Thursday, January 30, 2014

Late Church (again)

Every three years you should expect to get a post on late church. Seeing as though the last was in 2011, this post should come as no surprise. We've now done four Sundays (of 48--but who is counting?) at the 12:30 time. And so far, I'm loving it! Surprised? I am.

But here's why I love it.

1. Like last time, we are able to enjoy the NPR Sunday puzzle live. Chuck and I really like listening to it, and we really like yelling at our kids to BE QUIET so we can listen to it. Win.

2. Also like last time, I'm hopeful that when our temperatures are above 11 degrees we'll be able to walk Bruno. He'll love it, the adults will like it, and the boys will fight the whole time. Win. Or tie.

3. No setting of an alarm! Not like we need one, but it's still nice to be able to wake up at the horrible hour of 5:30 a.m. (thanks, my dear sons) without having to turn off the alarm 45 minutes later. Lose.

4. Productive mornings! The first Sunday at the new time I was laid up in bed. But the next Sunday I made homemade almost-whole wheat bread. The third Sunday I did a crockpot dinner AND banana bread. Suggestions for this Sunday? I'm up for them. You know, because I don't have enough recipes waiting to be tried on Pinterest. Win.

5. PAJAMAS! A friend of mine tells me that unless she's out of the house, she's in pajamas. This is so my ideal. But running early in the morning forces me to shower, and then I feel obligated to change into regular clothes. But not on Sunday. Oh no, it's pajamas until as long as I can put off a shower. Win.

6. Early nap! We've only tried this twice, but it has a 100% success rate. We wake, eat breakfast, hangout, and starve the kids until lunch wait to feed the kids a lunch at 10:30 a.m. After this blunch, Ollie goes down for a one-hour power nap, while Rhett goes to quiet time. And then at 12, we quickly get the boys ready and head out the door. It's genius, I tell you. That hour of quiet allows for me and Chuck to get ready. We shower, get gussied up, prep snacks for church, whatever. But it's quiet. Without us having to yell BE QUIET. Win.

So yep, loving 12:30. Now maybe 10:30 church will become my new church-time nemesis. I'll tell you in a year.

P.S. Why do we use the word brunch instead of blunch? I like blunch so much better! It's funny, see. Say it out loud: BLUNCH. Hahaha.

P.P.S. I seem to have less to say these days. So maybe posts twice a week, instead of thrice? I'll see.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Anniversary Trip

Chuck and I are coming up on our 10th anniversary. Even though the actual anniversary is in December, we're thinking that we might be able to swing a child-free summer trip. (Why summer? I don't want to go to a beach and that's about the only thing that sounds good in December. Well that or New Zealand, and we don't have the time or the money for that. How child-free? Grandparents! Super awesome, up-for-anything grandparents!) But we honestly cannot decide where to go. I know I know, our lives are hard.

So tell me, where's the coolest place you've been, including international destinations? What's the place that you most want to visit? I won't tell you what I've been thinking so as to not taint the sample. But just give us something to consider. Anything. Please.

P.S. Here's a fun one of Ollie. Once he was dressed this way, he told me he was ready to go play in the snow.

P.P.S. Speaking of snow, this is what's happening down the highway from my brother's house. Isn't it insane?!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nope, I was Right the First Time

Nope, the snow is totally not worth it. I had to tiptoe-run over lots of unshoveled sidewalks this morning during my four-degree run.

The snow gear is cleaned up (too cold to use it) but towels still lay strewn about.

Thankfully school is back in session, but tomorrow is already Saturday. Good because I like Chuck home, bad because, well, Rhett...

We're not predicted to have a temperature above 35 until February. Even after a hot shower, I just can't get warm.

My formerly-black car is now more ombre with all the snow and ice and salt on it. You know, salt that doesn't even work in temperatures below 25 degrees (which, as stated previously, is all we're experiencing).

Chuck is back to work, which is a given since he was never actually let out.

Did I say it's cold here? It is. So, no hope of melting.

Sigh. Sometimes I don't like being right.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Even Though...

...I now have weeks of cursing the anti-shovelites when running, garage-less, mudroom-free house gets filled with dripping snow gear at the front door,

...I have to deal with both boys, inside, all day with no school break (as of writing this Tuesday night, I'm 98.6% sure school will be cancelled Wednesday),

...spring is that much further away,

...Marylanders will drive over ice and sand for a long time,

...Chuck is no longer let out of work at the drop of a flake (but I seem to be; go figure),

...the cold weather won't quickly melt it away,

maybe, just maybe, the snow is not all bad. Maybe.

P.S. This is the bag I'm going to make to replace the backpack. Fabric could arrive today!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Does This Happen To You?

One day you decide you're done with your diaper bag. Done. Done toting all that junk around when all you really need is diapers and wipes. But because you're you, just buying a smaller replacement bag isn't enough. Oh no. You have to make something. Something for which you need new fabric. Fabric that is not found in local stores, oh no, fabric that had to be ordered. And until that fabric comes, and until you can make that bag, you despise the backpack you've been calling a diaper bag. You glare at it. It suddenly is your worst enemy.

What? This doesn't happen to you? Huh.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Four (count 'em) Dates!

Through some miracle, Chuck and I were able to go on four dates in nine days' time.

Date 1: Friday morning. Because it was only a couple of hours and in the morning and in the winter, we really didn't have any good ideas. So I said, "Grocery shopping it is!" But we opted for a brand new grocery store about 30 minutes north of us, one the kids would have really struggled with. It was a Wegman's, which is apparently amazing. And it was...okay. I mean, it's a grocery store; how amazing can it be? The one totally awesome thing was its selection of bulk candy. I cannot wait for the decorating of gingerbread houses next year because I know where we'll be getting our candy.

Date 2: ALL DAY Monday. This was our anniversary and we decided to avail ourselves of our regular day care provider for the day so we could enjoy each other while celebrating our 9th anniversary. We started by going to an RV store just to look at the little trailers. Unfortunately they were closed, but man, are those things cute. Then we headed to Frederick, a town north of us. It has this super cute downtown area, and we spent the day walking and going in stores. It was perfect. One of those things we would have done before we had kids, but now would just be too hard. We ate at this fun pretzel place. We will go back there with the boys.

Date 3: Monday night. A friend owed us some hours of babysitting so after the kids were down, he came over and house sat while we saw a movie. Movie was good, but can I complain for a second about the 23 minutes of previews? Those things were interminable.

Date 4: Saturday night for three hours with two other couples. I don't know why it's taken us so long to join other couples on our babysitting group nights, but we sure have fun when we do. We did dinner at this taco place in a gas station (which I swear is what made me sick on Sunday), played indoor miniature golf, and finished with frozen yogurt. Good times.

Next date: Banff Film Festival in two weeks! So excited for this one.

P.S. I know this post isn't very exciting, but I couldn't believe how lucky we were to be able to get out together this many times.

P.P.S. We couldn't bear separating the boys, so it lasted only that one night. We're still trying different things to get them to sleep past 5:30 a.m.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mom and Dad Can Hardly Wait

I am going to be the first mom I know to admit it: I really dislike Christmas break. And if it weren't for Chuck taking off the entire break, I'm not sure I would have survived.

It was all the little things, you know? First, having two boys home all the time involved a lot of chaos. (Yeah, I get it. The mom of two kids is complaining on chaos. What a gas.) But it was chaotic for me. They are noisy and loud. They play with one toy bucket for about five minutes, leave it all on the floor, and then move to another bucket. After another five minutes, they move on to something else. It's non-stop mess making all day.

Can we talk about the kitchen? How about the amount of milk we go through when four people are home for breakfast every day? It was a lot. I don't know why this was so annoying, but it was. Also, with four people in the house for all three meals for the 14 or so days, we created a lot of dirty dishes. We ran the dishwasher every stinkin' day. Which then meant that we have to unload the dishwasher every stinkin' day. Related: With us all home for all those meals, there was a lot of cooking. This only added to our dishes.

I can't even imagine our energy usage. Lights on, heat going, showers/baths running, all the time.

Finally, we usually only have to worry about activity planning for Saturdays. But during this break, we had to find something to keep the kids entertained every day otherwise it would not go well. (All four of us had our fair share of tantrums.) And truth is, we're not that good at it, especially when it's cold outside. For Chuck and me, this was our break too and we didn't want to think about, nonetheless carry out, activities. We just wished the kids would play happily with their new Christmas toys. But apparently this was too much.

So when Rhett went back on a Thursday, only to have Friday off due to snow, you can guess I was devastated. Let's just leave it at this: I am now super afraid of summer.

Monday, January 13, 2014

These Boys

Nearly every morning during Christmas break our boys woke up before 6:30 (their allowed wake-up time). Not only were they awake, but they were loud and playing and getting out of their room to tell us that, "Ollie was going to bite me." It's a recurring theme for me to complain on this blog about my boys and their early mornings, but this is my life. Too bad for me that I don't want it to be my life.

In the past six months or so, the boys have really enjoyed playing together in their room. (Note that I did not say that they enjoy playing together outside of their room. That would be a lie. They fight constantly outside the room, but for whatever reason, in the early morning hours and late bedtime hours, they play just fine. Go figure.) And in the past month or so, they have enjoyed sleeping in the same bed. Sweet Ollie would say (in his cute toddler-ese) as we were putting him down, "I want Mom/Dad to sweep wif me." Adorable, no? Of course yes. But of course we're not going to do it because we don't want to instill some sort of need to fall asleep with one of us. So when we told him no, he then requested, "I want Rhett to sweep wif me." Because we thought that was fine, we gave it our blessing. And look how adorable they are. Melt our hearts.

But we're still not sure how to solve this early morning problem of ours. Yes, we put the boys down around seven, but because they play together nightly, it's nearly eight before they're asleep. I just can't do any later; they need the sleep. But when morning comes and Rhett (who can tell time) turns on the light to read or when Ollie (who cannot tell time) climbs up to Rhett's bunk, how can we control that? We really don't know what to do.

So last night we separated them. The thought is that maybe for the next year or so, they are in two rooms. We have the space and the bunk bed comes apart, so we can do it. However, my heart broke last night when Ollie said, "I miss Rhett." And I know Rhett feels the same way. And at 7:18 p.m. as I type this and the house is quiet and not filled with silly boys' laughter, my heart breaks even more! Oh internet, what to do?

P.S. I love when Rhett uses his tickets to "buy" computer time because it truly entertains both boys. Ollie just stands there and watches Rhett play.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Being Sick Diet

You know how you hate being sick, because it's the worst? I think the only redeeming thing about being sick is the (albeit temporary) weight loss. I've been keeping track of calories (yes, yes, I'm one of those resolutionaries this year), and got this good news from myfitnesspal:

Although, I'm not really sure that's good news. I mean, drinking only two cups of powerade and eating only two saltines everyday for FIVE weeks gets me to only 116 pounds? Uh, I don't think so. I'll take the slow but steady course, thankyouverymuch. You know, the course that involves actual food.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas at Two

Because Ollie's birthday and my birthday are only a day apart, pictures from holidays show us at the same age (well, if you look at my really old ones, of course). For example, the pictures below show us at our two-year-old Christmases. I still don't know if I see much of him in me. But dang that boy is cute.

P.S. When I was sick on Sunday I asked him to sing me a song. His song was the words "Open the door" repeated three times, sung with closed eyes and head swaying a la Ray Charles. It was the best thing that happened to me that day.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Sick sick sick sick sick
Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh
Go away right now

Friday, January 3, 2014

Homemade Christmas Gifts

First, although I didn't make these, I had to share. Didn't my sister do awesome?! The boys love them.

Library bags for my nieces, Emmy and Lucy.

This wasn't exactly Christmas, but close. My nephew Jonas was baptized in December and so he got this scripture bag.

Apron and chef's hat for Ollie.

Table runner for my sister and brother-in-law.

Ornaments for my parents. Man, gifts for parents are HARD. (Can you tell they are states? It took my mom some time.)

A shark apron for someone at Chuck's work.

Rhett's fort kit.

Drink sleeve for Rhett's teacher. (It's a pencil, but you can't really tell that from this picture.)

The boys' Christmas shirts.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

And a Happy New Year

And because I'm too lazy for more words...