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'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'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. 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's for the KIDS, my love).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


If you've popped in here for any length of time or have talked to me for more than 10 minutes, you probably know the long journey potty training has been with our eldest little nugget. It all started here in this post, and it's been an uphill trek ever since (Please note the date, yes, 2 years ago!). Well friends, the epic day finally arrived two weeks ago when Weston pooped in the toilet just shy of 4 1/2 (he's been peeing just fine for almost a year). Forgive me for a post dedicated entirely to toilet talk, but really, this has changed my life.

Here's the promised Benny the Bull who has been hanging out on the top of our hutch awaiting this day for so long we had to put more air in him before use. I'm with you Benny, I was starting to lose steam over this whole thing too.  Also part of this deal was a new "Cars" racetrack and tickets to the Lion King musical at the Fox. Not that we hadn't tried excessive bribery already, but at last, the perfect timing of readiness, patience, soothing words and outlandish prizes came together. I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing and trumpets playing when I walked in the bathroom, but I can't be certain. My mind could have been hallucinating due to extreme lengths of bottom wiping.

And humor me just a bit more while I tell you that I have learned more about myself as a mom and who my son is through potty training perhaps than any other thing I've encountered. Not to over spiritualize a load of poop, but this has been no easy feat. Tears, loss of patience, accidents galore, fear/doubt, advice/unintended criticism. It's been a bit draining.  But here's what I'm starting to know: there are limits to my parenting, as in I don't get to control everything. Formulas only occasionally work (this + that = desired outcome). Process is just as important as the end result. It is not as important WHEN I get my child potty trained as what kind of character I display in the process. There are very popular 3 day potty training plans...well, ours was over 700 days. Weston just didn't fit into that box and he will likely not fit into many other boxes along the way and I'm thankful God is showing me how to deal with that. And that's not to say I couldn't have done things differently and certainly I didn't pull this thing off flawlessly, but in the end, I'm REALLY proud of my son for doing something that was truly wrapped in a lot of anxiety and I'm proud of myself for hanging in there and being willing to learn alongside him.

Here's to poop, friends. Hallelujah!

Grateful for... (had to dig through the archives to find where I left off!)

#89 Lessons in poop.
#90 Uninterrupted time to myself. Only a little bit, then I need the happy tune of endless questions and screams of delight/fighting back.
#91  Cobblestone pastries

Saturday, August 25, 2012

First Day of Preschool

Weston's off to PreK 4! He's going two days a week at South City Community School and we're super excited to see how he grows and explores and learns this year. I got a little teary-eyed when I dropped him off, but quickly had to wrangle Lily who was yelling, "Me too! Me too!" (I guess we won't have any problems sending her off!). He was pretty hesitant at his "new student welcome", but when it came to the morning of, he got swept up with the flow of the hectic morning and did fine. When I picked him up, he was all smiles.

His new snake backpack he picked out.

Good friend Marlie who is in Kindergarten. So glad he has a familiar face around the school!

While he was at school, Lily and I went to two playgrounds, the library, the grocery store and had a corn dog picnic lunch. I look forward to having some one on one time with my little lady this year too!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Magic House

We had tickets to the Magic House from the kids ring bearer/flower girl debut in our friends' wedding and it was the perfect summer to have them! It was super crowded (what else to do when the high is 105?!) but I managed to leave with both kids still in tow.

How are you so cute, Lily? Just how do you do it? In a hand me down from Aunt Julie's wardrobe circa 1970's that's how.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beatin' the Heat

 I presume the heat/drought of the Midwest's summer this year will go down in weather history. We'll be the record stat they pull up 40 years from now on the 6 o'clock weather spot (It hasn't been this hot since 2012!). It's a good conversation starter in the grocery line too, but other than that....It's. Just. Real. Hot.

Weston's "Andy the Lion" pose (from the movie "Madagascar")

Bottoms up!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Trip to the Lake

 What's summer without a trip to the lake and fun with cousins and "flamily"?

This is probably the infamous "reindeer jump". Along with many other animal jumps!

Quite the natural lady of the boat pose...

Fishing for more snacks..."I hungy Momma"

Weston and Jesse reading a book together...sweetness abounds.

Leah and Tim tubing. Weston went with Kurt also...a new leaf has turned with the water this summer!

I don't know what's cuter...this kids face or Lily and Kurt smooching in the background.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Father's Day

For Father's Day this year I got Kurt and Weston tickets for a Cardinal game that was actually ON Father's Day. Yay! Weston was soooo excited. I didn't even tell him until that day because I knew his anticipation would bubble over into spilling the beans :). Kurt had the great idea of taking the MetroLink into the stadium...which led to even more jumping up and down from the little one. 

It was pretty hot that day and Weston made it through 10 of 14 innings of the game! I was pretty proud of him! I think Kurt took this picture to prove that adequate hydration was occurring...

Weston was exhausted when he got home, but when asked about his favorite part it was, of course, seeing Fredbird...


Lily and I had the afternoon together in which she spent most of the time asking, "Where Wethtie doe?" And immediately upon arriving home half asleep, she was at his side asking "Wanna pay wit me? Wanna pay wit me?"

Happy Father's Day to the best Dad for these kiddos...and husband for this momma!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Grant's Farm

We made our first trek to Grant's Farm this year. Since I dislike paying the $12 for parking, I park down the trail and we walk to the farm. I underestimated the length of that "little" jaunt and just brought the umbrella stroller thinking that Weston would be able to walk. That resulted in me carrying one child and pushing another in the dead heat of noon on our way back after having to do some backtracking to see the Clydesdale horses. Bummer. Weston kindly called me out suggesting, "Mom you should have brought the red stroller (our double)". Despite Momma needing a nap afterwards, we had a great time.

Lily actually agreed to the carousel for the first time!

Lily was especially "mothering" to the baby goats

Weston wanted me to get a picture of all the animals!


We also saw the bird show which Weston loved. His focus and and attention to those kind of things is so fun to watch. Lily stayed "sort of" close and didn't run off "too far" and I felt a bit more at ease and able to enjoy the park with them than last year. Maybe we'll visit again before the season's over. With the red stroller, of course :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


My parents have a lake with a trail around it which is nice for a morning or afternoon walk. It's a little over a mile, so we have to make a snack stop half way for the little legs :)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Movie Night

Weston rarely takes a nap, so when he does we try to make a big deal of how he gets to stay up a bit later (aren't naps so AWESOME?!). This time I took him to a Red Box and let him pick out a movie. They're pretty cute little movie-goers, eh?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Suson Park Farm Day

Lily's first pony ride!

I asked her if she wanted me to walk with her and she shook her head "no."

And off she went. I'm pretty sure this is a sign of things to come.

Posing with friend Sophie

We stood in line for a long while to get our face painted

I'm pretty sure I could have brought a Sharpie and done a similar job, but whatever :)

Topped off with an old fashioned hayride