Tuesday, February 26, 2013


yesterday at work i was suddenly filled with this overwhelming sense of panic at the thought of how quickly time passes.  bennett is already almost eight months old.  he's getting bigger and more independent by the day.  i love seeing him grow and change and develop his own little personality.  each stage we have experienced has brought it's own set of challenges, sure; but, overall, each stage has been so much fun and has brought the greatest sense of joy to our lives.

still, it makes me so sad to think about how quickly it's all going.  i know that might sound crazy to anyone who's not a mama yet.  he's still a baby, afterall.  EVERYONE has said how fast it goes, but i just don't think you can be prepared for that until you're experiencing it first hand.

i want him to stay my little baby forever.  i don't want him to lose his chubby baby legs or his gummy smile.  i want him to continue cooing and chatting to himself in the backseat while we're driving.  i want to see that huge grin each morning when i go into his room to get him from his crib.

it's bittersweet.  there's that tension between wanting everything to stay the same but being excited for the future.

i want to hear bennett say "mama" for the first time.  i want to watch his first steps.  i want to go to his first t-ball game and cheer as loud as i can while runs the bases.  i want to see him develop a relationship with the Lord.

how do you *truly* savor the moments?  how do you avoid the painful sense of "i missed it" or "it passed me by"?  i suppose no one really has the answer to that.  i guess pictures can help, right?

loves chewing on his foam letters (and pretty much anything else he can get his little hands on!)
used to HATE bathtime when he was littler, but now he loves to splash and kick his legs in the water

yep, that happened- they love each other, what can i say?
love that scrunched nose smile.
gotta show some love for george, too :)
 bennett is getting dedicated at church this weekend.  joe flies home from the national sales meeting on a redeye, getting in around 6am and the dedication is at 9am.  if you think of it, please say a few prayers that he gets home in time!

we chose Psalm 25:5 as bennett's life verse:
"guide me in your ways and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

two steps forward, one step back.

two steps forward, one step back.  sorta sums up sleep training.  bennett had been doing great with sleeping through the night.  on occasion we'd hear him stir and fuss around 4am, but he'd go back to sleep within a few minutes or so on his own.  well, the last few nights, he's been waking up multiple times a night again and the poor guy is just wailing.  his little tooth is pushing its way through and is obviously giving him a pretty hard time.  when i've gone in his room he's crying but his nuk is in his mouth, so i know he's in pain and not just unable to soothe himself back to sleep.  it's so hard because there's not a whole lot we can do for him, besides give him infant tylenol/advil and teething tablets.  he doesn't even really calm down when we pick him up or rock him.  plus, we really don't want him to start to need us to help him fall asleep again.  i'm struggling to find a balance between staying consistent with our routine, but also being flexible when something else (like teething) is going on.

if parenting doesn't make you feel completely clueless and full of self doubt, i think that means you're doing it wrong.  in that case, i'm really good at parenting.

i'm hoping that tooth breaks through soon and gives ben some relief and all of us some sleep again.  but i guess either way we'll just be biding our time until the next one decides to make an appearance.  i'm really starting to wonder if teeth are even necessary anyway.

two steps forward, one step back is also the perfect way to describe my weight-loss attempts lately.  i seem to be losing and gaining the same pound over and over the past few weeks.  i've been going to quite a few classes at the gym, so i'm hoping that i'm putting on some muscle.  my clothes are feeling looser, so that's a good thing too.  i do tend to focus too highly on the number on the scale, so i know i need to get over that.  but for such a long time i was losing weight fairly consistently, so it's frustrating to see that it's tapered off lately, despite adding in intentional exercise.  hopefully by staying persistent i'll start to see the number move in the right direction again soon.  consistency is key with weight loss, sleep training, anything i suppose.

admittedly, my frustration with stalled weight loss may also have something to do with the fact that i watch the biggest loser and they're honestly disappointed when they *only* lose 4 pounds in a week.  in my head i know that 1) they have far more weight to lose than i do, and 2) i have slightly more on my plate (in more ways than one, i'm sure!) than they do.  they work out 6+ hours a day and are literally responsible for little else while they're on the ranch.  if only...  i work 40 hours a week and have to cook, clean, take care of a baby, maintain relationships, and manage many other priorities.  so, i guess i should feel pretty good if i make it to the gym a few times and manage to cook a few healthy meals in a week.  if i could lose 4 pounds this month, i'd be thrilled.  so, that's my goal.  4 pounds by march 19th.

Monday, February 18, 2013

lock up.

so i locked bennett in the car on friday.  yep.  there's no better way to start a weekend than locking your 7 month old in the car.  i pulled into the garage and parked after a long day at work and a successful [read: expensive] trip to target.  i was on the phone and had enough bags to carry in from the car that a pack mule would've struggled to carry them all.  naturally, i kept chatting on the phone while simultaneously trying to grab all of the bags at once (heaven forbid i make two trips).  i put my keys on the dashboard and pushed unlock so i could get bennett out of the back seat.  well, at least i thought i pushed unlock.  i must've pushed lock because i came around and tried to open his door, and it was locked.  still chatting, i went back around to the driver's door and tried to open it.  locked too.  i decided it was time to get off the phone.

"jake, i gotta go, i locked ben in the car."

"ummm, ok..."

i ran upstairs and yelled to joe.

"joe, where is the spare key to my car?"

"i don't know.  why?"

"i just locked ben in the car."



joe starts searching the house for the spare key while i stand frozen outside bennett's car window.  oh, i forgot to mention bennett is screaming at this point, and he's only been in the car for two minutes max by himself.

i called the non-emergency police number and tell them i locked my keys in the car.  before i can even say anything else they start asking questions.  name?  address?  phone number?  i nearly cut her off and practically yell "my seven month old son is in the car!"  the operator acts completely unphased by this, as if it happens all the time.  maybe it does.  but still, give a girl some sympathy.  she tells me she'll send an officer as soon as possible.

fifteen minutes later, my attempts to calm bennett throught the window are all in vain.  joe has now said to me (while tears are streaming down my face and i'm having visions of being reported to child protection since he was alone in the car and didn't have a hat on in february in minnesota) "you really need to pay more attention to what you're doing."  good timing on the life lesson, babe.

finally, after 22 minutes and 38 seconds (not that i was keeping track), two officers come up our driveway.  i swear they had doughnut crumbs on their faces.  just kidding.  one says "you couldn't get the kid to unlock the door?"  joe says, "well, he's 7 months old."  the officer responds, "ohh, they told us he was 7 years old."  now i understand the lack of urgency and the doughnut break.

and let me just that we would have a SIGNIFICANTLY different issue on our hands if our 7 year old was refusing to unlock the car door.  a cps report may be warranted in that case.

anyway, it took them ten minutes to break into my car and rescue bennett.  the whole situation was just what i needed to secure my sense of competency as a parent.

i need a doughnut.

Monday, February 11, 2013


we had a great weekend.  we didn't really have much going on, which was a welcome change for us.  friday night we had shredded buffalo chicken (kinda used this recipe) that i'd thrown in the crockpot that morning- easiest dinner ever.  I just put 4 large chicken breasts in the crockpot, poured chicken broth on top until they were fully covered, and then poured in half a bottle of frank's buffalo sauce.  that cooked on low all day and when i got home i shredded the chicken with a fork (though it pretty much fell apart on its own).  we put it on buns, but you could easily make wraps, salads, etc. with it.  yum.  i love stuff that's fast and easy like that.  plus then we used the leftovers for meals throughout the weekend.  after dinner we caught up on scandal- our current favorite show (soooo intense!) and project runway (obviously joe's fave- ha).

saturday morning i went to the gym and did a body pump class.  it was tough, but i didn't realize how tough until i woke up sunday morning!  so. freaking. sore.  the rest of the day we spent cleaning, doing laundry, and lounging.  then that night we went to church and then over to jake and allison's new place to eat dinner and play mexican train.  still on the "losing our buts" series at church, and this week's "excuse" was "but I don't have time."  oh, divine timing.  it was a great message.  i loved this idea jason strand (the pastor) shared: "sometimes we have to say no to good things so we can say yes to God's things."  there's so much going on and sometimes we don't leave ourselves time to truly invest in the work that God has set before us.  he kept talking about how we often need to realize that we're doing a good work right where we are- being a spouse, parent, friend.  he also talked about truly embracing each day, each moment, because our life is but a breath.

"you have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  my entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath." -psalm 39:5

the service really made me think about my priorities.  the other thing jason talked about was how we often busy ourselves with "time wasters"- tv, browsing the internet, texting, video games, etc.- but complain about not having enough time.  he said there's nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying the "time wasters," but that we need to balance our priorities and give these things (tv, video games, etc.) the leftover energy we have, rather than giving our priorities the leftovers.  if we use the "not enough time" excuse for things like reading our bible, spending time with our family, etc., then we really need to look at cutting out some of those "time wasters" to make time for the things that matter most.

like i said, lots to think about.  they're doing baptism next weekend, and joe and i decided we are going to get baptized.  we were both baptized as babies, but we have both wanted to be baptized as adults (believer's baptism).  we're having bennett dedicated in a few weeks at eaglebrook and agreed that we should make that outward commitment ourselves as well.  kind of cool.

sunday we literally stayed in our pajamas all day.  all 3 of us.  it was amazing.  we got some more cleaning and laundry done, i made baby food, and we all took a nap.  such a perfect, lazy, snowy sunday.  then we ended the night watching the grammy's.  joe and i always look up the nominees online and make our picks for who we think will win each of the big awards.  this year we tied, but since i made more "risky" choices, we deemed me the winner.  so, joe has to plan our date night on saturday, when ryan and jeanie are babysitting.  the pressure is on.  ha.  considering we haven't had a date night in months, my date expectations are at an all-time low, so i'm sure whatever he plans will be perfect.

bennett decided he doesn't want to lay still.  ever.  which makes changing his diaper and getting him dressed a nearly insurmountable challenge.  but he's so cute and smiley it's almost impossible to get frustrated.  :)

look at those little buns!
busy week ahead, as usual, but looking forward to seeing my parents for dinner tonight, dinner with two of my girlfriends on wednesday night, a couple classes at the gym, and lots of snuggles with my little man.

Friday, February 8, 2013

dude, where's my phone?

i have a little problem with taking on too much.  i love getting to do things with friends and i'm a big planner, so i will often have many events scheduled months in advance.  i don't like to tell people no, either.  especially not when it's something that i want to do.  but this often gets me in trouble because it gets to be too much.  in and of itself, each event is fine.  combined with a few others in a week on top of working full time, taking care of bennett, cooking, cleaning, sleeping every once in a while, however, i often put myself over the edge.  plus, i know i'm a girl who needs her down time.  i live for a good nap.  not that i've had one in a loonnnngg time, but seriously two-nap days at the cabin are my idea of paradise.  i love watching mindless tv (think: kardashians) and having nowhere to be and no reason to change out of my sweatpants.  oh yeah, i live for sweatpants too.  i'm out of my jeans and into sweats within 5 minutes of getting home, or we have a problem.  not to mention that our dog, george, literally starts shaking when we're at home and not wearing sweats because he knows we're going somewhere.  some might think that's sad.  i happen to be proud.

anyway, my point is, if i don't have enough wiggle-room in my schedule, things feel chaotic.  obviously the first thing to go is housework.  then the house is a mess, we have no clean clothes, and being at home just feels stressful.  case in point: last night.  the house was already a disaster since i was gone last weekend and hadn't done laundry since the beginning of time.  joe was gone overnight for work on wednesday night and was going to get back in town and go straight to his broomball game last night.  i have once-a-month cooking club with my girlfriends the first thursday of the month, where we each cook a dish based around a chosen theme and get together at one of our houses.  well, since that was last night and i was single-momming-it, i kind of knew it'd be a lot.  i hadn't gotten to the grocery store to get the ingredients for my stuffed peppers.  so i got off work at 4, ran to cub to get the stuff i needed for my dish, went and picked up bennett from daycare, and drove home.  by then it was almost 5:30 and i needed to make my dish (which i didn't realize needed to bake for AN HOUR), feed ben, get everything in the car and get to shoreview by 6:30pm, which is about a 15 minute drive.  at this point i should've thought to myself, hmmm, that doesn't add up.  but instead i thought, you got this.

i so did not have this.

ben pretty much started fussing the second we got home.  i kept saying "ohh buddy, you're ok" while frantically trying to dodge dirty dishes, hollow out the peppers, make the filling, and heat up ben's food since he needed to eat by 6.  he was clearly not ok and seemed to resent the fact that i kept saying he was.  fussing turned into crying.  i burned the couscous.  i dropped bennett's sweet potatoes.  blended basil sauce splattered on the counter.  things were not going well and i was becoming increasingly flustered.  i got ben fed, but he was starting to sense my raising anxiety, considering it was 6:20 and i was nowhere near ready to go.  so, despite a full belly, he started fussing again.  i got the half-cooked peppers out of the oven and put the baking dish in a tray, covered it with foil, and brought it out to the car (yes, i did burn my hand, in case you were wondering.  of course i did.).  i grabbed ben's bottle for later that night and put it in the diaper bag and put that in the car.  i got ben in the carseat and then put him in the car, too.  at that point i realized i didn't know where my keys or phone were.  story of my life.

for the next 10 minutes i desperately searched the house and my car for my keys and phone.  ben started screaming.  i almost did too.  needless to say, my lady speedstick was not cutting it.  finally, 7pm and in tears, i gave up.  i got ben out of the car, went inside, and pulled him out of the carseat for a hug.  i needed it.  apparently so did he because he instantly calmed down.  i sent one of the girls an iMessage from my iPad (since i still hadn't found my phone) and just gave a short explanation of why i wasn't there and that i wasn't coming.  once i resigned myself to that, i started to relax.  honestly, bennett didn't stop smiling the rest of the night.

i eventually found both my keys and phone in the trunk of my car.  obviously that's where they'd be.  i must've set them there while grabbing the groceries.

so, that was a long-winded example of why i need to stop trying to do too much.  i should've texted my friends and said i couldn't make it days before.  or told them i could come but probably wouldn't have time to make a dish.  or prepped the dish the night before.  or pretty much anything besides what i did.

you'd think i'd learn my lesson.  i've been making plans for the weekend all day.  let the chaos ensue.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

7 months.

7 months old today.  it is SO crazy how time flies.  i know that is such a cliche' and when you have a baby everyone goes on and on about how fast it goes.  then you experience it for yourself and, for some reason, it still takes you by surprise.

at 7 months, bennett weighs just shy of 17 lbs.  he's sitting up on his own like a champ.  he isn't crawling yet, but rolling seems to be effectively getting him from A to B for now.  he's eating 4 oz. bottles five times a day and 3 of those times he eats solid foods as well.  he LOVES sweet potatoes and hates green beans.  he's [mostly] sleeping through the night, but those teeth bother him every once in a while at night and he needs some tylenol.  no teeth to speak of yet, but he has some big bumps on his gums that show where they're going to pop through any day.  bennett drools constantly and shoves everything (toys, books, george's tail, our fingers) into his mouth.  he loves peek-a-boo, looking in the mirror and bouncing in his jump-a-roo.  he hates getting his nose wiped.  like, really hates.  he cries almost every time we put him in his car seat, smiles seconds later and then falls asleep once we're on the road.  he smiles every time we get him up and has the cutest sleepy eyes ever.
good morning, world!
he's very independent, very happy and very social.  he's his mom and dad's world.

joe, george and bennett survived boys' weekend last weekend while i was in chetek with my girlfriends.  things seemed to go relatively smoothly, athough ben was not wearing pants in a single picture joe sent me of him.  joe's justification was "it's boys' weekend" and, "george wasn't wearing pants either."  mature rationale.

pants-less nap
see those bare legs?
i had a great time with my friends, despite missing my boys like crazy.  i think i needed that break.  and joe had fun being mr. mom, but said he had a new-found appreciation for what it is like for me when he's gone.  i'll take it.

i got the official word last week that my work schedule will be changing around the end of february.  i'll be working monday through thursday 8-4 and have fridays off.  i'm thrilled.  i won't, unfortunately, get PTO any longer, but i suppose beggars can't be choosers.  i'm so looking forward to a day at home each week with my little buddy.  my new job title is "Credentialing and Community Outreach Coordinator."  sounds important, right?  well, it is.

we're looking forward to a low-key weekend with hardly anything planned.  march is going to be crazy busy for us, so we're soaking up all the down time we can get right now.

here are some of our favorite photos from the shoot we did with megan daas last weekend...