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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, 21jul13

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Something that makes me happy: We had a nice visit from Gabe’s parents this weekend!

Something I’m thinking: I guess I need to start writing Cullen’s next letter – he will be 3.5 tomorrow!

Something I’m hoping: I hope Maddie continues to have great days at kindergarten! She was doing well by the end of the week, but the beginning of the week was rough for all of us.

Something happening around the house: Gabe’s parents are staying this weekend, and we hosted the kiddo book club this morning. Chaos as usual!

Something I’m reading: I finished Requiem, and I started reading Summer Rental.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Blood Song, and he really enjoyed it. He’s now reading Leviathan Wakes.

Something I’m watching: We are getting ready to watch 42 with Gabe’s parents. They all haven’t seen it, but I saw it in the theater on Mother’s Day.

Something I’m playing: Still playing Letterpress on the iPhone.

Something I’m creating: I ordered the 2011 photobook! I’m looking forward to starting the next one (once I figure out which one is next). I created some things for the kid book club that I hosted this morning. Maddie and I worked a little on R2-D2. Now with school, we don’t have much time in the evenings to work on things like that. I guess I’ll be working on Cullen’s letter this week!

Something tasty: We are starting a little bit of a frozen yogurt habit…

Something about both kiddos: We had the book club at our house today, and both kids seemed to enjoy it! It was a pirate theme, and they made pirate flags, eye patches, and hunted for treasure in the backyard. I had a kid-friendly pirate name generator, but most of the kids didn’t want pirate names. The adults received pirate names instead! At least we were amused. The kids love doing crafts and art projects. They can sit for a while and work on their projects. We did part of the new kiwi crate with Grandma yesterday as well. Maddie also took a wooden rod and a coffee filter and made a flower for Grandma (all her own idea). I love how much the kids enjoy their art projects. They enjoyed having Grandma and Grandpa visit. They are worn out from all the excitement (and staying up a bit past their bedtimes). We took them to a bookstore yesterday, and they had a lot of fun picking out new books. Today, they formed a drum band with Grandma in the kitchen with pots and pans and tupperware and boxes. All 3 of them had a great time! The kids had fun with the temporary tattoos and even gave a couple to Grandpa who wore them proudly.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie had her first full week at kindergarten with her regular teacher. The first few days of the week were a little rough on us all! She was exhausted and whiny. She came home her first day with a lot of disappointments. She said, “I got stuck at the orange table! Not the purple. Not the green. Not even the blue. Yucky orange. I hate orange. I don’t even want to look at it!” She was upset that everyone was calling her Madeline. She was still sad that she didn’t have friends. By the end of the week, she left for kindergarten happy and excited and came home the same way. By the end of the week, Gabe dropped her off and she walked to the classroom by herself. She’s working on making friends. We gave her a mission to find out the name of the other girl at her table, and the next day we urged her to find out something about her. She was so proud that she found out the girl’s name and that her new friend has a sister. She’s doing great with the transition, and I think she’s starting to get more confidence and enjoy herself. She talks a lot about her new playground, and this weekend we took her out to the school so she could show us and her grandparents. She loves Hello Kitty and has been wearing her new Hello Kitty necklace every day to school. Maddie and I finished the Penderwicks, and she picked out a few other chapter books without pictures. She picked out a few new readers as well.

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen is having a rough time with Maddie’s transition to kindergarten. I think he misses her at school, and he is a bit jealous about all the attention and new fun stuff that Maddie is getting to do. He’s been a bit crankier than usual and acting out for attention. When the kids picked out books, he picked Clifford, Lego Superheroes, and Cat and the Hat Comes Back. He’s very excited about all of them, especially the Lego Superheroes book (which is in comic book format). Cullen has been very boy lately. He always wants to play Star Wars, Angry Birds, and shoot guns and slash swords. It’s a little intense at times. He cracks us up, though!

Something I am struggling with: This week was harder on me than I expected. I thought the previous week would be the hard part with Maddie’s first day (the staggered entry day), but this week was rougher…maybe because it felt more real. She also struggled a little this week, so that made it tougher on me as well. Things are looking up, and it’s getting easier for all of us.

Something I learned: Lots of stuff about Maddie’s new class!

Something I’m looking forward to: Surprisingly, we have very few plans this week. That’s probably a good thing since this week was so slammed.

Something captured: The cutest pirates ever!

The Sunday Somethings, 07jul13

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: I got to play two good quality games at yesterday’s games night!

Something I’m thinking: Staying up too late and eating too much junk food may have been the root cause of my constant headache today.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that Maddie’s first day of school goes well. Maddie and I are both nervous about it!

Something happening around the house: Ugh, ants. The morning of July 4th, we had an infestation in the pantry. I guess it was about time to clean out the pantry of some things, anyway, but it sucked to have to throw out food we were planning to eat! Then last night, one of our friends pointed out that we had a few ants in the kitchen. It turned out that we had more than a few, and they were parading through the living room to the kitchen with a stop by the kids’ table. It was already late when they were discovered, and I had to make sure all the snacks were put away, ants were destroyed, and all surfaces were destickified. I hope that’s the last that we will see of the ants this year, but somehow I think that it won’t be.

Something I’m reading: I finished the 2nd Molly Fyde book and started book 3.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished the 4th Molly Fyde book. He started and finished The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. He’s now reading Blood Song by Anthony Ryan.

Something I’m watching: We surprised the kids on Friday with picking them up early and meeting Aunt Kristin to see Despicable Me 2. We all had a great time! I thought it was a fun one.

Something I’m playing: I played Terra Mystica and Le Havre last night. Both are pretty long games, and I enjoyed them! I was glad to have the opportunity to play two games like that. Gabe played Ginkopolis, La Boca, Pandemic, and Gotcha. We’re still playing Letterpress on the iPhones. Gabe also started playing Mario for the Wii U again. We didn’t get too far when we first got the game.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been working on my 2011 photobook. I’m getting close to finishing it up! I have a few more holiday events and then the “Hall of Fame.” I’ll be so glad to have that finished. It’s weird to see photos of the kids from two years ago. They sure have grown a lot!

Something tasty: My friend Marie’s no bake treats. YUM.

Something about both kiddos: They have been begging to watch Star Wars for a while. I’m not even sure what appeals to them so much about it. We watched a little Return of the Jedi. When Princess Leia saved Han Solo from the carbonite and took off her disguise, Cullen said, “awww, that’s nice! I thought she was a pig guy!” They both seemed to enjoy it. I guess we might have to get the series on DVD. We got some new paints, and the kids are having fun with painting. Both kids really enjoy art projects. We got together with friends to celebrate Miranda’s birthday on July 4th. She’ll be turning one this week. Otherwise, we didn’t do too much for the holiday. Often, we’ll take trips, but we didn’t know if Maddie’s first day might be Monday, so we decided to stay in town (and work on Friday). They both loved seeing Aunt Kristin on Friday.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): She started taking showers by herself which is a milestone for us as much as it is for her! She’s very excited about it. She’s doing a decent job of getting clean, too. Meanwhile, Gabe and I are rejoicing that our duties have decreased for the nightly bathing rituals. She’s doing pretty well with teeth brushing, too. Maddie finally brought home her USA map – that was great! I’m not sure if she’s excited about going to kindergarten. I think that she is, but she’s more nervous than excited at the moment. She is very excited about what’s going to happen after her first day with ice cream after school and then a special Mommy day on Friday. Maddie’s been coloring a scene of her and her brother at the beach. They are relaxing on beach towels next to an ice cream cart. I think she really wants to go to the beach!

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): He’s very into swishing around swords and punching the air and “byewing” things (um, however you would spell the sound that shooting lasers in a movie would make). Poor little boy is coming down with a cold or something and spent most of the day with a very raspy voice. He was frustrated that he couldn’t talk the way he wanted! Cullen was less than thrilled about the fireworks that neighbors were setting off on July 4th. He woke up and came out of his room and said, “That’s not a good time to do fireworks…when you’re sleeping!” Cullen had a routine follow up visit with the ENT. It was just a continued follow up for his tubes. Unfortunately, one of the holes has not closed up on its own and his ENT believes that he needs surgery to close the hole. He didn’t feel it was an emergency, so we will probably give it some time before we pursue surgery.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’m working on my photobooks, woo!

Something I learned: If you’re trying to make red, white, and blue jello with the white layer as cool whip, you need to do something with that middle cool whip layer. Otherwise, it’s just going to float to the top and look like a mess. Oh well, at least it still tastes the same!

Something I’m looking forward to: Both kids have sprinkler day on Wednesday, and I think their classes will be together for it. They will be sharing the playground for Maddie’s last 3 days, so they are excited about that. Maddie’s last day is Wednesday, and she will be going to kindergarten on Thursday (her staggered entry day). On Friday, Maddie and I are going to have a “special day.” She has requested to go to lunch at the Shiny Diner and to Pullen Park. We’re going for ice cream when I pick her up on Thursday, too. I’m looking forward to seeing how the first day will go and celebrating with my little girl! I also have my first PTA meeting tomorrow (before Maddie even starts school!). I’ve volunteered to help with the PTA’s website.

Something captured: I can’t believe she starts this week.

The Sunday Somethings, 30jun13

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: We have been getting a lot of use out of the Roku box lately, especially in combination with amazon prime free streaming movies and shows.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about the pirate themed book club that I’m hosting for the kids in July. I need to get my projects organized for that one.

Something happening around the house: Lots of thunderstorms and rain lately.

Something I’m reading: I finished the first book in the Molly Fyde series and now I’m about halfway through book two. I don’t like it quite as much as Gabe, but it is entertaining enough to continue.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished the third book in the Molly Fyde and is now reading the 4th.

Something I’m watching: We are still watching Season 3 of Downton Abbey.

Something I’m playing: We played Guildhall and Las Vegas on Friday and Cinque Terre on Saturday. It was nice to get a chance to play some board games! We’re looking forward to playing more games this Saturday. We’re still playing a lot of Letterpress on the iPhone.

Something I’m creating: I created the trip reports for our NYC trip which started last week and will continue throughout this week.

Something tasty: I splurged on ice cream at book club this week and then again Friday night. MMmmmm.. Ben & Jerry’s and Cold Stone. Yum.

Something about both kiddos: They really want to watch the Star Wars movies. Considering how little they know about the movies, it’s entertaining to see how interested they are in it. I see the Lego Death Star in our future which will be as entertaining for Gabe and I as it will be for the kids!

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): I asked Maddie what her favorites things were this morning. She said, “chocolate, playing with my friends, ice cream, chocolate ice cream, all the desserts that ever could be except white chocolate and peanut butter.” Maddie had sprinkler day this week, and she was very excited about it and her new flip flops. Missing sprinkler day seemed to be one of her big anxieties about starting kindergarten. Fortunately, she will be able to have two before her first day. Whew! She finished up her last swimming lessons of this set, and we cancelled the next set. We decided it wasn’t going to be a good idea for Maddie to have swimming lessons when she first starts kindergarten. Plus, this last session was basically a waste of money. The instructor coddled Maddie, which Maddie will let you do. Maddie didn’t learn anything and even regressed a bit. We will try lessons again in the fall, but we’re thinking about trying a new place. We were happy with some of the instructors but not all of them that she has had at the current place. I can’t believe that Maddie starts kindergarten next week. She loves her new backpack! I’m eager to find out who her teacher is so that we can get the supply list and the rest of her school supplies. Maddie didn’t bite her brother this week, so I guess that’s progress? Maddie’s favorite thing at home these days is to “play kindergarten” or school.

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): We ran out of our pull-ups and decided to give nighttime underwear another try. So far, he’s done really well. He has been dry every morning, so maybe this time will be permanent! Cullen is really into being a super hero or an angry bird and goes around swishing imaginary swords and throwing spider webs. He’s not great at listening, in general, and has particular issues staying at the dinner table. He also likes to throw fits and make demands when he is upset about something, but that doesn’t work out too well for him. He lost his privilege for stories tonight, and I was surprised that he didn’t throw a giant fit about it when I put him to bed. He tried to get a book, and I reminded him gently that he lost his story time (by not listening earlier in the evening). The last time that happened, he threw a giant fit and lost his story time including my offer to make up stories while laying with him. Tonight, he put the book down and climbed into bed and calmly asked if I could make up stories. We made up several stories together, and it was a much more pleasant bedtime. It seems like sometimes they do learn.

Something I am struggling with: Allergies or a cold or something…

Something I learned: I learned that my vitamin D levels are finally great – right in the middle of the normal range (maybe even a little higher). My vitamin B12, however, is low. I guess that means more supplements for me…

Something I’m looking forward to: We have appointments, as usual. I feel like we’ve been drowning in appointments lately. We’re looking forward to a birthday party on July 4th (and a day off) and games night next weekend.

Something captured: Two interesting skies captured with the iPhone this week.

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, 05feb12

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: I finally finished Cullen’s 2-year old letter. I plan to post it tomorrow. Whew, it’s a long one!

Something I’m thinking: Guess I better start on Maddie’s 4-year old letter soon!!! Time is flying.

Something I’m hoping: I hope we’ll be able to have our rescheduled games night this week.

Something happening around the house: We had a party with family and Maddie and Cullen’s closest friends yesterday, and Gabe’s mom has been spending the weekend with us. We’ve had a great time, though I’m pretty tired!

Something I’m reading: I don’t know if I will finish Peter and Wendy or not. I’m over halfway finished, but I’m just not all that interested in reading it. I started Snow Flower and the Secret Fan after it finally becoming available for me on the kindle at the library.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s almost finished with Fall of Hyperion.

Something I’m watching: We watched Moneyball again with Gabe’s mom (she had not seen it). I really like that movie, which is surprising considering it’s a baseball movie and all.

Something I’m playing: Fruit Ninja! Maddie also got Zingo for her birthday, and she loves it!

Something I’m creating: Cullen’s letter. Hopefully, this week I can get back to the trip reports. I have other photos I need to sort through as well. I have thousands of unsorted photos. It’s ridiculous. Oh, and I am painting a piggy bank for Cullen. It’s a dragon – he’s going to be so excited when it’s finished.

Something tasty: Birthday cake, yum!

Something about both kiddos: They had their joint birthday party with a Mickey and Minnie theme. We decided to keep it small this year with 4 total kids (the ones that we see most often outside of school). I made a Mickey cake and cupcakes with little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse character cupcake toppers. Maddie was fascinated with the icing tinting process. I look forward to decorating cakes together in the future.

Something Maddie is doing (47 months old): She was so excited about her birthday party, which she realized wasn’t her “actual birthday.” She was very into getting presents, but she appeared to be more interested in opening them than what was inside. We need to teach her some manners about the presents as she several times said to Grandma, “where are my other presents?” I think it might be because she knew we had other presents to open that we still haven’t gotten to yet (from others). We like to spread them out a bit when we can. She has been playing with each of her new toys quite a bit, so they all seem to be big hits. Sometime this week, Daddy belched, and Maddie said, “Excuse you, Daddy!!!” We were talking about college in the car, and she said that Cullen needed a piggy bank so that he could go to college. She remembers a discussion she had with Daddy about how she can make money if she goes to college to “learn a job,” and she thought she could put that money in her piggy bank. I thought that the preschooler logic was great – therefore, Cullen needs to have a piggy bank so he can go to college! She has been practicing her balance bike skills and is getting better and better at coasting on it. She got a 100-piece puzzle from the birthday party, and she’s already put it together once. She needed a little encouragement here and there, but she pretty much put it together fairly quickly all by herself. She had a fever tonight, so she will be missing school tomorrow. We can’t seem to get well around here.

Something Cullen is doing (24 months old): Cullen also enjoyed the birthday party. He was a little embarrassed when everyone sang, “Happy Birthday.” He made a huge, happy mess of the cupcake, though!!! He loves his new toys as well. He has a new book, “Happy Hippo, Angry Duck.” The book explores many different emotions, and we act out each one. It’s adorable to see his different faces. I need to figure out a way to get it on video. This week, he told Maddie, “I’m angry at you, Maddie.” He shrieks at her (and sometimes at us), but we learned that he doesn’t do this at school. In the grocery store, he pointed to a bag of Starbucks coffee and said, “We have those at school. Hannah needs those!” Hannah is one of his teachers. He will be moving to his new classroom a week from tomorrow.

Something I am struggling with: I’ve had some bad headaches the past couple of days. I hope I’m not getting sick.

Something I’m looking forward to: Finishing the dragon piggy bank, another ballet class for Maddie, dinner and games with friends, and games night.

Something captured: Maddie and Cullen getting ready to make a wish!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 03apr11

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Something that makes me happy: Playing games with friends!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about when our next games night will be…

Something happening around the house: We had about 40 people at our house yesterday for games “night!” I am pretty sure that’s a record attendance for us! Wow! Gabe didn’t expect for Kentucky to be in the Final Four, so he lost some gaming time while he was watching the game by himself in the bedroom (it was too stressful to watch with people!).

Something I’m reading: I decided not to read A Clash of Kings at the moment and started The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I didn’t give myself much time to read this week as I was focusing on my photobooks. I finished my first volume for 2010. I am pretty sure I will need 2 more volumes. I maxed out the first 12×12 volume at 101 pages.

Something I’m watching: Baseball’s opening day was this week, so too much baseball was on our TV. Gabe’s sad that he got the internet baseball package instead of getting the better DirecTV package.

Something I’m playing: I actually got to play some games yesterday. Yay! I played Expedition, Klunker, two games of Mosaix, Taboo, Wordigo, and half a game of Set. I feel like I’m forgetting something else that I played… I haven’t played Set in a few years, so I was a little rusty. I downloaded the iPhone app this morning, so maybe I can get some practice before my next match.

Something tasty: I’m hoping that the beef stew that we have cooking in the crockpot will be tasty. It smells good!

Something Maddie is doing (37 months old): Earlier today, Cullen and Maddie were eating by themselves at the table. Cullen got to the point in the meal where he starts throwing food on the floor. Maddie gently and firmly said to him, “Cullen, that is not OK. Don’t throw food on the floor. Look me in the eye, Cullen. It is not OK to do that. You need to do the right thing.” Ha! I guess she is actually listening sometimes. I think she’s still having a rough time with her transition at preschool. This week we had a bit of a breakthrough with dinner. She is so wiggly, and we have to tell her over and over to sit still and to stay in her seat. Early this week, she was driving me crazy with all the times I had to tell her to get back into her chair. She has started picking up Cullen’s straw cup when he throws it (and he’ll do that over and over). It’s sweet the first few times, but then Maddie doesn’t focus on her dinner. So, I gave her a couple of playing cards and told her that every time she gets up from the chair, she has to give me a card. She can watch Mickey Mouse before bedtime only if she has a card left at the end of the meal. When she asks to be excused from the table, she has to scrape her plate into the trash (she was getting mad when we threw her food away after she said she was done). It worked like a charm!! She now gets 3 cards at the beginning of dinner, and if she has one card left at the end, she gets to watch Mickey Mouse before bed. If she has all 3 cards (and she eats a good dinner), then she gets a special treat like a couple of jelly beans or mini marshmallows. The last two times we have done this, she had all 3 cards left at the end of the meal. This is a huge breakthrough for us! I hope it lasts.

Something Cullen is doing (14 months old): Cullen is practically running now. We are amused by how he just decided last Sunday that walking was the thing to do, and now he barely crawls at all. It’s so cute to see him toddling around! He added some more words this week. Some of his new words this week were water, more, star, hat, box, and bubbles. I’ve also forgotten to mention that he points and says, “that” often. This morning, he pointed to Annabelle and said, “Annaboo” which was about the cutest thing ever. He said it multiple times throughout the day. It was adorable. He’s been crankier than usual off and on this past week. It may be due to the cold he has had or teething (his top two teeth are through the gums) or another ear infection. He had a few rough nights this week, too. He’s loving on stuffed animals and the dolls more. He will also pass them to us and say, “awwww,” urging us to hug the doll or stuffed animal and say, “awwwwwww.” This evening, I was blowing raspberries on his chubby baby cheeks, and he was giggling and loving it. He kept turning his cheek to me so that I could do it again. Then he gave me a series of wet, slobbery kisses all over my face. Extreme cuteness is sometimes messy.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: The Walk MS event is this week. I contacted another local company this week in the hopes that they do fundraising events. I haven’t heard back from them yet. More on that later, if it pans out… We are still quite a ways away from our $8,000 goal. I hope that we will get some last minute donations this week.

Something I learned: I learned a couple new games.

Something I’m looking forward to: Walk MS!

Something captured: Maddie made a necklace at school and put it on Cullen after school.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 13feb11

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Something that makes me happy: Getting caught up with thank you notes from Cullen’s birthday and from Team B-Patrol donations received so far. I’m going to try to keep up with those better this year.

Something I’m thinking: I’ve been thinking about our mortgage and kinda wishing that we hadn’t refinanced into a 15 year mortgage in mid-2009. We have a great rate, at least! A 15-year mortgage does make for a hefty mortgage payment, though…

Something I’m hoping: I hope that we can meet our fundraising goals for Team B-Patrol this year. I’ve been working on some of my fundraising efforts this weekend.

Something happening around the house: We had games night yesterday. Yay! The train table is currently in the living room so that we would have room for card tables in the library. It’s something different for the kids right now, but we won’t be keeping the train table there permanently!

Something I’m reading: I finished Mockingjay, yay! Now I’m ready for our book club meeting next week when we’ll be discussing The Hunger Games series as well as Rebecca. I started on Still Alice, which is our selection for March. I’m looking forward to getting back to books on the kindle, but the last few books have been print ones. Gabe is reading Nurture Shock. I’m glad that he wanted to read it, and I’m looking forward to reading that one, too! Of course, it’s another print book that we already own. Gabe will be getting his kindle tomorrow!!! He should have received it on Thursday, but UPS screwed up and “lost” our package. Gabe didn’t know about it until Saturday when I told him why I was so anxious to receive the amazon package. I’m sure he wondered why I was itching to get the diaper bag that we ordered!

Something I’m watching: I’m watching the Grammy Awards while writing this. I don’t usually watch them, but everyone on Facebook kept writing updates, so I felt like checking it out.

Something I’m playing: We played Tikal on Friday night. That was the first time that I had played that one in years. Yesterday, at our games night, I played Dominion twice (the first time we had a card combination that did not work well! the second time was more fun) and Agricola. That was the first time that I had played Agricola since TBGT. What a difference it made to play by the correct scoring rules! We were all learning or relearning, so almost everyone was able to redo something due to a misunderstanding of the rules. I am very interested in playing Agricola sometime where everyone has played at least once. I think it will make a big difference.

Something tasty: I’m back on dairy products again! This is the first time in a while that I was able to eat the pizza at games night. I’m still trying to consume dairy products in moderation, but it seems like Cullen is doing well with it.

Something Maddie is doing (35 months old): Maddie drew me a picture of our family for the first time this week. It was adorable, and I’m planning on a separate post about it (though I know I often have intentions and then don’t get around to doing it). This afternoon, Maddie created Valentine’s for all of her classmates. She drew a picture of each classmate, sometimes with herself, sometimes with other kids, sometimes by themselves. She decorated with stickers and told me what the kids were doing in the pictures. I loved them all! She has started showing more interest in writing her letters. Most of her letters don’t end up looking like anything, but she has been able to copy some of my examples. She’s been very sweet with her little brother this week. She tells him everything is going to be ok when he’s crying, and she gets toys and books for him. One night this week, she started crying not long after she went to bed. She said, “I need my Mommy…and my Daddy…and my baby brother!” It was very sweet!

Something Cullen is doing (12 months old): Cullen has had a rough week, poor little guy. He had a fever for several days, so we were home together from school and work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. He felt pretty miserable for several of those days. We went to the doctor for a total of 3 times, and we’ll have a follow up in a few weeks. He was first diagnosed with croup. The following day, he was diagnosed with an ear infection in his left ear, in addition to his croup/cold (which may have been RSV). On Tuesday night, his fever came back and he was diagnosed with a double ear infection on Wednesday (and it obviously wasn’t responding to the first antibiotic). He seems like he is feeling much better. He hated both antibiotics (and is still taking the second one). We are giving him just the augmentin (the one that he didn’t respond to was the cefdinar). He has been putting objects inside of containers a lot lately. He’s loving the game of putting things into things and taking them out again. He has been having fun putting together blocks and is so proud of himself. He loves walking with the walker wagon and riding in the walker wagon. Maddie and Cullen had a lot of fun when we put both portable booster seats on the floor. Maddie arranged them like a “train” and both kids sat and laughed in the train. Cullen is doing great with the introduction to dairy! I’ve decided to stop pumping, since he should be ok with cow’s milk at school. We’re doing a combination of cow’s milk and coconut milk to supplement the breastmilk that he will be receiving for a few more days. He’s still nursing at lunch during the school day and in the evenings and at night (and during the day when we’re at home together). I was very thankful that we were still nursing when he was sick earlier this week. It’s so easy to comfort him and ensure that he’s getting enough nourishment when he doesn’t feel well.

Something I am struggling with: Laryngitis! I lost my voice about an hour before games night started. I don’t feel too bad, otherwise, though I had a much needed nap today (thanks to my awesome hubby). I’m sure it helped me to get some extra rest. I still don’t have my voice back!

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I had my final cake decorating class this week. I had so much fun with the class, and I look forward to making more fun cakes. I’m planning to make the cake (and cupcakes?) for Maddie’s party in a couple weeks, a cake for my sister’s birthday (she requested one), a baby shower cake, and my nephew’s graduation cake. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of other cake making opportunities to try out my new skills! I started more fundraising efforts this week for Team B-Patrol‘s fundraising for the National MS Society.

Something I learned: I know I’m late to the party, but Pandora is pretty cool. I finally started using it in the past week or so. I haven’t exactly “discovered” any new music this way, but I have bookmarked some stuff that I want to possibly purchase.

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie’s 3rd birthday and the start of our celebrations for her!

Something random: Cullen loves playing with the remote. Sometimes, he records random stuff on our DVR. This week, he recorded America’s Funniest Videos and Dr. Phil.

Something captured: We had snow this week – just the right amount! Most of the snow had melted by lunch. I took this one with my iPhone using the 100 cameras app.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 23jan11

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Something that makes me happy: Pajama days!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about all the things on my personal “to do” list including address some thank you notes from Christmas (yes, I’m slow, but I did manage to write them!), write some thank you notes for Cullen’s birthday, write/send Maddie’s birthday party invites, write Cullen’s 1-year letter, and countless tasks with photos and video.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to get some more blog posts written soon. I was really on a roll with writing up posts and scheduling them several days in advance. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of prescheduled posts.

Something happening around the house: We hosted Cullen’s 1st birthday party yesterday. We had a great time celebrating Little Man’s birthday!

Something I’m reading: I’m about 70% through The Girl Who Played with Fire (thanks to the kindle for letting me know the percentage). I’m more into the book now, but I swear both books have taken forever to get interesting. I hear that I’m going to have to read the next one since this one ends in a cliffhanger or something…so I guess I’ll read it, too. I’m loving the kindle!!! I’m probably going to read Mockingjay (in printed book form, sadly) next since our book club plans to discuss the series at our February meeting. We’re also supposed to read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I wish it was on kindle! I did manage to borrow a copy from a friend, but I haven’t gotten the motivation to start it yet.

Something I’m watching: We’ve been watching more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse this week. Maddie has been more interactive with the show. She always says, “Oh, Toooooooodles….” when it’s time to use a mousekatool. She answers some of their questions, too. It’s pretty cute! And, of course we always do the hot dog dance at the end!

Something I’m playing: We played Euchre with my parents. We also found a renewed interest in Angry Birds on our iPhones. I played a little on my mom’s iPad, too. We got my dad hooked on it!

Something tasty: I think I ate too much cake and buttercream frosting this week.

Something Maddie is doing (35 months old): We had orientation for her preschool this week. We are excited (and a little nervous) about this upcoming change. We assume that she will be moving up to the preschool shortly after her birthday next month. She keeps talking about how she’s going to go to Children’s House when she’s 3. I’m not sure that she quite understands what all that means, but she does know that some of her friends have moved up to Children’s House. It’s a big deal in the 2-year old room. She has also been talking about who she wants to invite to her party. She wants to invite all the girls and 3 boys. She’s very specific about this. And, she wants a cake with purple icing. I guess I’m going to have to make her a special side cake as I’m planning to make the Winnie the Pooh cake for her to match the theme.

Something Cullen is doing (12 months old): He’s now a big ONE YEAR OLD! I can’t believe it. We had a party on Saturday with a few of his classroom buddies and family and friends. I think that Cullen had a good time. Cullen is a big eater, and I thought for sure that he would dig into his smash cake and make a huge mess. He barely got his fingers dirty. He didn’t get any cake on his face. We opened up the cake for him after a little bit, and he ate some of it. He still didn’t make a big mess. Oh, well! Cullen has been eating huge meals this week. He still loves chicken the best. Cullen often eats more chicken than his sister. There isn’t much that he won’t eat, and he gets excited when you bring food to his tray almost regardless of what it is. He especially gets excited for the coconut yogurt and applesauce. He didn’t take any more steps this week, but is cruising like crazy and walking with the walker wagon. His new trick is to climb into the walker wagon where he will sit waiting for someone to push him (and sometimes stand). Today, he climbed in and out of the wagon probably 30 times. He’s doing more climbing at school and apparently is peering down into the other babies’ cribs at naptime and tries to wake them. He has climbed the bookshelves and the lunch table. If the teachers don’t get him out of his chair when he wants out, he takes matters into his own hands and climbs onto the table. These are sure signs that he’s ready to move up to the toddler room! I’m a little nervous about him moving up before he can walk, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. He will probably be motivated to walk once he sees all the other kids doing it.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I attended my first cake class which gave me just enough information to do Cullen’s birthday cake. My second cake class is tomorrow.

Something I learned: This whole cake decorating thing is a bit of an investment. It’s also quite tedious!!! I’m still planning to do a cake for Maddie’s birthday, but I now know I better take a vacation day to prepare that one, too. I’m very glad I decided to take Friday off to work on Cullen’s cake. Preschool orientation took up most of the morning, but the rest of the day was spent baking and icing.

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to my second cake decorating class and to book club! I just realized today that book club is this week.

Something random: One of the ladies in the cake class was also in our birthing class over 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Maddie.

Something captured: We had to put his hat on his head a dozen times to get this photo. Each time he kept it on his head for about 2 seconds.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 19dec10

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Something that makes me happy: Baking and creating in the kitchen! I think I’ve finally justified the need for a Kitchenaid mixer. I have wanted one for a very long time. Too bad that I didn’t figure this out a few weeks ago. I’ll have to wish for one next year!

Something I’m thinking: I am itching to get my 2010 photobooks done, but I know I won’t get much time for that until at least after Christmas.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that the weather doesn’t interfere with our plans to host our families at various times over the holiday break. I can’t believe that it isn’t even officially winter yet, and we’ve already had like 4 different winter events (and the bitterly cold temperatures in the teens – brrrrrr!!!! Our heating bill is going to be insane this time).

Something happening around the house: I’ve gone through several iterations of destroying and cleaning up the kitchen in the last few days!

Something I’m reading: I’ve made a half-hearted attempt to start reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’ve been busy.

Something I’m watching: I forgot to mention that we watched the finale of Amazing Race, and I can’t wait for next season’s “second chance” edition!!! Woohoo! I see some favorites returning.

Something tasty: I updated my recipes to include the cupcake bites and the mint variation on OREO truffles. I’m going to try making peanut butter OREO truffles today. Friday night, I made red velvet cupcake bites. Saturday, I made Chex Mix, ginger snaps, and Devil’s Food cake cupcake bites. I’ve already made 4 batches (well, two double batches) of Chex Mix. I think I might make another 4 batches before the end of the year. I have to make the original oven recipe. The microwave version just won’t do. I love Chex Mix…YUM! I’ve been making the batches dairy free (for me!), and I still think it’s great. I plan on making a few vegan batches later this week (did you know that regular Worchestershire sauce has anchovies? I have some vegan Worchestershire sauce so I can make Chex Mix for my vegetarian friends).

Something Maddie is doing (33 months old): Maddie is quite the helper in the kitchen! She watched me make some things and was just as excited as she would be helping. She helped me mix batters, helped me pour in ingredients, and was almost solely responsible for coating the ginger snaps in sugar before putting them in the oven. She’s pretty good about listening when I tell her to stand near the kitchen sink and away from the oven when opening and closing the oven door. Her best friend’s family gave her a Christmas apron as a gift, and she loves wearing it while we “make things.” Her classroom had their holiday party on Friday, and we decorated gingerbread houses. I think Maddie was the only one who wasn’t eating more candy than they were using to decorate! I had told her that she couldn’t eat the candy when we made the train from the kit last week since gingerbread house kit candy is a bit sketchy. The candy at her holiday party wasn’t sketchy, but I let her continue to believe that the candy was just for decorating. She has had a few M&Ms while we’ve been baking (and has sampled pieces of the ginger cookies). Oh, and her bedtime has continued to be terrible! I hope that this is just a short phase. She hasn’t been falling asleep until after 10pm. She does better when we put her to bed later than her usual 8pm bedtime. We’re going to have to try to shift her bedtime back to 8pm. It’s been nice on the weekend, as we’ve had more time in the evenings to bake together, and she’s been sleeping until almost 9am in the mornings!!! That’s unheard of for Maddie. She is much more likely to get up at 6:30am than she is to sleep past 7:15am on any day. Unfortunately, this routine won’t work for our daily work/school schedule. Hopefully, we can work on this while on our holiday break together. We have to keep an eye on her these days with Cullen. She tends to want to push him out of her way when he’s trying to get one of her toys. We are constantly working on her to not snatch things from him, regardless of whether they are “her” special toys or not. When we tell her to go to time out, she is not usually happy about it but goes to the time out corner without a fight. She tends to do a good job about staying there until we allow her to leave. She then tells us what she did wrong and what she can do instead (push her shopping cart instead of push her brother, tell a parent to remove Cullen from her domain instead of scream and push her brother, etc). She doesn’t get sent to time out for many reasons unrelated to her brother.

Something Cullen is doing (47 weeks old): Cullen’s holiday party was also on Friday. One of his teachers inspired me to give the cupcake bites a try since she made cake bites for the party. I haven’t been able to eat them since they are not dairy free, but everyone seems to like them. Cullen is excited about his new egg shakers (which is a good thing since Santa is bringing him a few more). Cullen’s last two nights have been so much more pleasant. That’s not to say that he didn’t wake up or nurse during the night. He still did that, but he went back to sleep pretty easily and didn’t scream all night. I’ll take that every night for sure. I think he also didn’t join us in bed until after midnight both nights, but I’m not always sure what time Gabe goes up to get him. Since the last two days also involved him not taking his antibiotic (which still involves a huge screaming fit each time), I’m not sure whether the two events are related or not. Perhaps the antibiotic is still the culprit?? I don’t remember if I have mentioned his separation anxiety in these things. He is very attached to his parents right now (especially me), and he does not like it when we leave the room, especially when we leave him at daycare. We found out this week that Cullen doesn’t like it when Gabe leaves him either, so it’s not just a Mommy thing.

Something I am struggling with: I can’t find the spare battery for my little camera. We tried to find it before Thanksgiving, and I still can’t find it. Maybe it will turn up after we shuffle around everything for Christmas?

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been doing pretty well with my mini goals. I sent out the majority of my cards yesterday, as planned. I have a few more that were lacking addresses and the ones for the teachers. I hope to make some more ginger snaps, schedule a few blog posts, and wrap presents today. Oh, and I finally got Cullen’s letter finished up and posted yesterday!

Something I learned: I learned how to make cupcake bites. Mine don’t look as awesome as Bakerella’s, but I was excited about how cute they turned out!

Something I’m looking forward to: Christmas!!!!!! I love Christmas!!!!

Something random: The other day, I thought of the perfect gift idea on the way from my office to the parking lot. I used the amazon.com app on my phone, found what I wanted to get, ordered it, and it was on my doorstep two days later. It was a lovely combination of two things that I have come to love in the past year or so – amazon prime and having a smartphone (specifically an iPhone).

Something captured: Our family at Maddie’s party at school

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey