the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Latest

Busy busy busy around here.

Wow, I just looked at that sentence for about 3 minutes wondering where to even start. Maybe I am just too tired to think. Okay, here it goes.

Yesterday was Will's 15 month checkup. I somehow managed to go by myself with two kids in tow. Everything looked perfect. Kinda. He is 21 lbs 12 oz, 31 1/4 inches tall, and his head is 47 1/2 cm around. The doctor was concerned with his weight though. He has only gained a half a pound in the last two months. His liquid intake is now being strictly monitored. He is only allowed to have 20 oz of milk a day and 8 oz of water. We weren't giving him much more than this but now he is not supposed to drink while he is eating in hopes that he will eat more. This has led to several temper tantrums but they have been short lived. Will has to go back in 6 weeks to be checked again. I was concerned about this until about two minutes ago. I checked his growth from his last appointment and it looks like all of his measurements are leveling off. Also, in the literature that the pediatrician gave us about 15 month olds it says, "Most children at this age do not eat much, and it is normal to have a very slow weight gain at this time." This just makes me wonder what the big deal is. The kid is obviously thriving.

This morning I was off to the North Pittsburgh Moms of Multiples sale. They have it twice a year and this was the third one I attended. I got there early (leaving the kids home with Greg) and there was already a line of probably 150 people outside waiting in the cold. I didn't have much of an agenda this year. I did take my own bag and found that about 5 minutes after the doors were opened and I was fighting my way to get a glimpse at the goods, that my bag was already full. While I was checking out the clothing racks, someone who was helping to organize the sale saw me with my arms piled high with clothing. She asked if I had a bag. Yep, and it was full. I almost got a bad case of the giggles while going through the clothing. I was hoping to pick up some pj's in sizes anywhere from 18 months to 3T. Some lady grabbed a pair hanging in front of me and started to have a discussion with her friend about them. They were discussing whether these pj's would be a good pair to maybe have at the grandmother's house and kept going back and forth over whether they should get them or not. Finally one of the ladies said, "Yeah, they do look kind of girlie," and she hung them up on the rack. The hanger hadn't even settled and I had them in my hands. Not quite sure when hunter green pajamas with tents and fishing lures on them became stereotypically girlie... Even if they were girlie, they were $1. Can't beat that! About 30 minutes after I set foot in that place I had 8 books, 3 wooden puzzles, 3 pairs of shorts, 1 fleece pullover, a swim suit, a nylon swim shirt, and 9 pairs of pajamas. My pockets were a mere $42 lighter.

Today was our big modeling career kickoff. My friend Jen is a photographer. (You can check out her stuff at http://seedlingsphotography.com/) She came over to capture my cutie pies being their cute selves. I am already itching to see the photos and Jen just left a few hours ago. The kids just went about their daily lives while Jen shot away. There was some piano playing, bed jumping, hanging out in family room, and we were even able to get outside in the yard to play with twigs and with the pooch. Will was quite the little poser just kinda hung out doing his thing. As for Marcus, I am interested to see if there are any pictures of him that don't involve him jumping, running, or pretending to fall down.

Marcus's birthday party is tomorrow. We are having a rather no thrills meal of chips and dip, hot dogs, fruit salad, cake, and ice cream. However, I did decide to spice it up a bit and try a new dish - Plantain Soup. Weird? I thought maybe but I figured I would give it a try. I don't really know much about plantains other than they were the staple food of some tribe I studied in an anthropology class in college. I ate fried plantains almost daily while we were in Guatemala and thought they were rather yummy. (I had a college boyfriend who thought he was going to be all hip and eat plantains until he actually tasted one and then he threw them away. Still trying to figure out how I missed that plantain eating was the epitome of cool. Anyway...) My grocery store doesn't even sell plantains but Greg was in the neighborhood of a larger grocery store and was able to pick up a few. I got the kids to bed and got cooking. I used a recipe out of this amazingly fabulous cookbook that I just happened to put together to help raise money for our adoption. (And you can still order a copy of this INCREDIBLE book by clicking here.) I don't recall where I found the recipe originally. It was all rather easy, mostly. I have only made soup that didn't come from a can once in my life and I wasn't impressed with that result but I went ahead. It started off as a typical soup, just some olive oil, celery, carrots, garlic, and onion in a pot. (I cheated and bought pre-shredded carrots.)

(Sorry about the quality of these photos. It was nighttime and my camera doesn't like the dark.) Then came the plantains. Plantains look like bananas and apparently they are closely related, but they are most certainly not bananas. As that old boyfriend of mine discovered when he ate a bite of one raw, they are very bitter and rather hard, almost gourd-like. The recipe calls for green plantains which is what I used, but I would imagine the more ripe ones might have been easier to peel. Getting the plantains peeled and cut was the hardest part of the whole recipe.

It didn't help that I was making 2.5 times the original recipe amount. The chopped up plantains made their way into the pot along with lots of chicken broth, cilantro, bay leaves, and cumin. I just added a big helping of faith and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Not risking anything, I followed instructions and pureed half of the end result, mixed it with the un-pureed portion, and went in for a taste. Really, there is nothing else to say but it is some damn good soup. It looks kind of like a potato soup but tastes like... well... YUM! It is currently hanging out in my crockpot pot in my fridge, waiting to be heated and served tomorrow. Thank goodness I was too busy today to eat or else I would have gulped it all up myself.

Even if you somehow managed to miss out on getting your own copy of the most astounding cookbook to hit shelves in years (and remember, you can still get one by ordering it here), I have provided the recipe for you.

Plantain Soup
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4-4 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
2 green plantains, peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
½-1 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are soft but not brown. Add 4 cups of chicken stock/broth and bring to boil over high heat. Add plantains, most of the cilantro (reserve a few tablespoons for garnish), cumin, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until plantains very tender. Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer half the soup to blender; puree until smooth. Return to the pan. If soup is too thick, add a little more stock/broth. Season with more salt/cumin if desired. (4 Servings.)


Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Topic of this Post is...

During yet another trip to Target today, Will got his first pair of big boy shoes! They are the same style shoes that Marcus has mainly because shopping alone with two toddlers doesn't really give me much time to window shop and I already knew I liked those shoes. When we got home the new shoes were put on and suddenly Will became immobile. Then he tried to move and tripped. Then he decided to crawl. Finally I placed him on his feet. He stared at his feet for a few seconds, tried one step, and then another. Within about two minutes he was running laps laughing at the loud clomping noises his new hard soled shoes made on the linoleum.

Marcus and Will each got a pair of Jesus boots. (Most people just call them sandals but my dad calls them Jesus boots.) Unfortunately in my haste to get my shopping done I think I will have to return one pair of the sandals and get a bigger size.

Where is it? It was my understanding that it was supposed to be here. Yesterday I happened to notice while my kids were napping that my internet thermometer claimed it was 50 degrees outside. I instantly stopped writing pointless emails and ran outside with the pooper scooper and a garbage bag. After the kids were up, outside we went! We played with riding toys and bounced balls on the patio.

Then we were off to the newly scooped grass. Marcus ran, pretended to fall, laughed really loud, and used his outside voice freely. Will went racing off the patio into the grass to get the ball. And that was when he realized, GRASS WAS SCARY!!!! He made a flying leap back onto the patio and shrieked in pure terror. Eventually Will was able to determine (with a little gentle persuading by me) that grass was at least acceptable. I got him to touch it and walk on it while holding my hand. A little later we had returned to the patio again. When he stepped off this time he simply froze, which was improvement from screaming. Thankfully the weather returned to its miserable nastiness for a few days so hopefully when another glimpse of spring decides to show up again, he will be ready to enjoy some green pastures.

Out of curiosity, I started making a list of words that Marcus says. I was getting worried that at his 2 year appointment his doctor would ask how many words he says and I would have no clue. Turns out that the answer is that he speaks about 74 words, not including animal sounds. He still isn't putting words together. That was until Tuesday. We were headed out after a visit with his cousin Scott and he said, "Bye Scott." Today as we were headed downstairs he said, "Bye-bye Pay." (Pay is what he calls the pooch.) Then as we were walking out of the basement he turned to a ball laying on the floor and said, "Bye-bye ball."

Will has to started to talk in a language that we can understand as well. He has been saying "uh oh" for awhile now. He started saying "shoe" and "ball" over the past two weeks. Yesterday he was running around on the patio outside yelling to the dog, "PAY!!! PAY!!!" (Recall that is what Marcus calls our dog.) Today he pointed to a baby on TV and said "baby". But, best of all, yesterday when I walked into his room in the morning he shouted "Mommy!" Perhaps I was just imagining it though because there hasn't been a repeat performance.

Yummy Food
We had a good lunch today and everyone ate happily. We had veggie burgers with corn on the cob. I even made a yummy dessert of chocolate pudding. As far as I know, Will has never had chocolate pudding. I can honestly say he enjoyed the pudding more than Marcus and I did.

When Will gets very excited, his whole body tenses up and he starts to shake. As he gets older, he has been doing this less and less. That was until he discovered chocolate pudding.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter - Multiplied like Bunnies

I am sure I am not alone in having fond memories of Easter growing up. It was quite a predictable holiday in my household. We would all awake somewhat early and head downstairs to find that we had cute little baskets filled with treats and little toys. It would soon be time to hunt for the Easter eggs that we had all so carefully colored just days before. We would all search the normal spots for the eggs and I would always end up in tears, always because my big brother would see me going for an egg and would quickly grab it just before I reached it. Then we would dress in our new Easter outfits and head off to church to hear the Easter story. After church it was time to eat, a dinner that took place at various relatives' houses and sometimes at restaurants that were preparing a special Easter feast. Sadly, I would return home to discover I had eaten too much ham and didn't have any room for that mound of chocolate in my Easter basket. Surely before the day was through we would discover lots of Easter eggs that we hadn't been able to locate that morning. In fact, for weeks to come we would often be stumbling upon old and rather fragrant eggs. And that was Easter. One day a year.

Things are different now. Ever since Greg and I have been together, holidays seem to be extended a bit. It is mainly a result of our families living far enough apart that we can't visit both sides in a single day without exhausting ourselves with driving. My kids will remember Easter lasting for two days and the spread looking something like this:

Easter Baskets x 3 (one from both sets of grandparents and one from Greg and me)
Easter Egg Hunt x 3 (one at both grandparents' houses and one at their house)
Ham Dinner x 2 (one at both grandparents' houses)
Chocolate x 0 (but only because Greg and I are going to eat it all)

Those fortunate guys of mine!

Saturday we went to visit with my family early in the day. (I had to be back in the evening to head out to my concert.) Sunday we got up and did some Easter festivities at home. Since we are bad Christians and haven't put too much effort in finding a church to visit, I have been explaining holidays to my kids during the past year and a half. Over breakfast I was telling them the story of Easter and had just said, "Jesus was an amazing person who performed many miracles." Greg, attempting to be all silly, yelled in from the kitchen, "Don't forget the part about the tamales." Without missing a beat I continued. "One of his most famous miracles was when he had only one tamale and he was able to feed an entire village with it!" After lunch we headed to Greg's family's house for even more festivities. By the end of it all, we were all tired, a little fatter, and happy to have such wonderful people to celebrate with.

Easter Eve

Hunting Eggs

Our little Mozart, who can even play piano with eggs in his hands in the midst of an Easter egg hunt

Marcus's Easter Basket (well, the first one)

Will and his Easter goodies

My nephew Scott waiting to dig in

My niece Maria showing off the bras she got in her Easter basket. (Apparently 8 year olds need bras now.)

My kids

Easter Morning

Finding Easter Baskets (the second one)

Checking out the loot

Getting pretty good at this Easter egg hunt thing

Easter Buckets at Grandma and Grandpa's house

Our family really is from Mars (Aunt Bethany and her boyfriend Jeremy)


Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring AK Concert Tour - Second Stop

In the midst of all the Easter celebration (more on that later), I made my second stop on my concert tour and found myself at Club Cafe down in the South Side. I went with my friends Val and Brian to see Will Hoge.

I have been told before, lots of times actually, that I am obsessed with this band. Sure, this was the 13th time I have seen them in less than 3 years. Really, it is not that big of a deal. I have just seen them every time they have come to Pittsburgh. A couple times I did go to Cleveland to see them too. I traveled down to Morgantown, WV to check them out once but that was mostly because I hadn't seen them for a few months AND they were playing at my old hang out. And I guess there was that one time when I went all the way to Annapolis, MD to see them. Oh, and that time I drove a mere 9 hours to see them in Greenville, SC. If it is obsession, I am proud of it and I can almost guarantee if you have any respect for good music, you would be blown away by this band too.

Great show of course, but that is to be expected. They have got so many songs now that each show is a surprise set list. That is the first show I have ever been to where they didn't play "Woman Be Strong", the song that stopped me in my tracks and commanded me to pay attention to this band. When their newest album came out last fall, I wasn't all that impressed with the title track, "Draw the Curtains". I certainly wasn't impressed when they started using up their precious stage time by playing that song. I am still not a huge fan of the song but they just killed it. I had goosebumps. Interesting how a song that I am not that crazy about can still be performed with such perfection to move me like that.

The only unfortunate part of the show was that they were playing the early slot. Which of course means that there was a late slot, giving them a strict time at which they had to be out of there. Despite the best efforts of everyone in attendance to get them to play for four more hours, they had to be out of there. So, they just played. No talk, no messing around, not even wasting time with leaving the stage to come back on for an encore.

After the show I only got a quick hello to Will. I asked about his son. He asked about my kids. (This guy does 200+ shows a year and somehow still remembers his fans, even if it is just little things like the fact that I have a kid or two.) And just for the record, I may be obsessed with this band but I assure you that the fact that the lead singer of this incredible band is named Will and my son is named Will has no correlation.

A loose set list for my own entertainment:
Secondhand Heart
Sex, Lies, and Money
Pocket Full of Change
She Don't Care About Me
Silver and Gold
I'm Sorry Now
Wait 'Til Your Daddy Gets Home
Baby Girl
When I Can Afford to Lose
Draw the Curtains
Sweet Magdeline
Ms. Williams
Dirty Little War (first time I have heard this one live)
Not That Cool
Washed by the Water

Val, Brian, and I were in attendance for the opening act. After all the comments I made about the band's excessive peppiness and stupidity of banter, Val and Brian called me a hater and even went as far as claiming I hate freedom. Out of respect to my friends (who I don't even think read my blog), I will not make any further comment about the opening band.

(Concert update news: I found someone - or two someones - to go to Billy Joel with me. The ticket options are awful though so I don't really think I even want to go now. Also, totally forgot that I was planning on going to another concert here just before Memorial Day so I think that needs to be added into my plans for my spring concert tour.)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring AK Concert Tour - First Stop

Alone at last! Greg and I finally went out of the house for a date last night, the first time it was just the two of us since early November. The common man might think that a perfect date night would include a quiet dinner and maybe a movie. I am just no common man. In fact, I am not a man at all actually. I am no common woman either. So off we went to Mr. Small's to hang out in a smoke filled room with hundreds of people we don't know to watch a bunch of sweaty, long haired guys scream phrases into microphones such as "big drunken redneck" and "momma went off with a trucker". Bliss.

It was the third time I have seen Drive-By-Truckers in concert. Just by looking around the venue you might think that I just didn't belong there. I was wearing neither flannel nor camouflage. I had neither a beard nor big hair. I was neither smoking a cigarette nor drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer from a can. However, I disagree. I did belong there. Wherever there is some really good music, it is where everyone belongs. (I think I saw a couple who's wedding was featured on My Big Redneck Wedding in attendance.)

Greg and I aren't die hard DBT fans by any means. Greg just discovered last week that they put a new album out in January. He had just purchased it and I hadn't even got around to listening to it yet. I most certainly didn't know all the songs that they played. It didn't matter. When you have good music turned up to volumes that is going to cause permanent hearing damage, it moves you even if you don't know the song.

And so was our night. We danced. We sang. We inhaled way too much secondhand smoke. Most importantly we had a really good time. I was not at all pleased with the two songs that the female bass player sang. I am sure she is just a lovely lady and many people might say she had an equally lovely voice, but her voice and the songs she sang just were not doing it for me. I most certainly do not understand the large number of people who headed out the door during the last two songs. They couldn't stick it out for a whole 10 more minutes? Was that just going to make them too tired to do whatever it is that needed to do today? We were in Millvale! It wasn't like there was even any need to attempt to beat the traffic. Oh well. They just made it easier for a short person like me to get a good view of the stage for the last two rocking songs.


Monday, March 17, 2008

What could be better?

What could possibly be better than having to take care of a sick child? Taking care of two sick children!!

Marcus started coming down with some sniffles on Saturday evening and by Sunday morning I knew we were looking at a cold. So, I did what any intelligent mother would do. I left my kids with my husband and went out for an afternoon to hang with my girls. I came home and was informed that two kids were totally, and fully, infected with the virus. I dropped a tablet of Airborne into a glass of water and was ready to go.

The kids went to bed without issue at 8:00. By 9:30 we had one screaming, miserable kid. By 10:00 the screaming, miserable kid was laying in the pack 'n play in our spare room and I was camped out on the floor next to him in full view for security. By 10:30 Greg was getting the Vick's Vaporizer cranked up while we had two screaming, miserable kids - one in the pack 'n play and the other clinging to me. By 11:00 Will was content in the pack 'n play, Marcus was finally drifting off to sleep on the floor next to me, and I was trying to figure out how in the world I used to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor of friend's houses all the time at sleepovers because it was just not comfortable. By 11:30 Will had decided that if this was a slumber party, he was going to play and was doing his best to convince Marcus of this master scheme. By 11:35 Will had been moved back to his crib in the kids' room, Marcus went into the pack 'n play, and I was all too happy to get into bed.

As I lay on the floor last night surrounded by two crying, coughing, runny nosed kids, I thought that I just might have to write a blog today about how I was unanimously nominated as the Most Awesome Mom in the Whole Universe. However, I decided not to because I figured that someone would get the wise idea that the voting needed to be open to more people than just my immediate family and that could totally blow my title.

It really wasn't so bad today. Both kids were rather lethargic which meant they didn't have the energy to pick on each other or bother to touch things they know they aren't allowed to touch. Neither of them ate much and poor Will, every time he tried to eat he would cough and then throw up. During lunch, as his noodles decided to make a reappearance and I reached over, caught it in his bib, cleaned up the bib, got him a new bib, washed my hands, and went right back to eating my lunch. Isn't throw up supposed to gross me out? Nope, just part of life anymore I suppose.

After their nap things started going down hill. Will was still content just hanging out looking at a book and not moving much. Marcus was content being held and being completely cuddly with me. It was a nice change from the manic behavior that I am used to. That was until the fevers got high enough that we felt it was in our best interest to medicate our kids. They suddenly felt like their old selves and danced around, practiced jumping, and did some amazing out of control spinning in circles all while Greg and I tried to keep them calm so they didn't over do it.

Monday is grocery shopping day and because we decided not to be cruel parents, we opted to put them to bed and then I would get the grocery shopping done on my own. I was driving home from the store, listening to some great music and just feeling so... well, like me! I mean, like me the me that is something other than just a mom. The groceries got unpacked and I was off. Just me and the pooch. We went for a great stroll around the neighborhood. The air was just crisp enough to be refreshing without it being too cold. We got our hearts pumping. And when we reached the big hill I wasn't pushing and extra 50+ pounds in front of me. I just felt light!

What a perfect start the events that are about to transpire. Tomorrow marks the kickoff to the Spring AK (that's me!) Concert Tour. Woohoo!! Currently there are three concerts on the agenda and I am working on setting up a fourth if I can find someone to go with me. (Anyone want to go see Billy Joel with me?) Bring on the babysitters because this hot momma is getting ready to rock it out!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Knitted Goods

A friend of mine from high school, Jody, had her baby shower last weekend. Unfortunately, just as I was ready to head out the door, the freezing rain started. It was almost an hour drive to the shower destination. I waited for a bit to see what the weather was going to do. It kept up the freezing rain for a bit before turning to heavy snow. I didn't go to the shower.

I did however manage to get the gift to the mom-to-be earlier this week. Among some little items she may need, I also knitted her daughter some booties and a bib. I think they turned out great!

I followed a pattern for the booties but I am too lazy to locate it at the moment so if you really want to know you will have to ask. I designed the bib myself.

And if you get a chance and have some extra vibes laying around, Jody could use some. She went into pre-term labor right after her shower last weekend. The last I heard (on Tuesday) her daughter was still snug as a bug in her womb. Jody is on bed rest for the next month, keeping her fingers crossed that her daughter doesn't make an early arrival.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What I Don't Understand

I make an attempt to eat somewhat healthy. Kind of. I don't sit around and count calories or avoid all fattening products, I just try to choose healthy foods when I have the chance. So, if we are having pasta we almost always have whole wheat pasta or if we are using cheese, I try to look for the reduced fat cheese. I don't think that Greg could really care about eating healthy but he supports my attempt at it.

We do what I call tag team grocery shopping now. Since I Marcus would still knock over every display at the store or just start clearning off shelves, both boys have to be in a cart. If I have both kids in one cart, there will be no room for food. So we end up going as a family. I man the list and I shout out to Greg from across the store, "Grab some rice!" And since Greg understands my attempt at making healthier choices when they are available, he knows that he should be picking up brown rice.

One night this week I have decided that we are going to have hot dogs. On our last shopping trip it was Greg's duty to grab some hot dog buns. When I got home I discovered that he had opted to pick up the healthier option of whole wheat hot dog buns.

Okay, really, what is the point? I think when you choose hot dogs, it is really saying, "I just don't care about nutrition." When eating a hot dog, is the whole wheat bun really going to make a difference? I just don't understand.


Monday, March 10, 2008

All About Adoption

Apparently I am going to be a bad adoptive parent. I was reading a magazine I get called "Adoptive Families". The most recent issue features information about raising Latino kids. As I was reading through it I kept thinking how I haven't really thought about many of the issues that were discussed. The article went on and on about the importance Latino adoptees learning Spanish to provide them with that tie to their culture. I don't know Spanish. I don't plan on sending my kids to an immersion education program. So, apparently, my kids will grow up with a completely confused identity because I am a bad adoptive parent.

Stupid magazine.

Today we headed off to the library for story time. Most of the time I am oblivious to the fact that my kids don't look like me. They just look like my kids, whether those features match mine or not, I really don't notice. Sometimes it occurs to me though that other people might notice. As I was sitting among all these other moms, grandmas, and caretakers, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps they just think I am a caretaker. It was a sad thought really, to think that these people might not realize that these two fabulous boys were 100% my sons. Well, whatever. After story time was over, I took Marcus and Will to another area of the library so they could play with some toys. One of the grandmothers that was in the story time asked me how close in age my sons were. This simple question just made me so happy. I'm not even sure I can explain it really. After I told her that they were 8 1/2 months apart there was not even the slightest hint of that being an odd answer. (Biologically, it would be really hard to have kids that close in age, which some people realize and start getting all weird and asking stupid questions over. You know, like, "What? How are they 8 1/2 months apart? Are you kidding?") The woman just went right on talking about how they are going to be so close and how she always wished her own kids were closer in age. It was like we were just a regular old family, not any different from any family formed through that cookie cutter equation including mom and dad and biology. Because really, we are just a normal family. It isn't like my kids are even learning Spanish!


Sunday, March 09, 2008


Yes, so I probably should blog more and keep more up to date. If laziness is an excuse than that will be my reason for not blogging lately. I do have quite the monumental event to write about though. Will had his first haircut! I usually cut Marcus's myself but I just had no clue what to do with that baby fine hair of Will's that was total chaos from never being cut before. Greg suggested a trip to his barber and we were off.

I don't think I have ever been to a barber before. I am not talking about being there as in getting my own hair cut. I mean, never actually in a barbershop before. Maybe I went once with my dad when I was a kid. Anyway, we got there and I was feeling way outnumbered by those with Y chromosomes everywhere. There were scissors and shaving cream and clippers, but I didn't see one sort of scented hair product or curling iron in the whole place like I see in my salon. Anyway, on to the point of this post.

We ended up having to wait for quite awhile. Greg said he had never had to wait that long when he went alone. So there we were with two toddlers, trying to keep them from eating hair off the floor, while we waited. Marcus went first so he could show his little brother how it was done. He needs his hair cut every few weeks so he was used to the procedure, just not so sure about sitting alone in that booster seat while some strange man came at his head with scissors. He did great though and went from tres shaggy to tres chic in no time.

Then it was Will's turn. He sat in the comfort of Greg's lap while I cheered from the sidelines and gave instructions to the barber.

Apart from a little whining, it was a grand success! He sat still and let Greg hold his head still so the barber could get the best angles and get him looking his very best.

Best of all, now all the hair is no longer covering his ears so he has no excuse not to listen to Greg and me. The barber even combed it all into place at the end of the trim for a well groomed look.

It was a really positive experience and we will definitely be going back there for their next trim. Since it was Will's first haircut and Marcus's first time getting a professional haircut, they were presented with certificates that read: This is to certify that William/Marcus has bravely met all of the requirements of receiving their first haircut and has graduated from babyhood on the 6th day of March in the year 2008. Ceremonies too place at Tony's Hair Styling.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm a quitter

I was just mentioning the other day about how I really don't quit things. Now I have done it. I have done it big too. I quit my job.

Just call me Suzie Homemaker! Greg and I have thought about it, talked about our budget, talked about what we felt was the most important things for our family and what would make us all the happiest. In the end we decided that since we could do it, I would quit my job and stay at home with the kids. As much as I loved my job, since working part time wasn't an option I decided to work no time. There are only a few years that I will get to spend all my days with my kids, days when they WANT to be with me.

I have been on leave since November and was due to go back to work in mid-April. Not anymore. There have already been some days during my leave when I was fantasizing of dropping my kids off at day care for someone else to care for them just for a break, but in the long run I just don't want to be away from them if I don't have to. So yesterday I called up my boss and let her know my plans personally. Then I talked to HR. I still have to write up a quick resignation letter and my official resignation day won't be for another 2 weeks, but that job that I worked so hard to get and loved so much is a thing of the past.

I am so excited to get everything squared away with my job, to finish up the last few odds and ends of our adoption, and be able to just concentrate on being a full time mom. At least for a few years. (I do plan on going back to work once the kids are in school.) So, good-bye casual Fridays, hello casual every days!


Saturday, March 01, 2008

What I Learned Today

We spent most of yesterday watching it snow. Thankfully we didn't have anywhere we needed to be so we just enjoyed the beautiful snow from the warmth of our house. It was one of those great snows that sticks to the trees and just looks pretty. And it piled up on our patio table and reminded me once again that we never took the table up to the shed for the winter.

Today we stayed indoors again and Greg and I were dazzled by all the things that our kids know. As it turns out, Marcus recognizes some of this letters by sight. I know, he is a prodigy. He has this series of 26 books. Each book has a different letter on the front and the stories inside feature that letter. About a week ago I noticed Marcus pick up the book with the P on it and say, "P!" I thought it was just a coincidence. Just before nap today I was sitting on the floor with him with all the books around and started asking him what the different letters were. Throughout the day he consistently named A, B, D, E, G, M, O, P, Q, R, X, and Y. He got K and T sometimes and kept saying M when I would show him the N book. We tried to catch him on video showing off his skillz but apparently he was burned out by then.

Marcus is getting really close to putting words together too. He still just uses single words but I can just tell he is bursting with enthusiasm to get more information across. He will say things like, "Daddy" followed by a pause and then "Bye-bye" when he sees Greg leaving the room.

Apparently he knows the color purple too. We were playing with these different colored puff balls today and he kept pulling out the purple ones and saying, "Purple!" Tonight we were reading a book and the hippo in the book was purple. He kept saying the word purple so I asked him what was purple. He pointed to the hippo.

Oh! And more and more and more words too! He can now point to and say elbow, belly, and knee as well as point and say where on his body he puts his hat, shirt, mittens, diaper, pants, socks, and shoes. He can point to lots of other body parts too but hasn't quite figured out how to say the words yet.

William was dazzling us with all he has learned today as well. He points to his head and hair. He has also figured out how to tell us that he wants a drink. He goes over to the fridge, does the sign for help while patting the fridge or trying to pull the handle of the fridge open. He is starting to help us to put toys away at the end of the day when we tell him it is cleanup time. In general, he is starting to listen a little more to simple instructions which makes me confident that he is quickly picking up the English language. And everything and anything that could possibly even be the little bit amiss requires him to repeat over and over and over and over again, "Oh no!"

With our lunch today Marcus helped me make some instant pudding. I was feeding some to William and thought, let's see how he does on his own with this spoon. I loaded it up, handed it over, and he was as happy as could be! The first couple tries he had trouble getting all the pudding off the spoon but after he figured out how to turn the spoon over and lick off the pudding, he just wanted "more more more more".

I just hope that some day I don't get accused of being nicer to one of my sons than to the other. The first time we let Will use a utensil was to eat pudding. The first time we let Marcus use a utensil it was to eat broccoli.

(Picture of Marcus taken 7/07)