Wednesday, December 10

Blogger Neglect

It's official folks, I am guilty of blog neglect. I cannot believe it has been 3 months since I last blogged. Life has been busy to say the least. My new job keeps me way busier than I ever thought possible, there is no time to be bored, let along blog! I used to blog during lunch breaks but I don't know what those are anymore. That's not to say I am not enjoying my job because I do. My mom pointed out that in my previous post I say I have a new job but haven't said what it is or what I do. So, in short, I am the lead Medical Staff Specialist for a local hospital in Omaha. I work exclusively for the physicians and whatever they need, but more specifically forthe physician executive board and act a psuedo liason between Administration and Medical Staff. It is a good job. As hard as I work, I do have more flexible hours and see the kids more most evenings than I have in the past. It is a very big job and feels bigger than I can handle at times, but I AM doing it well - one day at a time!

Life has presented some challenges but we are still blessed. We know that God has the bigger picture and keep trusting him for guidance and his providence in our lives! Michael is working for a friend of our who owns his own garage door business. It is hard manly work. Not that he wasn't used to hard work but it is a different level of hard work. We're talking in the cold all the time, either cold temperatures or sub zero freezers. He likes the work and likes his co-workers but it is very hard for him and for the girls and I for him to be away so much. He is still looking for other employment. We are MOST grateful to our friends, Bob and Robyn, for giving him this opportunity when we desperately needed it. We are praying for special guidance right now for Friday morning.

In September, Michael tested for the local law enforcement and was asked to submit his personal history packet to the Bellevue PD. He turned it in and got a letter saying that his application wasn't going forward at this time. He called and asked what the problem was and was told he hadn't submitted copies of his driver's license and other documentation. The Leutienant was very gracious and said he could bring it in this Friday at 10am for a short interview. So... we don't know what will happen next but we pray that God will open the door if it is his plan for our lives. We shall see.

The girls are getting so big. I will post pics later of them.

Please keep us all in your prayers! I know there are plenty of people who are far worse situations, but we would appreciate your prayers.

Tuesday, September 16

Changes -

Change. No this is not a plug for Barack Obama, I wouldn't be caught dead. Anyway, political feelings aside, change has been the theme of the month. My last update was about a month ago, I am sad to say. This summer has been very busy and change has touched almost every aspect of our lives lately. God is up to something, but I have yet to figure it all out yet.

One thing that has changed is our girls are getting so big! Kati started preschool on Aug 11, and even though this deserved a post all of its own, I didn't get there. (Much like the pictures that I have not gotten done of the girls.)

Kati loves preschool! That is an understatement because she LOVES preschool. She is learning to read and doing very well. Recently, we read a book and she read 9 out of 11 words that were on the page. I am proud of her. She loves to learn. I hope that is a quality she will always posess.

Ava is 9 months old now and growing very very quickly. She is wearing 18 month clothing. It's a little much for me. It seems like she was just my little baby who cuddled, but now she wants to be on the floor and crawling around into everything. We vacuum a lot more now! She is eating some jarred foods, but I am giving her more grown up foods. She loved the fruit and veggie puffs too. I think she will be walking soon.

What else has changed, you ask?

I received a job promotion at the hospital I work at. I was the executive secretary to the vice-president/chief operating officer. While this was a fulfilling job, I was starting to get bored. I had always said I didn't want to be a secretary the rest of my life. (I did enjoy the status it brough though.) Well, God must have heard me because the doors started opening. Back in June, my friend announced she was moving back home, and her position would be open. My boss asked me if I would be interested in her position. I thought about it for awhile. I went had a lunch interview with my potential new boss and talked about the position. I knew that taking the job would be that another woman in my office would not get it, and although she had her heart set on it, they weren't going to offer it to her. This was a very troubling time for me. I sought a lot of counsel from people and prayed about it a lot. At times, when it was so stressful, I prayed that God would shut the door but he never did. Even when it appeared that this wasn't meant to be, things changed and the opening just got wider. They were originally going to list the position as a lesser position, with the opportunity for me to move up within a year when I proved myself. I was okay with that at first, until I found out that meant no pay raise at all. So I thought the door was closing. We on vacation at this time and I was glad to get away from all the office drama. When I got back, I found out that they were going to repost the position as the lead position so that I would take it. I wanted a 10% raise. Not to be greedy, but I was advised by my current boss that you should always aim for at least that. So long story short, I have been there two full weeks. I got the raise and looking back I can see that God opened the doors all the way. Even when I wasn't sure it was the right way, He was guiding the whole situation. The great thing is that I am home earlier in the evening and get to spend more time with my family.

Sometimes when God moves he opens one door and closes another. Well that is exactly what happened last Monday. Michael went to work and came home unemployed. In some ways this is a huge relief as he was miserable and in a job that he had really disconnected with long ago. The company was doing things that he felt were unethical and he didn't feel comfortable making the transactions. His boss had never liked him and overall it just wasn't a good fit. So for now, he is being Mr. Mom until he finds something else. He is doing pretty good, although I know it is hard on him to go from employee to full time dad. He loves his girls and is a good daddy but doing it for hours on end it definitely hard on him.

So anyway, that is all about the change going on right now. We are trusting God for the next thing. We have seen his faithfulness many times not to trust that he will provide.

On another note, it always seems that God knows exactly what we need. There have been instances of this lately.
Instance #1. Last Friday night as I drove home from work, I was thinking and telling God that I am really lonely for friends. No one really knows me anymore. Later that night I was on facebook and an IM popped up from one of my oldest, dearest friends, Jenni. Jenni and I grew up together and nearly every childhood memory includes her in one way or another. Jenni is a very busy mom with 3 girls under 2 years old! Being busy moms, we don;'t really have the time to talk but we did that night by IM for almost an hour. It was so good and so cathartic for me to talk to someone who knows me and I could be myself. At the end, I closed Facebook and just cried. I feel like God directed her to me for that exact night when I really needed friendship most.
Instance #2. When I orignally applied for my new job, I said I was X amount of dollars. It was above the 10% increase but I figured why not go higher. So I got a 44 cents less than I orignally asked for and I was still happy with it. THen yesterday, by former boss, who is still in the same office, came into my office and said that I would be getting my performance raise based upon last years review. With that raise, I now make 20 cents more than I originally asked for when I applied for this position. Follow all that? Anyway, it is just cool to me. It came when we needed it most.

So that is the update on all the changes going on with the Ingraldi Family. I will update more often and let readers know how it all turns out.

Thursday, August 14

Finally got a minivan!

I have wanted a minivan for so long. Both of our cars are both older, 91 and 96. We were attached to Michael's car simply because it was his grandfathers. We bought it after he passed away in 2005. We were finally forced to do something last weekend about our car situation. Everything starts breaking, which is understandable given that our car was old enough to graduate high school. So last Saturday, we found a new to us 2002 Chrysler Town and Country. It has a lot of amenities that we did not expect to find in our price range. It was a blessing. A mechanic checked it out and all is perfectly fine! It was an emotional goodbye to the old Buick. It felt like our last connection to Papa Cox. We both had tears in our eyes as we drove away. We felt like we left our heart on the lot in some ways. We realize that he would want us to have something better but it was hard to part. We are excited to drive our new mini, it feels good to have air conditioning!

Wednesday, July 16

So many changes!

(Written back in July, forgot to post until now)

Our girls are growing so fast. I wish I could slow time just a little but since I can't, I am enjoying all the new things that they do.

Kati continues to amaze with the things she thinks of and her abilities. She is learning sign language at Aunt Lisa's house during the week and has caught on amazingly well. She is starting preschool in less than a month, a day that I am certain I will cry. She is quite excited. She loves to be in the pool with her daddy. That is her special time with him. She seems to have grown up so much lately. The other day she announced that she was going to be a big girl and I did not need to tuck her in anymore.

Ava is now 7 months old and doing new things everyday. This past Sunday, she said mama for the first time, started crawling backwards, and learned to stand holding onto an object - all in ONE day. I was not ready for so many firsts from my baby in one day! In my mind, I still think she is 3 months old. I took her for her 6 month check up a few weeks ago and she is so big. Weighing in at 17.1 pounds, and measuring 27.5 inches in length, she is already ahead of Kati by 2 months compared to where Kati was at this age. Suffice it to say, our seasons are off in the clothing area right now. Hopefully we'll get back on track someday because Kati has a A LOT of clothes.

Michael and I feel so blessed to be the parents of these amazing kids. Each day is an adventure and even on the hairiest of days, it still amazes me that they are ours - precious little miracles.

Wednesday, June 4

The dreaded question...a little too early!

So the other day, I am folding Ava's laundry in her room and Kati is helping me. Out of nowhere, Kati comes at me with a question, I wasn't quite ready to answer for another 4 or so years. She says, Mommy, how did I get in your belly? In my head I'm scrambling and I chuckled a nervous laugh. Once my brain got it together, I told her that when a mommy and daddy love each other God puts the baby in the mommy's tummy. Luckily, this pleased her and we went back to folding clothes. Whew!

Also, in Kati news. I am pleased to report that she sat and watched the weather reporting with me tonight for a long time. I took a meteorology class in college and loved it, so much to the point that I remember more of that than anything else I ever took. She used to be deathly afraid of storms but I think she is doing better this weather season. She was very calm when the tornado sirens sounded this evening. She wanted to know why I was getting blankets and supplies together, I told her and she was okay with it.

She has also started to pick out her own outfits. Some days she does a pretty good job and really surprises me, other days, she cracks me up with her concepts but somehow they work. This one isn't that bad, but the pink heart shirt with brown skirt, and pink blue and white striped socks made me laugh. She is so stinkin' cute.

She sits!

Ava is trying hard to master the art of sitting. She actually did sit upright for 10 minutes the other day at Aunt Lisa's. She will be 6 months old next week. She is growing and getting so big. I already miss those early baby days, but each new milestone is a source for celebration.

Tuesday, June 3

A Pool of Frustration

Life is still busy and crazy at the Ingraldi House. My friend Amber thoughtfully checked in and saw I hadn't been blogging lately. I have wanted to but time slips away so easily.

There have been so many things going on. Let's see, we attempted to put up the pool this weekend, which has been a disaster of sorts. We got the pool new last year. It is one of the inflatable ring pools that as you fill it with water it rises to a 16ft circle, that is about 3 1/2 feet deep. It was fun entertainment last year but the ground was a little uneven. So, this year with out economic stimulus money, we had a company come out and create a perfectly flat circle in our yard. It took 4 guys to do the work that my poor husband was attempting to do himself.
Anyway, we put up the pool and it had an unforeseen hole in the inflatable ring part, but I found that one. Then as the day progressed, little holes began emmerging all throughout the body of the pool. We patched 8 holes in all, but I am a little disheartened that a pool that is just a year old seems to be falling apart. We called the company but they offered no recourse. It's a shame that there is no ownership anymore when problems arise. We had to get a new pool pump too and that has also been a pain. I am wishing we had no pool and more money.

I am challenged by an old friend, Ryan, who blogs about being more concientious with our money and honoring God with what resources he has given to us. I am beginning to think that this pool just isn't very honorable, it's a pool of frustration.

Wednesday, May 14

May Days

Our girls are growing an getting so big. Kati is full of energy. She goes from sun up to bedtime nonstop. She quit taking naps at Aunt Lisa's house b/c she wouldn't be able to go to sleep at night. She takes a quiettime though - or as quiet as I can imagine her being! :-)

A snippet of Kati's favorite activities.

Note the pink stair Kati drew on. She then sat in the chalk and despite my warning not to sit on anything and to strip her clothes immediately after stepping inside - she sat down on the carpeted stair to remove her shoes! Eeek!


Ava is growing and getting so big - now 5 months old. She is wearing 6-9 month clothes and is quickly burning through those as well. At this point, Kati was just wearing 3-6 month clothing so all those cute little summer dresses won't be seen again. Seeing Ava now, reminds me of Kati when she was a baby. I am told her eyes are turning hazel like Kati's but I am still holding out hope that she'll have baby blues like her mama. I think she is going to get a little red tint to her hair and she already has the most beautiful olive skin (thanks to her dad's side of the family). Kati and I will be jealous of her complexion I am sure as we are the very white girls (thanks to my Irish heritage.)

Ava loves to eat! Notice in the first picture that she is holding my pinky as I feed her. She holds on to my pinky the whole time. The second is after she is finished eating her peas and rice cereal. She is a happy girl.

Kati is keeping busy with swimming lessons, while Ava is busy eating new foods. She has tried every stage 1 veggie there is and loves them all - even green beans and peas! I allowed Kati to make the decision of what fruit to try first, so tonight it will be baby bananas - as Kati calls them.

The week ahead will be busy for the Ingraldi Family. Friday, Grammy and Papa come from Missouri to watch the girls overnight while Michael and I go to a church Leadership retreat. Sunday, we are having Ava's baby dedication at church. Kati has swim lessons in the afternoon and then she is off to Grammy and Papa's for the week. I do not know what I will do without her. She definitely keeps our life busy and challenging. I will miss her but know she will have a great time.

Pictures of the girls on recent walk. I snapped the picture of Kati holding Ava's hand - too sweet!

Who's Got the Beat?

I guess I do but not the way I wish I did. I can't dance at all. I am wearing a 24 hour halter monitor for my heart to try and figure out why I am having such rapid accelerations that occur out of the blue. They last for 5 to 10 minutes and it feels like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. This started about 6 weeks ago, right after I quit nursing Ava so I attributed it to the re-introduction of caffiene to my body again but not so much anymore. I went to the cardiologist yesterday for a 24 hour monitor to try and see what's up. I am not thrilled with being 27 and wearing one of these. I am really hoping it is just stress or something. I plan on getting my cholesterol checked as well. Given my family's heart health history - I'm not leaving anything to chance. I go back in 2 weeks for the results.

Monday, April 21

Sunday - not a day of rest

Yesterday was an incredibly busy busy day. Michael and Kati went to church yesterday morning together and then went out to lunch afterwards. While they were at church, Ava and I went to a wedding shower brunch for his cousin, Rachel. It was a very nice shower and it made me want to get married again so we could get new stuff. Ava tried her best to steal the show with her squeals - she loves to hear herself. After the shower, Ava and I headed home. She must have worn herself out as she slept from 1 til 3:30pm! I got a lot done though, including some really great mom and Kati time.

Kati also started swimming lessons yesterday afternoon. She wanted her dad to take her so I had to settle for pictures. She had a really good time. It was so cute watching her try to reinact what she learned.

Ava had her first veggie this weekend - squash! She loved it as her face proves.

We were able to get outside and get some fresh air for a change and the girls got to wear their first shorts of the season. Typical Midwest weather - last week it was snowing, this week it is 75 and humid, and tomorrow it is supposed to be 60 and rainy. I will have to remind myself of this when it is 95 and sunny in July.

I also found the time to get in the kitchen this weekend. I made homemade cinnamon rolls for work this morning. I LOVE my bread machine. I didn't know it had a dough setting until yesterday. I put all the ingrediants in and 90 minutes later I had perfect dough to roll out, spread with cinnamon mixture, cut, put in the pan, put in the fridge. this morning I took them out, let them raise and bake. They were so very yummy. I am the birthday person at work and our CFO doesn't like cake but requested cinnamon rolls - in case you wondered why I was making rolls on a Monday morning. I am not normally that ambitious.
I heard the best words this morning from Kati - "I'm glad I have a sister." Ava just lights up when she sees Kati. Kati loves it that Ava smiles at her and gets so excited. "Mommy, Ava just gave me a smile" is a commonly heard in our house. I love it. After all the time and heartache it took to get my girls, it is so rewarding to seethem together.

Tuesday, April 15

4 month check up

Ava had her 4 month check up yesterday and all is well. She is 13 pounds, 10 ounces (50th %tile) and 25 inches long (75th %tile). She also had to get her shots, her poor little legs. Kati wanted to go with us and be the big sister. I told her Ava had to get shots and it was going to hurt her and she would cry, but Kati wanted to go anyway. She held Ava's hand and talked to her the whole time and was so very sweet to her. She kept saying "it's okay Ava."

Ava started eating oatmeal and really seemed to like it. We start on a veggie at the end of the week!

Friday, April 11

Cereal time

Ava began eating cereal a few weeks ago. She is growing and getting so big. This morning I pulled an outfit from the closet and Michael said it was too big for her. Much to his surprise, it fit. She is growing so quickly. She has such a sweet disposition. Ava has found her voice lately and loves to coo very loudly - it's music to my ears. No matter how bad my day was, it always perks me up. We go to the doctor on Monday for a checkup and shots (yikes!)

Now that she has started rolling over, she doesn't stay on her back for long!

Friday, April 4

Ava Rolled Over

Ava rolled over for the first time yesterday afternoon. I missed it since I was at work (yes, I cried that I missed it.) Thankfully, Michael did get to witness it as he had just arrived to pick up the girls. I am very grateful that Aunt Lisa now has a digital camera and high speed internet! So even though I wasn't there in person I did get to see pictures almost immediately after it happened. Ava has been on the brink of rolling for several weeks now and I have had the video camera primed and ready to go hoping to capture it at home but alas I missed it and will have to wait to get it the next time. She just laid flat on her back last night as I tried to coax her with toys to show me her trick. I am sure I will see it many times over. It is the down side of being a working mom though - missing those firsts. Nonetheless, I am a proud momma.

Wednesday, March 26

Easter time

(I totally thought I published this post last week. I couldn't figure out why no one had said anything. I never check my own blog so didn't realize I hadn't posted!)

We had a wonderful Easter weekend with my parents in St. Joe. My brother David and his long time girlfriend, Tammy, came up for a short time on Sunday to visit us too. We hadn't seen them in over a year, it was good to see them. (Far too long!) Kati thoroughly enjoys her time at Grammy and Papa's - Michael and I don't exist in her world when Grammy is around.

Egg hunt on Saturday at Grammy & Papa's

Ava disguises herself as the easter bunny.

Kati on Easter Sunday - after services they had an egg hunt. She got lots of good stuff that she won't eat but Michael and I will!

This is a late evening shot of Ava in her Easter outfit. (Things were so busy, I didn't realize I had forgotten to get a picture of her earlier in the day!) It once was Kati's baby dedication dress. Hard to believe Kati once fit into it and now she is so big.
Taking this picture was special to me, every year growing up, we would take pictures on our front porch before going to Easter services. This year it was important to me to get a picture with my family on the porch.

David & Tammy joined us on the porch.
This is my adorable nephew Aidden. He lives in North Carolina. Even though he wasn't with us on Easter, I have to include this very adorable picture of him. We love and miss you Aidden!

Friday, March 21

Deep Discounts

I just got good news and feel like writing about it. We had a lot of medical bills in 2007 with my pregnancy (lots of tests, multiple doctors appts.), Michael's MRI, and the bills for Ava and myself after her birth. Anyway, the hospital system I work for offers charity care for people who cannot pay their bills in full for whatever reason.

So my good news, is that after insurance the discount of 40%, we only owe $285.05 for all of our bills! That is such a huge blessing for us. Our total bill would have been $475.08. So anyway, I am thrilled.

Tuesday, March 11

Free rice = increased brain power

I just learned of a new program called Free Rice. I read about it in the most recent People magazine. Basically, for playing every correct answer in the word game on their website they donate 20 grains of rice to United Nations World Food Program. It is a great program helping those overseas that we wouldn't normally be able to. It gives an update for every day and month so you can see how much rice is being donated. For instance 3,893,361,180 grains of rice were donated in February 08. I placed the link to the right for those of you who want to play/donate.

Thursday, March 6

Kati is 4!

Kati turned four years old on Feb. 27th. I can't believe my baby girl is already 4. She has grown up so much. Luckily, we have left most of the issues that come with being three behind and she is blossoming into a wonderful little girl. She is on the verge of reading. She is writing quite a few words, like Kati, mom, dad, Ava, cat, dog, etc. The other day she was watching one of her Leapfrog videos, she stopped and ran to the fridge to spell a word she had just seen. I love watching her learn. We were reading the paper the other day and she picked up a grocery ad and said, "this says Hy-Vee." I was impressed. I love that she loves learning and hope it continues for a very long time.

Her birthday party was last Saturday. She received many nice gifts. I love the cute clothes, she loves the toys. She is totally in love with Hannah Montana and really wanted a Hannah cake, so we let her have it. I was a little sad she didn't want another princess party but Hannah stuff is everywhere, and I figure there are much worse people out there she could like.
She entertained us by singing a Hannah song.
Kati loves her cake.

Bryan and Kati enjoying cake.

Do they look alike?

Here are my girls both at 3 months old? Do you think they look alike?

Grow up!

I normally try to save my blog for pleasantries but today I just have to let it out. I don't understand why grown women feel the need to act like they are still in junior high. It is so ridiculous. If you are mad then just say so or get over it and move on. I would rather someone tell me they are upset with me than to beat around the bush and make life unpleasant. Case in point: a co-worker is mad at me b/c I will not tell her information provided to me by my boss. It isn't her place to know until he makes it known, if I divulge the information first than I could be in trouble. I have not held anything over her head. She asked if I knew what the meeting was about, when I said yes, she thought I should have told her. This was two weeks ago, the meeting is tomorrow and I cannot wait. Of course, then she will be even more mad and make things more miserable but that's okay, at least it will be out in the open. Today, she called my good friend into her office, shut the door and said "let's see if we can make her nervous." I don't care, it's childish, I just wish people could grow up and act like adults. Enough said.

Friday, February 29


I'm so proud of my hubby. It is not often that people actually write letters of praise (as I well know from working in hospital administration.) It is so nice to be noticed for a job well done. Michael's job is very stressful at time - people can get pretty nasty when it comes to money, so a little validation goes a long way. Here is an email sent to Michael's boss regarding his excellent performance.

Subject: Mike Ingraldi

I’m sending you a note to tell you how helpful Mike has been in resolving an issue we had here in Minneapolis. There was a dispute over the terms of a promotion, and Mike went well beyond the call of duty to help us achieve a positive result for the client. The client didn’t appreciate it, of course, so Mike had to do even more work on our behalf in an attempt to further placate the client. I’d guess it’s the most work anyone’s done on a $10K account in a long time, but he did it cheerfully and efficiently.

In my opinion, Mike’s a “keeper.”

Sidenote: I love how they talk about $10K like it's not that big of a deal! That the stock market world for ya.

Thursday, February 21

Growin' Girls

My girls are getting so big. Kaitlin turns 4 years old next Wednesday. She is smart as a whip, and I suspect will be reading soon. She is very into learning and schoolwork. She loves to spell words and is starting to do some math. Ava is now 10 weeks old and growing quickly. I just put her in her first 3-6 month outfit last night. She is smiling all the time and is overall a very happy baby.

We celebrated Michael's 27th birthday last week. Kati enjoyed making her daddy a cake - notice all the sprinkles are in the very middle :-)

We went roller skating on Saturday with Sasa, Gruncle, Bryan, Michael's mom and dad who were visiting from CO. This was Kati's first time on skates, unfortunately the pictures didn't come out :-(

As you can see below, skating didn't work out so well for me either. I really did pretty good at remembering how to skate again. The picture doesn't prove it but I did. I had stopped against a wall so as not to fall into the little girl who was about to fall. As I got going again, Sir Newton reached up from the rink floor and pulled me down. So there I sat, like a big blob on the floor trying to maneuver my way back up. My knee still appears battered and bruised. I have been laughed at by my family, friends, and even my boss! Someone asked, why did you go roller skating - my answer "to be the fun mom for Kati." I think I'll wait to lose some weight before going again - less for Sir Newton to grab onto.