Monday, December 19, 2011

Why I'm behind on blogging

Pinterest. Nuff said.

Find me here.

Happy pinning!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Cuties

Today we celebrated 'our' Christmas before getting ready to spend a few days with family.

Second and First Christmases.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Check out this giveaway!

Check out Oh So Posh Photography on Facebook or her blog HERE!

On the plus side

Today has been rough. But instead of spiraling into an 'everything is crap' post I'm going to tell you why I'm thankful each of these less-than-desirable things have happened.

The bag of chicken leaking ALL over the fridge- Look now! My fridge is purged and SUPER clean!

My sweet baby screaming at me as I try to get him down for a nap- Taking time to stop and cuddle said babe, even though he was screaming, he eventually gave up and became a warm puddle of sweet smoosh on my shoulder. I must be crazy because I think even a little milky spitup smells heavenly.

The toddler who insists only on chocolate covered pretzels for lunch- He consented and ate an apple (but not a single bite of Yaya's homemade mac'n'cheese) and when he got the pretzels he had been begging for he told me 'Good job cooking, Mama'- cause melting chocolate and splashing it on pretzels counts as cooking in my toddlers eyes.

Eating 4 oatmeal cookies for my breakfast, and 3 for lunch, along with the uneaten mac'n'cheese- I may gain a few lbs, but after spending HOURS baking last night, they were totally worth it. If you ask REALLY nicely I'll type up the recipe. They are FANTASTIC, and I'm not really an oatmeal-raisin fan at all. To warn you though- the recipe is HUGE- I usually end up with at least 5 or 6 dozen.

But probably the most disheartening moment was when I forgot to close the door to the napping baby's room and the toddler burst in there yelling, 'HI BENNY!' who quickly woke up SCREAMING (which I would too if I was startled out of my sleep that way!). You know what though, I'm trilled he loves his little brother SO much, so yeah, I'm pretty lucky.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reverse Schedule

Can anyone tell me why my 5month old is desperately trying to flip his days and nights? Am I really that much fun at 9pm, 10pm, 12am, 2am, 4am and 5am?

Here's to hoping it's teeth (that come quickly). On the subject have any of you tried the amber teething necklaces? Love  em? Hate em'? Where did you buy?

Any other 'I hope it's teething' tricks? Thanks!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


People often ask (ok, two people have asked) what video monitor I have that works to monitor both boys' rooms. This is the one I have. And I LOVE it.

I had taken some pictures with my digital camera to post on here, but the camera is in the other room, so you'll have to click on the link to see it.

I bought another, ever so slightly, cheaper unit first (by Samsung) and quickly returned it as it automatically goes silent unless there is a 'noise' in the room if you turn the video part off. Ok, maybe some people want that, but I'm not big into a machine telling me what 'noises' are worth hearing. I'll trust my own ears thankyouverymuch. I much prefer the quiet, reassuring noise of my boys' sound machines running in their rooms.

Reasons this baby monitor is fantastic-

Video- while not stellar, the video is good, I can see what I need to see (though sometimes at night I have to ask Andy where Jackson is if he is hidden in his pile of stuffed animals. Obviously better the closer it is to your 'subject'.

8 second scan feature- the monitor scans each room every 8 seconds. While the neurotic part of me would love to have two monitors running continuously- simultaneously, I'm (mostly) sure this is the best option for monitoring two rooms.

Security- the way this monitor is set up, I don't think people just driving by (even with the same receiver) can pick it up. You have to have the receiver within a few feet of the monitor when you set it up, and even have to press a 'sync' button to pickup the signal. I feel moderately secure with this system (I think it's probably naive to think there is NO chance someone else could view the monitor, but this system really would make it VERY difficult.)

Talk feature/Pan and Zoom- You can 'talk' through an intercom on the monitor. I use this frequently to tell Jackson to 'Get back in bed!'. The look on his face is priceless as he wonders how I know what he is up to. The pan feature remotely moves the camera to view different parts of the room. It is great for 'finding' the toddler who is SUPPOSED to be in bed napping.

Easy to use/touch screen- all very simple and intuitive.

You can add up to 4 cameras.

Even the charger seems to be designed with sleep deprived parents in mind. There is no little cord to plug into a tiny hole. You just put it on the base and make sure it 'clicks' or lines up (easy to do with your eyes closed/in the dark) and you are good to go.

Yes, it's pricy, but totally worth it as an everyday use baby/toddler item TIMES TWO!


It all started with an innocent 'no computer day' on Saturday- it was wonderful. We went to Overland Park to spend time with my mom and sister, then snuggled up and watched a movie once we got home and got the kids to bed. Sunday was busy too, and by then I was outta the 'groove'. Just writing these words feels a little painful. Sometimes it is so relaxing? relieving? to take a break from looking at the computer screen. So, uh. I'm still here. Still going to try to finish the challenge I set for myself. Check back later today, and harass me if you haven't heard anything :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Housewife Math

If there are 18 pieces of laundry in every load, and every load takes an hour and a half to wash and dry, it is noon now and I have approximately 120 pieces of laundry; how long is it going to take me to finish this pile of laundry?

A)     Forever (Yep, that’s how it feels.)

B)      3 days (Because who has time to switch out laundry when the buzzer goes off, and let’s not forget the load we leave in overnight that has to be rewashed.)

C)      10.5 hours (Who are you, and how did you have time to calculate my laundry time? Do you also have time to come help me do a load? Thanks!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Birth Story

Sorry, I don't feel completely comfortable posting my birth story here. I don't know why. Just something about the 'once it's on the internet it's there forever'. BUT I'd love to share it with you. Really! But to warn you- it's LONG.
If you would like to read it, I'd love to share it with you. Leave a comment with your email or send me one at katherine.spiess (at), and I'd be more than happy to send it to you.

But for those of you just looking for the 'highlights':

My water broke around 1:30am, just a small leak (the exact same way as when I had Jackson, but ten days 'later') on my due date.

Went to the hospital at 7am (at my midwifes direction, had it been up to me, I would have waited). We made it to the L&D room at 8am and Bennett was born a little before 11am!

I hoped for a natural birth and thanks to a great birth team (husband, doula, midwife) and my birth plan, I was able to acheive it. I wouldn't have it any other way if I were to do it again.

Any questions? :)


Monday, December 5, 2011


Remember when I was complaing about my long list of 'To Do'. Make banana bread was letter e and got done the next day. I was feeling ambitious and invited Jackson to help me (along with everyone else as you can see- our dogs go BANANAS for bananas, seriously).

I love the chaos of our kitchen. I could pretend it usually doesn't look like that, but it does. For the record, though, I made two batches, hence the chaotic amount of bowls.

I think he had a good time, until he got distracted and I found him desperately trying to pry the box of baking soda open. When I asked him in exasperation what he was doing. He replied- COOKIES! pointing to the picture on the box.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


Which one do you like?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Polar Express

I'm big into books, incase you haven't noticed. I usually buy the boys a book for birthdays and Christmas as 'gifts' and write their name and date inside the cover, sometimes with a small note. The two I bought for this Christmas were 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' and 'Polar Express'. Even though they are 'gifts' I have them out right now so we can read Christmas stories.
Jackson, at 2 years old, is infatuated with all things Christmas. When he saw the tree we got out tonight he was mesmerised. He first called it 'Santa Clause' but immediately caught on when we told him it was, infact, a christmas tree. Later, when he saw it lit up for the first time, his response was simply 'Wow' with a wide eyed look of toddler awe. Sigh. Anyone who complains about Christmas decorations being up too early or too late obviously doesn't have a toddler. Four weeks just doesn't seem long enough to bask in twinkly lights and talk about fat men in red.

Back to my story (yeah, I get distracted easily). I was reading Polar Express tonight to Jackson. Have you read it recently? If not, I REALLY recommend it. I don't know if I've ever really read it before. I mean I knew it was about a train, and Christmas (which it is). I'm not going to ruin it for you. But you might need a box of tissues. My voice caught so many times and I had to start countless sentences over to get through them clearly. Andy walked in an I quite literally had tears in my eyes (ok, running down my cheeks). Am I just hormonal? Anyone else have that reaction to it?

Hope you all are having a fantastic holiday season with your little ones. I'm pretty sure one of the best things about being a parent is seeing the world through your children's eyes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

More stories that probably aren't that interesting.

I went to Target yesterday. Did you see the 10 gift card w/$50 purchase? Yeah I had printed two of those. I needed to make two transactions, because spending 50 bucks at Target is nothing, right? (Don’t tell my husband I said that.) I got cash out of the ATM so Chloe could do one transaction- thinking this would simplify things. (Ok, I was worried they wouldn't let me do both transactions w/the coupons.)The ATM gave me brand new bills. I HATE brand new bills. Chloe pays but after she gives me the bills she didn’t use to pay with, I realize she must have given the cashier an extra 20. I tell the cashier so, but he’s already put the money in the register. He calls a manager. I suggest counting the register- while I realize this is a huge pain, it’s realistically the only way to know for sure. He tells me they have to review the video. I say, go for it. Did he think I was scamming them? And them viewing the video would scare me away? Because, you know, I REALLY wanted to be standing there having this conversation with a fussy baby on my hip and a toddler who I had been away from for almost 4 hours (yes, this is a crazy long time for me, and him). Anyway. The ‘video’ showed only 4 $20s. Right. Because a video was going to be able to show you stuck together bills. Right. After asking REPEATEDLY what would happen when the register was ‘over’ by $20 at the end of the night, he finally took my number to call me if that happened. This morning I was still fuming. Wrote a letter to Target but couldn’t find anywhere to send it to. I finally decided to call the store and talk to the general manager. As I’m dialing, 913-327 . . . .the exact number I was dialing popped up. Victory. They ‘found’ my 20. Who knew?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Did I ever tell you about that time I puked on a bus full of European tourists? No, ok.

Last Christmas we went on a cruise. I booked the cruise in September. I was *hoping* I’d be pregnant, but it wasn’t looking like it because I hadn’t even gotten my period back at that point (TMI?). Anyway, that’s how I came to be on a cruise ship for the last couple of weeks of my first trimester.

Now I’m a motion sickness queen. Though I don’t get SICK often, I take Dramamine like crazy and chug Ginger Ale like it’s going out of style. I don’t do well on boats, airplanes, trains, or even cars! The cruise was REALLY rough. Adding morning sickness + almost a full week of motion sickness was painful. I have vivid memories of lying on the bed of our cabin trying not to puke, the sea violently rocking outside of the porthole, rationing out how much Dramamine and Benadryl I have left and when to use it.

Onto the bus full of tourists. We only took two ‘excursions’ (guided tours from the boat). There were 6 ports in all, and the other 4 ports we did on foot exploring the city. Our two excursions were Egypt, and Rhodes, Greece. The Rhodes Excursion took us to the Acropolis via a 45 minute bus ride. We ended up in the back of the bus (fail 1). Andy and I took two seats with 13 month old Jackson on our shared laps (fail 2). The bus was rough on the small Greek roads- especially in the back. Add a squirmy 13 month old, oh yeah and that morning sickness, and it was a recipe for disaster. Halfway through the trip I started to feel my stomach churn, the acid burning my mouth. I knew what was about to happen. I deserted my husband and baby and jumped two seats up where no one was sitting. Our friends who were on the trip with us (and their 14 month old) came to check on me/offer water or gum. I declined and tried to do some even breathing. The one thing that kept me going was knowing there was a bathroom on the bus, halfway down the aisle. Surely if there was an emergency I could make it that far. Not long after I knew I had to make my way up the aisle, quickly. It was getting bad. Really bad. I lurched up the aisle, hands to my mouth. I made it to the bathroom only to find out it was LOCKED, you know because it was such a short bus ride. Uhhhhhh, well, I didn’t make it. It wasn’t bad, but it was. I spent the rest of the day smelling like you-know-what. Thankfully I got mostly sympathetic smiles from the other English speaking passengers (especially after I gesture to my stomach and explain my small addition- pregnant women get away with almost anything :)

Sorry for all the graphic details. Maybe if you’re lucky I’ll tell you about the excitement on our excursion in Egypt too, which includes fog, TWO separate two and a half hour bus rides, a hands-y, gun carrying security guard and the Great Pyramids and Sphinx photo ops.