Sunday, August 31, 2008

What Big Brothers Are For




Ice Cream, of course! Nathan was actually very generous. If only Andrew understood the concept of a "Lick." He kept trying to grab the ice cream with his little fingers.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let Me Explain

As you might know, we are heading off to Disney World is a couple of weeks. I am fully obsessed with this trip.

You might be wondering a couple of things.

First of all, why take the kids to Storyland if Disney World is right around the corner? Well, the truth of the matter is, we won the tickets to Storyland. Well, Nathan did. Our library had a summer reading program. For every five books read each child (parent) gets to fill out a raffle ticket, and multiple prozes can be won. I entered all three kids - Nick is in a higher age group, and Andy is eligible for the Little Listeners. Andy won a T-shirt (size 4T, Nate got it) and Nathan won two tickets to Storyland (he's under 3 so got in free.) They expired at the end of the year, so we had to use them.

I am sure this will not affect our Disney experience. I am very excited. I am really looking forward to taking the boys on all of the magical rides - let's face it, just being there is super fun. And I am looking forward to visiting Epcot and browsing the little countries... especially Japan. In case you didn't know, Steve recently returned from the real Tokyo. He was thre for work, but got to do a little sight seeing, and let's face it, just walking around has to be a super great experience. I didn't expect to be jealous. Who knew? But we all get to go to Disney, and um....

Have I mentioned we're going to Disney? Hee hee!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ugly Me

Remember the wonderful picture Jamie took of Nathan in the ball pit at Storyland last year? They were green, and looked like giant peas. Jamie takes the best pictures of my kids. I tried to copy him with Andy this year, only I was unable to overcome a few obstacles, such as Andy sinking into the ball pit and needing to be found, and my camera not focusing properly, and finally my photographic skills not being, so to speak, any good.

Today I got new glasses! I needed them, as the lens fell out of the one pair I still had the day before Storyland. I couldn't be too upset, as I had purchase that pair shortly after graduating college. Twelve years ago. It was time for a new pair.

I picked them up today, and looked into the mirror, and it then cracked into a billion little smithereens and scattered all over the floor. Because today was NOT a good looking day for me. I have this zit right over my lip and of course I've been poking at it. And when one pokes at a sensitive area like that it tends to swell up. So all this morning I had a fat lip. I told people I got Botox. It seemed sexier than the zit.

Once the glasses were on - thick, trendy frames - my lip stuck out even more. Plus all the freckles or sun splotches REALLY stood out, and so did my unplucked eyebrows (who plucks with a fat lip?) and every single wrinkle I have thus far obtained (I worked HARD for these wrinkles, man!)

Point being, I wanted to post a photo of me in my new frames, but lost confidence. Maybe tomorrow. For now, Andy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blog Style-links


If you've been checking this blog regularly, you might have noticed some changes. Maybe? In background color, font, etc? I've been playing around with the different templates, trying to find one that I like better. I don't know if I'm done yet, but comments and feedback are more than welcome.

Part of the motivation for the change is due to Styled Right, which I've added to my Places To Go. Sure, it's about style and fashion, and I am, as you know, the most unfashionable person on this planet and all that. But I have found that I can relate to it. It's written by someone I know, written well, and I encourage everyone to check it out.

I've also added Travel Monkeys, a for those who enjoy travel stories. I haven't been following this one for long, but I like it. And again, I have met the blogger. She's super cool.

Finally, I've added Cake Wrecks, for those who enjoy cake. Particularly cakes that are either odd or messed up in some way. I mean, would you pay for this wedding cake? Or how about this cake right here? I love this site. I have never met the blogger. But she must be great because she blogs about cakes.

Finally, I got rid of some sites that haven't been updated in a while. If it's one of yours and you start blogging again, tell me. Blogger makes it easy to put the links back up!

And now I must go and fold laundry, think about dinner, and hope no one steps on the baby's fingers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Milestone Come and Gone

Today was Nathan's very first day of school.

I was worried about him. When Nicholas started this class he was just two. He was in diapers. He drank only from a sip cup. He had never had his hair cut.

Nate seems so much older. He isn't three yet, so he can't be part of the next up class. He is older than Nick was by five months, but the difference is astonishing.

Of course he is the biggest in his class. But he was also the only boy today. The little girls are so tiny, and they seems so delicate. I was worried Nathan would have a hard time.

But apparently he did a great job. I had no problems at all dropping him off. He was very excited at the end of the day, telling me about everything he had done. And I think it's going to be a great year.

For his part, Nicholas will be in a much more academic class this year. The day is much more structured, and they even have their own journals!

And as for me, I'm working of getting drop off and pick up times down to under thirty minutes. With all the running around and juggling of stuff for each kid I got very confused. I'm sure I'll have it down within a few weeks, though.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sorry I was Out


I forgot to post yesterday.

I mean, I just plain forgot.

See, my routine has been a little topsy turvy lately, since my laptop has gone kaput, and even though it's working with this hard drive at the moment I have been reluctant to drag it around as though it were healthy. So sometimes I have been posting during the day.

And yesterday was "Meet Your Teacher" night at school. Today we went to STORYLAND, and school starts for real TOMORROW!

So, you see, we've been busy, and I've had a lot on my mind. So yesterday, when I didn't post, it was because I thought I had already posted.

I'll try not to let it happen again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Look! Me!

There are very few photos of me with any of my kids. Mostly because I am the photographer, but also because when anyone else snaps a photo I have a really great expression on my face, and I don't like being reminded that I look funny.

But I look OK here. If a little nervous. Because, secretly, Nick was taking this picture.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yummy Yummy

You Must See This

Actually the whole site is pretty funny. But this one is my favorite for some reason.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Helpful Household Hint

We got a new washer a while ago... well, since Nick was born. I consider this new. Others might have the idea that newness wears off. Not I. No matter than we've already had to have the repair man in.

We did not, however, purchase a new dryer with the washer. I believe in using something until it stops working. Of course, you have to run a load of laundry three times in order to dry it... and eventually I know I'll break down and finally buy a new one.

I do laundry every day. As I have mentioned. The wash goes in early morning, then gets transferred to the dryer and I usually just restart it when I walk by and notice it's off. Until, of course, it's run three times.

The other day I started the dryer very early in the morning, because I had actually started a load of sandy beach towels the night before. I ran the dryer twice, in each case doing a quick reach-in-turn-on. It wasn't until mid afternoon that I actually stuck my head in the laundry room and noticed the load of towels in the washer.

That's right. I forgot to actually PUT the wet laundry into the dryer. No wonder my stuff isn't getting dry.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

oh, bother

just a few comments today

first, my laptop is still kaput. the Apple store was out of the hard drive I needed. Steve has made it so that my computer can be used until it can be fixed. But I do not have access to things such as my photos, movies, music... and I REALLY HOPE they can be saved. I should start backing these things up. but there probably won't be any photos for a while. Please don't stop reading. don't leave me. I need you.

second, I wanted to clarify my comments about Disney Dining. I am 100 % certain we will have a wonderful, fun, amazing time, even if we have to eat pop tarts and pop corn off the sidewalks the entire time. I mean, it's Disney World. They probably pipe Happy Gas throughout the entire billion mile complex. And I'm fine with that. I'm really looking forward to our trip. I just find it funny that I should have made lunch reservations five months ago. And that so many other people in this universe knew to schedule lunch and even BREAKFAST along with their dental cleanings.

Finally... well, I don't have much to say here. But this post needed a "finally" and I guess I can say I will be posting. Keep reading. Honestly, when I post I feel as though I'm actually talking to people, and when I can't I start feeling lonely. Odd, perhaps, and wrong, but so true.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

message from the madhouse

I will not be posting regularly for a while. At least I don't think I will. My laptop died on me yesterday. The hard drive just started grinding and getting slower and working harder until finally the computer couldn't turn on.

In the meantime I am spending all my time calling Disney Dining. We are going to Disney world a month from now. I thought I was being a good planner by calling ahead to make reservations for, you know, food. But unfortunately, everyone else is MORE INSANE THAN ME! Every character dining restaurant is booked for Every meal for Every day of our vacation stay (5 days). 

I DID manage to get a time for an early lunch at a theme restaurant at one of the parks.
And also an early dinner at the casual restaurant IN OUR HOTEL, but only because someone canceled. Otherwise we'd be stuck with a 9:45 pm dinner, and I don't think Andy would appreciate that.

So not only do I not have a computer for awhile, I get to think about how we'll be eating overpriced bags of potato chips for meals during our vacation.

Seriously, it's a madhouse here. You should be visiting.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Um... I forgot it

I can't remember what I was going to post. I HAD a topic, but then I had all sorts of trouble getting the photo up. And now I can't remember what it was. Oh, well. I'm sure I'll remember it at some point. Probably at 2am.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Big Stuff

Anyone who has seen our home knows that... well... we do not lack space. Space, we have. We also do not lack clutter. We have a lot of that, too. The thing is, with baby items, the clutter can be large.

This afternoon, I managed to get Andrew drowsy for a nap. He doesn't always take one later afternoon, but when he doesn't getting through dinner is a real chore. But we were downstairs, and I didn't want to put him in his crib all the way upstairs. So I decided to place him in his swing, something we haven't used in a while.

Since we haven't used it in a while, I had placed it in the hallway. But I accidentally jostled the baby while trying to find the strap to secure him in. I looked down at him and he was grinning at me. So to keep him happy I wanted to make sure he could see me. I dragged the swing from the front hall into the kitchen, so I could start making dinner.

Once I did that, I had to move the exersaucer, which had been taking up most of the free kitchen floor space. I dragged that into the dining room, but the corner I was aiming to put it in was occupied with the play yard, which was still in its bag from our trip to the beach. I dragged that over to the other corner, which had the parts of the play yard we didn't take to the beach - the changing table and the mobile, which Andy has already outgrown. Back in the kitchen I picked up the noise-making activity table and took it to the living room, where the other noise-making activity table was in the middle of the room. I tried finding a good corner to put them in, a place not occupied with the furry bear footrest or the life sized fire engine. Finally I gave up and just put it in the middle of the rug.

I know that a lot of these things will go away eventually. But right now our home is a giant obstacle course.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Been Gone


In case you didn't know, we've been gone since Monday. We went to visit Lillian, who has rented a place by the beach for a couple of weeks.

It was not a good weather week. It rained on our way up. It was cold and wet. The morning we got there we took the boys to the beach anyway, just to see what it looked like. They have seen water, but usually water with no huge surf. I pointed out the noise of the waves as we walked through the dunes... and then we finally saw the water.

Nathan promptly dug his heels into the sand and refused to move forward. "I don't like this pool," he said.

He did manage to get in the water a bit, but the seaweed freaked him out, not to mention the breaking waves. I didn't push it, because to be honest, the water may as well have been ice. It numbed my legs in thirty seconds. But Nick loved it, and asked me to carry him out further so he could practice swimming.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trouble


Tell me this isn't just going to get messier.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monster Feet

I finally went and purchased new shoes for the boys.

It was kind of overdue, but I knew that the second I got shoes for them, their feet would grow another two sizes, and I'd be right back where we started. I guess I was waiting for their feet to grow BEFORE I went to get new shoes. Anyway, the time had come.

Usually we go the Stride Right, where the boys select some great shoes that they get measured for and fitted in and cost... well, more than I pay for my own shoes. Although I am notoriously cheap when it comes to clothing. And my shoes last much longer

Anyway, we went to Kids Foot Locker, where we could find these Sesame Street Sneakers. They had three kinds - Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Oscar. Of course both of my kids wanted Oscar. So that Steve and I would spend the next six months picking up one shoe after another and wondering which kid it belonged to.

The woman working at the Kids Foot Locker had the IQ of one of the sneakers. She stood there while I found one of those foot measuring thingies and measured my own kids feet. I asked for an eleven for Nick, and then I said Nate was an 8 1/2. "Do you have a 9 1/2?" And she shook her head and told me they didn't have half sizes. Then she said they didn't have Oscar shoes in Nate's size. So I convinced him to select a different sneaker, and she brought it out, and it did not fit. "What size is this?" I asked. She said size 8. Because, you know, he measure 8 1/2, but they didn't have half sizes.

I just smiled and asked for a 9. Then she asked if he wanted the Oscar shoe in a 9, or the black sneakers? I wanted to hit her over the head. Because being thick skulled is one thing, but another with kids jumping all over the place and even Andy was pulling display sneakers off onto the floor at this point.

Anyway, they both got their shoes. And they love them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Swingset




We recently got a new swing set, thanks to Gramma and Grampa.

The boys loved it when they saw it at the swing set store, and they bugged me non stop until the day it was delivered. And then it rained and hasn't officially stoppsed yet. But we have gotten a few sunny mornings in.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

La la LA

I was going to do a post about the weather. Because its been raining for DAYS here, and not just a heavy rain, or a little rain, but a constant state of overcast with heavy rain and thunderstorms in the afternoons, for over a week now. And it's been keeping us indoors and, quite honestly, driving me a bit insane.

But no one really cares about the weather, unless I have photos of flooding. So instead I'm going to talk about my kids, and music.

Each night I play them a CD of music to fall asleep to. And recently I've started offering them a choice of CD's. As with anything where I offer both boys a choice, they each decide they want DIFFERENT THINGS. I can't explain how odd it is to listen to my children arguing. "Brahms! Brahms!" "No, Mozart! Mozart!" And I honestly thought I could actually stick John Coltrane in the CD player and tell them it was Beethoven, and they wouldn't know the difference.

But then tonight, Nathan said he wanted Brahms and then started singing it. I was floored. And a small part of me that I try and pretend doesn't exist got all warm and proud, and I thought "I am doing something RIGHT! My children are learning something because of ME! And it's CULTURAL!" So I nodded and said "That's Brahms, very good. Now can you sing Mozart?"

Maybe the boys were both singing different songs. Maybe they were both singing multiple songs. They have, after all, heard a lot of Mozart. But what ended up coming out of them was a random dissonant jangle of "doo doo DOO's" that resembled nothing close to Mozart, Brahms, or any other composer unless you count Schoenberg. This reassured me, in an odd way. The boys are not musical geniuses. They just know that one song of Brahms. And they also like to argue.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Play Station

I found my Playstation in the closet downstairs. After a bit of a hunt, I recovered the wires to hook it up. And it still works. The boys are thrilled, and I am trying to find to time to sit and play my old games. I lost one of them, but I still have Spyro, which is cute, and also Parappa the Rappa, which looks like a baby game but is Wicked Hard!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wall E


As I think I mentioned, I began the vast undertaking of cleaning out and organizing Steve's computer closet. In the process, I ran across my old laptop.

I have sentimental feelings about this laptop. I got it my senior year in college, and at the time I thought it was so cool. This was back in 1995, mind you. I can't even being to tell you how many generations that is in computer terms. But this laptop... it's huge, first of all. It must be three and a half inches thick. The screen is tiny inside the top, and it's... well, it's gray scale. Meaning there is no color. But at the time I thought it was so cool because it wasn't that computery green. It doesn't have internet access. And it takes about seven minute to boot up.

My new laptop, the one I use now, is a sleek white. It's thin, light, brilliant colors and video - I can watch movies on it and they look wonderful. It is ready to go about twenty seconds after I turn it on.

I don't know if you've seen the movie Wall-E yet. (I think you should It was so cute.) In the movie, Wall-E is an "old" robot. And he Meets Eve, a "new" robot. And whoever animated that movie must have had my computers in mind, because the first thing Nick said when I turned on my old computer was "Wall-E makes a sound like that!"

Sadly, my old computer doesn't really work any more. I can turn it on, but only as long as I am pushing the power cord into the computer as hard as I can. As soon as I release pressure, the battery dies, and I have to reboot, which means waiting seven minutes before opening a program... and sadly, there is no way to get the information - some writing I did many years ago - off the computer. Because it takes square floppy discs, not round CD discs. And it is so old I can't hook it up to any printer I own. Oh, well. If Ihadn't found it, I wouldn't have missed it.

Still, I thought it was funny seeing the computers side by side.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Doing Stuff

Some days I have a lot to post about, and others I do not. Please don't think that means I am not doing anything. I am actually very busy, and moving all the time. But really, I like it that way. These past few days I have been busy, fussy, and driven up the wall, but insanely happy. Remember, I am a mother of three, including a two year old. So it's possible!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Monsters

I can't post a photo because blogger will not let me. So instead...

Well, I'm taking the night off. Because I love my kids, and we had a fun day today. But they were also little monsters.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Perspective

video

I have probably mentioned this before, but Nicholas is outgrowing his nap. It was bound to happen at some point. I just wish I had outgrown it first.

Some days, like today, I know he needs a nap because he has had an unusually active of exciting morning. But I can't get him to fall asleep. He jumps on the bed and flails his arms as soon as I leave the room to keep himself awake.

I was angry today because I almost got to sleep myself, and was just drifting off when I heard him moving in the other room. I would have left him there, but there was another sleeping child in there. And I know how that works because I used to be a non napping, early rising child. You walk over to the sleeping sibling, peel back the eyelid until the eye focuses on you, and then you shout "Mom! He's AWAKE!" And you only have to do that is leaping onto the bed didn't wake him first.

So I was upset with Nick. He wouldn't be still, and he wouldn't be still, and he wouldn't be still. I sat with him, and he was still awake. And then... I gave up. I just decided not to me angry anymore. And sure, he still needed a nap and was miserable right around dinner time, but let's be honest, that would have happened anyway. So I flipped over on my bed with my head over the side, and Nick brushed my hair and went into my bathroom and came out with chapstick, which he applied to my lips (teeth) and moisturizer which he applied to my face (and hair) and it was a wonderful and funny time, and so much better than being angry and trying to force Nick to do something he couldn't do.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

Andy is now crawling like a pro.

He knows where all of our electrical outlets are, and the stairs, and which cabinets hold the cleaning products, medicines, and the hot poisonous knives.

He gets into the trash more than the dog.

If I leave anything on the floor for more than a moment, he is there putting it into his mouth. Soda, baby powder, Windex, you name it.

But mostly, he is just trying to keep up with me. He clings to my legs, trying to pull himself up. He never quite makes it, but it keeps me from moving. I've taken to putting him as far away from me as I can, then running back to whatever I was doing and doing as much as I can before he finds me and starts to climb me. Then I pick him up and put him across the room again.

The things is, it's like taking care of a completely different kid.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pack Rat

Every once and awhile I realize that the boys are not picking up their toys because there is no longer any place for the toys to GO. The toy chest is so full it hardly closes and toys get piled on top and in heaps on the floor... so then I go through the chest and do crazy things, such as putting parts of games back in their boxes, and weeding out the broken toys and games.

When I start doing this, Nicholas comes and stands over me. He watches me very carefully, and whenever I pick up anything that looks like it might get thrown out he begins exclaiming how he has been LOOKING for that! Look! See this broken toy phone? I MISSED this phone! And this deck of flashcards that has been scribbled on and torn up so that it only has fifteen of the alphabet letters? Finally! As I throw things into the trash can, Nathan picks them out, and when I turn around he's got them all either on a pile on the floor, or stuffed into one of their small knapsacks.

Steve is also a pack rat. A rather large closet in the basement is his appointed "computer stuff" closet, but recently it has started spilling out, it's contents leaking out into the rest of the basement. So I went through it, trying to get some order in there. And this is a difficult task, for someone like me, who can pick up a computer part and have absolutely NO IDEA what it does. I'm trying to sort these objects, but I have no idea if I'm doing it right. It's like trying to get a library in order if you don't read. You end up sorting the books by size or by color.

I also found out we have miles and miles of cables. I have no idea what these cables go to, or why we have so many of them. I do know that I was looking for one in particular this afternoon and I can't find THAT one. We also have lots of green computer chips and disk drives. I am not sure why we are hoarding them. And lots of huge square things with plugs, and also many small fans with wires coming out of them.

In the face of such horrific pack ratism I am making a concentrated effort to lighten my own load and unpack-rat myself. I went through my puzzles today - I must have fifty and I haven't done one in years because of small fingers and babies who like to eat the pieces, chew them, and spit them out in wads of soggy cardboard. I kept the ones I haven't done yet, and a few of my favorites, but the rest are going to the library when they start accepting donations again. Gosh, I hope there are no pieces missing.