Saturday, January 22, 2011

This one's a doozy

I haven't been using this blog much. I miss documenting what goes on in our family. I'm constantly writing posts in my head but I'm just not making the time to type them. Or when I sit down I forget what I wanted to write about.

So, what have you been missing? Let's start with Curtis ;-) A couple weeks ago he slipped on ice in the parking lot at his work and fractured his elbow. He didn't need a cast and can still use his hand and arm a little bit, but it's out of commission for the most part. This has put an indefinite hold on a project we started on New Year's weekend: pantry makeover. Currently, we have a "walk-in pantry" in our bedroom, which the boys love, and we have several items shoved into the pantry on top of the temporarily installed shelves. It's rather inconvenient. We keep telling ourselves that when it's all done we will have an awesome pantry with more useable space, but I can' t help wondering WHEN that's going to happen.

I re-established a relationship with FlyLady in early December. I don't remember if I blogged about our falling out some time ago, but I had gotten turned off from her after emailing for help about something and receiving a rather dis-interested reply. But I needed help getting this house clean and thought I'd give her a try again. Her website doesn't work for me, but I found an iphone app that, although not endorsed by FlyLady, was obviously inspired by her zone system. So I've said goodbye to her again but have totally incorporated her system into my life. It's a work in progress and some weeks I do better than others, but I'm definitely improving. In case you're curious, the app is "Home Routines" and it cost about $4 (I think. Maybe it was $4.99). I also use "2 Do" for my regular to do list as this one does better with due dates and any repeat interval you may need. Home Routines is better for tasks that repeat every day or every week, and of course if you divide your home into zones. No other app that I've found uses the zones.

While we're on the subject of apps, my favorite grocery list app is "Shopper". Among other features I like that it allows me to enter prices for the same item at different stores, and since C and I use the same account, if I update the app on my phone, it automatically updates on his phone. So we can both add items to it as they occur to us and neither of us is without the shopping list (we share the shopping task - he does it because he enjoys it and I do it because I can go during the week when it's not crowded).

What's Zachary up to these days? He goes to Mother's Day Out twice a week and The Little Gym once a week. His favorite place to go is the library - because he can play on the computers. His brother gave him a set of folding headphones Christmas, so we keep those in my bag and he's never without his "ears" when we go to the library. We've incorporated it into our weekly routine and go every week after school. He also gets to pick out one DVD to watch when D goes down for his nap. The library rents DVDs for only a week, so as long as nothing interrupts our routine I don't have any trouble returning materials on time. But over Christmas and then again during "snow-maggedon" earlier this month we didn't make to the library every week and I wracked up some hefty fines (hefty in the library sense). So now it's a running joke with C, who takes every opportunity to feign surprise when I don't have a fine on my account. It's okay though. He borrowed some books from a different branch to help with the pantry project and then didn't get them back or renew them on time and had some fines too. (It was a family outing to get library cards for both of us, so he can check materials out on his own account. Learned my lesson when we lived in Nashville and I was the only one with a card!)

Z has also gotten very proficient with the Wii remote and Netflix. We dropped our Blockbuster online account shortly after moving when we discovered there were no Blockbuster stores within a convenient distance. I kinda hated to drop it since we had a really sweet deal, one that wasn't even available anymore (2 mailers at a time and unlimited in store exchanges). We used to go through movies so fast in Nashville. The Blockbuster store was just down the street and between the online selection and then being able to just pop in and pick something up, it was awesome. But we just weren't driving downtown to the Blockbuster here, so we cancelled our account and joined Netflix because we could stream it instantly to the tv through the Wii. The instant streaming is almost as cool as the in-store exchanges but we use it differently: we watch more tv episodes and cartoons (Z) and only get movies through the mailers. They're shipping time is faster though. Anyway, that was a long tangent. Sorry. I was talking about how Z watches his shows on Netflix. He still watches his DVDs too, though I haven't seen VeggieTales or Franklin in a long time. When we watches Netflix I let him use the controller and when one 20min show is over, he navigates to another one.

When tv time is over, Zachary works on puzzles (he's scarily good at them - got some 48 piece ones for Christmas and mastered them in short order, then received a couple 60 piece puzzles and had very little trouble with them. It's really amazing to watch him. I had a 550 piece puzzle I was working on over Christmas and once in a while he'd come over to help and was actually able to put a few pieces in!!!), reads books, and picks on his brother. He also plays a game he made up that we now call "Angry Cars". Are you familiar with Angry Birds? I have it on my phone and Z has helped me play it a few times. The boys received a set of cardboard blocks for Christmas (do you know the kind I'm talking about?) and he sets those up, puts stuffed animals and toys (these are the pigs) on the towers, then uses his cars (the pull-back-and-go kind) to knock the blocks down. It's hilarious. He can set up and knock down the blocks for hours, as long as D doesn't decide to play "Baby-zilla" and knock everything down.

Okay, let's move on to Daniel. He's 14 months old now and walking. I love watching a toddler who's learning to walk. Such a darling mix of confidence and uncertainty. Once in a while he still drops to hands and knees because he can crawl much faster than he can walk. He loves shoes but his feet are still too small for the shoes Zachary got when he started walking. I have a pair of moccasin slippers that he wears but can only walk on them when we're inside. When he starts wanting to walk outside we may just have to buy him his own pair of shoes. He's only two months apart from where Zachary was (September vs. November), but there's a such a difference in size between them!! There are several things of Z's that D will never wear because they're the wrong size at the wrong season, and we were a little concerned that D didn't have enough warm clothes that fit when the weather turned cold last fall. He's finally in 18mos sizes now, of which we have tons in both warm and cold seasons. He's also starting to learn to talk. His first understandable phrase was "uh-oh" which he's been saying for a good long while now, and now he says "peek-a-boo" as clear as you can wish for. We've been working on the sign language and he picked up "milk" pretty quickly and uses it for "milk" "more" and "eat". It's so cute to see his little hands intentionally making signs!!

D-yo (as we continue to call him even though his big brother has gotten much better at pronouncing his name) does not go to any Mother's Day Out program yet - although I sometimes wish for just a half day without kiddos once in a while, I'm totally not ready to put him in something like that yet. But he and I go to The Little Gym once a week. D loves it. It's kindof a fight to get Zachary to go to class, but Daniel LOVES it. (D's class is a parent-and-me class whereas the parents stay in the lobby or run errands during Z's class). He's got a reputation in class of being all smiles all the time and is rarely hesitant or fearful about something, though that's not to say he isn't obstinate at times. One of my favorite moments recently was when we were bouncing on the springboard. D wiggled his arms out of my hands and crawled off the board, then stuck his hands inside the springs to see how it works! (Don't worry, he didn't get his fingers pinches or anything). Then he crawled back on top, bounced a little, then crawled off again and inspected. Looks like we're raising not one, but two little engineers!

Okay, one more thing and then I'll probably be out of time. We've been planning our garden and getting excited about what our yard is going to look like come spring! We have a gardening blog (here: that is not worth visiting right now, but hopefully we'll be getting better at updating it as we have more things to talk about. In fact there are a couple things that could make up a post now, so maybe I'll head over there right now since C is still on the computer (did I mention that he's going to be teaching another class at his work? He's going to teach how to program apps for the iPhone.), Z is still watching shows (it's Saturday. We're indulging him) and D is still asleep (I wasn't sure he was going to take a nap this morning, but then he yawned and that was that.)

Congrats if you made it this far! I know this was a monster post.

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Laurie and Bill said...

Ooh, a nice newsy post!

Your boys sound like darlings!

So sorry Curtis broke his elbow.

Flylady is one that definitely needs to be modified in order to endure, in my opinion. Glad you found something that works for ya! With two little boys, I'm sure it's a constant struggle to find something that works.

Blessings and hugs!

ehart said...

Good to hear from you again. I've been wondering what you were up to with the two boys. They do keep you busy, don't they? When mine were that age, I did all my writing at night on paper.

Jennifer said...

Hi Laurie and ehart! You guys are so faithful even when I'm gone for so long! :)

Laurie and Bill said...

It's not the quantity, it's the quality that keeps us coming back:)