Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Merry Christmas
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Here is one of my favorite photos from Christmas and another great photo of my two favorite people. As much as I love this photo, I'm envious as there are far too many good photos of Mike and Ella together compared to the paltry number of photos of her and I.

There are good reasons why more photos of these two exist. First, I'm typically the one using the camera and second, I dislike having my photo taken. Really, how can I compete? These two are just so darn photogenic. I don't possess that gene.

Toddler Speak

One of the cons of having a highly verbal child is the incessant demands. Heard for the first time tonight on the drive home: "GIVE IT BACK..RIGHT NOW...MOMMY."

Needless to say, it was not Ella's happiest or proudest moment.

Although just a few seconds later, she was belting out the chorus to "Jingle Bells" and completely cracking Mike and I up. So is the life with a toddler.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

The gifts are opened. The living room is a mess. Ella is overstimulated and Mike is geeked about his latest gadget. I imagine his new Garmin will keep him entertained for quite some time. It's been quite the day.

Ella is having a ball and her parents are exhausted. I guess that's the mark of a good day. She received too many packages for me to even recall what she unwrapped. Ella was visited by Santa twice this year. He came Friday night at our house and then last night at grandma's house. She definitely has enjoyed everything associated with the season and Mike and I have enjoyed observing her as she experiences all the joy and chaos.

For Christmas Eve, we celebrated with some of my mom's side of the family. After a white elephant gift exchange and tasty chicken noodle soup prepared lovingly by my brother, we headed to Christmas Eve service. We debated whether or not to take Ella. She was telling us she was tired as she has had some difficulties sleeping while at grandma's house. As much as I wanted my husband and my daughter with me for the service especially since Uncle Justin had a solo, I had visions of a massive meltdown during the candle light silent night. Ella seemed to catch a second wind.

She actually provided lots of laughs as we sat in the pew. She enjoyed waving at Justin in a rather over-the-top, animated way as he sat in the choir loft. She was very much into checking out the surrounding people, and she would clap after each song and proclaim, "It over." One of the best moments was her loudly requesting me to sing "Wheels on the Bus" while the rest of the congregation was singing a hymn and after she broke a pencil, she requested her daddy to fix it. She actually did fairly well and lasted through most of the service until I went to check her diaper and she loudly proclaimed, "I just wet." I took her back to the nursery, and Mike relieved me so I could take communion. He tried to bring her back for the singing of Silent Night, but she demanded "I play first."

Fortunately for Mike and I, she went down fairly easily, which allowed MIke and I to get some sleep, which we desperately needed. It has truly been a good day. Hopefully, we'll have photos to share in the next few days.

Merry Christmas all.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

4th Saturday in a row!

This is just unbelievable.

Most people who know me know that I'm HUGE weather geek. In fact, I'm such a geek I don't usually type the word "weather". Its usually "wx". Its an abbreviation I learned while working on the radio in Maryville back in school. Usually, the winter weather really doesn't start rocking around here until about mid-January or so. But THIS year, starting back on the first saturday of December the weather has been a factor every Saturday this month. I think its been over a month since we have seen the sun on a Saturday. Today is no different.

A few days ago it was a just a possiblity for about 1-3 inches MAYBE. Then yesterday it was MAYBE 2-4. This morning I got up and complained to Amanda that once again we are opening our gifts here at home and there isn't a snow flake on the ground.

We got around and headed to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast--holy CRAP it was good. I devoured a Sante Fe omelette that just rocked my world. Amanda had French Toast and eggs--so she was pretty happy too. Ella, as per her usual routine raided both of our plates. But as we watched outside--the rain started to fall, and by the time we we were done with our yummy breakfast it had turned to strictly sleet. And it piled up quickly! Thankfully we made it home before the sleet really kicked in.

Its since turned to snow, but nothing much right now. In fact, its really not doing much at all except for being really freaking windy. But it sounds like it will really kick in the snow here in the next hour or two. I hope Ella will wake up here soon so she can see it coming down while its still light outside!

In the meantime we'll be packing up for our trek up north to Sioux City tomorrow morning. We had contimplanted going up today, but we just weren't quite ready and with the weather being as it is we made the right choice. The weather is much worse in the St. Joe area again. They have been hit big time with a terrible ice storm a couple of weeks ago and now its just been snowing like the dickens again today, sounds like they may have 10 inches before the whole thing is over. Hopefully the roads will be clear by the time we come through tomorrow morning!

So today I'm a happy camper--we have candles lit, Christmas music playing all day, hot coffee sitting next to me and white stuff falling from the sky---all is good.

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sleep Repeat

So far this pregnancy, I have avoided the insomnia that I battled regularly with Ella. That was until tonight. I have been awake for a few hours now. All has not been lost though. I drafted multiple emails regarding work projects. I am waiting to send them until a more reasonable hour. How crazy would I look if I actually sent the messages at this time of night?

I'm not sure if I can blame the insomnia on the pregnancy or work, which has been absolutely insane, so much for the Christmas slowdown we were anticipating. I woke up and had so many work issues swarming in my head that I decided to just start tackling them. I really would like to go back to sleep, but I'm not sure that's possible. I should try. My sweet husband came down to check on me and now he's parked on the couch with his laptop examining the radar and checking out iTunes. Yes, we are somewhat pathetic. Strike that, we are pathetic. Our laptops have become another appendage.

Tonight is suppose to be the night of our annual Christmas date, but unless we get some sleep, we'll be sacked out by 8 pm. Not that we have a clue what we're doing, but actually it doesn't matter. The best part of the night, in addition to getting some quiet time with my husband, is the retrospective conservation on the events of the past year. We will relive all the mundane, sweet, wonderful, emotional and stressful moments from 2007. It's a great way to reflect on how life's events have impacted us and our relationship. It's been one of our relationship traditions since the beginning.

I am starting to yawn. Maybe I should try to find sleep land, but my stomach may lead me to the kitchen first. Please let tonight not be the start of a nasty insomnia cycle. I love sleep too much and miss it when it goes away.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Picture Post

It's time to get back to work
Originally uploaded by mbowling
I have been slacking in the photo department lately. No real good reason. I just haven't dragged out the camera and it seems like I'm the only one in this family that knows how to operate our point and shoot. I could also blame the camera with the hopes that Santa is reading my blog and grants me my Christmas wish of a new digital camera.

Even though we have only taken a few pictures in the past few weeks, we have managed to capture a some decent ones, like this one or at least ones that make Mike and I laugh. Ella is so use to seeing Mike and I in front of our laptops that she can easily identify which one is mine and which one is dad's. She enjoys her share of computer time as well, which mainly means looking at pictures of herself.

I also really like this one. Uncle Scotty had us over a few weeks back to watch some Chiefs football and enjoy some mini-man burgers, one of my favorite dishes that he makes (and he makes a lot of tasty ones). My mouth salivates at the mere mention of those tasty concoctions. And, I am not just saying this, so he'll continue to cook for us.

Finally, this one of my marshmallow kid cracks me up. She doesn't battle us with her coat as she once did, but she definitely would prefer a singular layer to all this. Can't you just tell how annoyed she is with me? I'm not sure if she is more annoyed by all the entire contraption or the fact that mom took yet another photo of her while she was miserable. Don't you just feel nothing but sympathy for this poor child.

So this is my easy way of doing a post. My husband is wrapped up in tv coverage of the great potential this weather has to be the Ice Storm of 2007. I need to drag him and myself to bed, so we can awaken early to brave the winter roads in the morning. I am so dreading this.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mama Broke Santa

I broke santa. I admit it. It's true, but it was never my intent. It just happened, and Ella won't let me forget that I indeed did break santa.

It happened last night. It was dark. It was cold and I was carrying too much. It was a recipe for disaster. If I had realized this, disaster could have been averted, but luck was not on my side. Glenda gave us a cute ceramic santa decor item from Hallmark. It was (and hopefully will be once again) a nice holiday decoration that Mike and I were excited to add it to our collection.

When we left Larry & Glenda's house after celebrating Larry's birthday, I carried out to the car what turned out to be too many bags. I opened the back door with the intent of placing most of the bags in the backseat. Before I sat Ella's bag, my purse, the bag of leftover food, a gift bag and a plastic bag which contained the santa wrapped up in paper, I decided I wanted my purse up front with me and not in the backseat. Rather that set all the bags down and grab my purse, I tried to juggle various straps as the bags were suspended in the air. The strap of the plastic bag slipped from my grasp and landed on the hard, cold driveway with a shatter.

Mike was in the process of strapping Ella into her car seat, and politely asked me, "what was that?" I didn't need to look down. I knew what it was and I knew a million pieces were waiting to greet me once I unwrapped the santa. I just said, "I'm sorry. It was santa, and I bet I broke him." That brief statement would come back to haunt me.

I retrieved the bag and gingerly unwrapped what previously had been a very cute holiday decoration. I let a quick sigh once I noticed it was a clean break and santa was only in two pieces. My spirits were lifted and I apologized again and said a little superglue was all it needed.

I safely secured the bag, closed the door and took my place in the front seat. My door hadn't even shut before Ella uttered, "Mama broke santa." I agreed with her, but reassured her that mommy was going to fix santa and santa could be fixed. She wasn't buying it, so the whole drive home, Ella repeatedly reminded me of my clumsy act, by continually and matter of factly stating, "Mama broke santa." With each utterance, my spirit dropped. I might as well have stolen candy from a child because I in her eyes had done the unthinkable. I broke santa.

I was hoping she had moved past it this morning, but upon returning from the grocery store, Ella from nowhere reminded me of my crime. I admit it. I'm not proud. Now if I can only find the superglue and maybe all will be right in the world once again.

Updated as of 11:08 pm: I learned santa was broken in not two but three pieces, but he now has been completely restored and has taken up residency on our hallway table thanks to Mr. Handy, my husband Mike.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Weather Causes a Change of Plans

As a parent, you hate to see your child hurting, but it also sucks when your spouse is hurting and you feel like you can do nothing for him. The lovely Midwest weather is keeping us from the extended Bowling Christmas in Des Moines this weekend. Our sensible sides prevailed when debating whether to brave the drive or not. While we know we made the right decision, it doesn't make it any easier to digest it. We haven't seen most of this group for a year and we were looking forward to spending the day with them, eating delicious food and overindulging on grandma's cookies. Mike knows he has no control of the weather, but he's disappointed and I wish knew how to cheer him up. A peppermint mocha from Starbucks might be in his future.

Seeing him this down reminds me of the Christmas Day when Mike was in Wichita alone because he had to work and I was in Sioux City with my family. I remember talking to him and hearing the disappointment, hurt and lonelinesss in his voice, and realizing how I only wanted to be with him, and how guilty I felt that I was with my family and he wasn't. And how stupid I was for not being with him. For me, it was a big, hit me over the head moment, when I realized he was who I wanted to be with always, even if it meant not being with my family. Another confirmation for me that I was in the relationship for the long haul.

It was hard to enjoy myself knowing the guy I loved was alone. I remember entertaining the idea of driving to see him, but I was a good seven hours away. I'm sure there were reasons why I didn't go to Wichita. Looking back, I can't recall them. I'm sure Mike being the great guy he was and is, probably told me that one of us should at be with our family. While he would have appreciated the gesture, I ultimately would have been the person alone as he had to work that day.

All of this to say, my husband is a bit grumpy today and Ella and I hopefully will be able to make him smile. I think we plan to spend the day decorating the house.