Saturday, August 30, 2008

What I had forgotten...

Reflecting on being back at work this week I forgot:
1. much I love my job AND colleagues. There is nothing like seeing my school family again.
I had forgotten what a huge part of my life they are for 9ish months a year.
2. ...what a fun buzz there is in the air each fall before school starts. It will continue for awhile. Think back to your high school years: football games, new clothes, meeting new teachers, seeing friends, Homecoming, and whatever else comes to mind for you.
3. fulfilling it is for me to work. I have written this before, but each summer, I am so glad to be a full time mom without having a full time job to accompany it. Then comes August, and I feel the itch to be around other moms who also work, juggle kids, activities, and hubbies who sometimes forget that us moms do more than our fair share.
4. much more organized I have to become when I am back at work. I just returned from the grocery store with a weeks worth of meals, snacks, and all the stuff that I won't have time to get during the week.
5. much being 35 weeks pregnant sucks when you have to wear nice clothes to work. I wish I could wear my yoga shorts there.
6. excited my own kids are at the thought of returning to school. I LOVE the excitement in their faces.

On the other hand I forgot...
1. ... the guilt I feel when I realize how much I love working, being with other adults, and really feeling that fulfilled.
2. much I realize that miss without being with my kids all day.
3. Thad must feel all year round since he doesn't get a summer vacation.
4. ...the constant pull I feel between motherhood and work. I do not like that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A few changes

Today marks my last day of summer vacation. Wouldn't you know that Olivia woke us up at 6am today? Stinker! Ryan was already in our room (you'll see why below), so for her to have to have a person on her turf, well, she didn't like that.

Anyway this weekend was spent moving Ryan from his room upstairs to a new room downstairs. Thad painted, we got new bedding, and it looks very nice. The picture is sort of bad, but you get the jist of it. Ryan is a little nervous about sleeping downstairs--technically it's not the basement, but for our four level, it's what he normally considers downstairs. Anyway he is working toward earning an afternoon golf outing with his daddy on Friday if he stays in his bed all night the rest of the week. I am also challenging Olivia to do the same. She wants the latest Kidz Bop CD. I wouldn't bet a nickel on her not crawling into our room during the night.

My friend Kristi was nice enough to come over Saturday and fix Ryan's bad haircut, cut Kate bangs, and give Olivia a haircut. She is very proud of her look, so I posted a pictures of her.
Thad leaves town next Sunday for 6 days. I am hoping that between the first week of school, being almost 9 months pregnant, football, gymnastics, and a new third, first, and preschooler in the house, we can all make it in one piece. At least we got out on Saturday night for an hour for a little dinner at Red Lobster. I told Thad that I am not eating out at any more good restaurants prior to the birth of the baby. I feel too crappy afterward.......everything is just to squished inside of me.

The next task for our family will be to set up a crib and tackle the baby's room!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A typical August day

Today I took Olivia to a late 3 year check up. The only reason I did it was because we just found out yesterday that she will be going to preschool this fall. Some interesting tidbits from her appointment:
1. The doctor asked me if I am sure there is only one baby inside of me, because he said, "You are quite big."
2. He is concerned about Olivia's speech, as we are. She is going to be referred to a speech pathologist to see if her palette is fully developed.
3. Her hearing test was a little odd. She only seemed to hear every other word in her left ear, but when you are three it's tough to know for sure. Since she has speech issues and is still nasally after having tonsils and adenoids taken out last summer, we will likely visit the ENT too--again.
4. The doctor asked me if Olivia is our toughest child. You can decipher for yourself what that comment implied.
5. She threw a major meltdown as we were leaving. Olivia decided after choosing a Tinkerbell sticker (and we were past the reception desk) that she really wanted Ariel. Sorry sister, mom doesn't work that way. So she freaked out, ripped up her sticker, and then really lost it when I told her that she no longer would be getting a sucker for her behavior. You can imagine how pleasant the walk to the car and ride home were. Oddly, I was amazingly calm. Crying and screaming tend to make my ears shut down, so it wasn't that horrible.
Now we are back home, Ryan and Thad are at football, and Olivia thinks she only has to eat cornbread for supper.

This is another day when I can't help but be ready to be at school again. I need a little structure, the kids need a little more structure, and the excitement I had about being at my children's beck and call at the beginning of the summer is over. I want to feel like our house is running with 50% Thad and 50%. Currently that is not the case. I am beginning to lose my appreciation for being at home, being able to run my kids everywhere during the day, and making them meals daily that "aren't good" or "yucky." For you moms who do it full time all year round, way to go. I get to have it both ways, and while I love it in June and most of July, by August I am spent. Maybe if I didn't have the option of having it both ways, I wouldn't appreciate both so much.

I am off to break it to my strong willed three year old that she is likely losing her chance at ice cream tonight. I am sure that will fly really well with her. Oh yeah, and we are having another baby in six weeks!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Is any age easy?

I have been thinking about my friend AJ's recent post on her blog. She was discussing how her four year old has been frustrating her lately. As I thought about it all night--during which Ryan and I had a blow out fight--I wondered, is any age easy? Is it the age or the person behind the age?

Ryan: age 8 (will be 9 in December)--He is not someone I consider to be an easy child. He is volatile so you never really know what you will get out of him. Much of the time he is kind, considerate, an excellent helper to me, and very well behaved at school. He gets up in the morning and gets dressed, makes his breakfast (and sometimes his sisters' as well), and doesn't dawdle. In activities/sports, he puts 100% into what he is doing. He has been blessed with the gift of modesty, and is not a whiner at all (thank god). Losing doesn't really affect him much either. He has tons of amazing qualities!
When he goes off though, watch out. I won't even give you details about last night, because it would be broadcasting that I can't control my kid. To his credit, he exploded, called me some names, but when he calmed down he apologized.
Verdict: not easy

Kate: age 6--Kate is 'easy' in all the ways Ryan is not. She is very kind hearted, good natured, friendly, and just a darling. She goes to bed easily, sleeps find during the night, and when she wakes up, she doesn't wake the house up (like Ryan would). She will tell me I am pretty, she loves me, and covers me with kisses and treats me very well.
On the other hand, she spends WAY too much time getting dressed each day. Most days her outfit is a bit absurd so we argue about that. She takes forever to get her hair & teeth brushed, and if she is drinking her vitamin/juice cocktail it takes up to 45 minutes. No joke on that one. Lately she argues about everything, "No, I don't want to, why do I have to?" When she doesn't get her way, we hear, "This is the worst day EVER." She is my whiner, does not stand up for herself, and the latest concern is her lack of drive for anything. She is in gymnastics right now. She is a solid little piece of muscle, but does she try hard? Eh....She isn't one to put in her fullest into things. It's not a big deal really, but it is difficult to deal with when you are used to the other child being such a hard worker. It's not just sports either. It's reading, writing, etc.
Verdict: easy in many ways, but drives me crazy in others

Olivia: age 3--Olivia is demanding, bossy, funny, LOUD, etc. She does not back down easily (Like her brother), so any fight takes a l-o-n-g time to settle. She is strong willed so I can only imagine that she will get more difficult.
Verdict: easier because she is my third child, but is becoming a difficult little pistol

Here is what I want to know: how does that lady with 18 kids do it? I bet hers are well behaved........

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Something that's working for me...

I have hesitated to write this post for months, mainly because I don't want to use this as a sales pitch. I must get over that, however, and write.
I am writing about a company that offers wonderful products for health and well-being based in the Twin Cities! It is called Eniva. I was introduced to it when I was pregnant with Olivia. My personal trainer was using the liquid vitamin, Vibe, and encouraged many of us to try it. Being a sucker for new things, always looking for better health, and reading all the information about the benefits of a liquid vitamin vs. pills, I decided to try it. While I didn't love the taste, I really liked how I felt. Without getting into too many details, I stopped taking it a few months later, mainly because my trainer was pushy, and like many other things, I didn't appreciate having things shoved down my throat.
Fast forward to this pregnancy, a new trainer at the same facility who I trust and love dearly, and there I was again not feeling as good as I wanted to feel. Someone at Healthpros reintroduced VIBE to the gym again, and I decided to go for it........and I felt great. You see, Vibe isn't just a vitamin in a bottle. It also offers many of the minerals our bodies need to survive, but can't get on our own. It is almost impossible to eat everything our bodies. Living in the USA, we have so much processed food, our bodies are deficient even more.
Not only does Eniva manufacture Vibe, but many, many other cell ready products for the improvement of health and well being. My kids take the Kids Vibe. I put a tsp in Olivia's morning OJ, and Ryan and Kate get 2 tsp. Thad is also a regular user. I hounded him for a couple of months to use it. Obviously you know how men react to that, but finally he agreed. About 2 weeks later, he came to me one night saying he had a confession to make. Uh..okay..what did you do? His "confession" was, "I can tell a difference on Vibe. I have more energy, feel better, and I skipped a couple of days and could tell." He was out of town for a week a few weeks ago and is in Dallas as we speak. He made sure I ordered him Vibelettes (travel ones) so he could have it.
I know many, many people who have fascinating stories about it. To read up more on it, go to
It's not cheap, but for us, our health and wellness doesn't necessarily have a price....


Jenay: I have to thank you...screw the deep the one of the BEST therapies EVER!
PS: I had another 7 or so last night. Yum!

Reese's bars: (from the kitchen of my mommy Jeanne)
1 cup melted butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup crushed graham crackers (7 double crackers)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Press into a 9x13 pan
1 12 oz package of milk chocolate chips and spread on top

**Refrigerate for 20-25 minutes and then cut into small squares**
(I waited a few hours and ruined a lot bars (the chocolate came off) which is why I ate a buttload of them early. If you want an excuse to have to do that, then I suggest waiting like I did!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You guys are too nice

I just read all of your thoughtful comments from my last post. I appreciate all your kind words. I do not, however, feel like a great looking pregnant woman. I realize I could be looking much worse, but I am just eating like a horse, and I know it's not good. Example: I made Reeses peanut butter bars for a gathering here this evening. I can't tell you how many I have eaten. I am a stomach of steel when it comes to sweets, so I take a piece, then another, and another, and so on. As a result I gain weight. Now, in your mind you are all thinking, "Well you have a good excuse to eat. You are pregnant."
Women are very good about building each other up, but we tend to sell ourselves short. I am 100% guilty of that. I see others and wish, "Why can't I be as patient as her, why can't I look as good pregnant, why can't I have a better butt, etc, etc." That's pretty sad for a 32 year old. But it is what it is so there you have it.
Now, it's time for me to quit venting, and be a mom. I have an upset 3 year old who wants me to put in an Arthur video to make her feel better. Note: she doesn't want a hug, kiss, or me to dry her tears....but good old Arthur can do the trick!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


On Thursday, Thad officially became a Catholic. Many of you might be wondering why. Honestly I can't speak for him, but this was something he decided entirely by himself. I had never cared that he wasn't Catholic. When we got married, I said that I would like to raise our kids Catholic, but that if he felt strongly about his church, that was fine too. His answer was always that he never felt connected anyway so let's just stick with my side of things.
Along came children...and religion classes for Ryan, Sunday school for Kate, and that is when you really do get forced to decide if you want to continue exposing your children to religion. Last year, Ryan went through two big sacraments: Reconciliation and Communion. Ryan had workbooks for both events that we had to complete with him. For Thad, this was an opportunity to learn about what the church teaches--in a very plain and clear way. I was able to relearn things I had learned as a young child. Much of it, I had discounted over the years.
Add to all of this, two very cool priests who are friendly, fun, outgoing, and open to questions. Gone are the days of the very old and intimidating priests from when I was a child. So through my niece & nephew's baptisms and Ryan's communion, we have been able to hang out with these people on a different level.
Throughout all of this, Thad spoke often to me that he finally felt a connection to church, religion, and developed a stronger sense of faith. Luckily he was able to convert rather quickly and privately. Monsignor Mike always said to Thad, "You go to church more often that many Catholics." So he escaped the year-long process. (Yes it's that long!)
So as of Thursday, it's official. I am proud of him for taking the initiative to do this on his own. And for those of you who are wondering, don't worry, I am still a liberal Catholic. I didn't really know until it was too late to change my mind that many Catholics have certain views that I just don't share. I have told my priests this too...and since they think I am a nice person they have forgiven me....ha ha.

On another note, here I am at 32 weeks. Speaking of religion and prayer, I pray Thad can survive 8 more weeks of the evil hormonal Bonnie. It's pretty is my weight gain.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Emmy's birthday party

We had a whirlwind trip to the cities this weekend. After getting lots of schools clothes at the Gap outlet, we went to Melissa & Bo's for Emmy's party. It was so nice to finally see them again after a year. Not only that, but it was awesome to see Jim and Vick. I am reminded each time we see them how fun they are to be around. There are always a thousand laughs, good conversation, and of course, sarcasm. We reminisced about the State Hockey tournaments...Vick being in crutches & a wheelchair senior year, Melissa fighting the urge to let her go on a down ramp, Jim's harsh words to her on the drive down sophomore year that I laugh about to this day, and the best hotel ever: Crown Sterling Suites (now the Embassy Suites again). I miss them all terribly.
This morning, we stopped by again for another visit. The kids enjoyed playing with Melissa's dogs, holding Emmy, and then Elli and Tim stopped by with Sam. I wish we all could have had more time together, but something is better than nothing.
We left early so we could hit the outlet mall again. I didn't get a chance to shop for myself or Kate as much as I wanted. But, as we were driving, I saw that we missed the exit to the mall (depending on the direction you are driving on the interstate, there is a different exit), so we just skipped it. Don't worry though, I ordered lots online when I got home...if you are wondering what my rush was, I had that 25% off coupon at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic.
Enjoy some pics from the weekend! PS: Emmy is a cross between her mom and dad, however, at times I felt she looked just like her grandpa Jim!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Week in Review

Wednesday was the last day of gymnastics for the girls. The last day is called Parent's Day. The kids show us what they have accomplished and get a ribbon. You can tell by the pictures of Olivia that it took her awhile to warm up to the adults in the room.
They both really loved it and will continue this fall. Right now Kate is unsure if she wants to dance or not. I would like to see her dance, but ultimately it's not my choice. The thing is, if Kate dances, Olivia likely would too. That gets expensive soooooooo like I said, we will wait and see.
Today we went to the Moorhead Country Club with my friend Lisa and her daughter Anna. They had such a great time! I would love to have a membership there, but we can't afford it. Sooooo we will continue to go with them for now.
Tomorrow we head to the cities for the weekend. Next week brings us: Ryan going to the orthodontist (already!), hockey camp, one gymnastic lesson for Kate, and an OB appointment for me. Busy!