Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 ?!?!

Let's just pretend that five month hiatus from blogging never really happened and you know all of the details of our family since Thanksgiving, mkay? Our camera is broken, but let's be real, I just haven't made this a priority. Soooo, I'm jumping in where we are and I'll try to back blog as I can (for me and my desire to record and print this, not because you're desperately wondering what our kids got for Christmas or where we went for Valentine's Day...although you probably do want to see Lily's sweet face on her 3rd birthday).

Speaking of five, I have a five year old. What. Happened? It is so true of early childhood that "the days are long and the years are short." I'm trying to better cherish these days, even the really long ones :)

Weston had an animal birthday party last year, but that's what he wanted this year also. He's such a creature of habit and routine!

In the last two weeks I've had my wisdom teeth removed and got a stomach bug, so I haven't quite felt the wind in my sails. Luckily we decided on very low key-grandparents over for dinner kind of birthday parties this year. I added to the low key with a store bought cake (gasp!) that he saw on Schnucks website and said "Yes! That's It! That's The One!" $16.99 later, we made it happen. I still swear by a scratch cake, but that didn't keep me from having a piece for breakfast this morning. 

He was so funny when he was opening his birthday presents.  First of all, you could get this kid a brick and he'd unwrap it and be so excited, but this year he got this broadcaster voice as he was opening each present: "And it wouldn't be a great birthday withooooooouuuuut (unwrapping it)...... SHARK PAJAMAS!!!!" And then, "But that's not all, I can't live without aaaaaaaaaa.........STUFFED GORILLA!!!". I don't know where this came from, but we were belly laughing.

Each birthday I find it interesting to look back on the year and remember what my kids have been really "in to", what they've had a hard time with, what they've overcome, how they're growing. Weston continues to love animals and learn more obscure ones. He loves to draw and is getting really, really good. I am blown away at how he has started to draw depth into his pictures and draw things that go behind other things within the drawing...so thoughtful! He still loves to be read to and enjoys "reading"/telling stories to himself with his books. He loves all things crafty which is a bit hard to balance sometimes as I'm not as patient and creative. Kurt has actually been much better at doing some of the tedious, detailed crafts! He loves to ride his bike with training wheels and he got really comfortable in the water this past summer with swimming and diving for rings in the shallow water. He loves to "big brother" Lily and tell her what to do and "help" her (if you know Lily, you can imagine how well that goes over). He is doing so well at school and I'm especially proud to hear about how much effort he puts into his work, how he plays with everyone and is kind.  He's a definite firstborn/type A-ish kiddo and likes things "just right" (you don't even want to be around when that rhinoceros snout isn't drawn correctly). If you get him out of sorts, he can be pretty intense, but he's getting better at using words when he's angry. I rushed him out of Target the other day and he said to me very calmly as we were walking out, "Mom, you made me mad by shushing me out of there. I just wanted to look at that dinosaur because he's like my other one and you kept walking and didn't wait for me." Fair enough. Now, can you talk to your sister like that, please? :) 

Happy Birthday Weston! Like I tell you everyday, I love you so big it makes my heart hurt a little!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Superhero Homecoming

It's not exactly what we hoped for for the holidays, but we welcomed this superhero home from a 3 day stay at Missouri Baptist Hospital...

We had just gotten back from getting our Christmas tree (we'll do those pictures later!), the kids were resting in their rooms and I was frantically trying to get food together for Thanksgiving with Kurt's family that afternoon. My mom was graciously helping me/saving me from a green bean casserole catastrophe when we heard yelling in the garage where Kurt was getting the Christmas decorations from the attic. There was the split second look of terror we gave each other, then running to open the garage door from the kitchen, Kurt on the concrete floor on his back still screaming, frantic movement everywhere, calling 911, neighbors running over...it's all kind of a blur, but I can still see it perfectly, as a slide show almost. By the time we were in the ambulance, I knew he was going to be okay. No loss of consciousness, no loss of feeling in the limbs, and he knew his name.  We were in good shape, considering, but he still was in excruciating pain and couldn't move-and that was with morphine.  We were strangely thankful he walked away from this scene with one compression fracture in a vertebrae.

It's been about 3 weeks now. He's had a good follow-up appointment with the orthopedic doctor and he drove to work today for the first time. He's a trooper and I'm really proud of him. He was a great patient for his nurses and therapists at the hospital. He's paced himself well and pushed himself just enough with coming off the pain medications and increasing his level of activity. He's pretty great, I'm so thankful for him and love him dearly.

And I've learned a lot about myself, probably in the opposite direction...it's been difficult to keep up with two small children and gracefully care for my spouse. We're making it, but it hasn't been beautiful every moment. I had been grumpy that afternoon that he fell and later found myself praying repeatedly, "God, please don't let something like this be the way my heart has to find gratefulness." I am thankful the Lord's mercies are afresh each morning and for this recovery process because it means Kurt WILL recover, and that's awesome. Hallelujah.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Afternoon Date

This place is about 99% filled with pictures and posts about our kids. Partly, I'm okay with that. They are little and I'm afraid we'll not remember much from this stage of life twenty years from now (probably due to exhaustion and sleep deprivation). And let's be honest, tiny kids are really dependent and require a great deal of energy, so for this season they DO take up a considerable amount of our time and thought. I wouldn't change it for the world, but we are still people outside of them and we do do things without them and have interests outside of tot world. I'm going to try to bring my camera and take pictures of these types of things more often. It just seems that when I steal away from littles land, I'm more on the enjoying/relaxing end than the taking pictures/documenting end :)

So we'll start with this past Saturday when Kurt and I got away for an afternoon and dinner.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day, so I (of course) proposed a little walk at Powder Valley for starters (location of our engagement as a side note). I love that he's always willing to be outside with me even though my need for the outdoors is intensely greater than his. I was trying to relate to him the feeling of fresh air in your lungs and the smell of trees and leaves and his reply was, "I think you smell better than I do." So funny.

Then we stopped in a kids resale shop (kind of cheating), but immediately went to an adult resale shop next door. I got a cardigan and a dress and Kurt got a pair of black dress shoes and we left only minus $30. Nice.

We had beers and pizza at this place because we're the part of the small remnant of St. Louisans left who have not been there.

Pricey pizza, but let me tell you...ding dang good. My half was a butternut squash puree base with roasted brussel sprouts and carmelized onions. Delicious!

We stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home and took our time poking around and then got home in time to put the kids to bed. Nothing fancy or super romantic, but extremely nice. Love that guy. Love to "just be" with him. Thanks Mom and Dad for watching the kids!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh By the Way

So, in other news, Lily was potty trained about two weeks after Weston wrapped up. It took her a few days. She officially has gotten about 1/100th of the attention that her brother received, but that is one of many things that makes her so rad. In case you ever need a tool for potty training a strong-willed child, here is the best thing that ever happened to us for Lily (thanks Gretel!)...

You can set it for 30, 60 or 90 minutes and it plays a cool song. Therefore, it was always her idea to go to the bathroom and Lily LOVES for things to be HER idea :). This little wristwatch did most of the training and I just cleaned up a few or more accidents. Now THAT is my idea of potty training. Thank you Lord, for knowing I absolutely. Could. Not. Handle. Anything more than that this second time around.

Here she is enjoying her poop prize (if you hang in there long enough you'll see my mom and dad doing the motions to "Twinkle Little Star", it might be worth your wait)...

I must say it's pretty life changing to have no kids in diapers. I still carry wipes around. I just kind of feel incomplete (and dirty) without them. Hopefully I'll get over that.

And now, folks, I hereby promise it will be a lengthy time before I discuss poop or pee on this blog again. I think I've covered a lifetime's worth in the last two years.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How I Barely Miss a Major Mom Fail

Back in August, as you may have read previously, Weston finally pooped in the potty after 2 years of cajoling. It was a pretty big deal around here and one of the promised prizes was going to the Lion King musical which only makes its way to St. Louis every few years. Weston had seen a billboard for it and really wanted to go. Hence the bribe :). So we talked and talked about how we were going, looked at pictures online of the musical, etc., etc. 

I kept meaning to buy the tickets. And every time I thought of it, I was in the middle of something and I'd say to myself, "Self, as soon as you're done ______, go buy the Lion King tickets online." And then, by the time I was finished doing ______, I'd already forgotten (I need to start doing crossword puzzles, yes?).  This went on several weeks. 

It was my understanding that the musical went until the end of September, so the first weekend in September, on a Saturday, I finally got online to buy the tickets. And the last show was the NEXT day. And I had to work that day. And Kurt was supposed to be taking the kids to Montgomery City. And the show was sold out. I could feel my chest tighten and panic rising from my toes. I mean, we had really talked about this, really promised this. I don't do a lot of things well as a mother, but one thing I try really hard to do is keep my word with my kids and not offer empty promises. 

The musical was going to be in Wichita, Kansas next and I thought briefly about driving my son across the state to see it. Then I came to my senses and called the Fox Theater. They had tickets available that were "limited view" which they didn't sell online. They also said they MIGHT have tickets in the "Fox Club", but they couldn't tell conclusively, therefore, I'd have to drive to the Fox to find out (45 minutes away). I get off the phone, talk to Kurt. He's a bit annoyed, but I'm frantic, in tears and not giving up. And let's not forget the hurdle of working the next day that I still must jump. I get on the phone and start calling down the employee list to find someone to switch my shift. After 20 minutes, I find someone...not easy for Labor Day weekend. I call back the Fox. This time I talk to someone different who does confirm they have 2 tickets released in the Fox Club. I cannot hold them and will just have to drive to the Fox to purchase them and likely, and hopefully, they will still be there when I get there. I throw on clothes and start driving. I get there, explain more of the story than the clerk needs or wants to hear and begin the process of purchasing the tickets. As she is swiping my credit card, a couple approaches the clerk next to mine and asks for tickets to the Fox Club. Good thing I didn't take time to put make-up on before I left!

So here we are the next day, getting ready for our big date...

Waiting in line to get in...both of our patience starting to wear thin ("Don't grab that poll and swing around it, you have black all over your white shirt!"..."Mom, this is taking FOREVER!"

Found our seats!

First ever root beer float during the second act. He asked if he could save some and bring it home to share with Daddy. Too sweet.

We both loved it. Even if you don't know or love the Lion King, you must go see it for the music and costumes alone. We sat next to two really sweet ladies and at intermission one of them commented, "I've never seen a child so focused, I don't think he moved the whole time!"

So that's the story of how I kept a promise by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. And thank you to my husband for not throwing me out a window in the process. I won't be able to pull it off every time, and there are and will be times when my kids are disappointed. But I'm so thankful I got to keep this one.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What Kind of Sale?

Weston and I were on a bike ride today and rode past a garage that...well...kind of had a lot of junk and trash bags in it.

Weston: "Huh. Looks like they're having a garbage sale."
Me: "What kind of sale?"
Weston: "A garbage sale. It's when you get all your old trash together and sell it to another little boy.

Hmm. Sounds interesting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Which I Read One of the Best Books of All Time

I just put Weston to bed and we finished the last chapter of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. You know, the original one circa 1926 before it was all Disney-atized. I can't believe I'm 32 years old and have just laid my hands on this lovely piece of literature.

The best part is there are three more books (and an unofficial 4th)! Tigger isn't even IN the first book, which Weston realized before I did. He also noticed that Piglet wore a green shirt in the book illustrations (by Earnest Shepard...also delightful) as opposed to the more frequently seen red. A chapter book is a bit of a stretch for him, but he hung with it pretty well. Even though he's not understanding every single nuance of the book, he still loves to hear it and gets excited for our time to read together (sans Lily). And really, just the exposure to the way Milne writes tickles the ear of any age reader.

So...do yourself a favor and check this out from your local library ASAP. And then you'll be desperate to buy the box set like I will be begging my husband to allow me to do tomorrow (eh hem...it's for the KIDS, my love).