Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

The final round of Christmas took place at my parents' house. Greg, Kate and Colin had beat us there as they arrived on time, only to have to wait on us to show up 30 minutes later. Colin stopped whatever it was he was doing and the cousins wrapped their arms around each other like an old boyfriend and girlfriend couple. Oh they are so cute!

Very quickly, we jumped right into the gift unwrapping. Here Colin and Elaina are racing to see what they got.
How about Lincoln's very own elves trying to simultaneously trying to free up two new toys for him to play with. Elaina was happy to offer her gift-opening services to anyone who wasn't unwrapping fast enough. See: Pop-Pop.

Once things settled down and only the strong remained standing (or sitting), my Mom, Kate, Lincoln and myself gathered together for some girl talk. Most of the talk was about what a blessing little Lincoln has been into our family and how lucky we are to have the families that we share.
Our blessing of 2007. We now have everything we have always wanted.

Christmas Morning

I'm realizing that the tradition of Christmas is even more difficult to explain to a two-year old while still trying to capture the magic of the season when everywhere we go, she's getting to open presents. A little over-indulged maybe? No, that's not it.

Since it wouldn't be like Christmas morning without presents under the tree, we held a few back that came especially from Santa.

Lincoln taking in the tastes and smells of Christmas wondering what Santa could have brought for him.
No way.... it's a FOOTBALL!
My little drummer boy!

The price every little brother has to pay when big sis gets a pretend doctor kit for Christmas. Elaina is "feeding" Lincoln medicine.
"You mean to tell me that we get to do this again?"

*** AND YES, Elaina did receive her pink gun from Santa. See Lincoln's hand resting atop it? She liked it, but didn't give us an over-the-top reaction that we may have expected since that's all she's talked about wanting for almost 2 months!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Coming from a family who has always celebrated Christmas on Christmas day with opening gifts and the like, I married into not only a great family, but a family whose long standing tradition is to celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve. Following an afternoon of overeating with a house full of relatives, the immediate family began their Christmas unwrapping ceremony later in the evening. Just to share some of the kids' favorite gifts, we first have Lincoln here who totally scored with a new puppy that sings and counts to him. He love, love, loves his new puppy friend.
Brace yourselves for a limited, holiday performance of the nutcracker. Guest starring Elaina in the pink tutu. With this kind of "dancing" she really is limited. But over the top cute, so what?

Did you overhear someone say something about a girl who has everything? Elaina? No. Oh wait. A pink scooter? Ooooh, now she is a little closer to having almost everything.
Courtesy of Aunt Cindy and Uncle Ben. Mommy and Daddy had nothing to do with this. Elaina could barely speak as she was so enthralled by her new scooter. God I wish that it was manufactured without a horn!
And finally, Elaina and Lincoln's bathroom is heading in a new direction of decor beginning with monogrammed PBK towels. So spoiled. So good!
And yet another day in the life of the professional gift getters. What a great Christmas with family!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What I want for Christmas

Much of this day we spent lazing around my parents house while everyone took naps in front of the fireplace and the freezing wind gusted outside like a tornado. I spent my day packing our truck to head to Eric's mom and dad's house for the second leg of our Christmas tour.

Check out Lincoln getting ready for his visit to Grandma and Grandpa W.'s house. Eric's parents just happen to live approximately 5 minutes away from the mall and my mind was still on overdrive about getting a 2007 Christmas picture of both of my kids with Santa Claus. As you may recall, Elaina wasn't particularly a fan of his when she had seen him last.

So what if it was only 2 days before Christmas? So what if the mall may be jam packed with last minute shoppers? So what if the wind chill outside felt like 30 below zero? And so what if there was a line to Santa's mall throne 27 snot-nosed, crumb covered, whiney kids deep? I wanted to go. See how it wasn't even about the kids anymore? I wanted Elaina to experience Santa. I wanted to prop my kids on some strange impostor-Santa's lap for 3 minutes so I could fork over $20 for two sheets of the same pose. I wanted to capture memories of Lincoln's first Christmas while his sister was evident in the same room. This is Christmas for Glory's Sake!!

And so, I did my homework with Elaina. We discussed what Santa looked like, paying close attention to every color and structure detail. I told her that Santa is the one who brings toys and hands out candy canes. And several times, I made mention that there would be no toys for her if Santa didn't know what she wanted him to bring. Here's how our homework panned out for us:

I realize that Elaina appears to look somewhat hesitant in this picture, but since I was only allowed ONE PICTURE (which was made very clear by Santa's minimum wage "helper's") this is what I got. When we arrived at the mall, I was surprised and pleased to find that it wasn't especially busy. In fact, when we arrived at Santa's throne, he wasn't there, nor did we find a line of any sort. Santa was on a potty break. Elaina got to watch him as he arrived a quick minute later and positioned himself in his seat. I let her down from my arms with some encouraging words and off she went to see Santa on her very own! Yay!! Yay! I got my wish! She did great and without hesitation!

Once I went to help her down (she could have sat there for an hour perhaps) she looked up at Santa and very earnestly said, "Can I have a gun now?" Whooooaaaa, okay, it seems as though in my preparation with her, I apparently didn't make it very clear that Santa would be coming two nights later. And the child still wants her pink gun. Hmmm..... I wonder if the elves make pink guns these days?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas on the Wild Side

Like I mentioned, we were gearing up for celebrating Christmas with my side of the family this evening. And as expected, not a single lame gift was involved in the "stealing game" (or white elephant) gift exchange that we played.

Here is my cutie cousin Tommy showing off his new panties! Bet he never thought he'd make my blog holding onto his panties! Oh the joy of family. (And being an older cousin.) Here is my knock-out married-in cousin Jaclyn modeling her new brassiere. It was meant to be worn with the gi-normous underpants that she loaned to Tommy. Upon taking her picture I told her that it was the perfect shot for my blog. Wonder if she believed me? Oh well, she's a good sport and we love her!
How about Lincoln's "Santa's Little Helper" outfit? Oohh, I just wanted to eat up his cuteness in one bite. If you look closely, Lincoln is showing off his one and only 1/8 of his first tooth.Amazingly, I don't happen to have too many photos of Elaina. She was too busy darting off from one room of toys to the next and making every cousin her new best friend. She managed to sit down with her little brother long enough to show him how all of this "Christmas" stuff works. My mini composer. Oh Lincoln, I could have propped myself against your piano like Lucy on Linus and listened to you all day. He loved this piano so much unfortunately, it belonged to his cousins. Looks like Mama has some shopping to do!
And for the grand finale.... buh, buh-da-da: The Big Cousins! From left to right, my brother Greg and myself and the remainder are siblings as follows, Andy, Tommy, Bret, Trisha, Catherine and Abby. Abby and Trisha are both expecting and Catherine just delivered beautiful baby Grace in November. The one sibling missing was Susie who is currently living in Arizona. We have older cousins who have older kids and even more family commitments that they weren't able to join us. But this mighty crew of cousins grew up close and we look forward to seeing each other as often as we can.

Like you were there

Just in case that wasn't enough...

Here is the reason I didn't post a picture of all of the little cousins together. Oh yeah... because that was IMPOSSIBLE!

Weekly Roundup

Whew! This past week has seriously been kicking my tail!

While I can't hardly complain that I have been so much busier than anyone else, I can just say that this has just got to be the busiest and best time of year.

Let me give a quick rewind of the events leading up to this weekend. Oh yeah, since it seems as though I am approximately a whole week behind. Here's some snippets of how we've been staying busy:

Friday, 12/14: My parents rushed into town to babysit Elaina and Lincoln while Eric and I attended my evening Christmas party for work. It seems as though their night went relatively smoothly as they enjoyed each other's company until we came home and I realized that I never made any mention to grandma and grandpa to feed Elaina dinner. Like any typical grandma and grandpa, they may have shared some cookies or maybe some candy with Elaina, but no dinner. And she was never hungry either. Imagine that.

Saturday, 12/15: Nancy, who babysits the kids, invited her 'big" kids to an afternoon pizza/ bowling party for her 2-4 year old crowd. Uh, can you say, "brave?" We dropped Elaina off and my parents, Lincoln and myself went south of our town to do some shopping. Gradually, we began to her some buzz among the other shoppers that the snow was accumulating like crazy outside. What? When we left, there wasn't even a flurry or sign of snow. We hurried through the mall and headed back north to be on time to pick up Elaina. By this time, the snow had actually accumulated nearly 3 inches, making the roads an icy and dangerous mess. My stomach was reeling as I navigated about 40 mph on the highway and I felt a little sick inside knowing my baby was with someone else in the same weather conditions. I trust Nancy like she's a part of our family, but trust sometimes isn't enough when accidents happen everyday. My heart was sick with worry over all of them. We finally arrived home 30 minutes later than we should have and Nancy called a short 5 minutes later saying that she was going to drop Elaina off at our house. My stress and worry jumped out of my body when I saw 3 sleepy, little, sweeties sleeping safely in the back seat of Nancy's car. Nancy, her 2 grand kids and my baby Elaina had made it home safely after a fantastic, fun day of bowling.

Sunday, 12/16: Happy birthday Eric! Eric spent both Saturday and Sunday in the woods hunting. (Yeah, even in the 3 inches of snow and gusting wind!) Being able to spend time doing what he loves was Eric's best gift. My kids and my parents were keeping me company for the weekend, but by the time Sunday's weather forecast came about, I sent my mom and dad packing even before lunchtime. It wasn't so much the weather in our area that was getting frightfully bad, but near their home nearly 3 hours west. They ended up braving more gusting wind and icy, snowy roads and drove right on through a Level 3 snow emergency, meaning that they could have been arrested for driving on the roads without just cause. I'm grateful that they came and relieved that every last one of us stayed safe on the roadways.

Monday, 12/17: I left work early to finish my Christmas shopping, which I did before attending my very first Tastefully Simple Christmas party at a local steakhouse. What can I really say about sitting around, eating dinner and exchanging lame gifts with 30 strangers and paying $25 for my meal? Oh, maybe that gives you an idea.

Tuesday, 12/18: Lincoln has croup. Again. And pink eye. Again. He makes my heart hurt with his chronic coughing and feeling bad.

Wednesday, 12/19: Eric took Lincoln to see the doctor. He suspected that Lincoln never really got over his croup from last time and once he got pink eye, that triggered respiratory problems which brought the croup back bigger and worse than ever. Lincoln was prescribed an antibiotic and prednisone steroid to kick this out of his system once and for all.

Thursday, 12/20: Eric and I worked like a finely tuned machine as we got the kids fed, bathed and put to bed to have as much time as possible in the evening to wrap up gifts and put effort into our final push to get everything done for Christmas. We would be leaving town to spend Christmas at our families' houses and needed to have everything in place to make that possible. We finished our wrapping, finished our laundry and got plenty of packing done too. This night was a little excessive and bedtime, for me, came around 1:00 a.m. I can't wait for my 4 day Christmas vacation!

Friday, 12/21: I had already warned Eric that I didn't want him to try to rush me or even say the word "hurry" to me tonight as we tried to get ourselves out of the house for the drive to my parents' house. I knew I had plenty to do and I even had a list, but I didn't want to start off my Christmas holiday by rushing through. I don't even know how we were able to pack everything into the truck with still enough room for 2 kids and a dog, but we did it. I actually sent some big Christmas gifts home with my parents last weekend and left some at their house when I was out shopping on black Friday. Thank goodness because there would have been literally, no room for a single item more without busting out the turtle cap to ride atop our truck. NOT. At one point into our drive, Elaina and Lincoln were crying at the same time. Well actually, Lincoln was scer-reaming and Elaina was whining and I was just so thankful that I hadn't already stressed myself out before leaving otherwise this would have totally pushed me over the edge. We managed. We had a safe trip, Lincoln got fed in his carseat in the backseat and Elaina put herself to sleep when she got over her bouts of whine. I'm so happy to be here and ready for the Christmas magic to begin!

That brings me to now. At this moment, (which I know won't last long enough) my brother Greg and Colin have arrived at my parents' house and after some play time and lunch, Eric suggested that Elaina take a nap and Colin could join her. Once the munchkins got cleaned up from lunch, they were both bouncing in the kitchen shouting, "I'm tired!" "I'm tired too!" Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. The two of them laid in bed nicely for a little while until they decided to have a party. Greg joined Colin in bed for a nap. Grandma ended up with Elaina in her bed. Lincoln melted into dreamland on his daddy's shoulder. And grandpa found comfort in a nap with his old friend, Lazy-Boy.

In the next few hours, we are headed to church for my cousin's daughter, Gracie to be baptized. Following church service, we'll be joining in our crazy family Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house with approximately 10 kids under the age of 5 and a plenitude of aunt's and uncles and sisters and brothers. Oh, and this gift exchange with my family isn't lame! A nice reprieve from Monday's sorry attempt.

Since the whole family won't be asleep for long, I'll take this moment to wish everyone a safe, happy and peaceful Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Seeing Pink

I know it's been a (long) break for me to get back to my old friend, Blogger here. It seems as though my family can hardly get a break from some ailment or another. Last week we were busy dealing with a round of pink eye for both Elaina and Lincoln. Oh, don't I love that Elaina shares so generously with her brother.

On Tuesday morning, Elaina woke up and her eye looked a little bit bloodshot and red. Not wanting to take any chances, I called the doctor who worked us in for an appointment right away. Without knowledge of what Elaina was being seen for that morning, Dr. Joni came in and immediately confirmed pink eye. In both eyes. Aack!

Wednesday morning rolled around with Lincoln waking up with the tell-tale green gunk lodged in the corners of both eyes. A phone call to our doctor once again resulted in his very own prescription ointment.

The bulk of my evenings last week consisted of washing pillow cases, blankets, toys and clothes. Every night. Everything. While I know that pink eye isn't the end of the world, it really took it's toll on my washing machine and my free time. At this point, we're maintaining treatment for Lincoln's eyes for a few more days and Elaina is back to having her sparkly blues free from any pink irritation or green gunk.

Unfortunately, my lunch hour is nearly up and I'm been made to catch up on my blogging from work. (Crossing my fingers I don't get busted!) It seems as though we have a virus that has been detected on our home computer and until Eric gets a new virus program, I have been banned from using it. Very soon, I hope to back to blogging with pictures and a recap of our weekend with my parents, Elaina's first bowling party, lots of snow and Eric's birthday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gift Giving

I am so into the spirit of Christmas so much right now that I could quite possibly burst! I'm not saying that I have all of my shopping done just yet, nor is a single gift wrapped and we haven't even finished hanging our Christmas lights outside. Yet. But that's not what really matters this year. This year I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas magic with my children and am totally loving that we have already received the best gift of all in Lincoln becoming part of our family this year.

Do you want to know what else really matters? Laughter!

Let me help do my part to make you laugh today. From our family to yours, click here!

Now, do your best and spread the cheer by doing your own! Just don't forget to share!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Love Alert

Does anyone ever read the little "Love Quote" link I have off to the side.

Yeah, that one. Over to your right. Down. Down. Right there.

This was posted for today and I'm just loving it.

Love Quote of the Day:

May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.

Robert A. Heinlein more Famous Quotes

Let's make that my wish to each and everyone of you for the new year ahead. Make it your own.

And Here We Are Again...

Did anyone think that I left you with my last post of the year? Maybe that I linked you my Christmas offering and called it quits because it took me forever to get back to you?

Nah. We just had a weekend. And with a weekend, comes a new ailment to the W. family. But before I get to that, let me tell you about the fun we had with Grandma and Grandpa W. when they came to visit overnight on Friday.

Upon waking up to snow and freezing ice on Friday morning, I was worried that their visit may be cancelled. However, with some persistence and waiting out the worst of the weather, they arrived at our house safe and sound before I had even made it home from work. They kindly treated us to dinner to celebrate my birthday and Eric's upcoming birthday and gave us a night off from cooking and cleaning up. Much of Saturday we spent hanging around the house while Grandma and Elaina found some time to play beauty shop. Grandma had painted Elaina's finger nails and toe nails to match and even gave her a bath. Talk about pampering! Lincoln was just about as good as a baby can be pretty much the whole weekend. Both kids filled their quota of spoiling and full attention while their Grandparents were here. A pretty great visit for all of us!

By the time Sunday rolled around, it was back to plain 'ol mom and dad for entertainment value once again. I had the bright idea of suckering, er, um, inviting my beloved husband with me to finish up some Christmas shopping and enjoy a nice family afternoon out and grab some lunch at our favorite pizza place. He consented with the stipulation that we could go anywhere I wanted to go, as long as we were home, in the door, sitting on the sofa by the time the Steelers game was on. Okay. Trust me when I tell you that Eric volunteering his shopping services is a rare gift indeed. My head began to hurt when I could already see that it just wasn't going to be Elaina's day when she started acting out before 9 a.m. even rolled around. Not that she was necessarily bad, but you can just tell when your kid is in one of those moods. We were totally rolling the dice when we still proceeded with our shopping trip, knowing full well that we would be overlapping Elaina's regular nap time. Gambling, I tell you.

Our day went reasonably well even if it was pouring down rain at one point while we raced in and out of the stores. All Elaina could do is look forward to the next puddle that her parents would forbid her to jump in. Since we hadn't had much success on a whole, we threw in the towel and headed home. Elaina fell asleep in the truck almost immediately. Lincoln was great the entire day and almost made us forget that he was with us. That is, with the exception of heaving a combined Lincoln weight and car seat weight of nearly 30 pounds with every in and out of the stores. He was just good. It helped that we had a nice long sit down, playtime, baby food-eating session planned early into our day.

Just for the record, we were home before the Steelers kicked off. Even if it wasn't televised here.

Fast forward to last night. Eric and I ordered our Christmas cards together. Oh. My. Goodness. Let me just start by saying that we have been trying to capture the most perfect pose of a 2 year-old and 7 month old (together) for nearly a week. Here's just a sampling of what we've gotten to choose from. Of course, I'm sharing the one's that didn't win the picture perfect prize of being selected. Next year has to be easier. Right?

Hand down, please Lincoln. Check out the cardboard Elaina-doll Santa got me.
Okay, give me your two-year old version of the best picture ever!
Yes, she did knock Lincoln over. Yes, she is laughing her head off because of it.
Cute pose, now where was that camera that I was supposed to look at?

First attempts were for formal poses, however Lincoln ate all of the ornaments before we could finish.
I love the sweet cheeks on baby-brother-sweater-vest. Can someone find me some chubby baby-brother-legs to pinch too?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sparkly and Pretty

To everyone who reads my blog regularly, here's a little Christmas gift from me to you.

What you are about to behold is just as sparkly and pretty as our friendships so sit back and enjoy with just one little click, you are almost there.

Grab your sunnies folks and let the true spirit of Christmas overtake you!

Be sure to report back at how much you've enjoyed my gift to you!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Day

365 days ago, the very same thing happened to me. And 365 days before that; same thing.

I celebrated my birthday today.
33 years ago, my parents were celebrating too. 33 years later, they still do. Lucky for me.
This year, I am celebrating my birthday with a husband who loves me, and two of the sweetest kids ever made, whom I have been blessed to call my own. Elaina was so excited about my birthday. She talked in her silly voice saying, "Mommy, it's yer bert-day and I sing happy bert-day to you and we eat bert-day cake ALL GONE!" It really is all about the cake, now isn't it? That's my Girl!
Unfortunately, Eric had to teach a class tonight and didn't get home until after 10:00, so we actually celebrated my birthday yesterday. When I walked through the door, Eric and Elaina jumped out from behind a corner and yelled "Surprise!" and greeted me with hugs and kisses and the most beautiful cake decorated with angels at each corner and Elaina and Lincoln's names and read "Happy Birthday Mommy." So pretty and so tasty! While I was washing my hands and squeezing Lincoln with some hugs, Elaina was sitting at the table saying over and over, "Let's eat it! Mmm! Let's eat it!" Finally, she couldn't take it anymore and Eric caught her biting a corner right off the side. And so we had cake for dinner. Hey don't judge us, we would have saved you a piece. We had our real dinner later on in the evening, but enjoyed our cake appetizer first. I even shared some icing with Lincoln who had never tasted such decadent sweetness and began to flail his arms whenever I poked my frosted finger into his mouth. He was so cute!

Since I already bought my birthday shoes for myself, (times 2) Eric was off the hook for gift giving, but made my special day even more memorable and more enjoyable just by getting the kids involved and being at my side for my last 13 birthdays. Talk about a gift! I am a lucky Mommy indeed!

Losing my Mind

Over the course of the last week and a half, I made the unfortunate discovery that we have had some unwelcome visitors staying with us. They've made themselves at home in all of our bedrooms, in our closets, in our kitchen and in our cupboards. We have mice. Well, I'd like to think of that just maybe singular, as in a mouse, but I'm really not that naive.

I first discovered the evidence of the invasion last week while Eric was out of town. I came across some poo in the basket that holds Elaina's diapers, on her dresser, in her room. Soon after, I found more evidence in the toy baskets in Lincoln's room. When I was packing up the diaper bag, oh, there was a little dot of poo on the pocket there too. And on some hats in my closet. And on the ledge of the registers. And in my laundry baskets too. I nearly lost touch with myself when I saw a little black dot of poo appear out of nowhere on Elaina's night stand. That little (insert proper vulgar label) was scampering it's dirty little self next to my baby's bed! I won't even begin to get into how much food I've had to throw away due to little gnawed out holes in the sides of the packaging.

So, until this little issue gets rectified, I have been slowly losing my mind. In everything that I do; making dinner, picking up toys and moving things around, I come across a little poo here and a little poo there and it stops me in my tracks to have to deal with the clean up of that particular area. Because of this, my days have seemed endless and blogging has taken a back seat. Regret ably. Trust me, I would rather be talking to all of you MUCH more that I would like to be removing mouse poo from everything that I own. I've had this unending fear that anytime I'm out in a public place, I'll be unzipping my diaper bag or my purse and a mouse will be jumping out. Or worse yet, I'll scream in horror over the discovery of the little dead mouse that is found stinking inside.

Eric has been great about setting traps and leaving out bait and we've already taken one victim into custody. Right into the trashcan. And now we wait. Who knows if there are more, if they'll take the poison to their grave and if we'll see more evidence anytime soon. So, in the meantime, does anyone happen to have a cat that I could borrow for a few days? I promise that I'll feed it well!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Language Barrier

On Sunday, Eric was headed out of town to go to the Steelers game in the freezing cold rain and the kids and myself were snuggled in tight in our warm house for the day. Just a nice to stay in and enjoy what I have at home, I thought.

Elaina, on the other hand, was behaving well, but testing her limits at times. The sad part is that when I tell her that she needs to "listen to Mommy, do you understand?" She responds with a sad "I unstan, Mommy." And then sometimes she offers me the sassy version, saying, "I lissen to you Mommy."

The sad part is that I realized that while she may understand and she does listen, is she really taking in my words for their meaning? I don't know. We then talked about how she can hear Mommy's voice and that she may understand, but she has to follow Mommy's directions too. Boy, is there ever alot of learning to do when you're 2. We did have a fun day playing on the floor with Lincoln and reading books and watching the Polar Express.

Whoever said parenting was easy? Single moms out there, I bow to you! Keep up the good work!

Breakfast With Santa

On Saturday morning, we all peeled ourselves out of bed, got ourselves cleaned up and ready for the day just like any other weekday morning. This morning however, was going to be special. Mommy and Daddy weren't leaving for work. Elaina and Lincoln weren't going to the sitter's house. This morning we were going to have breakfast with the Big Guy Himself, Santa Claus.

All morning we talked to Elaina at great lengths about Santa. She seemed only minimally excited. It's quite possible that I was looking forward to it more than her because someone else was going to be cooking and serving me pancakes, waffles and bacon for breakfast. Oh, and my kids were going to experience some Christmas magic. That too.

The Santa breakfast was at a nearby school which was also hosting a craft show. Much to my dismay, I wasn't smelling piping hot pancakes and smoky, sizzling bacon the minute I opened the door. Instead, donuts. Apparently Santa must prefer donuts? Elaina, on the other hand was thrilled for donuts and chocolate milk. As she was happily munching away, Santa walked into the cafeteria. Elaina immediately stood up in her seat and froze as she grabbed for both of my hands. She didn't move. Instead, we backed off our hype and asked if she would just like to wave to Santa. No go. Eventually, we made our way up to the Big Jolly Man and showed Elaina that Lincoln wasn't afraid to sit on Santa's lap and that Santa was our friend. Still, utter refusal.
The bright side is that Santa still offered Elaina his candy, (which she was not bashful about squandering) and that most of her excitement came from being in the actual school building and seeing a school bus up close. The craft show wasn't even bad. We picked up some cuddly fleece blankets for the kids which have already adorned with snot, crumbs and slobber. Good day, indeed.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Flipping a Coin

Decisions, decisions.

Blog? Sleep? Blog? Sleep?

Would love to blog because I'm sooo far behind on loads of stories and pictures.

Would love to sleep because I only racked up about 5 hours last night plus about 4 interruptions.

Leaning toward sleep. Sleep is going to win tonight. My eyelids are about to slam shut. My eyeballs are beginning to ache because they have been open too long. And I'm getting that strange pounding in my head because my brain has been turned on for too long. And it's almost midnight again.

Sorry folks. Can we do this another night? Maybe even one day I'll be able to comment on some of my favorite blogs that I've been reading but just haven't managed to comment on. Yeah, that's my plan. Please forgive me!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Starting Point

Okay, I have to be honest. It's been 4 days since I have posted last and I was actually considering back-dating all of my posts to reflect that I haven't skipped a beat. However, this is only effective for posterity. Not like any of my regular blog reading friends wouldn't notice. Right?

So, since I'm not cheating, I have loads of catching up to do. Let's start first with the whole reason that I haven't been such a great blogger as of late. I've gotten another cold. Just when my immunity was finally reaching a standard of near-health, some goofball I work with (okay, he's actually my friend) came into work sick and feeling miserable. Hmm... contagious, one might assume. All day long, he complained about how his head was stuffed up, about sinus pressure and headache and how he felt as though his head might explode. And then... (this is great) he doesn't stay in his office, oh no!, I find him sitting at my desk and using my computer. WHAAA???!?!? My head nearly exploded just knowing that I was a walking magnet susceptible to any and all germs. That's just me. I booted him immediately, gave him a sick slip, begged him to fill it out and go home and to my horror, found that I was out of disinfecting wipes! Oohh, how I hate when people with loads of sick time come to work when they are sick, and just happen to infect everyone else around them. Any regard for people who do have kids and don't have much sick time? Ugh!
And so, that was my Monday. Wanna know what happened Tuesday? I began felling sinus pressure. And then the headache. And then the sore throat. And then body aches. And then anger. I had caught his dreaded cold. I suffered through Wednesday and by Thursday I had gone home at noon and slept for 3 hours sans kids and then went to bed for the night at 8:00. I beat both kids to bed that night. Eric was completely understanding and didn't ask a single thing of me, which made it easy to slip away for some much needed rest.
So, enough about me. Before I share about my kids, let's just take a minute to check out Christmas at my house.
On Thursday, while I was asleep feeling like my head was going to cave in, Eric had gotten all of the Christmas decorations down and put up the tree with Elaina's help. I wasn't there to actually witness exactly how much help a 2 year-old can offer, but Eric said she did. We spent much of the rest of the week slowly decorating the house and cleaning up and I have to say that I am in love with the sparkle and glow of all things Christmas. Elaina was only mildly impressed and Lincoln doesn't seem to care one way or the other.
Now about those children I have chasing after all week. Lincoln's croup is all gone. Hooray! Between his prescription, sleeping with the vaporizer on and time, he's feeling much better. He's begun to chant the baby "Mum-mum-mumma" song which I love and he's remained pretty consistent with his "Daddadadada" song. Don't you just love new baby noises? With all of this going on in that little boy of mine, just tonight, I noticed a little, teensy, bit of pearl white showing through his bottom gum line. Could it be? Really? A tooth? Holy Moly, he is going to be 7 months old and he's been wanting to eat people food for all of 2 months already! Some teeth will surely help his cause. His first tooth!
Elaina has been good. Thank the Lord that she didn't catch any of our plethora of germs that Lincoln and I have made available to our household. She is completely Miss Independent. She doesn't want help washing her hands, getting in or out of the truck, putting on her pajamas or pretty much anything. She's beginning to live up to all of the great hype of "Terrible Two's." Although I can't hardly say that she's been so much "terrible" but just very strong willed as of late. In fact, I really am going to have to sign off now with the promise that I will relay some exciting events of our day today and how Miss Independent got into a little trouble no less than 5 times in a single day. Since it's almost midnight, I will save my weekend stories for tomorrow night. Sorry to be a tease.

See you then!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

rolliing with it

Short but sweet update...

Our week so far has included Lincoln beginning his three types of medicine to get him healthy. His ringworm ring is hardly visible, his cough has subsided significantly although it is most predominant in the morning hours. (understandably so) And finally, he has given way to smiling again. I even heard some giggling from my favorite boy! Love the giggles! Most of this evening, he was a little temperamental but not full-on crying jags like we experienced over the weekend. Even his appetite is showing improvement as I fed him his bottle at bedtime and he not only drank the entire bottle, but stayed awake and was actually happy. Like, really happy. No fussies, no wanting and no whimpers, just looking around and cuddling close to his mommy. Mmm, nothing beats warm baby cuddles!
Does this picture make anyone else think of "BoxCar Willy," playing her harmonica?

And about Lincoln's big sister. It's been a whole 9 days and it's safe to say that Elaina is officially binky free. Hooray! It looks like from last week's bout of throwing up, she has believed that her binkies are in fact, responsible for making her sick. She is still adjusting to putting herself to sleep without the comfort of her binky but has not asked for it. When bedtime would roll around, back in the days of the binky, the binks would be in place, we would read three books together, say our prayers, hug and kiss and the big girl would roll over and go to sleep. Now that she is binky- free, she stalls by wanting to read 768 books, wants mommy to lay next to her, wants to play pretend anything and doesn't want mommy (or daddy) to leave the room. We only had one binky request while we were staying at my parents' house over Thanksgiving. Elaina woke in the middle of the night and in while still in a little sleepy trance, began to get somewhat hysterical and wanting her binkies. She crawled underneath her toddler bed looking for her lost binkies and pouted and cried until she couldn't stand any longer and crawled back into bed. A 3 minute episode from beginning to end. Not bad. Now what do you suppose I should do with this seize?
And I know that this isn't even all of them. I'm sure that I have some tucked and stashed and hidden, never to take the chance to be without the ever-loving binky. See what kind of addict we were dealing with here?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Because she can get away with it

Conversations with Elaina and her Mommy:

M: Elaina, what are you doing Sweetie?

E: Mommy, I feeding the ants. (as she is throwing her fridge phonics letter magnets onto the kitchen floor)

M: Well okay. You can finish feeding the ants, but I want you to clean up their mess when they finish eating.

E: They finished eating.

M: Clean up your letters, please.

E: Okay, Mommy. You happy now?


Conversation with Elaina and her Daddy:

D: Elaina, you need to get into your seat to eat dinner right now. ( repeat, three times)

E: Daddy, sometimes you act crazy with me.


The evil, dreaded, croup. That's what my poor, little, sweetsie boy has been having to deal with for the past several days.

Oh, Lincoln. Whatever are we going to do with you. I miss your easy going disposition and your easy smiles.

On Wednesday, Lincoln had a cough that seemed to be getting progressively worse. Righ before Thanksgiving weekend. Crap. For days, we had been running the vaporizer, slathering him with baby Vicks, bundling him before going out and practicing general standards of trying to keep our kiddo well. His cough, however, had been telling a different story.

By the time we arrived at my parents' house on Thursday, Lincoln was having miserable coughing fits. The kind of cough from a baby that makes your ears and your heart hurt at the same time and make you feel utterly helpless.

Eric had scheduled an appointment to take Lincoln to the doctor on Monday. By Saturday and many cumulative hours of fussy, horrendous coughing, I could barely stand the wait. Monday couldn't come soon enough to get my baby's symptoms fixed. NOW.

The result of the visit: Lincoln has croup and also, are you sitting down? Ringworm. Gross.

As if the miserable croup cough weren't enough, ringworm? From my 6th grade science class, all I can remember about learning about ringworm is that typically "dirty" people get it. Now I know that's not the case. I had noticed a little, raised circle-y ring on Lincoln's head about 3 weeks ago and was immediately concerned. My solution that seemed to be ridding of the ring was hydrocortizone cream. Whoever would have guessed that it was something much more than I gave it credit for. The doctor stated that he may have gotten it from simply laying on the floor. Friends of mine (clean ones) suggested that most of their kids have also had it at some point or another. He could have even have gotten it from sweating in his hat too much. Who knows?

So, as of immediately, Lincoln is on yet another antibiotic, albuterol (sparingly), a cream for his tiny ring on his head and cough medicine (as needed). Oh my little guy... Please feel better soon. I miss my happy, little guy!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The For-Real Thanksgiving

Greg, Kate and Colin arrived just before noon today and made our Thanksgiving holiday a true celebration. Thanksgiving at my parents' house has finally arrived.

I'm not really sure if there is a cuter munchkin pair than Colin and Elaina. Especially at the age they are now, they are near celebrity status in one another's eyes. From the moment Colin stepped in the door, he hung his arms around Elaina in a friendly hug and said, "Laina! I'm so glad to see you! You're a girl!" (Just in case something had changed since the last time he had seen her.) So funny and so entertaining.
Aside from my sweet cheeked baby boy feeling miserable, rotten and crummy with a horrible, heart-wrenching cough, Colin and Elaina had a great time running loose throughout the house and enjoying being together. Despite the fact that neither kid had an afternoon nap, Kate and I were wagering whose munchkin was going to crack first. We hit a snag early on with them remembering to share and decided to take a little rest in front of the TV. Other than that, both kids made it through thee day with hardly an incident.
They staged this video break all by themselves.
So, how about less talk and more pictures? They pretty much sum up the excitement of our day and everything we are thankful for.

The following clip will demonstrate exactly why 2 year-olds are not allowed to decorate Christmas trees by themselves.
How is this for cute?
Or, wait, is this one cuter?

Hope everyone had a wonderfully, delicious holiday!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Oh Yes I Did!

Black Friday.

Insane Shoppers.

Store sales beginning at midnight.

I did my part for the retailers and for the economy today.

Did anyone else take advantage of all the hoopla of Black Friday sales? Me! Me! As I sit with my hand waving in the air! I did!

Even last night, I didn't get to bed exactly as early as I planned, knowing my intention to be up at 4 a.m. and at the stores by 5. (There's an almost 30 minute drive involved to get to the stores from here.) My parents' were watching my kids for the day and didn't even set a curfew. Not even a request of when I should have been home. LUV-LEEEEE!!! With my sale priorities mapped out and my credit card on standby, I hit my first store. I typically love this store and it is quite apparent that I'm not the only one. I excitedly entered the store and find myself having to navigate through a whole mess of people clumped together in the middle part of the store and along the entire back perimeter of the store. People were just standing there, literally facing one another. A sales associate passes in front of me and dumb, naive, oblivious me asked, "What are all of those people waiting for?" His response, "That's the line." This is when I fell over. Whaa? Apparently, the line was from the registers to the back of the store, it snaked around the middle and back to the back once again. And that, my friends, was a line that this shopper wisely chose to forfeit. Oh no, there are too many good sales elsewhere than to waste 90 minutes waiting in line. (And that's only what the said estimate was reported to be.) I moved on.

I found that like last year, I just had incredible luck with the stores at the mall. And like last year, wondered why they don't have shopping carts to zip around from store to store in the mall. I had to make three trips to the truck, if that tells you anything. Total score of a day for me! And I went back and to the same store that I couldn't bear to wait in line and rummaged around for almost 2 hours since there was no rush to hurry up and wait in line, and still got all but one item that I had on my list. And that was 5 hours after they opened! I did end up waiting in line for nearly 30 minutes, but with my sale items purchased, totally made it worth my time.

I arrived home with pizza for lunch for my dedicated babysitters just after noon. Immeditely following lunch, Elaina and I laid down together for an afternoon nap. Did I happen to mention that our nap lasted 4 hours? Ahh!!! 4 Beautiful, wonderful hours of blissful, restful sleep.

Sleep. Shopping. Sales. My day was great and full and I'm already counting the days until I can do this again next year. What about you?

Happy Crab Day

You'll be happy to know that I worked the crabbies out of my system with a decent night's sleep and the fact the Lincoln's impromptu fever is gone as fast as it came.

So, let's talk turkey! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I managed to get my whole crew on the road just before noon, with the truck packed full and just before the kids' nap time. It was going to be a good day. We were headed to my parents' house for a long weekend visit and a much anticipated mommy break for me.

I've come to think of Thanksgiving as one of my most favorite holidays. Probably because of the newest traditions we have begun to create. Thanksgiving day with my parents involves happy faces, no stress, my mom's chex party mix that is always way too salty that you can't hardly stop eating it, and Alaskan king crab legs for dinner. Oh yeah, I said crab leg for Thanksgiving dinner! Yummola! We'll be saving our traditional turkey dinner for Saturday when Greg, Kate and Colin arrive. And then it is for-real-Thanksgiving.

But in keeping with the whole meaning of Thanksgiving, let me just share with you what I am most thankful for.

I am thankful for the moments that continue to take my breath away. I'm thankful for my God and the family that He has placed in my life. His most perfect gift of love that we share with one another. That He alone has created the most beautiful children for us to call our own and love with every fiber of our beings. The gifts of happiness and love and warmth and peace and faith. For the ability to recognize these gifts and appreciate them every single day. For our lives and our health and the bonds of friendship that bring us laughter along the way. And I'm thankful for the time I have upon this earth to make it all worthwhile.


Just to share one clip from my Thanksgiving day. When we began our trip in the truck today, I put in our favorite Christian kids songs CD. Elaina immediately recognized it and with a sense of awe in her voice, she shouted, "God!" When I told her that the songs were about God, she began to look for him in the air above her. I briefly reminded her that God was in heaven and we weren't able to see him up so high, but he's always with us. From that, she told me, "Mommy, my angels. I go get 'em. I bring 'em to my house. I go fast."

To that, Mommy cried.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Slowly Cracking Mommy

Hold onto your seats Gentle Readers. Tonight I am armed with 4 days worth of single parenting, 16 hours cumulative sleep over 3 days, stress of having to pack for 3 people for 4 days out of town and a sick child, just for good measure. What this boils down to is a whole lotta' grumpy complaining and irritation with a hint of bitterness for added flavor. Although it is Thanksgiving Eve and by tomorrow I would expect every other blog to be gushing about what they're thankful for, but I'm not there yet and need to relieve my gripes now. Check back with me tomorrow if you were expecting sunshine and rainbows on my pretty blog.

Here's your chance. Click away now if you just have no tolerance for whiners. Ready, set, click away.


Is anyone still there? Okay. I warned you.

Let me do a quick rewind. Oh, how about Monday. My kids are cute aren't they. Did you love the videos? Me too. What I didn't tell you is that Monday Elaina was sick. Throwing up sick. Call- off- work- to -stay- home-with-your-kid-sick. Eric had left on Sunday for his annual week long hunting trip in West Virginia and missed all of the fun. After I finally made it to bed about 1 a.m., I was startled awake by Elaina coughing, crying and yelling at 4 a.m. I tear into her room to discover that she had gotten sick all over herself, her bedding, and her pillows. Wanna know how I discovered that in the dark? Yeah, that's right. Ugh. After new jammies and relocating to my bed, I laid down a giant, thick bath towel beneath her and had her cuddle up close to me. Just when we were almost asleep; 5 a.m., another spew and another clean up. 6:00 a.m, repeat the same. Much to my surprise, by 9:30 she must have cleaned her system well enough that she was actually feeling much better. She was actually hungry, which never happens and she was pleasant and happy. So, the videos that I posted were actually taken around 7 p.m. and yes, my kids were still in their pajamas.

Tuesday was relatively decent. The last class of tumbling wrapped up and each and every kid there (only 4) acting like a monkey on the loose from the lab. Slightly exhausting, but we all made it through the evening.

And then there is today. Oh today. Lack of sleep is catching up with me, but look what I'm doing. Blogging. Not sleeping. Blogging. Not folding the two stacks of laundry that are holding down my sofa. Blogging. I haven't even packed a bag or stitch of clothing for our trip tomorrow as we head to my parent' house for Thanksgiving. Nope. Blogging and venting and complaining.

This evening was a struggle. A struggle in which I had to swallow back every expletive from falling out of my mouth. At certain times this evening, my kids met at a crossroads of crying, whining and fussing. Both at the same time. Lincoln was so tired, yet could not put himself to sleep. Does anyone remember how I mentioned that we had to change Lincoln's formula every few months from milk-based to lactose-free? and then vice-versa? Yeah, well, that switch was mandatory tonight and he suffered to try to get that point across to me. Poor little guy.

Here's some big news, I also failed to mention that I played a rotten trick on my 2 year old. Devious, rotten and sly. That's me. So, you know how Elaina was sick on Monday morning? (How could you forget, I wrote it a whole 4 paragraphs ago.) (No sleep. Remember? first paragraph.) Well, typically when Elaina isn't feeling well she wants her binkies all day long. Two binkies for that matter. One for her mouth and the other is rolled around between her fingers and pressed against her face and in her eye. Monday morning she didn't even show an interest in her binkies. Whaaa? My binky addict queen? Several bink-free hours passed before her naptime and then she then finally asked for them. Being the fast thinking Momma that I am, I told her that her binkies are the reason that she became sick and that she wouldn't want to get sick like that again because it made her tummy feel so bad. Surprisingly, she accepted that and put herself to sleep without anything further. (This is where Mommy does a happy dance out of pure shock and surprise!)

After Monday's successful nap without a binky, I decided to try my luck and push for a full fledged binky rehab for my 2 year old. When bedtime rolled around, the binkies were hidden and not even a single request was waged. Other than naptime at the babysitter's house (which will be a work in progress), we are on our way to becoming a binky free home. I should be ecstatic, right? Well, when you give up any lifelong habit, like a binky, you're bound to feel the effects of withdrawal. In Elaina's case, the effects are resisting sleep. She hasn't been able to put herself to sleep quite as easily as she could before. For the past 3 nights, we've been experiencing bedtimes up to 90 minutes later than usual. For a single parent caring for a child who flops around restlessly and comes up with 786 excuses why not to go to sleep and a baby who just wants to be held andthe center of attention, 9:30 bedtimes are completely unreasonable. My week has been insane!

Yes, I'm happy about seeing Elaina giving up her binky in the very near future, but Good Lord Almighty, I never knew that we would be going through this when Eric was out of town. I knew it wouldn't be easy for her, but I just didn't know what kind of withdrawal symptoms she would face. This has been a tough week for Elaina so far. This has been a tough week for me too. When I pick up the kids from the sitter's house and walk through our door, my evening doesn't stop. And when both kids are finally in bed just before 10:00, that's when Round 4 of my evening begins. Washing bottles, packing my lunch, doing laundry, cleaning up messes and preparing things for the next day of work. And when I feel like this, I become bitter, hostile and angry at my husband for being gone. Not only this week for hunting season, but for his extra-curricular commitments throughout the week. And then I get just plain, old mad. And then I turn to my computer and prove what a grump I can be. And then I feel better and call it a day.

Edited to add: Upon finishing this entry, I checked on Lincoln who was running a slight fever and dosed him with Tylenol as he slept. And I was so tired that I failed to publish and instead saved only as a draft. Typical as my week has been.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Best Noise

Elaina has magic when it comes to her little brother. Seriously, she sometimes makes me feel inadequate relative to my son's general happiness. Elaina though, can make him belly laugh as if he's going to break into little pieces, at the drop of a hat, or as you see the slapping of her hand on his highchair. Funny.

As for what you are about to see... there is really nothing left to say.

Note to self: Do not leave the co-defendants alone for longer than one minute whenever there are cookies near.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who is that?

Oh wouldn't you know it, that's my sweet, little boy sitting up and taking notice!

Lincoln has recently gotten the hang of sitting on his bottom, sticking his tongue out (which is adorable for now), singing a precious little "dadaadadadaa" song and blowing raspberries. I love this stage! As I remeber from Elaina, from ages 6 months on, his development is going to begin to boom with something new almost every other week.
Seriously, could you ever get enough of those baby cheeks? Mmm, I love this boy!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Scarlet and Grey, all the way!

If you live in the great state of OH- IO! you already know that today marks one of the most anticipated football games of the season. OSU v. MSU. Whoodya' think came up on top?
Let's hear it for the good old Buckeyes of course!

And to celebrate college football rivalry at it's finest, we joined our friends for an all day football / foodfest. Yum! I'm not all into football, but wherever there's food and friends, count me in!
Although, truth be told, I really don't know the first thing about how football is actually played, that's not important. What is important is that Eric's two favorite teams sport colors that I can celebrate in style. That's the fun for me! OSU bearing scarlet and grey and the stylin' Steelers in black and gold. Check out our little fans in the making. Wardrobe, courtesy of their mother. Sports influence, courtesy of their father. A well balanced pair if I should say so myself.

Friday, November 16, 2007

When Company Comes Knocking...

...and it's your child.

Here's a topic that I've wanted to discuss for some time now. How does everyone feel about inviting their kids into their bedrooms?

My feeling is that I loovve family bed days. Each and every morning, Elaina wakes up, collects as many toys as she can hold which often includes a general assortment of stuffed animals, books, sippy cup, binkies and if she has a free hand, she'll even drag her own pillow to our room. She quietly climbs into our bed and snuggles against us until we wake up or until she hears Lincoln begin to stir in his bedroom and alerts us that "Lincoln wake up. He needs a bottle."

As much as I am NOT a morning person, I love waking up to my sweet little angel perched up on my pillow and being the very first person I see when I open my eyes. She's the very first thing I touch in the morning and she reminds me what gives me enjoyment in my life. First thing in the morning! In our bedroom. How could anyone not want to experience this?

And about family bed days. Well, I only wish that our two kids would let us stay in bed all day, but when our nanny service has the day off, (like, um... everyday!) someone should probably feed the kids and let the dog out sometime before noon. It really boils down to about 5 - 10 minutes on weekday mornings and no longer than an hour on weekends. I like that Elaina feels comfortable to haul her toys to our room and entertain herself (often in front of the tv) while I am getting ready for work and I can see what she's up to by simply peeking around the corner of the bathroom. Our weekday mornings are generally rushed to get out the door and I long for a Saturday when I can hold my kids close and tight, run my fingers through their hair (or rub a peach fuzzed little head) plant kisses upon their cheeks and relax and watch mindless cartoons with them or pretend we're fishing on a boat and we put life jackets over our jammies so we can catch big fish. (That's pure Elaina.) How can parents choose to miss out on this?

If either of our kids need me, I want to be there before they begin to worry. Before they get scared. Before they puke all over their beds and floor and hallway to get to me. I want my kids to feel secure and loved and know that all of their needs will be met without having to make them known at the top of their lungs. And, let's say that there are other siblings in the house. Is this approach really fair to the kid who is sleeping safe and sound and happily?

Obviously, I'm just too set in what happens to work for my family and makes us happy. Did I happen to make that clear, by chance? My thought is that if you want to teach your kids about respect and boundaries, it's a great lesson, but possibly more relevant in other circumstances. Just in case anyone is brave enough to state some opposition as to why their children aren't invited into their bedrooms, please speak up and win me over to help me see the merits of a closed door policy. Otherwise, let's hear it for Snuggle- Down- Saturday- Mornings- With- Your- Kid- Time!!!

How does everyone else feel about this subject?

(With the exception of Michael Jackson, please.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Long Enough

It seems as though this week has really been doing a number on me and looking at my calendar, I can hardly see an end in sight.

Aside from my ongoing allergy-bronchitis -hoarsey voice accompanied by a nagging cough, all has been well. Monday, beautiful Monday, we were off work and Eric and I made the executive decision to take the kids to the babysitter's house. I had scheduled 3 doctor appointments for myself and had intended to run errands sometime in the middle. Doesn't it seem like whenever you have big plans and some free time, mixed together, it never really turns out like you would expect? Welcome to my Monday. I really can't complain though because my doctor appointments were mostly check-ups and even one doctor gave me some drugs to chase off this nasty allergy/ bronchial issue that I seem to get plagued with just about every month.
On Tuesday night, Eric joined us at Elaina's tumbling class. She only has one more class until next year and she's finally showing more independence and courage to try new things. My only measure of her comfort level is the number of times she breaks away from the rest of the group to the parent's table in back, just to say that she can't do something. Tuesday was minimal, even though her Daddy was there to impress. After tumbling class, Eric decided we were going out to dinner. I love going to a place where people actually wait on me and bring me food and drinks at my request. I sat in my seat throughout my whole meal. That, and Eric's suggestion of dinner out on a Tuesday night are just notable in themselves.

And that brings us to now. I almost don't want to admit to what I did today. Something I only do occasionally and even have a twinge of guilt about. Okay, since I mentioned it and since you're still reading and since this is the place in which I gush all kinds of other random rants; I stayed home from work today. *GASP* And not because I was too sick to go. *GASP* I think some people refer to that as "hookey." AACKKK!!

Oh, it's true and it was beautiful. It was so great that I'm thinking to myself that I could use tomorrow and the next day off too. But there I go dreaming again. Here's the story. I try to be stingy with my sick leave and my vacation time that I hardly ever splurge without necessity. Mostly, my sometimes-sick kids are necessity enough that I want to use my sick time wisely. But today was different. I took the kids to the sitter's house right on time and went home, and got down to business. Just to preface the rest of this minutia, you may want to know that I may just have a slight case of OCD and/ or anal retentiveness. Whatever you want to call it, other than "freak," which is what my husband so affectionately refers to it as. Basically, I can't sit still and my mind gets upset over seeing a billion little things that need to get done and then the overload factor kicks me in the butt and I feel more than overwhelmed. Get my drift? Now, for my day. I cleaned 2 bathrooms: sicks, toilets, bathtubs, I cleaned 7 inches of dust from my bedroom furniture and dusted throughout the house, cleaned out 2 closets, caught up laundry, put Halloween junk away, cleaned up 3 bedrooms, changed sheets in guest room, did the dishes and put every, little piece of everything back in it's place so it doesn't upset my mind anymore. Apparently, the vacuuming will be left up to Eric, this girl is beat.

It seems as though I did plenty more work by staying home than actually going to work. I have another TS party tomorrow night, Eric will be leaving this weekend for hunting season in WV and next week is already Thanksgiving in which I'll be headed out of town with the two munchkins and the dog. Oh, and then we have company coming for the following weekend. Leading into all of this, my anal-retentive mind feels like I actually have a handle on things before I get too entirely busy and I just short-circuit.
There you have it. If you're still reading, you deserve some pictures! I'm going to bed now. Remember? I'm sick.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hasta La Vista, Farmers!

Take your grain and shove it!

I'm leaving town.

Despite my snot, coughing and overall feeling like crap, we had a great weekend. Elaina and Lincoln got to spend some quality time with both sets of grandparent's and I actually can say that I got some sleep. Happy kids and a rested mom make for a happy weekend no matter the circumstances.

Since I'm off work tomorrow (Happy Veteran's Day) I wasn't really in a hurry to get home. We enjoyed a full day visiting and got on the road about 7 p.m. Less than an hour into my drive, I had a blast of genius. I thought of using my handy-dandy GPS navigator that I splurged on last year for myself to track my speed. (Remember, broken speedometer?) I had been a little more than apprehensive about driving almost 3 hours back home without knowing how fast I was traveling, so remembering that my frivolous, little gadget- friend could monitor my speed, my butt was practically dancing in my seat!

Lucky for me since I passed no fewer than 4 police cruisers waiting in the medians to catch speeders. I really showed them.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

About a Simple, Hoarse, Birthday Party

Welcome to My Day.

6:35 Lincoln wakes up.

6:36 I stumble out of bed, hand Lincoln and a fresh diaper off to Grandma and snuggle back into my warm nest.

9:30 Beautiful, glorious, 9 hours of sleep! But... crap, I have no voice and my now swollen glands are slowly but surely going to take over my whole head.

9:45 My mom spoon feeds me cough medicine while I'm in bed, just like I'm 7 years old again. What would we do without mom's? God love her.

10:00 I peel myself out of bed. Both kids are playing and happy. I eat the last cinnamon roll that my child conned her grandma into making.

10:30- 2:00 I determine that I am allergic to the whole town in which my parents' live. They live in a very rural community and the farmers have been harvesting their fields. Guess what? I am very much allergic to grain dust and mold. My voice is very hoarse and I developed a cough overnight which may give way to my left lung any minute now.

2:00 I leave my kids with my parents to host my very first TS party. My first, real, official party that is. With guests and everything. One of my best friend's from high school offered to do a party for me to help kick off my new business and get some sales. And so, I took my raspy, hoarse voice and 78 tissues stuffed in my pockets to pretend to be the bright, beaming consultant full of energy who people would want to order TS items by the truckload. Whoo Hoo!

3:00 - 6:00 The newest consultant on the block actually gets through her very first show successfully, while lungs remain safely within chest cavity for duration.

6:00 -8:00 Drive straight to nephew, Evan's birthday party. My children are already in attendance, courtesy of the Grandma and Grandpa shuttle service. I walk in to find Lincoln hanging out on his Uncle Tim's lap, watching football and Elaina happily chasing balloons with her cousin, Evan. Eat yummy leftovers and fill up on cake. Yum.

8:00 Kids are tired, Elaina is begging to go to bed and I phone my mom and dad, like I'm 14 asking for a ride home. Seems as though they have the carseats, ya' know?

9:30 Children have long since gone to bed, my mom and I can barely stay awake and I chug down the remaining bottle of whiskey.

Oh wait, did I say whiskey? Silly me, that was just more cough medicine. Wrong bottle. I'll get it right the next time.

What a long day. Who invented "allergy season" anyhow? And how did my name get on that list?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Speed Demon

Hooray! My three day weekend has finally arrived and the kids and I are headed off to visit the grandparents'. Since Eric and his friend are headed to the Steelers' game on Sunday, he wouldn't be joining us this time around.

We got the kids loaded into the truck, safe and sound and in the dark of the night, which now happens around 6 p.m., we left for our almost-3 hour drive. Not long into the trip, both kids had fallen asleep, I was enjoying the peace and quiet and making a few phone calls on the way to catch up with some old friends. At one point, when I was off the phone, I decided to finally pass 2 giant semi-trucks that I had been following for too long. As I made my move into the passing lane, I looked down to discover that my speedometer was reading 95 mph and climbing. Although I instantly freaked out, I knew that I wasn't going that fast. I moved my foot off of the accelerator immediately and slowly began to press the brake, wondering if my brakes were failing. I let the stupid semi trucks pass me once again and knew they had to be wondering who let this idiot driver (me) behind the wheel. Every time I let my foot off the brake, my rate of speed would escalate. I panicked and called my dad, knowing that I was only less than an hour away from their house. While I kept my dad on speakerphone, I called OnStar and had them run a diagnostic on my truck. I was more than relieved to hear that no systems were failing, yet nothing could explain the fact that I was inching along the highway while my speedometer had run out of numbers beyond 120 mph. It quickly became apparent that my speedometer had broken.

Crap. Scary crap.

In the end, I made it to my parents' house safely without even a child waking during my freak-out. Now I know why we pay that astronomical annual fee for OnStar service and why is good to have parent's who sit at home on a Friday night waiting for their babies to come home. Thank the Lord, we made it!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Our Half-Year Boy

Six months have already passed? Are you kidding?
Six wonderfully busy, hectic, joyful, beautiful months that we have enjoyed with our son, Lincoln.

I can still remember the initial phone call from a friend of mine while I was at work, as she relayed all of the information she had available on a potential adoption for us. For 3 days straight, I just felt as though I was going to jump out of my skin with excitement. Literally- excited, anxious, nervous emotions consumed all of me for such a long time until our son came to be. Even then, it hardly seemed reality. Just amazing, wonderful and an answer to our prayers. Simply put, a miracle.
Lincoln really has been the best little boy anyone could ask for. He is even- tempered, snuggly, happy and thoroughly lovable. He's just perfect in every way. He loves his big sister and gurgles out huge belly laughs when she performs her comedy act for him. Curious about 2 year-old comedy? All Elaina has to do is shout out anything and begin to giggle and Lincoln is sure to follow. When you take into account that at one point, our future seemed dismal at best in the children department, hearing our two healthy, happy children laugh together is the happiest noise I have ever heard.

Let me tell you how this particular 6 month-old spends his days. Lincoln has recently begun to drink between 7-8 ounces per feeding, approximately every 3-4 hours. He's enjoyed all of the types and flavors of baby food he has eaten, occasionally getting lucky to have mom squish tiny morsels of scrambled egg onto his gums. And speaking of his gums, Little Boy still hasn't gotten a tooth yet. He chews on my fingers like they're steak and only cares for actual teethers occasionally. I make a point to peer inside his mouth daily to see some evidence of "almost teeth" and still haven't even been able to confirm that. And, since I'm letting you know what he could use more of, let's just toss some hair onto his Christmas wishlist. The little, fine fuzz that he has collected atop is head at this point, surely isn't enough to keep his little head warm. Lucky for Lincoln's mommy who loves hats and since Lincoln doesn't mind wearing them, all is well.
He has recently begun to sit up on his own for short periods of time, rolls over, blows raspberries and talks his baby jabber all of the time. He has become quite the thumb sucker and only one blanket has become his magic-make-the-baby-sleep blanket. Sometimes he has a hard time letting himself go to sleep and will get so cranky, yet apparently doesn't want to miss any excitement. We are currently establishing an evening routine which he has so far, fallen into the swing of things rather easily. And, although he has been sleeping through the night, I sure wish we could do something about his preference to waking up at 5:00 a.m. to be fed. Damn Daylight Savings Time.
Like every other age and stage in your baby's development, it is so awesome to watch your baby take in the world. Being a parent is a privilege and it's amazing how it just keeps getting better and better. With this in mind, a little part of me wants to freeze Lincoln at this age and savor every moment of our 6 month old. Yet, looking at what 2 years old brings with Elaina, I can't wait for him to get older. Time will continue to click by and I just have to remind myself to savor every minute with my favorite boy because he'll never be that same age again. He's been amazing and incredible and I love the fact that we're his parents for every step of the way.

I'm proud to be this little guy's mom!