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December 2, 2013 / ristyka

It’s Ok……..

I believe this is the 21st Century version of a confessional.  I miss writing.  It has not been a priority lately; because I haven’t made it one.  I love looking back at the posts and reading about the craziness of raising the babies.  I am going to try to do a better job of keeping up with this again:-)

Drumroll, please……….

It’s ok to:

1) Have chocolate for dinner every once in awhile (ok….or three times a week).

2) Feel incredibly blessed and incredibly overwhelmed at the same time.


3) Get excited to go back to work after a LONG weekend.



4) Get upset with a student and then realize you are yelling at the wrong student (and then wish you were home).

5) Wear two different socks…..and shoes to work.

6) Stay in your pajamas all day.


7) Be secretly proud of your daughter when she goes after another toddler in “Baby Soccer” (in her defense, that little stinker did steal her ball).


8) Put the kids to bed and then get the “good snacks” out.

9) Tie your dog to a tree and walk three blocks without him when he doesn’t listen to you (yep, I lost it).


10) Get excited when you know you will have time to read a magazine, uninterrupted:-).

11) Have condiments in your fridge older than your kids.

12) Close your eyes and pretend (ok…..wish) you are all alone on a beach in Hawaii (then open your eyes to a naked child running at you with a Lego tower).


13) “Hug it Out” with a cashier at Target.


14) Invest your time and energy in positive people and forget the ones that bring you down.



15) Secretly LOVE Monday Night Raw (maybe that’s where Ally gets it from:-)



February 8, 2013 / ristyka

My Baby is One…….



I definitely look more rested now…….the picture below is rough….


Two days old…..

Image 2


12 months old……

Well, Ally is now a one year old.  I am not sure how that happened, but it did.  In the past couple of months, her personality has really developed and we have begun venturing out in public again:-) For her birthday, I took the day off work and we went to our favorite place on earth, the Detroit Zoo.  I tell people all the time, it truly is such a gem to have a mere 20 minutes away.  We ended up spending 2.5 hours there and it went well.  I find it so interesting that when the two of them are with just me, Nick tends to listen so much better than when it is just him and I.  It’s like he understands that he has to rise to the occasion.


Yep……she really is one…….



This is what he thinks of his sister….sometimes.


Other times, it’s more like this……


Checking out the polar bears…..


Oh mom, we just have to look away…’re crazy!!!


Hanging out together in the polar bear exhibit


Watching the sea otters….


The polar bear was right above her!


Checking out the “blue room” in the reptile house!

In addition to all of the fun we’ve been having at the zoo, I believe we are all finally adjusting to my morning schedule.  Wouldn’t you know, it is changing again at the end of March.  I have decided that working in the afternoon works best for ME, but working in the morning works best for US.  We seem to have fallen into a routine here and that has made life a bit easier.

Ally had her one year check up yesterday and she is in the 97th percentile for height and weight.  The doctor also said that 75 percent of a child’s personality is developed by their first birthday.  The adjectives he used to describe Ally were: strong, independent, focused, and happy.  Hmmmm……3 out of 4 isn’t bad:-)  I told him we call her the Beast-Diva and he laughed.  He told me to be sure to write that in her baby book.  She really is developing this strong personality.  Where in the world would she get that from?  I love watching her assert herself, I love watching how her love of the outdoors is so similar to mine, and I LOVE her independence.  She is going to change the world one day.  Somehow, this kid is going to change the world.  I said it here first.  While she’s busy changing the world, her brother will be cracking into the FBI computer system:-)

Happy First Birthday, Al.  I love you with all my heart and soul.  You make me proud to be your mom everyday (even when you walk backwards into my computer and delete my 5 page paper).

P.S.  Give your dad a hard time once in a while….just to keep him on his toes:-)  Oh….and you are starting to give your brother a run for his money….I like that too:-)

Image 6

Image 5

Sleeping in the stroller and laying on mama……..awwwwwwwww


The most beautiful baby girl in the world:-)

January 25, 2013 / ristyka

When you Lose a Hero…..

For all of you that know me well, know that my lifelong athletic hero was Lance Armstrong.  I proudly sported my yellow wrist band for almost 6 straight years without taking it off.


The famous band……

Lance Armstrong was my idol for a number of reasons:

1) He was an amazing athlete.

2) He was able to overcame testicular cancer and go on to not only win 7 Tour de France races, but also become a huge advocate for cancer research.

3) He was the “brains” behind one of the most successful cancer charities in America.

4) He always appeared to be brash with the press and, quite frankly, not put up with anyone’s bullshit.  I liked that.  It was something I wished I could do… know, not put up with people’s BS.

5) His focus and determination.  I would watch him in interviews and when he would talk about his training his focus and determination were unwavering.


My hero…….

His athletic successes made me believe in myself.  Obviously, I am not nor ever will be on the same stage as Lance Armstrong.  However, he made me believe I could do better.  I could commit more.  I could push harder.  I could overcome more.  To me, wearing that yellow bracelet symbolized strength.  That bracelet became my strength.  I never took it off.  Ever.  When I had to “dress up,” I would hide it under a chunky bracelet.  When I was told at the hospital when I was delivering Ally that I “needed to take it off,” I said No.  It became a part of me.  Then, about a month or so ago, I was getting out of the shower and as I pulled it over my watch, it broke.  I actually stood there stunned.  I was stunned and I started to cry.  I had tied so much of my strength into this little yellow band.  Now what?  Well, I had a replacement band I wore instead for a couple of weeks.  Then, the rumors began to circulate about the “confession.”

I watched the interview with Oprah completely stunned.  I cried, my heart raced for him when he was asked a tough question, and I also laughed a couple of times when Oprah would reference some of the comments he has made in the past.  The bottom line is, since then, I have not been able to get him out of my mind, and I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s a combination of things….losing a hero, losing my idea of “strength,” feeling lied to, cheated, disrespected, hurt, etc…..  I think I am still i n a state of shock and I continue (believe it or not) to try and defend him.  “Well, everyone was doping,” or “he would have won anyway,”  even “maybe he was put up to this whole confession bit?”  Obviously, I know this is all irrational and he cheated, lied, and used drugs to win all of his Tours.  I am just so sad.  I want my hero back.


The interview……

One would think that I would dislike Lance Armstrong now, but I don’t.  Sadly, I still think he is an awesome athlete and I admire his determination to continue training as hard as he is when he basically has no chance of ever being in a USADA sanctioned event.

Most of all, I’m sad that when I ripped on the NBA for all of their thugs, and ripped Ray Lewis for being a murderer and having 6 kids with 4 different women, I used Lance Armstrong as the other side of the equation.  I no longer have a hero, but I also lost my example and the other side of the equals sign.

Presently, I am undecided if I will buy another yellow band.  Currently, I am “band-less.”  I still believe in the mission of LiveStrong and I hope they can succeed without Lance Armstrong.  For that reason, I am thinking about buying another band.

I also think I have found a couple new examples of strength……and wouldn’t you know they were right in front of my face all along….



January 5, 2013 / ristyka

Best Advice…..

As I sit here typing, I am reflecting back on the past three-ish years.  Nick will be turning THREE on March 10th and Ally will be ONE on January 30th.  I can’t help but think…..where in the heck has all the time gone?  I thought I would take this opportunity to share the BEST pieces of advice I have received thus far.

Piece of Advice #1 (Credit goes to my dad) LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE.  Since Nick was born, my dad has always told me to let sleeping dogs kids lie.  I have taken this advice to heart and rarely do I wake Nick or Ally up.  The few times I have woken them has always been a complete disaster. Either they are tired and grouchy or just plain pissed off.  I have learned to schedule my activities around their nap times.  In addition, I tend to let them sleep until they wake up in the morning.  I know this will change once they are in school so, for now, I will let them enjoy it!


The sleeping beauty fought the exersaucer and the exersaucer won…….

Piece of Advice #2 (Credit goes to my mom.) EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT.  This is SO true. I have learned this TEN FOLD with Nick and Ally.  They are both VERY different personalities, and thus have been very different baby’s.  What worked for Nick did not necessarily work for Ally and vice versa.  I have learned to follow their leads in order to figure out what’s best for them, INDIVIDUALLY.


Both are such good kids, but oh so very different…. (not sure why they look like they just saw a ghost here…lol)

Piece of Advice #3 (Credit goes to my mom) TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.  Sometimes people will tell you things that they are doing or their kids are doing.  Sometimes people will tell you that your kid isn’t hitting a milestone or should be doing something they are not yet doing.  IGNORE all of this.  Once you are a mom, you have this built in instinct that let’s you know everything is ok.  If your gut tells you different, then go with it.  Remember, there is nothing stronger than a mother’s instinct.


Nick and Mimi hanging out!

Piece of Advice #4 (credit, again, goes to my mom)  THERE WILL BE LONG DAYS, BUT THE BIG CHUNKS OF TIME FLY BY.  Oh, how true this is.  People will constantly say, ‘enjoy them while they are young,” or “time will go so quick.”  You do not realize this until the kids are actually your own.  I cannot believe Nick will be three.  I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday.  I swear.  How can this be?!?!  I have really tried to worry less about menial things and live in the moment with the babies.  Like I said, the time really does fly.  Of course, there are those never ending days…..but weeks turn to months and months turn to years and soon you have two college-aged kids!


Seriously…….how can you almost be THREE?


STOP Growing!

Piece of Advice #5 (credit goes to…..can’t remember) MAINTAIN YOUR INDIVIDUALITY, ONE DAY YOU WILL LOOK UP AND YOUR KIDS WILL BE GROWN AND OUT OF THE HOUSE.  I take this to mean, being a mother is by far the most important thing I do in a day…but it is not the only thing I do.  I also have several interests outside of parenting that I like to explore.  I like to workout, run, hike with Dexter, read, pursue professional development (i.e. taking classes for my specialist degree at U of M- Dearborn), and spend time with family and friends.  All of this is PART of who I am.  With many of my interests, the kids can also come along/participate, and I love that.  However, sometimes it is nice just to go out for a walk with Dex and be one with my thoughts!


Commitment Day 5k with my family and my neighbor!

Kristy and Jeff Running

My brother and I at the Jingle Bell Run:-)

I love and adore my kids more than life itself.  They have taught me and continue to teach me lessons everyday.  The most difficult and most rewarding job you will ever have is being a parent.  I don’t think there is any magic formula to being a good parent.  I think a lot of it is instinct, a lot of it is patience, and the biggest part is creating a mutual respect with your kids.  Those are the things I hope to accomplish with my babies.  On that note, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post…….my 2013 Goals……and there are a lot of them!

November 16, 2012 / ristyka

Trying to catch up!

Once again, I have fallen behind a bit and have not posted in quite some time.  Sorry.  Life gets in the way sometimes.  Things have been going really well.  I am REALLY enjoying the class I am taking.  While it is a TON of work, I have really learned a lot.  The best part is, I can apply a lot in the classes I am teaching.  At work, we are winding down the first trimester and that means my schedule will change.  I will be going in to work in the morning during second tri.  I THINK this will be better for Erik, since he will get a longer stretch of sleep.  Who knows?!  Every schedule has perks and drawbacks.  This trimester, it has been nice to get up with the kids, have breakfast together, and get in a quick walk (on nice days).  However, next tri, it will be nice to be DONE at 11:00am!  We shall see.  I will report my successes/failures as they happen!


Our little sleeping beauty…..

We have also been doing some fun stuff, since the weather has been cooperative!

Bloomer Park 7.5 mile hike with Dexter:-)

10 mile bike ride on Hines Drive through the lights with Nick, Papa, and Uncle Jeff!

New record of EIGHT trips to Target in FIVE days:-)  Too bad they don’t offer a punch card:-)

Lots of walks with the crew. P.S.  Ally now has a faux fur snowsuit.  SUCH A DIVA:-)

I also had the opportunity to run a 10k with a great friend.  Shannon and I have been friends since elementary school.  She just had her second baby 2 months ago!  Doesn’t she look AWESOME?!  Anyway, we had such a fun time running with Nick:-)

Tomorrow, I will be doing a 5k with Nick and another great friend, Tara, and her son Tommie.  Tara is currently 6.5 months pregnant and is running a 5k WITH a baby jogger.  ROCK STAR.  The boys are also running the kids quarter mile.  I will be sure to take pictures!  In addition, I am excited for this upcoming week!  We only have 2.5 days of work, and I have lots of fun stuff planned!  Wednesday is our annual hike at Bloomer Park, Thursday is the Turkey Trot and lots of food, football and family, Friday is SHOPPING and Saturday and Sunday are recovery days!!!  Wishing everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

November 1, 2012 / ristyka

The Zoo…..and Halloween

Who in the world goes to the zoo on Halloween?  Um…..that would be us!  We had a couple “afternoon” hours free on Halloween, so Nick and I decided to go to the zoo.  We arrived to absolutely ZERO cars in the parking lot.  That’s right!  We had the place to ourselves!  The zoo workers were gracious enough to give us a behind the scenes tour!  Nick LOVED it!


It takes so little to make him happy….

Checking out the camels…..

Being goofy and jumping in the bush….

Waiting for our “tour guides”

Back room where the giraffes hang out in cold weather…

Playing with the dividers…..

This is cool, mom!

Checking out the brown bears…..

Oh…..and we also attempted to go trick-or-treating.  We lasted all of two houses.  Nick was not interested at all.  Ally was tired.  Not a good mix.  We let my two neighbors see the kids, then went back to my parents’ house and hung out for a bit.

A very sad Dr. Nick Burgess (wasn’t feeling the costume)

Ms. Ally “the giraffe” Burgess

October 30, 2012 / ristyka

Almost November….

Wow…..this month sure flew by!  Holy Cow!  Well….not a whole lot new and exciting over here.  The kids are doing well.  Nick is continuing to talk up a storm and be the happy, mellow child that I still cannot believe I had a part in creating.  Tonight, we were walking Dex and it started to POUR rain.  He sat in the stroller, hands behind his head and sang…”rain, rain go away……come again some other day.”  Did I mention we were two miles from home?  Yeah…..that’s just him.  Nothing bugs him.  Again…..not sure how we are related because I could write a book with all the shit that bothers me:-)

Hanging out with Dex for a little brother bonding time……(Looks like Dex needs a nap..)

Nick trying to “scare” me…….

Hanging out with Daddy watching, what else, Dora….

If you look closely, you will see that Nick is looking at a picture of my dad on my phone.  When he hasn’t seen him in awhile, this is what he does.

Ally is also doing well.  She is “cruising” along furniture now and standing without holding on to anything.  Erik and I both think, by Thanksgiving, she will be taking her first few steps……She had her 9 month check-up today and she is doing awesome!  She is in the 98th percentile for height and weight and passed her iron test with flying colors.  She will also officially be DONE with formula in one month.  This will allow the rest of the family to eat again….haha….just kiddin’.  She is also eating 2-3 “meals” a day now of baby food/regular food.  She definitely has her father’s appetite.  She can eat ANY and ALL weird combinations.  Anyone that knows Erik, knows he can eat tuna and chili together.  Who does that?!?!

Here she is at her appt. today…


Ride home from check-up

Getting the winter walking clothes out!!


Shopping with the girls over the weekend….        


This is how he waits for me to get home from work…