Monday, December 28, 2009

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

Tonight we will celebrate our third (and final!) Christmas.

Whew!

It seems like the older I get, the longer the celebrations last.

And the older I get? The more it wears me out.

I'm exhausted!

So, what about you? How many times did you celebrate Christmas this year?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On the Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, we're celebrating Christmas.

Yet again.

The End.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Right Thing To Do

After decorating the house...

after finishing the shopping...

after wrapping all the presents...

after shopping for the Christmas dinner...

after coordinating the Christmas clothing...

after planning for a small, intimate, family-of-five Christmastime...

we headed home for Christmas.

It was the right thing to do.

We didn't want to go. We didn't want to drive four hours. We didn't want to see lots of people. We didn't want to hear lots of loud voices.

But we did. And, in a way, we wanted to.

Because it was the right thing to do.

Mr. Einstein's beloved grandfather has lung cancer.

The same kind of lung cancer his other grandfather died from years ago.

Treatments aren't going well. He's in constant, terrible pain.

So, we went home for Christmas.

It was the right thing to do.

We made peace with the decision. We postponed our small, intimate, family-of-five Christmastime until the 26th. We will still do things the way we originally wanted to, just a little later than planned.

But first, we saw family. We finally got to meet our four month-old niece for the first time.

We got to take the (hopefully, first of many) opportunities to say goodbye.

Because it was the right thing to do.

**********

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a blessed time with friends and loved ones.

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given...And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Friday, December 4, 2009

In the Land of Runny Noses and Poopy Diapers

In the Land of Runny Noses and Poopy Diapers live three children.

E, the oldest, has a runny nose.

C, the middle child, has a runny nose.

M, the baby, has a runny nose.

Their mother is so proud.

Now, E, being the oldest, doesn't wear diapers anymore, but she spends her days fetching tissues for her mother and overseeing diaper changes.

C, the middle child, is 2 1/2. She still wears diapers, and, consequently, still poops in them. C shows no signs of potty training, wanting to potty train, or interest in potty training. Her mother would desperately like her potty trained.

M, the baby, wears diapers, of course. He is expected to poop in them; his mother wouldn't have it any other way. Although, she does wish that she didn't have to monitor his poopy diapers so closely, due to his wheat problems (not allergies, problems).

In this Land of Runny Noses and Poopy Diapers, the mother wipes noses at least eight times an hour. It's a wonder she herself isn't sick. No worries, though; she's confident she'll have her own runny nose to take of by Monday. She is so looking forward to this.

The mother also changes, on average, four poopy diapers by nap time. She thinks her children may have issues.

The father is, of course, at work during most of the day in the Land of Runny Noses and Poopy Diapers. He is blissfully unaware of the nose-wiping and bum-wiping that go on while he is away. The mother, though, makes sure he does his fair share when he returns home each evening. She is good at sharing like that.

Fortunately, in the Land of Runny Noses and Poopy Diapers there is nap time (which is a whole different Land to explore at another time) which begins soon. For this, the mother is grateful.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When Worlds Collide













Hi, Mrs. Einstein, meet Krista.

Yep. I actually got to meet another blogger! For the first. time. ever.

And you know what? It actually wasn't weird at all. (Okay, well, the part where I had to leave her five minutes after she arrived to go pick up E from school was a bit weird, but, whatever.)

Meeting Krista in person, a blogger whom I've "known" for almost 2 years, was like meeting up with a friend that I see all the time. There didn't seem to be any awkward moments, any embarrassed moments, any oh-my-goodness-I-can't-think-of-a-single-thing-to-say moments, any ack!-what-must-she-think-of-my-kid(s)? moments.

Instead, we were comfortable, companionable, relaxed.

We were friends.

I don't know about Krista, but my head was spinning for just a little bit, trying to figure out where this meeting fit in, since my worlds had just collided. But you know what? I'm so glad they did!

Thanks, Krista, for such a wonderful day! I can't wait to get together with you again!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

Last year on Thanksgiving, I was in the hospital.

Last year on Thanksgiving, I ate a hospital Thanksgiving meal for lunch, and had hospital Salisbury steak for dinner.

Last year on Thanksgiving, I spent the entire day gazing at my newborn son.















Last year on Thanksgiving, I was recuperating from birthing a 10 pound 11 ounce baby.



















Last year on Thanksgiving, I was thankful for the nursing staff at the hospital who did everything they could think of to help me avoid a c-section.

**********

This year, I am home.

This year, I am once again cooking Thanksgiving dinner. For dinner.

This year, I will spend the entire day gazing at my one year-old son.













This year, I am thankful for my family gathering together at my home to celebrate not only Thanksgiving, but my 24 pound monkey of a son.













Happy 1st birthday, M! For you, we are ever thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--2008's Big Turkey


Last year's 10 pound 11 ounce turkey.

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For more photos, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

You Know You Need a Bigger House When...

...you live in a three bedroom house, and your baby (who is only going to be a baby for two more days) is sleeping in the nursery, your two year-old is sleeping by herself in the room she shares with her sister, your five year-old is sleeping on the floor in your room because she's sick, you are on the computer at the bar in the kitchen, and your mother-in-law is sleeping on the cot in the living room while your husband is in the self-same living room watching 30 Rock on the laptop.

It's going to be a long holiday week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On a Monday Not Unlike Today

One year ago today, I got a phone call. A rather unusual phone call, for me. From my doctor's office.

I was three days overdue with M, and Thanksgiving was coming. My doctor wanted to know if I'd like to induce before the holiday. Would I like to come in tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:00 am and have a baby?

Um, no, I thought. I would not like to come in on Tuesday and have a baby.

Which sounds a little bizarre considering I was huge, overripe, ready to burst. And huge. Let's not forget that I was huge.

Don't get me wrong; I was ready to have him. I just wasn't ready to go into the hospital and induce with less than 24 hours notice.

Plus, I was still hoping my body would cooperate and go into labor on its own.

So, I told the nurse I'd have to think about it. After Mr. Einstein and I talked it over for awhile, I called her back.

"No," I told her, "I would not like to come in on Tuesday and have a baby. How does Wednesday sound?"

"Wednesday?" she questioned. "Well, that means you'll be in the hospital over Thanksgiving."

"Yes, yes I know."

"Okay. Wednesday it is."

So, one year ago, on a Monday not unlike today, I scheduled my first (and last) induction for Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When Life Must Go On

October was a rough month, and though nothing happened to me and mine, we felt things very deeply that month. And still do.

On October 18th, a beautiful baby boy was born to friends of ours. On October 20th, he went to be with Jesus, leaving his mom, dad, and brother behind. He had some complications at birth, but doctors are calling it a "medical mystery" as to why he died.

On October 20th, the husband of another friend was admitted to the hospital with complications from pneumonia brought on by H1N1. He was comatose, though showing signs of improving. On October 31st, he went to be with Jesus, leaving behind a wife, two sons, and an adopted daughter. He was the sole breadwinner in his family, for almost 10 years traveling across the pass every week to go to work and traveling home every weekend to see his family.

Also on October 20th, Mr. Einstein's beloved grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. He's in his 80's, the darling of his family. It's the same kind of lung cancer Mr. Einstein's other grandfather died from years ago, caused by asbestos. He's undergoing chemo, but is having problems after his first treatment.

So much tragedy in so little time. So many mind-shifts. So many things taken for granted. So many opportunities missed and so much insight gained.

Life must go on.

And it does.

The baby boy's family? They've found comfort in Jesus and are still feeling blessed by the very little time their son was a part of their lives.

The widow and her kids? They are clinging to God's promises of eternal life, knowing they will see their husband and father again someday.

Mr. Einstein's family? Those who pray are doing so diligently. Other than that, there is much impatience, much waiting. Plans have been changed, have become fluid. No one knows what the future holds.

But life must go. And it does.

And it will continue to do so.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So, I Have This Thing Called a Blog...

I'm here everyone. I really am. It's just been a crappy few weeks for me out here. Really crappy. I'll post again soon. I promise.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What's In a Name?

E hates Swiss cheese.

Hates it.

H-A-T-E-S it.

To the moon and back.

You know that children's book, Guess How Much I Love You? In our house it's Guess How Much I Hate Swiss Cheese!

You know what she does like, though?


Go figure.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

You Know Mommy Takes Too Many Pictures When...

...this is what you get

over,

and over,

and over again.

Oh, my!

Oh! Almost.

Even closer!

Ah! There we go! There are those baby blues!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October

For the month of October, my blog is going pink for a friend.

A friend who is currently fighting and beating breast cancer.

I am overwhelmed with hope and thankfulness for her.

I am completely in awe of her strength and decisiveness.

I am humbled by her experiences and attitude.

I am eternally thankful to call her my friend.

I praise the Almighty for bringing her into my life.

And I pray daily that she will continue to win the battle she is so gallantly fighting.

I love you, Holli.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aloha Friday

An Island Life

Tell the truth now: Have thoughts of Christmas invaded your head yet?

They have mine.

*sigh*

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For more Aloha Friday, visit An Island Life.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Princess and the Peas

Raising two self-proclaimed princesses brings all sorts of fairy tales back to me daily. My girls are obsessed with princesses! Even at two years of age, C can identify and name each and every Disney princess.

But lately, it's been the Princess and the Pea that runs through my mind most often.

I always enjoyed the story of the Princess and the Pea as a child. It was a little fantastical for me, but the idea that a true princess could feel a tiny pea under all those mattresses? THAT is the stuff that fantasies are made of!

Since E's started school, C has really begun to come into her own. It's been fascinating, and a bit frustrating, to watch her little personality grow and expand when her big sister isn't around.

And C? She must have a bit of real princess in her.

Why? Because every morning while M is taking a nap, C asks for a snack. And do you know what she asks for?

Frozen peas.

?!?

Seriously; the kid asks for frozen peas. And she'll eat two bowls full. Every morning.

Sometimes it's nice having a princess (or two) in house!

But, no, I'm still not the queen.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Girl

My poor little Goose! My darling little 2 year-old C! I suppose it was inevitable.

She's so cute, so sweet. She's been forced to grow up so quickly because of M being only 18 months younger than she is.













I suppose, given her age, it was bound to happen.

I suppose it happens to all children eventually.

My careful girl,



















my curious girl,













my wants-so-badly-to-be-a-big-girl girl,













fell out of bed the other night.

I'm not exactly sure how she managed it. Between the small bookcase acting as a guard by the head, and the bunk bed ladder acting as a guard by the foot, there's only a two-foot space leading directly to the ground. Apparently, she found it.

While asleep.

My talented girl!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lip-Smackin' Good



Just some lip-smackin' cuteness for your Friday.

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

THAT Family

Amidst all the turmoil and trauma of me missing my sister's wedding, a highly significant, life-changing event took place in the Einstein household earlier this month.

(No, I'm not pregnant again. It's not possible for Mr. Einstein and me to have another baby together. Trust me.)

What I mean is, the first day of the rest of E's life began: she started kindergarten.



















She was just a wee bit excited about it.



















Of course, Mr. Einstein started school, too.
He wasn't nearly as excited about it as E was, though.

With this new beginning came homework, of course.

Now, homework isn't new to E; the preschool she was at last year had weekly homework packets, so she was well-trained as to what to expect homework-wise.

The only difference this year is that her sister, C, is older. And has a longer reach. And is more interested.

Mr. Einstein, being an elementary school teacher, has dealt with...well, you name it, he's dealt with it.

One of his biggest pet peeves? THAT Family. One of the things he really can't figure out: How in the world do the kids of THAT Family manage to get food all over their homework? Some days it's so bad, he can actually figure out what THAT Family had for dinner.

Disgusting, right? Absurd, right? Careless, right?

Well, guess what: we now have personal insight into THAT Family.

We have become THAT Family.

Sadly, it's true.

Tuesday night Mr. Einstein was going over E's Read Well magazine packet with her, reviewing what's she's been learning. He got up to get seconds, and left it on the table.

Within reach of C.

Who had been eating refried beans.

With her hands.

Of course she reached out to grab the packet. Of course her hand was covered with beans. And of course she smeared the beans all over one of the pages.

She is only 2 years-old, after all.

Mr. Einstein emailed E's teacher to apologize, and her teacher just laughed.

Yes, we have become THAT Family.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Acting My Age

I am determined to act my age today.

I will not be petty.

It's giving me a headache, but I'm determined.

I will not wallow.

I want no feelings other than excitement and joy to flow through me and out of me today.

Tonight, my sister is getting married in Hawaii. I am still at home.

She is going to have the wedding of her dreams, and for that, I am thankful.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Weeks

I can't believe summer is almost over!

In two weeks, school starts.

In two weeks, Mr. Einstein will officially be a classroom teacher again.

In two weeks, E starts kindergarten.

Freak.Out.

Seriously.

I have been so excited for her to start school. She has been more than ready for school for ages. But now? Now I'm starting to freak out a little bit.

Her clothes are ready, her shoes are purchased, her backpack is loaded, the school is almost finished.

In two weeks? My baby will be all grown up.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 5, 2000

On August 5, 2000, I married my best friend.


We were so young!


I wore this gorgeous satin dress that I had bought in January.
For an August wedding.
Yeah, I know. Great planning on my part.


But you know what?


It doesn't matter.
Because nine years later?
We're still together.


Happy Anniversary, darling!

I love you very much.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dirty Talk

Whoever told me that changing a boy's dirty diaper is easier than changing a girl's dirty diaper had either a) never changed a boy, or b) never changed a girl.

After 8 months of changing a boy's diapers, and 8 months of changing both a boy's and a girl's diapers simultaneously, let me tell you:

The boy's? Much more difficult. Much.

Sure, a girl has more crevices. But a girl's? Much more accessible.
A boy's? His are deeper and require moving things around.

A girl's? Takes a few swipes over a large area.
A boy's? Takes several swipes in the same small area. And a moving of things.

A girl's? So easy to tell when clean.
A boy's? Not so much.

Whoever said that to me? Liar!

I'll give you this much: they both equally stink.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Busy Body

In the last three weeks, M has...

...learned to sleep by himself in his crib in the nursery.

...learned to say gaa, goo, a-goo, gung, and mamamama.

...learned to like baby food (especially meat) and yogurt.

...learned to drink through a straw.

...learned to eat Cheerios without choking.

...learned to crawl.

...learned to pull himself up to stand.

...learned to clap.

...cut another tooth (finally!).

It's been busy around here lately, to say the least.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--Artsy Fartsy






I make absolutely no claims to being a photographer.
That being said, I really enjoy playing with my camera.

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For more photos, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Re-Introduction

With a new blog title, I thought I'd reintroduce the characters you meet here and see every so often.

This is M. M= mass. He's my chunk-of-love, my Bubba. Those 7 month-old rolls? They're about 95% breast milk, and about 5% baby food. He's huge.



















This is C. C=speed of light. She's fast and she's 2. 'Nough said.













This is E. E=energy. She's 5 and she's wiry. Now, when Einstein came up with his theory of relativity, I'm sure he didn't have my kids in mind. However, my E? She really does equal MC2. She's the firstborn child of two firstborn children. She's doomed.



















This is my hubs, my love, my friend, Mr. Einstein. He's an elementary school teacher. How cool is that?













This is me, Hillary, aka Mrs. Einstein. I'm a little bit sassy, little bit blunt, little bit sarcastic. I look remarkably like my sister in this picture, which is funny because we don't really look much alike.













So, this is us. I'm a math major who taught English married to an English teacher who taught math, and these are our progeny.

Hi!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Because It Makes Me Happy

I did it. I made the change.

Why?

Because it makes me happy.

I'm not sure where it's going to take me, but I'm sure going to enjoy the ride.

And don't worry; nothing's really changed. I'm still me.

Just a happier me.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Aloha Friday #90


I, obviously, burn easily. And I've had some doozies, let me tell you.

So, what is the worst place on your body you've ever burned?

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For more questions you know you want to answer, visit An Island Life.

SPF 0

The second half of our vacation was spent in Bremerton at my in-law's.

They have a boat.

So...

We saw sailboats,


a bridge,


and a beloved mountain.


Cinderella innertubed,


Sleeping Beauty floated,


the Little Prince looked cute,


and Prince Charming kneeboarded.


And I? I got sunburned.

Oh, yes. After thirty-*mumble, mumble* years, I still haven't learned my lesson.

My arms look like lobster claws, and my chest looks just as bad. My face and scalp were protected by my hat, and, for some reason, I had decided to wear pants on a scorching hot day.

Have you ever tried nursing a baby with flailing arms and dragon claws while sunburned? It's not pretty, my friends, not pretty at all.

And, of course, it was too hot and humid to wear long sleeves.

If I'd had any with me, that is.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--Hide 'n' Seek


This is my goofball second daughter playing hide and seek while we were on vacation.

Amazingly, no one could find her.

Seriously.

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For more pictures, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

"Normal" Is Only a Setting On the Dryer

Why is it that getting home from a vacation is so stressful?

Despite two weeks of doing not much more than relaxing, I'm wiped out.

Why is it that the routine of activities, house-cleaning, general maintenance, summer jobs, fun, and naps is so difficult to reestablish?

Of course Prince Charming had to go to work this morning. Of course he did.

Why is it that the arguing, screaming, clutter, and dirtying of dishes are the first things to fall back into place?

Why?

Oh, relaxing vacation! Where art thou? Thou art but a vague, distant memory, though ended only yesterday.

Oh, for something easy, something familiar, something normal, that doesn't include arguing, mediating, or high-pitched voices. Maybe I should just go do laundry...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We've Got Tickets to Ride

Yesterday, at the butt-crack of dawn, we set off on vacation to the Live Music Capitol of the world: Austin, TX.

Beautiful, sunny, oh-so-hot Austin.

I should probably lose five pounds this week just from sweating, if I ever leave the house, that is.

Anyway, our trip started uneventfully at the airport.

Until we got to the gate, that is.

All seven of us (my five, plus my in-laws) had JUST walked up to the gate, when we heard the page: "Prince Charming's father, party of seven, please come to the ticket counter. Prince Charming's father, party of seven, please come to the ticket counter."

Uh, oh.

We all thought we were being kicked off the plane, for some reason or another. Until my father-in-law got back to us.

"We've been upgraded."

Upgraded?

"All seven of us have been upgraded to first class!"

?!?

Seriously, we got to fly first class. All seven of us.

Yee haw!

And let me tell you, first class is so worth it! Heated towels, breakfast, drinks, super nice flight attendants, wide seats.

THAT is the life!

I could definitely get used to that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

White-Out

To all of you who were subjected to my oh-so-whiteness today at the public pool,


I apologize.


To all of you who were dazzled by my new, brightly-patterned swimsuit contrasting with my winter all-year-long whiteness,


I'm sorry.


At least I shaved.

You're welcome.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Proposal

So, I've been avoiding posting this, and I'm not sure why.

I want a change. At least, I think I do.

I've been blogging here at The Queen I Am Not for two almost years now. I originally named this blog because of my older daughter's complete and absolute obsession with princesses. That, and every time she played "princess," I never got to be the queen; I was always the bad stepmother, or the prince.

Although she's still into princesses, and has taught her younger sister to love them, as well, princesses don't consume her life anymore.

And now and then, I do actually get to be the queen. When I'm asked to play "princess" anymore. Which isn't often now that my younger daughter is old enough to play along.

While I still like my blog name, and while it's still appropriate, I'm thinking about making a change.

This is what I'm thinking about, and have been for over two weeks now:

I'm considering changing my blog title to E=MC2 (that's a squared, if I can figure out how to do a superscript on here).

Why? Well, for a number of reasons: 1. I'm a math teacher. 2. My husband was a math teacher until yesterday (stupid funding cuts!). 3. E, M, and C are (conveniently) the initials of my children. 4. E, M, and C actually correspond well to my children's personalities.

Before I make any changes, though, I really want your feedback.

I know I haven't posted much lately, but it's partly because this has been weighing on my mind, and I've been trying to avoid it.

I think I want a fresh start, but I really like the comfortable nature of the old/current.

I don't know. What do you think?

Please let me know in the comments. Also, I'll try to get a poll up in the sidebar, if I can figure it out.

Seriously. I want your input. I really do value your opinions!

So, what do you think?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--My Rose Garden, Minus the Roses

And, minus my picture, apparently.

*sigh*

Sorry to everyone who stopped by.
My pictures have been vomited out by Blogger yet again.





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For more Wordless Wednesday, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.