The Rain Coat Ceremony

So Aaron had his White Coat Ceremony this weekend. Not really sure how to describe it. It was really nice.Really it was one of the best type of things like that I've ever been to. It started exactly on time. The speakers were interesting, and concise. Then they called each student by name and robed them in their white lab coats. I got teary eyed a few times thinking of how proud I am of Aaron. It was not an easy road to get here. For a while it was hard for him to even think about going back to school. And then once he did, it was crazy. He worked 40 hours a week, did all his premed stuff in a record semester, and then took the PCAT only a few months into his science classes. (Oh and he kicked its trash by the way). And then he got into each school he applied to. And then he moved us across the country because I wanted to. (Okay and maybe some divine inspiration there too...) But still... I am very proud.

The students had to be there a half hour before the ceremony started. Which meant I had almost 2 hours of trying to entertain my kids in a place not quite meant for kids, all by myself. Fun, right? So before it started we walked around. I wanted to take a cute picture of my girls on this fancy little couch. This is what I got.


And then when I told her to get her feet off the couch, this was her solution....
Classic Olivia.

*also the title of this post is another Olivia quote. We made Aaron a cake, and I pathetically drew a "white coat" on it. Olivia kept calling it a rain coat. I'm pretty sure she thinks we did all this fanfare for a rain coat. Makes sense in her world.



Every day we wake up eat breakfast, watch some PBS Kids, occasionally we have to drive Aaron to school and we go to dance class or Jazzercise. We play some games in the playroom. We eat lunch. We take naps. Well the kids take naps and/or have mandatory "quiet time". I clean or watch Monk on Netflix. And then we try to pass the time until dinner time. Then we watch another show, give kids baths and put them to bed. Then Aaron studies while I waste hours on the computer or watching TV.

I feel like life could not be more boring lately! I am trying to be grateful for the boringness. It is calm. Days keep passing quietly. My kids keep growing. I mean, obviously, right? But last night Olivia had a bad dream and I went into her room to comfort her. I rocked her in the same chair I rocked her in almost three years ago. I laid her in her "big girl bed" and covered her with her comforter. And I remembered all the nights I would stay in her room until she was asleep. Patting her back over her crib, counting in my head, waiting until she was asleep enough for me to sneak away. Literally I spent hours putting her to bed each night. Pat/shushing until my back was killing me. I thoughts those nights would never end. And now they're gone. And as I thought about that I cried. She's growing up. I know everyone, literally everyone, says they grow up so fast. But when you're in the middle of it - when the days are dragging like they are now - it doesn't seem to go fast at all. But when you look at your baby and she's this entire little person and not so much of a baby anymore, you really wonder where the time goes.


nothing new

So seriously nothing new is going on around here. I feel like I have nothing to blog about. So to keep things interesting here are some things from forever ago that never made it to the blog.

A few visits to NJ ago, my Aunt Kathy took us to the Staten Island Zoo. It was seriously the cutest little zoo ever. Olivia was too afraid to do a pony ride. I bet if we go back this year she'll be all about it.

The other picture is of Abigail in the hotel with Aaron and I when we were first checking out apartments in Erie. I just thought she looked hilariously cute with her hair in the hand towel like that.

....and yeah random posts lately. I'm sure something exciting is bound to happen around here sooner or later. Today is laundry day, that's always exciting.



No, not us. Our friends Drew and Amy Stewart in Arizona are looking for a sibling for their sweet little boy. They are the most incredible couple. I think any child would be incredibly blessed to have them as parents. Anyway, I know this is an unusual post, but Amy seriously is the sweetest girl. I wish I could have a baby to just give to them - but it doesn't really work like that, does it? So if anyone knows anyone in a situation where they are looking or considering putting their baby up for adoption please send them to the Stewart's adoption blog. Or contact me and I can put them in contact with Amy. Feel free to repost this and help this awesome couple!


I remember a time when I was about 7 or 8 or so. Poppy came and picked me up from my house and took me to his. I don't remember why it was just him and I in the car. I know I was going to spend the weekend up at Nanny and Poppy's. Or something like that. I really don't remember anything about why this car ride was taking place. But I remember the car ride. I have always loved to talk. And that car ride, with Poppy's undivided attention - I was in hog heaven! I talked his ear off, the entire 1 hour car ride. I talked about school, about friends, who knows what other deep thoughts I had as an 8 year old. And he just listened. I don't think I let him get a word in edgewise. I heard him talking to Nanny that night. "Oh boy - that girl can talk and talk." But he wasn't complaining. I really felt like he enjoyed listening to me as much I enjoyed talking. 

Today would have been Poppy's 83rd birthday. My heart is so heavy. I miss him so much lately. My heart breaks for my Nanny. She's doing amazingly well, and she shocks me with how independent she can be. She showed me all that she did by herself - moving furniture, painting basement stairs, hanging curtains. And she's surrounded by her 3 daughters who take great care of her. But still. I can't imagine the emptiness that must come when someone who has been by your side for 55 years is no longer there.

Today for Poppy's birthday we are having clams for dinner. And listening to some patriotic music. Maybe I'll put on some Rush Limbaugh while I'm at it. 


Things That Weren't a Luxury Until I Had Kids....

So this is a little list that has been growing in my head for a while.

Things That Were NOT a Luxury Until I Had Kids....

1 - An uninterrupted shower.
2 - Eating dinner without someone on my lap.
3 - Sleeping past 7:00am
4 - Having sick days.
5 - Any time I am alone with my husband
6 - Silence
7 - A clean house
8 - Grocery shopping by myself
9 - Privacy in the bathroom
10 - Heck, privacy anywhere!

I'm sure there's plenty more. What are yours?


magic and salt.

So Abigail chokes at almost every meal. She usually coughs a bit and is fine. Tonight she was trying to cough, but turning red. She was really choking. Aaron grabbed her and went all baby Heimlich on her. It took a few seconds that felt like hours, but she got it out eventually. I told Aaron I was seriously scared she was going to die. Cue Olivia.

"MOMMY! Don't say that! Abigail can't DIE. Jesus made her! Jesus made her magical. So she can't die. He made her out of magic and salt."

Cue hysterical laughter. From magic and salt we have come, to magic and salt we will return.


Nothing really to say...

But it's been a while. Like almost a week. How are you all getting along without reports of my antics?

Life is no less crazy than usual. Today I was talking to my mom and she asked what we were doing since Aaron had the day off. I told her about this deal going on at Chic-Fil-A, and that our big plans for today were to take advantage of it. And we laughed. But seriously they had a promotion today that whatever you bought, would print on a blue receipt. You can bring the blue receipt back in anytime between now and Feb something, and get everything on your receipt (third time I typed receipt and I spelled it wrong every single time, thank you spell check) again but FOR FREE! So basically, we got $17.00 worth of food, and next time we go in we will get $17 worth of free food. I mean, seriously, THATS EXCITING! .... and that's the extent of the excitement around here.

Olivia was cute with Abigail at Chic-Fil-A. Abigail had climbed up into the tube things, and there were a bunch of kids running around. I heard Olivia yelling at the other kids, "That's my sister Abigail! No body push her!" And in my head I heard her say, "because that's my job!"... but she didn't really say that. But sometimes she acts like it. Their relationship is so fun to watch develop. I love watching Olivia be the big sister. I also love that Olivia really doesn't remember life without Abigail. They love to snuggle in bed together while Aaron or I tell them a bedtime story. They fight over toys. Abigail copies EVERYTHING Olivia does. Olivia fell down the other day. Abigail stopped what she was doing, and fell to the ground. Just to copy Olivia. I pointed it out to Olivia and she thinks it's fabulous. She kept doing different things so Abigail would copy her. I know it's only a matter of time before we're at the stage where Olivia will be mortally offended that Abigail is copying her and I'll constantly be hearing, "SHE'S COPYING ME!".... so for now I'm soaking up the cuteness.

I have been feeling kind of blah. I think I'm getting sick. I have a scratchy throat. And I just lost steam today. My to-do list this morning was miles long, and I got about 1/4 of it done. It's so hard to not be lazy. Seriously. If I could I think I would lay around all day every day. Thinking of my grandmother motivates me. Seriously, she is like 80 years old and she never stops. I called her the other day when she was snowed in. You would think, you are snowed in at 80 years old, you would be laying around on the couch, reading a book, watching tv or something. Not Nanny. No way. By 10:00 she had scrubbed her bathtub, mopped her floors and was baking cookies. She irons PILLOWCASES and UNDERWEAR. I want to be just like her. Like that whole "shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you'll land among the stars" mentality. If I shoot for being like Nanny... I'll never reach it (because honestly, I have ironed Aaron's SHIRTS like 5 times in the last 5 years, I just don't see myself ironing underwear any time soon) but maybe I'll be a little better. Like I'll start making my bed, or not leaving dishes in the sink overnight. And to all of you who read this to Nanny - edit this post for me, okay? Don't let her know I don't make my bed. And I think she might have a stroke if you let her know I left dishes in the sink. But seriously, I think about it all the time. I just want to be more like her. She is as far from lazy as you can get. How did I end up this way???

So tomorrow I'll evoke my inner Nanny and finish my to-do list. But tonight I'll hop into my unmade bed and leave the dishes in the sink.


poison pizza

So I'm tired. Really tired. And I'm laying in bed. The kids are watching a show downstairs. Eating raisins. I hear, "Here little birdy! Here birdy!" Over and over again. I thought to myself, "How cute, Olivia is pretending Abigail is a little bird. And feeding her. That's cute." I finally get out of bed... I was honestly probably only laying there for maybe 10 minutes. I come downstairs and raisins are EVERYWHERE! Apparently Abigail wasn't a very hungry birdy. We pick up the entire box of raisins and put them back in the container because I'm that kind of mom.

Then I have a basket of freshly clean, folded laundry. While I  turn my back Abigail empties the entire contents of the basket. We pick it all up, and put it away.

While I'm putting away clothes in Abigail's dresser, Abigail is emptying the clothes from Olivia's.

She refuses to sit in her highchair. She climbs out and stands on her tray. To give me heart palpitations, I'm sure of it. Aaron even tied her into it with the tie right off his neck. And she climbed out, to stand on her tray.

Abigail's vocabulary consists of grunts and pointing, mama, dada, uh-oh, eeese (please), a dog-like pant, and now an evil laughter. She got that from Olivia tonight when Olivia said in her mean witch voice, "I'm making a magical pizza. It will make you go to sleep... FOREVER!! Mwuahahhaha!" She really has her evil laugh down. And then Abigail copied it. Perfectly. It was straight from a cartoon. The little villain and her mute little sidekick who doesn't really know what's going on but laughs evilly anyway.

Should I be worried my 2 year old is pretending to poison me with pizza? She certainly knows my weakness.

Sorry this post is pretty random. This day was pretty random. Sometimes I just like to remember these random moments.



Abigail, stay my little baby forever. Never get any bigger.
No! Mommy, Abigail has to grow up and get bigger.
Why? Why can't she stay little forever?

...In that case I guess I can let her get a little bigger.



Olivia and I had some one-on-one time yesterday. We went to see Tangled. It was super fun. I loved the movie. Even though there were a lot of intense parts, during which Olivia would scream, "MOMMY TURN THIS OFF!" And I'd try to distract her with candy or something. When it was over I asked her what her favorite parts were. She said she had two favorite parts. A bad part and a good part. Her favorite good part was when "they fell in true love and kissed". And her favorite bad part was when they running away as fast as they could. Then we stopped by a baby shower. And I hoped she'd fall asleep for a nap on the way home. She came awfully close, but managed to keep herself awake long enough to be absolutely miserable for the rest of the day. Which is why she went to bed at 6:30. 


Things that Inspire

I love the beginning of a new year. I like a fresh start. I like a chance to be better than I was before. I like having dates like January 1st to measure my progress by. I want to be a better mom. Some things on the internet contribute to that goal. Some things take away from it. I thought I'd share a few things that have inspired me lately.

I love this post. I love the way Lonica talks about being a Stay-At-Home Mom. She talked about teaching her barely 1 year old how to hold the dustpan while sweeping. I thought about how much easier it is to put my kids in front of the TV, rather than try to sweep with them "helping". Reading this I realized even those moments that will probably be forgotten are oh so important.

http://barefootinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/01/resolution.html <-- Stephanie reminds me that being a good mom isn't always about the cleanest house, and getting everything done, but enjoying the moments.

http://www.mormon.org/me/1JWZ-eng  <--- This video will make you bawl. This mother lost a 3 year old child. And she understood it was God's will. And she was so sad, but she accepted it. It is heart wrenching.

http://www.mormon.org/me/141P-eng <--- Mom of 2 kids with special needs. She's amazing. My favorite line is when she says, "I'm a mom, and I take my job very seriously."

Which got me thinking about taking my job as a mom seriously. Sometimes I don't think of it as a job at all. Sometimes I'm jealous Aaron gets to be going to school every day while I'm home dealing with stuff like this. But then I read posts like Lonica's and I realize what a blessing it really is to be home with these kids. I have a degree in Special Education. I could be working every day. Maybe I'd make a dent in the student loans are taking out. But I don't want anyone else raising my kids. I may not be the best mom. I make a lot of mistakes. But I'm learning. Maybe by baby number 6 I'll have it figured it out. (Yes I still want 6 babies, someone get my head examined.) In the meantime, I'm working on it. And loving it. And my number 1 New Year's Resolution is to take my job as a mom more seriously.



7:00am - "MOMMY!! MOMMMYYY!!!"
       "Can you go get her and bring her to bed with me if Abigail isn't up yet?" I nudge my still sleeping husband, attempting to give myself 10 more minutes in bed.
        "Uhh...huh..." He groans and rolls over and lays there until..
       He gets up and returns with both toddlers.
7:30am - We've gone through 3 different breakfast options and settled on yogurt and raisins.
7:45am - Sitting on recliner, I pick up Olivia who is whining to sit with me. Somehow she scratches her leg on an exposed piece of upholstery. It's pretty bad. Much crying, wailing, and gnashing of teeth commence. Much cajoling, hot chocolate offering, kisses and bandaids are given.
 Meanwhile, Abigail is making a mess of her yogurt. Snow is piling up outside. Aaron is getting ready for school. After I finish bandaging Olivia I clean up Abigail. I strip of her jammies, and end up leaving her in a diaper because I plan on taking her in the shower with me later. Aaron leaves for school. I realize I never asked him to help me find my phone. I look around upstairs, and downstairs. No luck. I start to clean up the mess of breakfast. Aaron returns home from school.
          "Oh yay! Did you realize we never found my phone?" I ask.
          Aaron laughs and unzips his jacket. He had put his jacket on to warm up the car while his shirt was in the dryer. Then he forgot to get his shirt from the dryer. And left for school in pants, jacket and an undershirt. While he grabbed his shirt I used his phone to call mine. Followed the ringing up to the girls' room. Found my phone shoved in a random backpack of Olivia's. Ahh peace of mind, I have my phone.
         What was that about peace of mind? Or is it piece of mind? I run down the rest of the stairs, and indeed Abigail had gotten her diaper off and pooped on the floor. Clean Abigail, leave her in kitchen sink, while I scrub poop stains from the carpet.
8:19am - "MOM! WATER IS GETTING EVERYWHERE!" I run into the kitchen and water is everywhere. And Abigail grabbed my phone charger and had it completely underwater. I don't know much about these things, but I'm pretty sure that's not good. Clean up water, dry my charger, get kids cleaned, dried and dressed.
8:45am- Lay Abigail down for her morning nap early. Say a prayer of gratitude that Abigail is easy going enough that she'll gladly go back to bed anytime I put her there.
This is a typical morning. I wrote all this in a notebook while it was happening because it was just too crazy. Looking back I can see how I contributed to the chaos. Making a note now - don't leave Abigail in a diaper. Don't leave Abigail in the sink. Be careful of things sticking out of chairs. I'm learning. Work in progress around here.


That Olivia

"Once there was a lady who wanted to get a fish. Every time she tried to grab one, it got away. One day she got one! And she pushed it. And her fishing pole, she rolled it, and rolled it and rolled it, and rolled it, and she got it! And she brought it home. And it was a baby fish for her baby. And her tried to get another fish but the lady didn't got another one. Then she had yummy dessert."

Olivia has been playing imaginary games all day. I typed this story as she was saying/acting it. I wish I had done this earlier when she was pretending to be a fairy and reading her fairy scriptures because the fairy king died. And then turned into a monster. And the scriptures said to give him a sour apple. (Her "scriptures" were a copy of Twilight).

And she's been making up sweet songs. And saying she's going to school, but don't worry she'll be back in "5 minutes".

She also lectured me today for drinking all of her water. "Mom, you just have to ask me first. You can't just take it. You have to ask, and I will say yes. You can't just drink it all gone. If you are thirsty just ask for one sip."


Olivia the misfit angel

Olivia didn't want to wear the cute store brought costume that her grandmother got for her. So she ended up with the one I made in a bout 10 minutes by cutting up a pillowcase. So this picture is kind of cute, but use your imagination to picture how she looked by the end of the night.  When all the angels came out, Olivia's halo had fallen around her neck, the garland from her wings had come unglued and she was trying to hold it, the garland around the edge was also slightly undone and dragging on the ground, and the neck hole I cut was a little too big and hanging to one side so she had one shoulder exposed (think early 90's late 80's fashion). Christy leaned over to me and joked she was the misfit angel. I laughed so hard. Her actions went along with the look. She was just kind of running around and dancing. Which is all I expected really. I will never forget Olivia the misfit angel.

The Opie Nativity is one of my favorite holiday traditions and I was so glad we were able to be there for it. This is a picture of the chaos. Grandpa Opie reads the Christmas story from the scriptures, and we sing some hymns between verses. The younger kids act out different parts. Then we do a gift exchange. Each person has one other person. So you get one gift, you give one gift type of thing. And then Santa comes. I don't know why I can't find the pictures of Santa. But it was lots of fun.



I am going to lose weight this year. I just have to. If I get brave enough I will post the horrifying picture of me ever taken. It has become my ultimate motivation. I can kind of laugh about it, because I have to, or else I would cry.

I am going to limit my computer time to 1 hour a day.

I think if I can do these 2 things I will be a better person this time next year.  I am excited to see what this year will bring. Another year of Pharmacy school. Olivia turning 3, and Abigail turning 2. It's crazy to think about. I'm sure there will be many trips to NJ. Possibly another trip to AZ. Nothing else planned as of right now. But I'm excited for 2011.


So this is the new year

Let's sum up 2010, shall we?

 January started with a sick Olivia. And a trip to NJ. It was everyone's first time meeting Abigail. And Olivia got a crayon stuck up her nose. That Aaron sucked out with his lungs of steel. That still makes me laugh.

February - Abigail's first trip to Disneyland at 3 months old. Aaron was always gone at school or work.

March - Aaron flew to PA to interview at LECOM. We went to Mexico. Threw a surprise party for my mother-in-law's 50th birthday. Olivia turned 2.

April - Made the decision to move to PA. Olivia got her finger crushed in a door at Chic-Fil-A. She still brings it up whenever we got to a fast food restaurant.

May - We went to Mexico and NJ. Olivia was the flower girl in my cousins wedding.

June - Swim lessons every day. Kids saw their first movie - Toy Story 3.

July - Cabin trip, double dates, Aaron turns 27, and move to PA by way of trip to NJ. For me. Aaron drives cross country with his mom.

August - Def worst month of the year. Started with strep throat as soon as Aaron started school. We didn't have insurance yet. I felt lonely and sick. And then Poppy died. Pretty rough month. Somewhere in there though Aaron and I celebrated 5 years of marriage.

Sept - Abigail took her first steps.

Oct - Another trip to NJ and NYC. I turned 26.

Nov - Abigail turns 1. Thanksgiving in NJ. Olivia starts dance.

Dec - Trip to AZ and Disneyland.

Looking at all this I decided we travel way too much. We are definitely not going anywhere for a while. But it has been a good year. I think the stress of this year can be measured in my weight gain. About 20lbs. About those new years resolutions...


too much to catch up on

AZ was good. Disneyland was crazy. Two weeks, and three time zones later, we are home. The jet lag might kill us before the week is over. We are not going anywhere for a while. If I never see a plane again it will be too soon.

We drove from Disneyland to Phoenix yesterday. Took us about 6 hours. We got home around 8. Put kids right to bed. Then we had to unload the car, do laundry, repack, go through the house and find random things we've left around. Get to bed around 11 (okay I went to bed around 9, while Aaron did most of that stuff, as I wasn't feeling quite right). Wake up at 3:45am. Finish packing. Say a prayer of thanks for good friends like Christy for waking up at 3:45am on New Year's Day to drive us to the airport at 4:00am. Expect to arrive to an empty at airport. I mean who travels at 6:00am on New Years Day? Apparently a lot of people. Security was the longest we have waited in a long time. We arrived at our gate just as we were boarding. Then we got to spend 3 hours on a plane with two cranky toddlers. Then arrive in Cleveland, run to our connecting flight, toting a double stroller, giant bag of toys, backpack of electronics, little backpack of snacks, diaper bag, and a duffel bag full of clothes that didn't fit in suitcases. Then we fly on the smallest jet to Erie. Where we are met with lost luggage. But that's okay because of more good friends like Stuart and Jamie. Who not only found time in their busy Saturday to pick us up from the airport, but picked us up in our car that they cleaned and repaired for us while we are gone. Seriously! My husband has good cousins.

I have lots of New Years Resolutions. Write more about those later. Unpacking the mountains of clothes and toys before the end of January is on the top of the list.