Thursday, August 28, 2008

baby update...

As of yesterday I am 22 weeks along. We (and by we I mean I) had my ultrasound today. Everything looks great with the baby, growing exactly as it should. The doctor said if she had 100 babies at this gestational age (their measurements) ours would be right smack dab in the middle, so not too big, not too small, just perfect (growth attitude...well that remains to be seen). We took Brianna to the ultrasound with us, and she waved at the screen and said "Hi!" to baby. The other day on the way to daycare she stopped what she was doing looked up and said "Mommy, I can't wait until my baby gets here". I'm glad she is excited, hopefully she'll still feel the same way after the baby's arrival. No, we didn't find out the sex of the baby, even the doctor doesn't know because the ultrasound tech took no pictures of the area. Other than that not too much to report, we (the baby and I)are both that is all we could really ask for. OK...back to work. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I figured after my last couple posts I owed you, my faithful readers, (all 2 of you) a few cute pictures, and an update on my evening. Shortly after I posted my last post, the 3 year old tornado came running through the door shouting "mommy! Mommy!" and wrapped her little arms around me. I know this sounds corny, but I absolutely felt the frustration of my day melt away with that hug and that precious smiling face. I had promised her that she could help me make brownies tonight, so she immediately asked if we could make brownies. I've been on a bit of a baking kick lately (and by baking kick I mean I've made bars/brownies the last 2 nights) which considering I've baked nothing (with the exception of B's birthday cake) in about the last 8 months, is a lot for me. I tend not to bake much when I'm trying hard to watch what I eat, because while my willpower is fairly strong...I am human (and I'm a pretty decent baker/cook), so if homemade stuff is around I tend to eat it. Now, Bob buys cookies when he goes to the grocery store...and those very rarely get touched by me (only if I'm extremely desperate and even then I'll usually not eat anything than eat that stuff...weird I know). But I digress, anyway, last night Brianna helped me make chocolate chip cookie bars and tonight we made caramel brownies. She had a blast helping and it was fun for me too.

Child labor-unwrapping caramels

waiting for the brownies to get done baking....and testing last nights creation.

Over the weekend we headed to the Quad Cities (yes again) to take Brianna to the Minus Six show. By now I'm sure you know that she LOVES Minus Six and was so excited to see them in person. Even though she played shy and wouldn't take a picture with any of the guys, she had a great time dancing (and by dancing, I mean Bob holding her and dancing) and really enjoyed Matt playing the sax by her, even though she buried her head in Bob's shoulder. I had to post this picture of her and Alli, because it is so cute.

Anyway, even though I'm still a tad frustrated (I know...I'm trying to let it go), after reading this I feel extremely blessed and thankful for all that I have in my life. Now if you'll excuse me...I'm going to go cuddle with my hubby and the three year old tornado.


Do you ever have those days where everything you do is just frustrating? I've been having one of those weeks. I'm trying to focus in on the good, fun things that have happened this week, but the frustration just pulls me back in.

The things that are frustrating me are mostly other people's lack of concern of how their actions and words affect others. I would never call myself an optimist...I'm a realist...I try to prepare for the most realistic outcome so I'm not disappointed in whatever the outcome is, and am often pleasantly surprised. (OK, I know most people that know me well would say I'm actually a pessimist). But honestly, I really only prepare for the most realistic outcomes when it comes to myself. I still to this day expect the best for the people around me, I'm the one that says "everything will turn out OK in the end" and I truly believe that. I try always to put others happiness in front of my own, and I believe that 95% of the time I'm very conscious of how my actions and words will affect those around me. So, it honestly to this day surprises me when I run into people that really only think about how things affect themselves.

I have to deal with one of these people every single day, and after all this time, day after day...I expect something different from this person, and day after day, I am disappointed. Everyday when I see this person thinking of only their needs, in this moment, and never seeing the bigger picture, and never seeing how this attitude is poisioning those around him/her, it frustrates, saddens, and most of all hurts me. I don't understand after all this time why this person doesn't see that we're all on the same team, all striving for the same goal, and in the end the actions they are taking are causing everything we've been working so hard for crumble.

So that is me in a nutshell today...frustrated.

I'm off to spend some time with my family and to try to relax and enjoy the evening. Tomorrow is a new is to less frustration.
Oh...ultrasound is tomorrow...I'll post after the fun is over :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

weekend update...

Bob was off for the weekend golfing and having a fantasy football draft with some college buddies, so it was just Miss B and I for the weekend. We actually had a really good time, and I only got frustrated with her a couple times! :) Like I've said before, the girl knows how to push my buttons. We spent some time at the pool, went to the store, watched movies and ate popcorn (her favorite) and fell asleep cuddled up on the couch.
Yesterday, Bob and Nancy took her up to the lake to swim and play in the sand, so I enjoyed some time to myself. I aimlessly wandered around Target only picking up a couple things, one thing for Brianna that I was unsure about (a sleepingbag/backpack thing) but it was on clearance, and it was cute, only to find out after Bob got home he had been thinking about getting her something like that as well. (Yay!) After I got home from Target I did a quick clean of the house (by clean...I mean picked up all the crap laying around) and gave myself a pedicure and took a nap. I was planning on going to get a pedicure, but then I decided I was too cheap, and just did it myself, and painted Brianna's toes after she got home.
We missed Bob a lot over the weekend, but it was nice to get to spend some one-on-one time with Brianna. And while the weekend didn't involve wine for me, it did involve M&M's so it was very much a perfect weekend.

One funny story from the weekend, we're working really hard on potty training, but the girl is stubborn (side note...why is it that every time I have a story about Brianna I feel the immediate urge to call my parents and tell them I'm sorry? Yes, the girl is THAT much like me). Anyway, I was trying to get her to go upstairs to the bathroom, and she just wasn't having any of it. She is a 12 year old trapped in a 3 year old's body...she rolled her eyes at me and sighed in a way that said "but mooooom, it is so far up those 15 stairs to the bathroom!" so I carried her upstairs...she was like a sack of potatoes, complete dead weight. I put her on the potty and she slumped over. I was so irritated, but it was hilarious at the same time. The only time she used any muscles at all was to look up at me and smile. What a girl!

Have a good week all!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the unappealing part...

I started reading Jodie's blog right after Abbie started her blog (do you see how I started reading so many started out so innocently). Anyway, I really enjoy Jodie's blog not only because she is an extremely talented photographer and I love looking at her pictures, but because I admire her honesty when it comes to her three adorable children (who are by the way all aged 3 and under) and life in general.
The reason I bring this all up (I swear I have a point) is because about a month ago, Jodie wrote this post challenging her readers to photograph and blog about the unappealing parts of their lives. The dirty dishes, the laundry laying know, generally the stuff you prefer no one knows about or sees. This is part of the honesty that I love about a great deal of the blogging community.
Anyway, long story short...I never thought I would have the courage to post the "unappealing parts" of my life. But tonight, here it is. While this is not dishes in the sink, laundry, etc. This is the part of my life I don't generally want people to see. I mean, they probably see it, but looking at these pictures side by side is quite a different story.
Are you confused yet? See the most unappealing part of my life has also brought me some of my proudest personal moments over the last year and a half. Anyone that knows me in real life is probably aware of this struggle I have with my weight, while I generally don't openly talk about it, it is always there, in the back of my mind...the "ugly" part of my life. Unfortunately, it infiltrates too much of my life. In an effort to regain some control of the it is.

The first picture (red dress) was taken in October of 2006. The second, in November of 2007. And finally the third (black dress) was taken in March of 2008. Obviously, since the last picture I became pregnant and am having a difficult time watching the scale move upward. I know it is necessary, and I know I will regain some control of my body after this baby comes, but somedays that doesn't make it any easier.

That is it, that is my unappealing part (the first picture) and my slow progression to make it not the most unappealing part of my life...I'm guessing it is not exactly what Jodie was thinking when she wrote that post, but it is how I applied it to my life and myself. I'm hoping by putting this out there I can let go of some of the control it has over me.

(told you the tone of some of the posts were going to change :)

Here is to a new week...full of possibilities!

i have a secret...

OK, I probably have more than one, but here it is...I'm a blog junkie. I read on average 25 blogs a day (that is probably a low estimate :). Most of those are ones I read on a regular basis (ie. every day) but sometimes my regular blog reading takes me to other blogs, that a lot of times take me to new blogs that may or may not add to my regular blog reading. Anyway, I'm straying away from my point here...the point is, I love reading blogs. I love hearing about other people's experiences with their children and their lives, it makes me feel normal. It somehow validates those days where I'm so frustrated that I want to run away. Of course I never will, but it makes me feel like I have company during those days.

Some days its really hard for me to write here, because I feel like no one wants to read about the tough parts of life, they just come for the cute pictures of Brianna and the funny stories. But to me that gets boring, the interesting stuff is the way we handle the tough days, the frustrations along with the triumphs. It makes me appreciate the good days even more.

So, with that, the tone of some of the posts may change. I will still post cute pictures of Brianna and tell funny stories and update with the general stuff that is going on with us, but I'm also going to be posting some of the frustrations, fears, and other stuff (for lack of a better term) that accompanies our day-to-day life.

I hope you keep reading, I hope you comment, I hope you laugh, I hope that if you're frustrated, afraid, or just plain tired, you'll find some solace in the things I'm going to write.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

she's a big girl now...

Part of Brianna's birthday present from us (OK...a big part) was a brand new "big-girl" bed. Her crib converted into a daybed, which is what she has been sleeping in for quite some time, but with the baby coming, we needed to reclaim the crib. Anyway, the plan was for us to put together her bed on Friday when we got back from vacation and surprise her with it when we got home from Jake's party on Saturday.

She loved it! Her face was so adorable when she saw it. She laid in it for a long time just smiling. She was excited to sleep in it last night (thats what we were hoping for, maybe bedtime won't be such a big challenge for a while.) Anyway, we are all very excited about her new bed, now if we could just get this potty thing worked would be fantastic!

OK...I'm off to play legos now...I'm posting pictures from vacation, the party and her new bed as we speak, so be patient. But I'll leave you with a couple from her reaction to her new bed.

party at the lake...

We went to Bob and Nancy's yesterday before the birthday party so Bob could regrip some clubs before his upcoming golf/fantasy football trip (is it really time for that again?). So, that is the first time we had seen Brianna in a week...we were greeted at the door by her smiling face and a chorus of "MOMMY! DADDY!" and tons of hugs and kisses.

Then we headed up to the lake and attended Jake's 6th birthday party. It was a great party, they had tons of games for the kids, waterballoon toss, bozo buckets, a pinata, and even a treasure hunt. Brianna had a fabulous time, even though she was extremely tired. Unfortunately it was pretty windy and cool at the lake so she didn't get to go in the water like she wanted, but she did manage to play in the sand for quite some time. :)

Everyone was pretty tired when we got home, but we did manage to play with almost every new toy she got for her birthday before bedtime.


So, after Brianna's birthday party at my parents house, Bob, Nancy, Brian, & Mary took Brianna back to Crystal Lake for the week. Bob and I headed to Galena to spend the week relaxing and playing golf (Bob). We rented a little place in Eagle Ridge and had a wonderful time. Bob golfed, I read (4 books...I don't know the last time I did that, or had the chance to do that). We spent one afternoon walking around Galena and visiting the shops. Picking out a couple little things for Brianna.
One of which is this shirt which we found completely adorable and hysterical. (Brianna loved it too). We stayed Sunday through Friday morning and are both a little sad about going back to work tomorrow. I think I could use a week at home catching up on all the stuff that needs to be done around here, as I'm sitting in the living room with the sun streaming in the windows and illuminating the plethora of cobwebs and dust in here. All-in-all it was a great vacation, but we did miss Brianna a lot. Unfortunately, she did get sick while we were away. :( Thankfully, it only lasted 24 hours and she was back to her old self. We are happy to be back home, I missed the craziness and the noise of our little 3 year old tornado.

Monday, August 04, 2008

brianna's birthday...

How is it possible that this little girl is 3? (Although most days she thinks she is 12). We had a great weekend in Iowa. Friday was the Relay for Life, we stayed all night...but I'm not so sure we'll be doing that totally messed up her sleeping for the entire weekend.

But it was fun, and always makes me think about how cancer has impacted my life and those of the people around me. On that thought...I don't think I have posted this but my friend from high school's little girl, Claire, had her last round of chemo last week. They did a CT scan a few weeks back and it showed...NO TUMOR! We are so happy and excited for them, we of course will keep them in our prayers so that little Claire stays healthy for a very long time.

Saturday, we had a few people over to break the pinata we got for Brianna, to have a little bit of a celebration on her actual birthday since we were having her party the next day. It was a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed the candy. :)

Sunday was Brianna's actual party and Grandma Nancy, Papa Bob, Brian, and Mary made the trip to IA to help her celebrate. Great-Grandma Kramer and Great-Grandma Felton were also there, and of course Papa Lester, Grandma Susan, Angie, Braden, and Jackson. We had a great time and Brianna was very spoiled.

Brianna headed back to Illinios with Papa Bob and Grandma Nancy, to spend the week with them. Bob and I headed to Galena for the week for a little vacation. We are so far enjoying ourselves, except for the thunderstorms that have been on and off all day. Bob did enjoy his first round of golf this afternoon, in between the storms. I have enjoyed a couple naps and a book and a half already (my idea of a perfect vacation).

Have a great week all!
Birthday pictures are uploading, but there are a few so it may take a while.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Sweet Girl~

I know you didn't really think I'd let today go by without writing you my annual birthday post. (Not that you can read yet...but someday you'll be able to). This year has been so different from the last two, for one I usually have been working on this post for a couple of days before your birthday, instead of writing it on the fly like I'm doing tonight. For another, this is the last birthday where you will be our "only" baby.

I sit here and wonder how the last 3 years have gone so this stubborn little girl has grown to replace my chubby little baby. When I look at you, I still see that little baby, but that picture is quickly fading in my mind, and is being replaced by the girl you are becoming.

You and I don't always see eye-to-eye. Lots of people say this is because you are just like me...and that is probably true...don't tell anyone, but I know you are just like me, that's what scares me.

There are so many things I want to say to you, so many mistakes I'd love to keep you from making, so much pain I'd love to keep you from experiencing...but those things are all part of life and growing up. Everyday I watch you grow and become more independent, and yes you fall down and get hurt. But I hope that I've given you (and continue to give you) the courage to get up, dust yourself off, and learn from your mistakes. Most of all I hope you have faith in me that I will always be there to hug you, dry your tears, and encourage you to keep trying.

Being your mom has given me such immense joy over the last three years, even on the days where you've pushed me to my limits, because even on your worst days, when I look in your eyes I see my baby.

I hope you had a fun day today sweetheart, I know it was tough with the mixed up schedule, but I still hope it was the best birthday so far. You are so very very loved little girl.

I'm not sure that any of this makes sense (thats why I usually plan this better). But bottom will always be my baby, my little girl, and I love you with all of my heart.

When you make your birthday wish tomorrow, I'll be making a wish too. That you stay little just a little bit longer...I know you want to be "bigger" but stay Mommy's little girl for a little while, OK?

I love you sweet girl.
Happy Birthday!