Thursday, January 29, 2009

The score is tied...

Remember when Ernie lost???

Well, tonight I think Curious George won!

And in honor of my mom, who had her first chemotherapy treatment today for her Multiple Sclerosis (YAY! You're on the road to recovery, Mom! I can hear the MS slowing down all the way over here!), here are some more cute pictures of her Connor. (Seriously, he is "her" Connor - they have had a very cute relationship since the day he was born!)

Hopefully, these made you smile, Mom!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some things I have learned over the last few days...

Connor has been sick since Saturday, and I kept him home yesterday and today. I've basically been homebound for a couple of days, so here are some observations I've made:

Handy Manny is actually a very cute cartoon, and I'm able to brush up on my Spanish. (For those of you that don't have the pleasure of watching Playhouse Disney, Handy Manny is a cute cartoon about a Hispanic handyman named, (duh), Manny. He has a toolbox of talking tools that help him with odd jobs around town. Him and his tools are always saving the day.) I'm just wondering when Manny is going to finally hit on Kelly at the Hardware Store. The suspense is killing me!

The Wiggles will, before it's all over, drive me insane. This is Connor's favorite show. On the other hand - this is how I made supper, took a shower and talked on the phone.

We need to repaint the walls in the living room. They look HORRIBLE.

Connor loves to sit on laps, all the time. This is a 180 from Tyler, who could've cared less if you ever held him when he was about 18 months old. Connor is also the most peaceful, cutest sleeper, I have ever seen. If I could spend the next year with him sleeping on my lap, I would.

I could easily have a huge caffeine problem if I stayed home during the day.

I have a strange addiction to the baby shows (Baby Story, Bringing Home Baby). I like them, and hate them at the same time. It always pisses me off when parents bring their baby home, then act totally annoyed when they are woken up at 3am, on the first night. "I guess he was hungry, I hope he sleeps more than this!". Honestly people - get a CLUE! Then again, I like watching the cute babies, and the parents that remind me of, well, me. Struggling and tired, but going with the flow. (Disclaimer - this was me with my 2nd. Me with my first was CLUELESS!). And I LOVE Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Tyler is growing up so fast - I think I have more conversations with that kid than anyone else in my life. (Even Kyle sometimes, but our conversations don't usually involve the Joker or Batman!)

I really missed Kyle when he was gone to California. I took lots of pictures with the camera, and actually showed him pictures of the boys that I took while he was gone - and he was gone for 3 days.

I love watching "Sober House". I swear I was meant to be a Psychologist/Psychiatrist. To watch people struggling with substance abuse problems just fascinates me! I want to dig deep into their brain to find the cause of that need.

My brain doesn't know how to shut off. Maybe that's why I have to watch all of these mindless shows - to just stop!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What a weekend...

Here's a recap of some of the more interesting things we did this weekend:

We drove all the way to K-Mart (which is about 20 miles away - or it seems) to get a buy-one/get-one free deal on Valentine's. When I was halfway there I realized that the ad I read, wasn't good until the next day.

We went to the Urgent Care on Saturday afternoon because I thought Connor might have an ear infection. Not only are his ears perfect - both boys were subjected to every known virus/bacterial infection known to man right now. When we got back in the car, I gave them a bath with antibacterial wipes. Yuck.

Connor beat the crap out of Tyler, finally cracking him on the top of the head with the Star Wars light saber (which is usually on top of the fridge for this reason - I have no idea how it got down), and ended himself in time out.

I picked up toys. Again, and again, and again, and again. I'm okay with toys, but the toys with pieces are what are making me CRAZY!

Tyler spilled his pink pop on the living room floor.

Connor had a fever of 102.5 at 2pm today, and woke up from his nap whimpering and crying, while he lay in my arms, for the next hour. His tonsils are the size of golf balls and look like hamburger.

Connor peed on the bathroom floor - while standing on the sink. I always stand him on the sink to take his clothes off before putting him in the bath. He promptly turned around, smiled at me, and peed on my leg.

Connor ate a half of a box of Altoids. After he had about 10 in his mouth, he realized what he was eating, and that it wasn't so good. I did my best to scrap his tongue with my fingers, then he walked around saying "ick" for the next 10 minutes.

One awesome thing that happened - I got to go out with the girls on Saturday night. How did I do this with Kyle being out of town? I put Connor to bed, and then I hired the 3 best babysitters in the neighborhood, Chase, Jared and Tanner. They look like a rough crowd - but they LOVE the kids, and are the PERFECT group. (Since we don't go out of North Liberty, I'm only minutes away of they need me too!) Tanner has the brains, and can keep the crew (and my kids) on the straight and narrow. Chase is the entertainment, and Jared is the cleaner-upper. I swear my house was cleaner when I got home, than when I left!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When Procrastinating DOES NOT Pay Off!!!

On my way home tonight, I'm moving along the interstate at about 80 mph. (Hey, it's the first time I've seen dry cemet in a LONG time!) I notice that coming out of a rest stop is a State Trooper. Knowing that I could either continue south on I-380, or hop off at the next exit and take the highway to daycare, I opted for the highway - thinking the trooper would certainly continue south on the interstate. (Who else HATES to drive in traffic that is moving at 65 mph just because a Trooper is within sight!)

Nope, he follows me off the ramp, then turns right, following me again. Then he flips his lights on.

Right away, I know what he's found. HOLY CCCRRRAAAPPP! I FORGOT TO RENEW THE TAGS ON MY CAR! Seriously, I had COMPLETELY forgotten about it. I went there sometime late last year (for some reason, I refuse to mail in the envelope that they send me in AUGUST - and instead, procrastinate until my tags are usually either nearly expired, or just past). This year, I went there and they were closed - for whatever reason, probably Sweetheart Day, or whatever other excuse the government could find to close their offices that day.

I just remembered this as I sit on the shoulder of the road, with the officer walking up behind me. He was a nice looking young guy, and asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance.

"You know your tags are expired, Ma'am?"

"YES, YES I DO!", I practically yelled back at him. "I'm so sorry - I know!"

"Well, we usually, er, um, tow the car that has an expired tag", he says...

I pull my proof of insurance card out of my wallet. IT WAS GOOD THROUGH 1/12/09!!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!

I look at it, and almost have a freaking panic attack in my car. My hand is shaking as I hand it to him.

"My new card is sitting on the counter at home! This just expired."

I'm done for.... they are going to tow my car, I'm going to have to call Kyle to come pick me up - unless they decide to throw me in jail.... My thoughts were racing.

He walked back to his car, and took, what seemed like, an eternity! He came back with a few sheets of paper.

"Here is a warning for your proof of insurance," he says, "that is usually a $300 ticket. And this..." (he hands me another sheet of paper), "is a ticket for having expired tags. You have to pay $89 by February 25th. You will take care of this as soon as possible, right?"

"Yes, Yes, I am SO sorry!" I tell him.

He has me sign the ticket, and sends me on my way. I think I told him "Thank You!" about 3 times. I have never been so thankful to receive a ticket in my life. He could've ruined my week and life right now, but he didn't. Thank you Officer!

And Dad, I already have my new proof of insurance in my wallet, and will be heading to the Administration Building tomorrow. Next year, I will just mail in my stuff to have the tags returned to me, before they expire!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Serious Compliments

Here are some of the compliments that Tyler has paid me over the last couple of weeks:
  1. "Mom, you look sooooo pretty today."
  2. "Mom, I LOVE those shoes!"
  3. "Mom, your hair looks special today."
  4. "Mom, you are the coolest mom ever!"

I'm wondering if I should be worried. What does he want? On the other hand, I can hope he's growing up into a perfect gentleman!

Tonight, I was putting him back in bed, for the 6th time. With every time I put him back in bed, he asked for something (his blankets weren't right, he needed some water, etc.). These use to frustrate me, but I've come to realize they are just his way of getting a little bit more attention before he goes to sleep at night. Sometimes, we're too busy at night to every have a conversation!

I was putting him in bed, and he just looked at me, so intensely. His eyes locked with mine, and he just smiled at me. I looked back at him, and our eyes just stood there for a few seconds. He just wanted to see me smile - and me, him smile.

I had one of those days today where I actually think, "maybe I should just quit this and stay home." I won't, but I think it sometimes. But, that totally made my day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A visit to Jason

Today, our neighbor Vicki, her son Chase, Tyler and myself went up to see Jason. From my earlier post, Jason was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myloid Leukemia) on December 23rd. He just finished his first round of chemo about a week or two ago, and soon will start his second. Depending on how well he does with the second will determine if he has to have a third round before his bone marrow transplant that he will soon have to have.

I was hesitant to bring Tyler up. Tyler can be unpredictable (since he's 4) when put in an uncomfortable situation, and we weren't sure how he would do seeing his friend Jason, with tubes and stuff coming out of him, in a hospital bed.

We arrived at the hospital, and luckily, Tyler had asked 100 questions before we got there, so I had prepared him as much as I could. Actually, I was probably more nervous that he was. I wouldn't admit it to anyone, but I get uncomfortable visiting people in hospitals too - I never want to seem like I'm lurking or just hanging around out of guilt, and often don't know what to say. "How are you?", seems so shallow.

We walked through the pediatric inpatient ward in the Children's Hospital at the University of Iowa. These are some of the sickest kids in the state. As we walked by each room, you could see the kids in there in their beds, and cribs, and a strange feeling of guilt and relief washed over me constantly. Thank God my children aren't here, but you could just see the exasperation on the faces of the parents.

We had to go through a special double-door in order to get into Jason's room, since they keep the bone marrow recipients secluded (due to a low white blood cell count), and then we entered Jason's room.

Jason hasn't taken too kindly to visitors, because they are usually adults anyway, and let's face it - adults are boring to a 4 year old. All other adults that have come to see him have been nurses, doctors and residents. He was so depressed a couple of weeks ago, he wasn't even talking to his parents and had stopped communicating with anyone. A Child Psychiatrist has been working with him, and they have been making some progress. Although time doesn't make sense to a 4 year old, I can imagine almost a month in the hospital seems like an eternity - and his parents know he will be there until May or June.

Jason talked to Tyler and Chase, a little. He was a bit hesitant, but he's always been a shy boy. He actually suggested going to the big "toy room" they have on the wing, because he wanted to show Tyler some toys.

We spent probably about an hour in the toy room. Jason's parents were thrilled! I think they've only got him out of his room a couple of times, but Tyler and Chase were successful. I tell - if there are two boys that can motivate you, Tyler and Chase are it! There is more energy in those two boys than 10 kids all together!

The only question Tyler asked was "Why can't Jason come home?". I tried to answer that - as honestly as possible. I think Tyler understood. I also think Tyler thought the John Deere tricycle that Jason got to ride to the toy room was very cool! He wanted to ride it too - but didn't understand it was for kids in the hospital to play with, and Jason had to ride it because he can't walk more than a couple of feet right now. Jason peddled as fast as he could, and his parents tried to keep up with the IV cart in tow.

We're going to be paying a lot more visits to Jason, because I saw some sparkle in his eyes today. And to see his parents just light up with joy when Jason would laugh or giggle, was priceless.

Keep Jason in your prayers. He has a long way to go, but we hope to have him home this summer so he and Tyler can spend some more time in the pool and the sandbox!

Jason, playing with his Sponge Bob Play-Doh - his favorite toy. (Downloaded from

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Which one doesn't belong here?

Yes, that's Tyler in the red shirt. Connor is in the back right corner.

Just before Christmas, Connor's room at daycare had a Christmas party. Parents were invited, and they had snacks - really healthy ones (not!). I guess for a Christmas party, you get to go all out - and when you're between the ages of 12 and 24 months, going all out is: take marshmallows, cheeto puffs, pretzels, m&ms, and chocolate teddy grahams, then mix them together. Yea. Didn't look appetizing to me - but the kids loved it! They also got to wear their pajamas for the day. I wish they had pajama day at work!

I showed up for the party, and tried to sneak past Tyler's room. Of course, one of the other girls in Tyler's room saw me and started yelling, "Tyler - your mom's here, Tyler - your mom's here!", until Tyler came running over. Thank you, little butthead. I was trying to sneak by, but they seriously watch out for each other there!

Tyler followed me into Connor's room, and proceeded to join us for the entire party. The teachers didn't mind (since they all know Tyler anyway), so he pulled up a chair, and watched The Wiggles Christmas with the class.

It's nice to see how your kids are spending their day, and the other kids that they hang out with. A couple other mom's showed up, but tell ya what - a one year old Christmas party starts and stops pretty quick. I think I was there for a total of 45 minutes! They got to open presents that all the parents had bought for the class (they had a wish list), and from what I can tell - they are enjoying them a lot after seeing them fight over who got to play with them first!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bringing Back Memories...

Connor, the first time he looked at me (about 1/2 hour old)

My good friend Kevin and his wife had their second baby yesterday. I received a couple of texts from him of details of the baby, then got to talk to him in the afternoon. I think he was still beyond excited, and told me that their little boy was quite a loud one!

Just talking about the new baby brought back so many good memories from when my boys were born. (I think you are programmed to forget the bad memories - or else no one would have a second child!)
I remember how everything went so fast, but also how much more I was able to enjoy the second one - because I somehow knew what to do. (TONS of trial and error with the first, I guess!) I remember just holding Connor in my bed, not ever wanting to put him down because he was going to grow up so fast. I remember not being able to take my eyes off of him, just trying to suck in every ounce of his being.

This made me get out the pictures to reminisse. (Unfortunately, Tyler gets the shaft because we didn't own a digital camera at that point. One good thing is - Tyler actually has photo albums. Connor's albums are digital files on our computer and CDs.)

Tyler and I looked at these pictures for a while today, since there isn't much else to do when we're stuck home because it's 800 below zero! I found these, and although we're certain we're done having children (or I want my money back!), it still makes me want to hold a day old baby, close to my chest and face, and just breathe in the beautiful "baby smell" that is so wonderful.

Then, I broke up fights all afternoon from the two boys that I did that with. I'll settle for pictures now!

It's hard to believe they beat the crap out of each other now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

And then I became one of them

A picture from last winter, which is still fresh in everyone's minds...

Actual words/phrases I heard uttered on the weather report this morning:

  1. Blizzard Warning
  2. Inches of Snow
  3. Below Zero
  4. Winter Weather Warning
  5. Wind Chill Advisory

Apparently, so did everyone else. The city almost shut down - they closed schools and cancelled events. People left work like rats jumping off a sinking ship. Finally at 3:30, I decided if it was really THAT bad, I should head home myself.

I called Kyle on my way. He suggested spaghetti for supper, but we didn't have any ground beef. I volunteered to stop at the store at grab some.

I was quickly pissed. The roads were absolutely FINE. Seriously, the roads were worse than that about 3 times last week, and all weekend. I know they were preparing for the blizzard that our stellar weatherman was forecasting for the next two days (that has since changed to 9 hours), but seriously people. This is IOWA, it snows!

I stop at the grocery store in town, and quickly am reminded that everyone else was going to be there as well. We were getting 2 inches of snow, what else should we do but stock up on everything like milk, bread and birdseed. Yes, people were buying birdseed, because that is just how nice we are in this town!

I fought my way through the parking lot, and parked about 1/2 mile away. I ended up getting what I needed, and luckily every cash register was open so I could get in and get out, to walk the half milk back to my car.

I quickly realized that I had become one of those people that drive me crazy. Those people that just HAVE to go to the store when they forecast some drizzle or light snow, just in case we're housebound for a week or so, clearing the shelves of bread, milk and water.

Seriously people - this is 2009. The next time we need something from the grocery store on a day like today, we're just going to have to do with ramen noodles!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Coffee on my windshield

Friday on my way to work, it had just snowed a little. Nothing huge, but enough to make the roads wet in town, and that beautiful glaze on the interstates. Since the city of Cedar Rapids uses that liquid salt chemical like it's going to expire tomorrow, the roads in town were fine - just really wet.

As I reached city limits, the spray from the car in front of me hit my windshield, and immediately dried. My windshield was speckled white. "No problem, that's what windshield washer fluid is for!", I thought.

As I went to pull the lever to get the washer fluid on my windshield, the wipers turned on - but no fluid came out. My windshield was smeared with white dirt.

Off and on this year my washer fluid line has frozen up for some reason - likely water in the line. I've tried a couple times to fix this, and it always is fixed temporarily, then freezes up again. Here's where we were at 7am on Friday morning, in the middle of I-380, going 50 mph.

I panicked! I now could see about 20% out of my windshield, was going 50 mph, the nearest exit was not within sight, and I was in the middle lane.

"Water! Throw water on the windshield!", I said to myself. I looked around for a half full water bottle (which there are usually at least ten of in my car), and there was none. All that was within sight was my cup of coffee that I had made at home.

I grab the coffee, pop off the lid, and roll down my window. I reach my hand around to the windshield and throw the coffee on it.

Here's where the problem begins, as I was going 50 mph. Do you know what happens when you throw liquid forward into a 50 mph oncoming wind - or as you are driving into it? Yea, you can imagine... (Did I mention I was blonde?)

The top 1/8th of my windshield had coffee on it, and the rest had gone a) up my sleeve, b) in my hair and c) down the side of my car. No where that I wanted it too.

As I continue on, the spray from the car in front of me gets worse, which is actually a good thing because then my windshield wipers have enough "wet" to get the windshield clean. At one point I had to pull off in a parking lot and smear snow all over my windshield to wet it enough to totally clean it off. Nice.

As for me, I went to work with my sleeve soaked with coffee, and it looks like someone had puked down the side of my car. At least that coffee had some suisse mocha chocolate in it, so I had the pleasure of smelling like a cafe mocha all day long...

I've got to get that wiper fluid fixed!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mommy, I wike Bud Wight...

"Mommy, I wike Bud Wight, and Daddy wikes Busch Wight". Tyler said this as he took a drink of my beer.

Yes, I broke down tonight and had a beer. Okay, two. Well, three. It was one of those days at work where my eyes were so bloodshot I looked like the devil, which means my blood pressure is about 800/400. Very Bad Day. It was actually scarey how horrible I looked and felt. Stressed to the max. I fortunately got to leave early to come help my parents fix the dryer (YAY! It's Fixed! Thanks Dad!!!)

But, Holy crap. My son is discussing beer, trying to DRINK it, and although it is Miller Lite I prefer, he knows it's beer, and he says he "wikes" it too. "It's good...." he said as he took a swig. Yikes!

Maybe I'm going to have to switch to wine or something... and try keep the kids off the booze until they are at least in college!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I guess it's never too late to mow...

By the way, that's the outfit you figure out when you leave the snowpants at daycare and it's freaking cold outside...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting Home

After getting home tonight and going through out normal "routine" that we've had lately, I've decided we need to do something different. It's totally insane.

Since Kyle usually takes the boys to daycare, I try to usually pick them up. (I mean - someone picks them up - hopefully it's me), and we head home. Start insanity here.

Since the boys have been at daycare all day with their last snack at 3pm, and it's usually 5:30 by the time I get them, they are absolutely STARVING by the time we get home, because my boys do not frequently go more than 2 hours from eating anything. They are human garbage disposals.

We arrive in the door, and my rules are 1) shoes off, and 2) wash your hands (daycare germs, eech!). Then you're free to go. Usually, by that time someone is trying to pull himself up onto the counter to find some candy/gum/food/lint/anything he can fit into his mouth. The other has learned to open the freezer (even though I have it locked), and will bring me frozen peas, frozen juice or even ice cubes that he can eat.

Keep in mind, at this point, my shoes are usually still on, and I'm in my work clothes that aren't that special, but I'd like to keep them at least semi-stain free. Now, I'm trying to find something to cook.

On to the next problem - I don't cook. Well, I can, but I HATE it. If I can put it in a microwave and forget about it - I am ALL for that. The quicker the better, and the easier the clean-up the better. And NOTHING is worse than trying to make food with a crying kid hanging on your leg. Not for me.

After eating, it's right to the bathtub, or I should better call it - the monsoon in our bathroom. At least I don't have to clean the bathroom floor often, but because of this, we have had to replace our kitchen floor - twice (on the other side of the bathroom wall). No matter what you try to do to protect it, water gets everywhere - and usually on me. Hopefully I've changed out of my workclothes at this point.

I have to be more proactive, and make stuff on the weekends for use throughout the week, etc., etc., I know all this - but it's just so hard. By the time 7pm rolls around and Connor is heading off to bed, I have rarely sat down yet, and if I'm lucky, I've possibly had something to eat myself. It's exhausting.

Tonight was special though. I walked in the door, and Kyle had dinner finished. He had made tuna casserole - a family favorite - and even had the boy's food dished out for them in plates. They walked in, washed their hands, sat down and ate. It was wonderful! Connor had 3 helpings, and Tyler had 2 (Connor has been outeating Tyler lately!), and I got to eat supper with everyone else. We had a great night, everyone (including Tyler - who can make or break a night) was perfect! Hopefully we're on a new streak here!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


"Tyler!", I yelled, "Come back here!"

We were in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, and I had sent Tyler to go get some paper plates that were within eyesight. I figured I could trust him walking 20 feet without me within arms length.

"Tyler, Tyler!" I yelled to get his attention, because his goal of getting paper plates was put on hold when he saw the big cooler of pop on his way there. "Mom, I want a Diet Pepsi!", he said. Of course, I thought to myself, just what he needs, a bottle of caffeine!

"Get the plates, the plates, the plates, Tyler, Tyler..." I must've sounded ridiculous.

"It's the name," said a voice from behind me. It was a lady, in her mid to late 50s. "It's the name, Tyler. Mine is 25 and still listens just as well!", she said with a smile. I laughed back with her, because this wasn't the first time I had heard this.

I think about six or seven different times throughout Tyler's life I've had different people comment to me on the name, Tyler. The names brings with it many challenges and joy. Most of all, I was told if you have a boy named Tyler, be ready for everything that name has to bring.

I've learned that most people with the name Tyler have an iron will, and are very determined to get what they set out for. There is little patience, and listening to what YOU tell them to do - they are going to listen to only themselves. When they set out to do something, they will usually get it, because their determination and "never give up" attitude will not let them.

This is Tyler. My Tyler. The little boy that will absolutely drive me to the brink of insanity, but also makes you love him that much more when he does cuddle with you - because you know that isn't usually him. When he does want to cuddle, you suck in every minute of it because it comes so infrequent.

Now he's trained his brother. One of Connor's first phrases is "No, No, Ty-wah!". Very fitting if you ask me.

I cannot wait to see what Tyler turns out to be when he gets older, based on all of the qualities that he has crammed into that 4-year-old body. I'm pretty sure, he will be unstoppable.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family Day

Yesterday was the first day during this two week Christmas break that daycare was open, and I had no plans. I usually LIVE for our two week shutdown at work in order to be a bad mom, send the kids to daycare, and actually get some projects done around the house. (We've painted rooms in the past, organized closets, shopped awesome sales, you know - important stuff!)

This year, just because of really busy schedules and me going out of town for a couple of days, this break just vanished. Having both kids at home during the day is a bit less than a vacation, and I don't even try to organize anything, because things get undone faster than they are done. Not yesterday.

I started off the day going tanning. Yes, something as simple as tanning TOTALLY made my day. I've not been tanning since October, and was beginning to be so pale I looked sick (being blonde and so pale), so that was incredibly AWESOME! I then organized closets, hit some sales, then met up with Kyle after he finished work for the day, early. We did some shopping, and just went to Wal-Mart, alone.

That was awesome, too! We were able to shop for food, look at labels and prices - something that is a pure luxury now. Not needing to literally sprint down aisles because someone is either jogging ahead of you, or trying to climb out of the cart.

After picking up the boys at daycare, we came home and made a healthy supper (a New Year's resolution of ours), and played with the boys in the "wiving woom" (as Tyler calls it).

"Mommy, my most FAVORITE room in the house is the WIVING WOOM!", Tyler says. We played forever, mostly soccer and football - a favorite around here.

After Connor went to bed, we watched a movie together, just Kyle, Tyler and myself. I don't remember if we've ever even done that, since Tyler will actually sit for more than 15 minutes now, we all cuddled on the couch and watched "Batman", which I decided was a bad choice since I didn't know how violent and scary it was. Tyler was up twice last night because he was scared the "bad guys" were going to get him. I think he's going to be talking about the clowns for a long time...

So, "family day" yesterday was me spending time with me, by myself. Then my husband, just ourselves, then our entire family.

What an absolutely PERFECT day!