Friday, December 19, 2008

Fun Times with DirecTV

So we had some pretty crappy weather last night including freezing rain with a little snow on t op. I have a serious weather paranoia. I don't like storms, I get scared to drive on t eh snow and ice and I don't want anyone to go anywhere until the streets clear. So today we are hunkered down hanging out at home. Well about mid day I discovered that some of our channels are not coming in. I called DirecTV (who we love) and the nice gentleman walked me through a test which I apparently failed. He said it looks like your high definition channels are not coming in. I knew that part but ok why - because either the satellite is no longer angled correctly or there is snow or ice covering the dish receptor. He said you will probably need to wait for the weather to pass. Newsflash - it is December and I live in Nebraska. The average high for the next week is 12. So we may be talking about March before this crap melts. All I could think was dear lord please let all of teh good bowl games be on regular channels.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Definition of Bitter Cold

When I listened to the weather forecast this morning Rusty Lord (yes that is his name) told me that it was currently -4 but not to worry it was going to warm up to 8 degrees by late afternoon. Oh good, something to look forward to!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where Does the Time Go

Emelia is two years old today. I just can't believe it. She constantly amazes me, sometimes in not so good ways but mostly I just marvel at how she has become this little person. I love her so much and I could never have imagined that I would feel this way. I have loved a lot in my life. I love my husband more now than I did in the giddy first months of our courtship and I loved my mom more than I can say but I have just been blind sided by my love for Emelia. It is so powerful and unexpected and it just creeps up on you.

Yesterday she said hey mom and I turned around and said "what honey" and I could distinctly "hear" that same exchange between my mother and I and it took my breath away. I am now the mom. I don't know that I thought I would never be a mom but it was not something that I spent a lot of time longing for. Now that I am I can not imagine ever not being who I am today. As I think about adding another child to our family my fear is t hat I couldn't possibly love this new baby the way that I love Emelia because my heart just doesn't have room for that much overpowering love. I know God will fix that but it still nags at me none the less.

I remember so distinctly when she was little and I couldn't wait to see who she would be. i wanted to see what sort of personality she would have and it is slowly emerging. She loves animals and is very passionate about things - ELMO, books, jelly beans. Often she will tell me "Mommy I NEED jelly beans." She likes to cuddle and does well with a routine. (Thank goodness!) She likes to sing and hates to be confined, like in a shopping cart for instance. (Whoa is me this is a new and really tough challenge.) She is so smart and has a terrific memory. Yesterday we were looking at an alphabet picture book and she turned to the page for x and declared "look mom a xylophone." I mean really where did she learn the word xylophone? Currently if you ask her what color something is everything is green. Jeff is convinced she is colorblind. She likes to swing at the park and asks to do so every day. She is just a terrific child. Yes she gives me fits sometimes and yes there are days I miss the freedom of being a dual-income-no-kids couple but I would never go back.

I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

Friday, December 05, 2008

License Plates

If anyone has license plates for my friend Stephanie's map project can you please send them to me? Here is a link to her blog so you can see her project...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful....

No really, I am not kidding. It is suddenly really cold here. What I don't get - should have paid more attention in Mr. Kelley's science class - is how yesterday the high was 30 and today the high is supposed to be 50. Oh and tomorrow the high is 29. What makes Tuesday so warm? I know I have officially adjusted to the weather here because when I found out the high was going to be 50 I thought "hum maybe Emelia and I can go to the playground." Really, when did 50 constitute playground weather?

In other news, I have been able to return to the gym. I am just in time for the "12 Days of Christmas" promotion. If you work out 12 times between Dec. 1 and Dec. 24 you get a free t-shirt. What is it about free stuff that is so appealing? When I saw the sign on the door to the gym I was soooo excited. I really need another free t-shirt because the bag to take to the Goodwill is not full enough. I mean I don't need that shirt but sure enough I signed up at the front desk and darn it if I won't do it. I guess if nothing else it is good incentive to go to the gym.

Allright I am off to Super Wal-mart to grocery shop, spend ten minutes looking at the aquarium section (Emelia's treat for grocery shopping goodness) and complain about how expensive food has gotten.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Back to Work

None of us want to go back to work today. Jeff was running late, I was not running at all and Emelia is just now getting up. Hope that doesn't mean she is getting sick. What a delicious weekend - food, shopping, football and lots of block building. Maybe Em will be an architect or a princess handler because man my girl loves her princess figurines. I love that she like Pocahontas the best.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thoughts on a tree

So you may remember a post from last December and early January where I talked about our tree situation in this house. To boil it down, Jeff likes a real tree, I don't mind it but I don't like the mess. (So weird for me right?) Last year our real tree died early so we ended up with a fake tree for Christmas. While technically I won the battle (and contest of wills) Jeff was really sad and I certainly didn't feel like a winner. The compromise was that going forward we would use the fake tree in another room to have the "perfect Martha Stewart" tree and then we would get a real tree for the front room to put up our mish mosh collection of ornaments from our childhood. Last Sunday everything changed. I went to church and the bulletin said that the church was looking for a Christmas tree for the new campus we are opening in Millard. They wanted burgundy and gold ornaments and lights if anyone had some to donate. That is when God spoke to me.

I didn't hear his voice but I knew as plain as day that I was supposed to give church my "Martha" tree. I pushed the thought aside because I was really looking forward to my "Martha" tree. When I got home Jeff and I split up to run errands and when I came home Jeff had bought a real tree. He showed great restraint this year and did not buy one that was too big or too fat. It really was the perfect tree. When I got out my Christmas decorations I pulled out the stuff I bought for my "Martha" tree and noticed that the ornaments were burgundy and gold - just what the church was looking for - and that is when I knew I had to give them that tree.

You see that tree was a symbol of vengefulness and stubbornness and disobedience. For those of you that have known me for a while you know I struggle with the Biblical concept of wives submitting to their husbands. What I finally realized was that it wasn't about not having a backbone or about being weak as an individual or about being a slave. It is about being a strong unit that works out compromise but when you can not work out compromise someone has to be "right" for lack of a better word and it is to be the husband. In our seven years of marriage we have never not been able to work out a compromise on anything - except the Christmas tree. (Crazy huh?) The fact that I can't let go of my tree is me being disobedient to him, to God and to my own heart. I am a pretty strong woman and I believe that God made me that way. I don't think the idea of submission in any way takes away from that - on the contrary, the ability to put aside my own will and stand in God's will for me takes strength of character and discipline. (I don't always have a ton of those two things but God has given me more of that lately too.)

The other reason I knew I had to give up that tree is because of what the whole concept of the "Martha" tree represented to me. See some people grew up with those kind of trees or like my best friend make them in to works of art. I was trying to be something I am not so that people would come in to my home and see my quaint little country tree and my sophisticated polished perfect tree and think I was all of those things. I certainly am more sophisticated than my family was growing up mostly because I lived in LA and was a victim of the keeping up with the Jones' culture but in my heart I am the sum total of my parents and I am proud of that. Most of the ornaments on my tree are handmade by my mom or Jeff's parents or in some cases Jeff himself and I love them. My mom and dad gave me an ornament every year while I was growing up and it usually represented something from that year. I have a pair of ice skates from the year I learned to skate. I have an Aladdin ball from the year I was obsessed with that movie. I have an engagement ring in a box from the year I got engaged. As I put all of those ornaments on the tree it is like walking through my past and remembering each year of my life. That is what my Christmas tree is all about - not perfection. I will confess I do stare longingly at the trees in department stores because their tidyness and symmetry are so appealing, but I love my tree and I will no longer be ashamed of my homespun tree.

When I took all of my still-in-the-box ornaments and my pre-lit tree in to the church office they were so thankful and thought it was so beautiful. Now hundreds of people can appreciate that tree and I can appreciate my country tree in all its splendor. (My camera batteries are dead but I will post pics of my tree soon.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Woman

I feel like a new woman this week. I am finally over the morning sickness, I think and I have some energy which is so exciting.

Okay let me back up and fill in the last three weeks' details.

Colorado was great. It was nice to see family and I felt a particular increase in my bond with Nancy - my step mom. Emelia really took to her because she was the only one who really let Emelia come to her. News flash, little kids do not like to have people force a relationship. It is tough because I really want her to just run up and hug everyone but she doesn't and I know that is a good thing but people have expectations so it is a little nerve wracking for us parents. It really is a tricky situation. Emelia was great in the car but tested her boundaries a few times while we were there. There was a lot going on, six adults surrounding her at all times plus trips to the zoo and the rock garden etc. I tried to give her a little leeway but I also was not about to let her freak out because she wasn't getting her way which she did a couple of times. All in all I needed a vacation from my vacation. : )

I came back and spent most of last week preparing to talk at our women's retreat for church. The theme was Walking by Faith - different shoes for different seasons. I was one of six speakers speaking about trying times in our lives that God pulled us through. For me that was the year that my mom died. Her death was terrible, the grief was overwhelming but I basically buried all of that under work, alcohol and shopping, with a dose of overeating thrown in for good measure. By the grace of God my loving husband stuck by me but finally on new year's eve of 2005 I just told God I couldn't take it any more and he took it for me. So anyway, I was nervous about speaking and really just wanted my story to help someone else in some way and wanted it to glorify God. The speech went well, the retreat was awesome and man was I exhausted. I spent most of Sunday and Monday trying to catch up on sleep and get some energy. I decided since I was feeling so much better I would try to take my regular prenatal vitamin since I have been taking a regular multi with a folic acid supplement. Bad idea, man was I sick. On Monday I spent all day throwing up and feeling miserable. Tuesday was much better and Wednesday was better still.

So that brings us to today when I can report that I think I have begun to nest. Yes I vacuumed out the light fixtures and dusted the fireplace after cleaning out the toy box and organizing the closets. Most women don't start to nest until the third trimester but I think my natural anal tendencies combined with the extra hormones get me going a little early : ) Okay, gotta go, I am off to clean the refrigerator coils!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Gift

Today i am struck by what a gift I have been given. I had a park date with a friend who was relaying a story of a friend who went to pick up her one year old at day care and walked in as the worker slapped her child in the face. I could not come to terms with what I would do. I am so tremendously blessed to be able to stay home with Emelia. My mom worked and I never once felt like I lacked for anything in my relationship with her so I know it can be done successfully, but i don't know how I could do it. I think it is so much work. Staying home is work too, don't get me wrong but I am just I don't know feeling really blessed right now.

I can't believe I am going to have another one. It is so surreal. Jeff and I have been praying about this for awhile and then in July we decided to end our birth control and then in August I got pregnant. God must have thought we were ready. Suddenly I am not so sure. It has been hard being sick and trying to not make Emelia suffer because of it. I just know that God's priority for me is not to keep my floors mopped but to keep her heart full and her mind fed. (Never mind her belly - God bless the peanut butter sandwich.) I think it is good that it has been tough for me already because I know it will be even tougher when number 2 gets here so I suppose this is just a little on the job training. : )

All things considered I have an amazing husband who picks up the slack when I have less than a 100% to give, a relatively well-behaved loving little girl and a God who makes each day seem like a new chance to be better. I am blessed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So Awesome!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

My friend Penny made this for me and I heart it more than I can possibly say!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Afternoon Sickness

So remember how some weeks back I was feeling the funk and feeling like things were just off, well they were. I was pregnant and didn't know it. : )

I am happy to report that I am ten weeks along and have seen the little bean with my own eyes and have heard it's beating heart (nice and fast like they like). I met my doctor for the first time yesterday (I normally have been seeing a PA) and I really like her. I really like the fact that I have a prescription for the crazy afternoon vomiting wave that washes over me which means I have kept all my food down for the lest three days. Yippee! Prior to that I had lost four pounds. I am pretty sure pregnancy is not supposed to be a weight loss plan. I am way more tired now than I was with Emelia. The days feel pretty long right about now but I am hoping that gets a little better in the second trimester. I will write more about my feelings and all the craziness in a bit. I just wanted the world to know.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Christmas Hunt has Begun

Last year i bought most of Emelia's Christmas presents from the resale shop. I figured she won't know the difference, I don't have to assemble anything and the money goes further. I still believe all of those things so I plan to do the same again this year. I have begun the hunt. I want a kitchen and a tricycle but other than that I am open to whatever gems i turn up. I found a kitchen for $10 two weeks ago. It s just the right size for her now and then I can look for a nicer one for next year when she outgrows it. I am not sure what else t o get her. Does anyone have any ideas for good, well-loved two year old toys? So far what she is digging right now is a five dollar stroller my aunt gave her and whatever comes out of the happy meal at McDonald's. : ) I will keep you posted on what I come up with.

It has been a busy month for us. We went on a whirlwind adventure to Iowa and Illinois. It was great to be with family. I felt like we got to see everyone we wanted to see and we ate a lot of fried chicken. It was neat to see Emelia establish relationships with my cousins kids and my aunts and uncles. She particularly took to my uncle Dick and still professes to miss papa Dick and puppy. (My aunt and uncle have an 18 year old Shih Tzu that Emelia loved but I am pretty sure the "puppy" was happy to see Emlia leave.) Then we came home and had a week to get the house in shape for my friend Lindsey's visit. It was a great visit. We hit the resale shops and ate plenty of Panera (she doesn't have them where she lives.)

We have a halloween party this weekend and I am anxious to see if Emelia will wear her Elmo costume for any length of time and or let me take her picture in it. We will have to see. Jeff and I will fall in to our usual costumes. Fifties girl for me and 70s guy for him. He loves to wear the afro wig. Hear are some pics from our Illinois trip...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sorry about the long hiatus

Two weeks ago we were in Iowa/Illinois (more about that trip to come), last week I was busy preparing for my friend to come visit and now she is hear! Yea for me!

I promise I will write more soon, but for now we are off to do the things we love to do together. Go to target, buy groceries and just generally exist.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh Boy

Emelia has not napped today. I have tried putting her down twice. She didn't even attempt to nap either time. I am straining for peace. You see I didn't sleep well last night so I thought maybe I would also nap today. No such luck. So tired, so cranky so hungry..... UGH!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funk be gone

The good news is that I seem to be over my case of the funk, or as my mom would call it, the blue funk. (The blue funk for her though usually had something to do with menopause so I don't think I really had the blue funk.) We had a good weekend, busy but good. I still haven't ventured back to the gym but I have stopped eating everything in sight and as soon as noodle wakes up from her nap we are off to the gym. The weather has been really lovely this weekend so maybe my friend Thuy was right about my mood being effected by the dreary weather.

We started a new life group last night and I am so glad. It is so good to be in community with other Christians. It is funny because our group is really diverse, we have parents of 8 year olds, parents of triplets, parents-to-be and non-parents. We are all different ages and come from different laces but we all love the Lord so we instantly know there is a common denominator. It is just cool. The other cool thing is that coincidentally enough, none of us are from Omaha.

Okay, I have to actually get the kitchen cleaned still before sleeping beauty wakes up so see you later "agator" as Emelia says.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Off my game

For some reason I have been completely off my game this week. I have had little to no interest in exercising. I feel unmotivated to do any housework and I have not paid a lick of attention to what I eat. I just feel sluggish and fuzzy in the head. I don't know what my dal is but I have got to get past it. It is making me crazy.

I feel like a sloth and I am resentful of any task which I am forced to accomplish in order to save my pride. (i.e. something that someone else is counting on me to do.)

The only thing I have felt like doing is shopping. I tend to shop for Emelia when I am in moods like this because it requires no fitting rooms and I can get more things for less money. Seriously what is my deal? Atleast my kid has cute clothes...


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who needs white sandy beaches?

especially when you can have fried chicken and homemade mac and cheese? So our vacation to Turks and Caicos has been postponed due to hurricane Ike. I prayers o out to the people who actually live there because my vacation is nothing compared to their lives and homes and way of life. Since we are not going to go to the island in two weeks I decided to do the next best thing. I am going to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Bloomington, Illinois. Emelia and I are going on a road trip to visit family. I am pretty excited. in other SUPER DUPER EXCITING news. My friend Lindsey is coming to visit in October. I may have already written about it but it is so exciting. I am already planning meals and activities for when she is here. Yahoo!

Friday, September 05, 2008


I realized in my last blog entry I spelled craptastic wrong. Yeah, it's cool, I looked it up in Webster's and it is definitely spelled right now. : )

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Holy Craptastic Batman!

Tonight is the kickoff to regular season football. The excitement looms heavy in the air. Man, I am excited! I will wear my "Mrs. Moc" jersey and Jeff will wear his "The Moc" jersey and it will be terrific!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Seven Years

Yesterday was my seven year wedding anniversary. Some days it feels like Jeff and I have been married forever and some days it feels like we got married yesterday. Last night Jeff and I went out to dinner and we were talking about the last seven years. Here is what we came up with.

We have...
lived in three different states
adopted two pets
lost his brother and my mom
had a baby
and loved and supported each other through it all.

Here's to more years like the last seven (no more pets though.)

Friday, August 29, 2008


Last night I watched our country nominate the first African American for president. It was amazing. Most of you know I am a democrat and many of you are Republicans but I believe this historic night is bigger than party affiliation. I can remember sitting in a co-workers office in 2004 and her talking about how she hated Hillary and hoped that Colin Powell would run as a Repub. against her is she ever ran for president. Then she said "our country would never elect a black man president though." Well, he isn't president, but the fact that he is a major party candidate is pretty darn exciting.

In college I was really liberal (I actually majored in journalism and minored in Women's studies) and as I have gotten older I have gotten less liberal but am still a democrat. I have not been this in to an election since Bill Clinton in 1992. That year I was a freshmen who thought Cal State Northridge was Berkley circa 1964 and I went to rallies and protest and wore slogan buttons on my backpack while wearing my flannel shirts and boots. I was a card carrying member of NOW and had a subscription to Ms. magazine. This year some of my ideals have changed and my entire way of life has really changed but I am excited about the sense of optimism that I have. More important than Republican or Democrat is the ability to recognize what a historic achievement this is for Barack Obama but also for us as a nation.

The only bad news in all of this is that coming off the Olympic late nights I am struggling with the political late nights and as much as I would like to I don't think I can handle another week of 11:00 bed times. Sorry Senator McCain.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Help for a friend

My friend Stephanie is making a super cool present for her husband for Christmas and she is trying to collect license plates from all 50 states. Since my favorites blog readers live all over I thought I would pass on the list of states she still needs. If you have any of these license plates or have a legal way of obtaining them please let me know.

laska Arkansas Connecticut Delaware Florida Hawaii
Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Mississippi Nebraska
Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Pennsylvania Rhode Island
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia Washington Wyoming

In other news...

It finally happened. I had to resort to dinner plan B. You see I always keep a frozen pizza in the freezer in case whatever new recipe I am tinkering with turns out gross. Last night we had to use the pizza. I made a dish called ham and swiss crockpot chicken. I had made it before and it was great, it wasn't much to look at but it tasted good. Someone gave me the idea to try baking it to make it less mushy, so I did. The problem is she didn't give me exact directions and I forgot an ingredient and well it was a mess. The breading was mushy, the chicken was raw it was a night for the frozen pizza. God bless plan B.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Neglected part 2

So let's see what have I been up to. Oh yes, obsessing over the Olympics. I love them. You see I enjoy sports but mostly I enjoy the emotion of sports. I like basketball, but I LOVE March madness because it is so exciting... the thrill of victory, the Cinderella school, the agony of defeat, the buzzer beaters, all of it. The Olympics are like that. Everyone works so hard for 30 seconds of a race potentially. I was glued to Michael Phelps and so glad he is not as punk youth as he was in Athens. I LOVED the opening ceremony. As a total type A I have such appreciation for the precision and planning that went in to all of the amazing spectacles. Yes it is a bit weird that table tennis and BMX biking are Olympic sports but have it China get you some medals. I did read a funny article in Time by Joel Stein saying e wanted to change the Olympic scoring and have points based on how fit you have to be to compete in your selected sport. Badminton, not so much.

I have also been very busy having tea with Emelia. She got a tea set (porcelain - I mean really) from my aunt who insists she play with it. (We are down to one cup and four plates that have not been broken.) Anyway, when she hands me a cup of tea I pretend to drink it and tell her it is delicious. She loves it! Her new word is delicious. Everything is delicious. Wrapping up in the doormat - delicious, washing her hair - delicious, daddy - delicious. It cracks me up.

On another positive note this weekend Old Navy had jeans for $12. It was total chaos but in a "I am getting a freakin' bargain" good way. I tried on jeans and discovered I have dropped two sizes since last fall. I almost dies. When I zipped up the size tens I cried in the dressing room and just praised God for that moment. I felt so good about myself. Not because of the size of the jeans but because I made a commitment and stuck to it and I am seeing progress. I am sure some of you can't believe I would post my jean size on the internet or that I am happy about a size ten because I know some folks would sooner die then wear a double digit size but I finally feel free from my consuming body image issues. It has been a long time coming and I still would like to look like Gabrielle Reece but I am ok with who and what I am.

To round out what has been on my mind lately I will finish with my mom. I have had several dreams about her lately and I have struggled with feeling a little lost and a lot sad. We sang a song in church about how anything is possible with Jesus and He is the ultimate healer and I couldn't help but think why didn't you heal my mom. Why couldn't she have stayed here. I know she is in a better place and I know we all have to die and I know one day I will see her again, but right now I wish I could see her now and ask her all the parenting questions I have stored up. I wish she would come visit and hold on tight to her grandbaby and be so excited that Emelia has learned to say Grammy. I just want her back that's all.

Okay blog, now we are caught up and it is time to make dinner. I think I will treat myself to a glass of wine because I have gotten a lot done today. Yea for me!

So neglectful

Dear blog:

I am sorry I have neglected you so lately. Between the volunteer work I am doing for church and the Olympics I have hardly had time to be on the computer. Don't be offended that I like reading other people's blog's more than I like writing in my own. I am just nosy that way. I promise this afternoon I will pay some good quality attention to you. I will write about my Olympic Fever and about the size 10 jeans I bought from Old Navy. (I know blog, I was super excited too!) I will write about Emelia's new favorite word - delicious and about the struggles I have been having with missing my mom. I promise blog I will fill you in on all of that, but right now I have to compile a data base for church and watch the closing ceremonies off the Tivo!

Love, Mama

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My husband rocks!

Why you may ask? Well for many reasons but specifically I am talking about his lack of fear when it comes to Emelia.

We live near an air force base and the air show is this weekend. Emelia loves airplanes. I am pretty sure Jeff does too as long as he doesn't have to fly in them. (The irony of his love of airplanes and fear of flying is not lost on me!) We talked about taking her to the air show and I was not convinced it would be a good idea, big crowds, restless toddler, potential for interfering with nap time, etc. We were debating. Then yesterday I said, I don't really want to go to the air show. Jeff said well why don't I take Emelia and you can do whatever you want. I practically couldn't breathe - DO WHATEVER I WANT?!?!?!? You see I often get time to myself but it is usually planned in advance and has a schedule worthy of a drill sergeant because I am doing things that are easier without a toddler - grocery shopping for instance. But this, this would be different it would be spontaneous free time to wander about aimlessly drinking coffee all morning and maybe going to the mall. All because my husband is going to take a 20 month old girl to see airplanes. I have packed a backpack that would serve them well if they were stranded on a desert island and I have given him every tip I know. I even armed him with a sucker. (The best offense is a good defense, you know.) He just smiled and shrugged it off because he will figure it out. Lord almighty he is amazing - so mellow, so in love with his baby and so good to his wife. Thank you Lord Jesus for this man. Now I am off to go to the mall and Starbucks, probably twice.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Reformer

I have been up since 5:30 and now I can barely walk. My gym is offering free pilates reformer classes this week while they refinish the group exercise floor. Normally you have to pay extra for this kind of torture. So I decided to try something new. I REALLY did not want to get out of bed this morning because I stayed up late last night watching the Olympics. (I love them by the way but that is another post.) Then I thought, this poor teacher has to get up so I need to honor the commitment I made by signing up.

It was only a half hour class, but man, my muscles were shaking so bad when I left that I was worried about driving home. It was a pretty darn good work out for a half hour. I don't know how many calories I burned which is my standard for a good work out (how many extra snacks do I get for this time spent at the gym) but I certainly feel stronger and my posture seems better already. I am not ready to pay extra for it but I did sign up for another free class on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

God is good

He is good for a lot of reasons but today I am specifically talking about my new found food peace. I can't really explain it but I suddenly am just okay with whatever Emelia eats. When I look at most days I know she is doing well in most areas except vegetables. I sneak them in where I can and I am just not freaking out about the fact that she doesn't eat much dinner.

I have just been enlightened with perspective. She never ate much in the evening, even when she was a teeny nursing baby. She always woke up ravenous and still does. This week she has eaten three vegetables. We had sweet potato pancakes, cauliflower mashed potatoes and a teeny bit of spinach in our scrambled eggs. (There will be more in there next time.) I want her to enjoy food but not need it for comfort or reward so that is what I am focusing on. We will see how it goes. Check back in ten years and I will let you know how it turns out.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Holy Hot Dog!!!

I just saw the trailer for High School Musical 3 and I almost passed out with anticipation. October 24 can not get here soon enough. I may have to plan a trip to Bloomtown to see it with my cousins kids because I am pretty sure people would be creeped out when a 34 year old strolls in to the movie solo. I love the HSM franchise. It is like Grease but cleaner more wholesome and with Zac Efron. I heart him! Wow oh wow, I am freaking out, I can't wait!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ahh, it is that time of year

Today is a great day. Yes it was 99 degrees here today and yes my daughter was a bit fussy but who cares, today is the first preseason NFL game. I know that it is basically no one vs. no one because after the first possession each team puts in their scrubs, but who cares, it is football and I love it! I have always liked football. My mom liked football for some reason and we used to root for the Cowboys - I still do. As I got older and dated boys who liked sports I got more in to sports. I have ZERO athletic ability but I like to watch most sports. I love baseball, like basketball and tolerate baseball. (Baseball is better in person with a beer and a hot dog.)

Football is just good and I will happily spend every Sunday until February watching football and eating bean dip. (Note to self, add 40 more minutes of cardio a week) Here is a list of things I love about football.

1. It moves fast and is pretty much constantly exciting.
2. John Madden and Al Michaels
3. When they play in throw-back unis
4. The grandstanding, except for T. O. and Chad Johnson - they are just annoying and I will never forgive T.O. for standing on the star when he was a 49er - I cursed him that day.
5. Football food
6. NFL Sunday ticket on DirecTV
7. The kicker - don't ask me why but I love a good kicker, no one pays attention to them until the final seconds
8. A two-point conversion
9. A good trick play
10. The rerun of the Stanford band almost getting killed that they inevitably play once a year.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Slow Down

I was doing a quick skim of the headlines on Yahoo and come across this one.

IAEA board considering Indian nuclear agreement

I thought, that is weird, what does IKEA have to do with India's nuclear arsenal.

Clearly I need to slow down and actually read not just skim.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Deep breaths and Bible reading

Thanks for everyone's support on the toddler eating front. I am working hard on letting it go and knowing that she will be fine without my cheesy chicken and noodles. I try to approach dinner with lots of deep breathes and a quick Bible verse to remind me that God is in control, not me. Plus last night I laced her mashed potatoes with cauliflower, take that picky baby! : )

I think she knew I was feeling exasperated because yesterday she was extra cute and funny. We were in Target and I asked her to sit down in the cart. She looked at me started to sit but never actually put her bottom down. I said "Oh, really" and she looked at me and said "really." I had to laugh. She sat the rest of the trip squatted down like a little kung fu baby in the front of the cart.

By the way, my Target has the big box of pampers on clearance. There is also a coupon expiring today for $5 off diapers and wipes at under the section marked Target coupon generator. If you combine it with the $1.50 off coupon from this past Sunday's papers it is a little like stealing from Target! : ) I will confess I have bought 500 diapers in the last week using coupons and the clearance deal.

Emelia is also really funny lately with her word choices. Wen she sees something she likes she says " Oh Wow! look at that!" she says this every morning when she sees her cereal bowl, when I turn on sesame street and when we see a car cart at the grocery store. Oh to be that excited all the time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I lost it

I am sure I have written before about how crazy it makes me when Emelia won't eat. I have issues with my child and food. I have bad eating habits that I picked up early on and have struggled with being happy with my body for many years and I really don't want her to have that same issue. I read all this stuff about how her eating habits are formed by the time she is two and I get freaked out because all she ate today is cheerios and veggie puffs with a small side of yogurt and grapes. Lately she has had a real fondness for sugar and a real disdain for any sort of real food. Tonight she wouldn't eat the cheesy chicken and noodles I made her. What is not to like about that?

She wouldn't eat it and I tried to make her at least take a bite. She wouldn't. Jeff told me to let it go and I flipped out. I yelled at him, I cursed - in front of my child - and I stormed upstairs. I can't believe I am even writing this because I am so embarrassed. I think I do it for some form of self-inflicted punishment. I apologized to Jeff but of course he is not quick to thaw as I yelled at him. My child is sleeping and, God love her, she is quick to forgive and gave me a delicious goodnight hug and kiss.

Why does this particular issue make me so crazy? Why am I foisting my insecurities on to her? Will she be an obese kid at ten if she only eats cheerios today? I wish I knew the answers to all of these questions but more than anything I wish I could just let it go.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time to change the profile

So today I am 34. It doesn't feel any different then 33 which quite honestly doesn't feel any different than say 27. I was chatting with my niece this weekend about leaving for college. I told her I don't feel that far removed from college even though it has been 10+ years since I was in college. Maybe I am just fooling myself but I still feel pretty youthful, smarter but youthful.

Someone recently made the comment that I have lived a lot of life for being 33 and I sort of agree with that and yet all of the aspects of my life still seem so vivid to me. I don't feel old but I do feel older. I like where I am. My life is good and I feel blessed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Love Sesame Street

I have very vivid memories of watching Sesame Street when I was little. I went to morning kindergarten and when I came home I got to eat my lunch on this little kitchen step stool (I used it as a picnic table) and watch Sesame Street. I started letting Emelia watch it awhile back even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says they don't need TV until they are two. I believe they are correct, they don't need TV, I need TV. I need a chance to clean the toilets without her trying to lick the toilet brush, etc. So hard as it was, I broke the rules, You know I like rules. I am glad I did.

Today Emelia counted to 20 with Ernie on Sessy , as we call it here. She also knows all of her letters. I am not proclaiming her a child prodigy, I just think she has a good memory and watches a lot of Sesame street!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

City Girl

My parents are both from small towns in Iowa, my mom is from a REALLY small town in Iowa called Gilmore City. I think the population is like 500 counting the livestock. This weekend Gilmore City turned 125 so my whole family trekked over there to watch the "parade" (I use the term loosely) and hang out together. I forgot about the dog so Jeff got a boys weekend to see the new Batman movie and mow the grass. Emelia and I set out to reclaim our heritage. I have never enjoyed Gilmore City so much.

You see when I was a kid we went to Gilmore most summers for vacation. I never went to Disneyworld, I went to Iowa. I pretty much hated it after the age of eight. Everyone that lived there was slow, cars moved slow, life moved slow - I was all about moving fast. When I was a rebellious, super-cool teenager I remember feeling like a fish out of water and loving it. I delighted in shocking my family. The crazier my hair, the better. You hate my clothes, great! One Christmas we went home and I was reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X and wearing cowboy boots and my grandma about crapped. I was thrilled.

Here I am 15 years later and I have a new appreciation for small town life. It does move slowly and there is nothing wrong with that. People know their neighbors, in a real way, not in a pleasant conversation at the community mail box sort of way. That was very evident to me this weekend. After the parade, the Lions club served lunch for a free will offering. I bet I saw every person put in a $20 and these aren't rich folks but they believe in the Lion's club and they are thankful for a home cooked lunch. Lunch included a slice of homemade pie and a scoop of homemade ice cream. The women of Gilmore City must have baked 100 pies. No one knew me because my mom is gone and my grandparents are too so there was no way to connect me to Gilmore but when my aunt said I was Carolyn's daughter they instantly knew me. I loved being known only through my mom. She would have loved that Emelia and I went and ate blueberry pie on the lawn of the church where she was baptized, confirmed and married. I felt like for just a day everything was right and I had been so wrong.

My cousin brought a bag to collect candy thrown from the floats, Emelia loved it! The church had a little kiddie carnival, this is Emelia's version of the ring toss. At one point I looked up and she had stolen the ring. Great, my kid is stealing from the church carnival!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Parenting Lessons

This week I am getting yet another lesson in parenting taught by professor Emelia Mae. As a child grows they are continuously going through new phases. When they are in a tough phase you console yourself with the mantra that this too shall pass. The tough thing for me is that wen she is in a good phase I settle in to it like a pair of old slippers. I start to subconsciously think look at how nice this is, I must be a good parent look at how good she is. Then when she leaves that phase behind in favor of the "NO!!!!" phase it crushes my spirit. That is the only way I can describe how I have been feeling this week.

Last week she was saying please and thank you without being prompted and coming up to give spontaneous hugs. This week she is yelling "No!" at the top of her lungs to most requests. We are in a power struggle right now and I fear I may be losing. I am trying desperately to stay calm, be consistent and measure out praise and time outs with authority but I still feel like I am sucking at this. You see that is the hard part for me. I am used to being pretty good at things. Don't get me wrong there are definitely things I am not good at but for the most part I know my limitations and I avoid those things. I have never felt so completely inept in my entire life. I feel like I have no knowledge in this area and worse yet I have nothing to compensate for it. You see I worked for a client most of my life and there were certainly times when I didn't know the answer but I could usually rely on wit or charm or some bs memo to smooth the waters until I could figure things out. The Bible is right "charm is fleeting" because it certainly doesn't work on Emelia unless it is coming from ELMO. It is really hard to spend your day feeling inadequate and then to go to bed knowing tomorrow is going to be the same way.

I was really struggling at the beginning of the week but God has graciously provided other mothers to help me along the way. I had a minor melt down at my women's Bible study this week and instead of feeling judged or silly I felt embraced and comforted knowing every other mom there fessed up to having similar feelings. I also went to the library and checked out 8 books on parenting. From what I have read it seem like t his is a tough age, you may have heard of it, "the terrible twos". Yes, it seems as though we have landed smack dab in the middle of budding independence. I will try really hard to learn form this time and know that it will pass. She isn't going to be my baby forever and I will try to just enjoy the cuddling I get because I know when she does this again at 13 the cuddles will be few and far between.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mommy and the Seven Dwarfs

Emelia is either teething, entering some new not so nice stage or schizophrenic. This weekend I think she acted like just about every one of the seven dwarfs but she spent an inordinate amount of time being grumpy.

My delightful husband took crabby appleton for a few hours so I could get a pedicure. Man I use to really take those things for granted. When we both worked I got them pretty regularly but they are more of a luxury nowadays and man do I enjoy the heck out of them. The girl even talked me in to getting flowers for my toes. I can hardly stop staring at them.

After my pedicure puppy and I enjoyed some quality relaxation!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Over It

So now I am done with vacay planning. We could go to Turks and Caicos potentially, to a Sesame Street themed Beaches resort or to Disneyworld but it is all so expensive. Jeff needs a vacation and I need a vacation for vacation planning. We want a luxury resort beach vibe but don't know where to really get it outside of the Caribbean/Hawaii. Now I shall go to bed and dream about people from high school again - three nights in a row this week.. Darn that Facebook.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Obsess much?

Oh yes I do. Right now i am obsessed with planning a vacation. I swear I have done NOTHING all day but look at Disneyworld vacations online. I want to go NOW!!!! I love Disney and while I say this will be great for Emelia it will really be great for me. seriously though there are 7 million options for how to plan it. Yikes!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Make Way for Noddy

Jeff and I had a discussion the other night that, after further reflection, is ridiculous and warrants a blog entry. It went something like this...

Jeff - Emelia, did you fart?
Erika - Don't say fart say toot?
Jeff - What is wrong with fart?
Erika - It sounds harsh, and less palatable in public, so use toot.
Jeff - Whatever you say, but she is going to think Noddy is one gassy elf.

You see, Noddy is a PBS show we watch about an elf that lives in Toyland. The opening song goes "Make way for Noddy, he TOOTS his horn to say hooray."

Yes parenthood is one set of ridiculousness after another but I sure do laugh a lot.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pure Joy

Emelia loves to swing. She would swing for an hour if I would push that long. Sometimes I even go to a playground that has no swings so she will try new things. The playground nearest our house has toddler swings which means no matter how far away we park the stroller/wagon/whatever she will walk right past every other slide/jungle gym/rock wall and head straight for the swings. Then I ask her if she wants to swing and she says "oh okay," like it was my idea.

The look on her face when I pull back the swing and let go is magical. She screams "weeeeee" and just lights up. Often as I watch her I think about how I wish I could experience that kind of joy but then today I realized I do... every time she gets on a swing.

In the routine of cooking dinners and scrubbing toilets I sometimes lose sight of the amazing blessing that I have in being able to be with her and watch her grow and play and learn new words. I take for granted the joy that watching her swing brings to me. Because I am human I miss working sometimes and I miss having colleagues and a sense of worth and importance but I know that I still have worth and importance just a different kind. I wish I could remember that all the time and be able to be fulfilled each day the way I am today. Alas, it is always a struggle but today I will celebrate a day off from that battle and I may even get on a swing myself.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Under the Weather

I'm not sure what that really means but I do sort of feel like I am under a rain cloud. I somehow have a cold in the middle of summer. I don't get it. Two days of staying home have been productive on the cleaning front but no fun on any other front. My bright spot is that So You Think You Can Dance is on and I can't wait.

Get your groove on....

Monday, June 30, 2008


So I know I haven't posted anything lately and here is the reason why. FACEBOOK. When we came back from Penny's wedding I decided to get on it because my friend said it was great. Now I am addicted. I have found my college roommate, 20 of my 37 nieces and nephews and a myriad of high school and college acquaintances. What amazes me is how it finds people you know by studying people you have listed as friends. It is one big crazy mystery to me. i love it.

I am a big giant weirdo!

By the way we also went to Iowa this past weekend which is another reason I haven't posted. We tried to take a family photo, here is how it went down.

P.S. I got this photo from my niece's facebook page.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Some of you know my dog Murphy. He is quite a character and is a proud member of our household which means he burps a lot, watches reality tv and loves ice cream and french fries. Well he recently got a hair cut and it is really quite funny. When he first got the hair cut I didn't even have the heart to take his picture because you could tell he was embarrassed. It has grown out a bit and he looks cute now so here is Murph before and after....

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Super Summer Day

Today was a great day. We went to Costco and only bought what we went there for. (Miracle!) Then this afternoon we went to the pool. It was so much fun for all of us. Emelia even learned a new trick.

Daddy burped and said excuse me and Emelia now likes to make a burp noise and then says "cu me" she likes it even more when I say "excuuuuuuuuse you."


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Pros

I can't adequately describe how I feel right now. Joy is the word I come up with but that doesn't seem like enough. Emelia just gave me a big hug and announced "I wuv you." I have told her a million times that I love her and we practice saying I love you but she has never said it as a sentence or better yet a pronouncement. You see, she can't really talk, she can repeat words and she can identify simple things like dog and book but sentences are limited to repeating after me or Hi puppy. For her to, unprompted, tell me she loves me makes my heart soar. To know that she feels about me even a fraction of the way that I feel about her even though I fail her every day in some small way, is more than I can actually take in.

Thuy, this is the best pro for having kids, I am sorry I can't do it justice so you can know what it feels like but it honestly makes every pain, tear, sleepless night and cranky day worth it.

TV is weird

I am sure most of you know that Tim Russert died on Friday. He was a noted political analyst for NBC news and a favorite in the Mochal household. He was such a great commentator but he seemed like he could be your neighbor so his opinions were that much more relevant. He spoke in plain English and seemed like an overwhelmingly good guy. I have been really sad all weekend about his death. Yes, I realize that I don't actually know him so it is weird that I have been so upset about his death. I kept hearing about how strong his faith was so I hope to see him in heaven one day.

The thing that has been bugging me is it makes me think a lot about health issues in general. We have been working on eating better, eating more vegetables and what not but we struggle with exercise. I do better than Jeff because it is easier for me to carve out time since they have childcare at our gym. I worry about Jeff though. I just don't know where he can add exercise on a consistent basis in t o his schedule. God bless him he talks about working out in the evening but he really values that time with Em. Maybe we can try evening walks as a family or something. I don't know but I know God wants us to care for our bodies since they are the temple of the holy spirit, but I wish then that God would not have allowed french fries to be invented. I think I will start a new prayer campaign for Jeff's health. Sometimes I feel like I just hand God a laundry list of things that I am worried about but I am not sure how else to approach my prayer life. Does anyone have any tips or reference books to recommend? You know I like a good instruction manual.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Since today is Father's Day I shall compose a list of ten things I love about my dad and ten things Emelia loves about hers...

My Dad
1. He loves me no matter how many times I was a rebellious jerk in high school.
2. He has always been proud of me and probably always will be.
3. When he sees Emelia he wants to capture every smile in a picture.
4. He is not afraid to wear a Hawaiian print shirt.
5. Our relationship has been all over the map but we have come to the spot of loving each other and being comfortable in that love, no matter what.
6. He loves chain emails - that makes me laugh.
7. He put me through school.
8. When it rains anywhere in the midwest he calls to make sure we are okay - you can image the phone calls we have gotten with the rain/tornadoes/floods.
9. I am exactly like him and even when I wish I wasn't I am glad I at least know what makes me who I am.
10. He loves a good Disney movie just like me.

Emelia's Dad
1. He doesn't care how dirty I get or if my clothes match as long as we are together.
2. He lets me watch more Elmo than mommy.
3. He loves to take me places.
4. Mommy sometimes goes away to visit people and we have so much fun.
5. He plays "cut the pickle, tickle tickle tickle" with me.
6. He doesn't like it when I get shots.
7. He plays me lots of melancholy british rock songs from his iPod.
8. He plays with all my toys in the bathtub.
9. When we go to the park he will push me on the swings forever!
10. He is the best daddy in the whole world.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More fun than one girl should be allowed to have

My last two days have consisted of a two-hour trip to Super Walmart with a cranky toddler, a visit to the gynecologist and eight hours of traffic school. The only thing missing is a dentist appointment.

I did learn something interesting in traffic school though. Apparently the federal government gives out millions of dollars in "traffic enforcement grants" each spring to fund police overtime to catch speeders and other miscellaneous traffic hooligans. The average traffic school class size is 20, there were 70 people in my class today. Nothing says spring like a ticket!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm a good housekeeper I swear

We are very in to puzzles right now and this is what the living room looked like when Emelia went down for nap. Yes that is an outdoor toy in the living room because of the bad storms I brought them in last night, there is a slide behind the couch, don't look.

Are those the welcome home sirens?

Apparently no, they are the tornado sirens. We got back from LA on Monday night late and so I was just starting to get back in the swing of things yesterday and then we had a rough night. Bad storms kicked up right as we were putting the baby down for the night. Needless to say she didn't go to sleep and cried instead which turned out to be a blessing since we had to hightail it down to the basement a half hour later anyway.

My heart breaks for the parents of the boys killed at the boy scout camp. It must be so awful, you send your child off to summer camp and they never come home. I can't began to think about it. I just pray that they know the peace that only God can provide right now.

On a brighter note, our trip to LA was fun but trying. Emelia's schedule posed some challenges but she did great at the wedding. She LOVED the band and could not get enough of the music and dancing. The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch at least as far as I could tell. Penny looked amazing and we had good times together. I was so overcome with emotion to see her so happy. It was great!

I don't have any photos from the wedding but their photographer took some great ones. Here are some pics of us doing the tour of our LA faves - In N' Out, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and the pool.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Summer Lovin'

So I think it is officially summer, at least it feels like it around here. It is hot and sticky and we have a thunderstorm every three days. I think I was hoping since it was so much colder here during the winter it would also be cooler during the summer, I don't think that is the case.

We had a nice weekend, fairly uneventful. We had some friends over for a barbecue on Saturday and then went to the pool on Sunday. Emelia seemed to have a great time but the sun sucked the energy right out of her. She fell asleep sitting on Jeff's lap midway through eating a snack.

Penny is getting married this weekend in Southern California so we are getting ready for that trip. We leave on Thursday. It should be fun. I am much more relaxed about Emelia flying this time. Armed with the portable DVD player I think we can handle anything. I am hoping to get some fun new pictures while we are out there.

Things around here have been pretty mundane lately. I am grateful for that. I have begun to pray over Emelia while she sleeps. I also pray with her when she wakes up in the morning and as part of our nap/bedtime ritual. I have been reading the book "The New Strong Willed Child" (thank you Korri) which suggested the prayer while they sleep. I pray that God would not break her spirit but that he would bend her will to his and it really is working. Oh she still has tantrums and fusses but I am not seeing the outright defiance in her. I also feel like God is granting me more control over the feelings those tantrums bring up in me. I feel more contained and qualified to handle the situation.

I love her so much but she can make me madder than anyone else on earth. God is really working on me in that respect. I really am so grateful for it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Severe Weather

So right now I am blogging to keep my imagination from running wild but I may be a little too late. All day the weather folks have been predicting "severe weather" which means strong winds, quarter size hail and tornadoes. I don't know why but I get really freaked out by this. If I stop to think about it I can rationally say if I die today I know I am going to heaven and heaven is way better than Omaha. (Not a knock on Omaha, just the truth) I am not afraid of death. I am afraid of other people that I care about dying and leaving me here. I am terribly afraid of losing people.

I also have visions of us all holed up in the basement with no water and no food and the house falling down around us. There is nothing in this house I cant live without. There isn't even really anything from a sentiment stand point that I would be devastated about but still, I do like my stuff, especially my Tivo.

I really am scared. I think now I will stop blogging and start praying.

My Best Friend's Wedding

My best friend since seventh grade is getting married on June 8th. I am so excited. I love her fiancee and I love them together. I can actually see how happy he makes her and how much he cares about her. I am in the wedding so we are off to California for the occasion.

I feel like I am packing for a year. Our bags weigh 47 and 39 pounds respectively. We have a stroller, car seat and two backpacks to carry on. Oh yeah and a toddler. Look out Expressjet, here we come. I am not too worried. The last time she flew she did great, then again, the last time she flew she still got a morning bottle and bink on demand. I do have the bink in the carryon for safe keeping but I don't plan to give it to her unless things get REALLY REALLY bad.

I feel prepared. The dress is altered, my hair is dyed (i am blonde again) the shoes have been purchased and most importantly i am ready to love on Penny and Alastair all weekend long! Woo hoo!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dream Big

Okay so I know there are more important things in life than television and that goes double for "reality" television, but I am a sucker for an emotional moment. Last night's American Idol finale delivered for me. I LOVE David Cook. I love that he was unassuming, talented and a self-proclaimed "word nerd". I love a good come from behind story and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that he won!!!!!!! (Yes I am reduced to all caps and multiple exclamation points.) I have not pulled for someone on American Idol since Carrie Underwood. I have watched but not voted and on Tuesday I voted for an hour for David Cook fearing that really talented but irritating David Archuleta would win. I know he is great and I know he is sweet but for reasons I can't explain he makes me crazy. After Simon all but anointed him on Tuesday I knew I had to do my part or not complain about the results.

Jeff really had me going. We watched the finale off of the Tivo and he looked on the computer to see who won. When he told me the winner won by 12 million votes I knew it was Archuleta. There is no way that if Cook won he won by that much. I was in fact wrong, which only added to the drama!

Now on to So You Think You Can Dance which I also LOVE!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So I went to the zoo on Friday with a new friend from church. We had a really nice time. The weather was lovely. On the way home Emelia conked out about one minute after we got in the car. I decided to drive out to Whole Foods. Bad decision. I was unfamiliar with teh highway because I was trying to navigate from downtown and thus I was paying close attention to teh street signs and not my speed. (Do you see where this is going?) You guessed it, I got another speeding ticket. By the grace of God - literally this one was in Douglas County while my other one was in Sarpy county so I think I am eligible fro traffic school again. This traffic school is cheaper but longer. I am not sure which is worse paying more money or spending four more hours in traffic school.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Poor Daddy

Emelia and I are looking at a Sesame Street book. I am asking her who each of the characters are... It goes something like this.

Point to a picture of Elmo, ask, who is that? EM-MO

Point to a picture of Big Bird, ask, who is that? Bi Berd

Point to a picture of Ernie, ask, who is that? Er rie

Point to a picture of Bert, ask , who is that? DADDY!!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Too little time too many teeth

We are teething again and I am reminded again, it stinks. Today went like this...

Walk around Walnut Creek Lake, thank God for the beauty of the day and the goodness of family and just general gratefulness. Get half way around the lake, stop at the playground, play, tell Emelia once more down the slide then we are going to go SHE LISTENS and we leave without freaking out. Spend more time thanking God. Get to the last stretch and she begins to fuss, get home, immediately down for a nap even though it is only 11:15. Okay fine. Take my lunch out in the back yard and sit in the sun reading a magazine. I almost felt like I was 14 again minus the baby oil and sun-in, LOVED it. Emelia wakes up, we go to the gym, I work out, still feeling good. Then WHAM, meltdown in Target, first public spanking. Let her sit in the cart for on minute time out while I was around the corner. Pick her up and tell her that I love her but that she can't scream when she doesn't get her way and she definitely can't kick mommy. She gives me a hug, I congratulate myself for handling that well and then she freaks out again. We leave. I want to drive off a cliff. Instead I drive to Marshalls because I need her to be contained for awhile while I get my emotions in check. We were trying to go t o teh mall because it is farther away but my bladder couldn't hold out. Have a fun time at Marshalls and try to remember for next time "this too shall pass."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tough Week, Great Weekend

So it has been a little bit of a tough week at our house. I was super busy getting the house ready for another round of visitors plus we painted a couple of the rooms so there is all of the furniture moving that goes along with that. On top of everything else things have been a little strained between Jeff and I. Money has been tight because we basically had to pay for my biopsy out of pocket because we have a pretty high deductible for our insurance. (Our insurance is good but the deductible is high but they give you money towards the deductible but it comes over the course of the year which doesn't help when you have a 4,000 biopsy in March.)

In addition to being a little stressed about money I haven't been sleeping well. I haven't really slept well since I stopped nursing Emelia in February. The doctor prescribed Ambien which was great but you can't stay on it forever so I slowly weaned myself from it and now basically I fall asleep but wake up around 12:00 and can't get back to sleep until 2:00. Then I sleep pretty good until 4:00 and then I toss and turn for another couple hours and then I get up. Needless to say not getting enough sleep makes for a very cranky girl. I am not sure how, but I actually felt like I was sleeping better when she was a new born. On top of all of this I haven't been exercising consistently which makes me feel like a sloth and I have been eating crap. So I just felt off. On Saturday I woke up feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I am not sure why but I needed to tackle grocery shopping and with food being so expensive, I knew I was going to have to keep a tight reign on things to get through the pay period. I pretty much had a panic attack in Wal-Mart. There were so many people and I just felt like I was going to throw up constantly. When I finally left I couldn't remember where I parked so I couldn't find my car. When I found it I got in in and sobbed. I felt like I couldn't get it together and I felt like Jeff didn't care and I felt unloved and I felt overwhelmed and I felt like the world was getting really small around me.

When I got home I talked to Jeff about it and we had a really good talk. Neither of us was feeling supported and both of us were feeling unloved and it was quietly breaking us down a little at a time. God really worked things out for us because normally when I am that worked up I am really ugly and then Jeff shuts down and we end up going nowhere fast. We were both able to keep our head and heart in the conversation and talk about how we were feeling and how to get through it. I felt like a new woman. The rest of the weekend was really good. We went for walks and played in the park and sat out in the back yard in the sunshine reading and talking.

I know this is a pretty personal thing to write about but I really don't want to forget how scared and terrible I felt Saturday morning and how alive and restored I felt Saturday afternoon. I want to remember God's power so that the next time I am in the valley I don't try to "get myself together" when I should be asking God to get me together.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What a Week

Well our visitors are gone and I have to say I was sad to see them go. I have really enjoyed watching Em with her grandparents. She was genuinely sad when they left today. I swear I actually see her experiencing new things everyday. I have a busy weekend ahead with a women's conference at church and a concert Sunday night but I am hoping to get back to my routine on Monday.

In other random news, I got my haircut last Friday and I hate it. For those of you who have known me for awhile you know I am very sensitive about my hair. I am much less high maintenance now that I used to be in my life but when I want to feel good I do my hair and put on a little make up and usually I feel a little less schlumpy then my standard house wife self. Well my hair is square. I am not even sure how she did it but it looks terrible and I was really sad. I am over it now but I am desperately taking my vitamins in the hopes it grows out or does something before Penny's wedding. UGH!!

Emelia had her first ice cream cone this past week and she LOVED it. I also let her eat a piece of chocolate cake by herself - YIKES!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Beauty of Spring

Just a quick update so that my blog doesn't have poop as the first word anymore...

Our family visit has been good. The week is whizzing by. Emelia enjoys being with Grammy and Papa M. Everyone in the house is healthy but I have gotten in to some bad habits this week. I haven't been working out and I have been indulging in wine every night with our guests. I am sure I have gained five pounds. I will just have to catch up next week - I wonder what Mariah Carey did to get so skinny. Oh that's right she eats artichokes and squash and does water aerobics. (I am down with the water aerobics but I can't give up food.) Dang it, guess I will have to find another way!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Poop Glorious Poop

I have never been so happy to see a turd in my entire life. We are officially diarrhea free. Jeff apparently now has a different strain of cooties that leaves him with a nasty case of the chills and aches. I practically forced him to stay home today because if I worked at his office I would not want whatever he has.

So I found out yesterday that Jeff's parents are coming... on Monday. I was terrified, horrified and madified. (not really a word but you get the point.) When my FRIENDS from St. Louis came it took me a week to get the house the way I wanted it. With my mother-in-law coming I have one weekend. I was freaking out last night, then I prayed. I prayed that God would help me remember the value of family and not get caught up in my homemaker pride and today I feel better. Oh, I am still going to clean the house right good, but I am done freaking out.

I will keep you posted on how it goes.

By the way, I continue to be amazed at how God gives each person unique gifts and then fits them in to each other's lives to enrich them. My friend Thuy claims I am a really good host but she is a really good guest - she sent me a thank you card with delightful chocolate treats and really cute pictures of the babe this week. I was just struck by how we fit and by how good that chocolate covered marshmallow tasted after eating only toast and bananas for four days.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cooties 2.0

I officially am titling yesterday the day of diarrhea. I think we changed Em's diaper 20 times. Once we changed her twice in 10 minutes. Bless her little heart, she was a disaster. I woke up feeling pretty grim and by my fourth trip to the bathroom in an hour realized I too had the cooties. Jeff worked from home in the afternoon so I could get some rest, God love him! We have been diarrhea free for 18 hours now so I am hoping we are on the road to recovery. I think Emelia is starting to get stir crazy, this morning she just walked around whining. Then she had a terrible melt down and went down for a nap at 9:45, two and a half hours after she got up. I can't figure it out. I am guessing she is still feeling yucky. I haven't been to the doctor because I am guessing there is not much they can do for her but if she has diarrhea again today we are calling for an appointment. I think we will try to go for a walk when she wakes up in an effort to get her outside without infecting anyone else. Man alive I am ready for everyone to be healthy for the rest of the year.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Emelia is sick, again. On Saturday we woke up to find her covered in vomit. It was pretty gross, poor thing who knows when she puked but she then must have rolled around in it all night. She was a noodle most of Saturday then perked up in the afternoon. We had people over for dinner, and I felt bad because they have kids. I told Jeff we should call and tell them Em is sick and give them the choice of coming or not but he thought it would be fine. It was fine... until she threw up all over the kitchen floor while everyone was there. Double yuck!

Sunday we moved on to diarrhea. Today we have had super soft poop and crabbiness. The thing that is worrying me the most is she is not really eating. She ate maybe 1/2 a cup of food yesterday and 1/4 cup so far today. She is drinking tons of milk though so I guess she is getting some nutrition that way. You know I am a freak about her eating anyway so this is a new challenge for me.

God bless Jeff though, he is the one who found her covered in vomit on Saturday morning because I was at the grocery store. He has a pretty weak stomach so I am proud of him for stripping her down and throwing her in the bath and not vomiting himself.

Maybe Em got sick to take my mind off the fact that it snowed here in April. Really, I mean really?!?!?!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Crazy Baby

Emelia has been doing so many funny things lately. One of her new favorite things is eating fruit but the trick is she wants to eat the whole thing. She doesn't want a slice of apple she wants to eat it off the core. It is so funny to watch. It is not so funny to clean up but oh well. She also discovered that the vacuum cleaner blows out air on top so she stands in front of the vacuum with the wind blowing through her hair posing like a super model. She is so funny. What is not so funny is that she is beginning to assert her independence and she wants what she wants when she wants it. I am not really sure what I should be doing about discipline at this age but I need to figure it out and quick!

Pears are super yummy!

Hard to see, but this is miss supermodel in front of the vacuum.

I heard about this pose on America's Next Top Model!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Burnin' Down the House

Women of Faith this weekend was great. Thuy and I had such a good time, so did the guys. Nothing says fun like watching baseball, going to Costco and babysitting. : )

Women of Faith was really different this time for me. Last time I went it was a few months after my mom had passed away and I was in such a fragile emotional place. This time I definitely felt less emotionally but I also felt more tested by some of the topics. The one thing that I keep reflecting on is a drama about the verse in James that talks about a tongue being like a flame. The dramatist showed how harsh words to your family members can set your house on fire and leave burn marks that never completely heal. The actual verse from the Bible is this.

James 3:4-6 "4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself."

I was really convicted by the drama. When I am overwhelmed or frustrated, I say mean things. I know that is terrible and in this moment I can recognize that it is terrible but when the baby is crying and the dog is barking and the pasta water is boiling over, my tongue is scorching. I yell at whoever, the baby, the dog, my husband. I would be ashamed if any of my friends heard me - the mean hostile tone of my voice, the piercing words - yet I unleash them on the people I love most on this earth. Why is it that we are the meanest to the people we love the most? Is it because we know they will forgive us? I don't know what it is but I know that the things I say in the heat of that moment are still with Jeff and one day they will remain with Emelia as well. That is why I am really going to start praying that God helps me hold my tongue. I have been working on not getting hostile when something frustrating happens and I am getting better at letting go of things. But I will never completely be able to stay calm, so I need to react without the terrible tongue. I don't think we stop to think about how powerful our words are, I am trying to fully understand the weight of the words I choose and I am trying to choose words that don't burn down my house.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


God is good! I got the results of my biopsy and they were negative, nothing to worry about - hooray! Pink eye seems to be gone and the baby is back to her old self but with a slight Sesame Street addiction. I now hide the remote and turn the TV off (no Today Show for me) and then she seems to be fine.

I lost another pound and a half. This means I have officially lost twenty pounds of non-baby weight. (I was twenty pounds heavier before I got pregnant than I am now, make sense?) I am trying hard to eat better and take better care of my body and I really feel a difference.

After our week of craziness I have to say I still feel blessed. My friend's little boy has hand/foot/mouth disease (apparently just a childhood illness that is not as scary as it sounds but still pretty unfun none the less.) She also has a three year old to keep happy. Now that is a challenge. We are praying for you sister!

My friend Thuy is coming this weekend and we are going to Women of Faith. I am so excited I could just about pee. I have cleaned every room in the house and stocked the pantry. I am putting her to work making her famous Vietnamese Spring Rolls one night - yummy!

I am also excited because tonight is water aerobics - my first time to the gym in almost two weeks. Besides the fact that it is the end of March and the temperature with wind chill is in the 20's, today is shaping up to be a good day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

As the Moc Turns

The last 10 days have been some wacky times at the Mochal household. This is a brief synopsis...

Monday 3/17 - I feel crummy so I go to the doctor who does a quick return strep test which is negative, says I have a sinus infection and some "grossness on my tonsil". I leave with my prescription in hand and head home for lunch and nap time. Emmy's nose is still running so after nap time we go back to the doctor who says she needs another round of antibiotics. Okay, off to Target we go to fill our prescriptions and get started.

Tuesday 3/18 - Mom's birthday but oddly enough I don't realize it because when I set my watch for daylight savings time I must have screwed up the date so I think it is the 19. I feel better and Emmy's nose is still running. The doctor calls and my strep culture came back positive after they let it sit for awhile but I am on antibiotics so all is well.

Wednesday 3/19 - I host playgroup, it goes really well and it was so nice to talk to people again and just be around other moms.

Thursday 3/20 - I go in for a breast biopsy. I had gone to the doctor because I had a red spot on my right breast and she thought it was a clogged duct but ordered an ultrasound to be on the safe side. That detected a small nodule which looked benign so I had a mammogram. That detected the same nodule so we decided to remove it and look at it under a microscope to make sure it was benign. The hospital staff was so gracious and kind it was a complete answer to prayer. All of the doctors thought it was nothing to worry about but I get the official results sometime this week.

Friday 3/21 - Emmy's nose is still running and now her eye is goopy. We plug away with the antibiotics.

Saturday 3/22 - We were at the furniture mart and I was holding Emmy's hand. She wanted to go one way but I wouldn't let her so she stopped supporting her weight so I was basically holding her by her hand only. I heard two loud cracks and now she won't move her arm and she is crying pretty good. Crap, I broke her arm, what kind of mother am I?!?! We call the after hours nurse for our doctor, she says we should go to the hospital to have it looked at. She has what is called nursemaid's elbow which basically means she dislocated her elbow. It took us longer to fill out paperwork then it did for the delightful Dr. to fix it. We return home like nothing ever happened. The good news is I think I met our deductible with the breast biopsy so hopefully this little field trip will be free.

Sunday 3/23 - We all get fancied up and head off to Easter church. When I pick Emmy up from the nursery she is asleep on someone's lap. This is weird since it is 10:30 and she has been napping around noon. We get sleepy face home and change her clothes only to discover a big blotch on her should. We put her down for a nap and look it up on the internet and determine she has hives. When she gets up from her nap they are all over her back. I give her some Benadryl and they disappear in 15 minutes. She is a wet noodle most of the rest of the afternoon - except when we did an Easter egg hunt and she discovered the magic of jelly beans. We get home from my aunt's house and now she has a fever. We talked to the triage nurse again and decide she is probably fine, just an allergic reaction to her Easter dress. I got it from the resale shop and didn't wash it (mostly because it was linen and I didn't want to iron it - all those things God says about laziness in the Bible are true)

Monday 3/24 - I call the doctor tell them about the weekend and add her new issue, her eye was crusted shut when she woke up this morning. She says bring her in. So now, for the third Monday in a row we are at the doctor. She has pink eye. Seriously, I am expecting locusts or frogs next.

Tuesday 3/25 - Now we can't go to our friend's birthday party, we can't go to the gym, we probably infected most of the kids at church and we are watching boat loads of Sesame Street because we have to stay inside. I look forward to Thursday when she supposedly isn't contagious anymore and I hope Jeff and I don't get it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Man, it seems like every week one of us is sick and we are back in the rotation. The baby had slight sinus infection and ear infection but she seemed to be getting better until this weekend. We went through an entire box of kleenex wiping her nose. I took her back in yesterday and they said she is getting better but she will probably need a second dose of antibiotics. i tried grape bubble gum flavoring this time, maybe that will be better because plain bubble gum did not seem to make her more receptive to it. Then on Sunday I started with the sore throat and aches and chills - YUCK! Those were the exact symptoms Jeff had when we had strep throat so I went to the doctor. I have a sinus infection and the sore throat is from post nasal drip - yummy. I felt a little better yesterday afternoon but today i feel worse. Man alive I do not like being sick. At least now I can write on my resume never called in sick from this job.

So last week when I went to the doctor for her check up I got the normal handouts that say here are the milestones you should expect for this age, blah blah and one of them said she should be completely feeding herself by fifteen months. Well crap! She would take a spoon or fork I loaded and put it in her mouth but I didn't dare sit a bowl of something in front of her and let her go at it. She would starve. Apparently I was wrong. She did pretty well with the motion of putting the spoon in to something and putting it in her mouth. Things like oatmeal that stick to the spoon have been great, things like soup or yogurt have not been great. She turns the spoon upside down before putting it in her mouth. This is what a dish of yogurt looked like when she got done with it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fifteen months is fun

Not everyday is fun but she is fun right now. It is like I can see her brain making connections. The other day I was cleaning our bedroom and bathroom and she was upstairs playing in my jewelry box. (This used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid.) I gave her two bracelets and she put them on her arm and then walked around with her arm in the air so they wouldn't fall off. Today I blew her a kiss and she blew one back to me. She has full blown conversations with herself or other kids and she sounds so sincere. I can't understand what she is saying but her tone sounds just like a real person. It really is fun. She is having some sleep issues and we are trying to break away from the binky which is not fun, but for me, so far this is the best age. I think it has less to do with age and more to do with stage.

Her are some new pictures. Would you look at this little outfit we wore to church last week.


Clipping Coupons - I am starting her early

Pigtails... I could eat them up - so cute!