Friday, May 28, 2010

blank in the city too

Lily: Mommy did you have fun last night?
Me: Yes!
Lily: What movie did you see?
Me: (pause) um, "In the City Too"
Lily: Oh, what is it about?
Me: It is about 4 really good friends who go on vacation together and get married and have babies
Lily: Oh, in the city too, hmm, that sounds pretty cool, maybe one day I can watch it.
Me: Maybe when your a mommy.


Anyway, Sex and the City 2 was just what I needed in my entirely overbooked week, it was an over the top, unrealistic, politically incorrect, reunion of 4 of my favorite characters. I remember seeing someone describe the first move as a warm bath and a glass of wine with old friends. Exactly. Who cares about the lousy reviews, or what the critics say. This was a great movie if you are a raging fan like me. I will say, the ladies are AGING and that's weird. Not really. But if they are getting older so am I. Gasp. But the 2 cosmos before hand, the great company of friends, and the "sparkle" of the movie had me smiling most of the way through.

Favorite Line: We made a deal ages, babies, it doesn't matter, we're soul mates.

The 8:15 showing put me home at about midnight and kids started waking at 4am this morning. So needless to say, I'm a little tired.

But it's Friday...
I can't wait to spend Memorial Day weekend with my kids and my husband and Sabine and my mom and my brother and aunts, uncles, and cousins. Oh, and that starts TODAY.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cirque Du Soliel

On Sunday May 2 we went with Lawr's parents and the two girls to CIrque du Soliel's Kooza.

I've mentioned Lily's (so by default Addie's) love of Cirque after getting to go to a show as a 3 year old when she filled in as daddy's date when I skipped out for Nichole's bachelorette party. I've told you how they practice and practice, and that Lily says that's what she wants to be when she grows up. This year she had a "dress up like what you want to be when you grow up: day at school, and she dressed up like an "actor-bat". Or the best that mommy could come up with anyway.

So when Grandma and Grandpa decided to take us all to a performance the day after they arrived last week (now that I'm posting this so late, 3 weeks ago), the girls were so excited, especially Lily. And as luck would have it, we had the preschool classroom beaver, Elliot, so he got to come to, and we got to write all about it!
Daddy hurt his shoulder a few weeks ago, so we didn't get to practice the way she wanted to.

About 6 months ago, she said, "Daddy, but how will you get me on stage, will you just lift me up there?" He said, "Don't you think you need to practice with them first, before you perform together?" She didn't think so, she wanted him to just lift her on up and she'd show them what she had.

Because of that conversation, I was a little apprehensive about the show. These tickets were not cheap. Addie has never sat through even a movie before, and I just wasn't sure how it was going to go down with Lily, if she might have expectations of getting up on the stage. The last thing I wanted was this huge treat to be a letdown for her.
Everything aligned because we had a fabulous night. She did wish they chose her for an audience volunteer, but decided that they were mostly "only picking grownups". Addie sat on Lawrence's lap snacking most of her way through the show, eyes glued. A few times she wanted to sit with her grandpa too. Elliot only got stuck to some spilled soda under the seat once or twice, and we remembered him when we left, SUCCESS!. Lily talked THE ENTIRE TIME. Lily is a talker anyway (where does she get that from!?), but she honestly just had a running commentary going throughout. "Why is he doing that, where is she going, wow that's high, do you think they are married, why is that light red, how did that stay up there", etc, etc, etc. She had something to say about every move anyone made, whether it was too dark, too loud, too cool, too many hula hoops, too werid, you name it. For a a while I thought we were reading Old Hat, New Hat! :)

There was a girl in front of her, maybe 12 or so who was there with her mom. They both looked back at Lily the first 3 minutes or so at every comment. I could tell they were slightly annoyed, and I thought about shhhhhing Lil, but this wasn't exactly a quiet show, it was interactive, lots of talking and laughing. Plus there was an entire Jr High soccer team behind us, and if you think they were silent, think again. So instead, I decided to let the girls in front of us be annoyed, I answered Lily's questions and only a few times did I say, let's be quiet for a while and see what happens. She kept talking and I just didn't answer. I was proud of myself for this because sometimes I stifle her in order to be polite to others, but that Sunday, I decided to be polite to my little girl instead, and that felt good. That girl in front of us probably looked back over 100 times. At one point, I leaned over and whispered to Lawrence, "imagine Lily accidentally gets her sucker in that girls hair". :)

The show was great, and I was so pleased with how my girlies did. They loved it.

As the show ended, I got the pit in my stomach that it was Sunday already and it was the end of a weekend, our time together was almost up and we'd have a week of rushing around to get through before getting another quality weekend. The good news was, Grandma and Grandpa were here from NJ so they had a week of quality time with them to look forward to instead.

During the whole performance you could see her little mind working, thinking of new tricks that she and daddy could try. If his shoulder would ever get better!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out of sentence

I've been out of balance for a little over two weeks now. And it's wearing on me.

I'm trying to "cut the fat" of my life, the things that aren't adding any value and really focus on what is important. My kids. My husband. My job. My AuPair. These are the things that need me, and that I want to focus on.

In fact, I guess I should phrase it a little differently. After I cut out all the things that weren't adding value, it wasn't enough. I had to cut somethings that do actually add value. Sorry friends. Last week, I had to cut you too. No returned emails, no answered messages, no gchatting, no texts. I was happy to get a blog out for Bryson's 5th month, Mother's Day, and Sabine's bday. And those were on the weekends. All of you who know me, know that this place keeps me sane. I like to dump and organize here. My thoughts that is. Some pictures too, but right now I'm a digital mess of clutter and a real life mess of clutter too. So I'll dump a little here and there blog style and it will help me to attempt to feel some sense of being caught up.

For starters I stopped Facebooking about a week and a half ago. Cold Turkey. Sure some days it only sucks about 15 minutes of my precious time, but if you aren't careful it can accidentally suck an hour or two. And for me, that's valuable free time. And really, it's nice. It' s a lot of work keeping up with the daily happenings of all my old high school acquaintances and exboyfriends right on one screen. Which members of my family or excampmates are playing farmvilletown or mofiamobwars. Exhausting. So I disappeared from FB, and no one seems to have noticed. I miss it a little, which is sad, and probably why I should continue to stay away. Hey in that 15 minutes I could write a blog or return an email for cripes sake.

What am I getting at? Ya got me. I mentally chase my tail for several minutes when given a moment to do anything at all.

Today Lawrence has jury duty. His first time. Ha. He thought that because he isn't registered to vote he wouldn't get it, well, that's not a good reason to fulfill your civil duty because they will find you when you change your address at the DMV. He figures now that he is in the system, he might as well cast his vote now too. Finally.

Nancy Kules, thanks for the box from WWP. Lawrence is really excited about getting his office involved in some fund raising and he has lots of ideas. There. I've been meaning to send you a heartfelt email, but it just isn't coming. And I thought of it now, so there ya go. Cross that off my list! :)

Also, Carla, got that Gymboree Pirate Money swimwear for Bryson. SO cute. There will be a picture shortly. THANK YOU THANK YOU! I laughed at your description of when and where you were mailing it and that you lost the envelope. YES. Someone who understands my world.

Family Mainka & David and Zee Wilke I have a package ready to mail to you both for the last month. I'm sorry. It's coming.

See how I just organized thoughts, to do lists, emails, all in one shot? And I wonder why no one comments on my blog. I complained about it today in fact! I said, "am I that boring?" in fact. And I don't want THIS post to be the one that gets the answer to that question!

Bill Gates invested in my little software company. Well not my company, the company that I work for. This is very exciting stuff. But when the financial statements were due last week, it through me for a loop. I wanted everything to be perfect for the first quarter, coupled with reviewing data from while I was on maternity leave and figuring out quirks on a new accounting software, it took me WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY longer than I thought it would. I worked last week 75 hrs and slept about 25.

So, yeah, a little out of balance. This week has been better but I am catching up from everything that went on hold during the previous week, and trying to implement changes for things that I discovered over the past week. My awesome husband picked up the slack of parenting, even though he has a badly injured shoulder, my awesome friend and Au Pair took REALLY good care of the kids, and of me too, my resilient children loved me anyway and gave me great hugs and smiles. I know some parents hate it when their kids don't notice when mom is gone for a few days. They feel sad and jealous. All I feel is lucky. It means that my kids were given so much love and attention from their grandparents, dad, and Sabine, that they could do without it from me for a few days. Sure I wish I was with them and not in the office until midnight...but since that wasn't an option, I'm happy with how well they all adjusted.

Another thing I cut last week was working out. After doing the 30-day shred starting Feb 1 and ending on Mar 2, I have continued to work out at least 5 days a week, ever week. Except last week. I had to give in and miss that too. Luckily I'm already one day in this week, and will plan to be back at it. I still have the message board of really great girls who were waiting there to keep me accountable. I hate it though because working out had become second nature in my busy life. It was a when? question not an if? question. And I can already tell it will take a while to get back to that again. I'm dreading it, and one week off could easily turn into one month off in the blink of an eye. And the tiredness and lethargy. Ugh. Even 25 minutes adds a lot to my energy level. I blame it ALL on not working out, and NONE of it on the 25 hrs of sleep for a 6 day period!

Bryson slept last night through the night for the first time unswaddled and has taken both naps today unswaddled (one for 2 hrs one for a 1/2 hr). This is big news for us, as he is a swaddle sleeper and was getting WAY to big and old for his swaddle.

I have a few exciting things to tell you about, things that deserve a whole post on their own. No, we are not pregnant (GASP, I can't even imagine!). Stop thinking that is the only exciting "news" there ever can be in this world! :) I have a ton of super cute pictures to share too. But for now, I'll leave you with this - every time I look at it I smile. Again, a smile like that reminds you that you are doing something right. And for me, it puts me right back into balance...sometimes it just takes a bit longer than others...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Sabine!!

Today is Sabine's Birthday. (That's our German AuPair, "Bean-Bean")

We had a party for her yesterday and she had a picnic out at Washington Park with her friends. While it threatened to rain, it didn't, (she says that the weather is always nice for her birthday in Germany, and we were happy that Portland didn't disappoint!) A wonderful day was had by all. The girls ended the evening by watching the sunset and sitting by the fireplace outside. Her friends made her such a special birthday video, and I was so touched at how awesome their gift was (so was she). We are so happy that Sabine is in our life, and all these girls are in her life!

Our girls made cupcakes with Bean - Bean.

Bryson celebrated by eating his first rice cereal, and loved it.
Fun Videos from yesterday:

Addie waited for about 30 minutes at the table drooling over the cupcakes she and Lily helped make.

We got 22 candles on her cupcake. Fire hazard? Yes. Make a WISH!

Sabine has added so much to our family over the last 9 months and we adore her. She honestly makes our family better and our house more fun! We are so happy to tell her that we love her and celebrate her special day here in the US!

We love you Bean-Bean!!!

All five of us!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

5 months

Dear Brysee...yes we call you that more often than not...,even though it was never your intended nickname, and it isn't one we particularly hope will stick.

Today you are 5 months old. You are smiley and drooley and HUGE. You rolled over for the first time on May 1st, at 4.5 months, from back to belly. Every time anyone looks at you, they delight in you waiting to catch their eye and then smile big. You laugh a lot, more when you are tired. You wish you didn't have to be swaddled anymore, your parents do too, but you can't sleep with limbs flailing. You barely fit into a swaddle blanket. A large one. Things with you are going very very well. The things that you do seem new to you. I can't remember your sisters needing a bib at all times, else entire shirt is wet. I can't remember them putting their hands in their mouths so hungrily after just eating a 2 course meal! Everyone wants to know who you look like, some say Daddy, most say Daddy. We don't think that you look like either of us, yet. We do see you looking similar to both of your sisters at this age though. And that's interesting because most people thing that Lily looks like Daddy and Addie looks like me. We also can't see that. It's hard to see it in your own baby I think. Anyway, we think you are a mix between your two sisters. At 4+ months you were nearly 18 lbs (17 lbs 15 oz I think) and 26.5 inches long. Your feet are nearly as thick as they are long, and I LOVE that. Your chubby arms and legs are so yummy. Deliciousness. I don't know what else to say about how much I love you. You continue to sleep through the night and we have had no interruptions with that, even when mommy took you away for the weekend. You do wake up early and talk your brains out while you Houdini your way out of your swaddle. That happens anywhere from 5am to 6:30am.

This week was a rough week for mama, I worked about 70 hrs and slept about 20. Your big sisters said things that mama felt guilty about. But you, you just smiled and delighted in the sight of me. I don't want you to change, I love it that you are impartial and you love everyone you see. I can't imagine how much harder it will be when you reach your arms out for me, joining your sisters in not wanting me to go to work. It isn't usually like this, but mommy had a very important deadline for work. Next week will be back to normal, and mommy will be home every night for dinner and bedtime, and working from home 2 days a week again. I will blog and check personal email and sleep again too, I hope.

I'm so tired sweet boy, so I will go. I'm so thankful that the tiredness is not because of you keeping me up all night (in fact last night it was Addie who was up all night on the hour!) I remember back when Lily was this age and sleep was hard to come by at night.

You bring our whole family so much happiness, your sisters LOVE you. Especially the big one. Lily can't get enough of you, and she seems to be your favorite person as well. Probably because she could spend all day making you smile, and she thinks you are the most important person in the world. Oh, how I love you all.

Here are some pictures of what your sisters looked like at 5 months so you can see how similiar you look to them both, in different ways. Looking through the five month album of both of them was a lot of fun.

Much Love,

Monday, May 10, 2010

As it should be

Tonight when Lawrence went to check on the girls before going to bed, Addie wasn't in her bed. Since the girls started sharing a room last July, it has been all but easy. We often can't believe how much work it has added to the bedtime routine, and how LONG it's taking to get easy. It's exhausting. Lots of stalling and waking each other and coming out and egging each other on and getting in trouble and daddy losing his temper and mommy losing her mind. Sometimes we hear them sweetly laughing or comforting each other. And we think, that's how it should be when you share a room with your sister. If you don't go to sleep right away, fine, don't torture your parents, don't bite each other, or get each other in trouble. Giggle. Talk. Play. Snuggle.

But tonight they didn't come out, they didn't whine and cry, it was as it should be. But then with Addie missing from her little toddler bed, we had to look for her.

And it was as it should be...
Posted by Picasa

After an long day of work, which is not yet over, this reminds me, all is as it should be.

This is what's great about sharing a room with your sister.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

When I was a kid, I thought that unconditional love from a mother was a given. I took it for granted, took advantage of it, even. I never ever ever wondered if I was loved and cherished by my mom. She taught me that I was valuable beyond what I believed. She always says that she muddled through it, but when I think back about my home in my childhood, I remember how much she loves me. I hope, HOPE, that for all I do in my life with my children, they will be able to say that about me. I hope that for all the mistakes that I make in this blessed life I have with the gifts of my beautiful children, they can grow up and say, "I know how much she loves me".

Before I wrote today about the amazing day we had, I wanted to first tell my own Mother how much I love her. I'm sorry that we weren't together today, but I want you to know that you did and do so much right...and you still support me in ways I can't put in to words. I love you, Mom!

Now about my awesome day!

I got to sleep in until almost 8:30 this morning. We had a bottle ready to go for Bryson, so I could REALLY sleep in. To wake me up Addie came in and said, "Mommy, you want to come down-tairs? It is Mudders day, mommy, and we have tings for you? You want to do dat mama?" I said I'd be down in a minute, but I took my time, and smiled every time I thought of that cute little voice saying, "you want to do dat mama?" and how cute it was for her to say "Happy Mudders Day". It was the first year that she was excited about making me Mudders Day presents. Lily helped her sneak to the craft area and make me, Grandma Carol, and Grandma Lanie some craptastic gifts. We are talking tissue paper glued to post it notes stamped with business address stamps then scribbled on by a crayon. AWESOME. I got at LEAST 25 things in my little bag from them. Some of it was very creative and so sweet, and they beamed with pride as I opened each little overly folded piece of paper. (Sorry for the spoiler mom, since yours hasn't been mailed yet!) Lily kept reminding everyone that it was Mother's Day and kept stopping what she was doing and smiling at me, so sweet. She kept asking me if it was my favorite Mother's Day. I told her it was. It was my first one with all three of my kids, and aside from the first one which was special because it was just that, it was pretty relaxing, fun, and did I mention I got to sleep in?

Lawrence made a great breakfast, complete with his famous heart shaped eggs for me.

Then we packed up and got ready to go taste some wine. First up was Ponzi, only a little over a mile from our house. I took two sips of the complementary Chardonnay and then headed outside with the girls (they had a nice coloring area for them!) we walked through the vineyard and took some cute pictures, while Bryson slept on me. It was SO beautiful out, and we had a fantastic time.

We went to one more winery, no kids were allowed inside, so I sat outside with them and we looked at chickens and drank some water before we headed to the Nature Park for the picnic we had packed. There was a sand box area, and the kids played for over an hour in that, right next to our picnic table. Bryson napped in the stroller, and we ate and ate.

Sabine was in Vegas part of this week, and so it was wonderful to have Lawrence's parents visiting from NJ to help out with the kids and the house. They really got to bond with all three of the kids this time and were here for a full week. Both enjoyed getting to know Bryson more, and got extra cuddle time from Addie who was up at 5am several of the days this week! Lily was so sad to have them leave, and is already looking forward to seeing them again in August for our family vacation. Thank you guys for everything!! We really appreciate it!

Saving the best for last. FINALLY for the first time, I was able to get Bryson laughing on camera, and he really showed up for the occasion. Maybe it's because I am his mother, and I think he laugh is the sweetest thing I've ever heard, but I hope that this laugh will melt your heart the way it does mine. Sorry about the whiter than white legs. It's our first sun in Portland this week (and even if I didn't have that excuse...they'll probably be blinding you in pictures in August too!! :)

Happy Mother's Day - hope this brings a smile to your face and heart like it did mine -

Monday, May 3, 2010


There have been a few times recently when I wish we "hadn't gone down that road" where nicknames are concerned. I'll explain in a moment.

Here are some of the nick names for our family members. Nothing too crazy.

Me - Jenny, Jen, Mama, Mom, Moms
Lawrence - Daddy, Dad, Lawr, Lawrey, Dads
Lillian (5 year old) - Lily, Lils the Pils, Lils
Adeline (2.5 year old) - Addie, Ads the Pads, Ads
Bryson (4 month old) - Brys, Bryssee
Sabine (our Au Pair) - Bean Bean
Gigi (Lily's favorite doll since 8 mths old) - Jeeger, Jeegs

So as you can see there has been this "theme" to our nicknames that you shorten the word and ad an 's' to the end. (I wonder why Bean Bean hasn't gone to "Beans?" Hmmm...not sure. We should give that a try!)

When I was about to have Addie, and Lily was 2.5, I was trying to think of what we could "call" breastfeeding. I'd heard some nicknames that were less than desirable for me and my family, and I wanted be proactive about our 'name' for it. I certainly did not want a school-ager talking about my "boobie". Ig.

Well at that age, Lily was doubling everything she said. So somehow we started calling it, er, them, "boo boos". Sounds innocent enough, right? Addie was drinking out of mommy's boo boos. Does Daddy have boo boos? Nope. Daddy has Nip nips. I have nip nips like daddy. Okay, you get the idea.

It wasn't a big deal at the time, Lily would wonder why some babies don't drink out of their mama's boo boos, or why she didn't have boo boos, or why Katy had boo boos even though she didn't have a baby to feed. The name seemed normal and harmless. Feeew, glad to handle that crisis, right?

Along comes my next pregnancy and pending breastfeeding with Bryson. Well, now I have 2 talkative girls clammering on about boo boos and nip nips and feeding their babies with their nip nips pretending they are boo boos. Yes, it's a little more boo boo talk than I'd rather, but hey, I'm sleep deprived and they are getting along. So what's it to ya?

Until...she said this to me.

Her: "Mama, when I grow up, I want to have nip nips like daddy and not boo boos like you. I want to keep my nip nips".

Me: "Oh honey, you don't have to worry about that for a long time. You'll have boo boos when you are a mommy, but you'll keep your nip nips until then." Heh.

Her: "But I don't want boo boos like you. They are, like, LONG". Yes my friends, she said LONG!

Me: Nothing

Her: "See ya mom!"

So as I'm thinking about this conversation and the fact that there is enough boobage going on in our breast milk riddled home that my five year old thinks mine are, ahem, long, I laughed. I laughed at the fact that we say nicknames in our homes, and they don't seem weird to us until we look back a few years and think about how nonsense words because like regular language. Bear-bear and woobie and paci and blowout, these are terms we know. And we know some of the ones at our friends houses too, because we are all right there.

It reminds me of a story my mother in law told me about an old man friend of theirs telling a story to a group about having a blowout while he was in his car. Ewe right? She was mortified that he'd share such a thing. He was talking about a tire on the freeway! For those of you who don't know what she THOUGHT he was talking about, that's okay, but let's just say some of us think of something ELSE when you say blowout, that's all. And we can't imagine a day that Les Schwab could take care of a blowout. Our context is sort of warped and hilarious if you stop and think about it.

So to sum up my nickname story. Short and sweet storyteller than I am not.

Back to the nick names. Moms, Dads, Ads, Lils.


She started calling them "Boobs".

You know, short for Boo boo.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Run Earth Day Run

While I was at my conference last weekend, yes, I still haven't blogged about that either, Lawrence, Sabine, and the girls did an "Earth Day Race". Lily's (and Sabine's) was a 1K, while Addie's was a kids dash. As you can see below, Addie nearly got trampled. They both had so much fun but were slightly upset that the medals which were proudly advertised didn't get shipped in time for the race.

When mommy is away, daddy never fails to disappoint, I'm only sorry I missed it!

I did get a text from my friend Carrie on Saturday morning and it made my day. It said, "Driving through Tigard and saw sweet Addie running her heart out! Cutest thing ever. Lawrence was filming his butt off. Thought you'd want to know. Hope you are having a great time."

What an awesome message to get when away from my family for the weekend. My favorite part was that he was FILMING so I would get to see it!

You can too, click below...



They just posted the pictures on line of the race. Click on the link below then choose "kids" on the drop down that says "all categories". Then hit "Refresh". You can see Lily in fucsia on the bottom of the first page and Addie in black with yellow hood a few pages later. You can see Sabine and Lily on page two with her dark gray GAP hoodie, running with Lily! :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Birthdays

May 1 -

Happy 2 year anniversary to Rob and Nichole. Happy 1st Birthday to Cohen Dean, Rob and Nichole's son. Can't wait to celebrate with you little buddy!

May 1 is also the 4th birthday of my new loving and caring friend, Jenn's twins, Grace and Jacob! Her husband wrote a great tribute to fatherhood and parenthood that left me with a big smile. How true it is! Enjoy! Click HERE.