Friday, August 31, 2012

Sass, sass and more sass

Elijah has always loved surrounding himself with comfort items, whether that be toys or pillows or people. Lately he has been sitting on the couch and completely surrounding himself with pillows and blankets and just lying there. The other day Sammy joined him! They were being kind to each other amongst the pillows and blankets, so I had to capture the moment. 

I tell you what, our Elijah is a tough one. I brought the boys to daycare today and accomplished a hundred things that I would not have otherwise been able to accomplish. When I picked them up, I got to hear about all of the un-kind things Elijah had done and said throughout the day. :( Our wonderful, caring daycare provider said, "Girl, you sure have your hands full!"

He tests his boundaries constantly. Honestly, there are quite a few things that are not easy with him. When things are easy, I think, WHOA! Life is so amazing! He hit a friend at daycare today (this makes me so sad), among other things, so he lost all of his privileges tonight. Despite that, though, we had some rare easy moments this evening and I couldn't believe how wonderful it felt!

We went to E's open house last night. We got to see his kindergarten classroom and meet his very sweet teachers. This is going to be such an amazing experience for him! Dan and I are both very excited to get him back into the routine of school. I want to tell his teacher that I have been praying for her since the day he was born. I have also been praying for a special little friend to recognize how special and awesome he is and to befriend him and take care of him, so to speak.

Sammy is still being his little independent, sassy, ADORABLE self. I have to be super creative in order to get him to do certain things (brushing teeth, sitting at the table, reading books, getting his diaper changed). Gotta be constantly on my toes! But man, Sammy is cute and sweet when he wants to be. I could just eat him up. He asked me for 20 minutes straight tonight to "Tickle Fammy!"

We have a super fun weekend planned! It will involve the dropzone, s'mores, a baptism, friends and family! We are excited! Thanks for checking in. Have a safe and fun weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

State Fair 2012

This post will certainly be broken and very un-smooth. Is there a better word for un-smooth? Rough? Bumpy? I am tired and my eyes itch! I have never suffered from allergies in my life, and suddenly I am plagued with them! Every symptom that is written on the Claritin box sums me up times 10. I am tired of itching these very scratchy and uncomfortable eyeballs. I feel so badly for all of you long-time allergy sufferers! This stinks!

We went to the State Fair this week, as we do every year. It is a tradition for us. There are the standard things we do every time we are there, and we seem to add a new adventure each year, too.

We checked out the cows, as we usually do..

This is a silly new Elijah pose. Both hands up to an ear.

Here is Sammy's pose. Just Sam. He doesn't tend to ham it up like his brother does.

Another Fair tradition...wearing the Oink Booth crown! 

Sometime when I have time on my hands (hahahahaaaa!), I need to combine Fair photos from over the years. I have some super funny photos from when Elijah was a baby. I'll just say that he has not always liked the Oink Booth crown.

This is another new Elijah pose. He becomes more of a ham the older he gets, if that is at all possible!

Sammy enjoyed talking to the pigs. "'Ook, Mom! Pig seeping!" "'Ook! Pig eating!"

My cuties! 

We ate a ton of delicious food. The boys' first indulgence was a giant cinnamon roll. Sammy put a huge bite in his mouth and tried to chew.

My favorite thing to eat is always the first thing Dan and I get for ourselves...Pronto Pups! Yum!

Elijah went down this big slide with Dan last year and had a mildly scary experience. I figured he was a year older and that he would do great this time. When we got to the top, he was starting to cry a bit and telling me that he didn't want to go. There is really no other way to get down unless we wanted to go down the stairs through a mass of people, so I strongly encouraged (forced) him to go down the slide with me.

Here is the big picture.

A close-up. Have you seen a more terrified face? :( Poor guy. I felt terrible. Later that night, as we were saying our prayers, E said, "Dear Jesus, please maybe next year we won't do the big slide again." Awww.

Sweet Martha's cookies are always a must. They never last long in our sugar-loving hands.

Can't forget the milk!

E happily rode the ferris wheel with me. It was sloooooow compared to the one we rode at the county fair a few weeks ago. Which was just fine.

This whale ride was a little bit traumatic for both boys. Before it started Elijah was a MESS. He was screaming about it being too loud (??) and bumpy. Once it started, E had a blast and Sam was a mess, burying his head between his legs. This was when we knew it was time to go home.

Elijah did his standard passing-out on the ride home. The Fair is exhausting!

Not Sammy, though! It's tough getting this boy to sleep in the car. He had tons of energy once we got home, even sans nap.

It was hot today so we met some friends at the beach. The boys had a great time! It was far from home, so we didn't stay long. We did run into a blog reader and friend-of-a-friend who shared her umbrella shade with us! Thanks, Erin! Your kindness was much appreciated today!

Have a great rest of your week, everyone! Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend and some Elijah funnies

We had another fun weekend. Elijah got to spend a night with his auntie, so he was on cloud 9. Sammy and I spent Saturday night at the dropzone with Dan. It was strange being there without Elijah! Dan and I loved the special time we got with our youngest boy! That doesn't happen often.

This pic is from last week's zoo trip. We have tried to go to the zoo as a family once a week through the summer, on Dan's days off. The boys love it there. Elijah has nicknamed this "daddy buffalo" Puffy. The "mommy buffalo," who we cannot see, is named Buffy. :)

Sammy loves crawling into this huge bird's nest. Except, he will not accept help getting in, of course. If I try to help him, I get to hear, "MY DO IT!" And he starts over.

I found a few photos I forgot to post from our recent vacations! Here is my wonderful dad, reading to the boys before bed one night while we spent time at the family reunion in Iowa. Precious!

Have I mentioned how much I love my dad? He is honestly the kindest person I know. I love him to pieces, and my boys do, as well. I love this photo of him and Sammy.

I have been sharing on Facebook all of the funny things Elijah has been saying lately. This boy is a riot! I will paste a few of them below. I hope you all had a great weekend! xo

"Mama, you are the olive in my soup!"
"Hmm, do you even like olives?!"

Yesterday E was reading a book and suddenly got very excited. "Whoa! The word 'stupid' is in a book?!" (Thinking that if it was in a book it was ok to use.) I'm thinking, Jeez, what the heck is he reading? Upon inspection, the word was "stooped." I explained the difference in meaning and pronunciation and he seemed slightly bummed. Then today, as he was yelling at his hair for touching his forehead (this happens often), I heard him say, "Ugh! Stooped hair!" The kid found another of his many loopholes.

E was talking about the movie Tangled tonight. "Rapunzel has a mean mommy and a nice mommy?" "Yes." "And you are a mean mommy and a nice mommy?" "Well, I'd like to think I'm mostly a nice mommy!" "Weeellllll, you are nice, but sometimes you are mean."

After a very challenging morning of being a mama, I laid down with E in hopes of getting a nap. He rolled over to me and rubbed my hair and said, "Don't be sad, Mama. Be happy!" Then, "You are brownie-fresh and totally wild!" 

We were all standing in the driveway waving goodbye to Dan as he left for the dropzone, E in his underwear, Sammy and me in our pjs. Elijah yelled, "BYYyyyyeeee, Daaad! Have a good luck today!"

After nap-time today, E said, "Mom?" "Yes?" "You are sailing in the sea of my ocean." :)

I was so tired today, lying on the couch with my eyes closed for a few minutes while E read books. I felt a little hand gently rubbing my cheek and a whisper in my ear that said, "Mommy, you are kind and weird and clean and very giggly!"

Trying to get Elijah to nap today, he kept lifting up my eyelids with his fingers. "Mama! Open your eyeball shells!" 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Challenges and (im)patience

I know I'm emotionally drained because I have no patience. Today was a challenging day. The boys pushed me to the brink and I didn't deal with it well. It was one of those days. And now I sit here feeling guilty for raising my voice too much and not being patient enough. Thankfully tomorrow is a new day.

One of the many things that just about pushed me over the edge today revolved around Elijah's potty issues. We had made so much progress with his last potty chart. He accomplished all of his "goals" on the chart and then vacation began, which brought much regression. Now he never uses the toilet without being asked (which is always a battle), and he has been pooping and peeing in his pants multiple times every day. I am so very frustrated.

After two (of four) accidents today and after a few other unrelated battles, I decided E needed a nap. I sent him upstairs to lie down in my bed while I cooled down. I came upstairs a little while later to take a nap with him. Thinking he was asleep, I cried a few little tears of frustration. Elijah rolled over and started gently rubbing my hair. "Mommy! Don't be sad! Be happy!" I explained to him that mommies have very big jobs and sometimes they get sad and frustrated. He continued to rub my hair (so sweet), and then said, "You are brownie-fresh and totally wild!" I have no idea how he comes up with these things! That made us both laugh for a long time. We took a little nap, arms tightly wrapped around each other (as always...he would never have it any other way).

Once we woke up from our nap, the frustration immediately began again. I felt myself growing even more impatient and frustrated than before the nap! A few nights ago we could hear another family's conversation through our baby monitor. Today I had the thought that if another family could have heard our house today through our baby monitor they would think we were a terribly unhappy family! :( I hate that. I love our family and the vibe between us 99% of the time!

Another mild frustration today was Elijah's ear issues. He has been on two rounds of antibiotics for a double ear infection in the past couple weeks and today he was complaining of ear discomfort again. :(

We are gearing up for school in a few weeks! Next Wednesday is E's open house for kindergarten. Elijah is very excited to start school, and honestly I think it will be so great for him in so many ways. At the same time, though, MY BABY BOY IS STARTING KINDERGARTEN! Major tears will be shed that day. :(

I can't write a post without mentioning Sammy! He is as independent as ever. Since vacation, he is back to refusing baths. He will not allow us to help him with ANYTHING. When I read him a book, I cannot touch the book. He has to turn the pages himself and if I even gesture like I'm going to touch it he has to start over. I cannot help him get into his chair at the table. If I try, he screams at the top of his lungs and throws an absolute fit. He is a very particular little boy!

Our boys are in very unique, challenging and different stages right now. I am praying for a little bit of peace for all of us! I do realize that we are blessed, and that our troubles could be MUCH MUCH worse. I adore my boys, all of them, more than I could ever explain in words. Thank you, God, for them! I am a blessed mama and wife. Please forgive me for not being more patient.

Tomorrow is a new day!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vacation #2

We are back from August Vacation Part II! The little boys and I tagged along with my dad and stepmom as they visited her family in Northern Minnesota. The last time I attempted this trip with the boys was just after Sammy was born, two years ago. I remember it being difficult traveling with a newborn and without Dan along. I also remember coming home early because I felt very overwhelmed and tired.

This year was a much different experience! We stayed with my stepmom's sister and brother-in-law, and we had so much fun! Elijah and Sammy LOVE Uncle Phill and Aunt Linda, and of course Grammie and Gramps. It was sad to leave after such a fun three days.

The boys got to go to their second fair/amusement park in one week! Lucky boys!

Elijah befriended Inko, the yellow guy who rode around on a tricycle talking to people. He did not know what to think of this guy.

Remember the scary kiddie roller coaster experience from last week? I wasn't sure if Elijah would brave another one, but he got on without hesitation. I saw a few scared looks on his face as he whizzed by us, but he did much better this time overall. He was VERY proud of himself for riding it. 

See? Not so scary, Mom!

Sammy and Elijah rode on the cars with their cousin (second cousin?) Will.

This ferris wheel was a bit faster than the last one we went on. Sammy snuggled in very very close to me, and wasn't so sure of the two weightless seconds on top every time we reached that point. He did great, though.

My snuggly Sammy. 

Uncle Phill did a lot of snuggling and playing with the boys. Here he is with Elijah watching the hummingbirds outside the window.

Elijah had an exciting FIRST over the weekend! He caught his first two fish! He was thrilled! 

And he got to have a campfire...just because he's cute and asked for one. :)

We got an extra big bonus by getting to spend time with Aaron!

Vacation is tiring and a double vacation is extra tiring, but it was 100% worth the fun and memories. I love making memories with my boys. I know Sammy is too young, but I hope Elijah carries some fun memories away from the past few weeks.

I found that it was pretty tough getting Elijah to do his business in the toilet while on vacation. We had quite a few battles and accidents. Goodness, I am ready for this boy to be potty trained! As I type, he is in the bathroom cleaning up a huge mess and it is so incredibly frustrating. Ugh. Patience and perseverance!

We miss Dan! We are excited to see him in the morning and spend the day with him tomorrow. Sammy is finishing up a nap, Elijah is now sitting on the blue chair reading books (his only remaining privilege for the day) and I am going to throw in a load of laundry! Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Man! The last week has been a whirlwind! I have been busy with work and on top of that we had a family vacation/reunion in Iowa. We are trying to balance it all. In the meantime, I will share a few photos from our time in Iowa.

Dan was able to come down for a few days, and we spent a fun family day at Arnold's Park. As you can see from Elijah's smile, we had a great time.

Elijah and Sammy went on almost every "kiddie" ride, and Elijah even went on an adult ride. More on that later. Sammy did very well for only being two!

HAPPY FACE. We were just getting on the train here.

The boys loved the ferris wheel! We rode it five times.

Ferris wheel happiness! Look at that face!


We found that Sammy did better on the rides when Elijah was next to him. The boat ride was a favorite for both boys.

The dragon ride was a close second.

Elijah rode the train by himself.

The fishy ride was a bit scary for Sammy at first, but he got brave after a while.

The first time he rode it he closed his eyes as if trying to pretend he was somewhere else. Super cute! :)

Grammie and Gramps met us at the park for a bit.

And Sammy got a quick nap.

Elijah went on his first big-boy ride....the Scrambler! His hair helped him to be JUST tall enough! :) The two of us rode together and he was a bit nervous before it started. Once we got going, he had a BLAST! He loved it.

I saw this sign on the ride before we got on. Really?! I guess maybe I understand the precaution, but I didn't see harm in letting my boy be scrambled a bit.

Here we are just before the scrambling began.

And we got to ride on the go-karts together, too!

One last fishy ride for the brothers before we left.


These photos don't even cover the family fun we experienced over the past week. We love our family so much. We are blessed!

We have another busy, traveling week ahead of us. More adventures to come!