"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Friday, July 30, 2010


Jaden and Daddy - 5 Months old
Brandon and Daddy - three days shy of 5 months old

Monday, July 26, 2010

Frog Talk

Brandon decided he and his friend the frog needed to have a serious discussion while swinging together. ;) This went on for quite a while even after I shut off the camera. Turn your volume up ;)

Monday Thankfulness and Weekend Activities

How is it Monday again already? Summer is flying by!
Today I am thankful for -
-Life 101.9
-Facebook (it helps me stay in touch with friends -- I'm horrible at staying in touch over the phone!)
-Brandon's smile in the morning. I honestly don't think there is a bigger smile in the world than Brandon's when he first wakes up in the morning. It's awesome :)
-Kid's Eat Free night at Pizza Hut -- our Tuesday night ritual that I am looking forward to already ;)

It was a another busy/fast weekend at our house. To kick off the weekend, as I was leaving work on Friday, I went to open my car door, and the door handle fell off in my hand. Wonderful :) (It is currently being repaired, and I am driving a loaner vehicle). Friday night, my parents came over to help put the kids to bed, and Cody and I met some good friends for a late supper at Peppers. We ate with the two girls that I became close with when we all worked at Smitty's Tire & Appliance. We all quit at the same time and have remained close even though we don't see each other nearly often enough! Jenna and Rachael also brought their boyfriend and fiance along so Cody would have other guys there. It was just a couple of hours, but it was nice to get out of the house without the kids.

Saturday we ran errands in the morning and then Cody's parents came over late afternoon to watch Jaden swim, hang out and grill steaks. Sunday we went to church and then had a little bit of a rough morning with Jaden. He ended up in a time out in his room and when I went to get him out a couple of minutes later, he'd fallen asleep! Unfortunately it was about two hours before his normal nap time so it was a very short nap - long enough that he wasn't going to be ready to nap at his normal time again but short enough that it wasn't enough to keep him from getting irritable in the afternoon. Never the less, we had made plans to go visit the fire station that day. Cody and Cassi's cousin Shawn is a fireman for the CF department. He had told Cassi we could come by during his shift on Sunday, and he would show the kids the trucks and the station. So our family, Cassi and Ella and Cassi's boyfriend Craig and his little boy all went together. It was fun -- even for me, as I had never see the inside of the fire station. We got to see where they sleep, where they eat, hang out -- and learn about the operations for the department to an extent. Jaden loved sitting in the trucks, but wasn't super cooperative since he was definitely needing another nap by that point. Here's some pictures from the little adventure:
This week will be a little different. Our babysitter Jami is taking vacation Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Cody's mom is watching Jaden on Wednesday -- she's also watching Ella that day so the two will be able to play together. My mom will have Brandon on Wednesday, and then Thursday they will switch - my mom will watch Jaden and Deanne will have Brandon. Cody will have to be driving a lot back and forth to Aplington to drop kids off and pick them up. Wednesday night, we are meeting one of my best friends from high school and her four year old boy at a park. She and her husband live in Illinois, and she is here staying with her parents this week -- it will be fun to see her! She is expecting her second little one on January 1st so I am very excited for her! Friday I took the day off work so will be home alone with the two boys all day. I'm trying to think of some fun, inexpensive activities for us to do -- any suggestions? Send 'em my way ;)

I almost forgot - after working on them all of last week, Brandon's bottom two teeth have officially broken through his gums so he has a sharper bite now ;)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fall Countdown :)

Some of you will find this crazy, but those of you who know me well won't be surprised. Let me preface this by saying that I have fallen in love with coupons -- and I love shopping online if we don't have certain stores in our area. So any place I might buy toys/baby clothes/house decor from -- I sign up for their email list so I can get their deals sent to my inbox. It's become quite exciting for me to check my email every morning because there's always a new "deal" that I get to shop around for. Anyways, in my inbox the last two days have been emails from Old Navy and the Children's Place about back to school clothes savings. As I was looking at their clothes, I was falling in love with the cute little sweatshirts, long sleeved tees and warm up pants that are starting to go on sale. And it made me super excited that it's almost FALL!!

My favorite time of year is almost here. I wish fall took up the largest chunk of the year rather than winter/summer. I hate extreme temps so fall and spring are my favorite seasons. But definitely fall above all. Here's what I'm excited for:
-Wearing sweatshirts and cotton shorts. My favorite comfy outfit.
-Being able to go for walks at night as a family without having sweat drip down our faces!
-Taking Jaden to the park without worrying about sweating
-The SMELL -- fall smells so good :) It smells like burning leaves, football games, fresh air
-Not having to run my air conditioning or my heat -- having the windows open!
-Being able to just sit outside comfortably at night while watching Jaden run around. He is so happy when he's outside, but lately with the temps. the way they have been, it's rather miserable to be outside for too long.
-Football games. Seriously. Nothing better than waking up on football Saturdays.
-Carving pumpkins :)
-Tailgating :)
-The coutdown to holiday season!!
-Watching the leaves on the trees change colors
-Figuring out what the boys will be for Halloween
-The way my mood picks up. :)

...That last one might sound funny. I definitely was meant to be a midwest girl. I think I would be very unhappy living in southern states -- or Florida or California. I LOVE the changing of the seasons. I need variety. And I hate being hot!! I'm so lucky I married Cody because he is the exact same way. For some reason, the milder temps just relax me. Some people live for summer and boating and swimming. I live for football games and 60 degree temperatures :) And Cody was just saying the other day how he can't wait for summer to be over. I guess it probably makes a difference that he and I both live and breathe football so life definitely gets more exciting during football season ;) Anyways... sorry if this depressed any of you summer lovers out there, but I'm too excited to not share my excitement!! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

scrapblog.com... try again?

Okay I'm going to try and let you all view the scrapblog again of Jaden... please let me know if you still can't see it.

Jaden's scrap book


I can't believe I'm blogging about this already... but Brandon is getting his first TWO bottom teeth! Jaden seemed to get his teeth pretty young, too, but I didn't think Brandon was going to follow in his big brother's footsteps. When Jaden was teething, he drooled a LOT. So much so that he had to wear bibs all day long or he would soak his clothes. Brandon has been drooling... but not in abundance so I thought we still had a ways to go. However, Sunday Brandon was a little irritable. He would only sleep if he was being held, and he threw a HUGE crying fit late in the afternoon until he was able to calm down and fall asleep. Then on Monday he had a really bad day at daycare -- would cry because he was hungry, but then would hardly eat anything. He also barely napped on Monday. We thought he was coming down with the horrible cold that Jaden has had, but by Monday night he was eating fine again and seemed back to his old self. When I got home from work last night (Tuesday night) -- he gave me a big smile, and I could see two white blobs underneath his gums on the bottom of his mouth. By this morning, they were even more noticeable. They haven't poked through the surface yet, but they are definitely on their way! I so love his toothless little grin... I can't believe his smile is going to be changing already!

Poor little Jaden has had a tough week. He came down with a bad cold the middle of last week, and it's been taking a while to get better. Then last night he had a fever of almost 102. By this morning it was back down to only 99, and he seemed much much better this morning -- although not completely cured. Because he hasn't felt well, he's been incredibly whiny and needy for almost a week now. I'm hoping by this weekend, I have two happy boys again! (Fingers crossed!)

On a completely different note -- a big congratulations to my best high school friend -- Annalisa Hoeft!! She and Matt just got engaged over the weekend. They live in Colorado, but are planning a wedding in Cedar Falls on August 6th, 2011. I can't wait to celebrate with them! Here is a picture of Annalisa from our wedding day - she was one of our bridesmaids :)

It's a very funny story as to how we became friends in high school - we started out as enemies going after the same guy -- but she ended up becoming my best friend through all of that. It was just meant to be! Congratulations Annalisa - love you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


So I came across this website months ago and decided to give it a shot. You can make scrapbooks online - among other things - and then have them printed into book format for you. Here is the first one I made of Jaden's 1st year of life. You should be able to click on the link and it will take you to it. Click on the "View Full Screen" button to see it better. Give it a second to load all the way. Let me know if you are unable to view it.

Jaden's Scrap Book

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Thankfulness 7-19-10

This Monday I am thankful for:
-Zicam cold remedy
-Shower curtains (more on that later)
-Air conditioning

We had a very uneventful weekend. Jaden and I have both been fighting colds, and Brandon has been coughing and sneezing some, but so far (fingers crossed, knock on wood, lots of prayers, etc etc.) -- Brandon doesn't seem to be sick. Yet. (I have never washed my hands more, and I have been using pacifier wipes on every single toy of his repeatedly for almost the past week now)! Friday night Cody went to a movie by himself after the boys went to bed. I got in bed at 8:00 that night because that was the day I wasn't feeling very good. I woke up when Cody left (he went to the 9:55 showing) -- and had trouble falling back asleep. Once I fell back asleep, I had a horrible horrible dream, woke up at 11:00 and was too freaked out to get back to sleep -- so I ended up watching Roseanne until almost 12:30 a.m. when Cody finally got home. It's official -- I HATE being alone at night with those two boys! I just don't feel safe. And I hate that feeling. I lived alone two semesters in college and absolutely loved the freedom that came with that -- and never once was paranoid about being by myself. Wow have things changed since I've gotten married and become a mommy! I've also been having really weird dreams lately with a repeating theme -- in these dreams, I'm trying like crazy to get to my kids at the end of the day - to pick them up from daycare - but there's all these obstacles in the way, and I can never make it to them! It's horrifying, and I usually wake up sweating.

Saturday we let Jaden swim and play outside quite a bit. We (or rather, Cody) went through a bunch of our stuff and loaded it all up and took it to Goodwill. We've had stuff in our garage that we have needed to sort through for a very long time now. Cody got motivated to do it on Saturday and asked me if I trusted him enough to make the decision on what we kept and what we tossed. I told him to go for it - I trusted him - and wanted nothing to do with it :) I figure if I've gone two years without it (which I have) then I obviously don't need it that badly!

However, the biggest thing that happened on Saturday was that I finally had enough of my CLOSET. We have a small house, but we actually have ample storage space. We have a large unfinished storage room in our basement, a furnace room with storage space, storage space under our steps in the laundry room -- and a very large attic that we don't even use but could if we wanted to. However, to say that the closets in our bedrooms are small would be the understatement of the year. We have the old-style closets that were made back when people apparently didn't find it necessary to own more than five articles of clothing. And of course, our bedroom has THE smallest closet out of all three bedrooms. Cody doesn't even use it for his clothes - all of his stuff is kept in the laundry room. My clothes take up the entire closet, plus I use part of the coat closet in the hallway. Not only is it small, but the doors haven't functioned properly the entire time we've lived there. They came off the track, and the track was dismantled -- and... anyways, they've been a pain my rear end since day one of owning that house. Plus, the way they work, I have to completely move both doors to one side to see that half of the closet, then move them to the other end of the closet to see the other half -- and since the track is broken, 75% of the time, the doors get stuck while I'm trying to move them. I can't tell you how many times curse words have been uttered in my head when I was trying to get dressed or put laundry away. Well Saturday morning, I was trying to find something to wear, and I don't know why that particular time was the breaking point, but I'd had enough. The minute I tried to get into my closet, I dropped everything I was doing -- immediately packed up the family -- and went to Walmart. I picked out an inexpensive shower curtain (but a very pretty one that matches the bedroom) -- and a shower rod. We came home, Cody ripped the doors off the closet and put up the shower curtain rod and shower curtain. I now have a fully functioning closet in which all I have to do is slide the shower curtain to one end -- I can see my entire closet at one glance, and I'm no longer feeling the urge to cuss every time I have to get a shirt off of a hanger :) Not to mention, it actually added color and decor to our bedroom. So -- there you have it -- I can't tell you how exciting it was for me to put laundry away that night ;) I've always said life is all about the simple things -- but the older I get, the more I realize how true that is!!!

(And I now realize after re-reading this post that a shower curtain used as a closet door probably sounds foolish and maybe tacky -- but I PROMISE you that it actually looks good. Even Cody was impressed) :)

So there you have it... Happy Monday :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jaden's weight and height

We had to take Jaden to the doctor at noon today because he has a really bad sounding cough, and that always concerns me a little bit. Turns out, he's fine - lungs are clear, ears are good... but we got to get him weighed and measured for the first time since his two year appointment in January.

He is 38 inches tall and weighs 35 1/2 pounds. I'm not sure where that puts him on the growth chart - they didn't go over that at this appointment -- but we do know that he's a big boy!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Some July Videos

LOVE HIM!!!! :)


I just needed to comment on how proud I am of:
Where I'm from
Who I know
Who I'm married to
Who he was mentored by

Watching the ESPY awards last night was incredible. I'm so glad Cody and I recorded it so that I can go back and watch it whenever I want to. First, seeing Coach Jake up there representing UNI the way he did with his simple and humble acceptance speech. His wonderful shout outs to Cedar Falls and Waterloo - twice - during his speech. "Cedar Falls, Waterloo, we're bringing home an ESPY!" -- I have always been a Panther and always will. What a great feeling to watch a program we are so proud of get the national recognition it deserves.

Secondly, watching the Ed Thomas tribute video - presented by Brett Favre -- and Aaron Thomas' acceptance talk... I still have goose bumps from it more than 12 hours later. I met Coach T. on my first date with Cody. I met him again when I was pregnant with Jaden. He came to our wedding. He met Jaden for the first time just a couple of weeks before his shooting -- "Looks like you got another o-lineman there" he told us :) He coached my husband and coached with my husband for years.

What an awesome night. Proud to be from the state of Iowa. Proud to be from Cedar Falls. Proud -- and thankful :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Morning Thankfulness 7/12/10 and Weekend Review

This Monday morning I am thankful for:
-cinnamon rolls on weekend mornings
-the local petting zoo :)
-family gatherings
-Life 101.9 FM
-goodbye kisses and hugs from Jaden in the morning
-Brandon's increasing giggles :)
-Cody's back rubs!

Whew. What a week/weekend - lots to blog about. Lets start with last Wednesday. My journey to work was quite adventerous as this was the morning of the flash flooding in Waterloo, and my office is located right in the middle of one of the hardest hit spots in town. It took me almost an hour to go about 10 miles, and I probably shouldn't have attempted to go as far as I did. I was driving around cars that were getting stranded, and yet I kept on going... Cody wasn't too happy with me, but I'm a little stubborn ;) During this trek to work, I called Cody and told him he better run home and check our basement. Sure enough, once I finally got to work and settled in at my desk, he called me to tell me we had water in our basement. Swell. We went through this in April, as well, and we're a little confused because when we bought the house they told us they had never had water in the finished part of the basement. And we've had it twice already this summer. Hmmm.. :) Luckily it wasn't standing water in the finished part - just enough to completely soak the carpet. It dried out after a few days, and now Jaden has his play room back. I guess the good thing is Cody said as he was sucking up the water, he sucked up a lot of earwigs with it! I'm so sick of those slimy little bugs! They also resurfaced our street last week so we had a couple of days where we had to park on the grass in our front yard. The only other option was to park on a street a long block away... and with two little ones to transport, that just wasn't a very good option for us -- especially with all the rain.

Now for the weekend -- Friday night Cody's company decided to hold a casual little grill out at their shop. I was under the impression that other wives/kids were going to be there... but as it turns out, it was all of the guys and myself -- plus Jaden and Brandon! Luckily I'm pretty used to being the only female among a bunch of men since that's kind of how I grew up ;) Jaden had fun running around, playing with the dog -- and eating Doritos!! The kid would not eat anything else. At one point, Cody attempted to take them away from him, but it wasn't worth the tantrum that it caused so he ended up getting his Doritos back. Normally I wouldn't agree to giving in to a two-year old's demands, but in this situation it really wasn't harming him in any way.

Saturday was going to be a rain-free day so I knew we needed to spend a lot of time outside. We went to my parents' in the morning and spent some time there. We wanted to head to the petting zoo after lunch and before nap time, but of course as we're getting ready to load up the car we discover that we have locked our keys in it! We have a spare set, but I hadn't seen them since we lived at the apartment. Cody thought they were probably in his truck... but if you could see the inside of Cody's truck, you would know why that wasn't exactly a comforting thought for me ;) Turns out they weren't in Cody's truck, but he thought to look in a little storage caddy that was down in our basement that I hadn't looked through in about a year. Thank you Cody for thinking of that because I never would have and luckily - crisis averted :) Off to the petting zoo... Jaden had a blast. He wanted to touch every single animal, and he desparately wanted to hold a duck but of course, they kept running away from him. This will be an outing I'm sure we'll do again sometime this summer. It's donation only so you can roam around as often as you want for as long as you want with no admissions price.
After the petting zoo and naps, Jaden played outside for a long time, and I decided to sort through our mail. We hadn't checked it in a few days with everything going on with the flood and the street repair, so there was quite a bunch to sort through. This brings me to my next story. I carried the mail inside, laid it out on the living room floor... and earwigs started dropping out of it left and right! I killed SIX -- and those were just the ones I saw. Completely disgusted, I went outside and told Cody what was going on. He went to the mailbox, and when he opened it -- he could see them all crawling around inside. He grabbed our wasp killer and sprayed it inside the mailbox and all around it. More earwigs started falling out from every single nook and cranny of our mailbox, and there were dozens of them crawling along the curb. GROSS!!!! Thankfully they're all dead now, but I'm going to dread getting the mail for a while yet :) After supper we took the boys to the park, and Cody and I had fun on the Merry-go-round ;) One of the great things about having kids is getting to be a kid myself every once in a while! :)
This is how Brandon was napping on Saturday.... LOVE this picture. What a sweet little boy we have :)

On Sunday we headed to Iowa City for my Uncle Bud and Aunt Rita's 50th wedding anniversary reception. Uncle Bud is my dad's older brother, and he and my aunt have four kids -- the only cousins I have on my dad's side. They're all much older than me, and all of their kids are a lot older than Jaden and Brandon. We don't see them very often so this was the first time that most of them had met Brandon. My cousin Rick's new wife Tina wanted to hold Brandon. By that point, Brandon had had a lot of people in his face smiling at him and ooing and aahing over him so I think he was a little overwhelmed. Shortly after Tina started holding him, his bottom lip came out, his face got red and his eyes welled up with tears. This was the first time had had shown any signs of stranger anxiety... so I ended up holding him the rest of the afternoon, but he did good :)

Jaden's funny quote from the weekend -- Recently Cody had gotten him a bunch of bouncy balls out of the quarter machines at Pizza Hut. He was playing with them over the weekend, and one of the balls wasn't really bouncing all that well -- it was somewhat a dud of the bunch. He brought it over to me and told me the ball wasn't bouncing and needed batteries ;) Too cute!! :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brandon's 4-month "Stats"

We just had Brandon's 4-month checkup. He is weighing in at 14 lbs. 14 oz. and is 24 1/2 inches long. This puts him in the 50th percentile for weight and the 25th percentile for length. He is the complete opposite of Jaden who has always been in the 95th percentile for everything! The doctor says she doesn't expect him to be "short" though -- she thinks he'll turn out average for height. His head is measuring in the 75th percentile though... so he's going to be a little smarty! :) Jaden's head was always in the 75th percentile, too... so both my kids have big heads ;)

He did well with his two shots after the initial shock wore off. That part always breaks my heart!!

4th of July Weekend

Why can't every weekend be three days long???

Our longer weekend started off with a busy Saturday. Cody had to spend all day at his parents' new house working on landscaping their yard so that left me, Jaden and Brandon alone all day. Surprisingly, this was the first time I had been completely alone with both boys for an entire day... until past supper time. I'd obviously been alone with them for big chunks of time before -- but never from morning to night. I was actually a little nervous going into it. It wasn't a rainy day so I was afraid Jaden was going to want to be outside the entire time -- but it was SO hot that it just wasn't possible with little Brandon. It actually went very well. I think Jaden realized that with daddy gone he was going to have to be extra good for mommy :) We ran some errands in the morning so that took up some time -- then enjoyed lunch, and then lucky for me Jaden took a 3 1/2 hour nap that afternoon!! Shortly after waking up, I took them to the park for a little bit. We didn't stay very long because like I said -- it was HOT! But it was fun. Up until then, Jaden had enjoyed the parks for climbing and going down slides. He's never wanted to swing unless he could sit on the big swing on Cody's lap -- and he's never wanted to actually ride on the Merry-go-round. But Saturday he actually asked to ride on the merry-go-round -- and loved it! I had to force him to get off, and it was so funny to see how dizzy he was when he got done. He couldn't walk straight for a little while :) He then asked to swing in the "baby" swings by himself... and laughed the entire time I was pushing him. He also found a new slide to go down and it was one of those old metal slides... it was so fast, he flew off of it into the air and landed on his butt every time... but again, he loved it! After the park, Cody called me and told me he was going to be late so without supper planned, I gave in and got Jaden (and myself) both Happy Meals from McDonalds. I love making my little boy happy with special treats like that!

On Sunday we got up and made it to church and then had to go get groceries as we were hosting our families at our house for 4th of July. I also enlisted Jaden's help in making a cake for my dad because it was his birthday on the 4th. His "help" involved putting the food coloring into the cake batter, licking the spoons and bowls and trying to sneak by mommy by sticking his finger into the batter a couple times ;) Some of the batter was colored blue... so he had a very blue mouth by the time we were done baking! Here is the cake...
This is what it looked like before we frosted it...
The results after the frosting... I couldn't find everything I needed to decorate it the way I wanted to, but we made do!
And here's what the inside looked like... festive, huh??!

We were really bummed it rained all day... we wanted to have the famlies over to our place to the kids could swim in our new nice pool and do sparklers and firecrackers... and just run around outside. But even though it rained, and even though we were stuck inside, things went okay. It was our family, plus my parents and Cody's parents - and Cassi, Ella and Craig. Ella and Jaden had a blast together -- they get along really well. When it was time for Ella to leave to go to her dad's house, she didn't want to go! And Jaden was sad when he realized she'd left.
Dad with his boys on his birthday!
The cousins!

Monday was a bit more relaxing... Cody did a very nice thing and offered to let me go to the new Eclipse movie while he stayed home with the boys. He said I should get out of the house for a bit, and he was right! I recruited my dad to join me for the movie... how lucky was he?? ;) Then last night, we watched as Brandon not only rolled back and forth between his back and tummy... but he actually rolled half way across the living room floor! I am so excited for him but am not ready for him to be moving around so much already! At this rate he'll be crawling in no time ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4 Months little Brandon!

So Brandon is four months old today... where is the time going??? In fact at this exact time four months ago, Dr. Moussa was telling me that I was three centimeters dilated, breaking my water and informing that our little stinker was turned the wrong way! It was a scary hour or so before we got to meet him, but boy was he worth every contraction, needle, scalpel, poking/prodding, etc. etc. :)

We attempted taking his four month pictures this morning, but he is at that stage where he wants EVERYTHING in his mouth. The minute I put his little four month sticker on his outfit, he started pulling at it trying to figure out how to get it in his mouth... so we weren't able to get any smiles out of him :) Of course, he was all smiles before and after these pictures!
(I've also added these pictures to the Brandon's "Growth Chart" tab at the top of the page.)

Developmental milestones in the last couple of weeks include:
Rolling over from back to tummy and from tummy to back. He doesn't lay still very often anymore!
He now eats cereal every once in a while, although most of it still ends up on his chin instead of in his tummy... we are making some small progress there ;)
He laughs now and smiles often.
A few weeks ago he started finally sleeping in his crib! Up until then he slept in a bouncer because he didn't sleep very well laying flat. Jaden was the exact same way, and Brandon started sleeping in his crib at the exact same age Jaden was!
He seems to be developing a more predictable nighttime schedule now... although I'm sure this will change as he changes. This past week he's almost always in bed between 7:30 and 8:00. I wake him up around 9:30 to feed him one last time, and he goes right back to sleep until about the 4:00 hour in the morning. Eats quickly at that time and then sleeps until about 6:30 in the morning. We did have one night last weekend in which he slept completely through the night until 7:00 the next morning... but that hasn't happened since! Still -- even with waking up once every night, he is such a good baby, and we are so so blessed!