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.