Monday, October 29, 2007

Little Mommy

Now we all know that Elaina claims that she's not a baby anymore. However, we still call her "Baby" and she is apparently so used to it that she lets us slide. Whew! Relief.

Lately though, she has told me that she is the Mommy and I am the daughter and "Nincoln" is the baby. ("Winkin" has been replaced by Nincoln and Lincoln.) Knowing that she plays all day with other little girls at the babysitter's house, I know that she has learned role playing from pretending with them. Again, I just love seeing her imagination at work.

As the Mommy of the house, it was Mommy's job to feed the hungry baby. And the hungry baby was willing to eat imaginary baby food served off of Elaina's tea party spoon. I'm just going to guess that it didn't have quite the same flavor when the "Little Mommy" prepares it. Just a hunch.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trick or Treat, Part One

Let me tell you about a friendly, little bartering deal that we worked out with our friends. Friday night, over dinner, our friends were discussing taking their kids trick or treating in their neighborhood by the lake. Seeming as though their were about 10 bodies that were going to be bouncing in out and out of a vehicle along many, many stops, someone had a bright idea to borrow Eric's open-gated trailer. As for the bartering, we loaned them the trailer to use and they invited us along to trick or treat with them. I know, I know, I know... I already feel the same way you do about immigrant trick-or-treaters crashing in on other communities, but just for today, I didn't care. Hmmph!

It was great! Elaina had the best time ever for her very first trick or treat and she wasn't even sick. (No joke, the child has had a cold for both of her previous Halloween's.) Not that I had intended to ever take a 4 month old or even a 16 month old collected obnoxious amounts of candy. But this year, being in her glory of "2" things are different. I'll let you see for yourself what a great day we enjoyed.

Elaina was dressed as a Pegasus. Even though her costume had wings, we ended up referring to her as a unicorn, just because "Pegasus" is a little hard to pronounce for a kid.

I would even have to guess that our little Lincoln had a good time, even if he was feeling a little Froggy!
Even the local EMS got in on the trick or treat action. They drove around checking to see if anyone had accidentally overdosed on candy yet and who was suffering from a belly ache from eating too many treats. Okay, not really, but they were handing out candy to the kids and were enjoying dealing with happy people who weren't really bleeding!
Honestly, I could laugh every time I look at these next pictures. Here is a picture of the Griswald Family from the Nat'l Lampoon's series. If you look closely, they have their luggage and a wrapped up "Aunt Edna" tied to the top, "Wally World or BUST!" written on their windows and they were even dragging a stuffed dog behind them, tied to their bumper!!
And just to prove that you never really know who is going to show up in the neighborhood... I'm guessing that the neighbors may have been complaining of the resident ghosts. So, who 'ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! Even funnier, they must have run out of space on the front of their buster mobile (or they're poor spellers) they had written "Ghost Bustes."
Yeah, I think I'm going to find that one funny for a long time!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What (she thinks) She's NOT

Breaking News: Elaina IS NOT a baby.

Sadly for her however, she's always going to be my baby. Look at it this way, I'm going to be 33 (Holy Smokes!) and according to my mother, I'm still her baby. Let me just tell you how much I wanted to sink through the floor and disappear when I was a teenager, out shopping with my mom and she yelled across five rounders of clothes, "Baby, do you like this?" or "Baby, I'll be in the next aisle!" Even though I was completely mortified and way too cool to acknowledge being called "Baby," I was, indeed my mother's baby.
And now I know.
Elaina is totally my baby. Even though every. single. day. she does something new, says something completely thought provoking or pee-pees in the potty like a big girl, I can't get over my baby growing up. I know she is still my baby like Lincoln is my baby. Except for that he actually is a baby-baby. My kids are just my heart. My babies.But, getting back to why Elaina is not a baby is because tonight, she said so. We were getting ready to go out on a family shopping date, (I call them "dates" because getting Eric to shop with me IS a rare and special occasion.) Eric was changing Lincoln's clothes while Elaina rocked in her chair singing "Rock-a-bye-Baby." Jokingly, Eric called her a baby and she got very upset, claiming over and over, "I NOT a BABY!!"

At first, I laughed to myself about their banter until I realized that she was actually feeling offended by his remark. And for the record, we have always called her our Baby or BabyDoll, just out of affection and habit. The reality is though, our BabyDoll is growing up. She won't always be 2 and have the world at her disposal. She won't always want Mommy and Daddy at her side and call us her best friends. There will come a day where her two-year-old-tantrums will be like a cakewalk compared to hurtful words that may be exchanged one day when she becomes a teenager. Our girl is really growing up.

Only because this was a "first" you get to share the joy of hearing about it too. Yesterday, Elaina "poopied" in the potty. And being our baby, simple rewards of stickers and candy make her the happiest. Lest, we not make mention of the hugs and fanfare of encouragement that go along with anything relating to my kid's hiney on the potty seat resulting in excrement. Way to go Elaina!

Beyond potty talk, her two year old mind is functioning at a rapid pace and remembers like a steel trap. Do you remember my Walk-A-Thon post? From 2 weeks ago? Remember the balloon release? I didn't happen to mention that we let Elaina hold onto her balloon and take it home. Unfortunately, our exchange of child plus balloon entering the house combined with a gust of wind and slippery fingers equalled Elaina's balloon going up to heaven after all. For two weeks, she has randomly mentioned her balloon going into the sky. And an airplane can get it. And heaven is where her balloon is and the angels and God too. And an airplane can bring them down and she can get her balloon back. (If only...) At this point, she fake whimpers her sadness over losing her balloon and recovers easily.

Everyday, she just blows me away by how her mind processes relationships, memory and functions. She puts so much thought into figuring things out and I am loving to see how her real personality is developing and becoming apparent. For instance, we went out to our favorite pizza place, (where you can usually find us on a typical Friday night) where we meet with 2 other couples and their kids. Once we finished dinner and the girls played awhile, Elaina wanted to give Maddie a hug goodbye. Maddie resisted and pulled back, rejecting Elaina's affection. (Okay, so no one has ever done that to my daughter before.) Elaina put both hands on her hips, stuck out her bottom lip and scoffed at Maddie without a word. She didn't know what to make of her action and didn't exactly know how to react.

Hardly a day goes by that Elaina doesn't say, "I go school today, Mom." Sometimes she'll mention going to school first thing in the morning or after her nap. She thinks she's ready to go to school. God love her! The best thing that she comes up with is hearing her say "I love you Mom" and knowing it is pure and from her heart. That girl continues to take my breath away sometimes. It is so fascinating to me to watch her develop socially, verbally and intellectually. In all of the wisdom that my two year old holds, she's still going to have to get over the fact that she is and will always be, my Baby.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Still Going Strong... 9 Years Long!

October 24, 1998

It was a huge day. A memorable day. A day upon which our family and friends gathered for a giant party. A day that joined our hearts and our lives together in the bond of marriage.

Yesterday marked Eric and my 9th wedding anniversary. Seriously? Nine years and I'm not even tired of him. Better than that, we've known each other for almost 13 years and I'm still in love with him.

If you've ever read my blog, you obviously have picked up by now that I mostly ramble on and brag about my kids (that's mainly why I'm here). So, yadda, yadda, yadda about my kids... how about my husband?

For my little anniversary commemoration to my husband my mind goes a million directions of what I should write about without trying to recount every detail of the past 9 years. I could write about how I knew I was going to marry him after the very first time we talked. We didn't even go on a single date before I told my college roommate that I didn't even need to date him, I just knew that I was going to marry him.

And then there's plenty of room to write about Eric being my all of my strength as we were forced to deal with infertility, pregnancy loss and ultimately losing our angels to heaven too soon. While Eric isn't particularly emotional and doesn't talk about his feelings all that much, he knew exactly what I needed to get through the most difficult times of our lives. Never, ever did he let me feel like I was alone. We were always in it together through thick and thin.

Oh, I know! I could write about how my seemingly OCD tendencies and temper never seem to rattle my Beloved? Eric is always the calm one while I stress myself over a million and seven minuscule details that seem to turn me into a psycho, crazed, goofball that just can't sit still or remain quiet. Never would I say that I am perfect, nor is my significant other. We just happen to be fortunate enough to balance each other out, making up for what the other lacks. Together, we're like a jigsaw puzzle where we fit each other just perfectly and become complete.

And if only I had time, I would tell you about Eric being the Mr. Handyman, Fix-It Mechanic and the butler of our home. He is just about as anal as me when it comes to cleaning up, putting things away and keeping things in order. Where he exceeds me is that he can change the oil in my truck, paint like a pro, wash dishes and bottles without being asked and he even cooks. Since, I'm not going to write about this topic, I would never have enough time to even mention how he completely gutted and remodeled the majority of our house by himself. See? That would take up a lot of time to try and tell you about all of that.

If I were to write about just the little things that make me happy I married him, I would have to write about how I still think that he is the most handsome man I know. (Since I don't personally know Brad Pitt or George Clooney, and Eric doesn't mind) How much I enjoy his humor, his commitment to being a provider for our family, the amount of respect that he holds for himself and others, his pride and his strength. And on top of that, I would probably have plenty to say about having his arms wrapped around me being still the greatest feeling in the world and how we don't even need to talk sometimes to know how the other is feeling.

And how could I even begin to tell you what an awesome dad Eric is? When he plays with our kids, and tells them that he loves them and exercises every last bit of patience he has with them, how do I keep my heart from bursting out of my chest? Just seeing the pure and genuine smiles on their faces that pour out happiness from each of them is all of the happiness I have ever wanted.

Whoever knew that trying to come up with an anniversary tribute would be so difficult? I guess that when I finally decide what to write about, I'll have to let you know. Until then, I'm going to snuggle down in bed with the man of my dreams and hold onto him tightly. He's too good to ever let go!

Happy Anniversary My Love!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Get the spackle!

It seems as though sometimes when I'm all caught up in a thought when blogging, I seem to forget some very important parts along the way. I hate it when that happens. So, dig out the spackle, I've got to fill in some cracks!

Over this weekend, so much went on that I did find it difficult to recount all of the events leading up to our special, long awaited day of Lincoln's finalization hearing. Just as important as the paperwork and legal portion that this day entailed, this is also the day that we will celebrate for years to come as "Got Me Day!"

So you see that we had our very first celebration of GMD with grandparents present, yet GMD will continue to be a special family occasion for years to come with just the four of us. GMD is somewhat of a half birthday party celebration of Lincoln's adoption and him legally becoming a part of our family. Everyone gets a birthday, but our kids get a double dose of spoiling on their GMD, just for being OURS!

Another fine thing that I wanted to make mention of in regard to Lincoln's finalization is that during the hearing, the magistrate asked if anyone had anything to say and my mom and father-in-law both took that opportunity to say some very kind and heartfelt words on our behalf. Although we didn't capture the hearing on video, that's just one of those special moments that I want Lincoln to know about when he's older and reading about this. Oh, how that boy is loved!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Celebrating Family

So there was cake! And grandparents! And kids! May as well celebrate! Let me just take this moment to send out Happy Wishes to everyone on their special day! Hooray! Come on over and have a piece of cake, would you? We're celebrating family!

Really, how much can we really cram into a single weekend? Let's see, my mom's birthday was Friday, my brother's birthday and my grandparents' wedding anniversary are today, our wedding anniversary is Wednesday and the newest reason to celebrate this already special day is that Lincoln was recognized by the state as our child. Now that's a reason to celebrate and we couldn't be happier!
My parents came into to town on Saturday morning and because of work scheduling, Eric's parents joined us at the court house first thing this morning. With our family and close friends at our side, the magistrate declared us to be the permanent, legal parents of Lincoln. Although he has been in our custody, all adoptions within our state require a waiting period until the final court hearing which took place today. This was the final red-tape and formality of his adoption that seals the deal, so to speak. From the expressions on our faces, can you just tell that we wouldn't want to have it any other way?
Our court hearing didn't take very long so we spent the rest of the day visiting, enjoying a wonderful lunch and let Elaina and Lincoln bask in the hugs and kisses and laughter that comes with having 6 adults loving them all at once. This was truly a day to celebrate our family being made complete with the addition of our son. Our precious, wonderful, happy Lincoln! Baby, I love You! Since this is the biggest day that we have been looking forward to for some time, there was plenty more activity leading up to this morning's court hearing. In other big news, guess who rolled over for the first time? Our son did! I can't tell you the number of times that Eric or I will lay him down with a virtual plethora of toys within his reach and he lays as content as a rock on his back or belly. Enter Grandma. I have to tell you that my mom and dad were great! They watched the kids, helped with laundry, fed the hungry, hugged the crying and did back breaking labor with my husband. I'll get back to all of that. So, my mom takes Lincoln into the living room to play, lays him on a blanket and within 5 minutes, announces to me that Lincoln is rolling over. The funnier part was that she acted like he did it so naturally and frequently, as if he had been performing this trick for many, many months. NOPE. Little StinkerStink must have been holding out on me, allowing his grandma to bask in the glory of his new stunt. At least he did give me the privilege of witnessing his latest feat shortly after his first 10 rolls for grandma. Or, as I like to call them, Co-Conspirators. And how about this work? It seems like my days pass by, busy and full and I still feel a mountain of to-do's weighing on my shoulders. Or maybe it's just an ant-hill disguised by my overwhelming sense of order and anxiety. Fun combo for me. And so day after day, although I'm busy, I never really feel like I've made a dent in all of the things I would like to have done. Lord knows that I've put blogging on my back burner on days like these, and regrettably so. And so, my parents come. My parents come and let us work. They come to watch our children and lend a hand. Some things I was able to scratch off my list were organizing the 3 giant boxes of Tastefully Simple items that I received 3 weeks ago when I signed up to be a consultant. Those 3 giant boxes have finally been moved from their previous home which was right smack in the middle of the kitchen floor! Nice. Also, despite the awesome fall color and unseasonably warm temperatures, we still live in Ohio and the conditions are subject to change drastically within a 24 hour period. Today was simply gorgeous weather with sunshine and record highs near 77 degrees. The rest of the week however is supposed to be more in line with what we can typically expect in October. Rain. Cold. Wind. Temperatures only reaching 60. That means winter clothes, bundling up and bigger sizes. With my mom here, I tore apart both kids rooms and storage containers and pulled out everything warm and everything with growing room. About 4 loads of laundry in the end. My mom, the Patron Saint of Folding, folded every single onesie, pants, jumpers, bibs, right down to matching the very last pair of socks. The dressers and closets are now cursing my mother's name as they are brimmimg with clothes. Huge accomplishment for me, I should say. Other than tons of little household minutia, my dad helped Eric run wire from the garage to the house and under the house and under the patio and underground and to the attic and I think you get my drift. Unless we have our wires crossed and you didn't follow all of that. Hah!
What is the going rate of this incomparable, full service, help? Treating them to dinner and unlimited hugs and adoration from the grandkids, daughter and son-in-law. Thanks again mom and dad, you've really made my mountain more into an anthill! It was a great weekend to share with my parents and even better leading up to today being remembered as the day our son was made our own!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What makes Me Happy

Just in case you ever wondered what my family does for fun-

It seems as though the goofball to the right of the picture had a little interference in the video due to the fact that she tumbled onto this photographer's head!

And this is what makes this Mommy laugh- Check out the great bear that Lincoln won as a door prize at the Walk-A-Thon! Eric and Elaina won pizza gift certificates and I won free coupons to use at a local deli. Yummola! How lucky we were this day!

Here, Elaina is apparently feeding the bathtub crocodiles cookies and omelets. Usually when bath time is over, she feeds her imaginary birds in the tub, but I'm guessing that the crocodiles must have eaten the birds tonight. Hey! And listen to the crackling, rasp of Mommy-No-Voice. Oh yeah, and that was day 3 that I still sounded that bad! Aack!! Thank GOD I'm all over that!

I was digging through some pictures that I've been meaning to post and here they are! These were all the way back when both of my kids were well and Eric was a happy husband because his wife couldn't talk. Until one day, the quiet wife began to speak again and the children took Mommy's symptoms from her. Oh joy.

Lincoln is still coughing and both kids are just getting over ear infections. Eric took Lincoln to the doctor last Friday and I took Elaina in on Tuesday. Same symptoms for both kids, same meds and same cranky disposition for both. Oh this has been a long week!

Since neither Eric nor I, have a substantial amount of sick leave to use from work (recall: 2 mos. maternity leave) we took morning and afternoon shifts of being at home with the kids and going to work. This worked out pretty well on Monday and Tuesday for all of us. Wednesday we were all back to our jobs, respectfully. How am looking forward to everyone getting healthy and back on track with pleasant moods and no more coughing. Wear. Me. Out. These little crabapples are breaking me down.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Walking For Our Angels

2005 Walk for the Angels-Saturday marked the 3rd annual Walk for the Angels Walk-a-Thon. This annual fundraising event is a result of the diligence and efforts of a local couple whose daughter lived her short life in the NICU before becoming an angel. Even though their hearts were breaking over their loss, they decided to reach out to other families who had experienced loss of a child and formed a support group. Their efforts resulted in the proclamation of October 15 to be observed as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day within their community. This same group has taken their conviction and following their hearts to the State Senate Committee in support of the Ohio Grieving Parents Act. An awesome endeavor indeed!

2006 Walk for the Angels (Eric wasn't able to join us this year)-
So what does this walk mean to me?

Personally speaking, it is obviously a cause close to my heart in remembrance of our daughters. In the years that have passed there is still not a single day that goes by without me thinking of them in some way. Sometimes I wonder how in the world we ever got through the most difficult time in our lives, not once but twice. Sometimes I feel bitter that they didn't get the same right to live in a loving home with two parents who adored them. This is especially hard for me when I see careless teenagers and the like with their round pregnant bellies just waiting to pop and wondering if that mother will even love that child even a fraction as much as we wanted to love our children. And I can't even get started on the anger I feel when I see women smoking, drinking and abusing drugs during their pregnancy and they get to have a baby. (Remember that I work at court which translates to: everyday occurrence.)

Even with these emotions I remind myself that this is the way that God intended. Not our choice, not our entitlement, but what God in His almighty wisdom knew was best. I find peace knowing that neither of our girls are suffering and neither will ever be compromised a quality of life for our selfishness. I spare myself from letting my mind drift off into the what if's? and questioning why? I already know that there is no advantage to even wandering into the unknown because it just IS what IT IS. And look at us now. Just look at us now! I can still remember a time when every fiber of me ached with hopelessness and absolute heartache that I could feel in my bones. Desperate despair in believing that I would never know happiness again. And not even having any motivation in trying to find happiness. I felt that my life, my happiness and my self-worth were non-existent. And look at us now! For the life of me, I don't know where we would be without Elaina and Lincoln. I try not to think of life without them. They were God's plan for us. They were born for us and meant for us. And this, I will never doubt. Custom Made Miracles, you see. Now is a fine time to share something that I clipped from a magazine and have saved since after Ella was born, it reads: "Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible." - Mary McLeod Bethune

I can't tell you the number of times that I have felt this to be true. There is no disputing the power of God and leaning to Him and trusting in His plan. I have since started my own mantra when times are tough which is, You never get over things, you just get through them. And life must carry on whether you like it or not. I know that Ella and Ava are with us and watch over us every minute from heaven. I believe that they had a hand in selecting the most perfect sister and brother for their parents and family to fall in love with and they are our perfect guardian angels of us all. Despite our grief and loss of our two beautiful angels, our life has gone on. With Elaina and Lincoln I feel like we've been given a second chance at parenthood and happiness. Happiness that I never thought existed until I became a parent of such wonderful, healthy children. Just feeling blessed each and every day knowing that these are the children that God created and placed in our life and in our hearts. Calling them our own. Hugging them and feeling their heartbeat next to mine and inhaling their warm breath of life. My heart practically jumps from my chest and the feeling never gets old. During the walk-a-thon, I began to think how someone would ever be able to identify with what being a parent means to me given our history. Just for a minute, think as if you were blind. One day, you woke and were gifted with sight. Would you just roll back over and go to sleep? How about a paraplegic? If given the opportunity to walk with grace and motion, would you jump out of your chair onto the couch to watch t.v.? And if you were deaf, and regained your hearing wouldn't you run through the town taking in every noise and volume and rejoicing at hearing the voices of your loved ones? This is what being a parent means to me. This is our second chance. This is our breath of life and what living is all about. So, here I have this blog. And with this blog I pour out my heart and soul as a story to my kids. This is my opportunity to recount their childhood and offering reflection of our love for them. That each of them will know that there wasn't even a minute in their lives that they weren't loved. Even within their mother's womb, our hearts were ready and waiting for their lives to become one with ours. If I happen to brag or just by chance get sappy over how much I love and adore our kids, it's because it's true. Elaina and Lincoln are my heart, my happiness and all of my love I've waited a lifetime to give. And they are worth it! During Saturday's walk, my friend Bevin and her daughter joined us as she has for the past 3 years. Although the temperature remained close to 60 all day, we bundled up in layers upon layers and walked, talked and enjoyed being together. The balloon release always pulls emotions straight up from the bottom of my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I see so many pink and blue balloons being sent up to heaven for all of our angels. The power of a group of strangers uniting with the common thread of losing a child and suffering heartache like no other can be overwhelming. This event holds great meaning to me and is a tradition I would like to keep with my family throughout the years. A walk for remembrance of our angels that watch over us from heaven and a walk with our angels we have to hold onto on this earth.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend Reality

It's Sunday night. It's almost midnight. We had a long weekend with few plans, 2 sick kids, some sadness, some remembrance and some fun all rolled into what we called Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, Eric, myself and the kids got out and joined in a "Walk of Remembrance" in the 3rd annual God's Tiny Angels Walk-A-Thon. There is so much I would like to say about it and reflect on what meaning this walk has to me and my family, but with 45 minutes before midnight and lunch to pack and a second load of laundry to chase through, rushing to recap this event in a nutshell would be an injustice.

Trust me when I tell you that I may slow your computer to a snail pace when you try to download all of the pictures I'm about to post and make sure you pull up a comfy chair. I've got alot.

And about my sick children... I guess that I was a little too optimistic the whole time I endured my battle with laryngitis and a runny nose and really thought I wasn't contagious since everyone around me was fine. Fast forward 2 weeks; unbelievably, I still have some raspy -1-900- operator tone left in my voice and a cough to make sure that I'm really not fully recovered. (Yet, I'm still on antibiotics.) So, what should be the tail end of my sickness, Lincoln develops a high pitched cough that sounds far from healthy. I make Eric take him to the doctor who reports that Lincoln has an ear infection. Antibiotics for him too, although I'm jealous because he gets the yummy bubble-gum pink which is sure to leave it's fluorescent stain upon any fabric that comes within air contact. Lincoln still makes the doctor and the nurses swoon as they report that he has most recently weighed in at 18.11 pounds! Holy Smokes Alive Lincoln! You're big!

Here we have one on the mend. And then... Elaina comes down with a runny nose. And then the fever. Lincoln (Thank God) only had a cough unaccompanied by fever. She has had a little bit of a cough for about 3 days now, but overall she's been fine. Today however, Elaina was plain old-fashioned B A D. She didn't feel good, she didn't want to eat, she had the chills, her belly hurt from not eating, you name it. Girlfriend had every symptom of everything tonight. And, ironically, our day started off very pleasant.

At this point, I've had a long day. I'm headed for a 7 hour rendezvous with my favorite set of flannel sheets and pillow. Eric's already been there for about an hour now and would assume that I'll be lying against him when he wakes up. Better go! Nighty Night!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Miss Quoted

Some random funny quotes from Miss 2- Year-Old:

On receiving some new plastic jewels:
"Mommy, sometimes my bracelets make me happy."

On leaving home on our second cold morning of fall:
"It's cold, Mommy. It's colder than popsicles outside!"

On being served with her 137th egg for dinner in her lifetime:
"These are the very best eggies I ever had."

On being told to come over to Mommy for the 10th time so I could get her clothes changed:
"Mommy, say please."

On echoing Mommy shouting down the hall at Daddy:
" I do it Mommy. 'Air-wic (Eric) don't foget his me-cine!'"

On wanting to go into Daddy's "Man's Room" to roll pool balls across the table:
"Mommy, I wanna play balls. I go in Daddy's room, Mommy?"

(You really have to know that we have a pool table in our house to be able to think that isn't inappropriate.)Oh whatever would we do without her?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just like unwrapping presents

And now you know how I feel about checking my blog and reading your comments!

I just wanted to extend an overdue "Thank You" to Marianne for continuing to follow our journey known as parenthood. I just want to tell you how awesome it is that you, like so many others, have been able to witness the miracle of Elaina and Lincoln becoming a part of our family. However, you identify with our lives in such a great capacity that others could never fathom. I respect our bond of motherhood and I'm happy that you're still a part of our lives when we are finally able to share so much happiness. I'm glad you're here!

And how about my cousin, Logan! Hey Girl, You Rock! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I hope you continue to check back and see all that you have to look forward to in parenting. There's really nothing that can compare to the smiling face and warm cuddles with your child, but I'm sure you already know that. Now if I could only interest you in starting your own blog so you can share your little cutie, Kristopher... think it over. You would never regret it!

Can you help me out here fellow Mommy-Bloggers? What do your blogs mean to you? Also, can you offer my dear Cousin here any encouragement?

Go Logan GO! Go Logan GO! Go Logan GO! Go Logan GO!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

sometimes I wear myself out by thinking

Please commiserate with me if you would.

Am I the only one that can walk through every single room in her own home and see in an instant at least 10 projects or tasks that desperately need to be completed? All in one room?

Often times I go to bed and my mind begins to race at all of the things that I could be doing while the rest of the world sleeps. I often convince myself that the solution to getting more done and finding more hours in the day is working around the clock. No more sleeping. My predicament is that I really love to sleep and become an absolute crank if I don't get enough shuteye. Foiled.

It makes me sick to think about all of the things that I could be getting done if only I had the time. For instance...

How many times do I have to look at those rotting bananas on my kitchen countertop before I find the time to make banana nut bread?

I wonder if Keegan will keel over dead one day because his water bowl is so dirty. And while I fret on and on about his water bowl, I wonder when I'm going to make the time to clean up the potting soil which spilled from one of my plants as a result of being tipped over. Three weeks ago. Another sight that my neurotic eyes zoom to focus just beyond Keegan's water bowl.

How old do you think my children will be before I finally get some of my snapshots developed in print?

Does anyone exactly remember when I said that I would be mailing kid pics to grandparents and aunts and uncles anyway? Yeah.... um... don't feel so bad if yours haven't quite arrived in the mail yet. Ahem.

I wonder if I remember where I keep my Pledge wipes? Pretty soon, I may have to just use a dustpan and a hand brush to collect all of the dust from my house.

Exhausted yet? No? Oh, do you think I'm talking about where you live too? Thanks for not letting me feel so alone.

So, let me tell you the things that I have recently accomplished.

Both kids' closets have been purged of all-things-summer. And packed away.

I've got my summer capris put into another closet and my winter pants pulled out. (1/3 done: shirts and shoes to follow)

I finally got my Halloween decorations out and my house is looking Spook-tacular! (Yeah right!)

Over the weekend, I spent more than enough time with my old friend "ironing board." I'm breaking off our relationship starting when I hung up my last pressed pair of pants. Unfortunately, I know it's only a matter of time and another load of permanent press cottons until I come crawling back to use him. It's a steamy relationship, what can I say?

And last but not least, I'm trying to stay caught up on my blogging! Hooray!! The bottom line is that my kids absolutely come first and their happiness alone, is enough to keep me going. The bananas may just need to go in the trash this time around.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

All that's missing is the Dalmation.

Is everyone aware that it October is Fire Prevention month?

Consider yourself in the know.

In case I haven't mentioned it before, Eric is a Captain on the local volunteer fire department which hosted their annual open house this evening.
Since I was so busy taking pictures and videos and since Blogger (my BFF) now makes it so easy to post videos, I'll let you be the judge of what a great time Elaina had. Adjust your volume before playing the video. Because the fire trucks were left running for the kids to get the real excitement of the noise and flashing lights, it makes for some loud background noise in my videos. (I guess no one else was concerned.)
The kids that Elaina is rolling with are her friends, Troy and Abby. Their Daddy's are Eric's fellow firefighters.

This is Eric's actual equipment that Elaina is trying on. I'm glad that it fits Daddy way better than Elaina.

Monday, October 08, 2007

My Tribe

If this is an Indian Summer, just call me Chief Wind Be Sparse.

Come. Meet my followers. I give you Little Sparrow Moonsong and Rainbow Babbling Stream.
Seriously, is this the type of weather we should be having in Ohio, in October? Shewee! It's like 87 degrees outside. Hey, this is funny. You;ll never guess who turned off the air conditioning units 4 weeks ago. Oh yeah, turned off, sealed and covered tight for winter.
If you guessed US; you are right!
It seems as though we had a little cold snap about a month ago and Eric and I guessed that cooler temps were going to be making their grand appearance in typical Fall fashion. We've enjoyed leaving the windows open and the just-right-feel of 75 degree days. Who would have ever suspected we would get back to this heat?
It got so warm in our house today that I stripped my sweaty children down to their drawers and let them flounder about on the floor as a fanned them with a book. Elaina thought it was a game and Lincoln thought Mommy was funny how she kept reappearing after that big 'ol thing kept on waving past her face. Who knew I could come up with such great entertainment to enjoy while sitting around sweating?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Beginning of Noise

Friday evening, we arrived shortly after kick off at the high school football game which our friend, Derek, coaches for. We found seats next to our friends and enjoyed the game, which the Fremont Little Giants won!

You know there's really nothing that makes you feel quite as old as when you go to a high school sporting event. It just so happened to be their homecoming game and the high-school hoochies were rampant. Within five minutes of being seated, Eric and I looked at each other and wondered who let the stripper referees up in the stands. Two pretty teenage girls had claimed their railing (which, I'm guessing may someday turn into a pole) and showed off their tight-enough-to-be-painted-on referee striped spandex shirts and shiny, pleather, pleated mini skirts. Just to show a little more of their fashion sense, they paired their skimpies with white knee socks , hooker heels, ball caps and whistles. Wow. Jaw dropping. I saw one talking on her Razor cell phone and wondered where in the world she had pulled it from. Her outfit was THAT tight that their was hardly room for a bulk which a Razor phone would have.

We (and probably the other 300 football fans present) wondered where in the world their mothers were and could almost feel their parents' embarrassment if they only knew what their "pretty" daughters were representing.

So, you really don't need to hear any more about how many times my eyeballs nearly popped out of my face in shock and sometimes horror over teenage behavior and appearance, let me tell you about what a good weekend we had. After the Friday night game, all of the coaches gather at our friends' house and hang out, have some drinks and eat too much food, way too late. Such was the case this night also. Elaina had a great time at the football game and was more than excited to be going to her friends' house to sleep over. In addition to Mackenzie, Camryn and Kendyl, there were 2 other little girls there to join in the fun. Between the 6 girls playing together, the toy room looked as though it had been hit by some supernatural force of nature to cause so much destruction. I'm only mildly exaggerating but, these three little girls who live there have just about every girl themed toy ever made, which made my little girl feel like she was in toy / babydoll/ cooking / jewelry paradise. Saturday morning was off to an early start when Elaina woke at 5:30 wondering where she was and trying to find her missing binkies, followed by a sleepy Lincoln who woke at 6:00 due to all of Elaina's commotion and flopping about. Eric and I were definitely paying the price of late night visiting with our friends and an after 2:00 bedtime. And so we were up. And so Saturday never stopped. The guys hung out watching what else? Football. The little girls played and napped. The big girls (Beth and myself) hit a few end-of season garage sales. And our little linebacker-in-the-making was held and kissed and passed around onto every 2, 4 and 6 year old lap in the house.
We made time to visit Derek's parents who wanted to spend a little more time visiting with us and seeing the kids than the first half of the football game in bleacher seats had to offer. After dinner, we drove 20 minutes to my parents' house to drop off some Tastefully Simple hostess kits for my mom to host a book party and my other friend to serve at her November show. (WooHoo, I'm getting shows booked!)

We already knew that we wouldn't have much time to spend with them since we had already had a long day and an even longer drive home. For the 45 minutes that we stayed, Elaina was overjoyed to play with her Pop-Pop and asked her Gramma to make her cinnamon rolls. Boy does she have each one of my parents' pegged with what she wants from them! Even for a short visit, it was so worthwhile. I had to pry Lincoln out of their arms just to change his diaper and had to con Elaina into getting back into the car by the bribe of the binkies awaiting her to go to sleep.

It was a great, busy, full two days, but, again, so worthwhile to see so many people we love. I think we both felt like we were cheating on Eric's parent's since we literally had no time to make a trip to their house. I even felt like it was unfair to only be at my parents' house for under an hour. That never happens. And so I was the lucky winner to make our nearly 3 hour drive home while Eric and the kids slept soundly. We arrived safely home after 11:00 and were all ready to drop. (Refer to: functioning on 3.5 hours sleep the previous night.)

Why did we have to hurry home on a Saturday night rather than Sunday, you may ask? Because Eric had Steelers tickets for Sunday's game. Yes, it is all about the Steelers.

(Editor's Note: I was able to crackle a little bit above a whisper on Friday night and a full blown crackly-hoarse voice was my achievement for Saturday. NICE.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

in a hush

Day 3: No voice. Whispers only.

This sucks.

Rather than bore you with my misery of having one of life’s great enjoyments such as talking and conversation sucked from my vocal cords, let me tell you about our weekend plans. Also, sharing a fun little Elaina story always perks me up.

Tonight we are headed off to a football game 2 ½ hours from home. Trust me when I tell you that I’m not such a huge fan that I travel far and wide to go to a football game. Especially when I can’t even talk. Eric and I just happen to be huge fans of the football coach for a Division One high school. Our friend Derek coaches in Fremont and we’ll be traveling there to see the game and stay overnight to hang out with him and his family. Unfortunately, this little laryngitis bit has worn out it’s welcome and will make visiting with my friends more of a strained effort in trying to hold a conversation and having fun. Did I mention how badly this sucks? I would consider this family to be our very best non-family friends in the world and I can’t even carry on a conversation with them. Let me say it again since the universe can’t hear me scream that THIS SUCKS!

Sorry. Just a little built animosity toward my low functioning vocal region.

Back to perking me up! I’ve been reading about my little bloglet friends, Harper and Wesley and how involved they get in their pretend world with their stuffed animals and the like. Coincidentally, Elaina has taken to allocating personalities and life into inanimate objects. For instance, she lined up her collection of sippy cups in a row, 3 total (don’t ask why 3 were filled) and began feeding them her cheese.

“Oh Sippy, Oh! You hungry? Okay. I love you guys! Cheese for you. Some for you. Hi Guys!” (Insert vision of child wrapping her arms around 3 sippy cups in a hug.)

Beyond sippy cups, she also came across a new pet in our house. Apparently Keegan is no longer the one and only pet worthy of adoration and attention. Elaina pulled one of my jar candles from an end table and proudly brought it to my attention, proclaiming it to be her “pet.” In fact, she was so proud of her pet that she carried it upstairs and wanted to let it take a bath with her. Since I don’t know where this pet has been and if it’s a boy or girl pet, I passed on inviting “pet” to join in the suds with my kid.

There is something to be said for a child with a good imagination! I just have to remember to use my creativity as my ticket into her imaginary world!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What day is today?

October 3rd?

Sound familiar?



According to my new friend, Katie at The Yap, (which I am calling my friend because I only know her in the blog world and think she's pretty cool, like a friend I'd like to have) it's National Delurking Day!! Hooray for Lurkers!

Today is the day that you're able to come out and post a comment on my blog, letting me know that you're a reader. Even if you've only come across it today. Or yesterday. Or even 4 months ago. It's A-Okay! It's really more of a roll call to see who's here. It's flattering to know that someone more than just the grandparents are reading about lil' ol' me and my fam. (Hi Grandma's and Grandpa's :-)) You can comment too!!

And just to let you know, it's really not that hard, I was the one who outed myself on Katie's blog and the world didn't even come to an end. In fact, she welcomed me. See, you'd probably like to be her friend too, now wouldn't you?

The only embarrassing part is if NOBODY outs themselves. AACCKKK!! Please people, surprise me!! I'd love to welcome you too!

And like my new blog friend Katie, I'm posing a question to everyone out there. Please tell me what your all-time favorite Halloween candy is. And has it changed since you were a kid?

Now...... comment!

**Don't forget to post your name! I need to know my friends' names!

quiet time

This morning at 5:30, Lincoln woke and began to coo and gurgle and basically make general noises of a 4 month old which sound like he's communicating with dolphins. Cute, huh?

This morning at 5:50, Elaina woke and found her way into our bed and demanded toast for breakfast. Over and over and over. And since we're used to midnight bedtimes and 6:30-7:00 wake-up's, Eric tried to talk Elaina into cuddling in bed for just a little while longer.

Why is this all relevant you may ask? It's because I was the only one not talking this morning. In fact, I can barely talk more than a whisper all day long. When I woke up from the chatter of my children, my neck and glands felt swollen as large as a oak tree trunk, I figured it was going to be a quiet day. Laryngitis strikes again! Eric told Elaina that Mommy's voice was broken today. Sweetness was so concerned for me that she whispered back as she patted me on the back and said "It's okay, Mommy. You voice be better."

The greatest part of all of this is that since this Mama only has 16 hours of paid sick leave, I still had to go to work. (Hello sarcasm!) My co-workers had a field day with me, all in good fun, of course, but I couldn't even throw back my witty comments back their way without a voice. Whispering my wise cracks only made it more humorous.

Now, after 17 hours of whispering, coughing and sucking lozenges like a junkie, I'm anxious to see what tomorrow has in store for me. I don't have the same symptoms of a cold, so I'm leaning toward allergy related crap. Crap.

Does anyone happen to have any quick fixes for allergies and/ or laryngitis?

help. me. please.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Simply Yours

Just in case I don’t think I have quite enough balls in the air at one time trying to balance work, kids, cooking, housework and rest, I have recently decided to become a Tastefully Simple consultant. (Put your rolling eyes back on straight now.) I have never let myself branch out like this before in such uncharted territory as far as a home-based business, but as of now, I’m pretty excited about my new endeavor.

Just in case you’re not familiar with the Tastefully Simple collection, it's worth checking out their website at TastefullySimple dot com. I hosted a home party in April for my consultant friend and ended up netting the highest sales she had ever reached with one show. Pretty impressive for not even trying. It was more or less doing her a favor in booking a show. Also at that time, I committed to host a book party in the fall in order to reach a selling goal of earning another free piece of stoneware from their hostess collection. So here I am, having my book party, collecting orders so quickly that I hardly have time to write them all down and I made my mind up that maybe this consultant gig wouldn’t be so bad for me after all. With the encouragement from my consultant friend, I pushed myself over the edge, consenting to get started on my own.

I placed my first online order the other night and saw that this really could work out to be as easy as my friend claims it to be. The only thing that I have some reservation about is my time spent away from my family. So, that leaves my independent intellectual side of my brain to remind me that it’s good for me to get out of the house from time to time while Eric fills his role as full time Dad and I’m going to be doing it to actually make us some mad money to spend on the side. Besides, each show requires approximately 4-5 hours of work anyhow. Listen to the rational side. Listen to the practical side. Be wise, Mommy. It’s a good thing.

And finally, that leaves me to you. Who wants me to come do a party for them?

Monday, October 01, 2007


I don't know if this is common, but whenever I refer to a warm, tight hug, I just call it like it is and say "Squeeze." Common? Or just me?

Now that we're on the same page and if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you already know that one of my favorite things to do is wrap my arms around my kids and squeeze them. Hugs, you know?

Squeezes must be contagious in this household because when Elaina woke up this morning we all sat on the bed with Lincoln and she asked if she could squeeze Lincoln.

"Squeeze this much Mommy?"

"No Honey, not too tight."

"This much, Mommy?

"Okay, Elaina, I think that's a good squeezy hug from his big sister. Nice job."

And then Eric and I proceed to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze Elaina with tight, tight hugs.