Apr 162014
 

How can you deny your child when the actually ask to use the potty? I’m certainly not going to. So, when daycare mentioned that she basically helped herself one day and actually had success, we decided to break out the froggie potties and give it a go. Forget that she’s still 4 months shy of 2.

So far we’ve had more failures than successes but she can generally “perform” if you plop her down. Daycare is having her sit at the times they normally do diaper changes and some times it works, sometimes it doesn’t. She’s been hit or miss too with telling us. She generally tells us after she’s done so we switched to pull ups to see if the feeling the wetness helps any. Again, the results are mixed.

I’m not really pushing this, just going with the flow and letting her lead. I was very surprised that she initiated it this early but figured we should just see what happens. My fear is that this will just get drawn out forever (vs. Noah who mastered it in about 3 months) but we’ll see. Once she hits 2 we can try harder if she’s not mastered it yet.

Apr 142014
 

Noah has a ton of energy and we needed to find a good way to channel that instead of having him running like a nutcase around the house. What better way to tire him out than to send him running around a field chasing a ball with 9 or so other kids.

Soccer at this age is laughingly called “herd ball” because they don’t really play games against others, they all run together (in a herd..) working on people avoidance skills (cleverly disguised as a game of tag). Using common games like tag, red/light green light, and follow the leader, the trainer worked on the fundamental skills of traveling with the ball, kicking into the goal, and player avoidance among others.

Noah and the other kids had a blast and I’m so proud of him because he listened and followed directions so well. Way better than he listens to us:)

Apr 112014
 

So we’ve shifted a bit away from cloth as Lia’s shown interest in potty training (! yes..she’s potty training…all on her own) but they still come in quite handy on a child that has decided clothes are a convention that she’d rather not partake in. She’s found it quite hilarious to take off her pants and then take off the diaper and run around bare bummed. This is particularly funny at bed time because she knows it means I have to pick her up to put it all back on (we’re sleep training…another post for another time..). Last night, after having to put her disposable back on 3 times, I whipped out a snap BumGenius cover and popped it on her. Problem solved. She’s not strong enough to get the snaps undone which meant that it had lost its novelty. She still slept pants less but at least she had a diaper on.

Tonights trick – a one piece sleeper so maybe she’ll have the luxury of having her legs covered (although it didn’t seem to bother her last night).

Apr 102014
 

Lia has a thing for socks. Whether they’re on her feet or off (usually they’re off…) she loves them. She takes them off, puts them on, collects them, and hides them. Wherever that sock is, if she sees it she has to have it. Case in point, I sorted all the clean close on the bed in the guest room and had to go in there to grab her pants. I was holding her until she spotted the socks. She screams, “Socks!” and dives from my arms onto the bed. She comes up with two fists full of socks and a huge smile on her face. I tried to explain that we only need one pair but she was having none of it. All the socks came along for the ride down to breakfast (which meant they got a ride back upstairs once Lia was off to school). Her teachers at school have even commented about how they’re always having to put her socks and shoes back on her.

I’m looking forward to summer when I can put her in just sandals however I don’t know if I want to take her joy away by not putting socks on too:) It makes her so happy (and sooooo mad when one escapes out of her reach).

Apr 062014
 

Before we even moved into this neighborhood, DH was talking about how much fun we’re going to have with our kayak on the lake. Funny thing though, we didn’t actually own a kayak. His chatter increased after we moved in and hit a peak the last few weeks because of all the nice weather. So, we finally broke down and took advantage of the fact that Costco had a kayak at a relatively reasonable price and took the plunge.

After being disappointed yesterday because it was cold and windy, today turned out to be the perfect day for a spin. So, we saddled her up on the wagon and headed over to the launch point which is about a 3 min walk down the road.

Noah was so excited to get out there although he was a bit pissed we wouldn’t let him paddle. We still have to get a smaller paddle (that floats) for him to use. The ones that were included are just too big for him.

It was so nice. Quiet, beautiful, and relaxing. I can see this becoming something we do in the evenings for sunset.

Apr 032014
 

I set up a little studio in the corner of our basement and just had to try it out with the kids. It started as a shoot with just Lia but then Noah dropped in and brought along props. He insisted we try them on and that I take pictures of the two of them.

Lia looks like a goof but I love it…

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Apr 012014
 

I’m starting to feel bad about these monthly update – or lack there of. I was looking back at Noah’s and I was pretty consistent until two so I figure I have to make up for with Lia:)

20 Months huh? That spot half way between 1.5 and 2 where they’re more little kid than baby but you (I) refuse to let go of the baby part. The place where we start thinking about potty training and bracing for the terrible twos.

Lia’s a funny but fierce little girl. She goes from sweet as pie to mad as a hornet in about .2 seconds if she’s not getting what she wants. Her language skill have yet to arrive so I’m sure that’s extra frustrating. She makes the best faces when she’s mad though..it’s really hard not to laugh. She’s ended up in time out a bunch lately and she’s totally compliant which is a change…Noah was not one for timeouts – they’d go on forever because he’d never actually stay in them.

As for words – Mamma, Dadda, Bubba, Noah, Macie, eeah (pointing to herself), NO!, ball, boat, jacket, head, nose, apple, milk, bye bye are the most clear. The rest you can figure out usually. She just started making animal sounds when you ask her what says what. She like the lion (roar…) and the sheep (baaa) the best.

She’s a kisser – she loves to kiss (usually). She’ll walk over to any one of us and plant a kiss on the closest thing to her. Sometimes it’s your leg, sometimes your foot. Generally your hip or if you’re holding her it might actually make it to your cheek. Regardless, it’s so adorable. She’s definitely a lover and a snuggler.

She’s a talker too…oh my goodness. Like I mentioned before, she has few words but that does’t stop her from having a full on conversation with you in gibberish. Inflection and all….she gets it right and even appears to as you a question (and point). She must figure that we talk to each other like that so if she does it then we’ll totally understand her. Haha…

I’m still rocking her to sleep which I know I should break but I just love the night time snuggles with her and since she’s our last I’m soaking it in and figure we’ll deal with it when she gets to a big girl bed (which could be soon…we move Noah to a big bed around 23 months…).

She’s decided to potty train herself which I’ll expand on in another post (because you know you want to know all about her potty habits right??!) and we’re just going with it even though she’s a little early. I credit it to the older kids at daycare and her older brother.

I’m still in denial that I’ll have a 2 year old and 4 year old by the end of the summer. I miss the baby stage a little bit but I’m loving this stage so much more. We’re getting to a point with both of them that we can start doing the fun “educational” trips and family events and see that they really understand what’s happening and have fun with it (whereas before it was more for DH and I:) ).

And…per tradition:)
Weight:27lb
Length:up to my hip? best I could do given she moves so much
Head:big…haha. I don’t think it’s changed much actually.
Sleep: She still has not yet mastered putting herself to sleep. She’ll sleep through the night just fine (with the occasional cluster of Night Terrors which are horrible) but when it actually comes to falling asleep she’s a mess unless it’s on your chest (with three blankets, a sippy, and a book).
Eating:anything and everything still
Milestones: Has a full conversation of gibberish with you. Has decided to start potty training herself…

And I promise I have more pictures but man…I sit down to work on them and I pass out. Perhaps I need to move to an actual desk when I’m editing vs the couch.

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Mar 312014
 

(i have her 20 month post ready – just need to finish the pictures from the other day…maybe tomorrow)…

Lia’s independence streak is starting to show. I don’t remember it this early with Noah but alas…she wants to do everything herself. I first noticed it with feeding (she will not let you feed her…period. She has to do it herself). And just recently I found her like this:

Pantless for a good part of the day because she couldn’t figure it out nor would she let us help in any way. Not even to turn the pants around to help her put them on the right direction.

I found her in her crib this AM with both legs in one pant leg (and mad as a hornet about it..). I also find her putting her socks on which she’s actually quite good at (although she’s better at taking them off.)

She can do her jacket, hat, and shirt (if you pull it over her head first). She also likes to brush her teeth on her own (and just recently – potty on her own – more on that later).

Anyways, I can see we’re going to have our hands full with her (perhaps not literally..if she’s so independent and all…)

Mar 262014
 

Lia’s hit a point where she’s “talking” and uses inflection and tone pretty well but it’s a slew of jibberish. Then she looks at you like you’re the crazy one.

Mar 252014
 

I seem to do this to myself every year…sign up for a race of some sort in order to motivate my butt to move it! move it! I signed up and missed the Richmond Half in Nov so when my co-worker floated Rock and Roll DC in March I was hesitant to commit. But a little peer pressure by the others that signed up was enough to push me over the line.

I promised myself that I’d train for this one which is silly because it was winter and of course this winter had to be one of the worst on record for the DC area. However, I did actually manage to put in some miles before the weekend, even if it was mostly on a treadmill.

I didn’t follow any specific training plan but did figure that I needed to get to at least 10 mile the weekend before the race (if not better) and only wanted to increase my long runs by a mile each week. So working back I put a loose schedule together. Running 2 times during the week for 2 and 3 miles initially and then 4 and 5 miles in the latter parts set me up well for my long runs on the weekends.

Two weekends prior to the race I hit my longest distance of 11 miles. Then the weather and horrible leg cramps hit which meant I pretty much took the entire week before the race off. I tried a long run the weekend prior but only made it 4 miles. Mid week I tried another 5k and only managed to squeak out 2 miles. I was terrified that I wasn’t going to make the 13 miles. So I sent my husband out for Epsom salts and bathed in them every night for the week and did a bunch of extra stretching (which I’m terrible at remembering normally). Thankfully it seemed to work.

This was the first race that I would be running without DH which is different for me. I’m used to him being there to not only carry the fuel but to keep me company and push when I’m feeling terrible. He’s a great motivator and he’s perfectly happy running my slack pace. However, it turns out one of my co-workers was in the same start corral as I was. We’d agreed to run together as much as we could but wouldn’t let the other one hold them back if they felt like they needed to go. It worked our really well. She pushed me through the first 4 miles at a much faster pace than I would have pushed myself and I carried her through the tough parts and the hills. Ultimately we separated at 10 miles because her knee was done but I attribute much of my time to her pushing at the start.

That left me by myself for 3 miles which was good because my pace announcement told me I was still sub 2 hours and a quick calculation in my head told me that I could still run this sub 2:30 which was my ultimate goal but I’d have to run fast – like negative split fast. I figure, it was 3 miles, I could hurt for 3 miles so I kicked it into gear and despite a quick stop in the finish corral to say hi to my family (who surprised me and came to watch) I made it in under 2:30. 2:19 to be exact!

Now, I’ve been sitting here thinking I beat my PR by a long shot only to find out (by looking back at my Garmin data) that I beat my last half time by a long shot (the one I didn’t train for) but did not beat my PR:( Boo, guess I have something to work towards for the next one.

3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19

The biggest difference with this one was that my recovery was much less and I felt strong through the finish vs all the others where I barely made it across the line.

The only picture I have of the day that I don’t have to pay $24 for (although I may…some are pretty hilarious because I was sure to mug for the camera when I saw them)running_girls

Mar 182014
 

I went to put Noah to bed one evening and found the dog in his bed already. We managed to lay down on either side of her and make our way through his stories – just the three of us. Then once we were done I figured the dog would leave when I did but Noah cuddled into her and she just hung around. Before I knew it, they were both snoring loudly and looked comfy. I snapped a few cell phone pics because it was cute. Then I went off to take a shower and kicked myself for not pulling out my big girl camera. As luck would have it, they were in the same spot when I returned and was able to snap off a bunch of pictures of them.

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Mar 172014
 

I found out a few weeks ago that the big dino exhibit at the Natural History Museum was going away for a while so they an update it, clean the bones and do some analysis. They say it will be closed for 5 years?! Which means Noah will be almost 9 and Lia almost 7…so I knew we had to make one last trip down before this happened.

Our first stop was the museum but things didn’t go they way I thought they would (therefore I don’t have many pictures of us in there). Noah’s to an age where life sized things are really real to him and therefore he’s pretty darn scared of them. The T-rex dino that he loves in his books was just too much for him in person and he ended up running through the exhibit as fast as he could not really stopping to look at anything.

Same happened in the Mammals room where I think we scared the living daylights out of him at the bat display. He was looking at the fruit bats and I was trying to shield him from the bat with the mouse in its claws when he looked over his shoulder to see one of the large black bats (which is about the size of a small squirrel) staring back at him with its yellow eyes. He screamed (an honest terror scream) and started to cry. He buried his head in my shoulder and refused to come out until we were far far away from the bats. I was trying really hard to stifle a giggle because his reaction was priceless but I didn’t want to downplay his fear. He was really terrified and talked about it the rest of the afternoon (how he hated the bats..).

Anyways, we made quick rounds of the museum because of this fear (DH walked Lia through everything while I took the shortcuts with Noah) and it left us some time before DH wanted to head home. It was nice enough outside so we decided to walk the 10 blocks down the Mall to the Capitol building. We’d never actually been down that far so it was a fun thing to do. DH wanted so badly to stand on the steps but they were blocked off. We were able to get to the lower plaza and take some pictures.

Finally the cold started making it’s way back in and we had a 20 block walk back to the car. It was waaaay past nap time and Lia had had it. So, DH left me with her on a park bench and ran with Noah back to the car. I totally win mom of the year because she had no hat nor gloves (DH had them both) and I was keeping her occupied and still using goldfish crackers. That is..until that wasn’t enough and she started to wail. I caught a few sympathetic stares as well as a few judgmental ones (likely because of her lack of hat – I did put her hood up but she wouldn’t leave it). Regardless, it was a nice day with an eventful ending but we have all the great memories from it.

Mar 132014
 

We had a break in the super cold weather right around Noah’s birthday so we took advantage and went for a walk around our neighborhood.

Noah wanted to try out his new fishing pole so we walked down to the lake so that he and Daddy could find a spot in the ice to cast into. Mean while, Lia and my dad hung out on the chairs and watched.

Mar 122014
 

I’m never good a taking pictures for these things but I made an effort this time. However, all the pics I took of myself in the clothes did not turn out (1. i look fat 2. they were all out of focus) so you’re stuck with just pics of them on the floor.

This is my 5th fix. My last one I kept everything so I was excited to see how things one would shape up. Turns out that the same stylist picked me up this time and again did a great job. I didn’t keep everything but I did keep a chunk.

First things first – Edie was my stylist again which was exciting because she knew what she sent last time and found pieces that would work with my previous fix. I love the style cards they include and actually have been keeping them on a shelf in my closet for when I need inspiration.

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The first piece was this pretty paisley keyhole top. I loved it. The fit was nice and flowy and went well with both jeans and my work slacks. It goes well with the blue cardi from my last fix so that’s a bonus.

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STATUS: Keep!

Next up was a dress that I loved when I pulled it out. I was so excited to try it on. Unfortunately, it was too small!:( My rib cage was just too big and I couldn’t zip it up all the way. It was too bad because I really loved the pattern on the top front.

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STATUS: Send Back:(

This shirt was nice and light which will be great for summer. The fit was nice and had some good movement to it. Plus since the colors are so neutral I can try a few different bottoms with it.

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STATUS: Keep!

This red stripped number I loved as well. There’s a small faux leather detail on the pockets and it’s this great stretchy knit that could be casual but also dressed up. I actually plan on wearing it tomorrow!!

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STATUS: Keep!

The last piece was this awesome collar necklace. I loved it on but really didn’t have anything to match it in my closet so I ended up sending it back. I just couldn’t justify the budget for something I don’t have a thing for. I think I may regret it later but we’ll see. Perhaps I just sent it back to make myself feel better for not keeping the entire fix.

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STATUS: Send back

So, I ended up with three more shirts from this fix which is funny since 3 of my top 5 favorite tops came from Stitch Fix. I foresee the rest of that top 5 being rounded out by this fix.

Now, having been through 5 of these I’ve found the following three tricks to yield better boxes:

1. Make sure you have a full style profile (and keep it up to date)
2. Provide them with a Pinterest board with your style likes on it.
3. Provide them timely and detailed feedback on past fixes so that they start to learn what you like and don’t like.

Lastly, I was not compensated by Stitch Fix for this write up. It’s just fun to share with everyone. That said, I have included my referral link below if you want to sign up which does give me a credit when you sign up and receive your first fix:)

Mar 072014
 

So, what started out as a low key, just a few friends over party morphed (like it always does) into just shy of 30 people…with just as many kids as there were adults. If it weren’t for my mom and dad being there to help we would have never gotten it all set up in time. But…we did and Noah and his friends had a blast. I’m really enjoying entertaining in the new house!

We did a sports themed party this year. Noah waffled between another construction party and a sports party. He really only had two requests for his part – a piñata and cake. I showed him the baseball piñata and we were set. Sports it was…

I did a quick Pinterest scan for ideas and decided on food that you’d find at a sports game – mostly baseball. We had hotdogs with all the toppings, nachos, soft pretzels, popcorn and “walking tacos” (taco meat and toppings dropped into a bag of Doritos or Fritos). I added a few “off theme” things like “fruit bats” (kabobs) with dip, home made mac n cheese, potato salad and of course cake and cookies. We had waaaaay too much food but honestly, I’d rather have too much than not enough.

My mom was awesome in coming up with sporty names for each of the items – like World Series Potato Salad or Ball Park Hot Dogs and making little name plates to put in front of everything (I found paper at JoAnn that looked like basketball leather!).

The cookies were a simple sugar cooke with royal icing on top then I used a food marker to draw the designs for soccer, volley, basket and baseballs. I found clear plastic bags at JoAnn and closed them with a cool baseball sticker. I also used peach, orange and pear fruit cups and drew baseballs and basketballs on to of them as favors for the kids.

I had planned a few games but honestly the kids were too busy playing with all of the toys to really care. We had the piñata and that was enough I think.

The best part of the day I think was the cake time. I ordered a plain cake again like I did last year an this time I ground up graham crackers and crafted a volleyball net and then drew on a ping pong ball to make it look like a volleyball. Noah’s obsessed with sand volleyball and wants to play “like daddy” so I thought this would be a great cake for him.

DH and I were trying to figure out what I can grind up next year for his cake to continue the tradition (2nd bday was cookies for dirt on his dino cupcakes, last year was oreos for dirt for his construction cake, this year was graham crackers for sand…next year we’ll have to get creative)…

Anywho….I think everyone in the house was asleep by 8:30 that night but it was oh so much fun and I loved watching his face as we were singing to him and then later as he opened his presets and thanked all his buddies for coming.

Next year however, we’re totally outsourcing it…haha.

Mar 062014
 

(as it goes in fits and spurts, I manage to find one night a month to catch up on things so here goes a glut of picture heavy post for posterity…)

We had a bunch of snow the last few days and Noah’s just at that age where he’ll spend hours outside shoveling, building forts and sledding. This time DH took him over to the big hill in our neighborhood (the back half of the dam) and had some fun. On their way back, he leashed up the dog to the sled and wanted to see if she could do it.

Macie slept well that night!!

Feb 232014
 

4 years ago around this time I was waiting through those last 2 centimeters loving my epidural man….today I’m listening to a quiet house while DH takes Noah swimming and Lia catches up on her sleep. We had a blast yesterday at Noah’s party (post forthcoming) and I’m in awe of the fact that I have a 4 year old on my hands.

Life with Noah these days is a mixture of awe, hilarity and frustration. Watching how self sufficient and independent he’s become fills me with awe. What’s even more amazing is he’s actually able to successfully accomplish what he insists on doing (dressing, bathing, setting the table, emptying the trash etc). I just can’t get over it. I can ask him now to help Lia with small things and it actually works!

The hilarity comes in when he repeats something that we’ve said and uses it correct context. “That was super mommy” or “That might be a possibility daddy”. Or better yet, lays out one of the stories from his head that go into such crazy and disconnected details that you can’t do anything but nod along chuckling to yourself. It’s a mish mosh of crazy from his head and other stories we’ve told him in the past. I love it.

Frustration happens at least 5 times a day, every day. Most of the time from him because he can’t do things or we won’t let him do things but many times it comes from us because he’s the king at pushing his limits. I’ve caught him out of the corner of my eye pushing his little sister (and then denying it when we confront him) or touching that thing that I asked him repeatedly not to touch just to see if he can get away with it. The “No Monster” still rears his ugly head some days but retreats back to his cave with a quick application of redirection. Get him talking about fires, firemen, rescues, tools, or ninja turtles and he’s all better. Typical 3 verging on 4 year old type of stuff.

Like a typical 3/4 year old he’s a walking contradiction. He’s strong headed and strong willed yet at the same time sensitive to being told “no” or being yelled at (actually, we don’t yell – just reprimanding him, even in a calm tone, upsets him to the point where he retreats to a quite spot to pout). He’s not a fan of loud noises or puppets (?!) and will find a place to bury his head however, he’s the first to forget about his indoor voice and start shouting while he’s playing. He loves sweets and candy but will tell you that he doesn’t want them (sometimes) because they won’t make him big and strong.

I know I say it every birthday but he’s turning into such a little man and every year I say that this age is better than the last and that this may be my “favorite”. It’s true though. I’ve loved every stage (even the whiny one from 1-3..haha) and looks like this one is going to be so much fun – I can’t wait!

Here’s my little man from birth on up….how they change!!

Hello World - 24 hours old

Hello World – 24 hours old

Mmm..cake - 1 year old

Mmm..cake – 1 year old

Dinosaurs? 2 years old

Dinosaurs? 2 years old

Take my picture - 3 years old...

Take my picture – 3 years old…

4 Years old!!!

4 Years old!!!

(for the record)
Height: 42 lbs
Weight: we’ll find out wed at his dr’s appt
Sizes: 4T/4 and some 5 pants – 4T/4/xs shirts

Feb 042014
 

Another from the archive:) That’s how backed up we’ve been around here…

Halloween at their new school was so much fun. I took the afternoon off to go help with the parade and hang out for the party. Lia was some version of Tinkerbell with an obnoxiously large tutu that was so freakin adorable (everyone agreed) and Noah was his version of Bob the Builder. We wrote “Rt. 50 construction worker” on his name tag which made people that noticed howl (rt. 50 is a stretch of road around us that has been, and will be, under construction for a while and causes a massive headache for commuters)

Feb 022014
 

Digging back into the archives for this one. I realized I never actually ever posted about this trip. DH grew up just down the road from this place and had fond memories going as a child and we’d always wanted to go with our kids. Soergels Orchards are located in Wexford, Pa and feature a fall festival complete with pumpkin patches, hay rides, and a wide array of attractions for the kids.

We had a blast riding the tractor up the hill to the pumpkin patch (it was actually pretty crazy and steep) and then walked back down. We bought a book of tickets which was enough to keep Noah occupied for a few hours. Lia even seemed to have a blast. What we didn’t prepare for was how cold it was. It was much chillier than we’d anticipated so we were lacking the basic things like hats and gloves which then limited our time outside.

None the less, the kids had a blast and slept the entire way home and we made some beautiful new memories.

Jan 312014
 

18 months huh? She’s moving on up in the daycare world to the next room and growing by leaps and bounds. I love seeing her little personality emerge. She’s silly and oh so smiley but has a fierce temper when she’s frustrated or doesn’t get her way. She’s got a streak of the dramatic too when things are not right (gracefully splaying herself prone on the floor when you leave the room…crocodile tears and all).

She likes to do girly things like shop. I find her, purse strung over her arm, pushing her shopping cart up and down the halls. It’s full of things she found around the house like her sippy, other cups/bowls, play food, clothes…whatever she can find. Usually one of her babies is in the front seat. It’s all so hilarious.

We never push gender roles here and I think she would have been perfectly happy with all of Noah’s boyish toys but man, as soon as we got a few baby dolls, play kitchen and a shopping cart up in this place, her inner girl came bursting out and we found her naturally gravitating to those items. I find it fascinating.

Weight:24.7 lbs
Length:32.75 inches
Head: I don’t know but she’s still like 95% (19ish inches)
Sleep: Better! We get a few nights here and there where she’s up to party from about 2 – 4 but those are stretching out thankfully.
Eating: Everything in sight! No problems with being picky or no appetite (now that I say that I’m jinxing myself for sure). We’ve just recently started to give her a fork and a spoon to feed herself. I don’t know why we waited so long other than we just didn’t think to do it earlier.
Sizes: Carters 18′s, 18-24 mos and few 2T things. She’s tall with long legs so I have to use the 2T pants sometimes for them to be long enough.
Milestones: Words are slowly coming. She’s a chatter box but much of it’s babble. She’ll try to repeat what you’re saying so we’re making progress. DH said if you just listen to her you can tell what she’s saying…most of the time that’s true. Otherwise she’s block stacking, climbing, running, and has figured out how to get the printer to give her paper to color on. For the most part, when Noah does something or goes somewhere she has to go too. I started to dress him for the snow the other day and she drops her snow pants and jacket on my lap and waits for me to dress her as well.

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Jan 292014
 

We’ve had quite the cold snap lately. After the first snow Noah was anxious to get out and play – even though we only had about an inch. It was pretty darn cold so he only lasted a few min before charging inside asking for hot chocolate. Now it’s a bit of a thing…he goes out and plays for a bit then comes in for some hot coco….I love it!!

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Jan 272014
 

There were alot of things I was excited about with getting into the new house. Not living out of boxes being the biggest I think. However, I was also anxious to get my crafting supplies back so that I can craft again. I was itching so bad that at Thanksgiving I snuck down to my inlaw basement where my supplies were living and pulled out my crochet hooks and some yarn to start a new project. I figured crochet is pretty contained – a skien of yarn and a hook. Can’t get much simpler than that.

To this point I’ve really only done one hat, a scarf, and about 6 inches of a blanket (I didn’t buy enough yarn!) so I consider myself a very novice crocheter. I thought a granny square quilt would be a good way to hone my skills and working on being consistent with my stitches and what not. I’m having so much fun but wow, this is going to take a long time to get done:) I can average a square a night and figure I need at least 30 squares for a child sized blanket and more for an adult sized blanket (42 maybe? 6 squares wide and 7 tall..). To date I have 20 squares done so we’ll see how that goes. Honestly, I’m going until I run out of yarn (and i have lots of yarn:))

I found the pattern thru Hopscotch Lane but it was originally written up on Annie’s Place

Really easy to follow and after a while kind of mindless which is nice.

granny

I have two more projects on the horizon that I want to get to but refuse to let myself start them until I finish this one so I have motivation to keep going. Again, we’ll see how that goes.

Any one doing an interesting crochet project?

Jan 252014
 

HE…LL….is more like it. I’m still adjusting to our new washer when it comes to our cloth diapers. When we got the new house we purchased a beautiful new HE washer and dryer. I felt so grown up with this fancy schmancy top loading washer that sings to me at the end of the cycle. Then I did diaper laundry in it… I knew going into it we’d have to adjust but I was not prepared for how much (and I’m still not adjusted). To make matters more complicated it’s agitator-less too. Great for those monster sized loads of laundry, not so great for diapers that need the friction to dislodge the ground in dirt.

First load I did using a similar pattern to my previous life and even after a full wash and two rinses they still smelled like poo….boo! So I shifted to a longer rinse cycle, longest hottest wash cycle, and two more long rinse cycles. There was a marginal improvement. Then I tried doing a rinse, then a hot wash where I added a pre-soak but the presoak was in cold water. So I dumped 5 buckets of scalding hot water into the machine. Finally I’m starting to make headway…so…we stand today at:

1 super long cold rinse (longest I can get it)
1 super hot wash with presoak where I dump in buckets of hot water
2 super long rinses

total time for this effort if I stay on top of it..?? 8 hours give or take some change. And sometimes, if they’re especially dirty I have to toss a second wash and soak in there to get the smell out. So..10 hours…

This is the point where I’m really glad I have enough diapers to last us three or 4 days between washings because between work and life it takes me about 2 days to finish a load.

I know we’re still adjusting but I’m holding strong with the cloth. She’s 18 months now and if she’s like her brother, we’ll start potty training her in about 6 months…so really we don’t have that much longer in diapers. *Crossing my fingers*

Anybody else have significant issues when they switched to a high efficiency washer?

Jan 232014
 

I stumbled across these pics while off loading the latest and realized I never posted them. We ended up with a beautiful few weekends in September and decided to take advantage of the wineries that are close to our new place.

Cana Winery is about 20 min from the new house and welcome picnics and families on their lawn. On the weekends in the summer and fall they have live music so you can enjoy your wine and snacks while the kids play and you relax to music. Pretty stellar afternoon if you ask me.

Jan 092014
 

Lia had three Christmas dresses this year so I had to make sure we documented them, plus I wanted a set of pictures in our new house and neighborhood so one afternoon we dressed the kids up for some photos. I wanted to go outside but it was soooo cold so we stayed inside on our staircase.

Jan 072014
 

I’m finally getting back thru the pictures that I took in the last half of 2013, I figure now is as good a time as any to post them…

These are the family pics we took for our Christmas card. Our house wasn’t done yet so I borrowed my in law’s porch for these.

Jan 052014
 

Today I was in charge of both kiddos while DH was out in the garage building shelves (new house and we still somehow have a project list a mile long…) and at one point I lost track of Lia. Next thing I hear is her little feet padding back and forth in the kitchen and then her giggling. I walk over to find her emptying a tissue box one by one and putting them in the trash can. I managed to catch her on her last pass (last tissue)

I did wash her hands after that I promise:)

Dec 312013
 

I’d intended to share this as things progressed but life got in the way. While exciting to us, it’s not a custom build so there’s not a ton to write about. We had probably 10 major decisions to make and then just watch it take shape.

1. Pick a location and lot – We went back and forth and back and forth about building vs. buying and when it came down to it we just didn’t find anything we wanted to buy so we were going to hold out and just rent but kept looking at new builds just in case. Then this neighborhood came along. Initially when we looked they only had small lots and we were set on 1/2 acre or more so we kept looking but right before July 4 they opened up some larger lots and that was it. We only had 4 to pick from and ended up going with the one with no premium with a nice flat back yard. We’ll have a few different backyard neighbors but we’re okay with that. Half an acre on mostly flat land…with room for a volleyball net (which was part of the picking criteria funny enough) – perfection in our eyes.
2. Pick a Model – at the time, the builder offered 5 models. When we looked at the neighborhood initially and priced things out with the smaller lots, we’d settled on the Jefferson Square. It had the right features and was at the right price. When the larger lots opened up the base price went up but we still loved the Jefferson Square. It really was a no brainer for us…there were only two models we liked and could afford and the Jefferson was one.
3. Pick an elevation – even within the models, they had different frontal configurations (or elevations in builder speak). Some were all brick, some were all siding, they even had a cottage-ish feeling one that was pretty. In the end we liked the mix of stone and siding which was actually less expensive than the all brick so it made it even more affordable.
4. Pick Architectural options for that model (bigger bathroom, 3rd car garage, sun room) – this is where it got a little fun. The models came with a base configuration and we could add architectural options. We opted for a sun room off the kitchen which also gave us a bigger bathroom off the master. We also added the third car garage (we can’t have sheds in the neighborhood so the third bay will be our “shed”). A few windows in the basement and that was pretty much it. We didn’t go crazy. The base model was so much larger than our last house that we didn’t want to add more than we really needed. I didn’t want to have to clean all that extra space:).
4. Pick siding/stone/exterior colors – this was actually one of the harder decisions. You see a 4in x 4in square of siding and a 2ft by 2ft square of stone and are expected to envision that on a full house. I’m pretty good at imagining but this was tough. We changed our mind twice and spent hours touring other neighborhoods by our builder in order to try to get an idea of what we were looking at. I don’t think my husbands nerve’s rested until he actually saw it up on the side of the house done. That said, we’re really happy with our choices.
5. Pick insides (granite, cabinets, floors) – Granite and cabinets were pretty easy to pick. Floors however took us a long while..and may trips to the store to try to find bigger swatches of the flooring to compare to. Again, you’re working with like a 2ft by 2ft square of flooring and have to imagine that throughout your house. I was pretty set on what I wanted…DH on the other hand struggled. In the end he’s very happy with our choices but it was not without some stress.
6. Electrical/Audio viz options – The house has a base elec package that matches code with the area. Then you can add lights, fans, pre-wires, alarms, surround sound etc. We tried not to get crazy with this but hubs loves his audio stuff. So, we ended up with a surround pre-wire (since he didn’t like their speakers) that took us over an hour to decide where to place the pre-wires. I’m still not positive they’re in the right spots but it’s not the end of the world to have to change it at this point. Just a PIA. We also opted for the alarm system on the house for extra piece of mind. Plus it has door chimes to let us know when the kids open doors – so important to me as they get older.

Ultimately, I’m really glad we only had a few options to pick from (for the most part). There are a few things I really wish we would have had a choice on (like the sink…it’s a 50/50 split undermount and I would have preferred an 80/20…) but for us, who are so indecisive when it comes to stuff like this, the limit was welcome and necessary. Since this is our long term house, anything we don’t like, can be changed in the future (like hardwood in the hall way upstairs, upgraded carpet once the standard stuff wears out).

Over all, it was a great experience. The builder (Ryan Homes) did a great job of responding to our wants and needs when they could. The nature of these types of builders and the speed in which the homes goes up means that we don’t have a ton of flexibility even in places where it seems like it wouldn’t be a big deal but they definitely did what they could. Also,DH was very attentive and was at the house almost daily once the walls were up which allowed us to catch a few things before it was too late (or to ask for small alterations while it was still easy to do them – like raising the shower head). I would say that they were able to accommodate 90% of what we asked for. All in all the house is beautiful and we couldn’t be happier with it.

Dec 302013
 

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a full update on Noah and I don’t even know where to begin. He’s just a little boy now. It’s crazy. He’s independent, sensitive, stubborn, and so damn smart. He retains so much knowledge

- 39lbs, 42in (I think – he’s tall!), wearing 4T/5T for the most part, size 10 shoe.
- 3′s room at daycare with his own “share” day and he LOVES it! Wednesday is a very important day in our house.
- Loves playing outside and riding his bike (sans training wheels). He tells us when he sees people without helmets that it’s dangerous.
- Very excited for our new house and yard (and basement for his trains). He was constantly packing up things prior to the move to make sure they were included.
- Loves Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder and most recently monster trucks and he can find them on the tablet (and computer when we let him have access).
- He can use a computer and mouse as well as we do!
- He needs his milk and carrots before bed (it’s a stall tactic but who am I to deny milk and carrots)
- He’s in bed between 8 and 10pm depending on his nap during the day – he’s still having a few accidents at night but generally because he’s sleeping so deeply he just doesn’t notice.
- I always listen out for “noahisms” but frankly he make so much sense when he talks that I can’t remember the last nonsense phrase he uttered. He says things like “take care of yourself mommy” as I walk out the door. Or in response to me pouting because he called me a bad mommy, he turns around and says, “I’m sorry, you’re a good mommy”. Or “your beautiful mommy” (which of course melts my heart).
- He always wants to help with Lia. He tells me that he’ll get her and take care of her.
- He loves to pack his backpack with supplied (paper plates, plastic table ware, and usually Lia toys) for our trips around the neighborhood. He packs snacks and food too for the two of them. He likes to be prepared.
- His tantrums have taken on a new level of intensity which is just payback for what I did to my parents as a child I’m sure. Screaming till he’s blue and crying till he’s purple is par for the course. Thankfully they don’t happen that often but when they do…EPIC!
- I’ve been working with him on making up stories and using his imagination. On the long car ride home I’ll start a story and try to get him to add to it. We’ll go back and forth and make up something totally non sense…then he asks me to repeat it.
- Lately he’s been a bit OCD about cleaning things. He’ll look at a room and tell us that we’ve made a mess and that we need to clean things up. Totally fine *most* of the time.

I’m sure I’m missing things but…I just can’t get over the fact that he’s mine. I love just sitting back and watching him talk or interact with other people. I don’t know when it happened but at some point he became a little man capable of holding fully coherent conversations on subjects that feel beyond the realm of an almost 4 year old. Sometimes I forget that he’s not yet 4 because of how articulate he is (then he throws an epic tantrum and I’m brutally brought back to reality).

Every time I think we’re at the best age, he grows a little more and I love the new age more than the last.

(I promise pictures soon…the move is over, the holidays are almost over, and I may actually have time to go through the hundreds of pictures I have accumulated lately).

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