*Disclaimer: This post is pretty lengthy, wordy, and not really kid-related. Oh yeah, and no pictures.  Feel free to completely ignore, but it would be great if you would read on (or at the very least, skim. ;>) )*

I know, it’s almost March, but I’ve thought and pondered over this post for several weeks because I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to post it, and well, it’s a pretty big under-taking. 

Anyways… about a month ago, I finished reading the book, Julie and Julia.  If you’re not familiar with the book or the movie based on the book (or if you’ve had your head in a hole for the past several months), then here’s the synopsis: Julie Powell decides to do a “365-project” by cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, within a year.  Along the way, she begins a blog and learns a little bit about herself.  Now, I love a book where I can glean some insight into myself, and the book made me start thinking about my life a little bit.  Like Julie, I’m at a small crossroads in my life – I’m in my mid-30’s (just barely); I will be married for 10 years in September, and I have been out of the college world for 10 years.  So, I’ve decided to do my own “365-project” – for most bloggers, it consists of writing every day or taking pictures for a year.  In fact, two of my friends (Anne and Denise) are currently doing their own version.  For my “365-project”, I decided that I would keep a journal (sorta) on the blog that talked about my progress with my resolution of balancing all the different aspects in my life for the year.  I’m not good (In fact, I never even started one this year!) at keeping any sort of resolution, and I figured what better way to accomplish my goal than to have you, my friends and family, help keep me accountable.

So…here’s the one and only resolution I’ve made this year: Re-gain balance in my life.

Now, this doesn’t mean my ability to stand on 1 foot.  I’ve realized that there are parts of my life that definitely need my attention and have really been shoved under the bed to grow cobwebs and to be forgotten.  Here’s the rough breakdown of the different components of my life and the percentage of time that I focus on them:

Kids – 75%

Everything else – 25%

I really don’t think this is how my life is supposed to balance out.  I know the kids should be a main focus, but I don’t think 3/4 of my energy needs to be just on them (maybe 50% or even less?).

So…basically, I hope to write about once a week on some part of my life that needs to be restructured, the goal that I set for myself to help re-structure some part of my life, and the end result of the weekly goal.

For you, this can mean a couple of things:

1) There’s going to be a lot of really boring, wordy posts about once a week for a year to do with as you like.

AND…if you’ve read this far…

2) Make comments!!!!  I really want to know what you think, especially what you think about this whole project and how I should handle it.  (Would you prefer individual postings or maybe just a blurb at the end of a normal post as to how things are, etc).  If the majority of you don’t think this is a great idea, then I’ll scrap the project.  (Well, I’ll make those posts private, and you will be spared from my brain’s musings…)

If you want to comment privately, please feel free to email me.

Thanks for reading (or skimming!) and putting up with the inner-workings of my brain!!

Me (Amy)

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11-month Update

February 22, 2010

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Wow.  Has it already been a month since I wrote an update on Cole, and are there are only 3 more weeks until Cole’s big day – his 1st birthday?!  Time sure does fly…

Well – here it is – Cole’s last monthly update as an “infant”.  Enjoy!!

Teeth:  now has a total of 4 teeth (You can see his 2 top teeth in the picture above.) – the 2 top and the 2 bottom.  I think he may be currently teething, but of course, he doesn’t let me look in his mouth these days.

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(One of Cole’s favorite places to play – inside the book shelf.  He climbs in by himself and then pulls all the books off the shelf.)

New Tricks: 

  • Cole is now a pro at getting in and out of standing. 
  • Beginning to cruise, and he enjoys having us hold his hands to practice walking.
  • Can take steps with a push toy – but needs help to make sure his feet stay underneath him.
  • Plays in a tall kneel position (on his knees with his butt off of his calves).
  • Dances (more like “bops” to the music).
  • Waves “hi” or “bye” (more like flaps) :>) with visual prompting
  • Crawls over anything and everything and zooms all around the apartment these days.
  • Bear crawls  (crawling on hands and feet, not knees) for short distances.
  • Loves taking toys out of things (well, dumping).  For example, he’ll crawl into Zoe’s room to her kitchen, pull out the basket full of food, and dump all the food out; the same thing goes for the wood blocks.
  • Loves, loves, loves playing with Zoe (AKA getting in Zoe’s way).  In fact, Zoe now tells me that she doesn’t want Cole to play with her.  Even better, Zoe will just tell Cole, “No, Cole.” or “Not for Cole.” (I say this to him when he’s up to something he’s not supposed to be doing.) and will either try to push him out of the way or give him a toy that she thinks he would like to play with.

Cole plays dress-up (Cole playing “dress-up”  and getting in touch with his “feminine” side with Zoe and a friend.  Picture was taken with my phone.)

  • Beginning to communicate.  He is definitely babbling all over the place these days (although he prefers to grunt, go figure).  Every now and then he’ll come out with an “ah da” and an arm flap to let me know that he’s all done (usually with eating) (sign language for all done is both hands up and doing a kind of waving motion).  I know I may be reading some into the movements, but it’s happened a little too much for it to be a fluke.  He’s not saying any true words yet.
  • Shakes head “no”.  He will actually shake his head when he knows he’s doing something wrong, or if he doesn’t want something.  For instance, when he attempts to give me a “love bite”, he’ll go to bite/mouth/teethe on my leg/shoulder/finger, etc, but he will pull away and shake his head.  He will also abruptly stop on his way to a dog bowl, sit back, and shake his head.

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(Left: Cole makes a great “sous-chef” for Zoe.  Right: Cole loves pulling all the food out of the kitchen and then “tasting” it to make sure it all tastes okay.)

Rascal Tricks:

  • Opening cabinet drawers and taking things out (mainly kitchen towels).
  • Plays in the dog bowls.
  • Pulls toys and books off shelves.
  • Plays with Zoe’s potty. (Don’t worry, I make sure it stays super clean…)
  • Instantly rolls over onto his stomach (or arches his back) and crawls away as fast as he can (while laughing the whole time) when it’s time to change his diaper.
  • “helps” with the dishes.

(Cole “helping” out with the dishes.)

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Current Daily Schedule:  Cole is definitely in a pretty good little schedule these days.  One thing that has dramatically changed is his sleeping and nursing schedule.  He is now nursing 2-3 times a day (compared to 5-7 times a month ago) and sleeping from 10pm until 5:30-6am (occasionally wakes-up around 3am for 15-20 minutes).  (I have to tell you; I’m functioning much better, but I find that my short term memory just isn’t what it used to be.  Oh, well, I guess that means I’m getting old.  ;>) )  Here’s an example of a typical day (well, his eating & sleeping schedule, any way):

5:30am-6:30am – wakeup

By 7am – breakfast: nurse + carb (waffle, bagel, toast, cereal, etc) + 1 jar of baby food fruit

9am-10am – go down for nap (usually around 1 1/2 hours)

10am-ish – snack: puffs + dried fruit or yogurt + puffs

Noonish – lunch: baby food veggie + cheese + fruit (whatever happens to be on sale and that he can feed to himself) + crackers + nurse

2pm-ish – go down for nap (usually 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours)

3:30-4pm – snack: opposite of morning snack

6pm-ish – dinner: nurse + baby food meat + carb (usually pasta, but sometimes rice) + veggie (whatever I have in the freezer) + fruit (usually canned fruit or applesauce)

10pm-ish – bottle of formula

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Kinhaven School

February 20, 2010

Winter 2010 001I have been rather negligent to mention that beginning in January, Zoe started a new school 2 days a week (she still goes to her other school 1 day a week).  I have to admit, I haven’t been super happy with my school picks so far, but Kinhaven has totally made up for that.  Kinhaven is actually considered a “co-operative”, where the parents have so many hours of work that they are supposed to fulfill as a member of the school.  For us, it amounts to one “work day” (random maintenance stuff around the school like cleaning up the playground, painting walls that need to be spruced up, etc) and 4 hours of miscellaneous hours doing other day to day activities (mass emails to remind people to sign up for teacher conferences, making copies, etc). 

Zoe mentions Kinhaven on practically a daily basis; she really likes her teachers, Ms. Kayna and Ms. Aster, and her favorite Kinhaven friends, Tyler, Emmet, and Sophie.  Some things that I love, love, love about Kinhaven:

  • They are super organized – they have a listserv for all things related to school, classes, events, etc. and another one for the “Kinhaven community” for stuff like yard guys, baby-sitters, etc.
  • They have the “SWAP” room, which stands for the Sand, Water, Art, and Paint room.  Way cool class art projects are done here.
  • They work on getting the kids to be more independent.  For instance, at a recent “Lunch for Haiti”, the kids self-served themselves.  They needed a little guidance as to when to get what, but they were all able to get their plates, pizza, drinks, napkins, etc without any spillage, waited in line for their turn, etc.  They work on this at snack time as well.
  • They send notes home (with pictures of Zoe attached), showing us something she did that day.

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(All of the pictures were taken at Zoe’s class’ “Lunch Holiday for Haiti” – each kid could pay $5 for Papa John’s pizza, carrots, applesauce, and a drink, with proceeds going towards humanitarian aid in Haiti.  Top picture – Ms. Kayna making sure the kids have everything they need (Zoe is in red with her back to the camera).  Middle picture – Zoe’s friend, Emmett.  Bottom picture – Ms. Kayna reading “Goldilocks and the 3 Bears”.  Zoe’s other favorite Kinhaven friend, Tyler, is sitting across from her in the blue on blue striped shirt.)

Winter Blast 2010, Round 2

February 16, 2010

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(View from our balcony after 4 days of melting.)

So…wouldn’t you know it – just as we began to dig out and melt from our 28” record snow, we received another blast of winter.  Granted, it wasn’t like the 28 inches, but it was 9 inches, which gave us about 2 and a half feet of snow to melt in the next couple of months.  When I mentioned to Zoe that we were going to be getting more snow, she turned to look at me, and said, “Mommy?  I don’t want any more new snow.”  I told her that I totally agreed with her.  And, my poor mom ended up being snowed in until 2 days ago, which made her visit 10 days instead of the 3 it was supposed to be.  (I know she was secretly jumping up and down to get home and actually sleep in a real bed.) ;>)

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(Cole’s 1st experience playing in the snow.  He enjoyed being outside and watching everything, but I think he was starting to come down with a cold, so he was very content just to hang out in the one dry spot I found.)

Here are some things we did while we were snowed in:

Winter 2010 008 Winter 2010 010  (Almost every day (Wed, Thurs, Fri) that we were snowed in, we went downstairs to the club room for a “change of scenery”.  During this change of scenery, Zoe’s friend, Catherine, and her dad, “Mr. Vince” (or if you’re Zoe – Mr. Bince) joined us for some Lego building.)

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(Painting.  One nice thing about being snowed in – Kirk was able to stay home all last week and hang out with us.  The big orange circle – Zoe painted the outline of a circle and then painted it in – very impressive.)

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(Building a snowman with Catherine and Zoe.)

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Winter 2010 045( Just some cute pics of Zoe and Catherine.)

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( Tent making.  Can you think of a better way to spend a cold, slushy day inside? )

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( 1.  Zoe enters the “door” to her tent.  2.  Zoe playing Mamma Hen and tucking Cole into the blanket.  3.  Zoe pretending she’s a “burrito”.  4.  Couldn’t resist a shot of Cole’s buddha belly.  5.  Cole checking to see if he has any new teeth.)

Winter Blast 2010, Round 1

February 11, 2010

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Last Friday and Saturday, we received another blast of snow.  The total amount of snow for our area was 28 inches, which if you combine it with the big snow storm in December 2009, we have had 48.5 inches (plus more from the 2nd round of snow we received yesterday – more on that later)!!  That’s a whole lot of snow!  While we were snowbound, we went and had some fun in the snow with Zoe’s friend, Catherine, and her parents on Saturday.  After playing, we all headed upstairs, had some grilled cheese sandwiches and soup followed by some yummy snow ice cream flavored with hot chocolate mix.

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(Playing in  the snow.)

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( Climbing over the snow shoveled from the walkway.  The amount of snow you see in the picture is from Friday afternoon to mid-morning Saturday. )

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(Angels making snow angels.  It was kind of fun throwing the girls into the snow; they made a kind of “fwump” noise when they landed.)

FYI…Cole was napping during our fun outside, and my mom (She actually got snowed in; she was supposed to leave on Sunday by Amtrak, but because of downed power lines and trees on the tracks, she won’t be leaving until tomorrow.) stayed behind to babysit.  Kirk was actually out of town on a ski trip to Maryland with some of his fellow clerks (I know, rough…)