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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I don't think I am frazzled. In fact, I think - all things considered - I handle my household of two 1 year olds pretty darn peacefully. I feel that everything is under control and basically stress free about 95% of the time. Okay, maybe 90% of the time. I also must say that I am rather proud of myself for being able to keep it all together. At least I think I am keeping it together. That was until Monday when apparently I must have been looking rather frazzled.

I took the kids to story time at the library on Monday. I managed to get everyone bundled up into their winter gear. I got Marcus out of the car and had him kind of pinned between me and the car while I got William out. Then I carried William and held Marcus's hand and we headed from the parking lot into the library. I was feeling rather cool that I was doing all this and everyone was happy and safe and enjoying life. I was there with my two kids and I was doing it! There are a few steps to go down before entering the library and just as we got to the top of the stairs, a couple was exiting the building.

They were an elderly couple. The woman, all hunched over and shuffle-stepping, was already out the door and her husband, carrying a cane, was still on his way through the doorway. Just as the thought was entering my mind that I wish I had gotten there a few seconds earlier so I could have been at the bottom of the steps to help them with the door, the man spoke to me. "Take your time!" he called in a creaky voice. "I got the door for you when you get down those stairs but take them slow!"

Apparently I was frazzled. Here I am this young, spry, and youthful member of society and I needed an elderly man with a cane around to help me with the door. These gray hairs I have been getting must really be shining through.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Those Pesky Kids

Seriously... I just don't know what to do with these kids. I can only hope that one day they will be friends. As for now, they just don't seem to like each other ONE BIT.

I can't even get them to sit next to each other calmly.

It is as if Marcus is just pushing William around!

And absolutely, under no circumstance whatsoever, will they have fun together.

William and the pooch don't even get along.

But, we try anyway. Over the weekend we went to the Center for Creative Play. It was quite a great place for the kids to run around and wear themselves out. Particularly my little spirited Marcus who lives to run. The only downfall was that it was winter and a Saturday and everyone in the city was there. I ran into a woman there that recognized Marcus from day care and she informed me that it is much less hectic there during the week. Maybe I will get brave and take both kids there during the week to run laps. We shall see.

Today we hit up story time at the library again. The woman I met last time when we went was there and she told me about a program that she and her son are doing. I haven't looked yet but it sounds like something we could be interested in. It is a music program and well, I kinda like music. No idea if the kids will like it but I might have fun. [Update: Yeah, not doing that music program. I just don't see the point in spending that much money for two kids to attend a 45 minute "class" for 10 weeks that they won't even remember.] After story time was over the kids had a good time playing with the toys that the library has. Good times.

Marcus has been expanding his vocabulary. Today during snack we played a game where we named things. If he knew the word I could just point and he would tell me the word. If he didn't know the word I would tell him the word and he would attempt to repeat it. Greg and I made him say "elbow" about 100 times tonight because it was so cute.

William has been really picking up language too. I think he says some things but his pronunciation is still so off I am not quite sure. He says "more" and "oh no". Someone told him the other day he had cute shoes and he reached down and touched his shoe. Apparently he knows that word. He also consistently points to the top of his head when the word "hair" comes up. If I tell him to "come here" he generally obeys... or heads in the complete opposite direction.


What I am Reading

I've always been a reader. Back in the day it was The Babysitter's Club books. Then I moved on to The Saddle Club Books. I would like to think that my taste in novels had matured despite the fact the I find most of my reading these days is kid oriented books. In college I didn't really do any reading that wasn't assigned because I just didn't have the time. Then I was back on the reading wagon again. That was until this fall when I hit a big slump.

It started in November when we were on our trip to Guatemala to bring William home. I took a book with me that I don't even remember now. Perhaps there was just too much other stuff going on but I really don't think that was it. After reading about 100 pages of this very long book, I just really didn't feel like reading anymore. One big problem though, I am not a quitter. Sure, I have quit some things. Obviously. If I never quit anything I would be taking ballet lessons, taking jazz lessons, taking piano lessons, taking trumpet lessons, playing soccer, playing softball, taking karate, taking gymnastics, and doing girl scouts all while working at two convenience stores, a diner/pharmacy, a country store, a tourist cave, a telemarketing firm, and several engineering companies that would have lawsuits against me for conflict of interest. I also could be waitressing at a seafood restaurant too although I am not sure since technically I quit that job but as soon as I told my boss that I quit she responded by saying that I couldn't quit because I was fired. Anyway... My point is, I didn't lay a finger on that book for a few weeks and then finally decided to just quit reading it.

Onto a new book. I started reading "A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies" by some author that I am too lazy to look up right now. It seemed like a very interesting concept. Before I continue though, let me explain one of the reasons I love to read. It is a great opportunity to see things from a different perspective, to experience things that you would never even want to experience. The concept of this book was definitely exploring something I would never have a desire to experience. It was about a woman living in the year 1901 who found herself at sort of reverse brothel. Interesting? Turns out it wasn't at all. I was so excited reading that first chapter, so excited to be back to reading something again and it seemed good! It was false hope. It took me nearly 3 months to finish reading that book. I kept reading thinking that something really interesting was going to happen. Then I kept reading just to finish the stupid book so I could start a new one because I was not about to quit two books in a row. I just can't believe I spent so much time committed to that book.

Finally! I found a winner. About a week ago I started reading, "The Art of Mending" by Elizabeth Berg. This is the second book I have read by this author and I am enjoying it more than the first book I read by her. It is a story about family secrets. I sit down to read a page and the next thing I know an hour has gone by. It is quick reading (even for a slow reader like me) and makes you question things that you think you know. It is a serious book but those seem to be the books I enjoy most so it is very suitable for me. I only have about 50 pages left to read but instead of reading it, I am writing about it because I am just not ready for this book to end yet.

And so, that is what I am reading. Also wanted to share, I am a member of goodreads.com, a networking website where readers can share which books they like, what books they are planning on reading, and just do lots of other stuff that I really haven't looked into yet. You can always add me as your friend on there. Just look me up by my email address anniemwk6@hotmail.com


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nice Words

I involuntarily had to partially take a day off from being a mommy yesterday. I think once you are a mommy, you never really get a day off completely from the job because even if you aren't physically with your kids, you are still thinking and worrying about them. On Monday I started coming down with a reoccurring illness I have. Tuesday I got medicated. By yesterday it was in full swing. Thankfully Greg had planned to take the day off anyway because I had my annual dermatologist appointment and I wasn't about to try to take care of that with two kids in tow.

I got the kids up and gave them breakfast. As we were cleaning up I got a phone call from a friend of mine who I haven't talked to in months. I pawned the kids off on Greg for about an hour while I chatted. When I got off the phone I needed to take a shower and get ready for my appointment. I had about 10 minutes after I got myself all dolled up before I had to leave for the doctor.

I got home from the doctor just in time to get the kids down for their naps. I spent most of the evening laying around on the couch while Greg entertained the kids. At one point Greg said to me, "You are a pretty amazing person to be able to stay home with these kids all day every day." Awww. That was nice! Finally I think he understood why sometimes when he gets home from work I just need to go lay down for 10 minutes to re-energize.

Last night when Greg and I lay down for bed I told him, "Say that thing to me that you said earlier." Yes, I am amazing :) If you don't believe it, just ask Greg.


Monday, February 18, 2008

25 (more) Things

A few months ago I posted about a list that Greg and I had started: Things I Never Said Until I Had Kids. Welcome to part two of the list. To view that first 25 things, go here.

(More) Things I Never Said Until I Had Kids:
26. Your hair has to look nice for your friends in case they are gay.
27. That's it! You're done with the eyeballs!
28. If you don't use Mommy's legs correctly I'm putting them away!
29. Let's put the blocks away so we can go in your room where it smells better.
30. Don't close your brother in the oven.
31. Have you ever been this fascinated while you pooped?
32. We don't yell at our bananas.
33. You're flying and my face is being ripped off.
34. If you touch the mirror one more time I'm taking your monkey.
35. Just because it's in his ass doesn't mean that he is playing with it.
36. You cannot stand in the toilet.
37. Don't lick the gas pump.
38. Why are you closing the gate with your tongue?
39. I don't think you can hold a car while riding a zebra.
40. There is no point in throwing a tantrum about gravity.
41. Hold on to your penis so your brother doesn't get it.
42. Next time you do something I don't want you to do, I'm going to poke YOU in the boob.
43. You don't get applause until you go pee-pee.
44. Turtles and dinosaur boat captains do not get along.
45. Now that's some good looking poop if I've ever seen some!
46. You're the only person I know who can read and ride a zebra at the same time.
47. Hold on. I have to snap your crotch.
48. You either vacuum with a smile on your face or you don't vacuum at all.
49. No banging, even when your hands are padded.
50. You are really going to cry when I put you in the car and take your coupons.



What I am knitting

I went on a bit of a knitting strike a few weeks ago. It was rather involuntary. There was a combination of just not having any time, being too tired to want to knit when I did have time, and just being completely uninspired by any projects. Then suddenly I was inspired and off and knitting again. Unfortunately there are a couple little things that I knitted recently that I'll have to write about later since they are gifts. This weekend I found myself inspired again. I mentioned about a week ago about how Marcus has no mittens and apparently the stores are insisting that it is swimsuit and sandal season and aren't selling mittens anymore. Then it occurred to me that I could just make Marcus some mittens.

I found this pattern online and Saturday morning I pulled out some yarn leftover from another project and started knitting. By noon on Saturday Marcus had one mitten. Yesterday I got together with my knitting friends and by the end of our little meeting, Marcus had two mittens. I still have to finish the icord to connect the two mittens so I am not spending any future free time knitting replacement mittens. They turned out super cute though!

I just couldn't believe how fast these worked up. They were so easy too. Of course I didn't check my gage and although I knitted the toddler size, they are a little tight. Perhaps I should have made the cuff a little longer too because they just barely cover Marcus's wrists.

I was concerned that Marcus wouldn't wear them. He is now 22 months old and has never worn mittens. We tested them out last night and took a little walk around the neighborhood. Marcus didn't really know what to do with his hands but he didn't attempt to take the mittens off so I thought that was a bonus. Then we got home and I took off his coat and his mittens. This lead to a complete temper tantrum. Marcus wanted his mittens ON ON ON!!! So, I put them back on. For the next hour Marcus wore his mittens around the house. He cheered and clapped his hands and read books and tackled his brother and pretty much went on with his daily activities, all while in mittens.

I thought for sure he would insist on wearing them in the bathtub but he cooperated. The mittens have since been hidden from him. Perhaps I will have to knit up another pair of mittens after all. Then he can have a pair to wear outside and another pair to play in.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Great Poo of '08

Poor Will has been constipated basically since we brought him home at Thanksgiving. Sometimes things will look like they are "moving" in the right direction and then suddenly it is like a little bunny crawled into his diaper and did its thing. We aren't just talking little pebbles though. Sometimes there are hard as rock boulders in there. I feel so bad for all the work that Will has to put in for that!

After talking with his pediatrician we have tried a few things, like reducing the amount of milk he has been drinking since apparently he drinks way more than he needs. That helped for a few days. Back to rocks. No amount of fruits or veggies seem to do the trick either. I used to be able to get him to eat some prune baby food from a spoon which also helped but Mr. Independent will only deal with me feeding him on infrequent occasions. So on to prune juice.

Yeah, whatever you do, DO NOT OVERDOSE YOUR KID ON PRUNE JUICE!!!!!

At least now I know why he was cranky all morning. As he was sitting there eating his lunch, the house was rocked with an explosion. There was grunting and gurgling and me losing my appetite due to the nastiness of sounds that were emerging. Then it was time to assess the damage. First let me say, I am glad that when I poop it doesn't somehow get in the back of my hair.

changing pad - being washed
towel - being washed
shirt - being washed
pants - being washed
socks - the only thing spared
diaper - not even sure he had one of these on based on the results
onesie - threw that away with the diaper

My first thought was, "A hose couldn't even clean this up!" So instead I plopped him in the bathtub and got out the detachable shower head. That just wasn't even scratching the surface. I switched the shower head over to light massage mode. I felt completely cruel because he was screaming the whole time but he did seem ever so slightly amused by the massaging shower head. (At one point I dropped the shower head and the water was spraying me in the face. That was fun.)

In conclusion, no more prune juice in this house. Now if you will excuse me, I have some laundry to do, some trash to take out, and some poop to clean out of the bathtub.

P.S. Marcus woke up this morning with a poopy blowout. Or at least at the time that is what I thought it was. Turns out it was just a minor dribble of bodily fluids.


Monday, February 11, 2008


We have been doing lots of hanging out with friends these past few days. We had a visit from our friend Carey and her daughter Lola. We met them through our adoption process. Although they only live a few minutes away, until last week I had only seen Carey and Lola in Guatemala City. I just couldn't get over just how cute Lola is! I hope she realizes that she is going to have two cute little boys in this house fighting over her here in about 15 years. Marcus and William didn't quite know what to think of this little girl in their house at first. They did eventually warm up and Marcus was even nice enough to share his toys.

On Saturday we headed off to celebrate Heather's birthday. It was a great time! The party was at a church social hall and the hosts brought along lots of toys for the millions of kids in attendance to play with.

William was his normal calm self, just kinda hanging out and doing his thing.

Marcus was insane with energy and happiness to have some room to RUN!!! He did laps around the other guests and several people thanked me for bringing him along to entertain them. Marcus was moving so fast that my camera shutter wasn't even fast enough to catch a good shot of him. The birthday girl dazzeled us all with her cuteness and her new found ability to walk. I was too busy chasing after Marcus to get to view the entire cake eating process but I did get to see her get a taste.

So much for my new blog format. Really, one of these days I'll post more about me. Not right now though. I have to get my kids ready to head out into the bitter cold. We are going to check out a story time at the library today!

(Man, you gotta love kids! Marcus is sitting behind me right now repeatedly snapping my bra.)


Saturday, February 09, 2008


It turns out that when I am not cooking (a.k.a. hiding in the kitchen as an excuse for some "me" time), we do a lot of playing around here. Marcus and Will love to wrestle. Or should I say, Marcus loves to tackle William and most of the time William thinks this is funny... for the first 30 seconds of being pinned to the ground.

Last weekend it was ever so slightly warmer than it had been so I got the bright idea of taking the kids out in the driveway to play for a little bit and get some fresh air. The ground was still pretty soggy but I figured the concrete driveway would work out for some playing.

This was great fun for a whole 10 minutes until William decided out of the blue that it was no longer fun. We headed inside and tried our hands at a couple of art projects.

Guess who! (It is Marcus. I know, I didn't give you much time to guess.)

So who could this be?

Unfortunately, we can't play all the time. Sometimes I need to cook lunch. I only need a few minutes in the kitchen for that but it was taking much longer than it needed to when I had two kids clinging to my legs. That is when I found a great babysitter for those few minutes. This fine babysitter makes my kids completely comatose and lunch is able to be prepared at record speed. So thank you my friends the Teletubbies (however weird and bizarre you are) for entertaining my kids from 11:30-11:45 each weekday morning.

A few days ago I put our pack 'n play up in Marcus's room. William has been sleeping in our other bedroom which was never intended to be his bedroom. It is just a room with a crib in it and some other random things that are completely non-William related. I thought about moving William into Marcus's room to nap in the pack 'n play to see how that went first. Then Greg and I decided that since Marcus generally naps less than William and they both sleep pretty much the same hours overnight, we would keep William napping in the other room but see if we could get them to sleep overnight in the same room. Last night was the first try. I figured I would be up a couple of times calming William who would be confused over where he was and hoping it wouldn't wake Marcus up. I hung out with the boys for about 25 minutes after I put them to bed. During that time William fell asleep and Marcus was almost there. I didn't hear a peep out of either of them until about 6:45 this morning. Then of course they both realized that they were in the same room and this led to Marcus yelling at the top of his lungs at William, jolting me out of bed, and leading me to go into the room and tell Marcus that he needed to use his inside voice. (I told him this while using my outside voice because clearly he should do as I say, not as I do.) Again tonight they are snoring away in the same room so I think this is going to stick. Well, it was going to stick until I just typed that and jinxed it. I think the next thing will be moving William's crib into Marcus's room and setting the pack 'n play up in the other room for William to nap there.

In closing I have a question. Can I just leave them like this all the time? It would be really nice sometimes!


Friday, February 08, 2008

What I am cooking

I have always hated cooking. I thought I was really bad at it. I recall once when I was an early teenager, both of my parents were sick with some sort of virus. I was hungry. I begged my mom, who was laying in bed under about eight layers of blankets, to make me some soup. With what little energy she had left she encouraged me to make my own soup. It wasn't going to be hard. All I needed to do was open the can, pour the contents into a pot on the stove, and turn on the burner. I assured her that I couldn't do it. In fact, I told her if I tried I would catch the stove on fire. She didn't budge. I bravely headed to the stove. I have no idea how it even happened but I soon found myself standing in front of the pot of condensed soup I was intending to heat up on the stove, and the stove was actually on fire. My dad was in the other room, still recovering from his strain of the illness. He must have heard the crackling of the flames and asked me if something was wrong. Completely calm I said, "The stove is on fire." Dad put it out. I ate cold soup.

I spent three of my four years in college living in an apartment, left to feed myself with no help of the cafeteria staff. I still couldn't cook. My first roommate and I had an agreement. One did the cooking and the other did the dishes. It should be no surprise that I was the dish doer. I never caught the stove on fire but somewhere during those three years I did figure out how to make spaghetti. My senior year in college, my dinner was either oatmeal or microwave popcorn. (For lunch everyday I had a peanut butter sandwich. Let me tell you, I was one healthy girl!)

Off I went with my degree into the great big world. However, a degree in biology still didn't give me anymore information on how to cook. I lived alone for awhile and although there were times when I thought I might actually try to cook a real meal, I saw little point in it. All that work just for me? Not really worth it. Typical dinners at that point became a jar of green beans or some cous cous. Several of my friends thought I was a vegetarian because I never had meat in my house. I just never bought it because I had no desire to cook it. It took too long to cook and therefore was a hideous waste of time.

Then I got married and became all domesticated. Not only did I figure out how to do laundry (only shrinking things on rare occasions now!) but I also learned how to cook. I really don't know how I picked up cooking skills. Sure, I have watched my mom cook growing up but I never really paid any attention. There have definitely been times when I have had to call my mom or a friend and ask really simple cooking questions that made me feel ridiculously idiotic. Mostly though, I just follow recipes. Perhaps I was trying to impress my new husband or perhaps I was just tired of popcorn but all of a sudden, I found myself inspired. Greg has helped my desire to cook by letting out loud "yums" when he takes a bite of my latest concoction. And so I became a cook.

I cook almost every night. When I say I cook, I mean I make things from scratch. There are definitely times we have frozen pizza or some sort of meal that you just take from a bag and toss it in the skillet, but for the most part, I cook. Now that I have a couple of kids under my feet all day long, I have been finding even more enjoyment in cooking. It is my time. It is almost like meditation as I chop and stir and saute. It is Greg's job to entertain the kids while I get the opportunity each day for a few minutes to get lost in my thoughts as I spin my spice rack around looking for the rosemary. (I actually just started a little windowsill spice garden but haven't been able to harvest it yet.) I don't even feel the least bit guilty that I am taking a break from my kids because I am hard at work providing nutritious meals for my family!

The other night I made Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Lasagna. This recipe was originally suggested to me by Cara, although I don't have a clue now where she got the recipe. (By the way, Cara gave birth to a 10 lb 3 oz baby boy yesterday! Congrats!!) The original recipe uses sausage instead of chicken but since I am not a fan of sausage and I am now a seasoned chef, I made a substitution. I have made this recipe a few times now too so I have even altered the original recipe a bit in other places as well.

The recipe is posted at the bottom of this blog or you can find it in our cookbook which is still for sale. (The recipe below has a few updates that aren't in the cookbook version.)

I doubled the recipe this time around and froze the spare lasagna so here in a few weeks when I don't have the energy to cook, we can have more fabulous lasagna. Making two of these puppies took quite a lot of work, as well as all my really big pots. I even had to call in Greg to chop up some veggies because my chopping muscles were getting tired. The results were quite yummy though!

The noodles!

Putting the layers together!

The mess! (I used the "light" Ragu Alfredo sauce in an attempt not to go into cardiac arrest from eating one bite of this delicious dinner.)

Eating the results!

The recipe!

Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Lasagna

12 dried lasagna noodles
1 lb cooked shrimp, tail off, chopped
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into ¾-in cubes
2-3 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp dried sage, crushed
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
3 (10 oz) containers refrigerated light Alfredo sauce
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook noodles according to pkg directions. Drain and rinse. Combine shrimp, chicken, Cajun seasoning, and sage. In a large nonstick skillet cook meat mixture 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet using a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in skillet. Set met aside. Keep drippings warm. In same skillet cook onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic in drippings until vegetables are tender. Stir in meat mixture, two containers of the Alfredo sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Lightly coat a 3-qt rectangular baking dish with nonstick spray. Place just enough of the meat-vegetable mixture on the bottom of the baking dish to cover. Arrange 4 noodles in bottom of dish. Spread meat-vegetable mixture, Sprinkle with ½ cup of the mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Carefully spread remaining Alfredo sauce over the top (if sauce is too think, heat slightly). Sprinkle top of lasagna with cajun seasoning to add color. Cover. Bake 1 hour or until heated through. Let stand 15-20 minutes before carefully cutting. (Serves 8-12)


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My New Blog

I would like to formally welcome you to my new blog. I know what you are thinking. It looks an awfully lot like my old blog. I assure you that it isn't. At least I am going to attempt to make it a little different. Contrary to what most people believe, including myself most days, there is more to my life than just chasing my kids around and blogging about it. In fact, I have approximately 2 whole hours (on a good day) when I get to do stuff just for me. That is 2 whole hours that I am not cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking a meal just to fill empty bellies, or chasing/playing/loving/yelling at my kids. All this time you have been reading my blog, there have been 2 hours every day that almost never get explored.

Then there is the fact that having my entire life revolve around my kids is making me forget that I really do need to take care of myself, indulge myself in whatever idiotic pleasures I please. Perhaps if I start blogging more about the "me" time I get, I will be more aware of my "me" time and therefore enjoy my "me" time more and in return actually be a better mom during my "mom" time because I am refreshed. So here it goes, my attempt to focus a little more on me during the time I can.

And of course, I will still likely post way more about my kids than I will about what I am up to. They are just too interesting and cute not to. As for me... well, just stay posted to find out just how uninteresting I really am!


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More of the Same

I keep meaning to post but then I realize, I really don't have anything to write about. Around here it is just more of the same all the time. It is getting quite boring actually. We eat, we play, we nap, we repeat. It is driving me quite buggy. I have been planning lots of play dates lately which is the only thing keeping me going some days. I have also looked around to see what other things there are in the area that I can do with the kids, that I am brave enough to take two small kids to do. Next week we are going to hit up a program at the library for 30 minutes. It is geared towards kids Marcus's age so hopefully they won't kick William out because he is a few months shy of the age group.

On Sunday our little family of four headed to the mall play area for something different to do. While William sat on Greg's lap and looked at a book, I watched Marcus do laps. For 15 straight minutes he ran around the rather large play area at full speed. He slammed into two people (one his size and one quite a bit bigger), fell to the ground, jumped up, and ran some more. At one point he tripped over his own feet and went face first into one of the slides. He cried. I picked him up to make sure he was okay. He started yelling, "Down!" So down he went and off he went to do a few more laps. He had a nice long nap on Sunday.

William has been walking like crazy. He is still quite unsteady on his feet but that doesn't stop him from using walking as his main mode of transportation these days. He has also been driving me crazy. He has one word that he insists on repeating over and over and over. Seriously, he will go on for 10 minutes, stop to take a breath, and start back up again. His "word" is ma, which means all of the following:
- more
- I want that
- I want attention
- let's read a book
- hey you
- look at that
- I see the dog
- I'm hungry
- I'm thirsty
- put me down
- pick me up
- there currently isn't any sound coming out of my mouth so I better make this sound to fill that void

I recall that Marcus went through a stage where all he said all day long was "eh". My only comfort in this whole situation is that eventually Marcus did stop. After three weeks of ma ma ma ma ma all the time, I often forget that it isn't likely that I will be sending him off to college someday and all he will have to say is ma ma ma ma ma ma. Knowing it is only a phase doesn't really make it better in the moment though. I still find myself needing to leave the room at times to make my own noise, which sounds a lot like a frustrated scream.

I took the kids out of the house to a public place by myself yesterday for the first time. Go me! I have wanted to take them out for awhile now but there just wasn't anywhere to go. Plus, the weather has just been ugly. Every time I would think that we had somewhere to go, it would snow or sleet or rain or just be unbearably cold. I was not happy to see that the weather forecast yesterday was rain. It was just an ugly spitting rain though and I wasn't going to let that stop me. We went to Target. Sure, I accidentally set off the car alarm when I was putting the keys in my pocket in the parking lot and yes, the alarm went off when I left the store with my (paid for) packages (and no one even bothered to come after me just in case I actually did steal something). However, it was a wildly successful trip. William only complained about being in the stroller with a little whine while we were waiting at the register to leave. Other than that, I don't even think I heard a peep out of either kid the whole way and we were probably shopping for 45 minutes. William now has some new shoes. Marcus now has a lullaby CD and a little CD player that will be put to use when the kids someday start sharing a room. I also got some closet organizers for the kid's closet because it was getting out of control in there. I was not able to find mittens for Marcus. He grew out of his mittens from last year (which he never wore anyway) and now being that it is February, Target is selling swimsuits, not mittens. I was also not able to locate any slippers for Marcus either. The slipper aisle is now without a single pair of slippers. It is nice to know that if I want a pair of flipflops to wear to the pool this month, I can get those.

When we got back out to the car and I got everything and everyone loaded up, I slid into my seat and started doing the happy dance because I was quite joyful that we were able to leave the house and no one cried. As I danced I sang, "Go Mommy! You're awesome! You're the coolest! You're the coolest!" Then as a grand finale to my song and dance rendition I turned to Marcus and sang, "Who's the coolest?" Marcus yelled, "Dada!" Obviously he has a lot to learn.

(I was able to find Marcus a pair of slippers at the grocery store last night, of all places. They are the cutest little things and Marcus loved them for the 10 minutes he had a chance to wear them before bedtime.)