Sunday, September 04, 2011

Well, Hello There!

Yes, Yes, I know... it has been almost a YEAR since my last blog post. I am not sure about the statute of limitations on what an active blog is, but maybe I can resuscitate this one... hopefully blogging a little more often. Most of you who follow my blog are aware of what goes on in my life via Facebook, Twitter, and my other blog. However, since this one still exists, technically, I decided to post a photo of our two kids... to catch up on life over the past (almost) year!

Henry turns 3 later this month. He is getting really big (size-wise, he is in a size 4T, and climbs in and out of his car booster seat with ease). Big kid, not a surprise... but what I am most amazed by every day is how bright and charming he is. He's picking up on some of his big sister's dramatic ways, but usually he's just a sweet boy. He still might bite occasionally. We are working on that!

Henry loves to follow Lucy around and say/do everything she says/does! Everything! He is a smarty and a great talker, his vocabulary is tremendous... but he's not just a parakeet, he is creative and inquisitive, I'm just a proud mom. He's a darling child, aside from the fighting with his sister, and his messy eating habits, I just couldn't ask for a better son.

Lucy is such a kid. The other day we were at Kohl's and she started eyeing all the little kid jewelry and "makeup", she is going to be riding a big yellow school bus in a couple of short days (whoa) and she can read a little bit. She is good at writing her numbers and letters (and some words), she can do adding problems without paper, and she knows too many of the words to Lady GaGa's "Just Dance". She is completely fearless with rides, climbing, trying new things, anything that might post a remove physical danger, you can't keep her away. Since getting rid of TV she has found a new electronic addiction in the Wii... which we attempt to limit, but she's so good at Donkey Kong it's kind of impressive. Kids today. She'll be FIVE on October 1.

Here is a recent photo of our dynamic duo!

I promise to try to blog more.. that is, if anyone is still out there reading! LOL

Friday, October 22, 2010

Reality Check

I looked around and felt slightly amused (if not exhausted) by the scene unfolding around me, so I grabbed a camera and snapped a photo. Then today I decided to procrastinate and make note of the details that sum up life around the home... that is, when I am trying to work. Pretty sure you have to click the picture to read any of the captions..

In a nutshell, they are wonderful kids. They of course have their moments, but what preschoolers don't, seriously? I just find that it's such a striking, instant, difference in their behavior from when I am playing with them and paying 100% attention to them... to the instant I stop, they switch into crazy mode! Needless to say, next year I might have to consider one or two days a week putting Henry in some kind of daycare or getting a nanny. Lucy will be in kindergarten. A few hours of peace, a couple days a week, would do wonders. I think right now it's a tough time to run a business and be a SAHM. It won't always be this way, with all the chaos.

At least I can laugh about it... sometimes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Henry is 2!

Today is Henry's 2nd Birthday! I can't believe it! He's so cute, sweet, naughty... he loves to get into all kinds of trouble, then walks up and says, "hug?" looking at you with his big blue eyes. So hard to keep a straight face sometimes. He thinks he can cute himself out of anything. Sometimes, I am so tired just trying to keep him from tearing the house apart... but he's wonderful, and makes life so much fun! He and Lucy love each other, when they're not trying to hurt each other... right this very moment they are playing nice. I hope that it continues for a little while... usually someone starts screaming within a minute or two!

Anyway, here is a photo of him by the birthday bunting my mom made for the kids. I will hang it up somewhere every year - for both of them - on their birthdays... it's really cute, and I appreciate all the work she put into it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gun Lake

This is my sister and my aunt Pam on a kayak, coming in by the neighbor's dock (a long exposure created the major motion blur). It's kind of a funky photo, but I really like it because it reminds me of a very fun night we had out there. :) I'm currently uploading more pics from our Girls Weekend to our Smugmug Site (link coming soon).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bird Shirts

Ready for a lame trivial blog post (better suited to a Facebook status update, but over 240 characters!)? Here you go:

I went shopping last night... at the mall. I don't like going to the mall, but fortunately it wasn't too busy. It was a Monday night, and I only went in 2 or 3 stores. I had the most luck at Charlotte Russe, which sounds weird - I used to think that store was just for ultra trendy teens who wanted to gear up for Friday night, getting overdressed, cruisin' around listening to Ke$ha, but alas, they actually have cute things that I can wear (despite the fact that I'm closing in on 30 years old... and yes, I do listen to Kesha on the radio, she's weird, "I like your beard" - what on earth? But her music is fun :)).

I have to find a few other basic things, but I made myself go. Spend money. On clothes. Not my favorite thing to do, and I have a hard time justifying it. However, feeling good in what you are wearing is worth it, and I just need to get that through my head! Charlotte Russe has cute stuff, and it's really reasonable, so I got a lot for my money. I also found a cheap t-shirt at Old Navy ($8) to update my other cheap Old Navy t-shirt I find myself wearing too often. Both the old one and the new one feature birds... interesting.

Meanwhile, I'm still here... working, photographing, trying to keep the house under control and drinking loads of coffee.

We just celebrated our 6th Anniversary on Saturday August 7th. I will probably blog about that soon enough, but I didn't want to lose focus here, when the main purpose of this was to talk about my lame clothes! LOL :) Enjoy your day, faithful readers...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Because I'm Keeping Track...

This blog is the best record of my kids (so far) so I am adding a random post about all the latest and greatest accomplishments of Lucy and Henry. I will use these posts someday as a resource to make an awesome book. I will.

So, Lucy took a little "dance" class this summer at the Horizons Center - not far from our house. Only one other girl was in her class (a 5 year old) and it didn't really involve a lot of dancing, but a lot of jumping, somersaults, hopscotch, balance beam, trampoline, and even some hilarious attempts at cartwheels. The 5 year old is a little ahead of the game in that department. Lucy's cartwheels need some fine-tuning, to say the least. She had a lot of fun. Now she's in a 4 day pre-preschool in Grandville that, we hope, will give her a little preparation for the real deal this fall. She is there for 2 hours (today is day two) and there are about 8-10 kids in there with her. Yesterday she came home with a very fancy piece of artwork and marker all over her arms. She had a blast.

She also had her second cousin Ryder in class with her, although she didn't necessarily cling to him. Ron saw her sit down by another girl. Probably a good thing, boys have cooties, right? Lucy is incredibly bright and funny, and all parent-bias aside, I can't believe how well she speaks, and how perceptive she is. On the other hand, she still has her moments ... when she catches Henry getting attention for saying something cute (ie: "mama eating too?"), she copies him, and talks like a baby. We don't like that. It seems no matter how much attention and praise she gets for her achievements, she is still jealous when her baby brother steals the spotlight a little. Another positive note: her desperate attempts at fridge raiding have really subsided. She hardly ever opens the fridge now. Maybe we will be able to skip those locks. Until Henry gets a little older, then I imagine he'll probably follow in Lucy's footsteps in that area as well. Sigh.

So Henry says little sentences, copies everything he hears, he even does pretty well trying to sing songs, and he mimicks whatever Lucy does. The following scenario plays out several times a day: Lucy does something kind of naughty and as we tell her to stop / make her stop, Henry does the same thing with a big cute grin on his face, so we have to bust him too, and then Lucy smiles because she has successfully gotten Henry in trouble, and shared the negative attention with her brother. We do our best not to crack a smile, because depending on the kind of day we've had, our tolerance level varies.

  • Good day: We are very patient, borderline amused by mischievous antics, but discipline is calm and fairly consistent.
  • Bad day: We are not at all tolerant of bad behavior, firm parenting, nothing is funny.
  • VERY Bad day: Now the antics might actually push you toward laughter, but it's the laughter of a madman, or in our case, kind that you experience when you just can't believe how loudly your kids can scream when they are trying to outdo each other, chasing laps around the island, and the only way anyone can hear anything is to scream above their noise, and a camera crew should come bursting out of the closets any time now. This type of day, thankfully, is rare.
Cracking a smile never goes unnoticed, and it is the ultimate victory for an almost 4 year old professional button pusher and her trusty sidekick.

I digress. Henry is an awesome little boy. He points out and names countless objects in books (especially animals and foods), and repeats words pretty clearly (recently I said "triceratops" and he said it back to me almost perfectly). He loves to crawl around and act like a puppy, saying "ruff" and panting. He loves playing with little cars and lines them up like a parking lot, and Ron was overjoyed when he remembered "Camaro" days after being taught. He found the Camaro and said it! So cute. At bedtime if he's not screaming with his head thrown back, and pushing on my neck in a violent attempt to escape my arms, he will snuggle and let me set him in the crib, then he puts his hand over his mouth, and throws kisses one after another, going faster and faster until he cracks up laughing,. Yes, he is still in the crib. We haven't made the switch yet - mostly because it's easier to keep him contained in the crib for naptime and bedtime (obvious reasons). He turns 2 at the end of September, so I don't think we're necessarily "late" on the transition, although we put Lucy in her toddler bed a couple months before her second birthday. Shortly after that, she stopped napping. Forever. See how that might kill my motivation? We'll do it soon...

At this very moment he is pulling the folded laundry out of the basket and chewing on my toothbrush.... and that is why I probably won't post again for a while.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby Buggy

Ron caught an earwig nymph (baby earwig), because he thought it was an unusual bug and wanted to show me... neither of us had ever seen a white earwig before! I had to look it up online to find out what it was. He had put it in a Mason jar with a lid. Now Lucy seems to have declared it as her pet.

"Thank you Daddy for giving me my baby pincher bug pet!"

She is not going to be happy when we tell her she can't sleep with that jar. Yuck.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Visiting Kelly & Heath

A couple weekends ago (end of May) we visited Kelly and Heath in Evanston, with our kids! It was a fun trip down, the kids were really good in the car. We had a DVD player and put in a couple movies. They each slept (a little, but not at the same time) and there was minimal screaming! Friday night we went out to eat at a great little restaurant in Evanston called Gulliver's. The kids were crazy. They ate a ton of fries, and although they were really tired, they were in good spirits. A little more screaming than I would have liked. However, the owner / manager (?) and our server were amazing, did what they could to keep the kids happy, and never showed the slightest bit of annoyance. Well, that makes the kids sound really bad... but it wasn't their fault. Actually we came totally unprepared, and the the kids got bored, so they didn't know what to do with themselves (other than spill water, fight over keychains and menus, and eat limes). I learned I should always have crayons or stickers or something!

Saturday we went to Lincoln Park Zoo. We had perfect weather. There were so many cool animals to see. Henry hated riding in his stroller - it was nice to keep him contained and convenient for a while, but we took him out so he could walk and get a closer look at some things, he seemed a lot happier! Lucy scraped her knee falling on the rough ground (tripping on her own foot, running, etc.). She'd calm down, until she ripped open the same knee again... and then again. The nice thing is, the zoo is free (you only have to pay for parking), and they have an incredible collection of plants, animals, fish, and the whole thing is so beautifully designed and landscaped. I don't think I had ever been there before. We were there for quite a while, and again the kids were beyond tired. They both took a nap that afternoon when we got back to Kelly and Heath's apartment. That night we ordered dinner in, and relaxed, watched "Cars" and after the kids went to bed, hung out and had some drinks - we were all in desperate need of a little wind-down time!!!

Sunday morning we walked over to a playground less than a block from their place, the kids were in their element again, just playing and happy. Lucy was running an ice cream parlor and Henry was grabbing fistfulls of dirt. We walked over to Starbucks and had "breakfast" (Lucy wanted the "C-One" - a croissant. It looked like a good one too, big and fluffy! Ron and I had big lattes, apple fritters, and iced green tea for Kelly and Heath. Later we decided to go to a great buffet place in Wilmette (?) for lunch, then Kohl Children's Museum, so the kids could play some more. We headed home around dinner time. McD's (which tasted soooo good!) and lots and lots of screaming in the car. Ron even had to pull over by a toll station to give them a stern talk, which stopped things temporarily. Wow. They were both so exhausted, we were sure they'd fall asleep before we hit the highway. Neither one slept a wink until we got home and put them to bed. Yikes!

Here are some of the photos we took while were were there!

Thank you so much Kelly and Heath for letting us stay at your place! All in all, I think the kids did pretty well, and it was a great experience for them to see where their magic aunt and uncle live (who usually appear out of thin air at our house, when the kids wake up in the morning). :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ice Cream Headache

Yesterday was a long day (they all seem kind of long lately!) so we went to the Rainbow Grill for dinner. The service was unusually slow, so the kids were getting wacky, there wasn't a saltine cracker in sight, and we were quickly running out of diversions. Finally we got our food and it was all good. The kids ate their split grilled cheese sandwich with no issues, no spills, no freakouts. Thank goodness - successful dinner out. But there had been a delay on Ron's meal, so our friend John came over and said we'd get a free dessert! We never once complained about the service (which is always amazing, but not this time), but it was still a nice gesture, so... sure!

Then The Dessert came: a nice sundae for us to share - and a few spoons. The Dessert caused Henry to shriek so loudly... wait, I need to add a sidenote: everyone says their kids scream louder than someone else's kids, yada yada yada... I know it's not a contest. Who would want to have a screaming contest anyway? Oh wait, I can think of two people! I digress. There are a few of you who have heard Henry, he can actually cause hearing damage if you're too close, it sort of reverberates through your skull, you can physically feel it! I wish I could somehow convey it with my description, but even if he wasn't my own kid, I would be thinking the same thing - that kid screams loudly. Well, I'm sure someone has screamed like that - perhaps when they were suffering from some kind of agonizing pain... like we just sawed off one of his fingers with that ultra dull restaurant butter knife... only what actually happened was the sight of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry, being cheerfully presented to him. That's understandable, right? I mean, he usually loves ice cream like every other child, so why wouldn't he just flip out randomly, and fling his head back so hard he almost throws himself out of the high chair? He doesn't mess around... I had to take him outside! Everyone was looking at us... I was kind of smiling as if to say, "Ha ha! Kids, right? ha ha..." Don't worry, we'll be back. Soon.

Stay cool out there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Putting Her Money Where Her Mouth Is

Just a few minutes ago, Lucy swallowed a penny. Immediately after she did, she started crying, "Uh-oh!!! I swallowed a penny!" She seemed really freaked out, so I acted totally calm, telling her that lots of kids swallow money, and they should not be putting money in their mouths. Secretly I am kind of freaked out too... I hope it passes easily. Speaking of which, she asked, "How do people get the pennies out?!" and I said, "They have to poop it out." She replied, "Poop it out?! How is THAT going to happen!!??" and continued to wail. I think it's probably in her tummy by now, but she has a tendency to over dramatize things juuuust a little, so it's difficult to know how she really feels. She suggested that maybe eating a sucker would make her feel better. I think she'll be fine.

Several months ago she swallowed a "flat" marble - like the kind you put in a flower vase to hold stems in place - and I wasn't about to go fishing for it, if you know what I mean.