Friday, July 31, 2009


On Sunday Charlotte temporarily broke our TV. She decided that it needed to be cleaned and proceeded to spray it with the water sprayer that I use on her hair. Needless to say, the TV doesn't do well with a bath. Overnight it dried out and everything turned out OK, but that night she was completely heartbroken to have been the one to break the TV. I desperately tried to calm her down, but nothing was working. Then I said, "Let's call Grandma and tell her what happened." Her response was incoherent bawling and nodding her head. Then I said, "You have to calm down because people can't understand you when you're crying on the phone."

Surprisingly it worked! She calmed down enough to talk to grandma and the calm did last for a little bit. So then when the tears started back up we called the other grandma and told her. It really helped.

A few nights later we were eating dinner and she started to tell us the story of the baptized TV. (She does this often when she wants to be part of a conversation.) She got to the part where I'm convincing her to call her grandparents and she says, "People can't stand me when I cry." I almost shot milk out my nose at that because it's so very true.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The weekend before Daniel started his thrid year he decided that it was high time we got the dining room painted. I'd been wanting to get it painted, but as you know, in a house this old nothing is as simple as it sounds. In order to paint the room we needed to fix any cracks in the wall and the texture of the walls so that they would match above and below the chair rail and also the rest of the house. Daniel worked very hard that weekend, but it didn't get finished.

Then third year started.

So now, a month later, we have it done. I must say that I'm pleased with how it turned out, but even more pleased with not having to eat in the living room anymore.
Here is a shot of before, just to remind you of what it used to look like. It wasn't bad, it was just really dark (and sort of purple).
Here is what it looks like now!

And yes, these photos do convince me that someone other than myself should be taking the photos of our house when we put it up for sale.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lazy Days

My sister mentioned to me a while back about how when she's at church she hears a lot about how being a mom is really hard. Her reaction to that, not yet being a mom herself, is to think gee you're really making that sound like I should run in the other direction. I understand what those women are doing and saying while at church, they are mostly surrounded by other moms and sharing your struggles sometimes lessens them and also other moms might have a tip or two with what you're struggling with. I also think that it's important to watch what you say. Being a mom does have it's challenges, but it also has it's rewards. Too often I find myself putting my focus on my struggles and not my successes.

Like yesterday.

Do you remember when you were little and the summer days just seemed to stretch out before you with endless possibilities? I remember being in the huge backyard of the neighbor's house across the street running through their sprinkler and loving it. It's for that reason actually that I always prefer to buy that type of sprinkler for our lawn.

Getting back to yesterday, I had watched one of Charlotte's little friends in the morning and was just about as exhausted as watching two two-year-olds for about 4.5 hours can get you. After her friend left Charlotte decided she didn't need to take a nap, but boy did she ever. I decided to give up on the productivity I was going to have that day and, remembering my love of running through the sprinkler, I thought I'd try to turn it on and she if she likes it too.

She ran around it a couple of times and then was bored. I was focusing on the challenge before me and not the opportunity. That is until I realized that nobody likes to run through the sprinkler alone so I decided to go out and enjoy the summer and indulge myself. We ran through the sprinkler and around the backyard for about an hour. It was at that point that I was so happy that my daughter had such a full and fun summer day. The type of day that I had and look back on and love.

My favorite thing about being a mom is giving my children moments like yesterday. Moments that she can look back on and say she had joy and love and that her mom liked to be with her and have fun with her. I know she wont remember much of her two year old little self, but I have faith that I'm laying the foundations of future awesomeness.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Grandpa Greg purchased Baby Greg his first golfing outfit which he wore to church yesterday. He got many complements.

Also, I got an interesting view of myself from my daughter's eyes yesterday. She was being particularly bossy towards everyone last night when this conversation insued:

Dan: "Charlotte, you need to stop."
Charlotte: "No"
Dan: "You're not the boss of everyone."
Charlotte: "Yes, I'm mommy."

Apparently I must be very bossy in her eyes.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Gateway Drug

We visited over at some friends' house last Saturday and I mentioned that I was tired of watching The Incredibles (or really hearing it from the other room) and the wife offered to let us borrow some of her movies. I told her that it would be great for a little break and went over to look. She has a much better collection than I of Disney movies so I picked up Cinderella and The Lion King. I thought Cinderella would be a hard sell for Charlotte since she prefers The Incredibles to The Little Mermaid at home so The Lion King was to hedge my bet.

We have watched Cinderella EVERY DAY since then. My daughter loves it. What's more she didn't really get The Lion King. I was surprised at how wrong I was about what she would like. Now that she knows about Cinderella I'm sure it wont be long until she finds out about the whole slew of Disney Princesses.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What to Wear

I recently received a promotional email from the Picture People. They offered to get a free picture packet including one 8x10 a sheet of 5x7 and a sheet of wallets for FREE. I called to ask if I'd need to pay for a sitting fee thinking that there's got to be a catch, but there isn't. So I scheduled another session for Greg to get his photos taken. He already had them taken by the Picture People, but I hadn't planned right so he was hungry and tired and Charlotte wasn't too happy and so the photos, though good, weren't necessarily my favorite of him. I'm excited that they're essentially giving me a free re-do! Now I've just got to figure out what to put him in.

Attitude Adjustment

You know how every so often you're going along just fine and then one day a while later you realize that you're no longer quite so peaceful, happy, or content as you used to be? I realized that last weekend. Or rather what I realized I needed was an attitude adjustment. I've been losing my cool way too much with my children, finding fault with my husband where there really isn't any, and getting overly annoyed at the little things in life that aren't exactly as I would like them.

I know what you might be thinking, "you've got a two month old baby, that explains a lot." But the thing is that I don't think that's it. Or maybe it is, but I don't want to use that as an excuse. I don't feel like that's it anyway.

So I've decided to make a conscious effort to stay positive. Like last night when I'd worked really hard to clean the house (I even vacuumed under the couch cushions) and then still had the kitchen to clean after putting Charlotte to bed. I could really have lost it right then. I felt myself getting really mad, but then I thought, what's the point? So I just did the dishes and wiped off the counters and then as I was walking out of the room, just before I turned off the light I looked back at the clean kitchen knowing that my entire house was clean. That was a good feeling.

Or today when I took the kids to the Botanical Gardens with some friends. This is an activity that Charlotte normally loves, at a time she is normally most energetic, but not today. We made it all the way to the back of the gardens to feed the fish (which is what she requested in the first place) when she decided she wanted to be carried. I had Greg in the baby carrier and no stroller so we walked the entire way back to the entrance with her howling. My saintly friend took her 9 month old baby out of her stroller so I could put Greg in it and deal with Charlotte. I tried to get her to stop crying but it was no use. I wasn't carrying her after she acted like that. The people passing us were literally staring as snot was shooting out her nose. When we were close to the exit one very helpful father said, "You're almost there." I could have gotten frustrated that none of my plan had worked out that day, OK, well, I was mad. But instead of losing it I just laughed because there was nothing else I could do. I had tried my best and things just didn't work out.

So anyway, my point is that I'm trying to stay more positive and on top of things. I really am. My plan is to try and overlap naps at least a little and take some time to just relax. Everyone needs a break right?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

4th of July--Take 2

My camera battery died on the 4th of July so I didn't get to take these. Here's what my kids wore to church on the 5th. Here's what they wore on the 4th.
Aren't they the cutest?

Friday, July 17, 2009

We've Got Worms

Night before last Charlotte woke up about midnight screaming about worms being in her bed and touching her. Daniel went in to try and convince her that in fact she was dreaming and there were no worms in her bed. Try as he might he could not convince her. She knew better. So he ended up bringing her into our bed. For the first time in her life she spent the night with us. Which meant that Daniel spent the night on the floor next to the bed.

When she got up we tried to show and convince her that there were no worms in her bed, but she wasn't buying it. She refused to nap in her bed yesterday afternoon. So after dinner Daniel took her upstairs and de-wormed her bed. I pretended to look up on the computer how to get rid of worms then I told her you have to jump on your bed three times and then vacuum under the bed to suck up all the worms that fell out. If you do that three times all the worms will be gone. So she and Daniel went upstairs and did just that. It was really funny to listen to her dad very seriously tell her that she had to jump very high to get all the worms out. She actually made him jump on one end, which must have been the end that the worms were in in her dream. Then we all piled on her bed together to show her that there were no more worms. Luckily it worked and she slept in her bed all through the night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Steak Dinners

My husband got his board score today. What a relief! He did very well and I'm so proud of him. It really made the 8 weeks or so of not really getting to see him worth it.

When I told my husband I had called my mom and sister to tell them how awesome he did he asked me if I had remembered to thank them for helping us through that time. I admit that I neglected to thank them. So to everyone that came to us for that two month time period,

Thank You!

From the bottom of our hearts. He could not and we could not have done it without you. We love you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Testament

When Daniel was on his mission in Chile he decided to buy a wonderful alpaca blanket. It was purchased for his future wife, which he had never met. Then I got it for Christmas the year we were engaged. I love this blanket.

When Daniel was 8 he realized how awesome all his brio train set stuff was so he packed it up and stored it. For his future children. Last vacation we were at his parents' place and we dug it out of all the stored stuff. We didn't have enough room to put it in our luggage home so Grandma LeAnn mailed it to us. It arrived yesterday and I took photos. They are a testament to Daniel's foresight and Grandma LeAnn's insight.

She had added a set of farm animal stuff.

And sent it in a big box full of packing peanuts.

Friday, July 10, 2009

For Katie

My sister says I don't show her enough photos. OK, so technically she says I don't take enough photos. Here are a few the I have taken recently.

This was after Charlotte's bath. She ran into her room and then said, "Char-lotte, Ah are you?" Which is my cue to come looking for her. I walked in and she was hiding/pretending to sleep with her stuffed animals.

I was trying to get a photo of his dimples. I know he has one, but I think he might have another one on the other side. I just couldn't time the picture right.
Here's the family after Greg's baby blessing. It is super cold in the photo so Charlotte and I are trying to fake being comfortable. I don't know if we convinced anyone.
Greg on his blessing day. He's wearing the same outfit that Daniel wore and the blanket Grandma LeAnn made especially for him.The first time I was actually able to capture a smile!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Behavior Problems

Charlotte is having behavior problems and I've got to do something about it. She's in the "MINE" phase right now and whenever she gets around her friends that are about the same age it always ends up in yelling and tears. She and the other kids feed off each other. I don't care what the other moms do with their kids but I don't want my kid to be yelling, fighting, and crying. At a loss as to what to do about this I called my mom. She gave me good advice and I'm going to implement it and see if it works. I certainly hope it does.

Because if it doesn't mommy's going to need a vacation.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Off On The Right Foot

Yesterday was the first day of Daniel's third year in medical school. This year is said to be the hardest one yet. Also, its the first year that Dan is finally no longer in the classroom. As he put it, "I'm finally out, after 18 years of being in the classroom." Needless to say he was pretty excited.

He had general third year orientation yesterday. Before that he and his group of buddies that played basketball in the mornings during second year decided to have one last hurrah game. With only a minute left of play, Daniel stepped on another guys foot and injured his ankle. He had to wear an ankle brace yesterday and when he took it off at home his ankle swelled right up. He had to wear it again today.

Today is the group specific orientation. His group is doing ambulatory internal medicine this month and he was reading stuff and getting ready for it last evening. He said the orientation started at 9 AM today. This morning at 8 AM he was finishing putting on his ankle brace and shoes and his friend calls him telling him that he needs to get to school right away. Apparently his group started at 8 AM. I quick grabbed him a bagel and cream cheese and a lunch for him and off he went. Then he had to circle back home to grab his white coat which he forgot in his mad dash out the door.

I feel so bad for him. I know this is not the impression he wanted to make on his first day. I hope that in spite of the bum ankle and the tardy arrival that today's orientation goes well for him.

Friday, July 03, 2009

4 Years

Yesterday was our 4th anniversary. We celebrated by going on an honest to goodness date. Dinner and a movie. It was so much fun just to be with Daniel and I realized how much I miss that recently. While getting ready for the date I was reminded of the change that happens with 4 years. The following conversation, that happened as we were getting ready, is a great example:

Dan: "I'm not going to shave. It hurts if I do it too much. The neck hairs have to be long enough or it will hurt."

Me: "That's OK. I'm not shaving either."

Dan: "OK."

I stinking love Daniel. He's so awesome.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


While weeding the vegetable garden I am often so focused on getting out those nasty things that I don't notice much of what else goes on around me. This morning was no exception. We have two beautiful mature trumpet vines in our backyard right next to the vegetable garden. I love them, but have learned a few things about having trumpet vines. First, if you till up the area where a lot of the root stalk is to level out that ground for a garden bed you will cut some of the stalk into tiny pieces. If you leave these pieces in the ground they will become their own new plant that you then have to constantly pull out of the garden. Second, if you pull it out of the ground, but don't exactly throw it all the way out of the bed, it will re-plant itself. Third, if a vine from the original plant touches the ground long enough it will grow it's own root system and become another new plant. The trumpet vine is a very hardy plant.

All this adds up to a whole lot of weeding the stinking thing out of the vegetables. I was doing just that this morning when I looked up through the monstrous pumpkin vine and saw Suzie, our cat, walking up the back sidewalk. Happy to see her I put down my tools to start to pet her. Then she came a little closer and I saw she was bringing me a present. A live bird fighting to get free. And she was bringing it straight to me!

I did what any normal person would do. I jumped up and ran to the back door to get Daniel to save the bird. I was yelling, "Let it go Suzie! Let it go!" The door was locked so I couldn't get Daniel soon enough. Suzie brought the bird right to where I had been weeding and started to try to thoroughly kill it while I watched horrified at the back door.

Luckily this bird had a lot of fight in it because it got away and flew to the power lines by the time that Daniel got to the back door. Suzie was so disappointed. I went back to weeding and saw all the little feathers the bird had lost in the fight.

That poor little bird. Also, I'm very happy to report that the fight did not injure any of the asparagus they were tussling in.

As an aside, the garden is going fine. When we left I thought all the bell pepper plants had died, but lo and behold there's a single plant still out there. The peas unfortunately did not fare the hot weather without watering so very well. We had quite a few pea pods starting to grow before we left and when we got back they were all brown and dried. Oh well, I'll keep some for next year when we plant them earlier. The pumpkins are crazy and so are the carrots, so at least we'll have something of a crop.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Well, I forgot to let eveyone in on the 6 wk check-up!

Greg is:
12 lb 6 oz (75%) weight
23 in (75%) height
15 1/2 cm (75%) head circumfrance

So all around a very proportionate baby. Also, during the office visit the doctor put him on his tummy and he rolled onto his back. It was so awesome because she, Daniel, and I all saw it. Then he did it again at home later that afternoon.

Charlotte also had a well child check because we recently switched doctors.

Charlotte is:
27 1/2 lb (50%) weight
34 in (25%) height

Turns out she's a short little thing. The doctor said that since this was the first time Charlotte's height was measured while she was standing she might not have been standing straight. Who knows. But there you have it!

Don't Forget To...

Before we left on vacation we ate every last perishable item our house contained, and most of the other stuff too. Consequently when we got home we had exactly enough food to stretch it through 24 hours.

As we were eating dinner last night I thought about taking the kids grocery shopping with me on what I knew would be a huge stock the house back up again shopping trip. I decided it would be so much easier to just take one child than two. I turned to Daniel and said, "Would it be OK with you if, right after breakfast, Charlotte and I go grocery shopping and we leave you with Greg?" He said fine. So my plan was that I would make the menu and the list before bed and then we wouldn't even get really ready for the day. We would just quickly run out and back.

Well, that's not what happened. And I take full responsibility.

I didn't want to write out a menu last night and told myself Charlotte eats so slowly I'll have plenty of time to do that during her breakfast. That would have been fine if Charlotte hadn't slept uncharacteristically late to the unheard of hour of 7:30. We didn't get down to breakfast until 8. No big deal, we'll just start from there.

We got everything together and were out of the door by 9 (totally my fault because of course it will take longer to do the menu than I had planned). We went to Schnuck's and then did the big bulk item buy at Sam's Club and were pulling into the parking pad at 11. At this point I was feeling pretty darn stinking good. Look at me! I can do anything! I even got the whole thing done starting at least an hour behind schedule.

Funny thing about that hour behind schedule, your baby doesn't so much like it when you're an hour behind your schedule feeding him. And also, your husband doesn't much like it when you leave him with said baby.

Next time I will:
  • Plan the menu the night before, like I was supposed to.
  • Get out of the stinking bed when I'm supposed to.
  • Not forget to feed the baby!

Oh wait, my husband is starting third year of medical school. There aren't going to be so very many occasions I can just leave him with the kids for a while. Oh well. I'm sure I can use this lesson somewhere.