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.

#Winning at Life


If you’re around the Twitter world, you’re familiar with the phrase. If something goes your way, you may use the hashtag #winning. If something doesn’t go your way, you may use the hashtag #fail.

It’s a perception. Sometimes it can be crippling and hold you back. Other times it can help you keep that positive attitude.

This holiday season has been full of The Sick and The Headaches. I haven’t felt much like I’ve been #winning. What I’ve been feeling has been more #surviving than anything else. Making it through each work day and each night at home. Not having a whole lot to show for it. And not having a whole lot of energy to change much.


This weekend and in one spontaneous moment I decided I was going to take control of my weekend. I had been looking forward to a weekend of relaxation. Propelled by someone’s tweet of cleaning, I made a list of things I wanted to get done. The list started out as a Christmas accomplishment list. Then, I realized that I could multi-task and do laundry at the same time. Then, I remembered that there was dust that kept eyeballing me from across the room. I made a manageable list for Saturday and at 10:00 a.m., I started tackling the list. By the end of Maximus’ nap at 3, I had accomplished it all and some. What had started as a list, ended as a deep clean of the house, room-by-room.

What I hadn’t written on my Saturday to-do was blogging. But, it was in the back of my mind the whole time. I turned my computer on, sat down and Maximus started talking over the monitor. Oh well. I shut it down and opened a book instead. I spent the next 30 minutes with my feet up reading. As Maximus woke up, I rejuvenated myself with a little pampering. I started out my weekend thinking that I’d spend my morning getting a pedicure. Instead, I worked my body to the bone. Ironically, both feel equally as amazing. On the one hand, I saved my money. And on the other, my house is clean and it feels awesome to fall asleep at night knowing that.

I didn’t just spend Saturday #winning. I spent Sunday #winning also. It was a different kind of winning. It involved meal planning for the week, an afternoon movie, a trip to the grocery store, homemade supper, dessert made for my work treat day, Christmas cards designed, blog writing, a glass of wine, and some Dexter.

I think I finally found the formula for a successful weekend. I used to think it was being lazy and relaxing. Now I know that my perfect weekend is doing something that makes me feel good about myself and my surroundings. Some weekends it may mean being productive and cleaning or cooking. Other weekends it may be doing something fun as a family. For me, it’s about deciding what I want out of my weekend {or life} and then doing it.

How do you feel like you’re #winning?


Busy is how we roll

We’ve had some busy weekends lately. Last weekend one of our nephew’s graduated high school. We were a little worried about how Maximus would do since the ceremony was at 2:30, which is right in the middle of the afternoon nap. To further complicate, or make things easier, we stayed out late the night before. Luckily Maximus went down at 11 and woke up in time to eat and come to the ceremony. He was a champ and didn’t fuss at all. Granted, he didn’t let anyone else hold him either. But, a happy baby beats a momma who has to hold him for 2 hours.

Also last weekend I went to a Taylor Swift concert! I don’t normally go to concerts but I’m glad I went. It was a fun time!


This weekend was my nephew’s graduation party. We had some more great nap times but Maximus had to come to the party a little late since he was still asleep when we needed to be there. The good thing about a late nap is that the late night was ok for him. He was wide awake and not fussy until 9:30.

A late start to bedtime (and a wake up at 1 am to go home) meant a late wake up this morning! Thankfully we all got to sleep in until 8:45! And then Maximus went down for a nap at 10. Two and a half hours later I woke up. Opps! After the long nap we played outside and watched daddy mow. We enjoy doing fun boy things around here. Mowing, playing with cars, and banging toys on things.


In between all these fun activities, we did a lot of playing around. And spent a little time in jail…



Energy is just what I needed to get me through a long Saturday! My day started around 10 am and ended about 2 am.

The afternoon was spent with my husband and what felt like thousands of other people in a shopping center. I’ve found shopping to be bittersweet since I’ve been pregnant. It’s a “look, but don’t touch” feeling. It’s hard to know what sizes to buy for the next five months and the following. So, I helped Bryan find new things and I bought a pair of sweat pants and two shirts in empire styles. Even though spring and summer clothes are hitting the racks, it’s not so bad to sit back and watch. And, it saves me money! 

Supper was salad, pasta, and bread! With fourteen people, we had lots to celebrate. One thing most of us noticed was the sunshine and what felt like warm weather. In Iowa, if you give us 30 degrees after a freeze, we’ll appreciate it. Sun glasses and no mittens are enough to curb the spring fever drought and help us see that there is light (and warm temps) at the end of this winter.

We spent the evening watching the Iowa Energy basketball game. They played a team from Sioux Falls, but I can’t really remember. The Engery are the farm team for the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns and play D league basketball. As most of group came from Iowa State University, we all enjoyed watching former Cyclone, Curtis Stinson, show the crowd that he’s still got his moves. After a stint in eastern Europe, Curtis is back in the midwest dribbling between the legs and throwing up shots. One member of our group also got to see a former Kansas State player who has recently joined the team. The Energy lost the game by a few points, but everyone enjoyed the action.


Our night ended at a local bar. I’m proud to report that my body did well after a day of so much activity. At 12:30, I willed my husband out of the bar so we could start our 1 hour drive home. My conditions: I needed a bathroom and food. That sounds pretty typical for a pregnant woman, right? I also needed the heated seats in my car because my body had gotten so stiff and sore from all the activity and then hours of sitting. Needless to say, this girl crashed as soon as she hit the pillow at 2 am. It was the only solid night of sleep I’ve gotten since being pregnant, but I haven’t exhausted myself this much since! I guess I’ll need to really work on that prenatal exercising I should be doing. No more excuses of not feeling well…