I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane (but I'll be back on Monday)

I spent last night finishing laundry and preparing to pack. I picked up my clean clothes from Loads of Hope this morning, and I have to admit that I was mistaken when I complained in my first post about the program. Turns out, you CAN bring as much laundry as you like, but each individual receives 2 bags however, if you recruit some others to accompany you, each of those people receive 2 bags. So, had I taken Craig along, I would have been able to do 4 bags. Anyway, the funniest thing is that the same exact thing happened to my friend Roxane, which you can read about here (good thing she has a large family). It's a pretty cute story.

Today after work I plan to finish my house work and packing and hit the sack early. My plane leaves at 5:00, which means I need to be out of the house by 3:30. Yikes! Good thing I'm going for R & R.

Speaking of R & R, little Murray doesn't seem to want to sleep anymore. Just when we were able to sleep through the night and not wake until the blessed hour of 7am, we're on day number 2 of the 5am wake up call. Ugh. I will miss Murray and DH terribly, but I will not miss waking at that hour. I guess my early flight won't be so bad after all since Murray has been "training" me in waking in the wee hours.

Craig refers to the computer as my "life line", and after today I will be without it for several days. I hope I don't go through withdrawals. I'll be back next week with some pictures and no doubt, strange tales of my adventure.

All Natural Fruit Juice? I Think Not

I knew I forgot something in my post earlier today, so I thought I'd add this funny anecdote from our hectic morning.

Have you ever watched the episode of "The Cosby Show" where Rudy and Peter use Cliff's new juicer without permission? The kids end up in a HUGE mess of grape juice.

Somewhere in the midst of the craziness that was my morning, I had an episode quite similar to that of the "Cosby" kids. I was attempting to make a fruit smoothie in our (rarely used) juicer. The worse part is that it happened the second Craig turned the corner to switch places with me (he showers and I start breakfast - then we switch). I hit the on button and the next thing I know Murray, myself, and Nala were covered in a sticky kiwi, banana, and strawberry goo. I was still dragging from the early morning and couldn't find the humor in the situation at the moment. I wanted to run straight out the door like Peter did on "The Cosby Show". Looking back, it was textbook material for a sitcom. Either that, or AFV. The look on Craig's face was priceless - a mixture of shock and humor; worry that I would fly off the handle. Anyway, he quickly regained his composure, simply shrugged his shoulders, muttered, "oh" and told me to go take a shower while he cleaned up the mess. Is he great or what?

I guess I better not use the juicer without permission anymore.

5:15am Is Not Morning

It all began at 5:15 this morning. Murray decided that it was go time, despite our attempts to get him to go back to sleep. So, it was up and at 'em. Turned out to be a good thing, as I needed some extra time for errands today. Murray and I stopped at the grocery store for diapers before I dropped him at daycare. Then it was all the way over to Osgood to drop off my laundry at the Loads of Hope truck. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I had visions of all of our sheets sets, blankets, rugs, etc. cleaned. The way it works is this: You get 2 bags to fill and they won't do bedding or rugs. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome program, and I'm grateful for the dent in my laundry pile as long I don't have to do it. I'll just have to haul the rest back out of my trunk and hit it hard this afternoon.

I'm attempting to get organized before I leave on Friday. I won't relax unless all is in order, though I haven't packed, nor have I accomplished my weekly chore list. Still, I am so excited for the trip that I have extra motivation. I work best under pressure.

We had a fun evening last night. After supper, we hooked up a bike trailer (lent to us from friends who aren't using it) for Murray and had a very nice ride around our neighborhood. He loved riding behind Craig. I'm looking forward to a summer full of bike riding and outdoor activities. I'm not sure how we'll pack the trailer for the lake, but we'll find a way. We'll probably have to buy one of those dorky car toppers (no offense to anyone who may own one). Either that or buy a motor home. :)

I'm off to work . . .sort of.

The Countdown Is On

I have loved every stage of Murray's existance. I'm finding, though, that this leap into toddlerhood may just be my very favorite (besides the newborn stage). His personality is emerging like a tulip in the spring on a mission. It's so much fun to watch and interact with him
at this stage. Of course with the hysterical moments come the all out battles - he's a pretty stubborn child. Hmm. . . wonder where he gets that trait? He has started hitting when he's angry with us, so we're dealing with that the best we can. When he's disciplined, it's so obvious that he knows that his actions were wrong; his screams turn to very sad cries. It's heart-wrenching, but necessary. Other than that, he is a very loving, playful child. He loves animals, his daddy, and most recently, socializing. I miss him as I write this, and can't wait to pick him up after work.

Just a few days to go until I leave on my solo mini-vaca. I'm excited, but a bit nervous, too. I've traveled quite a bit, but never alone (by air). It will be an eye opening experience and one that I hope to come back feeling refreshed and most importantly, a bit more self confident and independent.

Happy Monday. Have a fabulous week.

I've Got Sunshine . . .

It hasn't been a smooth ride this week, but a country song on the radio this morning reminded me that when things seem to be falling apart, we have to remember that this is our life, and we have to live it. It was just what I needed to hear at that very moment in time.

There is always a bright side of things and I'm lucky enough to have many. The first is that Flynn is making so much progress! She and her family had their first intake conference on Monday at Craig Hospital. The most exciting news is that she can speak again. I can't imagine the frustration one must feel to not be able to project one's feelings/thoughts/needs, etc. To read more about her eventful day, check out her page here. I'm not sure I can explain everything as eloquently as her dad.

Yet another bright side is that we are preparing for my sister, Maggie's, college graduation. As of May 15, she will have a BSA in Paralegal Studies. We are incredibly proud of her. Her college experience hasn't been typical. Far from it, actually. She struggled with personal issues at first (as many of us do). She flew over those hurdles, and this amazing woman juggled a full load of classes and a full time job, not to mention the daily bumps in the road that life tends to hand us. When we found out the our beloved mother was ill, Mags didn't slow down. She took care of mom and kept up work and school - full speed ahead. When mom passed away, Mags was right there planning the funeral and handling the estate. I honestly don't know how she did it, but I will say this: There is not an angel in heaven who is bursting with pride more than our mother. Mags is truly an inspiration.

The sun is shining and the water is receding. Life is good.

Spring Has Sprung

Cousins Owen and Murray - born just five days apart!


It was my day to wake up with Murray. Thankfully, he's been sleeping until 7:00am. Anyway, after breakfast we went through the routine of getting dressed for the day. I should note, Murray wears a Back to Sleep "gown" (for lack of a better word) over his jammies so that he doesn't need any other blanket than his own. We have the lightweight cotton for summer and the heavier fleece for winter (I highly recommend them, especially for newborns) which you can find at Healthcare Accessories Just For Women on 32nd Ave S in Fargo. When I undressed him, I discovered that his diaper was at the bottom of the gown; not the bottom that it was supposed to be attached to. I laughed so hard I almost cried - there was pee everywhere. :)

After this debacle, we played and played until Craig woke from a deep slumber. We all went outside and finished the much necessary back yard raking and cleaning. The snow blower is empty of gas, the garage is clean, the deck is swept and now we are just waiting to add some seed and fertilizer to what was lost last year. We still have the front to work on, but that will be a piece of cake compared to the back. Craig just left for the storage unit to get the patio furniture. I think spring has finally arrived!

Tonight, we'll go to Mass, and then despite the cooler temps, we have steaks to grill. This will be our first grilling experience since last season. In the summer, we very rarely cook in the house. For a wedding gift from Craig's co-workers, we received an enormous charcoal (which is the only way to go in my opinion) grill/smoker. It's wonderful, and Craig is THE master griller!

My wish for you today is that you are at peace and enjoying these precious moments with family and friends.

Aerial Flood Photos

Sheyenne Diversion (above)

Water, water everywhere!

The three seater plane that took us up (above)

Viewing the flood waters from the sky was an incredible experience. Here are a few pictures - some of the best, in my opinion. The snow is completely gone, so what you're viewing is all water. The white dots are either sandbags or snow geese. For more pictures, see my facebook page. Mother Nature is scarily awesome.
And one more thing, that I just had to post:
This was Muray's first trip to the park.

Things That Make Me Grateful

Today was a hectic morning. I was ready to fall apart (right after the cat got sick while we were trying to get out the door) until I remembered that sometimes in life we forget to be grateful for our blessings. I've decided to post just a few things that make me smile every day and thank God for all that He has given us. These are in no particular order:

1. Waking up to a new day.
2. Listening to Murray and Craig chatter and sing while we're getting ready in the morning.
3. Family, friends, and faith.
4. The pure joy of the dogs greeting me when I step in the door after being gone.
5. The dogs at my feet while I sleep.
6. A cold beer on a hot day.
7. Water (for drinking or swimming).
8. Shelter, clothes, and food.
9. Fresh socks that match.
10. Craig snoring beside me.
11. The smile on Murray's face when I pick him up from daycare.

Some of these may sound a bit strange, especially number ten, but honestly, when I hear Craig sawing logs next to me, I feel safe and loved and there is no better feeling than that.

This evening I'm going on an adventure. At 5:30, I have an appointment to fly over the region to view the flood water. I hope to get some video footage and still shots to post tomorrow. I'm sure it will be an amazing experience, and one that I hope we never have to repeat!

Double Trouble

Murray and Scarlett had so much fun together on Saturday. They are both hysterical little humans - each with thier own unique personalities. They kept us on our toes, even though they were outnumbered 4:2!

Not "Positive" Results

The test results were not so good - I tested positive for strep throat. The penicillin is working it's magic though and I'm on the mend. Good thing, too, because I am afraid I've put a permanent indent in my couch. I hope to be back at it tomorrow. As of about 8:00pm tonight, I will oficially be "not contagious". That's the biggest relief in all. I've missed snuggling with my boy and he doesn't understand why mommy can't be near him.

Not much else to report. Just felt like writing. I'm going to take a nap before a supper of chicken noodle soup (again).

Here's to another day!

Random Monday Mutterings

A Blessed Easter to all. I hope it was a day filled with hope and comfort and that you were able to celebrate Christ rising with family and friends.

We had a very nice dinner with Maggie, Steph and Scarlett on Saturday evening. It was filled with activity and laughter. I was looking forward to Mass, Mari's baptism, and a visit with the Fink's on Sunday, but woke up with a terrible sore throat. I was stuck in bed all day. I went to the walk in this morning, as I'm still not feeling better and am currently waiting for test results.

On a brighter note, the latest on Flynn is that she is using her hands while talking. This is incredible news, and I know with all my heart that there will be many more miracles to come.

Murray has some new bruises, but that's nothing new. When he took those first steps and gradually began walking/running, I was terrified with every step. Now, I just figure that bumps and bruises are inevitable and a few falls aren't going to scar him for life. It's still sad when he hurts himself, but the "mom worry" has a lessened a bit.

Well, I'm off to put more indents in my couch. Best to get some rest so I can be back to normal ASAP. Have a great Monday.

Sixteen Months and Counting

I am happy to report that Murray's check up went very well. Dr. G. said that he looks great, and isn't concerned about his speech. We felt as though he should be using more words, but after consulting with the doctor, we were relieved to discover that he is right on track. Eight to ten words at 16 months is what they look for, and he speaks 10 that we can understand. These words, of course are in toddler tongue, so the word "thank you" comes out sounding more like "shank oooo" and "up" sounds like "bap". He did lose a bit of weight which came as a huge surprise. He eats us out of house and home! Apparently, weight loss at this age is normal too because he is so active.

I was able to speak with my Uncle Pat last night. We had a wonderful conversation; he is finishing up making arrangements in Moorhead and will head back to Denver to be with Flynn and Sue this weekend. Speaking of Flynn, I forgot to post that she arrived safely at Craig hospital (who treated Christopher Reeves) on Tuesday. She has a lot of hard work ahead, but we are all happy that she can begin working on those goals. Thanks again for your continued prayers.

Have a blessed Holy week.

The Wagon's Maiden Voyage

We took Murray on his very first wagon ride on Saturday. He LOVED it! I can't wait until it warms up so we can take it out more often.

Ironically, he received a "mini" wagon from his Great Grandpa and Grandma Beckerleg yesterday. It's super cute. Murray's face lit up when he realized that he could pull it around. Pooh Bear seems to "enjoy" riding in the "mini" wagon.

Palm Sunday

We have had a wonderful day. We went to Mass at 8:30 with the Lovejoy's. Hearing "The Passion" again was such a wonderful feeling. Things are coming together - faith wise - but it it still presents challenges. I'm learning and growing with Him constantly. Murray and Mariana had very much fun with the psalms - when we allowed them to play with them. :)

After church, we went to brunch at Granite City. I am a person who is not fond of buffets, but this one is fantastic. We returned home and took a family nap. When we woke, it was time to greet Craig's cousin, Chad, who is a marine. He recently returned from his third deployment. It was so much fun to see the family.

While we are at the American Legion (to see Chad), we "lost" our baby and found a new one. What I mean is, our normally shy guy, clingy, stranger danger baby was replaced by an absolute ham. He was playing and giggling with people he's never met and giving his cousin grief. This is a big relief!

Craig is roasting ribs for dinner and then I think we'll take a short walk. Murray's new favorite thing is to walk up and down the sidewalk.

Have a Blessed Sunday.

Laughter - The Best Medicine

In effort to lighten the mood, I've decided to post some funny clips of Murray. In the first one, he was playing with the ball popper, and as soon as he would press the button, he would look straight down the tube and get bonked in the head with the plastic balls. Time and time again. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to catch it...but you'll get the idea.

Below is Murray playing in the dog food bucket. He snuck over there when we weren't looking and we heard a digging sound. Thinking it was the cat, I peeked around the corner to investigate. Guess who the culprit was?

The next video is of Murray and Craig playing in a "tent" that Craig built. It was fun for a moment, but then it was on to other things!

Please ignore the mess in the background. Because we have a lot of our basement things on the main level, we are rather crowded! :)

Happy Friday!