Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunday Anniversary

On Sunday we went to Jeremy and Jennifer Ornelas's house for breakfast. It was their wedding anniversary and they invited us over. Lawrence, who is training for Hood to Coast, ran from our house to theirs and met me and the girls there. (He almost beat us, and was happy to run down the hill and not have to run back up!) We had a great day, ended up hanging out most of the day and every one napped (and quiet timed) while moms and dads hung out. We ended up having lunch together, going to the park, and then decided, what the heck, let's make dinner together too!
We went to Jack park near their house and had a lot of fun. We played soccer, sort of, it could have also been classified as keep-a-way or fetch. Everyone had fun chasing the ball. Especially Lily, she is FAST. Addie was a pretty good kicker in her rain boots, which are still over a size too big. She loves them though. We also played a little basket ball, mommy definitely should NOT be teaching that! :)

Don't mind the man who blinks. That's just what he does. It's fine, you know, pictures where both girls are looking and smiling are totally easy to come by, we understand that it's very difficult for an adult to simply keep his eyes open...

Addie climbing up the ladder for the 100th time! So determined. She has her run of the play ground now and can get pretty much anywhere she sets her mind to. Addie kept taking her boots off at the top of the slide then letting each of them slide down for their turn then she'd go. It was funny, we had a 3 man assembly line of getting the kids up and down the slide (including getting Addie back into her boots each time!)
I love this smile! Lily was so happy and well behaved the whole day. She had missed Lucy, and they had a lot of fun (mixed in with a little tattling - to which we usually answered, "do you want to get your friend in trouble and get her a time out? No? Better go try and work it out yourself...and then they did.) Lily also got to see Pinnochio at Lucy's. She only knew it was a book up until now. A favorite book, so finding out it was a movie was a super surprise.
Lily and Lucy swinging together! They love this swing. Swinging was making mommies and daddies motion sick, reminding us of how OLD we are getting. Imagine what we'd do on the Zipper now when we can be pushed too high on a SWING! :(

Addie says Bailee, "Ba-bee" and it is very sweet. Mostly they are trying to get in on what the big girls have going but the little girls are starting to play together a little. Especially when they are in kahoots to get the bigs. Addie is getting very verbal and will repeat most anything you say.

Happy Anniversary Ornelas's! Six years later! :)

Ritter visit

On Saturday we went down to Salem (about an hour away) to visit our good friends, the Ritters. Jason is a high school friend of mine, and he and his wife, Jessica have 4 children. Kaden, Ivy, Isaac, and Jonathon. It's a busy life, but they love it. Isaac about 3 weeks younger than Addie, and we hadn't met him or his younger brother...it has been far too long. That's the great thing about good friends though, even when you don't see them for over 2 years, you just pick back up and enjoy each other's company. It was exactly 1 hour door to door and so we kept laughing that we had somehow let it all go so long.
Lily trying to get Addie and Issac to pose together, they weren't in the mood. Good try Lil! Addie loved being in the mix of all the other kids. We decided we would leave around 1 when she would probably start falling apart and needing a nap. Nope. At 3pm when we finally packed it up, she was happy as a clam. Then we thought she'd nap in the car on the ride home. Nope, happily talked and played the whole way and napped at 4:00-5:00 when we got home! This kid does not sleep in the car, it's odd.

Me and Jay, a lifelong friend! I didn't know we were supposed to be sucking in our cheeks in the photo below, but thought for sure Jay would want it posted to show how skinny he really is! :) hehe.
We were impressed that Lily knew that Salem was the capital of Oregon, then she told us the capital of :Paaainsilvania" was "Haaaaaairisberg". (THANKS to Tamara) She wanted to know where the water was in Salem to go Sail 'Em. That made us LOL for a while! :)
(L to R) Jonathon, Kaden, Lily, Ivy, Isaac, & Addie - the treasure of kids on couch w bare feet pics!

Ivy is about a year younger than Lily, but I knew they would be good friends. They have the same fun personalities, strong willed and rule-reciting-rule-following and sweet and lovable and HELPFUL. Ivy will certainly be added to Lily's list of BFFs. Especially if we make an effort to see each other again before 2 more years sweeps us by.

We teased them that they always have double the kids of us. When we had Lily, they had Kaden and Ivy, when we see them next, we have 2, they have 4! So when we have another one, they better gear up for twins! :) Haha, not gonna happen! Well not yet. Their plate is full to the brim right now, and mamas not getting much sleep. But no complaints, just a lot of love over the all the joys of a big family and all the benefits that are to come in the future. Kaden will go to Kindergarten this year, so Lily is right in the middle of him and Ivy. We barely heard from these 2 the entire day. There is something to be said for a house where the kids behave and the layout is such, that all kids are free to roam with no dangers to themselves or the house! The whole way home Lily talked about all the fun she and Ivy had, and she was so sad to leave.

Such a beautiful family and wonderful friends, I certainly left that day with a very happy heart! :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

What I've become.

Some times as a mother you have the hardest time dealing with yourself - at the reality of becoming what you promised you would "never become". It is your past self criticizing your current self. I think about this all the time, how my past self doesn't know $h*t! :)

My friend, Carrie's blog is TOO good this morning, I just had to share!

On another note. I'm SUPER excited to go see Dooce's book reading!

dooce.com

She wrote this.

It's my hell week at work, tomorrow is the quarterly closing, so I'll be missing a few bedtimes and become out of balance like I always do at the end of a quarter/beginning of the next, but I'm excited to take Friday off work because Lawrence's brother, mom, and nephew are coming in from NJ for two days!

Blog about our fun filled weekend, complete with awesome pictures to come!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What I did today

Have I really reduced my blogging to what I did today? I hope not. Well maybe. If I try to think about all the interesting things I have to write about, I just get overwhelmed and don't write. I have a list a mile long of great things the kids are doing, and about the au pair interviews I've been doing and deep thoughts of marriage and friendship and sacrafice. But I won't write about those things. Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe. So here's what's new.

The last couple of weeks I have been very dedicated to working out and eating well. I have less than 10 more pounds to lose before I will feel really good (not to mention have a whole new wardrobe...you know...the one already in my closet). The problem is, I now SEE why I hadn't been getting to it. Here I was, back in January, thinking that I was so lazy for not eating right and working out. Thinking that my "baby" is turning two in 3 months and I'm still hangin' on to 25 lbs of extra "baby" weight.

The truth is. I don't know how people do this. The gym that is. I can give up ice cream and beer and junk food. I can walk occassionally, and do a few 20 minute power sessions on the bike during my lunch hour. But after gyming it for 2 weeks, every day, I feel great, I'm looking great. BUT it takes up the entire evening. This is my schedule every day for two weeks.

Get home from work - 6pm
Eat dinner (usually by myself, standing and playing with the kids because the rest of the family has already eaten)
Change into work out clothes
Play with the girls - read books, settling down time
Put Addie to bed
Play with Lily
Put Lily to bed (from the first step to here I'm lucky if I have an hour!)
Kiss Lawrence hello and goodbye
Go to the Gym for an hour plus 15 minutes each way commute time (unless I'm in the garage then I get back that half hour)
Come home
Shower
Blow dry
Computer, Unwind
Everyone is asleep but me...and here is is 12:02AM. Why the heck am I doing blogging? I don't know.

What I do know is I feel better than I have in a long time, but I haven't talked to Lawrence for 2 weeks! YIKES. Sure we talk on the phone and chat during kid time, but that's it. He is so supportive of my going to the gym. I guess he likes a firm caboose. But whatever, I can't imagine this being a long term thing. A "lifestyle" change. The way it needs to be to have a healthy life. I haven't done a dish all week or cooked a meal (oh I know, poor me). I'm just pointing out, again, that this would never fly as a "lifestyle" change.

The reason I'm going to the gym is because I went "try" 24 hour fitness where my friend Carrie goes. We were going to be work out buddies for 2 weeks to get a jump start. I called and they gave me 14 days free. I have a gym on the second floor of my building at work, so I won't pay for a membership. We also have a treadmill and bowflex in the garage, so again, not forking over $50 a month to 24HR.

I am jump started, so mission accomplished. I'm fine, I'm happy with my results, and I have another week to go. I've been sticking to it. Even before I did this I was doing the garage and lunch hour work outs for a while, really sticking to it, those are a little more sustainable than the actual gym, but still. I guess I just feel a little discouraged about how hard this will actually be, long term. It's something I really want but it takes SO.MUCH.TIME. And energy. No wonder it isn't possible while breast feeding. I'm sorry, but it's just NOT.

And then the idea of a someday 3rd baby and the associated baby weight. Ick. Do it all again? Can I? Yes. Will I? Yes. Ick? Yes.

Because as much as I pretend that I'm gonna be that girl, the one at the gym on the elliptical who is 8 month pg who is really "all belly". Who stuck with it through her whole pregnancy. I'm not. I lie and tell myself, next time, but no, that's just not true. Fatigue and nausea sets in and then 8 months later I've gone on 3 walks, 5 fitness classes and I'm +45 lbs. That's the truth. So I guess I'll just be glad for getting back in shape in between. Enjoy fitting into clothes until we make the next leap. And when we do, I'll be grateful if I am blessed someday with another pregnancy. And I'll remember to be thankful that I get to carry a baby to term, and then, *sigh* even remember that the +45 and the ability to then lose that 2 years later is yet another gift.

A very HEAVY gift that always feels likes it's wrapped a little too tight...

Backed up

I have a backlog of posts that you can’t imagine… I write many of them when I’m showering, driving, or trying to fall asleep. My mental blogging life is much more productive than my actual blogging life...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This precious generation.

This morning I found out that Lawrence's Great Aunt passed away. Even though I have never met her I felt very sad when I heard the news, the threat of tears stinging my eyes. The lump in my throat hasn't gone away. Perhaps it is deep and genuine sadness I feel for Carol, my mother-in-law and her loss, perhaps it is thinking about the pain that Betty's children and grandchildren are feeling right now, and perhaps it is the realization that there are fewer of my grandparents generation each day. This precious generation.

In any case, I wanted to write that I am sorry for those that are hurting over the loss of their loved one, Betty Berkowitz, and in my sadness I thought, for a woman who lived as long as she did with lots of stories left to tell, someone should dedicate their blog to her today.

Reminding us all to appreciate our loved ones, don't sweat the small stuff, and to take each day with our elders as a true gift.

This one is for you, Aunt Betty, may you rest in peace, may comfort be with your loved ones, and may your sore, aged, parkinson's body now feel free of pain and young again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photography photo contest - please vote!

I'm posting this again, because it would really mean a lot if each of you who reads this votes.

This is a photography contest that, Joe Whittle, a friend of mine in Jr. High/High School, who went to Brooks College is part of. He needs to be in the top 20 to be considered in winning his dream project and is currently ranked 29. He lives in Joseph. Please vote for him. You have to log in to vote, so no one can vote twice, but it only takes a second and it would mean a lot to him! It also sounds like a very interesting and worthwhile project. To Vote after you have logged in, click on "Pic This" in the yellow box in the upper left hand corner. They don't spam you. Do it today, there are only a few days left.

http://www.nameyourdreamassignment.com/the-ideas/JoeWhittle/journey-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-stories-of-the-conflict-between-colonial-and-indigenous-cultures/

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ski bunny

L
video
Lawrence took Lily skiing on Saturday and she did great. They had a wonderful time.
Here is some footage of Lily going down the hill...

Addie and I hung at home and had a nice walk at the Nature park with the Rose Family. They are expecting a baby in August and found out it is a boy! They are really excited to add another boy to their family of 3 girls and 1 boy!

Lawrence and Lily even accidentally went down a "blue" (intermediate) run because she went the wrong way when they got off the lift. He has a harness and reigns to hold on to her on the way down, but they got tangled and he let go and she went over a part that he couldn't get to her very fast. I guess she went over a little drop where Lawr couldn't see her for a minute, and another guy looked back for someone coming for her, and yelled to Lawrence, she just hit a tree. Apparently it was only a waist high tree, but I didn't get that from the excited voice mail she left me about it (which I've considered transcripting here b/c it is funny NOW). Anyway, they had a great time, she is a pretty good skiier now and she loved telling me about each and everything.

Funny things:

Explanation of skiiers vs snowboarders and how you have to stand on the "magic carpet".

Getting an itch on her bottom and punching it through her snow suit trying to get to it.

Excitement over her first donut and an oatmeal cookie at the mountain.

I want to post another video, but too tired tonight. I'll do it later, check back.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh.

When you tellAddie something, or more often, tell her not to do something, she typically has 3 possible answers.

1. Ah ayah ayuh (think whin-eeeeey, but not really crying, more of a yell)
2. No
3. Oh

Oh is by far the best. It is actually music to my ears, a relief of an answers. There is nothing more to say! :)

Examples:
Addie: Poo-Poo (pointing to her diaper while I rock her before bed)
Me: No Addie, it's night night time, you don't need to go Poo-Poo
Addie: Oh

or

Me: Addie, stop putting your fingers in there, they are going to get smashed
A: Oh

or

Addie: (trying to put her "panties"/diaper cover under her tights, struggling) groan
Me: Addie, you put your tights under the panties
Addie: Oh

Addie: (Points at the TV) Elmo
Me: Nope, no Elmo
Addie: Peeeeeeese Mama
Me: Honey, Elmo isn't on right now
Addie: Oh

It's like she understands and accepts whatever it is that I'm telling her. And she stops. Like she wanted to see how the world was gonna work and I tell her something, anything, and now she knows.

Oh.

I wish it was that easy. And I love that it sometimes is.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh the many things...

There are to blog about...but here are just 2 for today. I'm feeling a little deep...

First off, Happy Happy Birthday to my friend Carrie. The sun even came out in her honor since she is cranky and depressed during the rainy Portland winter. The bad news is that the forecast USED to be for rain all week until tomorrow, then 3 days of sun. Well now it has today being nice (for dear Carrie of course) and now the next freaking 9 days are rainy. Why, oh why, sun did you even tease us with your 60 degrees last Friday. With all that said, I'm still glad Carrie got some sunshine on her bday because she deserved it, it has been a crappy week for her and no matter where she turns she gets more bad news about something AND she pulled her neck like the "old (31-year-old) lady" that she now is while putting on a scarf this morning. Why was she wearing a scarf on a sunny day such as today, not sure. Maybe because she leaves when it is still dark out for work and she assumed since it is Portland, it would be another rainy day.

The second thing (totally unrelated to Carrie's bday) has been weighing on my mind as I search for good decisions in my family and I feel the criticism bug lurking around. It floats around friends and family, it noses in friendly warnings or unsolicited advice. It floats out of my mouth as I pat myself on the back for doing some things right. But, mostly, it's eating me up, because it's wrong and unfair.

This is for the fellow moms....

We've got to stop... Seriously we are like cannibals, eating and terrorizing our own. You know what I mean, we are so. damn. hard on each other. And it has become so second nature.

We think everyone who does not want to do things the way we do them are crazy. The new definition of "she is crazy" is : I could not do what she is doing or I do not want to do what she is doing. Do not call her crazy. It is not fair. She is not crazy for doing what you do not want to do.

And I'm talking about the biggies and the little things, like going back to work, breast feeding, having more children, having less children, hired help around the house, date nights, faith choice, tv channel choice, child care choice, public education, home school, breast feeding a longer time, breast feeding a shorter time, going on vacation without your kids, going on vacation with your kids, making time to exercise, money spent, new cars, new houses, new sweaters...I could go on and on. We can't give each other a break? Are we so insecure that we have to insanely think that other people's choices won't work for them? And that they are better or worse mother's because of it? That our way is the only way when it is barely working out for us?

As women, as mothers, we are only making it harder for us: women and mothers. And, we mustn't forget, that these same things that we ridicule other women for doing, we could find as our own methods under different circumstances. Half of it we might already have going on in our own homes and we are too arrogant to notice. So quick to point the finger at other people's shortcomings. We are. And I mean me too.

The truth is, we are all barely hanging on by a thread, and I don't care if you stay at home with one child or work outside the home with five children. We all want the same thing, to be good wives and mothers, have happy, healthy, well adjusted children, who don't have the same insecurities and worries we had as children. We are all doing the very best we know how to do. We are already too hard on ourselves as individuals, it's time to ease up on ourselves and ease up on the other women out there, the ones in our life and the ones who aren't.

The gift of friends and mothers is that we can be in this together, we can be such a resource and support system for each other, but please don't judge my choices and I will do my best not to judge yours. Your way needs to work for you, your husband, and your children, and that's all that matters. Nothing feels better than pure honesty and safety with your truths when you are struggling and you know that you aren't in it alone. (Well I guess it does feel better not to be struggling at all, but that doesn't come around quite as often). So let's remember that in our conversations and in our thoughts as we try to be a little more compassionate with each other. I encourage you as I remind myself to be kind with your judgment because everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Monday, March 16, 2009

20 minutes of sun

Rain rain go away....

This time of year in Portland, you just don't know WHAT the weather is going to do. Seriously last week it snowed on Monday and was 60 on Friday. Sideways rain all weekend. Yesterday the sun started shining and we took the change to go out for a walk/run. Lily is training for her Run for the Cheetah, half mile fun run at the end of April. We had such a blast. And I got the best impromptu pics of the girls. This one below of Lily and Addie wasn't posed, they were just hugging each other on their own. They are so sweet I want to eat them sometimes!

I was trying to get pictures of Addie running in her rain boots but it just didn't do justice. So I made the video below. You can hear he saying "cold" and "cheese". It was sunny, but still freezing and windy out. When she sees the camera she says "cheese" same with when she brushes her teeth! :)

If you want to see the collage bigger, just click on it. Get ready to laugh at the sight of Addie running in those boots...they are size 5 and a little too big, she has two pairs of socks on and tights, but she LOVES them. Teeny tiny feet, next to her sis who wears size 12! True to Portland form, it started a torrential down pour complete with black clouds and darkness about 3 minutes after we got home. But we did take advantage of our 20 minutes of sun and we laughed our heads off with the girls and got some exercise too. What a great life we have!



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video

Waiting for Cohen


We went to a baby shower for our wonderful friends, Nichole and Rob, on Saturday night. Their friend's, Sean and Darcy, hosted it at their home and it was wonderful. Hands down the best baby shower I've been too. Men were invited to, so it was a little more of a party celebration rather than a shower, but they got showered with lots of great gifts and lots of love from their friends and family, and that's what it is all about!

Nic looked absolutely beautiful, she does have the glow. Her due date is April 28. She is smiley and her usual positive wonderful self. Rob is a cute proud daddy to be who still thinks he won't be changing any diapers, ha. Lawrence doesn't understand why men don't want to change diapers. He says it is the one part of parenting that is cut and dry. There is a beginning and an end, along with a sense of accomplishment, all within a relatively short period of time. There aren't that many things you can say that about in parenting! Josh and Shawna (and Rachel) came over to watch our kids for the evening while we went out and enjoyed some adult time (at a baby shower, how ironic!). Lawrence couldn't keep away from the yummy dessert table Darcy had set up. His eyes almost popped out of his head when he found a brownie on a stick.

I think Lawrence might have also got roped into doing Hood to Coast again this year as Rob's replacement. I told Rob not to stop training even if he doesn't do it. He said the sweetest thing, "I'm training for Cohen, not for Hood to Coast". Ahh. Lawrence said he was doing the same thing, that he didn't want his belly in the way when he bent down to put on snow boots. Good job dads, getting healthy for their babes! :)

These photos don't show the masses of people and love they had, there must have been 40-60 people there. It was a very fun night for a very fun couple.

Cohen Dean we can't wait to meet you little guy!



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Sunday, March 15, 2009

60 degrees on Friday!

On Friday it was 60 degrees here. It was so nice and warm and wonderful out. Oh, to not have to put coats on made life so much easier. This was just what I needed to get serious spring fever. Addie can finally use her new swing set without problem. Well, almost, shortly after this video she got her first fat bloody lip by standing on the bench swing facing Lily while it was swinging. We had afternoon snack outside and are really looking forward to spending a lot more time outside very soon.

Oh, Friday was also a WONDERFUL day because we finally sold that Explorer that has been for sale since last summer!! YAY! The girl came and met my mom at 7pm after lots of talking, coordinating, talking with the bank, with the insurance company, mom, Mandy, Joe, I was all talked out...but it is sold and officially out of our hair!
I have a few more videos to post, but it's taking forever to upload, and I've gotta get to bed!

video

Princess Tea Party


Lily and I went to a Princess Tea Party on Saturday at the church we have been attending. It was so much fun. Lawrence took Addie to the mall and we had all morning to do our hair in curlers and get all dolled up. We borrowed some dress up stuff (for both of us) from Lucy and her mom, and we were all decked out. Lily LOVED having her hair in curlers and was worried about the rain all weekend taking her curls away.

Our table was decorated with a Little Mermaid theme, and our centerpiece was a real fish. There were 4 moms and their 4 daughters at our table. My friend Tanya's friend Donna called me to invite Lily and I to her table and it was nice to be expected and welcomed.


There was a story for the girls, clips from Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and lots of dancing. Lily tasted Tea for the first time and didn't really like it, but was happy with her self for trying it. She also was really cute getting out there and dancing with some little girls and also waiting to be "let in" by a circle of dancing girls. It was interesting to see her out of her element and also sweet to see her get in there.

We had a small meltdown when we left (well it didn't feel so small at the time) regarding a mix up of accidentally thinking one of the decorations was a favor and Lily having to give something back. She was happy to do it, but then when we got to the door to leave she started to cry. We tried to get it worked out, but then she got mad about something else. So I was the mom holding the hand of the screaming princess in the rain to the car. Then I was the mom of the ungrateful girl who was yelling that she didn't get anything in the car. However, when she finally calmed down, she wanted to help me go get wrapping paper for Rob and Nichole's shower gift. Then she said she was sorry and that she didn't really want to leave. She's usually so grateful about every little sticker and piece of confetti, I was surprised by her behavior. But with the sugar and all the princess talk, maybe she was feeling entitled!

The message at the end hit home for me. Basically it was that we are all princesses in God's eyes, and as moms we often feel like Cinderella after the stepsisters have ripped her dress to shreds, but that God sees the beauty in our hearts and to him we are as beautiful as when she was going to the ball. For just a moment, my inner "princess", got teared up at the thought of how wonderful that is to think about.

Gymnastics Field Trip




Last Tuesday I got to go with Lily and her class to Westside Dance & Gymnastics Academy. It was so fun. For Lily's Preschool each parent is required to do 10 hrs of volunteer time per year, and since I was out of commission for the beginning of the year with a broken foot, I'm making up for lost time. Lily was SO excited that I got to come with her, and drive one of her friends to and from the field trip (we took Allison who is currently her fave). There were lots of moms there, and most of them sat up in a viewing room, however when Lily's teacher asked for a volunteer to take photos and earn and extra 3 hrs of volunteer time, I was HAPPY to do it. So I got to be up close and watch the kids at work. This was even more thrilling to Lily (and I got some good pics of my own). She did great! She really could do well in gymnastics and we've got to get her back in, she is very athletic, and aware of her body and location. She is so strong too, seriously defined muscles. I know this, but after a winter of them not showing I forget how muscular she is. It was so great. I took half a vacation day from work so once we got home, I also had lunch with Tamara and the girls and fully enjoyed my day. It was the start of a week that felt very balanced between work and home with a lot of really quality time with my girls and Lawrence. Click on the collages to see the pictures bigger if they are hard to see.

Monday, March 9, 2009

General Update. Random, rambly, and boring, basically unreadable...but do so if you must!

Well the cold bug finally got me. It started last Tuesday on my way home from the gym with Carrie, but I kept pretending I must just have a sore throat from all that talking training my new girl. Then Addie got the croup and all, so I had to ignore myself to take care of her. But by Friday night/Saturday morning, I was struggling! But I sucked it up and powered through, since it was Lawrence's birthday and he never ever asks to do ANYTHING for his birthday (though I usually plea). This was the first time in years that he's actually wanted to have and keep plans on his birthday. So like I said, I faked it and pretended to be okay and off to the mountain we went. Addie slept pretty well Thursday night, considering, after getting a dosage of steroids and antibiotics (for the croup and ear infection), but would not touch the liquid pink antibiotics on Friday (however she is now happily taking the chewables we picked up yesterday, she thinks they are vitamins!). I was so thankful that Tamara caught the croup on Thursday afternoon and that Lawrence took her on Thursday so I didn't have to be up all night on Thursday and spend all day on Friday at the pediatrician. Also because I was starting to feel pretty terrible. Friday was a busy, hectic, stressful day that I don't feel like recreating here.

Josh and Shawna came sledding with us and we did have a very fun time. Me faking part of it, feeling bad, but glad that I'm the type who just makes the best of it. I did feel a little bad because Lawrence drove us all the whole way and ended up doing most of getting the kids and I packed and dressed and pulling them up and down the hill, etc. This was because I could barely get my own snot nose wheezy ass up the hill, much less pull the kids or snap on my own snow shoes. I did a little, but nothing compared to super dad. Luckily Lawrence is in his prime doing stuff like that and he strapped all the adults into their snow shoes, including Josh and Shawna!

Lily has been in full swing of the whining / meltdown curcuit and Saturday was no exception (I guess we are almost at the infamous half year mark). Luckily there was only one major meltdown, but it was right when we got to the mountain and it was blizzarding and we were all trying to get our gear on and Lawrence yelled at her to stop drinking so much water (he was afraid she'd have to go potty after we hiked a mile in!). But that got smoothed over and out we went.

The girls all had fun sledding and eating snow. They all got a little frustrated not being able to move as much as they'd like in the snow. Especially Addie. Toward the end Lily was whiny too, it was hard walking in the snow, and I was whining a little on the inside :). Addie started crying and wouldn't stop, she couldn't move, she didn't have any hands, she was a snotcicle mess, and I (gladly) took her back to the car. She was so happy to get there, she even asked me to put her buckles on while sitting in her car seat. She wanted to make sure she wasn't going anywhere. She and I got stripped down, and got snacked up, and then when the rest of the gang came shortly after we were happy enough. Everyone had a blast. Then Josh and Shawna treated us to the YUMMIEST lunch at Mt Hood Brewery, where Lawrence had a BEER FLOAT, Oatmeal Stout and Tillamook Vanilla. He was in ice cream heaven! It was a fun trip, but a lot of work with all the kids, though looking back a cool experience that I'm glad we got to experience with our kids and our good friends. We had our stressfree trip to the Mt a few weeks ago, this was different but also very rewarding.

Yesterday, I felt like crap but got lots of cleaning and organizing done and spend lots of time thinking HOW THE HECK DO THINGS GET MESSY AND IN DISARRAY SO FAST. And I once again considered the inflow and outflow of paper in the house, and how I am in an unfair and losing battle. It is never ending.

Today, I went to work and suffered through. I bought some brand new size 12 rain boots from some one off Craigslist tonight on the way home for Lily. aka Bigfoot. They are pink camo and so cute. Unfortunately I realized something as I was almost home. Though I am bidding on a few pair for Addie, I didn't actually have any for her. And for the first time she is at the age where I can't just walk into the house with new boots for Lily and nothing for her. Let's face it, this girl loves shoes. But BOOTS?!!! Even better! Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking. For some reason it never occured to my medicine head to just not give Lily the boots right away. I guess maybe because the lady had several pairs and she said if the size didn't work to let her know. But still. It could have waited a day. I tried to sneak in and the girls opened the door to me sneaking and scrounging around the garage for Lily's old rain boots to pretend I had something for Addie too. Unfortunately they caught me and I was empty handed for Addie. I made Lily let Addie try them on right after she tried them on. Addie took a few steps and kept saying "wal wal", trying to show me that she could walk like I had just asked Lily to do. Addie is in size 4 shoes, the size that Lily wore at a year. So this means that I don't have rain boots her size. Who puts rain boots on a barely walker (the normal size 4 shoe). Well maybe some people, so no offense if you did. Oh, but if you did and you have a pair of size 4 or 5 rain boot I can borrow for Addie, then let me know and awesome! :)

In any case, I need to go thru the dreaded "shoe bin" in the crawl space to find some new shoes for Addie to make up for it. I know I'm going to regret some of the ones I put in there half muddy or not thouroughly washed off because I didn't have time at the time, thinking that, of course, I'd have time now. Sheesh.

Hmm. In other news we spent $300 for a new window in the family room that cracked on Friday. We were THRILLED so see that our of no where came a crack accross the entire window that makes it look as though the glass is going to fall out. Since we couldn't think of anything better to spend 300 bucks on we are having it replaced tomorrow. I'm looking at the bright side, one less window to clean...those installers better not leave finger prints!

So though we sang to Lawrence 3 times this weekend for his "Birthday week" I have no pictures of that. My new camera battery is not last long and the delay is awful, it ALWAYS says "processing" grrr. Here are a few of the sleding and snow eating. Lily's favorite was the cookies and cream snow. The kids thought Lawrence was hilarious. Lily said we have to make daddy dinner one night (he's the one who cooks since he gets off at 3), since, and I quote, "Making dinner for someone is the nicest thing you can do on your birthday week". Great, I hope Chicken Nuggets on Friday for movie night will work for her!

Lily, Addie, and Lawrence made us pancakes for dinner last night. And yummy homemade blueberry syrup. Everyone ate well, and Lily and Lawrence split the rest of the ice cream cake. Addie had a soy yogurt in graham cracker crust. It was a wonderful end to the weekend. A few of the pictures are of the girls on their "work station" in the kitchen.



And yes, the Buckeye gear was a tribute to dear old dad. Lil and Lawr also went "training" for her cheetah half mile run coming up at the zoo in April. Enough rambling for me, this night time cold medicine is about to knock me out. Nighty night.

Oh, one more thing. Some bear cubs without their mama were spotted on Bull Mtn today. That's where we live. Awesome, in addition to the crazy winter/spring/winter/spring weather, we are also on bear alert!

Please Vote

This is a photography contest from, Joe Whittle, a friend of mine in Jr. High/High School, who went to Brooks College. He needs to be in the top 20 to be considered in winning his dream project and is currently ranked 22. He lives in Joseph. Please vote for him. You have to log in to vote, so no one can vote twice, but it only takes a second and it would mean a lot to him! It also sounds like a very interesting and worthwhile project. To Vote after you have logged in, click on "Pic This" in the yellow box in the upper left hand corner.

http://www.nameyourdreamassignment.com/the-ideas/JoeWhittle/journey-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-stories-of-the-conflict-between-colonial-and-indigenous-cultures/

I know, I know, a real blog is coming soon too, I promise!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh Croup!

Got a text from Tamara at 3 today.
"Addie sounds a little croupy"
Ugh

I called her to define a little croupy. She got up from her nap wheezing and Tamara's her daughter had croup every month for a year, she was familiar with the early signs. Me too, and not wanting tonight to be the worst night ever, I called immediately for an appointment from work. They got her in at 4:40 and I called Lawrence to take her.

He schlepped to the dr and the pharmacy, for not only croup steriods, but antibiotics for her ear infection, and 4 EpiPens while he was there.

Despite her wheezy self, she was in great spirits when I got home. She moved her little chair in front of the TV with a cracker I gave her after dinner. She pointed to the TV cabinet and said "Elmo".
No Elmo tonight.

But don't worry kid, you can watch lots and lots of Elmo tomorrow while we're sick and tired and mamas working.

Lawrence boasted that the girls had perfect behavior and patience while waiting at the dr and the drugstore. Croup, croup, go away!

Addie's Allergy Test

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

20 Months - More Questions than Answers

Addie was 20 months yesterday.
Lots of stuff is changing with her. I'm so spoiled that I have a baby who was low maintenance. She is definitely making sure that we know she's there, that she's not going to be some go-with-the-flow kid. Well that's all relative, compared to what Lily was at this age, she is very go with the flow.

While Addie's vocabulary is increasing, she'll repeat a form of most words you say, she is also increasingly frustrated with knowing what she wants but is not able to tell us. Oh, but when you finally get it, she couldn't be happier. She loves her vitamins and toothbrush, ketchup and bear bears. The bear bear has almost become an appendage sometimes, she can do almost anything with those in hand. She has a keen sense of awareness about what is around her, and if she spills something she knows it without looking. She's a very good cleaner upper and will pick up each and every cheerios or banana chip if she spills. She thinks fruit snacks are pretty much the best thing she has ever tasted and practically glares at me when a package is somehow empty before she was ready for that to happen. She likes me to put "pretties" in her hair and will pretty much shove Lily off the stool to get her turn, but immediately pulls it out and asks me to put it in again. Makes for a very productive morning. She loves cooking in the play kitchen as well as playing with pans out of the drawer under the stove. Lawrence has let her help cook a few time with milk free ingredients, and she loves that of course. The work station is shared and soon we'll have to make it a double wide so no one gets pushed off during meal prep.

Last night she kept saying "baby baby baby". I realized after quite a while that she was asking me to sing "Rock a bye baby" to her. When I said it, and started, she was beside herself giddy and laughing as she laid back down to my chest and listened to me sing. It was so sweet. Speaking of Rock a Bye baby, that is what I sing to Lily every night. I started singing it once with the words and then humming it once, then putting her down. Once I accidentally sang it once and started to sing it again. Instead I sang, Rock a hm hm hmmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmmmm. Now she has me sing the second time as "rock a hmm hmm hmm" and that's what she calls it. This has been going on for months. I swear that girl will start a routine out of ANYTHING. Funny enough, I did it with Addie out of habit, and while I was humming she sat up saying "baby" again. She didn't recognize the song if she wasn't hearing the words. Sometimes when you look at the odd monotony of the things you do for your children, it is amazing to think that some day without writing it day, I might not remember "rock a hmm hmm hmm" when now it is almost second nature, like a thing that you just do.

Addie threw her first tantrum a week or so ago while my mom and Jeanine were here. We were getting ready for dinner and she didn't want to sit in the booster seat or wear a bib for our spaghetti dinner. When I decided to take off her shirt so I wouldn't have to worry about a bib, she went nuts and threw her first real unalterable full on fit. It was kind of hard not to laugh, she was so mad and her little red teary face screaming at me then running to the other room in rage didn't make me mad at all. She was cute. I had to hide my face and my smile as to not encourage it, but there was something so sweet about this melt down, just like there is something so sweet about this little girl.

20 months = 20 pounds

Sitting at the table is sort of a non stop battle with Addie right now. She wants to sit at a "big guy seat" as Lily calls it. Lily thinks it is hilarious, and each morning when Addie chooses a regular chair over her own booster seat, Lily laughs and laughs, still amazed every.single.day. Sometimes, when the meal is non messy, I allow it...but it really doesn't work. She gets on and off the chair, and doesn't eat much. If anyone has to get up from the table (obviously a common occurrence if you've eaten with small children anytime recently) then Addie does too and she's done eating.

Eating has been a battle. I'm encouraged and reassured to hear from many of my friends having these same battles with their 20ish month olds.

Today I had an appointment with an allergist so I could discuss my concerns about soy, and to talk about some options to get her more protein from other sources besides soy, and milk options. This was our first time meeting with an allergist for Addie's milk allergy.

I was hoping to come out of the appointment today to find that I would be able to give Addie a PB&J for the first time. Um. No such luck.

The pediatrician/allergist felt that since we'd only done a blood test for Addie at 8 months, we should go ahead and give her a skin test today. The blood test last year showed she was only moderately allergic to milk, but the welts on her back showed today that she is severely allergic to milk, peanut butter, and mildly allergic to soy, wheat, and egg whites. No allergies showed for almond, cashew, or tomatoes. He said for the milk and peanut allergy that it was possibly life threatening, giving the vomiting she's already had. Yikes! Life threatening? He said that we don't have to stop giving her eggs and wheat as long since she has tolerated it with no reaction. He gave us a precription for the EpiPen and told us it needs to be with her at all times. He also prescribed us some special formula called EleCare. Expensive, tastes gross, and prescription only. Great!

When the nurse stabbed the "trainer" EpiPen into Addie's thigh to show me how hard I'd need to jab it into her leg if I were to need to use it, I sort of lost it, Addie screamed and I didn't realize that "trainer" meant no needle, it freaked me out. I was not expecting her to show me by jabbing Addie with a real-looking Pen. So I started to cry a little. I didn't know what "trainer" meant. I'd been at the dr for 2.5 hrs by this point. With a 20 month old. Need I say more? It had been a long exhausting morning. I got done JUST in time to pick up Lily from school and got home at noon in time to get lunch, but no work done.

I took a half a vacation day so as not to feel guilty and do the right thing. I was feeling pretty uptight for the rest of the day, but went to 24 hr Fitness with my friend Carrie after putting Addie to bed, and that was just what I needed. I felt MUCH better. I used a guest pass today, but am getting a 2 week free trial from them next time. I'm NOT getting a membership, since we have a free one in my office building, and a treadmill and weights in the garage at home, and plenty of pilates and yoga vidoes. But Carrie and I hope to motivate each other to get in the routine over the next few weeks. It was so good to catch up with my friend too. We've *sort of* been trying to hold each other accountable, but mostly we just complain about how hungry we are and try to make each other feel less bad about coffee, diet cokes, donut holes, and girl scout cookies. (You know, you've GOT to indulge once in a while). Anyway, if we go to the gym, her gym for 2 weeks together we think we might be able to ACTUALLY hold each other accountable in better ways than an IM message.

Well I realize this wasn't the most fascinating post. I have a picture of Addie's test on my phone, so once I figure out how to do it, I'll post that.

At 20 months, my baby is more spirited and opinionated, though still very sweet with a wonderful disposition. The sisterly love between the two girls grows exponentially on a daily basis as Addie can actually "play" with Lily and it makes them both laugh uncontrollably at making the other laugh.

Ahh...the belly laughs that come from my two girls might possibly be the sweetest sound my ears have ever heard.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Proud Wifey


Lawrence told me at the beginning of the year that he was going to run in 6 races this year. He wants running to be less on and off in his life and wants to be healthier, and lose some of the belly for getting down in the snow to get ski boots on his kiddos.

So he planned to do one yesterday, March 1. Last week at Romp to Stomp he got really bad blisters. Also, ALL of the friends who said they'd like to do it with him didn't do it. Also, he didn't sign up until Friday night. Also, he hadn't run more than 2 miles and this race was a 5 miler. BUT...he did it anyway. He ran 3 days in the garage and 1 day on the track. He ran late a few days, after bedtime even. He did great. He ran the whole five miles in 10 minute miles and finished in 50 minutes.

Here is the link to his stats: Lawrence Herman Super Dad

Here is the link to photos: My Awesome Husband

He says he is also in photos #
#14, 16, 17, & 18...but that is unconfirmed as I have not found him in those... :)

In any case, the reason I am so proud is because it is very hard to schedule in fitness with our hectic life. It's easy to make excuses about the rain or muscle pain or our gynormous hills or whatever. It's hard to stay motivated. I'm just really proud of him for setting a goal and reaching it with no one keeping him accountable but himself. That's hard to do and I'm glad that we can support each other and ourselves to live healthier and stay more fit in order to be better parent, spouses, and to ourselves. Lawrence has signed Lily up for her first race on April 26 at the zoo, a half mile. This is another reason that I'm proud, he is setting an example for the girls about setting goals and keeping fitness a priority.


Go Lawrence. You have a proud wifey.