Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

tag

videoThis is what was drowning out the singing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kate's rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider

video

Kate, the quietest Co-op Kid, sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider" here. The words are, of course, drowned out by her loud siblings/cousins, but you can see the motions.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kate & Glory making pizza

video

During our chaotic dinner, Kate spontaneously burst into song about pizzas. Amy tried to get them regrouped to sing the song on camera, but it was like herding cats...except harder.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

bienvenidos a Miami

One of the perks of my job is the requirement for continuing medical education. In combining business with pleasure, I try to pick a conference that is held some place warm and sneak away with Joe sans kids. (Ok, once, I picked a cold spot, but have never made that particular mistake again). Thanks, Team Eddy, for wrangling our children...again.

Our hotel

So, last week, I dropped Andie & Sam off at Team Eddy's and caught a flight to Miami (via Salt Lake City, where I picked up my Idaho-Falls'-livin' hubby on the way). It was a quick trip: a day to fly there, two days of conference, a day to fly back. It doesn't leave much time for lingering on the beach...so, instead, we ate our way through Miami.

Joe and I en route to Miami

Night #1, we decided to eat at local favorite, Joe's Stone Crab. (I kept calling it Joe's Crab Shack and was quickly informed that was an entirely different place all together). We worked up quite an appetite getting there, considering we walked ten blocks in the wrong direction, walked back, and then had to walk another 16 blocks to get to dinner. My cute ballet flats proved not to be up to the challenge and we had to stop at two Walgreen's (for blister bandaids) and a pizza place before we finally made it to dinner. It was worth it.

Slice of pizza to go!

Later, we decided we would walk around the mall. Joe treated me to a gelato, which always perks up my spirits after hours of walking around a new city (can I get an "amen" from the Kaufman brothers?).

Night #2, we were craving Cuban food and ate at Lario's. It was a wonderful evening. We walked along the beach to the restaurant. I wore heels, of course, and quickly gave them up in the sand. When I slipped them back on on the street, a concerned woman asked if I needed bandaids for my blisters, being a "fellow heel wearer" herself. Too nice!

The food and wine were good, but the company was even better. (I'll be so glad when I don't have to fly to Miami to spend a weekend with Joe!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

the Sandman Chronicles

Life as a single mom has been challenging, even with the help of my own dear mother getting up once (sometimes twice) a night with my bad-sleepin' baby.

So, when Joe arrived for his 10 day visit over Christmas, we had a mission: get Daughter to sleep through the night.

All of our attempts had failed miserably so far. Daughter has a lot of stamina to cry. And Mom doesn't have so much stamina to take it. (And when I say stamina, I mean she can cry for four hours without batting an eye). My philosophy: give her a bottle already and let's get some sleep! Who cares about ear infections and baby-bottle cavities? I need some sleep!

Unfortunately, this philosophy was not really working out for us.

So, during Poxleitner-palooza, I picked Glenn & Loretta's brains about sleep-training. Their youngest, Morgan, is a fine upstanding citizen now (and founding member of the Phil Kaufman fan club), but he, too, was once a bad-sleepin' baby.

So, using the Poxleitner method of sleep training, we have gotten Andie down awakening once a night...sometimes sleeping through until 6:15am!

The method:
  • I'd been diluting her formula at night so she'd get less calories at night and eat more in the daytime for several weeks.
  • During sleep-training, Joe would go in and bounce her, pat her, rock her, sing to her--whatever it took to calm her down--and then put her back in her crib, sleepy but awake.
  • We had a few nights where she cried for a few 90 minute stretches. Those were not so fun.
  • Later in the week, I took a few turns of bouncing, etc.
  • Five days later, she slept 12 hours in a row.
  • Ten days later, she is sleeping 10 hours or more consistently.

My life is changed. I have hope. I have time to do laundry...and blog...and shower more regularly. I have even started exercising. It's a Christmas miracle.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Poxleitner-palooza

December 26, we headed up to the prairie for the annual Poxleitner Christmas party. Most of the fam went out sledding, but I stayed inside with Andie, Ben and the rest of the soup-making crew. I didn't think my heart could take the thought of Sam sledding and possibly breaking another arm. So, I left him in the capable hands of his uncles and dad with the stern warning: "Don't come home if he breaks another arm." Luckily (miraculously??), they arrived home with all limbs intact and a good time was had by all.

This is Phil with the founding members of the Phil Kaufman fan club.
President: Morgan Poxleitner. Vice-President: Sam Kaufman.
Another photo of the PK Fan Club.
We had the traditional dinner of chicken--ahem, turkey--noodle soup. (No eggs this time...or at least, I didn't get one). It was delicious with homemade noodles. Andie at a whole bowl. Sam ate a whole bowl. Their parents ate several.

Then, the games began. The main event is a wild-crazy-no-holds-barred gift exchange with stealing, wheeling and dealing of a variety of exchange gifts. Each person draws a card and when their card is called, they can either open a gift from the pile or steal someone else's gift.

Some people got downright protective of their gifts, even having their toddler lick their gifts to lay claim to them. (Not that it prevented my--I mean, that unnamed person's--gift from being stolen). Andie loved the excitement...and loved everyone watching her when she attempted standing without any help. She's a ham already.
And, this last picture is actually from Kaufman-palooza (AKA Christmas morning), with Sam hugging with his Uncle Steve with all the love of a two-year-old. It's a lot of hug to handle, but particularly sweet. I didn't want my Christmas posts to end without including it.

We had a great Christmas season and are looking forward to next year!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

my favorite group shots from Christmas

We kicked off Christmas with Walmart-palooza.
Then, there was sisin-palooza.

And, Cleto-palooza.

Kaufman-palooza.

And, Eddy-palooza.

And, let's not forget Poxleitner-palooza...stay tuned.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1.11.11

This post starts the way all good posts do...with cake.


Heather, Dori & Fred's goddaughter, married her longtime sweetheart, Michael, New Year's Day. What a way to start the new year! (Actually, this is the same way I started last New Year, wasn't it?)

That's good...there's nothing I like better than going to a wedding with my husband. I get to hold his hand and watch a new couple pledge their lives to each other. I get all misty-eyed; Joe pats my leg. It never gets old. Weddings are so much sweeter now that I'm married. They make me remember our wedding day and feel blessed with all the craziness that has happened since. (It helped that the major part of our life's craziness--Sam & Andie--stayed home with Lala. It's much easier to reminisce and get all philosophical about marriage and family life when you're not digging toys out of a diaper bag and hissing, "Use your church voice!" through clenched teeth.)

Here's the lovely bride and her dad.

And the groom with the bride's mom.

And the bride and her lovely godparents.
And the godparents, letting their hair down.
Ben thought her flowers were pretty fabulous. (Red roses with sparklies in the middles...I thought they were pretty fabulous myself).
Jeff and me. One of us is drinking apple cider; can you guess who? :)
Bonus points if anyone can identify the bearded groomsman with glasses. I will mail the first person a prize if they can do it within 48 hours of this post.

Husband and me. No goobers. No spit-up. We do clean up pretty nice, I think.
And Steve & Christina on (almost) their first anniversary with their adorable baby, Ben. Ben behaved like the baby most newlyweds dream aboutas they imagine their future family: happy, smiley and sociable--even through naptime. When he was tired, he took a quick snooze on his mama, but never fussed or got grumpy. I think a dozen old ladies stopped by our table to coo over Ben and tell us what a good baby he was. (I was sort of glad we didn't bring Andie for a comparison. I love that sassy girl, but I'm pretty sure that no old ladies would have been complimenting us on her good behavior.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas-bonzanza-extravaganza-tornado-fest...continued

Team Eddy continued their wild and crazy Christmas festivities by extending the holiday through this last weekend and joining us for almost 48 hours of good times. (Dr. Eddy is working ICU nights and arrived late Friday afternoon and left Sunday at noon to make it back in time to start her 5pm night shift).
We partied it up in our usual fashion: changing diapers, filling sippy cups, cajoling kids to please, please go to bed. In between, we had a rockin' good time playing hide-n-seek, cops-n-robbers, ring-around-the rosey and....OPENING PRESENTS!
That's right. Some got left behind after the Christmas rush. Uncle Brandon left some for the whole crew of Co-op Kids and we wanted to open them all together. And, Lala filled our stockings (that she lovingly makes for each and every one of us) with staples such as socks (where do kid socks go? why are they never matched up? why can you only find two pairs in the morning rush to daycare and both are dirty?) and Children's Tylenol. That Lala...always practical.
Fortunately, Uncle Brandon's gifts were less practical and pure fun. He got Noah this marble run that provided endless hours of entertainment for the boys and offered endless choking hazards for the girls. (Yes, those marbles look like gumballs. No, you may not put it in your mouth.)


It was a short trip, but all the Co-Op Kids will be reunited soon: Joe & I are headed to Miami for a GI conference this week, so Team Eddy graciously offered to watch Sam & Andie. Honestly, when you have 3 kids under 4, what's a few more, right?
(Thanks, Team Eddy. We owe you one...or two).

Sunday, January 09, 2011

11 month bear pictures

Taking bear pictures by oneself is not as easy as I thought it would be...especially when the photo subject is post-nap and just wants to give her mama the stink eye.

Stink eye.


Stinkier eye.
Stinkiest eye.

But, we got it done.
She's a little white-trashy in her post-nap ponytail, sweatpants, and muffin top, but at least it's a cute muffin top. This was the best one, except for Sam's smashing the bear's eyeball, so we'll settle for #2.
I can't believe you are 11 months old, baby girl!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Guess who?

Guess who is moving to Lewiston?
Guess who is no longer going to be a single parent?
Guess which two children are going to magically start sleeping through the night? (Ok, maybe that's still a pipe dream).

Yep, Joe got hired as the city's stormwater manager and I can't wait for him to get here in 2 weeks.