WARNING: Long post below!!
The last week or so has really worn me out from a combination of things… I have a new freelance project that requires 5-10 hours/week, and I’m still adjusting. That doesn’t sound like much, but it can be hard to squeeze that much focused time in when you have a 2-year-old that rarely naps and a teething baby whose sleeping isn’t where it normally is.
In a nutshell, I’m working for the medical software company that I first worked at and then freelanced for a few years when we moved to Chicago after BYU. I took a break from it a few years ago and am back, writing sales letters, press releases, and working on a massive search engine optimization project. I wasn’t super familiar with Google AdWords and Google Analytics before, but I’ll know both pretty well in no time.
Moving on to the photos…
First, my Charlie boy happy in the grass, though I’m feeling like I may have posted this picture already? If I did, you can enjoy it again :)
We recently moved him into his convertible car seat, so here is Charlie trying it out in the kitchen before we installed it in the car. Eli is jealous of the cow print and wants this to be his, but I want Charlie to have something new for a change!
Next, is the subject of Sunday, which was a PACKED day. I’m our stake’s media relations rep and had a bi-annual regional public affairs meeting (where PA people from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana all come together). My meeting was at a building about an hour away, starting at 8 a.m. Ben was called into the bishopric this summer, so he’s usually gone at meetings from 7:45-11:30 a.m. I asked my friend Sharon and her family if they could watch the boys while we were both gone. Eli adores them – Sharon and Paul are in charge of the nursery and their oldest daughter always sits and helps me with the kids during Sacrament Meeting (and is the only teenage babysitter we’ve had so far – she is wonderful!) Eli loves her two younger sisters as well, so we knew he and Charlie were in good hands.
But the story is more complicated – we have one car, so Ben borrowed a friend’s second car, had to put the kids’ car seats in, and needed to dress the kids and drop them off at Sharon’s house around 7:45. I think he arrived at 8 a.m., slightly frazzled and running late.
When I came to pick the boys up, Paul had a funny new nickname for Charlie and Eli - “Chuck and Cheese.” For the record – we will never call Charlie Chuck. But I thought it was creative :) (Eli is Cheese because of the famous Eli’s Cheesecake in Chicago)
Anyway, I got home with the kids at 11:15, made a chocolate cake, chopped up a ton of veggies, browned the meat, and threw together a pot roast in the crock pot before we had to leave for church at 12:40. After church, we scrambled to get our house somewhat presentable and dealt with our tired, crabby kids, then my family arrived so we could celebrate the birthdays. We enjoyed dinner and dessert with them, then put the kids to bed, and collapsed on the couch. It was a good day – but it felt nice to just sit for a minute and not do anything.
Below is a picture showing how my Gram put 55 candles in my dad’s half of the watermelon (and 54 in my mom’s) – each watermelon half has “one to grow on” – so one extra candle. We had the cake too, but Gram really wanted the candles in the watermelon for something different :) Eli had fun helping Bumpa blow out his candles, and my mom blew hers out in one try!
Okay, that was a long story. Next is the slightly shorter story of our old house that feels like it’s falling apart!
Exhibit A: I walked into the kitchen last week and noticed the sink had become detached from the counter. Not good!! Luckily, the previous owners still had a copy of their receipt from when the granite was installed 18 months ago, so I called the company and they’re coming out in a few days to hopefully fix the problem.
Exhibit B: I haven’t had a chance to take a photo, but there is a spot in our living room ceiling that is bubbling, cracking, peeling, etc. and pieces of plaster are falling down. One contractor told me he thinks the upstairs bathroom floor is rotting under the tile, which is causing this problem. We’re still trying to decide what to do, because ultimately we would like to remodel the entire bathroom, not just rip out the floor. But we weren’t planning on it this soon.
On the upside, our friends Carrie and Steve came over on Saturday for a painting party and helped us finish painting the basement, and we worked from about 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. and we got it done! (I shudder to think how long it would have taken if I was still painting it all by myself) I will post photos soon. It is such a glorious, happy change! And it feels great to have the basement tidy again after a month of painting upheaval.
Monday was the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement. This is the holiest day of the year, and involves a day of fasting and attending a service at a synagogue. Every year, I get together with Saralyn and kids to make challah – braiding it is a tad complicated, but it’s so rewarding to see the finished product! It’s so delicious too. This was the first year that Drew and Caroline helped with the braiding, which was fun. Eli was happy playing with their toys and reading a book with Mike, but poor Charlie mostly whined at my feet. I even braided some of the challah with Charlie in my arms, which wasn’t easy since he kept trying to grab the pieces.
The next day, my mom stopped by before heading out to teach piano. She has seven students now in our town, and I think she’s hoping to add more near her home on the other days of the week. Charlie had fun seeing her for a few minutes.
And finally, here are some pictures from today – first, at playgroup. Eli in his snazzy outfit: the crazy blue sunglasses, the 12-24 month vest that barely fits, and his 2T blue shirt that is pretty big. Eli had fun running around the park and playing with his friends.
Charlie constantly has his mouth hanging open, his tongue over his fresh tooth. (I really think the second tooth will be here any day now) Poor Charlie has woken up at 5 a.m. for the last few days, so yesterday I decided this was way too early and not a good habit and let him cry it out, which was a very painful hour before he fell back asleep and woke up at 7. However, this morning he woke up at 5 a.m., cried for just a few minutes, and then went back to sleep and woke up at 7. I hope tomorrow’s morning is even better!
Charlie wants to be like the big kids, so here he is, trying to climb onto the train.
That’s hard to do though, so he was happy standing there and waving at me:
Eli got hot from all of his running around, so off went the vest. It was a cool fall day, but the sun was shining, which felt good!
Later in our back yard, when the temperature was falling but the boys were still happy to be outside:
This is Charlie’s expression that says, “Mom, it’s freezing, my nose is running, and I just want to go inside and eat dinner. Take me out NOW!”
Phew! You made it :) Sorry for the long post! I have about a zillion things I need to do, but it felt good to blog and catch up. I know I ramble though when I blog late at night... forgive me!