Thursday, June 28, 2012

this week

- while laying on the couch after finishing a delicious scotch-a-roo for my afternoon snack-
I felt the baby kick for the first time.
It is truly awesome.

And while this is Baby #3, it is still just as cool the third time around as it is the first. It is both surreal and very reassuring at the same time. Those first hard kicks make it finally feel more real (while the mood swings have likely made pregnancy very real to everyone else around you quite a long time ago). I am currently in my 17th week, and I am not sure why, but it seems to be going very slowly this time around.

Today I was able to begin to repair my relationship with a close relative I literally haven't spoken to in almost two long years. You can't force understanding and there are instances where you have to let people come to terms with things on their own. Sometimes the hardest words to say are "I'm sorry" and I am thankful she took the time to call and say those exact words. It took two years, but in the end I am just glad it came.

And in other big news, we are homeowners. Again. Kinda. Sort of.

My parents are actually the ones signing on the dotted line, but we will be buying it from them once our house is sold/gone/I-don't-have-to-think-about-it-anymore. (But that is a story for another day.) They are in a position to help us out and we appreciate it more than they know.

We will officially be living on Main Street, USA.

(the picture is a little odd and makes the house look like it has stripes - so yeah, ignore that)
We are excited.

It is a 4 bedroom/2.5 bathroom house with an extra office space and separate family room. It will have more than enough room to house our rapidly expanding brood. I am also pretty pumped about the fenced-in backyard. It will be nice to turn the girls loose and know that they can not possibly get to the street no matter how hard they try. It's got a large kitchen for my Food Network-aspiring husband, and I am looking forward to a garage for both cars once Iowa winter is a reality again. 

It happened pretty fast. (Typical us. ie: we will soon have 3 kids under 3.) We close the mid-end of July. Before we know it, the rooms will be painted and we will be hanging pictures on the walls of our new home.
And Justy will have her sanity back. A win-win for all involved.

Monday, June 25, 2012

the small things

It's what life is all about.

It's the wonder of watching cows, even though you see the same exact ones every time you visit Papa and Gamma's house.

Even better if your aunt watches them with you.

It's putting some mileage on your new kick-ass shoes, courtesy of Aunt Fe.

It's pushing your own child on the same tire swing you swung on all those years ago.

It's laughs in the water.

It's the new-found love of jumping off the pool's edge into Daddy's waiting arms.

It's aunts who appreciate any excuse to put on a swimsuit and soak up some rays.

It's all the small moments that add up to the big picture.
Life goes by way too fast. It's important to make those tiny pieces of time matter.
Do something fun.
Try something new.
Make time for the little stuff.

This summer I heard of something called The Happy Family Movement. The whole idea is to take whatever time you have to do something fun with your kids, your family. To make memories, whether it's something big or something that takes 5 minutes. I saw a post by a fellow blogger and friend (click here) and decided it was a good idea. It's a "bucket list" of sorts. You just jot down things you want to do with your kids and then make the time to do them. The idea is that when your kids get older, they can help come up with fun things they want to do too. It's definitely nothing fancy, just a visual reminder to not waste that extra 30 minutes watching another episode of House Hunters. {Because, as we all just heard, it's fake anyway!}

So here is our 2012 Summer Bucket List. And even though Jared quietly rolled his eyes while I made it, I am excited to have a little list of fun things to do with the girls.

And I'm going to try my best to accomplish the things on our list.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


That one word basically sums up how I have felt the past two or so weeks.

Our independent little 2 year-old has decided that it is unnecessary to sleep past 6:30 AM. Ever. And in fact, some days it is quite important to wake up at 5:30. Isn't that awesome? And another added bonus is that when she decides it is time to get up, apparently everyone must wake up, including her little sister. Avery is not much of a morning person and hasn't appreciated the early wake-up call that is Bailey yelling "Mom-meee!" from behind the baby gate at their door.

Now 6:30 or even 5:30 might not seem bad to some unfortunate parents, but I have been spoiled over the course of this past year or so. The usual wake-up time was around 8:00. My way of thinking is, if the Today Show isn't even on yet, there is absolutely no reason for me to be awake. Adding this recent change along with the fact that most days naps are a huge struggle for Bailey (ie: she won't take one) and I am just exhausted.

But then came today... I woke up to the sound of "Mom-meee!" per usual, but this time I didn't mutter expletives under my breath. My eyes actually opened pretty easily and I didn't have the split second thought of hiding under the covers and pretending I hadn't heard anything. This was unusual.
I looked at the clock:

I can't tell you what a difference two hours of extra sleep made in my day. It was like a sweet little present first thing in the morning. I have so much more patience today. I don't feel the constant desire to climb on the couch for a quick nap so I can forget about the laundry that needs folded and the floor that needs swept.
It's amazing.

I don't know why pregnancy feels different this time around, but it does. With the Bailey I was tired for the first trimester and then, like you are always told, I got my energy back. With Avery, I didn't feel tired at all. Now, I am well into the second trimester and just more tired with every day that passes. Maybe it's that I have two children now. Or the fact that their naps are a luxury some days. Or maybe I am just being a big baby.

Our "big" ultrasound is in about 3 weeks and I find myself getting a little nervous about it. Not nervous because I want a boy or a girl. (We aren't finding out and I don't have a preference anyway.) I am just remembering how nerve wracking it was when we were anxiously watching the ultrasound tech measure and record everything during Avery's ultrasound. I could barely breathe. In fact I was holding my breath without even meaning to. I was just so worried they would find a cleft like Bailey had or something worse. {Pregnancy definitely brings out the worry wart in me.}

With this pregnancy we are at a different hospital with a different doctor and different ultrasound techs. The ultrasound tech was sympathetic to us last time and gave us hints during the exam that everything was normal. We only waited about 5 minutes for the doctor to come in and tell us everything looked great. We don't have that convenience this time. I had to schedule an appointment for two whole days later to find out the results because the doctor doesn't read the ultrasounds in the office - they send them out to a radiologist. The 5 minute wait with Avery seemed like a long time. Two days is going to feel like forever. Seriously, is that normal?? Doesn't everyone usually find out that same day?

I really miss The Nebraska Medical Center when it comes to this whole pregnancy thing. I felt like they respected my opinion and they actually knew me. They acknowledged I was working hard to maintain awesome blood sugars and was taking the possible care of myself. I don't necessarily know that it's the same this time. This doctor rubbed me wrong from the start by hinting that my blood sugars weren't under control. I assured him that I have done this twice before and that my levels were not just good, but great. {Honestly, I have been a type 1 diabetic for 10 years now, I know how this whole things works...} He was doubtful and gave me the typical diabetics and pregnancy spiel.

At my last appointment we discussed my sugars and I guaranteed my lab would be under 6. He wasn't so sure. Low and behold, my A1c came back at 5.7 and he even wrote "Awesome!" beside the labs results mailed to me. And for that I would like to throw a big "I told you so" in his direction. (FYI for non-medical people, 6.5 or lower is the usual goal for diabetics and 6.0 is considered a normal number for non-diabetics.) So I probably sound like I am tooting my own horn, and I guess I am. Because it is a lot of hard work to be pregnant in general and being diabetic adds a whole new dimension.

Okay, so this was a very random post about very loosely related topics... Right now I am going to go enjoy the peace and quiet in our house. It never lasts for very long.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Dad's Day

Happy Father's Day to my own baby daddy. 

 Jared - the man who is going to be really good at playing with dolls and hosting pretend tea parties someday.

I love to watch you chase our girls around the house while they run and scream with laughter.
I love how you read them books.
And sing songs.
And curl up on the couch to watch "toons" with Bailey.

It melts my heart to remember how they curled up to sleep on your chest when they were itty-bitty babies.

Thanks for being a good daddy.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~ 

And to my own dad:
You have four daughters.
Basically you deserve a medal.

the original Ellis clan
{a few years and a few pounds ago!}

You have taken a lot of grief from us over the years, especially regarding your fashion sense (hiked up shorts and long white socks with sandals)or your infamous words that even the extended family has taken to quoting:
"You know my hole!"
"Junk has really gone up in value."
"I have a weak stream."
"Dar - short for Delvin."
"You know how to drive a truck with no brakes, right?"
And my cousin Alan's personal favorite: "Those kids were tubing down the river!"

Okay, so not funny to almost everyone else, but I am sure my family will have a laugh remembering all the random moments when these were blurted out. We always have a good laugh at the things he says {especially if he is not meaning to be funny}, but his comments live on: poor Bailey was lovingly called "Dar" in utero for a good 9 months.

Me and Dad  - June 2008

I will always love this picture. Not necessarily because it's some stunning piece of photography or anything, but because of the story it brings to mind...

We were standing in the stairwell of the church on my wedding day. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were taking their places and we were up next. My friend Holly had her camera and wanted to snap a quick picture before my dad walked me down the aisle. My dad was looking particularly nervous and almost uncomfortable.
Holly said my dad, "Jeff, what's the matter? Are you okay?"
To which he replied, "I've got the nervous farts!"

Seriously - who mentions farts seconds before walking his daughter down the aisle?! All three of us cracked up. We had a good laugh and it made walking in front of all those people a little easier.

Thank you Dad for all that you have done for all 4 of your girls. Thank you, not only for the laughs, but for our heated discussions [or arguments as Mom would call them] and the ability to let us be our own people. Thanks for being the dad who played with us in the pool, took us rollerskating every winter, and taught us the value of a hard day's work.

I love you. Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A night away

There is never a dull moment in the Solko household.
Truthfully, we're not that exciting, but we definitely haven't had much time to sit around and put our feet up lately.

This past weekend, Jared and I snuck away to Des Moines for a night away to celebrate our anniversary. Jared got a free night's stay at a nicer hotel {aka not a Motel 6} when the hotel screwed him over during his stay for training back in April.  Score for us!  I really love free.

We checked in early and enjoyed our 24 hours of child-free bliss. Or at least we would have if the hotel hadn't been over run by 9 year-olds. There must have been some huge little league baseball tournament nearby because kids in uniforms were everywhere! {And believe me, the free beverage station with pop available 24 hours a day just added to the fun.} Regardless of the preteen take over, we had a good time. We went out to eat without children (amazing!) and had adult conversation. Sleeping in the next morning was also a highlight.
It really is the little things...
(And there are no pictures from our night away because we suck like that and always forget.)

Monday was back to Mommyhood reality. Except reality with extra naps. I should have known something was up when at 11 AM Bailey gathered up a bunch of pillows on the living room floor, laid down with Bun-Bun, and covered herself up with a blanket. Within a minute she was snoring. Loudly. This is the same child who screams when I finally force her to nap at 2 pm some days.

I should have known this was too good to be true.

She woke up for about 30 minutes - just long enough to refuse lunch and give me a few dirty looks for even asking her to eat. Then she promptly moved her pillow to the couch and cuddled up with another blanket. That is when I noticed she was warm.

Our Bailey Boo was sick for the first time. Her fever got as high as 103.5º and she was beside herself. She has never had more than a cold before - and that was just one time.

Although no mom wants to see her baby sick, it's a sweet little tug at your heartstrings: the way your baby wants only you when she's sick. Daddy is okay, and 99% of the time he is actually preferred in our house, but "Mommy" is what came from her lips. We snuggled together on the couch with Bun-Bun between us and napped off and on while Avery slept in her crib. She finally went to bed late last night and managed to get some sleep. Today was much better. I can tell she is better because the house is again covered in toys and there were many demands at supper regarding which cup she would drink her milk from. {"Elmo cup! Elmo cup!" in case you're wondering.} 

Yep, she's better. For sure.

Today was another doctor's appointment. They last all of about 45 seconds. But I did get to hear #3's heart beating away in there.
And if you are going to by old wives' tales, that would indicate another girl. So maybe it's a good thing that I already have my heart set on the girl's name I want. Now just to convince Jared...

Since we have such a great track record at deciding on names (definite sarcasm here), I thought we should probably get an earlier start. We are planning on another surprise this time around, so we will need to make an effort to actually have both a boy's and girl's name picked out - not just sort of pick one on the way to the hospital after my water has broken. (It's a good thing Bailey was a girl.)
All I know is this baby better plan on cooking for the full amount of time so Jared and I have time to hem-haw around and randomly come up with something!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

4 years

It's gone so fast.

I can't really believe it's been that long already.

Four years ago we were sweating, taking pictures in 97º Kansas heat. 

Four years ago we jammed ourselves into an over-packed limo to drink more champagne than should legally be consumed in an hour-long ride.

Four years ago we danced into the night surrounded by our closest friends and family.

Four years ago I married my best friend.

Happy Anniversary, babe.

Monday, June 4, 2012


This past weekend was the long awaited Michael Bolton concert.
Or  M-Bolt as he was referred to by some slightly tipsy sisters of mine.

You might be wondering why on Earth we would attend a Michael Bolton concert, especially since he no longer has that shining mane of hair. If so, please refer to my previous post about the 1st Annual Random/Slightly-Awkward Ellis Girls Concert Event HERE.

The concert was outdoors at the Stir Concert Cove in Council Bluffs. We arrived plenty early due to Fe's pestering and set up our camp chairs. Beans and Justy left to go have a few drinks in the car (because that is what you do when drinks are at least $6 a piece) while the rest of us sat back and reserved our spots.

We were about 7 or 8 rows back from the front.

When M-Bolt appeared on stage and sang his opening number we were standing and singing along like all the people in front of us. We take our seats after the song is over and the lady behind us sticks her head in between two of us and in her best principal-sounding voice says, "You can't stand like that for any more of the concert. You have to be sitting because we don't want to stand."

Ummm...pump your brakes, girl.
Who died and made you my elementary school bus driver, telling me when I have to remain seated???

None of us said a word.
Oh wait, scratch that. None of us except Catrina, who very loudly said in disgust:   
OLD PEOPLE! ughhh...

Except she wasn't old, or at least not that old. We continued to do whatever we pleased. Because seriously, if you are going to be a fun-hater, shouldn't you at least sit toward the back and not in the first few rows?!

Regardless of the fuddy-duds in the row behind us, we still had a good time.
Especially these two:

They were up in front of the stage jumping around like they were in a mosh pit - during a Frank Sinatra cover of all songs. My mom, Fe, and I had quite a few laughs at their expense. But at least they were having fun. Apparently Michael appreciated their enthusiasm also.
According to Beaner: He made eye contact FIVE TIMES and he laughed at us!
Now the laughing part I definitely can believe...

For the final set we convinced my mom to stand in front of the stage with us. We had good timing because M-Bolt came out and walked into the crowd and sang a song. And because Justy probably shoved some die-hard 50 year old fan out of the way, we were right up front.

We were literally this close. I took this photo with no zoom.  And then all four of us weirdos reached out and touched his hand.

And Beaner, under the influence of a few beers and two many hot spotlights yelled,
"Michael, you're a sexy beast!"

Yeah. It was that classy.

Fe's only comment was, "He had really soft hands!"

Meanwhile my mom was two rows back and laughing so hard she had tears in her eyes.

We waited all night to hear our song, and he finally sang it.  Steel Bars.

Our night was complete.

Can't wait for another random concert next year!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Things I love...

Long chats in the car with my mama. Love, politics, irritable bowel syndrome... Nothing is off limits.
Snuggling on the couch

Flattering pictures free of double-chins


My littlest baby walking toward me

New {cheap} jewelry