."   --Howard Thurman

Around the house...packing needs to begin.  I have big plans to purge and downsize but am lacking the motivation and time to do it. 

On my mind...moving, packing, crazy summer schedules, new routines, impending change.

Noticing that...I don't handle stress well.  I either get an eye twitch, break out in hives, or get sick when I'm really stressed out. 

One of my favorite backyard.  On nights like tonight I look forward to being able to hang out outside while the boys play (in fenced in safety) and give them the fresh air that helps them sleep well at night.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Nathaniel has his first official dentist appointment tomorrow.  He's been before but not for an actual cleaning...this should be interesting!  Walk 'N Talk with Heidi.  Lunch plans with Nancy.  Melon Bean with Tiffany.  Long weekend with the family!!

Here is picture for thought I am Baby went from this yesterday (minus the dirt)

to this today:

Boo hoo.  I expected it with Nate since his hair is so curly and thick and he really needed a haircut.  But I specifically told Dave to leave Alex alone.  I have yet to see it in person.  Boo.  Tis the season of Bald Babies, I guess.  :(

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's The Little Things...Serenity Now!

I have to admit, today has been one of those days when seeing the positive has been a bit of a struggle.  So for me to have to pin point "the little thing" that makes this journey of Motherhood worth it, is difficult, to say the least.  My children have been neither cute nor charming this week.  Alex is having some teething issues (I assume) that are making him CRANKY beyond belief.  Nathaniel's last day of school was today and he has been mouthy this week to the point of having his mouth washed out with soap!  His teacher even mentioned to Dave that Nathaniel had been using some "inappropriate language" - Yikes!  I'm not sure what that means, but (sadly!) I hope she "just" means he called someone a pig or told them they smelled like a goat.   Anyway, to celebrate It's The Little Things Thursdays with my friend Heidi over at Starts at Eight, I made a concerted effort to find something meaningful.

After a painfully long bedtime process tonight (which is usually SO easy!), I had had enough.  Nathaniel was doing everything in his power to procrastinate going to bed.  He pulled every trick in the book.  He couldn't find Bolt.  Then he couldn't find Boo Bankie.  He needed new "bedtime water" because the stuff he had "was from Yes-Tur-day!"  He needed to find his pike pole in case there was a fire he had to rush off to in the middle of the night.  He couldn't possibly fall asleep without knowing what his McDonald's Happy Meal toy's name was.  You name it!  So after two-hours of back and forth, I finally went in to find this:

He had fallen asleep "camping style" on the floor, in a make-shift sleeping bag, with his lantern left on and surrounded by fire trucks, but he was FINALLY asleep!  That is the point in the day when I can look at my precious children, admire them in all their peace and glory, and finally breathe and relax.   Ahhh....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook...May 18, 2010

FOR TODAY...May 18, 2010

Outside my window...gray skies.  Again.

I am thinking...I will try to keep this short today so people will want to read it.  :)

I am thankful family.  I'm sure I say that all the time but this past weekend we had a family dinner planned that I thought I would have to miss because Nate wasn't feeling well.  They told me to bring him over anyway and he did well most of the day but then threw up and cuddled up on the couch with a fever.  I am so thankful that my family loves us unconditionally and let us be there with a sick kid.  And it means a lot that Nate felt comfortable enough at Grandma and Grandpa's to be sick there...not once did he ask to go home.  That speaks volumes!

From the kitchen...I haven't been doing much cooking at all lately.  We eat out a lot because we're always on the run and with the house showings we've had the last couple days it's easier to get the kids out of the house and feed them then try to keep the house clean around them and clean up after a meal.  Lazy, I know.

I am clothes.  I wish they weren't so tight and unflattering but that's another topic for another day.

I am keep this short.  It's hard.  There's so much I want to say and I feel the incessant need to (over) explain everything!  Usually for me, though.  My memory is so bad if I don't elaborate, I'll forget what I was talking about later :)

I am creating...I finally got my NYC photos uploaded to Kodak so I'd like to work on creating a photo book of our trip.  I'd like to do that with our Arizona trip, the boys' first years, and a few other "topics" that are easy to break out.  We'll see if I actually get to them...

I am fold all the laundry tonight.  It's taking over my basement and looks sloppy for house showings.  It's all CLEAN, but needs to be folded and put away.  That's on my agenda for tonight.

I am hoping...the two house showings we have today pan out.  One is a second showing from yesterday.  The woman is looking for a house for her 80-year-old mother who lives in Florida right now.  Our tiny ranch would be perfect for her with a few modifications to accommodate her walker.  They were here for over an hour yesterday and today she is bringing her brother in from Albion to take a look at it.  We shall see!

I am computer fan, someone talking somewhere. 

Pondering these words..."There seems to be an automatic assumption that negative is realistic and positive is unrealistic." - S Jeffers

Around the house...NOTHING *sigh* - it's remarkably clean and I like it.  Although it takes constant attention and work to keep it that way on the heels of two small children, but it looks nice and feels accomplished.

On my mind...lots of things.  The house selling, packing and moving, Nate's last day of school on Thursday, Alex's excessive crying lately, my weight loss plans, my ever-growing to-do list.  It goes on and on...

Noticing that...I've been sneezing a LOT today...Is it a bad allergy today?  I just had a cold a couple weeks ago, surely I can't be getting sick again, Right?!?!

One of my favorite things...sleep.  I wish I got more of it.  It seems like a gigantic waste of time usually, but it's SO necessary to my mental health. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Mama Lunch tomorrow, Walk 'N Talk with Heidi, Nate's last day of school, Open House on Sunday, whatever else comes our way!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's the Little Things...Community

In this (often) difficult journey of Motherhood, I have learned that the strength and support of a wider community of people known as friends (and fellow Moms!) is INSTRUMENTAL to my success.  Without the consistent love, feedback, and experience I get from these fabulous women, I would definitely be struggling to keep my head above water!

It is here that I have found this week's "Little Thing" to celebrate It's The Little Things Thursdays with my friend Heidi over at Starts at Eight.  Heidi and I went to high school together but I think it's fair to say we didn't really play in the same social circles.  I knew her in high school, but I can't say I really knew her.  It wasn't until some 15 years later when a silly Yahoo group intended on keeping usable stuff out of landfills forced our paths to cross.  I am so thankful it did!  In the past year she has grown to be one of my most valuable resources and strongest supporters.  I didn't realize quite how much until yesterday.

Every week Heidi and I have a scheduled "Walk 'N Talk" where we meet at the mall (with my kids in tow) and walk (and talk, get it?). We have a circuit worked out and we hoof it, as often as possible (depending on the cooperation of my 4-year-old, usually)!  Not only is it a great excuse to get some (much needed!) exercise into my week, but it gives me an opportunity to get the kids out of the house (which they love!), and provides me with some "girl talk" to bounce things off someone of like mind, similar values, and with 100 times more experience in mothering than I have.

 Walk 'N Talk Buddy, Heidi, geared up for our weekly hike with the boys!

Until yesterday, vacations, schedules, and prior commitments had derailed our weekly plans for over a month and let me tell you, it was noticed.  I didn't realize how valuable these weekly Walk 'N Talks were until we finally got back on schedule yesterday.  Yesterday I was having a crappy afternoon.  The kids were overtired and whiny and mouthy.  I had a headache and had just gotten some less than desireable news from our Realtor about a house we were interested in.  If it weren't for the fact that it had already been so long, I might have cancelled, put the boys to bed early, and drowned my sorrows in a glass of wine or an evening on Facebook.  But I wanted to get back on schedule and I am SO glad to have had the opportunity.

After just two hours of girl time with Heidi, I went home re-energized and feeling positive.  It was refreshing and much appreciated!  We don't talk about much of great importance, just concerns of the moment, frustrations of the week, or plans for the near future.  But that time to decompress and share thoughts with a good friend is of utmost importance!  I have grown to count on these outings as a basic requirement for my mental health!  Thank you, Heidi, for being an integral member of my community!  I am blessed to have you "on my side" along this journey!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook...May 11, 2010

FOR TODAY...May 11, 2010

Outside my window...the sun is shining, albeit temporarily.  They (the weathermen, that is) are calling for rain later today.  I guess we’re finally getting the April weather we skipped by…so does that make it “MAY showers bring JUNE flowers”?  

I am thinking...about this house hunting process we’re in currently.  We got our house on the market last week and are looking at a few houses that have some land to offer.  To find any options in our price range we tend to have to sacrifice the quality of the house or the length of the commute to get what we want.  It’s frustrating but necessary.

I am thankful family.  There are a lot of people I know who have strains somewhere in their family - mother-daughter rifts, siblings they don’t speak to, etc.  I am blessed with a family I truly adore and a brother, sister, Mom and Dad who have been there through thick and thin.  I see them often, talk to them frequently, even have fun with them when we’re together.  Go figure!  I am truly lucky to have such a great support system.  

From the kitchen...Avery is wimpering to come out here and pester me for attention.  My mint tea is soothing my tired body and achey soul.

I am wearing...a sweater.  In May.  Yesterday I had TWO sweaters on and had my heater running in my office all day.  In MAY.  Gotta love Rochester weather!

I am remembering...very little these days.  I swear I feel like an 80-year-old woman some days.  I have a hard time remembering things I say, things I've heard, phone calls I have to make, things I've promised people, who I've lent movies to, who I've had conversations with.  It's ridiculous!  I need some Gingko Biloba or something!

I am Dee's house for a Meeting of the Minds.  She and a few of my friends from City Hall get together once a month or so and hang out over dinner and a glass (or two) of wine.  Dee always hosts it (unless we decide to go OUT somewhere) and when Dave is working that allows me to bring the kids so they can play with Dee's son, Evan, and daughter, Shannon.  Nathaniel LOVES them and Shannon is fabulous with Alex so it works out great!  Nathaniel calls Evan his "sister"...ha!

I am hoping...we sell our house fast.  I hate the roller coaster ride that selling a house can cause.  The ups and downs, the back and forth, the indecision, having to ready at the drop of a hat to clean up and get out.  It's exhausting and confusing for the little ones.  I just want to sell the house so we can focus on looking for a new one.  I'd love to say "so we can build at Mom and Dad's" but truth be told, we have a very tight deadline and while I'd LOVE for that to work out, I don't see it happening.  I guess we'll just see how things work out.  If it's meant to be it will work out, right?

I am hearing...Avery wimpering, the clock ticking, the rain I mentioned earlier falling...

Pondering these words..."Hey you, I'll read your face like a BOOK!" - Nathaniel's latest "insult". It's bugging the crap out of me!  He's been so mouthy lately that I actually threatened to wash his mouth out with soap this morning!  He has gotten in trouble quite a bit lately for calling people a "pig" or saying "you smell like a goat" so now when's he angry he'll call you a "mean book" and when he wants to be scary or threatening he'll say the above phrase.  It's frustrating.  I'm not sure how to curb it...

Around the house...Nathaniel is doing a pretty good job of keeping his stuff picked up.  It's a constant effort to keep on top of it!  I'm very proud of him for being such a big boy and a great helper!

On my mind...a house we went to see yesterday.  It's out in Holley, near Noah and Wendy.  It is a great price and has HUGE potential!!  It sits on 5 acres and I loved the yard!  The house needs some improvements but is liveable as is and we could update it as time went by...there's huge possibilities there.  The biggest downfall....the commute.  40 minutes to work, on a good day.  In the winter I'd probably be looking at an hour or more.  Not sure if that balances out.  We're just going to have to weigh our options, I guess...

Noticing that...the house gets VERY quiet after the boys are asleep.  I can hear every little noise and I LOVE it!

One of my favorite new nightly mint tea routine.  It's so warm and relaxing...not to mention yummy!  Plus, it keeps me from munching aimlessly on food I don't need anyway!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Play-date with Tiff & Brie, hoping to meet up with Rebecca and Simone, WALK ‘N TALK (finally!) with Heidi, Darien Lake with Tiff & Brie this weekend, whatever else the mood strikes in us!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Nice weather brings more and more of this.  My big boy, scootering down the sidewalk...*sigh*

Be sure to stop over to the Simple Woman's Daybook to read more entries!

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 on 10 : May 2010

In honor of Mother's Day and all the wonderful women in my life doing the world's most difficult (and most rewarding!) job, I decided to give this month’s 10 on 10 a Mom focus.  I tried to focus my hourly picture taking on things that represent “Motherhood” to me.  Enjoy!

The beautiful flowers I received from my precious boys for Mother’s Day yesterday.

The proverbial “Mom’s Taxi”…I’m not quite there yet but as a Mother we provide transportation for our little ones to doctor’s appointments, play-dates, and pre-school.  In fact, there are few places I go without my kids so while it’s not quite about them and their schedules just yet, it will be, I’m sure.

The constant balance of the Working Mother.

The struggle to provide my children with healthy food options.

The beauty of the process.

The emotions, the ups and downs, the challenges.

The bond.

Teaching my children to be independent.

Running a household.

Stopping to smell the roses (or blow the dandelions!) and ENJOY my boys.

For more 10 on 10 photos, check out here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


With Mother's Day upon us, I thought I would write briefly about Moms. Of course, I want to talk specifically about MY mom (who is the most fabulous Mother there is, of course) but I am also eternally grateful for the many amazing women I am blessed to have in my life who are traveling this road of Motherhood with me.  Together we are learning and growing.  These fantastic women are showing me how to be the best Mom I can be and supporting me on my journey towards that goal.  Thank you all!

My mother is probably the strongest person I know. She is my strength, my inspiration, my teacher, my mentor, and my friend. She is a woman who can nurse a wound with a sweet song, a gentle kiss, and the most tender touch and then in the next breath turn around and chop firewood and re roof the house right alongside my father. There isn't anything she can't do and has proven that time and time again with grace and spirit. She taught me how to dream big, care for others, and "accomplish" the things I set my mind to!

When I was little I suffered from severe eczema that left me unable to wear shoes or walk for days at a time. I would go to bed at night with an ice pack on my feet to quell the burn and itch just long enough to fall asleep. I was miserable and my mother knew that. One night she came home from work and told me the story of a little girl who was very ill. She was in the hospital and wasn't doing well. At night my mother would give me updates on how this little girl was doing and we'd pray for her. Suddenly, I didn't worry about my problems, whine about my issues, or feel bad about the difficulties I faced. This little girl had it worse than I did and she needed prayers and love and support. I sent her pictures I drew, wrote little letters, anything to show I was thinking of her. Through this little girl, my Mom taught me a lesson about perspective, empathy, and love that I will never forget.

Many years later as I was about to embark on a new chapter of life (college), I went into my parent's bedroom very late one night and told my mother I couldn't sleep. I had been up worrying about this new path, scared of leaving home to be on my own, terrified that I couldn't do it. My Mom let me crawl into bed with her (at 18!) and as I cried she held me and told me her job had been to give me wings and now it was time for me to fly. I looked at her through tears and said "but what if I can't fly?". Sadly I don't remember what her response was but I know she set my mind at ease. I moved out and while I haven't "looked back", per mother has been there to support me and encourage me every one of those last 15+years...

Mom, you are a true inspiration and I want to thank you for showing me how to be the best I can be!  

Your determination, kindness, and giving spirit 
are just a sample of the MANY things I respect and adore about you!  

I love you, Mom!  

Thank you for giving me my wings AND teaching me how to fly!

Friday, May 7, 2010


is really putting a cramp in my style.  I apologize for falling behind on my regular posts.  I want so badly to support my friend, Heidi, on her It's The Little Things Thursdays and join in on my weekly Simple Woman's Daybook, but I'm trying to focus on getting our house sold and moving so I will be less than reliable for a bit.  I had grand plans for some Mother's Day posts and wanted to start regularly posting for Flashback Fridays, but that, too, will have to wait for now.  I'll post when I can but I have to make this "fun" little project a priority right now, so please bear with me.  I look forward to the day when my creative juices have a time and place to flow freely again.  Until then...wish me luck!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Black, Gray, Navy, Brown

There is a reason why the wardrobes of both my children mysteriously and very obviously shifted from sweet pastel colors and soft shades of green, blue and ivory to primarily navy, red, black, gray, and brown.  I'm not's an obvious change that occurred somewhere around 6-9 months.  About the time my children started ingesting foods that invariably stained as often as they came back up.  And the age at which they started moving freely about my less than spotless home.  I refuse to purchase clothing for my children that is a light shade or color without first coming to terms with the fact that it will be ruined and rendered useless within no more than 5 minutes of its first wearing.

Here's a few examples of why it's best to keep them in dark colors at all times.

My boys are filthy creatures (Alex specifically!) so I like to keep them dressed 
in clothes that will stain infrequently and wash with ease.  
Call me crazy but it's a lot easier than just trying to keep them clean all the time.  
And a lot more fun!