Monday, December 28, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It - BLAH!

Well, there's a first time for everything.
When Paul got home from work at 3 in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, we were in a blizzard warning. I'm pretty sure there's never been a blizzard warning called for in our area, at least not in my lifetime.
We were supposed to go out to my parents' farm for Christmas Eve with my siblings. Of course, I really wanted to go, but Paul wasn't so sure about it. He was not only worried about the drive out, but he also was worried we'd be snowed in there until Sunday. (The way the weather forecasts talked - which were sketchy, being as all the regular meteorologists must have taken vacation - the storm was going to move in and snow and blow from Thursday to Sunday.)
He balked and stalled on making a decision. I whined (not really, but that's what it felt like) and told him how important it was for me to spend Christmas with my family. (Christmas Eve is my family's Christmas.) Two hours later, he still hadn't made the call, so I decided for him and started loading the car. (Not a submissive wife, but he wasn't saying no, so I decided to take that as a "yes.")
We headed out a little after 5, just as it was getting dark. It wasn't too bad at first, but by the time we got to the other side of the county, we hit the snow. There were a few times it was a complete whiteout, and I just hoped that what I thought was the edge of the road really was the edge of the road (I was watching for Paul). I refrained from pointing out that had we left at 3, when Paul got home, we wouldn't have had that issue. (Although, I know Paul will read this, so I guess I didn't refrain.)
We celebrated with the fam - this gathering is just my immediate family - with way too much food. I tried homemade mozzerella sticks. Fail. I need to find a zestier breading for them. We ate then opened gifts. We have a "youngest to oldest" tradition that we've done ever since we were kids that we still do. So by the time we go from Jacob all the way up to Dad, and then multiply it several gifts apiece.... Gift-opening takes a while. But that way we get to enjoy everyone's reactions to their gifts even more.
We watched the "2009 Tacky Light Tour" after gifting. My brother and younger sister started this tradition years ago, where they go out with the video camera and pretend to be on-site reporters. They find houses with lights and/or decorations that just make you go, "What were they thinking?" and give an analysis. It's hillarious, even though it may not be very nice. This year, there was no interviews, but there was an "accidental" scene where "camera got left on" and the "serious journalists" were talking in the truck.
We finally went to bed about 11. We all got our own room. Paul and I and the boys slept in my old room (which they call JC's room, since he took over it after I got married). Lurenda and Keith and the girls got Carlsie's old room (which was Lurenda and I's room before it was hers). Carlsie got the middle room on the futon, and JC slept downstairs in the living room. We'd packed our air matresses, so that made the night a little more comfortable for everyone.
When we woke up the next morning, the wind had died down, but there were drifts everywhere. The road east of their house was drifted shut. About 11, we decided to try it. I knew it was deep, but Paul thought if someone broke through in front of us we could get the car out. Fail. We didn't even get a quarter mile before we buried it. Finally, we got un-stuck and backed all the way back to the house. Dad and Lurenda decided to go out in the Tahoe and find the best way for us to get to a road that had been bladed. An hour later, we were loaded in the Tahoe and headed home. (Ironically, the 1/4 mile just outside Dad and Mom's driveway was the worst of the whole trip.)
By that afternoon, the wind had picked up. Instead of being from the north, it was coming straight out of the west. The north wind on Christmas Eve had caused drifts on the East/West roads, but the new west wind was causing the North/South roads to drift shut.
We got home to find frozen pipes. Lovely. We hadn't really had trouble since Paul had insulated some in the basement. But apparently a little insulation is no match for 40 mph winds and sub-zero temperatures. The kitchen was open, but the bathroom was frozen tight. Paul went and applied the heat lamp and space heater, and by that evening, all but the cold water at the bathroom sink was back on.
We had originally planned on having Christmas morning brunch at our house with Paul's parents. Since we didn't even get home until almost 1, obviously that plan was off. They headed over that afternoon, bringing all the food they had prepared for our original all-day plans. We ended up having quiche, biscuits and gravy, chili, ham, cranberry salad, and pumpkin bread for supper. All delicious, even if it was a mish-mash of a menu.
Paul's parents headed home early (it seemed), but we were all exhausted after battling the snow. Elizabeth stayed the night so she was closer to work in the morning (although I was a bit worried that the road would drift shut during the night). It snowed another couple inches overnight Friday.
Saturday we went out to my grandparents house. We had originally only planned on staying a couple hours, but due to all the snow, my family didn't get done with chores until almost 6 in the evening. Paul took a nap, and I got to visit with my grandma and aunt and uncle. We finally got home at about 8, and by the time the boys were in bed, it was 10. I felt like Paul and I should have some Mommy/Daddy time since Paul had to go back to work on Sunday, but I was so tired. We watched one episode of a TV show we've been getting on Netflix (Legend of the Seeker), then I was ready for bed.
Overnight, we got another dusting of snow, and more wind, which had caused more drifting. Our driveway was actually the worst of the whole trip to church. Paul had told me to not let off until I got out of it or I'd get stuck. So I punched it (not really, but it felt a little reckless) and hit the drift at the end of the driveway. I started sliding, but kept going, and ended up exiting the driveway sideways, a la Dukes of Hazzard. Yee haw! But I was proud of myself: got both boys ready by myself, drove the snow, got breakfast at Sonic, and was still to practice on time.
During church the wind picked up and our road was starting to drift shut again. I am just glad I don't have anywhere to go today. Today it got all the way up to freezing! It's supposed to "warm up" this week (to the 30s), just in time for it to snow - again.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas. We hope that you remember the whole reason for celebrating and gift giving is because of the Gift that God gave us, a tiny baby born in a stable. "He is come that we might have life, and have it to the fullest." (John 10:10)
It's so easy to be swept away in the consumerism (we have, too) and forget. Please take a quiet moment to reflect.
May warm times with your family and special memories be yours!
(And hopefully we won't get the blizzard they're calling for!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

God's Gift to Me

My husband is so wonderful. I know you probably get tired of me talking about him.
His work schedule since September has been so crazy. In the last 16 weeks, he's only had 21 days off. Most weeks, he's worked at LEAST two 12-hour days in there. He gets Christmas Day off, the day after Christmas, and then he's back to work for 7 days straight. Luckily then, he will be on a four-day-on, two-days-off rotation (12 hour shifts) for January, and then come February, they're supposed to have hired on another shift and they'll be back to the swing shift. He has worked SO hard, and hasn't complained about the time gone. But I know he's ready for a break!
I appreciate my husband so much. I was listening to a program on the radio yesterday, and the question was: "What does your spouse do to make you feel loved?" (or something along those lines) But instead of calling in to tell what their husband did right, it sounded like a huge gripe-fest of women calling in to say what their husband DIDN'T do! I was like, "Come on, ladies! Cut him some slack!" The fact that most husbands go to work to provide for their families is an act of love itself! I know that the job Paul has isn't his dream job, and isn't always fun, but it pays well, so he sticks with it.
Paul loves me, is faithful to me, loves our boys, and takes pride in his home. It may not be flowers and romantic dinners, but that's not how he says, "I love you."
Anyhow. This was just a little soapbox. Lets show (and tell!) our hard-working husbands we appreciate them, ladies!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pants, Part 2

After I wrote this entry, several gals gave me advice for where to find boys jeans. Some I liked, some I didn't.
These types of jeans I don't like: The "pre-worn" look, with the faded spots and patches.... After just a few months on a toddler, they end up looking like this anyways. I don't need to buy them halfway worn out already. And that's ALL I could find anywhere.
Nathan and Jacob's great-granddad needed gift ideas for the boys. I told him (via my mother-in-law) that Nathan needed new jeans. So this began a massive online hunt for what I deemed "appropriate" jeans. My qualifications were NOT faded, and an adjustable waist. The adjustable waist I was adamant on, because the jeans we bought Nathan last fall are just now ALMOST to fit around the waist - but now they're too short.
We knew Wrangler jeans (the copper-rivet ones - authentic cowboy style!) were good - but they are expensive, which is why I haven't bought more of them (he has one pair, for church). Finally, after searching Old Navy, Target, WalMart, Kohls, Sears, and Children's Place..... I finally found some on the JC Penny website. (I know you're thinking "My gosh, she's picky!")
I sent the link to Janice, then later went out and got the mail. In the mail was... JC Penny coupons! "Spend $25, get $10 off." The jeans were on sale for $12.99, so after the coupon, two pairs would be $8 each! We planned a trip to Lawrence for the next day. Nathan ended up with four new pairs of pants - his "official" gift from Great-Granddad was a new pair of Wranglers for church (so cute!), and at JCP I bought him two pairs of jeans and one pair of navy slacks (another impossible-to-find-at-WalMart item! All they carry is cargoes or courdoroys.).
We bought him size 4T! But that's why I was so adamant about getting jeans with an adjustable waist. Yes, they're too big for him right now, but I won't have to buy him any pants for at least a year. Cinch up the waist, roll up the cuffs a bit, and he's set.
Anyways. I hate shopping, so that got that over with. (Yay for online research, so I didn't actually have to go into the stores!) I also finished up my Christmas shopping that day. (Yay for mother-in-laws, because there's NO WAY I could have made into six stores on my own with two little ones!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.....

With only two weeks 'til Christmas, we finally got the tree decorated.

Not the greatest picture. Oh well.

Last week, I set it up and put the lights on it. With Paul's work schedule, I wasn't sure if it would get set up if we waited for him to have a day off. Ironically, when he called me that night, he mentioned setting up the tree. I kept my mouth shut and let the lights in the window surprise him when he pulled in the driveway.

However, it took a week and a half until we actually got ornaments on it.
Then today, I got ALL of the presents wrapped. Nathan helped me while I wrapped Paul's - which resulted in perhaps the worst gift-wrapping job in history. I use the term "help" loosely - he was in the room, but trying to wrestle a cat (the outdoors cat, at that!) into a box and shut the lid before it could jump out. So this resulted in a lot of him stepping on the paper, falling on the box I was trying to wrap, and falling on me. Oh well.
I wrapped up Nathan and Jacob's while they napped. I got them all under the tree and stood back to admire them and congratulate myself on having all the shopping done (or at least planned) and everything wrapped up and still have a week and a half to go. Then it hit me: I hadn't even THOUGHT about gifts for my nieces. Oops.
These presents have enough packing tape (forget the scotch tape!) on them that they might even possibly be waterproof. I was trying to make sure all folds and seams were taped down so that exploring little fingers couldn't accidentally (or not so accidentally) pull up the paper. I'd better make sure we have scissors and a box knife handy when it comes time to open gifts.
Luckily, Nathan [so far] hasn't been interested in getting INTO the packages - he just likes the wrapping paper. He picked up Jacob's gift tonight and ran through the house, "Daddy! Snow men! Daddy!"
We're not doing Santa Claus (as evidenced by everyone's presents already being under the tree). I don't want my kids to be upset when they find out he's not real. However, I also don't want my kids to be the ones that "ruin" it for other kids. (Like happened to me.) So I'm not sure how to approach it. We can tell him Santa is pretend, but kids don't always have tact when they encounter someone who believes differently than them. I have a few more years to ponder it, I think, until he starts noticing Santa. Since we don't decorate with Santa, and don't watch a lot of TV that has him on it, I think we're safe for a while yet. (Need I mention we don't go out in public a lot?)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anyone Else Have This Trouble?

Paul and I noticed that all the sudden, all of Nathan's pants seem to be too short. He must have gone through a growth spurt.
So I am trying to find him new jeans. I went to Target last week, and they didn't have ANY pants that weren't faded, patched, or otherwise un-trendy. What happened to good ol' blue jeans?
So today I went to WalMart in search of some. They had two styles of jeans, in sizes 12M, 18M, and 5T.
I really don't want to have to go all over creation trying to find jeans for a two year old!
And while I'm at it, may I mention how hard it is to find clothes for him that aren't trendy or preppy? I hate clothes with cartoon characters on them. Maybe if they were age-appropriate (like Bob or Thomas), but I hardly think Spiderman or Transformers are kid-friendly movies. We aren't a trendy family - Paul wears boots and jeans. I just don't see my son wearing sweaters and corduroys. (Not that there's anything wrong with those things, I'd like to point out - but growing up my dad never wore anything but denim, and neither does my husband, so that's what I tend to gravitate towards for our sons.) I would prefer REAL slacks for when Nathan dresses up for church, but all I can find are cargo pants. (I am not a shopper, or else I might put a little more effort into finding the type of clothing I want. I just don't have the time, money, or energy!) I would think places like Target and WalMart would carry a basic like plain blue jeans!
Anyhow. I'm tired. Therefore this rant probably doesn't make any sense. I really need to go to bed - it's been 1 or later every night for the last two weeks!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


We are working on "obeying" with Nathan. This has resulted in many spankings. That boy is so hard-headed!
When I was discussing this with my best friend Brooke, I was telling her how after I have to discipline Nathan, I explain it by saying, "Nathan, you need to listen to Mommy when she tells you to do something." She pointed out that there is a difference between listening and obeying. We can hear what someone tells us to do, and still not do it. (Much as we do with God!)
When the boys I babysit were being picked up today, their mom was having a hard time getting them into their shoes and coats and out the door. I told Dallas, "You need to obey your mommy." (Because that's what I say to Nathan.) That led to a short conversation about the word "obey". She mentioned she didn't have it in her marriage vows.
(Thus the focus of this blog.)
I know a lot of women who leave the "obey" part out of their vows. I don't know why we are so afraid of that word. To me, it seems more powerful that I know I can defy him, but I choose to not do that. I am in control of myself more if I can let someone else be in control.
I don't know if that makes sense in anyone's mind but my own. I'm not saying wives need to obey their husbands if he is asking them to do something illegal or morally degrading. The vow to obey, in my mind, means that when you come to a stand-off in a decision, you let him have the final say - even if that means failure. (And part of obeying/submission is not throwing it back into his face with an "I told you so!") I believe in a healthy marriage, the husband won't call all the shots with no thoughts as to what his wife wants. They will discuss things, and come to a mutual agreement.
There have been times that Paul thought we should do things a certain way, and after explaining my point of view to him, he decided "my way" was better. But in times that no agreement can be reached, I choose to let Paul have the final say.
I've not had to "obey" my husband when it comes to a stand-off over a major issue that will affect our future, such as a move or a job change. There have been times that I really want to do something/go somewhere and he says he'd rather not - so we stay home. (And, admittedly, I have sulked a few times over these things.)
I'm not even sure if "obey" was in our wedding vows. But it's something I will gladly do - for better or for worse!

Friday, December 4, 2009


I refused to do it on Facebook, but I'll do it here. Allow me to whine:
  • I did not sleep at all last night. Okay, so I slept, but it was more like I was merely dozing all night - no deep sleep. And of course the boys were up before the sun. I'm convinced it's due to the hot chocolate - miniscule amount of caffeine that I had 8 HOURS before I went to bed!
  • Paul has to work all weekend. We thought his schedule would be so that he could make it to at least PART of Bethlehem every night, but it works out he's not going to be able to make it at all. Boo.
  • It's cold. 13 degrees out.
  • I did my first session of Pilates (by video) last night. Actually, I only did half of one. Kicked my butt.

On the other hand, I have lots of things I should be praising about:

  • Jacob is sleeping better, for longer stretches. Even though I've learned to survive on 5-6 hours of less-than-stellar sleep, I'm not sure how much longer I could keep it up.
  • Paul may have a four-day weekend next week.
  • The sun is shining.
  • We have a warm(ish) house. The wood stove is blazing.
  • We have food to eat.
  • The boys are both healthy.
  • We've been able to put a considerable chunk of money into savings the last two months.
  • Things are looking up at Paul's work. They've got some new contracts that will mean more work.
  • Prayers are being answered for a family member who is having marital problems. Things aren't resolved, but we feel it's one step closer.
  • We have a heavenly Father who loves us beyond comprehension. He humbled Himself, and came to earth to live as a man, going through all the trials and temptations of a normal person, from birth to adulthood. He was cruelly crucified, though innocent of any sin. His undeserved death takes my place, so I don't have to pay for the wrong I've done. He made it possible for me to live in heaven forever with Him. And I'm forever grateful.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Six Weeks

Yesterday was Jacob's six week checkup. He has seriously chunked out! He's gained 3 pounds since he was born! (More if you count the weight he lost before my milk came in... That makes it almost 4 pounds!) I had him weighed three times in 24 hours.... At the Childrens Mercy urologist, he was 11, 2... According to the health department visit (more on that later) he was 11, 8... And at the doctor he was 11, 4. Dr. Sinclair said he "looks perfect!"
The visit with the urologist went well. He explained that sometimes when all of the mother's hormones finally get out of the baby's system (around 2 months), boys will have a testosterone surge that will "push" the testicle down. He said even though that's not common, it does happen. We have another check up at the end of January, and then he will determine if surgery is needed. Dr. Demarcos said the sooner they get it corrected, the easier it is for Jacob to recover.
We had an annoying visit from the county health department yesterday morning. Not that the lady that came out is annoying, she's actually a sweet grandmotherly type.... just the fact that they come irritates me. When they call to set up an appointment, they ask if they can come because they have a gift for me, and tell me they can bring their scale so we can find out how much the baby is gaining between check-ups. I don't know how to say no - what would it look like if I refused? But what I feel the only reason they want to come is so they can get into your house and see what kind of conditions the baby is living in. I have no doubt I would be reported if something didn't measure up. I don't even know how they found out I have a baby, because the hospital doesn't report it to them anymore.
I also had my six week follow-up. I was less than thrilled with it. For starters, I've only lost half of the baby weight. This probably wouldn't bother me if I hadn't of lost all the baby weight by six weeks (without even trying) after I had Nathan. And it doesn't really upset me too much - I look at the scale as "just a number" (which is why we don't own a scale). I feel like I look pretty good (minus the jello-belly). And when Jacob starts sleeping more predictably, I'll be able to better exercise. The hernia I got above my belly button still hasn't fixed itself completely - it still pooches. Dr. Sinclair said to give it a little more time for my abs to pull back together. She recommended trying Pilates, rather than just sit-ups, since Pilates focuses on strengthening your entire core.
I'm finally getting the house back in order. We had a crazy weekend about 3 weeks ago where we were running all day every day, and the house fell apart. We came home and just dumped everything in the dining room every day. We'd eat, but I wouldn't have time to clean the kitchen afterwards. I'd get the kitchen or dining room partially cleaned (the dishwasher loaded/unloaded, the dining room table halfway cleaned off), then I'd get distracted/busy with the boys, and not get back to it until it was a disaster again. I washed dishes (pots and pans) last night for the first time in almost two weeks. Like I said, totally gross.
I'm convinced Jacob's 3-day fussing spree was due to a growth spurt. He wanted to nurse all the time - and that did it's job. My milk supply is up, and he's sleeping more (a painful combination if he doesn't nurse well before falling asleep for four hours!). But he's nursing for longer periods now, and going longer between feedings. I'm ready for that - I was beginning to feel like a milk cow!
We're pretty sure Nathan's had a recent growth spurt, as well. He's been sleeping longer, and eating better (somewhat). But the main thing we noticed is that all of his pants are now high-water, even a pair I just bought at the end of summer. I'm not looking forward to shopping for him again - it's so hard to find non-trendy kids clothes (we are definitely not a trendy family).
Well, I've lolly-gagged (what does that mean anyways?) long enough. I still haven't gotten dressed for the day, and it's time to start on lunch.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Just Ate a Whole Tomato.... the form of bruschetta. Amazingness.
And in case the title wasn't obvious, this is the beginning of a rambling, random post.
I started my Christmas shopping today, by buying a present for... myself. I received some money as a gift, with the stipulation that I use it to buy something FOR MYSELF, so I bought a under-cabinet radio for the kitchen. We have a gigantic mid-90s CD stereo in there now, up on top of the fridge. I'm going to send that out to the shop (Merry Christmas, Paul!). Unfortunately, this means I'm going to have to clean that greasy dirt off the top of the fridge that I've been successfully ignoring for the last.... I don't want to admit how long.
By the way, I do have a Christmas present bought for Paul already. I've had it for weeks. (Surprised I could keep my mouth shut, dear?) I think I've got the rest of his gift figured out. We're still discussing Nathan's.... But keeping it simple/practical - we've got too many toys in this house as is. I'm thinking jeans, work gloves, and maybe some toy tools to "help" Paul (that can be kept outside?). Jacob is just getting a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. (And that's all we got Nathan for his first Christmas, too, so don't think we're chincing.)
Jacob has been ten types of fussy today. He has had some gross spit-up (he normally doesn't spit up much), but he hasn't been kicking like he seems to do when he's got gas. He wants to nurse ALL THE TIME. He's got to be going through a growth spurt.
Tomorrow I'm taking Jacob to a urologist. I haven't wanted to mention this, but since we're all adults, I will. (I will not be mentioning this happening after he turns about two however - I don't want him getting a nickname like a guy my dad went to high school with.) Jacob has an undescended testicle. Not a big deal, and fairly common. The appointment is to make sure that there IS a second one. Assuming there is, they give it a year to come down on it's own, and if it doesn't he'll have to have surgery to bring it down. An undescended testicle can become cancerous is the reason for the surgery.
We spent Thanksgiving in Medicine Lodge with Paul's family - mainly we wanted to be sure to get some time with his grandpa. He was diagnosed with skin cancer this fall, and there's evidence it's spreading. He also has a heart condition, so.... When a grandparent is over 85, every chance you get to see them is precious.
It was a good time. Jacob doesn't travel well, and didn't sleep well at all. (Up every hour one night, every 20 minutes the next.) But Paul's parents came down Friday and Saturday and they watched the boys for us so we could take a nap. However, Jacob has slept 5 hour stretches both nights since we've been home. Unfortunately that 5 hour stretch is followed by an up-every-hour marathon until sunrise.
My boss brought me Sonic Dr. Pepper and a container of puppy chow this morning. She loves me. (Or hates me....) I practiced extreme self control, let me tell you, by dumping half of the DP down the drain. Caffeine effects Jacob (maybe that's his problem today.....), so I didn't want to OD - as much as I needed to.
Project Less TV went well....ish today. He watched one video this morning (Thomas), one this afternoon (Bob), and is watching a Baby Einstein right now. I did turn on PBS for about a half hour (maybe an hour?) this morning when I was babysitting and the three boys were at each others' throats. So not great, but better. (Rather than watching 3 hours in the morning and afternoon both. and then a video or two in the evening before bed.)
I read most of Cheaper by the Dozen while in ML.... It is hillarious! My mom read it to us during school one year, but I hadn't read it since then. I don't know why I found it so amusing - maybe because I can see myself being that type of parent. You all should definitely go borrow it from the library - it's a light read and will have you smiling.
This weekend is our church's Bethlehem production. Paul and I were supposed to be Joseph and Mary Saturday and Sunday nights, but he just found out he has to work both nights. (Which means he is working straight through from tonight to at least next Friday without a day off. Lovely.) He can't get either night off because there are other supervisors already scheduled for vacation (pansies can't handle working all these weekends). Sunday he doesn't have to go in until later, so I'm going to talk to the other couple who was thankfully able to fill in, and see if they're willing to switch or do tag-team.
Paul and I were talking.... His schedule since July has been totally up in the air. They start the week thinking they'll be working a certain number of days/hours, then it changes. He's had days off, but they've been sporadic and he didn't know when they were coming (with the exception of Jacobs birth, and Thanksgiving vacation - but even then they were talking about having them come in Saturday). I'm not complaining about the overtime pay, but it would be nice to know when he's going to be home on a weekend. He hasn't played with us for praise and worship since August.
I downloaded some sheet music for some new Christmas songs yesterday. I was playing one on the piano today and singing, trying to figure out if it was church-singable. ("All Creation Sing/Joy to the World" by Fee) I finished it up, and Nathan, who had been playing with his farm set, started clapping and yelled "YAY!" I guess that is his vote of approval, at least.
Our neighbor was finally able to harvest the field across from our house today (it has been too wet). Of course, Nathan realizing there was a combine in such close proximity to our house necessitated a wagon ride. I hauled Nathan a half of a mile in the wagon while carrying Jacob (aka Chunkadelic) in the sling. I definitely felt like I'd worked for that "stroll". It was so nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the weather on the last day of November.... About the last nice day for a while, it sounds. But the haul was totally worth it, just to see Nathan watching with big eyes and proclaiming in a "deep" toddler voice, "BIG COMBINE." (So hillarious the way he says it!)
Well, my goal today was to get one room clean. Failed. Well, not actually. I said my goal was one room, and meant to clean the kitchen. As far as I got there was unloading the dishwasher and putting about 5 dirty dishes back in it. But I did clean the living room. This was necessitated by my pldest son absolutely wrecking it this afternoon - it was picked up, maybe not spotless, but pretty clean, when the boys left at noon. But it was so bad by bedtime that I couldn't walk through it without stepping on something. So it got picked up and vaccuumed. (And I could be cleaning the kitchen right now, but for some reason would rather sit here and blog..... I'm also nursing Jacob [talent unbounded, let me tell ya], so that's my excuse.)
Holy cow - did I mention Jacob was fussy? I haven't been able to leave him for 5 minutes this evening! I think he's asleep, I leave him snuggled up in the Boppy or in his swing, and leave the room, only to have him screaming 2 minutes later. As soon as I pick him up he stops. Then I nurse him and he falls asleep and we start all over. He was asleep for maybe 20 minutes (I was hoping it was going to be for several hours, though), which allowed me to get the living room done, but not get Nathan in bed. I had to do bedtime story and prayers with little one attached to my boob. (As much as I hate to admit it, it's probably lingering effects of that Dr. Pepper this morning.)
Okay, this is getting way too long.


My son watches entirely too much television. This is going to stop. The crackdown starts today.
.... As soon as this video is over.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shouldn't Be Blogging

I just wanted to let all of you dedicated blog readers (ha ha) know that it's going to be well into next week before I can get a "real" blog done.
I'm supposed to be cleaning house and packing to leave for four days. As soon as Paul gets home, we're leaving for Medicine Lodge to see his grandpa, aunt and uncle, and cousins for Thanksgiving.
So I'd better get to it....

And PS - I would just like to let you know that I can now [kind of] fit into 3 pairs of my non-maternity jeans. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Family Picture

We got this picture after church on Sunday. I thought it was actually a good one (at least of three of us)! Nathan's getting to that age where he knows what's going on, and he won't pose or smile.

PS - that's the infamous purple sweater from the shopping debacle. The longer I wore it, the more I loved it - although it does look rather scandalously low-cut in this picture!


As I mentioned in my last post, Jacob's baby dedication at church was this last Sunday. (Yes, I'm running a few days behind... Lack of sleep, my excuse.)
Let me tell you how it went:

Just ignore how un-flattering this picture is of me. That's not what we're focusing on.

Can you see Nathan's face? That pretty much sums it up.
He bumped his mouth on the armrest of the pew as we went up front. It wasn't a bad bump, and definitely didn't warrant the sobbing he was doing, but that's what started it.
In the picture, he was sobbing, "Mommy! Mommy!" So we did a baby shuffle - I passed Jacob to Janice, then took Nathan from Paul, then Janice handed Jacob to Paul. I tried to get Nathan to quiet down with his sippy of milk - works every time at home, but didn't do a thing this time. He wailed the whole time we were up there. I'm assuming it's because we were up in front of all those people, and they were all watching, but still....
I didn't hear a thing the pastor said, because Nathan screamed the entire time. I took him out as soon as Pastor was finished (and of course, this is the Sunday the media team didn't record the sermon!). As we walked out the back door, Nathan abruptly changed his tune, "Daddy! Daddy!" (I think he knew what was coming.)
But it got me to thinking.... Double meaning of baby dedication: We were dedicating our baby to the Lord.... To raise him according to the Biblical principles and to teach him to love God. But we are also dedicating ourselves to our babies - to love them no matter what, to discipline them when they need it, and to be there for them.
And some days, it takes more dedication than others.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Post-Pregnancy Shopping

Most of you probably know that shopping isn't at the top of my favorite activities. Not even close. ESPECIALLY clothes shopping.... I don't know if it's the spending money, the fact I have a hard time finding clothes that fit and/or that I like the style of, or if it's the actual "hunting" part I hate.
We don't have a scale, so I'm not sure where I am with my post-baby weight loss. Two weeks ago, I'd lost about half the weight I'd gained. I think I've lost a bit more, but I've been having major PMS-style munchie attacks, so I'm sure I'm not down to where I should be by now. I'm close to being able to fit back into my pre-preggers clothes, but not close enough to dare wearing them in public. (I'm definitely going to have to do some work on my abs this time around.)
I ruthlessly purged my closet this spring, shortly after breaking out the maternity clothes. Apparently at the time, I got rid of most of my good dress shirts (since I don't work anymore, the only thing I dress up for is church pretty much). (Hmm... I just thought about this.... Maybe I should check the ironing pile....) I have only two shirts that currently fit (and only a couple more that I'm not fitting into yet), and I've worn them both to church since having Jacob. So I decided to go buy a new shirt for Jacob's baby dedication.
Our town only has one clothing store - Maurice's - besides WalMart (I don't leave town to go shopping unless absolutely necessary). I quit shopping at WalMart during high school, due to their inability to carry clothes that fit me or that last. (I think they've gotten better, but I still don't shop there - at least not often, and definitely not for "nice" clothes.)
So last Friday, I headed out to Maurice's to find myself a top. I was excited, because they recently started carrying plus sizes, up to size 24, so I knew they'd have clothes in my size (instead of my size being the biggest they carry). (And by "recently" I mean "since last time I shopped there" which may very well have been before Nathan was born.)
This was such a frustrating experience on so many levels:
  1. Instead of being one size larger than I was pre-babies, I am two sizes larger. (Blow to the ego.)
  2. But not totally. Just enough bigger than an XL that it doesn't look good, but not big enough to get an XXL to hang right on me.
  3. And add to that, I have to buy the larger size knowing (hoping) that in a couple months it won't fit me at all. I don't like spending money.
  4. All styles aren't available in all sizes. The "plus-size" is a separate section, and I didn't like any of the styles they had. (Actually not the styles (cut) so much as the fabric designs/types they chose to use.)
  5. Maurice's is a pretty trendy store. For the most part, the dressy tops tend to have random pieces of draping fabric, bangles, beads, straps or other oddities. Or one of those banded bottoms that I'm terrified to even try on, as I'm afraid it will make my backside look even larger.
  6. There were a handful of tops that I liked, but they didn't have them in big enough sizes. Seriously - I've heard the average woman in America is size 14. So why don't they carry the MOST of that size (which would be an XL), instead of carrying two of XL (which immediately sell), and 40 of size medium?

I ended up with two tops I liked - a green satin one and a purple super-stretchy cowl-neck sweater. I did have a coupon for 20% off (that I'm pretty sure was about four years old, but it didn't have an expiration date).

It ended up being too cold (and windy and rainy) on Sunday for Jacob's dedication to wear the green shirt (it was short-sleeve). It was one of the ones I was in-between sizes, so I'm thinking I'll hold on to it for another month or two (leave the tags on), and by then I'll hopefully have lost enough weight to fit into the smaller size.

I guess I should be glad I wasn't shopping for pants. I don't even want to think about how many sizes larger my backside has gotten.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One More Night....

Paul is working 12 hour nights this week - 7 PM to 7 AM.
Last night the boys double-teamed me with fusiness and crying. For an hour. That was not fun. And compound the problem: Jacob wanted to nurse because he was fussy, and Nathan wanted to snuggle because he was fussy. So I'd switch back and forth - hold one on my lap and set the other one next to me and pat him.
Luckily tonight we didn't have that problem.
However, we did have a Mommy/Nathan showdown. Nathan insists on being carried up the stairs (and down, too, half the time). He is getting heavy. Not heavy enough I can't carry him, but heavy enough that if he made a sudden move while I had him on the stairs, I'd drop him, and he (and maybe me, too) would fall down the very steep, very hard stairs.
So tonight I told him he had to walk upstairs. Long story short.... After about 10 swats and much crying, he finally made it to the top of the stairs. I feel like I should feel bad for standing my ground, but I truly believe that I have to show him that I mean business.... When I tell him to do something, I expect to be obeyed, or there will be consequenses. I've been a marshmellow too long when it comes to getting by with things, and that has got to change.
I can tell already that he's starting to test me to see if I'll stick to my guns. Sure, it's not on the same level an adolescent would test a parent, but I want my (and Paul's) authority to be recognized before we get to that stage.
Anyhow. Off that little bunny trail.
It hasn't been horrible without Paul here at night, but it's definitely easier with two parents. And apparently I'm incapable of going to bed before midnight if he's gone.
It's only 11 now, so I really should get headed that way.... Sooner or later this not sleeping enough at night is going to catch up with me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Do You Ever Get Tired of This?

There are a few things I love about having a newborn.... Things I forgot I loved so much about Nathan when he was tiny, that I remember now that I have Jacob. Makes me wonder if you love it about every newborn - whether it's your first or your tenth.
  • The milky smell of his breath.
  • Kissing his soft chubby cheeks.
  • Patting his tiny tushie as he curls up against my chest.
  • Stroking his tiny hands and fingers as he lays them against me while he nurses.
  • The silky smooth feeling of his skin.
  • Watching him sleep.

And those are just the things I can think of right now. I'm totally enjoying being a Mommy of two. And whereas I spend much of my time holding or nursing Jacob, I'm still having some sweet times cudding and visiting with Nathan. I love my boys!

Monday, November 9, 2009

"I Love You, Daddy."

We finally got Nathan to say "I love you" this weekend. We've been working on it ever since he first started talking. Shortly after he started saying his first words, I got him to say something like, "Ba Ba Boo." I translated that to be him repeating what I'd just said. But nothing even resembling it ever since.
Our son is not very free with his affections. He does okay with hugs, but mostly only to parents and grandparents, and either flat out refuses kisses, or will only incline the top of his head toward you. Absolutely no mouth kisses.
Saturday I was sitting on the couch teasing him, asking him, "Can you.....[fill in the blank]?" So I threw in "Can you.... Say 'I love you'?" And he said "I love you," with a big grin. My heart went pitter-patter. I'd waited so long to hear those words.
So imagine how much my heart melted tonight when Paul was putting his boots on to go to work, and Nathan walked over to him and out of the blue said, "I love you, Daddy."
Paul looked up and said, "What did you say?" And Nathan repeated it, "I love you, Daddy."
Paul beamed a smile over at me then said to Nathan, "Ah, I love you, too. Can you give Daddy a hug and kiss?" Nathan ran over to him and gave him both - a kiss on the mouth even!
I didn't ask him, but I'm pretty sure that made Paul's night. Definitely gave him something to smile about during his 12-hour shift.
And as much as I'd love to hear the phrase with "Mommy" on the end, I am really glad that Paul got the first spontaneous "I love you." He deserves it - he's such a good Daddy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Two Weeks! Already?

I can't believe Jacob is already two weeks old.
I have to say, I'm doing much better with the lack of sleep this time around.... So far. Probably the fact that I never really got out of the habit of waking up in the middle of the night with Nathan. Or the fact that I had been practicing for weeks before actually giving birth with middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom. (And then getting back into bed and needing to pee again immediately.)
Jacob is chubbing up nicely. His little cheeks are so soft. He's got two chins now, and his arms and legs are plumping up - not so much loose skin. (And once again, I can take all the credit for that!)
Nathan and Paul got over their disease, just in time for allergies to strike Paul and I. Ugh. Headache. All. The. Time. I can't take anything for it except Tylenol, as sinus medication is off-limits when you're nursing. Bleh.
Well, I hear some incredibly adorable hiccupping coos coming from the bassinet, so I must go investigate. I'll attempt to blog again later.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jacob Douglas Rhodes

We are pleased to announce the birth of our son - Jacob Douglas Rhodes! He was born last Wednesday evening (October 21), at 8:03 PM. He weighed 8 lbs, 4 oz, and measured 20 inches long.
I was actually very surprised it was a boy! Even though I've been calling the baby a "he," I was fully expecting a girl. So when the doctor was holding him and I saw boy bits, I laughed. Paul is very proud, of course. What daddy wouldn't be thrilled to have two sons?
I know you're all itching for the details, so I'll give them to you. And I'm a very detail-oriented person, so you know this is going to be long-winded. (And by details, I mean - guys, you may not want to read.) And rambling, because my thoughts still aren't coherent.
We spent all day Wednesday at my parents' house. Paul needed to work on our lawnmower, and didn't have all the tools necessary to do so, so we hauled it out there. I should have known when the "simple" belt replacement became a major undertaking, complete with having to cut off and replace a pulley, that we'd be having a baby that night. (We had a similar minor-turned-major project we worked on the day Nathan was born.)
I'd been having contractions on and off all day Tuesday and Wednesday. I'd have several 10 minutes apart, but then I'd go an hour or two without any. And they'd be varying intensity, so I was getting a little frustrated. Come on already! I was tired of wondering, "Is this it?" About 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, I had 3 that were 10 minutes apart, and they were a little more intense. But then I didn't have one for 20 minutes. Then I had a couple more closer together. About 5 o'clock, I told Paul I'd been having some, maybe we should go home and start paying closer attention. He'd just finished the mower, so we loaded up and headed home.
As soon as we got in the truck, the contractions started coming 5 minutes apart. I was pretty sure this was the beginning of "the real thing," so we called his parents and had them meet us at our house. We finished packing the hospital bag, and both of us took a quick shower, and then headed to the hospital a little after 6. I had three contractions in the ER waiting room as we answered the million questions getting checked in. Finally an orderly comes around the corner in the office and asks, "Is she in labor?" When they told him I was, he immediately brought me a wheelchair and took me up to the delivery unit, leaving Paul to finish up the check-in process. Why it took someone that long to figure out to do that is beyond me.
By the time Paul got upstairs, I was changed into the sexy hospital robe and they were hooking up the baby monitoring equipment. The nurse checked me and told me I was dilated to a 6 - this definitely wasn't a false alarm. The nurse left to call my doctor. She came in a few minutes later and said, "Dr. Sinclair is in Kansas City. I'm sure she'll be back in time, but we're going to have you meet the on-call doctor just in case."
I had a moment of - I don't know if you'd call it panic, but I definitely was thinking, "You've got to be kidding me." I made it through a week of her being gone to Florida, only to have her here, but not able to get here? And then also, I was sick - my two worst "fears" seemed close to coming true: being sick and coughing a baby out, and not having my doctor there.
Meeting the on-call doctor didn't do much to alleviate my fears. He was really nice, don't get me wrong. But he was about my age. It's one thing, to have a man who's old enough to be your father delivering your baby. It's quite another to have someone your own age sitting between your knees. They checked me while Dr. Nichols was up there, and said I'd dilated another two centimeters. I refused to get out of the bed, for fear that gravity would bring the baby faster.
Never have I been so glad to hear my doctor's usual cheery "Hello, hello!" as she walked in the door. Paul said my relief definitely showed on my face. She checked me and said, "I feel nothing but head." She went to change, and I had a huge contraction. The minute she walked back in, they told me to start pushing, and the cheer-leading began from her and the nurses. "You're doing a great job." "You're so strong." "You're a great mommy."
I felt like I didn't know what to do, even though I'd done this before. She said push, and I pushed while the nurse counted to ten. They let me take one breath, then push again, and again. She told me to stop while she checked for a cord, and then had me do a set of pushes again, and it was over! I was like, "That was it?" I felt like I hadn't been really pushing (even though Paul told me later that I was purple, so apparently I was putting a little more into it than I thought).
This is the one part of delivery I wasn't happy with. After I had Nathan, they immediately put him on my chest. This time, the doctor handed him to the nurse and they took him over and checked him and weighed him before I got to hold him. I could hear him crying, but I couldn't even see him because of the rail of the bed. I don't know if they were worried about something, or if they just forgot I hadn't held him yet, but it was driving me crazy - especially not even being able to see him!
Finally they put him in my arms, and it became real. That 8 pound baby was out and in my arms! I was still incredulous that the delivery had been that easy. I didn't hurt! With Nathan I had torn a lot, but I didn't have a single tear with Jacob. The only thing that hurt was my tailbone, and I have no idea why. I'm glad I opted to not have pain medication, because I definitely didn't need it. And getting it probably would have taken longer than the entire delivery!
I think it was totally God, though. Had I torn, with all this coughing and this cold, it would have been REALLY painful. As it is, my stomach hurts more when I cough, mainly because the muscles I need to use aren't there!
Two hours after I had Jacob, I was able to get out of bed - on my own - to go to the bathroom. (The nurse was right there, just in case.) During the night I was able to walk the hall while they did his hearing test (after they unhooked me from that blasted IV). When my parents showed up to see Jacob the next morning, I was sitting cross-legged on the bed. My mom about fell over when she saw that.
Janice sent us a text message that morning and told us Nathan had woke up with a fever. I told Dr. Sinclair, and she said to schedule an appointment for him and they'd check him for the flu. Paul met Janice at the clinic later that morning, and called me about 11. I don't know what I was expecting to hear, but Paul told me that Nathan has H1N1, and I shouldn't see him for 5 days.
At this point, I still hadn't slept. I had taken an hour-long nap at my parents' house Wednesday afternoon, and it was nearly lunchtime on Thursday. So I cried. It wasn't that I was worried he was going to die - I don't think this H1N1 is nearly as serious as all the media hype - it was more that he'd think we'd abandoned him, and then we'd have a new baby, and he'd hate us.
After lunch, I finally got to take a nap. I nursed Jacob, and he fell asleep. The nurses took him to the nursery and told me that if he woke up, they'd hold him and take care of him. I took two Tylenol with codeine, and passed out for about 3 hours. You know it's been a good nap when you wake up and your pillow is soaked with drool.
Paul came back that evening. He'd gone home to shower and nap and feed the animals. He started coughing when he got back. We just figured it was from the cold damp weather. When Dr. Sinclair came in the next morning to check on us and circumcise Jacob, I mentioned Paul's cough. She called in a prescription for Tami-Flu for Paul as well, as a precaution.
We got home about lunchtime on Friday, and it was naps all around. Paul said he felt weird, and I was worried, but the weather, plus two nights in a hospital, the emotions of having a new baby and being worried about your sick two-year-old, and add a prescription side-effects list to that..... It would be enough to make anyone feel weird.
Then he started running a fever.
So we called his parents, and his Dad came and picked him up to go to the "infirmary" at their house. My mom came over to stay with me. And our family was thus divided for the next few days. We talked about whether Paul should go to the doctor, but we figured he already had the prescription, so basically he'd sit in the waiting room for two hours (and possibly pick up some other disease) only to find out that yes, he did have H1N1. Since he had the prescription already, we decided a trip to the doctor was pointless.
Saturday night I started running a fever. Initially, I freaked out. If I was getting sick, how could I avoid passing it to Jacob? (Although while nursing Nathan, I was sick several times and he never got it.) I called the nurses at the hospital, and they said that hand-washing is the best defense.
Then after Jacob fell asleep again after nursing, I realized that I was completely full. Still. And I recalled that being engorged can cause you to run a fever. So decided to try pumping and relieve a little pressure. I pumped 5 ounces! That may not sound like a lot, but for only having had a baby three days ago, it's a huge amount. My fever went away pretty much right away, only to be replaced by a hormone surge (hot flash). I laid in bed sweating, with no covers on and the ceiling fan running for the rest of the night.
Saturday and Sunday were fairly uneventful. Eat, sleep, nurse Jacob, and gab with my mother. It was tough being away from Paul and not getting to share those precious first days with him. Sunday I sent some clothes and Paul's phone charger out to him. I texted him to see if he needed anything else, and he texted back: "My bed house kids and wife." Which made me cry.
Monday morning I talked to Paul on the phone. He told me they were coming home that day. I was expecting them to stay another day (which would have been 5 days since Paul got sick), so I was overjoyed. But neither of them had had a fever for 48 hours, and Paul said they needed to be home.
When Paul walked in the door, I felt a huge rush of peace. Not that I'd been stressed out with having my mom there, but it just felt like once they were home, my world was whole again. Nathan had fallen asleep in the car. Paul carried him in, and I kissed Nathan's head. He opened his sleepy eyes and sighed, "Mommy." We sat in the chair and he just hugged me and cuddled with me for several minutes, like he was afraid I was going to leave. Then he saw all his toy tractors he'd been living without for almost a week, and he was a brand new little man.
So that's the birth story, plus some. I feel like I can't just talk about how his birth went, because Nathan and Paul getting sick plays into it so much - all the emotions. But we're all together again - that's what matters - and on the way to recovery.
Reunion snuggles.
Nathan meets Jacob. (He's pretty dis-interested most of the time, but every once in a while will come and pat his head or blanket. And tonight he asked to hold him for the first time - that lasted like 5 seconds.)
Re-acquainting with Daddy.
I can't tell who he looks like. I think he looks like my baby pictures when he's got his eyes open. But some features look like Paul, and sometimes I think he looks just like Nathan. His eyes look kind of brown at this point - we'll see if they stay that way.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


As I was preening in the mirror last night, getting ready to go to a church social, I mused out loud to Paul. "You know, I really think I look pretty good for being 9 months pregnant." (I was having a good hair day.)
He replies, "Yeah!?" (in the "and you're just now realizing this?" tone - major brownie points to him.)
How is it that now my pregnancy is almost over, I finally have adjusted to my roundness. I feel confident and sexy. I don't feel awkward most days (except when I try to roll over in bed). Even day-to-day stuff I still am able to do pretty easily. And I can still carry Nathan - even though I threatened him starting about 6 months ago that "Mommy can't carry you any more." (I carried him through the grocery store Monday, because he fell asleep in the car and didn't wake up when we got there like I'd anticipated.)
When people ask me how I feel, though, I most often answer, "Fat." It's just an easy answer, and makes them laugh. But I don't really feel that fat. I actually feel less fat then I did when I was six months along, somehow.
Anyhow. It just kind of figures that when I have a week left of being pregnant, all the sudden I feel good about myself. Maybe this is just a boost I'll need to get me through the "what happened to my body??!?" I'm going to go through as soon as I don't have a baby in my belly. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm to That Point

I am now to the point in which I feel I must shave my legs every time I take a shower. Because I could be in the hospital having a baby any time now.
I hate it. I don't know about you, but when I'm going to be exposed, I like to know I don't have hair bristling off my knees and curling around my ankles. Some women would play the pregnancy card, but I just can't. I feel fat and ugly enough without the added chimpanzee tendancies. (Although, a by-product of pregnancy for me that I love is that my leg hair doesn't grow nearly as fast. I wish whatever hormones cause that would stick around a while longer!)

Note to Self:

There is not enough hot water in the hot water tank for you to get a long enough shower in which to wash your hair and shave your legs. No matter how many times you try. So quit trying.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Paul's Work

As you know, Paul's been working a lot of hours lately. They were making a special type of glass for a customer. I think they had three solid weeks of production of the special glass, which they are finished with, and now they're playing catch-up to restock their regular product in the warehouse.
Paul brought home some squares of the glass they produced. The regular glass has a bluish-greenish tint to it. The special order was called "crystal clear" and it has a greatly reduced iron content. Iron gives glass its green hue. The customer was using it in producing solar energy - obviously, the clearer the glass, the more light can pass through, the more energy produced, etc.
I thought I'd tell you a little about how glass is made where Paul works. Obviously, this is just a general idea from what he's told me and from touring the plant myself (and a bit from a cheat sheet he brought home for me).
The main raw materials used to make glass are sand (silica), soda ash, limestone, dolomite, salt cake, carbon, and rouge (which contains iron). They are mixed in what is called a "batch charger" and move into the furnace where they are heated to around 1500 degrees Celsius. There is the melter (where the materials melt) and refiner furnace (where bubbles and "seeds" are eliminated), which then feeds into the "tin bath". The glass floats on top of molten tin where it is stretched with machines to the proper width and thickness (much like taffy). When it reaches the end of the tin bath it is lifted out rollers, and gradually cooled in the "Lehr hall". There is also a coater at the tin bath exit which coats the glass, if required. The plant can produce E2, TCO, and now EPS coatings. As it heads from the furnace to the "cold end" (where Paul works), it is inspected for flaws both mechanically and manually. Then it is cut into the specified sizes. Automated stackers pick up the "lites" from the rollers and stack them in racks. Then fork trucks pick up the racks and move them to the warehouse. At various points along the line "piano keys" can drop any defective glass or "scraps" into the cullet crushers below. The "cullet" is then crushed and returned to the top of the furnace to be re-melted and reused.
That is a very general run-down of what happens at Paul's work. Paul proof-read this and corrected my mistakes in how the process works. It is very interesting (and kind of amazing) to see in person. If you're ever in the area, I'd encourage you to stop by and ask for a tour of the plant. You get to wear a hard hat, goggles, and a sexy orange safety vest.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


A la JC, prepare for the bulleted list:
  • T-minus 9 days. So close, yet so far away.
  • A mouse (a rather large-sounding mouse... It had BETTER not be a rat) woke me up this morning scratching and running in the wall of our bedroom. Totally gross.
  • I think when Nathan gets a potty ring on his backside it's totally adorable.
  • I think his tushie in general is totally adorable. Is this a normal mommy thing, or am I twisted?
  • I'd forgotten that hot beef sandwiches (bread/mashed potatoes/brown gravy with chunks of beef) are probably one of my favorite meals ever. Especially when paired with last-of-the-garden green beans that have lots of bacon and onions in them. (We just don't have it that often because even though it includes two of my favorites, these also happen to be two of Paul's least favorites - mashed potatoes, gravy.)
  • Operation Keep the House Clean by Visiting Relatives was a failure. Even though we were gone most of the day yesterday hanging out and helping my dad on the farm, the house still got just as dirty. I guess I failed to realize that even if we are gone, Nathan will still play with toys, I will still cook meals, and we will still wear clothes. Same amount of picking up to do, just less time to do it in.
  • It's my last day of babysitting until after the baby arrives. I'm taking four weeks off starting next week.
  • The boys I babysit stayed home sick yesterday with coughs. I hope to God whatever they have isn't contagious, because I do not want to be coughing while trying to push a baby out.
  • This is also the last week of praise and worship until November 15. Practice is tonight. And I've actually already got two songs picked out!
  • I cut my mom's hair last week. And did a dang good job, if I don't say so myself. Of course a straight-across chop is a lot easier than layers.
  • Although, I was so proud of my work, that the same evening, I fixed the layers in my own hair. And I'm really happy with how it looks. (The front of my hair/bangs had grown out faster than the rest of the layer, so I cut them shorter.)
  • After about 5 days in a row of Nathan pooping in his underpants, we've had two victorious days of him going in the potty (hopefully not just because he happened to be sans pants at the time). We'll see how today goes.
  • Pooped-in underpants are a whole new level of gross. Not because of the poop - having used cloth diapers, I'm familiar and okay with the process of removing poop from fabric. It's the process of getting the poopy underpants off of him without smearing it all the way down his legs. And keeping his hands out of it.
  • It's cold. Not that it's been an excessively warm summer/fall to begin with, but the sudden onslaught of 40-degree days, clouds/rain, and howling north wind is a bit much.
  • And it's supposed to be Friday before we see the sun again.
  • I will be making a pie this week. We're having a pie social for Pastor Appreciation this weekend. I was going to make Caramel Apple, but am selfish - if I'm going to put the effort into a caramel apple pie, I want Paul and I to be able to enjoy it ourselves. So I will be trying a new recipe called Cherry-Berry: cherries, blueberries, raspberries..
  • So far, the only word or phrase that I've used that Nathan has repeated has been, "Oh, geez." Not that it's horrible, I just would rather he doesn't say it.
  • Good thing he was in the bath, though, when I watched this video. I used a consiberably worse phrase.
  • This is the eighth week that Paul has worked 6 days a week. I am so ready to have him home again, so I can nag him into doing work for me (I feel guilty asking him to do a bunch of stuff for me after he's just got home, or on his only day off - even though I have asked some). Although I would much rather have him on 8 hour shifts than the 12s he's doing this week - he got home at 8 last night (after leaving at 5:30), and he was so tired we didn't do much more than eat supper and put Nathan to bed before we went to bed ourselves.
  • I get the Thomas (trains) theme song stuck in my head every time I hear it. And it's playing again. Grr.
  • Am I bad for not wanting to let the boys watch a video they brought? If their mom says that the 4 year old doesn't like the first two scenes, I'm not sure I want to expose my two year old to it. (It's Monsters vs. Aliens.)
  • I think part of my reason for being so careful about what imaginary (tv) things my son sees is due to my overactive imagination and dream life. I know how things I see affect me, so I don't want my son to have to deal with them before he can understand things on TV aren't real.
  • This computer table is a a real crap pile. I should do something about it.
  • But why do something about it when I can avoid it? I'm working on more important things - like this blog. And stalking people on Facebook.

Well, the coffee needs a re-charge. And I think that's about as much randomness as those not accustomed to my rambling can handle.

And PS - he pooped in his underwear again. GRR.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two Weeks to Go

After the first 6 months dragging by, then the summer absolutely flying by, now the last couple weeks are just d...r....a....g....g....i...n....g..... It's so soon now! But the doctor says I'm not close (which can change in a matter of hours, I'm sure). And for now - I'm just fine with not being close! I found out my doctor is going to be gone next week. Paul is also working 72 hours - 12 hour shifts Monday-Saturday - and will actually be gone 5:30 AM to 8 PM every day. So if there would ever be an inconvenient time to have the baby, it would be next week. But apparently my doctor is confident enough that it's not going to happen that she told me I can skip coming in next week (since the only day she's there would be three days after yesterday's checkup), and just come in the following Monday (10 days between appointments). And maybe it's not confidence - maybe she'd rather I not know if things are looking like they're getting closer so that I don't stress and worry while she's gone. (And maybe she doesn't want to stress and worry!)
I know any doctor can deliver a baby, but there's the familiarity of having your own doctor - having 9 months of "bonding" during checkups, not to mention having her there for my whole pregnancy and delivery with Nathan! And, in our town, she's the only female doctor. Now I know these male doctors deliver babies probably every day, but to me - having a woman, who has the same parts, and has had two kids herself.... It's a bit more comforting!
But I've started telling myself that every little twinge is not a contraction. Babies shove. And push. And stretch. That's probably all I've been feeling. It's gotta be getting boring in there after almost 9 months, so he's just exploring the confines of the womb.
Paul has decided to go ahead and take vacation starting the Monday before I'm due. I thought at first that I wanted him to keep going to work, so he could have more time to help me after the baby arrives, but then I realized that he needed a few days to catch up on sleep and things around here so that he actually can help me after the baby gets here! And hopefully his schedule will be back to Monday-Thursday by the time he goes back to work, so it won't feel like he's gone absolutely all the time.
I'm definitely nesting. Operation Keep the House Clean has been going really well. The kitchen and dining room are picked up almost every day (or maybe I should put it as they are "almost picked up every day" - I do some cleaning every day). I sweep them about every 2 days. The living room gets deep cleaned (toys sorted and counted, DVDs put away, floor vacuumed) about twice a week. The bathroom could use a little picking up right now, but I have cleaned the toilet and wiped off the counter this week. I'm working on Nathan's room today. I've sorted stuff and picked up in there recently, but not done any sweeping or vacuuming (who wants to haul the vacuum up those stairs, anyhow?). I'm kind of at a stand-still until Paul wakes up, because Nathan's bed needs moved, mainly so I can move the area rug out from under it, so that the rug is actually being used. I scrubbed the hard-wood floor on my hands and knees using a brush - for two reasons: 1/the wood is so old (and the finish so bad) it would catch the fibers on a mop, and 2/there's apparently been a lot of milk dribbles up there. The part of the floor I've gotten done looks SO much better - and actually kind of pretty! I really need Paul to build me some book/storage shelves for all the children's books I've recently acquired - they're just sitting around in boxes. Also, I've realized that some of his toys (matchbox cars especially) are going to have to be somewhere that a curious crawling baby can't chew on them, so his room is the likely area. (Another reason I need to get that rug moved - so it can be a play mat.)
We'll see what nesting projects I can come up with next week to fill my time. Or maybe I'll get the house clean and visit family/friends next week so that we're not home to get it dirty? My dad mentioned harvesting corn........
Well, I think I'm going to go finish the movie I started last night and repaint my toenails (if I can reach them). I figure if I'm going to have my feet in stirrups, the least I can do is have them looking their best. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I'd like to start off by stating that I am not anti-immunization. I think that immunizations are great and have done wonderful things for the health of society world wide. Also, I have nothing against you if you have decided for your child to get all of their recommended immunizations at the recommended times.
What got me thinking about this was when I went to the hospital to fill out my pre-admission paperwork (a bajillion questions about your health history). They asked me if I wanted to have my baby immunized for Hepatitis B at birth. I read over the information sheet, and I wonder why the heck they recommend newly-born babies be immunized for this desease! Basically the only way you can contract it is through sex or sharing needles with someone who is infected. It does mention that a baby can be infected by "contact with a mother's blood or body fluids at time of birth." So that makes sense..... Or not. Because by the time the baby has been birthed and is able to receive the shot, they've already been exposed. And someone is not considered fully protected until they've had the entire series of shots (3 months later). Paul phrased it as, "There's no need for it when they're just out of the chute." (Lovely imagery.)
Nathan has been immunized for Hepatitis B (only because he could get it in the same shot as another - when he was 3 months old), Polio, Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. And he didn't get immunized for any of those when he was "supposed" to. I refused to let him get more than one shot at a time.
I consider the ones he's been immunized for the "dangerous" diseases. And maybe not all of them (like Measles, Mumps and Rubella are all together in one shot) are dangerous, but I wanted him protected against mumps (can cause sterilization in males), so he got the MMR shot. Polio can cause permanent damage to nerves/paralysis. Pertussis (whooping cough) can be deadly in a short amount of time. These are what I wanted Nathan protected against, so these are all I've had him protected against.
The flu vaccine is recommended, and so is a chicken pox vaccine. Whereas I wouldn't enjoy it if Nathan contracted one of these illnesses, the likelihood that he'd die from it are very slim. I read that when given statistics of how many children die from things like these, they don't take into account what type of living situations they are coming from (such as druggie parents, who neglect their children). Also a lot of the things we're immunizing children against are not a big deal if you just pay attention to your child and take care of them when they're sick. The recommended vaccines Nathan will probably get when he's older, I just saw no reason for him to recieve them when he's not going to be exposed to them. (Although the flu shot he will probably never recieve - that's a whole 'nother rant!)
Some moms have told me, "Well, I just don't have the time to research it." It took me all of a couple hours one afternoon to research ALL of the vaccines. I had a sheet that listed the routine immunizations, and I opened the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) government website, and a "responsibility in immunizations" website, and then Googled the disease to see what it was. I jotted down notes and made my decisions from there.
Part of it also is pity for my child - if I followed the schedule, they are to recieve something like 20 shots by the time they're a year old. I just couldn't do that to my baby. I also don't think that they're little developing bodies need the added stress of dealing with an antibody.
And I'm not anti-medicine. I take Nathan to the doctor when he's sick - if he's REALLY sick. I don't take him for every cough or sniffle. I see nothing wrong with doctors, but I think medicating our children (and ourselves) for every little thing can actually cause more harm than good. (And as an aside, I don't medicate with homeopathic remedies either.)
That's my rambling rant and thoughts on immunizations.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I have officially reached the point in my pregnancy where shirts no longer cover my belly. Even maternity shirts.
Do you know how frustrating and embarrassing it is to be waddling up to walk into a store, and catch a glimpse of my reflection and see my white belly hanging out the bottom of my shirt? I'm sure it looks pretty klassy to others, too.
And the frustrating thing is - I don't feel that big! I finally have adjusted to my size, apparently. I struggle to get out of bed and off the couch, but don't really have trouble bending over or anything else. I wish my clothes would have learned to cooperate, because I've still got three weeks left! Is this a common problem for women, or it it just because I'm tall?
I'm going to have to go through Paul's shirts and confiscate a few. I already have claimed one that's nice and long. I just don't want to stretch them out for him.
I'll just have to double check anything I wear to church or elsewhere in public.


...has been walking (running!) for over a year now. I can't believe how fast time has flown. 37 inches tall.
...weighs 32 pounds. (I think those measurements may be a bit skewed due to the boots he was wearing.)
...has a surprisingly large vocabulary, with some words that even surprise me. He pointed out a "snail" when he saw one on a TV show, and I couldn't figure out where he'd even heard that word before.
...loves milk. Still. He'd be on an all-liquid diet if we let him.
...still doesn't let you kiss him. You have to "steal" kisses, and if you're aiming for his mouth, you usually will get his teeth because he's giggling.
...looks a lot like Doug (Paul's dad) in his facial features (especially his mouth), and is built just like Paul. But I still catch glimpses of myself.
...would rather be naked. probably 95% potty trained. He maybe has a 2 accidents a week (usually when he's playing with friends and highly distracted). I only wish he could go by himself and didn't need help with his clothes. nowhere close to being nighttime/naptime potty trained. (But that's only one-two diapers a day!) rather dramatic. Telling him he can't put parmesan cheese on cereal could (and probably will) incite a meltdown.
...has a very strong will. And I need to develop a backbone to match, rather than giving in so much.
...loves TV. And watches way too much of it, because I'm a lazy mother. (In my defense, I think I do a pretty good job of monitoring what he's watching.)
...loves his cowboy boots. He wears them all the time. All. The. Time. Even when he's not wearing pants.
...doesn't understand anything about a "baby in Mommy's belly" but thinks my big belly and outie belly button are hillarious.
...would rather play with any toy that has wheels. We have blocks, puzzles, books, stuffed animals, etc, but he still plays with cars, trains, or tractors 90% of the time.
...hates vegetables. No matter how I cook it or disguise it, they get spit out. But I keep putting them on his plate, hoping he'll try them again.
...loves his grandpas. Doug because he will always play/explore with him, my dad because he gets to ride tractors with him.
...has yet to say "I love you." To anyone.
...will not say please. (Strong will?)
...loves the sandbox Paul built under the playset. He will randomly collect a few tractors and just walk outside - with or without pants/shoes. going through a stage of hating baths. Which is getting really old.

......has absolutely no idea how much his world is about to change.
But I really do think he's going to be a good big brother.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Like These Cravings!

Every once in a while, I'll get a real craving for a salad. Totally weird, but I'm not going to complain. (I probably crave it because my body is getting dangerously low on nutrients from vegetables - something we don't eat nearly enough of.)
All this week, even though I had a weird stomach/intestinal thing on Tuesday, I've been thinking how great this salad sounds.
Now, normally, I'm not one for "hoity-toity" foods. Bleu cheese? I'll settle for cheddar. Spring greens? I'll take a head of plain ol' lettuce. But when Paul's cousin Amy fixed this salad for us last year, I knew I'd never be happy with plain ol' again. (However, plain ol' is what we usually have. Because I'm lazy. And my husband likes it better.)
I don't know what to call it, so I'll just call it this:

Fancy Salad
  • 1 bag Spring Greens (or Field Greens, depends on the brand) salad mix
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • crumbled bleu cheese
  • candied pecans (I use plain, because they're easier to find)
  • olives
  • 1 pear, finely sliced
  • dressing: equal amounts balsamic vinegar and olive oil
I also add some plain lettuce (not iceberg) to make it go further. I usually make the "salad" part (green stuff) and store it in the fridge, then add the rest whenever I'm ready to eat, since Paul's not particularly fond of this recipe (he fixes his own salad, his own way). You just toss the ingredients all together and enjoy!
Today, I forgot to get the pear at the store, so I used an apple instead. It's not bad, but the pear is definitely better. And if the dressing is too strong, add a little water to tone down the vinegar.
It may not sound good in writing, but you have to try it. It's the perfect blend of tangy and sweet. It's a great "company salad" - the type you may not fix every day, but it will impress the guests. In fact, I'm making it for our church potluck on Sunday.
My only complaint is that I can't seem to keep the toppings evenly distributed as I eat the salad, and I get to the bottom of the bowl, and there's a pile of blue cheese, pecans, and olives. But I have this trouble on any type of salad, so maybe it's just my eating technique.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Books

I just finished reading a series for at least the 3rd time (maybe 4th, even), and I can't get them out of my head.
I discovered the Lowlands of Scotland Series by Liz Curtis Higgs when I was working at the bookstore. There are three books (actually, there's a fourth, but it is a separate story - the child of the main character). It is loosely based on the Biblical story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, but set in the 1700s in Scotland. The author has really done her research and you feel pulled in to the time period, with their customs and manner of speaking. I still find myself wanting to use terms like heidie (headstrong), braw (handsome), and tattie (potato). And those are just a few of the terms that swirl through my head when I'm half asleep (I think of the most random things when I'm having trouble sleeping).
Even though I read them almost non-stop (I sat in the living room most mornings and read while Nathan played or watched TV, not to mention before I took a nap or went to bed at night), it still took me over two weeks to get through them. They are very well written and not simply fluff (which is why it takes longer to read them). They are fiction, yet there is also a deeper message of unconditional love and sacrifice.
I highly recommend them. I'm sure you can find them at the local library, or my friends/relatives can borrow my copies.
The titles are Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, and Whence Came a Prince. (The fourth is Grace in Thine Eyes - good, but not as addictive as the others, in my opinion.)

Yes, I realize this is a horrible excuse for a book report - I've come a long ways since the days of being able to write one of those. But I also don't want to give away the premise of the story and ruin it for you!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blog Header

So I put up a new blog header. In case you didn't notice.
But I came up with another. And I like them both.
So now I need help deciding.
Do you like the current one:
Or do you like this one?

I took the one of Nathan with the thunder clouds behind him off, as it was over a year old, and also - I'm about to be a mommy to more than one baby (and the chances of me getting a picture of both of them that I like turned into a blog header are pretty slim - at least for a few months). And I kind of like the artsy feel of these pictures (taken by my friend Carrie)..... They won't really outdate as fast as pictures of my quickly growing kids.

So I'll just let the votes decide. Although if my husband decides to voice his opinion, that might trump all votes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

House Cleaning

I really am trying to get better at keeping the house clean.
We decided we needed to start cracking down on Nathan putting his toys away before bed. But that somehow coincided with being gone alot/spending a lot of time outside, and he usually only has like three toys out in the living room. So we haven't been as hard on that one as we thought we'd be. But just having a clean living room helps me feel better. Unfortunately, there's usually a basket of laundry waiting to be folded in there that makes it look cluttered up.
My whole problem is that I let it get so bad (usually with a legitimate excuse - being gone, being sick, etc) that I don't have the energy to take an hour or two to clean ONE ROOM. I have found that if I stay on top of things - picking up the kitchen after every meal (not even necessarily washing dishes, but just stacking them by the sink and wiping off the table and counters), or throwing away the junk mail and "stuff" that comes in the house as soon as it comes in, it's really easy to keep the house clean. I just get distracted. And out of breath. And have to pee a lot.
Another bad thing about my tendency toward messiness is that our "landing zone" - where we drop everything as soon as we walk in the door - is the dining room table. So if the table is buried, we don't eat at the table. And I know that the habit of family dining (not in front of the television) is like the #1 thing you should do if you want to have successful kids. So that's a major guilt factor there.
Another "problem area" is our bedroom. It's just off the living room, so it's the place that everything gets shoved if we're having company - extra pillows and blankets, the big toys, laundry needing folded, etc. - and a lot of it doesn't come back out as soon as company leaves. It just sits there until we need it. Unfortunately, it's also the only room in our house with closets. So a lot of stuff that needs stored gets stacked in the room at the foot of the bed until I can re-arrange one of the closets to make it fit. Then add to that, we just moved the bassinet in there. So there's pretty much just a pathway through the room right now. It's on my to-do list, but since it's not glaringly obvious (I don't sit in the bedroom to relax, I don't walk through it on the way to the bathroom, and company never sees it), it keeps getting put on the bottom of the list.
And not that I'm blaming him, but another problem is my husband. He's a stacker. (Why put it away now when I can lay it here and do it later?) He's just like me in that aspect. And he's not a neat freak (except about his truck). If he cared about what the house looked like, I'd be more motivated to do something about it. I love that he doesn't nag me about it, and always encourages me when I apologize for how the house looks. ("You've been busy.") And he does notice and appreciate when I do clean it, and usually compliments me about it. So I guess that should make him the perfect husband. And I really do appreciate that about him. But sometimes I wish he'd nag me just a little so I'd feel guilty enough to do something about it. Or throw me a hint, like he does with the laundry. ("I'm almost out of underwear.")
Anyhow. I don't know why I'm even talking about it. Maybe because they say that admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery. Or maybe because I'm avoiding actually cleaning. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Month Left!

I can't believe I'm saying this already. The summer has gone so fast! (Yet it does seem like forever since I was saying "three months to go!")
I think we've got everything ready for the baby. The room is cleaned and the furniture set up. We've already got the bassinet in our room. (It's got clothes draped over it and things stacked in it, but - hey - if it's not holding a baby, it should be holding something, right?) I've got my list for the hospital ready, and I'll start packing a bag in the next week or so. The only "major" thing I need to do is get out the box of 0-3 month "generic" (white, yellow, and green) baby clothes, and the baby blankets, and wash them. But I didn't want to do that too soon, and allow them to gather dust. (At the same time, I don't want to wait until the last minute and have nothing for Baby to wear!)
I've been having some "get down to business" contractions the last week or so. I've had more contractions in general this time, but these are different from the ones where you're like, "Ooh, my belly is hard." They are more like the in-labor contractions (except not as intense) where it starts at the top of your belly and goes all the way around into your pelvis. But they're not very painful, and definitely not regular, so it's probably nothing to be excited about.
We're trying to decide what to do if I don't go into labor on my own, if and when I should be induced. We both feel that my due date is off, and should actually be the orignal due date (the 12th of October, 10 days earlier). I don't know if everyone is aware of this, but we had to use "medical intervention" to get pregnant (as we did with Nathan - my hormones have always been out of whack). I had to take pills to make me ovulate, and after 5 days of pills, you're supposed to ovulate within 48 hours. So we kind of know exactly when we got pregnant, which is why we were very surprised that they moved the due date back 10 days at our first appointment. I guess as it gets closer, we'll talk to the doctor and get her opinion. With Nathan, I was pronounced "ready" (according to the doctor's examination) for three weeks, but it just wasn't happening. (Like I said - my hormones have always been out of whack, and apparently just needed a jump-start.)
I would be thrilled to start labor on my own, but I'm a bit nervous - Paul's work schedule is going to be crazy clear into October. He'll be working 12-hour shifts the first week of October (I hope at least it won't still be 7 days a week by then!). I'm worried I won't be able to get ahold of him at work, or that by the time I decide that yes, I really am in labor, that it won't give him enough time to get home (he has a 40-minute drive... although I'm pretty sure he would consider that a reason to speed [more than normal] and could make it faster).
Oh well. All this is speculation, and all I can do is wait, and be as ready as I can.
And on that note - I think I'll go clean house. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nathan's Birthday Pictures (A Bit Late)

Only a week late. Oops.
I had a time with the cake - it turned out a lot better than I expected, though. First, it fell apart removing it from the pan - the sides stuck to the pan, and the middle fell out. (That's the last time I follow the instructions on the box - it said grease the bottom only, when I've always been taught to grease and flour the entire pan.) (And yes - I used a cake mix. I figured I had WAY too much to do this weekend, and Nathan wouldn't care either way.) Then I couldn't get the frosting to turn the right color of green.... I wanted a grass green, but no matter how much coloring I added, the frosting wouldn't go any darker than spring green. I did manage to get the pieces of the cake pasted together using the frosting, so you couldn't tell it had fallen apart. I got the black piping done, outlining the letters, then went to add the color, and the yellow frosing tube exploded on me - the coloring and the frosting had apparently separated, and so all the oily yellow coloring oozed all over the cake. I got it cleaned up sufficiently, and made it presentable. (And really, I was pretty happy with how it turned out, except for the residual yellow frosing around the first H.) Paul positioned the train for me, then we took off to the park.
We decided to have cake and ice cream at Forest Park during the tractor show, since my family was all there as exhibitors, and Paul's family was all there as vendors. It didn't matter that it was 2 days early - the point was to enjoy time with everyone, and that's what we did. Apparently I mis-judged EXACTLY how much family we'd have there..... We ended up with 27 people! Good thing I'd sprung for 4 quarts of ice cream from Dairy Queen, since they were having a 2-for-1 sale. And all the cake was eaten, so there were no leftovers to take home to tempt me!
The day of Nathan's actual birthday (Monday), Paul took off work, so he wouldn't have to go in that night. He came home from working the night before and Nathan opened our present to him. Yes, we built him the playset, but I wanted to let him tear the wrapping paper off of something - I wrapped up a tractor, trailer, and skid-steer set that I'd bought two months ago when we went on vacation in case we needed to tempt him in case of a screaming fit in the car with no place to pull off. We didn't need it then, and it had just been collecting dust in our bedroom. So I wrapped it up in the easiest-to-get-to wrapping paper I could find: Christmas wrapping paper.
The skid-steer was a bigger hit than I imagined it would be. He says "Pa-pa!" every time he plays with it, since my dad has let Nathan ride in theirs with him. And my son does not forget important things like that!
Monday night we had a family dinner with Paul's family - not because it was Nathan's birthday (although he did open presents from them), but because it was the only night that worked to get us all together. Paul's grandpa and cousin were up from Medicine Lodge, and his aunt (who is a missionary with her husband in Mexico) was back for the first time since Paul was very young. We had a nice supper at Paul's "Aunt" Jenny's new place. It was a great time, even if Paul was completely dead from working two weeks straight of nights without a day off.
And that's the big occasion! I can't believe he's already two, but at the same time I can't believe he's only two. I can't imagine our lives without him, and I look forward to watching him grow and learn even more in the future!