Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

Today was the perfect Sunday afternoon for naps, reading the paper and playing cards.

While The Colonel did some yard work after lunch, Lil Major and I caught a nap.

Then Lil Major and I went to hang out with Mema on her screened in porch. We read the paper, played cards, and watched the kiddo play in his exersaucer for the first time.

And just now, this is what I found in the nursery...

Celebrity Cousins

Since Aunt Jana is such a natural with the camera, we take full advantage when we are together. This trip netted about 300 photos between all of us, with over 100 of just the kiddos. Here are my favorites:

WARNING: I created a slideshow since I had so many photos to share, but I CAN NOT figure out how to turn the STUPID music mute your computer before you start the slideshow.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 5 - tourists

Our vacation was coming to an end. The 2-day, 12 hour drive home was coming up quickly. But, we still had more to do. My brother drove down from WI, and we met up with him in downtown Indy to see the sites.

My sister assured us that parking would be a breeze since NO ONE goes downtown on Saturday. Little did we know that there was a huge PBS in the Park thing going on. There were rumors that Clifford and Elmo were somewhere among us, but we never saw them. We managed to find parking w/o too much trouble, and we ignored the park festivities (our kids are too young, anyway) in order to see the monuments on the circle. It was kind of overcast, and storms were predicted for the afternoon, so after walking around the circle, getting some ice cream, and a quick tour of the mall, we headed back to the car...but not before we were in the middle of a downpour.

Luckily for us, downpours don't last long (usually) in the midwest, so we ducked into a doorway to wait it out.

Who's glasses are those??

After enjoying the outdoors for as long as we could, we headed back to the house for, you guessed, more Wii. Wii are addicted!

And because we still had much to accomplish before we left at noon the next day, my sister gave in and acted like her big sis (me!) by making a list. One of the most important things on that list was the cousin photoshoot...more on that to come!

Day 4 - take a breath

By the 4th day of our vacation, we were all exhausted. We needed a down day - nowhere to rush off to, no schedule to follow, just some time to rest. Mom and Jana hit the stores while Dad and I stayed home with the babies. We watched some Baby Einstein, played some Wii, ate too many mint oreos, and enjoyed the relative calmness.

The Captain was exhausted, too...

Getting some cousin time...

That is, until I tried to load up my little one to go visit a friend just before afternoon rush hour would have started. We made it about a quarter of the way to her house before I was on the phone to the pediatrician to change Lil Major's medicine, and then I called my friend and said I couldn't make it...she could hear the screaming in the background and understood completely. I made a U-Turn, stopped for some much needed caffeine (and a rest from the car seat for the boy) and returned to my sister's house before I imploded.

My BIL made some awesome cajun chicken pasta for dinner and we just hung out. We were saving our energy for our tour of downtown Indy the next day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 3 - picnics, cousins and birthdays

Dad's birthday was last Thursday, and we started off the celebration with french toast for breakfast...courtesy of Jana. After breakfast we all got ready and headed to the park to meet one of mom's cousins. He lives in IL, and we hadn't seen him in years. We had a good time playing with the boys, eating chicken, and getting reacquainted with mom's cousin.

For Dad's birthday dinner, we headed to a small town/suburb a ways away and ate at and old brewing company - at leas the building it was in was old. The food was SO good, and Dad and I tasted some of their home brews. Then we walked around the little town square, looking at shops and somehow avoiding going into the old style ice cream parlor (we had peach pie and ice cream waiting for us at home). And I'm sure we finished off the night playing a little Wii. =)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tongue Button

I had no idea how talented my little man is!

(I changeed a video setting - I hopoe this one works!)

Day 2 Continued

I know I'm way behind. I'm actually home now and our vacation to Indy is over. And I just realized that I'm probably supposed to return to work next week. Whatever. I AM NOT ready, and I still haven't made an absolute decision about what I'm going to do (actually, I'm still waiting to hear from my two possibilities).

Anyway, I will catch you up on the rest of our vacation, starting with some more fun pictures from Day 2, courtesy of my sister's camera.

During one of our several stops on the way to South Bend (for the youngest member of the family), Papa took Captain on a nature walk.

These 2 photos are for Agnes...we passed an antique car club, and look what we saw!

MA's oldest son has cerebral palsy, and he is just the cutest little boy. He LOVES to play with his daddy!

The whole clan (minus MA's hubby who took the picture)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 2 - Get me out of the car!

On our second day in Indy, we decided to drive up to South Bend to visit our oldest family friend. We've known her family for eons - eons, I say. Our moms were pregnant at the same time with me and her older sister. And we've stayed friends for over 34 years - through toddler and crazy teenage years, trips in a VW bus across the country, weddings, kids, tragedies, and moves all over the place. MA and her super smart p.H.D. hubby and their two adorable kids live in South Bend now. MA's hubby is finishing up his graduate work at Notre Dame.

So, BACK into the car we went. The 140 mile drive took us almost 4 hours, as we drove on a highway through every small Indiana town (it seemed) with a fussy 10 week old who appears to hate his car seat.

We enjoyed an afternoon of reminiscing and telling labor stories - which at times got so loud that we woke their kids from their nap. After the stories slowed down, we piled back into the cars for a tour of the university. It's pretty impressive! It's gorgeous and the weather was perfect on Wednesday.

We finally had to say our goodbyes and head back to Indy. We drove through Chick-Fil-A since the little one was asleep, and we make it about an hour and a half before he woke up and got fussy. One quick stop for sanity sake, and then we were back home. Exhausted, but so glad we got to visit with MA and her family.

Sis and MA

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 1 - Wii had fun

With two little ones, we've learned that our excursions for the day won't start until lunchtime at the earliest. And as soon as we get anywhere, some baby needs to eat or be changed. Luckily, I'm learning how to just go with the flow.

So, it wasn't a surprise when Jana and I didn't get out of the house until after 12:30 pm to meet Mom and Dad for lunch (they had already been to get pedicures and haircuts). After lunch, we headed over to Mom's most favorite place in the whole world - COSTCO! She's seriously lobbying for them to bring one to Wichita, and I agree. Anyway, we spent TWO HOURS in Costco...browsing through books, DVDs, clothes, food, wine, beer (I miss the wine selection inside a normal store - stinkin' Kansas!). Papa enjoyed his grandsons, and Micah enjoyed hummus for the first time.

We finally made it out of Costco after 2 feedings in the car, a diaper change in the filthy Costco bathroom, a lost burp cloth (one of my favorites!), and the fear that we'd lost the GPS (thank goodness we hadn't). We got home just in time to get dinner ready for us and my good buddy Christine and Jana's neighbor friend.

Christine and I chatted, watched our new Buddy video that the girls made, and she got to know Lil Major. She had to leave too soon to pick up her kiddos, but we promised to get together again later this week with her whole family.

As the night grew later, Wii decided to have some fun. (Are you catching on to my puns?) Now, I've never been one to jump on the bandwagon regarding game systems. We don't own a single one. But, friends have been raving about the Wii for months now. And The Colonel actually said he wants one. This is unusual because he's anti-video games (unless it's an old school arcade game of Galaga). The guys at church are always trying to get him to play XBox with him, but he wants nothing to do with it. So, for him to say he wants a Wii must mean it's pretty cool.

I had never played it before tonight...but I'm hooked now. My sis has one, and we played tennis and bowling, and it was SOOO fun. At one point, I was on the floor trying not to pee my pants and laughing hysterically b/c I had just whacked my sister in the elbow with my backhand. At least I didn't throw the controller at the TV.

Here's Mom enjoying Lil Major while we ran around acting like crazies.

Dad is winding it up...trying to beat that 147 that he had in the 8th grade.

Janer - what the heck are you doing???

Tomorrow we head to northern Indiana to visit an old family friend and her family...more time in the car??!?


This weekend was full of firsts for our little family. First baseball game for Lil Major. First time Daddy got pooped on in public. First time Mommy wore the Baby Bjorn (man, that thing is hot!). First official Father's Day for The Colonel. First long car ride for Lil Major -- which was VERY painful for ALL involved. First time Lil Major left the great state of Kansas (he now has 4 states under his belt, but has a ways to catch up to his cousin). OH, and the best part of all...first time the kiddo slept more than 4 hours at night. He slept from midnight to 5am last night. Woo hoo! We're here in Indy now, and we have a full trips, pedicures, BBQs, a trip to visit an old family friend, photo ops with our super cute kiddos, and hopefully more sleeping long stretches at a time!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Interview Update

My interview went well, although it was tougher than I expected it to be. They really focused on attracting more kids to engineering, with a focus on "diversity." So, they wanted me to be specific about HOW I would do that. But, in the end, I felt pretty good about it. And it's all in God's hands anyway.

They want to move quickly, and they only had one more person to interview after me, so I should hear something by next weekend. We'll see!

Friday, June 13, 2008


As I sit here sipping my yummy snickerdoodle Olcott's coffe and nibbling on my 6th thumbprint (they're small!), I'm thinking about all the things that I need to accomplish by Sunday afternoon when I leave for Indy. My list is LONG. Yes, Jana, I have a list -- many, actually, for this week.

But, before I can leave for Indy, I have to prepare for and kick butt at a job interview. See, there's something that I've been keeping kinda quiet for a while, because I wasn't sure if it could become a reality. Since Lil Major has taken over our hearts and our lives, The Colonel and I have been talking about my work situation. We always planned on me going back to work full time. My salary was too much a part of our income for me to give it up. And then our son arrived. And then I couldn't find day care I felt comfortable with. And then we realized that retiring early might not be worth giving up time with our son.

SO, I've started to pursue some part time options. The company who offered me a position while I was pregnant was willing to re-interview me last week for another open position. And they are known for being very family friendly, so I told them I was interested in part time. "That's a possibility," they said.

But, I'm not over-the-top excited about that job. Don't get me wrong, it would be a great job, with a great company, with a pretty good salary, probably. But, it would mean doing very similar work that I've been doing for the last 10+ years...the same work that burns me out within a few months. I'm good at it, but it's gotten tiring over the years.

But, God has a plan, right?

Yep, I do believe He does, and I'll just have to wait and see what it is. And in the meantime, I will try not to get too excited about interviewing for my DREAM JOB tomorrow morning.

I'm a female engineer, and although our numbers have slightly increased over the years, there still aren't many of us around right now. In fact, overall, the number of kids applying to engineering schools is going down. And universities recognize that that isn't good, so they're trying to increase the excitement again. And they have created a position at our local university to do JUST THAT. And I'm interviewing for it tomorrow!

It's a part time position (score!) working in the College of Engineering with the goal of increasing participation in the engineering program. So, it's getting young kids excited about engineering, talking to parents and students, organizing events so that kids can see what engineering is all about...and it's my dream job, and my passion.

In fact, I posted about this exact thing last year after I volunteered at a kids' expo. Look at #5 on this post. Who knew that just a year later, that exact role would be open!

I don't know if that is where God wants me, but it seems to make sense as of right now. We'll have to see. Pray for a good interview tomorrow!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Friends ROCK!

I have the most amazing friends, EVER...I said, my friends are AMAZING. You could not ask for more loving, thoughtful, beautiful, gracious, AMAZING friends than mine.

I got home this afternoon to a package on the porch. I love those days! And I had received a slightly crypic email from my Buddy Amanda today, so I ran inside, already excited. But, there was NO WAY I expected what I found in that heavy box that the man in the brown truck left for me today. NO WAY.

It was FULL of love from my hometown. This love took on the shape of sweet sweet cards written to The Colonel and I, expressing love, grief, prayer, and comfort for what our family has been through lately. But, there was a lot more in the box than sweet words - although that would have been plenty!

My AMAZING friends filled the box with Bako treats and thoughtful gifts -- Smith's thumbprints, Dewar's chews, Luigi's seasoning, Olcott's coffee, yummy hair products, hot new chick lit books, handmade greeting cards, a DVD of pictures of all my buddies, great friend songs on CD, images of a family photo shoot -- and my tears spilled all over all of it.

Thank you thank you thank you for loving me! I miss you all SOOO much, and it feels so good to know that even though many many miles separate us, you still think of me. And, by the way, thank GOD for blogging. I would miss you all SO much more without it. And through it, I've been able to get to get to know Lorie and Davi that much better - we knew each other at home, but now you are MY friends, not just friends of my friends. I love all of you so much!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Good Stuff

I've already told you some of the good things that have come out of our recent family tragedy. Well, the pictures below will show you more good. Through our ordeal, we were able to spend some great family time together -- with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, old family friends. Though we were sad due to the reason we were all together, we didn't waste any time enjoying each other's company. And our official family reunion coming up in a few weeks will be bittersweet, but oh so much fun at the same time.

On another note, I've got a crazy week going. I'm helping with a girls camp for kids interested in engineering, trying to meet up with a friend who's moving away, getting my hair done, going to a garage sale, and trying to get ready for my trip to visit my sister on Sunday. Oh, and trying to keep up with a 9 week old, get some sleep, and make sure my hubby feels special on Father's Day. Whew! Exhausting! Hopefully I'll have some time next week to post from my sister's least I'll have a bunch of new and GREAT photos, since my sis will be the photographer for us again! =)