January 31, 2013

a break in the weather

Is it really the end of January?

This little winter thaw (just like last year around this exact same time) is throwing me off ...  Yet, I'm certainly not complaining.

As anyone with a couple kids will tell you, it is always nice to have a moment to step outside when the weather is decent (albeit gray and dreary) and just breathe ...

And I will never grow tired of sitting back with my camera as I observe my kids from the sidelines.  There is something so rewarding about seeing them occupy themselves for a little while (although, I guess Pearl didn't have much choice in the matter) ...

Malcolm was definitely in his element.

Free from all of the "No running!" and "Stop climbing on the couch!" that he usually hears from day to day, for a little while, he could be as active as he wanted.

He could run and climb to his heart's content.

 Jacket: The Children's Place (thrifted for $1.50)
Long-sleeved shirt: Jumping Beans (hand-me-down)
Pants: Jumping Beans (hand-me-down)
Socks: Old Navy (gift)
Rain boots: Buster Brown and Co. (hand-me-down)

He could push his sister (in her stroller, of course) without consequence.

I'm sure he'd love to do it all over again tomorrow.

If only this thaw could last a little longer ...

January 29, 2013

maybe it's not so bad

My husband and I have discussed it many times, and I have been quick to tell family and friends that having a three-year-old is exhausting.

Even if Pearl was not a part of our family ...  On his own, Malcolm would still be a force to be reckoned with.

His energy is off the charts.

His mood is all over the place.

His stubbornness in the face of toilet training is ridiculous.

Yet, through all of these challenging attitudes and behaviors that make me want to pull my hair out, there are the moments where he is just so sweet.

I can't keep track of the number of times he has just come up to me while I am working during the day, rested his head against me, and asked, "Mom?  Do you love me?"

To which I stop whatever I'm doing and tell him, complete with a big squeeze, "of course I love you!  I love you so much!"

Every day, without fail, it goes the same way.

Sometimes, I even hear him talking to himself in the other room.

"I'm so lucky!"  He'll say.  "My mom loves me!"

Yes, she does, Kiddo.

Even in the midst of all your craziness, she certainly does.

January 28, 2013

making room for the big boy

I had planned to write and publish this post about a year ago, as the impending arrival of "Baby #2" grew closer and closer.  At that time, instead of getting a baby's room ready (since it was already unisex, as we didn't know what Malcolm was going to be before he arrived), my husband and I found ourselves turning our attention (back) to "Baby #1."

More specifically, we spent many a moment crafting and executing a proper "big boy" room for Malcolm in order to coax him away from the small baby room that he knew, and into our larger third bedroom ...  He seemed perfectly content to stay in his crib forever!

Because (at that time) he really liked owls and moons, I thought the two things could be a loose "theme" for the otherwise neutral room.

The bed tent (although he hasn't actually slept in it in ages) was the final piece of the puzzle ...  The pictures on its sides included a crescent moon and an owl, and seemed to tie the "owls and moons" idea together.

It's like we had a camping under the stars theme going all along!

As you can see, it took some time to put everything together, but I feel like we are finally finished ... 

Luckily, the house being up for sale (again) prompted me to take some photos while it was clean and tidy!

January 24, 2013

guess whooo's sick (again!)

*I thought I had this "Thursday Threads" installment set to post at 9:15 am ...  At least I had the Thursday part right!

So, we've been sick around these parts.


Luckily, it hasn't been anything terribly lengthy or debilitating ...

Just some nasty coughs and congestion.

And, for Pearl, a 103.5 degree fever a couple mornings ago.

But things seem to be on the upswing ...

Fleece shirt: Child of Mine (thrifted for $1.00)
Long-sleeved onesie: Gerber ($8.00 for pack of three)
Sweat pants: Jumping Bean (thrifted for $0.50)
Socks: Old Navy ($6.00 for pack of eight)

Little Miss is back to making her "stinker face" and keeping us on our toes (while she toys around with standing on hers)!

January 21, 2013

in the fish bowl

I wanted to take some photos of our (clean and uncluttered!) house after the realtor came through to take his pictures ...

But, in the time it took me to grab my camera, a certain someone had already emptied her bucket of toys across the living room floor!

Oh well.

I knew it wouldn't last long ...

January 17, 2013

(hand-me-down) happy pants

With this week being high on the depressing scale (at least in terms of my mindset), it seemed right to feature today's outfit in my Thursday post.  Although it fits Pearl today, it was worn many times by Malcolm when he was a little bit younger (around six months or so).

We called the pants from this simple ensemble his "happy pants," because he just seemed upbeat whenever he was in them ...

And, it seems, the same holds true for Pearl.

Long-sleeved onesie: Old Navy (gift)
Striped pants: Gymboree (thrifted for $0.50)
Socks: Unknown brand (from the hospital)

Now, if only I had some "happy pants" of my own ...

January 16, 2013


So this post doesn't fit the "theme" of this blog at all ...

It's not about Malcolm or Pearl.

Or something funny (or sweet) the husband did.

It's not about our house being back on the market (that will come later).

Or about anything remotely "mommy" related.

Yet, my mind and heart have been compelling me to write it since this weekend ...  To get these thoughts on (virtual) paper.

To remember.

Sometime on Friday night, a neighbor and friend that I grew up with, a boy who was like my "little brother," took his own life.

He was only 26-years-old.

Truth be told, although we haven't spoken in about two years, I am still having a really hard time wrapping my mind around it, and find myself preoccupied with thoughts of him (and his family that were left behind).

This loss has blindsided me in a way that others before it have not ...  That's not to say the deaths of my Grampie or uncle were not difficult, but, in many ways, they were expected.  My Grampie was old.  My uncle had cancer.

This boy, however, wasn't old.

He wasn't sick.

He was young.


And I just don't understand how someone so young, so full of life and other possibilities, could really be gone.

Growing up, this was the kid that lived to make us laugh.

The kid that idolized Jim Carrey and perfected his impressions of him (using us as his audience).

The kid that forced us to call him by a different name for an entire summer, and liked having various shapes shaved into his buzz-cut hair.

The kid that was always smiling.

The kid that was small in size, but so huge in personality and charm.

The kid I "babysat" on occasion, spending evenings playing games on the computer or making milkshakes and other junky snack foods.

The kid I tutored in math for weeks on end, only to have him fail the exam anyway ...  And somehow convince his mother that the tutoring had really helped.

The kid that, truly, seemed to be so outwardly happy.

I obviously don't know why he chose the path he did.

I can't (and don't want to) speculate.  It's none of my business, anyway.

Instead, I sit here in disbelief, and wonder how I will make it through the wake and funeral without completely losing it. 

How I will be able to accept the crazy reality of the situation ...  While my mind and heart are fighting against me, trying to convince me that nothing has changed and this is all just some weird dream or misunderstanding.

I just can't believe that he's gone.

(And I know I'll sound like a baby saying this, but) it isn't fair.

It just isn't fair.

January 15, 2013

pearl: ten months

I feel like I was just writing Pearl's nine month post ...

But, yet, another month has flown right on by!

I'm not sure if it's because we had some (minimal) down time during the holidays, and therefore, have been able to just sit and watch our little lady, but Pearl has so many new tricks.

She pulls up on things like a pro ...

In her crib, at the coffee table, in front of the TV, by the refrigerator, against the wall ...  Anywhere and everywhere will do!  So very, very soon, Malcolm will have trouble keeping his things out of her reach (and then the real fun will begin). 

(Foreshadowing of things to come?)

She joins us for dinner, and is eating real food with the rest of us ...  Bananas, noodles, cereal, beans, chunks of boiled vegetables (and, of course, cookies).

She is noisy ...  Constantly jabbering (or shouting) away.  I wouldn't be surprised if a true first word was right around the corner!

She now waves "hello" ...  Just the other day, the husband was pumping gas and peeked in through the van window (as he tends to do) to make faces at the kids.  He could barely see Pearl, her tiny face peering out between the edge of her carrier and its handle, but slowly and surely, she raised her little hand to wave at him.

Height: 28.5 inches
Weight: 16 pounds

Little girl is turning into just that ...  A little girl!

It's crazy to think that she'll be one in exactly two months ...

January 11, 2013

almost there

I'm not usually one to get overwhelmed by the various stresses that creep into my everyday life ... 

But, to put it lightly, this week has left me feeling downright exhausted and ready to collapse into bed each night.

It has been quite a challenge.

(And I haven't even had to leave the house!)

It is the last week of school before semester exams, so I'm busy working with students to help them end the semester on a high note (and go into that last exam prepared and ready to go) ...  And, on the administrative end, I'm grading lots of late work, attending tons of department and planning meetings, and just otherwise preparing for a new semester of science material.

Pearl has been much crankier than usual because she is (seems to be?) teething.

Malcolm is embarking on his first full week with no pull-ups and, while he is doing extremely well, there are the inevitable accidents to be had (and clean) ...  On top of that, he has also been super energetic (probably from being cooped up all day), wanting to run throughout the house and play, often plowing over his (crabby) sister in the process (and making her even crabbier).

And (last, but certainly not least) ...  We talked with a (new) realtor and put the house on the market for the third time.

All of these things, although tolerable on their own, are adding up to a perfect, chaotic storm in our house!

A storm that I am so ready to see blow over as soon as the weekend hits.

(And I hear the weather is supposed to be nice, too!)

I'm ready to take a break from my computer and pull myself away from its glowing screen ... To hang up the "working mom" hat for a little while and just relax with my kids (crabby or high-strung as they may be) and husband.

I'm ready to give my girl some good, long cuddles.

I'm ready to give my boy a chance to bounce balls off the wall in the basement (or maybe jump on the bed) to expend a bit of energy ...  And, of course, stick lots of stickers on his wall chart for all of his bathroom successes!

This weekend really can't come soon enough.

If only it would stay for more than two days ...

January 10, 2013

my baby bird

I bought the shirt in today's post when Pearl was brand new and only a week old.

It is so crazy to see her wearing it already.

I feel like she should still be a tiny baby (she is the baby of our family, after all), but I am constantly reminded that she is closer to being a one-year-old (toddler!?) than a newborn.

Long-sleeved shirt: Wonderkids ($1.00)
Onesie: Gerber ($8.00 for pack of three)
Fleece pants: Circo (thrifted for $0.50)
Socks: Old Navy (gift)

Sometimes it hits me when I look at photos ...

Her legs look so long, just dangling for miles and miles when I'm holding her on my hip.

Sometimes it hits me when I watch her go about her day ...

She has a different kind of awareness than before ...  She is so into her surroundings and wants to explore them as much as she can.

The "slow and steady" crawl is starting to pick up its pace and she is expanding her repertoire by sitting up on her knees and pulling up whenever the mood strikes her.

She is much more sturdy than she used to be, and can even tolerate a (very very) small amount of the rough and tumble-ness that comes when Malcolm "plays " with her.

She has (finally!) cut her first tooth and is becoming quite the little pro with solid foods.

(You can see it poking through in the above picture!)

She is growing leaps and bounds right before my eyes!

January 8, 2013

cookie monster

Now that she's been given the "okay" to eat table food with the rest of us, I may have created a monster ...

Girl's got a sweet tooth just like her mother!

January 3, 2013

new year's rockin' eve

Although the title of this post may suggest otherwise, the only thing "rockin'" about our New Year's Eve this year, was Pearl's onesie ...

(And her mini-attitude ...)

Onesie: Carter's (thrifted for $0.50)
Pants: Okie Dokie (thrifted for $0.50)
Socks: Old Navy ($6.00 for pack of eight)

Other than that, we spent most of the evening at home, and then made a (somewhat unexpected) trip to hang out with my husband's cousins for dinner.

We were back home and on the couch (and Pearl tucked happily in bed) in time for the ball to drop at midnight.

But, being that my New Year's Eve hasn't been "rockin'" for many years now, I wouldn't want it any other way.

January 2, 2013

new year's babies

Another New Year's Day has passed, so the tradition continues ...

3 years (and 3 months)

9.5 months

And, this year, I got to stick two children in the bathroom sink!