Saturday, February 28, 2009

The babies of 2007 are no more

This blog was Started on 1/16/2009 - The same day I wrote a status update on Facebook that said "Jenny feels a blog coming on" and then never wrote one. Um, this was it. Yeah, that was a million years ago, well really only 6 weeks. I've got to get these blogs that are 3/4 finished DONE!

It seems like there is a very common theme among the mamas who had babies in 2007. Every time I read a new blog, the sentiment is still the same.
Oh where oh where can my baby be?

A baby they are, no more.

And even though all of us mamas have gone through day in and day out raising these little buggers, we are shocked, surprised, heart broken even, to find out that our babies are no where to be found. With the exception of at a doctors office being pumped with vaccines or while getting vomit on our lovely throw pillow. Sigh.

Wednesday night was Addie's last bottle. Her last formula. The last suckling. I know I'm being irrational and dramatic, but I just looked down at her sucking every last ounce out of her beloved bottle, and thought back to the days a year ago when it was a struggle each day to get her to take a bottle. How I worked and worked and pumped and pumped and dumped and dumped wasted bottles of breast milk and formula. How I fretted over her weight and wondered why she wouldn't take it. How I bought various brands and nipple shapes. And how now, I'm taking away something she loves. Because, well, she's not a baby anymore and doesn't need to suckle her liquids out of a feeder that relies on an infants natural need to suck for nutrients. Nope. She can drink it out of a cup like the big kid that she is. Sigh.

When the doctor had told me it would be better for her to keep taking formula rather than soy milk since she was allergic to cows milk at her one year check up, I was thrilled to keep giving the bottle. At 15 months when she said, let's make the goal to stop the bottle and formula 18 months, I was thrilled. At 17 months, I was out of formula and thought it would be the perfect time to stop having to wash & sterilize nipples. But I broke down and sent Lawrence to Safeway for another can, why stop one month early...that is crazy. At 18 months when there was still half a can left of formula, I was thrilled. No WAY was I wasting ten bucks worth of perfectly good formula. But now, at 18.5 months. We are done.

Fast forward to 2/27/09
I started the blog above when I thought that my baby was gone. But now she really really is. She had her first temper tantrum last week because she didn't want to sit in the booster seat at dinner or wear a bib to eat spaghetti. She is one of the big kids, running and laughing. She doesn't want to hug for long after waking up in the morning or after a nap, sometimes not at all. She has her own ideas and is absolutely PISSED when she thinks you don't know what she wants. She is equally THRILLED when she gets the feeling you understand what she is trying to say. She copies each and every single thing her sister does. (And I just got the bright idea as I type this of having Lily sit in a booster seat so that it isn't a fight to get Addie to sit in one as well). The flip side of this is that my big girl wishes she was the same age as Addie half the time too.

I held my friend Tanya's then two week old baby a few weeks ago at church, she was so small and sweet. I loved the way she felt and the way she smelled, the way she was curled into a ball with wrinkly skin. So sweet. I'm happy to say that I do think at some point another baby will be in our future. Just as it was the first two times, it's hard to figure out what time will be the "right" time. The right time seems like it is always and never. It seems hard to make the decision to just do it and we find ourselves a bit jealous of the "surprises" we hear about around us. Even though we have more room in our hearts, we are also totally and absolutely content with our family as it is. So there isn't a rush and there isn't any pressure and we are so completely on the same page about it all that it is very very nice.

But for now, we are left babyless. And that's kind of awesome and it totally sucks, all at the same time.

We do have A lot of new babies coming into our lives in the next 9 months, let's see if I can name a few:

Nichole and Rob (April - a boy - Cohen Dean)
Robin and Mark (August)
Dawn and Lucas (September)

a few more that aren't public yet...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How much is that Addie in the window?

One of Addie's new things to do is look at her reflection in the window while sitting at the table at night. She spots herself, bobs her head side to side, waves at her self, says "Aa-ee" (that's how she says Addie). She loves it when you stand behind her and wave to her. She knows she is looking at herself. She points to "mama", "dada", and "il-ee" too. Lily of course loves this sooo much that she's head-bobbed herself right off her chair a few times.

Another new thing Addie likes to do is run from the dining room, full blast, to the family room and stop quick in front of the fireplace, squat down, and look at her reflection in the black glass. However, the face looking back at her in the fireplace is not "Ae-ee" that face is "baby".

We've told her that the fireplace is hot, so she won't touch it. It isn't really "hot" it's luke warm at best, and nice and warm at worst. We NEVER turn it on, so what she is feeling is the pilot light, barely warming the glass, and now she thinks that's "hot". Super. Addie goes up to herself in the fireplace (when I'm not watching close), and makes out with the "baby" in the glass, pulls away and says "hot" then repeats and laughs, "hot". I allow her to kiss the fireplace and then blog about it. What does that say about me? The next time that she burns herself I will know I've failed terribly as a mother. I'm going to try to get a picture or video of our little reflection baby soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Romp to Stomp

My friend Jeanine came this weekend and we did the Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer 5K walk, along with Lawrence. My mom was here so she kept the kids for the day. It was on Mt Hood and with snowshoes. It was amazing. To see ALL the photos in the snapfish album, click HERE. Below are some of my favorites.

Again I was reminded during this walk to be grateful for being able to walk. 4 months ago I couldn't walk from the top of the stairs to my bed, and here I was in one of the most beautiful places on earth, on a sunny and cold day, walking in snow shoes up the side of a mountain. Pretty amazing.

This was a walk to benefit breast cancer and Susan B. Komen. I also could not stop thinking about my friend Julie. She is half way through with her second battle with breast cancer. As I was half way through my walk, I felt like quitting, my foot was sore, I was sweaty, tired, my hip flexers were on fire...and I thought of Julie nauseated in her recliner at home...she'd give anything to feel good enough to do this walk and only to worry about sore hip flexers and a blister on her heal rather than the pain in her bones caused by chemo treatments. After having two children and breast feeding them, well, let's face it, the girls aren't what they used to be. But as I "romped" along with breast cancer survivors and their loved ones I thought about how lucky I am to have healthy tissue in my breasts, my functional breasts that fed my babies, my cancer-free breasts. Breast cancer has touched many I care about, Robin (her mom), Kandie, Julie, Debby, just to name a few. It was a beautiful day, and a wonderful cause, and once again I soaked in the moments of the blessings of my life, stomping along with the love of my life and one of my greatest friends.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coming together

Things are coming together, well, sort of. I have about 6 blogs started and not finished, a to do list a mile long, and never ending laundry and organizing to do. BUT...the good news, we have Lily enrolled for PreK next year, I'm down about 8 pounds with only about 10 more to go, my new employee started yesterday and (please please) seems to be really strong - making my life easier, we are interviewing au pair candidates for September (whole blog on this topic not yet complete...coming soon), finances are tight...but we have a plan, we are sticking to it, and it is working (blog complaining about money started, not yet finished...maybe coming soon), the bottom line on that is that even though it FEELS like we are running in circles with always a budget that feels too tight for comfort, we are getting somewhere, and since last year have are $28K less in debt (counting house and cars, etc). Progress. That's all any of this is. Progress. But it feels good.

Jeanine visited this weekend, we had a BLAST. So I have a blog for Romp to Stomp and her visit, for a wild night out on Jeremy's birthday, and also one started for all the cute and "new" things my kids are doing. Progress. I'll get there, I just have one more invoice to review, one more bill to pay, 60 more loads of laundry to do, an interview tonight with an au pair consultant (she said it's to address any questions we may have about the program, but I'm guessing it's also to check out our home and make sure it seems on the up and up for a cultural exchange), more soy reasearch to do, THEN, I think or maybe much later than then, will I get my blogs finished. In the meantime I will string you along with promises that I might keep, of course I want to, but this progress business takes a lot of time.

In the meantime, just know that is it all coming together, we are doing good. Everyone is healthy, which is more than it seems for everyone around us, plaqued with the flu and terrible colds (or morning sickness).

Here are the girls being silly playing with a pretend computer that the nanny left here. They have been having so much fun together, please disregard disaster of a house...I'm getting to that! :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Katrina and Jade visit

Katrina and Jade came to visit Addie and I last Tuesday morning with Jade's new baby sister, Moana. It was very fun and nice to visit with them. They are living near San Jose, California now, and were amazed to see what a big girl Addie has become. They moved shortly before her first birthday. She always loved Jade and Katrina, and it was so fun to see them running and playing together. I'm not sure if she actually remembered them, or just the comfortable and familiar feeling about them. Katrina is such a kind and warm person, and I so enjoyed talking with her as her friend rather than her employer in the rushed morning before leaving my baby.

Here are a few pics of the girls having fun together:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rise and Shine

This morning Addie points to Lily's almost closed door.

Me: Go on in, you can wake her

Addie: (blasts open the door) Hiiiiiy...Mooorming

This is what me and Lily do to Addie almost every morning so it was so cute to see Addie saying it in a sweet good morning voice. Lily really liked being woke up by her sister this way. Of course then Addie climbed up on Lily's bed, laid down on her pillow and proceeded to try and push her sister off the bed to make more room for her self while chanting "nigh nigh" and cuddling with Lily's special bear.

In other news, the chill is in the air but it isn't biting freezing like it usually is, and last night I got to the bus and it was still kind of light out! I drove to work this morning rather than taking the bus because I have a hair appt after work (see ya later 2 inch roots). I parked about a mile from the office because I was running a little early (I know can you believe it?), to save 6 bucks on parking, and to get some exercise. It was wonderful. The whole way, I walked along the gorgeous downtown Portland waterfront, giddy about the $7.25/day parking spot I'd just scored, the sky was pink and I could see Mt Hood and Mt St Helens faintly, and I thought about how glad I am that I can walk.

Most of you know that I broke my foot on the last day of August and couldn't walk or drive for 2 months. Most of you helped me through that in one way or another. The whole time I remember thinking that when I could walk again, I would never ever take if for granted. But of course I have, a little. It's hard not to when you walk every where all day, every day. When something is second nature, you take it for granted, like knowing how to type. Even looking back I don't know how I managed all that time, crawling up and around the upstairs, getting around downstairs in a wheelchair, being on crutches out and about.

But this morning, in the beauty and the hint of spring, I remembered.

Thank you, God, that I have two feet that work, and a body that can move me. For that I am grateful. Very very grateful. I hope that a day never comes when I don't remember to occasionally reflect on what a blessing it is to have a healthy body. Even one that is tired, and carrying a few extra pounds. It is something not to be taken for granted, because one small slip on one small stair can take it away when you least expect it!

Have a wonderful day and I hope you take a minute to be thankful for the blessings you might have taken for granted too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To Au Pair or not to Au Pair?

I started this blog about an Au Pair on 2/18 and am just getting back to it on the day we decided on an Au Pair 4/28. Not a procrastinator or anything.

I mentioned in several blogs ago that we are considering an au pair but I was too tired to go into the details of it. So here is the scoop: Our one year contract with Tamara (our current nanny) is up in August. Although we have been very happy with the care she's given the children, the complexities of managing a nanny with 4 children of her own (2 of which usually come to our house as playmates for our children) and a single mom, have been challenging. Her older daughter also will be going to Kindergarten in the fall, and though I haven't really discussed it with her, we've all but decided that we will need another type of childcare in the fall. Since we have been at this crossroads several times in the last few years, we know the pros and cons of many different types of care.

Since Lily was born, I have worked from home 2 days a week, caring for her, then them, on my at home days. This has become increasingly difficult, especially given the non flexible nature of Lawrence's job. It has saved us thousands and thousands in child care. When Addie was born, we kept Lily at daycare, but the cost of 2 kids at a center, even part time was insane, so we opted for a Nanny for Addie at home. This was a good option, and also saved us a few hundred per month. When that nanny told us she was moving, we again looked at the option of putting Addie in a daycare center, but the cost went up another $200, widening the gap and leaning us toward keeping the girls together, at home, with a nanny, 3 days a week. We only need 7 hrs per day of care, but we use 8, just to give Lawrence an hour if he desires, to do an errand, go for a run, or just relax before taking on the afternoon, and evening of playing, dinner making (with 2 helpers) and bath, pjs, and occasionally bedtime, alone. This was a great decision. We didn't have much time so we hired someone for the summer only at first to allow me time to look for someone more permanent. Katy was a student who was going to grad school for education and would begin student teaching in the fall. So I had 3 more months to look. It was awesome. Gone were the rushed mornings, of Lily dragging her feet. And hello personal wonderful attention for them both to spend their days together.

And here we are again...
An Au Pair is an exchange student who comes to the US on a J-1 Visa. They live with you and care for your children for a weekly stipend plus room and board. You also pay a program fee that covers their airfare, insurance, and visa fees. Overall it will be about $150 more per month than what we pay now, but it will be for 45 flexible hours per week rather than 24 fixed hours per week. I work from home 2 days a week, and it isn't easy without any help. Especially when there are deadlines. I'm definitely not super mommy on those days and I always end up feeling very guilty. So we saved our tax return this year, used that for our program fees and the cost will be equivalent to what we pay now. For almost DOUBLE the hours. So when I started writing this I was planning to go into all the pros and cons of Au Pairing. We were still deciding if it was the right program for us. But now, today, we've made the decision and we are excited that we found a match. Fast forward to current day entry and meet Sabine!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meg-Meg and OZ

On Sunday we got a surprise text from Meagan and OZ to say they were in town for one (more) night and would we meet them for dinner. We didn't know they were in town, and OZ is getting ready for another trip to Iraq soon, so of course we were excited to get to see them, since it has been a little over a year, where does the time go? I spent about an hour carefully loading up my back pack with things for the kids to do and eat, etc. I knew that If I couldn't keep them busy, our chances of actually getting to stay and talk to them for long was very slim. We got there about 5:30. There were about 20 people at the restaurant/tavern, so although talking was a little difficult, and I was mostly preoccupied with the kiddos, we had a very nice time. The kids lasted until 8:45pm, bedtime is usually a strict 7-7:30, so this was very good for them. We got home and to bed, it was close to 9:30, they went right to sleep. Unfortunately Addie woke up. All. Night. Long.

The moral is, it was worth it because we actually got to visit more with them by staying late, as the crowd dwindled down, and we don't know the next time we see them, probably 18 months when OZ returns. But the other moral is, there is a reason I am anal about bedtime, and that system works very well for me, whereas Addie waking all night long from over tired (and probably a few too many "trying to keep her busy" goodies late at night) does not work for me.

Such special friends, and if you know us, you know we don't keep our kids up late for just anyone!

Here is a collage of pictures from the evening. Lily and Addie had a blast playing with Meg-Meg (that's what Lily called her when she was 2, on our cruise, and it has just stuck as a nickname, now Addie says it too) and her iphone, and I do believe that iphone might just have the best pictures I've seen my girls pose for on it, Addie also made friends with the ATM (much to my EWE!) after she was "let loose" from the booster seat. Double clicking on the collage should make it bigger if you want to see the pictures up close.

This picture is one that Meg and OZ took of Lily right before he left for Iraq last time, Sept 05, when they came to Portland to say goodbye. They always loved this picture so much, I just happened to find it today. Seriously, time does fly.

Out of the Past: Valentines Day

Since everyone loved this year's letters, I thought I would do an out of the past blog, last year we each got home made cards with poems on them from Lawrence.

Valentine's Day and you are hoping for some treats
As a big sister and daughter you are very sweet.
Always on the go with games, books, and crafts
You always shine and bring lots of laughs.
Beautiful brown hair and eyes dark as night
Having you in our family feels all right.

I love you so much!
Happy Valentine's Day

A first Valentine's Day poem from Daddy to you
Your beaming smile and eyes so blue.
Always happy and like to bounce
So much love you share ounce by ounce.
A beautiful addition to our family and home
With hardly any hair you needn't a comb.

I love you so much!
Happy Valentine's Day!

A Valentine's wish to a terrific mama and bride
I wouldn't want anyone else but you at my side.
As beautiful and bright as the day we met
But now we are much deeper in debt.
Blonde hair, blue eyes and always working on plan
With you we have the perfect clan.

I love you so much!
Happy Valentine's Day!
We BOTH bought each other Blokus for Vday. We returned one and I got a pregnancy book instead...I was 21 week pg with Addie

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Heart-shaped Eggs

Seriously...need I say more? Talk about a sweet breakfast with some seriously TLC!

Getting crafty with my sis for Valentine's Day

The girls making their "grocery lists" on the free grocery list pad sent by the March of Dimes. Have I mentioned Lily will make a project out of anything?
Addie is imitating me in this picture, telling Lily not to put her chin up so high when she is smiling because I couldn't see her face in the previous picture...
These were the girls matching Valentine's outfits bought by Grandma Carol. Unfortunately I did not get a picture on Valentine's day, though they both wore them then too. Addie's pants are MIA...luckily they are a little too big so she'll be fitting into them for a while if I find them in the next six months.

Monkey Pj tickle fight.
Lily making her Valentine's for school. I was so impressed with her. She cut out each heart, pasted a photo on, wrote her classmate's names, wrote her own name, made an envelope out of printed pages I had done, glued on a few more hearts, decorated the envelope, and stapled it shut.
She has some hard names in her class too, Jameson, Samantha, Nicholas, Allison. Only about 3 of her classmates even wrote their own names on the Valentine's she received. I was so proud of her. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

1st timer's Valentine's Day blog

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I am not one to share my thoughts, but for Valentine’s Day I am making an exception. This is my first blog. As is customary, I will write in rhyme.

For the three ladies that make me the luckiest, most happy, and most loved husband, father, and man in the world.

I love my wife. I love my kids. I love the life we share.

I love my wife.

My trip Boise was nothing but lucky.

Until then my life was just ducky.

I met a girl named Jenny

And I didn’t end up gettin’ any.

From then on my heart belonged to her

And our life is now a blur.

We’ve moved and married and are very happy

Two kids later we have seen way too much crap(py).

I love my kids.

Lily and Addie are the two I adore

In my heart I think there’s room for more.

Sharing time and playing toys

Lily told me she doesn’t like boys.

Smiling, cuddly and chatty

How can anyone not love Addie?

They play, they hug, they push and shove

They are my kids and I am so proud of.

I love the life we share.

Mom and Dad like to hang at the saloon

Hopefully McMenamins might have someone making animal balloons.

Lily and Addie like to climb, play, and craft

Mom and Dad will invite friends over for a draught.

So many things we do for fun

Legos, books, pancakes, Tinker Toys, Little People, hikes, skiing, summer concerts, the zoo, the Children’s Museum, football Saturday’s, vacations, parks, swings, slides, movie night, the library, biking, swimming, running, cooking, dancing, singing, chatting, listening, reading wait I’m almost done.

I am thankful we have time to share

On this Valentine’s Day, I hope to show my family how much I care.

My kids

I am not one of those people who complain about their childhood, mine was great, but seeing it through the eyes of my children is much better. I love seeing the wonder and amusement. I love when Lily puts some thoughts together and figures out something on her own. I love when Addie shows us that she knows what to do and when to do it. I love the excitement that matching monkey pajamas bring to them. I love showing the girls how to build with Legos and Tinker Toys then watching them attempt to do the same. I love practicing Cirque du Soleil with Lily and having Addie climb on, too. I love Lily’s creativity to make up games, projects, and songs. I love Addie’s dancing. I love to cook meals with Lily and can’t wait to have Addie earn a “work station” in the kitchen. I love that they like to play together and usually do it very well.


Day after day, year after year, time and time again you make me feel loved and cared for. To me you are loving, considerate, and affectionate. You are eager, determined, and optimistic. You are understanding, reliable, and interested. You are playful, spirited, and wonderful. You are my wife and for that I am grateful. You are the best wife. You are the best mother. You are my best friend. You are beautiful. All I can say is thank you, I love you.

Finally, I thought I’d include a song. I used to karaoke long ago before I met Jenny.

Happy Valentines Day.



Valentine’s love letter

This year, we decided to write love letters to each other instead of spend money on cards. We also "made" each other our gifts. It is a Vday that goes with the economic times. Since Lawrence posted his letter as a blog - his first entry for our family blog, I decided to post my letter here as well. I thought it was neat that we both mentioned so many of the same things. Not really a coincidence. Happy Vday everyone!


Dear Lawrence,

I love you.

It sounds too simple. It’s hard to think of endearing words that we haven’t already said to each other, words that won’t sound over used and cliché. But beyond all that, I love and notice the things that you do, and since those are the moments that make up the days of our lives, I want to talk about those. I love that you scrape my windows on a cold morning before I am awake, I love your encouragement when you see that I am weak, I love your childish humor, I love the gorgeous smile you have when Lily tells you a secret and her hot breath tickles your ear, I love it whenever you smile that big, I love how ticklish you are, I love that you are Jewish and that our children are blessed with that heritage as well, I love the first kiss after a long day of work, I love the first kiss in the morning when I am still asleep, I love how quiet and respectful you are of us when you leave at the crack of dawn, I love how much you love college football, I love that you honestly don’t notice when my roots are grown out 2 inches+, I love how much you want to beat the Gunderson’s at Tetris and Scramble, I love the way you drive, I love the relationship you’ve built with my family and friends, I love that you do the dishes and take out the garbage, I love that you believe in me so much that you don’t understand my insecurities, I love that you can fall asleep on a dime (though I’m wondering when you will teach me that), and I love finding my ring in the proposal box every so often when I wake up. I don’t tell you often enough that I notice so many little things.

Lately we’ve had concerns about money, child care, job loss, time, cars, and juggling it all. When we look at the details and trials of the day, and we are tired or overwhelmed, it is easy to feel that we aren’t getting anywhere, like we are running in circles. But when we step back we see a happy marriage, a true love, two beautiful children who are happy, smart, creative, and well behaved. We see a beautiful home, jobs, and debt paid off, we see compromises and dedication to plans. We are happy and we owe this life to our love and commitment to each other. We work hard, and the results are worth it.

When I see you with our daughters I feel a sense of what I really lost without the love of a daddy. Our girls are so blessed to have you as the man of their lives. As they grow up you will be not only their dad, but their coach, their role model, their teacher, their friend, and their disciplinarian. I love that Lily knows how to use a drill and that she is learning to cook. I love that Addie knows when there is a touchdown in football. I know for the rest of their lives they will have more memories of cool things they got to do with their dad than they can count. I love that you want to get better, and I love that you don’t care what others think; you only care about what works for you and me and the girls. I love that because of that, you are also not quick to judge other parents, because they too, only need to please their own family. I love Cirque du Soliel practice, and I love that you have the strength to balance Lily on your palms, while Addie crawling on your chest, and yet gentle enough to clip their finger and toes. Becoming parents for the first time was so much harder than what we thought it would be, but becoming second time parents for the second time was so much easier than we thought it would be. We loved it more than we thought would be possible. I love that we could learn from our mistakes and insecurities, and grow from them. I love that we both want a bigger family.

You are the love of my life. I adore you. I respect you. You are the perfect man for me. Though the reasons are many, and I could go on and on for pages, it is simple. I just love you. We are Jenny & Lawrence. I love us.

Thank you for making me a wife and a mother, I can’t imagine a life I’d love more than this one, or sharing it with anyone who compliment me more.

Your amorous wife,


Friday, February 13, 2009

It is so sweet

I'm sitting at the laptop working this morning, listening to the Curious George soundtrack (Jack Johnson), and am listening to Lily and Addie talk to each other in the other room. The girls both slept through the night (fingers crossed that everyone is now finally well!). Laureen just texted me to tell me Cassie is out of surgery, cranky but doing good (she is 3.5 for those of you who had asked, and thank you for warm thoughts!). I made eggs for breakfast. The girls are being so cute. They are friends. I feel almost giddy about it. It's not Lily wrestling Addie, and dragging her along, they are actually pretend playing a picnic together. They are so so sweet. Addie is totally adding to the play to, rather than just doing what Lily wants. Addie copies whatever "song" Lily is singing and making up, and they are so loud. Seriously, how many times can I say, "It is so sweet", but it is.

I'm enjoying feeling so relaxed, happy, and giddy. What a wonderful morning.

Lily asked me this morning if there are girl dogs or are they all boys? Then she wanted to know if there are more boys or girls in the world. Statistically there are 51% boys, so I said, yes, a few more. She wanted to know how many, like 1, 4, 6, or 11. Which is it? Um. 11 of course.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Phew, now I'm a good mom again

This week started off a little rough when Lily announced that her ear hurt on Sunday afternoon. She's never been wrong about an ear infection since she could speak (or before that). Addie had a cold and had been sleeping like crap all last week/weekend. That meant no sleep for me for several nights. So I started off this week exhausted.

I was also a little worried about where my sweet, agreeable baby had gone, I thought maybe she was starting to hit the terrible twos a little early, or she was scarred from my working too much or something because she was a bear! She was clingy all weekend, not wanting to be put down, but even being cranky WHILE I was holding her. She wouldn't go to Lawrence and was furrowing her brow (a signature move when she is unsure) at everything. She started to throw tantrums on a dime and followed me around the house crying. I was having to SNEAK to the bathroom. She didn't want to have anything to do with daddy. Even at the store, she wouldn't give the strangers marveling at her even a grin.

So Monday morning when I was calling the pediatrician at 8am while changing (wrestling) a poopy diaper off of Addie, and Lily was attempting to put on 57 layers of clothes, and banging the drawers into my shins of Addie's changing table pulling 57 layers out for her...I hit my limit.

I lost it. I yelled at Addie. She cried. I yelled at Lily. She cried. I heard the meanness in my own voice and I didn't cry, but I wanted to. I love these girls to death, yet I was tired and stressed and angry and did I mention tired. How could I speak to them this way?

The pediatrician couldn't get us in until 11, so I called Tamara to come so I could work. She did and I got about 1.5 hours in before it was time to take them. Lily was testing me (and Tamara) like crazy, Addie was whining and clingy, I was mad at myself and felt like a zombie. Lawrence could sense that I wasn't doing too well, so he met me at the dr office during his lunch hour. He only stayed for about 30 minutes, but it was nice to have him for even a short while.

Lily did a perfect job for the dr, so Addie did too, she copied exactly what her sister did, including sitting on the big chair alone. Lily had an ear infection, Addie didn't. Lily's wasn't too bad, so we decided to wait it out without giving antibiotics at our drs suggestion, and it seems to have been the right thing, since it did get better on it's own. Though Lily told me today that she liked it when her ear hurts because she likes the taste of the tylenol. So we had a big talk about all the fun stuff that you DO get to feel and taste when you aren't sick.

We had another incidence that day of Lily's "testing" in the parking lot where she refused to hold my hand, and pulled away with cars all around, so I grabbed her wrist hard to get her the rest of the way to the car, practically dragging her as she screamed to all onlookers "Ouch you are hurting me". I got them in the car, then I yelled again. Right as we got home I remembered to tell her how much I liked the way she sat for the doctor and was a good example for her sister. Phew, now I'm a good mom again. Though I didn't really feel like it for the rest of the day.

I got to work at 1, stayed late, got home after bedtime, and had a much better day on Tuesday. Lily and I got along great, with lots of respect from both of us, and heaps and heaps of patience and kindness from me. Everyone sleeping through the night on Monday night didn't hurt. I also had a few answered prayers for strength and energy. AND my sweet sweet baby returned on Tuesday. She was back to her happy self, it was so funny what a 180 she did once she was feeling better. It was like a different kid. Like my good wonderful kid. Hooray!

Work has been busy since we let our employee go on Jan 30, but the stress level is so much lower. There is a lot of time sensitive work for me to do now that I am doing 2 jobs, but other than that, it was really the right decision to let her go. I've hired someone new, who is giving her current company 2 weeks notice, so she will be starting a week from Monday. 3 more days of working from home with all pressure on me. That's the hardest part of all this. Then I have training, but I have a feeling she will be really good. Today I was slammed but I did get 30 minutes on the elliptical in downstairs gym at work for a "lunch break". It felt good and reminded me that I need to take that time on my days in the office to do that, I came back ready to work, and feeling energized.

I have some other news about an Au Pair search that we are looking well as the good funny stuff the kids say, and a few worries about money, but for tonight, I'm tired and need to sleep. I've been getting to bed to late and I'm looking rather weathered this week. Lawrence doesn't seem to notice. Tomorrow is Friday, and the weekend is welcomed with open arms. I'm feeling positive and good about life. Which is probably why I didn't feel like blogging earlier in the week.

Please keep our niece Cassidy in your prayers, she has to get surgery to have one of the tubes taken out of her ears as well as her adenoids removed. The surgery is Friday 2/13 (almost today).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dirty Day at the Zoo

Okay, so today was an x-rated day at the zoo but no one told us! We went today after nap time with Jeremy (Ornelas) and his daughters, Lucy and Bailee. All the pictures attached are G-rated, no naughty stuff caught on film!

I'm going to give a disclaimer that I never call animals by the proper names. The primates are monkeys, and the guys in the water are sea lions or otters. I'm not an idiot, I just don't care.

First we get to the "monk monks" (Addie wascrazy excited to see her monkeys) and right off the ones that have redish, purple butts were in full swing. Lily said, "Mom, that monkey looks like he has an apple on his tushy". It was SO red and inflamed, it was disgusting and something was really off looking. I said, "huh Lil, I'm not sure why they look like that." A kind woman next to us told Lily that when they have red behinds like that it means they want to have babies and are trying to get the boy monkey's attention".
Thanks lady, where you planning on also giving her the birds and the bees talk now?

Anyway, I guess that was the female. Then there was a male with a purple "tushy" walking around with a big old stiffy (obviously fully turned on by the apple and wanting to help her out with that wanting babies situation!) the entire time. Lucky for me Lily did not notice the big baseball bat swinging under him and only saw the purple fur and tush...and the sex talk lady wasn't around to shed any light. Phew.

THEN Lawrence and Jeremy were admiring another cute species of "monkey" when one, ahem, reached back, pooped in it's hand, turned away, ate it, then looked back at Lawrence to show the feces glob sitting on it's lower lip. Addie saw, but Lily did not (we were on an emergency run to the potty). Jeremy high tailed it out of there with his girls when he saw what was about to go down, but Lawrence sat in awe watching to get the look back. He's going to be in big trouble if Addie got any ideas!

Finally on our way out of the zoo, most of the animals were inside and it was getting cold, kind of a boring walk out...but we were lucky to catch one more thing right before we left. As is normal, you do this thing at the zoo where you are studying the water, wall, weeds, whatever...looking for the slightest movement or fur so you can see if the animal is anywhere to be found. For the last 10 minutes we had done that and saw nothing. So as I'm doing that, I see it, and I'm looking at it, but I can't really tell the position of the animal. I just stared for a few minutes as people around me laughed and walked away. There was an otter floating on his back, curled into a ball, his own pee pee. I felt like such a pervert as I realized what I'd been staring at. And I'd been staring for several minutes. Look look look then BAM, oh, OH, look away, walk away. Blush.

Lucky for me, apple tush lady was again not near to try and open Lily's mind any more about yucky otter boys doin' their thing!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We made it!!

I submitted my post about Addie pooping in the tub to a baby blog addict website asking for funniest blog moments. We won! They posted us! HA!

Check it out: Two in the Tub

That was a funny day, and might I mention that it wasn't the last time she pooped in the tub (or shower).

Out of the past - February 5

We had a small annoyance with Lily's bedtime last night, and I said something silly, to which Lawrence replied, um, do you REMEMBER last year at this time? Bedtime-wise we were basically in HELL last February, to which we finally ended by putting a backwards locking door knob on Lily's door to show her we meant business as far as going to bed when we put her down. We didn't have to lock it many times, but the first 2 times, she got a warning, and then got it locked, we were in for a few of the worst hours of our life. Within 3 days things were drastically improved and we wished we'd gone drastic months earlier. So my point is just that how quickly you forget in a year. Her getting up twice and quietly saying "mama I don't like night night time" and me saying I know, then she goes to sleep is NOTHING. How quickly a year passes and you can't remember the struggles from the year prior. I thought, I should read some of my babysites from last year and remember to see how far we've come (with a silent house by 8pm). But then I remember, jeez, I've been doing this for 2 years and 3 months, so I would have the year before too. What was I doing then? And I decided to do a little "out of the past", I'm working on some recurring blogs. Mom, I dedicate the name to you! Thanks!
Date: 02/05/2009

Addie greeted me at the door last night in her monkey pjs, smiling big. Lily hugged me the tightest sweetest hug. Addie says buckle when I come in the door "buck buck", so that I will unbuckle my shoes, she tries to help and gets her little fingers in the way of me getting my shoes off, then she comes with me to the bathroom to wash hands, and says "wa-wa". One time when we were drying hands together I said (very excitedly in hopes that she wouldn't melt down at me turning off the wa wa) "Do you want to dry hands with mama?" She nodded and repeated "mama". So this time she gets the towel and says "mama!" really excited (great, it is my name AND the name of what you do to your hands after you wash them). I hate Wednesdays, it's the only day that I don't get to be with my kids tomorrow when I wasn't with them today. But I LOVE Thursdays so that we get to be together for 3 more days. And I'm just so grateful to have a full time job where that is the case.

So I looked back and I found a very sweet post from 2/5/07 and 2/5/08. The one last year had nothing to do with bed time fights but about glorious mother-daughter moments. I was so glad to remember it, and to re-read something I had forgotten I wrote. I had even forgotten I felt. That. Is why I love love love writing about this life.
Sweet moment

Today I was putting Addie down for her 1 o'clock nap, I was rocking her and she was just so sweet looking at me with her beautiful blue eyes. I kissed her forehead and I just savored the way my lips kind of sunk into her soft skin. She closed her eyes and I did it again. When she raised her eyebrows it reminded me of one of those puppies that have too much skin and they are all wrinkley and extra super soft. That's kind of what it felt like, and it was the sweetest thing I ever kissed.

She fell asleep in my arms which does happen too often and I couldn't stop kissing her forehead, I felt like I wanted to remember the way that moment felt and the way she looked just then forever
2 days!

I'm so excited about the ultrasound this week. I'm also excited about finding out the sex, but just looking forward to seeing my little guy or girl moving around and getting the reassurance that everything looks healthy.

I went to a baby shower this weekend and looking at all the little girl clothes made me want a girl, but I want a boy either way, I know we'll be so happy. We had our friends the Rose's over yesterday for the Superbowl. They have 4 kids, and we had such a nice time with them. Lily played awesome with their 2.5+ year old and we just had a great afternoon.

Lily had a few very gross "accidents" over the last few days, and it felt a little more on purpose. But I just cleaned it up and hopefully it was just a fluke, and we are past it (fingers crossed).

We will have a friend visiting from Ohio this weekend, Jay Albers, and Lawrence is really looking forward to it. It is someone we haven't seen for a really long time (well I haven't seen him since our wedding, and Lawrence hasn't seen him since Ope's wedding). In any case, I guess he is coming to meet with a dog breeder in Hood River, then will be coming back in March to get the dog. Not being a huge dog lover, it sounds like a lot of work to just get a dog. But apparently this is a special dog (only bred in HR?) Anyway, we will probably try and show him some fun times, and hopefully it isn't raining!

I will write in a few days to post the sex, and the name (or at least what it would be if the baby was born today).

Lily said she wanted the baby to "be out in a few minutes". Not me, I'm not ready yet...and I'm not uncomfortable enough yet to want this pregnancy to be over. I'm still in the honeymoon stage, so I'll keep hoping time would SLOW down a little.

Can't wait to share news in a few days of the sex. Although I have been hearing lots of stories lately of people who had several ultrasounds who could never tell so I wonder if God is preparing my heart and mind to NOT be able to find out. If that is the case, my planner self will be a little crazy, but I'll just be happy to have a 3 vessel cord, all 4 chambers working healthy in the heart, and everything else measuring on track!

And it was a girl! And it was wonderful.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Vote for my friend Beth's chair...even if you don't like it best!

Beth writes "I recently drank some champagne and created a chair out of the cork and foil for a design contest hosted by Design Within Reach. Lo and behold! My drinking and designing paid off, and my wee chair was selected as one of the top fifty finalists in the challenge. Now I need your help to win the category of "popular vote" (and all of the fame and glory that goes along with such an award!)Here's how you can help: each chair will be posted on the DWR Blog one day between now and Monday, February 9, where DWR Blog readers will be able to vote and pick their favorite.Please visit the blog and get out the vote here at:

It is the last one listed on Feb 4! Thanks for supporting her!

For fellow MCT nerds...this is the Beth Blair from camp...

Carrie, you should get into something like this, you like to drink and design right!?!?!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog's Day - 19 month random updates

Today Lily was not happy that "Truksatony Phil" saw his shadow. She does not want 6 more weeks of winter and took it personally that it was the case.

Somehow we have avoided all the flu guck that has been going around. Unfortunately this morning Addie woke with a runny nose. Great, and she finally has started sleeping good again! She still had a great day though.

It is my oldest friend, Mandy's bday today. Not oldest in age, longest time. Anyway, when I called her this morning to tell her happy bday while on my way into work on the Max she told me that she is now that mom who yells at coaches for not playing her daughter enough in the basketball games. It both brought me back to the days of playing basketball on the "C" and "B" teams as well as fast forwarded me ahead to the days of (please please) having a good yet well liked teenager, and how then things are even hard. Parenting is not for wusses. And there are things you will always realize about yourself that are "not how you were planning to be"...probably even onto their wedding day, first baby, and beyond. Hopefully somehow you can get through it all in the right order and still being as close knit family.

Addie has been very funny lately. She put her own pants and shoes on this weekend. Shoes she's been doing for about a week, and pants she tries and get the legs in, but Saturday she pulled them up and got them over her little bum. Cute. She loves to help clean up as well as play with big kids. She's talking quite a bit, and when she's not saying real words, she jabbering on and on. Remember the only thing modeled for her is NON STOP talking, so she thinks that you are just supposed to do that, never let a moment of silence pass through.

Tonight when I got home, everyone was kneeling on the couch, looking out the window. Lily opened the door for me, and was smiling so big, when Addie saw me she let out the sweetest little squeal. Then she ran outside on the porch in her feety pajamas in the dark. She was running around in circles. Then she came in and said "nigh nigh ousigh". When I do Lily's hair in the morning she (being only slightly outside of bald) points to her head saying "pee pee" (pretty), so I have to bring my brush and my detangle spray over to her bald head and pretend to "do" it. She smiles and loves it. I can get one, even two little ponies in her hair, but it looks like a tiny wad of gum got stuck in. Plus I don't want to accidentally pull out any of the precious hairs. She was really sweet and cuddly with Tamara this morning, and that made me happy. Though at times I get stressed out and totally sweat the small stuff, Tamara takes great care of the kids and the house and the kids really love her. Today she came without her kids and she helped Lily clean her room. It wasn't extremely clean, but it was better. Lily continues to take any and every little scrap of nothing, cut it up, glue it back together, put on some ribbon tape, and wa-la, it is a project worth saving forever. She also takes an hour of "quiet time" in her room every day. This leads to more projects than I know what to do with. All the feet of art line in the world can't help clean up this mess. Whatever, the laundry was done for them and put away. Yee Haw.

I can actually say, for this moment and this moment only...all the laundry in our house is clean and put away, except for what we wore today. Savour the moment because this too shall pass, and pass quickly. What can I say? I had a productive weekend. Now if I could get to those tasks that don't reproduce.

Today at work, my employee was gone, and a weight had lifted. Even though it was a lot more work from me, and I had to recover some important papers from her recycling box, it was better. I do worry for her. My other employee, Jerry, who is a 70-something ex controller, told me that if a day ever comes as a manager that you don't feel bad about firing an employee, no matter how much they deserve it or how much it will help your department, you should stop managing people because it means you just don't care. That made me feel better. Of course the people pleaser in me just hopes...she's not mad at me...ha! I don't think it quite works that way. Oh well. It's just that my first ever "enemy" burned my house down. Can I help it if I look over my shoulder a little when I do something that would make someone's life harder? It just isn't my style.

Addie's favorite animal is a Monkey. She says "monk monk". On Friday night, the girls were both in PJs and watching Elmo goes to the dr for movie night. I was folding some laundry and Addie came over to the bin and pulled out her Monkey PJs. She unbottoned and unzipped from chin to foot the feety pjs she had on, and had me help her put the monkey ones on instead. Then she went to the folded pile and got Lily's Curious George PJs out and brought her the tops, came back, looked through the stack for the bottoms, and brought those to Lily too. Saying "monk monk" the whole time. Lily's CG PJs are getting a little small and short at 3T, the pants are like capris and the shirt shows her belly, but they LOVE wearing their monkeys together. For Valentine's day, I found some size 5T monkey pjs for Lily, NWT for $3 on ebay, including shipping! She is going to be so excited. Thank's Carrie (or should I say Ian) for passing on what are now Addie's favorite night time attire!

I think that just might be all the randomness I have for this post. I'm trying to remember all the cute things they do and say, it just passes so quickly. Oh, and before I forget. 19 months is Addie's age. Sometimes I forget that this is no longer an Addie assumed babysite, but a family site, so I should say whose age I mean. Though if you know us at all, you should probably be able to figure it out.


Everywhere I look lately there are reminders of love. It is simple, it is even a little corny. It's also the answer to most of the hard stuff in life. Deep breath and remember that people are people and I'm supposed to love them and be compassionate. My life is good, I am blessed, and I need to be loving. It is so easy to get annoyed and pissed at the drop of a hat. Our lives are so packed full that it sometimes becomes second nature to be frustrated at even the smallest things. But this week, every email forward, every blog, every book, every scripture, every where I look is a reminder to love love love, even when I don't feel like it. Lawrence does something that bothers me, and I'm reminded how I would suck it up and be polite to a stranger, and rather than feel annoyed, I don't, I just think about how much I love him. Lily misbehaves and yells in my face, and instead of sending her into time out with a yell, I calmly ask her why she felt like she wanted to yell like that, and lovingly ask her to take a minute to regroup. Over the weekend my fuse seemed to lengthen as I really focused about things that I could do to add love to my life. It's the little things. I'm hurt by a friend, yet I know they they are so involved in their own world, they have never thought to look into mine. How can I fix that and stop that pain? Love, just keep loving, no matter and it will make things alright. Maybe some of the cynical people in my life would think that I'm already too loving and gushy all the time. Well, there's already room for improvement. What I don't do, is on a moment to moment basis, act as loving as I should to other human beings when I'm stressed and under any amount of pressure. I snap just a little too easily, and I'm not proud of it. Sometimes it's' not even actions, it's all in my head, but what happens in my head is a choice if I let it be. Consciously watching that tendency and thinking about the power of love is making a big difference these last few days. Things have been great between Lawrence and I, sometimes you just get it. And right now I do.