Monday, May 28, 2007

Way To Go Ty Ty!

Of course I'm talking about Tyler! Grace LOVES her big brother and she calls him "Ty Ty" and I've gotten into the habit of calling him that too. I do try not to do it when he is around his mature "tweenager" friends to save him some embarrassment. :)

Anyway, Tyler is a soccer player. He's been playing since he was 5 years old and over time has really developed some skills! He has been playing Challenge level soccer for the past two years. The Challenge Division is for players who want to move up from recreation soccer to a higher level of play and coaching. To play, you go through try-outs and if you make a team you travel within the local area for competitive soccer.

This year, he decided to try out for the Classic Division, which is defined as "
for more advanced players who want to move to the highest level of youth soccer." He had great tryouts last week and we found out on Friday that occupies one of just 11 spots on the team!! It's a big commitment for him to make, but he is completely excited about it and can't wait for the season to start. Way to go Ty Ty! We are proud of you!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Mystery of the Green Mouth

Ever had a "DUH!" moment? You of those times when you just have to laugh at yourself? If so, you will appreciate...The Mystery of the Green Mouth!

Yesterday Aaron worked out of town and my parents and I were home with the kiddos. As my dad was feeding Grace Cheetos (yes, her Papa lets the junk food flow freely), we noticed that her whole mouth and tongue were green. There was some green around the outside of her lips and her teeth were even green. Now Grace is a curious little thing and her favorite way to really explore things is with her mouth. This was an ugly, army green though (not the color of anything that was actually edible) and we feared she had gotten into something she shouldn't have. The search began to figure out what mystery object she had tasted. We searched high and low. She had just gotten up from a nap, so I searched her crib for a torn stuffed animal or a stray marker she might have smuggled in in her diaper. Nothing! We searched the entire house, every single place she'd been after waking from her nap and even re-traced a path she made through the yard during a quick escape. Nothing! During the whole process I kept asking Grace "now Gracie, WHAT did you eat?" She grinned and giggled and pointed to her mouth (not exactly the clue I was looking for!) After about half an hour of searching to no avail, we called off the search. Grace seemed to feel fine and we decided we'd watch her closely for the rest of the afternoon and call poison control if we noticed anything unusual. Luckily, she had no ill effects and by the time Aaron got home, there were so many other things going on, I forgot to even mention it to him.

Fast forward to tonight...

Aaron was in the kitchen and I was in the living room and we were having a conversation. He came in and opened his mouth and stuck his tongue out at me and I'll be darned if it wasn't that same yucky harmful substance looking green! "Oh Oh Oh...How did you do that?" I asked. "Uh, do what?" he said. "Make your mouth green like that!" He returned to the kitchen and brought out a bag....a bag of Cheetos. Be sure to read the fine print (ok maybe it's not so fine...let me re-phrase sure to read the huge green banner across the top of the bag)....
So...mystery solved. I showed the bag to my parents and we all felt pretty dumb (but we all got a really good laugh out of it!) In my defense, I hadn't even seen the bag when the whole thing started. Mom had just picked up what she thought was an ordinary bag of Cheetos at the grocery store and dad had given Grace what he thought were ordinary Cheetos. The thought never ever entered my mind that it could have been the Cheetos. With the mystery solved though, I will rest better tonight . Ahhh, adventures in Toddlerhood!

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Nothing Tastes as Good as Being Thin Feels" (The first in a series of MythBusters by Melissa)

If you're familiar with my blog, you know that I often like to give a little background before jumping right into the point of the post. This is one of those posts. I would like to start off by saying I love Weight Watchers. Though I was disappointed 4 years ago when I first signed up to find out they don't take away any pounds for free just for signing up (in other words, I had to WORK for every pound), it is a realistic program and when you follow it, you will lose weight. I've used the program several times -- first, before my wedding. I lost 30 lbs this time and while I was still a far cry from the NutriSystem lady whose husband calls her a trophy wife (<--gee, how nice), for me I was in excellent shape. Secondly, 6 months after Grace was born and I realized that I'd lost all of the "free pounds" I was going to lose from breastfeeding, I started the program again and got back to my pre-pregnancy weight TWO WHOLE DAYS before I found out I was expecting Noah. In an attempt to get the few extra pounds off a little quicker this time, I started again several weeks ago and lost 7 pounds within a few weeks. This week has been challenging though. I took a pretty long fall off of the "wagon" and as I was in the shower this morning, I decided I needed a pep talk!

I searched my brain for all the cute little inspirational things I've heard from Weight Watchers over the years. You know "you bite it, you write it!" and that kind of thing, when I stumbled across THE mantra of all mantras when it comes to weight loss -- "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels!" There, that oughta do it right? Maybe it would have if I had just STOPPED thinking at that point, but that's not how I work. As I pondered the statement more, I began to doubt it's accuracy. First of all I had to think about what being thin feels like. Now, I'll admit, even when I'm on Weight Watchers, I'm usually not "overweight" by most definitions. Without work, I naturally fall somewhere between a size 8 and 12. On Weight Watchers, I usually rest around a size 6 (so we'll call that my definition of thin for me for purposes of this discussion.) So, what does being thin feel like? I think the implication there is something to do with health and sense of accomplishment. For me (and most people I know) if I'm not pregnant and not throwing up or suffering some other kind of illness, I feel pretty healthy regardless of my weight. And sure, there is some feeling of pride and accomplishment when you drop a dress size. However, if I had to sum up in one word what being thin feels like, the word would have to be....


Of course, there are ways to combat hunger and still lose weight, but they just aren't as much fun as the good old "eat what ya want" days! As I continued to think about the phrase, I was able to "de-bunk" this myth in many ways. So here is MY list. These are the things that I think taste WAY better than being thin feels! :)

1) Cadbury mini eggs (I'm not talking about the ones with the gooey junk in the center. These have a hard candy coating over the most scrumptious milk chocolate you've ever sunk your teeth into. I'm convinced they are straight from Satan and thankful I can only get them around Easter).

2) Hershey's chocolate milkshakes from Cookout (If you've been there you know they have the world's best milkshakes in a million different varieties. I've tried a couple but boring old chocolate is my favorite!)

3) Hot chocolate from Panera (My "winter milkshake")

4) Cheetos (Though I've said time and time again that someone should invent a "Cheeto tong" to save us from orange finger syndrome, Cheetos are the greatest crunchy snack I can think of)

5) Coca-Cola (not the diet stuff, I'm talking full strength, full sugar Coke. Worth the calories!)

6) Any kind of ice cream shared with an 18-month old (Between the taste of the ice cream and the image of pure joy on the little ones yum! Ice cream sandwiches are my personal favorite with the blend of chocolate cookie and creamy vanilla ice cream...pure genious!)

7) Cheese pizza from Cicionne's shared over conversation with an 11-year old (Conversations with 11 year olds are a hot commodity and if pizza facilitates it, so be it!)

8) Thanksgiving dinner items! And I'm not just talking about one day a year in November. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite meal ever. I love it all: Turkey, dressing, gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, broccoli casserole, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie. Oh yes, some things DO taste as good as being thin feels!

If you'll excuse me, my mouth is watering...

Myth status: DEBUNKED!!

Look Out Doc, Here We Come!

We had a "dual" doctor appointment on Friday for Grace's 18 month and Noah's 2 month appointments. While slightly logistically challenging, it was kind of convenient to be able to get both appointments taken care of in one shot. Here's the news:

Miss Grace - the doctor says she is "sharp as a tack," and is doing great developmentally. She's running now and is going through a vocabulary explosion. She loves to point out her body parts and can name a lot of them. She has also become a great helper and particularly likes helping unload the washer, dryer, and dishwasher (let's see how long THAT lasts!) She put on a show for the doctor and had him completely wrapped him around her finger in no time. She is 33 inches tall (85th percentile) and weighs 26 lbs (75th percentile). She escaped with no shots this time.

Mr. Noah - is also doing great developmentally. He is smiling like crazy and occasionally treating us to a little giggle. He "talks" to me all the time and let the doctor hear some of his "language." He's a strong little fellow and pushes WAY up on his arms when placed on his tummy. He is 25 inches tall (100th percentile) and 15 lbs (100th percentile). Apparently Noah thinks he and Grace should have been twins and he is doing his best to play catch up. The doctor said he wouldn't be the "little brother" for long! Noah got 3 shots and had a little bit of a fever the following day. He seems to be feeling better now.

Our kind doctor just loved both of them and said he would gladly take one or both of them home with him (we may just take him up on that one Friday evening for date night! That's a babysitter I think I'd feel 100% comfy with.) :)

It was a great appointment all around and we are so thankful for happy, healthy children.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tales from the Housing Market

Well gentle readers, as I've mentioned several times in my blog, we are building a new house and our current house went on the market while I was in the hospital prior to Noah's birth. Noah is two months old next week and I really hoped that by this time I would be informing you all that our house was sold, but alas, the market in the area is about as slow as molasses on a tree in the middle of winter. This is the first time either Aaron or I have been through the process of selling a house and I have to say all in all, it has been one of the most stressful experiences I've ever been through.

First of all, let me remind you that I am a researcher (yes, I realize I say that in almost every entry but it seems to be a convenient way to explain some of my neuroses.) :) Anyway, when we decided to build the new house, I did some research to determine what we needed to do to get our house ready. Before we decided to move, Aaron (with the help of friends) had already put in hardwood floors downstairs (thank you dad, Whit Gifford, and Scott Snow). We had enough left over from that task to do the master bedroom (which was in dire need of new flooring), so Aaron and my dad took a weekend and tackled that task. With that done, it was time to de-clutter. We rented a POD which stayed in our driveway for a couple of months while we went through the house room by room as we had a chance and packed up stuff that we wanted to take with us. During this process we also gave about 40 large trash bags full of stuff to Goodwill and threw away many, many bags of trash. Most of the rooms in our house had not been painted since the house was built in 1995 and ALL the articles I had read insisted that painting was the cheapest way to command top dollar for your home, so we painted every single room, every single inch of trim, every single door, THE WORKS! Having painted all the trim white, we needed to change out all of the outlets, so Aaron tackled that task and every single outlet and light switch in the house was replaced. With the help of friends (thank you Skinners!) we ripped very busy wallpaper down in the half bath and painted that too. Somewhere in there, we also had the carpet on the stairs and in the kids bedrooms replaced. All of these things took a good deal of time and we actually finished right before I went into the hospital. We did so much work that we actually started to wonder why we were leaving in the first place! (Noah's arrival quickly reminded us that we were out of space.)

When the realtor came to look at the house, she was duly impressed! But we weren't completely done yet. When we started having showings, we placed fresh yellow flowers in a vase in the entryway (yellow encourages people to buy things and fresh flowers make people feel home), baked cookies for the homey smell, made sure the lawn looked great, played classical music and made sure our dogs were off the premises. We were sure that the first people who saw our house would LOVE it and make an offer. They didn't, nor did the second, third, fourth or even tenth people. They said things like "love the house, but I want a 2 car garage," (ok, nothing we can do about that), "love the house but don't like that it backs up to the school" (ok, nothing we can do about that either, but we LOVE backing up to the school -- free playground equipment after 5pm and no neighbors behind us...EVER), and the kicker "don't like the new house feel" (to this one we offered to let our dogs back in the house for a week to take care of that, but still no interest).

During the course of this process we have been beaten down. There is a automated service that calls and tells you when a realtor wants to show your house. In the beginning, we got excited when we saw the number appear on the caller ID. When we found out someone was coming, we'd go through all of our "getting the house ready rituals," high 5 each other and talk about how great the offer would be when it came in later that evening! As the rejection started to pour in, we got less and less excited to see the number and we stopped putting as much effort into the showings. No more cookies, no more flowers, basically now I just remind Aaron to make sure the toilets are flushed and the seats are down.

Every realtor who sees our house tells us it is lovely and we just have to wait for the "right people" to come along, but our new house will be done in about 6 weeks and as the fear of having two mortgages sets in, we're less interested in Mr. and/or Mrs. Right...we'd be PERFECTLY happy with Mr. and/or Mrs. Right Now!

Tomorrow is a new day and there happens to be a new showing. Here's to hoping it's the Right Nows!