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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.

Croup

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!

Monday, November 05, 2007

some days are just going to be like THIS

I'm throwing in the towel right now. At this very moment, I am waving my white flag surrendering myself to a messy house, laundry mountains and unread e-mails.

I give.
In return, I pledge to have happy children, a happy husband and a little more sleep at night. So, we'll see. One step at a time right?
Since I have finally carved out a little time to blog tonight, my intention isn't to whine about how busy I have been because, Dear God, the day that I'm not busy, my life will be over. Life is just going very fast for all of us. I'm loving every minute of being the mother of two, trying to learn to balance a full time job and some part time hours on the side and try to have a social life somewhere in the middle. The part I do object to is that I just can't seem to find enough hours in the day to blog every night and comment like I would like to. That part stinks and I need to find some middle ground.
Every single day when I think about what I might be posting about to share not only with my readers, but also in my children's' life story, my mind races with 100 different stories and little funny things that randomly take place throughout my day. The problem is, until blogger enables digital voice recording (and I'm not talking about video clips) I just have to keep up the best I know how.
With that said, let me tell you about our weekend.
I hesitated to post this video because for the people who don't personally know us, I don't want you to get the wrong impression of how we're raising our children. For the following clip, don't read anymore into this than necessary. Just in case that isn't enough, here is my disclaimer: My husband is a sportsmen and wildlife hunter. All of his guns are kept in a vault with no access to anyone without a combination. I just don't know what we're going to do with this girl of ours...

In other news, Lincoln nearly scared the life out of me on Saturday. He had pretty much been a little crabapple most of the day until I plopped him down next to his big sis on her little sofa. Elaina was watching a video, I gave Lincoln some teethers and plush toys to play with. For all of 5 minutes, I tried to clean up in the kitchen, right around the corner while peeking in on them frequently. All of the sudden, I heard Lincoln begin to cough in a very high pitched cough that I hadn't ever heard from him. Without hesitating, I rushed into the living room and saw him beginning to distress while coughing. Within seconds, I had scooped out his mouth half of a little silver snap which had come off of his overalls. When I had dressed him earlier that day, the top snap had evidently broken into two halves, one of which I threw away. Apparently, I had a blast of stupid to not realize that there was really nothing holding the other half into his overalls and neglected to pull it out and throw it away. Can you say "idiot?" I still have no idea how he managed to get it into his mouth, but I was ever so thankful that he was just fine and that it wasn't worse. Thank You God! *Notice that the top, left side snappy is missing? I hate these overalls now and it was the first time he ever wore them.

Two more random things I wanted to share... Eric offered me a Mommy Day on Sunday which meant solo shopping for me and a Daddy day with the kids. I tore up the stores in a mere 5 hours! Gotta love the post holiday discounts on Halloween decorations. I am such a bargain shopper, but love holiday crap even more that I have kids to make it fun for.

Finally, about daylight savings time? I'm not sure if we're friends yet. So we fell back an hour. Looking forward to enjoying what should be an extra hour of sleep, but don't know when my children will catch on seeing as though they were both up at 5:30! this! morning!! Hello, did I happen to mention that an extra hour to me means that I could stay up until midnight which was really the old 1:00? Not so much sleep, this girl.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Whirlwind Week Wrap Up

And a whirlwind this week was!

Say that 5 times FAST! Betcha can't. (Me either.)
Seriously, this is already Friday? Oh, and I haven't posted since Monday? Wassup with that?
Oh yeah... this week has been insane!

Let me go ahead and pick up where I left off rather abruptly from Monday, since Elaina has been done feeding Lincoln for some time now and I finally let him out of his high chair. (Or did I?) Thanks to everyone who sent Halloween cards to my kids. Lincoln found them to be especially tasty. He really enjoyed the one from his Aunt Jan and Uncle Stan!
Tuesday- The Big Little Brother and the Big Sister
Eric took Lincoln to the doctor for his well baby check up appointment. And shots. The dreaded and necessary shots. HATE. THEM. Eric reported that Lincoln did great and topped the scales at 19.7 pounds. My baby likes him some food, know what I'm sayin'? No wonder my arms feel like their going to break off from my shoulders after 10 minutes of holding/rocking/bouncing/soothing/swaying him when he is fussy. And how does every baby actually know the difference between a parent sitting versus standing when their position and swaddling have not changed? I digress. This night marked the first night Elaina went back to tumbling class for a new toddler session. The greatest part is that her little, best friend Ali was in class with her again after taking a session off. I'm telling you that these little cuties are going to give us Mommies a run for our money someday. They are just adorable together and feed off of each other's energy already. For now, I am loving that about them. I just feel lucky that Elaina (and I) have found great friends in Ali and her mommy. Talk about genuine quality. Lucky us.
Wednesday- Trick or Treat, Part II
Our town held trick or treat from 6-7 with a bonfire in the park to follow. Eric stayed home with Lincoln to pass out candy and collect compliments on the cutest frog ever while I packed an ambitious Elaina in her wagon and ran the streets. As if the weather on Sunday wasn't just a gift in and of itself, the weather this evening was absolute perfection. The temperature was right around 65 with just enough cold in the air to remind you that it's fall and just enough of a breeze to throw on a jacket. No winter coats or raincoats this year. Considering that Elaina has been sick with a cold for the past two Halloween's, this is her first lucky break. I'm just chalking this little gift up to perfection made especially for my kids' first Halloween, respectfully. For the majority of our looting hour, Elaina climbed in and out of her wagon like a champ and even walked up to the houses by herself. I was so much loving that she had a little practice run on Sunday to get the idea of how to do it. After collecting her goodies, she began down the driveway or lawn with her arms outstretched shouting, "I did it Mommy!" With so much pride in her two year old voice, this never got old, even after every single house. After a congratulatory hug or a high five, we moved on until she was no longer willing to make an effort to peel herself out of the wagon. We dumped our stash off at home and headed to the park for the bonfire. Although the costumed kids are expected to circle around the bonfire behind a big rope, for costume judging, Elaina knew that we were right by the playground and begged to go swing. So, what does any good mother do? Leave Daddy with the now-sleeping frog and chase the the furry Pegasus to the swings. 8:30 at night, only the glow from the warm fire and firetruck lights and in full costume, Elaina was swinging, sliding and climbing all over her old friend, "Paygound." Pretty cute.
Thursday- My first Tastefully Simple Show
Actually it was originally scheduled to be a jewelry party and I was invited as an accessory. (Haha) A friend of mine had already booked a home jewelry party and invited guests, yet after learning that I had become a TS consultant, invited me to bring some samples, take some orders and try to get my name out there to some more people in our area. I have to say that this actually worked out pretty well to do a co-show as it gave me a taste of how comfortable I will feel presenting in front of a large group and how efficiently I'll be able to collect orders. So what if her party sales were under $150, I made some commission and got 2 bookings. It was still a good opportunity and still counted as a show. Good all around.

Friday- Good News!
After neglecting my old friend, Keyboard and all of my blog friends all week long, I finally found some time to sit down and check my e-mail and read and comment and obviously write this super, extraordinary, run-on, rambling blog post to soak up the past 10 minutes of your time. So I opened an e-mail from my cousin Logan, only to find out that she has taken the plunge into authoring her own blog about her son Kristopher. WooHoo! I was so excited to see that she actually has published several posts already and is doing a fan-tas-tic job! Heck, she's already figured out how to post pictures, do links and has created and all around great blog for her family to enjoy and share with her amazing son one day. Be sure to click on over to her blog to say hi and welcome her to the wonderful world of blogging! Glad to have you here, Logan!