Tuesday, January 29


Why do I continue to feed my kids blueberry's? I don't let Noah eat them anymore. He can eat a blueberry muffin or blueberry pancake but to eat blueberry's straight out of the fresh fruit container, not so much. I've learned my lesson - the hard way. You would think that since I learned my lesson with Noah, I'd shy away from blueberry's with Natalie but no... I'm guess I'm just a risk taker that way (ugh!!)

I fed Natalie some pear blueberry granola baby food the other day. She loved it as I figured she would. All babies love fruit; they hate the other stuff like veggies and meat. Not even 10 minutes after finishing her delicious pear blueberry lunch, she is sitting in her highchair and I hear her begin to grunt. No big deal - it's normal; she's running right on schedule - so to speak :) When she's finished, I can smell her on the other side of the kitchen. :( I am cooking dinner so I figure I'll give her a minute just to be sure she's done while I finish cutting the onions and putting the beef tips in the pan.

I carry her, a diaper and the wipes into the living room to change her diaper. As I lay her down and pull her pants off, I see that it is down her legs where the pants have smeared it on their way off. It is all over her onesie and I am at a complete loss. I didn't expect this!! Dave is at work and I am no where near prepared for this mess. Little Noah is sitting on the couch watching Blue's Clues. I look around, frantically - I don't know why. It's not like the kids toys can save me from this disaster!

I need the scissors. Of course we keep them out of Noah's reach so I can't ask him to be the helpful big brother he is so good at being. What am I gonna do? I can't pick her up because I'll get it all over me and that will make me throw up and make a bigger mess. I can't leave her lay there while I get the scissors - she'll roll over and get it on the carpet. Dinner is cooking and at this point, I'm not even sure how that will turn out. She is distracted by the TV so I make a run for it and grab the scissors.

As I run back into the room (I know, you're not supposed to run with scissors in your hand but hey, I'm almost 30 and I'm desperate to keep it off the carpet), she starts to roll. The next few seconds played out in slow motion as if in a Hollywood movie. I yell, "NO!!" She stops but only for a brief moment. She can't see me on her back so now she must roll over to see me since she hears me. I yell again, "NO!!! Natalie, no rolling!!" Again, I don't know why I do this. It's not like she understands what I'm saying and she is on a one track mind - "see mom".

Just as her leg is about to hoist her all the way over and make this disaster worse, I slide safely into position and stop her. It was sort of like a close play in baseball. She laughed and scrunched her nose as if laughing to herself at this fun game she is playing with me. Noah never missed a beat; he just kept watching Blue's Clues!

I cut the onesie off, pull the diaper open and use nearly all the wipes just trying to get the diaper off. Luckily I didn't run out; the wipes are in the basement and I'm positive she would have rolled before I got back upstairs.

I get everything cleaned up and she gets a new outfit on and we continue our day. I wearily check the meat that has been cooking for what seems like way too long... yep, that's what I was afraid of! Because of the grease from the meat, the juice from the onions, the meat not being stirred and "monitored", the meat has been "boiled" and has cooked past done so we are having beef jerky and noodles for dinner. Yum - sorry 'bout it, Dave :)

Friday, January 25

A busy time but a successful surprise

Oh boy – where do I start? It’s been a crazy 2 weeks.

Dave went to NY for work last Tuesday. He was scheduled to be back last Wednesday night but got held up and came home Thursday night. You would think, given any normal situation, that wouldn’t be a big deal. To me and the fact that his birthday is a week and a half away – it’s a very big deal.

We were supposed to have party for him on Saturday the 26th. There was limited availability with my family that day so I was really trying to figure out how to make it work without scheduling a party 3 weeks after the fact. So, last Tuesday night, as I sat feeding Natalie at 930, I decided I would try to pull off a surprise party for Friday. That leaves me 3 days until the party.

I frantically make calls to my family at 930pm to see if we can possibly pull this off. General consensus is “yes”. Everyone will be here no later than 530 on Friday to surprise him as he comes in the door from work. I am so excited - I think I can pull this off!!

Dave called me on Wednesday to say he is held up on his work project and won’t be home until Thursday night. Because he is staying an extra day in NY, maybe he can leave early on Friday. I pretend like it’s no big deal – “Oh, that’d be fun! Okay.” Inside I’m reacting something a little more like this: “WHAT!?!?! Are you serious!?!?! You can’t leave early!!! What the hell am I gonna do?!?!?!” Now I’m disappointed – I don’t think I can pull this off.

I called mom, frantic – “Please help me. What am I gonna do? Help me come up with a believable story about why he can’t leave early without really letting him onto what’s happening.” After some talking and thinking – maybe I can get somebody at work to schedule a late day meeting with Dave. I hate relying on someone at work but I’m desperate. Maybe I can tell him he can’t come home because I have a contractor coming to give me an estimate on something for his birthday. Not to believable but what else am I gonna do. I decide to wait and see what the day in like on Friday before I start telling lies and involving people at work.

Because I can’t let on that I am pulling this together, I have to wait and buy EVERYTHING on Friday. It’s supposed to be 20° and Noah is sick. I hate to drag him out all day but what choice to do I have.

Friday arrives – I’m exhausted. I don’t sleep well when Dave is gone and the smoke alarm went off in the middle of the night because of a low battery which scared the daylights out of me. After my heart stopped pounding out of my chest and I finally fell asleep, Noah came in. Once he tossed and turned and finally got comfortable enough o sleep, Natalie woke up. So, here I am – no sleep, 10° (it’s 8am), a party to plan, buy food and cook food in less than 9 hours. I know I will be on my feet non-stop until 530 when Dave gets home but I have no idea the day I am about to have…

I throw the kids in the car and rush off to Kroger as soon as I know Dave is out of the subdivision. No breakfast…just a big glass of milk for each kid to get them through grocery shopping. I’ll feed them breakfast when we get home. I am planning on cooking spaghetti with homemade sauce. I need to get the sauce going because I want it to simmer in the crock pot all day. I have to bake a cake, make icing and decorate the cake after it has time to cool. I have to get to Kroger for all this food. I wish I could have bought it earlier but Dave would have definitely guessed something was up when I brought enough spaghetti for 15 people.

I push through Kroger throwing any possible necessity for the party in the cart. I pick up a case of beer but wait, we’re having spaghetti – beer and spaghetti…GROSS!! I put the beer back and wonder aimlessly through the wine – yeah right, like I have some sort of idea what I’m doing when it comes to buying wine. I know Chianti goes with Italian food but I can’t find it anywhere. Again – I have no idea what I’m doing! I remembered there is a Zinfandel that we like that I think we can get at Kroger. Mom and dad bought some when they were here. Did they get it at Kroger? I call her and yes, they did but she doesn’t remember where it was in the wine section. I keep looking – if it was snake, it would have bit me. As I’m heading towards the register I remember that not everyone likes wine and there will be drinking games. Wine and drinking games don’t mix so I go back for the case of beer. Beer, wine, spaghetti and cake – yum! – we head to the check out. The cashier gives me the total – GULP!! – $100 in alcohol and $100 in food… it’s his fault for turning 40 :) As I reach for my wallet, I realize that Noah’s drink has been leaking in the diaper bag which has been laying in the bottom of the cart. I pick it up to stop anymore leaking and we’re off. Homebound to cook all day!!

As I throw the meat and onions into the pan, I realize I don’t have a pan big enough to cook all this meat. It’s like I’m making one GIANT hamburger. There’s no room in the pan to scramble it. I call mom – this is not going well. As far as I know he’s still planning on coming home early so it’s only adding to my state of panic. I separate the meat into 2 pans and continue on. Noah is having cereal for breakfast and Natalie gulps down some infant cereal/oatmeal. Thank goodness she is such a fast eater and Noah can feed himself. :) I pour everything into the crock pot. It is full - to the rim. If I put anything else in there, it will overflow. I barely have room for the lid and I still need to add 3 cans of tomato paste. Call mom – it’s not going well!! Based on a taste test, I think I can skip the paste…thank goodness.

Noah wants a drink. Okay – apple juice is already in the diaper bag from the trip to Kroger this morning. Where’s the diaper bag?? I must have left it in the car – nope! Did I put it in Natalie’s seat under her blanket – nope! Oh crap…I left it in the cart at Kroger. My wallet is in there…oh crap!! I’m going to have to cancel my cards and be without $$ all weekend and no $$ to finish buying the decorations for the party. I call Dave in a panic and pretend to be nearly in tears… “Are you coming home early? I’m having such a bad day!” “It doesn’t look like it, what happened?” I come up with a story that I left the bag in the cart at Kroger when I went in for Starbucks. He buys the story but tells me not the cancel anything until I pick up the bag. If it seems like it’s been gone through, we’ll figure out what to do. Good – he’s not coming home early :)

The nice people at the customer service counter handed me my bag with a smile and said I left it on the end of the checkout lane. I apparently set it down on the counter when I adjusted Noah's leaking apple juice and forgot to pick it back up. YEAH – it’s been with them since I left and it hasn’t been gone through!! I’m surprised they don’t know my name by now. Generally, once a month, I end up leaving something – cell phone, dog, drink, etc. They are always friendly – my mom says at least I don’t forget my kids at Kroger…good point :)

I am now driving down the road trying to visualize the closest party store to buy balloons and decorations. Fields Ertel is 20 minutes away and always soooo packed with traffic but that’s where I have to go. As I am in the turn lane to get on the highway, I remember a party store at the next exit – opposite of the direction to Fields Ertel. Good – 5 minutes no traffic is better than 20 minutes plus traffic. I get back in the lane for the other exit ramp and continue on with my ever so adventurous day.

As I pull into the shopping center where the party store is, I see the party store is no longer there. WHAT!?!? This is just my luck. They aren’t closed down for good, they are moving locations and have closed for the weekend in preparation of the move. Of all weekends to be closed – are you kidding me?!? Now I really have to go to Fields Ertel. UGH!! I’ve just lost about 10 minutes coming to this party store and trying to figure out what to do next. Again, as I getting in the exit lane to get on the highway to go to Fields Ertel, I remember a party store at the next exit across from the mall. It’s only 10 minutes away and only a small amount of traffic. It’s nap time for the kids but I don’t have time to give them a nap yet – I have to buy decorations!!

We make it to the party store, buy balloons and decorations. Load Natalie back into the car and then I hear, from Noah, “Where’s my dog?” Oh my gosh!! Unload Natalie and trek back inside to locate dog which was left on the shelf next to the party hats Noah played with while I made my decoration selections. I think we’re good now. We head home. As I’m exiting the highway for the house, I remember I forgot the DVD’s for the video camera that Samantha is letting me borrow for tonight. Noah and Natalie have both fallen asleep so I can't drag them out into the cold. They'll never fall back asleep. Katie and Stephanie are supposed to come over to help… where are they?!?! I call Katie and she will stop for DVDs and black gel icing for the cake decorating.

I carry my kids in the house and down for a nap. They are sleeping and I rush to make icing and ice the cake. I still have to get the decorations together, feed my kids lunch, make the salad and salad dressing, and shower in 2 ½ hours. Oh boy – we’re cutting it close!! I call Dave to figure out if he’s changed his mind about leaving early. Nope – “busy day, I’ll leave around 5. What’s for dinner?” He’s okay with spaghetti, he just doesn’t know it’s spaghetti for 15. :)

Kate and Stephanie arrive. Kate does decorations, Stephanie makes the salad dressing and I get lunch ready for my kids. I hear dog hit the stairs – Noah’s up!! He eats lunch. One down - one to go. Natalie wakes up and Stephanie feeds her. I head to the shower. As the water turns off, I hear that everyone is hear except Samantha. It’s 5:00; where is she? The success of this is dependent on her video camera. I call and she’s not even left her house yet. I think of a back up plan… I can’t think of one so I just hope she gets here before Dave.

It’s 5:10 and I haven’t heard from him to tell me he’s left work – that’s strange. I hope he didn’t get in the middle of a phone call in the car and forget to call. I call and pretend to be starving - sort of pretending. I'm pretty hungry but don't realize how hungry because I have been running all day. I tell him that I don’t want to wait until 6 to eat. How long before he’s home? He’s leaving now and will home about 545… PERFECT!! He tells me to start the spaghetti noodles at 530 so we can eat when he gets home. Um…okay I'm so sure - I can’t start noodles at 530. He’ll wonder why I’m making so many noodles. Oh well – he’ll have to wait for them to cook after he gets home.

Samantha arrives with the camera and I pull everyone upstairs with decorations and posters. We sit in our room and wait… tick – tock – tick – tock!! I’m not sure if he’s onto me so I hide everyone upstairs to make him think Noah and I are playing in his room and nothing is up. Everyone is getting anxious and peaking out the blinds. He’ll see you if you do that. Just sit tight; you’ll here the garage door open.

The garage door goes up and we hold our breath. I have Noah yell for him. I hear Dave yell back. Noah yells, again. I have Noah yell, “Daddy, come see me!” Dave peaks his head around the corner…


He is surprised and looking for dinner. I’d say it was a successful surprise!!!

After dinner, we open presents. He is soooo surprised by the trip to Vegas. He keeps asking, “Really?!” We have video that I hope will make it to youtube soon but that’s something he’ll have to take care of.

In the middle of the party planning, Noah gets a cold. Just as he starts to get better, Natalie starts teething and has the nastiest cold because of her teething. She gets 2 new teeth – one on top and one on the bottom. Her nose clears up but now she’s got a cough. So, now that Noah is better, Natalie is sick. Noah woke up from his nap yesterday afternoon complaining that his ear hurt. That’s weird… It’s not an ear infection. He doesn’t have normal ear infection symptoms that he shows – fever, fussy, crying, sleeplessness. I figure maybe he slept on that side and he’s tired from just waking up. Stephanie is on her way over to watch the kids so Dave and I can go out for his birthday. I don’t want to cancel on her, again. Last time she was supposed to babysit, we found out Noah has a nut allergy so we had to cancel. I give Noah some Tylenol, feed him and he seems better - good! When Stephanie shows up, he wants to play toys in his room with her. Noah is better so we are off to the movies.

After watching “Juno” (great movie –highly recommend it), we head out to dinner. Dave isn’t hungry because he filled up on popcorn and nachos. I’m starving… I didn’t eat very much today knowing we were going out tonight. After driving around for a while so Dave could figure what he wants to eat, we decide on Arthur’s in Hyde Park. As we are sitting at a traffic light, looking for a parking spot, we hear “crunch!” Someone has just rear ended us. Oh great… I’m starving! I don’t have time for this. :) Luckily, we just had a scratch but her passenger side mirror is pretty damaged. From looking at it, I think she was trying to get around us at the light. I’m not sure why: the light was red and we were turning right so it’s not like she was going to go anywhere and we weren’t going to hold her up when the light did turn green. Oh well!! Dave decides not to call the cops and to just exchange information with her. Thank god – from my experience, Cincinnati cops are way toooo slow to respond and then process the accident and I’m starving. I don’t want to wait!

We park, eat dinner, and head home.

Poor Noah – he had fun playing with Stephanie but when it came time for bed, he wanted Dave to put him to bed but we were at dinner. He didn’t want Stephanie to do it so he put himself to bed. Poor little guy – he’s never done that before. I don’t know who I felt worse for: Noah for not feeling good and us not being there for him or Stephanie who felt bad for not being able to comfort him. I know she tried but it’s just not the same as mom or dad. L He must have heard us come home because when Stephanie left, I heard him yell for me. We comforted him and put him back to bed. Dave decided to sleep on the couch because Natalie was up crying from 1130 until about 1230. She doesn’t feel good either. She has a stuffy nose so she can’t suck her thumb and she has a cough. She finally went back down around 1230 and Noah was in our room at 230. He tossed and turned and kept me up until 415 when he started crying and complaining about his ear again. I gave him Tylenol and left a message at the doctor’s office that I wanted an appointment for Noah. I finally got back to sleep about 430. Noah was up at 745 – I guess it’s better than the normal 630 :)

The doctor’s office has scheduled us for 10 this morning. I wake up Natalie who is now coughing and wheezing. UGH!! I call the doctor’s office to get her in, too. So, we’re off and running again today.

The diagnosis: Noah has an ear infection – Natalie just has a cold and yet another tooth coming in. Antibiotics for Noah – tough it out Natalie. I think she is going for getting all her teeth at once. Well, at least she'll get it done and over with :)

So, sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve updated the blog… we’ve been busy!!

Friday, January 11

Clothes for Christmas

Noah got jeans and a little zip up jacket for Christmas from Bryan and Erica. He wears that jacket everywhere and doesn't like wearing any other coat he has. I'll try to take it off when we get home from various errands and he wants to leave it on. When I do manage to get him out of it, he'll put it back on as soon as I leave the room or turn my back. His reason for liking the coat so much - it came from Erica. I keep telling him it came from Erica AND Uncle Bryan but he seems to only hear "Erica". Watch out Bryan - you have some competition. :) He asks about going to see Erica, so I ask him, "You want to go see Uncle Bryan and Erica?" "Yes, Erica" Maybe soon...

Thanks for the clothes!

Wednesday, January 9


We joined the local YMCA. Well, sort of local - it's 25 minutes away but worth every minute of the drive. They will watch the kids for up to 2 hours so I can have some time to myself. I have decided to work out and get in shape. The kids will get a much deserved break from me and I will get my mom body back into pre-mom condition. I'm content with my size but feel things are just a little to flabby since having 2 kids.

I went to the cardio center to see what they could tell me about the best way to get in shape. I don't exercise and haven't had any real physical fitness since playing volleyball in 9th grade - 15 years ago. I was the bench warmer so I suppose that doesn't really count :) I told the nice lady at the cardio counter I wanted to get in shape. I don't want to change my eating habits and I don't weigh myself. She seemed as though my thought process was a fairly normal and kindly explained my options for getting my "core a little tighter" (whatever that means!? :) ) without giving up food and stepping on a scale. Elliptical and pilates... got it!! Now comes the execution of my plan.

Today was our first trial run. Drop the kids off at "child watch" and spend 45-60 minutes by myself exploring the Y to really figure out where everything is. This is first day as a member and I'm not quite sure where everything is. My plan is to pick up Noah and have time just me and him. Pick up Natalie and then head home for a family nap.

I went to get Noah from child watch so he and I could play basketball or whatever he wants to do just me and him, but when I went to pick him up, Natalie started crying. I gave in to the guilt!! She came with us to the family play area where Noah could play with life size blocks. I sat on the sidelines wishing to play with him. He doesn't really know any different so he's not as disappointed as I am. Now, family nap is really the kids nap but it's time to myself so things, overall, went well. Maybe tomorrow Natalie will let me play, too.

Thursday, January 3

Easter Sunday

I'm 28 months pregnant (yes, I meant months) and I can't remember a darn thing to save my life. We are going to church to see Mallory get baptized. We aren't used to leaving so early in the morning and we don't really know where we are going. We are all supposed to meet at mom and dad's and we are running late. I can't function without Starbucks so we have to stop which is only making us later. In our rush out the door, I forget to refills the wipes container in the diaper bag. I call Sammie's house to have them bring a few extra for me in case I need them. The conversation goes something like this:

A very groggy Braden says, "Hello." (that's strange - we're supposed to be at church in 30 minutes)
"Braden. What number did I dial? Did I call your house? Are you guys still home?"
"Good. Hey, I forgot wipes for Noah. Can you have Sammie bring me some?"
"Yea. Sure."

About 15 minutes later Sammie calls me. The conversation goes something like this:

***she tells me what she wants***
"Did Braden tell you I called?"
"Huh? You called?"
"Yes - good thing you called me. I asked him to have you bring me some extra wipes. I forgot to bring some for Noah."
"When did you call?"
"About 15 minutes ago."

I hear Sammie ask Braden if I called.

"Braden didn't talk to you."
"Yes he did. I woke him up. Maybe he doesn't remember."
"He's been up for a while. You didn't wake him."
"What number did you dial?"
"I called the house."
"We disconnected our house phone."
"Really?! When?"
"A few months ago."

I wonder what that man must have thought being woken from his sleep to hear some crazy lady talking about extra wipes. With as tired as that man sounded, he probably doesn't even remember.

Wednesday, January 2


Natalie is teething and it sucks!!! If Noah had teethed at all, he would be an only child :) She now has 3 teeth on the bottom and her first top tooth broke through the gum Monday. Top tooth number 2 has started trying to break through the gum on Sunday. The poor child is miserable which is making me miserable which, in turn, is making Noah miserable. Her nose is so stuffy and drippy - yuck!!

Noah slept until 830 this morning. Good for me 'cause I slept in but he woke up with a stuffy nose and I can hear him breathing a little funny like his lungs just aren't functioning to their full capacity. Ugh!!

Mom and dad left for Houston on Sunday and now both my kids are sick. It's a sign - you need to come home!!! My kids are miserable without you :)

Happy New Year - I hope all of 2008 goes better than the first 2 days of 2008.

December 19, 2007

Mom came home from Houston tonight. Noah was in bed when she got there. He usually goes to bed between 8 and 830. Mom, Dave and I sat up talking and getting caught up until almost midnight. When we were ready for bed, Dave did his usual check of the house and the kids. I was in our room clearing off the bed of all the clutter that has accumulated on our bed. I can never find anything to wear and by the end of the day, you can tell by looking at our bed. :) Dave comes into our room laughing and motions for me to follow him. I follow him into Noah's room and Dave is laughing pretty hard. I see Noah lying in the middle of his bed. I smile, thinking, "What so funny about that? That's how he always sleeps." As my eyes adjust a little bit more to the dark, I notice that his pajameas are unzipped all the way to his feet. What the heck?!! I laugh and turn to leave and realize his diaper is missing. I bend down to look closer - am I really seeing this. I wish my eyes would adjust to the dark. So - Noah is laying in his bed, in the fetal position, sucking his thumb, pajamas unzipped, no diaper to be seen, and "protecting himself" with his other hand. Oh my gosh...what the heck has he been doing up here for the last 4 hours. I am laughing hysterically and trying to be so quiet. I don't want to wake him up and scare him with us standing over his bed. We get mom who joins our laughing fit. Dave gets a diaper and mom and I leave. I hear Dave yell for pajamas. Noah is soaked head to toe. Apparently he's been naked for quite some time. As Dave is changing him, I ask if the bed is wet. Of course it is - dumb question!!! I tell Noah he can sleep with me. Dave says, "What? Where am I supposed to sleep?" My response, "On the couch." I grab Noah and carry him into our room and snuggled him under all the blankets. The poor kid is freezing!
The next morning when Noah woke up I asked him why he took his pajamas and diaper off. He didn't seem to know what I was talking about. He just kept saying "daddy opened door and Noah slept with mommy." I think Noah was "sleep undressing". I supposed it's better than sleep walking but I have caught him doing that a few times.
About a week ago, I heard him at 630 in the morning saying, "I can't do it. I can't open the door." Thinking he's stuck in his room, I open my door to help him out and he's actually laying in the floor in front of Natalie's door. Oh my - he's trying to get in Natalie's room and she still sound asleep. I realize as I talk to him that he is asleep. I'm glad we have a gate at the top of the stairs and I'm hoping he'll out grow sleep walking.