Friday, April 29, 2011

Honesty. Truth. Tradition.

1. I cannot believe I am even posting these pictures.
2. Dana has not given me permission to post these pictures, but she has also not explicitly forbidden me to.
3. There are a few pictures of us over the last 20+ years that are much much better than these.
4. There are a lot more pictures of us over the last 20+ years that are very much like these.

1. We do not get together near often enough. The 400 miles that separate our daily lives might as well be 4000.
2. Every chance we have to spend time together now involves juggling schedules of two husbands and three, soon to be four young 'uns.
3. Personally, I wouldn't change it for the world. In a strange way, the separation of 400 miles has strengthened our friendship in a way that I cannot quite explain.
4. Once in a while, we steal a moment for a 'nice' picture of ourselves. What you cannot see in the picture below are three little boys covered in pizza sauce, a barefooted four year old with his arm stuck up a trinket machine, an eighteen month old climbing out of a high chair and a two and a half year old crashing tractors off the table.

1. Food is a big part of our friendship. Many (almost all) of our old (and new) memories revolve around food. When we aren't physically engaged in the act of eating food, we are talking about food.
2. Books have also played an important role in shaping us. And our children.
3. Pizza Hut's Book It program launched our elementary selves into book + pizza lovers. It is also where we chose to hang out recently.
4. Like I mentioned above, for every one good picture of the two of us, there are likely three or four goofy ones. It wouldn't be right if we didn't goober it up for a camera. And I wonder why none of our kids will stop and take normal, serious pictures for me.

Happy (almost) Weekend!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday. Dana vs Kim. Volume 5.

Ten on Tuesday – Topics and Archives
Questions for Tuesday, April 25, 2011

1. How many blogs do you read every day and what are they? (I’m talking the ones you NEVER miss)
D: I don't read any blogs that faithfully. I check in on a few now and then. I do, however, know somebody who follows numerous blogs and she always passes on the best that counts for something.
K: Dooce, The Pioneer Woman, Enjoying the Small Things, Toast & Honey - I also Twitter-follow a few people whose sites I visit when they have something new. I had more bookmarked, but when we rebuilt my desktop at work I chose not to transfer them. I cleared a little room in my brain for something more useful. Like Ten on Tuesday. :)

2. How many “best friends” do you have? Do you have different “besties” for different areas of your life?
D: Oh absolutely. Besties at work (not so much co-workers...but faithful library patron besties), lifetime besties (hence the development of this blog), new besties, and probably some besties I haven't even met yet. Life is a great mix of great people.
K: What is this - the third grade? Besides Jack, who I quit my job over in order that we might spend 24/7 together I try to check in with Dana everyday. After 22 years of friendship, I can pretty much guarantee that she'll be around forever.

3. What’s your daily make-up routine?
D: Yikes. If it takes less than 2 minutes can you consider it a routine or just a blip in your day.
K: I think I'm 100% Mary Kay products right now. I don't know what their official names are, but I like it when someone makes up my mind for me and Mary Kay ladies are pretty good about that. So, Timewise moisturizer, concealer, mineral powder, eye liner, eye shadow and mascara. 

4. What is your ideal girl’s night?
D: Out to eat and gab, gab, gab.
K: I haven't had a girl's night in a long time. I have a great friend who has taken me shopping and out to lunch for the birthday the last few years. One of us has been either pregnant or hauling a newborn every time but its been a great laid back day and a way to relax together.

5. Do you keep up with your nails/toenails or are they au natural?
D: My nails are horrible, so why draw attention to them? I can't really see or reach my toenails right now, so they're doin' whatever they do best all on their own. I do occasionally paint them in the summer.
K: Au natural - they haven't been painted in years.

6. What’s your best roommate story (assuming you had a roommate at some point in your life)?
D: Oofta. The only time I had a roommate was in college and I'm not certain how many of those stories are worth repeating. One of my roommates left the window open in our dorm room over a long the middle of the winter...when it was 40 below zero. Everything in our room was shampoo, contact solution, etc. It was interesting...and we couldn't sleep in there for two nights because it took so long for the baseboard heat to catch up.
K: Not my favorite memory, but when I came back from Christmas break it had gotten so hot in our room that the full length mirror on the back side of our door melted the adhesive off, it fell to the ground and shattered into hundreds of pieces. A very nice 'welcome back'.

7. What’s your “go to” outfit that you wear more than anything else?
D: Jeans and a hoodie or a t-shirt (and after typing I realized just how sad that really sounds).
K: K: Jeans, a t-shirt and a zip up sweatshirt. Hot, I know.
(Anyone volunteer to 'style' us?)

8. Do you have a beauty secret?
D: Wow, no. A hat...maybe that's my best beauty secret. :o)
K: Keep little kids around. Then, even if you spill something on yourself, you have an excuse. Even snot on the shoulder is appealing as long as your kids are super cute.

9. Did you read Seventeen magazine growing up?
D: Sort of. I recall looking at it, but I didn't have a subscription or anything.
K: Who didn't? Wasn't it part of the curriculum for english class or something?
10. How did you learn to put on makeup?
D: I didn't. Maybe that's the problem...
K I just started putting it on. My mom hardly ever wore makeup. Come to think of it, I'm really not sure I apply it correctly. Help?

It always cracks me up to compare these answers. I hope you (or some of you anyway) enjoy it also!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Random Craft Time

I'm cleaning off some camera space. It has been so long since I touched any pictures of my own family, that the cards are nearly maxed with images waiting to be processed. I came across these and thought I should share. This was a super fun, fast and simple activity that Gage I completely one afternoon this winter. The directions we used can be found at AllKidsNetwork, but here are the pictures of Gage in action.

Here are the supplies we used. Stuff most of us have in the house at any given point. (BONUS!)

No dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this project. I robbed these toy dinosaurs out of our rice bucket, which is another popular winter/rainy day activity. Gage received it from a dear friend on his second birthday and its basically a tote with a 20lb bag of rice in it, along with toy dinosaurs, shovels, tractors, funnels and measuring cups. Let me know if you want more info - its a great way to blow an hour indoors! Anyway, these little buddies washed right up when we were finished with them.

Gage was able to measure and dump all of the ingredients by himself. The dough is pretty stiff, so I helped with the mixing and rolling. These photos were taken on January 12, which for point of reference is 2 days before my birthday, and this year was sometime before we replaced that peach door and window into the porch. What a relief to get rid of some more paint-layered fixtures/trim!

It was much less messy than you might think!

Making it look this easy is hard work. Ha!
We tried the dinosaur prints with Gage's hand (hold fingers 2+3 and 4+5 together when you press down). In the oven, they puffed up funny like there was a big air bubble where he pushed his palm in. Hopefully next time, we can perfect the process. Still fun!

Little buddies are ready to bake! They turned out pretty cute. We even painted a few, but I either didn't get pictures or haven't pulled them off a card yet.

A few things we'll do different next time.
  • include Max - he would have loved this! It was fast enough to start, finish and clean up during nap time though so he missed out.
  • roll the dough thin, cut into shapes and them form the fossil. I thought they should be thicker to get more of the creature pressed in, but they would likely have baked better had they been flatter.
  • adjust baking time, they were still a little soft in the center and probably should have been baked a bit longer.
Overall: we loved it! We'll probably try it again sometime when we need a fast indoor activity!

Peeps S’mores for Easter | Eclectic Recipes

Peeps S’mores for Easter Eclectic Recipes

You better believe I'm on the hunt for Peeps. Maybe it will brighten the day around here. I need something. Rain and 38 degrees isn't going to cut it for me. Maybe the snow this afternoon will help. Not.

Hapeep Easter. :)

More later.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday, Dana, Volume 4

Ten on Tuesday – Topics and Archives
Questions for Tuesday, April 19, 2011!
These are all books based questions. No need for me to even try answering when the expert has us covered. Free advice - its almost as good as stopping at the Madison Public Library yourself!

1. When someone asks you for a book recommendation, what is your go-to book?

Adults: Copper Sun by Sharon Draper or anything by Tracie Peterson. Or (disclaimer...I haven't read these, but they're always hits) books by Janet Evanovich
Kids: Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zens, I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi, Signal by Cynthia DeFelice, Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, or Are You Quite Polite by Alan Katz.

2. Do you buy your books, or are you a library patron?
"Welcome to the Madison Public Library. My name is Dana and I am the children's librarian." I kind of like the library, but Easton does have a huge collection of his own books at home.

3. E-readers, yay or nay?
I don't have one...yet. I'd like one, but I'm still trying to figure out how/when I'd use it. That sounds kind of silly...I suppose I could curl up with a Nook and a blanket just the same as a book and a blanket. And contrary to popular belief, we're not afraid e-books are going to eliminate the need for a library. We're embracing the technology and offering down-loadable books from our website. :o)

4. What was your favorite book as a child?
Martha's House by Edith Kunhardt and The Care Bear Cousin's Mystery Adventure by Sonia Black Woods.

5. If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?
Pippi Longstocking or Amelia Bedelia. I'm a natural.

6. What book would you love to see turned into a movie?
Clementine (you should really read it).

7. What is your all-time favorite book?
See any of the above listed titles plus the Jan Karon series, Where Heaven Begins by Rosanne Bittner, and The Diary of Anne Frank.

8. How many books do you read at once?
One for myself and nearly 15-20 for Easton.

9. What is your favorite book genre?
Probably Christian fiction.

10. Which Harry Potter book is the best? Or haven’t you read them at all?
Yikes, I only read the first one. Don't hate me. I've vowed to try again...some day.

Now go find a good book to read!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cliffhanger Squared + Chatterbox

Cliffhanger #1

Breaking News: the BFFs from Life Between Friends saw each other three (three) (THREE!!!!) times in the last 3 days. I will fill you in as soon as I get a minute to grab the photographic evidence off the camera. They're snapshots, but with two husbands and 3.6 children in tow we'll take what we can get.

Cliffhanger #2

My [Kim's] family of four drove 800+ miles together the last few days, hung with relatives and friends, celebrated birthdays, a very important upcoming wedding and Easter, bottle fed lambs, drove tractors and SURVIVED! Stay tuned for a pictorial post chronicling the journey.


Max has shown proficient use of the English language lately. Example. Our return to Lemmon meant that we unloaded our jam-packed pickup, and headed south to retrieve our pooch from 'the ranch'. Gage was in the bathroom while we were there and I could hear him shout something about getting Max out. I walked around the corner and he was standing in the doorway chatting with Gage in a language unknown to many. I asked Max what he was doing and plain as day the kid replied, "I go bathroom. Gage need help." Eighteen months old and nearly complete sentences. My high school English teacher would be mildly impressed. (Ask me about him sometime...he's a swell guy.) Later as we were shuffling Gage toward the door he was yacking on about something and out of the blue, he starts in with, "Alvin. Alvin! ALVIN!!!" from Alvin and the Chipmunks. It didn't take long for son #2 to catch on and before long they were both screaming, "Alvin. Alvin! ALVIN!!!" to entertain four adults.  Nuts, I tell ya.

Like I said, there should be good stuff coming down the pipe soon for your enjoyment. You'll want to come back and hear about an adventure in salad bars from Pizza Hut, and a breakfast at McDonalds between friends.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday. Dana vs Kim. Take 4.

Ten On Tuesday, Questions for April 12, 2011

1. If you work, do you drive to work or take public transportation?
D: I drive. I would prefer to walk or bike and when I lived closer to work and didn't have a stroller to push I actually did do that quite often. I did walk some after Easton was born, but I'd park at the library then walk him to day care and felt a little silly pushing an empty stroller. Okay, I really didn't care...but people looked at me like I had lost my child. (Oh, and I think I have to be over 60 to have access to public transportation in Madison.)
K: I mostly drive, since winter now lasts 9 months of the year, but I prefer walking. Strollers are beautiful aren’t they? On a good day, I’d walk my kids to daycare, walk to work, walk to pick them up and walk them home. Its three miles if I get to do it all. I’ve never ridden public transportation, but they do provide a great service in this community. Its likely how Gage will get from preschool to daycare next year.

2. How often do you get your haircut? Do you go to the same person every time?
D: I don't have a schedule. When I get sick of it or it starts to look even worse than usual. The last three times I've had my hair cut I've gone to someone different. So I guess no, I don't go to the same person every time. I did, however, go to the same person for the first 13 or 14 years of my life. She was cheap, easy to make an appointment with, and would do it over again if I didn't like it the first time. It was my mom.
K :Probably not often enough. If I can get there every 2-3 months I’m doing good. When we first moved here, it was 2-3 times a year. Since I have to look nice to impress my boss (ha!) I try to do it a little more often. Cutting bangs was my strategy for having to go more often, but I still end up trimming them at home. I do go to the same person every time. She’s a great person, and she doesn’t yell at me for crooked bangs trimmed with dull kitchen shears.

3. Do you read the newspaper? If so, a hardcopy or the online version?
D: I try to read the Madison Daily Leader every day, but sometimes I leave before it gets delivered to the library (yes, it sometimes arrives after 5pm). If that's the case, I do read it online.
K: Yes, I quickly scan the copies that come in the mail, and the online Madison Daily Leader. I like to see which former classmates and acquaintances are getting married and reproducing.

4. What is the best book you have read this year?
D: This. Is. Torture. I can't answer this without leaving a list. I'll save that for another blog post. Maybe when I'm on maternity leave.
K: Dana – what a cop out. ;o) I just finished the book Alone by Lisa Gardner. It was good. I also started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books last fall and finished them up this year. They were good. These four books are not my usual reads. A little more gore, a little less mystery than my ‘norm’. I’m a Grisham fan. These were great books though. I just put 25 Favorite Kid'sBooks on my Droid’s Nook eReader. I hope to start with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I’m embarrassed to admit how many I have (and haven’t) read on the list. Time to change that.

5. What is the best movie you have seen this year?
D: Date Night (It's the only one I've probably seen from beginning to end this year, and it was actually good.)
K: I honestly don’t even know. I’m going to go old school and say The Lion King. I’ve seen it enough times that I should be ‘over it’, but I’m not. I love that my kids sing along, Max giggles in the same parts every single time and they roar at the most appropriate times. We’re a regular three ring circus.

6. Do you tend to crave sweet or salty foods?
D: Depends on the day. Lately: sweet and in the form of Little Debbie Ho Hos.
K: Sweet. Chocolate. Mountain Dew. The End.

7. Do you eat breakfast every day? If so, what do you have?
D: Absolutely. I can't skip it. Lately Easton and I have been sharing frozen waffles. Otherwise it's usually a bowl of cereal.
K: No, I know I could probably train my body otherwise, but if I try to each much before about 9:30, it makes me a little sick to my stomach.

8. If you celebrate Easter, what Easter treat/candy are you most looking forward to?
D: I thoroughly enjoy Peeps and Jelly Belly jellybeans.
K: Easter treat: dyeing Easter eggs with my Grandma Teresa. Its her ‘thing’. I’ve invited my friends over to participate (when I was 26), take lots of pictures and now, stand back to watch my sweet sweet Grandma in her element. I think she has the metal egg droppers saved from almost 30 years of coloring Easter eggs with her grandkids. I always try to schedule a trip to Madison a week on either side of Easter to see her and dye eggs. (And I don’t even make it back for Christmas sometimes.) She has hidden eggs for me every single year of my life. And I’ve found almost all of them. It means so much that my kids are able to partake now.

9. How late is “sleeping in” to you?
D: 8:30am satisfies me.
K: I’ll take 7:30, however, I’ve come to the realization lately, that if I bust it out of bed a little earlier in the morning (by like 6:30) my day is so much more productive.

10. Where are you going on your next vacation?
D: Yankton. It's a dual purpose vacation. Wedding (Yay...I FINALLY get a sister-in-law!) + family reunion. It will definitely be a blog-worthy experience as I'm due just 3 weeks before this big event. Maybe Baby will come slightly (but not too much) early. (Are you listening, Baby?)
K: I don’t know yet. I would love to go to Vegas with Jack for PBR Finals this October, but I’m not holding my breath. We’re attending quite a few weddings this summer, in every corner of this great state, so I’m thinking we’ll have mini vacations spread out all summer. In another 18 months or so, when Max is 3, I want to take the kids back to Disney. The Happiest Place on Earth.

Monday, April 11, 2011

She Was Right

Dana and I don't get to see each other in person real often. A few times a year at best, and usually an hour tops. Two or three if we're lucky. However, we correspond nearly every day through modern technology but she is in my head 24/7.


Tonight making supper, I grabbed a handful of potatoes and my mandoline/slicer tool from Pampered Chef. It was a wedding shower gift and at 8 years old, is still as sharp as the day I pulled it out of the box. In trying to rush through preparations, I failed to pay close enough attention, swiped a little fast and nearly took off the tip of my finger. It actually got some skin on the tip of my thumb and a big chunk of thumb nail. I immediately squeezed my thumb and was surprised when no blood drew. Missed it by a hair.

My immediate thoughts could have been to throw the gondola away, or that I really should finish slicing potatoes. Some may have summoned thoughts of previous close calls or trips to the ER on a Monday night with a bleeding hand. But me? When I realized I wasn't bleeding, the first thing that popped into my head was Dana's voice, from the shower when I picked out and ordered the madoline. I distinctly remember her saying, "Kim, you will cut your hand off with that thing."

Thanks friend. You were (almost) right.

And since pictures have been scarce around here, I'll throw up a random shot from prom when we were sophomores. Sixteen years old. In our school's lunchroom. Enjoy.

Ten on Tuesday tomorrow - you'll want to come back, it's a great one!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Our Life in Songs and Storybooks

Hopefully I'll figure out a cooler way to let you know who's writing what but I have always been more of a talker (some would say) so for now, I'll warn you when it isn't me. This one belongs to Dana. :)

I am a children’s librarian, so it comes as no surprise that my son loves books. What does surprise me is how frequently he communicates using lines directly from a book we’ve recently read. Example 1: We’re reading bedtime books and Easton yawns. He looks at me and says, “That was not a yawn. I was stretching.” (If you’re confused, read Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems.) Example 2: Easton has a semi-large closet. The light is rarely on in his closet, but there are a number of toys in there. He’ll frequently go in there and say, “In the dark. In the dark. Could you, would you, in the dark?” (Please read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss if you don’t recognize this line.) Example 3: The three of us were lounging in the living room and Easton randomly says, “I love my whole family!” (Thank you, We Love You Little Critter by Mercer Mayer.)

To date, Easton can spell his name, recite his address, and rattle off the seven days of the week…in song. When he’s not reciting lines from storybooks, he’s singing. He busts out in song randomly throughout the day--at the kitchen table, in the car, when he’s playing. Sometimes it’s a made up song, other times it’s one he’s learned at day care of that David or I have taught him. I wonder how far I can get him through his academic career by turning essential (and nonessential) information into a song?

If Glee or High School Musical ever does a casting call for a toddler, we’re there. (I’ve never actually seen either show, but that’s pretty much my life on a daily basis, isn’t it?)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Bumpdate from Max

You can find the first Bumpdate from Max here Nonlinear. We won't rehash the hospital stay this time, suffice it to say that it still blows my mind and the pictures still make me tear up.
But let's talk about Max and "The Bump". A little over a month ago we went back to the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist yet again for a check up. He was so pleased with the progress that he didn't require us to schedule a return trip. And then the heavens opened up and the Hallelujah Chorus rained down it snowed again. This mama was pretty excited. And then I thought about it. I have been taking care of this bump for nearly six months. The task can best be described as time-consuming, a bit daunting at times, and terribly frustrating. Continuing to keep it in check has proven to be much easier. We're still doing warm massages once, maybe twice daily if needed, and while it isn't 100% gone, the progress we've seen keeps us optimistic.

But let's be honest, what you really want is proof. Here are some pictures from last night. Also known as The First Night That We Played Outside After A Really Long Winter.

Not only was it the maiden voyage of spring in the back yard, but we are breaking in some new boots. It made for some treacherous walking, but two very excited little men.

Max is very much relieved to not be stuck in my lap 3 or 4 times a day with a warm washcloth, and the TV running to keep him occupied for 20-30 minutes a crack. I'm relieved too. It gives me time to be productive. And blog.

You can hardly tell the bump exists by looking at him from the front. There is still some discoloration, that will probably continue for a while. The area was traumatized pretty good by all of the re-opening to keep it draining. But the important part - the part where his saliva gland uses a duct to drain into his mouth like everyone else - that part seems to be working much better. The issues aren't completely behind us, but we're getting there.

And how does Gage feel about everything? Hard to say, he's busy. Losing his mind. :)

Hopefully soon we'll have Bumpdate of a different variety. The kind that includes a growing baby!! But not from me.

I repeat: not from me.

The other half of Life Between Friends is growing a much cuter bump. We're hoping to catch up next weekend to update some family pictures! Everybody wins.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Parenting: Disheveled Decisions

I've been a little busy lately. In the last two weeks, I have cooked three meals and I haven't run the dishwasher since Monday. There are building block scattered throughout the house, and I have no doubt that they'll be there in the morning. The level of my organized insanity escalated to a new level this week and tonight resulted in a spontaneous effort to grow up the baby.

Let me side trip for a moment and share that while Max will likely end up being our youngest child forevermore, we're trying our hardest not to let him be "the baby". Mentally, I tell myself that maybe someday, there will be another kid or at the very least a dog younger than him. He has not taken a bottle for six months, we force him to use words, say please and thank you, eat food sitting at the table like Gage and suffer the consequences of poor choices. (He is the cutest in time-out. He pouts his sweet bottom lip out and sits where you put him until you welcome him out with hugs.)

Tonight we marched a little further from baby and a little closer to big boy.

Because of my preoccupation with 1000 items on my to-do list:

1: We ran out of diapers. My only option is training pants. Potty training full speed ahead. It really is for the best. The poor boy has terribly sensitive skin so he wears unbleached (read: expensive) diapers. A while back I had grabbed some of the training pants from the brand that works for us (Seventh Generation) and that is what he's wearing at the moment.

2: I can't find any binkies. The binkie gnomes have acquired no fewer than six of them from my house in the last 7-10 days. We are binkie free as of today. I put him to bed tonight and he didn't even cry. That's normal as Max is a rockstar sleeper (and I totally deserve it), but he does have an opinion so it did surprise me. Here's hoping the night proceeds without a hitch. He has not been using a binkie at daycare for quite a while, but he likes to have it in when one is accessible. Its super annoying to have to yank it out of his mouth to understand what he's saying.

3: Also, we went out for pizza tonight. I let my "baby" take a hit out of my Strawberry Dew and we started feeding him fruit snacks before he finished his pizza. But its Friday night. We're tired and the last thing we want to hear is some kid screeching for a "nack! nack!"

Awesome are we.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The One Thing I Bake

I am not a talented baker. I have been known to cook a decent meal (spaghetti counts, right?) but for some reason, baking and I just don't blend. Or sift? Mix?

However, this recipe and I work well together. I've only screwed it up a couple of times, but its the only baked good I'll volunteer to prepare and take to a potluck, holiday or get together. It was also Gage's birthday dessert of choice yesterday.

Here's the recipe:
Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Two things:
1 - I never make my own crust. Props to Pillsbury on that one.
2 - I never put nuts on top.

Try it. If I can do it, you can do it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just Before Bed

Putting Gage to bed this evening was easier than its been in a while. "Hey Gage, go to sleep. When you wake up, you'll be four." Something tells me it could be a short night.
While he was playing this evening I asked him a few questions. Here's how it went down.
Me: Gage, I don't even know how to be a mom to a four year old boy. What things do they like?
Gage: Listening and doing what they're asked.
Me: Well that's helpful. Anything else that they like.
Gage: Yep, their mom and dad.
Me: Awesome! But what kinds of things don't they like?
Gage: Mom, I'm watching Brother Bear.

Off to sleep myself! Here's hoping we can pull of another throw-together birthday party and make his day magical!

Ten on Tuesday. Just Kim. Volume 3.

Ten on Tuesday – Topics and Archives
Questions for Tuesday, April 5, 2011.

1. What is your ideal date?
Dinner, movie, going for a walk. Having a stomach big enough to eat a good supper and big bag of popcorn combined with enough energy to not fall asleep until we get home. I know, I'm asking a lot.

2. How long does it take you to get ready to go on a date?

It takes longer to brief the babysitter and find my phone. I might take an extra 2 minutes to make sure there isn't any foreign material in my hair.

3. What would you wear on the date?
Jeans, and 2 or 3 shirts to make sure I'm warm in the movie theater. If I'm really feeling fancy, I'll try wearing a necklace or scarf.

4. If you are married, how often do you go on dates?
Not nearly often enough. We probably go out without our kids 4 or 5 times a year and usually its because there's a banquet or event that they shouldn't attend. Can you call that a date? We try to sit down and watch a little TV together a few times a week, and we eat supper together almost every day. We also spend lots of quality time together M-F 9-5:30.

5. What was your worst date?
Nothing really stands out as horrible. Prom as a sophomore taking my freshman boyfriend was terribly awkward, but we were so un-matured that I'll chalk it up to inexperience. He's a great guy and we were much better suited as friends after we dated.

6. Do you/Did you kiss on your first date?
I can't even remember - how's that for an answer? Ha! Here's the deal. Jack and I met while running for a State FFA Office and at the end of the three days, were both selected as officers which meant we weren't technically supposed to date. Long story short, it didn't happen that way and ended up on lots of "group dates" the first year, at least when we were off campus. So I honestly think his sister came with us on what would have probably been our first date. Its kind of comical now. Then, not so much.

7. If married, how long before you knew he/she was the one?

About three days.

8. Do you prefer day dates or night dates?
If I can swing a day date, I am all over it. Especially if I can make it last 2 meals and still get to bed early enough to not be tired in the morning. Sleep is a precious commodity around here.

9. How old were you when you first were allowed to date?

Whatever the number, it was too young. I'm so thankful that I don't have girls. How nerve wracking! I think I went on my first date when I was a freshman in high school. Anybody care to dispute that? Ha!

10. What is the most embarrassing moment you have had on a date?
I may or may not have fallen asleep during a James Bond movie once. A long time ago. Way before my excuse for falling asleep was, "I haven't had a good night's sleep since April 4th, 2007."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ready or Not

Preparations are underway to start raising a four year old, even though we have barely learned to nourish the needs of a three year old. I have been a little nostalgic about the ordeal. I mean, a three year old is still practically a baby. But a four year old? They go to school, look like big kids, dress like big kids and talk like grownups. And mine? He cooks his own dinner, and tonight he started potty training his little brother.
Our household has changed every little bit as you would expect. I'd like to share a few of my favorite "duh" moments as a soon-to-be and new mom. Memories that he'll probably make fun of me for someday when he understands.

School Bus. The day before I went into labor, I rode with about 30 of my middle and high school students on a school bus three hours to Sturgis for an FFA contest, stood on my feet all day directing teenagers through a floriculture contest and hopped back on the bus for three more hours. Similar to a trip I took on a bus the previous week and a trip that I planned to take a week later.

All-Nighter. The week before Gage's arrival, the FFA chapter hosted an all night lock-in. I stayed all night, but had to wear slippers because my feet were swollen so bad they wouldn't fit in my shoes. Some fine students wrote instructions on the white board in case I went into labor.
1 - Find Jack
2 - Boil towels
3 - Call ambulance
They even located a bucket and mop in case my water broke. So thoughtful.

Nesting. I had heard of these crazy cleaning binges, sometimes lasting days or weeks prior to the arrival of the baby to prepare of their arrival. Mine lasted 90 minutes. Here's a bit of a timeline to assist:
April 5th - Full day teaching at school. Doctor's appointment where I hear the following: [Baby hasn't dropped and you really haven't made much progress. I wouldn't hold your breath for an early delivery and if you do go into labor, it will be a long affair.] Then we went to Maunday Thursday church service. My back hurt because I had "ridden a bus the day before" and I waddled like an emperor penguin. Home to (little did I know) nest for 90 minutes. Just enough time to clear out the nursery and vacuum. So tired I went to bed. 45 minutes later, water breaks. 6 hours (and now April 6th) later, Baby A is here!

Hospital  Bag. It turns out you can pack those ahead of time. I didn't. So while Jack's on the phone with the hospital and I'm trying to convince him to go back to bed, ("Its nothing. I just want to sleep") he's also throwing things in a bag. We had some useful items. Also, some terribly interesting choices.

Substitute Teacher. Gage was born on Good Friday, or what was to be day one of a very important four day weekend in which I prepared my classroom and home for maternity leave. Suffice it to say that I hadn't written a single substitute lesson plan. Meaning...I spent all weekend in the hospital throwing things together. We went home on Sunday afternoon (Easter Sunday) and Monday evening I went into the school to work. Nice planning. I worked closely with the substitute, as well as chaperones and students to plan a trip to State FFA Convention and our chapter banquet in the first few weeks of his life.
The Name Game. We hadn't selected a name for the baby and had convinced ourselves our firstborn would be of the female variety. He would have been Delaney. Instead we looked at the list and decided we needed to spend time with him before we could make the call. After three days we selected Gage McCoy and it fits perfectly, even though he sometimes wants to be called Lester.

Basically, I'm telling you that while we are 'fly by the seat of our pants' people, in the great wide world of parenting, it is important to think ahead a little bit. Gage is exactly what we needed at exactly the right time. Its not what we planned or ever dreamed would come our way, but we wouldn't change it for the world. In my opinion, everyone needs a kid like Gage. Head-strong and in charge from the very beginning. There's no sluffing off, no forgetting he's there, no personal agendas. Also, he requires very little sleep and recently learned what "balls" are, and that they are not to be kicked.

When Wednesday rolls around, I will pull this little man out of bed, kiss his beautiful four year old face, send him to daycare with treats, and later that afternoon, celebrate with a "hot dog and apple pie" birthday party at his request. He is amazing.