Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Midday Thoughts

If I have to clean any more diarrhea off the carpet today I seriously might have a nervous breakdown.

New Year's plans are officially cancelled.

I hate the smell of carpet cleaner.

My hands are raw from using bleach to clean everything.

I have washed and changed the sheets no less than ten times since Sunday.

I'm ready for popcorn and Lord of the Rings.

I love Luke dearly, but I'm getting pretty tired.



And the sickness continues.

My prediction for the New Year is that we'll be rolling it in with more bed sheet changes, more diaper changes, and enough laundry to last until Valentine's.

On a positive note, although I'm getting pretty bored at home everyday without anywhere to go or anything to do as a result of the combined forces of weather and a poopy/pukey kid, at least I've been forced to slow down, relax, and just enjoy the day. I get lots more hugs and kisses than I'm used to, and much more cuddly lap time. My hyper-speed two year old has even asked me to read a story without me trying to talk him into fun storytime. I'll enjoy the cuddles while they last.

In the meantime, I've ran out of books to read and I'm getting bored with talk shows and the endless eating of salty snacks. I can't think of anyone else to google, and I'm drained with topics to peruse with wikipedia. I might just need to spend the afternoon watching Pride and Prejudice while crocheting a baby blanket.

After all the hustle and bustle of the last week I realize I should be thankful for the slow down of the past few days, but I'm inevitably getting antsy and ready to start 2009 with vigor and fun. I think I can withstand the Cabin Fever another day or two, but predicting the sickness will pass by then, I'm more than anxious to get life going back on track.

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Okay, okay, I know! I haven't blogged in awhile. I've been busy and blah, blah, blah. Here's a recap of what I've gone through in the past week, so feel sorry for me.

1. Luke split his chin open after slipping in the bathtub. After a uncharacteristically peaceful trip to the ER Luke spent Christmas with five stitches in his face. FYI: this was our second trip for stitches in Luke's face, and no, I don't take any responsibility.

2. I sang, conducted a children's choir AND played trumpet for Mass Christmas Eve. I'm not bragging since once the actual singing and playing occurred I hardly had a voice left to sing and halfway through Mass my middle trumpet valve stuck leaving the only note left to play a perpetual F#. FYI: My spit is NOT an adequate substitute for valve oil.

3. On Christmas night two of my dear friends and I threw a party for my very best girl Jenni. When you throw a Bridal Bash on Christmas everyone is too tired and full to move much, but we had a great time laughing and eating anyway. FYI: I drank no wine, though I really wanted to.

4. The day after Christmas was Jenni's rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I ate too much pizza. Poppy took out Luke's stitches, which unfortunately was more traumatic then actually getting the stitches. Luke later assured me, "Mommy, Poppy doctor, Poppy fix my stitches."

5. Saturday was the big wedding! It started with donuts, coffee, a hair salon and press-on nails. I sang again, this time in Swedish no less (!), and danced the nightaway. Jenni and Casey were lovely and I managed to only cry once.

6. By Sunday I was delirious. I don't know how we managed to get through Mass and lunch, but I crashed with Luke during his nap. Good thing, when he woke up he got the pukes, which leads me to...

7. After a crazy week behind on dishes, laundry, and every other task that gets pushed aside during a busy time, Luke gets sick. He threw up everything he ate all day Sunday and Monday. Household duties were pushed aside again as I cuddled, cleaned, and rocked the sick boy.

And now...laundry is the name of the game. After the sickness every blanket, set of sheets and pairs of jammies are soiled and stinky. Add that to the last week of laundry going neglected and it's apparent I have quite a situation on my hands.

Let's not forget that's it's VERY difficult to fold socks with fake nails.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Love is unconditional when...

...daddy spends three days, countless hours, and swears under his breath at the 200 pieces of fake wood attempting to assemble a play kitchen for Christmas.

This was no easy task, and I don't think he'd ever agree to do it again, but alas, it's done.

Mark's reward, hearing Luke say over and over all day long without any such prompting, "Thank you, daddy. You fix my kitchen."

Pictures to come.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Okay, I'm growing. It's what we do when we have a person within whose sole purpose is to gain weight for the next three months. From my estimations, ever body part that begins with the letter "B" grows substantially. This means that over a process of time I've slowly put almost every piece of clothing aside for another day far off in the future. Again I stress, almost every piece of clothing, with the exception of socks.

My current clothing dilemma is with undergarments to adequately cover those growing "B" body parts. Last week I packed away all but two bras. Three days ago I took one of my precious two out of the washing machine to discover it was blown to smithereens. There was no saving it.

And then there was one.

Have I mentioned that I'm home without a car most of the time, and that even if I am home with a car, the very last thing I'd ever want to do is take a two year old boy bra shopping. Bra shopping is torture anyway, so if I took a two-year old boy I might not live to tell about it.

Tonight I couldn't take it anymore. It didn't matter that I was exhausted, that it was -20 below outside, or that once Mark gets home all I want to do is crash on the couch and watch House reruns. I had to go. I cleaned up the dinner dishes and left the house to bare the weather and the wrath of the unmentionables department.

I'm now happy to report that my trip was a success. Going with the theme of the day, living and learning, I also purchased a prophylactic 6-pack of Hanes a size larger than usual, in anticipation for the day the washer eats the remaining pairs of underpants that still manage to fit.


Never has the phrase "live and learn" been more applicable than in the preparation for my second newborn. This is due primarily to the very little, if any preparation I did before having Luke. It wasn't because I was lazy or because I didn't have the energy to do anything, I just didn't know what to do. Only after having a baby to take care of at all hours of the day, being deliriously exhausted and overwhelmed did I wish I had done more.

I wasn't lacking in the instinctive "nesting" stage with Luke, I just didn't put my instincts to good use. Trying to pass the time before baby came, I spent hours ironing Luke's new and freshly washed sleepers, blankets, and burp cloths. Yes, I ironed his burp June. Did I know I was being ridiculous, of course, but I wanted to do something, and I didn't know what I should be doing.

Now, with three months to spare, whenever I feel that little burst of energy I take full advantage. Yesterday I washed, folded, skipped the ironing, and put fresh and sorted baby clothes into the new baby's dresser. A little premature, but who knows if I'll ever feel the urge to do superfluous laundry again, and now I KNOW that there won't be extra time once there's a baby around.

Also on my list is reading. Since summer I have been reading in super-speed, picking another up as soon as I put one down, but now it's time for a refresher course in baby care. How I regretted not reading enough about nursing and fussy babies before I had a fussy baby of my own. By the time I had my own fussy baby, I had no time to trouble-shoot, read about methods of calming the baby, or shop for a book that would fit our lifestyle. While it's difficult to read these books now while they're not quite relevant, I will force myself knowing the impracticality of getting anything read once there are two to care for.

My list today requires a hammer, nails, and hanging up those loose pictures scattered around the house waiting for a home on the wall. One more thing to check off the list before life hits a long pause with a new baby.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Customer Service

It's naptime. I have a very important phone call to make. I save important phone calls for naptime, no explanation necessary.

The worst sentence to hear while using precious naptime to make important phone calls:
"Our call volume is too high and we cannot assist you. Goodbye."

I might scream now.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a Mess!

Luke's lunch request: "Uh oh, Spaghettio's"
We usually eat the same thing for lunch and I don't eat Spaghettio's, but not having much of an appetite this afternoon I complied with the request. Being the genius mother that I am, I have learned after many stained shirts that I should strip Luke naked to eat his canned goodness.

Soon he begins to cry. Then he is inconsolable. The bib, which is a pointless accessory in our house since food ends up on his belly and lap anyway, is clean, but his whole belly is full of spaghettio's and meatballs. His crying continued as I cleared the mess from his abdomen when I saw that his whole belly was red. Not that his belly isn't red all the time anyway, we're in constant supply of Rx Elidel and Hydrocortisone for eczema, but the spaghettio's were certainly not helping his already delicate skin.

So, we canned the spaghettio's (no pun intended), I cleaned him up, soaked his tummy with a warm washcloth, and fed him the rest of his lunch like he was 9 months old.

I'm not much of a genius, a bib doesn't work and now nor does being naked. I need a tarp.

Small Blessings

Today I'm thankful for...

The YMCA! My new best friend. Free childcare, insurance reimbursed membership, and a large space for Luke to run around and have fun while it's cold outside.

Fishing line used to tie the tree to the wall. This will (hopefully) prevent the tree from falling down again.

Waste Management Recycling. We get our recycling picked up at the end of our driveway. Having done 100% of my Christmas shopping online, it's nice to be able to recycle the packing boxes and not have them fill up the garbage and garage.

XM-Radio's Catholic Channel. Discovered yesterday, it was only on Sirius before and now is on XM.

Becker Furniture World. Our former mismatched couch and ottoman will be totally replaced tomorrow with free delivery. Yeah for customer service!

That despite working tonight I feel rested and full of energy. Let's pray I don't pass out after my glucose test this afternoon :)

Have a good weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes

I'm exhausted. We've been running errands all day. In no less than five trips from the car to the house I grab the two-year old and all the groceries. Inside we throw off our hats, coats, mittens, and boots when I look down at the shiny floor covered in dirt.

I decide to mop.

I finish mopping and find the first place to plop down that isn't drenched in Pine-Sol. It's the carpeted stairs.

I sigh.
My back hurts.

"Luke," I say, "Mommy's baby is growing really big and makes mommy's back hurt after all the work we did this morning."
Luke looks on.
Then, I asked him, without expecting an answer, "Luke, what should I do so that my back doesn't hurt all the time?"

Luke's response "Mommy, wear shoes."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Sound of Sickness

Remember in The Sound of Music when Captain Von Trapp used a whistle to summon his children. Each child had a specific call. We have a similar arrangement in our house, albeit unintentional.

I've had a congestion cold for a long time, almost a long as I've been pregnant. I go through boxes of tissues, my face is always red from blowing my nose, and I never leave home without a stack of tissues that dwindle to nothing by the end of the trip.

Now, whenever I sneak away for awhile, whether it be a bath at night and leave Luke with Mark for some solace time, or time alone in the office to pay bills or wrap gifts, my family immediately knows when I've returned to join them. It's pretty sad when across the house the sound of a nose blowing is the signal that mom has returned. From three floors down Luke will hear me, yell "Mommy!" while both Mark and I laugh at the sad reality that Kleenex and stuffy noses are now associated with dear little mommy.

Of course, there are worse functions to be associated with, so I should be thankful ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


It's all worth it. A couple of weeks ago I professed my love of CoffeeMate at their website.

Yesterday I received two coupons for FREE CoffeeMate. Not a percentage off, not buy one get one, but FREE 32oz of CoffeeMate.

Have I mentioned that I love the Honda Odyssey? It's my next target.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


How many hours do you spend trying to get your baby to nap before you give up?


Slow Down!

It's that insane time of year that is conveniently called "The Holidays." With Thanksgiving down, we're now in the thick of it. For a young family like ours, we're filled with an uncommon excitement at the simple traditions we're still getting accustomed to. This includes chopping down a tree, hauling it on the car, dragging it in the house, and putting the 11ft vicious Blue Spruce into a tree stand. This one accomplishment is an entire post in itself, but we'll save that for another day.

With all my anticipation for Christmas my days are filled to the brim with projects to get done, parties to plan, and presents to buy. Frankly, I'm exhausted, and it's only the first week of Advent! It's all my own doing, of course. At 24 weeks pregnant I'm healthy, the baby is healthy, and I really don't have much of a belly to get in the way. However, I'm still 24 weeks pregnant, the baby is getting bigger, I'm getting bigger, and everything is getting more difficult.

Do I stop, slow down, and save the rest for someone else to do? No! Do I ask for help or wait for someone to help me? No! Do I, in spite of the back pain and against medical advice insist on dragging the Christmas boxes from garage and rearrange the living room furniture? Yes!

Am I any different than most busy moms I know who don't let their lives stop even when their bodies tell them to? No. I'm not any different and I'm not working harder than anyone else I know. It's unfortunate because of all the things we have to do, or think we have to do.

Before the time of modern medicine pregnancy was known as the "Period of Confinement." Once a mother reached a certain point of pregnancy she was put in her room to bed. The windows were shut and the curtains drawn. She stayed there until the baby was born, and then afterwards for another four to six weeks. The first time I learned of the treatment I was appalled and thought it terribly cruel. Now, although I certainly wouldn't condone it, understand why it might have been necessary during that period of history. Shut up in your bedroom you can't see the piles of laundry or dirty dishes. You don't walk across the floor and make a note that you need to scrub it. You don't sit down on couch, find a lone sock stuck in the cushions and spend the rest of the day searching for it's match. With the windows closed you wouldn't see the weeds that need to be pulled, the lawn that needs to be mowed, or all the toys scattered about the yard that never make it back to their place at night. While confinement for the mother certainly would have been depressing and frustrating, it was probably necessary for her and the baby's health to stop, slow down, and let the world take care of itself.

Confinement is not in my future, and today's version, bedrest, would be my worst nightmare. But this afternoon, if I can get the little boy upstairs to fall asleep, I'm going to relax, crochet the new baby a blanket, and wait to finish my to-do list until after naptime...or maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Mark filling out an insurance form for work, "Okay Mal, your due date is 5.31.09."

"Um, did you say '5', as in the month of May?"

"Yeah, you're due May 31st, right?"

"Um, no...HECK NO!"

"You're not? When are you due then?"

"March. I'm due in March, remember, March, March, March!!! Remember, only days from your birthday, your grandma's birthday, your other grandma's birthday, your brother's birthday, MY birthday. Remember?!!"

"Oh, okay."

"Have you been telling people I'm due in May?"


"Oh, brother."

Monday, November 24, 2008


I've been pretty lucky this pregnancy. No morning sickness, no health concerns, and none of the extreme fatigue I felt during my whole pregnancy with Luke. Overall I've felt great and have only noticed my limitations recently as simple tasks will put me easily out of breath. So, I shouldn't complain when something does become difficult, but spoiled little me is beside herself trying to solve the problem!

The problem is migraines. I've never had them before and have been one of the fortunate few who normally only experience a rare headache from something easily identifiable, in my case, white wine or not drinking enough water. So, during the first few migraines I didn't even know what was going on. It took a reference to my handy-dandy pregnancy owner's manual to see the every symptom was aligned to a pregnancy-induced migraine.

They have all started the same way, black dots, squiggling lines, blurry vision and nausea. Then, the slow throbbing at the temples makes its way down the back of my neck. I take Tylenol, I drink of a cup of coffee, but it's no use. I'm stuck, and for at least 24 hours I'm in a tunnel with no relief and no more options other than waiting for it to pass.

This has happened maybe six times now, with one starting last night at work. The only correlation I've found with all of them is that by the time I get them I'm usually over my threshold for sleep deprivation. I'm not sure yet if fatigue causes them, but it certainly doesn't help.

So, those are my complaints. In comparison, many women have to endure far far worse, but this is my little struggle. I'm hoping they'll get better, and if not, March is really not that far away.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Silent Night, Loud Morning

Day: Saturday
Time: 8:00am
Last night:Worked late, exhausted
Wake up call: A noise somewhere between a dying duck and a blow horn attempting a tune I think was silent night.
Culprit: Mark playing a trumpet at Luke's request
Accomplice: Thanks, mom, for giving Luke a trumpet

The question remains, is Luke's grandma spoiling him, or punishing us?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brand Power

An ode to brands our family cannot function without...

Category: Survival

Coffee Mate (need I say more)

Diet Coke (again, a God-send)

Caribou Coffee (AAAAAAAlleluia!)

Yoplait (because when you don't like yogurt, it takes a really good kind to eat it regularly)

Betty Crocker Cinnamon Struesel Muffin Mix (try them!)

Progresso Tomato-Basil Soup

Jack's Thin-Crust Pizza (On sale with a coupon I can get 5 for $9!)

Zataran's Black Beans and Rice

Category: Toilette

Schick Quatro Razor for him and her (They're spendy, but NO cuts...ever!)


Pantene Curl-Defining Mousse

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant

OxyClean stain pre-treater


Category: Coverage

For Mom: J-Crew Tissue Tee's (LOVE!)
J-Crew Perfect Fit Tee (wear 'em everyday)
Sketcher's Black Mary Janes (everday)

For Mark: Chaps Wrinke-Free dress shirts from Kohl's (no ironing!)
Hanes white tee's

For Luke: thermal-lined khaki's from Gap (the BEST pants ever!)
Gymboree sweater (wash them over and over and they still look great)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snowmen and Santa

It's only November. Luke shouldn't have any recollection from Christmas last year, and yet, he's been asking about Christmas and Santa for days.

"Mommy, Christmas song?"

How can I explain to him my rule about no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving?

"Mommy, Santa come down?"

How can I explain to him that Santa will come down the chimney, to town, or whatever he expects, but that he has to wait a long time before that day.

"Mommy, Christmas tree, house?"

How can I explain that yes, we will have a Christmas tree in the house, but we have to WAIT!

And finally, how is it that he knows about all of these things?

'Tis the season...pretty soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Things to be thankful for this weekend:

1. When I need boots for the upcoming winter (I live in MN and don't have any!), they are not only on sale, but I find the perfect pair in the children's department for 40% less than women's. 

2. That Luke's early faith in God has been strengthened when he prayed to Jesus for snow to build a snowman, and the next morning we were greeted with falling snow. 

3. That the small pleasures, like hearing Mark order a "Skinny, Ho-Ho Mint Mocha" make me smile days later. 

4. That our little boy gets a little brother in March. Two boys. Oh my. 

Be blessed :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Mommy

Recently I was discussing the arrival of Baby #2 with a group of mothers who had already crossed that threshold or were planning to in the future. I began to make the point that, with another on the way and my life soon thrown upside-down, I was taking advantage of my time by doing those things that with two little ones seems impossible. My point being, instead of wasting time watching the Tyra Banks Show, I'd been reading up a storm and doing other assorted two-handed projects which I'm anticipating to prove difficult with a growing family. 

A mother who I know only through brief introduction looked at me and said, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but if I were you I would try to give your oldest a little more time and love before the second comes along." Hhmm. I tried not to take it the wrong way, and at least by outward appearances humbly accepted the advice. Only after I left the conversation and let the dialogue fester a few days did it really start to bother me. 

Love Luke more? Give him more time? I hardly work to give him time. I feed, I cuddle, I rock, I sing, I read, and I play Lego's and dinosaurs all day long for him. I hope and pray everyday that the time I give him will pay off later. I do it all...for him. 

How could I love Luke more? How could any good mother consciously love their own child more? I don't love perfectly, I have failures everyday. I could be more patient, I could cook one less frozen pizza for lunch, I could reserve computer time for only when Luke is sleeping, and a thousand other things I'm both aware and unaware but with prayer hope to improve. But love? If anything, I wonder if a child can be loved too much. Can I hug, kiss and praise him to a fault? 

With the arrival of little Baby #2, it will not only be Mark and I that go through a transition, but Luke as well. Luke will have daily practice on those lessons I'm trying to teach him now--patience, sharing, gentleness. If anything, my fault with him has been loving him to the point that all of my time is his time. A new baby will teach him that he may have to wait ten minutes for a cup of juice, that my arms aren't only for consoling him, and that he can take his shoes off by himself. Will these little denials of service signify less love? I really don't think so. If anything, these lessons will shape his character and will, and maybe in the process bring out qualities which haven't surfaced yet. 

A little boy, selfish for all of his mother's love, will soon learn that a mother's heart knows no depth too deep. 

In Spite of...

In spite of the cold weather creeping closer and the hibernation that inevitably happens when forced inside for days at a time due to the snow and frigid temperature, we've kept very busy even though our time outside of the house is dwindling. 

Take this morning for example, Luke comes running to me crying. The bagel got too close to his face and cream cheese blocked his nasal passage. I wiped away the clog, and the cat licked off the rest, which Luke affectionately thought was a kiss. After a good laugh at his expense we returned to the daily grind, which, when during the first few weeks in a new house, is quite extensive. 

We've found much to entertain indoors. For an entire afternoon I got to experience first-hand the helpfulness of a toddler when cleaning kitty-barf from the new carpet, which meant, unfortunately more carpet cleaner. 

Two houseplants now grace our dining room. They're still alive, which is an accomplishment being that my track record with keeping such things alive is less than stellar. It doesn't help when one of the "Look Mom" shout-outs from yesterday was a "Look Mom" accompanied by handfuls of dirt from my rubber plant, already hanging on life by a string. spite of being housebound more with the changing seasons, we have been thoroughly occupied inside. I wonder what bodily function will keep us busy this afternoon? 

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I hate cats.

End of story.

For now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Consolation Prize


Obama Drama

We have a new President-elect, and it was no surprise to me. Feeling proud of fulfilling our duty to vote, both Mark and I knew, voting for McCain in Minnesota was merely a symbolic action--the race was called for Obama before any of the precincts reported.

Many people are scared, a little irrational, and disappointed. I still believe we live in a great country, and have faith in our system of checks and balances. Looking at the situation more closely, I've tried to determine what, in the realm of change, will change for me.

For me, smack-dab in the middle class, I need have no fear of higher taxes. My husband, working for a small firm, will be unaffected, and my job working nights in the ER is unexpendable, so no worries there. We're out of college and our children won't go to school until Obama's first term is over, so educational funding and college tuition doesn't affect us. We live in rural Minnesota, the east and west coasts are a world away, and terrorism is a fear we don't live with. National security, so long as we're tucked away in our home, doesn't affect us. Heck, maybe this Obama thing makes sense for us?


Because, while our lives may not change, and our happiness and success goes unaffected by policies and administration, the lives of others will change, which is something we cannot overlook. The unborn will be desecrated in the womb, the disabled will lose their rights for sustenance, and human embryos will further be exploited in the name of science. Teenage girls will get suspended for bring Advil to school, but will get prescription contraceptives and abortions without parental consent.

Further, we'll be stuck. The higher taxes for the more-successful will mean less money pumping into the economy, and fewer jobs created.

Yes, there will be change, and even though we may go on living the same, today is a defeat for those who have no voice. We must continue to fight for them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

...started early, with a loud THUMP at 5am. The child had fallen out of bed. He didn't go back to sleep.

I showered last night to prevent a repeat carpet mishap.

A new Story Hour at a new library.


An evening of watching and waiting to hear who the next President will be.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Right This Minute!

I HATE the smell of carpet cleaner-the kind of cleaner you use when there is a stain on the carpet. Right This Minute I am smelling carpet cleaner, that foul combination of something between vomit and oven cleaner. Worse, the mess I'm cleaning up is not helping my olfactory sense whatsoever.

This morning I took a shower. Is it a crime? Apparently. I put in a movie for Luke so I could clear out my pregnant sinuses with a hot, steamy shower. I get dressed, put my hair in a ponytail, and was feeling pretty accomplished for a Monday morning.

As I walked downstairs I was greeted with a giant turd at my feet. Numerous others were scattered across the family room. As I yelled Luke's name, a diaperless boy peered from behind the couch.

As any sensible mother would do, I immediately grabbed the phone to call my husband and blame him for the mess. Only after that did I clean the child and begin the process of wasting numerous paper towels and wet wipes to lift the remnants from the carpet. I am now one minute away from scrubbing the stains from the carpet and one step closer to eliminating the unmentionable scent gracing our house.

We're wasting no time breaking in our new home.

Claim to Fame

Friday was Mark's swearing-in ceremony to become an official licensed attorney. We spent the day at the St. Paul River Center and endured an hour of names listed that had reached The Bar.

I was entertained by Luke running in circles around the auditorium, and by the young gentlemen sitting across from us who was no other than our local weatherman, Sven Sundgaard. I won't say what I want to say about seeing the little guy in person (I'm a whole head taller than him), I'll just post a picture and then let you imagine how he looks with a popped collar and spray tan. The question begs your weatherman as pretty as mine?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We are in our new house! It's overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. We have no internet connection yet, but will next week. So much to blog about, no computer to share it all.

Until we meet again.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Every Mother Knows...

...the sound a head makes when it falls on the floor.


It's 9:03am and I've heard that sound THREE times already this morning. A boy, who shall remain nameless, and his unproportionately large head didn't get enough sleep last night.

And it shows.


Slow Down

I am one of the fortunate few who feel fantastic during pregnancy. I don't get morning sickness, I have the energy of a six year old boy, and I can eat anything without aversion. I learned this week, however, that I am not invincible.

Part of me feeling good is a mindset that I can get away with doing anything I did before I was pregnant. My activities are pretty mundane, so I'm safe getting away with trips to the grocery store, story time at the library, Mass, and playgroups. When we closed on our house this week, my energy went into high gear and I haven't slowed down since. This, while not the most dangerous thing I've done, was pretty stupid. I can no longer convince myself that pregnancy won't get the way of my to-do list, nor handicap me from my "can-do" capable attitude.

I've tried to be careful, refraining from lifting boxes and only carrying those things I can fit into a laundry basket, but now my back hurts. I started painting the downstairs of our house last night, and the repetitive motion of the paint roller has left my right hand numb...a less popular but very common ailment in pregnancy known as carpal tunnel syndrome. I thought I could climb up and down stairs endlessly unpacking the car, but I'm so out of breath after one trip that I need to sit down on the floor. Once I'm on the floor my knees buckle under the gravity shift of mid-section and I need to get on all fours in order to stand up.

I'm not complaining, but rather admitting what I should have realized a long time ago, that I should slow down and stop pretending that I can do things that are too difficult for me. Maybe if I had morning sickness from the beginning I wouldn't have these unreasonable expectations. So, expect me on the sidelines from now on, or at least switching from heals to flats.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I am an expert mover. In the past three and a half years I have lived in SEVEN different homes between different apartments, staying with friends over the summer ;) , and living with family during transitions such as the one we're in now--buying a house. Now I'm starting my eighth move. I feel the exhaustion that comes from taking myriad trips from the car to the house, along with the excitement that makes me want to keep working even though my body is telling me to slow down.

I've moved while pregnant-very pregnant. I've moved with Luke as a newborn, a six-month old, a one year old, a two year old, and now while pregnant with a two year old. Phew! Fortunately I've kept my head on pretty straight to this point, and even though the task seems overwhelming, I'm just trying to do what I can and let the rest go until I can get to it.

For someone like me, moving is an intense challenge. I love order, routine, and organization. When we've moved, we've had none of these. Our belongings are stuffed in garages, basements, and utility rooms of nearly every family member whose spared us the space. Our boxes are old diaper boxes, and I've got kitchenware packed with linens and baby toys. It's a mess and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. Usually at this point of moving/packing I'm on the floor crying and begging for an Ativan (only joking), but I've been pleasantly laid back this time around.

Yes, I'm a veteran mover and I hate moving with a passion, but sometimes it has to be done. This time around I'm going to try to relax, enjoy the packing, moving, and unpacking process while only stressing about the things that are not losing the crib screws or breaking the margarita glasses.

Monday, October 20, 2008


How does this happen, you wonder? I had things to do today!! See post below.


I have six phone calls to make,
four loads of laundry to wash,
and an unmentionable number of boxes to pack.
I have no idea where to start.

Today I'm going to take a different approach. I'm going to make coffee, cuddle with my little boy, and read Pigs in the House aloud as many times as I can tolerate. I can't delay all I need to do to until tomorrow, but in the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "I'll worry about that later."

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Why I cannot, will not, and under no circumstance whatsoever vote for Barack Obama in the upcoming election. This video is worth your time and tears.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008



Can I just say that public education is going down the toilet? Can I just say that there's no way I can get motivated to support funding for schools when they pull this kind of crap? Can I just say that if anyone dared to take my six year old out of school to attend a homosexual "marriage" that my child would never walk through the schools doors again nor would I support any function or levy that generated funds for that school.

Survival Kit

Items Necessary for Survival at 17 weeks Pregnant:

~Fresh Bagels
~Fat Pants
~Puffy Vests
~Pretzel Sticks
~Pride and Predjudice
~Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, Frozen Pizza
~Diet Coke
~Sunglasses to hide to dark circles
~Cute socks to make up for the lack of wardrobe
~Laughing...and what happens when you laugh

Nap Revolt

What do you do when your two year old doesn't nap?

He has, up until this week, taken a nap every afternoon...for hours. Sometimes two, sometimes up to four. He doesn't go to bed until 8pm and wakes up by 6:30am, so a nap is necessary for him, and oftentimes is the only opportunity I have all day to get things done. Twice this week he has gone in his crib and not fallen asleep. He cries, sings, yells for me, and does not sleep. After two hours I give up and try to get him to lay on the couch with a movie, but he will have nothing to do with rest.

I find this very confusing since we have a busy life. We're gone nearly every morning to the library, grocery store or errands, and by the time we return home we're both a little cranky and worn out. I'm baffled that the boy isn't ready to sleep after more than a year of taking afternoon naps.

Ho hum. I'll just type away trying to distract myself from the boy who should be sleeping but instead is singing "Baby Beluga" at the top of his lungs.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh Boy.

Luke was taking a bath this week and inspecting a certain body part. After intense scrutiny he looked at me, pointed to his special body part and said "hot dog."

I stood there, jaw-dropped, and instantly grabbed my phone to call his father.

"Mark, did you teach Luke to call his $^&#@ a hot dog?"


"Then who did?"

It's either a mystery, or our boy has a great imagination.

Great. Just great.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wishful Thinking?

My money-saving goal for March 30, 2009: Cloth Diapers

Can I do this?


Mark passed the Bar Exam. His hard work and sacrifice the last three years has paid off. We now can officially close this chapter of our lives and start a new one. This is what we've been waiting and working for, this was our goal, and it has been achieved.

We have been incredibly blessed the past few months. We are expecting another baby, we've bought our first home, and because of the housing crash, for much less than it's worth, and at a time when so many are out of work, a private practice took a chance on a new lawyer who hadn't yet passed the Bar Exam.

The economy is frightening, and the unknown future is more still. We're clinging to faith and family and wondering if this recession will take our culture a step back in time where values outweigh goods.

We've so far been removed from the effects of the economy, but as we enter as a new family we'll be thankful everyday that we have a roof over our head and food to eat, as we know that many families are struggling and sacrificing to make ends meet.

Friday, October 3, 2008

And on that farm...

...he had a dinosaur...giraffe...two white tigers...panda bear...elephant...turtle... E-I-E-I-O!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


A boy who drinks a lot pees a lot. A boy who pees a lot leaks through his diaper. A boy who leaks through his diaper goes through a lot of diapers. A boy who goes through a lot of diapers also goes through a lot of clothes...especially at night.

Here's some pajamas I've washed this morning...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Feast Day

Today is St. Therese of Lisieux's Feast Day.

Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Therese, the Little Flower


St. Therese

Some of the most profound lines from Story of a Soul are written in the first pages. The writing is simply beautiful.

"Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers.
And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus' garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to Lillie's and roses, but He has created smaller ones, and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God's glances when he looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He will us to be."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tales from the Supermarket

Scenario: Mommy pushing Luke in the grocery cart as we make our bi-monthly trip to the grocery store.

Conflict: Since we've been going every two weeks, coupon clipping and meal planning, my grocery list is brand specific, extensive, and takes time to complete.

Reward: If Luke is a good and patient boy, he gets a donut, which is universally referred to as a "treat" in our household.

Humor: While picking up Aunt Jemima pancake syrup, which I had a coupon for, Luke snatched the oh-so-precious grocery list from my grip and began "reading" the paper in total jibber-jabber.

Wanting him to feel engaged and helpful I asked him, "Luke, what's next on our list?" He responded, "Num, num." Now, the next thing on my list was a block of Crystal Farms mozzarella cheese, but hey, in Luke's world "num num" should have made the light go off.

Taking my chances I asked Luke what else was on the list..."treat," of course ;) .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Agenda Lost

We've been sick...all week. Between the daily rain and general displeasure at the thought of getting dressed and leaving the house, Luke and I are on our last leg trying to keep entertained. Fortunately Luke has been an angel these days and has demanded little of me. Halfway through the week we managed to get to the library for some new books, but I now have no voice to read them aloud. I called in to work tonight, something I never do, and am just hoping that this isn't a sign of what's coming this winter.

In my spare time I'm doing what any other sensible new home owner would be doing, spending endless hours on the internet looking up paint colors and toddler bedding. The toddler bedding is easy, because anyone who knows Luke knows what makes him the happiest in the world--dinosaurs. I managed to find a sheet set that wasn't too scary or obnoxious, and thought cool bedding would be good motivation for Luke to sleep in a big boy bed. The paint is more tricky because I'm dealing with a type of home we never thought we'd get, that is, new, modern and bright, as opposed to the older, classic homes with character that we looked at all summer. Now, instead of reds and browns I'm leaning towards light greens and soft yellows. Of course, we can't even get into the house right now, but it's still fun to dream.

Another not-so-great companion of sickness is its ability to throw off our wonderful routine. I haven't cooked all week, the produce is going bad, the pork loin is still in the freezer, and the take-and-bake pizza and lunch at McDonald's are making me feel all my effort to get on track has been wasted. But, a wise mother told me to expect these things to happen, to plan for them, and not to beat yourself up when out of necessity a week of dinners and laundry go down the toilet.

From a Hesitant Homemaker in Minnesota with no voice but a need to communicate somehow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

Just when I thought it was lost for good, just when I thought we'd be forced to buy another, I found it. After months of agonizing searching, Friday nights with mediocre comedy, and movies that just didn't stack up to the competition, it's finally here.

I'm talking about Anchorman, of course. Where was it found? In the bottom of a forgotten-about toy box...of course.

I want to scream it from on top of a mountain, but I don't have a mountain. I have a computer and a blog. Stay classy, cyberspace.

Home Sweet Home

We have a house! This is the fourth home we've attempted to buy, but through no fault of our own the previous three haven't worked out. Unknowingly, we saved the best for last and are very excited for everything to come. The pictures are off the internet now and we don't close for a couple weeks, so I don't even have a picture to share, but soon enough they'll be plenty.

It is a buyer's market, but it's a myth to think that it's an easy market. The best homes are bought fast, and you can't take a day off in your search for those homes, because they're gone in a matter of days, sometimes less. We saw our house on Saturday after it being on the market for a day. By Monday there were six offers on the house. The same situation happened to us last month attempting to buy a similar home. In that case we came in second of six offers. We learned a few things through the experience, and when this opportunity came up we were going to use everything we learned to win the bid. It worked.

The next couple weeks will be filled with phones calls, oven shopping, and packing up the pieces of our lives assorted through in three different home generous enough to store our stuff during this transition. We are excited, scared, and thankful...but mostly excited :) .

Language Barrier

Should I be worried? My son can't say simple words and phrases necessary for communicating effectively with me and the world around him. However, yesterday in the middle of a Melissa and Doug puzzle, he pointed to a flying dinosaur and said "Pterodactyl."

My conclusion. Far-fetched, but a great excuse for the language gap and puzzle obsession.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


The hot rollers actually worked! They did require a little time and effort, i.e., warming them up, putting them in, and waiting for them to cool. However, it was a welcomed change from my daily ponytail and took much less time than if I'd have to curl my hair or blow-dry it to make it curly. I was a little reminiscent of a Texas prom queen, but no one's perfect. 

Final Verdict: Very pleased, will make my life easier, will make getting ready for church faster, will be therapeutic when after sixty straight days of a ponytail I feel so frumpy I start to dress like one of the Olsen twins. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

October Road

I first read Story of a Soul as a freshman in college. I labored through it, and didn't understand most of what I was reading. I kept the book at school with me for the next two years, and during the fall of my senior year I picked it up again.

The second time around wasn't mundane or difficult. Instead, I was inspired, enthusiastic, and a thoroughly changed person. I carried it around with me, finished it and started right back up again, and re-read the same simple passages over and over again while contemplating their rich meaning.

I've since read many other fantastic spiritual books, but every October I return to one of the staples of my faith--Story of a Soul, the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. It's a great preparation for the significant coming months--Advent in November, Christmas in December, and then Lent and Easter in the Spring. Then, at the end of every summer and the beginning of a new fall, Story of a Soul emerges again, each time revealing more than it had during the previous read.

Once October hits and I pick up my loved book again, I'll be happy to share some of those passages which have touched my life. Although, if you've read the manuscript, I'm preaching to the choir, but perhaps you'll pick up it again with me.


I have fallen in love again. I have fallen in love with a nameless, faceless, tiny person. I have fallen in love with someone I have not seen, have not touched, have not held, but I have heard.

I have fallen in love with a heartbeat. Although weeks from viability, months from birth, and years before he or she can tell me back, I have fallen in love, and I'm in awe.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Risky Business

I caved. I was watching the Tyra Banks show this week in a fit of napping denial and saw a segment about a woman with hair JUST LIKE MINE. Specifically, frizzy, out of control, and desperate for anything that works. They hair-sprayed her hair and then put it all up in wide-barrelled hot rollers. Her hair came out smashing. Of course, that meant that today in Target I bought wide-barrelled hot rollers anticipating the same carefree results.

I'm taking a big risk. I have an appointment in an hour and I have hot rollers in my hair. This could spell a bad hair disaster. I'll let you know how it turns out. Just don't knock on my door.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Home Buying

This process continues to exhaust me. With interest rates dropping to ridiculous lows everyday, Mark and I are eager to make a decision on a home. After one dropped offer and a flash sale where we came in second of six other offers, we are still without a home of our own. The home showings continue, the nights spent number crunching and listing searching goes on, and we are left wondering where our house is.

Through this experience I've learned a lot about compromise, expectations, and the difference between laminate floor and carpeting costs. I have a hunch our search will soon come a halt with a combination of the interest rates and eagerness of sellers to get their home sold before the dead of winter hits. Fortunately for us, we're in an ideal situation.

After cramped apartment living, my mind is busy dreaming of a bedroom for my little boy decorated with the trains and dinosaurs he loves. I'm busy dreaming of a nursery for our next one with the matching crib bedding I wasn't able to use for Luke, and a changing table and rocker all in the same room. I'm dreaming of a kitchen with a dishwasher, more than a foot of counter space, and cupboards that open and close without a struggle. I'm dreaming of a Christmas tree, Easter eggs, birthday parties, and breakfast on the porch

It's all been exciting, stressful, and sometimes frustrating, but we're getting there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


What we know about the sock monster:

1. Baby socks get lost mysteriously

2. The sock monster seems to catch his socks somewhere between the washer and dryer cycle.

3. The sock monster doesn't like to catch two matching socks. He prefers one sock per set, thus making every sock in the drawer and mis-match.

4. The sock monster is seemingly invisible.

5. We thought, until today, that the sock monster ate the socks he caught. We were mistaken- He hoards them behind the crib.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lessons Learned

I will not wait for the first snowfall to buy boots and a winter jacket for my son.
I will not wait until all the leaves are off the trees before I realize that Luke has no warm clothes for the upcoming season.
I will not spend another winter with no boots for the baby because they were sold out everywhere.
I will not buy the absolute last jacket and snowpants on the rack within a tri-county region simply because I did not plan.

I'm going today.

But let's face it. This is Minnesota. It could snow tomorrow. At least I'll be prepared this time around.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fashion Victim

This is my purse, and yes, it's awesome. I love it. It's probably my favorite purse of all time.

This is the inside of my purse. Not quite as glamorous. No Kleenex, no hand sanitizer, no ibuprofen or any other practical purse-user necessities. However, I'm stocked with dinosaurs, a giraffe, a plastic spoon, a stick of gum, a Michael Jordan action figure, Thomas the Train, and of course, a huge tube of Vaseline (that's for me). Yeah, me and my purse are pretty cool.

Friday, September 5, 2008

No Clever Title, Just A Gross Story

I spent much of my time in college studying psychology of human development. I took class after class about Pavlov's dog, Piaget's learning stages, and endless others with different views about the stages of infants and children. Distinguishing each of these psychologists from their differing theories was quite difficult. I used note cards, color codes, rote memorization in order do well in my classes. Some of these theories, such as positive reinforcement, come in handy in my life today. There was one kook, popularly known as Freud, who gave me a little understanding yesterday after a blog-worthy situation.

Freud's developmental stages revolve around bodily functions. From birth to adulthood, the stages are: Oral, Anal, Latency, Genital. For educational purposes, the first two are the quickest stages and are over by the age of five or six.

Yesterday before naptime I changed a dirty diaper and put Luke in the crib. Twenty minutes later he was fussing in the crib and calling for me. I opened his bedroom door and saw a diaper on the floor and a bare-butted baby in the crib. Pulling the child out of the crib and storing him in an empty tub while I assessed the damage, I quickly saw evidence of the second Freudian stage left behind in the crib. Only slightly freaking out, I pulled all of the wet and soiled bedding out of the crib, grabbed the baby out of the tub and then put him back in after discovering that he was also covered in the second Freudian stage.

Taking naptime very seriously, both for Luke and myself, I improvised a crib sheet with a fleece blanket, cleaned the child and put him back down for a nap. I'm hoping this isn't a sign of things to come, but just to make sure, Luke's going to wear a romper for his nap today.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What do you do...

...when your two year old tests you?
What do you do when you call his name and he runs the other way?
When you try to pick him up and he goes limp?
When you ask him to hand you something and he throws it across the room?
When he colors red crayon all over the window after specifically telling him not to?
When you finally spank him and he's up to the same shenanigans ten minutes later?
When you feel like an ineffective mother and fear destined to have naughty kids?

What's happened to my perfect, sweet little boy? The boy who showered me with hugs and kisses from morning 'till night? Who made me deliriously happy with his laughs and smiles? I try to give him a stimulating environment with colorful, creative toys. I give him attention when he needs it, I play with him on the floor, and make him play on his own when I'm busy, but I must be doing something wrong! I always follow through on discipline, and I never let him get away with defiance, and yet, here I am with a defiant two year old who knows the rules and breaks them anyway.

I'm hoping this is just a rough few days and not a new stage. Then again, maybe I've had it too easy for too long. Maybe I have too many expectations for a boy just over two and just need to have more patience. Maybe he's just two and I'll have to deal with it.

On a positive note, because I hate sounding negative when life has given me so many blessings, Luke goes to bed perfectly every night with a kiss on lips and a blessing.--yesterday he took a four hour nap! Still, this mom business is tricky stuff!

A Rant and A Rave

Did you watch the RNC speeches last night? If not, this one by Fred Thompson is incredible. When it began, I was convinced I'd lose interest, being that I admittedly am not that interested in John McCain, but as the conservative nominee I should be supportive. Afterwards I thought, for the first time in this election, that Senator Obama doesn't stand a chance against the magnitude of Senator McCain. I would encourage you to watch this speech, it is quite moving.

More than a veteran, more than a war hero, more than a prisoner of war, a senator, or any other of the hats that Senator McCain has worn, he has proven to me that his outstanding conviction is unlike anything I've seen in any other candidate--and that's something I trust.

The media covered a controversial debate recently where Senator Obama was asked a question about when human life began. His response, "above my pay grade," is still being discussed. Senator McCain's response "at conception," while blunt and bold, showcases firsthand his convictions. This single question tells me all I need to know about Senator Obama, not simply because he's pro-choice, but because of the lack of conviction, uncertainty, and pragmatism behind his answers, which to me, just make him another slimy politician.

Senator Obama has a 100% pro-abortion approval rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Never has he voted to restrict abortion, and even supports the infanticide of children born alive after failed abortion. As a senator, deciding when life began certainly wasn't above his pay grade. Now as a presidental nominee, his conviction seems to have left him. He won't stand confidently behind the votes he cast in the senate, and we on the other side are supposed to sift through his muddled conviction.

I understand that being a POW does not in any way qualify someone to president, but it certainly does reveal character (Thompson). To defend your country's honor in spite of torture and fear of death reveals a lot about the kind of man you are. On the other hand, to cower behind your decisions with fear and lame answers simply reveals a politician looking for gain.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I did it!

I went shopping today and got every single item on my list--enough to feed our family for two whole weeks. This is no easy task with a busy two year old in tow, but a bribe of a fresh donut seemed to do the trick as Luke got squirmy in the frozen potato isle. My coupons saved me over $35, and I'm quite proud of myself ;) . 

Dinner tonight was a success in that it was planned, prepared, and took little mind effort. Tomorrow's should be even easier, as the trickiest part of cooking is figuring out what the heck to make. But our fridge is stocked, including two gallons of milk, and a gallon each of orange and apple juice. We'll see how this transition works, but day one is already helping me feel refreshed. 

Now I can sit back, relax and watch the RNC...aahh!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

This Women's Vote

I'm thrilled about McCain's pick, Sarah Palin, for Vice President. The more I hear about this women, the more I like her. I can envision a member of the Executive, the first in my lifetime, being a true role model.

When Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, I was very inspired. While I disagree with Nancy Pelosi on close to everything of importance, and find her contradictions between Catholicism and values quite appalling, the road she took to get to where she is now is admirable. A mother of five, she stayed at home with her children until her youngest was nineteen. Only then did she venture into politics. I love the dedication to her family and children and the successful results it yielded in her political career.

Sarah Palin is another one of those stories, although because of her dedication to life and ethics issues, I can truly count her as someone to look up to. A mother and a leader, she first became involved in her local PTA. She then was elected mayor, proved effective, and slowly proved herself in state committees and became Governor. Now she's McCain's pick for Vice President.
Her story gives me hope after assuming that to be a nominee it was necessary to go to Yale or Harvard, be born into "old money," and be a part of high society.

A future President might be lurking out there right now, organizing play dates, or raising money for schools. In the "Land of Opportunity," we grow up being told anything is possible. In this situation I believe that phrase.

This Veep is my Peep ;)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Love it!

Bravo, Elizabeth Foss. Love the commentary about VP pick, Sarah Palin.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting Organized

This is the first fall in...gulp...19 years for me, and 21 years for Mark that the fall doesn't bring a new school year. No more shopping for No. 2 pencils, cool folders, and new school clothes. The fall does, however, bring a new job for Mark. In place of school shopping we've been spending our last days of summer wrapping up loose ends, making phone calls, taking trips to the dentist, and taking Luke to the places we've been meaning to all summer.

Exhaustion has taken over most of motivation in the last weeks, with my closest thought being how many hours I have to get through before I can go back to bed. I haven't been cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, or keeping Luke adequately entertained. While most of this is to blame on the Lunesta effect of pregnancy, I'm getting fed up with my lack of enthusiasm and want to do better. With Mark starting work as an attorney, me juggling staying home with Luke, working evenings, and carrying another baby, I've got to get it together.

My plan of attack revolves around goals, these are a few I came up with tonight. Sticking to them will be tough, but routine is my friend and I'm ready for a reunion.

1. Plan lunches and dinners two weeks in advance based on coupon sales and seasonal produce.

2. Go grocery shopping before working all weekend wipes my butt.

3. Get up! Get up! Get up! Don't wait to make coffee until 9:00am, make it at 7:00 when I wake up. Eat breakfast and get dressed early!

4. Do laundry everyday. Whether it be an actual load or just putting away a basket of clean clothes, do it everyday.

5. Read more to Luke, take Luke to storytime, develop a reading routine Luke looks forward to.

6. Nap when Luke naps.

I start tomorrow.

Dog Days

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Live and Learn: Nuks

Expecting another baby makes me think a lot about what I will do differently than what I did with Luke. Over the next several months I will recap mistakes, misunderstandings, and bad advice that will hopefully impact the first weeks with a newborn in a positive way.

Luke, while a wonderful little boy, was a high needs infant. The night he was born he cried all night with the pattern lasting a whole year. As a new mom, breaks were few and far between with Luke's constant need to nurse and be held. While his highs-needs temperament was, I believe, largely inborn, taking some extreme advice to avoid being a "bad mommy" didn't help. Below is my first installment of "Bad Mommy Myths," strictly my opinion, and definitely learned the hard way.

Bad Mommy Myth #1: Nuks
A few very popular baby experts, along with some advocacy groups (which shall remain nameless) claim that using a pacifier is a "lazy" way to console a baby, since the crying baby wants you, and the pacifier is a distant replacement. Also, these experts claim that using a pacifier will spell breastfeeding failure.

I took this advice seriously, firmly believing that using a nuk would make me a bad mother and make it impossible to nurse. I've since realized that many wonderful mothers use nuks and find them a life-saver. Who knows if a nuk would have helped Luke during those fussy days, but it would have been worth a shot.

Live and Learn.

Life Lesson: Everybody Poops

Laying on the couch this morning sometime between Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse I get a tug from the two year old playing on the floor.

Holding up his biggest Brontosaurus and pointing to it's rear he asks, "Mommy, dinosaur poop?"

Half alive with fatigue and nausea I answer, "Yes Lukey, dinosaurs poop."

A minute later I get another tug and look down at the accumulating pile of the animal kingdom below. His inquisition begins easily with barnyard animals.

"Mommy, cow poop?"
"Yes dear, cows poop."
"Mommy, horse poop?"
"Yes my love, horses poop."
"Mommy, doggie poop."
"Yes darling"
"Mommy, kitty poop?"
"Uh huh."

Curious minds don't stop there, and I proceeded to confirm the inevitable that bison, turtles, elephants, moose, white tigers, panda bears, kangaroos, and every extinct dinosaur do, in fact, poop.

Some of you might be out there saving the world, but I'm teaching bowel animal at a time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back for Good

A, over a month since I've posted! It's both amazing and pathetic how I can't live without the computer during the winter months, but as soon as summer hits I'll go days without even checking my email. This summer proves even more unconventional with Mark around studying or job hunting.

Life is about to change for us drastically as Mark begins his first job as an attorney, we house hunt, and anxiously await our second baby due the end of March.

Not the most important, but weighing most heavily on my mind is the house hunting. Basically, I'm not cut out for it. I'm full of opinions, preferences, and full capability to make important decisions, however, I find the speed at which something so large and expensive can be purchased utterly daunting. I like to process my decisions, discuss pros and cons,pray a little, wait a little, and then just get a general feeling about the direction to go next. Home buying, unfortunately, meets none of my decision-making skills.

As adults, we are expected not to buy on impulse, to go the grocery store on a full stomach, only to purchase sale items, and to deliberate heavily between wants and needs. These mature criteria are thrown out the window for home buying, with the accustomed motto being "get it before it's gone," because, it will be gone if you don't get it!

When we do get a house, it will be bought on impulse and adrenaline; the chase that we win. Only after we're plopped on the couch in our new living room will I realize the full extent of what we've done. Let's hope Mark is little more confident than me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy Bee

I've been more worked up than usual lately. Mark's Bar Exam begins in only a week, and while I thought things would slow down by now, they're only picking up.

I've been working more, am attempting to throw a party for Mark, arrange a garage sale and plan a trip all while making sure Luke doesn't fall in the pool in the front yard. However, if you are wired the same way I am, I prove more efficient the more I have going on. This might be due to the "daily planner syndrome" which plagues me every so often. As a time-obsessed, order and routine-loving girl, if I have enough going on (which I usually do...) I write an agenda for every day and plan my days in advance. I get some sick high off of crossing items off my list and moving at a lightening pace. In contrast with the upcoming month, this last month was actually been pretty slow. Luke and I played, spent time outside, and I spent endless hours reading instead of taking care of business.

It's now caught up with me and I'm in full swing again trying again to keep on top of things. As I'm getting more focused I've looked into a few money saving and organizational tools that I soon hope to implement into our household. They all take a lot of time, effort, and planning, but the eventual savings in time and money soon add up.

Here's a portion of the research I've been doing lately concerning shopping for household items, groceries, and coupon clipping...

And my new personal favorite:

What I love about is the concept of shopping at drug stores for household items for much less than at large chain stores like Wal-Mart. I'm just getting started with this whole idea as there is a ton to learn and much planning to be completed before you can see results.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Reads

My two-year old LOVES these books we've checked out from the library. The artwork is superb and they are entertaining for kids and adults. I think I'll keep them in mind for Christmas presents, as they'd be a great addition to a child's library.

Summer Soundtrack

I'm pretty much obsessed.

Blogging Woes

I haven't blogged in awhile. That certainly doesn't mean there isn't enough to blog about, but I haven't wanted to spare a moment between playing outside, running fun errands, and helping Luke with puzzles to waste endless time on the computer. With as long as Minnesota summer days are, I just can't peel myself away from reading a good book while looking out at the lake to blog about the current day's mishap. With short Minnesota summers and long Minnesota winters, I'm sure I'll make up for lost time as the weather cools and we're forced inside for months on end.

I'll end by sharing that I'm not the only lucky one that Luke calls "Mama." After watching Dumbo a couple rainy days on end, now whenever Luke sees a picture of an elephant he points to it and says "Mama." If you remember Dumbo accurately, Dumbo's mother (Mrs. Jumbo) is affectionately called "Mama" by little Dumbo. Of course, now I'm thinking I'd better lay off the ice cream.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On My Mind...

In the midst of summer fun, these pressing issues have kept my mind occupied...

...Should I cut Luke's hair, or let it keep growing until someone mistakes him for a girl...?

...What in the world am I going to wear on the Fourth of July, I don't wear red...

...When I have my own home, what should the upholstery on our couches look like...?

...What if Luke never learns to talk...

...Other than hot dogs, what's a good summer lunch...?

...D0 I look like a dork because the seat on my bike is so big...?

...Where in the world will we move next...?

As you can see, I'm a big ball of intellect these days.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


The Hesitant Homemaker bakes! Well, sort of. It's a boxed cake, but I technically baked it. And, although the picture doesn't give it justice, the cake is an actual ball...a full circle. Happy Birthday, Luke! These have been the best two years of my life because of you!!

Up, Up and Away

Kids love balloons. Love it.

Be thankful...

...that you don't have thirty days to memorize all of this material.

FYI: These are only half the books, the other half wouldn't stack without falling over.

Good luck, Mark!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What the... !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Um, yeah, just sign the petition and roll your eyes.

Water Bugs


I hate text messaging. I think it's lame. Sorry! Neither Mark or I have text messaging service so we both get irritated with superfluous texts telling us about some killer stock we have to buy, or a mass text informing us of the next conspiracy in gas prices. Fortunately, our friends call us instead of texting, knowing our absolute loathing of the trendy technology.

I don't have a problem with the, what I will call, "private text," where you text someone briefly with a piece of important information as long as it doesn't interrupt the normal flow of the day. What I take issue with is what I'll call "conversational texting," where instead of speaking with the person on the phone, you're texting them back and forth, often in the presence of someone you're supposed to be having a conversation with. Seriously, this is right up there with listening to your iPod at the grocery store or talking on your cell at the dinner table.

Without much previous reflection on the matter, in my opinion texting should never be used to ask someone for a favor, to thank them for a favor done, or as an invitation to an event.

It's hard to believe that I graduated from college only three years ago and never had a cell phone or sent a single text. Times are a-changing.

Looking forward...

to Date Night tonight.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sum, Sum, Summertime!

A pot of corn, freshly schucked, ready to cook...

A young boy, insisting on wearing Spiderman Pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, driving the John Deere, eating raw corn on the cob, and knowing no better...

Ahh, innocence...

Monday, June 16, 2008


I stumbled across this piece of work this morning. It's a Christian homeschooling blog, and very popular from the number of comments. Scroll down to the post titled "Roman Catholicism." I'm staying out of it, because arguments over the internet are moot in most cases. For me in my little bubble it's interesting to read this kind of thing from a wholesome, loving, Christian woman trying to do the best she can for her family.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bicycle! Bicycle!

Have I mentioned that I love riding my new bike? Every morning I wake up and look forward to the first opportunity I have to ride. I'm no expert athlete, but I really enjoy the exercise and the improvement I'm seeing in the distance I can cover. I don't have high hopes or racing dreams, I just love speed and the satisfaction that comes from hard work.

Currently I have found two aspects of cycling that are difficult to get past. First is the seat. As a kid I was on my bike everyday for far longer distances, and yet, every time I sit down on the bike I grimace and hold my breath until I'm pedalling. At this point I'm determined to suck it up and get "conditioned" to the seat, which is biker-lingo for wait until you're sore, calloused, and bike so hard your lower half is numb.

The second oh-so-lovely side effect from extended biking is carpal tunnel. Late in my pregnancy with Luke I began to deal with carpal tunnel. Although not painful, it has been a nuisance. At four months post-partum many of my symptoms went away, but certain activities bring them back full-blast. After biking a few miles my fingers start to tingle, and my hands go numb. I'm constantly slapping my hands on my thighs, clenching my fists and shaking out my hands while biking. It gets really awkward when passerby cars mistake my hand shaking with waving and start to wave back reluctantly while trying to recognize who the heck I am.

So there it is. My butt hurts and I can't feel my hands.

But, I'm having a swell time.


I find this discussion very interesting.

FYI: The blogger is unknown to me personally.

Happy Father's Day

Luke and I were up early this morning. We were dressed and out the door at a record time. We made it to the grocery store just as the baked goods delivered this morning were put on display. Luke was SO proud as he carried a doughnut down to his daddy in bed.

We're pooped now and it's only 8:30. We still have to get through Mass and brunch. Fortunately, the coffee was on self-timer, so that second cup should be kicking in right about now...

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I did it! I broke the air-popper. No more popcorn for us. How do you break an air-popper one might ask? It's simple, if you're me. All I had to do was plug it in and watch the smoke rise.

That's the remote and air-popper in less than a week. Just put it on my tab.


Right before lunch Luke walked up the stairs dragging two blankets in his mouth. They have been found!!! Where they were I have no idea, but they're pretty stinky.

"Mystery Mouse-ka-tool! We've got ears, say cheers!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Playground Politics

This afternoon at the playground a group of rowdy seven-year old boys were running circles around my two-year old. Their play amused me as they shot pretend guns at one another and used elaborate strategies to conduct their game. One of the boys told me proudly that he was an American and that America was a free-country.

The boy began throwing wood chips at the other boys as their game became more aggressive. The other boys protested telling the culprit to stop, with him replying, "it's a free country." The winner noticed my observation and explained that, "We live in America, it's a free country. That means that I can do whatever I want."

Taken-aback by his rationale for cruelty, I told him that while we live in a free country we have a responsibility to respect others and property like the playground. I'm not sure where this boy learned that freedom means that one can do whatever he pleases, but it disturbed me. Suppose the boy wants to drive a car, climb a tree and get a new puppy, can he has all of these things because it's a free country? Could he do all these things in spite of age, lack of strength, or parental consent? Suppose I want be a Navy Seal, pitch for the Yankees, and have identical twin girls with blue eyes and curly hair? There are physical laws, natural laws, and governmental law in place that prevent those from having whatever they want. Unfortunately, today's view of freedom is so skewed that people believe that freedom means absolute control over the laws surrounding them.

As a Catholic I'm governed by many rules, traditions and practices that people from the secular world may find burdensome and oppressive. It can be confusing to some that "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" ( 2 Corinthians 3:17). The concept of freedom makes the most sense when applied to service, that only until we give our lives away (to others, to the Lord, to our families), do we truly have life, happiness...freedom.

I often pray for the next generation and for those in my generation who will be raising children. I shudder to think of a world where the only thing freedom means is a narcissistic me in the center, entitled to anything I may want.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Words of Wisdom

If in the morning you have one hand on your precious cup of coffee and the other hand holding the remote flipping channels between Little Einsteins and My Friends Tigger and Pooh, beware! If you, by accident, happen to drop the remote into your cup of coffee, I can pretty much guarantee that it won't work anymore. I know from experience.

Yeah! Good Morning!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Davids

Will someone tell me how I can download songs from American Idol onto iTunes. I have searched the iTunes store and the AI website and can't find anything. Now that Idol is over I'm ready to purchase all of my favorite songs. Have I missed the boat? Am I missing something here?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Disaster: Round Two

Since we are living at Mark's parent's home all of our belongings are scattered in family members' basements and pole barns. One basement flooded yesterday. Fortunately, the majority of our things were spared. Unfortunately, our mattresses very wet. We tried the best we could, and only time will tell if they are wrecked from mold.

Blankets are still MIA. Luke is still sleeping with my pants. It's a little awkward.

Good News: I have a new bike! I got my last bike for my 10th birthday, so it was long overdue. We've attached the bike to a bike trailer and Mark and I have been out nearly everyday with Luke in tow. When the weather is good we live in such a gorgeous area. In addition to biking around lakes and trails, we have this only minutes away.

Hello Summer!


Around 15-months of age Luke became attached to a certain green silky blanket. Without any prompting or routine he began to carry this blanket with him everywhere. It's gone on road trips, attends Mass, restaurants, and has a continual morning breath smell from being sucked on all night in the crib.

Because he couldn't spare the two hours a day it needed to be washed, his grandmother found an (almost) identical blanket in blue so that I could "tag team" the blankets and get them washed without tantrums or nap strikes. This system works, as long as I can keep track of both.

Both blankets are MIA. Two nights ago the blankets went missing. This is a disaster. Both Mark and I became super-sleuths as we searched the entire house for the missing blankets. We searched every cupboard and closet, looked under beds, inside baskets, the fireplace, washing machine, fridge, in the cars, outside...EVERYWHERE! After an hour of fighting bedtime without his blanket, Mark grabbed a silky pillow case and threw it in the crib. That worked.

Yesterday, sometime between nap and bedtime, the pillow case went missing. The same routine followed last night racking our creativity searching for the missing blankets and pillowcase. I crawled around the house trying to gain a toddler's perspective and came up short, they can't be found. Luke was up until 10pm while I was digging though linens trying to find a blankey replacement. We are out of blankets and out of pillowcases.

Last night Luke went to bed with a silky pair of Minnesota Vikings pajama pants.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Break

The summer is here. Our days are spent on bike rides, the baby swing, and reading novels while looking out at the lake. During the long and seemingly never-ending winter I would look at the clock and await lunchtime, bath time, bedtime, as the hours went by slowly and creative measures had to be taken to prevent too much boredom. These days the time passes so quickly that bedtime is pushed an hour later, and days begin at first sunlight. I'm happy to say that in the midst of this pace of life that I've set the computer aside significantly. The outdoors has provided much entertainment, and Luke tolerates less play indoors while I type away at the computer.

While I enjoy blogging and have so many little anecdotes spinning around in my head, I'm not sure how regularly I'll be blogging this summer. I've been looking forward to this summer for years. College is over, law school is done, and this is the last summer before our transition to our life in the mainstream. Once it's over life will never be the same, and I'm intending to make the most of it.

I'll end with my summer reading list. Happy reading!

Josephine B. Trilogy, by Sandra Gullond
Her Infinite Variety: Stories of Shakespeare and the Women He Loved, by Pamela Berkman
The Memoirs Of Cleopatra: A Novel by Margaret George
The Boleyn Inheritance, by Philippa Gregory
The Royal Diaries: Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, by Kathryn Lasky
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Monday, May 19, 2008

Healthy Living: Update

Awhile ago I posted about healthy living/eating. We've had successes and a few failures, but here's how we've come along.

Since Easter we've been eating steel-cut oatmeal with ground flax seed every morning. Out of the many brands we've tried, we've preferred the locally-grown from our co-op. These taste much more "from the earth" whether it's due to the lack of processing or packaging I don't know, they cook longer and taste "healthier."

Our dinners are generally healthy with our staples being boneless, skinless chicken breasts, salmon and tilapia, paired with brown rice, and dark greens. To make these dinners healthier I've tried locally grown brown rice and have experimented with more uncommon grains such as barley and millet. The difference in taste with the locally grown food is amazing.

We fall very short in a few categories. With all of our driving and travel we've been eating too much fast food, drinking too much coffee/diet coke, and are up too late eating ridiculously buttery popcorn. There is definite room for improvement, and I'm hoping this summer to meet new goals in healthy living. We're looking forward to the weather improving and plenty of outdoor exercise and time on the lake.