Friday, December 21, 2012

exciting news and a failed date

First of all, my exciting news is that Tim, Adam, and I will be welcoming a baby to our family in July. Yay!

I'm doing fine - exhausted all the time and nauseous quite a bit, so normal. Don't make me think about it. The good news is that I'm losing weight this holiday season. ;-)

2 nights ago I was surprised to learn from Tim that he arranged for Mom to watch Adam tonight so we could enjoy a date. Nice!

Maybe I should have said no to eating, though.

Morning sickness is not cool. I couldn't use my nose at the restaurant. I couldn't make eye contact with the menu or the salad bar. I couldn't stomach even saying what I wanted out loud, so Tim had to order for me. I told Tim to stop talking about his food on more than one occasion. And on the way home I snuggled with a garbage can on my lap.

I thanked my husband for the date, then apologized for it. Then I said maybe another date that doesn't involve food? We can eat together in a couple months.

This means my 9-week-old baby is 1 inch long from head to rump, has fingers and toes, can move around on its own, and is doing a good job of keeping Mommy's hormones surging enough to make me sick. I know I am blessed! :-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winding Down 2012

Christmas is a week from today. A year ago, we were getting ready to take Adam in for hypospadias repair surgery. Adam turned a year old 8 months ago (already!), and 4 months ago my marriage came to a screeching halt. This is why I haven't been posting my blogs for quite some time (I've been saving my journals but not sharing them simply because they're personal).

I am sitting here looking at photos for our "Christmas" card/photo collage and wondering where the last year went. I know it will only get crazier as we add more exciting chaos to our lives and these feelings will only duplicate themselves next year and in the years to follow. I also know that as our family is growing stronger all the time, God's guiding hand will lead Tim and me to a marriage that's better than I can imagine.

In September, Tim and I went through a marital crisis that changed our lives forever. We have been shown tremendous grace and forgiveness by God, and through that we are able to love each other the way God intends us to. We still have a lot of learning to do, and I am excited for the next steps as I work to become a better person based on God's Word. I can't recommend Cornerstone Counseling enough for the incredible truths they've impressed upon our family.

Our marriage stumbled and fell and although we were 2 broken people, we picked up the pieces and we're managing to put them together in a different way to  build a family. We owe all of our healing to Christ. Tim and I have become devoted to God, our marriage, and our family in our Christian lives, instead of just being absent members of the church down the road and vacant members of the family in this house.

As I think about 2012 coming to a close, I look back and think about how far we have all come in this last year: Adam went from sitting, swaddled, and babbling to running, talkative, and opinionated; Tim and I went from frayed and miserable to healing and Christian. It's God's grace that brought us here, and for that I owe Him my life. God has blessed us through our pain and He brought us to a place of joy and peace. We've heeded this Proverb tremendously: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight."

As I think about 2013, I am praying for the fruits of the Spirit to continue to work in myself and Tim. We're in for our best year yet!

Monday, November 12, 2012

this pain is all too real

Please pray for my sister, Ilisa. We should all be moved to pray for each other more often, if for no other reason than to bless each other's day. But when illness takes such a physical toll, the emotional and sometimes spiritual tolls that lie beneath that can be compared to the mass of ice below the surface of water with icebergs, because we can't feel the pain others feel. We can't feel the toll it's taking in the lives of the suffering. The toll gets overwhelming and it's no wonder people who suffer chronically from mysterious diseases are distracted, sad, hurt, angry, desperate, lonely, despaired, and hopeless. Ilisa's journey through intestinal hell is taking a toll. I'm scared for her, and I'm asking you to join me in praying for our Lord's healing touch on her.

My message to Ilisa tonight clings to scripture, because when I don't know what else to say, I let God say it for me through His Word:
Sometimes it doesn't feel real enough to know we are loved by our Mighty Healer because of the all-too-real pain of the trials He allows us to endure. The Lord is working through you in so so so many ways and he has great plans for you. I pray for you. I have wondered myself at times if my prayers are enough, and it's easy to think, "I wish I could help you, but all I can do is pray."
Prayer is powerful. Be bold in your prayers because our Lord supersedes nature and can do anything. I am asking God to take your sickness from you, once and for all, and to deliver you from your pain, your doubt, the bondage of illness that is holding you back from enjoying your life like you could. I am praying for you to feel that relief from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, at this very moment. You have had enough. It's your turn to be done with being sick and it's time for you to heal. If you have more people praying for you, that petition will be heard. Where two or more are gathered in the Holy Spirit, He simply cannot ignore that. I know you have more than a few people praying and petitioning for you, and He will work in His own time, but He is not ignoring us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Philippians 4:5b-7 The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WHAM! or is it WAHM?

Working at home is not easy (for me, anyway). I'm not complaining (I realize how blessed I am!); I am recognizing the fact that my personality is a tough one to wrangle and tame when it comes to staying on task and getting the momentum to get any substantial work done. I do data entry online for an insurance company that's located about 2 hours from my home, for a boss whom I've never met.

I get most of my work done after Adam goes to bed. The tough thing for me is to be disciplined enough to walk away from the hundred other things I'd like to get done, as is a general urge of moms when children go to bed (aside from the urge to collapse into bed). I can't think of anything more difficult to resist than the motivational surge of energy that springs forth from the peace of a quiet house at the end of the day. The last thing I want to do is sit on the couch and work because it's easy to get distracted online and because it's easy to fall asleep at my "desk".
I'd like to just clean up the toy tornado that swept through the living room, detoured into my bedroom, and ended in Adam's room after pulling the books off the shelf. It will only take 4 minutes.
I want to quickly clean up the dishes so I don't have to face that first thing in the morning when I'm trying to pry my eyes open to clearly see what I'm attempting to do with the coffee maker. This should only take 3 minutes. Tops. 
If I can just straighten up the paper piles, and kinda sort them into mine-to-be-filed, Tim's-to-be-filed, to-be-dealt-with-by-Friday, and other random papers that float around this house... it will look so much more tidied up than just clearing out the sink. 2 minutes is all. 
If I could do a simple inventory of stuff we need that I recognized should go on a shopping list but I was too distracted to write it down, those 3 minutes will make tomorrow go smoother after an ultra efficient trip to the store. Ready, GO!
The book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a humorous book about the comic life of a critter who's in over his head. I like to tell people I'm that mouse. I get so distracted, and I take forever to never finish everything I've ever started. Does that make sense? :o)

Tomorrow I am holding myself accountable for a few of those things. I will update my daily schedule that has proven to be dysfunctional. I will catch up on my daily printables project that I assigned myself. But, perhaps the most important part of this is the necessity to spend more time devoted to God's Word and less time being a lazy bum thinking about the fact that if I was really the mouse I'd've gotten a cookie out of the deal. ;o)

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Just a quick thought as I head to bed: I can't describe how important it is to know HALT. One of the things my sponsor taught me several years ago was to know yourself and to be true to thine own self.

We are constantly challenged by the entropy of our bodies: if we don't take care of our minds, bodies, and spirits, we will literally die. When we are feeling off, it's usually because we are hungry, angry, lonely, and/or tired. We need to halt, figure out what is throwing us off, and take care of it.

I'm exhausted. I'm easily angered, especially when I'm tired. I need to know myself and take care of myself. Why is this so hard for mommies to do? yawn

I'm looking forward to tomorrow: church and family. Church family and family. Nice. How blessed I feel!

Monday, October 1, 2012

upside-down, and the up side of Down

Tim, Adam, and I joined the Step Up for Down Syndrome event over the weekend. We went to support my sister and her family, including 2-year-old Calvin John. Cal was diagnosed with Down syndrome after a startling 20-week ultrasound appointment and follow-up amniocentesis. I just read what I wrote and it doesn't feel right to summarize Calvin and Ilisa's story into a sentence like that. Read more about that story here.

Me and Calvin

The last few weeks have been life-changing for me (and Tim). After a discovery of epic nightmarish proportions (not going there right now, maybe not ever) I can't help but think about the events that can change a person in a matter of seconds, moments, weeks... It's enlightening and disgusting, encouraging and scary. When the world as you "know" it becomes life as you knew it, I can't help but wonder what people who do not have God in their hearts and lives do to survive. How do they cope??

After nearly a month of reevaluating what seems like every single angle of my life, I am consistently and happily brought to God at every glance and meditation. I have gone to Him in prayer more than I ever imagined I would. He is so prominent in my life that I feel Him moving me. He moves my thoughts, words, and actions. My sponsor through The Program has taught me, above all, to be true to my self. I didn't mistype that: my self, not myself. In being true to my self, I allow God to work my self for His glory, because my self is His self in the sense that I'm here to do His bidding. Hello, Jesus freak! :oP

Prayer has become my lifeline to my life source. Even in the middle of the night when I get up to nurse Adam, I find I'm talking to God, thanking Him for the blessings of hearing Adam, breast milk, interrupted sleep on account of the fact that I am blessed to have Adam, my healthy and precious baby, humming fans, the snoring dog, and even my husband who takes no time at all to sprawl across the bed. Figures. Amazing how three weeks ago I honestly searched my heart for reasons to stay married. After stepping into a trap and being yanked from the floor beneath my feet and jolted and turned upside-down in a heart-wrenching tribulation, I was left with nothing but a choice.

The choice came down to one thing: God. I don't think my sister would disagree that in the moments of disbelief and heartbreak, it's not so much about the choice of how to handle it, but with whom. I've always considered myself a Christian, but I didn't ever know Christ. I didn't know love. I didn't know peace. Now that I know God and His Son, I know faith, hope, and love. I've been poring over Galatians 5 and 1 Corinthians. I've found myself addicted to Proverbs, desperately scouring scripture for answers, keys, and commands.

When I imagine the emotional turmoil Ilisa experienced when her baby was discovered to have heart defects, my heart feels a big, dull ache. I walked with my family and hundreds of strangers and let my soul empathize with parents, grandparents, guardians and caretakers of the people we love and care for, the people who feel that heartbreaking jolt after hearing there could be something wrong with their baby.

My appreciation for the relationship between God and the caretakers of anybody with special needs is profound. If it wasn't for the "bad"/challenges in our lives, we wouldn't have a reason to need God. Well played, big man upstairs, well played. :oD It's the up side of the downs in our lives, cuz when we hit our bottom the only place we can look is up. And in the case of the event over the weekend, being drawn together to feel camaraderie with others who live with the blessing of someone with Down syndrome, we can say it's the up side of Down. See what I did there? Clever, eh? ;o)

My prayer is simple: I beg God to do what it takes to bring us nearer to Him for the glory of His Kingdom. Romans 8 is full of promise. It's offensively real and I'm humble after accepting the words that speak to me. I hope the Holy Spirit continues to move me and make me feel alive in God. To thine own self be true, and not for my glory, but for our Lord who sent His only begotten Son for each of us.


My focus in the Lord in the past 3 weeks has been through these works:
Romans 8
Galatians 5
1 Corinthians 13
Eggerichs: Love and Respect
The Story, chapters 1-3
numerous blogs, including Time-Warp Wife and The Hesitant Housewife
podcasts in the "Truly, Madly, Deeply... Stuck" series by Eagle Brook Church
The Program

Monday, September 24, 2012

something Mexican

You know I'm not much for cooking or baking, so I'm sharing another 10-minutes-of-effort meal. Tim requested “something Mexican” for supper this week. I think he was expecting ye ol' ground beef tacos.

I'm bored with that.

Instead, I threw together a recipe I deduced from a frozen meal-share effort my sister organized nearly a year ago. A friend of hers made Mile-High Tortilla Pie. It was yummy and seemed easy enough, so I tried to duplicate it tonight to satisfy Tim's “something Mexican” craving. The only difference between mine and AJ's recipes is the addition of chicken in mine.

Boil and chop 2 chicken breasts.
Preheat oven to 350.
Oil the bottom of a deep pan (I used a 5-quart pan).

Make 4 Layers:
soft flour tortilla (chimichanga tortillas are the best size)
salsa (1 large jar)
black beans (2 10-oz cans)
chicken (2 breasts, chopped)
cheese, divided into 5 even parts (1.5 pounds of cheddar with taco seasoning mixed in)

After 4 layers, top the pie with a flour tortilla and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 45 minutes. Makes 4 BIG servings. Reheat leftovers in the oven to keep it crispy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No-Nap Land

For any parent ever, the results of no nap is not cool sucks. Adam napped for 5 minutes in my arms yesterday around his usual lunchtime/noon nap time. The reason he didn't nap? We were not at home. We were at my aunt and uncle's house, 2.5 miles away from home. He nursed and passed out. Yes, I am still nursing my nearly 1.5-year-old. Maybe I'll blog about that next time. It depends on if I wanna face the freak show our society has turned a natural source of providing nutrients to our babies and toddlers.

*calm down, Kathryn!*

Anyway, you see what happens? Mama gets a little crazy in the 24 hours that follow a toddler who should be napping who, instead, bolts upright in the unfamiliar, noisy play-yard and smiles around repeating, "Hi! Hi!" No nap for Adam meant that I was playing with him, dealing with him, helping him, shaking him off my legs, and tolerating him for about 12 hours yesterday. Be the end of the day, when I sat on the couch immediately after he had supper and climbed on me wanting my chips and apple salsa, I had enough. I bit my tongue and forced myself to tickle him to the point of hysterical laughter.

I threw that kid in the tub and got his bedtime routine going like there was a fire under my butt. He gave me a break and played good in the tub for about 10 minutes. He stood up and signed "all done", and while I dried him off and snuggled him up, I told him that I love him. My patience was waning for about an hour at that point. I told myself, "He doesn't get why I'm frustrated, so get over it and enjoy this sweet boy." And I did. I closed my eyes, stuffed my nose in his hair, and took a whiff of my baby. It's something I have always done when I'm frustrated or upset with him. He went to bed and was sleeping at 7:30. He didn't sleep through the night, but he slept okay. He's healthy and happy, thanks to God's gracious love.

For parents out there with more than one child, I already don't know how you do it. I'll have my turn someday, but when naps don't happen at the same time, I hope you at least make those kiddos rest or sit quietly so you get a break. My mom called it "Silence for Sanity". How in the world did my parents (especially Mom) not destroy us (I'm one of S.E.V.E.N.)? I don't know. I'll never know unless I have 7 kids, so I guess it will remain a mystery. ;o)

God's blessings to moms and dads when your children nap (or don't) that you might find a way to recharge as the madness ensues around you. And God bless your kids that they might give their deserving parents a much-needed chance to return to zero and breath easy. *sigh* :o)

Friday, September 7, 2012

fall-like friday

As far as I'm concerned, fall is here. The wind is blowing leaves off of trees, and relatively chilly rain is falling. Time to dress cozy and bake something with pumpkin! Fall is fast becoming my favorite season, compared with my love of summer a few years ago (before Adam, while I was either in college or teaching).

As fall rolls in and school starts, this seems like the perfect time to create a schedule. As I attempt to find balance in my life, I am facing the things head-on that have been holding me back. I printed a weekly schedule and dedicated each weekday to a couple of chores. I have been researching and learning about student loan repayment options. Adam has been enjoying a tidier house to play in and a happier mama (for the most part). I have a couple of phone calls to make today and some stuff to mail, but other than that I have the reassured feeling of having my ducks in a row.

Next week, Adam and I will have a schedule. It's only going to be rigidly followed when we're home for the whole day. It's so easy to be a slug when you're home day after day after day after day... The walls close in and the mundane daily tasks that are so simple are waved off until "later". You know what that means: insanity and stress are about to set in.

Inevitably, "later" would stumble in like a puking drunk after about 4 days of complacency (yes, the dishes, vacuuming, and laundry sat that long, sometimes longer). Like the puking drunk, it stunk, was ugly, nobody wanted to touch it or approach it, and cleaning up after it was a task full of resentment and unkind words.

Yuck. :o(

It seems so obvious, but if I just keep up, I won't have to play catch up and be overwhelmed. It feels like so many days Tim walks in the door and asks what Adam and I have been up to and I can't even say I've gotten dressed or showered. How does that happen?? Well, I am not going to pretend to enjoy doing the dishes, or find joy in scrubbing the toilets. Ever. But you can bet I'll be reminding myself that I should be thankful for dirty dishes because it means we have food in our house.
Phil 4:6 reads, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Someone please tell me why I should be thankful for scrubbing toilets. Ha!

Here's what my weekdays will consist of:
Monday: floors (sweep, mop, vacuum)
Tuesday: bathrooms and laundry
Wednesday: the big 3 (because of how our house is laid out): kitchen, dining room, and living room; next week's menu
Thursday: grocery shopping and rotate toys
Friday: groom Sophie (bathe and brush) and vacuum
If When I get off-schedule, I'll catch up the next day. Each morning has time set aside for walks with Sophie and Adam. Adam's naps are dedicated to reading the Bible and Internet time (blogging and playing). My work for my insurance job (approximately 10-12 hours/week) will be done after Adam is in bed each night except on weekends. Bible studies are Wednesday night, and Sunday mornings (with church service to follow on Sundays). That should keep us adhered to a decent routine, which makes for happy Mommy and Adam.

As I proofread this post, I realize how lame my life sounds. I can't really argue with that, but we manage to stay busy and with some guidance our hearts are kept full and happy. :) Here's to a happy weekend, and looking forward to a new take on being a work-at-home mom. Now to print off that pumpkin recipe and get baking to really get me in the fall spirit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

getting on track

Following up on last night's tired and overwhelmed post, I've had a cup of coffee and I've gotten a couple of things done. I'm feeling a teensy bit accomplished and feeling purposeful brings a great deal of joy to me (anyone, really).

I am a financial fool (just ask my patient husband) and am drowning in my numbers: school loans are sitting stale, starting to rot and stink. The looming cloud of student debt is a huge factor in my attitude these days. I feel the cultural pull of work, and the personal and family push of paying off my decade-old decisions. Part of my agenda today is to assess the decision to go back to work. I haven't talked to Tim about this yet, and that discussion usually goes the same direction every time we have it. (It's nothing new around here). Tim supports me staying home with Adam, financially and otherwise. I need to keep addressing this, though, because I won't stay home forever.

With my energy and better outlook this morning, I am facing the source of my discouragement and I'm asking God for grace as I make calls to my lenders and sort things out. I worked on my budget this morning, and I made a schedule of times to spend blogging, budgeting, working, READING THE WORD, and with family (including church). One day at a time! ;)

I need to draw nearer to God. The reasons are boundless and it's easy to do. With the new church calendar is a new Sunday School calendar, and classes start on Sunday. Worship services are Wednesday nights. I will surround myself with those who love God, and the pieces will fall into place. I need to busy myself with positive things, and get back to the basics: purpose-filled people are happy.

It's 11:30, and blogging time is done! :D Happy Wednesday, and thank you for the thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

constantly seeking balance

I'm not sure I even want to publish this, but I need to write to get this crud outta my head.

When I started blogging it was to give G's mama a glimpse into her day to help her feel like she could be with her baby girl, even at full-time work. I can see why some parents wouldn't care, but I would love that if it was my situation, and her parents enjoyed it. Then I started another blog because it occurred to me how unfair it is for my own kid that I'm journaling about G's days but not Adam's.

Then, like a fool, I started a blog (after I read a dad's blog regarding the fact that his journal wasn't to exploit his family, or to journal about his kids' days; it was for himself as a husband and dad) I thought it would be cool to start a blog for myself. I don't do daycare for G anymore, so that's done. I very sporadically blog on Adam's Day, mostly when I have the energy after an emotional day that I feel is important to get in his "book". Do I spend any time on my own blog? Nope. I don't even check other blogs anymore. The honeymoon's over.

Why do I do this to myself?? I drive myself crazy!!!! I read something today that described exactly what I am doing, and it scared me. It was me to a frickin' T, in a bad way. I don't want to be this way because it's like I'm sinking my own boat, on purpose, and like a psychotic maniac, can't get enough and refuse to stop. Why wouldn't I stop my own personal crazy cycle (like the one I learned about in Eggerichs' Love & Respect)? Why can't I get this under control?

Because as much as I know how, I don't remember how. I NEED TO RETURN TO GOD.

I feel like a hamster who hopped on a wheel to go for a walk and is now running like mad, and I want so badly to get off of this damned wheel because it's spinning out of control, but I don't know how to stop myself, and I'm exhausted and don't get anything done! Then I think about it from an outsider's view. Anyone can see that I just need to slow down a little bit at a time until the wheel's stopped and I can just step off and back into the world.

All weekend (full of family time, spousal frustrations, and toddler sleeping like junk as he cuts his 3rd and 4th molars) I realized that this is all in my own hands. The thoughts keep ringing in my head:

Find balance. (with God)
Go back to the Lord and walk the straight and narrow. (return to God)
Quit asking questions and look for simple answers. (focus on God)
These choices are in my hands. (make God-centered choices)

I recognize consciously that I don't want to go out and do anything. I'm holing myself up, and I don't want to socialize. I've been really negative and it's been hard not to make emotional choices. Why? I know I need balance and I need to be reminded how to find it.

I read an article tonight that connected my thoughts and my actions. I am a WAHM, and that is no reason to feel like I shouldn't still have a schedule. The lack of structure I have for myself is unnerving because I function best on routine, as most of us do. Being home all the time has led me to become complacent and depressed.

First thing in the morning (because it's after midnight now, and I'm not dealing with anything but sleep tonight!) I'm printing a weekly schedule and filling it in, starting with church events, work, time with The Program, and dates with and away from Adam with others who I miss so much. I need to get on track and get my life in order for Tim and Adam. I want to be the wise wife who builds her home, not the foolish one who tears her own home down by her own folly. I need to stay Christ-centered, and I need Christ to find balance. I feel like a failure and it's time to change that. I want to be the wise wife who builds up my family, starting with God, then Tim and Adam.

When the hamster on the wheel realizes it's spinning outta control, it has to slow down gradually or it will be tossed about like a rag doll.With God's grace I won't get tossed about when I stop the crazy cycle, rather I'll fall in step with my boys and those around me.

I need to find joy and hope around me so my boys have fuller lives. Starting with sweet dreams... Good night.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

seconds, anyone? thirds, perhaps?

<p>I don't like to cook. The mood never strikes me. </p>
<p>So anytime I can take a food prep shortcut, I'm interested. Moreover, when I take a shortcut, and it turns out this great, I am psyched!</p>
<p>The only thing I like about food is eating it. I'm sure this is the result of cultural and traditional influence. Americans spend the least amount of time preparing and consuming food in the world. I also grew up in a house with seven siblings, so Mom didn't have the time to spend on food prep (and I don't think she really enjoyed cooking).</p>
<p>A couple of weeks ago, Mom gave me a recipe for chicken pot pie cups (linked here) that I adapted to an even easier recipe. I didn't think they were gonna be as delicious as they are. I didn't season these at all, and, even though I have rather bland taste, I liked these as much as the recipe I've used in the past (linked here).</p>
<p>Tim was shocked that I cooked, and surprised at the outcome because I regularly fail in the kitchen. Seriously, one morning after I made him breakfast as a thank-you for working so hard to allow me to be a SAHM, he told me something to the effect of, &#8220;Katie, you don't have to make breakfast for me. I appreciate that you tried, though.&#8221; I asked him if it was that bad, and he asked if it would hurt my feelings if he didn't finish his food. I said no, and we laughed hysterically. He said maybe I could thank him with sex. I laughed even harder, and he left for work in tears (not the happy kind).</p>
<p>I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! By the way, I realize how much healthier this could be, but I don't really care. Ha!! :D</p>
1 can of homestyle biscuits (I love Pillsbury's)<br>
1 can of cream of chicken soup<br>
1 can of chicken (I love Hormel's)<br>
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
<p>Preheat the oven to 400&#176;.<br>
Split the biscuits in half, and gently spread them just enough to form a cup when placed in a muffin pan (I highly recommend stoneware for even cooking).<br>
Mix the chicken, vegetables, and soup in a large bowl and drop into the biscuit-lined cups.
Bake 17-20 minutes
Makes 16 cups

Friday, July 13, 2012

a weak effort to wrangle my thoughts into writing

I intended for this blog to be a journal of sorts, so here's one of my random updates and sleepy rambles. Thanks for reading. =)

I stay at home with my tot. Adam is 15 months old and is such a boy in the ways we expect boys to be: if it has wheels and a motor he's interested. His excitement and joy for simple wonders are unbounded. It's one of those times I realize how in love I am with him. We've been home for about 2 weeks (in the sense that we haven't been gone for a night and we've had a pretty steady routine going on) and it's been great. Adam's sleep habits turned from unacceptable and needy, up every 2 hours (yes, at 14 months old) to self-soothing and sleeping through the night (for stretches of 8-12 hours). Nice!

Yesterday I brought Adam to River Falls to have a sleepover at Chrissy & Mike's apartment. We enjoyed our stay and it made me think back to last year at this time when we would have 2-3 nights at Chrissy's apartment every other week. So many things have changed. Last summer, Chrissy had a roommate other than Mike who wasn't there when we visited. Adam wasn't mobile so he slept right on Chrissy's bed or on the recliner chair. Tim didn't care that Adam and I were gone for so long; actually, Tim liked it. Lots of other things have changed, too.

Chrissy and I have been through a lot in the last year. A lot! Most of all, I realized last night how much I miss Chrissy. It was great hanging out and being able to spend time with Mike and Chrissy. When I got home today I was chatting with my cousin Hailee about wedding plans. When I hung up the phone Tim asked if Mike and Chrissy were getting married. Nope, but we agreed that we wouldn't be surprised if they got engaged soon. =)

It was a nice time, and I'm looking forward to another sleepover with them in early August. A campus visit will be on the agenda because I saw loads of messes and projects of the construction sort in progress. I love the city of River Falls and there are lots of people in my prayers that I don't even know the names of who are from there. It was a couple of days that made me realize I need to keep my family close and my spirit in tune with God. I'm counting my blessings tonight!

Friday, July 6, 2012

following the leader

In this house things go off with lots of hitches. The one thing that we don't strive for is perfection, but we strive to do things with the right driving force: God. Tim and I have conversations about priorities. Sometimes those conversations get heated, sometimes they are brought up because of one of us making a move in the selfish direction.

I grew up in a family with 6 siblings. We didn't travel much. We didn't go out to eat much. We stayed home and played. We biked a mile into town to the park or Grandma & Grandpa's house to play. We camped in the yard. We played house and post office, and we spent a lot of time outside. My best friends were my siblings. We stayed overnight at friends' houses now and then, and I felt like I was missing out when I was away from home.

My parents created an environment for us to want to be. It wasn't just a place to live. I wanted to be home (I won't comment on my teenage years) and I still call it home. I remember crying as I drove out of the yard on my way to college because I was so homesick. It was a mental battle between my wants and needs. Now that I am home with Adam during the summer days (when I used to go to my parents' house 3 days a week while Tim worked, including last summer) I feel that pang of homesickness once more, and it's easy to decide: needs get priority over wants.

Summer. What a great time of year to be busy, unless you have a busy toddler who needs a routine. The majority of the time I can recreate some of Adam's routine, but I'm a sucker for the easy route, so I stay home. I know that with more kids I will stay home even more, and I'm going to because I want to. Tim used to say things to me when I was pregnant to the effect of, "Our life isn't going to change that much, is it? Why would it?" I didn't even respond. Truth is, his life didn't change much. Not until I started putting more of Adam's care in his hands. I resented Tim for a long time for that, but through The Program have learned that the blame falls on me for not trusting Tim enough... I'm losing track here. That's gonna be another post, I guess. ;)

At any rate, Adam needs routine wherever we are. When he needs something, he communicates that. It falls on me and Tim to listen and decipher his language. Adam is learning some sign language, but that has its limits. It will only get easier. When he was too young to sign and whine, it was only crying. I'll never forget Tim's anxious manner when he asked me when we just got Adam home, "How do we know what he wants?" It wasn't that he wanted anything, it's that he needed something. I figured things out based on the clock. It got easier to hear it in his cries whether it was a hungry cry or a tired cry. Adam never fussed about his diaper, and was a very content baby. I didn't wait for him to cry to answer to his needs; I responded when he fussed. Why wait for a cry when it only meant it would teach him not to trust me and I'd have to take longer to calm him down. It was a no-brainer.

When it came to letting Adam cry it out (CIO) at bedtime, I only attempted it when I knew he was healthy, fed, and tired. His only need at that point was for sleep. He wanted to nurse and be held/rocked/snuggled and I made sure that was the reason for his sadness. I knew that was the case when he would cry when I lowered him to his crib, and stop immediately when I picked him up. I recognized that from his days of crying in his car seat. He cried when he was not ready to self-soothe, and got over it when he was ready for it. When he self-soothed in his car seat he was probably ready to self-soothe in his crib.

This household runs on a baby-led schedule. We meet Adam's needs first. In this culture, that idea is not widely accepted or embraced. We expect our babies to conform to our lifestyles, in the hopes that "not that much will change". I wanted my life to change. Babies are not novelty items. They are anything but convenient. Who said they should be? I am happy to follow Adam's lead, especially when it's so easy to read his signals and adjust to his needs to get a happy kid. Why wouldn't I? It's easy because it's common sense. It's natural. I agree that it's good for kids to learn to be patient and learn to wait for some things. I also believe that a kid's needs should be met before mine because I am a real-life grown-up and it's not all about me. =)

I ramble too much. I know that. ;) The point is, if we follow God, our priorities will fall easily into place. Needs will be met, wants will follow. Joy will capture our hearts and we will find an attitude of gratitude. Prayers for health and thanksgiving are abundant, and so are our blessings. =)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

get on the sleep train

All aboard! Once you hop on, there's no stopping the Sleep Train! Sleep training? For who? Adam, his mama, or his dada? Last week, bedtime was a tense event around here. Adam's typical bedtime routine was in place for a few months. I firmly believe that children of all ages need routine, so when Adam was upset it was his cue to me that it was not working for him anymore. The times are approximate, we're flexible around Adam's needs.
5:00: supper when Adam acts hungry (supper usually consists of protein, grains, and veggies)
5:30: wrangle the tot in an effort to get him in the bath, followed by a game of chase-the-naked-baby-who's-running-around-the-house-playing-his-favorite-game-of-catch-the-tot-before-he-pees-where-you-don't-know-it-even-happened
6:00 after more chasing, wrangling, wrestling, laughing, lotioning, singing, diapering, tickling, more chasing, and dressing him, Adam plays for a while to burn the fumes off. We read 2 or 3 books (or more if he's in the mood to sit with us).
7:00 I ask Adam if he wants to nurse and he runs to me panting, staring at my chest and smiling, and wriggles his way into my lap. Or he runs from me because he knows what's gonna happen after he nurses. This is when I can relax, knowing he's slowing down. Sometimes he falls asleep right after or during nursing, usually not.
7:30 at the latest: Time for bed. We turn on music and the fan/noise machine. We offer Adam a pacifier if he's chewing on his fingers. Sometimes he accepts, other times he pushes it away or grabs it and chucks it across the room with zeal (yeah, that's the adjective: zeal...). We used to hold Adam while we rocked in the recliner or bounced on the exercise ball until he fell asleep. He's getting big so this had to change soon. Now after we rock for a few minutes and say our bedtime prayer, we lay him in his crib. IF he cries/whines, it lasts about a minute before he is humming himself to sleep.
Last week, 7:30 turned into the worst hour (or more) of the day. I do not want bedtime to be a struggle. I love going to bed and relaxing. I'd like to break Adam of the idea that his crib is a place to scream and sob, rather it's a place to relax and be calm and feel well. What we did has worked in the past, but the key was to attempt it only when I know he is healthy and all of his needs are met, especially when I know I can give him a routine at home for several days in a row. Tim and I had to be mentally prepped for it, and on the same page about what we want for Adam

Sunday night, I put Adam in his crib with his blankey and a smooch. With music and fan on, I looked at the clock and decided that in 20 minutes I would go soothe him. It didn't happen, though, because he was sleeping when the timer read 19:34. Adam slept like a partied-out rock star, and woke up out of habit (so I nursed him) at about 2 and 6. He slept until 8:30. The following day he cried out his nap times for 4 minutes each time, and the second night of crying it out (CIO) he cried about 8 minutes. The best part was that he slept for 10 hours straight that night, in his crib. That means I slept for 8 hours straight. YAHOO!!!

What do I think of the CIO method? It works. It sucks for 2 or 3 nights if you are alone, but with support it is bearable. And it is worth it for everyone in the house. Tim is not a fan of making Adam CIO, especially after an intense bonding weekend where the boys didn't even leave the house except to walk the dog. Tim thinks it is a cruel and senseless form of punishing a baby into passing out after sobbing to the breaking point of exhaustion. Tim and I talked it over and agreed that we needed to try it for a week to see how Adam responded. We follow Adam's lead after we give him direction.

I wanted needed a break after more than a year of nursing Adam to sleep. I want this to be a God-driven family-centered household with a baby-led schedule/routine, where the needs of my child are met first. I felt like it was worth trying to see how he would respond, and if he responded appropriately and learned that bedtime means business, he was ready and I wasn't pushing him.

With Adam being sick on and off for the last 10 weeks with 4 ear infections (one being a double ear infection, a double-whammy that is), hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), and teething, my concern for making sure Adam breastfeeds when he wants it has been more important that my own sleep schedule. Yes, readers, my 14.5-month-old is still a breastfed baby. Well, toddler... That's a topic for another day. I'm trying to stay focused here. :) Adam's sleep habits have also been interrupted by a trip we made 2 weekends ago out to Tim's parents' house near Wausau and family gatherings that meant lots of road time and late nights. With illness after illness, inconsistent surroundings, and no set bedtime, we all suffered.

The stress, the heart-wrenching sobs of the baby, the emotional roller-coaster of desperation for sleep and sadness that your baby needs you... ugh!! Exhausted myself, I had to decide for myself (because Tim didn't want to do this "to" him): it was time for Adam to cry it out. He is healthy, old enough, and tired. It was worth it to have 2 difficult nights for us to know that Adam now whines (not even crying) for about 30 seconds before he is sleeping. Bedtime is no longer a fight, and Adam sleeps through the night for 5-10 hour stretches. That alone tells me 2 big things: he needs to sleep through the night, and he does not need to nurse in the middle of the night.

I have to say, I thought the CIO method was mean and unloving. Adam understands right from wrong, so he also understands that when he sees me walk into his room when he cries, he is about to get his way. As soon as I picked him up the crying stopped - no exaggeration. Talk about frustrating! Just because it worked with Adam and us does not mean it will work for everyone. All parents need to be on board because if someone does it differently the kiddo will be confused and misery will ensue. I can't imagine going through it without Tim's support. We weren't sitting on the couch holding hands through it. In fact, Tim was so upset he had to leave the house and I worked while I kept an eye on the clock.

I pray for support for single parents and for kids who don't know what a routine is. I pray for sleep for kids who need it and parents who need a break. What are your thoughts on sleep-training?

Monday, June 18, 2012

lists, and other wastes of my time that i keep doing

Yes, I'm still here. I'm put off by the fact that some jackal hacked my blog, and the thought of blogging hasn't thrilled me in the least. I need to get over it, so here I am. I'll check in more and try to use this space better than I have.

Summer has definitely settled on us. I am 100% excited for all the things I listed in a previous post, and I am also 100% overwhelmed by how busy I've kept in the last 2 weeks. The house is a disaster and it will not get better for the Norwex party I very stupidly (smacking my forehead repeatedly) scheduled for Thursday (we are going to Tim's parents' the next morning for the weekend for a fam reunion, and tenting it). So I'm panicking slightly. As soon as I post this, I am making lists of the stuff I need to get done, the calls and emails I need to take care of, and the heap I need to pack for the Shootin' The Bull reunion (yup, that's what it's called).

I am a chronic list-maker-not-follow-through-er. For someone like me, the point of making the list is to get my frantic thoughts on paper to try to make sense of them in a frenzied effort to chill myself out, but not necessarily to do anything about them. I love listing things. When I am trying (for any God-forsaken reason) to stay awake, I make a list. Sometimes I make lists of lists. Usually I leave them laying around and I tune them out. After all, they only serve to remind me what I have not gotten done.

I waste a lot of paper. And time. And then I remember how freaked out I am about how little time I have and then I tell myself to GET OVER IT AND JUST TAKE CARE OF THINGS!!

Speaking of, I gotta go...


Thursday, May 17, 2012


my thoughts are all over the place. i have quotes to do so this is gonna be quick, although i don't know what direction i want this thought to go. i'm scattered because i'm tired. i'm tired because Adam was sick for the last day and a half. he was sick and now he's fine and sleeping. it was tough getting him down tonight. Tim was outside selling his mazda while i was inside trying to sleep-train Adam. again. and it makes my head hurt because of his whining and my aching desire to pick him up that i fight and fight. i lost that battle tonight and i'm not sorry. my baby is still a baby. and i'm tired. wait, i said that already...

time to get to work so i can get to bed. tomorrow is the day i go through my wedding pics and order my free 8x8 photo book from (thank you Ellen!) and praise God it's Friday. off i go.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

roll with the changes

I am making some changes and liking the direction I'm heading. When you think about changes and the feeling is unsettled and uncertain, it's usually not a good sign. I got that feeling when I took a job at a school, and on my first day (after I met some coworkers) went into the teacher's lounge and caught the end of a conversation between 2 married teachers (not to each other) about a lap dance at the last company Christmas party. It was an absolute shit-slide down a slick slope from there. I was literally skipping to my car on my last day after I quit, after my supervisor ignored my thanks for his time and my boss waved me off when I said I came by his office to say good-bye.

The changes I'm about to make are natural and they feel right. I'm a praying woman and I believe that God's plan is simple (though not always easy). I'm quitting daycare for G and picking up more hours with the insurance company I do quotes for. I will line up someone to watch Adam 2 days a week from now until who-knows-when so I can focus on my work. My boss wants me to stay in his district and he's adding me as a staff member because he's happy with the work I've done so far. Yay!!

This is what I went to college for. ;-)

Friday, May 4, 2012

call me procrastinate kate

I just ate 3/4 of a Jack's pepperoni pizza by myself. I'm satisfied, somewhat ashamed that I don't remember chewing the last 3 slices, and I think I'm done with pizza for a very long time. I ate supper at 5 with Adam. I got him down and he hasn't made a peep (which after the last 24 hours of sore throat sobs is a great relief). It's almost midnight and Tim's out of the state. It's been a looooong day. Supper number two was a high-five to my college days.

I am caught in my struggle with sanity like a handkerchief on a tug rope. I feel like I'm being pulled in a few directions constantly, and yet I don't understand what those directions are because my life is simple. I am a SAHM of a 1yo son; my husband works full-time and comes home to work part-time; my 1yo son hasn't been in the best health, but I certainly know how blessed I am so you won't find me complaining; my desire to be at church frustrates me because I'm not as involved as I'd like to be; I feel bad for my dog who I've been neglecting for over a year because my priorities made a drastic shift; I have an online job (that I should be doing right now, actually); I make a pathetic income and spend a tragic budget.

The list goes on, but that's because I am holding the shovel that's digging the hole around me. I need to set down the shovel and focus. I am overwhelmed by the amount of little stuff around the house that needs to be dealt with before Adam turns 20. Pathetic, I know.

Like a wise friend of mine has inspired me to do, it's time to quit thinking about these things (pinning) and start doing them. Here's the thing... I'll start tomorrow. The Bucky Run is tomorrow, and so is the first Saturday of May (GARAGE SALES!!!!!!!!!!!). Sooooo... I'll make a list of things I want to do tomorrow and I'll start them the day after tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow is church, and visiting with my parents. So maybe I'll budget time for one thing the day after tomorrow, but won't get a really good start until 2 days after tomorrow.

I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

You know the piles and stacks and mountains of papers that are waiting for me in the basement, and in my bedroom, and in my kitchen, and on my table? And the laundry? And the accumulating heap of crap that I plan to sell at a garage sale this summer? And the dishes? And vacuuming? What about time for Sophie? This makes me want to go to bed.

I'll make my list tomorrow. Oh wait, no I won't: tomorrow is 12 minutes away and I haven't started work yet. I'll do it later.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

nature AND nurture

Adam and I were at Mike and Sarah's for a visit and Sarah and I were recalling Evan calling horses "wheety", with a windy wh- sound, compared to Adam's version "eet-eet". Later, I was visiting with Mom and Ilisa, and we were trying to remember which of the kids used to pull the clean/dirty wheel off the dishwasher like Adam had just done, and why some of the kids didn't. And Dad and I were noticing how Adam is saying "da-doh" similar to Evan's "da-doo", and Adam says "buh buh buh" like David did. When kids are in the same environment and they do different things, or are raised differently and do similar things as other kids, it strikes my curiosity.

We've [likely] all heard of "nature vs. nurture". The Program has me thinking about things differently, sorta like how amazing the world looks to G through the upside-down lens as she sticks her teeny bum in the air with her head on the floor and giggles gleefully at the view between her legs. I'm using the word AND instead of opposition words (but, or, versus, etc.). I'm thinking more along the lines of I love your sounds AND it's time to be quiet cuz you're making me bonkers, or I know you'd rather play than have your diaper changed AND you're gonna just have to lay here and deal with me doing this.

In the same way G looks at the world with a new view, I find myself thinking about the mundane through a new view. It's refreshing. On my way home I was thinking Why can't it be nature AND nurture? Wouldn't it help us raise our kids better if we used the two together?? Much of my mission as a teacher was to help the students learn their learning type. I wanted to know the best way to tailor my lessons to my students and classes. Sometimes I taught the same lesson very differently because my audience was not the same.

Simple enough, right? No! I felt like I had to teach the same thing 8 different times in one class period because I wanted the students to hear the lesson in their own language, if you will. The term "lost in translation" comes to mind. I found that I lost the students' interest if I wasn't speaking at the level of understanding to them all. I got frustrated on a regular basis because I found myself starting at the ground and working my way to the clouds every day. That gets exhausting! With my "spirited" students I felt like I had to dance and shoot off fireworks to keep their attention with the challenge of getting the lesson across. With the gifted students I had to keep their interest and stay a step ahead of them without dumbing the lesson down or the point would be lost and they would end up seeing through me to the chaotic dance I was trying to perform.

I was always tired when I taught.

When it comes to Adam, my inquisitive, busy toddler, I want to give him the space to learn on his own and I want to nurture his curiosity by sharing the wonder of the simple things in life with him. I want to be there for every new word, association, and revelation. I also want to get out of his face enough to let his curiosity take the wheel. As a SAHM, I admit that I have a difficult time knowing when to give him a break because it feels like he is changing so quickly that if I miss out on the chance to dance with him or teach him an animal sound, I'm worried that I'm not doing enough to give him what he deserves. I know he has what he needs, so that's not a point of concern.

I want to encourage him based on the kind of person he is. It doesn't appeal to me to push him or discourage him, unless it's about his safety/health (of course). My point of this long rambling is this: how can I nurture Adam's nature to raise him to be a well-rounded, resiliant Christian with integrity and discipline? Whew! What a mission! It's what I'm alive for; I believe to my core that God put me here to bring my family to His service. I want to do what I can to achieve the grand goal of hearing Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

So enough of setting nature against nurture. I'm trying to get them in sync to make my family's future a bright one. After all, my family is what God blessed me with so I could do his bidding to bring more people to Him.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

let go, and let God

I just had a whirlwind of a day (and a half). I brought Adam to his great-auntie Connie's for the night and spent my first night away from him in over a year. Tim and I had a date night and we went out to eat at The Laurel (mmmmm... salmon...). 2 1/2 glasses of Champagne later, I admitted to Tim that I was fighting exhaustion. You see, whenever Adam is not around, I. Get. Tiiiiiired. *sigh*

We came home and Tim took Sophie out to do her business. I decided to let go of my consciousness and wind waaaaay down. I showered and put on my comfy pjs. I stumbled out of the bedroom, over Adam's toys, and plopped on the couch. I queued up Netflix, "How I Met Your Mother", and proceeded to pass out.

I don't remember Tim getting in with the dog. I don't remember talking to him (which I apparently did when they got in). I don't remember ANYTHING except waking up to a lovely soaked shirt and aching boobs. I squinted to make out the clock; if it wasn't 5, I wasn't getting up. Dang it, 5:30.

Then I had the thought settle over me that my baby wasn't home and I loved the fact that I could take care of me. And that's it.

Lots of people said "oh you'll miss him" or "you're gonna cry" when I mentioned him having his first over-night away from me. I couldn't stop smiling when I dropped him off with Auntie Connie! I called Hailee and laughed because I felt free! I trust my aunt to take care of Adam. He was only 2 miles away. He was happy when I left and I got lots of text-pics that showed that he was happy. One of the best things I've learned through my progress in The Program is to let God be in control. That alone not only made this possible, but also easy and truly enjoyable.

I have noticed that when things don't go like I thought they would, I need to slow down and look around at what God would rather have me do. I'm here to do His bidding and I feel good for doing it. If traffic is moving slower, fine. If Adam's out of my hands, okay. If the dog eats cat poo, whatever. If circumstances make me late, hungry, double-think, and yes, even upset, I'm learning to turn my attention to God. I'm getting faster at recognizing these instances and I'm happier when I shrug my shoulders and think, "that's okay," or, "this might be better than the other possibility".

My next challenge is to quit being a doormat and to stand up for myself. I'm okay with things going a different way, but I'm unhappy and hurt when I let people trample on my feelings. I will learn (soon, I hope) to bring my feelings to the surface and deal with them before they turn ugly (like my last post to a hacker that I deleted).

When God is in my heart, good things will happen in my life. When God helps me choose my words, better things will happen. When God guides my actions, great things will happen. I am my thoughts, my words, and my actions. If God helps me bear the weight of my troubles, the world will be a brighter place!

As I work to sleep-train Adam (again! after 10 weeks of sickness and being away from home) I need to remember to let go of what's going on for the sake of letting God's plan fall into place. I need to tell myself to let go, and let God take over. One day at a time!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

love you forever

We had a great day as we celebrated Adam's First Birthday. My baby is getting so big so fast! I read "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch and cried (of course). I wonder if I'll ever get through that book without crying. I took a few pics as the party went on, and some of the boys in the tub tonight. We missed some special people today, and we are so blessed for the ones who came and the great gifts they gave to Adam. Happy 1st Birthday, Adam Isaiah!

(pics to come when i get them edited/uploaded)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

the look

I'm having my own special day. Those of you who know me might point out that every day is a special one for me. Yeah, yeah... you're right. But even more so, I'm in a goofy frame of sleep-deprived mind. Today there's one thing I'm keeping in mind so my tired mouth doesn't cause more trouble than it already has. I'm remembering something I'm learning through The Program: "There's a reason God gave me 1 mouth and 2 ears." I'm amending that to include "... and 2 eyes". Que The Look (girlfriends, wives, moms, aunties, teachers, and women in general know what I mean).

This morning Tim pointed out to me that he's tired. I offered The Look. He thought I was flirting and laughed, saying something to the effect of "are you busy right now?" Fail. Just remember, readers, that this is a guy who knocked me off my bike on a paved trail and made me bleed and limp, and he said, "I was trying to flirt!" I'd hate to see if he succeeded at it.

This morning I changed G's diaper. Adam was across the room (and although he can walk, crawling is a safer, faster way to go). He put his head down and charged across the room to us. He got up on one knee and held his hand over G's face and looked at me. I gave him The Look and he proceeded to pet G's hair and face in the "pet nice" fashion. Success.

I had my nephews here for a sleepover last week. Three-year-old Nolie is a spirited boy: he's passionate. He was pretty unhappy when nearly-one-year-old Adam took his toys and wouldn't share, so he gave Adam a shove with one hand while he held a car Adam stole with the other hand. Adam was un-phased but I had to address this. No words needed: I presented The Look. Nolie promptly pulled Adam back up, hugged him, kissed him, and said "dowwy" while he handed the car back. Nice. Nolan looked back and I gave him a wink and thumbs-up.

I am learning (and sometimes failing) to keep my mouth shut. I remind myself repeatedly every day to look and listen before I turn emotionally reactive (a term I learned from my sister through a book I read when I started teaching from a book series that I should get back into). Save yourself from an arguement and give the gift of The Look instead. Happy scowling.

I told you I was in "a mood". ;)

On a related note: I love Oreos. If you know me you know how that's related.

I'll quit typing now.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

root beer

What a busy day! If I don't journal on whirlwind days like this I feel like they'll be forgotten sooner. The little things, like Nolie asking at 9:15 tonight if his mommy was here, or the look of exhileration on his face when we walked up the pop and chips aisle at the grocery store while he pushed his tot-size grocery cart, shouting, "Katie! I found the woot beeah! I found the sips!"

I'm getting way ahead of myself here. I meant to write like my day went: starting with the morning. The sleep thing, waking up alive thing? Not today. I cleaned like nobody's business until 2 am. Tim got up with Adam (as he does 2 or 3 times a week these days). I got up around 7:30 and tidied some more while Tim helped because Ilisa came over to do Adam's 1-year pics. Her photography business is picking up speed and she has great ideas that are coming to life. It's exciting and inspiring to watch her on this journey.

Adam put on a show for Ilisa, and Auntie Connie joined us to coax more silliness out of my bugger. He danced to Christian rock, pushed around his "super cruiser" (as Tim calls it), jumped on his bed, and played with cake. It is always a joy to see him in his element and he was eating up the attention (and some cake!).

We ventured over to Children's Hospital in St. Paul for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Wolpert. On the trip Connie read some passages out of a book that I'm anxious to get my hands on. I'm scarednervousexcited about my personal spiritual inventory and the thought of it is extremely intimidating. Yuck. I'm having a heck of a time facing Step 4, and as I have made it since Monday feeling like I am happy (pathetic, I know) I should be rarin' to get into and over this Step so I can be even happier. Anyway, the passages I heard are inspiring and make me less sick to my stomach about the next Step.

We visited with Dr. James Wolpert for 15 minutes. Dr. Wolpert has a great bedside manner and is a pleasure to deal with. We will see him again in a year. I want to put this behind us, and it's clear this is another issue I'll be addressing in Step 4. As I type this I don't want to tell people about Adam's hypospadias. There. I said it. Adam was the 1 in 800 babies born with this birth defect. His hypospadias was repaired. It's healing "fine" but we will be going back to see if any cosmetic issues become functional issues. Boo. Until then there's nothing we can do but thank God for where we are from where we've been. Can you tell I don't want to face this? My shoulders are tense and my head is achy just typing this paragraph. Ugh...

Anyway, with a happy boy we headed to Walmart and Fleet Farm and we had a fun time picking out Adam's Easter stuff. Adam got a lawn mower toy from Auntie Connie for Easter. It's really light-weight and we are convinced it gives him the sense of security he needs to take his first steps. Oh, we went crazy watching him PICK THE MOWER UP AND TAKE STEPS but refused to walk if he wasn't holding on to it. Oh, Adam!

On our way home we picked up my nephews Nolan (3.5) and Evan (6). The boys came outside asking if we were gonna have root beer and stay up super late. I said yes to both. Nolie and I went to the local store and had a hay day while Adam was home sleeping with Tim and Ev playing soccer outside. Nolie was unsure about some things, like "is this a good path?" and "is it okay?" I could tell he was missing his mama and dad. He did great with Evan by his side, and Ev takes his big-brother role seriously with an arm around his li'l pal saying, "I'm glad you're here, Nolan." When we got home, Nolan ran from the car yelling, "Evan! We got woot beeah!" Oh, to be 3 and so loved!

We rounded the night off with popcorn, root beer, books, and Veggie Tales. Both party animals were out by 9:40. Tim and Sophie were not far behind, and here I am. I'm looking forward to sleep, and a shower. Probably in that order. Tomorrow we will dye eggs and play at the school. We will greet the day with playtime and peanut butter. I will take a nap. Maybe not. Probably not. I hope I am that blessed, and I'm so glad to have a house full of boys and my Sophie girl ALL SNORING. *sigh* Ahhhh... life is good, God is great. I'll end with some pics of our afternoon.

so tired after such a long day

Tim playing soccer with Evan while Nolan plays golf, sorta

"Katie, we need peanuts!"

little shopper

Monday, April 2, 2012

up & at 'em

I was inspired by the sermon at church yesterday. It was about defeating the devil on a daily basis, and the hope we have in knowing Jesus nailed our sin to the cross. Satan has us like puppets on strings. When we are not looking we get strung up and we do his bidding. When we are careful we snip the strings holding us back. Then we get distracted and he ties us up again. We are bound by the invisible strings of sin.

We get tired of cutting Satan's ties, but we aren't doing it alone. We get frustrated by his persistence, but our hope wins in the end. We get off course because Satan is working at us, chomping at the bit for a chance to hurt us, but we have God backing us. For those of us who have accepted God's help through Jesus as our personal Savior, then what could stand against us and have a chance? The battle has already been won! We just need to persevere through our days and focus.

I wake up every day knowing I have emotional struggles, and that is a bugger of a first thought to greet the day with. It is never gone, but I must face my personal demons several times every day including before I open my eyes. I have never been a morning person (just ask my husband and family). I like to say that Tim is jealous of my relationship with my bed. =) More than ever I'm trying to defeat my unhappiness FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, as if I have the energy.

I just read an article that offers me hope and a challenge. I'm putting it in writing here because it will hold me accountable. With the idea in mind that habits take 2 weeks of daily discipline to form I am committing to do this daily for 14 days. Here goes something!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the things dreams are made of

It's not very nice out today; it's very windy, so we're staying inside. I made chicken and wild rice soup for lunch. Since we're not quite there yet, I'm dreaming about the things I'm excited to do with Tim & Adam this summer (and Sophie too, of course). Adam is cruising along furniture, and he holds toys in his mouth as he crawls. His daycare buddy is walking and I know it won't be long before Adam joins her. I'm not in a hurry for Adam to walk; I don't have enough band-aids on hand.

It will happen soon enough, and I'm focused on enjoying every stage knowing he'll grow out of these things all too quickly. I try to capture his silliness on video and still shots, afraid I'll forget the noises, the looks, the innocence... I know these days are a blur now, and it'll only be a blurrier blur a few years from now. As my oldest nephew's 6th birthday approaches, I'm holding on for dear life to the enduring little things that define Adam, just as we did with Evan and my other nephews and niece. Gosh, I can't believe he's nearly SIX!

Time flies, and it's a roller coaster of thrills, scares, and everything in between. There's always a song in my head, for every occasion, all the time. Right now its Cheryl Crow's lyrics. These are the days when anything goes. Ahhh..... life! God is so good, and we are so blessed! Anticipation makes the little things so big, and my mind is reeling with stuff I'm excited for this summer.

spending time with Ilisa and the boys
camping w/ the Rohloff family
swimming in pools and lakes
playing at parks
visiting the zoo
play dates
going for walks with Adam in the wagon
visiting family near and far
day trips to see new things
vacation out west??
catching fireflies
making nightlights with my niece and nephews
church events
all things Lake Superior
garage sales
farmers markets
drive-in movies
anything to do with friends and family!

what am I missing? ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

planning a plan

I like to plan. In fact, I enjoy planning enough to make a plan of my plans. I say aloud, "Okay, here we go." Then I get a pen and TWO pieces of paper. I list what is to be done, then I circle a number out front of each item. I proceed to make a final draft on the second piece of paper. Do I ever look at that list again? Maybe a few times in the next 12 hours. Maybe. Or not.

I just read about keeping it simple (gotta love that!) and actually wrapping my head around my days. Author Glynnis Whitwer hit it on the head for me when she mentioned weeks that aren't planned that bring you to a Friday of wondering What happened to all my time??

Enjoy a 2 minute inspirational read about chores. I can't believe I just typed that.

Wash on Mondays, Iron on Tuesdays

Monday, March 19, 2012

i baby my baby

Adam is 11 months old today. His first haircut is in a week and a half, he's got his 2 front top teeth cutting through, and he's "asking" for us to read to him and play with him now. Adam is growing so fast, and his "uh-uh" (uh-oh) is evidence that his personality is shining more than ever with his speech.

Today as Adam was playing, he periodically stopped to sob. Ugh, those teeth. I didn't get much done today since I chose to snuggle him when he was bummin'. Poor buddy.

His hair has been curly the last few days with the humidity. I will have to get pics of that, and spike it for pics before it gets cut. I'm gonna tie ribbons around his baby locks and save a few curls when it gets cut. I wonder if I'll cry.

Yeah, I'll probably cry...

Friday, March 16, 2012

i'm one of those jesus freak types

I pray on a consistently irregular basis, when the thought strikes, where ever I am. I think the most important thing in any relationship ever is communication, and relationships are simply between two people. Yes, I think God is a person, and that I am just as responsible in keeping my end of the communication up as He is.

A couple of weeks ago I read something that went right to my heart: when we sin, no matter the sin, it is the result of not having God centered in our thoughts, words, and actions. I try to keep God on my side, but since then I've been asking Him to let His Holy Spirit into the gut of my soul, to take over, and to be the driving force in me.

I have anger issues. I feel like anything that is upsetting leads me to anger/frustration/annoyance/whathaveyou... and it's because I need more God and less me. As the song goes (So Long Self by Mercy Me):

...So long, self
Well, it's been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long, self
There's just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long, self
Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don't cry
So long, self...

I think it's human nature (sinful nature) to be self-centered. Then I look back to see how many times the words "I, me, my..." appear in these blogs and shake my head. Well, it is my journal. Ha! I just hope that as Adam grows he wants God to be the center in his life, and the center of his soul. It's a selfish desire, but I find myself feeling good about wanting that for my kid. =)

Every night and periodically throughout the day I pray with Adam. I started in the hospital when I had him; I had an overwhelming urge to surround my baby with God's holy presence. Who wouldn't want that for their baby?? I asked God in a desperate begging way to take care of my baby boy who didn't even have a name yet. I was tearful and felt a powerful urgency in wanting to protect my baby physically and spiritually. I suppose this is the very reason people have their infants baptized. I prayed with him while I buckled him into his car seat one time, asking God to keep him from screaming the whole car ride (he hated the car seat from months 2-5) and God gave me and Adam a quiet ride. Yahoo! It didn't happen every time, but I sure appreciated when God gave us a break from the sadness!

My point is simple: I want Adam to be used to the ongoing conversation between us and God. I want my family to see it as normal to openly converse with Him, as we do with our dearest friends. It's comforting for me to see people bow their heads silently before a meal and to hear people open up about and to God to their friends and family. I like our church for that very reason: we are accepted no matter how we approach God and no matter how we maintain a relationship with Him.

Tonight I reminisced (after I prayed with Adam and he just fell asleep so peacefully) about when my sister, Ilisa, and I went to Grandma and Grandpa Ajer's house and stayed overnight. It was special that we said our bedtime prayer and blessings before bed, and I want Adam to remember that with me and Tim. Our bedtime prayer:
Now I lay me down to rest, angels guard my little nest. Like a wee bird in a tree, Loving Father, care for me. Glad and well, may I awake. This I ask for Jesus' sake. Amen.
"God bless Adam Isaiah, Mommy and Daddy, and God bless Sophie, too. God bless Grammas and Grampas, Aunties and Uncles, and all those cousins, too. God please bless our dear friends and our neighbors, near and far. Bless us all simply because you made us who we are. Thank you for the air, good water, the sun, and the food you give. And thank you most of all, Dear God, for your Son, that we might live. Amen."
When we were little, we did blessings and started with family, then friends, and eventually said "everyone in the world". I remember crying one night after Ilisa fell asleep because I couldn't name enough people and I wanted God to bless everyone. We are all blessed, and I still wish to this day that everyone recognizes who gives them those blessings.

I'll stop now. I could ramble on and on... I've got that joyJOYjoyJOY down in my heart. ;o)  God bless you! =)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

days worth remembering

I look at the kids (Adam and his daycare buddy) and I think I wonder if I'll remember these cute antics when they're older. I can't even remember what I did last weekend and it's only Thursday. This is why I created this blog! Sesame Street is on and they dance, they clap, they laugh. Then they take toys from each other and scream at each other. A minute later, they're back to smiles and silliness. Then they're off to the kitchen to play in a drawer and the only thing I hear is toys clanking around and knees and hands shuffling across the linoleum. These are the days I'll miss here and there in the years to come: spring is here and temps are pleasant, seasonal birds have returned and their songs lighten moods, and the anticipation of a garden gives me butterflies. We slept with the window open last night and I woke up with Adam (before the sun and the birds) imagining waking up in a tent this summer. Yay!

Adam holds his car up and says "buh! buh!" These are the sounds that earned my brother David the nickname Bubby. I call Adam Bugger, Bubby, A-Bear (anything-Bear, depending on his mood or activity), and Sugar. It sounds completely lame, but Sugar comes from when he just born and I called him My Sweet Honey Bear. Other names have come from that, but I find myself calling Adam Sugar Bear when he's nursing and Bugger most of the other time. He definitely knows his name though. Evan sang "Adam Isaiah" when he stayed over a couple weeks ago, and (funny enough) Tim picked up on it and sings it now.

All of a sudden Adam is "bah bah dah dah"-ing and it's no surprise to see him cruising around chairs in the dining room and playing peek-a-boo with me, bearing his 2-tooth grin. These are the days worth remembering. These are the days that make the lousy days worth bearing. These are the days and the moments I hold on to, when I return to my Mommy Cloud and tease the world quietly as I know I have it made. I'm not rich in things, but my heart is to the bursting point with blessings and love for my baby, my Gracie (daycare), my Tim, and God. He is so good!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

let the blog begin

Adam is screaming in the bathtub while Tim is singing and washing him.


My turn next (bedtime, time to nurse in t minus 5 minutes). I'm wolfing my supper down, wondering Now, why did I just create a blog?? I just got a part time job, I do full-time daycare (for a 13-month-old girl named Gracie), I have an eleven-month-old boy, it's spring, and I'm eating. Really, Kathryn? Oh, right. Because it's hardly ever like this and I want to remember these days and share my thoughts with readers willing to put up with me. ;o)

Hmmm... the crying stopped. Oh, never mind, there it is.

Oh, the joys of life: a tired baby, a husband who works full time and rushes home to see the tired bugger, and my own brain. I won't go there. Not now, anyway. For now I remind myself that these are 10 minutes of the entire day, and I usually have this managed before the point of Adam shedding tears.

Off I go!