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The Sunday Somethings, 02oct11

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Something that makes me happy: The timing of the refinance and the final payment of our cruise was excellent. We both closed on the refinance and put the final cruise payment on our credit card on Wednesday.

Something I’m reading: I got notification that my first library kindle book was available for download. I started and finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I look forward to discussing it at our November book club meeting. I’m also reading Rebel Angels. We discussed the first book of that series at book club this week, and the club’s opinions were mixed. I like the series just well enough to keep reading it, but I don’t think I’d highly recommend it.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s still reading Mistborn.

Something I’m watching: Too many shows! Not enough time!

Something I’m playing: My development team played a game of 7 Wonders during lunch on Friday.

Something tasty: I finally got my very own stand mixer, and I made Triple Chip Cookies. Yum!

Something about both kiddos: Catherine came to take photos of us! I can’t wait to see them.

Something Maddie is doing (43 months old): She continues to add new lessons at school. Today, she did some sort of “number roll” which involved the numbers 1-9 and counting out stones for each number. I’m not surprised that she did well on this one, but she apparently impressed her teachers!

Something Cullen is doing (20 months old): Every week, it’s the same update, but I continue to be impressed with his vocabulary. It’s impossible to catalog everything new that he is saying each week. He adds words and sentence structure. This week, he saw a school bus pass us and said, “I saw a school bus!” We walked past two double strollers of babies at daycare, and he said, “lots of babies!” and just after that we passed a bunch of rocks and he said, “lots of rocks!” He continues to be my sweet little boy. He has started to get really good at bedtime stalling techniques, mostly in the form of asking for lots of hugs and kisses from anyone around. And I think I’ll fall for it every time because it’s so ridiculously sweet.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We paid for the cruise on Allure of the Seas, so we’re that much closer to fulfilling our mega-ship goal!

Something I learned: I learned how to get a kindle book from the library (and how to return it when finished). Aside from the potentially long waiting list, it was a very easy process!

Something I’m looking forward to: Gabe’s birthday, dinner/games with friends, the zoo, and the pumpkin patch. Big week! Our plans for the mountains this weekend fell through, but I think we’ll be spending time with the same friends at the zoo instead. The weather should be perfect!

Something captured: My newest little kitchen helper. My sweet boy!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 08may11

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Something that makes me happy: Taking the kids to the park.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about getting the cleaners to come more often. When the cleaners were once a month, we were thinking that about 3 weeks would be perfect. Now that they are coming every 3 weeks, I think that every other week would be perfect. I think there’s something to the fact that we’ve added two kiddos to the household since we started having cleaners.

Something happening around the house: We removed a tree this week. I’m sad about it, but it was dangerous structurally to our house, our neighbor’s house, our fence, and our satellite dish.

Something I’m reading: I finished House Rules and started on Honolulu by Alan Brennert. I enjoyed Moloka’i, so I have been looking forward to reading another one of his books. It has not disappointed so far! I will probably finish it in the next few days. I suppose I will need to read Sarah’s Key next for book club. I’ve been doing such a great job reading from the books we own and need to read. I think I’ll probably buy Sarah’s Key on the kindle so I can actually use it. I feel like once I get through the physical books we already have, I’ll probably buy new books on the kindle. I’m disappointed, though, that Sarah’s Key is not a lendable title. Boo.

Something I’m watching: I saw Water for Elephants with girlfriends who had also read the book. The novel is one of my favorites, and the movie was a very good screen adaptation!

Something I’m playing: We had games night yesterday, and since it is Mother’s Day weekend, Gabe let me play while he tended to the kids. I played Call My Bluff (twice), Stone Age, Appletters, Scattegories, and Trivial Pursuit 25th Anniversary Edition.

Something tasty: Chocolate chip banana muffins. I’ll post the recipe in a few days. They were YUMMY!

Something Maddie is doing (38 months old): We had Muffins for Mom in her classroom this week. The kids served their mothers first and then themselves. After we finished our muffins and strawberries, we had some time to explore the classroom. Maddie showed me her favorite work: making necklaces. She was stringing beads and said, “I’m making this for you, Mommy.” Awww. So sweet! She had already made a necklace for me with a laminated pendant with her photo as well as a ribbon and beads. It was great, and I wore both necklaces proudly all day at work and this weekend. This week, Maddie wrote her name for the first time! It surprised Gabe and me!! I was so proud of her.

Something Cullen is doing (15 months old): We’ve completely lost track of Cullen’s new words. I know he is saying new ones every day. Just today, he said “egg” and “stick” possibly for the first time. Cullen had a Mother’s Day event in his classroom and made me a box that matches one that Maddie made for me in the same classroom. Cullen painted it himself (perhaps with a little help), and it has an adorable photo of him on the top. This week, Cullen has been super sweet. One day, I asked him if he can give me some kisses and he leaned in with his wide open mouth to “kiss” my face. He did this numerous times this week. It’s so sweet, and he says something like “awwwww” at the same time. he’s also getting good at things like pointing at his belly when asked, “where’s your belly?” He had some very rough nights this week, including a few that may be his worst ever. He is continuing to recover from his surgery, but I’ll be glad when he’s completely healed. Cullen continues to be a big climber. Yesterday, Gabe turned away from Cullen for less than a minute. When he turned around, Cullen was sitting on top of a card table.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but we have both kids signed up for swimming lessons this summer.

Something I learned: Shutterfly made an announcement this week that I’m very excited about! They have released their truly custom books. I can’t wait to try them out. It sounds like you can put images and text wherever you want them. They also have something called embellishments that are like stickers in traditional scrapbooking. I’m going to finish my 2010 books the old way (there’s no way to convert existing projects anyway).

Something I’m looking forward to: Carpet cleaning, a special day for Cullen (as I did with Maddie when she turned one), a big party at work (I hear there will be fireworks!), and our Wine & Design fundraising event.

Something random: I learned this week that Cullen was ranked number 413 for boys’ names in 2010. At least with Cullen’s name, we were not mislead by the popularity ranking.

Something captured: We went to the park this afternoon, and I tried to get a photo with the kids like I did last Mother’s Day. It’s like herding cats.

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

To kindle or not to kindle…that WAS the question

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I’ve been quite conflicted about the whole kindle thing. I resisted for a while, but I knew that this year would be the year that we got an eReader. Sure enough, the kindle is on its way. (UPDATE: It arrived this evening!!! I haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but I’m excited!)

I have had several reasons that I didn’t want to go the eReader route. My two main reasons contradict each other.

First, I wasn’t sure that I would like it. I don’t like to read large amounts of material on the computer or on my phone. It’s fine for webpages and blog entries and news articles, but I’m not so sure about something more than 5-10 pages long. After seeing a friend’s kindle, I’m more and more convinced that reading it is more like reading a book (from a visual standpoint) than it is reading a bright computer screen or iPhone. It doesn’t exactly feel like a book in my hands, but the case helps with that somewhat.

Second, I was worried I would like it too much! This could have multiple issues as I have a stack shelves of books that we need to read (more on that later). I’m worried that once I go the eReader route that I won’t want to read an actual, print book ever again! I have books on my shelves that I definitely want to read, and getting the kindle threatens the success of that mission. In addition, I love my library. I don’t want to get rid of my books. I like having them. I like being able to lend them. I like the way that they look. I’m scared that I will not want to get any new physical books, and I’m worried that the kindle will render our book collection obsolete. Hopefully, I won’t want to get rid of our book collection. What in the world would I do with our beautiful library shelves? I’m certainly not getting rid of those – they were an investment, to say the least!

I was not convinced when I learned the price of eBooks. I feel like I’m getting something when I buy a book. It’s hard for me to feel the same when I’m buying bits that I can’t physically organize onto a shelf. Somehow buying a virtual book that I might not read feels a lot more wasteful than a physical book that I might not read. I think this may very well change my buying habits. I don’t actually need to buy a book before I want to read it, unless it is on sale or free. And overall, I’ll save money as the eBooks are still usually cheaper than the full priced paperback versions. I have seen lots of resources (in the past few days) alerting kindle users to book deals, including a ton of free books. It seems like eBooks do not have to be expensive.

Gabe still thinks we’ll want to get some books in their physical form. I am not 100% sure, but he’s probably right. I don’t think that it will be many, assuming we both embrace reading on the kindle. Either way, we both have a lot of reading to do. I’ll post our “to read” lists of books from our bookshelves next…