Google Dollops of Diane: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daniel Through the Months


With Daniel being the third child, I was afraid that he would look back and see no pictures of himself (alone), an empty Baby Book, and wonder why he was the memory reject of the family. So when I saw my friend had this great idea to take a picture of her son each month, I totally copied it. In honor of Daniel turning eighteen months today, I bring you Daniel through the months. Please note, it is MUCH easier to take the pictures when they are smaller!

I had to tape the sign to his shirt and then let him play with the tape to get this shot today!














Sunday, January 29, 2012

Go Patriots!!


Isabelle and I did our part today to cheer on the Patriots as they headed off to the Super Bowl.  I knew they were having a send off and we live only a few minutes from the stadium so I decided last minute to go. At one point, I was thinking of taking the whole family which in hind sight would have been CRAZY. I totally underestimated how many people would be there and just how packed it would be. It took us so much longer than it should have to get there and we had to walk miles (or at least it felt like it!) from the car but Isabelle was a total trooper and never complained. 


Send off rally! (Yes, we were very high up!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

HATCHEDit Event - Get Organized!


I recently had the opportunity to participate in an Ambitious Moms event and learn about HATCHEDit.  For those who don’t know, HATCHEDit is a one stop, online spot for all your family’s organizational needs. HATCHEDit was created by two busy moms who understand the need to have information readily and easily available for all family members. Now I’m not going to lie, the thought of moving to a completely digital calendar makes me a little nervous. I currently have a small calendar/planner that is like my Bible. It has EVERYTHING in it and I look at it about ten times a day. It is kind of like my best friend. I need it…or do I?



The real draw about HATCHEDit for me is the online calendar in which multiple family members can add their own events (all handy dandily color coded). Currently, my planner is the sole holder of all information regarding plans and anything calendar related in my family. If Tim needs/wants to do something, he emails me (he’s usually at work), I check the physical calendar, email him back, he then emails me to confirm he made plans, and I add it to the calendar. As you can imagine, there can be flaws in this system. There would be more flaws actually if I wasn’t so anal on top of things. With HATCHEDit, we will be able to have one online calendar that he will be able to easily check availability and then add his items to the calendar. This is pretty exciting for me. Also, you can share your information (as much or as little as you want) with other groups, family members, and friends.  You can also send invites via HATCHEDit to functions and upcoming events.  HATCHEDit currently has an Android phone app and the IPhone App will be funcitioning within a few weeks. Organization on the go – score! Oh wait, I haven't told you the best part yet...it's free! You simply visit the website and set up your account - FREE!

While learning about this product I was also able to guzzle sample wine from Mirassou Winery. I tried the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and the Chardonnay which were all fabulous.  After a long week with a sick child and having given up wine for a couple of weeks trying to be good for my Biggest Loser competition, it was JUST what I needed. 



On top of that, I walked away with a cascading file organizer from The Container Store.  After cleaning out three closets this week (we were home bound A LOT), I’m having dreams of the Container Store!

So if you need me this weekend, I’ll be busy organizing my life like all good Ambitious Moms should. Why don’t you check out HATCHEDit and The Container Store, and do the same? While sipping on some wine, of course. 

*I was invited to attend this event and was compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own*

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Totally Tubular!


Daniel was at the doctor’s office yet again last week for an ear infection. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and determining factor that he needs to have tubes put in. The poor kid has had nine ear infections in the last eleven months and they also think it might be playing a factor in why he doesn’t speak yet (besides “Uh oh” and “Ho ho ho” (as in Santa!)). After some appointments at the ENT and some testing out of the way, they wanted to get him in as soon as possible so he is scheduled for surgery on Monday. This now makes the second surgery for our little man in less than a year. Although, I am not looking forward to the surgery, I am glad that this is an “easy” procedure and am excited about the end result. Imagine a month where I am not at the doctor’s with him for an ear infection? That would be the kind of month that dreams are made of. I’m also interested to see if the surgery does jump start him using words. I am honestly not that worried about his speech. I think that when he is ready, the words will come but it will be interesting to see if the ears were the problem all along.  

Besides, I haven’t had too much time to worry about Daniel’s surgery because I’ve been pre-occupied with Isabelle who has come down with pneumonia. The glory of having more than one child is that you never have too much time to worry about one child because you are busy worrying about another! If all plays out according to my game book, Isabelle will be back to 100% in time for me to focus on Daniel. Of course, Henry is the wild card in this equation. What kind of illness or injury do you think he’ll come down with before Monday?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What are you Looking for?


I am pretty sure that I spend half of my day looking for things. We already know how much time I spend looking for sippy cups. Beyond that, I look for missing shoes. I look for missing dollies, froggies, and teddy bears. I look for covers to markers. I look for my keys. I look for the other missing glove. I look for lost puzzle pieces. I look for missing hair clips. I look for binkies under the crib. I look for the remote control. I look for missing socks in the dryer. Oh, and by this point, I’m definitely looking for the sippy cup again. 

Good hiding spot, Sippy!


What do you spend your days looking for?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Can I Play With You? Can I Play With You? Can I Play With You?


I’ve got a real problem on my hands; Isabelle wants to play with me ALL the time. Now some people might think, “Oh, how sweet. How nice. How special.” Let me tell you, it is none of these things. I’ve written before about how I enjoy some “alone” time while Daniel naps. The problem is it doesn’t matter if Daniel is awake or asleep, she wants to play.  On the weekends, I at least get a bit of a break since she also hounds Tim to play with her. Lately, it’s become out of control.  She’s stopped watching a TV show before bed (this used to be her favorite part of the day!) now because she wants to have more time to play with us. She and I baked muffins the other day and while I was putting the dishes in the sink, she said, “When we finish clean up, can I play with you?” Ummm…does a half hour of cooking together not count as play? Does she not realize that one of the reasons we had multiple children would be so she would have built in playmates? Now I don’t mind a game or two but beyond that I tell her that she needs to go and play on her own. I know that it’s important that she can entertain herself and not rely on me constantly to do it. Of course, the first time I tell her it starts off as, “I can’t play right now, Sweetie. How about you go play with Dolly for a while?” However, by the eighth time I have to tell her it sounds more like, “I CAN’T PLAY RIGHT NOW. GO PLAY BY YOURSELF!” She then looks sad and rejected and I feel bad. I know that when she is grown up, she won’t want to have anything to do with me most of the time and I should probably treasure these days. However, it’s just not possible to constantly play with her, hang out with the other kids, cook, do laundry, run errands, and keep my sanity. So, I’m going to enjoy the times that I do play with her, try to keep my cool as long as possible while rejecting her, and hope that she soon realizes (but maybe not too soon) that I am not the coolest person in the world to play with.

Sometimes it's hard to say no to this face.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Daniel's Turn

Although it was late in the year, Daniel got to have his first experience with a New England winter today.  After surviving the ordeal of getting dressed...



We headed out and....


He loved it!!


Looks like we have two snow bunnies on our hands now!






Friday, January 20, 2012

It Finally Snowed!


As you may know, I’ve been wondering where the snow has been. The kids were excited to find out that it came last night while they were sleeping. The storm was really nothing and we only got about four to five inches but you would have thought Isabelle had died and gone to heaven. She was beyond excited to go out and play in it. Of course, I made her wait until Daniel’s nap time so we could head out without him. I might take him out later today but it’s just so much easier not to have him out on the initial trip.  While Isabelle is a little snow bunny, Henry is far from it and spent most of the time expressing his disinterest in the snow. It’s pretty awesome to listen to a three year old complain while you’re trying to shovel the driveway. Here are some pictures of our big adventure outside...

Henry when we first went outside - "Snow!!!"






Henry after being out for 10mins - "I want go inside. I no like snow. My gingas (aka fingers) cold."


Isabelle happily helping



Snow Angels!



The snow was too fluffy for a snowman but we were able to put together this little guy.





Thursday, January 19, 2012

32 Years Ago Today


Thirty two years ago today, the world lost a man that I never knew. From what I’ve been told, he was smart, funny, ambitious, and very loveable. He was also my father. 

My Dad and I on my Christening Day (one of the very few pictures we have of us together)

He and my mother met when they were in college. He was the man of her dreams and they married in 1977 shortly after graduating. In 1978, they welcomed my brother in to the family. They bought a house and I was born in November 1979. Just two short months later in 1980, he passed away.  He was taken by Melanoma Skin Cancer. He was a young, vibrant man who had a brand new family and his whole life in front of him and it was all taken away. They found out he was sick while my mother was pregnant with me. She had told me that it was a good thing that I was conceived when I was because if they had waited just a couple of months they would have known he was sick and never had me (thank God for timing). During the year that he was diagnosed he underwent surgery and chemotherapy. When I was born my father couldn’t be there because he was in a different hospital trying to fight for his own life. That day, he asked my Uncle to save an “It’s A Girl” cigar and smoke it the day that I married since he knew he would never be there to see it. 

My brother, me, and my Mom on my wedding day ("It's a Girl" cigar in hand)





Honestly, I find it hard to see a silver lining in this story. My mother ended up raising my brother and I as a single mom even while her own health began to decline for unrelated reasons. Before I reached the age of 30, I had lost both of my parents. Although it may not be a silver lining, the lesson I takeaway is to do everything in my power to prevent this from happening to my family and my children. My father was living in a time when the dangers of the sun were not well known. That is not the case now. I see the dermatologist every six months, I regularly check my body for any changes, and I tell anyone who will listen that they should do the same. I harass my brother to make sure he sees the doctor. I offer up my opinion about family member’s moles that are revealed by tank tops at summer barbeques.  I know, I’m a lot of fun! People joke all the time about how they are just going to “fry” at the beach or how they don’t care if they get cancer because they love the sun. Well you know what, it’s not really a joke. People get skin cancer. People die. So my public service announcement today, in honor of my father is to ask everyone to think about their body, their skin, wear sunscreen, and see a doctor if you’re not sure about anything. It could make all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Skeleton School

If you ask Henry where he is starting school in the Fall he will tell you “Skeleton School.”  It’s really no surprise to us. I mean, what little boy who’s obsessed with Scooby Doo, Ghostbusters, and all things spooky wouldn’t want to go to Skeleton School?  Today I figured I’d get to the bottom and find out what he thinks goes on at Skeleton School.  Here is his response…

video


And you thought I was kidding when children asked if he was bilingual! God love Henry and his wild imagination and inability to speak in real worlds that the rest of the world understands. One of the few things that can be understood that they do at Skeleton School is “Uncle Dan Puzzles.” Although I have no idea what those are, my brother should feel quite honored that he is associated with something as cool as Skeleton School. Maybe Henry thinks they will sit around and talk about spooky things and do puzzles with Uncle Dan’s face on them.  Of course, he’ll have quite the shock when he ends up at the same Christian based preschool that we’ve been sending Isabelle to. It is far from the Skeleton School that he dreams of. I try to gear him up for it and talk about the teachers and the fun things that Isabelle does there. He acknowledges the awesomeness of her school but then informs me that he won’t be going there since he’ll be at Skeleton School.  Well at least he’s consistent, right?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fake Clean and Fake Dinner


The other day I had a friend coming over and I was doing some last minute frantic cleaning. You know how it is, you have someone on their way over and you look around and suddenly you see every dust bunny, every piece of dried food on the floor, and every toy has jumped out of the toy bins. It’s as if they are all yelling, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!” even though I swear they weren’t there an hour ago. This happens to other people, right? It’s not just me living in disguised filth is it? Anyway, back to the frantic cleaning, I ended up using the end of the Clorox Wipes and so I was left with that half inch of water/cleaning solution at the end of the container. I thought to myself, this is awesome. I then carefully poured the liquid all around the inside of the sink and was careful not to wash it down the drain. I was psyched to think that even if the house wasn’t ACTUALLY clean, when my friend walked in, it would SMELL clean. Better to smell clean than to be clean, right? Well not really but it still works in a pinch!

This disguised clean scent reminded me how I was told that my grandmother would tell my aunts that even if they didn’t have anything ready for dinner, they should put a pot of water on and boil an onion. Why boil the onion? Because the smell of it would make their husband THINK that they had been cooking all day.  Pretty genius if you ask me. Of course, the problem does come when an hour goes by and you still have nothing to serve for dinner. Honestly, my grandparents liked booze a bit more (okay, a lot more) than they should have so I am guessing they just had a few drinks and forgot about dinner altogether. Maybe I’ll try this scheme out on Tim next week. Note to self: Buy onions and lots of alcohol.   


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shopping: Boys vs. Girls


Usually, Tim and I try to divide up the errands over the weekend and go separately with only a kid or two with us to make life easier. However, Daniel is in this horrible annoying stage where he just whines and fusses the whole time if anyone goes anywhere without him. It’s actually pretty heartbreaking when he notices people are getting ready to go and he goes and gets his shoes and coat and tries to put them on. So this morning in order to avoid a toddler meltdown, we all packed up and headed to BJs together to pick up some bulk groceries. The trip itself was rather uneventful (which is exactly what we hope for) but the ride home struck me as funny. The boys passed out almost immediately on the way home and Isabelle was chatting and singing away in her seat.  Tim also would have passed out with a nap on the couch upon arrival home if Isabelle hadn’t suckered him into a game of “Go Fish.” I guess it doesn’t matter what age you are, shopping is exhilarating for girls and exhausting for boys!

Daniel insisted on wearing his hat like this.


Good night, Henry.





   
Isabelle ready for some more shopping!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick Lesson of the Day

If you leave a toddler alone for a minute, you will spend at least five minutes cleaning up the mess. 

"Uh Ohhhhhhhh"



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best Thing I’ve Done in a Long Time


I am a light sleeper and with each kid I feel like it’s gotten worse and worse. I wake up with every little noise that they make- loud rustling of blankets, a falling binkie, a loud snore, etc., etc. I then go in to check on them and make sure they are okay. Now I recognize that makes me somewhat crazy and I should just ignore these small noises and go back to sleep. If I don’t go check though, I lay there and assume the worst. So whatever, I’m crazy and I’ve accepted that. What I couldn’t accept though was the mornings where Tim would get up with the kids and I would have a chance to sleep in for a bit and I couldn’t. I could not sleep AT ALL because I obsessively listened to everything that was going on downstairs. Even if the kids weren’t being particularly loud I would then wonder “Why aren’t they being loud?” “Has he given them breakfast yet?” “Did I just hear him say nap? It’s not the baby’s nap time yet.” I would obsess about every little thing that they were doing even knowing that Tim was perfectly capable of taking good care of them on his own. Again, I am crazy. 

So in order to try to actually be able to relax on those special mornings, I got a pair of ear plugs. I have a pair of the Hearos Sleep Pretty in Pink. I only wear them after Tim gets up with the kids because clearly I still need to obsess about their noises all night. So Tim gets up with them, I pop the plugs in, and….it’s magical. I can still hear a little bit of muffled noise when I first put them in but then when I doze off I hear nothing – nothing. Getting these ear plugs was one of the best things I have done. If you are a crazy sleeper light sleeper like me, you should definitely give them a try. Best part is you can request a free sample from the Hearos website. They do have a maximum number each day so you might have to check back a few times or you could just pick them up at your local drug store for just a couple of dollars. It is so worth it. DO IT!



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