Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Bushel and a Layout

Fishers came over yesterday for playtime and a crab feast! We were also lucky to get a visit from Ricky and Lainey while they are in town.

Tahitian Sunrise

Our first morning on the island of Moorea, we couldn't sleep past 4 am...time difference! We walked bleary-eyed out of our overwater bungalow and saw a gorgeous Tahitian sunrise.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Next Honeymoon layout

This is SO much fun for me. I love getting the chance to do some scrapping everyday during Aaron's nap, provided he takes one. Today is looking good again! It was the morning of a million errands...lots of things to take care of out of the house. Stay tuned for some pictures of our crab feast with the Fishers!
Our first day in Tahiti, and our only day on the big island. We had just one night and one morning in a lovely hotel before moving on to our tiny island. It was our first taste of the paradise Tahiti had to offer us for the next 8 days!

A Honeymoon Album!

Waiting for our flight at LAX

I am really excited to be finally working on a scrapbook for our honeymoon. It was the best trip we have ever experienced and deserves to get the best scrapping I have to offer! Tonight after Aaron went to bed I did these first layouts while watching "The Last King of Scotland" which was very interesting and completely unrelated to a honeymoon in Tahiti. Aaron's naptime was successful today, possibly thanks to promises of watching "meerkats," as he calls it, only if he stayed in his bed and took a nap. Ah, bribery.
Arrival and first night in Tahiti

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A little play, a little work

click to enlarge!

Yesterday Courts and Aaron and I made our first trip to the lake of the summer. We can walk there, but yesterday we drove and only stayed for about an hour and a half before Aaron wanted to come home and eat a sandwich burger. Aaron spent the first part of our trip digging, which he called "shoveling" and the second half swimming. The water temperature was perfect! I have a summer goal to try to do something outside with Aaron everyday, preferably before naptime so that he will actually go to sleep! We are sometimes combining his playtime with our exercise. After a very vigorous walk/jog yesterday morning I am getting a slow start today and we will be sticking to the backyard.

We also began one of Aaron's summer "homeschooling" initiatives, tracing. I got some tracing books and cards to use with him this summer, some letters, numbers, and just drawing lines and shapes. Yesterday we traced for the first time in his tracing book and today is the first time we tried tracing letters. I am amazed at how well he did on this and had to take pictures of them. I hope they are big enough in this layout to show how well he traced. We are definitely going to keep practicing this skill!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Big Boy Bed update...

Last night was a success! No evidence that he got out of his bed until this morning when he was crying for us to come get him. Naptime today was another story. He got out of his bed twice, both times I went into his room he ran right to the door to meet me and look up at me earnestly. Then I tried a strategy I heard from a friend that consisted of me staying in there and putting him back in bed without engaging with him. He then stayed in his bed but did not sleep A WINK. We only let him stay in bed awake for one hour at naptime before we get him out of bed. (He had been struggling with naptime about once a week already before the big boy transition.) So no nap for him. Later, at 6:00pm, he fell asleep in Chris' lap during a story. Darnit. I don't know how we are going to work this out, but we have got to get him on a schedule that has him tired enough for naptime no later than 3:00pm. Lots of running around in the morning and early afternoon will be my next approach, starting tomorrow! and p.s.-another summer project DONE, Aaron's too-small clothes are SORTED and PACKED!

Here is Mr. I Refuse to Take a Nap in my Big Boy Bed sleeping through dinner:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Our first true day of break and a Big Boy Bed!!

What a great way to get our summer started! This morning after waking up early to see off our visitors, my generous hubby stayed awake so I could go back to sleep, which I did, until 10! What a treat! Courtney and Aaron and I took a quick trip to the playground, I got a haircut, and Courtney and I crushed some chores. One thing checked off my summer list, the dining room is clean! Then it was Father's Day leftovers for dinner and a bittersweet milestone for Aaron. Last night was Aaron's last night in his crib, and tonight is his first night in his "big boy bed." All that really means is that one side of his crib was removed and replaced with a low rail. He has recently learned to open doorknobs, so a little non-turning gadget was installed also. We cranked up the old monitor to listen in. We were both sure, leading up to tonight, that Aaron would be scampering around his room until all hours. He is a fidgety little mite, and wants to be moving around all the time. Although it sounds like he did stay awake for about 30 minutes (singing the alphabet, quoting movie lines, and generally babbling) we did not hear anything that sounded like opening or closing of drawers, bonking of toys, or a voice that was far away from the monitor receiver. I am going to peek in now that he is asleep and see if there is any incriminating evidence. My little man is sure growing up fast.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day Festivities

This morning Chris enjoyed a 9:00am wakeup for Father's Day. After a delicious breakfast of cinnamon rolls and sausage, Chris relaxed at his computer while Aaron, George, Kate and I took a walk to the playground. We tried a new one this time, at the local elementary school, and it was super fantastic!! Back home for some hanging out, Chris ordered himself some new shoes and sandals for father's day (he could NOT decide on a gift, he was debating between shoes, sandals, a weedwacker or a drill) and before I knew it, it was time to work on dinner. The menu turned out perfectly, and everyone seemed pretty pleased! There are a whole lot of food comas in the house right now. A very Happy Father's Day to the wonderful dads in my life: my Dad, my Husband, my Uncle Tommy, and my Father-in-Law.

Father's Day Dinner: A Manly Meal

It is hard to make special dinners for my Hubby. Although he is the biggest fan of my cooking around, his favorite meals usually involve something on the grill, which is NOT part of my skill set. (one time I tried, and let's just say the hamburger patty did not even stay in one piece) My Hubby is the grillmaster round these parts, and he doesn't want to grill his own Father's Day dinner! So...I will be preparing the following for our family this year.
1. My (almost) world-famous oven baked ribs: a 24 hour adventure developed by piecing together different recipes found on the internet and getting pretty darn near perfect
2. My (and by "my" I mean Paula Deen's) SUPER deeeelicious crockpot Creamy Mac and Cheese
3. Corn on the Cob (which Chris can casually grill without sweating)
4. Greek Salad, authentic style, no lettuce, just the good stuff!
We will wrap up the evening with pudding parfaits. Pistachio for my hubby and chocolate for the normal people.
Can't wait to eat!!!

Summer Begins!

Today I am enjoying our first day of Summer Break. Still in jammies, haven't accomplished anything, and it feels great! This Father's Day Weekend we are enjoying a visit from the Ohio Karayannis': George, Annie, John and Kate, along with their very polite Wheaton Terrier, Nikki. Monday will begin my second annual program of domestic goddessness. I have a lot things in mind to do with Aaron, but also a lot of home/school related projects to work on. I am going to list them here and then try to keep track of my progress. Our motto this summer is "Cut the Crap" and most of our summer goals are related to getting rid of STUFF and organizing what's left. I am a stuff-keeper FOR SURE. So starting Monday, in no particular order...
  • clean out living room and dining room
  • clean out Kim's desk

  • organize the non-John side of the basement (see below, yikes!)

  • Clean out Aaron's closet and send some more clothes to CA for my nephew!
  • Make a wedding album for team-teacher
  • Work on Courtney's baby book (um...I started it when she was 5, thinking, NO
    PROBLEM, I can TOTALLY get caught up!)
  • Start honeymoon scrapbook
  • Clean out kitchen cabinets
  • Clean the "neglected corner" of our bedroom, where there are piles of stuff
    with dust at least 4 years old.
  • Organize photos located in random places all over the house
  • Clean out the linen closet. We don't have to save EVERY TOWEL EVER
  • Do Aaron's hand and footprints
  • Fill our new collage frames for the upstairs hallway, really excited about
    this one!
  • Hang rope lights on the deck
  • Restain the deck (before the rope lights, I suppose)

  • General file management of school files. My digital school files are in
    chaos by June every year, and they need to be in tiptop shape by September!

Other plans we have for this summer include:

Visit from Mom and Day the first week of July
Rothe invasion at the end of July, their first visit since Aaron was 4 months old!!
Two weddings
Lots of Busch Gardens and Water Country day trips
Making the most of our Netflix
Tons of lake and playground time (fitness for parents disguised as fun for kids)
A trip to NY for Labor Day weekend

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our Cranky Little Man

Aaron has been increasingly independent and demanding lately. He sure knows what he wants, like what song must be playing on the radio, or what he can't reach that he must have. He now says "I need..." before every demand/request. He is cranky a lot during the car ride home, which is not very fun, and some afternoons when he has not had a nap at Maliha's house, he is a downright little monster boy until bedtime. He is also doing a lot of this little whine/cry each time he is not immediately pleased with a situation. Tonight he flung his glass of water after brushing his teeth because he was super cranky. We even resorted to putting him to bed 30 minutes early! I'm sure every parent hopes this is a phase that passes...I know I do! Tonight after he got scolded and I told him he did not have very nice behavior, he said "I am a nice boy!" These are pictures from a recent time-out. He sits on the bottom step and this particular time he turned his back to me, he was so upset!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A New Blog

So, we have never done this before, and so far I am stumbling through it. But I have seen some people I know keep a family style blog and it seems like it could be another great way to keep in touch, and a cool family record. Something better than just Facebook snippets and more fun than just keeping a journal for myself. Chris says he is not into authoring...we shall see about that! I also have a goal to post a picture with every post if I can!

The End is in Sight!

I am nearing the end of a very challenging school year. We have one week to go, made up of half-days during which we try our best to keep the kids calm and engaged, which is no small feat. The students are looking forward to the end of the year as much as we are, and I will be working hard this week to remain patient and calm with them and end the year on a positive note. I am so looking forward to two months in my favorite role, summertime domestic goddess! You can't help but be excited when you have these guys to look forward to every day!