Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I think I'm a hypochondriac...

The flu is running rampant around here - and I just found out that one of my colleagues (who sits across the cubicle wall from me) was confirmed with the flu yesterday.

I'm so scared that one of our family of four is going to get it - I keep sanitizing everything that stands still (and doesn't) with disinfectant gel, wipes, spray - you name it....

Last night while sitting at A's ballet class, I started feeling that bone aching tired, crampy, achy feeling - to the point that I could barely get her into the car to shuffle her home.

I don't know if it's my over-active imagination, the fact that I'm in the third trimester and am tired as all get-out and uncomfortable from the weight of this boy who I'm carrying super low, or what - but I'm terrified I'm getting ill.

D tells me there isn't anything I can do about it - I'll get it or I won't. I suppose it's a reflection of my total nervous-ninny-ness.


Monday, February 23, 2009

A letter to my boy on his second birthday...

My sweet sweet boy. It is hard to believe you are two years old already. It seems like just yesterday that you were born, screaming and "anointing" the doctor and nurses upon your arrival, and then placed in my arms - snuggled warm against my chest.

You have grown and changed so much over the last year - and went from the toddler who was barely walking to the little boy who runs every chance he gets, skips, jumps, and hops - just for the fun of it.

At two years old you are energetic and the comment I hear most often about you is "he's cute as a button and so WIDE open!" And they are right - you are indeed cute - and your smile is infectious. You can brighten my day by looking at me with your mischievous grin that melts my heart. I think because of that mommy and daddy have been more lenient with you than your older sister...

And you are a boy full of energy and vitality. Why walk when you can run, right? Your gross motor skills are amazing - and you can accomplish things that children a year older than you cannot. You can climb just about anything - and often do - earning your nickname of "monkey man" around our house.

You also like your quiet times (few and far between and typically when you are tired or sleepy) where you will sit in my lap and read books. You love Curious George books, as well as the Usborne book series "that's not my ...." You can point out almost everything that we ask you to in your picture books, and your vocabulary is coming along well.

You love your big sister, and want to emulate everything that she does. If she is coloring - you want to color with her (on her page.) If she giggles at something she sees - you start giggling too. If she's trying to play with something - you want to play with it to (whether or not she wants you go join in or not...) and you are finally getting to the age where you can play together. It is so much fun to see you interact with your big sister, and I can't wait to see how you play and care for your little brother when he makes his arrival in about eight weeks.

You absolutely adore your daddy - and prefer him to anyone else in the world. If daddy is around, mommy won't do - which is okay with me. I love to see you love your daddy, and him love you - the father/son bond is so amazing to witness.

You love to sing and dance and clap your hands. If any music is playing anywhere around you - you immediately start shimmying and shaking, swaying and bopping your head to the beat. You love your music class at school, and often times at the dinner table will break out in spontaneous "song" - although we're often not sure what song you are singing.

Mealtimes have become a challenge with you - the boy who used to eat anything and everything is just too busy to eat now. Oh, you'll sit down for a few minutes to eat - but quickly want to get up and run around and play. I think in your perfect world you would prefer to have an ongoing buffet set out where you could stop by, take a bite or two, run off and play, then come back for a few more bites. (We're trying to break you of that habit...) If you are finished and ready to "get down" you will throw whatever you can get your little hands on - plate, cup, fork, food - across the table or on the floor (we're also trying to break you of that habit...)

And nap/bed-time is still a challenge with you as well. You seem to like your big boy bed, but somehow can't seem to go to sleep on your own. You require your daddy to fall asleep - sometimes mommy will do - but if daddy's around you really want him to lay with you until you are asleep. Daddy and I are not sure how to break this habit - and with the impending arrival of your little brother we're afraid to push you too hard... but, have every confidence that (like your sister) you will eventually grow out of this phase and be able to sleep independently (we hope...)

You are a curious little boy - and want to know everything about the world around you - from the tiny bugs in the backyard to taking things apart to see how they work - you want to know it all. It is so much fun to teach you and introduce you to this wonderful world around us.

Oh sweet J - my life would be so empty without you. I love you more each day - which surprises me that my heart can grow so much with each passing day. Oh, there are challenges, you are trying at times, but you wouldn't be my son if you weren't. :)

I love you. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

- Mommy

Happy Birthday Sweet J

I didn't get a chance to post a Happy Birthday message to my sweet boy on his birthday - February 19 - I was reeling from a night of the stomach flu and taking care of A (who ended up with a raging bilateral ear infection.)

We started the day as a family - all piled on mommy and daddy's bed while J opened his first gift of the day - a new shirt to wear on his big day to school. He looked so grown up with his cute shirt and jeans - it's hard to see any traces of the baby boy I know in him. D took him off to school while I recovered and A watched her 18th Disney movie of the week. Seriously.

I managed to recover/rally in time so that A and I could run out to the bakery and pick up the first series of J's birthday cakes. I had the owner make cupcakes for his party at school (which I thought at the time I ordered them I was just being lazy - but blamed it on being 7 months pregnant - in retrospect I'm sooooo glad I ordered them so I didn't have to make them when I was so ill!) as well as a Curious George cake for his dinner party that night.

J seemed a little bit suprised to see not only mommy and daddy show up at snack time in his classroom, but also A, and D's uncle H and aunt M. They had a good time seeing the children, meeting the teachers, and watching J smear cupcake frosting all over everything!

Following his school party, we headed home - where I made my Nonna's recipe for homemade lasagne, steamed zucchini, and caeser salad - which we shared with D's family - including his mom and dad. J had a wonderful time - entertaining his grandparents, showing off his new 'big boy' furniture, showing off how he can turn his CD player on and off himself on his new bookshelf, how he can adjust the volume to BLARING loud toddler music, how he loves to jump and dance... then following dinner he had presents galore - from mommy, daddy, A, uncle H and aunt M, grandma and grandpa, nonna and papa, the R family from NC, and his uncle D and aunt C (who couldn't make the dinner.) Oh the toys - it looks like an explosion of big boy toys across our house - and he loves every single one.

We gave him a basketball hoop set for outside, a dump truck for him to push around outside, a few books, and his first "little" big wheel. I think D's dad and uncle had more fun putting the toys together than J did opening them and playing with them! Some dear friends gave him the Handy Manny tool set - something I hadn't seen before - but J knew just what to do with it - he immediately took his tool set over to the "big boys" and tried to help hammer and screw things away as they put together his big wheel and bubble mower (that D's brother gave him.) It was too funny!

The evening ended with J blowing out the candles on his Curious George cake - and finally collapsing into bath, bed, and sleep....

Pictures to come.

Chicken Nugget Skin

A conversation with A yesterday:

A - mommy? I don't like chicken.

Me - then why did you ask for chicken nuggets?

A - well, I only like chicken when it's inside chicken nugget skin.

Me - chicken nugget skin

A - yeah, the crunchy stuff that goes around the chicken. When it's on there, then I like the chicken - but ONLY with chicken nugget skin

My little fried fast food junkie....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sick A - Day 2

So the fever came on yesterday afternoon - and came on strong. 101.3 under the arm - enough to make her red-faced, limp, and pitiful.

D is taking her to the ped. this morning to see if there is something we need to be concerned about or if it's just some random virus.

I hope and pray she gets over whatever this thing is - and fast - and that her brother doesn't get it - his big birthday is tomorrow - he has cupcakes ordered for his school party and a dinner planned with family at home - followed by his "big" party at the local play-place. A will be devastated if she has to miss any of those activities....

Endearing or Incorrect??

A can't seem to be able to pronounce the word "music." It comes out something more along the lines of "mus-ca". It's so endearing to hear mispronounce things - I remember my parents telling me that for the longest time I called "music" "mucous" - so it'll be funny someday for her to hear it.

I suppose we should correct her and help her pronounce words correctly (actually this is the only word I can think of that she doesn't say exactly right) - but then one more piece of her early childhood will slip away, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet.

So for now, "mus-ca" it is - and hopefully her brother won't pick up on it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sick Day

Poor A is down with whatever the next bug is to enter our house - it started this morning with sporadic vomiting (and worsened whenever she tried to eat or drink anything.) She's managed to keep a few crackers and juice down - took a good nap - but now is showing signs of a fever coming on...

Poor baby - I'd take the sassy, feisty, talk-backer any day over this pitiful and droopy girl...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's at the Long House

It's funny to see the differences in the two kids personalities. It comes out at various times - how one will be passive about things not going their way, while the other completely falls apart. How one will be so into one activity, while the other could care less. Or in the latest example, how one will completely delve into their Valentine cupcake...

...while the other will daintily pick at it.

The results being typical - J covered with frosting and A with a few sticky fingers...

Valentine's day was a good day in our house - we started the morning with cupcake and decoration making, then met some good friends at the local children's puppet theatre for a showing of Beauty and the Beast, lunch out, naps, and then finally a yummy dinner of grilled fillet's, twice-baked potatoes, steamed artichokes, grilled asparagus, and finally (as evidenced above) pink valentine cupcakes.

The kids were thrilled to open their little goodies - a few treats from friends, cards from relatives, and their gifts from mommy and daddy.

D didn't disappoint either - he had the kids each make me a valentine while I was at the grocery store to surprise me with (although A can't keep a secret if her life depended on it - so I sort of knew it was coming...), and then a few mommy treats (including a decadent book on how to cook with chocolate, a box of gourmet pralines, and a new cookie press - that may not sound valentine-ey to you - but something I've been drooling over at Williams Sonoma.)

Other than the kids both starting up with runny noses and coughs (AGAIN) it was a good day, and a wonderful evening.

Cupcake Sweets and Paper Hearts

As promised - A's Valentine cupcakes. She is so careful and so artistic when sprinkling cookies or cupcakes - it is so very sweet!

And here is the paper heart chain decorations she and I put together Valentine morning. I cut out the chain of hearts - and she decorated them with stickers and crayons. So into the holiday!!!

J's Valentine Party

I'm not sure how it is that his blue plastic catch-basin bib escaped with NO crumbs or drips of RED cupcake icing ...

or how his shirt ended up looking like he'd been stabbed ...

but apparently he had a great time enjoying his Valentine treats!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sibling Love

Sometimes the kids do the sweetest things that just melt my heart. There are times when they drive me absolutely batty as well, but thank goodness for the sweet times to temper the crazy ones.

A few weeks ago A was treated to a "movie" Friday night after her bath - meaning she got to stay up past the 8:00 bedtime and watch one of her beloved princess movies. It was a real treat for her - she'd lost movie priviledges (for what I can't remember) so she was more than thrilled to get to come back downstairs following her bath, snuggle in on the couch, and watch movies. (I think she gets that from her mom - I love nothing more than a good flick with my fav. goosedown throw.)

At any rate, J came downstairs following the bath as well (for a few minutes - he can't go much past an 8:00 bedtime or meltdowns ensue.) I didn't know he was there - and when I turned around from starting the movie - I found the two together - fresh and clean from their bath - snuggled together - A with her arm around her little brother.

Such sweet sibling love.

Rite of Passage

J is officially a "big boy" now. Yes, he has his own "big boy" bed and furniture set - delivered just over a week ago. We had to get him out of the crib for several reasons - he HATED it and would pitch an ever loving fit every time we put him to bed - when we tried to let him "work it out" to go to sleep on his own he'd act like a tasmanian devil and tear apart his bedding and chew on the crib rails - and, with the impending arrival of his baby brother, we needed to get the crib/nursery items out of his room.
So, we bit the bullet and bought him a bunk bed set with matching dresser and bookshelf. He loves it. (Except he still doesn't think he needs to go to sleep in his bed yet.... rather it's a great place to play and read books...)

Here he is checking out his new bed for the first time - can you tell by the look in his face how excited he was to see his new digs???

Of course big-sister A couldn't be left out - and had to get in on the action - purple sunglasses and all....

First Snowfall

About a month or so ago, Columbia was blessed with a snowfall. How much snow you ask? About 12 flakes - but enough to close local schools, daycare facilities, and after-school activities. It started early in the morning, and continued throughout the day - but didn't stick - except for the light dusting that occurred early on.

No matter, this was the kids first experience with snow (real snow, not the foam they blow out of the machines at the Zoo during Lights Before Christmas) and not imaginary snow like they saw in the Frosty and Rudolph movies they watched during the Christmas season.

So, we bundled them up (after searching long and hard for hats and mittens that are rarely needed here in the South) and took them out to experience the snow.

D scraped up every bit of snow from the bench in the backyard so that he and A could make a snowman. See below:

A - so proud of her little miniature "frosty."

J taking his first bite of freshly fallen snow.

A - also tasting her first bite of snow.
It was a fun snow day - even if it was a bit asinine to stay home when no snow actually stuck to the roads... I can't wait until I can take the kids to see REAL snow - the kind you can lay down in and make snow angels, that we can collect in bowls to make snow cream, have snowball fights with, and build life-size snowmen...

Froggy Woggy Woggy

Every night when the kids get out of the bathtub they wear their hooded towels. J's towel is a big green frog, and A's is a pink flower. Somewhere along the line J looked at himself in the mirror, dripping wet and wrapped in his frog towel, pointed to himself and said "froggy!" Well, that led to "Froggy Woggy Woggy" and now every night's bath ends with the tunes of J and his daddy singing "froggy woggy woggy" - followed shortly by screaming as J fights to lay down to have his diaper, lotion, and jammies put on....

A, well she likes to pretend she's a flower, and will crouch down on the floor, then slowly stand up and "grow" into the sunlight... sweet girl, you are indeed growing up so fast!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


So I finally take the time to write - and find I have nothing to write about. Oh, of course there's always something like my mom's recent surgery, or the constant cold/cough that is going around our house, or the constant nagging fear I have over the health of this baby boy I'm carrying - but I don't want to focus on that.

A is being a precocious four year old - she's so excited for Valentine's Day that she can't stand herself. She has a party at school tomorrow - so she and I spent all of last Sunday making sweetheart cookies for it - cut heart sugar cookies - iced pink and white. She did her usual "job" of sprinkling them in her artistic A manner. Then, for the final touch - we (or rather I) piped the name of each child in her class on a larger heart cookie - so they'll have their own special treat. A was thrilled.

J of course has no concept of the approaching holiday - but he is definately interested in the big container of cookies waiting on the counter (some are set aside for his class party) - and keeps pointing to the heart decorations we put around the kitchen.

My mom always made every holiday special. Even the little ones, like St. Patricks Day and Valentine's Day. She always cooked something special - and we set the table in the formal dining room with the fine china and crystal (yep, even when we were little) - and we sat together like real grown-ups. She'd have some sort of trinket or gift waiting for us at our places - a small box of chocolates, or a shamrock pin, or something of that sort.

I'm continuing the tradition for our kids. Rather than pawn them off on a babysitter on Valentine's Day, D and I have opted to share it with them. I plan to have A help me make cupcakes on Saturday (decorated, A says - of course - with conversation heart candies) and then we'll cook a special meal, set the "fancy" table, and eat together as a family. And there will be treats - a new DVD for each of the kids, a new set of jammies for each of the kids, and plenty of chocolate candy. I know - it's not their birthday and it's not Christmas - but it somehow makes me feel closer to my mom to pick out little things and wrap them in pretty paper.

Isn't it funny how a holiday that used to be so "romantic" between D and I is now filled with paper-chain hearts, homemade cupcakes, and kid jammies?

But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bad Blogger am I...

I miss blogging. I miss writing down some of the crazy thoughts in my head and documenting the silly things the kids do.

Work has been crazy, internet is down at the house, and I don't seem to make the time to write - but I hope to be better at it!

So here's to turning a new leaf!

More to follow tomorrow....

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night
on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, we'll find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night
on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "amen" wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night
on angels wings

Sweet dreams