Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jackson. 9 months. Walking. Mom devastated

Is it wrong for me to discourage walking? I feel I'm entitled to Jackson staying a baby just a little bit longer. I just don't think that's wrong at all since I know that he is my last baby. Don't get me wrong- if we had the resources to have more and Matt was willing, I'd pump babies out like a puppy. I loved being pregnant, delivery, etc- so I know I'm not the average mommy. But knowing Jackson is my last I feel sad when he accomplishes his milestones with such excitement and pride in his face. Which is really ironic, but with Olivia I pushed her and tried to get her to get to the milestones faster and she didn't walk until 14 months. Ugh- so now it's happened- Jackson walked. He's not a dedicated walker, he takes steps here and there when he isn't cruising quickly around furniture- but he walks unassisted when he feels like giving it a go. The most we've seen are 10 steps before falling- but that's really good. Anyways- enough with my debbie downer spiel, here's the pictures I know you want to see:




Getting so big, so quickly! He loves his socks, so that's why he's eating them in every picture. :)

My 3 kids

Here are my two favorite pictures from just tonight. We had a really great night tonight. Olivia wore her Cinderella dress while watching Cinderella, Matt was being silly, and Jackson started moving with a sock in his mouth (as usual- but this is the first time on film!).

Matt & Olivia giving me crazy faces



Jackson being a "sock sucker" as we call him (you can imagine what we THOUGHT Olivia said the first time we heard that!)

What's lurking beneath...

If you read any of the posts on my blog list you may have come across a post about what's lurking beneath couch cushions. Her blog was pretty hilarious, but it got me wondering- what's underneath MY couch cushions? I have one couch, and two large chairs in the living room, which leaves a lot of opportunity for weird items and gross stuff to get lost.


So I decided tonight to just suck it up and look under them. I was scared. Really. I can't remember when the last time I cleaned them. (I know, I'm hiding my face in absolute shame right now). To my absolute surprise, this is what I found:

a lone green sock that Olivia shoved in the corner. That's it. I have to admit- pretty bittersweet. It's great because I have nothing gross growing underneath there, but bummer that I have nothing super fun to share.
What's lurking under YOUR cushions?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

JACKSON WALKED!

It is 10:57 a.m. on January 27, 2009- Jackson is 9 months old. He'll be 10 months on 2/4/09- and my mom calls me to tell me Jackson took 3 steps towards her, unassisted. I'm excited, but sad that my baby, my last baby, is growing way too fast!!! I just hope he isn't walking all over when I pick him up today! :)

Vacation is Scheduled!

Oh you really have no idea how much I am looking forward to our Florida vacation! Most of you know that I was born in St. Pete, FL and consider myself to be a Floridian even though I'm stuck in the wannabe tundra that is Wisconsin. I love the heat, humidity, beaches, sand always in your shoe, flip flops being dress shoes, etc. Most of my family still live in Florida and I miss them terribly, and of my family- only my Aunt Ginger & Uncle Danny have met my daughter. It is really important to me that they all meet my kids and that my kids get to spend time with them. When I think of my childhood- I think of my uncles and grandparents-somebody was always around. That's what I miss the most living up here. I miss having family like that to just stop over at your house or to call up to go to lunch with, etc.



So this year we decided that we were going to Florida, come hell or high water. Which might literally happen because we're going in the middle of October, which is almost at the end of hurricane season. As a former Florida resident, I've been through my share of hurricanes- which I love. Is that weird? I love hurricanes, storms, etc. There is a sick part of me hoping for a hurricane, but then the bigger part of me really wants to get a Florida fix, so I'm hoping for sunny days with the occassional rain in the afternoon.

Oh- and for those who don't know, we've elected to drive instead of fly. I know- I can already hear you groaning about that. But there are lots of reasons we're doing this- the main points being:
1. It's actually cheaper if gas stays under $2.75/gallon
2. I like road trips
3. We wouldn't have to rent a car with 2 car seats
4. If we flew, the amount of stuff we'd have to carry is unbelievable- definitely not worth it.

Is this set in stone? No. If plane tickets get incredibly cheap, it would make more sense to fly and then rent a car with car seats. I think I'd have to have car seats on the plane for the kids. If that's the case that's insane. I know for sure Matt doesn't want to carry two car seats- I'm not even going to ask because I know the look I would get. :)

But if we drive, we leave Superior super early on October 15, with anticipated arrival in Florida October 17. Then we would leave Florida the following Friday, with anticipated arrival back in Wisconsin on Sunday. We'd obviously have to spend the night somewhere in the middle, probably Tennessee and hopefully have dinner or something with an uncle and cousin who live there. Nothing is really planned yet since we just got the dates. If you have any travel ideas/tips- LET ME KNOW!! We haven't taken a vacation with the kids ever (not including weekend trips), so we're like vacation virgins at this point. :) LOL.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OPINIONS NEEDED!

OK- so as most of you know, Olivia will be turning 4 on September 6th. She has never been in a daycare or pre-k program but has been taught by myself and my mom (who watches her when I work). She is SUPER smart, loves school, likes to learn, etc- she's on par with other 4 year olds academically right now in most areas.

My problem: Superior offers a 4 year old kindergarten half day program, free. In order to enroll, your child needs to be 4 as of September 1. There is a 5 day difference and so I am not sure whether to fight this to get her into the program in September, or if I should wait until 2010 when she's almost 5.

If I enroll her in fall '09, she'll be the youngest in her graduating class. If I enroll her in fall '10, she'll be 19 when she graduates. Which is worse? I feel like she is more than able to do well in the program this year. I haven't even called the District yet to see if the birth date is really set in absolute stone, or if they can give a little.

What should I do? Try to enroll this year, or wait until next??

Fab Blog, Miscellaneous Stuff

I just want to post a quick message that if you are in the mood for a really fun blog read- then you MUST check out WhiMSy Girl. I have a link on the right side of my blog. I absolutely have fallen in love with this blog and it is the first I check every morning while eating breakfast. :)

I also will be getting my music back up soon. I took it off because I just couldn't decide what tunes to put on here- but after reading WhiMSy Girl, I am totally envious of her tunes because she has almost all of my favorites on there. In fact, I think I even have a mix CD at home with a lot of the same songs on it. Very weird, huh? So I am going to pick and choose some favorites that I haven't heard in a while and put them on here at some point.

I also got a ton of scrapping done in the last two weeks so I hope to post some of my creations on here. I am going to open an Etsy store soon, and I'll post all of the details on that soon. Lots of creating happening at my house the last few weeks.

Also- my dear friend Jennie and I are throwing a winter party for kids this Saturday. If you are available from 10-1, email me if you are interested in details! We are going to have a very fun time and I am really excited because it will, hopefully, become an annual event. Yay!

OK- so more stuff to post later. I best be getting back to work. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

OWOH

If you haven't noticed my blog list on the right has expanded. I have found a TON of fun new blogs from crafty people! I am hoping that you will visit them as well and learn about the One World, One Heart give away!

If you are interested in putting your name in the drawing hats- please click on http://oneworldoneheart.typepad.com/ and on the right side is a list of blogs who are offering give aways. You will find some amazing things- it's always fun to look! :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Parking Lot Wars

(You'll notice this entry is in RED. From here on out, anything in RED is me complaining about something.)

You know- it never ceases to amaze me that once a couple of inches of snow hit the ground people totally forget how to drive. Not just on the road- but in parking lots. It amazes me that people, for whatever reason, think that once you are in a parking lot you are supposed to disregard all rules of the road. It drives me insane.

Especially people who have lived here all of their lives. The turn lanes have been turn lanes since the road was created, yet when there is snow- we suddenly forget that you get in a turn lane if you want to turn. The light changes from red to green- and people panic. "Oh god, it's green- what do we do??". I also love it when you pull into a parking lot and notice that instead of diagonal parking- everybody parks horizontal. Really people? Have you EVER seen horizontal parking lines in this parking lot? Do you think the parking line fairy came once it snowed and changed the layout of the lot? I also love parking only to come out a while later to see that you are between cars. OK- so whoever parked last didn't notice there are 2 cars in front of him?? Did you think I planned on spending the night? Or what about the people who take more than one space. OK- "Mr. I drive a beat up Toyota Camry"- do you really think your rusted out car with a donut tire justifies 3 spaces? Really? Or the people trying to squeeze into the perfect spot even though there is no room for the next person to open their door, let alone get a kid in a car seat. Oh- what about the people trying to park while on the cell phone?

OH- and I really can't stand it when it's -30 and you are trying to cross the parking lot to get to the store door and NOBODY will stop for you. No, the people in their cars with the heat blasting give you the finger because we're trying to run for our lives into the store with two kids. Really?

I'm not kidding you- my road rage instantly doubles in January. December isn't so bad, I'm in the Xmas spirit and all that fuzzy warm stuff, so I'm a little more lenient. But in January I just loose it. I can't take it. My parking lot fury is nothing new- Lisa can attest to my drawings of the idiot who drove the red grand prix to the work parking lot everyday, parking in the opposite diagonal as everyone else and taking 4 spots so the rest of us had to park on the street. There is no reason for this.

I'm stepping off my soap box now. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frozen Boogers and Missing Summer

Well this week has been particularly horrible getting the kids to my mom's before work. I've had to let the van run at least 20 minutes before moving it because both days so far have been -28 and -24 (respectively) when I've started the van. That sucks. And when you open the front door, Jackson just says "eeeee" and yesterday Olivia says, "mama, my boogers are frozen". Yes, kids- I understand. My eyeballs feel frozen, I can only imagine what a frozen booger feels like.

As we're walking up to the door at my mom's house (ok, it's more like a shuffle run where you run but shuffle your feet so you don't fall on the snow/ice) Olivia says, "Mama, I miss summer!!" Me too, kid. In fact I hear that comment several times a day now.

Everyone in our house pretty much hates winter. I am NOT outdoorsy by any means, and so far, my kids aren't either. Matt can handle it, but doesn't like it. He is born & breed up north so it's to be expected. I'm a Florida girl, always have been and always will be no matter where I'm living. Give me heat and humidity any day.

It's only supposed to get colder as the week goes on, so thank god I'm not going anywhere Friday. Well, I might be- but it'll be a dire decision if I do. This cold weather and snow is for the birds I say, and even they fly south!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Random Jackson Cuteness

I feel pretty bad that I haven't had any pictures of Jackson lately, not that I don't have any! I have so many pictures of both kids it's ridiculous. It's definitely over the top. But for some reason, I just usually run out of time before I can post anything of Jackson. So here's his update on what he is up to:


Matt, me and Jackson on Xmas Eve at Matt's parents house

1. He is SO close to walking. He just turned 9 months on 12/4/08, so I'm stunned. Olivia was crawling at 10 months, walking at 14. I'm not ready!! Jackson will stand up in one place unassisted. He "cruises" along furniture. Can run if you hold his hands. He has a push walker thing at our house and at my mom's which he uses sometimes. I would also like to say that he is so short right now- he's just too small to be walking. :)

2. He climbs on EVERYTHING. It's enough to start heart failure sometimes. He's pretty sneaky and creative about it too. He's figured out how to push things together to make a "ladder" to get even higher. Horrifying.


Jackson shaking maraca like it's nobody's business- Xmas Eve 08

3. Today he said "wubba wubba" which I thought was just cute. Well "wubba wubba" actually means "bottle". We figured this out after he practically threw himself out of Matt's arms onto the counter towards a dirty bottle. Adorable. :)

4. He babbles a lot when Olivia isn't around. He's not super quiet, he screeches and screams a lot, but when she's gone, holy man! That kid is putting sounds together and being a complete cutie. He's said "dada" for awhile now, but the "mama" sound is new as of a month ago- so now he says it a lot. I love it.

5. He is constantly up my butt. Seriously. He hangs on to the back of my legs if I'm still for a few seconds. He will pull so hard sometimes my pants fall down. Luckily- this hasn't happened outside of the house. :) But my mom and I joke that sometimes he loves us TOO much!

6. He now has 3 teeth (two bottom, one on top) and he's working on his other top one. Poor kid has such a hard time with the teething. Olivia was never bad- you never knew she was teething until she chomped down on your finger. But Jackson seems to suffer through it and wants to be held. We can't tell if it's the teeth so much or the separation anxiety. Whoever he's with he wants to be held. If you put him down- he will literally chase you down until you pick him up again.

7. He also carries things (mostly his socks) in his mouth around the house. He looks like a puppy. I'm going to try to get a picture of it- it's cute.

OK- that seems to be all that I can think of. I PROMISE to get some more Xmas pictures up this week and more of Jackson.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Olivia's last day of toddler school

As most of you know, my kids aren't in day care or preschool, my mom watches them every day while I'm working. (THANK YOU, MOM!!!). I love it- they spend time with Grandma and Grandpa (who are still quite young) and I don't have to worry about them not being played with, not enough attention, getting weird illnesses, etc. A big negative has been that they don't necessary get interaction with kids their own age. In the summer it's not a problem because Olivia talks and plays with kids at the park, we play with other friends of mine with kids, etc.

But because Olivia is shy and is nervous about playing with other kids outside of the park, I enrolled her in a once a week toddler class (free) that's about 2 hours long. The first session was good, nothing special. She had fun, learned some songs, got really good with coloring and crafty things, began sharing. This was GREAT because I was pregnant with Jackson and I wanted her to get used to other kids getting attention- worked fabulously.

The second session was the best EVER. Not only did I make new mommy friends, but Olivia made a friend. Her name is Marley. Marley even has a baby brother named Jack, who is like 4 or 5 months older than our Jackson. Olivia and Marley has the same personalities. And not only did Olivia make a friend her age, she is in love with Miss Cheryl, so is Marley. Miss Cheryl is an aide that occassionally is there for toddler class. She has two boys of her own, but always wanted a girl. Marley and Olivia always wanted to be with Miss Cheryl- they did crafts, they played, they talked, all together. It was great. I had tears because my baby could care less if I was there or not- she bonded. My absolute FAVORITE memory was when Olivia and Marley were playing in the sensory table with pom poms and Marley's brother Jack climbed up and tried taking them away from Marley. Marley got frustrated, and Aunt Krista came to the rescue. Well, Olivia put her hand on Marley's arm and says, "I know, brothers are just awful", and Marley says, "I know". :) HOW CUTE IS THAT?!?!

So on the last day of toddler class, Olivia was so upset. Her and Marley hugged (a lot) and Olivia didn't want to leave. She hugged Miss Cheryl and refused to get off her lap for at least an hour. Miss Cheryl ate it up because she adores these girls. Luckily, I have Fridays off permanently, and Marley's aunt Krista watches the kids on Fridays- lots of playdates are sure to happen. I really hope these girls stay friends. It's so cute. Here are some pictures of the last day that I love: (oh yeah, Santa & Mrs. Clause came that day too)

Olivia on Miss Cheryl's lap:

Marley & Olivia playing with sequins on the floor:


Olivia & Marley hugging at the end of class as they always do:


Marley and Olivia waiting to get a sticker from Miss Cheryl before leaving:
It was such a great session and I'm sad that she isn't doing it again. They have a 3-5 yr old class but it's in the evening at a school out in the country- not great for me. But I really hope that we can utilize their other classes and family events. I'm definitely going to sign Jackson up when he's older- he had fun in the chaos. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Britney Spears

I am going to put all pride aside at this point and shamefully say I love Britney Spears. I don't like the old Britney- I much prefer the crazy, medicated Britney. :) I really like her last 3 albums. I listen to the ALL the time in my van and hide the CD case so people who are nosy and look in have no clue what's really in my player. I'm totally embarrased to admit this, really. What's worse is that I have apparently passed this on to Olivia. Olivia LOVES Britney Spears. I have turned my child on to a not so great role model. (A "Mother of the Year" Award probably isn't coming to me anytime soon).

I never really knew how much she liked her until the December 2 performance on Good Morning America, which my mom was watching. She watches the news, and Britney just happened to be singing "Womanizer". Well Olivia ran to get her winter boots, the closest thing to "Britney Boots" she could find, and as she was singing the song, she was copying the moves. Not kidding. Now this would be funny if it were a one time thing.

Now she sings the song in the car. She demands it. She loves it. She also likes "Kill the Lights" off the new CD. She'll say, "Mama, I'm shaking my booty" as she's strapped in her car seat. She's tossing her hair and doing the arm waving around thing. I drive around town thanking god that the windows are tinted and people can't see what my 3 1/2 year old is doing in the back. All the while, Jackson is squealing because he loves watching Olivia do weird stuff.

So then there's this. I have photographic evidence of it all. I was cleaning the house, Matt was feeding Jackson on the couch- I have my Britney cd playing. Olivia literally ran to get her "high heels" and threw on her sweater vest and was dancing. She's watching herself in the tv, which was off. This is her "shaking her booty". You'll notice the hand on the hip there. (She also now puts her hand on the hip and makes a huffing noise when she's irritated with us)

Here's another "move" she's working on.
This is all pretty benign, but here's our conversation after "Womanizer" was done.
O: Mom, help me get my shirts off.
Me: Why, babe?
O: Because Britney doesn't wear shirts.
Me: WHAT?!
O: I want to be like Britney. I need Britney hair too.
Me: I don't think so. You're 3. No more Britney.
Instant wailing ensues. Oh man- I really thought I had at least 10 more years before this started. I laugh when she goes to bed because she is such a fun character. She reminds me of myself so much and I just thank my mom silently for being SO patient. (How did you do it, mom??) Days like this remind me when I came down from my room at age 14 wearing a black lace shirt (who knows where I got that) proclaiming myself ready for school. My mom looked at me, in my practically topless glory with more makeup than a hooker and told me to get my ass upstairs and put the clothes she bought me on. This must be what they talk about when they say raising girls is "a joy, but a challenge". I also notice this was never in the "What to Expect: Toddler Years"...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

Wow- can you believe that 2009 is finally over?! Although we didn't do any real celebrating last night, we stayed up (Matt and I) to flip between Fuses' Top 40 of 2008 and VH1's Top 100 Hard Rock songs. Both good shows, on at the same time. But we got through most of the lists and called it quits around 10 because we are no longer used to staying up that late! We usually hit the sack around 8 since we get up early in the mornings now. Such exciting lives we lead. :)

But I was lucky enough to get a ton of stuff done around the house- always a good way to start the new year. Most of you who know me well know that I go through "funks" periodically. And in these funks I do meticulous cleaning and purging. Well, I'm in a funk. I have thrown out, recycled, or put in the yard sale pile SO many things. I think Matt's sick of hauling stuff out to the garage- he's getting "the look" when I tell him I have "just one more pile". :) But it feels good to make room and re-organize. I have lots of plans for organization in this house this year- let me tell you. Matt doesn't know it yet, but his "to-do" list has grown tremendously!

Also in 2009 my new goal is to get some decent lighting in the kitchen. I have one, yes one, ceiling light that is incredibly junky. The fixture is nice, matches my new one in the dining room- but it doesn't provide nearly enough light to do anything well. It's pretty much just there for looks at this point. My mom & Grandma pointed this out to me several times over the Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner prep since we were on the verge of breaking out flashlights! :) LOL! I might even convince Matt to go to IKEA with me to get some new upper cabinets. My kitchen was built for a tall person, not someone who is only 5'3. So much to do.

BUT- our biggest excitement in 2009 will be our trip to Florida. We have no idea when we are going, it's depending on my Uncle Danny & Aunt Ginger's vacation- but I'm still excited. :) We are going to drive down there- and with the grace of god we'll get there in one piece. For those of you who don't know- driving with Matt is like taking your life in your hands. Lisa can attest to this (remember the ValleyFair trip, Lis??). He can't follow written or oral instructions and he gets road rage easily. I'll probably do a lot of the driving since I can handle idiots on the road and my trusty GPS thing and I have bonded over many trips so far. :) I love road trips, but I'm a little bummed we won't have time to check out America's finest side of the highway attractions. I heard there's a bunch of weird ones in Kentucky. :)

Well that's all for now. Soon I will post pictures of the Christmas unwrapping extravaganza and some updated ones of Jackson. He's got two teeth and working on a third..

Happy New Year!