Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nikki Should...

I saw this on someone else's blog. Google your name with the word "should" after and you'll get all sorts of suggestions...

*NIKKI should die in the worst way possible.
*Nikki should speak out at a press conference/town hall meeting.
*Nikki should think about subjects she would really like to learn about or that interest her.
*Nikki should shut up, take the money and run.
*Nikki should go back to her roots to prove herself a good business woman.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Never enough time...

Well, I never seem to have time to update this. I feel like I can't write about the mundane everyday stuff without writing about the big events of moving and the new baby but I'd rather write about the small stuff so here's a brief update:

The baby:

Alex is almost 12 weeks old and seems to finally be getting better. He was extremely colicky and driving us crazy. We started giving him lactobacillus and also changed his formula to a reduced soy, broken down proteins one and something is helping. (or he's just growing out of that fussy stage). Now he still cries a ton but is consolable. We're not walking him around for hours while he screams. He still rarely sleeps during the day and only if I'm holding him but yesterday he slept in his swing for 45 minutes! He still HATES the car and screams every time we get in the car for the entire car ride. I've learned how to drive while holding his binky in. Basically I have to be double-jointed in my right shoulder. At home I can sort of rotate him around a few different seating areas, like the swing for a minute, his bouncy chair for 5 minutes,his playmat for 5 minutes, and his bumbo seat for 5 minutes. It's a lot better than before so I guess I'll take it!

The house:
Love it. Love everything about it-- except that it's hard to keep the kitchen clean. Why would granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a glass top electric range be so desirable if they just show spots and handprints everywhere? There are many things about the house that I didn't discover until we got here (hidden storage, fantastic lighting etc.) and I'll take pictures and post something later.

The town:
Well, Middleton is Money Magazine's number one small town to live in for a reason. It is great here. People are friendly and helpful, the air is clean and fresh (although you can certainly smell "farm" if the wind is blowing a certain way), and life is certainly convenient. I love love love the nature trail two blocks from my house. I was there a few days ago and was so jealous of the families biking and walking. I figure Talia will be able to walk for a longer period of time... when? Probably never. And perhaps we'll be able to bike it as a family in about... 5 years? Lots of people have tandem attachments for the kids. Maybe we'll get one of those sometime. I want to borrow a neighbor's jogging stroller to see if T will tolerate that. She hates strollers and doesn't like the "bumps" in particular so I doubt she'll enjoy it. It's too hot these days anyway. Looks like Ron and I will have to give each other time to go there separately.

I'm acting like I have more money but I don't yet. I'm buying more organic produce and more prepared items at Whole Foods. I'm sending gifts to friends. I'm practically hemorrhaging money to Target. I bought the kids some new clothes and FOUR shirts for myself (at H&M, so it wasn't too much). We haven't received a paycheck yet. Housecleaners are more expensive here-- I guess they're not illegal immigrants like in Philly and have to actually pay the government and give themselves health insurance here. We're going to start with once every other week but I really want it once a week.

Family and Friends:
I miss everyone but they don't feel that far away. Since I never really talked to my Philly friends on the phone it seems weird to do so now, so I miss having close relationships with people I see every day. I am becoming closer to some neighbors and will meet people outside of the neighborhood someday.

She seems to have adjusted perfectly fine. She loves having neighbor friends, likes school, loves swimming and gymnastic classes. She definitely wants me to play with her more and does not want to go to bed. We gave up the nap in this whole moving situation and that's fine with me-- I like the freedom of not having to be home everyday after lunch-- but she doesn't go to bed any earlier. And when she does nap at school it's even harder to get her to bed and she STILL wakes up in the middle of the night once or twice to get her covers put back on. I mean, really, how hard is it to put the blankets on yourself?!?! Alex sleeps at night better than she does.

Time for me:
Haven't had much. Went on the nature trail once. Sewed a little the other day while T played with fabric and Alex napped. Had a babysitter and had a "date" with Ron, if you call furniture shopping a date.

Ok, now that that stuff if out of the way I can start talking about the little stuff again. Like how I love my new laundry detergent. It smells soooooo good! Downy Simple Pleasures in Water Lily and Jasmine. You will NOT be disappointed!

I also went to a few garage sales and bought a big rubbermaid tote filled with fabric for $25 and got a lot of good stuff. A bunch of 30's reproduction type prints and a pile of batiks as well. I'm trying to make this flag garland from Land of Nod. It's going to look great!

Lastly, I love GPS. It's the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Please Stop Crying

#1 Place to Live According to Money Magazine

1. Middleton, Wis.
Population: 17,400Median home price (2006): $290,269Average property taxes (2005): $5,067Pros: Small-town charm; booming economy; extensive parks and bike trailsCons: Do you like winter?Many Middletonians commute to Madison, but Middleton proper has a strong pool of jobs too, mainly in the pharmaceutical, tech and medical industries. After business hours, Middleton has more going on than you might expect for a town of 17,000. The beer garden at the Capital Brewery is host to corporate mixers, and there are good restaurants downtown.But make no mistake: Family life is what Middleton is about. In the summer you'll see parents and kids plying the bike trails of the conservancy, splashing in the town's waterslide-equipped pool or sailing on Lake Mendota. On the downside, winter is tough, and there's not great ethnic diversity.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Arrival in the Midwest

ahhhh.... It's so quiet. All I can hear are birds chirping. I have the most spectacular view-- an unobstructed expanse of rolling farmland with actual barns and silos-- no joke! I think I love it here.

Perhaps I wasn't meant to live in the city?

We arrived almost a week ago and have the essential parts of the house out of boxes, if not in order. I love the house, I love the neighborhood, I love the town, I love the QUIET! We haven't heard a siren since we got here.

So the house is great. It's very sunny, very spacious, has tons of storage. I honestly think I'll be able to keep the house neat, if you can believe that. I love that the playroom has all the toys which can disappear at night. I love my fireplace and covered tv cabinet. I like the kitchen, I'm getting used to the open design. Ron put away all the kitchen wares out of the boxes so soon I will have to re-organize everything to my liking. I'm not going to continue on and on about the house; you'll just have to come visit to see it. My in-laws were here for a couple of days and I never even went into the basement guest room and they seemed very much out of the way so guests are welcome welcome welcome!

My neighboorhood is great so far. It's been super hot so no one has been out the last day or two but there was the cutest parade on July 4th-- a firetruck followed with all the kids in the neighborhood on bikes or being pulled in wagons with balloons and flags etc. Then in the evening there was a pot-luck at the park (1 block away) for the families on our street and there are tons of kids here. Supposedly there are two princess-y sisters right near us ages 3 and 5 but we haven't met them yet. My next door neighbor ACTUALLY BAKED ME A PIE. I'm not kidding. Other neighbors dropped off rice krispie treats and chocolate covered oreos. One neighbor lent us their brand new lawn mower so Ron could do the yard (which took all of 20 minutes). People wave. A girl had a lemonade stand out yesterday and cups of lemonade were 10 cents.

We joined the pool, which is really big, VERY cool (a huge sand area with shade and water structures, two huge water slides, snack bar etc.) and only cost $130 for a family of 5. It doesn't open until 1:30 though because of swim team. Talia is going to take lessons starting in two weeks. I got my library card and the library is very nice with a kids play area. Luckily it has the whole online reservation thing so I can get whatever books I want from 7 counties.

Yesterday we went into downtown Madison (15 minutes) and went to the farmer's market. I am unable to describe the magnitude of the market so I won't even try. Those of you who've been here know what I'm talking about. It just confirms the whole atmosphere of Madison in general-- people are really into local agriculture and outdoor activities. I bought lots of fresh local produce, cheese, bread and rainbow tie-dye socks for Talia. I even got shelled peas. I bought the MOST BEAUTIFUL flower bouquet (I don't even have a vase big enough) for $5.

Talia's school is the coolest place ever. There was a little table at the entrance last week that had a foam board and next to it a basket filled with found and donated objects in red, white and blue-- detergent caps, lego pieces, a few small knitted squares etc. and a bunch of rolls of tape. A sign said- please add to our sculpture as the week goes by. So simple and yet so creative. There are live birds in the school. They get produce from a CSA for snack. The director decided not to charge me for the full month because Talia was really only going three weeks. THIS is what the Midwest is like! Someone came by today with cookies and gave us a Kettler tricycle for Talia to ride for the summer since her boys had moved on to bikes.

Alex seems to like Wisconsin also. He has hopefully grown out of his colicky stage and does not cry for hours on end for no reason. He still really doesn't sleep during the day at all. It's quite strange. All you want to do is put him down and every time you try he wakes up within 10 minutes. He does generally sleep ok at night, waking mostly to eat but sometimes will wiggle around and grunt for hours between feedings but not really awake-- he doesn't open his eyes and doesn't exactly cry. He does need care during that time-- binky, patting etc. and thus we are exhausted. We bought him a fancy swing and a bouncy chair so he's not as neglected as he was in Philly.

Well I'm really tired. I wrote this email in two sessions so sorry if I've repeated myself. Ron has another week off and then he's working full time. He *might* take Talia to Chicago this weekend for his dad's 60th and I might stay here with Alex. Even if the kid doesn't sleep during the day I can just sit with him in front of the tv, maybe run some errands (I think I've given Target about $1000 this week) and try to RELAX. I'm going to bed.

Saying Goodbye

Fun at Aunt Jojo's before the big trip