Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crafts! Catepillars! Bird Nests!

My neighbor and I have been taking turns doing a story & a craft with our older kids while the little ones play.

First we read the story "The Hungry Little Catepillar" by Eric Carle and then made a catepillar ourselves (egg carton section, paint, pipe cleaner attenae, and cherrios for eyes!

Here's Jake with his:

Then this week we went to their house (she let me dry some laundry while there too, bless her heart). They read a book about a bird building it's nest, they used toliet paper roll binoculars to look at a nest of baby birds in their yard, made a pinecone bird feeder, and for a snack made this little chocolate birds nest!

Cute, no?? Next week it's my turn again... not sure how I'm going to follow that act up. She hit it out of the park!

We went back to the Childrens Museum yesterday, it was fun. Since the boys feel asleep on the way there, we actually went back to the Tot Spot after they had an early lunch since they weren't dying for a nap or anything! They had so much fun checking it all out again and again. I had fun that they have fun. Even though after that they only took a 15 min nap in the car and were up the rest of the day. I was exhausted, went to bed at 9pm :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We have a HUGE trip coming up!!

My brain is in overdrive planning and making arrangements! I have lots of lists, and I'm checking them twice, no thrice... no lots and lots of times :) Let's hope I don't lose my little notebook or I'll have no clue what's going on!

We head out mid-June. We decided to stay 2 nights in New Orleans since I've never been there. So we'll sightsee and check stuff out as much as we can with very busy little ones. On the way to NO we're stopping in the Beaumont area to meet up with a mom friend of mine. We've been friend for over 3 years due to my online moms group, so even though we "talk" daily it'll be our first times meeting! Yay! Fun! It's always a big deal and bout of jealousy when people from the group get to meet up!

From NO we head to Birmingham for the night, leaving the next day for Gatlinburg. Our final destination for that leg of our trip. Greg's mom's family is getting together. I've only met a couple of them, so this will be nice. Plus it's a great excuse to get together with Greg's family... we're staying in a 5 bedroom house in the mountains, how fun. We've never been to Gatlinburg either! We'll be there for 4-5 days but oh no, we don't head home yet.

We will then drop Greg off at the Nashville airport so he can get home and back to work. The boys and I will head up to the Haute to stay with my family for a week or so! Then after we've thoroughly worn out our welcome we'll head home... the 3 day trip home... with just me and the boys. That's going to be the roughest part of the trip! Of course after all that we've done, we'll just be ready to be home. I'm a bit worried about some of the logistics like unloading and packing the car when I have the both of them. But it'll be an adventure for sure! By the time everything is said and done we'll be gone for 19 days... 7 days on the road... over 9 states!

I've been spending lots of time researching our trip, finding the right hotels, places to stop, eat, etc... my brain is starting to hurt! But it's a good hurt ;)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Losing the pudge...

No, not mine much to my dismay! Evan is losing his baby pudge :(

You can't really see it in the picture I posted the other day... and others might not even notice in person. However, Mama & Daddy both noticed this morning!! His legs, arms, neck and torso have gotten a bit longer. He no longer has that roly-poly baby belly with legs & a head look. Waaaaah! My baby!

I mean he already acts like he's 17 mths going on about 2 1/2 yrs old... the way he talks, runs, and just general operates. But this is his first time looking like he's out of that baby-young toddler phase!

Jake woke up this morning over the stomach bug thing.. that was a fun 48 hours. I'm pretty sure that Evan is in the beginning stages of it. That pretty much sums up our Friday! Jake catching up on behaving less than nice (to make up for just laying around for two days) and poor Ev is beyond unhappy about being too sick to really do much. Greg is going to go play horseshoes at a neighbor/co-workers house tonight... I told him to go... I'm totally going to bed once Jake does (early bedtimes for early birds are a nice perk!). So it's not like we'd be missing out on time together.

We've been catching up on The Tudors on Showtime. We've watched every season, but fell behind this season due to watching Lost (Finale on Sunday -woo-hoo! I LOVE Lost!). I find the Tudors a bit annoying sometimes because I'm a huge Tudors/Elizabethan/Stuart fan and read lots of nonfiction historical stuff and they screw with alot. But even for the poetic license to dramatize and tweak, we still like it anyway!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A burning dryer and germs!

So Jake is sick. It started yesterday and is still going on. I know there's been a bug going around... yep, it's made it's stop here. Lets hope Jake is it's only victim, since Mamas don't get sick days!

It all comes at a "perfect" time around here. You know a time when you're going to have to wash sick towels, sheets, clothes, etc. Our dryer is 90% out of commission. Ugh!

Repairman came on Tuesday, it'll take 10 business days (plus time to get someone out here to fix it) to get a new heating element control panel. It was getting so hot it was scorching the hell out of the inside... the vent into the tumbler was actually scorched!

Yesterday afternoon I did a load of laundry after Jake's first getting sick episode. (On a side note, it's amazing that I don't get sick myself when helping & cleaning up. I would if it was anyone else but my kid, I'll tell ya that!) I got out the drying rack that I haven't used since I was being green before and after Jake was born. I hauled it outside hoping the sun and 90 degrees could make up for the 75% humidity. It sort of worked, they weren't too wet, but definitely still damp. We can still use the dryer on the air setting... so I threw in that laundry on the air setting a few times with a dryer sheet (I never use dryer sheets due to the chemicals) and they actually turned out okay and got dry... only took 3 air cycles.

Had a couple of friends offer to let me use their dryer, so nice! I might have to if it rains this weekend. Laundrymats are not an option down here, they're a little sketchy. The really good thing in all this... at least it's the dryer and not the WASHER. Now that would be downright terrible.

I know people have survived without dryers and washers AND had sick kids... but that is not something I care to have any experience with myself!

To end on a cute note, here a pic of Jake reading his Wall-E book to Evan. Now before I take the pic they're both sitting closer, looking at the book together, and every so often Evan will look up at Jake. BUT... you know how it is, right when you take the pic, they move and look like deer in headlights! I spend a lot (A TON) of time being referee between them, it's exhausting... so I love catching them in these kinds of moments!

And, last week I made a peach pie and made the crust from stratch. A friend asked me to post a pic, since she knows I'm not much of a baker, so it's a big deal for me! I didn't want to have a post just for it, so I'll just add it on here :) It's definitely not perfect, but I tried! It looks like a lattice crust, but I actually didn't weave them, I just laid the sections in two layers. Funny how stuff like that is so intimidating, but if you just do it you think - oh that wasn't so bad!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Five Years to Us!

Five years ago today Megan, Donna and I were getting our hair and make up done a few hours before the ceremony! The salon couldn't seem to understand that I was getting married THAT DAY... they were taking their sweet time. Then finally figured it out and finished up! I then drove our rental car like a banshee, we got lost a little bit, and I drove some more like a banshee. We made it up the mountain in wine country to a beautiful little winery with just enough time to slip in my dress and get the show on the road!

Everyone is always shocked when I tell them about our wedding. It wasn't an elopement, it was just a small thing. No use going in debt or expecting anyone else to foot the bill. It was perfect for us! I love retelling about that day (but I'll spare you all!)... but what gal doesn't??

I was trying to find a good marriage quote to reflect how I feel and what I'm thinking. However, after some googling I found mostly crappy quotes about how terrible marriage. Ugh!? But I did find this one and I think it's rather nice... for me in goes hand in hand with our marriage and our little family.

There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved ~ George Sands

I don't care what anyone says... there's no such thing as a perfect marriage. There are ups and down, good times and bad, stress, and all that... but if you take all that away and there's still love & respect then that is as perfect as you're going to get in reality.

Today we hosted a Pudding Playdate. I put pieces of paper up on the fence, we put out bowls of pudding, gave the kids (in their swimsuits) brushes and away they went! Shortly into it we turned on the sprinkler and took the top off the water table and the kids played in the water the rest of the time. I think (hope) all the kids had a blast!

During this time, a man popped around the corner with a big ole vase of a dozen roses from my love!

A picture of my flowers, some cards some thoughtful people sent, and the bottle of wine we're going to pop the cork on tonight! It's from the winery we got married at Hans Fahden Winery in Calistoga, CA

Friday, May 14, 2010

Birthin' them babies!

Last night at Moms Night In (which was Dessert Night btw and it was yummo!) birth stories were shared and talked about. Made me a bit nostalgic for birthing my babies!

9 mths preggers with Jake.

My first baby, Jake... looking at him now running around me at 3 1/2 years old... I can't believe he was ever this little!

Another shot of Baby Jake, in my favorite thing EVER... The Peanut Shell. Baby wearing is fantastic and since this I've acquired a Moby Wrap as well. Love! I actually have very few pics of the boys in the sling... but Evan especially lived in it! This pic doesn't really go with birthin babies, but I came across it while looking for these pics and just had to throw it in! Oh and you don't have to hold the baby at all like I am for the pic, it was just the first time I had him in there and Greg was a nervous wreck about it.
Funny, that after that how normal it became. I could pop them in and out fast and wearing them in different positions. I always sing praises for slings and wraps! They're awesome!

9 mths preggers with Evan. I really like being pregnant, with Evan I took a TON of belly shots and am so happy I did. I love looking back at them.

Mr. Big Stuff is born! I pretty much labored at home with Greg and his mom both staring at me, like I'm a lunatic, wanting me to leave to go to the hospital. But you know how preggers are, you can't tell them anything! It was the first snow storm of the year, we were actually in front of the snow plow! LOL! Then when we got to the hospital, due to construction I was at the wrong entrance, I refused a wheelchair or anyones help and walk across the whole hospital, up stairs, and all that jazz. When I got there they took their sweet time (guess they must get a ton of women that freak out in early labor? and get there early?) then found out I was almost 8 cm, so off to the birthing suite we went!

Big brother at the hospital visiting! Everyone told me he'd seem like such a big kid after having the baby... but I felt like he was still a baby when I did see him. I fretted the whole pregnancy about if I could really love another baby as much a I loved him, and soon as Evan popped out all my worries went away. It was like he'd always been a part of our family we just didn't know it! It's the most amazing thing that kind of love can multiply. I always try to explain it to moms expecting #2 having the same worries, but I don't think anyone believes you until it happens to them!

The first time Jake strung two words together (he just wasn't a talker until NOW!) was for "Hold Baby!" that he'd sing out to get to hold Evan. Very cute!

*Sigh*... Those are my babies that I brought into this world. I'm nervous to say, but I'm sure eventually there will be a 3rd (Greg would actually like 2 more, but I'm pretty sure that's no dice!). I can handle another pregnancy, and I love the idea of more than 2 kids when they get older. But truthfully, I'm beyond scared to do that whole first year over again... sleepless nights, being the sole source of nutrition, losing the baby weight, lugging all the gear around etc. So once I can wrap my head around that, it'll be good :) My friend Jen has really peaked my interest in her birthing center & midwife. Lately, I've really been thinking about it all again. I think I could birth au natural, but would need a ton of support and no "nay-sayers" along the way. First, lets cross the hurdle in my mind about #3! Then we'll go from there! Until then I'll be nostalgic over when I had my current babies ;) Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I've got an idea & and itch!

I want to host  a Home Decor Swap Party!! Here are some great examples/articles about it...

Article on Swap Party

The Nester's Swap Party

I don't know about you but I have lots of decor. Decor that doesn't work well in our new home. Either it's the wrong scale or color or something along those lines. But they still seem too nice to just get rid of! Why not a Swap Party?? One person's trash is another person's treasure! Add in some wine or margaritas and food and I think it sounds like a fabulous time!

Hmmmmmm. Whats the general feedback? If you're local, would you come??

Quite honestly I'm so excited about it, I'm about ready to round up all my stuff right now and say come on over! But wait, must plan and give others a chance to plan! I don't know if it's made me giddy with the thought of it all (home decor! oh the possibilites!) or what but I have this song bouncing around in my head!

Yah... it's official... I'm nuts! Cheers!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A new look??

This blog has looked the same since Oct 2008... it was time for a change in backgrounds and such. Still figuring out what color I want the different texts to be... but so far here's the new look! I always like a new look/haircut, figured the blog deserved it too!

There are some really nice looking blogs out there... and with my creative skills and computer skills... my blog was sorely lacking with no good excuse for it. So I played around a little tonight, finished up right before my self imposed bedtime of 10:30pm (since I'm getting up at 6am via an alarm - which is really hard to get used to after 3 1/2 years!).

To be a Mother...

... it's one of the best things that has and will ever happen to me! It's that simple. No extra words can really describe it.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

It's given me pride, humility, esteem, confidence, respect and love. Like I always say, they are my heart beating outside of my body. While yah, I talk about my insecurities, my doubts, hang-ups and flaws... they're so minute compared to what I used to feel years ago.

I remember thinking a long time ago when coming to terms with experiences in my life... that I experienced those because my children were going to be some really special people. I had to experience what I did so that I could become the mother I needed to be for their sakes.

By no means am I perfect and each day I try to be a better mother... and every time I achieve that, I also become a better person.

Yesterday, I got a couple hours to myself to go shopping. I bought a new swimsuit and then perused some furniture/decor stores. While in Kirklands I saw a picture frame that said along the lines of we provide our children with a roof so they can grow wings. I thought I'd be able to find it online, I cannot, here's another similar one. Both are very true.

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.
One is roots. The other is wings. ~Hodding Carter, Jr.
Mother's Day here was just like any normal ole day, with just perhaps myself being a bit more introspective. Because really it's not them that should be celebrating me, it is me that should be celebrating them for allowing me this precious opportunity to be a part of something so grand.
They are my beautiful flowers that will bloom forever, candies that will always taste sweet, and my gifts to treasure and hold dear.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Yes! Early risers no matter when they go to bed!

It's official though... my kids have Indiana Farmer in their blood! They're up with the sun! I've always known that. No matter how much it shocks people about they're earlier bed time. Not many get it or attempt to understand. My kids get up with the sun pretty much, even though I darken Evan's room. In the winter they never sleep later that 7:30am even if the sun isn't up yet. Plain and simple they're both just earlier risers. Therefore, so that I know they get the right amount of sleep... early bedtimes it is!

Lately I've been thinking that I need to get up before the kids get up. At least enough that I can wake up first. While I'm no longer a night owl, I'm not a peppy early riser... it takes awhile to get the cobwebs out of my head and for my appendages to respond to messages from my brain! I literally run into walls, door frames, the corner of the bed, etc...LOL! The boys have been waking up about 6:30am... so this week Greg and I have been getting up at 6am instead of getting up when they do. It's been okay, nothing earth shattering. But it nice to be awake and sipping my hot tea when they're getting up. Easier to get breakfast going with the nuerotransmitters actually firing and connecting ;)
But of course... they've been pretty much waking up at 6:15 now... so getting up at 6 is losing it's advantage. I refuse to get up any earlier!

The other good thing about getting up early is that we'll be thankful when it's a 120 degrees outside... we can be at the park playing by 8am and home before we melt into pools of sweat.

So since I talked about sleeping and waking. Thought I'd share a pic I shared on FB the other day... when Jake wakes up from his nap, Evan and I go in to get him and Evan loves to climb in bed and lay with him even if it's just for 2 minutes. It's very cute!

Monday, May 3, 2010

We had a good weekend!

It was nice to not have too much in the way of errands or plans to define our weekend!

The pools in our neighborhood opened, so we had to go get our bracelets for the year. They we're having a little fest in a way... balloons, bubbles, ice cream, etc! Jake got a balloon sword, and it popped... surprised the heck out of him! Evan was busy trying to stick his fingers in the bubble machine... but both loved the ice cream! We just went to pick up the bracelets so I didn't take the diaper bag... so we had the token dirty boys with ice cream all over them. While we were there Evan was really excited to see the water. So since we didn't go to swim, we promptly left and walked around the lake for a bit with our ice cream.

Then got home and got ready for the block party for our street! It was really hot, but it was nice to see everyone. We have good neighbors! Everyone chipped in and got a bounce house for the kids... ours went in quite a few times for a little bit. Met some new people, said hi to the regulars... like the ladies in my Bunko group! Evan charmed one of the ladies into chasing him around for a little bit, stomping on things and such :) They both enjoyed it, but after about 10 mins, she was wondering how I do it all day long! No kidding!!

Everyone was so hot when we got home. It was bath & bedtime for Evan, but Greg and Jake suited up and headed to the pool! Yay! May 1st and at the pool! Love it! Jake went down the waterslide on his own first thing. Last year he always wanted one of us to go with him... so yay for the big boy! He came home and said "The pool is so much fun!"

Sunday we went for our long walk at Duessen park... hoping to make it a regular Sunday morning thing. The buffalos weren't as close but while Jake and I were jogging for a bit (he says "Mama, lets exercise and be healthy!" Lol!) on the trail we saw a big turtle in the middle of a field. Greg loves turtles, so he just as much fun checking it out as Jake did! Jake wanted to know why he was pulling his head & legs in... why does a turtle have his home on his back...etc. It's lots of fun. I've been waiting for this stage for awhile to answer and discuss things. His reaction to our conversation... "Well, that's just so silly. I like turtles!" :) We did our normal stop at a playground halfway through the walk to help Evan get the wiggles out. I have to admit on the last part of the walk, I was hurting... we could see the car, but it feel like it was miles away!

Home for naps! In which Greg was nice enough to let me nap until I woke up, instead of just getting up when the first one does. I slept for 2 hours... it was awesome. I could of slept longer too, but figured I should probably get up ;)

We then all went to the pool. Note to self: get thee a new suit... yikes! Evan was exactly how we thought he'd be. Very excited and NO FEAR. He'll totally jump off the side even if you're not right there, he doesn't care if he falls face first and goes under, he's just go go go!!! Jake decided since he mastered the little kid tube waterslide... he'll try the big one. He had a bug-eyed look of fear flying out of the tube, but then said "Again!". It's quite a drop into the pool, so you have to stand right there to catch him. Everyone had a blast... but if this is how it's going to be at the pool this year... I have no clue how I'm going to take them both by themselves! Evan screamed when we left... he's a fish in the making I do believe! Due to all the antics, no pictures were taken... ones from the park will just have to suffice! :)