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  • School Friends

    January 5, 2012

    I love the days I can see the growth in Atticus’ maturity.  You know the moments I mean.  Asking to go to bed rather than being told, helping clean up a mess he made, etc.

    Today was another one of those days.

    Today was his first day back after winter break.  It’s pretty typical for some of the kids to run to the front windows to wave goodbye to their friends as they leave.  Usually Atticus either ignores them or will do his micro-wave with a puny whisper of “bye.”  Today was totally different.  He stopped in front of the window.  Probably 6 feet away from it.

    I heard “bye…. bye… BYE!!!!!!  OK BYE MUAH BYE”

    Then he turned to walk to the car.  Waving good bye and blowing his version of kisses which really looks like he’s going to headbutt you.

    This was the first time it’s ever appeared that he enjoys his classmates.  I know he loves school but I’ve always wondered about how he felt about the other “friends.”  He’s not one for naming people and is always playing by himself when I pick him up.  So it was nice to see him interacting with them.

    I can’t remember the ages I learned about when I took a high school child development class but I think sometime between 2 and 3 kids typically go from playing side by side to actually interacting.  Maybe over the break he crossed that bridge and is starting to interact with his classmates more than the typical toddler behavior of stealing toys.

    The next few weeks will be really fun to watch!

     

    The New Year 100

    December 25, 2011

    Mark and I have stared collecting our NY100 and it’s already gone horrifically wrong!

    So the rules are you collect 100 items from your house to sell, donate, give away, or recycle.  The absolute last option is to throw something away.  We are talking socks that are one giant hole, shattered vases, and the like.

    I think this is the third year I’ve done this so Mark should know the routine… apparently not!  He was sorting through his drawers and found some ties and handkerchiefs that he didn’t want anymore.  I asked him to put them in a laundry hamper I’d set aside for Goodwill donations.  Where did they end up?  The trashcan!

    ::headdesk::

    I guess the count starts over!

    I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty hard for me this year.  We’ve already purged A’s toys for donations and I also cleaned out my closet.  Then we utilized our mega-dumpster from the new roof project.  I suppose I should talk about that sometime.  Our house has been pretty decluttered to say the least.  

    Are you doing the NY100?

    New Traditions

    December 21, 2011

    When I was growing up, the events of Christmas were always the same.  Same traditions and routines year after year.  It was nice having something to look forward to.

    Mark and I have been together for 6 years-married 5 of those.

    Our Christmases have looked like this

    1. Mark was deployed

    2. Mark was home

    3. Mark deploying the day after so we didn’t do anything special

    4.  Mark was still deployed

    5. Atticus was 2 months old.  We were invited to Christmas Eve dinner with my friend’s family.

    6. In a new house in a new city.  We did have Christmas Eve dinner with my friend and her family again- they’ve invited us this year, too!

    We’ve never really had the chance to create our own traditions.  Not to mention that this year and last year Mark has been so stressed out with his exams that he really hasn’t had time to do anything fun Christmas-wise.  I’m tired of trying to create traditions that don’t happen the next year or gets shot down for whatever reason.  We aren’t Christian so we don’t even celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.  It’s purely commercial.

    So this year we are starting over.  New holiday.  New celebration.  New traditions.  Traditions that are 100% organic for us.  Not ones we grew up with and are trying to pass on.  We’ve had 6 Christmases to do that and it hasn’t worked.

    We will be celebrating the Winter Solstice.  You know, the holiday from which the Christmas tree was derived?!  It’s the shortest day and longest night of the year.  It’s a turning point because the days will slowly get longer and longer.

    Here is what we’ve planned.  I’m going to make a big pot of vegetable soup and Mark will make wassail.  We will also have some of our favorite side dishes.  Then Atticus will get to open his gifts and decorate cookies.  If it doesn’t rain, Mark wants to build a fire outside in our firepit so we can sit around it and tell stories and drink our wassail.

    We think it would be fun to help Atticus make some sort of craft to put outside for the animals.  Like paint a bird house or make a  bird feeder.  That won’t happen this year because we have cookies for him to decorate instead.  Next year he will understand things more so it would be a better time.

    Mark and I have been talking about Santa Claus and what we want to do with that tradition because it’s also very cultural. Luckily we have another year to figure that one out.  Atticus has no interest in him at all this year.  We’ve tossed around having him fill our stockings with goodies that will be opened Christmas morning.

    Neither of us like the idea of good children getting gifts and bad ones getting coal.  It’s just a month of bribery and that just doesn’t sit well with us.  Not to mention the whole concept of someone watching your every move!  So we will see what happens next year.

    Hopefully we enjoy our new traditions otherwise we will be airing our grievances sitting around a Festivus pole!

    A Montessori Christmas Party

    December 16, 2011

    Yesterday was Atticus’ class’s Christmas Party.  The parents were invited and I had a blast!  I love getting little glimpses of what the kids do each day.  His daily report only tells me so much.

    When I arrived all the kids were huddled around a table with their teacher.  They were all cutting strawberries!  Instead of standing in the corner, I helped their assistant teacher make sandwiches.  We made two types.  Turkey and Sunbutter & Jelly.  Then Atticus and his friend L helped me cut them into quarters.  I must say, these two year olds have excellent knife skills.

    The sandwiches, strawberries, and animal crackers were served as a snack before the gift exchange.  During snack time, the teachers brought around handmade cards and ornaments the kids made for their parents.  Some were painted glass balls and others were painted salt dough ornaments.

    The gift exchange was such a great idea.  Each kid made a handmade gift.  They all drew numbers and chose a gift in the order of their number.  Atticus painted a handmade cinnamon ornament as his gift.  The gift he chose was a huge cookie in the shape of a tree decorated with green frosting, M&Ms, marshmallows, and gumdrops!  I could tell E worked really hard on it.

    At the end of the party, the teachers gave all the kids a gift they made for them.  Everyone was given a jar of homemade candy cane play dough.  The jars had two balls of red dough and two balls of white.  That was very sweet of them!

    All in all it was a lot of fun!  I know Atticus had a blast.

    Atticus and the Robot

    December 15, 2011

    We have one of those Roomba vacuums.  Honestly, don’t buy one.  They aren’t that special and if you have a house like ours, you’ll spend more time charging and cleaning it than actually vacuuming.

    We only use it in our bedroom these days because our central vac system works better for our million square feet of tile.  Ok our house isn’t THAT big, but you get the drift. The only carpet on the first floor is the master bedroom.  We’ve long since lost the charging stations so he just stays plugged directly into the wall when not in use.

    Last Saturday, poor Atticus had a slight altercation with our little robotic vacuum.  Ok, maybe a big one.

    I’m not sure how it started exactly because I walked into the room in the middle of the whole show down.  The Roomba wasn’t plugged in and somehow Atticus pressed the power button.  On purpose or accidentally, I don’t know.

    What I do know is that it made the little power up chime and I heard “OH NO!”

    Then that the little robot spun around and started to chase my little boy.

    There was screaming “HEP! HEP!”

    There was crying as the vacuum was nipping at his heels.

    There was shear terror happening in my bedroom!

    Luckily this little robotic pursuit only chased him maybe 10-15 feet before I swooped in for the rescue.

    Mom Saves the Day!

     

    His Diapers Are Shrinking

    December 13, 2011

    It’s a sign he’s growing!  I know that sounds strange but it’s true.

    Atticus never had a full-on Buddha baby belly, but he did have a bit of a bulge.  Coupled with his long waist, his medium sized prefolds (red edge) just weren’t able to wrap around his waist at about 16 months.  I upgraded to large (brown edge) but they were huge on him.  In fact, they were so big and made his pants so bulky that we rarely used them.

    Sunday evening, while changing A’s diaper, I noticed that Mark had used a red edge and it fit perfectly! He’d even snapped the cover down a size.

    This can only mean one thing.  Our sweet boy no longer has a baby physique, he is now built like a little boy!

    I’m so excited I can’t even stand it.  I love prefolds and have missed using them because the brown edges were so bulky and he was too wiggly to even really get it on well.  Now we can use perfectly fitting ones and he actually lays still so I can get it securely on.

    It makes me sad to think he’s growing up so fast, but I’m trying to find the silver lining!

    My Take On Whining

    December 6, 2011

    As most toddlers do, Atticus whines.  He whines a lot.  Mark and I have tried various methods to try to curb it but they aren’t really working.  Then it hit me.  I understand why he whines.

    I should probably start by saying that we believe that babies cry for a reason.  They don’t do it just because they can.

    For the first year or so of their lives, their only form of communicating their needs was through crying.  I was not one of those moms who knew what each cry meant, but I could use my instincts to know he was probably hungry or he was terribly uncomfortable.  He knew if he cried, someone would help him no matter the time of day or night.

    All of a sudden speech has come into play.  He’s learning how to communicate exactly what he needs through words.  However, just like most things in life, there are periods of transitions.  Just like the college kid who comes home to have mom wash their clothes or the just retired workaholic still going into the office just because.

    He is just in transition.  He knows that crying will let me know that he needs something but he also knows that adults want him to “use his words.”  He doesn’t understand why all of a sudden he isn’t supposed to speak his first language.  So while it can be irritating, I firmly believe its just a phase and he will outgrow it.  I just model his need using a more pleasant tone.

    Heck, even as adults we whine.  We whine about the piles of laundry, the 4 hour business meeting, or lines at the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving.  That instinct never fully leaves us.

    Oh Wimpy Tree, Oh Wimpy Tree

    December 3, 2011

    Guess what.

    Christmas has been saved!

    Last night we went on a Griswold style trip looking for a Christmas tree.  We decided to bite the bullet and buy a real one.  We went to a nearby gardening center that just so happens to be totally organic!  they are about to get to know me really well… And picked out a nice sized 8 footer.  Then we decided that for roughly the same price, we could get a semi decent fakey that we could use for a few extra years.

    So we hauled our butts to Target to get the tree I’d found a few days earlier.  Yeah, sold out.  The website doesn’t even have it online.  In fact, most of their trees online were out of stock.

    Today, I was thirty seconds away from turning into Mrs. Scrooge when Mark found a random box under some junk in the garage.

    OUR TREE BASE!!!!

    If you believe in angels, they were probably singing LOL!

    Mark and I put up the tree while Atticus took a marathon of a nap (we had to miss a play date because of this nap.)  Every year, the tree begins to look wimpier and more pathetic.  It isn’t a nice tree.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    This year we tried to augment it with some green garland I had.  It worked well until we ran out about a foot from the bottom!

    So we have a mostly fluffy tree with a pathetic bottom portion.

    Then we shattered one of the globes on our beautiful lights.  Oooops!

    When Atticus woke up, he put his homemade ornaments on our hot mess of a tree.  He had a lot of fun, but for the life of him couldn’t figure out how to hook the darn ornament onto anything.  He wanted them to stick to the lights, so I helped him hook them to the light strand.

    So now we have a mostly fluffy tree with a pathetic bottom portion and an insane fire hazard.

    It got even better as the evening went on.

    The top strand of lights decided to call it quits.  But you know what, we worked hard on that thing and they are just going to have to stay.

    So now we are left with a mostly fluffy tree with a pathetic bottom portion and an insane fire hazard that doesn’t even light up on top. 

    This year we will being singing:
    sing it with me, now…

    Oh Wimpy Tree, Oh Wimpy Tree
    You are insanely pathetic.
    Oh Wimpy Tree, Oh Wimpy Tree
    One day we will replace you.

    If you beg, grovel, and plead I MIGHT post a picture of this hot mess.

     

     

    Evaluating the Christmas Tree

    November 29, 2011

    As a kid, there was this weird tradition.  My parents would get out the boxes of decorations and ornaments and there would be these wooden reindeer body with no antlers or limbs.  In fact, I had no idea what they whole thing looked like. Just the body.  Later, when my parents moved to a new house, they found the missing pieces.  I’m pretty sure they’d been missing for 20ish years!

    I think our little family is going to have a repeat!

    Traditionally we decorate our tree and house on Black Friday or whenever we get home from traveling.  Friday, Mark and I hauled out all the ornaments, decorations, and the box containing the fake tree.  We packed up with Fall decorations and started unpacking the Christmas stuff when Mark noticed we have small, major issue.

    Our Christmas tree base is missing!

    We scoured the house and garage.  That silly little tripod is nowhere to be seen!  We both remember last year accidentally leaving it out and instead of unpacking the whole box, we put it somewhere “safe.”  We’ve also noticed that a few of our favorite ornaments are missing as well.

    Now what do we do?  Buy a new one?  Get a real tree this year?

    I should add that our tree was very small compared to the size of our sun room and height of the ceiling.  Last year, we decided that eventually we’d get a really nice tree that would fit the room better.  Not really knowing how much a fake tree costs we went shopping.  Yeah, a nice one totally isn’t in the budget.

    Something about a real tree doesn’t sit right with me. Firstly, I’ve heard they are messy and you really have to pay attention to watering them.  Atticus loves to play in water so this doesn’t sound like fun.  Secondly, it’s a one time thing. There is no reusing it.  I’m all about reusing stuff, as you may know.  It almost seems like a waste of money.

    Yes, I know that fake trees are laced with BPA and VOCs but again, they can be reused for decades… provided you don’t lose parts of it (go us!)  We could buy one in our price range that isn’t what we really want but then it would almost be another waste of money because we’d still want a bigger, nicer one.

    Ugh.  What’s a family to do?

     

     

    Thanksgiving

    November 27, 2011

    We had an amazing Thanksgiving!

    Mark’s mom came into town for the holiday which was nice.  Atticus loves having “new” people to play with.  He had so much fun showing off his cars and other toys.  Napping was not in his plan which made him slightly more than bonkers.

    We had a pot luck at our neighbor’s house with a few of her friends.  I made corn casserole, pecan pie, and spiced caramel apple upside down cake.  There was also ambrosia, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, and pumpkin bread!  YUM!

    There were two hilarious lines of the holiday… “Sarah has a bun in the oven!” and “Did you know Atticus has a mouse in his pocket?”

    Actually, I had rolls in the oven, not a “bun.”  Atticus had a tiny computer mouse in his pocket.  He was using it as a multipurpose device of sorts.   You know, zapping looneys, making phone calls, and pretending it’s a yo-yo.

    After we were all stuffed to the brim but were still talking about food (what were we thinking?) Atticus was in desperate need of a rest so Mark took him back to our house to have some quiet time which resulted in some caveman face painting, if you know what I mean.  Just what Mark and I wanted to clean up after filling our guts with waaaaaay too much food.

    Oh the joys of parenthood LOL!

    I realized at about 9:30 that night that I hadn’t eaten a single bite of dessert but I was still so full that I couldn’t even force myself.  I learned that dessert makes and awesome midnight snack!

    So, how was your Thanksgiving?

     

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