Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas


Yep - this is what Christmas is like for a 4 year old! I think this picture pretty much sums it up!

Holy cow - I could post literally dozens of pictures of Christmas! It was so awesome, and Tyler had such a great time this year (and we did too!) because he actually BELIEVED in Santa! Santa ate the cookies we left out for him, and for some reason we had to leave cheese out too (I don't know where that came from!), and he drank some milk. It was so cute!

Tyler was thrilled that Santa brought him the "orange truck" that he had been wanting since about September. That was his highlight of his Christmas at home, and still he plays with that truck almost all day long, and if he isn't playing with it, Connor is!



Connor on the other hand, didn't understand the whole Christmas thing, and being diagnosed with an ear infection on Christmas eve is why he was not himself for a couple of days.

Connor got some awesome gifts too. His favorites are his trucks, and his Elmo. My parents got him an Elmo that will pretty much do everything, including, pretty much have a conversation with you - so he usually puts Elmo in his truck, and pushes him around!

I did catch a unique picture though. In the shot below, we had just finished opening our presents about 1 hour earlier. (And yes, I am aware that our living room looks like a toy store threw up in it - I've resigned myself to that fact that it is going to look that way for YEARS!) Tyler is happily playing with his new orange truck in the background - but Connor has devised himself a toy. That, my friends, is a bucket turned upside down, a ball, and one of the tubes for the vacuum cleaner that he is using as a bat. Yep - he made himself a t-ball game, right in our living room. This provided him with entertainment for about 15 minutes! Next year, I will remember - just take a box and walk around the house putting random things in it - and Connor would be thrilled!




UPDATE ON JASON:
Jason was admitted to the Children's Hospital on December 23rd, had surgery to implant his port on the 24th, had CT scans and transfusions on the 25th, and started his Chemotherapy on the 26th. It sounds like he had been a little sick, but otherwise doing well, until today. He now has an intestinal infection that has him in isolation (so he can have no visitors for at least a week), and his liver isn't functioning well.
Keep Jason and his family in your prayers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Need More Prayers


We were having some fun with the neighbors tonight, playing the Wii, when we received a call from a friend saying the 4 year old that lives across the street from us has acute myeloid leukemia.

We were in the doctor's office on Christmas Eve with Connor for another ear infection, and were complaining a bit - and I then mentioned, jokingly, "he could have leukemia"....

How little did we know that the little boy, Jason, that lives across the street from us, would be in the hospital receiving chemotherapy now for his AML, which is the most severe form of leukemia that a child can have, and is usually only diagnosed in adults.

We need your prayers please, and stay tuned for some fund raisers.
(The picture above is from last May, of Tyler and Jason in our backyard.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Think he could do our taxes?

While attempting to work one night from the kitchen table, I got up to go get something (probably stupid that I didn't need but I procrastinate like you wouldn't BELIEVE!), and when I returned to my chair, I found this... He appears to be VERY intently studying my work!

He's going to sit on my lap while I do TurboTax this year, and I'll see what he recommends!




Thursday, December 18, 2008

I love you to the moon and back

Last week, Tyler, Connor and I were driving to daycare. Just as we pulled out of the drive, I looked up in the sky at the most beautifully huge moon I had seen in a long time. (Apparently, the last time it was this big was 1993).

"Wow, Tyler, LOOK at that MOON!", I said.

He replied, "Holy Cow, that is the biggest moon I've ever seen in my WHOLE life!"

"Yep," I said. "It's absolutely beautiful!"

Tyler paused for a minute, and then said the most amazing thing I think I've ever heard him say...

"Mommy, we need to buy that moon."

"Why?", I asked.

"Because, it's so beautiful, I think we just need to touch it. If we buy it, we can hold it in our hands. And it's really really nice to hold beautiful things in our hands."

Tears instantly sprung to my eyes. I spent the rest of the trip to daycare trying to choke back the tears that kept welling up.

It's amazing how fast they grow up. How many things you take for granted, and then how they can surprise you instantly with something so heartfelt that it makes you want to melt.

And this is my little boy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How procrastination paid off!

Hi, my name if Jenny, and I'm a HORRIBLE procrastinator! Yes, I should be going to meetings!

I'm not sure when this obsession with procrastinating started, but I'm really good at it now. Today included!

While sitting in a meeting this morning with a supplier, I remembered that my drivers license needed to be renewed by tomorrow, because it was 60 days past its expiration date. Yes, I have remembered this about 15 times since my birthday, but because the bullet wasn't 1 centimeter from my head, I pushed snooze and went on with my life.

I decided today I had better go, just in case they were closed tomorrow because they have the most hokey hours I have ever heard of!

So, I leave work at 10am and drive over there. It's just started snowing, and it's about 1 degree outside. Nice time to be running errands.

I arrive in what I'm pretty sure was the waiting room for hell. This place was insane! The line to check in was about 15 people long, and the cattle were herded everywhere, from chairs, to lines, to another set of chairs, to a "waiting for my printed picture, I'm almost made it out of here - THANK GOD!" huddle by the door. I decided I had to suck it up, so I waited patiently, and tried not to touch anything.

Holy Lord the characters that were in there were scary. Seriously, there was a lady with a baby, and she was wearing shorts. Did I mention it was 1 degree outside and SNOWING! There was an 89 year old lady behind me (she was telling everyone her age), sharing her story of how the nice janitor at her home took out warm buckets of water on Sunday to melt the ice on every one's car so they could go running errands. She laughed "Ha, Ha, we didn't realize that because our cars were icy that the roads would be icy too!"

I wasn't laughing. I was scared.

I finally get shuffled through everything, take my horrible picture, and am in the "THANK GOD I'm almost out of here" huddle, and they call me up to the counter.

Holy Crap! What have I done! Are they going to take away my license? My mind was racing.

"Because you waited so long today, here is your $20 back", the girl said. She handed me back my $20 that I had paid to renew my license, and apologized for my long wait. I was so shocked that I didn't know what to say, but for some cheesy reason the only thing I could think of was "Merry Christmas!" (Yes, I am just cheesy like that!)

So, procrastination paid off again. I hate it when that constantly gets validated! Now, I just have to finish my Christmas shopping..... but first, after that visit today, I think I need a shower.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Daycare Christmas Program 2008 - a.k.a. Insanity!

The boys' Christmas Program was this afternoon for daycare. It turned out well, overall. Before we left, we got some great pictures of the boys in their Christmas sweaters. They were so clean and cute!


About 20 minutes after arriving we had to take their sweaters off because they had run so hard they were nearing heat stroke inside the conference center. Connor's class was first to sing, and kudos to the kids that didn't need a lap to sit on! There weren't enough to go around! They were so cute, and sang Santa Claus is coming to Town, and Jingle Bells. The cutest part was that some of the kids actually knew all the words! Connor on the other hand, didn't even have any interest in ringing his bells. There were too many good looking 2 year olds to look at!!! (Connor is right behind the first row, sitting on the girl's lap with the white shirt on.)



Tyler was thrilled when he had to sit with his class and sing. He, for whatever reason, decided at this moment in his life to become shy, and WOULD NOT sing without being connected to me or daddy. Daddy had that pleasure while mom shot pictures!



The song they sang was cute too! Yes, that is "Connor the Star" standing up right in front of the entire class while they were singing...

video

Both boys were then asleep by 7:15 tonight. So much action for such little boys in one day!

Holy Mother of Tae Bo

Since the kids have been born, I haven't had any sort of serious work out regimen. Before I was pregnant with Tyler, I was in the best shape of my life. I lifted weights two times a week, and could run 5+ miles with no problem at all. After I became pregnant - running turned into walking, and then into sitting as I got hugely pregnant.

When Tyler was about one, I started running again. I would just put him in a little push-car toy we have, and push him in the car while I jogged behind it. Yes - it looked ridiculous, but I got a workout which was desperately needed. That worked until the weather got colder, and then I was pregnant again.

Since then, its been totally hit and miss. I tried going to a "Curves" type gym, but that just wasn't for me. In order to get motivated to workout, I need some high impact stuff. I could leave that gym without even sweating. I got bored of it quickly.

I decided I should start working out again, and since I don't like to be gone from the house for 12 hours a day, I decided it should be something I could to at home. Treadmill....too dangerous if Connor is up. I could see him trying to climb on that as I was running and possible lose a finger, or me hopping off of it ever 2 minutes to do something.

Last week Connor found my Tae Bo CD that I had bought years ago. Back in about 1998 I was an avid Tae Bo exerciser, and LOVED it! The BEST workout I'd ever had. I had wanted to start again, but couldn't find the CD. Connor found it which means that was either bad luck (I HAD to start working out again!), or good luck, because I desperately need it!

We (me and the boys) did Tae Bo this morning in the living room. Well, me, the boys, and Billy Blanks. I stopped after 25 minutes because I'm pretty sure I won't be able to life my arms tomorrow! Holy Mother of Tae Bo, I'm sore already!

So, see ya later gut! I'm tired of you sticking out further than my tiny chest. And see you later gooey thighs - you're not going to be around much longer! The old "healthy" Jenny is going to back - and soon!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Tree - Take 2

As you've probably gathered, Christmas is my favorite holiday of all. I love the music, the shopping, the decorations, and everything else that could be Christmas related about it!

This year, we had the saddest Christmas tree I'd ever seen. I put my shoebox of ornaments on it, with a few strings of white lights, and attempted some beads and ribbon - but it looked like something that had just survived a hurricane. It was once a Christmas tree, but to call it that any longer would've been an evil lie...

I was out shopping the other day, and found a cool box or ornaments at the hardware store. 106 ornaments, to be exact! Yes - 106 beautiful, sparkly, fun ornaments.

Tonight - we put 104 ornaments on the tree. 2 broke as we were putting them on.

NOW we have a Christmas tree. I fixed the ribbon - put one more string of lights on it, and the 104 ornaments that make the tree look absolutely beautiful!

I did take a picture of it, because I'm thinking it will look like this for about 9 more hours. Once the kids wake up, all bets are off! One of the two culprits posed for a quick picture below too!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

Tonight:

Kyle went to a friend's birthday party here in town. We didn't have a babysitter so I could go, but I was okay with that.

Connor went to bed at 7:10.

Tyler was asleep by 7:45 (he refused to take a nap today).

I did Christmas shopping on Amazon for Connor, Tyler, Kyle and my Dad & Mom.

Now I'm just messing around on the internet, while listening to music on YouTube.

I LOVE these nights. Pure quiet. Just ME time. Which is WAY overdue and so much needed.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is awesome!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We might be on to something

Okay, Kyle. You're redeemed. Redeemed from your purchase of a large, black, Sharpie marker for our 4-year-old son, since you took him to the rec center tonight.

Kyle called me at work today and told me when Tyler and Connor got home - he was taking Tyler to the rec center. He said Tyler asked this morning, and he told Tyler if he had a good day he would take him.

Fast forward to 7:15 as they are walking back in the door coming home. I could hear Tyler crying all the way in the garage, and this was the "I'm tired, didn't get my way, and you totally pissed me off" cry. It's beautiful.

Kyle said Tyler wanted an orange pop as they were leaving, and he wouldn't buy him one. Start meltdown here, which apparently continued the whole way home in the car, and virtually continued on and off until I got Tyler to sleep at 8:15 tonight, which is VERY early for him.

Here's what I think happened....

Tyler has figured out these things called "vending machines". He also knows where they are. He knows I have machines at work that give you gum and doritos (he came to work with me last weekend to drop something off), and he frequently asks to stop at gas stations to get gum, and where it all comes together - the last time we left the pool at the rec center, Tyler got a 7-up. I think Tyler wanted to go to the rec center to play, but it was also partially a cover for wanting a pop.

Clever kid. I could possibly start delegating the grocery shopping to him. Imagine that - grocery shopping out of a vending machine. It would get old eating animal crackers, pretzels and Twizzlers, but hey - that's how I survived in college AND I would get a whole hour back in my weekend!!! No more lines at Wal-Mart, trying to Connor to sit down in the cart, or trying to make that critical decision like "do I buy a Totinos pizza for 99 cents or a rising crust pizza for $5?"

We might be on to something.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"What were you thinking?" Chapter 1

Kyle bought Tyler a black Sharpie marker at Target this past weekend.

Seriously, we were all 4 at the mall, and split up for a bit, where Tyler and Kyle ended up at Target. I have no idea how Tyler talked Kyle into buying him this large-grip, black Sharpie marker, but we now have (correction - our FOUR YEAR OLD now has) one.

Seriously.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving was a great time at my parents house. Lots of food, and the most delicious turkey ever!
The stars of the show! (Mom & Dad)

Connor, sitting in the high chair that used to be my dads.

What a beautiful family! (That's us!)


Connor sitting on Grandpa's lap and scamming some food!


"Now I'll feed you dessert!"





Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Safe...no. Fun...YES!


Connor LOVES helping Tyler color! Although - Connor prefers the markers over the crayons, which makes for a HUGE mess!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Love Edward

Okay, I've been sucked in. Sucked into this "Twilight Mania" that is sweeping that nation.

Friday night, I sucked it up, and went to the 9:45 movie (I normally don't stay up voluntarily past 10pm) with some friends. Actually, it was exciting.

One of the girls bought tickets at noon, which was good because tickets for the 9:45 show sold out by 4pm. We waited in line for nearly an hour, just to GET IN to the theatre, and once in there - it was a mad dash to get a good seat. Of course, the four of us women were four out of about only twenty women, over the age of 20. There were A LOT of teenagers, which made it even more exciting, I guess cause it reminded us of high school.

By the time the movie started, I must say I had had fun so far, but actually wasn't looking forward to a movie about vampires. How silly could that be?

I cannot say how wrong I was. The movie was AWESOME. It was a bit dark (duh - it's about vampires), and I didn't care too much for the lead actress (Kristen Stewart), but Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) made up for it. He's the main vampire in the movie (yes, there are multiple vampires) and I'm totally in love with him now. He has the most gorgeous eyes I'd ever seen, and every time he looked deeply at someone, it's almost as though he could melt them with his stare.

I started reading the book at about 7am Saturday when I was up with the kids, and although I haven't made it too far, I'm sure I won't be disappointed. If the book created a following like it did, and the movie was as good as it was - I'm excited to get into the first book, and then the next three.

Now I just have to break it to my husband that I'm in love with a vampire.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Motrin Wave

I came across this ad while during some quick surfing while inhaling my taco salad lunch, and felt so passionately about it, I had to stop and write this.

What do you think...




The first thing I said to myself is, "Are you kidding me?!?!" I imagine this ad must have been put together by a couple of 22-year-old interns, and they somehow, got it past all senior leadership at Motrin and actually put the ad on TV, and magazines that are now on newsstands everywhere.

I get the point of the ad. "Babywearing causes backaches, so take Motrin.", but they way they go about it by saying "It makes me look like a cool mom", and suggesting that "Mom's that wear slings cry more..." What???

I think Connor lived in his sling until he was literally falling out of it. Having a 2 year old to chase around at the time, didn't leave me many options. I could do virtually anything with Connor in his sling, including grocery shopping (with both hands), cook supper, give Tyler a bath, go for a walk, or even, sit and read a book. Seriously, I would not have survived Connor's first 6 months without it.

After probably being attacked by thousands of e-mails (not to mention the hundreds of blogs that are discussing this now, including this one and this one), if you Google "Motrin Commercial", you come up with about a million hits, and just reading some of them from the first view - the titles include;
  • "Motrin Commercial Angers Moms"
  • "Motrin Faces Twitter Headache over new Commercial"
  • "Motrin Learns, Hell hath no fury like baby-wearing moms"

I also learned that Twitter, a site many use to send instant messages to each other, reached it's 1200 post archive limit for a 12 hour period, with messages related to this topic.

Although one could argue, yes, there are more important things to be passionate about, but trying to suggest that I have to remember to "think about me when my back is hurting from lugging this burden of a child around with me all day" (okay, not a direct quote), is insane.

I can assure you, I needed LESS Motrin because of using my sling. Fewer arm aches, less headaches, and most especially, one of the happiest babies I had ever seen. I literally had strangers come up to me in every store and ask where I got my sling. It generated so much positive conversation, and the key to that story is - I was in stores. Shopping. With a 4 week, or 8 week or 16 week old baby, who wasn't fussing or crying. When I put Connor in his sling, he would fall asleep. I used to joke that it was my tool for an automatic nap.

So, Motrin has pulled the ad, thousands of moms are furious at Motrin. Hopefully, when I go back to school someday to get my MBA, maybe I can study the economic effect of poor advertising choices that corporations make. This would be at the top of my list.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My 25 month old

Yep, as we continue the Stanfield trend, Connor seems to be fitting in quite nicely. He measures 34.5 inches, and 30 pounds at his 18 month check-up - measuring the size of a 25 month old.

No wonder my back hurts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Things that happened before I even left the house today...

  1. I woke up at 4:58 with Tyler's face approximately 2 inches from mine, him breathing in my face. Tyler is apparently allergic to sleep now, and has been waking up at least twice in the middle of the night, and at about 5am, plus or minus 15 minutes. (More on the minus)
  2. Connor woke up just as I was about to start drying my hair. Since Connor wants to be connected to me the first 15 minutes he's up in the morning, I sat him on the sink next to me. Try drying your hair with the lights going on and off and on and off and on and off. I can only pray that it looks halfway decent when I'm done!
  3. I called Santa Clause to tell him Tyler was being bad. Luckily - Santa has the same phone number as our voicemail.
  4. I had to put Tyler's socks on the refridgerator, as he was using them as whips on all of us, including Connor.
  5. I left my (untouched) coffee in the pantry, and didn't realize until I was about 10 minutes into my commute.

And that was only the start, of what turned out to be, no so much better of a day.

At least tomorrow is a new day. We'll start all over!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Night Night

Tonight, the boys were playing in Tyler's room while I was messing around putting clothes away. I soon noticed that Connor had been missing for a couple of minutes, and found him in his bedroom, sitting on the floor, reading "Melmo" (Elmo) books to himself. Every page was "Melmo!"...

I walked into his room and asked him if he wanted me to read him books - to which he walked over to his bookshelf and found a book and brought it to me.

After about two more books, he got up up and walked to his crib. I grabbed his blanket and handed it to him, and turned on his Rainforest machine in his bed.

He looked at me and said "Night Night". Then he waved goodbye. I think he was asleep in less than 15 seconds.

Holy Cow. Trying to remember back just over a year ago when we would rock and rock and fight him to sleep at night - compared to a night like tonight. Almost amazing!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I LOVE Christmas - Part 2

It's a cold day, so we're just going to stay inside and relax today. I think we could all use the rest (myself included - after having WAY too much fun at a wedding reception last night!), so Tyler is coloring on the floor, Connor is taking a nap, and Kyle just ran to the store quick.

Tyler is getting a bit restless after being cooped up every weekend, so I try all sorts of new things to keep him entertained. I found some packing paper that my husband brought home from work, and Tyler thinks its an enormous coloring book. I'm also digging out Christmas movies because there is nothing better than watching Christmas movies when you're cooped up inside on a cold day during Christmas season.

We're watching "A Christmas Story" today. If there was every a classic Christmas movie, that is it. I think I've watched the movie over 100 times, and between my mom, dad, sister and I - I'd bet that number could reach up to 500 times. We even play "A Christmas Story" trivia on Christmas sometimes.

Now, I'm passing this obsessive tradition on to my son. I've let him know that there is Santa in the movie, a gun and they stick their tongue to a metal pole and it gets stuck. He's VERY interested to see this now!

And for those of you that can't wait for TBS to start playing this over and over and over and over, here's the first 10 minutes....


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas

I LOVE Christmas! Every year, at about this time, I start getting excited. I love the decorations, the shopping, the atmosphere, and most of all - the music.

On my way home tonight (on my AWESOME XM radio!), I fould their "Holly" channel - which is all Christmas music, until the day after Christmas!

I have only fond memories of Christmas, growing up. I remember the anticipation, then going to church on Christmas Eve when Santa magically came (while we were at church) because he knew we had to go out of town the next day. I remember how my mom usual "forgot" something in the house and had to go back in while my dad, sister and I sat in the car wondering "what on earth did she forget?". And then the TOTAL surprise when we would come home. I remember sitting through those church services. It was like putting a t-bone in front of a dog and telling him "you can't eat this - just yet...".

I loved the presents, the happiness, spending time with our family, going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and the general sense of security, I guess, that Christmas brought.

Tonight was my first real taste of Christmas. Finding the "Holly" channel, then finding my favorite Christmas song... "Sleighride" by Johnny Mathis. I will sing that song at the top of my lungs, which is what I did tonight, which was much needed after an absolutely, totally insanely, stressful day.

I saved the song as one of my favorites, so hopefully every day between now and Christmas, I can hear the song and sing in my loudest, beautiful singing voice (insert sarcastic cough here)...

"Our cheeks are nice and rosey and comfy and cozy are we.... we're snuggled close together like two birds of a feather would be....."

I love Christmas!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Totally Random...

RANDOM THOUGHT #1:
On our way home tonight, about one block from home, Tyler asked where his shell was that he got from Grandma and Grandpa's house???

This shell was a simple river clam, but it was huge. It was about the size of a softball, so Tyler brought it home with him this summer. Little did we know - it was still alive.

That totally disgusted me, and of course, being out of the river, it finally died, and dried out, and he drug the shell around for most of August. Then we threw it away because it was a) gross, b) dirty and c) driving me crazy. For some reason he asked for it tonight. To which I replied "That was totally random."

RANDOM THOUGHT #2:
I was feeding Connor supper tonight and listening to the radio in the kitchen. The song, "Never Surrender" came on, from Corey Hart. I LOVE that song, because if you've ever listened to the words, it totally sums up most of my days. I heard the song on the way home in the car, then in the kitchen - humm.... I guess you could say I look for small signs in everything that happens to me - to hopefully guide me along the way. So, I hear the song "Never Surrender", twice within an hour. Followed by "Jenny - 865-5309". Wow - if that's not a sign from God, I don't know what is. Immediately after that - it was Queen, "Under Pressure". Okay, is someone telling me that they understand what's been going on for me this week?

Someone is watching over me. Okay - so maybe it's XM/Sirius Radio, or maybe someone else. Who knows? I just appreciate the thought that someone is watching out for me - and letting me know.....in totally random ways.

RANDOM THOUGHT #3
Here's some recent pix for my parents. Connor eating an Oreo Cookie!!!

I'm gonna do it!

"Look what I did!"

"I can assure you, I am totally innocent!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Sleep Nazi - Part 2

I posted months ago about how I refer to myself as the "sleep nazi". Well, this weekend I was reminded that my "nazi-ness" has not yet subsided.

Some things I have learned having two kids:
  1. If one goes to bed at 7pm, the other will want to stay up until 10pm.
  2. Regardless, someone is always up before 6am - weekends included.
  3. If/when they nap, it will never, EVER, be at the same time.
That was our weekend. Connor was desperate to go to bed Friday night at about 7pm, then was up at 5:30am. Tyler stayed up until after 9pm, then slept until 7:30am. Both Saturday and Sunday, Connor took a nap that started at about 10:45, and lasted 2.5 (precious) hours. Both days, Tyler took a nap that started at about 2pm, and lasted 3 (precious) hours. I don't fight what time they go to bed (if they want it to be early) or if they want to nap late, because regardless, having healthy and happy kids means they need LOTS AND LOTS of sleep. Although I do try to enforce something of a schedule during the day, nighttime means "go to bed early" - usually for everyone!
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That being said, it's almost ridiculous to try to plan anything around a schedule when someone is either sleeping, eating, or having a meltdown because they a)need to sleep, b) woke up crabby or c)they are having a sugar crash because they secretly found their Halloween candy!!!
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Although it was such a cold and windy weekend, I'm glad we didn't go anywhere, really. Tyler had a rough week at daycare last week, and the poor kid napped for 6 hours this weekend! He's 4!!! Connor didn't even sleep that much - so, I'm guessing by Friday he was about totally exhausted and running on pure adrenaline for his totally anal teachers at daycare.
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We're trying to get Tyler to bed earlier so he isn't a demon child by Friday for them at daycare, because I swear that kid is half Energizer Bunny. When he wants to he can just go and go and go...
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When they do sleep though, that is the best, and also the sweetest. Kyle and I race every night to see who is going to check on the boys before we go to bed. It's so cute to see them all cuddled up and snuggled in their beds.
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Connor, crashed in bed.

Tyler frequently sleeps in the car. Although it doesn't look comfortable to me, he's OUT!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Perfect Afternoon

It's so cold outside.

We didn't even play outside today, but everyone was okay with that.

The boys and I went to the Hardware Store to buy fire starter logs, and then I lit a fire at about 2pm. The living room feels awesome.

Connor and I sat by the fire and watched the Hawkeyes win against Penn State while Tyler took a 3 hour (much needed) nap.

I'm drinking a Fosters, next to the fire, with my 18 month old in my lap reading a book, now listening to 80s music from the satellite tv.

This is awesome.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Fall!


I'm pretty sure we might've finally experienced the last of the beautiful weather we've been having. Last weekend was so nice, we wore shorts and a t-shirt at times.

Let's all say a prayer that we don't have a winter like we experienced last year. No thanks. If we have anything that starts to look like that, I'm moving to Mexico! (Looking back at these pictures makes me shudder!)



Monday, November 3, 2008

Damn the time change...and other ramblings...

4:35 this morning. Connor woke up, although I was already awake since my body was telling me I head overslept. "Holy. Crap. We have a LONG way to go before anyone leaves this house." I thought.

I went and got Connor and sat int he rocking chair in his room, with hopes that he might fall back asleep. No go. Actually - while we were rocking, Tyler woke up at about 5am. Wonderful. Both kids are up, and I haven't even peed yet. This should be fun.

I took them to the living room and found the most entertaining show I could find at 5am, which turned out to be Blue's Clues, I believe. Tyler will actually watch that - and Connor will watch whatever Tyler is watching. Then I hopped in the shower.

No more than 2 minutes later, Connor was pounding on the door and crying. Something that is on my list of "Top 10 Pet Peeves...number 7, having a crying child pounding on the bathroom door while you're trying to shower."

Soon the crying stopped, and I was actually worried. What happened? Why was there quiet? You know - the "this is too good to be true" quiet?

I walked into the living room, and found this....


Kyle had got up, and put them both in the chair in the living room, where they must've sat for at least 15 minutes. Enough for me to finish showering, dry off, put on clothes, etc. Although Tyler doesn't look thrilled in the picture, don't let him fool you. If you didn't like it, he would throw a total fit and toss Connor on to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

Thanks boys.

Oh - and today is our anniversary. Or as Kyle refers to it..."8 years of wedded bliss". Yeah. My thoughts exactly.

Happy Anniversary Honey! I wouldn't call it bliss - but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Friday, October 31, 2008

At least we're consistent...

Here is a picture of Halloween 2005. Tyler was 13 months old, and obviously, less than thrilled to have his costume on.

Flash foward to Halloween 2008. Here are about the only pictures I got of Connor tonight. Of course, they told me when I picked him up from daycare, that he had a BLAST trick-or-treating at the business across the street from the daycare center. They said he was so cute, smiled the whole time, and had a great time! (Notice my large can of Foster's in the background of the 2nd picture - which is what I needed after being home for about 1/2 hour!)




Tyler at least stepped up this year, and gave me a GREAT "football team" pose, as he calls it...


Oh well - after we finished the costume disaster, I put him in his highchair to feed him something with at least some nutritional value, and that would make him happy! Yogurt, pears and graham crackers did the trick!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A picture is worth 1,000 words

Here's a picture taken at my parents this weekend. My dad and the boys were outside and I attempted to catch a picture.

Tyler is looking at my dad like he's the neatest guy in the whole-wide-world, and Connor won't sit still for the life of him.

These are the times that my mom refers to as "making memories". They sure are....


Monday, October 27, 2008

Needed a pick me up today...

I had a pretty crummy day, and pretty crummy evening. Looking through old pictures always helps, and this is one of my favorite.... Connor is 6 days old in this picture.

Thanks boys.....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

I took the morning off of work so I could go to the Pumpkin Patch with Tyler's daycare today. I needed some decompression time, and I had not yet been on a field trip with the daycare in our 4 years that we'd been there.

When I arrived, I learned that Taylor would be riding in my car with me and Tyler. Taylor is the cutest girl you've ever seen, and was a PERFECT child the whole time!

Just after buckling in the car, Tyler told me "Taylor is my girlfriend". How cute - I thought. Going to the Pumpkin Patch with his almost 4 year old girlfriend...



Here are the clouds we saw on our way to the Pumpkin Patch. Did I mention it was about 40 degrees today???


By the time we arrived at the Patch, it was a near downpour. We couldn't even get out of our car it was raining so hard. Try explaning to a 4 year old that you're at the pumpkin patch, but you can't get out of the car. I had to manufacture a story about what happens when you try to pick up a pumpkin when its wet and slippery. They ended up loading a wagon full of pumpkins into one of the vans so the kids could at least bring home a pumpkin. Here is a view of the pumpkin patch from my car window where we parked...



So, we turned around and went home. In the pouring rain. We got back to daycare and they decided since the kids couldn't visit the pumpkin patch, that they could watch a movie. The kids were thrilled!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Quote of the Day

After I pulled into the garage tonight, I figured since we had about a half hour of sunlight left, I was going to take advantage of it and have the boys run off some steam. Tyler then politely told me...

"It's so fucking cold out here."

Point taken. We immediately went inside so those words could never be said again. Yikes. (Note to self - never EVER cuss again!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hayrack Ride 2008

Driving to the Middle of Nowhere somewhere outside of Belle Plain, Iowa - Took 1 Hour

Being attacked by millions of Asian Bettles (Ladybugs) because the neighbor plowed their bean field - About drove me Crazy

Having the two boys go on their first Hayrack Ride pulled by a real tractor, seeing deer, dogs and sheep - Priceless!!!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

I left my liver in Galena...

I promised not to post any incriminating pictures of the women that I went to Galena with, so that means I pretty much can't post any of them. =)

It was a WONDERFUL trip! The house we rented was absolutely beautiful, so I will post a picture of our view of the golf course from the deck. The view was breathtaking, especially with the fall colors.


The girls I went with are hilarious, and I laughed so hard my side still hurts. I did put Tyler in some of my "birthday garb" that they actually had me wearing while in Galena, yes, in public. Funny thing - I wasn't the most ridiculous looking one of the crowd!


We all can't wait to do this again next year! And the VFW in Galena, Illinois will never be the same!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

I'm off to BEAUTIFUL Galena, Illinois this weekend with about 12 other women whose mission in life this weekend is to shop as much as possible, drink as much as possible, and laugh even more. They are such fun girls, and range in age from 30-70 years old!!!

Maybe I'll post pictures when I return - or maybe not. (To protect the innocent!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Made me think of my boys (I hope - I think)

I think every mother has extreme dreams for the success of their children. After watching my boys (yes, even innocent little Connor), I have come to the conclusion that they will HAVE to be involved in some extreme athletics, both in order to let out some of their aggression, but because I believe deep down inside both of them there is this innate drive to tackle/kick/hit things. This drive cannot be subdued for long, and in the moments of extremes, that deeply buried psychological programming, will come out.

I saw a commercial today that brought tears to my eyes, just because of how true most of it has been for me (and I think for most mothers of boys). To see where it leads the children in this commercial makes my heart want to swell with pride for what I hope to see in the future.




Every night we chase the boys in circles around the living room/kitchen in order to let off some of their steam.

We had (note - had) a beanbag chair that we brought outside so the boys could take flying leaps into it after springing off a trampoline, until it burst and the small styrofoam beads went everywhere in the yard.

When I was pregnant with Connor - I swear my ultrasound would've been like the baby in the commercial. For nothing, could I get him to stop spinning circles, until he finally jammed himself upright in a breech position

We have not had a broken coffee table yet, but have had it removed from our living room for years so they can't use it as a trampoline itself. We have had broken lawn chairs outside from being climbed/jumped on. The cushions from our couch frequently get removed, and the La-Z-Boy is used to leap off of onto the cushions.

I hope this is the start of something that good...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Psycho and Velcro

Once there were two little boys, named Psycho and Velcro. They lived in a quaint ranch in a quiet neighborhood, and were very interesting boys.
Psycho, as he so earned his name, was named that after being about 6 months old, where he would literally cinch himself up so hard and squeeze, thus resulting in his whole body shaking in something that resembled a mini-seizure. These were few and far between, but nonetheless, they occurred almost daily. At first his parents worried, but soon learned it was just Psycho's way of letting off steam.

Psycho continued to earn his badge of psychotic honor after entering the "terrible two's" at about 14 months, and could throw tantrums like you've NEVER seen! To this day, his parents don't voluntarily bring him into a store/any public place where he could bolt, without bribes in tow. (Although his parents are STRONGLY against them, fruit snacks work almost every time!).
Not too long after that, Velcro was born. Velcro earned that name not too long after he came into this world, because for most of his infant life was spent in a sling, attached to his mom. After he grew out of the sling, he wanted to be carried by mom. Today, if I (oops, I mean, his mom) is within sight, Velcro wants to be held by her. This means while she is doing dishes, brushing her teeth, folding laundry, and even while changing clothes - which she hasn't figured out yet so he will stand right below her sobbing while she changes her clothes as fast as she can!
It will be interesting to see how these personality traits play out for both Psycho and Velcro as they grow up, and grow to be adults.
I have attached pictures of the guilty parties below....

Psycho, with his sinister grin

Velcro with Mom, imagine that....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free To Be You and Me

Mom, this one's for you...

Messing around on Youtube today, I found this video. It's almost as though someone stuffed me in a time machine, and sucked me back to 1981.

Every week my mom used to take us to the Marion Library. I LOVED it there! I loved the look, the smell, and the funky carpet they had in the kids area. They had places you could sit and read, and sometimes we even went to story time. It was fantastic!

Another thing we did there was check out the record "Free To Be You and Me", every single week. Seriously. I think we went through 15 record needles listening to that thing, and every week brought it back, and every week, checked it back out again.

I think my sister and I listened to that record 15,000 times! I'm putting the introductory song on here so my mom can join me for a trip in the "wayback" machine!!! Hope you like it Mom! (Boy, listening to this record every day 25 times would have me wearing earmuffs, or drinking heavily!)

(Also, check out all the famous people that were on this record!)

Nie Nie

I recently found this blog after it was nominated for a "Perfect Post" award earlier this month. If I had come across this blog any earlier, I might've jumped quickly to judge.

http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/

The author of this blog is Stephanie Nielsen. She is a young mother of 4 children, her parents are both Utah Senators (I believe, or something close to that), and her husband is absolutely PERFECT! Actually, everything about them seems to be perfect (thus my quickly jumping to judge). Her children are beautiful, her blogs are fantastic, and she clearly seems to just LOVE life!

In August of this year, her and her husband were returning from their vacation on a New Mexico ranch, and were involved in a horrible plane crash. Nie Nie (as she refers to herself) and her husband were in a small prop plane. Christian (Mr. Nielsen) had recently got his pilots license that was a gift from his wife, and was putting it to use. They lost power in the air.

Today, both Stepanie and her husband are both still in the hospital. He has burns on about 30-40% of his body, and she 70-80%. She is still in a drug-induced coma. They have years of recovery ahead of them, and numerous surgeys as well.

Stephanie's sister-in-law (once again, I believe - I've been so fascinated reading past blogs, I haven't researched all the details yet) has picked up on maintaining this blog. Readers that have been fans of the blog will write in and tell what their favorite blog is, and that blog gets reposted. You may have holiday blogs in September, and 4th of July blogs tomorrow, but it's fantastic.

There have been tons of fundraising activities so far, and actually it is expected for the fundraising to reach about One Million Dollars for this couple and their family.

This blog has really touched me, and I love reading the past posts, learning about their family, and really realizing that this is a woman who truly just LOVED life, her family, and everything she did.

I think of this often, when I'm frustrated, or time seems so short, or I just have too much to do. Life is so precious.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why I love sappy movies sometimes...

A quote from the end of Hope Floats:

"My dad says childhood is the happiest time of my life, buuutttt.. I think he's wrong. I think my mom's right, she says 'childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome'. That's what momma used to say. She said 'beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most'. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will too."

I love that quote. How true it is.... We have to remember every day that we're in the middle of this beautiful thing called life.

(You have to get 3/4 through this clip to get through the quote, but it's worth it - this part of the movie makes me gets a tear in my eye everytime.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Who says summer is over?


This is "Curly" and Dylan right after Tyler nailed them with the hose last weekend!
My wish - That summer would never end!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Frustration turns to relaxation


I'm so desperately behind at work, it's scary. I think there are at least 200 e-mails I have yet to get through and had hoped to get online tonight to clean some of those up. For whatever reason, I can't log on. You have no idea how frustrated that makes me. I am in a training class the next two days, so it's not like I can even skip a meeting or shut my door to get something done. Looks like, it just won't get done.

But, I am sitting next to Tyler. He's been sitting here coloring next to me, making pictures of dolphins, writing his name, and sorting through the crayons over and over finding all of the orange ones, etc. I never realized how that smell, the smell of Crayola Crayons, can bring back such memories.

Every Christmas when I was little, my Grandma Breuer would get me a Crayola Caddy. She could've asked "Would you like $1000 or a Crayola Caddy?", and I would've picked the Caddy - hands down, every time. I would use them until the crayons were stubs, and there was virtually nothing left of them. It was wonderful.

Tyler is now having so much fun with them - it reminds me of me. He is pulling them all out and drawing with each and every one of them to try them all out - so completely excited with each one - one after the other.

Work can wait. This is priceless.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I couldn't resist!

Here is a sneak preview of Connor's Halloween costume! It's ADORABLE!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Marching Band was a blast!

I was a proud member of the Hawkeye Marching Band for 4 years. Those four years were awesome. Just starting in college, I immediatley had 220 friends - all band members. We traveled together, spent endless hours together in buses and on airplanes, sitting in stadiums either sweating to death, or freezing our butts off. Don't get me wrong, it was tough. To this day, I think I'm a lot less sensitive to hot or cold temperature outside just because of that experience.

We also partied a lot in marching band. Holy cow - could some of those people drink. A lot. I had a few drinks here or there (or a lot here or there), but it was generally harmless. Sometimes the cops were called to parties, but no one really got hurt. I think someone might've fallen off a roof once, but he was okay. Many people might've considered us "band nerds", but I can tell you we were far from that! (If I must say so myself!)

Sounds like the Wisconsin Marching Band might've taken things a bit too far. Or someone misinterpreted something. Either way - the band doesn't get to play today for the Wisconsin vs. Ohio State game. Of all games to miss, that would NOT be one!

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bigten/2008-10-03-wisconsin-marching-band_N.htm?csp=34

Friday, October 3, 2008

Waking up Tyler...


One of Connor's favorite things to do in the morning is to go wake up Tyler. Tyler HATES to be waken up in the morning - especially depending on his mood. Some days are easier than others, but we have found out one thing...Connor can always have him wake up in a good mood.

I'll ask Connor, "Where's Tyler?". He will literally run down the hall yelling, "Ty-yah, Ty-yah!", push the door open to his room, and run up to his bed and start patting him. I think Tyler loves it. He'll wake up smiling, and usually jumps quickly out of bed - probably just because he wants to try to keep one step ahead of Connor at all times!

On this day, Tyler and Connor gave each other a big hug when they saw each other. Awwww... Brotherly Love!

(I've inserted the picture below also to show that this brotherly love can also be very frustrating for Connor sometimes!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

My New Dilemmas

If you would've asked me ten years ago what one of my biggest dilemmas would be when I was nearing 35, I probably would've told you "money" or "my job" or something silly like that. What was I thinking??? How could I have known what I biggest dilemma would be???

They discontinued my diaper cream. AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Seriously. When Tyler was about one, my sister turned me on to Dyprotex. It was only available at Walgreens, and wasn't cheap. It came in little packets with applicators to use (so you didn't get it all over your fingers), and was the BEST STUFF EVER INVENTED! I swear, neither of my kids ever had a diaper rash, and if they did, it didn't last more than one day. One night of a butt gobbed with Dyprotex, they would wake up and the rash would be gone, their skin would be healed, and we would all be happy. Not anymore.

Apparently, the company that used to manufacture Dyprotex was sold, and the new company decided not to keep making Dyprotex. I can't find it anywhere. Before Connor was born, I literally bought a case of it off of Ebay. $60 was a small price to pay for a perfect bottom, and a happy child. That case I purchased just about 18 months ago is now gone. I'm all out. None on Ebay, none on any drug store I can find on the internet, nothing. I thought I had some at once, ordered it off of an internet drugstore, just to have them cancel my order the next day because they were out of stuck. DANG IT!

I would seriously pay twice what the stuff used to sell for in order to have it. Connor's butt is so sore now from his pooping escapade over the last week (I think due to a flu bug and his teeth), that he won't sit down in the bath. It looks and feels like sandpaper, and he's miserable. I've tried all sorts of new creams. I've mixed creams with others. I've mixed them with Vasaline. I've tried putting them on in various orders, but nothing works.

Who would've thought. My biggest dilemma would be diaper cream!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?


A) Connor is eating the Play-Doh in his hand.
B) Connor is wearing a pajama shirt.
C) Connor has just filled his pants and is wearing a Huggies diaper. (We provide Pampers to daycare)
D) All of the above
.
.
.
If you guessed D, All of the above, YOU'RE RIGHT!
.
So, I pick Connor up from daycare tonight, and notice that something doesn't look right, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. It quickly came to me. Kyle sent Connor to daycare in the pajama top that he slept in last night! Every morning when I change Connor, I change this diaper and put on his shorts/pants, but leave his pajama top on until after he's done eating, so Kyle usually changes his top before they head out the door. Apparently, he thought this WAS his top, so Connor bummed around all day in his PJs. Oh well.
.
For the Play-Doh, Tyler has eaten his fair share of it as well. I can't understand how that would taste good, but now I have to warn the girls at daycare to be on the lookout for yellow poop.
.
And about the diapers - I think daycare just grabs out of the wrong bin sometimes (they use small shoebox size totes above the changing station for all the kids with diapers and wipes. All lined up, and with a wiggle worm you're trying to change, they probably grab the wrong one sometimes.) Connor is still working through this stomach flu that was going around daycare, so his diapers have been HORRIBLE! 75% of his class was gone on Tuesday (that day he was as well) because of that.
.
I'm glad I'm capturing these stories - this will be one that will be fun to look back on - and the guilty look on his face just after taking a bite of the Play-Doh!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes, I'm totally serious...


This is Tyler's hunting outfit. Complete with goggles in order to "see the deer better". I think the Hawkeye backpack carries his walkie-talkies.

Do you even believe me that he came up with this outfit all by himself?
Oh - and it was 80 degrees the day this picture was taken!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Tyler!

What a successful party at the Gym Nest!!! We started out:

Jumping around like crazy!
Then we jumped in the foam pit!

Then we ate some awesome cookies!

And opened some even more awesome presents!

Tyler had a blast, and so did we! I haven't jumped on a trampoline in years, and Connor was laughing so hard he could hardly breathe! I think everyone had a great time!

It's hard to believe that my baby, is 4 years old today. 4 years ago today, my life was totally turned upside down by this 7 pound 2 ounce (screaming) baby. There was hard days, and sleepless nights, and laughing because he smiled, and crying when he was sad. It's amazing to know just how much my life was changed by this little boy and that I love him even more every day!