Monday, January 31, 2011

Five full years

Five years ago, Jay and I sat on our couch, just like tonight.  The house was quiet, kind of like tonight.  And we knew that in 10 short hours, our lives would change.  How much we weren't sure but we knew it would be a wild ride.
The next morning, Addison Marie was born, all 9 lbs 4 ozs of cuteness.  And when we thought our lives would change, boy, were we right.
Five years later, we have a one of a kind on our hands.  And there are many, MANY words to describe here.  Here are just a few.
Sassy.  Fun.   Obsessed with all things Belle and other princesses.   A great big sister.   Irritating.
Gassy. Cute in her own way. Me, in every way possible. Her own person, in every way possible. Talkative. Annoying. A terrible listener.
A caring soul. Quite possibly the worst sleeper EVER. A fantastic cuddler in my bed.  A great cuddler anytime of day. Blue eyed, kind of blond, and filled with cavaties.

Special. Left Handed.  Creative. Smarter than she likes to think.  Capable of MUCH more than she thinks.

The love of my life.

Happy 5th Birthday, Addison!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A few busy weeks

Ran several miles.

Needed to run a LOT more.

Accidentally walked into the men's room at work.

Three times.

Been overwhelmed at the long hours and what seems like an endless amount of information to attempt to comprehend with my new job.

Absolutely loved (almost) every minute of it.

Planned an Easter Seals Fundraiser with two of my best friends.

Had said event and it was a major success!

Attempted to keep up with the house, kids and husband.

Neglected all three at various times.

Despite claiming 2011 as sick-free, been to the doctor twice with Addi.

Tried to plan out our spring and summer... with several weddings and other events like my 1/2 marathon, every weekend seems to be mapped out until June.
As you can tell, it's been a busy few weeks with no signs of stopping. But, they are (mostly) all good things so I am happy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quiet Children

Last weekend, Jay was on his own for the most part while Jenny, Laura and I hosted our Easter Seals event.  And as I said before, it was a big success.  We raised around $1500 for a great cause and I even had someone do an entire page on me.

Seriously.  Ashley rocks.

I got home around midnight Saturday, totally exhausted.  And Sunday woke up to a glowing report from Jay.  The kids were great all day, according to Jay, and the dishes and laundry were done.  Awesome.

Then I noticed that the coffee table looked... different.  Kind of spotty.  I asked Jay and he said, "Oh yeah.  I was on the phone and Sam started crying and I realized she was playing with hand sanitizer and got it in her eye.  I cleaned her up and sent her and Addi to play in the basement.  A few hours later I realized there were piles of sanitizer on the coffee table and they ate through the top coat.  Oops."

I tried to use that as a "hey let's get all new furniture!" to no avail.  At least I tried.

About an hour later, Jay then remembered that the girls, while playing "quietly" in the basement, scattered a 10 lb bag of cat food around the basement.  Literally, from one end of it to another.
Guess how we spent two hours on Sunday afternoon?
On one hand, I'm glad that's all that happened.  On the other hand, I really hope Jay remembers quiet children are sneaky and often sticky or destroying something.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The horns are just there to hold up the halo

Besides eating black olives, our kids love any vegetable.  One night this week we microwaved some peas at the insistence of Samantha.  And once all the peas were gone, she decided to drink the water.
 When I had the audacity to suggest that might be strange, Sam shared her new "mean" face with me.
Seriously.  This kid is cute - even when she's "mean".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The end of an era

Unlike Addison, Samantha is actually a really good sleeper.  I won't tell you how many times I've rocked her and three pages into her book she said, "I done and go to sleep.  Night Mommy."  Meanwhile, Addi is next door, screaming and yelling and undoubtedly giving me more gray hair than I already have.  Keep it up kid... If it gets much more expensive to cover this up, I'm dipping into your college fund.  Just saying.

However, we've noticed lately that Sam has been waking up more in the middle of the night, which never used to happen.  And we noticed it because we would hear her roll over, hear her whack her arm on the side of her bed, then cry out in pain.  So we finally gave in and decided to move her into a new big girl bed.  Sam was thrilled -  she ran around the house yelling "My new bed coming!  My new bed coming!" and she and Addi made plans for sleepovers in her new big girl room.  Then, when that got old they used the crib mattress to slide down the stairs while Jay did his dad-ly duties and put stuff together.

It was a bitter sweet day.  Seriously... where has the time gone??!?!  Jay JUST put this together for her... right?

After some furniture rearrangement, Sam's new big girl room was ready to go.
Last night was the first night for the big change, and I'm happy to report that the new mattress is pretty darn comfortable.  I'm unhappy to report that I know this because I slept in her room all night while she freaked out about monsters (a teddy bear on top of the dresser) and woke up screaming like someone was taking away her zucchini.  Three times.

Tonight was much better.   After two books and 1/2 a song Sam told me to stop because she was ready for bed.  Just like old times.

Friday, January 14, 2011

LIttle Teachers

A typical day at the Ralph house includes school.  Here, both girls are teachers and four babies are read to.  However, if you notice there are only three babies against the wall.  One was in time out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Turning things around

It is official.  We officially have two (almost) healthy girls.  So since we are almost back to normal, here's how we rang in the new year.

We knew the kids were kind of sick, so it wasn't a huge shock to take Sam to the doctor on Christmas Eve.  She was diagnosed with basically a sinus infection and strep throat.  And even though she was sick, she was still very happy.  But she continued to get sicker and sicker.

By the time we got home, we had just a few things of medicine for the girls.
One day later, the sores appeared and Sam was diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease.  Two sores on her face went to eight, then the few on her tongue multiplied to around 20.
The next day, Addison was diagnosed with the same thing.  And Jay and I stood by helplessly, watching as they got sicker and sicker and in more and more pain.  Within a few days, neither could drink without crying and we were on the lookout for dehydration.  

It was terrible.  Really, there is no other way to describe it but awful.  We cancelled our New Year's plans and spent several days cuddling, hugging, and doing our best to not throw up when we smelled the girls' breath.  And sanitizing. And pondering how to make 2011 a sick-free year.  And gagging a little more.  That breath.... Whew.

And now, 10 days into the year, we are healthy, the girls have brushed their teeth, and we are excited to see what the year has in store for us. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Silicone, anyone?

Day four of hand, foot and mouth disease ended with Samantha's chin completely enclosed in bandaids.  The idea was to keep her from picking.

She did look a little bit like she had a chin implant.  Still super cute though.  But a little freaky.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stocking Stuffers

Santa knew what he was doing when he brought these two girls window crayons.  Even though the sun is shining in the window, this particular day was pretty darn cold.  Definitely too cold for sick girls to go outside. 

And in addition to allowing the girls to release some creative energy in a new, unique way, they also had a lot of fun cleaning their art up.  And my windows got a little cleaner.  Bonus.

Another fun sick day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What a woman wants

Jay is pretty much hosed when it comes to our house.  He lives with three very emotional, very loud, very insane girls.  And even at the ripe old age of two, Sam has begun to exercise her right to change her mind, and change her mind early and often.

Add her inability to eat or drink without pain (thank you foot and mouth disease) to her indecisiveness and what do you get?

A girl with five drinks (milk, chocolate milk, chocolate Ensure, water, and apple juice), three options for dinner (shrimp, potatoes, and applesauce) and a whole lot of tears.

SO happy that we are on the tail end of this illness. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

Both of our kids have borderline asthma.  Because of that, anytime they get sick our doctor harps on us about doing breathing treatments.  And when they get REALLY sick, a la Addison and have a cough for 4 straight weeks, they REALLY harp on us about doing the treatments.

So try to imagine an active four year old, sick of taking medicine already, who is now tasked with doing 5 breathing treatments per day (at least).  Basically she never gets five treatments in and she fights for hours over the ones we manage to do.

Until today.
She even helped me put the mask on, then fell back asleep.  But when she woke up and I asked her how it went, she had no idea what I was talking about.

I wonder how many of those we can actually do while she's unconscious?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Before the Storm

Prior to the last icky illness-filled week, we celebrated Christmas.  And despite going to a prompt care on Christmas Eve, it was still a great few days.

Here are just a few highlights...

 Santa brought Addi fake nails... She was super excited to wear them! 
 And Sam was lucky enough to put one on her big toe.  Pretty fancy.
 Trying to get a family photo with Sam's finger NOT in her nose was difficult.
 Most of the Ralph grandkids... Gwen was still asleep.
Sam and Grandma playing checkers.  Sam won.
 New sleeping bags from Grandma!

I just hope next year Santa doesn't bring constant illness!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome to 2011

New Year’s Resolutions are meant to be broken. At least, that’s what everyone says. But for me, I really love the idea of them. The idea of a fresh start, a new year, new beginnings… It shouldn’t be a surprise that one of my most favorite purchases each year is my new day planner for work. It brings my desire for organization and new starts together in a most clever way.

I was thinking about my resolutions from last year, and I realized that I did stick to quite a few of them. Of course I can always do better, but I’m proud to say that I meant every word I wrote AND actually stuck to most of them.

The Best ME

Increase my physical health. This means eating nutritious foods when possible, drinking water, taking my vitamins, washing my hands… Jay and I both agree that we’d love 2011 to be healthier than 2010, and it shouldn’t be hard to do. Considering we had 16 cases of strep throat, 5 bouts of the stomach flu, a tonsillectomy, several colds and two foot and mouth diseases, I think we can do better this year. And, with commitment to run a ½ marathon, my training should pair nicely with this.

Optimize my mental health. There are many times I know Jay would describe me as bat-shit-crazy and be spot on. There are so many variables that go along with that but my focus this year will be to make reasonable commitments and actually stick with them, and be prepared on a daily basis. This means keeping cash in my wallet at all times (so I don’t panic when I need some), getting our family on a decent schedule, and to committing to what I can actually do, then doing it. I am the QUEEN of saying “I’ll get that to you right away!” or “I’ll work on that tomorrow!” both home and at work, then failing to do so, which sabotages my mental health and really makes me a crappy mom, wife and friend.

Blog at least three times a week. I get asked by family and friends why I blog, which then makes me wonder if I’m being silly or wasting my time. The feeling I get is that I’m frivolously wasting my time, when in fact I’m enjoying even the crappy moments. Blogging helps me release creative energy and document our family history, but more importantly it gives me the opportunity to find something fun and lighthearted out of what might really be a shitty time. And THAT is priceless to me.

Be the best Mom I can be. I’m me, not someone else, so I’m only wasting my time when I compare myself to other moms. Hopefully by improving physically and mentally, this will fall in line naturally.

And finally: Run for Congress. Hey, this way I have at least one resolution I don’t mind breaking.

2011 will be a good year. I can feel it.

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