Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Grizzly Bear Goes Running

Are you all laughing? This is me in my outdoor pregnancy running gear.

I try to run on the track at the Y by day, but sometimes the only time I can fit a run in is in the evening. Since it is dark by 5:30, I have to resort to reflective gear for safety. I actually had the orange strip above my belly and the yellow one below my belly, but the yellow one slid off by the end of the driveway.

Noah said I shouldn't have any trouble slowing traffic down.

The other thing I would like to point out is my fuzzy brown jacket. I got it from Sam's Club and on 95% of winter days so far it has eliminated the need for me to wear my bathrobe around the house to stay warm. It is awesomely warm AND it makes me look like a giant grizzly bear. What could be better? Also, the boys love it and want to cuddle with me and kiss me and hug me whenever I have it on - which makes me even more warm.

Noah got a headlamp for Christmas. I think I will be adding that to my outfit.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Pirate Party X2

This is the "Pin (or tape) the Sword to the pirate" game at Deacon's kid party. The other pictures didn't turn out well- the camera was being weird and my main camera man wasn't home.

Here is the pirate cake for his kid party.

The Birthday Boy had to change into his new footies in the middle of his family party. We are always taking breaks during parties for the kids to go take baths with their new bath toys, or to change clothes :) This is a new book from Gpa Rog and Gma Pam.

This is his other pirate cake that his mother slaved over. Do you see the tousled hair? He gets it wet throughout the day. He is embracing the messy look. He wants to be a skateboarder.
What is a mother to do?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Day!

Roman got his new batman hat for Christmas. I found the snowtubes for the boys on a Black Friday Sale. They turned out perfect for them! Small enough for them to handle and they fit their bodies well and so they weren't always flipping off! (and they could haul them up the hill themselves!)

Lincoln had so much fun! He was a brave little boy- loves to crash into his brothers and be crashed into!

Family Picture! And no, I am not actually that big. I was wearing an old oversized (even for my pregant self) coat. Since it was actually a family picture with everyone looking at the camera, I decided to post it anyway despite my ginormous size.

After sledding the little boys watched some movies. And ate contraband tootsie rolls (see the wrappers as evidence?)

And the big boys put together Darth Vader's Tie Fighter.
Deacon looks so cute in his new backward hat, doesn't he?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Controversial Monday: Homeschooling

Last week Deacon and I were at Target, getting stuff for his birthday party.

The cashier asked him if the Star Wars plates were for his birthday. He proudly said that they were and that he was turning six. The conversation went on with her gushing over how old he was and how fun his birthday would be. Then she asked if he went to Kindergarten and how he liked that. This was his reply:

"Well, it is pretty good because I don't go to school. I do school at home, but it is the best because my mom usually forgets and so we won't have school for like 2WEEKS at a time!"

Great. Thanks.

I said something about him only being in Kindergarten, so school didn't require a lot of time. I also refrained from discussing with her how as a 6 year old he doesn't realize that we are actually doing "school" when we really are - he only thinks we are just playing.

I think we are doing ok.

Here is a quote from Martin Luther. Do you think he is right?

"I am much afraid that schools will prove to be great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where they Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."- Martin Luther

We believe in homeschooling, but I have never thought about it that strongly before- just always thought of it as something that was right for our family.

So, tell me- what do you think?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pregnancy Makes Me Sentimental

(recap of Deacon's Birthday and Pirate themed decor will be posted as soon as Noah gets the pictures loaded!)

I love this song, History in the Making by Darius Rucker.

I always think of "Noah and Julie: The High School Years" when I hear it. I remember saving things etc thinking "If we ever DO get married I would like to have this, and if we don't I guess I can throw it out later."

You just don't know which events will be significant.

Which things will hold meaning.

Which moments will become nothing but precious memories.

So here's to Christmas 2009-

May we live it intentionally, thanking God for all he has given us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Track Drama

This isn't really a controversial Monday post, but I am feeling onery enough not to care. Anyway, it is not Monday anymore.

When I run I usually run around the track or on the treadmill at the YMCA. I am not opposed to running outside, but there is no childcare for my kids if I take an outdoor run.

My OB was saying that she hoped I was not running outside (I omited snarky comment about out of shape MDs giving any fitness advice). I told her that I wasn't. But then I started. I am feeling that contrary.

Anyway, when I run outside it is quiet. And cold. And peaceful.

There is a little ice, and a little snow - but there is no people.

At the Y, there is Track Drama.

Last week as I was running I kept hearing Salvation Army Bell Ringer type clanging. I could not figure out where it was coming from. Then I saw it. One of the elderly ladies walking around the track had her purse firmly tucked under one arm and bells on her shoes. Now, I know she was probably just trying to spread a little Christmas cheer, but can we say ANNOYING?!?

A little tinny bell, maybe...but must we sound like a sleigh?

A couple days ago I was walking on the track. Now, I am a very fast walker. There are not too many people that pass me walking when I am walking. Come to think of it, at my Y there are not too many people passing me when I run either. That says more about the population at the Y though, and not that much about my running.

So I was walking around. I had been having a lot of contractions the night before, so I thought I would take it easy. So much for that. I passed this lady in black and noted that she seemed to be walking faster than a lot of the people. Eventually I came around the corner and saw this older man ahead of me. He made a flopping noise when he walked. I noticed that he was actually walking fairly quickly and as I began to gain on him I became more and more surprised by his speed (and intrigued by the flopping sound). I finally did pass him though and then the craziness started. He sped up to match my speed and stayed 6 feet behind me, flopping all the time. I COULD NOT SHAKE HIM! If I sped up he sped up to maintain his 6 feet. Let me tell you, it is stressful to have someone following you that closely and consistently.

I felt like I was on one of those movies where the main character is walking through a crowded place and they are being chased. No one wants to create a scene though so the walking speeds up, but they won't run until they get to the alley.

I considered breaking out into a run, but honestly, I was walking so fast I didn't know if my body could take the run and keep it up for any length of time. So there we went, 4 times around the track. Sweating, nervous, speed walking pregnant woman followed at 6 feet by older, flopping man. I started to get nervous for him. Would he drop over dead? We were going so fast!

Finally the flopping ceased. I sneaked a look behind me and he had dodged off the track and into the weight area.

Score one for me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

On Being Alone

I teach preschool Sunday School at church, and Roman is in my class.

The SS Christmas program is on Sunday and the preschoolers have 2 songs to sing.

Roman wants to be a sheep.

So yesterday my mom and I made 15 pairs of sheep ears.

So that Roman (and 14 other kids who want to) can be sheep.

I am hoping this means he will participate.

The things we do to get our kids to participate.

Anyway, as we made the sheep ears we let the boys watch the old videotaped production of me starring as the "bad" sheep in the church play "We Like Sheep". In fact, some of you may remember it. I believe that I saw Julie from "Spot on the Sopha" and Rachel from "Home on the Range" (see sidebar for their blogs. Way to lazy too link today). The quality was so bad it was really hard to intentify people. I even had a hard time picking my own husband out! Never mind that it was like 20 years ago and he was approximately 10.

The boys were very interested in this. They wanted to know why I was the bad sheep. I said I wanted to be. Deacon said, "is that because you wanted to run away so you could just be alone?"

I laughed to myself.

But while I was running last night (alone) I felt kind of bad.

My kids know I crave my alone times.

I don't think they know that means primarily I need time away from them.

They just think I like to be alone.

But running away isn't the best option.

At least when you run around in circles, you always end up back home.

I actually pulled out my old "Grimey" sweatshirt. I want Roman to wear it.

He doesn't want to be a dirty sheep.

He wants to be a white one.

Oh well, can't win them all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On Being a Mommy

Update: apparently my comments go up by like 37% if I write a whiny post. Interesting. Noah did get his car started after his smart, good looking and talented friend Bobby came over. It's nice to have friends in the hood. You know, people to help us with our cars, our children, give us the key when we lock ourselves out in the dead of winter... Anyway, he thinks he found a heater that will work for it- so it looks like we may have a chance of getting through the winter with it after all.
When you are a mom you can guess what song your 4 year old is playing on his kazoo simply because you know what song he has been singing all morning and you know that the odds of this being the same one are about 98%.
And if you are wrong, you know that he will think that your song is a better idea and change over.
Notice anything about these pictures? How about that one child is wearing only shorts and everyone else has their winter coats on?
We have one very warm blooded child. He does think these pictures are inappropriate because he is not wearing a shirt. I think the pictures of him in his red wrestling suit with one of my fringy necklaces on is a little more inappropriate. But to each his own, right?
I am more lenient about what he wears. I figure if he goes outside in shorts he will soon find himself to be cold and learn to put some pants on. I throw an extra pair of pants in the car for him if it is cold enough that I consider it a safety issue.
Noah is like that to an extent, but he draws a line on Sundays and if the temp is less than 20 degrees.
Deacon is funny though because if he does have his winter coat and hat on he starts hyperventilating after he has been in the van for approximately 10 minutes because he is SO HOT.
Oh well.
The boys call the Kratt Brothers from Zaboomafoo the "Crack brothers"
It is so hard to decide sometimes whether to push your kids or let things go. Yesterday Deacon was (again) throwing a fit about rock climbing for Gym and Swim. This was even after Noah went through the Belay class and took Deacon to open climb last week (where Deacon climbed with out any fuss at all).
I didn't know whether to make him do it or not.
I finally told him he needed to get on the wall one time, I didn't care how far up he went. If he wouldn't even do that I was taking him home and he would miss swimming. So he went up. And then on his own went up 2 more times and had a great time.
So that was a good Mom decision.
But sometimes it is kind of hard to know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snow and Cold

Winter makes me crabby.

It didn't used to.

But now there are constant issues.

Cars that won't start when it is below 20.

Which is like every day.

Bad traffic.

Pretty much both rush hours.


A lot.

Mittens, hats, coats and boots.


Snow puddles on the floor.


Single parenting.



Noah gets tired of sitting in traffic. I get tired of him being home late.

His car is having the same problems it did last January. And they don't make a block heater for the model he has.

Whine, whine, whine.

I am sorry.

I am grateful that we have 2 vehicles. I am grateful that we both have jobs. I am grateful that we have parents with an extra car they will let us use. I am grateful that we have friends that will come and help us push the vehicle around.

But it is just one of those days.

And honestly, sometimes I don't know if I can handle living in this cold, dark state another winter.


On the funny side, Deacon was singing "We Three Kings" today. This is what I heard him sing, "...field and fountain and probably deserts following yonder star." He went on and ended with "Guide us through this perfect night". Then he asked me if that was right, because he was pretty sure it was probably a perfect night.


I did manage to make truffles with the kids, wrap presents and frost cut out cookies all by myself today. I was a little stressed, but it was ok.

Then during dinner I had an incident with the broiler on the oven and the smoke detectors went off for 15 minutes. That is what Noah came home too.



How is that for an uplifting post?

Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be brighter...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Controversial Monday: Christmas Songs

House is a mess.

No underwear or socks folded neatly in drawers.

Noah could care less.

He just goes and digs in the clean laundry baskets for what he needs, knowing full well that he could fold them himself if he cared.

But some things bother him.

Me not blogging daily, for example.

He likes me to blog every day. So I will do my best.

I thought working, trying to stay on top of a supper program, exercising etc. was more important to him. But apparently blogging takes precedence.

You know another thing he doesn't like?

Secular Christmas songs.

So that brings us to controversial Monday- what kinds of Christmas songs are the best?

I like them all. Except for really sappy ones. You know, ones you should cry about if you didn't have a cold, dead heart (like me). But I save my tears for more important things. Things like, "I have had 2 hours of sleep (s0b). And I can't. (sob). get (sob) the zipper down on my (sob) boot."

But Noah? He can't stand Rudolph, Jingle Bells, Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Baby. He really can't stand Santa Baby. He always has to go into a long explanation about all the innuendo etc associated with it and how he can't even believe they play it. Whatev, Dude. The boys are with him. They can't figure out why "that woman" would be calling Santa a baby.

But I love me a little Rudolph- especially adding in all the extras about Monopoly and George Washington. And I don't mind the other ones.

Of course I can appreciate the classic renditions of What Child is This? And "O Holy Night", but I maintain that a little Jingle Bells never hurt anyone.

What say you? What is playing on your ipod this season?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking at Things Differently

Last night Noah and I were discussing Christmas presents and diviing out the tasks and purchases left to be made (which is most of it).

Suddenly I remembered what I wanted in my stocking.

"Noah!" I said, "I really need one of those new clippy things for my badge at work!"

He looked confused. I apparently had neglected to tell him the story.

Which is rare.

Maybe he just didn't hear the story.

Which would make more sense.

I had a retractable badge holder. This is very important because I use my badge to get in and out of doors etc. Doors I use frequently.

I started explaining to him that my badge had broken and that I had to make one for myself out of a safety pin and a rubberband.

I didn't think it was that funny.

He laughed and laughed.

The safety pin and rubber band combo is not that effective, as I have to lean over quite far to open a door or have to unpin it, which is annoying.

He laughed some more.

See that is the thing. If his very important badge holder broke he would go out at lunch and replace it. I didn't.

But I betcha I will get one in my stocking.

A Party

I really want to have a party.

Like a no kids fancy party.

A party that people will look forward to all year.

I want to serve things like Brie stuffed Mushrooms from PW's website.

And other hoity toity things.

But then what? What would we do then?

Throw in some snow football?


Or maybe no activities are necessary.

I am not sure how I will pull this off working 20 hrs a week, 3 kids, 28 weeks pregnant and a torn up bathroom...but I might be able to. And it would be fun.

I think maybe I will try.

In January.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Controversial Monday: Homicide?

I was removing the kid's DVD the other day and the tv flipped over to the news.

Deacon and I caught part of a news story about a family whose vehicle was hit by a drunk driver going the wrong way. The mom was 8 months pregnant and the baby died.

Deacon was concerned about the whole ordeal and was asking me questions. I pointed out that it was a good lesson to learn: 1. don't drive drunk and 2. wear your seatbelt.

I don't know what the fallout will be, but originally they were talking about charging the drunk driver with vehicular homicide for the death of the unborn baby.

Ironic, isn't it, that if the Mom wants the baby the death of it is considered homicide.

But if the mom decides to have an abortion, that is her choice and murder is not on the table.

This all seems inconsistent.

Life suddenly is not protected because it is life - but only if it is desirable life.

It kind of makes me mad.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yes, It is dirt on their faces...

But at least they are not fighting...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Picture

We send out a photo card every year along with a Christmas letter.

I just read the Christmas letter from last year- what was wrong with me? That was really weird.

But this year I am way behind.

You see, I will only send out a picture that has been taken sometime after November 1st of the current year. And all the pictures from November to now are on my camera and inaccessible.


I am trying to be patient.

Noah is after all, trying to work, take care of the kids while I work, tile the bathroom and build a new computer. But I need my pictures.

Last night he promised that he would have my pictures accessible by Thursday.

Big breath. That is tomorrow. I can make it.

In the meantime, maybe I should start the letter.

And then hope that when I do see the pictures there is something usable or photoshopable.

Because until I know for sure, I am not hauling the boys out for another photo shoot.

If their faces are clean and their clothes match and are clean, they are unhappy and growly.

If their faces are dirty and their clothes are mismatched pjs or too tight wrestling suits, they are happy. But lets face it, I can't send out a Christmas card with them looking like that!

Christmas is all about illusion, and I must keep up the front to the people that don't see us often that they always dress in striped shirts and sweater vests with sedate smiles on their faces.

And they don't ever whack each other with pretend swords while wearing one of my necklaces around their heads to look like David and one of my tank tops to look like a dress.

And they don't run around naked because puppies don't wear clothes.

And they absolutely don't always insist on being together, even when they are fighting.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will see what I have.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trying to lessen the Scrooge in me

Have I mentioned before that I am a little bit of a Scrooge?

Putting a tree in my house, managing gifts, baking, cooking, decorating, shopping.

It all really doesn't sound that fun to me.

Mostly, it is just a lot of work and a lot of money.

Deacon wants lights on the house and all I can think about is a patient I had once who had fallen while hanging Christmas lights. "Seriously, Deacon? Lights? Are they that important?"

And snow, who wants snow?

And how in the world am I going to get Roman up to the front of the church to sing his songs for the Christmas program?

But I am trying to remember the things I do like:

1. Reading the kids Bible Stories that lead up the Christmas story
2. Putting up the nativity scene that Noah and I painted
3. Noah being home from work
4. Gingerbread houses
5. Christmas cookies
6. Looking at lights
7. Watching the kid's excitement over everything
8. Stocking stuffers (this is the one kind of gift that I really actually do like to look for and do, I do practical stuff like toothbrushes for the kids, tape, glue sticks, new markers etc)

So I will try to be merry.
And try not to gasp at the price of the Christmas tree. (It is dead! We are paying for a stinkin' dead tree!)
And buy presents
And wrap them with gratitude for the people who will receive them.
I will sleep under the tree on Christmas eve with the kids

And I will try to remember to teach the kids that the greatest thing about the season is remembering Jesus.