Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My routine

My routine is there is no routine. I had grand visions of getting so much done with one in school full time and one in school three mornings a week. Like coming home after preschool drop-off and exercising, then showering, then running errands, then picking up. Yeah, that hasn't happened yet. And when do I get all the other stuff done like cleaning or cooking or folding laundry? I'm not the type to have Monday be laundry day and Tuesday be cleaning and Wednesday by grocery shopping and . . . you get the idea. Somewhere between my grand ideas and the follow-through, life happens.

Like Monday when I had a killer migraine and could barely make it through supper and bedtime. The twenty pots and pans used for making lasagna didn't get washed. And now it is Wednesday and they are still on the counter, dirty. I was going to wash them yesterday after I got home from running to Des Moines, but then a friend needed help watching her son for a little while after school and it was too nice out to be inside doing dishes. And I thought I had supper all figured out last night (grilling hamburgers) until I realized the grill ran out of propane on Sunday. I almost just had Quiznos deliver a couple sandwiches, but decided to make mini-meatloaves. We aren't big meatloaf fans (or at least hubby isn't) but this recipe got rave reviews on allrecipes. So that was all fine and dandy until Emma decided we should practice spelling words while supper was cooking. The timer went off and we were still spelling, so the mini meatloaf got a little done. Hubby was so kind to call them meteorites. It didn't help that he called at 6pm to say he was running late and hoped to be home by 7:30 but it was 8pm by the time he made it home. So where is the routine in all of that?!

Then I woke up around 4am with the beginning of a sore throat, headache, and body chills. Hmm, wonder what that could be?! Great, just great. Some Advil and sleep helped some, but I think after preschool drop-off I'm coming home and going back to bed. And yes, that is me in my pj's in the drop-off line. So all my plans of washing dishes and putting laundry away and picking up the house a bit today are out the window again. To add to my already not routine day, Emma has an early dismissal so she will be home around 1pm.

See, a chaotic life is routine around here.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Four years ago today we were bringing home our baby who had lived the previous six weeks in the NICU. It is funny how that homecoming day becomes just as important as the birthday; I always stop to think about this day.

See how happy she is to bust out of that place?!

Outside in the "real" world for the first time. We had a two hour car ride home.

Elway says, "You brought another one of these things home? Isn't one enough?"

Emma is singing one of her songs to Leah (probably taught to her by Aunt Glenda). This is the first time Emma saw her in person.

Holding her for the first time. Emma still picks Leah up and tries to carry her around.

I'm not as eloquent as Cristin in describing homecoming. When we brought Leah home we had little to no knowledge of CDH and how long stays in the NICU could be. Six weeks seemed plenty long for us. We were running out of free childcare (thanks to Grandmas and Aunts!) and we were ready to have Leah home. Since we didn't know of her condition before birth, to prep Emma for a new sister we kept telling her "Mom and Dad will go to the hospital and come home with a baby". We never imagined that we would go to the hospital and come home with a baby six weeks later. C'mon, no 2.5 year old is patient enough to understand how that works.

It is funny how things work out. Since Leah was due in mid August, I had bought a summer outfit for her to come home in. I didn't think she would ever wear it considering she was coming home in late September. On the day she came home it was unseasonably warm--about 90 degrees. She did get to wear her outfit after all.

We no longer live in the houses that either one of the girls were brought home to as babies. It just goes to show that home is not the house, but the place where your family is together.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally Friday

It has been a long with with hacked e-mails and puking kids. I think we have everything sorted out now, the kid is back at school, and I even have a 1/2 way clean house. The other kid goes to preschool this morning which means 2.5 hours of time to myself!! Which also means I had better get my grocery list ready because I have 2.5 hour window to go to the store so I had better prepare and use my time wisely.

Not too much going on this weekend. We have the usual early morning torture soccer game on Saturday morning, which is about 8 sets of parents sitting along the sidelines of the soccer field yelling "Get the BALL!!" to children who don't belong to them. Seriously, it is painful and compounded by the fact that only about 1/4 of the girls sort of know what is going on. The other 3/4 are totally clueless. Once again, Emma shows more athletic ability and promise at six than I ever did, so I'll keep signing her up.

Off to read Facebook make my weekly menu and grocery list, shower, and take Leah to preschool!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First time--iheartfaces entry

My sister has posted her entries to ihearfaces before, but I never felt I had anything that was too good. She is the better photographer in the family--I just point, shoot and pray. This week's competition is "Contemplative" As soon as I saw that, this photo came to mind:

We were on a preschool field trip to a pumpkin patch/farm, and I caught her from across the way. I love the texture of the fence combined with the colors and the look on her face. This was one of my first attempts at any type of photoshop editing: I think it helps draw attention to her expresion and takes emphasis away from the other child in the photo. I also have it as just a simple black and white on my photo collage wall. She must have been thinking about something else because here they were learning about sheep, and I don't think there is too much to contemplate about sheep. ;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

A bad case of the Mondays

Nothing ruins your day like finding out your e-mail has been hacked. It started this morning when hubby was frustrated that he couldn't log onto any accounts. Here I thought we would be without internet (gasp!) but when I checked it out, it was fine. Meaning I could log into Facebook--whew! But then came the phone call from my college friend/maid-of-honor asking me if John was in London and needed her to send money. I knew right there we had been hacked.

There is a hoax on Facebook where a chat box will come up (one of your friends, so someone you know) and they will tell you how they were robbed at gunpoint in London and need money ASAP. Well this time instead of my FB account being hacked, it was our e-mail. And hubby's hotmail account. And our e-bay account. And who knows what else. Thankfully my hotmail account has been okay so far, so I've been able to e-mail MSN about the problem. Thanks for the super-speedy response and wonderful help. . . NOT.

It is possible that all this can be traced back to the evil FB. I may have to re-evaluate my obsession and think about spending my time on there.

I just hope that no one the message went out to was gullible enough to fall for the hoax. I did get a couple phone calls to confirm it really wasn't us. But that e-mail account is about 10 years old and has many, many contacts including school, friends, and relatives. I guess it is time for a new e-mail.

So instead of enjoying my first day with 2.5 hrs of free time (ha--I sat in a Dr's office for almost that entire time as well as fielding phone calls) I've been dealing with this. Fun times.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cyclone Born, Cyclone Bred


I think you all know where our loyalties lie. Go Cyclones!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beat Cancer

This weekend is the big Iowa State vs. Iowa rivarly football game. Iowa has no professional sports teams, so this is "THE" football game of the year. Although there are many people in the state who cheer for other state schools, the majority cheer for either Iowa State or Iowa. Period. If you know me, you know which one we cheer for. ;)

For many years now the mantra for this weekend (and anytime the two schools meet together in sporting activities) is:

The students on campus get on board and even do things like this in the dorms:

But there is another reason why this weekend is significant. Saturday is National Childhood Cancer Awareness day. Families in Iowa have teamed together to do some fundraising at the game this weekend. You could get a shirt that looks like this:

(They do come in that "other" school's colors, but my blog and I won't post those colors here) ;) The whole month of September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. You can see some of the families in Iowa who are battling cancer here. The athletic director at our university also has a son going through cancer treatments right now; the boy is in the same grade as Emma at school and she will often say hi and talk to him at sporting events.

Even on the vast world wide web, I'm finding more and more connections that bring people far away closer. After Emma was born I used to frequent a bulletin board site on Baby Center (and still do, I will admit). About 5 years ago there was a story that was "famous" on the bulletin boards about a family dealing with their infant daughter, Allie, who had leukemia. It seemed that everyone followed her story and every mother on there was heartbroken when Allie lost her fight to cancer. Since then, her mom has founded a non-profit in Texas to help families going through childhood cancer. I still follow her personal blog and come to find out one of my favorite CDH families know the family in real life.

On Saturday while you cheer on the Cyclones, take a minute to learn more about childhood cancer and maybe do something to support awareness and fundraising.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I love having two girls and I'm finding out more and more just how opposite two sisters can be. Of course they have a lot of things in common, but I like to see the areas where they differ and have their own opinions.

First off, everyone always tells me they look so much alike. They do resemble each other in certain ways, but their eye color is definitely different. Emma's can vary from blue to green (if you ask her, they are green) and Leah's are nothing but brown 100%. Hubby has the blue eyes and I have brown.

When we had our pictures done this summer by Amy Price, she really was able to show the difference between their eyes.

Emma is our tomboy, through and through. She has no desire to do dance (although she may find an interest in gymnastics, I think) and only wanted to do sports--softball, basketball, soccer. Leah is our ballerina and loves to pretend to dance. I hope we can get her into some dance classes in the next year or so. She likes her sports, too, but gravitates more towards dance.

The Tomboy
The Ballerina

When it comes to getting dressed, Emma's closet is full of t-shirts and knit shorts/yoga pants. She wears her tennis shoes 99% of the time, even with the one time I got her into a dress for school this fall. Leah loves dresses and will ask to wear a dress or a skirt most days. She loves her flip flops and cute shoes to match her outfits. Here is Emma on her first day of preschool (she was not quite 3.5 years old)

Here is Leah's 1st day of preschool (4 years old)

She wanted to wear a dress on the first day and will probably ask to wear a skirt or a dress every other day of preschool, too.

When Emma was five, she got to go to Build-a-Bear and make a friend. She chose a dog, whom she named Blizzard. Blizzard is a boy and has pirate pj's.
(This picture was taken sometime last year and may document the last time I got Emma to wear denim--she will not wear jeans and I stopped buying them for her)

Leah got to go to Build-a-Bear for her fourth birthday and came home with a kitty named Isabelle. Isabelle is a girl and has a pretty, pink Sleeping Beauty dress and glittery shoes.

Ask Emma what her favorite color is and she will tell you "Any boy color", which usually translates into blue or green. When school supply shopping for her we picked out a blue pencil case and a blue notebook. She will also pick red sometimes.

Ask Leah what her favorite color is and she will tell you "Dark pink, but I also like light pink". Walk into her room and you will be blinded from all the pink in there.

Even with all their differences, they still love each other and are each other's best friends. Maybe their differences will keep them from arguing over clothes and things once they are older . . . yeah, probably not.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How Original

When asked what she wanted to be for Halloween, Emma said: "Maybe a different breed of dog?" (She was a Dalmatian last year)

Leah aspires to be a princess and wants to wear her princess hat she got for her birthday, which is pink. (She was a pink princess last year)

I knew if I suggested Emma go as a Ghostbuster, she may change her mind. She has watched the movie a few times this summer, and I think it would be appropriate because her dad went as a Ghostbuster when he was younger. When I brought it up, she was all for it--except she wants to go as Slimer. "And then Dad could be a big Ghostbuster and he could suck me up!" I will admit, that is a great duo costume idea.

So now I am on the lookout for kids size medium tan coveralls. I usually make (or actually my mom or my SIL make, I'm just the creative director) the girls' Halloween costumes. I'm not ready yet to pay $35 plus shipping for a cheapy Ghostbusters mass produced costume. I have almost 2 months, right?!

Monday, September 7, 2009


So blogger and I still aren't seeing eye-to-eye on posting pictures. I don't know what the (my) problem is, so I decided to put pictures in a different way. Ha! So the 15+ pictures I carefully selected and put in chronological order are now in--backwards. Grrr. So let's take a trip back in time and see what we've been up to the past month . . . .

Mostek family gathered in Omaha for Grandma Mostek's funeral. We are missing a couple of kids, but you will see them later. John's 2 brothers are on the left of his parents and his sister is to his right. The rest of us just married in.

Random picture of cupcakes I made. I had seen them on Bakerella's site and wanted to make them all summer. I ended up taking them to a picnic with our neighborhood moms.

The cutest Cyclone this side of Ames!

Emma throwing a softball 19mph. Watch out!

Leah shooting hoops with the Cyclone women's b-ball team

First day of school 2009, Leah wanting to get in on the action

Emma all ready for 1st grade
The girls checking out all the big John Deere equipment at the State Fair

Leah and cousin Camden with Clifford

The 4 Mostek side cousins (the two that were missing from the family photo above)

Leah trying clothes on her new kitty at Build-a-Bear

Leah stuffing her kitty

Leah's b-day cupcakes

Glass slipper and crown cookies on cupcakes

Leah and Daddy at her b-day dinner out to Hickory Park

Leah on her b-day "Look Mom, no hospital trips!"

And that concludes our trip down memory lane. I think this method will work okay when I'm not trying to post 15+ pictures. I still can't cut and paste web addresses like I used to. I'm sure it is all the computer, and not the operator. And I apologize because the majority of you who read this blog have already seen these pictures on Facebook at one time or another. You may have even commented on them there, but don't let that stop you from commenting again. Multiple times.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Say "Cheese!"

Today is school picture day. Ever since Emma's first school picture last year, we have been giving her a bad time about smiling for this year's picture. Last year's picture was okay--but she has a forced half-smile that looks nothing like her. It's gotta be better this year, right?

The past two weeks the first graders have worn a certain color every day. They then could wear their favorite color today, coincidentally on school picture day. Emma is still going through her "I'm picky about clothes" phase, so I asked her what her favorite color was. She said any boy color (thanks for the direction). She really didn't have anything in her closet, so I went and bought three shirts for her to choose from for picture day. And she vetoed every one. I guess all it took to please her was a $3 red short-sleeved shirt from Wal-Mart. Can't wait to see how the picture turns out.

I would venture to guess that in my 12 or so school pictures, there are maybe 2-3 that I would think look good now. What can I say, it was the 80's--we didn't know much about fashion. When I was in kindergarten I had short hair to begin with, then I decided to cut my bangs up to my hairline. I'm sure that was a great shot. I think it is either my 1st or 2nd grade photo I like the best. My hair actually looks blond, my mom had french braided it, and I had on a cute pink plaid shirt (that my mom made). Then I remember a string of really bad photos. 4th grade--the lovely "permullet" where the top is short and permed and the back is long and straight. 5th grade--hair cut short like a boy. 6th grade--bad perm, first year with braces, long plastic black beads. Good thing I don't have a scanner.

Since I am worthless and don't have any pictures to back up my claims of ugliness and awkwardness, head over to and delight in other people's bad pictures. I had seen the site before about 6 months or so ago, but spent most of the day yesterday browsing through and getting a good laugh. I think Glenda should send in her photo she has of her holding a birthday cake and some sort of animal antlers coming out of her head thanks to her mother's posing skills. We also have a few that I can think of that might be awkward enough.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Family Legacy

This past weekend we were in Omaha for a funeral. John's paternal grandma, Adell Mostek, passed away after a long life of 92 years. We are very close to the extended family on his Dad's side, but usually only get to see them once a year or so around the 4th of July. All of John's brothers and sister gathered in Omaha for the funeral and to remember Grandma Mostek.

I first met Grandma Mostek in the spring of 1994 when I went to Omaha with John over Easter break. His grandparents happened to be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, so here I am as a family newcomer in all the pictures. His cousin Dave also announced his engagement to his girlfriend, so it was quite a big weekend. Who would've known that 15 years later we'd be looking at those photos with a family that has grown by 5 spouses and 11 grand kids.

John's grandpa passed away soon after we were married, so Grandma Mostek has been on her own for quite a few years. Once she was in an assisted living facility, her daughter Dot started Grandma making fleece tie blankets as something to pass the time and keep her hands busy and agile. I would have to ask Dot how many blankets Grandma Mostek made over the course of the years, but this weekend there were 8 full tubs/boxes of blankets she had made. We already had quite a few at home that she had made for us, but we left with about 5 more. Part of her legacy will be those blankets that are being used by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She has also sold some at craft fairs, made some on request for people, and donated many to Project Linus.

Another thing Grandma Mostek would do to pass the time is play lottery Bingo. Again, Dot would bring her scratch-off Bingo cards and Grandma would enjoy playing. In honor of her on Sunday night, Dot bought 15 lottery Bingo cards for everyone to play together. We were hoping Grandma would be looking down on us and someone would win the big $35,000 prize, but the biggest winners were a few $5 cards. It was fun and I'm surprised we made it out of Nebraska without buying more cards. Now every time we see something posted about a Bingo night or there is talk of Bingo, we think of Grandma Mostek.

Another part of growing up as a Mostek is remembering your polish heritage. Grandma Mostek loved her polka music (and passed that love onto her son, John's dad) and they also loved their Polish food. Our meal after the funeral was a delicious Polish spread provided by Eddy's Catering in Omaha. Even our girls love kielbasa and I was introduced to kolaches. Yum! Grandma and Grandpa Mostek grew up in a very Polish neighborhood in South Omaha. Walking through the cemetery at the graveside service you couldn't pass a headstone that didn't have some sort of Polish name--the longer the last name, the fewer vowels it had.

Even though our girls only met Grandma Mostek a few times, I hope that they remember her through the stories we tell. They love their blankets that she made and now they want to play Bingo all the time. She will be missed by her loving family who knows they are all here in part because of her. I'm sure there was a spot saved for her at the Bingo table in Heaven.