Thursday, January 26, 2012

So. Stinkin'. Excited.

Why, you may ask? Because Isaac only had one accident yesterday, and he's on track for zero today! This is BEYOND a record for him. Plus, he used a public toilet yesterday - an auto-flush one! Seriously, I don't think I've ever been so excited about anything in my life.
You know what's almost as exciting? Jonathan is jealous of the underpants. Not planning to potty train that one any time soon, but here's hoping that the jealousy works to make the next one a little easier...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Newsletter Post

I always have good intentions of posting up-to-date pictures on the blog... The road to newsletter-style blog posts is paved with good intentions though, right? Here's the end of the Christmas photos:

Isaac was excited to get the kid version of Blokus. We now have 3 different versions of the game. The boys just like sorting the pieces by color more than anything else, but at least we've got tons of pieces for sorting!

Jon was seriously serious about the present opening business.

He got pretty good at it too. I think all the practice tearing up my junk mail paid off!

He was most happy about spending time with his daddy though.

So was Isaac.

AND a holiday isn't a holiday around here without either the zoo or the museum. We decided it was FAR too cold to brave the zoo, so we hit up the last week of  T. Rex Encounter at the museum. The boys enjoyed it more than they had the last few times (the dino robots are less scary now that they're used to them). I think a good time was had by all. Isaac is now counting down the days until the chameleons will be on exhibit... Only two more weeks!

In case you were wondering, no, we didn't finish the basement this week... We tried hard, but it was pretty much impossible. We were all taking turns being SUPER grouchy. When Mark went in for therapy this week, he mentioned the bad mood, and was told that a few other patients were experiencing the same thing. Apparently, it's just something going around. Weird. Hopefully we'll all be back to our happy selves quickly here!
The basement may not have gotten finished, but we already started on the next project: the kitchen. Here's the thing with our kitchen - it pretty much needs a total overhaul. We sat down and started looking at what really needed to be done, and realized we shouldn't replace the sink (deep scratches, leaky faucet) until we're ready to replace the counter tops (installed wrong, cracked next to the oven), which we shouldn't do until we're ready to replace the cabinets (at least two are pretty much unusable), which we shouldn't do until we're ready to rip out and raise the ceiling (which is only 7 feet high), which we shouldn't do until we're ready to upgrade the electrical (currently not up to code).  So, we're utilizing somewhat temporary fixes until we've saved up enough to redo the entire kitchen... It'll be a few years. We had some pretty urgent needs in there though, like a lock on the pantry door (the boys get into it all the time). Once those things are taken care of, it's just a matter of organization. Why is it that "just" organization sounds so easy?
In other news, Mark celebrated a birthday this week. He's officially too old for his long-haired driver's license picture now. Finally. We didn't have much of a celebration because we were all too grumpy, but I am DEFINITELY glad to have him around! He makes my life much less boring than it was without him. Sorry it's so belated, but Happy Birthday Mark!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


A whole collection of random thoughts for the week:

Basement - CARPETED! With carpet that isn't alive! I'm pretty stinkin' excited - can you tell? We got the painting done except for a couple places along the ceiling where I still need to touch up the cuts (my wrists and back can't handle it anymore though, so it'll have to wait). I broke the desk when we were trying to move it out of the room, so it'll need some repairing before moving it back in - which better happen soon, because it's blocking my washing machine... No pictures yet, because I want to finish it all before I post. Just know that it's pretty stinkin' fabulous, and I'm excited to spend time in my new basement.

Exercise - Nancy and I have finally gotten back into a walking groove - I think... We only made it 2.25 miles this afternoon, but it was Sunday after all. I've been working on my AM yoga again (I love Rodney Yee). Isaac enjoys it a lot. He was a little upset that I dumped Jillian Michaels though, since he's quite partial to her "30 Day Shred", but he's putting up with the change. He still giggles every time he does his version of Sun Salutes with me. Mark walks about an hour a day, divided, to/from work. He still seems to be enjoying it.

Isaac - Been ESPECIALLY sweet and helpful this week. During Jon's nap, he frequently says to me "Mommy, you look tired. Why don't we go up and snuggle on your bed and you can take a nap?" Then, he'll lay down next to me and pretend to fall asleep (I know because I catch him playing possum) - when I wake up, I tend to find him playing quietly on the computer. It's kind of weird to have him be so self sufficient! (Yes, he's allowed to play while I nap - we save up his computer time just for Jon's nap time.) 
He's also been playing pretend in more helpful ways. One night, he wanted to go out to dinner, but I was already making pizza. I told him we'd have a special restaurant at home called "Mamacita's." I played my alter-ego waitress by putting on my apron and taking "orders" in a little notebook. Isaac thinks this is great, so now he asks to be seated every time we eat dinner. BUT he also helps bus tables and wash dishes - as long as I pretend to be the waitress. Fine by me!
Mark wasn't feeling so great tonight, and mentioned that his back hurt. Isaac told him to lay down so he could rub his back. Then, he went and brought up the whole bag of toy cars from downstairs to drive them over Mark's back to give him a better back rub. How did we get such a sweet boy?!
This week, Isaac informed me that he wanted to be potty trained. His motivation? He wants another brother... (I've said many times that I refuse to have another kid until at least one of these two is potty trained. I guess it sunk in who I was referring to.) Does he ACTUALLY want another brother? Yep. He talks incessantly about another baby brother. Is he ACTUALLY potty trained? Not a bit. He DID go two days doing pretty well. Then our schedule got interrupted, and I think that threw him off. We'll see how it goes this week.

Jon - Had a rough bout with a stomach bug this week. I cleaned a lot of carpet. (Not the new one) Luckily, this illness made him super snuggle-y. He spent pretty much every day this week just sitting on my lap. Unluckily, he was in a kiss-y kind of mood while snuggling - I ended up with the same bug by Friday. 
He's started to learn sympathy - which is pretty darn awesome to watch. If Isaac is crying now, Jon will come pat him on the back and kiss his shoulder/cheek. It's so fun to see his personality really start to develop.
Started saying "banana." Only, it sounds like "lallama." He won't say it every time, usually he still just screams, but I always give him a banana when he actually says it. Does he eat it? 90% of the time he'll just try to put the banana pieces back together and back into the peel...
Spent what time he was up running around this week being chased out of the basement. He seems to be especially attracted to anything that could kill him. Or kill somebody else. Or both.
Discovered he doesn't like cherry tomatoes. I wish I'd gotten a photo of his face. Priceless.

Overall, it's been a good week. We accomplished a lot of goals (I even got the last of the super-80's-style contact paper stripped off the kitchen shelves!), we enjoyed our time as a family, and we ate some good food. The only thing more I can ask for this week is that we'll all feel better!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Computer Died...

BUT, we got the new power supply today, so we're back in business.
Carpet is going in on Saturday!!! Woot! Just got to finish the second coat of paint on the walls and ALL of the trim (plus the repair to the drywall that the stinkin' previous owner decided to do a hack job on when he finished the basement). Oh, and figure out the new light fixture that turned out to be MORE DIM than what we had. I didn't know it was possible to get less light out of a new fixture than the ANCIENT one we had before... Almost all of the furniture is shoved into the food storage room though, since it's not carpeted. Mark is a master Tetris player, and we've finally discovered how those skills can translate usefully to real life. (No, S-boy, I don't think Ziploc baggies would've helped fit things better.)
We've been staying up way too late trying to finish the basement. I'm done. Going to bed earlier tonight - as in: before 11:30, hopefully MUCH before. And hoping that neither kiddo wakes us up at 12:30 this time either. Something amazing happened the other night though - I actually made it to REM sleep! For the first time in... I dunno... The sleep deprivation has made my sense of time falter... Pretty sure it's been more than two weeks though. Before the Spiderman sleeping bag became a fixture on the floor next to the bed. Before the nightly scavenger hunts in the dark for the lost stuffed animals that Isaac can't sleep without (that turned out to be IN HIS HAND the whole time). Before Jon decided to need to watch Mr. Rogers at 2 am in order to feel as though he was a valued member of the household. Uhhh... It's been awhile.
Isaac did fabulously in Primary this week, after a brief meltdown. He realized that Danny and Jason's grandma is the newest member of the presidency, and she was willing to sit by him. Made his day.
Jon still isn't sure about going to nursery on Sundays. I think it's mostly due to the lack of nap time. We have been reassured that he doesn't suffer from his brother's sleep issue - he pops right back to normal schedule on Mondays. Awesome.
One of my piano students kicked booty on the piece she's been working on. Made my day.
Got 5 loads of laundry washed and dried today. One still to go. All still need to be folded and put away... We MAY get to that before laundry day next week...
Finally got the title taken care of for the totaled car. Happiness all around.
Isaac had to retire his favorite green boots. They smelled SOOOOOO bad. He was okay to move on to his faux Crocs with Lightning McQueen on them. I was the one who cried over the loss of the boots, like the lame-o mommy I am.
Jon seems to be moving out of the "I-will-scream-at-everything-all-day-and-all-night-just-because-I-can" phase. Now he just screams about half the time. I'll take what I can get.
Sammy seems to have the doggy version of Alzheimer's. Seriously, I looked it up - it exists, and he shows signs. He's also started behaving BADLY - like stealing food out the the kids' hands (and mine) and jumping all the way on top of the table WHILE I'M WATCHING. He doesn't sleep well - I left his collar off for a week after bathing him so he wouldn't jingle in the middle of the night and wake us all up. He's plenty old enough for canine dementia in his breed. Which brings me to the point: Happy 12th Birthday Sammy!
The train commute still seems to be going well for Mark. It hasn't snowed yet on a weekday though, so we'll see if we're still okay with it after this week.

Does anybody else feel like it's been a long week already? I'm ready for the weekend!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

How did we celebrate? By staying up until midnight? Nope - we attempted to go to bed early. Guess what though? Kids woke us up at midnight - they were rudely awakened by the city fireworks... I guess we can't grumble too much since you're SUPPOSED to not get any sleep on New Year's Eve. So, we rang in the New Year with Mark sleeping in Isaac's bed, trying to get Jon to go back to sleep, and Isaac in bed with me, trying to get him to go back to sleep. Isaac then got up for the day at the point that he decided the sun was up - which was WAY too early, judging by his mood this afternoon. I have no idea what time it actually was though, as I have developed the talent of sleep parenting - apparently, I told him he could get up as long as he left everybody alone and didn't eat anything... I have no recollection of the conversation. Mark reassures me that he's been privy to these kinds of interactions before.
With the new year, we had changes to our Sunday routine. Time change for church - all of Mark's meetings are now before our ward block. The boys and I dropped Mark off for bishopric meeting, then zoomed back home to get ourselves ready for church. Guess what? Neither of the boys have Sunday clothes that fit... I guess we're going shopping this week! I was proud of myself this morning though, because the boys and I made it to church in time for prelude today! Woohoo! That never happens. We're generally 10 minutes late. (Yes, we're THAT family...) The boys were better than usual today, which is always awesome when Mark is sitting on the stand. Keep in mind that doesn't mean we didn't spend some good time out in the foyer. Oh, and Jon totally lost the cap to a marker in the hole where the chapel doors lock into the floor... (I couldn't rescue the cap during the closing song, but I DID fix the door before prayer.) THEN, the coolest thing happened: Isaac went to primary and Jonathan went to nursery. Okay, so Isaac wasn't fabulous during singing time (he kept trying to hide behind me instead of sitting next to his teacher) and Mark had to spend most of church in nursery with Jon, but it's progress! Hurray!

For those who haven't been aware, 2011 was marked by utter chaos at our house. We've been working to get a handle on things for a while now, but we've still got quite a way to go. I'll post pictures of the finished products later, but here's some projects we've got going on at the moment, and a few we will definitely get done in 2012:
1.The "baby" room has been converted to the boys' playroom, and toys are no longer allowed to stay anywhere else in the house.
2. The old "playroom/tv room" is now simply a family room, with NO CLUTTER at the moment! :)
3. Replaced our kitchen table with two smaller tables that are hopefully a little less destructible (and won't give me splinters when I wipe them down).
4. Bought kitchen chairs to match the tables, since our old chairs were totally destroyed and we'd gone back to the folding chairs for a while...
5. Ordered carpet for the basement!!! If you've ever seen the old stuff you'll understand why this is so exciting - I'm not really sure what's living in that carpet, but I pity the guys who have to take it out and haul it away!
6. Attempting to paint the basement BEFORE the new carpet is installed. Are we crazy? Probably...
7. Replacing two of our bathroom sinks - the two that are rusty/leaking.
8. ATTEMPTING to replace two toilets. Offers of assistance welcome.
9a. Building a coffee table out of an old piano (the one Mike helped us rip apart).
 b. Emptying the garage of pieces of said old piano so I can park the van in there again.
10. Replacing the current dog door with one that actually opens into the dog run - this one is a multi-part project that involves switching out doors, cutting holes in doors, and installing new doors/screens. It ought to be an adventure!

Here's to another year of exciting adventures!!