Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Day

"Good day!" That's what W says when he's happy. If he's super happy, he'll say, "Good big day!". Well, today was definitely a good day. In my opinion, it was a good BIG day. We had a normal afternoon after school--ran by Target, where we happened to find BIG BOY underpants for a really fantastic price. A package of 7 Disney (Cars, Wall-E, Buzz Lightyear, Incredibles, etc) underpants marked down from $9.99 to $2.49. I got two packages, even though I wasn't anticipating starting the toileting process for a few more months. Well, so we get home and he does a little "fishing work" that I set up for him...

He's got a bin of water with a tiny bit of blue food coloring in it (the ocean!) with some sea critters hanging out. He uses a kitchen strainer to "catch" the critters and set them on the tray (actually the lid for the bin) beside the bin. He loves this kind of thing. It really builds his concentration.

So a little bit later, he has a big poop in his diaper. He wants to go get rid of the poop, and when I get a fresh diaper for him, he REFUSES to let me put it on. He insisted on putting on underpants. I explained to him that he had to tell me when he needed to tee-tee or poop so that we could get to the potty. He said "Okay!" He was so proud.Ta-da!
Love this pose.
So anyway, he had two accidents in a 10-minute time period. He was not happy when I insisted that he take off his own shoes, pants and underwear, but he made an effort to do so. I assisted when he needed help. After the second accident, he was fine for about an hour. When we went up for his bath, he sat on the potty and peed. He stood up, all excited, then sat right back down to pee some more.
He's in a diaper for bed, of course, but we are now done with diapers in the daytime. From what I've seen at work, with the toddlers in my class, you cannot go back and forth between diapers and underpants in the daytime. The child gets confused and doesn't know when he can and can't poop/pee. It's going to be a tough thing, I think, for the next few weeks, but hey, we'll only have to go through it once (with him, that is!). So say a little prayer for Mike and me! We're gonna need it!

For your viewing pleasure...

Here are some pictures from our various adventures over the past few weeks. Enjoy!
Here are the daffodils and tulips in my front garden. Notice the slate--a friend of mine was re-doing her front flower beds and got rid of the rocks--I snagged some for our yard!

Yay spring!

I liked these tulips in front of a church in Princeton.

Grrr! Here are Mike and W on top of one of the bronze tigers on the Princeton campus.

I had to include this one, just because W is just hilariously adorable with his finger stuck up his nose.

Ahh, now that's a nice family picture!

What is he looking at?!

Yup, that's a squirrel eating a donut out of a dumpster on the Princeton campus. A coconut-covered donut.And here's a different squirrel from a different dumpster in the same area eating a French fry.

Now that's a big door (Princeton campus).

Last weekend we went to an Earth Day celebration in Hopewell, a community about 15 minutes north of us. They had lots of activities for kids and neat stuff to see/do. W got to pet a chicken. I was really surprised at how soft the bird's feathers were. Seriously, they were velvety. I was also impressed by how muscular the wings on the bird were... Mmmmm... Hot wings....

They also had baby ducks. W enjoyed looking at them and "peeping" at them.
This was perhaps the coolest part of the event--Nomad Pizza. It's this company based out of Hopewell that makes wood-fired pizza right there in a truck. We got one for lunch, and it was absolutely delicious.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I took my dad to the train station yesterday (he takes the train to the airport--sooo much easier than driving to Newark!). It was sad to say goodbye, but he and Mom will be up to visit again in June. It's tough being so far away from family. I do, at times, envy folks back home who have family nearby. It would be fabulous to get to see my parents on a whim, or to even have a regular (free) date-night sitter. That part I do miss. But there are things that I don't miss, and there are opportunities both Mike and I have here that we would have never had back home (yes, I still call it "home", believe it or not!). In spite of the commute, Mike likes his work. I enjoy my work at the Montessori school--I think it's helped me become a better mother for W. I learned, long ago, not to try to predict the future. I have to remind myself to live in the moment and enjoy the life that I have, for it is a good one.
Our pastor's message yesterday was spot-on for me. The title of the sermon was "Eureka!" and the Gospel lesson was from Luke 24:13-35. Don't run for your Bible--it's the passage about the two men on the road to Emmaus who encounter the stranger (Jesus) and walk the 7 or so miles to their house without recognizing with whom they are traveling. They talk about the "strange events" that have happened over the past few days, still none the wiser as to whom their companion is. It's not until they get to their home, invite the stranger in for a meal and begin to eat that they catch on. At the very moment they realize who's with them, Jesus disappears. In their excitement, they go find the remaining 11 disciples (remember, Judas is dead at this point) and share their story. So the gist of the pastor's message was this: What you're looking for is usually right there in front of you, you just have to really want to see/believe it. He talked about how many great scientists (Archimedes, Einstein) made their great discoveries in a similar fashion. He broke down the process into three steps--
  1. Rigorous study/preparation (searching for the answer);
  2. Period of rest (that's when the discovery happens);
  3. Joy (Eureka! I figured it out!).
From my own experience, that's how it is with God. After years of questions, doubt, denial, study, exploration, etc, I began to get God. I say "began to" because I don't think finding God is a one-time, one-shot thing. I think it's a process, a process people of faith work with on a daily basis. I don't think we're supposed to get God, really, because to do so would induce complacency. Instead, I think we're supposed to marvel at God's wonder and grace, and treat each day as yet another chance to experience God's power. So I suppose Step #3, for me, isn't a snapshot in time, but rather an ongoing experience. As in, each day should be filled with joy and "eureka's".

Talkin' 'bout a heatwave!

The temperature has gotten up to 90 the past two days. This is highly unusual weather for us here in The Jerz. Usually we don't hit 90 until July. We had part of the power cut off in our house because of a "light installation project" in the kitchen (I'll explain the quotes later), so the fan in our bedroom wasn't working last night. Mike and I just lay there for what seemed like hours until he said, "Are you asleep?" "No," I replied. "I'm hot," he says; "Me too," I say. "Wanna turn on the AC?" he says. SHOCK. Usually I am the first to open up that can-o-worms, and usually I hold out till late-May! "Please do," I said. Thank the Lord he did, otherwise I don't think I would have gotten a wink of sleep.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Mike, my dad and our kind neighbor Matt are installing our new countertops today! Mike and Dad ripped the old ones out on Thursday. They had a little trouble with the new ones at first, as one of the pieces wasn't mitered correctly. They bought a new one at Home Depot and the new one seems to be a bit better.
Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Finally! Spring has sprung! Today it got up to 76 degrees. It was absolutely gorgeous. This morning, we spent some time cleaning up the churchyard. They were supposed to have childcare, so we took W with us, but the care provider was sick, so I basically watched W play while Mike worked on cleaning up the bushes along the road. After that, we headed up to Hopewell for the Green Market at their old train depot. W got to pet alpacas, chickens and baby ducks. He got to try out a tumbling apparatus that was sponsored by a local gym for kids. We ate delicious wood-fired pizza from the traveling wood-fired pizza kitchen (believe it!). After wonderful naps this afternoon, we prepared some delicious food to grill. Our neighbors Ethel and Matt are coming over to grill, so I'm out for now.
Oh, and I'm recovering from bronchitis. But I'm doing much better. At least my voice is back.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New and improved

I have been in desperate need (want) of a new bag. I've really enjoyed carrying around my Vera Bradley tote that Mike got for my birthday a few years ago, but had fallen back into the habit of toting around my favorite (read: boring) Longchamp bag that I've been using since my senior year at Smith. While it is incredibly classic and practical, it is a bit dull, and I felt that I needed something a little cheerier to match this cheery time of year. Hence, my quest for a new, springy bag. I got my Vera Bradley catalog in the mail yesterday, something I always enjoy flipping through, as I admire the beautiful fabrics and styles. However, nothing in the past year has particularly grabbed my attention to the point of actually wanting to buy a new bag. Not so, this time. One of the new spring fabrics, Bali Blue, is absolutely gorgeous. It was love at first sight. So off I went to The Papery, a fancy-schmancy boutique in Princeton that happens to sell VB wares. The bag that I thought I wanted turned out to be a wee bit large, so I settled on this one...
The best part about the whole thing? My MIL treated me to it! She called it my wedding anniversary present, which actually worked out fine, since I think Mike appreciated the fact that he didn't have to shell out the money for it.

Frolic time!

To raise money for mission projects, our church is holding FROLICS. I am hosting a sewing frolic in June. I am really excited about this opportunity to share my love of embroidery with others for a good cause. Here's my Frolic description:

Title of Frolic: A Stitchin' Time
Date of Frolic: Saturday, June 6, 2009
Time of Frolic: 9 am until noon

Description of Frolic: No matter what your sewing skills are, you can create an adorable hand-embroidered t-shirt for that special little boy or girl in your life. Carrie will take you through the process of personalizing a boring t-shirt step-by-step, from the use of stabilizer and iron-on patterns, to basic stitches (stem, split and satin) and finishing techniques. Carrie will provide a variety of kitschy Jenny Hart designs from which to choose, but if you have one of your own in mind, please feel free to bring it. You will be provided with a high-quality white t-shirt, stabilizer, embroidery floss, small embroidery hoop and a needle. Shirts range in size from 2T to 5T; please indicate which size you want when you sign up for the frolic. If you prefer a smaller size, or a onesie, please indicate as such when you sign up for the frolic. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Number of guests: maximum of 10, ages 12 and up
Cost per participant: $35 (price includes shirt, stabilizer, iron-on design of your choice, embroidery floss selection, embroidery hoop and needle)

Fun, huh? So I've submitted it to the person in charge of organizing the whole project, and there will be a book of all the options available for the church, as well as members of the community, starting next Sunday. The pastor, an avid woodworker, is hosting a woodworking workshop. Mike is signing up for that one. Since it isn't going to be held until October, that is going to be Mike's birthday present.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Confession time

I have a confession to make: I watch American Idol. This is the first season that I've ever watched it.
Adam Lambert's performance of Gary Jules' arrangement of Tears for Fears' Mad World last night was eerily amazing.
And can I just say, I don't think Simon is a jerk. I think he practices that "Radical Honesty" thing by saying exactly what he thinks. Yes, sometimes it's harsh, but it's also usually accurate.

Child labor

So I am getting my house in order for a visit from the in-laws... I've found that I get more done when W has a playmate, so the neighbor kid is over. I've put them both to work. W is dusting, and the neighbor kid is doing the Swiffer. I think I'll just put my feet up and read a book!

Monday, April 6, 2009

One month...?

Has it really been a whole month since I wrote something on this thing? ::checking calendar:: Yup, sure has. Life is going well; my best girlfriend in the entire world just found out she's expecting her second, and another dear friend/co-worker is expecting in July. Babies, babies everywhere!! To answer the question that everyone asks... no, not yet. Don't know when, or even if. I'm a big believer in things happening when they're supposed to happen... and it just ain't happening right now, folks!
I've completed several craft-y projects lately. Here's a sampling--
Here's a big floor pillow I put together for a friend's daughter's second birthday. The fabric is a really soft flannel with kitties and flowers on it. The trim is purple pom pom's.

This is a little girl's shirt that I embroidered for our school's Auction Night fundraiser
Here's the little boy shirt that I embroidered for Auction Night

Yup, I make seasonal kerchiefs for Maggie. Here's her Peanuts Easter Beagle one.

I embroidered this t-shirt for my best girlfriend's little boy for his second birthday. His party theme was ROBOTS, so I thought the shirt was very appropriate.

Ah, the Easter season. I got three little wooden eggs from the craft store and painted them. I primed them first, then painted them. Several layers of paint later, I used Polyurethane to give them a nice shine. I love the little chicks I nestled in with the eggs. They're so old-fashioned.
I'm working on a blanket for a friend's new baby boy down in MS. It is a trial-and-error thing, hence the delay in finishing it. I didn't expect it to be as involved as it's turned out to be!
And as for my gardening... My bulbs are a success! The dwarf iris came up a few weeks ago (see below) and the daffodils are in full bloom. I think we'll have tulips in a week or so. I have some hyacinth in a pot indoors and they are blooming and smell divine.

Below, you'll see one of the two Jiffy greenhouses W helped me prepare a few weeks ago. Each greenhouse has 72 peat pots. We filled all of them with seed. I'd say 90% of them have sprouted! I cannot believe it. It will be a few weeks before I can move them outside, as the nighttime temperatures still get pretty low, but we will have lots of good veggies growing, and pretty flowers too, this summer.