Friday, April 30, 2010

the bright side

In keeping with my recent spin of positive thoughts and actions, I'm going to try my hardest to spin the current situation into the zone of happiness.

I love my kids and I miss them terribly everyday when I have to leave them to go to work. I received an e-mail yesterday from the Human Resources department that might allow me to have an early exit from my current status as a third grade teacher.

I'm going to leave it at that otherwise Keith would be proved right. This post could get horribly negative REALLY fast. Here's to the possibility that I might get to be a stay at home momma sooner than we had originally planned!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


There are so many things that I could be getting accomplished right now: grades, progress reports, grocery shopping, dishes, cleaning any number of things in and around our house. Take your pick. But since I'm trying to continue my positive streak and I know that any and all of those things will completely ruin the progress I've made, I'm refusing to do anything on that list. Admitting that alone puts a big smile on my face.

My personal favorite way to pass the time to avoid chores and the like? My kids. I'm really trying to just soak up every minute that I get to spend with them in the evening since I'm not able to spend nearly enough time with them during the day. I realized today that I hadn't taken any new pictures of them in *gasp* almost a week (I'm sure they were probably able to regain their sight during that time since there was no flash constantly in their face.) So, here are the latest and greatest pictures of me and the bebes.

Luke loves to play with the Transformers helmet that Keith had to get for him months before he was even born. He does need a little help to figure out how to get it on. It tends to make it on backwards initially, and when we help him get it on the right way, it fits his large head circumfrence but still dwarfs his body.
My sweet girl and I. I love those cheeks.
Reagan is getting much better with her time in the Bumbo. I really think that she likes to be able to check everything out and know what's going on everywhere in our house. Remember...she's drama. And just for fun...

I love sweet baby toes. There is something so fresh and innocent about these piggies. I know they are just feet, but I think they are precious.

And finally, I decided that I wanted to get a picture with Luke. Reagan and I have taken quite a few pictures together lately that I love and trying to be the fair parent that I strive to be, I wanted to make sure that Luke and I try to have an equal number pictures together. At this point in his short life, Luke could really not care less about the picture situation. Actually, when he sees me with the camera, he turns his back to me so I can't even get a good shot him anymore. This was my attempt to head lock him into getting a picture with me:


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

an open letter

Dear God,

I have come to the realization that lately that I have spent a good majority of my time complaining. A lot. Whether it be my lack of sleep or how much that I miss being at home or even the status of my kids' poo, I haven't had a very positive spin to my thoughts or words in the recent weeks. I really have been blessed in so many ways, so I thought it would be completely appropriate to thank you.

Thank you Lord for letting me have a job when many people throughout the world are suffering through unemployment and struggling to make ends meet. I have been fortunate enough to weather this particular storm through your grace and I haven't been too grateful at times. As much as they talk or do some of the most ridiculous things, my kids are essentially good at heart. They really do mean well and I am thankful that I have been lucky enough to be their teacher this year.

Thank you Lord for my kids. I am so appreciative for Reagan's rolls in her thighs and her amazingly long eyelashes. Her smiles can light up a room and when she "talks" to me, my heart melts and I can't imagine my heart could get more full. That is until Luke tries to hold my hand and eat his dinner at the same time. It's even better when he gets upset when I have to let go so that I can get him a napkin; luckily, I was able to get right back to holding his hand and all was well again. I'm also thankful for his crystal blue eyes. They are able to tell me so much when his words aren't always the easiest to decipher.

Thank you Lord for my husband. Words cannot express how thankful I am for him and his presence in my life. He is my rock and my support and the love of my life. Thank you.

I cannot guarantee that I will never wander back to the negative side of things. That would be absolutely unrealistic of me. But I can say that for this moment, my mind is filled not with the bad or unpopular aspects of my life, but with the good and favorite parts.

Thank you Lord for being the guide in my life.

Monday, April 26, 2010

just because

Yesterday we had some family pictures taken by our friend, Eric. He'd offered to do them a while ago, but with the constant sickness we fought and the rain that happened every Sunday for a few weeks, its been tricky trying to find a time that worked. Luckily, yesterday did!

light in the tunnel

There is an end in sight. With the completion of today at school, I have only four more Mondays left until I enter into a semi-permanent retirement.

Although I'll always be cultivating positive learning experiences for my own kiddos, I won't have to do it for those children in my class that really couldn't care less. I do love my class this year; I was blessed with some amazing kids. But you know the saying that one bad apple can ruin the bunch? As much as I try to fight it, I can't help but have that feeling towards my class this year. Maybe its the constant state of zombie-ism that I currently find myself in or the fact that I really just want to be at home with Luke and Reagan. Maybe I'm just burned out. Maybe I'm disillusioned with all of the budget drama and employment/unemployment hulabaloo.

Anyway you or I look at it, it's only four Mondays left.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a sleepover: pros and cons

Last night was my first night away form Luke, with two exceptions. The first night away I was trying to have my labor stopped and the second night I had just finished being in labor. Both times,someone was able to come and stay with Luke at our home. Last night was the first time Luke slept somewhere else without Keith or I being there. Yes, he did just turn two, but with my anxiety and control issues, I was never able to let him go before now. As I have some time to reflect over the past 24-ish hours since he's been gone, I've decided that this situation has some definite perks and some very real downfalls.

First, the Pros to the grandparent sleepover. (Let's start positive, right?)
1. I was able to attend the birthday party of sweet Gabrielle without having to chase Luke, convince him to sit long enough and actually eat a meal, or feel completely tag-teamed and outnumbered when they would have both needed my attention.
2. This morning, Keith and I were able to get ready for church and make it there in near-record time compared to what has become the norm for us. Having only one child to care for this morning was like a breath of fresh air. Also, we didn't have to fight Luke through church to stay still and be quiet. Keith and I were able to listen to the entire Mass and I feel like I was able to get something out of the reading and the Homily.
3. I have had a much-needed reprieve from Disney cartoons. It's a sad day when you wake up in the middle of the night for no reason with the Handy Manny theme song playing on repeat in your head.
4. When Reagan has been fussy (and yes, she has been fussy. She's a princess...remember?), I've had the opportunity to hold her, rock her, and snuggle her without fear of my house being torn to pieces by Luke in the process.
5. Luke was able to have some quality bonding time with my parents. From the updates we've received, they went to the park, watched Little Einstein's, ate pizza, took a bath, and have played in the backyard. Luke must be in heaven.

And now for the cons...
1. I can really only think of one bad side to Luke being gone for the night and to me it nearly outweighs all of the pros. I miss my boy. I miss his craziness and his infectious laugh. I miss his bear hugs and hearing the incessant car noises he makes. I miss trying to coax him to eat, although he has gotten much better about that. I miss trying to decipher what he's trying to tell me. I miss him.

Luckily, Luke is having a great time with Grandma and Pop. I'm so grateful that he has grandparents that love to spend time with him and want to get to know him better. But I'm also thankful that he's coming home soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a new kind of tired

Well, I have survived almost my entire first week back and I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself for only losing it on Monday. I stayed strong the rest of the week and I've learned to treasure the time I have with my kiddos each evening. After all, its only for 26 more school days. I'll surely survive this experience for that long...right?

My body is still in a state of shock from not having the opportunity to have my daily sleep-recovery nap from 1-3 each afternoon. I've come to depend on the precious time when both kids are sleeping. It gave me the opportunity to recharge my batteries to make it through the rest of the day without being insanely crabby and to be a much better mom. With the return to teaching, there is no more nap and I feel like I definitely need one now. Being on my feet all day and managing and teaching thirty third graders brings my body and mind to a whole new level of worn out. By the afternoon, the kids are ready to be done and the whole "The Year is Almost Done" syndrome kicks in right at the time when my patience takes a serious nose dive. And how am I supposed to cope with kids drawing things so inappropriate during their Art time that even I blush? And what about those times when all thirty of them are talking at the same time when I'm trying to give directions or tell them piece of vital information? Or how about when they try to open the locked door while I'm pumping in the dark in my classroom? Or even better, how do I keep my cool when they tackle and choke each other during afternoon recess?

Simple. I remember that in 26 days, I get to stay with my babies for good. How could I be upset when I'm thinking about this?

So for now, I hope that my family doesn't mind me falling asleep on the couch each night as soon as Keith gets home. I hope they don't mind that the house is a little dirtier, the laundry doesn't get cleaned as fast, and we don't always have the most amazing dinners for the next 26 school days. I hope they forgive me if I snap or if I'm not as bubbly as I'd like to be. It will all pay off in the long run when I'm done teaching and I get to be a full time mom again.

Until then, please ignore any snoring you might hear coming from my classroom or from our couch in the afternoon. I'm in recharge mode.

Monday, April 19, 2010

(bitter)sweet survival

Today was the day I had been dreading since I found out I was pregnant. I had already agreed to go back to work by that point, so I knew I wasn't going to go back on my decision. I knew that I was going to have to leave my precious baby for at least a few weeks at the end of the year to finish things out. Keith got to deal with the stressed out, overwhelmed version of me these past few days as I prepared myself to go back. He was even the one who eventually coaxed me to go to sleep last night. I was operating on the theory that if I never went to bed, today would never come.

Anyone who knows me pretty well know that I don't tend to look at the best-case scenario in any situation; my brain auto-pilots itself straight to what the worst thing that could happen which explains why I was a basket case last night fearing that Reagan wouldn't have enough food today and she would just be screaming for me. I put off pumping until it was way late so I thought I was providing the bare minimum of what I wanted her to have. I've never been away from her for more than 2 hours and now I was going to have to be away for 8? Add in trying to prepare two kids for daycare, prepare myself to go back to work, and mentally wrap my head around the situation and I made quite the basket case last night.

Even through all the darkness I faced today, I was able to find some shining bright spots. Reagan is in absolutely wonderful hands. She is being loved to pieces by a sweet family while I am gone that sings songs to her and prays Rosaries with her so that I might have strength to get through the day. I have two of the most amazing friends who knew without saying that I was going to have a difficult day. Andi and Kyle brought me flowers, snacks, and a framed picture of me and my family. And they even held me when I started to cry. Again. I have a supportive team at school that has been so completely understanding and helpful. And I have 30 crazy kids that were so excited to see me today. 

It will be in total 30 days I'll be separated from Reagan and, after today, I know that I can make it. It's not going to be easy and I know that there will be some days that will seem absolutely horrendous, but I'll just hang on tight to those bright spots; especially my three favorite bright spots when I get home each day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


My baby is two years old today. Two? It seems completely impossible for Luke to be two already. I don't even feel like I'm an adult yet and I have a two year old toddler? Amazing.

Luke is a very active kid. Ever since he was able to walk, it turned into more of a constant sprint. He's even taken to running around our kitchen table for fun. He'll literally run around the table all by himself, not chasing anything or anyone , for about ten minutes. Luke loves anything sports and transportation related, especially Nascar. I think its the best of both worlds to him. When we put Nascar on for him, it's like the world around him has ceased to exist. If we need to get his attention, we have to pause it or turn it off for him to even remotely process what we're telling him. He's also slightly obsessed with Cars the movie. He would probably watch that movie all day every day if we let him. And I don't. Promise.

Luke has also become much more understandable with all of his chattiness. For the longest time we had absolutely no clue what he was saying when he would babble on to us, but we're now able to pick up key words in his speech so that we have some idea of what he's trying to communicate to us. He's able to understand a remarkable amount of what we say to him and he's getting so much better being able to accurately use his words. It cracks me up when he falls and automatically says, "Boom! I okay!" or when loudly shouts, "I stuck!" when he can't get himself out of some sticky situation or another.

Since Luke arrived on this planet, he has been a champion sleeper (unlike his sister, but I digress) and a craptastic eater. I can remember having to put him in a head lock to get him to eat the required amount prescribed by the doctor his entire first year when he was getting bottles and then that just transitioned into Luke being an extremely picky and fussy eater. We think he might have finally grown past that, or at least we've found the key to a much improved eating regimen. Ketchup. Seriously the boy will eat anything when there is ketchup involved. I've even caught him dipping his string cheese in ketchup and eating it. Luke's even gone so far as to dip his fork into the ketchup sans food and lick it off. Nice kid. The sad part is that in my head, I'm actually thinking Finally! He eats! And its not being force fed to him! Glorious!

Luke still loves to visit Treeland and has even started asking to go on a few occasions. I find it very funny that as much as he loves to go there, as soon as he gets around any plant or tree, he completely freaks out. Somewhere over the past month or so, Luke has developed this extreme fear of bees. And it doesn't even matter if there is actually a bee in the vicinity of the plant or not; if there is a plant, in his mind there is a bee on it.In fact, flies, mosquitos, and gnats are all referred to as bees as well. I guess anything that is in bug form that flies he wants nothing to do with. I can't say I blame him; I'm no fan of flying insects myself.

Luke is quite the growing boy too. When he was born, Luke weighed in at 8 lbs. 11 oz. and measured 21.5 in. long. Big kid. Now at two years, he's 30 lbs. 8 oz. and 38.5 in. tall. That puts his current stats at 79th percentile for his weight and over the 100th percentile for his height. It almost seems too much too fast. I'm glad that he's healthy and growing; don't get me wrong. It just seems like its flying by. I can't wait to see how big he gets and how he keeps things interesting in this next year!

Luke didn't get sick at all during his first year of life. No joke. We never visited his pediatrician with the exception of his well-baby visits. Boy, did we make up for that this year; more specifically, in the last three months. Since I've been back at work this year, Luke has had a nagging cold, or what we thought was a cold. Keith and I thought he should just tough it out; it was probably just some thing he picked up from being around so many other kids at daycare. Turns out Luke has been diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma. You may now give me my award for Most Horrible Parent of the Year. He'd been struggling to breathe all along and we'd brushed it off as nothing major. I can guarantee I won't make that mistake again. Luke is now on daily preventative breathing treatments and when he gets sick or has difficulty breathing again, he has a different medication for his breathing treatments then. Its really sad to see him with the little mask on, but he doesn't mind it anymore because we let him watch Chuggington (aka Choo Choo) while its going.

Luke is an amazing kid. I know that I'm extremely partial, but I am so lucky and blessed to call him mine.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

easter morning

On Sunday morning, we woke up at our usual time and headed off to Mass outside with the Seibolts plus Andrew. It was a beautiful Mass outside on the church property which is still in the process of being built. I have to admit that it was kind of nice not to be in an elementary school gym for a change and we had the added bonus of having gorgeous weather too. I just wish that Reagan would have cooperated more. The silly girl woke up in the middle and wanted to fuss the rest of the time. She and I spent the majority of our time together in the very back as I was trying to calm her down and get her back to sleep.

After church was over, we headed to Joe's Farm Grill to meet with Keith's parents and sister for breakfast. Luke always loves to see them so he was especially happy. Because the weather was so nice, we sat outside and were able to take some pictures. Have I mentioned how much I {love} the new camera?

Monday, April 5, 2010

my girl

I love my sweet baby girl. This was taken Easter morning at breakfast and I am proud to say that she slept through the night later that night. I feel like that is just an added blessing to an already amazing gift from God that we have with us.

merry christmas...

...and Happy Birthday and Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Mother's get the picture. Actually, now I get the picture! Keith, my family, and friends surprised me with a brand new camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T2i! I had absolutely no idea this was coming and I am extremely grateful for their amazing generosity. I am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.  Here are some of the first shots I was able to take that night. Thank you Reagan for being my model. You have no idea what you are in for with my picture-taking obsession...


This is a day I never thought would happen; I'm blogging about my kids poo.

My recent weeks as a temporary stay at home mom seem to have been consumed by poo. In one 24 hour period last week I changed 8 poopy diapers myself and Keith changed another two. Where does all this stuff come from?!? Seriously. Ten dirty diapers in one day? I feel like it could be some record.

Granted, Luke has been eating much better lately and has become more adventurous with what he will eat which is a welcome relief from his past insane pickiness and this is a very welcome change from the screaming girl that Reagan used to be every time she had to poo, but come on! So much poo! I am fairly proud of myself though. I only gag a little bit and have taken the onslaught of poo like a champ (or as much of a champ as you can be when dealing with poo)!

Here's to continued regularity!