Monday, May 31, 2010

And away we go. . .

Jim's working out-of-town for the month of June, so the kids and I are heading to my parents house while he's away. It'll be a bittersweet trip. I'm excited to see my folks, and let the kids visit with their grandparents, but sad to be apart from my honey for a month. I also don't know how much blogging will be accomplished during our vacay. Probably some. Not a whole bunch. This will also be the longest trip home since I've left the nest ten years ago. I wonder if I'll get a curfew again, or get yelled at for playing my music too loud, or get in trouble if I don't finish my chores in a timely manner (or do them the "right" way i.e. the way my parents do them), or have to practice the piano for at least 30 min a day, or . . . . you get the idea.

I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mystery Solved

This post is not for those with quick gag reflexes. If you have a strong stomach. . . feel free to keep reading.

While Jim and I were eating breakfast this morning we noticed a wet spot on the other side of the kitchen table. "What's this wet spot?" Jim asked. Our table is black so I couldn't really tell what color the spot was. Jim and I moved closer to the spot and touched it to see what it felt like.

"I think it's just water from Tralee's painting stuff." Jim concluded. I didn't think it felt like water, but assumed Jim must be right since the little puddle was right next to the paint, water, and brushes we set up for Tralee the night before. I didn't really give it another thought, except to promise myself I would wipe it up when I got around to cleaning the kitchen after I showered.

I never made it back to the kitchen until lunch time. The mysterious spot was still there. "That's weird. Water should have evaporated by now." Thought I. Tralee walked into the room a few minutes later. She stood by the table, pointed at the wet spot and said, "Uh-oh! Look Mommy!" I looked and said, "I know, did you spill water?" The matter-of-fact response was, "No."

"So what is it?" I asked.

A flash of memories entered my head. I remembered Tralee running into my room far too early and waking me up by saying something a-mile-a-minute about going pee. I helped her to the toilet and she went. Her undies were a little wet (sorry if that's tmi), but sometimes that happens when she holds her bladder too long (like overnight) so I just put her in a clean pair and never gave it another thought. . . until I heard Tralee say "pee-pee" while referring to the spot on the table.

The next image I recalled was when Jim and I were putting our fingers in the mysterious spot while eating our cereal. GAG!!!!! It never occurred to us that Tralee would climb up on the table and do. . . .THAT! She's never done anything like it before. She's always deposited in the proper facility.

After realizing that the spot on the table wasn't just a bit of spilled water, I immediately cleaned it up, disinfected the table, and had a chat with my three-year-old about why she did what she did. When I started probing for answers Tralee told me that it was Doggy who peed on the table. I guess we need to work on telling the truth next. You know, after we work on proper table manners.

My days are filled with deep cleansing breaths with this girl.

Note: Tralee usually eats breakfast and lunch on the bar stools by the kitchen counter, so she was nowhere near "the spot" while Jim and I were eating breakfast. Hunter was in his high chair. Jim and I were the only lucky ones to share the table with the mystery puddle.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Park Stories

Today I took the kids to a park. The Big Train Big Airplane Park (not its official name, just what we call it). There were a few six-year-olds playing together when we first arrived. Tralee wanted to join in their game. As I saw them running around I noticed Tralee was almost as tall as her new playmates, and she's half their age. She'll always be my little girl, even if she grows taller than me.
Tralee also became friends with a grandma playing with her grandson. They must have been friends in their last life and their spirits were drawn to each other. Tralee kept running up to this grandma every few minutes to give her hugs. She's never done this before, unless she knows the person. Luckily, this lady was nice and kept saying how much she loved it. Tralee ended up playing with her grandson, and Grandma-lady pushed both of them on the spinney thing. Tralee had a blast.
Later on a boy who looked around twelve or thirteen showed up. He reminded me of my brother Todd. I'm pretty sure he was autistic. Tralee wanted to spin with him, but he wanted to spin by himself. He looked confused when Tralee climbed up on the spinning thing with him. I took her down and told her he wanted to do it by himself, but maybe she could go spin on the other one (there are two spinning things at this park). Before I even finished my sentence the boy was headed towards the other spinning thing. Later on he starting swinging on the swings. He was making the same shouts of joy my brother Todd makes when he's happy. It was a familiar sound. A sound I grew up hearing. A sound that most people with inexperience with spirits like my brother and this boy are often scared or confused by. I listened to him scream and shout with a smile on my face, and watched as others turned to stare. The staring was familiar too, although I've never gotten used it.
We left the park about fifteen or twenty minutes later. Hunter was hungry for dinner. I looked around to find the parents or caretaker of the boy in his own world. I would have liked to say hello before we left for home, but I wasn't sure who he belonged to. There were several adults around and a teenage girl sunbathing and texting in the grass. I thought she was probably his sister or caretaker, but I wasn't sure, so I left. Sometimes it's nice to talk about Todd with someone who can relate. Growing up, I always liked understanding people who came and talked to me when I was out with Todd. I wasn't there at the time, but one time a man in a mall bought Todd a stuffed polar bear, handed it to his caretaker, and said, "This is for that young man right there." That polar bear is still a prized possession in our house. A little act of kindness goes a long way.
Tralee fell asleep on the way home from the park. It doesn't happen very often that Tralee is the one sleeping, and Hunter is awake. It's odd to have Hunter all to myself. I put Tralee on the couch since I thought she might wake up soon, and fed Hunter dinner. Tralee slept for a long time, but she still went to bed easily for us (thank goodness).

The rest of the night was spent playing with Hunter and watching Parks and Rec and The Office(our favorites).
Everyone went to bed tired and happy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Son. . .

. . . had ants in his diaper last night. I guess when you let him play outside in nothing but a diaper, a few ants are bound to find their way in.

My son also eats dog food. No, I don't let him. Every time I catch him in the act I remove Corky's dinner from his mouth, and take away the pieces in his chubby little mitts. I don't know why he likes dog food. Whenever he sees an opportunity, he b-lines for the dog dish. Even if he just ate a delish dinner.

Hunter also got his first scrape on his forehead. He tripped a fell on some concrete. His injury wasn't that bad, it didn't even bleed. The first few layers of skin were scraped off, and the injury scabbed over quite nicely which makes it look way worse than it was. Everywhere we go people say, "Oh my goodness!!! What happened?" I wonder if I sound like bad mom when I answer, "Oh, he fell down. It really wasn't that bad."

Hunter loves it when we read his birthday banner to him. We point to the words and say, "Happy Birthday Hunter Owen Jacobs!!" He gets the BIGGEST smile on his face. I haven't taken down his banner yet for this reason.

My son also likes to throw things down the stairs. Even as I type this, he threw down a toy that makes noise. Once it hit the bottom of the stairs, the noise it's supposed to make sounds a little injured.

Hunter is getting pretty good at repeating sounds and words. Little bugger won't do it on command though. The other night I was teaching him "bye-bye" while waving my hand. A few minutes later he was walking around, waving his hand and saying, "bye-bye." When Jim came home Hunter wouldn't do it. Oh well. Maybe it was because he wanted to say "hello" instead of "bye bye" to his daddy.
Other words on Hunter's list are: Thank you (doodoo), purple (pulpul), Mama, Dada, Daddy, ball (baa), woof (like what a doggy says), rrrraaaaahhhr (as in, we're pretending to be lions, bears, or monsters), this (dis), yes, and when he sees a candle or a picture of a candle he starts blowing.

Smart little guy if I do say so myself. . . even with ants in his pants.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hunter's First Birthday

Hunter's first birthday was mellow and perfect, just like my handsome little boy.

We started off the day with Hunter's first hair cut. We moved onto hanging out, and running a few errands. I took the kids to Walmart to get a few last minute items we needed for a pie I wanted to make for Hunter's b-day. After checking out, we walked by Subway and Tralee announced she wanted to eat there. Since it was Hunter's birthday, and it was lunch time, I decided to treat me kid-os to a little sub sandwich, apple slices, Sun Chip, and chocolate milk. It was Hunter's first taste of chocolate milk, and he liked it. Tralee and Hunter both ate really well, and we headed home for Hunter's nap time.

After nap time, I took the kids to Albertson's to pick up Hunter's first birthday cake. Before we left, I noticed that the time was almost 4:58, so I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes before leaving. I wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Hunter at the exact moment he turned one. I laughed, because the song playing on the radio was Love and Rocket's So Alive. Most of the song doesn't pertain to my son's birthday, but the chorus goes,

I'm alive
Oh Oh, so alive
I'm alive
Oh Oh, so alive.

The moment Hunter took his first breath last year was the moment the words, "I'm alive" were being sung this year. Perfect! I turned off the radio at 4:58, looked into Hunter's big eyes, and sang him Happy Birthday while a flash of memories from last year entered my head.

"Hunter Owen Jacobs you're alive!" I said after I sang. He just grinned at me the way he does.

On our way home, I stopped at Little Cesar's and picked up some pizza. Jim was at home, hanging up balloons. I put him in charge of balloons. He came through, like he always does. The kids were thrilled when the walked into the house and saw the balloon decor.

We spent the rest of the evening eating pizza, opening presents, playing with presents, letting go of balloons and watching them fly away, and letting Hunter dig into his first birthday cake. He dug right in like an old pro. The mess was fantastic.

I like how his eyes look all glazed over like he's in a sugar coma. That must have been some good cake!

The evening ended with baths for my messy kids, stories, snuggling, and watching heavy little eyelids slowly shut.

Here's to another year of sweet dreams my little H.O.J!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Photos (Better Late Than Never)

In honor of all the great women in my family who've mothered before me, I'm going to post some of my favorite photo's of some of them.

FYI (and a little off-topic) I love old photos.
Five generation photo. My mom is the baby. Her biological mom (LaVerl) is holding her, my Great Grandma Steinke is next to her. I have so many wonderful memories of times spent with Grandma Steinke. Her mother, Great Great Grandma Bernarde is next to her, and my Great Great Great Grandma (who sadly, I don't know her name. . . my mom probably does) is the lady sitting.
My mom as a baby and her biological Mom at bath time.

LaVerl and Charlene

Three generation photo. Grandma Stoehr, myself, and my mom. My Grandma Stoehr adopted my mom after my mom's biological mother (LaVerl) died. My mom was two when her bio mom passed. A year or so later, my Grandpa Stoehr (Grant) met Dolores, a woman who lost her husband and had two young children. Dolores and Grant were married, they combined their families, and had five more children together for a total of eight kids. I'm so glad I lived close to Grandma Stoehr growing up. I have so many wonderful memories of times spent with her. One time I asked my mom if I could spend my spring break with Grandma Stoehr. She let me and I had a lovely week full of good food, staying up late watching A&E's Pride and Prejudice and the like, crafting, thrifting, and talking.
Grandma Stoehr and Tralee Marie.

Four generation photo, only this time, Tralee's the baby. She looks a bit like my mom as a baby. It's the eyes.

My Great Grandma on my Dad's side. This is my Nana's mom. I've never met her, but I have heard wonderful stories. She was a fabulous baker, cook, and loving mother and grandmother.

My Nana, Dad, and Aunt Mary

Nana. The BEST Nana around. If I were to google the world Grandma, my Nana's picture should come up. She's the epitome of grandmotherhood, fresh cookies and all.

Great Grandma Labiszak, Nana, cousin Brian, Aunt Mary (my dad's sister). I love the outfits back then.

My mom, Charlene with Nana. LOVE the glasses mom!

Nana holding me on her lap while decorating eggs with my brother Jimmy. A lot of fond memories have taken place in that kitchen.

My great grandma Labiszak (right) with her sister. She's my Dad's grandma on his dad's side. We would visit Grandma Labiszak in her apartment (which was right across the street from the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Greek Orthodox Church) after church on Sundays. She always had butterscotch candies in little antique dishes resting on doilies. Before we left, Grandma Labiszak would give my brother and me a dollar. Every time she handed one over she told us not to spend it all in one place.
My parents, Great Grandma, and myself celebrating Great Grandma Labiszaks 100th b-day. She lived to be 104. Luckily for me, I take after my dad's side of the family. What what!

My beautiful mother holding her first baby, my brother Jimmy. I love this picture. They both have such nice olive skin and dark shiny hair. Lucky ducks! Also, Hunter kinda looks a little like Jimmy in this photo.

My mom and myself.

Mom, cousin Jenny, me, and my brother at Walt Disney World. My mom and I used to go to WDW every year together. It's "our thing." She and my dad even sent Jim and I there on our honeymoon. I thought it was only appropriate to put a picture of one of our first trips to Disney together. And by the way, I think the sunglasses my brother is wearing are SUPER cool!

Lastly. . . here are a few pictures of me becoming a mother.
Tralee and me a few minutes after she was born

Tralee and me

Hunter and me

In case you can't tell. . . I LOVE being a mom. I've had a legacy of great moms before me. I've learned the tricks of the trade from the best.

Happy (belated) Mother's Day to women everywhere, and especially to the ones who've shaped me into the woman, wife, and mother I am. I have a long way to go, but I know I am who I am (body and soul) because of these wonderful ladies.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Jim and I have been married for eight years today. Crazy! Crazy how it seems like we just started out on this journey, and crazy how at the same time, it feels like we've always been married.

Our wedding was full of the usual festivities. Here are eight (maybe just a tad more) random memories from our wedding:

1. My bridesmaids took me out to Denny's the night before I got married. We ordered french fries and milkshakes. On the drive back to the hotel, we went down a one-way-street the wrong way. We all screamed and then laughed when we realized our mistake.

My bridesmaids, all childhood friends, Mim, Abby, and Lauren

1.5. My bridesmaids also helped me get ready on my wedding day. As Jim and I got into the elevator to head towards the temple they all started singing, "Going to the temple, and we're going to maaaaaaaried."
2. I woke up to gray skies on our wedding day. I love gray skies, but didn't want it to rain. . . at least not for the pictures. It didn't. Our wedding photos are rain free. The day was perfect.
The morning of our wedding Jim stopped by to see me before all of the festivities began.

3. My last meal as a single lady was breakfast at The Little America hotel with my family. I ate a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. I think that's pretty much all I ate for the entire day.
My brother, Jimmy, took this photo. It's a favorite from the day.

4. We were the last couple, #47 to be exact, to get married at the SLC temple on Saturday.

Another photo of the bride.

5. The man who sealed us first name was also Leslie, but he went by his middle name, which I don't remember. His last name was Goats. The only bit of advice I remember him giving to us, was when he told us to be selfless. He said when you look at a picture, your eyes usually go to yourself first, that it's human nature to be selfish, to only look out for yourself. The real trick to a happy marriage is to live your lives for each other. It was good advice. Something I've thought of a lot the last eight years.

5.5 My dad had had back surgery a few weeks before, so he was in pain. Poor guy! I was very grateful to my parents, and all of our family who traveled so far to help celebrate our marriage.
My parents

5.7 Jim and I exited the wrong doors, so the traditional exiting-the-temple-as-man-and-wife photos were all staged!

6. Our reception was at The Lion House. I don't remember much about it, besides the key points. Our niece, Tandra sang. Jim's siblings sang. I was nervous to throw my bouquet because I didn't want it to hit the chandelier. My face hurt from smiling, but I couldn't stop.

Jim, all my cute little girl cousins, and me

7. Jim and I stayed in The Sultan's Palace room at The Anniversary Inn on our wedding night. There's an elephant in the room. We left a message in the guest book that said, "We really enjoyed staying in this room. It meant a lot to us, especially since my husband has elephantitis." We thought we were pretty funny.
Us at Disney World

8. When we got home from our Disney World honeymoon, we had no food in our apartment, except the top of our wedding cake. We were hungry, so instead of waiting a year, we ate it that night. Totally worth it!
Right after feeding each other the wedding cake

I love you Jim. Happy eight! Here's to an eternity more!!

More Hunter's first b-day and Mother's Day posts soon to come. May is a big month for us!!

Hunter's First Hair Cut

As I blogged about in an earlier post, Hunter got his first hair cut on the morning of his first birthday. Here are the pictures and a video to prove it. I knew this day would come, so I was ready for it. I knew I would be a little sad to see Hunter's baby hair go, but I didn't think I would tear up, which I did. The tears came when I saw the finished product. They were bittersweet tears. Hunter looked SOOOOO darn cute, his cheeks looked chubbier with the extra hair gone, and he looked like a handsome little boy. That's the sweet side of it. The bitter side was . . . he looked like a handsome little boy. Traces of babyhood are slowly but surely vanishing. My baby is growing up. I do have to admit, Jim did a GREAT job cutting Hunter's hair, and I actually quite like it. In fact, I've never seen a cuter little boy in all my life.
Here's Jim, WAY too excited to start chopping Hunter's hair off. He couldn't wait.

One last before shot


Hunter wasn't too thrilled to have the buzzer buzzing in his ear.

And. . . . AFTER!!!
Look how handsome my boys are!

Here's the video of Hunter's first haircut, if you care to watch: