Friday, September 28, 2012

wins & losses

Let's star with the wins.  

Win 1: a new breakfast project that Abby loved.  Painting bread with colored milk and then toasting it.  I imagine it shows up even better on white bread - but they aren't even aware that there's another kind of bread out there at this age, so shhh.  

Win 2: I went to my favorite thrift store the other day and made a lot of good finds.  Among them, this 1980 plastic pull airplane.  Kyle loves airplanes, so we have a soft spot for airplane toys.  Plus, E is at the age where she loves pulling anything around.  The propellor spins when you pull it, and it was $1, so definite win.  I'm such a sucker for old toys (the wooden alphabet puzzle and blocks and wagon were other wins of that same trip)

win 3: in addition to the airplane, I found this awesome wooden doll high chair.  This isn't a very good picture, but it matches the girls' kitchen set really well and is really cute.  The girls looooved it.  The funniest thing was watching E feed the "baby"  Every time she would take the rabbit out of the chair or put him back in, she'd make this strained grunting sound - like we obviously do when we picking her up.  So funny.

Win 4: I found a tie I liked for Kyle at the same store AND, the whole reason I went in there was to look for halloween costumes.  I have an idea of what I want to do for the girls, but I'm broke, so I need to do it on the cheap.  I'm not going to spoil the surprise yet -but I found something that I think will work really well for Abby's costume, and it made me happy. :)

Win 5: both girls let me blow-dry their hair the other night.  This isn't a win because I care if their hair is blown dry or not - but it's a win because they didn't cry and scream and run and hide when the hair dryer came on.  Abby would only let me use the low setting - so her hair took forever, but it was nice they weren't afraid. 

And now for the losses.  

While shopping at before-mentioned awesome store - I got a parking ticket.  BOO.  
Sadly, it was justified as I failed to notice that my inspection sticker expired 2, almost 3, months ago.  I was upset about the ticket, but more annoyed that it was due to my own oversight.  I need a reminder about these things.  

So I took the car in for an inspection today.

Loss 2: It FAILED the inspection.  The car people said my 2 front tires were too worn down to pass inspection.  So I need new tires.  They quoted me for the tires - and then clarified that that was the price for *each* tire - not both as I'd assumed.  Fail.

Loss 3: It's raining today, which is the most recent of reasons (and excuses) that I've not run in almost 2 solid weeks.  Terrible.  I fully intended to get back on the pavement this week.  Then the girls got sick, then I didn't feel well, then it was cold and raining.  Blah.  Excuses excuses.  

but at least she's still cute in her raincoat. ;)

So that sums up my past 24 hours or so.  Wins and Losses.  But, I'm thankful that there are still more wins at the end of the day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

yes, lo mein

I want to put on my comfy PJs and get into bed.  I want to read the book I'm reading and snack, I don't want a snack, I want to sip on something hot and yummy.  Maybe one of those chai tea lattes.  Those are so good.  I want to be lazy and maybe have somebody bring me dinner in bed...something exciting like take out chinese food.  Heck, I'd even come downstairs for take out chinese food.

Mmm.  Lo Mein out of the box while in my PJs.  Yes, that sounds good.

And when I'm tired of reading, maybe I'll watch a movie, or maybe just go to sleep.

I'm not sick yet, I don't think - but I kinda can feel it coming.  Which is unsurprising since E has had a snotty cold all week and Abby's throat is red and she's stuffy now, too.  Our nanny is in the same boat, poor thing.  Kyle reported not feeling well this morning either.

So, we're all a little pathetic.  I'm probably the most fine, and I'm happy to take a slow afternoon to nurse the littles back to easy breathing and dry noses.  It's not particularly sunny outside, so the overcastness lends itself well to snuggling on the couch with two little girls and a box of kleenex.  But, there is that part of me that selfishly wants to hibernate and try to stave off whatever inevitable sniffles are headed my way.

I'm trying out a new crockpot recipe tonight, so Lo Mein will have to wait too.

At any rate - we're all fine - just colds going around.  They will run their course through the family, from nose to throat to chest to out of the house.  I think we just all need a lazy afternoon.

Here are a few random pictures of late.

Apple Pumpkin Muffins - such an easy and yummy fall treat

Abby was here

E hasn't used a paci since she was somewhere around 7 months old, but she found this one today and put it in and looked pretty adorable.  A few seconds earlier, she was also carrying her taggie blanket around (that and the cat are her must-have items) and it was almost too cute to look at.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Elizabeth has a cold.  Nothing life threatening, just a really gross cold.  She woke up coughing yesterday, but I had to leave for work before I could assess her further.  When I got home, I got the expected report that she had been a faucet-nose all day.  She was, however, still in good spirits.

We picked up Kyle and took him to class and ran a few errands.  E was water eyed and runny nosed - but interactive and happy.  When we got home, she didn't eat much, but she and Abby played chase and half a dozen other games while I cleaned up.

I subjected the poor thing to the terrible trifecta of diaper change, nail trimming, and nose suctioning before brushing her teeth for bed.  It must be hard, as a baby, to be tortured like that by your mom - the one you need to comfort you in times of distress.  You could tell she was a little mad at me - mostly about the nose suction, but she still needed a good hug afterwards and I'm, luckily, still preferred for that over her toy cat.

After we brushed teeth, I sat down with her and read her a few more books than usual.  I wanted to give the medicine I'd given her a few more minutes to set in.  Usually, when we read books, E is up and down picking the next book and giving it to me and climbing up into my lap again, but last night, she was content to just sit and let me chose what we read.  After we'd read all the little books in her top shelf, I turned out the lamp.  Normally, this is where I scoop her up and put her in bed.  But, last night she didn't make any attempt to move so I didn't either.  We just sat there with her sitting on my lap in complete darkness.  I listened to her breathing and could tell she was still stuffy but not as bad as she had been. I lightly rubbed her arms and legs sending her into a trance.  I guess after about 5 minutes, she climbed up and laid on my chest with her head on my shoulder.  I hugged her and rubbed her back for a while.  Pitch black, just me and my baby, rocking in the quiet.  I only knew she'd fallen asleep because she woke with a start and looked at me, rubbed her eyes, and then looked at her crib.  So, I carried her over and put her down.  She had her stuffed turtle clutched under one arm and I covered her with her blanket and she was already snoring.

It was a nice quiet moment.  I don't get too many of those with her anymore.

And, in case you're wondering, as I did (but chose to ignore) why it was so so quiet?  it's because Abby was busy.  Busy drawing a family picture in purple and orange on her wall.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

simple days

Sometimes it's nice to take pictures and not worry about all the technical stuff.  I mean, I try to hit the high points- but I need to remember that sometimes its better to embrace the grain, the blown highlights, the missed focus or the color casting and just capture the memory.

Cause if we only ever kept perfect pictures, there wouldn't be a lot to keep now would there?

Anyway, here are a few of the girls from this weekend.  Maybe a little fuzzy or grainy - but I like them all the same.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

peanut butter

Yesterday, I was working on some photos and Abby came into the office carrying a big jar of peanut butter saying, "Mom?  Can you just open this for me?"  It was a new jar, so she got the lid off, but couldn't manage the seal inside.

My first thought was "No, we don't need to open this jar because we have at least 2 other jars that are already opened"

My second thought, which is what I told her, was "Abby, why do you need peanut butter?  I don't want you getting the peanut butter out by yourself, ok?  Peanut Butter is very messy and I don't want you to make a big mess with it.  If you want some peanut butter, I'll help you"

Abby stomped her foot and whined "But, moooooommm, I WANT to do it by myself!  I won't make a mess!  I Prooooomise! I just want to make a snack with the apples"

Me: "You want apples and peanut butter?"
Abs: "Yes.  It's really a yummy treat.  You would like it"
Me: "How about I come make it for you in just a second"
Abs: "No.  I want to do it"
Me: "Abby, we're not going to open this jar right now"

and Abs walked out looking a little dejected, but not defiant.

A few minutes later, she came back into the office and said, a little too sweetly, "Mommy?  Here, I'll take that jar back for you.  Don't worry, I won't open it.  I will just put it back in the pantry where it came from and I won't make any messes.  I'm just going to put it back. Ok?"

I said, "Um, sure hon.  Thanks"

And then she veryquicklyadded, "we just have another jar that's already opened, so I'll just use that one to make my snack, " she grinned really sweetly, cocked her head to the side and slightly shrugged her shoulders and added, "k, mom? Thanks!"

I couldn't help but laugh a little at her determination to do this herself.  So I said "Ok Abby.  You can make a snack, but please be careful and try not to make a big mess"

"Ok, mom, I won't!"

10 minutes later, she's back in the office carrying an apple by the stem so as not to disturb the layer of peanut butter that has been carefully applied to the entirety of the skin.  "Here mom, here's your treat!  I made it for you and I didn't make any messes!"

I delicately took the apple and decided to bring it back to the kitchen - where I was, admittedly, surprised that there really wasn't a mess.  In fact, the peanut butter was back in the pantry - lid on.  The knife she used for spreading as well as the plate she used were both in the sink - but had been washed with soap so that there wasn't any more peanut butter on them.  I suppose Abby noticed me noticing her handiwork and so she added "I just spilled a tiny-tiny bit of water mom, but don't worry, I cleaned it up"

I thanked her for the snack, but told her I'd save it for later as I wasn't very hungry right then.  I praised her for doing such a good job with her project and cleaning up so nicely.  She was beaming proud.   I didn't anticipate being very hungry for the smeared apple, so I suggested that I cut it up and let Abby share it with Elizabeth.  Abby reminded me, "Silly mommy, E-train can't have peanut butter yet, remember?  She's not bigger enough"


When did she get old enough to do this stuff?  Wasn't it last week that she was still learning to hold a fork?  And here she is, all big girl in her late 3's.  4 is just around the corner and it seems...unreal.  Next thing I know she'll be living across the country, calling on the weekends she remembers and forgetting to blog. Time flies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

here you go, mom.

I got to chat with my parents Sunday night, and I think there was something said about how much they miss reading the blogs and how they just pine away refreshing their browser every 4 seconds waiting for the day that they can read about their grandchildren once again.  I mean, it's a miracle they've survived this long through my extensive, desolate, blog drought.

Mom, may I offer you a glass of water?  :)

So, first of all.  Michael came to visit! Yay!  Also, Dani came to visit! Double Yay!  We very much like visitors.  Dani came up for the weekend before a seminar she was taking on the Cape and Michael hung out for a few days too.  I think the girls definitely enjoyed the uncle time and I know I enjoyed the brother time a lot.  We were able to take both of our visitors out into the city on Saturday for some freedom trail and site seeing action.  Michael and I went bar hopping where we just ordered chocolate milk every where we went and took notes and rated each establishment - that was a lot of fun.

Their visits were, of course, too short - but I'm very happy to have had what we got.  It is not cheap to fly up here or easy to take off time from their own lives - so thank you Michael and Dani for making the trip.  You were the highlight of our month. :)

In other news.

The new nanny is great.  The girls adore her and she has been a lifesaver in helping me keep the house in order.  In fact, I'm pretty sure any order in the house can be completely attributed to her.  She has definitely exceeded my expectations.  How very lucky we are to have found somebody who will not only watch our girls, but who goes above and beyond to entertain and educate them as well? Very lucky indeed.
"say cheese"

 Abby is...such a little person.  As of late, she has had fewer 3-year old melt downs and slightly more acceptable and even desirable behaviors.  I think this is mostly due to me being back at work.  She gets a chance to miss me, and our time together now is...not taken for granted.  Granted, our afternoons are typically jammed full of errands and activities, so maybe there's just not enough time to misbehave as often. ;)

She's been very good with E - they play together increasingly often and it must be my favorite thing in the world. Elizabeth has grown leaps and bounds of late.  Physically I suppose too, but more verbally and expressively.  She is adding to her increasing list of words and the words she knows are becoming increasingly clear and articulate.  She understands so much and can follow simple directions pretty well.  I can tell her to go get something and she will, to put her shoes away, to throw this in recycle or close the door.  I'm still always pleased when I realize she is doing exactly what I asked....just like a real person would.

Some of her more recent vocabulary includes distinguishing transportation - not everything is "car" now.  There are "Cah"-car "Bo"-boat "A-pane"-airplane "Tuk"-truck etc.  She is stringing together short phrases like "Oh no!" and "Shoes on" and if I ask her if she wants to watch a show - she happily shouts "SHOW!" and climbs on the couch ready to watch.  She also says "there it is" when you ask her where her bellybutton or nose are and she'll say "there ya go" when she's figured something out after working on it for a while.  Communication, it's the darndest thing.

blinky face - our favorite. 

Elizabeth still absolutely refuses to allow anything in her hair.  No bows, no ponytail holders, no headbands, clips or hats.  But, her hair is now long enough to put up....should she allow it. 

Sometimes I wish I could just record them and their funny conversations everyday.  There's too much to remember, but they make me smile and laugh on a daily basis.  Last night, Abby and I got the giggles before bed.  And I wasn't just pretending to laugh for her benefit - I was in tears because she was being so silly and we just fed off each other.  I can't help but wonder what memories she'll retain as she grows.  I wonder if mommy laughing before bed will make the list or not. I kinda hope it does. 

Life is good, work is busy.  I never have enough time in the day and my to-do list never gets completed.  I am sad that blogging is usually the first sacrifice made to the to-do gods in place of something more work-related.  I will continue to try to make the time. 

Until then, Mom - you can always call. :) 

Friday, September 7, 2012

hair today, gone tomorrow

My 9 mile running reward was to get a haircut.  I squeaked out 9 miles on the Sunday before school started, so I decided to go for it.

I had been debating for weeks over what to do.  Trim or cut? Long or Short?  Bangs? Layers?  Haircuts are expensive up here.  I always pay at least $80, and that's usually just for a wash and trim.  I turned to google and found good reviews for a little shop not too far from us.  All 5 star reviews.  Cheap prices.  Sounded like a good deal.  The lady doesn't speak a lot of English, but all the reviews seemed to agree that she knew what she was doing.

So, I made an appointment.  Even on the way I was only 75% sure I wanted to go short.  It was deciding to donate my hair to locks for love that finalized the decision for me.

The lady asked me what I wanted while she was washing my hair.  I showed her 2 or 3 pictures I had on my phone and she nodded once and said "ah, ok" and that was the extent of our discussion over what my hair was going to look like in an hour.

but, you know what?  I like it.

the aftermath

first picture

before and after

final product. :)