Saturday, October 31, 2009


Flash-or-treating: Minnesota trick-or treating where all the kids have to wear their parkas and quickly flash their costumes so people will know what they are under all of their winter wear. I heard that from a local friend today and thought it was kinda funny. However, I dressed my presh little babies in big puffy pumpkin costumes so they stayed warm.
Hayden and the Cat in the Hat
(i pulled out this old hat that i had in highschool and Liam got a kick out of it)

neither kid really wanted to take this pic... but mom insisted :)

We had such a fun little halloween night - Hayden's first halloween and the first halloween that Liam really got into all the festivities. We grilled brats and and hot dogs for dinner. I think it might be our new halloween tradition. Liam loves to grill with Will. A little video that Will took:

Liam's a big talker, but sometimes he needs a translator. In the video when Will asks him what he's going to dress up as, Liam says (somewhere in there) that he's going to be a monkey for halloween. He started saying that yesterday out of the blue. I had been talking to him about his pumpkin costume and he's been playing with it for the past couple of weeks. I don't really know where the monkey idea came from but maybe we can make it happen next year.

After dinner we took the kids out trick-or-treating and it was a lot of fun. There are a bunch of kids on our street so there were lots of trick-or-treaters out. Liam thought it was AWESOME. He had this look on his face like, "are we actually going to ring everyone's doorbell and get candy?" - just a total novelty to him. He would get a little shy when the neighbor would open their door and he'd barely whisper "trick-or-treat". But when it came to getting the candy - not a shy bone his little pumpkin body. He kept snatching the candy from the neighbors before they had a chance to drop it in his bucket. We just went around our circle and then came home to greet trick-or-treaters. When we got home Liam stripped down as fast as he could and attacked his candy stash. We probably should have watched him a little closer because before we knew it he had torn through a tootsie pop, a blow pop and piece of double bubble. He's never even had gum before! Does it really take 7 years to digest? I guess that means it will be out of his system when we leave rochester.
Liam's a sucker for suckers. He had three suckers tonight along with the gum, 2 gummy candies, a piece of taffy, and a tootsie roll. The glory of no candy rules on halloween! Liam was sticky from head to toe. It's so fun to have all these kid experiences again with your kids. The first of many memorable holidays to be spent in Rochester!

Monday, October 26, 2009

snow fun

The day after the big snow Liam and I woke up and decided that we better get out and try out his new snow boots. So we put all our winter gear on and trecked out to the back yard. We started to build our first Minnesota snow man, but our cute little Old Navy mittens just weren't cuttin' it so we gave it up and went inside for hot chocolate and rice krispie treats. That's the best part of cold weather anyway - going outside just long enough to get a chill so you can come in for a hot little treat. :)
Liam's new boots

Hayden's new boots

Liam's all about snowballs

Hayden wearing one of Liam's old snowsuits - not a fan of the suit or the snow

after-snow treats

sweet little snow bunny

The snow has all melted and the temps are back up in the 40s. But after a taste of the snow to come I realize that we are not prepared for the winter ahead! We've got to stock up on long underwear, better mittens, and THICK socks! And of course more hot chocolate!

Friday, October 23, 2009

is this a joke?

Today is October 23rd. It snowed and snowed and snowed. Full out winter. Here's the view from my deck.

There is snow covering our pumpkins on the front porch. I've prayed today, "Is this a joke, Lord?" I know this is going to sound crazy, but I feel overwhelmed. I never thought I was the kind of person whose mood could be affected much by the weather. But we've been talking about the weather that we will face in Minnesota since we matched in March and now it's here. No more just talking about it. It is now my REALITY and I'm anxious. Winter. 6 months of winter - from now until March. Real winter where school will be cancelled for a few days in February, not because the roads aren't drivable but because kids could get frost bight if they walk to the bus stop, so I'm told. Frost bight? Doesn't that happen to people who climb Mt. Everest or live in Antarctica?

Will texted me today, "Isn't this awesome?" "," I thought, because I had just gotten in from Bible study and then lunch - carrying two bundled up kids back and forth through the parking lot in the snow. I'm slightly embarrassed too because if any Minnesotans read this they will think I'm a huge wimp. And I guess today really wasn't bad. It's just the anticipation of more and more and more to come. Tonight after dinner we took the kids to Target and bought them their first snow boots. Liam was so excited. And it gave me a little boost too. We are going to figure this winter thing out - how to dress, how to get around, fun things to do.

I know this: God has taken me out of my comfort zone. Couldn't we have matched in Florida? Doesn't He know I'm a beach, warm-weather kind of girl? And here I am in Minnesota for 7 years. No doubt, this will make me stronger. "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 29:11

I came across these pictures that Will took about a month ago at our neighborhood park. We didn't realize it, but these were some of our last warm days for a while...

sweet Hayden, 8 months old
(by the way, she started cruising around her activity table this week and even stood alone for a few seconds!)

Potty training update:
We had lunch at a new friend's house from my Bible study. Liam took his pants and underwear off and pooped in the middle of the floor. I wonder if she'll invite us back...

At naptime today, it didn't help for me to leave the door from his bedroom into the bathroom open. He still pooped on the floor. So I went in there, cleaned up, put a pull-up on him and then put a pair of his footsy pajamas on him backwards. He couldn't get to the zipper on his back which meant no stripping down and no playing his favorite games - Human Sprinkler or Crazy Baboon. Oh boy, he did not like it. It's like his own personal straight jacket. He kept saying, "it's the wrong foot."

I do have to brag on him though. When it comes to peeing in the potty, Liam's got it down. I hardly have to remind him. He initiates consistently when he has to go potty. And when we went to Bible study today he stayed dry. He wouldn't pee with his teacher, but he held it in until I picked him up and then peed in the potty. Now if we can just figure out this poop thing...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

potty training

Oh Liam Liam Liam. Part boy, part baboon. He's 28 months and as I've mentioned before, he's been taking his diaper off and basically slinging poop around his room (baboon). So I felt forced to begin the dreaded potty training. It's not that I don't WANT him to put his bodily waste down the toilet - i completely do - i just want to skip the whole training part. So last Friday I put Hayden in daycare and Liam and I had the BIG DAY. We put away the diapers and brought out the big boy underwear! No going back!

We spent the day learning how to use the potty. I bought the book "Potty training in one day" - Dr. Phil endorsed ya know - and pretty much followed it. Part of the plan is having a doll that drinks and pees so that your child can help you teach the doll how to go potty and then learn with the doll. Liam got totally into that.

His doll, Potty Scotty, would have a drink, pee in the potty and get an M&M. So then Liam would have a drink, pee in the potty, and get an M&M - piece of cake. Then Scotty had a drink and peed his pants and Liam quickly realized that it wasn't supposed to work that way. So we made Scotty practice going back and forth to the potty so he would remember next time to go pee in the potty, not in his underwear. Later on in the day Liam had an accident. I reminded him that, like Scotty, he needed to practice so that he would remember to pee in the potty next time. I made him practice ten times. The first couple of times he was like, la la la this is fun. Then by the third, fourth and fifth time he was really not happy and the last five times he was melting down because "i just want to pway (play)!" So during awake hours at home he has hardly had any accidents because he thinks all of that practicing is for the birds. But then naptime comes and my little baboon emerges.

The first day he laid down for his nap and woke up 2 hours later dry. I was thinking, wow my son is basically a prodigy - and thank you dr. phil for this oh so simple program. The next day he even had a big poop in the potty before nap time. Boy did we celebrate - first poop in the potty!! But the past few days have been down right dirty. I walk into his room greeted by turds and tread marks and Liam saying "look mommy look". yes, thank you, merry christmas to me.

See, when it's naptime or bedtime, he's closed in his room so he doesn't have access to a bathroom. So one day I decided to put his little blue potty down in his room so that he could use it if the earth moved during naptime. Nope, still took a big dump on the floor. I went in, cleaned it up, put him back in his bed (he hadn't actually gone to sleep yet). Went to check on him a few minutes later and he had then decided to pee in his little blue potty and then sit down next to it and stick his feet in the pee. Little blue potty in his room - bad idea.

So then today i tried and tried to get him to get everything out before he laid down for his nap. But he realizes that the more he says "i need to go pee pee" the longer it puts off his nap. little stinker. he wouldn't go so i just put him to bed. I go to check on him a few minutes later - he's standing there next to his poop on the floor holding up one finger - "i needa wash my hands", he says. Lord, grant me patience. Lord, grant me patience. Lord, grant me patience.

I've decided now that I need to try leaving the door from his room into the bathroom open. I think he needs the option to use the potty during naptime. It makes me nervous for Liam to have that kind of freedom. I’m envisioning a flooded bathroom and a sewage explosion. I'm sure more stories are ahead.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

pumpkins, piercings, and honey crisp apples

We had an awesome 5 days with Will's parents in Rochester and we were sad to say goodbye this morning. But I think the days we had with them here have been some of our best days in Minnesota so far. We went to the pumpkin patch, spent a day in the Twin Cities (or "the cities" as the locals call it), picked apples at an orchard, and enjoyed several family dinners and game nights together. AND...are you ready for this...WE HAD OUR FIRST SNOW!!!! We went to bed on Oct. 11th with flurries coming down and woke up the next morning to the ground covered in white! Beautiful and frightening all at the same time.
view from our deck
i have decided that i must and i will have a positive attitude about the weather. so this is me having a positive attitude.

my little pumpkins at the pumpkin patch

the fam

Pops and Sandy with their grandbabies

Liam scoping out the patch

in true Liam-style, he felt the need to gather ALL the pumpkins

When we went to the cities we spent the day at the Mall of America. Nickelodeon Universe is there and Liam loved riding the rides. And Hayden got her sweet little ears pierced! I have to admit... when I was holding her down for the girl to pierce her ears my heart was pounding and I had a moment of regret. But Hayden only cried for two seconds and her little earrings are completely adorable.
Liam driving a big rig

Sandy and Liam on the carousel

Billy, Will and Liam on the log ride (poor Liam was afraid for his life)

Before you die, you must come to Rochester, MN in the fall, go to an apple orchard and eat a honey crisp apple straight from the tree. There's nothing like it. And if you've got mad skills like me you'll go home and make pie too. By the way, I've learned not to underestimate the weight of apples. We didn't realize how many apples we had picked until we went to pay for them. We had picked almost 30 lbs. and it cost us $50!! But worth every penny.
making my first apple pie, i didn't know if i could pull it off, but it was actually pretty delish

We carved our pumpkins the same night we baked pie. Such a festive little evening.

Hayden taking it all in

Sandy and Pops' pumpkins

Will and Liam's pumpkins (Liam used markers instead of knives)

just a sweet pic from the week

It's still hard to believe that I live in Minnesota and this is my life. I was just saying to Will's parents this week that I still feel like I'm in college but I blinked and suddenly I'm a mom in a mini-van with two kids, a mortgage and my first grey hair (no really, i found my first grey hair last month). Sometimes I'm behind the wheel of the Odyssey and I look in the rear view mirror at my babies and it's almost an out of body experience. But THIS IS THE LIFE!! I can remember when I was feeling anxious about going to college my mom said to me, "these will be some of the best years of your life." And college was great - so much freedom, so little responsibility, going and doing what you want when you want. My life now is a stark contrast to that - little freedom and HUGE responsibility. But the path that God has led me down since college is RICH with blessings and I praise and honor Him for it. My main objective now is to be a servant for Him and to teach my kids the same.

Thanks Billy and Sandy for coming to visit. We love you so much!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I'm baaaaaaack...

After a nearly 2 month furlough, I have returned to the blogging world. We took a trip to Amarillo, TX in August and it totally broke my blogging momentum. But I'm back and need the therapy of typing my life and emotions.

The camera is still broken. You'd think it wouldn't be that hard to just take it in and get it fixed, but in my world that is so much easier said than done. It requires me loading up and hauling around two awesome little kids at some time when I can rely on both of them to be patient and happy while I wait for the Best Buy dude to inspect my bugger of a camera. And pretty much, I have a long list of such tasks that I will tackle...I'm not sure when. Actually...I will tackle it when my in-laws come to visit on Saturday! Will's parents will be here Sat. through Thur. and we are so excited! I love having visitors on my calendar to look forward to. And we are missing family!

Here's a few pics from our Amarillo trip in August (from Sandy's camera). We had an awesome time. Thank you Grandma and Grandad for having us!

The Copeland Boys - Billy, Will, Liam and Ellis

Cool chicks, Sandy and Hayden

no fear

little fish

grandmas loving on the grandkids

Our dear friends Lexia, Nola, and Gus - oh we miss them!!!

Liam is STILL talking about mowing grass with Grandad

Brothers changing diapers - i think it was Ellis' first diaper change

me and my girl

daddy and daughter

I was spurred on to pick blogging back up because Will has started taking over-night call - meaning he went in today at 6 am and gets off tomorrow at noon. So these long nights at home by myself is a perfect time to blog. Will is still really enjoying work and is doing a rotation in the ICU for the next 3 months. The schedule is actually really good. He goes in at 6 and is home for dinner at 5:30. Then he takes call every fifth night and gets a day off post call. So we are going to have him home way more through the holiday months. Love it!

Here's the scoop on our household right now: poop, poop, and more poop. Actually, I've had to clean up so much of it lately that I would rather use another word for poop. Liam Copeland will NOT keep his diaper on! When this saga began, I walked into his room one morning and and he was standing there buck naked with his full poopy diaper lying on the floor and tread marks of poop on his bed, his car chair, his carpet, his blanket. i mean, seriously? So I gave him a very serious lecture about not stripping, especially if he's shooey, as we like to call it. Next thing I know, 6 hours later at nap time the scenario repeats itself (this time just pee). But after a 2nd morning of poop from floor to ceiling we have resorted to wrapping him with duct tape. And so far it's working. When I tell Liam it's time to get ready for bed he says "I don't want tape". Sorry buddy.

Last night Will, Liam and I had a drawing contest. We all drew trucks - Daddy won. We all drew cats - Mommy won. We all drew flowers - it was a tie. So we drew pictures of Hayden to break the tie. Daddy won. He drew a little round head with tears running down her face and the word 'barf' coming out of her mouth. And that pretty much describes Hayden lately. She's been fussy and she spits up massively all the time. But she's still the sweetest baby girl in the world.

Story of the week: On Friday mornings I'm part of a medical spouses Bible study called Side By Side. This past Friday I was in charge of bringing breakfast for my small group. So I was rushing around the house trying to get the food ready, the kids dressed, my make-up on, etc. I ran out to the garage to let Lucy out to pee. Liam was fiddling around with the door and then followed me out. We turned around to go back inside and the door was locked! Hayden was inside in her exer-saucer, contained luckily, but it only took about 30 seconds for her to work up a real good cry. I grabbed Liam and ran across the street to the neighbors' house to call Will. The neighbors, by the way, had just moved in 2 days ago and I hadn't even met them yet, but they were the only people with cars in the driveway. I was in my tank top and pj pants (no undergarments might i add) and it was in the low 40s and sprinkling that morning. Glorious. Will was able to get away and got there in about 20 minutes. I was upset though and I told Liam not to ever mess with the locks on the doors again. He looked up at me and in the sweetest voice you ever heard said, "I'm sorry mommy".

And a Copeland story continues...