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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eric meets "25"

So I'm crossing my fingers on this one. Eric and I have known each other for about 14 years now, let's see how long it takes me to begin to struggle on his list of 25.

1. Eric's middle name is Todd. Same as Lincoln's. Not a coincidence. "Lincoln Eric" just didn't sound as good as "Lincoln Todd."

2. Eric's parents had originally spelled his name with a "k" at the end. Erick. With too many misspellings and questions, his mom decided it would be better off to drop the "k" after all.

3. Eric is a member of the NRA.

4. Eric owns more guns than I own purses.

5. If he could live anywhere in the U.S., he would probably pick West Virginia or Alaska.

6. He is an avid fisherman, hunter and bowler.

7. His highest bowling score has been 288.

8. Although he loves tuna steak, he exaggerates puke noises when I open a can of tuna.

9. Even before I met him, his clothes hung in his closet according to color and family. (Short sleeves, long sleeves, jeans, slacks)

10. He can fix most anything in our house and his carpentry skills impress even himself.

11. When our kids need help with science and math, Eric will be the go-to man for those subjects.

12. When it comes to remembering peoples names, well, no... that just doesn't happen.

13. Eric is employed as a safety consultant for the state.

14. He is also a volunteer firefighter for our town's fire department.

15. Eric has an older brother and an older sister.

16. We grew up in the same town, but Eric moved away when he was in junior high school. We never met until college.

17. We both fall under the Sagittarius sign. He is three years older than me.

18. Eric didn't think he ever wanted to go to college. Turns out that he did much better in college than he did in high school.

19. He has been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since he was in elementary school. (Go Steelers! -SuperBowl 2008!)

20. Eric helps me out tremendously around the house. On most occasions, he does the dishes after dinner, vacuums and helps to get the kids bathed and in bed.

21. He is the best dad to our kids and turns into Jell-O when it comes to his sweet, little girl.

22. After college, he applied for jobs in Hawaii. Even though he got a few bites on his resume, no job offered a substantial salary to meet the cost of living there. (Too bad!)

23. Eric is a steadfast advocate of driving American made cars. He scoffs at people who buy foreign made, even if they are family.

24. He is one of the most hot-blooded people I know. It can be 40 degrees and he'll be wearing shorts and a tee shirt.

25. His wife still thinks he is handsome after all of these years. (Except when he decides to buzz cut his hair)(even his mother comments about that!)

** Hey! That wasn't too bad at all! I think I could even dish out about 25 more! But I won't. And you're welcome!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Laura's 25

Yeah, right! I'M not 25, but I have been tagged through facebook to do a 25 Random Things List about myself. I begin to think to myself, "I like lists!" "I can do this on my blog and facebook and cover 2 bases for the price of one!"

Even better, my Dear Readers, you are getting a list of 25 not only about me BUT! Elaina, Lincoln and Eric! Yes! This is a family style blog and since I write this mostly for the sake of posterity, I'm pinning the whole family into this little exercise.

I'm choosing to let myself go first since I've known myself the longest.
Without further ado:

25 Things!

1. I consider myself to have thin blood. I don't specifically know if that is actually a term, but it seems to make sense because I am desperately cold in the winter and I absolutely can't take the heat more than 85 degrees in the summer.

2. While I'm trying to curb my "neat-freak-germaphobe-hypochondriac" tendencies, I still get very much bothered by things being out of place and I don't touch handles when I'm out in public.

3. I really like to shop but I never pay full price. Getting a good deal on something makes me very happy. Even if I had more money than I knew what to do with, I would probably still use coupons at the grocery store.

4. I've always wanted to be a mom. Growing up, I never really had any career aspirations, but I've always wanted a family. I knew I would always have a job, but I would be a mom first and foremost.

5. I'm pretty much late, pretty much always.

6. I'm not very coordinated. I don't have any specific talent. But I have pretty decent handwriting.

7. Although I can eat a lot, I'm a pretty slow eater. When I go to lunch with friends, they make me order first and ask the waiter to bring my food first.

8. I don't consider myself to be too fat nor too thin. I'm fortunate that my weight has never really been an issue (cause I have plenty of others!) but I can pretty much eat anything I want without much worry. With that said, I'd probably look really good if I actually made an effort to drop about 15 pounds. Meh, who cares though?

9. I knew I was going to marry Eric even before we went on our first date. It was only the second time I had talked to him at a party and I told my then-roommate that I didn't even need to date him, I was going to marry him.

10. Early this winter season, I've discovered that I've developed severe ice-anxiety. I just about tremble when the temperature drops below 32 and there is precipitation on the ground. I would rather eat dirt (remember: germaphobe!) than be in a car on the icy roads.

11. My parents named me Laura but had always called me Laurie when I was younger. It was my 4th grade teacher who determined that 2 Lori's in my class would be better balanced with 2 Laura's, (imagine 4 Lori/ Laura's out of a class of 40 kids!) and would only refer to me as my formal name. To this day, I really can't think of myself as "Laurie."

12. I really like to cook and bake. I wish that I had a bigger kitchen with more counter space to take on some more complicated recipes.

13. I am really good at remembering names. I don't even need a class list of people that I went to grade school with to recall their names. Even the kids who only attended a single year in another class, I know their names.

14. I fake interest in sports. I'm a Steelers fan and a Buckeyes fan by default. I'm just happy that I like the team colors and they are both pretty successful teams so I can trash talk their rivals!

15. I'm not afraid of death. I think that I may be jaded by dealing with the passing of people I loved more than life itself. For this reason, I feel that death is a natural step which leads to ultimate peace and comfort. Life is hard. Eternity is a blessing.

16. I'm not very technically-inclined. I'm a novice on computer functions and intimidated by my own cell phone.

17. I take things way too personally. I analyze people, situations and things that cause me stress over and over until they consume me and make me feel all crazy inside. And since I don't like confronting my problems, I let them just eat away at me.

18. I don't like pie. I may choke down a piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving just to appease my Mom, but I'm not a fan.

19. My body is pretty much in pain all day, every day. I neglected a sprain in my back a few years ago which has led to my back muscles being tight, my leg muscles being short and arthritis surely to make a debut before I'm 40. If not already. I broke up with my chiropractor after 3 years of him being unable to provide any long term relief.

20. I really should start doing yoga and stretching but I always come up with too many reasons to postpone it until tomorrow.

21. Genuine people are like treasures to me. If a circumstance should arise which would raise question to a person's credibility, it takes me a long time to put back the trust, faith and respect I once had in them.

22. I'm not very good about e-mailing. (Yes, didn't I just say how much I love my friends?) It has a little something to do with me trying to be a perfectionist. If I don't have time to make it "perfect," I don't do it at all. I know, it doesn't make sense does it?

23. My graduating class consisted of about 52 students.

24. I feel that I am the luckiest mom in the whole world to have such awesome kids to call my own.

25. I still get a lump in the back of my throat when I think of what incredible miracles my kids are.

Burnin' Baby

I'm glad this past week is behind us. As a county worker, we were off on Monday (thank you Mr. King) which made for an ideal appointment time to take Lincoln to the pediatrician to get caught up on his vaccines. It seems like every time he is due for shots, he comes down with a cold and I then cancel his appointment, thus not making matters worse for my little guy.

As it stood, last Friday, Lincoln was a slight bit fevered and also had random bouts with a high temperature throughout last weekend too. Monday morning rolled around and Lincoln was still keeping his appointment whether it be to get his (4) shots or to discuss his random fevers. The doctor didn't feel that a fever would compromise his health and we both agreed to get the shots out of the way once and for all. These are his 18 month inoculations by the way. He's almost 21 months old. Behind much?

As expected, Lincoln was especially cranky throughout the day on Monday and we had given him some pain reliever meds to help ease his discomfort. Tuesday thru Thursday though, he was still experiencing high fevers (highest with meds was 103.8), diarrhea, loss of appetite and just generally not feeling well. By this point, we had all had enough. The doctor's office got us in for an appointment on Friday and sure enough, Lincoln presented with a flaming red, irritated throat. His ear tubes looked good, his nose wasn't runny, his throat seemed to be the culprit of his discomfort.

So, here we are on Saturday. I have worn myself out with worry over my favorite little boy in the whole world. Eric had spent a few days out of town this past week leaving me to do all the holding, hugging, comforting, we have both woke up in the middle of the night to give Lincoln a dose of medicine to keep his fever under control and today we are all just plain old exhausted.

Today was the first full day of his antibiotic and I'm crossing my fingers that he starts feeling better soon. We're leaving for a family trip to Florida in exactly 10 days and germs and infections are not invited!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Big FREEZE

Top ten reasons that I am DONE with winter:

10. Keegan is knee deep (for a lab anyhow) in the snow drifts and keeps doing his "yard business" on the edge of the yard because he can no longer distinguish yard from driveway.

9. There's really nothing like rushing into work (walking 2 blocks) in 5 degree temps. and your nose begins to run but because your face is so frozen, you can't feel the "run" until you've actually arrived at your desk after taking 2 elevator rides with at least a dozen people who have seen your run-freeze in the meantime. (I just love it when that happens!)

8. No joke: I've seen icicles on houses around here that are bigger and longer than a surf board! (Okay, maybe a boogie board, but they could fatally stab someone if they landed on an unsuspecting person.)

7. Because we had that fantastic idea to have our patio done in stamped concrete, we can't spread any type of ice melt granules or salt on our main walkway in and out of our house. Any type of salt would corrode the surface of the concrete and therefore ruin the finish. This means we strap on ice skates and kneepads anytime we want to go out the backdoor.

6. The morning radio stations hardly play music in the morning. Between reports of traffic accidents, school cancellations and commercials, I'm lucky to hear one song during my 30 minute morning commute.

5. How do you explain to a 3 year old the difference between 5 degrees and 30 degrees and why she can't play outside when it's 5 degrees even if she is wearing 4 coats, 6 hats and 3 pairs of pants? "Dangerous cold" seems to be lost on the mind of my cold blooded child. 4. It's too cold to shop. Seriously. With our run of single digit temperatures and continuous snowfall, I've made due with the local grocery stores just buying up basic items to get through the week. When it's dark and cold outside, getting home from work seems to be just a feat in and of itself these days.

3. Damn 4- wheel drive doesn't mean squat on the ice. Enough said. 2. Our pilot light in our furnace blew itself out (repeatedly) on Friday and Saturday. Our inside temperature quickly dropped to a freezy 55 degrees. Luckily, Eric had come home from being out of town that same day and was the first one to recognize and fix the problem.

1. Three straight weeks of negative degree nights and single digit mornings is making me want to quit my job, stay home, eat bon bons, cuddle with my kids and sleep 24/7. Curse you blasted winter for tempting me... I teeter every day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the adventures of Solo Mom

Single mom work day:

6:00 a.m. -- alarm goes off; take advantage of the sleep timer for 15 minutes longer minus another body next to me kicking my legs to really get up already!

7:00 -- be completely ready to begin the day, Elaina is probably up by now and watching her shows in my bed or asking to put on my jewelry or chap stick

7:15 - 8:00 -- peel my sweet boy from his warm crib, feed both children breakfast, dress kids, Keegan goes outside, warm up truck, make a steamy cup of cappuccino for my travel mug

8:00 -- goal to be out of the house and en route to the babysitter's house

8:30 - 5:00 -- work day, 30 minute commute, pick up kids from babysitter

5:00 - 6:00-- feed Keegan, change out of my work clothes, half-watch children as I try to prepare dinner

6:00 -- MUST eat! Lincoln came equipped with a belly timer which emits a squawking alarm if his belly has not made contact with food at precisely 6 p.m.

6:30 - 7:00 -- clean up dinner table, let kids play, enjoy a 10 minute brain break by checking blogs or facebook for entertainment

7:00 - 8:00 -- bathe kids together (every other night), jammies, dry hair, kids play

8:00 - 8:15 -- read books to Lincoln, gamble on if he will give me kisses before I lay him down or not, he's sometimes fickle and sometimes just wants to be asleep

8:15 - 9:00 -- pull Elaina from her tv show that I asked her to occupy her time while I had quiet time with Lincoln, brush teeth, tinkle time, she picks out 2 books, we read, say prayers, she stalls, asks me to lay with her, I can't refuse, I fall asleep

9:00 -- wake up, if I'm lucky

9:00 - 10:00 -- really clean up the kitchen, pack my lunch for the next day, figure out what's for dinner the following night, sort mail, do laundry in some aspect, clean up toys, maybe make a phone call

10:00 - 11:00 -- my time! read blogs, check e-mail, feel too tired, too uninteresting and too lazy to write a blog entry of my own, go back and hope someone has updated their facebook page or blog, shop for things I clearly don't need but the e-mail said there is a big sale, etc.

11:00 - 12:00 -- some aspect of laundry, get kids clothes and my clothes ready for the next day, let the dog out, clean up my room as Elaina did her own "redecorating" as she occupied herself in there, check on sleeping children, take off make up, curse at gray hairs, curse at the clock which now reads 12:15 and I'm JUST climbing into bed, remind myself to hurry up and sleep because tomorrow is already here and I'm performing the lead role in an encore of the same act, different day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snowed in Saturday

Lincoln seemed intrigued by the snow, which was turning into light ice crystals by the time it hit the ground. He was mystified by the light tapping noise upon his hood.

Elaina's first sled ride of the year!
Success!
Lincoln's first sled ride ever! He's hard to see but I promise that he's tucked in there close to his Daddy!
Even though the snow had blasted him in the face, he didn't cry! I think he liked it!
Within a short time, he discovered his new mobility in his snowsuit and how much fun it was to plop his little self into the deep snow.
My snow angels!
At home, Lincoln was more than happy to have me tug him around the driveway in his sled. He was pretty upset about having to get out after 59 trips up and down our driveway. I think that he is most likely going through wagon-ride withdrawal this time of year.
Check out the snow fort that we built! (Eric deserves credit too, but couldn't be in this photo since Lincoln isn't so good at taking pictures with mittens on!)
Even though I'm not a big fan of snow, I think that my opinion is beginning to sway since having kids to play outside and enjoy it! Better yet, our snow day reached us on Saturday when we had no plans and were able to take advantage of our winter wonderland!
(*** Edited to add: My mom gets so annoyed when my pictures aren't able to get larger with a double click. Mom, these all can be made large, just for you!)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My Lulu-Belle

On the many ways I am LOVING age 3:

**The other night we were getting coats on to go out to dinner and Elaina commented in her very grown-up, polite voice, "Momma, it's a lovely day today." I finished zipping her into her coat and out of no where she throws out a "Merci'." Surprised by her French, I asked where she learned that and she told me from the book Fancy Nancy! (Thanks Aunt Kate!)
** We had just pulled into our driveway after a weekend away and the kids began to wake up in their car seats. Lincoln let out a short, whimpering cry to which Elaina replied sleepily, "Go back to sleep, Linkin' Dinkin."

** Elaina professes her love and affection for her brother VERY often. The other morning, she told me that she "wanted to keep our baby brother forever because he's just such a good baby boy and God made him for us." More true words have not been spoken Elaina. (We're definitely keeping HIM!)(and his big sister too!)


** I don't know how it's possible that your love for your child can seemingly multiply 100 times overnight, believing that each days' memories were the epitome of the BEST it could ever get. And by the next day, you love them even 100 times more than the day before. It's for this reason that I often ask Elaina if she can just stay 3 forever and we'll just hug each other and never let go. She sympathetically reassures me that she can't because she "has to turn 4 and then 5 and then 6 and.... and she has to go to school and ride the bus." Okay then, I'll just have to love her a million times more by then.


** One morning, Elaina told me that when she grows up and gets to be as old as me, she wants to be a mommy and have a husband and a job and be just like me. Oh, seriously Kid! You want a pink and purple pony too? Okay! I'll buy you a seven of them!


** Speaking of pink and purple... Elaina has already put in her order for her birthday cake. In July. She wants a pink and purple cake with sprinkles and a little kitty on top. Just so I know ahead of time.


** While eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast one morning, Eric asked Elaina how they were. After her very appreciative "Mmmm!" she told him that her cinnamon rolls were going in her mouth, past her heart, saying "Hi" to God and zooming down to her tummy. I guess they were good.


** At one point, Elaina had shared some information with me and when I asked her who had told her that she proclaimed, "My Daddy. Your Husband. Eric." (as if we had never met)


** I find it hysterical when she tries to help Lincoln perform some new skill, like coloring, she talks to him like he is a dog. "Here Boy! No Boy, like this. Come here Boy!" Oh, and she's been trying to teach Lincoln to talk and helps to translate every non-syllable sound he makes into a new word. When he does this, she squeals with excitement that "Mommy, Lincoln said the word 'Do!' Good job Baby Lincoln! You learned how to talk!"


** The other night as I walked into Elaina's room, I realized that my presence had surprised her. As she was sitting in her window seat, she told me that she was "talking to God and her angels, Ella and Ava. My angels."


Her conversation went something like this:

Elaina: "Do you believe in Santa? You have to believe! You just have to believe! Santa came at Christmas and bringed us presents. Oh, you just have to believe! You do?! You DO! Mommy, they believe in Santa!"

From her dialogue, I think she was recalling some emotion from the movie Polar Express about believing, but then again, we didn't get an opportunity to watch that movie at all this Christmas season. That child has an amazing memory but more than that, she can fill this mommy's heart so full of love and pride that I could nearly burst. This would explain why she is my angel on earth and I couldn't love her more. (Until the next day rolls around.)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Out with the old...

and in with the new.

2009 has arrived!

You know, there's just so much that I could say about reminiscing 2008 because there were so many great things that happened. Best of all, our family was spared tragedy, death and unemployment. When my children read about the year 2008, like 20 years from now, I hope they get the whole sense of how fortunate our family has been. Yes we have been blessed!

Since I mainly like to write about fun, happy kid-related stuff here, (oh yeah, and I always seem to get a little long winded and sometimes off track) I'm just going to write about how we welcomed our new year and wish every one of you and your family a fantastic and blessed 2009, spared from tragedy, death and unemployment. Cheers!

On New Year's Eve, we stayed overnight at our friends' house and had an absolutely wonderful, fun filled evening together. Another couple of our friends and their 2 kids were visiting from North Carolina and staying over also. Our party consisted of 6 long time friends and 6 well-behaved children. Making our evening even better was that Lincoln, who is sometimes a problem sleeper away from home, fell asleep with ease and Elaina asked to go to bed around 9:30. Are you kidding me? Wahoo! This mommy and daddy had the night OFF!! I didn't even drag my camera out of my bag but once! My kids had the night off too!

I can't imagine a better way to spend the last evening of 2008 than sharing it with friends, food, drinks and sleeping children!