Sunday, February 28, 2010

I FEEL GOOD! (Na-na-na-na-na-na-na)

Motherhood is wonderful, magical experience. I have been blessed. However, it is also a very big job, and I've found that I don't always have the time or energy to take care of myself like I should. I'm trying to change that.

First off, I get a lot of headaches, and some of them develop into migraines. I think that the reason I get so many headaches is because of eye strain. I made an appointment with my eye doctor, and for the past few weeks I've been adjusting to contacts. I've definitely been getting less headaches. I only had one this week, down from at least 3 or 4 a week. That is a good thing. (Migraines and motherhood don't mix!)

Second, my doctor recommended a good physical therapist. A couple of years ago, I had some major sciatic pain. Although the pain has gone away, I've had some residual numbness in my leg that would worsen whenever I tried to work out. I've been going to physical therapy for about a week and a half now, and already have felt such a difference. I have had no numbness in my leg at all today! I am thrilled to be learning how to handle this problem, and am now filled with hope that I'll be able to exercise and get into shape/feel healthier again. Today, I went to pick up a new pair of shoes and some workout clothes to celebrate. (How much of a geek am I that I just took a picture of my shoes?! But really, aren't they pretty?!) :)

He's a beauty.

Ever since my husband and his cousins created this marvel, he has this thing for big snowmen. The bigger the better. So, when the kids are outside creating more modestly sized snowmen, Dave often gets them involved in creating a big one together. Last year they made this one. We finally had enough good packing snow this week that they were able to make this year's version, accessorized with a flower pot, training wheels, carrots, sweet potatoes and drain pipes.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Caroline was so proud...

After I picked her up from Daisy Scouts the other day, Caroline wanted to show me the bulliten boards outside of her classroom. Some of her writing was displayed on it (along with some of her classmates' writing). Beautiful work, Caroline!

In this sample, she wrote, "I like to play with my dolls. It is fun!" In this sample, she wrote, "Me and my Dad made a pinewood derby. I was happy."

Lincoln Log Construction Zone

AKA: Our living room.
When I was a kid, I loved Lincoln Logs. They are such a fun, classic toy, and I'm so glad that we have a great big bin of them. They made for some good Friday night fun at our house!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today Caroline learned how to snap. She has been practicing a lot lately, especially because her Kindergarten class is singing a song for a program which involves a little snapping. She told me that if they can not snap, her music teacher said that they could click their tongue, but she was having none of that. True to form, Caroline has been practicing and practicing and practicing, and tonight it finally paid off.

Without further ado, here is Caroline....snapping...

Soon after this video was made, we read stories to Caroline and tucked her into bed. Upon closing her door for the night, we fully expected to hear a lot of snapping sounds emanating from her room. We did. :) What we didn't expect was this...A few minutes later Caroline emerged from her room and walked into the bathroom. When she turned on the water at the sink, we asked her what she was doing. She replied, "My fingers are getting hot from snapping. I have to cool them down."

Now that is some serious snapping. Who knew your fingers could overheat from such a thing?!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

While Daddy was shoveling...

Caroline whipped up this sweet little snowman. She even accessorized it completely by herself with a sandpail for a hat, leaves for facial features, sticks for arms, and a shovel. She was so proud that she came running in the house telling me to grab my camera. She knows how things work around here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Evan and Ryan

Two sweet little boys...born 4 days apart... ...made a huge mess of our playroom today and had a fabulous time doing it. They played with most of the toys in the playroom, not staying with any one in particular for too long.

This is the one that held their attention...our jack-in-the-box. Batman? Nah. Buzz Lightyear? He's OK. But Jack? That's where it's at. ;)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blue and Gold Banquet Boys

Today started with waking up bright and early from a sleepover. Then it was off to our church to Seth's Rite of Enrollment for First Communion. All of the 1st Communicants had to bake a loaf of bread to share with a member of our church asking for their prayers in return. Seth proudly shared his loaf of banana bread with a sweet couple next to us.

Then it was off to Henry and Seth's Blue and Gold Banquet...
...where Seth earned his United States Heritage medal and badge (and had his face painted by his Dad)...Henry was awarded his Webelos badge......and had his face painted by his Dad.With both of her brothers getting their faces painted, Caroline actually got a little jealous. She wanted me to paint some rainbows on her cheeks. :)
Wondering what Evan was up to? We were feeling brave, so we took our nap-deprived 3 year old to the banquet. It could have been a recipe for a complete disaster, but it was actually a good thing (and I am not being sarcastic when I say that). After his dinner, he crawled up into my lap and fell fast asleep for a good while. We might want to follow that same game plan next year. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What a week...

Birthday parties, homework, playdates, doctor appointments, pink eye and a virus for Seth, 1st communion meeting, swimming lessons, sledding and a hike, dinner/planning meeting with Dave's uncle who is helping us finish the basement this spring, physical therapy for my back, exercise routine started, going to sleep earlier, cleaning the house, catching up on laundry...

I don't know if we could have been busier this week. I suppose it's possible though. I'm happy and feeling hopeful, inspired by the things we have started and ready for more next week. Life is busy, but good.

(I took this picture of Dave and the kids when they took a little hike behind our house. Can you see them? I'm not sure that I can, but I know they're in the picture somewhere.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

This touched me deeply...grab a box of kleenex!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fabulous Caroline!

Caroline came bursting through the door after school announcing that she is Fabulous Friend tomorrow. That is a very BIG DEAL in her kindergarten world. Basically, it means that she gets to be the line leader, weather reporter, teacher helper, AND she gets to share something with her class.

This time she is to hide something in a bag and write three clues about it. Then tomorrow, her classmates get to listen to her clues and guess what special thing she brought to share. She chose her "Dream Bunny," her stuffed animal that gives her good dreams. It is her "must-have" every night.

Here's a close-up of her clues...
Every night, Caroline gets to choose a book to practice reading at home. She is really progressing in her reading skills!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dating Advice--from Seth

This boy has a good head on his shoulders. I heard this quality evidenced again in a recent conversation he had with some 2nd grade friends. They were talking about girlfriends, and, of all things, EX-girlfriends. One of Seth's friends has had BOTH varieties. There was a little bit of drama attached to this girlfriend situation. Apparently, the girlfriend threatened to punch Seth's friend if he said the word "love". (I'm not sure what the 2nd grade definition of girlfriend should be interesting to probe Seth's mind about that topic.) Anyways, one of the kids' moms expressed shock that a second grader could have a girlfriend already. Seth was shocked too. He chimed in, "Yeah, you don't want to have a girlfriend until you are in college. It's way too complicated."
Wow. I need to cultivate and nurture that perspective, don't I?!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy 90th Birthday, Great-Grandma!!!

What could I ever say to describe this day, to do it justice? What a fun, memorable celebration of our ever-lovin' Mom/Grandma/Great-Grandma!!! It was a day full of happiness and laughter and tears and memories and LOVE.

Here's Grammy with her cake and 90 CANDLES!

And here's her ingenious way of blowing ALL of them out!

Here are some of her Great-Grandkids presenting her with their gift...

...a book entitled "My Grandma is 'Great' because..." filled with their pictures, pictures of them with her, and their favorite things about her.
The kids kept busy...Aunt Sue supplied them with a booklet of "Grammy Games" filled with crossword puzzles and word searches filled with family names and lakehouse fun. Seth told me that he's keeping his forever. :)
Dave's brother, Mark, made a slideshow filled with pictures of her life, starting with her wedding day through all kinds of treasured family moments.

Here's a brief clip, to give you a taste of what Mark did. It was wonderful! Watching all of it, I couldn't help remembering Great-Grandpa's words as he looked around at his children and grandchildren, "Look around, Ma. Look at what we started!"

Here's part of what Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa started, their son Dennis' family.

We love you, Grammy!

Parties, Parties, Parties!

So, Saturday afternoon, after everyone was packed for the weeked, Dave took the boys to meet our extended family at the waterpark. I took Caroline to a disco bowling party for her sweet friend, Karmyn. Aren't they cute?!

Then, Caroline and I drove to the waterpark to meet our family for Dave's cousin's 40th birthday party and Dave's Grandma's 90th birthday party.

Love this picture! When Dave's cousin, Aaron, lost at a game, he was subjected to the kids' "spanking machine"!

Then on to some fun at the waterpark...

All went well until it was time to go back to the hotel room for bedtime. We had it all worked out...Caroline would sleep with her cousin, Anabel, Henry and Seth slept in another bed, Dave and I in another, and Evan would sleep in a little cot. Unfortunately, the hotel ran out of cots that night. So we made a little bed out of a chair and ottoman where we thought Evan could spend the night. He was all set up with sheets, his favorite blankets, and his music box. Unfortunately, it took until 11:00 to get him to sleep. He slept a couple of hours there, and then joined Dave and I in our double bed. That was not quality sleep to say the least! Poor Dave finally gave up on sleeping there, and finally slept the rest of the night on the chair. And I spent the rest of the night with Evan using me as a pillow, kicking me, and all other things that lead to very little sleep.
Have I mentioned lately that he's three? That's the only thing that I can say in his defense. I do love him. :)
The next day I woke to a headache (cluster? migraine?) that worsened as the day went on, climaxing right before we were to go into the party for Dave's grandma. Fortunately, with some Tylenol, caffeine, and rest, I was able to join the party after a while. I was so happy that I could, because I would have been so sad to miss such a wonderful celebration...

SOME of my Valentines much to catch up on! The kids had their Valentine's Day parties on Friday. The kids were pretty excited about the parties and the Valentine's cards that they got from their classmates, despite the fact that this was the first year that the kids were not allowed to exchange little candies as well. I just thought I should include this picture as seemed fitting in this post to include a little brotherly love. :)
Friday night was also the same night that I started feeling really crummy from a bad cold...going into a big weekend I was pretty worried how I would hold up. So I went to bed, and then just focused on getting our family ready the next day. Dave was a big help, but still, there is generally no rest for sick moms.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Evan Impersonating an Earthquake

Alternate title: C'mon baby, let's do the twist!

When the earthquake happened in Haiti, the kids were concerned that we could have an earthquake here. Never having experienced an earthquake in Illinois, I told the kids that we don't really have earthquakes here.

Then, bammo, a week later, I had to eat my words. At 4 AM, I was in a deep sleep, and was awakened by a big boom and then some loud rumbling sounds. I got a little panicky, and (I know this doesn't make any sense) thought that a burglar was trying to break in. Dave jumped out of bed, and that's when we realized that the whole house was shaking. Dave went to the hallway where he saw Henry and Caroline. Henry was accusing Dave of trying to scare him, saying "Why were you shaking my wall, Dad?" Caroline was pretty scared, and came running to me in bed. Soon after that, the shaking stopped. Henry and Caroline stayed with us in bed for a while, and after we explained that the earthquakes that we do get here are VERY rare, and nothing like they had in Haiti, they were mainly just excited to talk about it with us and their friends in school.

After they settled a bit, we went to tuck them back in their own beds. That's when we saw that Seth was awake and completely unphased. Apparently, he too thought his Dad was just trying to scare them, and was just trying to fall asleep again. Evan slept right through it all.

The next day, Henry was trying to explain to Evan what had happened. The following clip is the result of Henry's teaching. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Magnitude 3.8 Quake Wakes Up Chicago Area - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

Magnitude 3.8 Quake Wakes Up Chicago Area - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News -

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Such excitement in our house...

Last night was BIG. Of course, we had a 3.8 earthquake centered just miles away from our house. However, just a few minutes ago, Caroline, Evan and discovered that our very prolific Platy just had her babies. Yes, this is the same platy that just had babies January 21st. Mom and babies are doing just fine.

Because the babies were born the night of the earthquake, we've decided to name the ones that we've seen so far Shiver and Shake.

(Their siblings, born just 20 (!) days ago are Flippy, Dippy and Pippy. The oldest baby, born from another mother ~27 days ago, is named Zippy.)

Illinois Earthquake?!!!

It's about 4:10, and our family just woke up to an earthquake. Crazy...its on the news now...
Henry came out of his room and accused Dave of trying to scare him by shaking the walls. :) He and Caroline wound up in our bed, too excited to sleep for a while.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


A good day.
Valentines written.
Playdate played.
Barbies accessorized.
Earrings enjoyed.
Kindergarten lessons learned.
Homework done.
Brothers teased.
Books read.
Sweet dreams in progress.

I love this little girl.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Saturday

Tonight we invited some friends over for a sleepover, a friend for Henry, a friend for Seth, and a friend for Caroline. (Evan actually asked, "Where's my friend?," but was quickly placated when we gave him glowstick sunglasses and when the boys let him "play" video games with them.) All three of the kids that we had over are from the same family. We met them when Henry and Dylan were in Kindergarten together.
These two have been close friends ever since.Dylan's brother, Will, and Seth are good friends too...they share a love of building block architecture. Of course, they play many different things when they are together, but I often find them doing this.They make spectacular demolitions of their skyscrapers, oftentimes conveniently planned for when a brother or sister walks by.Abbey is Dylan and Will's little sister. It was her first time to sleep over at our house. These two little princesses packed a lot into their sleepover: making glitter pony suncatchers, escaping from the boys and playing forEVER in Caroline's room, exercising and singing karaoke to Hannah Montana songs, playing dolls, house, restaurant. They were in there for so long that I had to keep checking on them to see if they were ok!
I was amazed that when it was time to call it a night, the boys fell asleep almost right away, while these two were going strong for about another hour.
Evan hung out with his Daddy a lot. Dave is finishing the basement, so lately Evan has been his companion/sometimes assistant. Evan loves the basement because that is where we store the toys that we aren't using right now. He uncovered his older brothers' set of Rescue Heroes and had a grand time. Eventually, all the kids did fall asleep, and actually slept in this morning a little bit. That gave me plenty of time to make pancakes and bacon for everyone.