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Month: June 2008


Dear Zachary,

Oh my sweet boy, where do I even begin?  The three years since your birth have been the most challenging and the most joy-filled years of my life.  There have been times when I have been frustrated to the point of tears, but still when I look at your face I can feel nothing but love.  You have this hold on my heart unlike anything I have ever known.


Last weekend we celebrated your 3rd birthday, even though it was a few days early.  We had a Cars party at the park, where you and your friends got to play in the wading pool and fountains.  Your Grandma and Aunt Tanya made your cake because they seem to think that homemade cakes are much better than store bought.  It is a good thing they are around to do things like that for you since baking isn’t exactly my specialty.  You were so excited when you saw the cake that you somehow managed to fall…right onto the cake.  Only your hand landed on the cake, but it still did a bit of damage.  Fortunately it was still in the box and Grandma was able to somewhat rescue the icing that got messed up, but I was a little sad that I didn’t get a picture of it before the mishap.

Cars Cake

While we sat at the park enjoying the sunshine with family and friends, I though about all the changes you have been through in the last year.  Some have been easy for you.  Others have been very, very hard.  You went from a small home day care into a school setting.  We took away your noonie (pacifier), which seemed to trigger the night terrors that you had for nearly three months afterward.  Then there was the potty training.  You finally figured that out just in time for your little sister to arrive and shake your world up again.  And finally, we switched you back to another home day care, where you seem to be much more settled.  That’s a lot of big changes in a short period of time.

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Between all of the major life changes and the “Terrible Two’s” it has been a very challenging year.  I’ve seen behaviors that I never thought my kid would have.  I’ve tried everything I can thing of to combat those behaviors and I still haven’t found anything that will work with you.  You are a very strong-willed child, unlike any other I’ve ever met.  I’ve resorted to spanking you more times that I like to admit and often ended up in tears of frustration on my way to work in the mornings because of it.  We’ve tried time-outs, rewards for good behavior, and every other tactic I can think of but nothing ever seems to really work.  I know it is ridiculous, but I just keep thinking that someday, somehow, I will find a way to get through to you.

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Despite our many battles, you are still able to charm the pants off of me.  You are such a little comedian and absolutely love to make your dad and I laugh.  You are constantly saying silly things just to see what kind of reaction you can get.  I have a feeling you are going to be quite the class clown when you get older.  When you think you are being funny you get this little twinkle in your eyes and smile so big that I can’t help but to laugh.  The latest phrase you have picked up is “Hey, come on now guys!” which is usually said in protest of something and is more often than not followed up by “Just a couple minutes!”, but I still find it to be so darn cute that it usually gets a chuckle anyway.

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It sometimes amazes me that you can remember so much of what you hear.  You can quote many of the lines from your favorite movies and only need to hear a few notes of a song before you can tell me what it is.  And of course you love to repeat anything and everything that your Daddy says.  Sometimes you surprise me by repeating things that I didn’t even know you heard, which means that your dad and I need to start being a little more careful about what we say in front of you.  The worst part is when I realize you are picking up bad habits that I didn’t even know I had.  It is only when I try to figure out where you get it from that I realize you got it from me.


Zach, you are getting so big now.  Instead of a baby or toddler, I now have to say I have a little boy.  You have your own thoughts and opinions about things and they don’t always coincide with mine.  That’s something that we both need to get used to.  The best part of it though is that we can carry on actual conversations together (even if they are mostly about your race cars).  Some of my favorite times with you right now are when we are in the car on the way to or from day care.  Without the distraction of TV or toys, you let your mind wander and we have some very interesting conversations.  You often ask about the elementary school playground that we pass and I always have to tell you that you can play there when you get bigger.  Well son, you are getting bigger and bigger every day, and no matter how much I wish I could slow it down, before long you will be playing on that playground – without Mommy there to protect you.


The one thing I hope you’ll always remember – whether you’re on that playground or off at college – is that your Mommy is always here for you and will always love you, no matter what.

Love always,


Does Milk Chocolate Count As A Serving of Milk?

So, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m back to counting point values for everything that I eat.  Weight Watchers Online is my new best friend – my new best friend that I just so happen to hate.  Maybe hate is too strong of a word.  It isn’t that I hate it.  Weight Watchers is the only diet I have ever been able to stick to in my life.  I just hate that I need it.  I hate that I can’t regulate what I eat without it.

Since I am breastfeeding, I get a lot of extra points but even with them, my first week didn’t go so well.  I did good for the first four days, then I caved.  I was SO hungry.  I ate a sensible dinner Thursday night, but we were at my mom’s house and I just couldn’t stop eating.  Then the weekend was so busy that I just didn’t have time to think about counting points and guessed at what I was eating.  Plus, I had to eat birthday cake and ice cream at Zach’s birthday party.

Despite my bad eating the second half of the week, I did still manage to lose 4 pounds.  I don’t feel it, but that’s what the scales say so I suppose I should be happy about it.  I think part of the problem is that I just have so far to go this time and I can’t seem to get the hunger under control.  It is hard to believe that I can stick to my new eating plan when I feel so hungry all of the time.

So far this week is going okay, but I’ve already dipped into my “extra” points for the week.  I’m trying really hard to get the cravings under control but it is still hard.  I don’t remember being as hungry when I was breastfeeding Zachary, but with Evie it seems like I can never eat enough.  I guess at the very least I know that I’m making (somewhat) healthier food choices.


Can you have a hangover from too much fun?

One Big Happy Family

We had an insanely busy weekend. I think it may take all week to recover from it, but it was so worth it. I want to write about all of it, but it will have to wait until I have a little more time (and maybe have slept a bit more). Hopefully later this week I’ll get a chance to write, but until then, here are some of the highlights:

  • Running into an old friend while grocery shopping
  • Finding out that old friend knows another old friend of mine and will hopefully pass my number along to her
  • Zach’s 3rd birthday party
  • Our last Sunday at church (we’ll be looking for a new one soon)
  • The free concert we went to Sunday night
  • The 10 million awesome photos I took of my kids and my niece/nephews

3 Months

Dear Evie,

Today you are three months old. Even though it has been three months, I still wake up in the morning and just want to look at your beautiful face. It is almost as if I need to check and make sure you are still there, that I didn’t dream up your existence.

You have changed so much over the last month. I forget exactly when you should be reaching all of those baby milestones, but I almost think it is better this way. When your brother was a baby, I knew exactly when each little thing should be happening and was always watching for them. With you, I am much more relaxed. Since I don’t remember when they should be happening, I get a little surprise with each new thing you do. I’m so proud of each little accomplishment.


One of the things you definitely figured out this month is how to smile. When you first wake up in the morning, you are so happy. All I have to do is say “Good morning!” to you and you flash back a huge smile. You also smile at me when I lay you in your crib for a diaper or clothing change. We’ve had some very in depth conversations during those times. I tell you all about the world and you coo back at me. You always seem to know just the right thing to say to make me smile too.

Over the last week or so, you have become much more interested in your toys. You’ve been reaching your arms out for a while, but just last night I saw you actually grab a toy with your hand and hold onto it. I tried getting you to repeat it, but you just weren’t interested. You seem to like to do things on your terms, not on mine. I have a feeling that’s a lesson I’m going to have to learn over and over again.

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You also seem to be putting yourself on a bit of a sleeping schedule and for that I’m very grateful. You still don’t sleep through the night, but you fall asleep pretty solidly around 9:00 every night and I actually get an hour or two of kid-free time in the evenings. It’s not that I don’t want to spend that time with you (sometimes I just sit and hold you anyway), but some things (like folding laundry) are just hard to do while holding a baby. Once you are out for the night you still wake up every 2-3 hours to nurse, but you go right back to sleep once your belly is full and sleep until about 7:30 in the morning.

All that night time nursing must be doing you some good because you are still growing like crazy. We don’t have an official weigh-in this month, but according to the home scales you are nearly 16 pounds already. I haven’t measured your height, but judging from how your clothes are fitting, I’m sure you’ve gained a couple of inches as well. You are wearing 3-6 and even some 6-9 month clothes. You are keeping right up with where your brother was at your age and have almost caught up to your cousin Caitlin who is 3 months older than you.

Big Girl

Speaking of your brother, he is getting much more interested in you. He loves to “help” you play with your toys while I am changing you in the mornings. Yesterday he even asked if you could lay in his bed and play with him. I put you down on his bed for a few minutes while I finished gathering the things we needed for the day. When I came back, you had one of his cars tucked under your arm. He told me that you wanted to hold it and I’m sure he was right. You seem to really enjoy his company and even reserve some of your biggest smiles for your big brother.

Baby girl, even though I complain because you are growing up so fast, I still can’t wait to watch you grow up. I can’t wait to watch you play with your brother and cousins. I can’t wait to teach you things, like how to fix your hair, how to shop for bargains, and how to compete with all those men in the world. I can’t wait to see the woman you will become some day. You have a seriousness about you that reminds me so much of myself. It seems crazy to think about this early in your life, but I see it in your eyes. I hope that it drives you in life and never holds you back.

Happy Girl

Evie, I am so thankful that you came into my life. I think God knew that I needed you and placed you in my womb when the time was right. I hope I never forget to thank Him for the joy that you and Zach have brought into my life. I love you more than you will ever know.

Love always,


We Didn't Even Have To Use The Straight Jackets


The Grandkids

…was my biggest accomplishment of the weekend. It took nearly a week of planning, but we managed to get all 6 grandkids together, dressed, and posed for a picture. They may not be smiling, but at least they were all looking at the camera! We’ve been wanting to do this for a while and decided that Father’s Day was a great reason to finally get it done. It helped that I had already scheduled our family portraits to be done anyway so the rest of the kids just came and joined us.


The photographer at was great with the kids. He had them all the little ones laughing and smiling. Zach really loved him and was totally hamming it up for the camera.


The photos were all so good that I had a really hard time choosing which ones to buy. Here are a few more of the kids but you can see all of my favorite shots over on Flickr.




The Time Is Now

I’m FAT.


Yes, I know I just had a baby. That’s no excuse. The baby weight? It is gone. I dropped nearly 30 pounds within a week of giving birth. The rest of the weight that I’m now carrying around is just plain fat. It is all of the sugary drinks, peanut butter M&M’s, pizza, cheeseburgers, french fries, ice cream, and fried chicken sandwiches that I’ve been stuffing in my face for the last 11 months because hey, “I’m eating for two!”

Don’t you know eating for two doesn’t stop once you have the baby? Well, not if you’re breastfeeding anyway. I have this insatiable hunger that just will not go away. It started in the last month of my pregnancy and has not let up. I can think of three times since Evie was born that I’ve actually felt full (or slightly over-full). The amount of food that I consume on a daily basis is really quite disgusting.

I know it is time to cut back, but it is so hard when I am just so hungry all the time. Yet, every time I look in the mirror I feel shame because I worked so hard to lose all of the weight that I am now carrying again. I hate myself for every bite I take yet I just can’t stop. I tell myself it is for the baby, but is it really? Or is it just the one way I have of gratifying myself when it seems like everything else is so out of control?

It really hit me a couple weeks ago when I was complaining to a friend about my hair. She commented that she really likes my hair better when it is short. My reply was that I do too, just not when my face is so fat. In that moment I realized that every time I gain weight, I start growing my hair out – like somehow I can hide my fat body with the hair on my head. When I was younger I related to “Cousin Itt” because I could easily hide my entire face by simply pushing my hair forward a bit. If only it were that easy.

I’ve hidden behind my massive head of hair for the majority of my life. Only when I’ve felt confident in myself have I had the guts to cut it short and those times usually correspond to weight loss. I’m not saying I want to cut my hair off again. I just want to feel that freedom and confidence that I’ve felt during those times and I’ve suddenly realized that it has nothing at all to do with my hair and everything to do with my weight.

I’m getting tired of hiding, of feeling so self-conscious that I don’t want to go out or even change clothes in front of my husband. It is time to get off my butt and do something about it. It is time for Weight Watchers again and this time I really want to stick it out and hit my goal weight. It is going to take a lot of work but I know if I could do it once, I can do it again.

Oh, and if anybody wants to buy me a Wii Fit, that would help too.

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