Friday, March 30, 2007

Planning Ahead

With our 18 day coast to coast adventure only two weeks away I've been doing some shopping in attempts to make the trip with a 5 year old, 3 year old, 1 year old, and two 80lb. dogs as pleasant as possible. I was thinking I should contact One Step Ahead since I dropped a chunk of change there to see if they would be interested in having me do some consumer testing in exchange for their of course. Maybe I could even appeal to their patriotism and elaborate for them on the military family relocating thousands of miles in order to continue in our service and commitment to defend and protect the very freedoms they enjoy and take for granted on a daily basis. The same freedoms that enable me to submit myself to the pain and misery of spending 18 days traveling uninhibited across this great nation of ours with my entire family in a space approximately 12 feet by 6 feet.

I'm hoping that a few of these products my help pass the time. We upgraded to the two screen DVD players for more options. I picked up two snack and play trays that I'm sceptical about but willing to gamble. I saw them on a news broadcast and am hopeful that they work. Essentially they are a soft tray that buckles around the child's waist and has some mesh pockets on the side to hold cranes and goodies. They have a raised edge that prevents things from rolling off. I envisioned them being able to color and eat on them. The flowered "7" pillow (random thought...remember the Seinfeld episode where George thought "7" would be the perfect name for a kid?) straps on Baileigh's seat belt and wraps around the back of her head to make it more comfortable for her when watching movies or snoozing. This is a complaint of hers since she now sits in just the base booster seat. I also ordered an over the seat organizer that can hold some of their coloring books, DVD's, CD's, diapers, two bottle holders etc. And for myself, a small garbage can designed specifically for my SUV in order to keep my organizational sanity in our tight confines.

I'll keep ya posted on their effectiveness.

We had...a day.

It was a day. A long day. A rough day. A day I wished my book wasn't back ordered and I had soaked in all it's information.

We were supposed to get photos taken this morning. I was successful in getting a few pictures of Brooke that you can see below but the group shot never happened. There were a variety of factors that contributed to our failed attempts at sisterhood harmony, but primarily it was in part to Mckenna's attitude and Brooke's ignorance of the event. The combination was deadly. It got ugly. We survived the heat of the moment but the fire was building throughout lunch and when we went to pick up the pictures. It was time for Mommy's meltdown when we got out to the car.

It seemed that my tears finally got Mckenna to listen. When I explained to her that Mommy is just a girl who was once little like her and has now grown up, got married, and had her own children and so I still have feelings and they are hurt by her continued disobedience . She was quiet, looked at me, then began crying. This led my sensitive Baileigh to cry over the fact that Mckenna has made Mommy cry who then in turn made Brooke cry because everyone else was crying. My Suburban suddenly feels small when it contains four crying girls.

In the midst of our day was a horrifying moment. This is the setting.

The girls are eating their cheese pizza and grapes in the food court. I'm munching on my salad and pretending that the calories in their crusts won't count. Lunch was the highlight of our day in terms of behavior. Maybe they were just hungry. Anyway...I make eye contact with a woman who is passing by our table. We both give the courtesy smile. She stops and says, "We have the same families, except this is now my baby," as she motions towards her daughter who looks to be a little older then Baileigh. "My three girls are 7, 9 and 12." We share a little laugh and in effort to make some small talk I say, "Any advice?"

Her reply, "Have the sex talk early!"

WHAT! WHAT! Then she had the nerve to wander off to her table for lunch. She said her oldest was 12...that means I have 6 years at a maximum to formulate my thoughts!

1 Year Old Photo Shoot

Today was rough. I think I'll hold off on the details for another posting. I took the girls for pictures. My first priority was to get 1 year old pictures of Brooke...we're a few weeks late since her big bruise on her forehead occurred, but since I had already rescheduled 3 times I decided we were going regardless of the greenish remnant of the injury on her noggin.

As you can see from the three photos below we weren't successful in getting a group photo. Brooke wasn't very cooperative, although not crying for the most part. And the other two, well as I already said, I'll save it for another post.

They turned out okay, considering what we went through to get them. They aren't necessarily my favorite poses, but we selected the poses based upon what Brooke seemed to protest to the least. Too bad I didn't plan on getting pictures taken, too, because she kept running to me and giving me the biggest hugs and kisses...then I would stand her back in her spot hoping they could snap a picture in the 1.2seconds she paused before running back to me for another hug.

Thinking back, I recall that one year old photos weren't much fun with the other girls, either. Too young to understand but old enough to have an opinion! The color didn't scan well for some reason so they are a little muted, but they do a good job capturing her personality.

Ironically I received an email today from
Picture People notifying me that my photos from a year ago were about to expire in their system and if I wanted to order any more copies I would need to do so soon. Here are two shots from their proofs of my dark haired and tan baby from April 12, 2006...she was one month old.

It's been a long 365 days, but worth it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Sunny Afternoon

After a few cool days and rain we enjoyed a sunny afternoon outside.
Brooke loves to be pulled in the wagon. Look at her expression...this is her new "cheese" face.
Baileigh is fast enough on her scooter to make me but not always coordinated.
I need to find pictures of the other girls in this car. We've got our money out of it. Brooke loves to be outside, but is at a high maintenance stage of life. It's going to be a long summer filled with skinned knees and tears. Laughs and smiles, too. Is that blonde I see in her hair?

Brooke is always tracking her sisters and keeping up with their activities. She is watching Baileigh on her scooter in this picture.

Fini Flight

Today was Brad's fini flight...this is the final flight in your plane before you PCS to a new assignment. Brad seemed fairly sentimental about the entire thing considering his flying future is really unknown at this point. Our next assignment is graduate school, then a staff job, and then the next step to be determined. Odds are he'll fly something at that point, but there is never any guarantees. Since he has been flying for the past 10 years I'm sure this has got to be a strange feeling for him.

Waving at Daddy as he taxi's in on the C-17.The tradition upon landing your fini flight is to be greeted by your squadron and sprayed down with water. The girls were pretty excited for the chance to spray Daddy with a hose!
Getting sprayed by his former commander "Smokey". I remember when Brad was sprayed after being a T-37 pilot...they used a fire hose and it knocked him off his feet...that was more exciting!
A round of congratulations and good-bye's. I think Brooke was a little confused by the sea of green flight suits and leather jackets. "Daddy? Where are you?"
One last family photo in front of teh C-17 Globemaster. This photo was actually a set up. After the "family picture" I moved the girls to get a photo of just Brad in front of his that exact moment the guys poured a Gatorade cooler (like at football games) out of the cockpit window 2 stories above Brad. Gallons of ice and water drenched him. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of it...but he was extremely surprised (this isn't part of the tradition!) and wet!

So our time in the NW is drawing to a close and our career in the C-17 may be history. It's funny how you can love and hate a plane at the same time. Upon returns from deployments just the site of that plane on the runway could make me cry. However, seeing a C-17 on a local practice flight in the third month of a deployment and knowing it wasn't Brad made me despise the plane and the pilot flying who would return home to his family for dinner.

I admit I'm looking forward to Brad being a student and having a staff job at our next assignment. I just hope he isn't so miserable with the idea that he is difficult to live with and I find myself wishing he were flying...wouldn't that be ironic!

Baby Dedication

This past Sunday we participated in the baby dedication at our church. Our church is very casual so it was fun to dress the girls up for the occasion. Brooke looked like such a big girl in her dress.
Brad said he felt overdressed just by tucking in his shirt and wearing black pants! We're in trouble when we return to our old church in NJ...I was hoping to never wear nylons again! Even though this was a dedication of Brooke, the entire family can participate. I don't usually dress the girls in matching outfits, but thanks to the cute Laura Ashley dresses at Costco I decided why not.
Praying with Kevin, our Senior Pastor (notice his jeans and untucked shirt, in case you think I'm overgeneralizing about our church being casual).
Participating in a responsive reading about how we will do our best to raise our children to know and love God. The older girls were a little nervous since there was a big crowd watching us, but they did well.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


In a previous post from today I mentioned that Brad was out with the girls. I asked him if he could please stop by the grocery store to pick something up for me. A man of convenience and practicality, he went to the closest grocery store next door to Lowe's where he was shopping. We rarely go in this store, not sure why...just not our normal grocery store. As he entered the store he was quickly approached by an employee who asked him if the girls could participate in a contest. Apparently they were having a bunch of contests throughout the day.

I get a phone call from Baileigh. "Mommy! Mommy! Guess what! I got to be in a contest at the grocery store. I had a little shopping cart and one minute to pick out WHATEVER-I-WANTED from the cookie isle. And guess what, Mommy? I had the most stuff in my cart so I WON! I WON! I WON! And I get to keep EVERYTHING-IN-MY-CART!!!"

Here is the happy winner with her goodies. Look at her selections...rice cakes, Fig Newtons, Teddy Grahams, Cheez-Its, and Organic Oatmeal Cookies. Hello? Your five! Where are the Oreo's?! I was proud of her relatively healthy choices considering she had pick of the entire cookie isle. Disappointed, too. I would have loved an excuse to eat an Oreo!
Mckenna got to participate, too in the contest. Although she didn't win she was able to keep one thing she had selected (the Band-Aid's we purchased but Mckenna wanted me to take a picture of them)...she chose the Kashi cookies. Whose kids are these?
Once they were home I learned that Brad had participated in a pie eating contest. It wasn't as exciting as the blueberry pie eating contest in "Stand By Me", he got to use a spoon and had two minutes. I was actually impressed with how little he ate...I thought if challanged he could have eaten this pie but he only ate half.
Brad was invited to come back next Saturday for more festivities. If you live in the local area and don't have much planned next weekend you can also check out the games at the Puyallup Top Foods. Brad said it was the most fun he had ever had in a grocery store. Maybe next week Baileigh can compete in the baby isle and win some free diapers for Brooke!

Forerunner 305

I can't believe I'm excited about a tool that will confirm how slow I am!

According to the website, The Forerunner 305 is designed for athletes of all levels. This running partner and personal trainer has one goal in mind — a better you. It continuously monitors your heart rate, speed, distance, pace and calories burned so you can train smarter, more effectively. It tracks your every move with a super-sensitive GPS that even works on tree-covered trails and near tall buildings. Receive a detailed post-workout analysis on the PC with included Garmin Training Center® software.

Brad ran with it this morning and was disappointed to learn his route wasn't as far as he thought he had been running. Although it's far from attractive...I'm looking forward to my chance to wear it on my afternoon run and see how fast and far (or how slow and how little) I am running.

23 More Days

We're moving in 23 days!

23 days, people! Where did the time go? I think the combination of opening a small business, lots of TDY and a 120 day deployment, and the birth of our third daughter made our time in the NW pass in the blink of an eye. I feel like I'm turning into such a military wife as I find myself antsy after two in a half years in one location. This lifestyle was new to me when we married and I guess I have acclimated. However, adding children in to the equation is going to make the transitions tougher as Baileigh is taking this move harder then before. I don't have the heart to tell her or explain that in another 13 months after Daddy is done with school we'll probably make another move.

All that is really besides the point...the fact is that 23 days prior to our move I find myself with what may be my last lazy Saturday morning and a sleeping baby and otherwise quiet house! Brad took the other girls to meet with someone who wants to buy his truck and I'm enjoying a quiet morning with a cup of coffee, a warm fire, a rainy day, and my new issue of Taylor Magazine. I should probably be taking advantage of this time to start emptying out some cupboards and getting our life organized...but I think this is a much better use of my time.

Our house is under contract and the inspection took place last night. Brad got an offer on his car this morning and our rental contract for our house in NJ is sitting in front of me. This move is falling into place in a well orchestrated manner far beyond our capabilities. God is good and the evidence of His concern over the details of our life are always visible not only in the day to day (if I'm not too self-absorbed and busy to notice!) but as we stand in the crossroads and embark on a new chapter of life.

In a few more weeks our time in WA will be history and a page for the scrapbook. I hope we'll return someday, even if just for a visit so we can show Brooke where she was born and relive some of our fond memories of this place. I've learned to never say never since we are returning to NJ and Baileigh will attend Kindergarten in the same state where she and her sister were born! That doesn't happen too often in the military!

My sleeping baby is awake and my momentary bliss of alone time has ended. At least I got to spend a few quality moments with my blog...that means it will be a good day. Oh yeah...I still promised myself I would run 3.0 miles later, rain or shine. Oh well, at least it was a good morning.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Summary Of My Day

While the older girls were at preschool I headed to the bookstore to buy this book.

    Need I say more? I think that summarizes my day. I debated getting a book on how birth order effects personality, too...since it is my "middle child" that challenges me...but I figured I'll take this approach first. The ironic thing about this daughter is that although she can be the work of the other two girls combined, she is also a riot and so much fun and has an amazing personality that if just cultivated in a healthy way will make her unstoppable. How can you not love a kid who just now ran into the room bursting with excitement to let me know that she went poopy and it looked like a silly caterpillar! I just don't want to crush her spirit while I try to contain her unpleasant behaviors. That is all PC Mom speak for how do I bring out the best in her while stomping out her defiant ways that make me want to scream and pull my hair out some days.

    I actually had to special order the first book...which means I would have left the store empty handed so I decided to pick up this book, too. I'm pretty hesitant to read any type of self-help or child rearing book from an author I'm not familiar with...but I decided to gamble and see if this book has any insight.

    As Baileigh is beginning to mature I realize more each day that although I should have some insight into raising a girl...the fact that we have the same anatomy doesn't really help me know any more about how to react to a 5 year old's emotional struggles or her increasing awareness to social behaviors.

    The subtitle to this book is Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters...those are two characteristics that I think can really be fostered at the preschool age or dispirited. I would like to think that we're encouraging those traits in them and that I even model them in my life...but perhaps I can learn some tangible ways to promote the concepts in their lives. These are all back up plans anyway...I figure I'll just keep praying for them everyday and trust God with their development and do my best to not screw them up.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    6 Months Ago

    Six in a half months old.

    Twelve in a half months old.

    My New Bike

    I finally picked up my new bike on Friday. It is a women's Specialized Dolce road bike. It is their entry level road bike...nothing too fancy...but expensive enough that I feel like it is respectable. It's more then sufficient for me at this point considering I've yet to do anything to warrant the purchase. I road it around a little in the dark on Friday night getting used to the clip in pedals. Saturday morning was beautiful so I headed out for my first official ride. I didn't really have any lofty goals in terms of distance. I was hoping and praying that what they say about never forgetting how to ride a bike is true.

    My ride started off with a huge hill...downhill! I expected the descent to be fun, and it is was in a sort of I-think-I'm-going-to-be-sick-and-vomit-kind-of-way. I ordered a GPS that will track my speed and heart rate, but for this ride I was left to guess...I know my heart rate was way too high and I guess my speed near 25-30mph since I was pacing a few cars. I was flying down the hill as my mind was flooded with a myriad of thoughts I probably never had 25 years ago on a bike such as how expensive orthodontists are, how scary gravel can be, how I fear and loath metal drainage grates etc.

    Once the road leveled out and my speed decreased I began to think about the ride home and whether or not I would ever make it back up the hill. I decided to ignore the thought and focus on the wind in my face, the beautiful trees blooming, the lightness of my bike, and the soreness of my butt. Is it odd to say that I truly love and hate biking all at the same time? Okay, maybe hate is too strong of a word...there are aspects of it that I don't appreciate, but overall I find it enjoyable and confess that I had the thought that I can understand the appeal of a motorcycle...doesn't mean I would ever support my husband having one, but deep inside I think it would be fun to feel the wind in my face, then I think of the bugs and bad weather and my body being thrown like a rag doll and erase the thought.

    So I digress, but none the less I thought I would post a picture of my bike. Eventually you'll see some pictures of it in use as I start my various sprint triathlons and not just in the garage holding up a cabinet. Oh, and by the way, by the time I headed home I was feeling confident enough and familiar enough with my gears that I made it up the huge hill without any problems. Slow, but without problems.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007


    We're not sure how this happened,we just know that Mckenna was in the front hall closet getting her shoes on to leave and apparently Brooke was in there, too...Mckenna said that she just fell down and hit her head on the door but we're not completely convinced that was how it all played out.

    I think the instant swelling in this bump would have freaked me out if I hadn't seen almost the exact same thing on Baileigh when she was 13 months old. She fell and caught her head on the corner of a coffee table at a friends house. Instantly it puffed up and looked terrible. I found a picture of it in her scrapbook and put it below to compare.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Slow Fat Triathlete In Training

    Today I had some extra time at the gym since Brad was night flying and got to spend the morning at home. We went to the Y and I swam during the girls lessons. Afterwards Brad took the girls out to lunch and bowling while I got another hour at the gym. So I decided since I had already swam 900 yards I would run and bike and then do some strength training. I only ran 2 miles on the track but I felt strong and I had a decent time at 18:03...I'm a slow runner and a 9 minute mile is decent. Then I rode 3 miles and was able to keep it under 4 minutes a mile. I took my rubbery legs into the weight room to do some strength training. I love to lift weights but since I stopped working out with a trainer I have neglected this aspect of my workouts, primarily due to time constraints. I tried to focus on arms and core since my legs were feeling fatigued from the swim, bike and run.

    I keep debating starting a training blog so I don't bore you with my workout details. But I don't think I need another thing on my plate and other then a way to track myself I'm not sure who would care enough to read I think on occasion I'll post about it here interjected with cute pictures of my kids and their funny antic so I don't loose any readers.

    Baby Love

    Brooke received a new baby doll as a birthday present from our friend, Kate. She loves her new little baby doll, and her new stroller, and I frequently find her hugging and kissing her baby or giving her a bottle (when her sisters haven't taken it away from her!).

    I had to keep backing up in order to take this photo as Brooke was bringing me her baby to give it a kiss.

    Such a good little mommy!

    This picture could only be sweeter if you could hear how she was talking to her baby as she hugged and kissed her.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    I'm Jealous

    A few weeks ago I discovered this blog which caught my eye because of its name. I decided to contact this girl and tell her that I think she is inspiring...and actually that I'm jealous of her. Maybe envious is the better word. She was very gracious and we've communicated a few times as I've asked her for advice on various things pertaining to triathlons, diet, workouts, bikes, etc. Hopefully she doesn't think I'm a crazy online stalker...and although I am jealous of her bike and her weight loss, I think I'm more jealous of her discipline!

    I know that triathlons are truly mind over body. However, I've yet to strengthen my mind to the point it needs to be to overcome my body wanting to wimp out on me during a workout or a run. Right now I'm flying solo in my workouts, running and biking and I know some accountability would help. The time I had the most success was when I was meeting with a trainer and knew I had already laid down the cash and wanted to get my monies worth! At the same time I keep telling myself that if I'm doing these triathlons alone then I need to get to the point where I can keep running when I want to stop regardless of a running partner.

    So every day I'm getting in the habit of visiting this girls blog to see what she did for a workout that day. I'm always amazed and humbled and inspired by her training regiment as I head to the gym to hopefully accomplish half of what she did.

    Car Conversations

    I was asking the girls about their day at school on the drive home. Today's letter was "R" and Mckenna had made a rocket ship with construction paper. That led to the following conversation:

    Mckenna: "Mommy, can Daddy build me a rocket ship someday so I can go up high, high, high, in the sky and see where the rain comes from?"

    Baileigh: "Daddy can't build a rocket have to fly up in the sky in a plane...Daddy could fly you in the plane though because he is a pilot and that is what he does. He flies planes.

    Mckenna: "Yah, and we could go on a rainy day and see rain. And maybe rainbows. And maybe heaven.

    Baileigh: "No, you can't see heaven. That is even higher then the clouds. And we can't go there anyway Mckenna."

    Mckenna: "Why?"

    Baileigh: "Because we have sin and there is no sin in someday when it is time to go to Heaven we can go because then we won't have sin. That is why Jesus died on the cross.

    Mckenna: "Yep! But we won't have sin when we move to New Jersey!"

    Baileigh: "Yes we will, Mckenna, we only won't have sin when we go to heaven."

    Mckenna: "Maybe we can go to heaven after New Jersey."

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    The Final Party

    Last night we had our final celebration of Brooke's first birthday. Since our house is on the market we opted for a party at McDonald's for damage control.

    I like to think that Brooke is indicating that she is now "1" in this picture...or perhaps contemplating the sugar in her cake and whether it's worth the calories. Whatever is going on inside her little mind, I'm sure it's thought provoking.
    Apparently we were really off key because Brooke did not enjoy our singing "Happy Birthday."
    "Mmmm...this cake is definitely worth the calories!"
    Every girl needs her own baby stroller!

    Sunday, March 11, 2007


    This is what happens when the kids play unsupervised in the garage on a rainy afternoon.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Race Countdown

    You may have noticed over on the side of my blog a new race countdown...I'm trying to make it into a race calendar with the dates of the various triathlons but I'm having some formatting issues. I think psychologically I need to see the approaching dates versus the diminishing days. goal for this summer is to complete these five races. It's my first summer of triathlon competition and I think this is an attainable goal. I feel that if I'm going to train for one triathlon and get the gear, then I may as well try a few and get my monies worth out of my equipment. The only thing I don't like about the schedule is that my first race, The Philadelphia Women's Triathlon, is my longest race and one of the biggest I'll do this summer. I guess that may help boost my confidence if I finish it, or rather, when I finish it, without any problems. My other two "big ones" (not so much farther, just the size of the competitors and the hype) will be the NJ State Tri and the The Danskin outside of NY. I found a few smaller and local sprint triathlons near where we will be living that would be great to start with...but they are in the middle in between the big guys! I'm also doing 3 in July, which probably isn't recommended...but admittedly it's not like they are Ironmans! Blogging about my goals helps hold me accountable, even if no one is least I feel like it's out there and I've said it and so now it's a matter of my word!

    We're going to be moving just as I would start my official 12 weeks of pre-race training so I'll have to get serious when we get to NJ. I've been looking online for clubs with pools. I think our local YMCA (which is ranked as the best and biggest in WA) has spoiled me! But as long as I can find somewhere with a lap pool I'll be fine. Our Y also has an indoor track too which has enabled me to be able to "really run"...not just on a treadmill during the winter season...who am I kidding, the only thing that matters is that I find a gym with childcare!

    At least these 5 races will give me 5 good posts of blog fodder!

    My Baby Is 1 Year Old!

    Today is the big day as you can see from the ticker above...which I know you can barely read and I'm still working on...but that is another blog. My baby Brooke is 1 year old!
    It's a good thing she doesn't realize it is her special day because so far she had to miss her morning nap to spend an hour in the childcare at the YMCA, almost got barfed on by her big sister who had to make an emergency stop in the Safeway parking lot to yak up her breakfast (guess we're not over that stomach bug...oops), ran into the wall while walking, smiling and waving at Mommy, and spent 5 minutes struggling in her high chair while working on a dirty diaper that was putting up a fight. Not that special of a day...well, maybe not for her, but the occasion makes Mommy sentimental. The older girls have probably enjoyed the day more as they have wanted to relive her arrival by having me tell stories of her birth and Grandma and Grandpa's visit. I left out the delivery details so that someday they may want to have their own kids.

    The real party is going to be Sunday night, but this afternoon her sisters gave her a few presents they had picked out for her...which they then opened...and then played with...who did they pick them out for?
    Playing with whose new toys?
    Brooke finally managed to get to play with one of her new toys!
    I debated adding this picture since I have no make-up on and haven't showered since I got back from the gym...and because I noticed something in my teeth...but Mckenna took it and it's an adorable shot of Brooke with her new big tooth showing and I'm willing to give up my model image in order to share it with you!

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Non traditional bonding!

    Warning...don't read if currently snacking or consuming food products of any type. If dieting or counting points...continue to read and later you can thank me when you've lost you're appetite!

    Last night I went to bed not feeling well...thought it was PMS. Around 12:45am I heard crying and coughing. You know the cough, not the regular "I have a cold" cough, but rather the "here comes dinner" cough. Baileigh was standing in her room, apparently in transit to the bathroom, and regurgitating her Papa Murphy's pizza, her salad with dried cherries on it, her green grapes, and her popcorn for dessert. Hungry yet? I immediately knew that this clean up was greater then some paper towel and our spray bottle of OxyClean Carpet Cleaner so I hollered for Brad to wake up. He stumbled into the bedroom and wasn't pleased to get a list of orders including "go downstairs out to the garage and bring up the steam cleaner vacuum and get to work!" He isn't too coherent when awoken from a slumber so although I wasn't being the kindest wife in the world...orders were really necessary to keep from finding him curled up in a ball asleep on Baileigh's bed in a few minutes.

    I was helping Baileigh in the bathroom who continued to throw up and was pretty upset that she has puked on her Emperor Penguin and her favorite pajamas...when she saw it in her hair she almost lost it. I got her cleaned up while Brad began the clean up project (Mckenna, who shares a bedroom with Baileigh, slept through all of this!). I began to realize that my stomach wasn't feeling that well either...perhaps it wasn't PMS. A few minutes later I found myself on the floor praying to the porcelain god. Let's just say I can do without pizza for a very. long. time!

    As I type, here is a picture of my poor girl laying on the floor behind me and moaning. She won't go anywhere now without her bucket by her side for fear of ruining the carpet. Such a conscientious five year old.

    An hour later the carpet was clean and Brad stumbled back to bed. However, my fun continued. This is how the rest of the night breaks down:

    1:45 - "MOMMY"...this time she used the garbage can I put next to her bed and we adverted another steam cleaning project.

    2:20 - I hear her in the bathroom, taking the initiative to plant herself in front of the toilet. I came to help her and ended up joining her. Having your 5 year old loan you her headband and then hold your hair for you while you vomit is really bonding.

    2:37 - Back to the bathroom for Baileigh. False alarm she reports.

    3:52 - I hear coughing. Baileigh is sitting up in bed, sick again. Less each time thankfully. Mckenna, still sleeping.

    4:47 - I hear Baileigh in the bathroom. She is standing in front of the toilet. "Mommy, I don't feel good in my tummy or my bottom so I don't know if I should sit or stand." My poor baby. She sits, which was necessary, and unfortunately needs the garbage can at the same time. At her moment of need I had to abandon her for about 5 minutes to run to our bathroom to take care of my own issues. I found her in the same spot, waiting on me to help. This night is turning into more fun then I can handle!

    5:30 - Yes, somewhere deep in her belly is a little bit more of something that her stomach deems as necessary to expel.

    6:22 - I hear crying. I jump up and run in Baileigh's room to find her asleep. Then I realize it is coming from Brooke's room. This isn't her regular wake up time and I can tell from the cry she is still tired. I head in her room and rock her for a few minutes. The entire time I'm holding her I'm distracted by my stomach and wondering if I suddenly get up and dart to the bathroom if Brooke will wake up. I manage to keep it down and put her back to bed for two more hours.

    8:23 - Mckenna crawls into bed with me. "Mommy, why is their a new big vacuum in my room?"

    So at least Mckenna is rested and in good spirits this morning. Both she and Brooke seem fine right now. I still feel best if in a fetal position. I hope this is a 24 hour bug. I also hope, for once, that nobody wants to see our house today!

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Penguin Rescue

    When Brad returned from Antartica he brought with him some wildlife for the girls. Our new pet Emporer Penguins were a hit...especially when the girls saw the video Daddy made for them of their trip home.

    Saturday, March 03, 2007

    Party Time

    Somewhere I stumbled upon this post about the Ultimate Blog Party. I regret ever making the discovery because I truly don't need more to encourage me to spend time online blogging or reading blogs. I'm actually pretty good about not letting myself wander for too long into the world of reading blogs...I have my set dozen or so and try to just limit myself despite the fact I know there are 1,000 or more blogs out there that I would find interesting...but this Ultimate Blog Party completely opposes that idea and compelled me to spend some investigating other blogs.

    I've decided that reading blogs of perfect strangers is a lot like people watching in the airport. There are those that you see/read that you really can't relate to for whatever reason. There are those that make you feel pretty normal in comparison. Those that you can empathize, like the mom with the crying baby...and imagine that you would probably be friends. Those that make you jealous. Those that make you realize that maybe you don't have it so bad. And those you want to be like. Although taking the time to read some of these other mommy blogs today distracted me from the exciting "to do" list that is my house...I'm glad I allowed for the diversion as it's nice to hear from other women trying to keep their sanity and yet enjoy this thing called motherhood.

    Attend the your own risk!

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Birthday Party...#1

    Brooke will turn one next Wednesday! It has been a crazy year and that is evidenced to me in the fact that we're preparing to celebrate this milestone and I feel like I was just wearing the big old post pregnancy diapers!

    We met my TU friends for our monthly play date and made it a little birthday party to celebrate Brooke and Angie's birthdays. I figured we would start wearing our birthday shirt now to get our monies worth! Her "official" party will be next weekend.

    Celebrating with JayLynn Oldright (holding Brooke), Angie DenHartog, Jack D. myself and Mckenna.
    The rest of the gang...on the left is Lars, Mckenna, Leif, Brooke, Baileigh, Kennedy, Harrison (can't really see him down there) and Jackson in the front right.
    Brooke thought that being attacked with the party blowers (do those things have a technical name?) was first.
    "Mom, where is more cake?"