Monday, January 31, 2011

Organizing bug hit me this weekend. And it didn't hurt... too much.


(Well, okay, the best weekend possible with two kids and a pregnancy and housework and stuff I can't ignore in lieu of some R and R.)

The kids slept in (yay!) and I woke up and decided to run errands.  I had a plan to organize the laundry room and wanted to pick up some bins for sheets and blankets so Target was on my list.  It was pretty much the only thing I had to do for a change since I got to the grocery store during the week and didn't end up having to devote 3 hours to it on Saturday or Sunday.

I usually bring Katie with me on my weekend errands and we go while Jake is napping.  It's our time together, we call them our "mommy and Katie dates", and we giggle and she tells me stories and sings songs while we're in the car (and we taste samples and test out all of the couches when we hit Costco).

Well, I was feeling rested, we had eaten breakfast (homemade breakfast burritos and not homemade toaster strudels), and the kids were getting along so... I figured why not bring Jake too!

I thought I might regret it later... like when he started to get fussy and cranky but I wanted to see how things went.  I don't take him with me if I've got a packed agenda since he's still in the run-away-from-mommy phase and he doesn't like to sit in the cart for a long time so it can be... challenging... to bring him.  Plus, it's not a fast process when I help Katie down from the car and have to get him out and then he wants to walk just like she is but he can't (see above on the running away thing) because I don't have a free hand to keep hold of him... so it's easier to leave him at home.  But not this time.  I was ready.

I got Jake dressed without any trouble (he even sat down so I could get his shoes and socks on), Katie got ready without any trouble (by herself, love this age), and we left the house without any trouble.  I was still waiting for regret to set in.

We got to Target and started shopping.  Well, wandering through the aisles and enjoying some samples.  I knew I only needed the storage bins so I wouldn't have to get a ton of stuff in case things went sour.


The kids were SO good.  We shared samples of a cookie and coffee (the coffee was mine), and some flavored water, and some pasta, and a spring roll.  And I saw a really cute spring jacket that wasn't expensive and I really thought Katie would look cute in it so I asked her if she liked it.  I guess she didn't need it.  She told me that "we weren't going to buy a lot of stuff" while we were in the kids section and I was scanning the racks for something to buy...  So serious and I couldn't help but laugh!

We made it to the plastic bin area and Katie pointed out the ones she liked.  I decided to go with them and she was proud of her good picks.  I may have called her a genius because her choices were perfect for what I needed.  She also picked the color (red) of our basement bin theme.

I could tell the kids were getting hungry so we made it to the checkout and then headed to the in-store restaurant.  Katie wanted a hot dog and icee, Jake wanted mac & cheese (duh) and a milk, and both kids ate all of their meals except the apple slices.  I think they might have tasted different from the fresh apples they love, love, love to eat.

We were gone from 1:30 until 3:40.  By the time we made it home, it was time for Jake's nap and, even though I really wanted to take a nap myself, I wanted to organize the stuff downstairs more!

So Katie came with me to organize the blanket and sheet explosion in the laundry room.  I set aside at least 10 blankets/throws to donate to a charity and a couple more to donate to an animal shelter and sorted sheet sets and blankets and comforters into three piles.  I only had two bins so I could take care of two piles and had to add a bin to my "must get" list.

Then I went through all of the gift bags and "gift stuff" I keep in Katie's closet (oh, okay, things I never moved out of Katie's closet when she moved into what was the dining room) and sorted them into the other two smaller bins I bought.  It looks so much better.

Also, Katie has a bin on the shelf full of stuff that she can play with but that will get lost in the shuffle if she plays with it upstairs so she's spent a lot of time with me in the laundry room while I catch up on the wash.

Then I got ready to go to a birthday dinner for a friend.  Had a great time eating dinner and went to the bowling alley after.  I didn't plan to bowl, just wanted to visit for a little bit.  After I left, I happened to drive by a Target and remembered to pick up the extra bin I needed... and while I was there, I grabbed a few more things I needed.  Like licorice.

Got home and put the extra stuff into the final bin, put it on the shelf, stepped back and gave myself a pat on the shoulder, then went to bed.

On Sunday we had eggs with green peppers and some cinnamon rolls.  I was happy that everyone liked the food (with the exception of the eggs Jake didn't eat and the "green things" in the eggs Katie didn't care for) and was once again surprised at how much Jake can eat.

The kids played together while I did laundry*. 

*Incidentally, if your dryer ever takes 12 hours to dry a load of clothes, check that you didn't leave it on "fluff" after washing a stuffed animal on which your daughter puked.  The stuffed animal dried beautifully but it's just not a very... efficient... setting for drying actual clothes.  Of course, others might notice that it's taking forever for a load to dry and decide to check the settings on the dryer, but not me.  I didn't notice till today.  And I washed her stuffed animal last week, maybe it was Wednesday.  Anyone else ever do this?

Then Jake went down for his nap (can any parent ever say they don't like nap time?) and I took Katie with me to the library, the hair place so I could get a trim, and the Salvation Army to drop off the blankets.

And the pizza place.  Because while we were leaving the Salvation Army, Katie asked me when we were going to eat because she was "so hungry, mommy" and "can we eat at a restaurant? Because I'm so hungry I don't think I can wait to eat, mommy."  And so we ordered out.  Not only because her little voice was so precious and she was asking so nicely, but because we were super hungry by then and I dreaded the thought of going home and defrosting hamburger for dinner.  And then figuring out what to make with the hamburger that wouldn't involve lots of time (or a big stirring spoon since the kids decided they wanted to play with my utensils and hid them somewhere).  And I thought pizza and cinnamon dessert pizza would be the best thing to eat EVER.  And it was.  Really good.

The kids are sitting with me on the couch now.  Jake is sighing so I think it's time for bed.  And I have to drink my metamucil (ick).

See?  Best weekend.

Oh, I'm trying to convince Katie that giving someone a heads up before taking their picture (or a *shudder* video) is the right thing to do.  She likes to pop out of nowhere with her pretty pink camera and snap a picture without much warning.  It's not always the best time for a photo op.  It's also not too fun when you think she's taking a picture and you pose, then relax into whatever you were doing only to notice that 30 seconds later you're still the center of her attention, and she's been recording.  We're working on it.

I'm also feeling some baby kicks against my hand!  It's very cool.  Katie wanted to feel too, but didn't have the patience to keep her hand on my tummy till it happened, since it's not all of the time that baby kicks out.

The kids are still sitting next to me.  Jake is "reading" The Cat in the Hat and Katie is playing on her Leapfrog Explorer.  I hate to break up the party with bedtime but I am extra tired tonight after our fun weekend.  And the metamucil is calling my name.

Okay, closing now for real.  I'll need to post this on Monday after I can look at it again without interruption.  You know, to proof for any awkward, run-on sentences or other goofy writing errors.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And in Baby News...

The big ultrasound was on Saturday and IT'S A...


(We saw a very clear picture so I'm pretty sure.)

I asked for a pic but the ultrasound lady told me (very nicely) that the clinic doesn't give out pictures of the sex prediction... I guess some people complained when their boy turned out to be a girl!

Katie came with me into the room.  Jacob was not interested in joining us (he was too busy playing with the big toys in the waiting room) so he and John hung out there during all of the measurement stuff and I called John when we were ready to find out the sex.

The ultrasound tech announced it (although by the time the picture came up with a direct view, we had pretty much gotten the idea) and I was inwardly cheering because Jake's clothes are still neatly stored in the basement and I don't need to send out any requests for the girl clothes we passed around more than 2 years ago.  You know, when we learned we were having Jacob and we *thought* we were done having babies.

John was excited too... but Katie was not thrilled with the news. She really wanted a sister*. I think she'll get over it when she realizes she won't have to share a room, or her clothes, or her toys.

*Katie is actually serenading me with a lovely song about how there's a baby in mommy's tummy and it's a boy but she really wishes it was a girl. For. real. I think she's done for now though... it was really very creative.

And Jake is little enough, and used to not having anything that's just for him to play with since Katie likes to take over his toys too, that he probably won't be upset by a new brother coming into his space.

Oh!  I also have a new due date. My original date was June 13 but now it's June 9.

I know, I know.  That doesn't seem like a big deal right now... and what's a few days more, right?

Ummm, wrong.

I can only imagine how ready to have this baby by the time June rolls around.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Keeping my cool

A blogger I follow pretty regularly (I'm a REAL LIFE mom) posted about overreacting to kid stuff today and asked how her readers deal with with their nerves.  I was going to leave a long long looong (if you've read my posts, you know how I like to go on) comment until I realized I could jump into 2011 with a brand new blog post that will hopefully be more entertaining than hearing about how sick I've been and how it was almost like a vacation from all responsibility, but one where I was almost passed out the entire time in between visits to the exotic locale known as the bathroom.

So, without further ado (and slightly tounge-in-cheek)... my take on keeping my cool with two noisy kids who sometimes do things I don't want them to do.
By: One Mom of two, soon to be three, noisy kids.

My kids are pretty good.  They're pretty helpful, they like to sit together while they watch Sponge Bob (who ever thought a yellow cartoon sponge would bring siblings together), and they will even sometimes play quietly together while sharing toys.  This weekend the kids were even cleaning (with water and vinegar, not the hard stuff) the kitchen stove, fridge, dishwasher, floor, you name it they cleaned it!

But sometimes... sometimes they are not helpful, they can't sit in the same room together without someone pushing someone else for no reason, and one child will not allow the other child to look at their toys.  And sometimes they make more messes than they could ever clean up.

It's during those times I find myself overusing this phrase:

"Of Course  ."

As in,
"Of course Katie dropped her juice on the floor right after the kitchen was cleaned up for the afternoon."

"Of course Jake grabbed the mug of coffee daddy left on the edge of the kitchen table and walked alllll the way into the living room to dump it out on the carpet."

"Of course Katie was spinning the desk chair while Jake was sitting in it."

"Of course Jake fell out of the spinning chair."

When I say "Of course..." it brings me back to the reality that I've got two kids and as awesome as they are 100% of the time, and as sweet as they are 99% 90% 80% a lot of the time, they are still kids.  Soooo, saying "of course" is just my way of telling myself, "Hey, foolish mommy.  Quit thinking that their behavior/attitude/hand eye coordination is going to be excellent 100% of the time because they are KIDS.  There will be times when things are going to get messy... and someone's probably going to walk away with a bruise." 

And when I say "Of course..." it makes me address the current issue specifically (Of course Jake just pulled Katie's juice glass off of the kitchen table") and once I state it, I can start to work on how to fix it (running to pry it out of his fingers before he runs to the living room to show me his handywork.). 

It's not perfect... there have been times I've let out a very loud "ARGH" because I can't even begin to formulate the words.  But it's actually helped me focus.  Before I get down on the floor to scrub.  And put a kid in the tub.  And add more clothes to the laundry basket.  Also?  Once I accumulate enough "of course's" I've earned a crazy mom laugh and some ice cream.

Oh, and just for fun I'll throw in another little phrase.

"At least the toilet ain't broke."

This is an oldie from before we had kids.  John picked me up from my temp job (he was unemployed and I was on a short assignment) and showed me our credit card bill (that we really couldn't afford).  I guess he was expecting full freakout mode and I was a little "meh" about it.  He was surprised but moved on to share more news.



THEN he told me, in a nonchalant way, almost as an afterthought, that the toilet. wasn't. working. 

In our one bathroom house. 

After hearing that news I did freak out a little.  I mean, I have to USE the bathroom on a more-than-daily basis.

He thought that was funny* and a saying was born.

* That phrase was still funny when we brought Katie home from the hospital after she was born and we couldn't open the front door.  I stood on the front steps with Katie in her car seat after recovering from my C-section waiting for John to run around to the back door to get into the house.  As I listened to his footsteps as he ran all the way through the house to open the front door, all I could think was "Well, at least the toilet ain't broke."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

This isn't another New Year's post... Warning: This is super long because I'm cramming all of my memory things from the last half of December into one ginormous post. But there are pictures!

This isn't another New Year's post mostly because we didn't do much in honor of the new year.  We even celebrated early (at 11 o'clock) with sparkling grape juice and oreos.

So, really not much to report.  I'm pregnant which means I'm tired and so sitting on the couch watching the ball drop from the comfort of home was pretty much perfect.

But, because this would be a pretty short post if I only talked about our New Year's Eve Celebration, I'll also do a Week or Last Few Weeks because I haven't posted since mid-December In Review... (I know, improper use of capitalization...)

- Grammy and Grampy came over to visit with Grandma and Grandpa.  They left their shoes unattended by the back door.  The kids love to try on shoes and had a ball trying to walk in Grampy's size 14's!  There were only a couple of falls and no one stomped on anyone.

- Me, mom, and Grandma (mine not the kids') took the kiddos to Macy's* for the display.  We saw a puppet show first - Mom heard about it and thought it sounded cute.

*Thanks Macy's for putting your theater right. inside. of the toy store. It sure was fun to wrangle Jake for the 30 minutes it took to buy the tickets and then wait for the puppet show to start.

The puppet show was very cute.  Worth the wait, I think, even though I looked like a mean mommy after putting Jake into one of those child leashes.  And it was only done out of necessity!  He thought it was funny to run around the display shelve things and then pause and wait to see if I was still chasing him before he took off again... like 6 times.  So, safety first.  And he did get to explore, just with me keeping hold of the end of the leash so he couldn't explore at 50 miles per hour while I attempted to catch him.

So, the puppet show... Katie sat with me on the floor in front and Jake started out sitting with Grandma in the seats.  Once it started, he came to sit with me and once the wooden moose head started talking, well, that was it, he was laughing and pointing and loving it.

Then we went to the display area and walked through.  The kids liked that and I have a feeling that Jake wouldn't have minded jumping up onto the platforms and joining the elves.

- We went to our investment company to see Santa!  The kids were thrilled, as you can probably see from the pictures below.
Grandma and Grandpa posed with Santa too!

- Family Christmas part 1 (with Aunt and Uncle and family... except Mike and Jenny and Paige who couldn't come because Paigey was sick).  Don't worry though!  We saw each other for Christmas Eve!  Here are the kids with Uncle Mark, and then us with the kiddos. 

- Katie doing a twirl in her new Christmas dress.  She and Jake went to the lake after FC part 1 and so she got to wear her dress twice. 

- Christmas Eve (which started out that morning with a leak in our bay window and ended up with 6 pots and buckets in same bay window until the ice/snow froze again and we were able to leave for the church service knowing that the leak had stopped... for now) was at Grammy and Grampy's.  

Grammy made roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something but it was all super good!  We opened gifts after dinner and then had to find more room in our bellies for dessert!  I loved watching the kids open their gifts this year!  Katie was excited about everything and Jake actually opened his own presents.  They have grown so much in one year.  And just think, next year we'll have a 6 month old at Christmas.  Wow!

On Christmas Day we were also at Grammy and Grampy's.  Had ham and other really good food.  I brought the buns.  

I know.  Buns are easy.  But I justify that with the knowledge that I'm working extra hard growing a baby inside of my tummy, so really?  Buns were my superstar moment of deliciousness.  In my defense (in case the whole "growing a baby" thing wasn't enough) they were frozen rolls that I needed to put into greased muffin tins and let rise for hours before baking!  (Oh, um, thanks Mom for putting the frozen rolls into the greased muffin tins so they were ready for me to bake when I got home from Christmas Eve...) 

Oh, and the Christmas Eve leak was done.  No sign of it's return on Christmas Day, either!  (John climbed onto the roof later in the week and shoveled the snow off and  then chiseled ice out of our gutters.  We have the cleanest gutters on the block right now.  We also spent $50, yes, that's FIFTY dollars on a roof shovel.  Wow.  That's all I could say after I checked to make sure that John hadn't needed to purchase fifty or so of those little square pencils they sell by the checkout that would have boosted up the price.  He hadn't.  And $50 was the *actual* cost of a shovel on a long stick.  Hmph.)

So, some cute Christmas Eve picks... I don't have any of Christmas Day, because it was all I could do on Christmas Day not to fall asleep like I did at Aunt and Uncles for the big Family Christmas the weekend before.  Again, falling back on the pregnancy thing.  Which I will continue to do until June.
Katie with her new kitty.
Jake with his grin!
Jake and Paigey.  Not sure where Katie went...
Here they all are!  I think Auntie Jenny took this one.  
(In my pics, Katie's eyes are usually all glowey from the flash.)
(Ummm, no ghosts have been reported at Grammy and Grampy's.  
I think my finger just gets too close to the flash.)

See Jake's new Sponge Bob jammies?  See Grampy modeling them?
Katie and Paigey in their new tu-tu jammies.

- Katie had her very first successful dentist visit!  She went with me and talked to the dental tech while she cleaned my teeth.  The whole entire time.  I tell ya, she was so chatty with this woman that by the time we left, it felt as if we had known her for much longer than an hour.  After my teeth were done (I have a cavity, boo hoo), Katie hopped into the chair like she had been going to the dentist for years.  No sign of the Katie who cried all during the 20 minute drive to the dentist that last time I tried to bring her in.  No sign of the Katie who begged me to take her to the doctor instead because she would rather go to the doctor instead of the dentist.  Nope.  Just a self-assured, almost 5-year-old girl who went through her appointment like a champ.

- The kids played in their toy bin.  Katie's playing with the Leapfrog Explorer she got from Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas.  I think Jake is playing with his Woody doll.  I don't know why they are doing this inside of their full-of-toys toy bin.

- Katie and daddy went to a movie date to see Tangled!  Katie won free tickets from a drawing and this was the perfect movie for her.  She loved it.  Daddy said she watched the movie and ate her popcorn and drank her icee (I know.  An icee.  Sugar city.) like a big girl.  She had such an awesome time.  I could tell she was just so thrilled to have had this outing with her dad.

Aaaaand in other exciting news, I finally called Service Plus to come look at our dishwasher.  It's been cleaning the dishes but leaving a film behind.  Ugh.  We'll see if they do as good of a job on this as they did on our furnace that QUIT WORKING a few weeks ago.  The guy had that fixed the same day they came out.  The problem started the night before we called.  If sleep hadn't been highest on my mind, I probably would have figured out that something was wrong after checking the thermostat at each of my 5 bathroom breaks and seeing the temp had lowered every time but it just didn't register.  And lately I've been freezing cold pretty much non-stop so I figured it might just be me!  Well, getting up in the morning to a 65 degree temp inside wasn't fun and I realized that it wasn't me.  So glad Service Plus had it fixed before I got home from work.  (Service Plus didn't pay me for this excellent review of their service, but if you or anyone you know, happens to work for Service Plus and would like to work out a deal whereby you provide stuff for me to review and I blog about it, we could start with a new furnace since it sounds like we'll need one in the next 5 years.  Really, call me.  We'll talk.)

Oh, and if I ever start collecting animals, please stage an intervention.  Animal Hoarders has been on today.

Happy New Year bloggy/family friends!