Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nerdville...but there's kid pictures too!

A few days ago I received a huge package in the mail and I knew right away what it was! My seejanework order! I mean, there's only a few box sizes that a 3-tier file system fits in! Andy was out of town when it arrived and, since I defer to him for all things requiring a power tool, I had to wait until this weekend to get my organization system up and running.

It went up this morning and I am SO happy! Now I know that this makes me a huge nerd, but the relief of having my paperwork under control eliminates a ton of the stress that I lug around with me each day.

Behold, a system for sorting incoming paper.

Top is "To File", middle is "To Pay/Address" and bottom is "Misc". The "Misc" folder is probably my favorite part...finally, a place to put the preschool handbook, the ECFE policies & procedures, Ethan's class lists, the First Aid reference book.

My original idea was to put all of my seejanework organizational order in one central spot. However, the place where I ended up hanging my file folders (on the outside of our computer desk...aka, typical spot for the refrigerator in custom cabinets) didn't really make sense as a place to keep the "Gro/Target" and "To-Do" lists. So, I used the magnetic clips (that I ordered to hold the tablets) in the only spot where I could...the side of the fridge. **Side bar: Does anyone else have a refrigerator that isn't magnetic on the front? I have never seen such a thing until now!** It will actually be a great spot to have these the fridge and there's no milk? Add milk to list. Perfect! I think I'll hang a pen/pencil on a string tied to the clip...I mean, seriously, if I have to make my way across the kitchen amidst the chaos to get a pen, I will have forgotten what I needed by the time I get back. Hence the list-making...I can't remember anything for longer than 30 seconds these days!

Also, putting the lists in this spot means I have to find something new to do with our recycling. Our current system is putting a brown grocery/Target back on the counter-top next to the fridge until it's full (like 5 minutes) and then bringing it out to the garage, but since it's always overflowing, it's never very pretty (I removed it for this picture). Andy & Ethan are at Target right now picking up some things, and something for the recycling is on their list. I'm excited to see what they come up with.

Next to the two pads of white paper is a super fun birthday gift from Kristy...a "Don't Kill the Kids...and other babysitter basics" tablet where we can list our contact information, kids' nap/bedtimes, meal plans, emergency numbers, etc. So great! Usually I just jot this stuff down at the last minute on a scrap of paper...but now, I have a system...which is the point of all of this!!

And, since I've bored the heck out of everybody who doesn't give a crap about being organized, which is probably 90% of my of the kids...

BEFORE the Vikings game last weekend...all full of hope...eager faces...and that's all I have to say about that right now.

Mr E on his new Spiderman-mobile. I found out this morning that one of the "noise" settings on this plays the "Nee Song"...otherwise known as "Waltzing Matilda" by the Australians...which is Ethan's favorite song, learned from the World Playground CD.

Owen is such a Harley dude. Minutes before this picture he was crouched up on the seat with his feet on the seat like he was going to stand *heart attack*...Evil Knievel wannabe in the works. OMG.
(Yes, he's not wearing any pants...why don't they make 15-month clothes?! 12-mo is too small, but 18-mo falls off...I gave up putting them back on around 4pm)

I'm wondering when this drool stage will be over with Dylan. He's like a Saint Bernard...he needs a drool towel...strings of drool fly around as he plays. It's amazing how we've all become accustomed to this...we all just swipe the drool away, wipe it on our shirts/pants like it's no big deal...just a part of life. You can't see in this picture that the whole front of his shirt is drenched. He might go through 2-3 shirts a day...we try to keep a bib on him, but he typically rips it off in protest. Even if he drools until he's 17, I still don't think he'll have any trouble with the ladies...look at those blue eyes!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ethanisms and random Ethan tidbits

'Member how I used to write all those "Ethanism" posts with word-for-word quotes from the big man himself? Well, I have just about given up all hope at recording the funny things that come out of this kid's mouth. I mean, I'd just have to walk around with a notepad and pen around my neck so I could jot it down right when he says it. He's super funny...some things he says are funny because they are Ethan originals, and others are funny because he is repeating something he picked up from someone who is over 5 years old.

Right now, he is starting most of his comments with "Well", "Well, I would like a peanut butter sandwich"..."Well, we should go downstairs and play" Sometimes there are multiple "Well"s....such as, "Well, well, Mommy, you should make dinner."

Another good one is "First of all"..."First of all, I will put my cars in my basket and then we will go over there"...

The one that makes me giggle every time..."OK? Okay"...answering his own question. Like, "I'm going to run upstairs quick, OK? Okay."

Then there's just throwing in words that are funny to hear a 3-year-old say in any context. "Actually" is one of the best. "Plenty" is also a good one.

There's also the intonation & seriousness of things he says...why, just saying an affirmative, "Uh, huh" can bring him all over the octave and last about 20 seconds.

Then there are the observations of what is currently going on, and the recollections of things that have been said in the past...and seriously, that might have been like 3 weeks ago and he will still remember all of what was said....

These are two recent ones...

"My family likes to drink coffee...except for Josh and Gramma Leslie, and Liz too. They don't like the taste of hot coffee that the rest of my family drinks" This came up last weekend, I think, when Andy and I were having our morning coffee. He asked if everyone likes coffee as much as us, so we told him who does and doesn't like coffee in our family. I guess he just wanted to let me know that he knew.

Also..."Dylan is banging his head on that thing over there and if he does it too many times he will have to do to the Doctor"...he said this very seriously and dramatically, which made it even harder to not laugh. And for the record, Dylan was just bobbing his head against the back of the island, which is a very lightweight wood and was not in any way hurting himself.

I guess he was on a comedic roll, because he also told me that his cars were driving to "The town of Leslieville"...usually the cars and driving to Louisville...but I'm sure Gramma Leslie will appreciate the invention of a town named just after her!

That's all for quotes, folks...

I'll wrap with a few things...

Preschool registration for NEXT year was already this past week. Our first pick is 3 days a week in the 3/4 year old class. The 2nd and 3rd picks were just the 2-day option. I REALLY hope we get the 3-day class. Thankfully, Gramma Leslie was able to go to the pre-registration last week when I was out of town, so we have a good shot. He loves school and would do so great in their 3-day program! I just can't believe that we are already doing registration for September while in January!!

Ethan's bed is complete. Check out the new bedding. Now, just the curtains need to get finished and we're done. I have until July before I have to say this room took me a year to complete. Sad.

Ethan got a cool gift from his Daddy for Christmas...a Cars shaving kit. Now, he can make his own "funny beard"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nerd alert!

Other Type-A'ers might enjoy this website as much as me...I just spent most of my birthday money ordering stuff at

I'm taking a class, and last month the leader mentioned a system she uses that simplifies her life. I was intrigued and emailed her later for more details!

The basis of the system is a wall-mount organizer with 3 baskets. I didn't order the exact same one as her...she is more fun and her's is red, and I went for basic silver. The premise is the same. She labels them "to be paid", "to be filed" and "misc". Right off the bat, that's better than my mail-sorting system of "open & place on top of the computer, and then move around the house from place to place until finally addressing"...that doesn't sound very Type A does it?! Such is the result of TOO much paper!!

Above the file system are two clipboards: one for groceries/household supplies, and one for household to-do's. I'm not exactly sure yet where I'm going to set up this whole system, so I opted for something I thought would take up less space, just in case. I bought some basic clips, and some little note pads that I can clip in there for making my lists. The clips are magnetic, but I'm hoping my do-it-yourself-savvy husband can figure out a way to adhere these to the wall.

The whole idea of this is to touch paper coming into the house as few times as possible...I think twice will work...once to open and file into system ("to pay" or "to file"), and once when completing the task (paying or filing).

The whole idea of class this month was to work on your support system, which really can be more than the people around you (thankfully, I have that and they are awesome!)...initiating this organization system is one of the things that will "support" me day to day, I hope!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Big girls don't cry...about beds.

One thing that always surprises me about Motherhood, is that seemingly simple and ordinary events, are now worthy of tears. For example, a new bed. Getting a new bed is no big deal, really. But when your baby, your first baby, gets his second "big boy bed"...well, that is just about enough to make me cry hard enough that it's embarrassing...thankfully, I was able to control myself until later in the day, where I had a moment to myself and let out a tear, or two, or three...hundred.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago, after Ethan asked me to lie in his bed for a little bit one night at bedtime, that maybe the reason he was getting up frequently during the night is because his bed was hard as a rock. Poor guy. So, shortly thereafter, I asked him if he was ready to get a bigger big boy bed (which we now call his "big big boy bed")...he told me "Yes, maybe next Tuesday"...maybe next Tuesday the movers would come and take his race car bed away. But, he eventually agreed that instead of having movers take it, we should save it for one of his brothers because the race car bed is so cool. He cracks me up.

A few weeks went by with "buy bed frame for Ethan" on my to-do list. This weekend I decided that we just needed to get it done. I mean, geez, I started the whole "big boy room" transformation last July...and it has taken me months to get each step done. I didn't even finish the painting (the closet) until just before Christmas!! I still need to get some blackout blinds so I can put up his new curtains (white) and valance (Cars theme in red). Part of my New Year's resolution is to start cutting myself some slack, so I'm not going to beat myself up about the completion of his room taking this long...that is just the way things go now!

My wonderful husband went to IKEA (that's a huge deal for those that don't know Andy) yesterday morning and bought the frame. We decided to do full size since we already had a box spring and mattress in that size. It ended up being a little too high up with the box spring, so today Andy went back to IKEA (twice in one weekend is an even BIGGER deal!) and bought the roll of slats to use in place of a box spring, and the height is much better. I still need to get a bedding set...we got him an extra pillow and we had a sheet we could use, but he's still using just a bunch of blankets that he used in his race car bed (right now it's the huge fleece one that took me like a week to make!). I'm debating between going Cars theme, or just doing something red that wouldn't clash with his bright blue walls.

Because of the new bed location, I had to move some of the Cars stickers that we'd put up on the wall last Summer. But, I mistakenly moved them while Ethan was in the room, so he learned that they peel off and can stick back on. Can you tell me what's wrong in this picture? And poor, poor Sheriff! He must have had a lot of fun during naptime today.

He looks happy in his new bed, right?

So, why does Mommy cry about all of this? Sometimes pictures say it better than words...

June 2007

Standing up in the crib, July 2007

He can crawl out...time for a crib tent...August 2007

Washing out his race car bed after we bought it (used)...August 2008

The new bed hung out in the guest bedroom so Ethan could "acclimate" and try it out when he wanted to...September 2008

The race car bed moved into Ethan's room, but he insisted the crib tent stay on...September 2008

The crib tent is off, the safety rail is on...October 2008

Ethan's big boy room...July 2009

New blanket made by Mommy...November 2009

Ethan's bedroom today...January 2010...what a big big boy!! Mommy cries again. Happy tears.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The happiest place on Earth...

For the record, Disney World is the absolute worst place to be without your family for a few days. No reminders of happy families here...geez!

I've been in Orlando since Sunday night...which is just slightly warmer than Minnesota. But hey, no snow. Tomorrow, our departure day, it's going to be 70...then mid to high 70's this weekend. The timing was not to our benefit. Still, it's comical to hear the Floridians talk about the "deep freeze" the airport, the guy at the shuttle service was wearing a ski mask! A ski mask!! In 35 degree weather. It's easy to pick out the people who are natives to this State and those who are amusing mixture of shorts and parkas passed me by as I was sitting out on the Boardwalk yesterday. Also, a plethora of happy families with cute little kids...which brings me back to my first time I'm here, I'm bringing the fam...and spending the days with them instead of in the Conference Center attending an Actuarial & Underwriting Training Seminar.

Being away for 4 nights is tough for this working Momma who isn't away very often. I would say that I was probably ready to come home by noon on Monday. It's too quiet here...not enough hugs...not enough craziness...not enough smiley faces. Well, actually, those things are all around me...but they just aren't my people. I miss my people.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You know you're 30 when...

You know you're 30 when...
  • You aren't hungover on your birthday, because you didn't celebrate "power hour" the night before
  • Your birthday morning is complete perfection with a cup of coffee and a birthday hug & "Happy Birthday" from your favorite 3-year-old
  • You tell absolutely no one in the office that it's your 30th birthday...for fear you will be mocked when they realize how young you are
  • You forget it's your birthday several times during the day
  • You sing yourself "Happy Birthday" solo because your 3-year-old claims he doesn't know the words, but insisted on lighting the candles on the cake he made with Gramma (too sweet!), and it just didn't seem right not to sing when the candles were lit (Daddy wasn't home yet to participate)
  • You go out for dinner on a Wednesday night and it is a really big deal
  • You yawn through most of dinner, but not because of the company...but because you are really, really tired since your 3-year-old had an "accident" at 3:30 am and you were up until 5 am trying to fall back asleep
  • You get a little bit jealous of the 20-something's sitting nearby who are also celebrating a birthday...but are drinking martini's, taking pictures, and are full of energy when they sit down for dinner starting at 9pm. Um, hello, that's bedtime, people.
  • You consider asking for the manager when service is terrible, instead of having another drink and forgetting about it
  • You have to be home by 9pm to relieve the babysitter
  • You get home and consider logging on to work again because the excuse "I didn't review the contract last night because it was my birthday" doesn't typically fly in the real world
  • You have learned just enough during your 20's to know that some things matter more than that, write a quick blog to document, and log off to cuddle with the hubs
Happy Birthday to me. Look out 30' I come. Cheers!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010, here I come!

I decided to forego recapping 2009...when I started writing about going back to work in March, and going to Court for Crazy's appearance in April, I realized that there are several things about 2009 that I don't need to then, moving on to 2010.

This Year's resolution is seemingly simple. For the past few years, each year has had a "theme" of sorts. 2006 was year of pregnancy. 2007 was year of Ethan's abuse and health issues. 2008 was another year of pregnancy. 2009 was "year of survival". 2010 is a year of opportunity that I am going to call "Year of Mommy". Ok, so it can't be all about me, obviously...nor would I want it to be. But, my resolution is to simply be better to better, start working out again, give myself a break every once in awhile, say no when I need to, cut myself some slack...simplify. As of January 3, I'm optomistic.