Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I hope to post about some of the fun we had, even though I didn't take a single photo until yesterday afternoon. At the world famous Bratfest Sunday night I forgot the camera in the car and walking 100 miles back to fetch it seemed too daunting. Too bad I can't show you James flying down the Super Slide with myself, Patrick or my mom. Funny stuff.
One thing I can show you is this, our weekend project. One of the wisest decisions Patrick and I ever made was to buy a new home. We knew ourselves well enough to be certain that the projects an old home carries with it would just put us over the edge. All the talk about fencing the last month or two has led nowhere. We absolutely cannot find the fence we want within our 5' limit. Just to mix things up a bit, I threw out the suggestion that we build our 3 season porch this year, instead. So now there's that to mull over. And, mull we have. So much so that we are sick to death of all of it. Instead of spending our child free time at Menards doing research on fencing or decks, we bought bricks. Tumbled edge Belgium bricks, to be precise, and River Rock.
Patrick did all the work on it yesterday and we LOVE it. It's everything we've always wanted in a mailbox surround and it's, best of all, finished!* No more research, planning or decisions! I could see the pride in Patrick's face as we stood gazing at it one more time after we put the kids and Grandma to bed last night. I could hear the joy in his voice as he called me today to tell me that the Menards on the East side has over 600 bags of the beloved River Rock in stock. 600 Bags! We are golden. Our new plan is to build a plexiglass form around our backyard and fill it with River Rock.
*Finished, except for one more glorious perennial, but that is not a problem for me, no sir. Oh, I love perennials, I could go on and on. Why buy annuals? THEY DIE. Perennials? They come BACK and you do NOTHING. Hello? No contest.
Friday, May 25, 2007
I did spend my allotted online time (you didn't think I'd totally give it up, did you? 30 minutes at night and pit stops throughout the day) this week searching for some new blogs to read. It's amazing the number of beautiful, creative and well written blogs that are floating around. I will post about some of my new favorites soon. This search did bring up a few little stabs of inadequacy (put perfectly into words in the first line of this post) (see?! I can't even say how inadequate I feel! hahaha) but I'm over that now. It's funny how that happens from time to time, just like in real life. On a blue day I might think every other person is being a better something than I am. The next day I am back to normal...feeling pretty good about where we're at but always hoping to improve. Boy, I sound like Mary Poppins this morning. Or that chick from the Sound of Music. (There is a little bluebird chirping away on my shoulder.) I'm going to wrap this up before you all start vomiting.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
James & Ruby had fun and the wind wiped them out. (not literally, but almost) More pics here.
More pics from our lovely yesterday up at flickr. (I FIXED LINK)
James finally put the grandma/grandpa connection together yesterday. He asked if they slept together. HAHAHA. Well, son, they used to.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Ruby's one year appt. went well. She is tiny but growning and meeting/exceeding all their milestones. James and I are now going out to plant some flowers. xoxo
Friday, May 18, 2007
Around the same time I made some baby wipes that I loved. I used a small amount of the Trader Joe's castile soap and Olive Oil. They also smelled great and were very gentle on Ruby's bum. I just hated sawing the freaking paper towels in half...not an easy task...so I never did it again. I still should have Patrick cut me some with his table saw.
Has anyone else whipped up some cleaners that they particularly liked? Please share. :)
Thursday, May 17, 2007
- We had a good time this morning with Kate & Natalie at the Madison Children's Museum. Ruby was walking ALL OVER and James & Natalie played really well with eachother and the other kids there. James had a breakdown when we had to go and Kate reminded me of an excellent technique I often forget about. She told him, very sweetly, that we had to be happy when we left so they would let us come back another time. This worked great and he stopped the fake sobbing almost immediately. I find this to be one of my biggest problems with how I deal with James: Sometimes I forget he is 3! We can normally get good results reasoning with him and when it doesn't work I tend to just give up. He is 3! He responds to playfulness, teasing and well meant little white lies. Thanks, Kate, for reminding me to lighten up sometimes. :)
- I thought my kids were both exhausted but after they ate in the parking garage they perked right up. (oops) The good thing is that they stayed awake and I got to get some groceries on the way home.
- Tacos for dinner...already partially prepared!
- Cub will soon be carrying soy yogurt again
- Mom has a date tonight at the Pickwick...yum (now don't go spy on her, Dad) heehee
- Patrick & I get to watch Lost tonight
- It's already been established that I get some time alone on Saturday
- Mom is coming next weekend so Patrick and I can have some time together...we've already decided to spend an evening down at the UW Terrace drinking beer and listening to music
- Mom is coming next weekend so I get to go to Cleveland's with her
- I had some chocolate today...I've been wanting some since yesterday
- Both kids fell asleep on the way home and are still sleeping, one hour later (HALLELUIAH)
- My sister sent me a gorgeous red vase for mother's day (picture soon)
- I am getting together with a new friend next week
We do have plans to meet Kate this morning and I'm hoping this will be a good break. I did try to take the kids to a new park yesterday afternoon and it ended horribly...with me hauling James back to the van while he screamed "NO WAY!". (He ran out onto a dock by himself.)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
At 12 months Ruby is:
- signing (birdie, eat, more, help, milk, all done)
- saying: mu (milk), ba ba (bye bye), ba (ball), dada, ba pa (grandpa), and uh (uh oh)
- loving: James' tickling, playing in James' room, her blanket, soft cuddly things in general, the tub, being outside, her dada, puppies, birdies
- eating: she likes almost everything except bananas and avocados. her favorites include: honey wheat pretzel sticks, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, spaghetti, animal crackers & sunbutter & jelly finger sandwiches
This is what I especially love about her right now:
- she is so serious about nursing in the morning - she lingers, brows knit together as though she's going through her packed schedule...eat breakfast, make sure and bounce kix, poop, get whatever James has, check entryway for different shoes, make a break for unsupervised stairways, climb, check floor for snacks...
- she knows we are going out when she sees me with my keys or sunglasses. She immediately starts waving and saying bye bye.
- the tiny sound of her toots
- her open mouth kisses
- how she tries to bite my toes when I'm sitting on the couch
- the urgent eating of my hair when she wants to nurse
- her little tiny babbling voice
- how she works the system. She will shriek at James and look up to see if I will reprimand him...I've leaned a stern JAMES! is not always in order...this little sister is not always an innocent victim
- her giggles
- how she cuddles up to me, to Patrick, to anyone she likes. I am proud of this independence in her.
- how she problem solves and wants to try new things herself. She has perseverance, just like her brother
We just delight in you, Ruby. We thank God for you every day.
This time I will do a short & sweet recap. Or, rather, I will try.
Friday - left home at 9am, stopped in Madison for Patrick to get his haircut. Love State St. and happy to have some time down there. The trip went really well and we had a nice long lunch in Eau Claire at a school playground. Rolled into my dad's driveway at around 7pm. Long day, but good. It's so much better making the trip with Patrick...I actually got to read!
Saturday - Busy day. Party at 1:00 but there wasn't much to get ready. It was a beautiful morning so James, Grandpa and I went down 7 Bridges Road and into Lester Park for a while. Lester Park reminds me a bit of Gooseberry Falls, which I am dying to go back to. These places are what Minnesota is to me...water, trees & rocks. I am so happy when I am outside and even happier when there are rocks to be climbed on and water to listen to. I decided it's because some of my happiest childhood memories are of these things...camping, Canal Park, Gooseberry, Jay Cooke. It explains why my need to be at these places is so strong when I am at home, I think. Okay, enough psycho babble. I JUST LOVE IT, okay? :) And I loved seeing James climbing on fallen trees and rocks and feeling just as happy as I did. (my dad seemed to feel the same)
After our excursion we headed home to get changed for the party. Patrick's family arrived and we all sat around watching the kids and finally singing to Ruby and partaking in the cupcakes. It was a pretty quick party because the guest of honor needed her afternoon nap by around 3. Really a fun afternoon.
Next, my dad & I went down to see Kerri & Chris and their brand new baby boy. They were all doing great and Kerri looked beautiful. (She did share that Bobbi Brown concealer is her best kept secret for under eye circles...definitely gonna check that out!)
We drove home and rounded up the kids to go drop James at grandma's house for a sleep over. Patrick remarked that it felt like a mini vacation only having one child in the back of the van. We went to Shamrock for our favorite pizza and then home to put Ruby down. A lovely day.
On Sunday, my dad made us pancakes for breakfast...what a nice way to start the morning. I put Ruby down for her nap and when I came out I found Patrick out in the garage with my Dad. He was having fun helping him with a trim piece so I left to go get some coffee and stroll through Duluth Pack on Canal Park. It was windy and freezing and my favorite coffee shop, Amazing Grace, was packed. I decided to skip their baked goods but was regretting my decision as soon as I was on my way home.
When Ruby woke up we went down to my mom's to see her & our buddy. He was happy to see us but had had a really fun night with grandma. After a little while we went up to see my grandma. She was in such a good mood and really happy to see us all. My uncle Frank was also there and it was a good visit. Frank is so cute with James and will just show him anything he wants to see or let him take anything apart. He was a curious child, too, and likes to encourage that in James. After a while the kids were getting cranky so we left. James watched Calliou, a bribe so he would kiss my grandma goodbye, (can you believe I did that? It was worth it.) and my mom and I ate ice cream bars while we drove around and Ruby slept. Patrick met us at her house and helped her out with a few things. Another good day.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Being a mom is such a neat bond between women. Those looks shared over a newborn's sweet head or a screaming toddler at Target...they connect us. We know like noone else what it can be like...the wonderful and the not so wonderful.
Today is about the wonderful and I wish you all that kind of day. (If you're reading this, it's meant for you!) xoxo
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I had bought a couple nalgene bottles in the Dollar Spot at Target two summers ago (?) and they lasted for a long time (duh, about 2 years) without absorbing any odors. Until one day they didn't. And I had to recycle them. Now that the weather is warm I especially need to be able to bring some water along for me on our walks. Today I bought an Eddie Bauer nalgene bottle at Target for $5.40. A little more than a dollar but it should last for a while. (I'm going to be watching that Dollar Spot, though, to see if they get those in again.) If I like mine I will get one for Patrick and then I need to find a jumbo one that we can bring along to the lake and stuff. Maybe REI?
The other drink that I often transport is coffee. I discovered these a while back but I just can't justify them anymore, even though they are recyclable. And, the same holds true here...no plastic insides! I wanted stainless and I wanted one of these (they are so cute!) but I looked at them at Whole Foods the other night and they didn't offer exactly what I needed. (I need a sip lid on my coffee mug!) Target came through for me again! I bought one of these today (for $3 less than Amazon) and I think it's going to be perfect. This is another thing I will buy for Patrick if it turns out to be worthy.
Having mugs & bottles that I enjoy using really save us a lot of money and is a lot better for the environment.
When I do want to blow a little cash, nothing beats a drive thru iced coffee. There is a local spot that I love, Cargo Coffee, but it isn't in a very central location. Then there is Starbucks, of course. Now, McDonalds has joined in with a new iced coffee for summertime. I tried the Hazlenut version today and it was really sweet but not so sweet that I didn't drink it. It's just nice to know it's available in case of a coffee emergency. (like I don't want to unbuckle my kids and drag them in somewhere)
Photo by marikosuave
So many books to read while Patrick drives us to Duluth! mwa ha ha
(and yes, I know I should wash my windows)
Big news this morning...Ruby walked about 7 feet! She walked towards James & I holding a tube of Desitin in one hand and with a plastic bag stuck to each foot. We were all thrilled and there was a lot of squealing, kissing and squeezing. What makes me happiest about this walking development may surprise you. I'm happy for her, sure, but I am REALLY happy that she will finally be able to wear all her cute summer dresses!
Speaking of summer dresses...remember way back in February when I bought her a new dress at Gymboree? Well, I just don't love it anymore. And why spend $40 on a dress & sweater that is cute but no cuter than the $12 ones I see at Target and H&M? And, I have so many adorable hand me down & thrifted dresses that she doesn't need new ones right now anyways. So, long story long, I'm returning the Gymboree stuff. Thank God I keep receipts.
Off to prepare myself for the out of the house portion of the to-do list: Target, Cub, Church, & Wild Child. (for Miss Ruby's gift from gramma)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
- I used to sell stuff on Ebay for my full time job. The postal workers were my best friends. Seriously. Working at home gets lonely.
- I cried like a baby when I broke my 4.0 in college with a grade of AB in Logical & Critical Thinking. I called Patrick at work and the guy who took the message thought someone had died. I was fine before too long...it was kind of liberating, actually.
- I am a wee bit hard on myself but don't usually realize it.
- If you make me laugh really hard I will probably love you forever. (funny people are one of my favorite things)
- One of my best days was the day I took off for Kansas by myself. (I went down to live by Patrick for his last 5 months in the Army.) There is something very liberating about taking off down the highway with all your stuff in the back of a '79 Celica.
- I have had my favorite hoodie for about 10 years and am finally easing up on it a little. (but I do still wear it A LOT)
- I just adore Tom Petty.
That was kind of hard! I have one minute left! I will be back later to tag unsuspecting innocents. Thanks, Linda...you can see her replies here. :)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
And give credit for the help! :)
eta: Okay, I basically have it how I want it now with just a couple little changes. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. A couple weeks ago I spent about 2 hours playing around in Paint Shop Pro but didn't end up with much. Yesterday Linda posted a link to a how-to description but that one didn't work for me so well...I guess I needed extra help. :) I did a search and found this site - Tips for New Bloggers. They totally helped me get it together and I can't wait to go through the rest of that blog...looks awesome!
Thanks for the inspiration, Linda! She also tagged me for a meme that I will join in tomorrow.
First of all, Kerri is ready to have her first baby boy any day. Eeeeeek!!! I heard through the family grapevine that she will be admitted Wed. night for induction if it doesn't happen before then. I hope she will go on her own before then but I know that induction is not the end of the world, either. In fact, it can seem like a miracle when all you want is to get that baby out! :) We will be praying for an uncomplicated labor & delivery for her. I am really hoping I can see the new little bundle before they head back home to Ely on Saturday.
And then there is Stacey who has created something that will be on my mind all day...
Those are RUBIES! I must at least have the earrings & hopefully the necklace. It is almost mother's day right?
But back to Stacey and her beautiful new website, Stacey Johnson Jewlery Design. Please go check it out...her work is just amazing. And you can know that you are buying from a warm, funny & creative woman who LOVES what she is doing. And she's my cousin - how lucky am I?! I have a couple of her pieces and adore them, you won't be disappointed. (obvious from the picture! I want that!)
Monday, May 07, 2007
BUT! I just sewed my very first straight line across a dishtowel! Yay! I called my Dad for help with that pesky bobbin and then I was on my way.
I could hear the fear (and awe) in Patrick's voice when I told him...he is expecting the kids to be sewn together or something when he gets home. wheeeee! I'm sewing!
Yes, I member Annie.
Then I got to talk to Thomas this morning and it just figures that the weekend they will be passing through Madison is the one weekend we will be gone. After I hung up James asked me if we got to see Thomas later. I said hopefully soon, but not for a few weeks. He said, "Member when we went to O Claire and stayed in the big hotel with Thomas? And he took me in the elevator and down to the pool? That was so fun, mom."
We miss you guys! xoxoxoxoxo
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
I set the timer on the microwave (it's not the same, mom) for 15 minutes this morning and this is what we accomplished. He is such a little sweetheart and was so proud of helping.
I am glad I went through this power struggle with Patrick, who likes to rake toys into piles, because James learned it this way and does it so well. We definitely have bins of jumbled up toys but things like play food, big legos, small legos and cars are all separate and waiting to be played with together or jumbled all up again.
I love when he'll take out his food to make soup and end up giving his cars a bath in the bowl or building an oven with his legos...it is so amazing the directions his mind goes.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
This is not news but music is so powerful. I was listening to this in the van today and I recalled so vividly how it felt to be me the summer I was 15. I remember my favorite outfits and how my best friend and I found an abandoned shopping cart and walked down Grand Avenue with it laughing hysterically. I remember the boy I was "in love" with and sneaking out to walk around with him in the middle of the night. He picked a peony for me and was thoughtful enough to shake out all the ants before offering it.
I'm not sure I'll be sleeping much when James & Ruby are teenagers.
Maybe I won't be getting that IUD after all.
Kidding! Ha Ha, Mom, I got you!
But seriously, it's so good. Go read it.
I just took a break to help James in the bathroom. He was pooping and when he finished he looked up and said, "I'm empty!" He goes on the toilet all the time now and even shuts the door for a bit of privacy sometimes...this all makes me very happy. At church today he wanted to go in the Mens room by himself so I let him. He got a bit of pee on his shirt but felt it was a pretty fair trade for the freedom.
Hmmm, what else? I got to go out to dinner with my friends last night, it was a lot of fun and very delicious. (The leftovers just made a very satisfying lunch for me...no leftover margaritas though...damn.) It was all my playgroup friends and for the first time in a VERY long time all 10 of us were there. We had this appetizer that had melted cheese, cream and poblano chiles in it that was FABULOUS. Oh, it was so good. I have to say it's a lot of fun to have some cheese again.
Tonight is Lost night for Patrick and I. It's hard on Thursdays because there is lots of chatter about the show all over the internet. I am looking forward to cuddling up in front of the computer with him tonight.
One last thing....I got all teary on the way to dinner last night when Friends in Low Places came on the radio. It immediately brought me right back to the Locker Room, hanging out with the girls. This will sound unbelievable but it's true...on the way home I heard She Talks to Angels AND Black Water!!!! Do you think it's time for us to plan our weekend?
There are a lot more pics on Flickr. xoxo
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Can you believe my Dad? He is restoring a one of a kind Ford Thunderbird Italien concept car...and when I say he is restoring it, I mean it.
You can read all about it here. xoxo