Now that there are two kids in our house, the weekly laundry has grown from 3-4 loads to 6-7 loads, 8 if someone barfs/poops/pees on clothing/bedding/towels (and mid-week laundry exceptions are sometimes made when the aforementioned bodily fluids make their way onto washable fabrics). I don’t claim to be a laundry genius, but I hold my own. I’m a whiz with the shout gel stick, and have an eagle eye at spotting stains that need to be slathered with it before the wash cycle. However, I’ve been a little lax lately about pre-treating stains the same day they were incurred. This means that sometimes The Girl’s ultra sloppy tendencies come back to bite me in the behind. The Boy can be sloppy too, but for some reason his clothes usually manage to emerge from the washing machine stain free. Not so for The Girl’s clothing. In the past two weeks we have suffered the untimely demise of five of her shirts. Three of her lost shirts were from Target, ranging in price from $3.99 to $4.99, so no huge loss. One was a hand-me-down shirt from a good local friend of mine…an Old Navy shirt, that I’m afraid won’t live to be handed down again, and finally there is the ultra cute shirt I actually paid a fair amount of money for at Nordstroms. It has a cute butterfly on it, and it matches a great pair of leggings. Ah well, she can still wear it I guess, it just won’t look nice anymore.
If you have any stain fighting tips I’m all ears. The 5 shirts have not yet been dried, so technically the stains aren’t “set,” but I fear that I have already exhausted my hopes. I have however washed all of them with a wide variety of pre-treaters, soaked them in a bucket full of water and Oxy Clean for several hours, sprayed them with pre-treater for “set in” stains, and rubbed powdered Oxy clean on top of the pre-treater, let them sit like that overnight, and rewashed them. All to no avail, the shirts still have big blotches of dirt/food/whatever all over them. I am considering the unthinkable of just soaking them in water and regular chlorine bleach and living with the color changes that ensue. At least if they are bleached they won’t look blotchy right? If that doesn’t work, at least she has a great stash of back up clothes for daycare (when she spills more food/dirt/whatever on herself).
I'm open to any ideas you might have.
This little squimy newborn who wasn't quite ready for the world after 41 weeks minus two or so in the womb. No, now you are ready for any adventure. Ready to run, climb, jump, whatever your big brother is doing you surely aren't far behind.
It is a gift to get to watch you grow and change as each day passes. Your first birthday wasn't so long ago, but yet you are completely changed from then as well. You are becoming less baby and more big girl with each new month.
Happy Birthday, my amazing girl, you seem to have enjoyed your party
and your cake
and all of your loot
I love you, more than you can ever know.
Significant progress this week is the installation of the new steel beam to replace the old header that essentially divided our living room into two spaces. It will be a huge space, and we will use it as two spaces eventually (an area by the front window with a couple of chairs and a table between them, will become somewhat of a “sitting room”), but it is nice to have the freedom to decide furniture placement not based on some arbitrary header beam on the ceiling.
In case you've forgotten, here is the beam before:
The dreadful entry way tile has been almost completely removed to make way for the new hardwood flooring that will be installed. Electrical rough ins are almost complete, as are plumbing rough ins, and HVAC rough ins. A few more city inspections need to be completed, but then they can begin adding new drywall. Perhaps by the end of next week we will see walls and ceilings starting to take shape?
On the disturbing end of things, we now have a portable toilet in our driveway. There is some plumbing issue with our brand new basement toilet (T had lots of fun cleaning out all that backed up into our brand new shower down there), that is supposedly being taken care of today. The portable toilet was mostly a response to that event, and frankly wasn’t the most welcome sight when I drove up to our house last night. Oh well. I’ll admit I wasn’t crazy about all of the workers using our bathrooms, but much prefer it to having a Biffy in our driveway!
So how are we coping with all of the chaos in our house? We are doing okay. We are using the wet bar, that isn’t very wet, as our temporary kitchen (the plumbers are supposed to give us a quote for hooking up actual plumbing to this sink…right now it has refrigerator tubing, and the flow is about one drop per minute). We have the old pantry cabinet in the basement so most of our food is stored there, and the refrigerator was moved to the basement to make things livable for us. We have the microwave, and the toaster oven, and of course the gas grill outside. Thankfully we purchased the grill with a side burner last summer because it definitely comes in handy for boiling pasta – a staple for our kids’ limited palates. We’ve altered our dinner menu choices to reflect the absence of a range, but have found that the toaster oven does quite well with small portions of frozen fries or chicken nuggets. I get a little grumpy about having to walk any dishes over to the utility room to wash them in the utility sink, but aside from that it works (as does using mostly paper plates/bowls/cups).
There are some minor annoyances that come with the territory, things like having the basement disturbed because plumbing, HVAC, or electrical needs to be run in the basement ceiling. There is also having the plumbing main shut off during the day which means when we turn on faucets they all sputter as the air escapes, and my stupid alarm clock that is always blinking when I go to bed at night because a circuit breaker was switched off.
See how nice and open our entry way is now?
Still it isn’t all bad. Living in the basement has given me a new appreciation for just how nice our back yard is. It isn’t a big back yard, but there is plenty of space for the kids to run and play. We’ve been outside a lot more than normal. It is hard to say if that is because we simply look outside the sliding glass door and see the deck/yard, because it has been so warm lately, or because the kids are finally old enough to request er demand to go outside. I’ve also been trying to keep up with the weeding for the first time since we moved in more than two years ago, which I’m sure pleases our neighbors. Of course now I’ve begun dreaming of removing all of the old rotting railroad ties that form our landscaping, and remember that we can’t spend money on landscaping this year. Anyway, a huge benefit this year is that there is absolutely no guilt on my part for ordering The Girl’s birthday cake, and ordering all of the food for her birthday party that will take place this weekend. I have an excuse not to cook this year (not that I would have made the cake anyway, but I’m rationalizing here).
Some backyard fun:
The Boy mowing (that is a bubble mower he's not even four!) - just a glimpse but you can see how nice our neighbors lawn is, in comparison to ours
The Girl just being cute:
And some swinging on Mother's Day - not our backyard!
I’m obsessed with running. If I don’t run for a couple of days I start to get an itch, and I start making everyone around me miserable. T has been known to tell me “go for a run,” when I am complaining about something trivial. It usually works. I’ve been a runner since 1999, and have only taken two brief breaks from it since then (surrounding the births of my children). I was so sad when extreme calf pain forced me to stop running when I was pregnant with The Boy, and while I continued to walk it just wasn’t the same. People figured I was miserable because I was in my third trimester, but the truth was that I was miserable because I couldn’t run. I promptly started running again when he was around 2 weeks old. I think I waited 3 weeks after The Girl was born, because the logistics were such that it just wasn’t possible to run before then.
I have a bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering (yes that’s a BME not a BS), but I have zero mechanical aptitude. T once told me that a colleague of his had said “it must be cool to have a wife that is a mechanical engineer, because she can fix things.” He laughed heartily at the poor guy, because he has seen my ability to fix things. I understand math, I understand physics, and honestly that is what you need to be an engineer, fixing things has nothing to do with it! Plus the MBA has effectively cancelled out all of my engineering knowledge.
I have a hard time spending money on myself. I will buy the kids new clothes, T new clothes, and things for the house before I will buy myself new clothes. When I do buy clothes I tend to buy things that are on clearance, and have the hardest time spending much more than $50 on any article of clothing. Really less than $30 is my comfort zone. I am one to agonize over a purchase for weeks before following through, or more likely before convincing myself that I don’t need it.
I’m addicted to caffeine. I routinely have 3 cups of coffee a day at a minimum. Thankfully I don’t have to pay for the coffee at work, though to be fair the free coffee is the reason I’m at 3 cups a day now. I’m also addicted to diet soda, but I have managed to wean myself down to just one can per day. I really like Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, yummy!
I think my kids are the brightest, cutest, best kids in the entire world. Oh, I am capable of seeing the good in other people’s kids, but my own will always be better. No offense.
I hate having my house ripped up. I need to have a sense of order in my life, and having the entire main floor of my house destroyed is not good for this desire. I put the kids’ toys away for them most of the time because I just can’t handle looking at the clutter. I even clean The Boy’s room for him almost nightly because those dumped over toy bins drive me absolutely insane. Also, the stepping on a hot wheels car or Lego in the middle of the night isn’t so fun either, so cleaning has a practical side.
You would think I had always been a neat freak based on number six above, but that isn’t the case. I was a slob until well into my twenties. I’m not sure what changed, but I do recall that T and I would leave stacks of dishes in the sink until we just had no dishes left to use. The thought of that now makes me want to vomit, but I guess at that point in my life it was okay.
Now it is time for me to tag others for this meme. This is tricky since most of my default tagees have already been tagged. I’m tagging Kate, Leslie, and Christine, have fun!
As I was contemplating the idea of a half marathon, I was reminded of a conversation I had after completing one of my early half marathons. I was relating that a half marathon was a huge effort, and I didn’t see how it would be possible to run twice as long in order to complete a full marathon. A half marathon was taxing enough, I just didn’t see how I could expend even more effort to run a full. I honestly can’t remember who it was that responded that “A marathon isn’t twice the effort; it is the same effort, longer.” I remember thinking this couldn’t possibly be true, but after running a few marathons I’d wager that she was right. Of course getting to the point of being able to expend the same effort for twice as long isn’t trivial. It takes many weeks, and many long runs in order to build your endurance to that point.
I was trying to decide if the whole not twice the effort, just the same effort longer thing works for other areas of my life. Does it work for having more than one kid? No, having two kids is definitely more effort than having just one. Or is it? Yes, most definitely it is. Although, a case could be made that it is just the same effort longer. I mean yes there are two kids to get dressed in the morning, two kids to help put shoes on, two kids to get strapped into their car seats, and two kids to hug and kiss goodbye when they are dropped off at daycare. That all boils down to the same effort spread over more time though. Helping The Boy get dressed isn’t all that different from helping The Girl get dressed, one involves a diaper change and the other involves some prodding to use the toilet. Still, it isn’t all bad, there are now two kids who look at me like I am their world, two kids who say “I love you Mommy,” or in the case of The Girl “My love you Mommy.” Two kids who I get to watch transform before my eyes as they learn and grow each and every day.
I don’t plan on running any marathons in the near future, but it is clear that I will be participating in plenty of endurance sporting for the next several years. Yes, I will keep running, but the biggest test of my endurance to date seems to be this thing called parenting. There is no option of taking the DNF here either. In a marathon I can quit at any point, but with kids we have to just keep on running no matter how tired we are. Whether it is lying on the floor until The Girl goes to sleep, or handling the tough life and death questions with some sort of clarity, there is always a new challenge. I expect that while the physically challenging aspects of parenting (sleep deprivation, having to carry children around, etc.) will diminish as the kids age, the new mental challenges will be just as great. I swear, I never thought of any of this when we first decided to have kids.
I’m not going to link to the screening information, but here is a snippet from their website:
What is Early Childhood Screening?
Screening is a free check of your child's vision, hearing, height, weight, and development, as well as a review of her or his immunization records. Children are screened by licensed teachers from the Family Center. Your child will be assessed in three important developmental areas, motor skills, concepts, and communication skills. This not an IQ test. It does not rank children according to scores. The purpose of screening is early detection of children's development, health, and other factors that may interfere with a child's learning, growth, and
Following screening, a teacher will talk with you about your child's results. You'll have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your child's development or circumstances that could affect your child's learning. The teacher may refer you and your child to another agency to be rechecked or to receive services that will help your child. The screening process takes about 45 minutes.
Please note: For the most accurate results, it is best if parents are not present in the same room as the child during screening. Parents wait in a room close by. Please explain this to your child before you come to screening.
I don’t know why, but the biggest issue I have with this is the being separated from my child during the screening. I’ve written before about The Boy’s natural tendencies, and I worry just a little that he will not speak to the screener at all. Of course he will likely do much better with no parent around than he would with me hovering. I realize this is just a blip in what will be many “tests” of my children as they grow, but it makes me face the reality that he is getting older. I hate that testing has to begin so early.
What exactly am I getting at here huh? I do have a slew of favorite blogs. I read them fairly regularly, some are big popular blogs, some are small private blogs, and others are well somewhere in the middle. Although I do have links to a few of my favorite blogs over on the right, I thought I would give some love to the special little gems I read. This is my attempt at a Mother’s Day present for them and hopefully others as well.
PDX Mama is fabulous in so many ways, the least of which not being that our oldest children are just one day apart. We met on a message board that shall remain unnamed way back when we were both struggling to breastfeed our lazy little firstborn nursers, and have become closer as the years have gone by. She has a fabulous positive outlook on life, and her enthusiasm is often contagious. She is also real, and I love that about her, and her blog! It is also wonderful to read about her new running adventures, as I can see glimpses of me back in 1999 when I first started running. PDX Mama is also great about pointing me to other good blogs. If I recall correctly she was responsible for first leading me to Mom 101 (must have been the too young for Chutes and Ladders post). I’ve also picked up a few new favorites just from looking at the blogs of those who comment on PDX Mama (Lawyer Mama for one).
Another of my favorites is Jennifer at Take a Walk on the Childside. Hers was the first blog I read regularly. Reading her blog is what led me to believe I could possibly manage to have a blog of my own, or rather that my ramblings could possibly be interesting to other people. Jennifer is a strong woman, and while she has had some struggles lately, I know she will emerge through them as the powerful woman she is.
I do have other favorites, but I just don’t have time to pay them the respect they deserve right now. Mostly I want to hear about your own little favorite blog in the rough. Tell me about your favorite blog that nobody has ever heard of (in the comments here or back on your own blog – link here and I’ll find you eventually).
To all of my reader Moms, I just want to say Happy Mother’s Day a little early. Forget about what your significant other or your kids do or don’t do for you on Mother’s Day. Take some time to give yourself a pat on the back for doing a great job. This Motherhood job is often thankless, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. If you get a moment, just sit back and look at your kids when they aren’t paying attention. You know they are the best kids around. You get the credit for that, and you deserve to celebrate it.
Of course I can’t leave this without giving a shout out to my own Mom, thanks for being such an inspiration to me. I love you Mom!
The carpet is now gone, apparently the previous owners had pets…ick
The half bath now has the level of privacy the kids only dream of for the rest of the bathrooms (when T or I are using them that is):
A nice view from the kitchen
The office has been demolished:
The basement stairs are next, plastic sheeting installed in preparation:
Life isn’t all bad for us though; the new basement bathroom is really nice, just missing some molding and trim:
This will all be worth it 3 months from now. This will all be worth it 3 months from now. This will all be worth it 3 months from now…
The before pictures just before I left for work yesterday:
The kids seem to enjoy chaos, The Boy keeps asking to “go see the wires” in reference to the electric lines that are hanging from the ceiling. Don’t worry, he is carefully supervised, and has been warned that they are not for touching.
*I’ll come back and post a picture of the eggs if I can get my stuff together to actually take one*
I worked my way around the back yard, and in opening one of the gates on our deck came across a small gray tree frog (T tells me this is the same tree frog we saw last year, who presumably really likes the space between the posts on the deck gate, as that is where we found him on at least 2 other occasions). I jumped in horror, and gave a tiny shriek. I’m not a big fan of frogs. Still, I managed to hold it together, and gathered the kids around because I figured they would be interested in seeing the frog. The Boy was very excited. The Girl had her foot extremely close to the frog, so close that I said “don’t step on the frog honey.” Her next move was to step on the frog. I think I managed to pull her off in time, but that frog was awfully sluggish after her foot was removed. I did my best to shoo the frog off of the deck without actually touching him, and he reluctantly hopped away. I checked back there yesterday, and no frog could be found. Either he had massive internal injuries and is now dead, or he has smartened up and found a new hiding spot…perhaps with the colony of rabbits that live under our deck.
Of course the wonders of nature would not be complete without actually finding a dead animal. Saturday morning, the kids were outside playing in the sandbox, and we stumbled upon a dead bird. It had most likely flown into the side of our house. The kids weren’t very interested, until I got the shovel and removed the bird from the deck. The Boy kept asking me “why did the bird get dead Mommy?” I didn’t know what to tell him. The answer of, well the bird flew into the house and it made him sick, didn’t seem to compute. He came up with “sometimes birds just die.” I mistakenly said something to the effect of “well everything dies eventually,” and he took hold “but I don’t die Mommy.” Shoot that is not a conversation I want to have with him just now. I stumbled something like “no, you’re not dying honey.” I didn’t think I needed to explain the cycle of life to him, and frankly I know he isn’t ready to comprehend it just yet. This being the interpreter of the universe business is a very tricky aspect of parenting.
*Don’t worry, I promise I won’t post a picture of the dead bird*
When I saw my brother on our most recent vacation he presented me with an Ipod Shuffle as a belated birthday present. This is the part where I feel badly, because I don't think I've acknowledged one of his birthdays in at least 5 years. Anyway, I finally got around to playing with the cute little Magenta Shuffle, and I'm in love. It is so cute, it is so quick to upload music too, and I even purchased my first song from Itunes. I guess I wasn't as happy with the same old mix as I thought I was. I fear this Itunes thing might become an expensive habit. It is so easy to just spend $.99 to get a fresh song. Dangerous.
Apparently I have been discussing something with someone on my contact list that would suggest I am interested in pursuing a nursing degree:
School of Nursing
Traditional BSN & ADN Program Openings for 2007 class
-link removed so I don’t advertise something I don’t care about
I’ve been talking about my kids:
For happy children and parents Learn from experts about all ages
-Another link removed so I don’t advertise something I don’t care about
No idea here, apparently I’ve been really concerned about the privacy of my medical records:
SafeBook Thin Client Notebook $799 No hard drive - protects your data
-Another link removed so I don’t advertise something I don’t care about
Not only do I talk about my kids, but I guess I’ve been considering starting a business that targets kids:
Several Kids Franchises
Choose from the Top Childrens Franchise That Fit Your Need!
-Another link removed so I don’t advertise something I don’t care about
And well, these are just disturbing. I don’t know where the animal health care topic came from, but the bariatric surgery ones are just insulting. I think I may have mentioned running in my emails, apparently if you are considering some form of exercise you should also explore surgically altering the size of your stomach.
Animal Health Care »
My state Bariatric Surgery »
Bariatric Treatment »
My state Bariatric Surgeons »
I’ve also had a slew of kitchen renovation related links, and some links inviting me to put my kids in cute kid contests. My favorite link so far is the one directing me to a book called “Why Mommy Is a Democrat.” Yes, well, I didn’t realize we needed a children’s book to explain that one. I haven’t read it, and I assume it is a fine publication eschewing the virtues of being a democrat. I’m also sure it would not be the book The Boy chooses to read every night. I doubt I would be able to read it without laughing. Honestly, I hope that more than anything else my kids are able to look at issues and come up with their own viewpoints. I have no intention of telling my children they should be democrats. Obviously I won’t tell them to be republicans either, but you get the drift.
I’ll keep typing away, adding all the more searchable keywords to my repertoire every day. Maybe one day my gmail links will be as freakishly accurate as my Amazon links are. Seriously, how do they know to recommend music CDs I already own and love (and didn’t buy on Amazon)? They have some wicked good profiling going on in there.