Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh No---It's Finally Here

It's what I've been dreading since Rhett was little: the end of his naps.

The past month or so, Rhett's been fighting napping. Not fighting me, but fighting sleep. I'll put him in his room and he'll be just fine. But about 40 minutes into the nap, I'll hear him, "Can I wake up?" Of course he means, "Can I get out of bed? I'm bored." Naturally I say no. But really, on those days when he doesn't nap, he doesn't do too badly. At least, he's just as disobedient and tantrum-prone as on the days he does nap, so the statistician in me says that naps are having no effect on his mood.

On Sundays, we now get home just before 2 p.m.--plenty of time for a short nap. Yesterday we told him he could forgo the nap if he'd sit on the couch and have quiet time until I took him visiting teaching. Since it meant no nap, he was totally for it. He sat on the couch for 45 minutes "reading" his books. All the while Chuck graded papers and I prepped dinner and read the newspaper. It was lovely; why can't parenting be like this all the time?

I know most days won't be this easy. I'll need to do more during nap time, like laundry, or say, watch "America's Next Top Model." I can't do that with Rhett just hanging out. So what am I going to do?

I know some of you have instituted quiet times. For how long are your kids in there? Do you just give them books and maybe coloring stuff? Anything other ideas? (I can't/won't resort to TV, but not because of Rhett, because of me. I have the issues, not him.) I'm just kind-of freaking out over here, if you can't tell.

Sunday's Quiet Time--He's just so darned cute.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Dinner Table Squabble

Let's say you're the one in charge of putting meals on your dinner table (and all other meals, for that matter). If there's something you like to eat but you know no one else likes, do you (1) never cook it, (2) cook it only rarely and eat it all yourself, (3) cook it only rarely since you like it and you're the one cooking and shopping and slaving over the meals and force everyone else to choke it down?

An "opportunity for growth" arose this week when I made a meal that I know the males (Bruno excluded) don't like. Before you throw tomatoes at me, I also know the meal can be stomached by said males, which is why I make it at most twice a year. (What is the mystery meal? Chicken salad sandwiches in a pita. Totally innocuous, right? Wrong.)

Anyway, at then end of the hour-long dinner (hour-long because choking it down takes a long time), I was fed up. But, of course, so were my menfolk. My defense: C'mon. This is only a couple of times a year. It's not that bad. The males' defense: C'mon. It is that bad. We eat it, but why should we have to?

Why do I make it? Because I really like it! I'd make it just for me, but scaling back the recipe anymore (I already halve it) would be difficult and time-consuming for something just for me. So I halve it and ask that they eat one dinner's worth and I'll eat the leftovers. Buuuuut...I know they dislike it. I do feel the tiniest bit guilty while making it, knowing it's not a favorite. Buuuuut...I'm the one doing all the work! All the planing, all the shopping, most of the making; don't I get to be menu tsar? Buuuuut...there are lots of things they do like to eat; why can't I make one of them?

You can see why I'm conflicted. Tomorrow night's dinner? Runts, Hot Tamales, and homemade wheat bread. Something everyone can agree on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grandpa G

My dad called me from Japan last Thursday to tell me that my paternal grandfather died. He was my last living grandparent, and my sons' last living great-grandparent. Like when my grandmother died last May, I will dispense with the sappy stuff. I'm just not good at it. Suffice it to say that my grandpa was a pretty cool old man. He was a spry 96 years old when he died; I hope I'm lucky to live as long and as well.

These are the last pictures of me and my little family with him (taken summer 2010). Sadly, he never met Ollie, but someday he will.  (Just please let it be a long, long time away from now.)  In this picture, we are standing outside his Macks' Inn cabin, in front of Forest Service land. It is rumored that my grandfather would sneak out in the darkest night and cut down these trees for his firewood. Pretty sneaky, Grandpa!

At Old Faithful with my parents and son #1.

And how fun are these? I loves me some old pictures. I'm not sure who the man is in the upper-left (some relative to be sure), but the others are my grandfather and mother.

The top picture below shows my grandfather, mom, an aunt, an uncle, three cousins, my sister, and me.  (No, I will not point out which is me.  I will say that girl with the awesome bangs, turtleneck, matching handmade units belt, and rolled jeans is so awesome, however. ) The other two pictures are of my cute grandmother and my dad.

See much nicer tributes to my grandfather here and here (and my sister's blog, if you have permission).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ollie in the Movies

In addition to all the fun things (birthday parties, craft nights, baby showers, and fantasy football parties), we started Ollie on solid foods. Well I should say, Chuck started Ollie on solids. I haven't fed him one spoonful. But Chuck was excited to do it, so I said, "Go forth."

Also, the little man seems to think he wants to start crawling. He gets up on all fours and then either face plants, or goes into "model on top of showroom car" pose. Both make us laugh. And how I love his "talking."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random Thoughts

Is this outfit meant to be pajamas or no?

If you make a hard-boiled egg, do you need to wash the pan in which it boiled?

Recently, a friend was aghast that I haven't ever eaten Spam. I was aghast that she was aghast. What about you: have you ever eaten it? And if yes, please be honest about how it tasted.

I was finally convinced to remove my maps and put up the Christmas cards. We got exactly enough cards this year to fill the chandelier and I love it! But (1) for how long can I keep Christmas cards up there and (2) with what do I replace July...when I finally get around to taking them down?

Do any of you read Dooce? I wish I was lying when I say that this post made me tear up when I read it. Do you think it's weird I got that emotional over someone's separation/divorce when I don't know her? In fact, never even met her?

Do you think you could live here and deal with this much snow? My brother is insane (in a good way).

One last thought: When I went to register my new serger, I was asked the date of purchase. Guess how far back their drop-down menu thinks I could have bought the machine. 1851. They seem to think that people who bought sewing machines in 1851 (1) are just now getting around to registering them and that (2) people at least 161 years old know how to use the internet. I don't think so! My parents aren't half that old and they struggle internetting. (Kidding Elder and Sister Dad and Mom! I'm only making fun because you're just so gosh darn far away.)

P.S. Excuse the non-Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting this week, but hey. It's my blog. I do what I want.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Front Door

Our door has gone through a couple of transitions. This is how it looked when we bought the house. White (and notice the white shutters).

Then we decided we wanted a black door, so we painted it. But because our door faces west, the paint bubbled in the afternoon sun, and then the bubbles hardened, and then I accidentally popped them and the door looked pretty rough.

So finally we got the new door and the new shutters. I'm pretty happy.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Got Nothing Except a Compulsion to Post

My brain hurts. I am exhausted and have the busiest four weekends ahead of me that I've ever had (I think). Thankfully it's busy with things I want to do, but busy still. Count it: three baby showers, two little kid birthday parties, one craft night at my house, two babysitters' club nights, and one pug group. See? Fun but busy. And of course, I have this compulsion to make gifts instead of buy them. (But if I'm honest, I'm not sure it will happen for all of them.)

In addition to these things, today we're getting a new front door installed, so we're banished from our house. Also, there is a preschool open house I want to attend for Rhett. Can we just take a second to freak out now, please? I have a (nearly) preschooler! A kid that goes to preschool! I have one of those! Yep, tired.

In other news, we're going to start giving solid foods to little Ollie soon. The high chair was brought down from the attic and I'm re-researching solids as I forgot everything from when we did this with Rhett. How long did everyone do some sort of cereal before going to the real stuff?

My return to work was pretty easy. Since Chuck does all of the pick-ups and drop-offs, I don't have to have emotional breakdowns that they would cause me. Both boys are doing great there, and Ollie is napping like a champ, which is always a worry for me.

I bought a new workout video. I get tired of being able to word-for-word repeat what Jillian is telling me and I want to mix it up. So we'll see what Lindsay Brin has to do for me and my post-pregnancy body.

Okay. That's all. Goodbye.

But I always have pictures of super cute boys.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oh What Do You Do in the Wintertime?

I will admit that our winter has been pretty spectacular so far. Only a couple of days have really necessitated the down jacket, and we've even had a handful of days in the 60s. SIXTIES! I'm not lying people. It's been pretty great. But because I have nothing else fun to share on the topic you get the following three pictures.

What we have here was taken on a recent cold morning when going out wasn't really a good idea. I came up with a great idea of playing "Pin the Tail on Something" which ended up being, "Mom, cut out more things!" He pretty much loved it. And you can love that I didn't take a picture of the paper Rhett the day after we created it...when a penis was added. I made Chuck do that one. Oh my anatomically-correct son. (And in case you can't tell, those are ears above the eyes and a pocket on the ribs. The later-added belly button is at armpit level.)

The other day after Rhett's nap, I went to get him and he asked if I knew what he was sleeping in. I replied, "No." He told me it was an iceberg. My first thought was, "Oh c'mon. Our house isn't that cold." But then he showed me this, and I got it. You know, it's a bed an iceberg that broke off from the wall glacier and is now floating on the floor in the ocean.

And this one. Just out for a walk with the dog, but I had to document Ollie's reindeer outfit. So stinkin' cute.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Hair

Oh dear. The post-baby hair loss has begun. Why it took five months to start is an enigma to me, but whatev. I'm trying to brush my hair more often, but it's still coming out in clumps. Maybe I shouldn't complain about Ollie pulling it out because he's only speeding the process.

Also, let's be honest, shall we? It's not the biggest tragedy that my hair is falling out because it's pretty hideous. For some reason, I just let it go during pregnancy and the ensuing months, and then I come out with the same results: complete blah-i-tude. I present the evidence:

(Do you love how I cropped out my muffin top? I'm working on it, remember?)

It seems like last time I "woe-is-my-hair"-ed, people suggested a blunt cut at the shoulders. Does everyone still agree that this is the best course of action? What about this hair from a recent "What Not to Wear" (see video below).  If I did this, how soon before I tire of bangs? (Skip to about 2:00 to miss the bra fitting and just see the final reveal. Although, the bra fitting is pretty spectacular and should be watched if you have time. I can not wait to get a proper fitting.) Anyway, if you have any constructive criticism, please share! If you have any plain ol' criticism, keep that behind my muffin-topped back, please.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Boys' Room Scrabble Wall

There are a couple more things I want to do to their room, but I had to share this. I love it. As in LOVE. It's one of those things I walk by about twenty times a day just to look at it. I love it that much.

I found it via Pinterest and then this blog, and actually did it; can you believe it? I did something I pinned. Cool. Of course I roped Chuck into helping me, but he did so willingly.

There were a couple of tricks to it. One, don't use nails. Use the little 3M wall-hangy-thingies. (Good description, eh?) This helps with not having tons of nail holes in your wall and also keeps them straight. Second, use a template to attach them to the wall. I had some large butcher paper that I used to wrap Christmas gifts, and I traced the squares and drew it out just as I wanted. Using an X-acto knife, I cut out the places where the tiles would be. Then we taped the template to the wall, and stuck the tiles to the wall (using aforementioned wall-hangy-thingies). Then we ripped away the paper and...voila! A beautiful, straight Scrabble wall.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Five Months

Of course I love this baby. Look at him. Such a happy little boy, unless he's not. Thankfully, he's mostly happy. We all love him and only rarely does the older brother treat him unkindly. So far, so good!

I'm pretty sure if I said that babies are hard for me, you'd all stop reading because I say it only about, oh, 50 times a week. But don't go! This is new! Of course, the night wake-ups are hard. Of course the spit up on every single outfit is hard. Of course the thrice-daily naps are hard, only because they limit our outings. But now I have a new complaint: I'm scared to death of babies.

I worry about everything when it comes to my little guys. At least with Rhett I get some feedback. He can tell me when he's sick or tired...or just sick and tired. But with Ollie? Who knows?! Is he just tugging on his ear because he can or because he has a raging ear infection? I don't know!

Also, with Rhett, it's pretty obvious that he's meeting all his "standards." Sure he has speech issues, but we're working through those. But on everything else, he's doing fine. I can't say this for Ollie. I mean, sure he grabs my hair when it's right in his hand, but does he grab other things like he should? I don't know! Does he include the appropriate consonants in his babble? I don't know! It's just so hard to know if he's okay. And I'm constantly worried that he's not.

Just grow up already! Love, mom.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bad News, Good News

Bad News: Just found out that my eyes aren't "stable" enough for me to get Lasik.  And due to an eye disease my mother has (which means I might inherit it), I might never be able to do so.
Good News: I got $5,000! I got $5,000! We saved to pay cash for the procedure, but because I can't (see above) what to do with it? I'm thinking a self-driving tour of Ireland...

Bad News: We tried to play with Ollie's sleep schedule to see if something different would help him sleep at night (so that we could sleep at night). Sadly it didn't work and was much, much worse than what we were doing.
Good News: We successfully went back to what we were doing and are happy again with our once-nightly wake up.

Bad News: Our anniversary was the lamest we've had yet. It was just like any regular day with the boys, which is normally fine, but not what you hope for your anniversary. (Thanks to friends we were able to go out the night after our anniversary, but still.)
Good News: We're not divorced! We have many, many more chances to make up for it! And all of them without a small babe!
Update: I typed too soon. Our Saturday night date turned out pretty great. We went to Matchbox and had yummy sliders, pizza, and three totally awesome desserts (chocolate chip ice cream cookie sandwich, lemon tart, and fruit pizza). We even had good company join us for dinner. Then we went to Chuck's parents' house to play some Super Scrabble wherein my last word (we had to cut the game short) was "topcoat." That's right: a seven-letter word.

Bad News: I go back to work tomorrow after my five-month maternity leave wherein I have a new boss. This also means the death of my "just me-and-Ollie" days.
Good News: I reclaim my adult time, my "Erin" time, my fancy-dress time. My "easy" days return!

Bad News: I lost zero weight in the two weeks spanning Christmas.
Good News: I gained zero weight in the two week spanning Christmas.

Bad News: Ollie is not even close to going to nursery.
Good News: Rhett is a Sunbeam! A SUNBEAM! I am old enough to have a Sunbeam! (Note: this is meant as a joke seeing as though (1) I'm 34 and definitely old enough to have a Sunbeam and (2) girlfriends I grew up with not only have Sunbeams, but also have kids in the youth programs.  They might have got a bit of a head start on me, however.)

Happy 2012! Here's to a year with more good news than bad.

P.S. Don't worry if you didn't receive a Christmas card from us this year. No one did. I'm hoping we get a pass given the new baby and Chuck's surgery. We might try to get out a "Bubble Bath Day" card or a "Dress Up Your Pet Day" card or maybe even "Measure Your Feet Day" card. For tomorrow, I leave you with Happy Fruitcake Toss Day everyone!

P.P.S. Check out my parents' cute blog here. How awesome is Japan?! Chuck and I want to go on a couple's mission right now seeing as though it seems like my parents are only (1) sightseeing, (2) sleeping in, or (3) going to Costco.