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Highs and Lows

They say “bad things come in threes”, don’t they?  Or is that good things that come in threes?  Either way, these past couple of weeks have seen some highs and lows.  It’s at the point that it’s kind of comical.

(This is, by no means, an exhaustive list.)

  • I got promoted at work.
  • My nephew broke his ‘shin’ bone and is casted from his upper thigh to his toes.  He’s 7.  Just 3 days before school went back for the fall.
  • I turned 35.
  • We started potty training Phinehas.  I thought it started well.
  • It isn’t going well right now and it’s been a week and a half.  “Not going well” = lots of accidents (more than successes) and some protesting.
  • He still loves wearing his “unders” though.
  • Last Friday, I didn’t have a plan for dinner, so I took a meal out of the freezer that I had frozen.  I didn’t wrap it well cause my burritos were soggy and gross.  Even I wouldn’t eat them.
  • Then Saturday, since we didn’t have the leftover burritos to have for lunch, I made a frozen pizza.  Burned it.  Still edible, but who burns a frozen pizza?
  • Yesterday, I tried a new recipe and it wasn’t very good. Edible, but not very good.
  • Phinehas also went upstairs and made “ba bas for the baby” (bottles), which consisted of him dumping formula into a bottle that he got open. And shaking it.  I took a picture cause it was a mess!
  • Today, I was baking 4 pounds of chicken when my oven stopped working.  The new one we bought 2 months ago!  It’s all electronic and stuff and it just won’t heat.  It won’t take the temperature you try to set it to and says “Function Not Available.”  Who has ever heard of an oven where you can’t heat it!?  Arg!  Serviceman coming on Wednesday.  Pizza ordered for dinner.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been cranky lately.  Mostly ‘easily irritated’ would be a good description.  Just all kinds of doubts that I’m good at this mothering thing.  This wife thing.  This human thing.

The good news?  My car is regularly starting! And the microwave isn’t broken!  Nor is the dishwasher or the fridge!

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We’ve been in the “we just had a baby/have a young baby, so we better stay home” mindset for, oh, over 2 years now.  But a couple of weeks ago, we took a chance and went somewhere as a family that was purely an optional thing.  Like we weren’t going to someone’s house for a family dinner.  And we weren’t on our way to church.  We just decided that “hey, I don’t think it’d be too bad for all 4 of us to go out, so let’s see how this goes.”

And it went really, really well!  Stephen’s dropping his morning nap most days, so we’ve kind of learned that going out in the morning work out okay.  In the last two weeks, we’ve started venturing out more and more, just to do fun things.  It hasn’t been without some tears, but they’ve all been manageable!

In particular, last weekend, we went to Mahoney State Park since Jeff’s company was having its company picnic out there.  We ate lunch and then went to the Activity Center — so much fun!  It only costs $2/person (and kids 2 and under are free), but it was free to us that day because Jeff’s company picked up the tab.  They have a huge kid’s indoor playground — like the kind at McDonald’s or Chic-Fil-A.  But…it’s 3 stories tall!  We left after 90 minutes, but Phinehas would’ve stayed if he could have.  He loved it!  Which is not surprising because he climbs everything!  Really, everything.

Since the revelation that getting out isn’t so tough, I enjoy getting out more for a few reasons:

  • It’s just fun to make memories!  Even if they boys don’t remember, we will.
  • It’s an easy opportunity to play with our kids.  Playing is a kid’s love language.
  • It provides good opportunities to help Finn become more obedient and, yet, independent.  Letting him walk by himself (as long as he stays close) — that kind of thing.
  • It builds skills that normally can’t be taught at home – like meeting people and climbing onto big ropes and taking turns.
  • It builds camaraderie.  Yeah, our kids won’t remember these days 20 years from now.  But there is something good and right about sharing fun experiences that helps bond people (including parents and kids) together.  So helpful for those moments where we do have to correct.

I still really like us being at home — I’m still a ‘home body’.  I don’t like always having something to do.  But getting out of the house all together for a couple of hours a week has been a lot of fun lately!

PicnicFun

 

 

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I’m living them.

I’m now dubbing July 5th the “Day After the 4th of July”. As far as I am now concerned, the day after Independence Day is ALL ABOUT recovering from the 4th of July. (That and that it’s also my brother’s birthday!)

We went to Jeff’s hometown yesterday (90 minutes away) to celebrate cause they celebrate it with homemade ice cream, a party with neighbors and lots of fireworks.  I’ve been going with Jeff since the first year that we were dating. But, now, things have changed. Instead of just hopping in the car and going, we fill the trunk with:

  • 2 pack-n-plays
  • diapers enough for an army (in 2 sizes and in regular-version and overnight-version)
  • baby food and formula
  • snacks for the car ride
  • blankets for sleeping
  • extra outfit “in case something happens”
  • pajamas
  • baby friendly toys
  • baby monitor

We brought a lot of stuff. And we actually used most of it except for the extra outfits.

The good news: The 2-year-old actually took a nap on the way there. (He hasn’t had a morning nap in over a year.)
The bad news: He never napped again and didn’t fall asleep until 11:00 when we finally hit the road to go home.
The worse news: He woke up at 5:00 AM this morning. It took a sippy cup of milk and Jeff sleeping with him to get him to sleep til 6:15 am.

To say the least, he’s had a rough day.

I try to remind myself to “enjoy these moments because they don’t last” and I find myself grateful that they don’t last. I’m grateful that in a few years, I won’t have to worry about:

  • Whether his diaper is too full
  • Where to dump the dirty, really smell diaper when we’re at Grandma’s house.
  • How he’s skipped a nap and wondering when the meltdown will occur.
  • Is he being too rough with the mini blinds because he wants to see the ducks?
  • What he broke that can’t be replaced.

In a few years, I also won’t have to stop eating steak lunch because he’s “DONE MAMA DONE!” and I can’t trust him un-monitored in the living room. Those are some rough moments. I know. I’m living them.

But in a few years, I won’t…

  • Have a little one on my lap curled with his blankie.
  • Get to listen to babbling from the backseat as he “talks” himself to sleep.
  • Get to hear neighbors say “What beautiful blue eyes your boys have!” or “Wow, they’re so blonde!”
  • Get to see the excitement that a little one has when they see “fwireworks” in the sky.
  • Help someone cover their head with their blanket so that they can see their glow-in-the-dark bracelet better when it’s darker.
  • Have anyone squeal in delight just because I looked at them.

Those are wonderful moments. I know. I’m living them.

July4thCollage

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Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

41.That today is the primary election day.  I’ll be voting, but really, I’m grateful that a huge chunk of the political ads and phone calls will end!

42. Kids that nap at the same time.

43. Kraft Mac & Cheese Shapes.  Love ‘em!

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Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

40. Having a large extended family!  Going to a cousin’s graduation party means that there are at least 1 grandma, 4 aunts and 3 cousins who want to hold your baby.  And at least 2 cousins and 3 kids-of-cousins who want to play with your toddler!

41. Recipes that double really easily and make 14 burritos for the freezer!

42. Book recommendations from friends – especially ones that are at the public library!

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Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

37.  A lawn mower that works!

38.  That we’re debt free!!!!  Mortgage paid off!  Secret to our success: Income greater than expenses.  Extra money toward the mortgage!

39. Not having to pay First National Bank’s mortgage company $1000 next month!  Hello savings account!

 

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Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

34.  Husbands willing to run a quick errand for me on his way home from work.

35. Cousins that are teachers and can be used as babysitters in the summer!

36. The ability to walk from my house to my sister’s house in less than 3 minutes – and that’s with a toddler in tow.

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Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

31. Crockpots that help cook delicious meals in an easy way.

32.  Jelly roll pans that help make desserts – enough for my husband and I both to take some to work.

33. Appliances that are 25+ years old, but are still cooking, washing and refrigerating!

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Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

28. Toddlers who are learning boundaries of the yard and mostly obey them – makes it possible to do yard work with them in the yard.

29. This Lasagna Roll recipe — delicious for dinner last night and makes amazing leftovers for today!

30. Getting paid every other week from my company and once a month from my husband’s.  It’s nice to see income!

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Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

25. That my family doesn’t have any food allergies.  That makes preparing food much easier!

26. My husband re-discovering reading!  We looked up Hugo Award winners (Sci Fi writing) and checked out some of those titles from the library.

27. That not all my neighbors are ‘strange’ (just one of them!).

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