Archive for the ‘our life’ Category

Paralyzed by Choices

I shouldn’t worry about 20 years from now, right? I should do what I like now, right?

Seems like a bad plan if you’re talking about weight maintenance or budgeting. But that seems like the right approach for home decoration, right?

Here’s my dilemma:
I don’t like my house.

My new-to-me-just-last-year house.

My house that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the location of.

My house that my 2-year-old and I sit on the back deck most mornings and watch for runners and bikers on the trail behind us.

My house that’s just around the corner from my sister, which makes it incredibly easy to say “Sure, send the kids on over – we’re gonna run through the sprinklers!”.

My house that’s paid for (we’re debt free!). My house that’s in a circle, so it doesn’t get much traffic out front.

I have dreams of it burning down and then I get to re-build a ranch or a 2-story. Those should be bad dreams. I see them as a happy dream.

The problem?  My house is just so ‘brown’. Not on the outside, but the inside. I didn’t notice it until we moved in. Brown tile in the entryway, laundry room and powder room. Oak everywhere. Wood linelom floors in the kitchen. Tan carpets. Brown banisters on the staircases. Brown tile in the ‘main’ bathroom. Brown-toned floors in all bathrooms. It’s just brown. I don’t like all that brown.

Seems simple, right? Start getting rid of some of the brown! My husband is on board with me spending money – probably even lots of it by the time all is said and done. But I’m paralyzed.

I’ve had friends in the last few months – 3 or 4 of them – put their houses up for sale. Their houses are beautiful!!! They aren’t huge mansions – most have even been smaller than mine. But you know what I love about them? They aren’t brown!!! Specifically, they have white woodwork. I WANT WHITE WOODWORK!

What’s holding me back? It’s idea that in 20 years, I’m going to hate white woodwork and there’s just no going back. Once you paint it white and it want it to be true wood again, you have to either strip paint (not easy) or replace it all ($$$$).

But I shouldn’t worry about that, right? I should worry about what I love now, right? Cause I love white woodwork and have for a long time.

But I’m paralyzed.

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10 months old!

Stephen is 10 months old.

I think this is my favorite age. (Course, I’ve been saying that for a few months now.) He’s mobile. He sleeps through the night. All you have to do is look at him and he laughs. He can’t climb yet, but he knows how to safely go down steps. It’s just a lot of fun.

He’s on the verge of walking – in fact, he took a few steps last weekend, but it hasn’t progress passed that yet. Probably this month, I’m guessing!

He’s also changed up the way he crawls.  He used to crawl normally, but for the past few weeks, he won’t bend his knees.  Here’s a really fuzzy video:

His scrapbook page:


Here are some recent pictures:




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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!




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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.


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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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