Friday, March 30, 2007

Things I Wish I Knew

I've been brainstorming for a layout that I am going to be trying to complete for my Book of Me regarding things I wish I knew. I've been procrastinating this layout because I honestly have not been able to accurately put my finger on one or a few things I wish I would have known, but now I know.

I wish I would have known how difficult it would be to "punish" my child. This week has been a particularly difficult one for Ian at school. Yesterday, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back and we had no choice but to strip him of all of his privileges and ground him. The thing is, I believe he is truly sorry for what he did and he realizes the steps he could have taken to prevent it (all going back to a lack of self-control). What hurts the most is I could see in his eyes the sorrow that he had disappointed us and that is what hurt me the most about punishing him. However, I need to be a strong parent and hold my ground on this one. At the same time, it hurts me ten times worse than I think it is hurting him. I know it only make it "sink in" but to me, I just never realized how hard it would be to go through this. It makes me want to call my mom and tell her how sorry I am for all the stupid things I did when I was young that caused me to get in trouble. I can appreciate now how much I made them hurt.

It also makes me appreciate God's grace all the more. I do a lot of things that are hurtful to God, but He forgives me through his son, Jesus. I can only go on and try to do better and please Him.

So, this next week will be a quiet one at our house - no video games, no television, no gaggle of boys running amock. Perhaps both he (and I) will learn a valuable lesson.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

There's wisdom in his youth

Yesterday Ian came home from school with a note saying that he was pushing in line. When I asked him why this happened, he told me it was because two kids "budged" (in my day, we called it "cutting" but apparently "budging" is now the new word). So we started discussing how he might approach the situation differently the next time - that really being the first one out the door to recess wasn't going to change the course of his life. I told him that maybe the next time, he might just let the other kids go in front of him to show kindness. In response, he said, "or I could just go to the back of the line because that's what Jesus would do. He always puts others first." It took everything I had not to break down crying right then and there. Sometimes we can experience God through the littlest of messengers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

In the heat of battle

I looked at my calendar last week and I realized that Kyra's 18 month appointment was fast approaching and thus, the dreaded pediatrician question: "Does she still take a bottle?" Well, yes, thank you very much for making me feel inadequate and not being able to change the mind of a child who clings to her bottle the way Linus clings to his favorite blanket.

Still, I know orthodontia isn't cheap, so I need to begin the battle. Thus, this weekend we attempted to go cold turkey. Saturday morning she subjected the entire bowling alley (and you know how loud bowling alleys are) to her tortured wails. Still, we stood our ground. In fact, we battled all day and when she was occupied, she didn't really think about it. But, in the evening we gave her a bottle. The look on her face was priceless as she cradled it to her chest and in the tiniest voice whimpered, "bawtul".

I came away from the day feeling that though I may have won the battle that day, I obviously am far from winning the war. Still, we are managing to reach a peaceful compromise and if we're not looking, the sippy cup isn't really a bad option after all - just as long as "bawtul" is there in the evenings.

How do you explain this to a 17 month old?

Yesterday we were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous day for March in Wisconsin. It was bright and sunny with temperatures in the upper 70s. We spent a good majority of our day outside checking out the community park and then going for walks around the neighborhood. Kyra even decided that it would be a good idea to see what dirt tastes like.

What a difference a day makes! The wind is really blowing hard and it is cool and grey. Now, I am thankful it isn't the freezing weather that we've had for the past few months, but I feel so teased! Kyra keeps standing by the doors waiting to go outside. Spring fever has officially hit our house!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Product placement

Ian has been battling a cold all week. Yesterday he started with his cough. I always dread when he starts coughing because usually it turns into pneumonia, so we started him on Albuterol last night. I just knew he wasn't going to be feeling well in the morning and would probably keep him home from school. Sure enough he was in our room at 6:15 to let us know he wasn't feeling good.

I was able to get him in to see the doctor and thankfully it has not developed into pneumonia (yet). However, she did prescribe him Pulmicort to try to heal his lungs quicker. After Kyra's nap, we went to the grocery store and I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and have it filled at their pharmacy. Of course, they don't stock it! UGH! So, my attempts to multi-task were thwarted so off to Wal-Mart we go.

After dropping off the prescription and doing some shopping, we head back to pick it up. I think the whole city of Manitowoc is sick judging from the length of the pharmacy line so we wait. And what does an 8 year old do when forced to wait in an excessively long line? He wanders up and down the aisle looking at the pretty packaging - on the CONDOMS!!!! Thankfully, he did not start reading the labels out loud else I would have had to have made a swift bolt for the door!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Why White?

Since Kyra's birth, my one Achilles heel (besides scrapbook supplies) has been adorable little girl clothes. I justify it to Rich by the simple fact that I dressed Ian for 6.5 years in nothing but pants, t-shirts and sweatshirts and the least he can do is indulge me in these clothes until (a) I get "over it" (highly unlikely) or (b) Kyra will no longer allow me to dress her and wants to pick out her own clothes. So, where am I going with this?

Today we went to Toddler Time at the library and Kyra was wearing one of her newer outfits (read I just cut the tags off this morning). Today's topic was "Stories about Mud" and the activity was, you guessed it, playing with "mud". Chocolate pudding to be exact. Seeing that she is wearing a white shirt, I somewhat reluctantly join a table but Kyra seemingly has no interest in dirtying her little hands with this strange pool of brown guck on a paper plate. Breathing a sigh of relief, I socialize with the other moms. But, curiosity got the better of my fair princess and wouldn't you know, the one tiny drop of chocolate pudding she put on her itty bitty finger wound up smack dab in the middle of her new white shirt! Why do I even bother?

Alas, when we got home, the shirt got an immediate dousing of Zout (which, if you have never used it, is the best stain remover known to man) and into the washer it went (there are days like this when I am thankful my home in a never-ending laundry generator). We now have a spotless white shirt again - but you won't see me (or Kyra) near chocolate pudding for a while!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And the winner is . . .

Last night, we went to Ian's pinewood derby. I always get nervous around these type of events because Ian is really sensitive when he doesn't do well. I'm always "the glass is half empty" going into these events and my pep talks consist of "even if you don't win, you built a GREAT car". Why does the possibility of success never even cross my mind?

In any event, Ian had great success racing his car (even after a slight modification of being over weight by .25 oz and having a wheel knocked off in the pre-race excitement). He came in first place in his den (by .03 seconds!) and was 2nd in the pack overall. He was so proud but I am even more proud of him because he was a gracious winner and did not gloat. But when talking to his grandmas and grandpas afterward, he told them he "blasted the socks off them!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Feeling the buzz

If you ask my husband about my caffeine habits, he will go on a long diatribe about how I drink entirely too much coffee and Diet Coke. Anyhow, this morning I decided to treat myself after grocery shopping to a Starbucks. Since I usually don't go "high octane" I find myself buzzing all over the place now. It's kind of a fun feeling, but I know I'll be coming down sometime soon. But that caramel mocha latte was just oh-so-tasty and it makes me happy. I decided I should perhaps compose an ode to it on my blog so I went to the Starbucks website to get a little picture of a Starbucks cup for the blog when I found this nifty little designer cup. If you are a Project Runway fan, it is designed by Michael Knight who was a finalist last season (and my personal favorite). Anyhow, I figured this cute little cup was better than any ode I could come up with so I will go back to my little buzz.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Give your loved ones an extra hug today

This morning I found out that the husband of one of the women I know through an online scrapbook community passed away very suddenly. My heart is just breaking for her and her young daughter. We never know the day or hur that God will call us home, so hug your loved ones a little tighter and cherish every moment. Please keep Nancy and Chloe in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Time for my whap upside the head

Every once in a while, I will just be going about my business and all of a sudden God brings a verse to me when I need it most. This move has been very difficult for me to adjust to. I've been missing my old "life" and friends terribly since we've moved here. When you add in the troubles that Ian has been having at school and his teacher's instance that we "do something about it" (i.e., medicate him), I've been questioning why God led us here.

Things have been getting better though and yesterday I joined a new Bible study group at the new church. We are reading Elizabeth George's Nuturing a Heart of Humility, a character study on Mary. We were discussing how Mary completely put her trust in God even though she knew it was going to make her life infinitely more complicated. Our study leader gave us this verse from Proverbs 20:24 - "Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way." It was just the whap upside the head that I needed.

Apparently I am not memorable

I always seem to have to re-log in to blogger even though I check the "remember me" box every time. (Of course, I know this has something to do with the settings in IE, but I don't know how to figure that out!).

Monday, March 12, 2007

It's that time of year again!

Ah the phenomenon of mid March! That magical time of year when all office productivity comes to a screeching halt while everyone from the office sports guru to the athletically unaware plunk down $5 in hopes of picking the perfect brackets. After years of participating in bracket pools, I am convinced that no matter how much I agonize over my picks, I will never win one of these pools because I simply overthink everything - or - since I don't really follow college basketball that closely, I rely on past performances even though those teams no longer exist. So, this year I am going to try an experiement and make my brackets based on the flip of a coin. Who knows, maybe I'll do far better this year!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Whose brilliant idea was this?

This morning I went to change Kyra's diapers and had to open a new package. Ever since we found that Kyra does not leak when we use Huggies Supreme, it has been our diaper of choice. When I opened the box this morning, they looked different, but I couldn't figure out why. Then it dawned on me - they changed the pictures!

Whose brilliant idea was it to start putting pictures on disposable diapers? I guess it furthers brand awareness. After all, I could tell you that if you see Disney characters, it's Huggies or if it's Sesame Street then you are a Pampers house and then Blue's Clues would obviously be Luvs. But seriously, who came up with this idea? Do the diaper people honestly think a toddler is going to "buck" the diaper because it has Winnie the Pooh instead of Elmo? Personally, several weeks of dry crib sheets is worth more than a toddler tantrum over a cartoon character. There is something to be said for "out of sight, out of mind".

Thursday, March 8, 2007


Last night I had the option of going into work last night or tonight. Since the Extreme Crop at Lifetime Moments starts at 8:00 pm CST tonight, I figured it would be nice to be home to get a jump on things. In addition, Rich has been wanting to go see 300 so he asked me last night if he would mind if he went sometime this weekend. I told him, by all means, go on Friday night after the kids go to bed, I was planning on scrapbooking anyway.

So, today we are out at our weekly lunch and I happened to mention that this weekend is the Extreme Crop. His response was that he now knows why I didn't "object" to him going to the movies.

He really doesn't mind and it was all in fun, but there are times (especially after the kids are in bed), that I just want to escape to my scrapbook room and have some quiet time to myself.

So, if you don't hear from me this weekend, please know that I am spending some quality time with my scissors!

The thaw is coming! The thaw is coming!

As I sit here in the basement, I hear the drip, drip, drip of snow melting and flowing down the downspout. The best news of all is that is may hit 50 this weekend meaning that this glorious snow is finally going to melt away. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice snow, but I am really tired of the 5-foot mountain of snow/ice/salt at the base of my driveway. Of course, the rapid warm up will mean that we will soon have a lake in our back yard. C'mon spring!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I am glad I am not the only one!

In a scene reminiscent of one of my worst childhood memories, Ian came home with the dreaded "story problem" math homework last night. What was worse about this homework was that he had the "numbers" but he had to create the story problem to go with it.

I have never liked math. In fact, even though I preferred science when I was in high school, I didn't pursue it in college because I knew it would require taking at least 2 semesters of calculus and I thought, "Why subject myself to that misery when I can major in French and travel to Europe?" Alas, I have hit another tangent . . . back to the story.

Ian is very gifted when it comes to math but this exercise through him for a loop. What's worse is that I don't "get" how they are teaching math in schools these days. Words that I remember being taught are no longer part of the vocabulary and there are so many diagrams and charts to fill in, it does get confusing. Shouldn't the creators of this curriculum remember who is going to be helping their children at home with it?

So, after a very painful 60 minutes, Ian did manage to "complete" his story problem homework. Hopefully (though I know I am probably wrong), there won't be any more for a while. My poor brain is beat!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

I guess my decision has been made!

Since we have moved here to NE Wisconsin, I have been trying to find the "right" church for us. I left a church that I loved dearly back in Madison and when you are used to a certain "style" it is certainly hard to make the change. I have narrowed it down to two churches and wanted to go to a sermon series at each church before planting myself.

Today, Ian wanted to go with me, so I took him to the bigger of the two churches I have been attending. They have an AMAZING children's ministry and he had so much fun! I had been worried because he doesn't do well in some social situations, but they took him right in and he had a blast (and learned a thing or two in the process). He keeps asking if we are going back next Sunday. I had been praying for God to show me a clear sign of where I "belong" and it appears He has answered that prayer!

Now, I feel an incredible burden has been lifted and I can finally get involved again! I just wanted to share my praise!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I suffer from "Blog Envy"

So, I've been doing a lot of party hopping thanks to the Ultimate Blog Party and there aree some incredibly talented women out there! My blog looks so plain in comparision! Is it wrong to have "blog envy"?

Friday, March 2, 2007

Welcome to my humble home on the web. It's not fantastic by any means, but it's a little piece of me.
I hope people can make it to the party with all of the winter storms we have been having. It reminds me a lot of my younger brother's birthdays growing up. His birthday is January 7th and no matter when my mom planned his party, there was always a snowfall. Thus, we had an abundance of cancellations, an unhappy sibling because he didn't get presents and more cake for ourselves! (Usually the party just got pushed back a week, but we know cake doesn't last THAT long). Anyhow, seeing that this is a virtual party, I hope the traffic wasn't too bad. So come in and grab a diet coke. There's some colored tiny marshmellows and plenty of goldfish crackers.
I haven't been blogging long. It's been something that I've wanted to set up for a while but just never quite got around to it. My initial purpose of setting up a blog was so that I could update our families about our daily lives and post a few pictures here and there. As you can see, I haven't done very well on the posting pictures part. I mainly just journal my random thoughts and funnies that the kids say.
As for myself, we just recently moved in the last three months to northeast Wisconsin. I'm a Chicago girl at heart and this has been quite a switch for me. I'm not used to small towns! I've been married to my husband, Rich, for almost 11 years and we've been together for almost 16. He's a flavor chemist - did you ever know there were such people in this world? Yes, he is responsible for giving a lot of the food that you eat taste.
Our oldest child is Ian. He just turned 8. He's quite an interesting little guy. He's almost too smart for his own good. He is currently in second grade and his interests include Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo DS lite and Pokemon (noticing a trend here?). He also loves to read and play board games. He definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer and has not a care in the world (except when he gets the aforementioned Nintendo systems taken away). He's a very sweet and loving boy and he makes me laugh on a daily basis.
Kyra is my little princess at just 17 months old. She was definitely an answer to what we thought was an unanswered prayer. It's funny how people plan and God just laughs. Kyra is a firecracker with curly hair and an attitude to boot. She's at that stage where she feels entitled to have everything she can get her little hands on. If you take it away, you will get a full-fledged meltdown. Nevertheless, she is also a constant source of joy for me.
So, tell me a little about yourself. Sit back and relax - I'd love to get to know you! Stop by and visit anytime!

So much for neutrality

This just made me laugh out loud when I read it:


Thursday, March 1, 2007

In like a lion . . .

Last night Ian told me that he wanted March to "come in like a lion". When I asked him why, he told me that if it did, there was a good chance that he'd have either a 2-hour delay or no school by Friday.

I, on the other hand, am ready for spring. Alas, we survived "Danielle" (since when do we name winter storms?) and now Edward is coming to town and is supposed to be even nastier.

Here's hoping this is the last of the snow for the year!