Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oz ... the beginning

We're on our annual pilgrimage to Oz. It's 12 hours of driving, which means it's more like a 14-15 hour trip by the time you factor in meals and potty stops. Luckily, this drive went fairly smoothly. We stocked lots of toys, snacks, and our car-DVD player. I was pleasantly surprised by how few DVDs we watched. Gummy Bear is one super-cool dude.

The boys are in pay-attention-to-me heaven.

Welcome to Masterpiece Theatre.

On our drive, we stopped at an Arby's for lunch. The kids' meal toy was a paper firetruck. The packaging said it was for ages 3 and over. In reality, it took a much older kid to actually get it together.

And then there was one. I'll have to say that he was pretty proud of that firetruck though.

The grandpas got out the baseball equipment, frisbies and other assorted sports gear.

Gummy Bear is turning out to be a pretty good pitcher, although his catching skills leave something to be desired.

Puppy and a drill. Who could ask for anything more?

Cheeky Monkey and I checked out the creek running behind my Dad's house.

And no day is complete without a few meltdowns.

Cheeky Monkey cornered the cat.

And we all went to the pool for a lovely Memorial Day outing.

Our trip thus far has been a resounding success. Today, Ry and I are heading out for our first overnight trip alone in almost 3 years. Hurrah! Thank Grandparents, you rock!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh dear

My semester is officially over! Our grades were posted today, and as I expected, I finished my semester with an A.  Nursing school is so much harder and so much cooler than I ever expected. I started this journey with a single purpose in mind: to become a midwife. While that is still my ultimate goal, I'm finding a lot of areas of nursing that I think I would really enjoy. I am also finding many areas that are not for me. 

The worst part of nursing school for me, is feeling like I've always got something hanging over my head. Even when I'm home with the kids,  I'm thinking about the test I have soon or the clinical research waiting for me when they're in bed. This summer I have nothing to do. Let me repeat that. I have absolutely not a blessed thing in the world to do this summer. Aside from take care of the kids and house and husband, of course.

Of course, as these pictures show, maybe I'm getting a little too excited too soon. I asked my darling husband to help me, and what did he do? Took my picture. Thanks a lot, babe. 

Anyway, the little'uns are in school until Thursday. They'll be home with me until I go back to school at the end of August. I'm really glad that I finished all my prereqs, as many of my classmates are taking Microbiology or some other random class this summer. We have a few trips planned, starting with our annual trip to Oz next week. We also have pool and Sesame Place passes, so we should find plenty to do. I am enjoying these last few days with kids in school to have some time to myself, read a novel (or 4), clean my neglected house and generally prepare for the summer ahead.

And what are you up to this summer?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Someone pinch me

One of the things taking up my time during the last week was helping my Mom and G find a place to live. While they were looking for a place to buy, they ultimately decided to rent for a year or two until they got settled and figured out just where they wanted to be. I spent a couple of days visiting rental houses with my mom. She found a two that fit the bill. They are officially moving here in the first part of July!

I've been cautiously optimistic about this whole thing. You see, I haven't lived near my family in almost 8 years. I've never really been an adult with my family around. We're so used to doing things on our own that I almost don't know what to do with the idea that we're going to have someone to share holidays and Sunday dinners with. I am so excited by the idea that I can call my Mom if I'm having a really tough day and maybe she'll come over and hold my hand or take the kids for a couple of hours. I haven't wanted to get too excited for fear that if it all fell through, I would also fall pretty hard. Now it seems that they really are moving here! The house they've chosen is 8 minutes from mine (not that I'm counting).

Time for a little celebratory dance break!


Good morning

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Need a smile?

I dare you to watch without a big doofy grin on your face. I dare you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Right, so 18 months

funny pictures history - PARENTING
see more Historic LOL

I've had several people point out to me that I've gone missing from my blog here recently. The reason is multi-factorial. Reason the first is that between finishing my semester, helping my Mom find a place to live (!!!!) here in NJ and taking care of the kiddos, I haven't had a lot of time to blog. Reason the second is that I have not had much inspiration to blog lately. Feeling sort of "meh" about the whole thing. Finally (and thirdly), I now have so much to catch up on here that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Since it appears that no one was Raptured today and the world did not end, I figure maybe I'll get back on the old blog horse.

Let's start with Cheeky Monkey's 18 month check up, shall we? Let's do. Clearly, 18 months is when I begin feeding my children without their clothes.
Cheeky Monkey - 18 months old

Gummy Bear -- 18 months old
They get deliciously messy every time we eat. Having a toddler with hair is an interesting experience. When Gummy Bear used to wipe his food all over his head, I'd just wipe it down with a wet paper towel.  I usually have to put Cheeky Monkey in the tub to get the various food bits free.

Anyhow, ridiculous eating habits aside, 18 months is also where kids begin to "assert their independence." What this means for me is a lot of tantrums, running away, and screaming bloody murder anytime his brother takes a toy from him. Good times. It also means that Cheeky Monkey is finally beginning to talk! We have added "up," "Neena," "mine," "kee" (kitty) and "Ta" (his name for big brother) to the mix.

My Monkey is also still a sweet, snugly boy. He generally falls asleep in my arms at bedtime, likes his snuggle time in the mornings and bestows random, delicious, slobbery kisses. He continues to eat everything I put in front of him and weighed in at a healthy 28 pounds, 12 ounces at his visit a few weeks ago. That put him in the 85th percentile for weight and, incidentally, is only 10 ounces heavier that Gummy Bear at the same age. He was also 33.75 inches tall, which put him in the 80th percentile for height. 
Eating Lo-Mein on Mother's Day
He is doing beautifully at daycare. Of course, we only have one more week before I pull the boys for the summer. Time will tell if I'm stark-raving looney-toons at the end of 3 months with both boys 7 days a week. We have several trips, a pool pass, and Sesame Place passes to occupy our summer, so I think we'll be just fine.

What is in this hole, anyway?
Cheeky Monkey has a curious nature and seems to be a natural scientist. You can see the wheels turning a lot, even if he doesn't say much. He often plays the "what happens if I do this?" game with us, his brother and his things. I think he's destined to be a social scientist though, especially because he regularly torments his brother by doing just exactly what makes him crazy.

This look? This look means trouble.
He loves to tip his head down and give upward or sidelong glances. It's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen and nearly always precedes trouble. 

Did I mention that he's using the potty a couple times a day? And beginning to manage stairs? And climbing on EVERYTHING!?

So, basically, Cheeky Monkey is pretty fantastic. I'm crazy in love with this little man. Happy year and a half, little man!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Ever wake up laughing?

So the other night, I had a very bizarre, illness-inspired dream that actually woke me up laughing. So, you know shrimp?
Photo Credit: Colorado State University
In my dream, Ry's new colleague was a man-sized shrimp. He had his own desk, where he used all those tiny arms to type, drink his coffee, answer the phone and staple simultaneously. He was a multi-tasking fool. Whenever he stood, he used his tiny shrimp feet to scuttle more than walk. Meanwhile, one of Ry's colleagues followed the shrimp around with a large frying pan and stick of butter, trying to trip it and saute it for lunch. It almost worked too, the shrimp didn't have very good balance on those tiny little feet. I have to wonder what this dream says about me (or Ry or his colleague for that matter).

Someday, I'm totally writing a children's book called It Came on Tiny Shrimp Feet 

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Guess Who Has Been Using the Potty?

Granted, it's only once or twice a day, but he clearly understands the process. I'm trying to decide if we're going to really try and potty train him this summer or if that would make me a complete whack-a-doodle. 18 months old, folks.

Also, he had his 18 month check up this week. All is well and I'll get something up with the details soon.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A story without words

You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? These pictures tell quite a story:

Jube and the AARP

Our family joined our local YMCA this weekend. There are two branches in our community, one of which has an outdoor pool, which we thought would be swell for the summer. After Ry's and my physicals, we also decided that it's time to get back into the gym and be healthy for our kids.

So this morning, I got back into a pool for the first time in almost 4 years. The next-youngest person swimming laps was probably 60. Still, I was feeling pretty good. I only had to stop 3 or 4 times during my 40 minute swim to gasp like the out-of-shape, 31-year-old I am. By the end, I had found my rhythm again and was cruising up and back, up and back. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman who was 75 if she was a day. I saw her little bathing cap zooming up out of the corner of my eye, and BAM, she flew right by me.

Today I got smoked by my grandmother. And how is your day?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Who wants some?

Yes, I've disappeared for a while. There are reasons. Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. It  is the end of my semester and I'm trying to cram lots of a really lot of stuff into my brain at the moment. It doesn't leave me much time for other, non-brain-cramming activities. Sad. Also, I finally got the Ock that the  boys had last week. Also, we had a beautiful weekend, and spent much of it outside enjoying the beautiful ... weekend.

We had more beautiful weather today, so after I got out of class and picked up the boys, they played outside. What do you think they were concocting?

It involved lots of running too and fro, dirt, water and rocks.

Have you guessed yet?

Of course, they were making "hot chocolate." Want some?
Designed by Lena