Monday, December 31, 2007

Another year of marriage bliss and the glory of Ikea!

Steve and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this past weekend by making a shopping trip to Illinois. They have an Ikea there, and I was beyond excited. Instead of getting each other presents for our anniversary, it's become our tradition to just go shopping together.

I told Steve I was serious about my Ikea shopping, but he didn't realize how much I meant it. Ikea rocks! Modern furniture, bargain price. That pretty much sums it up. Plus, they have escalators that actually take your cart up for you. How awesome is that?!? So we left Ikea with two big shopping carts full of closet organizers, a desk for Jack and some other odds and ends. After that, we hit the Apple store, and we are now both proud owners of the iPhone. I can't change over my service until the 2nd, but I can't wait. Those phones are great.

We still have Grandma in town, so we're hitting the town tonight with some friends wqto try out a steak place in downtown. We're not really livin' it up that much, as our diner reservations are at 8, and we have no intention of hitting the bars and whatnot just to stay up until midnight. So we might be lame, but at least we're lame together. Now that's compatibility at its best!

So time flies. Seven years ago, I was only 19, marrying "some older guy" from Wisconsin. I think both of our parents wondered what the heck we were thinking, but it worked out.

More info and photos from our Grandma visit later in the week.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Livin' it Up!

Our family had a great Christmas, and I feel like I'm finally starting to get things organized again. This won't last long, though. While Christmas is finished, we've got a lot going on in the next week.

First off, my mom is coming into town. We're waiting for her arrival as a type. Both of her flights were really delayed, so the anticipation has is really mounting. We have some presents under the tree that we're waiting for Grandma Linda before we we open. Oooo, Grandma's plane better hurry up.

Then (as my mom and I always seem to do), our next few days are packed with activities. Tomorrow, there's a furniture place delivering a new mattress for Steve and me...and also a new "Big Girl" bed for Anna. Then later that night, Mom and I are going to the spa. It will be her first massage/facial, so that will be fun. Then we have shopping, a breakfast with Curious George at the children's museum and Steve and I have a couple of date nights. Grandma is awesome!

So remember that for all of you people out there that are lucky to have a mom/mother-in-law nearby. It's a wonderful thing. Not only do the kids love it, but it saves a TON of money on babysitting. Here's my quick point...when we have a night out at a movie or something, we'll likely spend $100 for the night. About $50 for babysitting and another $50 for the movie/dinner/popcorn/whatever. I'm not complaining, as we enjoy where we live and how it works out, but it sure makes you grateful for the Grandmas of the world. So thanks Grandmas! My mom is great and so is Steve's mom. We're lucky to have you around, even if you're not in the same town. Oh, and you're great for more than just the free babysitting. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Christmas Post

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and we're just hoping that our bathroom window stops leaking water. Okay, not a great lead-in, but we've had a crazy, busy week. We've had record snowfall in December in our area, and it really added up. On Wednesday, we noticed a steady drip coming from the bathroom window. Turns out, our something-or-other was frozen over. I don't know what it was, but it wasn't good and was causing an ice dam. Our roof is now cleared, though. I just hope we don't come home to a wet bathroom after all of our travels.

We're making our holiday rounds...Minneapolis, Rice Lake then to Appleton where Steve's mom lives. It's hard to believe that we used to do all that and then get on an airplane to go to Oklahoma. I don't like being away from family around the holidays, but we're able to handle things better now that we've learned how to pace ourselves. My mom is coming up Wednesday, and I am very excited. We have off of work until Jan. 2, so I get the whole time to hang out with her and the kids. Of course, I already have all kinds of plans while my mom is here. Shopping, spa visit, movies, night out with Steve. It's going to fly.

Well, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a peaceful and blessed time with your families. Have safe travels!

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Mr. Incredible

Anna is going through a huge Incredibles stage right now. She and Jack will take turns picking a show, and when you ask her what she wants to watch, there's no doubt in her voice. "Credibles! Credibles! Credibles!"

This story is the perfect lead-in to talk about my Mr. Incredible. Steve's birthday was on Saturday. He was supposed to be in London, working, on that day. But then I got stuck in an ice storm, and he canceled his entire trip to be home with the kids. He figured it wouldn't be a good idea for both of us to be randomly flying around the country, so he had them cancel his trip. Of course, he made up for it because the rest of his work team went. Steve ended up working many hours this weekend, over the phone and on his computer. It wasn't much of a way to spend a birthday. But he's a trooper.

We got Steve some presents for his birthday, but the real highlight was the cherry pie we picked up from Bakers' Square. He and Jack devoured that thing. Those boys were bonding over cherry pie. I wish I had a picture!

So, thanks Mr. Incredible. We know you had a lame birthday, but hopefully there will be blue skies ahead (especially when you're using your new ipod Touch). We love you!

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm back!

So I got through the icky Oklahoma weather and made it home Tuesday night. My favorite story to tell from the whole ordeal is driving from Tulsa to OKC. Northwest was saying that they couldn't get me out of Tulsa until Thursday! So I booked at flight from OKC and rented a car. I figured I knew more people in the OKC vicinity, so if I got stuck there, it would be better than Tulsa.

It was a rainy drive, and I was almost out of gas. In fact, I was running on fumes and my gas light was on. After the gas light came out, I squeaked out about 20 more miles on the highway. There wasn't anything in between there! Then when I stopped for gas, none of the stations has power. Therefore, I couldn't get gas. I was really scared I was going to break down on the side of the highway and that no one would really care since everyone seemed to have their own problems. Thankfully, I came across a gas station that had just gotten their power back, and I fueled up. Whew! After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing at the airport. I even got to eat Sonic, which I LOVE because Sonic doesn't come this far north.

On another note, Steve has been taking his physical therapy to help his back very seriously. He's been working on nearly every day and is doing lots of stretching. Here's a great photo of Steve and Jack stretching together on the floor. Jack wanted to be like dad. Of course, he didn't have the same stretchy band, so he's using his rubber snake. :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

When the going gets tough...

I'll admit it. I'm not having much fun, stuck in a hotel room in Tulsa. I'm watching boring TV, doing work and definitely missing my family. Steve told Jack that my plane was stuck, and Jack was coming up with solutions to fix it. "Then it won't be stuck anymore, Mommy!"

I have no idea when I'll get home. I'd like to get home tomorrow, but there's no telling. It's crummy.

But you know what? It could be worse. There are thousands of people who are out of power right now while I'm sitting in a warm hotel room with cable and Internet. Hundreds of trees have been destroyed, many falling into houses or crashing into cars. Lots of people are in shelters, unsure of when they'll be going back to their homes.

But most of all, I'm safe. One of my good friends from high school (and college roommate for a while) lost her parents to a car accident because of this nasty weather. It really puts things into perspective for me and gives me very little to whine about.

They were helpful, loving people, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family. There are no words that can ease the pain of this type of loss, so I won't try. But I will definitely be sending out some prayers from my little hotel room in Tulsa. For Emily, her family and all the others who are affected by this crazy weather. May you have strength and courage to make it through.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ice in Oklahoma

So here I am, sitting in my hotel room in Tulsa. This was the weekend of my writing workshop. It was a lot of fun, but exhausting at the same time. Saturday morning, my mom and I got up bright and early to show up at the writing center before the teachers. I was the featured guest, so I had to make sure my powerpoint was ready. After the teachers were done, it was on to the kids' workshop. Whew! We had about 50 kids, and I had three hours planned with them. We did writing exercises and played games. It was a lot of fun (one little girl even asked me for my autograph!), but I was happy when 4 o'clock rolled around.

Last night, an ice storm came through and left the roads kind of nasty this morning. Around 8:30, my mom and I decided we'd walk down to this little Route 66 diner a couple of blocks away. We probably looked pretty funny out there, taking little baby steps through the crunching ice. The roads cleared up pretty good, so we hit the mall late morning and got some good shopping done. She's gone now, and I'm sitting on my bed, hoping and praying that I can get home tomorrow. There's supposed to be more ice coming in tonight, so I'm a little worried about my flight. I'm also supposed to do a classroom visit in the morning, but I have a feeling they are going to close the schools.

So, send some warm thoughts my way. I gotta get home tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ahhh, this is the life.

I think I found the way to happiness...working 1/2 days.

Daycare called this morning because Jack fell down and got a pretty good sized bump on his head. Then they called back about 45 minutes later because he was still sad and just asking for me. He didn't want to go back into his classroom, and they felt bad for him. Who can blame them? This poor little boy with a big bonk on his head and his arm in a sling.

I have this 1/2 vacation day that I've been meaning to take at some point, so I decided today was the day. It's not like Jack is actually sick, so it's a great day to just give him some extra attention and relax at home. Now I'm sitting on the couch in my sweats and watching some sappy TV show. I think I'll wander downstairs in a bit and get a good workout in. Then maybe I'll do some writing or wrap Christmas presents. This is an awesome 1/2 day! I think I could do this all the time. (I'm going to send this posting to my boss. See how much fun I'm having H?)

Of course, it wouldn't really be this blissful. Working part-time usually means working a lot more "unofficial" time. And it would never be perfect. And then there's the whole making less money thing. And it would be for total selfish reasons. And Steve would probably balk at it because he would be jealous. BUT...for this afternoon, I'm going to live the dream. It's my half day, and I'm going to live it up. Ahhhh....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sooner or Later...

I knew this day would come. After all, Steve had multiple broken bones as a kid. I've always said that he must have weak bones. I've never really broken anything myself, but I was afraid his weak bone genes would rub off on our kids.

And it did on Friday night. We had a friend over to play and he and the little girl were running around and around, having a blast. Jack rounded the corner and soon went down. He was complaining about his arm, but it wasn't swelling so we put him to bed for the night. After a lot of restless sleep and some pain, I took him into the emergency room at Children's Hospital around 3 a.m. He was a trooper and really charmed the nurses. It's not a bad break, just a crack near his elbow. The good news is they didn't have to sedate him to realign the bone or anything. The doctor put a splint on him and a sling. Then we go to see an orthopedic doctor in another week or so to see if he'll need a more permanent cast for a few weeks. Hopefully this temporary cast will work wonders, and that won't be necessary, though. He's doing fine. At first, he thought the cast was pretty cool, but now he's mad about it. Dad drew a shark and wrote his name on it to make Jack feel better, but that coolness only lasted about 10 minutes. His pain comes and goes, but hopefully in a couple of days, he'll be fine and not even notice the cast.

On top of all this, Steve is pretty immobile right now. He had a disc pop out of place in his back or something like that, and he's in a lot of pain. This happened Thursday, and he's pretty miserable. He's trying to help out as much as he can, but he's just trying to stay well himself.

Finally, I'm pretty sure poor Anna was running a fever today and was pretty sad. Tylenol seemed to take care of her for the most part. And the snow that came down today. She was awed by that! So we're having a rough weekend.

And to add a little humor to the situation. Part of the reason that Jack fell is that when he was running like a mad man around the corner, Steve gently put his hand out to stop him. Well, Jack happened to hit Steve's hand at just the right angle with his head. Then he went flying to the ground like one of those defeated ninjas in the kung fu movies. So what's the humor in this situation? Well, Jack was pretty distraught that "Daddy hit him." When we were at the ER, the first thing Jack told the nurse was "Daddy pushed me." Luckily, there weren't any phone calls made to the authorities.

We're hanging in there!