Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Oh full night of sleep, how we miss you! We are still struggling with this whole sleeping thing with Nate. It is pretty terrible at this point, not a single person in our house got a full night of sleep last night. UGH! Nate is suffering from what, we don't know, but seriously wish we could figure out. What we do know is that he missed full sleep in bed naps because of VBS last week and is having problems staying in the room to sleep. The boy is tired, so tired! And we don't know quite what to do. I think last night was our limit. And while it was terrible to be sitting up with Eric last night at 1-3 in the morning (I don't really know what time, I'm just guessing) we were able to work some things out. I think without realizing it, we turned Nate into a kid who needs us to get back to sleep. We should have known the signals, but I think we were too tired to notice! We are going to try to remedy the situation tonight. I think we have decided to split up the kids so Gwen can still sleep and Nate can thrash about in their bedroom while he relearns to put himself to sleep and more importantly go back to sleep if awoken.
Nate is cute though...despite his stubborn nature. And really I wish the poor kid could remember to fall asleep on his own. But last night when we were in the midst of the lack of sleep deciding what to do while listening to Nate repeatedly say "can you tuck me in?" He would say really funny things. I was in the bedroom researching our options and Nate stops crying and really sweetly says "I need to come in". Eric tells me he also said "Daddy hit me". I am now immune to the he/she hit me thing from the kids. So sad, sorry!
Here's hoping that we have a better night tonight, but I think it will be a while before I sleep through the night again.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary

I've always been a little confused, is the 7 year itch start in your 7th year of marriage or after you've been married 7 years? It isn't actually a burning question or something I think of a lot, but when I think of our 7th anniversary I wonder what the 7th year itch is all about and why the phrase came about. We got a check in the mail today, wohoo!, so we decided to go to dinner with the kids. We don't go out to eat all that much anymore. Eric teasingly mentioned Taco Bell and well we should have probably went with that instead of his first choice! His first choice was a Thai/Sushi place that although the food was good (except they didn't give us rice with our entree and they don't appear to have sushi anymore) took FOREVER! Seriously, we walked in, no one else in there, they sat us, took our order and we SAT for 20+ min waiting for our food...and that was just for the appetizer, we had to wait another at least 10 minutes for our food food and we ordered the kids soup and that came LAST! UGH! What was really the last straw was when the people who walked in 15-20 minutes after us got their food before we got our appetizer! Man was I ticked...seriously if you aren't ready to feed people especially people with 2 young kids PLEASE let them know! We'll come back on a different day, but now we aren't going to go back at all!
Anniversaries don't seem to be that big of a deal around here, they really have never been, with either of us. I think that's a good thing. Not to say we don't think about it but I am honestly so confused I thought our anniversary was tomorrow. I thought the 28th was tomorrow...which once you get the day wrong in your head hard to get it right and celebrate. My Mom says its important to celebrate so we did go to dinner and I made us an anniversary pie (Apricot/peach) and we hung out and talked...I skipped the gym. I guess a nice day overall. It would have been even nicer had Nate not disturbed our sleep last night...I can honestly say I feel no itch and am content to live out the rest of my days with Eric, even though he can drive me crazier than I ever thought possible. He's a great Dad and husband, what more could a girl ask for?

The videos

So, I have these videos, probably only interesting to Grandma, but I am going to post them here, so if you want to see them you can! I am so proud of Gwen. The getting up on stage thing in front of people, always a gamble, but she did it, she sang and she did most if not all of the hand motions and was cute too, but I might be a little biased! The first video is everyone coming in, Eric took it not knowing when Gwen would appear, so it is a pretty long video, she comes in at 1:33, if you look REAL close you can see her wave as soon as she walks in...of course if you want to hear Nate's stirring commentary on chairs and thinking everyone who comes in the door is Mommy or Gwen, go ahead and take a listen to the whole thing!

Untitled from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

The other video is Gwen doing her song with the whole group. Eric apologizes for the quality of the videos, apparently Nate thought he should try and eat the camera cord while Eric was recording. You'll know my girl, she's the one that did the sheep signs poor left handed kid! Still cute though!

VBS concert baa from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

I haven't viewed the other videos and it is likely they won't be posted, one is of me doing the "muscle" song as our song leader described it and Eric thought it was too funny...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


aka Vacation Bible School. So I found out our Church was doing the VBS and I thought this would be a good experience for Gwen, it is at her school for next year, so she'd be familiar with it, I'd be there but I didn't volunteer to be her teacher, so she could get used to a morning program and if I volunteered she and Nate could go for! What I didn't realize is I couldn't handle the whole process! And I don't actually mean the leaving the kids part, I mean the guy that was in charge, although he is a great guy, organizationally he is challenged and stuck me out to dry! Sure, I signed up for the 6-7-8th graders, but seriously, the guy gave me no guidance and did everything last minute. I went a little crazy and told him I needed more guidance. He kept telling me that he just couldn't find the volunteers and he was sorry but there was nothing he could do. I am sorry, but I suspect he doesn't get the volunteers because he is so challenged organizationally! I can't imagine that I am the only person that would have liked more information.
But, the kids did great. Well, Gwen did great, I couldn't be more proud of her, sure she broke down a little most afternoons when she saw me and wouldn't participate, during the goodbye stuff, but she got up on that stage Thurs night and performed! I had no idea what to expect, but she did the motions and still sings the songs. So cute! Nate has pretty much lost the will to live, at least I suppose he has because 2 nights of the last 4 he has been up in the middle of the night and wouldn't go back to sleep! I am looking forward to getting him back on schedule so we can sleep through the night again.
My kids the middle schoolers were pretty good kids. They got along pretty well and one of the days thanked me and told me his son had the best time at this camp! I was shocked to hear it because I wouldn't have expected that out of him, but glad to hear they all had a good time. I was saved by my new friend from Church, she's a teacher and helped me the first 2 days and helped me plan the whole week. There was a definite difference when she was there, she just exudes the control, I apparently do not. Fortunately one of the girl's Dad was able to step in the other 3 days so I didn't have to teach on my own.
Eric took pictures and video of the concert. I uploaded the pictures into a slide show for you, pretty boring, I'll upload the video later, I know Mom is dying to see it. Gwen was quite cute, if I do say so myself. I was so proud of her. We got a CD of the music from camp, her song isn't on it, but that hasn't stopped us from listening to the "Jesus songs" in the car (as Nate says when he requests songs). Any how that is now over and on to the rest of the sweltering summer activities!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kites, lists and dishes

So my little girl, no longer a baby, is a sweet helpful type of girl. She gets excited to help me, I can usually bribe her to do something if I say, want to help me clean the bathrooms later...and she's all, YES! I know, crazy! So, last week when I had to make a cake for Nate, guess who was my big helper! Not just with the cake, she also did the dishes!

Thanks big girl!
Look at that sweet girl sleeping. This is from the same day we got Nate asleep with his book in his hands.
Here is another story of my sweet girl. I feel like we are doing a Chinese Water Torture on the poor girl, I think she has wanted a scooter since she has seen the other kids in the neighborhood with theirs, so almost a year. And now her little brother has gotten a scooter! Terrible! Every time Nate would get off his scooter on his birthday, she would sneak on it. Look at that look on her face.
Eric and I have been known to make the lists, I make grocery lists, Eric makes to do lists, Gwen also has started to make her own lists...see:
She then put it on the fridge, so I would remember to pick it up at the grocery store...a princess's job is never done!
These pictures are from May! The kids are obsessed with kites. One day while we were home the kids and I took the kites out front. Gwen decided that the kites weren't flying to her liking, so she ran and got her bike. I ran and got the camera. I had no idea what she was doing, but I knew I should take pictures.
She decided she was going to sit on the handle.
And then she wanted to watch if the kite would go.
And then I explained to her should go and not watch the kite...
It didn't work out as well as she intended but it did work...It got tangled up at one point, so I helped her put the handle under the seat on the pipe and she got a moving. It is pretty exciting to see her come up with ideas and help her tweak her ideas to help them work.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An update

I have some pictures and some thoughts to go along with each picture. First is a picture of my kids from Easter. I think this might the only picture we have of the 2 of them together, where they both are sitting and looking at the camera. You can tell the only reason they cooperated is because of the chocolate. This next picture is of my strawberry tart. Think I mentioned that one time I went picking strawberries and then I made a tart. Here is said tart! (pardon the spill on the table that hasn't been cleaned up yet, well I mean it was cleaned up shortly after the picture, we don't still have it on the table). It was quite yummy! Pastry, creamy filling, and yummy strawberries!
This is the picture my Mom has been waiting for. Several days ago I spoke to Mom on the phone, she was having computer technical difficulties. She all of sudden heard Eric saying to me "come, quickly", silence and then a lot of laughing. Nate had fallen to sleep, like this! This isn't the first time he fell asleep like that, he has fallen asleep like this in the car.
My garden! Well, half of it. I have more somewhere else. Mostly potatoes and onions.

This is my first gardening experiment on the big scale and we've been very excited. Nate has picked some of the cherry tomatoes at this orange color (2). And most recently we have discovered that something is eating them. Gwen and I checked the garden yesterday and something had half eaten one of the ripe cherry tomatoes, later that day it was gone, all of it and the other ripening tomato. I am not pleased by this development, first my ripening strawberries, now this! I would like to declare war on this creature, I just need to know what I am up against! I don't have enough space to keep us all fed!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A conversation

"Mommy, its time for us to have another baby, not a boy baby, but another baby"
"I would be the Mommy and Nate would be the Daddy"
me-"where would you get the baby?"
"from the Dr's office"
"Where do babies come from?"
"I be the Daddy"-Nate
me-"from Mommies and Daddies"-after a long pause, sensing at 4ish-she doesn't actually want to know the details, but not real sure how much information to give her. I think that was enough, because she went on with her conversation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dr's appointment

Here are the vital statistics:
He is 27lb 8oz
He has grown, theoretically 2lbs 4oz, 1in. She didn't get me any of the percentages, or if she did I forgot them. Have I mentioned they don't give me any paperwork here? Anyhoo, I say theoretically because he had his diaper on for the weight check and when we looked at the height it was less than what he had been at one of the other appointments, and since they just stretched out his leg we know that's not necessarily accurate because he was screaming. But everything else was good, actually better than good. You never know how your kid is doing until you go into the appointment and talk with the Dr, here they make you fill out paperwork. Nate has excelled in all the gross motor areas, apparently he is only expected to do 2-3 word phrases, he is 4+ word sentences. He is fine in all the physical movement areas also. He seems to be lacking in the problem solving areas, although I don't really know that for sure, because I don't really test him on the ways that paper asked about. But, I also expect that since he is advanced in gross motor skills and physical motor skills, problem skills might be a little behind, and thats ok.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Guess who's 2?

That would be Nate, obviously. There has been a lot of changes in Nate in the last year. He is definitely talking. He is up to at least 4 word sentences, has on occasion busted out a 7 word sentence. His current favorite phrases are "I did it" and "I'm not hurt, Mommy" and something else I can't remember right now. He repeats everything you say and is very polite with the "please", "thank you", and "'cuse me". Sadly all these words he has doesn't always translate to he actually speaking. When he gets angry or frustrated he screams/squeals. We are working on getting him to use his words. I feel like it is going to be a long slow process.

Nate after his nap one day.

He is still very much the little dare devil. He has no fear and will try anything. He has learned to jump and hop. Only 2 footed jumps and hops, but at this age that is pretty good. He's a pretty good climber and he has been trying to go down the little slide in our backyard, backwards!!! He fell off it the other day and he banged up his chin and nose and has yet to learn that he shouldn't do it, DUH!

head first down the slide is ok though

I feel like Nate is a pretty smart kid, despite the fact that he doesn't learn from his boo-boos, he picks up things quickly. I am hoping that translates to book knowledge. He still LOVES to read, if I could sit there all day with him and read, he would be a happy boy. I am still working on getting him to "read" things back to me. Nate is still rather difficult, he doesn't listen, most of the time. I am still struggling to find a way to discipline him that will sink in. He seems to not care about consequences. I haven't figured out how to get him to care, very frustrating!

Thought he would cut his grapes with my icing knife!

He is still generally a happy kid. He still has the baby laugh. Although he really only does it when he is over tired it is still funny, nonetheless. He usually is always smiling and he laughs and laughs at the dumbest things. He is still such a cuddler and likes the big hugs and kiss

He is a sweet little boy, if I could just get him to listen and behave, our world would be a better place. I have pictures from today. I put them in a slideshow, because I took so many. By all from what we can tell, he had a good birthday today. He seems to love his presents, especially his scooter. I think he was so excited about today he wouldn't take his nap!

Also, took a video of the scooter riding, he has quickly picked it up, and as the neighbors said he has really good balance. The neighborhood kids also sang him happy birthday, so sweet.

Untitled from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The things on my mind lately

While we were at the in-laws it was the 4th anniversary of my Dad's death. I had wanted to put something on here on that day, but I just couldn't get to it. Coming up to the anniversary day I began to think about what this day means, how/if I feel differently now than I did 4 years ago, even 3, 2 and last year. And since we made the big move I have had more time to analyze my life who I've been and who I want to be. Its all about the journey after all, isn't it?

I've mentioned the death of my friend. We went to her funeral this last weekend, I had decided when I heard of her death I'd like to go to her funeral, the thing is she died the day after we got back from NM. I knew it would be tough to get there with the 2 kids and just getting them back on schedule. I thought I'd just pop up there by myself and be done with it. Eric wanted to go with me but I thought it would be too much for the kids. After many discussions, we eventually decided that we would all go and while I was at the funeral they hung out with the Godfather and his girlfriend. I've heard the kids were well behaved and they had fun.

I haven't been to many funerals in my life and I knew Claudia's would be very sad. How could it not be, she was so very young and has a young daughter? But for me it was very inspiring, her life was inspiring. The details of some of the aspects of her last 13 months made me think and reconsider my life and how I live it. Claudia was one of those people I met and thought, I want to be her friend. And I did become her friend, but I missed most of her illness because of the timing of our move. Needless to say, everyone that knew her will miss her dearly, she was a bright, cheerful light and you always knew you were going to have fun with her. I found many parallels in her way of dealing with people and with my Dad's. I am usually very quick to pick up on things, but the subtle ways that God leads me to things I don't usually get, I tend to get the same message over and over again when I ask for help/guidance and I feel that going to Claudia's funeral helped me hear some things I hadn't heard so clearly, but that I needed to hear until I got the message. I hope to continue to incorporate these things into my life and not get so beat down in the small details, the every day crap that clouds my judgement. One day maybe humility and patience will come easily for me!

So, how is year 4 different than the others? With time I find that I still have times when I think about how much I would like to see how my Dad would be/react to the kids. My days are busy with the kids and so I don't think about missing him as much anymore, unless of course one of the kids does something that reminds me of my Dad. I guess over time you learn to deal with the missing and it doesn't cause you to cry and you can continue on with your day with a little sadness. I almost feel like for me this process is easier. I have lived far away from my parents for more than half my life now (crazy, isn't it!?) I now speak to my Mom most weekdays, but only since the kids and Skype. Before it was a weekly or so phone call and see them twice a year. And the house I grew up in is no longer the house we visit. So, even though it still sucks to not be able to see him and talk to him, my daily thoughts are not as affected as they once were. I am now more comforted by the fact that he is now always with me and can see everything that happens in our lives, because I know in ways that I can't explain that he hasn't missed a thing. I just wish I was more capable of hearing what he has to say because I know he has something to say! Miss you Daddy!

The family vacation, the whole story, well my part of the story

As you may or may not remember we went to NM to visit the family last week the week before last...I had a very busy week last week, I'll get to that later. I have finally gotten around to downloading and compiling the pictures...I made 1 LARGE slide show so be prepared! I guess you'd like to know how it went. Nate spent the entire time overtired. We might spend the next month recovering from that. An overtired almost 2 year old is a lot for the husband and I to handle much less the Grandparents! There were times when Nate was good, but generally he was running around trying to keep himself awake. I think it is safe to say despite this everyone had a good time. There is not much to do where my in-laws live, but they have dirt and sunny days and my MIL got the kids a blow-up pool. Needless to say they had a blast and I think want to go back just to do more digging!
So the plane rides, Nate is still under 2, so we were able to put him in our lap, sadly the flights were full so he couldn't get his own seat. This was difficult for all, I swear on our first leg (an almost 3 hour flight) he cried on the floor for 1 hour before conking out in my arms. Poor kid! By the time we got them to the in-laws and settled situated into the room they were sleeping in it was midnight our time! I spent most of that first night in with them because Nate was so over tired/not familiar with his surroundings he would just cry in his sleep and sometimes wake up. Needless to say, I was exhausted!
We spent our days hanging out usually around town, one day we went to 'Cruces and did a little shopping and playing at Chuck E Cheese. The kids loved it, but where exhausted. I just realized I don't have any pictures of that! I guess because last time I went with the kids and Mom so I let Eric and his Mom take the kids while I guarded the food and purses.
In more exciting news, the small town now has a movie theater/bowling alley/sports bar/black-light mini golf/arcade. Yes, in one seemingly tiny building, but didn't seem to bad once you got inside! The exciting news is that Eric and I went and saw 2 movies and played a round of black light mini golf. Next time we'll have to bowl, we didn't have time for that and a movie on the same night. It was fun for us.
My FIL has a routine, everyday he goes up to the "back 40" (they have 3 acres, which my MIL has landscaped) with the dog, Bisbee and feeds the birds and other wild life. Gwen went with him everyday and if he happened to leave without her, she cried! (She might have also been overtired!)
Then we had the flight home. Nate again terrible, and since we had a long taxi to the teriminal on the first flight and BOTH kids conked out. Sadly, not long enough to make enough of a difference for the next flight. Let's just say we are happy to have the kids back in their rooms. Without further adieu, the slide show...that I should have split into more than one and sadly some of them went in sideways, they don't normally do that. SORRY!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


As I sit here again today by the kids door waiting patiently for Nate to go to sleep, or at least stop opening the door, I realize how impatient I actually am. And how really irritated I am to be having to do this. Nate has been my child that I never really had to sleep train or do any kind of rocking/walking to sleep. We've always put him in his crib and he'd go to sleep. For a while the husband has been pressuring me to take Nate out of his crib. I didn't want to for many reasons, but the most important is because how EASY it is to read to him plop him in his crib and leave. No problems, no worries, no headache! Knowing we had these big trips coming up I still refused to change the situation, I really didn't want Nate running around either of our parents houses, getting into stuff in the rooms, etc. Plus why change something right before we go, same reason I refused to potty train Gwen before Nate came along.
At my Mom's house, this isn't so much of a problem, she has a pack-n-play, my MIL does not. The husband by virtue of refusing to help me get into the attic and get down the pack-n-play to take forced the transition and stressed me more about the whole trip. (added another worry to my random and crazy list of worries). We didn't have a pack-n-play or crib so Nate wouldn't easily stay in the room, which meant that he got used to someone being with him while he was napping. For me it was frustrating and irritating because I knew I would have an over tired kid who would likely want help getting to sleep, which I've never done for him before!
So yesterday when I put Nate down for his nap, he plopped right out, (I watched time #3, he just flipped his leg over the side and came out, not really caring about the fact that he randomly landed crazily on the floor, looks like it would have hurt!) Yesterday I had promised Gwen that we would watch Sesame Street when Nate went down for his nap, as this is our usual routine, BUT this ended up being a bad thing because Nate heard it/saw it and wanted to watch it so he wouldn't keep the door closed. Today I smartened up, lunch kind of early, Nate down kind of early and I told Gwen we could only watch Sesame Street AFTER Nate falls asleep, which I am thinking is now...that only took an hour...yep, sound asleep, in Gwen's bed, shhhh, don't tell her!
Now the problem with this arrangement is the room, Eric disassembled the crib last night and the bedroom is so much bigger! Should I leave the mattress on the floor tucked under Gwen's bed? I am not getting a toddler bed, should we get a twin bed with a trundle with the potential for a bunk bed in several years? Gwen has said she doesn't want to be on the top bunk, which means it will likely be 4 years before we can safely have Nate on the top bunk! Is it worth it to by the bunk bed, and store the top bunk until then? (Gwen's bed is her convertible crib and she is starting to say that her bed is too small-her feet touch the bottom). I do have to say it is very nice to have only the one bed in there. The room has a lot of space now so they can pull out toys and play with them in their room. Fortunately for me, Eric has to deal with the night time routine while I go to the gym! Eric and my Mother think this process will take about a week, we'll see.
I don't know that there is a point to this post, but I guess I have the time to post something and had the current life situation to put out there. Off to cut the grass before it rains again. (My garden looks fabulous by the way, thanks for asking! ;)