Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Break #1

Hey, Peeps! We are officially on Spring Break as of yesterday (the first of two we have scheduled). That means we are here and there and everywhere, so I will likely be an inconsistent presence here or possibly out of the blog business altogether for the next week or so. I will tell you that the first part of the break (i.e. yesterday and today) has been great, since we found a house that we love and our offer was accepted. If all goes well, we should take possession in about three weeks. Woohoo! Stay tuned for more on that and tales of our many other adventures .

Sunday, February 22, 2009

In a Nutshell

Here are some of the things we did this weekend:
  • Dined at a yummy local Mexican restaurant
  • Looked at houses online
  • Did a little grocery shopping
  • Had a Rt. 44 Vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper from Sonic
  • Ate a fabulous, gourmet, cooked-at-home (and not by me) prime steak dinner
  • Played Rhino Rampage with the kids and had a blast
  • Watched an old Gene Autry movie with the kids
  • Ate popcorn (and grilled cheese sandwiches) for lunch (in the living room)
  • Sat in the hot tub
  • Took a nap
  • Saw a bird fly directly into the (closed) kitchen window and fly away seemingly unharmed
  • Swept glass up off the floor (not from the window, but from another little mishap--Sorry Maxie and Sharon!) and bandaged up a very minor cut
  • Attempted and failed to plan a vacation (this was a first for me)
  • Got all the laundry washed and folded (but not yet put away)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The three little words I've been longing to hear:

YOU ARE PRE-APPROVED!

We finally got a pre-approval letter for a new home loan and are now free to resume house-hunting. Will keep you posted.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

School Update

I can't believe we've already been back in school a month! Time flies when you're having fun, I guess. Here's what we've been doing:
  • Started the second grade math book
  • Began learning multiplication facts
  • Study of human body--cells, skin, hair, bones, skull, muscles, hands, nerves
  • Added new vocabulary book
  • Still working on word flash cards for Word Wall (11 new words so far: cease, sacred, vow, voracious, unerring, obliged, immense, imitation, concede, prosperous)
  • In-depth study of ancient Greece
  • Read children's version of "The Odyssey"
  • Introduced adjectives, adverbs, prepositions
  • Memorized the poem "The Little Bird"
  • Did lots of cool projects and had a pretty good time!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Teeny Tiny question for you

My father-in-law has actually known two people in his lifetime with the names Teeny and Tiny. How crazy is that?! Of people you have known personally, what's that craziest name you've come across? Please share. I think for me it's Snow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hands-On (Thumbs-Off) Science

I thought I had come up with a really fun activity for science today that Ruth would get a kick out of. We were studying hands and opposable thumbs. The project was to do certain every day activities like writing your name, unbuttoning a button, twisting off a bottle cap, etc. First Ruth would do them normally and then with her thumb taped down. We were to time how long it took each way, fill in a chart and then answer a few questions that were to make us realize that our hands, and more specifically, our thumbs are uniquely adapted to the activities we, as humans, do. Though she did grin a few times at first, I was shocked and horrified when she burst into tears at one point*. Was the tape too tight? Was she in pain? Not remotely. She was frustrated because she couldn't do things perfectly. She didn't want to participate because having her thumbs taped down made the tasks--not impossible, mind you--but more difficult and less perfect. If I needed further proof that she is truly my child, there it is. I have successfully cloned myself. So much for making science fun, I guess.

*I did finally convince her that it was just for fun, and she was able to make it through the activity and smile once more.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby Steps

Max still isn't a full-time walker (though he is still full-time), but he is getting closer!
video

Friday, February 13, 2009

Because one size does NOT fit all

For the last seven years, I have been cyclically pregnant, nursing, weaning and post-weaning. Not to mention aging. Consequently, certain parts of my anatomy have changed drastically. I recently began trying to figure out what size I am currently. One size seemed a bit too big, another too small. And nothing made things look the way I wanted them to look (which, admittedly, could have been another problem altogether). But then, Eureka! I was wandering around in the lingerie department at Target the other day, and found a serious sale on bras. They were cheap enough that I decided I could buy several sizes and brands and figure out which worked best. In the mix, I found a true treasure. It's the genius of the "and" at its best: half cup sizes! Is that not the most logical thing in the world?! I mean, if it works for shoes, it only makes sense to extend it to other-wear. I'm super-happy with my little discovery and thought it might be helpful to share it with those of you who might be looking for a little pick me up as well. ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

As way of explanation

I think many of you were surprised when you read the post about fear the other day. That's understandable. You see, you weren't ever even supposed to know that I have fears. I'm good at keeping that to myself. I'm good at being strong and carrying on and getting the job done. And, truly, once I decide to do something I will usually go for it with gusto. The fear comes before that decision is made, usually behind closed doors. But I needed that moment of vulnerability the other night. I needed to let my guard down. I needed to face the fear. And I was just so struck by Weston's little pep talk. So simple, yet so necessary. I just needed to remind myself that I can do it (whatever it is) and that I don't have to be afraid. The post was about letting you know (if you ever had any doubts) that I'm not perfect. And you knowing and accepting that I'm not perfect makes it a little easier for me to accept that as well. And let's face it, blogging is significantly cheaper than therapy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Song

Every couple has their song. Maybe the song that was playing on the radio when they had their first date. Maybe the first song they danced to together. Maybe they were just moved by the sentiments the song offered. Jeff and I (mostly I, because Jeff couldn't care less) have been "trying on" songs since we first started dating in a very tongue-in-check manner. (Because, really, I couldn't care less either). Sometimes we will claim a sappy love song. Sometimes something else entirely. For now, this one just seems right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9zj6d-PgyQ.

Monday, February 09, 2009

"I'm going to do it without being afraid"

This bit of wisdom came from my three-year-old (to himself) at the park today, and frankly, it was just what I needed to hear--even though I wasn't really supposed to. I have spent much of my life doing things fearfully, underscored by an almost paralyzing (at times) perfectionism. Always there are the little (admittedly adolescent) voices in my head: "What will people think?" "How will others react?" "Will I fail miserably?" "Is it safe?" I'm not really much of a risk taker. If I had a mantra, it would probably be "better safe than sorry." But in the last few years (the years preceding, during and following my 30th birthday, if you must know), I have begun to re-evaluate this mantra and this way of being. I have begun to realize that I may have missed out on some neat opportunities simply because I allowed myself to be afraid to take any risks. And, since I'm being honest, I have to tell you that even though I recognize this little personality flaw of mine, and even though I know that the way to overcome this is to jump into things that are a little scary for me and just do them, I still find it difficult to do so. I find it easier to make excuses--"Maybe when my kids are older," "Maybe when I'm in better shape," etc., etc.--than to face the real issues, which are my fear of the unknown and my fear of failure. I have been taking baby steps to overcome these fears (think "moving to Brazil for six months"), because I don't want to look back on my life and say "I wish. . ." or "If only. . .." I don't want to miss (or suspect I missed) any more opportunities. It's time to change my mantra and my way of doing things (or not doing things). "I'm going to do it without being afraid." This will be said by me, to myself, as often as is necessary from now on.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Upside down and backwards

That's the price of independence. I'm talking about underwear and pants here. (And I won't fill you in on the other details). Why Weston feels that he needs to completely disrobe in the bathroom is another issue altogether.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"There's a frog in the toilet"

Plastic, but nonetheless. That's just the kind of day it was.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Appetite Found

Well, my youngest child has found his appetite and is no longer shy about exercising it. While he still has a certain ravenous fondness for canned green beans, he is also consuming just about anything else we put in front of him--and in quantity. That's not to say that there isn't still a nice pile of food on the floor to be swept up after each meal. But the mess is more about only being able to cram so much food in the mouth at one time, with a certain amount of overflow, than it is about just throwing the food on the floor and refusing to eat it.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Getting To Know You

So, you all know me pretty well. I don't have many secrets, and I share pretty openly here on this blog. But, I have to tell you, I'm feeling like this relationship is a little one-sided. I run a "spy" program on my blog, which tells me how many readers I have, how they got to my blog, how much time they spent there and where in the world they are--down to the city they logged in from. Don't be creeped out. This kind of thing can be done for any website out there. I'm not creepy. I'm just curious. I realize some people have probably happened upon this little blog completely by accident. But, I know many of you purposefully log in and read--every day, every month or just every once in while. I think that's cool. I'm thrilled that people have come to this blog from places all over the world, whether they meant to or not. I can guess who some of you are, but I would really like to get to know you--or get to know you better. Leave me a comment. Don't be afraid. The worst that could happen is that we could become friends.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Girly Girl in a Manly World

There has been much discussion over the past few days about a certain party we would be having today. A certain Super Bowl party. And my daughter does love a good party. (Who knows where she gets that)?! So, this morning, with much anticipation, Ruth dressed herself in party clothes and prepared for our big party. In the middle of the first quarter, with wing sauce and BBQ sauce dripping off our chins, Ruth piped up and asked, "Is there only going to be football during this Super Bowl?! Why are we even celebrating this?!" Clearly, she was a bit disappointed (not to mention a bit overdressed) but she didn't let it get to her. She adjusted very quickly and donned a more appropriate outfit. She is all girl, though, even in her football gear.