Sunday, May 22, 2016

House whirlwind

I wanted to log on and write a quick post since it has been a while and since I'm leaving town for a few days starting tomorrow morning! Dan's and my heads can most likely be seen spinning from space. We are on the downward slope in getting our house ready for selling. All of the painting has almost been done. This was a huge undertaking, but we were so blessed to receive help from two generous friends last week. One of them is a painter by profession, so he helped us reach the tall walls in our living room and spent five hours on Friday getting the downstairs looking great. Our walls look amazing! I kinda wish we'd done this long ago! When we get into a new house, I see value in painting it the way we like it right away (although the thought of that much more painting makes me cringe).

We have not had time for much else! Our goal is to be picture-ready by 5/31 or possibly a few days after that. Hopefully our house will sell QUICKLY and we can move onto new adventures!

The boys have been good. We have had mostly good days with a few bumps. I was thinking the other day that we never would have been able to do so much work on our house a year ago, as things were not nearly as predictable and calm back then. That's another shout-out to Straterra! :)

I'm heading to Washington DC for two days for a conference, so the boys are going to take care of things while I'm gone! Mondays and Tuesdays are busy days for us, so please pray for health and peace for all! I'm excited to share house pictures but I want everything to be completed first. The before/after transformations will be amazing! :)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Happy belated Mother's Day to all of you awesome women and mamas! Women make the world go 'round, right?! I had THE most fabulous Mother's Day this year. My boys spoiled me rotten and made my day very special. After breakfast in bed and receiving the most thoughtful cards and gifts (Dan is teaching these boys well!), we went to church and listened to an amazing sermon. After church we went to a nearby park and enjoyed yummy food while the boys and puppy played. It was perfect! I'm the luckiest mama and wife on the planet, hands down.

We have some big news! It is very big and very recent. So recent that almost nobody knows about it (surprise, Family!). We are putting our house on the market! Everything has happened really quickly, but we feel like this has been in the works (the PLAN) for a while. We want to sell ASAP, so this week we have frantically began cleaning, purging and packing. Today I got a good portion of the kitchen done. Painting and re-carpeting is in our near future.

Our near future seems very uncertain, as we have absolutely no idea what is about to happen in a few different realms. As always, we trust that the plan is in place and we are just living it out! It's exciting (and a little scary)!

Elijah has had a GREAT past few days, both at school and home. He has gotten a few super reports at school lately. So super that his teacher let him sit in her chair all day today! He was very excited about this. I stopped in both boys' classrooms today and it made me so happy to see such happy smiles on both of their sweet little faces.

One thing I've been wanting to write down so I never forget it is how Sammy does a muffled SCREAM when he loves something that he's eating. He says "MMMmmmmm!" as if he's screaming it, except with his mouth closed. It is the cutest thing.

Both boys have been extra snuggly and complimentary lately. I love these precious boys and I'm so grateful that God chose me to be their Mommy!

Have a great rest of your week! Thanks for peeking in.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Commotion squared

I'm wondering if I have ever written a post declaring boredom? Oh my goodness, things have seemed particularly crazy for the past few weeks. The boys are both doing swim lessons again, Elijah's behavioral aide has been coming over twice/week, I suddenly have a ton of projects to complete for my food blog (yay!), work for Dan is crazy (literally), Buddy is driving me crazy most of the time and Sammy started soccer! Look at him go! He has improved by leaps and bounds from last year. He had his first practice last night and I couldn't believe how well he was dribbling the ball and how focused he was. Go Sammy!

We have had a couple really rough past couple nights. We went down a bit on the dosage with Elijah's meds a month or two ago and now I'm wondering if we should go back up. We'd need to battle with insurance again, as our dosage request was denied last time. I've been seeing behaviors that I haven't seen in a really long time...LOTS of whining and deliberately trying to make me angry. Tonight's battle began when he whined about not being able to spell the word "mother." Knowing that he knew this, I asked him to politely ask for help and that I'd be happy to help out. Twenty minutes of screaming followed, which abruptly came to an end when his flailing arms knocked a huge jar of salsa off the counter and onto the floor...ugh.

Not only is Sammy doing great with soccer, he is rocking swimming, as well! He has been so brave and I'm super proud of him. He still doesn't like water in his face, but willingly bobs his head when asked and attempts everything else the instructor asks of him.

Last week was cold and rainy, but this week has been lovely again. The boys always know exactly what the expected high is for each day of the week. They are both excited for Friday, as it is expected to be 86 degrees! Both of them have their outfits picked out for that day. We love summer!

Ohh Buddy. He is so cute and sweet as long as I have time to manage our time together well and outsmart him a bit. Yesterday was an off day and we ended up getting very frustrated with each other. Every time I asked him to come or stay or do anything he would do the opposite. I brought him to doggy daycare for a few hours to wear him out and the car ride there (which is like 5 minutes long) was a nightmare. He found things in my car that I never knew existed. An old lollipop stick that he just about choked on. A wrapper buried way under my seat. A plastic bag crammed into the bottom side of the passenger door. As I was frantically pulling him out of the car to go into daycare, I saw a piece of chewed gum stuck to his ear. I couldn't help but take a photo. Only Buddy! :)

He was exhausted after playing and this sweetness ALMOST made up for the morning (not really).

I really do love Buddy. This puppy stage is tough, but I've been thinking about all of the positive things he has brought to our lives:

- I get outside MUCH more than I ever did before.

- The soccer skills I learned as a child are being honed (and are dang awesome, I must say!) since kicking a ball around is my main way to get Buddy exercise.

- People in our neighborhood who we've never spoken to before are suddenly our friends. It is amazing how drawn to dogs people are. We have been forced into a more social lifestyle!

- My laundry is ALWAYS immediately put away because if it's not, it will get chewed to pieces.

- My floors are ALWAYS free of clutter because anything on them will get chewed to pieces.

- Every door in my house is ALWAYS closed (so Buddy isn't tempted to go in and chew everything to pieces), which makes our house look cleaner.

- Aside from the shards of glass from the salsa jar remnants that I cleaned up tonight, I have not swept my kitchen since Buddy's arrival in our home.

- Both Elijah and Sammy find him very calming, which is such a HUGE bonus. They both love lying next to him and snuggling. They love getting kisses and they love when he chases them happily when they get off the bus.

I am very much looking forward forward to a relatively peaceful upcoming weekend. I'm hoping for peace for all of you and thank you for reading!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Empty Tanks and Boys I Love

After finally feeling so much better last week, I managed to cram WAY too many things into our schedule and ended up burning myself out. By Sunday night I was a mess and things unraveled. Elijah had a major meltdown, the dish I was supposed to bring to Life Group tasted horribly and I felt like screaming at everyone. On our way to Life Group Sunday night, we made the decision to turn around and go back home. WHY do I do this to myself? When I'm feeling good I try to do it all and then suddenly my tank is way past empty. Then I either get sick or need to sleep it off. Then I feel better and it starts all over. HELP! :)

And then I walk in on moments like this and feel so happy..

Buddy and I had a rough day. I kept thinking about all of the work I could be doing but can't because of his chewing and his need to get out so much. I was frustrated and I know he senses that. When the boys got off the bus I saw that Elijah was wearing different, foreign pants and I knew that meant there had been a significant accident at school. My heart sank. This has been an issue again recently and it makes my mama heart so sad. I know this has to be affecting his relationships at school (I had to witness some teasing firsthand) and I just want him to WANT to take control of this. I know that he does everything in his own time and that we will get there, but in the meantime it is very, very frustrating.

Since it was Elijah's last OT visit for a while (more on this in a bit!), I decided it wouldn't hurt to bring Buddy on our journey and let him chill in the car. Thirty seconds down the road, Buddy was crawling BEHIND me as I was trying to drive. Then he was digging in my purse for an old cracker that he smelled. I turned the car around and drove like an angry maniac back home and put him in his kennel. I was frustrated and both boys sensed it and turned on the good behavior and sweetness. The rest of the day was a breeze with them.

Elijah graduated from Occupational Therapy today! His OT felt like he has been doing so well with everything that we can take a significant break. We are planning to take the rest of the spring and entire summer off and re-evaluate in the fall. This is great! It means he has made tons of progress and it also means we free up an extra night every week.

With Elijah in his last OT session for a while and Buddy at home, I thought Sammy and I needed a mini-date. We went to the nearest coffee shop and enjoyed some one-on-one time together. We played the question game and I told him how VERY special he is to me, even when things are crazy. Our time together was so special!

Once Dan got home tonight I was able to put the dishes AND laundry away! Wooo! Exciting! :) Tomorrow will certainly bring new adventures! Thanks for peeking in.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cool dudes, a field trip and a fun weekend!

Look at my cool dudes! Once the weather finally swayed toward the WARM end of the spectrum, Elijah and Sammy were excited to wear tank tops, shorts, sunglasses and Crocs! We are EXCITED for summer!

On Friday I went on a field trip with Elijah's class to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It was fun! E's bff was in our group and it was so much fun hanging out with them. I love this picture of them snuggling as they looked up at the art on the ceiling of the atrium.

There were a handful of moments when these two got upset with each other, but it was all in love. They act so much like brother and sister. We are SO GRATEFUL for A and the patience she has for Elijah! She is a good friend.

Both boys started swim lessons this week and both of them did GREAT! Sammy was braver than I've ever seen him in the water. Kindergarten has given him confidence and courage that gets him through things like this. A year ago he never would have willingly dunked his head and attempted everything the instructor asked of him without tears. I'm so proud! Elijah did great, too. He dunked his head underwater at least six times and followed along better than ever before. I'm hoping both boys can graduate from their swim classes at the end of this eight weeks!

Buddy is learning SO quickly and we are all still getting to know each other. He has attended two puppy kindergarten classes and he is getting so much better with walks and leash training. He hasn't had an accident in our house in almost a week! He is still wanting to chew on everything, but we are getting wiser. At peak chewing times, we give him bones and raw hides that keep him occupied and also keep him from chewing our shoes and rugs to pieces. He really is such a good puppy! He isn't even four months old and he sits on command, stays on command, hardly ever barks (we've only heard him bark maybe 5 or 6 times in 3 weeks) and he loves his new pack. He loves to lick Elijah's face (E LOVES this!). When he is excited to see one of us, he wags his tail so hard that his butt wiggles and waggles back and forth. :) He is SO friendly with people and dogs. He found a new pup friend in the neighborhood that he loves named Carter. This morning he saw Carter and his owner walk by and he looked longingly down the street at them and whimpered (we missed saying hello) until they were out of sight.

Today we brought the boys to Lake Ann for some sun and play time. It felt great! Elijah had an allergic reaction to something floating through the air, but we managed it with allergy meds. It feels so good to be able to get out and enjoy the outdoors again. We love spring!

Sammy lost a tooth last week and Elijah lost one tonight. The Tooth Fairy has to get things together! This week we are praying for health, as well as further progress in the puppy realm so I can actually get some work done during the day. Thanks for peeking in!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Warm weather = smiles

I thought I'd do something I rarely do and write two posts in two days! WHAT?! Buddy and I had a rough morning. There was a lot of chewing on rugs, pillows and blankets. We have a crate downstairs now, so every time he started chewing on things he's not supposed to I put him in his crate until he calmed down. By 1:00 I just needed a break, so I crated him for two glorious hours. He really is such a good pup. I keep reminding myself that he's not even 4 months old. He's just a babe! Grace!

Elijah had another GREAT day at school, yay! I stopped by this morning to spend time in both boys' classrooms and they were both happy and working hard.

I took a few cute pics tonight of the boys and the Budster (Sammy's favorite name for him).

We have some big things in the works right now as far as getting even more help for Elijah. He is doing SO WELL, but we always want to stay way on top of things. After many months of waiting, he is finally "in the system" with the state and is eligible for PCA care. We are getting all of that sorted out and will hopefully have things in place within a few weeks.

Tonight Sammy called me back into his room as he often does after bedtime. He said, "Mommy! Do you know how many percent I love you? Like 5 quadrillion percent. Times INFINITY!" :) He then requested "as many smooches and hugs" as I could deliver. That boy. I love him!

The weather was GORGEOUS today! I walked outside around lunchtime with a coat and quickly shed it. We so enjoyed being outside tonight. It lifted our spirits so much!

Isn't this pup adorable?!

I'm off to relax on the couch for a bed before an early bedtime. Thanks for peeking in!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


We are listening to a series at church on being blessed, so I will continue with that theme for our family. We are so super blessed! Not every mom is able to get their kiddos off the bus every day and spend a majority of her day with a new puppy. Not every person is able to work from home doing her DREAM job. Not everyone can spend all of spring break with her cute boys. We are blessed and grateful beyond words! 

Spring break was packed with fun things and I mean PACKED. We loved every minute of it! One night we had the boys' second cousin over for a sleepover. She is the sweetest, cutest little thing and the kids all had a blast together. We can't wait to do it again! 

Another day I took the boys and Elijah's bff to see Zootopia. It was such a cute movie and the kids all had a fun time. Look at these happy faces! I love it!

We gave Buddy tons of love and attention. He has been chewing on things less, but still a lot. He gets into moods throughout the day when he seems to NEED to chew and rebel. Today he started chewing toilet paper off of the rolls in the bathroom. Seriously. When I try to remove something from his mouth, he refuses to drop said object unless there is a treat staring him in the face. He is a lot of work, but he is so worth it. The boys adore him. We can tell that he is going to be a very good doggy. He went to his first puppy kindergarten class on Saturday and we learned so much about how to train him. We love our Bud who likes to chew on everything....including broccoli and kale! :)

My dad and stepmom were in town for a few days and we were so happy to spend time with them. We did some fun things while they were here, including BOWLING followed by McDonald's! They were able to spend some time in school with each boy and that was so special for everyone.

The boys have had a few great days in school this week. Elijah has received two GREAT reports from his teachers. Yay!

I am still trying to figure out a routine with work and puppy during the day. It is challenging! Productivity for Pip and Ebby is an an all-time low, but we will get there. Like I said, we are BLESSED!

Thanks for checking in!!