Wednesday, April 30, 2008


The past month or so, I have been on a mission to make the backyard and deck area my perfect little oasis. Pregnancy hormones are with out a doubt the cause of this over powering need to have a quiet little sanctuary. I am sure that I have driven Andrew crazy with my frantic search for the perfect pillows, bistro set, flower boxes and window coverings for the gazebo. Well, the man can finally breathe a little easier. As of last night, I am 95% happy with my outdoor area. That other 5% will come when I plant my flowers in their boxes and pots. Here are a few pictures of some of my treasures. So now when I tell you that I'm spending the spring and summer outside lounging about like I'm the Queen of Sheba, you will have a visual to go with my ramblings.

Here are pictures of the patio area:

Please keep poor little Fern in your thoughts. I nearly killed her when I put her inside next to a heating vent. She is starting to come back, and we continue to hope that the fresh air does her well.

Here's a view of Chase's sandbox. He loves to play here and get all gritty and grimy. I don't mind because I can see it from all of my comfy deck chairs.

Speaking of the deck, here are a few pictures of it:

This is the bistro table that I searched and searched for. It literally had me tossing and turning at night. Then, I found this lovely set at the Pottery Barn Outlet. And then Mellon was happy. The flower boxes in the back are going to be filled with hydrangeas--I wanted to see what they would look like before I bought a gazillion of them.

And here is my most favorite happy place: The Gazebo:
Curtains closed

Curtains Open. This by the way is where I take my daily naps. ;-)

Reading chair

Here's a view of the whole thing. Doesn't Chase's bubble maker add a certain degree of class to the whole ensemble?

Most of the accessories that I have used came from Target, Costco and the Outlet Mall. I am a bargain huntress after all. I am available for design and/or shopping consultations...

And lest ye think that I've only been nesting outside, I'd have you know that nearly everything is purchased for Amaya's room as well. I am just waiting for next Thursday and the arrival of Chase's new dresser so that I can move his changing table and little dresser into her room. Then, I'll be able to put her room together, too. Pictures to be shared in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our little bibliophile

Chase is a certified book worm. I think one of the reasons that he likes his new bed so much is because he now has free access to the bookshelf. When it's time for his nap, he'll spend at least 20-30 minutes after I leave devouring book after book. His routine is very predictable. As soon as I leave, he'll grab a book that is on the floor nearby and quietly flip through the pages. When he reaches the end, he says, "Next" and gets another. When he runs out of books that are close at hand, he'll get off the bed, go to the shelf, pick a book, bring it back to the bed, and begin his perusal. When that book is done, he repeats the process until he's piled so many books on his little nest that he now has to sleep in a very awkward position to avoid laying on one of the tomes. One day, I counted 16 books piled on his bed plus a few more that ended up on the floor. Here's a picture of the scene I discovered after one afternoon nap.

His love of books is so great that he even tries to read himself to sleep at night. He'll flip through the books in much the same fashion as he does at nap time with the main difference being it's completely dark in his room at night. I have no idea how much he can actually see when he's doing this, but he'll usually "read" for at least 10 minutes before calling it a night. Odd bird, my son.

Knowing this, you can imagine what fun we had at the library last week. His eyes lit up as soon as we entered the children's section. He headed straight for the shelf of enticing magazine covers and began flipping through them one by one. Next, came the shelves full of picture books. Having so many stories to choose from meant Monkey was in heaven. For mama it was a bit of a different story since I had to keep bending over to reshelve his cast offs. Bending over with a volleyball sized belly is not quite so easy. We probably looked at 50 books in the hour we were there. We came home with 7 books to enjoy--mostly books about trains, trucks, and airplanes. Noodle frequently turns to these precious books when he reads in his little red chair. I think this means that we'll be frequenting the library on a weekly basis.

He also loves to have you read the books to him. He'll bring you an endless stream of volumes to read. After you finish one, he'll say, "more" and bring you another. It can be exhausting even for a fellow book lover like myself. So, I have taken to recruiting outside help to feed the little one's addiction to print. You saw in the previous post that Nana has taken her turn reading to him. Now, here is a picture of Aunt Jenn sharing her literary services with the little guy. Be forewarned, if you enter my house, you too will be called forth to perform your duty as a book reader for the Noodlet.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Matzah, Matzah Man...

Chase wants to be a Matzah Man. Sing along now..Matzah, Matzah Man--Nana is reading The Matzah Man.
Isn't this a cute picture of Chase & Nate with Nana on Passover? Both boys got The Matzah Man book and a Thomas the Train for finding the hidden matzah (which is called a special Hebrew name that I can't remember nor pronounce--perhaps one of my dear readers will enlighten me?). Drew got to feast on turkey and mashed potatoes. I got to eat lots of Matzah brittle. So clearly, it was a very good day for everyone.

Friday, April 18, 2008


As promised, here is a post about Noodle's growing vocabulary and his endearing new kissing phase. Let's start with the lip service that he's been giving left and right these days. He just loves blowing kisses complete with a loud smacking sound and a hand flourish as he blows them away. Everyone is worthy of receiving one of these beauties--his teachers, mama, the mail man--everyone. But the smooching doesn't stop there. Oh no. He likes to plant wet, sloppy kisses on anything with a face--could be Mama, Daddy, his puppy, his Elmo cars, a picture of a cow. If it has eyes and a mouth, he'll place a big smacker right on it. Of course, his most favorite time to love his mama up is when she's trying to do something important--like take a nap. That's when he'll plant 15-20 gloppy smoochies on me. Little stinker.

Now, to share with you bits of his increasing vocabulary, I have selected my top five monkey words and phrases for your reading pleasure. I am presenting it in a dictionary format so that my readers can have a thorough understanding of their meanings and use.

Atcsh (Crash)--
This one is a favorite used often when playing with his cars as he collides them into each other or flies them off of the couch. You can also hear this particular word after the little darling throws any number of objects down the basement stairs. Doesn't matter if it's my decorative twine balls, his matchbox cars, or plastic cutlery--they all "atcsh".

Don no (Don't know)-- This is the phrase he calls upon when he discovers that a toy is missing a part. For instance, if he's putting together a puzzle and the last piece is missing, he'll point to the open spot until you say, "Don't know". Then he'll say, "don no", and a mad hunt for the little wooden trinket begins. Pray you find it soon, otherwise your ears will be filled with an endless stream of more "Don nos", "gahns", and "uh ohs".

Gahn (Gone)-- this one is used to describe everything from his dinner, to missing toys, to Mama. You'll hear it at least 543 times a day. He'll slurp the last of his drink, and say "gahn, gahn, gahn". He'll continue repeating the word until you acknowledge that yes, the white liquid is in fact, gone. He also likes to incessantly repeat "Mama gahn" anytime I'm not around. Lucky Drew.

Pur-pull & Boo (purple & blue)-- colors obviously. Except he only says purple if you say it first. And every color is blue. Example:
Mama : (pointing to a red crayon) What color is this, Chase?
Chase: boo
Mama: No, this is red. What color is this? (pointing to a green crayon)
Chase: boo
Mama: Green, this one is green. How about this one? (pointing to a blue crayon)
Chase: boo
Mama: That's right! You're so smart!

H pronounced just like the letter (no idea)-- He points to everything under the sun and says "H!". We still have no idea what he's saying, but it's awfully cute.

And there you have the top five Noodlisms for the month of April. Below is a video of him saying "Gahn". It's near the end of the clip. Before that he's saying "Cheee" (aka cheese) because there's a camera pointed at him. Also please note how he uses his mother as a jungle gym. Feels great on my pregnant belly. Oh, and the picture at the beginning of the post is from the Mr. Knick Knack concert at the mall. I took video there too, but I did it sideways...makes you dizzy watching it. Oops.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I will freely admit

that I am a posting slug. As you can see from the above picture, Chase is also disappointed with my slacker blogging. Even so, I still have no mojo today as far as writing a witty and entertaining post goes, but I can provide for you a few more pictures of Allie's second birthday party that was held at My Gym. Noodle enjoyed running amuck for the full hour and a half that Allie's parents reserved. He slept very well that night.

I promise that later this week, I'll add an entry about Chase's ever growing vocabulary and his new obsession with kisses.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Belated Egg Hunt

So, us mommies aren't really procrastinators or anything. Early in March, we'd decided that we were going to get together for a family egg hunt/dinner. The problem was that we are all such busy, important people that we couldn't find a date that worked for everyone until the first week of April. And really does it even matter that the actual holiday was done and gone? I mean it's not like the kids even noticed that Easter was a week and a half before. Plus, all the plastic eggs were on clearance, and you know how I love a bargain.

As far as the actual hunting went--well maybe next year. Chase played the game long enough to gather about 9 eggs, and then he decided that he'd rather climb up Allie's slide than pick random ovoids off of the ground.

Speaking of little Ms.Allie, that girl was all about the eggs. She was the only one that noticed that there were treasures inside the little plastic domes. So, while the other three played on her toys, she ran around the yard opening all of the abandoned eggs and eating all the crackers and oreos that were hidden inside. She left the broken shells scattered around the yard so that it looked as though a massive egg massacre had taken place. Too cute.

After such an expense of energy, it is certainly no surprise that the little ones were in need of some nutritional fulfillment. Enter the pizza delivery dude who brought our pizzas around the back of the house where he was met by our little group of delayed Easter revelers. I am sure that he thought we were very odd...especially when Andy shouted "Pizza Guy"--someone has obviously been watching too much Higgleytown Heroes.

Seeing all of the little turkeys sitting around the kitchen table eating was a direct reminder of how quickly time marches on. It seems like only yesterday they were each lying on his or her own play mat staring at one another and drooling. At this rate, they'll be the ones organizing the egg hunt next year. I wonder if they were in charge, if we'd have more success at scheduling the shindig in advance of the actual holiday. But where's the fun in that really?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A couple of incidental reflections on a Tuesday afternoon

A: It occurs to me after my visit with Molly and month-old Aiden this morning that I am wholly unprepared for the July arrival of my own little baby. We've got our groove going with Chase and his needs, and now I'll have to relearn all of the newborn tricks of the trade as well as train young Amaya in the ways of the family. It's too late to exchange her for a cat, right?

B: I really need to put away the box of mini-cheese sandwich crackers. Maybe just one more handful. Or two.