Wednesday, December 29, 2010

She Waits for No One

Charlotte, tonight, you desperately wanted to give your sister a bath. You wouldn't wait for me to clear off the dinner table. You carried the baby's tub into the living room, and began to undress her and take off her diaper. You are such a tremendous helper and I am totally awestruck by your intuition and anticipation. But at the same time, I was seriously worried that you just might pick up your sister and put her in the tub yourself.

Tonight, I walked upstairs to tuck the kids into bed, and I wished I had my camera. I stood in the doorway of Joe's room and just stared at my children, mentally freezing this picture in my brain. Joseph and Charlotte were sitting at the head of his bed with their backs to the wall and their legs straight out in front of them. Joseph was wearing his pajama pants, no shirt and his Daniel Boone hat while holding a nerf gun, poised for attack. Charlotte sat next to him, attentively flossing her teeth. If I had ran downstairs to grab the camera it wouldn't have been the same. So this is my way of never forgetting.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3 Weeks and Counting

Betsy at three weeks. Betsy you are so sweet and mellow. I didn't think it possible to bare a more pleasant baby than the first two, but you proved me wrong. While we were taking pictures, your siblings were running a muck, and my patience was wearing thin, but you remained calm. If you did start to squirm, all I had to do was sing the Christmas Song, and you would calm down. Really the only times that you cry are when you are hungry, cold after a bath, or you need to burp.

You are starting to develop baby chub. Your brother and sister were born with rolls, but you have had to work for yours. I am so excited because tomorrow I am having pictures taken of you, Joseph and Charlotte. We haven't done family pictures since Charlotte was 6 months old. Our little family is the best Christmas present ever.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Two Weeks and Toland Christmas

December 14th and two weeks have passed. By the time this posts, Betsy will be almost three weeks old. Sometimes, I just want time to stop.

Charlotte has been more help than I could ever have anticipated. Although, Joseph is enamored with Betsy, Charlotte has been my attentive helper.
The Toland matriarch, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

I already have a New Year's resolution. Well, actually, two resolutions. Every year, I have a resolution to watch what I say and keep foul language to a minimum. My real New Year's resolution is to take more pictures of my children and family.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the Night You Were Born

I have always wanted to have a birth story for my children. But alas, my last two stories consisted of, "you wouldn't come out, so my doctor scheduled a day and we took you out." Although, Betsy's story is similar, something funny happened the night before she was born. Our power went out for three hours. Three hours, 5pm to 8:30 pm, just when I was starting to fix dinner, and was in the throws of last minute packing, bathing two children and readying the kids and house for three days without me. For three hours, I ran around like a crazy woman with a lamp strapped to my head. We ordered pizza, and picnicked in the living room with our flashlights and candles. In the dark, nothing but my little head lamp to light the way through bath and bedtime. What a sight! I decided it was just an initiation to motherhood of three young children.
Betsy Jane born November 30. Weighing in at 9 lbs. My smallest of the three babies.

Charlotte meeting Betsy for the first time.
Joe is enamored with his littlest sister. He calls her, "Betsy, the rock star".

Home, day 1 or day 2. I don't remember. I have been trying to keep up with pictures, but time is flying. I made an attempt at a photo for Christmas cards, we'll see how they turn out.

A Teaser

Maybe not a complete tease. Hopefully do a sporadic post tonight.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Midnight

Because it is midnight and I must go to work tomorrow, I will keep this brief. The past two months have felt so busy at times. Trying to squeeze in doctors appointments for myself and the kids. All between naps and preschool. If Charlotte misses any type of afternoon nap, everyone suffers. Some doctors appt. I prefer not to take siblings, i.e Charlotte's hearing screen, Joe having his eyes dilated (where he screams and cries and I feel so sad for him that I cry), my glucose tests. Yes, I failed the first screening and had to take the three hour (barf). Drinking 100 grams of sugar condensed into 10 oz. is absolutely the most awful, disgusting thing. I felt nauseated, as if I were way too drunk, but without the fun loopy buzz. I couldn't even read the magazines that I brought to keep me entertained for three hours, because it made me feel even more sick to read the tiny print. Anyway, point being, I am trying to slow down with any obligations that can maybe wait until early next year, and focus on the pregnancy and baby #3. Because, having a third child, it'll be so much easier to get everything done, that I need to. Haha, hehe, oh my...

I want to update more on the chittlin's, because they are changing each and every day (but again, it is late). Young children can overwhelm and exhaust almost any mother. I know this time when they are so young, sweet loving, exerting independence, finding joy in the simplest things, honest, do I need to go on - will not last forever. I will long for the days to sit in the rocking chair, cuddle and read stories. So please, bare with me.
Thursday night, I coordinated the preschool Fall Party at the pumpkin patch. It was a party for 60 families, and totally stressed me out. As I sat outside the tee-pees checking in guests (one of my many jobs), I had some quiet time. And I am such a sap, but I love moments like these. The sun was setting, and you could see a silo and farm on the horizon. Kansas gets such a bad rap. The colors of the sky and corn field, the quiet, and the smell of fresh grass, Kansas is beautiful.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Watching the Grass Grow

Do you believe that? Compared to many, I am not that busy, maybe just tired.?. I guess blogging has fallen to the bottom of my list though. Tonight, I hope to update on the family (pictures included). But you have heard that promise before - here is to hoping. Right now, while the kids are finishing out their naps, and I am finishing out my quiet time, I am going to clean my kitchen (I have said that before, so here is to hoping) and assemble something for dinner. I just bought some new music, I hope it keeps me moving. How many times have I said hope in this short post?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Charlotte's Birthday

Not much to say. I love having parties, I hope people don't mind feeling like sardines in my little house. Just wait until baby #3 moves in.

Cousin Jonah.

The shy birthday girl. I lit the candles in prepartion for singing Happy Birthday, and she eagerly blew them out before we could start singing.

The second time, we sang first, then I lit the candles.

New favorite picture. So pretty.

Uncle Tim, assisting with cake.

A side of Charlotte I don't often see.

By the end of the night the birthday girl was running around, actually stomping around, in her bloomers and new twinkle toe shoes that light up.

On a slightly sad note. Today Charlotte busted her lip when climbing onto a chair (for breakfast) and then falling. She knocked one of her top front teeth loose, and I am a titch worried. I called the dentist, they said to leave it alone and it should "tighten up" but her smile is changed for a while now and it makes me sad. I have been on the verge of tears a lot lately anyway. It doesn't take much to open the flood gates.
I hope to post some more this week. I have a few pics from Joe's first day back to school and the Missouri River Race. In fact we were interviewed by Kathy Quinn of FOX 4 News. Let's just say the camera and I are NOT friends. Blah!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Quickie

Not that I am the most frequent post-er, but the computer will be out of commision for a week or so, for some housekeeping details.

Summer is nearing its end. The pool is only open one more week, preschool starts in two weeks, and I am nearing gestational week 24. I now refer to the baby and Charlotte as "the girls". I love it.

Two weekends ago when I didn't have to work. David and I took the kids to the City Market. We were out of the car and walking at 0740 in the am. Whew, I was pretty impressed. I hadn't been to the market in years, and it was soooo much fun. Joseph even asked to come back. The only down side is I won't get to come back for quite some time. But, I think I found a new tradition. Downtown Overland Park has a Farmer's Market on Wednesday mornings starting at 0700. Last Wednesday the kids and I got there at 0800. I was very pleased. The produce was yummy, there was a band preparing to play, a small fountain for the kids to play in, a cafe for breakfast and a Farm to Market bread stand. Needless to say, we will be going for the next couple of Wed. So for anyone who reads, and is not working on Wednesday morning, come join us. Just find the old grandfather clock.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hear my Plea! PLeaSe

No pictures, only a plea. I need suggestions. Working weekends is great for raising kids. I get to play a stay at home M-F, and still make a full time income working weekends. The only glitch, I am only allowed 2 weekends off a year. No more than two weekends, there is no leniency - you pay with your life. No kidding, I am very serious. Did you know there are 52 weekends in a year?

Anyway, the situation is: this coming weekend, I requested off in preparation for David's BIG kayak race. The kids and I were going to drive to St. Louis, the finish line, meet David and spend the weekend. Now, the race has been postponed due to flooding. Now, I have a precious weekend to spend time with my family. All four of us together for two whole days, and no where to go. My Mom has offered to watch the kids Saturday night, so that David and I can have a night to ourselves. What do I do? Where do I go? I need suggestions. I can't believe that I will have more than two hours to myself. The last time I had more than two unaccounted for hours, I baked a cheesecake. So watch out!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Everyday and the Fourth

I decided to sit and take a break and post some random thoughts and happenings. I have been craving coffee drinks like a mad woman. Specifically, Moo-Lattes from the DQ. But to save money and spare some calories, I have been making this smoothie. Not quite as thick as store bought coffee smoothies, but it satisfies my cravings. Today I added a few dashes of cinnamon.

Starting on Monday, David starts a new job. A Monday-Friday, 8-5 kind of job. I am expecting him to work lots of extra hours, but it also means more evenings at home together as a family. I won't have to do dinner and bedtime by myself all the time. It also means I will have to make some big adjustments to my daytime routine. No longer can I leave the kids at home with their dad while I run errands or get my haircut. A BIG change, but good for our family.

On the fourth, I felt like Martha when I made this Flag cake for my little family. As I post this picture, Joe is sitting next to me, and says, "that was a good cake Mom". I snapped more photos of the cake than I did the kids. We spent the Fourth at home - just the four of us. Shooting off smoke bombs, throwing Snappers, and a few simple night fireworks for Joe. We cooked burgers on the grill, corn on the grill, and potato salad. I made this potato salad where you soak the taters in red wine vinegar after you cook them but before you add the mayo/dijon dressing. Oh my, cream cheese and stars. That is my new, one and only potato salad recipe.

Hanging out on the Fourth. Charlotte loves Snappers.

Maybe I took so few pictures of the kids, because I would stress out about them using Snappers, let alone them being around smoke bombs and Black Cats.

Now for my one and only son, who desperately wanted a "baby brutter", he will be a big brother to two little sisters.
My break should be ending soon. Time to work on dinner, and clean for the weekend.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A brief, sob story about this post. Wednesday, I arose from a peaceful slumber (not really) at 0520. Highly unusual for a weekday, but so that I could run to Walmart, buy some of the weekly dry good stuff, shower, fix a filling breakfast, feed everyone, bathe Charlotte, dress everyone except David, and clean the kitchen all before 0900. So that later that afternoon, I could fix dinner and take the kids over to my dad's in hopes of going to a baby shower/dinner.

As we are about 8 minutes out from our house, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. Oh yeah, except I forgot guessed it. Thanks to modern technology we used the camera phone. Okay, no more babbling here are a few pictures.
In the milking pit.

Calf barn

I'm holding Charlotte and milking the cow.

Milk shots
I ended up buying a gallon of whole strawberry milk, so that I could make ice cream. Literally, I just threw the milk in the ice cream maker, no extra sugar, no eggs. Pretty good.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thomas 2010

Wednesday, we are going to Shatto dairy farm, so I thought I should post some Thomas pictures from June 4th. The kids usually aren't in the car this long, so documenting the occasion seemed appropriate. Trust me, they were excited.
Sunscreen, and waiting to line up and wait for our train ride.

Waiting for our train ride. Hot dog, this is when we really started to swelter. A hot day indeed, especially under this big tent, and riding on an old train. Charlotte and Dad.

One of my new favorite pics. Despite the heat, the kids were great.

I kept pushing water. "Take a drink", "are you thirsty", "here is some water".

After the train ride, crazy people waited in line to take pictures upclose with Thomas. This is our picture with Thomas. Sane people, like David and I headed to the shade with cold treats for the kids.

Cold treats for the kids, and lots of water. Guess which they preferred...

Not the water.

Then we headed to the activities. Tatoos.

Somber Charlotte. After the tatoo was on , she thought is was pretty cool.

After tatoos, we headed to the coloring and toy tent where Joe conducted his interview with the Baldwin City Signal. Then to the moonwalk slide. This was Joe's first time on a moonwalk/inflatable type apparatus.

Firemen's gear.

I need to frame this and put it in his room.

Are we tired yet? Hanging out by the misting hose and playing in the sandbox.

Ready to board the shuttle (school) bus and head back to our car. Joe is visiting with the Baldwin City FD. The boy has never met a stranger. Sometimes that worries me...
Riding the bus, although it wasn't meant to be, is a fun activity for the kids too. It really is a great and easy family event. We might skip next year, not sure about hoisting around a six month old, nursing and most likely potty training the two and half year old. But then sadly, we may not have too many more years where Joe wants to go see Thomas. Time will tell. Maybe there will be another little man in the family.