Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Have I Become??

Sometimes I make fun of people.
Yes, I admit it. 
It isn't the nicest thing to do and I don't do it to their face.  I sometimes feel guilty about it, but I still do it. 

Last week I found myself acting like the people I have made fun of in the past.  I'm not sure if this means I am becoming one of them, getting old, or just caring less of what people think!

Last week we were in Florida.  We were lucky to get an upgrade on our rental during our trip.  Since we only needed the car for the two of us, Ry was able to get a convertible!  It was super fun cruising down the expressway in the sun!  We thought we were pretty spiffy in our flashy car cruising with the top down, hair flying, shades on, and big grins!

Unfortunately, as it got later in the day and we journeyed more toward the north the air grew cooler.  I put my sweatshirt on and watched as the goose bumps on my legs grew until I looked like I had some disease.

I tried to bring my seat up closer to the windshield because I had seen in a movie where the actress moved her seat up and the wind stopped messing her hair up.  It didn't work for me.  My legs are too long and I ended up looking like I was smashed forward with my knees my by ears.- not really lady like..

Finally Ryan put the windows up.  So we were riding down the expressway, top down, and windows up.  I had now become a person I had made fun of and would make fun of right now!  I looked at Ryan and told him we were old or just plain pathetic!  It did work though!  There was less wind and so I was warmer!  I then decided I might as well go the whole nine yards and turn the heat on!  That's right!  I was in a convertible for the first time in Florida with the top down, windows up, and heat on!! 

At least I can laugh at what a dufus I am!  Why didn't we just stop and put the top up?  That's my fault.  For one I didn't want to kill the fantasy of the warm salty air flowing through my hair. (Not really like that because when I got out of the car, it was more like the air tied my hair in knots.  It does NOT flow through!)  It's not often I am in a vehicle that isn't a mini-van and dog-gone-it! I was going to enjoy it to the fullest whether my teeth were chattering or not!!  And two, I didn't want to stop and lose daylight hours!  There are only so many hours of sunlight and I wanted to get to the destination before it was completely dark!

So maybe it is now ok that I mock people who ride in a convertible teeth chattering, sweatshirt on, heat on, windows up, and top down!  I am one of them now!  I understand now and given the chance I just may do it again!

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Day Nine Years Ago...

Nine years ago today Ryan and I got up bright and early and headed into the hospital.  I was 37 weeks pregnant and we were going to try a version because the baby was breech. A version is when they try to put the baby in the right position to eliminate the need for a c-section.  There was a risk that I would go into labor but we wanted to try to avoid major surgery.

When we went in before the sun rose I was already having some contractions, but nothing major.  I was given an epidural to help me relax in the hopes that it would not be as painful as it could be.  The doctor walked in and introduced himself as the guy who was going to be putting me through a beating.  He was kidding of course, but only partly!

Two nurses and one doctor tried from the outside and the inside of my body to turn that little baby!  They would get him turned part way, take a break, and then that little stinker would turn right back to where he started! Even with the epidural it was no picnic.   My body took a major beating  that I felt for a long time!

The result was a breech baby and me in major labor. Medication to stop the labor was administered.  They hoped to have that baby stay put for a few more weeks.  He had other plans.  Each time the labor stopped I was instructed to take a little walk to see what would happen if I were to go home and each time labor would start again.  I had been up before dawn and hadn't been allowed any food or water the entire day.  I wasn't a happy camper!

Labor became more and more intense and finally around 9:30 at night (more then 12 hours after arriving at the hospital) the doctors decided there was no fighting it; the baby was coming!  It was a whirlwind from there.  They swept me out of the room to prep me for surgery.  I only found out last week that Ryan was left in the room on his own for a long time.  The cleaning crew came in to prepare the room for the next patient and he was still sitting there!  He had to ask people to find out what happened to his wife!  Finally he was given scrubs and escorted to surgery.

At 10:21 pm Jackson Ryan was born.  He looked perfect and healthy.  I thought he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen in my life. 

One of the funny things about me is that for some odd reason, even though I rarely take any pain killers or medications, it seems I need double the dose for them to work.  This is true with sedatives as well!  I always get looks of bewilderment when I am up walking and talking after having been given meds that would knock a 200lb man out cold!  So it wasn't really a huge surprise to me when I began to feel pain as they were getting the placenta out and putting things back into place after Jackson's birth.  It was not a fun time for anyone.  Ryan didn't know whether to stay with me or the baby.  They finally had to knock me all of the way out!

It wasn't the birth I was hoping for or dreaming about, but in the end all that mattered was that I had my perfect 6lb 3oz son.  His birth was such an amazing miracle and by that time I had already learned that as much as we may try to plan something, God is the one in control of it all.

Today my first born turns 9.  He is the most amazing, smart, and handsome child.  He has big blue eyes with killer long lashes that he gets from his Daddy.  I like to say he gets his smarts from me since he obviously didn't get my looks!  He is kind and generous and I can't believe this is his last year of having an age in the single digits!  It really does go by way too fast!

Happy Birthday to such a wonderful son! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Treats on Planes - for Daddy too!

My kids make me laugh.  Much of what I laugh at is hearing something I have said coming out of their mouths or hearing them put things I have said or done together in a way that makes sense to them!  I'm not sure what this says about me, but at least I know they are listening to me!

We just went on a business/vacation trip to Florida.  To get there we rode on an airplane.  I always make sure I have snacks, special treats, and things to do to keep the kids busy and stop them from annoying people around them.  I am always prepared to be on alert the entire flight to entertain and distract!  Before boarding the plane I told each child the special surprise I had in my bag for them.  Lola had some Little Mermaid Squinkies and the two boys had some army guys with tanks and planes.  They all were very excited about what they could play with once we got in the air. 

Not wanting to leave anyone out, Jackson asked me what surprise I had in my bag for Daddy.  Lola looked at him like he had to be kidding with that question and said, "There is nothing in the bag for Daddy!  He gets lots of kisses from Mommy on the plane!" 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day!!

We had a first snow day of the school year last week.  I have to confess that snow days do not mean the same to me as they did only three short years ago!

Three years ago I was teaching in a district where the words snow and day were very rarely put together!  Quite frankly, we were more likely to have a day off due to a flood then we were for a snow day! (living in West Michigan and getting "lake effect" snow means we do get quite a bit of snow in the winter months so it wasn't for the lack of snow or bad conditions)  When it did happen it meant that our area was hit so hard no one was getting to work that day!  If our district was closed you didn't have to continue to watch the schools scroll across the bottom of your screen because it meant that every school in the county had to be closed!

When I was teaching it was pure joy to see my district closed!  It was a free day to clean, play with the kids, or play catch up on whatever I needed to get done.  I LOVED snow days!

When the snow day was announced last week I only could groan.  I no longer teach so it shouldn't matter too much right?  Wrong.  I get four hours a week of child free time! FOUR HOURS!! If the snow day had hit on a day that I didn't have free time I would have been fine, but it hit on a day that I was planning on having two child free hours!  How cruel!!!  I survive because I have that little bit of time!  I pack so much in those two hours it's a miracle my head doesn't spin off!

It was cold!!!
Other moms felt the same, thankfully and we banded together that morning.  I bundled the kids up and we walked down the street to the neighbor's by 9:30.  All children were instructed to play outside while the moms regained their sanity and planned how they would deal with a day filled with energetic, excitable children!  You see, when the snow falls the children start bouncing off of the walls, they start fighting non-stop, and sometimes it is just too cold to stay outside for large amounts of time to get rid of that energy!  Moms need to find strength in numbers because we are always outnumbered in our own homes!

Walking to the neighbors

Meeting of the minds...

I'm happy to say the kids enjoyed their snow day, A was able to catch up on some homework, and I survived.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy 89th Birthday!

Over the weekend we celebrated my grandma's 89th birthday! 
Oma and my sister

Oma is amazing!  She had a very rough year when we lost Opa and recently she lost her sister.  She keeps smiling and celebrating each day though!

We had a low-key birthday lunch at Applebees.  The service was amazing, which was a surprise to me.  It is hard to service a table of 15 people especially when 6 of them are small children! 

Everyone was happy and occupied during lunch, even if we had to make multiple trips with different children to the bathrooms.  The trouble came when people were done with their food and the natives began to get restless!  This was when the children began to turn into animals.

I don't mean that they were acting crazy like an animal.  I mean that they chose to pretend to actually be an animal and take on their characteristics.  I should be happy that my children and their cousins are so imaginative, but when all of them are kitty cats and are meowing, crawling under the table, and scratching legs for food and attention, it becomes a little much. (mostly the crawling under the table at a restaurant part)  That is the cue to vacate the premises as fast as you can manage because there is no regaining control at that point - even if it means leaving without shoes on!
The kitty cats
Eating under the table

In such a rush to get out she forgot her shoes!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012


I love living in a smaller community.  I love the fact that I have to park across the street for every single school event because the parking lots and grass are full of invested parents.  I love walking down the street and running into friends and neighbors from our community.  I guess it just gives you a sense of belonging.  It reminds me of the show Cheers and how when the character Norm walked into the bar everyone yelled his name.

This week, our school district held it's annual Roundball Basketball tournament.  The teachers from each school form a team and play against each other.  The students and community come out and support their school.  It isn't an entirely serious game as sometimes Globetrotter moves are tried out, the music is blaring, and the students are running this and that, but the sense of community and camaraderie is there in full force!  During one of the games the students rushed the floor and did their rendition of a Flash Mob!

The Flash Mob
Posing with our mascot
The kids were in awe of the guys in the body suits!  Talk about spirit!
Our entire family went and although Tyce was a little bored, Jackson is at the age where he is beginning to venture out with his friends.  I loved it when a group of boys saw him and came to get him to go with them to the opposite side of the gym!  I didn't even think until just this moment that I may be becoming to uncool to be near! (that thought is now ruining all of the happy fuzzy thoughts I was just having - oh sugar jets!)
Can you see my child waaay over on the other side of the gym up high with his friends?  And so it begins....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stupid Curled up Dog

My sister in law has had at least one dog in her home since I have known her.  Like my husband, her husband acts like he hates the dogs.  They are stinky, loud, and just plain old stupid!  Sorry, but you aren't fooling us with all of that talk!  We know you secretly love the dog.  How do we know?  We have caught you snuggling with it, petting it, and saying nice things to it!

My personal proof:
Caught you!!

This one just cracks me up!!  They have the same expression!

Ok - so he isn't always that smart, but how cute is that?

 stinkin' cute curled up dog!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today I HATE technology!

Technology and I have a love/hate relationship.  Today I hate it.

A and I have been working on a big english project for his class.  We have been saving it on a zip drive so that he can work on it at school with his teachers as well.  Last night I sent the zip drive with Ryan so that he could print it out and put the pages in a nice book format for the presentation.  Unfortunately, the drive was completely empty!  The computer doesn't even register that there is a new drive plugged into it!  Ahhhhh!!!  All of that work!  GONE!

I can remember in high school typing in a huge paper and then something happened and I lost all of it.  I wasn't as calm as I was last night.  I actually threw myself on the ground, kicked, screamed, pounded my fists on the floor, and went balistic until I felt a little better!  Yes, I threw a tantrum in my late teens!  (sometimes it does help)  I don't remember if I recovered my work or if I had to start over again, but it stunk!

Fortunately, this time, I had emailed all of the documents except for one to Ryan at work earlier in the week thinking that he could print them off then.  He forgot, but I still had the email in my sent folder so I was able to recover everything except for the bibliography which I didn't work on so I have no idea how to reconstruct it!

Today I hate technology!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Move over Barney....

Today I suddenly realized that I am now, after 8+ years, completely out of the toddler realm and into something new.  Barney and the Wiggles are a thing of the past.  However, I wasn't expecting that the children would be going from "Hot Potato" to the 80s, but apparently that is what has happened in our household!  I have no one to blame but myself! (and maybe Ryan)  This is what I walked in on today:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Musical Beds

For that last couple of weeks we have been playing musical beds in our house. Sounds a little interesteing - I wish it were, but really it is the worst!

Our youngest has the sniffles.  Apparently the sniffles is a huge upsetting deal to him.  He cries and carries on!  He has been coming into our room with his pillow in the wee small hours of the morning asking to sleep by mommy.  Our bed is big enough that he can fit, but he has this little habit that makes it impossible for Mommy to sleep.

He starts off in the middle of the bed, but little by little he edges closer and closer to me until he has wrapped all of his little limb around my head.  He is a cling-on! No matter how many times I peel him off and gentley push him over away from me or set pillows up between us, he finds his way back and on top of my head.  I love the little bugger, but I can't sleep with him suctioned to my head!
Tyce in his room
Because of this, as soon as he comes into our bed, I am forced to move to his bed.  This in turn starts the musical beds.  Sometimes I am able to stay put until the morning, but sometimes others wake up and I move from one room to another!  By the morning I am exhausted and crabby!  Last night I laid down the law and told the kids we were done with this game!  The outcome??  Tyce stayed in bed all night and told Ry this morning that he was going to the Dollar Store because he stayed in bed!  So, the bribe worked very well and was well worth it!  Now off to the Dollar Store we go!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Put the Lime in the Coconut

We like to try new things in our house.  Whether it is food or adventures, I like to keep the family on their toes.  You never know what Mommy may have in store.

Apparently some of that adventurous spirit is rubbing off on Ryan as well!  He gave the kids some coconut milk for Christmas.  They were super excited to open the cans and try it!  Unfortunately, it was a kind of cooking milk and not what Ry had in mind because it tasted gross!

 We didn't let that stop us and we got a coconut from our local grocery store.  Ryan drilled a hole in it and then we all tried a sip!  Don't do that.  If you want to try the coconut milk or juice then you should drill the hole, pour out the juice and then slice the coconut open before tasting the juice! 

We tried the juice first and again it was not good!  Upon opening the coconut, we discovered that it was a bad coconut!  We won't give up though!  We'll keep trying to find some coconut juice that tastes how it is supposed to taste!  I'm on a small mission now!!!  Hopefully by the time we are done we won't have children who can never look at a coconut without feeling ill!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Root Beer Floats bring me back...

My children are very very blessed.  They have a lot of family around them who are willing to take them on adventures and share fun times with them.  We are blessed that all of parents are still young and full of energy!

Recently, the boys all went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a "boys day".  They made donuts, roasted steaks in the fire, and had a blast!  Grandpa sent home the extra ice cream and root beer for us so we made some root beer floats.

As I prepared the treat for the kids, I couldn't help but remember a time when I would go to my grandparents' home and have root beer floats.  We lived in the same neighborhood and my sisters and I would ride our bikes to their house.

At Grandma and Grandpa's house I remember picking huge, juicy tomatoes and eating them like an apple while sprinkling them with salt!  We would run down in the ditch next to their house and pick milk pods to throw and tear apart.  In their basement was a treasure of toys personally selected at garage sales by my Grandma.  We spent hours playing with dolls and singing along and dancing to records.

Our most fun moments were spent at the dining room table.  Grandma was a card shark!  She taught us game after game after game and she was competitive!  There was no letting the little kids win!  It was every man for himself!  While we played our cards she and Grandpa would prepare root beer floats for us.  This was the only place I ever had such a treat and we were in heaven!  So much laughter and fun was shared around that table!  It wasn't the root beer float that made it that way, however.  The root beer float brings back the memories, but the memories are ones of us being together.  They are of laughing hysterically and falling off of our chairs as Grandma called Grandpa a doe-doe bird when he would win a game!  The memories are of the feelings of love we felt from our grandparents each time they saw us!

I'm so glad that my children can share those same kind of special times with their grandparents!  Family can sometimes be a little crazy, but in the end the blessings and memories they bring us are what we will remember!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The X Rated Writing in the Snow...

My children are not saints.  I am well aware of this.  However, there are some things that you just don't expect your children to do. Yesterday afternoon we came face to face with one of those things!

A group of boys which included my two sons were playing outside in the snow.  Their first mistake was going down the street without telling me where they were going.  Their second mistake was throwing ice on the sidewalk in front of a house so it sounded like the house was being hit by ice.  These things are actions that you come to expect when you have boys.  Their third offense, however, was not something I expected.  At least not yet!

Out of breath children stood at my door with rosy cheeks from the cold with odd looks.  Something was definitely up.  My four year old was with them and spilled the beans immediately about where they had been and their second offense.  As a van pulled into my driveway I realized that there was more to the story and I would soon hear the third offense.

I felt a little like the mom in The Christmas Story (one of the best movies ever!) when she hears over the phone that her son taught Ralphie that terrible word.  She yells, "He said WHAT?"  Although the word was not said and I didn't yell, I was in shock much like she was and I gasped before I could stop myself and covered my mouth in horror! 

The boys had written an F and a U the width of the yard by walking in the snow with their boots.  Two different stories were told about how the letters got there.  All of them denied knowing what those two letter together meant.

Unfortunately, no matter whose idea it was to write in the snow or who did it, they were all guilty by association.  In our home we had a big sit down.  An apology letter was written and a trip to the house in question was in order.  Ryan and I both went with our son.  He handed his letter over and apologized to the family for his part in the events of that afternoon.  Ryan and I both apologized as well.

As we walked back to the car, we finally got the real story after I pointed out we could look at the foot prints in the snow to know who had made the letters.  With a very shaky voice our son explained that he walked out the letter U.  He didn't know that he was writing something that was bad or wrong, but his friend told him to do it and so he did.  By the time we got home he was beside himself with tears about what he had done.  He felt terrible he had done something so awful without knowing.

I am glad that he told the truth and that he now understands that that is one of the meanest things he can say to someone.  He doesn't know the full meaning or the word it stands for, but he does now understand how wrong it is to do something just because someone tells you to do it.  This is especially true if you don't understand what it is they are asking you to do, say, or try!  I can't tell my child all of the swear words that are out there - I just learned a new word for penis last weekend for crying out loud!  but I can try to teach him about peer pressure and walking away from bad choices.  I can only hope and pray that this lesson will stick with him because the next thing he is pressured into may be far worse!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Finger Licking Gross!!!

My daughter bites her nails.  As an incentive to not bite her nails we have gone to get our nails done, but since it is a nervous habit she just bites the polish off.

I decided to try the polish that you can put on nails that tastes terrible to help deter nail biting.  She didn't want anything to do with it so being the great mom I am, I put it on my thumb to show her it made my nail shiny and was fine.  We let the nails dry and were back to our regular day.

I washed my hands after the polish on my nail dried and scrubbed it off.  Or I had hoped I had.  It has been a week.  I have washed my hands enough times that my skin is looking pretty dry and that stuff is still on my nail!  How do I know this?  Apparently I put my thumb in my mouth for one reason or another more times then I realize!  To eat a chip, lick off peanut butter... who knows, but I do it and it is AWFUL!!!  I'm sure the look on my face is priceless because I keep forgetting and it is a shock each and every time I do it!  When the kids see me they laugh and say, "Not again Mom!"  Ironically, I haven't heard Lola complain about it once!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Where are Your New Toys???

I know we always joke about just giving the kids a box and wrapping paper to play with instead of the expensive cool presents we buy for them.  I think I should actually start that trend.

After being home two weeks, do my children choose to play with their new super cool toys that I actually want to play with?  Nope.

This is what they do.....

According to them it is a trap for the younger kids.  Does it look like that to you?  To me it looked like a few hours of cleaning for all of the children or the cool toys were going back to Santa's shop!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

I hope you all were able to ring in the New Year in a happy and safe way!

I have never really gotten into celebrating the ringing in of the New Year and saying goodbye to the old.  Yes, it is another year that has gone by and events have occurred good and bad, but I have never understood the idea of "starting over" in the New Year.  Each month, each week, and each day starts new.  You have a chance to start over in each and every breath you take.  Make a choice to start new right now.  Why wait until the New Year?  (that's about as deep as I'm going to get and will get off the soap box now ;))

At any rate, we stayed home and celebrated the New Year arriving at about 8:30 last night with the kids and our fantastic neighbors!  Ryan let off fireworks and the kids lined up to watch shivering in their winter coats!  Thankfully, we didn't have a ton of fireworks to light off and the show was over before lips turned blue!  It was nothing too elaborate, but just being able to spend time with friends and family is really what makes our time worth it!

The girls
Hanging outside for a second
They set out chairs to watch the fireworks
Happy New Year!
So Happy New Year!  May 2012 be filled with much love, success, and happiness in each and every choice you make!