Thursday, October 25, 2007


Just in time for Halloween, my big guy lost the first of his two front teeth. He looks so adorable I can't even stand it. Every time he smiles with that big gap in his mouth or I hear that little lisp when he talks, I just want to hug him!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mourning nap

I am beyond frustrated. As much of a cliche as it is, it seems that every step forward I take around here leads to two giant steps backward. Parenting is such a struggle sometimes. Today has been particularly so.

I am little by little trying to organize the junk piles hidden in inconspicuous places. Coat closets. Drawers. Catch all baskets. Each one I start to tackle brings on more junk because within these debris fields are boxes, baskets and numerous other containers filled with more stuff to go through. Not to mention old clothes, shoes, hats, mittens to figure out which still fit, can be passed on...UGH! In the midst of doing this I have all of my other everyday Mother duties to contend with so the house is just littered with to do piles and looks worse than when I started because I can't find the time or energy to get there. The extracurricular cleaning has to take back burner to the daily necessities. Food. Clothes. Laundry. Basically, all the other piles.

The kicker is that the majority of my "free" time is in the afternoon while Hailey and Evan nap. They have been napping horribly. Evan has not napped in three days and I am PRAYING that this is not the beginning of the end for him. To be fair, he does stay in his room and play by himself, but he gets SO cranky later in the day. He fell asleep in the car on the 7 minute ride to soccer practice yesterday. Frustrating. Not to mention that I have also had to change his bedding THREE times this week. Yesterday he threw up a little in his bed (still don't know what that was all about) and the other incidences were pee pee "accidents". He takes off his pull up and wonders why he has accidents. I went up there today and the pull up was off, there was a pee pee trail on the floor and he was sitting in his closet playing with toys. I yanked the pull up back on, tossed him into bed and took the dinosaurs out of the room. I feel bad. He is such a good kid, but my patience is wearing so thin.

Spencer came home from school with a note from his teacher saying that he has had a bad week as far as following directions and keeping his hands to himself. I don't know how to get through to him. It seems like we have to talk to him about correcting some part of his behavior CONSTANTLY! Not to sound self righteous like "my kid would never act like that!" but I wonder sometimes if he is bored. Maybe he should not have gone to DK. From what I can tell from helping in his class - he is one of the top kids. Looking back, maybe we should have requested the other teacher. He wouldn't have been so "comfortable" and maybe wouldn't be having such a hard time.

I am going to try to look at the big picture and realize that laundry, clutter and naughty notes don't amount to a hill of beans in the scheme of things - but sometimes it seems that way when you are drowning in them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hailey - 9 months

Our baby girl is nine months! Actually nine months plus - Mommy has just been slow to blog her milestone. I guess the biggest event of the past month is that she ate "real" food for the first time. Cheese. She loves cheese. She devours it - I need to cut up some other foods for her to try and see if she gobbles them as well. As far as baby food, we are still feeding her the "2's". I should probably bump her up to the "3's" with the added texture since she does well with Cheerios, Gerber puffs and now cheese hunks.

She doesn't have any teeth yet, but I am thinking soon since she gnaws on anything she can get her hands on (including her hands) with a vengeance. She still rolls around everywhere, but has made some progress towards crawling. She will get one knee up in crawling position but the other leg just lays there. She doesn't get her belly up off the floor, but like that can push off with her toes a bit. She is getting there - her brothers are so excited for her to crawl. They aren't going to know what hit them!

She is babbling a ton more. Says mamama, dadada, lalalala and lots of ahhhhs. She seems to be realizing that if she cries she gets attention because if she wants to be held and we set her down for a second - she lets loose! She is still sleeping and going down to sleep very well. I think we will have to lower her crib down a setting soon. It seems like just yesterday that we were raising the crib up in anticipation of our new baby. Those newborn months just fly by in a surreal haze. On a similiar note, I think she is ready for the big bathtub but I am still putting her in the baby one because I just love that little tub and can't bear to see it sent to the basement or (gasp!) garage sale pile. She will love the big tub - she is a big time splasher!

Nine months old. She has been on this Earth now as long as she was in my body. The baby days go by so much faster than the pregnancy. A whirlwind that I can't imagine my life without.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Since taking my latest camera class last week, I am now in full blown photomaniac mode. The camera rep from Olympus helped the madness by commenting to me how my pictures were very good. That I had a good eye. I walked out of there with my chest puffed up - not only with milk, but with pride.

So I have been scouring websites and looking with awe and jealously at the photos that some people are able to take. I am interested in mostly the kid and family photos. On the sites of these photographers, the photo colors and clarity are just amazing and I am banging my head against the wall trying to emulate their images.

Aperture. Shutter speed. Light. These shouldn't be that hard. The books and teachers say to go out and experiment until you know what your camera can do and what works. I still can't seem to get what I am going for. I went out with Hailey today and shot about 100 pictures in 20 minutes (thank God for digital cameras) and none of them are what I really wanted to shoot. She was not in a posing mood either which makes it difficult. I guess I just keep shooting- and waiting for the next class.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

S "Pee" K

Last night was a crazy night at our house. If it wasn't so cloudy out, I would have sworn there must have been a full moon shining down on us.

Evan went to bed normally and got up to go potty ten minutes later as he always does. Just past nine thirty we heard him crying really hard. I went up to his room and he was laying with his eyes shut still crying. He must have been dreaming because I was talking to him but he wouldn't answer me. I picked him up and rocked him and whispered to him that he was okay and he calmed down. I don't think he has ever done anything like that before - if so, it was so long ago I can't even remember.

Hailey went to bed around 6:30 as she does pretty much every night now. For the past three nights, when I go in her room to tuck her in, I am overwhelmed with the smell of poop. She is pooping while she sleeps! This is becoming a habit I need to figure out how to break. I have to get her out of bed and change her and she gets cranky - who wouldn't, you are nice and snuggly in bed and someone comes along and takes your warm clothes off and wipes your bum with a freezing baby wipe. Ugh!

Spencer - where do I even start? Spencer is a hard sleeper. Last night after he went to bed, about a half hour later we hear him upstairs in a quiet panic saying "Will somebody help me?" We run upstairs and he is pacing back and forth down the hall holding his crotch. Trent led him into the bathroom and he peed and just stood there in a pee trance until Trent pulled his jammies up and led him back to bed. About twenty minutes later I saw him shuffling down the hall again and then he turned around and went back to his room. When I went to tuck him in, my sock was soaked from the tell tale puddle on the carpet. The boy has a hard time finding the bathroom if he wakes in the night to pee. Obviously. He has peed just about everywhere in this house. I know he doesn't pee down the stairs or right inside the bathroom door on purpose - I think he honestly thinks he is at the toilet. It is a little scary to me - it is almost like he is in a trance when he does it. He might talk to you, but makes no sense at all. I don't know what to do about it besides limit his liquid at night. He has a night light in his room and the night light in the bathroom right outside his door. Maybe it is something he will grow out of. Though Trent is kind of the same way. He is a hard sleeper as well. He will sleep-talk and sit upright in bed and start waving his arms in the air hunting the "white spider". So it might be like father like son. I just hope that Evan won't follow in their sleepsteps.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jumping into fall!

We have been blessed with summer like weather so far this fall. In fact over this past weekend, it felt more like August, not October. These photos were taken up north at Uncle Troy and Aunt Joann's cabin. The water was a little chilly - but it was OCTOBER 7th! I don't think that I have ever in my life swam in a lake in October. Pretty cool!
Fall has definitely set in today. Windy, cold and 50 degrees. I love the fall. I love the coziness about it. I love the down home dinners that can cook in the oven for hours. I love warm sweaters and cuddling under all the blankets at night. I love the crisp air. I love the holidays - Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love all the activities - pumpkin hunting, apple picking, leaf pile jumping. We have some fun days ahead of us.
It has been nice to have summer drag on though. In the long, cold winter months we will be counting the days until we get to Cannonball in the water again. Maybe this little reprieve will make it seem just a little sooner.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Snow White

This afternoon a commercial for a Sleeping Beauty castle toy was on the TV. I looked over at Spence who was watching the commercial and smiling the embarrassed sort of smile he gets when people on TV kiss or anything gross like that.

Mom: Is that something you want for Christmas, Spence?

Spencer: (Mortified I caught him watching) NO!!!! I think Hailey might want it for her first birthday though.

Evan: I think I might want that for Christmas.

Spencer: Evan! That is for girls! Why would you want something for girls?

Mom: It doesn't have to be for girls. Boys can like the fairy tales and princesses too. You like to watch Snow White and those other princess movies.

Spencer: (A little cocky) Mom, Don't you ever tell anyone that I watch Snow White!

I guess that somewhere between three and six years old is where their little minds form the concept of gender specific toys.

I remember one afternoon when Spence was about Ev's age we were at Barnes and Noble and Spence was playing in the kid's section with the Thomas train. A boy probably a little older than him came over to play. They played pretty well together with the train and with the toys and dolls around that area. Then the boy asked Spence "Do you want to know what is gross?" Of course Spencer replied yes and my mind immediately began to fill with images that I would somehow have to erase from my baby's mind. "Princesses" was his reply. He had noticed the princess paraphernalia around the train area. I will never forget this part....Spencer just looked at him kind of funny and said to him " I LIKE princesses!" The boy didn't say another word.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Big words, Big concepts.

While hunting for garage sale items in the basement, I came across another one of Evan's dinosaur "valleys". A "valley" is the flimsy piece of plastic resembling a dinosaur habitat that comes with the dinosaurs. Most people would just throw these away when the kid is not looking because they are basically worthless. They are too garbage-bag-like to support the weight of the dinosaurs, so they are not very fun to play with. I haven't gotten rid of them because they are an integral part to Evan's dinosaur world - he loves them. I am sure Gramma got her fill of them last weekend while playing dinosaurs every spare second because yesterday when she watched Ev, she brought over some cardboard and contact paper and what do you know...the valleys totally rock now! Go Gramma!

Anyway, today when I found another one instead of throwing it away (good Mommy) I called Ev down and showed it to him. "OH!" he said "We need to call Gramma and tell her! We need to LAMINATE it!". Laminate. Perfectly clear. Three years old. My former English major heart swells with pride. Go Gramma!

On another dinosaur note...yesterday while driving Spence home from soccer he says (in typical Spencer way) "Mom can I tell you something?" I said yes, thinking he was going to say he didn't really like soccer or something to do with the practice. "I am kinda scared that a meteor is going to hit Earth and I don't want to be extinct like the dinosaurs! I am kinda scared that the meteor will hit us and we will die!" I reassure him that nothing like that will happen as my mind is filling with images of that Bruce Willis/Ben Affleck movie where the asteroid is hurling toward the Earth. I don't tell him that after seeing movies like that, I fear the same things and am positive in my demented mind that the scientists know things are headed our way and just doesn't tell us because of the panic that would ensue. I just tell him not to worry about things like that, that we will not become extinct like the dinosaurs. I will do the worrying for all of us.

Do you need a belt with those?

Trent was wearing my jeans this morning. I managed to roll over in bed and squint in his direction and saw him trying to figure out why they didn't seem to fit. You know the butt patting and deep knee bends to try to break them in after a wash - that was what I saw. As he turned I thought I saw the tell tale Guess? triangle on the pocket. He doesn't have Guess? jeans.

J: "What jeans are those?""

T: "I think they are yours."

J: Yet you are STILL wearing them! "They ARE mine!"

T: "I can't find mine. Do you know where they are?"

J: Trying to think of a sarcastic comment about laundry, but it is too early "They are probably in the laundry room. Why don't you just wear your khakis?"

His jeans were in the laundry - the washer, still wet to be specific. He wore khakis. The whole scene was pretty funny in a Michael Scott "Today has been a bad day. I accidentally cross-dressed" sort of way. It is not like Trent is a HUGE guy so it isn't a stretch (get it) that he could fit in my jeans, but it sure does make me rethink that ice cream I had while watching Grey's Anatomy last night.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Taking "good" to another level...

We just got back from our 10 year anniversary trip to Madison. The boys stayed home with Gramma, but Hailey came with us because she is still nursing and I didn't want to pump all the time and being little still she tends to be more difficult to care for.

Based on this trip, she is in the running with Evan for "perfect baby status". She was so GOOD! On the boat trip over she fell asleep for a while - granted it was wavy and rocky as heck so a baby dream come true - she never fussed at all. The old man sitting next to us even told us that our "son" (she had a pink outfit and pink jacket on - maybe his eyesight was shot) was a better sailor than he was. On Friday as we zoomed around Wisconsin to the House on the Rock, back to Madison, off to Prairie du Sac to the Wollershime Winery -she was a trooper. She just sat in her car seat carrier, snoozed when she wanted and took in the scenery.

The most surprising event occurred on Saturday when she made it through the entire Wisconsin/Michigan State football game! We are talking 5 hours here - of loud noise, very little physical stimulation and being held constantly- she even slept for a bit! Amazing! The folks in the stands were loving her! She had on her Michigan State one piece romper and a little white bow in her hair - so cute! The lady behind us kept calling her "Spartan Baby".

Since we couldn't get our car back on to the ferry, on Sunday we had to drive home. Right past the Michigan border we decided to stop and get a pop and go to the bathroom. I took her out to change her diaper and she did not want to go back into the car seat. She cried for about 45 minutes until we blared the Justin Timberlake on the ipod and she chilled out until we got home.
Having just Hailey with us made me think back to when we used to travel with just Spencer. It didn't seem as easy back then. It is funny how with each new addition you look back and what you thought was hard at the time seems not as bad as you thought it was - even easy. It was a nice break to travel with just one kid, but as they say "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and every time I would hear the boys little voices on the phone I just wanted to be home. Then I got home and they started fighting and jumping on the couch and I wanted to leave again.

It was a great trip with a great little traveler!