Thursday, June 30, 2011

Out...and About.

Just wanted to write a quick update to tell everyone that we're sticky, hot and humid, with our hair fizzing into curls!

After a short weekend back home and a quick week up here, we're gearing up for another long weekend for the 4th back home. Between washing laundry and taking care of the quick tasks here, it doesn't leave much time for this good old blog.

Not that there aren't a million things to blog about, I mean, we just had a big birthday party, our two year old is JUMPING all around the house, the baby is getting SO chubby and cute, and we have the 4th of July to look forward to. (Did I really just end a sentence in a preposition? Don't judge, I'm tired.)  For those of my readers who are not from MN, I will try to post some pictures of the gorgeous sites where we'll be spending our time.

Throw in a carefully-planned coffee date with my be-all-end-all best-buddy, and new baby introductions to our visiting family members, and our impending summer days are stuffed with fun.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Have I Mentioned...?

Have I mentioned that I am now the proud mother of a...FIVE YEAR OLD???!!

It happened. Luke turned five. I'm officially a mother of a "big kid."

I was just discussing motherhood-related issues with a few of my fellow and seasoned mothers. We've had issues in our house with, um...talking. Not talking back. Not potty-talk, just the non-stop, I've completely drowned out your voice, what in the world are you saying kind of talking.

This is a boy who clearly wasn't getting the hint that when I said, "Luke, I am not angry with you, but you really need to stop talking now," when he goes on to explain that he not only has something important to say, but that his Lego car with two wheels instead of four doesn't have the proper foundation to support the weight of the Lego Knight because the Lego Knight wasn't originally intended to be riding on a two-wheeled Lego cart, but rather a horse, but the horse cannot be found because The Demolisher (aka Little Brother) had been hiding it in the dinosaur fortress in the playroom.

That's not exactly how he talks, but those who know him know that I just about have it right.

And then today I was able to clean and mop three bathrooms, wash two loads of laundry, sweep, vacuum and mop the wood floors, and have a whole roast chicken served with garlic-herbed wine sauce for dinner.

I didn't know it at the time, but it was all because we got THIS for Luke's birthday.

Ahh....the silence

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is this thing on?

Confession: I can't fold a fitted sheet.

I want to be able to, and have looked up Youtube videos, read magazines with step-by-step instructions, and have even gone as far as laying my freshly washed sheet on my goldfish crumb-laden carpet to get the corners to line up correctly.

It's no use. Let's face it, I just end up rolling it up into a big, ugly ball every time, and there it sits taunting me as it spews out of the closet shelf.

Sorry Martha, I'm a domestic drop-out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Of all the years to move to the greatest state in the union (Minnesota), this year would NOT be the one. In addition to Dayton planning to tax the wazoo out of everyone (highest taxes in America, people), our precious summer months are being rained out. We had rain everyday last week, and we're gearing up for another week full of rain. It's actually cold today!

If we can conquer -20 below, we can certainly cope with a bit of rain. So, our outings have consisted of a lot of trips to the post office and library.

I love the library. Seriously, love it. Going to the library for me almost carries the excitement of buying a new pair of shoes, except without the guilt. What? I can get anything I want? And it's free? And there's no limit to how much I can bring home with the exception that I need to be able to physically remove it from the premises? Wow.

Our local library in the Great White North isn't what I'd dub "child friendly." The children's section is right next to the entrance doors, and a great divide of computers separates the children's books from all other materials. That means that I am left to caravan the kids with a list of call numbers in hand whenever there's a book I'm after. We always manage to get "shushed" by the information desk while my kids try their hardest to whisper (kids trying to whisper always sounds louder than their actual speaking voice, don't you think?). Yes, we must be quiet at the library, I remind my kiddos. After all, we wouldn't want to disturb the 90% of patrons who are actually truants using the library solely for Facebook 

On we trek through the board books, easy readers, DVD's, fiction, non-fiction and magazines until each of us has a backpack full of books. Add a Britax Chaperone carrying a hefty boychild to the mix (goodness, those things are heavy!), and we're quite the sight. We lug our bags onto the counter, hand over our "ticket" and then we're off, each of us tilting slightly to the side over the weight of our books.

When we get home it's like Christmas morning! Something for everyone...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Post-Baby Workout.

I've made it no secret that I've put on momentous amounts of weight during my three pregnancies. While I was resigned to it during this pregnancy and knew what to expect, I can't help but be a bit impatient waiting for it to come off. Exercise is not important to me only to lose weight and tone my body, but I actually thrive when I am active. My anxiety seems to melt away along with the calories, and I find my head clearer. Indeed, a good walk on a bad day can turn me around in a heartbeat.

Since we're not in our suburb anymore and I'm not able to walk on the asphalt trails for pedestrians, nor am I able to maintain the hour long P90X workouts that my husband does, I've been doing Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred, which, I think, packs a decent workout in 20-30 minutes. At this point, 30 minutes is about all I'm able to commit to during the day with three boys.

The thing I've found most humorous with the Jillian Michaels' workouts is how apparent it is that she has never delivered a baby.

How do I know this, you wonder?

Well, because the workout goes a little something like this:
Jumping Jacks,
Butt Kicks,
Jump Rope,
Plank Jumps,
Plank Kicks,
Jumping Jacks,
Double Jumps,
High Knee,
Low Knee,

Monday, June 13, 2011


Is it too much to ask that I nurse the baby without a major disaster occurring?


Friday, June 10, 2011


Monday marks a big day in our household. I'll be dropping Luke off at church every morning and then picking him up after lunch for Vacation Bible School. It goes all week.

A big deal? YES.

It's uncommon that I'm away from the children for any amount of time. If I am, it's usually for a grocery run, or a rare weekend lunch with friends. If we ever leave the kids they are almost exclusively left with a close relative. This time I'll be leaving Luke with strangers all morning--for five days in a row! Maybe it's more of a milestone for me than for him?

Luke is supremely excited, and I'm confident that leaving him in a classroom full of unfamiliar faces won't daunt him a bit. He's just that kind of kid, which is nice, but a little heartbreaking for me as I await my hugs and kisses goodbye only to see that he's made two new friends and has engaged them in an game all in the span of 45 seconds.

Yes, he's getting big. Our conversations are slowly shifting to the serious business of loose-teeth, pants with zippers and buttons, and learning how to wash hair in the shower.

How'd we get here? It's amazing to think, as I nurse and rock and coo my two-month old, that I did the very same things with my VERY soon to be five year old. The transition from burp cloths to Buzz Lightyear did go fast.

I had Luke only a few months after turning 22, and Mark and I were sharing with him last night how when he's a teenager that he'd have parents younger than many of his friends. Mark was trying to get Luke excited about this fact and told him how cool and hip his parents would be, you know, being in their forties and all.

Luke, looking confused  shared, "But Dad, parents can't be cool."

And then we wondered if it was him or us that had grown up too quickly.

Regardless, here and now is a wonderful place to be.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Set it at rest...

Do you ever read something that speaks right to you, that seems to be written right from your own heart? Every once in a while this happens to me, when the events of the day are providentially coordinated with what I happen to stumble upon in prayer or reading. For me, it's like nourishment for my soul.

Elizabeth Foss wrote last week about the struggle mothers have with the virtue of gentleness. The entire post is quite good, and I encourage you to read it, especially if you are lacking in this area (as I am...)

One of the quotes I found especially touching, and something I have taken to heart. Things in our house can go from wonderful to miserable in a matter of seconds. Boys will be playing sweetly, baby will be content, when all of sudden a brother takes a beloved toy and the other brother snaps while the baby decides to fuss at the same time. These scenarios happen dozens of times a day, and trying to stay on top of them in a peaceful and gentle manner takes constant effort. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I'm not. 

Maybe this one needs to go on my mirror... 
Put your soul every morning in a posture of humility, tranquility, and sweetness, and notice from time to time through the day if it has become entangled in affection for anything; and if it be not quiet, disengaged and tranquil, set it at rest.  -- St. Francis De Sales 

Boys and Food.

A few sayings overheard this weekend.

From a newly-turned two-year old, just learning to talk: "More cracker and hummus, please."

From Daddy to the newly-turned two-year old: "Okay Buddy, is the food in your mouth gone? Okay, now take another bite. We have to teach you how to eat so you don't have to spit out all of your food."

From Mom to the soon-to-be five year old: "Please don't kiss the baby when I'm trying to nurse."

The almost five: "Can I have more chicken, please?" Mom: "It's fish." Him: "Yeah, fish is my favorite chicken."

The five: "Is it time for a protein shake?" Two: "Protein shake?"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gratuitous Baby Shot

On Tuesday I put away my first box of baby clothes, all sized Newborn-3 months. Most of it Michael hadn't even worn. He just grew too fast! This little guy is my longest baby, and judging by the way he's filling out, he's on his way to being the biggest. He's seven weeks old now.

We started cloth diapering this week, too. The baby buns in our house just got a little bit softer, and a little bit cuter :-) . 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things I Love.

I am quite torn on the controversy surrounding the secretion of food proteins into breastmilk and the concept of an elimination diet. There are two sides to every story, and I'm not convinced either way.

However, one thing that has been proven, and even encouraged to me from my physician is a trial of dairy elimination for a baby struggling with fussy and painful gas. The protein from cow's milk does pass through breastmilk and can affect certain nursing infants.

My otherwise peaceful baby is not peaceful when I've eaten dairy. The difference in temperament is so drastic that I can no longer deny this aspect of my diet. And after an almost two week elimination trial, I tested it yesterday and ate a half slice of pizza for a lunch, and mashed potatoes with milk and cheese with dinner.

It was a rough night and a rough morning.

Bummer. I really, really, REALLY like pizza...and cheese....and milk...and ice cream...lasagna...

I'm not going to go on a dairy witch hunt and eliminate things like Ritz crackers or butter (gasp!), but I have been trying to replace the obvious dairy in my diet.

For starters, Almond Milk.

I was SO scared to try this, but I have to admit that it's not nearly as freaky as I thought it would be. I mix it in my eggs, stir it with protein powder, and have used it as a general milk substitute. It's not bad! And, apparently this stuff could actually be good for you?!

Drink up!