Thursday, August 30, 2007

Off To The Crossroads Of America

That's right, we're headed to the Hoosier State tomorrow for the weekend. We will be attending a wedding, in which Ruth will be the flower girl. Plus, we will get to visit with our very good friends, the Kitchels. (It's their son who is getting married). We're very excited about the trip and are sure to have lots of pictures and stories when we get back on Monday. Have a a wonderful Labor Day weekend and we'll check in with you next week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

JohnDeere Jack

Ruth remains rankled over the fact that we are having a baby boy, and to get her out of this funk I have encouraged her to share any good boy names she comes up with. This afternoon she actually decided to consider this and came up with the lovely moniker you see in the title of this post. She came up with several clever names for Weston, but finally stuck with "Monkey Joe." I can't wait to see if she keeps this one for Baby Boy #2 or if she comes up with something even more creative.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mother's Intuition

We had our (3rd) sonogram this morning and can finally report that we are having another little boy--just like I've thought all along! He's a very active little fellow and seems to be quite healthy. As of today, he weighs 10 oz. And I just want to know how someone so very small can make my belly look so very big?! The last sonogram I had put my due date at Jan. 22, but today they said maybe Jan. 20. Babies usually come when they are good and ready, so I put no stock in those dates whatsoever. We'll meet this little guy whenever he's ready to see the world. Ruth's reaction to this boy news (said with a foot-stomp and complete exasperation): "Mom, you always have boys!! When are you going to have a girl?!" I guess we have a little attitude work to do before Janurary! Jeff and I, at least, are very excited, and I'm not at all sure Weston understands whats going on, but he's enthusiastic nonetheless.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day Of School

Well, we made it through the first day, and it should be downhill from here. The only crying came from Weston, and I'd love to tell you some sappy little story about how he was crying because he was going to miss his sister, but it wouldn't really be true. He was still sleeping very soundly when it was time to take Ruth to school, so I just scooped him up out of bed and popped him in the car with a cup of juice. This pacified the dazed little boy until we got to the school building, but that's when the juice ran out. In it's stead, Ruth gave him her backpack to carry, which thrilled him. ("Backpack" is his new favorite word). But when we got to the classroom and he had to hand over the backpack, he went into meltdown mode. So, that's what all the crying was about. Jeff and I both made it through the morning without shedding a single tear, and Ruth gave us each a quick hug and then never looked back. She had many things to report at the end of the day:

  • Her favorite thing of the day was running around outside on the track, even though it was hot.
  • Her new best friend is Brodie.
  • She got to sit by a little boy she already knew from preschool (both in class and at lunch).
  • One little boy named Bennet was very "distracting."
  • The teacher rubbed her back for a while during naptime, and she actually fell asleep.
  • They did counting, and she didn't like that part at all. Why? Because she already knows how to do that.
  • Etc., etc.

I'm so glad everything went well today and that we don't have to have another first day again this year!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This Is Important:


A subtle sadness settled over the adults in our house this evening, in anticipation of our big day tomorrow. I refused to talk about it and tried to drown myself in other activities. I really wanted to cry, but I kept myself under control. But when Jeff was tucking Ruth into bed, she admitted to him that she was feeling kind of nervous and scared about her first day, and Jeff admitted he was feeling the same way. And then he lost it. I'm not really trying to expose Jeff or his emotions, but I can't tell you how much comfort I took in the fact that this is an emotional time for even the most unemotional among us. We just can't believe our little girl, our not-so-long-ago-baby, is so big now. We are truly and completely excited for Ruth. That isn't where the sadness comes from at all. It's just the first time we've really had to let go, and it's hard. --Well, great, now I am crying!-- If we can all just make it through tomorrow, I think we'll be o.k. And I think it will be a wonderful year of growth for all of us.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Two-Party Friday

We hosted a playgroup reunion this morning, with all of Ruth's old playgroup pals. They are all getting ready to start Kindergarten next week, and we wanted to get them together one more time before things really change. We met all these kids when Ruth was six-months-old at the library storytime, and the kids (and moms) have been friends ever since. It was a really fun party, complete with chocolate cake and a book exchange.

Then, this evening, we had a lovely dinner party with one of Jeff's co-workers and his wife. They are a really neat couple, and we enjoyed having the chance to get to know them better.

Now, we are all partied out and are looking forward to not having to wake up to an alarm tomorrow!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Meeting Mrs. Towler

We got to go up to Ruth's school this evening to meet her teacher and drop off her school supplies. Ruth immediately fell into her role as "teacher's helper." She was absolutely thrilled...and she didn't want to come home! Her teacher is really nice and very experienced, and we heard from quite a few people that she is simply the best kindergarten teacher at this school. The other bonus to the evening was finding out that Ruth already knows two of the other students in her class. After this evening, we are all the more excited about that big first day on Monday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Nine Is Fine

Today Jeff and I are celebrating our 9th anniversary. It's hard to believe it's already been that long! Seems like we just started on this crazy life-journey together. And yet, it seems like there was never a time when we weren't "we." I am loving every minute of it!! It just gets more fun all the time! We always try to follow the "traditional" gift for the year, and this year's choices were pottery and willow. Unfortunately, last year was also pottery, so that well has kind of run dry. And willow, well, come on. So we had to be a bit creative. Jeff gave me a lovely copy of "The Wind In the Willows," along with a couple of off-theme gifts including a beautiful arrangement of flowers and the very romantic soundtrack to "Calculus, the Musical," (as a joke, of course. Although such a musical truly exists, if you can believe it). I gave him a "certificate" to a bed and breakfast in Fredricksburg called "Willow Ridge Retreat," to be redeemed if we ever have another free weekend. That works, right?! Thanks to our friends Tony and Meghan, we were able to go out to dinner at Truluck's. This was our first visit there, but it certainly won't be our last. Everything was wonderful. And I ate crab until I almost was one. Speaking of which, I better get to bed so I can meet that early alarm head-on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And That's Tuesday

My alarm went off at 6:00 this morning (as it is apt to do these days) and I promptly turned over and hit the snooze button (as I'm apt to do these days). Jeff was already up and in the bathroom, so I knew he would get me up when he came out. Sure enough, he came out of the bathroom and the following conversation took place:

Jeff: Do you want to get up?
Mandi: You need to rephrase that question.
Jeff: Do you want to get up, Your Highness?
Mandi: Not that part of the question. You should say, "Are you getting up?" not "Do you want to get up?" No, I don't WANT to get up, but yes, I am getting up.

I actually said that. And the very next thing that happened was that I heard Ruth's alarm going off--at 6:40 while I was still in bed asleep. And in the background I heard Jeff in the shower. And then I remember thinking, just after the preceding conversation: I am getting up, but I'm just going to close my eyes for one more minute. It's not great to start the day feeling like you're behind. But despite myself, I was able to go on and have a very productive day. Here's what I did today:

  • Got ready in time for "school."
  • Made a very fancy salad that had to be made early so it could sit in the fridge all day.
  • Made bread.
  • Went to the grocery store.
  • Unloaded, reloaded and unloaded the dishwasher.
  • Listened to Ruth read her 3rd book on her 3rd reading chart.
  • Washed some clothes.
  • Steamed and put away all the laundry.
  • Broke up and removed, from the middle of our backyard, two huge oak tree branches.
  • Mowed the lawn.
  • Read book after book to Weston as he attempted to go potty.
  • Supervised a trampoline jumping session.
  • Pushed my kids on the swings, and did a little swinging myself.
  • Made dinner.
  • Went to Curves to workout.
  • Remebered to take the garbage out to the curb.
  • Searched frantically for an anniversary gift for Jeff.
It felt good to get so much done, especially starting off the way I did.

Monday, August 20, 2007

New Toy

Thanks to Nana and Papa and their generous friends, we now have a new (to us) toy in the backyard. We only had a few minutes to play on it today after Jeff got it put together, but I can tell already that it's a hit.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Don't Worry, It's Just Boogers."

Over the weekend someone said to my daughter, "What's that all over your shirt?" "Don't worry," she replied, "it's just boogers." Oh good. I thought it might be something gross.

Jeff says that at some point I should sit down and write the definitive work on parenting and that this should be the title. And I may just do that. But don't everyone run out to Barnes and Noble right away. It may be a while.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Baby, Tater

Pregnancy is filled with more weirdness than should be allowed in one body, in one nine-month period of time. You've got your weird dreams, your weird emotions, that weird exorcist-type tummy dance that begins sometime in the second trimester, weird goings-on with every single part of your body and certainly weird cravings. With Ruth I craved corndogs-- especially from Sonic--and oddly I didn't like corndogs one bit before I got pregnant or after she was born. She loves them and always has. With Weston I really craved salad at the beginning. And now I've got this baked potato (with butter and cheese) fetish that just won't stop. Wendy's has become a favorite stop because they offer baked potatoes instead of fries with any combo meal. Thank you, Dave Thomas! Tonight we had steak and potatoes at my parents' house, and every bite of potato was like a little bite of happiness. It's weird and I can't explain it, but one of my pregnancy philosophies is to indulge and enjoy these things in these nine months, when I don't have to feel guilty about it. I'll worry about it sometime after mid-January, when my little "Tater" has had his/her fill.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Let's Play School

So, we decided that we definitely needed to practice the school schedule before the big day in just over a week. Since the tardy bell for Ruth's school rings at 7:45, we decided that best time for Ruth to get up is 6:40, meaning I need to get up even earlier than that. It has been really hard for Ruth to get up and get going in the morning (not to mention her mom), and she'll be the first to tell you that the new schedule isn't much fun. (I'll be the second)! We've been timing her breakfast-eating and her getting dressed, and I think the schedule we've chosen is the right one. She definitely couldn't get up any later and get to school on time. We've also adjusted the afternoon rest time to be a bit more like what it will be like at school, meaning Ruth isn't really getting much rest at all. And of course, the bedtime schedule has become a bit more ridgid as well. The decrease in sleep has definitely caused an increse in behavior problems--not helped by the fact that we were on vacation for 10 days just before this little experiment I'm sure--but hopefully by the time school starts, we'll have all the kinks worked out and things will run smoothly. I had a horrible dream while we were on vacation that we were late for the first day of school and the teacher wouldn't let me sign up for any of the classroom helper things because she said if I couldn't even get my own kid to school on time, I couldn't be trusted to do anything with any of the other kids. I'm definitely trying to avoid that scenerio!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wacky Wednesday

The day has given me many things to blog about, so you're just going to have to deal with the hodgepodge.

We had lunch with Jeff's parents today to celebrate his dad's birthday and to see them off before they head back to Las Vegas tomorrow. It was a bittersweet party. After lunch two things happened:

1. Jeff found out that he has to go to Las Vegas for work in September. He immediately worked it into a family trip, forgetting completely that we now have a school-aged child and it would not be advisable to have her miss a week of school after only three weeks of class. There is a chance that he will take Weston with him since he still flies free, but Ruth and I will stay here with our pouty faces on at having to miss such a fun vacation.

2. Ruth went shopping with her grandparents for a few new outfits for school. She came home with some adorable things. But the precursor to this outing happened while we were still on vacation, when Mimi declared her intentions to get Ruth some new school things. Mimi said she wanted to take Ruth shopping, but didn't know if they would be able to squeeze in a shopping trip before she left for Vegas. She told Ruth that in that case she would just give Jeff and I some money and we could take her shopping. Ruth immediately piped up and said, "Oh, you don't need to give them any money; they already have some!" I thought it good that they asked us instead of just taking her word for it!

Tonight at dinner, Ruth requested a knife to butter her bread with. Since we were already seated and Jeff hadn't used his fork yet, he just gave her that as a substitute. The next thing I know, Ruth is scooping butter out of the butter dish with the fork, transferring it to her fingers and then using her fingers to spread it on the bread. What can you even say to that?! Except maybe this:

Mom: Ruth, what are you doing??!!
Ruth: Just spreading butter on my bread.
Ruth: (Putting her hand on the back of the chair to steady herself)
Mom: Don't touch the chair!!!
Ruth: What?! I licked all the butter off my hand.

And there truly is nothing you can say to that--especially when both parents can't catch their breath because they are laughing so hard.

WESTON WENT TEE-TEE IN THE POTTY TONIGHT!!!!! It was a big first for us and we are super-excited. I have been intending to really get serious about potty training when Ruth goes to school, and I'm glad to see that that may actually be possible! He was sort of confused at first, but then he was so proud of himself. And he was especially excited when he got a candy reward. I hope he remembers how much fun that was and continues down that path. Up until now, I couldn't even get him to sit on his little potty without promising to brush his teeth, but maybe now he'll be a bit more motivated.

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation: A Pictoral Review

Monday, August 13, 2007

Back In The Saddle Again

The blazing saddle, that is. We just spent the last ten days in Utopia, where we never saw a temperature over 85, wore jeans and long-sleeved shirts and occasionally a jacket, and slept with our windows open with no air conditioning and no fan. It was absolutely wonderful...and then we came home to find that we actually live in a furnace. It got up to 100 today, and even now it's 90. Yuck! Fortunately (there's irony in that choice of word), we have a mile-high pile of laundry to work through so we haven't been out in the heat. So, what did we do on our summer vacation, you ask? Well, here's a brief review:

  • We worked on our cabin--texturing, painting, plumbing, cleaning, organizing, etc.
  • We laughed, talked, sang, danced, played games, rested, ate lots of yummy food, etc.
  • We abandoned all responsibility--no cooking, no dishes, etc.
  • We spent quality time with family
  • We took a scenic drive through the mountains
  • We enriched our lives with a cultural field trip to a minimalistic art gallery
  • We took a special trip to the the McDonald Observatory, looked through a really big telescope, saw millions of stars, a few galaxies, some nebulae and tons of falling stars and meteors.
  • Sometime during all this, I turned 30, and honestly the anticipation of that event was worse than the actual action.
So, anyway, we're home now and back in the saddle.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Leaving This Crazy Week Behind

It has been a very crazy laundry-doing, dentist-visiting, book chart-finishing, reward-bowling, sugar scrub-making, lawn-mowing, stair-falling, park-playing, parent-visiting, suitcase-packing, errand-running, early birthday-celebrating, iJoy chair-getting, back/foot-massaging, livingroom-rearranging, date-having week (just to hit the highlights), and we're exhausted. Thankfully, we are on our way to the Davis Moutnains tomorrow morning to spend the next ten days doing absolutely nothing. When I get back, I will have had a birthday, so get ready for the wisdom that comes with age to pour forth.