When They Leave the Nest….


It’s fall. Where did summer go?! Per my previous post, this was our first summer with Q in organized sports. I use the term “organized” loosely. It was herding cattle. We did soccer which I previously wrote about and also put him in t-ball. If at any point you think soccer is bad/a pain, just put your 4 year old in t-ball. It was literally the biggest waste of 5 weeks… and we skipped the last 2. They line up “the team” and every single kid takes a turn batting. This is also dependent on if they actually want to be there or not which most of them didn’t. I don’t think half of them had even picked up a bat before that first day. Quinn does not respond well to waiting his turn so this didn’t even remotely hold his attention. Lesson learned. Between activities, spending time at the lake and God knows what else, I feel like we blinked and summer was over.

The title of this blog is a slightly over-dramatic since Q hasn’t actually “left”. He is in his first year of Pre-K. But the day I walked him into school and he said, “BYE MOM!”, it felt like I was leaving him at college. I’m not an overly emotional person but for some reason that day I teared up. Maybe it was putting on his school uniform for the first time…. Or taking the traditional “First Day of School” pictures…. Or maybe it was when I was walked him into school, grabbed for his hand and he pushed it away and said, “Mom! Don’t do that. It’s embarrassing.” The picture above is him walking ahead of me. As if to not let the others know he’s with his “mommy”. It’s fine. No big deal. I only gave you life!! On the flip side, I’d rather him disregard my feelings and walk ahead of me than be the kid the was sitting on the ground saying, “I’m NOT going in there… and you can’t make me!” There’s something wrong with me because all I thought about in that moment was, “You’re seriously going to let your daughter sit on the pavement with a skirt on? Gross…”

We’re still having sleeping issues. I don’t get it. The kid can function on little to no sleep and it’s been like that since the day he was born. A few months back he finally started going to bed by himself. This was a win in our household. But don’t worry! He still wakes up 1 to sometimes 5-6 times a night. The worst is when he wakes up in the morning bright-eyed and bushy -tailed and we have to suppress the urge to tell him it’s all his fault that mommy and daddy are crabby and tired. I literally feel like this at least 65% of every morning.

I do sympathize with him on one thing: He’s going through the “I’m scared” phase. I can’t really say much about this because I was a big baby until I was…. oh…. probably 8. Ask my mother for confirmation on this but I feel like I was that old the way she describes it. Q has an extremely vivid imagination so when he wakes up screaming from bad dreams and tells us things like, “There’s eyes on the door…” or “There’s little people who come out of the wall at night…” it’s hard to get TOO upset with him. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I want to say, “That’s nice. Go back to bed.” But I’m sure I would’ve had some childhood post-traumatic stress had my own parents done that to me.

I realize that some may say (or have already over-stepped their boundaries and already said it), “Well… maybe it’s because he’s an only child…” My response? The kid has at least 4 different personalities. That overall counts for at least 2 kids. Until he starts asking for a driver or wonders where his nightly turndown service is, I think we’ll be just fine as a family of 3.

Until next time.






The Beginning of Summer 2015


Hard to believe but summer is officially here! Not that it feels like summer since the last few weeks have overall been a monsoon. I’m sure we’ll get another collective 1 month of actual summer weather as per usual.

So in my last blog post I mentioned Q started soccer. As of yet, I haven’t needed to drink to get through games. This is a plus. Mostly for the other parents. Some kids are really advanced for their age and some are still in the “I just want to wave at mom and dad and pick my nose” phase. Overall they should just call it “Herding Cattle” instead of soccer. Q knows how to dribble and has managed to score at least once a game, which as competitive parents, makes us extremely happy. He still hasn’t grasped the concept of being aggressive and going after the ball more. And yes, we are THOSE parents who say things like this to our 4 year old when he is taking breaks. My husband is better than me at positive reinforcement after he gives pep talks. I’m the mother saying things like, “You’re not paying attention – FOCUS!”, “KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL!”, “PULL IT TOGETHER!” So last week a dad from the other team looks at me and gives me a dirty look. Keep in mind his daughter was the one who caused a delay of game because he was doing her hair. I’m not even kidding. Because I have a word vomit problem I said, “What?!” to which he ACTUALLY replied, “You should just let him have fun.” Again… because I can’t let ANYTHING go I replied, “Fun doesn’t make you a better athlete.” I’m such a jerk. When I told my husband about this incident he just laughed. I said, “Well good grief… do you think Lebron’s mom kissed his boo boo’s and coddled him when he was 4?” My husband looked at me with zero expression and said, “Lebron? Quinn is not and never will be Lebron. Did you see that dance he was doing on the field? Yeah….”

And the fun continues. My husband informs me last week that he is signing him up for t-ball in July and basketball in August. Things have changed so much from when I was a kid. When I was 4-5 I think I was still playing with Barbie’s, coloring and chasing the farm cats around our yard (I had a very fulfilling childhood I swear). I don’t think I even understood what organized sports were until I was in 5th or 6th grade. It’s also important to mention I had the athletic prowess of a flamingo. But for kids now, it’s almost imperative that you figure out what they want to do so they can focus on what they really love. We’re in deep you-know-what if our kid just continues to say, “I just want to do everything!” I also think it’s important to note that if one day our son says, “I hate sports and don’t want to play anymore” we won’t be upset. He just better put that energy into school and becoming a doctor.

The biggest “challenge” for us right now with Q is that he has zero stranger danger instincts. We don’t want him to be shy or completely afraid of people, but what do you do when your kid literally wants to talk to anyone and everyone? And no matter what we say or do, he doesn’t listen/pay attention to us. Example: My husband takes Q to buy a grill. Q wants to talk to the sales person about God knows what. Husband tells Q to be quiet. Q gets irritated and basically flicks the sales person in the privates and says, “HEY! I’m talking to you!” In all fairness, it got this person’s attention, but honestly… Example 2: We are eating dinner and NDSU football player Johnny Crockett is there signing autographs (on a side note – I had no idea who he was). Q walks right up to him and says, “Hey… you play football?” When he said yes and asked Q if he did, my kid replies, “I play everything. What’s your name?” He tells my kid his name. Q states his entire name including middle. Johnny Crockett signs a picture and gives it to Q. Q asks if it’s him in the picture and says, “Oh.” and hands it back to him. Johnny tells him he can have it and Q asks, “What am I supposed to do with this?” I finally get him to leave and when he realizes he played for the Bison, Q states (loudly) “WHAT?! DADDY… WE DON’T LIKE THE BISON!” See? ZERO fear and completely unaware of how to act in public with strangers.

We’re going to have to start taking him out on a leash and muzzled. If anyone has advice on how to curb this, suggestions are welcome.

On a positive note, he’s grasping that he can’t say bad words. My husband’s parents swear like sailors and we’ve been told Q usually calls them out on it. We can’t even say “crap” without him scolding, “DON’T SAY THAT!” We’re actually pretty proud of this. He needs to understand that he’s going to hear these words and even if he hears us or other people say them, he still isn’t allowed to. Especially since he’s starting pre-school next year. I have told my husband many times the last thing we want is to be called into the directors office at our son’s Lutheran/faith-based preschool and be told our kid has a potty mouth. However, Q is over the moon since he heard the song “Shut Up and Dance With Me” because now he can SAY the word without actually getting in trouble whenever he hears the song. When we explained to him that he can only say this when this song is on the radio he asked why. I finally pulled out that phrase all new parents swear they will never use: “Because I said so.”

This last weekend my best-friend and I took a little girls trip to see our favorite 90’s boy band (now more of a Man Band…). It might have been the third time we’ve seen them… in a month. Don’t judge me.


But when we were there we talked about when we were 10-13 yrs. old – in thick of our childhood obsession. I always felt like I’d have a girl… just so I would have to go through what my parents did. Having to deal with a young girl obsessed with some band/singer and asking me to buy her everything associated with them. I’m pretty sure I owe my parents thousands of dollars for memorabilia and Big Bopper magazines they bought me in those few years…. God decided to spare me so far and gave me a son who never asks for anything but new sporting equipment. If I can skirt through life just having to buy new athletic  shoes every sports season, I’ll consider that a parenting success and blessing.





In 3 days Q will be 4…. 4. I can still remember the day I gave birth like it was yesterday (this could be due to the fact that every time my husband has 1 too many beers he re-tells Q’s birthing story… in detail). Over the last couple of years I have done a lot of complaining in my blog. In my defense, I had plenty of reason to do so. If you’re a parent and have gone through the 2’s and 3’s, you should be nodding your head in agreement right now. However…. blue skies ahead! Onto the big 4!

We could tell things were changing a few months ago. The whiney voice started to go away (please don’t EVER come back….), his attention span started to extend past 15 minutes, he was going to bed earlier (thank God), eating more… again, and not talking back as much. Reading those examples makes me cringe because I feel like I’ll be re-living this in 10-12 years. But with hormones. As always, Q has many entertaining moments. The kid is smart. I’m not just saying this because I gave birth to him. My mom says this is due to the fact that we’ve always talked to him like an adult. I’ve mentioned before that this is a blessing and a curse. Now, I just think it’s funny. The kid surprises me at least once a day with what comes flying out of his mouth.

For example: He’s into Disney movies about princesses like the old Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. I don’t find anything wrong with this. My husband MIGHT disagree when it comes to Q saying things like, “Pretend I’m Cinderella. Just pretend. And pretend my blanket is a dress. And mommy’s shoes are glass slippers.” I for one think this is adorable/hilarious. So a few weeks back he was with my parents and said, “I want to watch that movie with the walking sisters…” My parents had no idea what he was talking about. My dad asked, “Walking sisters? What movie is that?”. Q finally says, “Cinderella…” and my dad says, “OH! You mean STEP-sisters” – Classic. See? My kid is a genius.

To be fair to my husband, that’s not all he likes. He’s really into anything Avengers (yeah… the adult movie that I don’t think a child of 4 should be that familiar with) and still recites lines from his other favorite movie, “The Sandlot”. Even though he’s not old enough to hunt, being a member of the Wells family makes you a hunter by default, whether you like it or not. Fortunately for Jared and his grandpa, he can’t wait to start hunting. Case in point: I walked into the house one day to them hanging out of our back patio door with a BB gun shooting the dinosaur sized jack-rabbits in our backyard (it’s like the bunny apocalypse out there). Q told me to, “BE QUIET! We’re shooting the rabbits!” We’re Fargo’s version of the Clampett’s. So not to worry Jared… he’s all boy. Despite his random love of princesses.

From the moment he was born, we hoped we produced a kid who loved sports. To watch them and play them. I won’t lie – we’ve tricked him into thinking he’s made decisions on his own (“You LOVE the Gators/Broncos/Peyton Manning/Kevin Garnett!”… if you say it enough it works). But luckily it didn’t take a lot of convincing on our part. The kid wants to play sports. All day, every day. He’s equal opportunity. The only sport he is not encouraged to play is hockey – The day he announced he wanted to play hockey Jared said, “Get a job”. He loves baseball due to “The Sandlot”. He loves football after watching his cousin play. He loves basketball because of his dad. We took him to his first NBA game just in time to see Garnett come home to Minnesota – Q had no idea who Garnett was. All he cared about was Zach LaVine and the $10 cotton candy. But now, his first organized sport has begun – soccer.

Yes that’s right. I am a soccer mom.

Jared and I know little to nothing about soccer. The only thing I associate soccer with is David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo (ME….OWWWWW). Jared wasn’t able to be at his first practice and game last week/weekend but I have to say – that little person made us proud! I was worried he wouldn’t take direction (this still needs improvement), would be shy/nervous around people he didn’t know and would be the first kid to cry. Luckily, none of the above. He scored the only 3 goals for his team, did a super awkward victory dance after each one (it was painful), was NOT the first one to cry and be carried by their parent on the field (Really? Come on… your kid is 5….) and had no problem telling his coach before the game, “I want to win”. In true, “this is 4-5 year old soccer” form, his coach laughed and said, “Well… we’re here to have fun buddy.” and Quinn replied stone-faced, “Well… if we don’t win today then we will next game. Ok?” That’s my boy. Same kid who says, “Look at all of this icky Bison stuff” every time he sees an NDSU shirt or picture – Again, child grooming at its finest. When I called Jared after the game to tell him about it, I led with the comments Q made to his coach. To which he replied, “Yeah it’s important to have fun. But you know what’s fun? Winning.” Apples and tress. To be fair, I’ll more than likely be the mom on the sidelines screaming the entire game (it might have already happened) and drinking wine out of a tumbler. Whatever gets you through.

I’ll end this blog post with how I, the woman who gave him life, feels: Q is a smart, funny and loving little boy. I cherish the moments when he asks to snuggle with me on the couch and watch a movie, or color with him, etc. I know this won’t last forever. There will be a time when all I hear is, “Mom! Get out of my room!” or “Mom! Don’t kiss/hug me in public!” He’s literally the apple of my eye and the reason I take Excedrin as much as I do. I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. Happy 4th Birthday Mr. Man – We love you!


“Calgon Take Me Away!!!!”

If you grew up in the 80’s and remember those cheesy Calgon commercials with the woman in a bubble bath saying “Calgon… Take me away!”, then you understand the humor of that phrase. However, a gallon of that crap wouldn’t be enough for me at this point. I haven’t blogged since Q turned 3. Mostly because I feel like the highs and lows were typical of any kid so it really wasn’t anything to write/vent about. I don’t know if it’s the holidays, a surge in testosterone (can that happen to 3 year olds??) or what but either way, I’m am now the proud (I say that with the utmost sarcastic tone) parent of an aggressive/EMO 3 year old.

Since Q turned 1, I have to remind myself daily how old he truly is. But the problem is he’s a sponge and remembers everything. I really hope this translates one day to homework when he has to study for a test – a gift his father and I never possessed. The other day we were driving in the car and he goes, “Dad (“Daddy” and “Mommy” have left the building so it’s now “Dad” and “Mom”), can we go to a Redhawks game?” Jared reminded him that it was winter and they only play baseball in the summer. He responded with, “Like last time when we went to a game and then it got really late so we stopped and got tacos for dinner?” – Um… I can’t even remember what I ate yesterday and the kid remembers those kind of details at 3. Nothing gets passed him. If we say something under our breath he will ask, “What did you say?” If we say, “Nothing” his response is, “Well you said something…” What happened to harmless child manipulation? Honestly.

Calgon… take me away!

We are trying to teach Q around the holidays that he has a lot to be thankful for. We did our annual “go through your toys and find things to give to others” game which he actually did ok with. Our fail was implementing Elf on the Shelf – I don’t know why we ever thought we could get away with this. So the first day we introduced “him” (it’s really a “her”… details) Q named him “Wilbur” – I don’t know. We read him the book that tells you how your elf flies away to tell Santa at night how you’re doing. Morning 1 we put him in a bowl holding a spoon by a cereal box. I told Q Wilbur was hungry. His response? Grabs the spoon and tells him, “THAT’S MINE!” I told him that we have to be nice to Wilbur because he goes and tells Santa if he’s been good or bad. Q says, “He can’t even talk!” Fail. I put Wilbur back on the mantle and said, “He’s watching you… (to best honest, it’s super creepy if you really think about it)” and I hear Q mumble under his breath “What are you looking at?!” He clearly doesn’t buy it. The only thing he believes in is Santa. He about lost his marbles last weekend when we were at the mall and he saw Santa’s Village. It was like Will Farrell in “Elf” -> Click Here

Calgon… Take me AWAY!!

Speaking of that mall trip, the kid is now in the embarrassing in public stage. When I said we had to wait for “Dad” to come with us to see Santa he yelled (yes… yelled), “WE CAN GO TWO TIMES!!!!!!” This was followed by him barking while I stood in line at Express. When I told him no one wanted to hear him barking like a dog he said, “Yes they do… she’s smiling at me” and pointed to the girl at the checkout while flashing his pearly white baby teeth. I wanted to die.

But my biggest hurdle right now is that he’s become very aggressive… on the verge of mean. There’s a lot of teeth grinding and making a growling noise when he’s REALLY upset, some hitting (which we’re trying to push an immediate kibosh on… it’s important to note everyone is fair game – cousins, parents, grandparents, friends… it’s a nightmare), A LOT of talking back and throwing fits I thought were reserved for the ages of 1-2. You know… the kind where they lay on the floor and kick their legs? I don’t know how to communicate to him that he’s exhibiting behavior of a 2 year old… or a 16 year old girl depending on the tone of his voice. I thought these violent mood swings were supposed to be during your teenage years – I’d like to hope maybe this means he’s getting it out of his system at an early age but my fear is that this is just a small sampling of what’s to come. Only then there will be braces, bad skin and hormones – Amazing. Can’t wait.

One might argue he needs a sibling. That the affects of being an only child are starting to set in. This might all be true. And I fully admit, it’s not that I don’t WANT a second child. But honestly… in moments like these, it gives me hives thinking of having to deal with this plus a baby. Yup. I said it. Maybe we could just adopt a 10 year old. Fully trained with good manners. Done and done.


On that note, I truly am thankful for that little you know what this holiday season. He’s a challenge and has literally given me grey hairs and almost put me in the hospital for heart failure but it’s the moments where he hugs you and says, “I love you… you’re my best-friend!” that make it all worth it. I hope this finds everyone happy and healthy this holiday season. Take a minute to tell your family and friends how much you love them and remember what this holiday season is TRULY about!



3 Going on 13


After neglecting my blog for a good 3 months, I suppose it’s time to finally post something. My last entry was all about Quinn turning 3…. 3 going on 13. We have had a lot going on since April. Our biggest event was selling our first house. We had a lot of memories there so it was actually bittersweet. We moved in a week before we got married in 2008. Add in 6 years of accumulated crap and a kid…. It was time. Quinn loves the space to play and Jersey will probably die of a heart-attack with all of the new sounds/noises due to construction on all sides of us. However, we couldn’t feel more blessed!

So much has changed with Quinn over these last few months. He went from “toddler” to “man child” in the blink of an eye. After our annual Vegas trip in April, we came back and he was probably more mature than we acted that weekend. He changes so much, even in a couple of days. Before our move bedtime was a nightmare. For some reason our child doesn’t require the normal amount of sleep the average 3 year old needs. Bedtime for Quinn was 10:30-11pm. Every. Single. Night. The kid wanted to be up later than we did. And he would wake up at least twice a night and be up and ready to go for the day by 7. I didn’t understand it. After living with my parents for 3 weeks I thought we would be screwed. It disrupted any schedule we had but then again, I doubted it could get any worse. Somehow since the move things have improved. Not completely but we’re getting to bed on average by 10pm now. And for the most part, he will go to bed on his own. Whenever I complain about this my mom and dad’s famous answers usually go something like this: “I remember it well Bethany…” or “It’s just a phase”. My personal favorite: “It’s not like he’ll want you to sleep with him at night when he’s 16” – Great. Thanks dad. I’ve just accepted the fact that I will more than likely average 5-6 hours of sleep a night at most until he’s… oh, I don’t know… 18. Wait. More like 25.

He’s too smart for his own good. We can’t even tell him little white lies anymore. We’re called out on almost everything we tell him. Forget saying things like, “If you’re good, next week we can do ________.” There was a time he would forget such promises that we may or may not have intended to keep. My mom always reminds me that I wanted a smart kid. By smart what I really meant was if he’s not going to be a professional athlete, I’d prefer he become a doctor… or the next Mark Zuckerberg. I don’t think that’s asking too much. I have to give the kid credit – he’s basically re-writing the English language. I always tell him to “Be patient” or “Hold your horses” so instead he’s condensed this down to “Be patient your horses!” when I ask him to do something. Jared also frequently has to tell him, “You can’t do ____ in public.” Recently on an outing to a baseball game with my dad he said, “Grandpa… is that the public?”, and pointed to the crowd. My 3 year old genius.

He’s a beast. He’s already over half my size. He’s generally as tall or taller than most 4 and even some 5 year olds. I’m hoping this growth spurt doesn’t plateau at 5’10. He’s sports obsessed – Doesn’t matter what it is. Basketball, football… currently his big thing is baseball. On the plus side, the kid has a killer arm already. To the point where the carnie at the Fargo Fair couldn’t believe my kid made 6 out of 7 throws at a game that was meant for kids much older than him. His downfall? He can’t catch to save his life. Jared cringes every time we watch him “attempt” to catch a ball. I won’t lie – it’s painful. Last week he said to me, “I’m really good at sports” and I said, “Uh… which ones? To which he replied, “All of them”. Immediately after this riveting conversation the ball dropped less than an inch in front of his glove. He looked at me and said, “Mom… throw it INTO my glove. Don’t you know anything?” We have a long way to go….

He has gigantic feet and no rhythm – both inherited from his father. Under no circumstances should shoe makers charge $75 for shoes. For a 3 year old. I get it… most kids are about 5 by the time they’re wearing the size he’s in right now. I told the nice lady at Scheels that it was a “crime”. I’m going go broke just buying him shoes. He also can’t dance. At all. When he was 1, his “dancing” was cute. Now it’s just awkward. It definitely doesn’t scream “Quinn Wells for Prom King 2027”.

After all the trials and tribulations of having a 3 year old, he’s so much fun now! We’ve never talked to him like a little kid. We’ve always talked to him like we talk to anyone else. And now, we can have actual conversations with him and he understands what we’re saying and vise versa. He’s extremely loving as of late – I think he gets this from my mother. We picked him up after they had him for the weekend and he was even telling our dog he loved her. Which isn’t even close to true. But either way he seems to know right when we need a hug or to hear, “You’re my best-friend!” – on the other hand, I feel like he knows if he says or does these things while in trouble, we immediately forgive him. Back to him being too smart for his own good. A blessing and a curse!

All mothers can completely relate to how quickly things change with your child. My biggest mother fail is not documenting his “milestones” as much as I should. Before I know it he’ll be driving!


Until next time…. 🙂

Whoever Says 2 is the Hardest Age is Lying to You

PicMonkey Collage

If you ask any mother, they will tell you that SOMEONE prepared them for the “Terrible 2’s” – I blogged about it. More than once. If you’re a new mother take this as a warning: 3 is 100x’s worse than 2. It’s hard to believe that come this Friday, Quinn will be 3. It seems like just yesterday I was complaining about being pregnant and couldn’t wait for it to be over!

Let’s start out with the positives of my almost 3 year old:

  • He’s potty trained – 2 days and 2 accidents later my world changed. No more diapers, wipes or Genie refills. It’s literally a game changer.
  • He’s actually LIKES watching movies – It took over 2 years for him to be interested in sitting down to watch anything.
  • He can entertain himself – Long gone are the days of needing CONSTANT supervision/attention.
  • He can carry on a conversation – It’s actually fun to be able to talk to your kid.
  • He’s creative – When he turned 2, we bought him this ridiculously expensive play kitchen that I don’t think he’s really realized was there until about 2 months ago.
  • He’s polite – He actually caught on to saying “Please” and “Thank You”.
  • He doesn’t “get into things” – We never really needed to child proof our house. The kid doesn’t seem to care about getting into things he shouldn’t.
  • He’s his father’s son – We always hoped he wouldn’t get my height. So far so good.
  • He’s loving – He always leaves the house in the morning saying, “Have a good day! Love you!”
  • He doesn’t ask for anything – We can go into Target and he’ll usually say, “I want a toy” but if we leave with nothing, he forgets almost immediately. We can fit all of the “toys” he owns into a small Rubbermaid.

Now let’s move to the negatives:

  • He’s potty trained – Although this is a weight lifted off our shoulders, he now has to use public restrooms. In all instances up to this point he has touched the toilet bowl which almost made me vomit the first time I saw it. My first public restroom incident included a full bathroom of women and him saying, “I have a small wiener.” I let him know this is not something he should say out loud or advertise. At least it got a laugh. Because he’s so comfortable with being diaper free, he also dropped trou in front of our real estate agent and announced he had to go potty – pull it together.
  • He actually LIKES watching movies – This would be ok… if it weren’t the same movie OVER and OVER and OVER again. The kid gets stuck on one and will only watch that one for at least a week if not 2. If I have to hear those voices or ANY song from “Frozen” one more time I might throw myself through a window.
  • He can entertain himself – It’s great when I can take a quick shower without worrying that he’ll cut the dogs hair or something equally as naughty but when he’s sitting there and watching a movie on the couch, I’d prefer he not have his hand down his pants. That wasn’t the “entertaining” I was hoping for.
  • He can carry on a conversation – Which also means he can talk back. He has mastered the English language and seems to pick up on everything. I won’t lie, 2 was great… he would just cry when he was in trouble. Now, he’ll cry… but there’s also screaming/yelling, hitting and sometimes the attempted bite followed up by, “No YOU get in the corner!!”
  • He’s creative – There’s only so much “Let’s shoot the pretend buck in the corner” I can play in one day.
  • He’s polite – Unless it’s to his parents.
  • He doesn’t “get into things” – The exception is food. Then it all ends up on the floor to be eaten by my 7 lb. dog who throws it up. Those of you who know me and my neat freak tendencies can about imagine how much I love this.
  • He’s his father’s son – Although I didn’t want him to be short, the kid is already over half of my size and he’s just turning 3. He also inherited Jared’s dance moves and they haven’t seemed to improve. At all.
  • He’s loving – In a completely manipulative way. After being King of all that is Defiant, the kid can tell when he needs to pull a fast one and gives us a hug and kiss followed by, “I love you” or “I’m a lucky boy!” Tricky that one.
  • He doesn’t ask for anything – This hasn’t become an issue in public/at a store. At home it’s a different story. If he wants a snack/candy, he will do whatever he can to break us until we give in. This might be called “weak parenting” but I have zero tolerance for “annoying”.

There are other things that are positive and negative – the kid loves music. But just like movies, he gets stuck on one song and beats it into the ground. While my parents probably aren’t thrilled that my almost 3 year old gets in the car and says, “I want to listen to Porsche” (by Nelly… yeah… the rapper not the pop singer) which isn’t completely child friendly, they get us back. He can now sing almost every song from “The Sound of Music” – This is not Jared’s pick.

Not long ago he licked a public booth. At Space Aliens – the mecca of germs and pink eye. We almost left him there.

He plays well with other kids. Unless we’re talking about his daycare girlfriend – they have a love-hate relationship. I always look forward to the end of day report to see if they were best-friends or if Quinn hid her utensils at lunch or comes home with a war wound from one of their “marital spats”. If I didn’t know her parents, I’d probably think this wasn’t funny because the last thing I need is to have “that kid” that’s mean to girls.

He loves basketball. He is trying to dribble and Jared has taught him how to shoot with proper form and follow-through. The negative, the kid couldn’t catch the Universal Studios globe if you threw it at him and has issues staying on his feet. We have a long road ahead.

So back to my original point – 3 is worse than 2. This is the first time I’ve actually seen Jared lose his temper. It’s usually him telling me to settle down. Thankfully, it seems like only one of us loses it at a time. We tend to be on opposite schedules which makes for semi-functional parenting. On the up side, we are so blessed to have a healthy and overall happy kid with extreme mood swings. I know this is all part of the life-cycle, but if possible, I’d like to bypass this. Maybe we’ll just skip to 4….

Potty Training…. And Justin Timberlake.

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I can’t figure out if it’s exciting or sad that 2 of the 3 biggest events in our household since my last blog post are literally what the title says…. Either way, I’m sure Justin Timberlake would love to know he’s right up there with potty training.

Let’s start with the Justin Timberlake concert – It. Was. Amazing. Jared was skeptical of our front row, center stage seats (yes, I’m bragging) but halfway through the concert and 8 pounders later, he actually said, “Is there anything this guy can’t do?” This riveting conversation continued as we left the building that evening and it went a little something like this: “This is the guy that guys love to hate. You hate him because he’s good at everything he does… sing, dance, act…. he’s probably good at sports too. But you’d probably want to have a beer with him. You can’t even compare someone like Lebron to him. This guy actually has talent.” Yeah. You know Jared has enjoyed multiple adult beverages when he’s saying basketball players have less talent then Justin Timberlake. So long story short – one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Yes, I screamed like a little girl and I watched the video where he looked right at me at least 50 times. However, I also didn’t get as emotional as I did at the NKOTB/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men concert ( Best. Night. Ever. ). That was another level.

The second “big” event for us is finally deciding to bite the bullet and build. We’re “moving on up”… but not to the East side. Actually just a few miles away from where we are now. Jared used to be adamant about never wanting to build. But after a lot of looking/researching/talking to different builders/friends, etc. we decided this was the best decision for us and eventually our growing family. The picture on the far right is exactly what the exterior of the future casa de Wells will look like… with the garage on the opposite side of the house. So I guess it’s not exactly the same. But if our marriage can survive this, I can safely say I won’t have to look for husband #2.

Now we get to our soon to be 3 year old. Let me preface this by saying I was cursing the idea of potty training weeks ago. You know that “Friends” episode where Joey puts on the pregnancy pants to eat the turkey? Yeah…. that’s every mother in preparation for this milestone: “Potty Training… You are my Everest!!” Although multiple people have been telling us Q was ready a long time ago, we didn’t want to push it. I’ve heard horror stories of kids regressing because their parents push them into it too fast/when they aren’t ready. So we waited. Probably longer than we should have but in my opinion, it paid off. Cleary mother knows best.

A few weeks ago we would talk to him more about the “big potty”. We’d have him sit on it, tell him how big kids don’t wear diapers, let him pick out his own big boy underwear, etc. He would go here and there but usually would say things like, “I’ll try tomorrow” or “I just don’t want to do this right now.” I thought for sure it would end up being a constant fight. For a 2 year old I imagine this is like standing next to a waterfall when you have to go. But so far, that is the only accident to speak of. We even took him out to eat on Saturday and Sunday night without incident. He even went in his first restaurant bathroom – Exciting stuff I tell you what…. But thankfully, this hasn’t been the nightmare I envisioned.

Wish I could say the same for his overall attitude. I have decided that the toddler phase is officially my least favorite. He’s saying things that make Jared and I wonder if we should let him out into the world any more than we already do. On Friday he came around the corner and said, “Guess what? (long pause) CHICKEN BUTT!” – I won’t lie. It was kind of cute. But he’s now adopting the things we say to him when he’s in trouble and transferring them onto our poor dog, Jersey. You will hear him saying things like, “I’ve had it”, “In the corner… right now!”, “I said no”… it could go on for days. He also has already developed the ability to pretend he can’t hear us when we’re talking to him. Right now, I’d bypass this phase to get to the age where he’s nice and listens to us at least 50% of the time. When is that again?

Until next time…

What a Difference a Year Makes

PicMonkey Collage

I figured I should try and write at least one more blog before the New Year. With the holiday’s upon us, it’s typical for a mother to look back over the last year and see how much has changed with her child/children. The picture above is Q last year and this year. Last year he was barely interested in anything besides the empty boxes from the presents. This year… it was a complete 180.

Let’s start with our visit to Santa. We were a tish concerned as he is in the “I don’t trust anything in costume” phase. He about lost his marbles seeing the “Alien” at Space Aliens. Jared decided to “prep” him by talking about Santa for a couple of days beforehand: “Santa is SO nice!”, “Santa just wants to give you presents”, “You have to hug Santa or he won’t bring you toys”, etc. After listening to the previous screaming children before us, we braced ourselves for the worst. Instead, our kid walked right up to him, sat on his lap and smiled for the camera. We were confused by this, yet basking in the fact that we had one of the “good kids”. This all ended as soon as Santa asked, “What do you want for Christmas this year?”. Quinn proceeded to tell him he wanted “red presents” (we have no idea where this came from) and when Santa said, “I think we can do that”, Q looked him dead in the eye and said, “Wait! I’m not done…” At the end of the conversation he said, “UNDERSTAND SANTA?!” – Eek. Clearly we say this too often…. Q hopped off Santa’s lap who was confused when we said, “He’s only 2.”

It was the first year Q was able to understand the excitement of presents. As soon as Quinn’s cousins started to ask when we were going to open gifts, my kid started yelling, “GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW!!” while jumping up and down. You’d think we had just given him a Redbull and a puppy. He was shockingly patient when they all took turns opening gifts but once he got going, it was like catnip for clones. He basically wanted to open whatever he could get his hands on, even if it wasn’t his. He had more fun yelling, “LOOK WHAT I GOOOOOT!” – this was said before the gift was actually open. And like every other kid, he’s already forgotten all of his new toys except “Finding Nemo”, which he insists on watching at least twice a day. I’ve never thought I’d be so sick of hearing Ellen’s voice. I wanted to teach him about the true meaning of Christmas; that it was Jesus’ birthday, but at 2 years old he could barely see past his sugar coma. Next year….

It’s hard to believe that my “baby” is now a “big boy”. We’re finally on the cusp of potty training which in my mind is the fast lane from toddler to “Mom, this is my girlfriend ____”. This is totally irrational thinking when we are at least 10+ years away from that but for me, that’s how fast time seems to be going. Let’s be honest – I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I found my first grey hair and my mom signed me up to win a chance to be a “model” for Botox injections (subtle). I can barely have 4 drinks without wanting to immediately go to sleep. Staying up past midnight makes me feel hung over in the morning… without drinking. Pretty soon I’ll be the “embarrassing mom” who should “dress cooler” and “stay out of my room”. Next year he’ll probably want to start driving for all I know! Yup – this is what reflecting over the last year turns me into: A. Total. Drama. Queen. I might be crying as I type….

If I come down from my mini-mom meltdown and reflect on what the last year has actually brought it might look something like this: So many memories with friends and my husband – Traveling for fun and work to places like Mexico, Chicago, Las Vegas, Seattle, Minneapolis, etc. Loving my job and thankful for amazing co-workers! Watching my son grow up before my eyes – Between his love of sports, dancing/”gangsta rap” (he’s a fan of the classic 90’s and early 200’s), the 3 movies he wants to watch on repeat, learning and experiencing new things (ie – sledding this year with his cousins and having no fear of going on his stomach or on his back, going backwards), saying his prayers before every meal and at night and telling me that “Jesus lives in my heart,” and countless other qualities/memories, he makes me about as proud as a mother can be.

Even with all of the ups and downs I have as a mother/wife and what we go through as a couple/family, I am so thankful for all of the blessings in my life. And during this holiday season with the New Year upon us, I wish all of you love and health! See you in the New Year….

10 Years Later….


I know this blog was meant to be about my experiences in parenting and marriage but I think it’s appropriate for this post to take a slightly different turn. On Friday it will be November 22nd. On Friday it will be 10 years since Dru Sjodin was taken from us.

On November 22nd I called Victoria’s Secret at 2:30pm to see if I had to go in for my on-call shift. I was so upset when they said to come in since I was ready to start my weekend in Fargo with my family. I went in, completely irritated. At work we would get assigned to “zones” during our shift. That day they had me working the front of the store with Dru after she had been at the cash register, steaming new merchandise. Her shift was almost over but that hour and a half she was there with me made it fun. She had me help her pick out things for herself in the store and told me all about her boyfriend, Chris. Her eyes lit up talking about him and what an impact he had made on her life. She said, “I think he’s the one.” And I knew she meant it.

When she left, she was going to do a little shopping before getting ready to go to her second job at the El Roco – the local college watering hole. At the time, I was dating a bartender there who was close friends with Dru. They worked together every Sunday night and every Sunday night I’d go there to eat and hang out with them on what was typically a slow night. She asked if I was going to be in that night and I told her I was off to Fargo for the weekend. She gave me a hug and a big smile and said, “Well… see you Sunday night?” and I said, “As usual!” She walked out, blew me a kiss and said, “Love ya!” It was the last time I saw her alive.

I have had nightmares of her wearing the outfit she was wearing that day, down to those black shoes I used to tease her about. I’ve thought about every possibility of that monster seeing her in the front of the store when we were working. I asked myself why didn’t we get off at the same time so she wouldn’t have walked to her car by herself. I wondered why during what was the beginning of a busy holiday shopping season, no one saw her in the parking lot. These are all questions that haunted me and still do at times.

For some reason I had turned off my cell phone that night in Fargo. I woke up to 10 voicemails. Some frantic. I called my friend Leslie and she said, “Where have you been?! Someone from Victoria’s Secret is missing. It’s all over campus.” My heart literally stopped. I called the store and my manager said, “You need to get back here right away. The police will want to talk to you.” Walking into the mall was out of body – there were already Missing posters with Dru’s picture hanging on the doors.

The next few days/weeks were a blur for all of us. We all clung to each other for support as we sat at our old house on Harvard Street in Grand Forks, ND. We’d all look at each other and think, “This isn’t something that happens here… she’ll come home… right?” The day they showed the picture of A.R. was one of the worst days. Seeing his face and knowing that he was the one responsible for the disappearance of our friend was almost unbearable.

In the years since that awful day we have kept her memory alive – not the way she died but the way she lived. She has touched lives of people who didn’t know her, people who had only met her once and her countless friends and family. For us girls at Victoria’s Secret, we were and still are a family. Some of my best-friends from college came form working at that store. The picture on the right was taken just a couple of months before she was abducted. As many people know, she was a part of the Gamma Phi sorority on campus. We would tease her at work because most of us weren’t involved in the Greek system. Every fall all of the sororities would dress alike and take pictures in the front of their houses for rush. So we decided to do the same 😉 At one point she whispered to me, “Do you smell dead fish? You did shower today right?” and laughed – that fountain smelled awful!

We all have wonderful memories of her. Dru and I bonded over our love of designer handbags. We also tended to gravitate towards the same guys. I remember one night she said, “I met this REALLY nice guy! I want you to meet him!” – it was my ex boyfriend. We all got a good laugh out of it! She could make you laugh even when you were in a bad mood. She was sarcastic and outgoing. She was creative and talented. She had a bigger heart that any of us had, especially in our 20’s. She was always thinking about others and how she could make an impact.

I’ve watched her mother, Linda,  keep Dru’s memory alive and fight for the rights of women over the last 10 years. She has become a part of my family and someone I look up to. Her strength is beyond inspirational. She has dealt with so much loss and agony over the years and her promise to Dru keeps her going. I love that woman. Dru’s absence has brought so many people together.

Now being a mother and a wife, I think about Dru differently. She would have made a wonderful wife and mother. She would’ve been the type of mother who would play dress up and talk in different voices and open up all sides of the imagination! She would’ve been loving, caring and compassionate. She would have been FUN. That is probably the hardest to think about at this point. What could have been. What SHOULD have been.

On Friday, November 22nd, I will remember Dru. The impact she’s made on all of us. The void that will never be filled. And I will be thankful this holiday season like I am every holiday season for my family and friends. For my husband and wonderful son. And for the life that God has allowed me to continue to have on this Earth. I will light 10 pink candles and have a jag bomb in her memory like she would want us to do.

Never forget….

“What’s Your Excuse?”

It’s been awhile since my last blog and I’ve been waiting for something to inspire me. Oddly enough, my inspiration came from what has now become a national news story. I’m sure by now most or all of you have seen or read the story about Maria Kang. Ironically she is the sister-in-law of one of my oldest friends. Before I go any further, I’d like to add a disclaimer: The beauty of having my own blog is that I can write whatever I want. As a reader, you are more than welcome to agree OR disagree. Or just not read this. Maria posted the follow picture over a year ago:


For some reason, this picture has only recently gone viral. She received thousands of comments, mostly from women (shocker), who called her a “bully”, told her she was “fat shaming” and even went so far as to call her a “bad mother” because as one comment stated, “Those precious things need their mommy more than they need you to have glamorous muscles.” Is this a joke? So…. she’s literally being “bullied” (even though they’re calling HER a bully) because she’s physically fit?

She posted the following to her Facebook page after receiving all of the media attention and negative comments: “I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain. With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse?”

Bravo Maria! I couldn’t have said it better myself. As a mother, this hit home. I have never been one to lie about the fact that I was deathly afraid to be pregnant because I didn’t want to gain weight. I was scared I wouldn’t lose it once the baby came. I wanted it to magically go away like it seems to for celebrity mom’s (my husband had to remind me numerous times that we do not have a personal chef/trainer/nutritionist and that our job doesn’t pay us to “look good”). And what happened? I gained 57 lbs. – most of which was water weight. Because of that I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in less than a month. I have nothing to complain about in that respect. It’s also true I’ve never been over-weight. But people forget that not being over-weight doesn’t equal healthy.

A few months after I had Q, I started to gain some weight. Probably not enough to be noticeable to anyone but myself and my husband (Truth: He’s my husband so… he’s seen me naked. Cover your ears kids….), but it started to bother me. A LOT. I finally asked Jared if he noticed. The thing I love about him is he didn’t give me the “good husband answer” (basically he didn’t lie). He told me the truth. He said yes. He immediately followed it up with, “Then do something about it. Go back to the gym.” And he was right. Some women might take offense to that if anyone said that, let alone their husband. But I didn’t hear “You’re ugly” or “You need to lose weight”. I heard, “If you’re not happy with yourself, do something about it. Don’t just sit there and complain.” It’s the same way I didn’t look at Maria’s picture and think, “If I don’t look EXACTLY like her, I’m a fat failure!”. I saw motivation… no excuses…. put health and family first.

When I was growing up my parents never had liquor in our house. In fact, I never remember my parents drinking when I was growing up. I used to think that was weird because all of my friends’ parents drank or had alcohol in the house. Looking back, some of them were just like Mrs. George in “Mean Girls” – “I’m not like regular mom. I’m a cool mom!” When I was in college one year I went home for the weekend. I almost passed out when I saw a bottle of Vodka and Bailey’s in the fridge. I literally looked at my mom like, “So… you’re drinking now?” as if she had some massive problem all of a sudden. She said, “We are of age you know” which sparked the “Why did you never have alcohol in the house before” conversation. She said, “How could we as parents tell you to NOT drink/party if you saw us doing it at home?” I realize not all parents agree with this tactic. My 2 1/2 year old already knows what beer is and that it’s for “big people”. But I correlate that story to the point of this blog. How can I tell my kid to be healthy and make good choices if I’m not practicing what I preach?

I’d also like to make it clear that I know health and fitness means something different to everyone. And the great thing about living in a free society is that it’s YOUR life. Maybe healthy means cutting out soda, or only have chocolate a couple times a week or trying to go for a walk when it’s nice out. And maybe it’s just not important to you. But that’s your choice. If you don’t want people to criticize you for your choices, then don’t complain about those who decide to live like Maria.

It is my opinion that people weren’t upset with Maria because of the caption on the photo or the fact that she’s fit and beautiful. A friend of mine summed it up well yesterday: “People are offended because she’s right! No one wants to be faced with that, but she’s 100% right. You don’t have to look exactly like her, but there’s NO excuse for people to not take their health seriously. People should suck it up and face the reality that most of them are just too lazy to care about their bodies. You don’t need to be a fitness model, but you can certainly learn to eat better…They just don’t want to be reminded of that!” – Amen sister. The backlash of my opinion and opinions like Maria’s would be, “You have no idea how much I’ve struggled with trying to lose weight!” or “Do you know what it’s like to have ______ physical ailment that prevents me from exercising?”, etc. My advice: Take “weight” out and insert “health” instead.

It’s not fun to get up at 5:45 every morning just so I can get to the gym before work and then come home to a husband, 2 1/2 year old and super annoying dog. But it’s a choice and a choice I’m proud of. It doesn’t make me better than you. But it’s something that I should be able to say out loud without worrying that I’m “offending” someone who doesn’t make the same decision. I could use every excuse in the book – “I’m tired”, “I have to clean the house/make dinner/do the laundry/run errands”, “I just had a kid… give me a break”, etc. But then I see a story like this and I think, “What’s Your Excuse?”

PS – This is as “serious” of a blog as you’ll see from me folks 😉