Friday, September 30, 2011

Naptime Report

Just a real quick note to report that this boy....

.... is at this very moment asleep in his bed.  I want you to know that this wonder of all wonders happened within 10 minutes of him being put to bed and occurred without any screaming, whining, fussing, or spanking.

How did it happen?

As Colonel Jessup says in A Few Good Men,

"I did what I had to do."

Let's just leave it at that for now.  :)

On that same note, I want to say thank you to everyone who has replied or commented on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, or via email to my plea for help in the previous post.  Even if I haven't responded to you yet, just know that I have read everything and the hubs and I will definitely be discussing some of the suggestions we've been given.  I'm so grateful to you for your support and for not harpooning me as a hell-beast for the whole spanking thing.  I'll keep you updated as the sleep saga continues.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blood Boiling

Let's get one thing straight.  I don't believe in spanking as a disciplinary philosophy.  My reasoning tells me that it makes no sense to teach our kids not to hit by turning around and hitting them.  It just doesn't compute in the teeny little logical part of my brain that actually works when I've had such limited sleep. 

That being said, I have this here blog as a way to connect and reach out.  There's no sense in writing about parenting on here if I'm not going to be honest about the things that are amazing and what is a struggle.

Right now, Micah is causing some serious struggles in our house.  He just turned two on September 10th and if you were to look up "Terrible Twos" in the dictionary, you would find a photo of my Micah.  It's bad.  So bad that I've seriously considered auditioning for Supernanny just so Jo Frost could come and wave her metaphorical British magic wand and make it all better.

Bedtime and naptime are absolute nightmares.  I don't know how else to describe it.  As I write this, I'm sitting on the couch at 9:07 pm.  Bedtime was 8:00 and within thirty minutes, I had returned Micah to bed 10 times.  I finally lost my temper and (here it comes) spanked his bottom a few times and hollered at him. I stormed into the living room and hollered at Evan too, like it was going to do a lick of good.  He told me to stay in here and chill out while he took "Micah duty." He's standing outside the bedroom door, just waiting to hear Micah get up so he can go in and return him to bed.  Over and over and over.

This goes on for hours.  Naptime and bedtime.  Every day.

And every day, I get so frustrated that I resort to spanking and yelling.

I'm at my wits end here, folks.  I'm not proud of it, but it's true.  I don't like the Mommy I become in those moments and I try so hard to ignore the volcano that builds up inside me, but as the power struggle drags on and on and on, I lose control and find myself yelling and swatting that boy on the diaper. 

It's not that he can't sleep, because he can.  It's not that he isn't tired, because he is.  What it comes down to is a tug-o-war for control between a 2 year old and his parents.  And right now, he's winning. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Newborn Looks

When Isaiah was born, I immediately thought he looked like his Daddy.  As he's grown up, he's started to resemble me more and more, but his newborn look was all Evan.  And then Micah showed up and he looked like his Grandpa Howie from the second he was born.  That child looks nothing like me - never has and probably never will.

And then my sweet Thomas came along. 

Initially, we thought he might have a bit more Mommy in him than his big brothers, but overall he just has his own unique look.  Still, I'm holding out hope that this one might actually look like his Mommy's boy.  I think I have some reason for this hope.  Check out this photo:

I don't know about you, but I'm seeing some similarities between Thomas and his Momma as newborns!

Sidenote - How cute is that little photo of my parents in the corner?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - September Week Four

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, September 18th - Micah had a great time at his 2nd birthday party.  I think his favorite part was the cupcake he smashed all over his face shortly after this photo of blowing out his candles!

Monday, September 19th - I swear, 70% of my day is devoted to keeping one eye on Isaiah because he is constantly hovering over Thomas, waiting for the perfect moment to touch him as much as he can.  I love that he loves his baby brother, but sometimes he loves him a bit too much!

Tuesday, September 20th - For being just shy of three weeks old, he's a pretty good little sleeper!  Cute too. 

Wednesday, September 21st - My little monkeys!  I don't usually do the whole matching clothes thing for my kids, but these PJs were on clearance a while back for super-cheap, so I got a pair for all three boys.  Thomas will have to wait a while since his are a 12 month size.  :)

Thursday, September 22nd - Seriously.  These toes.  Killing me.

Friday, September 23rd - Thomas was a pretty popular guy at Evan's cousin's rehearsal dinner.  Aunt Maribeth gave him a new blanket and then got in some quality snuggle time.

Saturday, September 24th - I missed the processional because Thomas was nursing, but I did get to see the majority of the wedding we traveled all the way to Grand Rapids, Michigan for.  Thomas was the perfect baby on the trip and we had a great time.  Congrats to Sarah and Chris!

Have a great week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cha Cha Now Y'all!

Meet Landon.  He's Evan's cousin's little four month old baby.

As it turns out, he likes to dance!  Check out little man's moves as his Daddy helps him shake his groove thang at a family wedding on Saturday.

How cute is that??!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The One That Got Away

We finally got a nibble on our house!  After nearly three months on the market, at long last the phone rang with news that someone wanted to look at our house.  A whirlwind of cleaning ensued and I took off with the boys and the dog.  We made ourselves scarce right during naptime, which was super-fun for me, but it was worth it because the feedback was actually positive!  The buyers said they loved the lower level of our house and would likely schedule a second showing. 


So, the buyers came through again on Wednesday and we were keeping our fingers crossed that they would like it enough to make an offer.  We practically had an army of people praying for us. 

Ultimately, the buyers decided to make an offer on a different house, one with a more open floor plan and cathedral ceilings.  Part of me wanted to say, "What??!!  But our house is cheaper!  Don't they realize we're in a recession?"  But I certainly understand that sometimes, even if you really like the house, it just isn't right for you. 

Does it make us bad people that we're secretly hoping that they aren't able to reach a deal with the sellers and they turn to us instead?  :)

So, back to the waiting game we go.  We have another Open House on Sunday and we can only pray that someone will actually show up, unlike our first one. 

I've been talking to Isaiah about the change that's coming up and I think he understands that we're going to buy a new house, but I don't think he really gets that we'll eventually be leaving our current one.  He also seems to think that we'll be selling all our stuff too because he got all worked up the other day at the idea of losing his bunk beds. 

He also asked if Thomas would be coming with us when we went to the new house.  Cute boy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - September Week Three

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, September 11th - Yes, it was the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  It was also the day that we had to repaint Thomas's room after I wrecked the wall taking down Micah's name letters! 

Monday, September 12th - Evan's parents came down for a visit this afternoon (and brought us supper!) and Thomas was getting loved on constantly!  I love this shot I caught of him looking at his Grandma.

Tuesday, September 13th - The boys were playing outside on what will probably be one of the last warm afternoons of the season, so I brought Thomas out to enjoy it too.

Wednesday, September 14th - I asked Micah to smile and say "cheese."  This is what I got.

Thursday, September 15th - Isaiah loves his baby brother.  He loves him so much that he's driving me crazy with his constant requests to touch him, kiss him, smell him, hold him, etc.  He does love to cuddle that baby!

Friday, September 16th - Micah had his 2 year well child checkup today and I can't say I was surprised at his numbers.  That boy has been BIG for a long time, so it really didn't shock me that he was still in the 99th percentile for height and weight!

Saturday, September 17th - My sister can't make it to Micah's birthday party, so she came out today to spend some time with her nephews.  She enjoyed her snuggle time with Thomas just as much as her Wii playing time with the Bigs.

Thanks for joining me for Project Life this week!  Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by.  Have a wonderful week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Maternity Photo Book

Last week when I was shopping at Target, I had a coupon print out at the register for a free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly!  Yay!!  I figured that was the perfect opportunity to create a photo book with the wonderful maternity photos that Jenn shot for me last month.  If this does in fact end up to be my last pregnancy, this book will make a wonderful keepsake.

You can view my photo book below.  I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

At Four Days Old

If you are one of my gal pals who claimed I was creating "baby fever" when I first posted photos of Thomas on Facebook, you might want to look away now.  I would hate to have you sending me hate email about how I sent your uterus into a tizzy with this blog post.

For the rest of you, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from a little mini photo shoot I did with Thomas on September 4th.  Enjoy his little four day old cuteness. 

I apologize in advance if your finger cramps up from all the scrolling.  Carry on.

I like him a lot.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Mean What I Say: Walmart Edition

Dang you, Walmart.  I've written about The Walmart Effect before.  It seemed like every time I pushed a squeaky cart down those shiny-tiled aisles, I came across things that were just "off."  There's something about that place.

This morning, after a newborn photo session with my homegirl Jenn, I rallied the troops and headed on up to the Walmart 35 minutes away with a specific shopping list, a specific purpose, and a goal of finishing our list as quick as possible so we could get our butts home for yet another attempt at a normal naptime.

Oh. My. Gracious.

From the second I put the van in PARK, I sensed I was in trouble.  I told the boys to stay put while I put Thomas in the Moby Wrap.  Isaiah instead unbuckled himself from the carseat and proceeded to wake Thomas up before I even got around to the other side of the van.

After getting Thomas somewhat secured in the Moby (Really, I so suck at using that thing.  I just didn't have a chance to practice with my new Ergo or I would have opted for that!), I allowed Isaiah to emerge from the vehicle.  I unleashed the beast (Micah) and tried to put him in the seat of a shopping cart.  He immediately launched into a massive fit over having to sit in the card and.....horror of all horrors....

....he kicked at me.  I had Thomas on my chest.  He kicked the baby, essentially.

I've told them over and over that if they cannot listen and behave, then I will not take them places.  As the old saying goes, "I say what I mean and I mean what I say."  With the elderly couple in the handicapped parking space looking on with mouths agape, I wrangled Micah out of that shopping cart and put him right back in his carseat.  I ordered Isaiah to get right back in the van.  I pulled Thomas out of the spider web that was my rotten attempt at babywearing and put him back in the carrier.  In the midst of wailing screams, streaming tears, and snot aplenty, I followed through on my threat.

We turned right around and left.  Didn't even make it in the store, people. 

Looks like I'll be batting my (uncurled and mascara free) eyelashes at Evan and begging him to let me go to Walmart with just the baby this Saturday morning!  I just hope I can make my meager stock of nursing pads last until then.  If not, I'll be the strung out mama wandering the aisles of the Baraboo Walmart wearing a soaking wet T-shirt and smelling faintly of sour milk. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When Nothing Fits

There's a serious case of droopy drawers in our house.  A certain someone has been deeply afflicted by this syndrome that leads to the appearance of a saggy bottom and a frequent need to hitch up one's pants.  Strangely, this poor soul has at the same time been stricken with a case of Bulge Belly.  Despite dropping about 30 pounds to get down to a size 12 before getting pregnant, our patient recently found herself in front of the mirror, struggling in vain to cram herself into size 16 jeans. 

A seriously frustrating couple of ailments to have, I assure you.

I can't wear any regular clothes because my 2 week postpartum body just isn't quite ready to make that leap.  I'm too plump and pudgy everywhere to even squeeze into my old "fat jeans" and most of my regular shirts do nothing but accentuate my "I just had a baby" pooch.  I've tried to wear my SPANX, but even those are no help since I can't seem to roll them onto my over-stuffed sausage of a midsection.

And then there's the maternity clothes.  As of the moment, these are the only clothes I can still wear since the stretchy panel and generous cut in the belly give me the room I need, but I end up looking incredibly sloppy since there is no longer any belly to keep things up.  I find myself yanking on my pants about every five minutes just to keep them from slipping down so low that I'm showing off my granny panties to the world. 

Which brings me to another issue.  Not even my undies fit.  And don't even get me started on the bra situation.  When I was nursing Micah, I was still hanging on to a lot of my weight from Isaiah and I was....well....a chunker.  The only nursing bras I found in my drawer were a size 40DD!  I was wearing a 36D when I got pregnant with Thomas.  I realize the girls get a bit bigger while nursing, but Oh Mylanta!  Long story short, I simply couldn't wear those enormous boulder holders, so I've been settling for these crazy lightweight ones that work, but I make me feel like I could spill out at any moment.

Why the random whiny rant?  I mean, who really cares if I'm wearing a garbage bag 24/7.  I am pretty much a stay at home mommy right now so the only victims of my fashion crimes would be my children and any poor soul I encounter at the grocery store or, if I decide to get really fancy, at Target.

The problem is that I have a WEDDING to attend in less than two weeks!  I can't exactly wear saggy bottom maternity jeans and a boob milk stained nursing top (you know, the only one I own) to a pretty fancy wedding where my husband's entire family will be in attendance!  So, in a matter of a few days, I need to find something that fits all these criteria:
  • Actually looks halfway decent on my transitional postpartum body
  • Is conducive to nursing a newborn.
  • Looks "fancy" enough for a wedding.
  • Isn't too expensive.
  • Goes with shoes I already own.
It's gonna take a miracle, folks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - September Week Two

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, September 4th - I'm really starting to enjoy having this little face around the house. 
Monday, September 5th - Baby burrito!
Tuesday, September 6th - My mom's birthday!  She came over today to stay with the bigs while I brought Thomas in for his first checkup, so we baked her some birthday cupcakes.  Micah was really enjoying cleaning off the scoop. 
Wednesday, September 7th - Today was Isaiah's first day of school at Glory Bees Christian Preschool!  I cannot believe my boy is old enough to be going to any kind of school, even if it is just a couple hours a week.  He jumped right in and started playing (didn't even want to look at the camera) and his teacher said he did great!
Thursday, September 8th - Our World Champion Green Bay Packers were hosting the very first game of the NFL season and my boys were sporting their Aaron Rodgers jerseys all day long.  It's very important to instill team spirit very early on in this house!  Go Pack Go!  (BTW, the Packers did win in a heck of a game against the Saints!)
Friday, September 9th - Another milestone took place in our house today: Bunk Beds!  Micah's bed was moved out of his room and bunked with his brother's.  Now Thomas has his own room and the bigs are officially sharing!  Should be an interesting transition.
Saturday, September 10th - It's Micah's 2nd birthday!!  To start our birthday boy's day off right, I made blueberry cornmeal pancakes and topped it off with a special birthday candle.  Later, we took him out to eat at the Nitty Gritty where his big brother promptly stole his blue birthday balloon.  I guess that's just the way it goes!
By the way, aren't those bunk beds gorgeous?  They were custom made by our neighbor, Aaron Maes.  He owns his own business, Rugged Cross Fine Art Woodworking.  If you need a piece of high quality, hand-made, custom furniture, please check out his website.  He delivers!
Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago

Someday my boys will ask me if I remember September 11, 2001.  They'll ask where I was, what I felt, how I reacted.  I certainly remember doing school projects where I asked my grandparents about Pearl Harbor and my parents about the JFK assasination and the Challenger explosion.  These are all such defining moments in our nation's history and I know when I woke up that morning, I never imagined that I was about to experience one of those moments that my children would someday be interviewing me about.

I was 18 years old and had just started college, a brand new freshman at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  I hadn't even figured out what the quickest route to walk to my classes was yet.  I woke up that Tuesday morning and went to my first class at 8:50 without any clue of what had already taken place in New York.  I didn't turn on the TV before I left my dorm.  I arrived for my French 101 class and realized I still needed to staple my assignment before I turned it in, but the classroom didn't have a stapler.  I knew there was a media room a floor below that had one (I'd done it before), so I ran down there quick before class started.

There was a large group of people gathered around a huge projection screen and another group huddled around a TV, but it was dead quiet.  I snuck a peek at what they were watching and the picture on the screen and the headline showed the Pentagon burning.  I figured the Pentagon had caught fire somehow, but didn't really think too much of it.  I returned to class.

I headed to my next class, a large lecture.  When the professor began his lecture for the day he said, "I'm sure all of you have heard by now what's going on in New York, but we're going to carry on with class for today."  I'm sitting there like an idiot thinking, "The Pentagon is in New York?"

It wasn't until I returned to my dorm room after that lecture that I turned on the TV.  By that time, both towers had fallen, the Pentagon was still smouldering, and United 93 had crashed.  I swear, I sat on that futon and stared at the screen for the next 4 hours.  I don't remember getting up to go to the bathroom, going to eat, or anything else.  I do remember our RA poking her head in and asking how I was doing, but for the life of me I cannot remember my response.  The rest of that day is a total blur.  Everyone on my floor just stayed in their rooms, watched the news, and sat in shock. 

When that day arrives and Isaiah comes home from school and asks me about my recollection of 9-11, I want to be able to tell him more than just my experience.  I want to be able to give him some sort of reason for why it happened.  I wish I could explain to him why thousand of people died that day, but nothing I can come up with seems good enough.

I can't believe it's been ten years.  My thoughts and prayers today are with those who lost loved ones on this day ten years ago.  We will never forget.

P.S.  This video gets me every time.  It was shot from the window of an NYU dorm room on that morning.  The sheer terror that comes through kicks me in the gut.

We will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


My Micah turns two years old today!!

  • He wears size 3T. 
  • This boy can TALK.  He is chattering constantly and I'm regularly amazed at how easily language has come to him. 
  • Stubborn as a mule, but he's cute enough to get away with it.

  • He loves to dance when there's a good song to boogy to.  Singing along with his brother is pretty fun too.
  • Tantrums are in full effect!  He has his fair share of "Two Year Old" days.
  • Boy can EAT!

And I really mean it when I say Micah can eat.  He will actually try new things where Isaiah absolutely refuses and once he's started, it's like slowing a Mack truck to get him to stop.  A perfect illustration of this came last week when we were eating spaghetti for supper.  Micah finished off his plate and then pointed at his brother's plate and proclaimed, "I want dat!"  Evan told him, "No buddy.  That's Isaiah's food." Thirty seconds later, Isaiah declared he was all done.  I guess Micah knew all along he would get what he wanted.

Happy Birthday Micah John.  I love you to pieces!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Quick Like a Bunny

Real quick-like, I want to give you a Cliff Notes version of how we're doing over here.  Why the rush?  Because all three kids are actually sleeping at the same time and I want to sneak in a snooze, dang it all.


  • Practically perfect in every way.  Or was that Mary Poppins?
  • Only lost 5 oz at his 6 day checkup.
  • Nurses like he was born to do it!  Wait a second.....
  • Took a bottle from Daddy last night like a pro.  Best news Mommy has heard in days.
  • Cries pretty much only when he's hungry and getting his diaper changed. 
  • Awesome little guy.  We're head over heels for this one, by golly.  More photos to come (when I get time)!
  • Still sore.
  • Tired.
  • Hemorrhoids are the worst post-partum symptom next to PPD.  I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy, yet here I am 8 days later, still wincing to sit, stand, walk, etc. 
  • Tired.
  • Feeling incredibly blessed & lucky, but overwhelmed at the same time. 
  • Nope.  No photo of me right now, thank you so much.  As much as I hear people telling me I look great, I feel disgusting.  Plus, I haven't showered in a while and I'm choosing to blog/nap instead right now.  Priorities, people.

  • Has been enjoying sleeping in our comfy bed, thank you very much.
  • Now that Thomas seems to be able to take a bottle, Daddy will be able to take on some feedings.  Yay!
  • Books and bedtime are now Daddy Time, at least for right now.  It gives Mommy some much needed quiet time.
  • Daddy rocks!  No, really.  He's pretty awesome. 
Big Brothers:

  • Several times a day, Isaiah asks to hold, touch, kiss, and even smell the baby.
  • Micah likes to jab him in the cheeks and say, "Poke! Poke!"
  • Isaiah constantly gives me status updates like, "He's moving!" or "He made noise!" 
  • My mule of a child (Micah) is being the biggest challenge right now.
  • Isaiah started preschool yesterday.  More on that later.
  • The big boys are moving in together tomorrow and the bunk beds will be assembled.  Add us all to your prayer list right now please.
Last, but certainly not least:


It's Game Day, people.  I'm going to try to get in a little nappy-poo here so I can stay up to watch the whole game.  Again, it's about priorities. 

We'll chat again soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - September Week One

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

I'm throwing in a couple bonus photos this week, sized to 3x4 so I can put them in the small photos spots in the Project Life album.  I'll print this on one 4x6 print, cut it in half, and round the corners, and throw 'em in the inserts instead of the regular journaling cards.

In fact, I have a feeling I might be throwing in an additional page of bonus photos this week.  It's been kind of busy!  :)

Sunday, August 28th - We were playing outside on a gorgeous evening and Micah and Isaiah were entertaining themselves with little more than rocks and sticks.  It was really sweet.

Monday, August 29th - My necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs arrived today.  She calls it the "Blessed & Lucky Necklace" and I can't wait to be able to wear it once my baby is born!

Tuesday, August 30th - Although this photo wasn't technically taken today, I'm using it because I finally got around to uploading my maternity photos to my computer after returning from my OB appointment this morning.  We decided to break my water tomorrow morning, so I took some time to appreciate that it was my last day being pregnant.  I don't know yet whether or not I'll have more kids, but it certainly made today somewhat bittersweet.

Wednesday, August 31st - Our precious baby boy, Thomas Evan, was born at 2:59 pm today.  My labor was 7 hours long from start to finish and I fell madly in love as soon as I saw him.  He is just precious!  (You can read Thomas's birth story if you would like!)

Thursday, September 1st - Isaiah and Micah came to the hospital this morning to meet their new baby brother.  I can't even explain the look of joy on their faces when they saw him.  Isaiah immediately wanted to hold him and the first thing Micah did was poke him in the eye.  Ah, brothers!

Friday, September 2nd - Our first full day at home as a family of five!  We came home from the hospital yesterday afternoon and spent a rather rocky first night without a lot of sleep.  Still, I love how this photo captures what will soon be our new normal.  All my goofy boys.  Now I see why that necklace is called "Blessed and Lucky" because that's really how I feel.

Saturday, September 3rd - Thomas got his first "bath" at home tonight, though it was really just a wipe-down with a cloth.  I still need to get a bathtub for that boy!  He wasn't too thrilled about the process, but he quieted down quickly when it was over.

Well, there you have it!  It was a pretty big week in our world.  More than likely, Thomas will monopolize a lot of the daily photos for the next couple weeks.  Thanks for stopping in and see you next Tuesday!

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