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 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...