Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the mother's day surprise at patti's place was a huge success!! my stepmom and grandmother were totally surprised and delighted. it was so much fun. : ) they loved the coffee and baked goods, and enjoyed the decor and atmosphere of the place. i knew they would; the whole time i was there for the coffee break with my mom friends saturday before last, i was thinking about vesta and joann and how much they would love it! i am proud of myself; usually, this type of surprise outing is something i would think and daydream about doing, but probably wouldn't end up following through with. but this time, with my dad and grandfather's help (they helped orchestrate the surprise part, and watched the kids for me since josh already had plans), i actually pulled it off! maybe coffee at patti's place will be our new mother's day tradition.

yesterday the kids and i went to our la leche league toddler meeting. it was a fun meeting; the topic was loving guidance, and it was one of those topics that is so reassuring to discuss with other moms, because everyone else is dealing with the same issues and is feeling like they don't know what in the world they're doing sometimes! it's easy to forget how many other parents are out there, struggling with the same challenges... and it's easy to tell yourself, "anyone else would be able to handle this the right way; what's the matter with me? i'm going to screw my kids up for good." but after getting together with other like-minded moms - like at la leche league meetings - i always feel reassured and comforted, and reminded that i have a huge support network of moms whom i know would be happy to talk me through any tough time! what an awesome feeling.

after the meeting yesterday, we met my mom and maya at highland park cafeteria for lunch. it was delish, as usual. the meeting and lunch were a breeze because i recently discovered that lina loves being carried on my back in the mei tai.

today, it's raining. we had plans to meet alison and her boys at story time in garland, but as we were getting ready this morning, micah told me she didn't want to go. i asked her why not, and she said, "because it's not fun." i asked her if she enjoyed the evening story time at our neighborhood libary that we recently attended with some friends who live diwn the street, and she told me she did. i asked what she liked about that story time. she replied, "it's fun." it doesn't get any simpler than that, i guess. one's fun, one's not. so, we skipped story time. then we made plans to just meet at alison's for playtime, but micah proceeded to have an hour-long meltdown... so i opted to just keep everyone at home for a calm, quiet day. i figured if we did get together with our friends, that would just be pushing micah too far and asking for multiple altercations. i knew she needed a day at home, with her toys and things. and she did get upset when i told her we weren't going to alison's... but once she calmed down, she's been playing happily by herself all day long.

a little while ago, rowan surprised me by asking to sit on the potty! when i say he "asked", i mean that he opened the toilet lid, put the potty seat in place, got the step stool situated, then lifted his arms for me to put him on. he was naked, having just gotten out of the tub, and i thought, "oh my gosh, what if he actually pees in the potty? this is wild, he's 18 months old!" but no, he just wanted to experiment. he was so adorable; he just sat there with his hands on his legs, sort of tapping his fingers, looking around and waiting for something to happen... then he'd grab a bit of toilet paper, put it in the toilet, get down, flush, then want to do the whole thing over again! it's sooo much fun watching them imitate and practice doing things like this! he always comes in to watch micah use the potty, and it was so sweet that he wanted to do just what she does. i've always heard that younger siblings learn to use the potty earlier because they watch their older siblings doing it.

anyway... samantha picked lina up at 3 o'clock today, and rowan's napping, so right now i've got micah all to myself. and, of course, she's nursing. : )

this evening at 6:30 i'm going to bryle's research in richardson for a taste test that pays $25. it takes an hour; for that much of my time, i was hoping it would pay more. but, i'm going to do it anyway. it's close to the house and it sounds like fun. after that, at 8, micah and rowan and i are meeting wesley and maya at chick-fil-a for dinner and playtime.

i have neat pictures to post, but we got a new computer from josh's boss and i haven't figured out how to download yet.

Friday, April 24, 2009

i took rowan in for his 18-month check up at the pediatrician's this afternoon. he weighed in at 24 lbs (25th percentile) and measured 32 and 1/4 in. long (50th percentile), with a 19 in. head circumference. the dr. and i talked about the fact that he only says "mama" and "bye bye" with any regularity, and she was not concerned in the least. she told me boys speak later than girls, and that as long as we are talking to him and encouraging him to use words, then he will start to talk whenever he's ready. i already knew that, but it was nice to hear her say it. : ) and he is starting to speak more... he said "grape" in the grocery store yesterday, and when micah asked him how his day was, he said "good." and earlier tonight, i would swear he said, "i fell down."

we had a wonderful, relaxing day today. we played around the house and watched movies (there's been a little too much of that going on lately, i'm afraid) all morning and early afternoon, then at 3 pm we went to rowan's appointment, then we came home and played some more, ate dinner around 6, then closer to 7 we headed down to the playground. there were a bunch of kids there, including one 2 and 1/2-year-old little girl named ava with whom micah immediately bonded, and they spent the whole time running around after each other. ava's dad was nice; we chatted while the girls played, and after hearing that they live near audelia and forest, i told him about the splash pad that our LLL friday playgroup meets at on friday mornings during the summer.

i am sooo excited about tomorrow! i'm surprising my stepmom, vesta, and my grandmother, jo ann, with an afternoon coffee break at patti's place in plano, for an early mother's day present. this is where i went to the mom's day out last saturday. it's right up vesta and jo ann's alley; i can't wait. my mom and dad are being kind enough to help with the surprise part, and with watching micah and rowan. i was originally going to do this on may 9th, the saturday before mother's day... but patti's place is only serving high tea that saturday, which sounds fun, but is twice as expensive per person. and because of other scheduling conflicts, the only other saturday i could've done it was may 22nd... and that just seemed too far away! so i made plans at the last minute for tomorrow, which meant i needed someone to watch micah and rowan because josh already had plans for tomorrow with andy. SO, my dad called and invited my grandparents over tomorrow for a "late lunch", and when i arrive to take vesta and jo ann to patti's place, they will be sooo surprised (my grandfather's in on it). : ) yay!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

a post a week, that's what it's come to... darn you, facebook.

well, micah's biting phase seems to have been very short-lived. maybe it was taking her over to my mom's to see maya's bite mark, several days later, that did the trick. it was all red and bruised, and i said to micah, "this is what your teeth do to another person's body - don't ever use your teeth to do this again!" she seemed pretty solemn about it, but then dashed off to ride maya's tricycle, so i wasn't sure if the message sunk in. but i guess it did, since we have had no more issues. yay! i really wasn't looking forward to missing a whole bunch of fun social activities to stay at home with my almost-four-year-old biter.

rowan was in very rare form today. he is usually so mellow and quiet. today - tonight, rather, since he woke up from his last nap - he's been very vocal and angry. he wouldn't let me put him down! he threw several fits, and was a lot more communicative. today he said "mama" when i opened his car door to get him out, and he said "grape" at the grocery store. maybe he has a lot of excitement over gaining some language, and it's coming out in all sorts of new ways. this is such a thrilling time, watching him learn more and more... i wish i had paid closer attention to micah's early talking days, but it was so early that i think i didn't realize what was happening.

we were supposed to go to the park for a picnic with my friends alison and marina and their kids yesterday, and were supposed to have a playdate with jessica and baby ascher and take bluebonnet pictures with mama and maya today... but we had to cancel all of that because of illness at our house. night before last, rowan had a low fever all night long, then was fine by morning and has been fine since, except for a runny nose. yesterday morning i woke up with a dry, scratchy throat and aches and pains in my arm and back (which i later realized were due to carrying micah's bike home from the park in a very awkward position, handlebar pinned under my arm and the rest of the bike digging into my back - ouch). then last night, micah ran a temp of 100.6 all night long, and wasn't feeling well for most of today. so we took it easy, venturing out of the house only one time to return and get more movies at the library.

i'm listening to the train go by a block away from my house as i type this... weird, how some nights i can hear it and some nights i can't.

i am totally, completely addicted to the tv show "24", with kiefer sutherland. this is the show i abandon my husband and kids for every monday night, so i can eat the most delicious stir fry known to mankind and curl up on my dad's couch with my feet jammed under my brother's leg for warmth (my dad tries very hard not to ever use his central heating or A/C), and watch jack bauer be a badass and knock terrorist suspects around - and, this season, deteriorate rapidly as a victim of mad cow disease (how exactly they're gonna pull this storyline off, since kiefer sutherland has signed on for one more season, is a total mystery to me). i just cannot get enough. i just got through watching season 3 of the series, which i own, and tonight i started season 2, which i borrowed from the library. i've seen all the seasons a couple of times each, but it's fun to re-watch.

josh and i discovered that if you mix a can of frozen orange juice concentrate and a can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate together with 5 cans of filtered water, it makes THE yummiest juice ever!!

what other random things have i been wanting to blog about... oh, i found two bras i really want, from the gap. you know you're at a certain point in life when you get excited about a bra because of the support it offers. sigh...

we've been spending so much time outside lately. it's been heavenly. i just can't express how excited i'll be to finally have a backyard, where we can go out and spread a quilt on the ground with some water and snacks, and just play and play. i'm sure we'll still go to the playground and the public pool all the time... but just to be able to open the back door and run out into your own, fenced-in grassy meadow... i can't wait. i know it will also need mowing and watering and weeding, and there will occasionally be dog poop and ant hills, but i'm more than willing to deal with all of that in exchange for the sense of ownership of my own, personal yard. instead of the community strip of grass between parking lots at the apartment and townhouse complexes we've lived in, and the postage-stamp sized dirt pit we enjoy right now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

i can't believe i haven't posted since easter! i've been spending time on facebook instead of my blog. facebook is eerily addictive...

micah has been spending all her time lately playing with dolls, my little ponies, or riding her new bike to the playground. i absolutely love this time of year, when we can spend so much time outdoors. and i LOVE living within walking distance of a park! i will be so sad to move away from terrace park, in particular. i grew up playing at that park (it looked quite different then: all wood and metal instead of plastic, and gravel instead of wood chips), and my whole family meets down there occasionally for picnics... and micah's had several birthday parties there. it's just a neat park, and a big part of my life. oh well, i'm sure whatever park we end up living near next will be just as special and memorable to me.

rowan has been pretending more and more lately, especially with micah. last night micah was pretending he was her baby, and she had him all snuggled up underneath blankets on the couch. the neat thing was, when she would say, "okay, go to sleep, little baby!" he would actually lay his little head down and close his eyes. it's so neat to see them playing together this way! micah can be a little rough with him sometimes, but he really seems to enjoy playing with her.

micah's had some behavioral issues these past few days... biting, namely. it started day before yesterday, on the playground with wesley and maya. she bit maya, twice; the second time, it left a big bruise and a red mark. we left the park after that happened, but we had been about to leave anyway, so i'm not sure the message of "we are leaving right now because you bit" sunk in. so, we had a big talk about it that night. then, last night, she bit rowan on the cheek! not as hard, but there were little teeth marks for a while, and now it's just a bit red. we had a longer, more serious talk about it afterwards. josh and i explained to her that no one will want to be around her if she bites. she won't have any friends, and we won't be able to go to friends' houses, la leche league meetings, playgroups, etc. i think - i hope - it will sink in. all i know for sure is, the next time we're out with anybody and she bites, we'll be in the car headed home before she can blink, no second chances, no questions. i am nipping this in the bud. (i don't know what that actually means...)

anyway. : ) on a happier note, we went to take some pictures in the bluebonnets yesterday, with alison & co. it was kind of overcast and windy, so it wasn't the best day to go, but i managed to get some good shots, and the kids had fun together. we'll go back with mama and maya on a nice, sunny afternoon and try to get some more. micah was such a trooper... we'd only been there for about 10 minutes when she hopped up out of the flowers and started screaming; she'd stuck her hand into a fire ant pile. she got 7 or 8 bites on her hand, and 3 or 4 on her back. and after that, she still smiled for the camera! rowan was really sleepy, and he cooperated for as long as he could. : )

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy easter!!!

we had a delightful easter this year, with both kiddos being old enough to enjoy an easter egg hunt. all of our festivities actually took place yesterday, because today's weather was supposed to be rainy and cloudy - and while it didn't actually rain today, last night's rain did soak the ground, making it too wet and muddy for an egg hunt. i know lots of families who just brought the fun indoors, but we opted for doing everything a day early.

we started out at the house cafe (a little breakfast and lunch spot near my house) for brunch with everyone on my mom's side of the family. a couple of hours later, the kids and i (josh stayed home sick) headed over to my dad and vesta's. we had a yummy lunch followed by micah's presentation of her new big-girl bike riding skills...

while micah was having her moment, my brother sneaked around the yard and hid eggs. when the bike was put away, we gave micah and rowan their easter baskets and turned 'em loose! the weather was so gorgeous! my stepmom did an awesome job this year of putting things other than candy in the eggs. rowan got three little miniature tonka trucks and two play-doh eggs in his basket, and he also got a yellow pail and shovel (in preparation for a sandbox my dad's going to be building in his backyard for them in the next few weeks) and some crayons. micah got six big eggs with a miniature my little pony in each one (thank you, alison, for telling me about those!!), two play-doh eggs, a pink pail and shovel, and one regular-size my little pony, whom she has deemed the mama of all the mini ones.

later in the evening, everyone on my mom's side of the family met up again at terrace park, right down the street from our house, for a picnic. it was a little chilly and windy by then, but we still had a great time. we had ham, pinto beans, potato salad, fresh veggies and fruit. the kids played on the playground while the adults huddled under the pavilion and ate and chatted. i wish it had been warmer, but it was still fun. i adore my family!!!!!

i hope everyone had a wonderful easter this year, full of fun memories. : )

Saturday, April 11, 2009

my back hurts so badly this morning!! it felt fine when i went to sleep last night, then at about 2 am i woke up for some reason (probably because my bedside lamp was still on), and my back was burning. i must've been sleeping in an awkward position. i really hope it relaxes soon... i've got a fun, busy day planned. the kids and i are meeting my mom and maya, my grandparents, my aunt shannon and her girls, emma and audrey, my uncle tony and aunt susan, and my cousin julie and her husband and daughter, sydney, at the house cafe for brunch. then, at 1 o'clock, the kids and i are going over to my dad and vesta's for an easter egg hunt and a late lunch. and this evening around 5 o'clock, everyone on my mom's side is meeting at terrace park for an easter picnic (we probably won't hunt any more eggs, we'll just let the kids play on the playground). it's supposed to be mostly cloudy with a high of 70. i hope it feels okay on the playground tonight...

micah has learned how to ride a bicycle with training wheels!!!!! i REALLY wish i had pictures to post, but so far we've only gone outside to practice at night. we plan on letting her ride down to the park later today for the family picnic, and i'll definitely get some pictures then. josh found a dora the explorer bicycle on craigslist for $15, and we couldn't pass it up, even though we had to drive to frisco to pick it up. it's the perfect size for her! it took her a few tries to get used to the way the bike wobbles back and forth between the training wheels, but now it doesn't bother her at all. we went for a walk last night and she was riding so quickly that josh and i had to walk full-speed to keep up! it's so fun watching her learn a new skill.

since micah's upgraded to a bike, we gave her tricycle to rowan, and he loves sitting on it and moving around flintstones-style. i practiced with him by putting his feet on the pedals and pushing his legs alternately. he'll get the hang of it soon enough. : )

Friday, April 10, 2009

my mom's side of the family has many food traditions: grandmommy's rice pilaf, pimento cheese sandwiches and pepsi on road trips, sweepie's homemade caramel candy every christmas, my aunt susan's pot roast... the list goes on. also on this special list are the zucchini muffins at highland park cafeteria (which isn't actually in highland park; it's in east dallas). my grandparents have been taking me to this restaurant since i was little. all their food is delicious, but the best thing on the menu is the zucchini muffins. they're on of the most nostalgic foods for me. the cafeteria closed for renovations for a while, and i was so relieved when they reopened! my mom and i went there recently for lunch, and i was able to get a picture for comparison purposes...

here's me, at about age 10, enjoying a zucchini muffin in my grandparents' living room (i vividly remember taking this picture. the same drapes are hanging in that window right now.)

and here's rowan, partaking in tradition... i love him : )
i think we look a little bit alike!

our easter egg hunt with the neighbors

Monday, April 6, 2009

my interview at papyrus yesterday afternoon went very well. i basically have a job there, beginning next month sometime. i'm so excited!! the store is so enticing, and the manager seemed like someone i will get along with wonderfully. i'm looking forward to the new experience. this will be the third job i've ever had. : ) i worked for the barnes & noble by my high school when i was 16 and 17, then whole foods market from the time i turned 18 until right before rowan was born (with an 18-month break in between, when micah was born) - for a total of 8 years.

josh and i went on a date last night and had so much fun! two of the original members of bob marley's band, the wailers, along with several added members, performed at a KNON 89.3 sponsored reggae event at poor david's pub last night, and josh being the bob marley fan that he is, we could not miss it. the show was incredible!! they performed all of bob marley's most popular, well-loved songs, like no woman no cry, one love, redemption song, get up stand up, etc. all the ones we listen to and sing along with all the time. i had such a good time dancing and singing! it'd been a while since i'd been to a concert, and i wasn't sure if my inhibitions would be too well set in for me to enjoy moving around to the music. but i could not stand still. : ) bob marley is josh's absolute favorite musician, i'd say, but he and his music mean quite a lot to me too. as the whole room sang redemption song at the top of their lungs last night, all i could think about was the many late nights i spent walking the floor with micah, when she was a baby, softly singing that song to her as she fell asleep. the two back-up singers i was especially impressed with last night; one of them, in particular, had an amazing, gospel-esque voice. it was just a killer performance; we enjoyed it thoroughly.

my mom and wesley took care of micah and rowan for us, and they had a good time too. we dropped them off over at mama's house around 8, they played with mama, wesley and maya until around 10 or 10:30, then wesley walked them back to our house in the stroller (earlier, i'd driven down the street to their house with rowan while josh strolled with micah, so the stroller would be down there for wesley to use later - this saved us the hassle of moving two car seats from our car to wesley's). when they got here, wesley got them straight into bed. micah watched dora the explorer in bed while wesley walked around with rowan until he passed out, which took about 30 minutes. then micah finally drifted off to sleep as well, after some cereal and some more dora. this was quite a milestone for us; except for during rowan's hospitalization, it was the first time both our kids have gone to sleep for the night without either one of us there! it was so very nice to just be able to come home and slip into bed next to them.

this evening, we had a lovely dinner over at our friends' house in anna - little town north of mckinney. they have a daughter micah's age, and they had a blast together. rowan fell asleep on the way home, and micah fell asleep soon after we got home... but i made the mistake of trying to sneak a pull-up on her, because she hadn't used the bathroom in quite a while before falling asleep. well, it woke her up, and it took me about 30 minutes to get her to go back to sleep. argh!! lesson learned: either make sure she goes to the bathroom, regardless, or wait longer before trying to get the pull-up on without waking her.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

i'm interviewing tomorrow for a job at papyrus, in northpark mall. my sweet friend wendy put in a good word for me, and she says the job's as good as mine... but i'm still a little nervous. it's been nearly 18 months since i worked as a cashier at whole foods. i hope my "real world" skills aren't too rusty. the customer service aspect i'm not worried about; i love people, i love to talk, i love to help, and i love to smile and be nice. it's the other, more technical duties - managing the system, till, safe, closing procedures, troubleshooting if something goes wrong, etc. - that i'm anxious about. i don't always have a ton of common sense in those situations. i'm sure i'll get the hang of it all after a few weeks.

i'm about 80% excited about getting a job, and 20% sad. the 20% sadness is because i know i will miss micah and rowan while i'm working (i'll miss josh too, of course, but i'm already used to being separated from him for 8 hours a day). the 80% excitement is about a new experience, getting some time to myself in a fun environment, and getting to buy some new clothes and shoes. the dress code is black, white or gray, and i've already picked out two pairs of shoes at target. weeee! : )