i am forever amazed at the new things hadley learns to do, or begins to understand. this morning in the bath, i asked hadley if she knew who we were going to see tomorrow. (my sister and brother in law are taking a trip from portland, oregon to chicago without their son, hadley’s cousin, who is 4 months younger than hadley. they are pretty tight.)

“jimbeam!” that is genevieve, one of her best pals from play group. 

“maaaaaaaaaaaaaax” was the next guess, followed immediately by maddy, his little sister, her other best pal.

i told her we were going to drive in the car to chicago, to go see auntie esha. 


“uncha jon!” yes, and uncha jon, hadley. 

“and elliot” no, elliot stayed home in oregon with grandma. 

next came tears and whining. 

after her bath was over, she gladly got her diaper on, her ice cream outfit on, and started getting clothes out. then she struggled to get her sandal on for a while. she couldn’t find the other. she grabbed some snacks, bowls, cups, her most prized possesions, her bracelet collection.

apparently, tomorrow is not one of the concepts she understands yet. we struggled through this a few times before nap time rolled around. 

i am hoping after a nice, long nap, she will forget about the whole thing, and we can reignite the excitement tomorrow morning.

yay for chicago!

this is a 24 hour facility!




last friday was a horrible, terrible, no good day in our house. there was coughing, wheezing, crying, clinging, puking, fevers, the works. i remember thinking around 7p “sweet! we made it!” things had calmed down. breathing treatments were working. dr. visit was successful and pleasant. the three of us were headed to a going away dinner for a coworker of joseph’s. i was looking forward to seeing grownups and eating a meal out with my family. i also had plans to spend a late evening with a few friends working on our blogs together after our kids were tucked quietly into bed.

that’s when the day started to go really, really sour. hadley threw up just before arriving at the restaurant. we left daddy there to make his apprearance, drove home to bathe, medicate, calm down. we drove back to pick him up. again, just before arriving at the restaurant, she puked. so, we rushed strait home for a repeat. i cancelled my plans. there are a lot of things this daddy can handle, but puke is not one of them.

so i posted on facebook at some point that evening “when you make it to 7pm, and you think you’ve made it to the end of a really crappy day, knock on wood. ’cause it’s not over until midnight.” 

that got me thinking over the next few days. when DOES our day actually start and end? 

my first conclusion was this: the entire day can depend on the night that precedes it. so, perhaps it starts at bedtime? if hadley wakes three times (once for a breathing treatment, once for that stupid binky, and once for who knows why) she is likely to have a crankier, sleepier day. if i am lucky, she will take a long afternoon nap, and get to bed early the next evening. 

my second conclusion: the day starts when i have to get my sleepy butt out of bed to make sure hadley doesn’t steal the loaf of bread from the pantry and eat three pieces of plain bread for breakfast chased with the day old water and then strip naked and decide this is the day she stops wearing diapers.

i hadn’t come to a conclusion on the days end until about an hour ago, when i heard hadley start to cry in the nursery sometime after midnight.

she was up at 7 this morning. she was so cute with her fresh haircut all bedheaded and strawberry pajamas, just staring from the doorway, waiting for some response from one of us. i turned on dora, and found the cheerios and a banana. we sat and ate and counted with dora and boots. 

then joseph and i took a few minutes to look through our wedding photo gallery. i received the link from our wonderful photographer overnight, and i’d been waiting anxiously since july 14th.

then hadley and i made joseph and lunch. 

then we bathed and got ready for our day. 

then we had a breathing treatment.

then hadley and i met up with a few friends at the library playdate.

then we stopped by kroger for a few groceries.

then we went home for lunch. 

then we had another breathing treatment.

then hadley refused her nap. so we played. we snuggled. we had another breathing treatment. i told her it was nap time. mommy needed to go off the clock for a while. she pretended not to understand, but i know she knew i was begging for sweet relief. she ran into and out of her room yelling “panties” instead. in addition to that, she was trying on every single pair of panties she owned. every time she ran out, it was a different pair.

then. she finally napped. the albuterol buzz wore off.

so i collapsed on our cozy bed to regroup and think priorities. my list of things to do was a mile long. so i started an episode of gilmore girls, and did none of it. for a while.

then i did the dishes, followed by laundry, followed by starting dinner. 

then, all too soon, hadley was up again!

but she was only 3/4 up. she was drowsy, and snuggly and wheezy. the wheezes went ignored while i loved on this little monkey that is usually too busy for snuggles these days. oh man, there are some moments where it is nice to have a sick child. she is so tiny that she feels like she did when she was a baby. still fits perfectly in my arms, on my tummy, around my waste. and she is very soft.

an hour later, though, i wished to get up and accomplish something else while joseph was in the office working a late night.

eventually hadley agreed to a bowl of spaghettios for dinner, and finished up with some smarties she stole from joseph’s desk. while she was stationary and happy in her chair, i vacuumed. in our house, that is task difficult to complete at times. you know, because vacuums are so scary and all. so i considered this to be my proudest moment of the day.

moments after turning off the vacuum, joseph walked through the door. i am proud to say, many nights, i am ready to serve dinner to my sweet family when he comes home from the office. tonight was one of those nights. hadley, joseph and i enjoyed a late dinner and bedtime together, complete with one last breathing treatment. 

that brings me back to one hour (and fifteen minutes) ago, when i heard hadley start to cry in the nursery. i woke up from a deep sleep, almost in a panic, thinking “when will this day end?!?!” as i visualized myself pulling my hair out. 

my next thought was “this is never going to end.”

then, suddenly, in my head, i heard myself using a phrase often said while i was working on 2200, the cardiac unit in the hospital i so miss in portland, oregon. (sending my love to you all!!) “THIS IS A 24 HOUR FACILITY!!!!!!” note: i realize this is not a phrase trademarked by us. a billion other places can call this their own as well. the good thing about using this at work (it can also be used in some pretty negative contexts, too,) though, was there were 2 twelve hour shifts. so, after 12 long, sometimes painful hours, you can pass off the last dinner tray, the hourly blood sugars, the every 15 minute vital signs, the dr’s orders, the cranky dr’s, the patients screaming your name all day long to the next kind soul devoting their life to serving others.

here, for this stay at home mom, i just pray for a silent night, like every other mom (and dad) out there, so i can we can get some good rest.

so, in conclusion, after five, days of serious consideration, i still don’t know when the day starts or ends. or does it? because my house is a 24 hour facility.

First day of school!!!…for everyone but us.


here in ohio, kids of all ages are getting back in the classroom today, or maybe even yesterday. i am hearing all kinds of stories from mom friends about bus rides, and drop offs, and uniforms, and tears, and lunches, and photos…so, to celebrate back to school, (since i am not ACTUALLY sending anyone back to school) lilly, of i went to the mall for a little sale shopping with our sweet 2 year old girls. i think i have a lot to learn from miss lilly about crazy sales. you wouldn’t believe the deals she got this morning. i have a feeling they can’t even compare to her sweet finds yesterday.

these happen to be my sweet deal of the day. maybe of the month. i’ve really tried to be super oober careful with money lately, we are only about five weeks post wedding, and will be paying for it forever! today i justified these for a few reasons. 1. they are so unlike any shoes i already own. 2. they were only 12 bucks. 3. (and this is something i seriously think about before purchasing almost anything) i think joseph will LOVE them. and 4. THEY MAKE ME TALL!

taking tips on sales for any of the three of us, online or in store! what’s your favorite place to shop? i’ll be sharing tips and sites in an upcoming blog, and pointing you to super shopping bloggers…should you be in my blog???

beach day playdate


coming from the state of oregon, the beach means something entirely different to us! it’s the pacific ocean. it’s cold water, winter or summer. it’s almost always cool or cold weather. the water is usually, just grey. we don’t often lie around in our bathing suits. we don’t sit in the water with our kids. we don’t really let our kids in much at all. it’s the ocean, for crying out loud! those undertows will steal precious children right from under your nose!

so, much to our delight, here in ohio we are experiencing the great lake erie. now, lake erie isn’t just one of the great lakes, it is also a really GREAT LAKE! this certainly wasn’t our first time at lake erie. while my mom was here visiting a few weeks ago, we took a ferry out to kelleys island for a day of fun. even earlier in the summer, joseph and i took hadley out to spend a sunday playing in the water at maumee bay state park. and even before that, in the cold, icyness of winter, we have explored the lake near sandusky and port clinton, ohio.

this summer, it’s warm and sunny, and these babes are having a blast out and about with friends. this week, a playdate took us to sterling state park, in monroe, michigan. three moms, four kids, and lots of fun. well, fine, i will be honest. it was only a little fun. my brave little hadley put her feet in the water like her friends the minute we were down on the beach. she even walked out nearly 50 feet into the water, where it only reached lower chest. then came a little wave, and tiny miss hadley got a mouthful of lake erie water. and that was the end of a beautiful day. there was no fixing an angry, scared hadley. she was done.

hadley was right there with two of her three friends with her distaste for beach day. genevieve might have played all day if it weren’t for three crying friends. so, my apologies go out to you, sweet vivi. i promise we will try again next year.

on another note…i had this theory that if you tire your child out by, say, going to the beach for a few hours, she will probably take a nice, long afternoon nap. this theory was foiled on this day. is there really any rhyme or reason for why our kids nap well or not poorly? i’m taking tips on good naps for two year olds…

a geocaching evening



sometimes, you just wanna get out in the sunlight, run around in fields, and, of course, find a little treasure! if you haven’t been geocaching, you are missing out. i bet you are standing right next to a geocache right now. go ahead. log onto to see where your closest geocache is. i bet you’d be surprised to find there is one in your neighborhood, in the gorcery store parking lot you frequent, or perhaps a dozen or so at your favorite park. 


this summer, hadley is really grasping what is going on. we are looking for treasure. nothing makes her happier than to open a little box to find a tiny rubber lizard, or a pencil! yay! i suppose not all that quite that fun for her, but be assured, this is fun for the whole family. the gilbuenas certainly are enjoying a summer of geocaching. 


we have had the privilege of sharing our hobby with a family we met here in toledo, and heard from a few others they’d be interested in a family date night filed with geocaching. if you are one of those families, hit us up! we love introducing our friends to our fun. and like i said, it’s a family activity. even hadley is starting to spot them. so, hope to see you all soon!


love, al