Iced In

I have to tell you, I never really wanted to be a stay at home mom. As I have said many times before, I think I have the best job in the world and I really get to have the best of both worlds. I get to work with a lot of smart and interesting people who respect me and my work. I teach great kids and collaborate with a lot of neat parents. For three months of the year I stay at home and eventually my kids will all be at school with me.

IMG_1889Two days ago…a day we could actually go out!

Stay at home moms, I give you all the credit in the world! This week has really taught me how much I like to be on the go. Staying at home day in and day out trying to entertain the masses has been rough. It would be different if we had places to go or people to see or if the temperature wasn’t so FRIGID outside that we could go out, it would be different. But, seriously, enough is enough!

In the summer we have a schedule and we do ALL THE THINGS! But when it is -11 and you have an infant and two other kids that do not keep gloves on I just can’t justify doing anything.

IMG_1897 They greet Ryan every morning like this. Totally cute.

So here we are, Snow Day #4 and we are literally climbing the walls. We have done crafts and pretend play and play dough (which this neat freak thinks is sent directly from Hell) and painting and jewelry making and fort building and baking and cleaning and doing it all again.

IMG_5760 Dance party at 8 am. Anyone? Anyone?

I love my kids and I love being with them, however, have you ever heard the phrase, “absence makes the heart grow fonder?”

Yes it does.
Yes it does.

IMG_1906What doesn’t kill him will make him stronger.

If it warns up above zero we might take the kids to the indoor pool tonight. Sweet!

IMG_1909 8 months! How did that happen????

What are you doing to keep from getting the winter blues?

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Weekend Update…Operation Dodge Cabin Fever

Well, it continues to be the weekend here in Loveland, OH. Yes, you guessed it…another SNOW DAY! I have mixed feelings about it because there is so much to do at school, but I am thrilled to spend another day with my little munchkins. Megan woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible cough and awkward breathing (we almost got dressed to go the ER) so it was nice to have a bit of time to sleep in this morning too. Don’t worry, Miss M is fine this morning. I think she just has a head cold.

Thisweekend was a mix of a lot of lounging and a a lot of moving. Friday night we hung out as a family of four and ordered take-out from Outback. Our favorite. On Saturday I let Shawn sleep in and we headed to the gym. Megan loves Kid Fit class so we made it just in time for her to participate. I was able to get three and a half miles in the the treadmill.

When we got home Megan spent the rest of the day with a couple of the neighborhood girls. We are blessed to live in an awesome neighborhood full of little kids. It is not uncommon in the summer to have fifteen kids ages two to eight in our back park. I love the kids and I adore their moms. We are all different but have similar values which makes it a great community.

After a day of playing the girls, of course, scammed me into hosting a sleepover. It was impromptu and so much fun. I made cupcakes and let the girls (and Tyler) decorate them. They had a blast.

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Then it was play play play the rest of the night. At 10:30 I forced them into bed and they giggled for an hour. So sweet. By midnight they were done.

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In the morning we had time for quick manicures before the ladies went home and we got dressed and headed to church.

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Later that day we headed to the “big gym” and the kids played while we worked out. When we were leaving we realized the rock wall was open. After signing my life away the kids gave it a try.

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Needlesstosay, they loved it. We all be back…especially because it is free! Gotta love free activities at the good old YMCA.
Also, the kids were exhausted when we got home and promptly went to bed at 6:00 and did not make a peep all night. Shawn was working so I felt like I was on vacation…I watched HGTV without interruption, ate a bowl of ice cream, and enjoyed the calm.

Yesterday we were back at the gym in the morning and I was able to participate in Muscle Max which I love. I have not been able to get to a class since the summer so it felt good to be back. Boy, am I sore this morning.
In the afternoon we did another fun free activity.

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Swimming for the win!

Today we are going to relax. I probably will not go anywhere since Megan is a little under the weather.

What activities does your family do to cure cabin fever?

I’ve Become A Cliche

I read a lot of “Mommy Blogs.” I love reading about how people are raising their children across the country. I don’t buy into mommy wars or anything like that. We all do things differently and that is great; we can learn a lot from each other. But, one thing remains the same with pretty much every blogger I have eve read…when she becomes pregnant the blog falls apart for a while.

About a week after I wrote this post about how happy I am to be a mom of two, this happened…

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To say we were surprised and shocked would be an absolute understatement. Because I had suffered an early miscarriage exactly the same time last year I was very cautious and scared and I took about a million tests. And then,we saw the most beautiful image at my doctor’s appointment.

20131221-095621.jpgWell, hello, baby #3…we already love you.

It has been 13 weeks of non-stop nausea but so much happiness. I am so thrilled with the idea of one more precious little one. And so are these two…

20131221-100111.jpg We told our families at Thanksgiving dinner with those awesome shirts!

I apologize for my sporadic posts at best. Now you know why. I am a cliche! More to come in the next few weeks. Today I am enjoying my first day of Christmas break. We are celebrating in pajamas with cereal while watching Christmas cartoons. Bliss, I tell you, pure bliss!

Tennis Champ

Megan started tennis in the beginning of September. I have to admit, when she started, I was not super impressed. They didn’t do a lot of hitting, nor did they spend much time working the ball over the net. The one thing I LOVED about it was it was a group lesson but she and another girl were the only two in it, so it was more like a semi-private lesson.
Over the course of 8 weeks Megan improved by leaps and bounds. When she started she could barely balance the ball on the racket. Last week she was hitting cross-court shots and volleys. Her confidence was soaring and she and her coach could not have been prouder.
I was shocked when the coach took me aside and said Megan was ready for Level 1. Shocked and nervous. How would my little 4 year old do in a group of 8-10 year olds? Would she feel shy or isolated or afraid? I expected her to be a little tentative as she went on the court with a new group of kids.

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All my expectations were shatter when I watched my little baby girl take the court during her first level 1 practice. She was confident and fiery and fearless. Megan went on to that court like she owned it.

Was she the best out there? Not a chance. Did she make mistakes? Of course! But, she did those things with a maturity that reached far beyond her four years. She was polite and accommodating and uplifting to the “friends” around her. She was amazing.

I don’t know if Megan will play tennis for the rest of her life…I don’t even know if she will want to continue after this year. What I do know is that the past four months have taught my child what it takes to be a team player, how to work well with others, and that practice makes progress.

Not bad for a four year old…or a thirty-something mommy.

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A Part of My World

Sometime I feel like I have nothing to write about.
My life seems pretty full, but there is nothing worth reporting or I do something fun but then I am too busy or tired or stressed to actually write about it.
I guess that it why I will never been a famous blogger…I just don’t have the commitment to it.
Oh well, I will just keep doing what I am doing.
Last November I committed to writing a post every day. I will not be doing that this year!

Six things going on in my world…

1. I started the bikini diet this week. This blog makes sense to me. She believe that dieting is 90% food intake and 10% exercise. Since January (and, especially, June) I have really been committed to 4-5 days a week of exercise for at least 60 minutes. Unfortunately, I have seen very little results. This leads me to believe that my diet sucks. When I did the 7 day detox I lost 13 pounds in one week…interesting. I am not looking for a “quick fix” but I certainly would like to lose something for all the effort I am putting in at the gym.
2. We went to Great Wolf Lodge over the weekend. Shawn’s co-worker’s mom works there so we got a cheap room. However, GWL is not a cheap place. We spent more money than I would have liked to, but the kids LOVED it ( and so did we). It was a great family Staycation” (GWL is 5 minutes from our home) and we were all exhausted but so relaxed and rejuvenated when we came home.

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3. I found Megan a pair of Twinkle Toes and it didn’t cost me a week’s pay! They were on clearance at Kohl’s for $21.99 and I had a 30% coupon so I ended up spending about $16 on them. That was a major win!
4. This weekend is my high school reunion. Our class president has done a horrible job planning it, so I am not hoping for anything spectacular, but it will be nice to see some people I have not seen in a while and also hang out with a couple of my BFF’s and their husbands.
5. October is the best month but also the worst. The anniversary of my dad’s death is coming up. This weekend we are spending time remembering him and doing some fun stuff in his honor.
6. For the first time in a long time I looked at Megan and Tyler and realized I am so happy to be a mom of two awesome kiddos. I always thought I wanted (needed) more children, but right now I feel really content. I have struggled with this for the last year because I keep picturing in my mind three little kiddos…but if that never happens, I am fine with it, really.

A Crisis

We have been going through a significant health crisis with Megan over the past 6 weeks. It was significant enough that yesterday we had to put her under anesthetic in order to get a CT Scan of her chest.

I got a call this morning with a very positive outcome.

Now, I can breathe…and possibly sleep.

All of this has made me put a lot of things in perspective. Some of this has made me question decisions I have made as a mother. Mostly, I am just so happy that I can put it behind me. I do believe in God. I know God was with me during this crisis. I felt his arms around me in a very real way.

One of the things I cannot shake is the absolute piss-poor care our primary pediatrician gave us during this time of need. We have seen many different doctors in the practice several times over the past few weeks and I have been crushed in the fact that they have not communicated with each other, do not read my child’s chart before entering the room, and have very few answers to any of my questions. They are also not very caring, compassionate, or friendly. Needless to say, I am going to be researching new practices now. I just can’t go through another time with this group.

On a better note, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has been awesome. I have loved the care we received and felt they really had Megan’s best interests in mind. Yesterday, I felt like a part of their family as they walked us through everything that was about to happen. They made me feel supported in a time that I was very unsteady.

I will do anything for my children. I will always be their advocate for the rest of their lives. I am so happy Megan is healthy. Thank God.

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Monday’s Thoughts

A mystery illness has taken over our household. Everyone has seemed to have it over the last few weeks. Symptoms involve headache, upset stomach, coughing, sneezing, fever, chills, and over-all aching. I was hit with it yesterday afternoon like a Mac truck. It was horrible. I had to put myself to bed at 3:30 and I did not come out of my room until 6:30 this morning. Megan joined me at 6:00 and slept through the night as well. Shawn woke up with a sore throat and Tyler has boogies. Not a great way to start the week.

Busy-ness (is that a word?) started last week with ballet and continued today with Megan’s first tennis lesson. Our girl is an athlete. A very girlie girl but an athlete nonetheless.

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I recognize that these are the easy years with after-school obligations and whatnot, but I am already starting to feel like “this is life” and I couldn’t be happier. There is no greater joy than watching your kids find their own path and take a step outside of the nest…only to look up and see that mommy is there watching, and waiting, and being their first and biggest cheerleader.

Tonight I am going to put them to bed and say an extra long prayer of thanksgiving. I am so, so thankful that they are mine and I am theirs.

In other news, I have decided to jump on the I love everything pumpkin bandwagon. It started with a pumpkin latte last week and will continue throughout the season. I always thought I hated pumpkins, but I don’t. I think I took a wrong turn one year at the Circleville Pumpkin Show and didn’t want to go there again. I am so glad I got over it…I feel like I have been missing out!