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Monday, September 28, 2009

Dropping by...

So it's become pretty clear to me that blogging is most definitely taking a back seat in our lives these days. I don't even feel the need to make excuses any more, let alone, empty promises. Now, if someone were to offer a couple extra hours in my day or help me find a way to never tire, well then, bring it on!

Since it's been a month since my last entry, I'm happy to report that Elaina's "bad spell" ended just as abruptly and swiftly as it started. Our sweet, little darling is back to normal. While I'm on the topic of Elaina, one more thing that has changed is that our baby has started school in a Pre-K program. She has wanted to go to school for the past year and a half so this is like her dream come true. I'm more than pleased that she loves school and along with that, I'm very glad that it's only 3 days a week. We've come to realize that on the days she has school, she is worn out. I mean, BEAT! When I arrive home, I've often been finding her laying on the sofa, zombified in front of the TV, too tired to even acknowledge me. When we make plans for Friday evening (another school day) she does everything in her power to stay awake, alert and pretend to not be tired even though her eyes become all starey when she idles for longer than 2 minutes. The good thing is that she loves school and we've gotten good reports from her teachers.

With all of the talk about Elaina, how about that little brother of hers? My little Lincoln Man! OhMyGoodness! That little guy has begun talking up a storm! I thought it would never happen! He was certainly taking his time in the language arts department. Along about August, he began putting words together and expressing that he was actually getting something out of the words he's been using and hearing. Every single day, he picks up more words, shows more personality and even a sense of humor. Up until this point, he's always been a little reserved to the more-serious side and quick to react when things don't go as planned for his little self. This is still the case, but the reassuring part is that by and by, some of his quick-to-react fits are gradually improving with the help of him learning to communicate. We're all happy about that!

And since I'm spilling all the beans about my kids' behavior, let's talk about Lincoln and hitting. Oh, that child is SO 2! His "thing" has become hitting. Swatting rather, since he just swings his little arm from side to side until he hits what he's been aiming for in his path. This, I cannot stand. It seems that every single day he is hitting someone; even if he's generally happy-ish, he makes it a point to give someone a whack, quite possibly just to see their reaction. I don't know how to explain that. With a variety of tactics in place, we're getting through each day with fewer and fewer instances, but hitting still seems to rank pretty high on cool-things-to-do-to-upset-your-family.

Other than that, life here is pretty good. Our days are busy, our children are loved and we're all very blessed to have happiness each day. With every hurdle I face throughout the day, I continuously remind myself, "Work hard, play hard." And that's exactly what we've been doing!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NOT part of the Fairy Tale

See this little Cheezer?

This is the same little Cheezer that I live for. I adore. I share my heart with and pour every ounce of love into. My sweet Elaina.

Without warning, without explanation and without cause, this sweet, darling daughter of mine has warped into an absolute brat. Did I really just call my child a "brat?" This time : YES.

I'm not sure if the planets are out of alignment, maybe the air is a little too thick or maybe I'm just due for some cruel twist of fate. Whatever the case might be, Elaina has been bad. Like B-A-D bad.

It wasn't even a slow progression either. Along about 3 weeks ago, we had been running in a crazy-typical-busy-but-structured fashion and her behavior seemed to indicate that she was overly tired and needed a break. We slowed down, made earlier bedtimes and exhausted every bit of patience with her to see her through her rough patch. Every day that following seemed to amplify more misbehaving and more attitude. While I don't know every one's view on spanking kids, (and this is not the time nor place for a full justification or debate) but the only thing that seemed to slow her down, get her attention and curb her behavior was a firm swat on her bottom. She's gotten more swats in three weeks than she's had in her lifetime. She's already told me that she likes going to time-out and staring her in the eye (with a firm grasp on her arm) and sternly explaining the necessity to STOP her bout-of-crazy, eventually became ineffective.

To try to better explain what exactly it is that we've had such problems with is likely vast and ever changing. Basically, it's the fact that she has been taking deliberate actions to intentionally defy and disobey us and do things that she already knows are wrong. And that she seems to take such pleasure in knowing that she is being defiant. And then does more. All this with the added bonus of a teenage-sized attitude. If she's seemingly run out of leads to get in trouble, then she turns on Lincoln and SQUEEZES him and hugs him so hard or plays with him so rough that she thinks she ought NOT to get into trouble because she "is just loving him."

I can't even begin to explain what a toll this has taken on me. Each day I wake up believing that it will be a fresh start and then I get more of the same and sometimes even before work which is just GREAT! I have been missing my sweet daughter and it has torn me up that she has been acting so crazy. Each night I lay in bed with her and we try to talk about her day and the things that make us happy. I've talked to her, encouraged her and praised her. Sometimes I can just about my see my words slipping right out of her ears as she convinces me that the "good Elaina" will soon come back.

As of tonight, I'm happy (blessed) (overjoyed) (proud) (excited) to report that Elaina seems to be on an upswing. The past three nights have been successful without incident and without attitude. Thank you Sweet Jesus! In turn, I have done my share of praising her and reminding her of all of things she is doing right and how much I love her nice words. And how much I have missed her sweet self. I'm not sure what kind of crazy she had going on but I am more than relieved to see us all on the other side and that she seems to have literally snapped back into the little girl I know and love so much.

Is this what you would call growing pains? If so, I'd like to order the antidote right now. Monthly installments, please.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Anyone for a little June?

This is how I felt about most of the month of June. It was a fun ride with lots of smiles, but a little bit blurry and it went by fast.

The most outstanding event which occurred in June was that our daytime babysitter went on a week long vacation. And why would that be significant to us, you may wonder? It's because we filled her position with temporary, out-of-towners to watch our kids during the day. Grandparents!

My parents were willing to come to stay with us for the better part of the week to watch the kids during the day so that Eric and I didn't have to use all of our vacation to be at home with nothing planned. From what I understand, they had a pretty good time and Lincoln made it pretty clear that he is my dad's biggest fan. He began to call my mom "Eema" which suited her just fine as he finally gave the person changing his dirty diapers some well deserved recognition.
It was during this same week that we happened to have our pre-scheduled dental check up for Eric and myself and Elaina's first visit to sit in the dentists' chair. The first thought to cross my mind was how unfair it seemed to leave my parents on duty all day long strapped with a kid (kids) while we were gone until the better part of the evening. (we were scheduled after work and our dentist's office is an hour away) The more practical side of me began to think of what a great experience this could turn out to be for Elaina with her first trip to the dentist and a special date night with just both of her parents and herself. In the end, all of our appointments turned out well and we rounded out our day with a trip to Build-a-Bear, a restaurant and an ice cream cone. Lincoln managed at home just fine.
During my parents' stint as full time babysitters, my mom and dad also filled the role as part-time help with household projects. My mom was a huge help with our laundry and making dinner while my dad joined Eric with more outdoor projects than I can list.
And just in case it's worth my while, (for posterity of course) I should also like to mention that I made a full fledged effort to get the kids pictures taken at the portrait studio. On the day we arrived, they said that they had our appointment scheduled for the day before. (they were wrong) The blame fell on the shoulders of a new worker and so we rescheduled to an even better time slot for the following weekend. Come picture day (again) Elaina was still sporting a scuffed up scab above her right eyebrow and I refused to consent to her idea of letting her wear a band-aid to cover it up. Lincoln, being otherwise healthy, woke up that same day with a persistent fever. Picture appointment cancelled. Oh, and after about 4 days of Lincoln being mostly miserable with a fever and loss of appetite, Elaina came down with the same, only hers involved vomit. So there. No 2 year old and 4 year old pictures yet.

This too...

Maybe I failed to also mention that Elaina has spent a good part of her summer months growing. While I wasn't aware that a steady diet of hot dogs, salami, cheese, bread, yogurt, pudding and cookies will make you grow, Elaina somehow found a way around the rules. Her hair is also on board with the growing trend. When her hair is wet and brushed straight, it hangs to the middle of her bottom. Her body is growing sturdy and she's really taking on the shape of a school-aged kid.

I think she is going to be a little upset that they don't allow princess dresses as part of the regular school dress code.

BLING

I'm realizing that a summary of the month of May wouldn't be complete without mentioning Elaina's new bling. Girlfriend got her ears pierced! It had been something that we had discussed and even though she wasn't nagging with eagerness, she never changed her mind letting us know that she didn't want to. Much to my pleasure and surprise, it was a mere coincidence that she chose her birthstone ruby studs as her starter earrings. I hesitated to tell her too many details about the quick procedure they were about to perform, and so with two store workers and two quick snaps of the piercing guns, my baby girl now has earrings.

She cried a little out of pain and the fact that no one had ever hurt her so intentionally before. We celebrated her triumph and milestone with a $4 cookie and hugs. And the minute I turned to really look at her with her ears all blazing red and her sparkling, ruby stones gleaming, I wondered what I just let happen to my BABY! And then I began to cry.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

And May went on...

Have you ever had so many things going on in your life at the same time that you begin to see those "things" as hurdles to cross before moving onto the next one? That would pretty much sum up my feelings toward the month of May. Of course, the biggest, best and my favorite event of all was celebrating Lincoln's birthday. Oh, my little guy and how he has grown and changed in such a short period of time. I could just eat him up. But there's plenty more about Lincoln still to come. Let's talk about May for now.


The weekend following Lincoln's birthday I flew to Florida by myself to be in one of my best friend's wedding. I served as the Matron-of-Honor and I'm pleased to report that I did my reading during the ceremony without flaw, without being nervous and without passing out. (which DID fuel my stress level immensely as I truly believed that at least one of them Would actually happen to me) By the way, the ceremony took place at a gorgeous hotel, outside, in 90 degree heat. God bless them; the sun fell directly on the groomsmen in their tuxedos and not one of them passed out! It was a good day. The wedding was gorgeous, my visit was fun but I can't even begin to tell you how much I missed my babies. This was the very first time I've ever spent a night away from both of them. Minutes felt like hours until my plane landed and I drove myself home. Hugging and squeezing them in my arms is the best feeling in the world, how could that ever get old?
*Hurdle #2 : Success!
The days continued to fly by and believe it or not, Memorial Day weekend was already upon us. Along with some of our closest friends, we've begun a tradition of them traveling to our house for Memorial Day weekend. My girlfriend and I are garage sale junkies and there is an awesome annual allotment garage sale scheduled for the same weekend. The better part is that her parents live there which provides us with a free lunch and convenient potty breaks at their house. The dads have a pre-arranged "Daddy Day" which gives them charge of 5 kids under the age of 7. As for next year, Daddy Day will incorporate child number 6, once my friend delivers their new addition this winter. The dads take the kids to a great playground/amusement park which is somewhat near our house, while my friend Beth and I load my truck with great steals and treasures. Dinner always follows at our favorite local pizza place and we always end up eating mountains of S'mores that same night. I guess there's something to be said for tradition.

The following weekend was my last Bunco/Girls night since we decided to break for the summer months. I never really know how much I need a day or evening or even an hour to myself until I get one. Playing Bunco with my girlfriends has been so much fun for me. It's a true break from any thinking, planning and acting like a grown up. It's not that I don't treasure the time I spend with my husband and kids, but girls' night doesn't require for me to tell anyone to finish their food, wash their hands, stop pushing their brother in the babydoll stroller, etc.... what a welcome stress-buster to have to look forward to each month. And now, we've been on a break. At least the month was coming to a close anyhow.

And that was May.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Out of the Gate

Remember these little faces?

These are the faces of the same little munchkin grinners that have kept us so busy all summer long. Although I've not been blogging, I sure haven't missed a beat with my camera in hand just ready to flood my blog pages with pictures.

I've spent the past 30 minutes logging all of the pictures I plan to post from the past couple months. Without exaggeration, I have taken close to 300 pictures since the middle of May. So, even though my blogging hasn't been up to par, I have the filler content just waiting in the wings, ready to overtake my pages here.

Thanks to my family and friends who have commented on my last post, I think that I have actually come up with a plan of attack to begin making up for lost time. I'll get there slowly. It doesn't look like the dust and cobwebs in our house are going anywhere any time soon. Let the blogging resume!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rekindling the Romance

Well, hi there!

Remember me?

Um yeah, well, where do I begin?

I feel like a 7 foot freshman trying to make friends at a new high school. In May.

I guess that after a little impromptu blog hiatus, I need to start again sometime. (I've missed writing and I've missed your kind comments. I haven't missed 1:00 a.m. bedtimes and the feeling of commitment that I sometimes attach to blogging.) The problem that faces me now is where to begin to make up lost time?

An explanation for my absence? (there is none)

Jump right back into blogging like time has stood still? (I'm pretty sure that if you've come back to visit, you've noticed that almost 2 months are not accounted for)

Call off work for 2 weeks straight and send the kids to the babysitter's house to begin to start from where I left off? (not enough vacation time)

Back date my posts? Because if I'm blogging purely for the sake of posterity, in a year from now, the fact that I skipped out on 2 months could be our little secret. (the beauty of blog editing)

Pretend that we spent the past couple months at Graceland and met Elvis at a diner and we've been hanging out with him ever since. (because that could happen to anyone)

So, if anyone has stumbled back here still checking for a pulse, feel free to offer your grand insight and helpful suggestions on where I should begin to account for almost 2 months of sheer craziness, living each day to the fullest while writing about it all has taken an unfortunate back seat. And I'll be sure to tell Elvis how nice y'all are.

Good to see you back My Friends!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lincoln Turned 2

It's really been too long my dear blog buddies. My parents have been griping at me to "post some pictures of our grandkids! We miss seeing them!" (Bonus points if you used a pretend mom-voice when you read that!) Blogger barely recognizes my log-in. And my picture file is nearly bursting at the seems. BUT! In the midst of this crazy month, my precious baby boy celebrated his second birthday and is making his making his debut as a terrific 2 year old.

With an early May birthday (May 7) I'm pretty sure that Lincoln's birthday will likely collide on a Mother's Day weekend more often than not. My in-laws were kind enough to host Lincoln's birthday party at their house this year, which just happened to go hand in hand with celebrating Mother's day as well.

The weather was perfect, the food excellent and the company couldn't be matched. Lincoln's second birthday party was a success.

Here are some of the highlights of our day:

My birthday boy waiting for the party to begin!


Great-Grandma W. and Elaina look summery fresh in their coincidental red and white gingham.

Elaina just "happened" to get a new princess dress to replace her tattered blue Cinderella dress.

Aunt Cindy thought of everything and supplied the bounce house to help counteract the affects of the cake and ice cream on my rascally children.

This is the truck that did my boy in. It was attached to the top of a gift and once Lincoln got his hands on his new wheels, as far as he was concerned, his birthday was complete. It was only present #2. No more were necessary or even remembered.

Along with Elaina's generous help, she and I had to finish unwrapping Lincoln's gifts and tried to entice him into noticing something more than just his truck. Hello one-track-mind
-child! Lincoln's cake theme ended up being Sesame Street this year. Aside from cars, trucks and everything else with wheels, letters and numbers seem to fascinate my little guy and he does seem to enjoy the show as a whole. Let me not fail to mention that little boy party themed decor is minimal at best.

The cake was the only thing that distracted him from his new truck. Gotta love a kid who's willing to take the first taste for his guests, right?

Happy Birthday my sweet son. I'm so excited to see what age 2 has in store for us. I love you Lincoln Todd.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And my list keeps growing...

I just knew that May would be like this. To say that I've been busy would be an understatement. May is kicking my butt and we're only halfway through the month!

The worst part is that I don't even foresee a break for (serious) blogging until the end of the month and there's so much to catch up on. This past weekend we celebrated Lincoln's 2nd birthday and Mother's Day together. Not to be out done, Elaina got her ears pierced. I still need to post pictures of the kids' cute new bathroom. And there is just no time. NO TIME!!

As I'm stealing away some time here to whine, I should be preparing for my weekend trip (alone) to Florida to be in my friend's wedding. I should be googling something about what to say at the reception as it is my job to give a toast to the new bride and groom. At some point I should be confirming my flight itinerary. It would be a really good idea to figure out what summer dresses fit me AND that I like from last year because other than my peony colored bridesmaid dress, I'm clueless about what I'm going to wear. And shoes! Aack! Shoes!! And since I'm leaving Eric to run the show around here, it would be nice if I could at least make sure that he's not left with mountains of laundry. (READ: ME being stuck with EVEN MORE laundry when I get home) and my baskets of laundry could use a little ironing by now. My head is hurting with anxiety and I feel like my allergies are acting up with this crazy weather. OH! And I really didn't mean to take all this time just to complain, but there's more. Really. The weekend after I get home, is Memorial Day and we're hosting our friends (family of 5) for the entire weekend and there is CLEANING to do. With 9 people moving about the house for 3 days straight, it surely helps when things are in order and the dust bunnies and cobwebs are history.

So. WOW. That's my month. Maybe you can stop back when the crazy lady is no longer behind the keyboard and not complaining. I promise that there will be a flood of pictures one day soon and stories upon stories of what May was all about. Until then, I think I need to go dust off the suitcase.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Behold!

I've likely mentioned before what great friends and neighbors we have in this little town of ours. And being friendly in return, we just couldn't expect our neighbors to drop their plans on a whim, on the most beautiful days that this year has brought to us and expect for them to work on our swingset in the hot sun on their days off. And so we waited. And waited. Patiently as you can see. This is how our driveway looked for an entire week until Eric was able to pull together some help to get this mammoth secured in our yard.

Judging from the pictures, our 80 degree days have dropped by about 15 degrees and given way to overcast skies, but still nothing to keep our kids from enjoying THIS!!!
Although it's a little hard to tell from the picture, there is a rope ladder to the right platform and an opening to the left which accommodates a slide. The unfortunate part is that the slide is just a little too big for our yard to contain. It slides the kids right onto the the driveway. oops. But how about that for a FREE swingset!!??? We're going to look into buying a curved slide to attach on but in the meantime, Eric is going to have to do a little detail work on fencing or blocking off the unused openings. It seems that a certain fearless boy child is very much into learning to jump right now which doesn't bode well for this nervous mother or his barely 3 foot structure versus the 6 foot drop to the ground.
Let summertime resume!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monkey Business

Okay, really? It seems like I was just here writing a little something last night and a whole week has passed already.

I'm here to report the highlight of this past week is that we got a whale of a deal on a PLAY SET for the kids!! Woot! I had been secretly wanting one for the kids but I thought Eric would veto my idea since our backyard space is minimal to say the least. What do you expect when you live in a (very) small town on a main street? A smallish yard, that's what. When Eric presented the idea of a play set, well I had to bite my tongue to not seem overly eager in letting him know that I had thought of that first and of course, it was a great idea!!

We slowly began pricing swing set/ play structures to learn that $600 affords you a rather modest one. We're not asking for an Olympic sized play set, but we wanted more than a set of swings attached to a couple rungs of wood. While neither of us were particularly eager to dump a cool $600, I began to ask around and talk to some people at work. Within a weeks time, a friend of mine came up with a friend of a friend whose kids had outgrown theirs and just wanted it GONE from their backyard. My friend jumped on the case, brought us pictures, Eric checked it out and as of yesterday, we're the proud new owners of an enormous backyard play set!! The best part of all? FREE!!! Oh YES!! Free is a beautiful thing when it comes to saving $600! And it's awesome! So, what if it does eat up MOST of our backyard? So what if the kids can climb to the upper lever fort and peek into our neighbors yards and windows? It's a pretty cool structure and recycling at it's best. Hello and Happy Earth Week!

As for pictures? Well, Eric had anticipated having a couple buddies over today to help, but when a fire call interrupted his afternoon and the temperature peaked at a stiffling 85 degrees; well, let's just say that no one was coming knocking on our door, just asking to help in the sweltering sun. The weather forecast isn't looking quite so intense for the remainder of this week and a completed play set may just be in our future, sooner than later. That will put an end to Elaina asking 76 times a day if her new "tree fort" is ready for her to go swing yet. The bad part is that I am nearly as giddy as her to see this new behemoth all set up and ready for it's new life with our kids!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Chronicles

It seems like my blogging pattern has been unimpressive to say the least. As a happy medium, I've decided that until I can reach full capacity of blogging or our life slows down even a little bit, I'm going to settle with a commitment to reserving enough time each Sunday night to wrap up our week and posting. If by chance I get a light week night, well, consider that "bonus" blogging.

The fortunate part of this past week has been that there is just not too much going on. That's good. No, that's great! It's not to say that we haven't been busy, it's just that Eric has been home early every night, we've had no evening commitments and our week has run pretty smoothly. Typical week. Good week!

So, while I'm not sure about everyone else's "typical" week, but let me tell you a little bit about our evenings in our typical week.

As far as I'm concerned, the evening starts when the work day ends and everyone is at home. Eric generally picks up the kids at 4:00 and I get home from work at 5. I change my clothes as fast as I can to begin dinner so we can eat promptly at 6:00 before a certain little boy loses touch with himself and his stomach begins to eat at his backbone. At least to hear him yelling as he's trying to climb into his highchair, one might suspect is the case.

Dinner and clean up can sometimes take up to an hour and Eric and I work together to get things cleared as quickly as possible to get on with our night. During our clean up time, the kids get about 20 minutes of "free roam." This is generally their time to wind down, watch tv, play with toys or play games on the computer. Every other night is bath night and they are still a fine age that they can bathe together without incident. Once they get jammied up and their hair dry, we've taken to hosting a dance party in our bedroom for the kids to romp around. Eric pulls a few favorite songs from the "music on demand" channels and Elaina and Lincoln hold hands and dance and swing each other around. And yes, it IS pretty much the cutest thing ever! After a few songs, we rotate nights to put each kid to bed and after 2 books per kid, it is down time. Our bedtime routine is pretty consistent each night and the kids know what to expect. The only setback to the whole game plan is that Elaina still likes for someone to lay with her for "just 3 minutes, pleeeassse." And I'll be darned if that innocent request of 3 minutes hasn't lasted an hour or more before I peel myself off of her covers. And so goes our typical evening.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter: In all of it's glory

Let me just begin by saying that this Easter weekend was fun, exciting, happy, full, busy and great. In a nutshell, perfect.


For the past few years, Eric and I have decided that hosting Easter for our family (anyone who is able) is something we enjoy doing and hope to make a tradition. Part of having a big house is wanting to have the people you love the most come to fill it up. And this weekend was proof that we did just that. My parents, Eric's parents and Greg, Kate and Colin came to town for the weekend to celebrate Easter together and also a belated celebration of "Kate's" birthday.
When our weekend was all said and done and our guests parted ways, we were left with a fridge full of delicious leftovers, a floor full of Easter grass and a camera loaded with happy memories. So many great pictures in fact, I've taken it upon myself to dole them out here for you with prestigious award captions attached to each. Without further ado, here is our weekend in pictures:

Prettiest Birthday Girl: "Kate"Best Use of Air Quotes: Kate (just read the writing on her "cake") Most Apt to Initiate a Cavity from Abundant Sweetness: Lincoln wins over a double helping of spice cake and ice cream
Perseverance Award: Kate in her most notable performance as a willing artist, held hostage in my bathroom with constant interruptions and people of all sizes looking over her shoulder. We have all learned that the kids' bathroom maximum people capacity is approximately 8, provided they are all standing. The great reveal of this room will be noted in a future post once all accessories have been put in place.
Most Notable Quote of the Weekend: Kate with: "Colin, I never knew who would teach you about guns, but I never would have thought it would be your cousin, Elaina with her pink gun."
Endurance Award: Lincoln; this veteran driver of almost 2 seasons withstands driving conditions in almost any climate. It looks the driver in the other lane has completely lost sight of her car, but Lincoln is going strong and continued his race long after his captive audience left the stands. Only his dedicated race team of Grandma and Grandpa W. stayed with him to help avoid racer's rage leaving the track. Most Team Unity: Greg and Colin; they worked together collecting the great loot that the Easter Bunny left out for them, while carefully avoiding the land mines in the grass left by the Easter dogs. Best Disguise: I don't even know who that is but she deserves an award for looking cute and producing three of her secret agents to conspire with her.

Child in Most Need of a Shopping Cart: Elaina; this Lightweight Champion enjoyed collecting her treasures so much that she didn't want to put them down for even a second. You never know when that sneaky Easter Bunny could come back and snatch all of her great finds. (I'm such a proud mom!) Most Daring Attempt: Colin; take note of this adolescent Brown's fan (by default of his parents) touching the holy grail of Steelers collectibles and not growing athletic talent on the spot.
Best Pose: Elaina; as I asked her to turn and show me her Easter basket, she pivoted, popped her elbow back and showed me her stuff! Oh how this girl makes me laugh!
Most Likely to Melt his Mother's Heart: Lincoln; after our family left and Elaina, Lincoln and I shared some quality nap time, Lincoln pulled out his new Car book and began to read to himself.
And with that, our awards ceremony must come to a close. An honorable mention should also go to Kate for posting a great recap of our weekend on over at her blog as she shares more details on how our Easter egg hunt almost didn't happen and how "Kate" came to be. Here's hoping everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend while remembering the reason for the season.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

twitch-twitch

If you're reading this, you know that Easter is 3 days in the past and Monday has already come and gone and judging from this entry, there are no cute pictures as promised and no whimsical recap of our Easter weekend. In fact, all that you have before you is a sorry post about my internet being down last night. Aack. Nevermind my slight twitching from being disconnected from the blogosphere and facebook for an entire evening and a sporadic weekend of internet usage. Hello, my name is Laura and I think I may have a slight addiction to the "wwwdot."

Eric was on the phone first thing this morning with the cable company and is trying to resolve the issue of our disconnect. Until then, I'm accessing the web from work in a super-sleuth fashion while drinking my cappuccino and trying to keep the cute and funny stories of our weekend locked up in a file in my mind until I can roll them out onto my blog later on this evening. The silver lining of no internet access is that my bedtime last night was closer to 10:00 versus the standard-too-late bedtime of midnight, so I am feeling very rested, if not even punchy today. I hope this stays with me until tonight and that we're connected by the time I come home from work. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Un-Quality

"Un-Quality:" I'm thinking that is the best word to sum up what I am about to lay out for this grand daddy of an update.

It seems like forever since I've posted and while fleeting moments sweep through my mind and funny conversations play out in front of me, I can't seem to run my bedraggled self to the computer to get it out of my head just as fast as something else new pops up.

So here it is; my crazy, random, disorganized collection of things that have been occupying our time.

* Since the spring weather greeted us a few weeks back, I've been stricken with "the fever." Spring fever that is. I've been on a mission to sort, clean up, clean out and purge every corner of our house. It will be a long time to get accomplish every room, but that's been my goal. My intent is to make my house 200 pounds (of useless stuff) lighter by the time summer comes around.

** Last week, our babysitter caught a horrible case of the flu which happened to coincide with Eric being out of town. I stayed home from work with the kids for 2 days, while Eric rounded out Friday at home with them. On my stint as a homemaker, I took down curtains to wash, iron and rehang, I washed a few windows, cleaned out a few closets, tackled some heaping mounds of junk mail etc., and even made a trip to the library.

*** I really enjoyed staying at home with the kids. Our days were sometimes long and it is definitely a lot different than a scheduled work day, but I kinda hated going back to work.

**** I've wanted to redecorate the kids' bathroom for several months now. Last week, I came across a picture which was the perfect inspiration for the pond-theme I've been wanting to decorate with. I finally conned, I mean, convinced Eric to repaint the walls and with the help of my artistically inclined SIL- Kate and my mom, they will be able to add the final touches on making the bathroom wall details complete.

***** The timing of our project had everything to do with the fact that my parents, in-laws and bro, SIL and nephew are joining us for Easter weekend on Saturday. I thought it would be great to have their art displayed on our walls and fun at the same time to see the whole project completed. Lucky for me, my mom and (SIL) Kate are totally on board with creating works of art relating to amphibians and insects. WOOT! (Now, if I can just think of a way to lure them back when I'm ready to re-do Lincoln's bedroom....)

*I've mentioned previously that Eric's work has taken him out of town a lot lately and I'm very happy to say that his overnight trips are finally calming down after this week. He'll still have trips away from home, but they won't be nearly as frequent starting soon.

** I have severe mom-guilt. I'm pretty sure that no one is on the edge of their seat awaiting Lincoln's list of "25 Random Things," but every single day, I am fully and conscientiously aware that I have not done one yet. Soon. Very soon. My mind is reeling with fun Lincoln tidbits that I can't wait to share.

So, um, I think I might be done. Quite possibly that's all that I have left as I've been shaking out my head and trying to play catch up here. Easter weekend is soon approaching and our families will be joining us this holiday at our house. While I'm very much excited, I've been trying to combat clutter and stay on top of the never ending laundry piles so that when the weekend rolls around and we have a house full of people, I can rest easy and just enjoy all that the weekend brings. And as for my picture drought, I can assure you that will be taken care of by Monday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Well, now what?

At dinner this evening, I warned Elaina that if she got up from her seat one more time before she was finished, she was going to sit in time out.

To this she replied, "Okay. Momma, I like time out. I'll go now."

Me: (crap. crap. crap.) "Sit down young Lady. You need to finish two more bites before you leave this table. Tell me why you would like time out."

Elaina: "I like time out because it's comfortable and quiet to myself. Mommy, can I go now?"

Me: (crap. crap. crap.) "TWO BITES!"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Custom Made Kids: Ours

For as long as I can remember, I've never wanted any more out of life than to be a wife and a mother. The kind just like my own mom.

And as long as I can remember, I've always wanted 2 kids; my daughter first followed with my son, 2 years apart. And in the most round about way and in a way that I would have never in a million years would have imagined, I got exactly what I wanted. Without flaw, without mistake, but pure perfection wrapped in sweet Elaina and Lincoln packages.


One of Ava's nurses from the NICU once told me that if it weren't for Ava's passing, Elaina would have never been a part of our family. On the same token, we would have never gotten Lincoln if we weren't already prepared for adoption.


It's these reminders that I hold dear when I look at our family dynamics and how our children came to be ours. It's for these reasons that I started blogging in the first place. It's been plenty healing while at the same time, pure and honest. Having adopted both of our children makes our bond of love even a little bit more unique than that of having biological children. Even though this isn't the way that I dreamed our family would be created, this is the family that I've always wanted. From the moment we held our newborns in the hospital rooms, we gazed upon the faces of little strangers. Little people who would change our lives and capture our hearts. With minimal family history at best and hardly a description of their biological fathers, their stories would be unfolding in our homes as they shared our last name. All the while knowing that their lives and their futures were changed from that very moment.
With promises of love, happiness, family, faith and abundant spoiling, our bond was cemented. While I'm not naive enough to believe that raising our kids through the hormonal teenage years won't always be sunshine and rainbows, our kids will always have that extra "circumstance" of being adopted to cause a potential riff in our Fairy Castle Dreamland. I'm using our time right now to capture these pure and celebrated moments to remind our kids that there wasn't a day in their lives that they weren't loved. That there's not a single thing in this world to suggest that they weren't meant for us and us for them.

One of very reasons that I began blogging all those years ago was to have a keepsake to come back to. A time capsule of pure and honest tales of our kids growing up and the happiness they have brought to everyone around them in the process. Memoirs so clear that I can just about hear their throaty, little giggles in the hallway while each of them thinks that the other looks the silliest. While they chase each other from one room to the next until finally realizing that they both want to crash atop mom and dad's bed with the silky comforter to squirm around on.
To remember the tender moments of the eldest convincing her mother that she wants to lay with "Lil'Lincoln in his crib so that he doesn't get lonely." And then laughing and playing with each other for nearly an hour before either lets the other rest.
And at the end of our crazy, long days, finding a mom that is most happy and satisfied with both of the little strangers who have made her life even better than she could have ever dreamed.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Friends and Family

This evening is the first time all week that I've actually been able to breathe in some down time. A big deep breathe of QUIET time. Quiet time for me means kids are in bed (obviously), husband is home, house is clean-ish, and every little preparation I do for the next day has all been squared away. Deep breath. Aahhh.

It's been like one crazy, zippy, fast roller coaster ride for much of this last week. Hence, no blogging which I so much wanted for. Somehow this time of year shoves Eric's work schedule into full swing, however unrelated to weather his job duties are. Our calendar is like a hopscotch pattern of multiple overnights dates that he'll be out of town. And this past week and weekend weren't any different. It's nice to finally have him home.

Speaking of traveling, my parents have returned home from Florida and since we were dog-sitting for them, we were the last stop on their almost 3 week trip. Which, coincidentally panned out beautifully for them to be here when I had to take Elaina to a very structured open-house at preschool (which Lincoln would have never sat through) and I was set to host our monthly girls' Bunco night at my house on Friday. And boy, did grandparents ever come in handy! Eric actually returned home late on Thursday evening, which we took full advantage of my parents being here by asking them to put the kids to bed while we high-tailed our way out the door to have a grocery shopping date at Wal-Mart of all places at 8:30 on a week night! Let it not be said that the romance has died after all these years!

As for girls' night, playing Bunco, it totally rocks! (I'm over 30; not sure if I'm allowed to be using that expression.) I've taken the commitment to hosting our group in our garage since it's plenty large enough and we can be as loud as we want to be. No one has to clean and prep their house, kick out their family, shush their friends for sleeping children or cram 12 people and 3 tables into one room. A garage party it is!

Bunco was initiated by a friend of mine almost a year ago and we've been trying to pull together our (girl) friend group and commit ourselves to one girls' night each month. So far, it's been awesome. It's the one night we hoot and holler, laugh until we cry and eat until we want to burst. And then we walk to the local bar and drink, dance and tell secrets that ought not to be revealed. It's the best night ever! And this time, it was my mom and dad that saved the day by taking care of the kids all day and night and even the next morning while I did a little bit of much needed recuperating. Thanks mom and dad for allowing me a few extra punches on my Mom-Off-the-Clock-Fun-Card. I really needed that!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Girls and Genie's

If the very reason I blog ever slips my mind, it's stuff like this I want to come back to.

As Elaina was going about her business on the potty tonight, she identified a sound and asked if it came from her tongue or from her tongue-butt. Hmmm.... give Mom just a minute here Kid, did you just say 'tongue-butt?"

When I replied that I didn't know what a tongue-butt was, she motioned to her "girl parts." Okay, so I already know that I'm a wimp for not plunging into proper anatomy terms with my 3 year old, but for now, "girl-parts" is working for us. She told me that "it" looks like a butt and a "that thing looks like a little tongue." Although I'm dying a little bit right within my skin at this point, the conversation proceeded.

Mom: "Elaina, that is not called a tongue-butt. Those are your girl-parts and we just call them girl parts."

Elaina: "Mommy, boys have boy parts. And sometimes, they're long. But not always. Girl parts are long too-- but not too long. They just look like butts-- but little butts. And they're fat-- but not too fat. Mommy, we're both girls, right?"

Mom: "Yes Honey, we're both girls and there's a lot of special things that go along with being girls."

Elaina: "I wish that Daddy was Lincoln and that Lincoln was Daddy and that you are Elaina and that I am Mommy and if I had a Genie, I would have lots of wishes and there would be purple clouds and I would be the Princess and Aladdin...."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Comeback

Well, would you lookey there? Darned near 2 weeks since I cut out for a very impromptu blogging hiatus. And the more unusual twist was that it was for no reason at all. Well, unless you count laziness, procrastination and my total, utmost addiction to facebook. Darned friends talking all over there. Actual conversations. Almost.

I think that my sudden lack of blogging was that I simply needed a break. I mostly save my computer time for late at night, after a long day of working, wrangling kids, cooking dinner, looking over my favorite websites and then, and only then, do I try to kick-start some creativity and imagination of what I want to post about that night. And quite frankly, sometimes I have no imagination, no creativity and not even an ounce of energy to give back to the blogoshere. Sorry.

So, in my nearly 2 week blog-cation (vacation from blogging, that is) our world most definitely hasn't been standing still. In fact, the simple act of forfeiting midnight blogging sessions hasn't even afforded me earlier bedtimes. Oh NO!!

Last week I registered Elaina for preschool. I made my very last official Tastefully Simple order, which as you may remember, I was calling that side business QUITS clear back in October, but that's another long story. The paw-licking-stinkering bundle of fur next to my feet is reminding me that we have been dog sitting for my parents while they are visiting my grandparents in Florida. The time of year where Eric has to travel out of town for days at a time is upon us once again. I've taken advantage of some severe bouts of OCD and tackled some nagging projects around the house which have left me with a great sense of accomplishment. I am in desperate need of ONE ENTIRE day to clean out baby clothes from my attic and attempt to resale or pass along mounds of outgrown sizes which we no longer have need for. I scored an autographed print of an OSU football player AND money just by numbering some prints for a friend. Eric and I enjoyed a night out with a group of friends to listen to an 80's rock band that I enjoyed more than I ever thought possible. And finally, FINALLY, I think that it may be safe to say that I am headed to an upswing on my blogging initiative. Really!

That's all I've got Folks. I feel like a severe novice trying to get back in the swing of things over here in my old neighborhood. I hope no one was beginning to think that I had moved out. I'll be back.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The other side of sick

The one (and only) thing I don't mind about our kids being sick is being able to stay home from work to take care of them. So what if I did use up nearly 30 hours of my sick time to be at home with my kids. And so what if I found myself plucking an almost-gone roll of toilet paper from the toilet bowl on a random afternoon at home. And who can blame me for wanting to stay in my pajamas the whole day long when I have no place to be?

By Wednesday afternoon, I could pretty much tell that Lincoln was turning the corner to feeling better. His fever was gone, his appetite was improving and judging from his less-croup sounding cough, the breathing treatments seemed to be doing their job. The only pitfall was that he was still fairly cranky and still possibly contagious. So, we stayed home. The whole week long.

Lucky for all of us, my parents paid us a visit which was actually twofold in their purpose. Of course they wanted to lend a hand in simplifying our week with a sick child but also, they were leaving their dog behind for us to dog sit while they headed to Florida. Elaina and Lincoln were totally beside themselves with having new people around rather than same-old-mom and same-old-dad day in and day out. Grandma and Grandpa even stayed home with them on Friday which allowed for Eric and I both to go to work. Simultaneously.

In juggling all of what last week threw at us, I've become more completely aware of a couple things. First of all, I would be happiest working my day job only part-time. And secondly, stay-at-home moms never really get any kind of break. Nap time hardly constitutes a 'break." Har. That's the time that you clean off the highchair tray for the 37th time of the day, chase millions of loads of laundry through, prepare the next meal, clean up and hide all of the "projects" that you would prefer not to tackle with a 3 year-old and go to the bathroom in peace.

In my days of staying home, I would admit that leisurely sleep-in mornings beat the crap out of our morning rush of dressing and feeding 3 people to leave the house at an exact time. Spending time painting banners, baking cookies and drawing pictures albums with my eldest and reading, singing and holding my youngest on my lap are things all more valuable than a paycheck.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monkey B

Just one little side effect of being a working out of the home parent is having to leave your child(children) with a day care provider. As for our childcare provider, I've mentioned Nancy before, and we love her. Even better than that, she loves our kids.

The things that we don't love about child care is the occasional parent of a sick child who deems their work day more important than the condition of their sick child. These parents sometimes overlook that when their child has a cough for more than 6 weeks and their appetite and behavior seem slightly altered, maybe it's time to take them to see their doctor rather than day after day, back to the babysitter's house. But instead, wait until said child spikes a drastic fever and acts lethargic and then has no choice but to rush their precious ones to the emergency room upon which urgent test results reveal that the child with the persistent cough and changed behavior patterns does in fact have the RSV virus. And unbeknownst to them, has shared the same virus with the other darling children at the same child care providers home.

Any guesses who currently shares the same diagnoses? Hint, it's prevalent in children under age 2. Four gold stars to anyone who guessed that Lincoln has RSV.

I think that maybe my previous sarcastic remarks may be a little uncalled for, but at the same time, my kid has RSV and the "carrier's" mother was only going to keep her at home for only one day so that she could go back to work. Hello...! This virus is contagious as all heck and since Lincoln's swab test came back positive, we've mapped out our entire week, sharing shifts to stay home with him and Elaina to get him well again.

Again... deep breathes. I'm not angry. I just can't seem to put this story together without acknowledging the ignorant thought process of some other day-care moms. See?!!? There I go again!

Let me take you through chain of events that have brought us to now. On Saturday, Nancy (child care provider) called to let me know that two siblings that she cares for had been diagnosed with bronchitis. Okay. So that would explain why Lincoln, Elaina and I have all had a quick onset of deep, throaty coughing attacks. By Sunday, Lincoln had hardly eaten anything in 2 days and when he did eat, he would soon have a coughing attack which made him throw everything up immediately. (Gross. Sorry.) Other times, he would be coughing so hard that his face would turn beat red and he would have trouble catching his breath. And let's not forget about his fever. Since Saturday night, Lincoln's temperature has been hovering in the 102- 103 range. All courtesy of Monkey B. (Yeah, I do seem kind of hostile don't I?)

When I called Nancy early on Monday morning to let her know that I would be keeping the kids at home, she told me that the bronchitis carrier had since been diagnosed with RSV and that my kids were around them most.

Our pediatrician was able to see Lincoln early Monday morning and deemed it necessary for him to have a nebulizer breathing treatment right there before he went home. We have since had a nebulizer delivered to our home, 2 prescriptions filled, non-stop ibuprofen, worrisome fevers, coughing-into-barfing fits, no appetite and little interest in drinking, wanting only to yell and be held at night, thus not letting the rest of the family sleep and many days of sick time used from our work schedules. Did I mention how cranky that kid is? Apparently, so am I.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What IS new here.

I think that for now I'm not going to bother lamenting on how lazy I've been about blogging and I'm even going to spare myself from trying to catch up on everything that has been occupying our time too. (You're welcome!)

For now though, I did pull out some fun pictures that I've been meaning to share and what better time than now!

A little while back, Elaina pulled out all of her dress up clothes and made up her own original costumes. This would be her rendition of a ladybug fairy. I think.
Isn't she adorable? Sweet and innocent with her sparkly, fresh, 3 year old face?
Then tell me where did THIS come from? As her mother, I did not authorize THIS! She looks like a suggestive barmaid fresh off her shift at the LadyBug Night Club. Eric told me that he told her to pose like a rock star. (She's been in a Hannah Montana phase lately; against my will of course. She's only 3!) I wonder what was going through her mind. It's back to Dora for this kid!

Moving right along... come with me please...hurry. THIS is NEW! Check out this big guy! There is no action to report and I haven't even been the one to coaxing him onto this seat. I think that he sees his big sis and the other kids at the baby sitter's house strike the same pose that he is wondering what magic comes from sitting bare-bottomed on the big potty seat. Although I don't feel that he is especially ready to go full board potty training, we allow him up on the seat whenever he shows an interest and I plan to pull out his little potty seat for his bathroom very soon. I'm just happy that he's showing an interest in this rather than the LadyBug NightClub.And here is my Valentine boy loving his musical card from G&GH. God, they are growing up so fast!