Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We own the complete series of only two television shows.  Friends and the Golden Girls.  I don’t care who you are, they are both seriously funny shows.  Jason and I have been known to break into a Golden Girls song (not just the theme song) or dialogue at random times.  Anyway, there’s this episode (which is by no means my favorite) where Dorothy gets nervous about her mom, Sophia, dying.  Dorothy decides to force some quality time on Sophia.  She writes down every funny thing she says in a notebook.  She tells Rose or Blanche something like “When we're watching TV, I find myself looking at her trying to memorize her face like I don't want to forget a single line or wrinkle, then she'll turn to me and say 'Why are you staring at me? I've been wanting to pick my nose for the last half hour'.” 
So...where have I been these past couple of weeks?  The week of September 12th, was my last week of maternity leave.  I was Dorothy and let's just say that Addy will pick her nose, no matter who may or may not be watching.  Anyway, I tried to wrap up projects and chores, but I spent most of my week soaking in as much of my littles as I could.  I didn't want to forget anything.  I made mental notes of everything Addy did or said to make me laugh or surprise me, yet again, with her smarts.  She brought a big rock to me one morning (no clue where it came from) and said, "Dis is my favowite wock, mommy.  Who made dis?"  Before I even had the chance to answer, she piped in, "Ummm, I don't know.  Pwobly Jesus."  I found myself giggling all day about the way she says "sea anemone" - just like Nemo does, she says "Sea Anemonemonemone."  I tried to memorize the sound that her kisses make, a hollow little sound, like a suction cup coming off of a window.  I held on to moments as they passed.  I wanted to bottle the melting feeling I had while I nursed Cohen and his little stare went right through me, to my very core.  I wanted to seal it up tight so that I could pull it out at work and drink it down.  I took joy in the way his smile slowly spreads from his eyes to his little lips and then down to his toes as he throws his tootsies up in the air.  I wanted to remember everything. 

I'm realizing how overly emotional I sound.  I know I'm not done experiencing these moments with them, I just had a fear that work and more responsibilities would distract me from them.  The thing is, I've been back to work for almost two weeks now (I started back on the 19th), and I'm not distracted by work in the way that I thought I would be.  I'm even more grateful for the time I have at home with my beautiful kids and incredible husband.  We’ve spent our last couple weekends doing the "fall" thing...enjoying football games with family and fires in the fireplace and bowls of homemade potato soup and chili.

Saturday Hawkeye gear...


So two weeks in, and we're finally starting to find a groove…a groove that may eventually allow for more home improvement projects, taking photographs, writing blogs, doing crafts, baking cakes...(I could go on and on)  But for now, we’re working on the basics.  Eat.  Sleep.  Work.  And Quality time whenever we can steal it. 

Hang in's almost Friday...:)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guess who's 3 months old today...

...this guy!
"Who?  Me?"
I love his little surprised face almost as much as I love his ear-to-ear grin…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

our lil' family

Just popping in to share some pictures taken by Ann Steward about a month ago…I’ve been gone so long, that I’m not sure if anyone will even be looking for posts from me anymore!  I promise you’ll see at least two posts from me this week, and I’m working on a long one explaining what we’ve been up to.
We had a blast out at Pioneer Village taking our first family pictures with brother.  Addy had the best time, running around with Ann’s awesome daughter Belle, checking out log cabins, exploring old trains, and bounding through green grassy fields.  Anyway, here are some of my favorites of our lil’ family…I swear, my heart could burst.

And I really love the pics with Daddy…

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I wasn’t going to write a blog today because I wasn’t sure of what to say.  Addy’s spending the day with my mom, so I’ve been catching “Remembering 9-11” shows all day, crying, thinking about what it felt like back then, and realizing how it feels now. 
Everyone will always talk about where they were that morning.  I was in Mrs. Watkins’ English class, getting ready to watch the Channel 1 news (which we did at the end of first period every day).  They broke in with news of the first tower being hit.  We all watched live as the second tower was hit.  I remember seeing quiet, little Mrs. Watkins cover her mouth with her hands and begin to cry.  I didn’t really know what it meant or what would happen next, I just knew I was scared and that my world would never be the same.  We spent the rest of the day in the cafeteria, watching CNN news coverage.  I panicked as the Pentagon was hit and classmates started talking about how close we were to the Rock Island Arsenal and that it would “definitely be a target.”  My mom was working on the Arsenal.  More than anything, for me, that day was about fear.  I felt so small.
I can't believe it's already been 10 years.  Having children has put September 11th in a completely different light for me.  I don’t even want Addy and Cohen to know that such evil exists in our world.  I look back at that day now hoping that they never have to experience that kind of fear and with sadness for how it changed our country.  But we can’t live our lives in fear…I’ll teach them about peace and love and hope and humanity and living life to the fullest.

And, seriously, I can’t even watch the commercials they’re playing today without completely losing it…


Friday, September 9, 2011

big boy

Cohen went for his 2 month check up yesterday (at about 2 ½ months old).  He got 3 shots, which were much more traumatic for me than for him.  Our boy is a half an ounce short of 14 lbs and 24 ¼ inches long, which puts him between the 75th and 90th percentiles (meaning that he’s bigger than 75-90% of boys his age and smaller than 10-25% of boys his age).  He’s growing so fast.  Last week, he started sleeping through the night (about 7 ½ hours).  I’ve been waiting for him to go back to getting up for a feeding at around 3 am.  It hasn’t happened, and last night, he slept 8 ½ hours.  Is it completely ridiculous that this makes me sad?  Most mom’s would love the full night’s sleep, and I’m definitely not complaining about that.  There was just something about waking to his sounds in the middle of the night.  I’d sit up in bed and nurse him in the dark of our bedroom, with Jason snoring quietly next to me.  The sleeping house made it easy to focus on him and only him.  I’d snuggle him for an extra long time before putting him back down in the bassinet.  He doesn’t need that anymore.  He could probably be sleeping in his crib if I thought I could handle it.  Seriously, how did he get this big already?  Ahh…there’s just something about a sleeping, cuddly baby...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a black and white weekend...

I have a couple of quick cake projects to share from Labor Day weekend.  I got to make fun black and white cupcakes for Lauren’s Bridal Shower…

For those who don’t already know, Lauren was my roommate my freshman year of college.  I don’t know what I would have done without her to hang with on the weekends back then, and I don’t know what I’d do without her to chat about everything now.  I seriously miss eating Ben and Jerry’s Brownie Batter ice cream out of the container with her in our dorm room.  Anyway, she’s going to make a beautiful bride...I can’t wait for the big day!  I’m lucky enough to be a bridesmaid and Miss Addy is going to be rockin’ the flower girl basket.  I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing a couple of pictures from the shower…

The above picture is her mom and sisters.  Seriously.  They could be the Kardashian sisters (yes, I’m admitting another guilty pleasure favorite show of mine).  They’re a fun, gorgeous group of girlies, and Baby Brenleigh and Cohen are of course going to be the cutest couple at the wedding (besides the bride and groom).  J
I also did a black and white damask cake to top off a cupcake tower for the Ellis/Imler wedding.  Loved using the new damask stencil I got!

I hope everyone had a great long weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

impending doom

So far, whenever I have spoke of or even thought about going back to work, it was bearable, because “I don’t have to go back until September.”  It’s September.  I officially can’t say that anymore.  It’s approaching and quickly (18 days to be exact).  Don’t get me wrong, I know my babies are going to be in good hands (are there any hands better than a grandma’s hands?  I think not.).  They’ll settle into a new routine that will be good for them.  I’m going back to work for a great company.  And I suppose that it’ll be nice to have a reason to get out of my pajamas and comb my hair before the kids go down for their afternoon nap.  I welcome some adult interactions and challenges (as opposed to the incredible feat of getting a comb through the hair of one of Addy’s mermaid dolls).  I’m trying very hard here to think of other reasons that this is a good thing, but I’m struggling.  Work is something I have to do for my family’s well-being, and I’m lucky to have my career.  It just doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to miss them like crazy.  I’ll miss the way he smiles at me so big that his pacifier falls out of his mouth.  Nursing him.  Watching him smile and coo to himself in his swing (he loves checking himself out in the mirror).

I’ll miss listening to Addy reason with the imaginary kids on her train (“It’s OK kids, the tunnel is going to be fun, don’t be scared”).  Reading stories to her.  Finding her with Vaseline slathered all over her body because she just had to play in her room by herself.  The way she comes running into the room, “Mama!  It’s a spider!  You better get it!”  Her new way of talking to Cohen, in a screechy voice “Look Brudder!  It’s duh Hy-Vee.  I’m excited!  Brudder’s excited!”  The way his eyes follow her around a room.  Napping with them on the couch.  Kissing their soft little cheeks whenever I darn well please.  I need to remind myself that I’m not saying goodbye to all of this and that seeing less of them will make my time with them even more precious.  After I hide in my cubicle and cry for them, I’ll be all the more thrilled by the sight of their little faces.
For now, I’ll do what I can to feel better about the time passing.  I'll make the most of the time I have left at home with them.  I’ll get our lives organized.  I’ll welcome autumn with open arms.  I’ve ordered new fall-inspired bricks for my Scentsy burner (Amber Road and Cloves-n-Cinnamon).  We’re enjoying crisp night air on our screened in porch.  Addy’s desire to be naked continues and is wearing off on Cohen.  Just kidding about that last part, but she does enjoy teaching him some wicked dance moves. 

I’ve signed her up for her first gymnastics class in October.  I’ve taken on some cake projects.  I’m looking forward to Miss Lauren’s wedding festivities.  We’re planning a basement renovation.  Of course, I’ve started the process of costume-making.  You see, this is important.  Jason and I will always continue the debate over whose mom made the best Halloween costumes.  These are the only scanned in pictures I can find.  I’ve also heard a lot about Jason’s Elvis and Karate Kid costumes.  My personal favorite was my mom’s giant Skittle bag costume…with every last Skittle cut out of felt.

Even before we had kids, we wanted to do costumes right.  From this...
to the year that we glued Barbies to Jason’s jacket and called him a “chick magnet.” 
I always wanted to be able to make fun, unique costumes for my kiddos.  I felt so special when my mom spent hours perfecting something I’d wear for one day, but oh-so-proudly.  Unfortunately I don’t have the sewing skills (or machine) that Jason’s mom and my mom do.  But we’re making due…

I’ve bought all the supplies and started the ceremonial felt cutting for the cutest bag of popcorn and stick of cotton candy you all will ever see.  Yes, I realize Halloween is two months from now, but like I said, I need to do something to feel good about the impending doom that fall brings, otherwise known as…dun, dun, dun…the end of maternity leave.  
I better get back to kissing those little cheeks.