December 24, 2010

Not a Creature Was Stirring

My favorite conversation of the night.
Nate: - "Mom, can you do me a favor please?"
Me: - "Sure what's that?"
Nate: - "Can you move the presents for our friends that are under our tree so that Santa doesn't get confused. He might thinks he's already been here."
Me: - "Sure, that makes sense".

Poor Santa...he's getting old. He's starting to forget the places he's been.

Merry Christmas to All....and to all a goodnight!

December 20, 2010

1/2 Way Baked


My "Think Pink" campaign worked.

I had my 20 week ultrasound today, and saw our new baby girl. I'm still in disbelief. I had to ask the technician to check twice. He was so sure of himself that I couldn't believe he could tell that easily. I guess we'll find out in May how good his skills really are, or end of April as I like to tell everyone. I'm due around May 10th, but the boys both came early, so if history repeats itself (and it usually does), I'm taking bets on April 29th.

Since Mari is gone for two weeks, Doug and I are busy juggling work and the boys. I didn't have much time to day dream today about life with a girl. When I did have a fleeting moment here were my initial thoughts. Don't judge me, I'm pregnant, and think I'm a little sleep deprived already.

1. I can't wait to buy her a dollhouse with all the furnishings, and change the mini holiday decorations as needed.
2. Oh no, what if she tells me she hates me when she's a teenager.
3. I hope she doesn't have a big head. I think boys can pull that off a little better and it still took Jack two years to pull his off.
4. Wow. We get to throw a wedding...and then the moment of panic, we better save for that.
5. I get to take her to a tea party, dress her in polka dot tights, and bring her to the American Doll store.
6. I fear my house my look like somebody threw up Pepto Bismol after my mom and sister unleash the pent up need to buy pink.
7. I can't wait to see Doug with a little girl. I just know she'll be a Daddy's girl.

As you can see my thoughts are little random at this point. I'm sure more will come over the next few days. I did however find time to get lost online in Gymboree. I've never ventured into the "Baby Girl" section before. My God, I was missing out. I was overwhelmed by so many options. I almost splurged on an asymmetrical swimsuit, that was called the "diva", but I went for the traditional corduroy jumper instead.  This was my first purchase. (Adorable pink cardigan not shown.)

December 3, 2010

The Start of Hanukkah

Wednesday night was the start of Hanukkah, and a very BIG deal in our house. Nate woke up wanting to start the present opening first thing in the morning. It's a little difficult to explain that the holiday starts at sundown, so it's easier to say, "When Mommy and Daddy get home from work!" At least that's when Hanukkah started in my house growing up. My sister and I would wait at the front window watching for my Dad's car to pull around the corner. Dad coming home = present time! It turns out that some things never change. The moment I opened the garage door on Wednesday night, there were two little faces waiting for me to pull my car in. My windows were up, so I couldn't hear their little shouts of excitement, but I could feel the anticipation while watching them jump for joy.

Jack has been asking for a cleaning cart for weeks. He found one in a magazine, and walked around showing every visitor who would listen to his wish list. For days leading up to Hanukkah he would question me, "Do I get my cleaning cart?" Nathan had a list too. Nothing too major this year, he wanted Zoobs, a science kit, some craft supplies, an electric keyboard, and my favorite, a handheld metal detector. (Which I'm sorry to say, he's not getting.)  The thought of him walking around the house with tiny beeps in search of gold, is just a little too much.

I'm happy to report that Jack got his cleaning cart on the first night, and I've never seen a happier 2 year old. He was absolutely beside himself with joy. He had a laugh that could be described as something in between evil, and giddy. I think he even kissed the box when he opened it.



Nathan was excited that he got his Zoobs, but the real showstopping gift came from G-ma and G-pa from the "Hills" (That's what Nate calls them.) Doug's mom and dad are from the the "Woods". Anyway, my parents got him a recording studio/keyboard. I have to admit it is probably one of the coolest toys I've ever seen. In fact I caught Doug using it shortly after Nate took a break. Nate can record songs, mix music, use a turntable to add sound effects, and literally pretend he's the next D.J. AM. Of course, Doug reminded me that DJ AM died of a heroine overdose, so I need to work on finding a new role model. Nate does however believe he might be a top selling hip hop artist. I have to say, he does have some impressive moves. He just needs to work on his lyrics. They usually start with something like "Mommy says this...., or Jack loves to clean".

There are six more nights left, and frankly I can't remember what I wrapped, so every night is a surprise for me too!
I love Hanukkah.

I especially love my new boots that I bought, (err I mean that Doug bought for me!) They conveniently arrived in a box on our doorstep on the second night. His timing was impeccable this year!

November 8, 2010

Back to Earth



After a two month sabbatical from my life.....I'm finally entering the Earth's atmosphere again!

And what's left doesn't look pretty. 10 loads of laundry, a playroom with not a matching toy in sight, and papers and bills stacked two stories high. I just couldn't take looking at Nate and Jack in mismatched p.j.s anymore. (Clearly that doesn't bother Doug). Actually the turning point was an episode of Hoarders on TLC that snapped me back to reality. I may be been throwing up day and night, but I will certainly not be buried alive under tupperware, and Target receipts.

With a deep breath, and a long list of action items, I enter my second trimester.....
  • 8 loads of laundry done - 2 more to go
  • Decorated for Thanksgiving
  • Organized the playroom - All toys and parts back in their spots
  • Organized our bedroom and closets
  • Spot treated our carpets
  • Massive grocery shopping
  • Paid bills
  • Spruced up the downstairs bathroom
  • Cleaned out the laundry room
  • Costco run - That's significant enough!

Next up.....
  • Hall closet/ paperwork reorganization
  • Planning Thanksgiving dinner for 16 people
  • Paint the baby and the boy's rooms
  • Plant some flowers
  • Returning phone calls!

When I'm done with all of that, I'll post some funny stories and events we've been doing over the past month. Hint: There was a lot of Giants baseball in our house, and Jack took up construction in the bathroom. (Oh that reminds me, let me add - fix tile floor to my To-Do list.)

It feels good to be back to Earth!

October 6, 2010

Party of Five

I am happy to announce that next May the Willbanks Family will be a Party of 5! Yes that's right, our lives will be forever changed..... again.

  • No more double Queen beds in a hotel room - bring out the roll away. Better yet, let's just book two rooms!
  • No more casual SUV, bring on the third row seater.
  • No more 3 bedroom house. Oh wait, we have to keep that. In that case bring on the bunkbeds.
  • No more man on man defense, bring on the Zone!

These are all things I wake up thinking about at 3AM. How is possible I forgot the joy of the first trimester and decided this would be a good idea again?

On a positive note, I saw the heartbeat for the first time yesterday, and if I didn't feel like I would throw up every five minutes we might have celebrated.

Oh wait, I did celebrate. I went to bed at 7:30PM.

We told Nate and Jack last weekend. Nate's response, "But how will we manage two babies?"
My response, "Um, Jack isn't actually a baby anymore, and we plan on having you change the diapers!"
Only kidding of course, but in retrospect, he would be pretty good. He's a great cleaner, very organized, and thorough. All skills I plan on taking advantage of when the next baby comes.

So there you have it! My big news! Please accept my apologies in advance for not keeping my blog updated more regulary. I'm too busy tracking down smells like a bloodhound. I should have suspected something was up when I could smell the neighbors trash two doors down, or the garlic in the silverware drawer.

Ahh pregnancy, I'm sure you'll hear more from me over the next 9 months. Until then, think of me at 3AM, I'll be making another list!


September 28, 2010

If I Only Had a Cane!

The other day Nate came into my room and asked what I was doing. I was writing a new children's book. I love hearing his unfiltered critique so I typically ask him what he thinks. After he gave me his "honest" opinion he then said, "You know what Mom, you have a lot of jobs!" "You're a coach, you're a writer, and you take care of us." (I love how he forgot to mention my actual FT paying job.) But I said, "THANK YOU Nate for noticing." "You are so right. I do have a lot of jobs!"

My assortment of jobs, must be the reason I feel so squeezed for time lately; though the never ending juggle seems to take on a new pace come September. One thing that helps me remain sane, is working on the projects I love. The past few months I've been working with the illustrator, Deb Melmon on my children's book, "An Elephant in the Aisle Seat". 

I promised a while back I would post some of the early sketches of the book. Deb just sent me this sketch today. This is one of my favorites.

I love the Grandma in the background using her cane to fight off the Elephant, and the people protecting their peanuts. It's how I feel at dinner sometimes!. If only I had a cane to fend off the 37 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old vultures.  

More to come on the book front in a few weeks!


 ©  2010 Lori Willbanks and Deborah Melmon





September 23, 2010

I'm a Winner!

If somebody were to ask me yesterday when was the last time I won something, I would probably say never. (Unless you want to count the many goldfish we paid at least 10 dollars to win at the local fair.)

But...

If that same somebody were to ask me today ......I would say I am the new proud owner of 24 bottles of Kahe Sparkling Nectar.



How did I get so lucky?

Well, I met a great Mom through Nate's preschool class last year, who writes a weekly blog that's delicious. Every week Jane posts yummy menus, and then ask the readers to share what we're eating. It's a great resource for me especially when I'm out of ideas on what to cook and need some simple recipes.

Each day last week Jane dedicated her blog posts to a local Menlo Park business and a giveaway. If we entered a comment about each post we would be eligible for that day's prize.

Well today was my lucky day!

By writing the simple sentence....."Well, thankfully another perk to living in Menlo Park!" I won a case of 24 drinks...oh and a very cool old fashioned straw dispenser. The best part is that I don't have to lift a finger. They will deliver to my door. It's almost as good as the milk man!

I can't wait to arrive home to my 24 new bottles of Sparkling Nectar. Now that I've got drinks covered for dinner, I have to figure out what to cook!

September 21, 2010

The Reason for Locks

Jack is the reason that locks were invented. Toilet locks, cabinet locks, front and back door locks, medicine cabinet locks, etc. etc. If the label reads, "Keep away from children," or "Not for Children Under 3", it's an open invitation for Jack to seek it out, and make it his own.

I've tried moving things to the highest cabinets, but no, that doesn't discourage Jack, it's now an opportunity. He'll drag a chair twice as big as him up five flights of stairs just to get to the Desitin lotion. Once he's there he'll proceed to open it, and smear it all over his hands. If you've ever tried to get diaper cream off your hands, you'll understand the issue.

If for two minutes, I turn my back and leave the craft box open, I later find Jack has glued his shirt to his belly, but not before stamping his body full of red and blue trains. 

I know the fun has just begun with Jack. He's just lucky he's so cute!


While I was writing this last night, I gave him an ice cream cone, and strapped him into his chair. Chocolate and Jack don't mix. He was quiet for 5 minutes, when I heard him say, "Mom, more ice cream pleeaase!" I had to laugh when I saw his face!

September 15, 2010

On the Merry Go Round

Some days my life feels like the book, "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie". Actually everyday! Try it. You can put any scenario to it, really.

If I open the garage door, Jack will want to go outside.
Once he's outside, he'll sit on the neighbors front step and refuse to move.
When you move him back in, he'll run outside again.
When you pick him up and move him in again, he'll strip off his clothes.
Once his clothes are off, you have to dress him, so as not to be late for swimming.
When you put him in the car, he'll take off his shoes.
When you say, "uggh.....he'll say, "Mommy why are you so fwustrated?"
You'll ask, "How old are you?" He'll say 2!

Another scenario

If you open the door to the backyard, Jack will want to go outside.
Once he's outside, he'll want to play with the water.
Once he's flooded the yard, he'll want to change his clothes.
While you're getting new clothes for Jack, Nathan will want to wash his hands, upstairs.
When Nathan trys to turn on the sink, he yells to you that the water isn't working.
When you run upstairs, you realize he's right.
When you go to check on Jack, you realize he's shut the water main off.
When you go to tell Nate, Jack turns the main back on.
When Nate turns the sink back on, the faucet with explode causing Nate to lose it.
You will run upstairs to help Nate, and Jack will turn off the water main off again.

And so it goes. Like the title of this blog...On the Merry Go Round!

September 12, 2010

Season Opener

Menlo Park, CA - It's ironic that we had one of the coldest Summer's on record, but when it's time to play the Soccer season opener, temperatures rose to the high 90's. Water breaks were frequent, for fear we may lose a player or two! Thankfully no one was lost to heat exhaustion, only to the jungle gym adjacent to the field.

Coach Bill gave some encouraging words for the first timers, "The most important thing to remember today is to have fun!" When he asked the team if they had anything to say, his son replied, "Let's cwush them!" To which Coach Bill said, "That's not funny! We're here to play a good game."

The Under 6 format has changed a bit since 1980. The days of 22 players running toward the same goal are long gone. The field is broken into quadrants, and each team is divided into 4 teams of 3 players. The games are 30 minutes, with 3 vs. 3, and one fresh sub.

No score is officially recorded, only by the 5 year olds. I won't lie, it's competitive out there. On one field the Sharks did indeed "CRUSH" the other team. The score was 10 to 1. (According to the official score keeper, Nathan Willbanks) It may have been higher, but the score keeper can't count that high!

It was an encouraging start to the season. No laces were left untied, all uniforms were found, (in the nick of time), and only one person showed up at the wrong field! When questioned about the field mix up, Nathan Willbanks said, "Mom, you're the coach, aren't you supposed to know that?" To which his mother replied, "Hey, who remembered your water jug?"

A special thank you to the photgrapher. It's understood that the photos aren't award winning, but you did manage to convince your two year old that he wasn't one of the offical players.

September 9, 2010

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Lately I've been resorting to bribery! I'm not proud, but it works! And I stretch it out for as long as possible.

Nate is notorious for asking to buy a toy. Any toy will do,  literally. It doesn't matter that he has 3000 toys, he constantly wants a new one. The old trick, "Put it on your list" apparently only works on the 4 and under crowd. Now that he's the big 5, I had to step up my game.
He no longer just "gets" a toy, he has to "EARN" a toy!

Our nights usually sound like this.
"You can't ride on your brother's back in the bathtub, you'll drown him!"
"But MOOOOM, he likes it!"
"Do you still want a toy?"
(Instantly he jumps off of Jack's back.)

Or

"Nate, please put your pajamas on."
"Why can't I walk around naked all the time, Daddy does?"
"Nate, just put them on. You're going to bed."
"Mom, I'm too tired to put my clothes on!"
"Remember you wanted to buy a toy, right?"
(Hmm somehow the energy was jolted back into his tiny body just long enough to put his PJ's on. And by the way, Doug doesn't walk around naked!)

So today, Nathan and I went to a Rosh Hashana service at the temple. It was a children's service that only lasted an hour. The rabbi told the children a story about a sheep that always wanted what he didn't have. He wanted peacock feathers, a turtle's shell, and horse's mane.  The sheep realized after he got everything, that nobody recognized him, his family and friends no longer spoke to him, and he was lonely and sad.

So when the service was over, and we were walking to the car I thanked Nathan for being so good, and sitting still the entire time.

His reply - "Now can I buy a toy?"
(Sigh)

On the way home, we discussed charity, and what it means to donate. We're going to a birthday party this weekend, and they have asked that we select a charity in lieu of gifts. I asked Nathan what seems important to him. I gave him a few options, between feeding the poor, curing cancer, etc.

He replied, "How about we give money to people to buy medicine for kids who can't afford to buy any!"

(Ahh) He does have a soul!





September 3, 2010

Another Round of Ice

It's just so fitting that when I logged into Yahoo, the cover page was titled, "A Warning About Baseball's Head Injuries."

After what I thought would be a peaceful walk around the park, it ended yet another time with a trip home to grab ice. I should really just pack the ice ahead of the trip, and save us all some time, and tears.

Jack was the recipient this time. It was a scene straight out of Humpty Dumpty. Before I had a chance to scream, "NO don't throw that!" or better yet, "Jack get off that wall!" no sooner was Nate throwing a line drive at the tennis racket Jack was holding while standing on a wall. The problem was the ball didn't come close to the racket, it smacked Jack in the eye, and knocked him clear off the retaining wall.

I felt like I was at a Carnival watching the pins go down in a ball toss game. Of course it really wasn't funny at the time. I was incredibly angry, and upset I didn't catch the disaster waiting to happen.

So I dusted Jack off and wiped his tears, then asked Nate what in the world he was thinking. His reply, "I'm not a very good thrower MOM!" (It's important to mention this was not a tennis ball. That would have made too much sense. This was a softball.)  At that moment in time, I decided we should call it a night!

So back to the Yahoo title I referenced at the beginning of this story. The story was about how Major League Baseball should craft a stonger policy to protect players who suffer concussions. They say players shouldn't be expected to shake it off and return to the game.

I'm happy to announce this policy does exist in my rule book. Whether it was to protect the 2 year old player, or to protect the mother from losing her mind, we definitely know when to take our OWN timeouts!

September 1, 2010

Big Day

Well, I bent time in space again today, and I'm thankful not everyday looks like this. Some better, some worse.
It was the first day of school. Nate reminded me the night before that tomorrow would be a "Big Day" It certainly measured up to his prediction. The morning was filled with a lot of nerves, looking for lost shoes, and remembering things like extra underwear.

The underwear was for Nate, not me.

This is what my/our day looked like.

6:30 AM - Kids woke demanding food - (Wish I had a kid snooze button.)
7:30 AM - Serve breakfast and get kids dressed
7:30 AM - Jack leaves with Mari, and I get ready for work
8:30 AM - Drop Nate off at school
9:00 AM - Drove to the office
10:00 AM - Boring meeting#1
11:00 AM - Boring meeting#2
11:30 AM - Took a coworker to a goodbye lunch
12:30 PM - Drove back down to preschool to see how Nate's day went
1:00PM - Drove back to the office
2:00PM -Boring meeting #3
3:00PM - Boring meeting#4
4:45PM - Head home
5:30PM - Feed kids dinner and attempt to put everyone in bathing suits, including me.
6:30PM- Meet Doug at the club to swim for an hour.
8:00PM- Realize that I haven't picked up the 3x5 photos that Nate's school wants - Head to Walgreens
8:30PM - Pack lunch, then fill out the "about your child" form sent home from school.

I think I lost 5 lbs just by getting in and out of my car today. (Although I did eat at In and Out burger for lunch, so it might only be -3lbs.)

Thankfully this day went incredibly smooth. The only real glitch was my bone headed lunch move. I packed Nate steak, and later found out that it was a meat free school, which I knew but totally forgot. It's also peanut free, so I'm not sure what Nate will be eating for the next 10 months. It appears that bagels and cream cheese will become the new staple in the lunch box. It all worked out in the end though.

He didn't give me a hard time about dinner, infact he ate extra chicken.

Here is the prince getting acclimated in his new classroom.

August 28, 2010

How long was I asleep?

I spent the morning at a 3 hour coaches meeting in a gymnasium that was under construction. And when I say "under construction" I literally mean, the workers were hammering, drilling, banging, clanging behind our heads....all while we tried to learn how to coach 5 year olds.

For the first two hours, I actually felt at peace. It felt like home. During the third hour, I thought I might put somebody in a time out.

When I came home, it actually seemed kind of quiet. Was it possible that I could squeeze in a nap?

Step One: Put Jack down for a nap.
Step Two: Tell Nathan to draw or read quietly.
Step Three: Close my eyes, and pretend I'm sleeping.

Usually the three simple steps work well.

After my 10-15 minute fake nap, this is what I woke too.




Do you think it's a death trap?

August 26, 2010

Home Visit

So I get this call the other night around 9PM.

"Hello, is this Lori Willbanks?"

"Yes, it is."

"This is Linda, Nathan's new teacher for next year!"

"Oh hi" (Kind of caught off guard, since it was 106 in the house, and the boys were trying to sleep in my bed.)

"I want to schedule my home visit for this week."

Did she just say home visit??? Before I could think what to say, my mind started racing. Who is this again? A home visit? Why would a teacher come and do a home visit? Is this Child Protective Services? Oh crap, I should probably get my carpets cleaned.

"Oh ok. Is that typically what happens, before school?"

"Yes, I like to come and meet each child in their environment, get to know them, ask them what their favorite things are, and stay for about 20 minutes."

After I realized she was legit, I was able to communicate a little more naturally.

"Great, I think Nathan will love that!" What a nice thing to do so that the kids feel comfortable on their first day."

She asked what day would work, so I chose Friday for two very specific reasons.
1. The cleaning guys come in the morning.- Just enough time to get the floors apple juice free.
2. I could have my carpets cleaned and maybe get the red gatorade stain off the stairs, and so the house will smell a little orangy from the best carpet cleaner ever!

When I told Doug the story, he said, "Oh are you putting on heirs for the teacher!"

My reply, "Absolutely! It's the first impression a teacher will see of Nate's environment, and I want it to be the best it can be. He might not know his ABC's, but at least his mom is cleaning their house. (Or in this case, outsourcing!)

So more to come on the home visit! Pray that there are no meltdowns, and that Jack doesn't throw a shoe at her head!

August 22, 2010

Code 5

Mommy come look! Those are words that can either make you proud, or horrify you. In today's example, it's the later.

At 7:45AM it's never positive to learn your 2 year old has decided it's time to change his own diapers.
I left Jack for what I thought was only 3 minutes. It's very possible it might have been closer to 5 or 7.

He was at the top of the stairs saying, "Look at this, look at this!" Upon closer inspection I realized it was a dirty wipe. Jack took it upon himself to take off his pants, as well as his diaper, find the wipes and clean himself.

I use the word clean, very loosely. He escorted me into the bathroom, to take me on a tour of this mystery. Stop one, the toilet.

He did have enough common sense though to dispose of the dirty wipes in the toilet. The big question outstanding.....where was THE diaper????

That was my question for Jack. "Show me where it is Jack!" My heart was starting to race as he guided me into his room. I felt like I was going to find a dead body on the other end. The suspense was killing me.

To my delight I found the diaper pretty much intact, only one tab had been loosened. The rest of the diaper was sitting in a perfect spot right next to his pajama pants. It was like he jumped out of both. I really couldn't have been luckier. I had visions of his pretty yellow walls, ....well let's just say, not so pretty anymore.

I won't gross you out with the rest of the details. All I will mention though was that it was a code five. Doug started a code system when Nate was born in order to describe the varying degrees of the diaper challenges.

Code 1 - Simple pee-pee diaper
Code 2 - Nothing major just a little poop - Rookies can handle this.
Code 3 - Poop is on their clothes - Need to change baby carefully.
Code 4 - Poop - Gets on your clothes - (Very bad if you're not home.)
Code 5 - Poop - Gets on your skin while changing baby.*

*By the way, Doug thinks Code 5 is the worst. I believe Code 4 should top the list. Just think about it, if there is the slightest possibility that you might not be at home and you have to walk around with poop on your clothes for any length of time, this is horrific.

To make a long story short. It was a code 5, but I luckily had wipes handy. So I cleaned up pretty quickly. 

We will NOW be potty training in a few weeks when we have four straight days at home. I'm sure I'll have more to write on the topic in September, but for now, I may have to invest in overalls...or more wipes.

If you have any tips on potty training your 2 year old, I'm all ears!

August 20, 2010

Interview with a 5 Year Old

I'm proud to bring you an exclusive interview with the new 5 year old in our house.

Nathan let's talk about some of your favorite things now that you are five.

What's your favorite food?
Cereal

What's your favorite sport?
Baseball

Why?
Because I can hit, and practice, and build strong muscles.

What is your favorite thing to do with Jack?
Climbing on him, and doing piggyback rides. He's so strong.

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Playing Star Wars and building legos

What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
I like playing games together.

What is your favorite place to visit?
Hawaii

Why?
Because of the Dolphins and Sharks.

Who is your best friend?
Aidan and Dylan

What do you like best about school?
Playing with my friends and eating lunch.

What do you like best about our family?
I like Jack because he's funny and we give each other kisses. I like playing with him.

What do you like best about being 5?
I like movie night with my family.

What do you want to be when you grow-up?
I want to be a policeman because they have guns and flashlights. I love flashlights!

What do you think Jack will be?
He'll be a little fireman, that will be cute. He will wear a costume, and drive a fire truck.

Well there you have it. You heard it here first. The entire truth straight from the 4ft source!

August 19, 2010

Bed Bugs

Entomologists are saying they haven't seen this many Bed Bugs since before World War II. The bugs have taken over a NYC movie theatre in Times Square, the NJ Goldman Sachs building, and most recently infested an upscale Apt. complex in Detroit.
After reading these alarming articles, I realized we might have our own bed bugs, so I did some research. This is what I found.

How can you tell if you have bed bugs?
Complaints of bites while sleeping - or waking up because you're uncomfortable...(hmmm no bites but definitely waking in the middle of the night around 4AM. I better read on.)

What should you do if you find beg bugs?
Be certain you have them. Compare pictures to confirm their identity.

What can you do to manage bed bugs?
Refer to the mgmt flow chart below.



Well, based on this chart, I've inspected our sleeping area. I did find two bugs. It tells me to compare them to the images of the traditional bug.

Traditional Bug

Bug One


Bug Two

They dont seem to match the traditional bug, so according to the chart it tells me not to treat. For now I'll follow the chart's flow for preventative measures, and reduce clutter and restrict access to our bed. Possibly a large rail or deer fence might work.

This will hopefully keep out Bug One and Bug Two from appearing in our bed each night. It's been a revolving door lately now that Bug One is no longer in his crib.

I am thankful that these bugs don't bite, and are pretty cute. (Well, they do occassionally bite each other.)

August 16, 2010

It Took a Village

We spent the past 3 days in Lake Tahoe for Doug's family reunion. It happens every five years in August. We missed the last one due to the delivery of our now 5 year old. Nate will forever be our calendar reminder!

I couldn't be more grateful for this past weekend. It was a relaxing, fun filled three days. I came home feeling refreshed, and even ready to tackle organizing our hall closet. (It must have been the fresh air.)

We stayed in a three bedroom condo in the Northstar Village ski resort. Both Doug and I fell in love with the Village and all the activities that we could do with the kids. We decided to make it an annual vacation every Summer, but extend our stay for the week. We still have a lot of activities to check off our "To-Do" list.

  1. Swim - Check
  2. Make Smore's at the Fire pit - Check
  3. Eat pizza while watching a Summer concert - Check
  4. Eat a churro (or 2-3) from the village vendor - Check
  5. Hike
  6. Mountain Bike (Maybe in 5-10 years)
  7. Take the Gondola to the Ritz for a spa treatment. (Well, that's on MY to-do list.)
  8. Roller skate in "Ice Rink" (On Nate's list)
  9. Watch a movie under the stars
  10. Rock Climb (Eternally on Jack's list.)





Doug's cousin Ginnie and her family stayed in the condo as well. Nate and Jack loved hanging out with Seve and baby Natalie. (Who by the way is a perfect baby.) Warning: Do not babysit her if you are thinking about having kids. She is not your typical baby. She NEVER once cried all weekend. You will feel lied to when your baby keeps you up at night with colic. You will spend time day dreaming about that baby you held who never made a peep. How do you order one of those???? Luckily for us, we already have two kids so we know the truth, and we know baby Natalie cannot trick us in to having a third! (In the words of Nathan....NICE TRY.)

  
One of the highlights of the weekend was the impromptu dance party in our living room. The boys were feeling the groove to the ever popular "Old McDonald Had a Farm". Then when the iPod broke, (or someone kicked it off the speaker) they held a think tank meeting to figure out the problem.



  
Some other notable events for the weekend:

  
  • Nate playing catch with Doug's Aunt Cookie. He thought it was hilarious to throw a fast ball in a casual game of catch. His laughter was contagious. Sorry Aunt Cookie. Maybe his training will pay off in the big leagues one day.


  •  A family BBQ at the beach, courtesy of Doug's Uncle Rick and his family. Nothing better than a traditional bbq on a beautiful beach!
  • A family photo of 50+ people, all in the same shirt! (Nate wore his two days in a row, because of the number 3 on his back.)
  •  Yummy dinners at the Galea's, and in the Village restaurant. My kids actually ate at both!
  • Putting the kids to bed and staying up with Ginnie and Saxon, and a bottle of wine!
 It took a Village to bring on calm, laughter, and well behaved children. Since all three were achieved you can see why we want to make this our annual Summer vacation home!










August 7, 2010

Rule #1 - Always wear a helmet

Yesterday, Nathan got a new scooter from Grandma and Grandpa Selikov for his 5th birthday day.
The first thing he wanted to do this morning was of course ride it. It was either do that, or play his new guitar.
Since our house has a no music ordinance before 7AM, the only option was to ride in the backyard.
Rule #1 in our home - you HAVE to wear a helmet when stepping on anything with wheels. Nate follows the rules pretty well, as we all know. Jack on the other hand is a different story.
When we gave Nate his new scooter, Jack got Nate's "old" one.
We tried to put a bike helmet on Jack, but the helmet was too small. I guess it's time to get the 14yrs and up size. (Pretty soon, he'll grow into that head.)
Since his helmet kept falling off, we needed a new solution...we improvised. 

The perfect solution for Jack - a baseball helmet.


If you're looking at the backyard thinking, my god it's messy. I would love to say it's not always like that, but it is. And actually Nate had just cleaned up the toys, so picture it with about 30 other pieces of plastic lying on the cement.

We are in desperate need of an acre!

August 5, 2010

Day 1....I think I want my 4 year old back

5 = Socially aware, with a new robust vocabulary! (Day 1....I think I want my 4 year old back.)
Nate and I played a round of 18 yesterday....miniature golf that is. I would post some pictures, but when I took the first photo, I got the miserable three beeps....no memory card inserted.

I noticed the first change in my little boy in the parking lot of Golf-n-Stuff. I asked him to stand in front of the castle so I could take his picture. His reply, "Mom we can't stand in the middle of the street, people will think we are weirdos. Weirdos?  Since when did he get such a sense of his social surroundings? Let alone the word weirdo.

Lucky for him I didn't have the ability to pose him in front of each miniature golf prop. If he thinks standing in the parking lot would have been weird, he would have been humiliated in front of the mini Victorian mansion.

We had a great time playing golf, cheating (some more than others), eating junk food in the shady arcade snackshop, and watching a family of 5 hit some balls in the batting cages.

When we got home, the drama kicked in. His little 5 year old body couldn't handle a day's worth of celebration. I blame myself partly. I have been pumping up his birthday for a few days. I just feel like number 5 is so significant....a real milestone. I may have actually been a little more excited than him.

When Julie and the kids called to sing Happy Birthday he climbed into his bed, and pulled the covers over his head. When I prompted him to say thank you, his face turned bright red, and he let out a bloody murder scream. Hmmm...maybe we've hit our limit.

I cancelled our dinner plans, and decided to eat in. He continued to push the limit all night using his new bad word..."lame". He really doesn't quite know how to use it, but he throws it into sentences because he's been told not too. He was definitely pushing my buttons with sentences like, "He's lame, that's lame" etc.
There were a lot of tears, and time spent in his room. It's clear today that he was overtired, overstimulated, and over his birthday. It wasn't as clear yesterday when he was using the word "lame".

Luckily today, he woke up smiling, and ready to start his day. I love a fresh start! Now his brother is another story today! (Will blog later)

August 3, 2010

General Grievous

I realized today that I didn't have a gift for Nathan's birthday tomorrow. I've been so busy planning how we'll spend our Wednesday, that I've never purchased any gifts yet.

Since free time doesn't exist, I decided to head out during lunch for a little shopping.
I've been storing an e-list in my brain for the past 6 months on all the toys Nate wants for his birthday.

I walked into Toys R Us much like a kid in a candy store. Since I didn't have the boys with me I was able to grab a cart, and shop peacefully. My typical trip is spent saying, "Put it on your list!" and "Put that back, we're in a hurry!"

I casually walked past the Legos, down the sporting goods aisle, and past the 50 aisles of oversized noisy diggers. The funny part though was my inability to pull up my e-list. Here was my shining moment. What does Nate want for his birthday? I couldn't think of anything that would have been significant enough for a 5 year old's birthday.

Here is what ended up in my cart.

A digital camera (Even though I know he would be happier with an i-Phone)
A guitar
A Richard Scarry board game - Something about finding the hidden pictures. (He's really good at that.)
A baseball pitching net - He can go crazy all afternoon pitching to himself, and easily retrieving the balls.

The obviously missing, much anticipated toy was an overpriced Star Wars lego fighter. If we did not fulfill his one wish, the birthday would not be as successful. My next stop...the Lego store in Hillsdale mall. I had to choose between Anakin's fighter jet, and General Grievous's jet. (Apologies to the Star Wars freaks, since I know I'm completely butchering the aircraft names.)

I tried Doug's cell, he wasn't available. So the next best judge was some 20 year old standing in front of the display case.
I asked him, "Which one is cooler?"
He looked at me and said matter of factly, "Well General Grievous has 4 arms and each one has it's own light saber!"
ME: "Oh right.... that seems obvious. Thanks!"
(I should have put 2 and 2 together when I saw this guy flipping a coin to make his own decision. I'm not kidding.)

I walked away thinking, "Wow, what a freaky dude!" The best part though was when I called Doug to tell him what I purchased. His response, "Oh great, Nate will love that,  General Grievous has 4 arms!"

So..there you have it...it's clearly in the male manual to know all things related to Star Wars. (It's easier for me to believe that than the alternative...I'm married to my own freaky dude.)

August 1, 2010

7th inning stretch

Two churros, three hotdogs, 2 ice cream cones, 1 bag of M&M's, and 1 pretzel later we made it through Jack's 1st MLB game.
Giants vs. the Dodgers....and it didn't disappoint. We were able to make it to the 7th inning stretch, with no major meltdowns, and even witnessed the only two runs. The final score 2-0 Giants.
I was a little worried during inning 1 when Jack announced, "I wanna go home". Luckily the ice cream man walked by, and Jack's short term memory kicked in. 
The highlight was when Doug went to buy food, and no more than 2 minutes later Nathan announced he had to pee...in a voice for half of section 131 to hear!  It was clear he wan't able to hold it much longer, so I packed up our belongings and dragged both boys to the ladies room. Up three flights of stairs, past the hotdog line, through the mass crowd of people, to the end of a VERY long line.  The bathroom God's were looking down on us. Some nice lady let us cut in line after she saw Nate holding himself. I am wishing this lady good Karma for every bathroom line she ever has to wait in. "May your lines be forever short and quick!"
We stayed to sing "Take-me-Out-to-the-Ballgame", and then beelined it for the exit. I'm sure the girl in front of us didn't shed any tears when she saw us leave. Jack dripped half his ice cream cone down her chair. Luckily I had a few wipes handy. I hate to think of the Karma she put on us.




All in the all, the night was a success. The boys left with smiles on their faces, sang a few camp songs on the way home, and are safely in bed.