Thursday, September 27, 2007

Something to think about...

Well, I had a very interesting conversation today with a friend of mine. We were talking about our girls and how they are "growing up too fast"...and how they are already "developing" and the issues we are having surrounding that. And she started to share about the Bible Study she is taking on Friday mornings (at our church)...it's one on "Living Fit". Anyway....we got to talking and she was going through her pantry showing me all the organic stuff she just bought. Now I've only bought organic stuff maybe twice...once when the girls accidentally got an organic apple in the produce section (I didn't know they had an organic area before then) and another time when we had a coupon for some free organic baby food (I'm all about FREE stuff! :)). Ok...so, that's been my experience with organics...not cuz I don't think they are more healthy...but because I just can't afford to buy for a family of five something that costs 5 times as much as the cheap generic store brand. Ok...so, that's not the point here....my point is this. My friend told me that she's been learning at church and through her own research how much estrogen is in milk/dairy products. Now, I had heard about hormones in food, but never really thought about the milk thing. Maybe I'm just very naive...or more honestly...I just don't like to do research and I don't read papers or watch the news much. But, I really had no idea how much estrogen is in our milk...and in turn in our yogurts, cheeses, ice cream, etc....it's crazy really. I won't go into all the details here cuz those of you without daughters to worry about might not care (though I guess it effects us woman too). But....I guess they actually get our cow's milk from pregnant cows...which means that there is obviously a crazy amount of estrogen (and progesterone) in that milk (I guess it wasn't that way years ago). And that is what we're feeding our kids cuz we've always been taught that "milk and calcium are good for strong bodies/bones", etc. No wonder some 8 year olds are menstruating already...that is crazy...who the heck wants "extra estrogen"? I'm sure there is more to the whole "cow milk" story than that...and I plan to read up on it now...but I didn't know if anyone out there had heard more about that....I'm really interested cuz I see how we are starting to deal with Hailey "maturing" and I wonder if that has something to do with it. She LOVES milk...and would drink it all day if she could, but we only allow 2 cups a day...but she loves yogurts too....as does Shelby...they both love dairy. I guess organic might be the way to go as far as yogurts and milk are concerned...even if it costs us an arm and a leg :( And even those of us with sons...do we really want them hyped up on estrogen too? Hmmm....not really. This is crazy stuff....and just makes me wonder...not to mention that an increase in estrogen can cause cancers (breast and ovarian?). I don't know about all this. I'm not a worrier as far as stuff like this goes...really I'm not. I usually "poo poo" stuff like this and just shake my head at people that get all "up in arms" about it...cuz that's not my personality...and I don't do research on the internet til I'm blue in the face and all worried....but this one has me intrigued. Does anyone have any expertise on this??

***FYI...Well, today is the 11-year anniversary of Kev and I's 1st official date (you know...the one that came very belatedly (2 weeks) after that first kiss :)). I have no remembrance of that first date...I can't even remember where we went (I want to say Cheddars and a movie, but I could be way off??)...but I'm sure it was superb whatever we did and as we all know...the rest is history....So happy 11 years of being together to my dear, sweet and wonderful hubby :) So glad you finally asked me out and how lucky you are that I accepted! Love you, babe!****

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little humor before the day ends :)




A few lil' tidbits of Steg info to make you smile :)

1. We found Shelby's panties in the trash today...her excuse..."Mom, they had poop on them"...true enough...she is the queen of "skid marks" :) But, if we threw away every pair of underwear she skidded on we'd be in the poor house :) What a sanitary little girl :) I can't help but be "obsessed" a little with poop, toots and puke...it's just a way of life around here...I know you're all jealous :)

2. Hailey will probably have to wear a white wig to be an Angel in the Nutcracker. I don't know about you but I can't quiet picture our brown-haired girl looking like a lil' old lady in a powder white wig :) hee, hee. It's sure to be a good laugh :) (she has yet to find out about the wig...I'll have to break the news tomorrow :)) What kind of angel wears a white wig anyway?? This seems odd to me....

3. Our lovable lil' 19 month old has become quite a smoochable boy. I think I've told you how much he loves to kiss me all the time....I thought it was a "mama's boy" thing...until today. We were getting out some boxes of old toys and when I was done unloading stuff he took one look at the box and made a b-line for it. I thought he was going to play in the box or throw some toys in it...nope....he went over and looked at the box, pointed at the baby on the front of it and went to town kissing it over and over again. Hmmm...what do you make of that?? I guess our boy loves "box babies" :) So, much for mommy thinking I'm special...I guess I'm up right up there with cardboard :) I'm so proud :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

Well, I won't show my dress choices, but here are the girls' in theirs...looking very stunning if I might add :)
Shelby looked so darling in her dress and she was in all her glory :)
Here's the back of Shelby's....adorable :)
Bride-to-be? (someday in the VERY distant future)
The mini-brides...Hailey looks doped up, but Shelby looks like a blushing bride :)
Another shot of the dynamic duo...the lil' flower girl and junior bridesmaid :)
Time to try on some headpieces...
Princess Hailey
Shelby with her tiara...and then the girls both sporting some diamond topped heads :)

Alrighty...so, some of you may know that I am horrible at making decisions...I consider that one of my great weaknesses actually. I don't remember always struggling with this, but for at least the past few years it's been one of my downfalls. That's not to say I make bad decisions...it's simply to say I take WAY TOO LONG to make decisions....

Case in point:

On Friday I dragged Kev and the kids all the way to Indy to go "dress shopping" for my brother's wedding. Now I tried to make it a non-chalant trip....like we'd pick out our dresses...no big deal...and for the girls that was the case...easy....but mine...well, you can probably guess that I tried a dozen or so and then retried them on and then hemmed and hawwed...called my sister-in-law-to-be (who graciously called me back even though she was busy painting)...called my bro (who, no surprise, never called me back...j/k...I'm sure you wouldn't have been much help, bro :))....and also talked to my mom a couple times. And still...I left the store at closing time (or actually after)....and what did I come away with...BIG FAT NOTHING! And still I sit here today not confident in my "almost decision". I have sat here every day since, stared at the pictures Kev took of me in the dresses and then even did the virtual wedding website on David's....and I've come to the conclusion that I'm just plain crazy. This isn't even my wedding and who the heck cares what I wear...they'll all be looking at the stunning, Candy (and thank goodness for that!) :)....but at the same time I don't want to look like a doofus. But, the plain and simple truth is that I just freak out about making decisions (even small life ones like this :))....and it's actually "fashion" decisions that I struggle with the most....shocking, I know since I'm such a trend-setter as far as clothing goes :) But, it's the truth...I am having a big ol' struggle here. What makes it even worse is that the dress I liked no one else was leaning towards....even the girls in the store agreed with Kev (a rarity as he is no fashion guru) and that made me doubt my decision even more. So, that's my weekend dilemma. I considered posting the pics of me in the dresses on the blog, but you know what...I think I've made my decision as of 9am this morning and I don't want anyone to sway my vote, so I'm gonna keep the "dress decision" a secret for now.

So, is there anyone out there who struggles with these kind of "big life" decisions like I do?? Or am I just a little loony....loony enough to have a dream this weekend that I actually took SO LONG deciding on a dress that my brother and Candy got married before I could decide and I ended up missing their wedding cuz I was still at David's trying on dresses (fyi the wedding is 6 mos away). So, you decide...am I nuts or not? :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

And the Busyness continues :)

A few random "old" pics...I realized today that I haven't used my camera much the last 2 weeks...what's up with that? But, above is a pic of Dylan and Hailey veggin' on our bed watching tv...they were so cute together kicking their feet...and being lazy...but I couldn't capture it well with a picture....the are good buddies though :)
Here is Hailey doing one of her best ballerina poses...the arabesque :)
Here is Shelby last week on her first day of Show-N-Tell...A is for Angelina, of course! :) (yes, she is still recovering from her virus this day...so she's a bit pale, though very smiley :))
And on the same day...she had her first homework due for Letter A....
Then pics of our outing to the park near our church...Dylan loves swings :)
And as I've said before...he LOVES climbing....this bottom pic is his fav. park toy....the most dangerous too...where you climb up and call fan through so easily...but he has no fear and luckily never fell!

Well, it's been the normal, busy week....same ol' "humdrum" stuff...nothing too exciting going on...but just wanted to say that I'm still here in case anyone ever wonders :) I wish I had good news to share as far as "taking time for me"...but somehow it's Thursday and I still have yet to do that this week (so, yes, that means I haven't done any of my Bible Study homework for tomorrow and I know I'll be scrambling to do it tonight as I'll feel very guilty being the "bad student" yet again)...shame on me...but what can I say...the minutes/hours/days just slip by too quickly. Add to that a little crazy toddler boy who is sleeping less during the day (if at all) and up way too early in the mornings...well, I find myself more tired this week and during "naptime" I almost want to snuggle down in bed myself (not that I have, mind you :)).

So, with that...I'm just gonna post a few random happenings...since my mind is one big jumble today and I have nothing concrete or remotely interesting to say....
  • Well, the new Nutcracker Angel is ready and rearing to learn her new part. She had ballet on Tuesday night so she got to see all her fellow angel buddies (about 20 total?? :)) so it was fun to see them all getting excited over their big parts. I guess most of them have been angels before so it might not be as exciting to them (most of them are a year older than Hailey)...but for Hailey it's a BIG thing. We got a little more info on the big performance too. Turns out Hailey is probably right at the cut-off for height for an angel...this means that if she was much taller (or if I put her real height...I guessed at the audition)...she might have been made a mouse (which would have been a bummer for her...she would have had to wear a scary mouse head and we probably wouldn't even be able to make her out in the crowd. So, she was relieved to have made the angelic part of the Land of Sweets Angel instead :) A much more "feminine" party for our girly girl :) Next year she might have to resort to being a rodent :) Oh joy! :) So, some of her taller classmates are mice as are the three boys in the class :) Also, we did get to see one of the Clara's and I laughed when I saw her....she has got to be the tiniest little thing ever. I'm guessing she's about 11 or 12, but she is probably the same height as Hailey and very small-boned. I even think she looks younger than Hailey. But, I think she is a really good dancer and I dare say she is Clara mostly due to height. Hailey and I had a big talk about that after (not that I was intending to squelch her high hopes, of course :))...how she might not be able to be the "star Clara" one day cuz she is going to be tall like mommy...and she might have to be a soldier or a boy or something more "tallish". She was not thrilled and is still NOT giving up on her "Clara dream" :) Good for her. So.....we find out on Saturday when all the rehearsals times/days are so we'll see what amount of commitment we've really made here.....but I have to tell you I'm very excited about it all....it's like living in the past for me. Thanks to you all who sent congrats our way....that made Hailey's day to have others share in her joy! :)
  • Ok, so onto more "stinky subjects"...the B.O. issue. Well, I've not wanted to make this a huge blog thing but it's been a big help to get everyone's opinion on the subject so I figured why not tell "our solution". Well we've not had a concrete decision made. So....on Saturday morning at ballet class I smelled Hailey and she stunk....and this was about 12 hours after taking a shower and with no activity yet...so that made my decision...we were gonna get deodorant after class. So, we did...I got a nice Suave stick/roll-on...and Hailey was so excited to use it. Then I get home and read what my good ol' Bud, Lein said about "no aluminum"...hmmm...never knew that...good point...so we went back on Sunday and returned the high-aluminum Suave stuff and got a nice apricot smelling all-natural one (oddly enough it's called "Tom's Deodorant"...nice, huh, dad? :))....good, so...Hailey was again happy...she was very excited to use her "big girl smell stick"...so she did the next morning. Well, she got home from school that day and she stunk again...ugh! I was so frustrated :( So.....we decided to put a call into the "doctor of the family"...and he said it's not really normal for pre-pubescent kids to have B.O. yet. He recommended trying new soap and no perfumes/lotions, etc for about 2 weeks. Sooooo.....we are kinda back to square one.....Kev made a big "smell chart" yesterday (yes, we are such nerds we have to chart stuff to remember to do it :))...and now this is the deal....Hailey has to be supervised while scrubbing her pits every night during her shower....and she is using a new, stronger soap (ours) instead of cheap/kiddy soap. And no more using deodorant for now....and no other "chemicals" either like perfume. When she comes home from school she gets "smelled by mom"...and before her shower at night she gets "smelled by dad" and we check off our spots on the "chart" which is posted on our back door :) Ok...all weird, I know...it's just b.o. we're talking about here, but Kev is insistent about this "experiment"....and as much as I resisted and told him it's "not gonna work" and is a "waste of time", and that she "needs deodorant" blah, blah, blah....he might be right (sigh)....maybe we were just using bad soap or she was just not washing good enough. So, we'll see. For now she's not using the nice fruity deodorant we got her :( Which is disappointing to her...she liked using it :) But, then again...she's all about growing up too fast! So, I'll keep ya' posted! But, thanks for all the input....I am thankful for the knowledge that "other kids stink" and that it's "not too early" and all that "aluminum-free" stuff....very interesting....and I took it all to heart!
  • In other news...Dylan has been a hoot this week....he's finally speaking more...demanding "cacas" (crackers) often, pointed and shrieking at every "ball" he sees...of course a lot of what he says is a jumbled mess, but I have to tell you...I was singing "Jesus Loves Me" to him this week and the boy said "Jesus"...it even came out sounding like that (well, kinda...does Gegus count?)...and he was so proud of himself he even started trying to sing along. Have I told you he is the sweetest boy ever?! I dare say that's the first proper name he's said aside from mommy and daddy :) Can we say "future preacher"?? :) Could be....
  • On the downside of his craziness lately is the fact that our little guy is obsessed with markers. Now I swear to you we don't usually keep them laying around (we actually make a point to hide them), but he seems to be able to seek them out and find them wherever they are cuz we've had some rough spells lately as far as "writing" is concerned. Last week I found half our good couch with marker all over it....thankfully it was washable marker (the only good kind of marker in my opinion :))....so it all came off after I made a frantic call to Kev and was almost in tears. This week he decided to color his face....that was more comical than the previous mishap and he was mighty proud of his body artwork...and so far I haven't found the markings anywhere else, but I fear there are more and I just can't see them yet :) It's just becoming more and more evident that he can't be left alone AT ALL. I mean I do know that already, as I'm a wise old parent of almost 8 years, but there are times when I run upstairs to put a quick load of laundry in the washer...and it doesn't even occur to me what kinda ruckus Dylan can raise in a just a minute or two....and that's all it takes for "trouble to find Dylan"....like today....he is usually fine feeding himself...but instead of doing that today he dumped his applesauce all over his tray and then slapped the crap out of the applesauce until it was literally all over our ceiling and our entire kitchen....it was dripping everywhere and he was just grinning from ear to ear with applesauce dripping from himself too when I entered the room. And I swear I was only gone like 5 minutes tops. He is Mr. Trouble, that's for sure. But, then again I forget how quickly 2 is approaching and how "fun" that time was with Shelby :) Even him and the girls are getting into little tiffs daily...I had to take 2 trucks away yesterday cuz they were all fighting over the same ones (and believe me...we have enough trucks/cars to stock a Toys R Us for many months :) Oh, the joys of boys, siblings and toddlers :)
  • And Lil' Miss Shelba...well, she's been a hoot and a half too. She has said some pretty darn funny things this week trying to act all grown up like her big sis...but for the life of me I can't remember what she said right now (of course). But, I will say today was a BIG day for her. Yes, it was a preschool day, but that was not the excitement really...the joy of today was her first day of "lunch bunch" at school. Where she gets to bring her "backpack" (her name for her Dora lunchbox)....and she gets to eat lunch at school. Truly...you have no idea what a HUGE thing this is. Maybe it's cuz she sees me pack Hailey's lunch every day and she wants to be "just like her"...but this was a monumental day for her and she has talked about it ALL week. We even bought special "turkey" cuz our big preschooler won't eat anything "bready" so "no sandwiches". And wouldn't you know....she gets in the van after lunch bunch and has only eaten her pudding treat...not even touched her special "rolled up turkey" or her "Dora drinkable yogurt"...go figure. But, at least she had a 10 minute ride home to eat her lunch :) Better than nothing. And I did hear she had "Green EGGS and Ham" for snack today in celebration of Letter E this week :) She LOVED it, apparently :) So, all is going super great there. Shelby loves everything about school and is doing great, I guess. It's amazing to me how much she has grown up in the last few months. I just realized the other day that she was almost the same age as Dylan is now when he was born....that made me a big sniffly :( My babies really are growing up too fast :( But, I'm so proud of them...and so happy my big Shelby Gracie loves school...and loves dance too...she's doing great with her tappin', ballet and tumblin'....and she even got to do the snake dance again this week...what a week of fun for her...whohoo! :)
  • And, dear, sweet Hailey. She just touches my heart so much. We've been doing her daily devotionals at night like we always do....and this week one of the readings was on "ministering to others"...and she was so sweet. Afterwards, she told me that one of her friends is not a Christian and had never prayed before, but Hailey told her about Jesus and told her that when she had problems or was scared she could talk to Jesus and pray. I guess her friend was having some trouble on the bus and with other kids and she prayed about it and it helped. Isn't that sweet? She told me another story of a boy she didn't think was a Christian either and she said something to him too....and he started being nice :) Oh, if life could be so simple :) So, maybe we have another "future minister" on our hands? That's our Hailey...she says what's on her heart :)
  • And on a similar subject of "no worries"....we are really just enjoying our mommy-daughter ministry on Sunday nights. Jill...you've just been such an inspiration to our quality time together...Hailey and I really needed that. We really enjoyed this weeks topics and readings. I laughed cuz there was a little quiz on how Hailey views herself...with questions she has to respond to about "words to describe her personality"...and she had nothing bug GLOWING and AWESOME things to say about herself. I think she referred to herself as "Cool", "friendly" "fun", "artistic"....and when asked what one thing she didn't like about herself...she said "Nothing...I like everything about me"...ha, ha! If we could all be so self-confident! I just smiled...cuz I wish I was that way....and I'm sure that thought process won't last forever...but it's nice to have a good image of yourself :) And there is nothing wrong with thinking highly of yourself, right?! :) Oh, to have the confidence of a child! :)
  • And this is something I forgot about...our garage sale this past Sat....good ol' Daddy Kev worked his hiney off...and while we don't have a whole lot of cash to show for it (under $100) we did get rid of a lot of crap. It was a little painful for me to be getting rid of old frames and stuff like that...but it needed to be done...we have an overabundance of "stuff". It was good I was away all day with ballet and try-outs, etc....so I didn't have to watch my stuff be sold at a fraction of it's price...some garage sifters are so CHEAP! :( So, for all that work we see much profit (actually it wasn't that much work...all we did was move boxes from the basement to our driveway and then to Goodwill)...so I guess it was worth it (though we agreed our Spring sale was much better)...plus Kev cleaned out our garage that day too so the sale served it's purpose...and our house is lighter now :) Thanks, Babe, for working so hard that day...he's not a salesman either so I know it wasn't something he was excited about....
Well, that's all the tid bits of info I have today. It's been another crazy week of activities, which is sure to be kicked into high speed mode once Nutcracker practices are added in there in October. Tomorrow night we are taking a much-needed trip to Indy (David's Bridal) to try-on and order our dresses for my bro/Candy's wedding. Kev is not thrilled to be the "help me decide" person, but he's trying not to complain too much. The girls get to try on dresses too again so that'll be fun for them (I hope we make good choices, Candy...my wonderful sister-in-law-to-be is letting us pick our own styles!). But, it'll be a crazy weekend for us with that and then we have a family b-day party on Sat. and possibly some Sunday boating on the lake, among all our other normal weekend "procedures" :) Never a dull moment...and as much I make you think we live a life of craziness...it's all good and I like it that way....I mean, who really wants to be sitting around with their feet up, eating bon bons and watching soaps?! Bah...sounds boring to me! :) So, until next time....love ya'll!

Monday, September 17, 2007

And the Newest Nutcracker Cast Member Is....

Believe it or not these are the only pics I have from the big audition...and the one that I took today is blurry :( Bah! Anyway...so above you see Hailey as we enter the stage doors for the big audition on Sat. :) And the one fuzzy one below is after she saw her name on the big list today! Whohoo! :)

"Hailey the ANGEL"!!!! :) :) :)

Yep, our lil' prima ballerina made the big cut :) Phew! :) We found at about 5:30 p.m. today after a quick run to the IU auditorium to "check the list" which was posted sometime today. I saw her name right away under the angels, but it took her a minute or two....but when she saw it she was MOST ecstatic (the whole van ride home she kept smiling and repeating to herself..."I can't believe I'm an angel!") :) :) She's really been playing it cool since Saturday....almost too cool for me. When people would ask her about it she'd say "it went good" and she'd shrug and smile sheepishly :) So, as not to overplay that she thought she did really good, which I think she thought :) It's like she didn't even care if she made it or not...or maybe it's that she really was just very confident that she would indeed get a part and she wasn't worrying. And good for her...I wish I could be like that. I, on the underhand, have been a nervous wreck since Sat. afternoon. What is up with that? I couldn't sleep last night and when I did go to sleep I had this wretched dream that Hailey didn't get a part, and while she didn't care, I was sobbing and begging them to reconsider...how pathetic. I'm so weird :) But, it was borderline night-marish and made for a rough night's sleep...what can I say...I want my daughter to experience the same Nutcracker joys I did as a girl. And what's with making us wait 2 whole days to hear the news anyway (when apparently last year the girl's knew right away if they got a part and what it was...I like that alternative better...I hate waiting...it's agonizing! :))

Ok, so there's the BIG news for the day. We've waited over 48 hours for the exciting news to be posted and now that it has been and it's good news, it's time to heave a sigh of relief and move on with the big production. Obviously the big audition went well on Saturday...she said it did when she was done...but it was torturous for us parents who had to wait and wonder (and by the way I don't think everyone did make the cut cuz there were "understudy angels"...phew...glad Hailey is the "real deal" :)). Anyway, we weren't even allowed on the same floor as the kids trying out...we had to wait in the basement while the girls were escorted up and down to the 3rd floor ballet dept :) Crazy stuff! They even had to wear numbers pinned to their leotards like they were running a race or something. It was very hard-core :) But, Hailey came back dancing the part she'd learned in the 1-hour audition so it must have gone all right. Now we have a new little Nutcracker Angel on our hands. And what fun it will be to watch her learn the part and see what two of the four performances she'll be in (Nov 30-Dec 2). I personally can't wait to see her perform and watch her excitement grow as Dec. draws near...and I'm so excited my mom is gonna be here for the performance too. Nina in FL got the first phonecall today after the big news was posted...and I know she was rejoicing right along with us (as was Pops who also got a phonecall soon after from the big ballerina :)).

So, here's a big YIPPEE, WHOHOO, CONGRATS to the newest IU Nutcracker's Angel cast! We're so proud of you, dear sweet Hailey Nicole :) You'll be the most angelic of angels on that stage in a few months! :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Happy, Healthy Household Again :)

Well, these pics are long overdue...they are from the IN State Fair almost a month ago...but better late than never...I know my mom especially loves fair pics...so here they are....pics from our third fair of the summer :) Above is Dylan getting friendly with a llama :)
Here's our three in the kid's area at the fair...they have a really neat area where you dress-up a bit and get to go through the farming process...it's really fun and the girls' loved it...Dylan (as you'll see later)...wasn't so sure...but maybe it was this girly apron we made him wear that made him mad :)
Shelby was fascinated by the milking of the cow procedure :) hee, hee :)
Dylan's meltdown...maybe a sign that he's not cut out to be a future farmer?
Time to plow the land on the mini-John Deere's :)
The girls even took an elephant ride...cool!
Notice the name on this tractor? Who knew we Stegs had farmer in our blood?!
Me and the kids and our hometown mascot...the IU football guy :) Go IU!
Daddy eating/hiding his dinner...and posing with his kiddos :)
Me and the kiddos feeding our faces with fair food...thankfully I stayed off all spinny rides and was able to down this funnel cake and a VERY yummy homemade ice cream float! And below is a pic we had taken by this big boot at the fair...I think they wanted to see us boots, but we just wanted the free pic :)

Well, you guessed it...the "Walmart shopping cart virus" has since passed and we are de-germing the house and moving right along :) So far so good on the rest of our clan staying healthy....so thanks to all you who heard the cry for prayer and especially for the extra healthy prayers for our Nutcracker hopeful, Hailey Nicole. She is rearing to go for her big try-out tomorrow...and while we're not in the clear from "the scary cart virus"...we are in the homestretch, so we're still saying a few more little prayers that health is in our favor til tomorrow, at least! So, with that...since it's Friday I've decided to make this a casual post and break it down with some bold, beautiful bullet points....so, here it goes....(warning...could be long...read at your leisure :))
  • Since we're on the subject of Shelby, I'll just say I'm pleased and relieved she was able to make it back to preschool yesterday. Not that it's any huge monumental bad deed to miss school, but truly it's something that brings her great joy so it would have been devestating to miss a whole week of it...plus she would have missed out on learning all about letter A...and that is a mighty important letter to miss and we just couldn't have that. So back she went...a bit begrudgingly might I add...she was still not quiet herself which I knew, when she blurted out, "I don't want to to school today"...but back she went with her first homework in tow and her first show-n-tell (Angelina Ballerina) in her bucket. And it was a great day for her...I know this by the smile on her face when I picked her up and the big red streaks of paint all over her forehead from painting a paper bag apple. So, it's all good...she made it through another day of preschool and was proud to announce she "stayed on green" yet again and got another prize from the treasure box :) So proud of our lil' preschooler!
  • Dylan and I spent our morning yesterday at the park...now I should mention that it was in the 50's, I believe, and also VERY wet there...and if you know our boy you know he has to go down every slide and get down and dirty...so not only was he drenched and filthy when we got done, but so was I :) But, it was a beautiful, brisk morning and Lil' D was in all his glory running all around with his sopping wet pants. And can I just say...I knew the boy liked to climb since he was very young...but, boy, he has NO fear....he was up some of those tall bar climber things without any thought...and he was pretty darn good at them too. The girls still stray away from things like that...but not Dylan....he's our Mr. Daredevil...it's funny, but at the same time it makes my heart skip a beat since a few times he was quicker than I was and he was lingering on a single bar about 5 feet up in the air. Crazy stuff!
  • And Hailey...can I just tell you she is so stoked about her big try-outs tomorrow. She's waited for this day for years literally...and it's gonna be so exciting to hear what part she gets (we get to find out at 5:45 on Monday!) :) For those of you who don't live in Bloomy and don't breathe IU ballet (gasp!)...well, let me just tell you this is all a huge, big ordeal. There is no guarantee that Hailey will even get a part, which would be crushing...but I can't even think along those lines. There are height restrictions (which makes me nervous)...cuz truly...there is no way she would be cut on her abilities and her knowledge...she is a natural...and way better than I ever was. But, she is tall...not the tallest in her class...but still tall...and for some reason they like ballerinas to be short...weird :( But, needless to say there is that restriction. But, the whole Nutcracker is being redone this year...and bless Hailey's heart....her remark to me yesterday as she posed and looked at herself in the mirror (a common occurrence) was "Mom, I think I'm at the right age to be Clara this year"...awwww...how do you say "that just ain't so"...but I did as nicely as I could....though I definitely encouraged her aspirations of being the star of the show. Bless her heart. So, the big day is tomorrow from 4-5 p.m. It'll be the first thing she's ever auditioned for. I've been trying to just downplay it all so as not to make her nervous...and you know what...she's NOT nervous...but I sure as heck am (maybe that's due to the big ol' waiver of participation/commitment we have to sign where we are giving our firstborn away to the ballet dept and where they even have to (gasp) SKIP SCHOOL for practices for maybe 2 mos!)! I get knots in my stomach thinking about all of this...but that's just the crazy (old ballerina) mom in me. I know she'll do fine tomorrow. And you know I'll have the "breaking news" on Monday when we find out! :) Whohoo! Go Hailey!
  • And in the midst of ballet mania Kev will be holding down the fort at our house tomorrow as our community hosts it's annual fall garage sale. Now most of you know we had a big basement clean-up this year so we are anxious to get our "pile of crap" out of the corner of our basement that was set aside for "garage sale day". So, wish us luck in giving our crap to others tomorrow! You know how I shy away from garage sales, but if it helps us clear the crap and make a few bucks then it should be worth it. So, we'll be working on that tonight and all day tomorrow...whohoo!
  • Dylan has a new "lighter" dilemma this week. It's the fact the our boy has NO BUTT and is now what we call "the pantsless wonder" :) Now many of you fellow woman readers are probably saying "lucky boy"..."must be nice"...yes, I agree...wish I had the problem. But, this is the deal...you all know that months ago I posted a pic of him waddling around our home w/o his pants on...and exclaimed to you, that yes...his britches were too big for his backside. Well, over the course of the summer the problem has just escalated....now almost all his pants/shorts basically fall off him...no joke...we have our boy's pants all around the house...on the stairs, in the toy box, under the table...they are everywhere...and now yesterday he decided that he's not gonna wait for them to fall off...he's gonna TAKE them off before they get to that point. Yep, so now we have a purposefully pantsless boy. What's a mom to do??? I will say we have invested in a belt (thanks to Gymboree and a $1 deal)...so that will have to be put into effect...but my concern now is that autumn is upon us and frigid weather will be here soon...and those skinny little legs are gonna be getting frosty if they are not covered properly. So, I'm concerned about getting pants his size (he's in a 24 mos but they are huge in his waste)...but he so dang long (i.e.....he's 50% for weight, but greater than 95% for height)...what's a mom to do??? Our boy is just getting taller and taller and slimmer and slimmer?? And I refuse to do what Kev's been doing...using a real rope to tie his pants on...sorry, but that's just not GQ enough for our boy :) Help! Wish our boy would fatten up a bit and grow a rear!
  • Well, read it and weep people...today is the 11 year anniversary of Kev and I's first kiss. Yep...this was/is a monumental event as it "sealed the deal" for us "getting together". Some of you might remember that we actually kissed before we had our first date....maybe that's not something to admit, but heck...there are just no secrets on the blog...so there ya' go. And it's not like we were perfect strangers. We'd been friends for a year before we dated...and Kev had called me all summer long (without my return phonecalls...yes, I was even bad at phonecalls back then!)...so, we were friends before the big smooch. And while I won't give you the "what, when, where, why" details of that evening...I will just say that was one of the best choices I made...to take a chance that he still liked me (which he had the WHOLE year before :))...and that was that...of course, he didn't ask me out on a real date for two more weeks after the kiss (bad move, babe :))...and that was a bit torturous, but still...we endured and here we are 11 years later...livin' the good life...my how time flies. So, here's to the man I'm glad I kissed 11 years ago today (which was, by the way, my first kiss :))....I'm so glad we locked lips then and that we still occasionally do now :) Hee, hee :) Gee, now I'm blushing :)
  • Alrighty...here's another dilemma...and this is one that I welcome any advice on as well. Ok...so I've not really wanted to admit this on the blog, but heck....it's something we're dealing with so I'm just gonna put it out there. The subject is "good old fashioned B.O." (body odor in case that's not a current term these days :)). It's not my odor (in case you're wondering)...but it's our little blooming 7 year old's. So, this has been the issue. I have noticed over the course of the last year how stinky she gets. I know if she ever reads this she'll say "Oh Mom"...but sorry....I make it no secret to her either...when she smells I let her know. And lately...she has reaked like a bag of old onions. Now I'm a person that notices body odor (I have a very touchy nose)...so it's been daily now that she's been smelling...and it doesn't have to be after a strenuous activity like dance or PE at school. It can just be after half a day of doing nothing. So....our solution as of now has been to make sure she takes a shower daily. We actually had "Showering 101" last week and I walked her through the whole washing process. I guess I assumed she knew what she was doing long ago, but apparently there had been no "pitt scrubbage"...ummm...no wonder the stench! So....that has been helping somewhat...cuz before she had only been showering every other day and obviously skipping the cleansing of certain body parts. But, seriously I am considering deodorant! Is there anyone out there who can tell me the harm of letting her use it now or when is the "appropriate age". I guess I don't want to start something too soon, but also hate waiting if there is a need....cuz I remember some smelly kids at school and they sure got teased...I'd hate for that to be her. Ugh....soon enough it'll be shaving and other things...but luckily this isn't an issue for her yet. So, help, on that if you have advice. Maybe my mom can shed light on that stuff cuz I don't remember what I did as a child???
  • Dylan has finally become the "bullying brother" :) I knew the day would come...where he would be big enough and strong enough to do it...and that day is here...poor Shelby...he definitely picked a bad time to beat on her....when she was down and out with a virus....but sure enough...he saw his many opportunities this week and grabbed them right up! The beatings have mostly occurred in hair-pulling form, but there have been some cars and train tracks to the face also which have landed him in time-out and with some stern talks about his "unacceptable behavior" (thank you, Sulu, for that wise advice :)). It's definitely been a slow process of learning...but our "physical" little man, although I don't think he means harm...is indeed bringing big sister Shelby to hysterics this week. It's been slightly comical (though I don't tell them that)....just to watch how they bicker with each other (and believe me...there have been some doosy fights between them lately...they always seem to want the same toys and both are unrelentless :))...so, poor Shelby...bad enough to be down-and-out with a virus...but now to get beaten on by your younger brother...heartbreaking :) It's exhausting really....and I'm only on the sidelines watching.
  • Kev's G-pa Stegs should be resting comfortably at home after his little scare this week. I guess he was at church earlier this week and passed out after taking his nitroglycerin. He was put in the hospital for a couple days after, but there was no further heart damage and he is thankfully ok. We are looking forward to seeing him and grandma soon (and the rest of the Steg Fam.)...and are especially looking forward to Grandma's big 80th b-day party next month (she already turned the big 8-0 last month :))
  • And now onto my heart's desire lately. Two great Bible Study's that I'm involved in. I really can't truly tell you how both of these studies are touching my heart, but I do want to lay it out there that I've felt a bit lost lately....not really knowing my place in this world and not really knowing my place in my own life right now. Maybe that sounds crazy...cuz I have so much going on...and I know I'm a lot of things....like a mom and a wife, a friend and a daughter, etc...but I've still felt foggy about it all. So, while I've not decided to stop blogging I have decided that as of next week I want to use "nap time" as "my time with God". I know many of you understand this need and you might have this same yearning so I just wanted to put my heart out there. I struggle to find that time with Him...in the midst of the kids, activities, sickness, cleaning, volunteering and just life in general...sometimes my time with Him gets put on the backburner or is non-existent. But, I prayed about it and God has really shown me that in order to help others and be that person they need, I need to "fill myself up" too. So, that is my goal in the coming months. I'm in two amazing studies now...both of which I hope to expound on later as I continue learning. But, the first is my Friday morning Woman's study at church...."Discerning the Voice of God" (by Priscilla Shirer)...awesome stuff....really...I have been horrible about doing the homework (i.e. I didn't crack the book this week at all due to Shelby's illness), but the conversation with our table group is just amazing and so inspiring...I know I need to do better...to be more open to the Spirit within me...I know He's there and often I ignore what He says and His leading. It's my goal to do better with that.....so this study has been great for me.....
  • And I'm putting the next study in it's own bullet point cuz I just praise my wonderful friend and neighbor, Jill (who is also one of my most faithful blog readers/commentors :))...she has started up this awesome mother-daughter (tween....i.e...before teen) group called 2BMe....and it's just been a great experience for Hailey and I to bond better and grow in God. I've said for months and even years that since her little siblings have come along that Hailey and I just don't have that specially mommy-daughter time anymore. And I know she's at an age where she needs it. This Bible Study has just been a blessing to us...and to many other moms-daughters in our church. We met for the first time last Sunday night at church and I just have to applaud Jill....she did an amazing job. I know she doesn't think of herself as a leader-type...but she was fearless and wonderful and did an incredible job. Not only did we do some fun ice-breaker activities where the daughters got to see that even we moms are cool (gasp!)...but she had all these creative crafts planned out and just was full of great, motivational, wise Godly information. Hailey came home that night and prayed one of the most beautiful prayers I've ever heard and it was all about what Jill had talked about....it was so sweet and her heart was so filled with joy. So, Jill, I know I've told you this...but I am so thankful for you and your willingness to answer the call to do this...I know God put it on your heart to share your wisdom and I know all the time and energy you put into this. It is a blessing for so many of us moms who are trying to raise Godly girls who grown into Godly woman who are equipped with the knowledge and strength to make the right decisions in the big years to come. I'm so excited about the next 5 weeks I have to further study with my daughter :) (and the books are great too..."Your Girl" by Vicki Courtney and "Everybody Tells Me to Be Myself But I Don't Know Who I am" by Nancy Rue...I'd highly recommend them for moms with daughters! :)
  • And finally (since yes I know this is getting to be a VERY verbose post) :) I just wanted to comment on Hailey and her schooling. She is doing fabulous as a 2nd grader (no surprises there). But, we had her school's open house this week and were able to speak to her teacher...he had nothing but glowing reviews of her...and she was truly blushing the whole time...she loves Mr. S :) But, we just have to say we are so proud of our Hailey. She's always been the model student...and this year is no exception. She is one of the top in her class (and, no I'm not just biased) :)) her teacher had only glowing remarks about her...she's been getting all her spelling words right on her pretests so she doesn't even have to take the real tests on Fridays (though we are mean parents and make her study anyway :))....and her teacher says she raises her hand for every question asked and is as chatty as they come (again, no surprise). She does have two new best friends (Morgan and Lucy) and they chat a little too much...but I'm so thankful Hailey loves her new class and her teacher. Each year I secretly worry about that, but each year I am not surprised when yet again a couple weeks into school she has a new best friend (or two). That's our Hailey....just a friendly little gal :) And while we're on the subject of school I just have to say....it was announced that our school is the largest in our county...they had expected 300+ in 2005 when they opened and now we have almost 600...can you believe that?! Amazing! Can we say "too crowded"???!!! (and I admit that's mostly due to our fast growing neighborhood) And for those who live on this south side of Bloomy...you know what that means soon, right?! Redistricting :( I hope we don't get moved to another school...we really do love Summit :)
Ok, so I've blabbed long enough....this post should last ya'll a good week or so....that is, if you don't read it all in one sitting :) But, I type these chatty posts mostly for my parents who like to know all the details of our weeks :) (or at least I think they do?) And, of course, I love it when other die-hard blog-readers read everything too :) And it's always good to get stuff off my chest. So, bravo again to all those of you who made it through this jumbled mess.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend of fun and I'll be checking back on Monday to post the big news of a hopefully new Nutcracker cast member :) Love ya'll!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Forced to Slow Down :(

Well, I only picked 3 pics today...cuz I'm too tired to post more (plus the fact that I'm filling up my blog with pics and I'm running out of room...go figure)...but here is Hailey above on Saturday...her first day of ballet class for the school year! She's moved up to a new class and now she goes twice a week...so lots more ballet...which is right up our prima ballerina's alley...
Here's good ol' Shelba on her second day of preschool (first day alone w/o mom and dad :)). The pic I posted the other day is my most fav pic of all...the close-up of her...but here's the rest of her get-up down to the new light-up boots from Nina and Poppy Stegs...gotta love those! :) Doesn't she look so grown up here! :) Makes me sad, really :) And then below is our big glowing boy playing with one of his favs...his cars (actually they are Shelby's cars and she makes now qualms of telling him and us that either :)). Don't know why his hair looks orange...no, he did not get a dye job :)

cart virus"....this is a somewhat normal Ok, well my title might imply that we are lazily just loafing around the house...which would be very unlike our crazy, busy family's normal routine...and in a way that's true....we are just sitting around lately....but not by choice. If you read my previous, brief post you probably guessed that by "recovering" I meant at least one of us was sick...which is true. Unfortunately I spoke too soon and the "infected one" actually got worse and is STILL sick...it's been 5 days. So, needless to say, our weekend FULL of plans came to a standstill on Sat. night when I finally looked at Shelby after not seeing her all day and noticed she was LAYING DOWN! :) Now, if you know our busy girl you know being off her feet during the day is probably a red flag. Apparently she had been laying around all day, but I had been out with Hailey at ballet, a church activity and then a b-day party...and Kev had been furiously cleaning (like the awesome hubby he is)...so between the two of us neglectful parents we failed to notice our Shelby girl was not quite herself. Turns out she had a 105 fever (and probably had all day)....poor baby :( So...that was that :( We had to cancel yet again on our awesome buddies, Dave and Heather and fam, who were due to come over to hang out....we were supposed to have them over for dinner weeks ago and we had canceled like 2 times already...so we felt really, really bad calling them up 30 minutes before they were supposed to arrive to tell them they couldn't come :( Not to mention they had made Kev a b-day cake so that was a bummer :( (but, don't fret...he got half of the cake the next day after church...yumm :)). Ok....so, now ya' know...we've been forced to slow down by a nasty virus that has invaded our dear, sweet Shelby. Now before you go feeling really, really bad for her (which you should :))...let me explain how the culprit probably found it's way into our lil' girl's body. Let's just simply say there was some "lickage of a cart at Walmart last week".....and I even remember when she did it how I made a point to stop and say "That's how you get SICK!". Go figure...it worked out that way. So, we've most likely caught a "Walmartoccurrence for Shelby who has some "oral issues" (thus why she is constantly sick). Ok....so, that's the down-low on our weekend and our week thus far....as jam packed as our weekend and week were supposed to be we've had to cancel about half of that stuff. It's funny cuz I know I had recently posted about having "too much going on"...and it's interesting how sometimes when I say that it's only a day or two later and we're all sitting around the house sick. I'm not saying it's God's way of forcing us to slow down...cuz I'm sure he doesn't want us to be sick...but then again sometimes being sick IS the only way for us to slow down. So be it....it's been ok and I've not minded being a homebody (which is a secret love of mine anyway :)). Though I will admit it's hard being cooped up when the temp outside is glorious! It's been in the 60's and the 70's and my fav. time of year (fall) is almost here! Whohoo! I'm excited to say "bye bye" to humidity and 100 degree weather!

blood in puke is not a good sign. So off we went to the doc. Turns out her poor throat is so red and raw that she was probably just swallowing blood...thus the disturbing So, anyway...I hate to say the word "recovering" again cuz last time I said that Shelby had actually been w/o a fever for 24 hours only to get the raging 105 reading again that night...forcing her to miss school yesterday, which was very sad for her. But, I will say I HOPE she is almost recovered. We took a lil' jaunt to the peds office yesterday. Long story short...but she'd had a fever of 104/105 for 3 days w/o any relief really...and then yesterday she actually puked up blood. While I know a fever is a good thing and means "infection is being faught"...old clotty pukage is NOT a good thing...so off we went to the doc. The diagnosis was VIRUS...probably a 5 day one, which would mean today is the final day and hopefully she is on the mend. The bloody vomit was most likely due to the nasty red/swollen throat she has going on (thankfully not strep)...she probably just swallowed some of that blood from her throat and it sat in her stomach and came back up later :( Not a pretty sight, but I'm glad it's nothing serious. Her poor sweet mouth is full of sores and she is a mess really...her face is as pale as they come and all swollen (at least her glands are) and she has these poor little bags under her eyes. It's been rough to be sick for so long...poor thing. She's just not herself. She's gone from being pretty lethargic (she was so lethargic that first night that Kev...the worrisome father....was pretty worried)....we called Dr. Poppy a few times so he's given us good advice and consoled us :).....and then she moved on to the angry stage where she threw stuff at me and was a little violent (not really like her at all)...and today we're at the mean stage where she tells me to "go away" and "get out of the room". Ah, that must mean our Shelby is getting better :) Ha!

So, that's where we stand....the first illness of the season and hopefully the last. If there is ONE prayer I have this week...one wish for our family...it is that Hailey stay healthy! She has her big Nutcracker tryouts this Saturday afternoon and she is soooooooooo looking forward to that and it would be devestating if she got this nasty, long-lasting virus and couldn't try out or be in the Nutcracker. I won't even go into that or think that way...but please just pray that she stays well. I don't even care if I'm laid up in bed...I just want HER to stay healthy! :)

Anyway...I have so many things going on right now I don't even know where to start really....do you ever have those days/weeks/months...where SO much is going on you can't even blog....it's too overwhelming to put it all into words. That's how I feel lately.

I could post it all, but I simply don't think you'd want to hear it all.

But, I will say (since many of you commented on this)....that our Dylan has made some awesome headway as far as "not hurling his food". It's funny cuz that same night I wrote that blog post about his "dilemma"...well, he actually "fixed things" himself. He had "unwelcome food" set on his tray...and he did throw the first piece of it....then he looked at me and I gave him a VERY stern/glaring look....and you know what...he took another piece in his hand and put it in his CUPHOLDER! YAY! No throwing involved! And, don't worry, he got lots of praise for it and although he's not been perfect about continuing his new "non-throwing" attitude he's done really good and I'm so happy. I haven't had to have any stern talks with him nor have I doled out any hand slaps. And I haven't even needed to use a timeout or any new punishment. So, that's been a relief. Thank you to all of you who had such great advice on that...I definitely appreciated the wisdom you shared and will take it to heart with the "next issue" :) And I know I commented on this, but I'll say it again....we, by no means, think our sweet, baby boy is "slow" (or developmentally-challenged, "not all there" or any other such derogatory words). My dear, sweet hubby was not exactly pleased that I posted the "slow" comment so I just wanted to rephrase :) I guess Dylan is just so very different from the girls that we are stumped as to how to handle some of his issues. That's not to say that's a bad thing or that the girls were/are perfect (goodness knows that's not true)...but Dylan just has his own issues that are totally different that the ones we've dealt with before. And I hope it's ok to say this, but I think developmentally he's just different than the girls. He walked later, is talking later, is eating real food later....that's not a bad thing...it's just different for us. On the otherhand, he's got way more coordination than the girls (he can throw a ball like a major leaguer :)...and he's usually way less dramatic than them too :)...not to mention he is the most loving child I know...he hugs me and kisses me way more than I deserve. There is no way I think our boy is slow...different, yes...slow, no! :) Ok...so I hope that clears that up...don't want anyone thinking badly of us as parents :) We love our boy and he is the best son ever and I can't imagine my life w/o him in it smiling away and chucking ever toy he owns at me :) He's great and I love how different he is that each of the other members of our family! :)

Alrighty...so....this has been a humdinger of a post...I didn't really intend to make it full of virus-related info and such, but it just turned out that way. I guess I'll have to post later in the week about "healthier/happier subjects" :) For now it's back to lounging around and watching movies (yes, I've even done a little of this too as I've held my sick little girl...it's been nice to sit and veg again :)) Sometimes it's good to slow down...even if you have to be sick to do it :(

Monday, September 10, 2007

Shelby's funny :)


Ok, so I'm out of time/energy to post today, but I did want to post a "Shelby funny" for today just to make you smile. I just caught her changing her underwear...although this is not an unusual event as she is often having little surprise tinkles.....her "reason why" for today's change will make you grin :). "Cuz I tooted in them, mom"....hmmm, now if we all changed our underwear for each gas passing that would make for a lot of laundry, huh?! (not that I'm fessing up to tooting or anything :))...but I didn't argue with her. I guess she wanted to escape those gassy panties...and who can blame her! :)

Hope you all are doing well...we're "recovering"...that's all I'm saying about our weekend...more to come about that later...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Too Much to Do...

Ok, so to lighten the load I'm feeling I thought I'd post some happy pictures of our Labor Day weekend adventures....here we are (obviously not me...but some of the Steg guys) saying "adios" to the old boat...that's been the in the family for goodness knows how long...so here's to you ol' Naveta do Mar (Portugese, I think...Kev's dad was born in Brazil...I hope I got that right Dad Stegs?? I still can't remember what it means...something of the sea?) Anyway...saying goodbye to the ol' boat....and....
hello to the new (nameless) one :) Can you tell Dylan loves the boat :) :) He is all smiles about it. This pic doesn't do it justice...it really is much bigger than it looks with lots of hidden space underneath! As Hailey would say "it's like a HUGE houseboat, mom!" :)
Here's a better shot of it...
Shelby sunning herself with Hailey's shades on :)
Time for a little snack...or maybe this is dinner...either way it's in the dining room on the new boat...the kids loved it! :)
Danielle and Shelby trying to dry off :)
Dilly and his daddy floating lazily in the lake :)
Dylan's new fav. spot...the little bedroom on the boat...the kids all loved this area :) It made me claustrophobic :)
I just couldn't resist posting this. It was in the midst of boating and Shelby started rubbing Hailey's back (which if you know Hailey she LOVES a good back rub)...so sweet on not really in character for Shelby :) And someone is tubing in the background??
The kids stuffing their faces with cookies on the front of the new boat...also a fun place for them...and a great place to lay out and get a tan :)

Dylan answering the i-pod "Hi" he said :) Or is that thing a nano? I have no idea what all these new fangled "toys" are! :) I guess I'm showing my age :)
Shelby and her fav. person Alyssa :) It's funny cuz months ago Shelby would run from Alyssa and now she adores her :)
Danielle and Dylan chilling in the cuddy :) And below is the kids in the hot tub at the hotel on the lake...they love hot tubs if you can't tell :)

Ok, so that's all I really need to say....I have TOO MUCH TO DO! :( It's been one of those days that has turned into one of those weeks (which I feel I have too often) and I'm feeling that "burned out/overwhelmed" feeling. Scary cuz it's only the first month of school and that could be a danger sign for the months to come :(

I knew many months ago that I had gotten in a little over my head with "saying yes to too many things" and now that all the activities are starting up this week my worst fears are realized. So, what does that mean?? It means that my dreams of getting our house organized and of spending some wonderful quality time with my baby boy are gonna go down the crapper and in their place I'll be running all over town doing "other" things. Ok, so maybe that's a bit dramatic, but I'm in the drama mode so I'm going with it. And really...if you could hear our schedule...it might make your head spin. Even the times I'm at the house here I am stuck at this darn computer doing PTO stuff and other monotonous stuff that just doesn't bring me much joy...and really just gives me headaches. Ugh. I need to rearrange my mindset and not get so overwhelmed...but it's hard when you're in the midst of it and your sleeping like crap (which, if I haven't mentioned before...a bad night's sleep for me means a good bet at a bad day) :( So, thus begins our crazy school year. It's actually sad cuz I have some really awesome things coming up...a new Bible Study I'm excited about tomorrow and a wonderful one for Hailey and I on Sunday (Thanks, Jill)...but even that stuff seems overwhelming to me, which is a red flag for my sanity. I know I just need to take it to the Lord...and have him give me some peace about it...but that too just doesn't occur to me when I'm "in the moment" of pulling my hair out and on these days where I have no down time and I'm up early and out late. Ok, so enough said. I'm truly not complaining. I'm just saying that I have learned the hard way this year that I NEED to say "NO" to things. I think Kev said it best a few weeks ago. He told me I definitely can do everything...I have it in me...it's just a matter of how it effects our family...and that is the most important thing to me. And he's right...when I'm overwhelmed and overburdened like this I am short-tempered and not nice...well, at least in our own home...I can still put a fake smile on for the world. Ugh. So, I need some prayer as far as this year goes....just that I can keep it all in perspective and not feel so stifled by all that I've taken on. I really do like to be busy and on the go...and I know God won't give me more than I can handle...so I'm clinging to that for today :)

Ok...and before I sign off....we have another "Dylan Dilemma". This one is also food related, but is also punishment-related. If you have any wise advice let me know.....

So, the past few weeks, as you might know, we've been offering Dylan many new and interesting foods. Well, the last week or so he's been throwing ALL food that he doesn't like. Now we never had to deal with this with the girls (I know...don't compare kids...but saying that is just saying that we have no experience with this). I think the girls threw a few things, but it was not consistent enough to warrant punishment. Dylan now throws EVERYTHING he does not want in his mouth...which is...well, ALMOST EVERYTHING (minus applesauce and watermelon this week). So...Kev and I started by slapping his hand once when he did it...and repeating that if he did it again. Of course that crushes his little spirit and he is lost to tears/hysterics for many minutes. I've felt bad about the hand slapping so I've moved to a VERY stern "NO" when he does it. It also has the same effect as the slap...he screams for a few minutes and then won't open his eyes for about 5 minutes cuz he doesn't want to make eye contact. Ok, so we thought that after a few days of this throwing food, slapping and then "no"...he'd get the idea that he shouldn't throw food. But he hasn't. Now I'm at a loss. Is there something else we should do??? Kev just says Dylan is slow and that it takes him more time to get things (which kind of hurts my feelings...but then again may be true...but who wants their son to be "slow"). Ok....so that's our dilemma. It's really breaking my heart after a week of slapping his hand and yelling at him to see him still throwing food and still "not getting it" and still hysterical after his punishment. I guess I just want some reassurance that he's not a lost cause. I love this little guy and I've had to get up from the table a few times after our "stern talks" cuz his cries and HUGE crocodile tears just break my heart. Add to that that he's been sick for a couple days and I just feel guilty.....but that's a whole 'nother blog (my guilt-riddeness :)). Ok...so, I think it's time to sign off and (gasp) actually lay down and take a nap. Now mind you the house is a pit and the dirty laundry is waste high but I think my rest needs to be a priority today. So......until next time.....

(Oh...and need I forget to comment....Shelby had a super awesome 1st/2nd day of preschool (this is the day I left her and went home and cried...which I did cry, but it was related to some PTO stuff that "went bad"...and not really over Shelby being gone...but she had a great day...she came home spouting stuff about Letter A and apples and staying on green all day and getting a special prize. She loves school and I'm so happy for that...so that is a smiley thought for today :))

***I just looked at my calendar and I do believe it's one of my great college friends' 30th B-day! Whohoo! So, here's a birthday shout-out to my awesome friend and long-lost MI pal, Pricilla (who to me is Cil and to my kids is "Auntie Cil" :)) I love ya', my friend, and hope you have a great day celebrating! And welcome to the 30's...glad you've joined the rest of us old ladies! :)***