Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's A .........



My boss, Brad, found this cute video that shows the most awesome little brother story....



Today, as soon as Little Dude gets up from his nap, we (my sister and I) are going to take him to the park to play and THEN we are going to get the newborn stuff out of the attic and start setting up our baby boy's room! Be rest assured, I will have Bill helping me with a name list here soon. In fact, if the baby name book wasn't in Little Dude's room right now, and I didn't need him to nap for me, I would totally be making a list of names right now....YAYAYAYAYAYA!!!

Also, did you guys notice the pretty blue lettering? Yes, I looked up the html code and color number for that! Cool!! I tried to get a neat font to work too, but I don't think Blogger is supporting it, as I am quite certain I put the code in correctly....I will have to ask John later about this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ONE MORE DAY!!!

OK, guys, by this time tomorrow I will know if Baby Zeren is a boy or a girl-then the shopping can begin!! I am so super excited that the hours are already dragging by! Luckily, Little Dude and I will be going to library time at Cameron Village here soon. That will take up a good 2 hours or so, depending on Little Dude's mood. Hmmm, so only 22 more after that to fill..and I'll get to sleep 6 away....awesome!

So, I got the new Pottery Barn Kids magazine yesterday. Can I just say they have the MOST beautiful bedding and children's things? But seriously, how in the world does any one think it is a good idea to spend 80 dollars on a baby quilt? I LOVE LOVE all their stuff, and esp. their Pottery Barn Bedding magazine and store, but goodness, even if I won the lottery I would have a really hard time coughing up that much money for a piece of cloth my child is going to eventually throw up on, pee on, and perhaps even poop on. But they do sell all the items separately, so if a cute girl or boy blanket goes on sale, then I might consider getting one for Baby Zeren, if the price is reasonable.

I am also debating what to do with my jogging stroller. I got one as a gift from one of my preschool parents (yes, they loved me, yes, the preschool I worked at was crazy and expensive and the parents were crazy rich). But, now with two babies and Bill working out of town often during the week, it will be impossible to go running as Little Dude is not at all old enough to leave alone for even a few minutes, let a lone long enough to get a workout. So, I am considering selling the one I have for around $100 (that seems to be what they go for on craigslist) and putting that money towards a double jogging stroller. Has anyone used one before? Are they super heavy? Is there a kind anyone could recommend?

I do have a double stroller I got for 50 (including shipping!) off ebay, which is awesome, but it is not one I could run with, as it is waaaaaay to heavy. I have tried to find one used, but they either look broken, worn out and still cost around 200 or they are new and of some yuppie brand so they are being sold fr 5 or 6 hundred....yea, no. I found a brand new one online at One Step Ahead for a little over 200, but since it is not in a store or a particular brand, I can't find out how heavy the stroller itself is to push, let alone with two little kids in it.

After this baby though, there is one thing I know: I am going to have to find time to work out, even if not for health, just for a time period to zone out for a bit!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Easter Decorating!

Well, last night I stayed up late putting string on plastic Easter eggs so I could hang them in bushes out in the front yard. It took me 2 or 3 hours to do one bag, and I have 2 more bags to do....good thing it is a few weeks before Easter!

I am quite excited, as I got this idea from Bill's Aunt Suzie in Ohio. We went to see Grandpapa Zeren for Little Dude's first Easter, and Aunt Suzie, Uncle Mark and their 5 awesome kids live next door! It was a super fun trip and Aunt Suzie had gone all out letting the kids decorate for Easter! There were eggs hung like ornaments on all their bushes and cute baskets hidden in the grass with plastic eggs and rabbits and chicks....so cute! They also had a most beautiful cross on their door for the celebration; I would love to find one that beautiful that could be hung on our door during the Easter season.

In any case, my goal today is to decorate the yard, or at least some of it. I have to get some stuff out of the attic, but I think I can work on it while Little Dude is napping later.

I must say though, I am a little sad St. Patrick's Day falls right on the week of Easter-I want to decorate for St. Patrick's Day, but I don't want to do all this work for easter and then try to put up more stuff for an awesome Irish holiday...so I guess this year I will skip St. Patrick's Day with outside decorations, but I will certainly make the Quinn family's Green Irish Cake. Maybe I can be festive by drinking green milk all day too, since I can't partake in the fun green beer. I wonder if Little Dude will eat green food? Hmmm....I will let you guys know.

ALSO-2 more days!!!! YAYAYAYY! Boy or girl???? Time is going by way to slow. It needs to be Thursday morning NOW. Hahah!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Visit From My Sister!

My sister, Lisa, is here to visit for a few days! Yay! She is super fun and creative, so I love to spend time with her. Since she lives in Asheville and is still in school I don't get to see a whole lot of her. In a few weeks she will be going to Texas to see the rest of our family for the summer and spend time with our Grandma! I wish I could go too, but I know she will have tons of great pictures and stories to tell when the summer is over!

Little Dude said the word "Duck" yesterday! AWESOME! He wanted his rubber duck and was pointing at it. When I picked it up to ask if he wanted his duck, he got SOOOOO excited and said "Duck"! Man, I am just blown away at how many new sounds he is making! Most of his "talking" only I can understand, since I have been listening to him all day and know that "ink" is drink, woof or oog is Dog, eow is cat, and know "uck" is duck. yay! He is saying "Dada" a lot now too!

It was so funny, this whole week while Bill was in TN working, Little Dude kept grabbing a picture of Bill and me and walking around either saying "Dada" or doing the sign language for "Daddy". When Bill finally got home on Thursday, Little Dude was shrieking with delight and kept insisting Bill hold him and play with him...it was SO CUTE!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rainy Day Activities

Well, today it is raining, which is GREAT for us and the drought; however, not great for the parents of an energetic toddler. So, today I must entertain my monkey with indoor activities, which are sometimes very hard to come up with for kids still young enough to eat whatever art items you might try out. The following activities are a good staple I have used on rainy days for him a few times already and they have worked quite well for me!

First, I will put clear wrap, tin foil, and contact paper on the kitchen floor with tape (in long strips, wide enough to walk on). Then, as we are playing or running around the house, we can explore the different feels and sounds of the different surfaces! He loves it, esp. the contact paper since it sticks to his feet and makes him laugh.

Second, I will put food color in some milk and dig out my paint brushes (paint brushes that have NOT been used for painting, only for food item things like this) and I will let him decorate 4 or 5 slices of bread to his hearts content. It makes a little mess, but so far everything I have washed the food color has come out of; however, be careful to put your child in clothes you don't care about. After he is done decorating, put the bread in the toaster, and voila! you have created painted toast that is super fun to eat for breakfast, snack, or even with dinner. You can even write messages in the toast as the kids get bigger and work on letters and numbers.

Third, I will get some pillows from the couch, beds, wherever and create a huge pile in the living room. Next, I will show Little Dude how to go run and throw himself on the pillows. By this point, he already anticipates what I'm doing as soon as I put one pillow down, so I no longer need to show him, but still jump in every so often. He will do this for a loooongggg time-and usually he is ready for a nap afterwards! It is a great way to run off energy inside without getting hurt or running the risk of breaking anything!

Fourth, I have to say that color wonder finger paints, markers and crayons have saved me many times. He is old enough to love it, but to young to realize what a horrible thing it would be to paint on Mommy and Dadddys newly painted walls...so as to not even risk the chance, the Crayola Color Wonder (you can find it at target and walmart) has passed many a minutes of fascination.

Fifth, PLAYDOUGH. There is nothing better and he loves to help mix things in. I will pull a chair up to the counter, and let him help me put all the ingredients in and stir. While we are mixing things, I boil the water needed. He loves to help and it is super quick. I usually already have a batch ready and cooled from the last rainy day, so I break that batch out and put the batch we made together in the fridge to cool and harden. (you must let it cool before you play, otherwise it is a sticky mess for awhile.) Here is one of the super easy, and EDIBLE play dough recipes I have collected over the years of teaching preschool. The Kool Aid will make it smell good and you guys can have fun sniffing the dough. Try not to let him/her eat any as that isn't a good habit for when they are playing with playdough that shouldn't be eaten, but with this recipe, there are no worries if some gets swallowed, unlike the store bought kind:

KOOL AID PLAYDOUGH -safe to eat, but you probably wont want to by the time your toddler is done with it.

1/2 c. sugar

1 sm. pkg. Kool Aid (you can also skip the kool aid if you don't have any and just add a lot of food coloring, but add it to the wet ingredients)

1 c. flour

2 tbsp. oil

1 c. boiling water


Mix dry ingredients together. Then add oil and water. The flavor of the Kool Aid determines the scent and color of the dough. Knead until smooth.

I find the easiest way to play with play dough is to use a rubber place mat on the table. I got some cute ones at target for a $1 after valentines. The play dough doesn't stick to it, and it keeps a nice smooth surface for your child to work on. We have a wooden table, so play dough ends up in little dimples in the wood, making it a pain to clean. The plastic place mats have been awesome.

You can also use all kinds of house hold items to make patterns on the play dough, like spoons, forks, cookie cutters, rolling pin, potato masher, straws, even markers when the kids are much older to draw on their creations! (though of course then the play dough is no longer edible)

Well, happy rainy day guys!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quick and Easy Breakfast For Toddlers

Well, today has already been one of those days, so this morning we had a very quick and easy breakfast! As a general rule, I will make a hot breakfast, and esp. on cold days like today. I will also make batches of muffins and pancakes and then store them in the fridge or freezer to save for a day like today when everything just goes wrong!

However, when I am even out of my backup time saving breakfast items, this is what I do:

I get some yogurt, bananas and granola bars. For the most part, yogurt is a mess to feed a toddler; however, if you mix it with very very finely crushed granola (I use granola bars and just mash them, still in the bag, on the counter) then the yogurt becomes manageable for Little Dude with relatively little mess! And, it is still quite healthy. The bananas are easy to mush up for him, so he needs very little supervision while eating(giving you a chance to get the, say for fun, BABY LOTION he somehow reached off his dresser and OPENED and then SQUIRTED ALL DOWN THE HALL, CARPET, AND LIVING ROOM. While your child is eating, stay in sight of him/her though, but with this quick meal idea you don't have to sit right next to him the whole time.

And you could substitute any fruit, canned or fresh you have, plus any kind of oatmeal,baby cereal, crushed up cereal, even grits, anything that will help make the yogurt more solid and easier to stay on a baby spoon or even thick enough for him/her to grab with their hands.

However, remember this meal advice should be used only if you feel it applies towards your child's ability to eat. Little Dude is 17 months old with 10 teeth and on his way to being a competitive eater, so I do have to watch the amount of chewy food he puts in his mouth, but with very soft meals like this, he is good to go while I try to clean up lotion.

So on that note, I am going to go start washing the towels I used to clean up lotion. On a plus side, at least the house smells like lavender now!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Piano is Fixed!

Last Wed I had David Carson come over to fix the piano and let me just tell you-it is like a whole new piano!! WOW. I never thought the pile of ruble we owned would ever EVER sound as good as it does not. Mr. Carson is a miracle worker. And, it only cost $125 -much cheaper than any of the other places I had called.

On top of it he teaches piano, so I am already plotting to have our children go to him for lessons (should they be interested). Little Dude loves "playing" with me (I suppose you could call my part "playing" too). So, at any rate, I think at least he will want to learn.

I highly recommend him to anyone needing a piano fixed, tuned, brought back from the dead (that was mine). He was a really sweet guy and it didn't take him to long to fix it-even the broken keys! I think about 3 hours, so for $125, that is a very good deal.

Some of the guys I had called never returned my calls, and some people I emailed said it would be a flat fee of anywhere from 300-500. One guy didn't even do estimates, I was supposed to tell him what was wrong-like I would know! "Um, its broken and the notes C and G# sound the same?"

So, I went with Mr. Carson, even though picking the cheapest guy is sometimes scary, in this case it turned out perfect. Also, he was only going to charge me $30 for an estimate that he would apply to my bill if I chose him to fix it, so I figured I couldn't lose.

Should you pass by my house, you may hear the music of angels coming from our downstairs-yes, that will be Little Dude and me banging away on a WORKING piano!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

9 more days!

OK, guys, nine more days and we will know if we are having a boy or a girl!! Oh I can't wait! I have the room pretty much set up with the baby bedding we used for Little Dude-it is cute blues/greens/yellows with safari animals-lions/zebras/hippos and random bears. I guess Target didn't realize bears aren't in safaris? At any rate, it is super cute and I am excited to use it again. But, guys, I did find THIS cute bedding; should we be having a girl.

I know, I know, I have been saying forever I specifically chose the bedding I did for Little Dude just so we could use it for all our children, as it is very gender neutral. However, the room is already a cute peach color, and while I was looking at a friends baby registry to pick out a gift, I ran across the peach and yellow bedding...with animals! So cute! I really wish I could just buy the blanket and dust ruffle, but sadly Babies R Us has me trapped in that you HAVE to buy the whole set to get any of it. Sigh.

So, yes, that is way to much money to spend when only two of the items I really need (because Little Dude is still using his blanket and sheets, I will need to buy a few sheets and find a blanket/make one for this baby) I was thinking I could get just a few of the room accessories, since it wont matter it it doesn't match perfectly, as all of it will have similar looking animals AND the parts that wont match (bumber, mobile) will be out of the crib as soon as the baby rolls over (for Little Dude is was around 3 months) I just really wish I could get the blanket-if I could just get that I would be so excited as I could get everything else to work color wise and the off colored stuff wouldnt be used for long anyhow. Sigh. I want it. Oh well, perhaps I will be having a boy and it wont matter. But if it is a girl......

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fab's Birthday!

It was my brother-in-law, Fab's birthday on Sunday, so the family got together and went out to eat and hang out. Good times! Fab is an artist (and an amazing one at that, even if I might be a little biased) and we got a tour around their house to see the projects he and his wife Leigh Ann have been working on. You can see some of his art actually here in Raleigh! He won a contest for beautifying they city, and so some of the city buses now have a beautiful Raleigh themed mural on them! Needless to say, we are all super proud of him!

This weekend the in laws (mine, thus, Bill's parents) stayed with us and hung out with Little Dude. It was super fun, as Little Dude now knows to show off TONS when he is the center of attention. Yes, I am the parent of a preforming ham bone.

We also FINALLY got the living room all set up again after our big painting project-whew, we are glad that is done! The whole upstairs is now painted, and next we get to start building our deck in the back yard...I cant wait for that to be finished! It will be so fun to sit and relax on the deck!

I am sad we are still in water restrictions to the point where there is no outdoor watering of any kind...so I am scared I will loose my rose garden. :( :( And I really had planed on landscaping around the deck once we were done; however, that will be a project for when there is more rain. I want to get some rain barrels for watering what we do have growing outside, but I will have to work a little more on finding cheap ones somewhere, as the ones I can get from the City of Raleigh are a little over 90 dollars...geeze!! I did find some in Idaho for 27 dollars, but as I couldn't buy them online, I will need to call the store and see about shipping and such to here...it may just end up being the same price and easier to get the ones from downtown...we will see. In anycase, even if we get more rain here soon, I do want water barrels, as I feel it is a good way to get water for outdoor plants for free instead of using the city water we pay for!

I am a little sad that I don't think I will be able to do the baby pool in the back yard for Little Dude when it gets hot...he has the cutest little pool too and LOVED it last summer, so I know this summer would have been a hit. And, for a crazy hot day it was a nice way to get him outside for a bit without cooking him in the sun! (the baby pool has a shade cover) Maybe if I leave it out rain will fill it.....It is so small I would just go ahead and fill it this summer but I have one neighbor who really doesn't like me or Bill (I think it is because we lived together for 3 months before our wedding after my apt lease was up, but really who knows) and I am certain she would call the city on us for using the baby pool. Sigh. Maybe it wont be too hot this summer. heh.

Friday, February 15, 2008

INDIANA JONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi, everyone! I just saw this pre-view of the new Indiana Jones movie! As anyone that knows me realizes, I have been waiting for this moving to come out for almost 4 years now....and now, it is finally here!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAY!! Can you tell I am super excited? I have already told Bill we are having John babysit Little Dude so we can go to the opening night. I am just so ecstatic!!! So, I will share my joy with you by letting you see the trailer: (also guys, I am quite proud because I copied this from Yahoo! and figured out how to put in the correct html code to get it to fit and work on my screen here instead of just putting in a link....yes, I rock.)



http://l.yimg.com/cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/fop/embedflv/swf/fop.swf">

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Circus!!!

We went to the Circus with our neighbors on Sunday!! It was sooooo much fun! Little Dude's eyes were like saucers the entire time. The show was so fun and I loved seeing the elephants and trapeze performers! I have some pictures I will upload soon, but it might be awhile as we have so many projects going on.

First, we are painting our upstairs, finally. If you have ever painted with a Toddler around, then you know it is a crazy, slow process...hahah! Anyways, we hope to be done by this weekend. We hope....

Second, Dakno is getting pretty busy for me, but I am learning more and more, which is very exciting for me. We also have some super cool upgrades to make maintaining a website even easier for the everyday, non computer skilled people like me! (Though actually, I am gaining some skills...soon I'll be a computer geek extraordinare!) Anyone thinking of having a personal site or especially anybody in the real estate business, our program and set up makes everything sooooo easy to do that you no longer need computer people on your staff to maintain your site. It rocks.

Third, our neighbors got a dog, which is awesome, and gives me the chance to get rid of the extra dog stuff we have; however, all that is under the house in our storage space. SO, I have to go through all of that sometime soon for them.

Fourth, once we are done with painting the upstairs we are going to start building our deck in the backyard and hope to have that done before the baby comes...we hope....

Fifth, we also have to get down to Jacksonville and help Bill's parents move to their retirement tome in Wilmington! Yay!! We are so super excited for them and we are going to benefit by getting some nice bookshelves and awesome coffee tables! Super yay! I will definately put pictures of the finished upstairs once we have all the new furniture. (I am also going to try to be crafty and make curtains, if they turn out you will see those too!)

All exciting stuff to do, but all will take time that doesn't seem to exist now that I am an adult. I remember everything taking forever when I was little...now the day flies by and I have no idea where it went! Well, Little Dude is letting me know he wants me. Later!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pulling my hair out.....

SIGH. I went to the doctor on the 31st of Jan (and everything is going great! Yay!) However, he had miscounted my weeks the last time I saw him, sooooo instead of coming back on the 14th for the ultrasound, I have to wait until the 29th...UGH!!!

I am going crazy because there are soooooooo many great sales on kids clothes right now and esp. girl stuff! I HAVE TO KNOW! Sigh. And I have to wait. So, on the 29th, you guys will all get a big update as to whether we have a girl or a boy coming. It is worse waiting this time than it was last time with Little Dude, and honestly, I have no idea how people can wait until the birth to find out. I am just going crazy to decorate and get everything ready!!

Well, Little Dude and I am off to Library Time at Cameron Village! Bye!