Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh, Fay!

Just because if you have a two year, you should have fun with it.

Fun in our house?

"What About Bob" movie lines.

The first of many to come.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grammar Boys.

I had a very positive college experience. However, one professor was a struggle. The only thing I ever learned from her was the a doctorate degree couldn't guarantee intelligence, but it could guarantee tenure. I don't mean to sound cruel, but it was really that bad.

Once, after giving a presentation that I had carefully planned for, this professor singled me out to go on a diatribe about grammar. Apparently I had misspoken and had failed to use an adverb during my presentation. Although I can't remember the exact context, I imagine that I said something along the lines of, "After rigorous intervention in phonetical awareness, the student continued to perform poor on benchmark exams."

This omission dropped my score an entire letter grade. The professor pointed out that correct adverb use was being lost in schools and  speaking language. Who knew? Perhaps out of pride or resentment, after that presentation I went on an adverb extravaganza, using adverbs whenever I could, and then teaching my children, from their first words, correct adverb usage.

Maybe my professor taught me something after all? Hum...jury's still out.

"Mom, I hurt my leg bad."

"Dad, you did that awesome!"

"Mal, you sang pretty."

This morning my two year old had a tummy ache. He crawled on my lap and wrapped his arms around me. Then he pointed to his tummy and said, "It hurts so badly."

Maybe adverb use isn't becoming obsolete after all. ;-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Before I go on.

I have this blogger rule where I intentionally try to keep blog posts about me and my family, and generally try to keep friends and extended family private.

But, in this case I have to break my rule a bit. I can't go on blogging about the Bumbo chair and fruit snacks without acknowledging that sometimes, even though I don't blog about it, life changes around me. There have been times in the past where I have watched a dear friend get married, but the next day I blog about keeping the house clean. Life moves regardless of what I blog about, and most things I choose to keep quiet. 

Last week an elderly family member died after over ninety eight years of life. Days later close friends lost an infant daughter moments after birth. Our family spent Friday and Saturday at two separate funerals, grieving two very different lives, but still powerful in their purpose. 

I struggled these past few days with what I could blog about, but there was no way I could go back to blogging without acknowledging a very significant event in the lives of our families and friends. It changes the life around us, even if it isn't written about here. And these people mean too much to us for me to go about my peanut butter and jelly blog posts without noticing the significance that death and life have.

People close to me are suffering a loss, and before I go on, I have to acknowledge it. And even when I return to blogging about the mundane, my heart is always with my friends and family.


Thursday, September 15, 2011


Yesterday and today the weather here has been cooler than expected. Summer's over, I've accepted that, but could Fall, (nearly everyone's favorite season) be over so soon? The last two mornings brought us frost, and today the boys needed jackets for leaving the house.

Inside I'm dressed in a long-sleeved sweater and tights. Tights! I mean, I can handle putting away the bare legs and flip flops. But tights so soon? Really? The boys are dressed in sweatpants, sweatshirts, and socks. We must wear socks. The little one is wearing socks and a long-sleeved onsie over his fleece sleep-and-play.

Fleece. Did you catch that?

Since Monday I've resisted turning the heat on. This house is heated by a propane tank, and propane is insanely expensive. Since we're leaving in a few short weeks, not having to replenish the propane would be most beneficial.


Our noses are cold, and our toes are cold despite socks and shoes. The little one has a runny nose. I just cannot let the little one be cold. I looked at the thermostat after avoiding it all week, thinking that it really wasn't that cold in the house. After all, it takes a while to get acclimated to the cold after the warmer summer months.

No, it really was that cold. In the heat of the day our indoor thermostat reads 62 degrees. Who knows how cold it's been getting overnight.

I relented. On goes the heat. If you remember, I posted mid-may of a snow storm up here, which means that we got only three measly months of decent weather in the past year

Looking on the bright side, because this time, no matter how awful the winter will be this year, there is a bright side. This winter we won't be spending the winter alone.

And have I mentioned that in addition to be closer to friends and family, that we will also be living a few hours SOUTH. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Is This Thing On?

I'm walking around in a bit of a fog today. Today is the third day in a row where the day started at 4am. My little man is all mixed up! Maybe it's teeth, changing seasons, the little runny nose he has, or just a keen perception of the transition our family is going through. Whatever the reason, today can be best be described as foggy. I'm just not all there, if you've know what I mean ;-) .

On days like this, my biggest struggle is having patience with the older two, especially my toddler, because well, toddlers take patience. Lots of patience.

Today being a "blah" sort of day, I'm reminded of the words of wisdom that I seem to be hearing from everyone these days. Whether it's in books, blogs, or in this week's case, after church, I keep hearing about a) how blessed I am to have little children, and b) that this time goes fast and to enjoy it.

The crowd at Saturday evening Masses vary drastically from the typical Sunday morning congregation. Our family is familiar sight on Sunday, along with the many other families that attend church. But on Saturday night, families are a rare commodity. So while I hadn't expected it, we were held up after Mass by a show of single women and older couples commenting on our boys.

They loved to see our children at church, and thought our family was "lovely" and "beautiful." Is it bad to admit that I enjoyed the affirmation? It's usually me that's doing the admiring. I'm always around lovely families and beautiful children. I like to observe families to see how they tackle the never-ending challenges that parenthood brings. So, to be the lone family at church and to be encouraged was just what was needed after a long day.

One woman said to me over and over again, "Never forget how blessed you are." She shared that she was never able to have children, and how she dreamed of having boys, and here I was with three. "Never forget how blessed you are to have these children." She was elderly, and I thought she would cry she spoke so intensely.

Naturally, the people who are giving me their time-treasured words of wisdom are no longer changing diapers, nursing babies, or buttering toast, but the sentiment is still the same. The days are long but the years are short. 

Having these little people so dependent upon me is exhausting in every facet. Their physical, emotional, spiritual and educational needs are on a never ending cycle that require my 100% compliance, because I am their mother. And while it is admittedly draining to to work so hard every day (and night!), I've come to appreciate the gift it is to always have a chubby cheeks to kiss, a toddler to laugh with, and a preschooler who just wants to show me what he's accomplished that day.

Are the days long now? Yes. 
Are the years short? I'm not sure.
But, will you be sad when they're over? Absolutely. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Five Months.

Happy 5-month Birthday, Little M!

Today we're celebrating by cracking open our first bottle of Infant Motrin.

Why, oh why do my boys like to cut teeth so early? A new chapter is beginning in my little one's life. I foretell that he will follow the same pattern that the first two did and cut two to four teeth at a time until he turns one.

Poor baby. If only the first pains in life could be delayed just a few more months.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coffee's On!

Yesterday Mark accepted an offer for a new job. There it is! Those of us who know us (me) intimately know that this is the fulfillment of a deeply held desire for so many reasons. The primary one?


The field of law is competitive, and I've always been up for the ride. So, even last year when we reluctantly packed up our house and moved from a community we loved, we did so with the intention that the time away would open doors and provide greater opportunities for our family. We knew it would be tough, we knew it wouldn't be forever, but we still didn't know how long our trek in The Great White North would last. 

And, as eager as we were to return to our family and friends, we certainly wouldn't do it unless it was the right thing for our family, in the long and short term, which is why this news is so remarkable. See, we were preparing for at least another year here, maybe longer, with the prayer that we'd be back in time for our children to receive their religious education and First Communion in our diocese. 

I prayed. I prayed The kids prayed with me, and every quiet moment we had on the way to the library or Wal-Mart was spent in short, pleading prayers that we would know what opportunity to grab for, that we would be prudent in the decision to move our family, and that our wants were in line with the will of God. 

We also had a plan; a nice little plan with a bow wrapped around it, a plan that was us. But this particular opportunity was not a part of our plan. It's much different, yet, when we looked at how it literally fell into our lap out of nowhere, when everything Mark has done up to this point not only qualified him, but made him an ideal candidate for this opportunity, it made all of the moving around, the loneliness and uncertainty all of a sudden make perfect sense.

We've lived in many cities and states in the past few years. Anyone with a family knows how special it is for young children to have their close family around, and for our kids, this was particularly significant. All summer the kids would cry as we left home and had to head back to our house two hours away. During the week they'd cry for their cousins, their grandparents, and aunts and uncles.

Giving our boys back the wonder of a childhood filled with their loved-ones, wrapped in the security of extended family and friends in their daily lives, is what I am excited for most. My heart is full knowing that we'll now be able to provide that, above all else, for our boys. I'm humbled with joy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Update: Community Survey

I survived my interview with The Census Man. Thankfully, unlike the mailings that I received that threatened me with a $100 fine for each unanswered question, The Census Man happily accepted my refusal and agreed that I wouldn't want the rest of world knowing when we come and go from our house, etc.

Lots of stuff brewing this week. Excitement is in the air....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Community Survey.

A census worker just knocked on my door.

I'm not one of those census protesters. On the contrary, last summer when we received the 2010 Census in the mail, I sent it back the next day. But this one is different. It's the American Community Survey, distributed by the Census Bureau.

It's mandatory, and I've ignored the three surveys they've sent me, and just sent away the worker who knocked on my door.

It was naptime, naturally. There are much better things to be doing during naptime than inviting a stranger into my home to answer personal questions.

I'm not a secretive person, nor do I have fear of the government. I don't conscientiously object to things or try to make much of a racket about anything in general. STILL, this survey is really, REALLY invasive.

You see, I filled out the survey months ago, and it took over an hour. I answered every question as faithfully as I could, but then couldn't send it back. It was almost too....degrading? I mean, did the Census Bureau turn into the IRS, along with a health insurance company and resume wrangler rolled all in one? Seriously?

To give you an example of the bizarre and invasive questions, here are some things that I am (apparently) required by law to answer:
What time do you leave for work in the morning? When do you get home? What is your annual income? What did you pay for your house? What do you pay for electric, heating, fuel, phone, etc? Which family members suffer from any one of these medical conditions? Where have you worked, what is your title, and what is the address of the places you've been employed at in the last five years?

Then it goes on to ask more questions about if you (or any listed family members) have difficulty getting to the toilet, and other odd issues.

The strangest thing yet is that it isn't even addressed to me, it's addressed to "Resident," which makes it seem all the more scammy. Trouble is, it's not. When the census worker asked for my name and phone number I had enough sense to politely tell him I wasn't comfortable with that, and he was on his way.

He'll be back though. And I still won't want to give him all of the information he wants. Hum. Perhaps I'll just need to reiterate back to him the function of the Census Bureau as defined by the Constitution and allow our household to be enumerated.

Ho hum. Not sure if I'm up for a fight with Big Brother, but at the very least I can be a bit uncooperative.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sept. 1st.

The leaves are already turning and falling from the trees. *Sigh*

Was summer really this short?

Out come the boxes that will soon be filled with too-small summer clothes and emptied of the warmer hand-me-downs.

Goodness, gracious that's a lot of long-sleeved cotton!


For 7am, there is just way too much going on at this little coffee table. Colored pencils, legos, and a 100 piece turtle have taken over my day before my contacts are even in. I shall have to drink the entire pot today.