Surviving in a Male Dominated Household

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010...What a Year You've Been....

The year started out calmly enough. In January I was expecting baby #3, we were both enjoying our work and life was good.

February brought our ultrasound date. We were having boy #3. Oh my. Another Bowman boy. We had pretty well decided on the name of Finn, but as our tradition, we weren't telling anyone, just in case we wanted to change it.

March came and went. I succeeded at my first crock pot corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day.

April meant Sean turned one (how did that happen?) and we finally paid our Corolla off!

May brought flowers and a new sister in law as David's sister married her partner, Sandy.

June brought birthdays! Dave turned 31 and I turned the big 3-0!

July ushered in fireworks...well, right after the fireworks on July 6 boy #3 was born. Since he was not a blondie (Finn means "fair headed"), Liam picked out Brendan. And Brendan fits him well.

August was a month of healing and getting used to having three boys in the house! And preparing Liam for pre-school, of course!

September brought around a lot of soul searching, praying and calculating. We took a leap of faith and decided for me to stay at home with the boys. This way I can follow my dream of writing AND see all of the milestones that I missed with the first two boys. Plus the money we would save on daycare!

October arrived with a new mission and lots of promise. Mommy's Recess was born! An idea that was created during a playdate now has over 1,000 hits a month! We had a great trick or treating event and were ready for

November brought Thanksgiving, Liam's 5th birthday and more writing jobs! I am loving this work at home gig and can't believe my dreams were coming true!

December meant the end of school, Christmas and checkups for everyone. We had a great holiday with family and friends and are looking forward to 2011. What a crazy and interesting year!

And as far as resolutions go....

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Decemb-uary!

What are you doing this Decemb-uary to make sure 2011 starts out on the right foot?

It's that time of year. The week between Christmas and New Years...that feels like a month. I like to refer to it as Decemb-uary, as it feels like a month in itself. The kids are out of school, there are so many functions you need to attend, the leftovers seem to be piled up in the fridge....and New Years parties are just around the corner.

My goal before 2011? Get my December projects done and start the New Year fresh. My husband has Thursday and Friday off this week and I plan on making a giant "honey-do" list.

I want to set up my new wireless printer so I can get 2011 projects off to a great start.

I'd also like to go through closets and do a clothes/toys purge. I want to take some of the kids clothes to my favorite consignment store Me 'n Mommy To Be and others to Goodwill.

I think if we get rid of some of the clutter, it will help mood, productivity and attitudes.

So, what are you doing in Decemb-uary to get ready for 2011?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Lifelong Chiefs Fan...

Well, maybe not lifelong. But over half of my life I've been a Chiefs fan. It was a crush that brought me to the Chiefs. In 1993, Joe Montana started playing for the Chiefs. And while I had a huge crush on Joe (yeah, in my teenage mind he and I were on a first name basis) it taught me to learn and love football.

Most teenage girls had posters of movie stars and musicians on their wall. I did have a Jonathan Brandis poster, Marky Mark etc...but I had a MUCH LARGER Joe Montana poster. Yeah, I was that girl.While most girls were asking for makeup for Christmas, I was asking for football jackets and jerseys...and makeup.

And yes, I'll admit it. I also had a crush on Rick Mirer. Who? Yeah. Never mind. Maybe it's a Notre Dame #3 thing. Anyway...

I like football. And I married a guy who doesn't. He tries, don't get me wrong. But he likes to say, "That'll move the chains" on 3 and 10. Not so much, honey. We have quite the role reversal on Sundays. He's usually folding laundry while I'm yelling at the TV for the coach to challenge the last call. But it works.

Being a Chiefs fan hasn't been easy. (I'm also a Cubs fan too, so I'm an optimist?) I lived with Saints fans while my husband was in Iraq (his sister and her partner LOVE football) and became a Saints fan as well. But I always stay true to the Chiefs.

Having said that, I have a confession to make. I've never been to Arrowhead. Old or new. I would LOVE to go to a Chiefs game. And now that they've made the playoffs, I'd love it even more.

I'm excited about the post season this year. It's been a long time since I could say that.

Or the land of the free, and the home of the CHIEFS!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What A Busy Christmas!!!

We had such a busy Christmas. On Christmas Eve-Eve we traveled to Glidden. We celebrated Christmas Eve with my family and left Christmas morning. Christmas day was spent with the in-laws and came home full and tired. This morning we woke up to see that Santa made a special trip for our three boys and even put Woot monkeys in the stocking!!

A longer post will come, but for now....

Merry Woot! Christmas!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Pictures

We always go to Valley West Mall to see Santa. The kids are always SO excited to see him, as am I. They have used the same Santa for years so we get an accurate "growth in pictures" chart of the kids. Here they are, through the years.

Santa's lap is getting a little full of all of the Bowman Boys!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Funny Fhoto Friday: Peanut Clusters

For Food Friday over on Mommy's Recess, I wrote about Peanut Clusters. I loved making them as a kid and my boys love to "help" me with them.

They clean the bowl. And eat the clusters. Yum.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hawkeye FAIL, Celebrity FAIL, Adult FAIL

I'm not a Hawkeye fan. But when the school represents the State of Iowa, I'll cheer for them. That being said, I am ashamed at the current situation of the Iowa Football team. And watching the press conference is making me more angry.

They've admitted that players cheated on their WEEKLY drug tests. WEEKLY. CHEATING. They also said that if a player fails a drug test, they can continue to play, depending on the circumstances. Zero tolerance? Apparently not if you're good at sports.

What kind of message is this sending our kids? Between this and Lindsay Lohan, we're basically telling our kids "if you're talented, personal responsibility for your actions doesn't apply". And that's wrong.

We've gotten too soft. That's what's wrong with our nation. Timeouts don't always work. Sometimes kids do need spanking. If you run out in traffic, sitting and thinking about what you've done isn't going to hit home. If you've done drugs, a talking with a rehab counselor won't work...suspension is the answer. ZERO TOLERANCE.

These people should NOT be able to play sports, get a movie deal etc. Don't they realize what they're doing?? Just because someone is talented in acting or sports should not give them the right to do whatever they want.

Adults need to be the adults here. It's not all about the bottom line. Wake up! You're molding future members of society. Teaching them "it's okay" is showing a whole younger generation that "it's okay" when it is not.

Personal responsibility for your actions. It was the policy 100 years ago. It should continue to be the policy.

(Steps down from soapbox.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Surviving the Holidays...With Help From God

I can just about hear it now...I say it on my birthday to my kids, so why wouldn't He? I know the Holidays can be a stressful time, but I'm sure Jesus would say, "Hey guys, no fighting on my birthday, please?"

Even though we were snowed in and Mass was canceled, I made sure to pull up my Mass Readings app (yes, there is an app for that) and read the First Reading, Responsorial Psalm, Second Reading and the Gospel.

It was the Second Reading that really spoke to me. It is the Third Sunday in Advent and we must prepare our hearts for Jesus. The reading is from James 5: 7-10.

The following reading was taken from our Catholic Bible. James 5: 7-10
"Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord."

I like "Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged." Play nice with each other this Holiday season. And no fighting on Jesus' birthday.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Does Changing Your Facebook Profile Picture End Child Abuse?

Short answer, No. It does not.

A group on Facebook called "Change your profile picture to a cartoon of your childhood to end child abuse" set out to "Change your profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal?? To not see a human face on Facebook between now and Monday December 6th, 2010. The Reason? To end Child Abuse."

While it's a worthy cause, and it would be great if simply changing a profile picture would end child abuse, sadly it does not. However, I feel that it does serve a purpose. It's getting people talking about it and making people aware of child abuse. It raises awareness. Awareness is the first step. 

Child abuse is a crime. Physical scars will heal but emotional ones do not. Children carry these emotional scars of child abuse well into adulthood. And those are the ones who were allowed to grow into adults. Some children die from abuse. Death at the hands of the parents and caregivers who should love and protect these children. It's horrible. It's wrong. And it does need to end.

Maybe using the word "end" in the group wasn't the best. It would be nice if child abuse could end. But bringing awareness to the issue does help. 

Besides, it is fun to change your profile picture. I didn't know that "Dudley Do Right" was my dad's favorite cartoon from his childhood.  Now I do. I've also learned about my friends favorite cartoon characters. It's nice to see the number of people who support the awareness of the cause. 

Maybe I'm following the crowd. Maybe I enjoy bringing awareness to the issue. But I'll keep Red from "Fraggle Rock" as my profile picture until Monday. 

Besides, she's fun!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wrapping for my Homies--Part 2--Trick Gifting

Well, we wrapped the pillow pet in the box it came in. He thought he was getting towels...haha. He was surprised to see the pillow pet.

Now on to the story I promised in part one. You know how people trick wrap an item? Like putting a diamond ring in a blender box? My story goes way the early 80's.

When my Maternal Grandparents divorced, my Grandmother had all of my Grandfather's pictures. He had assumed they were gone.

But one Christmas, after Grandma had passed away, Grandpa opened a present. He thought he was getting kitchen items (I can't remember exactly what the box was...crock pot, blender or pots and pans) but he said "Thank you" and gestured for the next person to open their gift.

My mom told Grandpa to open it and see it. He said that it was okay and the next person could open their gift. After more insisting, he opened it.

It was a framed 8x10 him and all of his Navy buddies standing in front of their plane they flew in the South Pacific in World War 2. My mom had found a very small picture of it and had it blow up and framed. My Grandpa started crying, then everyone started crying. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

I was young then,  but I still remember it. My Grandfather is gone now, but not forgotten. He passed away right before Christmas in 1997. I imagine he's having a great time in heaven, with all of his buddies.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

Baptism is important to me and my husband. We knew we wanted our children baptised shortly after birth, as Catholics, we wanted our children to receive the first Sacrament as soon as possible. We feel that starting their spiritual life as soon as we can is vital.

Our third son was baptised last Sunday. All of our children have been baptised in the Church we were married in, where I was baptised and where I had my first communion. We feel it would be best, for the records, to keep them all at the same place. Our boys have all worn the same baptismal outfit and we always have a reception afterwards at my parents' house. My husband's sister and my brother are the Godparents, for all three of our boys.

Before our oldest was born, the Church required we take a course before he could be baptised. We took the 6 (or 8) week class and did all of the homework. No kidding. The nun teaching the class assigned us homework. After our second son, we were not required to do any additional studies but after our third, we were asked to watch two videos. In viewing them, I realized I was able to finish the nun's stories. I had seen these videos before, 5 years before to be exact.

Luke 18:15–16 tells us that "they were bringing even infants" to Jesus; and he himself related this to the kingdom of God: "Let the children come to me . . . for to such belongs the kingdom of God."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I have a FIVE year old...FIVE.

I can't believe it. My baby. My little baby Liam is FIVE. I thought it was never going to happen. Because, for the last year, all I've heard is, "But I'm NEVER gonna be fiiiiiive." I tried to assure him that "Yes, honey. You will be five." But he never believed it. I guess I didn't either.

Five sounds so old. As Liam says, "It's a whole hand." I can remember turning five. How is it possible that I have a five year old? I still remember finding out I was pregnant with him.I still remember meeting John Ashcroft at a political event and feeling HUGELY pregnant.
I still remember anxiously awaiting my due date, only to see it come and go. I remember the weekend when we went back to my parents house. I was 38 weeks pregnant and we changed his name. We had agreed on Conor for a name but David agreed with me that he liked William. I said, "We can call him Will." Dave said, "No, Liam." And I agreed. It was a good thing we kept the name a secret, otherwise people would have been calling him Conor and it probably would have stuck. But he is definetly a Liam. For sure.

I remember threatening my OB that I would TP his house when I was over a week overdue. I remember having Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws and trying to sit through "Walk the Line" at the theatre on Thanksgiving Day. I had to get up and walk a few times. Almost two weeks overdue + theatre seats = one very uncomfortable pregnant woman.

And then my induction date finally came (after a few false alarms). Mom and I went to the hospital and Dave joined us after his shift was over. It was a long night and even longer morning. I remember asking for Clergy to come and say a prayer and a person came in and started in on Psalm 23...not really what I wanted to hear!! I remember being told it was time and my mom yelling at me to "Push, Ra! PUSH!" I remember mom noticing baby's heart rate dropping and alerting the nurses and doctors. I remember signing something, drinking something and being wheeled down a hall.

After 18 hours of labor and an hour of pushing, they had to do a c-section. But I remember hearing him cry for the first time. And I cried. And David cried. I saw him and after seeing he was okay, I fell asleep. I was so tired.

I remember waking up, in a room, with only my father in law there. He explained that everyone went to be with the baby but he thought someone should stay with me. That was so nice. Shortly there after, everyone came in with my baby. I told them what his name was, William Alexander. Everyone "oohed and aahed" over him. And all that hair. All that hair. Everyone stepped out so I could learn how to nurse him. And he nursed for the next two and a half years.

But how is he five? How is this little, stubborn, crazy haired baby, five years old?

Happy Fifth Birthday, Dooder. No matter how old you get, you'll always be my little baby.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks....and the Thanksgiving Story According to Liam

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

I'm thankful for our new baby boy.
I'm thankful my dad has recovered from his brain surgery.
I'm thankful for being able to stay at home with my boys.
I'm thankful for my family.
I'm thankful for my friends.
I'm thankful for God.

Psalm 118:1   Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

I am thankful.

Liam told me what he learned in preschool about how the Holiday of Thanksgiving came to be. I thought I would share it with all of you. Enjoy!

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wrapping for My Homies --Part One

It's almost Thanksgiving, which means it's already Christmas...or something like that. It also means that we're getting close to Liam's birthday!! He will be 5 this year. How is that even possible?

All he's been asking for is a Pillow Pet. Everything has been pillow pet  this, and pillow pet that. And it has to be the monkey pillow pet. Which has been hard to find. But I got one.'s a secret.

Now the question is, how does one wrap a pillow pet? I did get a suggestion of a pillow case, which is a good idea. I could keep it in a box and wrap it that way...but I want him to think it's something else.

What's the most difficult thing you've wrapped and how did you do it? Leave your comments below.

(Coming up: Part Two. The neatest swap wrap job I've experienced.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Getting Ready!!

I am very excited today. We are heading back to Glidden. Brendan is going to be baptised on Sunday and once Liam is out of school, we'll be on our way to Ma'am and Papa's house. Daddy has to work tomorrow so he will join us on Sunday.

I am excited to visit with my folks, excited to eat a hot meal (when mom cooks, I get to eat) and to have the whole family together on Sunday to celebrate Brendan's baptism. Look for a post regarding our visit and the events that occur!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Year Ago...My Dad's Brain Surgery

This is lengthy and from memory...but worth the read.

It was a year ago yesterday when I saw the strongest man I know, cry. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was sitting at my desk at Principal and it was late afternoon on Friday the 13th. Nothing bad had happened, yet I never considered myself to be superstitious. I was thinking about our plans for the weekend while sending emails and doing research for clients. A lot of my co-workers had left early for the weekend and it seemed a lot of my clients did as well. The phones were unusually quiet.

I had planned to go to the store after work, for the essentials (milk, eggs, bread) and had a growing list on my desk of items we needed. My phone rang and the caller ID informed me it was my mom. I answered and I could tell something was wrong. Just in the way she said, "Ra" with a sniffle.

She informed me that she was driving my dad to Methodist hospital in Des Moines. My dad NEVER gets sick...except for the time I brought home the chicken pox in first grade. She continued to tell me that he'd been "acting funny". She caught him losing his balance the night before and insisted that he see the family doctor the next day. He reluctantly agreed and the doctor wanted to schedule a CAT Scan for the following week. Mom pushed back and insisted one be done that day. She drove him to another hospital, 30 miles away for this to be accomplished. During the scan, they found blood on the brain and sent the scans to a neurologist in Des Moines. He said that Dad be transported to Des Moines right away. Mom convinced the doctor not to send him by ambulance and she drove him herself.

I tried to process all of this information. I remember tears welling up in my eyes as mom was explaining all of this to me. I think my mouth was hanging open while she was talking. A few co-workers walked by my desk and slowed, as I could tell they knew something wasn't right. I told mom that I would meet them at the hospital. It was going to be two hours before they got here and that gave me time to get the groceries and drop my pumped breast milk off at home.

I spoke with my leader and explained to her what was going on and that I'd be leaving a little early. I informed my co-workers what was going on and told them I'd update my facebook as soon as I knew more. I grabbed my reusable grocery bag I was using as a purse, since mine had broken earlier in the week and I didn't have a chance to buy a new purse, and left work.

I learned that day NOT to go grocery shopping when I'm not in the right frame of mind. I started thinking that family might be staying at our place so I should buy some "quick fix" meals. I ended up buying some Hamburger Helper (which I rarely do) and for some reason, a random can of pumpkin.

I got home, dropped off the groceries and the expressed milk for Sean, cleaned my pump parts and repacked the bag. I kissed the boys goodbye and rushed to the hospital, which happened to be right across the street from my office.

On my way there, I called my mom to let her know I was on my way. She said they had checked into the ER and were waiting for the Doc. I called my brother to let him know I was going to be at the hospital and he could call me if he needed anything. He told me that he "knew about dad's condition for a while now" and that "mom and dad didn't want to tell me to make me worry". I was FURIOUS that my parents had hidden this from me.

When I got to the ER, the nurse was hooking my dad up to an IV. I told my parents that I had talked to my brother, and what he had told me. I asked them how they could have kept something like this from me. They informed me that they didn't know what he was talking about, that this all had just happened and he did not know anything prior to this. The nurse told me, "If you're going to be a distraction, you need to leave." I couldn't believe the way she was talking to me. I apologized to her, mom apologized to her and we realized it was one big misunderstanding.

The Doctor came in and informed Dad that he had a subdural hematoma, blood on the brain. He was going to have to do surgery that night--as soon as all of the blood work came back. The Doctor left the room and my mom started crying. I tried to console her. I tried to tell her that everything was going to be okay. Dad saw how worried mom was and he started tearing up. I assured him that everything was going to be all right. I was trying to be brave for both of my parents.

I called my brother and informed him of what was going on. I called Dave and filled him in. I asked him to call his folks and see if they could watch the boys the next day, as he was scheduled to work. He agreed and told me to keep him informed.

The Doctor came in and said they were ready for him. Mom and I walked with Dad as they wheeled him in his bed down what seemed like an endless maze of hallways, the walls filled with bad hotel-esque paintings. Hallway, doors, turn. Doors, turn, hallway.

We came to the final set of doors. The anesthesiologist introduced himself and informed Dad of what was going to happen. "We'll shave the head.." Dad interrupted and inquired, "Shave the head," and made a gesture of just a small patch of the effected area. The Doctor laughed and said, "We'll see. I'm going to head in to see if they're ready."

I set the bags down and leaned over Dad's bed and gave him a hug. "We'll see you when you get out, okay?"
Dad nodded, tears in his eyes.
"Don't cry, Dad. You'll be fine. You're in good hands," I said while nodding my head.
He nodded. "I know."

I stepped back while Mom leaned in, tears rolling down her face. Dad reached out to her and they hugged. I knew my parents loved each other, but I had never really seen just how much. She said something to him, he responded and they kissed. Tears were now in my eyes.

The doctor came out. "We're ready for you, Mike."

Mom stepped back. I looked at Dad, "You'll be good, Dad. You're good. Even if they do have to shave your whole head. And way to go, Friday the 13th!"
Dad laughed, "I know, right?"
I reached for his hand. "You'll be fine. I love you. See you in a bit."
Dad squeezed my hand, "Love you too, Rah."

I let go of his hand and stepped aside. He reached for mom. "I love you."
"I love you too."
Mom stepped back and they started rolling him through the doors. "See you in a bit, Dad" I said, waving. Dad waved back. The doors closed.

Mom turned into me and started crying. I held her and cried. "He'll be fine, mom. He's good."
"I know, Rah. I know."
"Let's go to the waiting area. Maybe get some food, okay?"
"Okay," she said, wiping away the tears.

Mom and I went to the surgery waiting room and she decided to head down to the cafeteria to grab us some dinner. I agreed to stay and wait with the bags and wait for any news. As soon as mom was around the corner, I let the tears go. I called Dave and my brother to fill them in. And then I attempted to zone out to Wheel of Fortune. Mom returned with food and we ran into another person from Glidden who was there while their in-law (another Glidden resident) was having surgery. It's a small world after all...

After a few hours (but what seemed like forever) the Doctor came out and said Dad was doing well. They were going to wheel him up to the ICU and he'd stay there overnight. We were allowed into the surgery wing and they opened the door to his room. Dad lifted his head when he saw me and gave me a thumbs up.

That evening was scary. I stayed with mom at the hospital in the ICU waiting room. When we couldn't handle the waiting room and the Doctors and Nurses wanted to check him over, mom and I walked around the hospital, window shopping at the gift shop (they had some cute purses, and I needed one, after all) and calling family and friends. Mom sent me home around Midnight. When I got home, I nursed Sean but could hardly sleep. My in-laws had agreed to watch the boys and Dave had called work and requested time off, so he could be at the hospital with me and Dad. This way, mom could go home and get some rest.

The next morning, I got ready, packed milk for Sean while he was at Grandma and Grandpa Bowman's house and went to the hospital. Dave dropped the boys off at his parent's house and joined me and mom. We had to take turns visiting Dad, as they only allowed two visitors in the ICU room at a time. We were all there, however, when they removed Dad's head bandage. They had shaved his WHOLE head. Dad was always very proud of his head full of dark hair. We packed up his things and after they moved Dad out of the ICU, I sent mom on her way for some much needed rest.

Dave and I spent the day visiting with Dad, watching TV and watching him nap. Dave helped Dad to and from the restroom.  At one point, Dad agreed to go for a walk with one of us on either side to stabilize him. Dave looked at me, about half way through the walk and directed me to look at Dad's right foot. He was bringing it WAY up and then back down. I brought this to his attention and he had no idea he had even been doing it. He had been over compensating for so long, he was used to having to work harder to pick up his leg.

When we got back to his room, I asked him to think back. Were there any other red flags? He started in, "Well, on Tuesday, I went for a haircut and I just couldn't get the words to go on the line when I was writing the check."
I started laughing hysterically. Dad looked at me and said, "What? What's so funny?"
I said, "You paid for a haircut on Tuesday? I hope you can get your money back."
We all had a good laugh. Dad sent us home for the evening for him to rest. And for me to rest. I was so tired, physically and emotionally.

The next day, Sunday, the Doctor said he could go home. My Aunt and Cousin came by to visit and see how Dad was doing. Later in the day, mom and dad sent me back home. They said they'd stop by on their way out of town, as Liam (he was three, almost four) was really worried about his Papa.

A few hours later, there was a knock at our door. Mom and Dad were there with a blue grocery bag for me that said, "Iowa Methodist Hospital" and Mom joked that I needed a new purse. I chuckled and Dad handed me the purple purse I'd been eying at the gift shop. I started crying. They said it was a thank you gift for spending my whole weekend with them and taking care of Dad. I explained that I would have done it anyway. He's my Dad.

Liam was so glad to see Papa. We had explained to him that Papa had an owie on his head and the Doctors fixed it. But he had to be careful with the staples.

It wasn't until a month later that I found out I was already 12 weeks pregnant, with what ended up being Brendan, so I was 8 weeks pregnant when this occurred. After all of the stress and lack of sleep, I'm so thankful I didn't lose him.

My miracle dad and miracle baby. One year later, I'm still so thankful to have my dad in my life. My boys love their Papa. I love my dad and I saw how much my husband cares for him as well. 

Friday the 13th isn't all that bad. I saw how in love my parents still are, after 31 years of marriage. I learned how quickly things can change; what seems to be important, in the grand scheme of it all, really isn't. And how you can't take life for granted. In a minute, your whole world can change. Tell your loved ones that you love them. You never know what's going to happen.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Snow...2010

This morning we woke up to large snowflakes falling. While none of it stuck, the kids were really excited to see the snow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Veteran's Day Thanks From an Army Wife

I am SO VERY thankful to have my husband with me this Veteran's Day. It's hard to believe that three years ago, he was over in "the sandbox". I was sending weekly packages to him, taking care of a very curious (almost) two year old and working full time. But I knew it was 10,000 times harder on him.

So this Veteran's Day I'll snuggle with my Vet and say an extra prayer for the wives, husbands, children and parents who are hugging pillows and saying prayers to keep their loved ones safe.

Thank you, to all Vets who have fought wars past and those currently fighting. Thank you for our freedom. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Thank you.

David and Liam just before Deployment

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Thoughts on the Election

It's been a couple of days and I know you're all holding your breath to hear what I have to think about the elections. However, Brendan and I were sick on Wednesday and Thursday, then Sean got it on Friday-Today, and now Liam's got a sore throat. So I've been a bit busy wiping noses, sucking out noses etc.

On to the elections. These opinions are my own. You may not agree with them. But this is my blog, not yours. :)

I was pleased. Granted, a few of the races in Iowa didn't go as I had hoped, but that's what you'll have. Governor Branstad is again back in Terrace Hill. And Chet is out. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him. He'll probably get an appointment as Secretary of Big Luggery in D.C. But whew. Finally. His Administration has been a failure upon a scandal upon a laundry list of bad judgements, failed policies and wrong values.

Speaking of values, all of the judges were voted out. And the world still turns. Imagine that. And for those who say it was against marriage, that wasn't just it. Judges should not legislate from the bench. And that's what they did. It was wrong and Iowans said "No more."

Nationwide, I was pleased that the GOP took over the House. I sure hope that smug look on Pelosi's face has been rubbed off. I was also pleased that more women voted for the Conservative candidates. Finally, women. Vote with your brains that I know you have!

So there it is. My quick thoughts on the election. Now I have a few noses to wipe...again.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teaching the Importance of Voting

As parents, we have many important roles. We are the first and most important teachers our children will have. My husband and I believe it is important to teach our children why voting is so important. Liam already knows, because last night I told him that "we had to go to bed early, so we could get up early and vote. And then we'll watch exit polls and election results." Liam exclaimed, "YAY! EXIT POLLS!" I was proud.

Being from military families, we know the price of voting. David served in Iraq. His Dad served in Vietnam, he had one Grandfather who served in WWII and the other Grandfather in Korea. My Grandfather served in WWII. We're a militarily strong family. And we know the cost of freedom and the price for the right to vote. So we vote in every election.

We always take the kids with us to the polls. Yes, we're those parents. We explain to the kids about the ballot, the secrecy folder, filling in the circle for who we choose to vote for and finally we have them help us slide our ballot into the machine. We talk about the elections all year and voting for about a week before the election.

We let them stay up late on election night. Again, we're those parents. In a General Election, Liam keeps a notepad of electoral votes, votes needed to win and votes per state. Not only is it teaching him the electoral system, but math as well. In mid-term elections he has a list of candidates and follows exit polls and results.

And, of course, for each child's first election, we take a picture of them with the ballot. This year is no exception.

Children do what they see their parents do. Be an example and vote. Take your kids with you. Make them feel included. It's their country, too. 

Happy Voting!