Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vintage Posts -- Installment #5

Okay kids, and anyone else that happens upon this...I will forewarn you, this post has romantic insinuations regarding mommy and daddy. Let's just call it rated PG-13 ;) So, if you have the stomach for reading mushy stuff about us, read on. I intend to tell the tale of how we became Hawaii...on the beach.

We were both 23. We were on our Spring Break vacation in our final year of college (graduate school for me and undergrad for dad). I had a slight feeling that he might pop the question on this trip, mostly because I was certain our relationship was headed for marriage and because I could see (I am going to call him Bryan now, okay, not daddy) Bryan taking advantage of the ocean backdrop to make the occasion memorable.

So, the trip was oozing excitement since it was my first time to Hawaii and I knew I might come back with something sparkly on my wedding finger. Bryan did not disappoint - of course. He proposed on the beach the second day there and gave me a beautiful diamond that left me speechless and over the moon with happiness.

We thoroughly enjoyed the rest if the trip as Fiances, sending post cards to let everyone know our news and happily telling anyone we came in contact with that we were getting married.

I want to share a few pictures to illustrate just how in love and young and silly we were...

OH YEAH, PDA in the gazebo:

Every meal was a photo opportunity and we were complete goof-balls:

Our mode of transportation, "the tanning machine" convertible:

Showing off my bling on a walk on the beach to the resort next to ours for a decadent dinner:

We watched as the war in Iraq was announced on the news. It was so surreal:

But the news just made us cling even tighter, because we knew we were embarking on our life together and that was so comforting...knowing we would build our own safe haven, and have babies, and adventures, and disappointments, and challenges, and pride-swallowing, and laughter, and pure joy, determination, and most importantly, the same love we had when we landed in Maui in March of 2003.

Friday, February 27, 2009

18 week baby bump

Nevermind the worried look on my face, it's just that my photographer, aka husband, gave me no warning as to when he was actually taking the picture once I had asked him to do so. ;) So, this is actually what I look like when I am waiting for the person behind the camera to give the indication...ya know something like "say cheese!" That's okay, there are lots of things he is great at so I still love him.

I went to dinner last night with a friend, so I got to sport the little bump out in public. Even though it is totally obvious to anyone that knows me that I am pregnant, I think people in public still probably wouldn't call me on it for fear of being wrong and me just having a very awkward build ;)

As seen living room while I was gone at dinner. Warren got ahold of my camera again (he has been doing this lately at every chance) and took a picture of Jack holding Zoe, the teddy bear, with daddy walking past. I think it's funny and post-worthy for two reasons. One, Jack's hair is ridiculous from his earlier nap, which left him looking like a rooster. And two, it captures the fact that no adult can sit down in our house from the hours of 6-9 pm, it is just not possible with all of the evening activity and chores.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Keeping it Real

I have already admitted that discipline is not necessarily my strong suit in the parenting department. I can be somewhat inconsistent depending on the situation, I might yell more than I am proud to fess up to, and I'm not sure the mode of discipline is always commensurate with the violation. There, I have said it.

Now, I officially have to address my shortcomings because Warren is getting older and more capable and cunning in his naughtiness and backtalk. Cute as some of his retorts might be when I am trying to talk to him about his misbehavior, I do realize it will not be cute for long.

I know his currency - it is his Star Wars toys and paraphernalia. But those little figures and ships are such saviors at certain times of the day when I might need to do something constructive or have a moment's peace. So, I have been hesitant to take them away because, well I will be punished nearly as much if not more than him. But yesterday's bout of misdeeds left me completely no choice as all my other modes of discipline failed as they often do.

As much as I truly love that Nanny 911 show, the time out or naughty spot does not work for us and just plain never has since the boys were very small. Unless I literally sit on top of them, they are not staying on the little red bench I had designated as the time out spot.

So, cutting to the chase, ALL the Star Wars stuff is packed up and put away and I am determined to work with Warren to earn them back. He took it surprisingly well, without a major tantrum. But then he did ask for things several times during the evening only to be reminded of what had transpired and the plan going forth.

I understand and see firsthand that some kids, because of their personality types, are easier to discipline than others. For example, Jack responds much more readily to discipline, since he is more apt to want to please those he perceives as being "in charge." Warren is more interested in being pleased than pleasing. I really don't think either one personality is better since I see strengths with Warren's personality type, such as natural leadership ability, but it certainly presents more of a challenge for the momma of such a strong willed boy.

Fortunately, I am determined to do what is best for him to be a respectful and well-adjusted little man. I mean it when I tell him that he is too good and smart of a boy to show the ugly behavior he sometimes chooses.

I find it kind of therapeutic and refreshing to look back at baby pictures when I am really angry with one of my see when they were just all cheeks and a quick smilea at the mere sight of their momma instantly brings down my blood pressure and makes me gain perspective.

So, here are the few pictures I am meditating on today:

Monday, February 23, 2009

2nd trimester energy rush

Getting out of the 1st trimester fatigue phase has me feeling like I'm 21 and bar-hopping again, only now we are bouncing from little kid venue to kid venue. There are quite a few similarities I could draw between the bars and the little kid venues...but I'll just summarize in a few words; germs, personal space invasions, and that loud obnoxious guy/kid who's had too much beer/apple juice.

The energy returning is such a rush. So much so that we hit up both the Denver Children's Museum and Chuck E. Cheese IN.ONE.DAY. That's right. I'm crazy like that.

The boys are so happy to have their normal mommy back who packs lunches and gets everyone ready in a flurry and heads out the door for a fun-filled day on the road.

We got a family membership for the Museum and even went back again this morning for some super-market role playing:

But good ol' Chuck E. Cheese is always their favorite:

{If you can't see over the steering wheel then...}

{Lovin' the Fun Bus}

Saturday, February 21, 2009

As told by Warren

Hey, Nol, it's me, your big, er biggest brother, Warren. Since I'm five years older than you and I know a lot more than you about our family, I will introduce them to you. I had mom's camera last night at the weird ultrasound place while we were waiting in the waiting room.

Here's mom. Ha! You can tell she has a glimmer of hope for a girl still at this point. She is moments away from finding out that you are on our team, just how we like it:

And here's dad. You can see that he is still kind of shell shocked that he will soon be outnumbered kids versus grownups. Man to man coverage is a thing of the past:

Then there's Jack. Kind of oblivious to where we were and easily distracted by a puzzle, which I of course taught him how to put together:

I'm the cool one behind the lens, and since I didn't take a picture of myself, I'll substitute my idol, Obi Wan Kenobi:

So, straight away it was very, very clear that you are a dude, I mean not that I need to tell you that, but mom and dad were saying things like "wow, three boys. huh. better start saving for car insurance...need a deep freezer for pizzas..." And dad said we need some mountain land and a cabin. Sounds good to me. I hate to do this to ya bro, but it's stricly for documentary purposes:

So, once we established that, Jack suddenly became aware of what was going on and saw that there really is a baby in mommy's tummy. It was kind of a dethroning moment for him, but I think he took it reasonably well, aside from throwing his head back onto the bed where mom was laying. You can see mom's belly in the background, and you might notice that she is still rather toned and svelte for being 4.5 months pregnant. (Okay, she made me say that, plus I am hoping she'll take me to Chuck E. Cheese tonight after dinner.)

We basically spent the next like hundred minutes watching you do tricks and pose, a little overkill in my opinion. But here are some of the shots I thought were funny:

{Maybe we should call him AH-nold instead of Nolan}

{You didn't want to show your face and kept hiding it behind something they called the placenta, sounds gross to me, but whatever floats your boat}

Anyhow, we are all so happy you are joining our family. We have a lot of fun together and are constantly laughing. I hope you like Star Wars!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A boy mom X3

This evening, we found out that we are going to have a BOY! We did the 3D/4D ultrasound and got to see our little Nolan rolling around, showing off his physique, and snuggling his mommy already.

I love you, Nolan. More than words can say. More than you will ever know. A mother's love is so strong and instinctual! I can't wait to hold you and kiss you and read to you and sing to you.

It makes me cry tears to think that I haven't even really met you yet and I already feel so protective and excited for your life and that I get to be an integral part of it.

It is snowing lightly outside and your brothers are already fast asleep, looking forward to an exciting outing to the Children's Museum tomorrow. It will be your first time there! :)

Just know that you are SO wanted and SO loved, little man. Your daddy is talking about getting some mountain land so that all you guys can hunt and ride around on ATVs. I have to say that a cozy cabin in the woods with all of you actually sounds nice. I am invited, right?

I could go on and on, and lord knows I have a million pictures from the u/s I will be sifting through and posting some tomorrow. But for now I just want to lay here in bed and think about you all nestled and cozy. All you have to do now is grow big and strong and prepare to be loved immensely.

Momma knows best!

Jack has refused to take a nap lately. When I tell him that he NEEDS a nap, he tells me that Jedi's don't take naps. Okay then.

While I was downstairs making dinner, Jack was sitting on the couch upstairs watching a movie with his big brother.

I called them both down to eat - only one boy came down.

"Jack, come on, your dinner will get cold. It's your favorite, corn on the cob."



So, I walk up the stairs to find a completely crashed out little boy, fast asleep sitting up, unphased by my hollering and even by my not so feeble attempts to wake him up. He was down. For the count.

It was only 6:30, but I had no choice. I transferred him into his bed. With his clothes on. Without dinner. Or jammies. Or teethbrushing.

And then 14 hours later he woke up, bright and cheery.

"Mommy, why do I have my clothes on? Where are my pajammies? I am very hungry, mommy."

As he was eating his third bowl of fruity pebbles, I kindly reminded him that he sure DOES need a nap.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Five Ingredients to Happy

Raising children is hard work!

It is totally worth it as far as I can tell, but nonetheless hard work. So, I want to make sure that all of this hard work is properly channeled into enjoying my kids and making sure I get the end result that I am after. Because, yes, there is a goal to all of this after all. I don't just have a penchant for bodily fluids and lack of sleep, ya know. There are certain things I want for my children now and for their futures.

For my children, I hope that you are...

1)...Healthy. Because without your health, not much else really matters. This is why I am doing everything possible to give you a healthy start in life by: breastfeeding to hopefully give you my awesome immune system (truly one of my best features!), feeding you a wide variety of ALL food groups, teaching and enforcing good personal hygiene, getting you immunized and visiting doctors and dentists regularly for early detection and prevention, and giving you vitamins every day to make up for those occasional days when you might eat nothing but goldfish crackers.

So take care of yourself, please.

2)...Successful. And I would be lying if I said I don't mean this mostly in regards to college and careers. Because I do...which is why you've all had college funds started prior to having birth certificates. Not that I think college is the only way to have success, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Not only does the diploma guarantee a level of consideration for more opportunities, but the character building experiences and chance to gradually transition to adulthood during those 4+ years are both very valuable.

Aside from the accomplishment-type successes, I hope you consider yourselves to be successful individuals by whatever yardstick you choose to measure with. Love yourself and nurture your self-esteem always. Then you'll surely be a success.

Oh! And, yes, I will love you just the same if you choose not to go to college, and then, hey, I'll just buy myself some lavish tuition-worthy vacation or something.
Don't be lazy. Live up to your potential because you are all so smart and capable. Set yourself up for success because you are not entitled to anything. You have to earn it.

So go to college and work hard, please.

3)...Curious. Never stop learning or seeking out new experiences and vantage points. Explore. Try new foods. Read lots. Of everything. Take occasional calculated risks. Go outside of your comfort zone every now and then. Seek out people that are different than you. Travel. Throw caution to the wind. Once. Or maybe even twice.

So value and desire new knowledge, please.

4)...Respectful. How you treat others is such a huge reflection of yourself. So be nice. Not just because it is the right thing to do and you don't want to be perceived as a jerk. Do it because you can see that every person has intrinsic value. Show love. Don't judge, unless you really are a judge.

Diversity is a good thing. Don't label people or assume anything. I do believe in Kharma.

Seeing people less fortunate than you or in terrible predicaments should remind you that you are very lucky and have much to offer in the way of encouragement, help, support, or even just a friendly smile. Don't ever think it can't happen to you or that the rules don't apply to you for any reason.

So be a good person, please. This is not relative or subjective--or optional.

5)...Inspired by the deep, unconditional love of and for your parents and siblings to have your own spouse and children someday. It is important to know the love you will have for your own children and family; to know what it is to be selfless, and call upon your childhood for encouragement and ideas, and give your mom the grand babies she wants and deserves.

It is a milestone, and a very worthy one at that.

So stay a close-knit, ever-expanding family, please.

I gave this post a lot of thought as I was writing and editing it and I truly believe that these are the five ingredients to happiness, which is really what we all want for our children.

So go forth and be happy...please!

We are ALWAYS here to help you along the way.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Traditions are good

So, the boys have been at Grandma's house for the past 2 days. And I remember vividly how when I was little and was away from my house overnight, my mom would usually clean my room top to bottom in a way that truly only a mom can. She would arrange my stuffed animals neatly on my bed and all my shelves and other surfaces would be wiped down and perfectly decorated. It made me feel so special and missed while I was gone.

Warren and Jack are coming back home today, and most certainly to clean perfectly made beds in keeping with the tradition. And I couldn't help but carry on out to the loft/playroom since their room doesn't really get messy as all the toys are in the loft.

Some snippets of the newly cleaned and de-gooed playroom:

I hope it lets them know that they were missed, because they REALLY were. We mostly milled around, wondering what on Earth people without kids do all weekend ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

the post in which I blather on and on about Jack

This one's for you, Jack. I am writing this imagining grown-up Jack reading this many years from now (your sleeves are pushed up and you still have an ornery sparkle in your eyes).

~I sometimes put long sleeve shirts on you, JUST to watch you incessantly push them up, it is so cute and illustrates your personality trait for having things just how you like them, no more, no less.

~It absolutely cracks me up that a month ago I could HARDLY get you to poop in the toilet (sorry if this is TMI, but one day when you are potty training your own child you will appreciate the humor!), and now we call you the "Ninja Pooper." Why, you might ask, would we give you such a ridiculous moniker? Well, that's because nowadays, you sneak into the bathroom and deposit the goods without so much as a whisper to anyone regarding what you are about to do or have just done. SO, my little secret pooper, I am left with the distinct chore of washing all of you little britches if you catch my drift. Skid marks are such an understatement.

It is funny because I remember Warren having a short-lived phase were I would find the occasional random unclaimed little "deposit" in the toilet, without a trace of toilet paper...but as soon as I made it clear to him that it is very important to wipe and flush, he transitioned to the "Mom! I'm done, come wipe me!" phase that he is still in to this day.

So, Ninja Pooper, you are lucky you are SO darn cute that I am able to look past what I am constantly confronted with in the laundry room ;)

~A couple of your latest trademarks...telling me daily that you love me and are going to marry me when you grow up. Hah! Your future real wife has some big shoes to fill *ahem* just kidding, I'm sure she is/will be great and I will only judge her in my head :)

You have been spending HOURS at the bathroom sink playing with little plastic animals, filling up the sink, soaking your shirt, letting your imagination run WILD. I love it! You are such a neat kid, Jack. I hope this ability to entertain yourself suits you well in life.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Monkeying Around

What goes up...

Must come down! repeat about 600 times until your mom begs you to leave because she is pregnant and VERY hungry :)

Oh yes, a "swingin'" good time was had by all today at Monkey Buziness:

Okay, Jack, never mind that we have this exact toy at home, go ahead and spend nearly 30 minutes on it shoeing away babies that have the nerve and audacity to try to get a turn ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A mom of...THREE!!!

It is just hitting me lately that I am going to be a mother of three soon. Duh, I know, but I distinctly remember the feeling going from one to two babies and feeling like that really somehow solidified my motherhood status. It felt like we were more of a family when we became four instead of three and now in going from four to five I really feel like whoa, party of five! Wow!

So, here I am this morning, feeling pretty good. My headache is a distant memory and the boys (after sleeping 12 hours last night, sheesh!) were so sweet this morning.

Warren had his Valentine's Day party at preschool today and was so excited to put on his pink "dress-up" shirt and carry his little cards around the whole morning.

And let's not forget Jack, who also had me fix his hair this morning and told me that he is my Valentine and he wants to marry me when he grows up...ahhhh, I love my boys!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quick little updates...

Jack just asked me "Mommy, why are you wearing the same clothes you had yesterday?"

Good question, Jack, good question ;)

I have had a migraine since Tuesday. I am attributing it to an incident I had with the door to the patio on was extremely windy and I went to let Reagan inside and as soon as I turned the knob, the door swung open with incredible force from the wind and hit me square in the forehead -- HARD. Like seriously, I may have lost consciousness for a second (kidding, I think) and a giant goose egg immediately emerged.

Anyhow, I have never had a migraine before (or maybe it's a concussion??) but the throbbing and pressure is/was so bad last night and this morning that I iced my head the entire night and had to have Bryan take Warren to preschool this morning. I am sitting here with a bag of ice on my head now...ugh! And Bryan is out of town tonight so this had better go away soon!

Fortunately, my boys have been understanding and have been so good the past couple of days. They did puzzles for nearly two hours on Monday -- oh how I love our big basket of puzzles with ALL of the pieces accounted for. It somehow assures me that all is right in the universe when we can successfully put together every single puzzle in the bin ;) Hey, it's the little things that sometimes make me the happiest!

And Jack spent at least an hour yesterday playing in the bathroom sink with two toy sharks, standing on his little stool with his shirt completely soaked just having the time of his life. I have pictures but the thought of standing up right now to get my camera makes me nauseous.

I have an interview for a part time job next week. If I get it, I will take it since it is just 5 hours per day and it is in the evening so no daycare would be required. We'll see...

Well, that's all for now! I am feeling so much movement from my little kicker. It is amazing how much earlier I have felt the baby with each pregnancy, I wonder why that is?

Monday, February 9, 2009

16 week ultrasound

Here's the profile shot. This was an ultrasound strictly for the purpose of making sure everything is okay with the baby so we didn't get a lot of fun shots or time to gaze at the babe, but enough for me to see what I thought were boy parts...I am doing the 4D ultrasound next week so we'll know for sure then what the gender is.

It was pretty cute that he/she kept opening its hands and spreading out the fingers and I could clearly see 5 on each hand, so that will save me having to count those when it's born :) The baby was very active on the u/s, which would explain all the movement I am feeling already. I have no doubt I am in for another very active child, regardless of the gender!

Friday, February 6, 2009

little minds and little hands ...

...LOVE playdough! Alaska Grandma (my mom) is a dental hygienist and she got the boys this great dentist play set for their playdough for Christmas. They are so enamored since they are very familiar with going to the dentist and are really enjoying being on the other side of the fence :) It has a drill and everything so they are really role playing to their hearts' content.

Playdough is a staple activity at our house these days and can easily occupy an hour with very little adult intervention required. Which brings me to one point I would like to record here on my digital scrapbook/journal...I find being a stay at home mom WAAAAY easier than a working mom. I have SO much TIME to do the housework and relax so it does kind of leave me wondering about this so-called "hardest job there is." Maybe my boys are exceptionally independent or "easy"? Hmmmm, I'm just sayin'...maybe I missed my induction into the SAHM Union where I would have been sworn to display frantic busy behavior and vow to proclaim the difficulty of my "job" to anyone in earshot -- who knows.

I AM thoroughly enjoying all the time I get to spend watching them play and interact with each other, teaching them little life skills and preparing them each and every meal and snack, leaving no wonderment to what they've eaten on any given day. BUT, I also brain stimulating conversations and challenges and problems that need solved...basically my career. It is a toss up I suppose. It is true that you can't have your cake and eat it too!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life's a Picnic...

...when you are 3 and 4 and the sun is shining, and your momma buys you Lunchables as a special treat, AND you eat the candy first. Oh glorious warm day with no whipping wind or frosty breathe!

I actually had to make them come inside after a couple hours because I was getting too warm ;) It's always something, right?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rec Center Fun!

This has been one of our favorite survival outings this winter -- going to the Community Recreation Center and running wild, climbing, shrieking, chasing, sliding, and occasionally indulging mommy by posing for a picture:

We usually bring a snack or lunch and enjoy the time away from home just for a little while.


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