Sunday, December 07, 2014

Pitfalls of a Non-Corn Dog-Mac'n'Cheese-Pizza-PB Sandwich Dinner

8:45pm (15 min after lights out)
C: Mooooo-my, I'm hungry.
Me: Well, when you only eat half of dinner you get hungry.
C: Well, I'm hungry.
Me: Yes, sweetie, I understand that but it's bedtime. You can have some water and then you need to get in your bed, please.
C: But I need REAL food. Water isn't REAL food! Aren't you going to take care of your child???
Me: I did give you real food at dinner and you chose not to eat it. We warned you that you'd be hungry at bedtime and there'd be no snacks except what was left from dinner. You chose not to eat that. Now, please get into your bed.
C: NO, I'm still hungry!
Me: ONE...
C: OKAY --> proceeds to slam door and cry right inside of door while playing with the door stop.
{10 minutes of crying}
C: I'm still hungry
***repeat above conversation***
C: {crying} Please stop breaking my heart... 
{silence}
C: It's broken now... the only way to fix it is you giving me real food... 
{silence}
C: {while crying} Now it's REALLY broken. I don't know if it can be fixed now...
{silence}
C: MOOOMMM!  Why are you being silent?  SPEAK TO ME!  Now my tummy is angry with me.  It just needs REAL food.
Me: Tell your tummy that I say NO and that it should have accepted the food that I offered it at dinner.  1/2 of a banana, a cutie orange and 1/2 of a dinner roll aren't enough and it knows that from previous experience.
C: {through tears} You're going to make my tummy SO angry!  It's going to yell at me.
Me: FINE!  Come down and pick out something. UGH!
C: {all cheery, in a sing-song voice} Okay!  What do we have?
Me: The same things we had an hour ago when you watched your brother pick out a bedtime snack.
C: I knoooow, but which of them isn't sugary so that I don't have to brush my teeth again?
Me: Just.  Pick.  A.  Snack!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time is My Enemy


Yeah... the title is a bit negative... but it's so darn true.  The older I get the faster time goes and with that the faster my children grow and get older (profound, I know, right?!).  But time is really ripping my heart apart a lot lately and I'm doing so much to try to push that pain away.  How are my kids so big?!

Oh Casey!



 I cannot believe that my little girl is THREE AND A HALF years old.  WHAT?!  How did that happen?  I swear I was just rocking in the glider, nursing my itty, bitty 37 week gestation sub 6 pound baby.  

I hardly even remember her learning how to crawl and walk!  AHHHH!!!!!  AND, we are all of 3 years, 8 months and 29 days old and she has the temper and mannerisms of a 13 year old girl.  If I didn't know better I'd think the girl was already PMSing.  Hahaha - maybe we'll get this out of the way now so that when she is 13 she'll be sweet and charming.  

She LOVES baking with Mommy, playing in the sandbox with big brother Tegan (her favorite big brother because Ty doesn't play with her - her reasoning, not mine), singing like Ariel and Rapumzel, growing her hair "so, so long" and being in her underwear.  

She wakes up most mornings with a dry pull-up because she's "such a big girl" but insists on still wearing them because "I'm still kind of little, Mommy, and I don't want to accidentally pee in my underwear even just a little by accident when I'm sleeping."  

But I could watch her sleep all night... her little bum in the air with her knees curled under her and face on the bed (or floor).  Yes, she still often sleeps in the same positions that she did as a newborn





Tegan - oh, Tegan... When he was born he stole my heart all over again.


He's signed up for flag football but only so-so interested.  He love science and engineering and robots and all things like that.

Even was in a science camp this summer and built a solution to Singapore's overpopulation problem.

He's a month into 1st grade and I am struggling as a teacher/mom that he does not really enjoy reading TO me.

He loves writing and using inventive spelling and is SO very good at it, but when it comes to reading, he still has minimal interest.  Don't get me wrong, when he puts forth the effort he can read quite well, but still doesn't have much of an interest.  Math is another one of his favorite things.  Up until school started he loved for us to write up a page of one and two-digit addition and subtraction problems.  Now that there's almost nightly math homework, the requests for those has pretty much stopped.


Lastly there's Ty - he'd be in preschool this year, likely with the same teacher that Tegan had (Teacher Mary Olson) and loving it because she is the most amazing preschool teacher.  He would likely be loving trains and matchbox cars and nerf guns and, of course, all of the toys that Tegan loves because that's how little brothers are - they love whatever their big brother loves.  He is on my mind daily... almost never NOT on my mind.  Is that bad?  Does that mean that I'm not moving on?  Does that make me depressed?  I want it all.  I want him back but I want Casey still here, too... which wouldn't be so had he lived.

School is tough this year.  My morning class, especially, has a handful of kids that really test me from the minute they arrive to the minute I get them on the bus.  It scares me that each year there are more and more kids coming into kindergarten that have never been held accountable for anything, never had consequences, never heard the word "no" or never had parents follow through after saying "no".  Some of these kids think that they are in charge and have no respect for their teachers, parents, peers, etc. and it breaks my heart because I don't want to believe that their parents let them become like this on purpose.  No parent thinks, "Hey, I want my child to grow up being disrespectful and dishonest and irresponsible."  So what do I do?  I hold them in my heart, all of them, all of my kids, all of my students, honest and sweet and respectful and caring and loving and hard working and the opposite and those in the middle.  I pray for them at night, hug and/or high five them when they arrive, smile and remind them all that it's up to them to make it a great day.  It's their choice - and it might not be hard and they might not love all of the day and might even really not like an activity here or there but if they stick with it I DO try to make it all fun and exc
iting and engaging in the end.  I email and call parents with the good and the bad, I write weekly newsletters sharing the good and reminders of how to make the tough less frequent.  I'm firm and strict and hold high expectations and am disappointed when my students don't live up to them because I know that they CAN and I tell them that.

Thanks for listening and supporting and understanding and loving me through it all...
 ~j

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Kindergarten!!!

My first baby is now a kindergartner!  Yes, Tegan started K today.  Unfortunately, since I'm a teacher I wasn't able to be there to get him on the bus and get all the cute pictures.  Here's the one that I was sent via text that nearly broke me... my baby is in grade school!!!

Tegan assures me that he had a great time except for the fact that LEGOs weren't a choice today at Choice Time.  I assured him that with patience he'll get to play with them and reminded him that we have 100's if not 1,000's at home.  So, what did the kid want to do after arriving at home?  LEGOs?  Nope, watch a cartoon.  HA!  The kid is exhausted - which I totally expected.  He was also excited to learn that a friend from his preschool (in Shakopee) is in his class.  There's also a friend from his soccer team in his class, too.  I'm so thankful for these 2 familiar faces for him.  I was definitely worried that he wouldn't know anyone and get scared and/or upset.  Praise God for these little surprises!

I know this is super short, but with the school year still young for me I, too, am tired after my long day.  Take care and God bless!!!
~j

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Crashing...

Preface: at a minimum, the following is a way for me to get some (OK, a lot) off my chest.  If you get something out of it, that's a bonus. :)  It's long... but all important.  However, the last paragraph and link kind of sum it all up (kind of...)

As you all know, we lost our son Ty 3 years, 3 months and 9 days ago today.  I grieved, I still do, and did my best to pick up and continue with life as best as I could.  3 months after Ty's death I became pregnant with our sweet little spitfire, Casey.  My focus then shifted to having a "successful" pregnancy, as I call it.  Thankfully, the Lord answered that prayer and we were given our Wawa on New Year's Eve... 2009 began with heartache and ended with immense joy, celebration and renewal.

Looking back I believe the first year or so of Casey's life was a bit of a blur for me.  I was allowed myself to focus on her, and T, too, of course, but there's definitely something about being given the responsibility of taking care of a new life that overtakes you.  That child is so helpless that there is not really time to think about anything else and for me that allowed me to push my pain and grief aside - not completely but significantly.  I couldn't grieve intensely and give Casey and Tegan what they needed at the same time.  I view this as a blessing.

Once Casey became more independent, and especially after she stopped nursing, I found that there was more and more time to allow myself to more intensely focus on the loss of Ty.  A year passed and I had learned to balance and manage my contrasting emotions in way that worked for me.  I wasn't in a constant sate of grief and pain, but Ty was always on my mind... resting on my shoulder, but in a way that I could appreciate and embrace the new woman I had become after enduring the pain and heartache of being reminded that I am only in control of my choices but not the world around me.

Little did I know that my world was going to be rocked to the core yet again.

Ty's loss was obviously one that was completely unexpected.  The thought of losing a baby after every test and scan showed "perfection" had never crossed my mind.  One day my sweet baby was moving and the next he was gone.  Then last fall, just as I was living and enjoying my new normal, the world changed again.  My nephew was diagnosed with cancer and scheduled to begin chemo the next day... within 24 hours it became known that the cancer had spread too far to treat - Andrew's condition was terminal unless God performed a miracle.

Andrew was born 2 days after Ty was received by our Lord and Savior.  He was the child that I looked to and smiled through tears at imagining how he and Ty would have played together.  Now he was set to have that opportunity - to not only play with his cousin but live in the light of his Lord.  Stated in that way it sounds so exciting and positive, and it is... but not without causing those of us that remain behind, here on Earth, grieving that we could not go with him or keep him here with us.  After 7 short weeks Andrew met his Savior face to face and lives every day in His glory, playing with Ty and feeling no more pain.

The pain has remained with me, though.  I am not grieving Andrew's earthly death more than I did/do Ty's, but it's taken me back a long way in where I was in my grief over Ty's death.  I've prayed and searched my soul for ways that I can enjoy quiet time, alone time... but that's the one thing I struggle with.  As the end of the school year approaches I am also reminded of how quickly time passes and how much I still want to do with my students.  You may not understand the connection there, but it's very clear to me.  The end of a school year is by no means a "loss" but it is the end of a chapter... a time that I have a huge amount of responsibility over 20+ little lives... I know that the time with them as "mine" is coming to an end and my life will change when those little souls and eager minds are not with me 5 days a week.  We become a community, a family in some ways, and then the year is done and the family is dispersed.

I feel like I've been rambling a bit... so to bring it back to focus, I have been praying that God would show me where my family and I should be attending church.  We've never really felt "at home" in any church we've visited, and now that the Tegan and Casey are getting older I really want them to begin developing a broader and deeper understanding of God and the Bible and why Brendan and I believe in it and God and Jesus... why it is all so important to us and the foundation of our lives and family.  Last week we went to Grace Church in Eden Prairie.  At 25 minute drive from our new home but known to be amazing.  B and I attended there off and on the first few years of marriage and then began to attend churches closer to our homes.  We've really struggled with regularly attending any church since Tegan was born as he's always fought going to the nursery and Sunday School.  Last week a prayer was answered when we went to Grace and both kids went to Sunday School with little to no hesitation and LOVED it by the end.  For Brendan and I, the service was lead by a guest pastor.  The message was engaging and interesting but all week we've been told by others that we've got to go back and experience Pastor Troy.

Tonight, in my time alone, my soul began to ache.  The same thing happened last night.  I ached to hold Ty in my arms, to see the sparkling eyes and toothy grin of Andrew, and even felt pain and fear after a brief scare with Tegan this week (he has an inguinal hernia that began to be painful which can indicate a serious problem).  Then...my phone rang.  An elderly gentleman from Grace was calling to thank us for attending/visiting last week and invite us back - that we simply need to experience Pastor Troy and the gift he has for teaching the Word.  He was so easy to talk to and so very genuine.  I decided to go to the Grace website and look through archived sermons... I came to the following and it was exactly what I needed.  It's about 28 minutes, but you finish with a lifted heart and joyful soul.  Jesus is ALWAYS with us.
What to Do When Your World Crashes! | Grace Church

~jenn

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SERIOUSLY?!

Has it really been since Casey's birthday that I last posted? Really?! Wow - let's just say time is flying... it's been a crazy few months!

Tegan is now 5, winter has come and gone (we think...),... I'm drawing a blank (sure doesn't sound like we've been busy, but I promise, we have).

I'm brain dead these days, or maybe it's just easily distracted. Maybe I've developed Adult ADHD. You never know...
Here's a few pics to tide you over for a while. Spring Break is just a little over a week away!!!!!




Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Wawa!

I cannot believe it's been 2 years since we welcomed Miss Casey into our arms. What a joyous evening that was.

Here we are 2 years later and we now have a big little girl full of spunk and opinion running circles around us wearing one of her tutus (aka "pretties") and sunglasses while we change her "babies" clothes for her. She is truly a ray of sunshine in our days. Yesterday she decided on her own that it's time to start potty training. Maybe not for every time she goes, but in the past 24 hours she's peed on the potty 4+ times! Today I bought her some pull-ups (I call them "big girl diapers" to help encourage C) and even a pack of Minnie Mouse undies. She has no interest (thus far) in the pull-ups and her Bitty Baby is using a pair of the undies as a blanket. Hm......

Happy Birthday, my sweet baby girl! I will love you always and forever!
~Mommy

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Fun

Happy Fall to everyone (a month late... I know). It's been one wild 6-7 weeks since I last posted. School started back up for me, pre-school started,
the marathon came and went (and went great, might I add), and, most recently, Daddy went - to China! Yes, the kiddos and I have been pretty much on our own the past 2+ weeks. We are surviving and have actually settled into a new and temporary "norm" but we are all missing Daddy lots and lots. Tegan now asks daily how many more "sleeps" until B returns - we are down to one hand (5) sleeps counting tonight.

I've done my best to try and get the kids out and doing something different each weekend that B has been gone. The first weekend we went to a park in Chaska and a friend of mine did a mini one-hour photo shoot. So far the 7 pictures I've seen are amazing, in spite of the fact that C hardly smiled throughout the whole thing (little stinker!). On the way home we stopped at a local doughnut shop and each had a doughnut and beverage (juice for the kids, coffee for me). (I'll post pics when I have them)

Last weekend we spent most of the weekend up at my folks house on the north side of the Cities. I can't even remember much of what we did there other than the unfortunate ending when T threw the fit of a lifetime in the middle of Target and I literally had to carry him out to the car kicking and screaming "You're the meanest mommy in the whole world". It was one for the record books, that's for sure!

This weekend was a "long" one for us as it was Fall/MEA Break here in MN for students and teachers. I had Thursday and Friday off in addition but since the kids were paid for at daycare on Thursday they still went and I took that day to get loads done around the house. My mom came down Thursday evening and spend the night and much of the day Friday with us here at home. Tegan and I got out for some Mommy and T time... nothing fancy, he helped me run errands but he was excited for the 1-on-1 attention nonetheless. That afternoon I got a call from Brendan's coworker who also has a 4 year old and invited T over for the evening to play with his little guy. SO, at 4:45 T got picked-up and it was time for C and I to have some 1-on-1 time.

After a quick bite for the wee-one, we loaded up and we headed over to the MOA (Mall of America). I first had a quick return to do and then we trekked across Nickelodeon Universe to the American Girl store. There we picked out 2 new outfits for C's Bitty Baby (appropriately named "Baby" by Miss C herself) and then we checked out the B&N where we found a few new books and CD's to grow our brains with. Before we knew it, it was time to go pick-up T and head home for bed. Little did I know, but T's friend Brody has one exciting house with lots of toys we don't have (including a 1/2 or 1/3 size trampoline in his basement!!!). An hour after arriving at Brody's house I was able to convince T we really needed to get home and get C to bed (us all, for that matter). That's when my one truly difficult time alone with the kids - I was already jittery from an Excedrin Migraine I'd taken earlier (it has caffeine in it and apparently I hadn't eaten enough to counteract the jitters it can cause). Once the kids were in bed I started to get real anxious... nervous... whatever you want to call it. I finally decided to call my mom around 10 to have someone to talk to and just take my mind off things and being the amazing woman and mom and grandma that she is, she offered to come back down to our house and stay the night. Sure enough, less and an hour later she AND my dad got here and I was able to relax.

Saturday brought more fun - my mom and T played together for a good hour or longer while C, my dad and I hung out upstairs reading, talking and playing, too. Around 11 my mom, C and I headed over to The General Store in Minnetonka while T stayed home with Papa. We all had out own fun (T and Papa went to the park while C enjoyed eyeing up all the unique children's stuff the General Store has to offer). C and I even had a quick lunch, including the biggest and most frosting and sprinkle covered sugar cookie I've ever seen, and us girls headed back.

Almost forgot to mention that across the 3 days of Thurs-Saturday I painted the master bathroom & basement hallway, installed 3 new sink faucets in the master and main floor guest bathrooms, and applied a frosted window film to the master bathroom windows to allow us to leave the blinds open while maintaining privacy.

Today I wanted to get out of the house, so I took the kiddos over to Sever's Corn Maze in Shakopee where we had an absolute blast. T LOVED bouncing on the "jumping pillows" (Casey did NOT like them!!!).

After the "pillows" it was onto the Corn Pit (yes, a massive pit surrounded by hay bales and filled with 3 feet or so deep of dried corn kernels). It was very soothing to play in there, even for me.



T made corn angels (think snow angels but with corn)
while C just loved lightly tossing (no throwing per the rules) corn.

Then it was onto the tall slide, which after climbing to the stairs and getting onto this sliding mat decided he wasn't ready for that big of a slide yet. C fussed but I took her down and she was smiling by the end (sorry, no pics of that as I had the camera in my pocket and 2 hands on C). The hay bale maze was next. It was just 1 bale tall, so you could walk between the bales or on top of them. The 3 of us enjoyed doing both.

Before leaving we took a quick stroll through the exotic animal tent and petting zoo. You'd never believe the animals we saw. Many of them I'd never heard of. Did you know there's such a thing as a Ze-donk? Google it :) Needless to say we all took rests (naps for C and I and quiet time on the couch with The Lion King for T). What a day!!!
What a weekend!!! OH, and today, I planted some of my new bulbs for next spring (allium and crocus for those wondering).

Well, that catches you up, at least for what we've been doing the past few weeks and a brief overview of the past 2 months... and I mean brief.

Hope all's well with you and yours. Take care and love to all!
~j