Monday, March 31, 2014

Some days it all comes together!

Look at that planning. Look at that mildly clean stove! Look at that variety of ingredients (some are even organic), nutrients, and a planned meal. Being a mom takes so much time, planning, and energy that sometimes you just have to pat yourself on the back. 

The planning of meals, grocery-listing, shopping, hauling of stuff from house to kitchen and then magically finding time to put it all away, keeping the toddler and dog's nose out of everything...... is quite a chore. 

Today I thought to cook the sweet potatoes while mopping and doing yard work.... so they were ready for tonight when I was able to mash them (alongside the toddler), pop them into the oven, and get the meal ready before I heard complaints of grumbly tummies.

Today we spent a lot of time outside. Today I enjoyed the basement that I cleaned out and overhauled last weekend.   Today I helped a kid call their mom because Spanish club was cancelled. Today I helped a kid learn to roller skate. Today I was totally focused on my toddler and then totally focused on the kids playing and walking outside for awhile before settling inside to make this dinner. 

Sometimes it all just comes together. And kids, for the memories you have of all the day mom screwed up and burnt the rolls or didn't have the right ingredients on hand to make things the right way, or forgot to go to chef school and learn how to cook, just know that tonight, you'll sit down to dinner on time, say grace, eat with your family a meal cooked with love and that you'll like the taste of. Hopefully you remember more of these meals than the others:)                                  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Houses, Houses, Houses, Home

My mind has been going crazy with houses lately. We have a few house projects going on at work, and especially over the summer, they had my mind spinning with desire and possibilities . Since I don't really show what I do at work I'll give you an idea.... Inside many of these homes have the traditional detailing with new updates and modern things like beautiful kitchens. And if they don't, we add them. There was one home that was so sweet with just the perfect colors, the perfect tile, I loved the family's taste. They had a chance to remodel it themselves and it was so perfect I could just picture the addition making it that much better. There were several turn-of the century homes that we worked on that just appealed to my design sense. I even came across one very livable actual Frank Lloyd Wright home for sale at an almost reachable price. I hope google's search history doesn't let on just how often I pecked through those photos.

And then there was a high rise I've been working with the homeowner on. We went shopping together and I was actually paid to surf the web on Houzz, creating idea books for several projects. It was fun and I humbly say, I enjoy it so much my passion comes through in reading the clients well enough to provide them with some beautiful ideas. My boss gave me license to be "the one" to head up the high rise apartment project and it's everything I could have hoped for. Being "a designer." It's still under construction, but I'm just itching to see it all come together- especially for the nice couple who will retire and live and raise grandchildren and host Christmas and barbecue at the 4th of July there. It's awesome putting other's needs in your mindset and designing for them.

But that leaves my own mind crazy wanting to find what we, our family, want and need. Of course our finances are never a good precursor to jumping into the next price bracket for homes, but we were reading articles all over the place about the housing market booming in our little neighborhood. And maybe, just maybe, we could get a little out of our place and put it towards a new place. Logan is coming into the junior high school in the fall of 2015, and while the grade school has been good- the jr. high is not what we want. So we are looking at that as a goal- do we find a private school, find some way to make his experience (and the girls thereafter) great, or find a new place to land. The girls share a room and well, our kitchen chairs don't really even fit into our kitchen. Our dog takes up her own space. It's getting tight in here.

We have been married for 16 years, and 9 of them have been spent in this house. The other 7 have been spent in let's see how many places.... Green Street, International District, Queen Anne, Elliot Avenue, short stints in our parents houses and then our town home in the Seattle area. We loved that little place. But something (we can't even agree what made us move) made us move. I think it was a combination of hormones, wanting to fit a second baby into our home, family, good timing with an upswing in the real estate market, both of us job hunting at the same time (why not look where we want to land), family. Did I mention family? So we sold our sweet town home with a view of the mountains (below) and moved to the Chicago area. 

Into a cute 3-bedroom brick Georgian with 1-year-old Logan and our dog Abby. It needed some work, but it's been a somewhat sturdy house. Actually when the realtor was asking what we had done to over the years I realized it was a lot of Botox and maintenance and just a bit of prettying-up. So we made the backyard nice- which is great when family comes over. And beautiful spring evenings where steaks sizzle on the grill and the kids run around playing soccer on the grass.

Maybe it's because this winter the yard looks like this that we are just feeling fed up. Ready for change, ready for spring of course. But winters are harsh and this house is needing work, and it's only more apparent after this harsh weather. Do we really want to dump money into it? Really? Hmph. New roofs and new furnaces are just not much fun.

We thought about renting a town home in a cool town near work and a great school district from a family member while they move out to a new smaller place, and selling our place. I spent hours tetris-ing our things into this home in my brain while rocking the baby to sleep, doing boring tasks at work. The end result is it will be tough. But do-able. So do we want to get rid of a bunch of our stuff, and sell the house for a not-much-profit? This town home would be extremely urban and a new way of life for all of us.

So we called a realtor and got all excited about the possibilities. Only, the answer was that the housing market isn't working miracles.... yet..... and we may have to be creative instead. We can't add on, the FAR is maxed out. Finishing a basement is a hard decision as there has been so much flooding in the area. Plus, its a basement. Who wants to stick their kid down there right? We could make it really nice, but nice costs money and guess what? Apparently the house isn't worth money. 

Yes clutter is evil and stuff is evil and clean is good right? At least that's the trend nowadays. But with all these snowy days (about 100 now) and days home with no place to go, the kids have dug out old toys, found my packs of pipe cleaners, made big creations, tented up our living room with those extra blankets I so happen to have. I inherited some things from my aunt's passing and these are non-essential, they are "things", but who am I to send those out of my life. They are family, some of them heirlooms. Am I going to be the one to send American Girl Dolls, special Lego Star Wars creations or Venice's prized baby doll nursery packing because they are too big or too many? Or how about the dollhouse made of real wood with a turret and curtains I sewed and built with my mom when I was 11? After all these years, and care repainting it, I should just let it go because "clean is better?" Cutting down on junk is a no-brainer, but we don't have a house full of junk. We have a house full of life and living. And just the logistics of housing bicycles for all of us is a big deal. 

So, kids, your mom is going mental over all of this. I want want want. Then I feel guilty for wanting. Then I feel like I owe you good schools, but I settle into knowing your schools are pretty good and you really love learning which really is most of the battle. And then I hear stories about the ones you will be going to and I second-guess myself. Then I realize if we jump price brackets in homes we may never be able to afford so many awesome things for you- college, sports, activities, vacations, adventures. I have no idea if we will move or not, but at least now you can look back and see why or why not and what your mom was thinking about it all. And even if we decide to move- where should we land next? It's so very hard. The places that are so nice are not so cheap. Do we stay in the Chicago area- land of family and the Polar Vortex, or do we venture into one of the many destinations available even staying in Jorge's firm? 

Anyone know a good psychic? I'd looooove to know. So at least I could sleep a bit better at night.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Waking UP

When Venice wakes up, it's usually because Carly the dog has woken her and she's not usually happy about that. So she's clingy, whiney, demanding, and wants me to carry her around to carefully selected locations. We get downstairs and there is a 10 minute discussion of which sippy cup to select and what to put in it. Sylvie was my milk princess. She was intolerant for awhile but once she got going, by late age 2 and age 3 she would devour milk. It relaxed her. Venice and liquids are a bit different, especially in the mornings. I think the problem is she doesn't actually love many drinks. Sure she would like a frozen mango smoothie but that's not happening at 5 am before coffee! So trying to get the dog out and putting her down on the stool for a moment so I can use the bathroom are met with big giant tears and screams. It's chaotic, it's frustrating, it's annoying, it's loud.

Last night around 3 am I couldn't sleep. I decided to head downstairs for a few minutes and drink something, try to get rid of some heartburn. Well Carly popped right up to her baby gate pawing gently at it to let me know "ME TOO!"

I brought her down with me, let her out, she came right back in. We were in sync. She was quiet, walking around after me as I fixed the heat, got something to drink, settled onto the couch. She didn't even try to jump on the couch, just nuzzled into my lap a bit for a pet. But it was so quiet I realized!

Lesson to be told: toddlers are loud and demanding. Dogs can be too, but when it comes down to it the dog is more concerned for your needs and if you are okay if things are out of routine than a toddler.

It was kind of nice to have a pup to hang out with until I fell asleep again.

6:05 the house was ablaze with activity again. Logan was getting dressed and slamming the lid of the hamper, Carly knew he was awake and was desperate for his attention. The dog actually woke Sylvie up and then of course the rest of us were up as well. Crazy crazy busy days. But really, isn't that what life is about? I guess we'll rest..... eventually.

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's March..... in the winter that will just not end

We are breaking records left and right. Cold beyond compare. In the top snowfall stats for the last hundred or so years. The entire country is winter-worn and weary. And our boiler  broke on our heated floor. Magically, my husband decided to tear apart the motor and rebuild it by replacing a broken spring. I'm not sure what the motivation was but I'm super excited to have a heated floor again and appreciative that it took time and not money to fix it! Sylvie is living it up with cute boots and leg warmers at least! After my boots broke, I even went and bought a new pair of boots similar to Doc Marten's and I'm glad I did, I've been wearing them for 2 months straight.

So we have had about a million play dates. I worked Tue, Wed, Thu full days for this entire year. But several months ago we got so busy in the office that my boss asked me to work more hours if I was able. So I worked Mondays but left early enough to get the kids from school. So Mondays and Fridays have become free days where we are done with our work by 3 pm and I can invite people over or drop them off at a friends house. Our house seems to be the popular destination, and that's okay by me. I enjoy seeing the kids grow friendships and navigate play dates. 

Logan's friends like to play video games in his room- especially Skylanders. They dig into a toy box of weapons- swords and shields or those silly nerd blasters or guns that make sounds. I put a shelf together of his lego creations and they will pull the ships out and run around making sound effects. I have had several moms say they love that the kids don't just play video games here. Swords and such may be a bit babyish, but I love that it keeps them having fun and being silly and actually looking at one another! They also love cards so they will pull out decks and compare or play against one another. Pokemon was a big thing for awhile, but Yu-gi-oh seem to have taken over. And randomly Logan has been telling me he plays chess with one friend at indoor recess at school. Which is just cool because I personally do not know how to play, but I think it's a great life skill.

Recently Sylvie and her friend dragged out ALL of the American Girl stuff. Her entire room was set up as an American Girl apartment with beds, closets, bathroom furniture, a sink, the works. I did grow tired of tripping over it on my way to getting Venice to bed, but I love the effort she put in to set up little miniatures and special things like a baby bassinet under this loft bed. She is my creative soul. She tears through the house on days off going from one project to another. She will check youtube for "how to make" and design herself braces, or a cast for her american dolls, or just sketch. It's fun to see her so happy with it all. She has also jumped on the Frozen song "Let it Go" bandwagon and I'll catch her singing. Not as much dancing or gymnastics as before, but she's still likely to randomly climb and jump all over the house. I'm hoping to start gymnastics back up soon once the Polar Vortex's leave for good! Logan can't wait for soccer to start again. 

I met up with some moms from my meet moms group and we did a "toddler busy bag" exchange. Basically all those awesome things you see on Pintrest that you want to make the idea was to buy the supplies to make 10 of one thing so it's a bit cheaper, and then exchange them so you get 10 different bags. Venice has been having fun with them. She is much more like a preschooler, able to sort, use fine motor skills, etc. She also adores her My Gym days with my in-laws and though she won't tell everyone her name, she's brave enough to try balance beams and flips on the barre. She also like Sofia the First and this costume was a Valentine's Day gift.

Venice is also mastering all the kids songs - this is her dancing the hokey pokey with Elmo. As I type she is tearing apart Sylvie's Barbie Dollhouse and I hear her speaking in voices for the dolls. She is setting the house up properly, and has an extremely fastidious personality when it comes to how things should look and be done. She has called me over 10 times to get the doll sitting just right on the chair or swing.

Venice is a grazer. She doesn't put away huge amounts of food. But she reminds me of a sophisticated European. She would like a divided plate, with several options, cut equally into appealing pieces and arrangements. She will hunt through the pantry to find the perfect thing to accommodate her banana for example. Or each bite of yogurt must contain a raspberry as well. She eats somewhat slowly, avoids any imperfect bites. And uses her silverware and napkin. I often leave her at the table still eating while the rest of us are done and moved on. She will also go back for seconds. I gave her a snack because she couldn't wait at 4:45. Ate dinner with her at 5:10. It's 6:00 and she just asked for more steak and potato and sat and ate another serving. She'll be begging off my husband's plate at 7:00. And she'll join in for a late night snack at 8:00. 

"If you're happy and you know it, give a smile....." The girls definitely butt heads, but Sylvie has more patience with Venice than I do! 

Carly is 8 months old now. She's definitely still part puppy and settling into "Dog." She jumps, she's little and cute, she's springy. She looooooooves the snow, but not the cold. She gets big balls of ice on her fur, but will charge through discomfort to play with us all outside. Her poor side yard has been piled high with mounds of snow for 2 months now. We've cleared some areas for her, but she'll also climb right on top of the piles of snow and run around creating a "mote". We had one rainy day and she was not a fan. I'll be curious how spring goes for her, but I'm guessing she's going to love up those warm days and we'll be exploring the neighborhood beyond the immediate areas in no time. 

Well that's February/March  for now. Can't wait for spring to come! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Record Breaking Birthday!

January 6, 2014

Low Temperature -16 degrees
Wind Chill  -47 degrees
Or, if you watched the news it probably did get to -52 somewhere!

Holy Moly! What a birthday to remember for Sylvie! Happy 8th birthday little lady! You rock our worlds. Today, after a lot of hemming and hawing, most of Chicago shut down. Schools, coffee shops, restaurants, stores, gymnastics, even CEO's send 11th hour emails to their staff allowing work-at-home-days. Which is good considering so many kids were suddenly home for the day as well!

And yesterday, January 5, was Sylvie's birthday party in Burr Ridge. Which happened during a big snowfall (again). I think we're up to 18 inches of fall officially in the recent past? So nuts! We were both nervous wrecks that people would cancel but they did not- phew! Party went well, we all had fun and even Jorge's car made it safely to and from and back into the garage!

January 3 we went downtown and hit up the new Doll of the Year and dealt with the snow and such there. Have I mentioned we have all been sick and hacking up a lung? Jorge has been on overload like crazy trying to keep us all afloat!

Happy Happy Birthday Sylvie!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye, 2013!

For us this was a decent year- nothing crazy wonderful or awful. We kind of skated through and enjoyed with smiles and lots of laughs along the way. Here are a few memorable things from this year.....

Sylvie turned 7. This has been quite a year for our girl. She is the most "squeaky wheel" in our family - so very verbal and wears her emotions on her sleeve. The end of 1st grade was very difficult in the friends sector, and we decided to meet with a child therapist. After the summer and having a break from friends, thing went well. Now, in December, we are having issues once again with anxiety, so we are back in therapy. She seems to really understand that she has these out of control feelings and runs through the house causing chaos, and then is very apologetic. BUT most of the time she is so so incredibly sweet, plays so well with everyone, loves her friends and writes songs and poems for them. She cares intensely for all of her relationships, friends, family and pet. She puts a ton of effort and energy into everything. This year she met a new best friend, Lily, and that has been so much fun. We went on a few adventures with her family and I'm sure she'll remember that she and Lily went to see "Frozen" together. What a pair- they are spunky, fun, silly and lively- so full of life! 

I would say this year was really the end of "babyhood" for Venice. Especially with her 2nd birthday, she has turned full-on toddler on us! We love her little words, she's like a parrot repeating things like crazy in her sweet adorable way. And she wants to play play play play play. She plays well with toys now- and can understand a pretend tea party, or a silly make-believe hunt for monsters. Sylvie especially has taken her under her wing and will play hide and seek and dress-up with her. On her birthday we met my mom at the mall and stopped in the Disney store. They gave her a crown from the Sophia the First series and she has been very in tuned with her "Fia" ever since. Sylvie and I have made her an amulet and found purple dresses to put her in and call her Sophia and she eats it up. She also follows in Sylvie's footsteps by being in love with Ariel and all things Mermaid. 

Me- I got bangs! But aside from that, in January 2013 my hopes came true and my old company hired me back on. We spent the first day of work measuring a cold, dusty space and I should have known this was a clue to how this year has gone. I worked on about 30 projects, measuring most of them. Stepping on glass and avoiding empty mousetraps. These projects that previously had been only in schematic design came to life and wow we were a busy company! I also gained a co-worker so that has been fun. And seeing some of these projects built is an awesome change. This company still feels like a good fit and as my husband said, I hardly ever complain about anything with my job, so I'm keeping it for awhile!!!! My favorite project was not a breadwinner, it was drawing an existing 1909 Prairie Style Home in Oak Park that had been remodeled nicely from a duplex to a single-family residence. It was just so neat, and I enjoyed laying out options for how the family moving in could use it. Looking forward to another good year with the company. 

Jorge is still with his company. He has flitted around different projects and spent a lot more time at home. Not much traveling this year has given him a chance to really bond with each of our kids. He spends hours helping Logan with his video game projects, finding amazing things for Venice to enjoy watching, and teaching Sylvie to sketch. He helped make a laptop Christmas present a reality for Logan and loaded it up with his favorite things. He's been my helper this year, though we have had a few fun date nights. He did sneak in a week in Las Vegas this fall for work, a bit of a memory from all of his travels there. By far the most fun were our family trips, especially the Indiana adventure to get the puppy. Jorge makes it so much fun to travel and be on vacation time, and just enjoys the heck out of life. Hoping this year is another good year for his company and he gets to touch an awesome project. 

Carly the puppy of course grew the most! She's 6 months old and such a keeper. She is very different in personality than our Abby, but I think she needs a family like ours. She is so intense, intensely loving us, wanting attention, looking to party it up at any given time. She and Venice go with the flow on all of our adventures, which is so appreciated as our family has so many places to be. We hired a dog-walker service and my friend Michelle walks her most of the time when I work. She loves the walks and her puppy training class. Can't say she has much self-control yet, but we're always working on it. All of the kids adore her. Venice wakes up and asks for her, pets her, tackles her, pulls on her, gets in trouble, and then goes right back for kisses. Carly takes it all and loves on her anyway. Logan especially has befriended this dog, she is always at his side. Sylvie likes to bring the dog up to her room and claim her bonding time privately or with her friends. 

We did not fly as a family this year but we had a quick decision to get a new-to-us car instead of spending $ to fix the old one. It was a weird transition at first but we are all used to the car now. And we took the new car for our trip to Indiana. We also went to visit mt brother and sister-in-law in Ann Arbor which was fun!

Logan was on a soccer team. It took a crew of adults to shuffle him to practice and then religious ed on Wednesdays and we all liked the Saturday games. He is proud of the goal he scored and looking forward to playing again.

(My Aunt Carolyn and me as a baby). 
I experienced two deaths this fall, and one earlier in the year. One was a friend from college. Not that he was my best buddy, but the idea that someone my age, with kids, could get cancer and die within a short time, was horrifying. Many friends from our college church St. John's came out to give him a good singsong sendoff and it was like a mini-retreat bringing me back to what and who I was back then. 

The other death was very difficult. Aunt Carolyn is my dad's sister and with the death of his own dad when she was 3, he was her protector. He was hit so hard with the news that she did not make it through what should have been an easy surgery. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had a heart attack at her hysterectomy recovery.  My parents and uncle's family spent hours and weeks dismantling not only her life and her house, but also the legacy of my grandmother and great aunt who had lived there. Very sad but a testament to a beautiful life. There is something about hearing a eulogy that makes me strive to be a better person. My Aunt Lorraine also passed and at her funeral they played "Gentle Woman" that just runs through my head as a reminder of what I want to be. 

On a more upbeat note- my father in law Chef Paco had a year to remember! The family restaurant the New Rebozo opened a second branch and between the tv and newspaper and magazine coverage, a visit from Robin Williams, and plenty of silliness thrown in, they had an awesome year! Paco was asked to do a monthly cooking segment on tv and his personality is just shining through. He is awesome with the kids and so much fun! My mother-in-law, brother and sister-in-law cannot be left out of this either as they have all pulled their lions share of work getting 2 restaurants to stay running and amazing! 

I already posted about this one but Logan turned double-digits! That's a huge thing. We've been doing this parenting thing for a decade, and wow it's been a wild ride! We celebrated 16 years of marriage and in a few days it will be 17. Pretty soon we will have been married more years than not- how crazy huh?

Well this year has been dedicated to our kids health and happiness. They are our world and hopefully this year we can focus a bit more on us and our relationship together as well! Happy New Year everyone! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One million Factoids.

Our family on Logan's birthday

10 years old!!!! He loved every minute of his laser tag birthday with all of the boys in his class. And every bit of birthday celebration for his big golden birthday.

Logan is good about practicing his recorder. And Carly was so adorable checking it out and turning Logan into a Pied Piper.

Today on the way home from school the kids had my mind spinning telling me 1 million factoids.

Me: "Okay, the Halloween candy is going into hiding in the basement. So if you want a piece in your lunch, we need to come up with a code word because if you say 'candy' in the morning, Venice is going to want some right then." Sylvie "What about 'cabbage." Logan "What about 'sweetie sweets.'" Me: "Well Logan. Venice knows what sweets are, so let's come up with something else." Logan "Unsweetened! Then she'll think it's not going to taste good!"

Logan: " We learned all about Ben Franklin and how he invented the library. And the second hand on the watch. And, And, And...." and he went on and on and on about all the things he learned today. "Mom I love 4th grade because I learn so many new things." "Mom, I'm a math guru." "Mom, girl in my class gave ME bunny ears today, usually I give them to her." "Mom, Girl in my class and I had fun making science flip books. I was making her laugh." "Mom, I blocked the soccer ball with my chest today."

Logan: "Mom, Dee Dee got three "Blurts" today. " What the heck is a blurt you ask? Well, just ask Logan! He'll tell you in a concise 20 minute rundown of what it is, how it happens, and who has them. So, basically if you "blurt" out an answer, talk out of turn, etc, you get marked on a chart. After a certain number of these offenses you miss recess.

Which brought around Sylvie blurting out anything interesting she could think of to change the conversation "Mom, we need to watch Bigfoot!" "Logan, do you believe in Bigfoot?" Logan "I'm not certain. But he is a Sasquatch. And the world IS full of possibilities, so maybe."

Sylvie: "I'm so excited about school tomorrow!" Me: "Oh, really? What's happening tomorrow?" Sylvie: "I just LOVE school!" I hope she loves school for a long time to come!

She and I went for a fun girl date time last night because Venice refused to let us hang out all evening together, so we plumped up the wish list for Christmas and birthday, consumed some sugary drinks, and just enjoyed non-baby music. She also read a chapter book out loud on the way home, she's a rockstar reader for having started late.

So after all of that and 50 other random conversations, as we're pulling into the garage Sylvie says "Oh, Mom. Guess what? The Clean Desk Turkey showed up at school today." Just a random "oh, and then this imaginary figure arrived in my classroom."  I was cracking up at the randomness and the blase way she said such a thing.

Venice has said some funny things lately too. This morning "Comfy!" when she snuggled into the bed. "I see you!"- first 3 word sentence. "Zana" is manzana. "Miss you"! is what she coos to the dog when we get home. She loves her "baby legs" leg warmers and calls them "Fuzzies." And if she's in a bad mood "No, V, no cute!" "No Yogan, no hi 5!" "No Mommy, no look!" She runs and throws herself on the floor for diaper changes. And she and Carly are both trying to bring me to tears by pushing the limits of feasible wakeup times, especially since the time change. So far "3:40 am" has been a winner. That day at work required espresso. Have I mentioned she has a cold and is miserable?  It's been challenging.

Carly is quite the character around here. Got a haircut putting her in the "cutest dog on the planet" category. She figured out how to get out of the yard. So I got myself over to the local home improvement establishment, bought things to blockade, fence in, corral. She got out again. I was dumping the trash in the alley and she got through a 2" crack in a blockade, and shoved her way into the alley. This dog strikes fear in me that she will disappear and I am constantly watching out for her and reminding her "stay in the yard!" I'm still not sure where she is getting out from, but let's hope I figure it out soon! She also knows how to put a paw on the chair and grab food from the kitchen table. Grrr.  Googling doggie behavior training now. She graduates from "puppy school" this weekend, but she has a looooong way to go! The kids however, are completely in love with this pup. And, she still loves me best:) I feed her and take her on walks and deal with her 4 am antics  What isn't to love?

Friday, October 11, 2013

The end of an era....

I've got a month left with my 9 year old and then on to a new era.....

Wow, age 10!!!!!! It seems so "double digits...." How the heck did I get through a decade of my son's life already? I want to do some of it again just for kicks. He was such a sweet kid through all the years and now it's been super busy here so he has to push (figuratively) for his attention a bit, and I feel bad. And then there is the freedom he has and independance. And kids come knock at our door and call on the phone to play with him- what's that all about? How did he get old enough for that? 

The other day I was with all 3 in a CVS right near the middle school at 3 pm. We were standing in line and getting things among a group of 3 boys who were buying snacks. No mom in sight. They knew just what to do. Dropped their backpacks at the door like the store requests. Paid and didn't overspend. And asked for double-bags so they didn't lose the candy and ice cream on their bike rides home. I'm looking at my toddler in my arms. And my 7 year old still eyeing the toys. And then looked to my son who could have walked right up to that group and fit right in given a few extra inches in height. He fit more in with the middle-schoolers than the mom and her kids group. So nutty!

Logan- I'm so very proud to be your mom. You are constantly thinking, not really questioning but seeing things in a new light. You are interested in so many things. This week's excitement is in medieval times. So you made a whole set of "cards" with paper that represent kings and queens and knights and dragons. Brick walls and moats of lava. Each has a point value and there are rules to the game. You play multiplication "war" with a deck of cards and get excited about how many Jack's you have or that you have all of one suit. 

This morning I was describing the Olympics ceremony where they shot the flaming arrow from the torch into the cauldron and you lit up hearing such a thing. I showed you the video and your whole brain starting ticking thinking of types of bows and arrows and flaming things you could add to your card collection.

Every morning you wake early, watch tv and snuggle with your stuffed animals, give me a hug when we run into each other. Make yourself breakfast. Pack the lunches into the backpacks for me. Play with Carly. And tell me "Mom, I just can't wait to go to school today....." and you always have some great thing you are looking forward to. You love school, I am so very happy. I think 4th grade is a good fit for you, and I hope you always have a love for learning and school. 

It's been a wild 10 year ride of being a parent and you aren't the only child to keep me on my toes. You have stood in line next to your two sisters and a puppy, the house, 2 careers, and of course things like family obligations. And yet you still just maintain a happy life, a good sense of self, and you are always there to hug us and tell us some amazing thing or fact that makes the moment right. 

I love you my Logan. My sweet sweet boy. Keep your head high and know we are all here for you. Always. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Dictator and the Mathemetician

This Sylvie is so so funny and has her own take on life, I tell you. Here is our dinner conversation:

Logan: "What would you do if you had your own world."

Me: "I would make people be happier."

Sylvie: "Okay, well, first, I would be the President of the World. And then, everyone would listen to me. They would all look alike. And dress alike. And wear tattoos with their names on them. And wear their hair the same way. "

Logan: "Would they all be the same height?"

Sylvie: "Yes, they would all be the same height, but I would be taller. Oh, and they would give me gifts every day."

Yup, we're going to have to keep an eye on this future dictator. Not letting her be president!!!!!

Mr. Logan, keeping us on our toes with his math homework. He has been doing word problems in his 4th grade class, and we are noticing he has a huge brain for mental math. He can add and subtract large numbers in his head and it's really cool to just see the mental time clock ticking away in his head! So impressed, I still second guess what 9 x 3 is! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Story of Carly

We have a puppy! And 5 weeks after her arrival I have a minute to write about it. What a ride! We lost our Abby 2 years ago and have been wanting a puppy for some time now. We went back and forth on whether to get her until the last minute. We were all set to say "no" when her photo arrived from the breeder and we just had to have her. So we plunked down too much money to reserve her for our own and made vacation plans around the date to pick her up from Terre Haute, Indiana of all places. I worked hard on researching the area to make it an awesome trip.

We had a blast, enjoyed our enormous suite and indulged the kids in room service. Twice. Highlights included.....

Go Karts for my future awesome driver, Logan

Teppan Dining with sake for him...

So, we got to the breeder where the kids were a bit nervous and Venice was obsessed with their cat who hates people.....

And we brought home the cutest puppy alive. 

And she is 12 weeks today and growing to be part of our family with a ton of love and plenty of treats. For all the saving the earth I have done using some cloth diapers we have one-upped things with plastic poop baggies by the carton-load. And it hasn't been easy to have a toddler and puppy under the same roof.

Bitey, whiney, barkey, and scratchy. Ruins things, eats things, is awake at all the wrong times. 

Loves us, loves the kids, gives the best "kisses", is super soft and squishy, hugs us back when we hold her, makes us laugh with her antics, our little Carly Puppy.Welcome to our family.