Monday, April 13, 2015

Silas is TWO!

I say this all the time. But it's real. How is it possible?

How is it possible that my kids are growing up so quickly? TWO! Silas is TWO! My little blonde haired, blue eyed boy.

Silas' birthday landed on the Thursday after Easter - so it has been a big week for him. We practiced all week saying "I am two!" and singing "Happy birthday". But until the party Friday where everyone sang to him, focused on him and put a giant cake (WITH FROSTING!!!) in front of him, he didn't really grasp it. And well, he maybe didn't really grasp it then either.

Silas is my rough and tumble one. He has to be to keep up with his brother and sister. As has been par for the course with my kids, he is a talker and advanced there. He speaks in 3-4 word sentences and uses a huge variety of words and is really moving along with conveying his needs and frustrations. He calls Skadi "KK", Leif is "Lay" and Odin is Odin. Lucky is "Ki-Cat". He has transitioned from mama and dada to mommy and daddy.

Silas has coveted every balance bike he has seen in the past few months, so we got him one. We have heard, for the last 4 days since he opened it, "I got a bike!" Poor beep beep (the farm ride on toy) has been cast aside in favor of a BIKE!

Silas' favorite things to do (aside from ride a bike) is to feed the animals. Odin's food dish is always overflowing, the Goldfish has plenty of food to cloud up his tank and Lucky gets fed twice a day - which hasn't happened in ages. But Silas is diligent in doling out the food - though heaven forbid one of them (Odin) decides to swipe something from him. That will definitely ruin his day.

His other favorite thing to do is "go outside". This is actually a very particular request though. He doesn't really want to go out into the backyard to play. He wants to go into the driveway and ride whatever convenient riding toy he has up and down the slight slope.

We are pretty convinced he is the smartest toddler around too. He counts to 10. No joke. I have no delusions that it is anything more than reciting what he has heard just like he does "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes". And probably the fact that we squeal with joy when he does it means he has learned that "I do this and it makes them happy" thing.

Silas is an excellent sleeper, sleeping through the night 90% of the time -  8:15-7am. He naps like the dead - 3-3.5 hrs usually. Eating... the child has an amazing sweet tooth. And kind of like me - once hungry, the attitude (normally happy go lucky) changes. Hangry.

Silas is kind of a solitary kid. He is wary of other kids invading his space and they better not touch the item he is interested in. He reminds me a lot of Skadi in mannerisms. He will bowl you over and isn't one to be bowled over.

He still loves his thumb and we love it too. Love not having to keep track of a pacifier. I am sure the day will come when we like it a bit less. But already he is to the point that he only sucks it when he needs to calm himself down, or at nap/bed time.

KK is his bestest friend in the whole world and she is amazing with him. She plays with him and engages with him and appeals to his dangerous side as she flies him around on beep beep or his scooter. Leif is an incredible help with Silas, gets him out of his crib, fixes breakfast for him, brushes his teeth, helps get him dressed, but isn't the one who is going to entertain him like Skadi does. All in all, both kids make for the best team with Silas.


Silas truly made our family complete. We are so blessed to have him. He is an amazing boy. I love his little kisses, his hugs, his learning and seeing the world through his eyes! I love you Silas!

Saturday, February 07, 2015


So back when I penned the last post, I wrote "woohoo" at the bottom to remind me to write about "woohoo". But I spaced it. And then apparently I don't proofread my posts very well before posting and so it looks like my last post ended with an unenthusiastic "woohoo". It wasn't intended that way. So now I will explain the big "woohoo".

One evening we were eating dinner and I complimented my (extremely picky) daughter on eating well.

Silas perks up and says to her, "Yay Skadi, woohoo!"

And, of course, we all laughed.

Thus started the "woohoo phase".

Whenever anyone is praised for anything in the house Silas chimes in with a "woohoo".

"Yay Lay [Leif], woohoo!"

And there are days when the woohoos are less enthusiastic. It sounds like a very blah, "woohoo."

AB and I both get woohoos as well.

Me: "Yay, we aren't late today." (I mumble when we drop off at daycare.)

Silas: "Woohoo mama, woohoo!"

We have been laughing at the woohoos now for awhile and of course, you start wondering where they pick it up. And then we realize that neither AB or I *ever* say "woohoo".

I asked at daycare and sure enough - his lead teacher gives a woohoo whenever they do something good. Finish a book? Woohoo! Everyone sits down for group? Woohoo!

So woohoo everyone!

Progress - but it's slow!

So January was carpet for the living room. I thought we were progressing hugely when I spontaneously painted the living room.

Carpet though, has stalled. It is crawling forward at a snails pace and it isn't really my fault! Nope, I can't take the blame on the January goal.

First off Home Depot took forever to get here for our quote. Then AB signed us up for a Costco quote - and then they showed up at the wrong time and begrudgingly rescheduled us. Unfairly begrudgingly so, IMO, because I would have not scheduled the appointment during one of my recurring weekly meetings at 11am. In fact, I specifically recall talking to the scheduler and saying "oh how nice it will be to be home at 2pm, a full hour and a half before my kids get home!"

So then Home Depot gave us our quote and AB balked. Ok, so I balked too. Way higher than we thought - and when you look at the quote we kind of wonder exactly how much waste they were planning on having? Our room is 18.5 x 19.5. And they wanted to order 49 linear feet of 12' wide carpet. WTF? Why do they need 13 feet extra? To make up for the free install deal? Shadey much?

So yesterday AB decided to sign us up for quote #3 that came in about $800 cheaper than the Home Depot for the highest end "can't possibly ever stain this carpet". So anyways, getting the last two measures and final quotes this coming week and then the carpet is special order. We will be lucky to have it done by the end of February, early March more likely. I guess that's ok. Gives us a few more weeks to trash the current carpet.

My current February goal is my sewing "nook". Shelves just need to be cut (AB...) and installed (AB...) and then I can put all my sewing stuff in. Looking at a ribbon rod (where did I get all that ribbon?) and a thread rack. AND AB is talking about adding onto one of the shelves a custom flip up sewing table. Really!!

Unless I want my February goals to suffer a similar delay fate as January I need to figure out how to dangle the carrot. I was thinking if I moved all the fabric into our bedroom - and put it on AB's side of the bed... I keep telling him it's no big deal, just show me how to use the multitude of saws in our garage. I can do it!

So I am already thinking about March. And I have a March must do that came to me today as I plugged my phone in and tried to back it up to the computer.

I succeeded about 5 hrs later after deleting random programs and crap my son has put on the computer. But truly, the vast majority of the space on the computer is from photos. My photos file is out of control.

I am not sure how to tackle it, but I need to sit down and organize the computer. Remove photos that suck. Create a file to save my favorites. (For eventual insertion into a photo book... when the kids are grown, I expect.)

So there, March goal is on deck. Organize and reduce the memory of the computer that I really, really do not want to replace right now.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Toddler Speak

Silas loves to wake everyone up. It is his duty in the house to open a door and yell at the TOP of his little voice:


Or his version:


(Yes, we have all latched onto Kay Kay and she is never escaping this nickname. That's ok, it still sits with her fine.)

Leif has a bunk. This morning Silas and I were standing in Leif's room talking to him from below when Silas went over to the bunk's stairs.

He eyes me and takes two steps up.


So I said it, "Silas, don't fall!" (I say this a lot.)

"NO FALL MAMA!" And he proceeds up the stairs.


Monday, January 26, 2015

The ongoing laundry saga...

So I discussed the other day my oldest son's phobia of having to do laundry. 

It greatly affected his life when I made him sort socks. And yes, I made him tackle the whole basket of socks, everyone's socks. Not just his own. 

Yes, I am mean. But really. I do everyone else's laundry, he doesn't need to limit himself to only matching up and folding his socks. 

It was such a painful experience that he decided that he would resort to only wearing one pair of socks each week. 

This way, it is 6 fewer pairs of socks to sort and fold! A tremendous and innovative time saver!

Except EWWW! 

It didn't blow past me for long. It becomes pretty obvious when the stacks of socks are drastically underrepresented for one person.

And it's the middle of January. It isn't like it is sandal city here. 

How long will the laundry phobia go on and how can I ride this horse?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mid-Month Progress

So my January goal was to deal with the flooring in the living room. Hideous. Awful. Bad. Nasty. Icky. We have carpet, it is just old and falling apart. You can hardly vacuum in there without pulling out long threads of loops. That conveniently wind themselves around the roller of the vacuum and then require you to sit and pick them out. So much fun.

We have honed in on carpet. Low hanging fruit. Truly "we" (AB) would probably (really) rather have hardwood. But we lack time, money and the desire to install it. And honestly I favor, for that room, carpet. It's the room where we roll around with the kids.

We have decided on style and composition and now just need to make a decision between the Home Depot "free install" (but carpet costs more) and the Cost Less Carpet, less expensive carpet but pay per square foot to a third party installer. I am leaning towards the Home Depot install only because when we were selling our other house and replaced the linoleum we went with one of Cost Less Carpet's recommended installers and he did a crap job, then refused to come back and fix it. Just not something I want to deal with.

So now we are doing the waiting and measuring and scheduling.

One of the Home Depot guys asked about paint on the wall. Yes, there is paint on the wall. No, he asked, fresh paint? Because it needs to cure a week before we install.

No, the paint isn't fresh, we told him and went about our business.

Then it dawned on me. HALF the room was painted a year ago or so. HALF the room hasn't been painted since we moved in.

And it doesn't look bad half painted. And in fact, I had only kind of given thought to someday it would be nice to paint that other half of the room and even knew what color it would be - the same neutral we used throughout the rest of the first floor.

Then I had a revelation! (AB loves my revelations.)


We are going to spend a small fortune on super high end carpet, I am NOT going to want to paint that room for the next several years and risk (even with drop clothes - I am messy) a drop of paint on our beautiful carpet!

So January has become carpet and really quick finish painting the living room.

Today (and yesterday) I am hope with the kids as they have days off from school. Today, I tape and prep. Friday, we buy the paint. Saturday, I paint while AB takes Leif to his chess tournament. And hopefully the toddler naps better that day then he is today.

I really did get a lot of stuff done around the house today though. I picked up the play room. A small feat in itself. Days is how long I expect it to stay picked up. But while I was doing that I had another REVELATION!

My February goal. It's a revelation because AB is involved.

They always tell you at work that your goals shouldn't involve other people because that is out of your control. Yeah, yeah. I get it.

So here it is. My sewing stuff is in a bunch of bins and plastic drawers and stuff like that. I need a place to put it all and I have identified the perfect place! I just need a bunch of shelves installed. See that little inset area? It is a perfect nook for some "built ins". And I could even have a shelf dedicated to my sewing machine. And oh oh oh - imagine a table that folds down to CREATE a sewing table!

Ok, I know. Crazy talk. I just need the shelves. Then I can use that folding table over yonder...

Friday, January 09, 2015

Back in the saddle

So I would like to get back to blogging more in 2015. The past few years of shock with dealing with three kids has taken a toll on my writing. I don't blog for others. I blog for myself and try to keep it at a level that isn't private, but accessible to others who care. I don't respond to comments from Anonymous (plenty of those lately), but I try to screen comments of spam and always appreciate comments. So... hopefully you will be seeing more of me back here. I love the wealth of stories and data that I have accumulated over the last 10 years, I want that to continue.

I love looking back and reading funny stories of my kids. Things I never think I will forget, but I do. Here's a few:

On the following conversation with Leif you have to understand that a few weeks ago I told him I wouldn't always be there to do his laundry. Someday he will go to college and have to do his laundry so he should start learning now. This has caused GREAT concern for him. 

Leif: "We had to say in library what we wanted to be when we grow up and I said chef."

Me: "What? I know you like to cook, but I thought you wanted to be a computer programmer."

Leif: "Well I was thinking that it would be good if I was a chef so that when I went to college I could trade with people. Hey, you do my laundry and I will cook you dinner!"

Me: "Well that isn't a half bad idea, but you better be a dang good cook!"

Leif: (looking at me rolling his eyes) "My father is AB." 


Silas is all about instructing me lately. And he gets pretty forceful with what I should be doing. 

"No mama, no." (To just about everything.)

"Go mama, go." (Usually when he is playing with Skadi and doesn't think I should interrupt.)

"Help mama, help." (When his scooter gets stuck, or he can't force his way through whatever.)

"Cheese mama, cheese." (Get me cheese... and the little weirdo is often asking for gorgonzola lately.) 

"Kick it mama, kick it." (Play soccer with me.) 

I love the cadence of his requests and that they all have "mama" in them and repeat the request at the end. 

Almost like the child listens to me...

"No Silas, no." 

Naw... can't be. None of the kids ever listen to me. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Happy New Year!

So I kind of laugh when I look at my Goals list for December. Then I hang my head when I remember it was carryover from November.

1. Get rid of the purged stuff.
2. Master Closet
3. Leif’s closet
4. Skadi’s bedroom, closet and bathroom
5. Trailer.

In the past few years I have done a lot over breaks. But this break I have this toddler who is into everything, wants attention and can't really be left alone while I get my tasks done. Oh and he has NO interest whatsoever in cleaning my closet with me. Skadi likes to help. Leif is a tween now and would rather sit on the computer.

I spent the evenings that first week of break (that AB and the older kids were in the Living Nativity) wrapping presents - and wrapping presents - and boxing stuff up to ship - and baking. All that Christmas prep. During the day when the kids were home with me we would sleep in, get up slowly and go swimming or do a few errands. Then we would go home and put the toddler down for nap. Then I couldn't bring myself to start on my chores. Nope. We pulled out a few games and had games afternoons while Silas slept. One day we did Family Pictionary (Skadi rocks at this game), another the new Family Trivial Pursuit, and another day we played Wii together. And I kept reminding myself that the chores in the back of my head would get done when my kids aren't home or don't want to hang with me anymore.

Point by point -
1. About 30% success here. I dumped a bunch of baby stuff with friends and acquaintances in December. Sold a little. Gave some away. Didn't do bad. Where I didn't succeed was in putting the bags and bags of stuff to go to Goodwill IN the car and dropping them at the station that is a whole 4 blocks from my house. As of Saturday though, I am not terribly concerned about that since I just got the notice from our other donation company they will be in our area next week. And they will be picking it all up (plus more I accumulated this last weekend)! This also makes AB happy because he isn't a big fan of Goodwill as a corporation. But I keep going back to the "it's easy and I need easy, but you are welcome to do otherwise" excuse. (He doesn't do otherwise.)

2. Master Closet - well all the Christmas presents are out! (I hope. Hope not to find some hidden.) And actually yesterday, yes, Jan 4th, I went in and sorted my shoes and got everything off the traffic portion of my side. It actually did a ton for the closet and may let me put off the actual complete disassembly and reassembly for a few more months. Because at this point it just isn't happening.

3. Nope.

4. Yay! Closet and bathroom done. Bedroom floor is still covered in Legos. And because she is so obsessed about her Legos and spent a huge portion of the break doing Legos, I left it.

5. Trailer. Yes, it got vacuumed and cleaned. And when it is back from being repaired from our most difficult trip yet, it will need to be done all over. Yay me.

We did get back from our trip to Canada with a weekend left of break and I tackled a good portion of my list of things I wanted to do over the 2 weeks off. Because in the first 14 days, not much had gotten done. The closet (see above), the boys' linen closet (conveniently while Silas bathed yesterday), Christmas down and packed up. Leif made jerky. I swapped around some blinds (housecleaners had broken one that I used regularly) and I didn't want to buy a new (non-matchy-matchy) one, so I swapped it out with another from a similar window I nearly never open.

(Which brings me to a burning question of late - how to deal with housecleaners breaking items... I have had 3-4 items broken recently. I have spoken with the owner about a few of them mostly when I called to question if someone was actually INJURED, but haven't made claims to have them replaced. Maybe I should? What irritates me most isn't the breakage, it is not knowing it happened until later - and no, they aren't things my kids have broken. Ok, off my aside.)

We were going to do lefse, but AB and I decided that focusing on losing weight and getting healthier was of higher priority than potato, sugar, butter, gooeyness. Still working on accepting this...

Then I got to thinking about my January goals. I asked AB the burning question on my mind. What should I do for January??

I was thinking about prepping the Master Bedroom for painting and deciding on a color. He sighed.

Then he said the magic words, "how about the living room floor".

You see we have this hideous and seen-far-better-days carpet in the living room. For a few years we have debated on going with hardwood that we put in our office and dining room to unify a few rooms downstairs. But it is expensive (the room is huge) and back breaking work for AB. But it would look the best and be the best for resale. But we just couldn't trip that trigger on the actual purchase.

So then we thought about replacing the carpet with carpet. But where do we stop with carpet? Do we just do that room or do we replace the carpet on both staircases and in the hallway upstairs? (My dream.) And when? Kind of hated for awhile to get new carpet when we have a toddler. But then it is getting to the point where we kind of hate not getting new carpet while we have a toddler. And then there is the whole "it is embarrassing to have people over this carpet is so hideous".

We are biting the bullet this month. Carpet for the living room. And probably just there and not the stairs and hallway upstairs. But it will be an easy neutral, always in stock pattern that we can do the staircases and hall at another point.