"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, October 29, 2010

My Sick Little Family :(

You know that saying - "When it rains, it pours"? Boy is that the honest truth.

Lets start with two weeks ago. When Brandon gets a tooth, it's like hell for two to three days right before it pops through the surface. So two weeks ago we had a fussy weekend as we waited for his eighth tooth to come out. Got through it - awesome. Shortly after, Cody started feeling awful - short of breath, horrible headaches... could barely function. This went on for almost a week before he finally agreed to go see a doctor at convenient care this past Sunday. Diagnosis? Bronchitis. Sweet. So they prescribed him with a Z-pack and codeine. It took about four days after that, but he's finally feeling better. He had horrible headaches for quite a while because his sinuses were so clogged - and he even threw up once. Before he was out of the woods, Jaden started coming down with a horrible cold (probably from Cody) -- which he still has. About a day after Jaden got his cold, I got a call at work from daycare at about 9:30 Wed. morning. Brandon had thrown up three times within about a half an hour. Great. So I had to leave work at the worst possible time. My boss is opening up another one of our centers in Minneapolis, and the girl he had hired to help run the office up there had come down here to work with me and train with me. So... here I am leaving work... and here she is four hours from her home... to work with me. Cody couldn't leave work because he had just missed work due to his sickness. I not only missed Wednesday, but I had to be home Thursday, too as Brandon still wasn't any better. While I was at home on Thursday, I got three frantic phone calls throughout the day from my boss stating how badly things were going in the office and that I really needed to find a way to be at work on Friday regardless of what was going on. Okay...
So Friday morning (which would be this morning) at about 3:00 a.m. Brandon (who we thought was getting better) -- ends up pooping all over the place and then throwing up -- ALL over me. Apparently he's not better yet. I absolutely have to be at work so Cody has to stay home again... which is really bad because he's used up all of his paid leave. I take Jaden to daycare this morning, and not even an hour later I get the call -- Jaden has thrown up all over the daycare living room floor. So now Cody is home with both Brandon and Jaden, and I am hating being at work because I have a sick family at home, and I feel very helpless.

This stomach flu is the worst thing. It started with one girl at daycare who came down with it last weekend, and they tried bringing her to daycare Monday and Tuesday. Well, glad they did that because she has literally infected everybody at the daycare. There are zero kids at daycare today because every single one has it now. And the little girl that started it --- STILL has it five days later. None of the kids have fevers... the just throw up randomly. And it's weird -- Brandon went the whole day yesterday without throwing up anything. He did have some horrible diapers, but was able to keep his food down. Then all of the sudden he throws up again in the middle of the night. And that's how all the other kids are reacting, too. Going long periods of time perfectly fine... and then throwing up again. Bummer timing. With Halloween on Sunday I really don't see how Jaden will be able to trick-or-treat. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope so. I bought costumes.

On top of the flu, Jaden still has his bad cold and Brandon was showing signs of a runny nose this morning.

God -- please make it all go away. Please :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crawling!!!

Our little baby Brandon officially started crawling yesterday afternoon!!! We knew it'd be starting very soon. The last week in September he was up on all fours rocking back and forth... and not even a month later... he's off! It's so funny to watch right now. I don't think he fully realizes that he can do it yet. He will be staring at an object quite a ways away from him, and it will take him forever before he decides to go after it. It's like he sits there and thinks for a long time... and then remembers "oh! I CAN get to it now!" I can't believe how fast he is growing. And he continues to do everything sooner than Jaden did. Which I believe is because he wants to be able to keep up with his big brother! Jaden didn't crawl until almost 10 months old I believe. And he didn't sit quite as early as Brandon. Jaden did army crawl really well for a long time, which Brandon never even attempted. It'll be interesting to see if he walks earlier than Jaden did -- Jaden waited until he was 15 months. Jaden's not sure what to think now... Jaden was lying on the floor this morning getting his diaper changed by Cody when Brandon crawled over to him and started pulling at his ears and eyes ;) Jaden handled it pretty well, considering :) Can't wait to see what the next milestone will be!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our Kids These Days

Jaden:
I'm lucky Brandon likes to be held a lot because Jaden definitely is past his cuddly stage. (Not that he ever was much of a cuddler, but he did used to have his moments). I have to pretend to be super sad to even get a hug from him these days. Or... bribe him. This morning when Cody was getting the boys out the door, Jaden refused to hug or kiss me goodbye. But he loves to be able to push the garage door button. So... Cody made a deal with him that if he would give me a hug and kiss goodbye then he could push the button. At this point Jaden was already out the door, down the deck steps and standing in the driveway. When Cody told him what he had to do in order to push the button, he ran as fast as he could back up the deck steps and opened our back door screaming, "mama hug! mama hug!" Can't believe we're having to resort to bribery to get my 2 1/2 year old to give me a goodbye hug!

He's also testing his boundries. Which is no surprise considering his age. But he's getting this stubborn, authoritative little attitude and unfortunately we hear, "No!" a lot. Or sometimes it's more like this: "Noooooo MAMA!" And then he glares at me. Lovely. (Sometimes it frustrates the heck out of me -- sometimes I have to hold in laughter because it's rediculously comical how much power he THINKS he has.) ;)

He still refuses to sit on the potty with his pants and diaper off. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Occasionally we're letting him drink without a sippy cup lid. But only if it's while he's sitting at the table... not if he wants to carry a drink around with him. He does really well without a lid as long as the cup's not too full.

He doesn't like to share toys with Brandon. Even if it's a toy he's never had any remote interest in... all of the sudden it's like gold if it's in Brandon's hands. He resorts to trying to steal the toy right out of Brandon's hands and saying, "Mine, Brandon!" -- but this isn't happening quite as often as it had been so I think he's slowly learning.

He's now opening up the fridge and telling me what he wants for snack. I don't like this so much -- I'd rather him just be content to take what I offer ;)

Last night I asked him what he wanted for supper. Normally he doesn't really respond with anything other than "milk." But last night this is how it went: Me - "Jaden, what do you want for supper?" Jaden - "Umm... noodles." He loves noodles with butter and parmesan cheese. ;)

He loves loves loves music. So much so that he gets mad if Brandon is making noise in the car because he thinks Brandon is interrupting the song. "No no no Brandon! I want to hear the song!" This happens every single time we have to go anywhere. He also refuses to let me sing along to any of the songs on his movies.

His favorite movies are on a rotating cycle: Boz Christmas... which he refers to as the Christmas Movie. Choo Choo Movie or "Balloon Choo Choo." They are both Thomas movies, but the balloon one has pictures of balloons on the DVD case. His most current favorite is once again "Potty Time Elmo." You would think that as often as he watches Elmo sit on the toilet, he'd have some interest in it. Yea, you would think.

He doesn't understand that going to the Pumpkin Patch is a once a year special activity. Every day he tells us he wants to go to the Pumpkin Patch.

He gets excited about clothes now. If I tell him he's wearing something new when I dress him in the morning he talks about it later. "New shirt!!!"

We have a routine prayer we say before supper every night. He knows it pretty well and always tries to say it along with us. I need to get this on video.

Brandon:


His eighth tooth just came in. And he's not even eight months old yet. I imagine he's sick of teething. I'm incredibly sick of teething.

In many ways I am thinking that Brandon is going to be much more like me, and Jaden is going to be much more like Cody. Jaden was bothered by teeth ocassionally but not to the extent that Brandon has been. There were times where Jaden would get blood drawn or shots and wouldn't even cry. He's a tough little stinker. So is Cody. I am not. Neither is Brandon. When Jaden was a baby (aside from his first five weeks of colic) he was the easiest baby you would ever meet. Incredibly laid back. We could lay him on the floor, give him a toy to shake around, and he was content like this forever. Brandon... no. Since he was able to roll over, he hasn't stopped trying to get anywhere but where we put him. If I put him in his Bumbo seat to feed him, he spends his entire meal trying to get out. If we put him in the swing to try and feed him, he's trying to get out. If we lay him on his back to play, he is immediately on his tummy. If we sit him up to play, he immediately is trying to get on all fours. And when he's on all fours, he moves forward about two "steps" and then is frustrated and collapses onto his tummy. He is not laid back. He is like me. Once he is able to completely crawl, I am thinking and hoping that he will be a much happier baby. Not that he's not happy - we love him dearly. But again -- not quite as laid back as Jaden was.


He has the cutest giggle in the whole world.


He has days where he's hungry and days where he's not at all hungry.


He is tiny. I had to get him a 0-6 month Halloween costume because the 6-12 month would have swallowed him whole. You wouldn't have even been able to see HIM in the costume. Again... the exact opposite of Jaden.


He continues to adore his big brother. Jaden watched as I gave Brandon a bath the other night, and he kept smiling at Brandon. Every time Jaden smiled at him, Brandon kicked, splashed, giggled, squeeled... just got incredibly excited. It really is the sweetest thing to watch happen.


He's in the stage of liking to grab and pinch. Cody has been calling me "Scar" for a week because without warning Brandon grabbed on to my cheek last week and pulled and ripped a thin layer of skin off. He likes to grab at Jaden's face, too. This doesn't go over too well with Jaden most of the time.


He goes to bed at 7:30 regardless of how hard I try to keep him awake. He then wakes up most mornings by 5:30. It's a vicious cycle. But this too shall pass.


--The fun thing about parenting is things are constantly changing as kids go through growth and different phases of development. We love our little boys!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy UNI Homecoming Week

It's Homecoming week for UNI. And last night I had OP Pizza and bread sticks... which was a weekly meal for me in college (at least it seems that way looking back). So I'm feeling a little sentimental. I am reflecting on what I miss about the "college days." This post is in no way intended to take away from the life I have now... I love my husband and kids dearly and would never trade them in for a trip back in time to when my life didn't include them. BUT college was an awesome four years for me so -- here are my reflections on what I miss the most...

*Classes. I can't believe I'm saying that. But right now I sit in an office by myself with no windows. I miss social interaction during the day!

*Skipping classes :)

*My "jobs" -- if you can really call them that. Working in the Athletic Media Relations office and in the football office was a b.l.a.s.t. The only reason I didn't pursue a career in athletic media relations was because I wanted to actually be at home with my family and not working seven days a week. BUT... for a single college student... it was awesome -- and didn't even feel like work most of the time. I got PAID to go to football and basketball games. I loved the people I worked with and am still friends with most of them to this day. My jobs MADE my college experience the amazing experience it was. Sigh. I could on and on about this.

*Being able to function on four hours of sleep. Once I turned 21 my junior year, I typically was out enjoying life at night every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And was still able to go to class, study and work. Kelly Cole -- my camera misses you.

*The OP. What a great idea I had when I decided to move into an apartment just one block away from the OP for my junior and senior years.

*Spring Break. "Real life" employers should start providing one of these.

*Christmas Break.

*The Union. I can remember freshman year... thinking UNI was so big because I didn't know 90 percent of the people that I saw in the Union during study breaks. By senior year, I KNEW 90 percent of the students in the Union.

*Walking through campus.

*Being surrounded by friends all the time. I lived with my friends, I was neighbors with my friends, I took classes with my friends, I worked with my friends.

*Crushes. Cody -- I love you, and I waited patiently for you. But come on... everyone knows that having a "new crush" can be pretty exciting ;)

*Being able to go home for a home cooked meal instead of having to be the one to provide the home cooked meal. ;)

*Traveling with the football team. I can't watch the 2005 highlight video without getting teary-eyed. (This was the year we went to the national championship). I didn't miss a game and spent every single away game on the sidelines. Honestly one of the best four months of my life. We had SO much fun.

*Working out in the WRC. I wish I could still go to the WRC to workout. The WRC was motivation that I just do not have anymore.

*Having keys to the Dome. When I started working in the football office, they gave me my own set of keys. This was motivation to run the Dome steps whenever I wanted to. Again... motivation I do not have anymore.

*Karaoke nights at the OP. I know I've already mentioned the OP, but karaoke nights deserved its own bullet point.

*Living at Hillcrest. What a year. Out of the dorms and my first "on-my-own" apartment experience. So many funny memories.

*Finals week. Not the actual test taking part of the week... but all the fun we always had when that week was over. :)

*The excitement of meeting and dating Cody. This was a good way to kick off senior year ;)

*Receiving text messages at 3 a.m. Even if I was home sleeping. Just nice to know your friends were thinking of you ;)

*Getting emails that class is canceled. Suddenly a free hour during the day! Heaven.

There's more but these come first to mind. I'm so glad I chose UNI, I'm so glad I had the experiences I had... I'm so glad it got me to where I am today with a wonderful little family and lifelong friendships.

Happy Homecoming week, UNI! Panther Purple for life!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You Know You're a Mom When...

*I stole this idea from another blog friend of mine!

You know you're a mom (Mommy/Mama) when...

-You have songs stuck in your head like... "La La La La.. La la la la... Elmo's world..."

-You've been singing the ABC song so much that you could probably sing it backwards.

-Bedtime prayers include thanking God for things like... Pizza Hut, Parks, Footballs, etc. ... at the request of your 2-year old.

-You find wet diapers in all sorts of hidden places around the house... ("How did that not make it to the garbage can??")

-Your idea of "sleeping in" is 6:30 a.m.

-Your kids get all the new clothes and you're stuck wearing the same winter dress shoes you wore four years ago.

-Your living rooms looks like a daycare center.

-You show up at work and notice the spit up stain on your shirt or pants. "Oh well, everyone knows I have a baby at home." --And you're perfectly content to walk around all day wearing the spit up stain for all to see.

-Your dishwasher is 3/4ths full of sippy cup parts and baby spoons.

-The five minutes you get to take a shower is a little piece of Heaven.

-Your day is not complete if you haven't been able to kiss those precious cheeks at least 100 times (per child).

-The phrase "you have to share your toys" gets repeated at least a dozen times a day. (Yes, we're already fighting that battle).

-You manage to lose two/three pounds over a weekend (and then gain them back during the week) because you literally do not get to sit down when you're at home and not working!

-The only time you get to have adult conversation with your spouse is when you strap your kids into the stroller and go on an evening walk. Kids are content and quiet during that 20 minutes!

-Once 5:00 hits on a week day you literally can't get home fast enough.

-Your favorite smell is a freshly bathed baby.

-Your favorite moment in the day is when your 7 month old wakes up in the morning and gives you that incredible first smile of the day smile -- so excited to start a new day. (We could all learn a lesson from a baby's fresh outlook of each new day!)

-You get more excited watching your kids open presents at Christmas/Birthday time than you do about opening your own presents.

-You start playing on playground equipment again like you're still five years old.

-You hurt the bottom of your foot at least one time a day by stepping on a small child's toy/object.

-Pumpkin carving, egg coloring, picking out Valentines, etc. is super fun again.

-You're doing laundry... all. the. time.

-You either have someone with a cold or a teether in your house at all times.

-All your grocery money is spent on Gerber products, formula and milk.

-You could change a diaper blindfolded with one hand behind your back (maybe even both hands behind your back depending on how cooperative the child).

-Holding your child's hand tiny hand is the greatest feeling in the whole world.

-You've never heard a sweeter sound than "Mama!"

...I could go on and on...

I love you Jaden and Brandon!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Comparisons

I like comparison pictures... crazy how time flies.
This is of Jaden and Brandon at the same pumpkin patch. Kudos to Cody for remembering to get one of Brandon in a wheel barrow!
Jaden at the same pumpkin patch two years ago... and Jaden now :)

7 Months, Pumpkin Patch and Football

Fall -- I'm so glad you're here! It was a busy weekend for us, but I am in my element... I can't say enough how much I love this time of year! October is full of football, perfect weather, pumpkins, amazing smells... and -- I just realized on my way to work that Jaden is old enough to actually go trick-or-treating this year :) Then we have November -- Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating at the end of the month. Plus a nice little Thanksgiving vacation from work. Then we have December :) Which is not only an amazing month because of Christmas, but I also get a nice vacation from work, and it begins our string of birthday months. My birthday in December, Jaden's in January, Cody's in February and Brandon's in March. Whew! :)

Friday night we kicked off the weekend with baking. We had a family gathering on Sunday, so I thought I'd enlist Jaden's help in making a simple cake. Betty Crocker has a fun fall festive cake mix and matching frosting for sale right now so that's what we did. He helped me do everything - pour the ingredients, crack the eggs, and stir everything together. I then let him try one spoon lick of the batter before putting it in the oven. The whole time we worked on it, he kept saying, "I help! I help!"

Saturday Brandon turned seven months old! I can't believe it. He is almost completely sitting up on his own. He can sit on his own for long periods of time as long as someone is there to help him if he starts to tip... but he is very close to not needing any help. He's also still getting up on all fours a lot and rocking back and forth. I think as soon as he gets this sitting thing down pat he will be crawling right away. Jaden sat up at eight months and then scooted for a really long time before he crawled. Brandon seems to be progressing a little faster, but they say that's normal with second kids. He still gets up on average once a night for a bottle. Jaden did this until he was a year old so we just have kind of accepted this with Brandon, as well. Every once in a while he will sleep through the night, but then he tends to wake up at like 5:15/5:30 in the morning. I'd almost rather him get up for five minutes in the middle of the night and then sleep in a little later. He's babbling more, but his favorite noise is a high pitched squeeling noise! He also likes to stick his tongue out and just spit spit spit ;) He has seven teeth - four on the top and three on the bottom. I'm waiting for that fourth tooth on the bottom to make its appearance soon. He loves to be on the go. He gets bored quite easily if we're hanging out in the house for too long. I'm hoping this changes some once he's able to crawl and sit -- maybe then he'll have an easier time entertaining himself. We attempted to take his seven month pictures with his big bear on Saturday morning, but it didn't go very well ;) He kept laughing at the bear so all he wanted to do was try and get the bear's foot in his mouth. Then Jaden was in the room and kept trying to stand up on the crib and reach his hand in to all the pictures. Oh well - here's one of the better ones that we got ;)
After attempting pictures in the morning, we headed out to the Heartland Farms Pumpkin Patch. This is the third year in a row for us, and it is becoming one of my favorite traditions. This year was just as much fun. Jaden loved it. It was pretty cold and very windy but nobody cared. (I did not go prepared so Cody was nice enough to offer me his jacket, and he stood there in short sleeves. Thank goodness I have such a tough hubby) ;) Jaden loved visiting with the animals, and went down the really big slides for the second year in a row. They prop the slides up on big piles of hay to make them go really high and really fast. I had to be at the bottom to catch Jaden cuz he would literally fly right off of it! He also had a good time in the inflatable pumpkin that was set up for kids to jump in. At first, he was too afraid to try it, but then my dad got in there and that was all the convincing Jaden needed ;)

 My dad took this picture, and I love it!

 We took this same picture of Jaden when he was a baby two years ago!

 Here's a picture of the spitting Brandon likes to do ;)

 Jaden kept trying to feed the animals anything that he could find on the ground ;)

 This was kind of crazy... Jaden quickly stuck his hand through the fence, and the horse put Jaden's hand in his mouth! Luckily he just gummed it a bit and didn't bite. My dad had to help pry Jaden's hand out of the horse's mouth!

 Brandon hanging out -- comfy and cozy!

 Here's Jaden's favorite slide!

After the Pumpkin Patch, it was lunch and nap time and then it was game time! The boys did well at the game again. Brandon took a good nap, ate a bottle and ate his baby food while we were there. He made it until halfway through the third quarter, and then Cody had to take him home. They ended up having a good time though after they left. Cody decided he wanted to make his own bird feeders (he loves bird watching) so he and Brandon went to Farm & Fleet together to get supplies, and then after I got home, Cody stood out in the garage working on the bird feeders until 10:30 that night! Jaden and I stayed for the whole game, and then went down on the field aftewards to play for a while.  This is Jaden's favorite thing to do! However, I was a bad mommy and forgot to pack his football. When we got down to the field after the game, he immediately asked for his football, and I had to tell him that I forgot to bring it. For a second he got upset, but then I told him to just run! And he did! He ran from one endzone all the way down the field to the other endzone and then back again. He is just in heaven when he can run, run, run! I get a little nervous with all those other people that are down there throwing footballs all over the place - I keep waiting for Jaden to get clobbered in the head, but we've dodged that so far. He also gave Coach Farley and Coach Dedric a high-five for a great win!

On Sunday we went to church, and Jaden once again had a very good time at Sunday School. When we picked him up he told us that they sang songs about God and that he had fun and wants to go to church again ;) Sunday afternoon, we had family in town at my parents' house. My grandpa (my mom's dad) and some of my cousins hadn't even met Brandon yet so they got to finally meet him, and Jaden got to play with all of my cousin's kids. The ones that were there ranged in age from 6 years old to 1 years old. It was a noisy afternoon!

Now it's Monday again, and unfortunately the business and lack of sleep helped Jaden to come down with a cold. Keeping our fingers crossed that he gets over it quickly and that Brandon doesn't catch it, too!