February 27, 2012

Technically . . . that's illegal.

Did you see this article last week? A preschool student's lunch of a sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice was deemed "unhealthy" because it didn't include a vegetable. So it was taken from her and she was given (and her parents were billed for) the chicken nuggets they were serving in the cafeteria.

I'm not even kidding.

It made me think of the book my friend, Ann, wrote called "Technically, That's Illegal." She sent me a copy back in the fall and I read it while I was on vacation in October. I found myself both laughing and clenching my fists as I read. I couldn't believe how many ridiculous laws there are and how arbitrarily they're enforced. "You may be interested to know that you're probably breaking the law without realizing it," Ann writes. "You're also almost certainly associating with a bad crowd of friends, as they are probably criminals, too."

The book is "A witty commentary on over-legislation in America, with a focus on a city's little-read municipal codes. This stay-at-home mom takes the dull ride through the codes on her own and shares the gems with the reader, while engaging in experiments and commentary along the way."

Whether you're interested in reading about over-legislation in America or not, you'll at the very least be entertained by Ann's writing. Her sense of humor and wit make this book fun to read for anyone!

Along with my copy, Ann also sent a copy for me to give away to one of you! Wasn't that nice of her? If you want to win your very own (signed) copy, just leave a comment here by March 1. I'll announce the winner on March 2. If you can't wait that long to get your hands on it, go ahead and purchase the book for yourself right now!

February 24, 2012

Day 5

On Wednesday, I completed day 4 of Jillian's 30-day shred.

Of course, days 1 - 3 were back in April right before I found out I was pregnant, but I'm still going to count Wednesday as day 4. Several of my facebook friends assured me that this is perfectly okay to do.

It felt so good to be active again and I was feeling so motivated, but on what would have been day 5, I woke up feeling sick. Ben had a runny nose all week, and I hadn't thought much of it. I just thought he had the sniffles, and they'd go away. But yesterday, the "sniffles" took out me, Ben, Jack and Claire.

I had aches, fever, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and headache. It was miserable. It still kind of is. On top of it all . . . have I mentioned that I did Jillian's 30-day shred the night before? I don't remember my muscles hurting that bad when I did it back in April, but yesterday I could barely walk. It was hard to tell what was hurting from this virus and what was hurting from pushing my totally out of shape body too hard.

Claire slept all day yesterday, and has pretty much been sleeping all day today, with the exception of when I woke her up to eat at noon. She was so pitiful . . . stuffy breathing, glassy eyes, snotty nose, and this pitiful little glazed over smile when I talk to her. Thankfully, her temperature is back down around 100.

The boys, however, were up for most of the night for the last two nights. Kyle and I played musical beds while we tried to help them get comfortable and sleep. They seem to have rebounded, from what I'm hearing upstairs. Lots of laughing and activity. I think we're on the upswing.

Unfortunately, Kyle had a headache and laid down to take a nap an hour or two ago . . . I think we might have another man down.

Day 6 of the 30-day shred might have to wait another week or two.

February 20, 2012

Dear Bennett, Months 28 & 29

Dear Ben,

I love you. I feel like I need to tell you that now, and all the time, because you've become quite a stinker. Much of the day is spent correcting you and leading you away from trouble, so I need to say "I love you" as much as possible in an effort to balance all of the "No, no" and "Get away from that" that I have to say every day.

December 2011

You really like to tell us what time things are going to happen, even though you have no concept of what it really means. Over the weekend, I noted how it was so cold in the basement and you let me know that it would "be warm at five o'clock." One night last week when I told you it was time for bed, you told me that "bedtime is three o'clock." You sometimes even look at the imaginary watch on your wrist as you're telling me these things, to add an element of credibility.

December 2011

You're a silly boy, too. Each and every time I ask you to bring me a diaper so that I can change you, you walk back with a pull-up behind your back and a huge smirk on your face. I say, "Alright, give me the diaper." And then you pull it from behind your back and exclaim, "I GOT JACK'S PULL-UP!" as if it's the funniest trick anyone's ever played. Also, "pull-up" sounds like "pul-yup" and I refuse to correct you because I think it's adorable. We go through this ritual at every diaper change. I can't even get frustrated by it, because you really do think you're the biggest prankster ever and the look on your face is priceless.

You and Jack have a saying whenever you're racing: "Last one there is a stinky shoe!" So, whenever you and I are going upstairs, or out to the car or anywhere, you start running and yelling, "Stinky shoe! Stinky shoe!" giggling the entire way.

Christmas 2011

Your vocabulary has exploded and you put so much time and thought into putting words together so that they make sense that it's as much fun to watch you talk as it is to listen. You're very deliberate in everything that you say. I love watching you process things.

January 2012

When we were brushing your teeth last week, you looked up at me and said, "Me love you."

Now, you've been telling us that you love us for a long time now, but normally your "I love yous" come out sounding like "ilouee" because that's how you said it when you first started talking . . . and it just stuck. Most of the time, you only say it when you're leaving, or when I'm leaving, or in response to me.

I looked at you and said, "What did you just say?" And again, you looked right at me and said, "Me. Love. You." Totally unprompted and intentional. Perfectly clear. Melt my heart.

December 2011

You're so easy to love. I love you, too.


February 16, 2012

It fits

I've never wished for more hours in the day as I have over the last few weeks. Between our jobs, my business, Kyle's school work (as of tomorrow, he'll be a little more than half way done with his master's degree . . . yay!) and three kids, I'm coming up short on sleep. Claire slept from 11 last night to 4:45 this morning, which was a nice surprise, but she has these fussy times every evening starting at 7:30 and lasting until 10 or so. If I keep her in the sling, she'll sleep right through it, so I've been working in the evenings with her around my neck . . . which has done only bad things for my chronic shoulder pain.

Even so, I really like having three kids. It just feels right. Our family felt "whole" before, but now I can't believe we ever felt complete without her. I remember going through all of this after Ben was born, too. She just fits. The other day, I mentioned to Kyle that I really like having three kids.

He went pale and said, "Uh, I'm not sure I'm ready for a fourth."

Whoa. Simmer down. She's 7 weeks old and I'm saying that I'm content with things as they are . . . not that I want to do this all again.

I went for my 6-week post partum check-up, and found myself in tears leaving. The check-out receptionist said, "Well, you're all set! You're done with us for a while!" It hit me like a ton of bricks. The childbearing part of my life is over. That chapter has closed. I'm happy, but at the same time, it brings out my sentimental side. It was like high school graduation . . . really excited to get to this point, but sad that I'll never be there again. Bittersweet. But mostly sweet.

We took all three of them to the hospital yesterday when we took Claire for a routine ultrasound. We ran through a drive thru for lunch and I distributed the food as Kyle drove. We got there and unloaded the stroller, gathered necessary toys, bags, etc and held the boys' hands through the parking garage. We waited and went in for her tests and then left and went to get the boys' hair cut. I nursed Claire while they were in the salon and then we all headed home (but not before stopping for gas and a necessary shamrock shake). On the way home, I realized how tired I was and it hit me . . . we managed to all leave the house for the day together without becoming super stressed or losing it. Were there stressful moments? Oh, yes. But I feel like we're getting the hang of it.

We don't have it all together. My house is a mess. I will always be worried about something having to do with each of my kids' development. There are temper tantrums and there is fussiness. I just keep thinking, "There will be a day when all of this will be over."

At some times I think it with tears in my eyes. And at other times, I think it with a smile on my face.

February 10, 2012

Christmas 2011

I realized tonight that I didn't post any photos from Christmas . . . probably because I gave birth 24 hours after I took these pictures and life hasn't really slowed down yet.

OK, first things first . . . the boys have a little Christmas tree for their room and they actually managed to decorate it together without fighting. Doing anything together without fighting doesn't happen that often.

December 2011

And yes, Jack is wearing a Burger King crown . . . he wore it for 2 or 3 days straight in December.

We also baked and "decorated" cookies. There was way more frosting-eating than decorating, but whatever. They had fun.

Christmas 2011

December 2011

December 2011

December 2011

December 2011

And finally . . . Christmas Day!

I'm mildly embarrassed that we bought this for Ben. It's not normally the kind of toy that we'd buy, but he LOVED it every time we passed it at Target, and his excitement when he opened it was totally worth it.

Christmas 2011

Jack begged for Superheroes, so he got Spiderman and Captain America action figures. There was definitely staring in Toys R Us as I stood there for 10 minutes, pressing the button to make sure I heard every "wisecrack" Spiderman had to make sure there wasn't anything inappropriate.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

It was pretty laid back and fun. It really was my favorite Christmas morning ever!

After opening many, many presents that he could have been playing with, Bennett and Kyle did this for a good 30 minutes. I love that boy.

Christmas Day from Sara on Vimeo.

February 9, 2012

Dear Jack, Months 55 & 56

Dear Jack,

It's begun to sink in with me that you're headed to school next fall. Kindergarten. In 7 months, you'll be spending a good portion of your waking hours in a classroom. We'll be separated all day long.

Christmas 2011

I'll be losing a bit of my control in your life and that stresses me out a little. I've been trying to find a half day kindergarten program for you, telling myself that it would be a better transition for you and thinking that it's what you need. I'm beginning to realize that it's more what I need than what you need.

Perhaps I'm becoming one of those "helicopter parents" that have always caused me to roll my eyes, but it kills me that I won't know what you're doing all day. When you come home saying something new or doing something new, I won't know for sure where you picked it up. Sure, I'll get report cards and progress reports, but they won't tell me the whole story. When I pick you up from preschool and ask you how your morning was, you usually respond by saying "exhausting" and not much else. I fear that I'll get even less information as the years pass.

December 2011

I wonder if we've done enough to prepare you. I hope that you'll be ready for being out on your own . . . well as much as a kindergartener is out on his own. You'll be making new friends. You'll have conflict and will learn how to handle it. At some point, you'll get your feelings hurt. There will be peer pressure . . . even at 5 years old. Have we given you the tools you'll need to face all of these things? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

All of this is good. I know that. I know that your life has to move forward and I want that for you. I certainly don't want you living here and sleeping on the top bunk when you're 30. But it doesn't make it any easier right now.

December 2011

I sometimes worry that I've wasted time. I think about the times you've wanted to read a book or sit in my lap that I've had to say "no" and wonder if I should have said "yes" because those moments are fleeting. I worry that the afternoons that I let you watch tv because I needed a break should have been afternoons that I spent playing a board game with you or drawing with you. Starting next fall, this summer actually, I will never have the time that I have with you now back again. Ever.

I know your brother is going to miss you, too. He'll start preschool and will be having fun of his own, but you two are pretty attached to each other.

December 2011

I don't know what school you'll be attending. Your dad and I are trying to figure that out and to be quite honest, it's the most stressful thing in my life right now. But I do know that wherever you go, I'll miss you. And I also know that the first few days will be way harder for me than they are for you.


February 1, 2012

In 15 minutes or less . . .

Random thoughts on my life right now . . .
  • Ben's favorite thing to say right now is, "Knock it off, cheesey head." I don't know why.

  • I'm so bad at giving Claire tummy time. Just one more thing to feel guilty about, I suppose.

  • Have I ever mentioned how much we love Bob Evans? We love that kids eat free on Tuesdays. We also like their takeout family meals. For $20 we can get a fairly well balanced meal that will give us dinner and two lunches. I asked for Bob Evans gift cards for Christmas. Between those, the meals friends brought us, the few I made ahead of time and camp meals, we only cooked once from when Claire was born through last week. It was awesome.

  • Claire has outdone her brothers when it comes to the "biggest poop" award. They're not explosive exactly . . . there's just a lot of it. Last Tuesday afternoon, she started going while I was changing her on my office floor and it was like this never ending fountain of poo. I had to construct a little dam of wipes around the changing mat from preventing the overflow from spilling onto the carpet. I was contemplating calling in FEMA. It was that big.

  • I've re-entered that alternate universe in which you talk openly about things like poop and cracked nipples, as if everyone talks about that sort of thing in casual conversation. And only when you see the uncomfortable glances at the floor do you realize that you're snapped back into reality and you realize that you're speaking to college students or single men who are unaware that this universe even exists. Doesn't that make you want to be my friend?

  • In the car last week, Ben requested a Katy Perry song. Shortly after, Kyle found a dirty diaper in his pocket that he had forgotten to throw away. I couldn't decide which was more disgusting to me.

  • I've always HATED dark chocolate, but around 30 weeks pregnant, I started craving it. The craving hasn't ended. My favorites are the Ghirardelli chocolate squares in dark & raspberry and dark & salted caramel.