Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Sometimes the things that come out of Kate's mind baffle me…..

Kate was drinking some General Foods International Coffee cocoa tonight. She coughed and 'cocoa' got all over the table.

I casually asked, "Did it go down the wrong hole?" Wow did that throw Miss Kate for a loop.

Kate: "I don't know what you mean."

Me: "When you swallowed, did it feel like it was going into a hole other than your throat?"

Kate: "I don't know what you're talking about."

By now I am laughing…"Forget it Kate."

Kate after a pause: "Which hold do we use?"

Now I am really laughing, because Kate is so innocently dingy. I hadn't realized at this point that she isn't being dingy, she just has no clue.

Kate: "Let's google two holes in your mouth."

I oblige, because really, I need graphics at this point. So we look at photos. I show her the trachea and esophagus. I show her which one takes in air versus food. I remind her of my choking crisis last March. We have a good conversation. Her final response?

Kate: "Kinda dumb."

Kate, Olivia, and Brady were just bathing. Olivia says, "Oh yuck, Brady's penis." Kate: "Olivia they're his privates. He can do whatever he wants with them."

Monday, December 28, 2009

how many of you

get this kind of help when you are trying to unload your dishwasher?

or have a child who uses his puppy as an occasional foot rest?

it's pretty funny isn't it?

Here's one that isn't so funny. I want to know why, as someone who as always been regularly irregular, I am now a perfectly regular 28 day girl? Thanks nature.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Some new things in life that are turning my crank:

1. Pandora.com
Why you ask? You enter in your favorite artists or songs, and they make you customized radio stations! It's very cool if I do say so. Right now I am most enjoying my "Black Eyed Peas" & "Hall & Oates" stations. I bet you're thinking Hall and Oates? What a dork! I know, I know, but I am getting a great collection of 70s & 80s music from it. I also have a Lady Gaga station, Madonna, and AC/DC.
2. The fact that I can blog from Windows 07 right now. Well, we will see if it works, but right now I am trying it out.
3. The fact that I went out two times this week. It must be a record! I went out with our Vegas group this week. Tonight Thad and I went to Red Lobster with Elli and Tim. What a joy to connect with old friends.
4. My kids. Granted we are early in the break, but I have been enjoying watching Olivia and Kate play with their American Girl dolls nonstop. Ryan has been playing his PSP a lot, but we are also playing board games. We have been watching movies together, laughing, and just enjoying one another. Brady has had a rough week. I am hoping he is turning the corner on feeling crummy, being cranky, and being over tired.

Things that aren't turning my crank?
1. Maggie. She is such a brat. She has already put a hole in a new sweater Kate got for Christmas. She is lucky that she is so sweet by bedtime. I forgive her each night for all the havoc she wreaks(sp?) over our house.
2. Snow removal people. Basically we have a five feet of snow that is blocking our driveway. The plow sort of dumped all this extra snow in front of our house and our neighbor's. Thad said that I should be prepared to be trapped tomorrow when they come back. It's not about all the snow. It's about where they dumped it. It's in a spot that has nowhere to go. Grrr.
That's about it….I am curious to see if this will post or not.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Remember when?

The days leading up to Christmas used to drag. The presents would call my name, asking me to shake them to predict what they were. The dishes couldn't have been washed any more slowly--a sure prank on my family's behalf to torture me. And, of course, you had to wash the dishes prior to opening presents right?
Today, Christmas springs up on me. It's a rat race. Each year I have grandiose plans to make the holiday more special than last year. Maybe I will bake even more. Maybe I will decorate even more. Maybe I will make extra special gifts.
Instead of pining for the days on the calendar to change, I now feel like I am along for a speedy car ride. The brakes will slam, and there Christmas will be.
Life in general is a lot like that. Serioulsy, just have children, and life suddenly flies by. Wow

Monday, December 21, 2009

More bizarre stuff

Kate at supper two weeks ago
"Is the "F" word F@&K?"
I turned to laugh as I was in shock....
Ryan-- "I can't believe you didn't know that. Do you know the "A" word?"
Thad--"Ryan stop. Kate yes it is, but it's a bad word. I don't ever want you to say that again.
Me--"Where did you hear that?"
Kate--"It was on the slide at school."

Kate--"Isn't it so sad that Jesus got killed? Everyone was mean to him because he was so wierd."
Insert a little mental jolt on my part? huh?
Kate--"Well they thought he was wierd."
Me--sigh of relief that she knows better

Saturday, December 19, 2009

past due?

I guess it's been awhile since I have posted an "it only happens to us" story. Here goes...I think you will find it worth the read.

3:45--Thad and Ryan come home from Ryan's (victorious) hockey game. Brady who was sleeping in my arms, awakened feeling very hot. He was overdue for tylenol, so I asked Thad to also bring the themometer. He went in yesterday and is being treated for an ear infection. His fever has not gone away though. Sure enough, under his chubby little baby arm it registered at 104.1. When you add the extra degree as you are supposed to with an underarm check, I felt a surge of anxiety: 105.1. Thad and I decided to take him in--fast.
5:00--Leave the doctor. His blood work came back good, fever was slowly going down, and we are just watching him. We head to pick up Olivia from my mom and dad's. Wayne invites us for dinner...Erin's family is headed over with KFC.
5:30--Arrive with Kate and Brady. Thad is shortly behind us. Start eating. Ross is in a BAD mood. "Don't talk to me" was his line. He said his tummy hurt. He tried to use the bathroom unsuccessfully. Crying set in.
5:50--Ross throws up in my parents' entryway. Kris found the closest place with no carpet.
5:55--Thad takes the girls to leave. I am shortly behind him.
6:00--Brady poops. I grab a diaper, wipes, and take him to the kitchen. My dad leaves the room (he hates diapers). I take off his diaper, open up the wipes, and realize that the wipes are actually a container holding toys.
6:03--Run to the bathroom to grad wipes. Ross is bathing.
6:03--Go to the kitchen. See poop smeared all over the floor and on Brady. Guess he had more to get out!
6:04--Start laughing that this crap (no pun intended) only happens to us.
6:05--Fill up the sink with soap and water. Bathe Brady, clean the floor, and get him dressed to leave.
6:10--Brady and I leave
6:15--Gilletts leave
6:45--Call my mom. Tell her good job on that new dark carpet she chose. Encourage her to watch The Hangover tonight. I would, but we watched it last night.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

nothing of significance

So many people have posted really good meaningful topics lately. I have none of that in this post. I will, however, share what we have been up to this week:

Last Sunday we went to a friend's from work to make gingerbread houses. The girls had a lot of fun. Who wouldn't with the spread she had! Brady was a little clingy, and I forgot my camera. Take my word for it, that they made very cute gingerbread houses.

Ryan's birthday party. We had pizza and cake in my classroom. Then we took all 12 or so kids to the Roseau/Spud hockey game. It was a major upset of a game, but the kids had fun.
Olivia had her Christmas preschool program. Maggie our darling animal bit a couple of holes in her dress just before we left that morning. Have I mentioned she drives me insane?

On another note, my foot is doing well. I went back to school Monday with no problems. Today I had my bandage & stitches removed. That was a little gross. Kate, who has debated being a nurse, was pretty grossed out. Olivia was more fascinated. That girl is so much like me sometimes...Olivia that is.
If you know my mother in law Jo, then you might also think the way I do that Olivia is looking more and more like her. I used to think Kate does. She has similar features, but I really see it more in Olivia now.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thank you

I have a little too much time on my hands right now. I am trying to sit a lot. I keep fighting it, but then the pain sets in more....so here I sit (again) enjoying my new laptop. It's becoming my new best friend.
This post is really a thank you post...

To my husband: THANK YOU for getting up during the night to get me water, make me toast to take my ineffective drugs, for getting all the kids ready, for dealing with the dog, and for always being there for me. You are the best care giver ever!
To my mother: THANK YOU for helping me with the kids this week, for carrying Brady around more than you should, for always being willing to assist me, and for being a wonderful mom. I have never stopped needing you!
To my kids: THANK YOU for being concerned for me. Thank you for telling me you love me.
To my sister: THANK YOU for calling to check up on me, helping with the kids tonight, and always being so supportive.
To my foot: THANK YOU for failing on me. You are lame.

C'mon people

Update your blog already! Some of us are stuck sitting/lying on our duffs and need entertainment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I survived my surgery. I was pretty scared yesterday, especially when I found out that I would have to be completely put under. Apparently the surgery was too involved to just sedate me.
I had a screw or two put in (I have no idea). All I know is that when I got home, I mostly slept. I do remember the kids coming in to see me. Kate and Ryan were especially sweet. She kept kissing my forehead, and Ryan snuggled with me and told me he loved me. That made it all worth it.
I was in intense pain all night. I was only told to take one tylenol/codeine...not enough. It was a sleepless night.
Today I am better. I got to take two pills. Thad and I spent the day together, which never happens. I have been lying around all day. I did try to be supermom tonight and get Brady out of the tub with one foot. That landed us both on the floor, and once again, I was in pain.
Thad has been so good to me. He always is. I told him that even though I can be ungrateful, I sooooo appreciate him.
That's about it. I am hoping to feel strong enough on my foot by Monday.....
thanks for your kid words and prayers!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not good

I need surgery Wednesday. I really have no clue why other than the doctor said so. I need "a couple of screws and maybe a wire to close the break."
It goes without saying that this doesn't fit into my lifestyle.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

All in one day...

We survived: Kate's dance performance, Ryan's hockey game, Olivia's performance, and even had dessert to celebrate Ryan's birthday.
I wish I could post past pictures of my once upon a time little baby boy Ryan. Unfortunately I don't have a scanner, and Ryan was born pre-digital camera. I remember Ryan's birth like it was yesterday. I even got a little misty eyed in the ER last week waiting for my xray results. The smell of the hospital brought me back to the four times I have stayed there. Only those time, I got to snuggle with precious tiny miracles.
It's just so hard to believe that I have a child in the double digits.....
Ryan's team hadnother a game in Grand Forks today. I had two full hours in the car to work on school work! His team lost (again), but at least he is having fun. We even made a pre-game CD to pump up his teammates with.
My foot is feeling better. It's pretty bruised, but it's been okay getting around (illegally) with just the mini boot they gave me. I didn't use the crutches today. They SUCK. I am hoping that when I go to the podiatrist tomorrow, he will just throw me in a walking boot.
This last picture is of my two babies. Brady and Maggie, for the most part, have become rather close. They like to watch Baby Mozart et.al. together. Brady says "pup pup" a lot too.

Friday, December 4, 2009

the long version

Last night after I dropped off Kate and Kailee at dance, I bathed Olivia and Brady. I also put away four or so loads of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, got the kids out of the tub, and wrestled Brady to get him dressed. He and I were headed downstairs to the kitchen to read a couple books. I had the 25 lb boy in one hand and a couple of books in the other. I misjudged the last step, fell, heard a little pop, and fell hard. Poor Brady did too. He started screaming, and I realized I was like the lady in the "I've fallen and can't get up commercials."
I immediately called my mommy to come over. Then I kept trying to call Thad, but I couldn't get through to him. I called my friend & trainer Stacey, and she told me to ice my foot and elevate it. Only I couldn't get to the ice...or move at all for that matter.
My mom came, helped me get ice, and I somehow got on the couch. I called Thad, and from what I described, he told me to get to the ER. I called big Wayne out of a meeting to take me. Ryan then returned from hockey, and Kate arrived from dance. My mom and Jo kindly took over with the kids, while Wayne and I headed at a snail's pace to the ER. (My dad drives 25 on a good day, but the ice brought him down to 15).I thought I was going to freak out.
I got a wheelchair to get into the ER and began waiting. When the doctor arrived, he said that by the looks of it, I probably tore some ligaments, but he said it's highly unlikely to break your foot from twisting your foot. He still did an xray just in case. After who knows how long, he came in and said, "Well you broke it." I said, "Shut up! Sorry I don't mean that in a bad way." He explained that I chipped off some bone in the top of my foot. He would hook me up with a boot and crutches. I would have to see a podiatrist to see what course of treatment I would take.
So we drive/coast in neutral home. I get out of the car and splat. I felt right on the ice. Boy did that hurt! Dang ice and crutches do not mix well.
My mother, bless her heart, offered to come in the morning. I went to bed. Ryan came in during the night, let out Maggie, and covered me up with an extra blanket. Dang I love when my kids are sweet.....
In the morning I showered (how I don't know), dressed, etc. After my mom dropped off my little kids at daycare, she brought me to school. (this is my right foot btw) I get off the elevator and hit a patch of water. splat again.
Later on in my second class splat again. By now I am getting cranky. I had been so positive until that point. I told the kids that it could always be worse--and it most certainly can. But by lunch, I had a little tear festival with myself.
Tonight Thad is home. I have been hobbling on my foot a little even though I am not supposed to. My hands are swollen as are my arms from the crutches.
This weekend is going to be tough. Thad and I have some serious figuring out to do. He will take the girls to skating. Then Kate has a performace, Ryan has his first traveling hockey game on his birthday, and Olivia has a recital tomorrow evening. I will go to it all. Sunday Ryan and Thad head to Grand Forks. I am not sure where I will be. I can't very well be in charge of Brady no matter where I am. I can't lift him or do much of anything. Time will tell.
On Monday, I will see a podiatrist. Let's hope he can get me in a walking boot. The ER doctor said he didn't think I would need surgery (WTF?), and I am banking on that.
Through it all, though, these things have kept me happy:
Ryan snuggling with me.
Olivia waking up this morning immediately saying, "mommy I prayed for you last night."
Kate getting every little thing.
Brady smiling as always.
My MOTHER for dealing with Brady even though she shouldn't lift him due to her hip. Did I mentioned she tripped and fell last night over a hockey stick? Nice huh?
My mother in law for offering to keep the kids longer today.
My students for being so sweet through it all....yes they laughed when I bit it, but so did I.
My hubby for coming home knowing he will be dealing with one heck of a load.
I have actually bought and wrapped most of my presents.

So, once again, I am trying my hardest to live my one of my favorite mottos: When you get lemons, make lemonade. I could use some spiked lemonade right about now.

I can't make this stuff up

The ultra short version is I broke my foot last night. I will post later. This is not something I have time for in my life (the broken foot that is).

Monday, November 30, 2009

oh my

I have one question for myself today. Why is it that I have convinced myself that I could never be a runner? I can assure you that most days the energy I exert between coming home after work (an entirely separate discussion by the way) and falling asleep is close to a half marathon.
I will spare you the details, but let me assure you this day has been filled with...you could say...moments. One of the most recent ones today has to do with Maggie sneaking into my bathroom garbage and taking out my used feminine product. Thanks Maggie. That was just the way I wanted to end my day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving & an early birthday

We survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday, an early birthday party, and even putting up the tree.
We all went to church on Thanksgiving morning. Brady was all smiles, but shortly after when I tried to take pictures, he was so over the happy gig. The other children cooperated though.
My sister in law & family came up late in the day on Thanksgiving. Bless Jo for putting up with four adults, six grandchildren, and four dogs in her house for a few hours. As always, everyone had a nice time playing, chatting, laughing, etc.
I did get up a do a little shopping on Black Friday. I will likely buy way too many things for my family, but I just love giving gifts. I hit Walmart, Target, and Herbergers. By 9am, I was done, so it was worth it.
Last night we celebrated Ryan's birthday which is on the 5th. I cooked a really nice meal for the family. Okay so the Hi-Ho Tavern. Dang there is nothing like a good burger with a little raw onion...but I digress.
Today I did some more shopping, we went to get haircuts for Brady, Olivia, Kate, and Thad, Ryan had a game, ate at Pizza Ranch, and then put up the Christmas tree. So far Maggie has been pretty good with it. The presents are not under the tree yet, and I am a little worried to even trying. Brady hasn't really shown any interest in the tree yet either.

Up next is getting my mind wrapped around my incredibly busy week. On top of all the stuff I have going on, Thad leaves town tomorrow until Friday night. Until then....
Monday: hockey
Tues: dental appts for three of our kids, I have parent teacher conferences from 5-8:30, and now must have a clean house for the babysitter.
Wed: to be at school by 7am for a meeting, religion for the kids after school, Kate's first reconciliation interview that night.
Thurs: Ryan has his travel team practice, dry land, regular team practice, Olivia and Kate have dance, and so I am not really sure how that will all pan out. Oh, and I have to be in Fergus Falls that day for a history meeting.
Friday: If I am still alive, I am told Ryan we could have a casual gathering for some friends for his birthday....he wasn't sure if he wanted to. I think he wants a "real" party, but as you can tell by our schedule, who the heck knows when that will happen.
Saturday: The girls have their last day of skating, Kate has a dance performance, Ryan has his first travel game in West Fargo, Olivia has an evening recital, and it's Ryan's 10th birthday.
Sunday: Church, Ryan has a game in Grand Forks, and by then we will have no clean laundry, groceries, or anything else I'm sure.
Wait, I didn't mention a league game that weekend did I? I am sure it's somewhere in there too....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The season of giving

Today at lunch we had an interesting conversation about Christmas, gift giving, the rising costs of presents, and how most of us moms tend to do 99.9% of the gift buying. Our conversation (as you can guess) went in many directions, and I am going to share what I found striking.
~Many of us stress over money during the holidays. Each year we vow to 'cut back.' What is sad, though, is that many of us truly enjoy giving more than anything else. Money really shouldn't matter when it's a gift that we choose a special gift for someone in particular. Whether it costs us ten dollars or way more, some of us just enjoy seeing the reaction on our loved one's faces when they see what we chose, made, or sought out just for him/her.
~A few colleagues complained about spending the holidays with in laws and the clash of personalities that comes with it. I personally don't have to deal with this, because my mother in law is awesome. There is no guilt, greed, or anything that she does that would ever cause me stress during this season--or any other for that matter.
~People often comment about what Christmas is really about: the birth of Jesus. Have we gotten away from that? Is taking time out to send cards, update others on our lives, getting excited when our mailboxes fill up, giving gifts to friends and family, enjoying the yummy treats that coincide with the holiday season not right?

We can blame the media, the stores, and whatever else on the pros and cons of Christmas. It's up to us as parents to choose what we want to instill in our children about Christmas. I am the first to admit that my favorite part about Christmas used to be getting gifts. (DUH) My parents never went over the top. In fact, I have some funny stories about rather...ahem...bad gifts that I have received. Now I just love giving. I love debating over what to buy. I love expressing my love for family and friends by taking the time to picking out a special gift. I find it rewarding.
So give if you want. Don't give if you don't want to. Teach your children want you really want them to get out of Christmas. What you teach them will most certainly stay with them for a long time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

in the last twenty minutes...

First off, I hope you all choose to read this STRICTLY for entertainment purposes. I don't like to whine about my busy lives because, frankly, who doesn't have a busy life. "Busy" is a relative term anyway. Who cares that I have four kids, many places to go, a new puppy (not by choice), and a husband whose job dictates our life? Don't go thinking I need a back rub or a medal. It's all just part of life.
So, back to my entertaining blog right? I thought of you all--whoever you are--in case you need an excuse to smile or laugh.
In the last twenty (okay maybe thirty) minutes:
I busted Maggie (the dog I like but don't love) eating through a garbage bag I had just tied up.
I re-bagged the garbage bag.
Cut Olivia's bangs.
Started the tub.
Changed a poopy diaper
Began believing in miracles when Maggie went into her kennel for the first time EVER.
Realized that it was no miracle when she got out just as fast.
Answered the phone and briefly began talking to my friend Jenny when Olivia screamed, "Maggie jumped into the tub with us!"

You can't make this stuff up!

time to vent

Today I am crabby.
I am exhausted...
from the puppy getting up several times
from the puppy pooping in my house several days in a row
from the puppy peeing all over even though we let her out every half hour
from having to scold said puppy for being a typical puppy
from Brady waking up in between the puppy waking up
from single parenting all week
from figuring out how to deal with kids who need to be in different places at the same time
from trying to use the quiet hour in my house to do school work
knowing that Thad will now coach a second team for hockey

this dog doesn't fit in my life right now
I like her but I don't love her
I am ready to scream
I am desperate for a night of solid sleep

I will figure out how to get the two girls to dance tonight and Ryan to hockey at the same time
I will clean up more poop and pee since Thad will be gone if not at work, then at hockey
I will play with the kids and act as normally as I can. This isn't their problem.
I will get the school work done.
I may have a meltdown by Friday night. That or I will go to sleep by 7pm. That is, if Thad's home.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

an interesting conversation

Kate and I have been butting heads lately about what she wears to school. She has a closet full of nice clothes. In fact, many of the items were chosen by Kate herself. Anyway lately she wants to wear the same (old) clothes and argues relentlessly with me.

Yesterday I asked her why she hadn't worn a shirt that I had just bought her. When she saw it for the first time she loved it. Then I never saw her wear it again. Today she said, "I just don't like it. It looks weird on me." All of a sudden it dawned on me so I said, "Has someone said something to you lately about what you wear?"
Kate: "Yeah. xxx told me I looked weird in that shirt. So did xxx."

Wow. How did I not think of this sooner? Suddenly I recalled her wearing (again) a pair of jeans, an old shirt, and a spud sweatshirt the other day. Even before she put it on she said, "xxx wore this yesterday!" Kate isn't being teased or harassed, but she is so sensitive. Furthermore, Kate is very impressionable. She is a follower. She cares way too much about her appearance. So, our conversation turned into, "Kate what matters is what you think, not your classmates. If they don't like your shirt, who cares?" Easier said then done I realize, but hey, I had to start somewhere.

Tonight after we worked on her homework, spelling, and her reconciliation packet, we discussed things she could say if someone tells her that her shirt is weird again. We even role played. The plan is for her to reply, "well I like it" and leave it at that. Then I had her practice things she could say if she hears someone saying unkind things about anyone else.

It felt so good to connect with her. Thad has been working overtime nonstop this week, and I have been so stressed out that I forgot to be 'there' for my kids. What's funny is that I can't even imagine having this conversation with Olivia. She doesn't seem to be bothered by this stuff. Then again life is a whole lot different when you are four.

Do you remember ever having what you thought was the cutest outfit, haircut, toy, or something only to have your heart broken by some comment? I know I do. For now, we will continue to work on conflict resolution. Good luck to all you moms of girls.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Thad!

Our attempt at a family photo

Brady is trying to text his girlfriend Kate who lives in Maryland.

The ultra crabby Olivia who appears happy!

Another tired Stafford child
Today Thad is 36 years old! Holy cow I still remember when he turned 19. Okay I really don't remember it, but we were together. In typical police fashion, he is celebrating his birthday working late on a case. It's a good thing we went out on Saturday night to Famous Daves (his choice) for dinner before taking in Peter Pan at the high school. If you live around here, you must see it. It was soooo good. In fact, we might go again since Olivia was too tired to go.
Thad thought I was weird for bringing the camera along to dinner, but in hindsight, it's a good thing I did. How else would we be able to document his birthday?

To add to the hectic schedule he (and I) have, he is now going to coach Ryan's traveling hockey team. He vowed he wouldn't do this to me (sounds selfish I know, but you try dragging three kids alone to every hockey game and see how you feel!), but there has been a change in plans. Without getting into too many details, Thad was hoping Ryan would make a team that is one level above what he made. Ryan was a 'bubble' person (new word that I just learned in reference to hockey), and though it was close, the decision was made to have two second year players play up.
Ryan was a bit shocked to hear the news. Ryan seems to take this sort of stuff in stride, and so I think he's okay with it. Now he will likely play on the first line rather than the third line. To be honest I could care less, BUT this team has no coach who (supposedly) has ever played hockey. He came home last night and said, "We need to talk." Of course I glared at him, but really what choice to I have? His heart is in the right place, and I have to give him credit for that...I guess.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I forgot!

Well I guess I have some news to share. If you haven't already picked up the latest issue of On the Minds of Moms you should! Why you ask?
Well here are a few reasons in no particular order:
~You get to read a fabulous article by Melissa S. who helped me organize/redecorate my living room. I will have her back when I get the money...tax refund?!
~Another wonderful article by Holly M. who co-owns Pout. She wrote about cloth diapers, and how absolutely cute they can be.
~Another fascinating read by the one and only Kathleen Wrigley. I know first hand that she is an amazing lady. Her story continues to be inspiring.
~An ad for Healthpros, the place I work out. Really girls, if you are looking for motivation, how about a buy one get one free session?
~Continued awe-inspiring photography by my friend Ria. She is the primary photographer for OTMOM.
~Oh, and one more thing....Thad (as in my husband Thad) is featured as this issue's "Rad Dad!!!!!!!!!!!" That's right. Thad was selected to be featured.
I must add here that I was thrilled mainly because that got us a photo shoot with Ria. Ria has been beyond accommodating with me. Bless her heart, she can take excellent pictures of our family in under thirty minutes flat. Not only did she take pictures of Thad and the kids, but she was also kind enough to get some one year photos of Brady, our entire family, and enable me to send out a WAY better Christmas picture than last year.

Most of us don't really know what kind of parent we will be when we have children. The same goes for our spouses. Sure we all plan to love and hug a baby, but as us mothers know, much of the real work begins later on: tantrums, sleep issues, behavior issues, tantrums, discipline, peer issues, school, activities, and whatever else comes up.
Thad is a wonderful father. Do I nag on him more than I should for certain things? Well, yes I do. I reality though, he is a much deserved 'rad dad' in my opinion. All of us have wonderful husbands/fathers. In no way am I taking away from anyone else's experience. I am just very thankful that Thad shares the duties with me (for the most part) forty nine percent of the time.
We have always been in it together, so the successes and failures we experience as parents are ours to share. I didn't sign up to do this alone, so here is a big thank you to Thad!

No news

I guess no news is good news right? In our "no news" world:

Maggie is a good little puppy. We need her to learn to sleep all night AND not wake up at 6am. Thad is bearing the brunt of the puppy raising, and I am grateful for that.
Ryan just finished hockey clinics. He is a Squirt this year. Traveling teams will be announced in a few weeks. This weekend is his first Jamboree, which really just means he has three games instead of one or two.
Kate has been a sassy pants these days. She just brought home a letter inviting her to join Junior Great books. I am proud of her. She did tell me she doesn't want to do it. Don't worry, I told her, "too bad."
Olivia is Olivia. She just 'drew' (scribbled) a picture for her Great Grandpa Harris. She dictated a little letter to him too.
Brady, oh my sweet Brady. He is so busy/happy/fussy/clingy/independent all rolled into one. Sounds like a typical one year old huh?

Oh, I guess I did book a little (BIG) family trip for August 2011. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out, but for those of you who really don't know, I'll let you take a guess if you care to. Who I am I kidding? No one cares, but if you are bored enough to do it, go for it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

when things could be better

you just have to focus on the things that make you smile! Like my one year old who gets into everything under the sun without walking, my children who all are so sweet to Maggie, my nine year old who got me pretty good tonight with a trick he learned at school recently, and my sweet girls who make me smile constantly.

The levy didn't pass today. It was close. I mean really close. Close doesn't matter in an election though unfortunately. It was a somber day. Students were relentless in their questions:
"What's going to happen to teachers?"
"Will our classes get even bigger?"
"Are they going to cut activities and athletics?"
"Where is such and such on the seniority list?"
"Is our schedule going to change?"
Really I could go on and on. It's scary knowing that some of the best teachers might not have a job next year. There are so many what ifs and we should haves.

For now, though, I am going to try and focus on here and now. I have great students, great colleagues, and wonderful people in my life.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dog & other stuff

I thought I would clear the air with a little dog update, since so many of you posted thoughts...
1. I like the dog. I don't love her.
2. Thad adores her. He has been working tirelessly with her, bless his heart. I think he has placed an extra burden on himself since he sprung her on me/us.
3. Thad was home all day with the now sick Kate (H1N1 sucks!), and he has made progress with Maggie.
4. I walked in tonight as Thad left. That's pretty typical for us on hockey nights. I get frustrated, because I am already caring for a one year old, a four year old, and a sick seven year old, and now, a puppy. It's a lot more to take on even though you wouldn't think so. Oh well.

Other things causing me stress:
1. Missing MORE work due to illness. It just stinks. It's not like I can call in leave my job behind. Lesson planning for a 90 minute block class is not simple. Most importantly, my girl is sick. Poor thing.
2. I am out of my classroom again on Thursday and Friday. Eek.
3. The school levy vote tomorrow. Our district is in bad fiscal shape. State funding has not risen, but costs have. We cut lots and lots of teaching positions last year. My highest class has 41 kids. My children's elementary classes are too large. If this levy doesn't pass, I fear where things will go. In my opinion, this isn't political.
No one wants taxes to go up. There is no good time for it to happen. But for my children, and the future of Moorhead (including other people's children, value of homes*, and a continued standard of excellence), I pray it passes.
*when I say value of homes, I mean that if it fails, I can't see selling a home here to be as easy as it would to in, say, Fargo.

Regardless of what happens, each person is (as always) entitled to their own opinion. I just happen to post mine since it's my blog. I encourage everyone to vote. Our founding fathers wanted us to do this! (Like my little "go history" pitch? Ah if only my students would appreciate it.)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from:
Brady the spider...

Olivia our Batgirl

Kate the Hippy/Flower child

And Ryan the Bleeding Skelebones...

In other news, Thad brought home a treat for our family, except for me. I consider it a trick. Thad rescued a little puppy who, without him, would be scared in the pound this weekend. I was one unhappy camper last night. On top of the cold and fever I had, I was not excited about a puppy...or at least a non bulldog puppy.

I am not a big dog person. I yellow lab/cross was not what I had in mind. Nor was a puppy when we have a house full of children, people who are running from activity to activity, and a lifestyle that doesn't seem conducive to a dog right now.
I can't win in this situation. My husband and children adore this little puppy. Thad has always wanted a dog like this. Kate has been begging for a puppy for the last few years. Ryan, has already willingly cleaned up poop. What's a mother to do?
I have decided to put my personal wishes aside and see how it goes. For now, the 'animal' as I call her, can stay. I am hoping I can develop some feelings toward this dog, but so far...we aren't there yet.
As of late tonight, we have finally agreed to name her Maggie. You see when we got her, Thad said it was a girl. After the kids went to bed last night, I didn't see what I thought to be girl parts. I told Thad this 'girl' animal is most certainly a boy. This morning, Thad talked to his sister, and she got us back on track. I guess the bulldogs I grew up with had more *ahem* pronounced parts. So Maggie it is.
Let's hope this goes well. If she isn't meant to stay in our house, I pray that we will find her a good home, and our kids will forgive us.