Monday, June 24, 2013

Pardon the Interruption

I am moving... new name, new space and new writing. Hold tight and I will be back soon!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Is it a Phase? Please say YES!

I was out on Saturday night and a friend told me she reads my blog and it helps to her keep perspective on life with two small kids.  I think we all need this at some point. Doesn't matter if I give the perspective or your mom does or twitter.  Parents need perspective.  So, in an effort to keep it real I am going to keep it real about Brady and Cate right now.  Please, don’t interpret this as me complaining. I know if these are my worries that life is pretty good.  Again, I am just keeping it real.

Cate our Earlybird
Ever since we let Cate cry it out at six months, she has been a wicked (awesome) nighttime sleeper.  12 hours sometimes even 12.5 hours at night. It has been glorious.  The weekends were actually even more amazing because no one was getting up before seven.  Until recently.  All of sudden going to bed is a struggle no matter if we put her down early, same time or later.  Sometimes she is awake in her crib getting settled for an hour- playing with her blankets and loveys and rolling around.   More often than not, she stands screaming bloody murder and after 3-4 trips up there she will finally settle down. But here is the worst part.  She is waking up around 5:45am daily. Which is torture, and inhumane and causing me to be full of piss and vinegar because I thrive on sleep and routines which are out of whack right now. I can’t figure out what is causing it. She is not napping any longer than she used to. So what gives?

Brady Soft and Warm
Brady to this point has never cared about clothes.  And then he started caring about what was on his shirts. I knew it was coming at some point so we embraced it. Super heroes.  Turtles.  Dinosaurs.  Transformers.  Whatever.  I don’t love any of it but we have allowed him to pick his shirt and don’t say no unless he gets it out of his hamper in which case it is dirty and recently been worn.  Which he would do most days if we let him.  The problem is the bottoms.  Or pants.  Or shorts.  He started telling us he wanted soft pants. Sweatpants is what he was asking for.   But not just any.  The fleece ones.  And when we would try warm up pants or cargo pants he would adamantly say no, kick and scream, take them off.  And then he added warm pants. He said his pants were cold.  Too cold.  And when we can’t deliver on that, he throws a tantrum that I can’t describe. He screams and flails and the fear in his eyes is real.  He refuses to wear them. He wardrobe is dwindling and it is an epic struggle daily.  The other day he was sobbing with real tears because the pants weren't warm enough.  And I was tired and sad because I know that he doesn't get it or even really know.  But to watch him be that upset daily kills me.  I know it is sensory driven but I am wondering what gives? 

Are these phases? Please say yes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weekend Recap- Three Days Later


This past weekend was just what I needed to get out of whatever funk I was in last week.

Friday night was dinner with a girlfriend I cherish and the weather- the fact that the windows in the entire front of the restaurant were open was enough to make me smile.

Saturday we woke up to brilliant sunshine even if it was a bit early for our liking.

We watched as the largest of many trees in our yard was cut down. Poor thing was huge but dead and such a hazard to the house I am finally calling my home. It was entertainment for hours as we watched her thud in our yard and shake our house when she was finally laid to rest.


A visit from Empire carpet and the electrician followed by helping our neighbors recover their things from their flooded home ended our morning. Our kids took wicked (i.e. long) naps and we played at the park and had an awesome dinner courtesy of Glenn and the grill. Glenn and I watched “Zero Dark Thirty”.  So good…but yet so sad in so many ways. I am sort of obsessed with Navy SEALS right now.

Sunday we had breakfast with my parents at Walker Brothers and spent a good portion of the day doing things around the house, playing, riding bikes and going for a jog and working in our yard.


The thing is that the sun shined all weekend long. And that is necessary. And makes anything better. 




Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Friday...


My fingers start to type and quickly I hit delete. I try to form a coherent thought on the screen but find myself closing my laptop or hitting delete. I stare at the nothingness on my screen. Blank screen means my thoughts are scattered, complicated and more than likely not appropriate for a place that I was reminded in school this week is permanent otherwise known as the internet. In case you are wondering my Business Law kids are watching "The Social Network" as we learn about intellectual property law. 

So, instead I will give you some tidbits and then maybe next week I will be back to blogging and ready to share all the thoughts swimming in my head.

And plus also, I was going to share some pics of the kids from last weekend outside but in true fashion of this week, my memory card is in my camera right now so all I have are IG pics. 

~ I started reading “Lean In”. Like I ordered a physical book that has real pages and is not just on my iPad.  That is refreshing. I like seeing it on my nightstand. I like flipping pages and being able to go back easily and read things again. I will reserve my comments about the book for a later post.


~ Cate started at daycare this week with Brady. There is nothing harder to look at than pictures of her all day carrying her coat and her teachers reporting that she keeps asking “go bye bye peas” “mama bye bye now?” My mama guilt on this one is heavy.


~ I have recently spent a lot of time questioning what I believe in as a teacher/coach. I am in a situation I never thought I would be one. One that will result in me giving up something I love to take a stand for something I truly believe in. Change is hard. And this one will sting.

~ We are having a tree taken out this weekend. We have been testing fate with this dead tree and it is time. The $1350 price tag stings. Really it does. But I have a feeling it may entertain our kids for hours.

~ This weekend looks perfect and I truly believe nice weather makes everything better. We have a toy sanitizing party for our neighbors that lost everything in the flood, dinner with a friend, a visit from my parents and lots of family time. Hoping this will get my mind clear.


~ I can’t stop listening to the Cruise Remix by Flordia Georiga Line and Nelly. It makes me smile.

How was your week friends?





Friday, April 19, 2013

Welcome to the Suburbs Storm Style



We had seen on the weather reports that like every other day this spring we were in for rain this week. I didn't think much of it except to make a snarky comment to Glenn about our old house needing an arc if it was going to rain as much as they said it was.  But our new house is high on the street, has a sump up and a back-up and to this point has not given us reason to worry about a little rain. Little was not the right word. 

It started raining on Wednesday… most of the day on and off.  It was a tranquil steady rain that made you want to curl up with a hot drink and a book and watch it come down.  By dinner time it was really raining. We slept through the storm on Wednesday night with the exception of the thunder and lightning that woke me up but not anyone else in our house.  I got in the shower on Thursday morning and thought nothing of the rain the night before. I only kept thinking how wet I was going to get taking Brady in to preschool.  

My phone started buzzing at 6:15 with my mom asking if we could talk. Still not thinking anything I called her to hear that my brother’s house was flooded in Elmhurst, my brother was in D.C. and my dad was on his way from Bloomington to help my sister in law. At that point, I looked at Glenn with panic in my voice and told him to check the basement. He did and there was a SMALL puddle seeping in.

Brady and I left to go to school and then I saw this.


I put the car in reverse knowing Glenn’s car would not make it through the water. We shuttled our nanny and her son through the water in our SUV and then the three of us set off for preschool, school and work. It took us a long time, lots of rerouting and what we saw brought tears to my eyes. Homes submerged that looked they were floating. And on top of it all the rain was not stopping.

After getting to school, it was decided a few minutes later to cancel.  The daycare was closing. Glenn left work, we picked up Brady and headed home. To find this.



The only route to and from our house was a kayak. 


I learned today that my street and neighbors are amazing, even the ones that have lost everything.

So thank you suburbs and mother nature. For teaching me a couple of lessons- that my neighbors are fighters and my friends and that my sump pump is the new love of my husband's life. 

And even after a storm, beauty shows up. Hello pretty deer looking for dry land. And oh, snowflakes you can go away anytime. 


Happy Weekend Friends.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Already


Happy Friday friends! For some reasons the weeks just keep going by and before I know it summer is going to be here and life is going to be totally different. If we could just Mother Nature the memo that it is supposed to be spring not winter I think I could start smelling the BBQ grill, see the breeze ripple papers on our island with the windows open and see my kids running thru the yard as the sun starts its slow descent for the night. Here are some of the million thoughts racing in my head as the week ends.

~I am questioning what is up with Cate right now. She is fussy. Really fussy. She is 19 months old. She shouldn’t be right? Why? Why does she cry all of the time? Why does she want to be held all of the time? Why are simple things like brushing her teeth resulting in full blown tears and screaming? What is she needing or not getting at some point each day? My original instinct questioned if she was sick or not. Could be. But something just doesn’t seem right. Yes, she is strong willed and verbal.  Am I struggling with this because we never dealt with until now? I will take any suggestions or things to try.  Is it something we should take her to the doctor for? Is it normal? Looking for anything here people which could include a 12 pack of beer.


~ I am contemplating change. Change for me. Vague I know. But, I keep thinking about what change means for me, for my husband and for my kids. We are finding things are barely but starting to get easier. And with a change comes uncertainty, new routines, new roles and a new life.  I have spent a lot of time this week lying awake at night trying to decide at my core what I want, what I need and what I risks I am willing to take and I am just not sure. 

~ Do you sell things on Craigslist? I do. I get in these moods to sell all things in our house and I do. I sell anything I can and secretly do the touchdown dance the minute I have the cash in my hand from a sale. I buy nothing to this point on Craigslist but I just keep thinking that we have nice stuff in our house and even though I don’t want it anymore someone might.   Am I wrong? Is there something I should be buying off Craigslist?

~Lastly, this is TMI for some of you but I learned an important lesson yesterday when I was conditioning with the freshmen softball team. After two kids, jump roping just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. Use your imagination and then know I sprinted to the bathroom….

Have a great weekend. We have no plans other than a dinner date tomorrow night. Hoping for some spring cleaning, relaxing, good food and some sleep! How about you? 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend in Review


This weekend was good. Just good. I haven’t been good at coming to this space and writing.  But I thought you deserved to see a tiny peek in to our lives.  I have been living and my priority has shifted to be present whenever possible because as a working mom my time is so limited with my kids. So, hence less writing and sharing.

Friday night we spent the early part of the evening at a happy hour with friends. My friends and Brady’s friends. I am so lucky that my kid has picked friends whose parents I really enjoy spending time with… we drink, we talk, we laugh and we watch as our kids interact and love each other.

15 years from now I hope they are still friends like this. 
Saturday I spent the day coaching in the morning, a birthday party for one of Brady’s friends in the afternoon at a glow in the dark bowling alley (super cute) and proceeded to have the same friends and more back at our house for some playing, pizza and the Final Four games.

Right after this he caught a fly ball unplanned. 

Sunday we regrouped for the week.  I did 19 loads of laundry from Friday to Sunday.  I cleaned out closets.  We went to the grocery store. We went to the park. We got the grill out for dinner. I took a run in the sunshine. We played. We picked up PILES upon PILES of deer poop in our backyard. (Talk about a smack in the face from the suburbs.)

Her lashes are ridiculous


Lululemon and I are still friends...

I went to bed last night exhausted but full. Content but wanting more. Grateful but ready to tackle the week. I went to bed thinking that this weekend was good. Really good. I am ready for you Monday. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

If You Are Looking For Me...



I'm At the Beach! See You In A Week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sometimes...

all you need is some sunshine and a stick....





And yes, it is the end of March and the highs are in the 20's. So over winter.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cate {18 Months}


Hey Cate,

You’re growing up before our eyes. Seriously, stop it. Stop growing up. Stop it with the sass. Stop it with the snuggles and the kisses that make us fall madly in love with you two seconds after we are exasperated with you.

There is not a meal that you don’t ask for a “bi” asking for what is on our plate. You walk in to the kitchen going to the pantry and say “dat” for anything you see that you can put in your belly.   You eat more than your brother does. You try anything. You want your own plate on your tray.  You want to be a big girl.  Yet, somehow you seem to still give us fits on the growth chart. Weighing in at a small 23 pounds you are in the 20th percentile for weight… barely. Yet, those long legs are already giving your daddy gray hairs. 80th percentile for height my sweet Cate.    Long and lean, huge blue eyes and long lashes spell trouble for us. 

You are so verbal and so capable of understanding. We ask you if you want to take and bath and you respond with “bubbes”.  Yes, you can have bubbles baby girl. “Pa Pa” you say as you try to pop the bubbles away!


I ask you where your eyes are and you blink. I ask about your teeth and you smile and point. But best of all, when I ask where your nose is, you stick your finger high up in your nostril.  Oh Cate, you are silly! 

You continue to have your share of germs. First RSV, then whooping cough to the latest diagnosis of double ear infection, sinus infection and molluscum contagiosum.  Lovely, really.  You are smart enough to know when we are trying to give you medicine and say no and run away. 

Your fearlessness has given you a fair share of bumps and bruises.  You hoard like your mother. Filling up anything with “stuff” dumping it out and doing it all over again. 


You used to be all daddy all the time but lately it’s me. It’s about mama… to feed you, brush your teeth and put you to sleep. You whine for me. And the whining grates on me after a long day but I know you just need me to love you for a while as your explore the big world. 

At the end of every night, when I lay you in your crib, I tell you “nigh nigh” you say it back to me.   I feel my stomach knot knowing that you are becoming a big girl and the baby in you is all but gone.  Try to stay little and need me a bit longer okay? 

Love,
Mama

Friday, March 8, 2013

Currently v.2


This blog has been silent for longer than I would have liked. But, what am I to do when the days consist of swimming lessons, softball coaching, and dinner making, grading papers, and trying to keep some sort of order in our house.   Sometimes, even the things that I mean to do go to the bottom of the list and sadly stay there.  Currently…


Eating… healthy. Seriously, with spring break just two weeks away, I find myself craving healthy foods like fruit and vegetables. I think it may also be related to Glenn and I exercising more and wanting to get back in to shape.  The years of being pregnant and nursing were hard on my body so healthy eating is just a start but I am loving feeling better, sleeping better not to mention my clothes fitting looser.

Drinking…water.  I find myself drinking a ton of water at school. We have a great water cooler and some days when I am just tired of sitting and staring at my computer screen, I walk to the teacher’s cafeteria to fill my cup with ice and water just as a way of taking a break.  Seriously, in a day I drink Starbucks and water…just waiting for summer so I can start sipping lemonade again!

Listening…to the buzz in my classroom as my students work on projects. I just got done watching two videos kids sent me about wealth distribution in America and real estate agents and the seller’s interest.  Both were fascinating but I think what is more remarkable is listening to kids talk about them and being excited about this stuff.

Reading… “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr. With the unbelievable amount of technology that is being used and brought in to schools, I am furiously reading this book to understand some of the research related to what the internet is doing to our brain. Have you read it?


Come back next week. I will have an 18 month update on Cate and pictures from the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and party at my brother’s house! I promise I will try to write more… Happy weekend! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

30 Things- Number 4

{10 Things You Would Tell Your  16 Year Old Self}

Happy Monday Friends! I took a blogging break for a week, okay maybe two because life just forced me to but I am back and ready to go with some posts.

{Edit- I wrote this in one sitting without thinking, just writing. Funny what comes to your mind right?} 



Okay, so here’s the thing. That was more than ½ my lifetime ago and I have learned all about myself and life since then. And no, I am not making excuses, I am just keeping it real.   I was going to talk about people and then decided that my kids need to know who I was, what I struggled with and wish I would said to myself...

1. Dressing in clothes that are one size too big is just not cool. I know you’re insecure because you have this muscular figure that isn't seen as attractive but, own it, accept it and embrace it instead of wearing that big baggie green Abercrombie sweatshirt and thinking it looks cute.

2. Boys at 16 are just boys. You loved him sure and there were a lot of moments that you will remember with him but remember there is life after him and he really isn't worth the tears and the sadness you gave him.

3. Your mama is pretty amazing.  She will continue to be your best friend. Not just when you want new clothes or someone to lay in the sun with. She will be there when you heart is broken, your life seems to be going nowhere, when you meet the man of your dreams and you become a mama yourself. Remember this when you are mad because she says she can’t go to that house on Saturday night.

4. Embrace going to St. Louis to see your grandparents. Yes, the drive sucks, it is boring at times, but there are so many stories, such little time with them and all they want is to be a part of your life. You aren't cooler than them and some day you will wish you were closer than you are and that you knew even more about them. 

5. Don’t be afraid to be friends with her, or go out on a date with him, or take that hard smart kids class. Seriously, who cares if that doesn't make you popular?  The reality is that that word is relative and really doesn't matter when you get older.

6. Stop smoking now. I know you thought it was cool because other people did it but it isn't and you will wonder when you get older what permanent damage you have done.

7. Don’t drive that night in a couple of years that you shouldn't have. Don’t do it. You got so lucky that you didn't get in more trouble than you did. 

8. For god’s sake, take care of your feet. I know you love being a guard at the pool and wearing flip flops but the damage you do will never go away and you will forever being disgusted by your feet. 


9. Do something. Be change maker. Start a club. Find a new friend. Explore a hobby. Yes, athletics is your passion, but find another one. There is so much in life you should try and do it now while you are young, carefree and able to do anything.

10. Every night when you go to bed, ask yourself, “Was I my best self today? Do I like who I am?” If the answer is no to either of these, change it. Stop now. Be better.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Currently v.1

I have been trying to challenge myself a bit with writing and found a link up that forces me to still give you tidbits about our life but also makes me reflect more on what is really going on in our world.
Currently...


Loving~ decorating our new house and reading HGTV magazine.  This magazine has officially become my favorite subscription each month.   I find myself wanting to try everything and become a DIY. We have lived in our house for six months and for some reason the itch to really start decorating and making some decisions kicked in last month.  New light fixtures, new windows, changing out door knobs and new plans for our mudroom and living room are getting me excited and ready to tackle it all. My goal is to have our main floor mostly decorated and the landscaping done by the end of the summer. Then the next year we will focus on the upstairs and outdoor patio.  My dad is a big part of this. And this fixture below is just one of three new light fixtures going in our house.  We also picked out two more from Lightopia. This one and another one. 
via
Dreaming~ I have been dreaming lately of warmer weather.  The feeling of sand between my toes, my feet slipping on flip flops easily, lazy afternoons in the warm sunshine, and cool breezes at night that require a long sleeve t-shirt.  I am craving having the windows open and the breeze that comes thru them.  I am dreaming of waking up with my kids whose sun-kissed cheeks signal that they have gotten to be young and worry about little.  This is that time of the year that I start counting down to spring break and the week away from our daily lives that I so badly need.  

pretty right? but I need some warm weather...
Admiring~ anyone who has the courage to be really bold with fashion. I see all of these cute things in stores like Ann Taylor Loft, Anthropologie, JCrew and Nordstroms and think then when I try it on I just feel plain silly. I used to think I was really fashionable and still think I am classic in what I wear but some days I just wish I was the girl who could pull off the neon skinny denim with a brocade jacket like the girl on the cover does.

Kissing~ my husband and kids…even more than usual this week. With Brady at the daycare in my high school, I sneak in there a couple of times a week during the day just to give him a couple of extra kisses before nap time or after lunch.  Cate is still pretty stingy with her kisses but I will sneak a couple in with her too! And Glenn well he gets some too!

Gifting~ Currently, I am gifting myself a pass on the need to be perfect. Brady’s valentine cards for his class were not handmade, we ate sushi one night and I skipped working on Thursday because I think I am starting to finally understand that being imperfect is actually better than being totally perfect. In the quest to be perfect, I lose perspective, time I could have spent with the people I love and I become resentful. So, maybe this week I didn’t get 4 workouts in…. next week I will try to fit them in.  But that pass is just what I needed after some wild weeks in our house. 

Have a happy weekend! We are headed to the Blackhawks game tonight, Glenn is headed out of town tomorrow with friends and my parents are coming up to do some house stuff with me! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

30 Things- Number 12


12. A Typical Day in Our House


{She hate the mittens if you can't tell.} 

In case you missed my post last week about this series I have started, you can read about it here.  Committing to doing this is hard. But, I am going to try to get in all in this space.  I thought I would tell you about a typical day in our house but trying to take pictures to prove it just wasn't in the cards.  Baby steps people. So, I will leave you pictures from our fun in the snow Saturday.  

5:20am- Glenn's alarm goes off and he gets out the door and to the gym. It's literally in our back yard! I reset the alarm and go back to sleep until 5:55. Depending on what I have going on that day, sometimes going back to sleep is impossible.

5:55am- My alarm goes off and I hop in the shower. I watch the monitor as I shower begging for Brady and Cate to stay asleep. Knock on wood, they have never woken up. 

6:30- Glenn comes home from the gym. Usually Brady is awake and watching tv in our bed under the covers, while I get ready and Glenn showers.

7:00- Brady is dressed, has juice and he and I attempt to get out the door with little drama. The shoes, mittens, boots, coat and hat routine takes a while and that is just for him. I grab my lunch, school bag, gym bag and his daycare bag and we are out the door.

7:05- Starbucks. Need I say more? We usually utilize the drive-thru and Brady gets a petite vanilla bean scone.

7:15- Cate wakes and Glenn gets her changed and ready for our nanny. Usually she leaves him a “lovely” present in her diaper.

7:20- Daycare drop-off.  Some days this is easy peasy and other days it is a horrible start to the day.

7:45- School. Meetings. Class. Observations. Reports.

7:45- Daddy leaves for work.

4:00- Daycare pick up. Usually this goes smoothly with Brady greeting me with a bear hug and ready to leave but some days he cries because he wants to stay at school and play.  We head home and relieve the nanny and see Cate who usually waiting by the door.

4:30- I usually get dinner started and Brady and Cate start whining. Cate is spends from now until dinner time scavengering  for any food we will give her and Brady is looking for milk and for me to turn on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

5:00- Glenn walks in the door. 

5:30- Dinner. Chaos. Lots of negotiations, shoveling of food in our mouths and frustration.

6:00- Bath. Depending on the night who gives baths changes. Lately, I have been giving Brady a bath and Glenn does Cate. While Cate is taking a bath, we usually play hide and seek with Brady.

6:30- Play. We try to really play with the kids after the bath. Sometimes I leave for the gym if I didn’t work out at school.

7:00- Cate goes down and takes her only bottle of the day. It is warm milk and she has started to ask for her “baba” when she is really tired.  Brady usually settles in with legos and then moves to the iPad.

7:30- Bottle and sippy cup washing, cleaning up the kitchen, packing lunches and getting organized usually happens.  At least a night a week one of us is either at the gym or working late which makes this look different.

8:00- Lights out for Brady. He always asks for “three more minutes” and then we have to count down to have him turn the iPad off.  Usually he wants us to carry him up and then we read one story and he is asleep.  (Yes, I know we are lucky).

8:15- Glenn and I try to watch a show together or at least talk for a bit each night. Some nights we watch different tvs but usually we watch together.  I am usually on email or grading while we watch something. 

9:00- Glenn and I head upstairs. We are both reading a lot lately, so we settle in with our e-readers for the night. Some nights, I grade on my iPad, respond to emails and work from bed.

10:00- Lights out. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why I Write- A Challenge for Me


I was perusing pinterest the other day… aimlessly looking at my feed.  Usually when I am overwhelmed at work, I avoid the stress and head to pinterest to clear my head.   Some days I get on a kick about a particular topic or idea but usually I just pin stuff that I want to know more about or remember. I saw this pin. And ever since then I have been thinking about it. Why I write.  Even though I haven’t written with frequency lately. 

This space started as a way of keeping family mostly in the loop about my first pregnancy. I thought it would be a neat way to share updates, pictures and information with anyone who wanted it, specifically my parents because they are a couple of hours away. 

But, now it is more.  So much more.  This space is capturing my memories. My stories.  Our life. Those small moments like I talked about last week that happen so fast and are such a small part of any one day but they are the things I want to remember. I want to remember the tiny moments that seem so inconsequential to most but mean so much to me. I want to remember how Cate takes Brady his milk when we get home every day and how much fun Brady has being superman at night with his towel on his head after the bath. 
But I also want this space to be a place where my kids get to know me and who I am. What defines me. What drives me and why.  So, I am committing today, really I am, to answering these thirty prompts on Monday of each week. A little bit about me. So one day, if they ever want to know more or need to know more, it will be somewhere.   

Want to join me?

 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Big Memories in Small Moments


“Cate, can I have a kiss?”
“Uh-uh” And she shakes her head no smiling.
“Cate, can I have a hug?”
“Uh-uh” As she shakes her head no again busy with wooden blocks.
“Mommy, I can give you a kiss and a hug” he tells me.
“You can?”  I ask to make him smile.
“Yeah, I can” as he rushes to me and knocks me over to hug and kiss me.


I lay her down in her crib after her only bottle of the day. She isn't asleep but she's drowsy. I grab a blanket and cover her with it. She doesn't move but I can see in the darkness her eyes as they follow me.  I stroke her hair with my hand.  Sweeping her bangs out of her eyes and tucking the few long pieces behind her ears.  She lays there not moving and I whisper “good night, sweet girl”.  Walking away is the hardest part. I shut the door and as soon as I look at her on the monitor she has flipped to her belly for the night.


“Mommy you stay and snuggle with me?”
“Sure, buddy. For one minute”
“Okay.”
My mind races of all the things I need to do, could do, should do and then like a light switch it stops. I listen to him breathe. I feel his feet against my legs. My own eyes growing heavy with fatigue after the day that has unfolded. 
“Mommy’s gonna go bye bye buddy.”
“You stay for three more minutes please?”
“One more buddy.”
“Okay.”
I lay there keenly aware that he wants me next to him and that soon he won’t want me in his room.
“Night night buddy. I love you. To the moon”
“And back” as he finishes my sentence.I walk out and leave wondering how long he will let me keep this routine. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday {My Monday}


Normally, Wednesday is hump day. That day of the week, where you start to see the weekend in the distance and if you are like me you give yourself a pep talk reminding yourself how much you have accomplished in the week, have left to get done and how good it feels to leave school on a Friday with everything in place for Monday.

Except this week, we didn't have school Monday or Tuesday. So, here we are with it feeling like a Monday where drop offs take longer than usual, we are running late as we usually do on Monday and my to do list is just as long with less time to accomplish everything on it.  

So, I thought I would give you a good laugh, at my expense,  to start my week or get you through hump day. 

Some background information, our house has two heaters or zone heating as some people call it- a unit for our second floor and a unit for our main floor and basement. It is a luxury… I know especially since the wind chill this morning was -15 degrees. For the record, zone heat and A/C was a must on my list when we were looking for a house. 

For the past couple of weeks, I have been complaining that it is just plain cold in our upstairs.  My feet are cold when I walk across the hardwood floor; the toilet seat is cold in the middle of the night (tmi right?) and when you walk up our stairs you can just feel the air getting colder. 

The thermostat was set on a program from the previous homeowner.  We went with it because it was pretty much perfect.  But when I started complaining, Glenn would try to raise the temperature to 70, 71, 72 yet the thermostat would not go higher than 67 even if the heat ran 24 hours a day. Brrrr…. So, I was initially convinced it was our thermostat. So, I called the company four times in 24 hours and got nowhere. I did four different “fixes” and it was doing nothing but sitting on 67.  Glenn and I decided, really Glenn did, that  it was time to call a professional.  I think he was just tired of listening to me but of course it was now Sunday on a holiday weekend and the first time we had really frigid temperatures.  So, needless to say between the colds we all had which capped off seven days of ridiculous sickness in our house and the temperature upstairs I was grumpy.

Enter my mother in law.   We start to tell her our problems as we are researching companies that service our brands of heaters when she arrives on Sunday. And she asks a simple question, “Have you changed your filter?”  I look at Glenn who OF COURSE blames me and says, “She was supposed to call to have them maintenanced and didn't this fall so no.”  Of course I was.

{Yes, I was in charge of this in our old house but I didn't realize I was in charge going forward of all heat and air conditioning things.}

Glenn laughed the suggestion off but I was willing to try anything for warm night's sleep. I felt so guilty that it was cold in our upstairs while our kids slept with colds, footed pajamas and big blankets.  So, as soon as they woke up, I climbed up the ladder in our sitting room (in our master suite) up to the attic.  I saw a filter.  So, I started to remove the old one and the dust was forming a cloud in the space. I put the new one in and I maybe said a quiet prayer for this to work. 

I threw the filter away, set the thermostat to 70 and went back to playing with the kids. We left and came home and BAM 70 degrees upstairs. It worked.  Who knew? Let this be the first of many lessons in home ownership I learn the hard way. And further proof that some days I am still not convinced I am old enough to own a home.

Happy Hump Day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tidbits of Talk 13.3


Hello? Is anyone out there? I am guessing no, since I haven’t written in what seems like months even though it is has been a little over a week. I swear I have some good reasons and some updates so let’s get this Friday tidbits rolling shall we?

~ I got the flu. Yep, got it and no I did not get a flu shot. Did it suck? Yes. Did I start Tamiflu immediately and did it help? I think so. But it was a slow form of torture for me and for Glenn since he was single parenting as I was shivering in bed.  Prayers I did not give it to my family mkay?

~ We have a new form of anger in our house from our 16 month daughter in hitting. I don’t get it. We have never dealt with it before. We know time out is not effective at this age so we are looking for any suggestions.  We are sternly saying no when she does it but I would be lying if a) Glenn and I both haven’t been nailed at least once by her and b) it is not a tad funny coming from my tiny girl.

~ Negotiations with a three year old are tough people. I feel like everything is up for negotiation. The bath, ipad and even dinner. Oy…

~Glenn has been pressuring me to get decorating. Sunday, I spent a ton of money and came home with three chairs, a rug and we got 10 new curtains delivered. I will show you some pics soon but leave you with this link.  How cute right?

~ I joined the Fresh 20 after reading about it here. I am hoping it will inspire even more healthy dinners in my house. Anyone reading a member already?

~Cate started gymnastics on Saturday. So stinking cute…

~ Have you read this post? Do you follow her on Instagram. Her pics are amazing!

~Four days off following three days of finals at school so this weekend will be filled with couch cuddles, naps, and lots of family time which is just what the doctor ordered!

Happy Friday friends! Sorry for the lack of pictures. I am vowing to get my camera out, the real one, this wekeend. No excuses! And, yes, I promise to get back to blogging regularly! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cate 15 Months

{I started writing this a few days after your fifteen month day and it kept getting pushed to my drafts folder.And here I am over a month late finally publishing this post.}

Dear Cate,

Rarely do I make these letters public for everyone to read because I find myself writing deeply, purposefully and truly to you when you hit these milestones in life.  But, today I wanted to share with the world you and why I love you unconditionally.    

Fifteen months ago you completed our family.  Most people would classify you as a toddler, but I don’t. You are still my baby girl.   Maybe because I know in the depths of my heart you are my last I am trying to hang on to the baby in you just a little bit longer. Or maybe because you are so small and your features are so delicate although your hair and temperament tell a different story. 


Fifteen months later I am on a roller coaster with you either exasperated by your screaming for “ju” or so clearly amazed by your ability to follow simple directions “go get your shoes” or "throw that in the garbage"  that I am speechless.   At some point every day I catch myself staring in awe of how busy you are just doing.  Busy defines you. You never stop moving and always want to be in the middle of everything. The center of attention at all times. 


You are spunky and loud and emotional.  You love completely and hug and kiss with sound and all and your absolute favorite place to be is in your daddy’s or my arms.  You want to be in the mix and close.  You love to read books on your daddy’s lap and there is not a day that you don’t beg me to pick you up and usually I oblige.  You love to be snuggled and you snuggle back.  You let us rock you willing- resting your head on our shoulders and usually dozing to sleep the minute we rock.    

You hang on to toys and do not relent when your brother wants them.  And when he reaches, you scream.  You really let us know.  But, then you usually give it to him reminding your daddy and me just how innocent and sweet you can be.  You love your brother… man do you love him. Usually going up to his feet and saying “ticka ticka” trying to get him to laugh. Most days, he politely tells you he is not interested and to go away please. But those days when he does want to play your day is made.  

You are aggressive and stubborn. You laugh when we tell you no, you smile at us when you get what you want and shake your head yes and no with such emotion it is hard not to laugh.  Sometimes, you remind us you are still so young when we ask “Cate, do you want to jump off a cliff?” and you shake your head with emotion yes and we know that you are still so small and still needing us. 



Your entire life you have done things on your own time. We keep willing you to meet milestones when you are “supposed to” and yet you don’t. At one year no one was worried that you weren't walking but we were told that if you weren't by 15 months that was another story and an issue. And in your true form, you walked at 14.5 months. On your own time.   


I look at your daddy when you are being you and I tell him he is your daughter.  But, really Cate, fifteen months later, you are mine. You are me in every way, shape and form and the truth is that maybe that is why I love you fiercely yet you drive me crazy.  You are me.  I am not sure that is a good thing. Heck, it scares the hell out of me if I am being honest.  Meeting my match some would say.  I worry you got the worst of me. The bad things…the stubborn temperament, the need to be busy and the pure emotional way you respond to everything.   



You wore your first dress this month complete with tights. And your brother kept asking how you put them on and why you were wearing them.  And I was lost in my own thoughts seeing leotards and ballet flats, homecoming dresses and wedding dresses. You dressed up and you were beautiful…and you are mine.

And then I think about you and how much I want you to stay young, be little and keep your innocence as long as you can.  And I tell you with raw honesty that you growing up scares the hell out of me because the world little girl has changed so much. So much that some days I don't think I am equipped to guide you or your brother through it.  The innocence that I grew up with is gone somehow.  We live in a world where technology and violence dominate the news and yet I want you to know none of it.  I want your worries to be my responsibility so that you can be carefree.   Run with your shoes off, try to something new without fear of failure and live.  Just live with innocence, explore with recklessness and le me guide you as you navigate life.

I love you baby girl.  Stay young and innocent a bit longer okay?
Love,
Mama

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 to 2013


I don’t do resolutions. I don’t do words. At least I don’t think I do. I have unplugged form this space since before Christmas. Unintentional as it was, it felt really good.   I didn't turn my computer on until yesterday.  I have been present with my family being a mom and just enjoying the small moments that have made for really good memories of this Christmas season.  

And I went back to the post I wrote at the beginning of 2012 and realized that was one of my goals.  I don’t think I did it every day but I tried to be present and available with my kids.  And I am pleased that in the hustle of the holidays, I was able to be present more than I have been most of the year.   Not worried about pictures or words, just being present with my husband and kids as we celebrated the magic that makes Christmas so special with littles.  

If I had to give a word reflectively to 2012, it would be change. We had so many changes in our house literally and figuratively. If you read this blog regularly, then you know about all those changes to things like childcare, houses, cars, commutes and routines. 

I’d like to believe that change is healthy for and individual and a family.  I actually think that when change occurs we become our best selves.  We rise to challenges that we haven’t faced before and we embrace it with everything we have in our tanks. It what ends up defining us, redefining us and fueling our tanks so when the next challenge comes we are ready to meet it head on.  

But, I am ready for the change to stop. I am ready to slow down. I am ready to settle in. I am ready to watch my kids grow this year.  I am ready to foster the things that have been on the back burner for the past few years- my health, spirituality and my marriage.

I have a lot of posts to write to catch you up on Christmas, Cate’s 15 month letter and even the Project 52 I am attempting to participate in. But, today, I leave you with this.

via

 "Today is the first page of a 365 page book. Write a good one." 
-Brad Paisley

Let's do this 2013.