Saturday, May 30, 2009

Have I mentioned

today how much I love these four people?

Kate had a birthday party sleepover last night...after a day spent at the Whapeton Zoo. She was asleep by 7pm.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crying it out

Last night (at 3:30am mind you) Thad and I decided it was time to let Brady 'cry it out.' His sleeping has been horrible lately. He got a tooth a few weeks ago, and then things got better. I knew another one was coming, and sure enough, I spotted it yesterday. But by midnight, he was screaming (again), so I nursed him, etc, until around 3:15. When he is continually screaming in bed with us (which is where he ends up after one to two hours in his crib), you know it's gotten out of hand. 
Finally we put him in his crib, and he cried, and cried, and cried. I wasn't feeling well, so took some Tylenol. He must have settled for awhile, because I think I crashed after 4am. Then at about 5:15, we heard him again. It was another rough period. Kate even tried to get us to go in there to soothe him. Try explaining to a six year old why you are torturing the baby!
When I went in to check on him at 6:45am, he was awake, sucking on his pacifier, and just smiling at me like I was his long lost mommy....which to him I was.
This is such a tough thing to do to a baby, but our goal is to help Brady to soothe himself better AND get a better night of sleep. He needs to sleep better....
Stay tuned.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Family rules

We have no lake to go to, but we still try to have fun!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, thoughtful, and uber caring mother. To this day she still: cuts strawberries for me, sews any loose buttons, hems my pants, and makes our family a good old fashioned baked turkey with all the fixings meal quite often.
She has taken all of my children to preschool since she retired. She goes to many of her grandchildren's sporting events, plays, swimming lessons, and anything else that they are a part of.
She lends us her car when one of us takes a road trip just so we don't use our "lease miles."
She watched Brady fulltime (until her hip gave out and needed to be replaced), but hey, she tried!
She has come with our family twice to Florida, and has also caught the "I love Disney World" bug that I can't seem to shake. She and I both think that next summer we must return so we can see Brady enjoy the truly Magical place.

We are total opposites. If she thinks I might like an article of clothing or shoes, 95% of the time I don't. She gets very frustrated with me, and I certainly don't blame her. Thankfully, my mom decided to keep me.

Happy 66th Birthday Mom. I love you!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Many of you have heard my big news, but for those of you who haven't, I am getting braces. Yes, the girl who has straight teeth AND who wore a back brace for three years (so I feel like I did my time with the brace thing).
I guess growing older has some drawbacks huh? I will be getting them on June 2, and I should wear them for 14 months. Then I get to get my teeth equilibrated (wtf?), a crown put on my back tooth, and who knows what else.
In the grand scheme of life, it's no big deal, but financially, this is not ideal. Then again, it could always be worse right?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Products I like

*Note, this is a long post. If you don't wear make up, don't care about your hair, or aren't nearly as vain as I am, don't read this. If you can't possibly skip the make up aisles at Target even though nine times out of ten you purchase nothing, then continue....
I am always searching for the best possible products to use on my hair, face, and body. I am embarrassed to admit that I have spent many, many dollars on this hunt. This weekend was no different, but guess what? Not only did I purchase three new items, but I really liked all three items. I will share them with you in case they happen to fit a need you might have.
Hair products:

#1 & 2. Pantene Curl Defining Scrunching Mousse Extra Hold & Ultimate Texture Ultra Hold Hairspray Aerosal.
I can't begin to tell you how much $$ I have spent on my hair alone. For the most part, I stick to salon products. This weekend my friend Jenny had her hair curled in such a cute way. I have tried time and time again with my expensive flat iron (that's what she used) & curling irons. It never works. So Jenny offered to use her stuff to show me how to do it. She used the Pantene hairspray and her $15 flat iron. I about fell over with how well that worked. I normally spend around $100 (at cost mind you) to get mine. I will rethink that the next time I need one! Anyway I was out of hairspray this weekend, and so I purchased what she had. The result was that I liked it, felt it worked for what few hairspray needs I have, and if I want to curl my whole head of hair, I could use this.
The next item that I really liked was Pantene Defining Curls Scrunching Mousse. With each baby I have delivered, I have developed c.u.r.l.y. hair. I wear my hair curly when I am extra pressed for time or I don't want to flat iron it. For several years I have been using "Curls Rock" from Bed Head or something. I decided to try this for under $4. The result was awesome! I even got a few compliments on my hair yesterday--not normal for a high school teacher. It gave me pretty curls and no frizz. At the same time, I didn't have that crusty curl feeling.

Now, onto foundation....
#3. Merle Norman Luxiva Powder Foundation
This has excellent coverage for my face. I want a face that is covered, but not cakey or fake looking. I had been doing lighter foundations since last spring. A year ago I was using Bare Escenuals Mineral Foundation (spendy), then I switched to Loreal Mineral Foundation, and then it went down hill from there. Bare Esecentuals has a great product, but for some reason when I would apply blush, I got a funky stripe in the same place each day. The Loreal was fine I am sure, but how the heck does one find a perfect color by looking at a product in a container? After wasting money there, I moved to Clinique. The first powder foundation was okay, but in reality, by mid-day I looked washed out. I bought another Clinique one, but the same look was there by the end of the day.
This was recommended to me by someone who works at Merle Norman. I had used it in the past, but I am not a 'die hard' customer of any one skin care line. Believe me I have done my share of Mary Kay, Arbonne, Bare Escentuals, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, etc, etc. Let me just tell you that I get much better coverage with this foundation than any other powder foundation I have used in a long time. The cost was $27. I have no problem paying for something quality.

Another product that deserves honorable mention that I did not discover but really like is:

It is a dry mist that I spray on my hair prior to flat ironing it. It's a protectant. Unlike other ones I have used, this one doesn't act like hairspray OR make it damp. It also smells good, which is always an added bonus.
So readers, what products do YOU like that you want to share with others? I, for one, am always interested in hearing your thoughts. Do you have a cleanser that I would love? Do you have a specific lotion like I do that you always buy? Let us know!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Look who got her ears pierced?

(pardon the grape juice mustache & messy hair)
We had no plans to do this. I tried to get out yesterday with just Brady. Olivia (who was overtired) insisted on coming along. We walked by Claires. I asked if she wanted her ears pierced. She said yes, and so we did it. She had no clue what to expect so she was pumped...until it happened. She was a little miffed for a minute, but left the store quite excited.
I think one side is higher than the other (it's quite obvious), but what's done is done. Now, of course Kate was hers done again. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

what do you think?

Am I the only blogger who wants to take Mckmama up on this?
I am serious too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

a special day

Breakfast in bed served by both Ryan and Kate--two meals.
A glorious nap with Thad and Olivia
Birthday party with family & friends
A walk with my friends
Everyone went to bed well
Doesn't get much better than that!

Friday, May 8, 2009

7 month old & cousins

These are the pictures I tried to load the other day. I guess now it's working. These are some pictures taken a couple of weeks ago when Erin's kids were over to play. They always laugh a lot. It's fun to see Hope and Brady get into the mix of things.
Brady turned 7 months old on May 1st. Today I felt his first tooth! He drools like crazy, and gnaws on everything. He is enjoying baby food, sitting up, sucking on things, grabbing everything in sight, sleeping with his mommy at night, and rocks back and forth when on his tummy.
He is such a darling.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I would like your advice

Thad and I have a decision to make. It is related to taking a family vacation. Here are the options:

1. Do nothing. Use the money to get a new dishwasher & other things that I wouldn't normally buy. (Our dishwasher sucks) Avoid travel stress with infant, enjoy cushion money, take in a Twins game in a few weeks when we return from Iowa, etc.

2. Go to Disney World in October during my fall break. Leave on a Wednesday and return Sunday. The Disney deal at that time is: Kids 9-under stay, play, and eat for free. Ryan turns 10 in December. Catch: I have conferences until 8:30pm Tuesday night. Flying out of Fargo is mucho spendy....Allegiant doesn't fly those dates.
Nice weather there, decent to busy crowds, and we would take in Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

3. Go to Disney World in August from the 17th-21. This is a Monday-Friday. It's free dining. That saves us well over $100/day on food. No one has to miss school. Allegiant flies from Fargo those dates...dirt cheap too.
Very HOT, supposed light crowds as much of the U.S. is back in school, rain?

Please advise....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Makes you think

Today at school the 10th graders had a lyceum on internet safety. This was probably way more interesting to me than it was them, but they are so much more savvy than us oldtimers. Some of the things they learned about: sexting (sending sexually explicit texts OR nude photos of yourself to someone), chat rooms, the large amount of sexual predators out there, how all these sites are public information, and cyber-bullying.
Who would have thought way back in 1994 when I was a senior in high school that all of these terms would be common language like it is today? This stuff isn't new to Thad. He gets to deal with this kind of yucky stuff all the time. People are being victimized daily by this stuff. It is not uncommon to hear stories about how girls will send a sexy photo of themselves to someone. Pretty soon many, many kids have it. What the kids don't realize is that if they forward it on, they are disseminating child pornography (if they are over 18 even by one day). It's very tricky stuff. Choosing to have the attitude "my kid would never do that" is not an option. It can happen to anyone at anytime.
This afternoon, I was showing my students CNN Student news. It's a 10 minutes CNN news show for kids (duh). Today of all days, there was a feature on how some ladies are suing their former employer for being fired over bashing their bosses on MySpace. They felt that their freedom of speech was violated, and that they were having a private discussion online. FYI: Nothing posted on the internet is private information. It is public...all of it. Anyway posting anything online is fair game for the world to see. Young adults from this generation haven't grasped that concept, because, heck, they have always lived in a techie world. Us old people have not. Once upon a time, young girls wrote in a thing called a diary. Now that was private...or so we hoped! We used to pick up the family telephone to call our friends or boys we liked. We sent letters to family and friends who lived far away.
Times have changed. I have a ways to go before I will feel really educated on all this stuff. I do feel that as a parent, it's my duty to try to stay as on top of this stuff as possible.

Now the other part of my day was also interesting. At the concert the other night, I chipped my back molar. Today I went in to get it looked at. I was ready to set up a date to get a crown, pay $1000 or so on the procedure, and be on with my day. Not so fast. It seems that my chipped tooth is likely caused by my jaw problems. I wear a mouthguard at night. I grind and clench my teeth. My poor teeth are getting tired, thus the 1/4 size of tooth that broke off.
After many photos of my teeth, jaw impressions, teeth impressions, and a partridge in a pear tree, I will likely be told the end of June that I need........braces. UGH.
I wore a back brace for three years. I have served my time with a 'brace.' God blessed me with pretty straight teeth. So let's up the cost several thousand dollars, schedule many more appointments, and hope that I get made fun of as much as I teased Thad. Karma is a stinker huh!?

And to think I was thisclose to booking a trip to Disney World this fall. I still might because maybe I won't need braces. But AJ, maybe you should give me Jimmy's email address to see if he wants to put the Staffords up!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Is anyone else unable to upload photos to blogger? I have tried the last few times with NO luck. I am very frustrated.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Thad and I, along with two other couples, went to see Billy Joel & Elton John last night. To describe it in a word, I would say.....AWESOME! The music, the friends, the laughs, etc, we had a blast.
We don't go out enough. I think it to myself each time we do it.
It's not cheap to pay a sitter to watch four kids (and for seven hours mind you), but this one was so worth it. Unfortunately I forgot my camera. Bummer!
Talk about three and a half hours of great music...seriously!