Thursday, July 31, 2008


I am certain that we must have forgotten something for our trek up north. Why am I so sure of this? Because it's 10:30 and we are in bed with the bulk of the suitcases packed. This is not our MO. We typically are up to the wee hours doing laundry and throwing random items in suitcases, and this was our standard approach before we had kids. I can't believe we are finished this early in the evening. I walked the house and checked out the rooms without sleeping children and didn't see anything glaring. I'm keeping my fingers crossed we are just prepared and not forgetful.

The reason for the trip: my cousin's wedding. I'm excited to let Ella bust her moves on the dance floor and to see my baby bro in a tux. Plus, this will be the first time that much of my extended family is getting to meet Sam. Let's hope for safe and fuss free travels.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I heart my kids

I heart my kids
Originally uploaded by mbowling
In all the craziness that is my life, my kids certainly keep my grounded and smiling. For now, all the worries I had about Ella accepting a sibling have subsided.

The girl is so sweet on Sam, and I love watching her interact with him. From the moment she wakes up, she needs to know where her Sammy is, and she loves to shower him with kisses. At pick-up at daycare, she tears through the hallway trying to get to him as fast as possible. Her enthusiasm and adoration of him is so precious. I'm not sure what good I did in an earlier life to be given these two wonderful creatures, but I'm so thankful for them.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Gift of a Bear

I am amazed at how in a span of 30 minutes my child can rebound from being a emotional, temper tantrum, piercing screaming toddler to an emphatic, loving daughter willing to share her best friend of the moment.

The other morning started off rather rough for us, but really which morning doesn’t. (As hard as we try to get Ella down before 9 pm, we almost never succeed. It’s tough convincing her that she needs to go sleep before the sun goes down.) Getting her to use the toilet or convincing her of that need was the initial battle lost. She wanted to get dressed first. I knew this was a bad idea but I didn’t have the energy or the time to throw myself into the ring on that one.

Getting her clothes on was a separate struggle. She refused any assistance, yet she was extremely frustrated with her t-shirt. She screamed for me to “get out and leave me alone” when I tried to enter her room. Somehow, her arm managed to maneuver into the sleeve of her shirt. I have no clue how that had happened as I had retreated to my bathroom to finish straightening my hair.

Next stop was the bathroom, my hope was going potty was the first task to tackle, rather Ella decided to combat her incredibly bad breath with brushing her teeth. The potty clock was clicking and I knew we were losing valuable seconds.

Without being allowed in, I listened for noises indicating progress. Drawer opened and slammed shut. Toothbrush set down on counter. Water turned on. I had a fleeting moment of hope that we may in fact get out the door, but it was quickly interrupted with sobs and cries of “mommy, I had an accident.”

After cleaning her and the bathroom floor, Mike stepped in and geared up to retackle the dressing situation. A lengthy battle ensued with floods of tears, screams, and pleas of cooperation. Somehow, we left the house with Ella in dry and clean bottoms and us licking our battle wounds.

In the car, we were blessed with the first few moments of quiet as none of us were sure what to say or do after such a draining morning. As we continued on, Ella seemed to emerge from her early morning persona into her usual inquisitive, loving self. Our conversation also picked up with her noticing passing cars and buildings.

As we approached my office building, I turned around and shared my hopes that she have a good day. I hopped out of the car while Ella was muttering a few words. Mike rolled down her window so I could hear her, and she quickly outstretched her arm. In her hand’s grasp was a pink, soft teddy bear who Ella had been cradling during the entire commute. She was trying to get me to take it.

I thanked Ella for her sweet gesture, but I assured her that she needed the sweet bear for the next few blocks more than I needed it for the rest of the day. Ella refused to accept my no. She said, “take bear and you have a good day.”

There was no denying her request. I grabbed bear, thanked Ella for being so thoughtful, and watched my car turn around the corner. I stood there for a few seconds enjoying the gift of love from my little girl.

After that, I was a little unsure of what to do with the bear as my work bag was out of space. Holding the bear, I stepped on the elevator to hear a man ask, “so what’s his name?” I chuckled and said, “I’m not sure. You’ll have to ask my daughter.” I was a bit embarrassed to be holding a stuffed animal but I was so appreciative of Ella because with such a simple sweet gesture, she managed to completely erase the drama of the morning.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sam I am

Sam I am
Originally uploaded by mbowling
What a handsome boy. Sam, my sweet, handsome Sam.

I promised myself that I would be asleep by now, and instead I'm writing this. When will I learn?

Tired, exhausted, sleep deprived, overwhelmed, dumfounded describes the past few days in the Bowling household, but it also has been fun. Today was all about the Ps -- Parks, Picnics, Pools and Payton. It was a good day with the minor exception of the incredibly large crowd at the pool. In addition to it being the hottest day of the summer, one of the Shawnee pools was closed thanks to some idiots who broke into the pool we typically frequent. One pool for the entire city, definitely not enough, but we still managed to have a good time.

Sam even dipped his toes in the water. He seemed rather indifferent about his experience.

Overall, the boy is doing well. His torticollis is improving. He was evaluated by a PT, who described it as a minor condition and gave us exercises. He tolerates them as much as he does tummy time. The boy is rolling from his back side to his tummy. He hasn't gone the other way yet.

As for sleep, he is up and down. Some nights, we're up a few times just to reswaddle him and pop in the pacifier. Other nights, he needs a little more comfort and possibly a diaper change and/or a bottle. He is battling a little nasal congestion, so sleep has not come easily for him these past few nights. All the more reason, I should be asleep.

My parting thought, can someone tell me why my lovely daughter who rarely has had an accident since she started wearing underwear a good month ago, has had multiple, multiple accidents these past few days? I really am frustrated and clueless as to why she has regressed.

With that, I'm going to bed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Slugger, not my friend

Slugger, not my friend
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Forcing my child to take a picture with the Royals mascot is certainly not going to earn me the parent of the year award. In my defense, she asked that we wait around and get a picture with him. Poor Ella instantly started to cry when Slugger invaded her personal space. But she was the one who couldn't wait to see him, and we had waited 15 minutes for our turn. Luckily the tears only lasted a few brief seconds. I hope I didn't scar her. I guess we'll know when we attend our next Royals game. Honestly though, doesn't every parent have a similar picture in their collection of photos?

We managed to squeeze in a lot this weekend -- hanging with family, baby shower, birthday party, haircuts for three out of the four of us, playing at the park, Royals game and we even enjoyed one meal outside. I'm so not ready to it to be Monday tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lack of Pictures

Messy Chocolate Face
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Sadly, this series of pictures is all I have to remember our Fourth of July holiday. (This is Ella enjoying the chocolately goodness of scotcharoos.) We thought we packed the camera, believed it had made its way into the car, once at camp site couldn't find the camera, searched car to no avail, figured we walked off without it, finally found as we packed the car to leave camp site. It's par for the course with us lately.

Oh, how will I ever remember what a great weekend it was. Ella created so many special memories with her cousins. How I wish I could show her photos of that special time to help her lock in those memories. Maybe Zoopra9457 will come to our rescue. hint...hint....

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Camping Survival

We survived. I still haven't decided which side of the crazy/adventurous fence that we ended on, but we did create plenty of memories -- the smores, the night terrors, the need for cow bells and me sharing my breakfast with the chrome RV bumper.

Before I relive the regurgitation of my breakfast, I will reminisce on the food that remained in my stomach. Two years had past since I had my last smore. With the long wait over, I was more than ready to give my taste buds and stomach this gooey sweet treat. I promised myself that I would not let another summer pass by without one passing through my lips.

I am particular about the color and texture of the marshmallow blessed to melt and connect the sweet chocolate with the graham cracker. As much as I wanted to savor the yummy treat, I had to burn and waste a few before I finally had perfection -- a toasty brown and warm marshmallow. My patience paid off. Ah, so very tasty and such a classic camping treat.

If I only knew it would have been the last food particle to remain in my stomach, I might have savored it a bit more. Saturday for me wasn't as good as Friday. While the highlight of Friday was regaining my ski legs after two attempts, Saturday's highlight was laying in the tent tearing through a book (which I finished by the end of today. I can't even remember when I started and finished a book in the same weekend.)

Why did I have so much time to lounge around the tent reading a book? Somehow, somewhere I caught a nasty stomach bag. I was least miserable laying down, so I spent the day in the tent on the air mattress, napping and sleeping. Thankfully, it was a cool day with intermittent rain. My simple activity cycle continued off and on until late afternoon. When upon viewing the raw fish slated for that's night dinner, my breakfast opted to reappear while standing outside the RV. Like everyone, getting sick is not my idea of a holiday but it's compounded by the difficulty of finding privacy in a row of portable houses. Throwing up in the RV was so not an option, and I knew I couldn't made it to the bath house, which left me with no other alternative than to hold on the RV and lean forward. With an acidic after taste, I tunneled back to the tent for more rest.

While right now my bout with the bug is the primary low light of the weekend, we did have plenty of highlights which I believe over time with trump any sickness memories. Those sweet memories will have to shared another day as sleep beckons.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th

Either we are crazy or adventurous, maybe a little of both, but Mike is finishing pack the car and then we are off to spend the 4th at the lake camping. Even our tent is in the back of the car, and yes both kids are coming with us. Sam will be sleeping in L&G's RV, while Ella will have the option of the tent or the RV. She seems excited for her trip to the lake. She helped mom make some scotcharoos, complete with licking the bowl, and even selected which clothes and babies would come with us.

These past few weeks at Ella's daycare have centered around camping. They started learning about different bugs then picnics and the food consumed at picnics and then ended with the finer art of camping. To continue the theme, they even had a tent set up in their room complete with plastic bugs and story time was by flashlight. After surviving this weekend, the girl will have certainly earned her camping badge.

I suspect we'll have wonderful hair brained stories, which someday we'll say are fond memories, to share. My hope in all this chaos is to build a sandcastle with Ella, attempt to water ski after a 4 year hiatus, and enjoy the tasty gooey sweetness of a smore. Ah, I can't wait.

Happy 4th of July, and happy birthday to Mr. Comer.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Potential Blog Topics

A little gem from Ella as we were enjoying popsicles the other evening on our front lawn:

Mike: "Ella, if any pieces fall to the ground, they are icky. You can't eat them."
Me: "Yea Ella, we'll let the grass eat them."
Ella: "Mom the grass don't have mouths."

I love two-year old logic.

I know the frequency of the posts has dwindled. Sorry is all I have. If I had more time, here are some topics I would love to blog about:

*Dating my daughter -- In one week span, I got two precious dates with my sweet Ella. One was a special mommy/daughter play date at the pool and the other was attending Payton's ballet recital together, such a wonderful experience for the two of us and a very precious memory for me. How I can't wait for her to experience the Nutcracker when she is older.

*Sam and tortocollis or stiff neck syndrome -- Doc had some concerns, so we were referred to a state infant service program. We had the initial consult and a physical therapist will be coming out to do a complete evaluation. Luckily, it appears to be a mild case.

*My brother's KC visit and our trip to Oceans of Fun -- Fun and exhausting is how I would describe our time with my brothers, Holly, Bailey and Madison. Ella LOVED Oceans. Mike and I were amazed at how well the girl did and how long she lasted without a meltdown. The best part was after we left the park as Ella sat in the backseat eating a PB&J. She was fighting the overwhelming exhaustion with every fiber of her being. Her stomach had to be in charge at that moment. She sat with her eyes tightly shut, her head resting on the side of her car seat and her hands gently cradling her dinner. As tired as she was, she found enough energy to lift the sandwich to her mouth and chew the food. I've never seen someone eat in their sleep. So precious.

*House Disaster -- Will my house ever be clean again? Will I ever make it a priority? Given the choice between sleep and cleaning, I'll choose sleep .