Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Day, Another Find

Since becoming a one income family, the grown-up clothing budget has been almost non existent.  For this reason, I've made it a tradition to buy Herb and I something new for Easter - a dress shirt for him, a dress for me.  And obviously Levi has something cute to wear too.  I found my dress a few weeks ago at the thrift store around the corner for $7 (a splurge, amiright?).

Last night Herb gave me a free night while he whisked Levi off to a hockey game.  And like every other woman with a slew of first world problems, a little alone time trolling the mall was just what the doctor ordered.

The goal?  A dress shirt for Herb.  The requirements?
- something not lame or Amish, requested Herb
- in the correct size
- a complimentary color to my new dress - black, gray, white, royal blue, aqua
- c.h.e.a.p.

I pulled up to the mall, armed with a gift cards to JC Penney ($15) and H&M ($10), hoping to only spend the gift card amounts.

And it was good I had those gift cards, because as I was putting my keys in my purse, I realized I didn't actually have my wallet.  JUST the gift cards.  Shoot.

Challenge accepted.

A daunting task, but quickly I found a wall of sale shirts ranging from $8-20.  The winner had to be there.  I finally settled on two different shirts, but really didn't love either of them.  I wandered around the men's department a little more and found one more shelf of dress shirts on clearance.  It was mostly repeats from the other wall, but then something navy and royal blue stripped caught my eye in the very back of the bottom shelf.

Color, check.

Next, I scanned the tag and saw the size was almost perfect.  The sleeves were a little longer than normal, but Herb usually rolls them up anyway to be all rock-star-esque when playing guitar.  Size, check.

Next stop, price check.  I fully expected the shirt to be $20, but was hoping it would be one of the $8 finds.

I laughed out loud when I flipped the price tag over.  God has a sense of humor, and He knew I needed a "win" last night.

Yes, you read that right.  It was $2.  This is why I dig.

I can't wait to don our spiffy new outfits on Sunday, coming in so incredibly far under budget it's not even funny.

Herb - shirt $2, new cords $6
Michelle - dress $7
Levi - coat $3, bow tie free, dress pants $3

And really, why did I write all of this about finding a $2 shirt last night?  I guess it was just really touching to me.   It was such a little blessing that reminded me that God really cares about my minutiae.  It was just the recharge I needed, and it was awesome.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So Bad, So So Bad

Against my better judgement, I taught Levi how to sing "Call Me Maybe."  Don't worry, it's just the chorus, and, in all fairness, I had originally changed the words...
My name is Levi, and I am crazy
But you're my mommy, and I'm your baby 
Then, as to completely confuse my son, one day I started singing the normal words, and he caught on.  And really, how silly and adorable is it for a two year old to say, "here's my number!"

(Video here if the embedded one doesn't work.)

Tonight during bed time tucking in, I kissed him on the forehead and we had our usual exchange.

Me: "Goodnight Levi.  I love you so much."
Levi: "I love mommy."
And as I stood up, he said, "So bad."

"So bad?" I asked.  Then I realized he wanted me to sing the bridge of "Call Me Maybe."

With tears in my eyes, a heart so full of love for my son, realizing just how "lucky" I am (on St. Patrick's Day), I kneeled by his bed, looked squarely into his eyes, and stroking his hair I sang,
 Before I met you, I missed you so bad, so bad, so so bad.
Who knew Carly Rae Jepsen could be so touching?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Village

Experiencing parenthood with my soul mate - awesome.  I know why God designed it this way.  Knowing we are there to support, pray for, and relieve one another makes the rough days seem less overwhelming and the good days seem like perfection.

Date Night!  Love him.

Almost equally wonderful is experiencing parenthood with my friends.  Parenthood has turned acquantainces into instant girlfriends and close friendships into a tight knit support system.  For example, my friend Lauren (It's Becker Style).  Lauren and I were practice room residents in college together, sharing a love of piano driven pop music, coffee, and Jesus.  When the Navy moved her to California and then Hawaii, I was totally prepared to fall out of touch, though I wished it wouldn't be so.  And then as we decided to pursue adoption, she and her husband, Jerry, decided to pursue parenthood as well.

The result?
Roman and Levi, Age 2 1/2, Doing a "Silly Face"

Two boys, three weeks apart.

Nice move, God.
Levi and Liam - Possibly the two most serious children in the world

I can't tell you the bond that raising sons a world apart gave us.  Knowing that Lauren had been doing that parent thing for 10 weeks longer than I, was very well read and researched, and had JUST BEEN through whatever milestone I was attacking was so helpful!!

Now the Becker clan is just a car ride away in Virginia, and I don't think it has set in that I can see her pretty much whenever our schedules allow.  Our boys had such a blast playing together when we visited a few weekends ago.

It's also been so fun watching our childless couple friends get baby fever and make the transition into parenthood.  Is there anything more adorable?  On Saturday, Joan (The Baloney Bug) and Jon welcomed baby Adelaide Jean to the world.  I can't wait to meet her, see their take on a nursery in a one bedroom NYC apartment, and watch them blossom into amazing parents.

From The Baloney Bug
I would be remiss not to mention the friends who are less than a long car ride away.  The ones who meet us for play dates, watch my son in a pinch, make me coffee and lunch, and take walks with us.

Ah!  I am so blessed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thirty Months

Ack - the more I have to blog about, the less time I spend blogging.  What is that all about?

I'm popping in today for an update for grandmas everywhere - or at least related to my son.  A 30 month (or 2 and a half years old) update!  And because I want to be detailed and remember this toddler minutiae  I'm going to make this a thorough bulleted list.  You're welcome.

Can I just say this kid is my very best friend.  I mean, friend that I can't have an actual meaningful conversation with.  But definitely a huge source of encouragement and companionship, which are two very important aspects of friendship, right?

So, first, Levi's stats.  At 30 months old, he is 3'1" tall and 31 lbs.  Darn, I should have waited to post this till he was also 31 months old - 31, 31, 31, right?  He's wearing a solid 2T pants, and sometimes up to a (gasp) 4T shirt.  The kid has a looong torso!!  Shoes are still hanging around size 6, diapers are easily still a 4.

Eating and Sleeping Habits. He's definitely 2.  He eats a ton...but only every other day.  One day he shoves everything in his mouth, the next day he barely ingests anything but juice/water.  His favorites include vanilla yogurt with a few sprinkles on it, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, pickles, apple juice, and anything sweet, but he's pretty good about trying everything.  This morning Levi had his first cup of coffee and loved it!  (Well, mostly milk!!)

The transition to a new bed and new house destroyed his great habits, and the freedom being out of the crib is definitely abused at times.  I would say a "normal" night is sleeping from 8:30pm to 7:30am, and waking up 2 times during the night because he's wet or can't find his pacifier.  And when I say wet, I mean really wet.  I'm thinking evening drinks need to be totally cut out, but it's not like he drinks that much at night anyway.  We tried a night or two without the pacifier, but that was not a battle I felt like fighting at this point. He's still a wonderful napper (2-3 hours every day, like clockwork).  We did have to rearrange his room because one night when I checked on him at 10:30 (after being in bed for hours), he was sitting on the floor, bedroom lights on, and quietly playing with cars.  Suffice to say, he can no longer reach the light switch from his crib.

Physical Appearance. You've seen him, right?  He's freaking adorable.  Like, people stop me in the store adorable.  Okay, maybe it's just because today he requested to wear a neck tie and had cute little spiky hair.

The cowlick in the front of his head is giving me grief - I can never decide if it's better to keep his hair longer or shorter because of it.  Good thing his hair grows fast so I can try all the options!  Right now it's short, and then we put pomade in to spike it, followed by (organic, lol) hair spray - which he likes.  He calls it "tickle spray."  And he surprisingly gets a kick out of having spiky hair.

Personality.  If I had to describe Mr. Levi in one word, I'd probably say "sensitive."  And like all sensitive males, sometimes it's awesome, and other times, not so much.   He is incredibly thoughtful and empathetic - Mommy are you sick?
Why are you crying?
Why is the baby crying?
Mommy you look so pretty.
Thank you for....the stairs, the food, the car ride, etc.
I love you so much.

These are very common things to hear in our house.  The flip side of the sensitive coin is that he's easily frightened and nervous, clingy, and shy to try new adventurous things (he got a power wheel for Christmas and won't touch it).  I do want to affirm his boyhood in other ways though - he loves a good wrestling match, all things cars, and treats any stick/ruler/toilet paper roll near him like a baseball bat or hockey stick.  He is beginning to show interest in what he wears (the neck tie today, the hockey shirt yesterday), and is starting to do chores around the house (cleaning up on his own, helping mommy put things away, etc).

Playing/Interests/Intelligence. I commented when he was 10 months old about his "engineer mind."  Definitely still there.  He gets involved with one toy or activity and will happily be occupied by it for 30 minutes.  Usually it's cars.  From my understanding, there are several three year old bench marks that have to do with ordering toys, etc, that Levi has hit months ago already.

His memory is incredible.  He remembers places, things people have said, and things about TV shows that sometimes I can't even remember that he learned in the first place.  He talks CONSTANTLY, 6-7 word sentences being pretty much the norm.  Every night, Herb and I exchange funny stories of things Levi has said.  He is oh-so-entertaining.  Stay tuned for more episodes of "Things Levi has said."