Sunday, November 29, 2009

My belly overfloweth

...with more food than one can possibly fathom.

Thanksgiving number one in Mount Vernon Illinois was a success (more on that later)

Headed to Thanksgiving number two in North Liberty Iowa......time to bust out the stretchy pants.

I WILL be running lots and lots on Monday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This morning I stood in my mis-matched jammies in front of our enormous picture window, watching the early morning fog, staring at the coffee maker with ninja eyes hoping it would make the coffee come faster and wondered what Brody would ask for his breakfast food choice this morning. Yesterday is was mac and cheese, the day before that it was cookies (cookies maybe, mac and cheese, not so much) My two little blessings waiting patiently for me to throw something together for breakfast, playing with cars and dinosaurs at the table (they are frequent visitors at our table) Okay...I lied....they were not waiting patiently, in fact that were screaming for food, but I'd like to think they were waiting patiently. One can dream. So you're probably thinking what does this story have to do with thankfulness and I shall tell you.
First of all, they both slept through the night, and for that I am eternally grateful. Secondly, we walked downstairs into our kitchen, cold as it may be, with a roof over out heads and clothes on our backs. It amazes me how much I take for granted. True, we have lots and lots of snot and an occasional testicle problem, but we are healthy. We have a roof over our heads and we are healthy. God is good.
As Thanksgiving creeps up on us, I always try to make a point to list the things I am thankful for, and since I love you go.
1. Family of course! I love my boys....all three of them. I am a blessed woman.
2. My marriage. The man I love gets better looking everyday and I'm pretty glad he chose me.
3. Antibacterial hand soap. Take that Swine flu.
4. The energy and pure joy that Brody has. I'd be rich if I could bottle it and sell it.
5. Baylor's love to learn and read and explore new things.
6. The fact that I get to live close to my parents. I don't know what I'd do without them and I am truly blessed to have them a part of the boys' lives. They boys always come home with new nuggets of information and knowing that they can talk to God anytime. Priceless.
7. My steam mop. Did I tell you I got a steam mop? Revolutionary, I tell you. I mopped for fun today. Sad.
8. That I made enough money at my art show to get my husband the Christmas present he really wanted.....a flatscreen t.v. He's drooling as we speak. Merry Christmas sweet cheeks.
9. My band. I love the fact that I get to leave one evening a week to make beautiful music with extremely talented people. They are my second family and I love them deeply!
10. That gas prices went down this year. Maybe we'll be able to keep the house at 65! Wahoo!
11. Great friends. I have some pretty amazing friends who serve my by watching my dogs, kids and bringing me chocolate when I've had a bad day.
12. The arrows on the remote that show you which way the batteries go. Really.
13. Olivia, Franklin, Bob, Larry and Bambi. Thanks for keeping my children entertained while I use my steam mop.
13.5 Push up bras. Enough said.
14. Running. I was told as a little girl that I may be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life but God had other plans. I was able to run a marathon relay and will begin training for a triathlon and half marathon as soon as I can get my butt in gear. Don't take movement of your legs for granted!
15. The new coffee shop down the street.....I mean RIGHT down the street. Dangerous.
16. That Bill Clinton is constitutionally prohibited for running for president again.
17. Technology. Although slightly addicting and time sucking, I love it.

I could go on, but I will spare you. Just make sure to be thankful for the big and little things this year!

We're headed to Mount Vernon, Illinois for Thanksgiving tomorrow and will return on Saturday. Taking a sabbatical from blogging and Facebook....but only for a few days. I can't stay away that long.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Keeping up with the Joneses

What is good for some, may not be good for another. As hard as I try to ignore the comments, there is always talk and the question of when we will be adding to our family. "oh, it's about time for you to have another isn't it? " The subject of procreation has been on my mind constantly and I can't seem to shake it. There are moments when I long to hold another baby in my arms and then there are moments when I want to lock myself in the bathroom and change my name from mommy to Achmididijadahoo. We seem to kick the idea around almost daily and review our financial situation, car situation and sanity.
I've prayed for a peace about a decision weather or not to add to our family but what I really want is a clear sign from God...maybe a post-it note with a yes or no on it? Maybe an email? Why does going from one to two seem so easy but two to three crazy hard?
I know children are a blessing from God and I count my blessings every day. I also know that I may not be able to handle one more. I want to focus my time and energy on the two blessings that God has already blessed me with. My only fear is to feel regret when both of my boys have left the house and we look at each other and wish we had another child.
Some families choose no children, others one or two or even nine. I have to realize that making babies isn't a contest and realize what is best for our family. I am thankful that I can have children and I don't take that gift for granted. That's not to say that we won't change our minds in a few months when Brody decides to stop licking shopping cart handles and streaking. I know God has a way of letting his will be known and a peace soon to follow. You know the saying, "walk by faith, not by sight?" It just goes to prove if we walked by sight we would be done for sure.....and so is anyone who meets Brody the energizer bunny. The door is not closed for good, but I am enjoying the time I have with my two boys.

What do you think?

Here is a sample of the Christmas card I threw together today for our family. Accompanying the card will be a Speidel Family Newsletter with a year in review. Now, when you get this in the mail....act surprised okay? What do you think? Too many photos? Too cute? Too red? Too Green? Not cute enough? Your input is greatly appreciated!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where's Brody?

It's like one of those Where's Waldo pictures, except for a tall skinny dude in red and white stripes you're searching for a naked two year old hiding on a very dangerous rolling cart.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The art of booger smearing

My little poo flinger (Baylor) has decided that poo flinging is no longer a sport in which he will participate in. Instead he has focused all of his efforts on booger smearing. I'm sure he has passed all knowledge of poo flinging on to his little bro for future reference.

Now the art of booger smearing takes a keen mind and a stealth hand. Here are a few tips from Baylor:

1. Act like you're giving mom a hug and then ever so gently smear a booger on her pants where she can't find it until the lady behind her in the checkout line politely points out the mass of goo on her leg.

2. Pretend like you're really interested in the pictures in a book and point....with a booger on the end of your finger, then promptly smear. Repeat if necessary.

3. When laying in your bed when you are supposed to be sleeping, use boogers as magic markers on the wall. Although they don't show up very well, the texture is perfect.

4. My all time booger smearing. Little brothers make great moving targets for boogers. Extra points if you pretend to hug them and wipe it in their hair.

Now that I have completely gross all of you out.....I bid you adieu. Here's to a fun and booger free weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Here we go again...

I hate germs. I also hate the fact that my children are sick 87.6% of the "cold and flu" season. We had about four days of health and BAM! Brody is sick again. I'm thinking it's a fluke....I'm HOPING it's a fluke. We had a slight fever and a random puke this morning. He's hungry and thirsty and just acting clingy and tired, but so far no more puke. Did I mention how much I hate puke.....

I do.


Here's to fluke puke.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I wanted him to be quiet...

I mean, C'mon....this is totally what I would do if I wanted my little brother to shut his trap. Baylor looks so proud....Brody on the other hand has other thoughts running through his head. I love these boys.

Friday, November 13, 2009


As a mother, wife and fabulous lady (tooting my own horn here, deal with it) I have to admit that I think I have a slight case of ADD.....really. I walk into a room and.....oooohhh something shiny!

Wait, where was I?

This week I have once again failed to be a good mother according to my scale because I have been so distracted by getting ready for the art open house (tomorrow at Diane's house by the way!) and playing in two different bands. I'm doing what I love both music and art are high on my list but I am ignoring what I love most, my children and husband. The housework and cleaning is always distracting as well and the ever so popular what to have for dinner! I wouldn't classify it as ignoring, there are a few different types of ignoring:

1. Tuning when your children say your name 1359 times in the course of one hour and you tune them out...intentionally. This also might work for husbands, but they catch on pretty quickly!

2. Ignoring by choice. I do this one a lot and pretend I didn't hear it (often because I really didn't hear it, I'm going deaf) Lonnie can attest to this as well.

3. Attention deficit ignoring...this I can't help, I just do it. I walk into a room with the intent to do something and come out doing five other things that caught my attention while I walked into that room.

So after the chaos of one week is over and we start with another, my goal is to quit intentionally ignoring and start spending some intentional play time with my kids!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Use your words not your hands

We have entered into a new stage with Baylor and it involves throwing punches. Every time I turn around or leave the boys to play by themselves, the punches start flying. Not just punches mind you, there are scratches and pile drivers and full nelsons. Our hopes and dream of raising a runner have quickly turned towards professional wrestling. We are trying to teach him that he needs to use his words first, rather than his fists. He prefers the fists. He has a temper like his dear mother, feisty and furious. Now Brody man doesn't get off that easy. He too, has developed quite the love for screaming and punching but most of the time it is out of self defense. Some of the time I let them duke it out but more often than none, it was Baylor who threw the first punch and needs to be disciplined. I can't say that I was a calm child, just ask my brother. I used him for a punching bag more often than I'm sure he'd like to remember. Sorry buddy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A wha? Huh?

What a marvelous weekend I had! I left on Friday for the US Open brass band championships in St.Charles. A few band members and myself hopped in the Suburban pulling our trailer and followed a very brave handful of people in a 1970 Starcraft RV. The RV was older than half the people inside and we strapped a pair of horns on the font for added hilarity. The RV has been a brass band tradition for longer than I have been a member and will continue to get strange looks and laughs until it dies....which could be any day now.
Here are a few of the band members that braved riding and hanging out in the RV over the weekend.

We played our hearts out but had a disappointing finish. It only makes us want to work harder next year. I was sick, lost my voice and cashed in early that night....just call me party pooper. I did however get a little taste of the good stuff. My friend Jen from Cary, IL took me on a wine tasting, cupcake eating culture experience. She taught my redneck self about different wines and we window shopped around Geneva. It was marvelous.

Brody man is better but Baylor has a cold now. I am still recovering with a nasty cough and pubescent male sounding's excellent. I'm sure this will be the first of many bouts with crud this winter.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Surgery Smergery

We finished out our week of Dr's visits today with the urologist to confirm that Brody probably has a small hernia and will need a two hour surgery to fix the hydroceles in his little testes (there's that word again...I guess I can't avoid it, I live with three males) The surgery is scheduled for December 16th and was the earliest we could get in. It's an outpatient procedure and he said it was tougher on the parents than the child. I'm not thrilled but I hope this will fix things! We are not traveling for Christmas this year either, so that will make it a bit easier and less stressful! The Doctor also questioned why the sent us to the ER (I do too!) and why the heck they tried to put a catheter in his wee wee. That is probably the source of all the pain, rather than the ping pong ball sized testes.
The poor little dude still has some weird virus and isn't tolerating his antibiotics very well as he spewed all over me, the chair and the floor this morning. He was put on a very strong antibiotic so I'm certain is was because he didn't have any food in his stomach yet. He's still very tired and whiney but the fever has broken (as of this morning!) All of this mess comes at the most inconvenience time as any time is convenient! I am leaving for the weekend for our big brass band competition in St. Charles, Illinois. We have been working so hard on this music and I hate leaving behind a sick little boy. I'm hoping he will continue to get better as the weekend goes on. It's supposed to be beautiful out so my dream is to come home to a clean house, healthy kids and lawn free of leaves (are you reading this honey? :) No, I'm just thankful to be able to get away for a while....alone, even though it makes me sad to leave!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pizzzza party....

So we had some marvelous friends drop off a pizza a few nights ago when we were recovering from our day in the ER and Lonnie was still gone. I was trying to get these tired boys ready for bed and decided to throw them in the tub before the pizza arrived (after thinking this over, I realized that it wasn't the greatest judgement call on my part...duh!) but the pizza arrived while they were mid bath. So what do you do when you get pizza and you're in the tub? Why you have a pizza party in the tub of course. So that is what we did. Poor Brody wasn't hungry for pizza but Baylor and I destroyed a few pieces. I only found one pepperoni floating in the tub afterwards.

Owie Pee Pee

Poor Brody man. This is day four of his fever and chills and walking around the house grabbing his little boys parts crying, "Pee pee owie!" I finally got him in to his pediatrician this morning to make sure he didn't have a urinary tract infection or anything else. The Dr. put him on antibiotics just in case, to cover a UTI and a suspicious looking ear. He also said he would like a urine sample and handed me two cups. I laughed and thought this might be a fun game at home. I have also come down with something icky with a low fever and nasty sore throat, I'm sure it's a cold but I don't get the luxury of laying on the couch watching t.v and sipping hot tea. *sigh* So today our fun game is try to pee in the cup! So far it's not working....but maybe this will be a prelude to potty training. Pray for a good night of sleep for mom, Baylor and Brody....both boys were up again at 5 a.m and it's getting old quite fast. We will see the urologist tomorrow morning to see what the next step is.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Testes, testes one two...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:2-3

If you have been following this blog or know our family, you know that there is an unwritten rule that when my husband is gone that one or more people in the family will fall ill. Lonnie left Sunday and is gone recruiting until Tuesday and as to be expected, Brody man is ill to say the least. I don't know how single mothers do it, but I am glad we don't have to deal with this too often. Bear with me as I tell you the story of our Great Testicular Adventure.

It all started with Brody's second cold in three weeks, snot coming out of everywhere and lots of coughing. Brody has viral asthma so whenever he gets a cold or virus it goes right to his breathing apparatuses. We spent Saturday morning in the Dr's office getting a shot of steroids to help with his croup after being up all night coughing his little lungs out. Sunday he spiked a fever and had chills so I automatically freaked out thinking swine flu or pneumonia....or swine pneumonia. We spent the night at my parents house just in case I had to take him to the ER to get another steroid shot. I'm not sure if it was the daylight savings (which sucks by the way) or a new bed, but nobody got any sleep and my kids were rearing to go at 4:45am....and I was not. Still feverish and wheezing at this point I'm using my webmd license to diagnose a few things and figured I should leave this to the professionals? Call Dr's office and get an appointment. In the meantime I go to change Brody's diaper and we have been having issues with him not wanting us to wipe him (sorry TMI) and crying. I thought it was a "dude, this wipe is too cold" issue or a terrible two issue, but I was mistaken.
(I'm sure he'll thank me for this later when he's engaged and I show it to his future wife) I see that his testicles (not a big fan of that word, but for this marvelous saga's sake I'll suck it up) are swollen up like ping pong balls. Hmmmmm, ping pong balls......this can't be normal (I am also not up to date in my testicular sizing)....and he wouldn't let me come near them with a ten foot pole. Now touching my son's man parts isn't what I call fun, but I had to make sure he was okay. So in the name of medicine I did a little maneuvering of the family jewels. He writhed in pain and so after a quick phone call and finding an amazing neighbor to drop Baylor off with, we high tailed it to the ER.
We get to the ER and with one mention of the evil word, "fever" the 89 year old check in dude hands me a child size mask. I actually laughed out loud...he did not find this amusing. No way is my kid keeping that on. I tried. I tried and tried and decided that rather than fighting, we'd hide far far away where no one could see or hear us. So we stared outside at the parked helicopter. After explaining to four different people that he was wheezy, had a fever and had testicles the size of marshmallows he was then subject to crazy tests to see what was wrong. A chest x-ray (negative) ultrasound and catheter (try to get a two year old to pee on command...ha!) later, we have 1. Upper respiratory infection, hence the wheezing, coughing and sputtering and 2. Hydrocele in both testicles. I know...that's what I said at first too. Hydo wha? To get a full detailed description of this click here. I ain't no doctor, but apparently the Internet has a medical licence. Basically lots of fluid in his little testes that causes uncomfortable feelings and pain. They think it may be caused by a hernia and we have an appointment with the urologist on Thursday. He was a trooper and kept his humor by announcing loudly to the nurse that he just made a bubble with his nose and was the first child to ever laugh while being squeezed by a plastic tube for a chest x-ray. That's my Brody!

It was a long day but I am so blessed to have such amazing friends who brought me a pizza, cookies, watched Baylor and called to see how we were holding up. Keep little Brody man in your prayers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


When you don't let your children have candy on a daily basis, the thought of having a bag full of sweet things could quite possibly send the over the edge. Brody was in heaven. He spent most of the night with his head in the trick or treat bag yelling, "I GOT CANDY! I GOT CANDY!!" Like he had found the spring of eternal youth. Later he realized that when you say, "trick or treat," it usually means someone will give you candy. So he kept running up to anyone and everyone yelling, "trick or treat!" and then putting out his cute little lion paws. He got a few, "oh look at the cute little lion, " and one, "dude, I don't have any candy." So if you see Brody in the next few days and you're carrying a bag, watch out or he'll ask you for candy.

Can you guess what my mom is?

She went as the H1N1 virus....hilarious. Some guy thought she was one of those carnival games that you throw a dart at and a handful of children tried to steal her balloons. You can see where I get my weirdness from.

Here they are. Little lion and Dragon. Even though we don't technically celebrate Halloween, they loved the dressing up and getting free candy....who wouldn't? Baylor is already planning for next year.