Thursday, August 29, 2013


I am a planner.  I love planning.  I love writing things on the calendar and making lists and knowing what I'm going to be doing next week, next month and next year.  I can be spontaneous and be OK, but I would rather obsess about the smallest detail of an event for as long as possible.
My friend Cathy is getting married in New Hampshire next August.  The plan is for me to fly to Boston, Providence or Manchester (whatever is cheapest) on July 29th or 30th and stay with our mutual friend Megan in Massachussets for a couple of days.   Then I'll spend the wedding weekend in NH.
I am so excited about it.  It's an entire year from now, but that hasn't stopped me from thinking about outfits to wear for sightseeing, the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.  And you'd better believe I have already started compiling a "what to do with my Massachussets time" list.  I was in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in 2010, but I haven't been to Mass since 2005.  That's far too long. 
I will be the first to admit that already planning for something that will happen in a year is a little over the top. 
But get this.......
I was facebooking with a friend today. She mentioned that she and her fiance were going to be sending Save the Date cards in December for their upcoming wedding.  The wedding is going to be in December, 2014......12/13/14, to be exact.
My mind went into immediate planning mode.  For 16 months from now. 

Here's what I've planned so far:
-We'll have Elliott's 3rd birthday party the morning of December 13th.  We'll have brunch.  There will be bacon and donuts.  And iced coffee.  I have no theme yet (gasp!) but am throwing around the idea of Gingerbread Men.  Elliott will have an opinion by then though, so I might not be able to decide and start a pinboard for another 12ish months, which is agonizing.  Anyway.  Grandparents will be in attendance for the party.  Said grandparents will stay after the party to watch the children (3 days from 3 years old Elliott and 7 year old Spencer) and Michael and I will attend the wedding and stay at a hotel for the night.  We will sleep in. We will go out for brunch the next day.  There will, again, be bacon and donuts.  And iced coffee.
I love it.  It's the best plan ever.  I'm ready to literally book a room and buy a dress. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baby awake

Spencer was notorious for not napping during his naps.  He would lay in bed talking to himself for hours.  Sometimes he would fall asleep 10-15 minutes before he needed to be up.  More often he would never fall asleep and I would let him get out of bed after 2 hours. This didn't start until he was about two and a half though.
Elliott thought he would get a head start on his big brother. Sibling rivalry I guess.
Last Monday he fell asleep quickly, like always, woke up after about a minute and never went back to sleep.  Then he did the same thing on Wednesday.  Unbelievable.  I will never understand how my children, at such a young age, can be awake and functional for 13 and 14 hour stretches. Oh, and there were those couple of times when Spencer stayed awake for 23 hours straight as a newborn.
 On Monday I actually went and got Elliott out of bed after 20ish minutes.  I was not happy about it.  On Wednesday I let him lay there for 2 hours.  He just talked to himself, then fussed and called for me, then talked to himself.
He took great naps on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so I figured it was just a fluke and we could move on with some napping normalcy.
He did the same thing this Monday.  He fell right to sleep and woke up a minute later.  I had planned on doing a 75 minute work-out during his nap and I wasn't going to let him stop me, so I left him in there for 2 hours.  He never fell back to sleep.
This is what the afternoon looked like after that.
Spencer and I were playing a card game with each other and Elliott kept reaching up to the table and pulling the cards onto the floor.  Every time he did it he would cry.  Loudly.
It was pretty funny, actually.
It's probably not nice to laugh at your hysterically tired baby, but I did.
He was totally out of control.
Man I love it when babies start getting a little bit of frontal lobe development and control of their emotions.
Even Spencer recognized how out of control Elliott was.  I might have let him mock Elliott a little.
Predicting that the rough afternoon would turn into a rough evening I got dinner ready really early.  The plan was to eat, go in the pool, take hot showers and go to bed.
We had finished dinner and had just mentioned the pool to the kids (causing Elliott to run around the house yelling boop, boop, boop- his word for pool) when a huge monsoon dust storm blew in at about 1,000 miles per hour. 
Within 10 minutes the sky was totally filled with dust.

And then the thunder, lightening and pounding rain started.
The beagle and the baby had no idea what to make of it.


After a particularly loud clap of thunder took a few months off her life, Ginger decided that she was more comfortable with storm watching from the living room.
The storm watching took the place of pool time and we managed to keep Elliott from totally melting down until we got him in bed at 7:45.  Then he proceeded to lay there jibber jabbering for 20 minutes. 
Seriously.  Why don't my kids need to sleep?
This post has a few P.S.'s.  Bare with me.
P.S. #1
The title of the post, "Baby Awake" is a reference to what Spencer would say when he woke up from a nap or when he wanted us to come get him because he refused to nap.  He called himself baby for a reeeeeeaaaaallllllly long time.  One of his favorite stories about himself is about how he would say "Baby Awake".  He desperately wants Elliott to start saying it.
Little, almost 2 year old, baby awake Spencer.
P.S. #2 
Sarah Alderks- THANK YOU for telling me about the off switch on the spinner!  I saw it when I set everything up, but I thought it would turn the entire thing off.  I didn't know it was just for the sound.  I DO like it so much better in silent mode. 
P.S. #3
Look at the tile all shiny and clean! 
Isn't it just the best?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Spirit Week

As I mentioned before, last week was spirit week at Spencer's school.
Monday was Nerd Day.
I was pretty proud of the ruler straight part I put in his hair.  I shellacked his head with hairspray before shipping him off to school.  He was pretty giddy about this day and outfit.
Tuesday was Dream Job Day.
Spencer immediately said that he wanted to be an astronaut.  I'm glad that he no longer wants to be a construction worker when he grows up, but that might have been an easier outfit.
I wasn't willing to spend a lot of money buying a bunch of new clothes for spirit week, but I was OK with an on-sale t-shirt.  After we left Spencer at school on Monday, Elliott and I were off to Target to see what we could find.
I found this shirt within about 30 seconds.  It would have been PERFECT, had it been available in anything bigger than 12 and 24 months.  It was $2.
This had to do.  It was $6 and he absolutely loves it.  I don't know that a real astronaut would wear a shirt with a picture of an astronaut on it, but nobody in Kindergarten questioned it.
Wednesday was Sports Day.
Thankfully we already had this baseball shirt.  Simple.
Thursday was Superhero Day. 
I had been wanting to buy some Superman shirts with attached capes for both boys anyway, so this was a perfect opportunity to actually do it.
It was Spencer's idea to look like he was flying for the picture.

Elliott wore his cape on Thursday too.

Friday was class color or school t-shirt day.  Kindergarten's color was yellow.  Spencer really wanted to wear his school t-shirt though.  I have no picture because Friday morning was a mess.  We woke up on time but got out of bed late and never got caught up the rest of the morning.  Sorry.
I think there is another spirit week in the spring.  I'm hoping for hippie day, pajama day and 80's day.  Can't you just see Spencer in pegged jeans and a neon shirt?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A million updates

OK, so it's not really a million updates. It's more like 6 updates.  Since I got such positive feedback the last time I numbered a post, I'll go ahead and do it again.  I like numbering things because it feels like I'm making a list.  And list making is always a good thing.
Update #1.
I bought this dinosaur shirt for Spencer to wear for Elliott's party in December.  We're giving it to Spencer as a birthday present.  Shhhh.
Update #2.
I ordered this gold bedazzled tank top from ebay to wear at Spencer's golden birthday party.  I found a pair of gold shoes at Ross, but they were $16 and I have to draw the line somewhere.
Update #3.
I finally found and purchased an area rug for the entry way.  It took a long time to find something that was simultaneously the right size, the right price and not hideous.  I got it at Kirkland's
I was a little nervous about the rug having some blue in it because I don't decorate with a lot of blue, but I think it works.
My mother-in-law and I went to Kirkland's together this morning.  I didn't notice it last week, but they had matching door mats for the area rug.  She bought one for me.
Now it's all coordinated from the outside looking in,
and from the inside looking out.
HUGE Update #4.
The tile is done!
It took all weekend, but the tile is installed and beautiful.  We have to let the grout sit overnight before we can clean it, so it's still all dusty and yucky, but you can tell how gorgeous it's going to be.
Michael's dad even did a little backsplash under the cabinets.
Update #5
We got Spencer's school pictures back on Friday.  I was very pleased with how they turned out.  We ordered 2 packages with different backgrounds.  I like both of them.
If you'd like me to mail you one, let me know.
Michael hung it up on "The Wall" today.  Now I don't have to stress about this wall until we take Elliott's 2 year pictures. I get a nice 4 month break.
It'll be a whole year before we add another set of frames.
Update #6
Elliott's bump and bruise from his falling off the bed incident was healed and gone by Thursday.  He was running around the kitchen this morning when he tripped and smacked his head against the metal leg of the bar stool.  Immediate bump.  Immediate bruise.  It's just on the opposite side of his head.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pirate Talk

I got really tired of all of my speech therapy games and supplies last year.  The kids never get tired of my stuff because they only see me once or twice a week.  But I get stuck doing the same session with the same activities over and over and over.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Blah, blah, blah.
I decided I needed to order new materials.  I put in my request, everything was approved and $400 worth of new games and activities arrived in my office a few weeks ago.  Next I'm going to work on getting an iPad for myself. 
I broke out this baby today.  I was pretty excited about it.
"Your students are about to embark on a swashbuckling adventure as they sail the high seas with Pirate Talk, the receptive and expressive language skills game! As students respond to each prompt, they move from island to island on the colorful game board and collect gold coins."
What's not to like about that description?
But there's more.
"Easily adapt game play to meet each student’s needs by choosing the appropriate prompt(s). Questions build receptive and expressive language skills while targeting five categories of social interaction: School, People, Home, Community, and Activities. And the 150 color-coded cards are easy to sort, making prep time shorter than it takes to say “Ahoy, mateys!”
My second group of the day came in this morning and I decided we would play this today.  So I get out the cards, break them out of the cellophane and drop them in the card keeper slot.  
I put them in alphabetical order, like any normal, sane speech language pathologist would.  Except.  What the hell?  Can someone please get me a paper bag to breathe into? 
When the categories are in alphabetical order the cards are not in numerical order.  So, when "activities" is first, the first card is number 121.  And that, my friends, is not OK.
I had to break protocol and go in reverse alphabetical order so that they would be in correct numerical order.
I can't even stand this.  It's hard to look at.
But at least with "school" as the first category, card #1 is #1.

Now that the cards were organized, though not exactly to my liking, I turned my attention to how to actually play the game.
Which brings us to this:
It's an electronic spinner.
Complete with flashing lights and LOUD beeps that both start out fast and get progressively slower.
I am in a freaking episode of Wheel of Fortune.
The kids already love it and have proclaimed it their favorite.
I hate it.
I cannot stand it.
What the hell is Super Duper trying to do to me?
Have they ever even spent more than 12 minutes doing speech therapy with elementary aged kids?
Because this thing is going to give me epilepsy and Intermittent Explosive Disorder (that's a real thing, BTW) by Thanksgiving.
The gold coins are fun, but not fun enough to make up for the electronic spinner/devil's toy.
It's going to be a looooooooooooooong year.