Friday, December 30, 2011


Just checking in to say hi.
And also that still the sickness runs rampant through our home.  This time it's me.
Damn you, air-born germs!
Tomorrow is sheet washing, bathroom Lysol-ing, and floor vacuuming at it's most extreme.
Or it's just all day pajama day.  Can't decide.
No plans for the New Year.  Actually, I take that plan is to feel better.

And so, because right now I really don't have the energy to post something long and witty about our trip to Kansas City, I'll share this with you instead:

Who wore them better?  
It's true that Finneaus can rock a sweet pair of Kate Spades, but I feel they give Uriah a nice feminine touch that balances the beard and mustache he's been growing for Manuary.

The drive can get long sometimes and we amuse ourselves in very random ways. 
Until next time...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dispatch from the road.

We have been in Kansas City for almot a week now. I do not miss the traffic, that's for sure.  The trip was as uneventful as you can get traveling with a sick baby and Abby.  We somehow managed to hit rush hour traffic coming into the city on Thursday, about the time Finn decided that a bathroom break was necessay.  It was a long few miles of very slow driving.

We have been eating and laughing and. playing with cousins and aunts and uncles.  I've been to Target.  Twice.  I'm going to be honest, we weren't even in town for 45 minutes when I realized I'd forgotten to pack our toothbrushes, so I had to go to Target.  Uriah took me to Barnes and Noble today so that I could take advantage of the 50% off Christams books.  I stocked up.  I really just went to get an Elf on the Shelf, but they were all on hold so I have to order mine online tomorrow.  And, for the record, you should not be able to hold Christmas merchandise when it goes on sale the day after.  You should have to be there to get it; it's not fair to the rest of us who actually brave the crowds and the parking lots on the day after Christmas because we want something special for our kids next Christmas and we want to do it cheaply.  But I'm cleary just being a whiny baby because I didn't get my Elf for dirt cheap.

My allergies have been out of control.  This morning I think my eyelids actually touched my glasses because they were so puffy.  I haven't worn contacts for days and don't even get me started on eye make-up.  Not going to happen.  I tried to read Finneaus a story before nap time and I had to make up part of the story because the words were all running together.  He didn't notice.  But this is precisely the reason that we will not be gettiing a Hefter Family Pet.

I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night.  I am not looking forward to the laundry.  I am looking forward to getting back on the "healthy eating" wagon.  I fell off this week.  Hard.  Luckily, I have a lot of padding on my backside to cushion the fall.  Actually, that's not really lucky; it's mostly sad.  But tomorrow is a new day and I get a fresh start, right?  Right.

Merry belated Christmas, friends.  I'll have more lovely photos to share throughout the week of our vacation.  Now, however, it is time to put more drops in my eyes - and maybe a cool cloth over them.  They'er starting to touch my glasses again...

Friday, December 23, 2011

It was a magic tooth.

Since Finn's tooth was yanked out of his face last week, we've encountered days of up and down fevers, one very, very snotty nose, two red, mucus-y, and gunky eyes, and two ears brimming with fluid and pinkness.  And now we have eye drops (holy hell, getting those in his eye holes is a lesson in patience) and an antibiotic hanging out in our refrigerator.  Finn's doctor looked at me with equal parts shock and awe when I told him that no, Finn had never been on an antibiotic and yes, he's been in daycare since he was 8 weeks old.

Would it be wrong of me to put that magic tooth in a locket and have Finn wear it on a chain around his neck to ward off future evils for, oh say, the rest of his life?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's more of a hair trim, actually.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let me tell you a story...

When Finn was born, I thought he was the most beautiful baby in the whole entire wide world. I thought his hair was perfect, his fingers were perfect, his nose and his toes were all sorts of perfect. Everything about him was perfect. Even his yellow-ish skin.  Yellow skin,you say.  A beautiful mustard yellow, I confirm.

Only it wasn't that beautiful and it certainly wasn't healthy.  Our doctors sent us home anyway, with instructions to swaddle him along with a UV light made especially for babies. We called him our Light Bright Baby and we stared at him and kissed him and had a hard time relinquishing him to the arms of friends and family that had come to visit. We took him back to the hospital twice to have his little feet pricked and the blood tested. And when the doctor told us that his little liver wasn't getting rid of the excess bilirubin fast enough and that we needed to take him to the Children's hospital immediately, I climbed painfully back into the car and cried all the way to the hospital. I pulled myself together as we walked in and got registered and tucked Finn safely in his little UV incubator with the purple light and the sweet baby sunglasses.

Not long after he was snuggled into his warm bed, about the time the lump in the back of my throat had dissipated, the doctor confirmed that he was jaundiced and dehydrated, so I had to carry him down the hall to have an IV inserted into his foot. I sat in that brightly lit room full of fun murals, with nurses in happy scrubs, and held Finn's tiny 4-day-old hand as he kicked his poor bruised feet and let his displeasure be known. I tried to talk around the lump that had reappeared in the back of my throat, but all I could do was breath deeply and hold Finn's hand and blink furiously. That is, until one of those sweet nurses looked over at me and told me it was perfectly okay for the mamas to cry, too. And then I sat in that brightly lit room with the fun murals and the nurses in the happy scrubs and cried right along with my baby until I could pick him up and sooth him.

Friday, I did not have the luxury of crying with my baby. I sat at his feet and rubbed his legs as a doctor and two hygienists strapped his squirming body down and stuck a needled in his mouth.  I squeezed his little leg as they pulled out his tiny tooth, letting him know without words that I was right next to him. I held it together during the 5 minutes the procedure took; until I could scoop him up and sooth my little boy. I breathed deeply and blinked furiously as I told Finn that his wiggly tooth was gone he could have animal crackers again. I ignored the blood on my shirt while I rubbed his back and whispered how brave he was and what a good job he did, and by the time we got to the treasure chest by the front door, his tears were gone and all he wanted to do was pick a prize and go play outside.

I waited until I was safely parked in the JC Pennys parking lot before I called my mom and lost it (sometimes you just need your mom, you know?).  Finn sat in his car seat in the back, playing happily with his new bus from the prize chest, oblivious to the break down happening in the front seat.

And then, after my mom soothed me, I pulled myself together and called Uriah to ask him what the Tooth Fairy brings baby boys who loose a tooth years before they should.

In case you're wondering, the Tooth Fairy doesn't bring little boys crap, because it'll be years before another tooth goes missing and, let's face it, he wouldn't get the concept of a tooth fairy right now anyway.

Moms and Dads, however, bring brave little boys kitchens.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

We finally put up our tree...

...and it smells like pine in our house.  A little bit of Christmas every time I inhale.  I think I needed that, a tangible reminder of the season every time I walk through the living room.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about Finn's little tooth and his first haircut, but I'm not going to think about it.  Instead, I'm going to sigh over how big my baby has gotten in a year (it never ceases to amaze me and pictures just make it all the more obvious!).

Happy Sunday, friends!

{December 2010}
{December 2011}

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On my mind...

  • It feels like Missouri in Iowa.
  • It has been raining and almost all of the snow is gone.  
  • I'm pretty sure the ice on the lakes is nearly nothing, too.
  • I haven't seen the sun for days and days and days.
  • I need to take some pictures for Christmas cards. 
  • But who wants to take holiday card pictures in the sopping wet outsides?
  • Not it.
  • I'm sure you probably already have your cards signed, stamped and mailed.
  • Good for you.
  • I am not in the holiday spirit.
  • I have birthday pictures from over the weekend to edit.
  • Abby looks pale and sick in all of them.
  • Oh, that's right...because she was pale and sick in all of them.
  • I took Finn for a walk outside this week.  Outside.  In December.  In Iowa.
  • Did I mention that almost all of our snow is gone?
  • I feel like making a list of holiday things that I need to get done would be a joke.
  • The list would take me until Christmas to write.
  • I haven't wrapped one present.
  • I'm tired of being crabby.  And cranky.  And annoyed at the world in general.
  • I have to take Finn back to the dentist on Friday.
  • I'm very nervous.  Very, very nervous.  I love his toothy smile.
  • I'm going  to try to do some Christmas shopping.  Maybe.  If I'm in the mood.
  • I don't think I'm going to be in the mood.
  • We don't even have a Christmas tree up...and I'm not sure I want to go to the trouble.
  • Why does it seem as though we put so much stress on ourselves during the holidays?
  • Oh, that's just me?  
  • Y'all are walking in a winter wonderland out there?  
  • Sprinkling tinsel out of your fingertips?
  • Lucky you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Show me that smile again.

I took Finn to the most amazing pediatric dentist today, from her staff, to the exam, to getting x-rays of a very wiggly, uncooperative 1 year old's mouth.  Finn's tooth's little root has a fracture.  We have to wait a week to see if it will heal on it's own.  If not, baby boy will have a jack-o-lantern smile until he gets that top tooth back in.  You know, around the time he turns 8.

I tried not to be the mom who cried in the exam room (and I didn't, but it was hard), but really, he's just a baby...I want him to keep his pretty little smile until his teeth fall out on their own.  This is minor, all things considered, and we could be facing much more traumatic things.  Silver lining: If the tooth doesn't heal and they have to take it out, they won't have to dig the root out of his little gum (something that would require putting him completely under, a recovery time and pain.  I'll by-pass that, thank you very much.).

So, some extra prayers, if you please, for Finn's little tooth.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

He sort of smiles like Tom Cruise

Finn knocked one of his top teeth askew (great word, right?) at some point yesterday, we're guessing at school.  We didn't even actually notice it until last night when Uriah was tipping Finn upside down and his mouth was open while he giggled.  My best guess is that he fell (or bumped it or whatever happened-he's a boy and he's accident prone.), he probably cried, was surely comforted by his teacher, and then, because there was no blood or physical sign of trauma, he went on with his day.  Uriah and I decided last night to see how Finn's mouth was in the morning.  I was obviously hoping it was a fluke and we'd wake up this morning to a fully restored, even smile.  Instead, his gum was still pretty swollen, his tooth still wasn't straight and now it was kind of wiggly.

The downside to living in a small town?  Sometimes you actually have to wait to get in to see the doctor/dentist because,  this just in: they don't work every single day!  I called a couple of places this morning and left messages.  The dentist we took Abby to last week was seeing patients in One woman actually told me, after I'd left a message on the office's answering machine and called back again, that she figured I was just calling around, so she didn't see the need to return the message that I'd left.  We finally got a call back from the pediatric dentist this afternoon and the earliest they could get Finn in is tomorrow morning.  He's got the first appointment, but still it's not until tomorrow morning, and I really had wanted it taken care of today..  His tooth doesn't seem to be bothering him, although he's been pretty picky about what he eats today; he's had a lot of yogurt, cottage cheese and bananas.

Of course, that didn't stop him from inhaling a gingerbread cookie this afternoon when I wasn't looking.  I guess his mouth must not hurt that bad...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Snow has come to Iowa

We got our first real snowfall yesterday and Finn was in heaven.  He kept pointing out the window saying "," which, I guess is "snow" in Finn language, because when he says "no" normally (read: all of the time.) he accompanies it with shaking his head.  Since there was no shaking of the head, I am left to assume that he did, indeed, mean "snow."

I waited until afternoon nap was done and then I bundled the crap out of that boy.  He had on a onesie, a long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, sweat pants, two pairs of socks and two pairs of mittens in addition to his snow pants, jacket and boots.  He looked like the little boy from A Christmas Story with his arms sticking straight out at his sides.  He feel over once in the house and all I kept hearing was, "Help...I've fallen and I can't get up!" 

Abby struck a deal with Uriah in the heat of the summer, she didn't want to mow the yard, so she told him if he did all of the mowing, she would do all of the shoveling.  They agreed that the driveway would need to be shoveled after every snow, even if it meant getting up early before school, and Abby agreed.  Oh, she regretted that hand shake yesterday.  She was outside shoveling twice yesterday and again this morning at the end of the driveway where the snow plows pushed a nice bank of snow from the streets.  I like to think she's learning a life lesson and thinking through the consequences of hasty, back-alley agreements!

Finn tried to help as best he could.  He watched Abby shovel for awhile and then he went into the garage and came back with his little sand shovel.  Every so often he would bend down and help her by flinging some snow with his little shovel.  That lasted until the mail truck came by, then he stood mesmerized until it turned the corner.

We spent about a half an hour outside, and when Finn's cheeks started to get rosy, I decided it was time to go inside.  Finn was not pleased.  I had to tell him that we were going to go right back outside (which we were not because it was starting to get dark) and then I let him stand on a stool by the window so that he could watch Abby finish her shoveling.

We'll go back outside today for a little while.  In the meantime, he has been transfixed watching all of the snow blowers spit snow every which way.  Abby has been transfixed, too, but mostly with a look of envy on her face because she's got 4 or 5 more months of shoveling ahead of her!  If I had to hedge a bet, I'd say she's going to try to strike a deal with Uriah in the next few weeks: she'll help mow the lawn if he helps her shovel.

I think he'll probably take that deal.

Friday, December 2, 2011

On my mind...naps.

{Finn & Uncle Dan | 04.24.11}
  • I sometimes miss taking an afternoon nap.  But I do get a lot done when Finn take his.
  • This picture makes me laugh.
  • I love that Daniel's idea of taking care of the baby was a co-nap.  
  • And that Finn's practically dangling off the side of the bed.
  • I miss my brother.
  • I can hear the wind blowing outside.  
  • It's about to get cold.
  • Uriah put our Christmas lights up wrong.  And he hasn't fixed them yet.
  • We look like the Griswold's...lots of lights and none of them light up.
  • I can't wait to make Christmas cookies.
  • If it snows tomorrow, like it's supposed to, I'm bundling my kids up and taking them outside.
  • Now that my boy can shake his head and tell me "No," I'm getting nostalgic for the baby that he was.
  • Of all of the things I did to prepare for Finn coming, making his bedtime blanket was my favorite.
  • Abby doesn't have any baby teeth left in her mouth.
  • She'll be 12 next week.
  • That means she's only 12 months away from being a teenager.
  • Please pass the gin.
  • I can't believe how much of an attitude Finn has been getting lately.  Especially if he doesn't get his way.
  • But his hugs and kisses are sugar sweet.
  • I don't have winter boots. 
  • My feet still have not shrunk back to their pre-baby size.  I have little hope that they ever will.
  • Finn has learned to dance.  In a circle.  Until he falls down
  • Abby's choir concert this week included red sparkly bow ties and belts, songs with dance moves, kazoos, and 12 year old boys with changing voices.
  • It was so awesome Finn crapped his pants.  Literally.
  • I'm on the second book in the Hunger Games series.
  • I'm not sure if Abby will be watching the movie when it comes out.
  • What to get her for her birthday...
  • She's having a birthday party next weekend.  I'm already mentally preparing myself.
  • I'm going to impose Family Nap Time after that sleep-over.  I feel as though no one will get much sleep.
  • I just hope they don't freeze someone's bra.
  • The game Girl Talk was awesome.  Remember the little red zit stickers?  I wonder if they still make that game...
  • In lieu of a nap, I'm going to bed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


For the life of me, I can't figure out how this boy can be two completely different people.  

One day I look at him and he is the spitting image of his dad and I wonder if he really has a mom at all or if I just imagined the whole 9 months and giving birth and stuff..  And then, I see a picture like this and I know exactly who his mom is because he looks exactly like me.

Anyway, I'm a little behind on my thankfuls this year, I usually do it in Novmeber, but here is my list anyway, and in no particular order, except, I suppose, the three at the top.

I'm thankful for...
  • Uriah.  All day, every day.
  • Finneaus:  For being happy in the morning.  For loving books.  For the way he says "meow."  For just generally making my throat choke up on a daily basis because my cup runneth over.  For being my best boy.
  • Abby: For keeping me on my toes.  For teaching me that yes, girls this age are very annoying, but also very helpful.  For not getting into too much mischief.  For loving her brother, and loving on him, sometimes to to the point of distraction.  For singing.  For trying to do her best every day - and for coming home with really good grades. 
  • Family.  Family.  Family.
  • For moving to a small town that, 7 months later, is starting to feel more and more like home.
  • Sisters.  And sisters-in-law.  A girl can't have too many fun, positive females surrounding her.
  • For a little bit of back pain - it forces me to exercise.
  • For being close enough to my parents house that a weekend trip does not require time off from work.
  • For having jobs in a sucky economy.  We are lucky.
  • For the will power to make changes that are hard, but benefit our family as a whole in the long run.
  • Daniel - and every single soldier and military family.  Their sacrifice keeps me and mine safe.
  • The library.  Oh, the smell of books makes me so happy.
  • That feeling I get when Finn hands me a book and then climbs into my lap giggling because he loves them so much.
  • Wagons.  And parks within walking distance.
  • For being able to provide for my kids; knowing they go to bed each night with full bellies and underneath warm covers. And that even though they may not wear the latest styles (side eye to Abby and her Miss Me jean fetish) they're clean and warm and that's better than a lot of families in this world.
  • Imaginations.
  • For being healthy - no stitches, no ER visits, no broken bones - so truly lucky with this one!
  • For the bike trails that surround our community.
So as December turns into slippery streets and crowded shopping malls, lists and parties and baking and wrapping, as I start to get overwhelmed with everything going on, I can look at this list and see how simple it all is - it's not about the presents or the decorating or the baking.  It's about being thankful for what sits around the table with me every single night.