Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Resolutions

This year I'm planning to take more time to myself.  To be selfish and do what I want.  Not what I think I should be doing.  Not what other people think I should be doing but what I want.  Lower my expectations of myself and just let me be me. Here are ways I want to be more ME in 2012.

Use my ME time more wisely. Stop doing things I don’t want to do or feel obligated to. I belong to several clubs that I don’t really love and have decided that I won’t renew my membership. The obligations are not much but it doesn’t make sense for me to commit to something when I don’t really want to be doing it. If I don’t want to watch tv, then don’t. It’s not quality time to sit next to my dear husband and watch in silence and then think of all the things I could be doing. I could use that time to make a phone call or be a better self.

Be a better recycler. We throw a lot of things out that should be recycled. I confess sometimes it is easier to throw it away than to rinse and recycle. Stop making excuses, this is a very easy way to make a small difference in the world my son lives in.

Drink more tea. Try two new teas each month to find a few that I really like. Enjoy them in the afternoon or after dinner in place of wine or beer. Appreciate the process, the smell, the warmth of a cup of tea.

Date night in. Two times a month (once when I cook and once when Dave cooks), eat dinner after Nolan goes to bed. While I know having a family meal is important I also know that eating a leisurely meal while speaking to your spouse is equally important.

Stop keeping score. I am terrible about keeping track of who took out the garbage, emptied the dishwasher, changed the toilet paper, etc. Then I get mad and resentful for the score being uneven, even if I’m a bad scorekeeper. Things need to be done. Just do it. If I need help, ask and be specific about what I want and in what time frame.

Take it easier on myself. Treat myself better. We are all our worse critics. I am terrible. I take a yoga class in a room with mirrors and criticize my body the entire class. I put so much effort into thinking about the ‘right’ thing to do I have trouble just being me. Silence my inner critic and treat myself to things that I will appreciate. I enjoy pedicures but not as much as a yoga class. Take the yoga class and paint my own toes. Relax my conscience about what Nolan should be eating and just let him enjoy food.

DO things, stop thinking about doing things. If it takes less than 1 minute, do it when I think of it. If it takes less than 10 minutes, do it during Nolan’s nap or after dinner. Make a list and get it done. Stop putting things off, it only frustrates you to see it not done. After dinner, get ready for bed.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas... more

Nolan got a sufficient amount of 'man'ly tools this christmas.  Here he is putting his tools on his toolbelt. 
 He got some great books from Uncle Jim which he tried out with GaGa.
 And when Nolan wasn't looking, his little cousin AJ got in some weed whacking.  All boys love power tools, huh?
 Here is Nolan and Daddy in their matching hats.  A very good christmas was had by all. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Re-Cap

Christmas was a really wonderful celebration.  Enjoying the spirit of Christmas through a child's eyes was by-far the best way to enjoy the holiday. 
One of Nolan's favorite gifts was his new bathrobe, which he nearly refused to take off on Christmas and after his first bath.  He looks so silly and absolutely adorable.
 He also got a weed whacker.  He is a big fan of his big cousin's lawn maintenance tools and this was a favorite of his.
 Even Dad got into the action wearing the construction hat he got with his tool belt.  Dad didn't put the toolbelt on though. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Morning

Santa brought a kitchen to our house for Nolan.  And Nolan really liked it.  He went straight to it and began to play.  He filled up the coffee pot and served some to us.  He opened the oven door and closed it with his foot about 5 times and he seemed really excited about it. 
 Then we went to the living room to see if Santa ate the cookies we left out for him.  Nolan peered over the table and saw there was a little cookie leftover.
 And he helped himself to the remaining cookie.  Because nothing says Christmas morning like coffee and cookies.
 This little munchkin sure has developed a sweet tooth during this holiday season.  He sure loves coo-coos.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

On Christmas eve we decorated the cookies for Santa.  These are the ones Nolan decorated.  While he said he was giving Santa two cookies, we didn't want the reindeer to be hungry too.  While decorating them, Nolan didn't try to eat any and hardly licked his fingers when he got frosting on them.
 When we took the plate of cookies into the living room to leave near the chimney, Nolan was very hesitant.  Later Dave said he thought Nolan believed Santa would be in the living room.  He did seem to be looking around for Santa.  Next we began to read Twas The Night Before Christmas.  In the middle of the story Nolan jumped down and took a few bites of cookies. 
 Then he offered the cookie to the Santa in the book. 

Once he seemed to understand that Santa wasn't coming to the living room until after he went to sleep we attempted the rest of the story.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gearing Up For Christmas

My parents arrived on Wednesday for Christmas and to stay with us for a week.  It's always different having someone else in the house.  Our routine gets thrown off, Nolan acts out a little bit and with Christmas arriving soon we have lots to do which means less attention for the Prince.
 But this year he's been a great helper.  Unfortunately the camera has decided to delete the photos of Nolan helping to make the cookies (perhaps it did get damaged when I dropped it last week).  He did a great job helping to cut the cookies, just like playdough.  Tomorrow we will decorate them and leave some for Santa.
 Nolan only wants to leave Santa two cookies but I don't think that's enough for the big guy so we'll leave more than that.  He's been doing ok, hanging in there with all the different activity going on. He did great opening his first presents from his cousins, though I fear present opening with him can take hours, he's a tad slow.  He also thoroughly enjoyed climbing and banging on the boxes.
What a good little boy.  Hopefully we can find some photos of the cookie making and perhaps be able to keep some from Christmas.  What a bummer, looks like I might need a camera for Christmas this year... is it too late?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Train

While Nolan was less than excited about the visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Pedro the Penguin and the elves on the Essex Steam Train Santa Ride he was thrilled to see all the trains.  This is what he did at each train.
 Then he would 'Choo Choo' at it (he's so my child).  Anyway, so he was really excited to be around all the trains.  Excited means lots of pointing and grunting and waving his finger.  He was thrilled. 
It was a really fun day even if he slept through the train ride.  Really, a wonderful day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Santa Train

This weekend we went to Essex to ride the Santa Train.  A 60 minute train ride on an old fashioned steam train where Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and Pedro the Penguin come through the train cars to visit with the children.  We were super excited.  Nolan LOVES trains and is a big fan of Santa.  We hoped he would sleep on the car ride to the station so he'd be well rested for the train ride. Unfortunately he didn't nap.  This is Nolan seeing Santa come onto our car right after the train began to move.
 This is Nolan when Santa got near him.  I don't know what happened?  He became a clinger monkey, gripping me really tight- you can see he's got my back in his grip in this photo, meanwhile giving Santa a high five.
 This was our attempt at getting a photo with Santa and Nolan.  Nolan just clung to me.  Tightly.
 Promptly after Santa moved onto to other, more willing, children Nolan fell asleep on me.  THIS was monumental.  The last time he slept on me was our dreadful West coast trip 13 months ago which made us swear we'd never change time zones with a baby again.
 And when Santa came back through the train at the end of the ride Nolan woke up briefly for a sleep, yet still clingy photo with Santa. 
Overall this trip was awesome.  I hope he'll enjoy the ride a lot more next year.  Though I must confess, having Nolan nap on me for 50 minutes or so was pure bliss.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snowman Decorations

Nolan has a few ornaments that are 'his' which is to say they are on a shelf that he can reach and they are not very breakable.  Every day he rearranges them, on the same shelf, or sometimes on the counter or another shelf. 
 So it was very funny when one day he took them into the bathroom and got his step down, put one snowman on the step and the other on the edge of the counter and proceeded to pretend wash his hands.
He is really funny about the decorations but this was priceless.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let the Gift Giving Begin!

Sorry for the random photos, I dropped my camera this week and lost all the recent ones.  And well, Nolan's not that easy to get pictures of anymore.  Anyway, today was the first of our gift giving.  It was our last music class before Christmas and we had a little something for the teacher.  He really seemed to love giving her the gift.  It was SO cute to watch.  He's really precious. This year has been interesting with gift giving.  There are a lot more people involved in our lives and having to figure out who to give gifts to has been a challenge.  Do we give to our babysitters?  The mailman who we see quite often since he generally comes during Nolan's lunch and often when eating lunch Nolan says 'mailman'.  The daycare ladies at the gym?  The hairdresser?  So we decided to gift small somethings to them but I'm stumped on my hairdresser so please provide your thoughts on that, she's 25 and super hip and probably doesn't want a candle. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

No Idea

What is so funny about Christmas this year is that Nolan really has no idea about the magic of Santa.  He LOVES the books we have about Santa.  He loves seeing lit up reindeer in the neighborhood (and says 'Santa').  He re-tells his story of meeting Santa: 'Santa... oh oh ho... caca (candy cane)' and then Nolan pats his lap- yes, you sat on his lap.  But really, Nolan has no clue.  And next year will be so fun.
 So for this year we will enjoy finding every single Santa in every single book we have.  We even have an I Spy book about christmas where we look only for Santas on every page (sidenote, if you don't know what I Spy books are and have kids, look it up.  these things are awesome).  And it's fun to talk about Santa. 
It's fun to look for Santa.  It's fun to hear Nolan say 'ho ho ho' but it sounds more like 'oh oh oh'.  It's so fun.  But he really has no idea.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

We got our Christmas tree today.  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
 Nolan was really interested in decorating the tree, we let him pick where the non-breakable ornaments would go.  He did a really great job clustering them all in one area.
 He inspected many, tried to throw a glass ball (one down, 37 more to go) and to confuse him even more, we have a baseball ornament... tricky.
 He seemed stumped by this one, a pine cone with a fake bird and fake birds nest on it.  He picked some pieces off it.  Overall he made decorating the tree really really fun this year, if not a little stressful and very fast. Once one was laid in the tree he ran back to the table to get another.  Dave was in charge of hanging the ornaments where Nolan placed them. I was charged with giving him another non breakable ornament to place on the tree.
 And in true Mom-form, he grabbed the mini wine bottle ornament and put it to his mouth... I swear he's never seen me drink wine from the bottle.  Promise.
Now we have to convince him to no longer touch the tree... hmmm... that's confusing right?  One day he is allowed to put the lights, beads and ornaments on the tree, the next day he's not supposed to touch it?  Oh we're in for a long few weeks, I predict.  But super duper fun ones too!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Look at this smile

This could this be the first time he sat still (sort of) and smiled for a camera.  Look at that pose.  He's perfect.  I hope we are moving into a really awesome phase of sitting still.  Lately we've been playing this 'baby' game where he wraps himself up in a towel or blanket and says 'baby' in the CUTEST voice ever and snuggles into me.  I can read him books or just sit and rock him.  While he doesn't stay still for long, he does go back to this game over and over.  I LOVE these snuggles.  LOVE them. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Boys

Sometimes I find Dave and Nolan just hanging out.  They play so differently than the way Nolan and I play it's fun to watch.  Generally it's more energetic and a little rougher which is fine by me.  I like that I'm not the person playing that way.  Nolan's getting big.  Soon (feels like very soon) he'll be bigger and stronger than me. 
 But when this weekend I heard they were quiet I had to go see what they were up to.  This is what I found.  Now this might look strange but this was in between sets of Nolan's triceps push ups, when Dave lifts Nolan up while he's in a sitting position and does it for 15 reps.  Nolan loves it.  It's hysterical.  And Dave is getting a work out.
 Just two guys, my guys, hanging out, working out.  I love these two. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I think we have a problem

So, while it seems really innocent and cute, Nolan has been convincing pretty girls to let him rub their hair on his belly.  It's weird.  These are not, unfortunately, the only two incidents.
 Great.  Another really fun and awkward phase.  I might I'd prefer him hitting other children over this phase.
At least now I know to forewarn people and tell them not to do it, even if he looks really cute asking and they don't mind.  Oh dear me, this one is something else. 

*as a side note, this is funny.  It's funny until it's awkward.  We are trying to let it run it's course but also suggesting that people don't partake in this and suggest he use his blanket or stuffed animals rather than girls' hair to rub on his belly.

Monday, December 5, 2011


The decorations are out.  Yes, me and Mr. Goofball (that'd be Nolan) put up the decorations last week.  His favorite are, no surprise, the snowmen.  And also the Santa hats.
 Not only did he wear one but insisted that I wear one too.  So the two of us walked around the house putting up our few decorations, laughing at ourselves in the mirror.
 I really can't wait until he gets older.  And when we get more decorations.  Our house is hardly Christmas-ized.  We will be getting the tree next week.  That'll help.  When are kids old enough to drink hot cocoa?  Sing Christmas carols? 
I really love this time of year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Candy Cane

I'm fairly certain the highlight of visiting Santa was the candy cane.  According to Santa, these are authentic, straight from the North Pole.  It's what coaxed Nolan to see Santa again, he didn't get a candy cane after his first exchange with the jolly old elf.
 In these pictures, Nolan is keeping a watchful eye on Santa while other children are visiting with him. But really what was strange to me was giving him a candy cane.  They just don't seem like kid friendly treats, when you think about it.  Despite it being pepperminty, Nolan devoured it.  I'm surprised.  Peppermint isn't really a kid-friendly flavor in my mind.  Also is that it's thin so children (Nolan) can bite off small pieces and choke on them.  Nolan didn't chole but he also didn't enjoy the candy for too long before he was a sticky mess, bit off a piece and we took it away.
 After having some thorough discussions with people about what their kids eat, I feel pretty proud of the choices/neglect we've made for Nolan.  He doesn't use ketchup or dressing or any dipping sauce that many kids his age use, mainly because we've never offered them to him.  He does use fake syrup (yes, straight up High Fructose Corn Syrup) when we have waffles or pancakes and he loves it which is why we made the decision to delay any more dipping sauces.  We've offered him hummus, pesto and a few other grown up flavors which he rejected but over all I'm pretty proud of his eating, no matter how weird it seems to other people.  And we are a united front on this matter.
So while he really loved his candy cane here, I don't think that means candy will endlessly be in his future.  He'll have enough to get him through this holiday season and I'm sure many cookies but hopefully we can hold off ketchup for a while longer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Visit with Santa

As Nolan was sprinting down the hall to see Santa saying 'tanta, tanta' over and over I wondered how he would react upon meeting the actual Santa.  We've talked him up, read books about him, sang songs about him and described him but there is nothing that can really prepare a child for meeting the actual Santa.  Once we entered the large room with Santa sitting in one end of it Nolan quickly got very quiet, ignored Santa and played with the Choo Choos while I tried to convince him to wave to Santa.  He wouldn't even do that at first.
 Once Dad got there and after we'd been there about 20 minutes, Nolan wanted to give Santa a crumpled up piece of paper.  Other children were coloring a picture or writing a letter to Santa but Nolan just crumpled it up and offered it to Santa, starting from about 50 feet away and step by step moving closer and closer until finally, with dad as reinforcement, the paper was handed off.
 We seized the opportunity of closeness and Santa also got a high five.  Then Nolan ran away. 
After another 10 minutes of getting comfortable with Santa being in the room, we went for a second more forceful attempt.  Nolan was placed on Santa's lap where he stayed for several seconds before sliding off his lap.  Even after we showed Nolan how soft Santa's suit was, he wasn't staying for any longer.
 After a good 45 minutes of Nolan being in the same room with Santa and after consuming a candy cane which seemed to heighten his excitement, Nolan was very excited to be there and turned in an enthusiastic waver, not only at the real Santa but also at every Santa decoration in the room.  This was very fast waving, almost frantic.
I think after all that, Nolan and Santa are friends.  I hope so, we'll be seeing him again next weekend.