Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

In case you missed it, yesterday was Christmas. A very merry one in our house. Evan came into our room at 5:20 AM to report that Santa had come and left presents, but went back into his room for a while (with a couple more trips downstairs to snag some toys) until Eric woke up a little before 7. And he was not kidding, Santa had left us some LOOT!

The 'before' shot

Books and toys galore for both kids (we need to do some purging this weekend to make room for it all), gadgets and gizmos for Ethan, camera accessories for me.

Eric posing for my new lens next to my new camera bag

Evan and Eric enjoying their new 'pinano'

Evan showing off some books

...and let's not forget the ginormous dinosaur (over 2 feet tall, and a little intimidating!)

video

And what does our house look like after opening dozens of presents and being overtaken by a piano keyboard, giant dinosaur, performing Elmo, multiple electronic puppies (even one that fetches), towers of blocks, and a dump truck?

A mess :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Evan's Christmas Show

Evan's class got to sing at the local mall today. Aside from the kid who kept getting between my video and Evan (seriously, every time I moved, so did the kid), it was pretty darn cute. The video is about 8 minutes long, but the first song is my absolute favorite and definitely worth watching. The other 6 minutes are for the grandparents ;-)


video

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our very own Higglytown Hero

We were sitting at dinner tonight (at a restaurant) when I noticed a gap in Evan's mouth where a loose tooth used to be. Looking closer, he had in fact lost his tooth, but had no idea when/where it happened. And then came the tears...after taking him outside and calming him down, he was just upset because he thought the Tooth Fairy wouldn't come unless he had the tooth. Poor kid! I explained these things happen and we would write a note to the Tooth Fairy and everything would be okay when--voila!!--Ethan came out with the tooth wrapped in a napkin. Apparently he found it in--eww--the cheeseburger Evan had been eating.

Hooray for another milestone in life!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vacation

Each week, Evan has a 'job' to do at school. Line leader, door holder, table cleaner, etc. I asked him what his job is this week.

"I don't have a job, I'm on vacation."

Ah, to be young!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Silence

Unfortunately, I'm the only one being silent, and that's because I caught a cold and lost my voice. Well, not completely, but when I talk I'm sure people prefer I just keep my mouth shut because it's not a pleasant and it takes me a great deal of effort and pain to speak at a volume that people can hear. So, if I were in a room by myself, it would be quiet.

We have had an awesome weekend in our house, the cold/voice thing aside. Saturday morning the kids went on a playdate so Ethan and I had a morning to ourselves. As nice as that sounds, we spent most of it doing things around the house--fixing the gate, putting up Christmas lights, cooking food. Last night we had a nice gathering of friends at our place to celebrate the holidays a little early. It was fun...lots of kids, plenty of food and drink, and good occasion to visit with old and new friends. Everyone in our house went to bed way too late, but still didn't sleep any later in the morning :-( But the show must go one and we had an invitation to go watch football and one of the kids' friends' houses, so away we went.

I need to call out how impressed I am with my children AND my husband for their behavior today. It was awesome. My husband, who is used to controlling the remote and snuggling with his laptop to keep up to date on his fantasy football even looked like he was enjoying himself watching only the Eagles game. And I'm sure there is some sort of dark ugly storm coming as payback for how good Evan and Eric were all weekend :-)

And now both kids are engrossed in Sesame Street, so I'm going to really enjoy some silence :-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Thanks

I know, I know, we're all thankful today. But I am especially thankfully to:
  • My co-worker, for the use of her 'roaster oven.' I think I may need to buy one of these things, because it seriously kicked ass today. Plugged it in, dumped the brined turkey in (also her suggestion) with a couple inches of brine juice and away it went. And no one seemed to notice **spoiler alert** that the turkey finished cooking an hour earlier than expected and I just turned off the roaster, covered the turkey with a piece of foil, and let it sit.
  • Butterball.com, for all their wonderful insightful tips. Like covering the turkey with foil if it has cooked too fast. Although they were the ones that told me my 15 lb turkey would take 3-3 1/2 hours to cook and it only took a little over 2 hours.
  • My mom, for a fantastic stuffing recipe. I have no idea how your heart is still pumpin blood effectively after this many years of eating something with that much butter in it, but it was good. Next year I will cut the cubes of my homemade bread smaller. Or just use all store-bought bread. Or stuff the turkey with the stuffing--like you told me to ;-)
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House for their scrumptious sweet potato casserole recipe. I would not be surprised to find me hiding in a corner with the leftovers and a big spoon in a couple of hours. This was, by far, my favorite dish of the meal. And really not that hard to make.
  • My husband, for keeping everyone--including himself--out of the way and letting me be the control nut that I am. And for doing an awesome job of carving the turkey and taking pride in doing it.
  • My in-laws (mother, father, brother, sister, nieces) for taking a chance on venturing 2 hours to eat Thanksgiving dinner cooked by someone who had never made any of the items served before. Except the pumpkin pie. And for eating seconds. And I think liking it because I didn't see anyone drowning things in gravy or adding mass amounts of salt to things (probably because of the brine--everything seemed saltier than I expected to start).
  • Evan, for his excellent co-chef skills on Wednesday and for being my taste-tester on the Chocolate Oatmeal Pie. Which turned out to be the most popular menu item, I think. I don't know if anyone who ate it will be able to sleep anytime soon with all that sugar, but it was a good pie.
  • Eric, for being the only child to actually sit and watch Kung-Fu Panda for any amount of time. I don't think there was anything wrong with the movie, but I have never seen a group of children NOT want to sit and watch TV. Weird.
And now I am thankful to have my shoes off and be tucked into bed with some Tivo to watch...Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two a days

That's what I'd have to do to blog 365 blogs in 2008. Two blogs a day. Looking at my recent track record, it would probably be two lame boring blogs most of those days with an occasional good one. How's everyone doing on their 365 goal?

Mad Libs

Sometimes I feel as though I live in a world of Mad Libs. Evan likes to insert random words into a sentence for no apparent reason, and is taking his job as big brother very seriously and making sure Eric does the same. The current popular word is "underpants" and can be used in the following situations:
  • Singing Old MacDonald "...and on that farm he had some underpants..." Luckily(?) both kids crack up at this and I have not yet heard what kind of sound underpants make on Old MacDonald's farm.
  • Praying before dinner "Bless us oh Lord, and these thy underpants..." I'm hoping this was a one-time occurrence and I don't have to explain my way out of that one at Thanksgiving dinner.
  • And pretty much any other time we are discussing food and/or clothing...apparently my boys think we wear and eat a lot of underpants.
Now if only I could get Eric to WEAR underpants...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lost in internet-land

I'm amazed at how much time I spend on the computer these days. Seriously, I don't know when I lost the ability to stop clicking and typing and looking up random useless crap. So you don't think I've completely abandoned my children, I do most of this when they're sleeping. All this time on the internet and I'm averaging what, one blog a week? If that? Sad, sad, sad. So what am I doing all this time?
  • Facebook
  • Looking for new blinds for our windows that cost less than a mortgage payment. Apparently my husband's expensive taste has worn off on me ;-)
  • Facebook
  • Reading other people's blogs--not that the rest of my blogging friends are doing much better than me ;-)
  • Finding things to put on my Christmas wishlist
  • Finding things to put on my children's Christmas wishlists
  • Facebook
  • Checking mint.com to see if they have worked out their issues with a certain bank so I can tell how we're doing budget-wise
  • Ignoring my to-do list
  • Looking at Thanksgiving recipes (even though I already have the menu planned, shopping list written, and a schedule of what I need to make when--yes, I am THAT anal)
  • And, of course, Facebook

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How did this happen??

When did we go from this...




...to this???

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hubby is sick. So sick that I'm the one who called the doctor's office this morning and then rolled him out of bed to get there despite the fact that it was 8:30 and he spent the 3:00 hour coughing a lung out. Walking pneumonia which is less contagious than a cold, but just as exhausting. So the boyz and I put him back to bed and set out on an errand-running adventure.

Both kids now have their first pair(s) of Crocs. Yes, hi my name is Jessica and I have a 5 year old and I have just purchased our first pair of Crocs. Ironman for Evan and Spiderman for Eric. Really Evan was the only one who needed the Crocs, but another $7 to keep peace in the family is a small price to pay.

The secret to getting a child (Eric) to eat is to let them dip it in cheese. We went to California Tortilla for lunch and Eric was not interested in eating until I handed him a small cup of queso. Suddenly, he was an eating machine. And the funny thing is the cheese was so cold and think by that time that I don't think he actually got any cheese on his food.

Costco does NOT sell turkeys. Our adventure included a trip to Costco because I figured I could buy a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but no such luck. They do, however, have a fully stocked toy aisle in preparation for Christmas and Evan would like everything that is not a 'girl toy.' The piano, drums, Star Wars, Batman, dump trucks, and, my personal favorite, the ginormous stuffed dog.

The thing was the size of the shopping cart and shed as much as a real dog. But it was still pretty darn cute. We did NOT buy it though, just stuck it in the cart for a photo op and to freak Ethan out a little. And I have no idea why Eric looks like he has a wife-beater sunburn in the picture. Another mystery of life ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Recipe book

So, this will be a lame post, but I figure blogging is like exercise and you have to start somewhere and you'll probably look like a fool the first time. So bear with me ;-)

Evan: Mom, can I have a recipe book? My friend Sam has a Shrek recipe book and it's really cool.

Mom: Do you know what you put in a recipe book?

Evan: Yes--recipes!

Mom: Do you know what a recipe is?

Evan: No. But I really want a recipe book.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ketchup!

The joke about the baby tomato falling behind and the mommy/daddy tomato yelling at it to "ketchup!" keeps coming to mind. It seems like I am in a constant state of ketchup these days. My to-do list currently has 20 items on it and I think it is getting longer instead of shorter. Our freshly painted rooms are still not back to 'normal' and there is still boxes of miscellaneous stuff in rooms where there shouldn't be. Very tempting to just throw them in the garbage without even looking inside!! And we signed Evan up for swim lessons two nights a week and I am questioning if this was a good idea because it just seems like more time sucked out of the week, but he loves swimming and seems to be pretty good at it.

So ketchup it is.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blackmail

I have no idea what my son is doing. Not. A. Clue. But I think it will make a great blackmail picture someday, don't you?


And yes, his legs bend in Gumby-like ways...the doctors say he'll grow out of it. Either that or I'm encouraging him to sign up for Cirque du Soleil.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Excuses, excuses

I haven't blogged in ages...AGES!! But I have excuses:
  • Our house is getting the finishing touches put on it (lighting, paint) and the guys doing the work are in our house up until and sometimes after the kids go to sleep. It's worth is though--the paint job is beautiful and we have more lights in our house than we even know what to do with.
  • I have discovered Facebook and become addicted to it. Seriously, it might even be an unhealthy addiction at this point. I think I'm better at short blurbs of conversation instead of big long emails/blogs sometimes.
  • We went to a pumpkin decorating party yesterday with some of the kids friends and had a great time. So great we stayed until 9:00. And then I slept straight through Eric coughing half the night and woke up thinking everyone had slept until 8 AM--oops!
  • And now I'm trying to watch TV and really not paying any attention to what I'm typing...maybe tomorrow will be a better blogging day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Caffeinated Randomness

  • I have had more caffeine today than I have had in the last week, maybe even two weeks. We get free Coca-Cola products at work and I don't really like Coke, but have been very good about bringing my lunch and therefore have been drinking water or Sprite with my lunch. And I had a Coke and two Pepsi's today. Yikes.
  • Our house is back in a state of chaos. We found a company to put in recessed lighting and paint out house and there was a little mix-up of who was going to show up when and I had to quickly empty our living/dining room on Friday morning. By myself. While my husband played golf. That he conveniently forgot he was playing until 2 nights before, leaving me to take Evan to school, Eric to the doctor, and talk to the contractor about lights and paint colors.
  • Tomorrow (I think) we will have to empty our closets so the electrician can put lights in them. Yikes. The kids' closets are already packed with stuff we've had to move out of other places in the house so I have no idea where all these clothes are going to go.
  • Evan is becoming a master scooter rider. I would have fallen and seriously injured myself, but this kid is balancing, coasting, and even using the brake! It's awesome.
  • Tomato Basil soup is YUMMY.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Anticipation

Eyes tightly closed, waiting patiently...

A new scooter!!

Taking a test drive...no falls!

Mayday! Mayday!

Snapfish is down!! How will I get all of the adorable pictures from yesterday onto my Snapfish site???

Nobody panic...it's just maintenance and should be up later today. Whew.

Yesterday's was Evan's bowling birthday party. It was an absolute riot. I never knew a group of 5 year olds could be that much fun. The parents didn't look too miserable either!


The gang...


The birthday boy...


The picture that cracks me up the most...
don't worry, he was removed before a bowling bowl came out :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not quite the message I was going for

No photos, don't worry...just a memory book item (and this blog is probably the closest I will ever get!!).

I try very hard to keep nuts away from Eric, both the food kind and the people kind. I probably do better at keeping him away from human nuts. In the past couple of months I have learned, sometimes after the fact, that store-bought pesto contains pine nuts (hey, I usually make my own), the difference between brand name and generic teddy grahams is that the generic ones 'may contain nuts', plain old Chex cereal has peanut flour (glad I checked the box on that one!), and there are way too many things that 'may or may not contain nuts' or 'may have been processed in a facility that also processes peanuts.' Seriously? What's with the 'may or may not' thing?

Anyway, this was not meant to be a peanut rant, but that may or may not thing has me spending a LOT of time reading labels. Utz is my friend...I think they're the only potato chip brand that doesn't taunt my with the possibility of nuts.

I try to teach Eric that he can't have nuts, since clearly I am not the most reliable source (thankfully Evan does a pretty good and is not afraid to tell people to keep their PB&J sandwiches away from his little brother). One of Eric's current favorite bedtime books, Peekaboo Bugs, has a picture of a nut (chestnut?) and peanut in it. Whenever we point to those pictures, I say "not for Eric" and he responds "Oh! Thank you Mommy!"

Whenever we point to the picture of the Earth and another planet, he says "Not for Eric!!"

Not quite sure how to fix this one...

One of life's mysteries

How can someone so darn cute be such a holy terror??




Another Saturday, another amusement park...

What a bunch of Saturdays...this week's adventure of choice was Six Flags for a work outing. Unfortunately, the weather was not very cooperative and we only stayed for a couple of hours (and one massive downpour) before heading home. Kids got to go on a couple of rides though, so not a total loss.

Eric and I on the carousel (boy loves that ride!!)



Looks like he's practicing to be a politician...


Notice how you can barely see Eric's head
...maybe Evan is practicing to be the next 'Evel Knievel'

Stay tuned for next Saturday and Evan's 5th birthday party...at a bowling alley!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Freaking Hilarious and Not So Much

What Happens in Vegas? Laughed my skinny butt off. Ethan looked scared that I thought it was so funny, but did admit it was a funnier version of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Baby Mama? I think there were more funny scenes in the previews than the actual movie itself.

And hubby, I am really trying get hold of Made of Honor and watch it before you come home, but...if not...Thursday IS my birthday. Wait! No! Grey's is back on Thursday! Hmmm...

Whew...found Made of Honor at the Redbox near my work and will pick it up tomorrow!!

Mine! I do it!

Evan is anal. He likes to do things in a certain order, things must be in their place, and he is pretty fanatical about cleaning up...I have never worried about breaking my foot on a race car when walking to his room when it's pitch black.

Eric? Good grief. We are in the "I do it myself!" stage which means that whatever it is that he wants to do himself must be done in its entirety or you (I) will feel the wrath. Evan tried to help him clean up his blocks this morning and Eric dumped the entire box back on the floor because he didn't want the help. If I try and scoot the cereal forward on the shelf, Eric will close the pantry door and start all over. Getting him dressed is the only place I still seem to have some shred of control and I'm sure that will change any day. Tonight he was getting ready for a bath and undressing himself, which was hilarious. If the tub hadn't been filling up, I would have grabbed the camera to chronicle the order in which he removed his clothes.
  1. Diaper
  2. Shoe
  3. Sock
  4. Shoe
  5. Shorts
  6. Sock
  7. Mommy! Come help me!! (can't quite get the shirt himself)
He also thinks everything is "mine," including my iPhone and Car Dog. And when I tell him "it's not yours, it's mine" his response is "It's not yours! It's mine!" so then Mommy has to start talking about herself in the third person to make sure we understand each other.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

KD 2008

Yesterday was our annual trip to Kings Dominion with my local family...always chaotic, always a good time. I remember last year was really warm and the lines were really long for everything. This year was gorgeous and I don't think we had to wait too long for anything. Even the newest roller coaster (which I did not go on, but hubby, dad, and bro enjoyed). Not really any stories to tell, but some good pictures...

Evan likes to 'help' Eric smile for the camera...
if only we could get him to push his lips into a smile :-)

Evan and Ethan on the carousel

Eric and I on the carousel...
for the third time

Cousins Nicholas and Benjamin

Evan and his latest jungle gym/piggyback ride victim
(my sister's boyfriend)
Evan on the pirate ship
(but I really posted this one because the little girl at the top cracks me up!)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!

I love my kids. I seriously do. But they are making me absolutely positively CRAZY today!! This is the quietest they have been all day and they only got that way when I turned on the Philadelphia Eagles game. And for anyone who has witnessed my husband watching an Eagles game, Evan is about half the volume of Ethan, but talks twice as much. For those who have not had the joy of witnessing my boys watching the Eagles, I may as well be at the football game standing in line for a hot dog--that is the level of noise in my house at this moment.

Check that, I just had to pry the phone out of Eric's fingers, so we have resumed the full screaming volume. And then he got his elbow stuck in the back of the chair??

Deep breath.

Hubby is out of town for work until Thursday. I managed to put together some homemade mac & cheese so I can save takeout/pizza for a night when it gets REALLY bad ;-)

And Evan is asking me if I have ever died before. Sigh. It's going to be a long night.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Things that make my forehead wrinkle

When my 2 1/2 year old cannot remember the number 12, but can chant "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!" and lead the rest of the family in singing the Eagles fight song.

When my husband is obsessive about never having an empty tissue box or less than 2 rolls of toilet paper in every bathroom, but has no idea where we keep the toothpaste.

Eric has to go see a specialist because his legs are a little bent...pediatrician gave us a couple of names and said no rush. First choice doc had a 6-8 month wait list. Second doc could have seen us tomorrow. Or pretty much any other day we want.

We're getting estimates to have some rooms in our house painted. Big rooms and hallways. The second guy was one-FIFTH of the cost of the first guy.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hair Observations

My hair has been out of control lately. My last haircut was in February, my new hair dryer broke and I keep forgetting to call to get it fixed/replaced, I ran out of my magic serum...I really could go on and on about the things that have caused my hair to be in a permanent ponytail for the past 2 weeks.

I finally got my serum, so at least I won't have 300 little hairs sticking up off the top of my head. Evan tells me he likes my hair best in a ponytail, so at least there's that.

I went for a haircut yesterday, and my hair is a little shorter than I intended, but not too bad. We're sitting at dinner last night and Evan notices my hair is shorter and tells me I don't look like Mommy anymore. I ask him who I look like.

Apparently, I look like my mother.

Another week already?

So I've become quite the blogging slacker. I blame it on getting into the school routine and the fact that I am busy busy busy at work (with no access to outside email and people running internet usage reports on a regular basis).

School is good. I don't know why it is impacting anything because, in reality, we're following the same routine we've been following all summer which really isn't that different from what we were doing the 2 years before that. Evan loves kindergarten and we love that he loves it. We are still arguing about changing clothes after school, which stinks. I really wish he would sleep a little longer because he is one tired dude, which also means he is one cranky dude. Ethan convinced him to take a 2 hour nap yesterday and he slept until 7:30 this morning, so hopefully that buys us a couple of happy days.

Eric is making tiny steps in potty training. He's gone a couple of times at daycare, but no go at home. I bought more diapers at Costco yesterday and told Ethan this was going to be the last box of diapers...so I have about a month to at least get him to the pull-up stage, which I figured was reasonable. And I'm all about reasonable goals!!

Work is good. I don't advertise where I work, but it's one of the companies that Henry Paulson declared the government was taking over last week. It's interesting to be a part of this, but in reality it has not changed my job and I really don't have any concerns about my job security. My boss is finally letting me do some work without checking in on me every 30 minutes (we're up to about 90 minutes between check-ins), so I feel like I'm getting into the swing of doing what I was actually hired to do and I like it!!

Hopefully I'll get a little more blogging in this week...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to reality

In honor of our anniversary (7 years tomorrow!), my hubby and I had a night away last night while my sister spent the night with the kids. She says they weren't too much trouble, except for Evan waking up at 5:30 AM with a stomach ache...but at least he was content to watch TV and didn't actually get sick.

So hubby and I braved the rain and wind and checked into a swanky hotel down the street and dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. The best part is the the hotel and restaurant are connected by a mall, so once we got there? No need to drive. Awesome. We were seated at one of those semi-circle booths so we were also able to enjoy the people-watching. I had to take notes through dinner so I could remember them all, we were laughing so hard. There was the guy in the plaid short-sleeve shirt with a loose necktie and his 'date' kind of resembled Prince, but was a girl. The other couple they were with...middle aged guy with a big gut wearing a t-shirt, but his date was really good-looking. Although my favorite was the kid who was power walking every time he went past in his stylish Star Wars t-shirt. Very strange. But we had a great time and got to sleep way later than 5:30 AM.

And then we came home to find Hanna had dropped a tree branch on my truck, denting the frame and breaking the piece that holds my side mirror onto the truck. Argh. This was the tree we have been begging our HOA to cut down because it rains acorns on our vehicles every fall and they said no because it wasn't a liability. Hopefully this will cause them to reconsider...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

At least he's consistent

When Eric was born, it was a chaotic moment. The doctor almost didn't make it into the room, the clamp on the umbilical cord came undone, and Eric peed everywhere. It was quite a fountain. Thank goodness for the epidural!

On Friday, Eric announces to one of his teachers that he needs to go potty and starts tugging at his shorts. Since his teachers are truly angels, she didn't look at him and say "really? You do know you're wearing a diaper, right?" like I have done. Instead, not thinking anything would really happen, she took him into the bathroom, helped him get situated, and waited.

He really needed to go.

He did not follow the instructions of keeping his legs closed.

There was quite a fountain. We have the bag of peed-on clothes to prove it (Eric's clothes, I think the teacher was able to escape).

But hey, he went potty!!

Note: He told me this morning he needed to go and I put him on the potty sans diaper, but no such luck.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Think before you speak

We went shopping this past weekend to buy some fall/winter shirts for the boys. Evan was confused as to why we were buying him more shirts when we had just purchased a bunch of school shirts. I, without thinking, told him the shirts were for after school.

Not smart.

So now, every day, he wants to come home and change clothes. We get home around 5:30. Eric gets ready for bed around 7:00, and Evan is usually not far behind. In between 5:30 and 7:00, we eat dinner, play with some toys, maybe get the mail/go for a walk/sit on the deck. There is no need for him to change clothes for 1.5 hours, but because I made one little comment, it has turned into a huge battle.

And it's only the third day. Help.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2 kids, 'normal' job--that's enough for me

I am not a political person. And I just now discovered that 'apolitical' is really a word, so there's a bonus. Anyway. I keep my opinions on politics to myself, but since everyone else in America is blogging about Sarah Palin, why not? But I don't really want to talk about her politics and what she would do or wouldn't do, because everyone has their own opinion and I'm not really in the mood to argue, especially when it's all based on opinion and most people who like to argue based on their opinion act as though their opinion is the absolute truth and there can be no other way.

Did you get all that?

But in all seriousness...I have enough on my plate with 2 kids and a normal 9-5 (ish) job that requires no travel and husband who participates in the family as much as I do. And some days this life is more than I can handle. I could not possibly even begin to imagine having 5 kids and a job that takes you anywhere anytime with an entire world watching your every step. I mean really, the criticism I take from my own house is enough to drive me nutty.

So best of luck to Sarah Palin and her journey to the VP slot, but on the other hand I hope she doesn't become the new benchmark of the 'working mom'!

Like a really bad car accident

I watched the all new 90210 last night. As soon as I remembered it was on, which was at about 8:30, but after a little research online I don't think I missed anything important. Like who is the father of Kelly's baby, which is really the main thing I wanted to know after watching the show. Ethan came into the room at some point and after hearing what I was watching, retreated to the basement where I'm sure he watched manly shows and did manly things just to make up for the 30 seconds he had been exposed to such trash TV. And I have to admit, it was pretty bad. But, like a horrible 12-car pileup, I just couldn't bring myself to stop watching it and will probably find an excuse to sit myself in front of it in the upcoming weeks.

And I don't know how Jennie Garth manages to look EXACTLY THE SAME after all the years, but she really needs to give Shannon Doherty some tips because Shannon was really not looking good. Not good at all.

I can't hear you

My office is at the edge of the earth. The building location is actually very convenient to my home and where the boys spend their days, but my office itself is in the farthest possible location from anything. I have to plan bathroom trips in advance because, if I waited until I really needed to go, I probably would not make it in time. And whenever I go to the bathroom, people suspect I am leaving for the day because of all the stuff I have with me...cup for my water, lunch, meeting materials, purse, etc.

It's also damn cold where I sit. Freezing. Supposedly you can call a number and someone will adjust the temperature, but since I'm the newbie, I try not to mess with what other people have been used to for however long they've been there.

And then there's the lady who sits on the other side of the 'wall' from me. She talks on the phone to someone (husband I assume) several times throughout the day, which is fine, I don't care. She's not loud or anything, but I swear either she needs a hearing aid or he needs to SPEAK UP because she's constantly saying "I can't hear you." About 10 times in a 5 minute conversation. Every conversation (that I can hear). Several times a day. I figure I hear the words "I can't hear you" about 50 times a day.

Maybe I should check the volume on her phone when I get in tomorrow and make sure it's turned up all the way.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No tissues, lots of potty trips

The first day of kindergarten went well...I fully expected Evan to come bounding in jumping on us like the scene from 'Finding Nemo': "First day of school! Wake up! Come on. First day of school!" but instead it was the usual routine of Evan muscling his way into our bed at 7:01 AM, requesting the Disney channel.

So when I picked Evan up this afternoon, he insisted on one more trip to the playground, and his synopsis of the day was "I didn't have to use any of my tissues, but I had to go potty a lot." There you have it, that's what kindergarten's all about. At least on the first day.

The infamous backpack...

I'm not sure who's more excited!

Me and my guy

Daddy, looking very proud!

Monday, September 1, 2008

An unexpected twist

I started to blog about the big day of a new classroom for Eric and kindergarten for Evan, and it somehow turned into a potty training stream of consciousness. Sorry 'bout that!!

Big day tomorrow...Eric moves into the official 'toddler' room where hopefully they can whip his temper and napless habits back into shape. If anyone can do it, it's the teachers in this room! Also good timing, as he will lately jump up and announce "I need to go potty" and head for the bathroom. Being the slacker 2nd time mommy that I am, I have not done anything with this except sit him on the big potty fully clothed and then let him wash his hands afterwords. But the toddler class teachers also hold a very special place in our heart because of their ability to potty train practically overnight, so I think I'll let them take the lead and just follow the train. Isn't it amazing how you get so tired of changing diapers yet the ordeal of potty training is that much harder? Just when I was able to get rid of the diaper bag, now I will need to start carrying it again with extra clothes, the potty topper...sigh. And how lazy am I for complaining about my kid wanting to be potty trained?

And the BIG event of course, is Evan starting kindergarten!! We went to the 'welcome night' last week and he knows a few kids from camp and we actually knew a set of parents who used to live down the street from us. They have a daughter who's a few weeks younger than Evan, but it's nice to have a familiar face in the parents meetings or someone to call when you need something school-related. And (stay with me, heading off topic) the school also had a uniform 'swap' where you could go pick up stuff for FREE!! I had already bought most of the stuff for Evan, but it was nice to get a couple more polo shirts with the logo on them, plus a sweatshirt, t-shirt, etc. Did I mention it was free??

Anyway...so the boys have fresh haircuts, the clothes are all washed and un-wrinkled, camera is charged, so I think we're ready!!

If only Evan would go to sleep. I know he slept until 7:40 this morning, but after a morning of running errands, going to the park, NOT sleeping at naptime, and talking my ear off the entire afternoon, I thought he'd crash pretty hard. But I guess not. Fingers crossed that he's not too grumpy tomorrow morning for his big day!!

Quiet time--ha!!

We used to be a house of weekend naps and (mostly) peaceful bedtimes. I'm hoping that if I blog about these days being gone, then maybe they will return. I'm also going to wish that Santa Claus will do all the shopping/decorating/wrapping this Christmas, because THAT is probably more likely to come true than nap time returning.

Okay, so bedtime hasn't been too bad. It's not the glorious breeze that it was during the pacifier days, but it's a piece of cake compared to nap time. Nap time has truly become a dreaded time in our house. I mean, how long can you force a 2 yo to stay in his room quietly? If you don't know the answer, not long. And whereas Evan used to stand at his door calling "Mommy? Daddy?" in an angelic voice that turned annoying after 20 minutes, Eric will stand under his window and run full-force into his door, scaring the bejeebies out of everyone else in the house. I'm tempted to set up a webcam so I can have a record of this, but haven't gotten around to it yet. So where am I going with this?

We have given in to the fact that Evan is beyond naps, especially since Kindergarten only requires 1 hour of quiet time a day. Our new rule is that he must stay in bed with his eyes closed until his music turns off (about 25 minutes) and then he can play/read quietly in his room for the rest of the time. He's following those instructions pretty well, so hopefully it will soon be a routine.

We have tried removing excessive items from Eric's bed (extra stuffed animals, bedrail that he kicks his legs on), sitting with him and patting his back, giving him a book, putting him down later...nothing. He fell asleep in the car at 4:30 yesterday afternoon when we were about 3 minutes away from a friend's house. And either he is being darn quiet right now, or he has just finally fallen asleep almost 2 hours after putting him into his room. While Evan is down here talking my ear off.

I need nap time back...I can't run full steam all day with these guys!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another year, another ballgame

Every year around this time (Labor Day weekend), my mid-Atlantic family members go camping and incorporate a minor league baseball game into the weekend (remember last year?). This year's locale of choice was in PA, and we went to see the Bowie Baysox take on the Harrisburg Senators. They are the minor league teams for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, so we had representation of all teams and everyone had a chance to cheer. Evan asked a million questions, but refused to direct any of them to his Uncle Tom who would have been more than happy to talk baseball to him the entire night, so I spent a considerable amount of time explaining strikeouts, foul balls, sacrifice fly, stolen bases, walks...whew. Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home and by what can only be described as a miracle, remained asleep as Ethan and I carried them into the house and into their beds.

I hope the campers were able to get a better night's sleep on Saturday--sounded like Friday was a little rough. Some highlights from the game:

My aunt asking me to tell my uncle that the kids are thirsty and he needed to get a drink plan going. I translated that to mean my aunt needed a beer. A very large beer. I translated well.

A batter getting hit by a ball and therefore earning the right to go to first base. Someone asked why did the batter look annoyed--he got to base without even doing anything?

Evan sitting in his pizza. Sigh. We had many problems with the "sit down and eat" concept at the baseball game.

My brother was able to get a ball from one of the Baysox and gave it to Evan. Evan turned and gave it to his cousin Fiona because "she's wanted one her whole life so I really wanted to give it to her." How does such a big heart fit into such a tiny body??

And some pictures...

The Senators/Nationals fans


The College Men

Eric & Margaret
(his buddy last night...
she even got the treasured high-five/pound/bonk farewell!)

Sanderson cousins

Ethan swears he only took out the iPhone to show it to my sister...
it's NOT because he was bored at the game ;-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Hubby Post

My husband is demanding I write a post about him while he sits on the phone with AT&T again to get all our phones moved under the right account with the right phone numbers and the right discounts. Here is what he has dictated I write:

Hubby hubby hubby

Chubby chubby hubby

Oh crap, what are you typing?

And now the AT&T lady hung up on him.

Why I love my new job

First week: Lunch w/co-workers and bowling during work hours

Second week: Lunch paid for by co-workers, ice cream social, and we were dismissed at 1:30 PM today for the holiday weekend. And it didn't matter what time you got there (even though I was in at my normal time...but if I had shown up at like 10:00, I could still leave at 1:30)

I don't think next week hold anything exciting, but next month we have a group picnic (during work hours) and my family and I get to go to Six Flags for FREE one Saturday. And rumor has it you get tickets for another free day when you go.

And the work isn't too bad either :-) Yes, I actually do work in between all those social outings :-)

Things that make you go "hmmm..."

I was in CVS waiting for a prescription to unclog my sinuses so my ears will stop pounding and wandered around the store while they slapped a label on a box of steroids. I love steroids. They make me feel like Superwoman and who doesn't like to feel like Superwoman? They also make my mind wander. Anyway.

So I was wandering the store, killing time, and kept coming across this woman who was clearly very agitated at something. My guess is the world in general. She reminded me of a lady I used to work with who used to do a lot of huffing and sighing and absolutely nothing and was not very popular in our office. I head back to the pharmacy counter to make sure I can hear when my name is called and the woman goes storming up to one of the pharmacy guys and says "Can you please COME OUT HERE and show me where the petroleum jelly is?? And TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN!! I can hardly hear myself think in here!!" And as the nice pharmacy guy walked her over to the shelf, all I could think was 'man I hope she uses that petroleum jelly to remove whatever is stuck up her...'

Somebody save a spot for me in hell, because that's one of those thoughts that will send me there :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tag, I'm it

I am so far out of routine right now, I'm hoping this will put me back on the blogging track and then I can get back on the laundry, cooking, sleeping track too ;-)

Here are the directions:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 people following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they have been tagged.
Here are my 6 unspectacular quirks:

  1. I am a chapstick fanatic. Anyone who spends more than 7 minutes with me in person knows this. It's a genetic thing, and that's the excuse I'm sticking with.
  2. Tomatoes give me gas. I thought it was cheese, but recent studies have led me to believe it's tomatoes. And that totally stinks because I'm Italian and love all things tomatoes.
  3. I sleep better when I watch TV before I go to bed. It's the primary reason for keeping old episodes of "Two and a Half Men" on Tivo.
  4. I'm a Pepsi drinker. My new office has free Coke products. Initially, I was bummed, but I soon realized that was a good thing because if they had Pepsi, I would drink Pepsi ALL DAY LONG. And when I drink too much caffeine (read: 2 Pepsi's), I turn into a strung out shaky disaster of a woman.
  5. I have an iPhone. As of about 3 hours ago. My mother and husband are wonderful people.
  6. Okay. Last one. And you can tell I'm struggling here. I own a red wallet. I'm normally a black accessory person, but for some reason I like the girlie-colored wallets. I even had a pink one at one point.
That's all I got folks...maybe another blog tomorrow unless I get inspired to plug in the cameras and put up some more pictures of the boys!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Second child syndrome? Says who?!?

I admit, in the early years, you will find many less pictures of Eric than we had of Evan. One day I had actually convinced myself that I must have lost a folder of pictures because I must have more than 10 pictures of Eric when he was a day old, right? Ha!

But I think we're making up for lost time, because these days I seem to have way more pictures of Eric than Evan. Maybe it's because when Evan sees a camera he puts the biggest fakest looking grin on his face. Maybe it's because Eric is at the age that he is just full of smiles and laughs. Or maybe it's the fact that I now keep a 'real' camera in my purse at all times instead of just relying on the camera phone.

Our car ride home yesterday...


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Picture pages

Ethan and Eric on the slides
(I swear it took me 4 tries to type the right combination of names)



I'm still debating if this shows Evan in a heavenly or hellish light...



Kids can get comfortable in the strangest ways...


One of our weekend visitors, waiting for mom and dad to finish the card game...
she's going to be a lot of fun when she gets to college!

Alone time

I am alone, at least for a few minutes. Probably the first time in 48 hours and kind of necessary. I assume my husband needs his alone time too, since he's down playing some silly game on his iPhone. This weekend was draft weekend, and while I really have no knowledge of what a cult does, I'm pretty sure this comes close. A group of men gather in our basement and pick their fantasy football teams for the season. Children must stay out of the way for as much of the event as possible. Do not come downstairs unless someone is dying or you are stocking food/beverages.

Okay, really it's not that bad. Especially since this year they just ordered pizza for lunch instead of the whole pre-draft cookout which resulted in me cleaning up a huge mess and having to eat leftover hot dogs for the next week. But there were a lot of people in our house...the draft guys (7, I think), plus 1 wife, 1 wife + 2 children, and 2 more children. And the wife + 2 children stayed the whole weekend and 4 kids in the house was enough to warrant a nice long nap this afternoon (thankfully my children agreed with that plan). But we did put the kids to bed early last night and the 4 adults stayed up playing a favorite college card game that involves some heavy duty drinking and had a great time and this morning wasn't too painful for most of us.

So I'm going to go enjoy some alone time. Probably with my TV.

Who knew?

Certainly not me...well, except #6 and #9, but I always forget :-) And I think I could wrap myself in dryer sheets and the mosquitoes would still get me!

http://mygoodcents.net/2008/08/23/did-you-know/

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I am so not ready for this.

Sometimes it's good when things come together...whether it's a carefully laid plan or just a whimsical thought in your head, when it comes together, you have a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction.

There are other times when things coming together leave you with a twisted feeling in your gut, and even though you know deep down that it's good, at the moment it feels wrong wrong WRONG.

I've known Evan is going to kindergarten in the fall. We've known for a year that he should, even though the county we live in says he is too young (by 7 days). His brain, his personality, his loving heart are not meant to be held back 358 days. The decision was really made back in April, when he got his acceptance letter to a private school and I had to sniff back the tears while singing happy birthday to Eric because really, who is prepared for an acceptance letter for a 4 yo?? We passed the point of no return when we removed him from the daycare he adored to put him in a summer camp that I had to bribe him to go to. I have purchased the obligatory khakis/polos and the stupid #2 'fat' pencils. You think I would be ready for this, wouldn't you?

And then today his official school shirts arrived. Two polo shirts in a shade of maroon that will look awesome on him with the logo/crest embroidered over his heart.

I am so not ready for this.

But there's more.

To add to the clutching to my stomach wondering if my burrito is going to come back up sensation, when I told Eric's teacher that we were going to rid ourselves of the pacifier, their response was "oh good--by the way he's moving to the next room right after Labor Day."

WHAT?!?!? My 'baby', my sweet little guy who despite the fact that Evan can work the word 'underwear' into any conversation has only started saying it just today is going to move out of the cuddly sing-sing safety of Miss Kay's room and into the 'time to start potty training' boot camp of the toddler class? When did this happen?

I am so not ready for this.

Okay, in fairness, I really do love the Toddler teachers just as much as his current teachers. I know they have to be a little more strict because of the age of the kids they are dealing with and Eric will certainly give them a run for their money with his stubbornness and temper.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Working our way out of the 9th circle of hell

To top of my previous whining post, we decided this weekend would be the weekend to wean Eric off the pacifier. And by wean, I mean it 'disappeared' shortly before bedtime because with Eric you really just have to rip off the band-aid. His daycare teachers tried easing into it, telling him that big boys don't need pacis and now that he was getting to be a big boy...blah blah blah. But, as I'm sure some of you have determined without me saying it, I don't like to do things the soft and fuzzy way (most of the time). So when he asked for his 'blue suckie,' I just shrugged and told him it was all gone.

Long story short, Eric took NO naps this weekend, and averaged about 2 less hours of sleep each night on Friday and Saturday. He usually takes a 2 hour nap, so by the time Sunday night rolled around, he had lost about 8 hours of sleep. Yikes. Last night went better, so we left him at the mercy of our daycare angels to see what he would do for them.

"When he asked for it, I offered him a baby doll instead and he said ok."

Followed by a 2 hour nap. I love Kay and Kendra.

So far so good tonight, although I did have to concede to let him sleep with Brewsky (stuffed dog, not a beverage), Monkey, Mr. Bear, Boo, Puppy, and Mule.

So maybe I personally am not soft and fuzzy, I do let my kids sleep with soft and fuzzy things. Lots and lots of soft and fuzzy things.

MIA

Amazing how a lady of leisure can find no time for blogging, huh? Evan stayed home through Thursday and Eric threatened a day at home on Friday, but ultimately I had the day to myself to run my tail off and get things done. And run I did. I can't even remember where all I went but I'm sure our debit card could tell the story pretty easily.

Saturday I was knocked down for the count with some sort of 24 hr-ish bug that gave me a hellish headache that is still hurting behind my eyeballs and random outbreaks of hives. So I've been in an Aleve-Benadryl coma for most of the weekend and came out of it in time to start my new job today, which basically consisted of 8 hours of paperwork and lectures on benefits, ethics, and other fun stuff.

I am wiped out.

But waaaay happier than I was a week ago at my old job. Kind of ironic, they sent me a letter in the mail today reminding me of my obligation NOT to solicit employees to my new company for 12 months. I found it very amusing because, as I was leaving, people were asking me to let them know about potential openings. So I guess technically that's not soliciting??

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is it too late to go back to bed and re-start the day?

Today is the first day of my brief period of unemployment. I had PLANS for today. Goodwill, Humane Society, Lowe's, Wal-mart, Sears, dry cleaners...I wanted to get it all out of the way today so I could spend another day this week getting beautified (mani, pedi, haircut at least) and have enough time to get an oil change on my truck.

Apparently, someone did not approve of this plan and had a need to change it.

This weekend, Evan was complaining of water in his ear. Monday he was pulling at one ear, running a fever, and was pretty unhappy. Ethan took him to the CVS Minute Clinic on Tuesday morning and confirmed a case of swimmer's ear. Not too much of a shock, since the kid spends 2 hours a day in the pool and most of that time he has his head underwater. Fever was enough to keep him home, but after spiking pretty good last night, he woke up fever-free this morning and happy as can be, so thought the worst was behind us.

I dragged Evan along on some errands this morning, we stopped for lunch at Noodles & Co, he protested a nap, and we ran a few more errands when I noticed his skin was hot again. CRAP. Came home, called the doctor, suggested we come in, blah blah blah, he has strep throat and has to stay home one more day. So home we will be.

And Eric has a runny nose and cough. Really hoping that one's just the weather change/allergies. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

When I grow up...

I remember in elementary school--maybe first or second grade--instead of the usual ho-hum school pictures, they took them in the theme of "what do you want to be when you grow up?" The choices were very limited--doctor, nurse, fireman, etc.--and I ended up with a big question mark behind my head. Do I look like someone who could be limited by choices, especially at the ripe old age of 7??

I love observing my kids and wondering what they will be when they grow up and if I can predict that now. I doubt my parents had any idea I would be what I am and that I would have the confidence (nerve) to tell people off when I need to, albeit in a politically correct manner.

I wonder if Evan will be some sort of sports commentator, since he talks a mile a minute, narrating constantly, and sometimes answering his own question within the question--"Mommy why does the school bus turn on its orange blinker to let other cars know when it's waiting to turn into my school?" Umm...how do you answer that one??

On an afternoon at the beach, I can see where Eric could become a bossy boss (and how quickly I turn into a subservient employee) and Evan will go around critiquing other people's work.

This weekend Eric was 'walking' some of his animals, so maybe he'll be a vet or dog walker or even the next dog whisperer?


And then today he announces to me "Mommy? I Batman!" I have no idea how a backwards hat and Diego sunglasses turn him into Batman, but as long as the chair was the highest thing he was trying to fly off of (and by fly, I mean sliding feet first), I'm not going to tell him :-)


So there you have it...a range of talents and passions and many many years until I see what they turn into...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

School supplies

Can I just say how much I am dreading the shopping for school supplies adventure? I have been to Target twice this week to pick up regular household stuff and the store is overrun with parents (mostly moms) and kids picking out their backpacks, supplies, and clothing. It looks like hell on earth for all parties involved. I am not looking forward to this.

Evan has to wear a uniform, and most of that shopping I have already done online...except I have to exchange the shirts for the right size and just have not gotten my butt to the store to do it. And clearly I should have done it because, at this point, they will probably be out of the size that I need. But that really wasn't so bad...polo shirts, khakis, couple of sweaters.

But the school supplies? 8 #2 primary (fat) pencils? Seriously? 3 boxes of Ziploc sandwich bags? Really? And the complex of whether or not to buy store brand or 'name' brand...kids seem to be a little more vicious nowadays and I sure don't want to be the 'cheap' parent who doesn't buy my child the Crayola brand of washable markers (primary colors, unscented, slim and regular), but on the other hand I wouldn't normally buy the name brand when the generic is sitting right next to it for 1/2 the price...

And 12--TWELVE--large glue sticks? Is this going to be a side dish at lunch or something?? And the 'boxes' and 'containers' of Ziploc bags and tissues and wipes...are they asking for multiple normal size boxes? So in reality I could send in one giant box of sanitizing wipes instead of the 4 on this supply list?

And '2 tissue boxes'...is this empty boxes? Or boxes of tissues? Because the list for some of the grades says 'boxes of tissues' but then a couple of them say 'tissue boxes.'

My head hurts. I need a mommy mentor.

And good morning to you too!

This morning kicked off around 5 AM, to the sounds of Evan crying in his room. I stumbled in to see what was going on (assuming his nightlight had turned off) and he tells me he has just had a very bad dream. That there was a lady with a gun and she shot him 3 times and an arrow went into his leg and hit his bone and hurt very badly. Cripes. I'm used to Evan having night terrors, but I don't think I'm quite ready for the nightmares yet!! I reminded him of the good dream he had a few days earlier (dolphins swimming and he got to touch one on the tail) and snuggled in bed with him until he fell back asleep.

Then I had to fight with Eric about shoes, something I never thought I would have to do with a boy. Although, to give him credit, he was protesting the socks with his sandals which I am also not a fan of, but daycare insists that children must wear socks. So I had to wrestle him out of the house like an alligator while Evan is still tearing up about his bad dream and we get to daycare to find a child wearing crocs with--you guessed it--no socks. Argh. Luckily he decided to play with a boy who was dressed according to the rules and I was able to point out how Ryan was wearing socks and shoes like a big boy and it all ended well.

And the road I normally take to work after dropping Evan off is closed for a MONTH, and the alternate way is crappy. But camp is over in 2 weeks, so at least I only have to deal with it for that long.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Welcome to Geektown, population 1

My hubby is away on business for a few days. Evan keeps telling people he's on vacation and I'm having a hard time correcting him...two nights with a bed to yourself and being able to eat out on someone else's tab? I might call that a vacation. Then again, it is only 2 nights and he's on the opposite coast and flying very late and very early, which is why I can muster up the energy to say it's not really vacation.

But enough about him, let's get back to me. Because lets face it, that's what this blog is about!! So how am I spending my night of 'freedom' (as free as one can get with 2 kids in the house)?

  1. Replacing light bulbs.
  2. Putting things back into the bathrooms.
  3. Trying to figure out where to put all our cell phones/laptops/keys/etc.
  4. Burning the living crap out of myself in the process of #2. I am typing with a wet paper towel wrapped around the giant patch of white skin that has formed on my knuckle after brushing my finger against my once-favorite under-cabinet lights. I don't like them quite as much now that I have this horribly painful burn on my finger.
  5. And finally...re-arranging my kitchen cabinets. Stop panicking hubby, the only thing that moved was the tupperware!!
So there you have it. I'm not sure what the cool kids do on their free nights, but us geeks? We like to re-arrange kitchen cabinets.

Ok, this was a really pitiful post, but I'm just trying to keep my mind off my burnt finger. So have some mercy on me.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shades of tan and a sales pitch

Anyone with eyes can tell that Evan has a lot of my features, some good, some bad. Eric has not inherited many (if any) visually noticeable traits, but there's no question where he gets his short fuse and long temper.

We discovered this summer that Evan has my ability to tan. I keep looking at him and realizing why my relatives used to call me 'Pocahontas' after spending a summer in Florida, because he could be Pocahontas' son.

Eric, amazingly enough, looks like he has hardly spent any time in the sun. True, he has not spent every afternoon swimming outside at camp, but the kid has had his fair share of sun on the weekends and this past week. But this is what they look like:


And now I must do a sales pitch. Because the only difference between my children when they go outside is that Eric wears the Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen and Evan wears 'regular' stuff. Both are SPF 30, but for whatever reason, Arbonne is not letting the sun through to my child's skin. In fact, it works so well that I had to stop using it because MY skin wasn't getting any darker. Seriously, I originally bought the Arbonne stuff because Eric had such horrible skin issues, but the soap/lotion/oil/etc. did not do anything for him except make him smell like lemon Pledge. Lever 2000, Eucerin, and Aquaphor have become staples in our house. But I think I may need to stock up on the sunscreen for my fair-haired child...so if you're an Arbonne dealer and want my business next summer...

The tanning duo (after I quit using the Arbonne, of course)...and Evan still has a better tan!


One beach, two beach

My husband has taken the kids to the pool by himself and left me in an empty house. This is normally a good thing, except I feel like a pile of achy poo because of a sinus infection. Still, it is a quiet house.

Our vacation was a 2-beach adventure joined together by a ride on a ferry boat and a loooooong drive down the MD/VA eastern shore. And adventurous it was.

Beach stop #1 was in Ocean City, NJ (aka 'the shore') for a visit with Ethan's parents. Water was a tiny bit cold for my liking, but it didn't stop the boys from doing some serious wave jumping.



Apparently the water was a little cold for Eric too.


Also did some sandcastle building and Eric shows promise for being a supervisor.
"Build more Mommy!"
So I did. 10 times. Every day.
I think Evan may go into quality control.


Evan built his own HUGE sandcastle, with a little assistance from a beach ball.