Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye '09

Looking back at a decade, it's been quite a ride.

I remember distinctly the night before this decade began.

I was 22 years old. Thin. Single. And out to party. PARTY! I also had a horrible cold and didn't consider how my tylenol cold tablet would mesh with champagne. I should have. It was a fun night overall, but let's just say I'm glad someone else drove us home.

Then that February, I met J. Graduated in May. Married J the next June. Of 2001.
2002 - Settled into and fixed up our first house. Got a dog.
2003 - Had a baby. Named her B.
2004 - Started grad school. Decided to become a teacher.
2005 - Got a job in Omaha on a provisional teaching certificate. Moved to O-Town. Found out I was   pregnant with #2, not planned but totally wonderful news.
2006 - Had the little man in April. Started my second teaching job at a different school. Graduated with my Masters in Special Education.
2007 - A horrible, horrible year that I may never speak of again.
2008 - My B started kindergarten! We all had a much better year.
2009 - Finally feel like a grown up. Or more like a grown up.

Still haven't figured out how to lose these last 25 lbs.
Still haven't figured out how to be everything to everyone.
Despite my best efforts.

What I have learned?
*How to pray.
*How to love.
*How to breathe, really breathe.
*How to stay calm, even when I don't feel calm.

Two thousand ten holds much promise, of that I am sure.

Happy New Year!

*This is my favorite time of year to read blogs. Can't wait to read everyone's reflections and resolutions. I may post mine tomorrow.*


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Merry

Our second big snowstorm of the year came just in time for Christmas Day. We were fortunate to be done with extended family celebrations by lunch time on Christmas Eve, so didn't have to stress over ruined plans. We've been snowed in for three days and that's just fine.

B enjoyed her new wizard book and decoder glasses. Note the ginormous drift in the window behind her.
Finally yesterday we were able to go outside and play. As long as he crawled on them, the drifts didn't swallow up our little guy. It felt great to get out!
Pretending to shovel! The piles are taller than her.

Come evening, it was a pile of homemade noodles to make some chicken soup.

Top it off with a glass of wine for me and it was a fine day.  Cabin fever or no, I'm so grateful for my family. For the time we've spent together. For an excuse to slow down a little. To relax. We are all rested up, just in time for new year. I love Christmas break.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Else Do You Do With a Snow Day?

First of all, you don't get dressed on snow days. Jammies only at our house!

We finally got out some window paints that B got for her birthday in July! Thanks Aunt Jami.

I painted the circles while the kids had a rest in the afternoon. I had them come down when the paints were dry and decorate them.

Later the kids got to go outside for about 10 minutes and were excited to stand behind their snowmen.
It was a fun little project for our third day spent snowed in!

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Thursday, December 10, 2009


He has said "Peace out suckers!" at least a thousand times. Only you don't say the /r/ sound and you must hold up two fingers. It is funny every time. And highly inappropriate.

Then he says, "Is 'what the heck' a bad word?". I say yes, because I guess it mostly is. And he says, "Eli said 'what the heck' a hundred times at school". Which is also funny, especially since we haven't been to school since Monday. What made him think of such a random thing now?

He wants to HOLD the gum. Being in charge of the gum makes him very, very happy. I find myself giving into him at least once an hour because I don't like doing things that make him sad. He is my baby after all, and won't be this little for much longer. I'm sure to have a very entitled-minded little man on my hands if I don't get that under control! But he's my BABY!

She does the best walk like an egyptian dance, only she doesn't know that's what she's doing. She's currently singing Frosty the Underwear. And he's laughing so hard he's falling over.

So I'm just amused.
I cannot imagine my life or this house or anything else without them.

Now they need some help with their snow pants. So I'm off.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What do you do with a snow day?

We (and by we, I mean they...I took pictures from inside!) were bundled up for our five minutes in the snow before 8 a.m.

Then it was time for geotrax in the hall. Why play with it in the bedroom when you can take over the entire upstairs hallway? I believe his goal was to make the BIGGEST TRAIN TRACK EVER! And the LONGEST TRAIN EVER! B and I helped him and it is pretty darn big. If we had more track we could keep going and going.

Then it's on to the nativity set. Sets. Of course we've added a few animals. Marty the zebra. And a Transformer. I think that's also a Littlest Pet Shop kitten there in the back. It's all good, our nativity sets are very inclusive.

What I'm most grateful for is a day at home. A little extra time to clean up from recent busyness. Time to spend with the kids. Time to listen to Christmas music and do laundry and maybe later, watch a Christmas movie. Looks like we'll probably spend tomorrow at home too because of all of the snow and cold, so I'm also very grateful for our warm home.
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Dropped the Sugar Canister

Sugar in the grout. Sugar in the silverware drawer. Sugar in the little crevice between the stove and the cupboards.
It was certainly a new way to kick off Christmas baking. I may have said a tiny swear word, but I believe it was warranted.
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Across the Aisle

Seems like I've been writing a lot about my little man lately.
He's just in such a fun phase right now, at the ripe old age of three and a half.

For both of my kids, three has been a tough age at first.
The bigger body + bigger tantrums = bigger back and headaches for mama.

Then there is this magical shift, half way through that year, when the child realizes life is not a fight and that cute gets you what you want. So now he's all about smiling his coy smile and trying to win us over with his brilliant logic. For Example: Yes! Yes we do eat candy for breakfast! And no, no I didn't eat another candy cane off the tree (says a minty-breathed little man).

He's making comparisons and drawing conclusions. Lately I've discovered that he can even recognize numbers up to 10 (his preschool teacher deserves a medal) and some letters too. It's not that I'm bragging, it's just that I'm suddenly amazed at the leaps he's taking. I've been trying really hard to tune in and savor this moment in time.

This morning I bought him some jammies while I was out because when he got out of bed earlier I laughed at how short the pants and shirt on his current ones are on his growing arms and legs. They are a size 3T and he is three. Why are they so small?!

So I had to go across the aisle at the store. Into the bigger boys' clothes.
No more toddler section for my kids.

My heart aches a little, gazing across at the teeny tiny clothes. I take a deep breath and realize we are entering a new phase of life. He's already got on his new jammies. The ones with "Lego bad guys" as he calls them. The size 4 fitting perfectly.

No more toddler sized clothes for him. And he's not even a little sad about it.
I won't let on that maybe I am. Just a little.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

The best conversations are those just before they fall asleep. In the dark, we whisper sweet nothings. Things every child should hear. I'll always love you. I'm so glad you're my child. I'm so happy to be your mama.

Tonight I said - Hey Buddy, I've got a secret for you. When I pray, I thank God for sending you to me.

I could feel his smile, even if I couldn't see it.

So he leans in and says - Hey mama, I've got a secret for you. No, in your ear.

Is there anything better than the sound of a three-year old whispering?

Ok...mama...I'm gonna get you a present. It's gonna be a toy. A vacuum. And it's gonna go VROOM! And it's gonna be red...or purple. And I'm gonna get you another present and it's gonna by a real toy car! VROOM!!!

If he only knew what a gift he is to me.
Oh, My heart.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Catherine Newman happens to be the first blogger I ever followed, in the days that she was writing for Baby Center and I was awaiting the birth of my first baby. It's even the reason I started a blog of my own.

Since then, she's moved on to writing about cooking and is quite good. So good, in fact, that I can no longer say that I've never liked tofu. I've always wanted to like tofu and really had never enjoyed the stuff.

Then came Catherine's recipe for Soy Glazed Tofu. I've made it twice now, so can confidently say that it is delicious.

While you're at Dalai Mama Dishes, go ahead and also give her Soy Braised Chicken a try. I also HIGHLY recommend the Warm Smoky Potato salad. That stuff is so delicious that you may find yourself eating embarrassing amounts of it before it even makes it to the table.

I plan to try some of her other recipes. I like that they are different from the things I normally make and it takes me out of my culinary comfort zone. I have yet to be disappointed.