Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Gotta teach 'em young.

We started our new league of volleyball last night.  Eli and I went in as free agents and ended up on opposing teams.  We played against each other for our first match.  I was nervous as hell for the first couple of plays because I'd literally only met my teammates five minutes before we started playing.  I expected it to be awkward and weird as we learned each others' playing styles, but we gelled almost immediately.  It was a nice change.  My team is good, and the other teams we watched seemed to have a similar level of play, so it should be a nice competitive league.  Oh, and we kicked Eli's team's ass.  To be fair, they had three new players to our two new players, and he said that one of the guys kept running over the all-time setter.  A flattened setter would make it hard to complete a bump-set-spike rotation.  As fun as it was, we still missed our old volleyball team and hanging with our friends.  It seems like this group doesn't really go out after.  Bragging rights are only fun if I can taunt Eli with them in front of people who care.

D's 4th birthday is next weekend, and I've had several people ask me what he wants.  For those of you who intend to buy him presents, you can find an Amazon wish list here:

D's Birthday List

You're certainly welcome to get him anything not on the list or nothing at all.  We're having a party at our apartment on his birthday for anyone local that I forgot to invite.  Or anyone willing to fly in.  Either way.  Text me or email me if you don't have our new address yet.  Thus ends the public service announcement portion of this blog.

D starts pre-K next week.  He's going three days a week, but it's an official pre-K program meant to prepare him for kindergarten next year.  We're still not sure which school he'll be going to since our house doesn't officially exist yet.  C is a solid walker now, so we're going to start potty training him this week.  Hopefully soon we'll be done with diapers forever.  Or you know, until Eli starts needing them in the next couple of years.  The three of us (me and the kids, Eli is always at work now) were playing with D's train tracks the other day.  D was lining up his cars on the tracks, as he does, C was throwing wooden track pieces at us, and I was playing dodge-track.  It got to be about lunch time, so I put C in his high chair and let D keep playing while I put together food.  At some point, he decided that there was a volcano on his tracks, and it erupted.  He told me that there was lava all over his cars and he couldn't play with them any more.  Then he burst into tears.  He was genuinely sobbing because his imaginary lava was in the way of his cars.  I had a moment where I wasn't sure if I should comfort him or take a picture for the "Reasons my Kid is Crying" website.  We eventually decided that C's water delivery truck (which was full of imaginary milk for some reason in D's head) would be a good solution for the lava problem and enable D to keep playing. So he flew the truck over the tracks upside down to "put the lava out."  All was well after that.  In other news, C has learned how to motorboat me, and he thinks it's hilarious.  Eli also thinks it's hilarious.  I'm half convinced Eli taught him to do it when I wasn't looking. 

This is how we swim.  We chew on the floaty's face.

D was all excited to meet Clifford, but when confronted with reality, he was considerably less sure.  His first question? "Why isn't Clifford big?"

Enjoying the beautiful not-Fall day at the playground.

C was making us laugh by hitting random buttons on my phone while we tried to take a pic.

"That's right, I can walk. What now..."

Just chillaxing on the wet grass.
The newest member of my garden menagerie.  Presenting...Mini-Beyonce!  Or as I like to call her, Hildegaard.

Friday, August 14, 2015

'Nother cow...

Big news, people, big news. 

C had his first dentist appointment today.  It was weird because he loves brushing his teeth at home, but he freaked out when it was his turn for the hygienist and the dentist to look in his mouth.  D, on the other hand, hates getting his teeth brushed at home but loves the dentist.  My kids were clearly born to be contrary. 

We've been in Colorado for a month now, and we still love it.  The tornadoes on Tuesday were fun.  They were just north of us, so we ended up sitting around all day watching the Weather Channel instead of going swimming.  Honestly, it was kind of relaxing to have a good reason to just sit at home and watch tv.  It's not like tornadoes are a new thing for me.  Unlike Eli and the earthquake incident in India when he totally overreacted.   He's not really new to tornadoes either, but he's always lived in an area that wasn't hit by tornadoes.  Nearby, sure, but they never ventured into the hallowed streets of Brookfield.  I think they were afraid of all the old rich people.  I'm aware that Colorado weather, and the Front Range specifically, can get crazy, so I haven't discounted the idea that there might be tornadoes here.  When it suddenly got dark outside and the air had a particular stillness, I turned on the Weather Channel because I'm not stupid.  Yup, tornadoes and severe storms literally fifteen minutes north of us.  The south end of the storm wasn't as bad, and all we got was a little rain, but I stand by my actions.  Eli got home and laughed when I told him we had stayed inside because of the storm.  We'll have to work on when he should take weather seriously.

Here's the big news: we sold our house in Wisconsin.  That's right, folks! After over a year of being on the market, some poor souls decided they wanted our house.  The offer is for an acceptable amount of money, but included some stuff about selling their house first and a home inspection.  It only took them a couple of weeks to sell their house (lucky), so the inspection was the last potential problem for us.  Any of you who've been to our house know that it's not going to pass with flying colors.  The electrical work in the basement alone should be an issue.  Well, the inspection happened yesterday morning, and they still want the house.  We were told they wanted us to fix a few things, but we're fine with that.  So yay!  We'll be the proud owners of no houses come mid-September (we don't technically own our new house until it's done and we've closed on it-hopefully late December).

Our new house is coming along.  And by coming along I mean they've started digging a hole where our basement will be someday.  I'm not including a picture because it's still basically a dirt pit; it's just a deeper dirt pit now.  We have an appointment to sign off on the last of our choices today, so hopefully that goes smoothly.  I'm actually excited to see the finished product and start changing things.  Guess the kids got their contrary from me.

Silly face!

Eli doing his thing at the canyon near our house.

We need to work on how to drink from a water bottle.


Friday, July 24, 2015

It made us feel fancy.

Wednesday was my birthday, and it was surprisingly great.  We tend to not do much for my birthday.  Like, maybe we'd go to dinner, if even that.  The last couple of years, I've gotten house improvements for my birthday.  A new kitchen floor for instance.  This year, we're clearly not doing that, so Eli got me a cool planter set that suspends from the ceiling.  He was even excited about picking out plants with me.  It was a really nice change.  He also got me a giant four-layer carrot cake that is totally going to make me fat unless he remembers to take it to work with him.  It was tasty, and it continued to taunt me from the fridge even after I'd overeaten at Olive Garden for my birthday dinner. 

As the third part to my birthday present, Eli got us tickets to see Defending the Caveman at the Denver Center for Performing Arts.  That was last night.  We decided to take the train to downtown to check it out, and I can now definitively say that the Denver light rail is pretty nice.  At the Theater Station, we came up through a parking garage to the main complex and were greeted by table after table of free appetizer-type dishes and drinks.  It was both cool and confusing.  Eli tried a couple of dishes as we walked along (there are several theaters that open to one central area where most of the food was), and we wondered where everyone was getting the mason jar glasses they were getting filled with free drinks.  We finally asked someone, and they said there was a table right next to admission where you pick them up.  It was about that time that I realized everyone but us was wearing blue wristbands.  We had a quick hushed discussion about whether we should check out more food or exit the area and find our seats.  Exiting won by a small margin.  We passed the admission area just outside our theater, and it turns out that we accidentally snuck into a foodie event charging $55 a person.  Whoops.  They were featuring the 40 best restaurants in Denver or something like that.  We agreed it wasn't our fault because they really should have had someone standing near the parking garage entrance checking wrist bands.  I found out later that one of the cupcake shops I wanted to check out had a table in there somewhere and decided that maybe I should have given it a little more time before insisting that we stop stealing food.  The show was good, and we had no problems finding food after or getting back to our car on the trains.  I would love to do it again some time, just maybe checking ahead of time to see if we need to pay for a food festival first. 

Giant tasty birthday cake and the kids who couldn't wait to devour it.

D and his cousin playing in a stream at a park we visited with a train and a petting zoo.
D and his new favorite train.

C got a new haircut!



Friday, July 17, 2015

Totally having ice cream for dinner.

Ah, how I've missed you internets.  Eli has the kids at the rec center pool, and I have some blessed time alone.  Instead of unpacking, I'm doing a blog post because I'm an adult, dammit, and I do what I want.  I might also have ice cream for dinner.  It's been a crazy week. The move itself went pretty smoothly, except for the part where the bike rack fell off the back of my car and tried to take out the car behind us.  Luckily, we were on a freeway interchange, so the road was curving.  The car only had to swerve a little bit to not be flattened by two bikes and a rack.  The bikes survived mostly unscathed (Eli will need a new seat), but the rack was apparently scratching up my car something fierce. It took off the paint down to the primer in two large spots.  So that'll be fun to get fixed.  After retrieving the bikes, we strapped them to the trailer in front of my car.  I couldn't help but ask...why didn't we do that in the first place?  Both guys just looked at me and went "uhhhh..."  Yeah.  I knew I should have helped load the truck and trailer.

Our apartment is very nice and somewhat bigger than expected.  Our stuff easily fit into the garage, and I have hopes that I can make enough stuff function as storage that we can eventually park a car in there too.  They're pretty high hopes, but I have hoarder levels of organization and storage skills. 

Instead of joining a new Y, we got a family membership at the Castle Rock Rec Center, which includes daycare, fitness classes, preschool, and an amazing kid pool with three waterslides. I've tried two classes so far, and we've taken the kids to the pool almost every day, despite having a pool almost directly outside our door in our apartment complex.  The first class I took was okay.  It did the job of making me sore, but I didn't really enjoy the instructor.  She seemed bored and anxious to be done.  I took another class today that I loved, and I can already barely move.  Tomorrow I expect to be stuck in a horizontal position all day.  I highly recommend the PiYo class here at the Rec Center. The instructor was outstanding.  She was twenty weeks pregnant and kicking my ass in all the moves.  Seriously, I'm out of shape and also ouch.  I will be going back so she can kick my ass some more. 

We went by the plot of dirt we bought to see if a house had started to sprout yet.  No such luck, but the dirt is flat now, so it seems like things are moving along.  We did our final visit to the home gallery where Eli and I almost made it through the whole visit without getting into a fight.  To my surprise, he won the granite battle (we've been going back and forth on ugly granite versus less ugly granite).  When we went by the dirt plot, they had just finished another house with our same floorplan, so our awesome sales rep gave us the key to have a look.  I sort of liked the granite and carpet those people picked, so we got the details for the home gallery visit.  When we looked again at the home gallery, I hated both of the samples.  The ones I picked out were much more expensive.  Like 5K more expensive.  Each.  Just to be clear, we have the money to go with the better ones, so I wasn't breaking the budget or anything.  In the end, I caved and let Eli pick with the caveat that if I hated the carpet or the granite we would be replacing them with ones I liked.  He laughed like I was kidding, but I wasn't.  I even told him I wasn't.  I don't think he believed me, and I don't care.  I want my dream house because I'm an adult, dammit, and I do what I want. 


We walked to Starbucks on our first morning.  A good start to a new life.
The view from the front of my apartments.


This is the view from the freeway that takes us to IKEA 15 minutes north of us. 

This will be my kitchen backsplash, but not in that pattern.

From left to right, the floor in the upstairs bath, the kitchen granite, the trim color, and in the middle is the carpet.

Stuff for the master bath: green accent tile, white shower tile, mosaic vanity accent tile, shower soap dishes (the big triangle thing), possible countertop (the little white square), and floor tile (the long grey tile).
Cabinets (they'll be the little white color next to them), floors (they're a little darker in person), and the three non-master or kitchen countertop options in the bottom right corner.


Hiking in the rain near our house at Castlewood Canyon.

At an overlook in Castlewood Canyon.

Castlewood Canyon.


Monday, June 15, 2015

It's all fun and games until someone gets hit in the eye.

I've moved quite a few times before.  Several time across the country even.  So it's not like I'm new to the whole pack up your whole house maneuvers.  What I have never done is try to pack up a large house while providing child care for two hyper children.  It is not going well.  Or at least it's not going fast.  Adding to the challenge is the strange transitional move we're going to do.  We're going from a 2000 square foot house to a 1000 square foot apartment to a 3000 square foot house.  We'll be spending about 6 months in the apartment including fall, part of winter, and all the holidays that go along with those times of year.  Why does that matter?  Allow me to explain.  Not all of our stuff will fit into the apartment, even with the nazi levels of purging I have going on (too soon?).  So anything that I want access to in the next 6 months needs to be packed together and clearly labeled.  That stuff is going into the apartment.  Everything else is going to be tetris-ed into the one car garage for storage.  I won't really be able to get to any of that stuff unless I un-tetris it all first.  What this means for me is that while I'm packing I need to anticipate anything I might need in the next 6 months and pack accordingly.  While also taking into account the stuff we'll need at this house for the next 2 weeks.  And making sure it doesn't look like a bunch of hoarders live here for any showings we have (and oh do we have them).  Add in my bossy controlling nature which limits any actual help people can give me and I spend an inordinate amount of time cruising the internets for stress relief.

We keep seeing a family of foxes in our backyard near the firepit this last week.  It's pretty cool because the mama will stand on one of the benches and watch the babies wrestle in the grass.  They also like to grab small pieces of wood from the pile and chase each other around with them.  Seriously, it's like watching my kids play.  Wood and all.

The babies are trying to push mama off the stump.

We went to McDonald's yesterday (the showings are making me fat), and C created a new fun game that involved banging his head on the table.  I guess it didn't hurt when he tapped it lightly, but then he missed and whacked his face on the edge of the table.  The metal rim caught his brow bone and his eye got all puffy.  He was super pissed.  I was like what did you expect from a game that involves banging your head on the table.  In hindsight, I probably should have stopped him because I knew where it was going.  Clearly I'm a stellar parent.  Eh, hopefully he learned something from it.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Drumroll please...

We're moving to Castle Rock, Colorado.  In five weeks.  Just one short week after we get back from Punta Cana.  I'll bet you have questions.  Allow me to sum up. 

We have not sold our house yet.  We have one couple that is pretty excited to put in an offer, but we won't know for sure for another two weeks.  In the mean time, we still have an unholy number of showings each week.  The house won't exactly be show-ready from this point on as I'll be packing up all our crap. 

Castle Rock is a southern suburb of Denver that's about halfway to Colorado Springs.  It's centrally located to most of our friends out there, and more importantly, we love the town. (Of course we love you guys too.)  I'll try to include posts and pictures in the coming months so you guys can get a feel for it too. 

We're building a house in a swanky master-planned community.  I've been told it's by the same people who did Irvine, but that might just be a bald-faced lie.  Either way, we were super impressed by everything about the community.  They have four pools in the main rec center alone.  All the retail places we frequent are less than a 5 minute drive away (except the IKEA, that one clocked in at 13 minutes).  The schools are quality, and we already have D signed up for Pre-K.  He can't wait, though he does keep telling me that now that he's 14 he'll be able to drive himself to school.  We're going to have another talk about counting and ages.  And also driving. 

Our lot is at the top of a little ridge with some awesome mountain views out the back.  We were told that behind us is open space, so theoretically, nothing will mess with our views.  Since we paid extra for them, I sincerely hope not.  Directly behind our house is a slope down to a little road.  Across the road is a private school with a playground that we're allowed to use when school isn't in session.  I'll be able to see it from my back patio.  Eli was very happy with that.  There are a couple of other little tot lot type things sprinkled in our four block neighborhood.  There are only two builders, and I know ours only has 40 lots, so it's a good ratio of playground to kid. 

Eli is living his dream of writing all his own home-automation.  On the plane back we agreed that we should definitely make it sound like Alan Rickman.  The disagreement came when I said Snape (Harry Potter) and he said Marvin (Hitchhiker's Guide).  The funny part was that Eli didn't realize it was the same person.  Like our realtor and all the sales agents commented on, Eli and I were clearly made for each other.  I guess we were putting on a bit of a show with the bickering about the details.  Whatever, we had fun choosing a house.  We're connecting a smart thermostat, automated solar shades, solar panels, sensors on all the doors and windows, the doorbell, the irrigation system (front and back), keyless entry, integrated speakers, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can't remember but Eli has a spreadsheet for.  He can't wait to start telling it what to do.  Ask him about it and he'll talk for a solid hour.  You should have heard him with the low volt guy (the one who does all the cool electrical stuff).  Every ten minutes they'd start geeking out, and I'd have to ask a question to remind them I was in the room.  Teasing aside, I'm really glad Eli got to be excited for that part of the build. 

We all know where I was excited.  That's right, the home gallery, where I got to pick all my finishes. It was glorious.  My master bath is going to be amazing.  I'm not doing any spoilers here, but I might take pictures of the fun stuff when we go back to finalize in July.  We hit a snag with the granite countertops in the kitchen.  Unlike apparently 90% of America or something, I actively dislike granite. I hate the way it looks.  I appreciate the durability of the stone, but I love the way quartz looks so much better.  Unfortunately, quartz is double the cost of granite, and our house came with granite kitchen counters included.  Solution: I'm upgrading the granite to the least hideous one I could find.  Eli is very uncomfortable with the cost, but I know I'm going to win this battle.  I was paying attention at the low volt meeting.  I know how much his precious automation is going to run us.  He should be glad I'm not insisting on quartz.  He also wanted to pick the builder grade carpet, to which I laughed in his face.  Literally.  I think it made the gallery lady uncomfortable.  To his credit, he picked out almost all the tile, and I love it.  Once we got going, we were surprisingly in-sync with the look we wanted.  

The floorplan is smaller than we thought we'd go (especially for the price), but we agreed it was the right size of house for us.  We're going to have all the living spaces on the main floor with a half bath, and three bedrooms, laundry room, loft, plus two more baths upstairs.  The house doesn't come with a finished basement, so we're finishing it directly after we get the keys to add another bedroom (Eli's office), bathroom, and rec space.  It'll be about 3000 square feet once we're finished with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and a living space on each floor.  Also a clear view of Pike's Peak and other mountains I don't know the names of.  Or a bunch of kids playing on a playground if you're feeling creepy.  (Please don't visit our house if this is the case.)

Since we're building a house, it won't actually be ready until the end of the year, so we rented an apartment for 7 months to watch our new baby go up.  There's not much to say about the apartment other than it's close and it's not big enough for an office for Eli.  We do get a garage though, so we can essentially store our stuff for free.  The housing market in the Denver area is crazy right now, so since they had an available two bedroom, we took it.  Our lease starts July 11th, so we're planning to start our move July 10th.  We have a moving truck coming the weekend of the 4th of July, so we'll be packing it from the 3rd to the 9th.  Yes we need help.  Please help.  My back hurts just thinking about doing it all by ourselves.  The truck will up and leave with it's friendly driver (I'm making an assumption here), and it'll be dropped off within 7 days at our new apartment.  In the mean time, we're loading up both cars with kids, cats (okay just one cat), stuff we can't live without, and knowing Eli, 10 pounds of Fuddrucker's because there isn't one anywhere in the state of Colorado.  It's been great Wisconsin, but we're out. 

This is our floor plan.  We got the fancy master bath and kept the loft.

This is one of our neighbors.  We got the same color scheme but with a much darker roof, and the house looks pretty similar.

Same neighbor, from the side.
Same neighbor, from the back.  They haven't done any landscaping yet because the community is so new.

This is our pile of dirt.  One day this will be where our house is.

That fence at the bottom is our back fence.  This is a small portion of our view.

This is the playground from just outside our back fence.


This is the community rec center pool #1.

Pool #2, now with waterslide!

Pool #3, zero-depth for the littles. (I couldn't get pool #4, the lap pool.)

This is a drawing of what our house will actually look like in a boring beige color.  Again, we're going blue like the first pics.

Monday, March 16, 2015

It's possible to nail jello to a tree if you use a Ziploc baggie.

Last weekend was glorious.  My kids were visiting their cousin overnight, so me and the hubby had 36 amazing hours to ourselves.  I slept in until 11:30, guys.  11:30 in the morning!  We had a leisurely brunch that did not involve milk cups or picking up a toy from the floor for the hundredth time.  We stayed up until 2am playing games with friends and didn't have a minor spat about who would play zombie parent in the morning with the kids.  I need one of those more than once a year.  Luckily for us, we're going to Punta Cana for 9 days sans kids in the end of June, so I'll get at least one more shot to sleep until lunchtime.

Remember how I told you guys about Dante and his ladybug friends?  Last week at bedtime, he was messing with his ear while I was getting his room ready for the night.  I saw him out of the corner of my eye and had a sudden sense of foreboding.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he was putting his friend to bed.  To my dawning horror, he was trying to shove a ladybug into his ear.  Not just set it gently in the wide-open outer part, he was trying to shove it into the inside of his ear.  I pulled his hand away and pried the ladybug out of the hole, but he started crying because he really wanted a ladybug in his ear for bedtime.  He was tired, so it was easy to distract him with a story, and I was profoundly grateful that the ladybug was either dead or too terrified to move while he was trying to insert it.  I can only imagine his horror if it had started wiggling.  He hasn't tried to do it again, I think, but I'm not watching him every minute.  For all I know, he could have an entire colony of terrified ladybugs in his head.  It would explain why he flails himself right off the couch sometimes. 

Eli had decided that he very much enjoys his new job, so he's waiving the three-month waiting period for our move.  Originally, he wanted to wait until the beginning of May to decide whether or not we would move, but now it's all systems go.  The only thing we're waiting on is for our house to sell.  As soon as we have an accepted offer, we'll be flying to Colorado to try to find a new house.  If Colorado doesn't work out, we already have a couple of places we like in Florida.  Either way, we'll be moving as soon as we can.  In the meantime, we've had seven showings this week, and the stress is going to kill me, or someone else, very soon.  Do you know what it's like to keep a house show-ready for multiple days in a row with small children?  Answer: like nailing jello to a tree.  But only if the jello is demanding snacks and knocking smaller jello to the ground.  (Don't worry, smaller jello is fine, he's used to the abuse from his older brother.)  Right this second, we don't have any future showings scheduled, and I'm inordinately happy about that.  We need showings to sell the house, and one of my biggest fears is that we'll be packing for Punta Cana and cleaning the house for "just one more showing."  If the house isn't sold in time for our anniversary vacation, I'm not coming back from paradise.

Brothers.

Arms up!

Learning how to shriek, courtesy of his big brother.

Example one of big jello knocking little jello to the ground.

Example two of jello on jello crime.

C's first birthday was last month.  The cake was acceptable.

Until he bit into it, then it wasn't being shoved into his mouth fast enough.

Rainbow Dash.  I made this for a friend's daughter.

Butt shot.

D insisted he needed a "Mama Chicken," so I made him one.  He sleeps with it now.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Does shivering count as exercise?

I can't feel my fingers.  Our furnace decided to stop working at some point Saturday night.  Eli woke me up on Sunday with the romantic phrase: Get up and get the kids, the furnace is broken.  We also had a showing that afternoon.  I thought cleaning the house for a showing was bad, but cleaning it when it's 55 degrees in the bathroom is worse.  Since it was Sunday, we called a couple of repair places who promptly did not call us back.  We finally got ahold of someone Sunday night who offered to come out immediately for $280 or first thing Monday morning for $120.  We knew what was wrong with it, it was a ten-minute fix, and there was nothing we could to do to get the part to actually fix it ourselves.  So being sturdy Wisconsinites, we decided to spend the night shivering and made an appointment for Monday morning.  I did not sleep well. Despite piling four blankets on top of me and having a heated mattress pad under me, I still got blasts of cold air every time I shifted.  Fun.  The kids were fine because we put heaters in both of their rooms. When I woke up this morning, it was 50 degrees in the house.  I decided that the urge to pee was not nearly as strong as my need to not be frozen to the toilet seat.  I also decided that I would make a hot breakfast this morning because at least the stove warmed up my hands.  That was the same reason I studiously did the dishes first thing.  The repairman came when promised and the furnace was up and running ten minutes later.  Unfortunately, it takes a long time to heat up a house with poor insulation.  Unsurprisingly, the people who looked at the house on Sunday were not interested in purchasing it. 

C's first birthday is just around the corner, and we're celebrating with cake and sandwiches.  If you're in the area around 3pm on Sunday, Feb. 15th, stop on by and get some free food and entertainment.  C loves his food, and I can't wait to see what he does to the cupcake we're going to give him. 

In preparation for the toy bonanza soon to be upon us, I've told D that we're going to sort through his toys and give the ones he doesn't play with to kids who don't have toys.  I have high expectations of this going horribly.  D doesn't really share on his best days, so I assume this will force him into full on hoarding of all his stuff.  He seemed fine when we made valentines for his class this weekend, but I'm not sure he understands that he'll be giving those away.  Guess we'll find out on Thursday.  Should be fun. At least more fun than playing keep away with a frozen toilet seat. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

I'm sure they have a lot of protein.

I remember talking to somebody at some point (I know, I can't really be any vaguer than that) about how I was glad I had all boys because then I never have to live through a princess phase.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm a total Dizgeek, and I love princesses, but I wanted my kids to be interested in things beyond royalty.  A few years later, lo and behold, fate laughs at me again.  I'm pretty sure D is a Disney princess in training.  Some evidence, if you will: He loves things that are pink and soft or fuzzy.  He always wants the pink straw or the pink floss pick.  He insists I give him the "soft blankie" every night.  He steals my sparkly hair clips and wants me to put them in his hair.  He picked the Ariel sticker over the Cars sticker at the doctor last week.  And probably the biggest piece of evidence: Every time it's sunny outside, ladybugs start crawling all over the inside of our windows.  D loves the ladybugs.  He calls them his friends and carries them around with him.  He sings to them.  If this were a forest and the ladybugs were rabbits, I'd just buy him a tiara and have it done.  The best part is that if D is the princess, then C is the evil villain.  One of his greatest pleasures in life is to find a helpless ladybug and snack on it for lunch.  (Don't worry, ladybugs aren't poisonous...I checked.)  It happens so often that I just assume there's a ladybug in there if he's got something in his mouth.  D has noticed C's preoccupation, and he gets really upset every time C starts chewing.  His reason?  C is eating his friends.  That's not something you can say very often and be okay with.  I'm starting to get a little upset myself because if D is going to be the princess, maybe he can convince his little friends to start cleaning the house for me.  That'll never happen if I'm letting his brother eat them at will. 

 Eli started his new job today.  It's very exciting for all of us, but it marks a new phase in our schedule.  Since Eli is working from an office/guest room upstairs, we have some new challenges to deal with.  I've had to explain to D several times that Daddy is at work, and we can not go into the room.  No, not even to show him your new ladybug friend.  It also means that he will probably no longer be getting up at 6 to get ready for work.  This is great for Eli, but it means that now I have to help get up early and get the kids breakfast.  Eli always did it before because he was already up.  I'm not yet sure how I feel about that.  I'm hoping he'll be available to play with the kids for more than an hour a day now though, so that would totally be worth it.  He gets off at 5 now, but since he can sleep in, he hopefully won't need a nap at that point.  That means the kids get him for an extra hour (and I get an extra hour of help while I'm trying to make dinner.)  The biggest thing is that this work from home job lets us live wherever we want.  All we're waiting for is an offer on our house and we're going to book a flight to Denver to buy a house there.  Probably.  The stipulation on Denver is that we have to find a house we like in our price range, but I'm not worried.  Even if we can't find anything, I'm happy with Tampa as a second option.  We've already found houses we like there.  And big plus, D can expand his menagerie at either location.

I had to go in for a blood test today.  If you remember, I developed hypothyroidism while pregnant with C, and my hormone levels have been slowly returning to normal.  We're checking today to see if I can stop taking the daily medication.  That would be awesome, but then I'd lose my handy excuse for why it's so hard for me to lose weight this time.  I've been slowly, SLOWLY dropping the pounds, but I've had to be extremely strict with my eating and I work out 1-3 hours a day.  Every day.  That's a lot for most people. I've been a Weight Watchers member for nigh on ten years now, and I don't remember it being this hard the last time.  I finally gave in and bought an activity monitor (turns out Weight Watchers has one).  According to this thing, I'm active all day anyway.  Add in the gym time and I get a half a day's worth of points back.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Weight Watchers, a half a day's worth of points is a LOT.  That's like an extra cupcake's worth of calories each day.  And not those skimpy little cupcakes from the grocery store.  I'm talking the huge cupcakes from Gigi's with the mound of frosting on top.  I don't eat the extra cupcake calories, clearly, but it's still slow going.  Having said all that, I've changed up my work out routine to include a lot more strength training with weights and slightly less cardio.  I think that kind of work out will make me stronger in the long run, but I won't lose pounds as quickly.  As long as that holds true and I do lose the pounds eventually, I'm happy with it.  Mostly, I just want to fit into my old clothes again.  I miss my clothes.  They call to me.  And also, I want to look good for my 5 year anniversary trip to Punta Cana.  I want to wear a bikini and be comfortable.  Maybe I should look into C's new ladybug diet, he seems to love it.