Sunday, January 29, 2012

End of Weekend

We do a lot in our weekends. I love it! Some are more fun than others. This weekend brought a big train trip to Philly to attend the Chinese New Year.

Here is our January weekends in review.

New Year's Countdown to Noon with friends:

Mom turns 35!

We hiked. We always hike.

And it snowed last weekend. The only other time this winter? On Halloween. WACK!

One month into 2012? I'm feeling good! YOU!?


So maybe every blog post is one mom's way of saying, "Look at me. Look at us. We have something to tell the internet." I try not to make mine brag happy. But I'm sure I fail. And I'm mostly ok with that.

Today I am proud of Seren.

I'm proud of Seren because the girl can read and write. It is amazing to see her just take off!

I'm also proud because 2.5 years later she decided that she would just give up her pull ups. Well, that isn't true. We discovered that she was scared to death of going to the bathroom at night. We installed flashlights and many nightlights last week. Still no dice. But we told her that when she was ready, we'd like to give up her pullups. She and Wyeth could have a contest as to who get out of diapers/pull ups first. We even threw in the idea of a pretty pony purchase if she could be dry for 7 nights.  She was so excited to wake up every day this week. DRY. Six nights in a row last night!

Tonight for the first time in her entire life, she went to bed in undies. I'm confident she'll be dry. She hasn't mentioned the pony.

I'm proud because she tries new things. Not always with gusto at the start. But she does them! This weekend, we tried basketball.

I laughed until I cried. Full on tears, people. It was hysterical!

And I'm proud because with all of the reading, trying new things, learning the ropes of school and being a big sister, I see her as an infant.  If I could tell the post partum mom that really, "It would all work out." I would.

At the same time, I'm still worried. We have miles to go before we sleep. She isn't grown for goodness sakes! Just wearing undies to bed! We have miles to go!

But for now, I'm just proud.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gendered Sandwiches

The cute things that the kids say just keep coming! There is no way to write it all down or record it. But here are a a few.

Wyeth says 'schene' for 'machine'. As in 'this lawnmower? It has a schene in there to make it work.

He also says 'noculars' for binoculars. and 'Bitamins' for 'vitamins'.
Wyeth started forced potty training last week. He has to sit on the potty for 10 seconds twice a day. I swear I wouldn't force and just let it 'happen' after my experience with Seren. But he has shown NO interest. So far, he is 'ok' with sitting there. He gets sticker. Just for sitting! Pathetic! But we are working on it!
Seren got her booster seats two weeks ago. Still seems strange to not have the five point harness. She was just too tall for it! And it was unsafe. We splurged and got her our first Britax for the main (daddy) car and a cheap one for my car. She looks all grown up back there.
The kids are missing Christmas. Wyeth and Seren frequently talk about elves. And our lights on the outside of our house are still up. They still request plugging them in. We do from time to time.  Wyeth announced last night, "I want Christmas. But we have to do Easter. Then we have to do the beach. Then we have to do Halloween. Then Thanksgiving. and THEN Christmas."  It is a long wait, Buddy. A long wait.

I personally miss Christmas but I also really miss the beach!
Since Thanksgiving Wyeth has asked me about why I work. I said, "To make money. So we can do things and have some fun."  He suggested, "You work so we can ride on the Hucklebyberry rail road?"  (the Huckleberry railroad is in Michigan and he loves it.) So according to him, up until yesterday, I toil at my 40 hour work week so we can go on a railroad trip/ride. But yesterday he said, "But we did the Hucklebyberry rail road! Why else you work?"

I responded to keep our house, to have food, to put gas in the car.

He said, "Daddy doesn't work because he doesn't need his own house. We share the house."

Gosh! Life is so simple.
The strike is over! Thank goodness! She has been to school twice now. Since December 22nd, she has now had school for a grand total of 6 days. What a month! Kindergarten has been rougher than we anticipated!

On Saturday, I was making sandwiches. I called out, "Seren! Do you want a grilled cheese? Wyeth? What about you?"

He stomps in with his pouty face on. "NO, I don't want a grilled cheese. I want a BOY cheese."

What a goofball!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Oh, the meaning of a friend. A long standing question. For me at least. There are facebook friends. Work friends. Social friends. Neighbors that are friends. Close friends and then that inner circle, friends that are your chosen family.

All of them are wonderful.

I love how young kids talk about friends. Anyone that is Seren's age is a "friend". See that other girl at the playground/beach/park/shopping mall playarea? A friend.

"Well, I met some new friends today."

She is in gymnastics (hysterical) and the new session just started up.  Her take on it, "Mom! Guess what? I now have 8 gymnastics friends."

I love it. It is so simple. And so universal. 

It will suck when she realizes, as we all do, when we mature, that not everyone is really your friend. Lord, the girl drama I see on the horizon!

But for now, I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Journaling Time

I have always been a person that has journaled. I love it. It is totally different from blogging but meets my needs to get words OUT.

I started journaling when I was 12 and still have all of the pink diaries (with locks) to prove it! I like the quiet time. Since children, this blog has been more of an outlet than my journals. But I still cherish my time to sit with my notebook and just WRITE.

Each weekend when Wyeth naps, Seren has some quiet time for about 30 minutes (or longer) and then I go upstairs to get her. She is known to ask, "What is our special adventure today?" She clearly cherishes the alone time with me. And I do too.  While she used to take a "quiet break" for over an hour (since the day she turned 4), we replaced this with a shorter nap since November when we realized that in order to meet our own academic goals, we had to take on this learning thing head on.

Anyway, I digress. Our weekend adventures are anything from playing a card game, to running to target, to picking up pull ups at the grocery store. The key is that we do it together. And we have fun. I love her hand in mine.  It is a special time.

In early January, I had the bright idea of combining my two passions: journaling and time with my kid! So she and I both packed up our journals, our pens and headed to Dunkin Donuts. (OF COURSE!)

She loved it. I cherished it! We both had a blast. I managed to fill 3 whole pages of hopeful thoughts concerning the new year. She finished a whole page. She had one entry about 2011 and one story about 2012.

Her little face giddy with excitement just about made my proud momma heart burst.

This life thing? I like it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Year old Stats

I took Wyeth to the pediatrician's for his well visit last night. It became a prolonged affair. My 5:45 pm appointment started at 7:03 pm.  Ugh!

He didn't want to be weighed. So I weighed us. Then I weighed me without Wyeth. After all of that, he weighed in at 32 lbs and 6 onces.Ish.

He also refused to have his height measured. NO!

So I had to measure him in the room using a little tape measure. He was 38 inches. Ish.

So that places him at 60% in height and 55% in weight.

I just looked at my blog for Seren at 3 years. She was 38 inches tall which was 73% for girls and 32 bls 4 ounces which was 66%.

I find it fascinating that they were the same height and weight! Wonky! I worry more about what he eats (or doesn't eat) than I ever did with Seren. And on the boy scale, he is still on the shorter side.  Somehow this gives me a bit of hope.

Not that I can control a darn thing about height!

So...he is still in the crib and still firmly in diapers. And still, by many accounts, eating a 'toddler' diet.

But we love him. What a munchkin!

We are blessed to have two healthy kids. I try not to take that for granted.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Next Birthday

I learned two things so far on this birthday day.

1)I should wear more skirts. A colleague who I see not every day but many days just said, "oh my gosh! You have legs! You never wear skirts!"

2) I should stay home on my bday next year and get a massage. I like working and love celebrating my bday with people. But seriously? A day off to just sleep in and get a full body massage? That sounds like birthday material, doesn't it? Plus, Seren is on to something when she said to me today, "Oh no! This is SO unfair! You have to work? On your birthday!?"

36! That will be the year of the skirt and the birthday massage!

I'm actually having a blast of a bday day. And Sam and I celebrated really well this past weekend. We made dinner at home, drank wine and listened to hip hop music. Hysterical!  Then we slept in as the kids were with my parents. Then everyone came up and my parents surprised me with going out for a lunch and giving me a big cake.


The celebrations continue as my friends will be taking me out on Wednesday and I have plans on Friday and Saturday too. I'm making this a week long affair!

Last night I ran three miles to make sure I can still do it. I could. Whew.

35!? Bring it!

What I do during the day


A report that I worked hard on all last year FINALLY was released!

Happy and proud over here!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Wyeth and I had a 'knock down' fight in late November about him sitting at the table. He would just get up from the table and walk around.
Hmm. Nope. Not having it.

Since the crying fight, he asks every time.

"Can I please be up-cused?"

(a nice mix of, "Can I please get up?" and "Can I please be excused?")

Community and the New Year


New month! New Year! New year of my life! On Tuesday, I turn 35. 35! And I love the thought. I have a grand theory about headed towards 40.  I have yet to meet anyone who is in their 40s that doesn't have all of their sh*t together. It just seems to be a good age. Many of life's major decisions are made. 40 year old women are incredibly confident.  They just KNOW life by 40.

So I have five more years to get my stuff together.

People laugh at this theory of mine. But I think there is something to it! Then again, I also thought when I was 16 that life would be figured out by 21. Yeah, right.

But anyway, for now, today, the idea of 35 is kinda cool.

I'm always one towards introspection but this new year, I've taken it to a whole new level. There are many factors in my life that are working very well. I have two healthy kids. I have a great husband who is also my best bud. I live in a safe community. I'm trying not to take any of that for granted.

But there are also some reasons, good reasons, to make some changes. My daughter's school is one main one. And my job is another.  I'm not going into it here. Wish I could! I could use the 'release'.

The bottom line? We are doing some serious thinking.

But thinking doesn't mean action. It just means, at this time, thinking.

Those issues aside, I'm very excited that "Community" is my one word for 2012. It may have been my 'word' last year but I don't care. I am going with it again this year. How to create it? How to foster it? How can I create a work community, a neighborhood community and how in the hell can I find my church community?

Life exists outside these walls. Lots of needs are in the world. And lots of people need people. Facebook can only get me so far. I want coffee friends. I want the kind of community where you can say, "I am one egg short, can I borrow one?" I want to trade kids for afternoons so other tired parents can get their work/errands done.

I have very specific examples of what I want to see for my kids' lives and for mine. But creating it takes some additional work. But I'm game! I'm motivated! I get so much energy from people. From people coming together. To do anything! Build a house! Have a potluck! Celebrate achievements!

In December, I organized a potluck at work. Simple. But beautiful. The week before I threw a party for a friend who just finished her MBA during one of the hardest years of her life. Easy. Awesome.

In January, we hope to do some service activity for MLK day. I also hope to have more pizza dinners with our friends. And more coffee! And so far, so good. I hope I can use this blog to keep me accountable. The challenge is that measuring my success in creating community is hard. I know it when I see it. Other goals (like running 2 more 5ks) are more quantifiable.

What about you? Did you make resolutions?

Christmas 2011

What a total and utter blast! We really had a great, great Christmas! We are so blessed! Blessed by family, friends and good health.

Christmas eve this year was the longest day ever! We had some very little bits of last minute shopping to do on Saturday so we divided up and conquered on that front. And then we were all set to do our annual  tradition of opening Christmas gifts with Bill and Linda via Sykpe when we got a text that Linda was in the hospital with a broken finger! We were initially relieved that it was 'just' a broken finger. Linda has had her fair share of hospital stays and is scheduled for more surgery. So while we were sad she was in pain, we were relieved that it was a 'simple' injury! (easy for us to say!)  So instead of opening presents in the morning, we had to come up with plans b and c.

Not easy.  Excited kids. Errands done. Gifts wrapped. Cookies made. So we did crafts. The kids were in great moods! And all of us were so freaking excited!

Some how the hours passed. The radio played Christmas carols. We sang right along as we had done all season. Every once in a while Seren would turn to me and say, "Santa is coming TONIGHT!"

At 4 pm, we headed off to church. We never go to this church. As those who have read may recall, the missing church home continues to bother me on a weekly basis. But this church has a great little service for young kids. It is loud. It is short. It is FULL of squirmy excited bodies. PERFECT!

We walked in and were immediately asked if we wanted to be Shepperd. Seren shyly nodded 'yes'. So she was given a costume and set to work being a Shepperd. She took her role very seriously. But did wave to us several times from stage. She beamed! Wyeth was very intent on listening to the songs. When we sang a Christmas carol he knew (most of them) he would say, "I KNOW THIS ONE!"

By 4:30, the whole thing was done. The kids were invited to visit the 'stage' and look at the manager and straw. They had a blast.

We went home and had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of "different ethnicity". This is purely Sam's idea, of course. The first year, we had matzoh ball soup. Epic fail. The second year we had a labor intensive Finnish meal. The third year, this year, we had Filipino meal. Excellent!  Our family, while keyed up for the upcoming day, was slowly working into a more relaxed rhythm. We have been going, going, going. Sam taught two classes at night since October and we all have been fried. So not only were we looking forward to Christmas, we really looked forward to being together.

Anyway, with dinner consumed, we heard from the grandparents that she was home from the hospital.  The kids each received five gifts from their grandparents. I have to say I was VERY proud of them. No fighting. No tearing at paper. Waiting for the other to open first. And then being VERY gracious when they opened the gift. The kids were THRILLED! And the grandparents liked seeing them on camera in 'real time'.  What a blast!

Then we put our pjs on and waited for Santa on the fire truck. And waited. And waited some more. Sam and I would try to go check when the sirens got louder. But Seren got more and more nervous. At one point, she was shaking. Literally shaking from the excitement of his impending visit.

At 8:20, he finally drove up our street! We waved. Yelled! Cheered! Merry Christmas!

I cried. Again. Of course.

We wrote a note, left out cookies and carrots, said goodnight and that was that!

Sam and I finished up in no time flat. We were ready!  But then I was the one who was too excited! I couldn't sleep! I couldn't wait to see the gifts that Santa brought! What excitement! What build up!

Seren woke up first around 6:15 and Sam went to get her while I got the tree ready and made some coffee. It was here! Finally! CHRISTMAS!

They read some Christmas stories and sang some songs. Wyeth woke up around 6:45 and by 7:00, they made it downstairs and saw the tree and all of the presents.

Seren wanted to immediately open her big gift. She just knew it was the one that Santa brought. Wyeth wanted his mysterious gift too. We did make them wait for the 'big gifts'. But they loved the wait! There were yummy goldfish snacks, fruit snacks and other small treasures in their stockings. Then there were so many other fun things to open! They had a blast!

Seren, especially, loved it all. All of it. She was sad to see that indeed, our elf, Beck, had flown home with Santa. Santa's note confirmed it.

In terms of 'big hits': Wyeth LOVED the 'refurbished' cell phone from my friend Cassie. Loved that! He also adores his chapstick, which he calls his "lips" from Santa.  His new bike was also a hit! So much so that Christmas morning, all four of us were out riding our bikes in our pjs. Awesome!  Seren loved the doll, her Barbie and her doll bunk bed. Oh, how she wanted that bunk bed! And there it was! She also enjoyed the hexbug!

I was proud that they were gracious. And thoughtful in waiting to open things and making sure they each took turns. Seren was a gift giver this year. She went 'shopping' at school. She then lovingly and with MUCH tape, wrapped up presents for all of us. I got a "gorgeous" ring. Sam got a snow globe. Wyeth got a two gifts. The first was a toy dog. The second gift was a zhu zhu pet. And he LOVED it. She was thrilled to give us our gifts.

A bit of a sad moment came when Seren realized that Dad and I didn't get anything from Santa. We explained that he doesn't give adults gifts. That made her feel better. Another sad moment for us came when Wyeth wasn't so gracious. He adamently dismissed gifts that were "clothing". This became a problem when my dear brother gave him a pair of slippers later in the day. He opened them up and then threw off the paper saying, "I don't like these poopy slippers! These are poopy!" Thank God that Uncle John laughed and took it in stride.

We went down to my mom and dad's home right before lunch to spend two nights at their place. As we left on Christmas morning, we noticed that the reindeer had left behind some of the carrots! Chewed carrots were in the driveway! Once there,  it was great to finally see my brother and to enjoy the holidays with family.  My father made a beautiful train for Wyeth. Talk about love! Wyeth hasn't stopped playing with it since Christmas day! They treated us to amazing meals, generous gifts and extra snoozing.  We went on a long walk at a local college, ate a traditional Swiss meal and had fun with new toys. And the gifts kept coming!  It felt like a vacation! It was great to just enjoy Christmas but also to chill from the stress and anticipation of the holidays.

I definately felt a sense of relief on Christmas night. We had made it to Christmas and through Christmas without anyone being gravely ill. The kids had a blast. And we didn't break the bank. Yay thrift stores! And we are overwhelmingly, abudently blessed.

Christmas 2011 rocked.

What  a magical age. They believed it all. Drank in the magic and took us along for the ride. Santa's elves. His reindeer. The whole thing. Loved it!

(pics to come)