Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things to Remember about Today

I ran six miles today.  I would have never thought I could run that far or for that long.  It was the strangest thing.  Sam has had a cold so I have not been able to go to the gym in a little over a week.  The last time I went to the gym Emelia had been sick so I had not been for a week before that either. Last week it was really tough for me to run.  I walked two laps to warm up (six laps is a mile), ran a mile, walked two laps, ran a mile etc. until I had walked one mile and run three. Today I walked my two warm up laps and started to run and figured I would try to run four miles.  I got to three and said, I can do five.  Then I got close to four and said I wonder if  I can do six.  I just sort of hit a zone.  It was awesome.  When I stopped I walked a lap and felt drunk.  I was dizzy and weaving and tired.  It was crazy, I thought man I should have just kept running.  I felt like Forest Gump.

Oh, and Sam said Please.  It was also awesome.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cowboys and Princesses

I have not posted pictures for awhile so here are a few.  Some are from Halloween and some are to chronicle the kitchen process.  I will put updated kitchen pics up soon but this is where we started.

Our little princess... she was worried her teachers would not recognize her as Emelia since she looked so much like Princess Aurora.

They had a parade at preschool, she loved it!
So did Sam!

This is her class, the little girl dressed as Curious George was so cute, her older sister in the next class up was the Man with Yellow Hat.

Sam has loved Woody since we went to Disneyland.  I actually found the costume at the Goodwill, yes it was unopened and from this year but missing the hat and boots (Target donated it!) , I just bought those separately.  He was so excited and loves his boots.
Trying to get them both looking at the camera and not doing something silly at the same time is nearly impossible.

 Sam wanted to take the hat on and off more than wear it so eventually I gave up.

Emelia was pretty unsure about this house but there was a sweet old man on the other side of the grim reaper.  

 Sam showing off his loot

 This is the kitchen when we bought the fridge was huge so it really cut in to the traffic flow on that side of the room.  The stove had two burners and the other side was a grill (apparently very top of the line Jenn-Air 20 years ago.)  The microwave didn't work.  The soffit hungover the cabinets by about a foot and was painted dark green so it felt like you were cooking in a cave. 

We have gotten new appliances which was awesome!  They all came from the Sears Outlet and were 40-60% below resale because they were scratched or dented in some way.  I so don't care!  We have been so blessed to find really good deals and really good contractors to help us.  The electrician was here yesterday and it turns out he goes to our church!  They took down the giant fluorescent light and the cans in the soffit were already gone so they put in two pendents and some recessed lights.  When I came home from the grocery store and saw the results I literally cried.  The kitchen looked so beautiful even with no cabinets or drawers and a huge hole in the wall.  I can't wait to see when it is all done.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Once again I find that so much time has passed since my last post.  Part of that is that we are working on the house and I think I spend every spare Internet minute looking at light fixtures or curtains or something like that.  I truly have purchased (and returned) three sets of drapes for the dining room before deciding on the ones I actually hung.  The sad part is once I got them up I really wished I had kept the first pair which I loved but really did not work with the room once we painted it. 

We found a lovely couple who have a small business refinishing cabinets and doing some carpentry work.  We have hired them to work on the kitchen.  They tore out the gigantic overhanging soffit and it already feels so much more open.  Currently the doors and drawers are at their shop being worked on which means you can see every sippy, every glass and every princess plate in my cabinets.  It also means that my silverware is in a box, my utensils are in another box and so on.  I am not complaining though, it is going to look great when we are all done and it is about 1/4 the cost of new cabinets.  We are going to have to wait and do the countertops and backsplash (oh yes, I will have a glass tile backsplash) in the spring but I can't wait to see the finished product. 

The crazy thing is even with all this chaos going on I feel really happy right now.  More than happy, I feel content.  The other night I was putting Sam to bed and after we read and I sang to him I just sat rocking him in the dark for a few minutes and I thought,  I want to remember this moment.  At 7:33 p.m. on November 14 2010 I felt content with my world.   I have not lost that extra ten pounds and I need my hair colored (badly I might add).  My kitchen is a crazy mess.  My bedroom curtains are being hung up by nails right now and you could feed a child with the crumbs that are in the folds of the chair I am sitting in (stinkin' graham crackers) but I am content.   I am not saying that none of that stuff matters or that I wouldn't like to eventually have curtain rods and a crumb free chair, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that none of that will provide contentment because it is very temporary.  My relationship with Jesus and his love for me and my love for Him is really the only thing out there that isn't temporary.  I have a hard time talking about my faith with people outside of my church (or past church) circles but as I was thinking about this the other day, I realized that the nicest thing I could do for anyone is to tell them about Jesus and how He has changed my life.  It is tough because you feel like maybe you will be judged by people or people will think you are weird or crazy but really even if they do so what.  It is not even really about the "eternal" implications of heaven and hell, it is about making it through this world.  It is about  knowing that someone who knows EVERYTHING about you and where you have been and what you have done LOVES you anyway.  When my mom died one of the things I struggled with most was feeling like no one would love me unconditionally.  When my mom found out I was having sex at 16 she was not happy and we had some serious talks but she loved me even though I disappointed her.  When I got in a car accident that was totally my fault, she loved me anyway.  It took awhile for me to really come to terms with the fact that Jesus loves me unconditionally even though he knows not just the public acts, but the private ones too.  This is the source of my contentment.  I can't guarantee that I will never feel discontent again and I still struggle with all kinds of things (not the least of which is my desire for perfection) but I know that righting any of the "wrongs" in my life will not fill me up only Jesus can do that.

Monday, October 04, 2010


I have not posted for quite some time because life has been crazy!  On July 14 Jeff came home from his annual review and said well my boss wants to know if we want to go to Naperville.  Conagra has an office in Naperville and Jeff had jokingly brought up the idea of him working from there because he was anxious to get back to a larger city.  So we came to Naperville to see if we could even afford to make the move.  We decided we could, it would be a stretch but we could get through.  And here we sit two months later writing this post from our house in Batavia Illinois just outside of Naperville.  What a whirlwind. 

God has been amazing throughout this whole thing.  We were able to sell our house before we even put it on the market.  We had a tough time finding a house out here but we feel like we are in the right house.  We are settling in.  Emelia started preschool, I found the Target, we are moving right along. 

Now to just take a deep breath and take it all in.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Woody and Buzz

We are back from our Disneyland/Papa Dave's house vacation.  A good time was had by all but we now face the challenge of getting back in to our routine.  Oh boy!  I will post pictures soon.

Emelia had some awesome quotes while we were gone. 

When Princess Aurora had to go backstage she says "she must have to go potty."

At one pint I made her try to go to teh bathroom before we left for teh park.  She sat on the toilet and said "the pee-pee is taking a relax right now and doesn't want to come out."  Really?  She is so funny.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Speaking of Poop...

Warning - the following post is perhaps more info than anyone wanted to know but after the thought popped in my head I thought "I must record this mom moment."

Have you ever walked in to a bathroom at someone else's house and thought "The person who was in here before me must have pooped."  You have this response not because it smells like poop but because it smells like lilac-scented poop.  This used to happen often at my grandma's house.  The grandkids would inevitably eat a bunch of junk but we were all pre-teens and were embarrassed that we pooped.  Grandma always had a can of air freshener on the back of the toilet - usually orchard spice or some such nonsense.  So you would walk in to the bathroom and it smelled like apple pie poop.  Gross, I know.

So Sam has been eating a lot of blueberries lately.  By a lot I mean I think he has eaten two cups in the last two and a half days.  So tonight I took off his shorts and his diaper was full.  I thought "that's strange" because when Sam poops people next door can smell it.  When I opened his diaper I was immediately taken back to grandmas', because it smelled like blueberry poop.  It also looked like blueberry pie filling.  Instead of being completely grossed out I was oddly nostalgic for grandma's apple pie poop bathroom.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Parenting Tips from a Priss

I confess, I am kind of a priss.  Not so much in demeanor but in my avoidance of dirt.  I am not a germaphobe and I have no issue with the things I can not see in dirt (like e-coli or what not), it is the mess that I see that bothers me.  (If you have known me since high school or college and have seen my room you will know that this has NOT been a life long problem.)  I somehow have come to equate pristine with serene.  When everything is in its' place then all will be peaceful.  (I don't know where I got this.)  I don't like it when my kids' faces are dirty or their clothes for that matter.  I don't like to make a mess and I don't like to play in the dirt.  I am not an outdoorsy girl.  I am not even a sporty girl.  I like to watch sports but I still have traumatic memories of doge ball and gym class.

I am trying desperately not to pass this on to Emelia.  I can't tell you how many times I would be sick to my stomach knowing someone was going to ask me to play volleyball at a picnic or softball at a company outing.  I don't want Emelia to go through that.  So I really try to be encouraging about playing sports and not being afraid of balls and the like.  I am not so good about letting everyone get messy.  Things have gotten better since Sam came because he is somehow inherently dirty - all the time.  I try to just let them be.    Messiness is not the end of the world and I am all for letting kids be kids.  Emelia does have some priss tendencies - she doesn't like to walk on sand and she is like the princess and the pea if one grain of sand gets in her shoes.  Sam could care less - you go buddy.

Today God gave me an excellent opportunity to practice priss-free parenting.  We went for a walk around the lake.  It is a 3.5 mile walk and then we stop at the playground.  It has been raining since Sunday here so there was lots of water.  When I tried to be fun and take a trail out to a little island I pushed the double wide through about five inches of mud.  So now my tires are covered in mud as are my shoes.  Okay, I will deal.    We get to the playground and the sand is all wet and Emelia and Sam are shoveling in it.  Sam proceeds to EAT a shovelful - with a smile and a few rocks spit back out.  Okay, I will deal.  Emelia has to go to the bathroom... in the outhouse.  Okay, still dealing.  Now Sam is covered in wet sand from head to toe and Emelia wants a snack.  We head back to the car and I dust Sam off the best I can, I use a wipe to wash hands and I throw in some sanitizer for good measure.  I hand each half a fruit and cereal bar.  Sam mashes it up and shoves as much of it in to his mouth as he can.  The rest he smears in his hair.   I give up.  We are going to Target, they will look like rug rats and I am just going to have to suck it up and deal.  I did just that.  We weren't pristine but we had fun, got what we needed and no one gave us a dirty look.  The woman at the bakery even gave us a free cookie.

Maybe messy is more fun.      

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baseball Babies

For Father's Day I had a friend of mine take some pictures of the kids in their Cardinals gear for Jeff.  It was not the best photo shoot either of them has had.  Halfway through they both had to break for a snack and that is when we got my favorite photo...

This one cracks me up because Emelia is trying to "put her arm around" Sam but she ends up choking him and looks delighted while Sam just looks put out.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Everyone Poops

This book is Emelia's current bedtime read of choice.  Why this book and why now I don't know.  The only thing I can think of is that bodily functions are funny at our house.

Jeff and my mom had something in common you see - they both loved potty humor.  My mom would stand in the card aisle for an hour trying to find just the right fart card.  Jeff makes up songs about poop and pee.  Abba's "Lovin' Me Lovin' You" turns in to Goin' Pee, Goin' Poo, I do numbers one and two.  Emelia and he father make each other laugh by playing a game called I want to eat... (then they fill in the blank with poopy diapers, or underpants or tushies.)  I try to discourage this because the first time she blurted out that she wanted to eat underpants in line at Target I about died.  Jeff is now on board with discouraging this but he can't help himself sometimes.

The other day Emelia tooted, I know because I could smell it.  I asked "did you toot" and she giggled and said "aahhhh it smells rosy!"  Then she proceeded to laugh hysterically.  I am pretty sure my mom was giggling right along with her up in heaven.

I try not to be a stick in the mud but my manners alarm goes off in huge ways when this stuff comes up, which is ironic given my mom's love of the word fart.  So,  alas we try to compromise by reading Everyone Poops.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Thank you to all my friends who sent me notes or phone calls of encouragement.  It really was helpful just two get it out on paper (not really paper but you know what I mean.)  God also used many different moments (calls from friends lyrics from a song, etc.) to give me a hug and say buck up camper.  Today I am filled with wonder at how good God is.  I feel like the funk has lifted and I can rejoice in who I am.  (By the way I put sugar in my coffee - and I am done thinking about it.)  I am certain there will still be days when I wish I was still a career woman but such is life,

Today is Sam's birthday.  Can you believe he is one year old?  As I was writing in my devotional this morning, there were days when I didn't think either one of us would make it to today.  Those first eight months were really hard, those first six weeks were mind-numbing.  So many times I yelled at God, where are you?  Why won't you make him sleep?  God was gentle and let me have my hissy fits and then reminded me that he never said life would be easy only that I would not have to bear it alone.  I just hope that some day I can help someone else when they are in the midst of a baby crisis.

I recently did a picture wall at my house, I am hoping to post pics soon but here are some of the pictures from that all.  Happy birthday Sam!

Monday, May 17, 2010


This past week I have been in a funk.  To be honest I have been feeling dumb and a little worthless.  If I look back I think I usually cycle through this feeling about every six months or so and it frustrates me that I can not shake it for good.  Logically I know I am an intelligent person but recently I am plagued by passing thoughts like "you are just a dumb housewife and you have no real value."  There are days when I pick up, sweep up, mop up and clean up incessantly, it is a never ending task with no real sense of accomplishment because it never gets "done".  I know I have two small children and I know that I am honoring God and that I am doing a good thing raising my kids but knowing those things and feeling those things are very different.  I believe that my emotions often lead me down the wrong path because they are not always based on truth and they are very hard to ignore.  I wish I knew some way to confront the emotions and take the sting out of them.

When I worked I had clients who regularly told me how much they valued my experience and my insight.  At this point I feel like I have no real knowledge to share with the world.  Most days I feel like I have no idea what I am doing and I really don't like that spot.  I used to be confident and even if I was not completely sure of a decision I could sell it to anyone within earshot.  Now I spend fifteen minutes debating wether to use sugar or splenda in my coffee because I can't decide which is worse, the calories from sugar or the chemicals from splenda.  Should I be eating this piece of string cheese?  Should I let Sam have an oatmeal raisin flax cookie?  Why doesn't Sam listen when I say no, is he too young or am I doing something wrong?  Am I teaching Emelia that happiness comes from things when I get her a new doll?  How can I find time to go to the gym, get my chores done and make sure Sam gets two naps?  Am I a bad friend?  Am I a bad mom?  Am I a bad wife?  Am I a bad christian?    I sometimes feel like I am being held captive by the never ending doubts in my head.  If I don't focus on a specific thing I can just become lost inside my own brain.  Normally I do a pretty good job of navigating this sea of craziness but last week I could not seem to right my ship on that sea.  Then I get mad at myself for not capturing my thoughts and taming my tongue and all the other things the Bible says to do and then I end up in this tailspin.  

I am not sure why I am writing about this other than that maybe getting it out would help me to tame it.  Writing about it does seem  to bring some clarity to the funk.  I have been having trouble identifying what I was feeling.  The trouble with feelings is that they have no merit.  They are not based on reality most of the time nor are they based on logic but I don't know what to do with these things.  How do you place a value on your day when you stay at home?  I think I start to assign value based on the nutritional value of my children's food, the cleanliness of my house, the behavior of my children, the things checked off my to-do list, etc.  The problem with that is then I always fail.  Not a day goes by that the floors are not dirty,  I don't drink enough water, I have not had enough quiet time with God, my children have not  eaten enough vegetables, we have not watched too much TV according the AAP, I haven't worked out enough, etc.  I try to tell myself that some days I just have to be "enough" and be satisfied with putting in a good effort because  no one ever died from watching too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or eating a fruit snack.  In my mind I believe that, but these feelings of inadequacy just mount until I feel worthless and filled with doubt.  Maybe the problem is not that I don't have enough knowledge, maybe I have too much knowledge.  Maybe if I did not know about the toddler food pyramid and the AAP guidelines for TV viewing for children and the "seven rules for raising well-behaved kids" I would not know everything I wasn't doing right.  I don't know, I guess for now the best I can do is pray, try to clean the kitchen and have another cup of coffee with splenda since I put sugar in the last cup.         

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Emelia's List

Emelia told me she was making a list, which for her is squiggles on paper, but she loves list making.  (Wonder where she gets that!?!)  I asked her what was one her list and this is what she said...

Peanut Butter
Exerists (a made up word that she says is "fancy" for candy)

Not a bad list if you are three...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cutie Pies

I have not posted photos in awhile mostly because I did not know how to get the pics off our new camera but today I did it!  (Go me!)  Here are some funny pics of the kids.

Sam got in to Emelia's markers (washable thank goodness) and here is the result.

Emelia saw this dress on our first ever girl's shopping trip.  She got to try it on in the fitting room.  She loved the whole experience.  She also had her first piece of chewing gum that day.  It was a big day.
Sam is a really good eater.  He seems to really eat almost anything you put in front of him except fruit.  He only likes bananas, which is funny since Emelia only liked fruit at this age.  They are just so different.  Here he is enjoying spaghetti.

When the weather finally got nice we started venturing out but one day we were supposed to hit the zoo but rain sent us to the Children's Museum instead.  They both had a blast.

Sam thinks his sister is about the funniest person ever.  He is such a big fan.  She is good with him but sometimes feels more strongly about her Barbie than she does Sam.  It will be intersting to see where their relationship goes throughout the years.  I remember having a conversation with my friend Amber about something relating to her brother and her level of love and devotion to him has always stuck with me as I think about Sam and Emelia.  I just pray that they end up the same way.   

One thing is for sure life is never boring.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

6:58 and all is well

It is 6:58 a.m. and I am the only one awake in my house.  This is unprecedented.  Em and Sam are both usually awake by 6:30 at least, one blessing from daylight savings time because Sam used to think 5:00 a.m. was a good wake up time.  I had a cup of coffee, did my Bible study had some quiet time with God.  Yahoo!  What a good start to my day.  We went to the playground last night and I am pretty sure the fresh air is knocking them out.  It has been five months since we had any so  it is refreshing.

I better go wake Jeff up.  We have not had to set an alarm since Sam was born so he might be late for work.

More wit and wisdom from my three year old....  The other day I was mad at myself because I went to Hobby Lobby to purchase 2 yards of ribbon to finish this projects I was working on.  I found that and more.  Well I left the ribbon at the store.  Ugh!  Emelia asked what was wrong and I said I was frustrated.  She said "mommy, do you need to take a deep breath or have a little quiet time with God?"  Yes, Emelia I probably do. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mini March Madness

Apparently Emelia has been watching March Madness with her daddy.  The other day she told me her pony's name was "whitey".  This is what Jeff calls every Caucasian player whose name he doesn't know when watching basketball.  (e.g, "Give it to Whitey, he's wide open.)  All other players get called by their number but for some reason the white guys don't.  I don't ask why, I just go with it.    By the way, in case you were wondering, Emelia told me her other pony's name is Murray State.  Awesome!  

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Off the Wagon

I seem to have fallen off the blog wagon.  February is always a sort of yucky month.  As usual this one was no different.  It has been five years since my mom died and one year since Jeff's dad died.  It is hard to believe.  On the 26 a good friend of ours lost his father and earlier this month a friend of mine lost a baby.  It just seems like such a strange thing.  I am adding it to my list of questions for heaven.  February also seems to mark the time of year when I am so DONE with winter.  March is never a whole lot warmer in actual degrees but it feels like spring is coming.  It was 43 degrees and I almost busted out my flip flops.  Needless to say I am happy to welcome March.

Things seem to be relatively calm right now.  I should not actually even write that because the second I start to settle in I feel like I unravel shortly thereafter.  I did want to take a minute and document some of the funny things Emelia has been saying lately.  She is just becoming such a little person.  She cracks me up.  She is also so cute I just want to squish her half the time. 

On our recent road trip to Bloomington we were in a McDonald's restroom where I was trying to get her to go potty before we got back in the car and she was sitting on the toilet singing and bopping around.  I said Emelia focus, go pee pee.  She proclaimed loud and proud " Buttocks, make pee-pee." I use the term tush but Jeff uses the term buttocks, needless to say I know where she picked that up.

This morning she was in the bathroom and she said "excuse me, I would like some company."  Really?

She is really picking up on what we say.  I try to teach her things and I get frustrated because it seems like she is not getting it and then one day she will just blurt it out.  I was trying to tell her that we live in Omaha but she said no we live in a house.  Yes, that is true but, nevermind.  It did not seem to sink in and then two weeks later we were on our road trip and she said I want to go back to Omaha. 

She is just a funny little noodle.  So far this is my favorite stage.  Sam is also hitting a good streak.  I can't wait until he starts talking so I can really see his personality shining through.  He already has clear preferences in food and books.  He will eat almost anything but fruit.  He only wants to eat things that he can pick up.  He has a tough time with fruit because it is slipery.  He likes fruit and yogurt and will still occasionally eat fruit if I puree it but he will eat a whole can of pinto bean in three days time.  He routinely eats more than Emelia at meal time.  Like his sister before him he loves cheese.  He usually eats an entire thing of string cheese for dinner.  I made these applesauce muffins that have butternut squash in them and he LOVES them.  They are full of good stuff.  One day he had a few to many and pooped three times in two hours.

At this very moment in this exact spot life is pretty darn good.  I thank God for that and try to bask in the glow of His grace for the moment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have come to realize that life with your second child is much different than life with your first.  For instance...

I fished a small plastic squirrel out of Sam's mouth and noticed his tongue was bright blue.  The exact bright blue as the play-doh Emelia had been playing with.  I looked on the package of play-doh and it said "fun to play with not to eat."  Yet no where did it say if ingested blah blah blah.  So I assumed it was not a great idea to eat it but it was probably non-toxic.  Now, if that had been Emelia with a blue tongue I would have been on the phone with poison control while looking up play-doh toxicity on the Internet and calling my Dr. on the cell phone.  Oh well, Sam is fine, and besides it probably tasted better than the dog food I fished out of his mouth earlier.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


What a blah day.  I feel like I just walked around in a stupor all day.  Jeff is out of town and so it makes for long days.  Emelia was up at 1:00 with a bad dream.  I woke up all sweaty at 4:30 and then Emelia decided it was really time to get up at 6:30.  I don't mind 6:30 but on the heels of a sleep deprived morning it was not pretty.  I basically stayed in my pajamas all day.  We all did.  Emelia couldn't be happier and Sam doesn't know the difference but I think it just contributes to the blahs.  It snowed off and on all day which is why we did not go anywhere.  It was just a weird stereotypical stay-at-home mom day.  I washed clothes, picked up toys, fed children, changed diapers, looked up a poop question on the internet, talked to a friend on the phone, ate leftovers (while standing up feeding Sam), washed dishes, handed out one spanking and two time outs,  nursed, prayed, wished it was summer and pre-made the coffee so I can get up and do it all again tomorrow. 

 We are supposed to have our mom's group at church tomorrow.  At last, a reason to get dressed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Decision 2010

No I am not talking about the midterm elections, I am talking about paint colors.  I currently have nine, yes nine, paint samples painted on the wall. Since I am painting the entire downstairs, except the office, my paint color must look good on many walls so I have nine paint swatches on three different walls and my kitchen island.  The guy at Home Depot thinks I am nuts, I have bought nine samplesize paints over the course of one week.  I sort of think I am nuts too, but this is a big undertaking so I want to get it right.  I am scared to paint but I have watched enough HGTV that I think I can do just about anything.  We will soon see.  I have been imagining how the living room would look for about nine months now.  I lay awake at night thinking about how the living room will look.  I am not sure why this has become such a big deal to me but I am sort of obsessed.  I think maybe because it is like my office now.  I spend so much time there.  I also think I like a good project.  I like to plan and prep and imagine and create.  I am not great at this but I feel like I am getting better at it but most importantly I am enjoying it. 

Monday, January 25, 2010


This weekend Jeff went to a men's retreat at church. He came home with some interesting thoughts.

He decided it was time to fix our marriage - now. Our marriage is not broken but it is neglected. We both know it and we openly talk about it but we both just sort of feel like we can recommitt to each other when Sam is a little older and not so demanding. The problem with that reasoning, as Jeff says, is who or what will we be when Sam is less demanding. You can only walk in opposite directions for so long before you are to far away from each other to get back.

It is sort of like a car, you have to do routine maintenance so the engine doesn't fall apart. We had a great conversation yesterday when he returned. It was such a relief.

It is sort of like the elephant in the room that no one talks about. I love my husband and I know that he loves me but lately we have not been taking time for each other. We have not been considerate of one another and we have not been focused on one another. We have been really just getting by.

I am thrilled to reclaim my marriage because the most important thing I can do for my children is love and honor their father.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not Much to Report

Sam has been sleeping a little better the last two nights. He still wakes up but he is able to get himself back to sleep. I think I got eight hours of sleep last night. Hooray!

Emelia has officially given up her nap but she is doing well with quiet time. She goes into her room and watches a movie on the portable dvd player. She has time to just relax and I have time to not have to talk to anyone. It works out ok. I usually only get an hour but it is better than nothing. If you had told me three months ago that she was going to give up her nap I would have been devestated and fought it kicking and screaming but we have just sort of settled in to this new reality. Who knows,maybe when she starts preschool in the fall whe will resume her naps.

We are in the process of checking out preschools. I am not sure what I should even be looking for but luckily I have a book that tells me. : ) I have started doing school with her in the afternoon while Sam is naping. We just do letter/numbers/phonics. She knows all of her letters and can count to twenty. She is starting to get the hang of some phonics stuff. I need to try to find a book to guide me but right now we just use and alphabet book and talk about letters and sounds.

Other than that there is not much left to report. Oh, we got a new couch, I love it! I think I will go sit on it right now

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What a day

The high points of my day...

On the way home from the gym (high point number one) Emelia said "Look mommy the pink angel." This is a reference to the angels who came to the shepherds to tell them about Jesus' birth. In our book there are several angels and they are all different colors. Emelia wanted to know their names so I named them by their colors. I looked around expecting to see a billboard or something with an angel. I didn't see anything so I asked her where she saw the pink angel and she pointed to a beautiful sunset. I said, "It is the pink angel." She said, "God sent her to our house." Indeed He did sweet girl...

Then tonight I came downstairs after putting Sam down and I waited for Jeff to come down after putting Emelia down. Then I waited and waited and waited. When he didn't come down I went upstairs. He wasn't in our room so I peeked in to Emelia's room and he was fast asleep on her bed next to her, lights on. Apparently they were "relaxing" waiting for me to come say goodnight. Collective awwww coming now.

So Tired

It was lovely outside yesterday - 41 degrees for the high. We ran through the sprinklers. I'm kidding but it was warm. I am not sure if it is the fluctuating temperatures or what but no one in our house is sleeping well right now. Sam is waking up periodically throughout the night. He usually gets himself back to sleep but I can't say the same for the mommy and the daddy. Emelia is trying to give up her nap so she sleeps about every fifth day but has quiet time otherwise. Sam went down for his morning nap at 8:00. Really? What is our problem? I don't know but I hope we figure it out soon before we all turn in to zombies - not the creepy kind, just the sleepy kind.

Monday, January 11, 2010

By the Way...

I just took the dog outside and thought, "Man it is nice outside today!" The current temperature - 24 degrees.

It is all about perspective folks.

Spoke to Soon

Yesterday was a really good day. We went to church on Saturday night so we had a very leisurely morning. We went to Hy-Vee for breakfast and the kids were really good. Sam was content to munch crackers and puffs, Emelia ate two helpings of everything from the breakfast buffet, I got to drink an entire cup of coffee - while it was hot. Yippe skippy!

It just all felt very relaxed. Jeff and I were commenting on what a difference a month makes. After we came back from Turks and Caicos we decided to stop going out to eat for awhile because Sam just made it miserable. He was not happy in a high chair and wanted to be held but that left one of us eating one handed and both of us shoveling food into our mouths like a little Japanese man eating hot dogs on one of those competitive eating shows. Now he sits nicely in his high chair and munches on finger foods for the most part.

Last night at small group we were commenting on how we feel like we are finally hitting a groove, Sam is sleeping well, no one has been sick, we are just sort of back in the swing of things. Then we all went to bed...

At about 1:30 Emelia woke up crying and tried to come in our room but the door had shut and she couldn't get in. She had to go potty and ended up peeing in her pull up and was very upset. (Why she came to our room and not the bathroom first I don't know.) Fine, she went back to sleep. About ten minutes later Sam started sreaming - she had woken him up we think. It took an hour to get him back to sleep and his screaming woke Emelia up again. She proceeded to throw up in her bed. It was just a little bit but now it is 2:30 and I am changing sheets and pajamas. I thought maybe they would sleep late since they were both up during the night. Nope, Sam was chipper at 6:40 just like usual.

Here's to a better night tonight.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Must Get Out

I must get out of the house today, I don't care how cold it is. With every hour that passes inside I think the naughtiness factor increases - for all of us. Wish me luck as I seek word from the outside world.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Rock Star

Emelia is currently marching around the house in her pajamas and a crown singing "I am a rock star". Awesome!

So today I wanted to write down some thoughts on parenting that I thought about when I was up at 5:30 feeding Sam.

Parenting is hard. True, it is rewarding but it is hard and I don't think as a society we talk about it enough. One child is tough but two children is not two times as hard it is five times as hard and no one talks about it. When I was pregnant people would tell me that I had no idea what I was in for but that was just ominous, not informative. I often ask my friends who have multiple children why no one talks about the trials of parenthood and they always say no one wants to scare people. I say scare away! A little population control would not hurt anyone! (Just kidding!) I understand their point but there has to be a way to say this is difficult, and when it gets really hard and overwhelming, know that you are not the only one who thinks that. I think that feeling of isolation contributes to the difficulty of having two or more kids. I think Satan works in that isolation. He plants seeds of doubt and dissension in your head. "You are the only one who can't handle this." "No one else would understand because they have good kids." "You are a terrible mother, how can you even think that you don't like your kids?" Those thoughts fly through your head and you don't have enough wisdom or sleep to be able to process them as the lies that they are. These thoughts start to pile up and then you can not get out from under them without a complete breakdown/breakthrough. I have found that when I have a complete melt down I usually break through to a new level of understanding either about God's mercies or my own need for grace and love.

I, for one, am happy to talk about how hard it is so that other moms don't think they are crazy. To quote my favorite yoda mom (I will call her Q - like Q in the James Bond movies, she gives me the tools and the tricks to navigate my job.) "Sometimes you just need someone to sit on the porch next to you and tell you that you are not crazy." I want to be that someone for other moms. So for my friends who are new moms, new second time moms, etc. I am coming to your porch sister!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Fun Stuff

So I forgot to write about Emelia's Christmas singing at church. I definitely want to remember that for posterity. Lucky for you we have a pictorial to go with the story.

Emelia loves to sing and picks up lyrics to songs pretty easily. (This is why I have had to give up Britney Spears - I know it was time.) So when we got a cd with the music for the Christmas program we sang it in the car non-stop. She knew the words and the motions and everything. She had a practice session on the Saturday before the actual program and Jeff said she did great. (I was home prepping for the birthday party.)

These are donkey ears in case you were wondering

So we put on our Christmas dress and headed to church. She was all jazzed up to sing. Sam had a little bit of a cold so I kept him out of the nursery and was holding him in the back of the church when they came in to sing. I was filled with pride. She looked so cute and she got up there singing and clapping - so cute!

Can you stand the dress?

The Bible is right, "pride goeth before the fall." Just as I was marveling at my little cutie she stopped singing, looked at her friend Allison and wrapped her up in a giant hug.

Yep she is a serial hugger...

She spent all but a few minutes of the rest of the program hugging Allison. Afterwards she told me how much fun it was to sing at church. I asked her why she decided to hug Allison and she said because Jesus is love. You can't beat that.

Good News

Well, I am pleased to report that the expected high today is now 12 degrees. Great news, except that it accompanies another five inches of snow. Then tomorrow the snow will be blown around by 40 mph winds which will create blizzard conditions. Then the really good news... the high on Friday will be -2.

The real problem with this cold weather is that we don't leave the house. Last week out of nine days we went out once. It makes the days a little long and the mommy a litle stir crazy. I will sit inside and try to be greatful for the house I live in and the heat that I have. I can't imagine what it is like to be homeless during this particular cold stretch.

Monday, January 04, 2010


Um the "high" on Wednesday is supposed to be 0, yes, ZERO. The low is -11. They are expecting wind gusts that will make it feel like -40. What is that?

The Binky Fairy

The Binky Fairy came to our house last night and dropped off the Pony Palace (part of the Precious Princess line - don't get me started on that whole scam.) Emelia has always loved her Binky, from the day we brought her home. When she turned two we told her she could only have Binky at nap and nighttime with the intention of getting rid of it altogether in short order. The dentist had already lectured me about it. Well we never did get rid of it mostly because she was always happy to go to bed so she could see "friend binky" as she called it.

We went to the dentist again in June and she wanted me to get rid of it but this was at the height of Sam's reflux and I just did not have the energy to battle two kids every day. So again we let it go. Then we went to the dentist two weeks ago and she shamed me. She gave me that look and said she still has her pacifier doesn't she? I thought about finding a new dentist, one that would let Emelia keep her binky for eternity but I knew that was not the answer.

So instead we began to talk about the Binky Fairy. She was very in to the Barbie Thumbelina movie so I showed her one of the nameless fairies and declared that she was the binky fairy and that if she gave up her binky forever the fairy would bring her the Pony Palace. She is three and her understanding of forever is limited as I quickly found out. She handed me binky and asked if the binky fairy would come. I congratulated myself on how easy this was going to be and said of course. Then she rolled over and said can I have binky back now. So much for easy.

We decided that we would skip the binky fairy and just tell her that if she gave up the pacifier for four days without fuss that she could have the Pony Palace. Then when it was getting difficult and it was Dec. 23 Jeff said let's do this after Christmas. I agreed. Then on Thursday I could not find Binky when it was time for nap. I took it as a sign from God. That first nap was miserable. She cried but it wasn't a "I am not getting my way" cry, it was a mourning cry. She was so sad and really missed her friend. That night was better but nap the next day was hard again. I also think she may be getting ready to drop her nap. (I am so sad about this - I love nap time.) So put all of this together and nap has been tricky but nighttime has been ok. She no longer asks for her friend and it has been four days so the Binky Fairy came and she was so excited.

I know this is yet another milestone but I too am a little sad about Binky going away. He brought her great comfort when she was scared or tired or sad. He also was the last piece of babyhood she had. She is a big girl now and that makes me just a little bit sad.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Magic of Disney

Yesterday I had the honor of taking Emelia to her first movie theater movie. As it turns out it was also my first movie-theater movie since moving to Omaha in October of 2007. Yep, pretty sad isn't it?

We saw Princess and the Frog. It was a good movie. Some of it was a little scary and some a little sad but overall we really enjoyed it. Emelia did a pretty good job of sitting still. She would have been fine if the movie had started on time. The movie was supposed to start at 9:55 and at 10:10 they were just finishing up the last preview. The movie was good but the experience was awesome.

It was so great to see things through her eyes. The movie theater had a space theme so in the lobby by the concession stand there was this mini-planetarium thing with twinkling stars on the ceiling. After we got our popcorn she just wanted to sit on a bench and look at the stars. She thought they were so cool. She wore her Princess Tiana dress and showed it off to everyone who looked twice at her. The ticket taker said "my what a pretty dress" and Emelia said "thank you, isn't it lovely?"

Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to a blog entry about taking stock of moments that are as good as it gets. We spend a lot of time trying to create the perfect moment and trying to make things just right. Our kids don't really need any of that. They just need our time and attention. Emelia would have been happy if we sat in the lobby and looked at those stars munching popcorn for an hour. Sometimes we just need to be grateful for the moments that are as good as it gets for that day. Right now as we all watch Bolt at 6:30 in the morning while we eat our cereal I will be grateful for this moment because this may be as good as it gets for today.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2010 The Year of Nothing

In 2010 Jeff and I are hoping to return to normal a little bit. I am going to use 2008 as a model. You see here is what the previous decade looked like... (feel free to debate amongst yourselves if this is really a new decade or not)

2000 - We celebrate our one year anniversary of dating in April, get engaged in July, yeah for us, move in together in August (not a choice I would make now but then it seemed like the way to go.)

2001 - Spend every waking minute looking at theknot.com and reading bridal magazines,get married, hooray!

2002 - Experience mostly wedded bliss, decide to move to St. Louis to be closer to family.

2003 - Move to St. Louis in January, mom diagnosed with breast cancer in April.

2004 - Mom in remission in January, mom has recurrence in September.
2005 - Mom dies, world falls apart, I turn in to a freak of nature, Jeff tolerates me, we eventually heal.
2006 - Pregnant with Emelia in April, she is born in December.
2007 - New baby, move to Omaha in October.
2008 - Nothing until September when I find out I am pregnant with Sam. That was the best 8 months we have strung together in a while. (It wasn't that I wasn't happy to be pregnant, but I was SO sick.) Do you see why 2008 is the model year, a whole lot of nothing.
2009 - Jeff's dad dies in February, Sam comes in May and rocks our world. Life is HARD all the time it feels like. I keep repeating God works all things out for the good of those how love him, not the easy.

So you see, I am looking for twelve months of nothing, not a single solitary thing. Just living life, having some family fun (thanks for the Mickey Mouse bingo Grammy E), going on some child free dates, taking a vacation, trying to eat better, live better and do better, you know just normal stuff. Oh to have some normal would be so extraordinary.

One of the things I am striving for in my normal world is to write more on the blog, 133 times to be exact. Yes, I set a number goal, yes it is a random number, but my type A self needs a goal and three is my favorite number. (333 seemed like a lofty goal so I went with 133.) One down, 132 more to go...