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Cullen is 4.5!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

It’s time for Cullen’s next letter…he turned 4 and a half on July 22nd. (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 09mar14

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A sunny springlike weekend. I’m so very done with winter like every other sane person.

Something I’m thinking: I need to get Maddie’s letter done, and then I can start working on fun summary posts from the cruise.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that Maddie’s tracking back into school this week goes smoothly.

Something happening around the house: Gabe and I went through every nook and cranny, closet, and drawer this weekend in our master bedroom and master bathroom. We purged a ton of stuff to give to friends, donate to charity, or just throw in the garbage. I’m not sure we’ll have the energy to do this during the week, but we’re going to try to go area by area.

Something I’m reading: I’m still reading the third book of The Demon Cycle.

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

Something I’m watching: We caught up on The Walking Dead and The Amazing Race, but we are behind on other shows.

Something I’m playing: Sadly, Candy Crush.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been working on finishing up Maddie’s letter. I started it a few days before our vacation, but I haven’t had much energy to work on it since then.

Something tasty: I’ve been eating just about anything I see this week. I haven’t gotten out of cruise eating mode, and I’ve been comfort eating.

Something about both kiddos: We had Maddie’s birthday party today, and both kids painted a big birthday cake on an art canvas. All of the paintings turned out cute, and I loved seeing all the different styles. Since getting back from the cruise, we’re doing a ticket system with the kids. We are rewarding good behaviors with tickets, especially areas that we’re trying to improve like dinner table manners and staying in their beds all night. They can turn in their tickets for device time. Maddie also proposed that she could get a new toy if she traded in 50 tickets. Considering that they have many opportunities to earn tickets during the day, this seems reasonable. The system is working really well for Maddie. I’m not sure it is working that great for Cullen, but we will see. He’s going to need some tickets if he wants to play that iPad!

Something Maddie is doing (6 years old): Maddie was a little nervous with the painting instruction at the party. I haven’t seen her do her usual art camp classes, so I don’t know if she always has a hard time getting started. I know she’s always afraid of doing something wrong or making a mistake, so she doesn’t dive right in. She did great, though, and she had ideas of how she wanted it to be. She’s not the best party host. Her friends seemed excited to see her, and she didn’t do much to greet them or tell them thank you for coming at the end. We’ll have to work on that. I know it is because she gets overwhelmed in those situations. It was even overwhelming for me towards the end of the party! I think Maddie had a great time, and of course she enjoyed opening all the presents when we got home. She’s less excited about working on the dreaded thank you notes, of course. Maddie had track out camp this week at the drama camp. They do a lot of art projects with making the sets and costumes, and then they perform a play at the end of the week. The camp has been pretty smart at giving Maddie only a few lines so far. We were proud of her, and I think she really enjoys it. We enjoyed seeing the play with other families. Maddie went to her first gymnastics class with Sophie, and she did so well! I was surprised at how well she participated at her first class, and she already wants to take gymnastics for a long time so that she can learn the uneven bars like the big girls. The place that we picked seems to focus on recreational gymnastics, which is what we wanted versus competitive gymnastics. Maddie’s first day back at school is tomorrow, and they will be celebrating Dr. Seuss this week with a different theme for each day (crazy socks, pajamas, wacky clothes, etc).

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): We were glad to get Cullen back to his regular routine, though the week was a little out of routine due to more winter weather early in the week and sickness at the end. Cullen so desperately needs naps, but we cannot get him to take them at home. He stayed up too late last night (which was partially our fault), and then he woke up way too early for the daylight savings time change. We expected that they might sleep a little later after being up late, but he didn’t. He was up around 6am, and we were REALLY not ready to get up yet. Really? 6am? I mean that is like 5am before the time change, right? I don’t know. I can’t do time change math. Cullen was sent home early on Thursday due to a fever. His fever got pretty high on Thursday evening, and we took him to the doctor on Friday morning. He was diagnosed with strep. He was much better within 24 hours of the antibiotic. He’s been in another one of his sensitive moods. When he gets unhappy about something, he immediately starts to throw a fit. We’ll have to watch for times when he doesn’t react poorly and start rewarding those times with tickets. Maybe that will help?? His outbursts are loud and frustrating. I think a lot of his outbursts have to do with not having naps.

Something I am struggling with: Well, I’ve discovered that a lot of my dizziness, fatigue, and related symptoms two years ago was likely due to that cruise. I’m experiencing the same things again. It’s frustrating, and it means that I won’t likely be able to cruise again. When I found information on Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, I related to every bit of it (more information here). It’s been frustrating and depressing…and we’re all disappointed to never be able to cruise again. We had so much fun on the Disney cruise!

Something I learned: Unfortunately, all about Mal de Debarquement Syndrome.

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie’s gymnastics place has a break this week, so we don’t have gymnastics this week. It will pick back up next week. Gabe has more fantasy drafts over the next couple of weeks. Most of them are online, at least. We have games night this weekend.

Something captured: The artists at Maddie’s party!

The Sunday Somethings, 26jan14 and 02feb14

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Seeing the kids play in the snow (but I’m not so excited about making up snow days!).

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking usually this time of year isn’t too busy, but we’re crazy busy this year. Only part of it is the cruise that we’re taking in a few weeks.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping that we do not have any more crazy wintery weather. I’m officially ready for Spring.

Something happening around the house: The house has been in a perpetual state of disaster with all of us at home a bit more than normal. Poor Gabe is used to a nice, quiet house during the work week. He’ll be happy to get back to that!

Something I’m reading: I finished The Selection. I also finished Sand, and I didn’t like it was well as Wool. It was still entertaining enough. I’m now reading The Returned, and I want to see the show.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished The Golem and the Jinni. He started and finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane. He’s now reading Sand.

Something I’m watching: I’m not *really* watching the Super Bowl, but I am rooting for certain point combinations since we played a squares game at the Super Bowl party.

Something I’m playing: We have played some new games with the kids lately. They received several board games at Christmas. We have been playing Robot Turtles, Max the Cat, Too Many Monkeys, and Gobblet Gobblers. I’m a little sad to report that all four of us are playing Candy Crush. All four of us have also been playing Mario 3D Worlds on the Wii U.

Something I’m creating: I finished Cullen’s 4th birthday letter and I’ve been working on our 2013 photobook. I really want to finish it before our cruise.

Something tasty: I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track calories, but I gave myself a holiday today since we went to a Super Bowl party. We had all kinds of yummy stuff there.

Something about both kiddos: The kids were so excited about the snow. We got about 3 or 4 inches, which is more than we have gotten in more than 3 years. I don’t think either kid really remembers our last “big” snow. The snow was very powdery, so they didn’t get to make a snowman. They still attempted to make snowballs, and they mostly threw them at Daddy. It was hilarious to see the powder fly. They were so happy. The snow stayed around on our grass for a couple of days, so they were able to play the next day as well. Last weekend, the monthly book club meeting was a field trip to see a play. We saw Hansel and Gretel. The next day, we went to see the Pinkalicious musical. That was a lot better than we expected! Gabe and I even enjoyed it. It had some humor for the adults, and it seemed to be better quality than several of the other plays from the kid series. Since my last update, we’ve taken the kids to lunch twice in the cafe at work. The first time was on Maddie’s holiday for MLK, and the second was one of the “snow” days when our roads were clear (but roads in other parts of the county were not).

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie was probably the most excited of all of us to get snow. She didn’t have to go to school on Tuesday in anticipation of the snow to start falling at about noon. Unfortunately, the snow didn’t start falling until 5pm Tuesday night. We got about 3-4 inches overnight, so of course school was closed again on Wednesday. Temperatures were quite cold, so of course that means ice on the roads in the south. Our roads were fine, so we weren’t totally stuck at home for four days at least. Maddie’s school was again closed on Thursday AND Friday. So now we have FOUR Saturday make up days. I guess that’s one disadvantage to year round school! The first make up day was supposed to be yesterday, but that day got cancelled for continued icy roads. Maddie has school for the next two Saturdays. This isn’t going to be very convenient for us, but we will figure it out. I’m disappointed that she is going to miss her last two rollerblading lessons. She has been doing so well in that class, and her coaches felt that she could move up to the advanced class. We definitely want to sign her up for that, but we may have to skip a session given the number of Saturday plans (and snow make up days) that we have. Maddie celebrated her 100th day at school. I had fun volunteering in the classroom and manned the fruit loop necklace station. The kids also had a station where they built towers from 100 cups, one where they made their afternoon snack (10 of each of the 10 items), one with a 100-day book (with 10 items on 10 pages), and one with a coloring, cutting and pasting activity. It was such a fun morning, and Maddie loves having me in the classroom. We went to lunch after where I watched her eat lunch. I love the opportunity to volunteer, and I know that we will have less and less opportunities as she gets older! Maddie has been enjoying her dance/tumbling class more, but she doesn’t seem to love the hip hop part of it. She looks so nervous and doesn’t participate in that part. She wants to sign up for a gymnastics class with Sophie, so I hope we’ll be able to make that happen after our vacation. Maddie has a project at school where she was supposed to interview a community helper. She decided she wanted to interview a teacher, so she interviewed our neighbor. She is supposed to dress up as her community helper and do a presentation tomorrow. I made her an id badge on a lanyard in a card holder so she looks more official. Otherwise, she’s just going to look like she does any other day!

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen is now four years old! We brought cupcakes to his classroom for his birthday. He was so cute when his classmates were singing to him. They all surrounded him while they sang, and he was grinning ear to ear. I loved that. He loved having us there, and of course the cupcakes were a bit hit. That night, we went out to eat with his BFF. Melissa and Jason were able to join us as well. The kids got a little crazy in the restaurant. He requested Zoe’s Kitchen as he loves the “kid roll ups” there (basically a rolled up chicken quesadilla). We had a little cake, so Cullen had quite a few treats that day! The cake had chocolate frosting, and he got a little crazy after it. We’re going to avoid chocolate as well as we can for a while. He’s sensitive to it (maybe it’s the caffeine?). We’ve also made a direct correlation between strawberries and reddened cheeks. We have noticed this before, but it has been more than confirmed with his recent exposures. We’re not sure whether we will completely avoid them, but we are considering taking him to an allergist for their opinion. We know that there are other things in his diet that cause a rash type reaction, but we haven’t figured them all out just yet. Cullen said the other day, “when I grow up like a Mommy, I want hair like yours. No, wait, I want to be just like you! Then there will be two Kerrys.” Cullen always wants to sit next to the pianist in the cafe. He had a great time on Friday, and the pianist played some special songs for him. Cullen is still obsessed with playing Daddy’s iPad. We’re trying to limit his time. We’ve thought about coming up with some system where he can earn iPad time for good behaviors and tasks around the house. He’s been a sweet boy, and he will often tell me that he loves me. Every morning, when we leave the house, he tells Daddy, “Goodbye! I love you! I hope you have a good day at work.”

Something I’m looking forward to: We are thinking about the Lego Minibuild this Tuesday. I have a rescheduled book club meeting (since we had to cancel last Wednesday due to the weather). Maddie has another dance/tumbling class. We have a gaming weekend, so we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how we’re going to get to play games and manage the kids. Cullen has a birthday party to attend and Maddie has school on Saturday. Next week, I have a haircut, and Maddie has an early release day. She has school on that Saturday, and we are officially celebrating Cullen’s birthday with The Lego Movie with a couple of his buddies and their families. My parents are coming to visit and celebrate with us.

Something captured:

Happy 4th birthday, sweet boy!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

It’s time for another letter to Cullen, just a tad late this time. Happy 4th birthday to my sweet, sweet boy! (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 19jan14 and 12jan14

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: I had fun watching Maddie and Daddy playing Mario 3D Worlds together. Maddie’s doing pretty well!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking I better get started on Cullen’s 4-year old letter!

Something I’m hoping: I hope we have fun at the hockey game tonight. A generous coworker gave our family the tickets he couldn’t use, and it will be Maddie and Cullen’s first hockey game.

Something happening around the house: The house is in need of a serious clean! We managed to get presentable for games night, but we missed our regular cleaners appointment when I had the flu.

Something I’m reading: I finished both The Golem and the Jinni and Lexicon. Both are books that I would recommend to others but fell short in some way overall. I started and finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane, an odd, creepy little thing. I am now reading the second book of The Selection, The Elite.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s almost finished with The Golem and the Jinni.

Something I’m watching: Right now, I’m watching Gabe play Mario 3D Worlds. We’ve been watching Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Hart of Dixie, and Elementary. I think those are the ones that we’re mostly caught up with, but we have a few others that we have languishing on our DVR.

Something I’m playing: We had games night last night, and Gabe and I played several games together while letting the kids run free. The kids had a few incidents here and there, but they did pretty well playing with their friends overall. Gabe and I both played Tribune, Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride: Team Asia, and Big Boggle. Fun games night!

Something I’m creating: I ordered my little WWDC book and showed it to coworkers. I think my coworkers were amused and impressed. I’ve been working on the 2013 book, but I’ve had a few setbacks with being sick.

Something about both kiddos: They are both continuing their sports lessons (soccer for Cullen and rollerblading for Maddie). We’ve been seeing improvements with both of them, and they seem to be having fun. Gabe and I appreciate the hour later time with 10:30am lessons instead of 9:30am! They had fun yesterday with their friends at games night.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie started a class at my work called Rollin’ Hip Hoppers. It’s a hip hop dance and tumbling combination class. She spent the first class in Daddy’s lap the whole time, not wanting to participate. I managed to get her to participate in the second week (though will admit it took some bribing). It helped that her friend Sophie is in the class. Sophie was great at helping Maddie be more comfortable and even held her hand during some of the class. Maddie and I finished up her science fair board last weekend, and the science fair was this week. I was so proud of her, and I think she was proud of herself! She has a 100th day celebration coming up this week at school and was tasked with creating a poster with 100 items. She wanted to do hearts, so she glued candy hearts to her poster. It looks cute (and tasty!). I’m excited to come and volunteer at her class for the 100th day celebration (though, really, when did this become a thing???). As I mentioned, she has been doing some of her video game training today. She’s getting better at the different types of games. Mario 3D World is fun for her to play with Daddy.

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): Cullen and I visited the Lego store for the monthly minibuild. He built a cute little snowplow. We had a great time with the minibuild and a dinner at PF Chang’s. Cullen was a perfect little dinner date. We had to wait to do the minibuild, but it helped that we took the dinner break after getting our ticket. We’ll have to do more of those! Cullen has had a cough for a while, and we took him to the pediatrician. He is taking an antibiotic now. He then got a little bit of the flu, maybe? It didn’t seem as bad for him, so we aren’t sure if his flu shot helped a bit or he caught something different. He had a high fever for a couple of days, and then he was fine. I can’t believe that Cullen is going to be 4 this week!

Something I am struggling with: I managed to get the flu and was quite sick for about 5 days. At least two of those days were spent being miserable and trying to sleep in bed all day. Poor Gabe had to manage everything while I was out of commission.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Still trying to get those photobooks done.

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to volunteering in Maddie’s classroom twice in the next two weeks. This week, I’m helping with their 100th day celebration and next week I’m supposed to read to them after their lunch. I’m looking forward to celebrating Cullen’s birthday, though his “party” will be in a few weeks. He’s going to take a couple friends to the movies to see The Lego Movie. This week, we’re going to go out for dinner on his birthday at a restaurant of his choice. Cullen has his 4-year old check up. Maddie has Rollin Hip Hoppers on Thursdays for the next two weeks. The kids have their book club meeting this Saturday, which is a Hansel and Gretel play. And we have a Pinkalicious play on Sunday. Next week is my book club and a scrapbooking day with Michelle and Paula! I’m looking forward to the hockey game this evening, too.

Something captured: Our little scientist!

The Sunday Somethings, 30sep12

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: Thinking about Disney! I’ve been making lots of lists.

Something I’m thinking: Our weekend didn’t turn out as we hoped. We’ve all been battling colds, so we had to cancel dinner and games with friends on Friday and our games night. Gabe has the worst of it – last time he had a cough like this, it took him more than a month to get rid of it. Then it rained all day yesterday, so it’s far too wet to go to the pumpkin patch today.

Something I’m hoping: I hoping we can all be well and the weather will cooperate for us while we’re on our Disney trip…coming up really soon now.

Something I’m reading: I finished the first book of The Dresden Files (Storm Front), and I started on The Mysterious Benedict Society (which is the first book in a series of the same name).

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe is reading the 2nd book of The Dresden Files (Fool Moon).

Something I’m watching: We started watching Revolution. We’ll see how it goes…we also recorded Elementary, but we haven’t watched that one yet. We are watching Survivor and Amazing Race starts tonight! I’ve been half watching glee, and more shows are starting up this week. I’m probably most excited about Hart of Dixie.

Something I’m playing: Gabe and I have been playing a lot of Ticket To Ride Pocket on the iPhones.

Something I’m creating: Blog posts about my April Disney trip and lists for the October Disney trip. I have Disney on the brain 24/7.

Something about both kiddos: We have been talking quite a bit about the upcoming trip, and they have made lists of the things that they are looking forward to doing, too. It’s funny to hear what they want to put on their list! I’ve shown them videos and pictures and explained a lot of the things we are planning to do. After their lessons yesterday, we ran some errands. That was particularly challenging, and it left us wondering whether we’re crazy for taking them to Disney World. Disney will be easier than running errands, right? Someone…just lie to me, please. I am encouraged by our recent trip to the beach, for the most part. Hopefully, the good parts will far outweigh the bad! Oh, and lately, they have been getting up early and playing either upstairs or in the living room without waking us up. This is good and bad! At first, it was just Cullen coming down and playing in the living room by himself. The kids wake each other up to play together now.

Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): This week, Maddie officially became a graduate in a ceremony that they had in the classroom. This was a ceremony with just the kids (parents weren’t invited). In reality, she has been doing a lot of graduate work lately, but now the title is official. The most exciting thing about this week is that Maddie is READING! I knew that one day, she would just take off with this. She has been doing flashcards at school and reading books like Hop on Pop at home. She has been doing some math activities at school, too. She did great with her first rollerblading lessons. I’m not sure how well the skates fit her. They are adjustable, so at least she was able to wear one pair, adjusted differently for each foot.

Something Cullen is doing (2.5 years old): Cullen had been doing pretty well staying in his room every night after being put to bed. He’s in another phase where he has to come out at least once to “go potty.” Yesterday, we bought him some pull ups since he still wears a night time diaper. We’re a bit tired of undoing the diaper and putting it back on when he requests to go to the potty! Now he can do it himself, and last night that worked MUCH better. We took the gate off of his room since it was worthless anyway. He has been able to open the “childproof” gate for weeks now. We never knew which kid was going to appear at our faces in the morning to wake us up, but now they don’t bother. I think Cullen got tired of us telling him that it was too early and putting him back to bed. We have to be careful about what gets left out in the living room! Cullen seemed to enjoy his first soccer lesson which is a parent/child class. Daddy participated this week, so I could attempt to take photos.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been using My Fitness Pal to track food and “exercise” (hey, sometimes I go on walks!), and on Friday morning, I had lost 20 pounds!!! I haven’t weighed this little in almost 15 years. I have been lax on tracking since I hit 20 pounds Friday morning. I think I might try to make good choices and continue weighing in like I have been. If my weight starts to go back up, I’ll do the more strict tracking again. I know I’m not going to worry about any of this while in Disney!!! Of course, I also don’t have any shorts to wear in Disney and nobody really sells shorts at this time of year.

Something I’m looking forward to: Our new kindles arrive this week, just in time for Gabe’s birthday!!! Otherwise, we’re light on plans and just looking forward to Disney.

Something captured: I had to post a pic of each kid from their lessons yesterday.

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

The Sunday Somethings, 19aug12

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: Our Disney trip is coming up soon. I can’t wait!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about Colorforms. I think that would be an excellent distraction for the kids on the plane, but I can’t seem to find what I’m looking for. I found some that looked good, but the reviews talk about them being over-sized – not exactly ideal for the airplane!

Something I’m hoping: I hope that I can get Maddie’s letter done this week. Starting tomorrow, she can proudly say that she is “four and a half!”

Something happening around the house: So, we bought some kind of natural lemongrass spray a few weeks ago or so (back when we were still having the ongoing ant problem). We never saw another ant after the first day of using the lemongrass. Coincidence??

Something I’m reading: I finished Insurgent and started A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. I enjoyed Insurgent and look forward to the last book in the trilogy, whenever it is released. A Long, Long Sleep was on our list of proposed book club books that didn’t make the cut. I’m enjoying it well enough, but I don’t think it would have been a good pick for our book club.

Something I’m playing: We had games night, and we both played Tigris and Euphrates and Catch Phrase. Gabe played Glen More, and I played Power Grid.

Something I’m creating: I’m slowly catching up on photos. I’m working backwards through the year, and I’m back to April now. I don’t think I had sorted ANY photos from April (except my Disney trip with Audrey). I haven’t sorted anything in March at all, and I have quite a few photos to sort through from February. And then I have the cruise from December and a couple more albums from 2011. The only way I can ever catch up with that stuff is to stop taking photos, and that’s just not going to happen anytime soon.

Something tasty: Gabe agreed to try a low calorie lasagna recipe, and we both thought it was good! It was a veggie lasagna with much less cheese than usual. We were both surprised that we liked it. I’m definitely making it again sometime.

Something about both kiddos: We are still enjoying our nightly story time with Mommy! I love holding them both in my lap for our stories! They have been having a lot of fun starting the story time with Waddle where they act out all of the pages (waddle like a penguin, jump like a frog, slither like a snake, etc). Outside of story time, they like to act out their favorite episodes of their favorite shows. Lately, they have been acting out the marching band episode and the “we totally rock” episode of Bubble Guppies. I love how Maddie says, “Hey, Cullen, let’s play marching band!” and then march around the house with their “instruments.” Maddie has decided she plays the drums, and Cullen says he plays the tuba. I approve. We got them sleeping bags for upcoming trips. We are done with the pack-n-play, so we needed some alternative sleeping arrangements for the kids. They are very excited about their sleeping bags! They both slept in them on the first night, and I think they are going to work quite nicely. They have been playing “sleepover” and “camping” in the living room. They also act out scenes from the camping Bubble Guppies episode and tell “spooooooooky stories.” They like to pretend that they are in gymnastics and ballet classes. I love their imaginations these days!

Something Maddie is doing (53 months old): She’s almost officially a graduate. I think that the last of the older kids have moved up to kindergarten, but I’m not 100% sure. I think that makes Maddie a graduate! She’s excited. As a graduate, she will be able to do special work and will go to French class. I’m excited about the things she will be doing in the next year. Maddie continues to be very into coloring and writing words and making little story books. She usually stays within the lines, and she has started choosing colors to match reality as closely as she can. She is especially particular about her favorite Disney Junior characters as Gabe has been printing out coloring pages of Izzy and her other favorites. She loves coloring Izzy! She likes creating scenes with her big book of stickers, and she can be very creative with those. That got me thinking about Colorforms. I think she would love that.

Something Cullen is doing (30 months old): He continues to impress everyone with his vocabulary and verbal skills in general. He cracks us up constantly. He tell us factoids all the time about the solar system (“Jupiter is the biggest planet. Mercury is closest to the sun. Pluto’s not a planet anymore. The sun is actually a star.”). He tells everyone about his big boy room in Daddy’s office (they are switching rooms at the end of the year). He tells people about the rockets and the planets and other space touches. He’s going to love it. One day, Cullen will stop having accidents. I think he had an accident free day this week. It’s been a while since we’ve had two accident free days in a row. Today, we had a real pootastrophe. He was playing by himself in the bonus room, and we kept asking what he was doing. He kept replying and was playing with the trains and was happy. After about 10 minutes of this, I get a feeling that I should go up there and make sure he’s not getting into trouble. What I found was poop leaking out of his pants. I asked, “Um, Cullen, did you poop?” He said that he had, and then he pointed out all the places on the carpet that he had pooped. Um. Yikes. He needed a bath, and the room needed a biohazard team.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been meeting my calorie goals and have lost 10 pounds already! I’m very happy with this progress. I did much better with drinking water this weekend.

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to seeing the kids’ finished popcorn bowls! I hope that they will be excited to see them. My parents are also planning to come for a visit.

Something random: A new coworker of mine used to take some art classes with my dad. That’s a pretty random, small world moment.

The Sunday Somethings, 05aug12

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: We have had several fun gatherings with friends the last several days!

Something I’m thinking: I’m ready to go to bed…should I just do this tomorrow?

Something happening around the house: I’m pretty sure our house was in decent shape on Friday evening. Um, what happened? Oh, right, two busy kiddos.

Something I’m reading: Insurgent.

Something I’m watching: A little Olympics, but not as much as I thought.

Something I’m playing: We played Hawaii on Friday night and liked it. Gabe played Survive: Escape from Atlantis! yesterday. We’re still playing a lot of Mystery Manor on the iPad. Oh, and we played Hisss and Pengaloo.

Something tasty: Jelly Bellies. Yum. I’ve been snacking on a few at the end of the day, when my “budget” allows it.

Something Maddie is doing (53 months old): Maddie has been playing with her LeapPad (which we call “Maddie’s iPad”) more recently. She got a new game yesterday called Roly Poly Picnic which has a little bit of phonics as part of the game. Maddie seems to love it so far! We have to watch her sometimes as when she gets mad, she gets aggressive with Cullen. She has bit him, thrown him to the ground, and hit him at different times. Not cool. Maddie wants to be Minnie Mouse for Halloween again this year. We had a great day with friends today celebrating being big sisters. Marie and I took Sophie and Maddie to PF Chang’s (Sophie’s favorite restaurant ever), the Lego store, the Hello Kitty store, the candy store, the Godiva store (where an old lady gave us dirty looks, and our kids were actually well behaved), and the Disney store. Whew! The kids enjoyed looking at the different stores and got a few treats as well.

Something Cullen is doing (30 months old): Last weekend, when I asked Cullen if he would like to be a pirate for Halloween, he said, “yes” and seemed very excited about it. He may have been influenced by the pirate costume that he wore at the children’s museum a few weeks ago. He now says at random, “What do pirates say when they want a special treat? Trick ARRRRRR Treat.” He’s going to be a cute little pirate! While I’m sure he would have been an adorable Minnie Mouse, I’m relieved he changed his mind. He’s doing better with his “table manners” at dinner and is staying at the table until the end of the meal most of the time. He was doing a lot of getting out of his seat for a while. He’s still having potty accidents. Some days he has several, and some days he’s accident free. We have many days with just one wet accident, and quite a few days where he hasn’t had accidents at school but has one at home. We’ve given up on the potty chart for now. Once we can start getting more than one successful day at a time, we will focus on that again.

Something I am struggling with: I’ve been doing great at drinking water when I’m at work, but I’ve been terrible at doing it on the weekend.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve only gone over my calorie goal once since starting about 2 weeks ago. I’ve lost more than 5 pounds, woohoo!

Something I’m looking forward to: We have part one of the movie and popcorn bowl night which is when the kids each get to paint a ceramic bowl. In two weeks, we’ll return for a movie and popcorn for the bowls! We also have a play date for both kids on Saturday. I also have a couple of fun lunches planned with friends.

Something captured: Two fabulous big sisters!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 28jul12

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Something I’m thinking: Well, it’s Wednesday. I was thinking about waiting until Sunday, but I decided that Wednesday was better than not at all.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping the ants will go away soon. We have had a terrible time with them this year.

Something happening around the house: The dolls are having a perpetual tea party on the ottoman. Why not?

Something I’m reading: I finished Divergent in time for book club, and then I finished Moonwalking with Einstein (for August’s book club meeting). I’m now reading Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent.

Something I’m watching: We saw both The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises (both in the same night!). We had a great time while the kiddos had a great time with the sitter (one of Cullen’s teachers). I love hearing stories about the adventures that they had while we were gone (both from the sitter and from the kids).

Something I’m playing: Mystery Manor. Gabe is phasing out of Valor.

Something tasty: Jelly Bellies, though I have had to eat a pitifully small number in any given day as I’m paying attention to the foods that I’m eating. I am allowed some little treats here and there, though!

Something Maddie is doing (53 months old): We had Maddie’s yearly conference today where we mostly discussed her progress and the types of things that she will be doing as a “graduate.” I can’t believe that she will be a graduate so soon! They will be challenging her more in the next year. Hopefully, she will be motivated to try more challenging and new things. She is such a perfectionist, and I think she’s afraid to try something new until she knows she can master it. We have seen this again and again with her. She seems to be completely clueless about something, and then all of a sudden she’s mastered it. Maddie does a lot of coloring at school. She rarely goes out of the lines and uses color effectively. Gabe printed out a bunch of coloring pages from the Disney website from their favorite shows, and Maddie tends to color the characters with the correct colors from memory. She makes “books” at school by coloring and writing letters and names on little stapled, folded over sheets of paper. Maddie also likes setting up tea parties for her dolls and us. It’s adorable.

Something Cullen is doing (30 months old): Cullen had a few good days since my last update, but he isn’t going to be getting his Spider-Man car any time soon. We can’t seem to make more than 2 accident free days in a row, though he has had many days without accidents at school. We had his 30-month conference at school this week, and his teacher does not seem to be at all concerned about his potty training progress (or lack thereof). She still feels he has plenty of time between now and preschool, and we should focus on all the wonderful things that he is doing. He received a glowing progress report, especially in the area of communication. We also learned that he sometimes tattles on other kids in the class. His communication amazes all of the teachers and us. Every night, after I read him books, he wants to “read” a book to me. Sometimes, he is able to “read” the book word for word (obviously, he’s memorized it). Other times, he repeats key phrases on every page. In one case, he used the pictures as a guide and made up his own story. I’m enjoying both reading to him and having him read to me! Bedtime has been a little smoother on most nights in the past couple weeks. Cullen has been very interested in playing with the trains in the bonus room. We have a huge layout set up in there, using almost all of the track that we have. It’s impressive. The whole family has been having fun with the wooden train set! He also loves lining up and organizing matchbox cars.

Something I am struggling with: I am using My Fitness Pal on the iPad and iPhone to track the foods I’m eating. The tracking process alone has motivated me to make better choices. I’ve already lost a little weight, too.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Gabe and I signed up for a Zero to 5K training program at work. The next step will be to get appropriate clothing for the gym.

Something I’m looking forward to: We haven’t had much going on in the first half of this week, but the rest of the week is full of plans. We are celebrating a friend’s birthday with dinner tomorrow. We have dinner and games on Friday with friends. We are going to a games day on Saturday, and on Sunday, Maddie and I are celebrating being big sisters with one of her friends who just become one.

Something captured: Cullen and I on the carousel this past weekend.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey