Tuesday, June 28, 2011

funny things they say

I wanted to just take some time to mention the funny things Liam has been saying recently. I'm really excited about his language growth since he started school in May. He's stringing together phrases and he's also able to tell us thoughts he's had out of his own brain (don't get me wrong, he's also still doing a lot of mimicking . . . actually, he's doing a ton of it and we've had to curtail our swearing - oops) without us doing any prompting.

My mom is now "Mannam" which is odd but I like it better than Nana. Visiting Mannam and Granny is one of his favorite things and after we do, he'll insist on going to see them for days afterward. "I get onda shoos and go see Gwanny an' Mannam."

He likes to wear his "sand-da-das" [sandals] and he's very excited when "shoos go inda cubby Daddy." Thanks preschool for teaching Liam where to put some stuff away.

Lily tries to run outta the house when we take him to school in the morning. If she manages, he runs after her and says, "d'ere she goes." Then he's actually able to catch her; lucky me.

We are now insisting he ask politely to be excused from the table at dinner. "Pweezegetdown!" (all run together).

While he was "napping" yesterday, I made him a tracking chart for good behaviors. When we showed it to him, he stood there studying it for awhile, stating what each task was and saying "check!" after each one. I had drawn pictures next to all the behaviors so he could conceptualize them. No Tantrums was difficult because how do you draw a tantrum? Well, I drew a kid on the floor crying and shaking. Liam didn't quite know what to make of it and came up with "Man fall down? Check!"

This morning, when I came out with him to get the day started, he said "I hungy Momma." So I said, "let's go find some breakfast." "Bwekfast, where are you?" And then when I brought him his milk, he sat down on the couch and said "I sittin' in mah seat."

Oh the precious things they say.

Edit 10:58pm: Just had to add the hilarity that came outta his mouth at dinner (which he didn't even taste so no sticker - sorry dude). He was putting his fork in his mouth with just ketchup on it and Jon and I were continuing to plead with him to try some salmon. The he just looked at Jon so matter of factly and said, "whutso funny?"

Summer's early mornings

The last week has been very interesting in the wake-up department. Starting about Thursday last week, our little mini human slept a full 9 hours straight. So awesome to wake up and realize that it was 6am when Colin was waking up. He continued to be a sleepy little bug for about 4 days and it was heavenly knowing that I wouldn't have to wake up at 3am for a half hour.

But, we didn't get to wake up to all sleepy and snuggly with our little man because somebody (ahem, the big boy) was waking up at the crack of dawn!!! Not fair. Saturday morning he was up at 6:30. Ugh. More amazing was the fact that he didn't fall asleep until after 9pm on Friday night because we drove into Marysville to meet my mom and grandmother at the house and then we went out to IHoP for dinner. He did crash really hard in the car on the way home though; when I changed his diaper and his clothes, he slept through the whole she-bang. So Saturday had an early wake-up and then no nap. Instead we played tag, red light/green light, and hide & seek all day.

Sunday we got to sleep in a little later as it was 6:55 when he came into our room and climbed on the bed. He was vibrating with energy all freakin' day!!! The kid didn't slow down once. He was a maniac. He was whiney. He was happy, then sad, then happy all within minutes. He was constantly glomming for attention. When I tried to sing the "inside voice" song, he countered by singing the "outside voice" at the top of his lungs. And of course, naptime was a bust as he spent 90 minutes locked in his room pulling clothes from the drawers, books off the shelf, jumping on the bed, and throwing his cup at the door (probably shouting some toddler obscenities too). By 6:30 he was begging for a bath. He and I hopped in the shower then I got him his evening milk but (bad mommy!) I drugged him with benedryl. Funny, he sipped that milk down tout suite. Then we went to his bed and I read him two books while he continued to talk and climb his feet up the wall and try to turn the pages on me. Then I started the second chapter of The House on Pooh Corner (which I grabbed at the thrift store for 50 cents last week). He mimicked me when I read Tigger's growl and mumbled some, then the next thing I know he's breathing slow, his eyes are closed, and I finished the page. He NEVER falls asleep while I read. He didn't even stir when I lifted him up to get him under the sheet or turn on his music. He was fast asleep by 6:55pm.

Yesterday, we were awakened at 6:15 by him crawling into our bed and laughing and giggling. Usually he says "goodmorning mommy, good morning daddy. Wake up." in his loudest whisper. But no, on Monday morning he woke us up with "I hungy, I soooooo hungy, I hungy." Luckily, he was loud enough to wake Colin (who was back to getting up at 3:30am again btw) so I got to stay in bed and nurse the baby for a half an hour while Jon had to get up and do the breakfast ritual. His school teachers were under strict orders to wear him out, but I guess that didn't happen since he didn't nap (although he did stay quietly in his room reading and playing for an hour which is, frankly, all I ask for) and then we played tag and MONSTER AHHH for an hour running around the living room table and back and forth. Surprisingly, Colin napped through all that commotion. During his "nap" I made a Good Boy Chart for him so we can reward him for doing his good behavior things. He barely touched his dinner which was funny because chicken nuggets are probably his favorite right now. It was a pathetic attempt to eat and around 6:30 he crawled up next to Jon on the couch and said "I so tired." Jon pulled him up onto his lap and then Liam was asking for his froggy and the next thing we knew he was sacked out! Again, he crashed so hard that we were able to change his diaper and get him snuggled into bed without a slight stir. I took this picture at 8pm to prove he was still totally asleep.

He slept through the whole dang night and guess what . . . at 5:55am he was running into our room whispering "wake up Daddy, wake up Mommy!" Jon tried to go back to his room with him, but after 30 minutes I was awake from feeding Colin and just got up with him. I was hoping that he would be able to expend a lot of energy at school again today, but as I sat down to write this, the freak summer sprinkle that was falling on us as I walked him to school has turned into a torrential pour strong enough to disrupt the satellite signal a couple times. Woah, I also just heard a good clap of thunder. What an odd day (oh yeah, and it's gonna be 104 on Sunday - wth?). Please please please take a nap Liam and then go to bed at your normal 7:30-8pm bedtime and please please please sleep in until 7:30 tomorrow morning. Ack!

Monday, June 27, 2011

house wishlist

About 2 years ago now, we started wanting to buy a house in earnest. We had a good amount of money from my mother-in-law's death and we intended to use it as a down payment. But as I'm the only income earner, we had to use my credit to obtain the loan. Turns out, both of us had pretty shoddy credit. 18 months ago, after enrolling in a debt management program and starting to pay off some of our bills, we tried again but my credit was still too low. A former student's mom showed us a house but, although only $54k, was going to need $150k more work in renovations. She sent us a guide for first time home buyers published by Keller Williams and one of the things it said to do was create a wishlist of things we wanted in our dream home. Then we needed to break it down into "want to haves" and "needs" that we weren't willing to compromise on.

Well, as we wait and wait to hear from the bank regarding our offer on the short sale, I started daydreaming about all the things I'd like to have in our new house. When i went to save the file, I found I already had a file on the computer with that name. When I checked it out, I found that it was the wishlist we made 18 months ago regarding the things we wanted in our house. I thought it would be fun to share it here.

Value Wants Needs
historic homes/ neighborhoods large yard good CH/A system
families Victorian access home repairs ourselves
older trees porch grounded electrical system
solid craftsmanship 3+ bedrooms dishwasher (or space for)
good education storage/closets a shower and a bathtub
community events new kitchen appliances 220 for the clothes dryer
individual space/ privacy fireplace large living room
energy conservation/ sustainable resources high ceilings access to broadband/cable

Built-in cabinets/bookshelves no more than 40 minutes from work

living room & family room 3+ bedrooms

wood floors hobby room

CH/A laundry space

house fan storage


hobby room

good sunlight in living space

large water heater

big bath tub

crown molding

3 season room/porch

room for garden

space for car work



ease of travel to shopping and work

larger trees

back patio

laundry space

kitchen for cooking

stained glass windows details


prairie style

good schools

double entry door

wet bar/butler's pantry

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

Today is my husband's third fathers day. We probably won't do much. We were pretty lazy for mothers day too. The weather is supposed to be great, but knowing my man, he won't want to go outside. Oh well. I'm planning on making a lemon cake for him today. Maybe a nice chicken, potato, salad type dinner. Speaking of that cake...I should probably get to it soon. No gift for him today. But he got a tablet PC just recently and that's holding him over. Besides we're trying to not spend too much money since we need money in the bank for the home purchase and I only got paid $32 in May (since I took the whole month off for maternity). That's a pic of us for Liam's first portrait session. Look at that loving daddy!!!

Colin is 12weeks old as of yesterday and is thriving like crazy. He coos and is just on the verge of giggling. He's been grabbing a lot more and has started to intentionally bat at hanging toys in his baby gym. Diaper changes have gotten increasingly more difficult as he's also found a newfound wiggly-ness. He's a super smiley happy boy. Sleepy Daddy and wide-awake Colin.

Liam is doing wonderfully, although he is milking the cold thing since he still has quite a lingering cough. "I soooooo sick." Also, he's been saying the most ridiculous things lately which just proves what we've always thought; Liam is very smart and very imaginative, he just didn't have the ability to express himself. Yesterday he told us he wanted "ambooger, chicken nuggets, AND fwies" for lunch. Ummm, okay?! He's also pretty polite most of the time. "Yes pweez," in a sing-song voice is probably one of the cutest things we hear, and we hear it often which is wonderful. If Lily escapes the house when we're heading to school in the morning, he calls out "dere she goes," runs after her, and catches her for me (while she's distracted by eating grass). Last night, he put my old Freddy Bear on his head at bedtime and asked "whaddya tink of mah hair?" Where does he come up with that stuff?! He also has developed quite a funny run; it has a bit of an antelope leap in it and on really good days he runs around the daycare center barely touching the ground. He's a dancing fool and a singing machine.

Okay, I should be getting to that cake now while all the boys are still asleep.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Buying a house

We picked up Liam from school last Friday and met our realtor and her daughter at the house in Marysville. We went through the whole thing. I definitely felt strong about it; I felt positive. Jon felt really strong about it. Yeah, there are a couple of things I would change: I wanted to immediately change the paint in most of the rooms (liked to color, just couldn't live with it everywhere) and pull out the carpet in the dining/living room and extend the kitchen flooring through those rooms just so there would be a consistent feel tying the kitchen into the rest of the house (as it is very small and located in the dead center of the house). Diana had a couple other homes she wanted us to see since we could qualify for more money now that Dad said he's help us out. It was basically for comparables, a chance to see what more money could get us or what else was out there for $100k. But she wasn't pushing us to go see them; I was the one who said I wanted to go see the Victorian that she said was not too far and really had that "quirky feel I know you guys are into." Jon was serious about writing an offer on the house and frankly so was I. It was going to be easy in our price range and there would be plenty of space for the boys to run around in the front and back, the neighborhood was quiet and friendly feeling. It's a small house but we can definitely start and grow from there.

When we drove up to the Victorian, it was twice as big as the one we just left. There was an elementary school on the way there. As I go through the intersection, Liam shouts "Mommy go dat way," pointing at the park and the playground equipment. Then as I park in front of the house and across the street from the park, he yells "we're hooooome."

I walked in later than everyone else because I had to change Colin's diaper. By the time I went in the door, my husband, realtor, and her daughter were shouting "oh my god, look at this place!" It was beautifully painted, the rooms were large, the energy was uplifting. It's a 3 bedroom/ 2 bath house. It has a formal dining area, a large kitchen, one bedroom and bath on the main floor, a small basement store room, a laundry/mud room, a fireplace in the living room, and the stairs had cute tile facings on the risers. Upstairs was a large landing with vaulted ceiling and skylight, the second bath, a huge master bedroom with a small balcony, and a long third bedroom that was obviously a girly room because of the lavender walls (with green and orange accent walls). Then upstairs (yes, another upstairs) was a fully finished attic loft!!! I even love the orange paint up there. The backyard was smaller than the one on 17th street and there was no lawn. But there were three pergolas, a dove cage, and a fountain. It may be small but it will be aan imaginative yard for the boys to play in (not forgetting the giant big park across the street). Bella said it best when we were looking at the cement slab in the backyard that had glass beads and positive affirmations written in the cement, "someone incredibly creative lived here!" And I couldn't help thinking, and more creative people are going to live here. The house just feels so positive and uplifting and full of great energy. It has the feel that someone alternative was living there.

Our realtor called the listing agent to say we were interested in an offer. It's a short-sale and Friday was the first day on the market; we were the first people to get to see it. She told the listing agent we were a teacher and artist, both very creative, with two small boys. The seller is apparently a nurse (like my Dad) and we are exactly the type of people she wants in the home! It's more expensive and a stretch for our monthly payments but this is a house you can't pass up. So we offered $135k ($2k less than asking) with 3 1/2% down and seller to contribute 3 1/2% to our closing costs. There's only one loan on the house so a short sale might actually be "short." We wrote up a contract and Dad and Jon signed the papers Saturday night.

On Sunday, the realtor sent me a text to say the listing agent thinks the offer is strong and is putting our offer in the primary position, only accepting backup offers just in case ours isn't approved by the bank. Heaven forbid. Today, I got all of my paperwork together and turned into my lender. Now we're only waiting on Dad's paperwork.

It is quite conceivable that we may be homeowners before the end of the summer. :D

Friday, June 10, 2011

quick update

I'm sorry I get so sidetracked by Facebook and never get on here. I should just post all my status updates from the day onto the blog, just so I have a better record of my days, right?

I also thought I'd have more commitment to write in this thing since Liam started preschool 5 weeks ago. Well, nope. I don't. I do chores. I entertain the baby. I watch a lot of television. I nap. Then Liam comes home and he's usually tired enough for a nap himself (a new treat for us after almost a year of simply refusing). Do I blog then? Nope. Sorry.

The most important thing right now . . . we are in the process of house hunting again. I got my dad to consider co-signing a loan for us and yesterday we got the news that we can easily go ahead with the loan now because "your dad has SOLID credit." Well duh! That's why I asked him to help us out. As luck would have it, he just paid off his mortgage last week. Now he'll jump into another. The plan is that we will purchase the loan off of him in about a year when my credit score is improved and then he won't have to deal with "vacation/investment home" issues when he takes out a loan to put a brand spanking new modular on his property (the house he lives in now is pretty much a death trap and I won't take the kids there).

We are going to see the house we're interested in today so Jon can get a second look at it. It's small - <1100 sq. ft. and 4 bedrooms/2baths; the yard is generous and fenced both front and back. It'll double my drive time to work, but I'll figure that out time-wise and maybe we'll be able to afford a commuter car (one of those 40mpg jobbies). It'll put Jon closer to a stronger work market and us a little closer to friends (even though they'll be an hour away, we won't be in "the sticks" anymore). After seeing the place again today, I am looking forward to talking to the lender to see what our monthly payments will be like. If we can keep them low (like $500-$600/month), then we might even look for a little more house. But all in all, the neighborhood is terrific and I took my mom out there last weekend and it felt very comfortable.

Hopefully I'll get some good pics up soon as the boys are growing like weeds; Colin had a great 2 month check up. We went to the fair last night. I got to hold a monarch butterfly :) - that's our state insect by the way.

6/13/11: Okay, I went back and wrote a couple posts and added some pictures to them. Read further down the blog to look!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Colusa Fair

Tonight was the opening night of the Colusa County Fair. After an incredible day out with my big boy, shopping and lunch just the two of us. Liam was so so good for me. He did have a little accident with the diaper while I was unloading the groceries into the back of the Durango. Oh well, at least he peed all over the parking lot and not the restaurant booth or the grocery store floor. We saw chickens in the parking lot too and Liam told me that roosters say "whaddawegonnado?" which is so freaking cute in my opinion because he's now repeating phrases left and right and comes up with the most random thoughts (like two nights ago when he told us he couldn't take a nap because he was still hungry and wanted pancakes - pancakes!).

We had to go to opening night of the fair since my colleague's daughter (and Liam's occasional babysitter) was in the Miss Colusa County pageant. The fair was mobbed with people I knew so i at least felt justified in the 20 minutes it took me to find an appropriate outfit that would be cool enough (the weather has finally figured out it's spring/summer) and fashionable enough. Jon rolled his eyes at me all that time, but we didn't get 15 feet into the fairground when i was accosted by 1/2 dozen of my students from this year and then former students and then colleagues and then students with parents. See, I was right to worry about my wardrobe choice.

Liam did not do well at the grandstand. While we were waiting for the pageant to start he had to run me up and down the bleachers (not good for my thing with heights). When it started and he had to be quiet and still, he started whining, crying, kicking. Jon took him to run around. They got back about 2 contestants before Victoria and he continued to whine. But, as soon as Princess Victoria came out, he locked his sights on her and watched with a huge smile on his face. But then the girls were supposed to give speeches and we just looked at each other and knew Liam wouldn't make it, so we left. Sadly, Victoria didn't win, but she also wasn't favored to either.
We then walked around the fair for awhile. We traveled into the different exhibit halls and looked at the things my students made like jams and quilts and flower arrangements. Many of my students did very well and got ribbons. Another colleague of mine who I carpool with is an excellent photographer and always enters several pictures in the fair. Well I think he may have had 1 or 2 photographs without ribbons on them. He took 1st and 2nd place for his pictures from last year's fair (as he does every year). Liam got a balloon from one of the vendors and Jon put in an entry to win $10k at Home Depot (which would be fantastic if we end up buying a house soon - wish us luck).

One of the coolest things was a butterfly house. They had monarchs and painted ladies in the enclosure. You go inside, get a Q-tip and dip it in sugar water. Then you hold it close and still next to one of the butterflies and let it walk onto the Q-tip. Liam desperately wanted to touch one but he was covered in melted candy on his fingers and he doesn't understand yet that you can't touch a butterfly's wings. I had a huge monarch climb onto my finger and stayed until I finally handed it off to another kid who couldn't get a butterfly and was a little upset.

Lastly we went to the animal pens and I took Liam to stroll through all the sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, and chickens that my students and former students raised for 4H and FFA. I couldn't take him into the steer/cow pens because they just don't let anyone walk in between the pens. Liam liked all the animals and practiced his animal sounds. He kept wanting to pet them and it was difficult to keep him from sticking his fingers in the pens. Those lambs (they're still lambs even though they weigh 100 lbs and are 3 ft tall at the shoulder) and kids are so socialized that they come right up to the fence; they would not have thought twice about munching my boys candy coated fingers.

We stayed about 3 hours and then came home and put the boys to bed promptly. Everyone, especially Liam and I, was exhausted.