Monday, December 31, 2012

Love Construction: End-of-the-Year Project

It's been snowing for days!  Looking out our kitchen window.

Well, here is my obligatory end-of-2012 post.  It goes a little something like this:

I began 2012 as a 2nd year law student living in Columbus, Ohio.  I ended 2012 as the Corporate Environmentalist (official title is Sr. Environmental Engineer...although I am NOT a real engineer) for a multi-billion dollar international company in Akron/Canton, Ohio.  I've had ups and lots of downs.  Happy moments and sad moments. Good and bad.  My family continues to be chaotic, unpredictable, and stressful, but we're healthy and we have fun; that is life as a mother, environmentalist, wife, and student (I'm still in school, just a different program).  So there it is, 2012.

Ok...end of obligatory end-of-2012 post.

Eleven days just came and went - flew by.  Fact: Time goes faster when you're on vacation.  This fact is supported by my own observations of time slowing at about 2 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon and the last three weeks of a pregnancy.  Fact.
Side note:  The kids and Scott and I are completely off schedule:  Staying up late/sleeping in.  Here are the kids all comfy and cozy in our bed.  Scott and I were forced to sleep on the couch because they wouldn't give up our room.

My time off has been spent finally getting our new house in order.  Enter stage left...Love Construction.  Oh man!  The past few days of a joint painting project have. been. eventful.  Apparently Scott thinks he is some sort of painting master.  An HGTV expert. Me on the other hand, like any project, I do it to get done.  Minor imperfections don't really bother me, while a small drip will nag at Scott relentlessly.  Me, I just move on.  I really do think I'm a fine painter, also supported by facts.  Fact:  We have owned three homes and rented two in the nine years we've lived together.  I have painted 80% of the our walls.  Now, I realize that this does not equal "paint master", but I figure I must be pretty good if I've painted that much.  Fact.

So Scott and I end our mini vacation and 2012 with a few level 3 fights and a possible level 4, BUT our house is really starting to look good and (luckily) we only have a few more walls to paint.  Thank goodness!  Here is to a level-5-free 2013!


                               I stopped painting where I could safely reach.  Hmm...what's wrong with that??



Megan

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Very Merry Holiday

                        (Christmas morning, looking down into the living room from the upstairs balcony)

Christmas blew up in my house.  Overnight.  Just like that.  We went from being just another house on a cold winter day to full-blown Christmas.   

As a family, we technically don't celebrate Christmas.  We are an interfaith family that mostly follows the Jewish faith.  But even before our decision to follow Judaism, Christmas was not Scott and I's favorite holiday.  We've had one tree in ten years together.  That's just how we roll.  We enjoy friends, good food, and some drinks around the holidays.  Not so much on the stressing about gifts, crowded stores, or lugging out Christmas decorations.  We are much more relaxed people and prefer a much more relaxed December.  You may be thinking, "WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS???"  The kids are JUST fine!   (See pics below!)

My kids don't really get into the whole Santa thing and don't really seem to miss it.  They are pretty happy receiving multiple gifts from multiple grandparents and learning about the meaning of this time of year.

Despite our efforts to not play Santa, Scott and  I panicked last night as Aida said, "I can't wait to see what Santa brings!"  What!?!?!  We were totally unprepared for this whole Santa thing.  We had a room full of gifts, but they were all from the grandparents.  We started scrambling.  I made a big sign/card from Santa and some "Santa Bucks".  I sprinkled glitter all over the fire place and floor.

This morning...not a word about Santa.  #fail #overreaction #stickwithyouroriginalplan

So Santa, showed up with some Santa Bucks and glitter, but the kids didn't seem to notice.  They were completely satisfied with the mound of gifts from Mimi and Grandpa.  We plan on taking them shopping with their Santa Bucks.  At least they have a story to tell their friends at school and when they're 27.  Our kids will look back, put this all togehter, and think "Really?". 

But overall, I'm extremely ok with Christmas finding my home.  Even Santa's botched effort to put something together last minute.   
Christmas Eve at my dad's house (yes, those are 45s on their tree)


Great reaction to getting clothes !
                                                                           My dad with Ivie!

So...

Happy Chanukah!
Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!

Megan

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dirty Politics

When we were a family of just three, Scott and I started using the term "dirty politics".  This was a term that we used to describe those times when the other parent would use bribery, scare-tactics or just plain lying to win over little Jackson.  I know right.  This sounds awful.  How can two loving parents compete for the love of their two-year old?  I'm not proud, but it's the truth and this blog is about the truth, right?.

Well, the dirty politics of the W household has continued through two more children:  "Aida, now look at Mama, what has she done for you lately?  I've given you ice cream and fruit snacks."; "Jackson, Daddy doesn't pack your lunches, I do.  Who takes you to practice, I do.  Love you, little boy!".

I KNOW sad.  We're awful.

Well, tonight the W household had its own election:  President of the W household.  Who ran: Daddy versus Mama.

Daddy's Platform:  I will give you candy and chocolate ALL of the time.  Late bed times...ALWAYS! (cheers). Now my opponent, Megan, she is going to saddle you with rules and early bedtimes.  She's not fun AND she enforces rules (boos).

Result:  Instant acceptance by three little kids.  Even Ivie said, "Daddy, daddy, DADDY!"

Jackson:  "Mama, what's your plan?"

Me:  "Well, Jackson..."

Scott: "I'll tell you about my opponent, Mama, she is NOT fun.  You will have to shower, brush your teeth and no candy for anyone.  You want a fun, vote for me!" (cheers)

Me:  "Well, if my opponent would let me speak: If you vote me president of the house, there will be a constant party:  Loud music, strobe lights, disco balls every night!  Cupcake baking every other night and a constant flow of fruit snacks!"

Me (continued): "And your Daddy is lying...lying I tell you! And another thing:  He won't enforce rules.  You won't shower. You won't brush your teeth and you'll lose friends (yes, I went there)!  Jackson, do you want friends?" (frantically shakes his head yes)

Scott:  "Seriously, scare tactics?  You would."

Votes for Mama:  1 (Jackson)  Votes for Daddy:  1 (Aida)  Swing  Vote:  1 (Ivie)

Dirty politics.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Zone Defense

A co-worker today told me, "God bless parents with three kids.  With three kids you are forced to play  zone defense.  With two it's easy, you play man to man".  Scott and I are definitely playing zone these days; Ivie is often left with a wide open shot.

Well...it's that time of the year:  Pee wee football is over.  Since July 30th, I have rushed from Akron to Kent four days a week for an hour and a half practice.  Soccer is over too.  That means that Saturdays are ours!  Maybe, just maybe we can tackle the enormous mess we call our home.

Jackson had a great season!  He ended up with four touchdowns and countless great tackles.  The improvement from last season was tremendous.  I'm so proud of him.  Not just because he is a great player but mostly because of the dedication and focus.  He is seven.  Seven-year-old little boys have the attention span, of well, seven-year-old little boys.  He learned the plays and ran the plays.  So proud.

And Aida Jane!  Talk about focus: Aida is my spacey child.  "Oooohhh, Mama a flower...Today at school, we...Um, one time I was walking down the street, and can I have a cookie?"  That's my Aida!  But she did great in soccer.  Aida is also a member of a family that loves sports, but doesn't necessarily love them herself.  She is more into dance and art, but she gave soccer a shot and did awesome!  She also ended up with some goals!

And then there is Ivie.  Ivie is giving Daddy W and Mama W a run for their money.  Hell, not even just Daddy and Mama, but Aida and Jackson too.  Ivie is bad.  There I said it.  Don't let those adorable curls, blue eyes and sweet laugh fool you.  Ivie is out there for Ivie.  She's not interested in potty training, sharing, or going to bed.  But none of us, Jackson and Aida included, could imagine our home without her. 

Jackson touchdown 

Jackson is number 24.  The videography is horrible (just a warning).  I'm actually surprised I taped the whole run.  Usually I get really excited and drop the camera.



Today Ivie decided to do some somersaults in the backyard.  Along her tumble, she collected five briers in her hair.  Yes.  Curly hair and briers...yikes!  I was ready to grab the scissors, but Scott was determined to save her hair and my tears.  After about an hour and a half, a bottle of conditioner, and what Ivie saw as a fun bubble bath, Daddy saved her hair!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

From audits to fish nets

I'm Corporate and I'm Here to Help

In the past two weeks I have been in Virginia, North Carolina, Atlanta, and Las Vegas all courtesy of work.  We have manufacturing facilities in Virginia and North Carolina and our EHS Manager summoned me (well, ok, I voluntarily visited) to conduct a few environmental compliance audits.  Funny how the plant managers were not overjoyed to see me...hmmmm.  When I worked for the government we told companies, "We're the government and we're here to help."  Now that I'm on the other side, clearly that is bullshit.  I'm thankful for the EPA, Ohio EPA, NC DENR, and Virginia DEQ for their costly, I mean necessary, inconvenient, I mean easy to comply with laws.  Without all of them, and their convoluted, difficult but oh-so-necessary laws, I would not have a job traveling from site to site telling plant managers, "yes, we HAVE to do this." Seriously, I am only trying to help.

Fish Nets and Heels

"I bet people think I rented you for the evening."  ~ Scott W.

Yes... He said this.

When in Vegas, you should wear fish net stockings, with high heels and a short dress...right?  Well duh...of course!  I had an environmental training and the training company only offered the class in Scottsdale, AZ and Las Vegas, NV.  Luckily for me (and Scott) the flights were much cheaper to LV.  Just to be responsible I will say this:  The environmental training was extremely helpful, useful and I passed.   But really, I was in Las Vegas with my husband, for three days, without kids, are you really interested in my environmental training?  Right.

Well, Scott and I had a blast.  A freakin' blast.  I didn't really get the flashiness and gaudiness of Las Vegas, but anywhere that it is perfectly socially acceptable to walk around at 10 a.m. in a short dress, fish net stockings, with a drink, well, I could get used to that.  When we were married, Scott and I didn't have a honeymoon so this was our first vacation just the two of us.  I so enjoyed being with him, kidless, no responsibilities, in a warm city where anything goes.  THANK YOU MIMI and GRANDPA for watching the kids!!!!








I am more of a nature person and less of a people person  and several times I would stare off at the mountains and ask Scott if we could go.  He would promptly reply:  "People don't go to Las Vegas to look at the mountains."

Had. A. Blast. (and learned a lot.)


Sunday, September 23, 2012

The New House

We are...finally...in our new house! There are boxes everywhere, but at least we're here!

The kids love their new rooms, which I think we will call the executive kid suite.  The three kids get the entire upstairs to themselves which is equipped with a Jack-and-Jill bathroom, princess room, and a blue and gray room with the best view of our fabulous backyard.  The majesties of the executive kid suite have requested that the Jack-and-Jill bathroom be painted Naple's Gold, Strawberry Splash, and Blueberry Buckle (bright yellow, brighter red, and extremely bright blue).

Aida is playing soccer and Jackson is playing football.  Aida is a little spacey out on the field and at about the 45-minute mark, her hair, the grass, the clouds, and her pink shin guards become more interesting then the game itself.  Jackson is excelling in football.  He has three touchdowns on the season and several tackles that have saved the other team from scoring.  Ivie is still in her terrible twos and challenges us daily.  Thank goodness she is cute.

Scott had a successful transfer from the Columbus region to the Akron/Canton region.  He doesn't have his own account yet, but I have a feeling it won't be long.  The company really likes him and apparently so does the regional manager... "See, I told you he was cute."

I continue to love my new job.  I better since I am reason for all this recent chaos.  But seriously, I love my new job.

Oh and I love our new house.  I can't take any pictures to show you the greatness of our new home, but I will as soon as I find the battery charger in the mound of boxes still left to unpack. 





Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Hectic Life

Life is always crazy, chaotic and hectic, right? I mean with three kids how can life not be?  Add two cities, a two-hour drive, suitcases, boxes, a new job, new schools, football, various grandparents' houses plus six weeks of separation and - bam - you get pure craziness!

(A few pictures from our crazy, but fun summer: Scott and Jackson at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati; Aida swimming at G-dad's house; Scott and Jackson at the Cincinnati Reds' game; and Ivie "swimming" at Brady Lake on July 4th)



We bought a house in Akron and have a contract on our house in Columbus. I feel so lucky to have found a great house and to have buyers who think our house is great.  Love Construction has taken a mini-vacation; we will definitely be back in full swing once we move into our new house - lots of projects await Scott - I mean us.

The kids are finally all together after three weeks apart. I love that my kids are so close. They missed each other terribly. Scott is in Columbus by himself "packing", which translated in my mind means eating bad food, smoking cigars, drinking whiskey and watching baseball.

The kids started school a week ago, which was rough for everyone. There were lots of tears and anxiety, but thank goodness each day is better and easier.
We get the keys to our new house a week from tomorrow and hand over our keys on Princess Street the following Friday!  Meanwhile the kids and I are bouncing around wreaking havoc on various grandparents while Scott "packs".

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Where in the World are the Ws?

Next stop:  Akron, OH. 

Once again, the W's are on the move.  We're buying and selling homes, packing boxes, loading the car and heading farther north.  Scott once said Columbus was as far north as he ever wanted to move.  Scott also once said he didn't want to have children.  Funny little thing we call life.  Sometimes the wind blows and whatever direction it is heading, it can lead you in that very direction.

So why the hell are we moving to Akron, OH?  Especially since I've spent most of my life talking about how miserable and ugly it is?  Well...I was offered a pretty sweet job with a company in North Canton.  I am the Senior Environmental Engineer and I am responsible for compliance with ALL federal, state, and international environmental regulations at four domestic manufacturing sites and a handful of foreign manufacturing sites.  I started July 2 and so far, well, I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it.  Hopefully this will be the last move for a VERY VERY long time.

The kids have had to adjust to not spending their days with me.  It was a bit of shock for everyone, evidenced by all three of them crying when Scott dropped them off at summer camp.  They are getting better, but Ivie still isn't into the whole "daycare" thing. 

Jackson made the all-star baseball team and has spent the past two weekends playing tournament baseball games around central Ohio.  It is has been SO much fun to watch.  I have been impressed with the ability of these seven and eight year boys to make heads-up plays and big hits.  Jackson is learning SO much about baseball, but already has the quarterback position in his mind.  He will be playing football in Kent this fall (my Alma Mater!) and is ready for the challenge of earning the quarterback spot.










Overall, through the stress, the boxes, house contracts, unreachable realtors, and the tears of three very precious kids, we have managed to stay somewhat sane.  If we can get through this last move, I truly believe the W's will be on a very stable and joyous path for the next twenty years.  To our Columbus friends, we will miss you (we're only two hours north!) and to my old friends in northeast Ohio, I can't believe it, but I'm coming back home! I never thought I'd live in Akron, OH, but I guess there is a northerly wind gently blowing right towards the Rubber City.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Humility and Patience

hu·mil·i·ty

[hyoo-mil-i-tee or, often, yoo-] 
noun
the quality or condition of being humble;  modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc

pa·tience

[pey-shuhns] 
noun
1.
the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay:

I realized the other day after the eagerness of one of my followers (haha...yes, people really do read my blog) that it has been a couple of months since my last post.  Love Construction is still in business, although we have not started any new projects.  One reason that we have not tackled any new projects is because we have no idea where we will be in the next six months.  What? Where?  You're crazy!  You just built a house!  I know.  I know.  And yes, I KNOW!!!  Funny thing about life is that we all think we have it under control.  We think if we do x and y, we will get z.  We think if we make plans, write those plans out, discuss those plans with our spouse, then those plans will effortlessly work themselves into the future.  Well, here is a hint:  We don't have life under control.  Life has these twists and turns that catch us off guard no matter how prepared we think we are.  When I used to attend the Newman Center in Kent, the Father once said if you really want to make God laugh, tell God exactly when things were going to happen and how.  In other words, God has a plan for us; it is up to us to sit back and be PATIENT.


I think one of the reasons I've avoided the blog was because of the twists and turns my life has thrown at me.  I was embarrassed of my recent decision to leave law school.  I had my plan, wrote out my plan and discussed it with Scott.  But for me, it just didn't work out.  It was an extremely hard pill for me to swallow.  I've never quit anything before, especially school.  But there, I've admitted:  I am a law school quitter.  A law school drop out.  A law school failure.  As hard as those words burn my confidence, it is the truth.  But here is my disclaimer:  I didn't quit because it was too hard or because I failed out or because Scott resented me or because I wasn't able to balance my family and school.  Actually, I balanced my family and school quite well.  I wasn't the best student, but I managed to stay in the middle pack of my class.  Yeah, law school was hard, but it wasn't the massive reading assignments that finally made me turn my back on the J.D.; it was the insincerity of my desire for the degree.  I was doing it for the wrong reasons.  I wanted to make a lot of money; well here's some more news:  Young attorneys come out of school with nearly, if not more than 100K in debt, jobs - just like every industry - are hard to come by, and attorneys can spend the rest of their lives climbing out of their mountain of debt.  That isn't everyone's story, but there are enough young J.D.'s telling this story that it was enough to deter me, but after the fact.  Reason two:  I didn't want to be an attorney.  Even from the beginning I honestly thought that having a J.D. to add to my resume was going to magically help me woo the hearts of potential employers.  When in fact, it might have actually hurt me because it may have raised the red flag of "Can we afford her?".  I will admit that I made an impromptu, unresearched decision, but I will not admit that I couldn't do the program, because I could.



So fast forward four months and I'm STILL looking for a job.  I've sent out a hundred resumes, had thirty rejection emails/letters, ten phone interviews, five in-person interviews, two second interviews, one trip to Dallas, and zero offers.  (Insert blog title here <Humility and Patience>).  Instead, I am now working at the Gap, as a sales associate, to help make ends meet.  Last night I had my first shift at the register.  Fifteen minutes into my shift a guy I went to high school with walks in.  We chatted.  He's a doctor - in digestive medicine - getting ready to move to Chicago.  Oh, and he also managed to get a Master's degree somewhere between undergrad and med school.  I'm working at the Gap.  Completely, totally, nothing, wrong with working there (or in retail, restaurants, etc...)  This is a ME problem. I'm learning HUMILITY and need to get over my own manufactured issues.  I then got into my 1999 Avalon with 250,000 miles, but not before I struggled to open the door with the quarter of an inch of handle left on the driver's side door that is nearly impossible to grab.  The tank was on empty and I could smell the obnoxious scent of burning oil, so I stopped to get gas.  I popped both the trunk and the gas tank because in order to open the gas tank door you have to dig around in the trunk, find a little lever, and manually pop open the gas door.   After filling up the tank, I decided I wanted to get some fries.  As I pulled up to the drive-through, I unbuckled, unlocked the door, and opened the door to order my dollar fries.  I did the same to pay the cashier, all because the driver's side window does not go down.  This is all a true story.



So, I promise my next post will be about my wonderful kids and my pretty awesome husband, but I needed to get this off of my mind.  I'm still learning patience and humility each day.  It has been an extremely hard lesson to learn but I am thankful for the stronger and more compassionate person I will become once I get through my lesson.  Until then, let me know if you want something from the Gap, I get a kick-ass discount. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love Construction, Inc.

The floor is complete! Love Construction, Inc., also known as Scott and I, finished up this week. It only took us four weeks, ten trips to Lowes, at least five level four fights, and possibly one level five fight, but we're done. Despite the uneven floor, the differences in opinion, bowed walls, and one or two minor imperfections, it looks great!
If you need any minor projects completed in your house, just call Love Construction...It may take us a while, but we're entertaining!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flooring

Scott and I FINALLY agreed on a floor for the downstairs. We also started installing this flooring and I am happy to announce that there were not any level five fights and we are still married. Seriously though, Scott and I have completely different ideas on how to approach life. These different ideas translate into everything: driving, painting, laundry, loading the dishwasher and yes, installing flooring. I am more of an impromptu-let's-get-this-done-the-mistakes-will-work-themselves-out-later kind of person. Scott is a lets measure-measure again-research-research-go to Lowes-go to Lowes again-ok now we can start- kind of person. We finished the office over the weekend and it looks great! We started the living room Sunday but have laid the first five rows twice and had to pull it up yet again today. Apparently our floor is terribly uneven. The fifteen people I asked about installing lock-n-fold flooring, no one said ANYTHING about dealing with an uneven floor. I see this as a small, surmountable problem. Well, Scott...I'm sure you can guess.

Here is Scott's apprentice helping him. Jackson went upstairs and changed his clothes to look exactly like his daddy, including the boots and pencil behind the ear; imitation is the greatest flattery









Aida and Ivie

Just a few pictures of the girls outside today and a video of Ivie getting down: http://youtu.be/2n_EPsaAtxc

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"When I am 100 years old"

Ok grandparents, get your tissues ready, this is great! His teacher chose him (along with seven others) to read this tonight at the school board meeting.

"These are things when I am one hundred. When I am one hundred I will my grandchildren treats. On the weekends I will go to my grandchildren's house. I will never forget my granchildren."


video

LOVE. THIS. LITTLE. BOY!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Decisions

"There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction." Winston Churchill
Life has thrown some crazy curveballs lately. At first the pitches seemed untimely, scary and unfortunate, but now I'm think they may have been a blessing in disguise. Change is a hard concept, especially when you are focused on one particular path. When that path changes directions, life can be stressful. My path has not been chosen yet, but I am at least open to the possibilities. My grandmother always reminds me to listen to the small still voice that is within all of us. When I attended the Jewish Temple in South Carolina, the Rabbi also talked about this voice. This voice is God and God is within all of us. As I make my decision and determine if the change is in the right direction, I will listen to that voice. More on this later...
Kids
Ever wonder how long a toddler can cry? Surely Vegas has an over/under on this sort of thing. We are going on 25 minutes. And yes, I am talking about Ivie. She is definitely entering the terrible twos.
Today was watch day at Aida's dance school. Normally, the parents do not get to watch the kids practice. About every two months the school holds watch week and the parents get to go in the rooms during practice. Aida also thought it was a good idea to share with the teachers and other moms how "daddy and Jackson like to fart." She went on about this for about five minutes; a great moment for the Weidner household.
video
Jackson is enjoying basketball and is getting much better. He is also doing well in school. He was such a good helper the past two days while I was terribly sick. He got himself ready for school and packed his lunches. He even made me a get-well card.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What's in a Name?

Let me introduce Vivien "Ivie" Cecilia. She is a sweet, silly, fun and happy 19-month old with bright blue eyes and unexpected blonde hair. She is the youngest of our three children and loves her older siblings.




Scott and I took naming our children very seriously. With the exception of Jackson, who Scott early on said "if it is a boy his name will be Jack", we went back and forth, between several names, consulting websites, books, friends, and family before permanently marking the birth certificates. Aida was known as "Baby Girl W" until day three in the hospital and probably only received a name on day three because the birth certificate lady gave me that look after she had come to my room four different times.




A person carries their first name with them for...the rest...of their...life. We finally choose Aida Jane after contemplating the meaning, spelling, pronunciation, and popularity. Aida (actually aaah-e-da in Italian) means happiness. Jane is my grandmother's middle name. Her name honors my grandmother and my dad's Italian heritage. Aida has been nothing but a happy child since the day she was born; living up to her well-thought out name.




Ivie was also known as "Baby Girl W" until day three. We waffled back and forth between two different names, both with significant meaning and with family honorees. After we had Aida, we found the name "Ivy" and both agreed that if we had another little girl, we would use this name. We liked the earthy tone. An ivy plant climbs and is strong. And the name was an old name. Our only reservation: Was Ivy professional? Was it too hippyish? Was it too unique? But we loved the name and its meaning.



Finally, on day three in the hospital, we decided on Vivien. What?!?!? What happened to Ivy? Well. We decided that she needed a professional name; something that would look great on a resume. We both liked the name Vivienne and the meaning: Full of life. Creatively, we changed the spelling to a less popular form "Vivien", abstracted "ivie" and that is how we arrived at the name Ivie. Cecilia was my great-aunt's first name. It was official: Vivien "Ivie" Cecilia.




Whenever we introduce Ivie to others, we are greeted with smiles and compliments on what a wonderful and pretty name.




Today, the headline is the birth of Beyonce's baby girl: Ivy Blue or Blue Ivy. I cannot even express the disappointment in the celebrity couple using the name Ivy, whether as a first or middle name for "Baby Girl Carter". I'm sure Beyonce and Mr. Carter also painstakingly waffled between several names. However, what I can guarantee is that hundreds of soon-to-be mothers will not. Americans are obsessed with celebrities in every way, including the naming of their children. I do not know if Americans are too lazy to research their own names or in such awe at the wealth and popularity of celebrities that we attach ourselves to them in any way possible.








When we chose Ivie, the name hovered somewhere between 700-800 on the Social Security Administrations list of baby names for 2007-2009. The name had not seen the top 100 since the early 1900s. I will bet that in the next two years, the name Ivie, Ivy, Ivi (however you spell it) will leap to the top 100, all because of a celebrity couple named Beyonce and Jay-Z. This is very unfortunate for someone like my Ivie Cecilia who went three days known as "Baby Girl W" as her parents searched for the perfect name. She will now be amongst other little girls whose mothers found the name on TMZ. Scott and I will probably spend our lives explaining, "No, we are not obsessed with pop culture or Beyonce." Ivie will probably also be in class with seven kids named Blue, Red, and Yellow.





So what's in a name: For us, months of research, thought, love, and family. For the rest of celebrity-obsessed Americans: The hopes of their little girl becoming the next Beyonce - or something like that.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Differences in personalities

I find it amazing that three little people can come from the same two big people, live in the same house, and have two completely different personalities! Although we are not exactly sure of Ivie's personality, we do know for sure that Jackson and Aida are VERY different.




Jackson is exactly like me: He is particular, timid, quirky, and conservative. Aida is just like Scott: She is adventurous, fun, fearless, and very outgoing. There are things that Jackson does that I know I did as a child that must have drove my parents nuts (i.e. being afraid of everything and a very specific bed time routine). I don't know about Scott, but feel bad and commend my parents for putting up with my strangeness as a child. (I commend Scott for putting up with it now.)




So what brought about this post? Well, pudding snacks of all things. The allocation of twelve pudding snacks to three kids has made me realize the very distinct personalities of my children. I had a coupon for pudding snacks AND they were on sale, which means that the kids scored three packs of pudding snacks at the grocery store (for those that do not know, I do not buy anything unless it is on sale AND I have a coupon). Three packs of pudding snacks with four cups in each pack means, well you do the math, four to each child.



(Back to the personalities: Jackson has an obsessive personality like me and Aida has an addictive personality like Scott. Both personalities equal the kids obsessing over any kind of snack or candy that enters the house.)


In an effort to curb the constant firing of questions from the kids to us about the pudding snacks, I told the kids they each get four and to eat them as they chose. If that meant eating all of them that night, then so be it. I bought the pudding yesterday. Can you guess how many each kid has left?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Jackson: 4 Aida: 0 Ivie: 1



I love those kids!


Here are some pictures from today. We had a beautiful day (55 degrees) so the girls and I were able to get outside for awhile! Unfortunately, since Jackson was at school, I didn't get any pictures of him.









Sunday, January 1, 2012

Impromptu NYE Party

Happy New Year Everyone! Can you believe its 2012? I cannot. Wow, not only did 2011 go race car driver fast, but the year is now 20-12, two thousand and twelve.





We had SO much fun last night! We brought in the new year with an impromptu gathering at our place. At the last minute we invited a few friends over (Tosha and her husband and three kids and our neighbors and their two kids). Our last minute party turned into a Scott-styled spread of sandwiches, shrimp, asparagus, and spaghetti and meatballs. Luckily for our friends, Scott works in the food service industry and understands the importance of feeding people, enough food, at a gathering. I, on the other hand, would have placed a bowl of chips in the middle of the counter for eight adults and nine kids. The food was great; the company was even better. Our impromptu NYE party turned out to be one of the best NY's yet.

The family.


The kids with their grandparents.



Ivie "talking" with Canada.


The Michael Jackson game for the Wii was a hit! I don't know who had more fun, the kids or the adults. (Jackson, Jayden, Felicia and Tosha getting down)