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The Sunday Somethings, 22jun14

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Something that makes me happy: I took the kids to Krispy Kreme for their first experience with “hot now” doughnuts. They had so much fun viewing the conveyor belt and eating fresh donuts! They were quite excited, though I wasn’t sure that loading them up with sugar was our best start to the day.

Something I’m thinking: Um, I have been very negligent of my somethings lately. We’ve been so busy!’s been more than a month. I guess I didn’t do a “better job” like I had hoped in my last post. So…the kid updates are going to be even longer than usual this time!

Something I’m hoping: I hope that Maddie’s last week of kindergarten goes well. They have a lot of fun activities planned this week, and we should find out her first grade teacher at the end of the week.

Something happening around the house: The sunflowers that we planted in early spring are blooming! We are all excited. We are talking about doing some landscaping in the front and the back, but we’re not sure what we want to do exactly. We do know we want to get rid of some of the overgrown bushes.

Something I’m reading: I finished Damsel Under Stress. I then started and finished The Way of Kings which was a 1000+ page fantasy novel. I enjoyed it, but I felt like I was reading it forever. This week, I started and finished The Secret Keeper for this month’s book club selection. I’m now reading Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen.

Something Gabe is reading: He finished Last Argument of Kings. He started and finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and started The Way of Kings.

Something I’m watching: We haven’t been watching very much lately as we’ve been playing some video games, and I’ve had a ton of pictures to catch up on sorting.

Something I’m playing: Gabe and I both have been playing Battleheart Legacy on the iPad, and we’ve been having a lot of fun with it. It’s a cute RPG. I haven’t played too much Candy Crush lately. The whole family has been playing Mario Worlds 3D (mostly Gabe and the kids), and we got the new Mario Kart for the Wii U. That’s been getting a lot of play in the house as well.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been doing a lot of sorting of photos, and I’ve been trying to get through the photos from my week in San Francisco at WWDC. I need to get started on both the Key West photobook and the WWDC photobook. I did finish my 2013 photobook.

Something tasty: Fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donuts!

Something about both kiddos: As I mentioned, the kids had their first Krispy Kreme experience. They loved wearing the hats, watching the doughnuts on the conveyor belt, and eating the fresh, yummy doughnuts (they also demanded some chocolate covered ones, but I required everyone to have a fresh one first). Since my last letter, both Gabe and I have been on trips without the kids. The kids always get to do special things with the parent at home, so they don’t seem to mind. They usually get presents when we return, and they get excited about the little gifts. Their favorite thing lately when we’re away is seeing pictures of the tiny koala bear and his adventures. He has a lot of fun, but I have to say he gets into some trouble at times, too! It’s a neat way for us to connect with the kids while we’re gone. Gabe spent 4 days away with his mom in Vegas, and I spent a week in San Francisco for WWDC with work. The kids are great friends and are constantly playing together. It’s a loud place when they are both at home as they are coming up with scenarios and making up rules to whatever world they are currently imagining. It’s nice that they get along so well (most of the time), though it also drives us crazy sometimes as they are so loud! They are happy together most of the time. Both of them have been playing more video games and getting better at Mario and MarioKart, especially Cullen. We went to the mountains with friends for Memorial Day weekend. We stayed in a cabin with a beautiful view near Blowing Rock. The kids loved the Dan’l Boone Inn (we all did and ate there twice). We all had a great day at Tweetsie Railroad. I had been there as a kid when I was a little older than Maddie, so it was neat to revisit with the kids. It’s just right for their age, and it’s nice to not have waits for any of the rides (and only pay the initial entry fee instead of paying per ride like at the fair). My parents came for a short visit while Gabe was out of town. We went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 while they were here, and we all enjoyed it. The kids had fun with Dana twice while Gabe and I went to see Jack Johnson nearby and Vampire Weekend downtown. Cullen was jealous and wished he could go to the Vampire Weekend concert and can’t wait to be a “grown up” so that he can go. Cullen said he was going to marry me when he grows up. Maddie said, “I don’t think so…because when we grow up, our parents will be dead.” Uh, nice. The kids had their kid book club this morning, and they read Magic at the Bed and Biscuit (for the magic theme). Several of the kids performed magic tricks, and Marie had several tricks up her sleeve as well. She does such a nice job with the club, and the kids love it. Our next theme is the rainforest, and we’re going to a special related exhibit at a local museum.

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Since my last post, Maddie had two weeks of track out art camps. She went to a new one and her old favorite. The new one was structured more like a class, and it didn’t seem to fit her as well as her usual camp. She didn’t seem to like it for the first few days, but she claimed it was her second favorite camp by the end of the week. She learned about Monet at the regular camp the following week. Maddie has had some issues with headaches and feeling ucky in the car on long rides when she tries to read or plays handheld games for too long. She has never thrown up due to this until our ride back from the mountains. We thought that she was carsick, but it could have been a bug or something else odd going on as she threw up two other times since then. Hopefully, we’re in the clear with that now. Maddie was invited to her first ever slumber party, but we decided that none of us are ready for that. I accompanied her for the fun part of the evening, taking her home at about 10:30pm so that she could sleep at our house. That worked out pretty well for her. I’m a little nervous as the older sister threw up while we were there. I hope all the girls don’t get stomach bugs! She was quarantined from the kids for the most part, but stomach bugs always make me nervous. Maddie continues to love Frozen, and the party was Frozen themed. I got a cute video of the kids watching the movie and at least 8 of them singing “Let It Go.” You can’t see the kids, but you can hear their sweet voices. The oldest sister put make up on the girls, and they had a fashion show. Maddie had her last field trip of the year to the kids’ museum. I chaperoned, and I didn’t lose anyone, so I consider that a victory. I was in charge of 3 girls, and they were well behaved. The kids seemed to have had a great time. Maddie’s last week of kindergarten is this week, and she has a lot of fun things planned for the week. Tomorrow, her class is performing some kind of end of year show. Afterward, we will enjoy a picnic with the kids. Wednesday is some kind of summer fun day where they get to spend pennies that they have earned in the past few weeks. It will be set up as a sort of carnival, and I volunteered for that, too. Friday, they are having a movie, popcorn, and jammie day. On Thursday, they can bring in board games from home. I think they are done learning anything for the year, and we’re getting in a lot of fun. She’s a bit nervous about starting first grade. The thing that she’s most nervous about is meeting new friends. Since there are only two classes on her track, she will know about half the kids. I think she’s nervous about whether the ones that she likes will be in her class. I hope she will have some favorite friends in there! It will take her some time to meet the new ones, but hopefully it won’t be too bad for her. We can’t wait to hear about her new teacher! Maddie is still doing gymnastics through August. She claims that she doesn’t like it, but I know that she enjoys it while she is there. I think she would enjoy a straight tumbling class more. Last week’s class focused more on tumbling, and she was having a great time! She started a swimming class once a week, and she is doing pretty well with that. We’re going to try to continue the swimming lessons for a while until she seems comfortable in the water and can swim on her own pretty well. I hope it goes well at the new place. We are happy with it so far. She is signed up for a group piano class later this summer, and we’re hoping to start regular group piano lessons in the fall. She seems excited about that, and I hope that she will be excited when she starts! Maddie’s class had a “Donuts for Dad” event for Father’s Day, and Gabe was glad that he was able to attend before heading to the airport for Vegas. Maddie loves having us in the classroom. We intend to take advantage of that for as long as it lasts. I know the day will come where she’ll be embarrassed to see us at school! They made some kind of thing with their footprints and a poem about walking with dad. Maddie is very interested in My Little Pony, and that is her reward of choice. We have been working on her getting good behavior reports from school, and she earns tickets for good days. She turns her tickets in for the opportunity to buy new My Little Pony toys, and she is saving her tickets now for a larger toy. She is pretty good at “saving” for something bigger!

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen is totally obsessed with the iPad games and now the Wii U games. He’s especially obsessed with playing Mario 3D Worlds for the Wii U, and he’s getting surprisingly good at it. I’m impressed. I am seeing him complete worlds that I remember that Gabe struggled to complete. His goal is to get the “gold star” on all the levels, which requires you to beat the level with all 5 of the characters. Maddie gets frustrated because he often beats her at the video games now. He almost always wins at MarioKart against her, and he does a lot better with Mario as well. Of course, as her little brother, he rubs it in a bit sometimes as well. We all need to work on being better sports. He can get quite upset when he can’t complete a level and keeps losing lives. He gets his video game temper from his dad (OK, and maybe from his mom, too). I told him about Nana and Papa’s 44th wedding anniversary and what that meant. He said, “Ewwww! I don’t want to hear about people getting married! That means they have to kiss on the lips!” He’s pretty convinced that kissing on the lips is what makes people married and what people have to do if they are going to get married. I tried to explain to both kids that they will probably want to kiss someone on the lips if they want to marry them. I reassured both kids that there is absolutely no requirement to get married. They are both happy with living at home forever (when they aren’t talking about marrying each other). Cullen claims that dogs get married by rubbing cheeks instead of kissing on the lips. Cullen has some transitions at school soon. Some of his favorite classmates, including his best buddy Austin, will be moving onto kindergarten. Austin’s last day is this week, and Cullen will really miss him. Before too long, Cullen will become one of the graduates (once all the current graduates move to kindergarten). He’s excited about becoming a “french kid” as the graduates get to go to french class and get special art and music lessons. Cullen has still had some tummy issues, but he has seemed fine over the past few weeks. We changed out all of the toothbrushes in the house, so maybe that helped get rid of the ick? Cullen still loves reading to me, but now he’s reading harder material. He usually reads a page or two and says, “that’s enough for now.” I try to get him to read a little more than that, but I’m letting him set the pace. He’s starting to get a lot of the long vowel rules. It’s still exciting to be teaching a young reader!

Something I am struggling with: Keeping up with photos and keeping up with posts!

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Well, I finished the 2013 book…but I haven’t made progress towards others.

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie’s last week of school (and several fun events), a trip to Great Wolf Lodge and another to Edisto, Maddie’s first day of first grade (only a week off in between grades), Maddie’s swimming lessons, Maddie’s gymnastics, my book club, Gabe switching jobs (his last day is this week, and he has a week off before starting contracting), hopefully a scrapbooking day, and Marvel Universe Live are all in store for the next few weeks or so. It’s a busy and Maddie-centric time!

Something captured: I think the kids approved of the donuts.

The Sunday Somethings, 20apr14 and 13apr14

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Something that makes me happy: We had a wonderful visit from Gabe’s family this weekend.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about all the pictures that I need to sort from the last few months. I’m quite behind, and I still haven’t finished my 2013 photobook.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to catch up on pictures soon, but I’m not sure that’s going to actually happen!

Something happening around the house: We had eight people in our house this weekend with Gabe’s parents, Dylan, and Dylan’s girlfriend Morgan.

Something I’m reading: I finished I am Malala. I started and finished The End of Your Life Book Club, and I was disappointed in that one. I am now reading City of Ashes, the second book in The Mortal Instruments. None of these are for book club.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, and he started reading The Blade Itself.

Something I’m watching: Most of our shows are coming to a close. The Walking Dead is over, and we finally watched the last episode of Downton Abbey. We started watching Orphan Black, and now it seems like everyone else is watching it, too. We tried to watch The 100, but that was awful. We’re watching Resurrection, and that one is good enough to keep watching. We’re still watching The Amazing Race, though we need to catch up on Sunday’s episode. We’re also still watching Hart of Dixie. I imagine that show isn’t going to last much longer, but I still like keeping up with it.

Something I’m playing: We played a lot of games with Gabe’s family while they were here. We played Trivial Pursuit, Sour Apples to Apples, La Boca, Hoopla, Kaleidos, King of Tokyo, and Tribond. Grandma played Max the Cat and Too Many Monkeys with Gabe and the kids. Gabe and I are still playing Candy Crush. We played bar trivia and photohunt this weekend, too. Cullen showed Dylan how to play his Ninjago spinners.

Something I’m creating: I did several of our cruise posts since my last somethings. I still have a few more to go.

Something tasty: We made sugar cookies on Easter. Yum!

Something about both kiddos: The kids really enjoyed having visitors this weekend. They love Grandma, Grandpa, and Dylan, and they instantly took to Morgan (or “Mogo,” as we all call her). They played lots of imagination games with them, showed them Frozen, showed them their games on their devices, played board games, and put people in “jail.” Both kids have been playing their devices too much. We’ve been giving them too much device time without requiring them to turn in tickets. Maddie was out of school on Friday, and we all went to lunch with Cullen at the cafe.

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Maddie’s class did child-led 3rd quarter conferences. She’s doing very well in most things, though her teacher has had some recent issues with Maddie’s conduct. She also says that Maddie is weak in “retelling,” so that’s something we’ll be working on. She gets reading homework, so we have a lot of opportunity to strengthen that skill. I don’t think she’s terrible at it, personally. She’s reading well above her grade level, and she is able to tell me about it. You do have to prompt her a bit as she’s hesitant to answer. I think she’s much more comfortable when there is a right and wrong answer. She’s less comfortable when there’s not a “right” way to do something, so retelling is challenging for her. She is still enjoying gymnastics. I think she enjoys seeing her friend Sophie at gymnastics, too.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Poor Cullen has had a stomach bug that comes and goes (or he’s caught several in the past 2 weeks). He has thrown up all over his bed at least 3 different nights and had a lot of other stomach issues. Poor little boy. The first night that he threw up in bed, he came down and said, “Mama! Dada! I barfed all over my bed. It was the biggest barf ever in the whole wide world.” He was out of school again today. Poor boy missed Earth Day and his class Easter egg hunt. He had fun playing the Ninjago spinners with Dylan. Dylan had a lot of trouble beating him at the game! Cullen is very excited about learning how to read, and he asks to read to me every night before bed. He gets frustrated sometimes, but I’m quite impressed with his progress. We are still working through the phonics books with short vowel sounds. I’ve been sticking with the same book until he has it mostly memorized to build his confidence, and then we move to another one. He responds very well to visual cues (like pointing to his nose to remind him of the sound for “n”). This has helped him learn much better than simple repetition. It’s not too long before I don’t have to use the visual cue.

Something I am struggling with: I had some kind of upper respiratory crud, but it seems to have cleared up now.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We should beat our $5,000 goal for this year’s MS walk.

Something I learned: I get to go to WWDC this year! This year’s tickets were distributed through a lottery. I didn’t personally get a ticket, but I was able to get a transferred ticket from another coworker. Hooray!

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie has gymnastics this week and next. I have book club next week. Maddie has a birthday party this weekend, and both kids have kiddo book club. We have dinner with friends next week. I’m going on my girls trip to Key West soon!

Something captured: How cute is our nephew and his girlfriend?

The Sunday Somethings, 06apr14

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A good visit with family!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking I’m also happy about a great year of fundraising! It’s amazing to see all the support from family and friends once again.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to get my thank you notes done soon. I’ve been emailing thanks the last few years, so I just need to get organized.

Something happening around the house: My parents and my sister and Chad came to visit all at once for Walk MS. This is the first time that we have had them both spend the night in our house. We borrowed a fancy air mattress from the neighbors, and that worked quite nicely. Brendon and Abby both spent the night, too. It was fun to see them interact. Abby was so happy to see Brendon!

Something I’m reading: I finished reading The Husband’s Secret, and I think we’ll have lots of good stuff to discuss at book club! I started reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe is still reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

Something I’m watching: Kentucky basketball!!! WOOHOO! We are looking forward to the championship game tomorrow. Will Kentucky win their 9th championship?

Something I’m playing: I’m still playing some Candy Crush. Maddie and Cullen played some boardgames tonight. They were excited. They played Zingo, Max the Cat, and Too Many Monkeys.

Something I’m creating: I’m still working on our cruise summaries.

Something about both kiddos: The kids had a lot of fun playing board games tonight. We have some work to do with their sportsmanship skills. They do get upset when something doesn’t go their way or they lose, and they tend to gloat a bit too much when they win. We need to carve out more game playing time! It’s great family time. We all had the Walk MS event yesterday. We didn’t bring any strollers (and couldn’t remember if we had last year). The kids walked the whole way, except for a short period that Cullen rode in our friends’ stroller. They did a lot of complaining for the mile route, so there was no way that we were going to try the 3 mile route! They had fun playing in the bouncy house area after the walk. They had a good time visiting with Nana and Papa this weekend (and Kristin and Chad yesterday). They introduced Nana and Papa to Frozen last night. Today, we dyed Easter eggs. Papa and Daddy hid them in the yard a couple of times for the kids to find. Then, this afternoon we went to the neighborhood egg hunt. It was a busy, fun weekend! Both kids have been getting themselves dressed each morning, and this has been a huge help to our morning routine. The changing weather each day makes this challenging as the kids put on long sleeves and need short sleeves or vice versa every other day.

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Maddie went to a birthday party for one of her favorite school friends yesterday. It was at a horse farm, and Maddie had a great time! I wasn’t sure if she would opt to ride the horse, but she did. She was very nervous, but she was excited (and she did it). I was proud of her. I was also happy to see how quickly she warmed up at the party. She went off running just about as fast as we arrived, which isn’t always the case with her. Gabe went to visit during lunch with her on Friday, and she enjoyed that. She had complained that *everyone* else’s parents had been to lunch with *their* kids (which I’m sure is totally not true). She had another gymnastics lesson this week, and that seems to be going well.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen has been working on his reading in the early phonics readers. He’s been working on short vowel sounds, and I’m really proud of him! Sometimes he throws out random guesses, but he’s starting to get better at making the sounds and putting it together to make the word. I feel like he’s catching up fast (though that still means slow, steady progress towards actually reading). He is really excited about reading, and he asks to read to me every night. It’s amazing to watch this process again! Cullen continues to give me directions on the way to school and the way home. He’s often right, but more importantly he has the “right” and “left” directions down now. Cullen was especially nervous about my parents’ dog Abby, but he did pet her a few times. He was nervous every time she came close to him.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We raised nearly $5,000 for the National MS Society!

Something I’m looking forward to: This week we have the NCAA championship game to watch (GO CATS!), I have a musical (Wizard of Oz), Maddie has gymnastics, we have a “child led conference” at Maddie’s school, Maddie has picture day, I have a scrapbooking day, and we’re getting together with friends to decorate Easter cookies. We may have bike day for Cullen in the next week or two. Cullen also has picture day next week. Gabe’s parents are coming to visit for Easter.

Something captured: This year’s walk team

The Sunday Somethings, 02mar14 and 23feb14

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A wonderful vacation with my family!

Something I’m thinking: We are thinking about when we can go on another Disney cruise.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping that we can get the kids back into routine this week. We had some challenging moments in the last few days, especially today during our recovery from the trip.

Something happening around the house: Well, it was clean when we arrived home, but we fixed that with just one day home.

Something I’m reading: I didn’t get any time to read while on the cruise, so I’m still reading the third book of The Demon Cycle.

Something Gabe is reading: He is still reading Pandora’s Star.

Something I’m watching: We’re catching up on The Amazing Race since it started while we were on vacation. While on vacation, we watched Disney live entertainment and the Frozen Sing-a-long version.

Something I’m playing: We did a lot of the Mid Ship Detective while we were on board the Disney Fantasy. Gabe and I participated in several trivia sessions on the ship.

Something tasty: We had a lot of tasty food on the ship, though no one thing in particular stands out.

Something about both kiddos: We had an amazing week! We drove down to Port Canaveral, stopping at Savannah overnight at a hotel on Thursday. We went the rest of the way on Friday, and we went to the cruise terminal on Saturday morning so that we could get onto the Disney Fantasy with the first groups of passengers! The kids did great in the car on the way. It’s a relief that they are decent travelers. We listened to the Frozen soundtrack over and over. Our whole family has been excited about it. We saw the sing-a-long version of the movie on the ship. I’ll have to write up all of the summaries for our days. Highlights included the beautiful beach in the US Virgin Isles, the Aladdin stage show, the pools and Aquaduck, midship detective, meeting so many characters, pirate night and the fireworks, and getting so many awesome photos. And then there was the incredibly lucky, special thing where we were selected as The Magical Family of the Week. This meant that our special friend in guest services showered us with gifts every night of the cruise. That was amazing. We were thrilled that the kids had so much fun playing in the water at the pool and even in the ocean. I see a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in our future! They both loved the hot tub, and I appreciated that as it often wasn’t warm enough for me to want to swim in the regular pool! Another great thing about Disney is that just about any Disney movie ever made is available on demand. Cullen and Maddie mostly wanted to watch Lilo and Stitch (either the first or second one). I’m not sure why they are so fascinated with Stitch. The kids went to the kids club once, and they had fun. They didn’t want to do it again (and it was challenging to talk them into it the first time). Oh, well. Maybe they will be ready for it next time.

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Maddie absolutely loved the Aquaduck. She did it about 10 times, and she even wanted to go with Grandpa on it (though Grandpa never did it). Maddie couldn’t wait to meet Anna (from Frozen) and Sofia the first. She was very excited about both of them, and she was able to meet both of them twice. Anna was one of the most popular greets on the ship. Maddie’s birthday was the day that we left for the trip. We celebrated with a tiny 4″ cake on the way down to Savannah. I spent the day with her before we left, and I took her to her favorite restaurant (Shiny Diner) and to the toy store to pick out a toy. She picked a play set with Anna and Elsa as young kids. She acted out the songs with her figures in the car, and she used them to explain the movie to Grandma. She also wanted to show Anna her dolls. The nightly Mickey bar was another highlight for Maddie. She still didn’t like being called a princess some of the time, but she accepted it other times. Plus, she was dressed as Sofia twice, and she absolutely adores Anna. Shockingly, she agreed to get her picture with the four princesses that Cullen wanted to meet.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen says that the Aquaduck was one of his favorite moments of the trip, but he never did want to go again. He said he might do it again when he’s a grown up. From the looks of his photo taken on the Aquaduck, I think he was quite scared! He is funny about things like that. He’ll say it’s awesome, but clearly he has no intention of getting on it again! Cullen didn’t really nap on the trip, but he fell asleep a couple of times at shows or other random moments. We tried to get him to take a nap a few times on the trip, but it was futile. He just won’t nap, but he sorely needs it. By the last few days, the trip definitely caught up to him. Cullen loved swimming in the pool and playing in Nemo’s reef splash area. His highlight for characters was probably Stitch. He seemed to really enjoy the midship detective. He always loves meeting the Princesses, and we did the line where he could meet four at once.

Something I am struggling with: We’re trying to figure out a token/rewards system to curtail device time and reward good behaviors. The kids are particularly troublesome at the dinner table.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: we tried a Disney cruise, and we can’t wait to go on another!

Something I learned: I learned why people want to cruise with Disney over and over again.

Something I’m looking forward to: It’s hard to think about getting back to our regular life! Maddie is starting gymnastics this week. I hope that she will like it. She definitely needs some type of physical outlet, and rollerblading isn’t going to work with our schedule this time with so many Saturday snow make up days. Maddie’s birthday party is next weekend. Gabe has some fantasy drafts in the next two weeks. We have dinner and games with friends. We don’t have too much going on next week, except for games night next Saturday.

Something captured: One of our many, many photos from the trip.

The Sunday Somethings, 16feb14 and 09feb14

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A weekend of playing games! I wasn’t sure how the weekend was going to work with the logistics of the kids, but Gabe and I both were able to play quality games last weekend.

Something I’m thinking: I’m glad that it didn’t snow last weekend and make a mess of the gaming weekend…

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping we’re done with snow for the year. Two big snow events is more than we can handle in the south. We now need to make up 5 more days of school, and the make up days are running low. I’m wondering if they are going to add time to our daily schedule versus make up the days.

Something happening around the house: Twice this month, we’ve been stuck in the house all together for several days waiting for snow to thaw.

Something I’m reading: I finished The Returned. The book wasn’t all that great, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the show. I’m now reading the third book of The Demon Cycle, The Daylight War.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Sand, and now he’s reading Pandora’s Star.

Something I’m watching: We’re keeping up with Hart of Dixie, The Walking Dead, and Downton Abbey. We’re also watching Elementary and Sleepy Hollow, but I think we’re behind on those. We are still recording S.H.I.E.L.D., but we are about 10 episodes behind on that one. Oh! And we went to see The LEGO Movie yesterday, and we all loved it!

Something I’m playing: Gabe and I have sadly been playing Candy Crush (as have the kids). I swore I wasn’t going to play that game, but here we are. We played a ton of games last weekend. Gabe played Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Bora Bora, Amerigo, The Cave, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Spyrium, and Geistesblitz 2.0. I played Shitenno, Village (with 5 players, but without the expansion parts), Village (with 5 players and the expansion), Glass Road, Rampage, Belfort, Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Lords of Waterdeep (without expansions), Bora Bora, and Spyrium. Lords of Waterdeep was our favorite game of all the ones we played.

Something I’m creating: I did a few more pages in our 2013 photobook. I have come close to finishing it before the cruise…something I was hoping that I could do so I’d be ready to work on the cruise book when we got back!

Something tasty: Snow cream! When it snowed heavily this week, we put out a bowl and made fresh snow cream. We all thought it was tasty (except for Cullen who liked it well enough but didn’t rave about it like the rest of us).

Something about both kiddos: We knew the winter storm was coming, so I think that we bought two of the last two sleds in the area on Monday. We got two of the saucer type. We ended up with over 6 inches of snow before it turned to sleet, and the next day we got even more snow (though I don’t think it added too much to the pile). We had more than enough snow to sled on the road. The kids had so much fun! Their first time sledding was a success. Then, we went next door for dinner to celebrate our neighbor’s birthday. We had a fun snow day. I was glad that the school system cancelled schools ahead of the storm, as that prompted me to work from home. We heard so many stories of people taking hours to get home or having to stay in hotels for the night. We were thankful to be safely home together. The kids were excited to make snow cream and especially liked the mini chocolate chips and sprinkles mixed into it. The kids loved being in the hotel for the games weekend. I can’t wait to see how they like the cruise ship! We all had fun with Cullen’s birthday party. We invited two of Cullen’s classmates to see The LEGO Movie and go out to dinner. We already want to see it again. That’s definitely one we’ll have to get on DVD. The kids had a good Valentine’s Day. Both celebrations were postponed on Friday. Maddie had hers on Saturday, and Cullen’s will be tomorrow. We gave them a sweet Teddy Bear Valentine’s Lego set that they put together in the morning. We also had heart shaped pink pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and we ended the day with heart shaped chocolate chip cookies. Both kids are doing great with playing video games and have gotten better at playing Mario 3D Worlds. They also love watching us play, if we can stand the constant commentary from them. “Get the bell! Don’t fall into the lava! Daddy got dead!” The kids were both home for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They did a pretty good job entertaining themselves so that Gabe and I could work.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie’s 6th birthday is this week. At first, she was disappointed and thought it was “not fair” that we have to drive on her birthday. She has since embraced it. I mean what other kids get to drive to a Disney cruise on their birthday?? Maddie had one dance class from her hip hop / tumbling class, but they missed another one due to the winter weather on Thursday. She’ll miss both of the make up classes due to vacation. She also missed her last two rollerblading classes of this session. We wanted to sign her up for more rollerblading since she could sign up for the advanced class this time. Unfortunately, we’d miss too many of the classes for this session. We’ll have to try again for the summer sessions. Maddie is officially tracked out (after her Saturday make up day), and she’s going to art camp for a few days this week before our vacation.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen had fun with his birthday party and especially enjoyed getting presents from his friends. Cullen has been going to sleep each night in our bed, and then he gets carried to his room once he’s asleep. This has become quite the bad habit! We are going to have to do a reset on this after vacation. Cullen has been playing a lot with Legos, especially the minifigures. He also loves the Ninjago spinner game.

Something I am struggling with: I’m feeling like I’m not prepared for our cruise, but I know a lot of that is due to not needing to do all that much to prepare for cruising. So much of it is already mapped out for you! I’m debating whether we want to do an excursion on St. Maarten. Originally, we had decided against it, but I’m thinking we might want to do a tour.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been working on the 2014 photobook, and we’re about to go on a Disney cruise! Two things on my goals list.

Something I’m looking forward to: Our Disney cruise!!!! Gabe has a dinner with a friend, I have lunch with a friend, and I have a rescheduled hair appointment. Maddie’s birthday is also this week. Big week for us!

Something captured: Silly kids at dinner last night.

The Sunday Somethings, 14apr13

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: I can’t believe the support that we had this week leading up to the walk. We raised over $4,000 this week to bring our total to almost $5,500.

Something I’m thinking: Just thinking about the upcoming week.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to feel better this week (and that nobody else in the family gets sick).

Something happening around the house: My parents came for a quick visit for the MS walk.

Something I’m reading: A Dance with Dragons for at least another week or two…

Something Gabe is reading: Fall of Giants (his is a long one, too!).

Something I’m watching: We took the kids to see a Winnie the Pooh play as part of the Storybook Theater series. They had a good time!

Something I’m playing: My mom convinced Gabe and I to start playing QatQi on the iPad/iPhone.

Something about both kiddos: The kids pretend to play “baby school.” We have no idea why they call it baby school except that maybe they bring their dolls to the school? No idea. Baby school involves dragging all of the toys from around the house into one room. Baby school was in our bedroom for a short time. It’s been in the library, the foyer, guest room, Maddie’s room, and the bonus room. Currently, it’s in the bonus room and neither of us have had the energy to get them to straighten it up. Better there than anywhere else in the house, I suppose! Also, I can’t really explain why Cullen likes to play that he is “baby spider.” The two games aren’t related. They didn’t have rollerblading because our MS walk was on Saturday morning. We have been enjoying a lot of outdoor play time (even with the constant pollen cloud, ugh!). Until the pollen attacked the area, we had been having some dinners outside. The weather has been beautiful!

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie started her swimming lessons this week, and she’s doing great. She seems to have lost her fear of the water, and she’s doing very well listening to the instructor (and being responsible when it’s not her turn). I’m so proud of her. I was surprised when she recently brought home a math problem that she had done in class adding two 4-digit numbers where every column needed to “carry the 1.” So cool! Maddie has done very well the past few days with her walkie talkie. She hasn’t called us very much, and she hasn’t been “scared” every night. Progress!

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Poor little guy had a high fever on two nights (not back to back) and a bad cough. He was out sick for 3 days this week. He didn’t act sick most of the time, but he was more sensitive then usual. He played some new iPad games while he was out. Gabe downloaded some Lego based games, and both kids have been enjoying it. It is amazing to see how they navigate around the tablet! Cullen has an awesome imagination lately. It’s so fun to hear his stories, and he’s very good at recounting movies or books. He has been writing his name on papers at school, and he’s been working on writing other letters as well. I’m impressed by his penmanship!

Something I am struggling with: This bronchitis has me extremely tired. Parenting doesn’t stop for illness.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We finished up our fundraising for 2013, and I’m thrilled with how we did yet again! Every time I get discouraged, I’m reminded about how wonderful people can be.

Something I learned: I’m allergic to azithromycin (in addition to the sulfa drugs).

Something I’m looking forward to: We have a crazy number of appointments this week. I think we might have to try to reschedule some of them. I have an evening with a friend, swimming lessons for Maddie, rollerblading for both kids, and an iPhone photography class.

Something captured: The kiddos before today’s play!

The Sunday Somethings, 31mar13 and 07apr13

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Something I’m thinking: I’ve really been neglecting the blog…mostly because I can’t get my act together on Maddie’s 5-year letter. I feel like I can’t write anything else until I get that done.

Something I’m reading: I finished I’ve Got Your Number, which was cute and my favorite of her books. I finished the Sisterhood series as well, Sisterhood Everlasting. I read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store for April’s book club, and I loved it! I’ll be interested to see how the rest of the club likes it. I started A Dance with Dragons, so that may take me a while. Sigh.

Something Gabe is reading: He finished Blackout, the last in the Newsflesh trilogy. He started reading Fall of Giants.

Something I’m watching: We watched seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey (free on amazon prime!). We were disappointed to find that the 3rd season isn’t free (or at least not yet), so I guess we’ll take a break or decide whether it’s worth buying somehow. We’re really enjoying our Roku box lately!

Something I’m creating: I made periscopes and disguises with this month’s kiwi crate (this month has a spy theme).

Something about both kiddos: The kids had a great time making their disguises, but they weren’t willing to let me take photos of them! Both kids enjoyed their Easter goodies! The day before, we went to the Life and Science museum for the dino egg hunt. We skipped a week of rollerblading (no classes Easter weekend), so they were both a little rusty at this week’s lesson. The weather has finally warmed up, so we have been playing outside quite a bit. It’s nice that it is warmer (and still light) after work, so we can get in a little play time before dinner. The kids had team spirit day at school, and Maddie chose to wear her Kentucky sweatshirt while Cullen represented NC State.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie loves for us to take her to the cafe, yet she melted down when we picked her up for our last outing. It was pizza day. Maddie hates pizza, except for the pizza at school. Apparently she LOVES that pizza, so much that she wanted to make sure that we didn’t come to lunch on Fridays anymore (just in case). She has had some rough nights, but the last few nights have been better. Fingers crossed that this is yet another new trend! We had our second Magic Tree House Book Club meeting, this time about Leonardo da Vinci. Maddie is having a great time with the book club. I hope to continue to foster her love for reading. Her swimming lessons start this week. Maddie’s reading speed has been improving.

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): We discovered a tick on Cullen’s belly this evening after bath. Yikes! He was a little concerned but a brave boy while I removed it. When I was putting him to bed, he said, “That tick was sneaky!” Yesterday, Cullen spotted a deer crossing sign and said, “that sign means that reindeer aren’t allowed to gallop on the road.” Cullen has been writing his name on some of his paper at school and has been writing lots of letters at home. I’m surprised at how well he is doing with that! He is excited about his “readers” that introduce pre-readers to the letters and phonics.

Something I am struggling with: Meh.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Our walk is on Saturday, and we’ve been raising funds for the National MS Society!

Something I’m looking forward to: MS Walk, Maddie’s swim lessons, Winnie the Pooh play.

Something captured: Cute kiddo book club!

The Sunday Somethings, 30dec12

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Something that makes me happy: Naps and pajama days. Happy new year for us!

Something I’m thinking: I didn’t feel like writing this for the past couple of days. Our break hasn’t been very restful, but we’ve had a nice time with family and friends. We also had a wonderful Christmas! The kids enjoyed their gifts from Santa, and Maddie and I put together the big Olivia’s house set.

Something happening around the house: We had our annual New Year’s Eve games night last night! We also managed to get Cullen’s room mostly finished, so he has a room again! The office is in disarray, so we have a lot of work to be done there.

Something I’m reading: I decided to continue the Earth’s Children series with The Valley of the Horses.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s reading the Wool Omnibus, and I think he’s on book 3.

Something I’m playing: We played Phoenicia on Sunday. The kids have played some games with us in the past week. We played some NintendoLand on the Wii U this week, and several people tried it last night. At games night, I played Wits and Wagers Family, Cranium Hoopla, Telestrations, Password, and Trivial Pursuit Genus 6. We went out while Gabe’s parents were in town and played Photo Hunt and NTN trivia.

Something I’m creating: I started on the Allure of the Seas cruise photobook from 2011! It feels great to get started on that one, especially since we promised it to family as gifts over a year ago. Better late than never? I’ve also been creating lots of Legos. Our family has been Lego crazy over the break, and we’ve almost built every model that we have (displayed proudly on our shelves in the living room). Gabe and I even bought a few sets that are decidedly more for ourselves than the kids.

Something tasty: A friend made a tasty s’mores no bake treat for New Year’s Eve games night last night. I think I might have eaten half the tray. Ooh, and we took Gabe’s parents to Draft. That was tasty, and we’re sad that they are now permanently closed.

Something about both kiddos: The kids were excited about Christmas and Santa’s visit. They have been playing together so well lately (for the most part). Of course, they still fight at times, but they can play together for hours. They are sad when they can’t play with each other. Maddie complains that she has “nobody to play with.” I hope that they will continue to be buddies throughout their lives (though I do realize it will have ups and downs through the years). They are incredibly cute together much of the time. This week, they have started putting on “magic shows.” We aren’t sure where they got that idea, but they insist that it has to be done in Cullen’s new room without the lights. I guess the glow in the dark stars add to the ambiance of their show. Their signature trick involves showing us some balls and then throwing them under the bed or on the floor or in the closet as they “disappear.” They were having slumber parties in Maddie’s room with Cullen’s crib mattress on Maddie’s floor. They have slept in separate rooms a few times, but they are still having slumber parties but now in Cullen’s room. Once, they even slept in the same bed all night. We are trying to get them to sleep in their own rooms, but sometimes it’s just easier for everyone to let them have their slumber parties! Both kids have been playing the Wii U a little bit, and they are starting to get the hang of some of the games in NintendoLand (especially the ghost one and the Mario running one).

Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): Maddie and I put together Olivia’s House on Christmas Day. We actually managed to put together the entire house in one day. I love all the details! Maddie managed to put it all together by herself with the exception of the last portion of the yard. She ran out of steam but wanted to finish it “all in one day,” so I helped her finish it up. She was so sweet while we were working on the project. She kept saying things like “I really love you, Mommy” and “I’m so happy!” and “I’m so happy to be doing Legos with you, Mommy.” Maddie got a bunch of new readers for Christmas, and she has been interested in reading them to us. Most of them are phonics readers (some of those are focused on sight words). She’s been making a lot of progress! She’s jealous of Cullen’s new room and says that she also wants a “space room.” Maddie helped us apply the decals around the room.

Something Cullen is doing (2.5 years old): Cullen is very excited about his new room, and it looks great! We still need to put some finishing touches on the room, but we were very happy with how it turned out. Cullen has had a lot of accidents in the past couple of weeks, but we are making some progress. He has gotten to the point where he has no interest in starting to poop on the potty (but will finish if we are able to catch him in the act or see signs that he needs to before he starts). It’s a bit frustrating. He’s had a few wet accidents, but we have gone back to reminding him to use the potty a bit more frequently and making him take potty breaks regularly. Cullen really has gotten great at knowing his way around the iPhone or iPad. He knows how to go back to the home screen, choose new apps, go to a different screen, open folders, and play a variety of games. Cullen is still making a lot of train layouts with the wooden train set. Santa brought both kids a motorized train, so they have had a good time setting up huge layouts in the living room and running the trains.

Something I am struggling with: Clutter, clutter, clutter. We have been organizing and purging in our house. We did manage to take a van load to Goodwill with more to come soon.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’m finally making progress on my photobooks. I’m also pretty much caught up on my photos. I have a few more to sort from December, and I’ll be caught up! It has been a long time since I have been caught up like that. Now I just have a bunch of photobooks to create…

Something I’m looking forward to: We don’t have too many plans for the rest of this week, though I am looking forward to the kids using their new rollerblades for the first time on Saturday morning! Santa brought both kids rollerblades for Christmas.

Something random: I read 42 books in 2012!

Something captured: It was a full week, and I’m posting two pictures from this week.

Cullen in his new room.

A proud Maddie with the completed Olivia’s House.

The Sunday Somethings, 14oct12 and 21oct12

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Something that makes me happy: Disney World! Getting home makes me happy, too.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about all the fun and exciting things we did on our trip. I can’t believe that it is over.

Something I’m hoping: I hope to start writing up our trip reports soon, though I have to wait a week or so before I can get the photo pass photos. I have a lot of thoughts on posts in my head…now I just have to type them all out. Well, and sort through the almost 3000 photos.

Something happening around the house: It was nice to come home to a clean house, but a weekend at home destroyed our chances for that!

Something I’m reading: I read a little more of the 2nd book in The Mysterious Benedict Society, but then I switched to start and finish Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir. I didn’t get too much time to read at Disney, and I wanted to make sure I finished it before book club this week.

Something Gabe is reading: He started and finished Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. He has started reading The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks.

Something I’m watching: We have been watching Amazing Race, Survivor, Elementary, Hart of Dixie, and Revolution. I’m also trying to keep up with Gossip Girl, 90210, and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s hard to keep up with everything after being gone for a week and a half!

Something I’m playing: The kids and I played Kids of Carcassonne this afternoon, and Gabe and I have been playing some Ticket to Ride Europe on the iPhone.

Something tasty: I had a bit too much tasty food this week. Good times! I think my favorite was probably the Dole Whip, maybe mostly because I hadn’t expected to like it at all!

Something about both kiddos: We all had a wonderful, wonderful time at Disney. Too much to think about or cover here tonight! It was a long time for them to be in Disney. You could tell that they were pretty tired by the end – an extra rest day would have been beneficial. But they had a wonderful time. Both kids had haircuts today and look totally adorable. Now I just wish we had done it before our trip!

Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): When asked when we should go back to Disney, Maddie said, “Next Sunday” (today she said “Next Monday”). We told them that we probably won’t go again for a few years, maybe when Cullen is going to kindergarten. Maddie said, “no! that is too long! I’ll be 7!!!” Maddie didn’t get quite enough sleep while we were gone. It’s tough when your brother keeps waking you up and gets you up too early in the morning. It’s also impossible to get her to nap when we’re on trips (or at home), even when she needs one. So, she was a bit whiny and clingy when we weren’t doing something she enjoyed (and she was quite opinionated on what she enjoyed!). She hated being called “princess” everywhere we went by cast members. She started saying, “I am NOT a princess” to them. They didn’t know how to react. I guess they don’t cover that in their Disney training. I’m guessing they don’t run into very many preschool girls who don’t want to be called a princess. Maddie’s favorite started out as Dumbo, but then she rode Goofy’s Barnstormer, a kiddo rollercoaster. She absolutely loved it. It was amazing to watch her ride it! One of my best moments of the trip was riding it in the front car with her. She throws her arms way up in the air and couldn’t be happier. I love that little rollercoaster girl! She talked about how her favorite part was when it goes FAST. She says, “no one can catch us!” (and said the same thing about Dumbo the first few times when she was flying really high). Small World was also one of her top favorite rides. She was excited about trying some things, but she didn’t like everything she tried. She even rode Tower of Terror!!! But she did not like that one. She talked about it a lot, and she almost rode it again. I think that both kids enjoyed things better the second time they rode them. It helped them knowing what to expect. When you asked Maddie about a ride that she didn’t like, she would say “NEVER!” as in she’s never riding that again and she will NEVER like it. She said that about Tower of Terror, Pirates of the Caribbean, and a few others. She did say that about the Epcot ball ride (Spaceship Earth), but then she was begging to go on it later (after she had ridden it a 2nd time). She was very particular about characters. She wanted nothing to do with princesses or Tinkerbell. Her favorites were Minnie, Mickey, and Daisy. She refused to pose with Donald and Goofy most of the time. It always took her a few characters to warm up at the character meals. Fortunately, we usually were able to see the first characters more than once. Maddie really is enjoying saying “NEVER!” when she doesn’t like something or when she doesn’t want to do something we ask her to do.

Something Cullen is doing (2.5 years old): Cullen had a big time in Disney, too. When asked when we should go again, he said, “in 3 days.” Cullen’s favorites were Dumbo and Small World. Sometimes he’ll tell you that Goofy’s Barnstormer was one of his favorites, but he really didn’t like it! It was one of the moments on the trip when he was really scared. He wanted it to stop, but he still wanted to ride it twice. Both times he was not a fan. He absolutely loved Dumbo and Small World! He was a little scared about rides that had dark parts. He loved riding the Winnie the Pooh ride (especially the part where we bounced with Tigger). He loved driving the cars in the Tomorrowland Speedway. Cullen and I spent a lot of time together because he wanted to do everything with Mommy and Maddie wanted to do everything with Daddy. I loved seeing his joy on the rides he loved! The Spinny Minnie that he got from the Halloween party (her dress lights up) helped him in some of the rides with dark parts. He was awesome with the characters. He loved Minnie, Mickey, and the princesses the best. He told Rapunzel that he would protect me from the dragon. He gave Minnie a kiss at two different meetings. He’s such a sweet boy! He was doing great with pottying the first few days. He had no accidents until his first unfortunate incident with the tummy bug he had the rest of the trip that started late afternoon on Monday at Hollywood Studios. In the resort, he was even going to poop in the potty on his own without even telling us. He did that at least 4-5 times before the stomach bug started. That was magical. He had NEVER done it unprompted at home. He even had his nighttime pull-up on at least one or two mornings when he went to the potty. And then he got the awful bug. And the rest of the week he had the runs and that was not pretty. We had to resort to pull-ups at the park because he really couldn’t make it to the potty every time. Still, he was asking to go to the potty when he needed to go – he just didn’t have enough time every time. And then he even threw up on one day. Despite all that, he never really felt all that bad apart from some diaper rash and being tired here and there.

Something I am struggling with: I’m so glad that we had no plans this weekend. I can’t seem to get enough sleep or recover from the trip!

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We had a wonderful, amazing trip to Disney!

Something I’m looking forward to: Our anniversary is this week! We also have book club and photos with Catherine.

Something captured: I just randomly picked from the tons of photos that we have…a squinty one from Magic Kingdom.

The Sunday Somethings, 26aug12

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: Seeing my parents! They came for a quick visit this weekend.

Something I’m thinking: The kids did better this afternoon, but they were crazy and out of control yesterday! I’m not sure what got into them. I guess they were excited to have Nana and Papa visiting. Both of them were acting out in new ways.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping that their behavior yesterday isn’t a new trend. Yikes!

Something happening around the house: We ordered the first pieces for Cullen’s new space themed room! Our goal is to move him into the room by the end of the year or beginning of next year. He’s going to be so excited! He already tells everyone about his space themed room with rockets and planets and stars.

Something I’m reading: I finished A Long, Long Sleep and started and finished Feed by M. T. Anderson (a different one than the Feed book that Gabe was reading by Mira Grant). I’m not sure what is next for me. I have a few more from the library.

Something I’m playing: We played Tichu with my parents. I also played Go Away Monster with Maddie and Cullen this evening. Gabe and I are both still playing Mystery Manor on the iPad.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been working on Maddie’s 4.5 year old letter, already almost a week late.

Something about both kiddos: As I said above, they were acting crazy yesterday. We couldn’t figure out what was going on. They wouldn’t listen to us, and they were doing crazy things that they wouldn’t usually do. I don’t know if they were showing off for Nana and Papa or what, but they were unusually crazy. We got their ceramic bowls back on Friday! They were cute, but the movie event was a little odd since they accidentally started it halfway through Winnie the Pooh. They started it from the beginning after it ended. Oops. The kids were excited about their new popcorn bowls! The kids have enjoyed our stroller walks each night. Since Nana and Papa were here on Saturday, we showed them our greenway trail. The kids rode their bikes while we all walked very slowly. We went into the Disney store today, and the kids saw Izzy and Jake costumes. I think they want to be Izzy and Jake for Halloween now. I thought we had settled this debate with our Mickey and Minnie costumes from last year! They do have several Halloween opportunities, so maybe they can wear different costumes for different events. We’ll see. We didn’t buy anything yet. Earlier this week, the kids were winding down for bedtime, and Maddie put her arm around Cullen and said, “you’re a great brother.” Cullen replied, “you’re a great sister.”

Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): Nana and Papa got her a new little Lego set. She picked another one from the “Friends” series, Olivia’s Speedboat. I loved the cute little sandcastle! I thought it was appropriate since we’ll be going to the beach soon. Maddie does very well with the little sets. She is able to follow the instructions and build the models all by herself. I’m so proud of her and glad that she’s excited about Legos! She had her first French class on Friday, and she will now be taking French classes 3 times a week. Wow! I can’t believe this is her last year in preschool. Maddie actually took a nap this afternoon. I brought her into our room to watch some TV while I relaxed and tried to nap. She seemed very tired, so I had her lay down next to me while I rubbed her back. It took quite a bit of “tickling her back” (as she calls it), but she amazingly fell asleep. I can’t remember the last time that she napped on a weekend. It’s probably been well over a year. Maddie had her last sprinkler day of the summer at school this week.

Something Cullen is doing (2.5 years old): Cullen picked out a little fireman ATV set from the Lego store. I don’t think he’s quite ready for the tiny Legos, but he is excited to have it. We haven’t tried to put a model together yet. He’s very good at puzzles, so he probably will take to Legos well when he’s a little older! I hope that he will. There are a bunch of really cool models that do not seem to interest Maddie as much as the girl ones. He had two accident free days in a row this week. That’s progress, right? He was motivated by being able to sleep in his brand new sleeping bag at night. That worked for those two days, anyway. Cullen sure does love his Mommy. Today at lunch, he said that he loved me, but that he didn’t love anyone else, just me. “I don’t love those guys, only you” (as he motions to Nana, Papa, Daddy, and Maddie). He gives great hugs and kisses these days and often tells me that he loves me. What a sweetie!

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I bought workout clothes, so I can go to the gym! Now, I’ll have to come up with other fancy excuses to avoid the gym. I had been using the “I don’t have the right shoes” excuse for a while, and then the ol’ “I don’t have the right clothes” excuse. Now I have all the right clothes. What’s my next excuse? We did walk 5 nights this week! Gabe and I both realized we need some “training” with the strollers before going to Disney this fall. Our hope is to be in better shape so that walking all day for a week won’t be so bad.

Something I’m looking forward to: Book club! We’ll be discussing Moonwalking with Einstein. We’re also going to the beach soon!

Something captured: After lunch with Nana and Papa!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey