Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flavor Saver

Almost exactly two months ago Gary and I were sitting in Aladdin's, a local Hudson restaurant, on one of those rare things some call "dates." Our conversation had turned to our current "situation" (job/long distance living/baby), and I was in tears as our food came thinking about the prospect of likely still being apart when the baby came. It was one of those terrifying moments where the more I tried not to cry the more I did. It was at this point that Gary wanted to jump up and shout "I don't think she's fat!" (ala "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days").

Fortunately, I was able to pull things together to enjoy our meal and our evening out. We both ordered a dish called the "Flavor Saver" and even though it was an exorbitant amount of food, there was not a spec of hummus left on our plates as we left the restaurant. We both decided that if and when we did all live in Hudson someday that this would be a go-to place for us.

Fast forward two months of missing each other more than ever and seeing God work in amazing ways...and here we are. Tonight is our first night sleeping in our new house. It feels a bit like a dream. A really happy dream. After we put Maggie to bed Gary headed off to Aladdin's (ironically about a minute from our new house) to pick up dinner.

He made me promise not to post a picture of our meal since Arabic food doesn't always LOOK so appealing...but the Flavor Saver was the perfect way to celebrate our first night at home - together - at the start of a "real" week.

You can bet that we are planning on savoring ALL of the flavors of this new season of our lives.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Big Girls

This is SUCH a mom thing to say, but I have just loved watching Maggie
and Ellery grow up together. Today it was so funny to me to see them
sitting at the table and chairs having a snack together and then
interacting in so many funny, "grown up" ways throughout the morning.
I think they are BOTH ready to be big sisters.

Little Drugstore

This morning I was finishing up in the bathroom before we went to a
friend's house when Maggie swiped these things from the vanity and
insisted on taking them all with us. Two things I love about this
- she deliberately chose what she wanted: my contact solution, my
contact case (not pictured), ALL of the q-tips and my eye cream.
- I told her to look at me and smile for the picture. And she did.

Saying Goodbye

In addition to packing, I've been trying to do my best to say goodbye to some of my/our favorite things in Wheaton this week.

Little things I will particularly miss:
- Being 5 minutes away from Trader Joe's.
- Having Dunkin Donuts (including drive thru!) around the corner.
- Egglectic Cafe, Gino's East, Pad Thai (and our other local go-to restaurants)
- Oberweis drive thru (because who wants to go into the grocery store with a toddler just to get milk??)
- Our walking loops and parks (although we technically said goodbye to those a few months ago...)
- Watching the kids walk to/from school.
- Etc., etc., etc.

Several days a week I put Maggie's high chair in front of the back window so that she can watch the squirrels while she eats her lunch. We call it Squirrel Theater. And it's absolutely riveting. At least for Maggie.

Every Thursday morning around 7:30 the recycling truck comes. We can usually hear it coming before it's actually here, so I try to open the front door so Maggie can watch. The man who drives the truck is AMAZING. He stops the truck, moves the huge garbage truck arm over the top of the truck, honks his horn and waves at Maggie before he drives off. If we're still watching, he does it AGAIN on the other side of the street. It may be the highlight of her week. It definitely is one of mine.

Even now as I upload these pictures I am tearing up a little bit. Last week in the middle of meltdown #64 Gary kindly reminded me that it wasn't the squirrels or the recycling man that make these things special, but MAGGIE. And how awesome that even though we are saying goodbye to these things, she is going to continue to introduce us to so many MORE things that will bring us joy and laughter and even more great routines and memories.


I'll be the first to admit...I was DEAD WRONG.

I confess, I had really really high hopes for Maggie's artsy side. I am here to say that I think Dad's genes won. Rather than coloring, she would rather sort. I have sat, wide-eyed, jaw opened watching her collect her crayons, put them in the box, take them out, put them back in, put them in piles, pick them up, hand them to me, take them back, etc. It is absolutely beyond me how anyone could have a lovely colored piece of wax and blank piece of paper in front of them and not just go crazy. She would rather make sure everything is in it's place.

The pictures are not of her "coloring," but this is her other favorite sorting activity. She LOVES this little stacker, and not surprisingly I've caught her emptying it halfway through just to attempt to get the colors/sizes in the right order.

Gotta love this gal...such a fun blend of BOTH of our personalities!

Just lean back and relax

Judge if you want, but when Certain People wake up before 6 a.m. a show is a nice way for everyone to start the day. I've caught Maggie sitting like this (hands behind her head) several times this week. I think it's so funny and adult-like!

For clarity - those are MY feet, not hers, and that is a pillow she is leaning up against, NOT my stomach!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Her favorite time of day

No questions asked. Bathtime trumps everything. Including Baby
Einstein. And that says a lot.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thinking Inside the Box


One of the highlights of last week for Maggie was watching Grandpa ("Bopssss") build a fire. Nearly every afternoon she would walk over to the fireplace, point and say "Effff." She was absolutely fascinated by it...and got an extra kick out of it every time the logs popped.

(My apologies for the quality of the images - I left my other lens at home.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Go Time

The boxes are here. The movers come in 10 days. I'd say it's go time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Yesterday I experienced Day 2 in a row of feeling just plain BLECH. I think it comes with the Third Trimester territory. What?? You forgot I was pregnant?? Don't worry, I do too sometimes. Yep, it's true - 31 weeks today! Lately it seems like these BLECH days are coming more and more often...which makes me truly grateful to be in Cleveland at the in-laws' instead of at home snowed in with Mags.

You might be wondering what we are doing in Cleveland this week. I am VERY happy to say that we are not just here to spend time with Gary for the week. We are here to FIND A HOUSE!! (and a doctor, and a hospital, etc...)

A few weeks ago Gary and I both hit a really low spot - feeling extremely despondent and discouraged about our situation. I was particularly feeling the panic, especially with the Baby's impending due date. I know that many, many people have been praying for us over the past 8 months, and I have never felt those prayers so keenly as I did that following week.

We decided that given our ever-shortening window of time to move before the Baby comes we should start exploring the possibility of renting our house. Literally the day after we started putting feelers out a friend of mine connected me with a friend of hers that was looking for a home to rent for their family of five. We could not be more thrilled with this family or this situation (in fact, it turns out that we know them, too!). God met us. In his timing and his plan and only as he can do. There are so many details that can only be attributed to him, and we are so, so grateful.

Fast forward to this week, where we continue to see God's hand and guidance at work. We found our new house the day after we arrived. Being that there aren't a TON of rental options in Hudson, we weren't quite sure what our expectations should be...and are just ecstatic to have found a place that has pretty much everything that we wanted...and more!

The plan (depending on moving company logistics) is to return to Wheaton this weekend, have two weeks to pack up the house and then load up and move in the last week/weekend in February!

Two weeks seems quick to arrange logistics, pack up a house, etc. I know it is going to fly. And I know it's going to be quite emotional. At the same time, there have definitely been sweet moments this week where Gary and I have looked at each other and said, "It can't go fast enough!" We are beyond excited to be together as a family again. It seems quite surreal to say goodbye to the way life has looked the past months and say hello to our new chapter (and adventure) in Ohio.

Our new Home Sweet Home. Visitors always welcome.

Sick Day

As much as my heart breaks when Maggie is sick, one thing I love is that our squirmy, active little gal turns into a cuddle bug. (I'm sure that Grammie is enjoying this nap, too...)

And is there anything as cute as little baby snores??

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Artiste

Lately Maggie has been showing a great interest in drawing/writing whenever she sees a pen, paper and/or desk. Lately I've been finding both of us a little bored with her normal regimen of toys. So the other day we took a trip to Target and I added a few extra things in the cart. It is an understatement to say that it was an awesome experience for me to buy Maggie her first art supplies. It's a miracle that I came out of the store with only two boxes of crayons and a pad of paper. That's called self control, people.

I would say the activity went well for about the first thirty seconds. Maggie basically squealed with delight when I handed her the paper and red crayon. A few scribbles of joy, and then I was quickly reminded why I forced myself to not introduce her to crayons up until this point.

(Note: she looks like she is sort of absentmindedly putting the crayon in her mouth here. Trust me. It was not a spacey moment.)

And apparently it's hilarious when I tell her no and take things away from her. Until she realized she wasn't getting them back.

The girl has a colorful personality, to say the least.