Monday, January 18, 2010

Happenings in the Hertzog Household

Well, it's been far too long since I posted anything at my blog. I had such good intentions when I started it but as all my good intentions, I tend to get sidetracked, and let's face it, lazy and they all go downhill from there.

So this time I'm not making any promises or even planning on writing more regularly (though I would really like to), but I figured there was no time like the present (and since the children are actually playing peacefully together in the other room) that I would at least start writing now and simply see where I end up.

I'm afraid this post and most of my posts certainly won't be very interesting or exciting for others, but I have always written mostly with the intention to simply record our daily happenings and family life so that in the future I can look back and remember moments I wouldn't otherwise remember. Each day I see my children growing up and older and changing and I'm sorry I haven't kept a better record of their childhoods as I had originally intended. Still, I can start now and even if it is only an occasional post, it will be something, and certainly more than if I never did it.

So what is going around in my head these days?

It might be best to simply bullet point...

* I spent the majority of my weekend trying to go through, pick out and upload my favorite pictures of moments to highlight our families 2009 year. Kodak is running an offer where you can get an 80 page photo book for the price of a 20 page book (use the code "extrapages" when paying to get the deal - expires 1/21). So I MUST get that done, especially after spending so much time going through photos.

* I still need to order and print out my "holiday" card and letter. Since I simply decided not to Christmas cards this year, I decided to give myself a break and send Valentine's Day cards instead. Now I just have to DO it.

* I'm still in the process of trying to get more organized. That is just an on-going goal, but I did manage to get a few things accomplished which make me feel good. Now I must keep the momentum going.

* I'm trying to be more organized in terms of meal planning as well. And after buying a lot of provisions yesterday, I'm thinking it's time for me to do a challenge of cooking out of my pantry for the next two weeks, with the exception of some fresh fruits and vegetables. I should be able to do so comfortably, as I have way too much in my pantry and freezer as it is at the moment. It will just take a little more planning and organization. (See points above.)

* I need to get started on planning Michael's 40th birthday party! This weekend I spent some time with a good friend working on scrapbooking (well, she scrapped while I went through the photos on my computer) and she gave me a great idea for Michael's birthday party. I've decided to do a "Casino Night" party. Now I just need to work out the logistics. My friend is even going to come and be our "blackjack dealer"! So glad to even have an idea! Note to self: Send out "Save the date" emails!

* I signed up for a 5K run/walk with a friend of mine hoping that this would inspire me to start the Couch to 5K progam again. So far, I have yet to get started. I'm thinking I need to stop procrastinating and start tomorrow (today I have the kidlets, tomorrow Tristan is back in school and I depending on the weather I can go to the gym or outside). Along with that I also need to really start watching what I eat again and eat healthier for ME (meaning more protein, fewer carbs). This is SO hard for me. I'm such a carboholic and really despise most forms of protein, but I also know it's what's best for me and what works, so I need to reprogram myself again.

* I also want to make a point of simply getting the things done that I need to get done so that I can actually enjoy my "free time" (what I have of it) doing things I like and want to do like reading and knitting. Part of this means I need to step away from the computer more, especially when it comes to things like Facebook and playing Bejeweled. I need to face the truth that they are my way of procrastinating and really when I procrastinate, it doesn't make those things go away, it just makes them go away for a while and I end up with even MORE to do.

So that's what is going on with me and what's on my "to do" list.

As for the children, they are growing so fast. Michael was commenting just last night on how adult Alyssa's conversation is starting to sound. She's always been extremely verbal and loquacious, but her language is becoming much more broad in her use of vocabulary. She uses phrases like "I was trembling" and "this is consistantly..." and "I was perplexed" and "she was flabergasted" appropriately and more frequently. She's really been reading a lot and it shows.

Funny enough, she is also so stubborn when it comes to following rules or doing things in order. She is ALL about doing things in order, to the point that it drives us a little crazy. For example when doing a word search puzzle, she will NOT circle or cross of a word or phrase she finds when she finds it but must find, circle and cross of the words or phrases in the order that they are on the list. NO EXCEPTIONS! And recently she's been driving me a bit nuts because she was on a reading binge reading all the Fairy books by Daisy Meadows (most moms of 7 year old girls are probably familiar with these books). She received at least 3 sets (Rainbow Fairies, Jewel Fairies, Pet Fairies, and some of the Petal Fairies) and was reading one fairy book a day all through Christmas break. We had printed out a list of all the different fairy books so we could check them off as she read them. This is where our trouble began though, because the list lists the "Party Fairies" as the next set and she will not move past that set and go on to read the next set of fairy books (which she already has) because she won't read the books out of order! So her reading has come to a screeching halt. We went to a number of bookstores trying to find the party fairies and after no success I searched online and found out that they aren't even published here in the US yet and won't be until June 2010!! I tried to explain that to her and told her to jump over the Party Fairies on to the next series but she won't. She absolutely will NOT read them out of order! So now she's moved on to the Cam Jansen series instead!

This stubborn trait does have it's advantages though when she makes up her mind about doing something she will stick with it until she's able to do it. It's been that way with her since she was a baby. Once she took her first few steps, she never went back to crawling. When she was ready to start using a potty, she was done with diapers THAT day! When she decided she wanted to take the training wheels off her bike, she took off like she'd been riding a two-wheeler forever. And so it has been with two new things this weekend. She was determined to learn to tie shoelaces. I tried at first to show her, but for whatever reason she got too frustrated either with the way I was showing her or because it was ME showing her so I sent her to Michael. They seem to have a better dynamic when it comes to some things, especially things she gets frustrated with easily. Within 10 minutes not only had she learned to tie shoelaces but she had already successfully done so 3 times before she came down and showed me how she could do it. Now she just wants to wear shoes with laces so she can tie them!

The second new thing is that she decided (much to our joy) that she was really ready to stop sucking her thumb. Both Alyssa and Tristan are staunch thumbsuckers, Tristan even more so than Alyssa, but both have been big time thumbsuckers since they were babies. We've tried many different approaches to try to get them to stop and while Alyssa has half-heartedly tried, she never was "ready" to completely stop. Recently I decided to take the plunge and purchase an expensive thumb guard to finally break the habit. Now that Alyssa is starting to lose teeth (well, she still hasn't even lost a single tooth yet, much to her dismay but she does have some wigglers) I figured we needed to break the habit before the adult teeth came in. We're still probably going to have to do braces with both kids, but perhaps we could reduce the damage if we finally broke the thumb habit. I showed Alyssa the thumb guard and found one for less on eBay. I bid on it but didn't win. (They cost over $75 in the Right Start catalog!) I then saw a fabric type thumb guard called the "Thumbuster" but wasn't sure if it would work because it is easily removable and like other things we've tried, I figured she'd just take it off. I showed it to her and she promised she would use it and try to stop sucking her thumb as long as I got it for her in pink. So I ordered one. She was pretty excited when it arrived and immediately put it on and started using it anytime she watched tv and at night when she went to bed. It also came with a chart so each night she went without sucking her thumb she put a sticker on the chart. She has been wearing it and not sucking her thumb every day since she got it. Once again she's shown how once she makes up her mind about something she just does it. We are so proud of her. Both Michael and I were thumb suckers and we know just how hard a habit it is to break! When it comes to Tristan, however, I'm going to have to get TWO Thumbbusters since he is an equal opportunity thumbsucker - he'll suck either thumb! I'm also worried that he's one who will simply take the thumb guard off, so I'm not sure how we're going to handle that yet!

Well, this is long enough for now. Hopefully I'll update again soon so I'm not always writing a long essay!