Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New... House Day!

New Year's Day is supposed to be a mellow day of reflection, sleeping in and spending quality time with family.
We've chosen to torture our family this year by making New Year's Day our moving day.
John's rationale is that it's a three-day weekend, so we'll have more time to unpack and get settled in. And hey, our helpful family members won't be working, so they can all come and help us move, right?
The beauty of this weekend of moving? My mom planned our annual girls' shopping trip smack in the middle of it. I'll disappear Saturday to the world of retail therapy, and leave John with the kids and a few dozen boxes. I'd feel much more guilty about this if John had packed more than two of them himself. (Love you honey!)
We'll be getting a new address, new home phone, and new email address in the new year (and all within the next week!)... so if you try to reach us and we don't get right back to you, please have patience with us. And then try our cell phones.
I'll put up pics of the new place after we get settled. So hopefully sometime in 2010. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

We've been keeping an eye on the real estate market, looking for a deal in our budget. Our budget, which is one that we plan won't vastly increase our little mortgage, is not huge.

One week ago today, we took a look at a house for the first time. We wrote up a low offer (double-digits less than asking price, which itself had just been dropped) and our realtor sent it in. Surprise, the sellers accepted it. And now we're moving... in just over a month!

The new place has a great open layout, lots of storage including a man-cave John's excited about, and is so much closer to our family & friends.

I made my first attempt at packing up some of the kids' toys today. My mistake was that I did it while Sara was awake and not otherwise distracted. I think the trick will be to pack quickly, and then seal up the boxes. We're having a Big Steel Box (aka giant moving container) dropped off next week, so we'll start emptying out the house.

So if you know anyone who's looking for a big home with a huge garage, in city limits but with a country feel, let me know! We'll be listing it at an incredibly reasonable price, so it'll move quickly.

In the meantime, wish me sanity as I pack everything into boxes, hopefully faster than the kids can empty them. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

If You Insist...

I love my Type A first-born child. As a rehabilitated Type A myself, I completely get his motivation for good behavior, and use it to my full advantage. Most days at home I'm outnumbered, and need any advantage I can get, right?

He also loves to be helpful, but even above and beyond how I remember myself at his age.

The other night I was scrubbing away at the bathtub, trying to get it back to its original white color instead of the dirty-child shade it had become. Liam came into the bathroom just before his usual bedtime, begging, "Mommy, if I hurry and get my jammies on, can I stay up late and help you scrub?"
Hmm, let me think...

Well, it wasn't a school night. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Tub, mommy? Peese?"

How messy can one little child-sized chocolate cone be, really?

Hint: see below.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!

The night before Halloween our county had nasty rain and up to 40 MPH winds. We were thrilled to wake up the next morning to a slightly cloudy fall day with no wind whatsoever. Perfect trick-or-treating weather!
We found Liam's Scooby Doo costume on craigslist locally, and Sara's wore Liam's old Tigger costume. Though if you asked Sara, she was a tiger. She roared at people all night long.
We started our Halloween adventure at CTK's harvest carnival. The kids got to play games, get balloon animals, visit with their "cousins" Elias & Anna, and mooch caramel apples from great-aunt Linda.

Then we headed to Grandma Cindy & Grandpa Pete's for homemade pizzas and playtime. We tried to trick-or-treat on their street, but no one was home.

Next we made our way to Grandpa Bill & Grandma Elnora's for trick-or-treating in their neighborhood. Liam's bag was nearly overflowing by the time we headed back to our town. We made a few stops in our little neighborhood, then headed home for bed.
Whoever had the brilliant idea to make Daylight Savings the day after Halloween should be rewarded. With a big bag of Halloween candy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lost Tooth

Liam found John first thing this morning, and I got to hear the conversation from our bedroom.
"Daddy, I lost my first tooth. But now I can't find it."
So he lost his first tooth. And then he LOST his first lost tooth.

Since everyone knows daddies can fix anything, John did find Liam's tooth. Somehow under the couch.
But now it's under Liam's pillow, and as Liam put it, "We'll see tomorrow if the tooth fairy is real."
So tonight we'll see just how quietly the tooth fairy can do their business in a room with creaky floors. Wish her luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Looth Tooth

"This is amazing."
"I think this is one of the happiest days of my life."

No, Christmas didn't come early in our house.

Liam had just finished dinner, and I thought I saw food stuck in his teeth. After a closer look, we found Liam's first loose tooth. He hadn't noticed at all, despite it being nearly horizontal.

Now I can't get him to take his finger out of his mouth. And of course I had to take a picture to document the occasion. But not to be outdone, Sara insisted on posing for her own open-mouthed photo.

Guess we'll have to give the Tooth Fairy fair warning that she'll need to visit here soon. What is the going rate for your first tooth, anyhow?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Little Tornado

I may say this again and again, but I still can't get over how different two children in the same family can be. Same parents. Same genes. Yet completely different little people.

Today I've been posting outgrown toys and baby items on craigslist to sell, or putting them into boxes for goodwill or consignment. And I have this little tornado following me throughout the house, emptying every box I fill.

If anything goes missing in our house, we know Sara's just found a new home for it. We check in our shoes now before we put them on, and don't blink when we discover the potato masher in the bathtub.

Liam wasn't too happy tonight when he discovered how she's "helped" with his homework by coloring all over it. I explained that his teacher would know that Sara helped, and we could still read his spelling homework through the scribbles. Now we've put it high up on the fridge so she can't reach it. Hopefully she doesn't scoot a chair over to reclaim it.

It's usually better after Liam gets home from school, because then they entertain each other. Although that can also lead to an even bigger mess. They're currently tossing bean bags around the living room with a shovel, and Sara's sitting in a dump truck inside a cardboard box. When she's not hauling around a big empty water bottle and trying on my shoes.

Yep, she keeps life entertaining. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dancing Fool

I know. My blogging is not exactly up to date. But to try to make it up to you, here's a video of my favorite littlest dancer shaking her groove thing for you all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sara's New Toy

I love it when my kids find creative, inexpensive ways to entertain themselves. Sara's favorite toys are rarely ones you'd find at the toy store, but more often something from a kitchen cupboard or somewhere else I thought was just out of reach.

Here's how I found her the other day...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Good Point...

Liam hangs out with me in the morning as I'm getting ready for work. It's one of the rare times he gets me to himself, and he likes to be a helper by getting things for me, like my jewelry. And in the meantime we chat about life. Here's a recent morning conversation...

Him: Mommy, why do you curl your hair every morning?

Me: I like my hair curly, and I think it looks nicer that way.

Him: But it's not curly anymore by the end of the day, so really, why bother?

He's going to make someone a great husband someday...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mini Donuts, Moowiches & Motocross

Yesterday was John's birthday, and the only day he could make it to the Lynden Fair, so we geared up for a long day. I'd taken the kids on Tuesday and Sara had two full-blown screaming fits in the course of a couple hours, and if you've heard her scream you know how fun that can be.

We visited the animal barns and the local tractor display. Then we actually found a (mostly) healthy, non-greasy lunch of pulled beef sandwiches & fresh corn on the cob. John and Liam headed for the rides, while I took Sara to the farming community area for some less noisy fun. Sara could have spent the whole day coloring & digging in the "potato patch".

Then John called, wound up because he'd lost Liam's ride pass. I had handed it to him at lunch, so he and Liam were re-tracing their steps to see where they'd dropped it. They made it to where Sara was playing and John was fully frazzled. I left him with the kids, to go see if anyone had turned it in where we'd had lunch. Imagine my surprise when I found the ticket still sitting on our table - no one had snatched it up in the half hour it'd been sitting out in plain view (it was neon pink and hard to miss!). Only in Lynden.

I'd planned on taking a break to head to my mom's for a nap for Sara, so I grabbed her a (somewhat healthy) snack of chocolate covered strawberries on a stick, for the walk back to the car. We made it just outside the Fair gates and she was sound asleep. So guess who got to watch the hypnotist show uninterrupted?

After she woke up we hung out with the animals a bit more, Sara drank most of my iced chai tea, then we met up with the boys. We took the kids to John's parents house, then got to go out to a grown-up meal at a restaurant without a playground, without anyone wearing a bib or spilling a drink. And then I made the ultimate sacrifice, to prove my love for my wonderful husband: I went to a motocross event at the Fair. Love you, honey!

And now we're paying for it with two tired, cranky kids. But still wouldn't change a thing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well, He Has a Point...

Overheard this morning at the Swedberg house, in the hustle & bustle to get to church on time...

Me: Liam, that's not dressy enough for church. (He was wearing a basketball t-shirt with words all over it, and too-small athletic shorts.) Please put on the clothes I laid out for you last night.

Him: (with significant whine in his voice) But I want to wear this. When do I get to pick out my own clothes?

Me: (not in the mood to argue, as I still had to get Sara dressed & fed) When you have your own house.

Him: But this shirt won't fit me when I'm that big!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Home Grown

We've talked for years about setting up a veggie garden at our home, and just had never gotten to it. We've had blueberries & strawberries for years, but not veggies. This is our year!

We set up the raised beds this spring, and planted more vegetables than our garden could really handle.

For dinner tonight we picked our own carrots & peas, and have blueberries all ready for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

I love that Liam got to help in the whole process, from planting to harvesting and (his favorite) devouring the yumminess he helped create.

I may be biased, but I think those were the best peas I've ever tasted - and both kids went back for seconds.

Road Trip!

We took our first road trip as a family of four last weekend. Ten plus hours in the car, and no major meltdowns. I think that's a success!
We went to Pacific Beach for the beautiful beach wedding of my cousin Phoebe.
Sara had covered herself and myself with sand before the wedding even started. Liam was just thrilled to go to a wedding where he didn't have to wear shoes.
Sara played in the sand during the wedding, and was convinced everyone was watching her (as opposed to the bride & groom).

We had fun at the reception, and Liam even taught my cousin Fritz a couple of his "moves". (Thanks Fritz for being such a good sport!)
It was a whirlwind of a weekend with waaayyy too much driving, but we're so glad we went. And so glad we have a portable DVD player. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

What IS Normal, Really?

I love that our kids look at things differently, that they're creative and think outside the box. We allow them to learn by making mistakes, and they've been learning so much this week!
Sara is learning how to feed herself with a spoon and fork. I'm not sure if I encourage it because she needs to learn how eventually, or if it's just so cool that I don't have to feed her all the time. Either way, we let her get messy in the process. That's how she'll learn, right?
So I let her feed herself a container of yogurt this week. She was doing so great that I stepped away for no more than a minute (I swear!), and when I came back she'd found a new utensil to practice with. Yes people, that is her toothbrush. Maybe she's just multi-tasking?

Liam loves playing with those little suction toys that pop up loudly from wherever you attach them. He should have paid more attention to his older cousin and learned that they can leave a teensy, totally unnoticeable mark if they're left on your face. Nope, it's hardly visible at all, buddy. I'm sure no one will notice. Now sit still so Daddy can take a picture of those totally unnoticeable spots on your face so we can harass Alison all over again...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Salt Water & Strawberries

Liam's last day of kindergarten was yesterday, so we decided we'd celebrate today by going to Birch Bay for a couple hours. The kids waded in the water, discovering shells, hermit crabs, and how wet one can get when they squat down to see these critters. We went to a drive-in fast food place for lunch - Liam couldn't believe they brought us our food on roller skates! Then we wrapped it up with fresh strawberry shortcake and time in the playground at Boxx Berry Farm. Hello summertime!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

But Where's Your Nose?

Sara's learning her body parts. Listen and see if you can tell which one is her favorite.

Friday, June 5, 2009

One of These Things is Not Like the Other...

When Sara was born, I thought I knew exactly what to expect. I knew how Liam was and how he behaved, and assumed Sara would be somewhat similar.

They do both have most of the same body parts, but the similarities just about end there. Liam is my blue-eyed, light haired rational child who was always right at my side. Sara is my brown-eyed, brown-haired independent go-go-go child. But she does it all with this incredible smile and laugh that just take you in.

We moved into our current home when Liam was about two years old. I wasn't worried that there were no doors on any of our cupboards, because I knew Liam would never get into anything without checking with me first.

Sara empties out these same cupboards on a daily basis, even though they do now have cupboard doors.

On the rare occasion that we had to tell Liam "no" to anything, we knew he'd never try it again.

We tell Sara "no" and apparently that means just run in the opposite direction and keep doing what you're doing until Mom catches you and takes it away.

When Liam had a sippy cup as a toddler, he would return it to a table when he was done with it. Sara drops it in mid-sip and keeps walking.

Our phone rang yesterday afternoon, and Liam and I scrambled to find it before voicemail picked up. We tracked the sounds to the kitchen, and lo and behold, our garbage can was ringing. Just below the green bean too-old leftovers I'd just tossed out. Want to guess how it got there?

Can't wait for the teenage years!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday Liam!

Ready or not, my baby is 6 years old today.
Here are a couple picture of our goofy, happy, favorite not-so-little-anymore guy. It's hard to imagine he hasn't always been in my life.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Training My Replacement

I know, I'm a bad blogger. That's what happens when you work 30 hours a week, with a 40+ minute drive each way. And have kids. And a husband. And... um any other excuses that'll work?

Anyhow, I had to share a couple pictures. First is what I found while I thought Sara was quietly watching a cartoon so I could make dinner. She was happily pecking away on the keyboard, moving the mouse around in circles. Think she sees me on here much?

She's also loving trying on other peoples' shoes. Here she is in one of mine and one of Liam's.

Here is a picture of our future soccer star.

And lest you think we gave away our firstborn, here are some pics of both kids from Easter.