Tuesday, October 30, 2007


One of my least favorite things to do is buy stamps. You may be thinking, "what is so complicated about that?" And that is my question too - why on earth is it so hard to buy some stupid stamps?!? First of all, they are not sold at any of the places we regularly go...which means you have to make a special trip, or another stop, just for the stamps. Luckily, the library we frequent now has a stamp machine. Or at least it did. When we stopped there today we found that it had been removed. So, I loaded the 2 kids (who were in their halloween costumes, by the way) back into the car to run our other errands, knowing we would have to stop at the post office on our way home. But first we went to Target. I usually love Target, but Target and Alex don't really mix these days. She won't sit in the cart, won't let me hold her, and she won't stay by me. I "lost" her several times in the store and the last time I had to sprint to the down escalator which she was about to hop onto and tumble down. Wonderful. I got some pretty dirty looks from the shoppers who witnessed this almost catastrophe. After that I strapped her into the cart tight so she couldn't wriggle out and she screamed her way through the whole store - more dirty looks. Come on people, what do you want me to do? After we left Target it was on to the dreaded post office. The only post office near us is in the total and complete ghetto - seriously, it's scary. Alex of course fell asleep by the time we got there - so I parked right in front of the glass doors and was planning to dash into the lobby and buy a book of stamps from the machine while keeping an eye on my kids in the locked car. But, of course, you have to have exact change. Seriously, who carries around $8.20 in their wallet? Not to mention the machine only takes ones. And do you think they have a change machine anywhere? Of course not! That would make the whole process way to easy. So I run back out to the car, wake-up Alex and unload the kids and get into line inside the post office...because there is always a line. Today there was one person at the counter and one person in front of me - not too bad, right? Then why did it take 15 minutes to get to me?!? The whole time I'm waiting my kids are running laps around the room, climbing onto the shelves, banging on the glass display windows, and unloading packing supplies from the cart. Several times Alex got running a little too fast and took some hard falls (she's pretty tough) and the postman at the counter yelled at her to "Take it easy!" We finally got our stamps and I loaded 2 screaming kids back into the car. Paul happened to call me right then - I answered the phone with these words: "I need a vacation!" Lucky for me, I get one. Paul left this morning for a medical research conference in Miami, Florida and I meet him there on Thursday. My mom gets into town tonight to do Halloween with me and take care of the kids while we're gone. Paul and I have not taken a vacation alone together since our honeymoon - so I guess you could call this our secone honeymoon! I CAN'T WAIT!

My house smells like burnt broccoli

That's what I get for trying to blog and cook at the same time. Oops.

Noah the Disciplinarian

The other day Noah caught Alex doing something naughty and this is what I overheard him say to her:

"OK Alex, this is a really serious problem. REALLY, REALLY SERIOUS."

I guess that's what I sound like to Noah. It's always a little frightening to hear.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Q: How many baby wipes does it take to clean Alex?

A: 5
Thank goodness for washable markers...and baby wipes. I use baby wipes for everything : )

Such a "girly" girl

Alex is obsessed with baby dolls, purses, jewelry, shoes, and clothes! I can't get Noah to wear any clothes and Alex wants to wear all her clothes. I know what you're thinking...that this is a "learned" behavior. But seriously, I don't own any jewelry besides my wedding ring, I have one purse, I wish I had a better wardrobe, and the shoe obsession...well, that comes from her daddy : )

Hanging out with Dad

As soon as one kid sits by/gets held by/ plays with dad the other one has to do it too

Kid Quotes


"Mom, did you know there's nothing better than a letter?"
He got this from one of his PBS shows - he also learned how to spell "box" and I keep finding the word spelled on our fridge with his letter magnets - who said tv is bad for kids?

"Mommy, boys like dogs and girls like gum."


Alex sings all day long but she has started mixing up all of her songs. The other day she kept climbing up on her kitchen stool and jumping off. This is what she would say each time
"Ashes, Ashes - 1, 2, 3 - Blastoff!"

Some of her other frequent combinations are
"Jesus wants me for a sunbeam - Now I know my A, B, C's"
"Twinkle, Twinkle little star - Do as I'm doing"
"The wheels on the bus go round and round - Ring around the rosies"

Cookie Decorating

We had a "Halloween Sugar Cookie Decorating" playgroup this week - the kids loved it! Noah loaded his cookies with so much candy that they were pretty difficult to eat (and a little too sugary for me). Alex, of course, insisted on being a big girl and sitting at the table with the other kids. She was only interested in the cookies until she realized there was candy. The dining room was covered with crumbs, candy, frosting, and sprinkles but it was well worth it. Happy Halloween!

Plumbers Crack

I love this bum!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


On Saturday we took our first ever trip to Ikea. It's in Pittsburgh, PA which is quite a drive for 2 little kids (especially ours) so it was an all-day event. For those of you who have never been before, they have a big playarea for kids in the store - but it's a drop-off/day-care type deal (free). As soon as we walked in Noah saw the ball-pit with slides and said, "Mom, I want to go play in the balls!" After checking things out I explained to him that he could play in there if he wanted to but that I couldn't stay with him - it was just for kids to play in while their mommies shopped. I fully expected him to say "nevermind" but to my utter shock and amazement he said, "Ok mom, I want to go play - you go shop." So I signed him, up and as I watched my kid run in with a huge smile on his face I turned around and started to cry. My little boy is growing up! That's a hard thing for a mom...but I was also so proud of him for being so brave and independent. I picked him up an hour later and he told me about everything he'd done and how much fun he'd had : )

Alex was too little to go in the play area, so she stayed with us. It was her naptime, so you can imagine how much fun she was. We had a great time anyways : )

Paul kept teasing me about spending over 4 hours in the car with our 2 kids just to buy a set of finger puppets, 6 plastic bowls, cups, and plates for the kids, and a new lamp for our dresser.

Online Course

So this week Paul started a 2-week online class, which means he is not in the hospital. We've loved having him around so much more...I don't think we've seen him on a weekday morning for almost 18 months! The downside: HE IS HOGGING THE COMPUTER! Which means less blogging time for me. I can't really blame him, I mean it is an online course.

The other downside: it throws me off! I don't know how else to word it. One of the side effects of being a medical wife is that you develop a certain amount of independence - you have to, it's a survival mechanism. You get used to doing things a certain way, being the one in control, in charge, calling the shots. And suddenly someone else is there trying to do the same thing - who does this guy think he is? Oh yeah, my husband! Paul likes to tease me that I like it better when he's working 80-hour weeks (which I don't). I simply remind him how he's always telling me to be more independent - guess you got your wish honey!

I'm just teasing (mostly)! We love having you around - you're the best husband and father!

Spilled Milk

Last night I was in the shower and Noah came in to the bathroom cyring. He was upset because he had spilled his milk. I told him I would take care of it when I got out in a couple minutes. He walked into my room, just after I had gotten dressed and this was our conversation:

Me: Hey Noah, what's going on?
Noah (with a big sigh and a roll of his eyes): Come on Mom, I will show you the problem.

Apple Picking Pictures

No, we didn't go apple picking again. My friend got some pictures of my kids though and just sent them over to me...so here you go : ) I thought they were pretty funny

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ambitious Kids

Mommy: What do you want to do today Noah?
Noah: Eat junk food!

Can you blame him?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh, we love the Bob...and the lake

I was hoping to get some pictures of the kids playing at the lake but Alex crashed on our way there. I have LOVED my BOB Stroller. It always cracks me up that everyone asks if Noah and Alex are twins...Did you even look at them?!? The other assumption people make is that I'm the nanny, not the mommy...Just cuz I'm about 10 years younger than most of the mothers in Cleveland. The weather here is getting wetter and colder and all too soon I will be trading in my picturesque jogs around Shaker Lake for jogs on my treadmill with a blank white wall 12 inches from my face. That is so not appealing right now.

Alex sings her ABC's...well, sort of

What can I say...She's very easily distracted : )

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sugar Cookies

On monday night, while Paul was on call, my friend Jen came over with some sugar cookies. Noah and I helped her frost, decorate, and eat them - can you tell who decorated this one? The next morning I went jogging with the kids. The plan was to drop Noah at preschool on the way home, so I gave myself just enough time to do that. As we were walking out the door I realized I was starving and hadn't eaten breakfast...so I grabbed 2 sugar cookies and scarfed them down before we took off. Not far into my run I started to feel a little sick. I thought about taking a short cut, but I didn't want to wuss out on my regular route - it's only 3 miles and I do it all the time! So I pushed on. Halfway through the run I was so sick I had to sit down in the dirt, behind the stroller, and concentrate on not throwing up. But I had to get up and keep going, and I couldn't walk - I had to run or Noah would be late for preschool. I had to stop and sit down 2 more times, or risk throwing up. I was worried someone would see me sitting there and call an ambulance or something! I kept wondering what was wrong with me and then it clicked...I had eaten nothing but sugar cookies for the last 16 hours! Or maybe it was all the extra "sprinklers" on those cookies...
Noah made it to preschool on time (am I a dedicated mom, or what?). The moral of the story is don't eat junk food before you go running - I'm probably the only idiot who's ever tried it though, huh?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Preschool Fieldtrip to Lake Farmpark

Wagon Ride
Cow Milking Demo: Alex touched the cow but Noah was too afraid to try and milk it (look at his face)!
Goats, and sheep, and pigs, oh my!
Noah is keeping his distance from this miniature horse after he watched it snap at Alex's hand (which she put right up to his mouth)!
I decided I'd better help her so she didn't get her arm bitten off - she's a little too fearless sometimes.
You can't tell by looking at any of these pictures, but Noah really did have a great time. Both of the kids loved it!

Monday, October 15, 2007


I love chubby little baby hands. I was helping Alex wash her hands today and as I looked at her hands I just had this overwhelming feeling of love for her. I don't know what it is about her hands - I want to kiss them and squeeze them! When I look at her hands I feel her trust, love, innocence, and sweetness. Sorry about the sappy post, but this is my family record. And this is something I want to remember and want my daughter to know.

So...Alex I love your hands and everything they tell me about you

Friday, October 12, 2007

Look Mommy, I spelled my name!

Maybe those preschool lessons aren't sinking in as much as I thought...
And no, I'm not a neglectful mother - I TRY to get the kid to wear something more than underwear but we had to compromise at just a shirt today. I'm freezing just looking at him! Considering that we only keep the house at 65 degrees all winter long (and that's when the heat is on) I'm a little worried about the kid. Can you get hypothermia or frostbite if you're wearing nothing but undies in 65 degree weather?

No heat until November 1st

That's what Paul says every year...and every year I turn the heat on in October : ) I was thinking, what with the warm weather we'd been having up until this week, that we might actually meet that goal this year, our last winter in Cleveland. But it seems to have gone from blazing hot to freezing cold in a matter of days. It's currently 49 degrees outside (and not much warmer inside). For today at least, the heat will stay off...but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to hold out. Sorry honey, but I think we need to set a more realistic goal for ourselves : )

Friday Morning

It's 11am and we're all in our pjs. The past 2 weeks have been pretty hectic, Paul has hardly been home at all and we just needed to have a lazy, relaxing day. Ok, I did...but I think the kids like it too sometimes. No rushing around...nowhere we need to be. Sometimes a little less structure is good. So what have we been doing? Well, while the kids watched their morning cartoons I snuggled back under the covers with my book. I love snuggling under the covers on a cold morning. Noah helped himself to breakfast (a cold flour tortilla from the fridge). I finally fed Alex at about 10am. The kids and I made some hot chocolate together, which I'm so excited about. Hot chocolate is my morning ritual all winter long...mmmmm, I love it! Now, as I sit and blog I'm realizing that the kids have gotten out every toy we own. I have a stack of dishes waiting for me in the kitchen sink, a grocery list to make, and we need to go jogging. But right now, I'm going to sit on the floor with my kids and race some mathbox cars : ) The other stuff can wait...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One more today

UC Davis


The most recent invitations are from:

University of New Mexico
University of Minnesota
University of Wisconsin
Cleveland Clinic
and Mayo Clinic (Scottsdale, AZ)

Once all of Paul's interviews are scheduled we'll have to take bets...where will we be going for residency?!? I can't wait to find out!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Swimming Accident

Yesterday Noah came running out with his swim trunks on (backwards) and his swim shirt on (inside out). He said, "I'm going swimming mom! Would you like to join me!?!" He then proceeded to jump all over the couch, with movements that looked more like drowning than swimming. Before bed he was showing daddy how he "swims" and he bounced off the couch and landed face first on the wood floor. I picked him up and of course, because this is Noah we're talking about, his face was covered in blood. Luckily it was just a bloody nose and a really fat lip. But the story doesn't end there...In the middle of the night Noah came and got in our bed. About an hour later he woke up crying with another bloody nose...It was all over our white sheets and pillows. Bloody noses are always pretty tramautic for Noah - he won't let me plug his nose because he feels like he can't breathe. So, him being half-asleep only made things worse. He was thrashing around, screaming and crying and covering the carpet, himself, and Paul and me with blood. We eventually calmed him down and got the bleeding to stop. I put him to bed in his own room and went to asses the damage to our bed. It being 3am we simply pulled off the top fitted sheet (we have to have 2 fitted sheets on our bed, they're so crappy you can see right through to the mattress) and snuggled up together on the opposite side of the bed. Thank goodness for king size beds!
I've lost count now of how many times Noah has split his head, mouth, face, and nose open in the past year (but I know I can no longer count it on one hand). I guess boys will be boys...Paul has decided that Noah just "isn't very good at falling."
P.S. This picture is pre-face plant

Monday, October 08, 2007


Today I locked myself in my bedroom with my book and a Snickers Ice Cream Bar for 10 minutes of peace. It was great : )

Justification: Alex didn't take a nap today

Columbus Day Parade

I took the kids to a parade in Little Italy today (once again without my camera). We were running late and I had a really hard time finding parking...luckily I had some cash in my wallet so we parked in the visitor parking garage at Rainbow Babies Hospital : ) We still had an uphill trek in the almost 90 degree weather and I was pushing 2 kids in a double stroller. We made it just in time but it was hot and crowded and I was starting to wonder if it had been a bad idea to even come. But Noah knew just what to do. He sat on the curb and, with a very stoic expression, started waving at everyone passing in the parade...and they started throwing candy at him. He would yell "Thank You!" and jump up to collect it from the street. He had quite the pile. I think the heat, noise, and crowd were all a little much for Alex - she just wanted to sit in my lap and eat candy. Here's their stash (and their sticky faces). Noah said to me "Mom, it's just like Halloween!"

Shark Lesson

Noah likes sharks. When we were at the library last week Noah found a shark magazine that he wanted to check out. I thought it was funny that he would even be interested in a magazine, but he's loved it. He looks at it everyday. He had me tell him the names of all the sharks and now he can recognize many of them. The other day he hopped up into Alex's booster chair and said to me, "Mom, do you want me to teach you about sharks?" He talked for 30 minutes about the different kinds of sharks, what they look like, what they're doing, what they eat. Pretty funny kid.

Alex's Favorite Seat

I keep finding Alex in the fireplace. She likes to sit in there when she's watching tv. I don't even know what that thing is...we think it looks kinda like a cash register. At least someone in our family has been able to put it to good use

90 Degrees...in October?!?

Yep, it's been hot - very hot. We had to bust out the popsicles, the kids' favorite summer-time treat. Noah doesn't like his to drip or get messy so he eats his with a dishtowel
Alex, on the other hand, has never had a problem with getting messy.
(It's mommy that has a problem with it)

This is my favorite picture, the 2 of them laughing at each other

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Apple Picking

The kids and I went to Eddy's Fruit Farm on Wednesday and picked apples...it was a blast! I, of course, forgot to bring my camera. When I tried to get some pictures of the kids with their apples when we got home they were (obviously) less than cooperative.

Noah was so proud of how many apples he picked and that he could carry his really heavy bag around the orchard.

Alex kept shouting "Appa!" and tried to keep up with her big brother. She, too, insisted on carrying her own bag of apples but it kept making her fall down. She'd just say to herself "Hop-up Alex!"

"Interesting Crafts" by Noah Gunn

Oldie but Goodie (oldy but goody?)

We checked out The Little Mermaid DVD at the library (for Alex, Noah keeps reminding me). The kids watched it this morning and I couldn't believe how many childhood memories came flooding back to my mind. It was so nostalgic! I think I remembered every line of every song...I kept finding myself wandering back in to the living room, engrossed in the movie, even after the kids had lost interest. And Mom, I just wanted you to know that I still remember when you took me and my sisters to the movie theater to see this : )

Daddy's Girl

Paul worked a 30-hour shift Friday to Saturday. Alex was so excited to see her daddy when he came home this afternoon I couldn't get her to part with him. Paul went to bed and Alex was laying by him...I thought for sure I'd have to come and get her in a few minutes, even though she too was due for a nap. I kept checking back and she was just laying there watching her daddy, or touching his hair...next time I looked in she was asleep, snuggled up to her daddy. I would have taken a picture but I'm pretty sure Paul would not appreciate everyone seeing him asleep in his G's : )

The perfect description of my children...

There Was a Little Girl

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
My mom used to always say this about me too, when I was a little girl...so I guess I got what I deserved with my 2 kids. Geez, what a rollercoaster ride!

Quotes from the kids


Today Noah handed me a big blob of every color of play-doh we own all mixed together and said, "Mommy I made a craft for you! It's very interesting."

Every time I help Noah with something these days he responds with, "Thanks mom, I really appreciate it!"

Noah was sad last night that his daddy was on call and wouldn't be coming home until the next day. I was explaining that doctors have to stay at the hospital overnight sometimes to take care of the sick people. Noah then asked, "And daddys are doctors?"

I taught the preschool kids about the 5 Senses on thursday. That night we had french toast for dinner (I know, I'm a gourmet chef). Noah was putting powdered sugar on his tongue and said, "Look Dad, I'm using my 5 senses to taste sugar!" At least I know the lessons are sinking in...sort of : )

I took the kids to the library the other night (Paul has had to work almost every night this week) and the kids were so good - especially Noah. He was so funny, cheerful, polite, and especially sweet and patient with Alex. I kept praising him and when we left I said, "Noah thanks for being so good tonight, I had so much fun with you!" Noah gave me a big smile and said, "It wasn't a naughty day mommy!" Maybe I should just start asking him first thing in the morning if today is going to be a naughty day or a nice day...at least that way I'd be prepared!


After dinner last night I let the kids have a treat, the Mike & Ikes their grandma sent them. Alex was sitting in her high chair and pretty soon I hear, "Dis is yuty - hea mom!" (translation: this is yucky - here mom) She had sucked all the coating off the Mike & Ike and didn't like the chewy center. She did this with every single piece: Sucked on it, chewed the center into a gummy sticky wad, then held it out to me repeating her new phrase "This is yucky - here mom!" She couldn't just leave them on her tray...I had to come and get each used up piece of candy or she would just keep repeating herself over and over and over again! It was pretty funny - she still surprises me sometimes with how much she can say

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Little Mommy

Alex is becoming quite the nurturer, and very attached to her baby dolls. They go everywhere with her! She used to sleep with her bunny but now it has to be the baby. The other day Alex was playing with/emptying out the diaper bag. She spread out her diaper changing pad, gently laid her baby in the middle of it, and then covered her with her little travel blanky. So cute! Today I put her in her crib for naptime and then realized I'd forgotten her baby doll - I went and found it and when I handed it over to Alex she gave it a huge hug and yelled, "Hello baby! I missed you!" It sounded a little more like "hedo baby! Imssdew!" What a sweetie

Good Morning

I woke up this morning to Alex belting out the ABC's from her crib. A minute later I heard Noah wake up with a giggle and say, "Good morning Alex!" I heard the rustle of the curtains as he looked out the window and exclaimed, "Look, it is a good morning baby!" What a great wake-up call! Impossible for me not to roll out of bed with a big smile on my face this morning : )

Note: Apparently a "good morning" to Noah is grey cloudy skies. That's what happens when all you know is Cleveland.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


If you guessed this post was going to be about the Twilight series you guessed right. I can't move on!!! I finished the third book last friday and I have been in a state of semi-depression ever since. I've read every inch of the authors website (extras, outtakes, etc.) and decided on Monday that it was time for me to start a new book...time for me to move on. I read the first chapter of my book and slammed it down in frustration. I'm just not ready! Since then I've made a playlist (also found on her website) which I listen to all the time just to ease the withdrawal symptoms. What am I going to do with myself?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Need Help!

Ok, does anyone have any tips for dealing with an almost 4-year old who is into defiance, temper tantrums, and complete and utter meltdowns (we're talking total loss of control here)? Is this normal?!? Paul is seriously starting to wonder if something is wrong with Noah and I am seriously questioning my ability to raise a child that will be able to function normally in society. You may think we are exaggerating or overreacting...my children are usually well-behaved for others. But you know it's bad when you're having an FHE lesson on anger management (Paul and I need it just as much as Noah does right now). If you can relate, please post your comments, tips, or simply commiserate with me. If not...keep it to yourself : )

Alex's favorite phrases

"Here Mom!" (Should an 18 mos old being referring to her mother as "mom"? What happened to mama or mommy?)

"Have it!" (translation: give it to me now or I will TOTALLY freak out)

"Mmmm...Like it!" (you cannot eat in front of this girl unless you plan to share whatever it is you have)

Preschool Lesson

I taught the kids about germs today. I guess the lesson hit home with Noah because I overheard him teaching Alex about "gims." Then they proceeded to scrub down the dining room chairs, table, and floor with baby wipes. Works for me!

Sparkling, but not clean

That is a perfect description of my house right now. It was my turn to teach preschool today and 2 of my activities/crafts involved glitter. When the other moms showed up to get their kids they all praised me for being brave enough to use glitter. Trust me, it wasn't bravery it was stupidity. See, the thing is, I have little to no experience with crafts. Why? Let's just say I'm not a crafty kind of girl. So, it didn't even occur to me what a mess glitter makes or how hard it is to clean up or how it sticks to everything it touches and spreads throughout the house...you get the idea. The funny thing is I don't really care. I used to be such a neat freak (borderline OCD really) but the past 4 years of raising kids has really put my tolerance level through the roof. You'd be amazed what I can live with : )

Proof our kids are weird

You're probably all thinking right now, "yeah right, as if we needed proof."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Twinkle Little Star

Ok, so I missed the first line of the song but I'm so excited that I got this on video! Alex LOVES to sing, she sings all day long (just never for the camera). Her repertoire includes: Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Popcorn Popping, Old McDonald, and her all-time favorite Twinkle Little Star.

More Interviews...

University of Arizona
University of Iowa
University of Utah