Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For the Record...

People often make comments to me when reading my posts about my “perfect life,” or how I’ve “got it all.” I don’t put that out there to be conceited at all, and while I’m flattered that people would say that to me, in the interest of being “real” I want to tell you that I, nor my life, are in any way close to perfect.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely happy…I have everything that I could ever hope for, and I know that’s what people are seeing…my happiness shining through. But I also want people to know that I have struggles, often daily, and thankfully, that’s where God is my strength and carries me.

We used to go to a church where everyone put their happy face on Sunday morning before they walked through the doors. When there, if asked how things were going, people would always say “couldn’t be better,” or “everything’s great.” Only they weren’t…that’s not life. It’s almost like you weren’t allowed to have problems, and if you did, and had the courage to bring them up to people, they were quickly brushed under the rug so as not to impose on the image of the church.

I go to a different church now. A church that has people that pride themselves, and the church, on “being real.” And while I haven’t gotten up the courage to ever “be real” at church (there are many times that I have big issues going on but would never dream of telling anyone), I love that if I ever needed to, I could talk to someone. Or the fact that I am always there and ready if someone needs me.

So going along with that theme, it’s only fair to make sure I’m passing that along here. My blog’s main purpose is to chronicle the life of our family, and who wants to read about past times that were sad or upsetting? But I know based on conversations with people, that some people are inspired by what I write (again, I’m in no way being conceited at all…just repeating what was told to me), it’s only fair to try to be inspirational on how to get through bad times as well (and to make sure people know that everyone has them…even if it doesn’t look like that from the outside).

We all know I have 3 great kids, and I brag about how great they are. But come one, of course they are kids! We are dealing with back-talking, attitudes, and whining, just to name a couple of issues. And when I say “dealing,” I really mean that we’re stressed out about it and sick of it and obviously what we’re doing isn’t working 100%.

And we all know I’m married…9 years this past August and have been together for 12. If anyone out there for one second thinks that life is all roses all the time in our marriage, you’re crazy! We live together for goodness sakes! We fight…a lot. Just ask any of our family members :) And the kids, while obviously planned and welcomed with open arms, have definitely changed the dynamics in our marriage…drastically. Right now I’m trying my hardest to figure out how to get back to where we were before we had our little darlings…is it possible? We both know we don’t want to be that couple that wakes up when the kids leave and say “who are you?” But to steer away from that is very difficult…it’s harder work than anything else I’ve ever done.

And my walk with God? That could always be stronger and more diligent. Often times I let life come barreling in and I’m left with no time to read my Bible or pray (or so I let myself think). Anyone that is a mom knows how little free time you have, and during that free time the first thing that comes to my mind is sleep. Or TV. Or sleep.

Those of course are the big areas that are in no way perfect. Of course we’ve got the areas of friends, family, money…I could go on and on.

But, and this is a very important “but,” I’m still happy (most of the time anyway). But knowing my personality, I would be happy in a cardboard box if I still had my family. I hope that putting this out there and “being real” helps people even more. There are no perfect people out there, and there are certainly no perfect relationships or children. But God gives us the people in our lives and the situations we encounter for a reason, and they are all part of His plan. Remembering that is the hard part…

Unique Gift Idea...

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s almost October, and that means that Christmas is quickly approaching. As I’m sure most of you do, I buy Christmas gifts for some people that are very difficult to shop for – they are either super picky or they already have everything they could want. So while browsing the internet the other day, I was pretty excited when I came across these unique items and decided that a Whitehall Address Plaque would be a perfect gift for at least one person on my Christmas gift list!

When we moved into our new house, one of the cool features is they “engraved” our address into one of the bricks on the front of the house. In our old house, we had the usual numbers screwed into our trim and mailbox. They got the job done…people could see what our address was, but they in no way flattered our house. Our new house, with the pretty engraved address, stands out to people and really catches your attention.

So while searching for unique gifts, I saw these Whitehall Address Plaques, which I thought were beautiful! They do to houses what our brick engraving does to our house…they let people know what your address is, but they also add a touch of class. There are both wall-mounted and lawn marker Whitehall Address Plaques, so whether or not you want to physically add something to the outside of your house, or if you’re just looking to add a touch of decoration to your flower beds, they’ve got you covered. I only wish my address was as decorative as these are!

And did you notice the plaques at the bottom of the page? What a fun gift idea! I only wish they had one that had playing cards on it…that would be perfect for my husband’s poker room!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Weekend with Cousin Mya...

What a weekend!

This weekend John and My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were going down to Tennessee for the OU vs. Tennessee game, so I was going to watch my niece for them so that they could really enjoy the trip :)

Saturday morning Ryan got up around 6:45 AM, which made getting up and getting ready for Mya to be there at 7:30 a lot easier :) Jamie and Jim dropped Mya off and from the minute she walked in, she was ready to play! Thankfully there were no tears!

Kylie and Josh had been sleeping over at my parents, so Kylie came home as soon as she heard that Mya was there. We all went down to the play room and played for a long time. While they continued playing I went up and made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Right about that time my dad and Josh came over and Kylie, Josh and Mya had a blast playing together!

After breakfast there was more playing by the kiddos…all the while I was doing tons and tons of laundry (is there anything else that I do?) and popping in to play with them. Right before lunch I noticed that Kylie was off playing by herself…I can tell when Kylie just needs some time to decompress and have “alone time.” But within ½ hour she was back to playing with Mya. Unfortunately it was a rainy mess all day, so we were couped up inside the whole time, which of course we’re not used as all summer we have been outside the majority of every weekend.

For lunch we had these wonderful crepes with ham and tomatoes and cheese in them (so easy to make!). After lunch the kids went back to playing for a while and then it was time for naps. This was where Mya had a hard time…a new bed, by herself = crying! So Kylie went in and read her some stories and then just read to herself while Mya fell asleep. Then she quietly snuck out and she and I attempted to get some scrapbooking done since everyone was asleep. Unfortunately Ryan only slept a little while, so our alone time was abruptly interrupted.

The rest of the day the kids played more, and then it was time to make dinner! I thought it would be fun to have the kids make their own pizzas! So I made up the dough and gave the kids rolling pins and then went to town! Then we put the toppings on…I helped Mya out, so while she was waiting on the other kids to finish, she decided that she would eat her toppings off of her pizza :) The kids almost all of each of their pizzas, so I think it was a success!

Then it was time for baths – Joshie and Mya took a bath together and then I gave Ryan one. Ryan had only slept 1 ½ hours ALL DAY! But thankfully, with Motrin and his gums numbed, he was really a fun little guy all day…I had so much fun playing with him!

Then it was bed time (and quiet time for me!). I sat down for the first time all day at 9:00 PM. I had hunger pains because I realized I had barely eaten all day. Thankfully my mom went out to get us some wings so I had a great dinner at 9:30! I felt like every time I turned around I was running a load of dishes, doing laundry, making a meal, or doing what the kids wanted to do…it was exhausting! But really, really fun and rewarding!

Sunday we all woke up in great moods (mainly because Ryan only got up once and Mya slept fine all night). We got ready for church (that’s right…I took 4 kids to church by myself! But I did have my mom and dad there helping me…). I was helping out in the baby room, where I had Ryan, a little girl that’s 2 months older than Ryan, and then Mya didn’t like being in the big kids’ room, so she came in with me too. I’ve never worked the baby room because I’m in charge of the 18 months – 4 year-old room, so it was a nice change and I loved getting that extra time with Ry-Ry.

After church my mom went to McDonald’s and grabbed us lunch, which was a huge help, and we got to go outside for the first time all weekend! Then Jamie and Jim came and picked Mya up after lunch, and we stayed outside the majority of the day…our neighbors came out and hung out with us until about 4:30, and then we went inside, made dinner, and then John came home. That evening Kylie finished up her homework and Joshie and I read a book with his Leapfrog TAG thing. And then Kylie and I got some good time scrapbooking together. I had promised her since she had been such a HUGE help the whole weekend (playing with Mya, watching Ryan when I needed to do something, putting Mya to sleep, getting me things if I couldn’t leave a room…I could go on and on…) that we would get some special time together. The 45 minutes of scrapbooking went by way too fast…I definitely owe her some more time!

And now we’re back to Monday :( And to top it off a huge cold front is coming in :( But Joshie has another football practice today and I’m really looking forward to getting home and seeing the kiddos again :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

God Let Me Get Some Sleep...

The past couple of nights have not been very fun. Two nights ago we were awake more than we were asleep. My adorable little man was the culprit and John and I were at our wits end! Nothing we did made him comfortable enough to sleep…and we tried everything! At one time I think his whole mouth was numb because he kept sucking on the baby Orajel I was putting on his gums.

But thankfully, last night he decided to sleep. I got home from a fabulous dinner out with some friends, and Ryan was still awake and playing with John. He hadn’t eaten much all night, and hadn’t slept much during the day. I snuggled with him and fed him, and then we tried to get him to eat more…first a bottle with formula, and then a sippy cup with warm milk, and then a sippy cup with ice water…he wanted no part of any of that. Then I took him up and laid him down and he screamed. We had given him Motrin, so we were out of options. Thankfully, he only screamed for about 10 minutes and then he was asleep.

When my alarm went off this morning, the first thing I thought was “thank you God he didn’t get up at all last night and I actually got some sleep!” And then I promptly pushed “snooze” and went back to sleep. Thankfully he stayed asleep the whole time I was getting ready and getting Kylie ready for picture day at school.

What I’m really worried about with him is that I’m in for an adventure this weekend…John is going to the Tennessee/OU game down in Tennessee so not only will I have all three kids by myself and Ryan potentially not sleeping, but I’m also watching my two year-old niece while her parents go down to the game as well. If Ryan sleeps well, this weekend will be a piece of cake! If he doesn’t? Thankfully my mom will be around and can watch the kids while I grab a quick nap!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Joshie is a hoot!

Thankfully, it is hockey season again (didn’t it just end?). John took Joshie to a pre-season game the other night and he had a blast! And because it’s hockey season again, the games in the playroom have exploded! Josh always has to check his computer to see if there’s a game that day, and many times he comes back to report that there are 5 games that day!

You never know who will be playing, or how Joshie will be dressed :) His obvious favorite team is the Columbus Blue Jackets. But he’s sophisticated enough to know that they can’t play all the time. So sometimes it’s The Flyers vs. The Wilds, or sometimes it’s The Red Wings vs. the Penguins, etc. So he tries to dress accordingly. The other night it was the Red Wings vs. the Wilds, and therefore he had on his red pajamas (because duh…it’s the RED wings), his red CBJ hat (which I questioned him about but he said he was wearing it because he didn’t have a Red Wings hat), and his feet stuffed into the Elmo slippers that I think are a size 5 (way too small). He was definitely a sight to see!

Joshie playing hockey for the Red Wings :) from Debbie on Vimeo.

Another great thing that has started is football season. Joshie loves playing football with the neighbor boys, and for the first time is actually playing on a team with the boy that lives behind us. They had their first practice last night and it was the cutest thing I’d ever seen! And to give them credit…they actually had a good practice! Unfortunately, though, I forgot my camera (shocking I know…I have no idea where my mind was). So these couple of pictures from my phone will have to suffice until his next practice on Monday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ryan's One Year Stats...

I took Ryan in for his one year check-up today. The day didn’t start off well due to the fact that he was up a lot last night crying (we would find out why later).

So I got to spend some extra time with the kiddos this morning since Ryan’s appointment wasn’t until 8:45. I helped Kylie get dressed for school (and by “helped” I mean I argued with her about wearing long sleeves when it’s going to be 83 degrees outside), and then I cleaned Ryan up from breakfast and got him dressed and ready. I packed a few toys, including his new mp3 player, and off we went!

When we arrived at the doctors it was quiet…we were about the only ones there! Ryan was babbling up a storm and pointing to the fan and overall just happy! The nurse called us back and I got Ryan undressed and it all went downhill from there!

He cried when she tried to measure his head (or more accurately, the minute she slipped the measuring thing around it, he promptly took it off), and then he wailed when we laid him down to measure how long he was. But of course, the minute I picked him up, all was OK again.

While we were waiting for the doctor, Ryan wouldn’t let me put him down! I pulled out his mp3 player, and sat him on the counter and wrapped his blanket around him and he cried! But once I picked him up, he was good.

The doctor came in and talked to me for a few minutes and then when I had to put him down he just cried! He was quiet when she gave him a tongue depresser to play with while she checked his heart, but when she laid him down to feel his belly, he was back to crying. When she sat him up and checked his mouth, she said “look at this…he’s got two molars coming in the top and the bottom is all puffy, so those should poke through anytime.” Sure enough, there were two molars half-in back there! No wonder he keeps waking up at night!

He had to get three shots (including his flu shot) and have his finger pricked to check his iron levels (which were right in the middle, so that’s good!). He of course screamed through the whole thing, but was fine when I picked him up at the end.

He didn’t fall asleep on the way home, surprisingly, and he was even happy and playful when I put him in the stroller by Jen so that they could watch Joshie play football outside.

Ryan’s one year stats:

Height: 30 inches (57%)
Weight: 23 lbs. 12 oz (64%)
Head: 46 ¾ cm (61%)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Birthday Party Recap...

The third-child-syndrome is completely real. I know, because I am a contributor to the cause. Ryan turned 1 this past Sunday, and we had his party on the same day. His party was no where near the scale of Kylie or even Josh’s, and while I felt bad because I felt like I was cheating him out of something, I also felt a huge sense of relief because I didn’t have the normal party stress that comes with having a huge shindig.

I made his cakes on Thursday and Friday. Then on Saturday I put on the first coating on icing. I also made homemade salsa for the first time that came out pretty good. John had gone down to the Bobcats game, so in between icing and cutting up tomatoes, Kylie, Ryan and my mom and I hung out outside on the hammock and trampoline. I had a nice sense of peace and no stress.

Sunday morning we went to church. After church we actually went to lunch with a bunch of friends! That’s shocking since I could have never done that before…I would have had too much last minute stuff to do. After lunch we stopped at the store for some last-minute stuff (blow up the balloons and get more icing so that I could decorate the cakes). We got home around 2:30 and the party started at 4:00.

It only took me about ½ hour to decorate the cakes (this year I went for taste…the cakes aren’t that great looking, but they tasted fantastic!), and then we hung up streamers and got all the food out and ordered the pizzas. At 4:00 we were ready!

Ryan had gone down for his nap at 3:15, so he was still asleep while we all ate and hung out. I finally woke him up at 5:15 so that he could come down and have his cake. He was hungry for dinner, but we needed to get this party moving! So I loaded him up in the high chair and we sung and waited to see what he would do.

He dug in a little bit, but in the end, he did not get near as messy as Kylie or Josh. He liked eating the cake and frosting, but he really didn’t get that messy! Towards the end I saw that he kept itching his neck. I walked over to him and saw that his neck and around his mouth was all red…so something in the cake or icing was bothering his skin. So I took him up and gave him a bath. Thankfully, within about 15 minutes of his bath he was all better!

He sat down to open his presents and he actually helped a tiny bit :) He got some great clothes which are adorable, a baby mp3 player (indestructible!), a gumball-like machine that holds balls, a baby cell phone, a book, the classic rings toy thing, some adorable trucks and road signs to play with, and from the looks for giant box on my parents’ porch, and huge “cozy-coup” type car that is a truck (we haven’t opened it yet).

After everyone left we cleaned up and he ate dinner :) He ate a ton of pizza and some bananas. After that he played with his toys, and then it was bedtime! Kylie didn’t have school on Monday, so she came up to watch some TV with me and fell asleep with me, which was a super nice treat.

So while it was laid-back and almost “boring,” I had a ton of fun and was able to talk to people and really enjoy the party!

Ryan Opening Presents... from Debbie on Vimeo.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Ryan!

To my Ry-Ry (aka, “Little Man”),

I cannot believe that a whole year has passed already. I can still vividly remember being pregnant with you, my maternity leave, and your first Christmas…I feel like all of those things just happened.

But here we are, one year later, and to try to remember what life was like without you only shows a picture with a huge hole in it. When I think of you, the first thoughts that pop into my head are pictures of your blonde, almost-white hair and your gigantic blue eyes. And your smile…we can’t forget your smile!

You took a while to enter this world…longer than we all thought you would. But when you were born, you were calm – almost no crying at all! You just laid on my stomach and looked around at all the lights and the people.

During my maternity leave I spent almost every afternoon snuggled with you on my chest on the couch. I could not get enough of you! I kept telling daddy that having you made me want so many more babies! I think he got a little scared at that point :)
Over the winter months you continued to grow and develop. Not to be outdone by your brother and sister, you too were a super fat baby! You slept wonderfully until you were about 2 months old, at which time you got your first cold and never really made it back into the bassinette again, much to my dismay.

You rolled over for the first time a few days before you turned 3 months old…I was worried…that was so early! But then after that, even though you did it occasionally, you really didn’t feel the need to do it a whole lot. You didn’t start sitting until you were 7 months. And crawling? Ha! You have finally mastered that…at 11 ½ months! But that was OK! You knew that any little whimper out of your mouth and someone would come and get you! Why crawl when someone would carry you wherever you wanted to go? You are kind of starting to try to pull yourself up (I say kind of because you pull yourself up to your knees and then stop) and if we stand you against something, you haven’t grasped the concept yet that you need to hold on!

You have been babbling up a storm for a while now. You will talk and talk to us, although the only real word you say is dadda, and sometimes, momma (although I’m beginning to think that “dadda” means mommy or daddy!).

You have 6 teeth…2 on the bottom which have finally completely come in, and 4 on the top that are still not completely in! You eat anything we give you! You definitely prefer “real” food, but will still eat baby food too. You love yogurt, cheese sticks and fishies!

You are a very happy baby…you are easy to put to bed (just lay you down, cover you up with 3 blankets (and you play peek-a-boo with us) and put on your aquarium). You are getting close to sleeping through the night, which is wonderful!

You like to do what we call "silly paci:"
I just can’t tell in words how much I love you. I love your personality that has been developing over the last couple of months, and I love how you fit into our family so perfectly! You love playing with Kylie, and I see you longingly look at Josh playing sports and know that soon you guys will be playing together! And I love the times I have watched you and Joshie playing cars when he didn’t know I was watching…you guys are going to be such great friends, on top of being brothers!

Every day I thank God that He gave you to me. I can’t imagine my life or family without you – you are such a special boy!