Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I started this blog years ago as a journal for me to look back on.  I still love to go back and read posts from when I was first dating Ethan, to our engagement, and baby Jackie, now that somehow she is 4!

I want this to represent the truth of our lives.  The good, bad, and ugly.

Here's a little of our "truth" from last night.

It was apparently an emotional day.  I didn't get the memo until picking up the girls from daycare. They were fine at Miss Kathy's house, she gave them a thumbs up report for the day.  I had hope.

Then about half way down her drive way the tears started.

I don't remember why.

Something about wanting a snack or drink I think.  I told her she had to wait until we got home.

Wrong answer.  My bad.


I threatened to make her get out and walk (the 800 feet) if she was going to keep crying.

She cried quieter.

Big sister started to cry.

Because she didn't want to listen to little sister cry.

Shoot me. 700 more feet until we're home.

Moods didn't improve from inside the house.

She wanted to sleep in her sister's bed tonight.  I said no.

She wanted to watch "Tinkerbell."  Sissy wanted "Zootopia."  I put in Paw-Patrol since they couldn't agree.

Bedtime in 3 hours and I'm 7 months pregnant and can't have wine.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Musings about Baby #3

As I approach the "home stretch" of the pregnancy with baby #3 I figured it was about time for a Weber Haus post dedicated to everything baby #3.  You see, he's been on my mind a lot lately...mostly because he is fills up a good portion of my body and is the direct cause of the doubled amount of toilet paper that we seem to be going through.

A boy.  I don't know what to do with a boy.  Some say they're easier, some say "watch out," but I do know that I was already excited for another baby and predicting a girl.  But when we found out baby #3 was to be a boy I was filled with such excitement that I didn't know was possible!  

There are things about having a 3rd baby that make me very excited.  Things like, watching the girls become big sisters and a little brother.  They are so good with their new little baby cousins, I can't wait to watch them dote on their own little baby.  I'm looking forward to becoming a parent in the "they outnumber you" club.  This gets me access to things like people assuming I know what I'm doing because this is the third time I've had a baby.  (I still don't...) but at least I will have less and less "advice" since the club is limited to those with 3 or more babies.  There aren't as many "experts" on parenting three or more children.  I will always have a legitimate excuse if we are late or flat out don't want to come to events.  The work required to get three children dressed, out the door, loaded in the packed vehicle, and be presentable out in public is something that people understand when I say I just don't want to do it!  Not to mention another little baby to snuggle!  I'm just so excited for the tiny little guy!

Don't be fooled... there is another side to that coin.  Anxiety about how a 3rd baby will change the life we finally seem to have somewhat a routine figure out for.  The modern society we live in is supportive of families with 2 or less children.  Don't believe me...look around a bit.  Vehicles are made to hold two car seats.  Laws keep getting changed to require longer car seat stays, bigger, more protective car seats, and vehicles are hard to come by that support three within parent reach in order to buckle them safely in.  Shopping carts are made for two kiddos at the most.  Some stores like Walmart and Dillon's have "kid" carts that help contain toddlers, but have you seen many that can accommodate three?  Nope.  Restaurants mostly seat for four.  Prizes for "families" to win anything is for families of 4.  Daycare costs and babysitting options become more than our mortgage.  

Not to mention the added person around the house will add diapers, laundry, dishes, and more toys to the already piling up loads of things needing to be done.  Kids are starting to get to the age to get some help out of them, but it has to be supervised help.  Otherwise we we end up with fighting, playing, and new messes when told to go "clean up your room."

We are doing what we can to prepare for this transition.  Jackie has been working on buckling herself into her car seat so she can be moved to the very back seat, where we won't be able to reach and help her.  We have already greatly reduced the amount of time we go out to eat and the locations that we are willing to take our kids.  Longer than a 15 minute wait...nope.   Money saved away for added daycare costs and thankful for only a few months of 3 kids needing daycare before Jackie will head off to Kindergarten. Daily work on completing "jobs" of picking up toys and clothes are improving their "picking up" skills.  

Planning for maternity leave still sucks.  This is the third time I will leave my classroom of 120 7th and 8th graders in someone else's hands and it doesn't get any easier.  There are very few times I wish I had a different job than teaching, but maternity leave is definitely one of them.  Trying to plan for lessons that will be taken over by another person, all the details that need to be explained, room organized, on top of the current things that need to be done in the classroom on a daily basis weigh heavy on a teachers mind, and heart.  I find myself wanting to make things as easy on me as possible and just purchase until plans from Teacher Pay Teacher sites, but then I feel guilty about the quality of lessons.  Oh to have a job that I could just leave for 8 weeks and not stress over.  While I love the initiative of those pushing for paid maternity leave up to a year...there is no way I could successfully do that without losing my mind to the stress of planning.

The baby room.  We have gone back and forth time and time again on how much "decorating" to do with a "boy" room.  The practical side of me knows that non of it matters.  We have the important things, crib, rocker, changing table, diapers, wipes, blankets...and so on.  Just the thought of the extra work required to paint the walls, purchase bedding, and give the room a proper "theme" makes me tired, let alone actually doing any of it.  We made a conscious effort to purchase gender neutral big baby items in order to avoid having to replace things.  BUT...it's fun looking at boy stuff.  We have decided (at least at this point) a simple red and blue sports room by using items we already have, hand-me-downs from family, and painting one wall of the room red.  We still have to put it all together, but just in case we don't get to it, we have the essentials!

Pregnancy a third time.  There are moments when I wonder what we were thinking.  We had a good thing going with the two girls, I was perfectly happy at pre-kids weight, and I could still drink wine.  Those thoughts seem to hit me the 6th time I've rolled out of bed in the middle of the night to pee or when I try to complete a simple task of putting on shoes or picking up laundry off the floor.  I keep reminding myself that the pregnancies get more uncomfortable but the births are typically quicker and easier.  I find some comfort in that...sometimes. 

Flip side of that coin.  Being pregnant is really cool.  At nights when I lean back in bed and watch him dance around in my tummy, or when the girls can feel him kick and jab away...just make my heart smile.  I am convinced that those moments are the ones we remember and miss when not pregnant, causing the desire to want those feelings again.  There is a certain adrenaline rush that comes from those swishing movements!

Luckily because we were blessed with two very different babies with the girls, I am very much aware that we will have no idea what to do with this baby when he comes.  Yes, we will know how to diaper, feed, and keep him alive, but as far as his likes, dislikes, and personality...we won't have a clue.  It'll be "back to parenting 101" for us. And at least this time we know it.  We know that we won't know anything about him and have to spend time figuring out what makes him smile, eat, and sleep.  I pray for a healthy baby who loves to be poked, prodded, and held by people other than me.  I have had the "mommy-clingy" baby with round 2 and I pray for a little "daddy's boy" this time!

Of course all of these are just thoughts that float through my head from time to time.  I am unbelievably happy and excited for this little one  to come and look forward to seeing what God has in store for him!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Bike

For her 4th birthday, we got Jackie a bike.  She was very excited about it and couldn't wait to try it out.  Until she realized that it wasn't that easy.

We live on a dirt road and that does make things a little more difficult.  However, it's not just the terrain that she struggles with.  A combination of a bike that's a hair too big and some coordination that we're still waiting to catch up to her long-skinny body make for a difficult time trying to ride this bike.

We finally had a minor breakthrough a few weeks ago.  She was able to move her feet around the peddles more than once and get the bike going a little ways!  She was pumped and already starting to ask about all the places she can ride now.

**Just to clear things up, when I said she got the bike going a little ways, I'm talking 25 feet.  She still has MUCH work to do on her bike!  She'll get there though!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Our First Family Vacation

We finally did it!  We took our very first all-family vacation.  We loaded up the Durango, purchased items to help keep the kiddos entertained, and left Kansas for a three day drive out to New Jersey to visit family.

Here's how that went...

DVD Players:
Probably the best thing we purchased before the trip.  Portable DVD players hooked to the headrest of the front seats.  The girls took turns picking movies and were entertained for at least part of the trip.  The way home found them watching the same 10 episodes of Paw Patrol.  A gift from Aunt Janice before leaving.  

Stops along the way:
I packed lunches for the drive so we could stop at rest stops to have a picnic.  This was great.  The girls loved chasing birds and running around.  Although no one told Jackie about flies and picnics.  Jackie hates all things bugs.  Except lady bugs and rolly pollies...those apparently are ok.  Flies will cause a screaming/crying panic.  I've tried explaining that they're just "rolly pollies with wings" but that didn't work.  Ethan finally convinced her to just say "Shoo Fly" and that would work.  

The girls experienced their first hotel stay complete with "special beds" and swimming pools.  They looked forward to each night because that meant a swim and cartoons that we don't usually have at home.

Aunt Beth and Uncle Chris' house:
Normally, when the girls get to see their cousins it's back in Kansas at Grandma's house.  This time they got to invade a new space complete with cotton candy grapes, new and different toys, a puppy, and a working piano.  They did a great job sleeping on their "special bed" and attended their very first parade on the Fourth of July!  They loved the candy and thought the fire trucks were VERY loud!

Boy or Girl?
Ethan and I found out about mid-June whether the new baby is a boy or girl, but we kept it to our selves.  We wanted to have a reveal cake for the girls, and what better place to do that than on vacation in New Jersey.  With the recommendations from Aunt Beth and Aunt Janice I found a cute little bakery to make us a cake.  Jackie really wanted a girl, so when she cut the cake to find out the inside was BLUE I was worried she would be upset.  Nope.  Cheers all around!  Here comes a boy!  **I will mention that Jackie has already put in her request for next time we have a baby.  She asked to make sure that a girl baby gets put in there next time.** :-)

We love the power of connecting people and technology.  All our family back in Kansas were able to be a part of the big reveal thanks to multiple iPads and iPhones and Facetime!

The FREE Zoo!
This place was seriously awesome.  I've been to some free zoos in my life, but nothing like this.  Big animals, lots of interaction for the kids, and all just for a free-will donation.  It was packed, but for good reason.

The Beach!
The girls' first experience with playing in the ocean.  Their faces say it all.  

Aunt Janice and Uncle Ron's House:
Waterbaloons, Sweedish Fish, and a trampoline made for a good time each day, as it would anywhere.  But there's magic at Uncle Ron and Aunt Janice's place.  Magic in dissapearing bed times, rules about when you can have candy, and you always get dessert, even if you don't finish your dinner!  The girls loved playing with the puppies, running around, and playing games with Aunt Janice.  Aunt Janice went out of her way to try and win "favorite aunt" status.  The girls were definitely sad to leave and still ask if we have any of the candy like Aunt Janice did.

Another first for Jackie and Kat.  The had a blast!  The bowling ally we went to had great ways to make this fun for toddlers.  They even had cute little toddler bowling shoes!

The Aquarium:
We decided to hit the Aquarium in Camden on our way home.  The girls loved seeing all the fish, touching the star-fish and watching the sharks overhead.  It was a jam-packed Friday at the Aquarium and both Ethan and I thought it would have been better on a less-crowded type of day.

The long drive home:
We really pushed it to get home, mostly by accident.  The second day on the road Ethan half-jokingly said "I thought about suggesting to push on to Burlington and stay the night with your parents if we make it to St. Louis by a decent time. Ha-ha."  I didn't take it as a joke, and we pushed on.  It meant a 12 hour day in the car, which was not fun for the girls...we did what we could to "sweeten" the deal.  Plus we spent the night in a King size guest bed and only had a 2 hour drive home the next day.  Definitely worth it!

We had a great time on our first vacation.  We now know that the girls can handle long car rides as long as there's Paw Patrol in the DVD players and snacks to pass back.  After this a long weekend trip to Colorado doesn't sound too bad :)