You say Tornado and I say Potato

So this story might need a bit of a lead-in:

Lead in #1 – Evie often confuses tomatoes with potatoes and vise versa

Lead in #2 – The other day, when all this talk about the potential tornados was being had, Evie wanted to join in the conversation by stating the following in a very matter of fact tone, “Mommy, when the tormato comes, it will probably suck me up.  Don’t worry though, Mommy, when the tormato sucks me up and I’m in the tormato, I will say goodbye, like this.”  She waves and says, “Byyyeee”.  I shared this story with a few folks because I thought it was so cute and funny.  I think she may have heard it.

So, those are the lead ins.  Just now, I was upstairs supervising as the kids finished their chores and cleaned their room.  I happen to notice that one of their window panes has been colored and I have no doubt who the artist might be.  I call Evie over to the window and point at it.  She looks sheepishly at me.  I asked asked her if we color on the windows.  She said, “No.”  I asked her if we color on the walls.  She said, “No.”  I asked her what we use to color.  She said, “Paper.  But I’m four, I don’t know about paper.”

Me trying not to smile, “Yes, you do Evie.  You are a very smart little girl and you know about paper.”

Her, again spoken matter of factly, “But I say potato.”

Me, confused, “What??”

Her, “When there is something swirly in the sky I say it is a potato because I’m only four.”

Yup…that is the point in which I could no longer contain my laughter.  Man, I love that kid.

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What happened? Where did it go?

Have you seen it? I can’t find it. Perhaps I should post some signs in the neighborhood: “Please return to owner”.

I seem to have lost a bunch of time somewhere. In four short weeks, my first born will be starting school. In a couple months, my second born will turn 3. Whoa! Whoa! Stop the clock…or at least slow it down, please. I’m begging here.

I’m so excited for Gabe to start school but in the same thought, our lives are changing so much at the end of this summer. Soon, I’ll be getting two of us ready in the mornings. I probably won’t be leaving breakfast for Mike to handle. I’ll probably need to find time to feed two of us in the morning. We will be purchasing school supplies over the next 4 weeks. Over dinner maybe I’ll get to hear some stories about what they did in school or something the teacher said or new friends.

Mike will get to spend more time with Evie. You know she doesn’t know it, but she kind of got gypped. When Gabe was a baby, one of us was constantly holding him and cuddling him. When he was a toddler, we were working with him with flash cards. We played with him frequently. We were completely engaged. Evie didn’t get that. When she was a baby, we just couldn’t hold her all the time. We had to tend to Gabe and keep an eye on Gabe. While she’s been a toddler we’ve had very little time to work with her, play with her and engage with her. So, Evie is going to get some one on one time with her Daddy during the days and I’m excited for her. She’s got one of the best daddies in the world and will be a lucky little girl to have him all to herself.

Mike said something that broke my heart. He said, “Once Gabe starts school, I’m not going to see my son.” The part that broke my heart is that he’s not exaggerating.

Most of you know we work opposite shifts. Consequently, one of us is always with the kids. Mike is home with them during the day. I’m with them in the evenings. Mike sleeps in split shifts. He goes to work between 9:30 PM and 10:30 PM. He gets home between 3:30 AM and 5:30 AM. These days he usually gets in around 4 AM. He sleeps until 7 AM, 2-3 hours of sleep. Then he’s up with the kids all day. He goes back to bed around 6:30 PM after I get home from work and sleeps another 2-3 hours, waking around 9 PM. Once Gabe starts school, Mike may see Gabe just for the car ride to school. He’ll get a couple hours with him in the afternoon. That is about it.

Mike and I have contemplated having Mike move to a weekend only work schedule and I’ve always been against it. You see, our only “family time” takes place on the weekends. This is the only time we co-parent. The only time Mike and I have alone time is on the weekends after the kids are in bed. So, selfishly I just haven’t wanted to forfeit any of that time. Hearing the sorrow in Mike’s voice as he pointed out he would have such little time with his son was all I needed to change my mind.

He needs to be with our children and our children need to be with him. So, maybe we won’t have as much alone time. Maybe we won’t have weekends available to do fun family things or visit our non-local family…but we will make this work.

Life is changing in the Roberts household.

So Much Joy

I try but I’m sure I fail to convey exactly how much joy my children bring me. You all know the story. I wasn’t supposed to have any. I’ve got cyst covered ovaries and consequently thought my body was too broken to provide me with children of my own. Yet here I am with two angels. Two miracles.

I’ve never laughed quite like I’ve laughed as a Mom when my kids say or do something funny. For example, my son knows that there are two kinds of pizza. There is pizza with “big pepperoni”…like homemade pizza, pizza you order for delivery/carryout or some larger frozen pizza. Then there is pizza with “little pepperoni” like the small personal pizzas that we keep on hand for the kids that are easy to microwave and quick. Gabe calls them “little pizza”. The pepperoni is chopped into tiny little pepperoni squares. Similar to what might be found on a Totinos pizza.

Well, my hubby being clever put some left over “big pepperoni” on one of the small personal pizzas before heating and serving to Gabe. At which point my 4-year old son exclaimed, “HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL! Big pepperoni on little pizza!” Mike told me about this while I was at work and I literally laughed out loud. My cubicle neighbor even commented because I got such a tickle out of it, so I had to tell her about it too.

I’ve never felt fear quite like the feeling when one of my children is critically ill.

  • The night that we rushed Gabe to the ER because he couldn’t breath. The terror consumed me. I couldn’t sleep until he was home and I knew he would be OK.
  • Watching a team of doctors and nurses surround my infant daughter while prepping a crash cart. I sobbed and shook with fear while I watched and didn’t know exactly what was going on or if my daughter would be all right.
  • Parental emotions are really overwhelming but the most wonderful part is the JOY. The overwhelming joy that I feel every day of my life because of my family and my beautiful, wonderful children. The joy that brought tears to my eyes as I kissed my daughter and laid her down to bed tonight and she says to me, “Aw woo woo Mommy”. Words that maybe only Mommy and Daddy can understand. Words that mean so much and I kiss her sweet little face, as a tear of joy rolls down my cheek and I say, “I love you too, Boo. Now get some…”

    She finishes my sentence, “seep.”

    A Glimse of Yesterday

    It is so hard to believe that four years have past. It seems like yesterday and then again it seems like there was never life before.

    I remember it all so vividly. I remember…

    April 2004 – Discussion with my husband how we can afford adoption in the states. Feeling certain after two years of trying that I would never carry my own child. Feeling broken but at the same time hopeful.

    July 2004 – Just a few months later, I’m looking at that little blue plus sign on a stick. Not believing my very eyes. My heart racing as I tell me husband that we are pregnant.

    August 2004 – Sitting on a couch for two days, after visiting the ER with bleeding and cramps. Certain that I’ve lost our child only to see his tiny little heartbeat on a monitor just two days later. At that moment, I was lost in love for my tiny baby that was no bigger than a small bean inside my belly.

    March 2005 – Going to my regularly schedule prenatal visit, only to be admitted immediately to the hospital due to out of control blood pressure. Potentially fatal blood presure. Being given that terrible seizure medication that made me so sick, but kept me from dying or going into a coma. Then being rushed into an emergency c-section 4 weeks prior to my due date. Though I was so sick and miserable, when I heard the lungs of my newborn son give out a good healthy cry, I was overwhelmed by the joy and the tears fell.

    So many landmark occassions were yet to come…

    July 2005 – My beautiful miracle baby boy, Gabriel, took his first bites of cereal. Needless to say, he was a natural! 🙂

    September 2005 – Gabe cut that first tooth. Over the next several months he would cut the rest and consequently develop one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen.

    February 2006 – My little baby took his first steps. He took that first big leap from baby to toddler and he did it with flair. He didn’t just take a step and stumble, he stood up in the middle of the living room floor (also a first) and just took off. He took six whole steps before he stumbled. I guess he decided he was ready in no uncertain terms.

    June 2006 – He was forming his first words. Words that only his parents could understand, but it was a welcome change. We could soon stop guessing what he needed. He could tell us for himself.

    April 2007 – He moves from a crib to a bed. A smooth and painless transition.

    There were so many more landmark occasions. Birthdays have come and gone. There are so many more landmark occasions to come. I actually consider today one of them. Today, my beautiful miracle turns four. Today, I must accept that my baby is now a little boy. Today, I realize that school is that much closer. Today, I cry because four years ago I was given the greatest gift ever…my family.

    I love you, Gabey. You will ALWAYS be my baby.

    I Wish

    Well, I’ve been asked a couple times what I want for Christmas. I can never think of anything when I’m on the spot, even though I know there are things I wished I had. So I finally put together an Amazon wish list. At this late notice, I certainly don’t expect to get any of these things for Christmas, but I figured this would help me budget in some of my wish list things in the future and give me a venue to keep track of stuff at the time, so the next time I’m put on the spot, I’ll have an answer!

    My Amazon.com Wish List

    I can also make “shopping” lists for the kids. Gabey’s at the age where he sees something on a commercial and knows to ask for it for Christmas or his birthday. I can easily lose track of these things but now I’ll just add them to the kids list and I can also share it with Grandparent (especially the long distance ones) next year!

    Here is Mike’s list.

    Here is Gabe’s list.

    Here is Evie’s list.

    My Life, My Beautiful, Wonderful Life

    I just had a moment. One of those moments where everything makes sense. One of those moments where you actually wonder if you can see God’s hands in your world. It was a simple moment. Gabe fell asleep in our bed, while Mike and I watched a movie in the living room. When the movie ended, and Mike held our sleeping boy in his strong and powerful arms that is when the moment happened.

    In an instant, I saw Gabe’s cheek peacefully resting on his Daddy’s shoulder while he hung in Mike’s arms like a rag doll. I saw the strong, honest, kind and handsome man that I married carrying my first born child. In that same moment, I saw the house around me. The toys strewn all over the house. One lonely dining chair in position from when me made a blanket fort last night. My panty hose all over the floor in the bedroom, because Evie loves to empty drawers or baskets of clothes. A basket of laundry waiting patiently to be washed.

    In that moment all I can think is this is my life, my beautiful, wonderful life.

    Trick-or-Treat

    Well, we had a fun, but busy Halloween. If possible, I try to take Halloween off at work, so Mike can sleep in and take part in the festivities in the evening.

    I took Halloween Friday off from work but it sure was a busy day! I got up with the kids, we all got ready and went out for breakfast. I love taking the kids to breakfast. It is just “us” time. We typically have breakfast at Super Saver every Saturday morning before we get groceries. It was nice to have an extra day to get breakfast with the kids.

    Then we drove to Omaha to drop off Evie’s heart monitor. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but since Evie had issues with her heart as a newborn, we’ve had regularly scheduled trips to a cardiologist, which have included Evie wearing a monitor for 24 hours a few days prior to our appointment with the cardiologist. So, basically it is one trip to Children’s hospital to have the heart monitor hooked up. Another trip to drop off the heart monitor so they can read the results prior to the visit and the third trip for the actual appointment. So, I was handling the 2nd trip. While we were there we realized that they were having a “Fall Festival” in their lobby.

    We hung out and did that for a while. There were games, with a lot of prizes; face painting; pumpkin painting; loads of fun to be had. I wished I had Evie’s stroller for the excursion though! Then by the time we wrapped up at the hospital, it was all ready 11:00 AM. So I headed home so we could have some lunch and put the kids down for their nap.

    I was hoping they would nap early, because I planned to take them to one of the ConAgra buildings that was having a trick-or-treating event. No such luck, but we rushed after the nap and still made it for the last 20-30 minutes of the event.

    Then we headed to my Brother’s place. We don’t have much trick-or-treat activity in our neighborhood, so we always take the kids to my brother, Mike’s place. His wife, Lea, always puts on a big show. She outdid herself by making chili, cornbread, guacamole dip, candy corn nut mix, caramel apples, brownies and more! They have a ton of kids in their neighborhood too and nearly every porch light is on. It was a lot of fun and Gabe had a bit more stamina this year than the past years.

    So, it was a full day!

    Plus, we had the actual Cardiologist visit this week. Evie is now completely off medication to regulate her heart, her readings were completely normal and we don’t have to go to the cardiologist anymore! I look at her now and it is hard to believe she spent so many days in the NICU. 🙂

    A little something to make you smile!

    Thankful

    Gabe’s new thing is Veggie Tales. Which is pretty cool. The message in these shows is very good and I’ve got to tell ya, they are enjoyable for even us adults. Now, those of you who have children may understand…but let me tell you. Your music preferences just might change drastically when you have kids. This is what I mean…I LOVE THIS SONG!! Seriously, I totally love this song!

    There isn’t much to look at here…just listen. I sing it in my head all day long at work. I had to buy it from iTunes…not because Gabe would want to hear it. In fact I knew if Gabe heard it, it would just make him want to watch the TV show. Nope, I got it just for me.

    Bottle Feeding Advice

    Having a baby? Not sure what bottle to buy? Here is my friendly Mommy advice. After having my second child, I have realized that you can’t have any clue what bottle to use. Playtex Ventaire Wides worked best for Gabriel. So, I was dead set on using them again with Evie. She’s not crazy about them.

    So, if you can’t breastfeed or choose not to breastfeed, my suggestion…don’t buy a lot of any specific kind of bottle. By an assortment and let your child decide. Use the following to make the final decision. How well do they take the nipple? How much milk do they lose either out of the nipple or their mouth while feeding? How much do they spit up afterward?

    Decide what works best and then buy some more bottles in that brand.

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