Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, 2009

I really can't believe 2009 went by as quickly as it did. It seems like the bigger the boys get, the faster time passes.

I'm looking forward to tonight; My sister is coming over to cook and drink mimosas and Bill comes home for a weekend visit (and after that he will only be gone 15 days-THEN back for good! YAY!)

In 2010 Little Dude is finally old enough to participate in the community's children spring activities and I am really excited about that. I love our community-there are tons of cheap park and rec events (when I say cheap, like 5 dollars a kid, adults free kind of thing) like sports camps geared to 3 year olds, hiking adventures (even a pirate treasure hunt! ),craft events, and all kinds of other things that sound so fun.

And this year, in the fall, Little Dude will start preschool. I'm excited and sad, all at the same time-and it is still 8 months away! I know, I'm a nut. He is going to have so much fun, but I'll still be sad to see the "official" transformation from baby to preschool kid. It just doesn't seem possible that much time has gone by already. Didn't he just come home from the hospital?

I'm also hoping this year to catch up with a lot of local friends and get more play dates going. Now that we are back and I am feeling more settled AND since Bill will be back home starting Jan. 16, I think I can keep up with trying to do some kind of weekly playdate thing with different groups of mom friends. And I still need to make it to the Durham Children's museum-it is supposed to be awesome! Bill remembers going as a kid, so it would be fun to share that with the boys now.

Yes, 2009 was rough. Too much traveling back and forth, not being settled, flying solo as a parent and trying to keep up with work-I'm exhausted.

2010 though, I'm so super excited about. It is going to be great because we will be together, in our home, close to friends and family. There isn't much more you can ask for than that.


Happy New Years!!!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Goal for 2010

I have run out of excuses for being tired and always behind. See, I used to blame the kids-they take so much time, I can't keep up with the laundry!

But in all honesty, they really don't take up tons of time, like in the beginning. Little Dude can talk now, in complete sentences, so there is no guess work on what he wants when, and JR is not far behind, already uttering words of his own and using sign language. They can do tons of things for themselves now, and Little Dude even helps me put away his own laundry while I put away JR's. I don't spent time chopping up food into itty bitty pieces anymore, or pureeing baby food. Little Dude goes potty on his own and even washes his hands with his foam soap. Everyone sleeps through the night.

They play beautifully together. In fact, right now, they are playing with the train table, and have been doing so for the last 20 minutes or so.

And what have I been doing? Checking email. Browsing blogs. Looking out the window. Wasting time.

So, I have decided for my New Year's resolution, I am going to make goals for each day and GET THEM DONE. No more laundry piling up because "I was too busy with the kids", no more sitting around just watching the kids when I have laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and WORK to get done.

And while I will still steal moments of just watching my boys play, I need to tear myself away and be a little more productive when these moments turn into minutes, into half hours. Even take some of that time left AFTER cleaning up messes (that would be amazing, eh?) to plan some fun crafts for the kids. That would be much better than the mindless nothingness I usually do.

And perhaps instead of working my job late at night while everyone else sleeps, I could be more productive and do it in the early am or even during nap time, instead of napping myself.

So, that is my goal for the New Year-what is yours?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Playing Santa

*Disclaimer: Don't let your Santa loving kids read this*




OK, kids away from the computer?




I have to share....








I LOVED being Santa this year.

This was our third Christmas with children, but every year before we just put the "Santa" presents out, because, well, a 3 month old just doesn't care or know.

But THIS year, with a three year old...oh my gosh, the excitement was just overflowing our house. And Little Dudes little neighbor friends were all very excited this year, as well, so they had many discussions over Santa coming down their chimneys.

And there was something so odd, and nostalgic about being Santa with my husband while my sister played lookout for any waking boys. It made me think back on past Christmases, when my sisters and I would await Santa, not knowing our parents were frantically cutting, wrapping, and putting in batteries. I wanted to take a photo SO badly, but Bill wouldn't let me. He said the kids would find it-which, seeing how good Little Dude already is with my computer-Bill is probably right.

So I took photo of Bill setting up the coffee maker after we were all done, so that in the early am we would be able to function.

And the morning of Christmas, Little Dude got up and while he was in the potty I snuck down to get my sister up while Bill got JR, and we adults sat back, drank coffee and watched the magic we had created through huge three year old eyes.

It was just amazing.



Monday, December 21, 2009

Priceless

Come back! Get out of there! WHAT are you doing? WHY are you wet? Is that...good God, NO!

NO!!! Give that back to your brother! DON'T BITE your brother!! GET IN THE CORNER!

Those are some the things I heard my husband telling our sons this morning, as he gave me some "mommy free time" to catch up on work.

Having Bill home for the WHOLE week is just amazing and wonderful and way better than winning the lottery.

But the best part?

Having him realize that all those days we would talk on the phone, and he'd ask what I had done for the day-only to have me go "Ummmm, let me see, surely something..ummm...I guess nothing so far" -I was in fact doing something.

Yea, that is priceless.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane

It was cold, foggy and rainy today. So the boys came up with a fun game.

They gathered their bags:

The posed for "goodbye photos":

And they boarded a jet plane:


Monday, December 14, 2009

Honest Scrap


I got tagged for the "Honest Scrap", so here goes:

Here are the Rules:

1. Must thank the person who gave you the award and list their blog and link it.

Thanks, Andrea!

2. Share "10 Honest things" about yourself.

See below.

3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.

I'm actually not going to tag 7 people; however, if you would like to play along, leave a comment below with a link so I can check it out. I know, I know, I am breaking the chain, but that is just how I roll.

4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

See above.


OK, so here goes:

1. I hate chain emails/letters/what have you. These kind of things are fun, and I enjoy being tagged and sharing info, but I still hate the pressure of sending it off to lots of people. If I get tagged in something like this that involves telling more than 3 people, I don't send it on. Chain emails? I break them. Chain letters? I break them.

2. I hate laundry. I will let it pile up until the weekends Bill is coming home, then I hurry and do it all at once so he thinks I am a good housewife. I think he is on to me, though. :)

3. I drink coffee all day long. LOVE coffee.

4. I have a form of acid reflux called "silent reflux", meaning that the acid doesn't always burn (thus, "silent") but it still is doing damage to my throat. I'm on daily meds for it, but my throat is pretty messed up from all the acid that comes up-all of which started once I had my first baby and got worse with the second. It is bad enough that at times I can't swallow food or even water because so much acid is coming up my throat and won't go down. I get to have scopes put down my throat every so often to check on how the meds are doing-that is fun, let me tell you. SO, when I am over at your house and picking at food, it is not because it is bad-it is probably super yummy!-but I just can't swallow.

5. Coffee doesn't help any, but spicy food and soda is the worst, so I avoid those at all costs. Milk is bad on occasion.

6. I want to have another baby, but I'm paranoid Bill will be sent away to another job as soon as I get pregnant (like the last two times....) Plus, my doctor says we need to get my acid issue under good control before that happens, so I am a little paranoid about what another baby will do to my throat and since I HAVE to wait, I want one now. That is just how my head works.

7. I don't want to win the big lottery. Ever. Bill and I buy tickets and dream about what we would do, but it mostly involves giving the money way to places like Make A Wish. I'd like to win just enough to pay off the house. And we would never tell anyone. So if we win, you'll never know.

8. I love day planners, but I am so awful at keeping all my plans on one calendar. I have a calender in my office and in the kitchen, but it never fails I forget to check BOTH before making plans and things get messed up....

9. I get easily insulted when someone makes fun of my intelligence. Don't know why, but it really bugs me when someone thinks I am a complete flake just because I'm lacking in some skills. One of my neighbors was shocked I had a college degree because I can't make sugar cookies and still picks on me for my lack of home skills. See, still bugged about it enough I'm mentioning it here, and those comments were back over thanksgiving.

10. I get annoyed when I see a movie with huge editing mistakes. I still harbor the dream of working with the movie productions in Wilmington, NC. I would love to edit movies; I LOVE searching for the inconsistencies, but I need to work on not shouting them out to the other people watching the movie.

So, like I said above, I hate the pressure of passing this one to 7 people, SO, if you want to play along, leave a link below with your 10 "honest scraps"; it could be really fun to read!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Spelling G-I-F-T-S

With Christmas fast approaching, I am actually pretty done shopping. The are only a few small items still left to buy, which makes me so happy because as much as I love shopping, I really hate the mall crowds and craziness at Christmas.

But with all the kid's gifts (esp. the cool ones from Santa) hidden around the house in various places, it is hard for Bill and I to not talk about them. We discuss how to wrap them (one is big and we are still trying to figure out how to do that one) or even just sharing our general excitement for the boys to open them, or even go back and forth on how much should be wrapped before Christmas and how much should just show up Christmas day.

We have been getting around our discussions by spelling everything they might give away the gift or location or even S-A-N-T-A, so the kids generally just ignore us.

Or so I thought.

Yesterday morning Little Dude was fixing breakfast with us, and he started spelling.

He said something like "The milk is so yummy D-i-o-e-y".

It took us a second to figure out what he was doing, and it didn't really hit us until he said, "I want some more please, P-e-y-r-d-i".

Oh my. Good thing he can't spell yet.



Friday, December 4, 2009

Straight No Chaser

I heard this song on the radio today and fell in love with it. It was amazing and humorous all at the same time. Straight No Chaser is an a cappella group that I am now dying to see.

And guess what? They are coming to Raleigh Dec. 23. Oh, I am so there. Right, Love? Date night, maybe? I think if I beg enough Bill will cave and take me. You can see why I am in awe:



I had never heard of them before today on the radio (yes, I even called in to find out who the group was), but I am for sure ordering their Christmas CD; listening to the songs had me laughing and wanting to sing along at the same time. Awesome.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Late Nights

Since September, Bill has been commuting back and forth from Alabama to NC every two weeks.

We initially decided for the kids and me to stay in NC after Little Dude's birthday because we thought Bill would be done and able to be back home by the begining of Oct.

But each time the deadline would arrive, something would happen and his "done date" would be extended a few more weeks. Just short enough of a time for us to decide that packing the kids and ALL their stuff to back to AL wouldn't be worth it. Yet long enough, that now, after a few times of that happening, we are in Dec. and still doing the every-other-weekend-visit thing.

And a side effect of that has been that I have not been sleeping so well at night. It just takes me forever to fall asleep, so I usually just stay up and work, though tonight I didn't, even though it would have been a good chance to get ahead. I got sucked in by "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" . That show is so ridiculous it is impossible to not watch. How in the world are there THAT many women who don't realize a baby is kicking them? One of the girls tonight even say SHE DIDN'T USE ANY BIRTH CONTROL AT ALL. And just thought her missed period and weight gain was stress. Wow. Anyways.

So, now I am debating going back to Alabama after Christmas, if Bill ends up thinking he will be there longer. I really don't think I can do too many more months of single parenting. If I worked a real job where I got to TALK to ADULTS for a period of time, I'd be fine.

But staying at home all day with the kids-while super fun and a huge blessing MOST of the time-can be a little draining on my need for some social interaction that doesn't involve Thomas the Train or "I POOPED!" conversations with my 3 year old. Though Little Dude's conversations are great for some laughs later on my end, they can sometimes drag out for a looooonnnnggg tiiiiimmmmmeee, just to get one thought across, and there are 103 more thoughts right behind it going equally as slowly, and often not even on the same subject. You have to wait for it; by the end he ties it all together, sometimes.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Budgeting

I'm sad Thanksgiving is over, but oh so happy to have a bunch of my sweet husband's turkey soup! Yum!

Along with loving the soup-y goodness, I am now facing dreading how to get gifts for everyone I want to give gifts to, without breaking the bank. In fact, I'd much prefer to spend as little money as possible without being just "cheap".

So far, I have gifts for all the little kids I know what to get. A few kids I know have gotten too big, or are way into more expensive hobbies(like video games or skate boarding)for me to even begin to figure out what to get them that wouldn't take all of my budget. Therefore, they will be getting what I give their parents: baked goods.

I figure making goodies would be a fun gift to give everyone AND it will be very budget friendly. I have to admit: this will be my first year making food for gifts. I am hopeful it doesn't turn into a disaster.

For budget friendly ideas though, baking food is as far as I can get. I have made crafts before for gifts, but still, getting everything you need from the craft store is expensive. Any ideas from other budget conscious people? What are you doing this year to keep from spending too much?

We are pretty lucky the kids are so little, because they won't know that things are tight this year-in fact, they won't even know or care that over half of what they are getting are REALLY AWESOME "hand me down" toys from the older boys across the street.

Our boys won't realize none of it is new, because it will be new for them. And that has really gotten me thinking.

Perhaps our very tight budget this year is really for the good-we can't just go buy new toys for everyone we know. We can't just go get whatever the boys are wanting-and I think that is a good thing. And not that we ever just spent crazy amounts of money at Christmas, but the cost certainly would add up quickly.

I think getting used toys and being grateful and thankful for them, is a value and virtue I want our children to have always, even on years when our budget could be bigger. Because regardless of what all the commercials throw at us all day, Christmas is about being with your family, reflecting on yourself, your character, helping others, and being thankful and humble for the birth of Christ.

None of which, need a huge budget of gifts to be enjoyed.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We will be with my awesome in laws, enjoying family and hopefully convincing all the girls to watch Pride and Prejudice with me.

I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving; it is exciting that Little Dude is old enough this year to really get into it and have fun. Remember tracing your hand to make turkeys out of construction paper? I can't wait. I'm taking all the stuff to Ed and Patty's so she can have fun watching Little Dude decorate his "turkey". I also made corn pudding, which I LOVE and can't wait to dig into.

I also have a review and contest going on here for some K'NEX blocks, which I am no IN LOVE WITH. Any blocks that let Little Dude build and withstand JR's attempts to knock down are peacemakers in our house!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chaos

In college, I majored in English. That doesn't mean I am a particularly good writer, or even understand all grammar rules; however, it does mean I have a very deep fondness for the English language-especially alliteration (the repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables). When I was trying to come up for a name for my blog I racked my brain trying to think of some catchy title that played on alliteration. Thus Coordinated Chaos came to be.

But I had no idea, back then when I had just one tiny baby, just HOW MUCH chaos would be taking over my house.

Like today. The kids were eating jelly toast when I realized I had not taken the trash to the curb yet-the realization brought on by the sound of the trash truck rumbling down the road. So, out the door I flew.

And in the process of dragging the heavy trash can (super heavy today because our old mail box and post are in it, yes I did that project Sunday)I put a *tiny* scratch in Bill's truck, right near the headlight. It is maybe an inch and really light, but still, I feel retarded. Who can't move a trash can without running into a truck? Only me. Anyways.

In the time it took me to drag the trash and recycling to the curb-which I made it just as the truck stopped to grab my cans-the kids proceeded to cover my floor and table with jam and toast crumbs. When I say covered, I mean COVERED. Yea, I was dumb and left the jam jar on the table, just ENTICING the kids to dump it out and smear it around. I haven't cleaned it up yet because I just don't even know where to start. If I ignore it, the mess will go away, right?

Then, in the time it took me to get the sheets, towels and clothes from my room down to the laundry room for washing, the boys had taken the CLEAN clothes I'd brought up, THROWN them around the living room and dinning room and THEN filled up that laundry basket with my VERY OLD book collection that used to belong to Bill's Grandpa, and Bill's Dad gave to me when he discovered I had actually read (and love) most of the classics.

I finally got all of that cleaned up, only to discover Little Dude and JR had taken all of JR's toys from his room and put them in a huge pile on the closet floor. All. of. the. toys.

So now the kids are watching some TV-and actually sitting still-while I work up the courage to tackle the kitchen mess. And what time is it? 10am? Since it is completely muddy, nasty and cold outside, we won't be leaving the house to burn off energy unless I pay for us to go somewhere OR just go for a walk. Which I think we will do as soon as I finish cleaning the kitchen, if for no other reason than to keep another disaster from happening.

But hey, at least we are all dressed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I am armed with my grocery list. We are going to be spending the holiday with my in-laws; however, I am going to be making the corn pudding and I'm excited because it is THA BOMB. Yes, THA BOMB. Greatest stuff ever that my grandma's grandma always made, on down the line on my Dad's side, and now I get to make. Holidays and growing up are fun like that.

But I digress.

This Thanksgiving is particularly hard for some people to find thankfulness. I have so many friends that still can't find jobs-and have been out of jobs for over a year now. I know a few people that are losing their homes to foreclose, and because I work in the real estate marketing industry, I am constantly reading about how hard the economy is in areas all over the country right now. And it is scary.

But in a way, what is scary is also good. Spending less on things we don't need has made me realize what we do need: just time with friends and family. We need the ability to be thankful for what we have and not dwell on what we want or don't have.

Even in the worst situations, there are things to be thankful for, and the truest way to show thankfulness is to be content with what we have.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Favorite Babywearing Photos

These are some of my favorite babywearing photos:

JR curling up last winter; I love how his big eyes are staring at me.

At the park near our home in Alabama all snuggled up. I think JR was about 5 months here.
My very first carrier-a pouch sling. This was at my cousin's wedding-I think Little Dude was 10 months here.
On our way to Texas. This Mei Tai has become my favorite carrier now that JR is older.
JR watching the fish tank while we pose for a photo. This was in Texas at the Dallas Aquarium. Little Dude's head is down at the bottom.

Those are a few of my favorite babywearing moments. They are starting to get few and far between now that JR has decided he enjoys walking/running after his brother more, but when it is needed, my ring slings and Mei Tai have been a life saver.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jean Chatzky: Tips For Saving Money

I've been invited to talk with Jean Chatzky and some other very amazing mom bloggers, like Maria Bailey, for a Blogger Audiocast on how to save money in our economy AND how to keep your budget in check for Christmas. She will also be sharing recommendations on how to get your finances back on track after the holidays.

You can submit YOUR questions on how to stretch your money this Christmas by leaving comments here, tweeting me @MicheZ, or tweeting Jean @JeanChatzky.

The audiocast is today from 10am to 11am, EST, so be sure to follow along and check out www.jeanchatzky.com.

I also have a goody bag for one of my readers that includes Jean's new book, "Pay It Down!", focused how families can save, spend and survive in the current economic climate. To win, simply leave me a comment, either suggesting some of your budget keeping tips OR some of your budgeting questions (or both!).

I hope you enjoy! I'm looking forward to your tips and questions!

PS, the book I'm giving away was given to me for the purpose of giving to a reader and I did also get a copy for myself that I'm really excited to read!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Month

JR was considered a preemie, because he came at 35 weeks, right at the border of preemie and "normal".

I've never admitted it, but I do blame myself for the fact my water broke early. Perhaps I carried Little Dude too much, and he was too heavy for me. Perhaps chasing after our way-too-big German Shepard got me too worn out...perhaps I was doing to much, pushing too hard, and taking on too much stress.

Can I tell you I felt horribly stupid, scared, and completely, totally, over run with guilt I was when the doctor said I had a leak in JR's amnio sack, and I couldn't even tell him how long I might have had the leak?

So, of course, the only choice was to induce JR right then and there, since every minute there was a leak increased the chance of JR getting an infection, becoming terribly ill, or worse, dying.

And even though everyone says it wasn't my fault, I still feel like it was. My body failed at the one task is was made to do: provide a place for my baby to grow.
And as of now, the doctor has no idea what could have caused my water to break, but did warn me that I would be closely monitored if and when we have another child, because Little Dude also came early by a few weeks, and we certainly don't want it to be a pattern of having babies earlier and earlier.

But I'm lucky, my child is fine. I have a ton of online friends whose children have not been doing well, are still fighting day by day, or who have lost the fight to live in a world their little bodies weren't ready for yet.

Did you know 1 in 8 babies born in the US are preemies? And even though our medical advancements have grown by leaps and bounds, our numbers of premature births has increased significantly in the last decade?

So what can you do? The March of Dimes does extraordinary work to help preemies develop and grow after birth, and best of all, to help develop research and studies that can help keep babies inside their moms until they reach full term. You can learn more here: http://marchofdimes.com/prematurity/index_about.asp about how your donations can help with research, medical help, cost help, and support for preemies and their families.




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baptism Photos

Bill, Me, JR, Godmother Caroline, and Godfather Sean. JR really did not want to take any photos; he wanted to go play with the other children.

The lovely and SUPER YUMMY cake JR's Godmother made for his "after party". That's how we do baptisms.

Reading a prayer before the oils were put on. The Catholic church used the most wonderful smelling oils and incense during baptism, (other churches might, too, I just don't know) and I wish I could have that smell around my house all the time.

Is there anything cuter than a baby in a suit?
We finally changed his clothes; the food mess was getting out of control. JR knows how to throw down cake!

Happy Baptism Day, JR!


Monday, November 16, 2009

JR was Baptized

This past Saturday, JR was Baptized, and even though I KNOW I'm biased, I think it was a beautiful event. Deacon Leo gave an amazing homily, most of our friends and family were able to attend, and JR was an angel for most of the event.

Though I think my favorite was when Deacon Leo put the baptism robe on JR, and started to say "This represents your Christian dignity", JR decided at that moment he was done having oils, water AND robes put on him, so he promptly tore the robe off and threw it down. Everyone got a really good chuckle out of that and I see myself filing that away as a story to tell his future wife.

After the Baptism, all our family and friends came back to our house for a fun cookout bash. The kids had SO much fun playing, and I was on cloud nine holding Alexis, Melissa and Criag's baby daughter. (SO ADORABLE!)

I got to hang out with my soul sister, Caitlin. We don't see each other often, but somehow we always end up having SO much in common. Like, currently, we have the same front door rug, (which we discovered this weekend when they came over-we have fabulous taste, eh? )and both are coveting the same Shabby Apple dress. She and I need to live closer; I've decided.

And there was THE MOST AMAZING CAKE EVER, made by JR's Godmother and my best girlfriend/neighbor, Caroline. I just melted in your mouth, and I am actually going to eat more once I finish here.

There is nothing like time with family and friends to remind you your worries are not worthy of worry at all.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little Dude' s Little Sister

This morning, I was getting breakfast on the table for the kids-JR sitting and EXCITED to eat, while Little Dude was still in the bathroom doing his morning routine of saying "good morning" to all his toys.

The routine usually finishes-about the time I place breakfast on the table-with Little Dude running out to hop in his chair. This morning though, we had an extra mouth to feed.

Little Dude stumbled upon a little stuffed frog (that has not ever been played with) and promptly named it Little Sister.

We had to get her a plate and a drink at breakfast, though at lunch she had to nap and missed out on our sandwiches. Dinner? Little Sister thought it was SO YUMMY.

And it was fun hearing Little Dude telling his baby: good job! clean your toys up! time for a nap! go in the corner! let's read a story! are you thirsty?

And Little Dude (apparently at Little Sister's request) even tried to get some candy out of the parenting gig by insisting that she had been REALLY good and deserved some. I tried the pretend stuff, but that didn't fly.

Right now, Little Dude is curled up with Little Sister in bed, and was telling her all about Thomas the Train when I tucked him in. It was so cute to watch him, and I was really surprised he kept with the pretend play all day long. This three year old stage is super fun!

It will be interesting to see if he remembers the little frog toy in the morning.




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Gotta Feeling

Today is gross. All rainy, kinda cold, and I have no idea how I'm going to entertain the kids; so far this morning I haven't done such a great job of it and the house has turned into a disaster zone.

I can't help but smile when I watch this though:



But really I think the day turns out the way your attitude expects it to.

Today is a good day because I get to meet up with an old high school friend and her daughter for lunch.

I've got a job that allows me to be at home and work on my time.

And best of all?

Today is an awesome day, because my two little nephews made it into the world last night at 33 weeks, and they are doing fantastic.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm An Aunt Again!

My sister in law, Leigh Anne, and brother in law, Fab, had their twin boys a few minutes ago!!

I am so excited to be an Aunt 7 times now! Especially since they live so close, (my other nephews and nieces live in other states), our boys will get to grow up with cousins as close friends! Oh the fun we will have; I just can't wait.

If Fab and Leigh Anne say it is OK, I'll put pictures up as soon as I get to see the little guys, but if not, then you'll just have to be satisfied with me gushing about how cute they are. I've already seen some pics thanks to technology, and trust me, they are CUTE.




Monday, November 9, 2009

Football Games

Having sons makes going to NC State football games all the more fun. JR is starting to get into it just like his big brother and there is nothing cuter than two little kids cheering. They make even losing a game fun.




This picture is from a few weeks ago, but we went to the game this past weekend and had a great time with our neighbors. 4 kids 4 and under at a football game might equal disaster and headache to some, but to Me, Sean and Caroline? A challenge! The kids actually did great the whole time, especially since Cole and Keeley had never been to a game. I'll get the photos off the camera at some point; they were all super cute in their Wolfpack gear.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In The Quiet

Garner has a new park, and it is SO COOL. The one of the playgrounds looks like it was made out of tree logs and the other one has the NEATEST balance, climbing, and spinning toys. Super fun! There are great walking trails and fun classes in the nature center, too. I'm excited for some of those to start and I am hoping Garner has some Winter kid classes coming soon; I'd love to get Little Dude involved in some kind of activity without spending a lot of money.

The weather has been so lovely, so we have been spending tons of time outside, just playing and having fun. Being outside has been great for keeping the house clean, too.

I think one of the hardest parts of being a "single mom", while Bill is working in AL still, is keeping up with everything. The kids, my job, inside house cleaning, outside house cleaning, oh my goodness! So much to do and just never ever enough time.

And at times, I find myself just wanting to sit in the quiet and not do anything, though that only gets me more behind.



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Photos

Thomas the Tank Engine and a Lovely Rainbow helped pass out candy.
Mickey Mouse was armed and ready to get candy.
Snow White and her Hockey Player
A lovely fairy and Mr Gilly, the trash man, checked each other out.






Monday, November 2, 2009

Shopping Therapy

Sometimes it is nice to get away from the family. Two weeks of just me and the kids lead to me really wishing for some ME time once Bill got here and my sweet husband was amazing and said I could go do some "shopping therapy".

So, with my super sweet shopping master (and fellow mom), Andrea in tow, we hit up Crabtree Valley Mall this past Saturday, before we needed to be back home for Halloween fun.


*Warning, shopping recap below; skip if you find that stuff boring*


And OH was shopping with her fun! Mostly we window browsed and ooh and ahhed over the way-too-expensive-for-us jewelry at Belk. Seriously, I really liked a big ring I saw, but was thinking it would be a fun thing to wear around the house, with my Halloween costume, or just when I felt like adding sparkle to a boring mom outfit.I really had thought it would be $5 dollars, tops, since it was just out on a hanging rack. Oh no, make that more like $100.00-whoa. I quickly put it back before I could break it....

We did splurge and get ourselves some perfume. I so rarely wear perfume (I'm really lucky if I have time for makeup now, let alone perfume) BUT this D&G perfume smelled so amazing and the rep for the company was there giving tons of it away if you bought one bottle of the new scent, so I did.

And all the perfume from D&G can be mixed and layered to create new scents-oooohhhh I have been having fun with that!

Though I have to admit, I had thought I was getting large bottles of all the scents, but instead it was one large bottle of the new one, then a TON of half ounce sizes of the other 5 scents-but for the price I should have known better, we really paid a cheap price for the ton of perfume we got. I think all together I ended up with 3 oz each of the other scents, plus my huge bottle, plus two more huge bottles of other scents, PLUS matching lotions-so I am super happy!

AND I got all the other D&G perfumes and lotions for free. (Light Blue? I dunno, Andrea is my perfume/makeup/shopping Sensai and she was going crazy over what a great deal it was, so I went with her judgment).

*Shopping story over*

Anyways, that was SO FUN to get some girl time, chat about everything and anything (and mostly NOT talk about kid stuff) and on top of it, now I smell SO GOOD!

Halloween was A BLAST-the kids had so much fun and we had a great time over at the neighbor's drinking wine while the kids played. Little Dude was SO cute as a trash man and scored some great candy for us, er, him. Beth and Emily came over, too and Emily was the loveliest fairy ever. My sister was a rainbow and her friend, Ed, was Thomas the Tank Engine (he did that since Little Dude and JR both love Thomas-amazing guy, eh?) Ed was so great with the kids. He and Lisa passed out candy while the rest of us did our trick or treating; then they headed off to another friend's party.

Alright, I must go, this is getting way too long; photos will come tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Home Is Full Of Ghosts

Oh how I love the Ghosts in my home. They don't show themselves often, but when they do, my heart stops, I take a quick breath, and my eyes tear up for only a moment as the little Ghosts I am surrounded by flit in and out of view.

I saw one today, as my son studied his toy train, in the way he tilted his head, lowered his lashes and studied his toy. A Ghost from his infanthood flashed across his face, and my heart swelled up, thinking of how, not so long ago, that beautiful look was one I saw everyday. And then it dashed away, as he glanced up at me I saw, instead of that lovely infant face, the beautiful, mischievous face of my son.

As the days number, and my sons grow older, I see more and more Ghosts. Little baby ballet hand gestures that have all but faded away, come out every so often to visit me. Sometimes I see a little laugh that reminds me of those first baby smiles, before it fades into the bigger and louder laughing fits of older children. Little tumbling waddles sneak out every so often to visit, before bursting into the full on runs my son now loves.

Yes, I am surrounded by many Ghosts. Some are Ghosts of the past, that spring into view every so often, through a look, a sigh, a snore and some are Ghosts of the future, breaking into my present world.

Those future Ghosts I am glad and sad to see, because they mean I will only have more Ghosts of the past to visit me, and some past Ghosts might start to fade completely from my view, as my sons travel further and further to their exciting futures and adulthood.

I am so joyful to see my sons accomplish new things, reach new goals, exclaim proudly, "I DID IT!!!" To meet their futures as strong, confident men, loving husbands, adoring fathers-I enjoy all these days leading to those events in their lives.

But I know, that even when they are fathers of their own, there will be Ghosts haunting me, bringing me back to the past. A look, a sigh, a laugh, somewhere at some point, the little Ghost I know so well will pop out, and I will recognize my sweet infant in the face of a strong man.

My heart will stop, I'll take a deep breath, and I'll want to cry because I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many Ghosts.

Orignally posted on 10/17/08 and submitted to Scribbit's October Write-Away Contest.

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Becoming A Kid

My little JR is getting bigger by the minute, and I really can't believe so much time has passed. JR is 16 months now, and I really don't know how that happened. It is cliche, but true: kids grow much too quickly.

He went from this:



To this:



And all I did was blink.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mr. Gilly is a Trashman

My oldest son is obsessed with the trash men that come every Tuesday. He LOVES trash trucks, helping me put things in the trash, finding items he thinks should go in the trash, and waiting for the trash truck to come.

So, when I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween, I wasn't very surprised when he passionately declared he wanted to be Mr.Gilly, the trash man character from his favorite book, Trashy Town.

But where do you find a trash man costume? Those aren't exactly on store racks, so I had to get a little creative. Oh, and I had to make Little Dude's outfit green, because, well Waste Management (who picks up our home trash) is green.

Well, after digging around our house and doing some creative moves, this is the costume I came up with:

He is in his pj bottoms, but he will wear real pants on Halloween. JR was excited to get in the picture, too.
I made the "safety vest" out of an old towel.
Added the writing to a green shirt I found in his closet.
And put "Trash Man" on his vest, just to help out everyone that meets him. He will also be carrying a small garbage bag of paper, some black gloves and his baseball cap (Mr Gilly wears one in the book) to help complete the ensemble. Pretty cool, eh?