(my favorite picture ... ever! this even beats the 6 mo old naked baby pics!)

blog? what blog? i have a blog?! oh yeah!!
i'm so embarrassed by how long it took us to load our camera software on our computer!!
we've had a busy fall/winter so far - ever since Halloween i've been too busy to get anything done (or maybe my ability to procrastinate is stronger than ever!)...

we're finally done celebrating christmas with the kids. after joining our families on the 23rd, 25th, 26th, and 28th, we have finally settled in today to go through the millions of boxes and bags that we brought home ... time to open toys, build kitchens and walkers, etc. it makes me wonder if i had this many gifts when i was 11mo and 5 years old?! (i'm sure i did)

the only picture i've uploaded so far is Jacks with his first xmas present ever! we got a brief preview of what it means to have noisy toys (who puts chicken sounds on a toy?! damn it's annoying)

there is definately more to come, especially when weston finishes assembling the new kitchen for his mini-me chef, Lauren :)

keep visiting! one of my resolutions for the new year will be to get back on google and start blogging again!


too lazy to report...

i'm trying to find the time/energy to post the highlights from Weston's birthday weekend. for now, i decided to just post something fun that i just did while i was dinkin' around on the computer... stay tuned!

i saw meg b's results and had to try this test out for myself. it's pretty amazing how accurate the results were.

Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test...

8 - the Asserter

Thanks for taking the test !

you chose AY - your Enneagram type is EIGHT (aka "The Challenger").

"I must be strong"

Asserters are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender,vulnerable side.

  • Give me space to be alone.

  • Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it'sa personal attack.

  • When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's justthe way I am.

What I Like About Being a EIGHT

  • being independent and self-reliant

  • being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a EIGHT

  • overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • putting too much pressure on myself

  • getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or whenthings don't go right

EIGHTs as Children Often

  • are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • are sometimes loners

  • seize control so they won't be controlled

  • fugure out others' weaknesses

  • attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

EIGHTs as Parents

  • are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • are sometimes overprotective

  • can be demanding, controlling, and rigid


sleepy jacks

peek a boo! i'm so cute!

not much happened this weekend at the baril house. peanut (lauren) was with us for most of saturday and all of sunday, so it was busy but event-less. peanut and i took jackson to target and to the mall so weston could sleep and recharge for saturday night. we found some trick-or-treat bags for all of our candy (YUM! i'm so excited for halloween) and bought some new hat and mittens sets for all three of us (sorry weston- you haven't worn the ones from last year anyway!). it's a good thing we bought them because when we left for brunch on sunday, it was cold and SNOWY! YUCK! already?

we were supposed to go out to jeremy and donna's for the annual pumpkin-carving day, but we decided to stay home and nap/clean/dink around. maybe we'll have to go to grandma becky's this week to carve a pumpkin or two :)

is it sunday already? back to work tomorrow i guess... hopefully it's busy yet stress-less (you all know what i mean, right?)

oh yeah - i made weston take a picture of jacks and i while we rested on the floor. my little man finally wanted to snuggle with his momma! he never does that! he must have been pretty tired... it's tough being a preppy boy! (i had found a cute sweater vest that he had not yet worn and decided it was time to put it on before it didn't fit anymore)

i had to post the pics in case he never wants to snuggle again...


jacks in the morning

i promised myself this blog would be a place for everyone to see pictures of jackson and watch him grow. after my last post, i realized that so far i have only posted two pictures of jacks. TWO! the other posts were a rambling intro for those visiting my blog-o-sphere and some more rambling about the und hockey game. LAME. here are LESS ramblings and MORE pictures...

here the pictures i took today of jackson in his new pjs (not many of the jumpers/sleepers/what-ever-you-call-ems-with-built-in-footies are very cute, but the pair i just found are the cutest i've seen. well, maybe they aren't so much the cutest as the THE SOFTEST! i wish i had a pair!). as i wrote the previous blog, i stopped every few minutes to take a picture of what he was doing so you can see what his morning routine consists of.
first is breakfast. bottle first (otherwise the hungry boy has a lot of tears). then we spoon in some real food, usually fruit, and he feeds himself a few puffs, all the while watching Baby Einstein...

...after breakfast is done, he roams around the house finding things to destroy. he usually goes straight for the cable box to play and then gets distracted by the view of Baby Einstein from 30 inches...
...then on to the media shelves to throw a bunch of stuff on the floor (notice all the candles and plants are removed!)...
...today he discovered the scale i was using to weigh a bunch of crap i decided to put on Ebay. i think he was actually trying to weigh himself!...
...then he usually comes over to the computer desk and quickly finds a way to get in trouble. i'm sure he thinks "why don't you just finish the basement and move your desk to the office so i can't get in trouble anymore". (or maybe that's just what I'M thinking.)...
...next is a quick break with a magazine. not to read of course, just to rip the pages out of...
...sometimes a miracle happens and he'll just sit and play with his toys for awhile. this rarely happens and yet, i keep buying more toys! oh yeah, i forgot that he doesn't just PLAY with toys, he attempts to eat them too...
...and that's it. next up: naptime!
"a day in the life of jackson mac"
and there's more to come! i've set up my coffee maker to brew every morning from now so i can find time to do a few things on the computer before i go to work (an early new years resolution! i'm calling it my halloween resolution!). if all goes well, i'll be able to post a few pictures every couple of days - wish me luck!

witnessing another 'first' of Jackson's

it's not very often that you will witness a 'first' with your child.

for one reason, unless you're a stay-at-home mom, you won't be with them enough to be there for everything. in my case, i work during the day, which means i miss out on the 'firsts' that happen during the day (sadly, they usually happen before 3pm).

for another reason, there just aren't enough 'firsts' in the world of infants. here are the firsts listed in jack's 1st year book. some of them i believe to be important and others - not so much (i kindly left my opinion of these). the big ones will never be forgotten anyway (mainly because you'll have 116 pictures from the moment in time trying to capture it on film. the first smile, for instance, lasts about as long as it takes to focus your camera!) and the not-so-important ones are listed there, i think, to fill space on the page. here they are:

  • first bath (dumb because they bathe baby at the hospital!)
  • first outing (also dumb, in my opinion, because nobody stays cooped up at home anymore for weeks at a time - they go out and show off their new baby!)
  • first baby-sitter and overnight visit
  • first smile
  • first laugh (you'll 'think' you hear a laugh and write it down, then later realize it was really just a lot of noise right after a smile)
  • first illness (i'm sure if it were bad enough you wouldn't need to put it in the book!)
  • first time rolling over
  • first time i slept through the night (it comes and then goes; you should track 'first 7 consecutive days i got to sleep in'!)
  • first haircut
  • first words
  • first "mama" and "dada"
  • first tooth (not surprising, considering you feel it almost coming in for a week or two)
  • first boo-boo
  • first real foods (i forgot to write this down right away
[what about listing the 'firsts' you actually remember?:
  • first time you cried for being a terrible mother. examples: the two hours after the circumcision - bonking their head on the wall - they stood up in the bathtub and fell
  • first time you tried to multitask while feeding him and failed miserably (i spilled a big jug of red Powerade on him)
  • first time you realized diapers + boy baby = changing clothes after every wet diaper
  • first time you wished you could produce your own pacifier because you just lost the last of your 6 nuks and he won't stop crying!
  • first time you realized you really did spend way too much money on clothes
  • first time you realized that you also spent too much money on crib bedding
  • first time they rode home in poopy pants because you forgot to pack an extra outfit (back to the terrible mother thing...)

anyway, back to my point... ]

up until now, i had only witnessed one 'first' that would really be remembered(not that i won't remember a lot of them, but this is the kind that you call the other parent about because it is so exciting): first smile . weston had gotten all the others, including first roll from tummy to back AND from back to tummy a few weeks later, first time pulling himself up to stand, etc.

my big moment as a witness came again last night: 'first wave'. we've been working on this one for quite awhile. and when i say "working on it", i mean we've been waving each time we leave and the other parent will help jacks wave back. it happened as i was checking on my blondies (ps: YUM).

i was helping jackson eat some puffs and when i walked to the oven, he put up his arm and started wiggling his hand! by the time i could get my phone to take a picture, he had started playing with his hair.

i was pretty upset that i missed it with the camera but then he put up his other arm and tried again! i was able to catch this one on film, but since it only lasted a couple of seconds, i could only snap one rushed, blurry picture...

even as a blurry picture it's pretty cute, don't you think? (i'm such a mom it makes me sick!!)


Our 1st Hockey Game of the Season

only one week late...

sunday, october 5th

Weston and i attended our first und hockey game. yes, i've been to a hockey game before... but this is the first year we've bought our own share of my family's season tickets... one of our 'bonus' games was the exhibition against Manitoba.

we left home a little later than expected (thanks to me, of course) and had to pick up our friends Tanner and Kristen on the way. thinking the game would be pretty empty anyway, we made a another quick stop before leaving fargo that put us about 20 min behind schedule.

when we got to the ralph, there were more fans than we expected to see. turns out it was the best showing for an exhibition for und (over 11,500). we arrived a little late for the game and immediately went to pick out some new sioux apparel for this season (why did i think a long-sleeved tee would cut it?) for me, weston, and jackson - lauren will get hers next time. while we were waiting to pay, we missed the first goal of the game. deciding it was time to have a seat and watch (after making a pit stop at the leinie lodge, of course), we headed to our seats.

we watched the end of the first period and most of the second period (2 more sioux goals and 1 manitoba goal) before heading out to the restrooms (why do i always pick the big beer) and to explore the ralph. during the second break, we decided to grab some grub and headed up to the bar for a real drink or two before the 3rd period; after all, how much beer can you drink before you run out of room? the bar was pretty empty so it was fairly easy to get up to the bar for a drink. while in the bar, Tanner and Weston started talking about the possibility of ever getting Club Lounge seating in our lifetime. overhearing the conversation, a club member offered to let us all join the 'member's side' to watch the 3rd period. i don't think we really knew what we were getting into until we were seated on the opposite side of the rail... no wonder the premium tickets are impossible to get. we sat up at a single rail with full view of the rink and as a bonus, had a cocktail waitress to serve us drinks and clean up after us :) no way this would've happened had it not been an exhibition game. needless to say, we enjoyed the 3rd period the most...

this was definitely a different experience than i am used to... watching from the club lounge was pretty amazing. there were also some aspects of this game that made it unique as well. all three goalies made it on the ice for the game; Harrington made it on the ice with 6 min remaining and had 2 saves before the game ended. Weston said he enjoyed watching the Lamoureux brothers play against each other; not something you see at every game.

before leaving GF, we stopped at the original Red Pepper, or the "Pecker" as Weston demanded we call it, for another 'must-have': grinders! nothing like filling your stomach full of taco meat and chips before the ride home. after arriving in fargo, we hit bwws and jt's before calling it a night (what's a night away from home without a few dozen shots?)...

overall, it was a great night for us. a night away from home to enjoy ourselves is just what we needed. hopefully we'll get lucky at our next game nov. 1st and score some better seating again: box seats, here we come!


here we go...

so this is it. my big beginning. i have spent the last few days going back and forth between opening a blog or staying as far away from the computer as i possibly can (considering the amount of free time i have lately, i have considered that creating a blog could be an awful waste of time if in two months i give up!)

i guess we all know my decision... fire it up! follow me now through my reasons as to why i would even need a blog...

my thoughts on starting my own blog were this: i am enjoying life 100 times more than i ever have in the past, yet i feel as though my social life was fitted for a toe tag some time ago. i have always been a firm believer of the idea that our ability to enjoy life comes not only from within ourselves, but mostly from the people we choose to surround ourselves with. each person we interact with allows us to become more capable of enjoying life (this has to be true for everyone, to some extent). i have always thought that i rely on the company of others more than the rest of the world. to paint a picture, imagine that each person in my life is linked directly to activity my dopamine receptors; the more i enjoy interacting with them and vice versa, the more dopamine they emit (i hope you paid attention in your psychology class). so if interaction is my food source, how am i still living?

the answer is simple (and the next time you become a mom you will understand): i've been hanging out at home with my new family, watching a little man grow up. and if i hadn't suddenly realized how much time has passed since i last looked at the calendar, i'd probably still be sitting at home doing the same thing i have been doing (in case you haven't met the little man, i'll let you know that he certainly is fun to be around). don't get me wrong, i love my life. i just happened to start thinking lately about all the things going on outside of estate drive that i'm missing out on. and all the people who might be missing out on me (taking a leap here). hence the need for a blog.

so here it is (and here i am). my plan is this: i have no plan! i only have a goal, which is to find a way to share my happy family life with others, even if i do not have the luxury of time to get out and meet up with friends and family each day. yes i know- this is not the treatment for reviving a social life. you'll be happy to know i plan on making an effort to meet up with friends once a week as well. but wouldn't it be wonderful to help those who have been missing out on miche by giving them an opportunity to see what i'm doing while i'm absent from the party? again, i'm taking a leap by assuming that there is at least one person out there who is curious about what's going on and all the while missing me. (and if not, this is always a good way to keep track of the next 20 years of my life so i myself do not forget) :)

enjoy visiting my blog, mich(e)uphoria: my own state of well-being