Sunday, January 30, 2011

When Mommy's not home...

I so, so wish that I could be a "fly on the wall" in my own home, when I am not home. Now that Callie's old enough to tell me what happened while I was gone, it makes me not want to leave! Not to mention the condition the house is in when I come home. It's like I have to re-clean the entire house if I am gone for more than an hour. The other night, while I was at a "Game Night" with some mommies, here are a few things I came home to. The pictures were taken the next day.

For me, this is a mess!

At least the kids are happy!

Note the sink full of dishes!

 So, I got busy cleaning. It didn't take that long, just annoying that it wasn't that messy when I left. In Craig's defense, it was kinda messy! But not this bad. Also, when I'm gone the "standard of care" goes from "The kids are happy and engaged" to, when Dad's home, "The kids are alive." Which is an exaggeration, but he does things he  KNOWS I wouldn't approve of. Case in point, scaring the bejesus out of Callie. If you haven't seen this video yet, you should. He told her they could watch a Taylor Swift video on the computer. She was so excited. Then he played this:

Here are the results...

Just cruel. Funny. But cruel indeed.

I can recall a few other times I got home to less than positive environments. One time I recall (although Craig recalls it differently) when I got home from working at Hy-Vee and Craig "forgot" to feed Callie. He claims he didn't eat, either (which somehow makes not feeding her supper okay?) and that since he didn't eat he forgot to feed her and she didn't ask. I think she was about 15 months at the time. I feel like I remember him telling me he ate. Either way, at least she was alive?

I also recall a time when I got home to Callie around a year old, with a lump the size of a golf ball on her forehead. I know these things happen, especially to a new walker. But it was just something I recall happening while I was gone. Not saying she never got hurt when I was home.

Callie icing her owie!

I hope it goes without saying, but this is all coming from a sarcastic point of view, a humorous one. I love Craig and I know he is an awesome daddy and my kids are soooo lucky to have him!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Almost 28...

So, my birthday is a little over a week away. You know what I am most excited for? Nope, not being a year older, that's for sure. I am thankful for the gifts, but that's not the most exciting part. I am so looking forward to baking a cake with Callie and she gets to decorate it however she wants. It's really fun.

My Beautiful Cake Last Year!

Can't wait to see what she comes up with this year!

Looking back on the past birthdays I have had, I can't say that I remember a lot of them. Is that normal?

One of my most memorable childhood parties was in 1st Grade (I think!) I remember having all of the girls in my class over for a slumber party. It wasn't a huge school so there were probably about 10-12 girls there I think. We ate Moose Brothers Pizza (from Hy-Vee...remember that stuff?), I don't remember a cake, but I do remember these monster cookies with frosting. I remember watching movies. We had to call my friend Emily's mom to make sure she could watch "Batman" and she said yes so we did. We watched, "Harry and the Hendersons" which is an all time favorite of mine. Who else nearly pees themselves when Harry is on top of the car "dead" and they are driving and he wakes up and looks in the windshield. Holy buckets. Gets me every time!

Any of my friends who are reading this and attended my 1st grade birthday party, do you remember any of this? I think we played hide and go seek (it was a big, fun house to do that in) and I think I got a bike from my parents. It was a fun party. I remember a girl wet the bed. I won't name names :) Do you remember??

Now my birthdays are full of changing diapers, feeding children, singing the Bumble Bee song, baking my own cake, and dancing to Dora. And that's okay with me! But I might watch "Harry and the Hendersons" with Callie for old times sake. Do you think redbox carries it??

Monday, January 17, 2011

And... My baby isn't a baby anymore....

Tanner's 1st Birthday!

How do I feel about my "baby" being one? I am a little happy, a little sad. Please, let me tell you why :)

I am happy because, selfishly, I don't have to buy formula anymore! I don't have to have a diaper bag to leave the house. I get to sleep all night (most nights). I don't have to be super careful about what he eats (we are a peanut butter family!) I am happy because he is growing up, and we are out of the constant need to eat, burp, diaper stage. I love to watch him grow and learn new "tricks" for lack of a better word. He is saying "Daddy, Dadda" and "Baba" although, as soon as we get the okay from the doctor tomorrow, that will be gone. Poor guy doesn't even know what is about to hit him! He is developing his own little personality. And I am willing to bet, based on his current attitude, he's going to be a lot more laid back than his older sister! Must I mention, he is so laid back, that he does a sad little army crawl. Belly dragging on the floor. I might even go so far as to say he lacks a little motivation. And I mean that in the nicest way possible!

I am sad because he is my baby. I was shopping tonight, walked through the tiny baby section and a tear literally rolled down my face. As much as I don't like getting up all night, being an 24/7 milk jug, and the taste of projectile vomit leaves a lot to be desired, I love the cuddle bunny stage. The tiny little fingers, the eensy weensy toes. The first smiles and coos. Little elbows and dimples, even the lack of visible neck is adorable.

Ugh, melts my heart.
Moms, please tell me this phase of sadness passes, or I'll be pregnant for the rest of my life. I don't know how to get past this grief. I don't know if grief is the right word, but I feel like my baby is growing to a toddler and I miss my baby. I love my toddler, don't get me wrong. I just wish they could stay little. Callie's Taylor Swift obsession has brought me across a song about staying little that also makes me tear up. See a theme here? Kind of a wimp. I know.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Man

I cannot even believe Tanner turns one year old on Sunday. I literally feel like he was born a few months ago. I can't even tell you were the time went this year.

He started out so tiny, itty bitty, "Teeny Tanner" was his first nickname...

This is Tanner with Callie's favorite doll, Bertha (she's kind of a big doll, hence the name)

They melt my heart!

One Month Old

2 months old

3 Months Old

4 Months Old

5 Months Old with Callie and Newborn Dreu!

6 Months Old

7 Months Old

 8 Months Old

9 Months Old

10 Months Old

11 Months Old

His "ONE YEAR" Picture is yet to come! Look for a blog allll about our little man's 1st Birthday!!

 I have a few friends who are pregnant or just had a baby not too long ago. My real advice to you is to cherish every single moment, even the ones full of being peed, pooped, and puked on. It just goes way too fast. The best gift you can give your children is your time. You'll never regret it!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The house that built me...

Have you heard this song by Miranda Lambert? It always gets to me. I don't know exactly why. If you haven't heard it here are some of the lyrics....

I know they say you can’t go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam
But these handprints on the front steps are mine

Up those stairs in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
I bet you didn’t know under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

You leave home and you move on and you do the best you can
I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I walk around I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

It's not that I feel lost here or that I feel like I am broken here or don't know who I am. It's just that there's NO feeling like being in my childhood home. There's no safer place in the world for me. There was a lot laughs there, a lot of tears, happiness, and pain. But all of that made me who I am today. And I love going "home." And I am lucky, unlike in the song, my dad still lives there, so I can go home and feel that "feeling" anytime I want to. And thanks to my youngest sister, Frankie, for taking these photos. I will love them always!

My childhood home
I was truly built by this home. It makes who I am. Every single room is full of a dozen memories, good or bad. Every single inch of this home tells me the stories of my childhood. Not even just the inside of the home. Growing up on a farm, you spend a lot of time outside. And we did. We played from morning til night.

This is where the bus stopped to pick us up everyday for school. Until, we got our license, or we got grounded. That is a great punishment for a high schooler. Being forced to ride the bus. Since this was a small school, the bus was full of kindergartners to seniors. The bus itself has a million memories. This tree also always had mushrooms growing around the trunk and I remember racing my sisters to see who could stomp on them all.

South Road
This is what my dad refers to as the "South Road." It's never in as good condition as the "East Road." He always wanted us to use the east road. Safer, he thought. This road is where we would ride our favorite horse, Copper. I loved that horse, and if you know me, I'm not much for animals. I was so sad when he died. This is also where I hit a deer, well one of the many. This road is also where I was nearly killed, yes KILLED by a stampede of cattle. My dad had me and my younger sister, Darci, "guard" this road and scare off the cattle as he was herding them to my grandma's house. I don't know how old I was, maybe around 10. She was 6 or 7 I believe. Our job was to make sure NO cattle came down this road. We were equipped with a whip. Yes, a whip. Of course, the cattle started charging down the road. How was I supposed to stop them? With a whip? Yeah, right. I took off to the house (running in between all of the cattle) as FAST as I could, leaving my poor little sister to fend for herself in the middle of the cattle stampede. My dad, well, he wasn't very happy. He had to try and round the cattle all back up before they got to the highway. Needless to say, that was the LAST time he asked me to help herd cattle unless I was on a three-wheeler.

This picture is behind our house, and on the left is a "forest" that we played pretend a lot in. We would play castles and swords, hide and go seek, and it was so much bigger in my imagination than when I go back and look at it now. Cow tanks became forts, huge hunk of metal a tee pee, and nearby were two wooden "buildings." We would climb the beams inside and have so much fun just pretending. There was a "lake" back there. Well, we thought it was a lake and swam in it. I didn't know until afterwards that it was sewage and run off from the cattle fields. Nice. Really, I am pretty impressed that I am still alive today. From climbing farm buildings to jumping haystacks to Papa giving the "neighborhood" (we all lived miles apart) rides with the horse pulling a homemade buggy. As I remember, it looked like bus seats on a sheet of metal, but still, it was so much fun.

At  night, we had just as much fun. You haven't lived unless you've played hide and go seek in the dark. That was fun inside, or outside the house. If you've ever been in the house, there's a lot of places to hide, which makes the game so much fun. Flashlight tag, and running through the cornfields trying to find each other. So. Much. Fun.

I could really go on for days about how much fun we had just playing outside. And it makes me kind of sad to know that my children won't have that. They will have a great childhood, and I hope they have fond memories, but it can't be like mine. We will probably never live on a farm, it's not considered safe to let your children run all over the place outside all day long, and they will probably have more fun texting their friends than jumping haystacks. Or at least they think. I think next time we go to Papa's farm, I am going to take Callie out on the four wheeler to some of my old favorite spots. Will I let her swim in the sewage or climb the buildings, no. But when she is older, we will jump haystacks together.... and I hope Papa never asks her to help him herd cattle!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting Older...

So, my birthday is coming up in about a month. And I have to say, I really feel like I am getting older. I obviously have been getting older my entire life, but I am really feeling it lately. Not physically, but mentally. And socially.

Is it bad that I had to check facebook just to confirm how old I am? And then I realized I don't even have it on facebook and I had to do the math. When as a child, I would ask an adult how old they were and they had to stop and think about it. I thought that was so ridiculous. But, I am there. I have to stop and think how old I am. The time flies so fast since I've had children. I blink and another year has passed. I sometimes wish I could just freeze time. Bottle up these moments when my babies are young and still want to cuddle, tell me they love me (okay, Tanner hasn't said it yet with words, just his smile!), and play games with me.

How old am I going to be, you ask? I am almost 28 years old. That's almost 30. I know what you are thinking, quit complaining, it's not that old. I truly feel like there is NO way that my 10 year high school reunion is this year. There's no way that Craig and I have been living together for almost 10 years. I honestly feel like I am still young. But I look at a magazine cover, I watch an awards show, I listen to the radio, and I have NO idea who half of the celebrities are. And I used to.

Bedtime, snore, I am in bed by 10. Sometimes I will watch TV in bed until 10:30 (you guessed it, the news). I feel like an old person complaining that the news should be on earlier because I can't stay up that late!

Physically, I feel great. I don't feel old at all. I still have lots of energy and love to play and run around with the kids. Gray hair? I've had it for at least three years now. Wrinkles, not too many that I've noticed yet. Mom jeans? NEVER!!

I don't mean to complain or whine about my age. I know it could be worse :) I know that everyday I wake up still alive is a great day. I appreciate my age, and I know there are a lot more "painful" birthdays to come. But I am still so happy that I am alive, healthy, and have a wonderful family. And a lot of older sisters. OLDER sisters :) And an OLDER husband :) Makes me feel young...

Blurry, I know. But me as a baby! Where does the time go?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

To Blog or Not To Blog....

..... about New Year's. I was going back and forth. Not that it's boring, it's just that it's already the 2nd day in January and I haven't done it yet? I guess I can cross "Stop procrastinating" off of my New Year's Resolution list....

I can't say that I really make New Year's Resolutions. I make little goals for myself throughout the year. Dare I say it, New Year's isn't that big of a deal to me. Of course, in high school and college and my early 20's it was fun. We would go out, stay up late, and sometimes kiss someone when the clock struck midnight. Truth is, Craig or I, or both, are usually sleeping before midnight. I admit, I love the hokey Dick Clark Rockin' NYE Special. And who doesn't want to see Snooki descend in a giant ball, (me), but I am just too darn tired!

It also reminds me of a significant loss I had in my life. I lost a pregnancy on New Year's Eve, 2008. A very wanted pregnancy. What a roller coaster. I went to the doctor for back pain. They checked my kidneys, did X-rays, and she could not figure out what was wrong. They finally did a pregnancy test and it was positive. But my hormone level was really low, and I was showing signs of a miscarriage. She sent me to the hospital to do some more tests and an ultrasound. The entire car ride over I was thinking that the doctor could be wrong, and everything was fine, and I would have a baby in the summer. I was trying not to get excited, or sad, I was trying to feel nothing. We got to the hospital and the tests started. It seemed like forever before I finally got the bad news. We lost the pregnancy. So, is it better to have not known or planned or got excited? Not really. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I started planning. Heck, I started planning shortly after having Callie. And everyone asked, like everyone does, "What did you do for New Year's" and what do you say? "Oh, just sat around bawling my eyes out." I was really angry and bitter about it for a while. I know that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't have Tanner if I didn't have a miscarriage. And I love him so much. He's such a little Craig it's ridiculous. So it did teach me to be thankful for what I have, and that I am not in charge. God is. Maybe I really needed to learn that lesson. I know I am a bit of a control freak.

So as far as my New Year's hopes, just to be happy, appreciate what I have, and learn to let go. Don't sweat the small stuff. Spend every minute I can just playing with the kids, soaking it all up, because I know how fast time flies and before you know it they will be graduating from high school and moving out. Sad thought. Life is way too short to dwell on the little things like dishes not being done, laundry that needs to be put away, and organizing my dresser drawers. If my husband and my children are happy, safe, and loved, then who needs a New Year's Resolution?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Woes of Motherhood

I love being a mommy. I really do. I talk about it all day, everyday. My children are my life and I would have nothing without them. However, there are those days... Moms, you know what I am talking about. I decided to be brave and share some of my confessions with you. I want you to read this with a light heart. I am writing it from a place of love, humor, and a hint of sarcasm. If you question whether or not I truly love my motherhood role, you really don't know me. That being said... I continue :)

Callie slept in our bed last night and Craig went to work early. It's just me and the kids today. We were up late last night and I was hoping the kids would sleep until at least 7! Well, I won the sleep lotto and they didn't wake up until 9:30! I don't remember the last time I slept until 9:30! This day has to be perfect now, right? I spent the morning playing with Callie and Tanner, listening to her sing Taylor Swift songs, and him say "Dadadadadada" over and over. Thanks, rub it in. I put him down for a nap and figured that it would be a perfect time to finally take a shower. It was just past noon. Moms, you know showers can be VERY hard to come by, so I seized the opportunity. I thought about locking the door. I always think about locking the door. Maybe I could have 10 minutes of "Shower Peace" if I just lock the door. Eh, didn't happen. Not only did I not lock the door, I brought the baby monitor in (yes he's almost one and we still use it. He has a quiet cry people!) so I could hear if he woke up. Got through my shampoo, no problems. Rinsing, great, still no Callie. Then she came up. I hear "MOM! MOM!" thinking something happened. She comes in with an apple. Yes, an apple. She wants me to cut it. Right now.  So I got out and cut her apple and finished my shower. Just kidding. I hope you didn't really think that I would do that. I told her to go downstairs and I would be down in a minute! Duh! So she only came up about four more times while I showered as quickly possible.

Sometimes, I have an audience when I shower. No. Really. She refuses to just let me take a shower. Here's an example of what my showering conditions can be like at any given time.

Ms. Callie and her "class"
 She actually came in for a band-aid for Alice because baby Lilly bit her. She just decided to stay. Great.

So a shower is just one of the things we mothers sacrifice. Maybe I'll learn to lock the door one day... you are right... probably not.

How about those long car rides? We live about an hour and a half from our hometown. So we go for an almost two hour car ride every so often. Most of the time, the kids sleep and that's awesome. That is, until I have to go to the bathroom. I can hold it. I can hold it. I am NOT waking up and taking a baby (at the time) and Callie into a rest stop so I can go potty. How would it even work? Logistical nightmare. I can hold it. Try to think about something else. Turn up Celine Dion and just sing and enjoy yourself. I can hold it. I notice the diaper bag next to me and I have about an hour left until I get home. The thought of pulling over and peeing in a diaper did cross my mind. I'm not gonna lie. Did I do it? Heck no. That would be gross, but it did cross my mind. This is the kind of insanity that motherhood can drive you to. Don't even lie, you've been there.

Even writing this blog. I can't do it in peace unless I want to stay up late. Which, I don't. She's kicking me as I type.

And then three minutes later, Tanner is pulling on the laptop cords. Yup. And just for the record, I am not neglecting my children. Craig is sitting right beside me. Refer to my blog on the Male Brain for what I think about that.

Meal time? Forget about it. We sit down for dinner, and Ms. High Maintenance kicks in. I mean, really kicks in. "Mommy I need a napkin. Mommy wipe my hands. Mommy can I be done? Count with me Mommy, how many more bites?" And so on. Tanner's new favorite thing to do is beat on his tray on the highchair so hard that his food flies off. He thinks that's hilarious. I kind of do, too! Until I have to clean it up!

How can you get mad at this face??

Yes, I love motherhood. Like I said before, if you know me, you know it's the most important thing in my life. But it helps to make light of the more challenging times and I am so thankful for my children and my husband. There are a million upsides for every downside. I wouldn't have it any other way :)