Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Look what I drawed, Mommy!

"Look Mommy! H is for Henry. I drawed Henry. He has feet!"

"Wow, Nick. Great job! Tell me about your picture."

"I drawed a nose and an eye and another eye. 'Cause it's H for Henry. And then I drawed an N for Nick because I the big brother. H is for baby brother."

"Your baby brother's name starts with Henry, yes. Great job writing! I like Henry's legs."

"Those are not legs, Mommy. Them are feet! Henry feets!"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bedtime with the Boys

One of the things that makes me smile even during the most depressing parts of winter is bedtime with my boys. I recently bought them matching pajamas. Henry doesn't do well anymore with the button up footie pajamas. He has inherited his mommy's thighs, you see, and the snaps keep getting unbuttoned. Somehow, though, even chubby thighs are adorable on a baby.

I make it a point to read to Nick and Henry every evening. Henry isn't so good at sitting still yet, but he tries. Nick would sit for ten stories, if I let it go on that long. Tonight we read "Grumpy Cat," "Pete the Cat-I Love My White Shoes" and "Maisy on the Farm." Nick is getting pretty good at guessing words in a story. He knows most of his letters and sounds, so we play a game where I read the line and leave off the last word, waiting for him to shout it out. Henry plays a game called "Try to Eat the Book."

After I put him in bed, Nick will keep on "reading" his stories for quite awhile. He even copies my intonation as he reads to himself out loud. After a long, frustrating, chilly winter day, grading papers downstairs while listening to my son read himself to sleep is about as good as it gets.

Anyhow, it makes me happy to cuddle up with my boys and a good picture book. And if I am stalling by reading a few extra children's books instead of getting right to my grading, I suppose procrastination is my prerogative.

Speaking of grading papers, blogging is another great way of procrastinating when there is very important work to be done. I have final grades due for my graduate school class, and here I am editing pictures of my sons instead of reading practicums.  :)

Friday, February 24, 2012


Now, while I hold no illusions that Henry is actually saying "Mama" with any particular meaning, it still feels really good to hear him babble like this.

Nick said "Da-da" first, and now it's my turn.   :)

The cuteness makes up for the thousands of Cheerios we pick up off the floor every week. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Visiting Mommy's Work

Last Friday I took the boys back to my school for a special event (more about that later this week). Nick, especially, loved going to "Mommy's School." He especially loved my dry erase board.

That's a self-portrait he drew on the left. I love how the eyes are huge and appear to be peering down at him. I asked him, "Who did you draw?" and he replied, "Nick!" (Yup, he still refers to himself in the third person quite a bit. Then he drew an "N for Nick!" He's getting rather good at it, I think.

And Henry? He loved crawling around the classroom floor looking for dangerous things, like my extension cords and these unstable chairs. They were still good enough for him to use to pull up to a stand, though.

You would be surprised at how much damage two small children can do to one elementary-age classroom in about 30 minutes. Or maybe you wouldn't be surprised. I suppose it depends on whether you have small children yourself. I had to practically tear Nick away from my desk, though.

Do you see the giant "H for Henry" he drew right behind the chair? He didn't want Henry to be left out.

Several times this weekend, Nick has been asking me, "Mommy, are we going to your school again?" I think he really enjoyed it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Chocolate Bomb and Some Big Changes

Yes, there is indeed a dessert called a Chocolate Bomb.

Greg and I went to Barolo's for dinner on Valentine's Day. This is the same restaurant we went to last year, and it was an amazing dinner. But the most interesting part was the dessert. We got something called a chocolate bomb. I believe it was pomegranate ice cream, covered in cake, and then dipped in chocolate. It was delightful.

Greg and I have both been crazy busy this month, so it was nice to get away for an evening. Greg has only two weeks left of working his day job. He has quit in order to stay home with the kids, though he'll still see clients in private practice in the evenings. Greg is a therapist, so he started working evenings at a practice in Hinsdale to start this transition. This has meant that the last three months he's worked three nights per week, plus Saturdays, in addition to his full time job. We are hoping (desperately, desperately hoping) that we will be better off financially, even if Greg works fewer hours. The cost of daycare has become prohibitively high, and Greg was lucky enough to have this opportunity, so we're taking the leap.

I think Greg will make a great stay-at-home daddy.   :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cruising the Aisles at Costco

Since I'm in the midst of a flurry of grad school grading, I don't have time to write much. I did want to post this picture, though. I seldom get cute pictures with both boys, and I'm rather proud of this one.

I took this picture on Monday, when I took the boys with me on an advanced-level challenge of parenting: purchasing a cart full of groceries at the Costco with two young children in tow. I seldom try this anymore, but the extra-wide carts convinced me to give it another go. There was also the fact that we were totally out of milk, eggs, baby formula, and diapers.

When I showed Greg the picture, he commented, "You were in the liquor department." I rolled my eyes and replied, "Yeah. Getting two jumbo bottles of wine for YOU." By the time we were done with our trip, the entire cart was filled, and it was so heavy I could barely push it.

Incidentally, Nick thinks any drink he's not allowed to try is "wine." This afternoon Henry was cruising around the cocktail table and almost knocked over Grandma Toni's glass of Diet Pepsi. Nick decided to tattle: "Grandma, Henry was trying to drink your wine!" We had to explain to him that not every forbidden drink is wine. Grandma Toni doesn't drink at all, but we have tried really hard to keep Nick away from carbonated drinks. He has generalized the term "forbidden" and given it the name "wine."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Will Henry Be a Handy Man?

And Nick, too? I have high hopes that at least one of my sons will turn out to be handy. You know, good with tools, knowledgeable about cars, and decent at fixing things that are broken.

I am not at all handy, and neither is my husband. We always have many things in our home that need fixing. Perhaps one day Henry (or Nick, for that matter) can help us out with those sorts of tasks. On Saturday, we visited my mom and stepdad, and both boys showed a great amount of interest in Grandpa Ray's tools.

Grandpa Ray is definitely handy, and he was pretty patient while answering all of Nick's questions. Lately Nick asks "Why?" after every single statement made by any adult. Grandpa Ray let the kids briefly touch whatever toys were either safe or retracted. Nick liked the tape measure. Henry especially liked the workbench.

Sometimes I forget about the benefits of having sons. A few weeks back, after a snowstorm, I noticed a pair of teenage boys shoveling a walk near my house as I drove by. It made me smile to think that one day in the not-to-distant future I can send my boys out to shovel the walk, mow the lawn, or rake the leaves. Although I'll love the help with these mundane tasks, it isn't really the free labor that pleases me. It just makes me smile to think of my boys out there being gentlemen and helping take care of the house.

While I certainly am not in a hurry for them to get older, I will really enjoy watching these two learn to master new tasks. With a little luck, perhaps one of them will have that certain knack for fixing things.   :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Greg!

Today is my husband's birthday, so we went out to Carrabba's in Naperville. There's nothing like a yummy Italian meal to help get you used to being another year older.

We met Grandma Toni, Aunt Sarah, and Jay there for a lovely Italian meal. Both Nick and Henry loved the tiramisu.

Henry kept trying to grab my fork, whether I was eating pasta, scallops, or dessert.

Nick has been doing a better job of behaving in restaurants, but he still has his naughty moments. This was not Nick's best moment. I believe he was objecting to my request for a picture.

He did recover enough to help his daddy blow out the candle on the ice cream, though.

Nick and Henry picked out some nice new jeans and a button-up shirt for their dad. Greg will be leaving his full-time job to stay home with the boys, starting in a few weeks. Instead of working days, he will be in private practice, working evenings as a therapist part time. Since he's going to be his own boss, he will be able to wear jeans anytime he wants. I bought him a cooking class that I found on Groupon for my present. I like to buy things that we can do together for fun.

Happy Birthday to my magnificent husband!