Saturday, August 28, 2010

picasso, toddler-style

i am no artiste, but i love me some pretty pictures. i will not even pretend to be a great conoisseur of fine, or even not-so-fine art. but i do enjoy a good art museum or two, and coffee table art books.

anyhoo, lily is a big fan of coloring and drawing. a few days before pre-school started, she mastered the 'smiley face'. we had been working on it for months, but she could never seem to land the eyes and mouth in the circle, no matter how gigantic the circle was. but finally, the elusive smiley face was conquered.

then lily went to school. the next day, she was seriously drawing smiley faces with googly eyes, and drawing 'L's all over the place! we had done lots of tracing, but lily had never been brave enough to write one on her own. preschool really brought out the brave artist in her! and lily is SO PROUD of her oeuvres d'art, she won't even let her teacher put up her pictures in her class room because she wants to put them on our door with 'sticky tape'!

here is what our door is looking like these days:

and here are my favorite pieces from her recent collection:

the two gigantic blobs at the top of the page are chris and i. the five little blobs scared me quite a bit, cause i wasn't sure if she was a prophetic artist. but then she told me they were (in order from left to right) were gabe, corban, zoe, topher, and herself. so precious!!!!

and this picture is my wallpaper on my phone cause it just makes me happy to see. the eye balls on this happy creature are like little hearts! and she tried to write her name at the top (i wrote it on a different sheet of paper) and she copied it, just not in the same order. oh well. A+ for effort!!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesdays with Topher

Today was day 2 of preschool for Lily, and day 1 of Tuesdays with Topher!

Topher and I had some serious talks leading up to today. I told him numerous times that school sucks and Lily is being punished for all the crying she did as a two year old and that's why we leave her at school/prison for 3 hours twice a week.

Just joking.

I told Toph that school is for Noona, and that next year (and every year after!) will be his turn to go to school. I tried to butter up the deal and told him that Tuesdays would be our special days together, and every other Tuesday would be Tuesdays with Topther and DAD! That seemed to whet his interest some. Probably the latter part more than the former. BUt I'll take what I can get so long as I can walk out of Lily's preschool room with a well-behaved child.

It took some coaxing once we were actually in Lily's classroom. So many toys, so many children, so many new things to knock off of shelves. But Topher man-ned up in a big way and was able to leave his sister's classroom with dignity.

We started off our time together by hanging out with my friend Mary Beth, and her daughter Paige. Paige is in kindergarten, but didn't start school until noon. THis may sound like an outting that is centered more on me than on Topher, but my boy loves to eat, and he loves Mary Beth! She and I refer to her as his "White Mama", which isn't politically or genetically correct, but it's funny to us. It's even funnier cause Topher either calls her "Blue Mama" or "Black Mama". He's learning his colors in English, Korean, and Spanish. So I will just cut him some slack on that. We went to Liberty Market, a personal fave, and had a seriously delicious breakfast. Topher's second of the day. Sorry, second breakfast of the day, not second delicious breakfast of the day. His first one was just eggs and toast. Nothing special.

Then Topher and I went to the library. This was our first time at the library just the two of us. It was AWESOME!!! Usually I go to the library with both Lily and Topher, and if one starts to run around, the other has to run around too. BUt with just the Toph Man, there was no one in instigate a 'run-around fest', and even if he wanted to start one, I was more than prepared to stop it. The good folks at the library had a cute little craft set up at a table, so Topher and I sat down and made a caterpillar! So fun! Topher loved using the glue stick, and having all my attention to himself. This new attention thing transformed him into a super-well-behaved little monkey. We were even able to sit down and read 3 books together! He is a pretty squirmy little guy, and sitting still is not his forte. He's also not the biggest fan of storytime unless it's naptime or bedtime, and being at the library made it evident that it was neither of those things, but he sat regardless.

We got into the minivan to go pick up Lily, and I was so happy and thankful for the time I got to spend with my son. We've never had much time together, alone that is. I was so glad that our finances did not allow us to send Topher to Preschool/Day Care with his sister this year. I think Topher will benefit much from time spent independently with me, and Chris on off weeks, but I know Chris and I will also benefit much from just getting to hang out with our son.

We don't want to leave Lily out of all this one-on-one hang-out time, so Chris and I are resolved to date our children as often as we can. We are aiming for once a month. I'll let you know how that actually pans out with our crazy schedules! We say that our family comes first, but when it comes down to it- Chris and I hardly ever go on dates, and the time we get to spend as a family of four is not as much as either of us would like either. But nothing that's good comes easily, so this is something we are definitely going to have to strategize and plan for.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

estate sales! drool...

another new hobby for the watsons! and yes, it involves spending money. sigh. but does anyone actually have any free hobbies???? actually, i just started wasting gigantic portions of my evenings (after the kids are in bed) playing 'bejewled.' i'm not very good, which is why i am playing it with such diligence! i should probably just pick up my Bible more. it's free and won't give me carpal tunnel.

anyway, we are getting ready to move in a month. we still have no home (3 offers out there though!) but are going to move in with some of our favoritest people in the whole wide world when our lease is up here in september. we thought about staying here on a month-to-month basis, but as i pulled into our apartment complex today, with the kids of course, there were three police cars arresting one guy. awesome. second time this month i have come home to police cars. not the only reason we are leaving, but definitely one of the reasons we aren't staying.

but back to the title of my post- estate sales! we went garage sale-ing this morning. kinda late, it was 10:30am when we got into the car. but that's cause chris worked til 3am and that's just what time we were able to drag him outside. truth be told- chris actually really enjoys garage sale-ing though. it's a game to him more than it's shopping. and since i also see it as a game, i tell him what to get and he goes out and gets it. today we were on the prowl for nightstands. and we found two of em!

the first one had a $20 price tag on it. chris came to the car with the nightstand and a smile. he got it for $10. $20 is still good considering a lot of new nightstands go for at least $50. so we kept driving around, and i started losing hope. lots of garage sales pack up by at least 11am, if not sooner, and it was 11am. and about 105 degrees. oh well, we had fun while it lasted.

and then we saw the most beautiful sign: "ESTATE SALE." u-turn! we followed the signs to a giganormous house. chris went in first while i hugn out with the kids. lily was passed out in her car seat. topher was starting to lose it, until i bribed him with some juice and an opportunity to get out of his carseat. and then he said he had to pee, and i happened to have a styrofoam cup on hand. it was his first intentional stand-up pee-into-a-cup experience, and it went great! i held the cup with much pride and tohper looked at me and said: "don't drink that mom." noted. thanks toph.

chris came out to the car soon after with another night stand! it actually kinda matched the first one, only it had more drawers. awesome! and this one had a $35 sticker on it, but it was 75% off (cause the sale was wrapping up) and so chris got it for $8.75. yeah! two nightstands! for less than $20! we are going to refinish them in black, to match the rest of our random black bedroom furniture.

i ran through the house after chris came out, and found a toy storage thing for $7 (with the 75% off)that's usually priced $45 new at stores. i don't need new, i just need deals, and apparently estate sales have em! so that's where we will be most saturdays, driving around, sitting, and peeing in our car, filling it with cheap cheap furniture!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

day of firsts

lily and topher.
partners in crime since march 27th 2008. never really been seperated before. they even sleep in the same bed at nap time most days for goodness sakes!

today was lily's first day of school. preschool. so unbelievable to be a mother of a child who is kind-of in school. it took everything in me to not go out and buy her an amazing new outfit, and a brand new backpack, cause truth be told- anything she wore today would be 'new' to the people seeing her- she's new to them. and she has a backpack that i bought her a year or two ago, just for fun. and i really wanted to buy her an 'official' new school bag, but she doesn't really even need a bag! all she has to bring to school is a bottle of water and a sunshiney attitude. no bag, new or old can hold all that anyway :) praying for the materialism bug in me to die... the fact that i squelched it some for such a momentous occassion feels like a giant victory for me.

anyway, i have read lots of random articles here and there about preparing your child for preschool, making sure that they are excited about it, and prepared for the seperation. lily has been dying to go to school for a long time now. when she sees school buses she says: "that's my school bus! follow it mom!" no joke. the kid is crazy. and i love her for it! we had a little hiccup on tuesday when we went to the open house. lily all of a sudden wasn't that excited about school. she didn't want to get out of her pajamas. and she kept putting her fingers in her mouth. a serious nervous compulsion. everytime we would ask/quiz her about her teacher's name-blammo! fingers in the mouth. crazy.

see? here she is with chris, in front of her school, with her fingers in her mouth. the preschool is run out of a church here in the east valley. ladybug learning club. very cute. we heard about it from our lovely friend bella who graduated with flying colors last year.

i digress though. back to today. i actually just started watching our friend's 10 month old today too. maybe not the bestest timing, but alas, what can you do? hobey, is a wonderful baby. superquiet and gentle and wonderful and heavy. like almost 30 lbs heavy. serious denseness. my arms are still shaking from holding him today. i had to take him to lily's first day, along with topher. i thought of taking out my double stroller, but didn't want to bother. mistake!!!!!!

lily likes babies. she is pretty unphased by them in general. topher on the other hand, gets real suspicious of the little creatures. he lurks about and wonders "why are you so interested in this baby, mom? are you going to keep it? will it replace ME???" having hobey at our house before topher woke up kind of alarmed him. he's met hobey before, but it didn't matter. his radar was going nuts. when we drove to lily's school, topher cried for his dad almost the whole way.

to make matters worse, it was another disgusting day in the desert. like a million degrees, plus a good amount of humidity. we walked over to lily's classroom without a hitch. then we got into lily's classroom, and topher was so excited to see other kids and a bunch of new toys to play with. i signed lily in and started to say bye. she was looking like she was fine. so i called topher over, and he ignored me. "topher." i said louder. still nothing. another mom looked over at me and said: "every year i leave a kid here and leave with a kid under my arm who is kicking and screaming." good. i wasn't alone. except i definitely couldn't handle topher kicking and screaming whilst holding my human brick baby. so i dragged/carried a screaming topher. in a million degree weather. omg. it was not a pretty sight. we took a bunch of rests along the way to my minivan (why did i park so blastedly far away!?!?!?) topher was inconsolable. upset, angry, and hot. sweat and boogers and tears every where. fortunately i was composed enough to only be sweating. profusedly. kind of the most intense workout i've had in awhile.

another mom came over and asked if she could help me. i didn't want topher to kick her, so i gave her heavy hobey. so thankful for other moms. i buckled the kids in their car seats and fell into my seat utterly defeated. i had anticipated different emotions after dropping off lily for the first time. fortunately (???) topher really distracted me from feeling even remotely sad or contemplative. he was still crying and screaming, only instead of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" he was yelling for his sister: "LILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLS!!!!!!!!!!!!! noona!!!!!!!!!!!! LILYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!"
ooops. there's the sadness creeping in.

i had done a great job preparing lily for the day, and a TERRIBLE one preparing topher! ugh. i take for granted that topher is a pretty chill kid. but if there's something that he really cares for- it's his sister. she's always been there. and now we just left her with a bunch of strangers in a room full of awesome toys that topher should be playing with too! the different emotions ranged from rage to compassion. topher had been really disobedient, but he also had a pretty terrible morning (for a two year old!) we got home, hobey went down for a nap, and then topher and i had some much needed mommy and topher time. we had a serious talk about what went wrong that morning. lots of hugs and kisses ensued. followed by an oreo. as chris would say: "oreos. fixing the world's problems, one kid (and mama) at a time."

the rest of our day was a breeze. here are some more pics:

lily and her sweet teacher mrs. s. i got an e-mail from her yesterday, the day after open house, and she just wanted to prep parents for drop off and pick up procedure. she also said she was so glad to have met everyone the day before, and that she has been praying for each of her students by name since she got her class list. oh i love her so much already!!!!!

lily, topher, and our 'new baby' hobey. lily is 'presenting' him. good vanna white impression.

we ended off the day hanging out with gabe and corban. i got them all in their pjs, and topher saw that i had pulled out his pjs that matched corban, he said:
"look mama! my pjs match corban! that's great!"
all's well that ends well.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

all for fitness

as crazy and fly-by-the-seat-of-his-(now very tight)pants my husband may be, he is also ever-so predictable. for instance, when chris did his half-marathon last january, i knew that the full marathon was a sure thing. and in june, it was so. this was all good and fine. training for the half-marathon cost little to nothing. training for the full marathon took a couple more of our hard earned dollars. but it's all worth it in the name of fitness and good health, right?

then chris said he didn't need to do another marathon after his first marathon. super, glad we spent all that money on the gps watch, and all those ultra-light running shoes, and special sweat-wicking socks. but i believed my wonderful hard-working, exercise-loving husband.

so when chris said he wanted to train for a sprint-triathalon, i was beyond unsurprised. i honestly knew it was coming. but what i didn't see coming, were all the extra costs. fortunately we didn't have to spend more money on the running portion of the triathalon, been there, done that. we haven't moved on to the swimming portion yet, because we just broke the bank with the biking aspect of the race:

super-special light-weigt bike- $485 (regular price $1,000)
x-large helmet (that explains topher)- $65
tight shorts with gel-pads in the butt- $50
slightly-see-thru zipper front shirt (my hubby is skanky like that)- $20
water bottles + water bottle holder
(really? the $1000 bike did not come with a water bottle holder!)- $30
spare tire (tubes)- $12
flat tire kit- $12
storage pouch (ah!!! something to carry all the excess)- $12

but, it's all worth it, right? in the name of fitness and exercise and good health? and for these priceless pics:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

where am i?

well, that's topher in the dryer. that's where he likes to hang out to spend some time thinking, avoiding lily and i, and drying off after a nice cold shower.
just joking.

but where have i been? i haven't posted anything in almost a week! how have you been getting along without knowing what's been going on in my crazy mundane life?!?!?

well, let me fill you in. try not to die of boredom:

last week i watched my girlfriend's 4 (almost 5) year old from thursday afternoon til saturday morning. i have to admit it is getting really 'easy' to hang out with my kids and almost any number of other kids! (especially when topher is hanging out in the dryer by himself.) after passing off my 'third kid' saturday morning, i even watched gabe and corban for a few short hours on saturday night. and that was a serious breeze! a delight even! cause i love my nephews, and they are very very good boys :)

speaking of good kids, i also got to hang out with two of my favoritest girls on tuesday morning, and again- a delightful breeze of a time! does this mean that i want to have a buttload more kids? NO! does it mean i should open up a daycare? NO! but i am loving hanging out with my kids and their friends. this really really really is a great age!

then i got a break from all kids on sunday night, as chris and i went to the improv in tempe to watch adam carolla, a stand up comedian who used to do 'the man show' with jimmy kimmel, with some other friends. it was hilarious, and i heard a lot of inappropriate jokes and expletives. it was all good in the hood, especially as i enjoyed a daiquiri. i finished 3/4 of that $12 drink! yowsers (unaware of the price when i ordered it.)

it was nice having a night off, even though it took me over an hour and a half to find someone to watch the kids on such short notice. but in all honesty, i am at the point where i finally enjoy hanging out with my kids. as in, it's not hard work any more. that sounded terrible. i mean, my kids are getting more and more self-sufficient, and when i hang out with them, we are having a great time chillin together, as opposed to a year ago when i was constantly sleep deprived (oh wait, that hasn't changed), changing diapers, and i didn't understand what topher wanted cause he wasn't talking, and i didn't understand what lily wanted cause she was crying and whining instead of talking in the adorable sweet voice that she now uses to communicate (most of the time). did i redeem myself at all just now? no? let's move on...

we started our small group this monday! (did i redeem myself by moving to a religious topic??)we took a 2 month break and are back, refreshed, with a few families that have moved on, 2 families that have added babies, and other families that have joined in for some serious ADHD-induced bible discussion! i love our group. we'll see how many of the newbies we manage to not scare away... :)

chris and i finally booked our honeymoom/5 year anniversary trip! it took us about 2 weeks to pick a place, but basically cancun will never be the same once us watsons hit the beach later on this year. it will be my first time in mexico and my first time doing an all-inclusive trip. should be nothing short of amazing. especially since i will be going with my main man, chad. i mean chris. (chad is now on facebook, and he has a lot of friends, which is creepy. some people will just accept anybody. like my brothers, who are unaware that chad is their brother...)

lastly, chris and i are STILL searching for a place to call home. oh our poor realtor. she is so good to us. she has been looking at homes with us for the last 5 months. i think we have looked at almost every single vacant home in the valley...

anyway, that's what's been keeping me busy and away from my blog. hope you are all doing well and staying safe indoors. being outside in 110+ weather is NOT OK.