Thursday, October 21, 2010


Oh, my goodness gracious does Jimmy love cheeks--primarily mine.  This was cute for a little while, but no more!  It began as a bedtime ritual when I would put him to sleep at night.  He just wanted to hold my face with his two cute little hands while he fell asleep.  Innocent enough until he slowly started rubbing them.  I don't normally freak out when someone touches my face, but I just couldn't handle this.  It started to feel like nails on a chalk board to me.  I would ask him to stop and then he would whine and suddenly what used to be a nice way to fall asleep became a battle between the two of us that only proceeded in keeping him awake much longer.  Then it got worse.  He discovered that I have ever so lovely moles on my face (I told him they were freckles).  Every night we still battle over not touching "Mommy's freckles."  I even had to tell a little white lie that it really hurts every time he touched them.  I look at this as something that could be true in the future so therefore is not completely dishonest.  I mean at the rate he would like to be rubbing them, they would surely fall off in no time.  Now I tell him that he makes me sad for not listening to me which has sort of helped, but not completely.  I think threatening time out has been more useful.  Also, if I start touching his face he seems to cool it for a little while because he temporarily realizes how annoying it is.  Honestly I don't think he is trying to be naughty; he just can't help himself.  When he tries to sneak one past me (which is often enough)  he either says "I wasn't doing it!" (LIES!) or "Mama, its okay."--by which he means that I should in fact allow him to do it because as he says, "I just love to touch your freckles so much."  The worst is when he starts to rub my cheek and I give him a preemptive, "Don't touch my freckles!" and he says to me in such a sweet little innocent voice, "I was just giving you a little bit of love.".... then I sigh and let those little hands hold my face.

I don't know how normal this is for kids to get fixated on such things, but at least I know he is not the only one in the family.  His cousin Jack can't look at a baby or small child without rubbing their cheeks and if you ask Jimmy who loves to grab his cheeks he will answer, "Uncle Pete."  Surely, they all do this out of love right?  This is what Jimmy tells me at least: "Mama, I love you because you have soft cheeks."  I hope that is not the only reason he loves me especially since I am not the only one (I am just the lucky one who puts him to sleep at night).  I have also frequently heard, "I love Lulu because she has soft cheeks."  I guess I can attribute Zach's beard to playing a role in Jimmy only wanting me to put him to bed at night.  According to Jimmy,  Daddy only has one soft spot and it is at the very top of his cheek below his right eye--not a suitable replacement for softies.  Sorry if this story is getting a little long and out of control because at this point, I am sure I am just rambling to myself.  If you are still reading this, then maybe you can relate in some way or at very least you enjoy the ranting of a crazy person.  I don't know why I really feel the need to share this on my blog seeing as it is not something I am likely to ever forget, but maybe this way Jimmy can read about it someday and take pleasure in the grief he brought me.

PS- Any expert parents out there that want to offer some related advice since I am definitely lacking on the expert part?  How the heck to you teach your kids to sleep by themselves once they have spent almost three years doing it with you next to them?  At this point we are way past the "cry it out" stage and he usually thinks he is being punished when we try to leave.  I try the tricks like going to the bathroom or going to get water or changing the laundry, but my kid is pretty smart and isn't easily fooled.  Once I have been gone for too long I am usually summoned back with protests about what I was doing. The battle just never seems worth fighting because I want bedtime to be a happy experience. Unfortunately, he also takes forever to fall asleep so these tricks have much less chance of working.  They only do when he is already exhausted from skipping a nap and I am not ready to cut out nap time just yet.  I just hope now that we will be able to play outside more often he will be more exhausted at the end of the day.  I am going to start making him run in circles or something.  I keep warning him that things are going to change once he has a new little brother or sister, but I see myself spending a lot of evenings nursing the baby in the rocker in his room while I wait patiently for both of them to sleep.  Well, I guess this is my life and it ain't so bad, but Jimmy sleeping by himself would be such a blessing. At least he is finally potty trained.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

macdonald ranch pumpkin patch

We recently get a Groupon ticket for MacDonald's Ranch in Scottsdale to go to their pumpkin patch... well, I mean, they don't really grow pumpkins there, but it is more exciting for the kids then getting pumpkins at the grocery store.  It is really more like a goofy western town with a petting zoo and pony rides and then you take a hay ride to go pick out your pumpkin.
 Jimmy learned some rope tricks.
He has also learned a new smile where he says "cheese" so hard that it looks like his whole face is hurting.
 The cow at the petting zoo wasn't up for much petting.
 Neither was this pig, but no loss there.
 He finally got to touch the donkeys and thought it was really funny.
Then we took the Hayride.
 And picked out two pumpkins.
 And then the Mules took us back.
All in all it was fun, but I was happy that we got out tickets at half price, otherwise I may have thought it not quite worth the money especially since you have to buy your pumpkins in addition to your admission.  It was more fun because the Kerstings were with us.  It was actually extremely dead while we were there because we went during the week.  The weekends are supposed to be crazy so I was happy to avoid crowds, but it probably would have been a little more lively.  We should have done the pony ride to really make it worth the price, but we saved it for the end and I think Jimmy and Zach were both pretty spent at that point.  Jimmy is excited to carve the pumpkins, but we will wait a bit for that to make sure they last until Halloween.  At least it is finally feeling cooler here.  
I love this time of year!

Friday, October 15, 2010

the farm at marlette acres

This a farm that is right on 15th Ave so we can easily walk to it from our house.  It is a good destination for our neighborhood walks.  There are lots of donkeys, goats, chickens, and I think two ponies. 
There is a sign saying that you can feed the animals fruits and vegetable so I try save some of our scraps to make the trip more entertaining.  
 The goats are surprisingly picky... aren't they supposed to eat trash?  
Well they don't seem to like asparagus or lettuce very much.
The donkeys and ponies will eat everything we give them, but I get scared they might eat Jimmy's fingers sometimes.
 Jimmy loves when the windmill actually spins... which of course is not frequently enough.
 And what little boy doesn't love a tractor?
Thanks to the people that own this farm.  
I don't know you my neighbors, but I appreciate what you add to our neighborhood.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

fall free arts friday

We went with our Mom's Group to Free Arts Friday in Tempe that is a family event for preschool age kids to do arts and crafts and play games.  The theme for this one was "Fun of the Farm."   It was not really what I expected it to be, but Jimmy ended up having fun which is all that matters.  The kids got to dress up like cowboys and go on pretend pony rides.  Here Jimmy is with Maddie and Leah.
Jimmy really liked being a cowboy.  
The picture is a little fuzzy, but I thought it helped capture his excitement.
 Mostly, I was impressed by Jimmy's attentiveness to the crafts.  He sat for sooooo long coloring every inch of the pieces for his lamb and wanted no help from me.  All the other kids had moved onto and finished the next project, but he sat diligently until it was perfect (hmmm... where does he get this?).  
 Here is a picture of his final projects that are now on display on his closet door.
(Okay, the lamb reminds me of Donnie Darko a little bit, but as long as it doesn't scare him then I guess we are okay.... I wouldn't want to wake up to that in the middle of the night though).

too much love

We have been having some trouble lately with Jimmy just wanting me all the time and not his dad.  With Zach working so much lately, we have been letting him get his way too often.  I appreciate the love, but it can be tiring.  We have been trying hard to work on this lately because he is going to have a rude awakening when "Fred" gets here (hopefully any day now!).  

Last night after I got Jimmy out of the bath and he insisted as usual that I pretend he was a baby I just found, and despite my fat belly I carried him across the house in my arms to hand him off to Dad.  I told him that Dad was going to get him ready for bed tonight.  
Then he said with a mischievous little smile, "No Mom!  I want YOU to do EVERYTHING!"
Zach laughed.  I sighed.
Such is life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

goodbye beard face

My husband enjoys having a beard mainly because it makes him feel like an adult.  
I usually tell him I don't care what he does with his facial hair, but I do get very excited when he shaves it off.
Most people don't even recognize him when he does this.  His students were all in shock and people kept popping their heads into his classroom just to look at him.  The kids kept trying to guess how old he actually was.  Some even went so low as 16 (I guess 6th graders forget that you have to have graduated college to be a teacher).  I can relate to this because my college students surely never believe that I am their teacher.  Most people tell me I don't look old enough to be a mother (Maybe someday I will take this as a compliment, but right now it just makes me feel weird).  Zach and another teacher that he is often confused for both shaved on the same day just to screw with the kids some more.  He surely doesn't look as professorial as before, but honestly this is the cute boy I fell in love with and who wants to be married to some grown up beardy man anyway?  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Could I have just one day without this please?

Monday, October 4, 2010

what color next?

So my nesting hormones are still in full force, but the list of things to do before the baby comes just doesn't seem to be getting done.  Since it could be any day now, I have come to terms with lots of my projects not getting done soon, but I will keep thinking about them and soliciting help wherever I can get it.  Our living room is next on my list of things to paint.  I want to do it a dark grayish color, but don't know how dark I should go.  Mostly I want something that will give some good contrast and not clash with all the furniture.  Since all the furniture pieces in this room are hand-me-downs (literally we didn't buy one single thing which is kind of impressive), I might be wanting to recover some down the road and hopefully get some new ones at some point, so I really don't want to make any bold color decisions based on what is in the room right now.  Gray seems like the right thing to me.

Here is our living room on the day we moved in:
Some shots taken awhile back:

Should I paint this door black or white, if the walls are gray?
(I actually just want a new door that is made of wood and not hallow)

This is pretty much it today except that I have hung a few more pictures and am too lazy to take another picture.
At least this room doesn't completely drive me bonkers, but the back wall is a slightly darker shade than the rest and there are lots of patchy spots where someone covered up holes and repainted something that didn't match.  I wish I had time to do it right now, but I know I cannot undertake that and Zach certainly doesn't have time either.  I will keep dreaming and envisioning it in my head along with knocking out the wall to the kitchen and making an island.  Of course, doing that may be way down the road at this point so I will also be living with yellow/orange color in the kitchen until we do it.  If I can just force myself to make some new curtains in that kitchen then I can get rid of my good friends "the chickens."  But alas, my crafty mind has already begun to worry about Halloween costumes.

It is so fun to own my own house and be able to do these things.  I really do love my house and appreciate it so much.  Whenever, I get overwhelmed with all the things we need to do to it, I just remind myself of how blessed we are and thank God for putting us in the perfect home for us.  It was worth the wait.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

yellow bathroom

Well, since Zach and Jimmy both got rooms in their favorite colors, I figured I needed one in mine.  It was really tough to pick the right color to compliment the tile and the first color I picked out was a disaster.  When I put it on the wall, it looked fluorescent and I freaked out.  Fortunately, I had bought the paint at Ace Hardware and they told me I could come back to fix it or they would let me pick out new paint (this time).  Two very nice paint ladies helped me correct the paint and got it to a much better shade and I was very grateful.  I also picked out a funky sage color for the cabinets to compliment the green tiles in the bathtub, but I was pleased with how that looked. 

For some reason this tiny bathroom took me weeks in comparison to the days the other two rooms took me.  I guess I was feeling more tired and less motivated and Jimmy's nap-time was usually my nap-time instead of paint time, but it also had a lot more detail work that seemed to linger forever.  The ceiling is still not technically done, but that is because it needs to be replastered in a spot that there was a leak (Note to husband:  If you do this as a surprise for me one day, I will love you forever... I know I already promised this to you, but it seems like the best thing I've got to give since I am not buying you the phone you want anytime soon).  Still I feel like I accomplished something, especially because I actually ended up framing and hanging a bunch of "Maps of the World" that I had from an old calendar.  I was pleased with how they looked and now the bathroom is sometimes referred to as "The Map Room." 

Here it is on the day we moved in (I do love all the tile and the green tub):
Here is a process shot which helps show the difference between the old and new color.  I don't know who picked all the colors in this house before we lived there, but for some reason they thought that "neutral" fleshy tones looked good in every room.  This color next to yellow and green tile was awful!
The lighting in here makes it difficult to really capture what it looks like, but here is the basic finished product:
My maps (all framed and matted for around $30 which isn't too bad):
The end... for now.

Friday, October 1, 2010

blue room

The next of my painting ventures was our bedroom which we decided to paint blue.

Here it is on the day we moved in:
With a little bit of furniture and a man added:
New curtains, but still ugly paint:
A process shot (Jimmy was my helper again):
All done! Horray!
It feels so much nicer to sleep in this room now that is is comforting instead of annoying and ugly.  Zach loves it too so that makes me really happy.  It is his favorite color after all.  I saved my favorite for the bathroom so stay tuned for that.