Friday, September 30, 2011

Stealing Noses and the Beautiful Insanity That Is Sometimes Referred To As My Life...


Did your Grandpa ever pretend to take your nose off your face and then stick his thumb up between his fingers and wiggle it back it forth declaring, "Got your nose!"?

Ethan and Grayson have now learned this from their father. It sends them in to a round of giggles every time.

Now though instead of just wiggling it between their fingers and then placing it back on the noseless victim's face - they have taken to throwing the said nose across the room. They do it now with each other and they get so upset when their brother throws their nose and doesn't put it back. There are many things that I never thought I would say as a mother, and this morning was another example when at breakfast I caught myself saying,

"Just reach out and put your own nose back on your face."
"Ethan, stop throwing your brother's nose in to the living room and eat your breakfast. "
"Grayson, remember that it is just pretend! Ethan really didn't take your nose."


Those pictures above were taken this morning as the kids and I enjoyed some fall time outdoors. Princess Adelyn was pulled around in the wagon by her brothers, and then ingested some sidewalk chalk.
The boys collected leaves and created masterpieces on the driveway with teddy propped up watching (all while wearing underwear might I add...the boys, not teddy).

It was a ton of fun until hunger struck and we decided to head indoors for snack/lunch. With everything cleaned up we attempted to head in to the house. Yup. Attempted. Locked. Couldn't believe it. My mind raced. What door might be open? What window might be loose? There must certainly be a key around here somewhere right? Well, after every possible scenario in my head came to a dead end I confirmed with my own mind that we were certainly locked out of our own house. I loaded Ethan and Adelyn in to our double stroller and Grayson walked along with me as we headed to our new next door neighbors house (Who I'm sure now wonders who the cat drug in to the neighborhood). Luckily he was home and graciously allowed me to use his phone and call my husband, who was also very gracious to leave his work day and come home instead of allowing his wife and children to starve and freeze (my hero!).

While we waited for Daddy to come home we took a walk down the block and back where we enjoyed the sunshine, the changing leaves, and the 'Mater parked in a driveway a few houses down. I then ushered the boys up in to the van to warm while Adelyn and I finished putting away a couple things. After a few moments (literally it was not even a minute), I opened the door to the van and Grayson was laying inside the van holding a handle in his hand with this dazed look on his face. The monkey had decided, it appears, that he would pull on the handle that hangs beside his door as hard as he possibly could, and it ripped right out of the van leaving two huge holes. Lovely.

Then Daddy pulled in.

We were saved.

There is a whole other story I was going to share about some more insanity that happened right after lunch...but let's just say it involves two little hands, a boy who had just gone to the bathroom in the toilet (yep), and another little boy who was having another moment of "I have to pee so bad but I am so deathly afraid of the toilet so instead of just sitting and relieving my bladder I am going to run in circles in the living room and cry." It was just a moment where I had no idea who I should help first. Should I help clean up my son who has just gone in the toilet? Should I keep my daughter's hands out of it? Should I put a diaper on my other frantic son before he hurts himself?

Do you have any idea how much I love my life? Would you truly believe that there was no sarcasm intended in that sentence at all?

Someday all of this will be memories. Beautiful, hilarious memories. But right now I am living it. In the middle of it. Up to my elbows in it. Immersed in children. Loving the craziness.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Do you ever look back at pictures of yourself as a child and ask yourself, "Why in the world would my parents ever dress me in that?!?" Well I'm certain my children never will. :)
I just had to chuckle to myself as I looked through these pictures I took Monday afternoon of my little ragamuffins as we enjoyed a last minute outing to a pumpkin patch.
It happened completely on a whim. My intent was that we were going to be home all day, focusing on potty training, and just bumming around together. Ethan was pant less all morning long until right before we ran out the door.
That afternoon though, as the sun poured in through the windows, I just couldn't bare to spend it indoors. I threw some pants on Ethan, a dry shirt on Adelyn, and a last years a-tad-bit-snug shirt on Grayson and out the door we went. The boys had buckets in hand. We were on our way to find some nature trails and fill up our buckets with leaves and acorns and all things fall.
But, as a newbie to this area, I truly had no idea where I was headed. We just drove. I just assumed that somewhere along the way I would find somewhere pretty where we could hop out and walk a bit.
So we drove.
And we drove some more.
And then we happened upon an orchard. Tucked back in the hills (yes, there are a few!) and lakes around our home.
We just had to stop.
There was a petting zoo, a place to pick your own pumpkins, a place to paint your own pumpkins, wagon rides, and a country store.
Perfect. (Must say, I love their cooperation for a great pic in this next shot. Perhaps making them look directly in to the sun at me wasn't the greatest idea!)
I unloaded the kiddos from the van and we headed toward the petting zoo right away.
As soon as we entered the barn two llamas were there to greet us. They stuck their necks through the gate trying to get a closer look. Adelyn was not loving it. That poor girl started shrieking like nobody's business. I scooped her out of her stroller. As soon as I did the stroller moved closer to the llamas. Blackie (my pet name for him which was created three seconds ago), took it upon himself to then tip the stroller over and attempt to eat a wheel. Well this got Ethan going, who probably assumed that he was next on the menu for Blackie and Whitie. (Creative names eh?)
So, we quickly waved hello to the goats, sheep, chicks, and miniature horses, and off we went to go and paint a pumpkin!
The boys had fun painting their pumpkins. About half way through painting his Ethan decided that he wanted to get a new one. I explained to him that once a pumpkin was picked, that is the one that he would have to keep. He didn't like that answer all too much (a.k.a. taking his half painted pumpkin and throwing it back in with the rest), but with a bit of an explanation about how each and every pumpkin was going to be costing his mother $2, he contentedly continued painting his original choice.
I let Adelyn try to paint a pumpkin. She just tried to eat the brush and had paint all inside her mouth. I finished hers. :)
We had fun just getting down and dirty on the farm.
It was just such a fun unplanned outing. Oftentimes I am not very good with spontaneous outings with three young children. I can almost over plan to a fault and not do things on a whim like that, out of fear of the unknown or something going wrong.
It was a breath of fresh air to me, to all of us I think, both literally and figuratively, and I love these ragamuffin pictures because of it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grayson's Version of Potty Training...

It appears we've got a long way to go...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Today at lunch Ethan was burying his peas in his applesauce. I reminded my sons that they had to have good manners at the table. I told them that if they had bad manners people who ate with them would say, "Oh my! Didn't your Mommy ever teach you any manners?"
Ethan grinned up at me and said, "Nope! She never taught Ethan!"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And Here We Are Again...

Oh Blogdom-

Why is it so hard to disclipline myself to take the time to sit down and write with you more often than I do?

When I finally do take the time then I feel like I want to play catch up on so many different topics and my entries become more of these random comments than anything else.

I really, really want to work on that. :)

So...with that said...I am going to do one last random entry and then hopefully I can get started having some organization to my future posts!

I want to thank those of you that have hung in there with me and have been faithful readers of mine. I'm sorry I don't always provide the most interesting reading on the web, but I still thank you for at least thinking me worthy of your time at all when I know there are so many other things you could be doing.

My knee is almost back to normal. The kneeling thing still is a no-go for me. We'll see what the doc has to say about it all on Tuesday when I go back for my post-op. We got our insurance payouts in the mail yesterday. Ouch. Still thankful we at least have insurance to help out a bit though!

My precious mother-in-law left yesterday morning after spending nearly the past two weeks with us. She was such a huge help and it was so much fun to have her around. The house is really empty without her and there was some tears shed when we had to say goodbye.

Potty training is still being tackled in our home. I am slightly convinced that my sons may be 30 and married before they finally catch on to this whole thing. The problem that I'm currently facing is that Grayson in particular is terrified of the toilet. Terrified. I don't know how far to push him without causing him even more anxiety. At the same time though I can't just put him back in a diaper and forget about it for another few years. Ei yi yi.

Adelyn is inches away from walking. The sweet girl has taken a few steps, but she is completely content with crawling at the moment and is in new huge rush to change it. She is getting her bottom tooth and drooling like a sailor. I don't know if sailor's really do drool a lot in particular, but it works for me if it works for you.

My sons are so incredibly precious to me. There is no changing that. At the same time though I have to admit that there are moments when I am completely and totally wishing away this age and just want to snap my fingers and make them four. See, the thing is that right now they are in this stage of fighting and whining about everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Okay, not everything. They typically have no problem eating their dessert. (It's just when they can't have seconds!) I feel like every day I am a soldier preparing for battle. I plant my feet firmly on the ground and I stand against their tests. They are pushing, pushing, pushing - trying so hard to discover their boundaries. Currently these are just a few of our daily battles:

1. Who sits where in the kitchen. They both want to sit "by the window." This is the closest spot to Adelyn and both boys love to sit by their sister. So at every meal they switch spots back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. They have even now begun to hang their bib on the other chair after each meal to claim their spot for the next go round.

2. Who wears which jacket. I bought the boys two new fall jackets. One red and one blue, because silly me, I assumed that possibly they would like to have something different from each other and not always look like identical twins from head to toe. Well as soon as I pulled those beloved jackets out of the bag the boys both exclaimed, "I want the red one!" Sigh. Now I suppose I could have assigned one boy to the blue jacket, but how do you pick such things and explain it to a two year old - so instead this too we switch each and every time we go anywhere.

3. Who sits where in the car. In our car there is one particular spot where the boys can see their sister. For this reason they both want to sit in that chair. So, once again, every single time we go anywhere we have to remember who sat where last and let them sit there. (Although now I have decided that whoever has the blue coat on gets that spot just to make it a tad bit easier for my poor brain to remember!).

Along with those times there are so many times a day where they make me laugh so hard. So many times when they make my heart melt in to a puddle...

So many times when they just want to make me lie down and take a nap!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Life is made up of so many moments.

We are in a constant state of motion - moment after moment after moment.

Some moments frustrate us.
Some moments are barely even noticed when they are done in routine.
Some moments make us sad.
Some moments make us laugh.
Some moments make us smile.
Some moments make us roll our eyes and sigh (who me? never).
Some moments make us thrilled to just be alive to experience that second in time.

A few of those moments for me today...

Tonight as I was singing to Adelyn in the pitch dark before bed I felt this little tiny mouth on mine. She was giving me kisses, and then she giggled. Melted my ever loving heart.

I must also mention that I am slowly in the process of weaning little Ms. A. from nursing. This has been a very tough thing for me emotionally because it is just another sign that my baby is growing up! Sniff sniff. I must thank my dear gal Kristy for advising me to wean slowly and not be in any big rush. I love her for giving me the encouragement to be free from feeling like it has to happen in the meantime we will continue to enjoy our nighttime nursing sessions for as long as possible. I intend to stop before kindergarten, but no promises. :)

Another moment, although I can barely keep my eyes open this evening because of it, was the night I spent with Grayson in the recliner last night. I think I saw all but one hour of the night, but it was an awesome time having that 40 pound little boy stretched out all across my lap in his dinosaur pajamas. He had a persistent cough that was making it difficult to lay down and sleep, so the recliner it was. He moved and squirmed all night long. He also talked in his sleep, at one point in the night saying, "Amen!"

I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but I love right now how Grayson is always saying "Hi Mommy" out of the blue. He also all the time now is asking what everyone around him is saying. He wants to be in the know!

I love having my mother-in-law here helping us out. She has been a huge blessing to our family and it will be hard to see her go come next weekend.

Celebrating the life of my nephew Micah tonight at his first birthday party and getting teary while singing to him with the realization that we are able to be there in person to celebrate with him!

One more moment I don't want to forget is the smell of the freshly shampooed heads of my children. I hope I can always remember it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Knee Update

The surgery is done.

I was in quite a funk yesterday morning, as the surgery just loomed over me. Then we were about to walk out the door and received a phone call that the Dr. was running late and we could stay home for another hour before coming in. Ugh. I just wanted to get it over with.

But at 12:30 we headed on in, and by the time we got there they got things hopping right away and I was prepped and ready for surgery around 1:30.

I woke up around 3 and heard the report that everything had gone just fine.

They did have to remove quite a large piece of my meniscus, so down the road in about 20 years it may not be much fun as I will quite possibly have to deal with arthritis in that knee....but we're not going to worry about that for now!

I can already tell a difference when I put some pressure on it. It doesn't feel loose and wobbly anymore, and the pain is minimal this morning.

I head in this afternoon already for a physical therapy session and I guess some further directions about what I can and can not do with it for a little while.

Chris's Mom arrived last night and will be with us here until Saturday the 24th. Maybe I already mentioned that on here.

Blame it on the pain pills.

My children will be arriving within the hour. I can't wait to squeeze my boopshins!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


This post was scheduled to post yesterday and didn't for some reason - so please forgive me for getting this posted one day late!
Adelyn and I spent the night at my brothers last night. She didn't want to sleep in her crib and I didn't really want her to either. I scooped that little girl out of there and pulled her in to bed with me. She laid her head on my chest, all warm and soft in her little pink footed elephant pajamas. I wrapped my arms around her tiny body and breathed in the scent of her shampooed head, memorized the sound of her drifting back off to sleep, and loved the feeling of her heart beating against mine.
Ahh. Complete and total love and satisfaction.
And in that moment, as it was after midnight, I reflected on what day it was...the ten year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.
Ten years ago today I was a newly married college student. Chris and I had been married for just a little over two months. I was working at a group home, folding towels on the couch early that morning, watching the morning news. They cut in to the broadcast with footage of one of the twin towers burning after a plane had just crashed in to it. The newscasters were trying to make sense of what had just happened, speculating about perhaps the pilot falling asleep. It was then, as we were all making predictions and trying to reason our way through what we were witnessing, that a second plane, on live air, crashed in to the second tower.
I remember turning to my coworker and both of us just gasping, mouths hanging open, just trying to make sense in my 22 year old mind of what could possibly be happening, imagining the devestation, terror, pain, and death that was unfolding right before my eyes.
I drove to class that morning and had the radio on in my car. It was then that speculations began forming about this possibly being a terrorist attack. In my first class they had the news being broadcast over the large projected screen in the front of the auditorium where my class was held. It was filled with students and professors, young and old. You could have heard a pin drop. We sat there together. Stunned in to silence at what was unfolding before our eyes.
They cancelled all classes for the day.
I made sure my cousins were okay, both who were living in NYC at the time. It took a long time to reach them. The cell phone coverage was sketchy due to it's overuse. It turned out my cousin Ann was supposed to be attending a field trip at one of the towers that day, but due to some circumstances it was cancelled.
I called Chris. It was so good to hear his voice. (He was at the office)
I then drove back to our tiny one bedroom apartment where I glued myself to the television for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. I remember hearing pleas from people who were missing members of their family. There were bulletin boards with pictures of family members or friends who were unaccounted for.
I cried and cried.
The world I had known had been changed in an instant. It shook me to the core.
It is a day I will never forget.
In those days that surrounded the attacks my heart swelled as I saw our country come together as one. There were no concerns about republican or democrat, about rich or poor, black or white, homosexual or heterosexual, old or young. The only thing we all had in common is that we were Americans. We pulled together for the greater good of our nation, we held eachother's hands, and we moved forward - one step at a time. It was a beautiful time where our churches were filled, where our nation had great resolve, where we rallied together with promises of change and hope. It was a painful time, but a healing time for so many of us.
I recall as a teacher how every year, on the anniversary of that date, we would take a few moments to stop and have some time of silence for the people that lost their lives on that day. A few years ago a few of my students didn't even know what had happened on that day, too young to remember, and I guess they hadn't been told. It was shocking to me that enough time had passed where some of our youth weren't even alive, or were just infants when it all took place. To look at a sea of 25 young faces, and try and explain to them why that happened to us on September 11, 2001 was a very tough task indeed.
As I held Adelyn that same thought crossed my mind. My children know nothing about the terrors of this world. They know nothing about what happened on that day long before their arrival in to this world. I thought about all they will experience in this country as they grow. I prayed for their safety and the safety of this nation.
I squeezed her a little tighter as we drifted off to sleep.

Fixing My Knee Take II

Tomorrow is the big day.

Show up at the doctor at 11:30, surgery at 1, home by 5 or 6.

Hoping and praying that all goes well and recovery goes smoothly and quickly! :)

All three kids are with my parents tonight. Chris is taking off tomorrow to be with me. Chris's Mom will fly in tomorrow night and stay with us while I get all healed up.

We are so taken care of and I am so thankful.

Report to come soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Few More Pics and an Update

Sitting here in the recliner, quiet home, feet propped up, while Chris tucks his sons in to bed.

I could just hear the muffled sound of their evening prayer song through the ceiling as I sit below.

I had the MRI on my knee done yesterday afternoon. Friday morning at 7:30 I will meet with the orthopedist to determine a course of action.

My Dad was here for the past two days helping us out, and tomorrow morning my Mom will come and spend the day with us. How thankful we are for the help! You don't really realize how often you use your legs or the use of your arms (without holding crutches), to get around! It is pretty limiting when I can't have a daughter on my hip or a basket of laundry in my arms!

Last night after Chris had tucked the boys in he heard Ethan yawn. He then heard Grayson ask him, "What did Ethan say?" (Grayson asks this question constantly - he wants to be in the know!) Ethan said, "Nothing. I'm just tired."

The other day Chris was out running errands with Ethan and Grayson. They pulled up to a building and Ethan said, "It's closed Daddy." Chris asked him, "Ethan, what letter does closed start with?" Ethan said, "ca-ca- C!" Chris said, "That's right!" Grayson piped up and said, "Lucky guess." Ha!

Our little Adie Pads has got a tiny bug. She's just not her spirited self today. A bit more cuddly than usual. She went to the park this morning with Bapa and had a great time until one of her brothers decided to run her over when she was on the slide. She's got the bump to prove it!

I miss my Virginia friends. I miss the start of the school year and the excitement that always comes with getting to know the children and getting in to the groove and routine. They have all been on my mind a lot lately. I was hoping to get out there this fall for a visit...still hoping I can!

And now a few more pics that I uploaded on to the computer:













Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Frilly Dress, A Birthday Cake, and a Knee Injury...

Last night we celebrated the life of a very special little young lady.

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"A" for Adelyn (and Adorable if you ask me!)

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One year. What an awesome milestone. A true reason to celebrate.

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My brother Mike and my sis-in-law Hayley due with their second child in November.

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Adelyn's puppy and monkey siblings helped her blow out the candle. Grayson then proceeded to lick the purple circle on the cake in true doggy fashion.

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A fun, full living room. Love it.

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My brother Schmood. He's such a cutie patootie. :)

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Ethan and Grayson with their buddy Prescott. Grayson spent much of the meal with his arm around Prescott's back.

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Adelyn getting some Uncle Michael cuddling time.

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The sweets. (The beer can was not intended to be part of the decorations!)

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And this was the scene this morning...
Last night as the party was winding down I was sitting on the couch by my Aunt Melody. I decided to go ahead and put Adelyn's pajamas on her to get her ready for bed, and as I tried to go from the couch down to my knees on the floor my entire knee locked up. I instantly thought back to five years ago when I had to have knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the same knee.
I sat in the recliner for over an hour and tried to massage it and use a heat pack on it, but it wasn't improving, so at 10:30 last night Chris took me in to the ER to see what we could do about it.
After a pretty quick examination the Dr. concluded that it most likely was in fact another meniscus tear in my knee (quite likely in the same spot as before). I will have an MRI scheduled later this week and then meet with an orthopedic surgeon after and go from there.
Oh vey. It's just one of those things I guess. Ideal? No. A tad bit of an inconvenience with three young children and a new house? Yep. But is it the worst news in the world? Hardly. There are so many other possibilities of things that can arise and change the course and pattern of your life so much more drastically and tragically than this. Not to say there haven't been a few tears from me, because there have.
I could easily fall in to a place of self pity, resentment, or anger over being stuck on the sidelines once again. In the past five years this now makes two knee injuries and two bouts of bed rest. I have spent plenty of time "sitting one out." I'm ready to stay in the game folks! I am really trying and choosing though instead to try and remain optimistic about this whole thing. It won't last forever. One day at a time on the road to recovery.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting Settled

Day 1 as a family of 5 in our new home is coming to a close.
It feels so good to know tonight that all of us are here together under one roof.
Ethan, Grayson, and Adelyn all seem really excited and content to be here. Many times today I would go searching for them after the house would become eerily quiet, only to find them reading a book or playing quietly with a toy. Now, not to say that there were not equal amount of times when I had to remind some little people about indoor voices, respecting each other's personal space, not stealing your brother's snack, not stepping on your sister when she crawls in front of you just for the fun of it, and to top it all off settle down three freaked out children after the smoke detector went off while I was preheating the oven. It sounded like an animal being tortured.
Ahhh...but it's good.
One box at a time...
It just feels right. It truly does feel like home.
We already have lists being created in our heads of upgrades, personal touches, and renovations, but for a while we are just content with unpacking our boxes and starting to live life together here in our new home in Minnesota.
Here are some pictures (taken by my parents) of the boys seeing their home for the first time last evening. I was SO excited to see them pull up. I had missed them so much and had butterflies in my stomach as I waited for their arrival! They were so excited too! I have never seen them so full of excitement! Running from room to room and Grayson touching everthing and saying, "I member this!"

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They're here!

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The first thing they did was hop up on the rail and say, "Hi Ama! Hi Bapa! CHEESE!"

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Checking out the fridge...a pretty important feature!

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Our four season porch


Grayson was all grin!


Adelyn enjoying the play room


So good to see those bodies back on our couch again!




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