Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Marriage and Money

Sometimes life is just full of surprises.

And apparently it takes fifteen years of being a couple and eleven plus years of marriage before you can discuss money issues without it turning into a fight.

Good to know.

Here's a little clip from Dave Ramsey about money issues and marriage:

"On top of the fact that men and women are different, opposites attract. Chances are, if you're married, one of you is good at working numbers (the nerd) and the other one isn't good at working numbers (the free spirit). That isn't the real problem. The problem is when the nerd neglects the input of the free spirit or when the free spirit avoids participating in the financial dealings altogether."

I won't reveal which one of us is the "nerd" and which one is the "free spirit" and I would never be stupid enough to say that we've figured everything out and we'll never fight about money again, but I will say that we're working on a budget and saving tips to fund Owen support our family and it feels good to do it as a team.

Now we just need to find something else to fight about because sometimes life is just a little more exciting when you have a good old fashioned knock- down, drag-out spousal fight.

Maybe I'll go tell him I ran into the mailbox again with my car. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rainy Day Laziness

Well, because of excessive rain and mud, instead of burning calories out on the soccer field today, my children are doing this:

And after the week we've had, I'm okay with some rainy day laziness.

I'm okay with Saturday morning cartoons and cups of coffee and staying in our pajamas until after lunch.

The two bigs had another great week at school. Todd and I were just talking last night about how pleasantly surprised we've been at Isaac's transition. After he told us ALL SUMMER LONG that he did not want to start kindergarten, we were a little anxious about his entry into the "real" world. (Okay I was anxious......Todd kept reassuring me that he was ready and he would be fine, but that's neither here nor there.)  And even though I may hate to admit it, Todd was right. Isaac is loving it. And not only is he loving it, he's also being very responsible about it. He worries about getting all his homework done correctly and making sure he has everything he needs each day. And yes, this shocks me to my very core because he is by far our most laid back kid.We're loving his excitement about school and praying it sticks.

The diva is still, well, the diva. She's always been very serious about her school work and following directions and that has not changed with her transition from kindergarten to first grade. She is so worried about following the rules in fact that we've had to assure her that her teachers don't want her neglecting her bodily needs because she's....let's say..... in the middle of playing freeze tag and her PE teacher told her to freeze.  (I'm sure she'll love that I shared this with you....) She has also made some new friends and seems more socially outgoing this year which is great.

And Owen? Well this picture pretty much sums up the week Owen's had:

Poor kid. 
He's had LOTS of appointments and evaluations and on top of all that, he got croup. So I guess you could say it's been a croupy week for him. Ha ha. Get it? Croupy.....

Okay, um, anyways. 

Let's just say some of his special needs have been further identified and we start Occupational Therapy on Wednesday and Developmental Therapy on Thursday. Please continue to pray for my sweet toddler as he adjusts to new therapists and challenges. In other news, he has clawed his way into the fifth percentile on the weight chart!! Woot woot. We're praying this slow and steady upward climb continues as we start trying to reach new goals of more chewables and of course,  the ultimate goal of self feeding. We've also been given permission to train someone else to feed him in case there was ever an emergency and Todd and I couldn't be there.....or if we wanted to go on a date or something. So who wants to learn? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? All it takes is patience and one or two trips out to UNC Hospital...... :)

And that was our week. Exciting, I know.
Hope everyone else is having a fabulous rainy Saturday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby Addiction

Owen and I got our baby fix yesterday. I'm not sure he needed a baby fix, but I did. Babies to me are kind of like crack but in a much healthier, not nearly as deadly, kind of addictive way. I love the way they smell and cuddle and are just all around adorable. But I've discovered that they always seem to grow up and color on walls and talk back and pee all over the place and therefore, we've decided we don't need any more babies in this house. But I like to get my baby fix wherever and however possible. Just last week I stalked a woman in the grocery store with a newborn. I followed her down the aisle just so I could hopefully get a whiff of that newborn smell. Just kidding. Sort of. 
Anywho, we enjoyed hanging out with baby Jaden and some of us even enjoyed kissing and then stealing things from him. Apparently in Owen's mind, stealing is okay if you intersperse it with sweetness and kissing. Maybe bank robbers should implement this technique?

We searched and searched to find the baby toy caterpillar that was age appropriate. Apparently my almost three year old also found it age appropriate.

"Owen, you should give that back to the baby. Look, Mommy brought down these blocks for you to play with. Can you build a tower?"

There. See? That's better, right?

Apparently not.

Sorry Jaden.

Although it's not really my fault. I'm actually quite shocked your parents let me babysit after this incident. They must have been desperate.

J/K. I'm usually really nice to babies while I'm getting my fix. Promise.

See? His mom totally trusts me. I think.

After Jaden left and we did the mundane Monday grocery shopping and cleaning and cooking, etc, the kids came home and tackled homework.

Is it just me or are they too cute?

And that was our Monday.
Pretty exciting, huh.

Friday, September 16, 2011

60 degrees


It's time for a more "fallish" blog background.

It's time for fire pits and s'mores and dry leaves and hot cocoa curled up under a blanket and all the deliciousness that fall brings.

I love me some fall. 

If I could bottle it up and savor it all year long, I would.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


We celebrated the Ethiopian New Year (on Saturday) a day early this year. 

It felt right to do it that way since Todd had to work all day Sunday and since this year was the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

It was a small, last minute celebration. 
We missed seeing our other Ethiopian friends.

We went to Abyssinia with some new friends for a traditional meal to ring in the new year. It was delicious. We enjoyed getting to know a new family; a family who is waiting for their son or daughter (or both) to come home soon.

I remember the hard days of waiting and questioning and longing.
And it is so amazing to be on the other side of that wait and tell people about the blessings.

The blessings of a son who brings laughter to our lives daily.
A son who has such a heart for others.
A son who gives out more hugs in one day than I can count.
A son who talks non-stop. Literally. Non. Stop.
A son who brings a new and amazing culture into our lives.
A son who has changed the landscape of our family for the better.

Happy Belated Enkutatash.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hey, hey, it's time to puree!

I love this kid.

Really, I do. So so much it makes my heart hurt. He makes our lives so much richer.

But he is not easy. And feeding him is a pain in the you know what and it takes hours upon hours of extra time in the kitchen.

Hours at Whole Foods reading every label; hours at home cooking, followed by pureeing, followed by labeling, followed by freezing or refrigerating, followed by measuring each ounce at each meal, followed by distracting, followed by spoon feeding every bite, followed by cleaning up vomit when a certain texture disagrees with his esophagus, followed by excessive cheering when each meal ends.

Did I mention that it takes hours? And I know I'm supposed to say that I wouldn't trade one minute of it because he's doing so well right now. But I'm not gonna lie, I would trade it. I really really wish he could do well without all that work on my part. Selfish, right?  He probably wishes I would quit griping and I'm pretty sure he wishes that he could eat without hurting, so you know, I totally realize I'm the lesser and more insensitive person here. (Just making sure you know that I know that I'm being a you know what.)

Anyway, the "point" of my long and griping rant?

The other night after finally getting the kids tucked into bed I was in the kitchen for three more hours working on Owen's menu.

The result? 
(And yes, I'm totally bragging. So now you can add pride to the before mentioned insensitive a whole long laundry list of my many other flaws.)
*chicken pureed with almond milk and rice
*ground turkey browned, mashed, and pureed with almond milk (lack of texture is very tricky with this one.)
*almond bread, sunbutter, and banana sandwich puree
*Cooked carrots with special butter, cinnamon, and applesauce puree
*cereal bars pureed with milk and banana
*broccoli and cauliflower pureed with applesauce
*pumpkin pureed with applesauce
*butternut squash puree (which we now think he's allergic to)
*frozen fruit smoothie pureed with almond milk

(These plus some more that he's eaten the past few days.)

And when I was finished, I was bone tired.

And I wanted a frickin' gold star for all my hard work.

I didn't get a gold star, but my friend (who I may or may not have complained to through text messaging during the process that has to be repeated about every 10 days.....) brought me this apron today that she made for me.

And it totally made me laugh.

And one day when Owen's a 250 pound quarter back, I hope I'll still look at this apron and laugh.

And I hope that I can get a better perspective about this whole extra work in the kitchen thing because we still have a long way to go before Owen is where he needs to be. And he's totally 100% worth it.  And let's be honest, one day when I'm old and have lost all my teeth, I'll need him to puree my food. 
Maybe Erika can get another apron in blue when that day comes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day!

Owen started preschool today.

He was so excited to be doing something the bigs get to do everyday.  Although he was a little bummed that his school bus is my mini-van. (I was a little bummed about that too since I swore before having kids that I would never drive a mini-van, but that's neither here nor there.)

(Todd tried removing the Darth Vader pen/toy that has been in his hands for two days before we left.....It is still in his hand. Let's just say we pick our battles around here.)

"Let's go, Mom."

He had a great first day.
The teachers fell in love and I think he was equally smitten.

(On a side note, this backpack was a hand-me-down, name stitched on and all. Aren't we lucky?!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Isn't this how everyone spends their Labor Day?


Oh well. 
We've learned a little pretend sword fighting never hurt anyone.
(Except maybe Owen.....)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Owen's running a low grade fever and vegging out/napping.

Isaac entered school full time today with his big sis and without so much as a backward glance.

And I noticed something - 

it is disturbingly quiet.

And now the challenge is this:
Can I get everything done that I need to get done before these two crazies get off the bus?

It's not looking promising.

(Although not blogging would probably help.)

Peace out.