Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Sunday, May 31, 2009

weekly wisdom

Before his nightly bath, Sam was playing in the bathroom under the watchful eyes of both his parents. Joe and I were chatting as we waited for the tub to fill when, suddenly, Sam was covered in nail polish.

In the blink of an eye, he had broken a nail polish bottle and was sucking on the brush. How do these things happen so quickly?

Joe looked up the number to Poison Control and the kind lady on the other end of the line reassured me that if he'd only sucked on the brush, the amount he'd gotten was probably negligible, but I should give him something to drink to rinse his mouth. She even offered to call back to check on him, but told me that in her 7 years of experience, she'd never had a child who had serious consequences from ingesting nail polish.

Lesson learned:
1. If you are a parent, put Poison Control on your speed dial. Go ahead. Do it now.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

super Saturday

1. One of the nurses in my office is trying to get back in shape and invited me to go walking with her on the greenbelt. We agreed to go this Saturday morning and I loaded up Schatzi and Doc and met her for our walk at 7am.

2. I got back home and started getting ready for the day when my neighbor, Karrin, knocked on my door. I'd invited her to walk down to the greenbelt earlier that week and had forgotten. I wanted the chance to get to know Karrin better, though. So, this time, I loaded up Sam in the stroller and we walked the 4 1/2 mile round trip again.

3. Sam fell asleep in his stroller on the walk, so when we got home, I parked him in the shade and scooped poop in the backyard.

4. When he woke up, Joe took us both to shop for new running and biking clothes. (It's so wonderful to have an encouraging husband when you are chubby and out of shape and none of your old work out clothes fit).

5. After shopping and lunch, we came home and put Sam down. While he napped, I planted flowers, tomatoes, and herbs around our house. It's not ideal to do this at 3pm in the hot sun, but you have to make hay while your baby sleeps.

6. Sam woke up and Joe took him on some errands while I continued to prune and weed.

7. After Sam went to bed, I cut the dogs' toenails and Joe bathed them.

Today was such a full, busy, happy day that it feels like we already had a weekend's worth of productivity and fun. But I'm exhausted! Less productivity and more fun and relaxing tomorrow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

i forgot my camera

Hello dear readers,

The Kaufmans are back from a long weekend in Lewiston, where I left my camera. We had a great visit with Team Eddy (although it's always too much fun and subsequent exhaustion with that zany family), Mom/Dan, and the L-town Kaufmans. Dan helped me with my running form and I ran a mile with some extra sprints thrown first time running since I hurt my ankle! Grumpy Eddy also offered some pointers, so I think I'm back in the race.

Our house is being painted this week and so far looks great! Sam is due for one year pictures, but again, I forgot my camera in Lewiston.

We're headed back to L-town in another week or so for Kate & Glory's baptism, so I'll have some pictures to post then. Until then, I'll try to come up with some entertaining stories.

Monday, May 25, 2009

weekly wisdom: when good bottles go bad

Yep, that's mold. Moral of the story: Clean out your diaper bag immediately after you get home.

It seems like common sense, but, unfortunately, common sense isn't too common at our house.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

officially a biped


Please pardon his mother's Sumo wrestler stance; she's not quite used to have a bipedal son and must be ready to dart in any direction lest he fall.

Friday, May 22, 2009

off in Lala-land

Mom: Oh, is that Sam in the background?

Me: No, it's Schatzi. (Schatzi keeps yodeling).

Mom: Oh, he's so cute. Hi, Sam! Hi, Sam! It's Lala.

Me: Mom! It's Schatzi!

Mom: Oh, Sam. I miss you so much.

Me: It's not Sam. Mom. It's not Sam. It's the dog. It's Schatzi.

Mom: What? Oh.

at the greenbelt

Mom and her Friend Dan came down to Idaho Falls to help us party it up for Sam's birthday. Mom and Dan are very athletic and after one day of lazy Kaufman living, they were ready for some activity, so we walked down to the greenbelt. Friend Dan planted a few trees on the greenbelt for Idaho's Bicentennial celebration a few years back and we wanted to find them. Sam had a great time in his stroller and even took a nap. We made his Lala do a few extra laps while we got ready for the birthday party so he'd sleep a little longer.We saw some geese with their goselings. Doesn't it make you want to go, "Awww"?

Just wait until they chase you on your bike, hissing at you and trying to bite you. They don't seem so cute then.

Not that that's happened to me. Nor do I yell, "Yeah. You better stay on your own side of the river! I mean it!"

Anyway, I digress.


We walked a few miles, but couldn't find the trees. After the birthday party, Mom wanted to go look for the trees a little more, so Joe joined Mom and Friend Dan and they went back down to another part of the greenbelt while I stayed home with Sam.

Later that night, Joe was getting in bed and said, "God...Dan and your mom can really walk. I didn't think we were ever going to stop walking. I'm so sore."

They seem nice enough...but they'll walk you into the ground.

At least we beat the pants off them at pinochle. We may be fat and lazy, but we can sure play cards!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Runner--well, biker's---log

My ankle is getting better, but still swells like I've got a case of elephantasis (I have no idea how to spell that) whenever I take the brace off. So, after walking for a few miles last weekend, I've put off running and have been biking.

Yesterday, I biked 14 miles. It's a pretty good work out and my ankle likes it. My butt not so much, but that's probably more info than you wanted to know.

I'm still planning to race at Bone and Back. The counter got messed up and I didn't know how to fix it...but it's still on, baby!

my beautiful balloon

All Sam has ever wanted is balloon. A few months ago, we walked by a display at the grocery store and he practically threw himself out of the shopping cart trying to reach it. Last week, we were ordering his birthday cake and he noticed some balloons was a tear-fest when we walked away from them.

So, his cousins pitched in and got him a balloon for his birthday. It made his day. Well, really, his whole week. He plays with it from dawn till dusk. He can pull on it, walk with it down the hall, bat it with his hand...what more could a one-year-old want?

It's a Thomas the Train balloon, not because he has any affection for Thomas in particular, but because when his dad went to pick up the balloon it was the only appropriate choice. "It was that or "Get Well" or "Happy 50th!" (The store ran out of helium).

Thanks, Noah, Kate and Glory!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

big boy changes

We celebrated Sam's first birthday with a traditional coming-of-age ceremony: turning his carseat around! (Sam passed the 20lb criterion long ago, so we were just waiting for that magic one-year-mark). He was thrilled! So excited to see life from the car window like the rest of us.He was less excited for his other coming-of-age ceremony: wearing real shoes. To this point, he's only worn Robeez. We've tried real shoes with soles several times and every time, he limps along or shakes them until one falls off. Today, we put him in these sandals. He rose up on his tip toes, looked down at his shoes, took one or two steps and decided he preferred to crawl. But, by the end of today, he was walking in them.Aren't those fat little feet adorable?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let them eat cake

We actually celebrated Sam's birthday last Saturday with my mom, her Friend* Dan, my work-friend LeeAnne and her daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth showed Sam the book she brought him for his birthday and then we were on to cake eating!
When I placed the bowl in front of Sam, he started giggling as he gingerly reached for it. Like, "Are you serious, Mom? You're really going to let me stick my hands all over this? Really?"He got over that hesitation rather quickly, picked up the whole piece and shoved it in his mouth.
Once that was gone (and by gone, I mean, crumbled in his hair, fingers, high chair with a small, tiny bit actually ingested), he licked the bowl.

And then his fingers.
We were still finding blue frosting in his many creases and rolls the next day. Happiness is wearing--er, eating--cake on your first birthday!

*that's how my mom introduces her "Friend".
I guess "boyfriend" sounds silly when you're in your fifties.

Monday, May 18, 2009

dear Sam

Dear Sam,
Happy birthday, Bear! A year ago today, your Dad, Grandma and I were at the hospital...and you were born. I thought I knew how I would feel when you were born, how I would love you, how your Dad would love you. I thought I knew how you would change our lives forever. But, I didn't.

They laid you on my belly and I fell in love with you. You had dark hair and a little bruised face from working so hard to get out into the world. You had some breathing problems and your Dad took you to the nursery with the nurses. He got to spend your very first hour with you and gave you your first bath...just like he gives you your bath now every night.

Finally, I got to see you and your long fingers and long, long toes. You were hungry and ate right away...just like you like to eat now. I snuggled you in my arms and we settled in for our first night as a family.

Ever since you were born, you have had such a happy spirit. You never were colicky or really fussy...even when you are sick. The daycare ladies always say, "At least, Sam's always happy" or "If it were any baby but Sam, they'd be crying". Over the last year, you've learned to giggle and then shriek with laughter. You love it when Dad flips you in the air or tickles you. You like to sneak up on Dad and tackle him. Every night, I undress you before bed and you crawl away from me, waiting for me to catch you and tickle you.

You have always loved to eat and it shows. In the last year, you've grown from a little 7lb 15 oz baby to a 28lb little boy! Right now, you are working on feeding yourself with a spoon. Dad and I cheer when you get it in your mouth and then you clap "Yay!" for yourself. During dinner, you like to share your food with Doc...even if Mom and Dad frown upon this.

Dad and I love exploring the world with you. It's amazing when you discover new things. I'll never forget the first time you played outside with Mom and Aunt Tance, the first time you saw a balloon, the first time you pushed a cart by yourself (you were so proud and showed it with a big cheesy grin), the first time you drummed with Dad. You are so intent when you examine a new object and flip it over and over, taste it, shake it, and hand it to me for a second opinion.

You've grown up so much in the last year. You sleep through the night (thank you!) and nap without too much protest. You give amazing hugs and are learning how to give kisses. (Right now, this involves grabbing the other person's face with your chubby hands and planting your open mouth on their's very slobbery. Sometimes you kiss Schatzi's nose, which both she and your mother dislike). You babble in your sweet little voice and shriek in your excited voice and growl in your big boy bear voice. You started walking by yourself just a few days ago and I'm sure you'll be running soon.

Tonight when I was rocking you to sleep, I snuggled you in my arms...just like our very first night together. You are so long now I have to lay you over my shoulder and you are much wigglier than you were one year ago. I don't know where the last year has gone, but it has been a year full of blessings and happiness. I love you so much. Dad loves you so much. We prayed and prayed to have a baby for so long; God gave us such a special one when He gave us you.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

isn't it ironic?

We've lived in this house for 2 years and never had a toliet paper hanger in the bathroom. The old owners had this funny-stand-thing they took with them when they moved out and we never got around to hanging one up. We solved our problem by putting the toliet paper roll on the back of the toliet.

This spring, we've been working on various projects around our house and Joe decided it was high time to remedy our toliet paper problem. So, we've been the proud owners of a toliet paper hanger for about a month.

About 3 weeks ago, Sam noticed the toliet paper hanger.
He realized he could take the toliet paper off the hanger.
He realized toliet paper unrolls and makes such a fun mound of white messiness all over the bathroom.

Now, our toliet paper hanger is empty.
Our toliet paper is back on the back of the toliet.

Isn't it ironic?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sam's first birthday gift

Hi Sam here. My first birthday is on Monday and last night, I got my first present in the mail. It was from my Uncle Steve. Mom and Dad decided to go ahead and let me open it so I would get to enjoy each present and not feel too overwhelmed with opening all of them at once. Here's a's a long one, so be patient. It's my first time opening a birthday present. video
Awesome! Uncle Steve got me these great farm books about a sheep named Sam the Ram. He has some other animal friends I like, too: Jenny, the dog and Philip, the chicken. Thanks, Uncle Steve!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wiggly Papa

Jimmy (LeAnne's dad) has Parkinson's disease and severe tardive dyskinesia. Because of this, his great-granddaughter calls him her "Wiggly Papa". Noah calls him "Shaky Papa".
Jimmy loves babies. He loves Sam. And, Sam thinks all his "wiggliness" is hilarious. It's a match made in heaven.

Except that 28lbs of baby fat is hard to hold when you're all ready a little wiggly yourself.

controlling the clutter

Our downstairs bedroom has been a clutter collector ever since we moved in 2 years ago.

Eighteen months ago, Team Eddy moved in with us for 6 weeks while Amy did a pediatric rotation in Pocatello, so we cleared a pathway and found the bed.

Thirteen months ago, Sam arrived and we had a deluge of family members stay with us, so we cleared a little more.

Seven months ago, Aunt Tance came to live with us, so we cleaned out some of our snow clothes and backpacking gear and put some extra stuff in the garage.

Last month, Aunt Tance moved out.

This month, my mom and her friend are coming to stay for Sam's birthday...and this is what our clutter collector looks like now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

I had the best Mother's Day ever last Sunday!

Traditionally, I don't really like Mother's Day. A few years ago, we lost a baby the week before Mother's Day. Going to church that Mother's Day was especially painful. The next year was still difficult and during the blessing of mothers, I was a tearful mess (in spite of my best efforts) over our lost baby and our infertility.

Last year was much better, although not what I would call "great". I was having contractions throughout Mass. I was sure this was the end of my existence as a huge swollen cow with heartburn and nausea. It wasn't. What made it worse was my friend, Sarah, was due on the same day as me...and ended up having her little boy on Mother's Day. I was so jealous that she was done being pregnant, I could have poked her in the eye...but I didn't because she's a nice girl and I probably couldn't chase her down with my big ol' pregnant body.

So, needless to say, this Mother's Day rocked!
  • Joe let me sleep in and made me my all-time favorite breakfast of Mickey Mouse pancakes with powdered sugar. (My mom used to make me these as a kid and I love that my husband continues the tradition).
  • Sam and Joe got me some funny, yet thoughtful cards.
  • Sam was a little squirmy, but behaved enough so we could make it through Mass.
  • We drove down to Pocatello, where my mom-friend, LeAnne, treated us to brunch. Her mom Ida, dad Jimmy, daughter Rachel, and granddaughter, Lily, also joined in the celebration.
  • After brunch, Joe watched Sam so I could run (which I probably shouldn't have).
  • After bedtime, Joe cleaned the kitchen so I could take a long, hot shower and rubbed my feet while we watched TV.

It was a wonderful day and I felt truly blessed to be a mom and truly appreciated by my little family. Thanks to my great husband and wonderful friends!

Monday, May 11, 2009

you told me and I didn't listen

You told me to take it easier and listen to my body.

I thought I was just being a pansy and my ankle would start to feel better.

Yesterday, though, I listened a little and took Tylenol before my run instead of ibuprofen.

This morning, I couldn't bear weight on my ankle, so I rode my bike instead.

In the shower, I noticed it was swollen.

Arrgh! 46 days till my race and I have a sprained ankle...or a stress fracture.

If it's not getting better in a week, I'm going to order an xray for myself.

off in Lala-land

"Sam eats so much! He doesn't know when to stop eating. He must get that from Joe."

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Runner's log

I need some input from all you runners out there. Running has been going better, but I have some questions.

1. I took Colby's advice and am walking before my legs get tired. It kind of sucks because I have a hard time getting started again and finding my rhythm, but I can go longer. I did 5 1/2 miles last Saturday, running 2/3 of the way.

2. My hips, knees, and ankles have been quite sore. I loaded up on ibuprofen before running and switched to only asphalt or the high school track (where I did my 5 1/2 miles), which seems to help. Any other advice?

3. Now, it's mainly my left outside part of my ankle that still hurts with the changes. I've been stretching it. Any suggestions?

4. Do you run when you are sick? I have a sinus infection/bronchitis and ran on Tuesday night. It took longer to get in my rhythm, but seemed to do okay. Today, though, I feel worse (sicker). Should I run? Should I rest? I have this nagging fear that if I rest, I'll lose all my conditioning.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

chunky campbell soup

Chunky thighs, love handles and a muffin top have never looked so good.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

off in Lala-land

"Sam has such a cute butt. It's sort of a bubble butt....You know, he gets that from you, Juni, right?"

If you didn't already know, I'm Juni...that's her nickname for me.

Monday, May 04, 2009

spaghetti Sam

Sam ate pasta for the first time. Everyone needs a "first spaghetti" picture. He loved it. He ate more pasta than I did!
Yum! Look at him shovel it in!
Mother, could I please wipe my tomato sauce hands on your camera?
No? Ok, well, I'll just try to wipe my hands on this toy...or rip it off my high chair.The child and both parents need a thorough wipe down after this spaghetti-fest.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

off in Lala-land

I've been slacking on my "regular" columns of Weekly Wisdom and the Sandman Chronicles. My baby sleeps through the night now (thank God!), so nothing new in that department. And, while I still have lessons to learn about motherhood, the learning curve is not so steep at this point.

I have a great time reading Kaelene's "conversations". So, I was inspired to start another column, based on the funny things my mom says. I talk to my mom every day--sometimes twice a day--and there's no end to the humorous comments that come out of her mouth. Of course, most of them are unintentional.

Stay tuned for Off in Lala-land.

We call Mom "Lala". The Filipino word for grandma is "Lola", but Noah started calling her "Lala" and it stuck.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

You know you've married a farm kid when...

Joe: You know, our son smells like a pig.

Jen: WHAT?

Joe: I mean, I wash him with this Johnson and Johnson stuff. That's what I used to wash my 4-H hogs with.

Jen: Oh.

Joe (to Sam): You smell like a reserve grand champion hog. Yep, you do.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Runner's log

I have Wednesday afternoons off, so Wednesdays and Saturdays are my days to try to push myself. Joe offered to watch Sam at his office so I could run without pushing Sam in the jogging stroller (we all know how that turned out). It was a blessing because the weather was a little sketchy and I felt like a better mom keeping my child indoors.

So, Wednesday, I did a 3.5 mile loop. I ran a mile, stopped while I waited for the crosswalk light, ran 1.1 miles, walked 5 minutes, and ran another mile. It was hard, but I did it!

My legs felt like jello afterwards.

But, I'm still alive to tell about it!