Wednesday, March 31, 2010

C'est fini!

Why, hello, last day of March! Looks like I was successful at blogging every day. I have to say, I'm a little surprised with myself. I kind of assumed I would forget at least once or just get sick of it and quit halfway through.

But I didn't!

I'm rather relieved that this everyday business is over. But I am fairly certain that getting in the habit of being here every day and writing at least SOMETHING will help in posting a little more frequently.

So, Happy March 31st. Now I need to devote the rest of today to thinking of a fun April Fool's joke for tomorrow. ;)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Heavy heart

Becky Foreman went to be with Jesus at 3:30 this morning.

I can't imagine the numbness, shock, grief, and pain the family is feeling. So please be in prayer for her husband Doug, her daughters Alissa, Tanya, and Klava, and her sons Tyler and Ted.

Bless you, dear friends. As Peggy Lang said, may God's peace-that-doesn't-make-sense be with you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I think I can.... I think I can....

March is almost over. So far, so good! I think it's time for another "Random Thoughts Monday."

1) This week, spring will once again grace Minnesota with its presence. Hopefully this time it's for good! It will also mean that this is the first snowless March in, well, ever. At least since they started keeping track of such things, according to Belinda Jensen. That makes me happy. It also makes me a little nervous for April. Let's not have two record-breaking months in a row. First snowless March! Coldest April ever! Unless it's followed by "Summer begins in May and will last through October!"

2) Apparently, snowless isn't a word. spell check wants to make it "slowness" or "snow-less," neither of which I want.

3) Dan went to an open house at the new Target Stadium on Saturday. He got some AWESOME pictures (which will hopefully be up on his blog soon). We're very excited to go to a game sometime this year. But I think part of me will miss the dome!

4) I took a three-hour nap yesterday, and it was glorious. Dan really wanted to bless me with something and suggested that I go shopping or get a massage. After I asked where he found money for me to do those things, I told him all I really wanted was a nap. So we got home from church and I fed Leah and put her to bed. I laid down at about 11:30 and woke up at 2:30. I could hardly believe it. I felt like a new person!

5) For Jack's birthday party this weekend, we grilled out. It made me very excited for summer food. Summer has the best food. (Although, when I am making the season's first pot of wild rice soup in September, I might think differently).

6) 24 is on tonight. Dan and I thoroughly enjoy having "our shows" to watch during the week, and 24 is one of them. Unfortunately, 24 has been canceled and will not be returning after this year unless another network picks it up. :(

7) Jack's 4-year well-check visit is on Wednesday. I reminded him of it this morning and he said, "Do I have to get shots?" I answered honestly and said, "I don't know," but I'm pretty sure he does. :(

8) :) Just because the last two ended with a sad face.

9) I think that's all I've got for now. And I'm feeding Leah peas and carrots, so typing is getting difficult.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The rest of the festivities!

So, we haven't even had a chance to touch these up, but I wanted to share some more pictures from last night. Jack had such a blast (after waiting patiently over a week to really celebrate!).

My crabby girl with Gigi. She had the most needy, clingy afternoon and just kind of fell apart at Jack's party.

Checking out a new superhero shirt, which he proudly wore to church today. :)

Super hero Chutes and Ladders! The best of both worlds!

Jack's best friend, the adorable Eli.

A noisy helicopter. :)

The next few pictures crack me up. He was just SO ready to blow out these candles and eat cake, but we made him pose. And he did.
Goofy boy. :)

And my silly girl, before she officially turned into a pumpkin. :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the cake

Well, Jack's "official" birthday party was this evening, and I have many stories and pictures to share, but for now I will just give you one of the cake.

A couple months ago, when Christmas was over and Jack needed something else to look forward to, we started talking about his birthday. He, of course, decided on a Spiderman birthday theme. So we looked around at what the grocery store bakeries had to offer in the way of Spiderman cakes. Unfortunately, they didn't have MUCH to offer. All of them incorporated this lame-o Spiderman toy that was supposed to be crawling up a wall, but instead it was crawling across the cake. Dumb.
Well then Jack decided that he wanted a Spiderman, Batman, Superman birthday. Awesome, kid. This should be MUCH easier! I called a local bakery that a friend had used last year for her son's garbage truck cake (because we all know how popular those are), and the best they could do was a sheet cake with both Spiderman and Batman figurines on it. Sorry, nope. Not when you're going to charge me $40!
Plan C. Make it myself. I had wanted to avoid this, but I decided that it could be really fun. So I looked online for some ideas. Of course the best ones were super detailed and way too ambitious for me to attempt. Lots of fondant. I don't do well with fondant. I have a friend who took the Wilton cake decorating classes a few years ago and has LOTS of awesome equipment, so I borrowed some stuff from her. I looked at some more ideas online and finally decided what I was going to do. I baked the cakes yesterday morning, layered and filled them around lunchtime, and put them in the fridge. I figured I would start decorating when the kids went to bed and finish putting it together today. Well, I just got in a groove last night and wanted to finish it, so I did. (And maybe God just knew that I would not have ONE extra minute to work on a cake today). :) So, at 11:00 last night, I ended up with a pretty cool finished product. And here is a really enthusiastic Jackson enjoying it:

He really did enjoy it much more than the picture portrays. This morning when he woke up, I said, "Hey Jack, do you want to see your cake?" and all throughout the day, he had to check on it in the fridge. :)

I was quite pleased with myself. The spiders and bats are totally edible, and the Superman "S" was actually the easiest part of the decorating.

I believe I have accidentally worked myself into a corner, though. I can't just buy a cake anymore. I should have thought this through a little more. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

I have no words

I found out yesterday that my dear friend's mother was given a month to live.

What do you even say to that? I thought about this all day yesterday and still didn't come up with anything. Of course I want to be able to say it's all going to be okay. I want to tell her that the doctors are wrong. I want to tell her that there's a leukemia specialist somewhere who wants to fix her mom.

But I can't. And I hate that.

My dear, sweet Alissa. You are so very loved. And even though I don't know what to say or do, God knows exactly what you need. So I will simply ask Him to do what He does and meet you where you are. Bless you all.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

From Henri Nouwen

"Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
And what you want to give me is love,
unconditional, everlasting love.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shameless plug

In October, I went to the park with my friend Amy. I forgot my camera in the car, so she took a few adorable pictures of my adorable children. When I got home and saw the pictures compared to those produced by my measly point-and-shoot, I decided that a new camera was something that I really wanted to invest in. And the fun part is that Dan agreed with me!

Well, as we looked at cameras, we realized that a new one probably wasn't in the cards for us quite yet. However, Dan found out that he was going to be getting some "points" at work for doing his job well. Okay, there is REALLY way more to all of that, but the short version is that Dan truly does his job very well and gets rewarded for it! He used to have to redeem his points on a reward website--and we got some cool stuff! Lost Season 1, an Elmo doll for Jackson, my iPod Shuffle, etc. But they changed the system, allowing you to be able to basically buy whatever you want and get reimbursed. When Dan found out he'd be getting a pretty decent amount of money, he decided he wanted to use it toward a new camera!

So, in December, we became the proud owners of a Nikon D90 DSLR. It's beautiful. And even better, it takes stunning pictures. And I haven't even learned everything there is to learn about it. But DAN has taken it upon himself to research this camera like crazy and learn all sorts of awesome stuff about photography. And he's pretty good! I mean, I can take a nice picture, but Dan clearly has an eye for this.

To showcase some of his stuff and share some photography information, he has started a blog. So please check it out sometime! You can also become a friend on facebook if you're there. That would be awesome. :) His blog is (Patzer is a term that refers to a amateurish chess player). I'm also adding it to my blog links to the left.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the dentist :(

So, Jack has four cavities. We got this unfortunate information at his first dentist appointment last month. Today was the first appointment to start the cavity-filling process. Last time we were at the dentist, Jack got scared and cried for Dan. So we were proactive this time and Dan took the day off to accompany Jack.

I sent them off at 9:00, hoping not to hear anything again until they returned home. No such luck. Dan called about an hour later to tell me that it hadn't gone well. Bummer! My poor kid has the worst (or best?) gag reflex. I really feel terrible for him because he got it from me. This is why the last dentist appointment wasn't awesome either--they started with x-rays, Jack gagged on the film, and wouldn't open his mouth again for the hygienist. So, during the drilling today, the doctor would drill and the hygienist would squirt water and suck it back up. Unfortunately, not before Jack would gag on the water and the sucky thing.

So, here's my dilemma. The doctor said to just make another appointment for a month from now. But honestly, I really don't see this getting easier. He's not scared anymore, he wasn't in pain, he just has a gag reflex that he can't control. Do I look in to taking him to a pediatric dentist? Do I look into sedation dentistry? I'm one lost mama. :(

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Random Thoughts" Monday

1) The Twins finally signed Joe Mauer. We've got him until at least 2018, and it only cost us $184 million. :)

2) I went out with some friends last night. Some of them really know how to have a good time. And I love them for it. You know who you are!

3) If you're on facebook, you've already heard this, but it's worth repeating. Yesterday, I was ironing a few things. I must have gotten frustrated with Leah or Jackson, because while I was ironing, Jack asked me, "Mommy, are you having kind of a hard day?" I said that I kind of was and he asked why. I said, "I don't know. I just think I'm kind of crabby." He said, "Are you crabby because you're tired?" I told him that yes, I was probably tired. He said, "Do you want me to finish this (ironing) for you so you can go take a nap?" Love that boy! Don't worry, I didn't let him iron. But I did make him give me a hug. :)

4) No more big upsets in basketball. And a break in games until Thursday. Which is good because we have other things to watch on TV during the week. 24 tonight, Lost tomorrow night. It's important stuff.

5) I listed a few things on ebay this weekend, and found out this morning that I sold something! Someone chose the "buy it now" option for a maternity swimsuit, and I'm $25 richer for it!

6) The kids and I are picking up my mom at the airport this afternoon. (My dad is driving back). She'll be super tan and we'll all look super white, but it will be great to see her again. And I have a feeling that she kind of misses her grandkids.

7) I could fall asleep on command RIGHT now. See #2. It got late.

8) Jack is going to the dentist tomorrow to hopefully get at least one of his four cavities filled. Dan is taking him and I'm just praying everything goes well. I think these four fillings could take a really long time. Poor kid. :(

9) My daughter is eating Jack's nerf darts, so I have to go now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Madness indeed!

I'm like my mom in a lot of ways. Well, maybe not a LOT of ways, but definitely at least a few ways. One of those ways is that I can sit down and watch pretty much any sport, no matter who is playing. Football isn't my favorite, but I'll watch it. Baseball is probably my favorite sport to watch, followed closely by college basketball. The pros just don't do it for me--NCAA is where it's at. And I really only get into it at this time of year--tournament time. :)

Games for this year's tournament started this past week and have been playing on our television all weekend. Of course it was exciting that the Minnesota Gophers made it to the tournament--unfortunately they lost in the first round. But what's been really fun is that there have been some upsets. In the first round, #14 seed Ohio beat #3 seed Georgetown and #13 seed Murray State beat #4 seed Vanderbilt. In the second round, #11 seed Washington beat #3 seed New Mexico and #10 seed St. Mary's beat #2 seed Villanova.

But the MOST EXCITING game in the second round was last night with #1 Kansas against #9 Northern Iowa University. Kansas wasn't just ranked #1 in its bracket--it was ranked #1 in the whole tournament and favored by many to win the whole thing. But Northern Iowa brought their A game and were out in front for most of the game. NIU's lead was around 10 points for much of the second half. Kansas started coming back pretty close with a couple minutes to go, and thanks to a 3-point shot by Kansas in the last few seconds, the final score was only a difference of two points: 69 to 67. Incredible! There were so many times in the last three minutes that I screamed--for a second, it seemed like Kansas could really do it, then NIU would do something amazing. It was insane! And SO fun to watch. And seriously, who doesn't love a great underdog story?

I was telling Dan, it would have been so fun to hear what the coach of NIU told his team before the game. Like, "Okay, guys. We're playing Kansas. So, do your best and we'll see what happens, but they're pretty good." :) Then when it was over, I would have loved to hear them talking. I actually said that it would be crazy to hear what they were talking about in the Kansas locker room, and Dan assured me they weren't talking at all. :)

Happy March Madness!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The birthday boy :)

And last night wasn't even the "real" party! It was rather impromptu, actually, when we had to move our dinner night with Sean and Andrea. Added some cupcakes for dessert and this is what we got. :) Stay tuned for the actual party next weekend when certain grandparents get back from Florida. ;)

Friday, March 19, 2010

four years

Dear sweet Jackson,

Happy birthday, big boy! You are FOUR years old! Or you is four years old. Last night, I was up with Leah around 12:30. You woke up, sat up in bed, looked at me and asked, "Is I'm four now?" I said, "You are! Happy Birthday!" and I'm surprised you could even fall asleep again--you were SO excited. :) You've continued to remind me today that you're four now, that you're a really big kid, and that it's your birthday. Of course I already know this, but I do appreciate the reminders. :)

Four years ago today, I was holding my brand new baby boy, dealing with severe sleep deprivation after 30+ hours of labor ending at 1:36 in the morning. You were so precious--I remember I couldn't believe you had finally joined us on the outside! You and I were just in the bathroom (you wanted to shave and I was about to dry my hair). You went potty and then said, "Mom, I love you." I told you I love you too and said, "Can you believe you're FOUR?" You giggled and I talked about what was happening four years ago (without getting into the gory details) and you were very curious. "Why were you at a hospital?" "Was I in your tummy like Leah?" I told you I was holding you because you were a tiny baby (tiny is relative) and you said, "And feeding me?" You're very smart. :)

What a YEAR this has been! I was thinking today about your birthday last year. The day you turned three, we went to the Children's Museum with Eli and Corinne. You were such a different kid back then! You have grown so much this year--physically of course, but also just in who you are. You are getting so smart, you are very funny, and you are the best big brother ever.

Speaking of which, that's probably the biggest event of the year. Leah joined us in July and flipped our world upside down! In a good way, obviously. I remember when we had you--pretty soon, Dad and I couldn't even remember what life was like without you! The same thing happened when Leah came. After a few weeks, it was hard to imagine what life with JUST you was like. And I think you'd agree. I'm pretty sure it was love at first sight. And your first sight of Leah was on the computer at Mimi and Poppa's house! Ah, technology. (Of course, you'll read this in 20 years and say, "That was high technology?"). You soon came down to the hospital and saw her in person. You also asked if I still had a baby in my tummy. :) As Leah has grown, you also have grown into a loving, helpful sibling. You're a gem. And now that Leah is more aware of things, she is completely enamored with her big brother!

I'm not sure exactly when it started, but you've become completely enthralled with all superheroes. I'm fairly certain your first love is Spiderman, but you've recently added Batman and Superman to the mix. And, of course, all of the "Super Friends" like Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Hawkman, and Captain America. You have a Spiderman costume (from Halloween) that you wear at least a couple of times a week and a cape that is Spiderman on one side (nevermind that Spiderman doesn't wear a cape) and Batman on the other side. You also have a number of things that you have deemed "super hero stuff" and made into bat tools and other imaginary items. You are quite good at shooting imaginary webs out of your hands and pretending to fly like Superman. I love it--it's very "boy" of you. Not that you do other stuff that's girly or anything. :)

Jack, if you could pick any food to eat for lunch or dinner for the rest of your life, you'd pick "Daddy's noodles." Daddy introduced you to Ramen noodles about a year ago and you LOVE them (much to your mother's dismay). Every time I ask what you want for lunch you answer, "Um, like Daddy's noodles." I do enjoy the extra "Um, like" in there. Unfortunately for you, I only allow them once or twice a week.

My darling boy, I love you SO much. Our family is so blessed to have you in it! Bless you this year as you continue to grow into everything that God has for you. And I know that the bigger you get, the less cool it is to hug and kiss your mom. But promise me that once in a while, we can still snuggle up and take an impromptu nap on a Saturday afternoon!

You're my favorite boy. ;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Well, that was a disaster

In January, both Jackson and Leah got their first of two H1N1 vaccinations. After 30 days, they had to get a second one (just like the regular flu shot--the first year you get it, you need two doses). Well, I finally got around to making the appointment this week and went in for both of them today. I wasn't set on getting an appointment at our regular clinic (Park Nicollet in Minnetonka) because it was just for shots. So the schedule person got me in at Park Nicollet in Plymouth.

All day, Jackson has been reminding me how much he hates shots and that he doesn't want to get one and that it will hurt and he wants to get it in his nose instead (I called and they were all out of the FluMist H1N1 vaccines) and so on. I told him that he would be really brave and everything would be okay. I even said we could get an ice cream cone when we were all done. And I had Dan call this morning to give Jack a little pep talk.

We got to the clinic and I had to wait to check in. It was just the right amount of time for Jack to get distracted by the turtles in the fish tank. Perfect! As soon as I was done at the front desk and sat down to take off Leah's jacket, the nurse came out and got us. Jack sat down and said he was staying in the waiting room. Sorry dude, you're coming with me. So I awkwardly tried to wrangle both kids out of the waiting area as the nurse watched. Strike one. She said, "Okay, we're just around the corner here" and disappeared. Strike two. We went around the corner and there was no nurse to be found. I peeked my head in a couple of doors and she came out of one hallway and led us into a room. Jack immediately started crying and said, "I don't want any shots!" to which the awesome nurse answered matter-of-factly, "Well, you're just getting one." Strike three, and orders for her to take a mandatory class called "How to deal with kids who are scared of shots." She sat and watched (rather impatiently) as I put Leah on the floor and wrestled Jack onto the exam table. I got pants down just enough to expose the perfect spot on his thigh and he escaped my hold and slipped onto the floor. I grabbed him again (feeling like a REALLY awesome mother right about now) and got him on the table. The nurse laid him down and I held his hand so he wouldn't grab the needle. And to tell you the truth, he was screaming so hard about being scared that I couldn't even tell when she did the needle. So we got Jack down, pants back up and turned to get Leah off the floor. When I turned my back, I heard the nurse say, "Ooh, where are you goin'??" and saw Jack trying to escape. Well, it's a little late for that, buddy. We got him back in, got Leah done (with a tiny little cry) and left the exam room. Oh, but not before catching the nurse on her way out the door to give her the pile of papers that I'd brought in from the waiting room. "I think you need these," I said. "Oh. Yup, thanks." Dude, strike four.

We made our way to the waiting room, got our jackets back on and headed out to the car. Jack continued to tell me how much he didn't like shots and that he doesn't want to get any more shots. Ever. We got everyone into the car and I reminded Jack that we could go get ice cream if he wanted. He did, so we drove across the freeway to McDonalds. Once there, Jack said he wanted chocolate. I told him they only had vanilla. He pouted but agreed to a vanilla cone. As we're driving away, ice cream cone in hand, I looked back to see if he was enjoying it. He hadn't even tried it and was just sitting there pouting at it, so I asked what was wrong. He completely broke down and cried, "I WANTED CHOCOLATE!" at which point Leah FREAKED out at Jack's break-down and proceeded to scream also.

So there I am, listening to two out-of-control children in the backseat of my van, holding Jack's melting ice cream, trying to merge onto 494. Jack finally agreed to eat his vanilla cone if I licked the melting sides. Done. Leah, on the other hand, never did settle down, which is actually probably a good thing. If she had, she would have fallen asleep in the car, ruining the nap waiting for her at home.

We survived. Just barely, it seemed. And how I have the awesome job of deciding whether or not to prep Jack for the shots he's likely to get at his four-year well check in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure the prepping did any good--he just worried about it all day. Oh, I don't know. I'll decide the day before, I'm sure. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Welcome, Spring!

Today was too gorgeous not to take a walk. We even stopped at the park, giving Leah her first experience with the swings. So perfect!

Leah is ready!

Jack is ready!

Happy girl!

LOVING the swings!

Jack too. :)

She was mad when she had to get out.

Doing the "big boy stuff."


Contemplating life.
My beautiful boy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I've been watching a friend's daughter a couple times a week. Alexis is about two months older than Leah, and they are becoming fast friends. Leah is completely entertained by another person her size in the house. :)
Yesterday Alexis wore an outfit that Leah also owns. So, of course, I had to put Leah in hers too and take some pictures. I'm sure they'll love looking at them when they're 18!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Four years ago today was my due date with Jackson. I remember people would ask when I was due, I would answer "March 15th," and they would say, "Ooh, beware the Ides of March."

And I would say, "What?"

The Ides of March is simply the name of March 15th on the Roman calendar. According to wikipedia, it was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and also the date when Julius Caesar was killed. The phrase "Beware the Ides of March" was made famous in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.

There. You learned something new today. Unless you already knew all of this, in which case today's blog post was a waste for you. And for that I am sorry. Come back tomorrow please. ;)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy _______ Day!

1) Happy Daylight Savings Day!
I despise daylight savings. I think it is completely unnecessary. And it's particularly hard to manage when you have kids. Although, losing an hour is much easier than gaining an hour, so I'm generally more upset in November. :) Anyway, I wish we would just skip it altogether. Some states actually do skip it. Maybe I'll move there.

2) Happy Pi Day!
No, not PIE day. PI day, as in 3.1415926535.... I was first introduced to Pi Day when I taught middle school. Every year, March 14 (3/14...get it?) was deemed Pi Day and the math teacher would bring Pi(e) in to share with their classes. It was cute.
Bonus pi joke:
What do you get when you cut a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
A pumpkin pi!

3) Happy Potato Chip Day!
I don't know why it's potato chip day. It just is. Enjoy it. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Someone enjoyed her lunch today

When the sweet potatoes make it into your eyebrows AND eye lashes, you know you've done well. ;)

Friday, March 12, 2010


I feel like I've been reading a lot lately. Maybe it's all the free time I have. Ha! Actually, once we were done sharing our room with a child (Leah until she was about 6 months and Jack for a month or so after that), I was SO excited to be able to read before bed again. When I'm not able to read and unwind, I lie awake for at least an hour, trying to calm my mind down and fall asleep. It's so frustrating! So, in light of the few books I've read in the last couple months, here are some recommendations. Just in case you're looking for something to read. :)

1) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Such an excellent book! This was a book club selection in November. It's actually a young adult book, which I LOVE because that's all I read for a while: college methods classes, as a seventh grade teacher, and graduate classes. This book takes place during Hitler's high time in World War II. The characters are amazing, the narrator is fascinating, and the stories are so well-written. This is definitely a must-read in my opinion.

2) I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. After being so pleased with The Book Thief, I decided to read another book by the same author. This book could not have been more different from The Book Thief; the style of writing was even different. If I had read both books without knowing the author, I would not have guessed they were by the same person. Anyway, this is a very intriguing book. The main character foils a bank robbery and shortly thereafter begins receiving playing card aces in his mailbox. The cards have addresses on them, and he has to figure out what messages need to be delivered to each address. It's extremely fascinating and a really quick read. I just finished it yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it!

3) The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Very touching memoir of a girl growing up with her parents and three siblings. They are constantly on the move and never have enough money. So well-written. Amazing stories of childhood and pain and the difficulty of growing up and making decisions that you never saw your parents make. This was another book club selection, and I'm very anxious to meet and talk about it! I love memoir writing, and this was no exception.

That's all for now because Leah is begging for some attention. Or a nap. :) I just started Mercy by Jodi Picoult and I can already tell it's going to be interesting.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

eight months

Sweet Leah,

Geez, I feel like I just did this! Okay, I guess I kind of did. But here we are, officially EIGHT months! SUCH a fun age! You truly get more delightful every day.

You've got a nice, even four teeth right now. Of course, as soon as one comes through, we think we're in for some relief for a while. Unfortunately that only lasts for about a week and then you're working on another one. Right now we're enjoying the in-between time--you're content enough to sleep a little longer at night and not super crabby at every waking moment. And I'll continue to enjoy it until you turn into "Leah, the teething 8-month-old" in a few days. :)

Just a little while ago, we were in your bedroom folding diapers. Well, you weren't as much folding them as UNfolding them, but we were both there and the cat came in. She is desperate for attention these days, and as soon as we're on the floor, she's right there waiting to be touched. I pet for a little bit and then went back to folding. She stayed, keeping an eye on you. You proceeded to SQUEAL at her, so excited that she was staying, and you kept doing it like you were actually talking to her. It was classic. A little later, we were on the living room floor and the same thing happened. It's like you're saying, "THE CAT! SHE'S BACK! I LOVE HER! SHE'S SOFT! I WILL PULL HER TAIL!" That's what I imagine, anyway.

Your new foods are egg yolks (hard-boiled) and plain yogurt. You did so well when I reintroduced dairy, so I decided to see how you did with real yogurt since Jack LOVED it so much at this age. And it's all good! Love adding new food to the list. I am willing you to be a better eater than your brother! You can do this, girl! In fact, I am in the process of steaming some leftover broccoli and cauliflower. Pretty sure you'll think it's awesome.

You and Jack are about the cutest brother and sister pair since me and Uncle Sean. Okay, you might be even cuter. Honestly, I'm not sure anyone else can make you smile like he does! It's incredible. I'm sure someday, you'll make each other yell or cry, but not right now. Right now you're just the best of friends. It's beautiful.

I re-heard a song recently. It's called Elliana's Song by a band called Watermark. It made me realize that it already does feel very different to have a daughter. I knew it would feel different eventually, but I guess I just assumed it would all feel the same for a while. I mean, how different can boys and girls be at 8 months? Very different! Here are the words to the chorus and second verse. And I've changed Elliana to Leah for obvious reasons. :)

Leah, God has answered my prayers
Leah, God will conquer my fears
To mother a daughter, to look you in the eye
To know that I had everything, to walk with you in life
To give you to Jesus that He would impart
The wisdom that I'm longing for to mother your heart
Leah, God has answered my prayers
There will be others to lead and to guide you, girl
But only one you'll call Mother
The honor is all mine to show you what a woman's like
I'm so glad you're mine

Indeed I am so glad. Happy 8 months, baby girl.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shares her things

That's what should be written on my report card. You know, like "plays well with others"? :)

Fair warning: some readers may consider this post a little TMI.

When the earthquake hit Haiti nearly two months ago, I immediately thought of the babies who may have been orphaned. Specifically, while I was nursing Leah one afternoon, I wondered how the babies in Haiti were going to survive without their mother's milk. There definitely wasn't sufficient clean water for formula. I decided to look into donating breastmilk somehow.

The more I researched and read, it seemed that the only way to donate was to find a milkbank to donate milk locally. If any was going to get to Haiti, it was going to get there through a milkbank. And I guess nationwide breastmilk donation levels are low, so in order for any milk to get out of the country, the nationwide levels had to go up. I had another friend who was interested in donating too, so our next step was finding a local milk bank. The closest location to me is a hospital in Minneapolis. I filled out their online application but got an email back a couple days later stating that my application was denied due to a medication I take. It is fine for breastfeeding but not for donating.

A couple weeks later, we were at a La Leche League meeting and somehow this whole story came up--how we had looked into donating and ended up trying to donate locally but that I couldn't because of some medications. After the meeting, a woman came over while we were getting our kids bundled up and asked if we'd ever be interested in donating milk to a friend of hers whose baby was sick and not gaining weight well. I said, "Of course!" and she got me in touch with Stephanie.

Stephanie's 10-month-old son Torin was born at just over 8 pounds and was very healthy until about 6 months. He started losing weight and rejected nursing and solids. Steph's supply began to drop because of Torin's lack of interest and the added stress of moving cross-country for her husband's job. Torin's pediatrician believed he had contracted some sort of virus--he dropped to just over 13 pounds at about 9 months. (Leah is 8 months and probably 20 pounds right now). He was well below the growth charts and clearly not thriving. Steph tried formula when her own supply wasn't enough, but Torin reacted poorly to it both internally (intestinal distress) and externally (rash around his mouth). Stephanie had a couple of new mom friends who were pumping and giving her extra milk, but it wasn't quite enough. So she was thrilled to learn that I was willing to help her out too.

Sure, sometimes I feel a bit like a cow. I sit and pump for a half hour every night before bed. But it's been a great way to get through the PILE of magazines that I never had time to read before! I've got quite the system down. Stephanie comes once a week--sometimes to chat and play (her second youngest son is almost Jack's age), sometimes just to pick up the 40-60 ounces I'm keeping in my freezer for her. And I'm so thrilled that this is something I can share.

Oh, and Torin is up to almost 18 pounds! He will be one on March 20th.

If you'll excuse me now, I have a date with my breast pump. :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Oscars

As I mentioned, we had our 8th annual Oscar party on Sunday night. We had a great time and the show was quite enjoyable. Steve Martin and Alex Baldwin hosted, and they were very funny. There are always places where you wish you could fast forward, and by the time 11:00pm rolls around, you wish they would just award the final winners. But all in all, it was enjoyable.

Dan and I used to watch a lot of the nominated movies, but once we had kids, that pretty much went out the window. But this year, I feel like we saw a good number of films. And I really liked a lot of them! So, here are my movie recommendations. In case you care. :)

1. Avatar. You just have to see it. I really didn't think I'd enjoy it--I'm totally not a sci-fi person. But this is just different! It's excellent. James Cameron is insane. However, you must see it in a theater. And in 3D if possible.

2. The Blind Side. Such an excellent, feel-good movie! And the fact that it's a true story makes it that much more incredible. Sandra Bullock's win for best actress was a huge surprise, but she was very deserving of it.

3. Julie and Julia. Very enjoyable movie. Meryl Streep is amazing as Julia Child, and Amy Adams is delightful as always. It made me want to make yummy, impressive French food.

4. Precious. I'm really glad I saw this movie, and I'm also kind of glad that I saw it alone. I came home from it feeling physically ill. But it's so good! You just can't believe what this girl goes through. So well-done, though. Mo'Nique is incredible and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is outstanding and believable. Cameos by Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Sherri Shepherd are lovely.

5. The Hurt Locker. In a huge, surprising upset, this movie got the best picture nod. I'm sure there are Avatar enthusiasts who are angry, but I think The Hurt Locker was extremely deserving of the award. Intriguing story and great acting. Definitely worth checking out.

6. Up. Just have to throw this in there for Jack. It was the one nominated movie he saw. And we all loved it! Adorable movie.

That's all. There are still a couple more I want to see, but I think 2009 was a really great year for movies!

Monday, March 08, 2010

He won!

Every year since 2003, Dan and I have hosted a party for the Academy Awards. Friends bring wonderful food, we fill out ballots guessing the winning movies, and there are really impressive prizes for the winners (which have usually been snagged from the bargain DVD rack at Target).
This year, we let Jack stay up a little later than normal because he was having so much fun with our friends and loved seeing familiar movies (like Up) on the awards. He decided he wanted his own ballot like everyone else, so I gave him one with a pen. He carefully picked winners (usually more than one in each category) and when a winner was announced, he would excitedly check his ballot and exclaim "I won! I won an Oscar!" It was adorable.
Jack knew there were prizes for the winners, and he asked if he would get a present if he won. I explained that the presents were for our friends and that we couldn't keep them (although I'm sure he'd love Rain Man or When Harry Met Sally, right?). Then I remembered that I have a bag of random little toys hidden in a closet. It's mostly stuff from Christmas that didn't fit in his stocking. So I told him if he won again, I would have a prize for him.
A couple of awards later, Jack pronounced, "I won! I won another Oscar!" This was a grand total of four Oscars for the night (impressive, no?) and his prize was a Disney Cars notepad and mechanical pencils. He opened them right away and enjoyed them until his extended bedtime of 9:00pm.
This morning, my friend came with her baby, whom I was watching today. She mentioned something about the movie Cars, and Jack found his notepad and pencils to show her. She asked why he got them, and he got excited and said, "I won, four...Grovers!"

Sunday, March 07, 2010

And now, for your viewing enjoyment...

First, a few of Jack posing. Then Leah eating. And finally, their first bath in the same tub. Fun times. :)

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Part 1

Leah is teething. I think teething is one of the most frustrating things about a baby's first year of life. Sure, they get teeth after they turn one, but for some reason, it's just not as horrible. Her first tooth came through on December 11, followed by a second tooth the next day. She continued to show signs of teething and I was sure more were on their way shortly, but the third tooth didn't come in until a few weeks ago. Again, I thought the fourth would be in right away, but we're still waiting on it. I can see white--it's got to be a single layer of gums away from the outside. But it just won't pop through. So she continues to chew everything in sight and scream for no reason once in a while. She also has the nerve to sleep for 20 minutes and call it a nap.

Part 2

Jackson is going to be four in a couple of weeks. At his three-year well-child doctor visit, our pediatrician recommended that we make an appointment to see the dentist within a few months. It would most likely be really laid back--just count the teeth, teach Jack how to brush his teeth properly, etc. So last April, we both headed to the dentist. I had a regularly-scheduled appointment and I figured Jack would benefit from seeing them clean and examine my teeth before taking his turn in the chair. Well, all of that went out the window when I realized they had scheduled us for the same time-slot with two different hygienists. Everything pretty much went downhill from there. He wouldn't sit in the chair, he wouldn't open his mouth, he cried at the sight of the "sharp things" and at the sound of the "noisy things." Rather than traumatize him anymore and scar him for life with a deep hatred of the dentist, the doctor and hygienist suggested that we just make an appointment for another time. And we finally got around to doing that a couple of months ago and made our second trip last week.
It was a little more successful. He opened his mouth. He sat on my lap on the chair. He still wouldn't have anything to do with sharp and noisy things, and don't get me started on how he gagged at the attempt to get x-rays. But he miraculously did open his mouth for the doctor, and it was a good thing too. He has four cavities. Four. I've never had a cavity in my life and my poor almost-4-year-old has FOUR CAVITIES! I almost died.
We left with a new toothbrush, some super-special fluoride, and an appointment slip for March 23rd. Because for some reason, Jack thinks that he'll be able to handle all of this much better after he's four. Let's hope so, buddy!! :)

Friday, March 05, 2010


I love Fridays. I always have. I can remember Fridays in grade school, middle school, high school, college, and at various jobs. Fridays were always wonderful days. The weekend was upon us and it just felt good. Thursday night television has always had a different feeling too. It's an indication that Friday is almost here. I can honestly remember watching ER in middle school and being so happy that the next day was Friday.

The thing is, I'm not sure why I STILL love Fridays. Sure, it means the weekend is almost here, but I (gasp!) don't really LOVE weekends anymore. The thing I like most about the weekend is that Dan is with us. But otherwise, it just means a hiccup in our regular schedule, a big trip to the grocery store, and not enough sleep for anyone involved.

And Fridays are just crazy. It's usually filled with lots of laundry (today's laundry list includes five loads so far), cleaning the house (so there isn't one more thing to do during the already-crazy weekend), and some necessary errands thrown in for good measure. Friday is definitely my most frazzled day of the week.

But for some ridiculous reason, I still love it. So, here's to a great Friday in front of us. Enjoy it. :)

I lied

I guess that little rant of a post yesterday WAS my blog for the day. I'm sorry.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Blogging everyday is hard.

Don't worry, this isn't my blog for the day. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

More from Sara

She's got another song about taking a trip with her daughter Ruby to visit the house where she grew up. It's very sweet and it makes me wish I'd grown up in a big house in the south, but the last line is priceless.

"Ruby, you take it in. See, He has withheld no good thing."

Amen. What a fantastic reminder of a faithful God who remains faithful in the middle of the really hard stuff we go through.

This afternoon, I googled the phrase to see exactly where it was in Psalms, and I found this and loved it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I never was good at bowling....

When it comes to music, I tend to find a CD that I like and stick with it until I know the songs inside and out and I'm bordering on being really sick of it. That CD right now is Sara Groves' Fireflies and Songs. It was a Christmas gift from Dan, and in the craziness of the holidays and the new year, I've finally started really listening to it.

We saw Sara in concert in December. She performed mostly music from her Christmas album, which is really great, but she also shared a few songs from Fireflies and Songs. There was one particular song that I loved right away, and it's one that makes me hit "repeat" when I'm in the car. When I was listening to it last night, I realized that I probably wouldn't have as much appreciation for it if I hadn't heard her sing it live and preface it with how she came to write it.

She explained that she wrote this song while she was washing the dishes one night. She was really frustrated to be washing dishes that someone was just going to make dirty again. (At which point Dan looked at me and laughed--that is a constant frustration of mine). She went on about how so many things were like that--you make the beds just to have someone sleep in them again, you clean the bathroom just to have your preschooler pee on the wall, you wash the diapers only to have your baby poop in them again (okay, that one is mine). But she went on to explain that bowling wouldn't be a very fun game if you didn't get to knock the pins down after they were so nicely set up. It's just how it works!

So here are the lyrics and a snazzy video of the Groves family that they played during the live performance. Enjoy. :) And join me in the daily battle/game of all of these silly pins!

Setting up the Pins

man in a silk tie heads downtown
setting up the pins for knocking 'em down
people in cars all rushing around
setting up the pins

let's get rich find a way around
setting up the pins for knocking 'em down
we'll get a gadget with a whirring sound
for setting up the pins

everyone everywhere some way somehow
are setting up the pins for knocking 'em down

you can find joy in the fertile ground
setting up the pins and knocking 'em down
it can feel simple but it's really profound
setting up the pins

rent a tent, build a stage, throw a party, get a gown
buy a ticket, rent a car, pack a bag and leave town,
cook a dinner, clean the kitchen, hit the light
brush your teeth, read a book, say a prayer good-night

everyone everywhere some way somehow
are setting up the pins for knocking 'em down
it can feel simple but it's really profound...

my grandmother had a working song
hummed it low all day long
sing for the beauty that's to be found
in setting up the pins for knocking 'em down

Monday, March 01, 2010

Welcome, March

I like March. I think it's because it mentally feels like spring is coming. In reality (in Minnesota, anyway), spring might not actually come until the middle of April. Or later. But even the gradual lengthening of days and occasional melting of snow and icicles offers a bit of a promise of something much better than these dreary, chilly days of the last few months.

To usher in this springtime month, I am going to blog every day. Just because. I used to write a lot more. I guess chasing two kids around every day prevents some of that. :) But the truth is that with Jack and Leah around, I really have MUCH more to write about. So I'm going to. Maybe it will get me back in the habit. I can't promise long, intelligent posts every day. Maybe sometimes I'll post a few pictures. Who knows.

Anyway, here goes nothing.

Jack the big brother

Jack and Leah have been sharing a room for about a month, and it's actually going quite well. We've had a couple of nights that were less than peaceful, but we're learning and getting better every day.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to Jack talking to me on the monitor: "Mommy, come here! Leah woke up with no crying!" Too cute. So I went into their room and he was just standing at the crib talking to her. He turned to me and said, "She just woke up and looked at me!"

Yeah, Jack's got this big brother business down pat. :)