Thursday, January 30, 2014

happy 2014!!!!

One of my resolutions was to post something new before the end of the first month of 2014. So...the pressure was on these last couple days of this month...and here I am! And where do I begin? So much to tell....

I left off on Anna Clara's birthday so I will begin with the boys' 3rd birthday since, frankly, their being 3 was a fairly big part of my year's struggles. I am, still, not a fan of 3 year olds. They are, still, destructive, whiny, disrespectful, have tantrums at a drop of a hat, have a love of potty talk to a degree that sometimes I think those are the only words they know, and they are CONSTANT, and I mean CONSTANTLY a degree that just about drives me to insanity. So, no, not much has changed since this post.

But that's quite enough about my Tasmanian Devils. The good news is they are darn cute and make me laugh (almost) every day.

My boys had their first day of pre-school ON their 3rd birthday -- because they qualified for free, public pre-school since they are so behind in their speech. It was the very best part of moving to Chicago -- discovering that pre-school is five mornings a week!!!! Seriously. Not kidding.

I made two for ON their birthday and one for a celebration with daddy home.
I love how Niels "blows" the candles (yes, that is what he is doing with his mouth - blowing into his nose and not the candles). On the other hand, Anders is doing his darndest to get them blown out.

First day of pre-school!!!!
Adorable backpacks from their Aunt Katie.
Believe it or not, my brother wore the shirt Niels is wearing when he was little. I love it so much and am so sad it doesn't grow bigger with him!!

And then....there was the move.... The most concise summary is what I wrote for our Christmas card this year, so I will cut and paste it here:

The following is very loosely adapted from “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. There is no rhyme or rhythm to it because they are actual quotes from my true love (that would be Jim).

On the fifth month of May [2012], my true love said to me:
“I have some news....I was laid off.”

On the eighth month of August [2012], my true love said to me:
“I found a job. It’s in Chicago.”

On the ninth month of September [2012] my true love said to me:
“We need to sell the house. I accepted the job. I start in two weeks.”

On the sixth month of June [9 months later], my true love said to me:
“We have an offer on our house!”
“No we don’t.”
“Yes we do!”

On the seventh month of July [2013], my true love said to me:
“Our house is finally sold!!!!!”
“No it’s not.”
“Yes it is!”

After the first 18-wheeler truckload full of boxes (on the last week of August), my true love said to me:
“What am I going to do with all this stuff?”

This doesn't even come close to showing how many boxes there were....

After the second 18-wheeler truckload full of boxes, my true love said to me:
“What the h*** am I going to do with all this crap?????!!!!!!!”

On the third week in our new home, my true love said to me:
“Does anything work in this house?”


On the fourth week in our new home, my farm boy said to me:
“I’m renting as much heavy equipment as possible and fixin’ the yard up good.”

This could very well be the Picture of the Year for the Kappelmans. Yes, that is my True Love haulin' our kidlets in the bobcat he rented. Just another day with my Farm Boy.
After 12 months of living apart and 2 months of hard work on our new home
[it was a foreclosure house], my true love said to me:
“I need to pinch myself sometimes, I can’t believe we live here!”


And to that I responded to my true love:
“Hallelujah!! Good things come to those who wait.”

On this 11th month of 2013, the Kappelmans say to you:
“Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!”


This was the first year I have every been able to send out my card before Thanksgiving. I had to since it was both my change-of-address card and holiday card. It was quite a relief to get it done and out before the holidays even began!!

Here are some more of my fave pics from the rest of the year up to now:

Soren's 9th birthday, and our last party at our New Hampshire home. Water guns for everyone! (boys don't need no gift bags with cutesy knick knacks...!)

One of my favorite pictures from the summer.
I spent my summer at my parents' home in Hilton Head, SC while we were in between houses. It was one of my favorite summers ever because my children and I were able to spend it with my extremely positive, fun and generous parents. My dad, "Big Pa", loves handing out candy to the grandkiddos
(usually right before bed time) and they LOVE getting that candy from him -- as noted in this picture...could those faces (and hands) possibly express more joy?
Our new home, after a fresh paint job with new colors.
One of many, many, many, many changes we made to the house.
Jim even decorated the island in the middle of the pond in our back yard.
I love having a husband who gets into Christmas as much as I do!

My four kidlets on Christmas morn -- right before opening gifts. They are seriously cute.

The view of the sunrise from my bedroom window. The pond is completely frozen over...not a surprise considering we live at the vortex of the Polar Vortex of 2014.

There. I did it. My last post of 2013 and first post of 2014...and even with two more days left in January! Woo hoo! Check that off the list!! AND I actually fulfilled a New Year's Resolution!! I am breathing such a huge sigh of relief to have this done. It's been hanging over my head for a while. I'm hoping I will be updating more often in the coming months...although with such a long break I have probably lost all of my readers. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know who's out there...maybe you can help motivate me to post more often so I can keep my journal going. One of these days I will print this blog to have as a keepsake/album since I don't seem to print any of my pictures anymore....

Ta ta for now...and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

she's 7!

She turned 7 on April 5th.

Today is April....18ish....if I actually complete this post today. As per my last post, you have some idea of why I haven't posted anything until now. There have been about 3 showings a week at our house. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a 4-story (including basement) house "museum clean" with 4 children and a pup? You don't wanna know.....

So back to my sweet, kind, responsible, beautiful-inside-and-out little girl who just turned 7. (She doesn't really like frosting, so I asked her if she would prefer another type of dessert, so she asked for her favorite cookie, Molasses. They are a fave with all my kidlings. I have my own recipe I made up to fit my need for a thick, chewy, scrumptious cookie like the ones they have at Starbucks -- but better, of course. I'll share it when I start my cooking blog...some day......)

We went to NYC for Easter the weekend before her birthday and I couldn't resist buying her an early gift. It was worth the "million dollar smile" (as her daddy says) to buy something she picked out.

I made cake balls for her class cuz her birthday was on a school day. Rebel that I am, I went against the "no birthday treats" and "healthy snack" rules at her school. They were a hit. Duh!

She loves the "I Spy" books and games, so I thought it would be fun to have an "I Spy" party. I thought it was an original idea...but of course it's not. Just check out Pinterest and you can find ideas for any "original idea" you think up.

First we had a scavenger hunt with her six cute friends she invited.

Then some chatting and eating and coloring on the tablecloth.

The "centerpiece" was a random assortment of I Spy-ish shtuff.

She helped me decorate the cake.

That girl is dang cute. Her Nana made the dress for her cousin...she's the youngest girl cousin so she gets lots of adorable hand-me-downs.

The 8th candle for good luck in the coming year. I sure hope we have lots of good luck in our big year ahead! Regardless, I will always be lucky to be the mother of this girl.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

my life, interrupted

I started this post a few weeks ago -- in my head. Then I started writing it a few days ago. Too tired to finish. This is my life right now...start something, interrupted; forgetting what I was doing, interrupted; not understanding simple concepts, interrupted; wanting to get something done at the end of the day, exhausted.

Part of the reason I'm exhausted is because I take this lil pup for a walk in the woods early every morning before all the kidlings get up.
Every once in a while I need to vent on my blog. This is one of those once-in-a-whiles. Since, by nature, most mothers remember the good times more than the bad (thank heavens!) -- often completely clearing their mind of the bad -- I want to make sure I remember the bad times of motherhood so that I can have full empathy for mothers with toddlers when mine have become grown-ups. And I hope, oh how I hope, I never, ever say to a mom with her young children, "Enjoy it now while it lasts cuz it goes by so fast! How I miss those days!"

No, you don't miss this. You miss the good stuff, which, I admit, is REALLY good, and for heavens' sakes I AM enjoying it as much as I possibly can. But you don't miss it as much as you think you do. And, most of all, why don't YOU enjoy what YOU have....grown-up children who don't need diapers changed, who aren't screaming demands every second of every day while you calmly reply, "Say please!", who can actually have a conversation, who don't spit raspberries at you thinking it's funny, who can play outside in the cold weather for more than 5 minutes....or even play outside without your neighbors telling you to "watch your children" (translated, "Could you please hover over your children like every other mother of the 21st Century?" Mothers didn't used to...we all have stories about playing outside with full freedom. What happened to that????)

The good news is that she doesn't like very long walks in the cold. 
Which is good because I need to get back to the little ones -- who are now climbing out of their crib. Good times.
For the past few weeks I have been desperately trying to put into words in my head, so that I could transfer them to my blog, how to describe my life right now...without being overly dramatic.

But I can't.

So...I'll give it to you straight. I really hate 2 and 3 year olds. They are a pain in every way. Except when they say cute things, or look at you lovingly with a smile, or give you the best hugs EVER, or make you feel the kind of joy and love so deep in your soul it almost hurts.

Or when they have a bad case of bed head and have no clue so it gives you a much needed laugh.
Other than that, they are nothing but noise makers and mess makers. And by noise I mean crying, whining, fighting, tantruming, screaming, wailing, bawling, shrieking noise. Not good noises. Seriously, that is all the noise I hear. All. Day. Long. Ok, so maybe not during nap time, but other than that, it's all about the noises. And the messes. Which I clean up during nap time. Yippee. And yet, I still look forward to nap time. Cuz at least it's quiet and nobody is demanding my attention every single dang second. No seriously. EVERY second.

Like when they crawl under a sofa and then get so stuck they can't get out. As you can see, Lambeau is so used to the crying, he doesn't even know there's a baby screaming behind her. And I'm so used to the crying, I grabbed a camera before I helped my helpless boy.
Which leads me to the really tough part that I have never experienced before in all my 8 years and four children of motherhood. Did I mention I hate 2 and 3 year olds? (It's not "Terrible Twos" but very much "Terrible 3s...with the last few months of 2s") Well, a -- as in ONE -- 2 and 3 year old I can -- and have -- handled just fine. But TWO 2 and 3 year olds are a freaking living nightmare. (I told you I was going to be overly dramatic!) There is ALWAYS one asking for something, crying about something, fighting for something, grabbing something, denting something, hitting someone, breaking something, ruining something, destroying something, throwing something, and, in short, needing attention -- from me. All. Day. Long.

Remember, I have two other children too who need/want my attention. Like when Soren wanted to play this game he made out of recycled materials for Cub Scouts. How could I say "no" -- even when I had a million other things I needed to be doing?? Turns out, I tried to play, but I couldn't focus because I had two 2 year olds who were way more demanding, so he gave up and played by himself. Poor guy.
Ok, yes, again with the nap time...while it is a break...a MUCH needed and appreciated break from the neediness of two 2-year is, at most, a 2 hour break which I frantically try to at least TRY to get perhaps one item on my to-do list done....which is usually laundry, making a meal, cleaning a mess, yada yada. (How envious of my life am I making you right now?)

Who wouldn't be envious of a mother who had this cuteness and love????
Ok. You get the picture. Sort of. This is not the kind of picture you can simply read about and "get it". You have to "live it" to "get it". I know that from experience. I have several mothers-of-twins friends who warned me of how much harder it gets as the days and years go by after having those two adorable lil babies. But I didn't think it would be this hard. Oh no....I did not. I had NO idea it was going to be this hard. And, the reason I keep saying, "2 and 3 year olds" is because my boys aren't even 3 yet. So it's only going to get harder. I have more than a year left of dealing with these screaming maniacs two toddlers. Lucky me.

Anders is desperately trying to ride his car in the snow...before he came crying because "hands code!!" (Does any toddler keep their mittens on in freezing weather????)

Now get those pantomimed violin strings ready to play "My Heart Bleeds for You"....

How can anyone possibly feel sorry for me when I am surrounded by such cuteness? Puppies and babies, does it get any cuter????
Add on top of this the fact that my husband lives in Chicago and we are trying to sell our house...all during a "record-breaking winter" (as in lots and lots of snow and storms). That's the stuff of really good fun, right?
My "man of the house" helping me shovel. Not one complaint.
And he did a really good job too! Without any help from me whatsoever.
But it sure is beautiful. What a view from my kitchen window!!
Remember all those messes and destruction I mentioned? Yea, well, every day I have it hanging over my head that I need to have the house "show ready" at any given day the realtor happens to call for an appointment to show the house. Given that we have only had 6 showings in 7 months -- 3 of those in the past week (One calling at 10am to see the house at 12pm. That was fun.) -- that doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, it is. Add to it the stress of having to lower the price of your home more...and more...and more...and STILL not selling your home (that you happen to LOVE and wish you didn't have to sell) and constantly wondering IF you will sell your home and WHEN you will ever live with your husband again -- who's living in a basement apartment eating tuna and beans out of a can for dinner and missing his fast-growing children like crazy.

Missing events like the 3rd Grade Biography Fair when Soren dressed up like Orville Wright and displayed the results of his hard work
How about that 'stache??
Ok, I think I have vented enough for one post. More than enough, really, but I assume nobody held a gun to your head to read it all the way through? If you made it all the way through.....

Now I need to get back to "enjoying it while I can" and appreciating my four little ones....and maybe even a sunset.....

After all, tomorrow is another day.....
(random link, I know...but her words and expression are so perfect for my overly dramatic feeling about my life right now....)