Thursday, December 29, 2011


Grandma and grandpa came for Christmas. Did I mention that was happening? I don't know if I did. Here's how that happened:

First, we told everyone that Dan in on his ortho rotation and thus will not be able to take any vacation time during either Thanksgiving or Christmas. In fact he would need to be working both Thanksgiving day and Christmas day. Next, my family decided to have Thanksgiving at our house instead of at my parents. It was our family's turn for Thanksgiving this year. That was awesome. No lugging the second trimester me through the airport with two others in tow and a stroller to collapse through the x-ray scanner. No huge amounts of carry-ons to try and entertain the kids. No layovers. No feeling sick because of lack of food, or bad food, or healthy snacks that Dan decides is the only thing we're eating between breakfast and dinner. Yes, Thanksgiving with family at home is the way to go. After Thanksgiving, I repeatedly, and I'm going to claim innocently, mentioned on the phone to my parents how having a day with nothing to do alone with my kids isn't really a holiday for me. I call that Wednesday. Dan's family is huge (or rather normal sized if you're Mormon) so getting them to all come out for Christmas was completely out of the question. But since it was the in-law year for Christmas with my family, and I currently have the grandkids, my parents decided to fly in to see us instead of going down to see my grandparents.

SWEET! That meant that grandma and grandpa came for Christmas and helped to make the whole weekend simply magical. And it was magical. My kids loved every second of it. And yes, there were tears in the car after we pulled away from the airport without grandma and grandpa.

So we are now two days post holiday season and I've learned a few things. The first is that when my husband isn't around very much to back me up on discipline I tend to let a lot of things slide. Then when he is around I realize I've been letting it slide and probably that's not a good idea. The second involves vacation. As it turns out it doesn't matter if you travel, or if you plan anything super exciting to do, if family is coming then you are on vacation. To small children that translates to vacation rules apply. Vacation rules mean that there are so many adults around and they are all trying to relax so you will probably get whatever it is that you want.

You know where I'm heading with this don't you? We have hit a wicked case of vacation detox like slamming into a brick wall at 70 mph. Yesterday my son screamed in my face at my back and in the car for a solid hour because I made him wear a coat to the dog park. I'm a horrible mother because I insist on coat wearing in 30 degree weather! HORRIBLE. Today my daughter sat at the kitchen table and cried and screamed and choked on her own snot for a half hour because I told her she needed to eat her orange slices at breakfast. There were four orange slices. She loves oranges, but these had "cracks" in them that unbeknownst to me made them inedible.

Before lunch we went to Target to pick up some clear plastic totes because the kids have grown out of a size of clothing and thus we need to pack them up and put them in the attic. If I don't put them out of sight they come out of their bedroom dressed looking a little bit like homeless kids that don't have adequate clothing. Never mind there are five other pairs of pants that are long enough, they want to wear the pairs that are two inches too short. Then trying to get them to change turns into a raging battle of wills. While we were at Target my son decided to run down all the aisles. He is doing this with increasing frequency and I need to come up with a technique to stop that because he rounded the corner and ran right into this lady. Hard enough to make her make that sound you hear in the comics when someone gets hit. I was so embarrassed I took him by the arm and we walked right to the checkout and left the store. we are all on a one hour long "quiet time" break. Greg is in his bed. Charlotte is in my bed and I'm in the basement. I hope having a little more rest will help them, but probably we just have to live through this detox. I will have to keep reminding myself to stay strong and no matter how silly it seems they do in fact need to obey the rules of the house. How long does it take to get vacation out of the system?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Story

Charlotte left her new shoes out.

The dog chewed through the strap rendering them useless.

I took them in to the only shoe repair guy in town (that I know of) hoping for some sort of miracle wherein the guy could raise these shoes from the dead.

Turns out he could.

He said it would cost $8.

In the shop I turned to Charlotte and I told her she was paying as much as she could of that because she left the shoes out.

Today we picked the shoes up and he totally fixed them. You can't hardly tell the strap was torn in half.

Charlotte unzipped her green m&m money purse and dumped all her change onto the counter.

He helped us make little piles of pennies and we all counted it out.

$3.62 (mostly in pennies)

I opened my wallet to pay the difference.

He said that was OK and he'd just take the $3.62.

I walked out of the shop a little dazed by the kindness.

I hope to re-tell this story to Charlotte when she can understand it a little better.

And maybe me too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Christmasness

Dan's hair was so long that while he was driving in the car on Saturday I looked at his profile and the front of the hair made a complete circle. I told him he looked somewhat whoville-ish. Today we cut it.

While I was cutting his hair Charlotte found a dishtowel and a headband. Then she found one of Dan's blue shirts and gave Greg a white one. They got out the broom and proceeded to walk around the house. In case you, like I, can't figure out what they were playing, I'll let you know. She had decided that they were playing Mary and Joseph. The broom was the donkey. There was no Jesus. Then, when Joseph decided that he would rather play "Joseph to the rescue" instead of being Mary's loving husband leading the donkey, she decided that her game would be "Mary at the concert." She got out the battery operated keyboard and microphone (thanks to my brother for his kind and thoughtful Christmas gift last year) and sang songs dressed as Mary. Then said that Mary was coming to the concert and she hoped that Mary would think that her costume was authentic and would look just like Mary looked a long time ago(even wearing blue). Meanwhile Joseph was running around upstairs rescuing all sorts of people, animals, and yes, even bad guys.

Also, I can't remember if it was earlier in the day or later, well, I guess it had to be earlier because after the haircuts (Greg got one too) the boys went off to shower and then it was jammie time. So as I was saying, earlier in the day the kids decided that the s'more/snowmen ornaments all needed to be taken off the tree and sent to school. Ever since the newest batch of ornaments arrived from Grandma they have been intensely exciting. They searched the tree over for all the ornaments with their names on them (Charlotte directing, of course, because Greg has yet to really recognize his own name). Then they lined them up and the girl figures went to dance school while the boy figures played what I think could most accurately be described as sneak up on the girls and shoot them. The very strict dance instructor (Charlotte) did not appreciate her dance students being shot at one bit and class time had to be ended when I looked over and found Charlotte standing on top of Greg pinned to the ground.

And that's how I can tell that Christmas is only a week away.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


**Editorial Note** This post is about pee. If you don't want to read it that's OK. Stop now. My dad says it's too much, but I don't think so.

Having never been a boy or had brothers around my age there are certain aspects of boyhood that I seem to be finding out along the way. The most recent revelation has been about potty training. It took quite a bit more patience with Greg than with Charlotte, but now that I feel he's potty trained, I look back and realize that there were far fewer moments of "I have to go potty" in completely inappropriate places. I remember many times with Charlotte finding my palms are sweating and I'm nervously looking around for a toilet with the desperation of a crack addict trying to find his next hit.

Yes, this time around took longer, but was a lot less stressful.

There is just one aspect of this that I have such a hard time with boys. Aim. You can't just plop a boy down on the potty and tell him to go because then you may just get pee all down the front of you or on your pajama pants or maybe even across the room. In fact going potty in public restrooms is one of my least favorite activities in the world (good thing I make Dan do this with him as much as possible). My technique to avoid pee on me is to take one shoe off and actually take one leg out of pants and undies. That way the legs can be far enough apart that he wont get peeps on me or himself. The problem then is do I let him put his foot down on the floor wearing only a sock? Gross.

So yesterday I thought to myself, enough! I'm teaching him to pee standing up. That has got to be a much more simple process. Cue the laughter. I set up his step stool next to the potty and carefully instructed him as to the aiming process. Then he proceeded to pee all over the toilet, wall, toilet paper, me, mirror, and floor.

I think we're going to stick with the one leg out technique for a while.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Yesterday my kids slept in. Then got up and proceeded to argue. Then, not even a half hour after waking up, asked to watch TV. I had had it. I declared a TV free day. Clearly they had not been having enough practice at playing with and being nice to each other.

Don't you think that TV is the best and worst thing to ever happen? It can give my kids some good entertainment and Charlotte knows so much stuff that she just learned off the TV. It was because of Disney that I was able to take my first alone shower after having Charlotte. Yes, it took over a year for that to happen. Then again, it can give my kids some pretty nasty attitudes (and they don't even watch bad shows) that make me want to not be around them. Then I want them to watch more to stay away from me, but then they are acting worse. It's a horrible cycle that I have to keep on top of every single day of my life, but I don't hate TV. It is great if used wisely.

Anyway, the day went pretty well considering I had nothing planned and we spent the entire thing inside. I didn't even shower and get dressed until 2 pm. I was too busy, organizing tea parties, fighting monsters, and reading stories in between laundry, dishes, changing bed linens, and scrubbing the downstairs bathroom for that. By the way, just because you never use the downstairs bathroom doesn't mean it is never used. If your husband showers down there every morning*, and your kids pee in that toilet, and the dog walks around on the floors it will get dirty. If you just pretend like it doesn't exist then when you actually look at it you might be a little revolted by the dirty grout and peed on toilet and water stains on everything. Also maybe the mud up the walls might be a little disgusting. I'm just talking hypothetical here.

Anyway, yesterday we also spent quite some time wrapping Christmas presents. The kids had previously gone to the dollar store and purchased presents for each other and we had a few things tucked away that needed wrapping. So we wrapped and then put out presents that had been sent. I have hesitated to do this before now because I worried that the dog would try to eat them. She is still a puppy and chews. She is tricky about it though. She'll spend the entire morning at your feet looking up at you like what? I'm the most obedient thing ever. You don't have to worry about me. And so you let your guard down. Mistake. Big mistake because then you end up having to pry something out of her mouth. But Dan said we should give it a shot so we set the presents out. Do you know how much having actual presents under the tree changes the excitement level for Christmas? They BOTH get it now. They both can't wait to get and give and enjoy. Now 12 days sounds like an eternity. Before we did our countdown to Christmas morning routine and then pretty much forgot about it for the rest of the day. Now the ornaments are 10 fold more exciting. They just figured out that the snowmen ornaments are actually s'mores too and that s'more in the car has made its rounds around the coffee table more times than I can count. Now there will be no forgetting. There will only be smiles and giggles and how many days and "I can't waits."

Also, Katie, if you were wondering if Charlotte guessed what you and the ear doctor got for her, then yes, she felt that package up and down and then declared, "I think they got me books!" in high pitch terrier mode. My daughter gets so excited over new books.

We also read all of our Christmas books again yesterday. Did you know that The Polar Express has a picture of a train or car on almost every page? Yes, yes it does. And I'm also finding that not only does that capture Greg's attention, but he loves the way the words sound. He will mumble along with me as I'm reading that book about half a word behind. It's a good thing I grew up with a dad that always walked about 10 feet behind the rest of the family. I learned young that you don't slow down to let him catch up because then he just slows down too and then you're walking along at the pace of a snail and everyone is cranky. Same thing with Greg and books. Don't slow down because so will he. You will never finish. Just forge ahead and he will follow.

Today we were driving past the golf course. Just after the golf course is a little bit of trees that my son said is, "The dark forest where lean wolves roam." Then I asked if white tailed rabbits hide there too and he said, "Umm, yes." Only those of you who have read The Polar Express will get that reference.

Another thing he said that has nothing to do with anything else I wrote earlier is that Uncle Garret went back to Minneapolis. I told him that no, he went back to Denver because that's where he lives. The airport is in Minneapolis and the plane goes to Denver. Then he said, "I want to go to Dembo." Me too son, me too.

*Just for clarification Dan showers in the basement so it doesn't wake up the dog which is weird, I know, but it keeps her asleep until I get up in the morning. If he showers in the bathroom attached to our bedroom then she sees the light and thinks it's time for everyone to start the day. Sorry Percie, I'm not starting my day at 4 am.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Computer Work

Today I started doing all my To Do stuff that I do on the computer at noon. I finished 3 hours later.

I like to put off computer work.

I like to put off balancing the budget.

Just one more note: A cash only system only works if you only use cash. Just thought you might like to know that.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Christmas Crafts

Well, they're never going to be featured in a magazine, but we've been really enjoying doing some Christmas crafts together. Here are a few of my favorites.

Behold the toilet paper snowmen:
And also the cardboard Christmas tree with homemade ornaments, button garland and yarn garlands. They decorated the whole thing by themselves.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Program

Last night was Charlotte's preschool Christmas program. It was hilarious. A whole bunch of 4 and 5 year olds screaming songs they don't know all the words to and doing the actions along with it. After it was over I had to ask Charlotte to sing them for me again so I could actually figure out the words. She knew most of the words on her own.

Dan knew it was the Christmas program that night, but he was on call until 6 pm and couldn't actually get out of the hospital until 6:50 and the program started at 7. I was worried I'd have to tell Charlotte sorry Daddy couldn't make it. He texted me at 6:55 saying he was on his way and I think he almost killed himself getting there in record time.

The best part came twice though. First, once when the kids were lined up on the risers and Charlotte was worryingly looking around. When she saw Greg and I sitting in the audience (off to the side so Dan could slip in when he came) her face lit up and she had a bright smile on her face. Right then I knew I would clap my hands right off in order to get her to smile like that at me again.

Then, over halfway through the program, Dan finally made it. Charlotte was singing away when she looked over and saw her daddy in the audience. She smiled, jumped up and down and completely lost her place in the song. I thought Dan was going to cry. I know I sure did (but I think I can probably blame that on the pregnancy).

Greg's favorite part was the cheese, crackers and meat refreshments.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Kicking Myself

You guys, I just bought Dan a great Christmas gift. I think he needs it and it will be good for him to have here in the winter. I just bought him an awesome Eddie Bauer winter coat.

Then this morning as I was driving along thinking about what I could do to help him unwind a bit I thought of trying to give him some time to himself. He doesn't have much down time and the kids and I monopolize it 100%. He doesn't have anything for himself and when I manage to quiet down the selfish neither do I voice in my head, I realize that it's not right for him to have nothing.

Then I remembered a comment from someone about a climbing gym around here that I was completely unaware of. I looked it up online and checked it out. It looks pretty amazing and reasonably priced even though there's no way he'd spend anything like that on himself. So if anyone was still needing ideas for him for Christmas (which I think everyone has one already) or are planning far in advance for his birthday (which some of you do), you could get him a day pass, or a punch card. That way he could go when he happens to have a free night and isn't too exhausted. He could even head out after the kids are in bed.

Am I regretting my purchase for him? Absolutely not. Am I wishing I had more to give? Always.

A Revelation

Did you know that my husband likes to play with our kids? I don't mean that he likes candyland or operation (which my kids call orthopedics) or any other structured "kid" games. He's not even particularly into building trains. What he likes, I mean really likes, is to horse around or rough house.

That's why I was so excited when it started snowing Saturday afternoon. I was hoping that he would get home in time to play with the kids, but paperwork which should have taken 1 hour ended up taking 3. He got home after dark. Charlotte was devastated when I told her she couldn't build a snowman in the dark.

Luckily he had Sunday off. After church was planned playtime. I knew he was tired and probably wanted to watch the game, but the lure of snow to a man who spent years on the Washington coast was too much for him. Although Greg fell asleep on the way home, he helped Charlotte into her winter clothing, layered up himself, retrieved the snow saucer from the attic and took to the backyard with Percie. They had a blast and stayed out there for an hour and a half. They even took Percie on the disc with them down the hill. I would have loved to see the three of them on that thing together. I stayed inside to make dinner.

Then last night, after the kids were in bed, he kept telling me, "Charlotte really loves the snow. She really loved playing today." He would just stop what he was doing to tell me this with a smile on his face. He was smiling! To which I replied, "I know. So did you. I knew you would." I just wish there were more chances for magic like that to happen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How To Make the Crying Stop

Bring in family. Lots of adults who are committed to making children feel like they are the world's coolest kids will bring out the best.

It might also bring out fatigue, illness and threaten death.

But then the adults take all the illness and fatigue home with them and leave two incredibly upbeat and pleasant kids.

I highly suggest you do this when you can't take it anymore. Especially when your husband works so hard and so long that the kids never see him and you barely do.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is It Just Mine?

I love the two year old size of body. I know that sounds weird, but it's the honest truth. Their height when sitting on your lap perfectly matches the height between my lap and my chin. Their skinny little butt is perfect for sitting right on yours. The length of their little arms as the wrap them around my neck just fits. I love the cuddly baby size, but I think I might like the two year old size better. It's the absolute perfect size.

And it better be because I feel like I spend most of the day comforting my two-an-a-half-year-olds. My breakfast cereal doesn't have milk! Now it has too much! I'm too cold! I can't put on my coat! I wanted Thomas undies not Percie! This car wont fit through the hole I made for it! Maybe if he would actually say these things he wouldn't have to cry so much? He's actually crying right now and I have no idea why!

This morning I counted no less than eleven breakdowns in the hour and a half it took us to get out the door.

You know what I bet? I bet if he would give up these energy sucking crying fits, then he would also be able to completely give up naps, which as we all know are the enemy of all living things!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Way Too Much

There's a family story in Dan's family about when his niece Katelyn was little. After spending some time with her, young Dan commented that he could never be a mom because there was too much talking.

Yesterday the kids and I went to one of my routine prenatal check-ups. As we got out of the car Greg was talking about how windy and cold it was, which I had no sympathy for since he was the one who chose to not wear a coat. As we checked into the office Greg was commenting on the hanitizer, the cough shields, and the children's cough shields with cartoon characters on them. As we were sitting waiting in reception he was talking about the water fountain and the disposable cups. As the nurse was checking my weight and blood pressure he was talking about not needing a flu shot. As the doctor was checking the fetal heart tones and the fundal height he was talking about the stickers in his book. As we waited to get Charlotte's flu shot he again talked about the water fountain. (Charlotte ended up wasting about two pounds of tears since we found out she was a good candidate for the nasal spray and didn't even get a shot.) As we were checking out he was talking about McDonald's (which was my last ditch effort to get Charlotte to stop crying before we found out about the nasal spray).

At that point the lady from the check-in desk came over and jokingly asked, "Does he ever stop talking?"

No. No he doesn't.

It's a good thing that I was there instead of Daniel.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Being Grateful for Dan

Well, I almost died.

Or at least I thought I was going to, or worse, hurt the baby inside of me. I was stupid and it was stupid and that was one freakishly scary night.

As it turns out all those rules about what you are and aren't supposed to do while pregnant are for a good reason. But in my mind what does it mean when the doctor tells you to "not lift heavy objects" because my kids need lifting and some consider that heavy, but I don't. Thinking back though, probably moving the 10 year old TV upstairs by myself is considered heavy by everyone. Also moving the sofas and flipping one on top of the other go under the too heavy for the pregnant lady list. At the time though it didn't seem like too much.

Also, using my neighbor's Bissell to clean the carpets in the entire downstairs didn't seem like too much either. Obviously though it was. My body was screaming at just about every move I made by dinner time. Between dinner and the kids' bedtime all I did was lay on Charlotte's bed while they played around me. I was exhausted.

It was after bedtime though that I really thought I'd done permanent damage. You see, evidence that I had caught some sort of stomach virus started to appear around 7 PM and I spent the rest of the night sitting on the toilet, holding a bowl to puke in. My body didn't want me to move and also wanted every bit of whatever toxin was in there out. My body was in agony and there was literally no way to alleviate it. Add to it all the worry that this much dehydration was going to severely hurt my baby and you have one torturous night.

And here's where Dan steps in. I told him to go to bed since there was absolutely nothing he could do for me. Then I would sporadically wake him up just for reassurance that everything was going to be OK. He patiently woke up and told me that no, we still don't need to go to the ER, you are doing fine. This will pass.

Then when he woke up for the day I begged and pleaded with him to please not go into work. I couldn't see facing that day feeling as bad as I did without him. Well, he couldn't just not show up. So he went in, but not until after telling me to let things go with the kids that day. Let them watch TV (which he never says) and just relax. He left and then I cried. And then I cried because crying hurt.

In my haze I got out two bowls of honey KIX turned on the TV and crawled back into bed. I woke up again sometime around 10 and felt better (or so I thought) so I tried to text him that he could in fact stay at work. He decided to come home anyway.

And gave me the best gift of my life.

I had my first sick day in four years. I was, in fact, not all better yet. I still needed much in the way of hydration and rest. All of which he gave me. I let my body tell me when I needed to sleep and try to eat and followed his orders when it came to taking Tylenol and I managed to make it through the day. He brought home a variety of powerades along with a winter cactus because he loves me. He did Charlotte's hair and took her to preschool and played with Greg and did everything so I didn't need to worry about anything.

Did I mention he was supposed to start helping out with a new doctor's service yesterday? I have no idea what he told them to come home, but I'm sure it cost him at least a little just to leave like that. Hopefully he can make it up to them in the coming six weeks because he is my hero.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Hundred Forty Four

That is how much money Percie owes me to date for things she has completely destroyed.

Today it was Greg's dragon snow boots.

They are Bogs brand and he's been wearing them solid for the past two weeks.

Percie ate right through them. I don't mean chewed. I mean ate.

Apparently they were a hot ticket item this year, because there are none left on the Internet.


So I ended up purchasing him spider web snow boots instead.

They should be here in 7-10 business days.

Hopefully he likes them as much as the dragon boots.

Also hopefully he will submit to wearing other footwear until the new ones come.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Update

Funny how I had planned to post all about our Thanksgiving celebrations, and then I got busy/stressed and didn't post anything and even forgot to take photos of some of our celebrations. So here are a few of the highlights.

First, and this one might be a stretch, but the kids loved it. We spray painted Charlotte's bed. I've wanted it painted since we got it, but it was never really convenient. Now, with the carpet in her bedroom being torn up her bed had to be in the garage. I wanted to cover up the scratches in the paint and also take it from a high gloss finish to a matte finish. I've noticed that a lot of the metal day beds right now have a matte finish. I like it. Charlotte wanted it hot pink, but I convinced her that princess beds are white with pink blankets. Before painting, I talked to the kids about appreciating the things that we have and taking care of them. That way we will be able to use them for much longer. When we take care of our things it is part of showing gratitude for them.

They loved taking their turns painting the backside of the bed.

Also, Charlotte told me one day, was it last week? that it was her dog's birthday. Then Greg told me that it was also his dog's birthday. What a coincidence right? So we decided that the day was going to be a birthday party/celebration of our dogs and our love for them. It included cake, ice cream, and presents. Each kid bought the present for their dog with their own money and then wrapped it for their dog and then opened it on behalf of their dog.

Also, we had a fun night making Thanksgiving cookies. At first I thought they should be pumpkin, but since we just made pumpkin cookies a little while ago we just made regular sugar cookies and frosted them with Thanksgiving.

And here's a photo of my growing belly. I told Dan to not get me in the shot, but I guess he thought it looked better that way.

Also, lastly I wanted to share an activity that we did, but I didn't get photos for. It was my mother in law's idea and the kids were really impressed. They talked about it for days. First I talked to them about how we got Percie and Suzie from the Humane Society in St. Louis. Then I talked about what the Humane Society was and that they always needed to get help from people in order to help the animals. Helping them out is a great way to show our our gratitude for our pets. So then we went onto the Humane Society of Rochester web site and looked at what items they were asking for. We gathered all the things we had and then took them and donated them. They loved

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Add It To The Bowl

I'm going to try to be more thankful for Percie. It's just so hard. Right when we think we've got whatever her "problem" is sleeping she switches it up on us and then we're up half the night again. I really truly do feel like we have a newborn or maybe 8 month old baby in the house (both of those ages are the worst for me as far as sleep is concerned).

I do admit though that in the morning, when she's sleeping on the floor at the foot of the bed I do enjoy her. It warms my heart to see my daughter cuddle up with her in her half sleep. They can lay there together and all is love, or at least it would be if I weren't so annoyed that she was sleeping now that the rest of us (me) need to be awake.

Because of this today's Thanksgiving activities were limited to filling the Thanksgiving bowl.

Tonight Charlotte was thankful for pre-school, and Greg was thankful for me. If that doesn't make me melt I don't know what would.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Month of Thanks

Well, it's that time of year again. Where we try to celebrate gratitude and things we are thankful for here. I will try to document the month as we go along.

So here is Day 1 in photos:

This is our family tree as hand crafted by none other than Charlotte. If you can't tell those apples have each person's name on them, and a stem and leaf. Notice the last apple is blank. She actually made this tree a while back, but I thought I'd share it as part of day one since on day one I got my ultrasound.
Here is the profile of our little apple.
Here are the toes of our little apple. When the ultrasound lady found out that Dan is an ortho resident she made sure to get lots of bone photos.

Here is the evidence that our little apple is a boy. It's sideways bum on the left legs out to the right. The line along the bottom is the upper leg then there are the little boy bits above it then you can't see the other leg on top.

Last night I dug out our Thanksgiving bowl and tokens. The kids were much more into the idea this year. Charlotte was thankful for the moon and Percie and Suzie. Greg was thankful for balls and Doc Hudson.

Here is the start of Day 2 in photos:
After breakfast the kids and I went for a fall nature walk. After a few false starts due to them thinking they didn't need to put coats or hats on then getting cold, we made our way around our block. We looked at what was left of the leaves and collected "nature" for these collages. I made Charlotte copy "I'm thankful for FALL" on her sheet.

Greg though, was given free reign with the glue and nature items and jewels on his collage. Today we are thankful for fall.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Because I know you all wanted to see the best rodents around I present to you Mickey and Minnie Mouse:Charlotte actually wore her costume all day long because she was so excited about trick-or-treating. Daddy got home in the late afternoon and helped to get them ready and then joy of joys he took them trick-or-treating. He said they loved it and that Greg stopped to admire all the decorations all evening. They were out for about an hour and a half and loved every minute of it. I loved it too. I got the kitchen cleaned and then got to sit in the quiet for a bit. Then they came home and rang our doorbell and thought it was hilarious that I thought they were trick-or-treaters.
I think the costumes turned out well. Since they were basically fleece pajama pants under everything they were super comfortable which was what convinced Greg to wear his. He did insist that he wear his dinosaur T-shirt under is Mickey costume, but I figured layers were probably a good idea. Luckily the weather was warm enough they didn't even need jackets. Their ears were warm thanks to the mouse ears too so the only thing that was reported to get cold were their hands. They toughed it out though. Anything for candy.

Below is a video of carving spooky Halloween pumpkins. We did this on Sunday which explains the nice clothing on the kids.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Well, I'm doing it

I posted my hair to sell online today.

You can look at the add here.

Hopefully it will sell soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Sick One

I know exactly what to expect when Charlotte gets sick. Down to the timing of the first throw up and the last night I'll need to give her Benadryl to make it through the night. It is horrible to live through, but not surprising since she has been sick about 147,298 times since birth.

Greg has been sick exactly 0.

That is why when I heard the burpy-barfy sound during our breakfast prayer this morning I automatically looked toward my daughter. Nope, it wasn't her and while I was distracted Greg was busy emptying his stomach of all the water he had consumed before breakfast into his cereal bowl.

New and foreign territory. Here's hoping that his sickness goes according to his never-as-bad-as-Charlotte's-sickness pattern that he's established his whole life.

Day plans: changed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Insight on Residency

Can you believe that October is almost done? Neither can I, and I have until Saturday to actually finish the cutest Halloween costumes. Photos to come, when they're finally done. Unless, of course, Greg or Charlotte decide that they aren't going to wear their costume. Then maybe I'll let them dress themselves and they'll go as small homeless children owing to the fact that my son refuses to wear a jacket of any sort and we have only one sweater. That sweater has no trucks, good guys, trains or airplanes. It seldom gets worn.

This has been an amazing month of learning for me. Dan is doing what he loves. It is inspiring to see him light up in his quiet way about helping people. If I had to go to work and deal with people in their dark hours of hurt and pain it would be so very difficult for me. He told me of a mother who had a baby whose hand never developed. It just stopped growing at the wrist. She had no idea until the baby was born. All I can think of is how life changing that would be in an instant. My heart goes out to her and all I can think of is to help ease the hurt by feeling some of it myself. How I would make a totally burnt out doctor by feeling all the pain my patients' have is not lost on me. He is thinking of easing the hurt by actually trying to fix the situation. (In that case there is probably not a whole lot to be done, by the way. I guess that was a bad example, but I keep thinking about it.)

What has been hard, especially this month, is being at home. I am so grateful for a husband who loves what he does and is really helping people, but it is hard to be alone. It is hard to have gone from a whole community of women who are "in this together" to being the outsider again and being pregnant and being in need of help without knowing who to ask. I know I will find my community or even if it's just my particular friends, I know it will happen. What is hard is this gap period. This period where I feel like I need Dan more than ever, and yet, I know he has less now for me than before.

And it extends beyond me. It's hard to see in my kids' eyes that they miss Dad. The hardest questions to answer are, "When will there be no more sick people?" and "If the mailman gets to not work on Sunday, then why does Daddy have to?" and "Daddy play trains with me now?" I try my best to explain how incredibly proud I am of Daddy and important his work is, but how do you help a four and two year old understand?

Don't misunderstand me. I am very well aware of the sacrifices that Daniel makes specifically on my behalf. I know he thinks of me and instead of taking a day to rest he will spend the day driving up to St. Paul to take us all to the zoo. He works hard and fast and tries his best to make it home as often as possible.

I hear that marriage is hard and it takes work, but what I don't think I understood before is that life is hard and if I don't pay attention to my ultimate goals of happy marriage and successful family relations I will fail. I had been getting frustrated that I wasn't getting all the attention and human connections that I wanted. I wanted Dan to call or talk or just be around more. I think I was wanting him to replace all the girlfriends I lost when we moved. Then one day I was given the gift of insight.

What I wanted, the attention, the calls, the connection, wasn't unreasonable. I wasn't being foolish to want friendly connections with others and my children to have more from their father. What those feelings were though were unrealistic. We are where we are and he is doing absolutely all he can do. Continuing to dwell there would only lead to further unhappiness in the whole family. Having that insight made it possible for me to be ever so much more grateful for my husband. I can see so many more positives.

What I am also learning about myself is that it is easy for me to say that I rely on the arm of the Lord and not on the "arm of man" when there are a lot of people around to support me. When I am truly feeling alone it is much harder for me to rely on the Lord. I am trying. Everything seems to be getting better as I try that.

At the end of they day I learned to be more grateful and to show that gratitude to my children. Gratitude brings happiness.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What You Don't Want to Hear

A few days ago Percie woke us (or was it just me?) up at 4:30. She never went back to sleep and made the worst racket. She's 8 months old now and so I guess we're sleep training. Although I've never heard of a dog that didn't like their bed, crate, the bathroom upstairs, or the bathroom downstairs. No matter what we do she hates to be in the house between 5 and 7 in the morning. HATES. The problem being that she can't be outside because she likes to bark at all the lovely neighbors that have to go to work early in the morning. I refuse to be the neighbor with the dog that wakes everyone up. So instead she just wakes me up. Any ideas would be accepted, but honestly nothing seems to be working right now.

So anyway, awake at 4:30 up by 6 and absolutely nothing planned. It was going to be a looooong day. I figured I at least deserved an uninterrupted shower. So I locked the doors to my bathroom. I heard the knocking during the shower, but only yelled, "I can't hear you! Wait until I'm out!" In response I heard, "mumble, step stool, mumble mumble." There were more knockings but my response was always the same.

Then I turned the shower off. I hear a very polite little knock at the door. I say, "You'll need to wait until I get dressed." To which Charlotte replies, "Mom, I need you to unbutton this tricky button on my pants because I got the chocolate chips out, but I sat in the milk."

Not something I wanted to hear.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

She's Found the Video Button

I went to take some photos today and found my camera full of videos. It was about a half hour worth of video on the camera. Charlotte apparently has found the video button on my camera. Tucked in between all the videos of her watching Jungle Junction and singing nonsense to herself was this little gem. Clearly we need to revisit the details of this story.

For a more accurate version of the details go here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thinking Of A New Post

This is a completely unrelated photo. I just like how Greg actually thinks he might be able to lift that pumpkin if he tries hard enough.

Does anyone else have the best blog post ideas while laying in bed waiting for sleep? I swear I have the best stream of consciousness ideas in bed and the whole time I'm thinking, I should write this down. This is gold. This will be entertaining and thought provoking and enjoyable for everyone.

And then I wake up and the only part of the whole thought that I can remember is that I know way too much about the egg (thanks to two different food science classes) and that my brother-in-law hates Q-Tips. Don't even mention them to him. I'm sure you all want to know details about those two facts.

On a completely unrelated note, or maybe I thought about it last night and then forgot, Dan has started his three months of Ortho rotations. He is loving it which is really fun to see. He did, however, tell me that the hours for this first month "wont be that bad," which I kindly reminded him when he left for work at 5 AM and got home after 10:30 PM. If this is not that bad, then what will the next two months be like?

Also, I know I'm only 16 weeks pregnant, but I think the nesting stuff has already hit. Charlotte's room in the basement is having moisture issues. Not real water in the basement, but a funky smell and occasional dampness. I like to call it our Oregon room. Either way she didn't really enjoy sleeping in there alone, or getting dressed in there alone, or putting her shoes away alone. So we moved her mattress upstairs. She loves it. Greg loves it. (They did share a room together in St. Louis so I don't know why I thought they wouldn't love it.) And, best of all, they both sleep about a half hour later in the morning.

All this is to say that now I feel like we need bunk beds (which I hate, but seems like the best idea in this circumstance) upstairs. The idea being that Greg needs a big boy bed and if Charlotte's going to sleep upstairs then we should have bunk beds. Then, hopefully by the time the baby is out of the crib Charlotte will be old enough to enjoy a room to herself, or Greg will go downstairs, or something, but either way we'll be prepared for everything. Not only do I think we need bunk beds, thanks to pregnancy, I think we need them NOW. My baby is coming and we literally don't have a nest for said baby. Never mind that the baby will sleep in the bassinet for the first months of it's life, it has nothing to sleep in after that! Dan doesn't quite see the urgent need that I'm sure all of the rest of us see.

You know what else needs to get done? Finishing Halloween costumes (Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse thanks to our Disney trip). Organizing our office. Getting some blinds that work for a few rooms whose blinds have broken or were never working in the first place. Sewing a few things I have been wanting to get done. Fixing the problem in the Oregon room in the basement. Deciding where all of Charlotte's stuff will go. Currently it is half upstairs half down. And last but not least buy and installing a tiny screw that is missing from the toilet paper holder in the bathroom. Unbelievable how something so small can aggravate me so very much.

So I guess this is my stream of consciousness post while awake. Probably not nearly as enjoyable as the mostly asleep one, but that's what you get.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Interfering at the Mall

We went to the mall last weekend to blow off a little steam. The kids desperately needed to be able to run and jump and move and it was cold and windy and what I would call misty.

We got there and I sat next to the little house. This is the one structure in the mall play area that is tall enough to actually climb, but clearly labeled do not climb. I figure I need to be close to keep my two climbers off. (Which turned out to be a good idea since they both tried it at different points in the afternoon.)

As I sat there I slowly became aware of a little girl who was going crazy. She was running and shoving and pushing and more than one crawling infant was stepped on. I was shocked, but said nothing.

Then she decided that the play house I was sitting next to was for girls only. My kids were over playing across the area so I tried my best to ignore her. Then she started to push some boys about her same age out of the play house. The boys naturally pushed back and then their mom had to discipline them for pushing. Nobody said anything to this little crazy person. While witnessing this happen mere feet from my sitting point I tried my best to ignore it. They are not my kids. They are not my kids. They are not my kids.

When the little girl nearly shoved the boy head first out the window on the side that his mother couldn't see I sprang up and caught him so he didn't fall. Then I couldn't help it, I told the girl that pushing and hitting were unacceptable behaviors. Then I sat back down thinking where is this kids parent?

Then I spent the next 20 minutes wondering if I did the right thing. The boy wasn't mine. The girl wasn't mine. The situation had nothing to do with me. The thing is when it comes to physical harm that might happen and it appears that nobody else can see I feel obligated to at least save the kid from harm.

And by the way, where was that girls parent?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


From the other room:

C: Ow! Mo-om, Greggie hit me.

M: Well, what do you think you can do about that?

C: ... Annoy him?

M: I think you mean ignore him.

Thing That Get Broken

Being a mom of two small children I'm used to things of mine being ruined. That music box I had since I was a kid? Ripped to shreds. That makeup brush I use everyday? Chewed to bits. My brand new sofa? Markered.

But today crossed the line.

And it wasn't even the kids!


I have tried everything I know how to keep that dumb dog from getting on the counter. I've tried punishment. I've tried distraction. I've tried positive reinforcement for staying out. I've even tried tape on the edge. Nothing works. I just have to keep zero food on the counter. Zero dirty plates. Zero anything that might interest her. That's why when I brought her into the house due to wet weather today I felt pretty confident. I had wiped every surface and put away every dish and cleaned everything off.

Then I was downstairs folding laundry. I hear a big crash from upstairs. I don't immediately react because I was waiting for the tears. They didn't come. Weird. So I decided to investigate. That stupid dog had pushed the butter dish, which was as far from the edge of the counter as I could get it, off the counter onto the floor. It smashed to pieces. I couldn't even find any big enough pieces of the handle on the top to glue together.

I know what you're thinking. It's just a butter dish. Totally replaceable. This is true, unless you know the story of this butter dish. We had purchased it with money we received from our wedding. It matches all our other dishes in the set. (Did I mention that I love matching things and sets?) It cost us $54. Dan's eyes nearly fell out when he saw that price, but we were (a) newly married and (b) using someone else's money. Those were the ONLY reasons I was able to get him to agree to the purchase.

So now the $54 butter dish is broken. Not to be replaced for probably a decade. I better come to grips with that fact. Oh well, it would probably have been broken by one of the kids at some point. This is why my china is still in the boxes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Little Helpers

The weatherman said there was going to be rain today. Having lived some time where raking fall leaves was always a wet affair I decided we would try to avoid that. This morning the kids and I went into the backyard and raked leaves into two piles. Then the kids ran and jumped and played in the crunchy crispness while I enjoyed the fall smell coming from the leaves. We opened all the windows and turned the fans on and now my house is filled with fresh autumn fragrance.

We didn't do a very thorough job of getting leaves up, but the trees haven't yet done a thorough job of dropping all of them. Plus, the kids loved it and were a surprising help. They loved shoving the leaves into the bag and then taking turns stomping the bag down.

Also why is it that some of my favorite photos of my kids are in fall leaves?

Greg from today and Charlotte from her first autumn ever.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Merry St. Birthaversary

A few weeks ago an unexpected box arrived at our front door via the FedEx guy. (By the way thanks FedEx guy for having dog treats in your truck. If you hadn't I would still be chasing Percie around our minivan in the front yard.) This unexpected box didn't actually surprise me thanks to grandmas and aunts we tend to get unexpected boxes pretty often. What did surprise me was that the name on the box was Dan's. Dan never gets unexpected boxes.

I brought the heavy box inside and set it in the middle of the floor, awaiting Dan's return from work. There it sat and waited and waited and waited. That is until I couldn't wait anymore and just opened the top flaps. I pulled out the inner box and nearly melted. Now I really couldn't wait until Dan got home.

As soon as he saw me with the box he said, "Merry St. Birthaversary." He got me a brand spankin' new professional 600 series Kitchenaid mixer. You see, for a few months now my old mixer had stood on the counter broken by the two year old. When that happened Dan vowed he wasn't going to put another cent into fixing the thing as it had previously been broken a few times. I mourned the loss greatly as fall was coming on because I was feeling very much in the baking mood and it is much more difficult to bake things like wheat bread without a mixer.

So in case you didn't catch it this is my only present I'm getting from Dan for the next year (Merry Christmas, Happy St. Valentine's Day, Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary). I don't mind though because this is such a wonderfully thoughtful gift. And just in time to use it for Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Traveling Ideas

You know what would be good?

Fast across country trains. (Dan says their called high speed rails.)

I would totally do that as an alternative to planes.

Sometimes I imagine there's a train from Minneapolis to Spokane and the kids and I could just jump on it and see grandmas and grandpas.

We would buy those tickets. We could get up and move and play and travel and it would be fun.

I don't think we're in the minority here.

But maybe the tickets would be just as expensive and safety screenings just as bad and the seats just as uncomfortable.

So maybe that's why high speed rails haven't been developed across the country.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Great Post

Because I have nothing really great to say and also because I think she said it so well I thought I'd direct all of you to a post written by Rebecca Woolf at Girl's Gone Child. It mirrors so many of my own thoughts about raising girls. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Because Who Doesn't Love Photos

I thought its been a while since I shared any photos with anyone. Truth be told its been a while since I thought to take any photos.
This is Greg while playing with some building toy that he obviously thought were binoculars.
This is a horrible photo of me, but my sister asked me yesterday if I was starting to show or not. Here's the evidence, you be the judge. (I wore this shirt especially for you mom!)

The following photos were three of about 75 that I found on my camera. She must have found it on a car trip because the other 72 were of the view out the window or her feet. I just love the self portraits.

And finally, I know that the kids have a little friend in SLC who loves to watch videos so I thought I'd share this one. It's nothing too exciting, but hopefully he'll like it.

What Keeps You Up?

Everyone has things that they think about from time to time that keep them up at night. Usually, for me, it's lists of things that need to be done. That is unless I'm pregnant, then the things that I think about keeping me up at night morph into the strange and unusual. They also come with greater consistency while pregnant. (Probably because I'm up a lot more frequently anyway.) Here are a few things that kept me up last night.

First I was thinking about what I would do if the house caught on fire. Dan is working night shifts so I figured first I would open the bathroom door to let Percie out. Then I would go to Greg's room and the two of us would get out his window onto the deck. Then we would go downstairs and get a big rock and break open Charlotte's window, which is at ground level, and get her out. Of course if the fire were such that I couldn't get to Greg's room by the hall I would have to hang out my window and drop to the ground. I bet I could do that if I hung by my arms and it wouldn't hurt too bad. The problem would then be how to get into Greg's room to get him out. A big rock could open his window, but how to get up and in past the broken glass.

Then after that I planned if an intruder came into our home while Dan was away. What would I do? That one is much trickier. And there were about a million different scenarios I went through. Percie, though big and white, is pretty much dead to the world late at night. I know this because she sleeps in the bathroom and every night now I have to pee sometime in the middle of the night. I have stepped right on her before without so much as a movement from that dog. So it would have to be up to me, and my cell phone which is right next to the bed and hopefully some obedient children.

After thinking about all the various life threatening situations our family could go through in the night and how I may or may not handle them I moved on to thinking about all the things I've lost lately. First it was some very special things that my mom and mother-in-law hand made for me right before I got married. They were lost about a year ago and I've been searching ever since and called everyone and everyplace I thought they could be, but no luck. We even packed up our entire house and moved and they didn't show up. I'm heartsick over the loss and still try thinking of something I may have missed that would clue me into where they might be.

Then, more recently, I lost my set of the keys to the minivan that had the house key and the check-in card for Charlotte's preschool. All of which is annoying to have lost. Now we're down to one set of house keys and one set of minivan keys. I can't possibly figure out where they might have gotten to and I have searched the entire house.

Then, most recently, I lost a ziploc bag that contained soiled undies from an accident that Greg had while out of the house a few days ago. I'm not really missing the undies, but I know it's going to show up soon and yuck!

Mostly I just find it annoying that I can't seem to keep track of things lately and for the life of me cannot remember when the last time I saw them was. This so very rarely happens to me. In our house I'm the finder of lost items, and the rememberer of where things have been placed. If I can't find it then usually nobody will.

So that's what's been keeping me up at night. Things I've lost, and strange scenarios about how my family could die horrible painful deaths and what to do to avoid them. Anyone else have this sort of strangeness happen?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Something that Hasn't Changed

Today I put on my Billie Holiday Pandora radio station to clean the house.

Every time it's on I calm down, relax and enjoy whatever it is that I'm doing.

I have always loved Billie Holiday and her genre of music (Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Count Basie).

That's what I told my teacher in 5th grade.

And it's still the same today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Need Darker Carpet

Yesterday I decided to start potty training Greg. There have certainly been ups and downs in the last 48 hours. Day one was a huge success, day two.....not so much.

He peed while sitting on a towel on the sofa. It soaked through so I took the covers off the seat cushions to wash them. I ran downstairs and threw them in the washing machine. When I came back I saw dark arches across the back of the sofa. He had taken off his wet undies and then started jumping on the cushion-less sofa. And then he peed again.

After that I rolled up the rug and told him he had to stay on the hard floor. He did that all day and managed to do very well. So I gave the kids a bath before bed. As Greg got out of the bath he told me that his tummy hurt. I didn't think much of it until he bent over to pick something up off the carpet and a plug of poo shot out of his butt followed by Hershey's syrup.

Dan and I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. We got 99% of the stain up, but there is just a stubborn dark spot that wont go away. Perfect spot to put the new sofa.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Remember when I told you all about the buying spree we went on when we moved here. Well, apparently it wasn't over. Since then we have purchased one Honda Odyssey which is the same color as our Matrix, which we will be selling just as soon as possible.

Then yesterday we bought a sofa and love seat set. They are beautiful and we managed to get an incredible deal because they are a discontinued style and were a floor model.

Also we went to Cabela's and found a new coat for Charlotte (It's a purple Columbia coat, not camo or real tree) and new mittens for both kids for this winter.

Also we went to Target and got Thomas and Mater undies for Greg along with all the other potty training supplies we'll be needing. Maybe next week. I want the anticipation to grow for him just a little bit. But he is super excited about his new undies.

All of that spending in one day was way too much for Dan. He couldn't manage to buy any other groceries while we were at Super Target because we'd already bought a sofa. Never mind that we actually needed some of the groceries.

I didn't care though because we got to spend the day with Daddy yesterday and it was awesome. He is super funny and we all had a great time together.

Quick story: We were driving down the road the hour to get to Cabela's and out of nowhere Dan looks down at his pants and says, "Hmm, these should have gone into the laundry." I laughed so hard. "Isn't that something you should screen before you put the pants on?" I asked. Then Charlotte pipes up from the backseat, "I scream for mice."

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Challenges

Two is such an interesting and intense age. Every feeling that my little guy has is felt entirely through his body, even if it only flashes for two seconds those are an intense two seconds. It is also such an age of contradictions. Although he clearly adores his sister, his favorite thing to do all morning this morning was run up to her and take something of hers away or push her or knock over what she's working on and then run away laughing as she screams in frustration. Clearly he wants to play with her, but his efforts were not meeting with success.

Also, my emotions in dealing with my two year old are very intense and swing wildly. One minute I will quietly watch him working with his cars and his newly rediscovered favorite dump truck and be totally amazed by him. I love him so much. He has become such a talker and I am amazed by what he tells me (mostly).

What I simply do not love is his insistence on destroying things. He is currently grounded from markers and also any book of any kind. When markers come into that child's hands they go anywhere. Today I found huge splotches on my sofa cushions that had been turned over. Part of me knew that his sister was trying to cover for him and I thought that was nice of her. Part of me wanted to scream because this is not even close to the first time he has colored on that sofa. As I was taking of the fabric that could be removed to be washed I turned around to a tearing sound. Greg had taken a really nice hard back library book and was slowly running his little finger up one page so as to tear it out. This is also not the first book he has done this to. What I wanted to do was grab the book and smack him with it. What I did do was send him to time out. He has no idea what a bullet he dodged today.

Note to self: When he turns 15 you should try letting him have markers and books again.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Did you know what the best thing about living in a neighborhood like this is?

Right now my daughter is happily playing downstairs with the little girl across the street. This little girl is very polite and amazing and their playing together without so much as a word from me is perhaps the best miracle ever.

I love four!

Now let's just hope I can get Greg to that phase. Boy is that kid 2!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Just What Grandma Wants to See

Thanks Aunt Katie for teaching Charlotte to pose like a model for photos. Here are the best shots I could get of Charlotte's first day of school.

Greg had to wear his Sheriff's hat because he desperately wanted to go to preschool and you have to wear special clothing to preschool. He was terribly broken hearted when he found out that he was not going to preschool. All the way home he kept saying, "My turn preschool!"
We of course need the crazy sibling photo from the front porch.
Charlotte was dressed and ready a half hour before we had to leave. Then she informed me that her tummy hurt. That's what happens when you're that excited.

Her teachers told me that she was excellent in class and really smart. So that was gratifying to hear. Charlotte told me that she played with Paige and sat with the girls at the girl table. So I take it from these pieces of news that the day was a success.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

OK Never Mind

When they said side effects could include dizziness what they really meant was that you will need to lay down to keep from feeling like the house is falling.

Also? Constipation worse than I have ever had....ever.

Plus, I've still thrown up the last two days.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Medical Miracle

Guess what is a medical miracle.


I was able to wake up this morning actually feeling rested.

It is amazing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Greg's Talking

I don't think I've mentioned lately how much I love just listening to my son talk. He's at that amazing phase where he can say pretty much anything he wants to, but sometimes it comes out wrong. He thinks about it and then corrects himself. Also his syntax is so funny. Their funny mistakes when learning to talk makes up for just about everything else that comes with a two year old.

A few nights ago Greg wanted some of whatever sauce Dad put on his rice. Dad tried to tell him he wouldn't want it to which he said, "But yeah Dad!"

This morning after eating his off brand otter pop I told him to throw the wrapper away. I didn't understand when he said, "sych-a-bin?" until he walked over to the sink and opened the door to the recycling bin. My two year old knows about recycling! I had no idea.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

True Love

My husband is amazing. He overwhelms me with his sure knowledge of what it means to be an honorable man, husband and father. He seems to have an unending amount of energy, love and stamina and I feel wrapped in his love everyday.

Not only does he have a very stressful and demanding job, but he manages to get home and pick up the slack that I seem to be leaving around all over the place. Last week he worked the 6am to 8pm shift. That meant he wouldn't be able to see the kids awake at all for the whole week. You know what he did? He got up extra early and went in before his shift started, worked as hard and as fast as he could, even right through his dinner just so that he could be home to help put the kids to bed. I can tell you it made all the difference in our week.

This week he's working 7pm until 9am. When he got home this morning I was really hoping to just have things together so he could go right to bed. What happened was he walked in the door and was met by his son screaming at the kitchen table, his daughter angrily shutting herself in the bedroom and his wife crying on the chair in his son's room. Within 5 minutes he had everyone soothed, pulled together and ready to face the day.

We may not have the time or money to really get to "romantic" activities and things in our life right now. I keep learning that it doesn't matter what is defined as romantic, what really matters is that I love him. He loves me. And we know it. Every day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Soccer Camp

If I were prepared I would have brought a camera like the other moms. As it is I was proud of getting there on time. Charlotte's in a little, very informal, (someone else's) mommy run soccer camp at the moment. It's fun to see her get tired, but still want to not let the other team make a goal. She's working at it and that's fun to watch. Greg, being 2, is too young to technically participate in the camp, but still manages to make his way into the training exercises his sister is doing. I did manage to make him stay off the field the last little bit of the day when they had a game.

Charlotte's team name for today:

The Sparkle Go Girls!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Do You See

We told the kids about baby #3. It felt too soon, but Charlotte was getting worried about how sick I am. Now whenever I tell her that I feel sick she says, "No Mommy, you're just pregnant." Very cute.

This time around things feel so different from the others. The sickness seems to be more acute, but what has bowled me over is the emotional toll of the pregnancy. Let me attempt to explain. Maybe it's because I'm hormonal and thus can't really control my emotions. Maybe not.

Not only am I sick, I'm exhausted. And I can't seem to plan anything. All this means is that I feel like I'm missing all my definitions of what it means to be a good mom. I know that my kids are resilient, and so I try not to worry too much, but I feel so guilty. Pretty much all the time. I see discipline problems, I see boredom, and I also see amazing creativity. All of which I want to be proactive about, but can't seem to rouse myself enough.

With all of these experiences though I seem to be learning a few simple and precious truths. The first of which is how much I love my kids. They are so amazing. I love my kids with a fierceness that motivates me to fight to get up in the morning and be with them. My love for them seems to be greater than I would have ever known if I hadn't had to work against this resistance.

Also I know that what I'm doing right now, bringing this baby into our family is exactly what Heavenly Father wants for our family. I know that Dan and I want a baby, but if it weren't for how hard this one has been I don't think I would have had to have such faith in this choice. I know with the very core of who I am that this baby will forever be a blessing to everyone in our family. I, obviously, don't know how things are going to turn out, but I do know that our choice has been a good one.

With this choice I know that I will get help from Heavenly Father. I know that as I strive to work toward this goal, whether I meet it or not, my efforts will be added on. I know that Dan will be blessed in his work and at home in his capacities as well.

We are doing what we need to do right now and that feels really good.

Even if everything else doesn't.

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Big News

So I'm pregnant.

Six weeks, which is probably too soon to tell people. I always do that too soon. And I also never tell in some sort of fun and special way. I love to hear how other people do this, but I guess I don't put a high enough priority on that.

Speaking of priorities this pregnancy has really focused my priorities because that's all I can do right now. Necessities.

I took the kids to a little beach, was it only last week?, and brought a picnic. Forgetting that my daughter takes one bite of food and then has to pee 100% of the time, I just started in on the food. Mostly because I was shaking and going to throw up. She took her first bite and then said, "I have to pee." I looked up the hill to the public restrooms, down at the blanket full of beach stuff and food, at my son eating his lunch, and then back at Charlotte. Then I told her to run to the water, find a place by herself, sit down in the water, and pee there. Because not peeing in the lake (where fish are peeing anyway) is not a necessity.

Also, my kids look absolutely ridiculous everywhere we go lately. Fighting over what to wear? Not necessity. Fighting over doing your hair? Not necessity. At least they're not naked.

So sorry to all if I let things slip. I'm focused on making it through the day, loving the two kids I have, and helping a third come into our family. Turns out that is taking everything I have.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Puppies and Babies

We're training Percie.

It takes a lot of work.

It feels like having a newborn all over again. Only this time my newborn isn't small and cuddly and really, really good smelling.

This time my newborn pounces, and nips, and smells really really bad.

So maybe it's like having an 18 month old boy who is naughty.

The difference is that with an 18 month old boy, I've already had the whole newborn, and baby phase to build up all my love.

But she is so very good and smart. Hopefully things will start to stick soon.

Goals for the week: Attention when called, standing on a loose leash, sitting, keep working on not jumping on the counters (we are going through way too many Clorox wipes)

PS. My cat is sick and keeps sneezing. I'm totally mean because this makes me laugh.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Four turning 94

My daughter has said a few funny things lately and I don't want to forget them.

At dinner two nights ago I was really tired and not really looking forward to bed time. I told Dan so. Then Charlotte's little voice perked up and said, "It's like I always say, Life is hard sometimes."

Today at the park Charlotte and Greg were playing really well together. In fact they were playing so well we stayed there for three hours. I was keeping an eye on them and watching Greg follow Charlotte around each of the areas. Then I noticed that Greg was not with Charlotte so I asked her if she knew where he was. She said, "Oh! I dropped him off at the little kid play area." Just like she's 16 or something.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Great Saturday

We made new zoo friends with the otters.
We got a lifetime first riding in a model A at the Olmstead County History Center.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Anyone got $1000 just lying around?

A few nights ago Dan asked everyone at dinner if they could buy something right now what would it be. Charlotte, of course, said the cowgirl toy set. His answer? A new TV. That was it. Just one item. Immediately a list popped into my head and during the next few days that list got longer and more organized. Then I realized I needed to stop thinking about this. I've got lots of things already and my life is so very blessed.

Then today my sister wrote a post about being bummed about turning 30. Wouldn't it be nice if I could surprise her for her birthday? Yeah, $1000 just isn't in the budget for something like this.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Like My Kids

My kids are a bit overwhelming right now. Greg says "No" automatically to everything. He is two after all. Charlotte seems to be experimenting with being mad at her parents. I keep thinking that we should be settled and established right now, but, of course, that's crazy. I don't feel like I'm settled. I'm sure my kids don't feel settled right now either. All this has made for a few days where my kids say, "I'm bored" and I say, "So am I!" Having all of us bored makes for more negative interactions all around. Then Dan comes home exhausted and we all turn to him wanting him to entertain us, which isn't fair.

With all of this going on I feel like I've had a lot of complaining about my kids in my heart, on my mind, and slipping out my mouth.

Tonight at dinner I asked everyone what their favorite part of the day was. Dan said coming home. I said painting with Charlotte and Charlotte said cuddling with me while we watched a movie.

Here's what I realized today. Not only do I love my kids, I like them. I think they're fun. I want them to know that I want to spend time with them. I never want them to think that I don't want them around. There will be a time when they no longer want to spend time with me, I don't want that to come sooner because they think I don't want to spend time with them.

I will try to remember that vocalizing things make them much more frustrating to me. And also that little ears hear more than I think and they understand sooner than I think.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Entrepreneurial Art

When Grandpa Greg was here Charlotte fell in love with a cowgirl hat, riding stick pony, and cowgirl toy set. She's been saving her money in her princess bank for a while now. She has also been doing all she can, when she thinks of it, to earn some money around the house. Daddy even helped her count her money once to see how much she has. She almost has enough for the cowgirl toy set, but earning money has been slow going since she's not been around Grandpas.

Last week I gave Charlotte some cardboard, paints and her paint brush. For days we heard about how she was having to work so hard to get her paintings ready for "the show." (How did she come up with this idea?) If we wanted to buy them ahead of time they cost "sixty seventy dollars" but if we waited to buy them at her show they would be $1. So we decided to wait for the deal. She amassed a hefty pile of cardboard masterpieces ("portraits and landscapes" are her specialty) and they were waiting patiently on the counter for the show.

Trying to come back to a normal wake-sleep schedule after working nights for a week was a bit rough for Dan. Saturday at dinner it hit hard and he just seemed so tired and past being able to deal with family life. I said, "Daddy looks sad. We should do something special to cheer him up." Charlotte's eyes lit up and sparkled as she came and whispered in my ear, "We should make him a card." Not wanting to actually help Charlotte with card making I said, "You should give Daddy one of your masterpieces." She got even more excited by that idea and ran to get one.

After sifting through them to find just the right one for him she walked over to him, tapped him on the shoulder to get him to lift his head off the table and said to him, "Here this is for you." We waited a moment to admire the painting and how selfless and cute this little four year old was. After Daddy said how much he liked it she said, "And if you want to keep it it only costs $1."

The good laugh that we got out of that surely was worth $1 and Daddy said he's going to hang it up in his locker at work. Who could argue with that sort of salesmanship!

I think she might just have enough now for the cowgirl toy set.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Serious Stuff To Laugh About

Oh boy, night shifts are hard on the family! Or maybe it has just been a hard week, I'm not sure. Here are some of the thoughts I have had this week that hopefully I can laugh about now.

First, and not surprisingly Charlotte got sick after the fourth of July (which was amazing and lovely). Tuesday night I got about four hours of totally interrupted sleep. I was actually pretty scared by the severity of the puking this time, but all is well now. At around 4 AM I was holding Charlotte in our green chair so she could sleep upright. I was thinking about how I could never be a breaking and entering type of burglar because you never know what's on the other side of the door. Like in our house that night, some unsuspecting thief could walk in and then have Charlotte puke all over him. No, I did not think about how those people would probably be worried more about guns or knives. It was the possibility of being puked on.

Secondly, there have also been a lot of runny noses in our house. I'm thinking allergies, but since I've never taken them to be tested for that type of thing I don't know. Yesterday I was busy washing anything that may have touched the sick one. I walked by the sofa, where the sick one was told to not move from, and saw that one of the sofa pillows looked funny. I picked it up and there was green boogers all over the thing. Not wanting to jump to conclusions I asked who had done this. Then the sweet little chocolate eyes looked up to me and said, "I did it mama. My nose needed to be wiped." As if that's a totally normal thing to do when you're nose is running. I thought perhaps when I ask that I need to have a more menacing tone. Perhaps that would strike fear into her.

Lastly, Greg broke my kitchenaid mixer this morning. Honest first reaction: let the beating commence. Unfortunately I don't actually believe in beating my kids, which I guess is a good thing since I would have missed out on dress up time today. He decided to wear a cape, mardi gras beads, a tie, a diaper, princess heels and carry a purse.