Friday, August 6, 2010

I Got It!

Things here, for me, have been rough lately. I have been feeling more isolated as work has slowed and the kids have been challenging me quite a bit these days. Add the layer of Builder stress on top and I'm about cooked.

I've been really questioning my life these last few weeks. How did I get here? Did I do the right thing? Why do my kids seem to do everything I do not want them to do? You know, just a complete waaa party.

Okay. So, today, Sydney tied her shoes by herself for the first time! It may not seem like a huge deal and it was the act of actually doing it, but the look on her face. Her eyes lit up and she laughed with excitement. I was excited too, but at the time, I didn't get it.

This afternoon, I've been plugging away at work. The internet service was down for a few days this week and I'm a bit behind. I am already agitated at that, but then Sydney kept pacing outside the office door and not taking the quiet time. I was even more annoyed and I glared at her. She came in and tried punching keys on the keyboard. Now, I'm really upset. Then, she went to the printer where my documents were printing and said, "Let me get them, Mommy. You are working so hard." Now, I know she is trying to get out of quiet time, but she wants to be with me!!! Then, I remembered the joy on her face when she tied her shoe earlier in the day. That is when I had my AHA moment. THIS is why I left my office, moved my home and changed everything!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Situation Normal

I can hardly believe it has been two months since I posted! Wow! I am really getting bad at this.

Life is moving along. We've had lots going on and I'm thinking there will not ever be a "quiet" time. I think this is just it. Chaos is normal now.

Sydney is getting ready to start school in a few weeks. I can hardly believe that. Where did the time go? She's been crazy sassy the last several weeks and I'll admit that, once or twice, I was excited at the prospect of Kindergarten. I usually get over it though.

She's doing very well at swim class lately. She's getting past her nerves and is really jumping in. She did her first solo back float last weekend. We were so proud of her. She'd been very resistant to it. Looks like she'll be moving up to the next level. Yay! Our goal is to keep them enrolled throughout the year. We'll see how it works out.

Nathan has been growing and changing quickly these days. He no longer has that baby face. He is truly a little boy now. He is still using his charm to get what he wants. He's finding that it doesn't work as much as it has in the past. Time to lay down the law a bit more. :)

The little man uses any and every opportunity he has to get into the forbidden and/or make a mess. He takes advantage of mom's potty breaks and knows when the laundry bell or the phone rings. In a flash, he takes off and tries to complete his mission. He keeps me hopping! Sydney wasn't this mischievous, but she's catching up. Add the two of them together and our little neighbor, Sydney, and it is a complete and utter mess!

Last night, Sydney C. came to play and have dinner with us. While Marc was washing the dishes, I went upstairs to check on the kids. They were happily playing house in the playroom. I went back downstairs, started drying and after about six minutes, we heard water. NEVER GOOD! Marc and I bolted upstairs and found the bathroom door locked. When we opened the door we found Sydney T., naked, laughing hysterically, Sydney C., naked, laughing hysterically while perched in one of the double sinks and Nathan, in his underwear, sitting in the other sink throwing water by the cupful all over the bathroom and the girls. There was at least an inch of water on the floor. Good grief. We couldn't help but laugh. I was just amazed at how quickly they move.

If the mess left behind wasn't enough, while drying the girls off, I discovered that they had colored their eyelids with markers. When asked why they said, "We are going to a party, silly." There you have it. I'm the silly one. Oh and you don't want your make up to fade so we used real markers, not washable ones. Sigh. This is just another day at the office.

Speaking of office, my firm merged and my position has essentially been phased out entirely. It has been another adjustment for me. It has been hard in many ways, but easier in others. It is hard to explain, but it has been difficult.

The kids and I have been visiting a local church for the last month. So far, I'm quite happy there. I'm still finding my way, but I enjoy going and so do the kids. So, I figure that is a start. I'll just wait to see how things play out.

I hope to check in again soon, but who knows? :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I guess I should just accept the fact that I don't have the time to post daily or sometimes even weekly to this. Yet it bothers me. I want to remember what happened! I have the worst memory.

I'm behind in just about everything these days. Behind in: blogging, photos, organizing, laundry, projects and others. I guess I am happy that I am not behind in my bills. :) That would not be good.

I'm still here. I'm still stalking here and there.

One day I'll get back. For now, I'm just floating along. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm a Pansy!

Yep, that's right I said it. I am brutal when it comes to getting things done, but when it comes to possibly hurting someone's feelings, I run.

I've been going to the gym for a while now, since January. I've really enjoyed it and my swim class (YMCA). At the initial sign up, we were given personal training sessions that were seriously discounted. Marc thought it would be a good idea to sign me up.

Prior to beginning the personal training sessions, I was paired up with a trainer and went to the assessment. Now, I try not to make snap judgments about people, but sometimes I just know if I mesh with you right away or not. After about twenty minutes, I realized that I didn't really jive with this chick. I thought it was me at first and decided to keep moving.

Time for the first class. I went and really disliked it. She was a little too negative for me and I needed more encouragment. I know I'm weak. I know. Isn't that why I am here afterall? I don't really need you to keep telling me that. Next thing I know, I cannot walk for four days and I feel terrible about myself. Bleah.

Time for the second class. I feel sick. I don't want to go. I don't want to hear about how I suck. I waffle for two weeks over it. "I'm going." Wait. "No, I'm not." So, I chicken out and cancel. Then, I want to avoid the gym because she might be there. Not good.

Finally, after numerous conversations with Marc, I grew a pair and told her that I wanted to rotate through the trainers so that I can get "different perspectives." Honestly, I am hoping for someone a little bit nicer!

Why is that I am so concerned about her feelings when she wasn't concerned about mine?

Tonight, I'm meeting another trainer. I'm closing my eyes and hoping for the best. Yes, Mr. Trainer, I'm going to need you to hold my hand and tell me I'm doing a good job. Don't make me HATE going. PLEASE!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Listen Up!

Yahoo! It is Friday! The sun is shining. It really is just beautiful outside. I don't know where to start. There is so much to do and so much I WANT to do. Hmmm...the pull.

I took little Maddy to the vet the day before and before going, I had yet ANOTHER chat with Sydney about how to behave in public. Then, very sternly, I told her that she would be spending the afternoon in her room if she misbehaved while we were out.

So, off we went to the vet's office. Poor little Maddy was shaking like a little leaf and Syd wanted to be in charge of holding the leash. She's quite good at it now so, I let her after we got inside. The fun began. "Sit here, please. I will fill out this quick form and I will find you an activity." I said very nicely. Ha! Not! Before I knew it, Syd was egging her brother up a very tall flight of stairs, which I am guessing led to their administrative offices. Who knows? So, I collect the dog, Nathan and the giggling Sydney and we start over.

After a few minutes, we were joined by another little patient. The kids rushed over to ask if they could pet the puppy and after the Owners agreed, they plopped up next to them, one on each side and reached across. This elderly couple, thankfully, didn't mind that my kids were essentially in their laps. So, I just let them.

After a while we were called into the exam room. I had to pry Madison out from under a pew bench. Yes, the vet has pews. It is 'St. Francis Animal Hospital' and I thought it was cute. We go inside and the vet tech came in, weighed Madison, etc. Then, Syd announces that she needs to go potty. Of course, little ones have the BEST timing when it comes to such things. I turned to the vet tech and she nodded that it was okay. So, out I went with Syd and Nate in tow.

I'm not sure what happened in the bathroom. I put her in the one toilet bathroom and reminded her of the checklist and waited outside the door. Whatever happened in those two minutes must have been amazing because she literally came out bouncing and quite loud. Oh boy. Here we go.

Back to the exam room we went. I'm sorry to say that I only caught every third word the vet tech was saying because Sydney started yelling and hitting her brother in an effort to retrieve her colored pencil. "Excuse me." I said politely to the tech and then turned around with the Mommy Face. You know the one. The one that conveys a very serious message without saying a word. Eyes got big and a hush came over the two. Whew! After an apology, the tech went back to ya da ya da ya da and yes, that is what it sounded like to me because I could hear the previously stifled disagreement start to gurgle again and I was holding my breath.

Before I could turn this time, I heard the click of a door knob. Sydney and Nathan had called a temporary truce and decided they needed to leave the exam room to play with any animals that might be in the waiting room. Madison, of course, took the opportunity to leap off the exam table and try to make a grand escape. Is this the part where I melt into the floor? No. Unfortunately, I haven't learned that trick yet, but I've been practicing a lot lately.

Sydney's shenanigans continued through the exam and were escalated during checkout. I had to do the boneless kid drag. Yes, you know the one where you say, "Go here" and they refuse. So, you take their hand in an effort to assist them to your desired location. Nope! Then they crumble to the floor and you find yourself dragging the child in the direction while they scream bloody murder that you are hurting them. *Sigh* Yes, this was our first visit to this vet. I'm sure we made a loverly impression.

So, I kept my cool until we got to the car. I knew that opening my mouth would only make things worse. I buckled Syd into her seat and calmly said, "I hope that was worth it." She looked befuddled. In fact I think I got a straight "DUH" face reaction. I explained that she had behaved outrageously, had numerous warnings and now, rather than go visit Grandma Sebrina's new dog, she was going to spend an afternoon in her room. She didn't look bothered, at the moment.

So, I called my mom and explained that we would have to pass on the afternoon visit because I had serious mommy business to attend to that afternoon. I took the kids home, fed them lunch and then excused Sydney to her room. She went reluctantly.

The first hour or so she was quiet and then, the pleas started. I responded with a flat "Nope." So the afternoon continued with Sydney making pleas for her release, but I made her stay in her room until her father came home, which was sadly about six hours. He was quite late that night. On one hand, I felt terrible. I had never intended that, but I was afraid to let her out because I was worried it might be perceived as a give in. So, I stuck to my word.

As soon as Marc's key turned in the door, she raced downstairs. She was sooo excited and went promptly to the dinner table. I asked if she had fun and she gave me a very emphatic "Uh-uh." So, we'll see what happens. I think we will head out today at some point for a test.

I truly hope it worked because I'm sooooooo tired of being embarrassed everywhere I go. This is a fairly small place. I see the same people when I go places. I don't want people cringing whenever they see us coming. Ya know?

On that note, I'm signing off. Here's to peaceful trips to the grocery store. Yes, even something that simple would make me happy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

One Book Down

Okay, so I went to the library last week and hunted for a few books that were recommended. Oddly enough, they only had one of the four and I grabbed that one and put another on "order" from the other library.

I started my journey with 'The Irresistable Revolution' by Shane Claiborne. I picked the book up on a Thursday afternoon and was halfway through it by bedtime. I was fascinated by this man, his life, his beliefs and his work. I was so inspired by his excitement and I could just feel his emotion jumping off the pages. When I finished the book the next day, I was excited and confused all at the same time. By the way, who knew I could read so quickly or that I had so many moments to sneak in reading. I literally was standing over a pot, stirring and reading. Crazy!

I was hoping for a "how to" or instructions somewhere in his book, but they weren't there. Not exactly. The most prominent messages I got from the novel were: 1) God can be found in everything; 2) small things done with great love is how change happens; and 3) if you don't fit in, find your own place. I know I couldn't make the changes he's made in his life and I did think about how I could serve my community. A few ideas came to mind, but nothing shouted at me. Not yet at least.

This is going to be harder than I thought. I really just wanted the answer to fall in my lap. Obviously, I knew it wasn't going to be that easy, which is why I've put it off for so long. So, I am moving ahead.

Jess G. brought a few books to my home, one happens to be one that I requested from the other library. Lee Strobel's 'The Case for Christ' is on my nightstand right now. I read the first bit last night, but found I was so exhausted I couldn't get very far. I also noticed that, so far, there are many biblical references and biblical discussions that I don't understand because I haven't studied the Bible and am unfamiliar with it. I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to pull my Bible out (Yes, I have one! A dear friend gave it to me when I got married and despite my views, I've held onto it all these years. Maybe I knew I would pick it up someday). If anyone has read the book, throw me your opinion. I find the Bible quite intimidating, for many reasons, and am not sure if it would help to read the referenced parts. I have gotten quite a bit just from inference.

Well, I'm off to hit the hay.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Finding My Way

I waffled about putting this on the Web for all to see, but ultimately decided to go for it. After all, this blog is primarily for my benefit and it is nice to look back and see how things have changed or what has happened. I'm hoping that somehow it will help make it easier.

I come from a mixed religious background. I was taken to Sunday school in the Methodist church when I was younger. My grandparents made the decision to leave the Methodist church and join an Episcopal church and were there for quite some time. There was also visits to Baptist and Pentecostal churches during those early years. At the time, I primarily remember wearing dresses and prancing through the church clicking the heels of my patent leather shoes. The "Word of God" went over my head and sacrament was more a snack to me than anything else.

After we moved the Fredericksburg to live with Tom, I went to church with friends, whatever church they attended. I spent more time in an Episcopal church, but also visited St. Patrick's Catholic Church, a Presbyterian church and an AME church (quite an assortment). For the most part, if I am being honest, going to the various churches was a way to be social with my friends. On the other hand, I started questioning things around me and found that I was obsessed with mortality and what happens in the afterlife or if there is one. My mother would be happy to tell you stories, very happy. :)

I thought, at the time, I believed in God. Slowly I started to question things even more until I didn't know what was what. At this point in my life, I find that I am not only skeptical that a God exists, but I also have many issues with religion in general. I can get into that later. For now, let's just say, "Jess isn't buying it."

When I was pregnant with Sydney, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to teach her, what kind of woman I wanted her to be and how to get her there. Some decisions are easy. I want her to be healthy. So, I will teach her to eat well and enjoy the delicious, but unhealthy, things in moderation. We'll teach her to play and be active. She'll go to the doctor regularly and we'll teach her that shots are uncomfortable, but only for a second. Check, check, check. Next, we focused on education and other similar subjects.

Then, we were faced with faith and I was stumped. What do we do about that? How do I steer a child in any particular direction when I don't know which way to go? I decided that I would just teach her to be a kind, accepting and loving individual. Yes, I skipped over faith. I swept it under the rug.

Fast forward almost five years. Now, we not only have Sydney, but Nathan also. In general, I'm very happy with the way we are raising them. We have our struggles like everyone else, but as far as the basics go, we are happy with the steps we have taken. The bump under the carpet, however, is getting larger. I'm finding that I am walking around it on a regular basis. Sydney has started questioning things (i.e. death, heaven, etc.) and I'm finding that stickers aren't an effective distraction anymore. So, I now find myself faced with figuring out where I stand so that I can guide my children. Oh boy. Here we go.

Let me start by stating that, if you've bothered to read this far, I may say something to offend you. I apologize in advance. This is essentially my thought process and is not meant to hurt anyone. I'm just trying to get things organized and put away. Sometimes it is a messy process.

At first glance, I find religion hypocritical. For example, "It isn't my place to judge." How many times have I heard this expression? Unfortunately, I find more judgment among folks who have religion than others. I try very hard not to judge, but I'm guilty of it too.

One of my favorites, "It's God's Plan." First, I thought we had free will. Second, how am I to believe that the horrific things that happen around me, and to people I care about, are "God's plan?" It is terrible to me. We shouldn't worry thought right because "God will never give you more than you can handle." Until he does.

"All other religions are wrong." Well, that is just arrogant. How do you know?

There are others, but you get the point. I just don't get it.

At this point, I want to start my own religion. I want to study all religion, pick and choose what I want and move on. Why can't I just teach my children that you should be a kind, accepting and loving individual? Why can't being a good person be enough? I've heard that some believe that you can be an exemplary individual, but if you aren't baptised. Too bad. You are going to Hell. Seriously? Come on. That just seems nonsensical.

Despite the above, I believe there is something greater. What? I don't know. I want to believe in something. People seem to get so much comfort from their beliefs. I'd like to believe that this isn't it and I don't want to lead my children into nothingness, unless that is what I firmly believe. Actually, I'd just like to lead them on a path where they can make their own decisions.

I spent a lot of the last week polling friends. What do you think about this? Why do you feel this way? I've gotten a lot of good feedback. I went to the library yesterday and put out a request for The Case for Christ and Jess G led me to the Conversion Diary. I poked around a bit found her Finding God in 5 Steps. Okay, what the heck? I'll give it a try.

Step 1: Seek Humility First

Now that is a very tall order. I didn't think so at first, but then I read this.

Mike explains that "Humility is not the trait of thinking of self as being of less worth. Humility is not thinking of self at all, whether good or bad. Humility is thinking of others and seeking their advancement."

From this article, I've gotten that I need to:

1. Not think about myself

On the surface, I would think this one is fairly easy, but I am sure I will find I am more selfish than I think.

2. Not bad mouth anyone

I'd like to say that I don't do this, but I do. Hmm...does thinking something not nice count? If so, I'm probably in really big trouble. No really, I'm not that bad.

Okay, so I will spend the next few days working on those. Step 2 is to drop cynicism. IPES! That is going to be a tough one. Baby steps.

I had one friend tell me to pray on this situation, which sounded funny to me. Pray? I talk to myself or the "Great Beyond" when things are particularly crappy. I thought I would give it a go. Another friend told me to meditate, listen.

I went up to bed last night and thought, this is a good time. The only quiet time of the day in my house. I climbed into bed and started thinking/praying. Then, I decided to meditate. Before I knew it, Nathan was waking me up. Oops. I fell asleep. Hmm..I suppose I will figure it out. I'm going to try to work on it though.

I have a lot of work to do to figure things out. I just hope I can sort things out.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's Goin' On?

Okay, here I am at my new bed time, midnight. Yep. My clock has changed dramatically and I still blame the time change.

Not much new going on in my world, but here is a brief list of the week's events:

-Had lunch with my friend, Toni, today. It was so nice to see her and her girls. I think it was the first time I'd spent one on one time with her. I quite enjoyed myself.

-I completed another swim class this past weekend. It was a swimming success. :) I crack myself up. No, actually. It was. I'm going to be the next Michael Phelps. Okay maybe Michelle Phelps. I've managed to convince myself that the pools I have been practicing in are controlled settings and not deep. I can stand up whenever I want and even though I have swallowed a bit of water here and there (mostly doing the back stroke), I'm fine. Really. Yes, you heard me correctly, I'm already working on strokes. I'm astounded at myself and quite proud actually. I still may not get in a pool with you, but I will be okay by the session end with swimming laps at my gym pool. It might take me a bit longer to be comfortable with kids or other adults in the water. Have I mentioned that you should NOT get too close to me in a pool. Truth is, you've probably not seen me in a pool, except maybe waist deep or just feet.

-Sydney completed another swimming class. She's doing very well and her little class started jumping into the deep end last weekend. Oh! I was watching from a distance. I was really unhappy about it. When she saw me, I had to smile and cheer. VERY HARD.

-I've cooked several more recipes from my new Ellie Krieger cookbook (apple pecan muffins, beef tenderloin with a rosemary chocolate sauce, sauteed mushrooms and shallots, seared pork chops with a warm apple slaw, broccoli with toasted garlic, oven roasted chicken with thyme and lemon and a savory egg scramble with tomato and dill). So far, they have all turned out quite well. Although, Marc tells me he isn't sure he likes dill. The recipes, aside from the chocolate sauce, have been very friendly, extremely easy and tasty. I find comfort knowing that we are consciously eating healthier. We've always been all over the veggies, etc., but the mains haven't always been as healthy.

-New grill is in sight! I'm so excited. I think we will be finally picking up our new grill this weekend. Oh boy! I love love love grilling food. It is so nice to chillax next to the grill. It is heaven. I certainly haven't mastered the grill at all, but I do love it. It is one of my joys. Why go to a restaurant and pay $26 for a crappy steak when you can grill one ten times better at home with little to no clean up at a fraction of the cost? Seriously.

-I have picked up two books over the last week. I'm half way through both, 'Hannibal Rising' and 'Always Looking Up.' I'm happy to be reading a bit, even though it isn't as much as I would like. I am trying to fit it in here and there. Also, surprisingly, I'm enjoying the Thomas Harris novel. It has been so long since I've read fiction. I am typically drawn to non-fiction. I just found it in my closet and thought I should read it.

-I've made a very small dent in our basement. This, of course, means that I have STUFF strewn about the house. I'm attempting to organize, purge and put away the junk in the basement and in my closet. It is going to be a work in progress for quite some time. In the meantime, I'm finding all kinds of things I haven't seen for years.

-We got a second fridge! Yay! We've always had one, since we got married. It has always been so useful to have the second fridge and now, with two kids, even more so. The amount of produce we buy causes our fridge to be jammed with stuff and it is quite hard to find things. I tossed around the idea of getting a freezer, but I thought it would make more sense to go this direction. I'm afraid of the freezer trap. :) Thank goodness one of Marc's coworkers was willing to part with their old one for $50! Yahoo! What a steal!

-Yay to fresh eggs! My mom's neighbor has about twelve hens. She sells the eggs and I picked up my first two dozen late last week. If I had my wish, I would grow everything in my own back yard. I would even consider having hens myself, but no approval in this area. Also, why go to the trouble when I can just walk up the hill and visit hers. :) I'm not sure what happened to the farmer's market here. It used to be down the street. I would have thought it would have started by now. I've got to figure that out soon. That reminds me, I've got to drive to my grandfather's produce stand. It is too far for a weekly visit, but every now and then would be good.

-I have not picked up the camera this week, but I thought about it. Does that count?

-I've done load after load of laundry, but there is much left to do. :) It is a never ending cycle.

-I FINALLY purchased cloth napkins. This is something I've been meaning to do for a while and kept forgetting. I made a lot of strides to be greener last year and nearly everything has stuck. I couldn't deal with the no dry cleaners. I do wash just about everything now, with the exception of the DRY CLEAN ONLY items. I would send nearly everything to the cleaners before because I thought they did a better job, not casual clothes. Now, since I'm only working in person here and there, I get away with going to the ORGANIC cleaner once in a blue moon. I couldn't handle the dish soap or laundry detergent. Things never seemed as clean. I tried though, really hard. I finally got my compost bin up and running. Yay! I've been without that for about a year. We've made steps forward, a few steps back, and we are moving the right direction. I took Rachael's advice on the sham wows way back and it is has saved us a ton of paper towels. I'm hoping the cloth napkins will do the same.

Tomorrow will be quite a busy day. I'd better get myself to bed and try to organize in my head. Oh boy. Now, there is a job. Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I can hardly believe it is after midnight already. I seriously need to get my butt into bed, but I was trying to get some work done on the computer. I was doing very well actually and then the remote connection to my office crapped out. Sigh. I guess it is time to give up for the night.

Tomorrow is a new day, one without mistakes. :) I keep telling myself this, but I really wish I would just stop thinking about the new tomorrow and stop making so many mistakes. I'm impatient and moody. This isn't helpful when it comes to my little ones. Sure, when everyone is on their P's and Q's, we have a grand time, but after whining and misbehaving comes into play, it is another story.

Nathan started climbing out of his crib a few weeks ago. I was unaffected at first because he wasn't really using it yet. We decided to just switch to the toddler bed. Boo! My baby boy isn't a baby anymore. Now, he is refusing to take naps and now he's even refusing to go to bed. Recently, the two of them are up until almost ten, sometimes later, before they will finally go to bed. It isn't pretty. It is so frustrating. I used to use the naps for work and of course, bedtime permits Marc and I to chill or do chores in the evening. Now, we spend time running up and down the stairs. I just keep trying to remind myself that it is just another phase.

We had to take a break from the potty business with Nathan. He was adamantly refusing to sit on the potty when I decided that perhaps he just isn't ready. Now, a week or so later, he asked me to use the potty today. I think I'll continue in this fashion for a little bit and see if he comes around on his own. He's extremely independent, so maybe he just wants it to be his decision.

We played a fun game on Sunday. We had a treasure hunt in the house. The kids had to find and follow the clues that were left for them by the "Leprechaun" until they reached their pot of gold. Yes, I know it was late since St. Patty's was earlier in the week, but I figure they are young and do not care. In fact, today, we made leprechaun puppets and counted the gold in the pot.

I started taking swimming lessons two weeks ago. I'm not sure if I mentioned that or not. I'm really quite proud of myself actually. I'm doing quite well. I can now go under without fear (as long as I have goggles on) and I was able to free-style stroke a bit this weekend WITHOUT my bell prop. YAY! I'm moving much more quickly than I expected. I'm still not ready to jump into a pool with a bunch of people, but the quiet lap pool at the gym is becoming more comfortable. Marc, you can still forget Water Country. It is not going to happen! He makes fun of me because I say I "NEED" my goggles. Well, I do. Bleah!

I picked up my Xsi book for dummies this week. I've started reading it and picking my camera back up again. I've been on a "break" for a few months. It is just one of those things that went by the wayside when we moved. I prefer an instructional environment to an experimental environment so, perhaps I will learn something. I'm looking forward to Spring and taking pics of the kids.

In addition to that book, I picked up Michael J. Fox's memoir at the library. I've only read a chapter or so, but I find myself wrapped up already.

Finally, Marc and I decided to get the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. My stepmom told me about his program way back in the Fall and we've been listening to the show here and there since. Then, Ruh you brought it to the front.

Thankfully, Marc and I learned our lessons early on and are very conservative with our money. I'm happy to say that we don't have car debt, student loans, credit card debt or the like. Our only debt right now is our home. We've tried to tuck money away, especially when we put the contract out on the house, knowing that we wanted to purchase a few things for the house and unexpected expenses. Having just finished the first draft of our taxes for the year, I am thankful as we are getting KILLED this year. DAMN IT!

Anyway, we figure that we could be doing so much better and given that we are a sole income now, essentially, we need to be on our best behavior. Now, we will have A LOT of work ahead to replenish the taxes we are about to pay. We are anxious to see what he can add to our lives. We've heard such great things and thought that it certainly wouldn't hurt. So tonight, Marc replaced the hardware in the half bath and I read to him. We're committed to doing it once a week. If nothing else, it will be together time. :)

Well, I'm off to bed. The morning will soon be here and the little ones will be ready to go! I haven't got much planned for tomorrow yet. I'd better get on the stick.


Grilled lamb chops (on our grill pan bc we haven't bought a grill)
Grilled romaine and tomato
Oven roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes
Lemon/Orange Mango Sorbet (can't take credit-it is from Costco and you should totally get it!)


Last night:

Shrimp Caesar Salad (homemade Caesar)-Ellie Krieger

Good, but not enough dressing for me!

Tomorrow (I think):

Turkey meatloaf
Smashed sour cream potato (for me!)
Sauteed Green Beans and Garlic

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh Time Change

I woke up this morning to construction workers banging away at 530am this morning, well actually 630am. I'm annoyed that 700am wasn't early enough. Seriously, I get that you want to take advantage of the daylight, but come on! I don't really like hearing so much noise first thing, awake or not.

I suppose my body and clock are in denial. My body isn't ready to go to bed earlier and resultantly, will not wake up earlier. My clock will not change. Literally! I'm going to have to change the time zone to get it to cooperate. In many ways I love the spring time change, more day light is wonderful. This year, I seem to be having lots of trouble adjusting. :)

Yay coffee!

Monday, March 15, 2010


The relationship between Sydney and Nathan is quite adorable, most of the time. Generally they are holding hands, chasing after each other and when one is out of the room, the other instantly notices.

This evening, Sydney and Nathan decided that they HAD to sleep together. They turned on the charm, sad faces and whatnot. Remembering how I loved snuggling with my sister, early and late in life (now), I gave in. The first hour or so was talking and giggling, which I expected and before I knew it, Nathan was downstairs in tears with a bloody cheek. It seems that Sydney didn't appreciate Nathan's constant chatter and she retaliated by scratching him (very hard). This immediately reminded me of my teenage years when Ashley wanted to sleep in my room and I got so mad that I dug my nails into her arm. Certainly not one of my proudest moments, but I was a teenage brat. Hmmm...I could totally see myself in Sydney, as if that is new. We instantly gave Syd a hard time for being so mean, even if Nathan wasn't nice, and then, we did the same to Nate. We gave them the "you are to look out for each other" chat (again). I'm sure they will be hugging in the morning, which will be followed by the usual squabbles.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two Months in Two Winks!

With all that has happened over the last two months, I shouldn't be surprised that two months passed so quickly.

We are all settled into the new house. "Settled" means that we have all essentials unpacked, a few pictures hung and are acclimated to the new sounds or lack of sounds. I love our new home. I love looking out into our patch of trees every morning. I am enjoying my new kitchen immensely, the large island and double ovens. Love it!

I continue working part-time for GR and it was quite overwhelming at first, but I think that things are settling and I'm finding a rhythm. Of course, life is significantly easier now that the wireless network is set up in our house. Thanks, babe!

The biggest change in the last two months, of course, is that I've made the switch from a full time employee to a stay at home mom. I was apprehensive and excited about the switch. I've had my ups and downs, mostly ups and am still struggling a bit with the juggling, but I'm still happy with my decision.

One of my biggest challenges has been keeping a good schedule, managing appointments, chores and schoolwork. I'm quite good at juggling tasks, until you throw in two children that have minds of their own. It was my goal to work with the kids on educations projects, visit the library and misc schoolwork. While I haven't accomplished as much as I had wanted in the last two months, I am excited to report that Sydney has read her very first story and a second this evening! Yay! How elated I was to be there for her as she sounded out the first story and to see how proud she was of herself! Not as proud as I was of her! :) I've promised that when she completes her workbook, we will have a party. I cannot wait.

In addition to Syd's reading accomplishment, she is now finally sleeping in her own room through the night! WOW! After weeks and weeks of trying, we finally succeeded. Who knew it would take fingernail polish, curlers and 'The Wizard of Oz' movie? If only I had thought of it sooner.

Our next challenges with Syd are public tantrums, television reliance (which causes a lot of tantrums) and major sassiness. I have endured some major eye daggers over the last few weeks from shoppers at the mall, grocery store and Target. At these moments, I've wanted to literally melt into the floor or disappear. In addition to her stunning performances, her sassy mouth has landed her in her room quite frequently.

We are fairly strict with the television in our home and our belief that tv should play a small part is being reinforced lately. Sydney's desire to watch tv incessantly is frustrating and is the cause of a lot of tantrums. In the past, we had used the television as a reward and we have strayed from that. I'm thinking we are going back to that system, at least in part. Finding a balance is hard sometimes. We'll keeping working at it until my sweet little girl settles a bit.

Mr. Nate is growing like a little weed. He is a doll and so cuddly. He is generally very well mannered and so loving. He loves to color, play with playdough and flash cards are a favorite. He counts to fifteen or so now on his own. He loves to look at books and have stories read to him. We've been fortunate enough to get to the library over the last two weeks and we read a minimum of three books a day. That has been the habit since day one. I was getting a bit tired of reading the same stories over and over and over again. :) Thank goodness for the library.

Nathan is still working on recognizing his colors. Everything is blue, brown or orange. :) He does a great job with his shapes and likes to try to draw them. So far, circle is the only one that makes it out. He is learning the letter sounds, but is still not able to recognize the letters. We'll just keep working at it.

Nathan has decided to start mimicking some of Sydney's undesirable behavior. When he is unhappy or frustrated with you, Nate enjoys calling names. Specifically, "Stupid bumblehead!" Let's just say that his little behind has been sitting on the time out stair a lot for name calling lately. It is hard to remember to enforce this sometimes when he is still at that cute stage. You know, when you find it a little funny.

Sydney and Nathan are quite a pair. They are adorable together most of the time. They are huggy and cuddly a lot of the time. Sydney looks out for her little brother. I observe her trying to teach him things, not all bad. Today, she lined up cookies that were numbered 1-10 to show him the appropriate order. Then, she asked him to do it. She gently corrected him when he did something wrong. She calls him "honey" or "sweety" most of the day. It is sweet how she looks out for him and he wants to know where she is every minute of the day.

Of course, they are still brother and sister and it is expected that they will fight. They certainly do their fair share. There are times when I feel like my shirt should be striped black and white and a whistle should be attached.

Marc and I joined the local Sport and Health. I've been bouncing between the gym floor and aqua fitness classes. Tomorrow, or sometime this week, I'll get back to yoga now that I have a mat. Yay! I've missed it so. I'm trying anything I can think of to gain energy to keep up with my monkeys. I figured that it couldn't hurt.

Despite having a list of things to do a mile long, I'm still optimistic (shocker!) that things will shake out and settle down just in time for Syd to go to school. Ipes! I cringe at the thought.