Sunday, August 29, 2010

too tired to celebrate...

So today marks the 5th year of my little piece of blogland. And while I feel I should write something inspiring, profound, or brain is on haitus. I have so much to write about the fantastic weekend we spent with some of my very favorite people, but it will have to wait for another day. For tonight I will just tell you that after coming home from said weekend, we had to take Mr. Bryce to urgent care and we now have our first set of stitches in the house. He was running and hit his head on the door at grandma's house. So the little man has 5 stitches in the middle of his forehead. He was very brave, but kicked and screamed during the sutures. This mama's heart broke into a million pieces. He is fine, but I think mom and grandma are going to take some time to heal! He was all smiles by the time we left Bob and Nancy's tonight, the cut doesn't bother him at all...he probably would have been perfectly happy had we just left it alone. Anyway, that is all I can write tonight, but I promise to be back soon, if I don't melt first. It is 89 degrees in our house right 10:30pm! Yikes!
Happy Birthday to my little piece of the internet...the only baby book my kids will probably ever have! :)
goodnight all!

Oh by the way...Greening Sam and Avery have extended this month's camping challenge through the Labor Day weekend. So you still have time to take your kids camping and be entered to win a great giveaway. (I really want you to do this, but part of me doesn't because the stuff she is giving away is awesome and if you enter, my chances get worse...BUT, go do it anyway because it is fun and I adore Abbie!) :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

a big fail... is a big fail. The jar thing...well, it isn't going so well. Today I endured 2+ hours of whining and crying about how she can't pick up her room and it is just too hard and she needs help. I was calm and reminded her about her jar. She asked for a snack, I calmly told her no, she didn't get a snack until her room was picked up. (This was all after she cried and screamed because she didn't like the lunch I made her...and that I wouldn't give her chocolate milk). Of course Daddy came home and her room wasn't picked up. I gave her more time, told her to get it picked up and then come say hi to Daddy, she looked like she was going to get it done. Nope. 20 minutes later it looked exactly the same. Here we are at 7:30, she is in bed for the night (a good 2 hours before she normally goes to bed) and her most prized possessions removed from her room. I did not lose my temper, I did not yell. I tried talking to her calmly and listened to her feelings, but I don't feel any closer to an answer. I feel broken. I want to cry. I want to scream. I know she is 5 and I know I expect a lot out of her, but it is nothing she isn't capable of. She is very articulate most of the time, but when I ask her why it is so hard for her and what makes it hard she can't tell me, she can't find the words. I just don't know what to do. I'm tired of the yelling, the whining, the anger and frustration that falls over my family on nights like these. I know this is all just the beginning of the battles we will face, and it seems dramatic to be sitting here crying over this, but I feel heartbroken that I can't effectively communicate with my 5 year the hell are we ever going to make it through the stuff when she is 15?

Monday, August 23, 2010

the jar...

Lately we've had a bit of a problem getting Brianna to pick up her room. Now, I am of the belief that it is her room and we are not expecting it to be spotless, but you need to be able to walk on the floor and find the bed back. I don't think that is too much to ask of a 5 year old. She can destroy her room in 5 seconds but whines and complains when we tell her it is time to pick up. She says it is too hard and she needs help. Usually this goes on and on and everyone gets mad, and nothing ever changes. So I had read somewhere (I can't for the life of me remember where or I would give credit)about a family that had a jar for each of their kids. They had a list of chores and how many marbles they were worth. When a chore was completed they got to put that many marbles in their jar. When the jar was full they were offered 3 options for a prize. Now we are going to scale that down a bit. The only thing we are working on is picking up her room before Bob gets home from work and me asking her to do it no more than 2 times. We have agreed that when her jar is full we will take her to Chuck-e-Cheese. I have no idea if this will work, but it is worth a shot. I am tired of fighting with her over this. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

linky dinky do...

It is Thursday, I am supposed to be packing, so I am doing what any good procrastinator would do, I'm blog hopping and looking at stuff on Etsy! You're welcome! :)

My sister showed me this blog the other day, and I am amazed by it! Makes me want to learn how to sew...NOW!

This was a great post that I read today. It goes along with my attempt to appreciate all the small things, but it was a great reminder.

There are some seriously creative people out there. I love looking at things on Etsy! I wish I had 1/2 the creativity of these people!

These are ridiculously adorable.

Seriously, things this cute should be outlawed.

Even though I make my own jewelry...I think this is a perfect everyday necklace.

LOVE this!

Lastly...go over to Greening Sam and Avery and comment on the guest posts this week. She is having a great giveaway. After you're done with that, read all the other posts and comment on those too!

Monday, August 16, 2010

taking on the august challenge...

Abbie over at Greening Sam and Avery has been issuing monthly challenges to her readers. Things that push them out of their comfort zones. Well August's challenge was to go camping with your kids, not in a camper or a cabin, but in a tent. We have not really ever been camping with the kids, Brianna has (sort of) slept in a tent at the Relay for Life the last couple of years, but generally that ends up with her screaming her head off in the middle of the night freaked out about being in a tent. So, while I really did want to do this, I was very afraid of what might happen! I asked my sister if she would want to "camp out" with her oldest (who is almost 5) while we were at our parents this last weekend. Mom and dad had a party for all of the people who helped them renovate their house and move last year so after we had spent all day outside at the party (complete with a bonfire) we set up the tent and camped out with the 2 older kids. Now, calling it camping might be a stretch since we really just slept in the tent, but with Brianna's track record, I thought that was a big enough step for this time around. We didn't get to bed until abotu 12:30/1am so the kids fell right asleep. It was a pretty mild night so we didn't need too many blankets. The kids had sleeping bags and were perfectly warm (Brianna slept in a nightgown). I got a little chilly in the middle of the night but it really was pretty nice. Other than my sister waking up to a spider crawling on her, the night was pretty uneventful. The kids even slept until 7:30 am (which is later than her son sleeps when he is inside)! I really want to do this again with Brianna and cook dinner oustide and really camp (even if it is only in our backyard). We'll see if we get a chance to do that anytime soon. Since we are gone every weekend it is hard to squeeze this in, but we're going to try. The August Challenge was a success in my book!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

i'm not really here...

Just popping in to let you know I'm guest blogging over at Greening Sam and Avery today! Go check out my post and leave a comment. Abbie, the brains behind Greening Sam and Avery is having a giveaway during her week of guest bloggers!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately and how they change. Every year, I try to plan a gathering with the 5 girls that I lived with at Knox (and their husbands/significant others). Every year this gets a little more difficult. We became friends over 10 years ago, it amazes me to say that. These girls are such a huge part of my life and I miss them dearly. I look forward to this gathering every year. And while in the last 5 years we've never had all of us in attendance, we all do the best we can to be with each other for one weekend a year. Going back to the way friendships change...we were friends when we were just girls, going to bars, laughing for hours in each others rooms, trying to figure out where our lives were taking us and where we wanted to go and of course studying hard! And now, 10 years later we are a collection of teachers, moms, wives, girlfriends, travelers, museum workers and human resource managers, we are a successful group of women. We are all at different places in our lives, but when we're together we are those girls again. These women fill up my soul, being with them is like being home. It may be a headache to get us all together, but in those first few minutes together...I know it is all worth it. I hope they all know how much they mean to me, both individually and as a group. Love you and can't wait to see you!

Monday, August 09, 2010

relay wrap up (aka the post where i jump on my soapbox)...

Well hello there everyone! We got back home this afternoon from a fullfilling albeit exhausting weekend. Friday our relay team pumped gas at the Casey's across the street from where the Relay was being held. People were super generous and gave over $600 in the 10 hours we pumped gas. In the end, our little team (my mom, grandma, aunt, uncle and myself) raised $2300 for the American Cancer Society.
As I was walking early Saturday morning (around 3am) I was mentally writing a blog post, I thought about it all day on Saturday and for most of today, so I guess it is time to write it down. I probably should have written this earlier, but I guess as I was walking I was thinking about why I personally do this. Why I take myself out of my comfort zone and ask people to donate money and pump gas for strangers. Here is a little about why I do this.

As you know, my grandpa passed away 5 years ago in January from lung cancer. At the time of his diagnosis and subsequent tests he was told that the good news was that his cancer was slow growing and responded well to treatment. Unfortunately, it turned out that in his case neither was true, 7 weeks from the day he was diagnosed, he passed away. There is so much about this disease we just don't know, and will never know until we have the money to study it and come up with new treatments, new ways to tackle it. The speaker at the relay told her story, which included her mother dying of cancer, 14 years later this woman was diagnosed with the exact same type of cancer, Stage Four non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She has survived the same disease that killed her mother, we have made advances in the treatment, but it can't stop, there are still too many people dying of this disease. We can't sit around and wait for "someone else" to do something about this. WE have to fight, WE have to raise money, WE have to do something. My children were robbed of their great-grandpa because of this disease, I know raising money and walking for 12 hours one night a year won't bring him back, but if I, in any small way, can help some other child have days, weeks, months, or even years with their great-grandpa then I will keep doing this every year, and I will keep asking people for money, and I will keep giving my money. I urge you all to go to a Relay if you've never been, watch the survivor lap, listen to the speaker, and stay for the luminary ceremony...I promise you it is worth it.

Friday, August 06, 2010

note to not travel at night...

It seems to me that traveling with small children (say 5 and 1 1/2), it would be a good idea to travel at night. They are tired, it is bedtime, cars make kids sleepy. Apparently not my kids, or I should say kid. Brianna has always been a great traveler. She slept when she was little and when she got a little older she would sleep or play with dolls or "read" books. Never a problem. Bryce on the other hand has been a horrific traveler from the start. He sleeps only about 1/2 hour to an hour on our 3 1/2 hour drive to my parents house. This wouldn't bother me except that he feels the need to scream bloody murder for the rest of the time unless being constantly entertained. Yes, we have a dvd player, and no it doesn't help. Pretty much the only way to keep him from screaming is to keep shoving fruit snacks at him. (Not a great plan, but you haven't heard that kid scream in the car). Tonight he slept about an hour and a half and then just kicked, screamed, flailed around. It was horrible. I climbed in the back to sit next to him and he hit me, didn't want to have anything to do with me. I know he is just tired and doesn't particularly like being restrained, but geesh! We spend so much time in our car and I am now dreading the next few weeks because we'll be making this trip 2 more times before August is done. Anyone have any suggestions? Besides the obvious...STAY HOME ALREADY! That isn't really an option at this point, but I am going to heed that advice in the future. I'm begging you blogland....HELP!! Now I must go try to sleep because I have to be up at the butt crack of dawn (4:45-5am) to go pump gas with our Relay team to raise some more money! If you are in or around the Dyersville area...we'll be at Casey's from 6am until 4pm. Stop in and say hi...I'll be the one with the toothpicks holding my eyelids up! :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

birthday party recap...

Saturday we had a little birthday party for Brianna with the immediate family. It was a fairly laid back party and I think everyone had fun. :) Thanks to everyone for coming and for spoiling the birthday girl. She got some much needed new clothes which she modeled for us Saturday night! She had a great time and so did we! All the pictures will be up soon, but for now here is the birthday girl with her cake!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

i really looked...

The kids seemed so much bigger after a week at my mom and dad's house. As we sat in church Saturday night and Bryce was asleep in my arms, I couldn't help but just stare at him and try to memorize everything about him. How incredibly long his eyelashes are and how they curl perfectly. His little button nose (I think the one trait he got from me). His little dimple in his chin, everything about him still looks (to me) sort of like a baby. BUT, when he is awake he is all little boy and I don't see the baby anymore. I am trying my best to cherish the times that the kids will let me hold them, with both kids the times are becoming fewer and far between. A week away from my kids brought me a perspective that I didn't even know I needed. It was great to have a break and I know they had a blast, but I'm happy to have them back home and in my arms! (But ask me again tomorrow and the answer may be different! I kid, I kid!)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

bathroom remodel...

While the kids were gone last week, I tackled a huge project we've been talking about for sometime, redoing our bathroom. Sunday after we got home from IA we went to Lowes and picked up all the stuff we needed. Monday was spent tearing down drywall and tile and putting up the new tub surround walls. Tuesday the drywall went up and the first coat of drywall mud went on. Wednesday second coat of drywall mud went up and Bob and I spent the rest of the night shampooing carpets and cleaning most of the house. Thursday I painted the bathroom and Friday the finishing touches went into the bathroom and the project was complete!! There is no way in the world I would have been able to complete this project in a week without my father-in-law, Bob's help. Thank you soo soo soo much!! And now without further ado...the remodel in pictures!

Monday, August 02, 2010

my whole world changed 5 years ago today...

Dear Brianna,
Wow! I cannot believe you are turning 5 today...I still think of you as that tiny baby with the little tiny chicken legs that we brought home from the hospital. I don't think I ever wrote down your birth story, so in honor of your 5 years on this earth, here is the story of your, and really our beginning.
It was a Monday night and I had just showered, that was the only way I could sleep anymore was to take a shower right before bed, I was uncomfortable and slow moving, even though I had 4 weeks to go. I laid in bed tossing and turning trying to find a way to sleep, with your daddy (of course) completely zonked out next to me. As I laid on my side trying to turn my brain off long enough to doze off I felt a little pop. Strange, but I didn't think much of it. Then I had to go to the bathroom, no surprise since I was getting up about 10 times a night anyway. When I got to the bathroom I knew my water had broke. I yelled for your daddy, he woke up startled and confused, but quickly jumped into action calling the hospital, packing our bags and putting the (uninstalled) carseat into the car. Remember you weren't supposed to be arriving for 4 weeks and we were not prepared at all. I could not stop smiling as your daddy raced around frantic. I stopped him and hugged him and said "you're going to be a daddy!". We drove to the hospital, your daddy freaking out about how we weren't ready and me bouncing up and down like a kid on Christmas morning. We finally get settled in at the hospital and I call your Grandma Susan at 1:30am to tell her we are at the hospital. She did not believe me. Not sure why she thought I'd be joking with her, but she was just as surprised as everyone else that you were going to make your entrance so soon. We settled in to wait, I wasn't having contractions so this was (most likely) going to take a while. I don't remember a ton of details between the hours of 1:30am and about 3:30pm the next afternoon. Grandma Nancy showed up at the hospital to wait for your arrival and I talked on the phone to work and your Aunt Angie during some of that time and we sat pouring over the baby books for a name, we didn't really know what your name was going to be. We had a boys name picked out but were tossing around a couple girls names, so nothing was decided for sure. Around 3:30pm it was time to push. I heard the doctor say to the nurse that I was going to be pushing for a while, I thought to myself...oh no...I am tired and I am ready to meet this baby! Daddy was such a great help, even though he was a bundle of nerves. About 30 minutes later you arrived (I found out later that you were born face up instead of face down like you were supposed to be, wanting to do things your own way from the start). The doctor said you were perfect with 10 fingers and 10 toes and then one of the nurses said "what is it, boy or girl??" Your daddy and I looked at each other and and thought...oh yeah, we don't know. The doctor said you were a girl. They asked what your name was going to be and daddy and I looked at each other and I said Paige hesitantly and daddy said "how about Brianna Paige?" the nurses let out a collective "awww" and we knew we had a winner. I called Grandma Susan and they were just outside of Cascade when you were born and then called Aunt Angie to tell her she had a niece. Grandma Nancy was the first person to meet and hold you (besides daddy and me of course). Papa Bob was at the golf course caddying for Uncle Brian, so daddy called the course and they put up a little notice on the leaderboard (we still have that). I remember calling Dawn, Alli, Marty, Jenn, Audrey, Jill and especially Amanda. When I talked to Amanda she was in the airport waiting on a flight. I told her we had a baby girl and she said "no you didn't" and I argued with her that we did in fact have a baby and didn't she hear her crying in the background? She told me she thought it was a doll! As soon as her flight landed she picked up Ben and came to the hospital to see you. There are so many other details I know I'm forgetting at this moment, but you get the idea of the day you came into the world, so many people excited and happy to meet you, but none more than me and your daddy.

At 4:11pm on Tuesday August 2nd, 2005 a 5lb 12oz baby girl changed our world. My world is immeasurably better with you in it. Thank you for making my life much more colorful and vibrant. My beautiful baby girl, I love you more than you possibly know.
Happy 5th Birthday Chicken!

Love always and forever,