Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Beginnings...

Yesterday I was in the parking lot at Giant loading my groceries into the van and I just felt like crying. I've been wondering if I'm suffering from prenatal depression and then it hit me, NO! I am just clearly exhausted! All I really want to do is crawl into bed and sleep for a week. It's because I'm up 2-3 times a night going to the bathroom, I have two kids, I've developed pregnancy insomnia, and I'm 16 weeks into my pregnancy growing a baby! Duh! of course any reasonable person could figure this out. But let's face it, I'm 16 weeks pregnant, my brain is like swiss cheese, and I'm far beyond reasonable at this point.  Do you know it's taken 3 different people to remind me that I'm growing a baby and that it's hard work? I forget that little fact because all the work is being done unconsciously. My body knows exactly what to do and I'm just along for the ride.  

I have to remind myself to take it easy and remember that it's okay to do just what I can do. No one else is judging me (I hope!). Thankfully now that we're into the 2nd trimester, my energy is strongest in the morning. I'm able to get more done and feel good while doing it.  My energy starts to wane around 1pm. It just so happens that Boogie is starting school and his hours are 12:30-3pm. Perfect timing! Bug and I can rest while Boogie is being academically stimulated and in good hands.  When I first found out B's schedule I was a little disappointed. I prefer mornings, but I realize that this schedule is much more suited to our situation right now. Whew!

I'm looking forward to the start of school and to beginning of school year routines.  School, sports, dance classes will keep us all busy, but hopefully be fulfilling and enriching experiences for the kids.  Having Boogs in school 4 days a week will give me some extra personal time with my favorite little girl before the new baby comes along. Before Bug came along I had decided to take some time off of teaching to spend some extra time with the Boog before she came along. This was good for us and really help to cement our relationship. I think this little extra bonding time with Buggy will be helpful for us, too. 

Here's to a new school year, new experiences for the Boogie Monster, bonding time with my little Ladybug, and some rest for Mama!

Monday, August 30, 2010

You're the Greatest Thing About Me

Recently I heard a song by Train and the line "You're the Greatest Thing About Me" hit me. That's how I feel about my husband. I think that he is the greatest thing about me. He makes me a better person everyday of my life. I am so lucky and so blessed that God put us together.

My husband seemed to know before I did that I would need a little more help this time around with baby #3 brewing.  Before I was long into my pregnancy he suggested hiring one of my former students to become a Mommy's helper at least once a week.  I have and it's been great. My kids are happy and I'm able to schedule appointments, run errands, and get a few minutes to myself at least once a week.

Nausea hit hard this time around and the first trimester I could barely stand the smell of anything, much less make dinner. Hubby called a couple of times a week and offered to bring home dinner. Yay!

I've been so tired that I think my house has thrown up on itself and I can't keep up with the stuff. Laundry isn't getting done as quickly and we're scrambling to find a clean pair of undies for Boogs or the front hall looks like the drop off center for every bag that comes in the house.  My once beautifully cleared kitchen counter is now the drop zone for random items. I'm losing my touch. Hubs has not once complained and has even started a nightly routine with the kids to clean up their toys from the family room.

He often tells me to rest and take it easy. For awhile we were sharing the dinner duties. One of us would cook and the other would clean up. Within the last year with him getting home later from his job I would make dinner and clean up so that he could spend extra time with the kids and then by the time he finished putting them to bed, the dishes would be put away and he and I could spend time together. Now that fatigue has hit me hard, he's started to clean up after dinner after he puts the kids down for the night.

I am one lucky woman. He's my best friend and the greatest thing about me! I love you, baby!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

4 a.m.--What are you doing?

I thought by the 3rd pregnancy I would this all figured out. But I don't. This baby keeps throwing me a curve ball and I'm having a tough time keeping up.  The newest thing (in addition to the extreme fatigue and never-ending nausea) is insomnia.  Really? Come on! I'm tired beyond relief!  I'm so tired I could cry, but crying just makes me stuffy and then I'm really miserable.

I don't want to complain about this pregnancy. This baby is so wanted and I was so looking forward to being pregnant again.  I distinctly remember that giving birth to Buggy was the most amazing feeling. To feel her slide out was intense and awesome! So awesome that I was ready to do it all over again. I remember telling Hubby that I was ready to do this again (literally seconds after giving birth) and the doctor saying, "Take her up on it, not many women say this after just having given birth."

Pregnancy is just an incredible experience. To know that a new life is growing inside me is so amazing.  I love knowing that all I'm doing is for this beautiful being.  At the same time I'm reveling in the love that I have for my other two children who make me what I am on a daily basis: One very lucky mom!

But I'm struggling. Yes, I'm struggling. I have been awake since 4 a.m. and now have been up for over 3 1/2 hours.  Of course I will be exhausted and moms can't be exhausted. It's in the handbook somewhere, right? Mom is available 24/7? Of course I could have been doing something productive, but what am I doing? Playing bejeweled on Facebook or checking the internet and looking for something good on tv (by the way there isn't anything good on t.v at 4 a.m.).

Thank goodness for an amazing husband and active, yet well behaved children. I will definitely survive this pregnancy. A little more tired, a little older, but infinitely more blessed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Third Pregnancy Joys and Challenges

Hubby and I are very excited that we will be welcoming a new little one into our family in February.  Even as I type this I can't believe I'll be at the halfway point in another month. With each pregnancy the time seems to fly by. With my first, I remember time crawling and not being able to wait to hold my little one.  Now I feel like I'm on a speeding train hurtling towards the due date. It's not that we have a ton that we have to do before Baby arrives, but there are things that I would like to get done:

1) Buy the kids new beds that can eventually be bunked when the time is right.
2) Repaint Boogie's room with a mural so that both of the kids are represented in the room.
3) Clean out the basement storage room because it doesn't look like I'll be going back to teaching in the near future (anybody in need of bulletin board borders?)
4) Clean out the garage so that we can fit both cars in, once again.

As far as baby needs, I think I'm pretty set. I still have all of the clothes from both kids so no matter what I'll have clothes for my little arrival.

However, my concerns this time around center around energy. I feel like I don't have a lot of energy. It's really disheartening as I used to be able to get up before the kids by a good hour. Have breakfast, my quiet time, blog and get some me time before the kids were awake. We'd go to the gym, do some activities and I'd get some errands or chores done while they were napping/resting.  Now I get out of bed when I hear my son get up and it takes a while for me to rev up in the morning. Everything seems to take twice as long and I feel like I'm dragging everywhere.  I feel like I struggle to get the simplest tasks done.

My husband has been incredible. The first trimester when I didn't have the energy to make dinner, much less stand the smell of anything, he would call me and tell me he would bring home dinner. He's started a cleaning routine with the kids and helps them pick up the toys before going to bed. All the usual cleaning routines that I do around the house has become his chores. I am so grateful and realize that I have an incredible husband.

Even while I struggle to get things done and be a shadow of my old pre-pregnant self I remind myself of the joys:

--new baby!
--my current two "babies" are learning to play together and share more often.
--Boogie is learning responsibility: Boogie is working on his chores. He helps to feed the cats everyday and put his dishes in the dishwasher.
--When I'm too tired to do anything, Buggy is my constant comic relief and I find that a good laugh helps to restore energy
--Hubby and I are really in sync with what needs to be done and even more than ever are partners as well as best friends and spouses.
--the joy of being pregnant at same time as several friends. I think I counted and I currently have six other friends who due around the same time:  2 due just a few weeks before me, 1 due a week after me, 1 due a month after me, and 2 that are due on the same day. CRAZY! This does not include the other 6 friends who are due in the next few months!!!!! Something's in the water!
--being able to stay home and raise my loves. What a blessing!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


How did my daughter become so glamorous?  She has started putting on sunglasses and loves them.  She's now insisted on wearing them in the house.  She has started parting her hair on the side and every now and again will shake her head in a glamorous sort of way.  She wants to wear make up. She loves handbags and shoes.  Um, she's only 22 months!

She absolutely cracks me up.  I didn't think I would ever have a girly-girl (though J. you might laughing at this statement if you remember my first year in college).  But I do have a girly-girl. Yesterday we dropped Boogie off at camp and she I spent the day running errands. Of course we went to Target (love it!) and as we passed the ballet leotards I had to take a look. Buggy grabbed one and said, "Ooooh, pwetty. Me, dance. Pwetty dwess."  I had to bribe her with a new big girl straw cup so that I could put away the leotard (I already bought two for her).  We bought her headbands since she wasn't keeping barrettes and ponytails in her hair. She took the whole stack and stuck them on her head.  Later that night she showed Hubby. "Pwetty headband, Daddy. Pwetty"

My little girl is really growing up.  Besides being the next fashion plate, she is ready to be a "big gurl." She woke up yesterday and pointed to herself and said, "Me, big gurl. Big gurl bed." Then she pointed to Boogie's room and said, "Me, big gurl. (Boogie's) room." She's basically telling me she's ready for her big girl bed and ready to share a room with Boogs.

I don't think I'm ready for my "baby" to be a "big gurl" yet!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So Happy Together (well sort of and most of the time)....

Yesterday the kids played really well together. At one point I was folding and putting away laundry while B & B played by themselves in Boogie's room. They did really well together and played together for almost an hour. This is huge!  Usually Boogie finds Bug way too annoying and doesn't want to play with her. Although she just adores her older brother and always wants to be with him. Sometimes she purposely antagonizes him (what are little sisters for?) but most often she looks for approval and attention from him.

Last week I dropped off Boogie for a few hours at a day camp. Buggy cried all the home way and kept asking for him and even said, "Me camp, too. Me camp, too." I think it's going to be  quite a shock for her when he starts going to school next week. He will be going 4 half days a week in the afternoons. This might be too much for her. A welcome break for me, but too much for her to lose her favorite playmate.

Hubby and I have been really talking up the fact that the two of them will be moving into the same room in December. We've talked about mural ideas and matching beds and a girl side and a boy side. I think we've done such a great job that Boogie says that December is too far away and too long to wait.  He is looking forward to his little sis moving in.  When she realizes what it means she will be ecstatic!

As I write this, the two of them are in front of me racing cars on a track. They are playing happily together.  Yay! And of course after I finished typing that sentence he just yelled at her. *sigh* So happy together...

Oh and on the baby front...I went to an appointment yesterday. The baby is measuring 15 weeks and 4 days.  I got to have another sonogram because of some bleeding I had this weekend.  While observing the baby we saw the little one raise his hand and wave at us :)  So cool!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baby Blankets

When my daughter was born she received a couple of handmade crocheted blankets. They are her favorite things.  She calls them her "babies" and there is definite distinction between her "babies" and other blankets.  Fortunately we have three that we can rotate between the car, her crib, and the wash. At one point we lost one and it was tough to go just between two. Fortunately we found the missing one and my husband and I could breathe a sigh of relief.

I saw the beautiful blankets and saw how much my daughter loved them and I decided to teach myself how to crochet blankets.  I bought a couple of books, some crotchet needles and some yarn.  I have now successfully made 3 blankets. One was donated to a pregnancy center and the two others have been given to friends for their new babies.  I'm working on my fourth.

A part of me started this new project because I like using hands and making things. I also wanted to give something to pregnancy centers so that the mothers-to-be knew that someone was thinking of them and praying for them as they start the journey into motherhood.  The bonus part was that since I was using my hands, there was no more late night snacking in front of the tv and I lost some weight :)

I really enjoy making these blankets and I enjoy making them for friends who are having babies. My hope is that I will also be able to continue making them for the pregnancy centers. What better way for me to contribute to one of my favorite causes?  New life!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This is How She Says "I Love You" Part II

The other day a friend of mine shared this link with me on facebook. http://storycorps.org/listen/stories/theresa-nguyen-and-her-daughter-stephanie/?sms_ss=facebook

It succinctly describes my relationship with my own mother. Being half Filipino I didn't always understand my mom's thoughts and actions. Although I was born in the Philippines, I've been in the United States since I was two years old. I grew up in the American culture.  

My mom was not always a warm fuzzy and that was hard for me when I was growing up. As I've gotten older I've learned to recognize my mom's way of saying "I love you" even though she didn't always say it.  

For example while we were in Maine on vacation we came back to find our house had been cleaned and my son's room reorganized so that it could fit another bed in it. I had told my parents before we left for Maine that we were expecting Baby #3 (yes, I'm pregnant. I'm almost 15 weeks along!).  My mom knowing that we would put B & B together in the same room, went ahead and reorganized the room so that Buggy could join her brother and share a room for a few years.  

Just last weekend she wanted to go Back to School shopping for Boogie.  We hit several stores and bought BTS for Boogie and a pair of Ballet slippers for Buggy's upcoming dance lessons. She even bought me a few much needed maternity tops and dresses.  She also wanted to buy a new changing mattress for the baby.  She didn't have to buy these things for us. I can certainly afford to outfit my self and our kids, but my mom wanted to do something for us. While it was hard for me to swallow my pride and step aside, I also knew it was important for my mom to do this and feel like she can still provide for us.  For that I'm very grateful. I'm grateful for the way she takes cares of us and for how much loves her grandchildren.

I had a great time hanging out with her and just spending time with her. I think she had fun, too.  But when I brought it up the next day and thanked her she just said, "Oh, okay." It sounds cold, but I'm coming to the realization that it's just cultural. I wish she had said she had fun too, or that it was nice getting together. But all she said was, "Oh, okay."  That's just the way it is. Talking to several of my Asian friends, they say that their moms are the same way.  They show their love by doing things. 

The last part of the above interview between mother and daughter brought tears to my eyes. The mom is saying how the Asian culture is about showing love through actions and not words.  She also talks about how she is proud of her daughter even though she never tells her.  She even mentions that her husband "gets on her case" when she doesn't do it and she says, "but she knows that I'm proud of her."  Her daughter's response is that she always thought she was a disappointment.  The mom reassures her that she has always been proud of her.  Wow. It was if she was talking about my relationship with my mom.  

It's taken me 32 years, but I'm finally understanding that love is spoken and shared in many different ways.  My mom's big "I love you's" have always been through actions. Thanks, Mom. I love you, too!

See my prior post on this subject here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Family Playdate

I am really lucky. I married a wonderful man and I married into a great family.

Yesterday I visited one my sisters-in-law for a play date. I brought my 2 kids to her house for a play date. They got a chance to play with 7 other cousins (4 belong to my SIL and 3 belong to my other SIL).  The kids' age ranged from 21 months to 11 years old. The nice thing about the play dates is that the cousins do a great job entertaining themselves.  My little Bug is enamored with her eldest cousin who has doted on her since she was born.  Boogie is happy to have a group of already made friends.  The day is kept pretty simple. The kids play outside or with whatever toys that are available.  But really all they need is each other. It's great!

My favorite part is spending time with my SIL. It 's a chance for us to catch up and talk about anything and everything. Usually when we get together it's with the whole family and that can be overwhelming because there can be literally 2, 3, or more conversations going on at the same time because there are so many of us.  When we get together for a playdate I feel like I get a better grasp about what's going on in her life and I get to hear about all the cool things she's doing at work, with her girls, or personally.

A friend of mine posted on her blog about a recent weekend trip with friends. She wrote that it was nice to be unconditionally accepted. You know, when you are with friends and you are accepted because of who you are and it's relaxing and you really enjoy your time with them.  That's how I feel when I get together with my SIL for a playdate: unconditionally accepted.

I realize that I'm really, really lucky to have that kind of relationship with my SIL.  We get along really well.  How lucky am I that we're not just family but we're also friends?  I sometimes forget that she's my husband's sister, but at the same time if I talk about Hubby, she knows him so well she knows where I'm coming from and she totally gets it. Bonus!

As Summer draws to a close, I'm bummed that we just started finding time to get together for play dates.  though we did actually get together 3 times this Summer and that's not bad at all!  As the school year draws closer we're already trying to think about ways to get together. I'm looking forward to it! Thanks, Sis!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Little Escape Artist

Hubby and I were thinking about putting the kids in the same room sometime in December. We've been thinking about getting twin beds that can eventually be put together as bunk beds when the kids become older.  I've been going back and forth debating on that and keeping Buggy in a crib. She LOVES her crib. She loves to throw her Fisher Price Little People in it and play with them in there and have her own private party.  We're also not ready for her to be roaming around and being able to get up whenever she pleases.

Ahhhhh, big brothers. They love to show their younger siblings how to do things. At times, it's really, really inconvenient. Like how Boogie decided to show Buggy how to escape from her crib two days ago.

The kids were supposed to be down for a nap, but since I found out I had to pick up the minivan from the shop soon after I put down the kids, it was good that they never actually fell asleep.  I let Boogie get up and I opened the door to Buggy's room where she is happily playing in her crib. I go back to folding laundry in my room next door. The next thing you know, Bug is walking in my room happy as can be. I think she even sashayed a bit.  I ask her how she gets out and she mentions my son's name.

Me: "Boogs? How did Buggy get out of her crib?"
B:  "I showed her how!" (very excitedly). "I climbed in and then I showed her how to climb out. Look she can do it all be herself now."

That's just great. I was hoping to keep her in her crib as long as possible.  As both kids are up, I go ahead and get us ready so that we can go pick up the minivan from the shop.  After we get home I stick both kids back in their room for another attempt at a nap. I decide to head down and chill out on the internet.  Someone is mowing their lawn outside, the AC is running, the tv is on low when I hear it. I hear a muffled scream. It sounds kind of like kids playing or even as if I'm being called by one of the kids. Sometimes, Bug will play in her room and have conversations with her animals, but not really need me.  I look outside,  no kids outside playing. I stand at the foot of the stairs and I hear a terrified and muffled, '"Mama!"

I run upstairs and open Buggy's door. The following scene greets me. My beautiful girl's terrified, tear-streaked, red face. Next, her straddled body over the crib railing on the side closest to the wall. My darling girl tried to climb the crib on the other side and got stuck between the wall and the crib.  I try to remove her, but she's stuck. I move the crib and grab her. In gasps and sobs she says, "Mama, shnuggle, couch, shnuggle, baby, shnuggle. Ouch!"  I hold her tight and ask if she is scared. "Yesh" is the reply." I ask if she's hurt, "Ouch" is her next reply.  Poor baby. Her knee was red from where it was wedged.  Fortunately, she was not badly hurt, but certainly terrified. We snuggle on the couch with one of her beloved babies (crocheted blanket) until I have to get up to make dinner.

Later that night a couple of hours after we put down Buggy, we hear her crying for us. If it's possible for toddlers to have bad dreams, then I think she was having one. I think she was reliving her earlier entrapment :(

Of course, yesterday, Boogie opens her door in the morning when it times to get up and after naps and lets my escape artist out again. She climbed over the crib both times and walked her little self down to the family room.  She is quite proud of herself. I though her earlier failed attempt would keep her in her crib, but apparently not. Her brother's encouragement is just too hard to resist.

Now the question is: do I get a baby tent and try to keep her in crib longer or just throw in the towel and look into getting new beds for the kids? *sigh*

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back To School

In my former life I was a teacher.  I taught for 8 years. Four years at the elementary level and four years at the middle school level. Very fulfilling years. But no matter what, I always had back to school dreams.  After my son was born, they became nightmares. I think it had to do with the anxiety of leaving him home and not being able to spend time with him.  When I worked, I worked. There were many 11-hour days in a school building before I was able to make it home to the little man. Which is one of the many reasons I decided to try my hand at staying home full-time.

The first two school years of staying at home, I still had back to school dreams.  They varied. Some of them dealt with my anxiety of not working or losing a part of my identity. Some of them dealt with being back in the rhythm of being in the classroom and loving the routine of it.

I had another one recently. In this one, my house was filled with teachers. Not just former colleagues, but good friends of mine that are teachers. It was morning, they were getting ready for their first preservice days at their respective schools. They were giddy and excited and talking about what was to come. Me? I looked at them and said, "HA! At least I get to sleep in :)"(Really, sleeping in just means that I sleep until about 7am, but it's still sleeping in for me!).

There was absolutely no regret about not going back to work.  For the first two years of my childcare leave, I still thought about my year in terms of the school year. I'm finally joining the rest of society and looking at our time in calendar years.  At the beginning of every school year I still pray for my friends that are working. I pray for a good school year for them and for their students.

But I think the tide is changing and I no longer hear the school bell ringing for me :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pet Peeve

Last Friday night Hubby and I had to drop off our minivan to the shop. Since it was so close to dinner time, we decided to hit the local mall and grab dinner there. Afterwards we did a little Back to School shopping and bought some shoes for the kids.

As we were headed towards the escalator there was a group of 3-4 people with one small child crowded around the top of the escalator. We had to move by them to get to the escalator. As we drew nearer one of the women is screaming into her cell phone and another is screaming at the young girl (maybe 3 years old?) to stay off the escalators as she tried putting one foot onto the moving steps. Fine, lets just keep trucking and we'll bypass all this. And then it happened...

As Hubby and I load the kids onto the escalator the 2nd woman who was yelling at the little girl starts yelling at the top of her lungs about the mf*in person at the bottom of the stairs (someone I presume they were meeting). She used the word several times and loudly and added to it crazya**. Hubby and I did our best not to draw our children's attention to it by ignoring it and talking to the kids instead. But we were essentially trapped until we could hurriedly exit the escalator and had to be subjected to horrible language in front of our young children. It's one thing for us to hear it, but I really don't want my children exposed to that kind of language any early than they have to be.

This brings to me to another point, it seems like we can never get away from this kind of language in front of the kids. Teens are quickly assimilating these words into their everyday conversations. For example when my kids took swim lessons, the tweens and teens who were on swim teams came in and dressed for their practice while we were finishing up and dressing to leave. Several times the young girls who came in to dress would hang out and talk with each other casually and it was nothing to them to throw all sorts of words that were really inappropriate for little ears (of which there were several because the little kids had just finished their lessons). I honestly don't think they realized it, it was such a part of their vernacular.

What happened? Why aren't we conscientious about what we say and who hears it?  Why is it so common for little ones to start using words that I would never have dreamed of using while I was in school? I expect more from adults and hope that they would think twice before swearing in front of little ones, but this is not always the case.  This is a hard one for me. I mean I can't shelter my kids forever, but at the same time, Come on!

Although I've been out of the classroom for a couple of years and I still have my teacher look that can stop a kid in his tracks. It sometimes works when I've got the kids with me, but what to do with adults?  Sigh. Another obstacle in parenthood as I try to raise children who are polite and respectful of those around them. But that's what I'll do. I can't control other people, but I can teach my children how to act and react to the world around them. That's the best I can do.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


My son cracks me up on a regular basis with some of the things he says. Here are the most recent quotables:

Me: What do you want for lunch?
B: Are we omnivores?
Me: Yes.
B: A little meat and a little plant. Thanks.

B:  Speaking of pollen and nectar, I have to go to the bathroom.

On Daddy painting his room with two different murals because the kids will be sharing a room by Christmas:
B: What are you going to paint in my room?
D:  What do you think Buggy will like?
B: Things that little girls like. You know flowers and butterflies
D: What would you like on your side?
B: Things that boys like?
D: Like what?
B: Ummmm
D: Cheetahs? (Boogie has a smalled stuffed cheetah, Chester, who is his constant companion).
B: Yeah, cheetahs! And girls.
D: Girls?
B: Yeah, I like girls. Cheetahs and girls on my wall.

B: Can we give Buggy away?
D: Why?
B: She's annoying.
D: Who do you want to give her to?
B:  Jillian. Jillian would like to have her.
D: Jillian already has a little sister.
B: What about Isaiah?
D: Isaiah has a sister, too/
B: Well we can't give her to Lolo and Lola (his grandparents), because I want to see them.  Doesn't anybody want a little sister?

Oh, boy. I think I have my hands full with my two little ones!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pwetty Mama!

I think I have a girly-girl on my hands.  There is no doubt that Buggy is a girl. She loves purses, all sorts of purses.  Before she got a few of her own, she used to take my bag and try to haul it around the house. No small feat since my purse us usually filled to the brim with stuff.  She also used to take the camera bag and use that as her purse. Fortunately my brother bought her a cute little skirt purse (I'll have to take a picture of it) and she loved it. She carries it around everywhere. Our friend A. also bought her a cute little purse just her size and she loves to carry that around, too. She comes by it honestly as I love purses, too ;)

Her newest thing is to watch Mama put on make-up. She stands on a stool as I put on my make up in the bathroom. As I put on my eye shadow, Buggy points to her eyes, closes them and says, "Ayes, Ayes. Ayes, Mama." Then as I put on my blush she says, "Bwush, Mama. Bwush." And then when I put on my lipstick, "wips, Mama, wips." All the while pointing to the right body part and saying all of this.  After I finish, I usually take the big blush brush and swipe on her eyes and cheeks. There's very little make up on it and it makes her happy. I put Burt's Bees lip balm on her lips for "pwetty lips" and she's happy. So happy that she snatches up one of her purses, finds Daddy and bats her eyes at him and says, "Pwetty, Daddy. Pwetty." Oh, brother!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Two weeks ago, Hubby and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.  We decided to treat ourselves to a lunch at VOLT restaurant.  Hubby and I are Top Chef junkies and have been watching for several seasons.    If you watched last season, you'll know that VOLT is owned by one of the runners-up from last season.

Last Summer when we lived in Chicago we were able to visit Rick Bayless' restaurant Frontera. I heart Rick Bayless. I thought he had a great personality when I watched Top Chef Master's last Summer. I couldn't wait to try his food so it was a bonus that our condo was just blocks from his restaurant.

So when I heard that another Top Chef contestant had a restaurant nearby, Hubby and I made plans to go. It takes months to get a seating at VOLT...well if you want a evening meal.  I checked ahead and tried to get us one for our anniversary, but the meal times were for 9pm. I'm old and there is no way that I could stay awake for a 9pm meal, so Hubby and I settled for lunch on our anniversary.

We were able to get a babysitter and headed to VOLT.  I have to say it was hard to find. The restaurant is in a big brick building that we at first thought was a church. But really, it's a beautiful mansion.  After realizing we passed it, I had Hubby let me out and I walked to find the restaurant. Fortunately a friend told me about the parking on the side of the restaurant and Hubby was able to circle the block and come back and get a parking spot.

When I walked in I told them I had a reservation was for noon. The hostess was a little cold and kind of snotty and said, "Oh, are we waiting for the rest of your party?  They're not here yet?" I said, "No, he's just parking. Your restaurant isn't easy to find." She had me wait in the lounge until Hubby walked in. When he did, he told her his wife just checked in and as soon as he did, she did walk us back to a table.

We sat down and I have to say I was really giddy and excited.  We've been looking forward to this for several months and what a great way to celebrate our anniversary. A long, luxurious lunch without having to wait on the kids, keep them entertained, or feed them.

Here's the menu we selected:

He chose to do a wine pairing with his meal. It was just a taste to go along with his meal. He enjoyed having an expert decide for him what would taste well his meal selections. Each was a great accompaniment for each course.

1st Course-Goat Cheese Ravioli (Really good. He thought it was the best course of the day.)
2nd Course--Scallops (It was okay. Yummy, but I think the Goat Cheese Ravioli was so good that this was a bit of a disappointment in comparison).
Cheese plate--(He really enjoyed this. He thought the beer pairing was a great. I think it came with a belgium beer).
3rd Course--Blueberry cheesecake (He said it was good, but couldn't remember his initial thoughts).

1st Coure: Shiitake voulet (sp?). Basically mushroom soup. (This was really yummy. One of the best soups I've ever had. Just creamy enough.)
2nd Course--Grilled marinated hanger. (I've been craving red meat lately and this was wonderful! It was so tender and cooked absolutely perfectly. I was in heaven.)
Cheese Plate--(Unfortunately, I couldn't have any of the soft cheeses and there was only one cheese that I really liked. I had to give half my plate to Hubby.  I wouldn't do this again. This is just a personal preference. I think if circumstances were different, I would have enjoyed it more).
3rd Course--Textures of Chocolate (I love chocolate and this was a no-brainer as far as choice. Though I have to say, my favorite was the dollop of chocolate ice cream. Just right).

I did not indulge in the wine pairing for my meal. If we do this again, I think I would really like to do it. Hubby really liked it and I think I would, too. They give you just enough to enjoy with your course and since you have several courses, the amount is just right.

They did come around with bread and butter tray while waiting for our 1st course. The butter was so yummy and the bread so fresh it was perfect. I read one review saying that the customer would have taken the butter home if he could have!  Again, just enough so that you don't fill up on bread while waiting for your meal.

The waitstaff was courteous and polite. It was a little unnerving to have someone at our table every few minutes to check on us or to wipe crumbs off the table, but they were nice and answered our questions. At one point I got up to use the restroom and left my napkin on my seat. When I came back someone had come and folded it neatly beside my glass. It wasn't Hubby. Huh :)

I forgot my camera, but Hubby said he would have made fun of me for taking pictures of our dishes. I wasn't going to do that, but take a picture of us, instead. But of course, after he said that, we saw numerous tables taking pictures of their dishes. HA!

We would definitely go again and I would love to try the other dishes. I look forward to seeing how the menu changes with the seasons. I even got a sneak peek at Chef Voltaggio.  He was actually there. So cool to see him person after watching his performance on Top Chef!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

St. Columba Bay

Last week at camp the campers "visited" St. Columba Bay. I learned that St. Columba does not have sand on it's shore, but rocks and pebbles.

 The kids made stepping stones for the children's garden at the church and then spent some time in reflection.  This is a pretty heavy concept for 4 year olds.  My friend A. ran this marketplace. She had each of the kids pick up two small stones. She played music and asked the kids to close their eyes and listen to the world around them. To see the water, to feel the wind and water on their face (she even spritzed them with one of those water bottles that have a fan attached), to listen to the music, to breathe in and out slowly.  Then she told the kids that when people come to St. Columba Bay that they would pick up two stones. One was to throw back in the water and it was the bad stuff...hurt feelings, a bad morning, mean things people may have said, or even something mean they may have done to someone else. The other stone was to keep and it was all the good things.  As an adult I found this really cool. Especially it happened on the same morning that I was really, really late to camp. So I threw my bad morning back into the "bay."  My group of 4 year olds all participated, but no one spoke up, nor were they expected to. But I still wonder how much they got out of it. Did they get the concept?

The next morning, Boogie went to St. Columba Bay with his group.  That night Hubby asked him what he did at camp. Boogs was all excited about St. Columba Bay. He excitedly told Hubby about the bay and throwing away the bad stuff and keeping the good stuff. Hubby asked what Boogie threw away.

Boogie's reply:  I threw away all my nights that I couldn't stay dry. I kept all my dry nights.

Wow! He really got the concept. A part of me was super proud that understood the concept and that he took it to heart. As teachers, that's what we want from our little students. That they walk away with new knowledge or new insight.  Another part of me was a little sad. I knew that his inability to stay dry at night was frustrating to me (especially when he leaked out of his pull-up and I was changing sheets in the dark in the middle of the night, though I always said, "It's okay, Sweetheart, we'll just take care of it."), but I had no idea that it was this frustrating to him, too!

The following day, I told A. about it and she told me that no one else shared in his group, but Boogie had volunteered information about his bad and good stones. She was fortunately able to give him some good counsel and tell him that his body will be ready when it will be ready and not to worry about it.

Well, I think between her good counsel and his ability to physically let go of his frustration was all Boogie needed. He's been dry most nights since then! I think we are dry 5 out of 7 nights! That's the most that he's had ever!  I'm trying not to get too excited or to pressure him. I'm trying to give him props and congratulate him when he's dry (without pressure) and to say, "Hey, no big deal on the mornings that he's not.  But to see that he's let go of his frustration is pretty wonderful!

Thanks, A. for all of your help!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

God's Mighty Warrior

Yesterday morning, my son proclaimed from his bed (before getting up), "Good morning! I am W., God's Mighty Warrior!"

After getting up and dressing himself, he told me his plans for the day. First, breakfast, then to help someone in need. I love my little boy!  He spent most of the day asking me who needed help. I told him that he could help me. He said, "No, not parents. Someone who really needs my help. Who needs my help, Mommy?"  Great question.

I love that my son is developing a giving heart and a caring spirit. I think that I need to go with this one and start thinking of some easy service projects for him to do that shows he is helping other people. I thought about baking cookies for our neighbors, for the mailman, for the garbage men, and the recycling guys.  But honestly, it's too hot to turn on the oven.

Any ideas out there for a service project that a 4 year can accomplish?  Before going to bed last night he told me that we had to do something today. Thanks for any ideas!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Last week I taught preschoolers at our Church's Bible Camp. It was a great experience. Unfortunately because of a terrible storm the night before, we couldn't begin on Monday because the church didn't have any electricity.  We started on Tuesday and nobody was expecting that we'd get our power back so quickly.

Let me start by saying that last week was a wonderful experience. I absolutely loved it and so did my kids. Boogs loved being in camp and Buggy was a hit in the nursery.

But, ACK!  I was so late the first day of camp. It was so bad. I just couldn't get moving in the morning and it was awful. I finally got us fed and dressed and still had time to barely make it to camp in time to realize that I could not find my keys. I looked everywhere and called my husband in a panic.  I didn't have anyone's number so it wasn't like I could call and tell them that I would still be there, but was running late. I think I had a panic attack as I ran around the house like a chicken with it's head cut off.  After saying a prayer to St. Anthony, the finder of lost things, I found my keys. (St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. What has been lost cannot be found.) Let me say that St. Anthony has saved me many a time!

I found my keys headed down the road and realized I left my lesson plan at home. I had to sacrifice an extra 5 minutes going back to the house to pick it up. I truly needed it, otherwise I would have ditched it. But it had my class list and the story lesson for the day. ARGHHHHHH!  Driving down the road I thought we might make it, then the closer we got to church realized that multiple lights were out and we had to do a 4-way stop at each intersection.  I might it to camp 5 minutes after the day was supposed to start. Not only that I still had to put Buggy in the nursery with all of her stuff and check her in and put her in a new environment without any prep. Thank God she's the second baby and goes with the flow!  I also had to walk Boogie to his class and get him settled. Of course as I pull into the lot, the director calls and because I'm fumbling with everything I accidentally hang up on her. I quickly call her back and she is very annoyed and rightfully so!  I'm late and she doesn't know where I am.  And I'm not a little bit late, I'm probably 20 minutes late, because of course I should be there at least 15 minutes before the campers arrive.  That's BAD!  Fortunately, when I ran into her in the hall on the way to my class she was pleasant and nice. I think she was just relieved that I showed up!  I walk into my room and my fabulous teenage helpers (which include the director's daughter!) have already started circle time and getting to know the kids and their names. They're singing and the kids have no idea that I'm way behind. There is a parent there and I'm mortified. I apologize and she's so cool and doesn't give me a hard time.

My teenage helpers tell me to relax and they truly do have it under control. I put away my stuff, take a deep breath, look over the plan one more time and ease into their circle time. The rest of the day went well and the rest of the week even better!  It was a great camp experience, minus the getting there on time part on the first day.

The worst part is that when I spoke to Hubby later in the day he told me he's pretty sure he got a call from the director looking for me. His phone rang, he didn't recognize the number, but answered anyway.  He heard someone say to someone else in a panicked voice, "I can't talk to you right now! I have a teacher who hasn't shown up and we don't know where she is!" He said, "hello" a few times, but the director was so busy that she didn't realize he had picked up and ended up hanging up without speaking to him. Probably about the same time I called to say I was there in the parking lot.

I.am.absolutely.mortified!  I was debating about volunteering next year, but at this rate, I'm too embarrassed to offer my services because I think they think I'm a huge flake!  As you can see this blog is aptly named. I am truly the epitome of the discombobulated mommy. *sigh*