Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I fell asleep so happy on Friday night. Patrick and I had laid in bed and made all these plans for Saturday morning. We'd leave as soon as the kids got up, go to Lazy Jane's for breakfast, go look at fences, visit the thrift store and go for a walk. Most of you know I am normally ready for some alone time by Saturday but I was really looking forward to this. How could I have been so stupid, breaking my own rule? OF COURSE the children slept in and OF COURSE Ruby was so ready for a nap before we were ready to finally leave that we just had to put her down. So, down she went and I ended up taking James so Patrick could start mowing the lawn.
I haven't had any time alone with James, outside of the house, for so long! I had forgotten how fun it was. Plus, and this may sound awful to you unless you have a very active 3 year old, he was still feeling a little tired and this made him even that much more enjoyable. haha. We first stopped for Pop Tarts & gas and then made our way to Madison for the Farmer's Market. It is still too early for most produce but it was fun to walk and just be around all the people. We also went inside the Capitol for the first time. I can't believe I've lived here almost 9 years and had never been in. It is gorgeous and a really neat place to poke around. (I wanted to take this coat rack home but couldn't figure out how.)
After we left the Capitol we headed for a great store on the square, Capital Kids. James had so much fun playing with all the stuff they have out and I had a hard time not buying all the Tea Collection stuff for miss rubles. I swear my milk let down as I was looking at it. If she was walking already I might have splurged on a little dress but I held off. I checked their website to show you but they only have their dressier stuff on there. They also have a whole line of mix & match soft pants, dresses, and shirts in these wonderful, almost vintage looking, prints. It reminds me of the Hannah Anderson stuff, only cuter and less expensive. But anyways! Back to James & I...
I finally dragged him out of the toy store and we headed to the east side to get some lunch at the coop and hit my toy store, SVDP. We got some fabulous ham (seriously considering switching to all local meats) and yogurt and sat outside and ate, again with him on my lap. We were only in SVDP for a little while...I found the cutest pan that makes 12 mini-donut size bundt cakes. I can't wait to try it.
I have to speed things up. It's 8:53. Time flies when you're blogging!
Then we met Patrick and Ruby and played at a playground. Then Patrick took James home to nap and finish lawn. I took Ruby to D&S for just a little while and then we went home for spaghetti dinner. End.
Sunday. Kids still too snotty for church nursery. Went for long walk on bike trail near home. James ran (this kid has soooooo much energy it amazes & terrifies me) a long ways and then found spot on bottom of single stroller. Ruby loved the ride, then fell asleep. Came home, had lunch, other 3 in family napped and I cleaned the basement. They got up, I put away 400 tons of laundry. Patrick measured yard. We went to New Glarus for dinner at Culvers and playground time. Fun. Beautiful out. Had single scoop turtle sundae. Delicious. Patrick threatened to take away camera. Took it away. I will not rest until I have it back. Lots more pictures on Flickr. 8:59 - wooohoooooo!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Around the house I don't bother with make up but for most trips out I wear mascara, undereye concealer (although it does almost nothing), and blush. And chapstick - always chapstick. I would love to learn professional application tips someday, even for the minimal amount I wear.
My Grandpa died when I was 15 years old. I remember being at my grandparents house one day shortly before he passed and him calling each of us in to talk with him for a while. He told me about the word Shalom and how it had such deep meaning and that is what he wished for me. The other thing I remember is him telling me that I never had to wear makeup. That I was very beautiful just as I was. His words didn't make me swear off make up for life but they have stayed with me for the last 20 years. I'm so thankful to have this memory of him.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Ruby had a rough time for a while last night. She slept from 7:30-10:00 and then was up until almost midnight, pretty much nursing the whole time. I finally pried her off of me and Patrick got her to sleep. Then she was up at 4:00 for a quick snack and now she's still asleep. I remember James was sleeping consistently through the night (for about 11-12 hours) right after he turned one. I wonder if miss bubles will do the same? I'm sure not the same but I hope similar.
I took the above picture of James yesterday when we stopped at a playground for a while. It's slightly out of focus but I really thought it was cute. He is not really into pictures these days so I have to take what I can get. He would much rather profess his love, which I will post more about later. Anyways, we had fun running around even though it was pretty cold. Ruby was sleeping in the van and of course the sirens went off at noon, along with the bells from the church we were parked next to, and woke her up. There are a few more pictures here including some cute ones of them playing in James' bedroom yesterday afternoon.
I just love this one of miss ruby. Look at that tiny little pink face. xoxo
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I haven't really posted one yet but I did "me too" a couple. This one sounded familiar, "I have no ambition to be a Mom today. Instead of helping with homework or afterschool snacks here I sit....and...I don't care!"
I have definitely had those days. :)
That Diego...he's kind of a cutie but doesn't hold a candle to Manny in my opinion. I have always appreciated a man with a tool belt though, so Manny kind of has an unfair advantage.
Be honest, I know I'm not the only one who's ever had a cartoon crush. Don't think Disney isn't keeping us in mind when they're designing these characters!
If I had to pick an overall favorite it would have to be Pablo from the Backyardigans. This little guy just cracks me up.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
In all of this busyness it's easy to forget my breakfast - you know, the most important meal of the day. I'm one of those people that when hunger hits you better watch out. I'll get kind of shaky and very crabby and it seems to come on out of nowhere sometimes. Trying to calmly handle 2 small children isn't easy when I am in the best of moods and downright impossible when I'm starving. Because of this, I have learned to keep some snacks just for me in our van. We have a small drawer under the passenger seat and I like to keep my stash down there. I really like a lot of the energy bars or granola bars on the market right now. Most of them have a decent calorie count and are pretty good sources of protein and fiber. (along with a healthy dose of sugar to keep my spirits up.) :) My favorites are Luna Bars (Love the Pecan Pie & Lemon Zest) and the Kashi TLC Cruncy Bars (Pumpkin Flax & Almond - these are even safe for James). I just tried a Larabar last weekend and will now be adding them into the mix as well.
When looking up my links I found a couple good articles about bars: Best of the Bars at medicinenet.com and another one from Shape Magazine. I even found a link to some Gluten Free ones if that is a concern for you.
Another thing I like to keep on hand is some homemade trail mix. My favorite combo is dates, raisins, almonds, sunflower seeds and a few chocolate chips. I just mix it all up and store it in the fridge to scoop out as needed. Easy, moderately priced and a true lifesaver when that hunger hits unexpectedly.
Monday, April 23, 2007
This tackle was a long time coming, folks! I did most of it last Monday but have been doing bits & pieces ever since and am so happy.
We have a tri-level (with a full basement) but the 3rd level, or lower level, is still unfinished. If I ever build a home again, especially if I have small children, I would pay the builder to finish it. Once you are in your home there are 1,000,000 other things you want to do and for us, this one is just not getting done. Now that we have a little cash on our hands, the weather is nice and all I want is a fenced in back yard. See? The lower level is on hold for another year. So be it.
The problem is...it's a big space! And James loves to play down here but me, not so much. It's kind of dark and chilly and I get a little bored, to be honest. It seemed like a shame that all of this was just kind of wasted so I tried to figure out what wasn't working for me and if I could fix it.
- Dark - This was pretty easy. I brought down a couple lamps and switched out the curtains. They are still a darker curtain but are easier to open and I just like them a lot more.
- Chilly - The main thing here was the floor. I got 4 indoor/outdoor rugs at Menards for $10 each. They cover the central part of floor and make crawling around nicer for Ruby & James. (and us!) When the day comes that we do carpet, these rugs can be moved down to the basement or garage or wherever we want them.
- Bored - One nice thing is that I am close to the basement here...the basement contains an endless supply of projects, including laundry. I can fold laundry and stack it on the bed while the kids play. As you can see, Patrick also moved the computer up from the basement. James & Ruby don't allow too much computer time while they are around but it's nice to have it here for quick checks. Our treadmill is also right here and now I can watch Survivor online while I walk. Cool! (Have I done this yet? No, but never mind. :)
I was particularly happy with the "table" I made over in the corner. The base consists of 4 totes where I am storing our sleeping bags and extra linens for down here. The top is an extra piece of pegboard that I covered with one of those MatchBox activity mats. Now James has a place to paint or do play doh where Ruby can't reach.
I took the pictures last week and there have been a few changes...I now have the curtains on all the windows and our futon is now in front of the treadmill. We are using the space a lot more in the last week and I love having another area indoors to bring the kidlets. (Sometimes just moving upstairs or downstairs can shift all of our moods.) The race car toddler bed will be going on Craigslist soon but right now it's acting as a baby gate...Ruby can't climb over the sides yet. James also likes to play in it so we'll keep it around until she starts scaling.
Did you notice that white basket filled with stuff? That is my tackle for this next week. It's full of random stuff that needs to be put away somewhere else. I have about 4 of these piles now throughout my house. :) Happy Tackling!
Back Right Corner After
Back Left Corner BeforeBack Left Corner After
Front Left Corner Before
Front Left Corner After
Front Right Corner After
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Let's start with last Friday: Friday morning was really hard for me. Just one of those times that I felt totally overwhelmed. I actually sat on my couch and sobbed, which I don't need to do very often. It felt pretty good and I definitely felt better afterwards. A bit later I took the kids out for a few errands and then a 3 hour walk along the UW bike path. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we had so much fun. I love how friendly James is with everyone...saying hi and stopping to ask what they're doing. College kids are pretty nice...everyone on the path seems pretty nice, actually. I think everyone is so happy to be out moving around in the gorgeous weather. I do notice that a lot of the time, though...people are pretty nice. I was feeling so lonesome for Patrick and it made me feel a lot better to have a little adult interaction - even with strangers. I don't feel lonely too often so experiencing it was good in a way, I think. Imagine being lonely most of the time. How sad. Makes me want to be more sensitive to that in others.
On that same note, even though Patrick is home now, I still feel like I miss him. We need some time together...I'm really feeling that. A few weeks ago our children's librarian offered to watch the kids for us. I really like her and so does James so I think I'm going to take her up on her offer asap. I still haven't found a young babysitter, like I said I was going to do back in January. Kate has offered many times but it feels like a lot to ask your friend with one kid of her own to come on over and watch your two. :) Anyways, I'm going to ask Katie (the librarian) this week and see what she says. She already said she won't take money but I know she loves books so maybe we can just bring her a B&N gift certificate or something. Or, name our next child after her. Something small like that. hahahaha. But I think that's how grateful we will be for a night on our own. (As usual, but a bit more so tonight, my grammar sucks. sorry.)
Back to Friday. When we got home from our walk we had a big freaking poop show and then I promptly put the kids to bed. I won't go into details but it involved James' first accident and some sliding. Use your imagination and don't forget to imagine me yelling like a nutjob for James to just GET IN THE TUB. Patrick finally got home at around midnight after a long day of travel and I just barely woke up to kiss him.
Saturday morning we both got up with the kids around 7:30. It was so fun to have the daddy back home. Yayayayayayay! I departed around 10 with plans to meet them after lunch for some outdoor time. Patrick fell into the nap trap...Ruby then James then Ruby...and didn't call me to meet them until almost 5. I can't say that I minded. The time alone was like Tylenol for my aching head. I hit the thrift, went to Borders for coffee & magazines, went for a walk, and then did some regular retail shopping. My biggest complaint lately? (aside from all the other stuff I complain about) My bras. Oh, how I loathe nursing bras. I am thrilled to still be nursing little Ruby, but the bras have got to go. I finally bought 2 regular bras and it made me SO HAPPY. I didn't spend a lot because I knew they'd get stretched with the tugging I will do but they are a lot better. I cannot wait for when I am done nursing (only for the bra problem)...I swear I'm going to go out and spend whatever it takes to get the CADILLAC of bras. I deserve it. (sorry, Dad.)
So, my new bras and I met Patrick and the kids for a picnic dinner and playtime. After we got home and got them to bed we watched Lost. It was so nice.
This morning we got up and decided to go to the 11:00 church service and to Devil's Lake afterwards. We ran around like crazy getting ready and managed to make it on time. The kids both did well and we really enjoyed the service. Our pastor was talking about the Samaritan and how we need to show our faith through DOing not talking. Patrick whispered that he had something I could do. Nice. In church! hahaha. But it was a really good sermon. I love that church and am so so so happy to be a part of it.
We stopped at Patrick's office after church to change clothes and eat lunch. Then we left for the lake. One hour later we were standing amidst swarms of just hatched lake flies. It was so disgusting...the beach was empty and people were coming off of our favorite path gagging. Thank God there was a wind or it would have been even worse. We did walk around for a while...away from the water they weren't as bad. Not quite what we imagined, though. ha! We had a snack in the mini and left. We made one more stop at Dr. Evermor's Forevertron.
I had heard about this place and always wanted to stop but never had. Mamamilkers left a comment here about it a while ago so I decided today was the day. It is an amazing place. Dr. Evermor was kind of crabby today so they decided to close early. (I overheard this tidbit...he seemed nice to me...gave us a wave when we drove in.) I know we'll be back there again this summer...James was just walking around with his mouth open. It's a lot to take in. And then, on the way out, we drove past a 3 foot snake. That was pretty cool, too.
Ruby freaked out on the way home and finally calmed down after I crawled in the back to entertain her. I was carsick and delirious by the time we reached our house and was laughing hysterically about the big pot of nothing warming on the stove. (no groceries here, folks) Patrick created some spaghetti sauce out of who knows what and we had a pretty tasty meal.
Before I forget...I also tried a LaraBar today. I had picked up a couple at Trader Joe's last weekend and finally got around to having one for breakfast this morning. I really liked it...I had the Cherry Pie flavor. James said, "This is, um, solid." HAHAHAHA Patrick didn't really like it, either. I can't wait to try the other flavors.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Dear Mr. Builder,
This is the fence we really want to put up at . It is a 6' fence but the semi-private design will not make our backyard look like a fortress. We think it will really add to the appearance and value of our home. The white will look great against our white trim! It is relatively maintenance free and will continue to look beautiful for years, unlike a wooden one.
We did research 5' fences, like you suggested, but haven't found any in white vinyl in our price range. Please consider approving this for us.
Thank you for your time and please respond at your convenience.
Patrick & Stephanie
Thursday, April 19, 2007
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
I don't have much time to write these last couple days and it's bothering me! But, we are having a good day and that is most important right now, right? Right. :)
Ruby isn't as crabby today. I took the toothy pic yesterday and haven't been able to get back in there today yet to see the progress.
I had been nervous about bringing her crabby little self to Titus but shouldn't have wasted my time. Why do I worry? This is something I am continually learning and being reminded of. If & when I pray about stuff I need to relax and know that whatever happens will be what was supposed to. Ruby was in a good mood this morning and both her & James did great at church. She was sleeping in a little crib when James & I went into get her and we just stood there together and looked down at her. After a couple seconds James said, "I just love our Ruby."
Titus was great. I would like to write more about it at another time because it was kind of meant for me today. (Is it any wonder why our morning went so smoothly and we made it there?)
Okay. James won't stop talking to me so I better go give him
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
My day got a lot better. James & I played blocks until Ruby woke up and then we all had some lunch and headed out into a rainy afternoon. (no sunshine to be found) We went to SVDP and I found a pair of shorts for myself for $2.50 and some black metal bookends for $.75. I had been wanting bookends so this made me very happy. James & Rubles were both really good and James added SVDP to his ever growing list of places he's marked.
I couldn't decide what to do next but both kids seemed sleepy so I just drove for a while. They fell asleep and I kept heading towards home, finally pulling into our garage at about 3:00pm. They slept peacefully in the van until 4pm. An hour alone - glorious! That's when I checked my email & blog and saw that the lovely Linda at Ribbon Rock Star awarded me a Thinking Blogger Award. She said some of the nicest things about me and it really made my day...wow, someone, other than my family, really likes my blog! And even better, it's someone who I think has a really fun blog herself...kinda makes me feel like one of the cool kids for the day. ;) I get to pass this honor on now and will do so tomorrow. Thank you, Linda!
I will try my pics again tomorrow. I am sleepy now. I have Titus tomorrow if all goes well. It's been ages since I've seen my flockers!
Patrick is out of town. He left yesterday and won't be home until Friday night. He hates to go almost as much as I hate to have him go and this time is especially hard. I really miss him. sniff. 12 years of marriage and I still love him a little mower every day. Thank you, Lord.
Yesterday was a really good day. Ruby was super strange and fussy but we were at the park with Kate & Natalie for over 2 hours and she was pretty happy in the backpack with a couple small breaks. Dinnertime was hectic and bathtime was a nightmare but bedtime went pretty well and they were both asleep by 8pm.
This morning, James woke up at 6am. That's about 1-2 hours early for him. Ahem. Maybe you didn't get the memo, James, but this is supposed to be my time. And he was horribly crabby, just like I am when I wake up too early. He said he missed Patrick, though, so how could I be mad? (just a little pouty) But when Ruby woke up and she was still in an awful mood, that put me very close to the edge. (think 2 children crying loudly at the same time over earth shattering events like HE TOUCHED MY ARM and I WANT 3 SAUSAGE NOT 2) Her top teeth are big, people, and I am thinking they really hurt. I can see the right one a lot more this morning so I know they are pushing on through. When she went down for her nap (only an hour after waking) I put James in an unheard of morning quiet time. I did this in an effort to preserve & protect his young life.
I have since started some laundry, which was threatening to overtake the basement, and made coffee. I feel better already. I need to spend a little time in prayer...more than the "please forgive me for just thinking that about my own flesh and blood" prayers that I've already prayed...and then I'm going to take a shower and get ready so when Ruby wakes up we can get out of here for a while. It's a grey and chilly day but it looks like the sun might poke through later. I know this is a painfully obvious avoidance tactic (or something...Sarah? Mom?) but the thrift store sounds mighty good right about now.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
S: The wee trailer?
J: No. The E TRAILER, starts with the letter E. (tone saying duh, mom.)
S: Oh, the E trader? (thinking huh?)
J: No! I'm talking about the ETRADER where it is really warm in the middle of the PLANET!
S: Oh! The EQUATOR?!
*Note to Patrick: Please start giving me a heads up on James' new vocab.
(not as bad as it looked)
(poor Natalie) (haha)
(they decided it was snack time)