Monday, July 30, 2012

how i really feel about deadlines

They Suck!!


Thanks to our dear friends, Jill & Andy, we had an extremely productive weekend.  And the kids had an extremely fun one.  I wish I had time to write more but I have a double deadline on Wednesday and need to get to bed.  Hopefully tomorrow night.  Wishing you all a good start to the week.

Friday, July 27, 2012

at the blueberry patch

When we drove past last Saturday the flags were out, inviting people in.  I didn't realize Keaton knew what that meant but as soon as he saw them he was yelling from the back seat "Mom! Mom! The blueberry patch is open!"  We already had plans on Saturday and couldn't fit in a pick so I made a deal with him, we'll go buy some today and we'll go back and pick on Wednesday.

It took some coercing, but he finally agreed to it (he really, really wanted to pick on Saturday.) And so that's what we did; we spent Wednesday morning at the blueberry patch.

I remember Keaton liking this last year, but this year even I was shocked at just how diligent he was.  Picking, picking, picking, filling up his bucket.  He was so proud of all his berries and kept coming to show me.

Hutton.  Ahh, Hutton.  Much like last year, Hutt did a lot of this:

Of course, along with the picking there was a lot of mischief.

With these two, there is always mischief.

And dirt.  Lots of dirt. (I highly suggest clicking on this picture of Hutt and checking out his face.)

We didn't pick a ton, but enough to make a crisp or muffins. 

What we don't use in baking or snacking will go in the freezer for Nolan; because in just a few short months he'll be eating purees (oh, that thought makes me sad.  Make time slow down!)

After an hour or so it was getting awful hot and everyone was ready for lunch, so we packed up and headed home. Our home.  Our real home.  (We met Collin and Papa there and all went out to lunch.)  A perfect ending to a good morning.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TNO (Tuesday Night Off)

"So, were you able to make an appointment?"  He asked as soon as he walked in the door.

"No." I told him.  "They were booked."

"Well, do you want to try to get one for tomorrow night?"

Hmmm....where is this going I thought, as I gave him the squinty eye. 

"You're going to give me tomorrow night, too?"  And then it hit me.  "Oh!  What is it you want to do tonight?"

The guys called to ask him to play cards.  I hemmed and hawed.  I didn't really have any plans for tonight, but you know, I thought I had the night to myself.  Did I want to change that? 

I called the spa and they could get me in tomorrow night.  Relaxation massage.  My neck hurts. Partially, I think, from working out and partially from sitting at this table for hours on end again. I took the appointment.  He went to play cards.  I think we're both happy.

I told you about TNO - Tuesday Night Off, right?  Collin and I are rotating Tuesday nights to have free.  To do what we want.  To be free from parenting and housework and well, anything stressful.  I didn't really know what I was going to do tonight.  I had meant to ask a friend if she was free for dinner, but I never got around to sending the text.  My plan was to go to Noodles, make a list of things I need for the house, look around at Target and Kohl's and then go sit at Starbucks for awhile, to blog, read, catch up on emails, etc. 

I'm excited about my massage tomorrow.  I really, really love going to the spa.  While we can't afford for it to be too frequent of an outing I have decided that it will be my reward for hitting some weight lose goals.  I just started "dieting" (or whatever you want to call it, I really hate the word diet)  a couple of weeks ago.  Then I fell off the bandwagon the first week back to work and I'm trying to pick back up this week.  I'm 4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight (pre-pregnancy with both Nolan and Hutton).  I've got a long ways to go, but hitting my pre-pregnancy weight is my fist goal. 

It's been almost ten months since I've done any sort of exercise; I'm starting with the 30 day shred.  Although for these first few weeks I'm only planning on doing it 3 or 4 times a week.  I've only gotten one workout in so far this week, my goal is two more.

My bigger problem is the eating.  The portion sizes, the snacking (I like oreos), the soda (OMG, the soda!  I feel like I'm living on it), the quick, easy meals that aren't always the healthiest.  This is what will be my biggest struggle. 

If anyone has any books, recipes, workouts, anything really, to share, I'd be appreciative.

I feel like if I could just shed these first four pounds then maybe I'll get on  roll. 

I'm also hoping my massage tomorrow, at the start of this journey, will be a good motivator to get me in action.  Because I need to loose at least 4 pounds* before I'm allowing myself to go back.

* Maybe more, if these first 4 come of quickly (Please, Lord, let these first four come off quickly) then I'll need to hit my next goal before I go back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Let's talk about the zoo

"Can I just go grocery shopping real quick, without the kids?" I asked him mid-morning on Sunday.

And then I collapsed on the kitchen chair in tears.

Everything just feels like a set-back these days.  Even a one-hour trip to the grocery store.

We had originally said June.  Then it was July.  Now we are desperately hoping for September.  But honestly, I look at the calendar, look at our weekends over the course of the next month, and I wonder if that is even possible.  There is still so much work to do at the house before we can move in.  It's so far along and yet, there is just so much left.

We had plans to be away this past weekend but we canceled them.  We'll likely be canceling more as the weekends go on. I hate having to do it, but there really just is no other way, he has to be out there on evenings and weekends or this will never get done.

Then I look around here.  The boxes that still need sorting and organizing.  The birth announcements and thank yous that need to get in the mail.  The inventorying that needs to be done.  And I just....well, I cry.  Because I don't know what else to do, it's enough just trying to keep up with life these days.  Cooking, cleaning, raising children.  I don't even know where to fit the rest in.

We have friends coming up this weekend to watch the kids while Collin works and I sort and organize and shop (Oh yes!  There is all this shopping that needs to be done yet too!) and bust out some thank yous.  I can not tell you how grateful I am for them and how much I am looking forward to this weekend, to check some things off the to-do list.  To feel like something is getting accomplished. Because on my own, here with three kids, it feels impossible. And so I cry.

But enough about that....let's talk about the zoo.

On Saturday we dropped Collin off to work and then the boys and I met my friend, Amanda, and her kiddos at Animal Haven Zoo in Weyauwega.

While I've heard about this from others, it was our first visit.  I like that the sign says "Farm-Zoo" because that's exactly what I'd call it. The first have is more barnyard type animals while the second half is more of your typical zoo animals (lions, tigers, bears).

When I asked the boys to tell me their favorite part, they both said it was feeding the goats.  I love goats. I want a goat.  Collin once said if I brought a goat home in my old car (Mitsubishi Eclipse) I could keep it.  I am still regretting not surprising him with a goat out my window.

My favorite part of the day though were the sheep.  Have you ever closed your eyes and just sat and listened to sheep baaa?  It sounds like a bunch of guys sitting around a card table, drinking beers, and belching. 

I've added a sheep to the list of farm animals I want.

Chickens.  A goat.  And sheep.

When I asked their least favorite part of the day, the consensus was: the stinky pigs!

It was hot out on Saturday, but I'm so glad we got out of the house, visited with friends, and saw some animals.  It was just what we all needed to release a little energy and anxiety.

Many thanks to Amanda for taking all these pictures!

Friday, July 20, 2012

WeDay: A revival (with cookies)

On Monday my summer home with the boys came to an end.  It was July 16th.  10 weeks since Nolan arrived. Time for me to go back to work.  While I'm sad that our time together is over, I think it will be good for us all to get into a routine.  I need it and the boys need it.  They were thrilled to get back to Busha's this week and willingly jumped in the car Monday morning. And I realized I wasn't dreading my return as I had in the past.  I think this is because I like my job, I love working from home, and we still have our Wednesdays. I reminded myself of this over and over while on maternity leave, we still have our Wednesdays. 

Last week I told Collin that I have a new rule for WeDay.  A new rule for me that is.  And it's one simple rule: No phone. 

Oh, I'll have my phone on me, but no piddling around on my phone.  When I step back and look at when we have the most problems around here it's when my focus is off of the kids.  With the baby there are enough times that my focus is off the big boys - feedings, diaper changes, etc. so when I can focus on them, I need to.  I don't know if this is typical or just me, but when I get on my phone and start scrolling though Twitter or Facebook I always think it's going to be for 30 seconds but inevitably 30 seconds turns into 5 minutes.  And 5 minutes turns into pinching and biting and fighting.

I know I probably won't be perfect, there will be times I pick it up, but for the most part, my phone will be put down from now on on Wednesdays.

This past Wednesday I had hoped to go get blueberries with the boys, but after a dual doctor appointment for Nolan (who weighed in at 10 lbs 12 oz) and Hutton (who weighed in at 28 lbs) (Keaton, for fun, weighed in at 33 lbs) it was pouring rain and we promptly canceled our plans.  It was probably a good thing because Hutt fell asleep as soon as he hit his car seat.  So instead we picked up lunch and then snuggled in for Finding Nemo.  Keaton stayed awake through it, but Nolan dozed off about a half hour in.

Once the movie was over and Hutty was up from his nap we decided to make chocolate chip cookies.  It was a rainy, gloomy, dreary day.  Cookies sounded perfect.  The boys love to help me bake and cook.  They get to pour in the ingredients and then stir, stir, stir.

And snitch, snitch, snitch.

After the cookies were baked and cooled there was some dunking,

And devouring.

Our revival of WeDay was a success.  There was minimal fighting by the boys and minimal temper loosing by mama.  It was a good day. And every time I start to get sad about being back at work I just keep reminding myself, we still have our Wednesdays.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dear Nolan: 2 Months

Dear Nolan,

While we were on vacation you turned two months old. Unfortunately I don’t have your official two month stats because your doctor’s appointment isn’t until tomorrow, when you will be closer to two and a half months, but last week I had you at the doctor’s to check up on your reflux meds and you weighed in at 10 lbs 10 ounces. At birth, you were the biggest of you three boys and at two months it looks like you continue to hold that title. Not by much, just a few ounces, but still, the biggest. I’m excited to see what percentiles you are in tomorrow.

 So. Your reflux meds. Ah, yes. Just after you turned one month I took you to the doctor, explained all that was going on, lots of spit-up, screaming/crying for hours after each feeding, arching your back, stiff as a board, throwing your head back, etc., and she agreed, it sounded like reflux. We started you on a low dose of meds just to see if it worked. It did. I mean, you still had crying fits/unhappy periods, but nothing like we were experiencing in those last few weeks. Slowly you became more of the happy baby you were the first few weeks of life. The thing with reflux meds though, is that as you grow, you also grow out of your dosage and right about the time you turned two months we started having some rough days again, which is why we were back at the doctor’s last week. We’ve increased your dosage again, and again, it is most definitely helping. You are generally content with just a little crying throughout the morning and afternoon with a now defined fussy time around dinner/early evening. This coincides nicely with your brothers’ getting hungry and makes this house a little slice of heaven around 5 p.m. I remember this exact same thing happening when Hutton was about your age so I know the screaming will get better, but for now, woo boy! dinner time hits and Mommy is ready to pop the wine bottle.

Two big things happened for you this month, you were baptized and you went on your first family vacation. On Saturday, June 16th, with a number of family and friends and your Godparents, Andy and Jill, by your side, you were welcomed into the Church and received the grace of Christ. As a family, this was a big day for us; the pouring of the water, the receiving of the light, the rubbing of the oil, all simple gestures that have such profound meaning. I know in the end, the religion you choose is just that, your choice, but I hope that the teachings you will be exposed to during these formative years will guide you to be a good Christian; but more importantly, a good person.

We took our family vacation, a week at the cabin, this year over the 4th of July holiday. Like previous years, it was a scorcher of a week. It seems every summer we pick about the hottest week possible to be Up North. It didn’t stop us from having fun though. Your first trip to Jim Pecks, Camp 5, Paul Bunyan’s, and a lumberjack show all went on despite the high temps. You also went on your first speedboat ride, saw your first fireworks, and spent time on the dock and at the big lake swimming. You had moments where you expressed your displeasure in being toted around in 90+ degree temps (at the lumberjack show, for instance), but for the most part you just went with the flow. Strangers kept commenting on you and asking how old you were and I was more than happy (and proud) to show you off.

The jury is still out as to who exactly you are going to look like. A lot of people think of your two big brothers that you resemble Keaton more and most recently people have been saying that you are a clone, a mini-me if you will, of your Dad. Interestingly, your brothers, who look totally different now, looked very similar in their three month photos and I have a strong feeling that you will follow suit. For me, your most distinguishing physical feature is your hair line, which is much lower than either of your brothers. Also, you have a light dusting of strawberry blonde hair covering your head. Keaton also had strawberry tints, but I think yours are even stronger. Guess who else had strawberry blonde hair as a young child?? Yup, your Daddy!

At two months I’m still having a difficult time determining your personality, but you have just started smiling and cooing at us and I’m hoping in this next month it will really start to shine through. As a result of the reflux, you haven’t been the cuddliest baby during the day, but at night all of that changes. You still sleep with me and you curl up and rest so peacefully against my skin that I never want the night to end. Speaking of sleeping at night, this is one thing I can not complain about. You usually eat twice during the night but I barely notice because you don’t really fully wake up. During the day, when we make you a bottle it is usually between 3 and 4 ounces and it takes you 1 ½ to 2 hours to finish that. This month I moved you into Size 1 diapers and at 7 weeks we changed your wardrobe to 0-3 months. Your brothers still adore you, you have taking a liking to bath time, and you love to have you back rubbed. You don’t like riding in the car for more than a couple of hours and seem to prefer cool to hot. The smiles we’ve been getting in the last few days are making me so excited about the weeks to come. So, until then Baby Boy….

I love you so much,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation Journaling 2012: Day 8, our final day - Swimming in the Lake

Collin and I had been taking turns having the mornings off to ourselves.  I took my mornings to go into to the local coffee shop bright and early at 5:30 to blog and have a cup of coffee in peace.  Collin took his to go fishing.  Saturday morning was supposed to be Collin's, but we woke up late. 

"Well, what do you want to do today?" I asked him, figuring I'd give him a couple of hours to use his time without having to wrangle little boys.

"What I'd really like to do is have lunch with you."

Awww.  And so I asked my parents if they'd watch the kids for us for a couple of hours while we went back to the flea market (where we found some good steals, a dresser we plan to use as a coffee buffet, an old catcher's mitt for Hutt's new room, an old sled for a winter display, and an old 7-up crate we had planned on using for kids toys but Collin has decided he likes it too much for the boys to play with it.) and out to lunch. While we were gone Keaton got to take a trip to the dump (the highlight of his day) with Papa Gizz and Hutt got to go for a truck ride.

We had previously decided that Saturday would be our final day; we'd pack up after dinner, put the boys in jammies, and head home while they slept. So when we got home that afternoon we knew exactly what we needed to do: one final trip to the big lake to go swimming.

Swimming at Lake Mildred was probably the thing we did most over vacation, there was pretty much a daily trip, but Saturday was the first day I brought my camera.

The boys both love swimming at the lake.  Hutt is a little more cautious, while he likes to run in like his big brother, he stays just a little closer to shore. He loves playing with the sand and enjoys floating around out further as long as you're close to him.

Keaton is our little water dare devil. He likes to plow in at full speed, splashing and screaming as much as possible. He will run in over and over and over and then he'll swim out to Papa Grizz, where he can't touch the bottom, but he doesn't want you to help him. He would live in the water if we'd let him.

Nolan had to hang out under the trees, in the shade, this year but I'm so excited for next summer to see him join his big brothers at the lake.

Vacation 2012.  As I reflect on this past week I realize I totally over packed, we didn't have a chance to take the kayaks out, and Collin would have liked to do more fishing.  But oh, did we have a blast.  The boys loved all things lumberjack and we had a chance to decompress and unwind, really leaving our worries at home.

As this week comes to an end, I know it will be our favorite of the summer.