Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend of Thanks

Thanksgiving collage

I really do love the Thanksgiving holiday!  Yes, the turkey is great and this year I really loooved stuffing (yes, a craving – no, no baby!) But why I really love Thanksgiving is because I get to see family that I do NOT get to see at Christmas time. BOOhoo! It’s always been a tradition that we spend Thanksgiving (actually the Sat. after) with my mom’s side of the family.  My mom is the oldest of the 8 Brennan (yes count them 8! how did Gma do it?!?) kids so I believe the “tradition” began b/c the weather is often unpredictable for everyone to travel from various locations at Christmas time.  (BTW those various locations range all over OK, KS and MO which is important to know later in this post!)

This year we began turkey festivities with my in laws in Atlanta (not as in Atlanta, Georgia).  It was a great time and loved watching my A-doooor-able niece get super excited about mashed taters!! She is a doll with kissable cheeks, even with mashed taters all over her!  It was Isaac’s first Thanksgiving of course and he was a champ.  Downed a bottle while we ate and then slept or about 4 hours!
Did someone give him that sleep inducing turkey??!!

Friday late morning we headed off for my parents.  This year the Brennans were gathering near my parents/sisters to help work on some projects for my brother’s new crib.  He became a first time home buyer the first part of the month and has some remodeling to get done before he can move in.  Which when you team my mom’s brothers with my dad’s brothers some major plumbing & electrical work can get done!  Then you put a paint brush/roller in my mom and my aunt’s hands and Whew! You’ve got progress.  Can’t say I helped much.  Did dream up the ceiling fan “remodel”.  Adam bought a brushed nickel light kit to put on his nasty old bronzy ceiling fan.  YUCK! A little brushed nickel spray paint and bam!

We took a bit of time on Saturday afternoon to start what I hope to be a new tradition.  (after all it’s not like there was ANYTHING worth watching on TV…KU who? Mizzo who? Jayhawks vrs Tigers? seriously!?!?!) My sister and I gathered the supplies to make gingerbread houses!  Madison and Emma (the little girls) had great fun plastering, coating decorating their houses with candies & sprinkles. I think the “older” girls (still little in my eyes- 2 of which are terrible “Mizzofluences” on my child!!) had fun too!  Brooke, Megan, Beth and Diane created what appeared to be a train, cottage, and house.  My sister even joined in the fun creating a nice… umm…Whiskey Tango (W.T. a.k.a. White Trash) trailer complete with her dirty white van!  It was a hoot!  More pics in another post about all that!

A gas angel made sure we got home safe and sound.  As we stopped along the turnpike to get gas (at the ONLY place with in 30 miles) we discover they are OUT OF GASS! WHAT!?!?!?! So, after many prayers we pulled safely into a loyal and trusty QT.  We drove about 15 miles with our truck registering 0 miles to empty!! Whew! I did NOT want to be left on the turnpike stranded with 3 kids while Matt huffed it for gas!  Home about 11 p.m.  Church the next day and the start of the holiday decorating process! Yeah!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Marshmallows + Hot Glue = Igloo

Igloo making.  Who’d have thought it could be so competitive of a sport?  It all started with Emma’s show and tell for the week.  The letter “I”, the short sound to be exact.  She told me she wanted to take an igloo…so instead of having her draw a picture or print one off the internet I thought “WE can make an igloo”.  Building materials- Marshmallows, Hot glue and scrap of cardboard.

Matt purchased the supplies brought them home and disappeared into man land to watch the KU game.  When he emerged at half time he gave my igloo a look over and offered to make one too.  Excuuuuuuuse me?  Mine’s not good enough?  Sure honey…go for it.  Glue gun hot and ready.  Bag of “mellows” open. Game on with this igloo competition.

Here’s the results…

Igloo #1-

igloo making (9)

Construction process of Igloo #2-

Matt’s intense concentration (I think the Hanna Montana sticker he’s sporting gave him the advantage!!)

igloo making (22)

Aidan assisted in consuming the building supplies.  Some with hot glue on them! Yuck!

igloo making (7) 

Emma gave up by 9:15.

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Matt and Aidan held out until completion of igloo #2.

igloo making (8) 

Here’s a close up…igloo making (18) igloo making (23)

Seriously? Who has time for that?  You can guess what igloo builder was also watching 3 kiddos during the building process! ;)

I gladly handed him the title of “school project maker”.  Little does he know ALL the dioramas, projects and reports he has ahead of him!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Sweet Baby Boy!!

Hard to believe it’s already time for Isaac’s 3 month pictures. Time has flown as it always does! Try to make it through all the pictures without MEL…t…i…n…g like this mama did as there’s a vote to be taken at the end of this post.

**WARNING! You are about to view a veeerrrrrrrrrrrry sweet baby and NO you can not have him!! He’s all mine ladies!

Sweet smile…

 Isaac 3 month (7)

A serious look… 

 Isaac 3 month (10)

Ah, those big eyes…they aren’t blue, or brown, I guess a gray?

Isaac 3 month (6)

No matter the color they are FULL of sweetness! 

Isaac 3 month (11)

Isaac 3 month (13)

Isaac at 3 months….So who do you think he looks like?


3mopicIsaac 3 month (2)

OR Aidan……

Aidan 3 Months (4)Isaac 3 month (4)    

Tell me what you think…this Mama has her vote, but will hold off sharing as to not sway the votes :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

3 Months

isaac 3 month bear

.: Stats- not sure exactly as we didn’t see the Dr. this month.  I’d guess close to 14 lbs and 24-25 inches.

.: What You’re Wearing- too long for 0-3, so officially in 3-6 mo. size 3 shoe (Emma wore a 4 at a year!!)

.: Firsts- starting to “talk” and coo, I get a giggle out of you once in a while, noticing toys & objects in front of you & grabbing at them, took a longer car ride (2 1/2 hours) to Mimi’s house…you slept :), first stay in the church nursery when mama taught Sunday school

.: From Head To Toe- reddish hair, perfect skin complexion- very different than Aidan, eye color is a gray darkish color- not as blue as the other 2’s at this age, holds head up well & tries to sit up when held reclined back- strong abs!!  You want to be up & alert!

.: Loves- being rocked, tummy time, giggles when jiggled, loves to look at sissy, spendin’ time in the vibro bouncy seat

.: Dislikes- laying on your back, sitting in car seat doesn’t hate, but tolerates swing (the fanciest, softest, $$ swing one could have!!)

.: Eating- 6 oz every 4 some times every 3 is you went long stretches in the night.  Takes forever sometime for you to get it down…but don’t try to take it away cause you want every last drop!

.: Sleeping- you were sleeping through the night- but now up once at about 4 an, down by 10 pm & one good 2 hour nap with lots of little cat naps

.: Misc Facts-

You were a football for your 1st Halloween.  Luckily there were no fumbles and you stayed cozy in mama’s arms.

You’ve remained super healthy despite brother & sissy’s attempts at sharing the crud they’ve gotten. (strep, croup, mouth infection, ear infection…)

We’re done seeing Dr. S. He managed to help you just like with Aidan.  The fussiness is lots better and the reflux/spitting up has all but vanished!  Yeah!


Monday, November 9, 2009

A week ago tonight

I sat in awe at the Wichita showing of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  It was an amazing show of vocals, instruments, lights and video!  I had heard great things from my brother when he had gone last year, so when my sister in law asked if Matt and I were interested in going with them we jumped at the chance. 

Our evening started with dinner at Genghis Grill.  Matt was the only one that had been before.  I’ll start by saying the food ended up very good, but I had major concerns.  If you’ve never been to Genghis and you’re not a good…or shall we say speedy decision maker than either don’t go or research before you do go! :)  You go through what is similar to a buffet, but the food is raw.  Start with picking the meat you want (crab, shrimp, chicken, steak, etc), season it (offered like 8 different seasonings), choose veggies (tons of options from classic stir fry, potatoes, etc) and your sauce (seemed like a kazillion options).  Once you’ve made your selections and feel like you’ve held up the entire line, the cook takes your bowl of food and sauce throws in rice (or noodles, pick your starch…yet another choice) and cooks on a VERY large open grill.  Once your food is complete they bring it to your table.  The whole time waiting on our food I questioned if I’d like what I just created…I mean I chose the ingredients, so there was no “sending it back to the kitchen” if it was gross! :)  I ended up liking it.  Next time no potatoes, try different sauces and noodles are for sure the way to go!!

After, um shall we say a brief detour thanks to Matt we neared the coliseum.  Wow was traffic a nightmare!! Guess I had really only been to a hockey game there and didn’t anticipate the traffic to back up so far down the highway!  They didn’t hold the show for us, but we only missed a little at the beginning.  Here’s my shots from the night…

Thought this turned out cool…


Good shot of the backup singers and musicians.


Fire, lots of fire! I was a bit worried about all the long haired musicians catching some flames as they swayed around in their 80’s rocker hairstyle.


Quite the show for the folks on the far end of the main stage! Awesome!  Our seats in the middle were perfect to see all the action!


Here’s a perfect example of the 80’s power ballad guitar stance used most of the evening!


Ending shot of the TSO group…


A shot of us…

2 couples

While the concert was one of the most amazing I had been to (with my concert résumé consisting of U2, George Strait, Garth Brooks…think that’s about it…), I must admit I was equally if not more excited to hang out with this awesome couple for the evening.  We used to spend tons of time with Mandy (Matt’s sister) & Chris (Matt’s high school friend turned brother in law) BK (before kids).  With the addition of each child and busy work schedules we’ve slipped in to letting the business of life keep us apart.  That means it had been about 5 years since the 4 of us had been out “alone”!  It was soooo fun!  We have the best times together and manage to laugh until we hurt!  All three of them have the ability to speak complete conversations in movie lines…none of which I know as I’m missing that part of my brain.  I love them and their Libby dearly and hope that we don’t let another 5 years go by!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Enjoy These times!?????

Thursday had the perfect start to keep my life as a mother focused.  My MOPS group had a panel consisting of “Wiser Older Women” available for us less-wise moms to pick the brains of.  And what great advice we received.  Held honest, at time teary, discussions of issues on the hearts of the moms!  As I spoke with the panel guests and mentor moms prior to the meeting we chatted about how quickly time goes, how they feel somewhat removed and struggling to remember what it was like when their kids were so little. You know the comments, like the ones you received from strangers at Wal-mart… “Enjoy these times, they go so quick.  You’ll wish you had them back”

It has been my goal since adding Isaac to the family to slow down, enjoy him while he’s little b/c I have realized with sending Emma off to school how quickly time passes.  HOWEVER, it’s super D dooper hard.  I mean really I’m going to miss THIS…

Like last night.  Emma had evaluations for our church Basketball program at 6.  Matt’s outta town. A friend offered to take Emma so I didn’t have to bring the boys.  Yeah!  No, cancel that.  Emma came home from school fussing about her cheek and ear hurting.  (Same complaints from the AM) She got more and more upset.  Crying and crying.  Could it be the return of strep from few weeks ago?  Could it be what Aidan had last week?

All the while I’m trying to feed Isaac when Aidan starts what I call his poopy dance.  He’s constipated- always & yes we’ve tried prunes, etc.  It hurts, yet he refuses to let it out.  He holds it in and cries.  Begs for “help”.  It’s taken days sometimes to get him to finally go.  He screams for us to hold his hand, rub his back, hold him, etc.  So, he’s in full blown need to poo mode, fussin’ and crying. 

Again I’m trying to feeding Isaac. Get all the bubbles out and have a peaceful feeding so I’m not soothing a fussy, gassy baby later.

Emma is crying and reminding me every 3.5 seconds that she hurts and is hungry. 

Matt is texting me about how awesome his hotel room is and how he’ll call later as they have dinner at 6.

I encourage Aidan to go in and sit on the potty.  HOWEVER, the step stool isn’t in there b/c he’d moved it into the kitchen earlier to “help”. “It’s ok Aidan just climb up on the potty.” And I’m assuming he’s done just that until I hear a thud.  Then he peaks his head out of the bathroom and smiles while stomping his feet and I hear…what is that I hear?…is that splashing?!?  I investigate to find poo on the floor along with a pee puddle he’s splashing in like it’s fresh rain water.  He’s got his undies at his ankles wet along with wet socks.  I begin to clean him up and add to the ever growing laundry mountain.  Disinfect the bathroom surfaces and mop the floor and it’s 5:50.  Maybe I should be grateful for the mess, it did cause me to mop the bathroom…who knows when that would have happened otherwise.  We’re obviously going to be late to BB evals as Aidan needs a full outfit change (more laundry), Emma is not getting ready to leave b/c…why was that again? Oh, yes her ear hurts!  The baby has spit up all over himself b/c mommy was cleaning poo instead of burping him properly after feeding him, so an outfit change is needed for him – more laundry.

All this on the heals of Aidan’s illness last week where I was constantly told by Emma we must love Aidan more.  We take care of him while he’s sick and we don’t love her. As if the week prior when she had strep I just let her suffer the 3 days she was off school! I’ve poured out all my physical energy and most of my emotions to nurse a child to health to be told by another that I’m not apparently “loving” enough. Just what a mommy who’s already feeling the guilt of short patience and unequal attention needs to hear!

I had mentioned to Matt in a down moment last week that I needed something, anything to happen that would make mothering feel pleasurable.  Rewarding. Worth it. Worth the mess, worth the mountain of laundry, worth the stress, the trips to the Dr. resulting in piles of bills, little to no sleep at night, feeling physically tugged and in dire need of personal space.

Then IT happens as quickly as I feel overwhelmed and ready to run away.  The reminders of all those strangers.  The mentors.  It will end.  All the kids will hit a point where my lap will not be their source of comfort.  There will be a time they get sick and not really need me to hold them, squirt meds down them, sleep with them or stroke their soft skin.  I mean I’m the MOMMY.  The one they want. The one they cry for when they’re hurting. Sad. Or needing comfort.  As a teen Aidan won’t nuzzle up to me and say “love you mommy” in his sweet little voice anymore.  Emma won’t beg to have her back/arm/leg rubbed while laying across my lap. Gone will be her soft, fine hair I stroke to soothe her. These things that seem almost burdensome at times will in fact be moments I long for.

But why can’t these feelings stick?  Why can’t they surface after 3 nights sleeping everywhere BUT my bed awaking every 30 min?  Where are they when I’m scrubbing the bathroom floor and cleaning a dirty 2 yr old while the other 2 are crying in the living room? Why do harsh tones come out of my mouth when I have these words of truth in my head?  Why have I found myself raising my voice, or in last nights case, ignoring the complaints of a child hurting b/c I’m wiped.  Why does the 7 constant loads of laundry waiting on me weigh me down so much- I mean laundry will never be “done” with 3 little ones, but I let these undone “tasks” determine my worth. Why do I dream of changing my name from Mommy to something else to get a break?  My sympathy account is overdrawn.  Each little (thank God, nothing major) illness takes more and more out of me with little time between for me to rest and gear up for the next. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  He is good.  He knows his plans for me.  His timing is what is best. He’s designed us as mothers to be the nurturing, caregivers in our families. 

I consider myself one who enjoys helping those in need.  Caring for and providing comforts to others. But while in the mothering trenches it’s so hard to see your way out.

This struggle between wishing time to pass and the thought that life will be easier when ____ vs.. cherishing each daily moment has been the most recent addition to my load of mommy guilt I carry around, yet know I shouldn’t. (Guilt…awholenother post!!)

When I’m rational (and everyone in my house is healthy) I know that mothering will always have challenges…the challenges just change as he kids age.  I know when they are older I will miss so many things about them at the ages they are now.  So please, all you mentors, W.O.W. and purple hairs at Wal-mart keep telling me the truths that you have lived and know to be true that I, in the trenches of mother young kids, need to hear and hold on to.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sickies Part II

I begged in my previous post for the sickies to stay away…they are obviously disobedient!  Our sicky adventures started with Matt having a cold, then Emma suffering a 3 day bought with strep and then we had 3 days to recover before Aidan hyper-extended his leg rendering him unable to walk for 3 days.  I think it was about a week later that Aidan developed a nasty cough.  Croup was the diagnosis.  So, we treated him with steamy showers, humidifier, vaporizer, VICKS, all that good stuff.  A week and a half later Aidan refuses dinner on Wednesday night and I notice he’s drooooooling a lot.  A fever check was 99.6.  Then I receive a call from my sister saying that her son & some of her day care kids had been exposed to Hand, Foot and Mouth. 

So, I check Aidan’s mouth and he has sores!! AHHH!!  Wednesday night he had a hard time sleeping.  He & I ended up on the floor of his room.  So I called the Dr. Thurs. and as I figured there wasn’t much they could do.  Just tylenol/motrin for the discomfort.  This is how Thursday AM began…


with a popsicle breakfast, followed by a popsicle brunch, ice cream snack and pudding lunch.  By Thursday evening he stopped eating and drinking all together. Thursday night consisted of him waking every 10-15 minutes crying in agony as we tried to “sleep” on the couch.  There was one point he requested to go to his bed…Thank GOD!  So, I got in my bed about 1:26 a.m. to be beckoned by Aidan at 1:35 a.m.!!! 

Friday AM, after 2 nights with little to no sleep, we headed into the Dr. as his throat was hurting really bad. They ran a strep test which came back negative. Dr. didn’t think it was HFMD as the sores were only in his mouth and not anywhere else on his body.  They told us to come back next week to test for mono if we wish although there’s no treatment for mono.  Yea, I wanna hold down a 2 tear old to get blood only to be told “yep,mono go home & it’ll eventually get better”. 

By Friday afternoon I became concerned as his tongue started swelling and was still refusing all foods and liquids nearing 24 hours with nothing to eat or drink.  So, I headed into Immediate care.  The Dr. there agreed it probably wasn’t HFMD, and we knew it wasn’t strep.  She sent us home with a stronger pain med and instructions to return Sat. if something new developed as it was probably just a viral throat infection. Friday night went better if you consider only waking up to him screaming every 45 min better! :) 

Finally at 7 a.m. on Sat. he drank a cup of water!! Yeah!  On the road to…YUCK!  Up it all came!! GRRREAT!  Called Immediate care.  Instructions…keep trying to get him to drink, any more vomiting come in.  He passed out for 3 1/2 hours.  Best sleep he’d had since nap on Wed.  He stirred about 11:45, stood up ran to Emma and began playing like nothing had ever happened!?!?!? KIDS!!??? Will I ever figure them out!?

I feel so free now as Aidan was not much further away from me than this… 


Isaac gave me looks like this…”Mama hold me, I’m your baby”…


I’m looking forward to sleeping even a few hours in my bed…

**Before I could hit post on this…Emma wakes me last night saying her mouth hurts.  I find no signs of sores like Aidan & brush it off as a case of “contagious attention seeking” I’m no Dr. but my mothering degree is able to spot this illness.  Only to have her return home from school in tears saying her ear hurts.  She’s only had a couple ear infections in her life, but are typically baaad.  So, when Isaac is done eating we’re off to the Dr. with Emma…

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fall Is My FAVORITE Time!

The cool crisp air, the beautiful views that totally show God’s unique creations…I mean seriously look at how many different trees there are and the multiple colors as you look across the landscape!!  So, beautiful!  I will admit the cool air and colorful scenes make for breathtaking photos. These pictures of my kiddos might go down as my all time favorite! While I can’t wait to get a good picture of them all 3 in the same photo, and I’m sure that time will come eventually, I have to “settle” for individual shots.  I took these individual shots and put them in a collage and LOVE the results!

Fall Leaves Collage

Annual Leaf Pictures

Each year when home for the fall festival my sister, Marcia, & I…


plan a photo session among the that have changed to the most beautiful shade of orange and found their resting place beneath the row of maples that line a street off of Main near the park.  Each year we get more beautiful pictures than the year before, although with the addition of more children group shots are more difficult!!  Here’s a few from 10/09.

             A shot of my three & Marcia’s two.  A cute group!!              (Madison & Emma 5, Dallen & Aidan 2, Isaac 2 months)


This year 3 of our cousins (Beth, Diane, & Megan and our aunt) from Missouri joined us for the weekend.  Here’s a shot of the MO girl cuz with the KS girls.

All the Girls

One of Beth & Diane together that screams Christmas card picture!! Gorgeous!

Beth & Diane 

Although Beth & Diane are twins…Diane & I are cousin twinks! Ok, except for drinking grape flavored beverages, but I think she’s coming around.  :) Being the oldest female cousin I always enjoyed helping with the younger cousins.  Diane, from the time she was 2 or 3, was always very attached to me and we still are!  It’s hard to believe she’s a Jr. in college! Despite my begging she hasn’t moved to KS…yet…


A few random good pics…my nephew Dallen has the most stunning eyes…full of orneriness! Then there’s my big girl Emma!! She’s such a poser! 

Dallen ColeEmma Tree

Somehow I have none of my niece Madison except the group shot, photographing Aidan is nearly impossible unless you want an action shot, it was kinda chilly for Isaac. 

On my next post…the favorite of my three!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall Festivals

Each year I take the kids to my home town for the annual Fall Festival. It usually falls the weekend before Halloween.  The festivities include a craft show, costume parade & contest, hayrack ride and haunted house.  Matt came along this year, but spent the day with my brother tailgating & attending the KU football game.

Aidan, the tough defensive line football player, wasn’t thrilled at the costume parade…

10.24.09 Fall Festival (7) 

because of this guy…

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Can’t say I blame him!  Isaac was the hungry football! Luckily he fit in the costume, I thought I made it big enough…but when he stretches out it’s juuuuust right! He’s so sweet!

 10.24.09 Fall Festival (8)

My awesome cousins chaperoned the hayrack ride this year. They’re such a great help!  They are not allowed to have children of their own until mine are old enough to help them.

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Each year the kids and I beat tracks home from the Melvern fall festival to attend our church fall festival.  The kids walk around and play carnival games and earn candy…lots and lots of candy.  Here’s Emma with the Kooser girls!   

Whew!  It’s always a great weekend! Great memories and great photos…in the leaves…pics to come soon…

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baking With Her Bestie

Our fall festivities began with Emma having a friend over for a baking playdate.  We started with *endless* hours of trying to get the pumpkins just right in these cookies…

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Next, was rolled sugar cookies. The girls helped roll the dough.  They played during the baking & cooling process.

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Then on to the fun!  Icing & decorating!  Here’s Aidan using his popsicle stick to eat spread icing on his cookie.

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I think the girls favorite part was coating decorating  the cookies with sprinkles.  Wow!

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Emma & Avery are so cute!  They are quite a pair.  Knowing each other from church & then being in the same Kind. class they’ve become quick besties!  We even have to coordinate their lunches (sack/school) so they can sit next to each other at school.  The teachers have commented that when one is gone (sick..or to Disney…which Avery did invite Emma to go, w/out asking her parents!) the other is sad & lost.  They also enjoy seeing each other at church!

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They girls took cookies for their teachers, but no worries.  I’ve been a teacher…*I* decorated the teacher’s cookies!

And no post would be complete w/out a shot of Isaac…he was a perfect angel the whole time I was covered in flour & attempting to keep the other 6 little hands out of creating a bigger mess!

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