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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursdays Thirteen

Thirteen ways to spend our (miracle) tax return money:

1. Go on a second honeymoon
(We'd love to return to the Gunflint Lodge)
2. Pay off our last student loan (We had four between Brian and I)
3. Get off to a great start on a family vacation fund (We want to see the National
Parks out West)
4. Pay off a credit card
5. Barely make a dent in a different credit card
6. Make a dent in yet another credit card
7. Buy a (much needed) new bed
8. Replace our dying dishwasher, garage door, or driveway
9. Put it in a savings account (boring, but the responsible thing to do)
10. Hire a personal trainer to help me lose the last 15 pregnancy pounds
11. Buy a killer digital camera
12. Put it towards classes for the kids: swimming lessons, music lessons, early
childhood classes etc....
13. Pay a cleaning service to come clean my house (at least for a little while)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Here Today....Gone Tomorrow

One day Sam is playing in the snow and the next day, poof, it's 75 degrees and we're off to the park for some dirt scooping and swinging.
Cool Slideshows


Sam insists on pushing his dump truck all the way to the park by himself. My back sure wouldn't take that much bending over!

Julia has a new perspective on the world now that she can sit in the stroller like a big girl. She thought the swings were pretty fun too. Daddy had the pleasure of giving her the very first push.

This is going to be a great summer of playing and discovering new things as Sam is talking now. I can't wait!

I don't remember that part of the song

7:00pm - Start bedtime routine with kids
7:30pm - Sam in bed, nurse Julia
8:00pm - Julia asleep, Mommy tackle a mountain of laundry
8:45pm - Hear yelling from Sam's room, go investigate...

Sam was singing:

Joy, Joy, Joy, in my heart
OUCH!!!
Joy, Joy, Joy in my heart
OUCH!!
Joy, Joy, Joy in my heart
Where?
*repeat many times*

8:50pm - Mommy is laughing too hard to tell Sam it's time to sleep, go get Daddy to talk to his son about how late it was getting, how he needed to sleep, etc....
9:15pm - all is quiet. Too bad - Sam's song was really cute.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

See What I Found?

 
After Julia's first
big tub bath
the other day I was
surprised
to find....
curls!


 









This is Sam, about the same age Julia is now.
He had curls too - lots of them.
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Friday, March 23, 2007

California Sun - Here We Come!

 
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A year ago to the day we were in Independence, California visiting our friends Carrie and Troy. They work for the National Park Service there and were gracious enough to host our family for a week. We had canceled the trip a few weeks earlier because I was still pretty sick with morning sickness. Of course the very next day was the first time in two months that I hadn't felt too terribly bad. This got us thinking that maybe we should try to go anyway. So.....on a Friday evening we decided to reinstate our plane tickets for Tuesday morning and then scramble to pack all that we'd need to travel 1,000 miles from home with an 18 month old. It was so worth the hectic couple of days! We've enjoyed looking back at the photos a year later. We hope you do too.

Rise and Shine!

A huge grin - that is what I'm greeted with when I get Julia up from a nap or when she wakes up in the morning.
 

 
I wish I could crawl in and snuggle with her like Sam can.
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

In Lieu Of

So how am I suppose to survive without water for six hours today? With my handy, dandy, luggable loo of course!
Seriously though, our water came back on a little while ago and I never needed to use the portable potty once. (I suppose that probably means I'm not drinking enough water.)It pays to be prepared though! I had every kettle filled with water and sitting on the stove just in case the repair took longer than expected.
It'll be a while before I take for granted the ease of turning on the faucet or flushing the toilet.

There was a note on my door this morning. It said....

NOTICE Water Shut Down
Due to an emergency water main repair, there will be a water shut down today,
from 9am to 3pm. We apologize for any inconvenience.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Water & Sewer Dept. at 555-4335. Thank you for your patience.


This should be an interesting day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Familiar Sight in the Pauly House

 












Our dog, Conor, is going to be nine in May. For the first seven years of his life he was our baby. We planned our life around him. Two kids later and he's become low man on the totum pole - spending much of his day on the steps away from kids who would love to pull his hair. Despite this, his love for us hasn't changed a bit. EVERY time I come in the door he is there to greet me with his tail wagging a
mile-a -minute. Each time I pass by him on the steps he looks up at me with his shifty eyes (he has major vision issues) and is thrilled to receive even a little pat on the head. So when Conor nosed his way into Julia's room this afternoon while I was trying to put her down for her nap I was annoyed, but then my heart soften when I thought of how how he just wants to be where I am.

I sat in Julia's room for a couple of minutes to make sure she was asleep before coming back downstairs. To pass the time I picked up my Bible from the nightstand and turned to
today's devotional. Psalm 23....a familiar passage. Today what spoke to me was that even when I push God to the back burner and don't make time for Him, He is there to walk through the valleys with me - to be my comfort. It is so humbling to think that no matter what, I can confess my sins, turn to God, and He'll always want to be with me.....I'll be reminded of this every time I step over the dog on my way upstairs.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Testing....Testing....1..2...3...

If you've noticed that there haven't been many posts about Julia lately it is because I've been having lots of trouble posting pictures to my blog. I've been taking gobs of pictures of my growing baby girl, but haven't been able to share them. Today I'm testing out a new method of posting pictures. If you can see this one of Julia's many belly rolls, let me know. Thanks for your help!
 
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Monday, March 19, 2007

A blast from the past

 
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Without a tape deck in the house Sam has to use my old Walkman to listen to my childhood tapes.




Today selection: A 1977 Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too story

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Where's Waldo?

When your two year old is literally bouncing off the walls you know it's time to find a place other than your house to absorb some of the blows. We decided to take the kids to an indoor park where Sam could burn off some energy and Daddy could try to keep up.

See if you can find Sam in the tree house.
Hint: He's wearing green (It's St. Patrick's Day after all.)

If you have trouble, look at the second photo - a zoomed in version of the first one.

 

 


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Friday, March 16, 2007

Take a little off the top please

Sam got a haircut today. He's had so many that I've lost count. What made this one worth blogging about was the super nice lady at Great Clips who cut his hair. Janet was kind, upbeat, and let Sam help her. She didn't rush through or mind that I was snapping pictures. She even put gel in Sam's hair for him. He didn't call it something cute, like "gello"; instead when I asked him what was in his hair he replied, "poop". Kids say the darnedest things!

Cool Slideshows

Thursday, March 15, 2007

How to spend a sick day....

We're not sick, but Grant is, so I was off from work today. I didn't want to waste this opportunity to get out on a weekday, and my friend Jennifer was game for taking our kids to the Minnesota Zoo. Sam and Kieran fed off of each others energy and only slowed down when we got to ride the monorail.
Cool Slideshows

Want a better view of the ray trying to jump up at Kieran or Sam's fishy face? Use your mouse to move the magnifying glass over the pictures.
Pretty cool huh?
Check out Jennifer's blog for more pictures of the boy's adventure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nature's Beauty

 
The transition from 2+ feet of snow
to 50 degree days can be messy,
but if we look closely

 
we can see that God's beauty is all around us.
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It's not easy to take ALL the kids outside, but it is so worth it!

Times Two on Tuesdays

 
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On Tuesdays I have my two kids and two daycare kids at my house. Most of the time their schedules don't overlap but sometimes I can be found sitting on the floor trying to juggle three bottles at once. Not to be left out, Sam has to drink from his water bottle at the same time. Thankfully he doesn't need me to hold it for him!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bravery

Sam and I were both brave this past Friday, but for different reasons. Me, for putting a swimming suit on for the first time post-baby and Sam, for going down the caterpillar slide at the Community Center pool. It took me 20 minutes to convince him to sit on my lap and give it a try. After he did that a few times he got brave enough to do it all by himself.

 
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My camera battery died so I found this picture of the slide at the Community Center website.

When I discovered that my camera didn't work I considered not letting Julia go in the water after all since I wouldn't be able to document this "first", but then I realized how stupid I was being and let her splash around with her brother. The water didn't phase her a bit. I think if she could talk she would have said, "Geez Mom. What did you expect? It wasn't that long that I was swimming in amniotic fluid. How is this different?"

If you are wondering how I took two small children to the pool by myself - I didn't. Brian took some much deserved time off to spend the afternoon with us. I love it when has the opportunity to do that. I sometimes feel like I get to enjoy all the fun stuff with the kids during the day and he misses out. He was able to witness Julia's first swimming experience and help Sam be brave. He and Sam played with the boats, went down the water slide together, poured water on Daddy's head, and basically had a grand time. Yeah for Daddy!

Phhew! I got off with only a warning....no speeding ticket this time

At dinner the other night Sam was actually eating the same thing Brian and I were - tacos. I didn't want him to worry about how messy tacos can be so I showed him that it was OK eat the stuff that had fallen onto his plate with his fingers. I must have been a little over zealous in my demonstration because with a very serious tone Sam said, "Slow down mom." Good thing the lenient food police officer, A.K.A Sam, was on duty.

Border Battle

So far Sam has been able to stay neutral on
this one thanks to Grandma Pauly's
great garage sale finds. Thanks Grandma!

(It helps my cause that Grant's parents
are from Wisconsin like me - Go Packers!)  
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Changing the way we change.......diapers

I'd never considered cloth diapers before, but after seeing how easy it is for my friend, Jennifer, I am willing to give it a try. Sam currently wears a size 5 or a 6 and Julia wears 4 and 5's. It works out nicely for me that in the cloth diapers they'll be wearing the same size liner. To all my wonderful and much appreciated babysitters who read this - don't worry, we'll still have a stash of disposables for your convenience. I placed an order online with a company called thanksmama.com and am anxious for my package to arrive in the next week or so. When I added up how much we spend on diapers in a month I realized that the cloth diapers would be paid for in as little as three months. My diapering days are LONG from over so I think this will be a good investment. It also feels good to help the environment and the bottoms of my babies will benefit from not sitting in the chlorine in disposables 24/7.
Time will tell whether this will be an easy change for us to make.

Monday, March 12, 2007

See No Evil, Hear No Evil...with a bonus sense thrown in

What you don't want to see when you walk into your child's room when they're suppose to be napping:

all their clothes off

What you don't want to hear after they've 45 minutes of not napping:

"Ready get up. All done nigh-night."

What you don't want to feel on your child's bed when you've decided to just let him get up without sleeping:

A HUGE wet spot where he dumped out the entire contents of his water bottle


p.s. I'm not so sure about the parenting technique I used here and am open to suggestions:
I didn't acknowledge the fact that Sam was mostly naked (thankful he'd left his diaper on) nor did I say anything about the wet spot. I just picked him up and brought him downstairs. I was afraid that saying anything would encourage him to do it again to get out of napping on another day.

Note to self: No more water bottles in bed with Sam anymore.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Moment to Treasure

Tonight I had the rare opportunity to hold my sleeping first-born in my arms. He had fallen asleep on the way home from Grandma and Grandpa's house and surprisingly didn't wake up when I carried him into the house. I snuggled up on the couch to gaze at Sam's face and give him lots of kisses. Sam is an affectionate little guy, but he doesn't usually want to stay still so I can nestle my nose in the crook of his neck or kiss the bridge of his nose. His skin is still soft as can be and I can only imagine what he was dreaming about as his eyelids fluttered. If I had to guess I'd say all the fun he had playing with Grandma and Aunt Sharon.

Since I didn't want to wake him by taking a photo I dug up this baby picture of Sam snuggling with me at a family wedding a couple years ago. You'll have to take my word for it that he looked just as peaceful tonight


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Thursday, March 8, 2007

If only....

Sam was complaining about his toes hurting and I figured it was a toenail that needed trimming. I got out the clippers and convinced him to be brave while I clipped his nails. I put his sleeper back on (today is pj day) and thought we'd be good to go. No such luck. He didn't want to walk and kept asking me to clip his nails. I'd clipped them as short as I could so I just carried him up to bed for his nap. I thought that nap time was going to be ruined by his whining about his toe and was starting to get frustrated. I pulled his foot out one more time to inspect it for an owie only to discover that he'd been walking on a couple pieces of cereal he'd lost down his sleeper during lunch. If only all owies were this easy to fix!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

He's on a roll

Sam is picking up new words left and right. I keep a collection of words that he adorably mispronounces. For now I'll share the most recent additions to his vocab:
I-kay (Okay)
Puppy-roni (pepperoni)

stay tuned....I'll post the longer list soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Have you finished your homework?

***************************** WARNING *****************************
This topic is a touchy one. We know people might not agree with us, but Brian and I felt it was important to share the information so other parents become aware that they have a say in this area of their children's health care. Please read this post with an open mind and know that we only want to increase awareness so you can make the best decision for your family.

The back story:
My mom has been studying to be a nutrition therapist for a while now and has graciously shared the information she's acquired through her studies with me. Back in September she got really sick and spent the night a hospital. They found a cyst on her kidney and tried different antibiotics to treat it. This was not successful and she spent the next two and a half months very ill. She was able to work and go about her daily routine, but she was very weak and lost a bunch of weight. By mid-December she was back in the hospital where they discovered that the cyst had ruptured. They drained the fluid and sent it off to be tested. Lo and behold it turns out she had had E. Coli for MONTHS. I am so grateful to the doctors who prescribed the correct antibiotic that finally made my mom well again. She's pretty sure she picked up the E. Coli from spinach right around the time there was an outbreak of E. Coli in September. I tell this story because I have a new found respect for the vitamins and supplements my mom takes religiously. She eats an incredibly healthy diet as well. I believe that these are the reasons (along with lots of prayers) that she is alive today. Now when she tells me about something she's read that seems a bit out there I'm more open to the idea. Like I said in a previous post, I'm learning. When it comes to our kids health there is nothing we won't at least look into. The rest of this entry is about a subject that until two months ago we'd not thought much about.



Over the past eight weeks Brian and I have been looking closely at the possibility of not continuing with the usual regiment of childhood vaccinations. After careful research and prayerful consideration we have come to the decision to not vaccinate Sam and Julia any further (Sam has had all of the recommended shots for his age, but Julia only had her newborn shots and the ones they give at two months).
We have read many books, checked numerous websites
( 909shot.com was especially helpful), and had lots of discussions on the subject. A determining factor for us was the lack of studies to test the safety of vaccinations. There are no long-term (months to years) safety studies on any vaccinations – only studies lasting days or weeks. We feel that there are too many unanswered questions about side effects and whether vaccines work like the pharmaceutical companies say they do. For us the benefits do not outweigh the risks since nobody can tell us for sure that the shots are safe.

So why are we sharing this very personal information about our family's decision? Well, as I mentioned earlier my hope is that other parents will do what we didn't do when Sam was a baby, and that is do your homework and then make the decision that is best for your family.

****March 15, 2007 - An update*****
We have continued our discussion on this topic and thought we'd update our blog readers.....It's come to our attention that some physicians believe that delaying shots until babies are older and limiting the amount of shots given at one time reduces the risks associated with some vaccines. This might be a good options for us. If anyone has found any books, websites, or other sources of information they'd like to share with us, we'd love to hear from you.

I am Sam....Sam I am


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Poor Sam! Today at the community center there were three other moms calling out "Sam" at various times. My Sam couldn't figure out why everyone was calling for him. There was 2 little boys and one girl with the very same name. I guess it's time to start teaching Sam what his last name is.
Sorry Mommy and Daddy didn't pick a more unique name for you Sammy! You are such a Sam though. I couldn't imagine you with any other name.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Snow much fun



No wind, no snow in his face...what a great place to enjoy the snow

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Please pass the burnt potato chips

My mom was a big health nut (and still is) when I was growing up so the only way I could get my hands on junk food was to trade for it during school lunch. The problem was I didn't have anything in my pink My Little Pony lunch box worth trading for. Kids would give me their burnt chips or the ones with green edges and I was happy to take them. When I got older and could buy all the junk food I wanted, I thought my mom's methods had backfired. Little did I know that I'd become a health food nut myself when it comes to my kid's diets. Now I'm the one who buys organic raw milk (not homoginized or pasturized to preserve nutrients). Our bread is filled with what my sister, Katie, calls bird seed. I guess she's right since birds eat millet too. Sam's favorite snack is Veggie Booty (the only way I can get him to eat veggies other than in his Vruit Juice). While I know that someday he'll eat french fries, I'm trying to delay that day from coming as long as possible. I've learned about the benefits of buying nitrate free lunch meat and cheese that's made from hormone free milk. So much of our nations food supply has shifted from natural to chemically enhanced and I'm leery about that stuff in my children's tiny bodies. Julia has already been subjected to this line of thought because I make her baby food and freeze it.

So Mom, thank you for teaching me as a kid to like hearty breads, to eat my veggies, and most of all to never stop learning.

Choices, choices....too many choices


Next time I buy vitamins for Sam I'm getting the kind that only has one shape. No more of this "popie linie vinnie pease mommy" only to change his mind and now wants "bown elfint" (orange elephant) after I've searched half the bottle for a purple lion. Taking a multivitamin has turned into a ten minute event - and that doesn't include the time it takes him to lick it until it's so sticky that I finally insist that he pops it in so he doesn't choke on it when I go tend to the babies.

Canoe camping with kids

I've been sharing highlights from our recent trip to the BWCA on Instagram . The spot we go is perfect for families with young kids beca...