Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Life is Cherry

It's cherry blossom time around here - sort of. It is, but we have had several nights of freezing weather, as well as a light snow since the trees have started to blossom, so things seem to be progressing a little more slowly than what I guess is usual.


We did manage to go out and get a few pics though, even in the less than ideal temperatures.
Here's a rare pic where Wiggle and I both have our eyes open and are looking at the camera. If looks could kill.... 
This is a not-so-rare one of C and Wiggle looking at the camera with their eyes open. I wonder what the difference could be?
My little mischievous Puck
Our best attempt of the day at a family photo.
The Washington Monument and some cherry blossoms
Just blossoms

For the dust jacket...

A rare shot of me and C together
My handsome guys
Me and Wiggle under a canopy of pink
The weekend also consisted of open houses, some good food, and lots of fun.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Static

Maybe it's the constant change from warm to cold, maybe it's the rain, maybe it's something else entirely, but my brain has been super-fuzzy lately. I feel like there's a low hum going on inside all of the time. When we have a really bright and sunny day, I seem to come out of my stupor a bit, so there may be something to the weather allegations. Otherwise, it's probably stress and avoidance. I have started some major spring cleaning, but completing tasks is easier said than done with a rambunctious toddler underfoot.

I did manage to get the bed switched from winter to spring mode.

Wiggle immediately liked spring mode better , too.
Now that I have pictures, I realize that I would like to switch the navy blue king shams for something in a lighter color, but otherwise, I like both the spring look and feel. Our quilt which is from The Company Store years ago, has aged by getting a little stiffer and more crisp (not in color, but in feel), and the sheets I prefer in the summer are crisp too. I can't understand why almost all sheets are now in the dreaded sateen finish. I much prefer my sheets to be like a good men's dress shirt; you don't want it to drape over the body, instead it should have a little body of it's own.

I have also put away winter coats, boots, and the woolens even though I haven't yet taken out the shorts and tank tops.

Wiggle's room is getting some work too. Although I haven't managed to get rid of a lot of toys, I have gone through and taken out anything that is too young for him. I still have to go through that pile and decide what we keep for posterity, what's kept for the next one, and what just goes to the thrift store. I thought originally that almost all of the battery-operated toys would go to new homes, but a shocking number of them are still around much to Wiggle's delight and my chagrin. 

While playing with Wiggle and his toys to see what gets the most play, I've also realized he could use some fake kitchen stuff. We have a lot of felt food and a few utensils, but today he tried to give me tea for "tea-time!" and we didn't have any toy cups. Ever the imaginative boy, we drank out of lamp posts from his train set (they also doubled as horns in the fake band we had a few minutes later). 

When we're not spring cleaning, we can often be found at the park doing all the things the big kids do.
Big kids spend time looking cool

And swinging like monkeys

Sometimes we hang out on the hill behind our house. The sky looks awesome and big from there.

This weekend the cherry blossoms are supposed to be in full bloom, so there will be pictures soon! I'm kind of stupid excited about it.





Thursday, March 17, 2011

All By Myself, Don't Wanna Be...

Well, at least for the week. Hubby is living it up in San Fransisco for the week (actually, he's giving a talk and working on some collaborations, but that doesn't stop me from razzing him about his "vacation"). Wiggle and I do fairly well on our own, but when we lock horns, they often stay locked for awhile. It's amazing to see your own bad behaviors in your two-year-old, and yet it somehow doesn't make it any easier to stop doing them myself. When we disagree, we both dig our heels in and try to wait the other one out. Sometimes that can be a loooonnnng time. Basically, we both sit with our arms crossed and our lower lips jutting out and glare at each other until the other one gives in. But which one of us is usually "the other one?" Generally, it's him because I'm the adult, but sometimes it's me because I realize that I need to calm down and take a deep breath and try another tactic; I mean staring and glaring only gets you so far. We also each retreat to our own rooms when things get heated. I really love and need my quiet time and so does he.

This is not how we spend the majority of our time by any means, but a lengthy encounter in the morning can feel like it took all morning when in actuality it was probably only 15 minutes.

We've actually been having a lot of fun in C's absence. Today, we went to music class, played in mud at the playground, kicked the soccer ball around with some older boys, played play-doh on the back porch, and took a walk on campus. Then we had a 30 minute time out session about him almost locking me out on the porch, then dinner, then a bath, some snuggling in mommy's bed and he was out like a light.

Also, I have a new love. Amazon Prime. I got a free subscription for signing up for Amazon Mom and now I get free two-day shipping on everything. In the past that would not have seemed like such a plus, but being able to save an extra trip out for an annoying item like a new inner tube for my jogging stroller is a godsend. Next I might try buying my groceries online. I'm not quite there yet, but I could get there. Right now, it doesn't seem economical since I started using Mint.com a few months ago, and can now confront the staggering amount of money we spend on food every month. It literally left me speechless when I first saw the figures. Now, I have been watching every grocery store trip like it's a major investment. Not fun, and it hasn't been long enough to really pay off yet, but it does help make me feel like we could handle a mortgage payment in the near future.

And now for the good stuff.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

These Are The Days...

So today, I had the best time with Wiggle. He just piled cute, on top of cute, on top of cute.

After his nap he came into my room and got on the bed with me to snuggle for a minute, as usual. While we were cuddled, he said " What we gonna do?" meaning what was up for the afternoon. Teasing him, I asked him if he wanted to "clean the bathrooms?"
"No."
"Fold all of our clothes?"
"No."
"Organize the garage?"
"No."
Then while I was trying to think of the next odious task, he exclaimed, while pointing a finger in the air, "I know! I will give Mommy lots of kisses!"
And he did.

Later in the afternoon, while changing his diaper, we were having the usual conversation about his bottom - how it's cute, that it's where poop comes out, that it belongs to him, when he did something entirely new. He told me a story about his bottom.

One day, there was a bottom that sat in a chair. Then it went upstairs to take a bath. Then it went to sleep.


When C got home, I asked Wiggle to tell the story of the Bottom again. This time the bottom went into the sky after it sat in a chair, but before it got into the bath. Apparently the bottom was not content to just sit.

One his favorite things right now is to sit on benches
Lost in a Blue's Clues reverie
The closest, I hope, he ever looks to a soldier
Nap time is so much better in a tent

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1 + 1 = 529

So even though we haven't gotten any further in the house hunt; I have been hunting. And while I have been perusing listing after listing of houses that we both can't afford and don't like, for the most part, I had forgotten an astonishing consideration. Schools. Not lower ed, because we have that covered almost anywhere around here, but higher ed. Living in Virginia means that Wiggle could eventually go to the University of Virginia or William and Mary or Virginia Tech at in-state tuition prices. Those prices today? About $12,000/yr! Those are some seriously good schools at an outstanding price. Plus, we can buy his tuition today at those prices with a 529 plan. We can even buy a year at a time, since we can't really afford to drop $50,000 on his college fund, even if it is a really good deal. How could I have missed that? So I've been looking less in Maryland and more in Virginia.

Of course, even that doesn't seal the deal. There are still a lot of unknowns to deal with. Wiggle might not get into those schools. I heard from a neighbor that being a white male from Fairfax county means he would practically have to have cured a disease or a book deal to get in. Plus, there's no guaranteeing that those schools will even be state schools in 15 years. I know that sounds weird, but the state is constantly cutting their budgets, and the schools have been trying to make it up, but eventually they might be considered financial sink holes. Also, he might not want to go to those schools, or he could get a scholarship, or we could end up moving to another state anyway, or most likely the higher cost of living in Virginia might negatively impact our quality of life until Wiggle leaves for college. Can you tell I've been thinking about this too much?

This week I need to do some sorting and get some info from the bank and contact some realtors. Maybe then this headache I've had for three days will simmer down.

In Wiggle news - He took a hugely scary tumble down the stairs today. After approximately five seconds of kissing and hugging and making sure nothing was injured, he promptly said "Back to the top!" He then went back up the stairs and started to come down again with as little care as he had just moments earlier. He picked up the dropped hat and mp3 player holder that he had originally been carrying and descended with a big grin. This boy has some spirit; yes, he does.

He also does a mean rock-rendition of Twinkle, twinkle little star.
video