Thursday, December 28, 2006

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it...

So today I restrained myself - no shopping. Yesterday, however, I did indeed hit the Target hardware department and bought wire, picture hooks and plaster nails. Today, I used all that fun stuff to hang a picture we took in Vancouver - this is the Burrard Street Bridge, the highest point Nate & I crossed (twice!) during the Vancouver Marathon in May. This is where Nate started popping Advils like they were Tic Tacs to compensate for his broken foot. Are you impressed? You should be - it just about killed us.

P.S. Nate spent the evening @ BW3's - those of you that are Spartans probably have fond memories of burgers on Weck. I, on the other hand, spent the evening here eating popcorn and planning my next shopping trip. Sephora, here I come. Nate, you'd better get home soon - I'm kicking it up a notch, and your 12/30 paycheck is in serious jeopardy.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Retail therapy

So Nate is out of town all week. Normally, he is home from Christmas Eve - New Year's Day, and sometimes longer depending when the holidays fall. But he's in the midst of a huge project, so he and the rest of the Woodbridge network group are all whooping it up in Lansing.

I have a tendency to overcompensate when he's gone. We do WAY too much to try to fill the days and wear ourselves out. One of our primary diversions, sadly, is shopping anywhere that I can entertain Josh and burn some daylight.

That means we buy a lot of weird stuff. Like pine-scented furnace filters, metallic nail polish, paint-by-number books, and bath wipes for the dog. It usually ends up being like a $10/day entertainment fee. It's sad, really.

So today, we went to CVS, Joshua drove the BigRedCarShoppingCart, and I drowned my sorrows in floor cleaner, gel insoles, scented Kleenex, and wheat thins. Tomorrow I think we'll hit Target and shop the hardware department to mix it up.

Friday, Nate will come home and life will return to normal - back to Mr. Wallet's tight budget constraints. Until then, I'm going to spend our life savings $5 at a time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Screenis Envy

In response to Jon's posts regarding "screenis envy," I feel it my duty to report that we are now the proud parents of a 42" LCD HDTV. That's hot.
I apologize for the horrible picture. Nate is in Lansing w/ the digital camera, so this is courtesy of the camera phone...can you tell I'm watching chick TV?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmahannakwanzaa to you

Happy holidays, everybody...I'm not sure what the significance of Kwanzaa is, but happy Kwanzaa if you're so inclined. And as for Hannukah, I know it has something to do with the Maccabees and that Adam Sandler says it's a lot of funnukah so I hope you're totally whooping it up.

As for me & my clan, we're celebrating Jesus' birthday. Happy 2006th* birthday, dude - thanks for turning our lives around :)

*Disclaimer: according to my husband the calendar is erroneously based on Jesus' birthday occuring at 0 AD. However it is more likely that he was born between 4-6 BC. See here for more details. Either way - thanks for 2000-ish very good years.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Look who's back...

I just used our old camera for the first time in a year-and-a-half, and there were a handful of old photos on it. So here, for your viewing enjoyment, are a few snapshots from the first time Joshua had solid food.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm a loser, baby...

I have a couple of friends who always try to "keep it real" on their blog. So because I know you so well, I'm going to share one of my dirty little secrets.

I am a closet Michael Bolton fan. Actually, sadly, I'm not even in the closet. I probably should be. I fell in love in the 9th grade, and I've been enamored ever since. I've loved him through his long Beauty & the Beast hair phase, and through his short hair, balding, hair plug phase. I loved him when he was dating Nicolette Sheridan, felt angry when she dumped him, and have been semi-supportive of their recently renewed romance & subsequent engagement (although I don't trust her yet). I can't help it...somewhere deep in my core, his cheesy lyrics speak to me.

I'm also a huge fan of figure skating. And not just semi-athletic Olympic Figure Skating - also ice dancing, and all of the Stars on Ice shows. Nate refuses to watch it with me, but I can't get enough. Seriously - how can you not be captivated by triple lutzes and Salchows? Be love it too.

This past Saturday, NBC aired Michael Bolton Tribute on Ice - seriously, could it get any better? I don't think so - figure skating and my darling Michael singing all his best songs...I'm in heaven. I don't even care that it was sponsered by The Villages, the Florida senior Mecca where my grandparents live. I TiVo'ed that bad boy, and I just might watch it every day.

So there you go. Jon, I'm keeping it real, even if this means that the rest of the world now thinks less of me because I'm in love with a 53 year old man who wears a toupee.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Three is the magic number

If you grew up in the 80s, then you probably remember Schoolhouse Rock. I have recently come to the conclusion that they're right: Three is indeed the magic number. You know why? Because 2 is very definitely not cool at all. I'm not kidding.
Josh turned 2 a couple of weeks ago, and overnight, he was crazy, hyper, wild, and bad bad bad. It didn't help that we went to Florida and he boycotted sleeping for a week. By the end, I was exhausted and he was a totally out-of-control maniac. I still loved him, but I didn't necessarily like him very much. I probably shouldn't be that honest, but it's true.
Now that we're home and he's back on a sleeping schedule that actually includes naps and more than 8 hours of sleep each night, he's definitely better. But he's still bossy, opinionated, overly independent, and way too busy. He's a teenager trapped in a 2-year old body.
I've heard that 3 is worse. I'm praying that's not true. My niece is 5 months older, and she hasn't slowed down. That's not very encouraging.
So, God, I'm asking praying begging you...let 3 be good. And 4 be better. And make him a perfect angel by age 5. Wouldn't that be nice?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Running with the bulls

While we were in Florida, my mom, Josh & I went to Uncle Donald's Farm. On the hayride, we stopped to feed the cows & bull. When the hay wagon took off, the cows decided they wanted more, and they seriously RAN and JUMPED alongside the wagon clamoring for more hay. Craziness.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's the end of the world as we know it...


The Wiggles have sadly announced today that Greg Page, also known as the Yellow Wiggle, is unable to continue performing with The Wiggles due to a chronic condition and has reached the decision to leave the group.Greg has been suffering symptoms for many months, affecting his ability to perform. The condition is related to blood pressure and while in no way life threatening it affects his balance, breathing and coordination at unpredictable times and with varying severity. Greg has discovered he is genetically predisposed to this condition and that he now needs to focus on managing his health.Greg is a founding member of The Wiggles and has devoted 15 years to the group. The whole band, crew, and all Wiggles staff, have expressed their sadness and their wishes for Greg to overcome his health problems.

Read the rest of the interview and watch Greg's video message here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sunny days...

We spent this morning rocking out to Sesame Street Live with the Vanovers. I was expecting it to be a crazy nightmare, but I have to say, it was just the opposite. I actually had a blast, the kids loved it, Bert wore a white leisure suit, and Meagan stood up and danced with Telly. So could it get any better? I think not.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's official

Well, it continues to be true - Joshua is gigantic. Enormous. Ginormous even. Bottom line - he's a big kid.

Nate is 6'4", so I didn't think we'd raise a short kid. But at this rate, he'll be taller than me in lower-el.

Today @ his 2 yr appointment, we got updated vitals:
  • Weight: 33 lbs, 2 oz. That's 90th percentile, for those that are keeping track. Not as bad as I had expected, but still he's no featherweight.
  • Height: 37-1/2" - not even on the chart.
  • Head: 95th percentile. Are you surprised? We're all big-headed here, in case you haven't noticed.
As a frame of reference, a typical 2 year old boy would be 28.5 lbs and 34.5". Puh-lease. We eat kids like that for breakfast.

Happy birthday, baby!

Well, Joshua is officially two. How did that happen? It went by so fast...don't get me wrong - some days it dragged and some moments seemed to go on forever...but in the grand scheme, the last 2 years have been unbelievably fast. When he turned one, I was sad - he wasn't a baby anymore, and I missed the little, cuddly, snuggly, sitting still, calm boy. And he's the polar opposite of that now. But he's more fun than he has ever been before, and he's got an amazing personality and sense of humor and is just his own neat little person. And it's fun to watch him grow up. And so while I miss the baby, I'm loving life with this little boy.

Thanks for spending the last two years with me Joshua - I wouldn't trade them for anything. I love you madly.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Modern art

Grammy gave Joshua fingerpaints for his birthday - clearly, they're a big hit.
Wondering why Josh is wearing a ballet-necked jacket with puffed sleeves? Not because he's metro (sorry Lauren). My mom & I made this paint smock when I wasn't much older than Josh - up close, you can see that it's the artistry of a 3 year old with limited seamstress experience. Sadly, my sewing skills haven't improved much.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Getting to be a habit with me...

Once again, Josh slept on a dog bed while I shopped at Target.

He fell asleep in the car while we were out running errands, and I actually DELIBERATELY took him to Target because I knew I could put him on the dog bed and get all my shopping done.

I probably should be embarrassed about that, but I'm not.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Zoo Boohoohoo

Since we didn't get to go to Zoo Boo this year (thanks to horrible, rainy weather) I am posting a picture of what might have been - had we gone, this would have been Josh's costume. Seriously - cutest pirate ever, am I right?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This little piggy...

I am pretty much dreading the next pediatrician appointment - in just over a month. Why, you ask? Because my kid is humongous and it's not going to be pretty. Seriously - I'm not exaggerating. Humongous.

I just did a quick check to see, since the Vanover and Stein toddlers have recently weighed in low on the growth curve. We very definitely do NOT have that problem.

Josh is just under 36 inches - that puts him around the 85th percentile for height. Okay, I can live with that - his dad is, after all, 6'4".

But here's the showstopper - the kid is 34 lbs!!! Seriously - 34. That's insane. That's the 95th percentile. So we'll see what they say - maybe they'll send him to Weight Watchers. Hey, he can count to 20 - maybe he can keep track of his own points!

(FYI, I had a funny picture of a baby piglet to insert here, but Blogger is being dumb. Use your imagination.)

Leisurely shopping...

Sleeping on a dog bed in the shopping cart @ Target...I actually was able to shop for 1-1/2 hours - he slept the entire time. I saw EVERY aisle @ Target - it was awesome!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Long time gone...

Wow. I just realized it's been a month since we posted. Sorry about that. Because I always give my sister such crap about back-dating, I'll instead just lump all of our pics together and let you sort it out.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wiggly party

I know that Jeremy already posted this, but it's so damn funny that I just have to do it again.

If you don't think it's funny, that's probably because you don't have a toddler. If you did, you'd get it. I have a pretty hard-core love/hate relationship with the Wiggles.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

***Binky update***

We've been binky-free for 4 days & 3 nights now. I think we may have officially kicked the habit. Amen, hallelujah!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

bye bye binky (we hope)

This is Josh going to sleep at 4 months old - binky in his mouth and beloved woobie at his side.

Sadly, at 22 months old not much has changed. Augie Doggie has seen better days and the binkies take up a lot less of his face now, but this is still a critical part of our bedtime uniform.

I'm the one that gave Joshua the binky. At the time, I thought that I didn't have a choice - when your 3 week old baby is trying to nurse on everyone who gets within range, it seems like the obvious solution.

But after nearly two years, I've grown to hate that damn binky. I mean hate. We can't live without it - total disaster strikes 10 times a day when we can't find one of the 8000 binkies we own. And I crawl under the crib and dig them out by the handful, and all is right in the world again.

When I was little, my sister had this stupid stuffed Hudsons Santa Bear called Pudgy-Bear. And Meagan couldn't live without Pudgy. So once on our way to Florida we realized we didn't have Pudgy. Trust me when I tell you that it was the END OF THE WORLD for Meg. Seriously. I think we even had to drive back from Ohio to get Pudgy. This is what I fear may lie ahead for us...

I'm over it. WAY over it. But he's not, and has not shown any signs of getting over it anytime soon. I think he actually falls more madly in love with his binky every day. He actually giggles gleefully when he sees it and cries out "binky!" - it's kind of cute but mostly sad.

So today I tried something - I just didn't give it to him. I have a friend who suggested that - she had just tried it with her son, at another friend's suggestion.

And you know what? So far, he hasn't cared! He saw it a couple times & asked, but I just said no and we moved on...he never got upset. So we'll see how this really works out - but for now, it's 10 pm and he's been in bed for almost 3 hours, bink-free. I'm holding my breath - are you?

Mom's night out (and dad's too)

Grandma babysat so the Rosses & Vanovers could watch the Detroit Tigers kick some serious youknowwhat.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Farmer Josh

@ the Kensington Metropark petting farm w/ the Steins.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Look who can climb out of his crib...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stop...binkie time!

At the Toronto Science Center

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We've created a monster.

Somehow, in all our belly zerberting, we never saw it coming that Joshua would retaliate. He's out of control obsessed. I have to fight him at the grocery store so he doesn't expose my entire abdomen to give me a big old belly fart.
Next I'm going to teach him how to moon people.
East side baby, REP-RE-SENT.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006

Getting in to trouble with the Van clan

We spent the day with Kylinn while Aunt Meagan went to an appointment. HOLY CRAP two kids are harder than one. Way harder - not twice as hard but more like 4 times harder. And Ky is fast - I've never seen a toddler move that fast. I need one of those dogwalker multi-pet leashes. Or Benadryl.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It's funny...

It's funny how you think you know what you want, and when you get there, you're not sure anymore. I always thought that when Josh was a year old, I'd be ready to get pregnant again. And then his birthday came, and I wasn't. We had just committed to running a marathon, which meant not being pregnant until May. And then I decided to take Accutane. That was a difficult decision at the time because it meant another few months postponed, but I felt like it was worth it to hopefully cure my acne, which was horrific when I was pregnant with Josh. It was a bummer but I felt like I could wait just a few months.
So here we are at the threshold. We ran the marathon. I finished my Accutane. And tonight I took what should be my last birth control pill. And you know what? I'm afraid. Totally afraid. I suddenly feel like I'm not ready. I don't think I can do it.
Part of it is what almost every mom goes through. You love your one & only so much that you can't imagine having another one, and not having #1 be the total center of your universe. I know I know I know that you don't love them any less - you just love another one as much. But let's be honest - it's just not the same. They're not the center of your world anymore. They don't have you all to themselves. And they know that. I have a friend who I think is one of the best moms I've ever known - seriously. She's been a real inspiration to me - she definitely does parenting well. She has a gift. Her life totally revolved around her first son. And then #2 came along. Don't get me wrong - she still loves and cherishes and lavishes attention on him. But it's not the same. They have to share you. That's sad to me.
So that's part of it. I'm also still hanging on to pregnancy pounds that just refuse to go away. I have also not been committed to a diet for more than a week, so that doesn't surprise me. But the idea of continuing to add a few more pounds every baby totally freaks me out. I have visions of a 300 lb woman with a million kids running around. I want my jeans to fit again before I grow out of them again. If I'm going to yo-yo, then I want to at least hit the bottom again...
It's also just selfish. It's going to be hard. And we have to do a lot of work to get ready for #2. A couple more remodeling projects, and budgets and furniture shuffling and the actual logistics of sharing your house with another person. And I'm's that simple.
When it's hypothetical it's pretty easy to be absolute. Yes, we'll start trying this summer. That seemed so definite and obvious just a few months ago. Even a week ago. But now I don't know.
I'm standing on the high dive, and I don't know whether I should jump, or shrink away and climb back down the ladder.

Friday, June 23, 2006

At long last...

Photos from Vancouver are here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Poop story #2

This is actually probably poop story # 3 or 4. Maybe I'm obsessed with poop...actually I think given that I spend a good chunk of my day dealing with diapers, it has probably just become a central focus in my life. How sad.

So last week I made fun of my mom for letting Josh poop on the lawn. Today I let him poop on the living room floor. So maybe her strategy was better. Wait, let me explain.

He was fresh out of the tub, and we went into his room to get dressed. I set him on the floor and got a diaper. I turned around and he looked at me, grunted, said "poop" (and you have to imagine the voice here - he says "poo-ooo-oop" sort of sing-song and high-pitched like a girl). Then he ran away, and I looked down at a turd on the carpet. Thankfully, for once, it was solid, and I just picked it up and flushed it.

Maybe the lesson here is simply don't leave a child diaperless. That makes me question all the moms that are part of the diaper-free baby movement. I have to admit some measure of admiration - I certainly don't have the patience or endurance to have my child go the bathroom all over the house while they work their issues out. Even the occasional poop misstep is making me crazy. Hats off to you ladies, you are hard core!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bad parenting moment # 643 (My Saab Story)

Okay maybe not # 643, but they do seem to be frequent lately. This one though, is the worst so far.

So Josh has a new rock obsession. I don't mean leather-pants-eyeliner-long-teased-hair rock. I mean straight-up rocks. Stones, pebbles, boulders, doesn't matter. He loves them. Collects them everywhere we go, throws them, kicks are his friends. They are now, however, my sworn enemies.

Yesterday, while I stood out front talking to my neighbor and her one year old son, Josh trolled around looking for rocks. He found one in her yard, and scratched the ENTIRE side of her new Saab with it. Not a little scratch - almost looks like someone keyed it. It's bad. Really bad. So I've apologized - profusely - to both her and her husband. And they're taking it to a paint shop to find out how much it is so that we can pay for it.

So here's the executive summary:
1) I'm sometimes dumb and oblivious
2) Everytime I am, I pay for it dearly

So we're going to probably have to drop a grand (that we don't really have) to repaint the side of a car that was perfectly good before I went over there. And if I just paid better attention, the car would still be fine. If I put my foot down about rocks, the car would be fine. If I...if I...I can go on and on here. The bottom line is that it's not Josh's fault - he's 18 months old. He's not doing anything wrong on purpose. He was just chilling, playing with his stupid rocks. It's my fault - until he does understand, I should be helping him along. And I didn't. I feel like I let us both down. It just sucks. I know there will be a lot of these moments - I'm (gulp) not perfect, and I'm going to make a lot of mistakes. And Josh (double gulp) isn't perfect either, and he's going to make his own mistakes. I'm going to have to come to terms with this eventually.

For now, though, I'm just going to be sick over my negligence and the corresponding negative impact on my bank account.

Oh, mother...

So I'm told that once you're a mom, you understand your own mother more, and the crazy things that she did start to make sense.

For the record, that is not always the case. With my mom, it's actually OFTEN not the case. Take today for example...she came over after work to play with Josh in the sprinkler. He was wearing swim trunks w/ a vinyl liner, but no swim diaper. She goes "he's going to poop" and I say "In his trunks? How am I going to clean them?" She says, "He already went," then she proceeds to pull them down and shake them onto the lawn. Who in their right mind would shake a turd on the lawn?

Seriously: a TURD on my LAWN. Does that make sense to you? Oh, mom...

Friday, June 9, 2006


He pulled his shirt up all day to look @ Thomas and say "choo choo."

Isn't he starting to look old? I don't see a baby face in this picture at all...

I'm exhausted Mom!

Halfway through our walk, Josh laid down on the sidewalk and refused to get back up. A neighbor came out to see if he was okay - they must think I'm a total freak. Needless to say, we went home for a nap. I guess he does eventually wear out!

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Sprinkler time

It has been in the 80s here over the past few weeks. We've spent a lot of time in the sprinkler.

18 months old...

Well, he's done it again. My giant boy was in the 90th percentile across the board. Here are his vitals from our 18 month checkup:
- Weight: 29 lbs, 10 oz
- Height: 34 inches
- Head circumference: 19.5 inches

He's the size of a two year old! That's all Ross - I'm told they were generally OFF the charts. I suspect he may grow up to be 6'4" like his daddy.

Thursday, June 1, 2006


If you read Jeremy's post on, then you know it's inevitable that every parent gives in and watches the Wiggles. I'm embarassed to admit it, but Nate & I do it too. We've learned most of the songs and I often find myself absentmindedly singing them. And I must admit we have a favorite background dancer too. Ben Murray is amazing...he's VERY flamboyant and is more than a little animated with his head-bopping.

Here's his creepy fansite.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New photos

I have a TON of new pictures of Joshua. See, I'm teasing you here, because I can't find the dumb card reader to get them off my camera. Hey, come on over and look at my camera. I swear they're there.

For now, here's a picture from a million years ago to tide you over...

This is for you, because I know you are my blogstalker. This may be a sucky post, but at least it's something. And something is better than nothing, right?!