Thursday, September 25, 2008

My "Mom Wall"

As the daughter of two teachers, I really hate to admit this, but I have always been "that mom." The one teachers hate. You may be her too and if not, surely you know her. It's usually not intentional, but "that mom" is a little scatterbrained, not *quite* as organized as she should be and has trouble keeping up with dates (like picture day, bring a special (fill in the blank) to school day, etc.) In her (my) defense, she really does love her kids and cares about what's going on with them, but she usually has many different things going on falls just short of doing any of them exactly like she wishes she could.

Combine having three children in some form of "school" now with three sets of papers, dates, etc with my new love of organization and you get a major brainstorming session on how to solve some of these problems. The result = my "Mom Wall." I started talking about "my wall" long before school started and thinking about what I needed and how I wanted to do it. I mentioned it to Aaron several times, but when I told him the week before school started that I was ready to go get the stuff for my wall, he replied "huh, what? what wall?" "Never mind, let's go to Target," I replied. :)

My mom wall has changed my life (not to mention my reputation with the teachers). First (and MOST important to me) is the large white board calendar that I actually do use. It's got all the important stuff on it and I check it nightly to make sure I'm all ready for the next day (and yes Mom, I KNOW the little kids have school pictures next Tuesday! You don't even have to remind me this year! :)) Next, there's a file holder with three levels (one for each child). Each child has a folder where papers that need my attention go. I leaf through each folder a couple of times a week to make sure we've turned in what we need to turn in, etc. Tyler knows if he has things that need my attention he is to put them in straight up and down (instead of sideways) so I can easily see that they are there. And finally, the bag hooks. I should mention that Tyler now has his own hooks in his room to hold his school backpack and his soccer bag and he has his own white board above it for attention items. But, the little kids are of course, too young to keep up with their own stuff, so they each have a clearly marked tote bag (thank you Land's End) that keeps their school folder (that teachers send things home in and we send thing back in), their change of clothing, diapers, etc that they need to take to school each day. The "Mom Wall" is right beside the door to the garage, so it's easy to grab things on the way out and hang them back up on the way in.

This system is so far working great. I know I'll have to adjust it as time goes on, but I'm learning that organization is an ongoing process and if it isn't tailored to your individual needs, it's not going to work long-term. I would love to hear from you about any cool tips that help YOU stay on top of things! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Big Boy!

Noah had his 18 month check-up this morning. He is doing great and is still a big boy! I used an online calculator and his percentiles are below.

Based on the data you submitted, your child falls into the following percentiles:

Length = above percentile 95
Weight = between percentile 50 and 75
Head Circumference = in percentile 90

At 18 months, he is a full inch taller than Grace was at age 2. I am holding out hope for a future Demon Deacon basketball player!! :)

In other news, the doc said he looked great physically, mentally, and socially and is slightly ahead of the curve on talking (something I've been a little concerned about because he doesn't talk quite as much as Grace did at this age). So yay Noah Balboa! Stay healthy and we don't have to go back for 6 months!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


For those of you who know me well, the title will both confusing and surprising. You see, to me, running has always been something you do for necessity only. You know, if you were being chased by a bear or trying to catch the ice cream truck before it leaves your neighborhood. I've never understood the term "fun run" or how people could possibly find it relaxing. Any time I'VE done it in the past, I've ended up breathless, sweaty, and not amused. But over the past year or so, I've heard mentions of the Couch to 5K program several times. I even looked it up about 6 months ago, but didn't quite have the motivation to do it at the time.

Recently, a friend/neighbor of mine (hi Cortney!) and I started walking in the mornings. We've both found that doing it at 6:30 am is perfect, because it's done before the rest of the house even wakes up and it leaves you feeling revved up and rejuvenated for the rest of the day. We have some other friends who run. a lot. And while I think it's great, when they've mentioned it to me, I've always responded " thanks, I'm not a runner!" I also have a sister in law who is not only a runner, but a running coach. She's thrown out challenges in her blogs to everyone to get up and get running and I've always assumed she wasn't talking to me. (You weren't, right Shayla?) Anyway, some of these friends have started training for a half marathon (I had to look this up to see what it even was...basically it's about 13.1 miles) and Cortney happened to mention Couch to 5K one day as we were walking. Feeling a little less than challenged by just walking (and obviously in an early morning stupor), I suggested we give it a whirl. Turns out, the same event our friends are running also has a 5K. So, that is our goal. To run a 5K in December. We started this week with week 1 of Couch to 5K and while we're only running a total of 8 minutes per day so far, I feel GREAT every time we finish. It's hard for me to imagine that I will be able to run 3 miles only 8 weeks from now, but I've seen lots of success stories from people who've done it, almost all of whom say "If I can do it, anyone can." I have faith that I'll be saying that myself in a blog later in the year. And if I say it, you will know for sure it's true!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Noah's First Haircut

I have to admit...I LOVED the little curls (see beach pictures). I didn't want to cut it, but it was starting to look much like a brill-o pad in the mornings. Aaron kept threatening to sneak him off for a haircut and because I didn't want to miss an event as important as the FIRST haircut, I finally agreed. It started off great, but about five minutes in, he was sooooo over it. He looks like such a big boy now...

Beach Trip '08!

First, I've been a slacker and have a LOT of catching up to do.

In mid-August we took our annual family beach trip to Ocean Isle Beach. We went with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Tyler took a friend this year. We had a GREAT time (Thanks Mom and Dad!!) Noah was fascinated with the ocean and Grace was a little intimidated by it this year. This year, the house we stayed in had a pool and the kids really enjoyed that. Aaron and I enjoyed taking the kids for bike rides and getting some rest! It was nice having so many adults around full-time. :) Here are a few pictures...

The boys hangin' out...

And Grace had her turn too!

Aaron and Noah in the pool

Nana catching some rays

All ready for a ride!

Mommy, Noah, and Grace

My little Lulu