Thursday, December 31, 2009
It started out with Matthew waking up shortly after 5 am because his overpriced, so-called "nighttime" diaper had ripped open and spilled "liquid absorbing crystals" all over Matthew and his crib. It turns out that the crystals only hold on to that liquid while they are inside the diaper. Now, normally when Matthew wakes up too early, we can change him and put him straight back to sleep for an hour or so. Not today. By the time we got the mess cleaned up, he was wide awake.
Skip to us rushing out the door to get to the store and me forgetting to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. You'll see why that's important later.
We actually had a good trip to the store, capped off by the kids quietly and happily eating their frozen yogurt from the food court where I work, while I read half of a magazine.
Next, it was off to get haircuts. This is where things started to turn. I noticed that Matthew was sleepy in the car. I should've just aborted and called it a day at this point. But, you know how it is... you just want to get stuff like this over with and not have to make another appointment and drag the kids out again, blah, blah, blah. So, I rationalized that he would be fine, just like the last couple of times I brought him here. I knew to expect a little bit of whining, but nothing like what was about to happen.
We actually got in right at our appointment time, despite a full waiting room. Matthew was first and we brought his favorite DVD to distract him. He complained while they put on his cape and then started to throw a fit while they wet his hair. All of the sudden, he slammed his head forward and smashed his face onto the metal part of the car/chair that he was sitting in. (An hour later this would turn out to be a full on black eye.) So, now he is screaming at the top of lungs, so we decide to give him a minute to calm down. By the way, children screaming is a normal occurrence at this place. I'm not sure why kids get so freaked out about getting their hair cut. But, until now, it has never been my kid.
After a few minutes, he is crying less, but when the stylist tries to restart his haircut he cranks it up again. Everything I try to do to calm him down fails and after 25 minutes of holding him down, we give up and leave the store with half a haircut and one very noticeable bald spot on one side. The very calm and patient stylist gave us an IOU, but still upset from the incident, I swear to never put Matthew (or me) through that again.
So, I decide that it will be faster to pick up some Steak-n-Shake for lunch than for me to make something, but of course that is not going to be the case. I get behind a woman who orders no less than 8 bags of food, and is apparently taking orders for the person she is on the phone with. "What do you want to eat, I can't hear you. Hold on a sec.." It took every ounce of restraint for me to keep my foot on the brake and not ram my car into hers.
We arrive home 45 minutes late for lunch and Matthew who is crying in the backseat, has been up for almost 7 hours. So, I decide that since he had some animal crackers and milk in the car that it is in his best interest to skip lunch and go straight to bed. This is when I realize that his blanket and his bear are soaking wet in the washing machine. I try to put him down with his "other bear" and a different blanket, but he is so far past tired now that he just lays in his crib and cries. I eventually throw the bear and blanket in the dryer and get them dry enough to sleep with.
He finally falls asleep and 45 minutes after we arrived home, I unload the groceries from the car and sit down to eat my cold and soggy hamburger. I turn on the tv and the cable is out. No matter; I turn on a movie that I Tivo'd last night and 3 minutes into it the channel changes and I realize that it has recorded something else. I give up, turn off the tv, and throw away the rest of my sandwich.
Embry and I lay down to rest and we both fall asleep for about a half hour. When she gets up I remind her to be quiet because Matthew is still asleep, and she proceeds to slam the bedroom door as hard as she can. Matthew wakes up and stays up about an hour earlier than he normally would.
I yell at Embry for not listening and for waking up her brother, but 5 minutes later I feel bad. After all, the whole day could've been avoided had I just listened to Matthew in the first place and went home after the store. Instead, I tried to make him fit to my schedule. I always judge parents when I see them dragging their kids through Costco at night. Why don't they get that kid to bed? And here I was doing the exact same thing.
My day did eventually get better. The kids are playing happily together now, and my next door neighbor left a gift bag full of chocolate on our doorstep. A happy surprise, because although we have lived next to each other for a year and a half, we have only spoken a handful of times. Embry and I will return the gesture later tonight with some pretty candles from Pottery Barn.
So, my most important resolution this year will be to listen to my children, to have more patience with them, and to not take out my frustrations from the day on them. I recently read something by a tired and weary mother that really struck me... "My children (and my husband) deserve the best of me, not just what is left after a long day." Amen.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So, after waiting for the staff to choose a background we decided to start off with Embry while Matthew ran off some energy in the hall.
Ok, now let's bring Matthew in. Try putting him on the sled with Embry...
Friday, December 4, 2009
I actually remembered to take a picture of our only contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year. So I thought I'd post it along with a list of a few things (people) I'm thankful for...
My husband, who works hard all day to support his family, and then takes care of them all night while I go off to work.
My children, who give me so much to look forward to, every day.
My mother, who will listen to me complain about work and kids for hours.
My husband's family for putting up with our mess and our noise when we come to visit.
My brother for making me laugh.
The rest of my family for their love and support.
And finally, my boss for letting me have off the 2 days after Christmas to spend time with all of my family together. I can't wait!
*Also, I'm thankful for Johnny Depp, for gracing the cover of my Entertainment Weekly this afternoon, and making my day off a little bit sweeter.*
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
In the Kitchen: On my way home from work last night I decided that our home has been lacking in baked goods lately. I had to resort to toast for my late night snack. So today, I was determined to make cookies. However, Matthew is napping and I am blogging rather than baking. After putting together the dough for a double batch of chocolate-chip cookies, I realized that I only had half a bag of chocolate chips. Note to self...check to see that you have all the ingredients before you put everything into the mixer. In my defense, I did check to see if we had enough butter and brown sugar, the two things we are usually out of. So, in my fridge sits a large bowl of plain cookie dough, sans chips. I was tempted to bake a few without, just to see how they turned out. But, I decided that the dough can wait until tomorrow, and I'll bring home a 5 lb bag of chocolate chips from work tonight.
New with Embry: Embry is making huge strides in her reading. She wants to read everything that she sees. Road signs, t-shirts, mail, everything. She's really starting to get it. She's also starting something new with her penmanship. I came home the other day to find a page of cursive words on the desk. She has just started to learn it, but it is coming very easy to her. She seems to like it much more than printing. She did not get that from me, I hated writing cursive in school. It was my worst subject. Go figure.
New with Matthew: Matthew is saying new words everyday. He seems to focus on one sound at a time. He favorites this week are "cool," "goose," and "soup." It is so much nicer to hear his little speaking voice than the usual screaming that we have become too familiar with.
I am Grateful For: The next 2 Saturdays off, and spending as much time with J and the kids as possible.
The Weather Outside: It has been ridiculously nice outside, especially for November. There are lilies blooming in my front yard! I can't remember it being so warm this late in the year, even when we lived in Alabama. We did have our first frost last night, but it is 65 out right now. I love it!
I am Obsessed With: Making plans for the holidays. Unfortunately, I may not know my schedule until the last few days before Thanksgiving and Christmas. So far we have several contingencies, but I know we will make it work...somehow.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Embry has wanted to be a puppy for months, so I started looking for a costume for her as soon as they hit the stores. Apparently, she grew out of the puppy costumes a couple of years ago, because I could only find them for babies. I did, however, find every Disney princess and fairy costume imaginable. Alongside these were tons of (for lack of a better word) trampy costumes like french maids and schoolgirls complete with fishnets and bustiers. Yes, for a 5 year old! Who dresses their little girl like that? So, I was forced to concoct a puppy myself using a brown hooded sweatshirt and some black socks for ears. Finished off by J's great makeup job of a puppy nose and whiskers, I think it turned out great. Everyone knew exactly what she was.
Embry got tired after only a couple of blocks, so we got home pretty early. She has enough candy to last her quite a while, though. And she is happy to share with Mom and Dad and her little brother.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I decided we would paint our pumpkins this year just to change things up. I think Embry appreciated that she could do hers all by herself, as opposed to just watching me carve it. Maybe next year I'll be comfortable with her helping with that.
Enjoy some pictures from the weekend!
In the Kitchen: Seven straight nights closing means scrambled eggs and frozen lasagna for J and the kids this week. I plan to get back in my own kitchen more starting on Sunday.
New with Embry: Embry got to do the coolest thing at school yesterday. One of the parents from school is a glass artist, and every year he lets the kids participate in making their own Christmas ornaments. Embry got to choose the colors of and blow her own glass ornament. It was then etched with her name and the date. It is so beautiful, and I can't believe I forgot to bring my camera.
New with Matthew: I hope that Matthew's ornery behavior the last few days is due to him not feeling well, and not the terrible twos creeping in a little early. It seems like every time I turn around he is doing something I know he knows he's not supposed to. Like standing on the dining room chairs, drawing on the couch, or pouring out his glass of milk. Amusing at first, but frustrating after the fifth time. It's a good thing he's so cute.
The Weather Outside: Rain, rain, go away. The worst part about all the rain? Driving in it. I never realized how much time I actually spent in the car everyday, until this week.
I am Grateful For: Setting the clocks back on Saturday night!
I am Obsessed With: Just getting to Friday, this week.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I know Mozart wrote his first symphony at age four, but this is a good start :)
**After several attempts, the first few seconds of this video keep getting cut off. It's the part where Embry says that she wrote the song all by herself, as you can see from the sheet music on the piano.**
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Also, a pleasant surprise in the flower bed... the tiny mums that I bought 3 for $2 in the checkout at Home Depot last year came up and started to bloom last week. And they are huge; at least 24 inches across. That makes 2 things that I managed not to kill this summer!
In the Kitchen: Not too much going on since I've been working so much lately. I am, however, going to try a new recipe for New York Crumb Cake tomorrow for company. It looks so yummy, I can't wait.
New with Embry: Embry is getting along great at school. And she asks me everyday, "How many days until soccer?" She is doing better about actually eating her lunch and resting if she gets tired in the afternoon. She had an especially good time at school yesterday when a very lively thunderstorm rolled through town. Apparently, the teacher instructed the students to stop their work and come to the center of the room. They turned the lights off and closed their eyes and listened to the rain and thunder. Then they read a book about rain and discussed why the lightning comes before the thunder and so on. She was so excited to tell me all about it.
New with Matthew: Matthew has recently become pleasantly independent lately. I say "pleasantly" because he has always been independent in the way that he wants to do things for himself. But he is now actually able to do so many more things for himself, safely and without much help. For example, I can set his yogurt, milk (in an open cup) and crackers on his highchair tray and he will feed himself without spilling (too much) or choking from putting too much food in his mouth. I can now actually eat a meal while he is eating his. Also, he has become quite comfortable with walking himself to and from the car at home. This may not seem like a big deal, but to anyone who has tried to carry a toddler while unloading groceries, wrestling with a diaper bag and balancing a coffee all at once knows how freeing this is. He can be relied on not to fall up the stairs, or run into the street, and I don't have to make several trips in order to bring everything along. Baby steps, but they make a big difference in our everyday life.
I'm Grateful For: See above.
The Weather Outside: I finally had to turn on the heat this week. Wednesday morning the temp outside was 49 and the temp in the house was 55. I tried to warm up by putting a sweater on over my pj's and digging out my warm slippers from the back of the closet. But, I just couldn't get comfortable and I used Matthew's cold hands as my final excuse. I turned the switch on the central air to "heat" and left it on for about 30 minutes. Just enough time to take the chill out of the air. I was satisfied and the house was left smelling a little musty like it always does when you turn on the furnace for the first time.
I am Obsessed With: The new TV series "Glee." I think it's on Fox, I don't know for sure since I've only watched it on Hulu. It is hilarious. Somewhat campy (I think that's a word) with very dry humor and lots of "High School Musical" style singing and dancing (which I would normally despise). But the fact that no one takes it too seriously makes it so good.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
What is most different this year is picking up Embry in the afternoon instead of before lunch. This means that most days Mattie and I eat lunch by ourselves and then Mattie goes down for a nap. Despite an new, earlier naptime, I still have to wake Matthew up when it's time to pick up his sister, so he's usually not in a great mood for the ride there. But, he always cheers up immediately when his sister gets in the car.
When we get home from school, Embry and Matthew play together and I try to get in as much kid time as possible because most days I head off to work as soon as Daddy gets home.
In the Kitchen: Tomorrow is the International Grill Fest at CMS (Embry's school). I'm making chocolate chip cookie brownies for the cake walk, and Mexican layered dip for the pot-luck. Other than that, not much has been going on in the kitchen. We have vowed to clean out our freezer before we buy any new dinner stuff, so it's been frozen pizza and stuff for the last week.
New with Embry: Embry is so excited about school this year. I think what she likes best is not being the newest or the youngest kid in class. She tells me everyday on the way home about how she helped one of the "little kids" with something. I think it's one of the best aspects of the Montessori classroom, that the classrooms are mixed age. She gets help from older kids and she is so proud of herself when she has taught someone else.
New with Matthew: Matthew is finally starting to talk, a little bit. He has a Diego book with a pen that talks. Diego says, "Hola!" and Matthew responds with, "Ya ya!" He also will occasionally repeat "Night, night" or "Bye, bye." It doesn't seem like much, but for our stubborn little boy, it's a big step forward, finally.
The Weather Outside: Still beautiful. It's warm, but not hot. Cool, but not yet cold in the evenings. Perfect!
I am Grateful For: A husband who works all day and then puts up with kids by himself all night. Who leaves work early so that I can get to work on time and then works from home after the kids go to bed to make up for it. Thanks for taking care of all of us, J!
I am Obsessed With: Too busy to obsess this week, maybe next week.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Of course, Embry helped me and she almost couldn't wait to eat them.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
It's not that I don't want to do these things, I'm just not good at it. So, when my mother-in-law brought these upside-down tomato plants to our house I figured they'd be dead in a couple of weeks. But thanks to Embry for reminding me to water them, and thanks to our sunny backyard, they actually grew big and produced!
These were my first official fruit...aren't they pretty? Now what to do with them? Not enough of them to make marinara, too many for a salad. I've got some bacon in the fridge...hmmm.
Oh yes, one of my favorite things to do with a fresh tomato. BLT.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
For the grown-up pizza I wanted to try something different. I also wanted to use up some of the huge bag of spinach that I had. So, I searched the web for a spinach pizza recipe and found this one.
Spinach, Ham and Egg Pizza
1 store-bought pizza crust
4 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 ounces prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
3 cloves thinly sliced garlic
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the pizza crust on a cookie sheet. Scatter spinach all over crust. Drizzle with oil. Evenly distribute prosciutto, Parmesan and garlic on top of spinach. Crack eggs onto pizza, roughly positioning 1 yolk on each pizza quarter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until spinach is wilted and egg whites are just fully cooked. Cut into 4 large slices.
It seemed a little weird, but we like to try new stuff, so I went for it. Embry helped with this one too, of course. It turned out great! I decided that it tasted a lot like quiche. We ended up using bacon instead of ham, because we always have bacon in the house, but I think our version was better. I had a second piece after rationalizing that all of that spinach was good for me. Yum!
Every time I get sad thinking about what I'll be missing, I try to remind myself about how great I'll still have it. Not many people get to stay home all day with their son or pick up their daughter every day from school. I'll still have 3 days off every week, so it's not like I'll be gone all the time, but right now it sure feels like it. J and I agreed that if it gets too stressfull, I'll just quit, but we're going to give it a shot.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Anyway, Henry goes almost everywhere we go. He rides in the car and we have to make sure that he has his seatbelt on before we go. He rides in the cart at the grocery store, and he loves to go to the park and to museums. According to Embry, the City Museum is Henry's favorite because he like to go down all of the slides.
I have to say that an imaginary dog is the best kind. He keeps us safe and is loads of fun, but he never needs to be walked or bathed. And on the rare occasion that he makes a mess, Embry is always happy to clean up after him. Until the day when I lose my mind and get a real dog, he seems to be a good substitute.