Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Leif was right

This morning as we were TRYING to get out of the house, Leif called me asking me to bring the camera.

He insisted I needed to get a picture of he and Skadi together.

It was one of those mornings where I knew I had so much to do, but also knew that insisting that we get out the door would end up taking far longer with a cranky boy then just grabbing the camera and snapping a few pictures.

Well, Leif was right. I managed the elusive smiling shot of two children.

Here is "Hamburger Lip" and his sister.

Of course if I were a really savy photographer I would have photoshopped out the Hamburger lip. But it is 9:53pm and I really am determined to get through the April book club book, Three Cups of Tea. (Yes, I *have* been reading it for two months now... and people wonder why I am contemplating an adjunct position in my book club.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

The start of a rock collection and more

I have two rocks in my coat pocket. This is hugely reminiscent of being 5 years old and collecting rocks. I had a great collection that I still wish I had. A few arrowheads in there, a large chunk of quartz and some fossils were also in there.

We were out for a hike up a local hill Sunday afternoon and Leif found a "rock with holes" he liked. I showed him there were lots of rocks with holes around and they were called "lava rocks". He picked me out one, kept his and we continued on our walk. A little while later he told me he was tired of having the rock in his pocket, but he wanted to keep it.

He handed it to me with strict instructions, "don't throw it away mommy, I want to take my ava rock for show and tell".

I think Leif needs a box for his rocks.

We had a good, quiet weekend. Swimming on Saturday where I dropped a sizeable chunk of money on registering both kids for the next session. Skadi loves the water and is getting far more interactive with the experience, even to the point of crawling to the pool edge and making every effort to get herself in the water. It became a game with daddy on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon we went to the birthday party from hell. It is worthy of a post unto its own. But though I have tried I just can't write the post. Ok, I can write it just fine, it is the posting of it that I can't seem to do. So the succinct version has a mom who calls her husband names, a drunken dad, a very unruly child who has to be pulled off of other children by guests because dad can't do it, mom is inside making it all perfect and the dad's "special friends" (aka hoochie mamas) are parked at his side. Yeah, birthday party from hell. We got in the car and I haven't heard AB be so vocal about other people and their childrearing... ever.

Sunday we were disappointed at the turn of the weather that put our morning hike on hold. So instead when Skadi went down for a nap late morning I started on the guest room... which consequentially meant that AB started on the guest room too.

He kept commenting that he liked how he constantly gets roped into *my* monthly goals. Of course with a smile on his face most of the time. I reminded him we were cleaning out the guest room so HIS mother had a place to stay when she arrives in just under three weeks. I had to recruit him to put all the Christmas decorations, Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations, itty bitty baby stuff, outgrown Skadi clothes, too boyish for a girl clothes and other random stuff into the attic.

It was about this point where AB said, "can we just go buy a new house WITH storage instead". And I think he was only partway joking.

Once all that stuff was out I was amazed at what an easy job the guest room will be to get ready for our houseguest. Give me a few hours in there and we will be set. Then once my MIL leaves let the fun decorating begin for it to become Skadi's room.

This is where AB and I are at odds. There is a queen sized bed in there. It is a comfortable queen sized bed or according to most everyone who has stayed in our house has told us.

I want to get rid of it.

AB doesn't.

We don't have storage for it, we aren't going to pay for a (badly needed) storage unit. It is an old bed. Why save it?

Because we might want it for a guest room again someday. Or because we could haul it to Shelton (somehow given we don't have a trailer either) and have a decent bed there to sleep in. One that doesn't skeeve us out or isn't a big mushball.

So in the meantime... before we either go to Shelton again and can rig someway to haul a queen sized bed 5 hours to the cabin, get rid of one of the beds at the cabin by hauling it somewhere, get this bed up into the attic sleeping area... or before we buy a new house that actually has a guest room... what should we do with it?

According to AB it stays in Skadi's room. She has a tiny room. The crib and bed will fit, but no rocker. I have to have the rocker in there. AB suggests we lean the queen bed against the wall.


And oh so safe for a baby's room.

Moving on...

Sunday afternoon the weather improved a little and we hiked our hill and Leif did a fantastic job. This was where he found his ava rock. We got back to the playground and he admired a child's size Specialized bike. He needs a two wheeler. Bad.

I looked online today and found the same bike... a mere $190. Not going to happen. But bike shopping is in our near future.

We went home and after being home for about 20 minutes, Leif and Skadi were standing at the coffee table.

Which one falls?

Leif. No idea how but he whacked his chin on the coffeetable, bites his lip and puts one tooth through the lip, the other only halfway through. Blood everywhere.

AB got him calmed down enough to look at the gaping wound. I made phonecalls where I was told they won't stitch a puncture wound of the lip, to watch it, keep it clean and don't let him pick at it.

AB suggested we stick a ring in it and get him started early.

To which he endured seething glares from me.

Oh and the keeping him from picking it? Not working. This morning he came in to see me in the bathroom and told me his owie was gone, he bit it off. Yep, the scab was gone, and it was oozing again.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Big Red

I read a Babble article awhile back written by a woman who was disappointed her little blonde princess sat quietly in the corner willingly giving up her toys to more bossy, bigger children. She lamented that she didn't want her daughter to grow up to be a pushover, she wanted her to stand her ground. I know, I could go link the article, but I am being lazy like that. I am sure you can find it if interested.

I didn't take much issue with the writing. Or the scenario, no one wants their kid to be a pushover just like no one wants their kid to be the bully. A happy medium is preferable.

I was torn with the article, the confusion of emotions I felt were wrapped up in resolving physical versus personality characteristics. You see the play group bully was "Big Red" described in a not so flattering way.

Or maybe I am just overly sensitive?

I cringed everytime I read "Big Red" in that article. I considered navigating away but apparently I am a glutton for punishment.

I grew up in a common era believing that being "Big" was bad for a girl. My mom worried what I would grow up to be like since I was a big baby and to top it off, I had red hair. An anomaly in my family. A Big Red.

When my just over 6 lb blonde baby sister was born there was a sigh of relief. As I got older and heard the stories describing the differences between my sister and I when we were born I interpreted it that at least one baby wouldn't be an Amazon! I also interpreted it as favoritism.

And before I go any further I just have to say that there is a quote out there to the effect of, "you never know how much you are loved until you have children of your own". So, so true. I am a mom who was a very, very loved child. And I have every confidence in that. What child didn't grow up thinking their sibling was the favorite? So back to the regularly scheduled program...

I feared being "big" to the point that when I heard somewhere that coffee stunted your growth I used to sneak sips of my grandmothers vile brew while I was over there. Hopeful that those little quantities, because I could not stand anymore than that, would make me petite.

By third grade my growing slowed and I came home exclaiming to my mom that I was one of the shortest ones in the class! Goal achieved. I was proud of myself.

I grew to an average height while my sister passed me up and is a willowy 5'7" to my not so willowy 5'5".

My children at birth were so nearly identical, even in appearance, that I not so jokingly have said that if I don't label their birth pictures I wouldn't know which was which. Though the delivery room was oriented opposite for each since I was in room 4 for Leif and room 5 for Skadi. But as I have mentioned before, and you can see by the pictures, my Beaner grew. And grew.

And I love every morsel on her.

Despite this I still bristle when I hear or read "Big Red".

I loathed being called this as a kid and it was routine until age 8. It would nearly send me to tears and even now I have bit my tongue more than once when observant friends and strangers have called her "Big Red".

I don't fear her being a big girl like I feared growing into one myself. Did you watch Dancing with the Stars and see Leila Ali? Talk about beautiful. Gabrielle Reece? Wow.

My girl will most likely not crack 6' tall because AB himself is 6'1", the same height as his dad and the tallest ones on their side. My dad is 6'2". So we don't have an abundance of tall genes in our family and they are equally balanced out by the short genes.

Skadi is on her way to slimming down with her increased mobility. I even bought her jeans for next fall. And I can very nearly buy her clothes with reckless abandon and not have to worry about the strechiest elastic waists.

Still... yes... I am sensitive about comments to her size. Because to a mom, you are talking about a piece of them.

And how many adults do you walk up to and touch their rolls and comment about them being big? Even if said in a flattering way, you might make it to two if the first one was being kind.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Economic Stimulus Plan

I know... I shouldn't be spending money. But for some reason this is a great time for sales. It is after the "After Christmas" sales. So stores are really looking to move stuff while they bring in the summer stock.

And I fall prey to good deals.

Here are my recent finds:

Check out Skadi's Christmas dress for next year. PBKids in chocolate. And for $16.99 and free shipping.

And then this is a funny story behind this skirt.

I ordered it ages ago when I found it for $14.99, regularly $79 from JJill. Then promptly forgot about it. It was backordered and all. Completely forgot about it. Apparently I figured when I it arrived at some distant time I would love it whatever time of year at that price. I was right.

It arrived the other day and at first I was completely perplexed. My size... my style... love the skirt... but where did it come from? Slowly memories of ordering a skirt on backorder for possibly months came to me. Sure enough the price was right. I was sold.

And I love the skirt. LOVE it.

Then I needed new hand soap. Checked Drugstore and they didn't have the scent I wanted. So I went to Amazon and they had it, but from eBubbles and I would have actually had to pay for shipping. Which I don't like to do at Amazon. Checked eBubbles and was thrilled I did since they had free shipping and free lotion and two free samples of your choice.

Hmmm... what else? Oh yes, I bought makeup. V pointed me to E.L.F. a few weekends ago. It has truly been ages since I have bought make-up. I just have a hard time justifying the price since I like good stuff, but I don't wear it daily (other than mascara, moisturizer, sunblock and powder). I badly needed new. I finally checked it out and dropped a whopping $16 on 16 items. I hope the quality is there because the price is.

Then there was the Old Navy pre-summer sale that I bought loads of knock around clothes for Skadi, and a few things for Leif.

Then there was Gymboree... three pairs of clearance pants in the cupcake style for Skadi. Well I did order her a cupcake hair clip from AK and all. (This is sounding worse than buying the shoes and then buying clothes to match the shoes... something I have never been guilty of.) But I loved the cupcake line and since it was on clearance... let's just hope by next fall she can wear jeans and a 2T is her size. It's a gamble with the Beaner.

Oh and did I tell you about the Lands End diaper bag I won? Courtesy of Self Made Mom's Product Review blog. I love bags.

Hmmm... what else? Oh and I registered some domains today. Registered Skadi's name. I registered Leif's on his first birthday and decided to do the same for Skaders... a few weeks early. But I was in the domain registering mood as I secured thenuclearlife.com and will be switching things over to there over the next week. Don't worry, your bookmarks will still work, but I made the semi-conscious decision to push the blogging a little further. I blog regularly, why not see what comes of it?

And well, that is the story of my economic stimulus plan! (I am tackling Penzeys tomorrow... AB's complaint about not having cumin prompted an inventory of the spice rack and a determination that a Penzeys order is required... anyone who lives near me and wants anything let me know.)

My husband doesn't read my blog... does he?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Leif and Skadi

Part 9: Practice makes perfect!

The shower and bachelorette party the night before had served their purpose. To unwind me from the tightly wound ball of bridezilla-ness the past few days had infused within me.

I was relaxed and happy.

The goal of the day was to get as many people and cars together who would be headed up the mountain to haul stuff with them and drop at the designated sites. Our pianist needed to be picked up at the airport and tuxes needed to be picked up too. The wine we had handpicked needed to be hauled up.

I am sure there was more we needed to ensure was up there, but funny how I look back and remember worrying about the cases of wine we had purchased. We had bought the wine in Napa. Had designated two entire trips to Northern California for the sole purpose of buying wine. One, Vargas Girl came out and went with us to Sonoma. The other AB and I spent a rainy weekend in Napa picking out wine and gifts for our bridal party.

Sure you can get wine in Reno. Probably a whole lot cheaper too than what we spent. But even then wine was important to us and we wanted to score some bottles only found in the wineries. (Excuse me while I go giggle about having the time to go drive 3 hours, spend the night somewhere and 3 hours back for the sole purpose of buying hard to find wine... oh those were the days!)

Finally everyone was headed up the mountain, mostly to stay for the next couple days. We were anxious for our rehearsal.

I was worried about everyone arriving... if they didn't practice, would they know how to walk down the aisle??

Some people were touch and go and walked in nearly last minute, thus pushing me back to the brink of bridezilla-ness. But everyone made it to the church, we relaxed and practiced walking.

Our rehearsal with Pastor Larson was great. Exactly what you would expect of a Lutheran pastor... the Lutherans in the crowd will understand that statement. After a few run throughs of how the ceremony would go the next day and we were good to go!

I am pretty sure I thought we needed to practice at least five more times.

We headed down to The Christmas Tree for our rehearsal dinner where we occupied a large section of the restaurant and were offered a choice of steak from the mahogany grill or shrimp (I think). All of our friends and family were there and so in a sense the rehearsal was very much like the wedding reception would be. It was important to us that we include our immediate family and friends as well as their significant others. Ever go to a wedding where the person in the wedding was included in the events and the date was relegated to hanging out in the hotel? We would have chosen a less expensive dinner locale before we let that happen.

We had the adult's table at our rehearsal dinner. My parents and their spouses and AB's parents at the adult table. My grandmother was also at this table.

We offered up our gifts to our bridal party. AB chose flasks for his groomsmen and he was so pleased with them. I picked out items for each of my girls (my sister, my best friend and AB's sister). Funny, I only remember what Vargas Girl's was.

Dinner was over and a few of us (myself, my mom, my stepdad, my grandmother and my pregnant sister and her fiance) were making our way back down the hill for the night in Reno. For some reason AB and I decided to stick with tradition and spend the night before the wedding apart. This is the one thing that when AB looks back on our wedding he regrets, not spending the night before with me.

AB and his guys and their girls were staying up in a condo at the lake.

It seemed like a long drive down the mountain squished in the back of my mom's rental car. We arrived at my house and were met with an obstacle.


Winny, our 10 month old dog, had reached her limit and was not going to let anyone in our apartment but me. This posed a small problem since at minimum I had promised some scotch to my stepdad and my future brother in law. This was the first time Winny decided that if AB wasn't there, that it was her duty to protect me in every way possible.

And certainly these strangers coming home with me meant no good whatsoever. It was up to her and only her, to protect me.

Poor dog barked and growled and barked. I finally got the family back and I went in, calmed her down and put her outside and shut the blinds so she couldn't see.

I let everyone in and we enjoyed our scotch.

My grandmother started easing her way onto my bad side by peeking out the window at the dog. Who would then completely freak out. I lived in an apartment and this was not a good thing. Despite my requests to just leave her alone, she persisted in doing this. If you know my grandmother this comes as no real surprise to you. This was just a taste of the things to come the following day with respect to my grandmother, who I really do love very much... but she wasn't very well behaved at my wedding.

After the scotch the family headed down to Circus Circus for the night, I drew a bath and pampered myself.

I called AB for a goodnight and heard the wild rumpus. They were all having a great time at the condo and I was thrilled he was there and enjoying the time with his friends.

And I was exactly where I wanted to be... at home relaxing and getting ready for my wedding the next day.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dang It

Neither AB or I have much trouble with major cursing. We don't curse regularly and never have really had to worry about it in front of Leif. We have tried to watch the "light cursing". I don't know what it is called really... things like saying "stupid driver" and "pull your head out" while driving (my worst offenses). Those phrases that don't involve cursing, but still aren't so nice. Where you substitute in lesser words for the higher end offenders. One readily used among AB and I is "dang it".

We have told Leif it isn't a nice thing to say.

We were in the car going to swimming the other day when I realized I had left our two returns and rebate check for Costco sitting on the counter.

"Dang it!" I said, "I forgot the returns and the rebate!"

"Mommy, that isn't a nice thing to say, don't say dang it," Leif replies in the back seat.

AB sat smirking in the front seat.

"I am sorry Leif," I said, "I didn't mean to say something bad."

"Only daddies can say dang it, ok?" Leif then divulged.


I was also told that at the park today Leif told another little girl, "only my daddy can say dang it and only while he is shopping".

Oh how well my son already knows his daddy. If daddy had to do much shopping, "dang it" would be thrown around with wild abandon.


Skadi cruises around the floor at great speed. She routinely is picking up something that Leif doesn't want her to. Almost nearly as often as she finds things *I* don't want her too... enter the coffee bean she crunched into this evening while we picked up the kitchen.

She found Leif's Valentine's Day card on the floor the other day and picked it up.

"NO!" Leif squealed, "she cannot have my Valentine's Day card."

"Well don't leave it on the floor then Leif," I tell him.

"Skadi I will show you my card," he says getting down onto the floor.

He opens it up.

"See Skadi it says, Leifers birthday is in a few days!" he said much to our surprise.

"Leif, when is your birthday?" I asked him.

"Tuesday," he tells us.

You can complete this discussion in your head by inserting discussions of July 29th being 5 months away still with a preschooler set on being contrary.

February - mostly done

So aside from the curtains - that at 4pm on Sunday I remembered I was going to sew. And aside from the fact that AB needs to change lightbulbs in his closet - yes I know how to change lightbulbs, but it is hard to do with a very needy nearly 11 month old squealing at your feet. And aside from the fact that the panther picture needs to be hung up.

Leif's bedroom is done.

I am happy with the storage options I found at Target. The closet is pretty well cleaned out. So a lot of things went back in. But a lot went to trash and a lot went to the garage sale stack. There is room to store things in the closet (likely "things" from Skadi's closet - which is not walk in and full of kid stuff), room for Leif's nicer clothes to be hung, and room for the larger Little People items.

I also spent about 30 minutes in the kids bathroom (told you I didn't need a full month there) and cleaned out the vanity. So I will also add that to the list since I bought bins and a few little storage things for it - that room is also done.

AB cheered that he got a few weeks reprieve before onto the next room. Silly, silly boy.

I reminded him his mom is coming out in early-mid March. And that room needs serious attention before March 1st.

So here are the after pictures. Before pictures are here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another one for the list

AB was home this morning. I love that because he gets a taste of my mornings and usually ends up marvelling, "how exactly is it you get out of the house at 8am everyday with those two?"


Oh and a little bribery.

This morning it wasn't the cabin or camping that Leif was fixated on. It was...

The grocery store.

Leif: "I want to go to the grocery store."

NM: "Why sweety?"

Leid: "Because I do."

NM: (New tactic...) "What do you want at the grocery store?"

Leif: "A box."

NM: "What kind of box?"

Leif: "A big box."

NM: "What are you going to do with the big box?"

Leif: "I want to paint it and cut a hole in it to crawl inside like a cave."

NM: "Well we might have a box in the garage we can do that this weekend with."

Leif: (Enter whining.)"No, I want to buy a box at the grocery store."

NM: "Well I don't think they have boxes like that at the grocery store."

Leif: "Yes they do."

NM: "Ok, we'll see."

Later in the drive up at Starbucks.

NM: "I will take a grande cinnamon dolce latte, a kids --"


NM: "This isn't the box store!"

(Giggling over the intercom.)

Leif: "Let's go to the grocery store now."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Leif funnies

Skadi loves to feed others. She will take a bite and then feed whoever is willing the next bite. This is most often the dog.

Leif: "Skadi, it is very important that you listen to me, you must not feed Winny-dog lasagna!"


Leif took one of the pigeon books in for show and tell. "The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog" that he picked out at Barnes and Noble last weekend. We were on the way home from school in the car.

NM: "So what did you tell your group about the pigeon book today?"

Leif: "I said, this is my pigeon book I bought it the other day at the latte store.

Hanging head in shame... Barnes and Noble is the "latte store" for my son... not the book store. Just because everytime we go, we get lattes!


Leif was drawing a picture for Bompa in his card the other day. He was meticulously drawing straight lines.

Here is the thing with this age group - he is getting to that point where you should be able to tell what he is drawing... or so he thinks. They are pretty much all circles or lines to me.

NM: "Leif what are you drawing so I can write to Bompa what your picture is?"

Leif: "Mommy, can't you see I am drawing straight lines."


Leif woke up this morning insistant that we go to the cabin. He is such an outdoors kid. All last week it was camping, he wanted to go camping so badly. We set his play tent up, but that only worked for an afternoon until he was asking for the big blue tent outside please and not in the back yard.

Leif: "I know what we should do today!"

NM: "Well I think we are going to go to work and school, but what do YOU think we should do?"

Leif: "We should go to the cabin, and then to C's house, and to N's house, and then to the park, and go climb the mountain, then we can go to Miss Donna's (McDonalds - he has been there three times now his entire life) and then we can go to the doctor!"

First off, busy day there. Second, the fact that going to the doctor is lumped in there on his list of fun things to do concerns me.

Happy Valentine's Day part 2

I have to share what made me giggle this morning (aside from the weirdness of doing the Avent calendar with Leif on Valentine's Day)...

We were driving to work/school and I saw the kids walking to grade school. The girls in their red and pink dresses and tights and their neat bags of Valentines.

Then the boys... dressed normally with their bags of Valentines probably signed by their mothers - I discovered the past few days, boys have no interest in helping with Valentines. I tried. I really did. But it kind of makes me laugh when thinking about how much I put into getting a Valentine from the boys I liked... and how they must have painstackingly picked out specific Valentine's implying lifelong love...

Anyways, I digress. There were the boys swinging their Valentine's bags at each other and hitting every post they walked by with those poor bags.

Just another observation for nature versus nurture.

(Not quite sure what this says about my husband though...)

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am a holiday person, I love birthdays and nearly every other holiday out there. We put window clings up and I sometimes go a little overboard in decorating for holidays.

But that said I am not a huge Valentine's day girl.

I am not on the anti-Valentine's day bandwagon that says you shouldn't have to have a holiday to tell someone you love them (my counter to that group is what do you do about every other holiday on the calendar - Mother's Day. Father's Day...). I am not anti-consumer holidays necessarily either.

I am just not a big Valentine's day person. I don't insist on flowers or chocolates and usually am ready to strike a deal with AB that we don't do anything for each other for Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day comes on the heels of our three pack of gift giving holidays - Christmas, then my birthday and then AB's birthday. By the time it arrives I am out of gift ideas! (And usually realizing I have had far too many sweets the last 8 weeks...)

I do always make sure he has a card and a little something sweet. (The kids get a touch more spoiling.)

AB agrees to this and nods his head... then goes off and does something on a much grander scale. Last year it was chocolate truffles (to satisfy my pregnancy cravings) and flowers. This year he has something up his sleeve... but I don't know what.

Upon discovering that something was in the mail and him "hoping" it arrived by today, it sent me scrambling at 10am this morning to get something in the works for him.

Kind of takes away the romance though when you have to call your significant other at work and make sure they don't have anything on their schedule tomorrow so he can go get a massage for his present. Nothing says "last minute" more than that phone call ON Valentine's Day...

He was thrilled.

I felt like a dode.

Next year I am not going to be a Valentine's Day slacker!

So onto the meaning of Valentine's Day. Love.

I am so very lucky to have AB and am so thankful for our relationship. We rarely argue, we respect each other, we have two beautiful children and respect each other as parents, we value each other's opinions and we love each other still after nearly 8 years of marriage and 6 more on top of that of hanging out together.

Happy Valentine's Day AB!

Monday, February 11, 2008

My biggest fan

For those of you who don't know, I thought I was an artist for awhile. I even went so far as to declare "art" my second major. Then I transferred schools and gave it up figuring I wanted to make some real money and could do art as a hobby anytime.

"Anytime". That would be anytime I actually HAVE the time for art.

Yesterday late afternoon I was working on the closet in Leif's room and I pulled out my portfolios. I asked Leif if he wanted to look at my drawings.

"No," he told me matter of factly.

I left the portfolios sitting there and he came around. "I want to see what is in there," he told me.

I pulled out the first one, a bird I did. It was always one of my favorites. Of course Leif's response was, "ooooh a pigeon!!"

My drawings are a little bit better than Mo's pigeon... but we got a good laugh out of that being where Leif went first. I pulled out the least whacked out pictures of the bunch to show Leif, he picked one out of there.

A panther on a piece of posterboard done in three media. Ink, airbrush and oil pastels. I had always liked him.

Leif decided he wanted it. He carried it into his room while I bit my lip trying to curtail it from certain anhilation at the hands of a three year old.

Funny when I did it in high school I never envisioned a three year old manhandling it.

He decided he wanted it hung on his wall next to his lion chair, and down low. Not high like I hung his carved fish that Bompa made him for hanging his pictures up.

I did happen to find an old framed poster and AB has promised to try and figure out how to get the poster out of said frame so we can put the panther in and maybe somewhat protect the "art" after 20 years of residing in a portfolio.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekend wrap up

This weekend flew by. AB poured Pinot Noir on Friday and Saturday and enjoyed that.

I took Leif to swimming and wrestled with Skadi while we watched. Just did not want to sit still. I think we will put her back in swimming starting next session. She loves the water and is just getting to that point where she recognizes the pool and really wants to be in it.

We came home and Leif had quiet time in his tent in the dining room. He has been begging for a week now to "go camping" and talks about building fires, sleeping in the tent with the dog and mommy and daddy, gathering firewood and saving C from any monsters that might invade the campground.

I told Leif he had to be quiet in his tent for quiet time, otherwise it was off to his bed for quiet time. He took me seriously. He was quiet and layed still in there for about 45 minutes, relaxing. No nap, but lately we are at about 50-50 with naps.

We headed out for a playdate with sibling friends where it dawned on Skadi that L was doing something she doesn't do. (L is two months older.)


SO since that playdate Skadi has been striving to stand on her own.

Without holding on.

Just the other day I was saying Skadi was a long ways from walking. I am taking that back. I think she will take her first unassisted steps in the next 2-3 weeks.

We all got home and AB and I looked at each other and about the same time asked, "where are we ordering food?" PF Changs it was.

After the kids went to bed, AB and I finished "3:10 to Yuma", which wasn't half bad. AB enjoyed it "allright" for a Western. And since I never care for Westerns I really liked it comparatively. I am sure that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Nope, not one bit...

This morning we ate Swedies (crepes). Skadi actually ate more than Leif did... she loves her daddy's crepes. Then we hung around the house doing chores and such for the most part. AB made a quick trip to the grocery store and then to retrieve Sonic limeades, but that was about it - other than our morning walk.

I tackled the scary closet and have hit the motherlode with respect to garage sale fodder. And trash.

I pulled out my wedding dress and AB told me to put it on. I argued, but finally gave in. I couldn't zip it all the way (after 8 years), but I got it on. Leif looked at me and said, "you look like a butterfly! No an angel, you look like and angel mommy." Awww!

I made my way through about 1/3 of the closet while AB hung the Ikea animal hanger and herded the cats. I mean kids.

The closet still needs some serious attention, but it is started. I will admit that a few times I found myself just standing there looking, not sure what to tackle next.

At one point I pulled out a pair of leggings from my high school gymnastics team. AB laughed at them and said, "what did you wear those when you were 8?" He joked they might fit Skadi now.

Nope, I told him, I used to wear these when I was 16. Oh those were the days when I, like every other teenaged girl, complained about being fat at 104 lbs.

I threw the leggings away.

They only served to remind me of "those days". And well, I will never weigh 104 again, nor do I want to. I don't need the momento leggings from team.

Fish tacos and pinot noir for dinner. (Not the best match in the world.)

And that does it for our weekend. How was yours?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Our place in the space-time continuum

Did I spell continuum right? Spell check tells me I did. This has got to be the only word with two u's in a row. Anyways, on to business.

Our weekends have been busy lately. Every year as summer slows down I always look forward to the weekends lightening up some. This winter that doesn't seem to have happened. There is always that little inkling of being ready to go back to work on Monday to relax a little.

Oh my goodness - I wrote "being ready to go back to work on Monday"... Yes, things are going better for me at work lately. The fall is such a hard time as it's transition time for projects. Once we get past the holidays though the money starts rolling again and new projects are spinning up. I have my big project that is very nearly managed into the ground by a high up who is absent much of the time. I am tossed up between trying to step up to the plate, take control and be the hero that rescues the day and gets us back on track (or not) - I am afterall now the project manager for a project between three and five times this one in monetary value and with 12 staff members working on it. Or do I bide my time, do my job for the next 6 months while shrugging my shoulders saying "I offered to manage the project but you guys said I was too young".

Yeah, I talk big, but I am not that type of person.


I have a few more years before I get that cynical. I have a meeting where I am sure I will find the words seeping out of my lips offering to take over project management. Frankly I will be surprised if it happens, but then I can at least say I offered twice.

I picked up a new task and managed to finagle 2/3's of the project's budget for my task. Finagle... ok, I didn't finagle much, they gave it. While it seems like a lot in the coffers, lining out what needs to be done and my time and the engineer's time, and it is pretty small potatoes. But I have the opportunity to make a big splash if it works. And it opened a door for me that I never expected with sharing the job of being a custodian of a brand new, big money, new capability instrument. That and being labeled as the go to girl for gas handling systems since I have had two more inquiries since. Not exactly what I want to do in the long run, but it's kind of fun to design and build things.

I still have one proposal sitting out there in "strong consideration" and I just sent out another that I am very hopeful on. I am in a happy place with work right now.

AB as well. He hasn't said it yet, but he loves his job. So being gone 12 hours a day is rough (mostly on me). Going to bed by 9pm sucks (for both of us). Vanpooling an hour each way isn't fun. But he is excelling at his job and appears to be a shooting star - that hopefully doesn't burn out anytime soon. He is working Safety, but was offered the chance to move back into Environmental - more related to his Masters degree. In one instant he was excited to do Environmental work, but in the next is a little mournful of "but I really like what I am doing right now". Deciding what is best career-wise is hard. I tell him to just do what he likes... but his response is that he likes it all. Which is a new world compared to where we were a year ago today.

He has five weeks of vacation a year on top of having Fridays off. Every Friday off. Unless he wants to work overtime - which is nice too. This has been great. Today, for example, he was pouring Pinot Noir all day. A little tasting might have been going on too... A week from Monday he is staying home with both kids for President's Day and says he is looking forward to it. I, otoh, am completely lacking time off of all types and will be toiling away in my office.

Moving onto the kids...

Skadi is leaning towards deciding that she is a one nap girl. Leif didn't jump on this boat until he was a few months older and I remember bemoaning the fact that daycare was forcing him into one nap and he needed two. On Monday, Skadi's teacher told me they are struggling with forcing her into two naps and she just wants one long one. In the middle of the day. Which I hate to admit, we have often been doing on Saturday out of convenience to our schedule. She is so the second child...

But this nap in the middle of the day? The same time *I* go see her daily.

I wasn't ready to give up my lunchtime visits yet. I am fully in denial that she turns one year old in just six weeks on Easter Sunday. (Yes, Easter is THAT early this year.) Her best friend has hung out in the Infant room despite having turned one a few weeks ago. This has been nice for Skadi, and after a discussion today I am going to push that she stay in this room until she moves to Leif's school. Her teacher said it is not an unreasonable request given the overload of kids in the room up and the waiting list in front of her from her present room going into the next higher room.

She isn't walking yet and I don't see much motivation to walk in her anytime soon. Why spend the time standing up and getting somewhere on two feet when you can crawl there three times as fast? She cruises along the furniture, people's legs, the cupboards. But she doesn't stand by herself much yet and has yet to get herself to standing from being on the ground without help.

She is set to start at Leif's school in June and is fought over with regard to teachers. One teacher (Leif's teacher from last year) informed me it was decided, she was hers. But today I ran into Leif's 1-2 year teacher who said, "not so fast!' - and proceeded to make my little girl giggle.

I could have selected her teacher - AB asked why I didn't. I narrowed down the selection to the two teachers, both fantastic but very different people. This is one of the few times in the daycare/preschool period where I feel completely at ease with whoever cares for her. I figured I would let them battle it out. I told AB that the person who wanted her the most would win - and I want my daughter's teacher to want her from day one.

I left out the tiny little fact in talking to the two teachers fighting over her that she isn't her easy-going brother. She is a true redhead - personality, temper and all!

We will just let them be surprised!

I had good news earlier this week in dropping Leif off that he seems to have transformed again. All week he was a pleasant child who napped and did the things the teachers asked and didn't push buttons. She said he was just back to being a joy to be around. I don't understand the mood changes. But we have seen it at home too.

I don't have much new or original (not already blogged about) to report on Leif's end. Right now he has an obsession with being "big". Most mornings he wakes up and after telling me he had a good sleep, he tells me, "I grew a little bit and now I am bigger". This morning he told me that "this leg grew longer last night". He kills me! It pains me to hear his desire to be big. I want to tell him to just enjoy being little for now, no need to grow up too soon! And I probably will start telling him this. Though I distinctly remember hearing this myself and promptly ignoring it.

When I was talking with my Co-PI this morning he had a rationale for this, Leif still has his entire life ahead of him, everything for him is looking forward. While we as adults spend a lot of time, good or bad, looking backwards.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Love and marriage preschool style

So the little chicky who proposed to my son and is probably still waiting for his answer via phone call, latched onto me today. Ok, not latched. As a nursing mom, "latch" means something that I am not trying to convey here. I got a HUGE hug from her.

I hugged her back as icily as I could - in typical mother-in-law-in-practice fashion (though my MIL doesn't hug with ice, she is a good hugger). I wanted to whisper in little chicky's ear not to be expecting an answer from Leif anytime soon, he can't read and there is no democracy in our house, it is a dictatorship and I control what he reads. But I didn't. I just thanked her for the hug, but I see through her tactics...

Love and marriage is in the air at preschool though. One of the other moms who I am friends with told me her son was trying to decide which of two girls he was going to marry at recess tomorrow since she had told him he could not marry his sister.

And then the other day on the way home from school Leif blurted out that he was going to marry me. I was flattered, but told him I didn't think Daddy would like that too much since he is already married to me. He proposed a three-way marriage, but I reinforced the one man, one woman thing. (I accept homosexuality and I am pro gay marriage - but my three year old doesn't need to start thinking about that anytime in the near future.)

I told Leif that he was going to need to pick out someone else to marry, and he did. Our friend's daughter and not terribly surprising.

I want to think of Leif as being immune to the advances of girls everywhere - but I know him too well. Everyone gets a hug in our house, and kisses get doled out too and not just for the girls either.

He and one of his male friends always kiss as they depart from a playdate. Not surprising since on New Years Eve at their house I was kissed hello and goodbye by nearly everyone there and very few of them I had met previously. (A little weird... but whatever.) But at their house, Leif gloms onto this practice. Kisses all around!

Then there are the two girls we are closest friends with, it is hard to pull Leif off them... I have a Christmas eve picture I could post of a "Leif sandwich" with the two of them - it is apparent he was enjoying a little slice of heaven there... There are usually threats of dad's needing to become involved - though Leif doesn't pay them much heed. N has proved to be her own woman though as she puts up with his advances for about three seconds and then shoves him off saying, "no kissies Leif". C, on the other hand, eats it up and we have questions of "when do we force them to stop this" with regards to the present as well as future timeline with respect to age.

So while I want to think that my son is an innocent bystander not provoking any of this attention... I fear that he is an active participant in garnering this attention.

February goal started

As the first weekend in February, it is also the first weekend to address the current goal at hand... Leif's room. As I said before, his is not a hard room. Here are pictures of the starting point... a little organization is all the room-portion (excluding the closet) really needs.

I went to Target on Saturday and found nicely coordinating bins and containers for the shelves. I cleaned off the shelves, the Ikea organizer and the book shelf top and dresser top and started sorting. Keep (keepsake), keep (put back on the shelves in some organized fashion), garage sale or toss.

The garage sale pile is pitifully small. The toss pile was good sized, but a lot of the stuff was set for keep.

After a few hours (maybe at most) of sorting and putting things back AB came in. I was surprised by his comment - "I like the organizers".

Well so do I. So back to Target I will go (after AB gets paid next week) to buy another set of green plastic organizers: a new garbage can, a medium sized flex tote for cleaning day pick up, a small flex tote for holding essentials on the dresser top, some little bins for marbles and other "pieces", and some more medium sized bins for the shelves.

I cleaned out his dresser while AB put him to bed one night and purged most of the size 2T clothes since he is just now out of that size. And then I retrieved some hangers and started hanging his nicer shirts and sweaters in the crazy closet.

AB still needs to hang the stuffed animal holder. I mentioned this on Sunday and he reminded me he has all of February to do it. ;-) As far as I am concerned he has until I get the new storage bins from Target. Because once that is done, the room part is done and the closet shall remain.

The closet. The closet that looms. (And houses monsters if you believe Leif.)

Anyways, I haven't told AB this, but as of today our time schedule is being slid up. My MIL just wrote that she will be here March 13-18th. Which means that Skadi's room, though it won't be ready for her to occupy, will need to be cleaned out and prepped as a guest room for one last hurrah before our guest room goes away for good - or at least until we buy a new house.

And that little bathroom that doesn't really serve to have a whole month devoted to it? Also needs to be handled before then. (More little bins from Target.)

(Can you tell I have a thing for little plastic storage bins?)

Monday, February 04, 2008

A whole new scary phase

Today as I was picking Leif up and cleaning out his box, I happened upon a note in his box.

I am used to notes - usually instructing me to bring extra clothes in or go see the director. But this note was different.

It was in a child's handwriting. And since Leif only makes four various lines and curves to represent his name in some vaguely semi-recognizable fashion, I knew it wasn't his.

Yet it had his name on it.

And a big heart.

I opened it cautiously where I saw it said "mary me (heart heart heart) E----".

Oh and she didn't stop there... she gave him her phone number too.

Somehow I had hoped I would have time to prepare myself for this eventuality that would likely happen in 25 or so years...

However, the little chicky needs to wisen up if she wants my son. Because she has a big barrier between herself and my little boy... ME!

A whole new label

I get to start a new label today... "Skadi funny". I have Leif funnies, or Leif sayings that are often funny, but so far Skadi's funnies have been limited to her laughing at us or, most commonly, Leif. Not exactly "blog worthy". But she did a funny today that cracked both AB and I up - and it was 100% on her own accord.

The other night AB and I had salad with supper. As we sat around the table, I picked at the lettuce. I grabbed a piece and stuck it in my mouth. Skadi, sitting on my lap, quickly figured this out and took to grabbing a piece of lettuce and sticking it in my mouth. It was awfully cute.

I should also mention at this point, before going on, how freakishly fast my daughter is.



Deceptively fast.

You might think since she is a big girl that she lumbers along. She crawls at lightning speed to get to the dog food bowl when she is sure no one is looking. (And in typical second child fashion, she is correct, no one really is watching. Second borns get away with EVERYTHING.)

Then there was N's birthday a few weeks ago where in a flash, 1/3 of my banana cupcake was swiped and stuffed into her mouth where in typical second child fashion, I laughed about it. As opposed to freaking out - mostly. Though I did quietly run through the possible ingredients in banana cupcakes - and frosting - in search for anything potentially allergenic. Then asked myself who I was kidding... they are cupcakes. And she IS my daughter. No way can she be allergic to cupcakes. It would be a horrible tragedy to befall in my house.

Tonight AB and I sat at the table chatting after releasing our captive from his restraints known as the dining room chair. Skadi was on my lap.

Before I knew it I had a handful - serious handful here, we aren't talking a piece - handful of lettuce complete with Ceasar dressing stuffed in my mouth, up my nose and all over my glasses.

While a little girl sat on my laugh giggling hysterically.

And husband was NOT helping the situation at all by laughing either.

Ok, I can laugh about it now... hence, the label.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

"I love my doggy."

And my doggy loves me.

There's the kisses I wanted!

Wait, I didn't say you could be done kissing me!

Oooooh, sparkley!

I love my doggy and my doggy loves me.

(Winny IS a great dog. Yes, she pretty much sits and lets the kids and cat roll all over her. She's a good protector dog too.)