Wednesday, January 30, 2008


You've gotta love winter, right? Especially here. Monday we had near-record highs of 40 degrees. It was beautiful, warm, the snow was melting...then came yesterday. We had a cold front move in which steadily dropped the temp from our high at midnight (15 degrees) to -6 when we went to bed. This morning when I woke up? -15, without the windchill. What was the windchill? you ask. Well, this cold front also brought wind, too. So with the windchill, our "feels like temp" as the meteorologists say, is -40 to -50. Yummy. Needless to say, school has been cancelled and we're just chilling out here at home today. At least I didn't have to debate Alayna's health and whether or not she could go to school today!

Stay warm, everyone!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


There comes a time when a child no longer needs their parents for certain tasks. Usually, the child adamantly refuses help numerous times before the parent finally gives up and lets them take the lead in whatever task is at hand. Then there's my children. They have all been quite independent, but just sort of flow into it. There's no huge declaration of "I CAN DO IT!" They it. Why is this on my mind? Because of this morning.

I was folding laundry in the living room, watching Mikayla as she snacked on her Cheerio breakfast in the kitchen. Lilly was upstairs washing her hands from her own breakfast and making little to no noise. I continued to fold the load of towels, when I heard Lilly's sweet little voice from behind me. "I'm all ready, Mommy. Do you need help?" I turned to look at her and she sure was all ready. She'd gotten herself completely dressed, combed her hair and put a barrette in. Of course, she was wearing Khaki pants, a mint green t-shirt with a flip-flop decal on it, a long-sleeved pink shirt that's almost too small and light blue socks, but she was dressed. And she proudly showed me that all the tags were in back. I knew she could get herself dressed, but she had really brushed her hair (the snarly-monsters were all gone, she informed me) and the barrette was actually holding it back. I was impressed.

When she asked again how she could help, I gave her the kitchen towels and asked her to put them away. She happily carried them to the kitchen, and I heard the drawer open and shut. Then she came back into the doorway from the kitchen to the living room, holding a hot pad. "Mommy, this isn't a towel! It's a lily-pad and it goes up there!" she said, pointing to the rack we hang pot-holders and hot pads on. And she was right. That was right where it belonged and I'd put it in with the towels. Silly me.

Then she decided she wanted to color, so I gave her a large sheet of paper and some markers, and she spelled her name perfectly! It was so good so of course, I had to take a picture. Along with her name, she outlined some horses and her hand, and drew a few apple trees and a snowman! See her name in the bottom corner? Her Y runs into her last L, but she did it all on her own!

I hate how sometimes our kids just seem to grow up overnight. Lilly has always been a little more mature than her age, as is Alayna, for that matter. But it's still not something you expect to just crop up like that. While I encourage and welcome the independence, there's a certain degree of sadness in it, too. I know the time will fly and before I know it all 3 of my girls will be grown and not needing me for anything more than a piece of advice or a few dollars. Ahhhhh!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Weekend to remember

This weekend was a weekend that our entire family (well, except for Mikayla) will remember, for all sorts of different reasons. It was good, bad and ugly.

First, I'll tell about Lilly. She will remember this weekend as a fun time at Gramma Lynn's house, followed by a night with Daddy and her sisters. Then she'll remember it as a night of throwing up and not getting to go rollerskating the next day. Of all that, the not rollerskating will be her major remembrance. She was so upset to not get to go skating and asked us 12342 times if we were still going skating. Guess who ended up with a promise to go in a few weeks?

Alayna will remember the weekend for the same reasons as Lilly, though she got much sicker than Lilly. In fact, she's home from school today because she still has a fever, though she hasn't vomited since 11:00 yesterday morning. She is not too happy about being home, but she gets my bedroom to herself, with complete control of the remote and the entire bed to lounge in. She'll be fine. We did have to promise, however, that we'd go rollerskating as a family in the next few weeks to make up for the missed opportunity yesterday.

As for Andy, he will forever remember the one time that two of our girls got sick during the night while I wasn't home to help him with the clean-up, condolences, hugs and tears. He doesn't do well when the girls aren't feeling well anyway, as it literally pains him to see them in pain or hurting. But, they all survived.

And where was I during all of this? Having a great time at a scrap booking retreat with my friends! We got together on Friday night and scrapped all weekend until Sunday afternoon. We shared meals and snacks, laughed so hard we hurt, complained about politics, childbirth, and other things, shared ideas and inspiration for our was a blast and something we plan on doing yearly from now on. It was all good until I heard about my poor girlies being sick, then the mommy-guilt hit. "I should have been there." "I wish I could have comforted them when they weren't well." You know how it goes. But I can't change the past and I know that Andy did a great job with the girls. But I also know that everyone of them was very happy to see me come Sunday morning, and it made me so happy...even if I was cleaning up vomit within minutes. It's all part of the job, right?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Lilly is such a humorous little girl that we've taken to calling her funnies "Lilly-isms." This morning, she's been full of them, so here's a little sampling from just today...It's never boring with her around!

*She walked up to my desk, grabbed my mini stapler from the drawer and held it up to her mouth. "Milk, butter, eggs," she said into the stapler, then put it back in the drawer and walked away like nothing had happened. When I busted out laughing, she gave me the most innocent look like, "What is so funny?!" (She loves to watch The Saddle Club on tv and they always have the same commercials. One is for a key chain gadget that can record your voice for things like where you park-row B12, a phone number, or your grocery list-milk, butter, eggs. Lilly thinks its the greatest thing and always says I should buy it! Apparently it's on her mind, though the tv hasn't been turned on yet today.)

*We just shared a piece of gum and after a minute or two, Lilly ran into the bathroom. I asked if she had to go potty and her response was, "No, a drink of water just goes really good with gum!"

*Lilly loves to take pictures and asked to take some of me (no, I will not be sharing any of them) Just as she was about to take the picture of me smiling obligingly, she goes, "Say, 'I love my kids!'" Where she got that one, I have no idea!

*Right now, she's practicing writing her name. As she wrote the first L, she sneezed, causing the bottom of the L to make a slight upward hook. She held her Doodle Pro up so I could see it and exclaimed, "Look it's an elf shoe!"

*This one is from the other day, but it's hilarious and one I have to share, too. Lilly has a bit of a hairy back, not long by any means, but the fine hair on her back is darker than the hair covering the rest of her body (you all know what I'm talking about here) Anyway, I made a comment that she was a monkey baby the other day because of her hairy back. The next afternoon she asked "J", one of my daycare kids and Lilly's best friend (along with "R"), "Hey, J, do you want to rub my hairy back?"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Random Things...

*Mikayla now has a handful of words, including Momma, Dadda and Daddy, Bumpa (Grampa), Buppy (puppy), Hi. She also knows and understands yes and no, and will shake or nod her head accordingly.

*She is still not what I would consider a walker, but she's close. She will walk between people or a person and an object, but she doesn't consciously let go and walk herself yet more than a step or two. She's so close!

*Mikayla is down to only one bottle a day, right before bed. I LOVE that, as it's much less dishes and just less hassle as a whole.

*Her favorite food seems to be broccoli. When I make it, she can't shovel it in fast enough. Though, that seems to be the case with most of her food. You'd think we were starving her sometimes with how she attacks her meals.

*Lilly has informed us that when she gets big like Mommy, she will get a baby and it will grow in her tummy with her food.

*While eating breakfast this morning, Lilly exclaimed, "That's amazing!" when I put craisins in with my Chex. "Amazing" is her new catch phrase for everything.

*She knows all of her upper case letters and we've begun working on lower case. She also likes to practice spelling her name.

*Lilly knows her full name, phone number, where we live (but not full address), birthdate, Mommy and Daddy's real names, and her sister's full names.

*Alayna just finished her 2nd quarter as a first grader. She was tested on her reading comprehension the other day and reads at level L, which apparently means late 2nd to early 3rd grade. Her basic reading (sounding out words correctly, etc) was tested to a sixth grade list.

*She is a tremendous help and seldom complains when I ask her to help with her sisters or help me do another task around the house.

*She can't wait until it's nice enough to ride bike and horse again. She also can't wait until it's simply warm enough to play in the snow (we haven't been above 10 for about 5 days now).

Monday, January 21, 2008

It was a good ride, boys!

Well, my Green Bay Packers are no longer in the hunt for the Super Bowl. Last night's game sealed our fate and the NY Giants are going to meet the Patriots in Arizona. As much as I was hoping it was going to be the Pack heading to Arizona, it just wasn't meant to be. In last night's game, there were plenty of chances for both teams to wrap it up. Penalties, incomplete passes, turnovers and missed field goals all added up to a tie at the end of regulation. Unfortunately, Favre threw an interception in OT that set up the game-winning field goal for NY.

I was disappointed, but what can you do? They had a great season and went much farther than all but 3 other teams. It was certainly farther than most people expected at the beginning of the season. There was talk that the team was too young, Favre was too old, etc. But they did a fantastic job of working together as a team and proving all those nay-sayers wrong. They pulled it off and almost made it to the big game. There is no shame in that. Now the big question is...will Favre be back?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Men, take note

The link below is an incredibly humorous look at pregnancy, from a man's view! A writer for BabyTalk magazine was asked to wear an empathy belt for a day. Like most men, he thought it would be a walk in the park. And then reality hit. If you are looking for a good laugh, I strongly recommend you take a few minutes, sit back with your coffee or cocoa, and enjoy this link...,19840,733950_1,00.html?topic=11960

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Last night, I was awake for over an hour in the middle of the night. Mikayla has a bit of a cold and was coughing periodically-not enough that it woke her up, but enough that it woke me up and kept me awake. And while I was lying there at 1am, all I could think was Thank God that she was healthy and able to cough. That she wasn't in a hospital bed somewhere, or something much worse. Morbid? Maybe. But I couldn't help but say a prayer of thanks for my healthy, beautiful, wonderful girls and family.

Funny how your perspective of things can change. Before yesterday, I still would have thought those things, but not so intently or gratefully. But I also haven't been able to think about much else than the story of Nathan, Tricia and Gwyneth since reading their blog yesterday. It really put things into perspective. That family is dealing with SO much right now. One of their instances is more than most of us can imagine, but they are dealing with 2-3 life-threatening events all at once. And their faith and spirit and humor are not failing. Even during their intense time of trial, they are asking for prayers for others who are in need that they meet during their journey.

So all I ask is this...No matter how bad things may seem, please remember that unfortunately, they can always get worse. That doesn't mean you can't complain or vent or whine about it a little bit-we are human after all. But take a moment to reflect on the wonderful things you do have. Take a deep breath and refocus on the good things in your life. Then try to remain positive and see where that takes you. I'm sure it will take you a lot farther than you think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Please pray for this family

While reading the blog Keeping Awake I was asked to please pray for Nathan, Tricia and little Gwyneth. Something moved me to check out their blog and I'm so glad that I did. I found myself reading from the very first post this past fall all the way to now-crying, smiling, laughing and praying for them all. Their story is one that is uplifting, terrifying, rejoiceful and so many other things. Please read their blog if you get a chance and say a prayer for this family.

Green...who me?!

Not exactly. But I have decided that there are certainly things that I can do to go a little bit more "green". I don't know if I've bought into all of the hype yet, but I know that there are some tried and true things that I can do to help lessen the impact that myself and my family leave on this beautiful world of ours.

For one, we are out of light bulbs. When Andy and I go shopping this weekend, I have every intention of buying high efficiency light bulbs. I've also been trying to be more energy conscious by simply turning off the lights when not needed, doing 2 or 3 things at once that will all use the same appliance, etc. I've also stopped buying paper towels. I mean seriously, we have 436 kitchen towels that just sit in the drawer, why can't we use those over and over and over again? Nothing too spectacular, but I figure every little bit helps, right? If in the end, all I've done is help save one tree or one little monkey, that will be alright with me too.

Congrats Melissa & Ryan!

My friend Melissa gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Monday. I don't have all the details yet, but I wanted to share the happy news and send my congrats. Melissa, Ryan & Lily, I hope that everything is going well with little Liam!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I hate Saturdays

Okay, hate is maybe a little harsh. And really, I don't hate Saturdays-just Saturday mornings. Why? Because I always psych myself up on Friday night that tomorrow is Saturday, the one day I don't have to get up for anything. I have no daycare kids coming, no school to get Alayna ready for, no church to attend. I have nothing to do but sleep in, right? Right. I tell myself that, but my brain doesn't get the message, or Andy's brain doesn't get the message, or one of the girls' brains.

Usually I wake up around 7:00 on a Saturday because Andy is moving around a lot and trying to get comfortable. When you are used to getting up at 4 am, 7:00 is sleeping in 3 hours. His body can't handle that and starts to go into wake-up panic mode. But today was supposed to be different because Andy's working. He won't wake me up! And all 3 girls were in bed a little late, so they should sleep in, too! (insert evil laugh here) So as I went to bed last night, I thought it would be at least 7:45 until my eye-lids were opened again.

Nope. Apparently my brain thought it was a weekday, because I was wide awake at 6:25. As I lay there, trying to get comfortable, trying not to think about anything, and refusing to open my eyes again, I wasted a good 10-15 minutes before I gave up and came downstairs. I must admit, it's nice to have the house to myself for a little while. And the silence is almost deafening. But I'd much rather be sleeping in...whatever that is.

I just posted this and was viewing it in my blog when I heard a noise. You guessed it, Mikayla is awake and talking away in her crib. And if you notice the time of this post, it's only 7:00.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ippisippi River

We often listen to music in the mornings until it's time for the news that comes on at 11:00, right when I start thinking about lunch. Today was no different, so I tuned out the music and in the TV for the newscast. As I half listened while perusing our cupboards, I heard a story about a tanker accident that happened yesterday and caused something-fuel, maybe-to leak into the Mississippi River near St Paul. Lilly was also listening, but much more intently than I.

"OH NO! It's getting in the Ippisippi River, Mom!"


I can no longer pretend that Mikayla is just a wee little baby, needing me for everything and not really knowing anything. I know that's she over a year now (just barely) and that she's growing bigger physically with each passing day. But when the intellectual growth starts to really show itself, there is no going back or pretending.

Mikayla's comprehension of things is growing in leaps and bounds. She is a genius, I think, for her age. Of course every parent thinks that, and I'm really kidding, but still. When you ask her a question, she will often nod or shake her head. That's just a thoughtless reaction, right? Nope. When we tell her yes or no, she will nod or shake her head to the correct response. The other night, I asked her if she was sleepy and ready to go night-night. She nodded her head yes and proceeded to lay her head on my shoulder and stick that blasted thumb into her mouth. She understood what I asked and answered accordingly. When I told her to take that silly thumb out of her mouth, she shook her head no and smiled around said thumb, still firmly in place.

Last night's interaction is what has me thinking about all of this the most. She was sitting in her high-chair, finishing up her dinner while I loaded the dishwasher. I looked over and saw her watching me, so I told her to finish drinking her milk. She nodded at me, grabbed the sippy cup and started to drink. Hmmm, I thought. She knows milk and cup. As I continued to load the dishwasher, Mikayla started babbling about something or another. I looked at her again and said, "Mikayla, honey, drink your milk." She shook her head no and smiled at me. Then, honest to goodness, she held the cup out to me. Of course, I thought the little stinker was playing games with me. So I went to grab her cup and it was empty. No, she couldn't drink her milk because it was all gone.

Now I know that all the experts tell us that at this age, children understand and know a lot more than we give them credit for, simply because they cannot express to us that they know such things. But when they start to show their knowledge and be able to communicate what they know, there is no going back. No longer can I pretend that she's my little baby. She's growing up and learning and understanding things faster than I even know. I am sad that she's at this stage, but excited, too. Now I can go about teaching her about the many things that make up our day-to-day lives. But with two older children, I also know that this is just another step that will whisk the time away in a blink of an eye.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


The Christmas trees have been down for a while now, but I wanted to keep my nativity scene up through Epiphany. Since that was on Sunday, I worked yesterday to take down the rest of my Christmas things. No more nativity scene, no more pine garland on the railings, no more stockings. All that was left were the "winter" things, like the snowmen and the candy village. When Lilly realized that it was all gone, she sat quietly on the steps and put her face in her hands. When I asked her what was wrong, her response was "I think I'm going to miss Santa." I assured her that in a year, the Christmas stuff and Santa, too, would all be back. "I just don't think I can wait that long!"

Monday, January 7, 2008

Big weekend for Alayna

I posted an update right before this about our friends' wedding. Well, Miss Alayna was the flower girl for Chris and Jenica. She was so excited and could barely contain herself in anticipation for the big day. Saturday morning Jenica's cousin Kim did Alayna's hair, which was so exciting. It was her first time having someone other than Mom, an aunt or a Gramma do her hair. Then she got to wear her mini bridal gown and be the princess to Jenica's queen. Andy was also in the wedding, but if you read my next post, you'll see that I forgot my camera in a car swap and didn't get any pictures after the wedding itself. I would have loved to have it at the dance, as Alayna caught the eye of a little boy a few years older than her. He even went so far as to slide across the dance floor on his knees, ending at Alayna's feet and offering her a daisy! She was so embarrassed that she didn't know what to do!

The other big part of the weekend was that yesterday, Alayna turned 7. I guess that officially means that she's no longer my little girl, right? She's more than halfway to being a teenager and growing up way too quickly. In the afternoon Andy and the girls built a snowman since it was finally warm enough for some sticky snow.

Then we had a little party last night with her grandparents, aunts and Auntie Alicia's boyfriend, Anthony. The menu was spaghetti, of course, with a DQ ice cream cake for dessert. And yes, there are only 3 candles on the cake because that's all we could find! Both Andy and I know there's a full box somewhere, but we couldn't find them for the lives of us. So, we lit the 3 candles twice, then just one candle a third time. It all works.

Congrats Chris & Jenica!

Our good friends were married this weekend and we couldn't be happier for them. Andy and I both went to school with Chris and have been good friends for years, so we've been there from the start for these two. We wish you both lots of love, happiness, joy and peace in your marriage.

Now me, being the meatball that I am, forgot my camera in the car after a vehicle swap so I didn't get any pictures of the happy couple, reception, or dance. Ugh. But, I'll leave you with a picture of the beautiful bride and her dad as they walked down the aisle.

Friday, January 4, 2008



Color: Red

Day: Friday

Number: no idea!

Animal: horse, followed closely by dog

Food: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (fave meal is Thanksgiving dinner)

Treat: brownie sundaes with warm brownies and lots of carmel sauce
Drink: ice cold milk, alcoholic would be malibu pineapple

Movie: Last of the Mohicans, Ghost and the Darkness, Dirty Dancing, Grumpy Old Men (I can't pick just one!)

TV Show: Grey's Anatomy

Music: I listen to everything...New Age (Enya, Sarah McLachlan, etc) Oldies, 80s rock, 80s, current rock (Korn, Disturbed, etc) country...just about everything except for rap and R&B and I don't have a real preference for one over the other

Song: Silence by Delerium & Sarah McLachlan, I Love the Way You Love Me by John Micheal Montgomery

Book: any of the Harry Potter books, I can read them over and over again

Season: Fall

Holiday: Christmas

Clothing: jeans and a tank if warm enough, otherwise jeans and a long-sleeved tee, both without socks...I'm a very casual person

Hobby: horseback riding, scrapbooking, reading

Smell: right after it rains, fresh cut grass/hay, my girls after a bath, Andy's combo of Drakkar Noir cologne and High Endurance deodorant

Flower: lilacs

Vacation spot: I've never really been on a vacation that I can remember, but I love going to the shore of Lake Superior by Duluth, MN

Those of you who are reading this and have blogs, I'd love to read your lists, too!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The latest stats are in...

Mikayla and Alayna had their yearly physicals today and it was an interesting ordeal, we shall say. For one, when I had called to make the appts I was told that there were no appts available with our doctor at the clinic location closest to us until Feb. 9. So, I took the main location and got appts scheduled for today at 3:00. This morning, I got a phone call from the clinic, telling us that our doctor had a patient in labor and was wondering if we could reschedule or move our appt to the main location, which is attached to the hospital. When I informed them that I was already planning on the appt there, they sighed in exasperation and said that there had been a few mistakes in the past few days. OKay, fine. I was just very glad that the woman went into labor or else I would have driven 35 miles to find that our doctor was only 12 miles from home (remember you city dwellers, I live in the boonies).

We get to the clinic and get called into a room right away (I'm assuming most people cancelled instead of changing to the main clinic) which was great. As the nurse is asking questions about Mikayla, I asked her what age the charts were. She was working off of a 6-mo chart because since the woman didn't go into labor until after 7:00 am, our original charts were sent to the other clinic. So, the nurse went to get the correct forms (someone else had prepared them for her) while the doctor came in to examine the girls. That all went well. Then it was time for the shots. Ugh. Mikayla doesn't like to be held still, and she hated having her legs held. She was crying from that before she even got her 4 shots. Yes, 4. Then she no more than got calmed down and it was time for another needle poke-a finger prick to test her hemoglobin and lead levels. Needless to say, by the time we left the clinic poor Mikayla was hiccuping and sobbing between sucking her thumb and humming to herself while clinging to Mommy.

When we got home, I pulled out the sheets to tell Andy the girls' stats, and apparently the nurse had wrote them down wrong. Either that, or Mikayla has shrunk 7.5". So, we re-measured her here at home and got our own height.

Alayna: 52 lbs and 50" (she was excited that it meant she only has 10" to beat Gramma Lynn!"

Mikayla: 18.5 lbs and 28.5"

I don't have the official percentiles since the nurse didn't have their charts, but according to a growth chart I found on-line, Alayna is 40% for wt and 80% for ht; Mikayla is 10% for wt and about 40% for ht. Who knows. But, the doc was not concerned about either one of them and thought they both looked, sounded and seemed just perfect.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy 2008 to everyone! I hope and pray that you all have a great year filled with lots of laughter, love, happiness, joy, good health and safety.