Monday, April 30, 2012


Every morning I fight to untangle some piece of jewelry, starting my day off crankier than I should.... but not any more!

Look out world, this mama is one step closer to halfway organizing her life. ;-)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

21, 22, 23 and....24 months old!

I can no longer claim to keep up my once, very regular blogger status, if I can't even blog about my youngest son's accomplishments each month. What a pathetic and weak turnout I've had for poor Callum this last year. :(

I had every intent to keep on with months 21 and 22, but by the time I was so behind that I was looking at month 23, I then actually made a conscious effort to not post. Because, then what the heck would I say for the big 2.0 the following month? ;-)

I can't possibly pretend to remember all the various milestones Callum surpassed over the past four months but I do remember a few of the most important.

His language skills have really picked up - and his fun attitude really shines through at the same time. Callum has started to carry on more regular conversations with short complete sentences (some words are clear as day while others Jon and I still have to listen to very closely). He's certainly learned the meaning of "no" and "stop", which are sometimes cute and sometimes annoying. ;-) He's also prone to put his finger to his lips and say "shhhh" from time to time, which I can only imagine he gets from the teachers at school (since I usually bark at my kids "HUSH!" when I need them to pipe it down). He also LOVES to say "my turn", which I remember Logan doing at about the same age, but interestingly, Callum has to say it in a threatening gruff (but silly) voice, rather than a sweet inquiring voice. QUITE THE DIFFERENCE!

Callum has also really honed his physical skills too - he's quick to push (say, his older brother), if he doesn't get what he wants or something is in his way. He loves to jump - EVERYWHERE (to the point that I've been looking at various trampolines to set up in the house!). He's great at climbing up and down stairs no problem and is getting better with ladders, but still needs help (which can be tricky since his big brother sometimes sleeps on the top bunk, and we forget that the ladder is still out!) He's a super fast runner and climbs up and down furniture, couches, coffee tables (or dining tables - ack!), chairs, etc. with ease. All of this is great because it definitely shows how comfortable he's becoming in his own skin but what I enjoy the most, is how much he LOVES to tackle and rough house with his brother. Logan is in heaven that he can play more and more with Callum too. It's so fun to see.  :)

A couple other blog-worthy milestones that Callum has just started hitting are learning to use regular cups instead of sippy cups. We've been phasing the sippy cup out at the table during meals. It's definitely a tough process, since it means I need to keep an extra close eye on him and sit next to him rather than balance a few other chores while he eats, etc. but it's all worth it of course.

And finally, potty training! We are in the VERY FIRST stages, but it's exciting to start. A few months ago, Callum just barely started talking about "poo-poo" but not really doing much about it (and generally would let us know AFTER he went). Now he lets us know BEFORE (how much notice he gives us changes each day) when he has to go. For awhile, Jon and I thought he may just be saying it anytime he wanted to get picked up or wanted attention ;-) but now we can see he really means it and is letting us know.

And, just within this last month, he has also started saying "potty" (interestingly, he'll also often say "my turn, potty" after Logan has sat on the potty). We've started responding to "potty", by asking him if he wants to sit on the potty - it's 50/50 on whether he'll answer yes or no. And, save for two miraculous events which were pure accident I'm sure, he doesn't actually do anything when he is on the potty but smile, laugh, swing his legs, repeat peepee and poopoo, then stand up telling us he's "all done" and "bye bye poopoo" (when there's nothing actually in there).

But hey! It's a start! And we'll take it. :)

Finally, I'll throw in one last note that while most of the time Callum is super smiley and happy as can be, that happiness flips on a quick kill switch, where we often find him throwing mini-tantrums whenever he doesn't get his way or is overly tired or just doesn't like the way something is going.

And if he really wants to be dramatic about it, he'll fling his body on the floor, face down, sobbing uncontrollably. When this happens, I generally just step right over him and keep walking down the hall to my room, or wherever it is I'm going (which is harder to do when I want to leave the school to go home, but can't very well just leave my kid on the floor crying, can I?) I just laugh and shake my head - because if it weren't clear already, that type of behavior certainly solidifies it - we have a 2 year old running around our house.

We love you dearly Mr. Callum. Your devious and mischievous smiles, all of your impatience, and the constant twinkle in your eye. We love it all.

Happy (belated) second birthday!

Horsie ride!

Callum loved this one :)

All aboard!

Where are you going?

I'm going to North America!

And why are you going there?

Because that's where all the Super Heroes are! 

Another Sunday, another park


Zane got me this gorgeous plant for my birthday and now it's starting to bloom (which is very exciting for the boys). :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reason #94722 our neighborhood is awesome

Our neighbor Pete just spent the last 30 minutes playing chase and tag with Logan (along with a bunch of other games made up, and demanded, by Logan).  :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ear test

I decided to get a hearing test done for Logan since he is always saying "What? What did you say?" and I can't tell if it's just behavioral and he's not paying attention, or if he truly has a hearing problem. And, given Callum's ear issues, I just wanted to be sure.

So we went to our ENT today and got his ears checked out. Good news! His ears are just fine. He has consistently normal results across the board in understanding speech and hearing sounds, nor does he show any signs of infection or fluid, and his middle ear looks healthy upon examination. So, all is good.

Our ENT says it could be Logan has minor ADD but it's hard to tell just yet.  He asked if our pediatrician has mentioned anything and/or if we see Logan as unusually fidgety?  I said, you mean like this? While Logan is yapping away and squirming in the patient chair. ;-)

He just laughed and said we can keep an eye on it but not to worry too much; all kids have a little ADD and if it's a mild case, they usually grow out of it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


We celebrated Jessie's 4th birthday at Chuck E Cheese this morning. The boys had fun playing games and running around. When we were all done, we spent most of Callum's tickets on stickers at the prize booth, because he's so obsessed with them, in case you couldn't tell. ;-)

Happy birthday Jessie!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


We invited the Jodoins over to play too and then several neighbors also joined in on the fun later on. A great impromptu play date! ;-)

Daddy the instructor

Jon showing the boys how to slide. :)

Slip n' Slide action

It was in the mid 90's today so we decided to go get a slip n' slide and water pool for the kiddos to play in. They loved it!


Logan is practicing his writing by spelling out words. The words he wants to practice? Monster, skeleton and zombie (complete with his zombie face).

Once more, I'm reminded that I'm raising boys. 

Celebrations continued

Yesterday was a much better day. First off, I got my keys back! (a coworker found them in one of our conference rooms and had turned them in). 

Callum didn't have as great a start to the day. I took him in for his 2 yr checkup, where he had to have his (last) shot.  That was unpleasant and he was pretty cranky the rest of the day unfortunately. :( His growth over the last 6 months has been astounding however. His weight continued to stay at 50% (27lbs, 1oz) but his height is now "off the charts", meaning he's past the 100th percentile (he's 37" tall). Dr. Safir thinks he'll be a tall 6'2" or 6'3" once he's full grown. My dad scoffs at that though, since Safir said the same thing about my brother Kai, who is just shy of 6' tall. So we'll see! :)

For our evening birthday celebrations, we joined my brother, parents and grandparents for dinner at our favorite Mexican spot (La Milpa). Once we stuffed ourselves silly, we headed back to my parent's house for coffee/tea and  cake from a local bakery who is renowned for their banana cake. It was deeeelicious! Callum was very happy eating all of his frosting (and none of his cake). ;-)

To end the night, we opened Callum's remaining presents. Logan loved helping Callum in this process. :) Callum scored a ton of fun presents - but my personal favorite, I'm proud to say, was the little stuffed elephant we got him, which he immediately hugged tight and wouldn't let go the rest of the night! I'm very happy he took so well to it, since we've lately been having some bickering and fighting over Logan's stuffed puppy dog, and I needed to find something special that Callum could claim his own. ;-)

While driving back home that night Logan proclaimed it was a great party and a lot of fun. Glad we could make YOU happy buddy! ;-)

Happy birthday once more Callum!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What an evening!

I lost my truck keys today. And it really ruined my entire evening. 

I walked to the truck, running late as usual to pick up the boys, fumbling in my purse looking for my keys, but not finding them anywhere. I ran back into the office, searched all around my desk, dumped all contents of my purse out - no keys, nowhere. Completely locked out.

What was worse, I had no way to get to the boys to pick them up and Jon was (still is) up in the city. Our car seats are in his car, up in the city, and my truck, locked in the parking lot! 

I called the school to let them know I was locked out and could I pay the teacher to babysit the kids there, until I figured out how to pick them up?  Thankfully, Callum's teacher didn't have any immediate plans and was free.

I retraced my steps throughout the entire building. A coworker helped me the second time through, talking me back through my entire day, going from one conference room to the next searching under tables and chairs but they were nowhere to be found.

So, I called our trusty good friend Kim and thank GOD she was available to help.  She drove to our house to pick up the spare truck key, and then drove all the way to my work to meet me there.  Thank you Kim!!

Meanwhile, one of the moms at the school overheard my problem when I called the school – she's got two boys the same ages as mine and they're all friends.  So, she called me up and offered to take the boys with her to her house to watch (she lives a block from the school).  I was so very lucky to have her help me too!!  She just left her car at the school and walked all four boys home with her (and she's 7 months pregnant!). Amazing.

She texted me this sweet picture of the boys all sitting nicely, eating dinner together, to let me know all was fine. :)

By the time we got home, it was well past Callum's bedtime and he was fast turning into a cranky mess. :(  So much for enjoying a little joyous birthday with my kiddo!

We'll just have to make things right for him tomorrow. ;-)

Happy birthday little man!

Logan woke up first this morning, excited as ever for Callum's birthday. I had to remind him NOT to go wake up his brother but let him sleep in. ;-)

When Callum finally woke, Logan ran into his room and sang him happy birthday (very cute!). Then climbed into the crib, and you can't see it well but this is my poor helpless little 2 year old sitting on top of his big bad mean brother.

Not a bad job at fending for himself eh? ;-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

May the birthday prepping begin!

Logan is much more excited about Callum's birthday than Callum is (Callum isn't even aware of course).

Tonight, Jon took Logan to the store to pick out Callum's gift - which he was very proud about, and then insisted we wrap it the minute Callum went to bed. He did a pretty good job, evidence sitting on the far right. :)

Boys being boys

Inspecting a Ninjago book means all the moms are standing around FOREVER itchin' to get home. ;-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Orleans in 48 hours

A step-by-step guide on how to see New Orleans (or rather, the French Quarter) in 48 hours, for your birthday weekend:

Step 1: Try to make sure your birthday is St. Patrick's Day. It works out really well this way.

Step 2: Also, try to make sure Spring Break and the NCAA Final Four hit that same week/weekend.  It'll be crazier than ever, if you arrange for all these things to happen at the same time.  Trust me.

Step 3: Find out that your husband is going to a work conference in New Orleans, the week AFTER your birthday, so decide what better thing to do than tag along the weekend before, (partially) on the company's dime.

Step 4: Convince your parents what better thing to do, on your birthday weekend, than to take off to New Orleans with your husband, and leave your kids behind with them. 

Step 5: Book your tickets. Realize gas prices have gone up so much that tickets are ridiculous expensive these days. And realize that getting a non-stop flight to New Orleans is actually kinda hard to do. Weak.

Step 6: Anxiously and excitedly await your big trip. But, because you're so flippin' busy at work, don't do anything logical - like read up about New Orleans before hand, or plan out where to eat and shop. That's madness talking.

Step 7: Besides, you visited the French Quarter what, 25 years ago? How can it possibly be any different?

Step 8: Have your husband drop off the kids at school in the morning while you furiously pack - at the last minute - for the two of you that weekend.

Step 9: Call the cab and let them know to wait another 10 minutes since your husband is caught in traffic.

Step 10: Watch the minutes tick by and calculate how late you can actually leave the house and still make it to the gate. They close the gate just 10 minutes before departure time, right? Pleeeeeeenty of time.

Step 11: Fly to New Orleans! Flights are slightly delayed but WHO CARES! You're on vacation! And holy crap there's no internet connectivity on the flight so what the heck are we going to do -- TALK?!?! :)

Step 12: Arrive in muggy New Orleans and wait in a long ass line to catch a cab into the French Quarter. But WHO CARES! You're on vacation!

Step 13: Check into your luxurious hotel - ask the desk clerk what places she'd recommend for dinner, then promptly forget everything she just said during your ride up the elevator, because WHO CARES! You're on vacation!

Step 14: Look up yummy dinner options while waiting for your phones/iPads to re-charge a bit.  You wouldn't want to be caught outside without a charged phone, would you?

Step 15: Head to dinner, at a delicious and cute creperia called La Crepe Nanou, which looks like some place right out of the side streets of France. Stuff yourselves silly and act like a tourist taking pictures of your super tired date.

Step 16: Decide to walk back to the Quarter while waiting for the next streetcar (not named Desire - ha!) to stroll by. Take more random tourist pictures of street signs, southern home porches and necklaces strung up in the trees overhead.  Locals give you a few side glances but WHO CARES!  You're on vacation!

Step 17: Stop and chat with a friendly elder couple visiting from Arkansas while waiting for the next streetcar.

Step 18: Climb aboard an impossibly packed car but WHO CARES!  You're on vacation.  Besides, you've got first class entertainment right in front of you, via the outgoing driver who loves to hit on every black woman with a large behind, within a 5 mile radius. ;-)

Step 19: Since your husband has never been to NOLA, and has never seen Bourbon Street, you decide well we MUST go. Like, right now.

Step 20: Wade through hundreds of drunk college kids on Bourbon Street. Find the bar that serves the green hand grenades everyone is carrying around.  Buy one, take two sips, spit it out (it tastes like cough syrup) and march on.

Step 21: Find a quieter street one block over for the walk home. MUCH better. Admire all of the gorgeous antiques in the shop windows. Don't hate for one minute that you are really just too old for the crowd one block over.  It's okay.

Step 22: Pat yourself on the back for staying up until 2:00am with all the booze hounds outside.

Step 23: Disregard the fact that you're still on Pacific time. WHO CARES! You're on vacation!

Step 24: Wake up at a leisurely hour.  Meet up with friends and walk to Cafe du Monde for birthday beignets and a delicious cafe au lait.  The line to get a seat stretches down the block but WHO CARES!  You're on vacation!


Step 25: Hunt for a green shirt that you might like to wear longer than a day in New Orleans.  Finally find a shop willing to print a shirt for you and pay more than it's worth but WHO CARES!  You're on vacation!

Step 26: Because you're gluttons for punishment, walk back to Bourbon Street to see if the craziness is just as crazy during the day light hours as it is at night (it's not - however people are ramping up for the evening parade!).

Step 27: Find another hand grenade (or two) for your friends.  Egg your husband to join in a washboard "duel" with the bar's band and laugh till your sides hurt.

Step 28: Since beignets can only tide you over so long, head back to the best place for lunch, Central Grocery.

Step 29: While waiting in another line (which also stretches down the block), your friends go hunting for more drinks and come back with (gross, more cough syrup tasting) jello shots. But WHO CARES! You're on vacation!

Step 30: After eating just half of your heart-stopping artery-clogging sandwich, head back to the hotel to rest and relax those old bones of yours.  It's okay.

Step 31: Dress up in some swank birthday dinner attire and head over to Arnaud's with your hubby, for your birthday dinner, complete with jazz trio, overlooking (the crazies on) Bourbon Street.  Love every minute of it.

Step 32: Full from dinner, walk out to find the end of the St. Patrick's Day parade still in full swing.  It started at 6pm and it's now 10pm.  That's sooooome parade!


Step 33: Make sure to stand as close to the parade as possible, so you can be front and center, collecting a ton of sparkling beaded necklaces from creepy old men.

Just married!

Step 34: Insider's tip: there are plenty of beaded necklaces to go around.  So, don't feel obligated to stoop over like the drunk woman next to you, grabbing beads off the dirty disgusting puke infested ground.  Nor should you feel obligated to kiss the creepy old men in the parade to get one - someone will throw you a necklace without even a peck!  ;-)

Step 35: Join part of the parade with your husband, because it's way faster walking IN the parade, than alongside it.  Wave to those poor people stuck in the crowds on the sidewalk.  And WHO CARES! if you're not a part of the parade!  You're on vacation!

Step 36: Meet up with your friends again.  Share a few more drinks.  Snap as many pictures with your camera phone as you can, but no matter how many you snap, you won't be able to capture the amazing sheer numbers of the crowds out that night.  All there to help you celebrate your birthday.  Awwwww.

Step 37: Decide to find an Irish bar to continue celebrating somewhere inside (there's got to be a nearby Irish bar around, right?)

Step 38: After walking in a few circles, stumble into the Kerry Irish Pub, a fantastic little joint with a live band covering many of your husband and your favorites.

Step 39: Find a seat up front and drink in all the joy and merriment (and drunkenness) in the room and realize you're having one of the best birthdays ever.  Squeeze your husband's hand real tight to thank him.

Step 40: Also realize your friends are about a decade younger than you and don't recognize any of the awesome covers the band is playing.  But WHO CARES! You're on vacation! And, it's okay.

Step 41: Head back to your hotel again once the band takes a break and your body starts to ache.  It's okay.  Hey look!  It's 2am you party animal!

Step 42: Sleep in because WHO CARES! You're on vacation!

Step 43: Bug your husband to hurry it the hell up, because you need to hit a few nearby shops for some must-have presents to bring back to the boys (cheap feather masks).

Step 44: Make sure to grab a coffee/beignet mix set for your parents too, since they so graciously babysat the rascals while you skipped town for the weekend.

Step 45: Meet with your friends again, this time to gorge yourself silly at Breakfast at Brennan's.  Super famous, super delicious, super heavy, and the only meal you'll need to eat the entire day.  But WHO CARES?  You're on vacation!


Step 46: Bid your friends good-bye, somewhere on the streets of the Quarter, and walk back to the hotel to pack.

Step 47: Kiss your husband and hug him tightly before having to head back to the airport and fly home.

Step 48: Miss your husband dearly, the minute you wave goodbye from inside the cab. But also get nervous and excited, looking forward to seeing your boys you've been away from for two whole days.

And that, my friends, is your step-by-step guide on how to see the Quarter in 48 hours (or less).  And have one of the best birthday weekends ever!

(To view all photos from our trip, visit our album online.)