Bowling, cake, master of conniving

Maximus loves his grandparents. So much that lately when they are around he tries to get them to take him bye-bye. It doesn’t matter if they are at our house or if we are out in public, he wants to get as far away from his parents to ensure that his grandparents don’t leave. Tonight we were at a birthday party for two of my nephews. It was at a bowling alley and obviously he’s too young to bowl. One of my nephews let him take a shot at it once, but he just stood next to him as he granny rolled it down the lane. That was cool enough for him. And with a toddler, if they are happy don’t push your luck! After almost an hour he got kind of bored with watching all the five year olds bowl. He started asking my dad to go bye-bye.

Fast forward two hours after cake and running around like a toddler on a sugar high. People were starting to leave. He knew that it was only a matter of time before we were next. If Bryan had been with me, we would have braved the tantrum and had him home close to bedtime. Since I’ve had a long day and this was my second party with him today, I let time pass. He quickly found my mom and later my dad. He wasn’t going to let them out of his sights in case we tried to sneak a departure past him. At one time he was asking where my dad was and my dad was basically standing behind him. He was so worried about him escaping that he wasn’t paying attention to what was right in front of him.

My dad is helping with a pick up on Monday so I had given him our second car seat. I thought it was all done in a stealth manner, but somehow Maximus convinced my dad that they should go bye-bye so my dad said he’d meet me at home. I don’t blame him. I know they hate hearing his blood curdling cries when they leave him. {My dad told me it’s the same thing my brother did at that age and it was the hardest thing he’d ever do. I’m sure those emotions come rushing back every time Maximus does it.}

It went pretty typical at home. I tried to take his shoes off and he got mad at me and said grandpa needed to do it. I changed his diaper and my dad put his pajamas on. My dad read him a puppy book and then tried to sneak out of the room. I asked him to lay down in his bed and my dad came back in to cover him up. I won’t complain because he listened pretty well and didn’t have any major meltdowns. {Unlike his afternoon nap that was two hours late due to a baby shower. Oh boy was that a sad start to a nap!} I know if it had just been me he might have put up a big fuss, especially considering it was pretty much an hour after his bedtime.

The real kicker is the story my dad told me after Maximus went to bed. As him and Maximus were walking to his truck {opposite side of the parking lot as my car}, Maximus was holding a couple of balloons. He may have thought he was only taking them to grandpa’s car. Once they got to the car, Maximus started whispering to my dad. He kept saying, “Grandpa bye-bye.” My dad was pretty sure he was whispering it so I wouldn’t know what they were doing! As far as Maximus knew, I was still waiting for them on the steps. So, it appears that my toddler has already learned about the efforts of persuasion. But he’s also working on becoming the master of conniving!

My second favorite story from tonight was convincing him that he didn’t want to go bye-bye with my dad because it was time for my nephews to open presents. He wasn’t into the idea until I told him there would be cake. Since his birthday, he LOVES cake. {He got upset at the baby shower when I only let him have two cake pops.} He did pretty good during the gift opening part, but did start to get a little bored. He quickly came back into the room when he heard the cake was happening for real! He was wearing a button-up shirt {why don’t I ever take pictures?!} and asked me to take it off. I said no so he worked on his buttons for a while. The next thing I knew, he was taking his shirt off completely. He brought it to me and had no qualms about walking around a room shirtless. Granted, our family was there, but he didn’t know the kids and their parents’ in the other room. I have no idea why he decided he needed to take his shirt off, but it made for a very easy cleanup when he was done eating. My brother-in-law enjoyed sitting next to him and spent the first five minutes just watching him devour his cake! If we had made him go shirtless for his birthday two weeks ago I would understand. But, I don’t think we did… Now I can’t remember. Either way, it was a funny thing to do and everyone got a kick out of the two year old running around without a shirt!

The next week is going to be very trying for me. One day down. I made it and tomorrow is a new day.

Thankful for my many blessings

I have so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for all the regular things: a job that I love, a house with heat, food on the table, and a car with four-wheel drive. But there’s so much more than just the regular things. Note: please don’t assume that I take any of the above for granted. I truly appreciate and am thankful for all of that, but that’s not where my post is going.

I’m thankful for friends that really ‘get me.’

Much like finding your soul mate, finding best friends can be like finding a needle in a haystack. I’m blessed with many friends who I call my best friends. They are the ones who really understand me. They are the ones who are always there for me, mentally or physically. They push me to be a better person. They can tell me I’m wrong. They know just what to say when I’m down. They know when I just need someone to listen. They know how to have fun. They love me unconditionally. No matter what. So many things go into a friendship and not everyone is a fit. I know good friends are hard to find. And I know that I am blessed to have many that I call my true friends.

I am thankful for a wonderful family.

I’m so happy with my life and more specifically, my family. I love my family. I get along with my family. I have fun with my family. My family does not judge me. My family is always there for me. And I’m always there for them. Not everyone loves their family. Or maybe better put, not everyone gets along with their family. I am happy/proud/thankful to say that I not only get along with my family but I LOVE them too!

Now that I have a baby, I am even more thankful to be close to my family. Last week my daycare provider was on vacation. I knew I had enough family members who would love to spend the day with Maximus. So, Bryan and I each took a day but we left the rest of the week for those other favorite ladies that Maximus has in his life. Bryan’s mom came over one day, my mom came over one day, and Maximus went out to my sister’s house one day. Everyone had great days with him. No one had any meltdowns. And only my sister had to deal with an outfit-changing-wet-diaper, two hours after his arrival. And, she was blessed with a blowout ten minutes before she dropped him off at my house.  Maximus shares the love. He picks no favorites when it comes to outfit changes and blowouts. For instance, on Saturday he went through THREE outfits. THREE. And peed on Bryan once. So, sister of mine, at least he didn’t pee ON you. 🙂

We’re back to our regular schedules this week, but I’m so glad that Maximus got to spend quality time with his grandma’s and aunt. I’m glad they got to have quality one-on-one time with him without sharing him with the many other family members. I’m glad they had a chance to bond with him and create memories with him. I’m so blessed to have family here who will watch Maximus whenever we need it.

While I am thankful for a job that I love, a house with heat, food on the table, and a car with four-wheel drive, I thank God for the important things in life. I thank Him for the things and people who get me through each day: my friends and family.



90th birthday flowers


What’s a birthday party without a little cake?
What’s a birthday party without some candles?
What’s a birthday party without some cards?
How do you truly celebrate 90 wonderful years of living? 
How do you have a birthday party that shows how much you love someone?

June 9, 2010 is the day my grandmother turned 90!

Birthday cake


As with every year, the “girls” took her out for lunch. We’ve celebrated many birthdays for my grandma at various tea rooms across central Iowa. As the years have passed, we’ve stayed a little closer to home enjoying delicious food, splurging on dessert, and buying home decor.  This year, we ended the day with a birthday party at my grandma’s assisted living facility. We brought in sheet cake and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday girl. She got lots of cards and well wishes on the great accomplishment.

Blowing out her birthday candle


Ninety years is amazing. It’s amazing to see a woman who has experienced so much life. She’s something to aspire to. Not just in years but in mentality and spirit. She’s a fun spirited ‘ball of fire” with ears like a mouse. Her body may not move as quick as it used to, but her spirit hasn’t wavered. She’s quick to respond and isn’t shy when it comes to her opinion. She’s an amazing woman and is someone I look up to.

Happy birthday, grandma!