Monday, January 31, 2011


Isn't it crazy how our minds work?  I can't remember most of what happened yesterday, but I can tell you what happened six years ago today with amazing clarity.  I was pregnant, lying in bed having just talked to my mom on the phone.  You see, seven weeks before this very day (1.31.2005) my grandpa (her dad) was diagnosed with lung cancer.  This disease, in my grandpa, did everything completely the opposite of the way it "typically" does.  It "usually" responded well to treatment and grew slowly, it definitely did neither of those in his case.  Things were not good.  The phone rang as I was lying in bed...and I immediately started to cry...I knew who was on the other end and what the news was.  I don't even think Bob said the words.  I called my boss and told her I wouldn't be in for a few days.  I restlessly tried to sleep.  The next morning (it was a Tuesday) I had a doctors appointment scheduled and we were going to have an ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing OK.  I was on pins and needles anyway because of my previous miscarriage and when they took me back to the exact same room that the doctor gave us that devastating news less than six months earlier I felt my heart sink for an instant, but after that instant I knew I had an angel watching over me and my baby.  That while my grandpa wouldn't get the chance to meet his first great-grandchild on this earth he was protecting us.  When I saw that little heartbeat on the screen, I cried...I felt angry, sad, cheated, happy and hopeful all at the same time.  To say I was a mess of emotions is an understatement.  On the flip side of that, I also am lucky enough to remember the sound of his laughter, the way he looked when he smiled and most of all the love he always surrounded us with.  So today, even though I remember that exact moment six years ago...I'm choosing to remember his laughter and his smile and to let myself still feel surrounded by his love.

major mind block...

10 days and seems I am reverting back to my old ways.  To be honest...I am tired, tired of my kids not sleeping through the night, tired of living in various states of chaos, and most definitely tired of winter and these gloomy days.  I just honestly don't have a lot to say.  I'm working 3 bookkeeping jobs and while none of them are a ton of hours combined  they are enough to suck any remaining energy I have out of me.  The kids are doing well (probably better than I am honestly) as I type they are jumping and dancing around the living room.  We spent a lot of the weekend clearing out our house.  Getting rid of the clutter and minutiae is such an amazing feeling.  For now, it is just being stored at another place (THANKS Bob & Nancy!) but as I climbed into bed last night I realized how peaceful I felt just because when I looked around our room I didn't see clutter.  There wasn't jewelry strewn across my dresser, there were no clothes on the floor or jammed in the closet or sitting on the treadmill (which I swear I'm going to use again soon).  We still have a few rooms to simplify/organize (the kids rooms and the kitchen) but we are definitely making progress.  Maybe a clear room will clear my head and allow me to create something on these pages.  Anything you guys would like to see here?  I've been reading a bit (it seems to be the only thing that helps me sleep) so I could review some of the books I've read anyone interested in that?  Give me some suggestions and I can write about them...anything you want to know about me?  I'm a mostly open book ;)  So lets hear it...what do you guys want to read about?

Friday, January 21, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about what I write about here and what is off limits (to me personally) to talk about on the internet.  Sometimes there is something I want to write about so badly, but I always have to think things through and really decide if it something I'm comfortable sharing and what the consequences may be if I share and if it will it impact anyone else.  There are obviously varying degrees of what people think is acceptable to share on the internet.  For me, I rarely talk about my marriage...not that I don't think it deserves to be talked about but things that go on are not just my story to share, they are Bob's as well and it is something that I just don't feel comfortable sharing.  There are some that do not share pictures of their children.  Obviously, that is not the case for me.  Most of the people that read here know me (and my family) in real life, so I feel comfortable sharing pictures of my children.  I know as they get older what I share about their lives will have to be edited more, because again...they are their stories to share not only mine. How do you (if you blog) decide what you are going to share and what you aren' it purely a gut thing or do you have a list of things you will definitely never talk about?  I'd love to hear your process.

On a completely random note...I read an article the other day that it is incorrect to have two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence.  I took a typing class in junior high and we were taught to put two spaces.  I still use two spaces, I had no idea this was incorrect, and since I've been typing that way for over half my life, I'm not sure I'll be able to change now!  Do you use two spaces or one after your punctuation at the end of a sentence?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

indoor snow day...

As promised the kids got to play in the snow today, I just didn't have to bundle them up to do it!  Abbie at Greening Sam and Avery brought snow into the tub and let her girls play in it the other day and I thought that would be perfect for us to do today.  I like playing in the snow, but I really hate being cold, so my kids definitely don't get as much snow time as they probably should, plus  I'm still being a bit cautious with Bryce because of the potential pneumonia, he seems completely fine but apparently I'm still a bit shaken about it.  But this seemed perfect for us, it wasn't a big deal if someone wanted to stop playing in the snow, there was no trying to get them to stay out longer to make it worth the hassle of getting dressed up, and if they wanted to come back to it, great.  The kids played for quite a while and had a blast throwing snowballs at the wall and seeing how big the snow mountain could get before it fell over.  I was going to get some toys out for them, but they didn't need them they were plenty occupied with just building with their hands.  Abbie also had a suggestion about coloring the snow outside, which I wanted to incorporate in today's playtime and thought would be fun but I didn't want food coloring staining my tub or surround walls (because they are still relatively new) and I thought Kool-Aid might stain as well (at least for a little while) so I found some tablets that we use to color the kids bath water (dollar spot at Target...woo hoo!) and dissolved those and squirted the snow with green and blue water.  I did this because I could only find one squirt bottle and I didn't want any fighting over it, the kids didn't seem to mind that I did that.  It didn't color it a ton but you could see the green and blue and the kids thought it was neat (you can see it a little bit in the pictures the snow wasn't dirty it was discolored because I made it that way!).  I will leave you with some pictures of our tub snow play (don't mind my dirty tub...YIKES!).  Thanks again Abbie for the great suggestion!!
snow, snow, snow!!
snow mountain
happy kiddos in ill-fitting gloves
pointing to the green snow
throwing snowballs
our snow head

today might be in danger...

You know your day might be off to the wrong start when you are sitting on the couch at 7am and you suddenly get a whiff of something  that does not smell pleasant. Then you look up and your sons hands are covered in poop.  Oh yes, that is how my day started.  Not sure why he decided to put his hands down his diaper, but I hope whatever possessed him to do it, never possesses him again.  Thankfully, he didn't touch anything and I got his hands cleaned up before he really even had the chance to touch anything, but seriously, WHY does he do things like that?  Ugh!  Anyway, I'm working really hard to prove that was not a sign of how the day would go and so far we've had a good morning.  Brianna slept late this morning and when she got up Bryce was so excited to see her, gave her a hug asked her if she slept well, gave her a kiss and then tucked the blanket around her on the couch, it was sweet.  We went out and ran some errands and the kids were fantastic and they are now watching Toy Story 3 (for about the 8 millionth time since Thanksgiving) until lunch.  After naps I'm planning on using Abbie's idea and bringing the snow inside.  I feel much better today but still not 100% and I'm not really wanting to get bundled up to play in the snow, so this seems like a good option.  I'll let you know how it goes and hopefully will be back with some pictures. Lets hope the afternoon goes better than the morning started!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


2011 is the year of reducing things.  We need to clear out this house of all of the "stuff" we don't use and most certainly don't need.  Last night we started with a closet.  It is a little closet, but it was jam packed with stuff.  Toys that had been boxed up and put away for later and in case we ever had another child.  Toys that have been boxed up for the better part of two years and haven't been missed.  I have a hard time getting rid of things, not because I have an attachment to them myself but because a lot of the toys the kids have were gifts and I remember who gave them what toys for what occasion (it is a sickness I know), and I feel guilty about getting rid of stuff that people have so generously given our children.  But here is the thing, we don't have a lot of space in this house and we have little to no storage, so the fact that we have shoved this much stuff into this house is astounding.  We have NINE diaper boxes full of toys and stuffed animals that we have removed from the closet/toy box.  And we haven't even touched the toys in the kids rooms yet.  We will get there, and hopefully soon, but we have made a start and that feels pretty darn good!

I have some sort of bug that has landed me in bed for the day even though I was supposed to work today and really wanted to go visit a dear friend and her new baby!  Instead I'm going to lay down and take another nap and hopefully kick this thing out of my system for good. 

I cannot get well fast enough so I can go meet my new "niece" Molly Elizabeth Goodness born 1.17.2011 at 10:11pm.  So happy for Ben & Amanda, lots of love to you guys!

Friday, January 14, 2011

delurking day...

I see around the blogosphere that today is national delurking day!  Today you're supposed to come out and comment on blogs that you read but don't comment on.  I'll be honest...I don't comment very often on the blogs I read, but today I've already commented on two that I almost never comment on (I mostly comment on the blogs of people I know in real life) and I'm trying to comment on many more.  I know from my stats (yes I do look at them) that I have many more pageviews a day than I have comments or people that I actually know read here.  So...come on...I'll even make it easy for you, leave a comment and tell me the last book you read and let me know if I should read it (if you're not a big reader...tell me the last movie you watched and if I should watch it)  just tell me something! :)  Ready...set...go!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

much too early...

Five a.m. is much too early for me.  That would be the time that Bryce woke up this morning (with a dirty diaper I might add).  He wanted to get up, go downstairs, have breakfast and all I wanted him to do was to lay back down and go to sleep.  I think he did fall back asleep around 7:30 for all of thirty more minutes.  So I am crabby...I will fully admit that on less than 4 hours of sleep I am definitely crabby.  I am crabby and overwhelmed and I'm struggling to want to do anything other than curl up in bed.  I don't feel like a good mom today, BUT after realizing what I was doing I'm choosing my words more carefully, speaking in a calmer tone (even if I'm fuming inside), Bryce just curled up on my lap and we read Runaway Bunny, even though I have a ton of work to get done.  I need to be more purposeful in my actions.  I need to embrace the moments when my little man says "mommy I want you" and not sigh because I know I will get nothing done and he will just want to get off my lap in a minute.  This mommy gig is hard and after five years I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing.  Today is definitely one of those days where I feel more clueless than usual.  I blame you 5am, I blame you! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

a book...a book...

I cannot begin to explain what it is like to hold in my hands 5 years of my writing and pictures.  I have no delusions that I am a great or even good writer or photographer...I read so many people who write exactly what I want to say and write it much better than I ever could.  I look at blogs that have the most amazing photographs, photographs that need no words.  BUT, this is me...this is my life, my thoughts...I write the way I speak, rambling and at times nonsensical, and I'm OK with that.  I'm more than OK with that...I am thrilled beyond belief to be holding this book in my hands, it makes me smile and cry all at the same time.  It brings me back to moments in time that would be lost without this blog and without my writing.  I can hold the last five years in my is amazing!

Monday, January 10, 2011

monday monday...

Whew, what a day (and yes I realize it is only 3pm and the worst part of my day is coming up). (geesh...I no sooner typed this than Bryce bit Brianna...good grief) Bryce has bounced back quickly except for the whole "I want mommy ALL the time"  he constantly wants me to hold him or be on my lap and will scream if I don't hold him when he wants.  He seems to be feeling better though I guess. The coughing has improved greatly and he doesn't seem to get as tired as he did before.  He got up really early this morning and refused to go back to sleep so of course he fell asleep before lunch and then would not nap after lunch so it has been sort of a long afternoon.  Today is Bob's first day back at the office in over a month.  At first it was a little difficult having him work at home while we were all here, but we adjusted and now we miss him.  We miss having lunch as a family and I miss that he would work until 4:30 or whenever and just be home.  Now, he'll work until 4:30 and then have an hour drive home.  Stinks.  But I'm sure he is enjoying the peace and quiet at work.  The kids actually did amazingly well with him here (after the first couple of days).  They didn't really bother him during the day while he was working and were relatively well behaved most of the time.  I am busy scrambling trying to get a million things done this month, all the extra forms for the end of the year that I have to do for my clients...January is not my favorite month, but I'm slowly crossing things off my to-do list.  We've been spending most of our time inside lately but I'm hopeful that once Bryce is completely better we'll get outside and burn off some energy.  (this is a really boring post I just realized...maybe I'll have something more exciting to write soon...but for now this is all I have!)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

poor boy...

We're a whole six days into the new year it is about time for someone to go to the doctor.  Last night as we were putting Bryce to bed he said his ear hurt, after he said that we thought we'd be taking him to the doctor at some point today.  Well this morning he gets up and says it doesn't hurt.  Now, before you think I don't care about my son's health, he has had no fever, no change in mood, appetite, sleep, etc.  Yes, he said his ear hurt but we were also asking him over the last few days if anything hurt because of his coughing and ears were one of the things we listed so I wasn't sure that his ears actually hurt or if he was just mimicking us.  We also are no strangers to the coughing, both kids have had breathing issues/asthma pretty much since they were born, we know what to look for and how to treat it and when it is time to go to the doctor.  All of this said, tonight when Bob took Bryce to the doctor, the doctor listened to his lungs and didn't like what he heard, he said he sounded very "junky" then he went on with his to Bryce's right ear and said "well, that has got to hurt".  The doctor said Bryce has possible pneumonia and of course an ear infection.  He gave him a strong antibiotic that should knock both the ear infection and pneumonia (if he actually has it) out.  Bob just looked over my shoulder at this and asked why I was beating myself up over this.  Because I'm the mom, I'm supposed to know when my kids are sick.  Granted mine don't have the courtesy to run fevers or do anything to indicate that they are sick but I still feel like I should know.  The ear infection I'm not really beating myself up over, it is the possible does that happen without me knowing..I am with this child every second of the day...I should just KNOW.  Anyway, my poor baby is on antibiotics and two different medications for his breathing treatments...and of course you would never know anything was wrong with him.  He is now tucked into bed (but is not sleeping yet) so I'm going to crawl into bed myself and watch Grey's.  Here is to tomorrow being a better day!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

so it only took me 5 days...

I had every intention of finishing out the year with a real post and maybe even some great thoughts...but you know what happened?  My life.  We were at my parents over New Years and while we were there for almost 5 days it went too fast and there just wasn't enough time for everything I wanted to do.  On top of that, I got sick.  I still have a sore throat that I'm willing to get better, Bob has threatened offered to drag accompany my butt to the doctor if I'm not better by Friday.  Bryce has a nagging cough and cold so we've been doing breathing treatments twice a day, he has no fever or any other symptoms and unfortunately we are no strangers to breathing treatments around this house.  He is getting better, not that he ever really lets anything slow him down, but I can tell he is feeling more like himself.  So I think our Christmas festivities are now over and the tree is coming down tomorrow, I had planned to take it down today but lost all ambition after getting the wild man down for his nap.  I started my "to-do" list is long...three pages long and my patience and ambition are running short.  I did cross a few things off my list (although they of course were ones I actually wanted to do and somewhat easy), made my 2011 calendar and ordered that along with a lot of other "free" stuff.  Bob laughs at me because all of this free stuff cost me $30, but heck...I got 250 business cards, a photo calendar, 2 personalized tote bags, a personalized pen, 25 business card magnets (for links of love), 10 large magnets with 2011 calendars (for links of love), 4 pads of sticky notes (also links of love), 1 large notepad, a personalized mousepad, a keychain, and a rubber stamp with our return address...I think that all is worth $30...someone back me up here! :)  I also ordered my book!  I have turned my first 5 years of this blog into a book.  I'm so excited to have a physical copy of my little piece of the internet.  Five years of my life wrapped up in 182 pages.  Thanks to my lovely friend Dawn who aided in this book happening as quickly as it did...LOVE YOU!  Other than that I did a whole lot of nothing today.  I'm having a very hard time getting back into the swing of things after the holidays, anyone else feeling that way?  I have a lot of work to do this month besides all the other things on my "to-do" list...I think 2011 is going to be a busy year for the Carroll family (NO, I'm not pregnant!), but there are definitely some changes that will be happening in the future.  I'm excited to see where this year takes us, but also extremely tired when I think about all the work that it is going to take to get us there.  With that...I will leave you with a few pictures from our time in Iowa! 

The capes my mom and I made the kids