Monday, May 31, 2010

Ode to Monica

When my dad invited Paul to the Boundary Waters over Memorial Weekend, he decided that he would only go if we could find someone to help me out for the weekend. So I called Monica, not really expecting her to be able to make the 12-hour round trip to visit at such short notice. I should have known... being the wonderful Auntie that she is, she packed up and drove here to spend three super-fun days with us!

She arrived Friday night after the boys were asleep, and we stayed up until after midnight sipping Chardonnay as we caught up on life. Saturday started off with pancakes and bacon, then a trip down the street to Amore Cafe, my new favorite place now that Bully Blends is 600 miles away. Then, since the day was looking to get into the 90's, we packed up the stroller for a walk around the Mall of America to browse all of the formalwear departments for bridesmaid dresses. We found nothing, but I'm glad I got to feel a part of the wedding preparations.

The rest of the day was low key, just the way I like it! Leftovers for dinner, ice cream for dessert, stories and playtime, prayers and bed. Then on Sunday we went to St. Joseph's for the Mass of Thanksgiving of Father Alex Carlson, newly ordained for the Archdiocese. After Mass we packed a picnic lunch to bring to the park near our house. One of the greatest things about having Monica around was that we could do things I would never dream of doing on my own with two kids! A picnic sounds sweet and relaxing, but with a baby crying and a toddler running away, there were some stressful moments. Monica is such a natural; nothing phases her. I can't wait to see her with her own children...hopefully SOON!

After the picnic came playtime in the yard, a nice nap for the kids, and spaghetti with garlic bread and broccoli for dinner. You have no idea how much I enjoy cooking when there are no children underfoot! Monica kept thanking me for cooking, but I loved every minute of it as she kept Max and Lucian entertained and happy in the living room. While sitting on the deck after dinner, the topic of strawberry rhubarb pie came up...and in minutes we were all packed into the car for a trip to Bakers Square for a pie, and the grocery store for some vanilla ice cream! What were we thinking, you may ask, picking up dessert after 7:00pm when bedtime is supposed to be 8:00? Anything goes when an Auntie is visiting!!

This morning, we took a nice long stroll around the neighborhood, iced hazelnut lattes in hand, talking about everything and wishing that the weekend wasn't coming to an end. Max cried when he discovered that Auntie Monica had to leave, but he gave her big hugs and kisses as she promised to return soon. We're holding you to that, Monica!

I can't even begin to explain how nice it was to spend a weekend one-on-one with my sister-in-law. It seems like the only time we ever get to see each other is at huge family gatherings where there is barely time for a conversation. My favorite parts of this weekend were the opportunities we had to just talk. She may think she was here to help me with the kids, but after this weekend my soul feels a little lighter from the joy that she brings with her everywhere she goes.

We love you, Monica!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thank You

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that I owe you a thank you note. The combination of my lack of organization and two crazy children means that the task of getting thank you notes sent is monumental. I finally finished all of the notes from Lucian's baby shower and sent half of them (the ones whose addresses I knew off hand), setting the others aside so I could look up addresses later. In the meantime, my whole roll of stamps has gone missing, so those cards with recently-added addresses will now sit even longer until I track down my stamps or actually make my way to the post office to get more. I honestly couldn't tell you which will happen first.

I love writing thank you notes, and I think they are so important. In a digital age, it's so meaningful to receive a hand-written note from someone, even if it's just a quick line or two. If I could write notes and have someone else deal with the envelopes, the addresses, the stamps and the actual mailing, I'd be golden. Alas, it cannot be so, and the process ends up taking me three months. Three months! Eek!

So if I ever owe you a thank you note, please be patient. I promise there is a wonderfully heartfelt note sitting in a box on our desk, waiting to be sent...

And if I ever give you a gift, I have no expectations. I will not think less of you if a thank you note arrives two years later... or never at all. I've been known (numerous times) to be guilty of the same.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Say It Again!

Max is pretty good at pronunciation. He doesn't make many mistakes, except for the occasional missed consonant here and there, and the unavoidable ephelant and pasketti. I guess he takes after me in that way- apparently when I was little, I refused to say any word until I could say it correctly... perfectionist much? Who me??

But today he had a couple of pretty cute slip ups:
"Wanna play wif da gulp glove!"(read: golf club)
"Mommy go to da copy chop." (that's 'coffee shop')

I also love noticing how his little brain is soaking up new information like a sponge. His two favorite phrases are "What's that?" and "Say it again!" Sometimes it is the strangest things he wants repeated- like the word 'caterpillar' or 'burp rag'. I don't think I've ever outlasted his requests to "say it again!" It's a battle of wills that I've never won, so I don't know how long he would actually go if I let him.

Today the word was 'baby booties'. I thought I finally beat him after about 20 rounds of "Say it again!" "Baby booties." "Say it again!" "Baby booties." "Say it again!" "Baby booties." Then suddenly he started asking me about a picture of cowboy boots on the page... wait a minute, did I do it? Did I actually satisfy his request to hear the words "baby booties"? Ha. After about a minute talking about cowboy boots, he requested that I "Say 'baby booties' again!" and it went on for another 20 rounds or so, until I finally got tired of it and distracted him with something else. His perfect record remains unbroken.


All four of us came down with nasty colds a few days ago. Take the fact that no one sleeps well with a cold and multiply that by 4... that's what we got last night. Max was up every few hours crying because he was miserable, and both Paul and I were tossing and turning. Lucian actually slept pretty well, except for the fact that he was up at 6:30. Max woke up soon after, and whined and fussed for a good hour until he got distracted by his cool car ramp that Great Auntie Linda said was a must-have garage sale purchase (Good call!).

Everyone was feeling so miserable this morning that I decided to get out into the fresh air to see if that would help. We packed up into the stroller to take a walk around the neighborhood, armed with water and lots of tissues. It seemed like every ten feet I would hear a sneeze and stop to check for a runny nose... we made it through those tissues super fast!

I guess it was good to get out of the house, but combining the kids' sneezes with my body aches made it less-than-usually enjoyable. Let's just say I was relieved to get back home and flop on the couch until lunch.

I decided to write a new law of nature. It is hereby illegal for two parents to get sick at the same time as their children. It's hard enough taking care of sick kids when I'm healthy, but when all I want to do is lay down and sleep, it seems near impossible at times! Although, come to think of it, taking care of a super healthy, super energetic Max wouldn't really be any easier right now.

Ok, I'm going to amend my law: It is hereby illegal for parents to ever get sick! It's just too hard to take care of someone else when you can barely take care of yourself.

All in favor?

All opposed?
Didn't think so.

Monday, May 24, 2010

John Locke stole my dad

Is anyone else out there a Lost fan? My family got me hooked on it when Max was an infant- at family events, they would bring up this show that they were watching, and words like deserted island, polar bears, smoke monster, and secret hatch peaked my curiosity. So Paul and I started out renting the DVDs and watching them after Max went to sleep... and when we got caught up, we just kept watching.

Now, six seasons later, this show that has left me each week wondering what I just saw (and why I'm still watching) has finally come to an end. Last night was the finale so we went to my parents house to watch it with the people who got us into this mess in the first place. We walked in the door to find my dad dressed as none other than John Locke and a spread of DHARMA Initiative issue snacks on the table! Was I surprised? Not a bit. And if you know my dad, you probably aren't surprised either.

(On a side note, DHARMA Initiative Merlot is way better than I imagined it would be.)

Target Field

On Sunday, Paul and I packed up both kids and brought them to the Twins game at brand new, beautiful Target Field. Paul's friend Sam was in town, so we used it as an excuse to take in a game with a group of friends- all Twins fans except for Sam who, unfortunately, roots for the Brewers. The Twins did win the series, but at least Sam got to gloat about winning one out of three.

Max and Luci share a chair

It was my first experience of outdoor baseball ever, and even with two squirreley kids and 85 degree weather, it was pretty awesome. Anyone who enjoys America's Favorite Pastime knows that watching a game in the Metrodome was not how baseball was meant to be experienced.

Every seat is a good seat at Target Field

When Lucian got uncomfortable, I discovered the Mom Rooms at guest services where you can take your little kids to get out of the heat, change a diaper, and nurse in comfort. Kudos to whoever thought of that! Lucian and I spent some quality time in there cooling off and chatting with other moms.

Hopefully we'll get to go back some time and actually watch the game (instead of juggling kids) but we had a great time, and Max had a blast! He even got to take home a Little Louisville Slugger baseball bat as his prize for filling his sticker chart!

Max with his Little Louisville Slugger and Rod Carew

It was a fun day with great friends and yummy (overpriced) stadium food. If Max wasn't a fan already, he's sure been bitten by the baseball bug now!

Heading home after the big day

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Questions? Comments? Rude Remarks?

That's what my college professor used to say after each of his lectures- "Questions? Comments? Rude remarks?" He liked to open the floor for discussion, although I don't think it would have reflected well on our grades if we had actually taken him up on his last offer.

I've realized that some of you have had trouble leaving comments on my blog posts, and I discovered that I could change my settings to make it easier for you. Now you don't need an account to leave a comment, you can just leave your name- or even write anonymously, although I'd prefer to know who you are! I'd love to hear your questions and comments... but I prefer that you keep the rude remarks to yourself :-)

And here is a picture of Max in a lion costume, for no particular reason, other than the fact that he's pretty cute.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fill in the Blank

I've been forgetting words lately. Today, it was high chair and cello and monkey. I've forgotten the word elevator when I was standing right in front of one, and I've been known to ask Paul on occasion, "Do you know where the, uh, oh shoot what's the word... umm... oh! Camera! Do you know where the camera is?" Maybe that's why writing is so much less stressful than speaking. If I forget a word while I'm typing, I can sit and stare blankly at the screen for as long as I need to and no one is the wiser.

Does anyone else deal with this problem? Am I the only one who loses words? It's as if my brain misplaces it for a second (or two or three), then it comes back to me and I can't believe I could have ever forgotten that word! I'll chalk it up to Mommy Brain until further notice.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a very nice...'s that word? Oh! Weekend! Have a nice weekend, all!

Little Black Book

Above is a picture of Paul in the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, in front of a wall of hops vines. This is one of two pictures on that trip that I didn't have to twist his arm to pose for (the other also involved beer). A couple of months ago, Paul actually bought his own hops to plant in our yard, in the hopes of eventually brewing his own beer, and I'm glad to say they are coming along nicely.

This is all a preface to explain the beer-friendly environment in which our son is growing up. We don't drink beer constantly or in large quantities, but we definitely appreciate good beer. Paul grew up with a beer brewing dad, and so he has always known the difference between good beer and Miller Lite. I have a feeling Max will be the same...

Recently, Max fished a book off of our bookshelf and asked Daddy to read it to him. It was from our honeymoon in Estes Park three years ago, and it is entitled The Little Black Book of Beer. It's got all kinds of information about what goes into making beer, where different types of beer originated, and just about anything else you'd ever want to know about that wonderful drink.
Of course, Daddy obliged, and now Max has a new favorite book.

He has been going around the house singing "Little black book of beer! Little black book of beer!" for the past week or so, but as if that wasn't enough, Paul decided it was time for him to learn his first drinking song. Now instead of "I've been working on the Railroad" I've been listening to my sweet little boy sing "In Heaven there is no beer (NO BEER!) that's why we drink it here (RIGHT HERE!) and when we're gone from heeeere, our friends will be drinking all the beer."

Please don't tell the authorities.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


On May 8, Lucian rolled over for the first time! An exciting moment, but oh boy are things about to get interesting. Next it's scooting, then crawling, then walking, then running, then I have two maniacs on my hands! But I am so excited for the days when Max and Lucian can play with each other. I can't tell you how glad I am that they will both have a brother close to their age. I see how close Tony and Ben are and I just can't wait to see my boys' relationship develop.

I always dreamed of a sister- of sharing clothes, telling secrets, doing all kinds of girly things. But alas, it wasn't meant to be... at least I have a really cool mom who is like a sister to me, except with 20-something years of parenting experience and advice.

So each little milestone brings Lucian closer to his brother/future best friend, but it means I'm losing my baby. My days of rocking him to sleep and carrying him everywhere are numbered. Yesterday he started giggling hysterically at the sound of fake sneezes. Giggling!! Not just happy noises, but full-fledged belly jiggling laughter. Next he'll be telling his own jokes!

But I'm not really sad that he's growing up. I'm excited to learn about his personality and see what Max will teach him.

come on little brother, grow!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Repeat After Me

Max has always had a habit of telling people what he wants them to say to him. When he introduces himself, he doesn't say "I'm Max", he says "Hi Macky!" Yesterday we went to "Old MacDonalds" for some ice cream and took it to the park by our house. Paul chased Max around a few times, and when he sat down to rest, Max started running away, looking back over his shoulder saying, "I'm gonna get you! I'm gonna get you!" Paul couldn't resist and took off after him again, yelling "I'm gonna get you!" Soon after, the boys were throwing sticks over the fence, which was just barely within Max's reach. When he got one over, he looked to Daddy and said "Good job!" which Paul, of course, repeated right back to him.

I never have to worry about Max sticking up for himself or making his feelings clear. He already tells us what he's thinking and what he wants us to be thinking! "Mommy Daddy wanna watch Macky slide!" was the refrain we heard when we returned home to play in the backyard. Of course we want to watch you slide, Max!

I should take lessons. I'm the passive-aggressive type- If you ask me if something is wrong, I'll say no, then I'll get upset because you can't tell something is wrong! I expect people to be mind readers... and I've learned that most people aren't. Paul and I once read a book on personality types in marriage, and the advice it gave to me with our personality combination was this: If you want flowers, ask for them!

This week I will try to be like Max. I'll say what I mean and mean what I say!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Peas, por favor

The other day, Max was whining about something at the dinner table.

Me: "Can you please use your big boy words to tell me what you want?"

Max: "Pleeeeeeeeeeeease?"

Me: "Please what?"

Max: "Please, por favor?"

Now, before you go off thinking that my son is a bilingual genius, let me tell you about a little character called Skippyjon Jones. Skippyjon is a Siamese cat with a very large head who thinks he is a chihuahua. The author of the books likes to throw in random Spanish phrases, and apparently Max has started to pick up on them. In Skippyjon's latest adventure, he goes to ancient Egypt, where mummies "rest in peas". Follow? So Skippito goes on a hunt for these amazing peas while his friends, the Chimichangos Pack, stand by chanting "Peas por favor! Peas por favor!" Apparently Max thought they were saying "Please, por favor" and decided that was the response I was looking for!

I would love for our kids to be bilingual. I think that our country is waaaaay behind in that regard. Spanish would sure be the most practical, but I wouldn't care if they wanted to learn Chinese or Swahili! Being able to communicate in two (or more) languages broadens your ability to think- there are some thoughts that can simply be expressed better in one language versus another. It also opens up possibilities that aren't available to someone who only knows their native tongue. Our world is getting smaller every day, and not everyone in the world speaks English. Lets prepare our kids for the world they will live in!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Novena to the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Novena begins today, and concludes on Saturday, May 22, on the vigil of Pentecost. This year, I am praying the Novena for a group of High School juniors who were confirmed a couple of months ago, students that I got to know particularly well while I was a youth minister in Rapid City. The version that I'm praying is found on the EWTN website here if you want to pray with me. This is what they have to say about this beautiful novena:

"The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian."

I'm so thankful that the Church gives voice to the prayers I want to pray, but can never come up with the words. It's kind of like when I read a book or an article that explains something I've always known to be true but could never articulate... because some people are just better writers than me. I love being Catholic!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Without any prompting from us, Max has begun to bring his stool into the bedroom each night for some evening exercises. Honestly, I have no idea where he came up with this idea... rarely (if ever) has he seen either of his parents exercise. Below is a sampling of his nightly routine:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Motherhood's A Blast

Motherhood is a funny thing. At the same time that I wish Max was more self-sufficient, I get sad when he starts to show signs of independence. He has never been afraid of much, but his fearlessness has always shown itself within my radius, where he can easily access me or someone he knows almost instantly.

Yesterday, we brought Max to a cool indoor playground called The Blast, which is like a very clean version of a MacDonalds play area. The climbing equipment is designed for kids age 3-12, an age range that is creeping up on us very quickly. It took him awhile to discover the stairs to the upper level, but once he did, he was gone! Now, this is not like a regular playground, where your child is basically within your reach and within eyesight at all times. No, once he entered the rocket ship that was the staircase, he was out of sight and out of reach. We could only occasionally see flashes of his shirt or socks as he traversed the tunnel maze above our heads. I got sick with nerves- What if he gets run over by a big huge 5-year-old? What if he gets stuck??

Then we saw his little blond head pop into a window at the far end. He looked slightly nervous himself... Mom was 12 feet down on the other side of a plastic bubble! But he caught our eye and tried to look brave as he turned around to find his way back down.

He came shooting out of the rocket staircase toward us, obviously proud of what he had accomplished. Then Daddy brought him to see the window that he had looked down from just moments before. This must have made something click because before we left that night, my little boy had made his way to that window three more times, each time with more confidence and a bigger smile as he looked down at us from far above.

His comfort zone is increasing by leaps and bounds every day! My little boy is getting bigger and I can't do anything to stop it. I just pray that his guardian angel is as vigilant as his Daddy's was, because he won't always be within my reach.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Road Trip

On Saturday, we took a trip down to Winona to see Susan, Fr. Brian and Fr. Tyler, who were in town for the graduation of some Rapid City seminarians. We left home after lunch and made the beautiful drive down Hwy 61 with two sleeping children in the backseat. That is how every road trip should be- gorgeous scenery and quiet sleeping children!

We made it to St. Mary's campus in about two hours and decided to stroll the kiddos around campus while we waited for The Fathers and Susan to get back from lunch. It was a fun little walk down memory lane, but boy it seems like it was longer than just four years ago! Since we graduated, they've built a new outdoor track and soccer field, a disc golf course, and a high ropes course. We sure would have made use of those (especially the disc golf!) if they had been around when we were. The seminary also had some new features- Pews in the chapel! And a tiled floor! Plus they added beautiful Stations of the Cross on the front lawn.

We met up with the Rapid City crew at the seminary and were surprised to see Chris Deaver with them!! (Chris, if you ever read this, Florida is too far away! Come back to the Midwest!) We chilled in the JPII Lounge for awhile and then decided to go bowling at Wellington's (aka "the chapel"- ask Fr. Brian). Max played the first game with us and got an impressive 17 points! Then he wandered off and played foosball by himself while we finished our second game... in which, I am proud to say, I scored 120! Fr. Brian only played one of my frames for me, and I won't mention my score on the first game.

After bowling, it was time to head to Jefferson's- our old stomping grounds. Hooray for 18 karat wings!! Max asked me over and over again for a "bone to eat". I think he thinks he's a dog...or a dinosaur. Dinner was great, especially the company, and we were all surprised to look at our watches and realize it was 9:15! We said our goodbyes, packed up the boys and began the journey back home. Max watched the stars until he fell asleep, and I found myself drifting off as well. We rolled in around 11:30 and fell straight into bed. It was a good day.

Thanks Susan, Fr. Brian, Fr. Tyler and Chris, for a ton of fun! Let's do it again soon!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

This morning I was greeted by a soggy baby who had soaked through his diaper overnight. No big deal. I got him up, changed his diaper and put him in an adorable little outfit that Grandma Radecki gave us. One boy all ready at 8:00am! Score!

Then I sat down at the computer with Lucian in my lap. As I finished up writing an email, I smelled something a little...ripe. I picked him up to change the offending diaper and realized instantly that it was more than just the diaper I would have to deal with. Lucian's pants, shirt and my shirt were all affected by the mess! Off to the bathtub we went to take care of the disaster.

Mid-bath, Max came giggling into the bathroom, completely in the buff. Paul (who had fallen asleep in Max's room for part of the night) followed after him, explaining to me that Max had woken up in a puddle, also having leaked through his diaper! I got Lucian out of the bath and wrapped him in a towel, sans diaper. As I sat holding him, telling Paul what had happened that morning, I felt something leak through the towel... now what little baby waits to pee until he's out of the bath??

It's been an eventful morning, but now both kids are clean, Lucian is asleep, and life is on track once again. To all mothers out there (especially my own), thank you for all of the messes you've cleaned up over the years!

Happy Laundry Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Moby, not the musician

I am going to take a minute to rave about one of my favorite baby accessories, the Moby. I received the Moby at Christmas in '08 right before our trip to Europe and it was a lifesaver! I carried around a one-year-old Max almost everywhere we went. No heavy backpack, no bulky stroller, just six yards of stretchy t-shirt material that ties up into a light, comfortable baby carrier.

I packed the Moby away until Lucian was born, then I took it out and relearned how to tie it. It works for newborns up to toddlers, and it can be worn a ton of different ways! I discovered I can put him in there while I cook dinner and he's totally content to watch me chop veggies or mix casseroles. Don't worry, I take him out for any potentially hazardous stir-frying.

If any future (or current) mothers are reading this, I highly recommend adding the Moby to your baby wishlist!

Enough advertising. This was really just an excuse to get a super cute picture of Chubbo up on my blog!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Royal "They"

Max in full armor

Ever heard of the Royal "We"? You know, how really important people, such as kings, can speak about themselves in the plural form? Well the other day, Max must have decided he is a super important person, because he had a whole conversation about himself in third-person plural! Often before he has spoken of himself as "You" (as in, 'You want some chicken for dinner!') and he almost always narrates his actions, but this was new to me. We were finishing lunch and it was time for dessert. As I watched him eat his bar, he began narrating (with much gusto) what was happening. It went something like this:

"They drank some MILK! They drank it all GONE! They were THIRSTY! Then they ate some PIE! And it was GOOD! And they were HUUN-GRY!"

All hail King Max!

Blind Date

Max had his first play date in our neighborhood yesterday! There are lots of young families in our parish with stay-at-home moms, and our priest got us in contact with a few. I had been playing phone tag with one woman, and we finally made plans to get together.

We are not naturally early risers, as you all know. We planned to get to their house between 8:30 and 9:00, which meant that I had to get up before 7:30 to get myself and the boys ready in time. Yuck. I know that doesn't sound early to some, but we are all naturally night owls and Max will sleep in til at least 8:30 most mornings if I let him. But amazingly, we were up, dressed and ready to go by 8:25!
8:25 am

We drove less than six blocks to meet Jennifer and her family: a six-year-old boy, twin four-year-old boys and an eight-month-old girl. What a beautiful family! She was so nice, and the kids were sweet and polite. Max had a couple of rough moments ("Want to play the PIANO!") but overall did very well for being a 2 year old in a brand new space.

Jennifer is really connected to NET ministries, an evangelization program that started in the Twin Cities, and she informed me that many of the NET "graduates" end up settling in West St. Paul. They want to stay near each other to have a support system and to let their kids grow up together. That means there are tons of young Catholic families within blocks of us! We knew we loved the area, but we had no idea when we signed our mortgage papers how great the community would be!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Boys to Men

Watching Daddy shovel

Since buying a house, it seems that there have been an endless number of projects ahead of us! Along with the projects, there is also the upkeep- of the yard, the house, the garage, the sidewalk. Our to-do list will never be complete, but it's fun seeing things come together a little at a time.

Assembling the patio furniture

I am so blessed to have a hubby who has tackled all of our projects, making and keeping our home beautiful. And he has done so with a certain little tag-along underfoot the whole time! Since the move, Max has discovered Daddy's tools; he is so attached it's almost as if he can smell them! The minute Paul pulls out a screwdriver or a shovel, Max appears out of nowhere to "help" him. His newest love is the lawnmower. Every time Paul opens the back door to step outside, Max trails him, saying, "Daddy's gonna mow!"
"Sanding" the path

As a woman, I've never quite had that fascination with tools. I remember mowing the lawn
only once growing up (thanks Tony and Ben!) and I was nervous the whole time because it was loud and had a large blade. I think the exact things that scared me (noise and destructive capabilities) draw Max closer. The other day, Paul was in the garage setting up his saw to cut our counter top, with his usual audience of one. He turned on the saw unexpectedly, and Max bolted from the garage, slamming the door behind him! But his curiosity got the best of him and minutes later he was creeping back toward the door, holding my hand, to investigate this new creature.

Installing the counter

When it was time for installation, he had to be right there in the mix, helping Aaron hold up the counter while Paul screwed in the brackets. I love that he's such a little boy. I love that he wants to be just like his Daddy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Max and I had a rough day yesterday. He's reached the stage where his response to everything is "No!" We even try giving him either-or choices: Would you like this or this? "No!" Yesterday morning was just peppered with no's. He even said it when I hadn't asked him anything! Beyond that, he actually tried pulling Lucian off of my lap twice while I was feeding him, and demanded that I put Lucian in his crib so that I could hold Max instead.

Frustrated, I put him down for his nap, mainly to get him out of my hair. Then I started thinking... maybe he's just feeling left out lately. He used to have my lap to himself, now he has to share it with this little guy who showed up out of nowhere and eats like a pig! He used to get carried whenever he wanted, but now my arms are usually occupied.

So I decided to bake cookies. When Max woke up, the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies greeted him from downstairs. Lucian was sound asleep and he had me all to himself! He had two cookies, then I asked him if he wanted to dance with me.


We put on Vampire Weekend and danced and spun until Daddy came home. He found us sitting on the floor because I was too dizzy to stand anymore.

It was good for us to have a few minutes to ourselves. It happens so rarely now, I understand how it could be tough on him. Will we do it again soon?


Monday, May 3, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Kitchen Edition

As most of you know, when we bought our house the kitchen was, well, less-than-stellar.

We were happy with most everything else about the house, and we decided that a few quick fix-ups would make the kitchen good enough. Of course, a few quick fix-ups turned into a complete gutting of the kitchen: new cupboards, new floor, new counters, and a space for a dishwasher. In November, thanks to Paul Sr, we finished the lion's share of the kitchen renovations, but that dishwasher space stayed vacant and our plans for a butcher block/breakfast bar seemed that they would never become a reality... until now.

Behold... our finished kitchen!!

No longer do I have to explain when I'm showing people around the house, "This is where the dishwasher will go, and over here we're planning a breakfast bar." It will be almost strange to have the space speak for itself now.

I love our new home, and I love the memories we're creating here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Three short stories to brighten your day

A couple of days ago, Max saw a puppy with a bone on one of Lucian's outfits. It inspired him to pretend that he was a dog, so he barked at me and then asked for a bone to eat. I assured him that he would rather have toast for breakfast than a bone, so after some consideration, he compromised and asked for a "toast bone". Yummy!

Max with his "Toast Bone" and sunhat (which he insisted on wearing inside all day)

Yesterday as we were walking down the stairs to the basement, Max asked me for some "bunny tape". I've never heard of bunny tape, have you? Then he pointed out the duct tape on the landing. "Do you mean Duct Tape, honey?" I asked. Of course! "Duck tape"... he just had the wrong cute little animal.

A duck

Then in the basement, he asked to see something on the shelf across the room. "Wanna see (insert gibberish word here)!" he said. I had no idea what he was asking for. He repeated himself four or five times before he finally marched across the room and pointed at a knick-knack and said, "That thing, right there." Am I already getting attitude from my sweet little two-year-old?

Max with his teddy bear, TeeTee

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Well done, everyone! All of the responses I got for my little quiz had all five pictures identified correctly. I'm glad to know that my boys have their own unique features and can be told apart. It's hard to hide Lucian's monster cheeks, and I was told the two have very different eyes.

For those of you who didn't send me your answers, here are the correct responses so you can see how you did:

1. Max
2. Max
3. Lucian
4. Max
5. Lucian

Well played, let's do it again sometime!