Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thinking outside the box.



This morning Beck's new sandbox was delivered. All two tons of it. Right in front of our house. My mom brought him home to nap this morning and she said he kept repeating Big dirt! Big dirt! So, as soon as he got up from his nap, we went on a run, and then I let him play in this crazy massive pile of sand. It's sheer magnitude awed him and he spent quiet awhile just staring at it, contemplating what to do first. Finally, he dropped to his knees and got to work. Also, a big thank you to our city and the 12 months of road construction we've endured to finally be rewarded with more than potholes and the incessant urge to wash our cars. Now I just have to bathe my baby instead.

So, the weather is finally spring-like, and I find myself referencing the days as sunny or gorgeous instead of plain old Tuesday or Wednesday. Life just takes on a different light in the spring, and we've spent hours outside taking it all in. It's so much fun to watch Beck explore.


However, what's not fun is trying to bring him back indoors. Cosmic ramifications, people. We're talking a helllllllooooo-mom-I'm-almost-two-this-is-called-a-tantrum kind of ramifications, involving back-arching, wailing, squirming-free-of-momma's-arms type moves and repetition of the word no! I just consider them patience-building exercises.

And, unfortunately, Beck doesn't limit these tantrums to the confines of our home. Nope, they are on full display at the grocery store (when I insist he ride buckled in the seat), at the library (when it's time to go home and he's pulled his share of board books from the shelves), and at the park (when I'm buckling him into his carseat). Need I mention the terrible twos and that Becks won't even be two for another THREE months. Oy.

When he's not busy playing in dirt or pitching a fit, he's still the sweetest little man around. Future preschool hearthrob, I'm sure of it :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Just a regular old Monday

We were away this weekend. At the Lakehouse with the whole fam. The weather was absolutely gorgeous on Saturday, though I fully admit to lazing around inside watching The Blindside and basketball games for most of the day. Both were, ahem, semi-disappointing.


I know, I know, The Blindside is like everyones favorite movie, and while, yes, it was good, it wasn't near as good as I imagined it to be. Too much hype. However, how cute is the name Collins? Love that.

I also watched Precious today which was exactly as disturbing as I expected it to be. Shoo. Nauseating. It made me sad for all children that suffer any form of abuse. Absolutely absurd.

And then there was the Wildcats, who played literally the worst game of their entire season on Saturday night. The entire Bluegrass State mourned this loss together, and even Becks in his blue and white chanting Go, Cats! wasn't enough to warrant a win.

There is really nothing to report here. It's rainy and glum and I probably should be doing laundry, but what's new?

Also, Spring Break 2010 is only TEN days away. Thank. Goodness.

Tootle-oo!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate Makes Everything Better

video

Thank Goodness It's Thursday

Shoo. I am glad the week is nearing an end. I know I did a lot of complaining this week between the manic Monday post and the concrete {grinding} on my nerves yesterday. But, we're all allowed to have those days, er, weeks every now and then.

So, in lieu of any negativity, I felt a list reiterating what I am happy for today sounded good:
1. I am happy that I am this little man's mommy and that he bleeds blue like the rest of us. We practice naming the starters often, though he often says uncle! when I tell him to say Cousins! Ha! (FYI: Demarcus Cousins is his name for you non-UK fans)

2. I am happy that we have relaxing plans for the weekend, that may or may not involve someone else fixing the coffee. And, y'all know how much I love that.

3. I am happy that 4 out of the 8 girls that were in my wedding found true love and are getting married this year. *FOUR!* I am in three of the weddings, and I'm happy that they all chose pretty bridesmaids dresses, that don't resemble anything that Madonna would have worn in the Like a Virgin video.

4. I am happy that UK plays Cornell tonight. Goooooooo CATS! But I am NOT happy the game doesn't even start until 10pm and that the local stations are showing Xavier instead, and we don't have cable so we can't watch it on ESPN. But this is a post all about happiness, so pretend I didn't even write that.


5. I am happy that my students are absolutely smitten with Junie B. Jones and will listen attentively for 10 minutes at the end of each day so I can enthusiastically read about her and her kindergarten antics. It really pleases my soul when they ask for just one more chapter! I can hardly wait to introduce them to Ramona, The Boxcar Children, and The Littles.


6. I am happy that no one is grinding concrete in front of my house today.

7. I am happy that the SBDM meeting for today was cancelled.

8. I am happy that Easter is only two weeks away and that my son is going to wear the most precious seer sucker suit you ever did see. And that I bought it BRAND NEW for $17. {It is Baby Gap - tags attached - regularly $70! Score!}

9. I am happy that Crystal Bowersox and Aaron Kelly didn't get voted off of AI last night because I LOVE THEM. I predict they'll be top two this year with Crystal winning.

10. I am happy that it is Rainbows season. And that I got new black ones as a gift! Yay!






Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fo' Real?!


Have mercy. They are grinding concrete in front of our house right now. And Beck is in the middle of a nap that, under normal circumstances, lasts until around 4pm. It is 2:08 and it is taking every bit of restraint to not go out there and berate these men for LOUDLY GRINDING CONCRETE during naptime. Come on, now.

DID I MENTION IT IS LOUD?

I can hardly even think. No, seriously, I am going to have to abandon this post and come back later because words cannot form coherently when all I hear is GRIND, GRIND, GRIND.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grateful...

...for warm weather

...and playing outside

...and bringing our outdoor toys out where they belong




...and that Tuesday has been much better than Monday. Thanks for your encouragement :) The peanut butter didn't suffer nearly as much as the cream cheese.

Monday, March 22, 2010

How many more hours until Tuesday?


Over it. I am soooooo over it.

Monday, that is.

Oh, my word, I have the worst case of The Mondays today.

To the point that after I came home from school and vented to my mom for 10 minutes, I consumed pretzels and cream cheese, half of an asiago bagel (also with cream cheese), and am moving on to the rest of the pantry here in a minute. I'm thinking oatmeal. Because it sounds comforting and I need some serious comfort today. I wish pregnancy or PMS were the excuse, but they're not. It's just The Mondays.

I had a crazy day at school, along with other things, that I have just sent my mind reeling and my body craving all things cream and cheese. Fortunately, there are only 12 hours left in the day, so Tuesday is not far off and I can start over. And maybe today will even get better.

And, oh crap, the last of the cream cheese is gone. Moving onto peanut butter...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Little Wildcat

video
Goooooooooooo Cats! Beat ETSU!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In case you forgot...

...my son can think of many other uses for a potty, besides its actual use...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just peachy.

And you thought our kitchen was ugly...

Well, it ain't got nothin' on this peach tile. Or the geriatric metal handlebars that ensure a safe dismount from our extra-tall commode. I know, you're jealous. I would be too if I were a 1950s housewife. But, I'm not, and neither are you. This is project #4 on our erver increasing to-do list. Right after block windows, new furnace, and upgraded kitchen.

And, in case you couldn't tell, B is wielding a sponge helping me clean. He was absolutely soaked. Oh well. Good labor is hard to find.

Starting off with a cute picture completely unrelated to this post.

I am so over the cold. So over it that I have refused to wear a jacket for the past month. Because I take issue with the restrictive nature of a jacket (esp while driving) and think that if maybe I don't wear one it will induce spring. Of course, this is an absolutely ludicrous claim, and the heat is buzzing on right now.

But the sun is shining, and it's above freezing. This is good. Unfortunately, I really need it to be above 50 to get me out with the running stroller and not feel like I'm subjecting my son to windburn for 40 minutes.

I've considered rejoining our local fitness center recently, but our track record {and budget} tends to sway me back to whatever direction the running stroller rolls in. The joining a gym part isn't difficult. It's the actually going that gets in the way. The last time we belonged, we became members in March of 2008, I was six months pregnant and optimistic that if I just joined a gym I wouldn't gain another ounce the last 3 months of my pregnancy.

So, honestly, I went. I did. Every morning before school (I was doing a long-term sub at the time), I would get up at 5:30am and waddle along awkwardly on the treadmill hoping to stave off another 30 pounds. Oh yes, friends, 30 pounds. You read that right. And, despite my best efforts, I'd go on to gain another 30 before it was all said and done. I quit going in May, when I thought my hips would unhinge if I had to pedal the elliptical one more time.

With another nine months left of our contract and already out several hundred dollars, we quit going. B never went once. Beckham came and I found that nursing *holla* was the best darn diet I'd ever been on and why go to the gym when I could bond with my baby and lose the baby weight? (And now the nursing mommas are giving up an amen!)

Anyway. I am in three weddings this year (thanks, girls) and have three bridesmaid dresses to rock out in 2010, so I'm a bit motivated to tone up. Plus, I haven't nursed in almost nine months, so I need to quit eating like I still burn 500 extra calories a day.

Random question, has anyone ever tried a vanilla-soy latte from Starbucks? Can you taste the soy? I need some recommendations for a healthier coffee drink - one I could make at home, preferably.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Perfumed Product Phenomenon

The other day I had some girlfriends over for a gab and grub sesh, so I felt compelled to clean everything. You know, in case they looked into my linen closet and wondered why I was storing 11 bottles of half-used, outdated Victoria's Secret products. Because, that would totally be a fair question considering the evidence that surfaced when I emptied the closet.

ELEVEN, friends. ELEVEN!

And, I don't even use them. Not one of them! While I did have a year-long affair with Pure Seduction, I haven't used it regularly since before I was pregnant. All of the others were either purchased in a 5 for $25 deal (because darnit that's a good deal), or were given to me as gifts. Which, by the way is one of my gifting pet peeves. Scents are so personal, why would someone assume you might actually enjoy wearing Amber Romance, you know?

More importantly, why exactly have I been keeping all of these almost-emptied tubes and bottles? It's a phenomenon that escapes me. I really don't know. I ended up throwing all of these away.

Anyway. Are any of you perpetually storing perfumed products?

He gets it from him momma....

...the talent, that is.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Yesterday I took Becks to visit the preschool he will be attending in the fall. Yes, preschool. I can hardly form the words to say that, as it just doesn't seem right that he will be going to school and carrying a backpack and eating lunch and having little friends and now I think I'll cry. Sniff.

Anyway, while I do consider that a big change, it is kind of a change that is rather dependent on another big change in our lives.

Stop right now. I am NOT pregnant. Another year friends, and you may see that word pop up here. But not now. Now is not the time.

So, if you've followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I have been fortunate enough to teach part-time for the past two school years so that I could spend more time with Beckham while bringing home a helpful (yet meager) paycheck. I have loved teaching kindergarten even more than I imagined and love all of my kiddos dearly. So, next year, I will leave my space in the beloved kindergarten hallway so that I can teach full time. And, while that may not seem like a big deal to you all, it has really been something that I have struggled with. I have always wanted to do nothing more than be a stay-at-home mom, but we have decided that the best thing for our family in terms of our future plans (i.e. Babbling Baby Numero Dos) is for me to work full-time for at least two years so that we can save some money and make my staying home from then on a full-time gig. Plus, I have to get a master's degree along the way too. Ick.

B has always been pretty supportive of whatever I have wanted to do career-wise (ummmm, he married me when I was mid-degree #2, racking up student loan debt like crazy, and knows I have a salary cap of about $60,000), so he's behind this decision. And I don't even think Babbling Baby Numero Dos has entered his mind other than to think, Yeah, I'd like Beck to have a brother some day. Which is completely fine. I'm not ready yet either, though I get little twinges when my fav bloggers are joining the club left and right. Ahem, Natalie, Mama Faith, Lindsey B, and Hollie. Just know I'm living vicariously through you all for awhile ;)
I digress.

So, starting in the fall, Becks will now stay with my sister, Chelsea, and my mother-in-law on alternating days and go to school twice a week too. It's going to be different from the halfdays he spends with both of his nanas right now, but I think a good different. I think he will really like school and I know our family will benefit from the financial aspect of me working full time (my salary will DOUBLE! yahoo!). And I'll continue to have the benefit of various breaks, a 3-month summer vacation, snow days, and holidays to spend with my boys, so I'm hoping it won't be too bad.


Any other working mamas out there who struggle with this? It's so hard!

Exergen Temporal Scanner Thermometer

I recently had the opportunity, through MamaBuzz, to review the Exergen Temporal Scanner Thermometer. With Becks being so sick lately, I jumped at the chance to review a product that would allow me take his temperature quickly and efficiently, as it was a fight to get him to hold it under his arm for any length of time longer than five seconds!

With that being said, I must tell you that I love this thermometer. It really is a cinch to use and you can take a temperature while your child is sleeping which is a MAJOR bonus! You just swipe it across the forehead over to the temple, keeping the thermometer touching the skin at all times. I actually used it the other day in the middle of the night when I thought he felt warm (he was fine!), and it worked great!

The only thing I didn't care for about this product is the beeping noise you hear while you're scanning that tells you when it senses a rise in temperature (not necessarily a high temp but just a rise). Though he went back to sleep, the noise did wake Becks up for a few seconds. It would be nice to be able to turn the sound off and maybe have a blinking light that indicated the rise instead. Otherwise, I think this is a worthwhile product for every parent to own!

If you're interested, here's some more info:

Price: $30-$50. Coupon Code


Visit them on Facebook!


Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Exergen for this review.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weekend to Remember

B and I had a great weekend. We were actually "away" on a mini-vacation that involved an overnight stay in a hotel, an expensive dinner, and lots of much-needed marital maintenance. Need I mention it was kid-free? We attended a marriage getaway put on by Family Life called Weekend to Remember from Friday night until Sunday morning.

There were about 700 other couples there, and it was a wonderful time to reconnect and open up the lines of communication between us. Because, as one might assume (and you would be assuming correctly), I am a talker. And, since opposites attract, B is not. So obviously we don't communicate the same way and this conference helped us better understand each other's communication style. Plus, we all know that most men don't like to talk nearly as much as us womenfolk anyway. So it's not just me. Or him. It's how we're wired biologically.

We also talked about fighting fair, becoming better husbands and wives, and, of course, S-E-X. Not gonna lie, I really think that particular session was the highlight of the conference for everyone. There's nothing like listening to a Christian couple who are older than my parents talk about the deed. It helped that they were hilarious and after "the talk" we were encouraged to have a night-long date night ;)

We started at out eating a McCormick and Schmicks seafood restaraunt in downtown Cinci where we spent waaaaay to much money on sushi, cocktails, dinner, and apple pie. Of course, B had to take the obligatory goofball picture.


And then I had to have the hotel clerk snap this one. Ugh, what a bad hair night. And I thought it looked so good when we went out! Hating the bangs.

Ha ha. I made him take this pic!


If you want more information about Weekend to Remember check out the website or feel free to email me with questions. It was so fun, encouraging, and uplifting!

Run Away with Me

As the number of times my tights/leggings go through the wash weekly can attest, I have spent a lot of time in stretchy pants this winter. They're comfortable, versatile, and allow me to wear dresses to work almost every day of the week. I love them. Too much apparently.

I put on a pair of jeans recently, only to find them a leetle bit snug. To the point that I was like, um, not so much and wound up in a pair of black leggings and a sweater dress. I guess lycra/cotton blends and Girl Scout cookies don't really keep you accountable for staying in shape. I couldn't tell you the last time a Thin Mint screamed out Don't eat me! as I pulled a box out of the freezer. They're so sneaky the way they convince you to eat an entire silver sleeve without so much as a second thought. Ahem.

But, whatever. I am not one to sit around dining on Caramel Delites/Somoas in my favorite pair of grey tights loathing my added winter weight. Nope, instead I broke out a long forgotten Christmas present. The one that has been waiting patiently in the basement for the snow to melt and for my motivation to surface. (Thanks, B!)

So, yesterday we ran. Er, I ran and Beck turned around frequently to see what all the huffing and puffing was about. Not that I was having any difficulty catching my breath or anything. I just felt like my lungs were going to explode out of my chest or suddenly come out my mouth at any moment during the seven tenths of a mile that I actually jogged. Others may deem this pathetic, I deem it blog worthy. Because, you know, when I wasn't narrating our trip, discussing the yellow school bus or the big tractor, I was writing this post in my head. Guilty as charged.

* * * * *

And, though I wasn't paid to endorse this product, I do think it's necessary to note how much I love this stroller. It's an InSTEP Safari Jogging Stroller. I heart it. I have used many jogging strollers throughout the years as a nanny, and I can honestly say this is the best running stroller I have ever used. I usually find them difficult to navigate around corners, but this one steers so easily and I can actually run along side it (holding on, of course!) with ease. And, since I'm tall (5'10") the fact that it has an adjustable handle is key to making my run/walk enjoyable and I don't feel like I'm bending over while exercising.

Plus, it has loads of storage (even a Velcro pocket) that's ideal for ensuring that my cell phone, water bottle, a spare paci all stay put during our run. It's roomy and too cute to boot, too (ours is brown and blue with orange piping). It also has a swivel front wheel that can be locked when you're running to ensure stability. Thus, it's perfect for taking to the zoo or park or even the grocery store. Also, it's under $130 and comes with an adapter so that you can put an infant seat on it (BONUS!). I just can't say enough good things about it. If you're in the market, you should check it out :)

* * * * *

Well, unless I want to wear a pair of Spanx with my bathing suit this summer, I need to get ready for Day 2 of running away from my winter weight! Ha :) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Potting Training?

Or sitting on a potty chair, fully clothed, with your feet in a colander?
The choice should be obvious.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Making the Most of It....

The snow piles we thought we'd see until April are finally starting to disappear. The sun has been shining brightly for the past two days and the weekend holds prospects of warmer weather too :) Which is good news, since this little boy is fascinated with anything outdoors related. Like planes - he is staring at one in this pic.
Also, please note that I totally Picasa-ed out (i.e. retouched) Becks' mouth area. I soooo wouldn't be one of those moms that left McDonalds without appropriately wiping the ketchup completely off of his face.

Becks made the most of the remaining snow.
But we'll be certainly glad to exchange it for warmer temps! How many more days until spring?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Boys Guys of Summer

Do you remember The Guys? Well, they've taken on new form...

And can now travel with us in the beachbag...
So that Becks can love on them, even while sunnin' by the pool :)

And does that hardwood not look AMAZING?!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Too Tired.

It is 8:30pm and I am exhausted. But for a worthy cause. I just returned home from a 4 hour meeting at school called at PT3 - Parents and Teachers Talking Together. The main focus was bridging the parent-teacher divide. We did a lot of talking, list-making, and I got to man the marker for our group, so it was pretty much four hours of my favorite things.

That being said, I have ZERO energy left. Barely even enough to hold up the remote to flash between the UK game and American Idol. Fortunately, with 9 minutes left in the 2nd half, the Cats are ahead by 17 points, so I'm probably safe to stay on Fox for awhile.

Nothing coherent is coming together for me right now. I just erased four lines of nonsense.

Goodnight.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Boy

I. Love. This. Child.
A whole, whole lot.

Until Next Time...


It's hard to believe that another season of The Bachelor has come and gone. I had a great time tweeting with everyone and am looking forward to May for Ali's season on The Bachelorette. From Crazy Michelle to Two-Timing Roz to GWoww to Ariel to Ursula Sausage Vi, I think we can all say that, if nothing else, this season was surely entertaining. And made more so by following all of the witty, snarky, and downright hilarious tweets during our weekly #ATFT sessions.

I can't say that I felt disappointment last night after Jakiepoo proposed to Vienna. That was what I felt a month ago when I read Reality Steve and he forewarned us that she would be The Chosen One. I spoiled the fun myself by reading it, though I probably would have figured it out through reading tweets and blogs alike. It seems to be what everyone is talking about!

Though I don't foresee their relationship lasting long enough for them to tie the knot, he obviously ended the show in love with one hotly contested weenie. I just never got Vienna or her appeal, and I usually left every final rose ceremony thinking Really? REALLY? VIENNA? She had a bad rap from the minute she began gloating over her alone time with Jake and the gnashing teeth of her fellow contestants could be heard through the screen. And I completely agree with Duet Diva that there is probably (hopefully) a lot more to Vienna than the 8 weeks of airtime they gave her. They wanted to display her a certain way and they were successful. Vienna the Villain.

I actually thought Vienna looked great on the After the Final Rose show. Her roots were freshly colored (thank goodness), and they looked like the happy couple you would imagine this show would create. Something was also noteably different about her face, no? Nose job, weight loss, makeup? I don't know, but something was different. Good different.

I might boycott Jason and Molly's wedding. I love Melissa and thought the public dumping was over the top. I just don't have the connection with them that I've had with this season.

However, if Vi and Jake ever walk down the aisle on TV, you better believe I'll tune in. Mainly to see if they serve Little Smokies as an appetizer or if she opts for blonde or brass highlights. Hardy har har.


Tweet you later!

Monday, March 1, 2010