Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - PSA: Monsters Vs. Aliens on DVD with 3D short featuring BOB

Working it Out Wednesday

Recently amongst many of those I count as my blog friends, their has been a lot of talk about balancing. Joanna wrote a refreshingly honest post about the challenges of constantly realigning your life when you have a child and KC recently wrote an equally honest post about the challenges moms face while trying to look and feel their best. I found this to be on my mind a lot lately as well.

Even just when it comes to my blog, I find it hard to balance the main purpose of the blog, which is to create a virtual baby book and journal for my kids and keep family and friends apprised of what is going on in our family's lives. However, I also like to work out out my feelings through writing and I find it quite empowering to share them, open up a dialogue and seek advice. On this front, I have decided to add to my usual Wordless Wednesday post with an additional segment devoted to me and my attempt at achieving balance.

And to the end, I must say that back to school time was exactly what I needed. I feel like my life is in pretty good balance right now. I am busy yes, and their is always room for improvement but lately I have been in a groove. I am working more, keeping the house clean and organized, spending quality time with the kids and the family and finding time to myself, both to relax and accomplish personal goals. The two things that probably need attention is for me to work on cooking more meals and spending more quality one-on-one time with Joe.

But this week, I want to focus on the topic of health and fitness because it has me so very, very frustrated. I have been consistently walking/running for 6 weeks now and while I refuse to diet in the traditional sense of the word, I have really been watching what I eat. So why is it that I cannot seem to lose an ounce of weight, or at the very least find my clothes fitting a little bit looser? This is not rhetorical. I am seriously asking for some help here.

A couple of things - First of all I realize that my BMI and weight is within the normal range, albeit it on the high side, but still because I am at a normal weight, losing anything additional is going to take some effort. However, last year I weighted almost 10 pounds less and wasn't working out at all (gotta love stress/anxiety weight loss). Second of all, the whole reason I started working out again in the first place was to be healthy and prevent me from re-injuring my back and in that sense my mission is being accomplished. But when I am spending time and energy working out, somehow being healthy is no longer a good enough reward. I start obsessing about wanting to look better - be a little thinner, be a little toner. I want to fit in those favorite jeans I rocked before I had kids. At the same time however, I was a workout junkie once before in my early twenties and I am not willing to devote that much time and energy into looking good. So I guess what I am trying to figure out is whether I am expending the time and energy that I am willing to in the right way.

I am open to suggestions. Right now I am walking 3 miles 3 times a week with 6 1-minute intervals of running while pushing Jadyn in the stroller. I can do this in 40-45 minutes. I also stretch and either do a yoga or pilates workout twice a week. As for my eating habits, I basically follow a South Beach lifestyle, although I recently started allowing myself 1 teaspoon of sugar in my coffee because I gave up Splenda due to side effects. A typical day might include a breakfast of cottage cheese with banana, hard boiled egg and some grapes for snack, grilled chicken salad for lunch, apple and string cheese for second snack, chicken, brown rice and veggies for dinner and a fudgcicle for desert. I no longer drink soda, diet or regular. I have tried modifying the amount of grains I consume (although 75% of them are whole wheat), cut back on dairy and limit myself to the equivalent of two tablespoons of peanut butter or nuts a day. Am I missing something?

Without any suggestions, here is what I am doing. I downloaded a food diary app on my phone and am going to track my food/calorie intake closely for 2 weeks. Maybe there is something I am eating that is throwing me off track and I don't realize it. On the workout front, I am going to set a goal for myself that while I estimate I walked 48 miles in September, I am going to aim for 54 miles in October. That would mean adding 2 workouts of 3 miles each throughout the month. I am also going to up the yoga/pilates to 3 times a week. I guess we will go from there. Ultimately, I would be really happy if I could lose 5 pounds and maintain that weight. I would also really like to firm up and/or lose about an inch from my mid-section. I do not feel like my goal is unrealistic.

Finding the right balance is never easy, whether you are trying to balance your diet, balance your workouts or balance your personal and professional life. Even when you achieve it, it still takes work to maintain it but I truly believe that it is worth every effort. It pushes us to be better in all the roles we take on in our lives. It leads to more fulfilling, happy lives for not only ourselves, but those around us. And that is why I will never stop trying to work it out.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Magoomba Monday #19

1) First of all I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments on my sprucing up post. I swear I was not fishing for compliments. I just wanted to show everyone what I had been up to because those projects had been taking up a considerable amount of my free time. However, that said I really appreciated the compliments so thank you. It means a lot.

2) A lot of repeat business in the Magoomba pile this week. First up, I took this picture of Jadyn Friday AFTER posting the other pictures of the kids dressing up:

Her cousin Madison let her borrow this beautiful butterfly fairy dress and Jadyn has added it to her stockpile of dress-up clothes. She just cracks me up when she gets all dolled up and makes comments like, "Every princess has a necklace", "Every princess wears pretty shoes", etc. etc.

3) Friday was one of those wonderful family afternoon/evenings that are really hard to convey but at any rate we picked Jake up from school and made the trek to civilization where we saw "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" at the nice big movie theater. The kids really enjoyed it and I have to say, I think that is the least restless I have seen both of them in a movie theater out of the handful of times we have gone. I thought it was cute but nothing fantastic. Personally I enjoyed Up and Monsters Vs. Aliens more but it was a super fun movie. Afterwards we ran errands, including the monthly trip to Sam's Club and Petsmart. Who needs to spend money on the zoo when the kids get so excited just to see all the fish, birds and hamsters as the pet store? They were in heaven as usual. We capped off the evening by picking up our FAVORITE pizza from Round Table and bringing it home. It was a wonderful evening.

4) Saturday Jake had his first official soccer game. He scored 4 goals this week and continues to love the sport. I tried to take pictures but being that I was busy coaching/team momming (made up that word) again, this is the only one I got of him throwing the ball in:

So let me just say a few things. First, yeah I forgot to mention I was assistant coaching and taking on the job of team mom. I really didn't want to do both but they were short coaches and while I really do love volunteering, at the same time I am growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of participation and sense of community in our city. Joe keeps asking me what I expect and honestly, I guess I just expected that their would be a few more people willing to help out. After 5 weeks of school, I am still the only parent to volunteer in Jake's classroom. Anyway, my other point is check out the other team's uniforms. I don't know how I would feel about the bright pink and black. I have to admit I am kind of glad Jake has the blue and black colors instead.

5) Again, something that was already documented and photographed last week and I realize I may be the only one not sick of pictures of the kids and the cats together but seriously? How cute is it that the cats seem to know who they belong to and on Saturday after a long week and busy morning, Mambo took a cat nap with Jake while Jazz snuggled in Jadyn's choke hold:

Then Jazz woke up when I took the picture and struck this pose:

6) Finally, since the weather has decided to continue to act like it is the middle of the summer with temps still hovering above 100, we decided to take the boat out to the river one more time. It was just the four of us and such a nice relaxing trip (except for when we got a few miles out of town, realized we didn't have the kids life jackets and had to turn around and go back home to get them) with hardly anyone else on the water. I will be putting together a seperate post with some pics from our day trip.

Until then, I hope everyone has a productive start to their week!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Funny Nose Friday #5 - Sometimes they really are funny

1) Jake's school classmate and sports teammate has an older brother and a younger sister. His other friend Chris from preschool whose sister Stephie will be going to preschool with Jadyn just recently welcomed a brand new baby brother into the world (Congrats Davis Family!). So the other day on the way to school both kids ganged up on me asking when they could have a little brother or sister. When I told them no and explained that Mommy and Daddy were quite happy with our two kids, they started begging. I always knew that at one point in my role as a parent I would have to hear the line "But Mom, so and so has one!". I just never expected it to be about having another child.

2) As I have mentioned, ever since Jadyn gave up the pacifier the kids have been falling asleep together on Jake's bed. Usually Jake lays on one side of the bed while Jadyn lays on the opposite side and yes, on a bad night I am forced to intervene when an innocent game of footsy gets too rough or prevents them from actually going to bed. Anyway, the other night Jadyn wanted to lay on the same side of the bed with Jake and when I conferred with Jake to make sure he was okay with this arrangement he replied, "Yeah, because Jadyn is my best friend". Awww. Just melts your heart.

3) This is how Jadyn insisted on going to pick up Jake from school the other day. She got many compliments even if it did take her an hour to cross the street in high heels:

4) As if Jake had to one up Jadyn in the dress-up department, he decided to raid his accessory drawer containing all his hats and winter gear:

To which Jadyn responded in turn:

Resulting in this finale:

Yes, the kids can be pretty cute sometimes. But it doesn't make me want anymore. I am perfectly content with my two little Funny Noses.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Seasonal Sprucing

Forget spring cleaning. I don't know what it is but I go through the same cycles every year. In January when all the holiday decorations come down, I get the urge to deep clean the house from top to bottom and in September with back to school and the end of summer, I get the urge to organize and redecorate. Of course, I don't have the budget to redecorate the whole house but I did manage to do some sprucing up in several rooms (with the tremendous help of Joe and his handy painting skills). This endeavor has preoccupied much of our spare time for the last two weeks and although we are not completely done, we are getting there.

First up - Jake's room. The sports themed border in his room starting peeling and the cats helped it along one night when they decided the hanging corners would make a good toy. Having wanted to do a transportation themed room more befitting of Jake's obsession for awhile, I seized the opportunity helped along by the discovery of a bedding set I found on clearance on Target made by Dwell Studio. I loved the fact that it was boyish but not baby/toddlerish and I thought the blues, orange and chocolate brown would be fun to decorate with. Although the paint proved to be quite a challenge and we still need to add a little something to the walls, I am thus far very happy with the results. The sleek orange bedside table and canvas bins from Land of Nod accent the bedding quite well I think:

Second up - the kids/guest bathroom. I have been wanting to redo this bathroom for awhile now. I liked the beachy water theme but was sick of the yellow and blue colors and the fact that the paint on the walls were still white. I picked up some bath coordinates in aqua and brown and was still able to keep the beachy feel. We still need to put ceramic tile in this bathroom and touch up the cabinets but otherwise, it is done. I think the end result is a good mix for a guest/kids bathroom:

I also picked up some new fall candles and accent decor so my living room reflected the changing seasons. I love the colors of fall, especially since they go so well with the existing colors in our living room. I also like the way the collage frames on the fireplace really uncluttered the space.

Finally, Jadyn and I went to a local nursery last week and picked up some flowers to replant in the hanging pot I have on our porch. It is Jadyn's job to remind and help me to water them and if I can keep them alive, we will be adding some additional shrubs in the other borders around the front walk. I have such a black thumb and living in the desert does not help but I must say, no more shopping for landscaping at Home Depot. I will stick to a mom-and-pop shop that can provide me with info on plants that will do well in our area. Jadyn is very excited about these flowers too by the way:

So while I do not pretend to be a Martha Stewart by any means, I still enjoy trying to keep my house looking nice and I am so excited for fall. I love the colors of the falling leaves, trips to the pumpkin patch, apple picking, hikes in the national park, cooler weather and holidays enjoyed with family and friends. Fall is upon us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Magoomba Monday #18

1) I don't know how many of you remember what a nightmare it was last year trying to get Jadyn to commit to a Halloween costume or not, but to try and avoid a repeat, I started asking Jadyn what she wanted to be even earlier this year. Some of the costume ideas she came up with included a stargazer lily fairy, which I approved, Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, which I approved and Hermione (although Jadyn calls her Herminy) from Harry Potter which I also approved. But the costume she finally settled on, the one she started repeating over and over again was Belle from Beauty and the Beast and while I also approved of this costume, I had my doubts about Jadyn wearing such a big frilly dress.

Well those doubts quickly faded when her costume arrived via UPS on Monday and Jadyn was so excited, she could hardly stand it. I seriously thought she might start hyperventilating. So, while it is against my better judgement to spoil the total effect the costume will have on Halloween with hair and accessories, I give you a preview of Jadyn as Princess Belle:

2)Quite the model Jadyn has become, I also wanted to show off a picture of her on Tuesday when she sported this gorgeous skirt Rose handmade for her. Super cute! Thanks again Rose.

3) I really hate it when we don't know that our last time in the pool is going to be our last time in the pool but when the weather started cooling off somewhat last week, I was afraid that was exactly what was going to happen. Even though I am ready for summer to be over, ready for everything fun that comes with fall and even though I think we made the most of the warm weather months, when the seasons change, it is reminder of how quickly time goes by. It makes me just a little bit sad and nostalgic.

So when the temps warmed back up again this week, I took the opportunity to take the kids in the pool and even though the water was a little cold for my tastes, the kids still enjoyed our Friday afternoon dip. I also made sure to take a few pictures because with the water temps dropping, I think we may be taking the pool down in the next week or so. I can't seem to get pictures with their googgles off. They are like fish in the water now.

But you can see that Jadyn is having trouble hiding the fact that she cold:

4) Jake had his "meet the team" and practice scrimmage for soccer on Saturday. He is playing on a team with his fellow t-baller and school classmate Sam. I was feeling a little guilty about not having practiced with Jake before the start of season. That was until (and sorry for the brag) he turned around and scored 3 goals in a 6 minute period playing 4 on 4. I think he is going to like it that for once, he is on the bigger, older side of his division. Here he is action:

5) I also wanted to make sure to post a close-up of Jake so everyone can see that his hair has grown back to a length I like. It only took him 4 weeks and now he is ready to go back to his regular stylist and have the sides trimmed up. I think we decided to keep it shorter though. It is kind of nice not having to wet and brush his hair down every day for school.

That's it for now. Hope everyone gets their week off to a productive start!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall TV

What my TiVo will be recording this fall. Green signifies must see TV, yellow are for those shows that are new and only time will tell and the red shows are those that I am seriously considering cutting loose. I only want to be watching 10 to 12 hours of TV a week (and actually with the DVR to fast forward through the commercials it is really even less than that).


Amazing Race (CBS) 09/27
Desperate Housewives (ABC) 09/27
Brothers and Sisters (ABC) 09/27


How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 09/21
Dancing with the Stars (ABC) 09/21
Gossip Girl (CW) 09/14


90210 (CW) 09/08
V (NBC) 11/03
Dancing with the Stars Results (ABC) 09/22


Modern Family (ABC) 09/23
Glee (Fox) 09/09


FlashForward (ABC) 09/24
Vampire Diaries (CW) 09/10
Greys Anatomy (ABC) 09/24
Fringe (Fox) 09/17
Private Practice (ABC) 10/01

Friday and Saturday - nothing scheduled

So if you counted that up it totals 16 hours of TV. Out of those shows I am considering NOT watching, Dancing with the Stars tops my list simply because that is 3 hours of TV time right there. Not that I don't like the show but if I don't watch from the beginning, it will be easier to not get invested in who wins. Does the formula really change much from season to season?

A few general comments - once again the CW and Fox premiered several of their shows ahead of the other networks. This seems to work quite well because I was really planning on giving up 90210 but since there was nothing else new on, I watched anyway and got sucked right back into all the sleezy, cheesy drama that is this show. Also, out of the new shows I have already started watching, I am in love with the Vampire Diaries and well okay, no surprise there. I do seem to be unnaturally obsessed with vampires. But in all fairness, I don't read and watch everything about vampires. I hated True Blood and that seemed to become quite popular. I am not AS enthusiastic about Glee. The pilot was great but the subsequent two episodes that followed were just alright. I feel like the critics are really pushing for this one and I am not sure I personally agree that it is "groundbreaking". Finally, why do the networks feel the need to stuff Thursdays with so many good shows when clearly there are other days of the week that are slim pickings? Seriously, they moved Fringe to Thursdays against Grey's Anatomy. It's good thing we have dual recorders.

I have shaved off a lot of reality shows in the last several months and out of the dramas Desperate Housewives and Private Practice will be competing against each other to become the latest show dumped. If I just cannot let go of either of these two shows, then Amazing Race may have to go, because like Dancing with the Stars, how much has the formula changed? If I don't watch it from the beginning, I won't know what I am missing.

Comments? Opinions? Eye rolls at how much time I spent on this post? Feel free to chime in!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Flashback Friday

Rain storms. That is what we did not have much of this summer. But here are some classics from summers past:

Jake enjoying one of our biggest downpours in August 05 at 15 months:

This is about as classic as it gets. Just look at that face!

Jadyn enthralled with an early storm in July 07 at 14 months:

Another one of the bigger storms in August 07. We got so much rain the kids were swimming in the puddles:

And finally last year at ages 2 and 4:

While we did experience some thunder and lightning this year, the storms were very isolated and never seemed to hit us. The first week of school however, we did get a little rain. Although it was nothing compared to what we usually see, I was so thankful because the kids had been crying for it to rain all summer and did not quite understand why I could not just make it happen with the snap of my fingers. And as a sign of the kids getting older, with this storm they decided to experiment with an umbrella. At least they shared it:

School Daze

So obviously with the kids in school, things have been a little hectic as evidenced by my lack of blogging. This is what I have to say about our new schedule and how the kids are doing:

Jake - Jake really seems to like kindergarten.He has implied that it is a lot of go to school for 5 hours a day 5 days a week, sometimes asking how many more days he has before he gets a day off but he gets up and ready without a problem and has not whined or complained in the morning when I drop him off. It is a little hard to get information from him about what he does at school, which makes it even more important that I volunteer in the classroom to get an idea of his day, his teacher and his classmates. I have already been told that Jake is far advanced in mathematics and he earns goldfish crackers as a reward for successfully completing math sentences in class. They are also working on emerging reading skills including recognizing words that rhythm and this seems to give Jake a little bit of a harder time but when I catch him at the right time of day, he is open to my help and eager to learn. I think it is pretty normal for a boy of his age to prefer math and struggle a little with reading.

Other than that, I know that he usually plays with blocks and shapes during free exploration time, rarely choosing the computer games (which surprised me) and that his favorite activity during recess is riding the tricycles around the track. He gets real excited when he finds the one that supposedly goes faster than the others so he can zoom around and around. I also know that he has been eating his lunch really well (he does save one of the cookies for Jadyn every day) and using the bathroom by himself without a problem. It just makes him seem so grown up!

I also get a daily report about which kids have caused trouble. He has nicknamed one classmate "the bad girl" and tells me exactly how many times she had to sit off by herself on any given day. I have made sure to learn her name so I can correct Jake when he calls her "the bad girl" at home but secretly I have to giggle because it is kind of funny. On more than one occasion Jake has came home and said some phrases that I do not personally find acceptable. I have learned to react calmly, tell him why I don't like the particular phrase and offer him an alternative but none of them have been flat out curse words.

Jadyn - My little girl cracks me up! Here I thought that she was going to have trouble adjusting and she has just flourished at preschool. She is so excited on the days she has school and has insisted on bringing in her backpack every day (even though there is nothing in it). When I pick her up she is bright and sunshiny and ready to tell me about the pictures she colored and what she did while at school. Unlike Jake who had a stock answer of "I play, I color, I eat snack, I sing, I dance", Jadyn rattles off every little detail about her day she can remember including what toys she played (her favorite is the Little People farm) and with whom (Hayden and Sariah seem to be her closest buddies), which teacher pushed her on the swing at recces, which songs she loves to dance to (the train song) and which ones she doesn't like to sing (Itsy Bitsy spider) and what she ate for snack that day (loves oranges but not apples).

Me - I love that we fallen into a routine and find that our days are much more structured and productive but I secretly wish I had just a little more time to myself. In the end, if I volunteer in Jake's class on Tuesdays then I get about 2 1/2 hours to myself on Thursdays, which I have used to take on more work and have almost been able to double my paychecks. While that is great, I really wanted more time to do personal projects like working on blog books and scrapbooking. On Mon/Wed/Fri after we take Jake to school, Jadyn and I go to the park and after my 3 mile walk, she plays for awhile. It has been awesome to have a consistent routine for working out and a great way to ensure quality time with Jadyn. She has been so good about helping out, whether I am grocery shopping, doing laundry or emptying the dishwasher. I am very proud of her. After we pick up Jake, a typical afternoon consists of quiet time (Jake decompresses with some video game time), a board game or two, time outside, homework while I prepare dinner, bath and bedtime routine. The days go by so fast!

I was originally kind of bummed that our city has a much shorter soccer season than the neighboring town but honestly, now I am kind of glad because I am not sure I would have wanted to be going back and forth to the park for practices and games while adjusting to the new school routine too. This Saturday is Jake's meet the team and scrimmage to kick off the season and I can only hope he doesn't have all 8am games like he did last year because then Sunday will officially become our only day to sleep in (not that I ever do but I like the idea of staying in my PJs and being kind of lazy).

Well, there you have it. I have talking about doing a post like this and now that I have, it seems kind of boring but I guess it will be good to have it written down for posterity sake later on. We had a few days this week where the mornings were nice and cool and it was a nice preview of what is to come with fall around the corner. But wait, there is something we did not see much of this summer....... Can you guess what it is?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Talk about Magoomba

I am so far behind and each of these could potentially warrant separate blog posts but I just need to get caught up so here it goes.....

1) We had a fabulous time at the river on Labor Day. The water was relatively quiet for a holiday. It seems most people decided to get an early start home, which worked out well for us just heading out for the day. I was hoping to take tons of pictures but the day was more or less super kick back and relaxing so the only real gem I have to share is this picture of Jadyn helping Daddy drive the boat:

Fortunately, while we thought this may be our last trip of the season, the whole family concurred that we were not ready for our river trips to end just yet so we are hoping to make one more trip sometime in the next few weeks. Maybe I will be motivated to get more pictures!

2) One of the reasons I wanted more pictures of the kids at the river is because we re-did the kids/guest bathroom in a beachy beige and aqua and I need some good water photos for the wall decor. The change in color scheme also prompted a change in the kids towels from hooded duckies to hooded doggies. Every time they use their new towels they bark and giggle, exclaiming about how the doggy towels have tails. They get a kick out of it:

3) Jadyn is becoming quite the "artiste". She draws a fairly good rendering of family. This one is Daddy and little girl:

4) For those who are not on Facebook, we took Jake to Loma Linda for a consultation with a pediatric surgeon regarding his umbilical hernia and unfortunately, it does not appear that it will finish closing up on its own. Therefore, he is tentatively scheduled to have hernia repair surgery on November 9th. The good news is that we are very comfortable with the doctor, staff and facility at Loma Linda and it is a minimally invasive surgery with little down time. It will be done at the outpatient surgery center and he will only have to stay 1-2 hours postop. They do surgeries on Friday and he will be back to school Monday barring any complications. Of course when they talked about how they will give Jake medication preoperatively, Joe promptly asked if Mommy will be prescribed anything because routine or not, I know I am going to be a wreck. However, I am determined to be strong to make things easier on Jake.

On a lighter note, before heading out to Loma Linda yesterday, we made a pit stop at the local hardware store in Yucca Valley so we could check out the Irwin Tools #26 car, which was on display. I promise, Jake was excited to see the car even if it wasn't thrilled when I wanted to photograph him with it:

Still working on a post to update everyone on school. Until then, have a great weekend and on this date, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, may we never forget.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday MeMe

Yes, this is a post full of memes, sorry!

1) I have been very consistent about walking at least 45 minutes and/or two miles at least 3 days a week, whether I go and walk around the track at the park or jump on the treadmill. I am hoping our new school routine will continue to lend itself a hand in that consistency. Now I just need to add core strengthening via yoga and/or pilates and I will be on the right track. On the negative side however, despite somewhat watching what I eat, I am up 2 pounds. This is very discouraging. Joe keeps trying to tell me I am building lean muscle mass but then why are my pants still so tight around the waist? I am starting to fear it might be one of my medications. Grrr. On the positive side, I got my lowest WiiFit age ever - 26. That means my body is 9 years younger than my actual age. Not bad.

2) I finished reading The Deathly Hallows last week, thus completely the Harry Potter series. I am SO glad I gave it a second chance because I really got into them and have immensely enjoyed all the characters journeys. Moreover, I was very satisfied with the conclusion of the their stories and simply cannot wait for the final two installments of the movie franchise. By far my favorite books were Prisoner of Azkaban and Half Blood Prince with books 4 and 5 being my least fav. The irony is that when I saw all the movies before reading the books, Prisoner of Azkaban was my least favorite and Goblet of Fire the one I enjoyed the most. Go figure.

3) With Harry Potter all done, I am now doing a quick re-read of The Hunger Games (finished this weekend) so I can read the sequel, "Catching Fire" that came out last week. This is another great YA series and if you haven't read them but liked Twilight and Harry Potter, then I highly recommend them.

4) And speaking of Twilight, some theaters have already started preselling tickets for the midnight showings of New Moon. It's still 2 months away but that should give you an idea of how huge they expect the movie to be. Also, there will be an extended trailer shown at the MTV VMAs on Sunday Sept. 13th. Unfortunately, Russell Brand is the MC again and in my personal opinion, he was pretty obnoxious last year. Thankfully we have DVR. Also, the New Moon soundtrack will be released on October 20th and Death Cab for Cutie has been confirmed as writing a new original song for the movie. Great artist and perfect fit for the series. Triple yeah!

5) TV season is closing in on us and when I recieve my Fall preview Entertainment Weekly this Friday, I will be making some hard choices over which TV shows will stay in my viewing lineup. But, if anyone is interested, CW is premiering many of their shows this week including the sophomore season of 90210, the Melrose Place reboot, Ryan Murphy's (think Nip/Tuck) Glee and the Vampire Diaries. I plan on watching 3 out of the 4. Betcha can't guess which one I am passing up?

It's Labor Day people! Holidays have new meaning now that I have a child in school 5 days a week. In fact, this post was originally going to be a Magoomba until I realized most people have the day off so I decided to change it to a special meme. I will be updating everyone on how the kids are doing in school later this week and plan on taking plenty of pictures today when we take the boat to the river for the last trip of the season.

Whether you are relaxing at home or have something special planned, hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Little Things

When I look back on the first few weeks that Jake started Kindergarten and all the extra time I spent alone with Jadyn, I do not care whether or not I remember how difficult it was to get into the routine of waking, dressing, grooming, feeding and ushering two children to school in the morning. What I do want to remember is how insistent Jadyn was that she pack her own lunch as I packed Jake's, even though we would be eating lunch together at home. What I want to remember is how every morning when we arrive at the park, my first task is to find and pick Jadyn one of the little yellow flowers that sprout up in the grass so she can smell it and twirl it in her little fingers as we go on our walk.

It's the little things.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Proud Preschooler

We spent weeks, if not months talking to Jadyn about preschool and trying to ensure she was prepared. She seemed to understand but she also seemed quite unsure and even though she eventually warmed up to swim lessons, seeing her reaction to being away from me during those lessons left me a little nervous about how she would do at preschool. I knew she was ready for preschool and that it was the best thing for everyone but I must admit, I feared there was a real chance of getting off to a rocky start, especially after she refused to talk to her teachers at the open house last week. However, she claimed that she would talk to them with her Dora backpack on and on the morning of her first day, she seemed genuinely excited to be going. In fact, when it was time for Jake to leave for school, she wanted to leave for her school right then and there even though she still had an hour before her start time. I tried to take this as a good sign but remained skeptically optimistic.

Here she is before leaving for school. She literally could not wait to get in the car:

And once there her excitement did not wane. She walked in, put up her backpack and strode off to play with several familiar faces, including Haydin who is the little brother of Jake's bud from preschool Gavin. I did not dare linger or try to sneak pictures but when I returned 3 hours later to pick her up, she got glowing reviews. She did not cry or acknowledge my absence, she spoke to the teachers and for the most part participated in everything. She was happy to see me and quite proud to show off the things she had colored and glued. She was also much more talkative about her day than Jake ever was, telling me what sort of things they did, what they had for snack, whether or not she used the bathroom and who she made friends with. Her first day was definitely a success. Here is the picture I took of her after I picked her up. I know it was only 3 hours but I could not help but look at her in a new light. Somehow she seemed older and wiser than the little girl I had dropped off in the morning:

Today was her second day and she was equally excited to go to school and told me how much she loves it. I think it makes her feel special and grown up to be able to do something she has seen Jake doing for the past 2 years and I know it will be enriching for her as well. Here she is before leaving this morning with her "C is for Cute" shirt:

So a big sigh of relief from mommy as we now focus on settling in to our new routine. But we can't bid summer farewell until we have enjoyed a nice long Labor Day weekend. Hope you enjoy yours as well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

While Mommy and Daddy are Away

Thanks to Ali of Team Alaska (and Scottie too!) for not only taking a risk by watching Jake and Jadyn overnight when they had never really slept away from Mommy and Daddy before, but also for taking the time to document the experience with this guest blog entry.

The Overnight Adventure - by Ali Nelson

For weeks, Scottie and I anticipated the arrival of two little house guests, Jake and Jadyn. We wanted Joe and Jenn to be able to celebrate their anniversary; therefore, we offered to watch the kids. The only thing we were nervous about was how the kids would handle spending the night away from home. Our intentions were to keep them energized and busy most of the evening, with the hopes of them being way too tired to even discover homesickness.

After Joe and Jenn left for their night out, we immediately dove into the activities. Jake occupied some time playing the Wii, while Jadyn and I pretended to be horses while crawling all around the house. We weren’t just plain old horses, but horses who were transporting Jadyn’s toy kittens as passengers.

Jake and I played Zingo. He was pleased to win both times.

When Scottie arrived home from work, it was time for the daily outside chores. Jadyn wanted to help. The first chore was to feed the bunnies. Jadyn helped Scottie scatter food around the back yard for the rabbits.

Next, we moved to the front yard to water the newly planted tree. Jadyn loved helping me water the tree. She also notified me later on in the evening that the tree drank all of the water and was thirsty for more.

When we came back inside, the kids spotted a rabbit drinking from the water dish.

After a while, one rabbit turned into many. The kids enjoyed standing at the back door and counting the rabbits.

Before dinner, we enjoyed a game of Candy Land. I don’t recall who won, but I do remember finishing last.

Also, the kids expressed an interest in writing the letters of the alphabet. I would make several dots on the paper and then the kids would connect the dots to make a letter. Not only do we offer fun and games, but we also offer educational opportunities.

Following dinner, it was time to get ready for a movie. The kids got into their pajamas, while Scottie blew up the air mattress for all of us to lie on while we watched the movie. Of course, the air mattress held their interest for a while which slightly delayed the start of the movie. The kids were cracking us up while they showed us all of their favorite tricks which included jumps and flips between the couch and the mattress. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Don’t try this at home.” I’m pretty sure the kids are not allowed to jump on the couch at home, but it’s okay at Scottie and Ali’s house… right?

Somehow, we got the kids to settle down. They selected “The Lion King” for movie night. Jadyn only got scared during one part, but the popcorn served as a great distraction.

To our surprise, Jake and Jadyn showed great effort and endurance by maintaining consciousness until approximately 11pm. I figured they would pass out during “The Lion King”, but they held on for a little longer and wanted to watch another movie. Because they couldn’t agree on watching the same movie, Jake and Scottie stayed in the living room to watch the 5th Harry Potter movie, and I joined Jadyn in our room to watch “The Little Mermaid”. After 15 minutes, both kids were fast asleep. In the end, we all survived the night, and I was incredibly impressed with how well the kids handled being away from home and their parents. Hopefully, the adventure was just as fun for the kids as it was for us.