Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yesterday I went to my mandolin lesson and I just wanted to let everyone know that it is awesome. I have loved every minute of it. I think its funny because this time around I'm not trying to avoid practicing, but instead trying to find time to practice. I wait until the kids are in bed and then I'm trying to make sure I get at least a half hour in a day. Chord practice is slow going but I can tell I'm starting to figure things out and its great.

Also, I put in the main garden in the front of our house and it looks stunning! Well, I think it does. It was a lot of work because I had to haul buckets of dirt from the back yard into the huge hole that was left after Dan moved our hydrangea last fall. I was doing it in the morning while the kids sat on the sidewalk eating cinnamon life. Or at least that's what I thought was happening. I looked up after about 8,000 trips (because Dan says we don't need a wheel barrow) and noticed that my son was no longer on the sidewalk. He was now on the concrete landing in front of our house. I asked Charlotte about it and she said, "He climbed up the stairs maybe?" She was sitting right there. How could she not know what happened? Also, that was the first time he climbed stairs. That's right. The first time my son climbed stairs they were concrete with nobody around to catch him if he fell. But he didn't fall. And my garden looks great.

Monday, March 29, 2010

And Now I'm Red

After dinner tonight Dan and I took the kids to Lowe's to purchase something for the garden in the front of our house. We may not do much, but we do need something. Plus, my husband always has an eye for a bargain and they were selling azaleas in one gallon pots for under $2. Can't pass that up. As we're walking around looking at everything, because who goes to the garden section and doesn't look at all the plants, and I'm concentrating on some very pretty, fairly cheep ground cover, Greg is arching his back turning his head and leaning away toward the person next to me. I guess I'm too used to shopping during the day because I absent mindedly say to him, "Are you just trying to check out that lady next to us?" No response from Greg or the lady. So I look up and see a man. A very large, very full bearded man standing right next to us. So what do I say? "I mean the man." He was a good sport about it and said that was the funniest thing that had happened to him that day, but I was sure embarrassed.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

24 hours

I don't remember if I mentioned my banning of treats, candy and baked goods in our home about a month ago? I got so fed up with Charlotte not eating meals, that I went through our house and threw all of the sweets away. I also declared to the family that no new treats were to enter our home for a month and set the end date as Charlotte's birthday (because how can you not have a birthday cake?). Well, we didn't quite make it to her birthday because Dan got me starburst jellybeans for my birthday which we celebrated on Monday night. Then yesterday we made cookies that were intended for Charlotte to take to Joy School today (which we forgot). Turns out Charlotte didn't eat lunch today. Well, let me amend that. She ate one bite of sandwich. One bite. Then half an hour later she said she was hungry and asked for a popsicle and a cookie. I swear that kid has a memory for treats!

And as for me this was certainly and eye opener. I didn't realize how hard it would be to not make baked goods. We must have never had a night without them because every night after the kids got in bed I felt the urge to eat brownies, cookies, cake, chocolate, anything. But since we didn't have anything I couldn't.

So now the question is that of balance. How much do I allow in our home? When its here there is the contant fight not only to keep myself from eating it, but also my children. Dan has such amazing self control about this sort of thing so it doesn't seem to bother him one way or the other.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Winds of Change

I can't believe that things seem to be changing so much lately. The health care bill was passed and that is going to seriously change things in our family's future. (And if you think I'm getting into that discussion on this public blog, you're crazy.)

Also, match day was last week. In case you are like most of the world, and you don't know what match day is I'll try to explain succinctly. After the four years of undergrad you do you apply to medical school. After the four years of medical school you have anywhere from 3 to 7 years of residency. (I think Dan's is going to be in the 5 year neighborhood.) Obviously based on what specialty you're going into your residency will be set up differently. Also, sometimes you do a 1-2 year fellowship at the end of it. You have to apply for residency much like you have to apply for medical school. The only difference, it seems to me, is that at each new level of learning the competition to get into it gets more and more difficult. You apply to however many programs you think you need to and you do away rotations (which means you work at their program for a month) to those you're really interested in and then you wait to do interviews. After all that working and interviewing comes the waiting game. You list the places you'd like to go and the places list the people they want and they're matched together. So the match day is when you find out where you got in (or if you got in). It's a very big deal. This year wasn't our year to go through the match, but next year is. It was a roller coaster to just watch the families that were going through. YIKES. Plus now I'm watching as those families pack up and put their houses on the market and work and work and work and I'm thinking, "That'll be me in a year."

Also, tomorrow I've got an honest to goodness three year old. She's three! How on earth did that happen? Three years ago she was nothing but a big rolling ball inside me and now she walks and talks. She has opinions and preferences that she tries her best to impose. Like this morning when she went to the grocery store in her pajamas because I wasn't going to fight that fight today. Or yesterday when she took a shower by herself and then got dressed by herself and came into my room with all her clothing sticking to her body because she did not dry herself. She notices things and says the most amazing stuff. She is smart and funny and gentle and kind and how on earth did she get so big? How how how?

Also, Greg moves. I put him down on the rug by our sofa this morning then ran upstairs to get a diaper. By the time I got back downstairs he had made it to the bottom step. Can anyone say babygate? He is funny and interacts with people and loves life. He's getting so brave at trying new things. Pretty soon he's going to be a toddler walking along all on his own.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

Last weekend the kids and I got out of Dodge and went on a women's retreat with my family. It was so much fun and I had a great birthday. Charlotte loved all the attention she was paid and Greg learned so many new little things. He now waves hi to people and can pull up on his own. Tonight Dan made me pancake cake for dinner and we had our little family celebration. Then Thursday is Charlotte's birthday, then it's time for Easter. This spring is off to a big start.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things to remember

I just thought I'd write down a few things I don't want to forget.

The other day Greg was pulling himself up on the coffee table and slipped. Charlotte came over, picked him up (terrifying) and said, "Here you go Mr. Chubbers." Which is a nick name that his father gave him and I disapprove of, but it seems to have stuck in her mind.

When I introduced myself during my first mandolin lesson (which was amazing by the way) one of the other students said, "A red head named Maggie. That will be easy to remember."

Someone had forgotten to flush the toilet in a public restroom. Charlotte looked into it and scrunched up her nose. She pointed down to it and said to me, "Look. Eww. Isgusting." I didn't know she even knew the word disgusting.

Greg has graduated from army crawl to something else entirely that has no official name, but he seems to get around just fine. He has also decided that its OK to cruise along furniture if, and only if, there is the possibility of making a huge mess somewhere along the line. Yes, my friends he is now and undo-er.

Dear March,

Did you know that I love you? Well, don't feel bad, I was unaware of it previous to this year as well. But this year I have noticed more of all the lovely things you give and do for me. Sure, you "come in like a lion" and there may still be days of rain and (I shudder to think) snow, but there are also glorious days. Days wherein my children and I spend 3 hours in our backyard. You gave me that. You helped me to see the creativity and imagination that my almost three year old has. She doesn't need much more than a board, a couple of old bricks and a big ball to entertain her. Sure everytime we go to Sam's club she sees the $800 play structure and says she wishes she could buy it. I would feel bad, but for the knowledge of her running around without a thing in the backyard. You gave that to me. Thank you.

You know what else you give me, oh lovely March? Not only did you give me crocuses that have come and gone, but daffodils, tulips, resurrection lillies, and the first signs of growth on the hydrangeas, and mums. There is life and joy returning outside. I can tell because the birds have come back too. Aren't they wonderful, March? I knew you'd think so.

In March we get to escape the house, which means escaping the never ending chores that pile around me to see the sun! Oh the sun! March gives you the first signs that the sun is going to warm the days. I love to go outside, even when it's not quite warm enough, and just let myself feel the sun in March.

And most importantly, March, you have given me Charlotte. That most wonderful of gifts. I glory in her awesomeness. Even when she spends two nights throwing up, which she did just the past two nights, she's still so funny and smart and amazing. Thank you March.

Sincerely Yours,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finally Starting to Make Sense

For the past month I have been worried. Very worried. I worried so much that I convinced myself it had happened by mistake. I knew I was pregnant. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. Never mind that I'm still breastfeeding and taking the mini pill.

So I checked.

I'm not.

Which was a relief, but did not explain what I had been feeling. What I was feeling was tired. Tired and hungry. Tired and hungry all the time.

Today Greg and Charlotte had their iron tested. Charlotte is fine, but Greg's iron is too low. I was given some information about what to have him eat, but of course as you all know he's only eating breast milk, bananas, and cheerios so there goes that advice. Actually we have been sucessful at getting him to eat meats lately which is exciting. Then the lady said, "You should probably increase your iron levels so he gets more from you."

I told this to some friends over lunch today while complaining about how Greg has recently also decided to nurse more lately. And I'm not sure how I didn't see this all before my friends pointed it out to me. I'm nursing more, which explains the hunger, and probably need more iron myself, which would explain the fatigue. Sometimes I think I would fall apart if other people didn't help to keep me together.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I finally Got It

Well, after looking for a month and then procrastinating for two months I finally bit the bullet and bought a new battery charger for my camera. Greg has reached the really exciting phase where I can take photos of him actually doing things and Charlotte is always in love with the camera. It was making me sad to not take any photos of my kids. So I excitedly anticipated the arrival of the new battery charger and promised myself to take tons of photos that very day of my adorable children to share with everyone that came to my blog.

The charger arrived just in time to take these:

I case you were wondering. Yes that, conjunctivitis. In both eyes. In both children.

Monday, March 08, 2010

My new favorite number

I never used to know what to say when people asked my favorite number. I never felt really attached to any number in particular, but today I found my two new favorite numbers.



Those are the best two numbers around.

On a completely unrelated note I realized that I've shared stories about each of the members of my house but me. I thought I'd include a few tidbits about myself. First, I will be starting Mandolin lessons this Thursday which also coincides with Dan's Boy Scouts so we will be having some interesting scheduling for about a month. It doesn't matter though because I'm super excited.

Second, I realized that I have a ton of hair the other day. My friend's husband came up to me at church and told me that their vacuum was losing suction. When he turned it over to investigate he found it totally clogged with my hair. I've never done that before, but I guess I spend enough time there it makes sense.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Where Do I Even Begin?

Two days ago I took my kids to the mall to play on the toys at the mall. Why does Charlotte love that so much? The toys are so dumb, but she loves it so I try to indulge.

We went with a friend and her little boy so my car was full. As my friend and I are chatting down the interstate we are suddenly interrupted by full out wailing from Greg. He doesn't really do that very often so I was very alarmed.

"Why is Greggie crying?" I try to get out over the cries.

"He's sad," Charlotte responds.

"Why?" I ask.

"I stuck the keys too far into his mouth," is her very logical answer.

WHAT?! Where did the keys come from? Why isn't the pacifier in his mouth? Where did you put that? And most importantly, why did you put the keys in his mouth? All of those questions must have come out in one big angry sounding jumble because Charlotte's answer to them was to burst out in tears (like she does for everything lately). So there we are careening down the interstate me confused and worried he'd been stabbed, Charlotte hurt feeling and crying and Greg screaming. I did some serious calming down for everyone and Greg turned out to be fine. We went to the mall and played and a good lesson was learned. We only use keys on doors.

Is He Really Old Enough For This?

Our powers of creativity and problem solving have really had to come into play while feeding Greg lately. He's decided he doesn't like baby food anymore. When this happened with Charlotte we sort of had a household sigh of relief because she just started eating what we ate. We can't really do that with Greg because much of what we eat has diary in it. (Did I mention his allergy appointment isn't until August? A little perturbed about that. I'm so not breastfeeing for 15 months.) Another little hitch in the feeding plan is that the only finger food that he will pick up and eat is cheerios. All other food needs to be big enough for him to hold in his hand and bite off of. That's tricky when you only have four teeth.

The other night we gave him peas (some frozen, some cooked) for dinner because he used to like to pick them up and eat them. Not that night. He didn't throw a fit or fling them anywhere. He just sat in his high chair grabbing them and stuffing them in the seat of the high chair. He had this look on his face like he was being so sneeky and we wouldn't know that the hoards of peas in the seat meant he didn't eat any.

So it looks like my son is going to live off of breastmilk, cheerios and bananas for a while now.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Gummy Bag

Dear readers, I have a story to tell. It starts out in Joy School, the co-op preschool my daughter and I are doing. Joy school has been very good for Charlotte, but this last unit, on order and goal striving, has been awesome for everyone in the family (read: me). For some reason these lessons have really hit home, especially about order. Put everything in it's place. And do you want to know why it has hit home for her?

The Gunny Bag.

This is a fictitious character created by the people that made up Joy School. Every home has a Gunny Bag that lives in a closet or the attic or some out of the way place that comes out during down times and likes to eat toys that are left out! There's even a couple of songs that go along with it. (And thanks to this lesson I go around cleaning the house with them stuck in my head. For three days!)

When explaining this to the girls I had purposefully left out a few toys and then had the homemade gunny bag eat them. The girls understood, but Charlotte wasn't too happy. Apparently I had chosen wrong and the Gunny Bag ate a beloved dollar store doll. Later the Gunny Bag told me that he thought the doll was yucky and didn't want it in his tummy. The Gunny Bag does occasionally give toys back, but if he eats them twice they're gone for good. When I explained this Charlotte was much happier with the idea of the "Gummy Bag." (She must have misheard, but I think Gummy Bag is funnier than Gunny Bag so I'm not going to correct her.)

All day the next day Charlotte went around our house saying, "We don't want the Gummy Bag to eat this." And then would put it away!

Then, silly mommy, left the Gunny Bag out instead of putting it away and do you want to know what that little smartie did? She tore the eyes off the Gunny Bag. When I asked her why she would do that she said, "Then he can't see my toys left out."

Such a problem solver.

PS. Daddy told her that the Gunny Bag can smell the toys left out. There's not getting around the Gunny Bag. Also, now if I say, "Is your room in order?" she will go around putting all her stuff away. Isn't that amazing?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Shining Armor

I am so grateful for my husband right now. I had a great day today and then around 3:30 I just lost steam. I taught Joy School this morning and then a friend came over and we had a blast, but for some reason I've just been losing energy around that time of day for the last week or so. I've actually taken naps, which is something I haven't done in months. Hopefully I snap out of this soon because my house is in ruins and my kids weren't the happiest of children and it was mostly (all) my fault.

Dan came home and put Greg to bed and then started the dishes while I read stories to Charlotte. (I totally got the better end of that deal, don't you think?) He is still in there doing dishes and I am so thankful to have a husband that does so much service for my kids and me. We are so blessed.