Thursday, May 31, 2012


Finally, this baby girl has her first tooth! 

The first corner of the tooth broke through on Memorial Day and the rest managed to push through those tough gums yesterday. I'm amazed that she's 10 1/2 months old and this is the first sign of teeth. I'd share a picture, but it's still the very tip of the tooth and she doesn't let me take pictures close to her without grabbing for the camera. But believe me, it's really there. I'm curious if more will come in quickly now or if the whole progression of her teeth will be slow. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Moving On Up

Friday was an exciting day in our house. Not only was it T-ball day, which is by far the highlight of our week these days, but it was also the Teddy Bear Tea at school for incoming kindergartners. This is the first year that our school has offered the opportunity for the kids to come in early and check out the rooms and meet the teachers. Usually they have to wait until the open house day in September. I thought it was really great and it was a nice first look at what's to come for Braeden. While he already attends preschool in the same building, the preschool is pretty insulated and doesn't venture far out of their own spaces. His teacher will take those kids who are old enough for kindergarten next year for a visit to each classroom in the next couple of weeks which will also help Braeden to feel more comfortable with the transition. I'm thrilled that he already knows what it looks like and who the teachers are so that he has all summer to get used to the idea of a full day school day without worrying about all of the unknowns that come with a new building and new faces.

 Working on his "who came with you today?" drawing
The finished product
Cool block toys
 Checking out "big kid" toys
I think they like it!

I can't believe that I am sending Braeden to kindergarten next year. I remember the details about the day we found out we were expecting him so vividly that I can't believe it's been six years since I called Roman to tell he we were pregnant. My world changed forever that day and Braeden has brought so much joy to my life. I don't know who's going to need more adjustment to his growing up, him or me! I truly believe that he is ready to move on. He's been in preschool for two years, which he definitely needed, but now it's time for new adventures. He misses school when he's not there and loves to learn so I know that he'll be ready and do great. I'll try really hard not to cry on the last day of this year, but I make no promises. Yes, I'm that mom. Lucky Braeden. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sweet Boys

Since I got pregnant with Maggie I have had occasional migraines. Yesterday was one of those days when I started to feel one coming on and I knew I had to get home, take something for it and lay down for a little while. Roman told the boys to leave me alone for a few minutes so that I could rest and they took it upon themselves to draw me pictures to help me feel better.

 "a purple flower with a green stem" by Braeden

"some guy" by Evan

It would have been impossible for me not to feel better after my boys showed such sweetness. I'm such a lucky mommy. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hitting The Town

How do you know you're getting old? Just go to a bar at 9:30pm on a Friday night! Even though it was already after dinner for us, it was apparently too early to be out. Ironically for most of us, it was too late to be out, HA!

Last night was so much fun. I got to go out with a truly special group of women. Of course Stacy was there, because I don't go anywhere without her being there too, and some friends I've made recently who have quickly become good friends who I look forward to sharing many memories with, as well as a couple of people I had never met, but whose company I enjoyed very much. I mentioned in a post earlier this week that we were going out for dinner and dancing, but the restaurant was closed for a private party last night so we went to a different place instead.

Dinner was so much fun. We laughed so hard!! There were lots of stories that only a group of mom's (and one single girl) would share, as well as tales of the past, discussions of weddings and so much more. We had a private room so we could be loud and stay as long as we wanted; we took full advantage of both!
It took about an hour to get the waitress to finally take a picture

A toast to the night and the future!

The Zumba Girls

Most of the women attend zumba classes taught by Katie (red hair in the back). I continue to hold out because 1) I don't dance, and 2) I am not much for public humiliation. However, those that do go love it and are convinced that they are going to get Sherri and I (the last two holdouts) to a class sooner or later. 

The Non-Zumba Girls

After we finished our dinner and paid the bill twice (the waitress may or may not have made a bit of an oops), we headed out to "hit the town".

We tried a couple of places, but I guess they weren't happening enough (I have no real reference because I'm not usually in bars), so we attempted to wait until the dancing place opened to the public at 11:00. But by 10:15, all but two people were done and headed home. We are so exciting! Quite frankly, we are all mom's who needed to get up this morning and go on with every day life. Everyone needs nights like last night to remind us that we are still people, not just someones mom. We can still have lots of fun, albeit a very different kind of fun than years past, and laugh until our stomach's hurt. Last night reminded me of what I missed in the past, but better yet, shows me what I have to look forward to in the future.

Making friends when we are adults is difficult. Often times the only thing we know about each other is which kids belong to whom. It is so important to reach out and take a chance. I have found in forcing myself to do just that that most other women at some point in their lives feel just as isolated as I did. Not everyone you meet has to be a BFF, but it's really important to widen the circle of people you know even if it's simply to have someone to count on when you're in a pinch. I can't even properly come up with the words to describe the change that making new friends has had on my life, but it is significant and I am forever grateful.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's All About Timing

I've had a feeling recently that things really weren't right. My biggest problem was that I wasn't sleeping more than an hour at a time at night. I would wake up and have to get out of bed because the right side of my body was so restless that I couldn't stay still anymore. It's a symptom, along with the worried feeling in the pit of my stomach, that I am all too familiar with. Apparently, I wasn't ready to come off of the medication yet. Even though I had been on it longer after Maggie than either of the boys, the timing wasn't right for me. My symptoms became prominent with both boys right around 10 months after they were born and wouldn't you know, Maggie is 10 1/2 months old. I knew it was a risk trying to ween off at this point in time because of my past history, but I also wanted to see if having already been treated for six months would have resolved my Postpartum Depression issues earlier this time around. A big fat NO is the answer that I have clearly been presented with in the last couple of weeks.

I am hugely disappointed. Not in myself, because there wasn't anything I could have done about it, but in the fact that I now have to go back on medication for a few months. I was looking forward to a summer of fun when I would be full of the energy that I am robbed of while I'm on medication. For the last six weeks, I have enjoyed being able to stay awake all day without fighting the need for a nap, getting into an exercise routine, and preparing to start the rest of my life without having to face this challenge again.

This is the first time I haven't been able to go off medication after six months with success. But again, because of the timing I am not surprised. Something in my postpartum brain just seems to struggle at the 10 month point.  So I started the medication again yesterday and I am hoping for a decent night sleep really soon. I need a good night's sleep really soon. What I am not looking forward to is having to ween off again. But for now my focus is on taking care of my current situation and stomping out these mild symptoms as they reappear. I will worry about the end game later.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reading With My Kids

As I said in this post, I love to read. I am so happy that my children have also inherited the love of books. We use them for entertainment, as a way to unwind and get ready for bed, and sometimes as a preparation tool for something that is coming up in their lives. Neither of my boys used to be very good about going to to the doctor, but then I got them several books about characters that they know having doctor's appointments and it made our appointments so much easier. I am grateful that they both buy into the lessons and stories that the books we read provide. Recently, Braeden has been talking a lot about good food versus junk food because of the Berenstain Bears book, Too Much Junk Food. I'm so glad that it's made an impression and that he understands the difference between foods that are good for him and those that he can have as a treat. I find it so interesting to see what they take from the books that we read and how they use it in their lives. Here are some of my kids favorite books.

The Berenstain Bears
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food
Even though Braeden is the one who walks around preaching about what these books say, Evan is the reason we have so many. He loves the Berenstain Bears, especially The Sitter which was my favorite as a kid too. I limit him to 5 a night because otherwise we'd be reading for an hour. All of their books are good and are meant to teach lessons that are relevant in kids lives. From Clean House to The Trouble with Teasing, these books are great for all ages. 

Curious George
Curious George Complete Adventures Deluxe Book and CD Gift Set
We love Curious George in our house. We have the set above that also came with the CD's. It's nice because the boys sometimes like to listen to stories as they fall asleep. I think Braeden's favorite George story is Curious George Goes to the Hospital, although, Curious George Rides a Bike is a very close second. 

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Big Book)
I must admit, Laura Numeroff writes some catchy books. I wasn't actually familiar with her stories until Braeden read If You Give A Mouse A Cookie at school last year. From there, we grew quite the collection. Evan is the biggest fan of this series in our house and for a long time, he had to listen to "The Cookies" every night before he went to bed. We have this on CD too. 

The Magic Tree House Series
Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House Series #17)
When I was looking for something a little bit older to read to Braeden, I decided to start the Magic Tree House Series. My nephew Jacob had always loved them and I thought Braeden probably would too. We began with the first four books of the series and then B started bringing random numbers home from the school library so we have been reading some of them out of order. His favorite by far was Tonight on the Titanic. This book is what peeked his interest in The Titanic and we've read many other books about The Titanic and visited the exhibit at Mystic as a result. 

I'm so glad that my kids love reading. Some nights I'm tired and I don't really feel like it, but I would never give up that time that I get to snuggle with them and indulge in great children's literature. I hope they maintain their love of reading, whether it be paper books or more likely e-books throughout their entire lives. If anyone has suggestions about the books you read with your kids, we'd be glad to hear them. I am always happy to add to our library. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Steps Forward, A Small Step Back

"I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful." If you haven't seen What About Bob, you MUST. It's one of the funniest movies ever and I think I've seen it at least 20 times in my life. Anyway.. aside from the movie promo, I must say that I think my attempt to step out into the world more and conquer a few of my fears has gone really well. I generally feel good, great and wonderful.

I knew starting this blog would hold me accountable for standing behind my decisions to try more things and let go of some of the insecurities that have been plaguing me my whole life. Honestly, it has worked. I am busy, happy and involved in so much more as a result. However, there are still plenty of times I feel like the village idiot and would love to go home and crawl under the covers.

The other night I went to a party with a group of women that was made up of mostly people I knew and a few that I didn't. But it was at the home of someone that I have only met recently and so it was out of the comfort zone for me. I felt like I was back in seventh grade. I didn't know where to stand, what to say or who to talk to. I did go with three friends, but of course I felt like they knew the people that I didn't and they are all better socially than me anyway. I didn't want to be too involved and look like an obnoxious fool, but I try really hard not to appear meek and shy either because that is how I ended up turning people off in the past. Note to self: only men in the 1800's like meek and shy women. Glad I figured that one out in 2012. So I did my best and I really did enjoy the party, but I wish I could go into new situations with confidence and just let the good times flow. Now I've committed to go out to dinner and dancing with a group of friends on Friday (because as part of my goals for the year I can't say no if I'm available) and I'm already worried. I'll only know about half of the people well enough to have something already in common with them and I'm more of a 100% girl in order to relax and have a good time. I'm sure it will be fun. If not, I'll carry a fish around my neck and recite over and over, "I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful."

In many areas though, I have come so far! I can now go someplace unfamiliar and not feel sick to my stomach worrying about where I'm going to park, who will be there, etc. etc. I can walk into the school and easily talk to people. I can actually invite people to do things and expect that the answer will be yes rather than assuming it will be no because they've got other friends and commitments that don't involve me. I can make phone calls without having to psych myself up first. I have gained so much confidence and I'm really delighted with how positively my efforts have affected me and my family (well, except for Roman who has spent a lot more nights home alone with the kids while I have "girls night" plans). I am very hopeful that meeting new friends will soon be on the easier list too. But all in it's own time. For now I am very satisfied with the big steps forward even if they are balanced by a few small steps back.

Monday, May 21, 2012

And That Brings Us Back to Monday

We had another busy, but great weekend in our house. I got lots accomplished and even managed to squeeze in a little fun. On Friday I dropped off a blanket and bucket that I made for a friend's niece so that she could take it to the baby shower with her on Saturday. 

The green doesn't really look that yellow in person. It's actually super cute. 

On Saturday we had lots of time to play. The weather was so nice that we filled up the kiddie pool and let the kids have all the fun they could stand in the freezing cold water. I asked Evan if he was ready to put up his "big kid" swing on the swing-set and he got really excited so we took down the trusty blue swing and replaced it with the other regular swing that came with our swing-set. 

Evan was so excited and proud of himself for being able to use the big kid swing and I am equally as excited that I no longer have to take him in and out of the little one. It's a win-win for sure. And yes, he does always wear rain boots unless they are, ironically, too wet to wear (from going in the pool with them on).

I was really looking forward to yesterday because I had gotten a ketchup and mustard rose bush (uh-huh, that's really the name - pretty cool right?) for Mother's Day when I went to the flower place with my family and my mom, and we planted it yesterday. 

I decided it would be the first plant in my perennial garden and since my mom was there when I got it, it would be my generations rose bush representing my mom, myself and Maggie. 

And because I just so hate to not be doing something.. I decided that since we got a new handle for our front door on Saturday, I needed to paint the front door. I don't love the door itself, and with just the primer, which is how it's looked since we put it in 3 years ago, it was pretty unattractive. I'd been thinking that I would like a dark grey door and shutters and now seemed like a great time to try the color out. So I got my dad to mix me some paint after church this morning and I gave the door a little make-over. 

From this... 

to this. 
I still don't really like the door style, but I love the color. 

What did you do over the weekend?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

So Delicious

The other night I had some friends over and my friend Jen brought this incredible dessert that was so good, every single person asked for the recipe. Since it was so popular, and she shared the recipe (she got it here.), I thought I would post it for the rest of you who like seriously yummy cheesecake treats. 

Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert

Prep Time: 15 min              
Cook Time: 30 min             
Ready In: 3 hrs

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
¾ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ butter, room temperature
¼ cup honey

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2.  Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth.

3.  Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9x13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough. Stir together ¾ cup of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.

4.  Bake in a pre-heated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Look What I Found

Recently I've been using a small point and shoot camera because it's easier to carry around with me. But yesterday I got my DSLR out again because I was home and wanted to get some pictures of the kids. When I went to load the pictures on the computer I realized that there were a bunch on there that hadn't been uploaded yet that I had forgotten about. I love fun surprises! Especially when they are cute pictures of my kids. I feel kind of bad that Braeden isn't in any of these pictures, but he must have been at school.

 Grilled cheese anyone?


How about that? If I raise my arms, I can block him right out of the picture :)

 Please... just let me out there!!

Birthday presents delivered all the way from Virginia.

Morning hair.

Being super helpful..

Snoozing after a walk.

Friday, May 18, 2012

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

My mom sent this poem to me today. I have been thinking a lot recently about the concept of leading by example, but I could never have put it so eloquently. Thanks Mom ♥


When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my 
first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately 
wanted to paint another one. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a 
stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind 
to animals. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my
favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little 
things can be the special things in life. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a 
prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always 
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a 
meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I 
learned that we all have to help take care of each other. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care 
of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have 
to take care of what we are given. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you 
handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't 
feel good, and I learned that I would have to be 
responsible when I grow up. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come 
from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things 
hurt, but it's all right to cry. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you 
cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of 
life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and 
productive person when I grow up. 

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and
wanted to say,'Thanks for all the things I saw when 
you thought I wasn't looking.

-Mary Rita Schilke Korzan (1980)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Taking a Breather

Is it May already? Oh wait, we're halfway to June?!? I can't believe there are only 6 weeks of school left. Or less maybe? I don't really know, but I do know that after a very busy few weeks, I am finally finding the time to sit down and take a breather. I have loved every single thing that I have accomplished recently, but I don't think it's been a realistic pace for a mom with three kids, including a baby whose husband isn't home until at least 7 every night. From all the work at school, to the race, to the baby blanket I just finished making for a friend's sister, I have utilized every minute of every day recently for actual productiveness. But with summer coming, we all know what that means...

More of this:

and this:

and this:

It's time to start taking more walks and bike rides, playing in the pool, lazy day trips to fun places and quality time with my kids. I don't have anything major coming up to plan, cook, create or clean for, so from today on, we are looking at some deep breathing and lemonade drinking. Thank goodness I bought myself my third pair of sunglasses in two months today. Where do they go?!?!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Everybody Loves Roman

Did anyone see the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond about the suitcase? Ray returns home from a trip and leaves his suitcase on the landing of the stairs. Debra refuses to move it and then it just sits there while they each wait for the other to make the first move and put it away.

Well... we went to Mystic almost a month ago. When we got home, I unloaded our suitcase and put it by the basement stairs. Roman did pick it up and carry it downstairs to where our storage is. But instead of putting it back where it came from, it stopped here:

And yes, that is the door to our storage area. Two more steps, the turn of one door knob and woohoo, victory. But alas, there it sits, sadly within distance of the rest of its small family just inside that door. Sorry suitcase, we'll get you home real soon. I hope.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crazy Cousins

Every time there is any sort of celebration, we try to get all 6 cousins to sit together for a picture. It used to be impossible, but at his point in time, if we catch them at exactly the right moment with the camera, we can get a good picture. We didn't get a great, put it up on the wall picture, but there were some fun ones yesterday.