Saturday, July 30, 2011

In Training

Calvin and I are both "in training."  We have big events coming up in August.  I have 3 running goals for 2011 - 1. Run a 5k with Rob.  July 24 - Run cancelled due to a storm.  2. Run a 10k - August 20 3.  Run 400 miles.  I am at 267 miles and in good shape to hit 400 miles.  I am now hoping to complete the 400 miles by the end of November.  Because let's face it, I am usually busy in December running errands and getting ready for Christmas and it is hard to get a run in at lunch.  I have never formally "trained" for any runs.  I am not formally training now but I have bumped up my mileage to 6 or 7 miles on Saturday morning and 4 miles twice during the week.  I am feeling more confident about the 10k.

Calvin is "training" for the walking room at daycare.  His move up date is August 16.  He still can't walk on his own.  I don't want to push him and I know that he will walk when he is ready.  They have started walking him around the church at daycare.  I have been calling it "training".  They need to be able to walk to the lunch room.  The teachers will hold one hand and help him if needed.  But he hasn't gotten the hang of that either.  So we practice.  He'll be fine.  The other task that we need to work on is wearing shoes!  We tried once and he kicked them right off.  But he has had a big month so far.  He did great giving up the formula and is doing good on milk.  He is getting there with the sippy cup.  There are no bottles allowed at the next room.  Right now he gets 3 cups a day and one bottle at school and I like giving him a bottle at bedtime.  Of course, he is pretty spoiled and lazy and sometimes he just lays there while I hold his sippy cup for him like a bottle.  Does that really count?  :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The First Look

One thing I love talking about as much as my kids is my husband.  I was looking online at a friend's wedding pictures (yeah for the internet!) and I was stuck on a picture of the groom waiting at the alter for his bride to come down the aisle.  He had the groom's look on his face - full of love, hope and joy with anticipation and a little nerves mixed in.  I remember years ago, my sister had told me that she was so nervous before her wedding but as soon as she was at the back of the church and saw her groom waiting for her at the altar, a moment of calm filled her and she knew everything was good.   I was really looking forward to that moment, to that look.  But I wasn't nervous before my wedding.  I remember waiting in the church and I heard the giggles of the guests as my nieces and nephews walked down the aisle.  My dad leaned over and said "I think they stole the show".  Of course, they did.  They were adorable!  But I still wasn't nervous, just very, very excited.  Later, Charlie and I were talking about our wedding.  He told me that he was so nervous but then when we saw me appear walking down the aisle, he was calm and he knew everything was good.  I loved hearing that because it is exactly how my sister described it - but reverse.  I am the rock that calms Charlie.  Now whenever I go to weddings, I look at the faces of the bride and groom at the first moment, when they feel that calm and know that everything is good.  

I keep my melted down unity candle next to my kitchen sink.  My mom offered to get me a new, pretty one to display on the mantle.  I said no.  I want the melted down one from the wedding nearby in an everyday place.  It's a reminder of that moment and of that day.  I have been married long enough to know that there are the ups and downs and good times and bad and through all of those times, we always have that moment and that first look.  

My new favorite part of weddings is the Father / Daughter dance.  I went to a wedding last year and teared up during that dance.  I suddenly had visions of the future and Charlie walking Laci down the aisle and "giving her away".  I could see them doing the Father / Daughter Dance.  I am looking forward to that moment and dreading it all at the same time.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Great Weekend Getaway

We had one of the nicest weekends we have had in awhile.  We went to my parents in Naperville.  It was nice to get away.  I am always hesitant about a trip back home and it is always a little strange.  But for the most part it went well.  We were able to visit a friend of mine and her kids at the DuPage Children's Museum.  That is a great museum.  The kids had a lot of fun but it was very overwhelming.  It was a great science museum with so much to play with and build including water tables and wind tunnels.  An engineers dream.  Unfortunately, Laci went crazy because she desperately needed a nap.  My friend left a few minutes before we did and we should have taken the hint.  Right after they left, Calvin fell and ended up with a big bump on his head and we kept losing Laci.  Fortunately, I have been assured that Children's Museums have 100% retrieval rate on lost children! 

Friday night, Charlie and I went to dinner at Lou Malnati's.  It's our favorite!  We had a little ordering snafu and accidently ordered the wrong pizza but I don't think Lou Malnati's can make a bad pizza.  We walked the Riverwalk for a few minutes and then walked over to The Twisted Olive.  This may be one of my new favorite stores.  It's Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegars.  But so tasty. And you need to try every one they have.  The extra virgin olive oil makes me want to eat olives and I have never eaten olives in my life!  My mom gave me a gift card for there and I finally settled on Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar.  I can't wait to make dinner tonight.  

Saturday morning, we headed over to Ikea.  I love and hate that store.  I think it may be my Children's Museum.  It overwhelms me.  It's huge with so many great ideas.  I could spend hours there but we usually only have a few minutes to zip through. I have come to the conclusion that I need a Storage Committee to transform my house.

Lunch was at the All Aboard Diner in Downers Grove.  I recommend this for anyone with kids in the area.  You can sit at the bar and your food is delivered on a little train.  Laci loved it.  Calvin loved it.  The food was yummy too.  The kids were so excited every time the train went by.  Calvin got a cupcake for his birthday and somehow knew when the train with the cupcake was coming by, it was for him.  I thought it was going to explode with excitement! 

Saturday evening we went to my brother's new house in Aurora.  It was fun to see his house and have dinner there.  It reminded me so much of my first house.  With one person living there, it's so empty just waiting to be filled up.  I thought it was perfect for him.  Calvin loved the giant dog stuffed animal he had.  

One of my 2011 running goals is to run a 5k in the Chicago Area with Rob.  So we planned to do one in Elmhurst on Sunday.  But it rained.  And thundered.  And lightninged.  They postponed the start but it kept getting worse.  And did not stop.  So we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And they cancelled the run.  That was disappointing.  But we still have 5 months to schedule something.  And there is always next year.  

On our way out of town, we stopped for lunch at Portillo's, another Chicagoland favorite.  Calvin loved everything there so much we thought he was going to eat the table.  Then it was time to head home.  The kids did well the first few hours driving.  But the last hour Calvin went crazy and cried.  Laci fell asleep as we were pulling into town.  Just like that, we were back to reality.  It was a really nice, great weekend!

More! More! More!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do not open that door!!!

I had a reminder today that so many of my little trials are shared by all moms.  Laci has a tendency to open the stall door on me while I am in the restroom.  But I don't want her waiting in the bathroom alone.  Today we were at lunch and Laci and I went to the restroom.  It was my turn to go and I told Laci to wait in the stall for me and reminded her "Do NOT open that door while I am going!"  I heard the lady in the stall chuckling.  I have a feeling she may have said similar things to her children in the past too. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

He's already taken

Laci and I were talking about schools on the way home from school today.  I explained that after kindergarten, she'll go to the elementary school, then intermediate school, then junior high and lastly, high school.  Then she will be an adult.  She asked if she could get married then.  I explained, no I would rather her wait until she was older.  She protested and said she wanted to get married when she was an adult.  I asked who she would like to marry.  Her answer "Daddy."  Ah, my heart melted.   But I had to break her heart and tell her that he is already taken.  I explained that he's married to me.  So we decided to share him. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Living on a Prayer

Prayer is not my spiritual gift.  I am not good at prayer.  I have the basics down.  I am comfortable with my own conversational prayers with God.  Nothing fancy.  Just talking to God.  But I realized that my prayers may be selfish.  I don't think I pray for selfish things but the focus is typically on me and my family - our trials and problems.  Our praises and prayers of thanksgivings.  I have never been good at praying for others.  That is something I would like to work on and to be more sincere in my prayers.  To listen to the Holy Spirit more.   There have been times when I have prayed for random people that popped in my head.  That is the Holy Spirit.

One prayer that I love is the Lord's Prayer.  It speaks for my heart.  I remember hearing when I was younger that people pray the Lord's Prayer out of habit and do not think about what they are saying.  Maybe that is okay.  There are times when the repetition is comforting and there are times in our lives when that is enough and that is all we can do.  I think about every word when I pray the Lord's Prayer.  It is full of wisdom.  It says so much in so few words.  Maybe that is why I love it so much.  Lately, the parts that I have focused on is "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  Can you imagine if we all followed God's will here on earth, now?  What would that earth be like?  I love "give us this day our daily bread..."  It always reminds me of the story of the little birds.  If God takes care of them and they don't worry, why should we worry.  "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us".  As I recite those words I always think that it is so easy to forgive others.  No one sins against me as much as I sin.  I need forgiveness.  I can forgive others.  It is much harder to forgive myself.  I am so humbled that God can forgive me.  "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil."  Those are not little words.  It's not to protect us from the bad.  It's evil we are saking to be taken away from.  Not just protected but taken away from!  That is huge!!!  "Lead us not into temptation."  Temptation is everywhere all the time.  I am so humbled that God is there for me. 
I have written before about how important it is for me to teach my children about prayer.  We are all learning together.  Prayer is not my spiritual gift.  I am so thankful that Jesus gave us the Lord's Prayer and the words to pray when we do not have our own.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Too many toys?

I feel like I have been writing about Calvin a lot lately.  But this has been a big month for him.  Because he is the second child and the oft forgotten child, I felt like he had enough of everything.  I kept thinking that he didn't need anything.  He had a pile of baby toys and every now and then, I would go to the basement and find a few more things to play with.  He often played with Laci's toys - there was a month he loved the cleaning toys (broom, vacuum, mop), the month he loved her recorder.  Lately, he had liked the stacking blocks.  But now that he has a bunch of new toys from his birthday, I suddenly see him doing so much more.  One of his toys was an alphabet train that you can push or ride.  The little letters go in one hole and out the other.  I was sure he is a genuis the first time I saw him push the letter in the train, watch it come out the back and then crawl over to pick up the letter and do it again.  He has such concentration.  He has a lot of focus.  He also got a little toy where balls go on a tower and you use a mallet to hit them through the tower.  He loves it.  I felt bad that we never read books with him.  A few days ago, I tried to read him a baby book but he had no interest.  Tonight, he crawled over to a new baby book and started thumbing through it.  He must have known it was his and was just waiting to get some books before starting to "read".  It was upside down but he was trying.  Genuis.  He has been trying his new cars but hasn't quite gotten the hang of pushing them around yet.  I would say that his toy and activity for this month is definately taking things and toys in and out of bowls and things and watching what happens.  I love watching their little minds grow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My favorites

Some amusing conversations Laci and I have had lately.
Me: What do you want for dinner?
Laci: My favorite - A hamburger with a hot dog on it in between two breads.
Me: Um, I don't think you have ever had that.  How can it be your favorite? 
Laci: It would be my favorite if you made it.
Me: I don't think we have any hamburger.  We'll have to check.
Laci: It's my favorite.  I will not eat anything else.

An hour later she ate the chicken I made for dinner that night.  
Tonight we were playing "Barber".  I combed her hair and then she was doing mine.  She combed my hair and told me that my mom and dad did not do a very good job combing my hair and that my hair is getting long.  Then she walked to go "get some scissors"!  I stopped the game right there.  :)


This is a time of Transitions for Calvin.  He's one year old now.  All grown up, right?  Right now at daycare he is the Transitions Room for 8 - 13 months olds.  It is a very aptly named room.  When he entered this room, he was sitting and couldn't crawl yet, drinking formula from bottles, learning to eat baby food, barefoot.  When he leaves the room, he will be walking, drinking milk from cups, regular food and must wear shoes.  (Note to self - get Calvin some shoes.)  Right now he is crawling and walking with his walker toys pretty quickly.  He wants to walk so badly.  I've been talking to the daycare about these big "1 year old" changes.  He doesn't do very well yet from a cup.  He can only handle the straw so he fights the other babies for the one sippy cup with a straw.  :)  We decided to make the change this week to milk this week and then work on the cup next week.  Baby steps - literally.  I gave him milk last night and at first it went well.  Then he realized what it was and stopped.  Even after I added formula to it, he refused because he thought it was still milk.  After a few minutes, he finished the milk/formula mix.  He is eating food pretty well and feeding himself better.  Not as much is landing on the floor or his lap.  Although I still apologize to restaurants for the messes we leave behind. 

Sunday, when we were talking about Calvin being one now, Laci asked if he will still be in a crib.  The next room at daycare has cots.  I told her he would still be in a crib for awhile.  She also asked if he would walk now.  I told her yes, but probably not today.  Even she knew turning one is a milestone. 

I am looking forward to my "toddler" but I will miss my "baby".  It will be nice not to wash and label bottles or buy formula and baby food.  It will be nice to only have one nap to plan around instead of windows of activities between naps.  I am grateful for the $10 paycut in his weekly fee although the fees usually go up with the school year in August.  :) But I am not sure who these transitions are harder on - Calvin or Mommy! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Calvin!!!

Oops, I blinked...  And an entire year went by?!?  How did this happen?  How did my baby turn one?  I have heard from others that the second baby does a lot sooner because they are chasing after their older sibling.  Walking, talking, eating...  For me, it's the opposite.  Calvin just seems so little.  Maybe because I compare him to Laci and he feels so little when I pick him up after I pick her up.  She just seemed older at one.  He isn't walking yet and still getting the hang of eating finger foods.  He hasn't mastered the cup yet.  I know there are a lot of changes that are going to be happening in the next couple of months - no more bottles or formula (yeah!), now its sippy cups and milk, walking, talking and more independence.  He babbles a lot but no concrete words or sounds yet.  Laci was mama-ing and dada-ing and could say forms of dog and cat by her first birthday.  He is just now starting to clap and wave.  But I love the randomness of his clapping for no reason at all. I looked at Laci's baby book last night and all I saw was Calvin.  Sometimes I think the two of them look alike.  But last night as I was reminiscing about her babyhood, all I could think about is his now. 

Laci and I are tied at the hip.  We do everything together.  Often, if I am running errands, I will grab her and leave Calvin home with Charlie.  We go on special dates or outings and leave "the boys" at home.  It was starting to feel like Laci is mine and Calvin is Charlie's.  When he was born, I was so concerned about making sure that Laci wasn't jealous that I hardly spent anytime at all with him the first two weeks.  Nursing him in the middle of the night became our time.  I didn't feel that "connection" that I have with Laci yet with Calvin.  But then a few months ago, Calvin became really attached to me.  He lights up when I walk in a room.  He crawls over to me as fast as he can.  He loves just being held by me.  When we get home from school every day, I just sit and hold him or keep him on my hip while I cook dinner.  Laci always wants to play with him but I tell her that he just needs his mommy time.  That is our time.  He is mine and I am his mommy.  Always and forever...  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Can't catch a break...

Calvin can not catch a break. He woke up on the 4th of July with 101.5 fever.  I don't mess around with fevers.  I popped him in the car and took him to med check.  Fevers in Calvin mean ear infections.  I was glad to make it through the entire month of June without any infections.  But the med check was closed for the 4th of July!  What about all the crazies blowing themselves up with fireworks?  They may need urgent care on the 4th of July.  I didn't think an ear infection was ER worthy and he played fine all day.  But that night, his fever was back to 103.5.  Charlie stayed home with him Tuesday and he was diagnosed with a sinus infection and given amoxicillin.  I stayed home with him Wednesday because his fever just wasn't staying down.  But Friday night, I noticed a rash all over his body.  I wasn't sure if it was a reaction to the amoxicillin or heat rash.  I didn't give him any medicine and decided to see how he was in the morning.  He has been on amoxicillin several times before but I hadn't noticed any issues.  In the morning, his eye was crusty and completely swollen shut!  He looked like he was in a fight with the bears on his mobile and lost.  Off to med check we went.  He has pink eye and the doctor thinks he is allergic to amoxicillin.  So he has had eye drops all day and a new antibiotic.  I hate giving him these antibiotics but I know he needs to get better.  By tonight, the swelling has gone down and now his eye is just purple.  I hope it isn't hurting him.  We will finish his one year book with a swollen eye.  I hope he looks and feels better for his birthday tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Shorts!!!

Do any of you have a spouse with an article of clothing that you just want to burn?!?  Charlie has these shorts that are just awful.  I won't describe them because I don't want to embarass him.  And it isn't just the shorts I hate, it's the way he wears them!!!  He's not home right now.  Maybe I will hide them.  It takes a lot for me to think something is tacky.  I am not one for fashion.  See previous post about my love of unmatched and uncoordinated clothes.  I thought it was cute to put Calvie in a striped shirt yesterday with camo shorts.  But these shorts are just horrible.  I refused to even talk to him last night if he insisted on wearing these shorts!  Hmmm...  where to hide them...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fourth of July - Family Traditions

The Fourth of July may be becoming one of my favorite holidays.  But I say that about every holiday as the kids get older and we celebrate it all through their eyes.  I love the simpleness that comes with the Fourth of July - no set traditions, no gifts, no having to coordinate extended family visits.  It's just the 4 of us.  I love the sentiment and reason behind the holiday.  I love how traditions aren't planned but evolve.  Last year, we went to a neighboring communities fest on Saturday for their fireworks.  This year, only Laci and I went.  We missed "our boys" but I didn't think Calvin could handle being out that late.  We played on the playground and then sat in our lawnchairs and blankets and colored, listened to music, ate snacks and blew bubbles.  It was so nice to just relax and enjoy the night.  I couldn't help but think about last year when I was about to have Calvin.  This church's fest will be a new tradition for us.  Laci and I talked about next year when all 4 of us will be there.  It's nice that it is always on Saturday so we don't have to stay out late for fireworks on a "school night".  On the 4th of July, we always go to the town parade with another friend and her family.  A simple tradition.  I love watching the PBS Washington D.C. special on the 4th.  Growing up, we always had KFC on holidays so KFC for holidays has stuck for me.  Sometime Monday, we will make it to KFC.  In our life B.C. (Before Children), Charlie and I drove to Louisville a few times for fireworks over the river.  It was really nice over the water.  I would like to do that again when the kids are a bit older, maybe when the holiday falls on a weekend so we can make a weekend of it.  We always tried to on the same park bench - I hope it is still there! 
At the playground before the fireworks

Our Girls Night

Just being silly on the blanket.