Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The boy

Obviously since I have the 2 kids, I can't really do a whole post devoted to one and not do one about the other. This post could easily be subtitled trouble or the end of life as I knew it. At some point in my early days with 2 kids, maybe even while pregnant I distinctly remember predicting that the boy would be trouble. And he has lived up to every expectation I had and probably even surpassed it all! The boy is trouble, if it is quiet I know to look for him, he is into something he shouldn't be! If there is something I have told him not to do he is doing it. He is testing my patience and my sanity. Gwen spends much of the day saying "is Nate in Time Out now?" Sadly, Time outs do nothing to deter him. I need to come up with a better system for him. Although part of the reason time outs don't work is because Gwen will often sit next to him in time out and talk to him. He loves boxes and putting stuff on his head. If he is cranky you just have to gently bonk him on the head with a book and he will laugh and laugh and laugh! He loves it. He still has the baby infectious giggle and I love it.
He is very smart, which is why he is so much trouble, he is naturally curious. He picks things up quickly, he is putting puzzles back together correctly, he can count to 13 and sing his ABCs. And he is busting out 4 word sentences, maybe more. His language is often very clear. The other day he drew a Z (a complete fluke, but still amazing!). Today we were working outside and the kids were "helping" more pictures of that later. Nate picks up the sander tries to help, sees that it isn't working walks up to the extension cord, where Eric had unplugged it and tries to plug it in. Seriously, should he know how to do that? Should he be able to watch us do stuff and figure out how to do it out 1.5? He is now the age where we can put him in this outfit. Which Gwen wore before, but I am too lazy to find the picture of her in it for comparison, maybe later! He LOVES to read still, if you sit down he will find a book and ask you to "READ IT, PEAS"
He loves the camera and will come all up into your face if he sees you pull it out, he wants to be right there, which makes for a lot of up close pictures.
He is developing quite the temper, failing on the ground or hitting or throwing. He gets frustrated easily and watch out if he does. It is not pleasant at all! I haven't figured out how to redirect his anger. I know I need to figure it out, but I also know it is a phase a terrible phase that hopefully only last 3-6 months at a time.
I have done a slide show devoted to Nate, because I realize I have a lot of random pictures of him from the last couple months, you'll notice lots of snow pictures!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Egg hunt!

This weekend we went to an Egg hunt at a local Church. We had a good time. They had 2 areas for the kids one in the playground area for the 3 and under crowd (basically every foot or so and in plain sight) and one for the older kids. I think over 1000 eggs were buried. I dressed the kids up in their Easter clothes and took some pictures. Gwen was rather difficult as you can see, I just wanted I picture of her in her dress and she really didn't want to get her picture taken! Nate was more interested in playing on the playground until we showed him the eggs and then he got the idea. They also had hot dogs and other lunch items for afterwards. It was a little chilly but the day warmed up nicely. Oh, enjoy the slide show!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The kid

By now you know I have the 2 kids. The one a mini me the other, a mini Eric? I'm not sure if he is or not, I just know he is a mini-trouble maker. UGH! But Gwen excuse me Briar Rose makes my life a challenge in different ways, I think it can be VERY difficult to parent yourself. I would have thought it was easier but there are so many of my personality faults in her that I would like to help her not have. And well, she doesn't really see it that way. Sure she is cute and sweet and just plain helpful, but I struggle with her on many things. I have yet to figure out how to get her to help me with certain things I want to do, like clean up her room or try new things. This week we had a new development, I actually got her to try something new and she was so excited after she tried it. I felt so proud of both of us! Last year I took Gwen out on her bike and she fell down the hill. It was terrible, and until this week whenever the road went down or up she would get off her bike and ride it. This week I told her she should try going down the little hill of our driveway, she refused, I persisted, it took about 5 minutes of coaxing and she FINALLY decided to try it, with me standing next to her of course and now, she rides down the hill by herself and even all the way up to our front door and around the car. But to show you what I mean I took a video, because I am so proud and although she is not going as fast as she had been you can see the idea.

Bike 1 from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

I still have to figure out how to motivate her, but maybe we are getting there. Here's another video, more of the same, but really why watch 1 video when you can watch 2!

Bike down from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

In other news Gwen has again decided to not wear diapers at bed time. I am trying to encourage her to go more often during the day and trying to explain to her that she is going to need to get up in the middle of the night and go. I don't know how to deal with this exactly, am I supposed to wake her up in the middle of the night to get her to pee? Will she start doing that on her own if I start waking her up, or is this another train Mommy to do it type thing? I am really at a loss here, but I would like her to be out of diapers completely, I KNOW she can do it I just have to figure out a way to help her. UGH! I guess I should start doing some more research on this and that will help me figure it out.
I also took the kids to a new park yesterday and it was hilarious, Gwen climbs to the top of the big steps to a really windy slide and yells "HOLY CRAP"! I had no idea what to do, but we had just gotten to the park and there was 1 other guy there with his kid and I was kind embarrassed because we had just gotten there and that was the first thing she said, not once but twice! But still it was kind of funny and I was super glad that my language was cleared up enough that she didn't yell something worse because there was a time when I said way worse phrases than "holy crap"! Let's just say Eric had a good laugh over that story!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


A couple weekends ago the Godfather was able to come out and visit us. We all had a good time, I think. Gwen was so excited about his visit she could hardly stand herself. Fortunately for part of the weekend I remember to actually bring the camera and use it! GO ME! Here is a slide show of us while we were at the UNC Botanical Garden

The kids really enjoyed running around and the life sized Chess, we had never been to that part of the garden before. Nothing was blooming yet, but we enjoyed walking around.
That night we took the Godfather to the Mall, Eric's favorite place to take people.

The kids love the Mall play area so they are always more than happy to show people around there. I think everyone had a good time and hope to see him again soon!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My kid is napping

and other news. That is both kids are napping, this is momentous, Gwen does not nap, but decided to lay down next to me and nap. She hasn't napped in forever and I certainly don't want her to sleep for very long, but I guess this means if we could find a Ben & Jerry's we could go for a free scoop after dinner? I told Gwen we could do something after I finished some stuff up I needed to do. The question is how long to let her nap, I want her to wake up naturally, but I don't want her to be cranky or this to spoil bedtime! Which frankly it already has because it is 2:30!
Gwen is a very talkative, imaginative child. She will wander around talking to herself constantly with or without Nate around. Last week she set this scene up, invited Nate and told me they were going on a safari!
As you notice, Nate making good use of his time, read in the back seat. Gwen also brought along some teddies and whatnot, I don't know what all they did. I think she is touring around here, Nate has left the car to venture out on his own.
It is quite humorous listening to her, she talks about so much, I don't know what all and I just let her sometimes listening and not commenting, sometimes listening and questioning/conversing with her to encourage her imagination. Yesterday we rode a "horse" (pillows off the couch that were laid on the floor) to a pink castle that was all the same shade of pink inside and out. The fun never ends!
Last weekend the kids decided to help Eric, I got the camera.
Gwen started the helping, but when Nate caught wind, he had to climb up there and help also, not to be left out!
If you look closely you can see our bathroom color. I don't know if you are interested in that, but don't you think that is a lovely shade of blue? Eric picked it out, but then was not pleased when he saw it on, he thinks it is to bright, I think it is lovely.
I really don't know what I am going to do now, Gwen is still sleeping! I am sure there is something in this house I want to do without prying hands around, but don't know what that is, I am really taken off guard by this!

Monday, March 22, 2010


For some reason, riding on some one's back around here has been called "dragon" I don't know why, I will have to ask the husband. But the kids love it, if you get on your hands and knees around here beware, someone (of the child persuasion) will likely yell "DRAGON" and run for you, here Gwen and Nate demonstrate...
Apparently this didn't work out so well, Nate I think might weigh almost the same as Gwen, challenging to lift him, plus Nate gets distracted...
So they tried again...
Well, they kept trying but it didn't really work out, Gwen's dress kept falling down...
Ok, I guess it is Nate's turn!
I am beginning to wonder if Nate has allergies, like me, his nose has been running for 3 weeks now, I took him to the Dr on Friday and she said that it seems likely he has had cold after cold and that you don't often see seasonal allergies in kids so young. We located the humidifier and I think that is helping Nate sleep better. I also am currently having allergy problems. I can't hardly breathe out of my nose and could probably use a box of tissues in 1 day. So sad for me. In other news sold my first thing off Craig's list, hoping that I can find someone to buy my couch now that the chair transaction went so well! Then our garage would be a lot cleaner and easier to walk through. I hope that it sells soon!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring is here

I am becoming more and more aware of the weather and seasons because I am getting ready to start a garden! I am so excited, I have researched when the last frost is and was surprised to find out it is in late April! Gwen and I went ahead and started some veggies in the house, so we are ready to go. I hope to have germination next week. I also put down some grass fertilizer/weed control down yesterday so we can keep more grass than weeds. Eric thinks I am crazy, but I think it is better spend a couple bucks and prevent the weeds and then to let them take over the yard and have to replant the whole thing. I guess it is a personal issue and since I stay at home with the kids I just did it, I had a coupon and the stuff was on sale! WOHOO! Go me! And then, it rained not long after I put the stuff down, sure I know that I won't always be so lucky, but it is very exciting when things work out. I mentioned previously that I put flowers around the kids house and they are all cute is this? I had some left over so I put them in front of our house, I didn't realize the blooms were so small, which is perfect behind the kids house, but they look like petite tulips and irises. I also thought I would give some updates on the kids. One of the best things about 2 kids at this age is they like to be together, sure it doesn't always work out and they will fight, but those 5 minutes where I can run around the house accomplishing something while they have fun, priceless! Here you can see how high Nate gets in his crib, he is about the same height as Gwen in this picture and she is about a full head taller than him. Let's just say if I could get a little trampoline for that boy he would be SO happy!
Nate is hiding in this picture, see how his eyes are closed, he is likely yelling "SEE ME, SEE ME?" This is one of the most hilarious phases of toddlerhood, when they totally think by closing their eyes you can't see them, so funny!
Last weekend it was so nice, I started conditioning my garden area, you see we are going to leave a dirt patch for the kids still, they love it so. It was so nice and warm we hitched up the bike trailer and took the kids on a bike ride, we rode down the tobacco trail and then to a park off the trail, when we came home we gave the kids drumsticks, you can see how Nate decided to hold his, that boy!
Nate is really a pistol these days, he is full of trouble, he has started to get very upset when you tell him no, he'll wander around hitting stuff, you better stand out of his way. He now walks up to Gwen and wails her for no reason and he also goes looking for trouble. The nice thing about him being the second I know this is just a stage. He is also very talkative, his speech has become a little garbled where we don't know what he is saying, but for the most part he can be clearly understood and is using 3 word sentences. I just have to figure out what to do with his temper!
Gwen, now she is coming into a good stage, she is becoming a little less shy and a little more vocal about things. We had a friend visiting last weekend for a little while and I thought she wasn't going to let us talk (we haven't seen each other in 10-15yrs, I wanted to talk to him too!) She is genuinely a sweet girl and she seems to have compassion for others. She definitely has her own opinions and makes them known and she has started to dress herself. I put all her clothes where she can get to them, well except for this dress, but when she asked for it, I couldn't help but pull it down for her.
She even let me put in a bow like Minnie Mouse. Here she is ready to go!
Nate was feeling a little left out, here he is sporting some jewelry he picked up from our room (nothing is sacred with this boy around!)

Gwen has also started to draw people, with bodies! So cute. I am very excited about her crossing this next developmental milestone, I am not sure why, but I am.
Well, I guess that is all for today, the godfather is coming and today is the day I clean bathrooms, I must get it done! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The beginning

I was going to go to bed, but thought I should document this now. Today was the day that Gwen went to met her preschool teachers and a couple of her, dare I say it, classmates! I have been a little nervous about this, it is just an unknown how she is going to react. She ALWAYS put up such a fight when we do things, but yet I think she really wants to go, wants to be pushed to go, I don't know if I have the energy to deal with this personality trait. Anyhoo, I had secured the neighbor for Nate babysitting duty, sadly I was a little frazzled with Gwen's acting like she was going to cry, I forgot to tell Susan half the stuff I meant to tell her. But, on to Gwen. I thought I should document this day for the future and I tried to snap a picture, this is what I got. If this picture could talk, you would hear Gwen saying (well squealing) "no Mommy, no pictures". I took the picture anyway and it might be one of the cutest, don't you think? It was funny though, one minute Gwen would say, "Mommy I want you to drive me to school right now" and then I would explain that Susan wasn't here yet and we couldn't leave Nate alone. And then Susan got here and she totally didn't want to go started almost to cry. We got to the school and since I had met the teacher she let me walk down with Gwen to the classroom, Gwen got to the classroom and looked at the play house and I think may have completely forgotten about me. She started to put purple baby down so I asked her if she wanted me to take it she said yes, I also took the sunglasses. Spoke to the teacher for a minute, and left. No tears, no nothing! WOW! I am praying it is always this easy, but I know it won't be. I sat outside on a bench filling out another info sheet and doing other stuff I needed to do. I might actually be caught up in the paperwork department! I met 2 other parents who both already had kids in the school and you'd think they were paid to talk about how great the school is. We went to pick up our kids and I guess all the kids did well, the little boy chatted away (he's the youngest of 4) and it took a little longer for the 2 girls to warm up, but they did start chattering away.
When we were trying to leave all the kids wanted to stay. The teacher said something about the name tags and Gwen asked if we could put it on the refrigerator, I said sure. So she did, when we got home, see
Then, as we were walking past a table she grabbed this, the scrapbooker in me was proud (Jamie I know you are proud!)
We have only gotten out bits and pieces from her about her day. We've fussed over her and asked and told her how proud we are. This is what we know, she didn't have to potty, she got 2! SNACKS! (this is very exciting to her, obviously) of goldfish and graham crackers. They played some games something about a banana and maybe a ball. I don't know, I think it has been too long already and I might have to update this with what else they did for when I finally go back for the scrapbooking. And in case you were curious, Gwen has been telling us that she "is going to keep growing".

Monday, March 01, 2010

New things

When we decided to take the leap and move and the hubby would go back to school. The first months where tough, we expected that, we knew they would be. But, you can never really prepare yourself, can you. We also know if we could get through to this time we would be sitting easier and we are. I just had no idea that this would mean I would gain SO much weight. UGH! But, as the stress is alleviating itself some, so has the weight started to come off. Now we have a little more money we finally got the one thing I have had on the todo list for awhile! Do you know what this box means? Yes, a toy for the kids! (I seriously have no idea why Nate needs to wear the helmet, but he loves to wear it constantly saying "buckle, buckle" and then has to hold the thing up because it is too big for his head!) Ok, not a toy an over the counter microwave! WE LOVE IT! It has added counter space for me, see that counter space there, by the fridge, totally taken up by the previous microwave...
YAY! Can I tell you how fabulous it is to be married to someone who can make this happen, so quickly? (even when he had to run to the store and pick up stuff to put in an outlet!) I need LOTS of counter top space, I love to cook and I kept running out of space, keeping things out of Nate's hands and allowing Gwen to help was getting to be a challenge (plus Nate could reach up and turn on the microwave so that safety hazard, removed!) I'll wager it will still be a challenge to keep stuff out of Nate's hands, but it might be easier, I hope, even if it isn't love the extra space!
In other news, both kids have colds, I was thinking Nate was starting to get better this weekend and then the cough started, not a bad cough really, but this morning he sounded very much like he has mucous in the lungs. He seems fine now, but let's just say both kids could probably use about 3 more hours of sleep than they are currently getting, of course they are both rather stubborn, so that doesn't help. I am hoping to take them out to hang with kids again soon, but not real sure how long colds are contagious.
As I think I might have mentioned last week, Gwen got into the preschool we applied for. We are pretty excited (well, I am!) that she will be going to preschool next year, as long as we get the financial aide. We found out that this year, unlike previous years the kids are asked to come in for a mini-preschool day with their teachers and 3 other students. I am a little nervous about this and called the teacher to explain to her that this is going to be a complete unknown to us how Gwen will react. My neighbor (that I cat-sit for) is kind enough to come over and stay with Nate while he is hopefully napping, since it is during his nap time! I like to only disrupt one kids schedule at a time, if possible! I know that Gwen will love school, it is just getting her used to it, a big change for her and a big change for us, a change for the better though, I hope!
I have also started digging in the yard for my new garden, the hubby thinks I'm nuts, but I was bored, and thought maybe I could start conditioning the dirt for the plants I will hopefully be planting sometime soon. I think April-ish is the time to do that around here, I have my seeds and a little greenhouse for the seeds that should start inside. It is a very exciting time indeed, I've never had a garden and have always wanted to try and grow my own food. I think I will be doing some more research about my plants and their soil conditions I would like to have success in my first real vegetable garden, we'll see how it goes.