Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All About Sam the Man

This week is all about Mr. Sam as big sister is spending the week in Nebraska with her grandparents. We miss the little lady, but we are enjoying making Sam the complete center of attention.

In honor of this week being all about Sam, this post is all about the little man.

*BEST BELLY LAUGH EVER! Sam's laugh is deep, authentic and contagious. Words cannot do it justice. I must record it and have it readily available during long, difficult days. It always lifts my spirit.

*Tickle monster. While the boy is quite generous with his laugh, he loves nothing more to tickle us. He will lift Mike's shirt to tickle his belly and he loves to grab my toes. He gets great joy in pulling laughs from us.

*Green Bandwagon. Sam must know how fasionable and trendy it is to be green as he has an odd fascination with turning off light switches. Turning them on doesn't hold the same appeal.

*Everything has its place. While I may not acknowledge that shoes kicked off belong in the storage bench, Sam certainly does. I spied him putting away my shoes tonight. He picked them off the floor, lifted the lid and tossed them in the bench.

And it's not just shoes. I caught him the other night pulling a dirty but wrapped diaper from the bathroom trash, walking it into his room, tossing it in his diaper champ and he even flipped the handle to push the diaper down.

Man. the boy certainly will earn his keep in this family, if he continues this organized streak.

*Babbles. My handsome man has the sweetest babble and the best inflections in his voice. I could listen to him chatter all day. I fear though once his vocab expands, we may never have a moment of silence.

While we miss our first-born sweetheart, we are enjoying our special time with Sam.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Meet Me in St. Louis

We are back in KC after four fun-filled and HOT days in St. Louis. What fun we had. The kids exceeded my expectations. They were so well-behaved and we avoided any major meltdowns. They handled the complete upheaval of any schedule without missing a beat. We made some amazing memories and I needed this time, more than I realized, to disconnect from my work life and just spend quality time with my wonderful kids and sweet husband.

In four days, we packed our schedule yet we didn't set a timetable for any activity. We followed the kids' lead and just enjoyed family time. The two big highlights for us were the zoo and the Magic House. Those RAWK! We also hit the arch, union station, the museum of transportation, the hotel pool each and every night, Ted Drewes on Route 66 (the one Alton Brown hit on Feasting on Asphalt) and dinner with good friends. What a great trip it was. Pictures to come, but we're tired and with Monday facing me, I'm keenly aware of the shock awaiting my system. A few random gems from the trip.

*Ella had an encounter with a sting ray. Sounds more dramatic than it was. It took a few patient attempts but she finally got the chance to feel one as it swam by her. In addition, she pet a guinea pig and brushed a goat. Sam was more interested in flicking the goats' ears than brushing them.

*Ella was quite amused by the automatic circle door (i.e. revolving door) at the hotel's entrance. She requested that each time we left and arrived at the hotel that we use that entrance. It's the little things people.

*Sam was continuously helping us pick up our hotel room as we would find random items in the trash. An APB is still out on two toothbrushes.

*Ella climbed a giant bean stalk, rode a three-story slide and tried Cinderalla's shoe on for size all within the same few hours.

*Sam remains quite amused by refrigerator doors. Open and shut, repeat.

*Who needs a attractions as Ella was the most excited about going swimming each and every night. She has to be part mermaid.

*Ella spent more time in the stroller than Sam. The boy refuses to be contained, making meals some of the more difficult times.

*We're done eating out. The detox starts tomorrow.

*Ella scared the SH*T out of Mike and I. She attempted to play frogger on a busy downtown St. Louis street. I aged 20 years, but I am attempting to block that painful incident from my memory. Oh the tears that flowed from both her and I. My heart only now is returning to its regular rhythm.

*Four days and three nights is plenty of time for this family of four to be couped up in one room together.

*I like to romanticize cuddling with my children throughout the night. However, it only takes one elbow to the head to be reminded that kids do not belong in bed with me.

*To commemorate our trip, Ella purchased a pink polk-a-dotted sting ray, while Sam came home with a giraffe stuffed animal and a monkey t-shirt (neither that we saw during our trip to the zoo.) Once the sting ray was purchased, it didn't leave her side, and is currently tucked safely next to her in bed.

*Ella demanded that we see the elephants as she specifically wanted them to see her Ellie (an adorable elephant stuffed animal) to the zoo. Yeah, I don't think they were amused.

Pictures to come and quite maybe some youtube videos.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hey, that’s my brother

When I was pregnant with Sam and before I knew he was a boy, I pondered the idea of what having another girl would mean for our family. We already had a plethora of girl stuff. (Have you seen Ella’s closet?! Ok that’s a post for another day! Hand-me-downs work best when crossing gender lines when it's from boy to girl -- not so much girl to boy). My knowledge and comfort level was stronger with girls than boys. (No clue then how to handle the fountain spray from a boy.)

In all seriousness, the thought I kept toying with was giving Ella the gift of a sister, a relationship and a bond that I longed for many times throughout my childhood. I enjoyed the idea of raising two girls and the collision of all that estrogen.

I do know the joys, and let’s be honest the physical pains, of having a brother. The brother/sister relationship is something worth treasuring, but it’s not like I would invite any of them to hold my hand while giving birth. I like to think if I had a sister, I would have. However, life dealt me a hand with three brothers, and for that I am blessed. My relationships with each of my brothers are unique and unlike the others, but we didn't share clothes or spend hours toiling in the bathroom, and I never went to my brothers asking for dating advice. All this was what I thought Ella could have with a sister. (Yes, it's a Pollyanna perspective on sisterhood but I was raging with hormones.)

In my wishing and hoping for her to have a sister, I had overlooked what having a brother would mean to her. It wasn't until Sam's gender was identified did I acknowledge life with a brother, like maybe she could be his sidekick in his Boy Scouts' magic show. (I had such an honor. I even sported my first dance recital outfit. Photos exist somewhere on said event but I hope they stay tucked safely in photo boxes.)

Of course I worried about Ella accepting a sibling into her life regardless of gender. Would she feel displaced? Would she be jealous that she had to share the spotlight? All normal fears when bearing the second child. Luckily, from the beginning, she was and continues to be an amazing sister.

Fast forward to the other night. We are enjoying a standard evening playing in the neighborhood. Ella and Sam have ventured over to our neighbor’s house where the kids have congregated. One of the boys is playing with a spinner gun -- something you would expect to see at a circus. As my kiddos enter the garage, the boy points it at Sam and casually pretends to shoot him. Ella without skipping a beat, stops dead in her tracks, glares at the boy and sternly states, “Hey, that’s my brother.”

The boy slightly stunned by Ella’s strong reaction shrugs it off. As he changes his focus, Ella walks up to Sam, throws her arms around him and reassures him with a “it’s okay Sammy.” Sam who was unfazed by the gun seemed more startled by Ella’s interference.

As a mom watching this unfold, all I could think about was how happy I am that my kiddos have a mutual adoration and respect for each other. Well, for this week anyway. Ella may never have a sister, but I hope Sam and her always appreciate the gift of each other.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Life the Last Month in Pictures

Has it really been a month since I've blogged? I almost forgot my log-in to blogger. I honestly have not had much time nor have I wanted to take the time to blog. Rather than me drone on and on about what we've been up to this last month. I thought pictures would be more appropriate. So without further adieu (whatever that is), I present to you the Bowling clan:

Take me out to the ball game -- Mike is a member of Crownvision at the "K", and he got a 10-game ticket pack for Christmas. He is enjoying spending some quality time with the boys in blue.

Bowling Bros at Baseball

Watching cars go round and round -- Outside of a minor tornado warning and a few rain delays, Mike enjoyed a two, make that three-day weekend at Kansas Speedway. I loved that he had fun. I enjoyed more that my brother brought one of my favorite people on the planet to hang with me. Love Miss Rachel.

Prime Seats Available!

Becoming a stay-at-home kid -- Sam was released from his daycare contract, and now his educational, mental, physical and emotional development rest in the arms of Mr. Mike. From this picture, you can see the torture on my son's poor face. (All kidding aside, Mike and Sam are having so much fun together. I'm not the wee bit jealous.)

Why do boys find toots so funny?

Super Gymnast Ella -- For the last eight weeks, Ella participated in her first organized, weekly activity. We chose gymnastic lessons mainly because Ella is enamored with Bailey & Madison, and Ella wants to be as super cool as they are. While she won't be competing in any future Olympics, the girl radiates happiness during lessons.

We also thought this was a great way for her to burn some quality energy. It also allows her hyper-competitive side to emerge.

Finally, one BIG road trip.
Any hotel/motel stay must include a pool visit -- Watch out summer, these kids are ready

Daring, slightly too brave child

Honoring my dad/Grandpa Mike -- The reason for our trek to the vibrant city of Grand Island, NE was to attend the dedication of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial. After 17 long years, Nebraska honored all 130+ police officers killed in the line of duty with a simple, yet beautiful monument. While my dad died more than 27 years ago, it was an emotional day, yet a moving tribute to those officers. It was so important for me to honor my dad and the sacrifice he made. I also want my kids to know and appreciate my dad's legacy. The final pictures are from that wonderful day.

Nebraska Police Memorial

Flags at half staff

The wall from NE Police Memorial

Sam admiring Grandpa Mike's Name

These pictures are a small sampling of how we have been passing our time. This house has spring fever, and our summer is shaping up to be jam-packed.

I have more posts in my head, yet I have no idea when I'll make the time to blog, but I hope you'll be back to read the next entry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Fashion

Based on the picture, bow ties and Sam don't seem to be a match made in heaven. While he may not enjoyed it, he tolerated the tie through church and long enough for me to snap a picture in the car. Who could blame him? We learned the next day that the poor boy was battling a double ear infection and some digestive issues on Easter Sunday.

Maybe I could have lessened his suffering by skipping the bow tie, but isn't one of the joys of parenting the privilege to dress our children according to our preference? We only have a few years to select our children's clothing, then, if they are like my fashionista, they let it be known quite clearly as to what fits their personal style. I decided early on that clothing was not a battle I intend to fight. My theory is as along as my children are appropriately dressed, then they are free to wear what they want. Luckily for us, E is in the midst of a feminine phase and is always asking if she can wear a dress. I like this stage, I hope it lasts.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Sam

Happy Together
Originally uploaded by Amanda_and_Mike
I'm a day late, but what a busy and special day it was. We had so much fun celebrating Sam's birthday. I'm exhausted this evening and ready to call it a night. I posted pictures to flickr of his birthday party. While we missed people, we still had lots of laughs and lots of fun. Of course, it isn't a party without presents. Even with a smaller crowd, the boy still managed to clean up. Now, where in the world do we put this stuff?

In my attempt to save some money on this party, Tricia and I partnered together to tackle the cake and cupcakes. Any guess who did which one? Baseball cake & cupcakesTricia is quite the patient artist. Both were tasty, so while my cake was not as artistic as I hoped (helps if you give yourself more time to decorate), I had fun attempting to put it together. In retirement, maybe I'll learn how to properly decorate a cake.

Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate this wonderful occasion. To Mr. Sam Sam, I am not quite sure where this first year went, but thank you for blessing us with your smiles and laughs. You are our happy little guy and we adore and love ya. Happy First Birthday, Stugga!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Originally uploaded by Amanda_and_Mike
Oh what fun it is to go round and round. While any spinning ride makes my dear hubby incredible nauseous, I love to spinning rides. At Disneyland, the teacups were one of my favorite rides, and I could not get enough of Lady Luck (better known as Cyclone Sam to the locals) when I was kid visiting Adventureland.

So, it was a pleasant surprise when Ella was willing and able to give Tilt-A-Whirl a chance this past weekend at Power Play. I thought for sure she wouldn't meet the height requirements. When I realized she was able to go, I was amazed that she was willing to even attempt to ride it. I was a bit worried as the ride slowly kick into gear. After the first quick spin, her eyes lit up and she let loose a happy scream. Listening to her belt out her energy was just pure joy for me. I loved sharing that moment with her. I think it meant more to her that Bailey was with her than mom, oh well. She enjoyed her first spin so much that she was begging to go again before we even exited the ride. I think a trip to Camp Snoopy may be in our future this summer.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Less than two weeks

Okay, I know I have written these words multiple times since I became a mom, but where is the time going? First, when did I become a mom? How in the world did it happen that I am a mom to a 3-year-old precocious, intuitive know-it-all and to the happiest, go-with-the flow mama's boy?

Yes, life definitely has not been picture perfect, but I like where we are at and where we are headed as a family. However, I would prefer if it would slow down ever-so-slightly. My baby, my sweet boy is quickly approaching a major milestone and as usual I am not ready. We have a theme and invites are in production, but they have yet to be sent. We are only planning on family, and thankfully, they are all slated to come. I hope to drop the invites in the mail by Wednesday. Once they have been distributed and received, I may have to post a picture. Even though it is an eleventh-hour creative idea, I am quite pleased with how they are developing.

Lots of arrangements still to be made. With the help of family and some good luck, we may pull this together. I am trying to avoid the "second-kid" excuse. I was a second kid. I want to make sure I attempt to be equitable with my children. I may fail miserably, but at least I'll fail trying.

So what's going on with the little man? Well, he is so very close to walking. He says his sister's name quite clearly. He is a mama's boy (I ain't complaining.) He is living up to his Hurricane Bowling legacy. The boy is quite curious and leaves a wake of destruction as he explores the house. He is starting to wave by opening and closing his hand. He is a protein boy. He gobbles up any meat placed on his tray and shakes his head at most solid fruits and veggies, yet he will eat baby food from those food groups. Maybe it's a texture thing? I fear giving up the bottle will be a battle of epic proportions. He is my "bugga boo." He has the sweetest darn smile, and I love him.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Love This Boy

Originally uploaded by Amanda_and_Mike
That is all I wanted to say for now. Maybe some day I resume a more standard blogging schedule, but for now, don't count on it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A good problem to have

For those who have been "in the know" (which is pretty much everybody) I was recently laid off of my job for 7 years at t2. As AWESOME as an experience that was, I finally have some GOOD news to share. Not only I have a job offer, I have a freelancing job offer as well. Both of which came to my attention on Friday. So, that day could very well be classified as my "good Friday." As a side note, I am also on the list for freelancing for the Kansas City Royals as well. As great as that is, the boys in blue won't be keeping me near as busy. But its nice to just be considered by them.

What to do, what to do.

I have the week to decide and given the circumstances of the kids and finances there are lots to chat about with Amanda. We have already chatted a ton about things, but there are still lots to go over.

I just wanted to make sure I thanked everybody out there, Amanda, the kids, all my family, all my friends, all my Twitter followers. This month and a half has really taught me a lot, and I really think that I have learned a lot as well. A lot of things that I will keep with me and go forward.

I promise to keep you all informed as to what my decision comes to!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Hair Cut

Another first for Mr. Sam -- his first hair cut. Ella was two years old. Sam was 10 months. Guess, that is the difference in girls and boys.

It was time. Sam had become Shaggy Sam with hairs growing over his ears and bangs into his eyes. His teachers were giving me a hard time because I was resistant to get it done.

For the most part, Sam did great. He had no idea what was going on, but overall the boy was a good sport. I swear he looks so much older now. Who knew a hair cut could age a kid so quickly?!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three Years Old, Three Birthdays

The idea of having a simplified birthday for Ella was nice in theory. Instead, it meant: turn three years old and get three birthdays. You can't have birthdays without gifts of course and CAKE. And boy did we have cake.

Dude, this rocks

But I wanted a cake THIS BIG!

Making a Wish

Ella's first celebration was a bit of a surprise as our friends the Comers threw a small, private party for Ella. We gathered together under the impression we were having a long overdue dinner. Instead, we walked into a house decorated with balloons and streamers, and we were fed an amazing dinner of blue-cheese stuffed sirloins, twice-baked potatoes and sauteed asparagus. (My mouth is salivating remembering that delicious dinner.) We then ended the evening with cake and presents. The night definitely lifted our spirits and reminded us of what good friends we are blessed to have.

On Ella's actual birthday, we started the day with a Mr. Stinky Feet concert and ended it with S&T coming over to celebrate. Originally, my mom and stepdad were slated to be there but an avalanche of snow decided to hit Omaha that weekend, so my mom wisely opted not to make the trip. However, she had cake duty. Instead of being stranded without cake for Ella's birthday, Tricia graciously offered to bring cupcakes. She had a bit of a dilemma though. Ella's original cake request was for a blue cake with balloons. From the above picture, you can tell Tricia more than delivered.

Finally, this weekend we wrapped up the nearly month long birthday celebration with my mom. On her birthday, we had wanted to treat Ella to her first Build-A-Bear experience. Forgetting that her birthday is Valentine's Day, we were a bit taken back by the line. It was an hour and a half just to get into the store. Yeah, we skipped that and saved it for this last weekend. I think it was a success, and we managed to get out of the store without spending a fortune. Oh, if you ask Ella about the experience, be prepared to be corrected. It was not Build-A-Bear, it is Build-A-Frog.

So Happy with Huggie

Now, we move on from reflecting about Ella turning three to planning for Mr. Sam's first birthday.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Special Valentine

Three years ago today, I met this beautiful creature.
under the warmer.JPG
I was in awe of her, yet overwhelmed at the responsibility of being her mom. We learned a lot that first year. Ella learned to sit up.
Sitting up with some help.
I learned I no longer had possession of my heart.
Party Girls
She made her first friend.
Playing well with others
Through her, we rediscovered the joy of Christmas.
Christmas Magic
And the simple pleasures of a park.
Losing by a hair
We learned even under the most watchful eye, trouble always presents itself.
What happens with no parental supervision
We relished in watching her explore the world around her.
Sweetness and Softness
As we added to the family, she lovingly accepted her new role and opened her heart to her little brother.
Sisterly Love
In three short years, my amazement of my daughter continues today.
Do NOT Disturb the Princess
I love my chatty, sassy, expressive toe-head. Happy Birthday Ella. Thanks for making me a mom, a role I was unsure would fit. As we celebrate the third year of your birth, I hope to treasure the milestones of your life and celebrate your uniqueness. Love you baby girl.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Buried Under Expectations

Life is not fun right now. I know we all have various ups and downs, but I am completely exhausted and frustrated. My work is draining my soul and sucking the life right out from me. It also doesn't help that I internalize the stress and it has caused many sleepless nights that translate into zombie like days. This cycle must stop.

I truly do I like my job and I don't mind the various demands being placed on me, but I have no balance. NONE! I am normally happy to be a working mom, but lately I have been spending more time working than being mom. With my husband out of work, I am thankful for my job and I am keenly aware of my family responsibilities. I happily accept them, but I worry about the impact this is having on my sweet kids. They are getting the leftovers of their mom right now and I want to give them so much more. A good friend reminded me that this is short stint in their lives and they will not suffer irreparable harm by me putting in extra hours and being a little more agitated than usual. It cuts deep though when you precious girl says, "Don't be a mean mom."

I need a break. I need to relax. I need to laugh. I need a date night with my husband.

For these reasons and many more, I am thankful we decided not to have an actual birthday party for Ella. Instead of spending Saturday preparing to entertain guests, I will be spending some much needed quality time with my daughter and son. I have loved having parties for her. This year, it seemed so important to just focus on Ella and to give her the best of me. i am hoping by Saturday I can find that part of me.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Those on Facebook are quite familiar with this meme. I had pondered what items might make my list, however, I never took the time to completely develop it. Before I did, there was the inevitable backlash, so I figure rather than posting it on Facebook, I'll add it to the blog. Here is my list in no particular order:

1. I am specific about the order of ingredients when building a taco. Meat of course is the first layer, which is followed by cheese (I like the cheese to melt slightly), lettuce, tomatoes, and then topped with taco sauce or salsa. Much to the dismay of my husband, I am adamant that cheese must be on top of the meat. Who wants wilted lettuce?

2. I love sailing. I have had the pleasure of sailing twice in my life, but I remember so vividly how easily I grasped the concept. I felt like a natural in the boat. My favorite sailing experience was during a team building exercise at a company retreat. We had to maneuver our yachts through various buoys and secure the best time. My team, largely under my direction, went undefeated in the competition. I long to sail once again.

3. On the same company retreat, we ended our final night with a neon volleyball tournament on the beach. On the very first play of the first game, a colleague went down with a bad ankle sprain. A few games later, I went up to spike the ball and as I came down, I rolled my ankle, and that was unceremoniously the end of the tournament. I ended up being loaded into the back of a GMC Jimmy for the 40 minute drive to the nearest hospital. That 40 minutes was pure hell, but the return trip was so much better thanks to the darvocet the doctor prescribed for me.

4. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I just love the simplicity of the holiday.

5. After coming out of the Lincoln tunnel for the first time, I instantly fell in love with New York City. I can't wait until I can introduce Mike to the city. I also have dreams of taking Ella before she graduates from high school.

5. If I had more leisurely time, I would read and bake more.

6. I hope one day to learn how to play the violin. Guess that will be in retirement.

7. I used to be an avid jazzerciser. Attended more than 1,000 classes. Miss the class and the camaraderie with the other jazzercisers. Make fun of it if you must, but I miss it. Our budget and daily schedule prevent me from going back.

8. I am a better mom because I work. (I stole this from my friend Jennifer.)

9. Mike and I knew our first girl would be named Ella nearly three years before our actually Ella was born. In some ways, I think the name picked us. I just had the pleasure of witnessing my good friend Rene give birth to sweet, sassy Miss Payton. Mike and I ventured to the gift shop to find something for her because we were unprepared for Rene to go into labor that day. In the gift shop, we found a rack of baby Gund animals. Mike and I started reading the names for each animal. When we came across the elephant and we heard Ella, we knew without saying anything to each other that we had found our name.

10. Motorcycles. I understand the appeal of the open road. One of my favorite memories with my dad was riding on the back of his moped/motorcycle. I can't think of anything that gives you such freedom and unique perspective of the world.

11. I am a Brothers & Sister's addict. After every episode, I find myself wishing I lived closer to my brothers. However, after a long weekend with them, I leave thinking maybe some distance isn't such a bad thing. :)

12. One talent I wish I had but don't is singing. I can barely carry a tune. It's quite pathetic. Thankfully my children haven't realized how poorly I actually sing.

13. I have trouble just being and sitting still. I am working on this, thanks to the patience of my wonderful husband. He was shown me how to truly appreciate the moment and a beautiful sunset.

14. My husband and I dated for two months in college before he dumped me after a disastrous Halloween date. We didn't rekindle our friendship until the summer after my graduation. It took us quite a few years before we were ready to take a chance on us again.

15. I am a water child. I need to be near, in or on the water.

16. I didn't grow up camping. I went to camps, but never actually pitched a tent. It wasn't until I started dating my husband that I truly discovered the joys of camping, complete with an air mattress.

17. I believe ice cream makes everything better.

18. My favorite sandwich is grilled cheese (must include some Swiss cheese) and tomato.

19. I have amazing, thoughtful sweet friends who mean so much to me, but sadly I don't get to see them as much as I wish.

20. I have never seen The Godfather trilogy. (But Mike has never seen West Side Story. No real relevance, I just wanted to throw that in.)

21. If I am going to consume a beer, don't give me a pansy light beer. I am more of a dark ale or lager girl.

22. When I was seven, I won the city's "little queen" contest. What is memorable to me is standing on stage answering the judges' questions. I vividly remember giving the answer "oranges" and "Fraggle Rock" to the questions: "What is Your Favorite Fruit?" and "What is Your Favorite TV Show?"

23. Cheese was one of my favorite snacks as a child. My best friend Susie and I would see who could fold a single piece of cheese into the most pieces.

24. I can't drive a stick shift. No one had the patience to teach me.

25. I hate cutting onions but love to cook with them. I cry each and every time I chop them. They burn my eyes so badly that it feels like someone has poured Tabasco sauce in them.

Note: This is Amanda's list not Mike's list as the blog states.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Monday

Lots of pictures posted on Flickr from our adventures this past weekend. We enjoyed the beautiful weather on Saturday and ventured to the zoo. It actually was bribery for Ella. There has been an increase in accidents at daycare. She claims that "I'm too busy to go potty." She was just refusing to stop playing and use the facilities. To encourage her to "listen to her body," we promised her a family fun outing if she had at least two days in a row. She did her her part, so we fulfilled our promise by a trip to the zoo. What a gorgeous day we had!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Kids, My Motivation

Mike and I awoke this morning to a much greater burden placed on our shoulders. While we recognize our present life is not what we planned, we still believe in our future.

My hope is this unexpected jobless adventure is short-lived. I expect the next few weeks (please not months!) to be difficult and filled with tough decisions. I also am keenly aware that our life is full of so many blessings, and these little creatures who never run short of smiles or giggles are depending on us to make the right decisions, no matter how difficult they may be.

Oh how I love these little people.

Sam's First Car

Snow White Crashed on the Couch

Sam the Panty Destroyer

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sibling Kisses

Sibling Kisses
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Right now, this is one of my favorite photos. My heart just melts looking at this photo. I love my kids, and I love, LOVE that they adore each other.

In the interest of full disclosure, Ella tested every last nerve of her parents today. She drove both of us mad! But a quick call from a co-worker with devastating news instantly put life into perspective.

My heart is heavy tonight. My heart breaks for a family in St. Louis I don't know but has a heart wrenching story. My heart breaks for a family preparing to gather in Iowa for a final goodbye. So I sit here tonight just thankful for the day I had and quite fortunate for all my blessings.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Interesting Facts about E&S

No time for a full blown post. Instead, here are some oddball and interest facts and tidbits about the little people who inhabit my house.

We are attempting to teach Sam some basic sign language. Right now, we are working on eating, more and all done. Each and every time I sign to him, he just laughs at me. It's almost like, "give up mom, I ain't interested."

Ella wants to be on twitter. Perhaps, this is a sad commentary about Mike and I, but Ella picked up my blackberry the other night and started fiddling around with it. I asked what she was doing and she said, "I need to Tweet this."

Teething sucks. I'm sure Sam would agree with the statement. The bottom two teeth have been in for awhile. Right after Christmas, the top two started bothering him. One has completely pushed through but is still coming in. The corner of the other has poked through, but the rest of it is still fighting the gum. He was quite miserable for about a week. We missed our happy little guy (he also was battling a cold and exposure to strep.)

The girl child was given her own toddler MP3 player for Christmas. It's quite cute, durable and came pre-loaded with music. The upside is the girl LOVES it. The downside is the girl LOVES it and we are already having battles over volume.

Now that Sam is a crawler, he has discovered an entire new world. One of his favorite things is the toilet. More than once, we have found him clinging to the side and splashing to his delight. He hates being taken away from the porcelain toy, but he calms down once he is repositioned at the sink, where the splashing continues. Ella never showed any interest in the toilet, so his level of interest has slightly dumbfounded me.

Sam's other loves include doors, the dishwasher and the fridge. The kid can sit for what seems like hours and swing a door back and forth all while wearing the goofiest of grins. To witness Sam crawl at hyper speed, you only have to open the dishwasher or the fridge. The boy comes charging in to the kitchen the moment he hears either door open. It makes cooking dinner or unloading the dishwasher slightly difficult.

With Sam crawling, the overprotective side of Ella has emerged. If Sam starts trekking up the stairs, Ella races ahead of him and darts into the bathroom to check that the seat is down. A microsecond latter, she runs from the bathroom yelling, "mommy, daddy, the seat is down." If Sam is crawling around upstairs and decides to head to the staircase, Ella will sit at the top of the stairs with her legs spread and announce that she is blocking the stairs for Sam. She is such a good sister!

As we were taking down our Christmas ornaments, Ella was helping me match ornaments and boxes. As she plucked the White House ornament off the tree, she said to me, "Momma's this is where Obama is going to live." My jaw fell to the floor. I know at some point we must have discussed the White House and Obama, maybe when the tree went up, but I don't recall it. Either way the child blows me away at times.