Sunday, November 30, 2008

Out One and In Another

Vomiting is a part of parenting. Definitely not the glamorous side, but it is part of this whole kit and caboodle. I knew that before I became a mom and I accepted it. Luckily. Ella wasn't much of a puker. I distinctly remember her two primary incidents: 1) tossing her cookies at Walmart as we walked into a checkout lane and 2) walking into her room one morning and being knocked over by the putrid smell consuming her room and the vomit covering her bed.

Up until tonight, Sam has never had a vomit incident. Well, that all changed and his incident is definitely the most memorable, at least from my perspective.

Sam and I were playing on the floor. I was laying on my back and I had him at arm's length over my chest. I was raising him up and down to provoke laughter. I need to note that the boy while battling a cough has had no other symptoms, so I wasn't concerned with being a little rambuctious with him. I was securing lots of good, deep belly laughs. So, Sam decided to reward me with more than just hearty laughs.

I heard the rumble from his stomach and could hear the liquid river flowing out of his body. Luckily, my instincts took over and my eyes quickly shut. However, my insticts were so focused on protecting my eyes that they failed to close my mouth. As you may have guessed it, I ended up being showered with Sam's vomit with just a little hitting the inside of my mouth. I instantly started gagging and dry heaving. Beyond disgusting. Beyond grotesque. I stopped long enough to seek some help.

I hollered for Mike's assistance. I yelled, "Sam just puked on me." Mike runs down with a burp cloth and is laughing hysterically. He takes Sam from my arms, so I can wipe off my mouth and my neck. I enjoy a few quality hacks before I open my eyes. The first thing I see is this bouncy, sweet boy staring at me with a wide goofy grin. Impossible to be even slighty mad at him.

I certainly am no stranger to disgusting incidents. I've had a bird poop on me at a Royals game. I've had my daughter say "here momma" and place a booger in my hand. Until tonight, I've never tasted my kids vomit and I hope it is never served again on the Bowling menu.

Thinking back, Sam was good to his parents this weekend. He treated Mike to a urine shower at yesterday's Thanksgiving gathering and for me, he showered me with stomach acid. Still love that little man.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another Thanksgiving

So I am definitely not going out with a bang in regards to blogging this November. Oh well, it was a good effort. Maybe I'll try again next year.

Tonight, I am curled up in a lazy boy as the kiddos watch The Grinch. Bailey is staying over tonight and the two girls are suppose to share the same twin bed. Let's hope both of them are so worn out by today's festivities that the easily fall asleep.

Today, the McManigal's gathered at Ponca State Park to enjoy a family Thanksgiving. Oh, what a good day. I got the chance to see lots of special people, watch my girl make new friends and enjoy such tasty treats, including deep fried turkey. Oh, it is so yummy!

Words at this late hour can't convey what a great time we had. So I will leave that for the photos, which I will try to share soon.

We are headed back to KC tomorrow and I hope the weather cooperates as I drew the short straw and get to drive home. Good times this weekend, but I am ready to be in my own space.

My parting thoughts: Go Bearcarts!! Whoo!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Under the Wire

I have ten minutes to go until midnight, so I am getting this in just under the wire. Tonight, we have been preoccupied by packing for this extended weekend. I truly love Thanksgiving, by far it's my favorite holiday. Hopefully tomorrow, I'll have time to put together a longer Thanksgiving post.

Right now, I need to venture to bed because we will be up early to finish the packing and loading of the car. Before I sign off for tonight, I have to share another sweet sibling story.

While we were in the midst of our morning routine, Sam was relegated to crawl around on the floor after he was dressed. In usual fashion, I was running around the house with me primarily darting between my bedroom and the kids' bedrooms. On one of my many jaunts, Ella decided to follow me. I guess Sam decided to do the same, so Ella paused at the top of the staircase. I noticed she was sliding her legs out to the side while trying to maintain her balance. I didn't give it too much thought or attention. Mike comes out from the bedroom and asks Ella if she is trying to do the splits. Ella responds with, "No, I am just trying to block the stairs for Sammy." Now on cue, thankful that at least at this point in life, Ella genuinely enjoys being a big sister.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back to School

This post is long overdue and I wonder if it the hubby shouldn't be the one to write it. While we never publicly announced it on this blog, Mike went back to school this fall. He is taking one online class through Park University. The class is "Disasters and Public Policy," and is part of Park's emergency management graduate program.

Most know and if not, it's quite apparent once you get to know Mike, that he is a MAJOR weather geek. While for the most part, this works in our family's favor -- I always know how to dress myself and the kids, hardly am ever caught off guard by a storm, continually prepared for the standard elevator topic of conversation, and you get the picture... However, now that we have children, I am just a touch more cautious when severe storms tear through our neck of the woods. What I find the most bothersome is Mike's desire to stand outside during severe spring storms while he is yelling at me to get the kids downstairs. When this is happening, I find myself thinking, "what the hell about you?" Of course, the more severe, the greater his interest, and if Lezak or Busby throws in the word "tornadic," I know I have lost him for the rest of the day. But to love him is to respect/tolerate/accept his love of the weather.

Earlier this year, Mike found himself unsure of his professional career path and his passion for his job. He was restless and started to consider other options. When Mike learned of Park's program, we discussed it over the course of a few days, and he came to the decision to give this a try. He was a excited but thought occasionally "what the hell did I just agree to?" My only complaint in the beginning was when he decided to enroll. If he had decided to enroll earlier in the summer, we could have applied for financial aid, so the savings account had to take a slight hit.

Having him take a class while working full-time has been challenging for him as he struggled to balance the demands of homework with the demands of a full-time job and a full-time family. While I have always supported him in this endeavor, I haven't always been the most accommodating or patient spouse. I admit it. He spoiled me. I was used to having an extra set of hands to help me during the evenings. When that went away, I got a little bitchy and quite whiny, but at the same time I did and do recognize the demands on him. I know he would rather be hanging with his family than doing homework. I get that, but it took me a few months to really appreciate it.

I can't speak to his overall experience. I am only a witness to it. He has been challenged. He has learned. He has adjusted to becoming a student again. He has had new experiences. Instead of wondering and romanticizing this idea of moving into the field of emergency management, he explored his interest. He hasn't decided if he will continue on this path or not. If he envisions or desires a career in emergency management, then I want him to continue and we will continue to adjust to the demands of school. If this experience gave him a glimpse into this type of work and he realizes his interest level is more as a hobby, then I believe he should close the book on this. Either way, I support him, and I truly am not leaning one way or the other. I am just proud of him for stepping outside of his box and taking a chance. He stopped talking and contemplating and took a leap. I respect that more than he probably knows.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Little man on fake mountain in game shows.

Right now I'm doing everything humanly possible to not click "buy" from the iTunes App Store and buy the new The Price is Right game for the iPod touch. Seriously. It looks kick ass. And for those who don't know, I have quite the affection for TPiR. I grew up watching it incessantly. Of course that information comes second-hand from my mother, so take it for what its worth.

Oh good god. Now after typing that, I just spent the last 20 minutes: 1. researching the Cliff Hangers pricing game, 2. Watching YouTube clips of somebody actually winning it without having the mountain climber move and one where his life is spared at the very LAST STEP. Both are very thrilling. 3. Deciding that the Cliff Hangers music is the greatest song ever. 4. Deciding that I'm going to make that song my ring tone on my celly. 5. Decided I kinda have a man-crush on the cliff hanger.

Oh sure, there are other pricing games out there that I like. But not one comes close to my heart as Cliff Hangers. I think I know why too. There isn't another game on that show where you worry that somebody (in this case, our man Johann) might actually DIE from a mistake such as getting whiffing on the price of a mini-refrigerator that literally is so "mini" it can only house ONE CAN OF POP. Oh, that poor little weinerschnitzel.*

*Why am I not surprised that the spell check had "no guesses" for my butchering of that word.

And with that. I'm going to bed dreaming of little men with pick axes whose feet pray that they always take less than 25 steps.

Godspeed, little man.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For the Love of Dolls

This weekend as I was searching for Ella's finger paints, I came across two baby dolls that Ella was given at her first Christmas. At that time, Mike and I felt the dolls and the accessories were inappropriate for a 10-month old, so we stored them in her closet. Ella was quite excited to discover them this weekend. As we were unraveling the dolls from the packaging, Mike asked Ella what she planned to name the dolls. Ella didn't really have an answer, so Mike gently suggested the names of "Made" and "China." So for better for worse, these two dolls join the family of dolls with such names as "big baby," "naked baby," and "dolly." On the plus side, at least the names are getting a bit more original.

I will end with congratulations to our friend Chera, who got engaged today. We've had the pleasure of meeting her soon-to-be husband and we think they make a pretty great couple. Quite possibly, Mike and I might have to trek to Seattle next year. Oh, what a shame!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kid Comments

I have failed the daily blog challenge. I would look at the laptop each night and just sigh. I could not compel myself to post. I am sure I had posts in my head, but I had no desire to sit down and plunk down my ideas. So I come tonight unsure of where this post is headed. I could write about tonight's DISASTROUS shopping excursion but I am too traumatized to relive it. Lesson learned tonight: No longer will I take both kids shopping without an extra set of hands. In order for me to willingly take them, it must be completely unavoidable and absolutely necessary.

Moving right along, I need to share some of the wonderful conclusions and thoughts that come from that precocious child's mouth. As I was getting dressed, Ella turned to me and said, "Momma, you don't have a noodle, only boys have noodles." (I have NO Clue where the term "noodle" came from) I tried to control my laughter while I confirmed her observation by saying, "You are right."

I know there are others, but my brain is failing to recall them. At lunch, Mike was talking to Ella about our upcoming Thanksgiving travels and how we would be going back to Sioux City. Ella stopped him and said, "We are not in Sioux City. We are in Kansas City." She then proceeded to say, "Grandma Pam lives in Nebraska." Her recall dumbfounds me at times. I can't specifically remember how the conversation evolved, but then I asked E if she remembered the name of the primary road we take to daycare each day. She paused for a second and I said it's "Shawnee...." She quickly jumped in and blurted out, "Shawnee Mission Parkway." She blows me away at times.

Moving on to Mr. Sam, the boy is growing up. He has been perfecting the speed of his army crawl, but today, the boy crawled in sequence. It was methodical but the boy is moving. He would advance about four to five steps before he would drop down and resume the army crawl. The other big news from today is Sammy held his bottle completely unassisted. I know, I know, it may seem like a silly thing to tout but my he's my baby and I'm proud.

Okay, Mike is shutting down his department of electronics, so I should follow suite. I make no promises as for the rest of the month regarding this blog. I will try is I will promise. Good night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Milestone Passed

Sam has graduated from the infant carrier to a convertible car seat. I probably should have moved him before now. The poor boy would fuss every time I tried to buckle him. His large, warm winter coat did not help the cause. He seemed pretty enthusased about his new seat once secured. The boy is growing up just a little too fast.

Things I've noticed during this month of blogging. I write a lot about how tired I am, but what parent isn't operating from a sleep deprived state. I also know my posts contain numerous errors, some I catch later and others I don't. I also post late at night, and it is interferring with my sleep schedule, and because of that, I am heading to bed. I have slammed right into a brick wall, and my bed is calling my name.

I apologize this is so brief but sleep is needed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Before Thanksgiving

I am a stickler when it comes to the boundaries of Christmas. I believe Thanksgiving repeatedly gets passed over, so I try to adhere to no Christmas traditions until the day after Thanksgiving, when the holiday flood gates open. This means I don't listen to Christmas music or hang any decorations until after Thanksgiving has passed. Well, I relented a little this year. We heard downtown was having a holiday light kickoff to mark the start of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. Since we are proponents of downtown (what with us both working downtown and the kid's child care center there as well). we decided to make it a family holiday outing. We invited Scott & Tricia, bundled up the kids and headed to Barney Allis Plaza tonight to watch the Marriott transform into a holiday light show. While it was definitely the second-cousin, twice-removed from the Plaza lighting, it was worth it to watch Ella become transfixed by the lights. She definitely forgot she was cold once the building started flashing holiday scenes.

When it comes to new family holiday traditions for the four of us (by no means do I think this will become part of that tradition), Mike and I are still finding our way. It's difficult to end or pull away from our own childhood traditions, but we recognize the importance and we have the desire to create new ones. I am a touch anxious as I worry that as procrastinators we will fail to create solid Christmas traditions, so I am attempting to try various ones on and we'll see which ones fit.

Below are pictures from tonight. I tried to get a good one of Ella and daddy with the building as our backdrop, but Ella would not pull her attention away from the lights. The other is Mr. Sam all bundled up. He wasn't as impressed. He was just cold.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whoo! I was baptized today.

It was a good day, but a long one. Sam was his usually charming self and boy did he look adorable in his sweater vest and cords. He did fabulous through the ceremony, but was more interested in the ceiling fans than anything happening right in front of him. I take that back. He was intrigued when the minister poured the water into the bowl. I think he thought it was a baby pool because he tried to lean right out of my arms into the water. Ella joined us in front of the congretation. She was a bit overwhelmed with everything but did quite well in Mike's arms.

Overall, a special day and we're so thankful for the family members that we able to join us. I posted a few pictures to flickr. They tell a better story that I can articulate as my brain is fried and I need to call it a night.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Too Tired

I am so tired. Today did not evolve as I had hoped and I hate days like that. Most of the day was spent preparing for Sam's baptism and the lunch after the service, yet everything took longer that I expected. I failed to factor in children, which are the ultimate X factor.

I have started multiple posts tonight, yet nothing is flowing freely, so I plan to cut my losses and call it a night. My motivation to blog is waning because I enjoyed two Nutracker Ales tonight, and they were oh so good!

Hopefully tomorrow, I can provide a detailed recap of Sam's baptism along with photos. I dressed him up tonight in his outfit and my boy looked sharp and so damn adorable. I love that little man but I really need to get some sleep as the alarm clock is set to disturb me at 6:15 on a Sunday! Ugh!

I will say I am geeked that my last post on Kid's Stuff generated some additional traffic and comments. I hope Sirius XM pays attention to their consumers. As for me, I have to go to bed. I must, if only I can get my hubby to set down his iPod and do the same.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bring Back Kids Stuff

I can't believe I am making this plea, but Sirius XM listen up: Your new "Kids Place Live" station, well, let's just put this mildly, it completely SUCKS. I am so disappointed by it. I want my Kids Stuff back. E doesn't need or want a dj making idle chit chat just play music. She asked me, "Momma, why is that guy talking. Where's my songs?" Oh honey, how I wish I knew.

As for the chipmunk Dirk, it's pretty clear to me why Alvin, Simon and Theodore dumped him. So why should he be forced feed to us? Kenny -- I want to hurl darts at my eyes rather than listen to you.

Now, you have lots of channels, so MAYBE you overlooked the fact that you kept the Disney Station. Since you did that, explain to me why Kids Place Live seems just one minor stair step away from the Disney Station? Give me Elmo but leave Troy and Gabriella on Disney. I am no prude, but ESPN Jock Jams with "get your booty on the dance floor" just doesn't seem appropriate for my two-year-old. Please don't get me started on losing Big Kids Stuff. I fear I may never hear "Rainbow Connection" on Sirius again, and trust me the world needs that ray of sunshine. Have you seen the Dow lately?

I will admit, I have heard of few songs I like that Kids Stuff never played -- something by Bill Jonas maybe about naming that cat. Otherwise I have been completely unimpressed and I wait patiently hoping to hear a glimpse of what made Kids Stuff on Sirius so great.

In some ways, i need to say thank you to Sirius XM as you gave me new ideas for E's Christmas list because we'll need CDs rather than our satellite radio when it's her turn to pick the music. Thanks for nothing Sirius XM.

In case you didn't know, the merger between Sirius and XM was completed this week with Sirius XM Radio unveiling their new station lineup on Wednesday. Honestly, I had no concerns about the merger because we, well I, only listened primarily to two Sirius channels: Coffee House and Kids Stuff. Thankfully, Coffee House was unaffected by the merger, but Kids Stuff was completely dismantled, and our household is not happy, particularly E.

Let me say, I would prefer not to listen to the kid's stations, but E gets her turn just like mom and dad. I will readily admit I more than tolerated the station though. There actually were some songs I enjoyed bopping my head to like Goldfish by Laurie Berkner, Pop Fly by Justin Roberts, and My Hair Had a Party Last Night and Eighteen Wheels, both by Trout Fishing in America. Of course, a few I hope are retired to the Sirius vault and never heard from again.

I do promise to give this new Kids Place Live a chance, but my patience is running thin. Please Sirius tweak this station. Target a younger demographic than you are attracting with the Disney station, and then maybe I'll stick around.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sibling Love

Ask a question and expect any answer. Tonight as we were sitting around the dinner table with Ella nestled in my lap and sitting opposite Mike and Sam, I asked her if she liked having a baby brother. She said, "Yes. (Long Pause) I want a new baby brother."

Uh, wait a minute. What did she say?
Mike and I chuckled, and he asked her what was wrong with Sam. She never answered just restated her desire for a new brother. Mike asked if she liked Sam, and she answered yes, and then hopped from my lap to swing over to Sam's side of the table where she proceeded to extract large laughs from the little guy.

I'm glad to know she likes being a big sister. Now I have to decide if she either wants to turn him for a younger model or only wants to expand the family. Personally, I like the 1:1 ratio and am comfortable keeping it that way.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sam's Baptism

I lied. I actually have a blog topic tonight. This weekend we are baptizing Sam. Consider this an open invitation. I'm sorry but with life has hectic as it has been, I have failed miserably to personally invite anyone other than immediate family. While using blogger to notify you of his baptism may not sit well with Emily Post, I only have so much time in the day.

Details: Sam will be baptised at the 10:50 service on Sunday at SUMC. After the service, we are planning a casual lunch at our house. Everyone is welcome but please let either Mike or I know if you plan to come.

Otherwise, please send positive vibes our way as Ella is always the X factor at ceremonies like these. If anything, she will make it memorable.

I Need a Blog Topic

I have nothing to blog about tonight. Okay, I do but I only have 18 minutes to complete a blog post and I want to go to bed. And my husband, who I normally really like, is annoying the beegbus out of me. He is taunting me with Halloween candy. The same candy that I asked him to dump exactly 10 days ago. Must love a man, who supports his woman!

I have serious doubts that I have enough topics to complete the month. So, I was thinking tonight about the topics I could tackle this month. No promises I will get to them all, but while I was watching multiple episodes of Brothers & Sisters (I miss my brothers the most after I watch an episode), here is the list I outlined:

*Complete the blog post on the disastrous Sunday trip back to KC -- side note: The Subway in Bethany, you suck.
*My endearing love for Thanksgiving.
*Fantasy Football -- Mike's suggestion and a highly unlikely topic to be tackled.
*The complete story of Sam's birth -- hello Ambien.
*Stupid facts about me -- example I don't believe fruit is meant to be cooked.
*The mom I want to be vs. the mom I am.
*My addiction to food -- I'm a foodie. I admit it. It is who I am.
*My vacation desires -- if I don't get to a beach soon, I may go postal.
*My love/hate relationship with sleep.
*The topics I won't blog about and why.
*Why I love my husband and why I keep him around.

Feel free to suggest a topic. I certainly am open to suggestions. For now, I am off to bed.

Monday, November 10, 2008


My kids already working together. They didn't produce sweet music, but they did give me this nice photo opp.

I may take the easy way out and just post this pic tonight. I'm tired and I want sleep.

Before I go, I will share a quick comment from Ella. As we were trying to leave the family gathering on Saturday, Mike and I were not having much luck getting Ella to cooperate. We've been promoting this whole "listening ears" concept with her.

After strongly ordering her to help me pick up some toys, I asked Ella what was wrong with her listening ears. My child deadpanned, "They keep falling off." She then bent down to pick them up one at a time. Oh my sweet, sassy and smart girl.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Night of a Thousand Interruptions

All right, I missed a day. I really wanted to do a post a day, oh well. Maybe I will try one day in the near future to do two posts in a single day. No real excuses for not posting. We were in Des Moines yesterday for an early holiday gathering, and I never found a good time to blog. Truthfully, I really didn't have anything worthy to write. How that has changed these last 24 hours.

While the day was good, the night was anything but. I went as far to call it "our worst night with two kids." At 10 pm last night, I was in bed with Sam on my left side sleeping in his pack-n-play and E was on my right rolling around on her air bed while Mike was finishing up homework in the living room. I was drifting in and out, while Ella was refusing to find dreamland. I finally relented and asked if she wanted to lay with me until daddy came to bed. Once she had the invite, she threw herself in the bed and quickly snuggled up to me. I must admit it was quite nice to have a warm little body to cuddle.

Shortly after 11, Mike found Ella and I buried under covers with E's arm draped over me. He quickly surmised that he might have to pull up a piece of floor. I woke up, briefed him on the agreement, and he gently moved Ella back to her bed. On cue, Sam started to whine. At home, I give him some time before I step in. With him an arms length away, I got out of bed and tried to calm him down. After a few minutes of coaxing, the boy was back asleep. A generous 45 minutes passed before Ella started rolling around and crying out in her sleep. In a few brief seconds, the innocent cries developed in blood-curdling screams. Mike and I have learned these night terrors just need time to pass. She doesn't want us to touch her or talk to her. If we do, it just enrages her even more. We just have to let her be. Well, that works when we were are in the comforts of our house, but not so well when we are packed together in one room within an ear-shot of others. Luckily, she didn't wake her brother. He stirred but never completely awoke.

After 15 very loud and long minutes, Ella mixed in a few words with her screams. It took some time but I was finally able to identify "mamma." I asked Ella if she wanted to lay with me again. Slowly, she calmed down and crawled next to me, and in a matter of seconds was back asleep. Mike took up residence on the floor wedged between the bed and the air bed.

A few brief hours passed before Mr. S decided to get in on the action. Those hours were not very restful as I spent them dodging feet and elbows sent sailing my way by my little girl. Unfortunately, it took the little man some time to calm down. Mike stood over the pack-n-play patting his back and shoosing him. Once he was asleep, we re-assumed our positions only for E to wake up a few hours requesting the blanket from her air bed which was the blanket Mike was using after we was kicked from the bed. He ventured back into the living room around 4:30 to track down a new blanket. What he did find was his grandma awake for the day. Here we are trying to say goodbye to the precious day and she is up ready to start a new one.

A few brief hours passed before Sam decided he wanted a bottle at his customary time of 7 am. I pulled him from the pack-n-play and dumped him with the first available grandparent. I went back into bed to find Ella awake and wanting to play. Again, opened the door and whisked her out to competent grandparents. Mike rose from the floor and laid next to me. Of course, sleep continued to evade me, so after an hour of trying, I gave in and decided it was time to start the day. I can't recall a night with both kids that was as rough as that. It was horrendous and I am just thankful it is over.

While we had fun with the family, it feels so good to be in my own bed with the kids sweetly tucked away in theirs. The lack of sleep was not today's only obstacle. More to mention, but I need sleep. Need to make up for what I missed last night. Part II to continue tomorrow....

Friday, November 07, 2008

Guest Blogger--Hubby Mikey!

11:04. Friday Night. About to take off to Iowa tomorrow. And once again, we are trying to throw together EVERYTHING at the last minute. Kids are both asleep, Amanda is working on laundry and realized that she hadn't done the nightly blog post. So her dutiful, awesome husband is here to take care of things. Guest poster baby! Woot!

I have come to the realization this week that Amanda and I are officially addicted to Twitter.
For the uninitiated, Twitter is essentially microblogging. All you do is just post whatever you want--but you have to do it in 140 characters. Here's my "tweets".

Here's how I know. Usually within 5 minutes of getting out of bed in the morning, we have checked our twitter feeds. In fact, in just trying to find the number of characters you can post with, I got lost in my feed for 5 minutes before Amanda pulled me back center and get me back on track. For the record, I think I have a case of ADD. That's you don't find me posting on the blog very much. But hell, I'll tweet all day long. Another reason: every single gadget we own has some sort of attachment to Twitter. That includes the laptop (via my work computer (via TweetDeck or Twitterrific) Amanda's cell phone (via text) Amanda's work Blackberry (via TitterBerry) my Spint Mogul cell phone (via PockeTwit) and finally we both have applications on our iPod touch (Mike: Twinkle, Amanda: Twittelator) And I think that about covers it. Oh wait, one more think, anytime we "tweet" it puts that as our status on our Facebook pages as well. See what I mean?

You can always see what my latest "tweet" is just by looking to the side bar and you'll see mine.

So feel free to check it out! But please, don't get addicted like Amanda and I are.

.....and good night.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Seven-months Sam

In the election excitement, I glazed over the fact that Sam is now 7 months. Seven months. It just doesn't seem possible.

So, what's new with Sam? Well, he is crawling. It is still just an army crawl but that boy can move. You don't dare turn away from him. As with Ella, Sam's biggest motivation is Yoshi. The minute he seems the white furry ball stroll by him, Sam's face breaks into a mischievous smile and his eyes narrow on the prize. No matter how fast Sam moves, he has yet to catch the cat. Heck, I think Ella is still trying to reach him.

Other fun facts about Sam:

  • He has two sweet teeth on the bottom.
  • He eats cherrios.
  • He has a fondness for mango.
  • And he has a special place in my heart.

While Sam has always made me feel special, lately I have wanted confirmation that I wasn't just a nice woman who kept his belly full and his diaper dry (because let's be honest that's how I have been feeling). I wanted confirmation of my revered role. I got that today. I strolled into Sam's room after unsuccessfully trying to round up Ella. He was lying on the mat with his back to me. I spoke up and said, "Hey Sammy, you ready to go?" The minute my voice hit his eardrums, the kid flipped over and he beamed his wide, warm, sweet smile. That smile, well, it stole my heart.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I tempted fate. Will I ever learn? I found myself uttering to friends and co-workers that I hadn't thought the "terrible twos" were all that bad. We have had a few tough moments with Ella, but nothing unmanageable. How I needed to keep my mouth shut (probably more often that I am willing to admit)!

The past few weeks Ella has been a volatile 2-year old with unbelievable strength. I have half-seriously joked that my child was missing because at times I didn't recognize her. The tears, the anger, the fits, the frustration. Separately, I can handle them but when they come pouring out of her at the exact same time, it is tough -- very tough. The worst times are mornings and at bedtime. I have never been a morning person, but bedtime previously had been a special bonding time for Ella and I. Lately, I have been dreading bedtime, absolutely dreading. Sadly, some nights I would find myself more willing to clean the house than battle with my child.

Tonight's meltdown was ugly. It was nasty. I had an indicator that a meltdown was coming when at daycare, Ella refused to cooperate in any manner as we attempted to leave the center. Officially though, tonight's fit started at the hair salon, continued through the drive home and ended at the house. During that time, she attempted to rip the necklace from my neck, clawed, hit, screamed and kicked. It is heart breaking to witness my child so upset and her refusal to accept any comfort. Fortunately, we managed to salvage the evening. It took some time but eventually deep belly laughs replaced fits of tears and frustrations. Again, I was worried if the emotions would switch back at bedtime.

For the most part, bedtime had been sailing along fairly easily, I was waiting with bated breath for the moment when it would immediately take a turn south. The primary instigator is almost always putting on her pjs. Tonight, the top went on without a struggle, but she was resisting changing her pants. After a few direct requests and battling my bubbling frustration, I asked Ella if she had her listening ears on. She indicated she didn't as she reached down to the ground, grabbed imaginary ears and hung them off her head. I then asked, "Now what did mommy say?" Without missing a beat, my child matter-of-factly answered, "Do you have your listening ears on?"

Levity filled the room and I could only laugh. Mike teased me, "Wow, you got burned." Oh yes, I did. And yes, bed time continued on without any tears.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Goosebumps. Excitement. Historic. This night has been amazing, but I made the poor call and took a benadryl earlier in the evening. Drowsiness took over and I ended up dozing off repeatedly as results in rolled in, but I didn't missed the historic announcement. I am so proud of this country. Now I hope for unity and reconciliation as the country moves forward. For me, it is time for bed.

One final thought: How I have missed Tim Russert this evening!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween Resurrected

The calender may say it is Nov, 3, but it certainly didn't appear to be anything other than Oct. 31 this evening in our cul-de-sac. If you had driven by our neighborhood, you would have seen two fireman, an Indian princess, a witch and a monkey roaming the street. Why? Our wonderful and kind neighbors decided to turn back the clock to happily hand out candy again and let us pretend for at least 45 minutes that tonight was actually Halloween.

Ella definitely had her share of the holiday, even more so in the candy department, but my lingering disappointment with the holiday was not how it transpired but that I did not witness Ella trick-or-treating. In a conversation with a fellow neighbor while I was stuck in a hospital waiting room, this idea of doing a delayed trick-or-treating was addressed. She had our entire cul-de-sac on board in, I imagine, a few short hours.

So tonight, the kids gathered together and eagerly tackled each house. (E had enough of Minnie Mouse that tonight she was a sweet witch.) Even though our trek only included eight houses, Ella managed to come home with a pumpkin full of candy. I realize the real reason the neighbors were so willing to participate. :)

In all seriousness, it was an incredibly sweet and thoughtful gesture by our neighbors and a moment I will always treasure. Words cannot capture how special it was to watch my sweet girl enthusiastically running from one house to another as she tried to keep pace with the older kids. The energy, the fun and of course the candy! Halloween 2008 started off a little rough, but now I can happily close the door on this holiday.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My November Challenge

I decided to accept the NaBloPoMo challenge, which is to blog every day for one month. I know I am crazy, but I do love a challenge. Perhaps it is ill timing with how crazy our life is, but then maybe the insanity that is our life will give me plenty of material. I suspect some days the posts will be quite short like tonight and other days the words will flow more freely.

E alone can provide plenty of good content. In the span of a few seconds, she managed to utter some humorous gems this evening. As we were preparing to leaving the grandparent's house, Ella's boundless energy had her speaking in rapid, indiscernible nonsense. Remember Roger Rabbit, that was my girl tonight. Once her energy levels stabilized, she walked over to the front door, turned around and said, "Let's get out of here." Thank goodness her grandparents are so good natured. After all, they had spent the last 2 1/2 days spoiling her.

After that comment, I asked Ella if she remembered where she lived (we have been working on reciting our address). I so did not get the answer I expected. Instead Ella uttered, "daycare." While I chuckled, I did not find that comment as funny as the first. Love the working mom guilt.

More importantly, I love being back with my kids. It was a LONG weekend.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Halloween that Wasn't

I want a Halloween do-over. How I wished I had sweet, adorable photos of share of my little girl and boy enjoying Halloween 2008. Instead of spending Friday night trick-or-treating with my Minnie and monkey, we spent Halloween evening surrounded by doctors and nurses. Unfortunately, those fine people weren't in costumes as my mom landed herself in the ICU late Thursday and has yet to be sprung free.

So Friday morning, we raced around preparing for an unexpected road trip. We decided to leave the kiddos in the paternal grandparents' capable hands rather than dragging them with us. We dropped them off at daycare, so they could enjoy trick-or-treating in the federal building and their Halloween party. As usually, we were running way late, and Ella's class had already started t-or-t by time we arrived, so I pulled the costume over her head and ran her up to the 14th floor. As E & I are riding on the elevator, I realized in the chaos that Mike didn't get the chance to say goodbye to his little girl. I found her classmates and teachers, kissed her goodbye and made the trek back to the center. Mike had Sam dressed by the time I entered his room. I snatched him up and snuggled him for a very brief moment before it was his turn to pose for the camera. We waved goodbye to him and decided to track E down, so Mike could give his girl the proper goodbye. We found them filling their bags on the 15th floor. Ella gave both mom and dad big bear hugs. Content with our goodbyes, we called for the elevator, stepped in and turned around to see E run in front of the door. With a big smile on her face, she waved goodbye and blew us sweet kisses. The door slowly closed and the emotion as well as the elevator sunk. Mike and I turned to each other to see tears welling in the other. My sweet baby girl had never looked cuter. I so was not prepared for that type of emotional goodbye.

After a quick, speedy drive and a long afternoon in the hospital, Mike and I found ourselves alone on Friday evening. In our search for a kid-free restaurant (just too tough to be around lil ghosts and goblins), an unexpected detour took us smack through a neighborhood packed with kids. It was like we jumped in the rabbit hole. We frantically searched for the exit. As we drove in circles (it seemed), the pit in my stomach and the lump in my throat just grew. Maybe I was being a too melodramatic, but it was Halloween (our family LOVES the holiday and it was Sammy's first one, so emotions were running high).

We finally made it to our destination and buried ourselves in the bar. After a few beers and games of trivia, we managed to turn our frowns upside down. In all, it wasn't the night we wanted, but we managed to salvage it and create some good memories. We heard our kids also had quite the evening with grandma. While it didn't go according to our plan, it will go down in the books as the way we celebrated Halloween 2008.