Monday, June 30, 2008

Princesses in the Family

I post an awful lot on my boys, but actually had the opportunity while traveling for work to stop at my sister's for the afternoon right outside Chicago.

I spent the afternoon with her and her girls, spent the night there - then got up the next morning, got ready, and headed off to my meeting. It was a good time - and it was so fun to see the girls. They are such hams, and remind me so much of their mother (my sister) it is scary!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dear Lord

Please give me the strength to get through the day with these animals (um, I mean, boys). Please let there not be a circus going through town which might just tempt me to sell them (or donate them) for the side show - or better yet, the petting zoo.

Please give me the strength to get to nap time, as it is 7:42am and I am already praying that someone crashes - soon. Because if they don't - I will. I'm pretty sure DHS would be fairly disappointed to find my boys, one running around outside naked and the younger one walking around the house bashing on it with a bat - while mommy sleeps on the sidewalk.

Please let me not scream at Tyler at one more time "ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? WHY DO YOU NOT LISTEN?!?!?!?!?!" so loud that I'm sure the neighors are wondering what in the hell is happening in that house.

And one last request - if somehow, sometime this week, you could arrange for my husband and I to BOTH get 8 hours (I would LOVE even 6!) hours of unbroken sleep - I would be the happiest person on earth.

I swear I will be forever grateful to you for these (seemingly) simple requests.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Pay it Forward Friday

Happy Pay it Forward Friday!!!

Title Of Blog I Would Like To Feature Is:

URL To That Blog:

I Like This Blog Because: It it totally me - and her advice at times is priceless!

Here Is A Post I Enjoyed:
(Elizabeth is also featured on "Chicago Mom's Blog")

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who is this boy and why does he keep calling me Mom?

Ever since I picked Tyler up from daycare tonight, he's been an AWESOME kid. Seriously. He's followed directions, hasn't thrown one fit, accepted my "no" when he asked for McDonald's for supper, and didn't touch, hit, or try to spit at Connor even once. Even better - me!

Tyler definitely has his ups and downs. Tonight is definitely one of his "ups". I wish I could just bottle up whatever it was he has done/eaten/drank, etc., over the last 24 hours so I could have this kid all the time.

It's nights like these when I can do this. This is great - and I love being a mom. Even a working mom because nights like this make it all worth it. There have been weeks in the recent past where I think I have to give this up - having a 3 and a 1 year old and trying to work this rediculous schedule is either going to kill me, or put in the nut house. It's nights like this that make me love this little boy just that much more!

Tyler sharing his blueberries with Connor. This NEVER happens! (by the way, that isn't beer Tyler is drinking - it's Pellegrino. I'm trying to keep him on the most "pure" diet possible, and he thinks sparkling water is his "pop"!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why we are going to win the "Parents of the Year" Award

It's called! It's all the shows that are on Nick Jr., on the computer. In this particular picture, I believe Tyler was watching a show about Diego and his cousin Alicia helping an Alligator. How exciting!
I think I did lose him for a while - he was so fascinated with this. He watches Diego on TV every once in a while, but having his "own TV" was just that much better!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


This Father's Day I wanted to take a few minutes to thank my dad for everything he's done for me in my life. I'm pretty sure he doesn't think I remember all of these moments - but it is these moments and more that shaped me as a person and made me who am I today.
  • I bet he doesn't know I remember the day he took time off of work to come to my state fair when I was in 4th grade. We had all made boothes out of refridgerator boxes (I was Delaware), and because the girl that I shared my booth with was pure evil (seriously - she's probably in prison today - no joke), I just ended up in the bathroom crying. I remember him being there though, and giving me a hug when I cried.
  • I remember the day he took my training wheels off my bike. I think he was even more excited than I was.
  • I remember him taking bike rides with my sister and I, along a path, all the way into a neighboring town - just to get an icee at a gas station. I realize now after putting in 10 hours at work that day, he was probably exhausted, but never let on that he was. He also followed my sister and I so he could keep an eye on us - probably going 2 miles per hour.
  • I remember him coming to every band concert I had, even though I know he has never been fond of cassical music - at all. I even remember the time he and my mom came to see me play in Des Moines - that was huge. I was so excited - it's like every note I played was for them.
  • I remember the time when I was a junior in high school and he drove me to Iowa State for an Honor Band competition. I remember when he dropped me off at the hotel I was staying at, and I remember the tears in both of our eyes as he left.
  • I remember him moving me out of my 84th apartment (okay - an exaggeration), in the summer of 1999 - while it was 100 degrees out (no exaggeration). We hauled every piece out through the picture window that we removed into his pickup truck. He then bought me Dairy Queen when we were done.
  • I remember my dad teaching me how to drive in the parking lot where he worked. We drove his Bivouac Van in circles - and probably scared the crap out of him - but I swear that's why I'm a decent driver today.
  • He also let me learn to drive on the rental cars that were delivered every Sunday when he was working far out of town. He had to leave Monday morning at 5am or so - but after the Rental agency dropped off those cars at 3pm on Sunday- they were MINE! (Yikes!)
  • I then remember the day I wrecked the 1974 Ford LTD that was his dad's car. It originally was my grandpa's car, and when he passed away, we received the car - and I wrecked it in the snow. I remember sobbing on my bed because I KNEW he was going to kill me. He didn't.
  • I remember being 8 years old and him taking me to softball and basketball games while I was trying out sports. He coached me in everything, and had so much patience. I don't even have that much patience today.
  • I remember him taking my sister and I to the grocery store and letting us pick out sugary cereal. We NEVER had sugary cereral in our house - so this was quite a treat. I remember my mom was always mad when we got home because she never bought that - but we were all happy. I think my sister and I ate that for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it was gone!
  • I remember being in the hospital after Connor was born, and I couldn't even tell my dad what Connor's middle name was, because I knew I would burst into tears. (Connor's middle name is Charles, after my dad).

Most of all I appreciate him for always being there. I talk to him more than I talk to anyone - even my husband sometimes. Working at the same company in the same general area, gives us a lot to talk about at times. Before he retired (and I went on maternity leave) we would walk to the Coffee Cafe in the morning to get the "good" coffee, and end up talking for about an hour. It was wonderful.

You never realize how much your parents mean to you, until they aren't there sometimes. This Father's Day I can't see my dad because of the flooding. I know we'll make it up next weekend, but I've thought about him all day. I owe him so much. I want him to know that I think about him every day, and every time I sit in my office at work and look around (especially at the picture he left me), I am thankful. Thankful for having such a wonderful dad that was always there for me, and made me who I am today.

Thanks Dad.

Dad and Connor

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pay it Forward Friday

Title Of Blog I Would Like To Feature Is: 7 Acres of Heaven

URL To That Blog:

I Like This Blog Because: I love hearing K'Man's "first time" stories with his little girl.

Here Is A Post I Enjoyed:


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flood of 2008

Do you remember the scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind when Richard Dryfuss' character shows up on the mountain in order to look for more UFOs, and there are dozens of people there (crazy people) and he felt a bit like an outsider? That's how I felt today when Tyler and I went to the Reservoir to see it going over the spillway. Very interesting to see, a LOT of strange people there.

It was creepy - people all over, old, young, teenagers, and some park rangers even talking to people. We barely found a place to park, and then got almost run over a couple times while walking to the fence. (Okay - so maybe we were one of the strange ones too!) Everyone coming to gawk at the fury Mother Nature is unleashing on us.

The water started going over the spillway yesterday. And what does that mean? That means the town of Iowa City and Coralville are virtually going to turn into 1000 moats. Today there is now two ways to get into Iowa City from where we live, even though we went through this same thing 15 years ago. They told us 15 years ago (during the Flood of '93), that we wouldn't ever see these type of flood waters again in our lifetime. Roads were completely dug up and raised, but it hasn't seemed to help. (Huh - seems worse this time.)

The whole eastern part of the state is virtually under water. Everything seems shut down, and everyone is sandbagging for something. Below is a graph that shows that water level in the Reservoir over the last year:

Back in 1993, my only concern was the impact that this stupid flood was having on my social life and my ability to get to work and school. My boyfriend at the time literally put his belongings on pallets in his apartment, and moved into my parents house for a week because you needed a boat to get to his door. Classes at the University of Iowa had to move to other buildings - which was also an annoyance.

Today, I'm still worried if I'll be able to get to work in Cedar Rapids, but I'm also worried for all the people that have this happening to them. What do they have to come home to when this is all done, and how will they recover? Having a home and family myself now, I cannot imagine having to leave my house will everything I could box up as fast as I could - and just leave. No way - no how.

I'm eagerly anticipating what we will face tomorrow. Most of the towns literally have one way to get through town - if at all. Entire towns have been evacuated, and many neighborhoods are underwater. Keep Eastern Iowa in mind and send some dry weather our way so we can finally have some resemblance of normalcy in our lives!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When laws became optional

I realized the other day as I was driving to work, that I was totally annoyed that the car in front of me had come to a complete stop at a stop sign. "Are you freaking kidding me?", I thought, "I'm driving here!".

I think when Tyler was a couple weeks old, and I was finally brave enough to venture out on my own, I learned a whole new style of driving. There were a couple different methods:
  1. Drive really fast, because the baby is asleep in the backseat and you don't want him to wake up before you get home.
  2. Drive really fast, because the baby is awake in the backseat and you don't want him to start crying before you get home.
  3. Drive really fast, because the baby is screaming in the backseat and you need to get home NOW.

These three styles of driving have stayed with me as the boys have grown, but now also include the following:

  1. Drive really fast, because everyone is happy and you want them to remain that way for the remainder of the trip.
  2. Drive really fast, because everyone is crabby and you want to get home before they break out in an all-out whine.
  3. Drive really fast, because Tyler keeps pinching Connor and won't keep his hands to himself and you might kill yourself as you try to turn around and make the imaginary boundary between him and his brother.

With all of these variables happening while you're driving, you're bound to pick up new habits. Mine include (but are not limited to):

  1. Not stopping at stop signs
  2. Barely slowing down for some stop signs
  3. Pulling into the garage or a parking spot at 25 mph
  4. Tearing around corners on two wheels
  5. Cussing at stop lights and any other driver that dares pay attention at any annoying road rules.

I thought these rules only applied to me, since Tyler was such an unhappy baby and spent most of the first year of his life crying unless we were holding AND bouncing him, but I found out other parents do this as well. My aunt, whose kids are both grown and have kids of their own, told me she stills drives like this to this day. After 30 years, she said, it's quite a hard habit to break.

So, don't tell the police to be watching out for me. They'll find me soon enough. I can only hope if they do someday, it will be during one of the times when both kids are in an all out wail/scream/whine/kick/body arching madness. You know the one. The one that made you this crazy driver in the first place!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Birds

Sunday was just like any other day. Another yucky, rainy day, but a Sunday none-the-less. Sunday is our typical "catch up" day around home where all of the laundry gets finished, dishes all done, and hopefully at least a little cleaning gets accomplished.

We had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon, and I still hadn't wrapped the presents. When I went to wrap them, I realized I was out of Scotch Tape, and instead of looking like scum and using packing tape or electrical tape, I decide to go to Walgreens to actually buy more tape, and a couple other things I had forgotten at the store the day before.

Tyler and I jump into the car and go to the store. I am only suckered into one Diego whistle that blows bubbles, so I didn't do too bad. We jump back in the car and start to head home.

The weather is warm, not too warm, but just right for driving with the windows open. I turn the corner to go North on the highway, and all of a sudden I realize a freaking BIRD has flown into the car!!!!!!!!

It all happened so fast, but one thing I did know, was that the bird did not fly OUT. He was still in the car somewhere and based on the screams I heard coming from the backseat, I assumed that's where he was. I turn around to look at Tyler, and he is SCREAMING at the top of his lungs! I swear to God his eyes were going to pop out of their sockets he was screaming so loud, and I think he finally scared the bird, which then flew into the front seat and got wedged between the passenger door and the seat. By this point I had stopped on the car - on the freakin' HIGHWAY, and had put the car in park. I kept checking the rear view mirror, with the fear that someone would come up behind me and not realized I was stopped, but I was in a panic. I had all the windows rolled all the way down, and my seat belt off, ready to jump, when the bird finally flew ON TO THE DASH!!!! YES, THERE WAS THE BIRD, WHICH WAS NOT JUST ANY BIRD - BUT A FREAKING WOODPECKER, SITTING ON MY DASH LOOKING AT ME.

The screams continued from the backseat, and I think I was trying to crawl through the back of my seat to get away from this thing. Birds alone don't scare me, but corner a scared woodpecker - and that wouldn't be pretty!

Finally the bird flew out the window he came in, which was my driver-side window. Feathers flew about the car from this fiasco, and there were a few ants left scurrying around inside the car which must have been on the bird.

Tyler recovered quickly, faster than me. He was just so excited to get home and call grandpa and tell him he had a "Who-Pepper" in his car. I, on the other hand, will be using my air conditioning a lot more often this summer!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday Morning

Before Noon on Saturday we.....

Golfed.... (notice the angle of the sun - I think it was 8am at this time)
We went for a walk...
We went for another walk....
We ate popscicles by the dozen...
We watched our baby birds....We played with play-doh...
We flew a kite...

We ate Mac & Cheese...

We ate more Mac & Cheese...

We threw our Mac & Cheese...
Is it bedtime yet???

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Biters and Bullies

"Guess who's moving up to the Rainbow Room?", hubby asks, tonight as we're on the phone.

"CONNOR!?!?", I half yell and half question.

"Yep! June 16th!", he answered.

The Rainbow Room is the next room - basically the true "toddler" room at daycare. That is where the kids graduate to out of the baby room. They go to the Rainbow Room when they are ready - meaning they feed themselves, are off bottles, and only need one nap during daycare hours. Funny enough - Connor meets those qualifications already. I think Tyler was 16 months before he got there - he was our napper. (Key word - WAS!)

Moving up to the next room seems so big. He won't be sleeping in a crib anymore, but on a cot. Naptime is 12:30 to 2:30 ONLY - no other naps. More structure. 2 year olds to play with. Basically a cirriculum where there is storytime, art time, they sing songs, and get to play outside. Now I wonder - what side of the room will he be on?

I learned - only about one year ago, that they have that room divided into two sides. I never noticed it when Tyler was there - I guess I thought they just divided the room up to give them more "space". It wasn't until recently that I heard about the "Biters and Bullies".

Everyone knows them. The toddlers that pull hair, tackle, steal toys, and bite. Our pediatrician assures us that it is totally natural for toddlers to bite - but I guess I never thought my son would be the one doing the biting. About once a week when I picked Tyler when he was in the room, I had an incident report to sign because he had been bitten. They wouldn't tell you who did it - so you would give a nasty glare to all the kids left in the room - maybe in an attempt to intimiate them.

One of my friends nicknamed the sides of the room. The "Good Kids" and the "Biters and Bullies". You never knew which was which - but you had a good idea. My only wonder now is - what side will Connor be on???

(See my post from Saturday, and that might give you an idea!!! Yikes!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I apparently have some new challenges this summer... as you can see from the order of these pictures, I will likely spend the summer either wet - or hiding behind the sliding glass door!