Thursday, November 29, 2007

different layouts

I am dying for a new layout for our blog. I don't even know why I say our, Sean never contributes to this thing. Anyway, I am so bored with bloggers preset layouts, but I know nothing about writing html, so I can't just change the layout myself. Anyone have any good links to layouts I can use with blogger? Please say yes!

Perfect Present

Sean got me an awesome present for our anniversary. The traditional gift for the 4th anniversary is fruit/flowers, which is ok, but not too exciting. The modern fourth anniversary gift is appliances, which is a lot more exciting to me. So I got Sean a pressure washer. He was pretty excited. I thought he might be a little miffed since that means he has some work to do in the spring, but he was really happy and said he's been wanting one. My present was something I've been drooling over basically since we got married. My mom has one, and hers has lasted for at least 15 years. It not the super fancy one that comes with all the gadgets, but knowing me I'd probably never use those anyway. Did you figure it out yet?
It's a....
well here is a picture of Sean's present:

I'm so excited to finally have one of these. I can't wait to use it. It's just in time for making holiday cookies and candy too. YUMMY!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary...

... to us! It's hard to believe we've been married 4 years today. Sometimes it seems like less, but most days it feels like more. Not because being married to Sean is bad or difficult, but because we've been through so much. We have 3 beautiful healthy children and a great house and I'm so happy. Things are not always easy in our life, in fact things are rarely easy, but we always get through it together. Sean is definitely my rock. He doesn't let things get to him, and him staying calm and level-headed helps me to get through things sanely. If it weren't for him I'm sure I'd have gone off the deep end long ago! There are plenty of days that I get so frustrated I want to kill him, but it is really hard to stay mad at him. I don't know how I got so lucky to end up with someone so wonderful.
As far as celebrating today, I doubt we'll do anything too exciting. It's a Wednesday and Megan still won't take a bottle, so it's not like we can go far. I'd love to plan a weekend getaway for just Sean and I, but there are two problems with that. One, we need a babysitter willing to put up with all 3 kids for a whole weekend, which is a lot to ask of anyone; and two, I would have to be willing to leave the kids with someone for a whole weekend. It's not that I wouldn't trust who I'd be leaving the kids with, it's just hard to leave my babies and be far away from them.
Anyway, I just want to say thank you to Sean for sticking by my for the last 4 years, throughout all the happiness and craziness, and I'm looking forward to many more together.
And now, some pictures from our wedding day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thinking of having kids?

I got this in an email today and I thought it was too funny not to share. I laughed pretty hard at some of these because they are so true!

Thinking of Having Kids?
Do this 15 step program first!

Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12
pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
1. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a jar of paint, turn it into an alligator.
2. Now take the tube from a roll of toilet paper. Using only Scotch tape and a piece of aluminum foil, turn it into an attractive Christmas candle.
3. Last, take a milk carton, a ping-pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Lesson 7
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them
with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 8
1. Get ready to go out.
2. Sit on the floor of your bathroom reading picture books for half an hour.
3. Go out the front door.
4. Come in again. Go out.
5. Come back in.
6. Go out again.
7. Walk down the front path.
8. Walk back up it.
9. Walk down it again.
10. Walk very slowly down the sidewalk for five minutes.
11. Stop, inspect minutely, and ask at least 6 questions about every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way.
12. Retrace your steps.
13. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbors come out and stare at you.
14. Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Lesson 9
Repeat everything you have learned at least (if not more than) five times.

Lesson 10
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is also excellent). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat.
Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 11
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine-month old baby.

Lesson 12
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street, Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking what's
'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 13
Move to the tropics. Find or make a compost pile. Dig down about halfway and stick your nose in it. Do this 3-5 times a day for at least two years.

Lesson 14
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 15
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 14 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Day

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. We stayed home Thursday and Sean and I made Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves. It turned out pretty good, but not as good as my mom's. Friday we went to my mom's and stuffed ourselves with another thanksgiving dinner, and lots of pie. The kids stayed at mom's Friday night, and Sean and I went Christmas shopping for them. We are almost finished shopping for Emma and Nathan, but that is still all I have. I am not one of those people that loves to shop on Black Friday. I looke through the ads in the paper ever year, but there is never anything in there that makes me want to get up at 4am and go stand in line in the cold. I also hate shopping when it's crowded. I'd rather pay a little more and have an enjoyable experience than save a few bucks and be sleep deprived and crabby. I really need to get my act together and make a list of what I'm planning to buy for who. I am so unprepared its ridiculous. I love giving people Christmas presents, but the preparation is kind of a pain. How is everyone else doing on their Christmas shopping? Surely I'm not the only slacker.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

10 months old

Megan is 10 months old today. In honor of the occasion she decided today that she would learn to stand up unassisted and how to play peek-a-boo. She can now go from a sitting position to squatting to standing without holding onto anything for support. She was really funny with the peek-a-boo game tonight. I held a shirt over her face and then pulled it down and said, "peek-a-boo". She immediately started holding the shirt up and then pulling it down and looking at me until I said peek-a-boo. It was really cute, even though she didn't always end up with the shirt completely covering her face. Yesterday she clapped for the first time. I guess she is a little late on this milestone, but we don't clap a lot around her, so it makes sense that she wouldn't pick up on that skill as quickly. She also seems to have learned to smile when I point the camera at her. I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence or not. I guess only time will tell.
She seems to get smarter every day. She is always watching and trying to take everything in. She has become an amazingly fast walker. If only we could get her to let go and walk. I have been trying to give her a lot more solids in an effort to keep up with her incredible metabolism and I hope it's paying off. I have to take her to the doctor next week to get her flu shot booster and I'm hoping they will weigh her again so I can see if my efforts are paying off. It's hard to believe she is only 2 months away from her first birthday. She doesn't really seem like a baby anymore now that she is babbling a lot and cruising around the furniture, but once she is a year she is officially not a baby anymore.
I'm also really worried about having to wean her from breastfeeding. Nathan pretty much weaned himself when he was 13 months old. He was eating a lot of solids and mainly nursing only in the morning and at night. Of course he was also sleeping through the night. I just don't think that in 3 months Megan will be sleeping through the night and eating enough solids to even be close to being done nursing. She is very attached to breastfeeding, both as a food source and for comfort. It's not that I want to stop breastfeeding, but generally when your child is a year old, other people start pressuring you to stop nursing. I want both Megan and I to be ok with stopping. I'm not saying I'll nurse her until she's 3 or anything crazy, but I will not make weaning a miserable process for either of us. I know it seems silly to worry about all this now since she's still not a year old, but time goes by so quickly and I'd like to plan ahead a little.

We made it

Nathan got better by Wednesday afternoon, and no one else got sick, so we made our trip successfully. The kids were aweseome. By my calculations we were in the car for 16 hours between Thursday night at 6:00pm and lat Friday night/early Saturday morning at about 1am. Even Megan did great and didn't cry much. Friday's drive was long and stressful. Sean did great pulling the camper. That thing is huge and we were on a two lane road pretty much the whole way from Iowa to almost the Missouri-Arkansas border. Arriving at 1am and trying to park and hook up the camper for the first time in the dark was not a great experience, but we were successful. It was a gorgeous weekend and the kids got to play outside quite a bit. They were mad they couldn't go swimming and just didin't get why the pool was closed. Sean's dad's friend loaned us his mule, which is similar to a John Deere gator, not a 4 leeged animal, to drive around the ranch in for a day. It was chilly, but we bundled everyone up and had a nice ride and saw a ton of deer everywhere in the evening. I do have some pictures but I haven't uploaded them yet, I will add them to the post hopefully soon.

Since we just got back into town last night I have to brave the grocery store tonight so we will actually have food in the house for tomorrow. We aren't having thanksgiving at my moms until Friday, so we are on our own tomorrow. Sean wants me to make a turkey and everything else, and I am very nervous since I've never done it all myself. Friday we will have thanksgiving at my moms, but before that I've been invited to an alumni soccer game at my old high school. I would love to go and see everyone, but I'm afraid I might die if I have to play since I haven't played in years and I've had 3 kids. Thank god I lost all my weight, but that doesn't mean I'm prepared for a 90 minute soccer game. I'll let you know if I survive. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Murphy's law pretty much describes my life all the time. I feel like if something can be screwed up it will happen. Now these bad things are not so terrible that they can't be dealt with, but it seems as though nothing goes as planned, ever. We are leaving tomorrow night to drive 6 hours to Iowa to pick up our new camper, and then Friday driving almost 8 hours from Iowa to southern missouri to drop it off for storage for the winter. We were supposed to get this done last weekend, but because of some paperwork screw up we had to push things back a week. This meant that instead of Sean's dad taking Sean to Iowa and using his truck we had to find a new mode of transportation (thanks James!) and the whole family is going. That wouldn't be such a big deal, except that Nathan woke up puking today. He's only gotten sick 3 times, so I'm hoping it's just because of his cold and we aren't in for a major family stomach flu in the midst of all the traveling, but who knows. Worse case scenario Sean has to drive by himself to Iowa and then deliver the camper by himself and I'll drive down to meet him Saturday if everyone is well.
In other news I am waaaaaaay behind this year on all things Christmas. Well Sean and I did get started on the outside lights since it was so nice this past weekend, and I put the tree up, but I have ZERO Christmas shopping done, and have not even started on my Christmas cards. Last year by now I was done with the cards and had a significant portion of shopping finished. I guess the 3rd kid totally did me in! I am hoping that while Sean is home for 4 days over Thanksgiving I'll get some work done, both in terms of Christmas preparations and stuff on the house.
I've decided that the redecorations of our room is going to have to wait. Sean really wants to get started on the basement, and he wants to go back to school for his masters, so it just doesn't make sense financially to get new furniture for our room right now when ours is ok. I am planning to paint it soon, as I am tired of looking at the tan walls, but it looks as though that is the only imporvement I'm going to get now. I'm definitely planning to paint Nathan's room, and since his bedroom is only 12x12 that should be a one day project.
In my head I have all these great ideas of things I'd like to achieve, but with 3 kids I can only squeeze so much into a day.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Our hard work

Here are the bathroom before pics. They are from during construction, so it's a little unfinished:

And the afters:

And here is the office before, don't mind the pile of kids toys in the before pics:

And the afters:

Next up is Nathan's room!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

9 months old

I know I'm late on this, yet again, but at least I'm remembering to do them! :) Anyway Megan is 9 months old now. I took her in for her check up and she is 15 pounds 12 ounces and 27 1/2 inches long. The doctor mad me feel like we are starving her because she is in the 50th percentile for height, but only the 10th for weight. I'm really not worried since she is gaining weight, and I know how incredibly active she is. It makes me mad that he acted like there was something terrible about her being a skinny baby. Anyway, she also had an ear infection that I didn't even know about, but she wasn't overly fussy, and didni't have a really high fever, so how was I to know. The overall report is that she is healthy, but not fat enough!
I am so sad that she is so close to 1 year old already, but she is so cute and her personality is so funny, that spending time with her is something I try to enjoy as much as possible. I'm trying to get her to walk on her own soon, and she is close, but she still seems to prefer crawling. She is starting to talk a lot and more of it is sounding like real words. Mama and Dada are very clear now, but she no longer will say them if you ask her to. She is doing everything in her own time. There really isn't a lot of new things she is doing, I think she's just perfecting all the skills she already has. She still doesn't sleep through the night. I wish I knew why so I could fix it, but getting up with her every 3 hours or so is just routine now. I'm not saying I wouldn't love a good nights sleep, but since I don't have a choice, this is fine too now that I'm used to it. Maybe she's holding out until christmas so it will be her present to us! She also still has no interest in a cup or bottle, so Sean and I have not had any time away from all 3 of the kids since Megan was born. My mom babysits the older two when we ask, but since we still have Megan with us, there aren't many adult things we can do. It's not a big deal to me though. In the grand scheme of things one year with no kid free time really isn't that long, and they are only little once.