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Jun 29, 2010

Sleep? What's Sleep?

We had a crazy, fun, sleepless weekend.

Saturday was Lisa's wedding, which was lovely and touching and fun. Other than my sister, I have never seen such a beautiful bride. Lisa stepped right off the pages of a magazine. It was a wonderful celebration of the life Lisa and Erik will continue to build with each other and their son, Ethan.

We left the reception earlier than I wanted to drive up to Chardon for Rich's annual family reunion the next day. We arrived at Rich's parents' house just before 11:00pm. We had changed the kids into their jammies before we left the reception, and Sam and Lena slept all the way to Chardon. Sam went right back to sleep after we transitioned him from the car to the house.

Lena, on the other hand, woke up and was ready to play. I finally got her back to sleep around 2:30 am, but she was re-awakened several times by some traffic noise. She woke for the final time at 6:50 am and we were up for the day. Blarg.

Then it was time for the family reunion. It is always nice to see everyone, and we got to visit with lots of family we only see once or twice a year. There were lots of kids there this year, which was fun. They splashed in the baby pool, slid down the slip and slide and, Sam's favorite, jumped on the trampoline.

But it was hot. HOT hot. Sam's face was purple most of the day and I was sweating while I sat. Yuck. Lena was surprisingly well behaved for operating on no sleep, but soon the blazing afternoon started sapping our energy and Sam had a meltdown and I felt one of my own coming on. It was just so hot. And I was exhausted, as was Sam, who skipped his nap. So we had to leave earlier than we wanted, bathed the kids at Rich's parents, fed them dinner, and got on the road bound for home. Lena was out like a light all the way home, but Sam was wired and didn't crap out until we got into Gahanna.

Thankfully we all slept like the dead that night and were somewhat rejuvenated for Monday.

That was the weekend. Lots of car time and family time and good food and laughs, and only a few blowups and meltdowns. Well worth a sleepless night!

Sandy's Back!

Sandy the penny horse at Meijer is always broken.


But when we went to the store yesterday morning, the "out of order" sign had mysteriously vanished. So we took a's only a penny, right?

Much to Sam's delight, Sandy gave him two penny rides and he left with a smile and a pat to Sandy's head saying, "good horse".

Don't You Hate It...

When you fill a kitchen sink soap dispenser and it overflows? Cleaning up that mess filled both of my sinks with suds. What a waste.

Jun 25, 2010

Motherhood Can Be Rough

I'm sitting here at work, enjoying my last 45 minutes peacefully with some music playing the background. Paul has promised me I won't have to finish the 9 page memo revisions tonight, but we'll see if he actually means it as the minutes tick by.

My blogging has been infrequent lately, as has been my patience. My sweet, sweet son has entered the terrible twos and I am, for the first time, being tested as a parent.

Sam is a kind soul. He is joyful and happy and beautiful, so much so that you can't help but soak that in when he's near you. He makes you feel good. He's like the sun. The only struggle we've really ever had with him was nursing. But we persevered and it became old hat soon enough.

So now here we are, trying to figure out where our sweet Sam has gone. In his place there is a demanding, tantruming, frustrated, angry, quick tempered two and a half year old boy who whines and cries most of the day away. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, of course. It's not so awful - it's not all day long. Well, some days it's all day long, but usually it's just sporadic. But even sporadic is a lot to handle.

I understand the reasons for the terrible twos, especially language/communication frustration and testing us for boundaries, and I remind myself of that each time he points and barks an order, or melts in a heap on the floor over absolutely nothing or, dare I admit, hits us or his sister.

I've read books and articles and talked to friends and family about how to handle tantrums, and we have been consistent with our loving, logical, somewhat strict parenting methods, which have worked well. But I must say, it's hard to be a good parent. It's down and dirty work. It's worth it, of course, and so rewarding in those little moments or big moments when your kids just make your heart swell. But it can also be exhausting and upsetting sometimes.

Why don't we talk about that part more openly? Because while much of being a mother is an amazing, fulfilling, precious thing; it's not all sunshine and rainbows. It can sometimes be a dark, isolating, frightening place.

Believe me, I know I'm blessed - I have a healthy family who I adore and who adore me. I am honestly grateful for that every day. And I'm fully aware that this is just a phase Sam is going through, that it's something we all went through in one form or another. And I couldn't love him more, even when he's acting like a tyrant. But I'm just saying - it's tough.

Jun 13, 2010

A Family of Women

My mother has three sisters and they all have daughters, seven of us girls. We have two boy cousins, but this event was girls only. It was my cousin, Lisa's, wedding shower and it was a lovely day. My sister made the most gorgeous cupcakes and my aunts and cousins put on a fun party at my Aunt Sandy's beautiful country home.
It was a hot was a special afternoon. It is a rare occasion that the Kraft women get together, just us women, laughing and sharing and loving each other. The hustle and bustle of life and kids and work and everything else gets in the way far too often. A family of women like ours, matriarched by my grandma, is precious. I tried as much as I could to soak in the moments and appreciate the time with them. It was indeed a special afternoon.

Sunny Day at the Pool

The Wingers invited us to go swimming at the Gahanna Pool on Thursday. We had such a good time.

Sam wore his swim shirt with the built-in life vest, which worked great. He was all smiles in the water, playing and running all around the shallow end. He cried when rest periods were whistled, until we gave him some popcorn to chomp on. Lori and I took him into the deeper water a couple of times, where he never let his death grip on our shoulders drop. He was a good boy and zonked out hard on the way home.

Lena has been comfortable in water since she was born, and Thursday was no different. She splashed and laughed and even fell asleep in the water on Lori's lap, the waves lulling her. I tried to lay her down after that, but she woke up with her hat over her eyes after only a few minutes. I guess the hard ground is no match for Aunt Lori's warm lap.

I happened to catch the moment at the end of the video below, which begins with Grant making Sam laugh.

Jun 8, 2010

There once was a girl named Lena

Who loved her brother so much that....

She wore his hat.

And played with his toys.

And wrestled with him on the pillows...

And her big brother loved her right back!

Jun 1, 2010

Memorial Day

We went to Newcomerstown for Memorial Day and had a great time with Mom and Dad and the Wingers playing in the sprinkler, chasing bubbles, eating, laughing, swinging, and eating and laughing some more. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of it, but Mom took a badminton birdie right between the eyes as she was patiently waiting for it to fall so she could whack it with her racket. We rolled on the ground, we laughed so hard...good times!



Mom striking a pose.

Lena smiling at Dylan.

Mom and Lori did Lena's hair.

Sam took care of his own.

Dad playing with the boys.

Aunt Lori's cupcake.

Uncle Matt's Pop Rocks.

Sugar crash.

Lily taking a little rest.

Dad taking a little rest.

Lena taking a little rest.
I guess we were all pretty tired.

Sam in the sprinker.

Mom made Rich's favorite for his birthday.

Apple pie! Happy birthday, Rich!

Mom and Dad's Visit