Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Morning

Because of our travels down to Florida to celebrate Christmas with my family, we decided to wait and celebrate our Christmas this morning. Thankfully as excited as my children were to dive into the presents none of us are morning people so they didn't even appear until after 8:30 this morning. We were able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before the mayhem began. And thus it begins....

Although this isn't the best photo I couldn't resist posting a picture of the look on my husband's face when I accidentally blurted out that the unopened presents he was holding for the boys were books...

Eliza's first and only gift...
She must not be a big fan of trains because this was her reaction the minute she saw it.

More vintage little people to add to our collection thanks to some very generous friends of ours who were downsizing....

We ended it all by giving the boys the amazing Craigslist find that my husband got this past June. He was able to purchase both the Playmobil Fire Station and Hospital for a song...

Happy Times...

Friday, December 30, 2011

On my Bedside Table

I recently found out that after over 6 years of being part of a regular book club I will no longer enjoy that privilege. I wish I could say that I'm normally disciplined enough to read at least a book a month and finish it (if not more) but unfortunately my normal pattern is to pick up at least 5 or more books, get far enough in them to justify using a bookmark and then never finish them.  Needless to say I am continually out of book marks and my bookshelves are full of books where these lost bookmarks are hiding.  
The "leader" of our book club had to make the difficult decision to take a break for a while. Several of the ladies in our group are having babies or have just had them (me included) and it has become harder and harder to remain committed, so a little hiatus was required. As much as I didn't rejoice at this announcement I am slowly adjusting to it and realizing that I'm going to have to be a bit more proactive in order to commit to a book and finish it every month. I am in the process of formulating my "to read" list for the whole year but I was able to start a few over Christmas.
My plan is to include these on my blog in order to provide some accountability for myself and also hopefully to help those of you out there who are looking for good books to read or just want to learn a bit from what I have read. I would also love suggestions from anyone out there regarding what I should include on my book list. It can be in any genre--biography, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, etc. 

So far I am thoroughly enjoying North and South. I have seen the BBC movie and loved it and had others highly recommend the book so it has been on my list for a long time. I'll have more thoughts when I finally finish it but I would recommend it to anyone out there who enjoys books along the same style as Jane Austin.

My second choice came as a result of my midwife's suggestion. This book comes highly recommended especially for those of us who have had children and find that our core is not as strong as it once was. It is written by a physical therapist and I am very eager to start the workout. The nice thing about this book vs. a DVD is that it is so portable that you can take it along and do the workout on vacation or if you have small spaces like I do that don't provide enough room for a DVD player + workout.

Hopefully through all of this I will gain more knowledge, become more well rounded and overall a better person. If not at least I'll be able to check a few books off my list.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

To Bake or Not to Bake

In the mayhem of holiday baking Warren wanted to try out a recipe that was on his math worksheet. So in an effort to get him to learn fractions I gave in and embraced the opportunity to actually apply the knowledge that he is learning so abstractly on paper. The final results, a seemingly endless batch of peanut butter-chocolaty goodness with a dash of oatmeal to make us feel a bit better about their nutritional value.  I don't know, maybe next time he can try chicken cordon bleu.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday full of Peppermint Mochas, lingering meals, Christmas specials, Jingling bells and family time. This year my Christmas song is this one:

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Trivial but Important

I made the mistake today of trying to buy a few things for myself that I have just recently realized I can't live without, completely forgetting the fact that it is a week before Christmas. I'm still not sure how I made it home alive with my fist tightly clutched around one single scarf. Really, I did all that for a scarf?? It's amazing what becomes important these days.
That's where you come in. Another thing that is weighing on me is the trivial and yet oh so important issue of a bag. I have struggled with this complex dilemma since the birth of my first son 7 years ago. Before he entered the world requiring more accessories than Paris Hilton, I was a committed "small handbag" kind of girl.  I rarely carried a purse bigger than a clutch and the very idea of toting around a bag the size of Santa's was just not appealing. Ever since then I've been living in a world of denial, believing that I don't really have to carry a piece of luggage around just because I have a baby but I'm beginning to break.  This is where you come in. I am at the end. I just can't bring myself to transition to an official diaper bag because they all end up being so big. I'm short and the idea of lugging around such a large bag is very uninviting. So I desperately need to know, "what do you do?" What bag have you found to be the ideal mix of style, economy, and size and still able to carry everything a baby and mommy might need?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Washer woman

I'm not sure if I can recall a time in my life when I actually appreciated the ability to wash clothes. Most of the time it is only considered to be a drudgery as I drag what seems to be months of dirty clothes (really only a few days worth) down to the basement and start "laundry day" again and again (isn't every day laundry day?).
As a side note, it is amazing to me how it seems like my entire family barely has any clothes to wear, and yet the dirty clothes seem to reproduce into never-ending piles. When they are finally washed and folded they return back to their normal amount and the drawers still remain half empty. It's a mystery I'll never understand.
Getting back to my original thought...I am now looking at laundry in a whole new way.
Last Wednesday, right after I finally decided to dump my dirty cloth diapers into the wash machine, it decided it had had just about enough of our endless regimen of washing and went on strike. My first reaction was to understand its pain, turn it off, walk away and assume that once I returned (after giving it a bit of a "nap time" to reconsider) it would joyfully resume its tasks and my diapers would move on to their next destination--the dryer.
Instead the wash machine insisted it was finished, had washed its last load and was throwing in the towel.
Once this reality finally sunk into my somewhat stubborn head, the next step was breaking the news to my husband.  So before I dropped this somewhat burdensome information on his desk I did a quick search on craigslist, found a machine for a steal and presented him with both the good news and the bad news. Little did I know that at that very moment someone was blissfully hauling away that craigslist deal and leaving us to grope around for something else.
My husband took the news well and the search began. Our first decision--do we continue with a front loading wash machine or go back to a top loading machine?
If you would have asked me 4 months ago there would have been absolutely no question--front loading for sure! This time I was not so sure. Since we do cloth diapers I have heard over and over that top loading is the way to go. So Ben and I started looking into top loading machines only to find that the new top loading machines are made to be just like a front loading machine so the quest and debate continued. I will spare you all the agonizing details. I just have to say that buying a wash machine is definitely not as easy as I would have thought. After some stressful conversations, research and reading tons of reviews we finally found the ONE! (it did end up being a front loading machine) We threw together a last minute date night and ran out to purchase it. As we not so blissfully paid we were given the news that our wonderful new machine would be delivered promptly after Christmas. Seriously! So a little over two weeks without a wash machine??!!
I am no longer going to take for granted the privilege of washing my clothes (at least not for a few months). So far I have spent one whole Saturday at my sister-in-laws doing clothes only to find our hamper already full that evening!
So if you see me and my children walking around wearing the same outfit several days in a row (even with a few dirt spots here and there) you'll know why.