Thursday, March 29, 2007

my humble opinion

is that the old fisher price "little people" sets are 100x better than the new. Does this scene on the carpet bring back memories for you? Perhaps in your memory the carpet was a 1970s shag? My mom saved these sets from when we were small. I think the boys were surprised to find that these little people fit so easily into their seats. Unlike the chubby little people of today who have to be wedged in. My favorite little person from the days of old is a little brunette girl wearing blue with a white collar. You can't see her in the picture. I think she's driving a bus just off to the right.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

what a day

I did get a picture, just barely. Actually, it took 2 to get everyone. Getting the kids together was all the craziness it promised to be. We were outside, we were inside, we were upstairs, we were downstairs, we were riding scooters and bikes around the circle in the street, we were in the sandbox and swings in the backyard. Oh yeah, and we ate almost a whole bag of tootsie pops. Ok, so the sugar made them a little crazy, but they deserved the treat. Not surprisingly, mine fell asleep in the car before we even made it onto the highway. Going to bed tonight, they were already been talking about seeing their "new friends" again soon. And me? I am, as always, so happy to have seen my "old friends". Special, irreplaceable friends whom I would trust with my life. *happy sigh* It was a great trip.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


We are in Ohio this week for spring break, visiting my parents. Today was a trip to the zoo, and the kids had a ball. We lucked out...warm weather, sunny skies, no lines, yummy (packed at home by their devoted grandmother) lunch that included their favorite *treats*, even a carosel ride. Yep, there were happy creatures on both sides of the glass...

I'm trying to plan fun days throughout the week for the kids. As always, my mom has done much prep to make the house full of fun and a place that they love being at. Her hard work has paid off. They think they are in a 5 star kid resort! Tonight my oldest said he didn't want to go home. You can imagine how happy it made my parents to hear that.

Tuesday we'll be driving over to visit with 2 college roommates and their kids...there will be a total of 6 boys & 2 girls. We've never had them all together before, and I can't wait to see the commotion. Talk about a zoo! If I can get a picture, I promise to post it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

weak day strategy

I like to think of myself as an optimist. Happy by nature, or at least, choosing to be happy by nature. Most days I'm easily encouraged, ready to see the silver lining in the clouds, ready to see the glass as half full.

But everyone has their days.

This has not been the greatest week. It hasn't been bad. It hasn't even been terrible. There have actually been a couple of really terrific moments. But, it's Thursday afternoon, almost Friday, and the week is rolling to completion soon. Looking back, it's just not been one of my favorites.

So this morning I did what I always do when I'm not feeling my best. I made myself look as good as possible. Make-up, hair, clothes, everything. Not fancy, but all steps taken, nothing skipped. Shower. No track suit. No pony tail. Mascara and lipstick. If you look good, you feel good. Right? It works for me.

Get ready - here's another obscure reference - remember the musical "Hello Dolly!"? We did that in high school, which is why I know it. There's a number in it called "Put on Your Sunday Clothes". I can still remember the lyrics:

Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out
Strut down the street and have your picture took
Dressed like a dream your spirits seem to turn about
That Sunday shine is a certain sign
That you feel as fine as you look!
Beneath your parasol, the world is all a smile
That makes you feel brand new down to your toes
Get out your feathers
Your patent leathers
Your beads and buckles and bows
For there's no blue Monday in your Sunday clothes!

Maybe you already have your own strategy on how you get through the days that aren't your best. Your weak days. We all have them. But this is what works for me.

Oh, and the flowers really help, too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

for everyone

bloggers and non-bloggers alike! Why did I get a 50/50 score...that doesn't tell me much....except that I am balanced? hmm.

You Are 50% Left Brained, 50% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

what kind of blogger am I?

I thought when I started out that my blog would focus mostly on what it's like to live here, and how we renovate & decorate. But it's evolved into something broader than that. I am getting much more into the "life" part v. the house part. And my blogger profile confirms this!

Bloggers, which type are you?

You Are a Life Blogger!

Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.

Monday, March 19, 2007

time for preschool

My little 2 yr-old goes to a half-day Kid's Day Out program once a week at a local church. We call this "preschool". It makes him feel like he's a big boy, just like his older brother. His teacher is one of our neighbors, she lives at the end of our street. When we pass by her house in the car he always calls out, "there's Miss Ginna's house!" He loves her. He loves his Cookie Monster backpack, too.

Friday, March 16, 2007

erin go braugh

No plans yet this weekend, but we've got plenty of options. Top of the list should be cleaning out the basement, but, uh, well, hmm, I don't know if I can face that just yet. We're having a garage sale later this spring, so we need to do one of those clean outs where you make piles of things to discard and things to try to sell. For something like that, I find motivation in the 11th hour.

Much more interesting ways for us to spend our time on Saturday include a local parade, a Cub Scout pancake breakfast (we bought our tickets from our Scout next door), and a cookout at our friends' house at night. Still looking for a babysitter, though. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

shoots & ladders

I was just talking to my pal Betsy on the phone. She told me she spotted little shoots coming up in the ground around her house. I told her about these little guys that I spotted the other day next to our chimney. She asked me what they are and I said I don't know. I'm terrible when it comes to gardening. I can never keep plant names and identities straight. Any ideas out there?

Betsy, what do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

good grief

It was a packed weekend, as it had promised to be. We are just starting to get back to normal around here, though the birthday cards are still up and the new presents haven't yet all been examined. Our little guy loved his pizza and pool party Saturday afternoon and all the fanfare that went along with it. The big highlight for him was when his dad sneaked him down the water slide (it's a big one, you have to walk up about 3 flights of stairs to get to the top.) He can't stop talking about it. It's good motivation for him to work on his swimming. You have to be able to swim by yourself to go down. A few lessons and some practice time in the water should do it. Before long he'll be slipping and sliding all by himself.

Also Saturday afternoon we got a visit from Preppy Rider, who stopped by on her way to visit her parents. We met little Margaux Patricia, and let me tell you, she is a doll! It was so nice to see my sweet friend. Never mind what she is writing on her blog, she is a natural mom, with all the confidence and grace in the world. She looks great, too. I kept telling her that I can't believe she just had a baby. You should see her in action, she's already a pro.

Saturday night my husband and both of our parents attended a black tie dinner dance, a fundraiser for a cause that is close to our hearts. Part of the evening was a live auction, which was fun to watch. Afterwards there was a band, dancing, more fun. It was great to just be out, all dressed up. When was the last time we did that? Too long ago.

And yet with all the happiness of the weekend, there was sadness, too. My dad's younger sister, Marie, died Saturday afternoon after an intense battle with ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed in the fall and fought all through the winter. She was just a year younger than my dad. Last week she was strong enough to visit with my parents when they saw her in the hospital, but she had developed pneumonia in the last several days and couldn't keep up her fight.

Reading over this post, I realize that something my mom said this weekend rings true. Saturday we were all witness to the circle of life. A young boy's birthday, a new baby, sad news on the phone about a life taken much too soon. Tremendous happiness balanced by grief. You can't understand one without the other, you wouldn't want to. It just makes you grateful for every day. Even the days without parties and balloons.

Monday, March 12, 2007

mom my ride

We haven't crossed into minivan territory - yet. So I can watch a video like this with at least a little detached amusement. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

new roommates

Tomorrow is my son's 5th birthday. What a milestone!

A special birthday deserves a special gift. And what do you get for a little boy who loves to swim, loves fish, loves everything to do with the water? An aquarium! We picked it out together on Sunday afternoon. It's just the right size for his room. Inside there are 2 new little betta fish, Dorothy (like Elmo's friend) and Big Fish. Dorothy is the little glob of red up there in the photo.

New roommates, indeed! And that's just the beginning of the celebration around here. We have grandparents coming to town, and a big birthday bash at the pool on Saturday with friends, both sets of grandparents, and cousins. All complete with pizza and cake. What a lucky little boy! And, what lucky parents we are to have this little person in our lives.

Monday, March 05, 2007

that little blue tank engine

Dontcha just love Thomas. Dontcha just love how he and his friends can roll in on that fancy railroad of theirs and take over a life! Well, two lives, actually. When not managing train schedules on the Island of Sodor, my two little guys like to put on their Thomas jammies, or eat meals off of Thomas plates, or watch Thomas videos, or *now* play Thomas games and puzzles on the computer. Mommy and her sons, fighting over the laptop! Who would have guessed that these days would come so fast?

Friday, March 02, 2007

advice for new mamas

A friend of mine had a baby recently. And, as you know, with a new baby comes lots of advice on how to handle a new baby. She's getting it everywhere and from everyone. Family, friends, books, doctors. Solicited and unsolicited. Good intentions and....maybe not so good intentions.

When she was telling me about someone in her life who scared her a little bit, telling her how her baby will change and what she can expect over the next few months, I couldn't help but think of Ming. My dad's mom, up there in the picture with me, when I was about 5 or 6. She had 9 children. You'd expect that a mother of 9 would have more than enough qualifications to classify herself as a true expert on child rearing. Not so with Ming. She would have described herself as the complete opposite of an expert.

The thing was, Ming was such a wise owl. She was a history buff, had a memory like a steel trap. But she was also thoughtful, calm. It was always a good thing to get her perspective because she looked at things from different angles. She was our oracle.

Shortly after I became a mother, I asked her what it had been like to raise 9 kids. How she knew what to do. She told me that there was a lot of mystery in it, even for her. She said, "I thought I knew all there was to know after having 3. I was ready to write a book! But then I had a few more, and realized that I knew nothing."

This echoes the advice she had given me at my baby shower. All guests were asked to write down their advice for the mother to-be. The responses were just what you'd expect. Comforting: Enjoy every moment. Logical: Nap when the baby naps. Funny: Find a good scotch, bourbon or Canadian whiskey, and don't always follow those 'moderation' rules! My own mother, who has 4, had sage advice: Keep a sense of humor.

But Ming's advice I remember the most.

She wrote, Don't have any! I changed my mind and my opinions hundreds of times. Try to relax and enjoy it (or is that sex?)

Yep. Straight from the oracle's mouth.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

all on my watch

My children have incurred significant bumps and bruises over the last two days. And just who was responsible for them, while they were running into things and falling off of things, and falling down? Me. I know, I know. It goes with the territory of being a mom. You can't prevent accidents from happening, especially when you have little, rambunctious boys who like to run and jump. Still, it makes me feel bad.

My 2 year-old has a big goose egg bruise on his forehead after falling into the train table in the basement Tuesday afternoon. He was nearly inconsolable about it and had to get into his crib immediately afterwards to cuddle with his blanket. That seemed to do the trick.

Yesterday, my nearly 5 year-old tripped and fell into a table, landing right on his nose. We started out at the pediatrician and ended up in the ER afternoon to get 2 stitches across the bridge of his nose. BTW, did you know they have new medicine technology, where a nurse can numb an area of skin by placing a Q-tip covered in the medicine on the affected area? This was OH so much better than having to see him get a shot!

So, of course, no pictures today. I did consider it, I thought I if I could get a certain angle you could see how my little patients are holding up. But they're a little sick of being fussed over right now. They just want some peace and quiet.