Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Well, most of you know by now that we were supposed to move to Portland in September. It looks as though there has been a change in the plan. Short version is Mike can't take the CFA test until December and won't know whether or not he passes until January. Without the CFA under his belt, he can't officially get the promotion. We could still move to Portland, but without the pay increase that his promotion promises us, we will be living in a city with a higher price of living without having the added benefit of a higher income. So after another lengthy discussion with his boss, he and Mike decided to hold off on the move until February. That's right, people, FEBRUARY. Do you know what this means? This means I have to endure ANOTHER Great Falls winter.

Not only that, it just creates a lot more stress in my life. I am a planner. I plan things out to the last detail and when something goes awry it really puts a dent in my mood. I found this little apartment and decided it would work because I thought we were only going to be here through the summer. I wasn't planning on having my baby here, and now I'm wondering if this place is going to be big enough. And hey, we were looking forward to saying all our kids were born in different states. :) But let's talk the big stuff here. When I was packing our things I did it thinking we were only here for a few months. EVERYTHING is in storage. I didn't make plans for Vessel to go to any kind of school here in the Fall because I thought I'd do that in Oregon. I could go on and on. Everything is just kind of messed up for me now. I know it's only 4-5 months longer than we thought, but I was really looking forward to this move. I had made plans in my head and now I have to rearrange it all. I'm not mad at Mike or his boss or anything. I realize that life can't always go perfectly. I'll get over it. I'll have to make the most of the situation. Maybe it will even be a blessing in disguise. But right now I can't help feeling a bit agitated. *SIGH*


Yesterday I took little man Jacob to his 1 year check up. Always a fun time, right? His weight and height has averaged out, but I guess he's got a big noggin' according to the stats. But I love that kid's melon. He's a cutie. Anyway, if you're a parent who immunizes your kids, you know that the 1 year check up is a shot day. I absolutely hate watching my kids get shots. The weirdest thing though is that Vessel really wanted to get a shot yesterday. He kept saying, "I feel sick, I think I need a shot." Uh, really? You feel that left out that you want to get a shot like your brother? Crazy kid. Anyhoo, like I was saying, holding your child while the nurse pricks them with that needle is kind of heart wrenching. The tears only last for a few seconds, but still, there is just something that makes a mother's heart ache to see her child in pain, even if it's necessary pain. So after all the poking and prodding I had to take little man to the lab to get a gluten allergy test (long story...) And this was a toughie for me. The nurse put a little tourniquet on his tiny arm and he looked at me like he knew something bad was about to happen. His lower lip started to quiver and his eyes started to well up. Another nurse had to hold his arm down while the 1st nurse stuck the needle in. She couldn't find the vein right off, so she jiggled it around for a few seconds. Jake was belting out the most desperate cry as if he was pleading for me to make them stop. I was crying too. I mean, I want to be strong for my kids, but man I couldn't stop the tears from coming. So I just held him tight and we cried together. 2 viles of blood later and we were done. Motherhood does that to me. It probably does that to all of us. It doesn't matter if we give birth to them or adopt them. When our kids hurt, we hurt. The womb has no say in this. I also realized yesterday that when my kids are in trouble I can pretty much do things I didn't think I could do. While Jacob was napping, Vessel and I were at the table eating sandwiches for lunch. I looked over and realized that Vessel was choking. My instincts kicked in and I bolted from my chair, grabbed him and was about to perform the Heimlich maneuver on him (only, I don't know how to do the Heimlich.) Before I did anything to him he was able to get the food dislodged on his own and he spit it out. I breathed a sigh of relief. If it had been worse and I had to get it out I'm sure I'd find a way. Adrenaline is a crazy thing. We finished our lunch and then I put Vessel down for a nap too. While I was cleaning up the kitchen I just kept thinking about how scary the situation was. I can't imagine what I would do without my kids.
Motherhood changes a woman. I have found myself more than once jumping to my kid's defense whether he was being compared to another kid by his/her mother or getting picked on at the park. I can become a monster! You mess with my kid and you basically just signed up to be on my crap list for the rest of your life. I love my kids fiercely and it's something I didn't or couldn't understand until they entered my life. I remember my mom saying, "Just wait 'til you have children of your own." "Yeah, yeah, Mom, whatever" was probably my response. But now I get it. Motherhood is hard sometimes. Kids can grate on your nerves, especially when they fight or whine or disobey or draw on the couch or turn an important paper into an airplane. Pregnancy ain't no cake walk either, when you're in the throes of exhaustion, sickness, pain, grumpiness, and riding that wonderful roller coaster of hormones. But I wouldn't trade my kids for anything. I'm sure there will be plenty of times in the future when I will cry with them or for them. Times when "Mother Bear" will appear because some mouthy child calls my child a name. Times when one of the kids will be in danger and I'll have to do whatever is within my power to protect them. Being a parent is such an overwhelming and intense experience. But I'm happy I joined the ranks.

"OMG That is so adorable!"

I recently decided to get our family pictures done because I wanted to get some shots of us and the two boys before #3 comes in 4 months. Another baby is going to change the whole dynamic of our family and I don't want to forget what life has been like with just the 4 of us this past year.
I know family pictures can be a bit cheesy, so you can laugh if you want. Maybe I'll be able to afford a really cool photographer someday and we won't have to go to Sears. No offense, Sears. (for the record, the gal who took these was really nice)

This grin is hilarious.

Tried to get one of me and my buddy looking at each other, but he was just interested in my earrings.

My other buddy.

Open mouth kisses.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Date Night

It has been months since Mike and I had a date night. As much as I love 'em, I decided we HAD to go do something without our kids in tow. So we did! We had a nice relaxing dinner together and just talked. We didn't have to worry about oyster crackers smashed all over the floor, or a baby discontent with sitting in a high chair, or forks flying across the table.
After dinner Mike took me for a ride on his new motorcycle. I was nervous at first, but that faded quickly. It was so fun! We drove to a nearby cemetery to walk around. There is something about cemeteries I just LOVE. I love reading the headstones and wondering about the people who passed away. Does this sound creepy? I dunno, it's actually kinda fun. It's always quiet and peaceful there. Mike and I just walked around holding hands and talking. It was nice to have a REAL conversation that didn't involve our children or chores or finances. It was just what I needed. As it got later, we witnessed the most beautiful sunset. I wish I could come up with a word that adequately described it. The picture I took really didn't do it justice at all. With the dusk came some night predators....OWLS! I don't think I've ever seen an owl in real life, besides maybe at the zoo. There were four big owls flying from the trees and catching rodents. Some rested on the big headstones. They were so close to us and stared us down while bobbing and doing that crazy circling thing they do with their heads. I have to admit, it was pretty sweet. Although, I couldn't get any decent shots on my camera because there wasn't enough light and also because the batteries kept dying. But here are some pics I got before my camera completely died altogether.

This was a huge monument in honor of two Catholic bishops.

After looking at all the great humongous and elaborate headstones, Mike and I decided we want something really simple when we die. Good to know these things, right?
When we were done walking around the boneyard we sped away on the motorcycle and eventually had to go pick up our kids.
It was a fun date night!

More pics, cos I know you're not sick of seeing my kids yet, right?

The First Step

Vessel took this picture and I thought it was kinda "artsy."

I made it crazy!

Vessel loves playing with Mike's phone because you can toy with the pictures and "make them crazy" as Vessel says. Here's a couple examples of Vessel's skills.

And here's a picture of our table when we went out to eat. Nice shot, Ves.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sidewalk Art

While on our walk, the sidewalk was covered in leaf prints. Lots of leaves must've fallen on the wet concrete when they poured it. I thought it was amazingly beautiful.

What the?

Sign at Walmart

Tiny Spaces

So, right now I'm sitting here with a pile of henna on my hair covered in a shower cap. I haven't done henna on my hair for a few years and I forgot what a freaking pain it is, not to mention how messy it can be. Part of it could be that I was just in a hurry though. In my haste, I didn't follow the directions verbatim, either, so let's hope this turns out. Anyway, since I've got some time to kill before this little concoction on my head is done, I thought I'd write a post.

It's been exactly a month since we moved from our house into our little 2 bedroom apartment. Transitioning from a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a yard to a tiny apartment like this hasn't been that hard at all, believe it or not. At first it was... I mean, I miss our deck with the fire pit and our yard, and the space in our house. But being here has forced us to live simply. I guess what I mean by that is we came to realize that things are just things. A few items got broken during the move and, well, it was a great way to make us see that "things" shouldn't rule our lives. Here today, gone tomorrow, so don't get attached to things now, as Maude would say. We also had to part with several "luxuries" we were used to in our old house because we just don't have the room anymore. We stored pretty much everything we owned, except of course, the basics. Since all my "projects," (i.e. scrapbooking, knitting, sewing) are packed away for the summer I have actually been doing other things like...reading. Yeah, I've read 3 books this summer. Okay, they weren't big books, but books none-the-less. I have also planted a mini garden on the balcony of our apartment and some things are starting to sprout. My first real attempt at growing stuff and I might just be successful! Let's cross our fingers.

Since we live in a tiny space, I find it much easier to keep it clean because there are not as many rooms to deal with. Also, since the place is not technically "ours" I am much more lax about the kids playing with messy things like markers, play-doh and bubbles and I really don't care if Vessel drinks juice in the living room. :) There are some cons to living in an apartment again, however. For instance, I forgot how noisy an apartment complex can be. Hearing people and their TVs and their cars coming in and out of the parking lot is not something I am used to since our house was always so quiet. Also, we live right by the hospital so pretty much every day I hear sirens or the life flight helicopter. Actually a couple days ago at 5am that chopper sounded like it went right by our bedroom window.... because it did! And soon followed the sirens from the ambulances that were on their way to the hospital as well. I wasn't exactly happy to wake up to that. I haven't been sleeping all that great since we moved here. It could be the noise or the lights that seep in through the windows whether or not the blinds are closed. Or maybe it's pregnancy. Hmmm...

Other things that aren't the best about living in an apartment (or this one, anyway) is not having our own washer and dryer. Our old apartment before moving to Montana had washer and dryer hook-ups so it was wonderful. But now we have to pay to wash our laundry and haul it up and down the stairs. Oh, those blasted stairs. 3 floors up is not ideal when you have a baby in a car seat, groceries, and/or a stroller (and if I'm really unfortunate, a stubborn 4 year old who insists he's too tired to walk up the stairs by himself and that I MUST carry him.) That's probably all the cons I can think of at this point. Nothing that is unbearable, just inconvenient. Oh, I suppose there is one other thing: The smell. You know how people have their own smell? Well, every time I walk into the apartment after being outside I just think, "This is not our smell. This is not our home." It smells like whoever lived here before us, and whoever lived here before them. All these different smells just mingled together. It's kinda funky. But I guess you get used to it. :)

Okay, so enough about the apartment. In other news, my youngest is about a week away from turning 1. This past year went by like a flash. Jacob and I have a very strong connection. I'm not picking favorites here, because I love both my kids so much. But Jacob and I have a different kind of bond than Vessel and I do. It's interesting how diverse kids can be from each other. Already I can see major differences in my kids' personalities.
Next week I'll get my 20 week ultrasound and find out the gender of this baby I'm carrying. I won't lie, I'd be pretty excited to get a girl. But if Mike is right that he only makes men, then I guess I'll be happy with a boy too. I've got 2 great boys already, why not add another to the mix? I'm not really looking forward to moving again when I'm 8 months pregnant. It will be a hassle for sure. Plus, when we get to Oregon, I'm gonna have to find a new doctor right away. I don't think I'll have time to "hunt" around for the best one. I might not get to be choosy. I guess I won't worry my pretty little head off about that now, though. That's still like 3 months away.

I guess the other news is that we own a motorcycle AGAIN. I knew Mike's itch to get another motorcycle would never completely be eradicated. All it took was for him to ride a friend's little motor bike a couple blocks and he was hooked again. It's different than our old motorcycle. This new one is more of a sport bike. Yesterday it was brought over from Missoula and Mike took it to work today. Which means I have a car again! Yahooo! Although, I have to wait several hours for this henna to stain my hair so it's not like I have plans to go anywhere anyway. Psh. I'm just happy to not be stranded anymore and the boys and I can go do what we please.

Since I promised Vessel a quick game of GO-FISH before nap-time I better wrap this up. Just wanted to write a brief update. I'm pretty much horrible at updating my blog these days. So I don't blame you all for totally neglecting me... :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kids and Stuff

I realized Mike and I had all these pictures on our cellphones so I thought I would post them. Some of these go back a few months.

I thought this picture of Mike holding his sleeping baby was SO precious.

Jacob DOES NOT like the swings.

Vessel getting extra help with his martial arts.

I think Vessel took this picture of his little brother while in the car.

Always happy.

Always eating.

A little blurry, but I still love the smile on this kid.

Jacob with his nylon stocking do-rag.

Playing in the boxes before our big move.

Vessel showing off the tats he drew all over his arm.

The Lego duplo tower Mike and Vessel built.

More eating.