Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moving On

So if you visit this site regularly, I apologize that posting here has been very light since the beginning of the year. With the start up of my blog, One of Each, it has become apparent to me that I possess neither the time nor the attention span to maintain two blogs simultaneously. So, most of my attention went to One of Each and La Casa de Sara was left untouched.

I felt badly about that, but again, I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep up with two blogs that dealt with essentially the same topics at the same time. I also felt like I had begun to outgrow La Casa de Sara. After all, much of the content of this blog deals with single parenthood, dating while raising a child, working outside the home, pregnancy, and childbirth. I have moved out of those parts of my life and into stay-at-home motherhood and raising children instead of bearing them.

At the same time, I was feeling a little stifled over at One of Each. That blog is posted on a site where several other blogs are published and I just didn't feel like I could express myself as freely as I wanted to. I want to make it clear that no one ever instructed me to edit my content or anything of the was purely my own perceptions and, maybe, paranoia that prompted me to feel that way. I wanted to be able to feel like I could say whatever I wanted to say whenever I wanted to say it on my blog, and unfortunately I just never felt very comfortable doing that on One of Each.

It became clear to me, then, that I needed to get back to one blog on a site over which I had control. And since I felt like I had outgrown La Casa de Sara, the only logical choice for me was to discontinue writing on La Casa de Sara and One of Each and start a new blog for myself. That blog, Diary of a Midwestern Housewife, has been started and can be found here:

You will be able to access the content of La Casa de Sara and One of Each through links that I have posted on the side menu of Diary of a Midwestern Housewife.

I hope you will enjoy reading my new blog. I hope you visit often. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading La Casa de Sara over the years. I hope you will follow my journey.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Princess

Today is Grace's 6th birthday and I have a post written all about it over on my other blog at Here is the link to that post if you'd like to read it (and weep, because boy, I sure did while I was writing it):

Ok, I'm not being lazy by not posting the entire entry here at La Casa de Sara. Really. We at are trying to boost the traffic over at that site and so there you go...go read this post and any of the others that strike your fancy.

Happy birthday, little Gracie. Mama loves you so, so much.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Ok, yeah, yeah, I've let over two weeks elapse AGAIN between postings here on my poor, sad, neglected little personal blog. My other blog for has been the recipient of the lion's share of my creative juices lately, but it's paying off...I've been invited to appear on a local morning show here in Milwaukee this coming Friday to promote my blog a bit more and talk about some of the topics I have discussed on there. My biggest crisis about the whole thing is that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WEAR!

But that is not why I am here today. I am here today to tell you all one very important thing: It really IS essential that you floss. You're welcome.

I am not a fan of going to the dentist. I think I have discussed this here before, but just the thought of some masked person all up in my business and wielding needles, drills, and other scary pointy things makes me feel sick to my stomach. I just don't like people getting too close to my face and when you add that to the vulnerable feeling of lying flat while someone is working on my teeth above me, it's enough to make me not go to the dentist for a long time. In fact, since my most recent cleaning, I think it had probably been about five years since I had been to the dentist for a regular ol' checkup.

But OH! I would go in to see my friendly neighborhood dentist if something major happened, like a tooth breaking or major throbbing toothaches. And I took such good care of my teeth that why should I need to go in every six months for a cleaning? Why indeed?? Well, this is why...when I went in for my most recent cleaning, about a month ago, I had SEVEN cavities. Not one, not two, not five. SEVEN. So, over a series of four appointments, I have to get them all fixed, and without the benefit of nitrous oxide to get me through. (Ok, yeah, I could have done sedation dentistry and had all seven cavities filled at once while relaxing in a drug-induced stupor, but I'm both too cheap and too stupid to shell out the several hundred dollars for the procedure.) Oh yeah, and two of the cavities were so bad that they might still potentially need root canals. *shudder*

Here's the thing. I don't floss. I brush my teeth really, really well but I just don't floss. And my dentist, in his nice, friendly, non-pressuring way while he's elbow-deep in my mouth, has reminded me about eight thousand times that had I flossed, none of this decay would have taken place--all of my cavities are between teeth.

So, let my pain serve as a lesson to you. Floss, people. Do it. Last night as I was getting my third injection of anesthetic to numb my teeth, and after I went home so numb that I chewed the inside of my cheek till it bled, I wished that I had listened to my dentist all these years. Again, you're welcome.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baby Bjorn

Harrison turned 14 months old today. Can you believe it, 'cause I can't.

And no, he's still not sleeping through the night. Whatever.

We were visiting some dear friends down in the Chicago area yesterday, and they remarked that Harrison, with his almost-white blonde hair, looks like his name should be Bjorn. It's nice to hear that, although Baby Bjorn has all of his daddy's facial features and looks like he will have his daddy's body type as well, some of his mommy's Norwegian genes made it through...And you will never, ever be able to convince me to cut that beautiful boy's hair.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Out of Grace's mouth, within a span of about 10 minutes this afternoon:

Grace: (pulling me by the arm into the living room as I was cleaning up the kitchen) Mama, pretend you REALLY love it when me and Harrison make a mess. Because I have something to show you that you will LOVE...

Then, a few minutes later...

Grace: Mama, do you know how to do the "Hand Job"?

Me: *spits out coffee*

Grace: *blank stare*

Me: (recovering) I'm I know how to do the what?

Grace: The "Hand Job"

Me: (cringing inwardly) What do you mean?

Grace: (demonstrates the Hand JIVE) See, this. We learned this in school.

Me: Oh, the Hand JIVE. Yes I do know how to do that.

Then we practiced saying "Hand JIVE" over and over again until I was sure Grace would never make that same mistake again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Post-It Note Art

We found a long-lost stack of pink heart-shaped Post-It Notes in a box that I was going through this weekend, and Grace had a field day drawing little pictures on the notes. Today, as I was speeding around the house, cleaning up before my Monday got started, I picked up the pictures to throw them away (I mean, to put them in my treasure box to hold on to and, well, treasure for the rest of my days), but then I stopped to look at them a little closer. Two things became clear to me. One: Grace is a far better artist than I ever was as a young kid, let alone at age five. Two: Wow...Grace is a really good, even gifted, artist in general. Look at the detail on some of these. Bangs fall in front of the person's eyes in a few of them. Some of them have freckles. A couple of them have beauty marks. There are different hairstyles, different facial expressions...

I know every parent thinks their Little Picasso is the best, but I gotta say, I'm pretty darn impressed. I might hang on to these after all.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Our Trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Problem With The World

I've figured out what the problem is with the world. Ready??

It's celebrity gift bags. Yep.

So I was watching Ellen this afternoon, and let me just start out by saying that I love Ellen. I really do. She does a lot of really nice things for people that need help, she donates gobs of money, she's an advocate for animals, and let's face it, she's hilarious. But today I had Ellen on in the background while I was doing some baking (vegan oatmeal cranberry cookies...mmm...) (also, how freaking DOMESTIC am I?), and as Ellen was chatting with one of her guests, the subject of the celebrity gift bag came up. They were talking about the guest's gift bag and Ellen asked her if there was enough stuff in it. And I was all like, "WHAT?!? Celebrities get a gift bag for appearing on a talk show?!? THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD!!"

Ok, so I guess I knew about this whole gift bag thing, but it just struck me today. As we are in the midst of the health care reform passage (yay comrades!!), I find myself listening to person after person talking about how they can't afford health care for their children, and here we are giving celebrities, PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY MILLIONAIRES, gift bags, just for being on a talk show for ten minutes?!? Gift bags full of expensive crap that the average person will never be able to afford?!?!?! Am I the only person who thinks that this is outrageous?!! More exclamation points!!!!

I should just calm down and have another one of those tasty cookies that I made. But seriously? Give me a break. Skip the gift bags and spend the money on something that really matters.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Harrison's first word...

As I play this video, he's sitting next to me, saying, "Hi!" And yes, he is the most adorable little boy ever.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ugh. Just...Ugh

Ok, so we all know that Harrison is a crappy sleeper...blah, blah, blah...he doesn't sleep through the night STILL...yadda, yadda, yadda...he takes naps in 20 to 30-minute increments most days. After yet another 20-minute session of trying to put H down for a nap, which involved some rocking, some back rubbing, about 5 minutes of letting him cry, and then another 5 minutes of rubbing his back and singing to him, I decided to take a look at one of my go-to websites,, to find out what the "experts'" views are on dealing with a 1 year old who still wakes up several times. Here's what I found:

C H I L D W O N ' T S T A Y A S L E E P
Mindell's viewAs long as you're putting your child to sleep on his own at bedtime, it's all right to do what you think will help him go back to sleep, such as rocking him or pacing the floor until he falls asleep. As long as his bedtime routine is consistent, night waking should diminish in a few weeks. If this doesn't work, you'll have to resort to a checking routine: Stay in your child's room for a brief time, keep contact neutral, and don't pick him up. Leave and return in five-minute intervals, gradually increasing the time you're gone. Read more about Mindell.
Ferber's viewMake sure your child falls asleep alone — without you, a pacifier, or a bottle. If he won't stay asleep, try letting him cry for progressively longer intervals of time, starting at five minutes, increasing to 10, and so on. Between intervals, you can spend about two to three minutes with your child, reassuring him by talking to him and possibly patting him on the back. Don't pick him up or rock him. Read more about Ferber.
The AAP's viewDon't pick up your child or bring him to your room. He needs to learn to put himself back to sleep, even if it means crying a bit first. Comfort him for a short time, and continue to return briefly every five to 10 minutes until he falls asleep. Read more about the AAP.
Brazelton's viewBreak into your child's sleep rhythm by waking him up before your bedtime. Love and cuddle him, feed him if necessary, and put him down again, reassuring him that you're there. Be firm, and make sure you're following all your familiar bedtime rituals. Read more about Brazelton.
Be flexible. Don't let your child cry it out; instead, try to find the source of his wakefulness (such as a dirty diaper, hunger, upset routines during the day, a stuffy nose, or even irritating pajamas). Increase his daytime attachment to you and let Dad play the role of nighttime co-comforter so both parents can help their child fall back to sleep. If your child has been a consistent sleeper but is going through a big development spurt, expect him to wake up more often at night. When this happens, try to get him back to sleep without taking him out of his crib. Instead, pat his back, talk to him soothingly, and sing. You can also consider taking him into your own bed. Read more about Sears.

(found at

So what the hell am I supposed to do, exactly?

I'd like to add an opinion please...

Kohlbeck's view: Take your baby to the bedroom when he appears tired. Rock him gently until his eyes begin to close. Get up to put him into crib NO WAIT he's awake again so rock him some more until he smiles at you and starts sticking his fingers in your mouth to perform some sort of joyous dental exam then sigh loudly and put him BACK into crib and walk out of room as baby starts to scream. Listen to baby scream for approximately 5 minutes while pacing the floor outside the bedroom door and chastising yourself for bring a TERRIBLE PARENT then go back into bedroom and lay sobbing, drippy-nosed baby back down in crib and rub his back while chanting, "It's ok, Mommy's here," until he FINALLY drifts off. Crawl on all fours toward bedroom door so as not to wake sleeping baby. And when he wakes up in 20 minutes, decide if he's still tired and if he is, repeat. Do this twice a day at nap time, then again once each night at bed time. Purchase a case of Two Buck Chuck and figure out how to maintain a good sense of humor. When all else fails, bring baby into bed with you and spend the night tossing and turning as baby monopolizes entire bed and kicks you and digs his little toenails into your back and occasionally pulls your hair or punches you in the face, just for fun. Wave to and smile at your spouse who's WAAAAAY over on the other side of the bed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Year of Harrison

Dear Harrison,

One year ago today, you entered our lives. You came a little too early, though. I went in to the doctor for my regularly scheduled 36-week OB appointment, and my blood pressure was too high, so Dr. Fab surprised both Daddy and me by saying, "Well, today is baby day." So, off to the hospital we went, and about 24 hours later, you were born.

Coming a month early wasn't very easy on you, though. You had low blood pressure and you couldn't quite get the hang of eating, so you spent four days in the NICU at the hospital, learning how to eat and basically getting the hang of life on the outside. We all were so relieved when we were able to bring you home, and even better was that you came home on my birthday. You were the best birthday gift I could ever ask for.

During those first few days at home, you spent lots and lots of time on the Bili Bed, since you were pretty jaundiced. We called you our little glow worm.

Soon, though, you recovered from that rough delivery and we were able to hold you and love you all day long. Your sister really cherished you from the start, and some of her favorite times in those early days were when she could sit down and hold her beloved little brother.

As you continued to grow, your little personality began to shine through. You just loved to sit in your bouncy chair and look around, especially at anything on the ceiling, and smile at whomever took a moment to play with you.

Summer came, and you loved to spend time outdoors. One of your favorite things to do was to ride around in the baby carrier at the South Shore Farmers' Market. Everyone always stopped to marvel at how cute you were. We had to agree.

Also, during the summer, you started to learn to move around. You would roll over whenever we laid you down on the floor. You loved to lay on your tummy and lift up your head to look around.

When you were six months old. you started eating solid foods on a regular basis, and much to our delight and surprise, you loved just about everything we fed you. In fact, you're still an awesome eater and we have no reason to think things will ever be any different.

As summer turned into fall, we continued to let you enjoy the outdoors by taking you out on the lake on Grandpa Kohlbeck's boat...

...and then in September, we enjoyed having you with us for the first time during our yearly family trip to Apple Holler. You loved to watch us pick apples off the trees as you snuggled up in your stroller.

Late last fall, you became mobile, and whoa baby...batten down the hatches. You are in to EVERYTHING.

Oh my little boy, today, one year after your birth, I just can't imagine my life without you. You have brought so much love and joy to me and to our little family. You are so funny--you make me laugh every single day. You are such a sweet, good-natured boy and everyone knows it. You are an absolute joy, and words are not enough to explain how much I love you. Thank you for coming into my life and for being wonderful, adorable you. Thank you for this awesome year and I am so excited to watch you continue to grow. I look forward to being by your side throughout all of your journeys. Happy birthday, my little man.



*also posted to

Monday, February 22, 2010

You Might Think I'm Crazy...


If you read my other blog, One of Each, you have read recently that Aaron and I have been vacillating back and forth, agonizing and trying to decide whether or not we would be trying to conceive a third child in the near future. Well, yesterday we effectively ended that decision-making process, at least for the next year or so, because Aaron and I both registered to...

...get ready for it... the Disney Half Marathon on January 8th, 2011.

Yep, you read that right. I will be getting up uber early (the race starts at 5:50am Eastern time) and running 13.1 miles. On purpose.

I've been running several days a week for a few months now and I'm able to run about four miles comfortably at this point. I have almost eleven months to get myself to be able to handle those additional nine miles...I think I can do it. Right? Stop shaking your head at me.

I'm excited for this. I love the way that running makes my body feel. Sure, my knees hurt sometimes and it's tiring and difficult as hell, but I feel strong, powerful, and graceful, and that's saying a lot for me. And, I am excited to be going through the training and buildup and the actual run with Aaron. I think this is going to be something really cool to experience with one of my absolute favorite people in the world.

Plus...we don't have to make a decision on baby #3 until at least next January. By that point, we might actually be able to make up our minds.

Monday, February 08, 2010

My Little Snow Bunny

Grace loves, loves, LOVES to ski. We took her skiing for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and she took some lessons to get comfortable on skis and to learn some of the fundamentals. She did well, so we decided to head back to the ski hill this past weekend to let her try out some of the bigger hills. She started out the day on the bunny hill:

Grace did so well on the bunny hill that she was bored by lunch, so after she fueled up with some tasty food, she decided to try out a bigger hill. She started out by getting on the chair lift with Aaron...

And a few minutes later, around the corner and down the hill she came.

Aaron told me she only fell down once! She tried that bigger hill a couple of times and loved it, and at the end of the day, she invited her mama to join her back on the bunny hill for a few more runs...

I look much better than I actually am. I fell down at least three times, and each time, Grace stopped to offer her help to me. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Sister Ate My Poop Once. True Story.

I originally posted this on my milwaukeemoms. com blog, but it cracked me up so I am posting it here, too...

I promise that the title will make sense in a moment, so try not to be grossed out and please keep reading. :-)

Yesterday was a really hard day in Mommyland. Harrison has RSV and he's also teething, so we're running pretty short in the sleep department around here. He was up for two hours the night before, screaming and writhing around and just generally miserable. And then yesterday Harrison would NOT go down for a nap, despite the fact that he was so exhausted he could hardly keep his eyes open. I'd have him asleep in the rocking chair, then I would lay him down and he would scream and scream until I finally gave in and picked him up. Then he did that like five more times. At one point in the morning, Harrison and I were both crying, Harrison because he was a tired, snot-nosed, coughing, needy, oh and by the way TEETHING hunk of sick and I because I was running on very little sleep and at the end of my rope. I even emailed my mom in the beginning of the day, which I rarely do because I know she's busy at work, to vent a little and illicit maybe a little piece of advice to keep me going.

Then, in the afternoon, my husband and I took Grace to the pediatric dentist for her first piece of orthodontic work. I know, she's young, but Grace has a severe underbite and her dentist recommended that we start fixing that before her adult teeth arrive so we don't have to worry about manuevering around them and possibly the need for surgery. We've been prepping Grace for this event for weeks. My husband had a very similar procedure done when he was a child, so he took off work just to be at the appointment for her, to coach her through it. So, Grace had a large metal appliance--that sits at the top of her mouth--cemented to two of her top teeth. In a few weeks, we will return to the dentist and they will adjust it so her top jaw continues to expand. Then, a few weeks after that, we will go back and they will fit Grace with headgear that she will need to wear every night for a year or more.

Grace seemed fine with this whole ordeal until supper last night. I prepared her favorite meal --a cheese quesadilla--and she was super excited. But after her first bite, she realized that this stupid piece of metal in her mouth would make eating (and talking and swallowing) a challenge, and after she got a piece of tortilla lodged under her appliance, she started to cry. And oh, (the tears are welling up right now for me) how I felt so, so bad for her. It's hard enough being a five-year-old girl without having to deal with your eating habits and your speech changing. I asked Grace what she wanted to eat, and she whimpered, "Something soft!!" So, I ran to the store, crying the whole way, to pick up some tomato soup and chocolate ice cream so that the poor kid wouldn't starve. Grace managed to choke that food down, and I made sure we had enough soft stuff around to carry her through until she gets used to this.

After the kids were both in bed last night, I sat down on the couch, feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. I wanted to have a glass of wine and maybe a good cry. And then I remembered a story that my mom once told me. It made me feel better almost instantly, although I'm sure that wasn't my mom's intent when she told it to me.

My younger sister, Jennifer, and I are almost three years apart. One day, when I was potty training and my sister was newly mobile, Jenn was peetering around and she encountered my little potty chair sitting on our bathroom floor. I had just used the potty chair and my mom hadn't had a chance to clean it out yet, and Jenn, being a curious little one, decided to do what babies do and scoop up some of the yuck from the potty chair and put it right in her mouth. And this is where I gag just thinking about it, and then I laugh out loud because if you knew my sister now, she's so not a poop eater.

The point is that all moms, even my mom, who I consider to be choice among moms, have a crappy day (pardon the pun) every now and then. Yesterday sucked big time, but there is hope today. Harrison is currently fast asleep and I am comforted by his little sleep noises. Grace was able to get through her breakfast of oatmeal and applesauce this morning with only a little bit of trouble. Things are looking up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

11 Months

My baby boy is 11 months old today, and to celebrate, I took some short videos at lunchtime today. Enjoy!

He's waving hi at the end of the second video. Does it GET any cuter???

Grace doesn't have school today, and honestly, I find that days when Grace is home are far, far easier and more fun than days when she's at school. Harrison loves, loves, LOVES to play with his big sister, and it's moments like this when I am infinitely thankful that I have two kids.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, You Pissed Me Off. Again.

I was watching "The View" this morning as I was tooling around the house, chasing after Harrison and making sure he kept all foreign objects out of his mouth, and naturally the ladies on "The View" were talking about yesterday's Senatorial vote yesterday in Massachusetts. (In case you don't know, our candidate lost.) The discussion that the ladies were having was centered at first on how handsome the winner of the election, Scott Brown, is (I don't see it, but whatever), but then the topic shifted and the ladies discussed other issues dealing with this vote. Yes, this is a big deal and it changes the whole health care debate's landscape. We all agree on that. What angered me to the point of stomping my foot like a petulant child was how Elisabeth Hasselbeck kept proclaiming things like, "The people are outraged and they have spoken!" and "We're tired of Obamacare being shoved down our throats!" and "We won't stand for deals being made behind closed doors!"

Um, what?

First off, this is not the first time the people have spoken. In fact, if you recall, they also spoke out about a year ago and we kicked YOUR people out of office. Don't act like this was a huge new revolution. And as far as things being shoved down our throats, I seem to remember our country being mired in not one but TWO wars, one of which shouldn't have been started at all. Who shoved that down our throats? Oh yeah, it was YOUR guy. Also, I'm pretty sure the Republicans under Bush and Karl Rove wrote the book on making deals behind closed doors. I remember reading an article by Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi a couple of years ago that discussed how Republicans in Congress under Bush would change committee meeting sites at the last minute and not tell their Democratic counterparts so the Democrats wouldn't be able to show up.

I'm not saying that any of this is fair or right. What I am saying is that the selective amnesia of some people just friggin' ASTOUNDS me. Don't sit up on your high horse and prattle on about revolt and being outraged, because I'm still pissed off about the entire eight years Bush was in office.

Also, this whole election makes me sad, because it's going to set health care reform back. We need health care reform, people, and I believe that reform needs to include a public option. What kind of country is this where a lot of our citizens don't care that there are kids who don't have health insurance? For God's sake, you can keep your fabulous insurance if you're fortunate enough to have it, but let's step up and make sure that those can't get insurance are able to. It just confounds me that anyone could think that's a bad idea.

A while back, one of the other members of my church was speaking at a church service and said something like, "People call us Liberals, but I say we are just doing the right thing." Amen, brother. That sentiment stuck with me.

Anyway, after Elisabeth finished with her little tirade, I had to shut the TV off. Wouldn't want to throw the remote, now would I?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I Suck At This

So yeah...I started my other blog, One of Each, right before Christmas and since then I have posted on this blog one stinking time. And that post was about my other new blog, so that shouldn't even count. I suck at this multiple-blog thing. It seems that each time I come up with some brilliant idea for a new post, my immediate reaction is to write that post for my other blog. Maybe that will change as the novelty of my other blog wears off a bit, but until then, please excuse the erratic and infrequent posting here. I'll work it out. I also started babysitting three days a week, so a big chunk of my time is consumed with feedings, cleaning up poop and spit up, and all that. And you think your life is glamorous?

Anyhoo, since we're only five days into the new year, I thought it might be interesting to think of some resolutions for the year. Except this year I'm not making resolutions dealing with things I want to do. I'm going bizarro. I'm resolving to NOT do things. Such as...

I resolve to not regret buying that pair of size 6 jeans.

I resolve to not take full advantage of the open bar at Aaron's work winter formal and thus make a complete ass of myself. Again.

I resolve to not cut my hair this short again.

I resolve to not save working out until the end of the day, when I'm pooped out and have already had my nightly glass of wine.

I resolve to not back into the house with the new vehicle. Again.

I resolve to not let myself be shy and to not miss out on fun stuff because I feel like The Weird Girl.

I resolve to not wake up more than once a night. (Yeah, good luck with that one...)

I resolve to not go snowboarding.

I resolve to not obsess too much about the orderliness (Is that a word? It is now.) of my house, because when you have two kids, let's face it, it's always a mess.

I resolve to not let a day go by without letting my family know how much I love them.


I resolve to not neglect this blog.

Happy belated 2010 everyone!