Thursday, May 31, 2012


My friend, Butterfly Mama, gave Mr. Bananas this cute shirt for his birthday. I love it and he has received many compliments on his t-shirt. With much affection I call him "Poindexter" whenever he wears this shirt. He is so stinkin' cute!

Hello Poindexter!

I love this kid!

I'm coming for you!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mommy's Serenade

It's been an emotionally tough week for me. I have to remember that I am incredibly loved by my kids and husband.  There are several good friends out there who have shown their unconditional love.  Thanks, ladies! While it's been a tough week for me, my sweet kids have found ways to make me laugh and smile and not even realize that they are doing it when I so need it most.

I'm so glad I grabbed my camera for this sweet, unprompted serenade. How I love my Sweet Ladybug! She rocks! I love my daughter and apparently she loves me, too ;)

Notice the cute groupie at the bottom of the screen. He adds his voice to the serenade. Love it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I really need to have my camera out more often. So many cute moments that my camera missed, but I was able to sear into my memory:

  • Buggy reading to Mr. Bananas at bedtime. She read, Dear Zoo to him. According to Hubby it's the first time he's ever sat through an entire reading without being held.  She even read it a second time using sign language to name each animal. She's 3 and that rocks.
  • The big kids playing and building with their kid k'nex and allowing Mr. Bananas to play around them.
  • Mr. Bananas said Boogie's name for the first time last week. Granted he hasn't done it again and when he did say it, he was reprimanding him for playing near a water cooler. It went something like this: "Wllm, no, no, no, no" all the while wagging his finger and shaking his head.
  • Mr. Bananas waving to everyone we come across in our walks, no matter where we are.
  • Hubby trying to take a nap on the couch and immediately covered in children as they snuggled in with him.
  • When asking Mr. Bananas a question he answers in the affirmative with a definitive head nod. Not numerous head nods. One or two and with his eyes shut. It's an absolutely "yes."
  • Buggy saying, "I love you," every single day without prompting. It makes me feel so special and loved. 
  • Mr. Bananas patting his chest and saying, "My mommy, my mommy, my mommy" when he sees me. If he needs me it's a more rapid chest patting and "My mommy" is shortened to "Meemee, meemee, meemee."
  • Mr. Bananas being more clear in his sign language:  mommy, please, more, up, all done. These are super clear and definite.  He can do others, but only when it's important to him. The big kids are trying to teach him more. 
  • Buggy used to say, "ahind" you when she said, "behind you."
  • Buggy saying, "woohoo" while she wiggles and puts her hand up.
  • Buggy saying our cat's name as ebb-be-ose.  Our cat's name is Berlioz. When I ask her to repeat it because it's so cute she blushes and says, "Bear-Bear."
I love these moments. I need to write them down more often so I never forget them. I should also take more pictures. I LOVE these kids!

Update:  I have to add a few more lest I forget!

  • When his teacher asked the class to identify beloved book character Francis in class Boogie says, "Francis is a Common North American Badger." (as opposed to uncommon? ;) I love it!)
  • Boogie's class was learning how list making can be part of the writing process. His teacher asked the kids to name and then sort games into categories. After Boogie shares the name of a particular  game, one of his classmates begins teasing him and tells him it's a baby game. My Boogie looks at her and says, "I do have younger siblings, you know." LOVE his response.
  • "Mommy, I prefer nonfiction text. What do you like to read, fiction or nonfiction?" (Boogie).

Monday, May 21, 2012

No Weekend PR

This past weekend I was supposed to run in the local 5-miler. My brother-in-law was going to run it with me. I had been training for over 2 months complete with early morning runs 2-3 times a week. I was running faster and cutting seconds off my time. I was so ready for this...

...but I didn't run it. About 3-4 weeks ago I came home limping after one of my runs. I was in so much pain I had tears in my eyes and I limped for the next 2-3 days. I thought it was plantar fasciitis and treated it as such.  I took time off from running. I iced it, I took over the counter meds, and I stayed off of it as much as I could with 3 chickadees running around.  I solicited advice from running friends, Facebook friends, and running forums. I was doing everything that could be done except go to the doctor. Having had it once before I was pretty familiar with it and I knew that it took time to heal.  But things weren't getting better, in fact they were getting worse. After more scouring numerous running blogs, forums, websites, I was pretty sure what I really had was a stress fracture in my heel. I went to the doctor last week. She said my foot was swollen and prescribed the same routines I had already in place...but she thought it was more than plantar fasciitis as well and sent me to x-ray. I haven't gotten the results yet (I really need to e-mail her, it's been almost a week), and it suggested I forgo the race and running for a while.

I am pretty disappointed. I was looking forward to running it and obtaining a new personal record (PR).  I had worked really hard, which is ironic because I think I worked too hard which is how I hurt my foot. I ran too fast too early in my training. Now I know. Ugh. Hard lesson learned.

While I wait for my foot to heal, I will be staying off the treadmill and not run for a while. I have to change my work-out routine to replace all my treadmill time and cardio interval class time with spinning. And if I can swing it, maybe some swimming. Thank goodness the outdoor pool opens up next weekend!

I still went to the race to cheer for my brother-in-law.  His family came down and I was able to spend some extra time with my Hubby's sister and my nephews and niece. Even though I didn't get to run, I had fun. Even though I did not get to make a PR, my brother-in-law did. Great job, E!

I'll try again next year!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Team Work and Strawberry Pie

My husband plants a garden for us every year since moving into our home. Has it really been 5 years???? We He plants zucchini, squash, basil, and tomatoes. I love supplementing our dinner with produce from our garden. And it's the only time of year that we have pesto on a regular basis. Between the basil from our garden and the crazy, huge bag of pine nuts Hubby buys from the store we have pesto coming out of ears before the summer is done. And I miss it over the Winter because it is just too darn expensive to buy pesto from the grocery store.

 This year planted corn in our garden per Boogie's request.  I'm hoping the critters do not eat all of it and save a few ears for us.  A couple of years ago my BFF gave me a few strawberry plants for my birthday. For the last few years only Buggy has been able to eat the strawberries.  There wasn't quite enough to make it from the garden to the house. She ate them all as she harvested them.  However, this year we have a bountiful harvest. So much so that I was able to make a pie out of what the kids picked over the last few days. And they are out today picking even more. Woot!

I caught them working together today as they picked more strawberries. Boogie sat in the garden picking and then would toss them to Buggy's waiting bucket as she stood outside of the garden. I also noticed that she scooted closer and closer to him so that his strawberries would make it into her bucket. It was subtle and sweet. And of course with a "woo-hoo" every time his strawberry made it into the bucket. I love these kids!

Update: ...aaaaaaand it just ended (before I could finish my post) with both kids screaming as Boogie tried to stop Buggy from attempting to eat one of the strawberries they just harvested because he wanted to save them all for another pie...ah, motherhood. It sure is a roller coaster isn't it?

Tossing strawberries into Buggy's awaiting bucket

See Boogie, over here!

My favorite dragon trainer enjoying his first strawberry pie. Ahem, he refuses to eat strawberries.  That apparently went out the window when he harvested his own strawberries, from his own garden, and Mama made him a pie.

Buggy eating her favorite fruit in pie form.

Yes, pie for breakfast. No judging!
P.S. You can also check out our most recent culinary exploit - making a "Thunder Cake".

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday--Silly Faces

My kids are silly and fun. I love being goofy with them. One night Buggy and I spent our time making funny faces together and just being silly. I love these times together.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Teacher Who "Gets" Him

Professor Boogie trying on his teacher's glasses
Now that I'm on the other side of the table, I want to make sure that my children get a teacher who "gets" them. Understands them, nurtures them, challenges them, educates them, and just "gets" them. I hope I was a teacher who "got" her students. There are times I look back and felt that I could have connected better, taught better, been more empathetic, should have challenged more, been more nurturing...

We have been really, really blessed with the teachers Boogie has had. His preschool teachers taught him that God is #1 and he's held that close to his heart for the last two years. Hopefully longer.  They have strengthened the strong foundation in Christ that my husband and I have laid down for him.

This year we could not have been happier with his kindergarten teacher. He is a teacher who "gets" his students. He understands them, challenges them, nurtures them. He's given Boogs a great foundation in academics.  I spoke to him the other day about next year. With Boogs being on the wait list for the language immersion programs he'll be going back to his current school.  I asked Mr. S. about next year's placement.  He said he already knows who he wants for Boogs. And as I looked at him and was about to voice my own anxiety he said, "Don't worry, she'll 'get' him." Me: "She'll get him?"  Mr. S. "Yes, she'll get him. She has a Boogie, too." And with that little exchange, I felt that Boogs is going where he's supposed to be next year.  I feel good about the transition and feel confident that next year will be a good year.  At any rate, I'm not worried and that's a good thing :)

Maybe I should have asked if the teacher will "get" me, too ;)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wait Listed

I mentioned a while back that we were seriously considering in applying for Boogie to be a part of a full or partial language immersion program. I went to an open house for the Chinese immersion program and I was pretty impressed. I blogged about it, posted it on my Facebook wall, and spoke to family and friends. So many factors to consider.  One of them being travel time and accessibility to the school for me.  Right now I have a sweet deal where I can walk Boogs to his school. We've cut our walking time down from 15-20 minutes to about 7 minutes. It's 10 minutes when my plantar fasciitis flares up.  I have face time with the teacher every day after school and I really like the school. They have so many wonderful after school programs: languages, yoga, sports, art, etc.

 If I like the school so much why did I even consider a language immersion program? I considered it because now is the time for Boogie to learn new languages. It is so much harder when you are an adult. Now, the synapses are firing and neural pathways are ready to acquire new information. It's amazing what children learn before the age of 5!

I hemmed and hawed about it up until the last moment and decided to apply for two of the programs. I was hoping to apply for a Spanish immersion program because I feel that I have enough Spanish to help him if need be.  However, only two programs were relatively nearby: Chinese and French. They are still about 20+ minutes away without traffic. Throw in traffic, 3 kids, and a preschool drop-off, it gets a little dicier.

We found out last week that Boogs is wait listed. He's number 13 for the Chinese immersion program and number 15 for the French immersion program. I have to say, I'm okay with this. As awesome as it would be for Boogie to be a part of these programs, I don't think it works for our schedule right now.  My SIL brought up a good point saying if he was my only child, this would be a no-brainer. But he isn't, and I have to think about the affects on our family schedule.  I think if it was meant to be, it will be.  And I'm relieved to know that he'll be going to a good school to which I have easy access.  There are language programs offered at our current school once a week for x amount of weeks. He loved his after school Spanish class and wants to continue next  year.  That is totally doable and probably where we're headed. I'm glad I don't have to make a big schedule changing decision right now. I'm happy where we are and with what we're doing while still feeling like we are giving him Boogie every possible opportunity to follow his interests.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Running Through

My trusty 5am running buddies...
I've been running consistently for about 8 months. I knew that once I was ready to go back to the gym I wanted to be able to run our local 5 miler in May. (I've run it twice before).

 It's gotten to the point where I'm following a training plan.  I'm even up 2-3 times a week and on the treadmill by 5:30am.  However, in my eagerness I have trained incorrectly by trying to run too fast in a short amount of time.  As a result I have developed plantar fasciitis and I'm in a great deal of pain everyday. It has subsided to the point to where I can walk without hobbling too much, then I run, and it starts all over again.  I've read a lot of blogs and websites dedicated to running and they all come to the same conclusion:  stretch, ice, and pain reliever...cortisone shots and/or surgery for severe cases. I don't think I'm a severe case yet.  I'm trying to decide if I'll be able to train through this or should I forget the training, stick to spinning for the next two weeks, and pray that I don't die during the race....HA!

The good thing is that I have noticed that my running time is still in the range I want it to be and my breathing seems to be pretty good. The bad thing is that I haven't been able to run more than a mile or two on the treadmill in the last two weeks.

In saying that, I think I've decided to stop running for the next two weeks, stick to spinning (my foot feels the best after a ride) and hope that the adrenaline and pain reliever kick in enough that I can run through the pain.

It's a setback. I don't particularly like running, but I like the rush I get after running, the sense of accomplishment in doing something that I didn't think I could do. A half-marathon is on my bucket list. A marathon, too, if I ever get the courage to do put on the list. This pain is making me pretty apprehensive about whether or not I'll continue running after the race. Probably not. I was really hoping to run a local 10K on July 4th...but we'll see. I'm not up for running with pain. I'll cross train instead.  When the pain subsides which it did 5 years ago when I had it the first time, I'll try again, and train smarter.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. (Romans 5:3)

ps Let's hope that I have the endurance to finish!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sticker Shocked into Wanting to DIY

After reading countless appliance blogs/postings, watching countless youtube videos on refrigeration repairs, and checking the prices for the parts I need...I (hesitatingly) believe that I could fix our refrigerator problem on my own...

...but I won't. I'm not sure if I could have diagnosed the problem on my own, though there appears to be 3 to 4 solid things to check in order to determine what the issue is when your refrigerator is warm and your freezer is cold, but freezing up.  It would take me quite a while to figure out the specific issue, so having someone come out to diagnose the problem was worth it. However, there appears to be quite the mark up on the part I need. Across the board, I found that the part that I need is less than $100.  My repairman wants to charge me $345 for it. His time is $145. I won't dispute the cost of his time. Fine. That's for his expertise...And it took him about 20 minutes to determine the problem and it would have taken me several hours, I'm sure.  But a $245 markup for a part????? Really?????  Between my husband and I, we were able to talk him down a couple hundred dollars...but still...bye-bye anniversary weekend away that we've been planning for 2 years....That mark up alone put me in to a DIY frenzy.  Hence the checking out of appliance blogs, youtube videos, etc.

I found out (and it's taken me about 8 hours of research to determine this) that I can probably change the part myself fairly easily.  I just had to figure out where my part is located and what it looks like. The hardest part was finding out where it is.  I know silly, but I could not find my specific refrigerator model on any of the forums and somewhere out of left field I kind of stumbled on it.

Being a SAHM means that we do not have a lot of disposable income. We gave up my "cushy" paycheck so that I could raise our kids. Not having a lot of disposable income makes me much more money conscious.

In retrospect, I kind of wish that I had more faith in my abilities, thanked the repairman for coming and paid him for the visit and diagnosis. Then, I wish I had ordered the part on my own and fix the problem on my own.  I bet I could. Well, now after hours of research, I bet I could.  Next time, I won't doubt my ability so quickly and see if I could do it myself.

Have any of you been sticker shocked into DIY? What have you done on your own because you could not fathom spending that much money on a project? Have you ever wished you let a professional take care of it instead?

Hebrews 10:35
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence for it has a great reward. (New American Standard)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Not Cool

My nearly empty refrigerator due to a broken defrost control board
Our refrigerator has been making an odd buzzing noise. The noise became louder and louder and by the end of the week it had gotten so loud that Buggy and I jumped when it turned on.  Hubby and I talked about the causes. Last week, I came home from a mom's night out to find him surrounded by our food in coolers while he chipped the ice away from our no-frost freezer (that is not a good sign!).  We talked about pulling out the refrigerator from the wall and vacuuming the back. It probably hasn't been dusted back there since it was installed about 18 months ago.  And then yesterday morning, I came home from my early morning run to to hear the words, "Honey, the 'fridge is warm." Ugh!

Sometime during the night, the refrigerator and freezer shut off. Our food had gone bad in the fridge, but was still okay in the freezer. We unplugged the fridge, vacuumed and dusted, and plugged it in again. Everything came back on, but still no cold air in the fridge.  I threw out everything that had gone bad. Even as I did I was grateful that it was my shopping day and I hadn't restocked anything yet. I was grateful that my husband caught the problem before he went to work, because being distracted with getting Boogie ready for school, I probably wouldn't have noticed until after I had done my shopping. I was grateful that most of the stuff I was throwing away were leftovers and only a little bit of milk.

In the midst of this situation I was trying to find the grace to be grateful.  Why bother?  Well, as I've learned the hard way many times over, it doesn't do to dwell on the negative. What's done is done. You work to make it better or if it's not salvageable you move on. Also, it could be worse. We are healthy, we have a roof over our heads, we will not go hungry, and we have the money to repair the refrigerator.  So I was grateful for what we did have. I was grateful that the food in the freezer was saved and could be placed in the deep freezer in the basement. I was grateful that we had the money to repair it. I was grateful for my husband's cool head in what would have been a crisis if I found this out after he had gone to work and after I done the shopping. Despite it being inconvenient, I am grateful that God was able to give me patience, strength, and a clear head as I was able to make dinner from what food was still available. Hello Crockpot!

I had the repairman come today. I was not thrilled with the diagnosis and the cost of labor and parts. It was a lot more than I was expecting but that's because I don't know anything about refrigerators and their parts. However, I am grateful that I was able to talk him down to a more reasonable price...still not great, but better!

We have a temporary fix, but as I need a new defrost control board, I still need to have the refrigerator repaired.  The repairman said he was coming back on Monday, latest Tuesday, to fix it because he has to wait for the part. In the meantime I will only buy small amounts of the essentials because he said I'll probably have the same problem by Saturday night. On Saturday night, I'll have to defrost the freezer again in order to keep things cool until he arrives to repair it...I am grateful my husband will bring home dinner tonight.

So I'll try to keep in mind the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  By giving thanks, I am humbled by what we do have and how fortunate we are despite the current situation.

1Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday--My Monkey

My Monkey. He's so lovable and sweet. His new favorite thing to do is to blow kisses as he's leaving a room. Everyone melts when he does it. He's been walking for about two weeks now. It's amazing. One day he was crawling and the next walking...literally. How does it happen so quickly? On April 20th he took about 8 steps to me when I picked him up from childcare at the gym. Since then, he's been walking everywhere! By the end of the weekend he was barely, if ever, crawling. He loves people and is happiest interacting with his siblings...and by interacting I mean crawl all over them, sit on them, pull on them, and be the center of attention.

The only trait that I could do without is the earsplitting screeches.  He hits a decibel that truly hurts my ears. One day in the car poor Buggy started crying because he had screeched so loudly and it hurt her ears.  He screeches to get what he wants and we are desperately trying to break him of this habit by encouraging him to use his words (verbal or signed).  It works...except when we are in the today...45 minutes was a VERY long time...I would have left earlier except I was waiting for something.

Here is a sweet picture of my little my monkey...after his overtired 20 minute crying jag.  Sweet dreams, Little Monkey.