Thursday, March 31, 2011

ROUND TWO. { Ripsi gets more shots }

Yesterday was Baby Sister's four month check-up (with a new doctor, yet again. SIGH. We sure are getting real sick of the pass the baby.) She weighted in at a whooping 14 pounds 1 ounce, 24 inches long & a head circumference of 16.44 inches! She is in the 50th percentile across the board! I'd have to say, it's quite exciting when your child grows on track & the clothing you bought ahead of time for seasons is working perfectly for them! I'm beyond thrilled! Now if only my 2 1/2 year old would grow into his size two's.

Our new doctor is a lot better than the last one, but not as good as our old primary doctor. Oh, goodness. At least I didn't want to report this one to their supervisor as I had the one at her two month appointment. The doctor was better, but I think this appointment was rougher on Ripsi...

She's hungry. You know, Ripsi, she always is.

As she is enjoying her freshly shooken bottle of formula the nurse walks in with a tray. She sits down next to Ripsi & as I remove the bottle she feeds her the liquid medicine. Not so bad? Yet, she still hollers for her bottle. As the nurse prepares the needles, Ripsi contently sucks on her bottle.

She gets escorted to the table. JAB JAB JAB. Deep inhale. JAB JAB JAB. squeaks as she tries to catch her breath, a moment of silence, & her eyes swell up with tears. WAHHHHHHHHH! WAHHHHHHHHH!

I attempt to give her the bottle back, but she can't concentrate on it. WAHHHHHHHH! WAHHHHHHHHHHH!

I get her dressed & go to make the return appointment. WAHHHHHHHH!

We stroll down the halls towards the exit. WAHHHHHHH! WAHHHHHHHH! Yes, people are staring at us.

We get into the car & begin to drive home. WAH..... WAH....

She's asleep & still has over half a bottle. I think it's best to miss this one feeding & make it up at the next don't you think?

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Hey y'all! We got a new chair in our house! It's small, squishy, & a vibrant lilac purple! If you haven't figured it out already, it's the BUMBO! These particular seats have been out for years, a large number of people love them, yet a handful of people see them as stupid, dangerous, and not worth the money. In our household, it's an essential everyday piece!

When Daycen was little, he hated sitting in the bumbo for more than five minutes at a clip. The $40 spent seemed a little high when all he wanted to do was swing. Now Aripsemae is a completely different story. She hates sitting in our $160 swing more than ten minutes but could spend hours (not literally) in her bumbo!

The extra set of hands is amazing! We've been getting so much done around here. Laundry no longer reaches my hip, Daycen's toys are picked up multiple times during the day, & our kitchen table is covered with crafts that are actually being completed!

Big thanks to my cousin in-law, Heather for setting us up with this lovely bumbo! We are ever so grateful! Mainly because I have to free hands to chow down on nachos during the Minnesota Wild games!

You sure can tell she's mine since she'll sit through three hours of hockey!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Do you smell that?

The sweet aroma of fresh eggs & bacon roaring into the living room from the kitchen. The smell enough to make your stomach start rumbling. Yet, you say to yourself - "eggs & bacon is getting awfully boring - but I sure can't put it away for a bowl of cereal!" If you're thinking this way, than try this little spin on breakfast.

Cook up your eggs, preferably scrambled. If you are like my family & love black olives you'll want to have them sliced before you put your eggs on. While the eggs are cooking, sprinkle your olives over the top of them. As you scramble the eggs, the olives will get mixed in & warmed perfectly.

Take a tortilla taco shell or a wrap (whichever you have lying around the house, or your choice when you pick it up at the store.) We had some left over from Taco night, so we decided to use baby tortilla shells so they wouldn't go to waste!

Fill your tortilla shell like so with your scrambled eggs. Make sure to not overfill them or they won't be able to wrap up!

Next add your additional fixings. We used shredded Parmesan cheese & bacon broken up into small pieces. You can add in whatever you'd like - green peppers, mushrooms, onions, hot sauce etc.

Lastly, you wrap them up extra tight & serve immediately.

If you have a small child, like Daycen, he won't keep those wraps rolled! He immediately unrolled his - ate the bacon first, picked out and ate the olives, than pushed the eggs out of the wrap & began nibbling on the shell. So, within minutes my beautiful creation was destroyed...

I at least enjoyed them all rolled up! (Please excuse the no make-up & my half dressed appearance! Breakfast normally falls directly between my getting ready process. I also don't crawl out of my tracksuit bottoms until right before leaving the house. Juicy Couture is a comfort I hate leaving behind - I'd wear them all day if it was socially acceptable!)

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Monday, March 28, 2011


Can you believe it?! Baby sister has officially turned FOUR months old! We'd better use the word, "baby" like it's going out of style because it looks like she won't be one for much longer! At least, with the way time is absolutely flying by currently!

Currently, she's started chewing on rice cereal on a daily basis, she can roll from belly to back, she's a master at lifting herself (but has yet to gain any real body core) & has evidence that two bottom teeth are on the way!

She babbles quite a bit. I think we'll have to skip out on the speech therapy with this one!

Still though, four whole months. It just crazy to try & grasp that!

Be sure to head on over to Lindsey Marie Photography's blog and check out the fabulous three month pictures she took of Ripsi! She sure enjoys getting her picture professionally taken, & she looks forward to her six, nine & year shoots.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've just been informed that Heather Kessler Photography is relocating to the historic downtown, Wausau! They have the grand opening of their new studio planned for early summer. I'm thrilled she'll be joining the local businesses in Wausau! I've had the pleasure of working with Heather on two occasions, one of those was a HUGE moment in my life that I am every so grateful I chose her. I've invested in Heather, and I have never regretted any aspect of it. She produces beautiful photographs at an affordable price!

With her relocating closer, will I invest in her again? You bet.

If it were up to me, I'd be the first one booked at the new studio. I think perhaps, I just might have to shoot her an e-mail tonight to inquire about when she'll start booking at the new location. I urge you to do the same! It'll be well worth every dime spent!


Sometimes, you just need to get down on your hands & knees to show someone how much you love them! Ripsi has been getting awfully bored with tummy time lately (she has this new fetish of sitting up lately, thank goodness for the Bumbo!) so in order to keep her content, I got down there with her.

I could totally see where she is coming from with this anti-tummy time act. You can't see what's going on behind you (which is where Daycen likes to go to get in trouble). Everything is just out of reach. & oh man! Does your arms get tired from lifting yourself up so much!

It must be awfully hard being almost four months old & having to rely on everyone else to keep you happy. I'm sure glad that I'm the one she has to rely on though!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BREAKING THE BAD NEWS {the groundhog was wrong.}

Um, Hello Spring?

Looks like our small town has been hit with another terrible snow storm, one that includes thunder, lightening, & large gusts of wind. I'm almost convinced that it is still December! Since I'm thinking this might be one of the worst snowfalls we've had this winter! I'm not going to lie, we've got the hot cocoa brewed & our marshmellows bobbing. If it wasn't for something called a job, I'd stay in all day under the covers with the little ones...

but unfortunately, I need to break the news to them. Spring is NOT here. We'll need to tuck our sandals, shorts, & dresses back into the closets. The bundling up will continue.

I also need to figure out a way to assure Daycen that our "pet" bird is safe somewhere. I think I'll tell him that he's sleeping in the garage, because I'm not even sure where birds go when random snow showers occur. He should have just flown down south & stayed there for a little while longer!

I'll be honest. I could really use a vacation down south right now. Maybe we'll ask the bird to take us with him next year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I debated on writing this post, or leaving it go unsaid. However, even if nobody comments, even if nobody reads, I feel it is the final stage of knowing the real tragedy. On March 22nd 2010, we were allowed inside our beloved First Avenue. Words cannot explain what was seen. I never wanted to see my home this way, but I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't.

Please keep in mind, the before pictures were taken in 2007 to prove I cleaned my house, otherwise - who really takes pictures of their not so fancy decor?

I have never shared these pictures until today. Infact, I've only looked at them once previous. These aren't even the worst of it.

Who would have thought something like this would have happened to a little family in a well kept-up house? Nobody. Not even me.

I promise, as of tomorrow, we will put the depressing posts aside & let you rejoin us in enjoying every single moment of our lives. It's been an intense year, I'm so thankful for everyone who has been able to share it with us.

Monday, March 21, 2011

WE MADE IT A YEAR {since we lost First Avenue}

Yesterday was the gloomiest day by far, inside & out. The rain poured against the skylight - Tap. Tap. Tap. A grey hue floated through our front window & circled the entire house. We sat huddled together on the nearest couch, our arms wrapped tightly around each other. Yogi bear flashed before us on the television, but my mind was elsewhere. We had survived an entire year without our glue, without First Avenue. It still doesn't seem like it has been that long - the memories are so vivid it still feels like it happened yesterday...

On March 20th, 2010 - only two and a half hours after I arrived at work, I recieved a phone call. It was a call I never imagined could happen to me. My house was on fire. Not only was this my current residence, it was the house I grew up in. I had hopes & dreams of raising my own children in the same house - giving them the exact same, amazing home that I had. I remember growing up as a child & feeling completely content in this house, this town. I always remember coming home from week long vacations or camping trips, the second I saw the skyline of Wausau as we came in on highway 51 I got a sudden rush of excitement. I was home. It felt right. It was the most familiar thing I knew. And on that day, I felt that I was losing everything I knew - everything that I had worked so hard for.

The roads were closed off for blocks. We had to park quite aways down the street & as we ran up to the house I could see what I thought was a large cloud of smoke - however, I'm told it was nothing compared to what it was before. The flames were pretty much out, & the entire front was pitch black. My heart sunk - I knew from the phone call that my family was out of there, but I was almost 100% sure my four year old Chihuhua, Beaker, was still in there. I closed my eyes for a moment - it was what seemed like an eternity, and when I opened them I saw a lady carrying my puppy towards me. He was excited, almost jumping from this complete stranger's arms. She was a local pet groomer that worked down the road from my house & when she was passing by she saw the flames. She was the first on the scene, broke down our back door, & saw our small Chihuhua huddled in the corner of his cage. This lady risked her own life, to save our Beaker. I can't even begin to express how thankful I am. He would have died if it wasn't for her & a big part of my heart would have died with him

Neighbors described it as "the house just went poof!" even the fire cheif stated he had driven past no less than a half hour before they recieved the call & there was nothing going on. The windows were so air tight sealed that the fire build itself up so much that as soon as the pressure was too much it blew all the front windows right out. By the time the fire department was called, it was already too late, the house was already devoured.

The cause, currently unknown. As we speak there is inspectors scrapping away at the rubbish. We are not allowed within the house to collect items that may be saved. However, I was allowed in for a second, with fireman escort, to grab my son's favorite stuffed animal. (perhabs it was the tears that let this happen, or perhabs it was the fact the firefighter had children of his own, & knows how important a lovey is.) What I saw was breathtaking. Parts of my house were black & things were thrown all over the place almost like a tornado hit it. It was soaking wet, and the stench stung my nose. Daycen's room was well in tact, despite the fact the fire roared outside his window. A tarp lay over his crib, & once pulled back looked normal. In the corner sat his lovey - slightly wet, smelling odd, but pretty much damageless. (I think a few runs through a washing machine, & he'll be able to reunite with Daycen.) I know I was to just grab this animal, but I filled my arms with as much things as I could - and trudged from my home. Forced out of the one place I felt was mine.

I just want to go back. I just want to be able to collect my things. I just want to try and clean everything that wasn't burned to pieces. I just want my home back.

We later found out that the cause of the fire was electrical, & there was no way to predict that it was going to happen. We were just lucky timing was on our side & that nobody was home. It was so bad, so fast, that I can't imagine trying to get through the flames.

It's been a year. WE MADE IT. I can't believe how lucky we are.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I'm sure all of you are aware that I've been absent. We are completely okay, & have just been spending some well needed family time together. With everything happening overseas & the anniversary of the day we lost our home nearing - we just needed some time to process everything.

A year ago today was the last full day we spent in the place we called home. It was laid back. We had a play date with Daycen's best friend, Rivers. I sat in the living room sipping coffee with Traci as our boys ran back & forth between Daycen's bedroom & the living room.

When I think back to this day, I get sick to my stomach. Exactly 24 hours later, a fire started in the ceiling of our dining room, the room that connected our living room to Daycen's bedroom. I sometimes wish it would have started this day - in my mind, we'd notice it, grab the kids & call the fire department. They'd be to our house before any real damage was done. I know though, if it had, it wouldn't have been that simple. Infact, it probably would have been devastating. As bad as it is to say, the timing was perfect.

The weather was beautiful. We spent the afternoon in our yard. Smiles, laughter, & sunlight circled us. The 19th of March was a beautiful day.

Today. It is going to be hard to leave my new house. It's the Saturday of give & get. Everything seems so familiar, yet so different. I just wish I could stay here & watch guard.

Monday, March 14, 2011


You can't pretend it didn't happen. You can't ignore the millions of people that are going through the worst moment of their life right now. Literally - RIGHT NOW.

Last year, I was left with nothing - or so I thought was nothing. As I look at the pictures, & watch the news casts, I realize what I lost is nothing compared to what they lost. There is no saving what they lost. There is nothing familiar. They lost their homes, some of their family, their entire neighborhood. everything.

I didn't ask for money when I was left with nothing, but the American Red Cross still came to my aid. I didn't start a charity to help me get back on my feet. I never asked anyone for any money - until now. Please, if you have anything extra, donate to the American Red Cross & help someone desperately in need.

It doesn't seem like much, but together - it can be a whole lot.

If you can't donate, that's alright. Pray for the Japanese & the rescue teams. They can use any extra hope they can get.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Remember when I told you that my daughter was always hungry? Let me assure you, that still hasn't changed. In these past few weeks, however, she's learned that if she screams loud enough, kicks & punches the air hard enough that perhaps, just maybe - her bottle will come 15 minutes early.

She's also learned, this plan can backfire rather easily.

Daycen has decided to step up and try to help mommy out as much as possible with "'ister" This includes; turning her swing on (even when mommy shuts it off.), bringing her blankets & accessories, & helping with her laundry (he just needs to learn that clean & dirty doesn't mix). Just recently, he began to help feed her. Yes, you heard me right! He's feeding her fake cherries from the original baby alive.

Baby sister might not be too happy with his sudden urge to help, but I am thrilled with this new involvement! Not only does he understand the concept of feeding, but he also interacting with his sister instead of just staring at her like she's an alien!

I promise you. She was given her bottle early during this feeding, just as a thank you for putting up with the cherries!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The past few days Daycen has had this overly hoarse, dry cough. His nose has been dripping constantly, & he snores like a car revving it's engine. With this cold, has come a very snuggly two-year-old. (and for child who NEVER wanted to snuggle as an infant, this is quite a pleasant surprise!)

Our mornings are filled with sweatpants, & the blankets pulled up to our chins. The warm sunlight grazes the room in attempts to warm up our moods. While our evening are filled with cries of, "don't leave me alone!" He throws such a tantrum, that we allow him to fall asleep on the couch before he is carried up to bed.

It's just early morning & late nights that he is this sloth. I have a feeling it has to do with when his medicine kicks in. (After three stops all around the town, we finally found some cough medicine for a child under four!) Either way, it's fantastic that he actually wants to cuddle with ME. He's turned into such a daddy's boy ever since baby sister was born. It's nice when he realizes he still needs his mom.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HER FIRST ACTUAL BED {goodbye basket!}

A few nights ago my daughter graduated from the small moses basket that sat next to my bed (yes, for those of you who snicker when I say bed, I do mean mattress on the floor. I promise you, we will be purchasing a bed frame come the return of our taxes. And, yes. I made it through nine months of pregnancy, I can make it a couple more weeks!) to her very own crib! A crib that comes fully with a motion detector monitor & sweet pink bedding to be exact!

With the move to her room, also comes the bright yellow & purple walls that I told myself would have been painted before this transition. However, like most things, painting the walls came with a little set back. The two-toned walls need to be fixed, by two-toned I don't just mean colored - I mean textured & completely smooth. I have to decided weather we can fill in the smooth parts, or if the whole room (including ceilings) needs to be sandpapered. Sounds like an early spring, your entire weekend project, right? That's the tentative plan except if we keep getting all this snow, there will be no spring this year. Which means, there will be no scraping, painting, & sweating going on upstairs in baby sister's room.

Her first night went wonderful! For her anyways. I believe I was up every hour, peeking over the ledge of her crib to make sure she was still there. That she was still swaddled, & still in the center of the crib. I'm having a hard time trusting the monitor this time. I'm afraid it just won't reach my ears soon enough if something does happen. To be honest, I have always been this paranoid. Also, the fact that Baby sister can actually BREAK OUT of her swaddle, scares me to no end. Seriously, you'll put her in there wrapped tighter than a burrito at that authentic Mexican restaurant down the street, & by morning her arms will be flopping around like that same Mexican restaurant's flag on a windy afternoon.

I think she likes it a lot though, despite it's barely put together nature. I promise by mid-spring you'll see beautiful nursery pictures that'll make you wish you were under six months!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Most often the only type of box that can make me smile from ear to ear is a small brown one, with a gold crest on the front, that unbuckles and greets you with soft pinks & flashes of glitz. However, when a large brown box was dragged onto my porch, the bright red letters gleaming "Maclaren" on the side, I felt my heart flutter. As soon as I could get my hands on that box, I did, & I tore it to pieces like a little girl on Christmas morning.

I prepared myself for what I figured would be at least a hour of assembly. I had a tumbler full of coffee at my side, & the sounds of Curious George in the background. Daycen was content, & baby sister was basking in the sun during her morning nap. Both completely happy. I yanked the stroller, pulled in certain spots, stepped once, & twice. Click. Click. Assembled! Boy, was a satisfied with my purchase because of just that. I grabbed the hood's for the seats, snapped in into place, & we were ready to go!

Yes! We were ready to go, except the weather outside wasn't quite ready for us! Flurries fell from the sky, & the wind was rather wild. We've been having extremely dreary days here, & there is more on it's way in the next couple days. So, taking our brand spanking new double stroller into freshly fallen snow is not something we plan on doing. Yet, little rides around the house definitely is in our near future!

The idea of riding next to his little sister, might be a slight challenge. We need to enforce the rule of keeping your hands & feet to yourself. I remember that one clearly as a child (with me & my brother there was a lot of screaming, kicking, hair pulling, & tattling going on!)

I'm also debating on investing in a footmuff for baby sister. Has anyone used one before to tell me if they are worth the money?