Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hey look! We made a little progress in here! We settled on a gray, moved the mantle lower and hung a mirror to cover the two giant ugly vents. I used a sample of Benjamin Moore's "Hazy Skies" over the bricks here, and will get another gallon to finish the walls and the bricks below. 
And just for reference, here's where the mantle used to be. It was always kind of awkwardly high. 
I've stripped one of the chairs completely down and have gotten two layers of cream paint on. I really love the shape. I think it should go pretty quick from here, recovering the cushions and stapling them back on. 
And here's the three grays we were deciding from. We picked the one in the middle. In the currently green eating area, we'll paint it gray below the chair rail, and cream on top. The red room will also go gray.
Lots more is happening in here, so I'll keep you updated. It's been a fun project for me!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


This past week has been a roller coaster of sorts. Peter is taking a while to get adjusted to his quiet afternoons with me while Nora naps, and Nora has gotten a lot worse at nursing with all her sharp little teeth.
So Peter's still two, which is why I've been on the fence about preschool for him and ultimately decided not to. I'd go back and forth, thinking he needs all the home time he can get right now, that he doesn't really need the structure yet, and that all he really needs is something low key for his emotional development. Then the first week of kindergarten happened, and Peter was in tears when I told him I'd decided not to put him in preschool after all. I felt sort of guilty for making that decision for him, and started to reconsider.  I guess even if he doesn't make any academic progress in preschool this year, it should build up his confidence to be on his own a few mornings a week. So a little sheepishly, I asked for my spot back. He'll start next week and I think it will be good. It certainly helps that I will only have to drive him in the mornings, and he'll ride home with a friend while I get Benjamin on the bus. So I also feel good about not having to live my life in the car, transporting kids everywhere. We'll see how it goes.
And about Nora. I promised myself I was just going to wean her a few days ago because she was hurting me so much, but here we are- still going. It's hard when she wakes up at five, and there's nothing else to get her to go back to sleep for a few more hours, or when her nap time/bedtime routine is rocked because she's used to nursing to sleep. But I've got to do it, if not for the fact that I'm wincing every time we sit down. Also because I just found out I have jury duty next month (right during Paul's two week business trip to Brazil), and there's no excuse box to check that says "I have a nursing baby and two little kids and my husband will be out of town." So Nora's going to have to learn her civic duty early I guess and find a new way to soothe herself, and soon! I remember we waited until Benjamin was about 18 months before weaning him, but by then, I was able to explain to him that he was too old, and he accepted it. Peter kind of lost interest around 9 months, so that was easy too. It's going to be a little harder this time around, since she clearly doesn't want to give it up!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Very First

Benjamin's big day was yesterday, and boy was he happy about it!  He's in afternoon kindergarten, so he spent all morning asking if it was time to go yet.  He was excited to wear his new Star Wars Lego shirt for his first day.
 Waiting anxiously at the bus stop...
 No hesitation, no tears, no looking back.  He was so ready to ride the big bus!
 Along with many of the other moms and little siblings of bus rider kids, we met up with him at the front of the school.  He was less excited about a picture here.  Just let me start kindergarten already! 
 First few moments in the classroom with his teacher Mrs. Lillick.  She's fantastic!
I will admit I was pretty excited too. I have two kids at home again. Woohoo! :)  The only moment I got a little sad was when Benjamin told me after he got home from his first day that he likes Kindergarten better than home.  Ouch. 
I think Peter is definitely taking the transition the hardest.  He keeps asking when he gets to go to preschool (which I decided not to do this year) and crying when I tell him "not today."  He also had a major meltdown today when Benjamin forgot to give him a hug and a kiss before frolicking off to the bus.  Poor guy.  I think this time apart will be really good though. He'll get a little more one-on-one with me, and a little more time being the big brother with Nora.  I think I still see him as a lot older than he is- it's crazy to think he still has three years before he gets to join his brother in elementary school.  So I get to have lots and lots of time to just savor and enjoy my two little ones before they head off and tell me they love kindergarten more than they love home. :) 

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Moral of the Story

So we checked this book out at the library today. It looked innocent enough, but it was certainly not the version I grew up with. No where did it praise hard work or preparedness, but made the ant out to be a rich, greedy, selfish hoarder who in the end comes around and decides to share with the starving artist. Anyways, after I finished reading it to the boys, I tried to reconstruct a better moral for them, veering away from the glorified theme of entitlement (not that I discourage charitable giving). Benjamin of course said he wanted to be the ant, since he works hard and has everything he needs. Then Peter chimed in, "I want to be the cricket!" I laughed to myself for a minute, because right now it's true- he is the fun, silly brother who would much rather play than work, and Benjamin is very much the serious ant. I certainly don't think their fates are sealed, but for right now, this story captures it. They are two distinct, wonderful little individuals, but I have full confidence that both will be hard workers in whatever they choose to do in life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


One week and counting until the first day of school, and it's just starting to hit me. I don't think Benjamin is the least bit phased about the huge change that is about to take place, but I am. He's ready for the first day of the next thirteen years of his life to begin, I am wondering where the last five went. How can we already be doing this? 
Last night, he and I went to the Kindergarten Fun Night to meet other kids in his class. His favorite part was the informal soccer drill going on in the big field. And he liked his new "best friend" Ben, who will also be in his class this year.
I'll be honest. This was the first time in a long time that I've been in a social setting like that, and it was weird. I'm sure I'll eventually meet some other parents who I get along with, but this stage of it is going to be hard for me.  I guess I'll have to get over that, seeing as he sort of mirrored my social awkwardness.
Anyways, he is ready. He even took his four shots last week like a man so that they'd "let him go to kindergarten" this year. I'm going to miss this boy, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Deep breaths.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Our Little One Year Old

My sister took this one during our trip. Thanks, Rachel!
You think she's sick of this yet?? :)
Nora has been one for almost a month now, so I think it's about time I gave a little run down on her stats. Here's the last of her twelve monthly poses in the bouncer, wearing her favorite shirt. I love that she already has preferences. Nora is 19 lbs. 12 oz. (46%), 29 1/4 in. (44%), and her head is 17 7/8 in. (58%). She's always been a very averagely proportioned baby. 
I think Nora really enjoys being the baby of the family, and claims her rights around our house- especially when her younger cousin Gloria comes over. :) She can be pretty fierce and competitive, and knows exactly how to push Peter's buttons. She has a pretty awesome growl, and knows how to cheese it up for the camera. Nora is an affectionate little girl, and gives the sweetest hugs. She's becoming more and more of a mama's girl, but Daddy is a close second. She babbles in a whispery little voice, so I'm not quite if she says many words, other than "hot" and "bye-bye."
I am in love with her purplish-navyish "baby blues" and long lashes.
And her curly red wisps in the back get cuter every day. 
On her first birthday, she had two teeth- one on the bottom and one directly over it on the top where the gum was split open prematurely. We affectionately call her "snaggletooth" for this reason. Now she has four teeth- two on top and bottom.  
 She's just starting to let me put bows in her hair again. It's pretty long in the front, so I have to do something to keep it out of her eyes. 
 Although her main method of transportation is still the pirate bum scoot (and she's fast at it!), she is starting to take to walking more and more. She will often just stand up in the middle of the room and take off. She's also gotten pretty good at climbing- on chairs, tables, and even to the top of a bunk bed ladder (while I was standing right next to her, and snatched her right back down). 
It is sweet to see her develop a relationship with her brothers. She really looks up to them and wants to do whatever they do. 
And it is equally as sweet to watch them embrace her as one of them. It's a good thing she has two older brothers to protect her. She's going to need 'em.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Swimming Lessons

If you can imagine, I haven't had the drive to get back on here after that marathon of vacation posts. But I'm easing back into it, and to start, I have a few pictures of the boys at their swimming lessons. Benjamin loved the lessons, and Peter tolerated them- at least until the last day when he flat out refused to get into the pool. On that day, Benjamin had our swim instructor, Brian all to himself and made a lot of progress. It's so fun to see him blossom and find confidence doing new things. 
Airplane, rocket, chicken!  
Benjamin floating in rocket position.
Peter floating in chicken position.
Benjamin told me his favorite part was jumping into the pool. He got really good at it! 
And Peter got a little bolder, jumping further each time into Brian's arms.
Benjamin will put his head completely under and move a little ways now, which is huge progress in my mind. Peter is a lot more safe in the water now too. I remember last summer, being absolutely terrified to bring Peter to the pool- even in his flotation suit. He was crazy! Now Nora is hitting that stage, and of course it doesn't help that she loves to imitate her brothers. It's nice though to only have to worry about one kid again and relax a little when I go to the pool! It's about all I can stand to do outside these days.