Wednesday, December 31, 2014

update #1

So I'm sort of working today but because I'm waiting on someone to do something for me, I'm taking a bit of a break. My "working from home" looks a little different. Hubby went to the office today, too.

First, thank you to everyone who has been concerned. I hate that I can't update everyone individually but there's just so much going on. And I guess it's getting me blogging again a little bit. (Goodness, this is as far as I got this afternoon.)

Since we left off, we started some car research and test drove a few. I think we might be down to a short list but still have some work to do. They still haven't gotten my car yet--maybe Friday. But that should all be resolved pretty quickly. It's pretty obviously totalled and it's much easy to resolve than an entire house.

We're staying in an extended stay hotel for January. It's nice. Free breakfast, cookies, laundry, dinner three nights a week. We have two bedrooms and Maggie is allowed. It should be fine for a month. Then we'll be at the in-laws'. We have a company that will help us figure out March and beyond (for free through insurance).

I think all the various people who needed to come look at the house now have. We'll just be waiting a couple more weeks for things to get wrapped up with the claim. We'll be trying to find a contractor till then. Sounds like we're looking at 6 months or more and lots and lots of remodeling.

We sent off most of our textiles and I think have washed the rest. We also got our emergency clothes back. Plus some random other things. Even in whatever state I was in on Christmas, I'm pretty confident that I didn't send all of Buns' swimsuits to be laundered first.

Up next is dealing with sorting through everything in the house. We'll basically have a pile of things that are trash, things that we'll send out for the pros to clean, and things that we'll clean ourselves. There will be someone to help us inventory all the trash. That should be fun. And, of course, figuring out everything that was in the garage is all on us.

We'll all doing ok. Buns is very resilient. Chicken seems just a little unsure but she'll be ok. I think it will be good to have some consistency. And now that Maggie is with us, we're all under one roof again. I got a few things to make them feel like they're home so I imagine they'll be fine. Since her birthday is at the end of the month we obviously won't be having it at home. The kids go to a little gym that will host it. Got that taken care of on Monday, too.

There have been two instances where I wanted to stab people but I figure that's not too bad, all things considered. While I was shopping at Target this morning I felt like I was barely keeping it together. I don't know if it was because I was alone for the first time, with only my brain to keep me company. Probably.

I think that's about it for the update. I know so many people have kindly asked what they can do. If you're interested, we'll try to triage things at the house on Sunday. I'll update FB with more info soon. As for things you could send? I'm not sure right now as we don't have a ton of storage space. We'll probably be getting a storage unit soon and then we can go from there. If you absolutely cannot sleep until you help, perhaps gift cards (restaurants, groceries, etc) or books for the kids. Our mail is getting forwarded to my in-laws'. If you want to send anything there directly, just let me know. Here's to a better 2015.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

christmas 2014

There has to be a clever title in here somewhere. Maybe something about chestnuts? I don't know. I'm exhausted. So we started out with a really great Christmas. We opened family presents on Christmas Eve. It was the first year both kids were really excited about it all. And the first year I had to work extra hard as a parent to pull it all off. We opened Santa gifts Christmas morning (after checking that the reindeer ate the food we left for them outside and Santa polished off most of the cookies). Then we played and Hubby took the kids to the park for a bit (using the jogging stroller that was inside the garage). We all ate a little lunch and were going to try to get the kids to nap (I totally needed one, too).

So we were in Chicken's room, and they were a little wound up. Hubby actually mentioned at one point that it smelled a little like smoke up there. It was pretty cold on Christmas eve so there were lots of fires (appropriately in fireplaces) so it didn't seem that weird. He had just moments before closed the blinds that look out over the garage. We read a little to the kids and then they decided they didn't want to sleep in what they were wearing. About that time, there was banging on our front door. Like urgent banging. I don't know what I thought. Maybe that the out-of-town relatives were stopping by our house afterall. That someone just had over zealous knocking? So I went downstairs while Hubby put the kids in Buns' room as that's where they wanted to nap.

Turns out it was the across-the-street neighbors' son who had been installing a new Christmas car stereo and noticed the smoke. Hubby and I were trying to recollect all the specific details later that night but it's kind of a blur. He must have heard what the neighbor said so he ran downstairs to investigate. I must have seen it through the kitchen window to know that it was bad enough that we needed to get the kids out. So I ran upstairs yelling at them. Later, Chicken told me that she thought they were in trouble. I think that's kind of funny that she didn't realize my tone was different from when she's in trouble (and probably different from anything she's heard before). They were jumping on Buns' bed--she in underpants and him in a Pull-Up. After I opened the door I told them to go downstairs. I grabbed jammy pants for them from her room, which already had smoke coming in.

Meanwhile, the guys from across the street were smart enough to ask for the keys to Hubby's car to move it out of the driveway. I guess Hubby told them where to look but they needed help. After I got the kids headed downstairs I pointed to where the keys usually are. The kids were, of course, slow moving. Once we got downstairs, there were already people gathering in the yard, on the sidewalk, etc. I went back in because Hubby was yelling to get the fire extinguisher. I went to the pantry and realized we already didn't have power to the house (the breaker box was in the garage). So gave that to him. Randomly grabbed my phone but oddly not my purse. I looked and someone was holding Buns. I didn't see Chicken so I went back in to make sure she hadn't followed me in. Maggie was still inside and I yelled at her to come on after I saw that Chicken was, indeed, outside. In underpants. Got pj pants on them and walked them 2 doors down to our neighbors who also have small kids. I figured they had shirts for our kids, and the kids wouldn't think it weird to be visiting.

About a million and one neighbors were congregating. Multiple folks had called 911. Seemed like it took forever for the trucks to get there. Ended up being 3 that responded. I guess one lucky thing is that we have a fire hydrant at the end of our driveway. By this time, the fire had already crossed the breezeway from the garage to the house. I can't tell you how helpless it feels to watch that. I don't know what I was thinking. I mean, lordy, we've had enough crap happen in our lives to turn me into expecting the worst but somehow I still never do. I was surprised when the actual house was on fire.

The in-laws came to get the kids and Maggie. They were just matter-of-fact; "Grandma, the garage is on fire." She took them home while we just hung out watching the firemen. We had to stay out another hour after the burning stopped. Hubby, my best friend, and I walked through with the FD Chaplain. There was smoke damage everywhere. Soot and ashes on everything everywhere. The four rooms closest to the garage were most damaged--both the kids' rooms, the laundry room, and kitchen. Just like with my brother's house after the hurricane, it was weird what looked fine and what didn't. Like in the kitchen, it was so hot that the plastic flouresent light covers melted and warped and fell onto the island below. But right next to the island sat the two bites of banana that Buns hadn't eaten at lunch. So, yeah, lots of damage. Not livable.

The night of the fire the insurance contacted us and hooked us up with folks to board up and tarp the missing windows, wall, roof. They did that yesterday. And we also got the textile people in. They'll have an emergency cleaned stash of our clothes ready by Monday. The rest of the clothes, curtains, linens, rugs, and stuff will be cleaned if they weren't burned. There will obviously be irrepairable damage to things like upholstered furniture and mattresses and toys and things. But things like our dining room table will be able to be treated for the smoke.

It will be a long road. We'll be staying at my brother's for a few more days while they're out of town. Then we'll probably be in an extended stay hotel for most of January. Oddly enough, we'll be able to house sit for about 5 weeks at the in-laws' from the end of January to beginning of March. By then, hopefully we'll have a better idea of when we'll be back in.

I haven't really been that emotional yet. Just more in crisis management mode. Obviously the most important things got out. It's kind of funny how you theoretically talk about what you'd take if there were a fire. Apparently nothing matters to me expect the living things and my phone. Go figure. I still can't believe I didn't just grab my whole purse. Or shoes that were right by the front door. So strange.

I'm sad to report that my big blue chair that has been with me for so long and through so much (I wrote about it before when talking about Buns) was for sure a casualty. However, the chair that my brother and I were rocked in as babies will be fine. It was in the corner of Chicken's room. The worst corner of the fire--there aren't walls. And yet that chair just had one tiny charred mark at the bottom. Also, in her room? Her gallery wall was destroyed--except for one needlepoint that my grandmother made. I tell ya...

Saturday, November 01, 2014


We made full use of our costumes this year.  We visited a corn maze prior to Halloween, then Halloween proper (including school and trick-or-treating that night), then a Halloween party the next day (today), and finally we're going trick-or-treating at our favorite neighbors' tomorrow as they were at the football game last night.

We all dressed up as characters from Frozen--some of us more low-key than others.  Even our pumpkin joined in the fun.  I imagine it's the only year we'll be able to do this as the kids are starting to have opinions of their own.  She already had the Elsa dress for, you know, dressing up.  But we did make her a cape and jazzed up some Cinderella shoes.  Her hair got a few snowflakes and she had a crown that she has misplaced.  He was Sven as I couldn't get him to be Olaf but I think this turned out better.  Whipped up Daddy's costume in about 5 minutes, and I did a quick-n-dirty job on embroidery for mine.  The Olaf pumpkin was pretty fun but he barely lasted till Halloween.  Now he's just a head.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

two years (the boy edition)

Buddy Bear! Happy birthday! I can't believe my baby is two. I'm not sure how that happened. We've all been very busy; I guess life just sneaks up on you.

So what are you like at 2? Pretty awesome. You still have strawberry blonde hair but it seems very blonde underneath. We're letting you keep it a little long these days. Daddy shockingly said it suits you. I thought he'd want to give you a business haircut as soon as possible. I am taking you and your sister for a trim on Saturday so maybe we'll go slightly more dramatic then. You're still a skinny minny. I think you're going to take after me in build except that you'll have your daddy's long torso. My big head, though. And my long fingers and toes. You wear size 7 shoes and still fit best into 18-month clothes. Your well visit isn't until next week so we'll see how you're doing then. (Yep, you're a little thing--34" (48%) and 25 lb 9 oz (20%). But you seem to be following this pattern where you spurt and then level off and right now you're in a pre-spurt phase so we'll see.)

You are super happy most of the time but you do pitch some fits. You're so smily and laugh a lot and are still quite cuddly and affectionate. You still have your deep voice but sometimes you purposefully make it high. You get along well with your sister. You will spontaneously hug her. You tell me you love me, which is amazing. You are also very excited to see me when I come to pick you up at the end of the day. Or if we've been apart for an hour on the weekend. I like it. That being said, you definitely love Daddy. You probably prefer us pretty evenly these days. You call us Mommy and Daddy even though you did say "Mom" the other day. My heart. It can't take it yet.

You love water and being outside. You're in swimming lessons and you generally seem to have more coordination than your sister currently has. You live for walking Maggie. You really like reading books these days (dinosaur bone!) and have recently taken to cars a bit more. You also like trains, alligators, "dinodoors" (your word for dinosaurs), the iPad, watching a bit of a movie, being pushed in this teeny tiny doll stroller that clearly says it's not for real children... You are ok with getting your nails trimmed but now dislike brushing your teeth (still no 2-year molars but it's increasingly difficult to check for those). We're going to celebrate you tonight (with the grandparents and your aunt) and then the big party is Saturday. It's an alligator party since you love them so.

You're a pretty good eater. You like a lot of sweets--gummies, chocolate, etc. but you're less of a fan of ice cream. And, like Mommy, you prefer the cake to the icing. You eat a lot of meat and like pre-packaged fruit cups, bananas, raisins, breakfast bars, cereal, pancakes. You're not a big vegetable fan and really don't eat many fruits that don't come in cups. Interesting how you and your sister are so different. You use utensils and drink out of real cups, although sometimes we use sippies because you intentionally make messes sometimes.

You're still in diapers but (knock on wood) we're past the diaper fail stage. You have recently shown interest in the potty and even pooped in it once. Seriously? You're probably the only kid in the history of the world who did that in the potty first. Ah, my little Buns. I hope the end is in sight for getting rid of diapers although I think it's just a hope at this point.

You sleep very well these days (more knocking...)--ever since you and your sister started sleeping in the same room. First, you started sleeping in the same bed (at opposite ends). Then we got y'all a bunkbed last weekend. You take the bottom, and y'all have been doing great. You usually wake up too early but I think you've been tuckered out from the long days lately. Rarely do you wake up in the middle of the night these days. One day you will know how happy this can make a person.

It seems like you enjoy school and you love your teachers. You and one little girl really like each other. I like her, too. It's funny how you and your sister both had a little boy/girlfriend in Toddler 2. You moved out of the infant room around the beginning of the year and you'll be here for awhile still. You are learning so much! You can count to maybe 10 now, know some of your colors, know a TON of words. You talk SO MUCH. In sentences. So many people warned me that boys are slower but not you.

We recently went on vacation and you were a champ throughout all the driving and flying and more driving and sleeping in strange places. It's nice that y'all just sleep in a normal bed now. Oh, speaking of, when we got the bunkbed we also took down your crib. So sad.

Well, Buns. It's been a big year. So much mental and verbal and social development. I love seeing you and your sister interact and listen to you two chat before bed. You're such a sweet little boy with such an endearing personality. I can't wait to see you grow up. Scratch that. I totally can; it's already going by much too fast.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

three and a half

Oh, little girl. I can't believe time just keeps flying by. You're 3 1/2. As we're planning your brother's birthday party, you tell me that you want a princess party yourself. That is not at all shocking but we'll see what happens over the next six months. I'm also excited because there is a very high probability of a new baby being born today and he'll be exactly 3 1/2 years younger than you. I can't wait for him to get here!

What to say about you? You're a pretty awesome kid. You're so smart and verbal. And very, very chatty. You have such empathy and are really kind to the younger kids. You're going to make a great momma one day since you mother your brother. Sometimes too much but we're working on that. You're really well-behaved and people seem to enjoy you. You do whine more than I'd like and pitch a few fits but those are way down. You are still not the most athletic but you're really enjoying the pool these days. The other day you used the floaty but kicked yourself back and forth down the length of the pool several times. I was tired trying to keep up with you. You're also doing swimming lessons at the Y again and hopefully we'll get you into some year-long ones after that.

You're doing great in school. I had a meeting with your teacher to go over your skills tests. You really love books and you participate well in class. You can do really simple math and have a huge vocabulary. And are super inquisitive. Sometimes to my dismay. You're doing really well with everything except for your handwriting. We hadn't been working with you on that enough, and I think it's particularly hard since you're left handed. But we started focusing on it more and Grandma has been a big help. You've really improved in a short time. You'll change classes in August--Pre-K 4. Holy moly. But I guess you have 2 years until Kindergarten proper. I think you already know more than I did when I started school. Times, they are a changin'.

You're really a girl now. You've thinned out quite a bit and have had a growth spurt recently I think. You're finally into size 9 shoes. You mostly wear size 4 clothes. It's the length that's the limiting factor. Your hair is super long--down to your waist. People can't believe we have, in fact, cut it. You need a haircut now, though. I think you're slightly less blonde and won't be surprised if you have brown hair as an adult. Although, I'll probably still think of you as blonde.

As I alluded to, you love all things princesses (Frozen, especially). And anything girly. Although! You came to me the other day and declared that you like pants again. Crazy. After almost a year and a half of NEVER wearing them, you can now sometimes be found in pants--long or short. You like fancy hair styles which is super fun for me. I've found some pretty impressive things on Pinterest. I'd say you still like pink the best followed by purple. You and your brother also have an interest in dinosaurs and alligators and "nature walks." You do enjoy watching movies, going to the park, walking Maggie, playing dress-up. I think I'm your favorite but I may be just eeking out your brother. You two are good friends. You even sleep together--heads at opposite ends of your twin bed. We may need to make some adjustments to that.

Speaking of sleeping, you are at a stage where going to bed or going down for naps (which you still take--yea!) is pretty easy. Bedtime is usually between 8:30 and 9. You mostly sleep through the night but wake up altogether too early. You had one weird incident of sleep walking. You had made it halfway down the stairs so I'm glad that didn't end poorly.

I think we're finally at an age where I have no pottying updates. You use it. The end. Wee!

You eat ok. You love sweets--candy, cookies, cupcakes, icing, ice cream. Chocolate milk and juice are your preferred beverages but we limit them. Still love fruit, yogurt, cheese. Also really enjoy corn on the cob which is kind of fun to watch.

I'm even busier than normal these days but I'll try to add some pictures to this soon. I love you, Chicken. You're a good egg. Haha. Ha. Um, yeah. This won't be the last time I embarrass you. Looking forward to doing that for many years to come.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

sibling love

My kids get along pretty well. She looks out for him, and he's sometimes helpful. They're really interacting a lot more these days as he's a legitimate toddler and no longer a baby.

On the weekends, they have started napping together. First, let me say that this is awesome because they nap AT THE SAME TIME. When he was still taking two naps, he'd wake up as she was going down and she'd wake up as he was going down again. Now? Family nap time! Or we sometimes are productive. Whatever. But now they nap at the same time, in the same room. He sleeps in his toddler bed and she has a pallet on his floor. Works out well. Sure, they're chatty sometimes before they fall asleep but not too bad.

I found out that when they nap at the grandparents' he will usually wake up first. He gets out of his bed and goes into the room she sleeps in and crawls up on the bed. Yesterday he was sick but she was not. She went to school and he went to the grandparents'. He still went through his same routine and was calling for her. Aww.

Well, last night we put them to bed. I was brushing my teeth and heard her yelling, "Mommy! Mommy!" I went down the hall and noticed her door was open. I expected her to say that I needed to close it after she hadn't. Nope. She's sitting up in her bed and he's sitting up in her bed facing her. "Miles is in my room." Um, yeah.

I tried to get him back into his room. He would just lay there and say, "Bye, Mommy" and wave. I was unsuccessful. I ended up pulling his mattress into her room and he slept there. Went right to sleep after I put him on it.

Now, I do a lot of things wrong but last night? Made me feel like I've got this parenting thing down. Love seeing them love each other.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

life list: ride a gondola

Hubby had a work meeting in Vegas this week and we decided to capitalize on that. We went out on Saturday for a few days of kid-free leisure. We stayed at the Encore, which was just as nice as the Wynn. There was some napping, some tv watching, some reading by the pool. We also stuffed ourselves with good food and wandered around the strip. Went to the wax museum. Saw David Spade--Kevin Farley was one of his opening acts. All three guys were quite funny. And saw the phenomenal Elton John. So, so good.

And we squeezed in a gondola ride at the Venetian. Yea! We had a real Italian scoot us around and sing lovely songs to us. It appears I'm on a Life List roll. Who would have thought?

Monday, March 24, 2014

life list: pay off student loans

Y'all. I'm studen loan free. I could have paid them off awhile ago but the interst is so low my financially-brained husband convinced me to let them linger. But they got low enough that I thought, "That's it. I'm paying them off this year." Weee! And it's well before I start paying for college for the next generation.

Next up? The house. Just kidding.

Monday, February 10, 2014


One thing I never really expected out of this whole motherhood gig is how my amount of empathy would increase exponentially. It's crazy. Someone gets bad medical news? I immediately think of her kids. And how she must be feeling (also probably thinking about her kids). And I think of my kids and how much the whole situation just sucks. I cry at Olympics commercials. When that girl coasts over to her mom and hugs her? And they put their foreheads together? Gah. And I go to school plays and see those kids up there? And I'm just so. freakin'. proud. And I don't know a single one of them. But they're amazing and they're someone's kid and I think what they're doing is just awesome. Everyone is suddenly just a person. Who was once a baby. Who still is someone's baby. I hope people look at my kids that way. Honestly, we should look at everyone like this--it lets you cut people more slack and be happier for them and realize that we're all just people who have come a long way but still have a ways to go.

Friday, January 31, 2014

18 months

Buns! A year and a half! You are my favorite son ever. I'm surprised I haven't suffocated you with snuggles. I'm not sure if it's because you let me more than your sister did at this age or because you're a boy or because you're the baby. Whatever. I'm taking full advantage.

So other than super cuddly, what are you like at 18 months? You still have a really deep voice but you say words now! Some are pretty clear to others but some only I understand. Off the top of my head: Mommy, Daddy, doggie, plane, nudie, no, bye bye, cheese, all done, help, armie (for arm), book, Maggie (garbled), Daisy, Tessa, milk, mummy (for gummy), and Scarlett (it varies but kind of like "Carleh"). I know I'm forgetting some. You can tell me what sounds most animals make. You know what we're saying now and respond to commands. You know some body parts.

You still love water and baths. You really love reading these days. You were a little slower to get on board with books than your sister but you certainly are there now. When I take your (size 6) shoes and socks off, you giggle, giggle, giggle. You like music (especially "Shapoopie" from The Music Man) and dance to it. You adore technology. You'll watch some TV with your sister but you usually get bored and start playing with toys, which is preferable. You like to climb on things and go to the park. You LOVE walks with Maggie. You don't dislike diaper changes and getting dressed as much. But you do still hate having your nails trimmed. You don't prefer Daddy quite as much anymore--it's closer to being even.

You still want to be held a lot. You're super sweet and terribly cute. You are mostly really happy and smile and laugh a lot. But you have the red hair so you anger easily. You know, red hair and you're a TODDLER.

You're a relatively good eater. We weened you off the bottle right after your birthday. (And we got rid of the paci, too!) You primarily use sippy cups but sometimes straws. Regular cups = mess. You're on cow's milk, and we luckily had no problems there. You still love baby food squeeze packs. Other favorites: gummies, yogurt, yogurt raisins, cheese, soft meats, grapes. You're getting pretty good at utensils although you do still like to eat with your hands.

Sleep is a struggle. You're still sleeping in your crib and down to one nap a day. Apparently you go down easily at school but it's harder at home and the grandparents'. You go to sleep easier in a grown-up bed. Night time varies but usually you cry. You have some stamina, and it makes Mommy a little crazy. Sometimes you sleep through the night but sometimes you wake up and cry. We're trying to work on getting you to soothe yourself. When you wake up in the morning (too early), you usually cry until we come get you. I don't know why you don't wake up happy. I'm certainly glad that's something we outgrow prior to adulthood.

You are super mobile. You walk and run and climb. You go up and down the stairs much more easily these days.

Nothing regarding potty training. I have no idea how we're going to start that with a boy. I guess we have awhile still.

Your 18-month pediatrician's visit isn't until next week so I'll update then. You are a skinny minny, though. Way more so than your sister. I'll be interested to see your stats since the last time we went in you were sick. Update: Yes, you're a confirmed skinny minny. Height=32.5" (56.5%), Weight=24lb 6.1oz (29th%).

Goodness, Buns. I just love you so much. You're my sweetie boy. I can't believe you're halfway through the second year. Things are getting easier on me as a parent, and it's awesome to see you two interact. Y'all are the best. I'm glad I get to be your Mommy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

three years

Chicken, last week you turned 3 years old. How did that happen? It's been a pretty good year. Mommy is finally getting the hang of parenting two children so things are less stressful around here.

What are you like? Well, you can do pretty much most things physically. Walk, run, climb stairs, climb up the "rock wall" of the playground equipment, climb onto all sorts of things, walk backwards, march, dance, jump, stand on one leg. You don't yet ride the tricycle, pump your legs while swinging, or have a good grasp on kicking balls.

You continue to grow taller. We don't have your annual doctor's appointment until next week and I'll update things then. (Update: Weight=32 lb 11.2 oz or 70th%, Height= 38" or 65th%.) Your hair is perfectly highlighted blonde (natural, of course). It still curls up at the end. You had your second haircut recently but it's still super long. It gets all ratty and tangled underneath but we've figured out how to (mostly) painlessly handle that. You like braids sometimes, ponytails, pigtails, hair clips. Still have wonderful eye lashes. You have pretty teeth and got that last one this year. You wear size 8 shoes.

Speaking of, you love shoes. But not just any shoes. You enjoy dressing up in high heels. You like your flip flops so much that it was a battle to get you out of them once the weather turned cooler. Your favorite pair of shoes are purple dress shoes. You also have some sparkly silver ones you like. I can't get you into any that I like, even though you said you'd wear them when we bought them. You also love jewelry, and you now have some beads to make your own. And you still wear dresses EVERY DAY. You just started to fit into the smallest dresses I have from when I was a little girl (that my dad's mother made for me). It makes me super happy to see you in them. You still love pink and purple. Definitely a girly girl.

You love your brother. And are mostly a Mommy's girl. You love reading, water, the iPad, more reading, going to the park, playing with dolls, your play kitchen. You mostly enjoy school. Over the summer you graduated from your old class to Pre-K 3. There was a ceremony and everything. You have gotten into princesses big time. You love watching all the movies over and over. And listening to the stories in my car. And reading about them. And watching the movies. And watching the movies some more. I think your favorite songs are probably the ones from "Beauty and the Beast" and "Little Mermaid." You saw your first movie just within the last month--"Frozen." You did great and made it almost the entire way before needing to potty. With your birthday money, you made your very first purchase--an Elsa dress-up dress. I also took you to see The Nutcracker this year. Did great there, too. I was so excited to be doing something like that with you!

You are an ok eater. You love snacks and sometimes just want to eat those. Favorites are probably gummies, yogurt raisins, cheese, and fruit.

You were done potty training about a third of the way into this year. You eventually moved into underpants at night, too (during the second half of the year). You can successfully wake up, go potty, and put yourself back to bed. It's awesome.

Your sleeping still varies. We have excellent periods and then not-so-good ones. It seems like you usually go to bed without crying but sometimes try to prolong bedtime. Lately, you have been staying in bed all night and even waking up at a reasonable hour. Knock on wood. We shoot for an 8:30 bedtime but it's usually between then and 9. You get up somewhere around 7:15. We moved you to a big girl bed within the last month (a twin bed). You handled it well. This also meant your room got a little mini makeover. I've enjoyed that part but it is bittersweet to see you getting so big.

You are super chatty. You hold full-on conversations. I was reading something the other day that said "your three-year-old may be making 4-word sentences." Um, yeeeaaaah. Four. I can't remember the last time you just said four words in a row. You're so smart. You know your ABCs and can count to who knows what. You get going and then insert "eleventeen" and suddenly you're at 20.

To celebrate your birthday proper, we continued the tradition of going to your grandparents' house for dinner, cake, and presents. You were much happier this year compared to last. Then we had your big party the next day. You wanted a pink party. Just pink. No noun to follow. It was relatively low-key and I think we all had a good time. You kids played well together without a ton of supervision. It was nice.

Overall, you're pretty awesome. You have a ton of empathy. You see how I treat your brother and you treat other people like that when they're hurt or sad. You're mostly well behaved. You did run away from me in Goodwill the other day and we had to have a come to Jesus meetin'. That was the first time you had done that. You do still pitch fits sometimes and sometimes fight with your brother. You're not perfect but I think you're pretty close considering you're three. Crazy. Happy belated birthday, Chicken. Looking forward to the next year.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

new year, new goals

Happy 2014! Last year, I wrote this to recap the previous year and lay out the goals for 2013.  Those were:
  1. Find the perfect coconut cream pie recipe.  No progress.  
  2. Finish the bulk of Baby #2s baby book.  Done!
  3. Find the perfect mac and cheese recipe. Again, no progress. Weird since these should be easier.
  4. Add to the Life List.   Added 3--and completed 1--item(s) in January.
  5. Eat lunch with someone one day a week.   Maybe about 1/3 of the time?
  6. Accomplish more on the house (kitchen and landscaping).  Kitchen mostly done and dining room done. All house trim painted (while we were on vacation--even better!).  Had foyer and front porch lights installed.  Front yard done for now plus work completed in 2 of the backyard beds.  Guest bath finished. Living room painted, started re-staining furniture, hung gallery wall, rearranged furniture. Ripped down the wallpaper in the kids' bath.  So basically blew this one out of the water.
  7. Throw really good birthday parties for the kids. Done!
  8. Run a 5k.  Done!  In early January!  And multiple times throughout the year.
  9. One fun outing a month with either the entire family or just me and one/both kid(s).  I think we did this at least 10 months (and several months had more than one).  We maybe did those other 2 months but I just didn't keep track very well.
  10. Date night/excursion at least once a month with Hubby.  We actually did this. 
  11. Make it through the Marriage to the Max podcasts as well.  We went to D&M in February and have listened to a few more podcasts. I also had brunch with half of the Hursts.  Pretty successful but still need to listen to more podcasts.
So all in all, not too shabby. Just two relatively minor goals that I made no progress on. And a couple that were partial successes. Yea for the rest! Hopefully #9 and 10 are now just part of normal life so I'll be able to keep them up. So what's the plan for this year?
  1. Seriously try to have lunch with someone once a week. But I'll consider it a success if it's about 75% of the time. I really need to try this one again for multiple reasons. (Really bad at this so far...)
  2. Eat better. This isn't the "oh, I have to lose 5 pounds thing." I don't, luckily, have issues there but I have been eating like crap since Buns was born. I guess I was trying to make up for the strict gestational diabetes diet. As he's almost 18 months old, I think I should be done making up for it. So more protein, fewer carbs, more water.
  3. To really train for the marathon relay in March. It's only 6.55 miles but I want to be faster than last year. (Check! Trained less than I wanted to but more than last year. Beat my time by 11 minutes.)
  4. I think I'd also like to try a half marathon. I don't think I'd ever be able to run the whole thing but I'm pretty sure I could drag myself over the distance. I think this will get added to the Life List.
  5. Speaking of, cross 3 things off the Life List. I won't limit myself here. (Pay off student loans, ride a gondola, ?)
  6. For the house, I'd like to get a lot of the little projects done--stain/paint the picnic table, finish staining the living room furniture, stain/reupholster the breakfast room furniture, upholster our headboard. And I'd like to finish the kids' bath. (Check!) It's in a scary state right now. Ok, and I'd like to at least make a plan for the office. (Check!) I want need a wall of built-ins but I have no idea exactly how I want things to look or how I'd like the rest of the room to play out. Except I really want a sliding barn door. Outside, I'd like to keep everything alive, move the backyard trees to the side of the house, sod the areas in the front where we no longer want beds, and start the butterfly garden in the back.
  7. Write a will. Hubby got this done last year but I didn't. Totally need to get on that.
  8. Blog more. (Sort of.) I hate that I've fallen off the wagon here. Granted, it's hard to keep all the balls up in the air but writing is good for me. And I like to keep folks posted on the goings on as it seems so hard to get together while raising tiny humans.
  9. (and 10) Some things are just personal. These two are. But I'm going to at least acknowledge that there are 2 additional goals to try to hold myself accountable.
So there. Even 10. Hopefully this year will be as good as the last goal-wise. A lot of people seem to have commented lately on how bad a year 2013 was. I don't know. Seemed ok to me. I got the hang of parenting 2 kids (well, I feel better about it anyway). We didn't really have any major personal disasters. Everyone is relatively healthy and safe. My work role changed for the better even though it is often frustrating and I currently (obviously) have zero motivation. It was really the first year since 2005 that there was no major life event. And that? Is kind of awesome.