Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Little Bit of This & A Little Bit of That

My, oh my, how time gets away from me!  I find myself struggling with juggling 3 kiddos (including their afterschool activities), not over-extending myself (by volunteering for every.single.room mother.activity), and functioning on very little sleep. 

It’s all good, but I REALLY miss blogging and visiting your blogs on a more regular basis.  As a stay-at-home mother (in her 40s!), I find that most of my girlfriends work. Thus, blogging is truly my connection with other grown-ups. 

So I decided that if I really want to blog, than I must make it a priority.  Starting tomorrow, Oct. 1, I am committing myself to blogging 3 days a week.  If I can do more, great.  And if I can only do 3, so be it.  But at least I will connect regularly a few times a week.

SO…what have we been up to around the Kueter house…

Well…our littlest one turned 2-months old, yesterday.   I know, I know, we can’t believe it either!  HA!  But see for yourself…

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He is turning into my chunky monkey and absolutely lights up my life!  His 2-month well-baby visit is next week and I can’t wait to find out how long he is and how much he weighs.

Also, in an effort to reconnect with others, I picked up the phone…okay, I emailed, a blogging friend that I met this summer and invited her and her husband over for dinner last Friday night (a week ago).  (You might remember that I met Melinda from Country Dreaming for lunch one day last summer.) We had the nicest time with Melinda and Ken and I can’t wait to get together again!

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Good grief…nothing like seeing yourself in a frumpy sweater with bad roots to make you shake off those baby blues (well, I really don’t have any baby blues, more like baby euphoria, but I must admit that I haven’t been the best about keeping on top of the hair and fashion)!

The next day, Mimi & Papa traveled to Kansas City from St. Louis.  We were so excited to see them.  My parents had not seen Luke since the weekend that he was born.  And you know how quickly those little ones change!

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Did I mention that Luke is ALL about the SMILES?  This sweet pea started smiling waaaay sooner than my other two.  He is also very verbal…lots of cooing!  He is 9-weeks old today.  Time stops for no one!

In the meantime, this little one has been working on growing her hair long since, oh, I don’t know..BIRTH!  She wants long locks so badly, but was not blessed with greatest of hair.  I will say this, she is definitely a Scandinavian flaxen-haired beauty…she just didn’t get thickness or strength in those locks!  REGARDLESS…I think we’ve finally arrived…HELLO LONG HAIR!

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My success to finally getting her hair to grow out?…keeping her bangs short and NOT shampooing it every day. Frankly, I think it is only here in America that we shampoo our hair every day!  So, I stopped doing that and lo and behold…we’ve got length.  She is loving it, even if we do put it up in a ponytail or bun every day.

Speaking of which, on Saturday, she gets to perform in her first ballet program with her new dance studio.  She is totally into demi-pliĆ©-ing on anything that will support her weight…stairwell banister, shopping cart, kitchen table, etc.  She will be performing a ballet routine to Green Eggs and Ham at the American Girl fashion show to celebrate the recent opening of the newest American Girl store in Kansas City. 

Let me just say…Mary Catherine does not know about American Girl dolls…yet.  *gulp*

So that’s about it.  I’ve been busy playing supermom, superfriend, and superdaughter!  LOL  Mary has been busy learning sight words and has taken off with reading. Ben has been busy with cars, trucks, and Fisher Price Little People (yes, I realize that there’s been a recall…like with 11 million products floating around out there, I’ve got to own one or two!); and Luke has been busy eating, sleeping, and eating!  :)

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Be sure to come back for a visit tomorrow.  I was lucky enough to win Melinda's blogging anniversary give-away in late July/August (it’s all a blur) and I have to show you my winnings!  Fun stuff!!!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Christmas in September

When I was a child, I was fortunate to have grandparents that spoiled me.  Not just with clothing and toys, but with generous gifts of money in the form of U.S. Savings Bonds.

My parents diligently saved these savings bonds for my college education and they certainly came in handy when it was time to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses.

But somehow, several larger bonds got put aside, only to be forgotten about.  A couple of years ago, my father came across these savings bonds and turned them over to me.  Needless to say, they had matured!

I have had these savings bonds in my possession for almost two years now…almost paralyzed by their ability to pay for a large ticket item that I have wanted for years…a buffet and hutch. 

I have shopped furniture stores, hunted antique stores, and inquired at mom and pop shops about buffets and hutches, but just couldn’t pull the trigger.  Until last week.

I spied her in a huge furniture warehouse.  A “reproduction” piece that has that antique look about her, but is brand new.  A relatively large piece that does a terrific job filling up empty wall space on a relatively large dining room wall!  I waffled on natural wood versus painted pieces, but eventually decided on the old classic of stained oak.

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See that little “touch me” tag?  Well if you gently tap on the hinge, it will turn on the interior lights.  You can tap it three times to change the intensity of the brightness.  I’m smitten with this piece and love it even more in my home than I did when I saw it on display!

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Meanwhile, bored with Monday Night Football, this little cutie kept me company while I did this…

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…unpacking wedding china.  For almost 17-years of marriage, these beautiful pieces have sat in storage.  Oh, I think I took them out once or twice to serve Thanksgiving or Easter dinner, but as my mother or mother-in-law has typically hosted the big holidays, I haven’t used them much. 

Not to mention, it was such a pain to unwrap, wash, serve a meal, wash and rewrap for storage because I did not have a buffet on which to store these beauties!  And while I know that the colors and gold-rims date these pieces, I still find beauty and happiness in them.  (They remind me of those early years…before a diagnosis of infertility or multiple pregnancy losses.  When wedding vows were full of innocence and promise.)

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I found all of my water and wine goblets in storage as well.  Also gold rimmed.  :)  And, our toasting goblets.  Horribly etched with our first names and wedding date.  Do people even do that anymore?!!! 

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(Sorry about the lighting…I’m still learning on my DSLR)

See…it really was Christmas in September at our house!  I can’t wait for Sunday dinners and family holidays at our  house as a sweet family of five with my three precious blessings!  After all, if you don’t use your “good” china, at least on Sundays, it will sit in storage for 17+ years.  And what “good” is that?!!!

Bonne Appetite and Merry Christmas!  :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football?

I have to admit it…I’m really not a football fan.  Something from my upbringing I suppose…well that, and attendance at an all-girl Catholic high school.  Friday night football meant one thing, and one thing only to me…boys.  Lots of cute boys that I hadn’t seen all week.  :)

But I digress.

Over the years, I have been a fair weather fan of my hometown’s NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs.  Tonight, they play Monday Night Football…a huge coup for this struggling team that hasn’t been able to sell out games or even fill stadium seats over the past few years.

Tonight, they make their debut on Monday Night Football after a 6-year absence.  The Chiefs are also unveiling the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium; a stadium and hometown team that once elicited fear in the hearts of other players.  Kansas City Chiefs fans were once something to be reckoned with.  Not so much in recent years.

Tonight’s kick-off time is 9:15 PM against the San Diego Chargers and the Chiefs promise to deliver an exciting line up of entertainment.  Fans holding tickets are asked to be in their seats by 8:30 PM.  Billy Ray Cyrus is scheduled to sing the National Anthem, and TRAIN is the halftime performance. 

I’m planning on watching just to see those two acts!

And so I ask you…are you ready for some football?  I know I am and I’m wearing my Chief’s RED to show for it!  I’m also planning on putting the kids to bed on time time and snuggling with my own little football!  Too bad Daddy’s on-duty, but I know the guys at the fire station will be watching the game for sure.

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Be sure to drop by for a visit tomorrow when I reveal my latest acquisition.  It’s like Christmas in September at our house!

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

All Smiles

I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.  ~Author Unknown

Today, our littlest man turned 6-weeks old.  And how did he reward us?  With the most precious of smiles. 

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I saw his precious mouth starting to turn up at the corners a week or so ago, but thought it was way too early to truly be a smile.  Probably just gas.  :)

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But tonight…oh how my heart melted tonight when during our “documenting” photo session he turned all smiles on me!  I was overcome with joyful tears. 

It’s almost as if he’s saying, “I know how happy I make you, momma.  And just think…you don’t have to go back to work.  Ever.” 

Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch.  But for the foreseeable future, there is no outside-of-the-home work for me and that makes ME smile!  (In the past, 6-weeks marked the half-way point of my maternity leave…usually causing sadness to begin swelling in my heart as tears were welling in my eyes!)

Wishing you all a night full of sweet dreams and smiles!

P.S.  I added music back on to my blog.  Feel free to turn it off if you are distracted by the music or in a position to not be able to listen.  I will say that I added two of my favorite “baby” pieces of music.  Beautiful Boy by John Lennon and Baby Mine from the Dumbo soundtrack by Walt Disney.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pointe Shoes and Ballet Barres

Last night my little ballerina started ballet lessons at a local dance studio. 

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(Ballet Barre by Richard Judson Zolan)

Mary Catherine has been taking tap and ballet lessons through our local community center, since she was 3, but Daddy and I decided it was time to enroll Mary in studio dance. That is, she no longer gets to to wear whatever Lifestyle leotard and dance skirt she chooses, and instead puts on a “uniform” of pink tights, black leotard, and pink ballet slippers to pirouette and arabesque.  Oh, and did I mention hair must be in a bun? 

Mary’s dance studio is a performance-based studio versus a competition-style studio.  What does that mean?  It means that while other girls of the same age (six-years) may be entering dance competitions both locally and nationally, Mary’s studio focuses on the fundamentals of dance and the art of performance.

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First Position

© 2007 Treva Bedinghaus licensed to About.com, Inc.

And that’s okay with us.  She is being schooled in the art of gracefulness and poise, discipline and responsibility.  Moms aren’t allowed to stay and “watch”.

When I picked her up after her hour lesson, she was brimming with enthusiasm and could barely contain her excitement about learning the five positions and getting to use “the barre”!  She told her teacher she wanted toe shoes and it was quickly explained to her that that was a few years down the road.

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Image from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pointe_shoes.jpg

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of Mary in her “uniform”.  Hopefully, I can remember next week and maybe even get permission to snap a few photos of Mary at “the barre”.

And after ballet class? Well our little ballerina had to quickly change from ballet slippers to soccer cleats.  Why, oh why, must every activity fall on the same night of the week?  We shall see if Mary wants to stick with soccer.  It really doesn’t seem to be to her liking, but she agreed to another season to appease Daddy.  *sigh* 


Thursday, September 2, 2010

One Month Old!

This past Sunday, August 29th, Luke turned 1-month old.  Not quite sure how that happened…it’s all been a blur! 

In one month’s time, my 5-year old turned 6.  My 6-year old started kindergarten.  My 3-year old started preschool.  I turned 41.  My parents visited.  My in-laws visited.  My sister visited and my best friend visited. 

Aaaah, so that’s how one whole month passed! 

And, now it’s September.  Cooler weather has been flirting with us.  Not quite ready to make her appearance permanent… but she’s definitely given those of us in the middle of  the Heartland a break from those 90+ degree temperatures.  In fact, tonight it’s supposed to get down right chilly…lower 60s, upper 50s!  LOVE it!  Football preseason is underway…yes, Fall is definitely close.

This afternoon, Mister Luke had his 1-month check up.  Here are some stats:

Weight: 9 lbs 2 oz  (48th %) (Only took us 4 1/2 weeks to get past his birth weight of 8 lbs 12 oz after a hospital discharge weight of 7 lbs 11 oz.)

Length:  23 inches (90th %)  (That is one long, skinny kiddo!)

Size 1 Diapers and Size 0-3 months in clothing. 

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What do you think…intentional smile or gas?  LOL

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(This is my little man in his crib.  He is currently sleeping in a bassinet in our master bedroom, but will be transitioning to the shared bedroom in a few weeks. Big brother cannot wait!)

Sort of sad that he only wore “newborn” size diapers for about 2 weeks and never really did wear any “newborn” size clothing…he was skinny enough to wear “newborn”, but just too long for it to fit comfortably.  *sigh* 

Still nursing ‘round the clock…about every two (2) hours.  Does sleep longer at night…sometimes I get a three (3) hour stretch!  I’m exhausted, but not complaining. 

Looking forward to a long weekend with my little ones and husband over Labor Day.  Daddy is off-duty both Sunday and Monday this year and Mary is off from kindergarten both Monday AND Tuesday (teacher in-service) next week!  ( She is loving kindergarten so much, but I sure do miss that kid in the mornings!)

Wishing you all a fantastic Labor Day weekend!

P.S.  I almost forgot…and I reaaaalllly hate to do this, but I am enabling comment moderation on my blog.  I am so sorry to do this to those of you that follow, read, and comment regularly, but I’ve been getting some weird comments of late. 

And to those of you that are Chinese bloggers…not sure if your un-translated/non-English comments are spam, or just kind sentiments written in Chinese/Cantonese, etc., but just know this…My mother works for an internationally-owned corporation and has a Chinese co-worker (as in from China).  She has asked her co-worker to view/translate your comments…so…I’m on to you.