Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A very poopy Christmas

My son has taken poop to a whole new level. This kid takes his pooping very seriously and considers it an art form I think. I have never been around a baby who poops as much as he does. I'm not kidding. Even his diapers have given up. They just refuse to hold anything in. I have tried different brands of diapers, going up sizes, going down sizes. I've tried pretty much everything short of duct taping certain orifices closed. He goes through at least 3 outfits a day because he explodes all the time. Rarely does he end the day wearing the same outfit that I put on him that morning. For example, we attended Vince's cousin's wedding on Saturday. I put the kids in their Christmas outfits. Sam looked so dapper in his little red vest and plaid tie. Before we walked out the door I heard the telltale noises that accompany certain devastation. I quickly laid him down on the floor and ripped his clothes off as fast as I could so that he didn't soil them. Whew! Just in time! I changed him and out the door we went. Got to the church and were sitting quietly listening to the wedding vows when Grandma informed me that he had a dirty diaper. She didn't seem alarmed, so I didn't do anything right that moment. About 30 seconds later, she taps me and tells me that it is running down his leg and puddling on the floor. Great! I snatched him up, held him away from my body and pretty much sprinted to the car carrying him belly down to reduce the spread. I can't even describe the scene lest there be someone reading this who has not already vomited. Needless to say, the jeans and shirt that I keep as a back-up outfit were not as cute as his little suit and I missed a chunk of the wedding. We were gone overnight before we could get home and do laundry, so I'm sure that the outfit is a loss. Will someone please explain to me why he does this? He eats solid food! I don't get it. Anyway, my husband is sure to complain about my choice of topics this go-round, so I'll move on.

Speaking of Vince, we have been LOVING this weather! Except the wind, but we get some of that in SD too. We went for our run the other morning and the wind was blowing so hard that we had to walk part of the way because I could not run into the wind for very long. He says it was good resistance training. I say that if he's going to turn into the obnoxiously upbeat running coach, he can run alone. I am up to 2 miles and have talked Vince into going with me sometimes. I'm still not a runner. I hate every step. The whole time I am trying to gauge how much farther I have to go before I can stop. I recently read an article in our paper about running in the cold weather and one lady said that she still hates the actual running part. She just likes the after effects. I hear ya, sister! I like that I can get in a good workout in way less time than walking and I like that I feel like I accomplished something. I guess I need to get some music to take along. The other morning I was trying to take my mind off of running and sang Christmas carols--not very motivating. Silent Night is not running music. And since I run REALLY slowly, it takes a lot of music to get me through 2 miles. I don't know that many Christmas songs. We haven't been able to run in a couple days though. With the wedding and then being in Wichita visiting friends, we have not had time. Maybe tonight. We'll see. I think I stubbed my toe this morning getting out of bed. (Cue sappy music)

We got to meet up with some friends of ours that we met in Arkansas. They were home visiting family in the Kansas City area and agreed to meet us halfway in Wichita. We had a good time. It was nice to hang out with them and catch up. We took the kids to the zoo yesterday morning. Audrey and Kaylee just get along so well. We don't have to worry about them at all when they are together because they are so much alike. Thet both dish it out and they both have to take it! Kaylee's mom (also named Audrey) and I talked the entire time. Vince was joking that the men think we women-folk didn't see even 50% of the animals because we talked so much. We saw the animals, we just didn't care! She and I have a lot of the same ideals and thoughts about life and parenting and our husbands are a lot alike too, so we have lots to chat about in a very limited time. We can't stop talking or we might miss a subject. We miss them. Wish we could gather up all our friends and move them with us when we go. Maybe someday we will be closer and can meet up more often.

We had a good Christmas with Vince's family. The kids were really excited to see all their stuff and Vince and I made out well too! I enjoy being with his family. They are good people who seem to thoroughly enjoy having all of us here. That's not to say that they won't thoroughly enjoy seeing us leave too. I will be excited to see my family as well. It sucks when you live so far away. When I call or something and they are all together I miss all of it. Being around my crazy family can be tough at times, but I sure do miss it most of the time. I know that my mom misses the kids and they miss her too. So it will be nice to get home and see everyone. I will have a new nephew soon and I have never even met his mom! She and my brother have been together for a long time, but we just have not been able to connect. Looking forward to seeing them all. Anyway, I have a 5 year old who is singing, "I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas" over and over as loudly as she can so that I will come help her with something. I gotta stop the singing!!!!

Love and miss you all! XOXO

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Thank you Lord, for this blessed life in which I get to be a mother to 3 beautiful, healthy, happy children, a wife to a wonderfully supportive husband. Thank you also for parents and in-laws who love me no matter how goofy I am and a network of family and friends who surround me with magical acceptance and love. I am truly, truly blessed.

This Christmas we get to spend every minute with our families in Texas and Oklahoma where it is currently a balmy 56 degrees!!!!!!!!!! The wind is a-blowing though. It blew us all over the road on the way down here. I just got through running 2 miles and that wind is brutal! On the way into the wind I sometimes felt like my legs were moving but I wasn't going anywhere. When we left Rapid City, the temperature was below zero and here I just sent my kids outside without coats. I love it. That drive is not so fun though. It's a long haul with 3 little kids. Audrey kept saying, "Are we out of Nebraska yet? Are we out of Nebraska yet? Are we out of Nebraska yet?" NO!!! And it's not as if good 'ol Nebraska is the most scenic of states. I was listening to a radio station and the DJ said something about "Nebraska's Modern Christian station". Audrey goes, "How does the radio know that we're in Nebraska?" LOL! And Katie got very upset when we told her that we were not going to the mall. Oh, how she screamed! But she was certainly happy to see her Grandma and Grandpa.

That's all I have to say for now. We have arrived and are all in one piece just enjoying the company and the warmer temperatures. I hope everyone has a great Christmas and a happy, healthy 2009. Ciao!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More of the same

It's still cold. More cold, worse cold. Colder than cold. We got up to 30 one time this week and it felt downright warm out there. Someday we will look back at this and laugh. I'm not laughing now. My back door was frozen shut. Literally. I could not open it because there was ice growing on the inside of the door at the bottom. It was -13 without a wind chill for a couple days. My heater has been almost at 80 degrees and it is only a little over 60 inside this house. My poor children have had to wear actual clothing in the house. Anyone who knows my kids knows that this is a HUGE feat! I have to tell Katie 300 times a day to put her clothes back on, it's cold in here. You wanna hear a joke? It's not officially winter yet! HA! I'm still trying to remember if we had a summer. There was that week when we wore shorts outside. Maybe that was summer. Boy, do I miss Texas. I can't even count how many times people told me how hot it gets here. We didn't even have to have an air conditioner. That's just wrong. It's not summer until my ass gets stuck to a car seat, okay. You northern people have no clue what a real summer is. But we sure are getting an education about a real winter. Okay, I think I'm done griping about the weather for at least 5 minutes.

It's almost Christmas!! I think I may be more excited than the kids. We are going to do ours a little early here and then not have to haul the presents south with us. I bought most of the stuff when we were home for Thanksgiving and left it with Vince's parents so it's already there and ready for Santa's signature. I wanted to do it today. Vince said we should wait until at least tomorrow. *sigh* I guess. We finally got to take some Christmas pictures. It's been too *&^#*^$ cold to do them outside, so we took the kids to the Reptile Gardens tonight and got as decent a picture as we're gonna get with 3 kids. That sounds weird to go to the Reptile Gardens, but it's a neat place and they have a big jungle dome thing that they decorate with tons of flowers and lights for Christmas. At least it's above 50 degrees in there. That's all I cared about. Trying to get all 3 children looking AT THE CAMERA-damnit! and smiling and not picking noses or blinking or talking or moving is a job for...well I don't know who. Someone who's not me or Vince. I thought he was gonna blow a gasket. Big surprise! Anymore I just settle for one where you can actually see all 3 kids in one frame. It's not worth getting an ulcer over. Because, trust me if anyone can give you an ulcer, it's my kids. So, I got the pictures taken. Now let's see if I ever get the Christmas cards made and in the mail. Take the safe bet and say no.

I have been making these corn therapy pillows to give to our neighbors and Audrey's teacher for Christmas. I decided to make 3 bigger ones for the dogs. They are trapped in a little pen in my dining room next to the sliding glass door. It's a little chilly there, but I think they'd rather be there than the backyard right now. Buddy--God bless his little beagle soul--can't help himself. He has chewed a hole in one of the pillows and is eating the corn. Dumb dog. Whenever I hear him crunching away, I yell at him to stop. But a few minutes later I hear him start up again. I know he's not hungry, he just can't stop because he's a beagle. I wish I had that excuse for why I can't stop eating. I have been working out still, it's just been here and there lately. I barely left the house while it was so cold because it's just too much work to get the kids bundled, the car scraped and warmed, the bags of stuff carried, the children carried so they don't get too much snow in the car, etc. Then when you get somewhere, it takes so long to get everyone into the store or whatever and then you have this mountain of coats and hats and gloves and yada, yada, yada. It's just too much work. I have the treadmill that I have been using, but I just don't self-motivate very well. My friend Sheri will be proud of me though. I have been running at least a mile and a half when I do get on there. I know that doesn't sound like much, but for me (soooo not a runner) that's a lot! Vince laughs when I call it running. To him, it's more like a VERY slow jog. To make matters worse, I am going to start the baking tomorrow. Every year, I bake all kinds of goodies for our neighbors. This year we are doing Outrageous Brownies (and yes, they are outrageous), no-bake cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, and possibly the peanut-butter snack mix. Usually I hog all the snack mix. It's addicitive. I hope our neighbors like chocolate! I'm even taking some to THE neighbor. I promise not to poison her. I have a rule now. Whenever I see her or think about her I say a prayer for her. To help her be a happier person. 'Cause she needs all the help she can get!

Well, I should get off here since it's almost midnight and it's getting colder in here by the minute. I'm gonna snuggle up next to my furry man under 3 blankets with my heated corn bags on my feet and try not to think about the weather again until morning. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I sent out an e-mail recently saying that we were expecting some more nasty weather and the high was going to be 4. I was wrong. It didn't even make it to 4. It stayed below zero all day and got as low as about -15 last night. This morning when Vince let the dogs out for their morning romp, they went out for about one minute and when they came back in they were yelping in pain because their paws were so cold. It's not just cold here, it's ^#$(*&%!* COLD!! I went out yesterday afternoon and my car didn't want to start. Vince's truck didn't start this morning until he charged it for about 2 hours. I cannot wait to get back south! I can't believe that people actually settled here on purpose. Can you imagine being a homesteader here? Living in a mud hut in this weather? I've got the heat cranked and am wearing sweats and I'm still cold. I'm never cold, just ask Vince. They are saying that it's going to heat up by Thursday. We will have a high in the low 20's. To us, that is not a high, it's just a higher low! Okay, moving on.

I took the kids sledding the other day at the park. Audrey loved it. Katie didn't want to sled because she found a "walking stick". Whenever we go somewhere she picks up sticks and carries them with her. This one was particularly special I suppose, because when we were leaving the park and she had to leave it behind she was very upset. I basically had to pick her up and put her in the car. In the car it was, "Walking stick, I looove you." in the most pitiful wailing voice. She was so mad at me. She cried forever. When we got home, she was still crying and said that she wanted to go see Jim and Sherri (our adopted grandparent neighbors). I guess she needed more sympathy than I was willing to dish out. In no time, and with plenty of hugs and freshly baked cookies, she was in a better mood. Thank God for them. They are wonderful. Anytime my girls see them working in the yard, or playing outside with the dogs they have to go over and see them. I always feel like I'm going to get on their nerves by letting my kids go over there all the time, but they never seem to mind. Their kids and grandkids all live far away, so I suppose they enjoy having kids over.

Vince and I got to go on date night Friday. Our church hosts it by taking the kids from 5-9 and feeding them supper. It only costs me $10 for all 3 kids. We went to a super-nice restaurant called Delmonico Grill downtown. The food was superb. Expensive, but superb. Then we strolled through downtown and looked at all the lights and store windows. Actually it was more like a mall-walk since it was so cold. Then we decided to go play some pool at a local sports bar. But we only had $1 in cash, so we only got to play one game. So sad! That's okay though because I play so poorly that Vince was really just playing by himself. So, we just sat and drank our beer and had some actual uninterrupted, adult conversation. I drank a little too much though. I felt like crap all night and couldn't sleep. I've become a lightweight! I guess that happens as you get older. The kids had a good time too. Our sanctuary is designed so that they can take out all the chairs and turn it into a huge indoor gym area. They had a big bouncy castle set up and basketball hoops and all the balls you can imagine. Audrey was being shy until she saw the bouncy castle. Then it was, "bye, mom." Katie was in the nursery with the little kids for a while and then they took her in with the big kids too. She doesn't mind the nursery since they have swings hanging from the ceiling in there. That's one of her favorite things to do. I imagine that as long as Sam had an artificial booby available he was a happy camper too.

Sam is 7 months today! He's so close to crawling. He just lifts himself up and rocks back and forth. He has to be moving all the time. He's a wiggle-worm. He cannot sit still. He's at the point where when I am feeding him, if there is anything else going on in the room, he wants to look. He tries to take the nipple with him. If he can't do that, he just unlatches every 15 seconds to look around and make sure he's not missing something. Meanwhile I'm squirting milk everywhere. It's very messy. I wonder if they make baby blinders? Right now he's in his bed screaming because I put him down for a nap. Sounded like a good idea to me. I think I will go curl up on the couch in a big fuzzy blanket with some cappucino. My toes are about to freeze even with these wool socks on. Stay warm!

Oh, one more thing--GO COWBOYS!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Joy?

When we went to go cut down our tree, I had all these fantastic idealistic dreams of how the evening would go. We'd drive into the forest, a happy family loving each other's company. Then we'd pick the perfect tree, take the obligatory pictures, carry it to the car, where we would crack open the thermos of hot chocolate and enjoy. Then when we got home, we would decorate the most beautiful tree together as a family while Christmas carols played in the background. A lovely scene, yes? Cut to my reality--it was almost dark by the time we finished moving furniture into the garage to make room for the tree. Then we had to wake Sam up from his nap, get everyone loaded and head out. Then the snow started. When we finally reached our destination, it was darn near black in the forest. The kids had all fallen asleep, so Vince and I argued about which tree was best all alone while they slept in the warm car. Then we hiked back to the car to get the stuff and the kids, who were not happy about being woken up and wanted to dip into the hot chocolate already. So we got them bundled and the chocolate poured while I tried to wrestle Sam into his carrier with his bunting on over my thick coat. Hat, mittens, blanket-can't see where I'm going and can't hear over the screaming baby. I finally caught up with the others and broke out the camera to catch a picture of the girls with red noses, smiles, and hot chocolate down the front of their freshly laundered coats standing in front of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Vince cuts down the tree while I hold the flashlight, camera, baby and blanket and 2 empty cups of hot chocolate. Vince starts to carry the tree out when Katie falls in the snow. Major drama! So he ends up carrying her and the tree all the way to the car in the dark and snow. Audrey was content to walk-this time. Put the kids back in the car, crank up the heat and we're off. At about 15 miles an hour because by this time, the roads are slick with snow and ice and we don't want to skid off somewhere. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a nervous wreck in the car when any kind of weather hits. I'm sure it was fun for Vince! When we finally get home I sit down to feed a very cranky baby while Vince tries to trim the tree to fit our house. In the meantime, the girls have found the decorations and have pulled them all out of their boxes and wrappers and strung them throughout the house. I will be finding those little hooks in my carpet (with my bare feet at 3 in the morning, I'm sure) until they are in college. I break out all my lights that have been in storage for 2 years and plug them in--NOTHING! Not one of the seven strands of lights work. I finally get half a strand working by sheer luck when I fling them across the room. So, I sat down to painstakingly go through each strand light by light to determine which bulbs were burnt out or had shorts. 2 hours and 1 and a half working strands later, I gave up. I declared it a Christmas disaster. Vince snorted at me from his spot at the computer and told me to go buy some new lights tomorrow. Tomorrow? I had the tree up and 2 little girls fighting over the decorations and he wants me to wait until tomorrow? I just brought out the 3 new boxes of lights that I bought last year and never used and threw away all the others. My tree has less lights than I wanted, but at least they're on there. By this time, it was bed time for the kids anyway. We put them to bed amid much wailing about not having the tree done. Let's just say that the next morning didn't go very well either. By the time Vince got home from work, the tree was decorated and I was at my wit's end. God Bless the little children, right?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Surrounded by turkeys

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We just hung out here and cooked up a little feast and then tried to watch some football, but with 3 kids, I don't get much watching done. Vince, on the other hand, just ignores as best he can and follows the games with a focus only known to men on football days. On Friday we tried not to venture out of the house to avoid being trampled by the masses on their way to fight over the latest gadgets. I don't know about you guys, but I'm thinking God doesn't intend for us to make Christmas about how much stuff we can get at bargain basement prices. I love a deal as much as the next person, but seriously? I guess I just don't get why I would want to get up at 3AM to wait in line for the doors to open and then fight the crowds to maybe get a great deal on some silly thing. Personally I would rather pay full-price or not get it at all. There was a 15 year old girl who got punched in the throat at our Wal-Mart by an adult man because she got the last X-Box. And the guy who was trampled by the shoppers in New Jersey? They just need to take all those people out. Who does that? Maybe I'm just a snob. Maybe I'm smart. Who knows?

Friday night we ended up in the ER with Katie. She woke up around midnight with a horrible croupy cough. She couldn't even talk, she was so choked up. Her little chest was just sinking in with the effort to breathe. I took her outside in the cold air for about 10 minutes, but that wasn't really helping, so off we went. Vince stayed with the other sleepers. At the hospital, they gave us some meds to help her breathe and sent us home. We were back at home in our beds within one hour of getting to the hospital! That's a record. That was the best experience in an ER that I have ever had. I remember sitting with a 2 yr. old Audrey for 5 hours in the ER waiting room. Her eye had swollen up after a bug bite. She looked horrible. The eye was swelled shut and then some and was so red and hot. Finally after 5 hours they showed us to a room in the back where we waited for another hour just to be seen by a doctor. Vince was so stinkin' mad I thought he was gonna kill someone just to get some attention. The entire time we were there, her eye was getting worse and worse. Poor baby. It was awful. If you are ever in Sierra Vista, AZ and have an emergency, just keep driving the hour to Tucson. I guarantee you will be out of there and back home before you are even noticed at the ER in Sierra Vista. They have too many illegals cramming the system.

Whew! I am really rolling tonight, huh? Someone take this soap box before I really go off! I might hurt myself. Anyway, Katie is feeling better except for this stupid cold that keeps coming back and finding it's way into the rest of us. I swear, this kid gets colds all the time. And she keeps giving them to Sam because she's always in his face. Now Sam has a really bad cough. Right before I was leaving for the YMCA tonight, I picked him up to say goodnight and he started coughing so much, he choked and threw up all over me. Yay! Dontcha just LOVE kids? I was late to the Y. The night that Katie woke up so sick, she was trying to tell me that she thought she had the hiccups. (I guess that was what she figured the weird cough was). I told her that she was croupy and she said, "and creepy" in her froggy voice. I just had to laugh.

Well, I think that I have all my Christmas shopping done. I keep saying that and then I think of something else that someone would love and then I'm not done! But really, I'm done now. Vince says so. I was at the fabric store the other day and saw that tulle was 50% off so I thought I would make the girls some tutus. They are so easy and the girls love to play dress up. When I brought it home, Vince just rolled his eyes at me. They will be really cute, cheap Christmas gifts I think. I seriously only spent $2 on all the stuff I needed. I have been sewing up a storm. I've made 2 more dresses for the girls, a tote bag, and the tutus--but you really don't have to sew them if you don't want to. The fabric store is a dangerous place. I could spend lots of money in there. My problem is that when I get started on a project, I don't want to quit until it's done. Probably because that means I have to put everything away and clean up when I take a break since I have no place to sew but my dining table or coffee table. And it really stinks to have to put it all away and then pull it all back out. If I didn't though there would be a thread trail to China and back and Katie probably wouldn't have any hair and Audrey would reset my machine to some crazy settings that I would have no idea how to fix. That's what happpens when you turn your back for 2 minutes. Can you imagine what would happen if I left my stuff out all the time?

Sam is starting to fuss. I'm sure he needs his night time booby fest so he can get back to sleep for a while. I wish I could sleep until morning without being awakened. I wouldn't know what to do with a full night's sleep! I was going to say that I will have to wait until my kids are out of the house for that, but by that time I'll be so old that I will have to get up to pee every hour. I think my power-sleeping nights are behind me. Too bad, I was really good at it.

I hope you all have visions of sugarplums dancing in your heads tonight. Mine will likely be more along the lines of sugared donuts. Happy snoozing.