Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It was just a bike ride

I got home tonight after a frustrating day. A day where I questioned myself as a person, and as a leader for my team. I wondered if I am doing the right thing at work, or am just wasting my time every day. Just one-of-those-days.

Then I saw the bike ride.

Jason and his dad, Steve, were going on a bike ride around the cul-de-sac. Jason, who is home for the week between his chemo treatments, was on a bike ride. Jason on his tricycle and his dad on his bike.

How often we take for granted the simple things. Jason was released from the Children's Hospital yesterday after his 4th round of chemo. He is winning his fight with leukemia, but these chemo treatments are KILLING him.

I never knew that this happened. After his first chemo treatment, they told his family that the leukemia was virtually gone, but because it is so aggressive, they treat it even MORE aggressively, and the treatment is what almost kills you.

Because of his treatments, Jason has almost no hair. That is the least of his symptoms. He is frequently put into isolation at the hospital because of the horrible bacterial infections he is fighting because of the chemo, which depletes his immune system to nothing. He also has to receive blood transfusions because his red count is so low, he can hardly function. I never realized that "treatment" meant that sometimes you have to get worse, before you can get better.

Then I saw them on their bike ride. Something that I would consider a "chore" with my children. An "oh Lord, okay, we'll go on a walk, but let's please hurry home because I have laundry in the dryer/food in the oven/something pointless to do (fill in the blank)."

What a reality check.

Our fundraiser garage sale is set for June 13th. This is going to be HUGE. We have donations from dozens of people so far, and so many ideas of how we are going to raise money that day.

Money, so that when Jason comes home, for good, he and his dad can go on all the bike rides they want!

Monday, April 27, 2009

For my sister...

I heard this song on the Disney Channel the other day, and it made me immediately think of my sister. Although she's only just over 200 miles away, I think of her about 10 times a day and miss her terribly!

Beth, call me! I miss you!

(I apologize for the commercial the kicks this off, but it is worth it!)

Love you Beth! As the song says, "it's lonely on my only, without you!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No, I didn't plan this

This was Friday morning. They are watching Toy Story, while sitting there eating some cereal on the floor. I think Tyler covered both of them up.
When they are this sweet, it's hard to remember the tantrums they both had this morning. But when they have those tantrums, it's so hard to remember when they are this cute...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thanks, Mr. Lady

I looked at the clock at 3:30am today. Connor was crying in his bed, which is unusual for him these days. I knew exactly why though - he was hungry. He refused to eat his dinner last night because he wouldn't stop playing long enough to sit down. I have to force him to eat at night sometimes, and last night literally followed him around with a few spoonfuls of food so he would eat something. If he doesn't, he will be up for hours at night. He had some apple slices just before he went off to bed, but I'm certain that wasn't enough.

Hello middle-of-the-night.

I made Kyle get up with him, because if I do, it's all over. Connor will not go back to sleep in his bed once I hold him, because apparently I'm more comfortable than his bed (I love this.), although mommy needs her sleep too. Kyle can get him back to sleep in 10 minutes, although he continued to fuss and cry, ever so slightly, off and on until I finally got out of bed at 4:30.

The house has been quiet since I finished getting ready, so it's time for my computer and I to bond. Minutes of peace are hard to come by these days. When I do get some peace and quiet, I usually find myself on Facebook or blogging.

Sometimes I come across a blog that just strikes me at that moment.

I have a few friends I work with that either are contemplating becoming mothers, or are expecting a child. Every time I see someone pregnant with their first child, I want to go up and hug them, and just start spewing advice, in my bossy way. "Take lots of naps!" and "Enjoy every smile and take lots of pictures! When they are 3, you won't believe that they were once 6 pounds!". The advice that I can't convey though, is everything else.

I'm posting a link to this blog post "On Motherhood" because it made me pause, reflect, and just bawl. How accurately she is capturing "the rest" of Motherhood, that can't be conveying until you're smack in the middle of it. Thank you, Mr. Lady.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Our visit to the Mr. Sippy

Yes, Mom and Dad, you have a new home. It's a big house that has Molly (the dog) and it's really cool because Tyler got to go fishing in the Mr. Sippy.

(Insert my roaring laughter here!)

Tyler told me all about the Mr. Sippy tonight (correctly pronounced and spelled, Mississippi). I could hardly keep a straight face as he talked all about his visit and how he went fishing for alligators and sharks, in the Mr. Sippy.

I love these conversations I can have with Tyler now! Usually, at one point in the conversation, I'm laughing so hard, Tyler has to ask me what is so funny!

If he only knew.... Tyler, pretty much everything you say is funny!

Tyler last summer on Grandpa's boat, in the Mr. Sippy

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's just the Food Court

I was at the check out line at Wal-Mart today (imagine that) when my phone rang. It was Kyle telling me to meet him at the food court at the mall. He and the boys were at Scheel's buying golf stuff (also imagine that!), and they were going to get something to eat.

A voice in the back of my head said "Are you kidding me? The mall with these boys?" But, I met up with them there, and then the fun began.

First off, both boys are exhausted! Neither got a nap over 1/2 hour yesterday, and both were up before 6:30 this morning. Tyler has golfed the past 3 days in a row, and Connor would not go to sleep until almost 8pm last night - which was WAY too late for him with that short of a nap!

We knew our life would change after having kids. Of course - you now have a kid. We just were not prepared with how much it would change. Going out to eat is definitely a thing of the past with the kids. It's just not fun. Even the food court is challenging.

Tyler will actually sit now, for short periods of time. Connor will only sit if restrained, or so freaking hungry that he will eat whatever is set in front of him. That's what we had today - a confining high chair and a kid that couldn't open his mouth wide enough to shove the food in.

Kyle and Tyler got their Chicken Teriyaki that they always get. Today, Connor and I got Subway. I literally had to bear hug him while standing in line to keep him from crawling over the counter. His shoe fell off, and he accidentally ripped my glasses off my face. By the time we sat down to eat, I was sweating.

After eating, which lasted about 3 minutes, we got up to leave. I had Connor in my left arm, and some trash in my right arm. It was all I could do to keep him from flipping himself on to the floor, while he screamed "airplane, airplane!", and pointed at the picture of the airplane on the ceiling. Kyle and Tyler left in his car, I was taking Connor in mine.

I decided an ice cream cone would be fun. Connor loves ice cream, and okay, I do too! One thing I forgot to take into account was that I was carrying a 35 pound almost 2 year old in my arm too. Have you tried to put a kid into a carseat with one arm? Yea, it doesn't work too well.

We keep trying these outings, maybe hoping that someday things will be back to "normal". But you know what, things won't be back to normal ever. We're the new us. We're the 4 of us, that used to be 2. And although it's difficult sometimes, and frustrating sometimes, we just take it all in stride. Sometimes it makes me laugh so hard, it's all worth it!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why it's never good when your 4 year old says....

Why it's never good when your 4 year old says, "I have a good idea!!!"

Tyler started this activity, and Connor had to quickly follow. They had such a good time stacking the cushions and standing on them, jumping on them, and pushing them around!

Safe? No.........

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How much fun did we have on Easter?

You be the judge:

Yes, that is Tyler in mid-air, so happy he found an egg with money in it!

This is Connor eating his 27th Reece's Peanut Butter Cup. He's going to detox tomorrow.

We had great fun, and tons of great food! That is one thing you can count on going to the Stanfield's for Easter, is that there is never a food shortage. I think Norma bought 2 hams - or else that was the biggest freaking pig ever.

I had to find a new hiding spot for the candy that is left, or else the boys will be eating candy for breakfast. I'm pretty certain we will have at least one tantrum before I leave for work in the morning (Tyler) because he wants candy for breakfast. Connor has completely forgotton about his candy, but I will bet that is the first question Tyler asks me when he sees me in the morning. "Can I have some candy?" How much you want to bet?!

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Comfort Food

Tonight I felt like poop. I'm worn down to nothing, and have been fighting off something since I woke up at 2am today. You know when you woke up and your throat feels just funny enough that you go "that's not right..."?

As I walked out of work late tonight, one thing was on my mind. I just wanted to feel better so I can seamlessly make it through the day tomorrow. That's when McDonald's came to mind.

McDonald's is my most favorite comfort food in the world. When I'm not feeling well - it makes me feel better. When I'm frustrated or stressed - it calms me down. I could drink their iced tea every day, and french fries...well, they are straight from heaven.

I'm pretty sure my obsession started before I was even born. My mom said she used to enjoy Big Macs as often as she could when she was pregnant with us. Then for the first 4 years of my life, when we lived just outside Chicago, there was a McDonald's a couple of blocks from our house. Very convenient for a mom with two rambunctious kids.

I remember always looking forward to McDonald's. I had my 5th birthday there. I would beg my parents every week to go there (well, ask nicely!). And today, I find myself there at least once a week, sometimes more. Tyler loves their cheeseburgers (without pickles) and Connor loves their chicken nuggets!
Tonight I got a cheeseburger, fries and a Hi-C Orange Drink (also straight from heaven!).

I'm happy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The boy I picked up from daycare

I'm not sure Kyle would've laughed as much as I did, but this is what I was met with when I picked Connor up from Daycare...

Connor's pigtails

And just in case you didn't get a view of them, here is Connor eating supper...in pigtails

He looked so cute! Apparently, they were fixing some of the girls hair at daycare, and Connor was very interested in what they were doing. When Vanessa asked him if he wanted his hair done to0, apparently he nodded his head up and down. They actually look a bit like antennas, but he thought they were cool!

This same boy though had quite a rough night. He's certainly entered the "Terrible Twos", and hand tantrum after tantrum after tantrum. I think he cried or whined all night long. Then when it was time for bed, he fought that too. He's actually still fighting it, and it is about a half hour past his normal bedtime.

Such a cute little boy, but oh, is he going to challenge us. Tyler definitely had his ideas of what he wanted to do, but wasn't quite as persistent. Connor will not give up for anything, and there is no such thing as telling this boy "No". It's going to be rough as a child with him, but I'm really looking forward to what this brings with him as an adult. Pigtails and all! (I think this will be an excellent High School Graduation Picture!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thinking Time

Although I usually won't admit it, one of my favorite times of the day is putting the boys to bed. I love the peacefulness, the total silence, the just sitting and being alone with the little boy falling asleep, and my thoughts.

Connor is at the age where when we go "nite nite", we go to his room and I rock him for about 3 minutes. This 3 minutes is his transition from running around the living room, into going to sleep. I turn the lights off, turn the sound machine one (which drowns out the noise that Tyler and Kyle - the two noisiest people in the world) are still making, and I usually start his Rainforest machine that starts some cute, relaxing music.

Then we sit in the chair.

It's sitting in the chair when the most amazing thing happens. I swear, my mind starts swimming with thoughts. Without distractions, other noise, and constant interruptions, I can actually complete a thought. And it's amazing what I think about.

Usually, I think about stuff at work. Work has been so crazy lately, I actually today looked down to check and see if I had a matching pair of shoes on - after I got to work. I feel that overwhelmed. Sometimes I think about someone I forgot to call back (I'm horrible at that - they should just take my phone off my desk), a project I'm working, or even what I'm going to wear to work the next day (including the shoes!).

Sometimes the thoughts become more random. Tonight I thought about what my parents, sister and I use to do after a day at the beach. (I have NO idea where this thought came from). I have such good memories of going to the beach, then going home and taking a shower to get cleaned up, then heading to Godfather's Pizza for pizza and pop. Actually, I didn't like pizza and pop (still don't love it to this day - but will eat it), but I loved the act of going there, with my family. It was always the end of a perfect day.

I love the "thinking time" I get in the evenings. I always tell myself that the next time I do this, I should bring a paper and pen with me to capture the things that I can't continue to forget, and even some of the random thoughts that I wonder why I'm thinking.

I have wonderful memories of my mom laying with me in bed as I went to sleep. Actually, I didn't sleep - I would usually talk her ear off, but I loved it. Sometimes I forget that I'm creating these memories for my boys, while I'm reliving my own.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I can hold my own in Wrestlemania

Tonight our neighbors purchased Wrestlemania 25. Awesome.
I wouldn't have said that 10 years ago. Back then, wrestling was for total losers that didn't have anything else to do with their life. Then my sister got me hooked on it. Yes, my sister, who was dating one of the HUGEST wrestling fans of all time. From 1998 to 1999 I went to two WCW matches in Chicago and one in Cedar Rapids. Yea, it was silly, but so much fun.
I really got into it. So much, that I had the wrestling characters in my office. My professional office, by the way, where my boss kind of looked at me sideways when he asked why I had "barbie guys" on my desk.
Tonight brought back so many memories. I sat on the floor so intently, and even watched Connor and Tyler show some interest every once in a while to what was going on. Fireworks and fighting helped.
What is even more sad, is that I could keep up with the conversation. Rick Flair, the Undertaker and the Hardy Boys were quickly summoned up from my memory banks, and brought a smile to my face. Although wrestling seems so ridiculous, that was a period in my life when I was so happy. I had a job, yet not another care in the world. We would sit down on Monday evening and watch wrestling like there was nothing else that could separate us from the boob tube.
I didn't get a chance to see my man tonight, though. Sting. O M G. He was awesome. I had a Sting mask, and loved every moment that he was on the screen.
When I wonder "what did I used to do before kids", things like this come to mind. Wasting my time watching grown men pretend to fight each other. Good times!
Sting and Rick Flair "Woooooooooo!"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Party Day

Today, Tyler was invited to two birthday parties. Two of his friends from daycare were both turning 5, and luckily had scheduled their birthday parties consecutively following each other so we could attend both.

I knew Kyle wanted to golf, and my mother-in-law would love to see Connor, so we made a deal. I took Tyler to his birthday parties (which is fun for me), while Kyle got to golf (fun for him!), and my mother-in-law got to hang out with Connor (fun for her!). Everybody won!

I really start thinking about Tyler's future when I see him with his friends like that. He's quite an aggressive kid (and oh my god loud), and can get quite mean if he wants. I watched him push a girl down - a complete stranger by the way while her parents looked on - talk about embarrassing!!! Is he going to be a bully? Is he going to be a protector (when he learns to get his emotions under control), or what? Tonight he went to sleep with 15 stuffed animals on his bed - is he going to be the caring one?

I work with people that have kids that are honor students and spending the semester visiting a foreign country. I also work with people that have kids with drug problems, kids that are going to (or are in) jail, or have 15 year olds with babies. How do I set Tyler's future in the right direction so we can end up with option A, rather than B?

Okay, okay - for all of you that know us, I doubt our kids will be pushing themselves into AP classes in high school, but they may push themselves to be on the golf team, basketball team or football team. All which require a decent GPA and good behavior (just ask Kirk Ferentz).

I think about this every day. How can I be shaping my children's future so they are proud of who they are, proud of who we are, and proud of their own futures?