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.

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!

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!)