Monday, August 31, 2009

Half Marathon Training

So. Collin and I are training for a half marathon.

Give me a sec while I hyperventilate over here....

Okay. Whew! I've told a few people about this already but I don't know, there's something about announcing it to the world that makes it real. We can't like, back out and shit now.

Back in April Collin's sister, CaSondra, and her husband, Ben, came up for a visit and as we were all sitting around talking they mentioned that they were training for a half marathon. Awesome! I thought. Good for you guys! I was 3 months postpartum and trying to get back into a steady workout routine and they inspired me. Unfortunately, that inspiration left about the same time I walked out of his parent's door that evening. By the end of May I found myself still trying to get into a steady workout routine. I just could not find my groove. Or the motivation.

On a trip down to Milwaukee Collin and I had 3 hours to talk and as I was complaining about having not yet lost the pregnancy weight I realized I needed something to get me going. Something to give me the motivation. It was then that I remembered my conversation with CaS and Ben. I asked Collin if he'd train with me and when he agreed we called her on the spot and said we're in.

We started pre-training at the beginning of July. Since neither of us had been running regularly we started slow, like 2 miles slow. But we put in four days a week and gradually worked our way up. Our official training began a few weeks ago. We started week 4 of this program tonight and we'll be participating in the the Indianapolis Half Marathon on October 17th. We will take any and all suggestions, tips, advice from anyone that has some to share. Especially if you have any good ideas on how to deal with shin splints. Because dude. My right shin is ON FIRE.

I'm so excited and also scared out of my friggin' mind. I started this in hopes of loosing weight but it has turned into so much more than that. I want my body to be strong and healthy. I forgot how good it feels to push my limits, to work towards something. And dang it, it makes me so happy to tell people we are "training."

This is good because the stinkin' scale? It hasn't budged. But! I can feel a difference. My clothes fit differently. My muffin top isn't has muffin toppy and my thighs can actually move in my jeans. In fact Smokey the Bear has lowered the danger of a fire igniting from my thighs rubbing together from high to moderate. So there's that.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Because sometimes I need a reminder

This has been a rough week. It is mostly work related: deadlines that are nearly impossible to meet, people who are impossible to deal with; which has meant long hours and pent up frustration. On top of that, this is also the week that Keaton has decided he no longer needs to sleep at night. So I’m stressed out and sleep deprived, a dangerous combination.

The highlight of my week was at 3 am on Wednesday, when we had exhausted our resources and finally decided that Stink needed some Tylenol because OMG, this must be teething, right? I mean, what the hell else would be causing this?? I sent Collin to get the medicine while I took Keat into the nursery to change his diaper. After I got the diaper off I realized the changing tower was fresh out of any new ones. This left me with two choices: 1) Take two steps to his closet and open the new box of diapers or 2) Carry a half naked baby out into the kitchen and get a diaper out of his diaper bag. I’m still not exactly sure why, but I choose option # 2. I folded his sleeper up above him, propped his naked bottom on my hip and walked out in to the kitchen, asking Collin on the way out if he could dig in the diaper bag for me. As Collin grabs the bag and throws it up on the counter a fart so loud it could have woken the neighbors erupted from my son’s ass. His bare ass. His bare ass that my hand was holding. “Hurry” I yelled and Collin’s search became even more frantic. And then I felt it. The warm sensation is not to be mistaken. I looked up at Collin with those, I can not believe this, eyes and said “He’s peeing on me.” Collin threw his head back, clapped his hands and roared in laughter “This is great!” As I sat in the kitchen, my clothes drenched in urine, I looked at Stink and he smiled at me through his nuk and I couldn’t help it. I laughed.

Yes, standing in my kitchen at 3am, my clothes dripping with pee, was the highlight of my week, because I laughed. The rest of the week I walked around with a scowl on my face uttering things like: I hate this, I’m going to kill him (Collin would like me to note that "him" is not him, but a different him, a work him, if you will), this is so effing ridiculous. And inevitably I brought this negative energy home with me. I’m not proud of this but more than once this week I thought to myself…

…if you drop that nuk one more time.

…shut up! I have to clean the yams off of your face!

…just sit still for a second.

And as soon as the thoughts crossed my mind I felt guilty. Did I not remember those 10 months that I spent crying? Just hoping and praying that finally we’d get pregnant. That finally we’d be able to start a family. Remember that??

There is a saying I heard recently, one that I have repeated to myself over and over this week. It instantly calms me down and puts things into perspective.

Lord, grant me the patience to deal with my blessings.

It reminds me….

…it is only a dropped nuk.

…it is only a crying baby.

…it is only an active little boy.

…it is only everything I ever wanted.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Every time Keaton strikes this pose I look at Collin and say "Hey, can you pass me a beer?" Cause if this kid could talk, I'm pretty sure that's what he'd be saying.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All he needs is a pair of wings

I've mentioned before that if Keaton is awake, he is moving. He jumps, twists, rolls, scoots, bops, bangs, kicks, wiggles, lets see, what other action words can I come up with? Because if you can think of any, I'm pretty sure he does them. My brother came over one afternoon while Keat was in his exersaucer flinging himself around while babbling loudly and he just looked at him with wide eyes and asked "is it always like this?" Yes. Yes it is. When my mom hands him off to someone else she always does so with a warning: You have to hold him with two hands. The other day at lunch I was talking to the ladies about how he was a month early and one of them looked at me in bewilderment. "He was a month early? I would never have guessed that with the way he jumps around." I'm telling you. Constant movement.

When I ran across this picture of April and Keaton I had to laugh. See how April is all clear and looking pretty while Keaton is just one big blur? THIS IS OUR LIFE!

Last weekend Keaton and I were sitting on the porch at the cabin when a couple of hummingbirds came whizzing in to take a turn at the feeder. I whispered to Keaton and pointed so he could see them; he turned and watched as their little wings buzzed, holding them there just long enough for a quick drink. Then they were off; jetting to their next destination. As we sat there the familiar buzz would come and go; hummingbirds in, hummingbirds out. As I held Keaton tight so he could jump around on my lap like a mad man I couldn't help but wonder where those little birds get their seemingly endless supplies of energy. I looked up at my son, his face was lit up by his bright blue eyes and big gummy, open mouth smile as he jumped and jumped and jumped. A smile spread across my face as I realized it, my kid is a human hummingbird.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Keatsday: berry picking addition

It's blackberry season here in Central Wisconsin so this afternoon we boxed up the Stink and headed out to Papa & Busha's (or Ma & Pa Kono's, or Collin's parents). They live on 40 acres of heavily wooded land that is loaded with berries. We took the trail from their house out and quickly found the perfect spot to stop and pick. Keaton did well for the first 20 minutes or so and then he decided he was DONE blackberry picking. I had to wheel him up and down the path, making sure not to stop for more than, oh, about 10 seconds, for a good 10 minutes before he finally zonked out. We picked about 7 or 8 quarts and I'm trying to decide what I want to do with them. I'm planning on freezing enough for a pie later this year and I'm thinking I'd like to try my hand at jelly/jam. There are lots of berries still waiting to be picked so we might head out again in a few days. If anyone has any to-die-for blackberry recipes, please send them our way!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

90 years

If I live 90 years......

I hope my grandchildren know how Collin and I met.
I hope to have met at least one of my Great Grandchildren.
I hope I am still taking part in the hobbies I love.


Two weekends ago my family threw a party to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday.......

If I remember the story correctly, my Grandparents met in math class. And from what I was told, I believe my Grandpa purposely failed said math class just so he could be in the same class as my Grandma. I admire my Grandpa for many reasons, but the thing that touches my heart the most is how fiercely he loved my Grandma. He still does.

My Grandpa currently has 5 Great Grandchildren. We can only hope he will have many more.

Big band music has always been a passion for Grandpa. He stills plays the sax on a weekly basis.

We started the day with a family picture. It had been 15 years since out last formal family picture. Needless to say, our family has grown since that time and getting everyone situated was a little more difficult this time around. Following pictures we rushed over to the party location to set up tables, food, and seating for the band. We got the place situated in enough time to watch the slide show my cousin Andrea had put together with pictures of Grandpa over the last 90 years. We spent the rest of the afternoon mingling with 80+ guests and listening to Grandpa's band play. I must say, they are pretty darn good. The day was enjoyed by everyone, but most importantly, I'm pretty sure Grandpa had a really good time. Happy 90th Grandpa!

Beautiful Miss E.

I love Aunt Candy!

The last time we had a family picture taken, K. was Keaton's age.


MaLinda & Alex


Andrea & Jack
M. says: Yay for cupcakes!

Big parties make tired babies

Monday, August 17, 2009

Home from the Cabin

We pulled in the driveway around 7 pm last night, which left us just enough time to get the car unpacked, a couple loads of laundry done, and leftovers for dinner popped in the microwave. We had a great long weekend at the cabin with the only complaint being that the time went to quickly.

I spent an afternoon dozing in the sun, did some reading, went shopping at the toy store in town, made more baby food (yams, zucchini, & apples), and rolled around on the floor with the Stink.

Keaton dipped his feet in the lake, touched the white pines, was enchanted with the hummingbirds, watched the doggies swim, and wore himself out rolling and scooting all over the cabin.

Collin worked on the siding, did a little fishing, worked on the siding, did some grilling, and worked on the siding. (Collin desperately needs a vacation from vacation)

Maia went on daily walks with Grammy and Grandpa Grizz, swam in the lake, chased away the neighbor dog (who came over on a daily basis for the sole purpose of shitting in our yard), and napped on the couch.

Together we put in 10 miles jogging through the hills of the Northwoods, celebrated our 4th (and my parents 34th) anniversary at the Rhinelander Pub with prime rib and stuffed baked haddock, made our customary trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream, watched Rendition, and went to the Oneida County Fair.

I have pictures to upload and share but for now I need to get to bed. This going back to reality stuff is alot harder than it looks.

Friday, August 14, 2009


When we have the boys out in public together people inevitably ask the question: Twins?
It doesn't help when we (accidentally) dress them alike.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

4 years ago

Four years ago today I married my best friend.
We had been planning this day for over a year and despite having worked through every last detail, there were still mishaps.

Corsages/boutonnieres were incorrectly distributed, our DJ didn't show and sent a random replacement, and we forgot to cut our cake.

But these are just silly details in the grand scheme of things.

It's funny, a wedding day is like a prelude to life.

Things don't always go as planned, but you have to learn to roll with the punches.

When I look back on this day what I remember is being surrounded by friends and family, feeling incredibly connected to my husband, and having fun. Oh, did we have fun.

And that's all I can ask for when I look back at this life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Baby's Heart, A Mama's Heart

"He was almost asleep.... until he heard your voice."

And then my heart melted.

(I'm supposed to be sleeping)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daily Stink

If all is going as planned we are, at this minute, sitting around the cabin table eating a ham my mom cooked this afternoon. Let's hope all is going as planned :)

We're back up at the cabin for a long weekend and because last time we left I know a few of you were stopping in here looking for updates, I thought I'd schedule some pictures to be posted while we are gone. I love you guys THAT much! Also, I should totally be packing but I hate packing so I'm looking for any excuse to put it off.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dear Keaton: 7 Months

Dear Keaton,

Ten days ago you turned 7 months old. Yes, it’s been a week and a half and I’m just now sitting down to write this letter. I don’t have a good excuse except that it’s summer and life is always busier in the summer. People used to tell us that once we had a kid our schedule would slow down. But you are here, and that has yet to happen. We just ‘box you up,’ as we call it, and haul you around with us. Thankfully you are pretty good natured and all the running around doesn’t seem to phase you.

So, 7 months. This has been a big month for you, lots and lots of new things. Before I started writing this I actually had to sit down with Daddy and take notes on all that is going on so I didn’t forget anything. The three biggest things that happened this month are that you got your first tooth, you started eating food, and you began scooting. We had a feeling the teething was starting last month but it was confirmed at the beginning of July when you had such a bad day at Busha’s that Daddy had to come pick you up and take you home early. You were inconsolable and tugging on your ear. That evening we gave you some Tylenol and that seemed to help for awhile but you still woke up screaming in the middle of the night. As we shhh’d and rocked you back to sleep I was reminded of all those sleepless nights when you were a newborn. The next morning you woke up absolutely fine and we quickly learned a funny thing about teething, it makes you completely unpredictable. We had a couple more evenings like that before the tooth finally broke through the gum. Unfortunately, I have a feeling we’ll be going for round two any day now.

Much to your delight, we started you on food this month; first with rice cereal and then with veggies. So far you have tried zucchini, green beans, and peas and you have loved all of them. As soon as I put you in your highchair you kick your little legs and get very excited and after each bite you give us an exuberant ‘mmmmmm’.

At the beginning of the month we were also working on sitting. You were pretty interested in this until you learned how to scoot. Now, when I try to prop you up you give me a look like ‘woman, why would I sit here when I can move, move, move?” And move you do. Over the past couple of weeks your scooting has transformed from a straight up army crawl to something akin to what I imagine a wounded animal would look like dragging itself through the woods. You kinda prop one knee up, push off of it and pull with your arms as you drag the other leg behind you. You aren’t partial to which leg propels you forward; it seems to just be whichever one is convenient at the moment. This move combined with the fact that you are now getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth makes me think crawling is probably just around the corner.

You’ve also started some goofy things this month. One night when I was changing you you got upset with me because it was taking too long and you raised your arms up and rocked your head and body back and forth while giving me a scowl. I think you meant for it to be menacing, but I thought it was so darn cute that I imitated it back to you and you found that hilarious. For the next 15 minutes we sat there and played what we now call “the monkey” each of us raising our arms and rocking our head at the other and each time I did it to you, you just laughed and laughed. And speaking of laughing, I know I can always get a giggle out of you by tickling your under arms or your neck or playing a game of peek-a-boo. You love peek-a-boo. Once I start playing a game with you it is hard to stop, your face just lights up and I can’t help but want to see that over and over and over again.

The other funny things you’ve started this month are this big gummy smile and a hissing noise. I’m gonna be honest with you kiddo, the gummy smile thing, it’s not very attractive looking. You scrunch up your nose, raise your upper lip and breathe heavily through your nostrils. I’m not sure why you started this; I don’t think anyone made this face at you, so I’m chalking it up to your gums feeling funny because you have teeth coming in. You’re also learning all sorts of new noises lately and one in particular is prettying interesting. It’s a hissing that comes from deep in your throat and I don’t know any other way to explain it other than you sound just like an angry cat.

You have also been working so hard on the ‘ma’ sound. Your Auntie Kira was over here making baby food with me one weekend and to keep you entertained for a little bit I let you watch the Baby Einstein First Sounds dvd. When it was over I put you in your highchair and brought you in the kitchen with us. You sat there very content playing with your toys while Kira and I talked and suddenly we both looked at you, your mouth was open just enough that we could see your tongue and lips moving, you had a look of concentration on your face and it was as if we could see the gears turning in your head. You were trying so hard to turn your “ba” into “ma”. The next morning when you woke up your Daddy and I could hear you talking to yourself and clear as day you yelled out “ma ma ba!” It is so neat when you get a new sound. Ma hasn’t quite become a fixture yet, but every once in awhile you belt it out for us again.

The other sound you love to make is the Indian noise. One afternoon you were lying with Daddy talking up a storm with your ahhh, ahhhh’s and he patted your mouth so you could hear the change in sound. Oh boy did you love that. Now, even if you aren’t making any noise at all, all we have to do is pat your mouth and you’ll instantly give us an “ahhhhhh, ahhhhh, ahhhhh.”

Well Stink, I suppose I should wrap this up. This month has been so much fun. Every day I’m reminded of how lucky I am that you are here. You bring so much joy to our lives and make every day a new adventure. I’m trying hard to savor each any every moment while also looking forward to what the next month brings.

I love you so much,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lessons in Biology

When I entered college in September 1998 I was a declared Biology major with the intent of applying to my school’s Physical Therapy program. In the second semester of my freshman year I found myself sitting in Botany listening to a professor I didn’t quite like and going to labs that I didn’t quite understand. Upon completion of our first exam my grade was a dismal C. So, I did what all hard working, diligent students do. I dropped the class and switched my major to Accounting.

Biology, it seemed, was not my cup of tea.

This little fact came rushing back to me on Saturday night as I found myself giving a 5 year old her first lesson in science.

Following the wedding Saturday night we drove up to Jenny & Matt’s in Green Bay. We had missed A’s 2nd birthday party that afternoon and had planned to spend the night and Sunday afternoon with them, hanging out and seeing the boys. It was an hour and a half drive north from Plymouth and we arrived around 10:30 pm. Keaton had fallen asleep on the way there, but as soon as we got inside he was up, raring to go and ready to eat. Jenny’s niece, M., loves babies and had followed me up the stairs, she didn’t want to miss any opportunities to hold the baby. We played on the floor for awhile but quickly it became evident that I needed to feed Keaton, and I needed to do it now.

I climbed up in the rocking chair and waited for M. to head back down to the bonfire but she didn’t really want to go. There was a baby in the room and she wanted every second possible with him. As Keat became more and more agitated I realized I couldn’t wait any longer.

As discretely as possible I laid Keaton in my lap, lifted my shirt and began to breastfeed him. When I looked up I knew instantly it wasn’t the best decision I had ever made. M’s eyes were as big as saucers, her mouth was gaping open, and her face with laced with fear, and intrigue, but mostly fear. She stood there frozen and it felt as though time was standing still. She finally mustered up the courage to ask:

M: Is that how he eats?

Me: Ummmm…..yes?

M: By sucking on you?

Me: Ummmm……no?

Thankfully Collin walked in at that moment and saved me. I gave him those wild eyes that clearly say Help! M. turned on her heels to look at Collin and when he asked if she wanted to go outside she nodded, “Uh, huh.” As she ran out of the room I realized I made a very good decision back in the spring of 1999, it is obvious that biology lessons are not my forte.

SYTYCD: My favorite dancer is Jeanine

It's time for America to cast its vote....who is your favorite dancer????

If the decision laid solely in my hands, this is how I would place the final four:

1) Jeanine
2) Brandon
3) Kayla
4) Evan

How about you?

So, now that we got the big stuff out of the way, lets talk about tonight's show. Here are some of my thoughts.

* I actually thought Evan did really well tonight. The judges were harsh on him, but I thought he actually brought it to his couple's routines tonight. Much more so than in nights past.

* That being said, I still just don't think he is up to the caliber of the other three.

* But, I'm afraid he might place pretty high (dare I say, even win) simply because of his fan base. I'll admit, if he wins, I will be disappointed. Sure, he's a cutey pututie and he seems to be a great guy, so I'm all for giving him the award for Mr. Congeniality. But best dancer?? I think not.

* Kayla was my front runner in the beginning of the season and I still like her, technically she is incredibly strong, but for me, I get more choked up watching Jeanine dance. I feel it when Jeanine is out there, she tugs at my heart.

* Brandon was not a front runner for me at the beginning of the season but over the last few weeks he has steadily gone up and up on my list. That boy has talent! If he won, I would not be disappointed.

* I always wonder what effect the judges comments are going to have. The bashing of Evan, Nigel declaring Brandon or Jeanine as the winner, I always fear when they do this that the viewers will retaliate, voting heavily for Evan, figuring there is no need to call in for Brandon or Jeanine. And it worries me a little.

* I do not like how following the guys and girls routine they ask the judges to pick their favorite. What purpose does this serve?

* Who do you want to see crowned as America's Favorite Dancer?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kelly & Neil's Wedding

This past weekend we traveled east to Plymouth, Wisconsin for the wedding of our friends, Kelly & Neil. The wedding took place in an adorable little church in downtown Plymouth. As is typical, Collin and I pulled into the parking lot at 11:55 am, five minutes before the ceremony was to begin. As soon as the car was in park arms were flying. Collin had yet to finish dressing and was rushing to put on his shirt. I was digging for the diaper bag, unbuckling the Stink, and wrapping teethers around my wrist, just to make sure we had at least one "quiet" toy. We must have been a sight as we fumbled our way across the parking lot; trying to walk quick enough to make it into church on time but not too fast that I fall on my ass in these heels. To say it was frantic is an understatement.

But, as soon as we set foot in the church I felt my blood pressure drop. The large wood pillars running down the middle of each set of pews, the stained glass windows that prop open just enough to let some air in, the old wooden pews that creak as you sit down. It was so cozy, so quaint. For those that have read the Mitford Series you'll know what I mean when I say I could picture Father Tim preaching in this church.

The reception was held outside at a nearby State Park. White lights were strung around the tent, a slice of a tree served as a cake stand, and the tables were adorned with wild flowers. It was really, really lovely.

We spent the evening talking and dancing and laughing with the Milwaukee crew. It was all around just an awesome wedding and an awesome time. Congratulations Kelly & Neil!

Keaton with the beautiful bride. Kelly's lace shawl was worn by her mother, grandmother, and I think even great grandmother at their weddings.

Keaton also got to spend lots of time with Auntie April.

And because weddings are all about love, it was only fitting that Keaton found himself smitten with this lovely lady, K.

I can not believe I did not have the camera at the ready for this, but at one point K leaned over and planted a big smooch on the Stink. Ahhhh, that boy, already going for the older women.