Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Taste of Summer

We have been enjoying marvelous weather here in Madison! What a nice change from much of this winter--sunny days with highs in the mid-70s, perfect for being outside. For this week it has appeared that we've mostly skipped summer and headed straight into spring. It's been fun to let Lydia wear spring and summer dresses and my favorite of all, BARE baby feet. I love the first summer (before mobility sets in) where my babies can be barefoot all day every day. Shoes are cute, but just nothing like those little baby toes. :-)

In other notes, we had friends in town last night from out-of-state, considering a permanent move to the area. A final-stage interview and house-browsing brought them here, but we spent the evening as if they were in town for a purely social visit. We went out to dinner then headed back to our place so we could put the kids to bed and continue hanging out. When we told Joshua to give his hugs goodnight he obliged, then we mentioned that he wouldn't see our friends when he woke up because they had to go back home on an airplane. Well, you should have seen that child bolt to our front window--he thought their airplane was parked in front of the house waiting for them to climb aboard!

Joshua is definitely all boy, with trucks, planes, and trains taking much of his focus these days. He's also daddy's little man and loves to do anything that daddy does. It's fun to watch him continue to put connections together, and rewarding that he can now string together sentences that form entire thoughts, so we're really getting to know him as his own individual person.

Lydia's a charmer and has all of us smiling and laughing right along with her. Her favorite song appears to be "If you're happy and you know it"--the clapping always makes her chuckle. :-) She's been having some sleeping issues recently, seemingly related to outgrowing her sleep-positioner and bassinet. She's rolling and squirming now, so without the more confined sleeping quarters she keeps waking herself up when she wiggles. This in turn means that she thinks mommy should get up and keep her company until she falls back to sleep. She's also been taking a growth spurt recently, so we're hoping this is a brief stage/transition and that we'll have our good little sleeper back soon. (At the same time I realize that 2-3 times a night is better than it could be, so I'm not complaining too loudly.)

Finally, garage sales start in earnest this weekend! Yay! I love the bargain hunting and finding toys/clothes for the kids at really good prices. I don't know if I like the hunt or the deals more. :-) It'll be interesting to see how browsing goes with two kids, including a rambunctious two year old that I'm sure will want to inspect all the merchandise for himself this year!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Going Green

We're experiencing our first 70 degree day here in southern Wisconsin and hoping to soak up every minute of it! Joshua's busy trying to re-acclimate to the spring/summer weather and testing out what can and can't be done yet. So, every time we get ready to leave the house we're greeted with a firm assertion of "No coat Joshua." :-)

Our lawn has quickly gone from a very flattened "lovely" brown to beautiful spring green and it's growing with great speed. So, we decided it was time to mow already--much to Joshua's delight! We've had really poor luck with our lawnmowers the past couple of years, starting with a used self-propelled that the driving gear gave out on and purchasing a smaller/less-complicated one last year and having it stop working before the season was over last year. So, we decided since we're not very handy with engine repair that we'd do away with the engine on a mower entirely. Our big purchase this weekend was a reel lawnmower! So far we like it a lot. Our yard is fairly small and flat, so not having the assistance of the engine doesn't make a huge difference, and the mower being lighter helps to compensate for it. We're also getting more of a workout while mowing the lawn, which had to be done anyway. Also, we figure there aren't many parts, so we're less likely to have repairs and the initial price was much more pleasant. Finally, with gas nearing $3.50/gal. and lawnmowers being one of the least efficient engines in terms of emissions, it's also budget-pleasing and environmentally friendly. :-) Unfortunately, Joshua is no longer deterred by the loud noise the previous lawnmowers have made, so he now thinks we should mow every day. I guess we'll have a well maintained lawn if that keeps up!

We also had our first grill-out of the season last night, dinner with friends from Madison who relocated to Tennessee last year. It was so nice to re-connect with them and just spend the evening catching up and marveling at how much our kids have grown since we saw each other last. All went smoothly, except halfway through grilling the brats, our grill which was still going strong (albeit on last-years gas tank) decided to run out of gas. Of course it would choose the time when four hungry kids (and their equally hungry parents) were waiting anxiously! :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I don't think I fully understood the meaning of the word "bittersweet" until after I became a mom. There's always this tug-of-war inside me as they move into new stages, new phases, new challenges. The one part of me is so proud and happy to see them becoming more skilled, confident, and interactive people. The other half knows that I'll never get these precious baby days back--that once a stage passes it is gone for good and I'll be left only with whatever memories I manage to store away.
These feelings are at the forefront of my mind right now since the past couple of days I've primarily been sorting through the kids clothes, switching out sizes (Lydia's mostly) and putting away the clothes they've outgrown. Everytime I do this I become pretty sentimental. It's fun to get the new clothes out, but sad that they'll never wear the old ones again. (I'm also always in shock by how much time/space/energy keeping kids stuff in some semblance of order takes!)Unfortunately, I neglected to sort out the gender neutral clothes as Joshua outgrew them, so I also had to take out all of his previously outgrown clothes and sort through them to find the items Lydia will wear too. As you can see from the photo, this created a chaotic living room which Joshua thoroughly enjoyed. :-)

Lydia is three months old today, and boy has the time flown. She's started laughing this week and when you hear it, you just can't help but crack up too! She's getting big (as evidenced by the new clothing size) and as of last week weighs almost 13 pounds and is a very long 25 inches!

All of us are doing well, although we wish spring would come back--we've been plunged back into very March-like rainy 40 degree weather. :-( But we're thankful that we're all healthy again and look forward to sunshines return!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Day at the Zoo, the Animals are Fun

On Saturday the whole family headed out to the Vilas Zoo for the morning. Madison has a pretty decent zoo (that is free), and since it was the best weather we have had all year, we wanted to head out somewhere to enjoy it as much as possible. We saw a lot of animals, got a lot of exercise and just in general enjoyed a few hours outdoors.

We brought along the double stroller, but Lydia enjoyed being carried while she was awake, and Joshua insisted on walking almost the whole way. Oh well, at least we could carry our stuff in the stroller, and we did need to put Lydia in it when she fell asleep.

Joshua loved being able to run around, see all the animals and go wherever he wanted to. It's been a long time since there hasn't been snow on the ground!

Besides the animals, there is also a nice kids area with a little playground, a petting zoo (not open yet) and a Carousel (which has to be one of Joshua's favorite things). So, all in all it was a very fun trip for the whole family, and I'm sure that we will have many, many more trips here throughout the year.

As a side note, one of my good friends from Spring Arbor just got word from the company James works at that he has made it to the final job interview, so he and his wife will be flying out in a couple weeks. We're looking forward to seeing them, and hope that the job works out for them.

James (along with Liz, Joshua and Lydia)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April is Here!

It's finally spring! Perhaps for those of you living farther south spring actually begins in March, but here in Wisconsin (this year especially) it only symbols the gradual thaw. I abhor March, there's just not much that I can say about it, it is perhaps better than November since you know the weather will be improving, not deteriorating, but that's about it. I'm really not coming up with much else. It's muddy, rainy/sleet/snowy, and always gray, gray, gray! (I've always debated whether having a baby during the aforementioned "ugly" months would improve them, or just depress me that I was bringing a child into such a dreary world.)
Anyway, enough about March, since that's not really the point. April is here in all its glory. Sunny days, warm temperatures (hey, it's only 50's, but here that's warm) and finally the chance to be out and about without all the bulk and mess of winter.
We spent most of the morning outside and Joshua kept saying "Play more outside, so nice!" He also gathered brand new green leaves (from a ground weed, alas we don't yet have any leaves on the trees) and wanted to save them to show James when he comes home. ("Daddy will like new green leaves, Daddy likes.) We took a walk too, for no purpose except to enjoy the weather. Yes, while I debate between fall and spring, I definitely think spring is my favorite season! :-)
Have a great day!