Thursday, July 31, 2008

You know...

You know how they always have those free samples of cookies sitting out on the counter at the grocery store bakery? I always thought those were meant for kids. That is why I was elated after Allie was old enough to eat a cookie at the grocery store because that also meant I could steal one for myself too without having anyone looking at me like I just stole some poor innocent child's happiness.

Anyway, the grocery store cookie has long been a bribe to insure good behavior during our food shopping extravaganzas. Good=Cookie. Bad=No cookie...and also a huge temper tantrum. Luckily, the big fit throwing has only happened once. Thus far the bribe is working. There have been a few times that there are no cookies in sight at the bakery counter so I end up buying a whole package of bakery cookies to get just one for Allie to consume right then and there in the back of the grocery store cart. Good for Allie. Not so good for me. Because then I end up eating the entire package of cookies after we get home: a severe blow to my newly claimed battle to end my love affair with sugar.

So yesterday at the grocery store we navigated our way over to the bakery counter to claim our good behavior cookie. To my surprise, in the place of the cookies were cut up pieces of German chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting. At first I was elated because German chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting is my all time favorite food...and one teeny-weeny piece of cake at the grocery store would definitely not thwart my battle of the bulge as much as an entire package of cookies, right?

And, then it occurred to me...why in the heck are they placing pieces of cake out, topped generously with frosting, for kids to eat in their store? Are they completely out of their minds? We were no more than two aisles away from the bakery before there was cake and frosting literally everywhere--all over the cart, all over her face, all over her clothes, I think there were even crumbs on Zach. Of course I have no napkin, no kleenex, no wet wipes, basically nothing because I shouldn't really need anything to clean a mess of this magnitude at the grocery store, should I? There is definitely a big difference in the mess ratio between a little cookie and a whoppin' piece of cake (ok...I lied before, it wasn't really that small a piece of cake at all).

And then, after many distasteful looks from older women with NO children present, with her mouth completely full, face and clothes covered in chocolate cake crumbs, Allie looks at me and says: "Can I have some more?" Ummm...no.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Lunch Conversation with Allie

Me: Allie, maybe you should drink some more of your milk.

Allie: I’m all done.

Me: But, milk will help your bones grow. Drink up.

Allie: (After slugging down her milk) And milk will help my teeth too.

Me: Yep, that’s right.

Allie: (Slamming her cup down on the table) There, all done. Am I growing yet?

Me: Well, yes, but growing takes a long time, Allie.

Allie: Are you growing too?

Me: I guess. I’m growing older. But, yes, we are all growing and milk will help make your bones grow strong.

Allie: And help me to grow up?

Me: Yep, that’s right.

Allie: And so then when I’m all grown up I can get married?

Me: Well, yes, but you don’t have to get married.

Allie: But, I really want to get married…I want to marry a prince (the word "prince" is said very dramatically) because I’m a princess…no…I’m a…queen…like Queen Esther.

Me: Allie, you can be a queen or a princess without getting married. The first Queen Elizabeth was one of the most famous queens in history and she never got married. (Ok…so I know she probably isn’t the greatest example for my daughter to follow, but I’m running out of ideas here!)

Allie: (A very confused and blank stare. I'm not sure why I thought she would actually know who Queen Elizabeth was.)

Me: Getting married is great, but you can also do other things too when you grow up…like…go to college

Allie: What is college?

(Oh good…no more obsessing about marriage.)

Me: It is a BIG school.

Allie: Where is college?

Me: There are lots of colleges.

Allie: Did you and Daddy go to the same college…and then get married?

(Bummer, here we go again ...)

Me: No, Daddy and I went to different colleges. (I intentionally left out the getting married part).

Allie: What do you do at college?

Me: You learn how to work. And you study books and write.

Allie: And you play with toys. Are there toys there?

Me: Ummm…no, honey, not really.

Allie: But, then I could go there, to college, and then grow up and teach flute lessons with you and then I can get married too, right?

(Obviously, we are very determined here)

Me: Maybe...if that is what God plans for your life. The most important thing is that you love God.

Allie: I do. I do love God.

Me: Good...and He loves you very much too.

Allie: Yep.

Me: Right now I think maybe you should finish eating that apple.

Allie: What does the apple do?

Me: Ummm….?? (I'm not quite sure what she is asking here)

Allie: Will it help me grow up too (I believe she is referring to the milk at this point) so that I can get married?

Me: Well, I think the apple will keep you from getting sick (you know, I was going with the whole saying...“ an apple a day keeps the doctor away”).

Allie: Oh. Ok. I’m all done eating now.

Me: Alright. I think I need a nap now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vacation Pics-Finally!

Finally, as promised, pictures from our vacation:

These first few pictures are from the Wildwood Animal Park. There are TONS of animals that roam around the grounds including peacocks, goats, deer, pigs, and huge turtles (to name a few). You can purchase crackers/pellets to feed the animals. Allie was determined to make sure that each animal got an equal share of the food...resulting in her being "attacked" by several goats that apparently thought they did not get their fair share (this was caught on video...so hopefully I will be able to post that soon!). There is also an area where the workers will take out any animal for you to pet. Zach really enjoyed petting the porcupine and rabbit. He also stuck his finger up the huge pot-belly pig's nose. Allie's favorite animals were the peacocks and like last year she enjoyed chasing them. Other animals at the zoo included wolves, bear, albino deer, albino peacocks, zebra, camels, llamas, bald eagles, badgers, and probably a ton more that I'm forgetting.



Zach and I also got "attacked" by the killer goats:

And apparently this is our third child:


Uncle Chris and Allie compared their "wingspans"

At first glance, you would probably think that the following picture was taken at the zoo...but, it was actually taken right outside the front door of our cabin! We woke up early one morning to see a doe and her two fawns literally right outside our window. Pretty cool! We also saw deer on our boat rides and our horse back ride.

The Minocqua area is also known for their population of Bald Eagles in the wild. If you look closely, the little speck in the tree of the following picture is a Bald Eagle. We saw more eagles this year than any other year vacationing in Minocqua! It seemed as if every time we were out on the boat, we would spot at least 2-3 Bald Eagles. While out on the boat with my dad, brother, and Ben (Ben and Chris were wake boarding, my dad was driving, and I was the spotter), my dad commented that he thought it would be the coolest thing ever to see a Bald Eagle swoop down to the lake and catch a fish. Five minutes later--no joke--a HUGE Bald Eagle swooped down to the lake behind our boat and caught a fish! Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera with me.

We took Allie on her first horse back ride! Ben and Allie rode atop Big Jim and took their place behind my horse, Lilly. They were warned not to allow Jim to get to close to Lilly as he likes to "nip the ladies in the butt" which would make for an interesting ride. Ben kept Jim in line, although he did admit later that he thought it would have been rather funny to see what would have happened if Jim got out of hand. My sister, Stephanie, rode in front on top of Scooter. Allie talked the entire 45 minute ride. She sang to the horses, asked a million and one questions, and pretty much had the time of her life.

Here is a picture of all of us outside of the Thirsty Whale--by far the BEST restaurant in Minocqua. We at lunch there twice...and both times, we rode the boat over and parked in the docks before enjoying lunch.


This is me, my mom, and the kids during our hike...ok...so it really wasn't much of a hike. But, we did walk on The Bearskin Trail from our place at the Beacons for about a 1/2 mile to get to downtown Minocqua for some window shopping. Maybe next year we'll venture further out into the wilderness.

There is no real significance to this bear other than the fact that every single time we walked by it, Allie had to stop to give him a hug and a kiss.

Here we are swimming at the indoor pool. Allie was a total NUT! She loved jumping off the side of the pool. She even made up names for her jumps that had specific actions to go along with them: ie-the porcupine jump (hands sticking straight out) and the giraffe jump (jumping in on all fours) were two of my favorite. Zach had fun hanging out in his little float. However, he's so buoyant that his butt kept floating up to the top.





We also spent some time swimming at a couple of the lake beaches. Allie was a little less enthusiastic about the lake water, but enjoyed playing in the sand. Apparently, Zach thought the sand was a delicacy.



Both kids loved going on boat rides in grandpa's boat!

Zach has "boat hair"




We went tubing and wakeboarding. I tried the wakeboarding, to no avail, and thanfully there are no pictures of that. Chris and Ben are the expert wakeboarders of the family...for now, I'll just stick to holding on to the tube for my dear life.


Here is Allie tubing with Ben for the first time. She LOVED it!

We spent a lot of time hanging out at the cabin. We brought board games, card games, and also guitar hero to play while the kids were napping or went to bed for the night. We watched a few movies too. Here, Ben is relaxing with the kids on the swing outside:

And, Allie had fun picking me lots of flowers...she got them by the root and all:
And, lastly, here's Allie relaxing and reading on the front porch, just like grandpa:


We had a GREAT week and are already counting down the days until we get to go again next year!

Monday, July 28, 2008

We're Back!

We arrived home from our week long vacation to Minocqua, WI this past Saturday. We had a GREAT time! It has already proven difficult to get back into the regular routine of everyday life as we all still feel in "vacation mode." We are back "in body" even though it seems that we have left our brains in Minocqua (we locked ourselves out of our house yesterday...we had to pay a whoppin' $130 for some guy to come and spend less than 5 minutes to pick our lock...sooo NOT cool...I think we need another vacation!).


I was hoping to post some pics today from our trip, but I'm having issues with importing multiple images into blogger. I can only do two at a time (usually I can do five) and then it brings me to the compose page where a little message pops up saying that there are errors on the page and it won't allow me to save anything or import more pics. Anyone have a similar problem? Also, I can't get videos to upload at all...which is sad because I have some pretty funny clips of this past week. I've seen some people use You-Tube...do I have to go that route? Since I'm not that technologically inclined, I'm going to have to wait for some more tips or Ben to help me out.



Unfortunately, until then, I'll wait to fill you in on our vacation...which is probably better anyway as I have about a million and one things on my to-do list that were supposed to get done before vacation and are still awaiting to be done because instead of catching up today I decided to take the kids to the library and spent the morning reading new books; therefore I continued in my avoidance of the menacingly long to-do list. Plus, it is off to teach flute lessons for me tonight.
And, I hear screaming from the other room...both kids...and I'm the solo referee today. :)



I'll leave you with one pic that I was successfully able to upload:

Oops...nevermind, somehow I just deleted it. Figures. See...NOT technologically inclined.

More tomorrow, hopefully...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacation Here We Come!!!

It's finally here! Our week long vacation to:
in Minocqua, Wisconsin.
Tomorrow night, we will be staying in a cabin like this for an entire week:

And, we will spend our days boating on the lakes:

and swimming in the pool:

and not blogging...

because I refuse to take along the computer. :)

But, check back for an update next week. I'm sure I'll have lots to share!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Back Door

Here it is, as promised. The highly anticipated story of how we got our new back door:It was a bitter cold January evening in Minnesota. Only 5:00 p.m., but already pitch black outside. I pulled our mini van into the driveway, continuing straight forward into our detached garage. As I removed the key from the ignition I glanced into the backseat to check on Allie before grabbing the fresh, hot, take-out bag of Culver’s cheeseburgers and handy-dandy drink tray (complete with two caffeinated beverages for two very tired parents highly in need of sugar and a pick-me-up) I had gotten for dinner on the way home from our visit to the doctor’s office. Allie was sick, yet again, and because of the countless episodes of illness this past winter, I honestly cannot recollect what exactly she was sick with on this specific occasion. I do remember, however, that she had a high fever, mostly because Allie always has extremely high fevers whenever she comes down with anything.

Anyway, I slipped out of the driver’s side seat and opened the back door to help Allie out of her car seat. She insisted on walking, despite being quite ill, and proceeded to stagger clumsily and sleepily toward the house bundled ever so tightly in her winter coat, mittens, and hat…despite the fact that she was already burning hot with fever. Thinking back, I’m sure the bitter cold air on the tiny exposed part of her face felt like a little bit of heaven to her sweltering body.

Before catching up with Allie to help her open the gate into our back yard, I quickly added the diaper bag and my purse to the now not-so-hot-anymore Culver’s cheeseburgers and drink tray (complete with the precious life-giving beverages) that were already in my hands. I opened the gate with my kind-of-free hand and helped Allie up the one step onto the cement patio while commenting on how frigid the air felt to my mitten-free hands. It is amazing to me the lengths I go to keep my children warm, but then I have no problem stepping out into the arctic blasting wind with no mittens, not even a hat, of course no scarf, and a coat that is half zipped at best.

Ok…I’m basically delaying the inevitable, embarrassing part of this story.

At this point I was pretty much freezing, so I quickly skipped up the back steps to the back door, managed to finagle the screen door open, and reached for the handle to open the back door and turned it to find…it was locked. Ugh.

Allie was still standing on the patio enjoying the wind blasting on her literally two inches of skin showing on her face.

I now faced two options that had to be made rather quickly, basically in a split second’s worth of time:

1. Pretty much drop everything I am carrying, dinner and caffeinated beverages included (because everything was basically about to fall out of my hands anyway), search in the pitch dark (the back porch light was not turned on) through the vast caverns of what is my purse in an attempt to find the house key, and proceed to successfully unlock the door.

or

2. Ring the doorbell and bang on the door in the hopes that Ben, who was thankfully able to come home from work early that day to stay at home and watch 3-month old Zach while Allie and I headed off to the doctor’s office, would drop everything and come running to open the door for us and save the day.

Honestly, we all know that my story would not be very entertaining or all that embarrassing if I had chosen to do the right thing, even if that choice did mean some wet, sticky clothes and a second trip to Culver’s for some fresh burgers. No…I always seem to do things the more complicated way…thus, you guessed it, in that split second, although I am not proud to admit it, I chose option #2.

I rang the doorbell, waited about ¼ of a second (obviously if you haven’t caught on by now, I was not overflowing with patience on this particular evening) and then proceeded to bang on the door. What I have not yet divulged about our back door is that it is mostly all wood, except for the top part where there is a nice window that allows light to flow into the kitchen and also provides a wonderful view of the backyard. A normal person, yes even a normal person lacking in much needed patience, would have had the clarity of thought to realize that banging on the glass part of a door is definitely not a good idea.

Here is where I’m claiming momentary insanity.

I pounded my palm against the glass…only once…and then there was nothing left to continue my pounding on. Cue the shattering glass followed by a completely stunned look on one momentarily brainless mom’s face. Cue panic…and then…yes…cue the blood flow. Because even the thought or brief sight of lots of blood coming from someone else causes me to literally have an anxiety attack, at this time we can also cue the panic attack times one million gazillion due to the fact that the blood was coming from MY hand. Thankfully, last but surely not least, we can finally cue the baffled husband rushing through the kitchen toward the back door, 3-month old baby Zach in arm, only to find two completely distraught gals (Allie was now in tears as she watched the whole ordeal go down), a back doorway full of glass, and the freezing air pouring into our cozy warm home.

Let me just take this moment to sing the praises of my husband. Not once did he yell. Not once did he panic. He did not even really ask what happened in those first few moments of shear mayhem. At times like this, he is not a man of words, but a man of action. He quickly and efficiently placed Zach in his bouncy chair, grabbed a roll of paper towels to help me wrap up my hand, swept Allie up in his arms, and ushered us both quickly inside. After calming Allie and me down (which in and of itself is no easy task), he helped to examine, clean, and bandage up my hand (ok…so HE basically looked at my hand because I was too afraid I would see something that would make me pass out), which to both of our surprise, did not need any medical attention. And, as Allie and I sat at the kitchen table, sniffling and hungrily gobbling down our cheeseburgers, Ben meticulously cleaned up every shard of broken glass and duct taped several pieces of cardboard to the back door in place of the window. After all that, he finally sat down at the kitchen table to eat his cheeseburger, all the while listening patiently and non-judgmentally to a much needed explanation of the events leading up to the now destroyed back door.

After quickly weighing the options later that evening regarding a simple replacement of the glass in the back door or a full replacement of the entire back door, we both agreed unanimously that the full door replacement was in order. We were actually planning on replacing both the front and back doors, eventually, just not quite under the circumstances now at hand.

So, the following day Ben took the day off of work, headed to Home Depot early in the morning, and arrived home with a beautiful new door loaded in the back of our minivan. It took him literally all day to install it in the -30 degree wind chill while the kids and I huddled under blankets in the living room. Throughout the whole day I don’t remember one complaint from him.

And so concludes the story of how we got our new back door in the middle of January. Ben installed the front door two weekends ago in a much warmer environment (try 90 degrees as opposed to some negative really-stinkin’-the-snot-is-freezing-inside-of-my-nose-cold degrees) and more leisurely fashion (at our own pace as opposed to an oh-crud-we-have-to-do-this-right-now-in-a-hurry-emergency-like pace.) We had fun painting both doors together and we are definitely enjoying the new vibrant look to our home. Ben is slowly, but surely learning to accept and actually appreciate the beauty of fun colors other than plain white while I am reminded daily with each glance at our back door to practice patience and grace amidst all the craziness that life continues to bring our way.

(this is our new front door!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Road Trips, Wisconsin, Packing, and My New Door

Summer always seems to fill up fast with many road trips. This weekend we just returned from our second road trip to Southeastern Wisconsin. The first trip was back to Waukesha for my bro's high school graduation and this time we made our way back for the Dzioba family reunion held in Mukwonago. If you find yourself struggling to pronounce either city names...no worries...here's a handy-dandy pronunciation guide for you: Waukesha, wok-ah-shaw; Mukwonago, muck-wan-ah-go. Or, to be on the safe side, you can always label both as "Western suburb of Milwaukee." You know, Milwaukee: home of Beer, Breweries, Brats, and Bikes (Harley Davidson motorcycles, that is). Anyway, to be safe, I go with the whole suburb-of-Milwaukee explanation when telling people where I grew up...it is a lot better than saying, "Waukesha," and subsequently having to answer the inevitable question, "Walk-a-what?" And, that question is most surely followed by,"What other suburbs/cities are close?"...to which I respond, "Pewaukee, Oconomowoc..." only to look at the blank and puzzled expression on the other person's face like I obviously must have grown up in the back woods of some Native American Reservation.

And, now I'm completely off-track.

Back to road trips....

This trip was by far the best one of the summer so far...mostly because it only took us 7 hours and we stopped once. ONE TIME....that is it! I think Allie honestly has the bladder of a whale and Zach actually slept more than twenty minutes this time. We only watched two short Veggie Tale movies and spent the rest of the time playing flash card shape/color games, reading books, sleeping, eating, and actually enjoying the scenery. Ben and I even had an adult conversation while listening to adult music while the kids slept soundly.

I must say, due to all the road trips this summer, I've gotten rather efficient at packing for the whole family. I'm usually such a list-maker, but the past few times I've abandoned my list-making mania and just gotten right down to the packing. I'm also getting better at not bringing the entire house with us. Yes, I'm also definitely an 'overpacker,' bringing everything we could possibly need, but the kitchen sink (that's what the hand-sanitizer, kleenex, and baby-wipes are for). I still probably bring WAY too much, but there is definitely a marked improvement in my ability to actually leave something home and not pack the bag until overstuffed just because there is still room and I could definitely cram a few more pairs of socks and an extra shirt in...just in case.

The reunion went well. We were happy to catch up with some family that we haven't seen in almost two years--definitely too long! It is amazing and fun to see how much families grow and change over time. It was especially fun to see the 'babies' (well, they were babies 2 years ago when we last saw them) that are now running, talking, laughing, digging in the sand, and eating their weight in raspberries.

And, now, totally unrelated to road trips...

I am happy to announce that I have a new front door...and it is dark plum. This is very exciting to me because I am married to a man who likes everything very white. That is why he likes our house: It is white. All white. Blah. Boring. So, now, I am literally giddy about the fact that I have a door that is actually a color other than white! Ben spent almost all of 4th of July weekend putting in the new door (what a handy man I have for a hubby!) that we both painted an actual color other than white.

I also have a plum back door...which is also very exciting in my world of white siding. However, I would be lying if I ended the story there...because I would be withholding the true events of what led up to my beautiful new back door...and you just really can't do that on a blog, can you? You see, the back door is not new. At least not new as of last weekend. However, it was new as of this past January...when Ben had to install it in -30 degree weather and blustering wind chill...because...his wife broke the old door.

And, because I want to capture the full essence of the back door story and give it it's true justice (especially in portraying my ever-patient hubby), I promise it for my next post when my fingers aren't so tired of typing and my poor patient hubby is not eagerly waiting for me to be done typing so we can finally talk about our busy days and enjoy some Everybody Loves Raymond reruns.

One last thought...the best thing about road trips....is realizing how comfy your own bed is....and how awesome you sleep the night you come home!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Three of Zach's Favorite Things about Summer

Flowers.


Swinging in the backyard.


Sucking his thumb outside after a long day of playing.

Three of Allie's Favorite Things about Summer

Picking and eating raspberries in the backyard.


"Painty" fingernails and toenails.


Swinging in the backyard.

What is. . .

. . . the best way for a 31 lb. 2-year old to transport a 22.7 lb. 9-month old?

In a wagon, of course.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday's Thoughts

As I sit down to write this post, the persistent coughing emitting from Allie's baby monitor tells me that she will most likely not get much of a nap this afternoon. Zach, despite the fact that he has his second, raging, double ear infection in two months, is sleeping peacefully. That's right...the kids are sick, again. We did have a good run, though...3 weeks of health, I think. And, I'm happy to report we are through the worst of this present illness and are on the upward mend...just in time for 4th of July festivities..thank goodness! Zach has his antibiotics and now Allie is in that coughing stage that always seems to follow every one of her colds and makes it appear and sound like she is deathly ill to all those that don't know her very well.

Here's a rundown of our week--the good, the bad, and the ugly:

Good--Allie and I have been playing board games this week. She is getting better at Memory and also this little puppy dog game (sorry, don't know the name of it, and I'm too lazy to go see what it is) where you have to count how many times the dog barks in order to move your puppy.

Bad--Allie doesn't really understand the concept of taking turns while playing board games.

Ugly--When I tell Allie to do something (like...for instance...to share...or take turns), she tells me, "No mom. Don't say that. Go away."

Good--Zach began eating mostly finger food this week instead of pureed baby food. He especially likes my gourmet, home-made, ham-and-cheese pancakes and broccoli-carrot-green onion-cheddar-egg bake.

Bad--Zach has discovered how much fun it is to whip food chunks across the room. That is oh-so-much more fun than actually eating the food.

Ugly--Cleaning spit-up that consists of actual food chunks and is not mostly liquid, like what spit-up is supposed to be, is really not that much fun.

G00d--We've had a lot of time at home this week due to the kids being sick. I've gotten caught up on laundry and cleaning. We've read lots of books. Allie has helped me cook dinner and unload the dishwasher.

Bad--Sometimes too much time at home results in boredom.

Ugly--For Allie, boredom results in flopping her body all around the house in a hyper-state of being which then results in an increased amount of clumsiness. Therefore, we do things like fall down half the flight of basement stairs, when in actuality we are trying to walk up the stairs.

Good--After falling down the stairs, followed by consolation with a hug and kiss from me, Allie declares confidently, "I will be ok. God will heal me."

Bad--Although I fully believe that God has the power to miraculously heal my children from these terrible colds immediately, He has chosen it better not to do so, and instead allow their bodies to build up immunity so hopefully the next time they are exposed to these same germs, they will not get sick (so, I guess, that really isn't all that bad, huh?).

Ugly--I, also a bit bored and impatient myself at the fact that the kids are STILL sick, am getting increasingly irritated by the dry-heave-like-coughing coming from Allie's baby monitor instead of sounds of peaceful rest.

Good--Allie has successfully learned her first Bible verse: Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous man runs into it and is safe." She is very proud of this achievement. And, this week she has been very excited to tackle July's verse: Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding." I am honestly amazed at what kids can remember!

Bad--Allie puts her good memory to use by singing songs...all day long...the SAME songs...ALL day long (ok...so that isn't sooo bad, and I do admit, it is actually at times, cute).

Ugly--And, now as I continue to listen to the baby monitor, I hear in a melodic-sing-song voice (instead of silence, which I long to hear) "If you wike to talk to tomatoes..." (HACK, HACK) "If you wike to waltz wif potatoes.." (HACK, HACK) "Up and down da produ aisle.....Beggie Tales, Beggie Tales, Beggie Tales, Beggie Tales..." (HACK, HACK). Looks like naptime is over...and there has been NO sleeping...bummer.

Good--Allie likes to say "hi" to everyone we run into. She's going through a friendly streak.

Bad--She even says "hi" repeatedly to everyone passing by our cart when we are at the grocery store...and it is very busy because I picked the absolute worst time to go to the grocery store with 2 kids...and there are tons of people attempting to pass our cart that is blocking up the produce aisle while I am desperately trying to find 12 ears of corn that are actually worth purchasing and not all shriveled up and disgusting looking.

Ugly--And, if a particular man that Allie says "hi" to at the grocery store about a million times refuses to acknowledge her greeting, she asks me, quite matter-of-factly, and also in a very loud voice that I'm sure is audible to the whole grocery store and most definitely also the ENTIRE city block surrounding the grocery store, "Is that man mean? I think he is very mean, Mom. That is a mean man."

Good--Zach is a momma's boy. It kind of makes me feel good that in the rare circumstance that he does get upset, I can pick him up and he is pretty much instantly calmed.

Bad--We are going through that stage, especially this week, where if I leave the room or walk out of his line of vision, there is much panicking and screaming until I 'magically' reappear.

Ugly--Mental note to myself: If I sit Zach on the tiled kitchen floor with a bunch of toys while Allie and I are cooking, do not leave the room...not even for one second to get some more paper towels out of the hall closet. Because...Zach will most surely realize I'm gone (and according to his line of thinking...I must not ever be coming back) and will get very upset, proceed to cry and panic, and will most likely arch his back so that he is no longer in a sitting position, but now lying flat on his back on the cold kitchen floor, after a very loud and hard clunk to the back of his poor little head.

Good--Upon returning to the kitchen to rescue my injured boy, I find Allie patting his tummy and saying in a very high-pitched, but sweet tone of voice, "It's ok...It's ok Zach...you just had a little boop."

And, I think for the sake of my sanity, I will end on a "good" note as I now hear the door knob slowly turning and Allie's bedroom door creaking open as she is apparently emerging from her "nap." The rustling of legs kicking and babbling that will soon turn to complaining can be heard over Zach's baby monitor, signaling peaceful slumber is through. Naptime and blogtime: two good things that must now also both come to an end.