Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Appliance Series

Noah loves babies. Noah loves looking at babies in books and kissing them. Noah has found that a VERY cute baby lives in our oven and that baby's twin lives in our washing machine.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The "Perfect World" of Bloggery

I went to Girl's Night Out last night with some friends and fellow bloggers and we were discussing how almost everyone's family appears "perfect" on their blog. Surely, even television's most "imperfect" family (pictured left) would have appeared to be living in complete bliss if they had had a blog (well, maybe not, but the important word there is television, they aren't a real family at all.)

I like to think that at the end of the day when you consider everything that happened, it's the positive and funny things that are noteworthy enough to get mentioned, but I also think that blogs have become the daily or weekly equivalent of the Christmas letter or the high school or family reunion. Who mentions their marital counseling in their Christmas letter? Or comes to the high school reunion to report that they've been fired three times in the last year?

The more I think about it, I don't think it's really about painting a perfect picture for the outside world, but about preserving the memories that are really important, the things you WANT to remember. I am NOT anywhere close to perfect. I have some major shortcomings that I am painfully aware of. I'm thankful that my husband doesn't post these things on his blog and I give him the same courtesy. We're married, we're a team, and while a blog is a great way to share things with family and friends, there are some things that should not be hung out there for the world to see. I suppose I could post about Grace hurling herself to the floor in more than one grocery store to scream at the top of her lungs for whatever it was that her little heart desired and we said no to that day or I could talk about Noah being grumpy when teething or Tyler getting in trouble for texting his friends before finishing his homework, but if I forget about these things in time, what's the harm? I'd rather devote MY blog space to remembering the precious moments.

So, to dispel any myths..we are not perfect and neither are our kids, which makes us all PERFECT...for each other. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

ABCs...Grace Style...

OK, Grace can sing the alphabet song. Some letters aren't really clear and if she's not sure she fills it in with "uhuh." Sometimes, she gets sidetracked and makes her own lyrics. For example, several months ago she bellowed "A B Daddy E F G." This morning in the car I heard a new Grace version. She sang through as much as she could clearly singing "Q R S -T U V -W F - Wake Forest Deacons." Genius--maybe not -- but ya gotta love the creativity! :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

An "Eggs"cellent Week!

The last few days have been filled with fun Easter activities and my children are reminding me - once again - what life is all about! Seeing things, I mean REALLY seeing things, through the eyes of a child brings such an exciting perspective that it makes you wonder WHY we all grow up and start seeing things any other way.

On Thursday, Grace had an Easter Parade at Mother's Morning Out. I did not have a camera when we went to pick her up, but I will paint the picture for you as well as I can. Aaron went in to get her and she came bounding out the door with a little bonnet made out of a paper plate with a plastic bowl on top, donned with hot pink silk daisies (her sweet teacher Mrs. Pauline made this for her). She had a plastic Easter bucket in one hand and a little rabbit basket with flowers made from pipe cleaners and cutouts of her hand print in the other. She literally had a grin from ear to ear as she made her way to the car. No, I didn't have a camera, but I know that I will NEVER forget the image. It should be in the dictionary beside the word "elation."

On Friday, we went to my parent's house and dyed Easter eggs, followed by a Grace/Noah Easter egg hunt. Grace had such fun looking for the eggs and sweet little Noah had fun trying to stuff them in his mouth. As I pondered how much they enjoyed such a simple activity, I decided we didn't need Little Gym or the likes. It is possible to have GREAT fun without paying big money for it. Again, something I KNEW when I was a kid, but sometimes forget as an adult.

Today, we had our neighborhood Easter egg hunt. We took all the kids out in a neighborhood common area and they "searched" for eggs. I had been thinking earlier in the day "now where will they hide the eggs? It's just an open area" Silly adult me! They just get dropped in the's not fun if you have to look TOO hard for them! :) Again, the smiles on all the kids faces were priceless. Nobody was rushed, nobody over-scheduled and NOBODY was misbehaving. Makes me wonder if our attempts to keep our children "entertained" is to blame for some of the newer behavior problems (but that's a whole other blog).

Tonight, we went to see the Easter Bunny. We figured (correctly) that the lines would be much shorter for those of us who procrastinated until the very last second. I didn't know what to expect from my children. I know lots of kids are scared of the Easter Bunny and Santa, but I'd been talking to Grace about it and she was adamant the SHE wanted to see "the Bunny" so off we went. Thanks to our procrastination, Grace was able to run right up to the bunny as soon as we got there. It was like he was her best friend. One down. Noah has developed a little stranger anxiety so I thought surely he'd have a meltdown. He calls his stuffed animals "Deacon" (long story) and as I walked him up to the bunny, he patted it's "fur" and said "Deacon, Deacon, Deacon." It was love at first sight for him too! We got a great picture and had a hard time getting Grace to leave. She'd walk away and go right back to check him out again.

It has been such a fun weekend! Thank you little munchkins -- for reminding mommy of some things she needed to be reminded of. I LOVE LOVE LOVE you!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

What fun!!

We went to see the Harlem Globetrotters tonight! It was so much fun. Tyler has been wanting to go for years and this year I managed to remember to get tickets and I am so glad I did. Grace danced and had a grand old time through the whole show. It was in the coliseum where her Wake Forest Demon Deacons play and while that was a little confusing at first, when we left she said "I had fun at the Deacon's house!"

Noah was a little overwhelmed at first, but was dancing and clapping in short order! Aaron, Tyler and I laughed quite a bit -- it was a great show!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thank you Ty Ty!

The little kids in our family tend to get a lot of press on the blog because they are learning and doing so much new stuff in such a short amount of time, but tonight as I took some clean laundry into Tyler's room, I looked around and realized how lucky I am that he is such a good kid.

Yes, we have our battles. I tease him and tell him I'm going to have to start sending text messages to let him know it's time for dinner. We've had to limit phone and computer time because it's gotten ALOOC (A Little Out of Control). But so far this year, he's made straight A's in highly academically gifted classes, while participating in Scouts and keeping up with a demanding soccer schedule. And, although he is 12, he keeps his room darn near spotless. Yeah, I have to remind him to hang up his clothes and empty his bathroom trash, but when I think back to how MY room looked when I was 12, I'm amazed at what a good job he does.

He is also a great emergency babysitter. Some days when Aaron is visiting a client and I have a business phone call to take, he steps right in and entertains the little ones. They both adore him, so it's a really easy transition.

So, thank you Tyler! We love you and appreciate all you do!

Curly Sue (and Noah too!)

If you've met Grace (and even if you've just seen any of her pictures on this blog), you understand why I sometimes call her "Curly Sue." She has VERY. CURLY. HAIR. I mean the kind of curly that causes strangers to cross restaurants to comment on it. It was around her first birthday that we started to notice some little ringlets forming in the fuzz and as her hair grew, it didn't get longer, the curls just got tighter and more defined. If you pull her hair out straight it is shoulder length, but it's impossible to get it straight (and I would never want to, I love her little curly locks!)

Anyway. Noah's hair has developed a familiar fuzz and sure enough, the curls are forming. I couldn't be happier that they have both apparently gotten daddy's curls. I'm sure when they are older, they will both fight them and try to straighten them, but as long as I'm the "stylist," let the curls be free!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't pay attention to this entry...

I know you want to skip right over it and read about Noah's birthday anyway, so please do.
I had a bad, bad week on the weight loss thing. I can blame nobody but myself. Between spaghetti dinner at Grace's school and very tempting birthday cake yesterday, my willpower crumbled into dust. And a busy work schedule kept us from the gym. Oh well, there's always this week. And starting the 30th is the Feel Great in 8 challenge. THAT ought to keep me on my toes.

The results:
Start of the week: +13.9 from goal
GAIN This week: +1.2
To go: 15.1

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Though yesterday was Noah's actual birthday, Tyler had a soccer game an hour and a half away and we made a family trip of it and met Aaron's old roommate who lives in the area for dinner. We're not big on huge first birthday galas, but we did have lunch/cake in Noah's honor at mom and dad's house today. Uncle Andy and Aunt "Missa" came and we all had a nice time.

Aaron started a tradition of making the birthday
cakes with Grace and though time constraints due to our trip yesterday kept him from making his typical masterpiece, he did put together a darling bunny cake for Noah to dig into. Noah surprised us all by being quite dainty with the cake. We were expecting him to be covered head to toe in icing like Grace was, but he ended up with a little on his nose and some on his hands. We didn't even have to hose him down when he was finished!

He had a fun time opening gifts. He loves to look at other babies and when he opened one gift, he proceeded to kiss the baby on the box. He is such a sweet little guy! Of course, after the initial
excitement wore off, he was content to play with (and try to eat) the wrapping paper. :)

Happy Birthday, little NoNo! We are so glad you had a fun day!

Cheesin' with Mommy

Gotta love Nana's necklace!
Hi everybody!

Monkeyin' around with Papa and Tyler

Did someone say time for CAKE??
Even big boys get cake on their nose sometimes!
Mwah! That is the cutest baby ever!
Let me check out the transmission...
Grace in the doll chair
Happy Birthday, best buddy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A "ONE"derful Year!

Dear Sweet Noah Balboa,

Where has the time gone? One year ago today, you joined our family. I clearly remember that in the afternoon when all of our guests had left to eat, you and I had our first moment completely alone together. You were wide awake and you gazed into my eyes. Then you wriggled your way up my tummy to nurse. I fell in love with you at that moment and you have continued to wrap me around your little finger every day. This year has been a busy one and we've gone through a lot of changes, but whatever the challenge, you've been a sweet, easygoing little guy.

One of my friends refers to you as "the mayor" because you are so smiley and charming to everyone you meet. You have an infectious little giggle.
You have recently started to LOVE to play games. Peek-a-boo is your favorite, but you also like "How big is Noah?" and Patty-cake. You are a loving little dude and when I pat your back, you pat my back in return. It is so darn cute. You have FINALLY discovered food. You wouldn't eat anything but breast milk until you turned about 11 months old, then you totally skipped baby food and started eating anything and everything right off of our plates. I am amazed at how much you eat!

You explore the world with your mouth. If you can pick it up, it goes in your mouth. This really keeps daddy and me on our toes. We've pulled paper, coins, and various other tidbits out of your mouth just in the nick of time.

As sweet as you are, you have a mischievous side too! One of your favorite games is standing outside the bath tub and turning on the water and sticking your little hands in it. Grace enjoys playing that game with you! Yesterday, while I was drying my hair, you went behind the bathroom door and pulled quite a bit of toilet paper off the roll before I caught you (and snapped a picture). I couldn't help but laugh -- you looked soooo proud of yourself.

You have brought so much joy and love to our family, little man.

I love you to the moon and back!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The coolest shop online...

is! I have been an online shopper for years and one of the things I love most about the experience is the opportunity to comparison shop a kajillion stores in minutes. Through the cloth diapering community I have become familiar with a website called which features handmade products from a kajillion different individuals (ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but check it out, there's TONS of stuff there!) Being a work-at-home mom has changed my perspective on a lot of things and it is my goal to support other work at home parents when possible. Etsy doesn't offer "everything" but when I need something "crafty" it's the first place I look. Just last week, I got a beautiful bag from xcessrize on etsy. It something I've been looking for for over a year -- a messenger bag that has a divider and is big enough to carry my laptop on one side and miscellaneous kid gear on the other. Very helpful when I take the kids to my mom's so I can work. And speaking of bags, I've been "bag tagged" so as soon as I can, I'll take a picture of it and play out my turn!

In the meantime, check out etsy! You're sure to find a treat!

Not Cute!

My mom tells a story of me as a young toddler in which I was in a particularly cranky mood and she said to me "Boy, you sure do like to argue!" I fired back quickly "NO! I DO NOT LIKE TO ARGUE!" This morning I realized that the classic mother's wish ("I hope when you grow up you have kids that act just like you") has come true for my mom.

All of Grace's Dora cups were dirty, so I poured her milk into the only available cup and handed it to her. She took one sip and said "I don't like this one, this is Noah's cup!" After a few minutes of telling her that she could drink out of that cup or not at all (met with major whining of course!), I looked at her and the following conversation ensued.

Me: Oh Grace, you are just too cute!
Grace: NO! I NOT cute! I Gracie!

Ah, the fun of having a 2-year old!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Week 2 Results...

All things considered, this was a good week. We didn't join the gym until Wednesday and were able to go twice. In addition, we took advantage of some GORGEOUS NC weather to go on a couple of family walks.

Full calorie soft drink weaning is going ok. I am not going to post what I've gone from and to on that one because frankly, it is embarrassing, but trust me, I'm getting there! :) I've discovered that Diet Sprite isn't so bad.

I've definitely made better choices with food.

So, without further ado, here are the results:

Start of the week: +15.5 from goal
Loss this week: -1.6
To go: 13.9

I'm happy with that! I know sensible weight loss is about 1-2 lbs per week, so that was a pretty good week. Still lots of work to be done though! :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Making myself accountable!

Post baby's a slippery slope.

I have about 15 lbs of post-Noah weight still hanging around (in addition to 5 post-Cadbury mini egg lbs). I changed the appearance of this blog because Grace has taken to calling me "Cookie Mommy" which has forced me to take a good long look in the mirror and examine my eating habits more closely. With Noah turning a year old, my "grace period" has long since passed so I am making a commitment to losing 20 lbs! I know there are at least a few people who follow my blog, so I am going to post weekly results to keep myself accountable.

What am I doing? Well, we joined a gym and I am trying to go AT LEAST 3 times a week. In addition, I am attempting to completely wean from full calorie soft drinks (which means I'll probably give up soft drinks all together...I hate hate hate diet sodas!) and eating sensibly. I'm still nursing so Iwill not be going into "starvation mode" but I will not be visiting my friends Wendy and Ronald anymore (It's been fun guys, but the badonka donk butt has gotta go!)
I am also getting ready to join a "Feel Great in 8" challenge with some friends that focuses on feeling great through eating right, exercise and scripture study. There is a winner at the end of the 8 weeks and I like a challenge!

I've actually been working on this for a week and a half and had great results in week 1.

Start weight +20 lbs
Week 1 -4.5 lbs
To go 15.5 lbs

This week's results to come on Monday. Have a great weekend..oh, and please pass the broccoli! :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

If you say so Mommy...

The scene: My parent's house (Grace's favorite place) right after lunch (nap time). We are sitting on the front porch enjoying the beautiful weather. I am on the steps and Grace is in the rocker.

Me: OK Grace, nap time!

Grace: No, I NOT sleepy

Me: Grace, it's nap time. You can take a nap here (touching the front porch to make the point that I am talking about Nana and Papa's house) or we can go home and you can nap there.

Grace: OK Mommy -- I sleep here (laying down on the porch in the exact spot I pointed to).

Guess I asked for that one, eh?