Monday, August 31, 2009

No Place Like Home

We are home! We got in around 8 pm on Friday and even made a fun stop over at my sister-in-law's home to surprise all our friends that were over playing poker. Little Dude went crazy when he saw Uncle John, and sat with Uncle John until we had to pry him away to get to our house!


JR on the other hand, was not as happy to see a ton of people, but in his defense he doesn't know any of them, or any of these places-even our house upsets him right now-so I'm OK with him being super clingy and nervous. It is a little bit of a pain that I can't leave a room without him screaming, but I know his nervousness will pass as he learns the house and feels more secure here. He has taken to dragging a toy around with him-yesterday it was a stuffed buffalo, but so far today he seems attached to his stuffed monkey.

Bill flew back to Alabama yesterday afternoon, and today the kids and I are going to work on cleaning the downstairs, getting our guestroom ready for Grandma and Grandpa-who will be here Thursday!-and set up our downstairs for all the family and friends that will be coming this Saturday for Little Dude's party.

And I am enjoying the crickets. I had not realized how much I missed them. Ahhh, home.



Friday, August 28, 2009

So Long, Alabama

I have been busy packing, catching up on work, overall cleaning and getting my basket of snacks and entertainment ready for the long drive back to NC.

Well, we did it, we are all packed:


We are leaving in the wee am hours tomorrow morning, and we are so excited to be back in our sweet home, North Carolina.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time Is Flying By

Moving always gets me stressed. Not just because we have to fit our things into the mini-van, but because Bill and I will have the kids in the car for over 14 hours in order to get back home.

Oh geeze.

So I am wondering about great entertainment for the car. I am sorta regreting now insisting that we did NOT need a tv for the car. At the time we bought the van, I laughed at the thought of needing the ability to play movies. But at that time, our longest trip was 4 hours to my parent's home, and that we did once a year, maybe.

Since that time, we have move twice temporaraly, to nice, far away places with nice long and forever drives. Sigh.

And I have gotten better about public restrooms, simply because I don't want to give my sons a complex, but still, I HATE public restrooms, let alone those at a lone gas station. Another Sigh.

But, in this case, I'll just rely on my good ol' Disney movie stash for inspiration.

Just keep swimming.

Everything will fit in the car, none of the kids will touch/roll on/slide on/jump on/lick the nasty gas station bathrooms, and we will not lose our minds.

And soon we will be home! I started packing, though I haven't put anything in the van yet....


Monday, August 24, 2009

A Busy Week

Oh my, we get to go home to NC in 5 days!! I am so very excited and REALLY dreading the packing.

Which I just realized I REALLY need to start. I have to make everything we have here fit in my van, and what is left will have to fit in Bill's car when he is able to come home for good in October/November.

The worst part of packing is the later UNPACKING, because I always end up rushing to pack and nothing gets sorted for easy unloading. Sigh.

And I am a little stressed trying to decide if I should start packing now, or if I do need to wait til Thursday. Since we are in an apt complex, I don't have a safe place to store the van while it is packed, and while I doubt anyone would want to steal the kid's train table, I would be P-O-ED if someone broke one of our windows.

We aren't in a horrible place either-don't worry, BUT there have been robberies and thefts at knife point and a little further down the road are houses with bars on the windows, so I am just nervous to pack the car yet, while at the same time wanting to get a head start.

For just a side note, we are IN the city limits of Mobile, so great areas and not so great areas blend together all around here; just like any inner part of a big city.

Writing this though has made me really long for my nice yard and driveway and amazing neighbors. I am so excited to get home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just For Thought

Happy Friday!

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
Walt Disney

Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.
Benjamin Franklin

Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Albert Einstein


There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island
Walt Disney

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

I don't care what anyone writes about me, so long as it is not true.
Katharine Hepburn

Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource - the minds of our children.
Walt Disney

The Fun is in Getting It Done! Can we Fix it? YES WE CAN!
Bob The Builder


All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
Walt Disney

No rush, no rush; next week it won't matter if a lost shoe made us late to playdate.
Me

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feel The Rain

There is one thing I can say about Alabama weather; you FEEL the storms coming. Perhaps because we are right on the water, or because it is just that time of year for good storms, but either way, a storm is coming.

We spent the last two days hunting in consignment sales, and got a TON of great clothes for the boys for next year. I didn't need much for JR, since I have a lot from Little Dude, but I did get him a few cute things anyways. Little Dude and I cleaned up the dollar shirt area-awesome. We also got a fun Bob the Builder memory game for $3.00 that we tried playing earlier today. For the first time, Little Dude did pretty well, but the game has 75 pairs-just a bit too many for a 3 year old, so the next time we play I'll just put out 10 pairs. And make sure we do it while JR sleeps. I spent too long after our game today trying to round up the cards JR had collected.

JR has a cold. It started out as a sneeze this morning, but now it has progressed to the nice runny nose. So now, he is nestled in a ring sling, laying his head against me and not looking so happy. So far no fever, so I'll have to keep my fingers crossed one doesn't develop. I'm supposed to babysit for few hours tomorrow, and I'm debating if I should cancel or not. I'd hate to make a baby sick, but then, if I cancel, then Nanette can't be the home room mom for the morning at her daughter's new school. I am a little glad I don't have anything else to really worry about at the moment; not too shabby, eh?

We come home in a week!! Ekkk! I am so excited to be home. But I'm also dreading packing up our stuff. And I have to get the train table in the van. And my shoes. And all the clothes I just bought the boys. I think I will be making a trip to Walmart for some bins.

I have a TON of work to do for Dakno and I am debating asking my sweet Bill if I can escape to Starbucks for awhile so I can catch up on some of it. And get away from the kids for a bit. I've discovered that time away is essential to my sanity. I am a little sad knowing that once we get home, Bill comes back here and I won't have him to take the kids at 7pm. Or to snuggle with at 9pm.

Organizing our closet to fit in the 7 pairs of shoes I've bought since moving down here will be a good use of time. And if I can make enough space, then maybe I can get another cute pair.

So, now I'm off to work on some Dakno items, and listen to the rolling thunder get closer and watch for the coming rain.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Baby Is Blue

It started out very innocently, with Little Dude giving JR a drink. Sweet, eh?
Then I mentioned how very sweet it was for Little Dude to share his slushy, because JR was hot. That apparently is not the way you should praise a toddler holding a drink, because the result is this:


And then JR made his way for freedom, in the opposite direction of his circle running brother, leaving me to decide which I wanted to tackle more, a sticky, blue baby, or a sweaty, shirtless, toddler. Hmmmm. And just so you know, the blue did eventually come off, thank goodness.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I was THAT Mom

You know the mom I'm talking about. The one with the kids misbehaving, as she pleads with them to come and stand still. The one that has the kids that makes other people NOT want kids. THAT Mom that the rest of us Moms (that have control of our kids) shake our heads at?

Yea, on Friday, that Mom was ME.

We went to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. It was super fun, and great, most of the day. We played with baby kangaroos, we held Lemurs from Madagascar. We saw 5 week old Bengal tigers. And there were very few people there. My friend, Nanaette and her two wonderful children came with us, and it was great.

Until the afternoon heat hit. Then Little Dude was done. Or hyped up on energy from his peanut butter sandwich at lunch. Somehow he converted it all to sugar and reved his engine up 100%. Maybe 200%.

He ran in circles around me. He ran ahead on the trail. He took his shirt off and refused to put it back on. He jumped and screamed and wouldn't stay in the bird area while we were there; instead he ran circles around the small bird building. (It was a totally caged aviary, so I could see him running around the building the whole time-he was never out of my sight). But I have to admit I didn't want to go after him and expose myself as the Mom of the crazy, screaming, dirt-covered-shirtless toddler pretending to be an airplane. Eventually I had to, since we were moving on to the deer area.

He was sweet and shared some of a blue slushy with his brother, for a few seconds. Then Little Dude poured it on JR. As Nanette and I tried to wash JR off so he wasn't sticky, we realized that whatever dye was in the slushy drink WAS NOT COMING OFF JR'S SKIN.

So I had a blue baby wobbling around and a crazy laughing toddler sprinting circles through the zoo and ignoring my pleads/yells to COME HERE NOW.

I noticed one young couple watching me, and it hit me.

I was THAT Mom. I had just ensured they would not be having kids for a few more years. Their faces said it all; they were rather horrified.

And in that moment, though I was embarrassed and at a loss at how to get control back from my toddlers, I realized something important.

Sometimes, THAT Mom, is just simply having a tough few minutes, or in my case, a bad hour in the hot hot sun. And though it LOOKS like she is a completely irresponsible, not-on-top-of-parenting parent, just keep watching. Eventually the toddler will come over and say he is sorry, and the baby will start rubbing sand on himself, making the blue skin not as noticeable (or sticky) and he will slow down from exhaustion so he can be captured and placed back in the carrier.

And all will be right with the world. At least until tomorrow.






Thursday, August 13, 2009

Reviews!

I have a few reviews up on my Miche Reviews page that I'd love to share. You can learn all about the great developmental toys ebeanstalk offers for all ages, and you can win books about running, starting, marketing and managing your own home business. You can also hear what I thought of the Rock Of Ages Musical soundtrack. Have fun checking them out!

Tomorrow we are going to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, which involves use leaving our apt by 7:30am so we can get to the zoo by 9am for opening. The zoo right now has baby tigers, and supposedly the mornings are the best times to see them, so that is my goal. I'll let you know if I get us out the door on time.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bill's Birthday!

Let's get this party started!

Little Dude and JR greeted Bill at the door with some balloons. There was also a huge transformers balloon that Little Dude picked out just for Bill.


For any really great home party, you should begin with the home-made card. Making it as big as possible is awesome. The kids had a blast making it; we had meltdowns when it was time to stop the painting, cutting, and coloring.

Little Dude is so excited about the cake and helped me put the candles in. I must say our singing of "happy birthday" was almost Grammy worthy. Bill got his favorite meal, too: steak and salad! Yum!
Since Bill's big surprise was still in Raleigh, awaiting our return home, I also got him a book that I knew he would love. It is about business, leadership, and learning. The guy at Books A Million recommended it after I described Bill, since I stink at finding good books like that. I'm all about fiction or history, anything else doesn't really capture my attention.

You can't tell much in the picture, but Little Dude helped me wrap the book, and there is an awesome-ly huge pile of tape on the top of the present. Little Dude insisted it was a good idea to decorate with tape. His earnest approach made it hard to protest wasting that much tape, so I just let him go at it. We are now out of tape.



And his big surprise?

A Blu-ray player!!

I bought at a great price back in May. It was originally a returned, open box deal for half price, but when I expressed to the guy at Best Buy that I was thinking of getting it for my husband's birthday in Aug,(and therefore wouldn't be able to make sure it worked before then) and was nervous to buy a returned, opened item, (even at that great deal)he seemed to sense he was losing me, so he quickly switched and said he could sell me an un-opened blu-ray player at the open box price. So I jumped on it, and dutifully hid it under the living room couches back home.

The best part? It plays regular dvds and blu-ray, and it has netflix and some other video streaming capability, as well as wireless set up. And it does a bunch of other stuff that my hubby is all excited about. He has to wait a few weeks before he can play with setting it up, but that will only add to the excitement. Now we just have to figure out if the blu-ray dvds will play on our tv or projector. If they don't, then I think I know what I'll be saving up to get him for his next birthday!



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

6 Things Miche Loves

Well, I have been lazy today and haven't gotten the photos from yesterday off the camera yet, so birthday photos will be coming in the next few days!

In the meantime, I got tagged by my friend, Beth, to share 6 Things I Love! Here goes:

1-My dear, sweet Bill. He is the most amazing man, husband, and father. I really am in awe of him on a daily basis. Not only does he have a really awesome job as a civil engineer, he is awesome at it and loves it. There are so many times I'll go by the office or see some of his co-workers out and about and they always talk about what a great boss he is, which makes me so proud of him and for him. He is also the most amazing dad. He gets down and dirty with the boys, knows when to push me out the door so I can chill out without kids for a bit, and he knows how to play the best trash man in the world, much to the delight of our toddler. And the best part? He lets me keep the shopping gift cards to Belk that his company always gives out for Christmas so I can get whatever shoes I've been drooling for. I love and admire him so much. Yea, he is a keeper.

2-I love anything and everything Disney. Since my husband's company has a district office there I keep joking that he needs to get us transfered there, instead of like, Mobile, AL. I worked for Disney as part of a college internship and just fell in love with the company. And Splash Mountain.

3-I want a ton of kids. I just love kids and I love being with my kids, even though I do have a few of "those days" where they drive me crazy. For the most part, there is nothing I'd rather do than see how many pieces of chalk it takes to paint our patio in a rainbow. Currently we are on our second box and it is looking pretty goood out there.

4-I love pasta. I could eat a good bowl of spagetti at every meal. I also LOVE to cook pasta in as many ways as possible, so I can get my husband past his strong hate of regular ol' spagetti. So far I seem to be doing well at it; he even requested I make my meatballs again. *gasp!*

5-My job. I have the most perfect job in the world for a mom. I work from home for Dakno Marketing, and we do web design, optimization, creation, and a whole slew of other great services, like blogging, social networking, ect for real estate professionals. I have learned so much about computers, networking, blogging,and technical writing. I have been blessed to get to stay home with my kids, while making enough money to afford fun outings or classes for the kids and great gifts for my hubby. (And some for me, too!) I am really thinking I'd love to keep working here even after the kids go to school, so I could keep the same great felxible schedule. It is just wonderful to work on my time.

6-Avacados. I LOVE avacodaos, but I SUCK at buying them in the store. I can never tell when they are ripe, or if they are too ripe. If I buy them too early, I always forget about them and they go bad, or if I buy them and think they are perfect, they end up being all brown. Luckily, I have found a fellow mom down here in AL whose husband makes the worlds best guaqamole dip, and sells it for $6.00 for a whole mason jar full. I am going to be sad to leave them here in AL when we finally move back home to NC; then I'll be back to trying to figure out when the avacados are ripe in the store, and that just isn't going to be pretty....

If you would like to read more of my little "things about me", you can take a peek here! And I swear I will work on getting Bill's party pictures up for all of you that couldn't celebrate with us like we usually do. Take care!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bill!!


Today is my wonderful husband's birthday!! He is stuck having to work all day; however, he is going to have a great surprise when he gets home. I can't spill too much, in case he is able to read my blog today, so stay tuned for pictures of the party and decorations!

Happy Birthday, Bill!! We love you!

Love, Little Dude, JR and Me

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Countdown to Birthday

So it is a little less than 30 days until my oldest turns three, and this year he is SUPER excited about the upcoming big day.

He has been inviting everyone we run into to his party, random strangers included.

Since the week before his birthday we will be making the drive from Mobile, AL up to Raleigh, NC, I decided it might be a good idea to already have decorations bought, and invitations mailed out so I can just focus on getting the house aired out and ready. Can we say EXCITED? Little Dude just about lost his mind walking around Party City to pick out decorations.

The result of letting an about-to-be-three year old pick out his own stuff? You get a fun mix of Thomas the Train and Curious George. Most of the items he LOVED ended up being Thomas themed, but he did request Curious George wrapping paper and a CD of "Curious George Songs". The cd is actually most of the Jack Johnson songs (and others) from the movie, which is pretty cool since it was only $7 and will be good background music to play while the kids play and the parents hang out.

I'm hoping for great weather so we can have the sandbox and a kiddie pool set up, while grilling out, but if not, then inside will be fun as well. And we can always go grab pizza if we can't cook outside.

Little Dude is SO EXCITED, and it is making me excited, even though I'm also a little bit sad. He is just getting so big, and I wish I could just slow time down. But then, I also can't wait to see his face when he sees the Thomas Cake we are going to make. It actually won't be anything too fancy, since I'm not that great of a cake decorator; however, Bill and I did find some great wooden Thomas trains we are going to decorate the top with, one is even a construction train! I really can't wait for that!

Just a couple of weeks, oh goodness!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Breastfeeding the Babies

I'm big on breastfeeding, simply because it is free and because it is what nature created just for your baby. So in my book, it makes it the perfect choice for me.

This is me, breastfeeding for the very first time with our oldest, Little Dude.

But I admit, both of my kids did get the occasional bottle of formula when I didn't have enough pumped for bottles. But that was pretty rare, and I liked it that way. I highly recommend the Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump. It is just amazing, awesome and worth every penny. This is the kind I have, only it is the 2006 model and works SO wonderfully. I was blessed to be given mine from one of the moms at the day care I taught at, but if it ever breaks and I need another, I will be buying the same kind again. I loved pumping because then Bill got to participate and have the same bonding and cuddling time while the kids still got the great milk. Both of our kids had breast and bottle from the very beginning, and we never had any nipple confusion with either one. This is Bill getting to "breastfeed" JR from a pumped bottle

Another reason I loved breastfeeding? The fun moments that it brought. Breastfeeding MAKES you take a moment to sit down, relax, and just enjoy your baby cuddling with you. I loved it. I nursed Little Dude for a year, and quit when I got pregnant with JR (though you don't have to quit, but it was time for us) and I nursed JR up until a few weeks ago. I actually would have really loved to nurse him longer, (and I admit I sometimes miss it) but his biting got out of control.

Yes, that is a fact of breastfeeding; all of you thinking about it might want to just keep in the back of your head-when the teeth come, a bite might occur...

Anyways, even with me yelling and popping his head when he'd chomp down on me, I couldn't get him to quit, and after a really bad bite, I got scared of even trying to nurse. So I stopped, and JR hasn't seemed to notice or care. He still comes crawling over, demanding his cuddle time, but now we just cuddle without nursing, and we are both fine with that.

This week is World Breastfeeding Week, and you can find all kinds of great information about how breastfeeding can protect your children with strong immune systems not only while they are little, but later in life as well, at World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.

But you know what? Breastfeeding is a very personal choice, and though for me it was worth the pain and effort to get it going smoothly (it will be a few weeks before it starts working really well for you new moms), don't feel badly if you chose to formula feed. What is important is that your baby gets the love, support, and nutrition he/she needs.

We are lucky here in the US to have such great formula choices and regulations so that all our children are able to get what they need and grow into strong, healthy adults. Not all countries are as lucky, and many infants and toddlers die simply from lack of food, so donated breast milk can make a huge difference in saving those children. You can find out how to donate here.

It's kinda fun to realize that to a baby in another country, you can be Superwoman.




Monday, August 3, 2009

F-A-M-I-L-Y

Kids make time go by more quickly, I think. It seems like every so often, I'll look at my kids, and realize they are getting bigger!

Then I break out the camera, in my desperate attempt to make sure I have 1000's of pictures of their special looks and actions because one day soon they will be teenagers, all too busy to let me chase them with a camera. Though I'll be that parent that is. They are going to hate it, but that's OK, for the pain of childbirth I get the right to chase them with cameras. Pretty decent trade off.



The trouble with having more than one kid? It is almost impossible to get a photo that has everyone smiling and looking at the camera.
It never fails that you end up with pictures your kids can use later to prove they were tortured.
But then you can come back with pictures showing how they used to sit in your lap.
And how they just used to utterly adore you. This should be a good one to show JR's first girlfriend, don't you think?