Friday, May 31, 2013


1. Sitting at Mom's waiting for a grumpy 1 year old to fall asleep so that 
2. Hubs and I can leave for a much needed weekend away! Special thanks go out to Grandma and Grandpa K and Grandma A and Aunt L who are each taking the boys for 24 hours. You can do it! I believe in you!!!
3. In other news, I'm recovering from the shock of my bad pediatrician experience this week and now have a list of local providers considered in-network by insurance. Looks like Ill have to find a family doc and perhaps drive further than I think is ideal, but at this point that's better than flying them back to our old pediatrician in MN, which I considered momentarily! 
4. I love love the warm weather and have decided I'm not buying any more pants. At least till fall, I'm not bothering with trying to fit my post-2-C-sections body into any more pants. Last summer I discovered, perhaps for the first time in my life, sundresses. Absolutely nothing fit so I bought Target clearance sundresses that were so much cooler than pants AND I could nurse in them! I've passed them on to friends now that I'm back to pre-C weight and no longer nursing. I unpacked my clothes from 2 summers ago. Guess what? They don't fit! Properly, anyhow. I swear Dr. C. Cut me in such a way that my clothes shall never fit again. The scar IS crooked, so it must be HIS fault. So, skirts and sundresses.

5. C is asleep and the twins are watching something educational with Grandpa it appears, so I'm off. Looking forward to sleeping in and drinking my coffee hot.

6. P.s. mom and Dad, the twins were up at 6am today. Good luck! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pondering Ped Problems

I've only been a parent for 4 years, but I've had to acquire a pediatrician 4 times due to death, the doctor leaving, and our moving. 

I've been thinking all day and awake all night pondering what to do. I spent two mornings at 3 well child checks getting 10 immunizations, which turned out to be the easy part. Now I know I have to find another new one, a difficult task since we moved far away from a highly populated area accepting our insurance. 

I'm trying to be respectful of the person and the profession. Really I am. I gave the person a second chance despite a doubt I just couldn't describe in February. Tonight I can describe it. Tonight I can say I want my next pediatrician (like my previous 3) to:

1. Recommend only tests that both the parent and doctor agree are necessary.

2. Let me speak when explaining my child's medical history. 

3. Refrain from profanity in the office at all times. 

I regret not doing enough homework in February. It did not occur to me I would find any less than excellent care when I made an appointment with the nearest pediatrician accepting our insurance when I needed a well child and ear infection appointment. Every single doctor I encountered in MN, no matter which city or insurance plan I had (there were several of each), was polite, professional and respectful of me. I've grown accustomed to that, imagine...

(Sigh) My kids are immunized now, at least. Their poor little arms and legs are sore but they will recover. I'll bet they won't mind never going back; M won't forget those shots! Too bad they don't know to thank me for saving them from (what I consider) a bunch of unnecessary blood tests - I couldn't imagine holding them down for blood draws after what they went through this week. 

I feel like I did the last time I had to break up with a lousy boyfriend (in '97, so I'm out of practice); like junk. But I'm a lot smarter and there's a lot more at stake now, so I'm just going to have to put on my big girl panties and break up. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy Fourth Birthday M and N!

Oh my goodness, what a fun day we had yesterday throwing M and N's party.  M even hugged and kissed me, saying, "Thank you for throwing out the party, Mommy!"  It brought tears to my eyes.  Uncle Dan just reminded me M said, "This is the best day ever!" I think it was, too.
We had two dozen of our loved ones gathered together to celebrate our son's birthday; my husband's and mine.  Others live far away and couldn't be here, but they were here in spirit.  I know, I could feel them. 
As we looked around the yard at all the laughing, all the hugging, all the eating, the singing, the bouncing (oh, the bouncing!!) the pinata-whacking, the candle-blowing, the gift-opening, the eating, eating, eating, the playing, the digging, the laughing....
My heart was overwhelmed with love for our God who has blessed us beyond description with more love than our hearts or our house can hold! It was so special to see the twins having so much fun with our families, laughing and bouncing the day away. 
It felt like a dream come true.  Honestly.
Yesterday felt like every birthday wish I'd ever made came true in my own backyard: healthy, happy kids, handsome devoted husband, lots of family gathering on a sunny afternoon...
Hubs found the perfect soundtrack yesterday, a song by John Mayer.  I wish I could have had it playing...the bridge says,
See once in a while when it's good
It'll feel like it should
And they're all still around
And you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing
'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark.

But last night?  Last night, for the first time in 9 years, we did not drive OR fly away in the dark. We stayed. 

Happy Birthday M and N, the light of our lives.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Celebration Preparation

Pastor used 1 Chronicles 29:22 on Mother's Day. It reads, "they ate and drank with great joy in the presence of The Lord that day."

It came to mind this evening, when I was cleaning the kitchen for the 4th time today, exhausted from a week of parenting alone and prepping for the twins' birthday party tomorrow. I was wondering why on earth I did this to myself, planning two birthday parties 3 weeks apart? And having myself a pity party because it took me 10 hours to cut fruit, decorate cakes, the kitchen, and create a slideshow while feeding the family three meals as well (Hubs did arrive safe and sound fresh off the red eye from LAX to mow, just so y'all know;) Then a thought asked me, "who is in those slideshow photos?" Because that's how He talks to me, in my own thought voice, but I know it's Him because it's never a thought I would think myself!!

So I thought to myself, "our families,"

He reminded me this is another gathering our families are celebrating in less than a month - a wedding, a first birthday, mother's day, and tomorrow, the twins' birthday. What a blessing to have so much love, so much family, so much life to celebrate together! 

Tomorrow we will eat frog and construction truck cakes and drink soda and pink lemonade with great joy in the presence of The Lord, celebrating four indescribably fabulous years of our sons.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keys. Who Needs Em?

Have you ever made a blog friend so like you that you wanted to reach through the screen and hug her?  I have one.  She's here at Twenty Fingers and Twenty Toes.

Her Wednesday post made me laugh out loud because not only are our families similar and we have been through like circumstances over the past 1 1/2 years, but she locked herself out of her house, too!

Just like I did last month.

But didn't really tell you about it.  It's kind of embarrassing.

But for her sake, and for giggles, I'll tell you mine...

I've had an attached garage since 2004, so I rarely thought about house keys when I left home. Garage door openers are one of the world's best inventions.  Here, we have a detached garage and were given only ONE housekey at move-in.  So one of the first things I did was make copies - for Hubs, our moms, and a spare to "hide."

It was a Wednesday, Bible Study day, and everything went swimmingly that morning (at least that's how I remember most things in the past!) and the kids were wearing shoes. Or boots, but the point I'm making is that MY kids have footwear. I'm such an awesome mom!  My mom works at our church, so we had all just hugged her good-bye as she helped me schlep my kids and my stuff back out to the van.

In order to make Bible Study happen, C had to skip morning nap, so I always buzzed home quickly to get him fed and tucked in before the meltdown. While he is a sweet baby, he LOVES HIM SOME SLEEP and will let you know when he's past due!  So like every Wednesday at 11:30, I came home as quickly as I could.

I got all the way to the side door with the keychain in my hand...but no house key!  What the heck?!  I had the spare van key - the one that used to be attached to Hubs' keychain but had become detached at some point during the move. 

Okay, my keychain must be in my purse.  I returned to the van to turn my purse, my coat, and the diaper bag inside out.  Nope, not there.  The kids were starting to get restless - the van had been parked for three whole minutes so why are we still sitting in it?!

Hm, the spare.  I knew exactly where that one was - on the counter.  Because despite having made the copy weeks ago, there it lie, waiting to be hid.

That left our moms, both of whom were at work because it was a weekday. Grrr. 

Good ol' mom, always the one to bail us out, huh?  (Except in my friends' case, which was far funnier!)

Had to convince her to leave work (which didn't take much convincing) to meet me at Burger King, where I bought her a Whopper in thanks.

C was happy to be eating fries instead of napping, and thank goodness there was a random baby food container in the bottom of the diaper bag.

All's well that ends well.

And the key is hidden now, so if you want to come rob me of my Desktop Dino, it won't take you long.  Just leave the Keurig alone.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fire Engine Field Trip Day

Yesterday was the second-to-last-day-of-three-year-old-preschool-field-trip to the fire station.  I was not nearly as excited as M was because I have 40 hours of housework and birthday party prep to do in not 6 but 3 hours this week because I had to drive the kids to the field trip.  N and I were feeling kind of the same way.  In fact, there was a minute I thought it might not happen.
Remember this? The Easter Egg Hunt Fire Engine Siren Start Debacle?  N has been TERRIFIED of this field trip.  Because the sirens might sound.  While I doubted they would do that, you just never know.  So I convinced him he could wear his "clop clops" (ear protection) so of course what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and I am the woman bringing her gaggle wearing ear protection to the field trip. It was the only way to make the field trip happen.

N was fine until Fireman Bob made his oxygen tank hiss while demonstrating his gear.  He was cowering and clamoring for the clop clops and M was on the other side of the room waving his hand and so helpfully telling Bob that his brother is afraid of the noise. 

Then we moved outside where the kids got to sit inside the fire engine (and I got to run back to the van to find my phone to take a picture or two before this fine event ended!) then line up for a chance to shoot the hose.  Wouldn't you know it?  They knew what was coming the second Bob unrolled the hose and made sure they were near the front of the line - the very front!  Perhaps they remembered they waited until the very end last time?

It turned out to be a fine field trip and everyone seemed to tolerate my kids wearing ear protection for half of it.  One even said she can't take her kids to parades because of the noise and why didn't she think of that?  So, maybe it's not just me!

Then we were home all afternoon and it stayed nice so I moved the kids outside.  They wanted to play in a giant grill box when I began working to break down cardboard for today's recycling.  "Do you want a door in it?" I asked, and cut a door on one side and two windows on the other.  About an hour later, when interest began to wane, I asked if they wanted to decorate it, and another hour was spent coloring and attaching stickers all over it.  I'm thinking of putting a bow on top and two curtains in the windows and calling it their playhouse birthday gift!

(Just kidding.  We're getting them swimming lessons at Delta!  Hopefully they will like them as well as the playhouse!)

Okay, if it's not one thing it's another.  I typed this up for the second time on the desktop because my phone deleted it yesterday and now it won't send me the pics!!! Grr.  Hopefully I can get my computers talking to one another.  Otherwise I'll just hand wright this and put it in the snail mail for you.

Geeze. Technology.

Three hours later....I did it!!!! Thanks for putting up with me, a product of all the best technology in my life arriving just as my kids were born and my brain and wallet were empty.  I'll spend a lifetime catching up!

M was first to go!

My favorite shot of the day!  It only took two takes!

You can just see his big smile!

2 kids and a box, 2 hours of fun!

Friday, May 17, 2013


  • It was warm here early this week so I've been planting flowers like crazy.  This is the first house I've lived in where there has been lots of empty space for such things.  It necessitated that my mother's day gift be a hose and hose rack.  Hoping for lots of flowers and tomatoes and basil this summer and I'm leaving some space for a couple more veggies.  
  • Right after the funny post on Tuesday I found out my great aunt died that morning of a heart attack.  I've not posted since because I just don't know what to say.  She was young, around my mom's age.  Her kids are my age, J being born the same year as me.  J is married with little boys just like me.  My heart is breaking for her, and her brothers, their mom passing so early.
  • Now that I'm here in MI, and because Aunt L was my aunt as well as my mom's, I have spent the last couple of days re-arranging my first girl's weekend, shortening it, making it so that I can be there with and for my mom, my grandma, my great-grandma who is burying her second daughter tomorrow, and so I can see J and hug her tight.  We used to be close as kids, staying with each other during the summers and being pen-pals, back when stamps were cheap and long distance phone calls were not.
  • So I've been kind of reflective, especially since Aunt L "liked" my mother's day post on Facebook on Monday night.  I know that the "I love you, Mom" message I wrote to my mom was one of the last things she read. 
  • It seems that each death that has occurred in recent years hits a little closer to home.    Our friends' grandparents and parents are dying.  Hubs says it's because we are getting older, which makes sense of course.  We don't concern our three year old children with the deaths of their very distant relatives, just as my parents never concerned me with death, either.
  • I'm headed to Great Aunt L's visitation this afternoon.  I hold on to Psalm 34:18: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My eyelids

  1. We had a power outage on Friday morning. I woke up at 4:30 am to a very dark night.  No lights or streetlights anywhere, all very black.  Kinda creepy. After finding a dim flashlight in the kitchen, I told Hubs, be ready, if the kids wake up they're gonna wig out.  Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, we heard crying. Hubs went upstairs to comfort them to hear M crying out, "My eyelids are stuck together!  My eyelids are stuck together!"  
  2. Last week we attended my nephew E's t-ball game, where M questioned everything relentlessly.  "What is he doing?  Where is his bat?  Why is he running?  Where is going? What is his name?" Every question was asked at the top of his lungs, about 100 decibels, like every day. Then E's team came up to bat and the coach pitched.  I didn't even notice the coach was black until M asked at the top of his lungs, "Why is that man black?!"
  3. My dear friend KK is in town for a few days and came by to chat yesterday afternoon.  Hubs was working in his office and came down for a moment, where M magestically introduced her, "Please meet our special guest, K!" he said with great flourish.
  4. Yesterday we were at my MIL's and everyone was giving each other silly names.  Hubs told M to name Aunt L "Laura Ingrahm," her favorite radio talk show host.  So M told her dramatically, "Your name is Laura England!" and added an evil "Hee-eee-eee-eee-eee." 
He's full of it every day, folks.  It's both entertaining and exhausting!
M insisted on wearing his ski helmet with his new bike!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

I got to spend it with my own grandmother and mother and kids, a thing I grew up believing was the most normal and natural thing in the world to do, because that's what my family has always done. 

Now that I'm 35 and have lived (just) a little, I've come to learn how precious life really is.  So many people I know and love couldn't do that yesterday.  I don't take my mom for granted.  All I could do was buy her a potted flower and spend the day with her; attending church, eating lunch, cleaning the kitchen together, going out to The Party (stay tuned for pics).  Basically doing all the things I hope my sons will want to do with me in 32 years - hang out and share life together.

I love you, Mom.

Here are what I'm calling our Mother's Day 2013 photos, taken May 4 at C's party.  So we got the back of M's head, so what?  It's not like he would have actually looked at the camera if we'd tried.  Because believe me, we tried to get one at the wedding!  (See Below)
I love you, Mom!

Me and my 3 boys!!
Here's a sample of our "family" photo from Uncle D's imagine 30 shots of this, each one not right because the kids are whipping the flowers around, opening their mouths, sticking out their tongues, or me or Hubs are talking to them or whatnot.  It would actually be pretty funny if we could turn them into a flip book!!

Christmas Card photos, here we come!

 P.S. Hubs says the uploading is taking forever due to the desktop working on wifi and my wanting to use the "good" Nikon photos.  Boo.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby C!

Last Saturday May 4, we celebrated C's first birthday with a family brunch.  What a great time we had!  The weather cooperated and we moved the party outside for cake smashing and gift opening. 

C is hardly a baby anymore, really.  In the past week, he's begun pulling himself up using just the cabinet knobs, opening and unpacking cabinets, climbing up a flight of stairs, teething his molars (ugh!) and saying a few one syllable words!  I've caught him in the downward dog yoga position, a sure sign of standing up. 

Other things he likes to do:
  • Crawl over M and N's matchbox cars, which they like to line up in long rows on their special rug designed with roads. M and N cry, "Mom!  Baby C is wrecking our cars!" I hear my mother's words come out of my mouth: "He loves you and wants to do everything you do.  Let him play with you."  
  • Throw his sippy cup on the floor.  What a mess!
  • Attempt to roll off the table and crawl away during every diaper change.  I remember saying of the twins that changing them was like wrestling baby alligators.  C is the same way, only bigger and stronger than they were at the same age!
  • Race his new walker outside.  It was a birthday gift and he's really fast already!  
  • Eat random things off our kitchen floor.  I can't sweep it fast or thoroughly enough!  This was less of a problem when the twins were one for two reasons: there were no older brothers dropping food all over a much larger floor!!
Here are a few birthday pics...enjoy!

(Okay, it's not uploading again.  Grr.) 

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Heart Yard Waste!

1. I knew I'd have to do something about the yard but have not thought about it for a second.  While I was trimming the bushes with my helpers last night (okay, I thought about it for ONE second) my neighbor brought a flat of marigolds for me, which meant I HAD to do something about them today so they don't die (on purpose). Which turned into me planting the marigolds, planting the free tomato seeds the kids got a Lowe's kids' building project, and tackling the area that I think was once a garden and does have a couple of poppies, but now just grows weeds.  Impressive weeds, though.  Those dandelions had roots the size of carrots!  Made me think of fancy salads with dandelion leaves - that's the kind of garden I can grow here.  Then I kind of went berserk on the dandelions because our yard is infested.  My hand hurts now and I need some ibuprofen. But we have a wagon full of dead dandelions and few less in the yard.  I'm not even going to think about the violets.

2. Our new backyard has a patio beneath a GIANT tree whose shade is going to be GLORIOUS this summer - I know because it already is.  It's perfectly situated for evening shade, right where we need it the most, for eating our evening meals al fresco.  While we had a beautiful raised deck in MN, it was the hottest, sunniest part of the entire yard.  We couldn't eat out there most summer nights :( I guess another perk to downsizing is a wonky, uneven backyard patio with the MOST glorious shade tree EVER for summer evenings.  It's where we took our lunch and snack today, homemade Orange Julius drinks.

3.  I've counted 17 "elephant ear" plants popping up through the mulch (what IS their real name????) praise the LORD! because I was all like, this is an acre of mulch, what the HECK am I going to do with it???? Not a lot, hallelujah!

4. The city has a tree chipper that is coming by on Tuesday.  I know because it came by on Friday while I was prepping for C's party and I was all like, AAAGGHHH! Must! Take! Giant! Heap! Of! Branches! To! YOUUUU!!!!  And I rushed out there and threw 10 measly twigs into the (what I'm going to call) wheelbarrow so me and this nice guy who works for the city (and whom I see EVERYWHERE no lie) are YELLING at each other over the noise of the chipper and through his earplugs WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BE BACK?!?!  TUESDAY!!!!  That's how we now have giant piles of twigs on our curb - they got moved from the backyard (thanks Grandpa A and Uncle A;)

5. Our "I Heart Yard" waste container.  Now I am going to tell you one of the FUNNIEST things that has happened in our almost 11 years of marriage.  Hubs likes to be classy at all times, so instead of dumping our yard waste in any old container and spray painting "yard waste" on it, he went and bought a brand new garbage can.  In our new town you can either put your yard waste in a compost bag or a container of your own at the curb on garbage day - WAY WAY better than putting that stinky stuff in the back of your minivan to go to the compost site, lemmee tell ya! So he was all excited and decided to be REALLY fancy and spent a HALF hour DESIGNING a stencil so it looked nice!  Oh, my, it was hard holding my tongue but I'm so glad I did! Because after painstakingly cutting the "yard waste" stencil and applying it to his pristine new can, it came out looking like this!  Now I die laughing every Wednesday when I take it out to the curb because our whole neighborhood and the whole world know that WE HEART YARD WASTE!!!!!

I Heart Yard Waste!!

Our beautiful tulip tree is in bloom

Shady patio today!

C's patio chair, enjoying crackers today

M and N heaping twigs on the small pile last week

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Party Party!

My boys seem to think we have a party every weekend!  Since we moved here 3 months ago, it's been like party central here because we've had a wedding shower, a cousin birthday, a 35th anniversary, Easter and Grandpa Birthday, a wedding, Aunt A's birthday, and yesterday, C's first birthday party!  I'm exhausted just remembering it, but I can't stop to recover because I need to upload, organize, post, and order prints of the photos, then start prepping for a quick trip to MN in two weeks and the twins' fourth birthday party in three weeks. 

Since I"m still so far behind, I'll give the wedding photos a go tonight and I'll shoot for C's b'day party pics on Thursday, his actual birthday.

(Half hour later)

This took a million years to upload, don't know why so I guess you only get a few shots for now.  Maybe by their first anniversary I'll have photos of the reception for you. I'm going to post this now and try again with a few more pics in another post. 

J and son A share a kiss before the ceremony

Me and Aunt L all dressed up!

Aunt L finishes mom's hair

M came to visit me right before the ceremony

Mom dresses C at the church for photos

Waiting in the front row while bride and groom get some shots of their own

Cutie C acting surprised

J and D lit paper lanterns for the send off