Friday, December 31, 2010

Bringing in 2011

Let's hope for a less snowy 2011!

(yes, that is really what it looks like)

Monday, December 27, 2010

I start work next week.

So weird to say that! But I am really excited!

A little nervous. My mom is coming to stay for the week so the kids won't be starting daycare until Jan. 11th. Mike has to go to Chicago for work, and we figured with a new job for me, and him traveling, and the kids starting in on a new routine we might be very overwhelmed. No, we would most certainly be overwhelmed!

I am actually not nervous about the job or about the daycare situation. The thing I am most nervous about is the hectic mornings. Early wake ups, fights to get dressed, loading into a cold car (in the dark), driving in traffic, the drop off, driving in more traffic, just to arrive at work. I figure it will take about 45 minutes once we leave the house, for me to get to work. Gross. I hate traffic. At least my car will be warm when I get there!

So, if you have any tips for making the mornings run a little smoother, please let me know!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Miles' Birth Story

I realized last week that I don't have Miles' birth story written down on this blog. Since this blog is for me to remember things by I need to write it down! I am 22 months late!

The Birth Story of Miles Nash

The weeks leading up to his birthday were long and stressful. We were dealing with Mike losing his job, subleasing our apartment, moving in with friends, organizing a move back to Minnesota, Mike trying to get a job back in Minneapolis, and oh yeah, a little girl.

The timing of everything was rough. When Mike lost his job I was only 6 weeks from my due date and too far along to move to Minnesota at that point. However, we wanted to move as quickly as possible after the baby came. Mike had told Jamba Juice, who had an opening in Minneapolis, that we'd be back March 1st. Nothing like telling a baby when to show up!

My official due date was February 20th, but I had been consistently measuring 2 weeks ahead the entire pregnancy. At my 34.5 week appointment (somehow I got off schedule and was going on half weeks), I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. They sent me in for an ultrasound that day because "I would probably go into labor very soon." I was so excited! I didn't want to be induced, but knew that we might have to go that route if he didn't come on his own. Our plane tickets had been purchased, and we were flying to Minneapolis on February 24th.

At 37.5 weeks I was 2-3 cm and 80% effaced. She stripped my membranes to try to get something going but nothing resulted from that.

I went back at 38.5 weeks and was 3-4 cm and 90% effaced. She "aggressively" stripped my membranes and I had contractions the rest of the day about 5-7 minutes apart. They were mild though, and stopped when I went to bed. A total bummer. I knew that 39 weeks was looming and that is when they'll induce you. I also knew that we were flying Alaskan Air and they require babies to be 7 days old to fly. I discussed induction for February 16th with my doctor and we decided that we'd go with that date if he didn't come on his own before then.

On the morning of February 13th the hospital called me and asked if I wanted to come in that day. I was 39 weeks exactly. I wasn't tickled by the thought of being induced an entire week early, but I also knew it would be in his best interest to be as old as possible when we got on the plane. Also, the friends that were going to take care of Lacey were going out of town the 14th and the 15th, so if I went into labor one of those days either Lacey would be in the delivery room, or Mike would not be in the delivery room. I called Mike to get his thoughts. He said go for it. That was all the encouragement I needed, so I called the hospital back and said I'd be in as soon as I could.

It took us a while to get Lacey all set up with the sitters. We left for the hospital and parked and walked in right around 12:30 pm. It is the weirdest thing walking into the hospital knowing that in a few short hours you'll have a baby. It's such a strange feeling knowing that you are about to deliver a human life. It's pretty fantastic.

By the time I got to my room and changed it was about 1:00 pm. They broke my water and checked me. I was 5 cm and 100% effaced. I seriously couldn't believe I wasn't in labor at that point! I figured half the work was done and I was so excited about it! They started me on pitocin, and I told my labor nurse that I would want the epidural. Next thing I know, literally, the anesthesiologist is in my room. I haven't even felt a contraction yet! I guess that's what happens when you are 5 cm, they give you the epidural right away! So he placed the epidural while I was just sitting there. It was so strange, because with Lacey I was so focused on not moving through my death contractions that this was just plain odd. I got it placed, it didn't hurt at all, and then I sat up and chatted with the nurses.

Mike was on a phone interview with the District Manager in Minneapolis.

About 45 minutes after the epidural was in the nurse asked if I was feeling any pressure. In fact I was, so she checked me and I was 9 cm. We did some practice pushes off and on over the next 30 minutes. Then I heard her say, "Okay Stop! No more pushing!" She called the doctor because this boy was coming! Right there was the most difficult part of labor, the pressure to push was overwhelming! I just wanted to push that baby OUT! It took her maybe 5 minutes to leave her patient and run across the street. When she got there I was ready to go! When you are pushing, they have you push for 10 seconds 3 times per contraction. So I did my first 2 counts to 10, and he was out on the 3rd round! A beautiful, healthy, perfect, baby boy!

7lbs. 3.5 oz
20 3/4 inches
3:42 pm

I had the world's best epidural and was up, walking around within 30 minutes of his birth. The hospital I delivered at did not have a baby nursery so it was just me and Miles that first night. We slept together in the hospital bed, mostly because that was the only way he would sleep. He was perfect and never cried. The hospital also only kept you for 24 hours, so when I woke up I was already going through discharge procedures and we left at 4:00 the afternoon of the 14th.

Crazy how you can walk in one day, have a baby, and walk out the next. Truly blessed.

(get this, I didn't even have to take Tylenol for the pain after giving birth. I had zero pain. It was all the EPO I took).

We named him Miles mostly because it was a name we both loved. It means soldier. It was our "boy name" if Lacey had been a boy, so we were happy to be able to use it. His middle name is Nash. We chose it because it means "adventurous." We loved that.

So 22 months later and I finally got that out. He continues to charm us every day! He is truly a blessing in our lives!

2010 Recap

January- I started another semester of school the beginning of January, and therefore started juggling life again. The weather was cold and was frustrating me because Miles wasn't walking yet, and there are only so many places you can go with an 11 month old that only wants to crawl, plus January is Blah and Cold. I was still working at Caribou and despising juggling yet another thing, not liking the early mornings either!

February- Birthday month! Miles turned 1 on February 13th. He's a sweet little thing. Mike went winter camping, which sounds something like "torture." I got new Nike Shox for Valentine's Day and started running...once a week...but still. We started Financial Peace University, and started a new way of thinking!

March- I kept on running...still just once a week, but hey at least it was something. It's hard to be motivated to get out and run in the cold. I was also absolutely swamped with school this month. This trimester was finishing on March 31, so busy, busy, busy.

April- brought a little more breathing room since I was only taking one class. I started looking for daycare, except not really looking, since I didn't have a job. Lacey started fighting night time and I secretly knew it was because she was sleeping in late and then napping in the afternoon, but I didn't want to wake her (me) up earlier, or cut out her nap time. I started running 2 times a week and was still very out of shape.

May- my mom took the kids for a week!!! Hallelujah. I love having a break. But I love them too and miss them like crazy. I stared running 3 times a week. Weather is warmer in May and that makes me a HAPPY CAMPER!

June- Miles hit the age Lacey was when I had him, which is still completely insane to think about having them that close. I finished up school for the summer and was looking forward to a glorious 2 months off. I found out daycare was more expensive than I thought.

July- I turned 27 on the 4th of July and was happy I am still a few years from 30. I started networking and making connections with accountants all over the city. Mike and I took Lacey camping for the first time and she did great, but there were a lot of mosquitos and we came home all dirty and bitten up. We decided to sell our nice car and try to pay off Mike's student loans.

August- Mike turned 29, Miles was 1.5, and we also celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary. I started gearing up for my last, and most difficult semester. Somehow Lacey quit napping and this freaked me out (study time??). It was really hot outside, Mike re-did our sidewalk, and we paid off his student loans!! This made about $18,000 in 6 months.

September-Back and school. Looking for a job. Busy. Happy it is fall.

October- Lacey turned THREE. Big girl! I was so busy with school I thought I was going to lose my mind, maybe I did, I can't remember. Had SIX interviews and am exhausted thinking about preparing for them. Received multiple offers (!!), and accepted an internship with a firm to begin in January.

November- Just said "no," to sweets that is. Began looking for, and found a daycare for the kids. It snowed a lot (cry), and we had a very boring, sad, and uneventful Thanksgiving because Mike had to work all day Black Friday so we had to stay here. I locked my keys in the car at 7:00 a.m. on Black Friday and had to pay $144 to get my doors unlocked. I went to Fargo with the kids for 3 days and had fun. I could see the light at the end of the school tunnel.

December- Finished school on the 6th and graduated on the 16th. Dealt with more snow, and am depressed at the thought of it being here for 4 more months. Looking forward to beginning work, but also scared of the busy changes heading my way. Mike has been asked to be in the photo shoot for the Fargo Marathon ad campaign and I am excited to tag along to watch. Very Excited for Christmas!!! Really looking forward to 2011!! Overall, 2010 has been a great year, but 2011 already looks promising and full of changes!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby Morgan Blanket

Did anyone grow up with a thermal type blanket with satin trim? I know I am not the only one.

When I was pregnant with Lacey my mom picked one up for her to have and it instantly became her favorite blanket. Naturally, when Miles came along, I wanted another one, in blue, for him.

He's in love with it too. I am pretty sure both my kids would marry these blankets.

I have to strategically wash them around nap times and bedtimes.

So a few weeks ago I got to thinking about daycare and bringing our blankets there. They will have to have them to sleep. Suddenly all these terrible thoughts of forgetting our blankets at daycare, or the blankets getting stomped on and dragged around by other kids, was freaking me out. No one in this house would sleep. I needed a back up.

My mom bought our first round of blankets at JCPenny's and Lacey's tag still shows the brand, Bright Future. But after checking 3 different Penny's and having no luck I began to get a little worried. No problem I thought, I'll just find one online. Well, wouldn't you know it. These blankets, originally called a Baby Morgan blanket, are COVETED, rare, and really hard to find.

The company went out of business a few years ago (I think 2007), and they companies carrying these blankets have just been selling off the remainders since then. So Lacey's was purchased in 2007 and Miles' was purchased in the fall of 2008. But now we are in 2011 and eBay is the only place to get them.

For $50-$95 a piece.

I threw up a little when I saw that.

I refuse to believe that I couldn't find something at a better price. A little bit of Internet searching later and I found these for $12.99. I'll let you know if they come close.

At least we now have a back-up.

Friday, December 17, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things--for winter!

Ashley posted about a few of her favorite things, and I thought I'd join in. I'll do a little spin though, and list some of MY (read: not for the kids) favorite things to make it through the cold and the snow.

1) A really good lotion- I reach for Eurcerin Intensive Repair lotion- winter air is dry, dry, dry. Regular 'daily lotions' won't cut it for me. I'll wake up itchy in the middle of the night. Instead, I go all the way to the ultimate lotion. This is fan.tas.tic.

2) A really good coat- I have a black North Face down winter jacket, I believe it is called the "Destiny Down". No matter what, if you live somewhere as cold or as snowy as Minnesota, you need to stay warm. It will run you about $200-$250, but probably one of the best investments ever. I am never cold with this jacket. It was -10 the other morning, and I was a-okay!

3) A really good pair of gloves- This goes right along with a good coat. Those fingers need to stay warm! Bulky gloves are out of the question, since I have to buckle kids in and out of car seats. Those $1 Target gloves will work, but they aren't doing much for keeping your hands warm! (Really, do they do anything)? So my glove of choice are these Smartwool Cozy Gloves. They aren't thick, and you may wonder how on earth they'll keep your hands warm, but it must be something to do with the 100% merino wool. I have bad circulation, and my fingers usually would get tingly and numb with cheap gloves, but these babies keep my fingers nice and toasty. I'll never use anything else again! Again- small investment at $30, but they are sooo good you'll never let them out of your sight!

4) Really good hot beverages- I think it is super important to constantly be drinking something hot during winter. I have a steady stream of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or even just hot water, heading down my throat. (Sipping hot water was the one thing that made me less nauseous when I was pregnant, so I have really fond memories of it).

And the daddy of all hot drinks the infamous: White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha- duh. These are the best when going for a walk in the cold. Take a sip, swallow, then breathe in some cold air. The peppermint wakes you up :)

5) Really good reads- what else are you going to do when you are stuck inside? You could watch football, but gross. One of my favorite blogs is Her Bad Mother. I find she has a very interesting writing style and doesn't just write about Mommy Blog type writing (meaning, she is not a mommy blog, although she IS a mom and writes about her kids often). Check out these articles from her: She and The Bad Mother Manifesto. She makes me want to be a better mother, not in a "look at these fantastic and fun adventures I go on with my kids" type of way, but in a "As mothers what we are doing is critically important. It's the most important work we will ever do. Let's invest in our children, let's raise them to be fantastic, let's rejoice that we are all different, all make different decisions, but all love our kids" type of way.

Meeting Newborns

Don't you just LOVE meeting a newborn baby? I do! Meeting someone else's newborn baby isn't as amazing as meeting your own, but it is still fantastic.

We got to meet our friends' 9 day old baby girl last night and she was SOOO PRECIOUS. Almost made me want another one...


When someone has their first baby I love the innocence that surrounds it. Bringing home your first baby for the first time is absolutely magical. Not to say that having other children isn't as wonderful, but there is something absolutely marvelous about that first baby. You can just sit and sit and sit for hours with them, rock them, nap with them, feed them, and just relax.

But here is the thing. As I was holding baby Olive, Lacey and Miles were ALL OVER ME. It was not relaxing at all. AT. ALL. That's why the first baby is so magical, you get them all to yourself. There are no other mouths to feed, bodies to get dressed, hands to wash, projects to be created, etc. It's just you and them. And realizing how much work it would be having 2 small ones and a newborn scares me.


And while some women are Super Mom and can handle all of that and blossom through it. I would not. I told Mike that in 8 years I may want another baby. Maybe just one more to hold and spoil. Maybe. But for now I am 100% content watching new parents love and learn with their newborns, while I can cruise over and hold them, or babysit for a couple of hours so the new parents can get a break.

There is still something addictive about a newborn baby though. I don't think that will ever go away!

Monday, December 13, 2010

a day in December

Oh, December. It is only the 13th and you have totally and completely outdone yourself. The snow in our entire yard is taller than both of my children, which either will be fantastic for fort building, or really annoying for getting stuck.

We'll worry about which, when the temperature reaches some number over ZERO.

Anyway, on this Saturday we woke up happy because there was A LOT of snow on the ground.

This little thing LOVES snow.

We are a bit sick in this house, please note: water, vitamins, a couple varieties of homeopathic cough syrup, motrin, and probably some other junk thrown in there. Rest assured, we are on the mend.


Lacey decided to get bundled up and head outside while Mike was shoveling. Miles had no interest in going outside!

Here the snow is about 8 inches deep. She is standing on the sidewalk which you can't see. We have a lot more snow to fall!


It's really high up on those legs!


Here is our street in front of the house. It's actually quite a busy road. Not Today!!!

This is our car, we are happy we got it out before the plows came and snowed it in further.


Here is the snow looking in the other direction. It looks pretty bad, but this is not store closing weather quite yet. Yes, Mike was going to head into work.


But, before he went into work, he had to shovel himself out. It took quite a while!


Miles watched from his stool, which was really his potty chair with out the insert thing. Doesn't get him up so high when he is still standing on the ground now does it?

Then Miles decided to build a "fort" His fort was sitting in the rocking horse sideways. I didn't get him while he was actually sitting, he was climbing out. Rats!


Proud of himself (for getting out??) I don't know.

Mike is still shoveling, making little headway.


Later on, Mike had left for work, and Miles was down for a nap, Lacey and I colored.

We pretty much color together

Strawberry Shortcake. Her's is on the left and mine is on the right. She is a rockstar and stays in the lines.


Here she is writing some "L's" on her picture so we know it's hers.

Still snowing.


Miles is up. and SURPRISE!!! Mike came home. They closed the malls. They don't close anything for bad weather here, so you know its really bad when they actually do.

Miles has a shoe fetish. We find Mike's shoes all over our darn house. It's quite obnoxious, but I think he is so cute that I let it slide.

So today he found Mike's boots and LOVED THEM. Although he couldn't actually walk when he put them on. They were too heavy.


After a quick dinner we had baths and then I surprised the kids with Toy Story 2. They love the 1st and the 3rd and I bought them the 2nd for Christmas so I unwrapped it and we all watched it and ate popcorn. A perfect ending to a cold, snowy, blizzardy, day.


And now we are supposed to get more snow.

I am so crabby about this.

Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

so excited I could scream

okay I did scream a little.

I went into my Tax final with an 89.5% in the class. No pressure right? The cutoff for an A is a 90% (and no, they do not round up). I LOVE tax. It was by far my favorite accounting class. However, tax is tough because it is soooo rule oriented. There are a million rules and a million exceptions to the rules (I guess that is accounting in general). It's like learning a new language.

My tax final was 18 pages. EIGHTEEN PAGES. It took me 3 hours. I had never seen so many MACRS depreciation problems. Pages and pages. It was rough. I didn't know if I was even capable of driving when I left. The only thought running through my mind was "Death by Tax final."

Well, I got my grade for the final today and I got a 94%!!!! I was so pumped.

The best thing is that is pushed me above that 90% threshold and gave me an A in the class!*

*I did not get an A+ like this picture denotes.

a blizzardy day in December...on it's way!

Stay tuned. We've chornicled our Day in December! I'll be posting soon!*

* I totally get that the house in the back ground looks like it has a fire in the window. I assure you it does not.
** But they do still have a window AC unit in the upper window. Hilarious.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3 years 11 months

to. the. day.

On January 6, 2007 I walked into St. Kate's and began working on my accounting major.

I was newly married, I was not pregnant, I was focused. On me. The goal was graduate in December of 2008 with an accounting degree, and get an accounting job.

Who would have thought that 2 kids, 7 moves, and 2 additional years past the goal it was actually going to happen? Me? Nope.

But last night I walked into my math class and I placed my final on the desk, and I left. I was done. I was free. I had done it.

I am not sure what was more fulfilling. Actually being done, or having finished something I said I was going to do. I will admit that when we moved to Seattle, although I still wanted to be in school, I didn't think it was possible, especially when baby #2 came along. But oh my, I really wanted to finish. I wanted to do it for me. I didn't want it to be 10 years later and I was singing my 'shoulda, coulda, woulda's" I needed to finish it for myself. This is what I wanted to do with my life. This.Was.IT.

So many people are still looking for that "purpose" how could I know what it was and not do it?

So, I dived in.

Easy? No. I must admit these last three months, especially, have been a blur. I nearly lost my mind the entire month of October, but some how kept a small slice of sanity, at least enough to plow through.

And now, I am here. I am done, I have a job, and I really believe that this is a pivotal turning point in our lives. So now we are jumping off and diving into new challenges, and I couldn't be more thrilled, and feel so blessed!

Friday, December 3, 2010

money talks...and talks...and talks.

don't you just LOVE it when someone knows exactly what to say to get under your skin. take yesterday for example:

"Oh my are paying so much in daycare! The amount you pay for 3 weeks of daycare would be how much we spend on a family vacation.

Uh, yeah, with the amount I am making every month you could probably take 4 vacations.

I hate talking about money, and the person I was with yesterday, that is all she wanted to do!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the mistake that cost me $144

Well, it seems as though the cold has arrived, which is fitting seeing as though it is December. Along with the cold is my deep seeded desire to move. It happens every.single.year. Something along the tune of "get me out of this place!!!" However, I can't fathom moving to Arizona (summers are way too hot), or Florida (hello? humid...ick), or even California (too many people).

I need to move to Nashville, or back to Seattle (yes, I really just said that). We had NO complaints about Seattle's weather. But rest assured, we are not going anywhere. Young kids + close(ish) family = essential.

The Frozen Tundra we will stay.

With the cold comes the need to warm up your car. Because if you don't, you may cry from the cold. Actually, I was taking the kids up to my parents after Thanksgiving (Black Friday + weekend = Husband working 549,355 hours). I didn't want to have them in a coat, just to get hot so I warmed up the car.

I woke up early. Loaded up everything into the car, EXCEPT my cell phone, and I started it up. Now, we live in an URBAN neighborhood. Urban = do not leave your car running with the doors unlocked or someone will steal it. Really. We live in, what I consider, a safe neighborhood, but neighbors have had their cars stolen, so that means it could happen.

I took off the key f.o.b., started the car and locked it. Ran inside, did a few things, got the kids out the door. Pushed the "Unlock" button on the key f.o.b. and...


Oh, my word. It is 6:45 a.m. on a Holiday weekend and I locked my keys in the car. Happy is not a word I would use to describe my state.

Thankfully I had my cell phone. I was thisclose, to leaving it in the car so that I wouldn't forget it on the counter. Ha! Well, I had it and was googling 24/7 locksmiths, got someone out to our house by 8:00, and $144 and 30 minutes later we were on the road.