Monday, August 31, 2009


As I sit here contemplating how exactly to tell this story, I wonder why on earth I ever thought it would be a good idea to schedule both of my children's pediatric checkup appointments on the very same day...

As 8:00 approached this morning my mind was busy trying to rearrange our daily routine to accommodate our altered schedule. I put Aubrey down for an early nap around 8:30 but to no avail, she laid in bed babbling until just before 9:15. I jumped in and out of the shower, woke her from her 15 minute nap and proceeded to get the three of us ready to leave the house. As I looked at the clock in the van that read 9:40 (remembering that they had asked us to be 15 minutes early for our 9:50 appointment) I marveled at how it could take a good 15 minutes from "we're ready to go" to "we're actually leaving the house." And when I checked in at the counter and the receptionist so kindly told me "we appreciate it if you're here fifteen minutes before your appointment" I wanted to shout "do you SEE what I'm dealing with here?! You didn't ask a 3-year-old to put his shoes on 5 times only to find him with them on his hands instead! You didn't change a diaper only to have the baby poop 10 seconds after you got her in her carseat! You didn't get everyone strapped in only to have the 3-year-old scream that he forgot his milk! You didn't pull out of the driveway only to realize you'd forgotten your wallet! I'm here ON TIME you stupid cow and that should be enough!!" But instead I reserved myself...

So we waited...

And what do you know... Brendan looks at me with his panicked eyes and says "mommy?! I have to go poo poo!" So off we go, to the bathroom, dragging along the diaper bag and baby carrier, leaving the door open a crack so that we'd hear if they called Aubrey's name. "Go mommy... I want you to leave" he tells me in his pitiful "I need privacy" voice. "I can't leave you" I said, "mommy needs to stay here and listen for the nurse to call for us." And so it went... 15 minutes later and my shy pooper just couldn't do it. Off the toilet just in time for us to hear our call.

First stop... the scale. Please kindly undress that cranky, tired baby that you woke early from her nap and let me stretch her out to see how much she's grown. Now place her on the scale and watch her squirm because she really didn't want to be put down. 18 pounds, 10 ounces and 27.5 inches later, the nurse informs me that she has dropped to the 50th percentile for her height and weight but that she's still on the average curve. I wasn't listening much after that. In fact, to Brendan's dismay, I was tuning out the frequently repetitive "mommy, what does that do?" as I instead thought to myself "50th percentile?!" and I thought she was so chunky!

Second stop... the exam room. In a record 15 minutes we were seen and released with a clean bill of health only to sarcastically remind the doctor that we would be seeing her again in just a few short hours for that other child that happens to belong to me (yes, the one who has happened to find a tongue depressor, has taken off his shoes, and is sticking said tongue depressor between his toes... that's the one...)

And off we went, back to the waiting room to schedule Aubrey's next baby checkup. However, as I sat waiting for the "next available receptionist" Aubrey's vocalized need for nourishment was growing louder by the second. "Brendan, can you sit and play while mommy feeds Aubrey?" I asked him in my sweet "do what mommy says or you'll be in big trouble" voice. So I sat and lifted my shirt in the most discreet way possible and nursed my frantic baby. But could it ever be that easy?...

Not 2 minutes later and Brendan says "mommy I really have to go poo poo!" as he realizes that he probably should have gone the first time and is feeling the need more urgently now. So I pulled my hungry baby away from her beloved food source, fully anticipating the screaming reaction that ensued, dragged my screaming baby, diaper bag, baby carrier, and panicking toddler to the restroom and proceeded with "Take Two" of our previous toilet encounter. Shoes off, pants off, underwear off, layers of toilet seat covers, sit and POOP gosh darn it! And as I realized this was going to be a timely endeavor, I sat down on the floor (for what other option did I have?!) and began to nurse my sweet baby back to happiness only to be overwhelmed with anxiety as I heard several small voices accompanied by their adult counterparts exasperating "we can go potty as soon as whoever is in there comes OUT!" It was at this exact moment that I wondered how on earth I got to this place in my life... sitting on a public bathroom floor, nursing my baby while my toddler refuses to POOP! And yet, 10 minutes later, happy baby, no poop, on our way home...

Take off shoes, feed kids, put Brendan on toilet for the 20 minutes of privacy that is apparently needed for success, change diaper, fold laundry and repeat... off to the doctor for round 2 of pediatric checkups.

Low and behold we were 10 minutes early for this one! I thought I deserved a medal and might have suggested it if I hadn't been greeted by a completely different face. Fill out the paper work and you'll be called in shortly. Hey, we've seen this place before! First stop, weigh-in and measurements. 31 pounds and 36.5 inches later and Brendan was letting his guard down. But this time, as I was guided to our new exam room, I thought to myself "Aubrey's 50th percentile seems outstanding compared to Brendan's 25th!" What's happening to my chubbalicious babies?! How will he ever overcome the possibility of being shorter than his mom (who is the shortest in her family by the way...)?! OK, so I may have been overreacting just a tad, but what mother doesn't measure her children to the national standards that are shoved in her face, even just for a second?

He spouted off his colors, named off some friends, told stories about his imaginary friend "Rain", recited the ABCs (even though no one asked...) and identified random shapes simply to be told that he was developing rather well. But when I was notified that he would be needing three vaccinations to bring him up to date on his records I began to panic. How would he react when I revealed to him that not only did his baby sister NOT get shots today like mommy had told him would happen, but HE would be the one getting them instead! For sure he was going to hate me and take this traumatizing event to therapy one day... but so it goes. "Sweetheart... the nurse is going to have to give you a few shots... it's going to hurt but it will be quick and then you can have a sticker..." Funny how 3-year-olds focus on the one word that means the most to them... "a sticker?!... OK!" But as I restrained his arms and held him close, the shots penetrated his thighs, the look in his eyes was one of sheer pain and I wanted to cry. It was over in a matter of seconds and he was ready for his sticker... I was proud of my little man!

It was no wonder that the three of us were utterly exhausted and nearly asleep by the time we got home. Through the door, baby in bed, toddler on the toilet, story for said toddler, toddler in bed, mommy in bed... naptime...

Friday, August 28, 2009

9 months

So many changes taking place in this little girl. She's crawling (we call it the military or "inch-worm" crawl... but it still gets her from point A to point B), she's saying "mama" "dada" and "baby" and loves to give kisses. She can sit herself up from a crawling position but hasn't pulled herself to standing yet. Still only her bottom two teeth (she got them early and hasn't gotten any more since!) Every time I think she's getting more, it turns out to be just a benign drool fest accompanied by fussiness and ear pulling. But it doesn't stop her from eating. The girl would rather eat the food off our plates than any baby food in the world. She chews like a champ with those tiny two teeth and daddy is willing to give her anything she wants (hence the night I looked over to find her with chocolate cake on her face!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


She'd eat them all day long if we let her...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Where did the Time Go?

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the day I married the man of my dreams. It's hard to believe it's been so long already. Almost eleven years together... seven years married and still going strong. It's amazing how God can guide two people together, knowing that through all the trials and tribulations marriage can bring, they will remain strong and support each other through it all. I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather be spending my life with... I love you Joe Bessman with all my heart and I'd marry you all over again in a heartbeat!

The Happy Bride

The Bridal Party
(Sarah Falkner, Lindy Wallick, ME, Pam Betz, Jill Grassick and Shawna Beachell)

The Groomsmen
(James Falkner, Joey Grassick, Bill Bessman, little Sawyer Gregory, Joe Bessman, Ryan Oster, and Alex Bessman)

Mr. and Mrs. Bessman
(aka... the Happy Couple)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cascade Lakes

Yesterday we decided to take the kids on a drive up the Cascade Lakes Highway, decidedly the most beautiful highway we've ever driven!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Crook County Fair

What would summer be without the county fair? Seeing as how we missed our county fair due to the unfortunate (and all too frequent) timing of Joe's guard duty, we decided to venture the 25 miles to Prineville yesterday to check out Crook County's festivities. If there's anything I could say that would sum it up quickly, it would be that we saw all there was to see in just 2 hours. We still had a blast (although I was functioning on a 2 1/2 hour nap after a 12 hour nightshift...) and Brendan had a wonderful time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rub-a-dub-dub 5 kids in a tub!

While I am one of 12 of my grandparents' grandchildren, the strongest connection was made long ago between my brother, my sister, and I, and my aunt's three children. Imagine 3 girls and 3 boys all within 5 years of each other. It created several opportunites for memorable photo moments, a few of which invloved all 6 of us in the bathtub. So when my sister and her kids came to visit this past weekend, we decided to recreate the photo-op with our own children. Here, the only grandchild missing is my brother's one-year-old son. If ever we're all together, we'll have to try again...

From left to right is Josh (age 5), Molly (16 months), Brendan (age 3), Shawna (age 12), and my sweet baby Aubrey (8 months.)