Friday, December 31, 2010

i'm somewhere else this morning, but i'll be back later...

Go check out my birth stories over at Unexpectant.  Thanks so much to Meagan and Unexpectant for letting me share.  Go check out some other stories on there as well, if you are like me and hearing about people's birth stories you will love this site!  There are some amazing stories out there!  Happy reading!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

the aftermath...

Our living room looks like a toy store exploded, there are dirty dishes sitting in the sink, and I am sitting in my pajamas, is definitely the day after Christmas.  The kids got a lot of great gifts, wooden food, lincoln logs, puzzles, games...tons of stuff for imaginative play.  LOVE those kinds of gifts. Bob's family came over and we ate, played with the kids, worked on a puzzle and played a card game.  It was such a great day.  Today however, I am exhausted.  I would love nothing more than to curl up in bed with a new book  and alternate between reading and napping, but I will instead get my butt up, clean up the kitchen and submit to the many requests to "play with me" and "help me', because really...isn't that what the aftermath of Christmas is really about?   We still have some Christmas to celebrate this week and we are excited to see more family, but maybe I can have a nap first...otherwise I might not make it through!  Enjoy your Sunday of aftermath everyone!!  
**new pictures on shutterfly**

Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry christmas...

From my family to yours I wish you the very merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years.  May God bless you and yours during this holiday season and throughout the new year.  I have so many things to be thankful for, including this little corner of the Internet.  It has given me an outlet when I so desperately needed one, thank you each for taking this journey with me and I hope you'll stick around to see what is coming next!  Health, Love and Happiness to you all!!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Holiday time (especially Christmas), for me is about traditions.  As a kid (and even now on the years we are in Iowa) we always went to Christmas Eve mass and then came home to have homemade pizza for dinner.  Every year...without fail, I love it.  Now that I have a family of my own we are trying to develop our own traditions.  It is a little hard to do since we spend every other Christmas away from home (not that I'm complaining, mind you) but we try our best to make each Christmas special and are still trying to find our way with the traditions.  I'm still a fan of going to Christmas Eve mass, so that has become a tradition for us and of course if Santa comes the kids always open his presents on Christmas morning.  It, to me, is interesting in ways we blend our families traditions, I feel like we have kept more of my family traditions but have adapted them in small ways.  How do you adapt your traditions or create your own?  I would love to hear what your family traditions are.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  May you and your families have many blessings over the coming days. Much love, peace and happiness to you blogland!

**THIS  is one of the many reasons I love the blogging community.  Merry Christmas!!**

Monday, December 20, 2010

first christmas celebration of 2010...

Yesterday was the first of our Christmas celebrations for this year.  We went to Bob and Nancy's (in-laws for those of you who are new here) to celebrate with the Caruso side of the family.  There was lots of good food and conversation and the kids enjoyed playing with each other.  My favorite part of the celebration was that it wasn't focused around presents.  Yes, there were presents for the kids, which they of course loved, but it was more just centered around being together and being a family.  Obviously presents are a big part of Christmas, I am just as guilty of it as anyone...(I'll take a picture Christmas morning to prove it to you), but I love when the bigger picture comes shining though.  I feel so very blessed to not only have the family that I was born into but also the one I married into.  We are surrounded by such love and support and that was pretty evident to me yesterday.  Christmas is here...I feel it.  (I have no pictures...sorry!)

friday was better...

On Friday I did manage to only check my email right away in the morning and then the kids and I played in Bryce's room until lunchtime.  We built things with blocks, played cars, put puzzles together, read books and watched a movie.  There was only a little fighting.  That is not to say the entire day went smoothly and that the time I spend working on the computer is the source of all our problems, it certainly isn't.  Our afternoons are always the roughest part of the day, I'm not sure why...but we/I always struggle during that time.  My patience seems shorter the kids seem crabbier, I don't know what our issue is but we definitely struggle.  Maybe we need a little more structure in our afternoon?  It is just hard because Bryce's naps are so sporadic lately so I never know if/when and for how long he'll nap.  Friday was no different, we had our moments and dinner again was a disaster.  But when everyone was finally down for the night I felt good about the day.  I guess that is a step in the right direction.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

today...was not the best day...

I'm really struggling tonight.  I am tired, overwhelmed, and irrationally upset.  I can say it is the kids behavior and part of it is.  (listening is a real struggle around here these days).  Bryce doesn't ever want to eat.  Brianna was never a picky child, she pretty much ate whatever we put in front of her or she'd at least try it.  Bryce, pretty much refuses to eat anything we give him.  Oh, give him some poptarts, cereal or cookies and he can eat a truckload, but try to get him to eat some chicken or hamburger it is like we're trying to kill him.  Lets understand something here, I'm not asking him to eat a whole steak, just a few bites of protein every now and then so I know he isn't going to starve anytime soon.  He just messes around at dinner until everyone is mad and yelling and he is sent to bed.  But, is there more to it than that?  We've been working a lot these days...Bob with his job and me with my few clients here and there, but we both spend a lot of time at the computer.  Bob has been working from home the last few weeks due to some construction at his office so he is here, but not available to the kids (as it should be...I'm not complaining about this).  I'm starting to wonder if their acting out is because it is the way they get undivided attention from us.  This realization makes my heart hurt, it makes me sad and makes me feel like I'm failing as a mom.  So, over the next few weeks I'm making a conscious effort to close the laptop to stop working and checking my email while the kids are awake, to be more involved in their day-to-day, to play more, yell less and to make sure they hear "yes" when they ask to play instead of "in a minute". I still have to be at my computer a certain number of times a day, but for the rest of this year (and hopefully beyond) I'm making an effort to only be on here during set times.  I don't want to feel like a failure anymore.  I know this is not the magic "fix-all" but I think it is a start.


Since we got back from my parents on Monday Bryce has not slept well.  He will wake up and refuse to go back to sleep.  I'm usually a fan of cry it out, but this child is stubborn.  He will scream until you go in his room.  So, instead of letting him sleep in our bed, we have been going in his room and sleeping on the futon.  He has also been refusing to sleep in his bed and will instead sleep on the futon.  So last night I went in there, unfolded the futon and laid down with him.  I swear that 25lb boy is really a 400lb man.  He takes up SO much room!  I got sleep in about 10 minute spurts because he flails around so much I was constantly getting a foot to the face, elbows to the abdomen, fingers trying to poke out my eyes.  Very restful as you might imagine.  And when he is not trying to injure me, he is trying to fall off the side of the futon.  I'd startle awake and see him with his body hanging off the futon, of course head first so I'd pull him back on the bed which led to an additional 15 minutes of flailing around.  In addition to all of this fun the kid snores and talks in his sleep like crazy.  It is crazy. AND if that wasn't enough, usually if he wakes up before I do he starts using me as a jungle gym and climbing, standing and even jumping all over me!  So if you ever run into me and I have a black eye or a giant bruise on my arm, just know that I didn't get into a fight I was trying to be a good mom and comforting my child while he attempted to sleep.  For this morning I'm sitting with a giant cup of coffee and knowing it was all worth while because this morning he woke up, put his little hand on my face, and said "nice mama".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Geesh, I average a post a day in November and then December comes along and I am back to my slacking, neglectful ways.  I sort of expected it though, December is such a crazy month with Bryce's birthday and the holidays.  I cannot believe that Christmas is only 10 days away!  It should feel more like Christmas to me since my shopping is done, wrapping is done and the Christmas cards are out, but I'm just starting to feel the holiday spirit.  As much as I tell myself every year I'm going to slow down and enjoy this time, there just always seems to be so much stuff to do and squeeze in.  Last Thursday Angie and I decided to make an impromptu trip to Iowa to do some holiday baking.  It was fun to be together and bake cookies and make candy.  The kids had a great time playing together, but  were slightly rotten  terrible rambunctious during the time we were there.  We of course picked the weekend that there was a blizzard warning to go and ended up staying an extra night.  Our usual 3 to 3 1/2 hour drive home was more like 4 on Monday, but we made it home safe and sound and only a slightly stressed out mama!  We start our Christmas festivities this weekend with the Caruso family on Sunday.  Bob is on vacation (starting Friday) for the next two weeks and we're hoping to be able to squeeze in a movie sometime in the next two weeks and we have plans for dinner with some friends.  We are here (in Illinois) for Christmas this year and then traveling to Iowa for New Years.  I'm excited to spend the next couple of weeks surrounded by family and friends, we are so very blessed.  I promise to be back at least a couple of more times before the end of the year!  Until then, here are some pictures of my latest creations.  Scrabble tile pendants! (you can check them out with more detail over at links of love...either go to the links of love tab or click on the link!)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

a small way to say thanks...

My sister sent me this email today and I had to share.


If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.
How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! It is FREE and it only takes a second.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them.
This takes just 10 seconds and it's a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time, and please take the time to pass it on for others to do. We can never say enough thank you's.
Thanks for taking to time to support our military!

So, I'm asking you, my lovely readers, to take some time and sent a thank you to a deserving soldier.  These brave men and women risk their lives to protect our families every single day, they deserve our thanks and support.  I cannot imagine being away from my family, especially this time of year, this is such a small thing we can do to bring a smile to these soldier's faces and to let them know they are appreciated.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Does anyone else just feel like time is racing by?  OK, when it is 3pm and the kids are running around and have lost their minds it is like time stands still and those couple of hours feel like they last days.  But in general, I feel like years are passing in mere moments.  Christmas is fast approaching, and I remember being a kid and always wondering why it took so long for Christmas to get here.  Now, I'm saying to myself, is Christmas time already?!?  My babies are 5 and 2 and I remember the day they were born like it was yesterday.  Maybe I'm so wrapped up in the day-to-day, making sure bills are paid, kids are fed, the house looks relatively clean, and I'm working as much as I can that I just am not appreciating my life in any real way.  Of course I always contemplate the big days, anniversaries, birthdays, etc...but those individual days don't make up someone's life.  Yes, they are important and deserve to be recognized...but it is the little things...the day to day things that compose our life's story.  Why don't we I appreciate the little things more?  Next year, Brianna will be in school and we won't be able to take long weekends to visit family or friends, things will be different and I'm excited for the changes the new year will bring...but I'm also a little afraid of letting go of what we have now.  I want my kids to grow up...that is what they are supposed to do, but I feel like it has all gone too fast, I need more time.  Can Santa bring me that for Christmas?

and now go visit these two ladies...they are much more fun to read and their photos are much more fun to look at than anything I have here!

go check out my friend Abbie's post over at Unexpectant.  I love hearing/reading people's birth stories and hers is a good one!

if you live near Eden Prairie, MN are you having Holly at Lily Bella Photography take your kids/family's pictures because you should be!  She has been taking some amazing photos lately.  If she didn't live so darn far away, she'd be taking my little man's 2 year photos.  Maybe it is time for a roadtrip... hmmm :)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

behind already...

It is only the 5th of December and I'm already behind on my blogging duties!  In my defense we had Bryce's birthday party yesterday and after everyone left I was so tired I couldn't put a coherent thought together so I watch Alvin and the Chipmunks The Squeakwal (sp?) instead.  I didn't even clean up the dishes last night, ugh...that wasn't a pretty sight to wake up to, but it is done now!  I have a cold that I'm being a complete baby about because I'm just so tired.  Normally a cold/sore throat like this wouldn't knock me down like it has, but this one is really kicking my butt.  Anyway, Bryce's party was a ton of fun, we had a taco bar (which I've never done before, but I think was a huge success!).  And his cake turned out really good, except for when it broke right before the party started.  Oh well.  I fixed it the best I could, and it was still pretty yummy, if I do say so myself!  All-in-all it was a great way to spend a Saturday, even with all the snow!  I like snow as long as I don't have to drive in it, and I didn' it just looked really pretty to me! :)  Anyway, here are a few pictures of the little man and his cake.  (I'll be uploading the other photos shortly).  I'm going to crawl back into bed now and watch a movie.  Happy Sunday!

Friday, December 03, 2010


Dear Bryce,
Today, my sweet boy...marks your second year on this earth with us.  The time seems to have gone so fast, but in truth,I have a hard time remembering what life was like before you.  In my mind, that small baby we brought home from the hospital (twice) simply cannot be the little boy I see before me.  How do I put into words who you are in this moment?  Opinionated, yet sweet, determined, but loving, mischievous, but always quick to say you're sorry.  You grow and change everyday before my eyes, and I am amazed at the person you are becoming.  You challenge me in ways I didn't even know possible, but through it make me a better person and most definitely a better mom.  Every day I learn more about patience, kindness, forgiveness and love from you.  I think you teach me more than I teach you.   You make me smile and laugh, cry and scream, but I wouldn't have it any other way. If our life had a soundtrack right now there would be lots of chaos, crying, screaming for 'nacks, but there would also be laughter, oh the laughter.  Your laugh is one of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard.  I think the laughter is what I'll remember most over the last two years.  Having you in our lives has been a roller coaster to say the least, but it is possibly one of the best rides I've ever been on.  Life is never dull (or quiet) with  you around.  What can I say Bubba, other than you are one of my life's greatest gifts and every moment I get to spend with you is a blessing.  I know I'm not perfect and I've made my mistakes, but there is no mistaking that I love you with every fiber of my being and I will try with everything I have to be the mama you deserve, and you deserve the best, baby boy. 
Happy 2nd Birthday!
I love you with everything I have and everything I am.
Love always,

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

oh december...i would like to be friends...

I started this week so hopeful.  I was ready to tackle the cleaning, baking and cooking that accompany having a birthday party for a certain (almost) 2 year old.  I was excited to make his cake and get the Christmas decorations up.  Well, the decorations are up but the house is a disaster (it is slowly getting better, mostly because of my wonderful husband), we still haven't unpacked from the weekend, Bryce has croup and the medicine that is supposed to be making him feel better is mostly just making him crabby.  And not, I don't feel well so I'm, I mean a raging, out-of-control, screaming kind of crabby.  And I am just tired.  I want to curl up in a ball and have someone wake me when the sun is shining and no one is sick and my house is that too much to ask?  Yeah...I thought so too! :)  To make myself feel better I've been entering the last month I've won an amazing set of blocks for Bryce (thanks Greening Sam and Avery for helping out Santa) and a Tiger Woods golf shirt for Bob.  I've entered probably 10 contests all for the same book, The Beauty of Different.  A bit obsessive...maybe, but I REALLY want this book.  Lets be honest I'll probably go buy it if I don't win one, but everything I've read about it makes me feel like I need to have this book in my possession. I'm sure I've used up my contest luck, but heck I'm going to keep trying.  I guess I should go attempt to clean something and then head to bed early (wishful thinking) and tomorrow will be a better day full of cleaning, cooking and baking!  Happy December everyone! :)