Sunday, September 28, 2008

I feel like a kid again ...


I got the closet organized/cleaned out. I got the bathroom picked up/wiped down/decluttered. But I just can't seem to quite bring myself to branch out into the actual bedroom. I know it'll feel so good to have it done and it REALLY needs it, but I can't help think that I might pick a root canal over cleaning my room. After all, with a root canal you just lay there in a semi-reclined position. Not such a bad deal, right? ;)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Cuteness

Alyssa, Joel, and Sophie last weekend watching "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl" on Disney. Evidently its pretty intense. ;)
Alyssa came downstairs with her mouth all "stickered" up like this. I encouraged her to leave it for the rest of the day, but she wasn't sold on the idea.
A shout out to my homies/family back home ... John Deere and ISU; it doesn't get any better.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Its the little things

After Alyssa woke up from her nap this afternoon, I decided to take advantage of the fact that Joel was still sleeping and do an activity that I'd read about on another blog ~ a paper chain countdown. The one I read about was for Halloween, but we did a combination birthday AND Halloween one. Pink and blue chains for the days until her birthday and then purple and orange for the days between her birthday and Halloween. Each morning she'll tear off a link to count down the days. I can't remember the last time she and I did something like that ~ it was really nice to sit on the floor working on something together while watching Phineas and Ferb and not thinking about what else I "needed" to be or "should" be doing. I was reminded of how the top thing on my list NEEDS to be and SHOULD be spending time with the kids because I'll never get these chances back ... there's always laundry to be folded or a kitchen to be cleaned up or toys to be put away. And I feel like I'm in such a better place after taking time to do little things with them, so why is it so hard to make it a priority sometimes?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Photography by Alyssa - Berry picking edition

Alyssa got tired of berry picking fairly quickly, so she entertained herself by taking pictures with my camera. Here's a few of my favorites that she got.

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Got Berries?

Some pictures from berry picking yesterday. It was the perfect day to be outside and a fun "end of summer" activity. Maybe I'll try my hand at making jam next year, but this year I did make some really, really yummy raspberry white chocolate muffins. I thought they were awesome and the neighbors seemed to like them (although most of them were pretty drunk last night, so that might have something to do with it). Of course no one else in my family liked them, so I gave away or froze most of them.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008


Last night I realized that Alyssa was in fact telling us the truth when she said that there are THREE Alyssas in her dance class. 3 out of 13 girls are named Alyssa. I thought she was getting confused because there is another Alyssa at preschool, but no ... there are 2 other Alyssas at dance and 1 more at school. And here we thought that we were going with a fairly unique name. That's what we get for picking a name that wasn't on our "list".

Today they are having a pajama book party at preschool. The kids were all supposed to wear jammies and bring a favorite book. Alyssa was the third girl to bring in "Fancy Nancy". We should have tried to dig up "Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy" or something to be a little different! Glad I thought to put her name in the front of her book.

Stay tuned

Amy mentioned tonight at the girls' dance class that she was planning on going to pick raspberries sometime this weekend. She said that she remembered that I said I was interested in going with her sometime (I don't remember this, but I do think it sounds like fun), so asked if I still wanted to go. Enter me getting all excited about the thought of being all domestic and making all sorts of raspberry jams and whatnot. As of the end of dance class she said she would probably want to go tomorrow later afternoon. Then we ran into her as Alyssa and I were walking around the block about 30 minutes later and she said that it might be later Saturday afternoon. Anyone want to take bets that Monday comes and I haven't picked any raspberries?

Coronado Island

My last night in San Diego we ventured across the "big blue bridge" (trying saying that 5 times fast) to Coronado Island. We saw Hotel del Coronado ~ made famous by the Marilyn Monroe film "Some Like It Hot". It was HUGE and very intimidating. They wanted $80 in the gift shop for a polo shirt; I don't really want to know how much it costs to stay there.

You can see the skyline of San Diego in the second picture, which is across the bay.

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San Diego Pictures

A few pictures from our trip to San Diego. The first two are from when we took a cruise around the San Diego bay harbor ~ home of navy ships and where cruise ships dock. The next two are from Torrey Pines beach that we kind of stumbled upon the second night. I love the sunset one. And the one of my "surfer dude", of course. :)

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Monday, September 15, 2008

San Diego day 1.5

I wanted to say that it was San Diego day 1, but since we technically got here yesterday, I'll name it 1.5. Here some highlights (and for anyone who doesn't know, Adam is out here taking classes for work, so I decided to tag along for a couple days ... kind of a second honeymoon/mommy relaxation/hopefully make travel less stressful for Adam by not being alone trip).

* I had a really difficult time driving to the airport. I kept trying to make Adam talk to me about silly things so that I wouldn't think about leaving the kids. His solution was to quiz me on my multiplication tables. I got stuck on 64 x 64. :)
* Our flights went smoothly. Both were overbooked, so we weren't able to get seats together on the Denver - San Diego leg, but that was okay.
* Adam was very excited to see what kind of car we got at the car rental place; he was desperately hoping that they would mess up and give us a convertible or jeep or something ... we got a minivan. HOT DOG! Its a very cool minivan, though. The most un-mom-mobile like one I've ever seen.
* I was anxious to do the San Diego bay Harbor tour, so we decided to do that yesterday afternoon after we arrived. We missed the 2 hour tour, which I was bummed about (for $5 more you see the entire bay), but I decided that most of what I wanted to see was on the 1 hour south bay tour. Of course we missed the south bay tour, too. Bah! So we did the north tour, which was still nice, but about 75% of it was about the Navy ships. Cool, but not all that interesting to me. We did get some good views of Coronado island, though.
* I had the BEST clam chower (chowdah, as Jeff says) in a really long time at the San Diego Pier Cafe last night. Adam *almost* ordered samon, which is HUGE since he is a proclaimed hater of all things seafood (other than the shrimp appetizer at Upstream .. yum), but backed out at the last second and got a burger. We may get him over to the dark side yet this trip.
* We shopped/walked/had supper last night at Seaside Village at the SD bay. Really cute area.
* Today Adam is off to class.
* I finished my first book of the trip (3 more in my suitcase).
* Its about 70 degrees and sunny right now. Too cold to actually go IN the pool, but I think I'll put some shorts and a tank top on and head down with a new book and my iPod to get some fresh air.

And I'm sure you're all wondering ... I've only called home 3 times so far. :) Showing great restraint, don't you think?

Interesting thing is that San Diego reminds me a lot of my trip with my mom a few years ago to San Francisco ... which is strange because I've always thought that Northern California life vs Southern California is supposed to be radically different. Maybe its just that we spent so much time in the SD "bay" area yesterday. I think we're going to hit the beach later this afternoon, dudes, so stayed tuned.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


As I'm sitting here printing out my 10 page "instruction manual" for my mom and Mary to look over/review before leaving the kids with them tomorrow I have to wonder if its a little overkill. Is it a sign of today's society being routine and structure obsessed or is it just that I'm OCD and crazy?

I think when my parents left me when I was younger they tossed me and my duffle bag out the car door as they slowed down going past my grandparents house and yelled "don't call us; we'll call you". ;)

Friday, September 12, 2008


This will seem boring to probably everyone, but I feel like I got A TON accomplished this morning while Alyssa was in preschool, so wanted to make a list.

1. Ran home because I forgot my cell phone and since Alyssa's not feeling the best wanted to be easily reachable.
2. Stopped by Dr. K's office to pick up forms needed for mom to take the kids to the doctor next week (not that she'll need them).
3. Borders to look for books for the trip.
4. Target to pick up basic groceries, food for football party tomorrow, and trip odds and ends.
5. Got gas.
6. Dropped off package and letters at the post office.

May not seem that impressive for mere mortals, but considering I had a 19 month old who HATES to sit in a stroller or cart or be buckled into his carseat more than twice a day, I basically battled a dragon ... and WON!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tweet, tweet!

My latest addiction is twitter. Do you twitter? If so, let me know and I'll follow you ... I will follow you, follow you where you may go ... anyway, my user name is ajmommy. And if you don't twitter yet, sign up! Its awesome!


The other day I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the idea of writing a letter to someone who you felt had wronged you who you just couldn't quite seem to "forgive and forget". A letter listing your feelings, thoughts, everything that you really wish you could tell that person and then you're supposed to rip it up and throw it away. The twist this time was that the person explaining the exercise said that its not always a one time cure-all. Sometimes you have to write (and destroy) the letter again and again and again before you are finally able to get past it.

My twist on it ... I wish I could write the letter, watch the person read it, then wipe it from their memory so that I wouldn't have to deal with their response. I think that may be a sign that I have deeper issues. ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.

Okay, its not on fire, its being replaced, but man, does this process stink royally.

It makes me uneasy because there are a dozen guys looking in my windows that don't speak English (or at least don't speak very well).

Its loud.

I had this big, beautiful mum bush pop up out of no where this year. It was big and full and had tons of little buds on it and I was anxiously awaiting flowers to blossom to see what color it would be and add some life to the dead area that is our front flower bed. Its now about 70% flattened from shingles being tossed onto it. I realize that they probably have better things to worry about (like getting my roof put on before it starts raining), but it still makes me sad.

Its loud.

Of course Alyssa is using all the banging as an excuse to not nap. And she needs to nap today. She's getting a cold and was up early this morning and is extremely crabby. I wonder if she would let me put earmuffs on her to block the banging. I keep hoping that if I crank up her "pooh songs" loud enough and put them on repeat it'll drown out the banging.

Whoa, I think someone just fell off the roof. Probably landed on the last remaining 30% of my mums.

*disclaimer ... no one really fell off the roof; it was just really loud.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Its tough watching them grow up

I was watching Alyssa sit naked at the kitchen table tonight while eating her fruity pebbles before bedtime and she turned around and said "I love you, Mommy". Just out of the blue. She does that a lot and I love it. This afternoon she started yelling at me from upstairs that I had to come up immediately because she HAD to tell me a secret. The secret was that she loves me. I don't think she'll mind me telling.

So tonight I walked over to her, kissed her on top of the head, and told her "Alyssa, I want you to stay my sweet girl forever, okay?". Her reply was "Okay, Mommy, I will. And Daddy's. And Joey's and Lexi's and Joel's and Sophie's". If only it were that easy.

And speaking of difficult things, I can't wrap my head around the fact that 4 1/2 days from now Adam and I are flying to San Diego. I really haven't even started thinking about packing or anything. Besides writing my mom and Mary the "Taking care of everything precious to us ... and Lexi" book.


My boy, Joel, is a genius. Just in case there was ever any doubt.

This morning he found Addison's binky in the play room. He looked at it and then immediately made a bee line for the daycare cubbies. He pulled one purple one out, looked in it, and the put it back. Then he pulled Addison's cubby out and dropped the binky in it and came running back over to me. I didn't acknowledge that he had found her binky nor did I encourage him to go put it away. He's just that smart.

And now I think he's trapped himself under the little tykes picnic table again, so I better go rescue my little Einstein. ;)

Thank goodness Joel is a boy

The kid can be sooo moody and prone to mood swings that I can't imagine what he would be like when he was PMSing, so I am INSANELY thankful that he's a boy. Or maybe its just that his big sister brings out the worst in him. Oy.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Overheard at daycare

From an almost 4 year old after taking a big swig from a sippy cup of apple juice:

"mmmm, this is good beer. I love this beer."

I think I may have to mention that one to his daddy when he comes to pick him up today.

At least Alyssa didn't add "If you like beer, you should try some Boone's!". ;)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The power of observation

I evidently have no observation skills tonight.

1. Adam and I are going out to dinner with some friends tonight, so I told Alyssa we could go get pizza for her, Joel, and Jessica (our babysitter). I sent Alyssa out the door with her shoes and told her to get in the car while I found my keys. Of course instead of getting in the car, she played around in the driveway until I came out. Per usual. And in the back of my mind I told myself that she probably left some toy behind my car and I should go check. But I didn't. Fast forward about 2 minutes and crunch went the sound of her scooter being smooshed by my big, bad SUV. And I'm not sure if I'm more upset at myself for not looking behind the car or mad at her for not listening to me and getting in the car when I told her to.

2. So she lost the chance to go get pizza with me and I made my way to the pizza place and picked up a $5 cheese pizza that actually cost me $5.94, which just seems wrong, but I'll ignore that for now. I got home and was looking at the "cheese pizza" with Alyssa only to notice that there was hamburger all over that pizza. Not a big deal because both my kids will eat hamburger, but now I don't know if I should be mad at myself for not checking the box or mad at the pizza guy for giving me the wrong thing.

I wonder if the Chinese place we're going to serves grown up drinks ... I don't think hot tea is going to cut it tonight.

A familiar face

Last night Alyssa and I met Amy and Sophie at the mall for a little Friday night getaway. Note to self, there are some creepy people hanging out at the mall at 7:30 on a Friday night. Anyway, the girls were sidetracked as we walked by the calendar store by a display of "Hannah a'tanna!", so we decided to walk in and look at some of the calendars. I was immediately drawn to a Pomeranian one. *sigh* I held it up and asked Alyssa who the picture on the front looked like and she immediately gasped "Joey! Oh, its Joey!!!!!!" and tore it out of my hands to show Sophie. "Look, Sophie, its Joey! Joey!!!!". Sophie wasn't too impressed.

On one hand it warmed my heart that Alyssa still gets so excited over "Joey sightings" and that she obviously still has a lot of love for her, but on the other hand it makes me a little sad because I don't think she really gets yet that Joey is not coming back. Lately she's been talking a lot about her "girls" or "boys" (imaginary friends if you missed that post) being dead. They're usually "dead" at Grandma and Poppa's house or Robb and Crystal's house, so I don't think she entirely gets that Joey isn't coming back. But maybe that's okay. I don't know if I totally get/accept that Joey isn't coming back.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Alyssa's First Day of School

The first day of preschool came and went and the big announcement is that there were NO TEARS on the part of Alyssa or me. I'm not sure about Adam though. ;) She seemed really excited for the most part, but she did get pretty clingy once she was dressed and her hair was done. Evidently it doesn't hit home until she's all gussied up. When we got to school Alyssa was really quiet, but she didn't put up any fuss or try to get me to stay, which I was relieved about. I don't know if I would have made it without tears if she seemed sad to see me go. She settled down quickly to make a bead necklace at one of the "stations" they had set out on the tables in her room and I was on my way. The first thing she said to me was that she "did NOT have fun", but upon further discussion aka interrogation in the car she started to get more excited and seemed like she had fun. She told me that there's another Alyssa in her class (but not the Alyssa that is in her dance class), she played games outside, dressed up as Aurora, had Goldfish for snack and dress a picture of herself wearing a dress. Sounds like a pretty full morning! She told me that her teacher told her she got to come back in two days and then I told her that she gets to come back lots more days than that. She's convinced that she's only going back one more time, so we may have to work on that one. :)

Joel and I met our friend/neighbor across the street Sherry for breakfast after dropping Alyssa off at school. Sherry had dropped her son off at a different preschool for his first day this morning, too, so we've decided that we're going to do breakfast every year on the first day of school since Alyssa and her son will go to one more year of preschool after this and then start "big school" together. Joel and I got into the car after breakfast and I was a bit lost as to what I should do with myself for the 45 minutes - an hour that was left until pick up time. This schedule will take some getting used to for all of us, but I'm looking forward to watching Alyssa "blossom" at preschool and spending some one on one time with Joel.

Extra-special adorable for her BIG day
Alyssa's face = EXCITEMENT
Joel's face = Isn't she gone YET?
On the way home ... she survived her first day!
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Monday, September 01, 2008

Joel's belated Birthday present

My mom's good friend Mary who is one of the kids' "adopted" Grandmas quilted these adorable wall hangings for Joel for his first birthday and gave them to him today. A little late, but well worth the wait. They match the colors and dinosaurs in his border almost perfect and I absolutely love them!
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This morning Alyssa spilled her grapes and chips all over the floor. She didn't want to pick them up, but lord help her if her brother get anywhere near them, so she kept clothes-lining him with her arm when he tried to get anywhere within a 20 foot radius of her spill. I finally had to pull out the "mommy means business" voice and insist that she pick up her mess (and to anyone who notices that my child was eating grapes and chips for breakfast ... hey, its a holiday!). Alyssa kept telling me that she didn't want to eat them because they were all "Lexi-y". I immediately replied that I just vacuumed, so they would be fine. And by "just" I mean on Friday. But I did think to tell her that she didn't have to *eat* them after she picked them up, she could throw them away.

Fast forward 3 hours (okay, maybe 5 minutes) and she proudly proclaimed that she picked everything up. I congratulated her on a job well done which is when she proceed to tell me that she put everything "in there". "In there" translated to the air conditioning vent. Enter speech about how we don't put food down the vents. "But, Mommy, you can't see it anymore". Oh, well then ... perfect.

And now Joel is running around looking pleased as punch and thinking of himself as a genius because he put HIS breakfast of toast in a butterfly net. Breakfast on the go. Because when you put your breakfast in the vents, its gone for good. Lesson learned.

This is why I feel the need for regular medication.