Sunday, January 29, 2012


Today was my 36th birthday. I am now officially on the downward side of the 30's. However, I am finding that I am enjoying life so much better as I get older. Maybe it's maturity or maybe it's just that I have learned to appreciate everything that I have to be thankful for.

It was a wonderful day. It started with Todd getting up early with the kids so that I could sleep in. He brought me breakfast in bed and the Sunday paper. I was also able to take a leisurely shower. When I came downstairs, both kids wished me a happy birthday. Todd's parents and Sidney came over today to help celebrate the day. His mom cooked a nice breakfast of sausage, eggs and toast. Shortly after lunch, I put Katie down for a nap and enjoyed some quiet time as Todd took Michael to Home Depot with his dad.

After doing everything for the kids and waiting on me too, Todd prepared a wonderful steak dinner for all of us. The birthday would not have been complete without the finishing touch, a Carvel ice cream cake. It's been my favorite birthday cake since I was a little girl! Apparently Katie agrees with me as she ate her piece and the rest of Michael's. She told me that the cake was yummy.

Thank you Todd for the wonderful birthday gift of rest. It's really all a mom could ask for.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lunch with my "Sisters"

Today was the Founders Day Luncheon for my sorority alumnae group. It is always nice to get together with my sisters and have a few hours to catch up on what is going on in our lives. Every year, there are people there that I haven't seen in a while and I enjoy the time spent together. This year we enjoyed a very nice catered lunch and celebrated a 50 year anniversary of another sister.

I think back fondly to my years in college when I was a member of this great organization. I definitely had some good times and made some lifelong friendships. It's nice to be able to carry them on into adulthood as we grow older and our lives move on. I look forward to getting together again next year!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Never Enough Sleep

Sleep is something that we always seem to have a shortage of in this house. The kids normally get to bed between 8 and 8:30. However, during the week, it's pretty hard to wake Michael up, even though he's up bright and early on the weekends. I always wonder what that's about and have thought about telling him there is no school the next day so he gets up without me having to wake him.

Katie has transitioned pretty well to her bed. Now that she is wearing underwear at night, this usually results in at least one or two trips to the bathroom. This would be fine if she didn't want me to tuck her back in. So I am getting interrupted sleep just about every night. I feel like I am getting too old for this.

The third sleep issue is that I can't seem to go to bed early. Once Todd and I settle in for the night, it's our time to catch up on our days and relax. I like to watch TV, go on the computer and read. I often do this for too long, just taking in the relative quiet. I know that I should attempt to go to bed before midnight but it just seems to come way too fast.

I really want to make more of an effort to get to bed earlier at night. Maybe it would make the wakeups better for me, which would allow me to get Michael up a little earlier. It doesn't help that school starts at a ridiculously early hour in my opinion (7:50 am). Quite a change from the preschool start time of 9am!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Potty Training: Complete

I have hesitated to post this as I figured once I did, then Katie would have an accident. Katie is now potty trained, both day, naps and nighttime. She is still having occasional accidents at night but she wakes up dry 95% of the time.

The biggest hurdle to completing potty training was pooping on the potty. We officially started training in July and I will say that we finished up in the second week of January. That was almost 6 months. She has been pee trained for at least the last 5.5 months though.

I am not sure who said that girls were easier to potty train than boys but the opposite was true here. Michael went from pull-ups to underwear all the time in about 2 weeks but he was just one month short of turning 3. Katie showed interest much earlier but didn't seem fully committed to the idea. Once she decided to give it 100%, there was no looking back.

It was rough at times but I am so happy to be done with diapers! We have had someone in diapers in this house for 5 1/2 years straight. It's a bit of a bittersweet moment though. Our little girl is growing up.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Katie's New Glasses

Katie got a new prescription for her glasses at the end of last year. She has had the same pair of glasses since she was 13 months old. At her next 2 checkups, her vision did not dramatically change. In the past 6 months, her vision in her left eye has gotten much worse. So as soon as the new year came, we went to pick out her glasses.

Katie's old pair used a band around the back of her head to secure the glasses. I really wanted to get her a new pair that didn't need the band. I was not sure that she was old enough to take care of a pair of glasses but then realized that Michael was wearing a regular pair of glasses at this same age. We looked at several pairs and finally decided on a pink/purple pair.

Look at this diva in her new glasses. They even have transition lenses so they turn into sunglasses outside. Love them!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brotherly Love

Michael and Katie definitely have their share of sibling squabbles. Underneath it all, I know that he and Katie really do love each other. Michael showed just how much he loves Katie today.

Wednesday is library day for Michael's class at school. Each student gets to pick a book to bring home until the next Wednesday. I met Michael after he got off the bus and asked him how his day was. He told me a little about it. I asked him what book he picked for the week from the library. Michael said to me that he picked a special book out for Katie that he knows she likes.

We got in the house and he happily opened his backpack to show me what was in there. It was one of Katie's favorite books, Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes. When Katie woke up from her nap and came downstairs, Michael stopped what he was doing to get the book for her. A big smile came across her face and she said, "Thank you Michael!". Then they hugged.

I was so touched by Michael's thoughtfulness, especially in doing something for his sister. Recently Michael has been having a hard time following directions, both at home and at school. Todd and I have been talking about what we are going to do about it and how we can make him listen better. Then he does something like this that lets us know he is listening to what we say, at least some of the time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's the little things

Michael has been bathed by someone almost every day since he was born. For the past few years, he has been taking a shower with Todd. Now that Katie is a little older, she wants to take a shower with them too. It is getting crowded in there and the time has come for either Michael to take his own shower or for me to give Katie a bath.

After much coercion from Todd and I, he finally decided that he was going to take a shower by himself. He washed up and did a really good job. I guess he enjoyed it. Last night he informed us that he was ready to take his own shower again. Apparently he likes the water really warm because he kept asking me to turn it up. All I had to do was put the shampoo in his hand and lather up his washcloth.

I can honestly say that giving a bath is not my favorite part of parenting. Todd has done the vast majority of bathing Michael for the past few years and I haven't missed it. Still, it was bittersweet watching our little boy take his own shower but I was proud of him for the kid he is growing up to be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

34 Months

Katie turned 34 months old today. I vividly remember the day that Michael turned 34 months old. It was the same day that Katie was born. It's hard for me to grasp how much time has gone by since Katie was born. It's getting harder to remember how Michael was at this age. I am glad that I am blogging more now than I did when Michael was this age because I will be able to look back and see what the kids were doing.

At 34 months, Katie still takes one afternoon nap on most days, unless we are out or away from home. She is a creature of habit and definitely sleeps best at home. We still rock to sleep for naps but when she moved to her big girl bed, we stopped rocking at night and I don't turn on her lullaby CD anymore. She is growing up too fast.

Her conversation skills amaze me just about every day. The things that come out of her mouth are funny and interesting. She listens to EVERYTHING that everyone says and repeats it back when it's appropriate. She loves to talk and talk and talk (I wonder where she gets this from). I can't even begin to think of how many words are in her vocabulary but they include words like frustrated and beautiful. She can recite almost the entire alphabet and knows how to count from 1-10. She also knows some Spanish, thanks to Dora and Diego!

Katie loves to read books. Her favorites right now are anything that has Dora, princesses or Fancy Nancy. She also likes the Sounds Like Reading series by Brian Cleary, which includes The Peaches on the Beaches and The Thing on the Wing Can Sing. I read her several books a day and she reads many more to herself. I read one book before nap and then she reads it to herself. I love watching her "read" and absorb all that the book has to offer. She also enjoys reading books with the Leapfrog Tag pen.

She is also quite the techie, taking after her dad, mom and brother. Katie loves to play the iPod touch and Kindle Fire. One of her favorite games is Angry Birds. She also likes to watch Michael play Wii and she tries her best to play with him. Cell phones are also a big hit with her. The only electronic device she doesn't seem to be too fond of is the camera.

She can pick out her clothes and get herself dressed most days, which is nice. She has very definitive fashion opinions and can match her clothes pretty well. Her favorite item to choose is shoes and she has many pairs. She still does not like to wear her hair up in a ponytail or put back in a bow, which is getting more difficult as her hair gets longer and longer.

Katie does not eat everything in sight like she used to but if it's something she likes, she will try to eat as much of it as she can. She loves to eat cookies and a special treat, like candy.

This age has been quite trying at times but Katie is 2 so I didn't expect any less. She gets quite upset when she doesn't get her way and can throw some back arching tantrums. That being said, she is usually fairly quick to calm down and you can reason with her much more than you could with Michael, even though she definitely has a stubborn streak.

We have been enjoying Katie very much, tantrums and all. Can't wait to see what the next few months bring before she turns 3!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Closed In

Todd and I have been discussing putting a fence around our backyard for the past 6 months or so. At first, he really wasn't too crazy about the idea because it will change the look of our backyard. We back up to the woods and have a nice view of trees and the lake at the bottom of the hill from upstairs. We talked about it more and he started to get excited about the prospect of the fence. He met with a few builders to get some quotes and chose one to do the job last month.

They started the fence on Friday and finished it up late Tuesday afternoon. I am thrilled that we will have an area for the kids to be outside without having to worry about them running off or into the street. It will also be nice for Michael if he wants to go out for a few minutes without me. Todd and I are both happy with how it turned out and both kids seem to like it too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2012! Seems like the years are flying by ever since we celebrated the turn of the century in 2000.

I really don't do New Year's Resolutions because I always seem to fail at them. It's better for me to just make long term goals and work to achieve them. I also find that the school year seems to mark a new year for me as that is when new routines are established and modifications must be made.

I looked back at last year's post welcoming 2011. All of the things that I listed last year to work on still things that I need to work on. One new project I want to work on this year is photo organization. I want to get rid of extras of my printed pictures and get all of my videos from previous years burned to DVDs.