Friday, July 30, 2010

we're so not making swimming

Today is fun day, anyways.  James has plenty of fun in his life.  :)

This is what came to me while I was making my bagel:

People don't like when you tell them no.  My neighbor thought her sister was offering a nice thing, which she was, so of course she would try to make it work or maybe, unconsciously, make me feel a little sorry for saying no.

Do I do this to people?  I'm sure I must.  I'm going to try and be more aware of this.  If someone tells me no, I'm going to try and just say, "Okay."

You know who tells me no sometimes and it really ticks me off? 


Yeah, mothers aren't supposed to say no.

(Oh, wait.  I am a mother and I definitely tell my kids no.  ;) )

Even though it ticks me off I usually admire her for it at the same time.  And she tells me yes way more so that helps, too.

So, this is how my brain chews on the little things of life until I can accept them and let them go.

carry on with your Fridays.


morning edition

I slept better last night than I have all week. 

I didn't realize I wasn't sleeping well until I woke up this morning and felt so rested.

Patrick is home.  (cue loud, dramatic chorus of angels singing)

I just got a phone call that threw me off of my mojo this morning. 

My neighbor's sister does hair and I had asked if she would do mine sometime.  My neighbor just called and said her sister was going to do hers tonight, could I come over?  The sister is coming at 6, Patrick doesn't get home until 6:45 and Nicholas usually goes to bed almost immediately after that.  After that I have plans to go to Kohl's for another one of their BIG HUGE SALES that they have almost weekly and I'm kinda excited.  So instead of just saying thanks, but no thanks, I start explaining all the reasons I can't and they all just sound stupid as I say them and I get the sense that my neighbor thinks I am being rude as her sister is trying to do me a favor.  (would not be a free haircut, not that much of a favor.  also - she is really good but I think making an appt. at her shop would be the best idea)  So.  bummer, right?  Do you easily shake off these little moments of uncomfortable-ness or do they stay with you?  Why is it so hard to say no???

Our friends are coming over and for that I am happy.  We have swimming in 23 minutes and the baby is sleeping and I still need to get dressed.  Will we make it???


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

so far, so good

(If I stop suddenly it's because Nicholas reached the end of his tiny rope.  Ruby is babysitting him right now but I think he's getting tired.)

We are having a good week so far.  Yesterday both kids got haircuts and we picked out all of James' school supplies at Target.  They swam in our pool in the afternoon and hung out with the neighbors all evening.  They are taking turns sleeping in my bed (while one sleeps on the cot) and have been falling asleep quickly. 

Today we met Teresa and her sweet boys at Tenney park and had a really nice time.  We passed the hottest afternoon of the week sitting in the shade with a lake breeze.  Works for me!  I wish I would have taken some pictures but was too busy relaxing.  :)  Ruby & Nicholas passed out as soon as we left so James and I were the only ones to enjoy a little treat from Starbucks on the drive home.  (caramel soy machiatto for me and a soy chocolate milk for him)

Tomorrow I have the sitter from 11-4 and am really looking forward to it.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do (with my little buddy) but I bet a thrift store will be on the agenda.  Patrick is home Thursday afternoon and Kari & her boys are coming on Friday.  Saturday morning we will leave for 9 days in Duluth.  (a staycation of sorts)  whew!

Now Nicholas is fussing.  over and out.  .

OH, 2 funny bumper stickers I saw today:

I'm an ELKaholic (with a picture of 2 big Elk) and Jesus loves you but I am his favorite.

:)  xoxoox

Monday, July 26, 2010

a full circle (and heart)

(Ruby, keeper of the mallows)

We had Natalie spend the night last Saturday and it was so much fun.  Her and her family are moving away from us so it was the last time (probably) that James would get to hang out with her.  They have been hanging out their whole lives so this makes us all a little sad.


(James & Natalie - 6 months or so)

Maybe I will write more about this another day.  It does make me sad and I have tons of good memories and cute pictures of the two of them together.

Anyways, we all had fun.  They played for hours in a fort Patrick helped them build then moved onto Legos, playing house and finally outside where Patrick sprayed them with the hose.  We had dinner, a fire and roasted marshmallows.  

Nicholas went to bed and the big kids took turns amazing us with their tricks on the swing set.  

Once the mosquitoes came out I took them in for bed and Patrick poured himself a beer and sat by the fire while it burned down.  James & Natalie wanted to share the top bunk while Ruby seemed happy enough to bunk in our room. 

The big kid talk turned to ghosts, as it tends to do, and James came into our room for some reassurance.  He finally settled into Ruby's empty bed but snuck back into our bed sometime during the night.  Natalie woke up alone but said she just played Legos until James woke up and came to find her.  :)

They played all day on Sunday (mostly Nintendo) until we sent Patrick off and met Kate (Natalie's mom) at the spray park.  

It was such a good weekend and yet it felt a bit surreal to Patrick and of those times that it feels like you are pretending to be the grown ups even though you really are.  Do you know what I mean?  It doesn't seem like *that* long ago that I was the one having friends over to spend the night.  wow.

I am so thankful for this family I have and this life we are living together.


yo, MOnday! what's up?

Patrick left yesterday.  He'll be gone until Thursday.

Pray for me.


I think we'll be fine.  I've got a good action plan and am planning on going easy on all of us...this includes a baby sitter on Wednesday afternoon so I can have a little talk-free time.

We had a really good weekend which included James' first sleepover!  His buddy Natalie slept over here and they had a really good time.  I have some more pictures to put up later.

Right now I have to get us moving.  I decided to sit through one more session of swim lessons in hopes that James will pass and be able to start next year at Level 2.  He has passed all level one skills except for the back float. 

Okay, Ruby is HOWLING because I won't let her have chips.  What was I saying up there???  Should I just let her have the chips at 9:35AM to shut her up?  I think not but it is tempting.  (I think she senses weakness.)

So anyways.  We now have lessons at 10:30 so it is a change over the last 6 weeks of 12:30.  That helps, a little.

Now Nicholas needs me.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

rainy day

This morning I told Patrick we were out of to-go coffee cups and he threw himself down on the kitchen floor and started yelling and kicking his feet.

I love him.

We decided we should both start acting like our children more often.

In other news, it's RAINING.  I love it.  What a nice change from that wretched sunshine day after day after day.  :)  I'm kidding (mostly) but we needed the rain and it is a very nice change. 

James' new tooth is coming in fast and big.  It's so cute.

I feel like sewing something.  Something with ruffles.  I think it's her fault.

This morning she described her 4 month old daughter's smiles as "full body smiles."  Love that.

I always like reading about how & what Maggie packs for her adventures.

I have happily lost 2 more pounds in the last 2 weeks.  It's funny how such a small amount can allow me to wear at least 4 more pairs of shorts/pants.  I stopped doing WW almost as soon as I started a while back.  It was too much for me...all the keeping track and stuff.  I decided I would start like I did 2 years ago and just start exercising again.  I love exercising and it loves me back.  Loving my body a little more (the result of feeling it stretch and strengthen...I'm starting with yoga) will encourage me to eat better and I know I will slowly lose weight again.  I'll probably try WW again in the future as it worked really well when I was ready for it.  It feels good to have a few more options for these last weeks of summer.  Of course, soon fall will come and fall means...dum, dum, dum...


Heaven help me.

Here are a couple pictures so this post doesn't feel so naked:

Oh yeah, one more thing...

J:  ugh.
S:  what's wrong?
J:  will someone please get that dead butterfly off the kitchen table?  every time I walk by it it makes me feel sick.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

she sure is special

S:  Look at that dead butterfly, Ruby.
R:  MOM!  Can I have that as a pet?????
S:  Ruby, it's dead.
R:  That's okay, Mom.  It'll be my DEAD pet.  I like dead pets.


R: (eating dinner last night)  This is flippin' good, Mom.

a proclamation

I think I am finally accepting that this is a huge transition for us, this adding of a family member. 

It's not so much Nicholas as he is such a little muck ball of baby-goodness.  Rather, it's the time he takes, time of mine that I used to have for my other kids, my husband and myself.  Would I prefer not to have him?  Heck no.  Am I finally easing up on my expectations of myself?  Maybe a little.

This is what I need to remind myself:

It's hard to have a baby who sleeps a lot (no, let me finish...), it's hard because then you might feel pretty good a lot of the time and people will start expecting you to feel that way all the time and then it will suddenly hit you...the sheer volume of stuff you take care of every day.  The middle of the night waking from him or other kids or the heat or the snoring husband.  The energy it takes to care for the baby along with the energy it takes to parent well along with the energy it takes to enjoy the bigger children.  And then there are the rest of the responsibilities that a woman has:  groceries, dishes, laundry, appointments, bills, meals and all of that.  I'm not saying I don't have any help I'm just saying that even with the help, it's a lot.

So, if I feel tired or sick of the heat or the kids or of thinking of stuff to do a few times a week, that is okay.  I will feel better later and we will manage.

If I slack off on the parenting and my kids are little rats and people think they are little rats, that is okay.  I'll get back to that.  They are good kids, are (relatively) clean and well fed and I know they are happy.

If my kids are little rats even when I'm doing what I should be, that is okay too.  They are also going through a big transition AND are just kids...and kids are little rats sometimes.

If I will poke my eyes out sitting through another 3 weeks of swimming lessons, well, he can take them again next year.

And now I am out of time and steam.  :)  I am hard on myself and now is the time to ease up a little.  I am so happy with the blessings we have been given and that is what is important.  Like my dear auntie Kristy said, they are not going to remember so many individual days of their childhood, they are going to remember overall how it felt to them. 

I think that overall we are doing pretty darn good.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a list, to catch up

In no particular order:

James lost his first tooth and the fairy came.

The next morning, upon finding no cash under her pillow, Ruby said she wanted to throw a rock at that fairy.

Had talk about throwing rocks at people and/or fairies.

Read The Passage by Justin Cronin.  Loved it.  Inhaled it.  Needed that.


I guess there is more but those are the basics.  I spent hours this weekend reading and marveling over Nicholas.  He is an awesome baby but more that that, I am just so flipping thankful that I (we) are having the opportunity to care for another new life.  Babies are amazing and just about the sweetest thing in the world, I think.  A straight gift from God.  And yes, I am a little over the moon about him.  Last night Patrick asked me if I liked the way Nicholas smells.  Um, do you like the way he smells, I asked him back.  Yeah, he said, he smells good.

Right now the little gift from God is crabbing at me so I should wrap this up.  I didn't say he wasn't ever annoying.  ;)


Friday, July 16, 2010

fair enough

number of dollars spent:

10 - admission to fair
13 - ride tickets
 5 - cotton candy
 9 - tropical snos
10 - inflatable dolphins
16 - dinner at Culvers on way home because there was no way I was gonna cook dinner after that

number of minutes spent on:

15 - rides
10 - trying to convince me to let him play all the games (James)
15 - crying (Ruby)
15 - crying (Nicholas)
2 - crying (mom)  (not really)
60 - sleeping (Nicholas)
15 - climbing on Army vehicles (free)
10 - eating tropical snos
 4 - listening to tropical sno woman tell me about mold spotted in competitors syrup
0 - seeing the animals (my favorite part)


number of skinned knees - 2
number of bandaids available - 1
number of rides Ruby went on - 1
number of rides Ruby enjoyed - 0
number of times I nursed in front of carnies - 1
number of carnies who seemed a little too interested -2
number of interested carnies who were male - 1
number of minutes spent with friends we met there - 5
number of tropical snos I wanted - 14
number of tropical snos I got - 1
number of questions James asked the Army guy - 400
number he answered graciously - 400
number of degrees temp was at home - 85
number of degrees temp was at fair - 105 (felt like)
number of minutes spent worrying baby had heat stroke - 12
number of babies who actually had heat stroke - 0


I was a bit concerned at first but that is how these things go.  We started out with Nicholas crying, Ruby whining and James trying to work the game tables.  After about 15 minutes and $400 we settled in and had a nice remaining one hour and 45 minutes at the fair.

No really.  We did.


I am calling it a success because Ruby and I had *some* fun, James had a lot of fun, Nicholas didn't die and I didn't lose my cool, even once.

I love the fair and am already worried about looking forward to next year.


Thursday, July 15, 2010


This photo was taken the week before last.  Yesterday he ran and jumped off the diving board.  It was pretty cute.  (with a life jacket)

He still needs to pass level one but his comfort level is so much better this year.


I am crabby, there is no denying it.

Maybe it's the heat?  Or that I don't think I should have Nicholas out in it for more than a half an hour?

Maybe it's a certain girl (not Ruby) who won't get off my patio swing.  (like, ever.)

Maybe I really want school to start some days and feel guilty about that.  (it's not particularly james or's james AND ruby)

Maybe I'm having a hard time letting go of some hurt feelings.

Maybe I wish my husband got home before 6:45 at night.

Maybe I feel so sad for all of those who are unemployed and always worry a bit what we would do if he ever lost his job and then I want him to stay as late as it takes.

Maybe I miss my family.

Maybe I need to run and jump off the diving board.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

it's (not) a hard knock life

for them.

We had a patio poured the week before my family arrived. They finished the
Friday of July 4th weekend, just like they said they would. (Hottman Construction in Madison)

We love it.

We changed our layout the night before they were to start but it was no problem and we like it so much better than our original plan.

I have wanted a deck or patio for the last 5 years and feel so lucky to have one now. It was just like I imagined having everyone out there with us for meals all weekend. (except Thomas & Erin...we missed you two!) And this patio is pretty high so it feels like a deck, kind of. Patrick wants to build flower boxes all the way around but that might wait until next year...we'll see. I am happy with it just as it is for now.

(except for the stupid mosquitoes of course. those Off lanterns don't work like they say. anyone have some good skeeter advice? do cintronella candles work??)

Yesterday I made my kids go out to play for an hour and they acted like I was torturing them.  They got into a groove after a while and I went out later with ice cream cones.  We all sat on the swing (free from a friend who's moving...we just need new cushions) and read National Geographic Kids (thanks Seester!  that is a great magazine) for an hour.  It felt SO good and gave me that little happy feeling inside.

Patrick convinced me that the little stool was fine as is and now I will have to agree.  I am going to finish taking the old linoleum off of the top and seal it but will leave the rusty old green paint alone.


a day at the park(s)


Most of last week was hot and icky humid so we were all happy that Saturday was so beautiful.  Definitely warm but not humid at all.  My Dad brought the Amphicar so we headed to Olin Park to launch it.  We brought along a picnic lunch and planned on eating and going for a swim after our ride. 

YUCK!  Olin Park has a (legitimately) bad rap for one reason but here is another:  goose poop!  It was everywhere and we just couldn't stand it.  After the awesome Amphi rides we drove over to Tenney Park and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.  If you haven't been to Tenney, I really recommend it.  It is clean, lifeguarded, has nice bathrooms, shade and the cool Tenney Lock to wander over and look at.  We met Zoe there for the Art Cart one day and have been back 4 or 5 times since then. 


I need another cup of coffee now.

I am so thankful for our A/C.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

7 weeks to go...

Of course it was wonderful to see my sister.  I wish I could hang out with her all the time and I know that it's going to be even harder once little Jacob is here.

I told her I would babysit him if they move here. 

Bribery?  Sure, why not?  :)

I just hope we have the chance at some point in our lives to live close enough to have a normal day to day relationship.  You know, where meeting for coffee doesn't need 6 months and $350 to make it happen.  I love just hanging out at Target with her.  Simple stuff like that is what I want.

Got to go.  Nicholas is hungry.

p.s.  we are starting to feel normal over here again.  


let them eat cake

(recipe found will not disappoint.   I omit the rum and have just used a chocolate buttercream frosting.  Next time I'm going to try cream cheese frosting.  Serve good.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

slowing it down

I had a wonderful time with my sister and family last week.

However now I am spent.  I need a very long nap.

and a nanny.

and maybe a wet nurse?

No, scratch that last one.  Just a nap will do, I think.

I'll be back sometime later this week with lots of cute pictures. 

I wish we all lived closer.  Much, much closer.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

ready or not

Well, we didn't get everything on my maniacal list done but we came pretty close and still fit in some fun stuff like time at the beach, a bbq with friends, shopping, a bit of frustration and a whole lot of cherry pomegranate crystal light.  And now I am ready to do absolutely nothing but enjoy my sister for a few days and the rest of my family this weekend.  happy!!!

I don't know if I'll be around or not.  If not, I hope you have a great week!! 

Friday, July 02, 2010

goodness all around

R:  Mom, my beaver is sharp.
S:  (laughs)
R:  It is!  It's double sharp.  Too sharp for kids.

I don't know about you but the beaver talk gets me every time.

 new creamer bowl:
 (I gave up dairy when Nicholas was born as a preventative measure because J&R were both sensitive to it.  I've been using Cremora since, thus the need for a "creamer" bowl.  The good news is that I've been adding a little more dairy into my diet (one laughing cow wedge or one tiny dove ice cream bite) and it seems to be just fine!)

the return stack:

oh, this face:

I only had him get one combo shot.  He did fine but I'm glad it's over:
(p.s.  Never taking all 3 to the doctor again if I can help it.  They were playing well but wild (driving hot wheels on the walls wild) and I broke out into a sweat in that tiny room.  yuck.)

I usually prefer things that don't need so much work but this could not be resisted:

waiting so long makes it that much sweeter:

playing with Dad:


Hooray for Friday!  Patrick surprised me last night with the news that he has today and Monday off.  Nice.  My sister comes on Tuesday, everyone else on Thurs/Fri.  There are lots of little projects I want to do before then but I'm okay if it doesn't all happen.

Just like having friends over makes me want to clean my house, having my family come for a visit makes me want to do everything.  It's kind of fun especially since Patrick is in on it with me.  I'm not sure why he is so willing to do so many pesky little tasks lately but it really has been wonderful.

Nicholas is in the 55th percentile for weight and the 95th for height!  He's gained a pound in the last month.  That period where he gained 4.5 pounds in 5 weeks must have been a giant growth spurt.  My little buddy.  He's so flipping cute.  Especially when he sleeps 10 hours like he has the last 2 nights...unswaddled, too!  We haven't had a 10 hour stretch for a while and I sure appreciated it.

Okay, got to go.  Busy day ahead.  Have a good weekend!!!  xoxoxo


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