5 Pics a Month for 18 Years

I have a new goal. I actually got the idea from Tomis’s boss.  Backtrack a minute here… for the past month Tomis and I have been working for the same company. I really love where I work. The company appears to value its employees, and more importantly, their families. As soon as I started to drink the Kool-Aid I pitched it to Tomis. I got him an interview, he of course nailed it, and the rest is history. Now we work a 5 second walk from each other’s desks and get to carpool and have lunch dates. Despite what you might think, I love it! Anyway, Tomis’s boss was telling us one day that the best thing his parents did for him and his siblings was have slide shows from time to time of all their family pics. Even when he would get angry with his parents, there was a testament to the time spent together and the effort and love in the relationships. SO, my goal is five pictures a month in a physical album, until both boys are 18. I will also try to get to the blog more. I can’t promise the blog will be as colorful as usual but I will try 🙂 These two boys have been playing ping pong with illnesses and I have had homework to complete, but I know for a fact I will never regret the effort I put into cataloging our memories and pictures. Continue reading

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Through the greatest adversity, smile

So many things to say… I have written paragraphs and deleted them for the mere fact that this blog has turned into a biography for my children and as much as I want to vent and spit venom right now, there are probably better things to capture.  I do however want to paint a bit of a backdrop so that I never forget the adversity that is providing the experience necessary to deliver wisdom to my children someday.  

The past several weeks have felt like navigating hell with a match.  Our tenants in Oregon did unspeakable things to our home. The financial blow obliterated four years worth of savings, and we are still bleeding.  During that time, medical bills have mounted:  Cole needed an ultrasound, I needed an MRI, and both boys ended up on breathing treatments. SEVERAL ER trips for me and Ryker.  Tomis was having to cover double hours at work so we didn’t have each other to lean on, and it took all I had to keep it together for the kids.  But, I did it… just barely.  

At present, we are out of the thick and looking towards a glimmer of light…  

Good news is, I don’t have multiple sclerosis.  Cole does not have testicular cancer.  Both the boys are happy and almost 100% healthy now (Cole has an ear infection).  Tomis took a position working where I work, which is an amazing and family-oriented company. With Tomis more available I have been able to stop regimenting the boys routine, and there has been more laughter in the house.  For the first time since Cole was born, we all spent a weekend together as a family.  I have enrolled for my Master’s Degree so I can use some of my coming stipend money to get us back on track.  With interest rates at a record low, we can even consolidate our debt and not freak out about repayment once I complete my program. The house in Oregon is still not in a place that we are in the clear, but it is getting there.  Long story short, once we can pull through this horror story, we will be better for it.  Our family will be stronger and we will be happier than before this sad tale began.  God is mysterious, that is for sure.  I have learned to never doubt that if you put good out there, even when adversity is at its worst, that good will be returned to you.

What I want my boys to know most is this.  While this was going on, you had an amazing Halloween and Thanksgiving.  You laughed and were loved.  I genuinely had amazing times with you, despite the fact that I thought I might be losing it.  Your daddy missed you everyday he couldn’t see you while at work, and he quit his job so that we could finally be the family you deserve.  Your mommy and daddy utilized every reserve of energy they have, and you know what, I was able to laugh and smile every single day (even if sometimes I wanted to cry too).  The wisdom that I want you to glean from this experience of ours is this; no matter what, don’t let anyone take your smile away from those you love.  Don’t ever stop believing there is reason to put good out there.  And don’t ever lose faith in yourself, people, and God.



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How to boost Mommy’s Ego

I will just break down our Saturday real quick as I get to the thing that I REALLY want to jot down. I got a tip off Facebook that substituting beer for milk in pancakes was a way to makes them nice and fluffy. I have been struggling with my pancakes, so when Ryker asked for pancakes for breakfast I opened a Hefe at 7:30. They weren’t bad at all. I think if I do it again I will get a pumpkin beer or something fruit driven because I could taste a little bit of the bitterness from the beer. Or maybe I will try soda since it is probably the carbonation that makes it fluffy. Anyway, we had pancakes, eggs, sausage, and burritos for breakfast. After that the boys and I headed out to the park while Tomis got ready for work. Cole went down a slide for the first time with mama as we tried to urge Ryker to do the same. After the park we came home and napped for three hours… that, was amazing. Once we were all up, we clamored in the car to get Ryker’s hair cut. He did pretty well (with a lollipop bribe). My little Ryker is exploring his “emotional” side at the moment, so the drama tends to be high at times. I am always equipped with sugar bribes for public outings. Anyway, after the haircut we went to walk around a local outdoor mall. They have a nice play area that is always loaded with kids, but Ryker didn’t want to hand over his lollipop so we had dinner at Johnny Rockets instead. We had a BLAST. Both my boys were happy and EXTREMELY well behaved. Cole and I had a squealing competition (we sat outside) and Ryker and I laughed like arrogant French men any time anyone walked by our table. Here is the part that I wanted to write down, because it is one of the best compliments I have ever received. It was a conversation with one of the waitresses:

Waitress: Is there anything else I can get for you?
Me: No, thank you.
Waitress: Can I just say, you are an amazing mom. A lot of parents come in here and they just grow kids. Like, they feed and cloth them, and then leave them. You interact with your kids and it is amazing to watch.
Me: Wow, thank you. My boys are good kids.
Waitress: No, thank you. Really.

I was on a high after hearing that. I had already left a tip and she was not even my waitress, so I felt like she was being sincere. If I am a good mom, then hopefully my boys know they are loved and will be happy 🙂

Anyway, before we had dinner as we were walking around biding time while Ryker sucked on his lollipop. I walked past a store called Buckle and heard one of my favorite songs playing, Neon Moon. I walked in just to finish the song and made a lap through the store. 4 different employees stopped me to coo at Cole and say how cute he is. One lady even said, “I have never had a baby make me want to have one of my own until now.” Cole was such a cheese, smiling and giving love eyes at the girls. Such a happy flirt. I was told my boys are incredibly good looking and that I need to have more 🙂 It was a good day for mommy’s ego hearing how great her kids are. So I have some nice pics from today below. I will do our Halloween post later. I have been having a weird allergic reaction to something since yesterday; I am so itchy I want to jump out a window and can barely handle sitting still any longer.

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FROYO, Grandpa’s nose, and the boys

Cole has a new obsession…. noses. He fixates on your nose, and then ATTACKS. Doodle learned this the hard way on Sunday when we got a grandparents visit. Moosh made fresh bread for us, and we all took a walk to a frozen yogurt place down the road. When we got there, my nose ninja started his reign of terror.

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Too cute. And here are some pics of my rascals just being cute…

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Turned Ryker’s lamp into a stop light 🙂
Sorry I don’t have more to say. I am so beyond tired I can barely think a full thought. Cole has been congested at night so there has been a lot of cuddling and comforting. He had a quick trip to the Urgent Care today too just to find out that he is absolutely fine and doesn’t even have an ear infection. Couldn’t wait for one more day for when my insurance kicked in… oh well, $100 for peace of mind is $100… well, not well spent, but thrown at an over-priced and retarded system 😉 And goodnight I say.

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Cling to the small victories

“Cling to the small victories.”  It is good advice.  You can choose to acknowledge whatever you want out of life.  You fill or empty your own cup.  You can help yourself a great deal by carrying the small victories with you throughout your day.  You only live once and there are more experiences than time allotted.  It isn’t cruel that it is that way; it gives you the ability to create significant peaks in life and make momentous what deserves to be.  With infinity how can there be anticipation and joy when there is no urgency to experience? Your timeline gives you the ability to select and make special what you will.  So why harbor anything nasty. Cling to every piece of happy you find because happiness begets happiness.  It is when you are happy that you are most impactful to the world around you, and that is when positive things come your way. Add to that honesty and integrity when interacting with others, standing by your word, and taking a moment to reflect and appreciate the gifts around you, and you will live a great life… just ” cling to the small victories” as you go.  



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Choking Toddler and Infant: Link

Sooooo had a colorful happening that is interesting enough to commit to the internet walls for my boys to read.  Last night, after picking up the boys for daycare late and slinking through the McDonalds drive-thru in true “mom walk of shame” style, the boys and I plopped down on our cushy carpet in our upstairs loft to have dinner.  USUALLY, there is no food upstairs, but last night I needed to make up for lost time. Anyway, Ryker was to my right with his french fries, bbq sauce, and nuggets.  Cole was to my left with his toys and my McChicken.  Cole is not yet crawling, but he is doing the “air hump”.  Moms know what I mean.. but for those of you who don’t, it is right before an infant is ready to crawl and they get on all fours and rock with frustration because they can’t quite figure out how to translate rocking into a change of scenery.  Typically, they give up and resort to rolling where they want.  ANYWAY, out of nowhere, Ryker starts to choke.  He starts to choke badly enough that my panic reaches a level ten and I start smacking my kid on the back like a lunatic.  NOT, what you are supposed to do.  While this is going on, Cole makes a go at my McChicken… how he SUDDENLY crawled I will never know.  So I have one kid turning pale with watery eyes, one with a handful of burger and but two teeth, and there I am in the middle still in work clothes hitting one and using my elbow to stop the other one from giving a good gumming to processed meat, shredded lettuce and mayo.  NOT, my shiniest moment.  Obviously the story ends happily; a partially chewed french fry dislodged from Ryker’s throat and Cole didn’t get my McChicken.  So yea, NOW it is funny. I feel compelled though to post instructions on the right thing to do when your infant/toddler chokes… Link below:


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Lessons my boys taught me

I had a weird moment today where I was forced to reflect.  I was picking Ryker and Cole up from daycare, running about 20 minutes late.  I sprinted up the driveway and my two boys were watching cartoons… last kids there.  I felt awful.  I gave them both a cuddle and chatted with the daycare director for a minute.  She complimented me on Ryker’s manners, and told me how amazing my boys are. I admitted that I am incredibly lucky because those boys are nothing but sunshine.  She asked me if I wanted more.  Usually my answer is a swift no.  But for whatever reason I said, “honestly, I don’t think I would mind another one.”  I used to not “get it”.  You know the type… corporate, more ambitious than a body can handle, fueled by caffeine and soothed by vino and money.  THAT, was me.  I balked at having to take vacation, because WHAT ABOUT MY PIPELINE!?!?!  When Ryker was born, he turned me right around.  I am too ashamed of the way I used to think to even describe it, but let me just say, I wasn’t terribly sympathetic to people who had more valuable priorities in life than work.  In fact, I thought the playing field was all level, and I would have ended up making people’s lives MISERABLE with the naïve point of view I carried as I managed them to perfection that could only be attained when work is #1, like it was for me.  I was a single minded ambitious wrecking ball with all the capability to conquer anything in a suit. I was gross. Ryker fixed that.  Ryker made me fear death, cherish life, understand my parents, love God, FEAR God, know what it means to need someone, and most importantly he taught me how important I really am.  Ryker taught me that I can do far more than I ever thought, and then Cole taught me I can do even more than that.  My boys, if ever you wonder about your young life and you read this as a grown person, know that you taught your mommy how to be truly happy.  Now go kick your dad because he is the reason I have wrinkles 😉

Here are some pics since the last post.  Ryker, mommy and daddy did finger paint on pumpkins 🙂  Cole got a new highchair!

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