Friday, May 30, 2008


Okay so lately Wyatt has been having lots of nightmares. I think I remember Bella at the same age, so it is probably more developmental than anything. My dilemna is this. Once he has one, you can probably bank on him continuing to have them the rest of the night. I don't do shared sleeping. I have tried making him a bed under my bed, having him lay beside my bed, I have tried night lights, bathroom lights, his light all night, and nothing seems to work or help. We have tried drawing his bad dreams and throwing them away, tearing them, etc... We have given him protection (see above picture), I feel like everything. Any ideas from the peanut gallery. Last night I was up at least six times from 12:30 to 4:15 at which point we put him in bed with Bella. Help Me.

Dutch Apple Dinner Theater

So last night I went with some friends to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater. It is this place in Lancaster widely recommended. It's dinner and a show. I was interested in going, but knowing Travis figured he wouldn't want to and so just put it in the back of my mind. He's not one for musicals and all.

Anyway a friend called with some tickets for last night to see the opening night of Footloose. I was stoked. This way I could enjoy it without worrying about Travis and whether he was getting his money's worth out of it, which he wouldn't be, because it's sort of expensive.

For all who have heard of it or are visiting, I think it is great. I give huge kudos to the place and if that is your cup of tea would highly recommend it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Heaven Help Me

Issac will be two and a half this Sunday, to the day. So the day(s) I have feared are here. I must soon begin the potty training that makes me cringe with fear for a couple months straight. Fear of accidents, of fights, of the whole process. You would think I am a newbie, but no I have done this twice before which is why my fear is totally justifiable.

This is the longest I have ever gone without starting, but I figured it would first be good to give the kid some stability. Or maybe it was just an excuse to procrastinate the inevitable. Either way, wish me luck. I will need it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Can't Fit a Square Peg in a Round Hole

Thus says one of this season's most recently rejected bachelors, on "The Bachelorette". This bachelor, I have no idea his name, that's how short he lasted wasn't quite my cup of tea either. What with his Christian values proclaimed every other minute like a flag being whipped around in the wind as well as virgin status paired also with the fact that every square inch of his body is hairless due to extreme waxing practices and lastly his profession, Pro Football Player sans brain power, I am shocked.

Although The Bachelorette is early in her season it is far less entertaining to watch, because apparently guys just don't do as dumb of things to impress a girl well at least on national tv, minus the Canadian who jumped in a pool in his suit minus jacket in fridgid cold weather only to get out and strip down and let the viewers realize he was wearing a black speedo with the bachelorette's name, DeAnna, on it underneath leaving him speedo and suit jacket clad the rest of the evening. Why not just get down to his speedo to begin with baffles the brain, but so do the bachelor candidates who in my best estimation have nothing to offer me, this girl, or any girl in America for that matter perhaps explaining their bachelor status.

But still I can't resist the human foibles that make life so entertaining. So maybe you can't fit a square peg in a round hole, but you can set my DVR for the Bachelor or Bachelorette any time you want.

On a totally different note: Things that make Travis go bizark (as witnessed last night for the first time) the boys mad at each other and fighting, hitting in the face and all. Apparently he had never witnessed this.

And lastly Wyatt's quote of the day "You have no idea what you are eatting." Cue background situation. This morning I am making an omelette for breakfast, my favorite morning food. He says it looks gross, I tell him you have no idea what you are missing to which he informs me of the above "You have no idea what you are eatting." Starting the day on a funny note - priceless.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Buddies, Pals, and Partners

Yesterday we had a whole lot of nothing going on. Well not quite, but just stuff around the house to do. Mainly finish this unpacking business. It's embarrasing, but true. So the kids had their first true day of unlimited down time. And they played really well in the basement, in their rooms, and in the back yard. Because of this Travis and I actually got quite a bit done.

As we sat down for dinner we were rewarded with one of life's most pleasant moments. Bella turns to Wyatt and says, Buddies? and he looks at her and says Buddies, he says to her Pals? and she replies Pals, and she says Partners? and he says Partners. It was as if they had rehearsed this moment it was too cute and perfect, but somehow I doubt it because as they did it, it was filled with awkward secret type handshakes that neither knew what the other was doing.

Travis and I just looked at one another and smiled. It's moments like this I love.

Friday, May 23, 2008


This is going to be lengthy, but I am not going to apologize.

I was laying in bed just a few minutes ago. My mind still whirling at 100 miles per hour with thoughts, despite the time 12:56am. Not late by some standards, but for me unfathomable. These thoughts were spurred by many things and I knew that I wanted to get those things out. I figured I would blog them tomorrow, but tonight will have to work since I don't know if I will sleep till then.

I have the most wonderful family. They are loving, warm, kind, and generous, but most of all fun. I don't tell you all enough how much I love you guys and even more I don't neccesarily show you with physical affection. I think I may have turned a corner on that with my soul searching tonight. I digress.

James, I love you as one of my own children. I have long suspected this, but only upon having children did I confirm my suspicion to be true. I know you don't need an extra mother or parent by any means and I watch from afar like I do with my own kids, giving you time and space to figure things out, hoping that measured risk or danger will prove to be the ultimate healing for you. More than that I feel bonded to you, by our shared experiences if by nothing else. I can't explain it, it just is. I love you. Be wise.

Elizabeth, I am so proud of you. You have the ability to love mankind in a way I can't. Call it loyalty to country, marriage, whatever...But you love without worrying about the risk or outcome. Many times I have seen you get hurt by this, often times by me, but you are true to the gift you have been given. And I know that you can love this way because of hope. Maybe someday I will learn to hope and love like you. And I know that someday that love will pay off big, when that special someone loves you the way you love all people.

Peter you can do anything. You are driven and motivated. You conquer fears and demons everyday, but I don't know anyone who could be so loving and good a father to those little girls like you are. You are tender and kind, and I'll never forget the day you told me that life was hard and that all you ever wanted to be for your kids was a soft place to fall or something to that affect. And each day I am learning that all my ideas of what kids should be and do prevent me from being their soft place. Thanks for reminding me.

Phillip you are so sensitive to others. You may be teased but you are one of the few I know who cries on behalf of other's pain. And that kind of empathy is a gift. Because of that you stick up for the underdog, you defend the defenseless, and fix the broken. You listen well and because of that I have felt like I could always talk to you about most anything. When I need an honest perspective I can count on you. Thank you for being there for me.

Benj - spawner of all these thoughts - you have an ability to forgive that is unmatched. Also a sensitive spirit, as is all of our family, I see you forgive time and time again those who hurt you. I see you work to build relationships that I would have let go of or settled for less a long time ago. You are so generous and just this week a sister missionary told me a little thing that you did and I was so proud to be your sister.

Joseph you try so hard. I have never seen anyone so focused. You work to live up to every expectation. You have accomplished a lot. Your ability to do so much with your time has been an example of hard work to me. Your love of your siblings prompts you to do good things and I am grateful. Your obedience to gospel principles makes you a bit of an outsider in a family of rebels, but I know that the reward is worth all the sacrifice.

LuAnn, you are a good Mom. You love, encourage, and support your kids. You always have great things to say about everyone of them and would go to the ends of the Earth to take care of them. You have learned so many of the skills Mom has taught us and you practice them till they are perfected. You have always opened your home to my family and been like a second mom or a much older sister around the holidays and forever I am grateful to be with you and family.

Carla and Carol - for me more than you - I wonder what you are like and when I will get to meet you. I wonder what you had figured out so well before you came here and what I will learn from you guys. I am sure it is spectacular.

Gina you have an ability to accept people as they are without judgement. I am not sure I will ever learn that, but I grow by leaps and bounds just watching you. You are generous with what you have, you are thoughtful to remember every special occasion under the sun, but most of all you have always been open to building a relationship with me despite the age gap, distance, and a childhood of not really knowing you. Thank you for that.

Timna and Kanah, I can't begin to say I know you guys as well as I should. But I have scattered childhood memories of you and visits and not a single one of them is anything but good. Despite the intricacies of our unique and blended family you have both been kind and loving towards me, a notorious brat. And now that I live closer we'll see what I can do about bridging the distance.

Sabrina you have always been a constant presence in my life. You are so consistent and I love the security I feel from that. You are warm and caring and often are concious of the small details that others forget or miss. I love how enthusiastic you are at each joy or success in my life and feel like you are just as happy for me as I am for myself. You do that same thing for everyone else and it shows.

David, my oldest sibling, you have shown me how to love family. You ignore every flaw of every sibling and parent and see only good. You have loved equally and evenly everyone of us despite bloodlines. You have shown a charity I seldom see in people, but long to learn. I am honored to be in your presence because of your wisdom. You have welcomed me warmly to Lancaster and I love you for it.

I am sure I will be embarrassed by this come morning light, but not enough to remove it. I love each one of you and maybe not in the ways you want to be loved and maybe I haven't pointed out the strengths you wish I would see, but I am working on it. You all push, pull, and lead me to grow at different times and in different ways. My heart is filled with love because everything positive about me is a direct indicator of the type of people you all are. And I think that both you and I are incredible. I love you all. Goodnight.

I am going to be hurting tomorrow.

Woe Is Me and Other Sad Stories

Excuse me as I moan here a bit. In fact ignore me completely. I am just feeling a bit sorry for myself which doesn't happen often, but typically once I indulge in, I am over it.

Long story short, I got a call from a friend yesterday. She was unexpectedly in town with her parents. Who I've seen every two or three years since I met this friend nine years ago. They invited me to meet them in Mount Joy, 7 miles or so away for dinner with the husband and kids. I was so excited to go, because I don't see this friend as often as I'd like especially considering she only lives in Pittsburgh.

We meet for dinner and have the best time. So what is the problem you ask? These people are the most genuine, nice, energetic people ever. Could easily be a second set of parents. Make me feel like the smartest, most beautiful, successful person and mother. Encourage me and tell me I could do anything even fly to the moon. And I think they really believe it.

And that is what makes me sad. Why can't my parents be like that. Why can't they seem young and hip, cool and crazy, supportive and encouraging, and genuinely in love with me as a person, instead of the obligatory daughter love. And logically I know I wouldn't be the same person had they been my parents, and tough love has done a lot for me, and helped me develop some really admirable characteristics, but sometimes I think it would have been a nice contrast to the life I have actually led.

Okay I'm done. Sorry to be a whiny baby.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Up To My Elbows In Poop

Last night I was reading a book. It's only mediocre so far but the main character, a mother, was talking about holding and snuggling babies, etc... Now she had described those small moments with children and cuddling so well I was convinced I could not go to bed until I snuggled with each of my sleeping children. I walked down the hall and smelled poop. A little weird, probably just Issac in his sleep. So I go in his room and the smell intensifies. I kneel down beside the lower bunk and turn him to steal a peak in his diaper from the hall light leaking into the room. To my utter surprise and disgust that wasn't needed. As I flipped him I felt crusted poop leaking out of his diaper and all along his back.

I walked back and flipped on the light knowing that the mess I was about to engage in cleaning up would require it. Sure enough some crazy mini flu bug flew through our house in the past two days, making all the kids poop extra stinky and soft. Hence the leakage. On the floor I see a clump of "dirt". I pick it up to throw it away wondering where it came from and that is when I realize that it is a triangular poop turd. There are one or two other clumps and I am beginning to wonder what the heck happened. Then I discover smeared poop all along the ladder rungs of the bunk bed. And my mind is beginning to fill in the missing blanks of what took place.

Issac probably poohed after we put him to bed but before he feel asleep. He played a little, which is not unusual, but smeared it along the rungs, the floor, himself, oooh. But now he is dead asleep laying in it. So I clean up everything and wait to wake him up last because I know he will need a bath and might possibly flip out. Upon waking him I carry him to the bathroom (easier to clean floor) and change him out of his diaper, clean him as best I can, and throw him in the bath. Miracle of miracles he is elated to be woken up to take a bath. He typically loves them anyway, but the specialness of this bath and alone time with me is more than he can comprehend and he is full of sleepy smiles and love.

Once he was all cleaned, I dressed him, put him back to bed, and could barely manage enough energy a little past eleven to go hold each of the other kids hands for a brief moment. Snuggle, really? I was just glad I found it at night instead of in the morning. When I wake up to that kind of thing, it just starts my day all wrong. Regardless I guess that is the difference between a real mother and a ficticious mother.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summer Foods and Such

Officially summer has begun. Not according to the calender I know this or the sub-artic weather at my Dad's house last night, but according to my mouth. In the past three days Travis and I have been to three barbeques and "My Gut is Growing" isn't just another blog entry but reality around our house and not just for me. Summer foods are the best, and my taste buds are singing their praises.

Being a Pennsylvania girl with a huge dutch influence, I love me some good potato salad, cole slaw, pasta salad, fruit salad, hog maw, as well as the traditional burgers, dogs, roasted pig, nachos and dip, and limitless desserts as witnessed once again at Dad and Sue's house last night. "Sweet mother of Mary" I was just a little overwhelmed by all the options and that doesn't happen often. Although...I learned that maybe to be discriminating is better, because some of those were not as good as they appeared to be and take my word for it, because I sampled at least fifteen different ones.

In the end though I know that this is just the beginning. We haven't even officially kicked off the season with Memorial Day parties and bbq's. But I have enough leftovers from these past three days to last me until then. In the meantime you plan them and invite me. Because I will be one grateful guest who gorges upon the good grub. Nice alliteration, huh?

On another note...congratulations to Tamra, Laura, and Ambyr on their new babies. Very exciting. To those who are due soon, Anja, and those who in the recent past had them, Candice and Candace and Julie. And anyone else who I have missed, because I have editted this section twice now. People we are a fertile bunch.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sweet Internet

Call me a junkie. I am hooked, addicted. I can really no longer deny it. After two weeks without internet in my home I thought I would die. Bare in mind, that I went to Travis's work once, my mom's house twice, and the library twice maybe three times to use theirs.

But as of now, today it is hooked up ready to go. Also...more to come. I have to blog two weeks worth later while the kids are napping. Short note: Shayne won the bachelor, oh yeah. I totally was rooting for her.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes

This is a real converstion I had with Bella the other day. I had just gotten her off the bus at 2:30 and was trying to squeeze in a quick nap. I told her to lay with me and talk me to sleep knowing that she herself would also fall asleep if she laid for any amount of time. But I digress:

Me: So how was school today?
Bella: Good
M: Tell me something interesting that happened at school or on the bus.
B: Well this boy on the bus kept saying to me "what are you looking at?"
M: Why did he keep saying that?
B: Because I was looking at him.
M: Why were you looking at him.
B: This boy is so hot. (For the record I do not approve of my 6 yr. old using this phrase)
M: I open my eyes and look at her waiting for further explanation.
B: Well, Mom, this boy is so hot and I was looking at him. And the girl I sit on the bus with says what are you looking at. And I tell her I am looking at that boy. And she says to him, she is staring at you. So he says to me what are you looking at. I say nothing and look away. But then I look at him again, because he is so hot, mom. And he looks up and says what are you looking at and I say nothing. And I keep looking and he keeps saying what are you looking at.
M: Why didn't you tell him you thought he was cute instead of staring and saying nothing?
B: (Totally disgusted with me for asking such a dumb question) Mom, I didn't want him to throw up.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Borrowed Time and Internet

Short blog to update you all. Moved into the new house. It is gorgeous, but that which is new can only go downhill from there. Which it did when Issac before church on Sunday capitalized on his unattended spare time (Travis and I were up getting ready for church) when he rummaged through half unpacked boxes till he found some crayons and found a big canvas (our front entry wall) to practice on. His first time ever to do this. Just didn't feel like home all new and clean like that I guess. I was surprisingly calm although it will need some new paint in that area since upon scrubbing the crayon off so came the paint.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

As of Yesterday

We are the proud owners of a McMansion. Well not really, but it is the biggest and nicest home we have owned. We are also the owners of that loan too, and a now diminished savings account.

On a different note...when it rains it storms. My kids were crazy yesterday. Wyatt ate all his dinner against having a desire to, so he could get dessert, just so that he could cough and cough until he threw it all up. Not that first time, but still not fun. The baby had his biggest melt down to date with just pure exhaustion being the cause and perhaps a little teething. Issac was in good spirits. Can't complain. He was laughing and playing but at a decibel level that is rarely exceeded by even breaking the sound barrier. He is a loud one. Bella was pretty good, but I still felt overwhelmed. And of course....dun dun dun da Travis was gone so I was dealing with this all on my own.

On a slightly more interesting note, Issac took a beating to the face with a stick from his brother Wyatt yesterday and survived pretty well. Of course there was the crying and such, but no long term grudge or complaining. Wyatt claims it was an accident. I don't believe it, I think he was just curious what would happen. Still figuring out cause and effect I suppose. Doesn't stop me from wanting to beat him though. So it was probably a good thing that Peter and Ashley were watching him when this incident occurred.