Saturday, April 30, 2011


i feel the need to tell you that i am currently blogging on my smart phone from my mother in laws basement while finn is napping on my left shoulder.  not an easy task, rest assured. i cant make the letters capitalize or use what would essentially be a shift key. there is probably a way to do this, i am just not sure how.

anyway...our move did not go as planned. all of our stuff did not fit in the biggest moving van available and if/when i ever do this again, you can be very certain that i will be hiring a moving company. but sweet people never cease to surprise me. when i get to iowa tomorrow and have access to an actual computer, i will share more.

tonight, though, i am going to enjoy a gin and tonic with my sister and savor our last night as missouri residents.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is what chaos looks like...

Maybe that's just me, but I love to catch a glimpse inside people's windows. Not in a creepy, Peeping Tom sort of way.  More like a quick snap shot, a blurred glance as I drive by.  My favorite time of day is late evening in the wintertime when the snow is a kind of a purpleish color and they sky is beginging to envelop the house in a navy blanket of cold.  In spite of the crisp air and the frost on the sidewalks, the windows always look so warm and inviting.  When I was in college those windows always made me so homesick.

I pity the fool who looks in my windows today. It looks like massive amounts of chaotic-boxes-furniture-moving-insanity.  It is crunch time here in the Hefter house...packing is at an all time frenzied pace (and I am hating most every minute of it) and we spent 4 days in Minnesota and didn't get home until almost 1:00 this morning, so we have that to recover from, too. And while I have peaceful and lovely pictures of Easter and spring and Finn looking all handsome and Abby looking much too grown up and an egg-dying experience that was so much fun, I chose instead to share with you this:

Mostly because I want you to feel a teeny-tiny bit sorry for me.  And mostly because I got 4 hours of sleep last night with Finn snuggled pretty much on the entire bed (because he slept in the car and 2:00 am seemed like an all-right time to play!) and Abby was up at 6 this morning for play practice (and apparently, based on the amount of noise, she has a new herd of elephants sharing her room) and well, there just has been not time for a nap and I am a bit crabby. 

I hope this week goes fast.

Really, though, I hope we have a place to live soon, because ready or not, here we come and I'd rather be living in a house than looking longingly into someone's windows as I drive a moving truck aimlessly around Iowa.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Really, Universe? Really?!

Dear Universe,

I feel as though you are trying to tell me something.  Apparently you didn't think that I was listening last week when you screwed my tire (literally).  Could you be a little bit more clear and maybe use your words instead of your actions?  I am all ears, here.  Seriously, I am open to whatever it is you think I need to learn, you just need to tell me!  Pretty please, just lay off the car, okay?  I'm not sure I can take much more...

Thank you very little.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

These chubs were made for walking.

Last year at this time I was supposed to be counting kicks. 

Lazy Bones (and my ill-placed placenta), however, had other ideas.  He enjoyed snoozing during the day, wiggling around just as I was getting comfortable in bed and then snuggling his toes right up inside my ribcage for the rest of the night.  I spent more time on the baby monitor frustrating nurses left and right last spring.  I was in the doctor's office a couple of times a week, snacking on (gasp) regular Coke and m&m's in an effort to get this kid to wiggle around enough to be able to actually count his kicks. 

This spring, those legs have filled out into chubby delicousness.  They rock his little body back and forth, gearing up for approximately 3 scoots before he falls down on his belly, too tired to go any further.  When I stand him up on my lap, those twinkle toes dig into my thighs like daggers in an effort to bounce himself up and down.

I am constantly amazed at how extremely fast time is going.  I find myself wanting to slow it down because I'm sure that I must be missing something.  I have to be...I blink and he's eating real food and crawling.  I want to curl up with him and sneak some extra time away while I watch him change before my eyes.  Soon those little legs will be walking all over the house...and then the back yard and then down the street to the playground.  And not too long after that, those little legs are going to walk that little body out of my arms and onto the school bus.

Today, those little legs are just walking all over my heart.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On my mind today...

Rainbow Cake 
  • My house is utterly and completly chaotic.
  • I cannot live like this for much longer.
  • Uriah left this morning and won't be back again until next week - just in time to pick up and pack up the moving truck.
  • Oh my GOSH!  That's next week already!!  (Temporary pause while I hyperventilate.)
  • My last day of work is this week.  I am sad and trying not to think about it too much.  (Another temporary pause while I pull myself together.)
  • When I'm sad I like to bake.  
  • I really want to bake a rainbow cake.  I feel as though it will make me feel calm.  
  • Actually, eating that cake will probably make me feel like I'm in a Rainbow Bright/Twilight Zone episode.  
  • If I start referring to Abby and Finn as Murky and Lurky, it's time for an intervention.
  • I am taking the kittens to Okoboji this week.  Hopefully we will have a house or two or three to look at (hint, hint, First Husband.).
  • I am looking forward to sleeping in sheets that smell like my childhood.
  • I'm getting my hair colored this hasn't been colored since before Emily's wedding last summer.  Can you say BLAH?!  (I'm ready to go back to being a blond, thank you very much.)
  • Finn has started grinding his teeth together.  It makes my bones hurt.  I try to distract him by singing or playing or clapping and when all else fails, I stick my finger between his teeth. 
  • He has sharp teeth.
  • The next two weeks are crammed full of stuff to do and places to go...I'm trying to be present in the moment - as crazy as those moments may be - but I secretly kind of wish I could ride Starlite to Rainbow Land until all of the dust has settled.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend = Happiness

I hope your weekend was as happy as mine.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Do or do not. There is no try.

It's amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice.

Actally, we always have a choice: do or do not.

On Thursday morning I did.  I woke up to take Abby to school for play pracitce and we were about two blocks down the road when my car just felt funny.  I pulled over to the side of the road and sure enough my tire was loosing air.  So I got back in the car and drove it back home the two blocks we'd just come, the whole way praying that the tire wouldn't go completely flat.  I unlaoded the kids back into the house and called Uriah (because I felt I needed someone to tell me how to handle this situation).  We put our heads together and ran through our list of possible help, but really, who would be able to come over at 7am and change my tire for me?  It didn't take long to realize that this particular task was all on me.  About that time, Finn decided that he wanted breakfast.  Immediately.  If this tire was going to get fixed; if Finn was going to eat and if I was going to work, I was going to have to get it done.

So, I made sure Abby was using her unexpected extra morning time wisely while she waited for the bus (reading a book, not watching tv - good girl!).  I fixed Finn a bottle, pulled out his stroller and allowed him to have breakfast al fresco.  Then I pushed up my sleeves, opened the trunk and got to work.

Now, I did put Uriah on speaker phone and he walked me through the steps, but I think that if I really had to do it on  my own, I could have gotten the task done.  The bus picked Abby up on time.  Finn got to daycare.  And I drove very slowly to work.  And I got there with time to spare!

Initally I was a little bit pissed off that I was left at home alone with the kids and the morning routine and the getting everyone up and dressed and going by myself every morning.  And then add on top of all of that a stupid flat tire.  I mean, balls, I hadn't even brushed my hair yet and I was still in my pajamas (sorry neighbors and small kids walking to school, I know that is totally not the sight you wanted to start your Thursday with!).  But, once I practiced some deep breathing exercises and actually assessed the situation, I realized that I can do this (get the kids out the door on time, change a flat tire, kill a spider in the basement). 

Every so often, I surprise even my staunchest critic: myself.

Friday, April 15, 2011

You Capture: Smile

It seems like there's a lot to do and time is running out quickly.  Only 2 weeks left and half of that time will be spent in Minnesota for Easter.  Uriah is back home tonight and we're sending Finn off to play with Aunite Emmers tomorrow.  This is the last weekend we have together to pack up the house before the move, so hopefully with Finn away on his play-date, it will give us some uninterrupted time to power through the remainder of the packing.

I did manage to grab a few pictures of my kittens for this week's challenge, though, pulling out my camera when I most definelty should have been packing something, anything!   I think a half an hour of taking picutres of the kids sure beats dying Easter eggs with this fantastic egg dye recipe I found online or making a rainbow cake...two things I really wanted to do this week.  I'm pretty sure that spending my time baking or doing crafty things would not be a wise use of my time considering what needs to be done around the house.

{Finneaus & Abby | 4.10.11}
Happy weekend...wish me luck in this last ditch effort to get everything done!

Next week's challenge: Spring!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On my mind this evening...

{fresh tomato & mozzarella tart | 4.03.11}
I've been going through my old magazines...Bon Appetit, mostly, but some Better Homes and Gardens, Food Network Magazine and Taste of Home, as well.  I don't want to move a stack of magazines again, so I'm pulling out the recipes that strike my fancy and the kitchen ideas that I want to incorporate in my own home and the paint colors that I love. 

Today I've been thinking about all of the recipes that I want to try...when I get to my new house and get settled.  Recipes that I hope will help me to get to know my new kitchen, my new farmer's market and my new town.

  • Naan and Indian Tandoori Chicken  (grilled bread...I can't wait to try that!  And the chicken is marinated in a spicy yogurt sauce before it's grilled, too.)
  • Moist Lemon Cake (with lemon butter cream frosting - it sounds like spring and I plan to have it with tea for breakfast.)
  • Seven-Layer Gratin (with zucchini, squash, artichokes and two different cheeses.)
  • Roasted Halibut with Green Olive Sauce (I love halibut, but I always grill it or pan sear it.  I've never tried roasting it)
  • Fresh Strawberry Bars (peanutbutter, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries...sounds like a grown up pb&j...too bad Uriah doesn't like peanutbutter.  More for me, I guess!)
  • Gingered Beef & Broccoli Salad Bowl (stir-fry salad instead of noodles or rice...look at me finding some healthy alternatives!)
  • North Carolina-style Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Uriah has a recipe for homemade bread that makes the most fantastic little sandwich rolls.  I think they will be perfect for this pork.)
  • Sweet Potato Sticky Buns  (okay, not really a healthy alternative, but I'm intrigued by the sweet potato aspect of this recipe)
  • Ginger Thai Sweet Potato Bisque (summer soups are hard to find; this might be a lighter, cooler alternative for a rainy day)
  • Spicy Hoisin Salmon  (I think I am going to grill this and serve it with a side of grilled asparagus)
  • Fresh Pea Soup (I wish I knew someone getting married or having a baby; I want to throw a shower and I think this would be a lovely starter)
  • Spring Green Riosotto  (full of spring vegetables like peas and asaparagus and leeks)
I'm a little sad because I have to pack up my kitchen.  I'm only leaving out the few things that I know we'll need for the next two weeks, which means I will be feeding my kids lots of scrambled eggs and grilled cheese.  Maybe if I fill them full of boring dinners like cereal and peanutbutter and jelly, they'll both be more open to the pea soup I'm going to make for them next month. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Cleaning

{spring blooms | 4.07.11}

Finn and Uriah are napping.

There is a silver lining to moving in the spring - spring cleaning/purging has to be done - no putting it off!  The basement is nearly all purged and boxed and moved upstairs.  I feel as though we accomplished about 85% of what I wanted to get done today, but naps are necessary, too.  And I think both of my boys will benefit from a time-out period (I am trying not to be too bossy, but if people - Uriah & Abby - would just do it my way to begin with, it wouldn't have to be re-done).  There is a big pile of stuff to go to Goodwill and small pile of stuff to put on Criag's list and a pile of laundry that needs to be sorted and washed.

But right now I hear Finn talking in his crib and I want to make some creme brulee for Uriah this evening, since he's going to grill a big steak for me (it's the least I could do!) and maybe a family game of skip-bo is in our eveing plans.

I am so, so happy that my BFF is home.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

You Capture: Fun

These shoes came to live with us before Finn did.

If you know my husband, then you know that he lives for all things plaid.  And not in a weird Brawny paper towel sort of way, more like the Scottish Tartan Trouser sort of way.  Uriah was convinced that whether we had a boy or a girl, these shoes would work.  And while it doesn't take much convincing to get me to buy a pair of shoes (or pretty much anything for the kiddos), I'm certain a girl baby would have looked a little awkward wearing these green plaid shoes. 

When they arrived in the mail they looked so teeny-tiny.  I couldn't even imagine that baby feet could come so small (Uriah's a tall guy and I come from a family of big feet) and I started to second guess my size choice.  However, when we brought Finn home, one of the first things that I did was hold these little plaid shoes up to his feet and suddenly, the shoes that had looked so tiny just a couple of months earlier, now looked gigantic compared to his newborn toes.

It took 8 months, but I'd say Finn is sporting his plaid shoes with style. 
And if his father has anything to say about it, I foresee a long, long life of plaid for this young sir.

Next week's challenge: Smile

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Countdown - 2 days

Today I just tried to live up to the expectation.
Personally, I think the bar was set a tad high.
I prefer to shoot low and totally make it.
Then I can feel like a winner every time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

On my (busy, tired) mind...

{Breakfast of Champions? | 4.04.11}
  • I feel as though Finn has changed in a million different ways since Uriah left.  
  • I swear, he took the opportunity to explode into a little man-child overnight.
  • He ate cake at his cousin's birthday party yesterday...after consuming a breakfast of pancakes and eggs and a lunch of mac-and-cheese and cheerios.  Real food is a real bonus (and less expensive than baby food!).
  • He scoots and army crawls really fast...tiger fast.  I can't turn my back on him anymore.
  • Abby did a good job of packing up her room and sorting through her clothes to give to the neighbor girl.
  • Of course, now she's convinced she needs a whole new wardrobe.
  • And she wants a two-piece bathing suit this summer.  
  • I feel as though 11 isn't quite old enough for a two piece.  Am I wrong?
  • Uriah did not put the screen back into the kitchen window before he left.  This sorely limits my ability to have a cross-breeze in the house.
  • That's necessary because we had 80+ degree weather yesterday.  
  • Yes, I caved and turned on the air.  
  • Then it dropped to about 40 degrees with rain and hail last night.  Just proves that in Missouri, if you don't like the weather, wait an hour because it will surely change!
  • I forgot to bring in my houseplants last night.  They looked okay this morning.
  • I did have to go outside in my pajamas, though, and pull the grill up by the house.  It was chilly. And very, very windy.
  • Sorry for the visual, neighbors.  Serves you right, though, for letting your damn pugs outside to do their business at 5:30 am. 
  • I have to put Finn's mattress on the lower level tonight because I fear he has already plotted his escape route.
  • Only 4 more days...I am exhausted and am ready to tag-team out!
  • I will remember to put my coffee on delay brew tonight.
  • I will get up earlier tomorrow morning in an effort to be ready before Finn wakes up.
  • Scratch that...Abby has play practice tomorrow morning.  I don't have a choice...
Happy Monday...if you're good with tools and you're in my neighborhood, I might need some assistance with the crib.  And the window.  And a tag-team break.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Procrastination should be my middle name.

I should be in bed right now.

And I'm going to be...just as soon as I finish filling the dishwasher, cleaning the crumbs off of the counters and switching out the laundry downstairs.  If the kids weren't sleeping, I'd probably be vacuuming, too.  I should have been doing all of this earlier tonight, but I opted to edit some pictures from our niece's first birthday party instead.  What started out as a promise to myself to just do a couple, well...that was an hour and a half ago!

Also, in my defense, my bed is very big and very empty right now.
Friday can't come soon enough!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Do you hear that?

That is the sound of a little bit of Crown splashing over a couple of ice cubes and my bed calling my name.
My whole bed.
Not to be shared with a squirmy bitty boy tonight (his head is better, just a small bruise that reminds me hourly to be more careful.  That means he gets to sleep in his own crib and I get the whole bed to myself tonight!).

This has been a day. 

On the postive side of the list:
  1. All of the pictures are off of the walls and packed in boxes.
  2. The DVDs are packed away and I only have two cabinets left in the buffet to put into boxes.
  3. All of the cookbooks (and there are a lot) are packed - except Betty Crocker and Ree, I might need them in the next month.
  4. Boxes are organized in the garage - filled on one side, empty on the other.
  5. All of the crap on the refrigerator has been cleaned off (I did not realize how much stuff we just stick on the refrigerator and on top of it - pictures, notes, coloring sheets, Emily and Jerad's wedding invitation from last summer...).
  6. I can now move North.  After 4 years of living here, I have successfully made the epitome of dirty, dirty South comfort food: fried tenderloin with mashed potatoes and gravy.  More importantly: I made gravy.  And it was not a congealed mass of inedible paste.  Gold star for me.
And now for the not-so-positive side of the list:
    North American opossum
    {This is not my possum - grody tail, though.}
  1. Finn eschewed a nap until about 4 this afternoon and then slept for two hours and then really wasn't that into his normal bedtime even though he was sporting some tired eyes.
  2. Abby lost her pretty little mind tonight becasuse she couldn't go on a sleep over for the second night in a row.
  3. Allegedly, I am not a normal parent.  Or so I was told no less than 57 times.
  4. There was a possum skulking around our back yard while I was practicing my deep breathing exercises and it scared the crap out of me (I wonder if they're dangerous...I did not stay to find out.  Their tails are grody.).
Tomorrow is a new day with a clean slate.
I will endeaver to breath deeply and hug often (and avoid all possums).

Friday, April 1, 2011

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Uriah left yesterday afternoon after successfully procuring a rental car while his is being fixed, ironing a million dress shirts (it will be different to see him go to work in a shirt and tie as opposed to jeans and a chef coat!) and taking me out to lunch.  I'm not going to say it was easy, but I kept reminding myself throughout the afternoon that it is 1 month, not 1 year and he'll have a break in 9 days.  It is job training, not a deployment (although, I have a much greater respect for all of the brave military families that do this for multiple months!).

I got home (I was the last mom to pick up her kid at the daycare thanks to traffic) and Abby had straightened the living room, per her afternoon chore list.  I had a dinner in mind that was quick and easy and plans for early showers/bath so that we could call Uriah and chat about our day, something we would normally do around the kitchen table.  Finn ate a dinner of bananas - real ones, not from a jar! - and some chicken and vegetables.  Abby chatted non-stop about her day and helped clean up the kitchen, then headed off to take a quick shower before our evening phone call.  I was feeling a little anxious with the weight of the week ahead of me and was trying to straighten up our bedroom of a few of Uriah's packing remnants, namely, hanging up some extra hangers in the closet.  I put Finn on the bed and thought to myself, I sure hope he doesn't fall off the bed because I'm not really sure how our insurance is going to work right now (I have temporary insurance for the kids until the new plan kicks in, but I don't have a card or an id number or anything like that).

In that short period of time, that two seconds that I turned my back and stepped away from the side of the bed, he slipped over the edge like an otter into the river.  I heard his head hit the wood floor and then all I heard was my heart beating in my ears.

I scooped him up faster than I have ever moved in my life.  And as he cried that gasping sob that only comes from being scared and in pain at the same time, I looked him over to make sure he wasn't bleeding, that there were no broken bones, that he could move his arms and his legs and turn his head, all while trying to get Uriah on the phone, because damnit, I needed someone to think clearly and tell me what to do.  I am not the strong one; I am not good under pressure (hell, I can't even stand to look at loose teeth!).  By the time I got him on the phone, Finn had calmed down a little but a huge goose egg was forming on his forehead; his head was resting on my shoulder and his body was shaking with sad little hick-ups.

I called the nurse help-line at the children's hospital.  She walked me through all of the things to look for (bleeding, clear liquid from his ears, different sized pupils - none of which he had.) and assured me that it was better to hit the front of his head than the back.  She told me to keep him awake for as long as I could and then wake him up fully every 2 hours throughout the night.  She told me to bring him in immediately if I couldn't get him to wake up or if my mother's intuition was screaming at me (apparently my mother's intuition was screaming at me earlier to not put Finn on the bed; perhaps I should try listening).  And after that sweet nurse assured me for 10 minutes that Finn was going to be okay, I stopped being the strong one, and I cried into his soft, bruised head.

It was a long night.  Remember when I said I was going to have to try to not put Finn in bed with me while Uriah's gone?  Well, baby boy drooled all over Uriah's side of the bed last night.  I woke him up when I had to and watched him breath when he was sleeping.  Sometime around 4 this morning he scooted his little warm body up next to me and we both fell asleep.

I know that I am not a bad mother and that accidents happen.  I know that this kid is going to fall and get scratches and bruises and he might even break a bone.  I know that he will be sick and sometimes there won't be anything that I can do for him other than hold him.  I know all of that.  I also know that I will take all of his pain as my own.  I will run through fire for him and swim an ocean filled with sharks.  I will smother him with snuggles and kisses so that when the world turns dark and mean and painful, as it surely will at some point, he will know, always, that he is loved.  And that I will always take care of him.  Always.

{Thursday night | 3.31.11}

{Friday morning | 4.01.11