Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our First Home

 I remember when we were looking for houses. There was joy and elation. This was going to be our first house. The house we brought our babies home to. The place where they would learn to crawl, walk, and play. The place we would gather for birthdays and all sorts of family celebrations along the way. It was to be filled with wonderful memories and would be our perfect "starter home." Then we would simply "just move to a better school district" when our kids were bigger. When we bought the house the idea of moving back to Oklahoma was somewhere far back in my mind, but I loved St. Louis, loved my job, loved all my friends, and wasn't really sure that was were we would end up. The house had enough room for us to have as many kids as we thought we would want, so there really wasn't going to be a rush to sell it if we didn't want to. It had a huge basement that doubled as a perfect playroom, it was in a lovely little neighborhood with tree lined streets and houses that didn't all look the same. We were both close to our jobs, we were even getting money from the government for buy buying it , all was right with the world.Then life happened, lessons were learned the hard way, and our plans changed.

If I could tell these two young love birds anything I would quote my dad, "You have no idea."

 Don't get me wrong that house was most of those things. It was our first home, full of lots of first and lots of memories. It was were I laid on the basement floor, stressed and crying, when we found out we were going to be parents. "What have we done??" There were many milestones there, good and bad. It was the house we brought our babies home to, even if our first homecoming wasn't filled with the joy we thought it would be. It was were we spend innumeral sleepless nights up with crying babies. I have walked miles in that little yellow room, bouncing babies and singing lullabies. It was were I held a screaming, sick two year old, and found out I was pregnant with baby number two. Again wondering, "what have we done?" It was where Zane met his little brother for the first time, during a much happier homecoming with our second baby boy. It was also where so many difficult, life changing moments took place. The place where the road of life took way too many sharp turns in a very short time.

I was recently back in St. Louis and went to visit our first home, just to check in and see how it was looking. I have done this once before, since we have moved, and both times it was a gut wrenching experience. When I pull in I still feel like I'm home. I can see Zane running/toddling around our beautiful front yard, while we waited for Zach to get home from work. I can see the chalk drawings on our front porch and the pictures drawn on our glass front door. When I get inside I can hear the pitter patter of baby feet on hard wood floors. I stand in the place I was sitting when I found out my father had passed away and choke back tears. I stand by the window in the nursery where I prayed through so many things, rocking my baby with his little broken heart. The same place I cried tears of joy while cuddling my perfectly healthy baby Ro. I walk down the hallway were Zane took his first steps. The boys rooms are the hardest to be in, and the basement. Both filled with so many wonderful memories of my kids. So many firsts, so many milestones met, so many wonderful days, with just as many difficult ones. So many nights tip toeing into those rooms to kiss blonde boys on their heads while they were sleeping. 

The house I grew up in was a hundred year old farm house, that had been in the Blakley family since before Oklahoma was a state. Generations of memories filled it's rooms. In college it was torn down, too old to be repaired, not being built on a foundation, it was full of lots of other things besides memories. I remember standing there, watching it being torn down room by room, and thinking that at least no one else would ever live there. That it would be so hard to think of another family making memories there. That's how I feel out about the "Little House" (as Zane calls it.) It's hard to think of another family making memories there, of other people sleeping where my new born babies slept. It's even harder to think of never going back there and my boys not remembering it. I know that is how most families do it, multiple houses, in different places, that you can never return to. Many different places to call home. But for me there has always only been one place I called home, even now that there is a different house there, it's still the same place. So much about how my children are growing up is completely different than my childhood. I guess that's alright, I just am so ready for them to have one place they call home. Sadly that is probably years down road and they will have at least one more house to live in before then. For now I'm praying fervently that some family will fall in love with The Little House, like we did, so we can close that chapter and begin to move on.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1. I had a great girls weekend in the STL. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful group of women that surround me with such love and happiness. We laughed a lot, ate a lot, and I got lots of free therapy, which I really needed. It was amazing!!! Thanks to the Palos Family and The Wamsers for letting me stay at your houses. It is so strange how as soon as I arrived it felt just like home again. I hate that I can't see them more, I guess I'll just have to drive up there more often.

2. While I was there I went and visited the casa. It's still there and we still own it. It is a very weird experience to walk into your house that is full of different furniture. It makes me so sad to be there. There are so many wonderful memories, but it has ended up being such a negative situation. I still love that house and no matter what all the experts tell us about how the neighborhood isn't great, I still love the tree lined streets that we use to walk on. I'm praying that chapter can be closed soon so I can just remember the good things that happened there.

3. I finally got to eat some Dewey's pizza after getting my toes and nails done Saturday morning. It did not disappoint and yes I did bring half a pizza home to Zach. That's true love!!

Somehow these were the only two pictures I took all weekend. I guess I was too busy having fun!
Yes, one of my two pictures is of my Cardinals cupcake, which was amazing!

4. While in St. Louis I got everyone new Cardinals gear as it is difficult to come by here. Michelle got Zane a new Cardinals hat for his birthday and I got everyone new shirts. Zane so loved being decked out in his new STL gear that he just had to start playing baseball. 

5. I have so missed my boys while I was gone or working this past week. Today I was exhausted, but pulled it together to make a fun day of it. After a wrong turn trying to get to the Science Museum we made a pit stop by The Lobby Bar to eat second breakfast with Able, which was fantastic, then we headed to " see Otto" as Zane would say. The Science Museum went really well today with both boys having lots of fun then ending with a quick lunch there before heading home.

 Ro spent a lot of time in this tunnel while his brother ran around the gymnastics area like a crazy person.
 Both boys braved the tornado simulator and seemed to love it!

The big news of the day was that Zane made it to the top of the big kids climbing thing. The little kids one has been taken down so he has been working his way up to this the past few visits.

6. After naps we headed out an a search for new pjs. Zane's PJ pants that we got him in the fall are now about two inches too short and he didn't even have a pair of Ninja Turtle pjs. Can you imagine! Target had zero jammies, but we did find this awesome Ninja Turtle shirt that we couldn't pass up. Don't worry after playing with the Richard's kids we found lots of fun jammies at Kohls so all is right with the world.

 Here are his new Spiderman jammies, pretty amazing. Yes, Rowan is loosing his mind because he can't hold the book. He had a bit of a rough evening, all tired out from our big day.

7. I ordered Zane Ranger Rick magazine for his birthday this year. We have gotten two months so far and they have been a huge hit. We read through the whole thing as soon as it arrives and then numerous times in the days that follow. He learns all sorts of fun animal facts and usually we end up asking google to watch videos of whatever animal we are learning about. This month's magazine even had a board game of sorts in it that he has loved playing, all day!!! I highly recommend this idea for any curious little boys in your life.

8. Did I mention our latest rental house debacle?? Well at long last the roof started leaking. It rained a ton last week and one evening, while Zane as getting nervous about the evening's storm, we told him "don't worry you can't get wet even if your ceiling starts to leak because you sleep in a tent." Not ten minutes later he comes out telling us he hears dripping. I felt sure this was a lie, but oh no, sure enough, drip, drip, drip. This led to the best night of Zane's life and top five worst for Zach and I. Zane got to sleep on the couch, in his sleeping bag all night. Added bonus I had to lay out there with him most of the night because Rowan was up screaming for hours!!! My favorite part was when Zane got all snuggled in on the couch and happily proclaimed, "well, I guess this is my bed now." Glad he was enjoying it at least. 

9. The cool front that came through last week is gone and it is back to feeling like July, though admittedly not over one hundred degrees. I hate bursting into a full body sweat the moment I walk outside, but there is always quite the breeze here to help. The boys have been spending lots of time in our little pool or running through sprinklers. I'm hoping we can take a family trip to a pool this weekend so I can help Zane work on his swimming. We tried to sign up for August swim lessons only to find out they aren't offered in August. We shall try again!

10. I'm headed back to the gym tomorrow after two weeks of being sick from my last visit. I can breath pretty well today, without a splitting headache. Cross your fingers I don't go back into respiratory distress after my, sure to be embarrassingly easy, workout. It's a struggle.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1. Well I got yet another steroid shot and round of antibiotics and was feeling slightly better just in time to work all weekend. Apparently my thirty minutes of cardio Monday pushed me over the edge. I am so beyond frustrated with entire situation. I scheduled my allergy shotHopefully that is day, which will be six hours of shots every thirty minutes. First available date, September 29th!!! I kid you not!! I am hoping this is a magical solution or else I am going to have to leave this state. I cannot feel miserable all of the time and that is where I am right now. 
2. I left work two hours early on Sunday just in time to be stricken with some sort of GI/stomach illness that has wiped me out for my two days off. I'm suppose to work the next two days, but am not confident in that happening since my thirty minutes at the grocery store today nearly killed me. I so wish I could be well.  
Here is Rowan, maxing and relaxing with me while I was sick yesterday. He was loving all the saltines, I really wasn't.

3. Zane had been sick earlier in the week. He threw up during the night for two nights in a row. It was highly random and made for terrible nights sleep. There is no worse feeling than the moment your child throws up and you know all that holds for everyone else in the days ahead. I think we are past it, but who knows. As my Grandpa always says, "Germs linger."
4. Hopefully I am actually well since I'm heading to the STL for a girls weekend of sorts Friday. Really just going to be there Friday night and Saturday then driving back Sunday. I miss my friends there so much and can't wait to laugh for two days straight. The 16 hours in a car alone is going to be rough, but I'll power through I'm sure.
5. Rowan's current favorite thing is drawing, specifically with markers, on my couches. But I've brought the easle out into the living room so he can have a bigger canvas. He really prefers to write on Zane's clipboard. It's hysterical, he will walk around with a clipboard and marker babbling. 
Getting the cap back on the marker is just as much fun as actually drawing with it. 

6. This week I finally took Zane back to the toy store to spend his birthday money. He had accumulated about nine dollars and Geoffrey the giraffe sent him a five dollar off coupon for his birthday as well. It was a great lesson in finances since we could only buy what his money would cover. We were pleasantly surprised at checkout to find that the Ninja Turtle stuff was on sale since it is being replaced with the new, very creepy, Ninja Turtle movie stuff. So he got to go back for a second item with his left over three dollars. Great fun and good practical lesson how money works. He loved bringing his own wallet and getting to hand his dollars over to the check out lady! 
Here is what his money went to!
 For everyone who is worried about poor little Ro who is surely getting hurt by all his brother's weapons, don't be. Rowan and Zane sword fight and Zane rarely wins. Rowan can hold his own and has taken to love wearing his brother's turtle shell.

7. Also this week we finally put together Zane's birthday present from Grammi and Papa. His very own little red wagon. We had been gone and busy since we got home so were just now getting around to it. Per usual  the building phase was just as fun as the wagon ride at the end. 

 Don't ask me why Zane never has pants on, he just doesn't.
 As you can guess Rowan quickly tried to bale out of the wagon!

8. My sweet, lazy, Rowan has all of a sudden decided he is anti-sleep, both day and night. This is not ok. At this point in Zane's life he was taking a nap every two hours. Rowan fights his naps tooth and nail now, but also is miserable while awake, because he is so tired. Today, for example, he was in his bed playing, randomly screaming, kicking the wall, and sometimes crying, for an hour. This whole time his four year old brother was napping. He finally passed out in the car, but this situation is not ok. Especially when you couple it with two or three hours of being awake at night. Crazy person!

9. This evening, while Zach was working late, I decided Rowan was starting to look a little bit too much like a homeless child. This is how I determine if they need hair cuts. I am still feeling pretty miserable so was too lazy to get the high chair out to contain him for said hair cut. You can guess where this led, my one year old not sitting still, and turned at just the right moment to cut a chunk out of his hair. So now little Ro baby is back to being a bald baby. He is rocking the buzz cut and looking pretty cute if I do say so myself. At least a little less like a homeless child. 

10. I tried to convince Zane that it wasn't 100 degrees outside today, will little luck. I offered to play outside with him today numerous times, to which he said "oh no mamma it is way to hot, it make my belly hurt." You would think but really it was only 75 degrees this afternoon at 5pm. What a wonderful surprise! Of course I'll be at work during the next two days of record low, high temps for July. But I enjoyed it while I could. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ten On Tuesday

1. I feel like I haven't been home for two weeks, when really some of those days were spent here, we have just been super busy or I've been working. Working really cramps my style and the routine of life that I would like to have. It's highly annoying. Ok, but on to the recap of our 4th celebrations. Mom and Abbey both recapped it well, but here is the Korenak highlights.

2. On the actual fourth we went to the Edmond parade in the morning. There was unseasonably cool temperatures that day, which was amazing. I think it was 69 degrees outside when we walked out the door, which is unheard of. Rowan loved everything about the parade, was wonderful at clapping, cheering, and waving his American flag. Zane was more concerned about when we were going to Able's to swim and ending up spending most of the parade pouting. Which is unfortunate, but such is the life of a four year old.

 He had made his own "America flag" at school that he had to bring as well as the one we bought when we got there.
 Here is his pre-parade excitement, which didn't last long.
 Rowan waved at everyone who came by
 and loved waving his flag.
 While his brother was pouting in the stroller Rowan even got to sit in the Ninja Turtle chair.

3. Don't worry we didn't stay for the whole parade, maybe half of it, which was plenty. Then we headed to Uncle Able's and Aunt Kari's for swimming and BBQ! Again the weather was amazing and we had lots of fun. I wish we could have stayed longer but the boys were fading fast and needed a nap so we loaded up and headed to the farm.

This is how Rowan rolls at pool parties, kicked back, soaking up rays.

 Brody and Zane made quite the swimming pair, lots of jumping, splashing, and tons of cannon balls.

4. Once we got to Grandma's we started doing some daytime fireworks. There is always a burn ban so I can't remember the last time we could actually shoot off fireworks here. It was lots of fun and Zane had a blast with everything from smoke bombs to the big ones we set off at night.
The chicken didn't lay eggs so much as catch on fire.

 Ro enjoyed the view from Grandma's new horse, Jelly.

5. In the evening we had a cook out and then had our own little fireworks display. Turns out camp fires aren't as fun when it's 90 degrees outside, with tons of flies, but we powered through. Able and Kari came up to enjoy the show as well. My favorite part was after our fireworks were done when we climbed on the hay bales and watched three different town's fireworks shows. Oh the beauty of a wonderfully flat prairie!!! So much fun!

 Don't ask me why, but Zane could only make this crazy face when he had his helmet on. He did love being safe and cuddling with Aunt Kari made it so much better.
 Just another evening with Uncle Able
Zach did sustain a bad finger burn when a firework went off in his hand. This was a big problem since Rowan only wanted his daddy all evening/night long.

6. On Saturday the extended Dotter Family arrived for more celebrations. Jason and his family are moving across the country, yet again, and stopped by OK for the 4th. There were quite a few people there, but of course not the whole crew, which is nearly impossible to get together these days with all of us spread across the country. It was wonderful to see everyone and for them to get to see my boys.

Here is a wonderful four generation picture with Grandpa, Uncle Scott, his kids, and his grand kids.

7. There was lots of other fun to be had, such as badmitten, swimming, tricycle riding, camping, swinging, and rough play with Uncle Zach is always a good time as well. 

 Uncle Zach was being a bear and broke his phone's camera in the process.

7. Saturday evening there were more fireworks that all the kids got to participate in lighting. There were no injuries sustained, but there were fun glow sticks involved. Jason was always in charge of fireworks growing up so it was just like old times only better because there was a whole knew generation to enjoy the fun.

8. Somewhere in the fun I got these wonderful pictures of Rowan whose little face is changing again and taking a turn towards looking more grown and more like his brother. I wish I had his amazing tan!

9. By Sunday I was beyond exhausted, but the kids had one more adventure left in them, down to the creek to check on the stick house. Apparently there was a deer carcass there, which I'm sure was exciting. We headed back to home before naps and was amazed at how exhausted Zane was the rest of the day. We played hard for three days straight and it has really taken it out of all of us. I mean Zane sat and played playdough, by himself, calmly for at least twenty minutes if that tells you anything. Meanwhile Rowan was an emotional basket case do to his exhaustion, which was much less fun. 

 My sweet baby Ro was too tired to go on the adventure and ending up falling asleep on my chest. So wonderful!

10. We had yesterday and today to try to recover, but I had to work out all my doctor debacles yesterday. I finally got contacts ordered, and my sinus CT scan done. The sinuses look fine, so now I just have to hope and pray allergy shots will extremely help. This morning we did get to have park time before it got to hot and spent the afternoon playing with the Richard's kids. I head back to work tomorrow, still extremely tired, and now with a dubious scratchy throat. Wish me luck!