Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Help, thy name is Megan

Paul's sister Megan is currently attending Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, and this is the second year that she has flown to Minneapolis to stay with us en route to South Dakota for Christmas.

It... is... awesome.

She has this uncanny ability to know exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, in order to save me from the greatest amount of stress possible. Sometimes it's dishes, sometimes it's cleaning out the toy corner, sometimes it's playing with Max so I can do those things. She just knows. Our house has been cleaner since she got here than it ever has been for a five-day stretch! Honestly, I could just sit on the couch all day and things would run more smoothly than they do when I'm here alone with the boys.

She has done crafts with Max, baked with him, become best buds with Lucian, gone shopping with me, watched the kids so Paul and I could shop for stocking stuffers... I want to hire her as a nanny! Plus I've had the added benefit of having someone to converse with all day when I usually speak only toddler between the hours of 7 and 4.

Megan had the option of leaving a day early to get back to Rapid to help out the family with World Youth Day fundraising... but I didn't let her go. I'm really sorry, Maureen, but I'm enjoying having her here just a little too much to let her leave early (plus I'm looking forward to having another set of hands to help out on the car ride!!)

The boys are going to really miss Auntie Meggie when she leaves... but not nearly as much as I will!

You'd better watch out...

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Last week, I watched Anna for a day, and let me just say- it was one of the easiest babysitting jobs ever! That little girl slept, ate, smiled, and slept some more. All chaos that occurred throughout the day was directly caused by my two little munchkins. J&S, I'll do it again any day!

When Anna arrived, she was wearing an adorable little Santa hat, knitted for her by her grandma. Max took one look at it and decided this little girl was the coolest thing in the world! Her baby chair instantly turned into a sleigh, he piled her lap high with toys, whipped out reindeer antlers for himself and Lucian... and off they flew to deliver toys to all the good girls and boys in our living room!

Anna let the boys have fun, but I think she felt it was all a little beneath her dignity. So instead of whistling, shouting and calling her reindeer by name, "Santa" took a little snooze in her very comfy sleigh. I hope Reindeer Max knew the way!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thrift Store Goodness

Anyone else love getting good deals? I mean, sure, it's super fun to stroll down the aisles at Gymboree and browse the pages of an Anthropologie catalog, but when it really comes down to it, most of us would have to forgo food if we wanted to do all of our shopping at places like that! For the most part, I am a Target one-stop-shopper, because I know they'll have what I need at a reasonable price, they bag groceries for me, and I've been there enough that I don't have to wander to know where things are-- three must-haves when shopping with two children under three.

But if I am feeling ambitious- and have the opportunity to go out without children- I really enjoy thrift store hunting! Especially when it comes to kids items that will only be used for a limited time, it just makes sense to finish the work that someone else began... i.e. buying those slightly used 12mo jeans for child #1, breaking them out again for child #2, and using them until they are patched and full of holes. Reduce, reuse, recycle, yo!

I wish I had more time to wander the aisles of the local second-hand shops, because I have found some gems in the past. Bar stools? From Unique in Burnsville. Entryway bench/shoe bin? Also from Unique. Computer desk? Salvation Army in Rapid City. I'm not saying that we'll never buy new furniture- there is definitely something to be said for good quality, and I'm looking forward to picking out couches that match someday!- but there is so much stuff out there, I like knowing that I can put to use something that someone else was finished with. It's easy on the pocket book, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Contained here are a few of my latest thrift store finds. If this doesn't make you want to run to your nearest Goodwill, I don't know what will!

1. Complete set of plastic Nativity pieces in great condition, in a plastic Rubbermaid container: $2.99

2. Toddler fleece mittens, velcro around the wrists: $0.96

3. Formal shoes, size 7.5 and infant: $0.75 and $1.99, respectively (Imagine what we would have dropped on those new!)

4. Six by Seuss, by Dr. Seuss and Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein (both in very good condition): $2.99 each

So next time you drop off a load of "junk" at Goodwill, think of me and know that it may very well find a wonderful new home!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Okee Dokee Feast Day

Okee Dokee Brothers at Wild Rumpus

December 13 was the Feast of St. Lucy, so in honor of our Goddaughter's feast day, we went out to an Okee Dokee Brothers concert! The concert was at Wild Rumpus bookstore in Minneapolis, and it was packed. We found ourselves some seats on the floor, with just enough room for Luci and Max to stand up and dance... although Max did more standing than dancing. I decided that he gets a little star-struck when he sees the Okee Dokee Brothers in person. At home, he dances and sings to their songs, he builds likenesses of Justin and Joe out of Play-Doh, and he plays a cardboard banjo, pretending to be Justin. But when he is in their presence, he can do little else but stare at them. Luci, on the other hand, danced up a storm! She has quite the moves, that girl.

This is a still shot from a video of Luci dancing. For some reason I can't post videos!
But this gives you an idea

Max and Justin the Banjo player.

After the concert, we went back to Aaron and Emily's house for pizza and cake. Emily made an amazing Raspberry Angel Food cake with whipped cream frosting. Yeah, I know. I can hear you licking your lips. Max, Luci and Lucian played in the toy room while the adults watched the rescheduled football game (collapsed Metrodome, anyone?) and chatted.

It was definitely worth braving the craziness of Minneapolis winter driving to attend the concert and celebrate with Luci!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Visiting the Gerardis

To continue with our holiday celebrations, we traveled down to Chicago this past weekend to visit Monica and Glenn. They invited us to come down for their second annual Christmas party, and we are so glad we went! Their house is B-E-A-UTIFUL, and it was decked out in Christmas decorations. When we walked in the door, a miniature Santa and his bell choir were playing carols for Max- what a welcome!

Glenn made a divine breaded pork dinner for us, then we put on Polar Express for Max while we cleaned up the kitchen. However, a few minutes into the movie, when the train pulled up in front of the house, the noise drew us all into the living room and we ended up watching the whole movie with him. I have never seen him so entranced by a movie before! Usually, he gets distracted after about 45 minutes, but this time he could not take his eyes off of the screen. I had forgotten how cool the visual effects in that movie were. After Max went to bed, we played Hearts until 1:00 in the morning... late night #1.

Saturday, we had a yummy breakfast, then Monica and I went thrift store shopping and to her favorite local coffee shop, the Metropolis. No visit anywhere is complete without sampling the local brews! We picked up some amazing bread from their grocery store (baked fresh 3 times daily) and went home for pork sandwiches. After lunch, the men went out to do a driving tour of the area, and we stayed in with the kiddos. Then the party preparations began! I was able to squeeze in a catnap before the guests arrived (the late bedtime plus a cranky baby meant little sleep for me, and exhaustion hit around 4:00).

It was so fun to meet friends of Monica and Glenn- some of them were quite interesting characters, and all of them were super nice! Most people at the party are in choir with them, so we had some fun caroling toward the end of the evening. Max was the star of the show until he finally fell asleep, running around in his jammies and chatting up all the ladies. Amazingly, Lucian slept through just about everything! Honestly, I had been a little worried about how the party would go with two kids, but my worries were totally unfounded. Everything was smoooooth sailing. With a long drive ahead of us the next day, we finally had to go to bed at 2:00, even before the last guests left... late night #2!

Mass in the morning, lunch, packing, then back on the road! The trip was short but VERY sweet. Thank you for having us, Gerardis! It was wonderful. We miss you already!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Early Christmas

Matching jammies from Grandma and Grandpa

My parents and brother Ben leave tomorrow for Vienna!! I am so excited for them! I really wish we could be going to see Tony, Catherine and Alexander, but it just wasn't realistic for us this year. Have an amazing time, and think about us often... drink some gluhwein for me, please!

Since we will be apart for Christmas, we celebrated in early December instead. Aside from the obvious glaring absences (T,C & A), we had a terrific time! We munched on goodies all afternoon and played some Buck Euchre, of course. We opened presents before dinner, which Max really got into! He got a work bench and tools, a battery-powered guitar, and some cute clothes. Since that day, he has become "Max the Builder", even though he still refers to the rest of us by our pirate names.

Lucian received a cool Mozart Cube- and I don't know if he or Max enjoys it more! He was a little confused by the idea of ripping paper off of presents, but Max made sure he figured it out.

From my parents, Paul and I got... drum roll please... a DEEP FREEZE! Since our new fridge has a much smaller freezer than our old one, we wanted some extra space so that we can buy larger quantities of meat on sale and make extra food to freeze. Super exciting!

After our traditional yummy Christmas Eve dinner of clam chowder and twisty breadsticks, Paul, Ben and I went out bowling- we decided that time spent together is better than any gift we could get for each other, so as our gift to each other we bowled, played darts, and played Buck Hunter late into the night! Thanks, M&D for watching the kiddos!

Sunday morning, we were greeted by an amazing brunch (my parents are brunch superstars! No one has ever outdone them in my book) and we chilled out at home for the rest of the morning. What a great time spent with family!

I'm very low on pictures- I forgot to change the battery in my camera before heading down to Burnsville, but when I get copies of my mom's pics, I'll try to post some more.

Uh...what am I supposed to do with this thing?

Here, let me help you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Goose or Gray Duck?

I will be blogging soon about the many awesome holiday get-togethers we've been enjoying recently, but I've had something weighing heavy on my heart lately that I need to ask.

Max was born in South Dakota, where (like the rest of the country) the popular children's game is called "Duck Duck Goose". However, when we uprooted him to the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, he entered "Duck Duck Gray Duck" territory. Now, I was raised a Minnesotan, but after three years of ridicule by my husband and the youth at my parish, I converted (at least publicly) to Goose-ism.

But what to do now?? We are back in Minnesota, and all the kids will be playing Duck Duck Gray Duck. Do we stick to our (ahem, Paul's) convictions or go with the locals?

I'd love some input. This is a big deal.

Even Max is taking this very seriously

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Amazing Shoes (or the Feast of St. Nicholas)

We checked out a book on St. Nicholas from the library last time we were there, and it contains all kinds of stories and legends about his life! Did you know he was (and still is!) the youngest person ever to be ordained Bishop? And that he had twenty miracles attributed to him during his life? He was a pious, faithful, generous man who truly lived his life by the beatitudes, and is remembered as the patron saint of children.

But the most famous story of the life of St. Nicholas is one that emphasizes his generosity, and has led to traditions around the world of children leaving stockings or shoes to be filled by St. Nicholas.

St. Nicholas had a heart for the poor, and wherever he saw a need he filled it. He heard of a man with three daughters who was too poor to provide dowries for them. Each night for three nights, Nicholas snuck to the house and threw a bag of coins in the window. The last of the bags supposedly landed in the youngest daughter's stocking! With the money, the man was able to find suitable husbands for his daughters and save them from a life of poverty.

So in remembrance of St. Nicholas' great generosity, we left Max's shoes outside of his bedroom door to be filled with sweet surprises. When he woke up in the morning, I was downstairs with Lucian and I heard him say, "What's this??" I went upstairs and he was closely examining his shoes. "There's candy in my shoes! Is there candy in my shoes?" I explained that St. Nicholas had come with treats for him because he loves children so much and loves to see them happy. "St. Nicholas brought candy to me! I got candy of St. Nicholas!" was his cry for the rest of the morning.

Happy St. Nick's Day, everyone!

If you want more information about St. Nicholas, the real "Santa Claus", check out this link.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Guess This Mess: The Answer!

Thanks for your very creative guesses in my little game, but the correct answer is:


We were drinking tea, and I left the bag on a napkin on the table when I went upstairs. When I came down, the sodden tea leaves were covering the table, and Max was trying to wipe his tongue clean. I could have told him that tea leaves weren't good for eating! But he had to find out for himself by chewing on the bag and ripping it open.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ode to Bisquick

When that 4 o'clock hour rolls 'round
And I stand at the fridge with blank stare,
All is truly not lost, I have found,
Even though all the cupboards seem bare.

Down below, behind sugar and flour
Near the pasta, potatoes and oil
Stands the box that makes dinnertime hour
One of joy, not of tears, sweat and toil.

Oh, dear Bisquick! How I do love thee.
You make quick, simple meals on demand.
Whether breakfast, lunch, dinner or tea,
Sweet Bisquick, my wish is thy command.

Spinach egg bake with cheese is a treat,
Simple pancakes so fluffy and light,
Breaded chicken makes dinner complete-
Even kids finish every last bite!

So when that dreaded hour draws near,
And it's time to make dinner tonight,
Do not fret, do not sigh, do not fear!
Grab your Bisquick and all will be right.

Yes, I actually just wrote a poem about Bisquick. Yes, I actually took a picture of my Bisquick box and posted it. Don't judge me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

This beautiful statue was given to me at a Prayer Shower in Rapid City when I was pregnant with Lucian. It is on display in our home year-round, but it becomes especially relevant during the Advent season when we are preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ at Christmas.

Advent has begun, and I believe that this year Max is old enough to have some understanding of the season. We set up our Nativity set, and he loves to point out and name each of the figures.

He helped Daddy light the first Advent candle before dinner on Sunday, and he sat mesmerized as we prayed by candlelight

Today, December 1, was the first day of Max's Advent calendar. We picked one out with little chocolates behind each door, so now he's REALLY looking forward to opening the next one tomorrow! I read him the Scripture verse on the door as he scarfs down his chocolate square; it's a genius idea - give a kid a piece of chocolate and he'll sit still long enough to hear you read a verse from the Bible. Amen to that! Today's verse-

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light" -Isaiah 9:1

I also decided to revive a tradition that I remember from when I was young- making a Christmas chain! Each day of Advent, we are going to add another link to the chain, so that by Christmas we have a long paper garland decorating our home!

I love that this craft is so simple that Max can do most of it himself! I cut the strips and helped him figure out where to put the tape, but he gets the satisfaction of attaching the links and watching his very own chain grow longer and longer each day!

A blessed Advent season to each of you!

Guess This Mess

I have a new game for you! The goal is to guess what Max used to make his latest mess. I'll set the scene for you:

Max, Lucian and I were eating a mid-morning snack when Louie started to get fussy. I brought him upstairs, put him in bed and came down (only minutes later) to find this on the table.

Hint #1: It's not as bad as it looks

Hint #2: It did not come from inside Max. I promise I will never post a picture of that.

You can leave a comment with your guess, and I'll post the answer in 24 hours (give or take a day or two, whenever the spirit moves me...)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still Going Strong...

...Max's pirate infatuation, that is.

The first words out of his mouth most mornings are "Your name is McGraw. Where's Captain Bogg?" Honestly. He doesn't call us anything else! He wore a bandanna and my black belt to Target yesterday, and the cart was his pirate ship. Thankfully, as he told a random woman at the store, he's a "nice pirate, not a mean pirate. Nice pirates say 'Arrr' and 'Land ho!' But when he asked me repeatedly what mean pirates say, I didn't exactly want to go there. They say... uh... mean things? Oh you want specifics? Hmmm... Luckily I was able to stall long enough that he got distracted.

If you don't already have a pirate name, you should pick one, because he is almost guaranteed to ask you what it is when he sees you. Just a warning.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of ... pop!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks

The boys in Grandpa's recliner

We spent Thanksgiving in Marshall with my mom's side of the family. We stayed with my grandparents Wednesday night through Friday, and it was a wonderfully relaxing holiday! Many rounds of games were enjoyed, including Bowls, Buck Euchre and Five Hundred. All the grandparents pitched in to help with the kiddos, so I could have some down time (thank you SO much!) The boys loved Grandpa Moorse's cuckoo clock and stash of M&M's, and I loved seeing him play with them! Of course, my Grandma Moorse spoiled us all with her cooking the whole time we were there (honestly, five dishes to choose from at every meal??), but the crowning jewel was the Thanksgiving feast at my Aunt and Uncle's house. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, biscuits, rolls, salad, fruit, pie, pie, pie!

I love food.

But while the food is wonderful and amazing, the day was really about thanking God for the abundant blessings in our lives. I have so much to be thankful for, and I don't say it enough. So with that, here is my top ten list of things I am thankful for this year.

10. Flannel sheets- got them for the first time ever this year! If I thought it was hard to get out of bed before, it just got exponentially harder
9. Cute animated animals (a la the movie Tangled- Maximus the Horse made my day)
8. Pirates, especially Captain Bogg and Salty- they have kept Max entertained for the past week, non-stop!
7. Coffee shops- alone with a chai and a good book, or with a friend and good conversation, there are not many places I'd rather spend my down time
6. Wine and chocolate, alone or in combination
5. Modern conveniences, especially my fridge/freezer. It's incredible how much you don't really appreciate something until it's gone... dishwasher, stove, washer & dryer, listen up- I appreciate you! You are important! No need to prove it to me.
4. All of my amazing family and friends, you know who you are and you know I couldn't do it (by "it" I mean anything & everything) without you.
3. My two beautiful, crazy boys- they are my world!
2. An amazing, one-of-a-kind husband. I love you, honey- you're the greatest.
1. My Lord, without whom I would not even have the ability to be thankful.

"I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you" -Philippians 1:3

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mr. Personality

Louie is closing in on a year, and his personality has just lit up in the past weeks! I am enjoying this stage SO much. Even as he constantly does things that remind me of Max, he is becoming more and more himself every day. We were discussing last night that he may end up being quite the handful as he gets a little older; he needs to have his hands on everything, and he is becoming very vocal about what he wants.

He LOVES his big brother and will stop at nothing to be near him! This is getting a little hard on Max, but he's learning to play in the places that Lucian can't reach, such as the dining room table... then Louie just sits on the floor by his chair and yells "a-DAH! a-DAH!" until someone pays attention to him.

In related news, our little sensitive baby is toughening up... at least in some circumstances. If he gets clobbered by Max or falls on his face in pursuit of whatever Big Brother is doing, he gets right up and keeps on going as if nothing happened. But if he has just woken up from a nap and someone looks at him sideways, his world collapses and he makes the offense known to everyone within earshot. I think Max could do just about anything to him and he wouldn't care, or wouldn't show that he cares. He knows that if he cries, someone will remove him from the situation... which is the last thing he wants!

I'm enjoying every minute of watching our sweet Louie grow up, but time is flying by! Slow down, little one, slow down!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Do you see what I see?

You know how some fire alarms spray ink on the person who pulls the alarm, so they can identify the culprit in case the alarm is pulled as a prank? That's what I thought of today when Max came into the room after coloring with his markers in the kitchen. He had blue marker all over his hands (to be expected), blue marker on the paper (obviously) and blue marker one other place, where it's not supposed to be...

I wonder what happened here?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magoo and Baloo

Max has had the nickname "Mr. Magoo" since he was tiny. There may have been a combination of factors that led to this name: his first babbling sound was "goo", his name started with 'M', he was little, bald and wrinkly. But you know how nicknames are, they really choose themselves. I have no memory of consciously choosing this name for Max, it just happened.

When Lucian was born, I made the mistake of referring to him as Mr. Magoo on a few occasions, and Max responded as if I had been talking to him. Oops! He knows it's HIS nickname, and he's not planning on sharing it with his brother. So I started trying to think of a nickname for Lucian. Besides 'Louie', none of them stuck... because they didn't feel natural.

One day, out of the blue, I picked up Baby Lucian and said, "Hi, Louie-Baloo!" "Oh!" I thought, "That feels right!" And it stuck. It has taken various forms (i.e. Louie-Balouie, Balouie, and just plain Baloo) but in all forms, it fits him perfectly!

So now we have a Mr. Magoo and a Louie-Baloo, but more often they are simply our Magoo and Baloo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Arr, mateys!

Max and Lucian in one of their many pirate ships. Weigh Anchor!

Pirate McGraw here, to tell ye all about our latest adventure on the high seas!

Last week, I borrowed from the library the CD Pegleg Tango by Captain Bogg and Salty. These pirate songs have changed Max's perspective on the world! We have listened to nothing else for at least three days now, and Max can sing along with all the tunes. But it goes beyond a love of the music...

Our couch has become a pirate ship, as has our Toyota Matrix. I had to wear a roaster on my head for a full day as my pirate hat (every time I took it off, Max asked me repeatedly, "Do you want to put your pirate hat on, Mommy?" until I caved). Max no longer refers to us by our real names; Lucian is "Captain Bogg", Mommy is "McGraw", Daddy is "Ramshackle", and Max is "Max Salty". At one point yesterday, I mentioned to him that he was playing nicely with Lucian. "With Captain Bogg!" came the immediate reply.

We've had glimpses of Max's imagination previously; he's been an astronaut, a fireman, a baby, and numerous animals, but it's never been like this before. Our everyday language has come to include phrases such as "Land ho!" "Yarrr!" and "Shiver me timbers!"

I feel a pirate-themed birthday party coming on...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Cool

Sunday started out as a great day! We went down to my parents' house for brunch after Mass, and we ended up staying until the boys' bedtime. We played Buck Euchre, drank wine, made a snowman and generally had a nice relaxing day. If only it would have stayed that way!

But we went home and were greeted by a surprise...

There was stuff dripping out of the door of our freezer! We opened the door and encountered a very unwelcome sight: half-thawed food, liquid ice cream, and a whole assortment of formerly frozen goods that were no longer frozen. Luckily, we caught it before everything was ruined- the bottom half of the freezer was still very cold. But it wouldn't be for long, so we piled everything into a bin and Paul buried it outside in the snow.

Yes, in case you were wondering, the refrigerator wasn't cold either, so its contents were moved to the front porch (I'm thanking God that winter hit when it did! Last week, we would have lost everything we couldn't eat that night)

Our makeshift ice box

We spent the rest of the night trying to see if we could fix the problem, to no avail. This was a job for the professionals. In the morning I called Bill the Repair Guy, our neighborhood appliance repairman (good old West St. Paul), to see what he could do. Good news: Bill the Repair Guy was really nice and helpful. Bad news: it was going to cost us $500 to fix.

$500 to salvage an 11 year old refrigerator? We decided it was time to go shopping...

Sara came over to babysit so Paul and I could do some power shopping, and we were successful! We stumbled upon the last day (last day!) of an appliance sale at Lowe's, 20% off all Frigidaire refrigerators. What brand do you think we ended up with?? And did it end up costing us less than the repairs would have cost? Halleluia, YES!

So now we have a new fridge on order, and it should be here by next Tuesday. Until then we will be storing everything on the porch and eating a lot of canned food!

It hasn't looked like this since we moved in ... it sure smelled better then

One good thing to come of this mess: I was finally forced to throw out all the old food from our fridge and freezer that used to get lost in the hidden corners of our monstrosity. And yes, there were several moments of "Oh, I wonder what that used to be?" as we emptied everything out. Gross.

I'll make sure to let you all know when our new fridge arrives! I'm pretty excited about it, it's much smaller than our current giant, and it will make our kitchen seem more spacious. So in the end, I'm not sad to see our old fridge go, just sad to see the dollars disappear from the pocketbook.

But, as my dad said the moment he heard about our troubles, "Welcome to home ownership!"

Fairy Tales

Max told me this story today, and I thought it was too good to go unshared.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in the woods. Her name was BooBoo, and that was her name ... and she lived in her house in the deep, deep woods."

The End

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last Hurrah

Max was unwilling to admit that swimming season is gone

With the first snowfall of the year, autumn is officially over. No denying it, as the temperatures drop below freezing and we look out to see a foot of heavy wet snow in the backyard! It's hard to believe that earlier this week, we were outside in light sweatshirts celebrating the end of warm weather around a fire at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

They invited us down Monday evening for a cookout (wiener roast) and s'mores- and it felt like a late summer day instead of the tail end of fall. 65 degrees in November? I'll take it!

Roasting the hot dog was more of a hit than actually eating it, from Max's perspective. The most exciting thing for him was exploring the backyard by flashlight! With the pool covered and the yard fully fenced, he was free to go where he pleased.

Lucian was restless until we threw a blanket down on the ground for him to crawl around. Now that he's gotten this crawling thing figured out, there is no staying put! The days of sitting contentedly in my lap are OVER. Oh, well, all the sooner to be able to chase his big brother everywhere.

I can't think of a better way to spend the last beautiful day of the year than sitting around a fire in the backyard with Grandma and Grandpa!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You

"A veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life."

Dear Veterans,

How can we thank you enough for all that you have given for our country? Does one day of remembrance each year do justice to the countless sacrifices you have made? Even if it sometimes seems that we have forgotten, we have not forgotten. It is because of you that we have so many of the freedoms that we enjoy today. Thank you for your selflessness in service to others.

Thank you especially to Grandpa Moorse, for your service in the Korean war! You are the one I think of first on this day each year. I hope that someday soon you can sit down with my boys and tell them of your experiences, so they will understand what brave men and women are willing to do for their country, their children, and future generations.

God bless all of those who have served, who are serving, and who will serve in the armed forces!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Make it better

Boy are we getting hit hard this fall! First the stomach bug, now both Max and Lucian have colds! Luckily, it looks like they are running their course fairly quickly, and after dealing with the last round of illness, runny noses just don't seem so bad. However, the kids haven't been sleeping too well, so we've separated them until they're better... otherwise they take turns waking each other up! I prefer a sleeping sick kid to remain sleeping as long as possible.

So Lucian is back in the guest room and Max stays in his own bed, but every night since he's been sick he has ended up in bed with us. With the multiple night interruptions from both of them, neither of us has the energy to bring him back to his own room, so he just spreads out and stakes his territory- taking up a good 75% of the bed. No wonder I've been waking up sore; I've had to contort myself to balance on the edge of the mattress!

A couple of nights ago, Max had made his way into our bed (interestingly, neither Paul nor I can remember when or how he got there that night) and was waking up regularly, crying because he felt so awful. Eventually, we got him to tell us that it was his nose that hurt the worst, so for lack of a better option, I began giving his nose kisses whenever he would cry.

At about 3:00 in the morning, he started crying, so I automatically (half-asleep) rolled over to kiss his nose. He stopped crying instantly and, in a super sweet voice, told me "You're a good kisser, Mommy!"

Even though we were exhausted, both Paul and I got the giggles, and Max quickly drifted back to sleep. Oh, those moments make it all worth it!

Saturday, November 6, 2010