Friday, March 26, 2010

Good-Bye Bright and Beautiful

This is a very emotional post for me, well for us.  Ethan has been going to Bright and Beautiful for two years and we have loved every day that he's been in their care.  They are wonderful, kind, loving, and taught our little man so much.  We will miss them very much, but we've agreed that it's time to move on.  Ethan will be starting at an in-home daycare on Monday.  We are very excited about Ms. Melissa and think that her in-home daycare will provide Ethan with just as much love and attention as Bright and Beautiful.  It is a good change, in a way a neutral change, but it's still a difficult change.  So, for Ethan's last day at Bright and Beautiful, we sent a card and a cake for the entire staff and all the daycare kids.  It's a "thank you" cake for all of their wonderful care and the friendships that Ethan's found along the way. 
I can't get this picture to turn the right way.... sorry...
Now to take a jog back to Ethan's first day... here is a picture of Ethan and me from March 25, 2008.  We didn't plan for Ethan to be at daycare for exactly two years.... well two years and one day... it just happened to work out that way.
and here is a picture of our little Ethan today, March 26, 2010.  He is all ready for his last day at Bright and Beautiful.  Wow, he has really changed. 
We love you little man and we hope that we always make the best choices for you in life. 
Love, mom and dad :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beautiful Evening

The sun is out longer and the weather is getting warmer... what a beautiful thing! 
Last night we had a really nice time.  Cory, Mariah, Ethan and I took a walk over to Grandpa Karl and Grandma Kathy's house.  Here are a couple pictures from our visit:

Here are a couple pictures of Ethan learning to skateboard back at our house:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dream a Little Dream...

I have always had a dream of being a stay at home mom. I say dream because seriously that is all it is. It is not a reality and won't be until I am able to retire. Then I will hopefully be a stay at home grandma...

If I were a stay at home mom I would get a little extra sleep in the mornings. I would wake up with the kids and help Mariah get ready for school. I would enjoy breakfast and some educational morning TV with Ethan. I would create activities to do with Ethan that would involve exercise and skill building. I would take him to swim classes and other fun activities that would encourage him to interact with other kids.
If I were a stay at home mom I would always have a clean house. Maybe not always a picked up and orderly house, but the surface would be clean and free of dog hair and dust that seems to pile up in just one day in my house. In the summer the kids and I would have a beautiful garden where we would grow lots of fruits and vegetables. I would teach the kids how to pull weeds and take care of plants to keep them healthy. We would go for long walks and bike rides and take time to enjoy the world around us.
If I were a stay at home mom I would have a couple more kids. I would fill the house with love and family and values that would last a lifetime.
If I were a stay at home mom I would have more time with my family.
This is something that I have struggled with for many years. Maybe being a stay at home mom wouldn't be as beautiful as I have always pictured it. Maybe I wouldn't be as happy as I think I would be...
Life is pretty good now the way that it is... I am not a stay at home mom, but I have managed to find a job that will allow me to leave work at 3pm every day. I have to wake up early and start my work day early, but it's worth it when I am home with the kids a little after 3pm. I do my best to keep the kids involved in sports and fun things like gymnastics. I also make an effort to get Ethan to play dates at places like Monkey Joes and Chuck E Cheese. I start a garden every year and plant lots of flowers. I do my best to pull the weeds and grow delicious fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I succeed. I do my best to pretend that I am a stay at home mom even though I only have about 4-5 hours every night to spend with the family, work on the house, attend fun activities, help with homework, make a healthy dinner, and instill lifelong values. 4-5 hours is a pretty good amount of time every day. Yes, I wish it were longer, but this is the life we chose. Cory and I have weighed all of our options a million times and have tried to find a way where I could be a stay at home mom. Unfortunately we have never been able to come up with a good solution. I do well with this way of life most of the time, but once in a while I have a day like today. A day where I wake up in the morning and all I want to do is stay home with the kids. Stay home and spend a day with my family. A day filled with snuggles from Ethan. Today Ethan woke up and was very unhappy. He was tired and not ready to start his day. He cried when I left him at daycare today. :-( I am sure he is fine and having a great time now, but it was heart breaking to leave him this morning. Today is a day where I am wishing that I was a stay at home mom.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Productive Weekend!

We had a very successful and productive weekend!  Recently Cory and I made a list of projects that we'd like to do to "complete" our house.  It is been about 4.5 years in the making and we'd love to have it so-called-done.  We have a list of about 12 things and we already have about 4 of them marked off!  This past weekend we worked on completing the cabinets in the basement by the bar.  Cory has the doors prepped and ready for glass.  Everything is stained and looks beautiful.  This week I will drop them off at the glass dealer and he will install the glass.  We are also having glass shelves cut for inside the cabinets! 

While Cory was staining... I was painting the dining room (again).  I painted one of the walls red not that long ago and this weekend I decided to paint the rest of it red.  Cory isn't so sure about it, but I love the warm feeling.  Next I will paint some words or a saying on the only empty red wall. 

This weekend we also bought the trim for our master bathroom and for the kitchen.  Cory will work on staining those pieces over the next week and hopefully we will go those projects completed next. 

We also bought wood to build shelves in our garage.  We started them yesterday and so far have the area for the bikes completed and a couple shelves completed.  This is only about half of the shelving that we have planned for the back wall of the garage.  It's looking good so far! 

The best part is that we created a budget for each project and so far we are coming in quite a bit under budget!  Let's hope it stays that way. :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Ride

We went for our first family bike ride last night and we loved it!  We had a lot of fun and found some really nice places to ride by our house.  Mariah loves her new bike and Ethan had so much fun in the burley that he cried when we got home.  He said no home mommy, no home daddy. :-)  He wanted to keep going.  We would have loved to ride longer, but the sun was going down and we wanted to keep the family safe.  We are looking forward to summer weather and longer daylight hours!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taking Up Biking!

Not on a motorcycle of course!  We are taking up biking as a family on our new bikes!  Cory and I have had some great bikes for a couple years now and this past week we upgraded the kids rides!  Ethan got a 2 person Burley Encore trailer and Mariah got a Trek Skye.  We are looking forward to lots of bike riding this spring, summer and fall.  We will take our first family ride tonight!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Big Change

We are making a big change... we are moving Ethan from a daycare facility to a private in-home daycare.  This is something that I have always been very curious about.  I have always wanted Ethan to have the direct attention from an in-home daycare, but never had the opportunity or had found the right place in the past.  Recently we were blessed with finding an in-home that seems to be a wonderful fit for Ethan.  I have to admit though... I am very nervous.  This is a huge change that will directly impact my precious little man!  He is at a wonderful daycare right now and has been there since he was 3 months old.  They have been so kind and loving and have kept him safe over the years.  We have learned so much from the teachers and Ethan has bonded with them all.  Ethan loves the other kids in daycare and even has a little girlfriend, Julianna.  So, why are we moving him to an in-home?  Well, Ethan recently reached the age where he no longer has a low student to teacher ratio in his classroom.  He is a big boy now and is in a room with more kids and less teachers.  I guess I am not ready for this change for him yet.  I want him to continue to have that direct care.  Ethan is so loving and so kind and thrives off of direct attention.  I think that by putting him in an in-home daycare he will get a lot of this direct attention.  I do feel bitter sweet about the move though... I feel like I am pulling Ethan from an environment that he knows and loves.  In a way I feel like I am taking a little piece of what he knows away from him.  I just pray that we are doing the right thing for Ethan.  I pray that we love the new change and that Ethan makes new friends and builds new relationships.  I pray that he is safe every day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not Enough Time For Exercise

I keep trying to lay out my days differently.  I would love to exercise every day but I just can't seem to find the time to exercise.  I was pretty good at getting up at 4:30am and going to the basement and working out for 45 minutes for about 3 weeks... Then I fell out of the habit and can't seem to get back on track. 

I have tried a couple different times to exercise.  I have tried working out at the end of the day.  This worked a couple times, but I am so exhausted by 9pm and lately the kids have been staying up until 9pm.  I can't bring myself to go downstairs and exercise when I am that exhausted. 

This week I decided to try exercising right after work.  On Monday it worked!  The weather was nice so Ethan and I went for a long walk.  Then on Tuesday Ethan and I went downstairs after work and I ran on my elliptical... well I tried to while Ethan played; however, that didn't work as planned.  I would run for about 5 minutes and then have to help Ethan with his train track.  After a couple tries at this I just decided to give up. 

I don't want to give up on exercise completely, but I am wondering if a couple extra hours could be added in to the day?  Maybe a 26 hour day?  That would be ideal!  :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Craigslist ROCKS!

This weekend we got some awesome deals on craigslist!  The first deal is the beautiful PBK table and bins.  I have been wanting this for months and came accross this one on craigslist.  It is normally $350 and I got it for $125! :-)  I love good deals! 
The second thing that we found this weekend is a brand new Burley Encore Bike Trailer for kids!  We went looking at these at our local bike store and they run about $440 - $550 for the model that we wanted.  We found this one on craigslist for $300 and it's brand new!  We pick it up on Tuesday night! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Furbabies Room

I painted the dogs room...again.  I wish it could always look this nice.  Maybe my dogs will stop eating the walls! 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Horoscope 100% Correct

Taurus (April 20 - May 20) Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010

There could be a number of responsibilities or obligations you have to other people that may be holding you back a bit today. Your desire to have a good time might be tempered by other duties right now. It'll be up to you to figure out when it's a good time to think about yourself and when it's a good time to pay attention to the needs of others. Whatever happens, just try not to let things stress you out too much today.

Be sure that you pay careful attention to how you go about expressing yourself, particularly where your friends or loved ones are concerned. If you feel a little too much like doing your own thing right now, it could lead to some trouble for you before the day is through.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Difficult Day

Today I am having a difficult time.  This weekend we stayed in a condo with two other couples.  One couple has two kids and plans to have more soon.  The other couple has one kid and is 19 weeks pregnant and plans to have a total of 5 kids eventually.  They are both SAHM's or will be after the second couples baby number two arrives.  As I sat there and watched them this weekend and realized how different our lives are and how badly I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom and have five kids... I began to feel unsettled.  I am thankful for what I have but wish that I had the ability to have a handful of kids close in age to one another.  A large family that would grow up together, get on each other's nerves, love one another, and be there for one another in every situation that life brings to each of us.

WI Dells 2010

We had a great time in the Dells this past weekend.  There were 8 families that went this year!  It was hard to meet up with everyone, but it was still tons of fun.  The kids had a great time playing in the water and the 4 story play park area.  Ethan kept us on our toes and he loved every minute of the vacation!  I posted lots of pictures on flickr at Enjoy!

Dad gave us a scare!

This weekend I was in the Dells hanging out with family and friends. I was relaxing and having a great time... and then... we got a call from my sister saying that dad was in the hospital! On Saturday night dad and Kathy had some friends over and dad was eating a chip. He stood up to walk to the bathroom and was coughing and inhaled the chip. He started choking and within seconds he blacked out and fell to the floor face first. Kathy said that dad didn't even put his arms out to try to catch himself. Thankfully the hard fall to the floor caused the chip to come out of his throat and allowed him to breathe again. Kathy gave him a pound on the back and rolled him over. Dad opened his eyes but didn't have his memory or the ability to speak for a short while. Kathy had called 911 before dad even fell to the floor. Kathy started asking dad questions and at first dad just kept repeating "how long was I out for" Kathy would answer him with "about 30 seconds" then dad would say "how long was I out for"... this went on for a little while. Thankfully dad did get his full memory back. The ambulance took him to the ER and they did CT scans and x-rays and thankfully nothing is broken. He does have a black eye and some swelling on his cheek bone and eye, but he's recovering well. When they did the x-rays they found that dad has a terrible sinus infection. They believed that is what has been causing his cough along with some swelling in his bronchioles which caused him to choke easier.

We are all just very thankful that things turned out the way they did!!! We love you dad and you really need to stop giving us all of these scares!