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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Birthday Wishes

I do believe this says it all.

Happy Birthday Grandma W!

Hope it was a great one!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Toddler Idol!

So what if she's only 2 1/2?


Just maybe, she doesn't happen to have the posh style and stage etiquette of every other toddler singer.
Elaina's latest audition for our home performance of "Toddler Idol" makes me laugh, roll my eyes and squeeze her to pieces because she is all mine.
Check out her classy performance.
Yes, my Darling Angel claimed her stinker as her own! 'Atta girl! I wonder what Simon would say about that?

And just because he's cute...Lincoln's burned finger is considerably better. When he woke yesterday morning, his blister was larger than life and truly looked deformed. It looked like I taped a giant cotton ball on the end of it as that is how swollen it had become. Over the course of today while playing at the babysitter's house, his blister finally broke and drained and is looking true to size yet, with a very visible burn scab on the front.

And just because this has become so rare in our house as of late, I just need to report that Elaina and I had the very most enjoyable bedtime routine tonight. Eric was attending his weekly fire meeting, Lincoln (unfortunately) had bonked his head on his dresser (run of bad luck for my baby) and had since gone to sleep and Elaina and I got some quiet mother-daughter time. I think that we've been successful in making her sleep out her cranky/spoiled/badness that had occurred after the grandparent weekend and she's back on track. Finally. Tonight we read books, we had girl talk and we said our prayers together. All of this without a single "I want / I don't want / No Mommy" attitude. We were both due for finding that lovable, easy- going, little sweetheart again. I missed her smiles and her joy while she was PMS'ing.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Did someone say WEEKEND!!

Amazing. I worked a whole 3 day week last week and it seemed to last forever. Monday being MLK day and a paid holiday (wooHoo!) and Thursday staying home due to a doctor's appointment for myself and a multitude of other reasons. I justified my sick day by my doctor appointment being smack in the middle of the morning at 10:30, me not having an ounce of free time to feel like I'm able to keep my head above water in the land of mess which I call home, not having much work to do at work and most of all, having suffering through the entire month of January with a cold. Oh yeah, I woke up new year's morning with a sore throat, sinus junk and coughing and it's been with me ever since. I wanted to believe that it was on it's way out of me, but just really wanted a doctor to confirm that since that's what I've been telling myself for 2 weeks already. My lovely doctor fixed me up with some antibiotics and a codeine cough medicine which will not only suppress my cough but prevent my husband from killing me as I lie in bed for nearly an hour coughing and twisting before I can finally fall asleep. Thank you codeine!

So, one of these days I know that I will kick this cough and snot once and for all and I'll quit going through a box of tissue per week and my co-workers won't have to hear me cough, hack and blow for much longer. Still crossing my fingers.
In the meantime, I'm pretending to feel well because most often, I just don't have any choice. My kids have been healthy and that's really most important. I'm finally able to post some footage of Lincoln's crawling attempt and how he's been able to cover every corner of the room by his butt-dance-roll-over-moves. Although he did crawl a mere 2 knee lengths on Thursday, there has been no crawling to report since.

Now tell me, am I the only one who longs to have a girls' day out with a bunch of close friends and we talk about it and plan it and yet, it never happens? Well on Saturday five of my girlfriends and myself loaded up in my Yukon, pleaded with my dear husband to strap the turtle cap on top and hit the road for the Ikea store in Pittsburgh. We really did it! We had been talking about going since November and our plans finally came to fruition. Yeah, we looked like a bunch of dorks with a giant turtle cap on top the truck, but for 6 women shoppers in Ikea followed by the mall, it was so necessary! Pittsburgh is about 90 minutes away and the closest Ikea to us. Most of us, including myself, have never been there and I was blown away by the shopping experience. I was mostly seeking out some organization for my den, specifically this little, old computer desk which I need to clear off to talk to all of you every now and then. Ikea came through for me! I'd love to post a picture, but even after 3 hours of cleaning, sorting and organizing, it's still not exactly finished, but very, very close and I'm in love with my Ikea storage that made it happen.
Following this awesome shopping showcase, otherwise known as I-luvva, we hit the mall. Since having kids, I hardly enjoy shopping for clothes for me anymore. Don't get me wrong, I can shop at the drop of a hat for practically any occasion, but buying for Elaina and Lincoln is my favorite of all. My best finds were at The Children's Place. I totally loaded up on the Monster Sale of clearance items. Did I mention that I love it when stores have a sale and it actually is a "sale?" Way to go TCP!
That brings me to today. Eric and I were going to go out to the mall (as if I didn't get my fix from yesterday), some other stores and dinner and quite possibly, some play land area for Elaina to burn off some energy. We made a second round in The Children's Place (I'm telling you, the deals were that good) and then off to Panera for dinner. I had just brought back Lincoln's jarred baby food from the microwave as Lincoln's was sitting happily in his highchair and when I turned around to reach for a spoon, Lincoln reached into the very hot jar of very hot baby food and burned his fingers. I wasn't planning on serving him this very, overly heated food until it was much cooler except he had a different plan for now. O dear God did he ever scream! And proceeded to scream. I wiped his hand clean of the hot food and jumped up for some ice in a mini cup which only caused him to scream some more. After doing everything we could think of to calm him and fix him, we loaded up our barely eaten meals and headed for home. The smartest thing we did was to prepare a bottle before we left to see if that would comfort him and that's the only thing that gave us breaks of silence for the whole 30 minute drive home. Once we were home, we were able to better assess his burn since our lighting was better and some time had passed. His ring finger had completely blistered within this same amount of time. Some blistering occurred on the top and side of his middle finger but not even close in comparison to the other. Here's a sad picture of baby Lincoln's first injury. And check out the finger cozy that I made to still allow him to suck his thumb. I smothered his fingers with burn cream, yet didn't want it to get in his eyes or mouth while he was sucking his thumb and so this was my only solution. And he only sucks the thumb on this hand.

Elaina and I said our prayers at bedtime and asked God to heal our baby's fingers and make him well. Elaina also thanked God for her sippy cup tonight and her (fairly new) decorative mirror. Thank you God, indeed!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Now What?

And so after more than over a week of not posting a single new entry, where oh where do even begin?

This could turn ugly folks, hang on. Mybe get some coffee to stay awake if you plan on staying.
Let's just start off with some random pictures from last week shall we?
On your feet Steelers fans!
Check out the spread on this defense!I didn't happen to mention that we enjoyed a family date night a few weekends back and got Lincoln's 8 month picture taken. The slack-mom that I've become, I didn't get him in at 6 months because he had croup and/ or a cold for most of the month, followed with Eric being gone for hunting season in November, Thanksgiving and ending with Christmas. Our busiest months by far. And so, that's how we end up with 8 month pics. I'm thinking the next professional portrait session will be with both kids for Easter and rounding out with Lincoln's 1 year old pictures in May. Boy, I've come a long way from the conformed-do-things-on-schedule-mom that I once was with an only child. I have since forgiven my mom for slacking on professional pictures of me alone. (She'll be the first to tell you that I wouldn't smile unless my big brother was in the picture with me. I'll tell Lincoln the same.)
About this photo session. I was diligent to consider nap times of both kids and fine tuned an exact bath time for Lincoln so that his face wouldn't be blotchy or dry and even ironed his clothes. And what does my little Pipsqueak do for me in return?Scratches. Claw marks on both sides of his forehead. AND, I just trimmed his little fingernails the night before. Seriously. This kid can grow fingernails overnight and they can still make a mighty scratch from below his fingertips. Stinker. Luckily, this was before his bath in which most of the redness calmed down to be much less visible with some warm, soapy water and A&D ointment. Who knew those butt creams were so useful?

Moving on, just this past weekend I headed out to visit my parents and Eric's parents by myself and the kids. Eric decided that since it was a long, 3 day weekend, (thanks MLK!) he was going to stay home and work on some projects around the house. It actually worked out well since I had scheduled a Tastefully Simple party to do for a friend and we still had Christmas presents to take home since we ran out of room in our truck last time.

It's such a luxury to visit my parents house. What with free babysitting a 1 on 1 ratio, wonderful dinners served to me, early bedtimes and the opportunity to go back to bed after I pass my early riser children off to my mom? Beautiful. Well..... parts of my sleeping plan were foiled when we arrived at nearly 10:00 Friday night and within a 5 minute window, Elaina went from being sound asleep in the car to wide awake and bouncing up and down while playing with her Pop-Pop. Oh dear God. Did you hear me say 10:00 at night? This is the child who goes to bed no later 9:00 if I can help it. 8:00 on a good night. But 10:00! Playing!

Knowing this is never a good sign, I couldn't even imagine how I was about to tame this wild banshee from her grandparent high. And then there was Lincoln. Long story short, Lincoln was overly tired and couldn't put himself to sleep after his 2 hour evening nap and stayed up (mostly) fussing and restless until almost 2 a.m. And since we all shared a room, Elaina couldn't fall asleep and I had already exhausted my mom until 1:00 and was on my own. Two overly tired children, one exhausted grandma and a mommy who was about to spit fire from her ears. This wasn't even close to what I had signed up for.

The next morning Elaina and Lincoln woke at their regular 7:00 hour and were rearing to go again. Think about that: 5 hours of sleep + a 2.5 year old + full attention of her grandparents= disaster. I really couldn't believe how well she lasted and for how long. She really didn't have that bad of a day, especially after she got her nap.

Lincoln usually does pretty good wherever he goes so the previous night must have been a fluke. Here he is keeping warm with his Pop-Pop, watching the fire burn in the fireplace.On Sunday, I actually got the most sleep. Not only did I sleep in, I stayed in bed to cuddle with Lincoln for his morning nap. Don't I just love that little sweet cuddle- kid of mine!! We actually did make it out of the house to visit Grandma and Grandpa W. for the evening. Their cousin Evan had waited for 2 days to play with "Ewaina" and was anxious to see her. I'd say they're both a couple of potheads.


(Note to God: Please don't ever let my corny puns ever come back to haunt me. Thank you. Amen.)

We all enjoyed a nice evening of visiting and lounging about followed by yet another delicious home cooked meal served to me (yay!) and my kids were actually well behaved. My lovely in-laws were kind enough to watch my kids as I headed out to my favorite store nearby, one of which we don't have around my home (at all) so that I could stock up on their sale on baby food and leisurely browse the sale racks. And here is the fast-forward version of how my 20 minute shopping trip took me over an hour. Begin: Score 5 cases of baby food cheap. See more sales and can't resist. Call M-I-L who states "kids are good, take your time." Shout hooray and run through the store in my frugal glory. Gather a cart full of items and convince myself it's time to leave. Bid a fond farewell to O Favorite Store of Mine. Upon exiting, dig for my keys in order to lessen my time wasted outside in 10 degree weather. Cannot find keys. Call OnStar to at least take advantage of one service that their giant annual fee sets me back. Quickly learn that next time I call OnStar, I will lie telling them that a child or pet is locked in my car so they can open my doors a little quicker. Unload my stockpile into my now unlocked vehicle and begin looking for my keys within. No luck. I ransack my purse to find that the lining in the outer purse pocket has torn and my keys were buried deep within the lining. I stop to get gas in 10 degree weather since my five cases of baby food netted me a gas rebate of over $6 at their gas station. Finally arrive at my in-laws house feeling foolish and guilty that I had been gone for so long. Find everyone content, happy and I feel bad about feeling so frazzled. Realize that I'm the only one who's a mess.

We drove home peacefully on Monday while both kids slept away their hyperactivity almost the whole way. Elaina woke for the final 20 minute stretch and we listened to one of her kid's CD's. After she bounced herself along happily through a song, once it was over she proclaimed, "Mommy? That song made no sense." I thought I was going to bust up laughing. Her timing and sincerity were priceless.

We were all happy to see Daddy, but realized that the timing of our trip was of very poor planning as Eric was scheduled to leave out of town for work the next day. From Tuesday through Thursday, Eric was gone and my two darling children were more than a handful. Actually, Lincoln tends to remain pretty constant, but Elaina? Oooh, Girl! I don't even know what to say. She has been bad. No, she has been BAD. Just refer here. The girl does really great with consistency and keeping on a schedule. That's the way it is and always has been. We're just asking to unleash her wrath if she doesn't get enough sleep. Enough said. It's Thursday night and we're just about finished un-programming the spoiled brat out of her. Tomorrow will be better.

If you're still reading, congratulations! Here is the biggest news of all: Lincoln crawled tonight! He really did! It was just a mere 2 creeps, but it counts! As it is, he is all over the place by twisting, pivoting and rolling and my guess is that he'll be a full blown, official crawler by the middle of next week. Oh, and did I mention that his second tooth has officially made it's debut? It's his second bottom tooth and he remains as cute as ever!

There you have it. An update! Hope to talk to you again real soon and we won't have to deal with this run-on jumble again.

Thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Those there children of mine...

It seems to me that it's been a little while since I've posted updates on what's new in Elaina and Lincoln's world lately. So, no time like the present...

Elaina likes to play "pretend" all of the time. Did I say all of the time? I mean all of the time. Any time I ask her not to do something, she says "Okay Mommy, juss peetend." Like that's going to get her off the hook from doing something that she is told. I love her vivid imagination and her creativity but seriously, we have to draw the line about when it comes to listening to what she is told for real. Any suggestions on how to handle that one?

Another favorite game of Elaina's is right up Peetend Alley. You can often find Elaina sitting at the dinner table or in the bathtub (or anywhere) shouting out new roles for every member of the family. It goes something like this:

Elaina: I da Mommy, you be da Baby, Daddy be da Grandma and Lincoln be da Kitty. Okay Honey? You a good girl Honey. Mommy, I mean Baby, juss peetend.

Wanna stop over some time to visit? There's a pretty good chance that you too, could be selected to be the doggy sometime or even the big sister. WhooHoo!

While I'm a little behind on putting this down, Elaina has mastered singing her alphabet and knows her colors and is even working very diligently on potty training. The first time I mentioned potty "train," she asked where the train was and if we could get on it. Do you think someone may have watched Polar Express one too many times? On Sunday I put together a calendar, which we're using for nothing more than square boxes to fill and every time Elaina "goes" in the potty, she gets a tiny, shiny, glittery sticker to stick in a box of her choosing and when her squares are all filled up (30 of them) we're going to "Chuckeecheezez." You know the place. We're a little bit slow going at this whole process, but our babysitter is totally on board with helping her out and Elaina just needs the incentive and motivation to want to do it all of the time. My master plan is a 3 day weekend (coming in February) with no plans and not leaving the house and go into full force potty training boot camp. The way I see it is that we're easing into the big finale over a gradual period of time before getting all out serious. For three days. Wouldn't it be nice if she is finished with diapers before that even? Can't see it just yet.

And how about that little Lincoln of ours? I really think my little guy gets more handsome by the day. He's growing more hair fuzz, which is almost a distinguishable color similar to Elaina's. As of late, he's been working on growing a second tooth for his single bottom-tooth friend. Side by side, his smile is so cute! At just 8 months, he's not crawling yet but he loves to stand and hold onto everything and he scoots across the floor pretty much anywhere he wants to go. He's been in the crawl position several times now and I can see his desperation to get a toy just out of his grasp and he fusses and turtles everywhere on the floor in attempt to attain his prize. It's just a matter of time before he really sees what he's capable of and decides to take off crawling.

Other than that, Lincoln has been (Thank GOD) healthy; no more croup, no pink eyes, no random crud. He's been happy and despite his constant running nose which accompanies his new teeth, he's been content and smiley. He loves story time and loves to hear his Mommy sing silly made up songs, (he doesn't quite differentiate the good from the bad yet) and his mommy and daddy know all of his tickle spots which evoke giant belly laughs from our little guy.

However busy our life seems to be right now and how fast our days go by, we seem to be keeping up and sharing as much happiness and laughter with our kids as we can possibly consume. And we're loving every minute. (Even if I have to be the doggy and the kitty is crying and the grandma isn't home and the "mommy" is being a slight bit bossy, I'll take it!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How Christmas Ruined My Kid

Does anyone remember being two years old? Doesn't it seem like being two is a crucial year in development? And how did age 2 become known and criticized as the "terrible two's?"


Anyone?
Well let me just tell you about my two year old. Elaina has been going through what you might call a "rough patch" as of late. On January 2, just two short weeks ago, she turned 2 1/2. Up until this point, and before Christmas, she had been just about as good as gold. Yeah, there have been times that she's needed some stern reminders of how things are done properly, remembering who is in charge and what good behavior is all about. So what I'm saying is that yes we really did hit the jackpot in adopting and we have been unbelievably blessed with such an awesome daughter. Okay, I said it. It's true.
For this awesome daughter that we have waited our lifetime for, we pretty much want to give her the world. Our happiness is a direct result of seeing Elaina (and now Lincoln too) happy and fulfilled. Most often, we choose to indulge her with little things and try to make each and every day special. Let me be the first one to tell you that we don't want to raise a spoiled brat and we're not living beyond our means to give her a pony if she would ask on a whim. I'm talking about a little girl's request to read this book instead of that book. And sitting in Daddy's seat at breakfast time if Daddy isn't there. Occasionally, asking for a snack before dinner. Regular kid-requests right? Easy. Would you really want to say no to this?

So there we were. Everyone happy. Indulging, smiling, appreciating and easy. And then Christmas came. Let's take a look at how we really spent our Christmas.

4 straight days of opening presents, eating cookies and candy everywhere we go, new toys and noises everywhere she looked, staying up hours after our usual bedtime, different cousins to play with each and every day and hoards of doting grandparents and adults accommodating her every whim. For 4 days straight.

Ah yes, Elaina was living the good life. Weren't we all? And then, we came home. Christmas was over, no more presents, back to our same old routine. Just then, something must have clicked on in Elaina's brain telling her that her same 'ol, same 'ol wasn't nearly as much fun as Christmastime. Within a week after Christmas, we began to see more of a temper from our otherwise calm little angel. Oh, and then we had some dispute of who made the rules around our house. With more frequency after that, there was the meltdown saga of my child acting like she had lost her ever-loving mind when she was told "no." Oh dear God! How did this all happen? One word: Christmas.

That's all I've got. It had to have been the spoils of Christmas ruining my child before my very eyes. And all the while, I was absorbed in the whole "magic of Christmas" facade. Hmmph! The magic was that my darling girl was turning into a spoiled brat.

Right away, you have to know how much that pains me to think of Elaina as a brat, but seriously, the behavior that has been rearing it's ugly head over the past (almost) three weeks, has been hard to deal with. Before Christmas we enjoyed giving and accommodating because she was so appreciative and she could accept a compromise. After Christmas, every toy throughout our house was labeled "mines." As if her greed wasn't bad enough, she was using an incorrect plural. Not the time or place for a grammar lesson. Hello! Not letting her get her way was met with a complete and utter meltdown, tantrum, fit-fest.

The worst part is that Eric isn't always around in the evening and most nightly meltdowns were directed solely at mean, old, Mommy here. Immediately, she would go into her "I want Daddy!I want Daddy!I want Daddy!" mode. The nights that Eric was around to witness Dr. Jeckyl's child, he provided great reinforcement and we presented together as a team. That was so important and once Elaina became sane again, we would make up and move on. The biggest problem is that when I get home from work, I already have a limited number of hours with her and Lincoln in the evening and a portion of them are reserved for making dinner, bathing some children every other night, reading books and going about our standard bedtime routine. Throw in a temper- tantrum-meltdown and my whole night instantly sucked.

Now, have you noticed that the majority of my story is in past tense? Well, thankfully we seem to be over the mood swings and bringing our little diva back down to earth. It's true that last week, Elaina got a no-diaper-spanking on her bottom (to which Grandma H. was very concerned and HELLO, you gave me spankings too!) and today we dealt with a 2 minute time out today for not accepting that the snack she was requesting (30 minutes before dinner) and throwing her snack trap-approved- snack across the floor was not going to be tolerated. Basically, Elaina is having to re-learn that she doesn't always get her way and that sometimes she will be told no and that the world doesn't always revolve around her. It's been a challenging and difficult road for all of us and I'm thankful that we seem to be heading in the right direction at this point.

Grueling, I tell you. Whoever said this parenting business would be easy?

Yeah, nobody. That's who.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mom Anthem!

Okay people, strap on your seatbelts. You are going to absolutely L O V E this clip!

Tell me how amazing this mom is! I hope that this just makes your day!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxT5NwQUtVM

This mom ROCKS!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Picture Gallery Tuesday

Since I'm a little short on time tonight (and imagination) I've compiled some recent pictures that have slipped by but that I absolutely love.

Here is the first picture I've taken in 2008. Since it appears as though Lincoln has the upper hand with his sister, maybe this is a prediction of how things will be changing this year as he gets older.
Okay, so what you are about to see is a set of pot holders. Regular, old, snowman pot holders.

When you are 2 years old and you have unlimited imagination, these same old pot holders can easily become something else.
After gearing up with safety approved, protective pot holders on her feet, Elaina began to talk about "spunchin cups." Silly old mom that I am, I had no idea where she was going with spunchin cups until she began to climb the wall, saying she was going to rescue the birds. (Have I mentioned that Elaina has an awesome imagination?) I realized that she was talking about suction cups and was most likely referring to an episode of Go Diego, Go! Duh.
I also realized that since Elaina and Lincoln have recently begun taking baths together, I haven't gotten any cutie nekked pictures of them together. They really enjoy being together and Elaina asks for Lincoln to take a bath with her.
She really does love her baby brother.
And how could you resist this?
Like most of Ohio, Monday night was all about the Buckeyes. Lincoln on the other hand, just wanted someone to get him a bottle.
Who do you think this could be? So maybe that is where my sweet 2 year old has been hiding. On Sunday, Eric took Elaina to his favorite outdoor store, Cabella's, in West Virginia. I can only think that it's just a matter of time until he will have Elaina out in the woods hunting with him. And I know that Elaina will go with him gladly.
Whatever am I going to do with them?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What seems like a year

Can someone explain how ten days can pass so quickly? Really? Ten days is the amount of time I've been away from this dear, sweet blog of mine. Trust me, I've surely missed it and missed my reader friends too. (That's all you folks.)

And now that ten days have passed, where do I begin to recount what's been going on in our lives? The most general news is that everyone is healthy, happy and here. How's that? I can't say that we've really been doing anything special that has taken up so much of my time. More than anything, I just have been using all of time to regroup after Christmas, put away and maintain. By letting myself forgo my commitment of blogging, I have actually gotten a lot of things done around here. Imagine that? I hate to feel pressure of being overwhelmed anytime, let alone the additional stress of post- holiday clean-up. Have I ever mentioned that I'm a little anal about structure and organization? Just a little.

Anyhow... I was glad to get all of our Christmas pictures loaded up here and accounted for. That was important to me since it was Lincoln's first Christmas and our first Christmas together as a family of four. I forgot to mention that on our drive home on Christmas day we began to explain to Elaina that after (that day) Christmas was going to be over. She piped up quickly by saying, "Mommy and Daddy, I had a wonderful time!" I guess that I couldn't have said it better myself.

Moving on to New Year's eve, some loser county employees (my hand in the air) had to go into work. I know, I know... we have a lot of paid holidays but seriously, couldn't they consider a little shut-down break for Christmas eve and New Year's eve? I really can't complain too loudly since we were sent home (with pay) at noon. That's a great way to lift my spirit for the upcoming new year! For New Year's eve, we have started somewhat of a tradition of hosting a little gathering of friends to a party at our house. Since having two kids to look after and having to work the same day, we decided to scale back our gathering to only 2 other couples with their kids. It turns out that neither group of friends were able to make it at the last minute (4 day old baby= no sleep; back from out of state trip=cranky toddler= good excuses) so Eric and I rented a movie and cuddled on the couch. Like a date night of our own. It was beautiful. As it turns out, it was possibly a good thing that we were solo because Elaina was a bear to put to bed, Lincoln woke up demanding a bottle at 5:30 (2 hours early) and I woke up with a cold (again). So there you go. And Happy New Year to You!

Now, let's talk about new year's resolutions. Last year, I tried to commit myself to a new monthly resolution for the purpose of personal growth. While it was probably a good idea and I really could have benefited from a little "personal growth" that was centered around somewhere other than my hips, I faltered. One month faded into the next too quickly and only five months into the year, Lincoln joined our family and my monthly resolution became just about keeping my head above water and not coming unglued at any point along the way.

For 2008, I think I am going to be a little more realistic and focus on a few key areas that I need to work on consistency. Constantly, consistent. Get it? Things like saying bedtime prayers with Elaina. Consistency. Including Lincoln while reading bedtime stories with Elaina. Consistency. I have a few other random things thrown in the mix that I am going to try to improve upon also. One of those things was to try to get to bed before midnight each night. As of January 1, Eric already helped me blow that one. I made every effort to hustle to get myself to bed early and since Eric had already beat me there, he happened to be watching Letterman and the guest just happened to be George Clooney. (Oh there's not a single thing wrong with that man! Wow!) (Or Eric, for that matter. Hi Honey!) So of course, I watched all of Clooney, on Letterman, way past my bedtime. Oh, how I sacrifice.

Since my intention isn't to put people to sleep reading my blog tonight, (oh and lookey there, it's past midnight already) I'm going to have to save some more recent stories for some other night. One will definitely touch on the subject of how Elaina got her first real, no-diaper-on-the-butt-spanking the other night. Also, headed your way will be lot and lots of new photos, sure to slow your computer down right away.

Saving the worst news for last is that I've decided that I really need to put blogging on do-when-I-can list. I really have tried to make blogging a priority part of my day. I feel that it is extremely important as I try to do my best record keeping for my kids as I recount our days together. At this point, I am resigning myself to the fact that I just need to do what it takes to keep my head above water and keep everyone happy. (And get some sleep.) With Lincoln growing up so fast, his needs are changing rapidly. I do what I can to commit every ounce of my energy and time into my kids and I never want to feel that I'm slighting either kid because Mommy wanted to go write about them instead of play with them. Or, Mommy has to do the housework now while I plop you in front of the TV so I can blog later. It's all about trying to balance out my juggling act here. Some days are easier than others, some days just aren't. One constant that I can always stay true to is that my kids will always come first and I wouldn't ever want it any other way.

Happy New Year Everyone! Wishing each one of you a great year ahead!