Wednesday, January 27, 2010

beyond exhausted (warning, serious gripeing ahead)

Is there a term for beyond exhausted?  Catatonic?  Comatose, maybe?  Well, that is where I am these days.

My dear, sweet baby boy is getting too big and too strong to sleep in his bouncy seat.  He has slept in his bouncy seat pretty much every night since he was born... until Monday, that is.  At approximately 2:30 am (so I guess technically it was Tuesday morning) I heard him wake up and fuss a little.  As I was making the zombie stumble to the attic (the warmest room in our house hence Matthews temporary bedroom), I heard him let out a wail that was clearly about more than being hungry.  When I opened the attic door he was still strapped in his bouncy seat, but it was now on top of him and he was laying on his head!  No worries, it was the side of his head so he wasn't suffocating, but he was clearly not happy about the situation.
After I calmed him and fed him I tried to fight through my mind-numbing exhaustion to decide where to have him sleep the rest of the night, as the bouncy seat was clearly not an option anymore.  I ended up proping him on a pillow so his head was raised (his chronically stuffy nose was the whole reason he was sleeping in the bouncy in the first place) and the suggled up next to him to finish out the night.  Matthew woke up about every half hour to fuss for a minute and then went back to sleep.  He followed that pattern until about 7:15am when I left him sleeping soundly to go and get Samuel ready for school.
Last night I slept him in his crib for the first time.  He had a hard time going to sleep and eventually crashed around 9pm.  An hour and a half later than usual.  He then proceeded to wake up at 11:00pm (after which point I went to bed), 3:30am and then was up for the day at 5:30am.  Since John's pager went off around 2:00am and James came in our room for some reason around 5:00am, it was a ROUGH night.  John had relocated to the attic at some point since he had a hard time getting back to sleep after his page so I brought the very awake, very loud Matthew into our room with me.  I tried to get him to lay down with me but he started screaming.  My final soultion:  I hung his jumper in the doorway of our bathroom and put him in it.  He was still loud off and on, but at least I got a few cat naps in.  I woke up to silence at 6:45 and realized that he had fallen asleep in his jumper!  I pulled him out, put him in bed with me and went back to sleep only to be woken up by James at 7:15 and then Samuel at 8:00 when I finally dragged myself out of bed for the day.  I am so tired today that I don't even have a word to describe it.
Nights like these are one of the things about having a newborn that I must have blocked out!  Anyone want to pull the night shift tonight?

Saturday, January 23, 2010


My inlaws gave the boys a wii for Christmas.  I wasn't too excited until one day John brought home wii Mario Carts.  Now, I am sorry to say, I play the wii at least as much as the kids do.  The game itself is fun enough, but part of my fondness for it was established about 10 years ago...

Just after John and I were married we were asked to babysit a family of five kids for a week while their mom went out to Utah.  The kids' dad had passed away a few months before and you could see them struggling to make sense of life without him.  But really, tragedy or no, these kids were amazing!  They were all so smart and sweet and they won me over instantaneously.  The oldest of the kids was in high school and the youngest, James, was about four years old.  So what does this have to do with playing the wii?  Well, James' favorite thing was to play nintendo Mario Carts.  He would wrangle John and I into playing with him at least once a day.  I never really played video games as a kid so I was terrible at it.  James, on the other hand, was actually pretty good!  When we would finally agree to play James would jump up and run downstairs to the basement yelling, "I'm gonna beat you!  I'm gonna beat you!"  and all I could do was laughingly agree with him.

After our week of babysitting was over, John and I agreed on two things: 
1)  We were not ready for kids just yet no matter how sweet and well behaved and
2)  One of our children would be named James

Every day as my own four year old James finagles me into playing wii Mario Cart with him, I feel a little twinge of deja vu and almost hear another James cheering "I'm gonna beat you! I'm gonna beat you!" 

So to James I. wherever you are out there, I call for a rematch!

Friday, January 22, 2010

cooking follow up

For those of you who asked, here is the basic menu.  We only planned out the main course for each day then I do whatever side/vegi/fruit (Ok, not so many vegis) I feel like making.

Week 1
Sun:  steak or chicken nuggets
Mon:  chicken stir fry
Tues:  pizza
Wed:  cheese steaks
Thur:  chicken cutlets/chicken parm
Fri:  tacos
Sat:  free choice (eat out, sandwiches, pancakes or french toast)

Week 2

Sun:  chicken enchiladas
Mon:  london broil
Tues:  pizza or leftovers
Wed:  chicken cheese steaks
Thur:  steak fajitas (using leftover london broil)
Fri:  grilled cheese sandwiches
Sat:  free choice

Week 3

Sun:  pot roast
Mon:  spaghetti and meatballs
Tues:  pizza or leftovers
Wed:  meatball sandwiches
Thur:  pork chops
Fri:  meatloaf
Sat: free choice

Week 4

Sun:  ham
Mon:  sloppy joes
Tues:  pizza or leftovers
Wed:  grinders (these are baked hoagies)
Thur:  chicken and rice casserole
Fri:  grilled burgers or hot dogs
Sat:  free choice

Like I said, it is very basic for my picky eaters.  I am planning on adding new dishes and mixing things around as the kids get used to eating whatever I put in front of them.  I have been pleasantly surprised by a few things that the boys enjoyed.  Samuel LOVED the cheese steaks and the chicken enchiladas.  Who knew?!  I am more than willing to share recipies for any of these.  It has been fun learning some new ways to make some family standards and experimenting to make some smaller amounts so that we aren't overwhelmed by leftovers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I hate cooking!
I'm sorry to say it, but it is so true.  Baking I enjoy but cooking, well, let's just say I would rather be used for experimental medical procedures.  Fortunately for me I had a great excuse not to cook what with being very pregnant and then having a newborn to take care of.  I really enjoyed the luxurious seven months off I gave myself.  But along with the new year I have turned over a new leaf.  One of my New Year's resolutions was to cook dinner for my family every night-- ambitious is putting it mildly.

Anyhow, John sat down with me and we drew up a dinner calendar for the month which has been immensly helpful.  Just having the chore of deciding what to make already done for me makes preparing the dinner not so awful. 

Of course I still have the problems with cooking that existed before I took my pregnancy hiatus
1)  I am married to the world's pickiest eater 
2)  My children resemble their father in almost every way-including his pickiness 
3)  I still really just don't like to do it.

So what John and I have done is plan meals that have at least one thing that everyone will eat and then we have instated a rule that we all (John icluded) have to eat at least have one small portion of everything that is served for dinner.  I also make a dessert every night.  Other than the first week when I thought I was going to strangle my kids because they whined so much, it has worked out surprisingly well.  The dessert has been especially helpful as an incentive to get the kids to finish their food.

So the results from my cooking resolution so far:
My kids (and husband) are eating better than they have in a long time.  Since we are having a real dinner, ready at a regular time, we are all snacking less and eating more healthily.  As much as a struggle as it is for me to do this every day (yesterday I was rolling meatballs while bouncing Matthew in the baby bjorn), it is obviously what my big boys need and that makes me feel like a better mom!  It is totally worth it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

movies and books

John and I signed up for Netflix a few months so I have been furiously catching up on all of the movies I wanted to see but never got the chance.  Below are my reviews of a few- in case you are interested.

Julie and Julia:  I inexplicably LOVED this movie!  I laughed my head off at the entire pretext and Julie's freak-outs in the kitchen.  I loved the characters and the pretext and pretty much everything about it. 
John's comment:  The very few funny places were not worth the time it took to watch the entire movie.  I think, secretly, he liked it, too!  Ok, not really.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas:  Although I wasn't majorly impressed with the character development (aside from maybe the mother and the main little boy), the movie was a thought provoking glimpse of how regular German families/families of soldiers reacted to the atrocities of WWII.  Actually, the indoctrination process of antisemitism reminded me a little of "The Book Thief" (a good read!).  However, the ending made me physically ill.  I would not recommend this movie to anyone with kids or a tender heart or feelings in general. 
John's comment:  It was not as good as some of the other WWII movies we have seen (ie:  A Beautiful Life), but not bad.

Terminator Salvation:  This is probably my favorite of the Terminator movies.  The only reason I say that is that we really enjoyed the Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles tv series and since this movie was all John Conner all the time (plus, Christian Bale to boot!) I felt some sort of connection to the characters.  I was also not nearly as terrified as I thought I would be.  Can we say desensitized? 
John:  It was okay.

(FYI:  John's comment "It was okay" could mean anything from so so to loved it, just so you know.)

As for some good books:

Our book club just read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  Anyone with boys should read this book and then read it to their boys.  It is so much fun!  (appropriate for kids maybe 8+)

I also just reread Catching Fire which is book two of The Hunger Games series.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Read this!  I have a copy if anyone wants to borrow it.  (YA Lit)

I also just finished The Mislaid Magician which is book three of the Sorcery and Cecilia series.  These are fun books written as letters of correspondence.  There are two authors for these books and they don't discuss the plot ahead of time so they never quite know where the story is headed.  (YA Lit)

Speaking of books written as letters of correspondence, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a great read!  (adult historical fiction)

And my last recommendation is a book I have not yet read but it is sitting on my to-read shelf.  It is Heir to Sevenwaters, book four (I think) continuing on the Daughter of the Forest series by Juliet Marillier.  She is an incredible writer.  Her stories are beautifully told and the characters are riviting and thoroughly enjoyable.  (adult fiction/fantasy)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Sam was on something today.  Every time he opened his mouth he had us cracking up!
For example:

Sam (looking at Matthew):  Oh!  He's growing a neck!


Sam:  Dad what was your grandma's name?
John:  Well one of my grandmas was named Regina.
Sam:  That's a pretty name.  I know a pretty R name too:  Rachel.  That is Tigress' middle name!

Tigress is Samuel's tiger webkinz now apparently named Tigress Rachel Traverso

Rachel is a girl in Samuel's first grade class who rides the bus with him.  He also happens to have a little crush on her.  In fact, he takes his smallest elephant stuffed animal to school with him almost every day because it is Rachel's favorite and he knows she will sit with him on the bus if he has it with him.

Watch out girls, here he comes!

Monday, January 11, 2010

5 months

Yes, I know I have two other kids and I promise I will post about them soon, but Matthew just hit the five month mark.  We didn't have an official doctors visit so I tried weighing him on our scale at home- 19.5lbs in case you were wondering.  Of course that was fully dressed and with a really full diaper so actual weight is probably closer to 18lbs.
Matthew is starting to hit the playful stage.  He LOVES when his big brothers talk to him (and they do- in a cute little baby talk), he LOVES when Daddy holds him or talks to him or looks at him and he is also starting to enjoy his toys. 
Matthew has also started some solids.  He is a champion cereal eater and is a big fan of sweet potatoes and squash.  (Are we sure he is our kid?)  He is also adamantly opposed to peas. (Yep.  He's ours!)
It won't be long before Matthew is rolling over and sitting up.  He can do both about halfway right now (you try moving all of that bulk!) and he is working on his jumping skills in his free time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Big 10

10 years ago yesterday John and I got married in the St. George Temple.  Looking back on it, ten years has flown by!  Of course, we have had our moments- as I am sure every married couple does, but for the most part it has been amazing.  I am having a hard time trying to commemorate this occasion on blogger.

I tried silly:

Here are a few highlights and some things we have learned over the last ten years:
  • Don't agree to do "a little" rapelling with Jared (especially the day before your wedding!).  Little to Jared means off a 250 ft cliff.
  • Erin is crazy on birth control pills- HUGE apology to everyone who knew me the first year John and I were married, those things have way too much hormones for me and I become a complete basket case on them!  I think I may have scares some of my college friends away from the whole marriage thing.  So, listen up!  Marriage is good!  Seriously good!
  • Being fiscally ultra conservative is a good thing, honest.  John has been trying to get me to believe this since the day we married.  I'm almost convinced... some of the time... I guess.  =)
  • You can take the girl out of Utah but the boy isn't budging from Delaware County.    It is a good thing I love the area!
  • Having siblings live with you can be fun- for a short period of time - like a day.  (Just kidding Ty and Becca and Jared and Steph- come back soon, we miss you!)
  • Kids are amazing and fun and sweet and wonderful and exhausting and crazy and all sorts of things we never imagined.
  • Take the number of kids you would like to have and subtract one.  Daddy is the biggest kid of all!
I tried sappy:

I can't believe how quickly the last 10 years have flown by!  At moments I am surprised we haven't killed each other.  But mostly, just like the song I sang to John at our reception, "I wouldn't change a thing that happened on my way to you," I wouldn't change a thing about the last 10 years because I love where we are right now and wouldn't risk losing that for anything.

But really, the best thing to say is:

Wow!  Ten years down, an eternity to go.  I can't wait!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

my sweet Mr James

We went to buy James' special friend, Gracie a birthday present today.  He picked out a pink mermaid Barbie because Gracie loves Barbies.  The following conversation ensued:

Me:  James, do you think Gracie will like her present?
James nodded yes
Me:  I am sure she will because she loves Barbies, doesn't she?
James:  But Mama, she will love the present anyway because it's from me!

So cute!