Tears and Tears

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yesterday, I was so excited to get Isaac to take a photo of Ezra on his chest. We'd done a trial run in the morning and he was as sweet as could be and excitedly exclaimed "He likes me!"

So we went upstairs, Isaac looking forward to holding his baby brother again, me that I could finally take the photo in the perfect light.

And as I adjusted my settings, I came to a terrible realization.

My go-to, mulehorse of a lens, Canon 50mm 1.4 would not focus.

Nervously, I reset it on the camera.

I turned the camera off and then back on.

Finally, I ensured that it was definitely on auto-focus and not manual.

Next I tried to use manual to focus.

All.to.no.avail.

This whole time Isaac is eagerly anticipating being given Ezra to hold.

We were both in tears, for very different reasons as I ran downstairs to confirm whether it was the lens or the camera.

It was definitely the lens.

And as the loss of my lens hit me, as I sweat in my air conditioning-less house, my patience with Isaac grew paper thin. As he whined to hold Ezra and have his picture taken, I snapped right back at him that I was upset my camera was broken. Immediately he changed to, "It's okay. It's okay, mama." I however, wasn't as convinced.

Thankful to have a back up, I took my 50mm 1.8 to the county fair last night and cried again.

Because this is the face I saw in the mirror when I went to take a picture of Isaac with his glasses on.
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It was the words though, coupled with that face. Why was my little boy so happy and excited?

Because he heard the shutter snap and he repeatedly shouted "Your camera mama! Your camera works! It works!"

Oh yes, I cried.

To the County Fair We Go!

I grew up going to our annual county fair. In fact, I often daydreamed of competing in the rodeo. I didn't care if it wasn't on my own horse, I just needed to run the barrels once! Except it never happened. Thankfully, even though it didn't transpire, I continued to frequent the fair.

And for the first time, I got to share it with my family last night. The stage was set, all day we told Isaac about the pony ride he would take and the huge tractors he would see at the tractor pull.

He was excited. I mean excited!

And the fair didn't disappoint, well specifically the tractor pull, even though we didn't know it would put the kabosh on the pony ride.

Waiting for the tractor pull to begin.
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It was a gorgeous night! Thank goodness the humidity has gone down.
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Wide eyed once they started to fire up!
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Can you feel the excitement?
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And for good cause! The main event.
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[It was my first tractor pull too. Clearly, because that's why I was the one with a 1 month old at a tractor pull. Ezra and I only lasted 3 pulls with my plugging his ears before we were out of there.]

Once we met up again, Tony and Isaac were checking out the ponies. We were so bummed to learn that they suspended the pony rides due to the tractors spooking them. No pony ride for Isaac.
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Thankfully, the little man wasn't too put out!
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We joined up with my Mom and Stepdad. Ezra learns fast.
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[No pictures please!]

Isaac had a ball at the petting zoo, even though he was a little underwhelmed by the turtle.
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Feeding the llama though? Pretty cool!
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Holding a bunny? Even better!
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And only our son would kiss a chicken.
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Julie, once again he passed over a Case!
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The highlight though was probably that he got to pet a newborn calf.
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Such a sweetheart.
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We tried poutine, grabbed some cheese curds, Tony got his corn dog and we shared a twisted pineapple and raspberry Dole Whip before Ezra demanded that he get in on the eating too and we headed home.

All in all, even though there wasn't a pony ride, it was a very successful trip!

That's hot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tony and I live paycheck to paycheck. I have no pride in saying that, but I also have no shame. It's the status quo for most Americans, but even more than that I have no shame because we have a plan to change this standard for our family.

In the past year, we have paid off almost $23,000 of debt. This includes car loan, home mortgage, line of credit, credit card and student loan payments. During this time, we have also squelched the outflow of money by failing to incur any additional debt. Tony and I committed ourselves to the principles that we learned through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and our goal is to be debt free. We have a long road to travel, but we've been so encouraged both by others and by seeing the effects of our changes, like meal planning, buying a new to us vehicle in full and budgeting our money to a cash only system.

Unfortunately, we have hit a bump in the road that requires faith in action. While Dave Ramsey's plan includes an emergency fund, we find ourselves in a situation that isn't really helped by $1,000.

After a few days without use, I turned on our air conditioner Monday night before we left for a walk because the house was pushing 80F and I knew that meant our upstairs bedroom would be even hotter and need some time to bring it down before we went to bed. When we returned home, it was 81F. An hour later, it was still 81F and that's when I knew we had a problem. Sure enough, there was no cold air, just the fan blowing cooler air.

We weren't too discouraged at this point, because we felt confidant that because the unit was still working that it was just low on coolant. Sure it would suck to pay a few hundred dollars to have a technician come out just to fill up the coolant, but we were prepared to pay to have the use of our air conditioner again.

Except, once filled our AC still didn't work.

And won't, because we need a new unit.

And we don't have the money for that, especially when you consider that our furnace is potentially also on it's last leg and we would stand to save a bundle of money by purchasing both units together.

So, we're going to be sweating it out.

Pray for a mild August.

And that our furnace works this winter, as we save for this purchase next spring.

big brother + little brother

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An update to this post, I finally finished my big brother and little brother onesies! They are far from perfect, but I love them so much! I used the tutorial from here.

The onesies, although the same is true about the boys.
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Starting with this boy, who's finally starting to look at the camera again!
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Wait for it.
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Wait for it.
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I don't think my heart could be more full! I'm talking about the boys, not the onesies.
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Ezra: One Month

How can so little and yet so much have changed in just one month's time? Although there have been some major upheavals, like Isaac's sleep situation, it is remarkable to me that just as much I couldn't believe I'd lived the majority of my life without Isaac after he was born, that our family ever existed without Ezra's inclusion.

Ezra, the only drama you've proven to provide so far was that of your fast arrival.
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And even that was quickly overlooked.
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You are the sweetest little guy and I don't think you could be better suited for your name.
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Your big brother Isaac just adores you and requests to hold you all the live long day.
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No, seriously, he loves you to pieces.
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Unfortunately, that's why he can't hold you all too often, because we're afraid there'd be pieces after all of the smothering and squeezing. You'll understand when you're two.
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Your smiles are lightening fast, but freeze time._MG_2006_0018

You tend to make the same outrageous faces that Isaac did, which we love!
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Although you were almost a pound bigger, you are one skinny minnie, with all of your weight distributed on a longer frame.
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This was the best I could do at documenting your "rolls," which are more like skin folds. I kiss them anyway.
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You've brought so much joy into our lives already!
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We love you to the moon and back.
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We're pretty sure your eyes have not a single chance of being blue, as they're darker than Isaac's which turned hazel. Regardless of their color, we'll love them.
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Thank you for being so amazing. We'll try to return the favor to the best of our abilities.
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ps :: you are now 11lbs.
pps :: you are the gruntiest baby ever.


Operation "Feel Comfortable in My Clothes"

Monday, July 25, 2011

This morning I began Operation: FCMC. Following, the same "plan" as I did with Isaac, I'm starting at 4 weeks pp and beginning by running around the block.

Just as expected, I was back in the house before the coffee was even done brewing, but I ran around the block, which is .75 miles.

And that my friends, is progress.

Oh and I got whistled at, which just made me laugh.

I haven't lost a single pound in the last two weeks, so I'm still between 8-10lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight. Let's not even mention my lack of muscle tone . . .

For brevity, 4 weeks post partum.
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[Don't even roll your eyes, of course I'm sucking in.]

Blech.
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A starting point is just that though, right?

Where you started from, but not where you remain.

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Last Wednesday was a night that challenged my ideals in parenting. We chose to attempt to let Isaac cry it out. Having never resorted to CIO, I didn't know how long to expect Isaac to stay awake or how he would react if I did go in to comfort him. And as you know 3 hours and 20 minutes later, he was still going at which point I finally went down to comfort him. I knew that CIO was not the answer for our situation, but felt like I'd exhausted all of our options.

I turned to facebook and gearing up for Thursday night, I employed a suggestion given by Kelsey to lay on the floor by Isaac's crib, but to not pick him up. And it worked. Sure there were still some tears, demands that I "stand up!" and one return trip upstairs because he refused to lay down, but it worked after a bit. Isaac only woke up that one time! I slept by his crib from 3:00 to 4:00am to ensure that he was actually asleep and he didn't wake up until morning.

Going into Friday night though, I was very apprehensive. You see, Tony left Friday afternoon to camp overnight before a guys trip kayaking down the Brule River. I was not crazy about the idea, but Tony really wanted to go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in August for a week and this was our compromise. It ended up being our very, very poorly timed compromise that resulted in my having breakdowns before the sun was even down.

Knowing what I was up against, my friend Rachel, who's husband was also going on the kayaking trip, invited me over for dinner and to wear Isaac out by playing with her two girls, not to mention some girl time, although I think next time wine is mandatory. Of course, for this picture, the oldest, Grace is the only one looking!
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As I was loading the boys into the car, for the first time since Ezra was born, I was scared. I was absolutely petrified to go home alone, to manage both boys and attempt to get Isaac to sleep while still being available to nurse Ezra. The fact that I was scared of my children made me incredibly sad and before you knew it the downward spiral was in full effect. Unfortunately it was for good reason, as the plan to wear Isaac out was a little too effective and as soon as we walked through the door I had a ravenous Ezra and a crying Isaac begging to be cuddled.

I hadn't abandoned the idea of getting Isaac into his crib and kept trying to get Ezra to settle in for the night, but he just.wouldn't.go.down. All this time, Isaac is whining and crying for me to hold him while pulling at my arm. And when I started crying? Oh boy, you better believe he started crying as well. I finally brought both boys up stairs to nurse Ezra as we normally would and thankfully our glider is big enough for Isaac to sit next to me.

Finally! He could be held while I nursed Ezra.

Finally! Ezra fell asleep enough to be laid down in his bassinet.

Uh oh, the last finally. Isaac, also asleep on the glider with me.

And so, I did it.
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Isaac ended up in bed with me. And honestly, it was my best decision all week. I can't imagine the hell that would have been the remainder of the night if I'd tried to continue to fight. We both slept blissfully. Isaac honestly never woke up once and wouldn't even let me cuddle him when I tried. In the morning I explained to him that it was a special treat because his Daddy wasn't home.

We chilled out at home and ran errands while Tony was gone Saturday and then headed on out to Lumberjack Days in Stillwater. FYI, Isaac saying Lumberjack Days was awesome!

Our best attempt at a family picture:
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Checking out how high the river was! Normally people sit on the ledge for the fireworks!
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Tony and I were unpleasantly surprised to find out that just to even get into the Lumberjack Days area the admission was $10 because of the bands that would be playing. And all I wanted was some cheese curds. No way were we paying $20 to then buy cheese curds and to people watch!

So after 20 minutes in Stillwater, combating the crowds, we headed out. Our first stop was Aristo's, right on Hwy36, but it was much nicer than I anticipated and we again had to change our plans because we didn't want to cause a scene.

Finally we ended up at Chipotle.
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Even though it was the night of having to change our plans, we still had a great time!

Sunday morning, I was finally able to make my Cinnamon Roll Pancakes! Seriously, pinterest is going to be the death of my wallet and waistline! But before the pancakes, I had to take a few pictures of this serious lovefest going on.
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Isaac still can't get enough of his baby brother.
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And some more good stuff. My tip, use an old salad dressing bottle with a squeeze dispenser to control the flow of the brown sugar mixture.
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I never ended up buying cream cheese to make the glaze, but it was virtually unnecessary and we ended up with more Caramel Roll Pancakes. These were ridiculously easy and sooo worth the minimal extra effort of the brown sugar mix!
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Unfortunately I will be reminded of these pancakes for a bit of time, as I have a blistered burn on my finger and under my nail due to putting my hand under the last two pancakes as I transferred them to the plate. Can you say dumb?

And that was basically our weekend!

 

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