Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's gonna work?

Team work! Mikayla loves the Wonder Pets--yes, I let my 17 month old (today!) watch some tv, it honestly won't kill her--and recently she's been singing along to their songs! It's so funny and adorable. Of course, I had to catch it on video. However, I don't know how to edit the video down, so it's about 30 seconds long when what you really want to see/hear is only in the first 10 seconds or so. So if you want, you can surely stop after you hear her sing "Team work!" And please don't notice the mess. I took the video yesterday morning and if you read below, you'll have your explanation. Anyway, can anyone say "genius"?! (for the record, she also sings along to the Diego theme song and no, we don't have the tv on all the time. It's just that the tv is on in the mornings to help everyone get into the groove of being here and Diego is on right before WonderPets and then we usually shut it off)

I posted twice before this, so you have lots o' reading to do...bwahahahaha

Recent pictures

When I uploaded the pictures for the post below (be sure to check it out, I've posted twice today) I found these gems that I'd taken recently but haven't shared with anyone. So, I'll just do a little picture post and share them all at once!

You know it's been a long day when you fall asleep while eating...
This is what your hair looks like after you've eaten Mac-n-Cheese and rubbed your hands through your hair before Mommy gets a chance to wash your hands. Who needs AquaNet? Just get some Blue Box, please!
I thought this was just too cute. Here are all our rubber boots lined up in the camper this weekend.

When we go camping, we have a blast. We also are a little odd. Our idea of fun is taking old lawnmowers, removing the mower decks, souping them up and riding them through the trails after dark. It's crazy fun and totally redneck, but who cares? Here's the load that somehow all came to our house first...

My resourceful husband went into town to get ice and came back with another lawnmower from a garage sale. Shhh, don't tell his parents how he used their van!

Does it get any cuter than a baby brushing her teeth in nature?

It's been a long day...
Mmmm, icees when it's only 60 degrees outside. How do kids stand it?

No Moms Allowed!

I am a strong believer that there should be a new club complete with a fancy, wooden clubhouse and a sign hanging on the door that says "NO MOMS ALLOWED!" You know, like the ones every little boy or girl made to hang on their clubhouse or bedroom door, though they usually said something about the opposite sex instead of their parents. Anyway, what kind of club should this be? The Sick Club. That's rights folks, I am a mom and I've been sick. As most of you know, that's a horrible combination.

I want to preface this with a little something about me. I'm not a super tidy or neat person. My house is usually presentable, but it gets cluttered and messy from time to time. When you have 3 kids, 2-4 additional kids (daycare), a husband and various pets, things sometimes get left around. But I pride myself in knowing that if company were to call and the house was iffy, I could get it presentable in a matter of minutes. It's usually just a quick pick-up. I wouldn't call it dirty.

Well, I'm also one of those people who can't leave the house for a weekend unless it's clean. We went camping this weekend, so before we left I cleaned the house. Sure, there was still a pile of clothes on the living room love seat, but they were neatly folded and sorted, just waiting to be brought to their home. And the basket of socks needing to be sorted was pushed against the wall. But the floor was picked up and vacuumed, the kitchen floor swept, the counters clean, dishwasher run and sink empty, family room toys picked up...You get the picture. I HATE coming home from a weekend away and having the mess from the weekend and the mess from the house. I know I'm not the only one.

So while camping I started coming down with a cold. I stuck it out and when we got home on Monday, it slowly got worse. By Tuesday night, I was dying. I'm not kidding you. I don't get sick often and usually when I do, I plug it out and go on with life. Not this time. I had a raging headache, terrible sore throat, major head congestion, fever of 102.5, body aches, chills, name it, I pretty much had it. So I spent my time laying on the couch, trying to monitor my children but relying more on the gates that close them into the family room to keep them safe. Anything else was fair game.

Today, almost 2 days later, I'm feeling better. I'm not done with it, but I can at least sit up and type without getting dizzy or nauseous. I can walk without my legs getting all jelly-like. I can breathe through one of my nostrils with only a minor sniff. I'm doing better. And I can't believe the shape of the house. Oh. My. Goodness.

Remember how I just told you all that my house had been clean? I even put everything away on Monday after camping because I knew I was getting sick and knew it would sit around for awhile if I didn't. I honestly can't describe the mess, so you all get to see it instead! You may need sunglasses....

So here is the family room. Toys, pillows, blankets, even grass that someone drug into the house.
You can't see it, but it's there by the piano bench.

The very unclean kitchen. The sink is piled with dishes, the counter is covered, the stove has grease splattered on it from dinner 2 nights ago (Andy obviously cooked) Dinner still on the table from the other night, food and newspapers on the floor (and yes, our dishwasher is old and needs replacing, and I am working on peeling that awful wall-paper)

Clothes all over the living room. Andy was kind enough to wash 2 loads of laundry, but he then just brought them upstairs to be folded later. Apparently one load didn't have a basket, as you see it was just deposited on the couch. And those clothes on the floor? Dirty jammies and a pair of underwear.

So again, anyone want to help me build that clubhouse? Because honestly, Moms just can't get sick or things fall apart. At least in this house they do. The only good thing that comes out of this is that Andy can no longer say "What do you do in a day besides watch and play with kids?" Because this is what it looks like after only 2 days of me doing nothing. And that was without the extra daycare kids helping. With them here, there are only more toys and more dishes and more food on the floor...Moms can't get sick.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just for the record...

I am NOT going walking to the tower after 7:00 pm EVER AGAIN. Got that? So if you hear me say "Hmmm, time for a walk" and it's near 7:00, make sure I take a LEFT, not a right. That would be the hand that makes the correct L when you hold out your thumb. That's how Lilly knows which is which.

So tonight I was on my walk and I can honestly say that it was the first time since the incident that I was not nervous. I had been past that meadow a few times and seen nothing, the dog smelled nothing suspicious, I saw no tracks. The only sign I saw was a pile of poo on the shoulder of the road. I assume it was canine in nature because Sunny insisted on urinating on it and she wouldn't do that with just any 'ole pile. But wolf crap? It could have just as easily been the neighbor dog's. All was good. So tonight I sailed on by, listening to my CD and minding my own business. I got to the tower, turned around and headed home. I was about 40 yards from the edge of the meadow when Sunny suddenly stopped cold. I looked ahead and sure enough, that damn wolf emerged from the woods and trotted across the road. But what did he do first? Stop to smell his pile and the topping of urine from my dog. Then he sulked across the road and into his meadow.

I had enough. I turned on my tail and headed back towards the tower, away from home. Yet again, I wasn't about to walk past him. So I called my Knight in Shining Armor to come and save us. He picked us up and we headed home, stopping where I saw the wolf cross the road. Sure enough, next to his beloved pile of poo were some large tracks which were right next to Sunny's and just a few inches behind my shoe print from earlier. NO. THANK. YOU.

So next time I head out, remind me to GO LEFT!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Congrats Derek & Amy!

Our good friends Derek & Amy got married this weekend. We are so happy for them and so glad that they found one another. They are a great couple who really compliment each other in so many ways. We wish them the best for their future!

I forgot my camera, unfortunately, but was able to borrow from my mother-in-law. So while I didn't get any pics of Derek and Amy so you can see the handsome couple, I did get a couple of our family.

Here is Mikayla with her still black eye
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Here are Alayna and Lilly (Alayna had a mouth full and told me she couldn't smile normal)
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Andy and I
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Nate, Tricia and Gwyneth

It's been a while since I've updated on the Lawrenson family and boy oh boy, do I have an update!

Let's see...Tricia had her double lung transplant and went through the required PT to be discharged from the hospital about 3 weeks ago! She since has had her trach removed. Her appts continue to go well and the docs are all glad to report that as of now, she's showing no signs of infection or rejection! She is enjoying being back in real life and has been loving her gelato, according to Nate.

Gwyneth continues to grow and do so well! She had her feeding tube removed and is eating from a bottle 100% now. She is also over 4 1/2 pounds. The combination of those two things (bottle eating and her weight) as well as many other smaller ones has led to her discharge from the hospital!!!! She was discharged yesterday and is now the sole responsibility of Nate and Tricia!

All of this has risen from such dire predictions only a few short months ago, when the chances of both Tricia and Gwyneth surviving was small. With the help of a wonderful hospital staff, the love of family and friends, and TONS of prayers from people all over the globe, these two are happy and healthy. Just goes to show the power of prayer. Pretty cool, huh?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Going to Pieces

Our girls have always been quite healthy. Between the three of them there's only been 2 ER trips (both for Lilly and for the same thing, 24 hrs apart) 3 stitches (in Alayna's head) and only one course of antibiotics (for a mild ear infection Lilly had at 18 months). Sure, they've had the occasional cold or flu bug, but nothing serious and nothing much to write home about.

On Friday, I noticed that Lilly had some boogery eyes. The gunk was bright yellow and slimy. Cool, huh? Well, by Saturday the eye boogers were greenish in tint and stickier than they had been. Those suckers wouldn't let go of her eye lashes without a good fight, but eventually I prevailed. When she woke up on Sunday morning?

"Mommy?! I fink my eyes are stuck. I can't open them!" Thankfully she didn't freak out and actually thought it was kind of funny to have Mommy lead her to the potty and treat her like a baby. After a warm wash cloth and some kisses, she was all good again (though she liked when only one eye opened up and she looked like a pirate!) The same thing happened Monday morning and again this morning. Then I noticed that she couldn't hear me very well. And it wasn't the way that she can't hear me when I tell her to do something or to quiet down. She really couldn't hear me that well. So, off to the doctor we went. We left feeling like a drug store...eye drops for borderline pink eye and 2 bottles of amoxicylin for a double ear infection.

When I got home, Mikayla was down for her nap. When she woke up, she felt a little warm so I took her temp. The thermometer was still slowly going up, but she wasn't going to allow it to finish its reading. The reading I got was 100.8 and rising, so she had a bit of a fever. Of course she did, right? After a dose of Tylenol, she was feeling cooler and more normal. And all of this goes along with this...

The first black eye for any of our girls, too. You can't tell very well in the picture, but it's there under her right eye. She didn't want to sit for a picture by herself (which is very rare, she's usually a ham) so together we posed and I was able to capture a pic that you could at least kinda see her shiner. In person, it's pretty dark. Yesterday she was running through the living room and tripped over a toy, hitting her eye socket on the frame of a chair.

Alayna is, so far, unscathed. When I called Andy at work to tell him about the doctor's apt, he made a comment along the lines of "What will Alayna come home with?" I told him to bite his tongue, as they were doing climbing in gym class. That's just what we'd need!

Monday, May 12, 2008

May I have this dance?

We had a family baby shower at our house on Saturday. After the long day of company, I think the girls were glad to have the house somewhat back to normal and all company, except for Gramma and Grampa, gone. So what do you do when you are happy? Dance, of course! And if there's no music? Just sing your own!

Friday, May 9, 2008

17 kids...and counting

I often watch the Today Show in the morning while getting ready, eating breakfast, etc. Once the kids are up and moving about, it's usually turned off or to cartoons, so I need to get my adult TV in when I can. This morning I saw that the Duggars were going to be on, so I left Today on a little longer than normal.

You all know the Duggars, right? They live in Arkansas and have 17 children, all with names starting with J. I know some people are disgusted, for lack of a better word, by this family. But I don't really know why. Sure, that's a lot of kids. But if I'm not the one having to take care of all those children (let alone carry and birth them all!), then what does it matter to me? And contrary to what many believe, as a nation we've not taking care of them, either. They live completely within their means and are not on any aid from the government. They built their huge home with their own labor, buy foods in bulk at discount stores (think Aldi's), home school all the children, and have an amazing faith. The older children have a "buddy" that is a younger sibling they are in charge of helping get dressed, do their chores, etc. I know some people see a big problem with this as well, but to me, it's teaching responsibility and compassion. Do I know what it's like in the Duggar home? No. But no one but a Duggar really knows that, either. Some people love the Duggars, some people hate them. I don't know them personally so I have no opinions on "like" or "don't like." But if they can make it work for them, what skin off my knuckles is that? To each his own, I guess.

So today they were on the Today Show and what did they announce? You guessed it...#18 is on the way. And yes, it will have a name starting with J (are there that many names out there?!)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Return to Normalcy

Since Sunday, I've still been going on my walks, but taking other routes. My normal route was just not sitting well with me, considering what I encountered that night. Well, last night I decided it was time to go back the normal way. I love that route for 2 reasons: it's mostly uphill on the way, getting my heart pumping right away; and it has a very marked turn-around point for me, making it an even 2.5 mile round trip.

Anyway, I grabbed my cell phone, yelled for the dog and headed out. I was a little nervous when I reached the meadow, but nothing was in sight and Sunny wasn't smelling anything that caused her alarm, so we kept on truckin'. We made it to the DNR tower, turned around, and headed home. As we approached the meadow again, I was a little nervous since it was now about the time I had seen Mr Wolf this past weekend. Just as I relaxed and was halfway past the meadow...2 deer jumped out of the woods about 30 feet in front of us. I almost PEED. MY. PANTS. I'm not kidding you, I near wet myself and had a panic attack at the same moment. Just a deer, right? Right. I see anywhere from 2-8 each day on my walk. But those deer at that precise location, jumping out at me like the boogie-man, was almost too much for me to handle.

But I survived, and Sunny and I never saw (or smelled or heard) from our little friend. Thank God. I probably would have done a lot more than wet myself.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

ABCs of Me!

A-Attached or Single?- attached to Andy 

B-Best Friend?- Andy, though I have 3 best girlfriends, too!
C-Cake or Pie?- cake, I HATE pie...bleck

D-Day of Choice?- Friday
E-Essential Item?- chapstick

F- Favorite color? red

G-Gummy Bears or Worms?- Worms 

H-Hometown?- since this is a public blog, I'll say a small town in Northern Wisconsin (we still live near this town)

I-Favorite Indulgence?- brownie sundaes
J-January or July? July

K-Kids? 3 beautiful girls

L-Life isn't complete without? a family (I mean that in the broad sense as much as the literal sense...not necessarily a spouse and kids but also parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, etc)
M-Marriage Date?- Sept 14, 2002

N-Number of brothers and sisters? 1 sister
O-Oranges or Apples?- apples, though I really like oranges, too

P-Phobia and Fears? I am terrified of cotton (like cotton balls) and June bugs.

Q-Quote?- "Life isn't measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

R-Reason to smile?- my children

S-Season of choice?- autumn

T-Tag ten people?- anyone who wants to do this can!

U-Unknown fact about me?- I have a VERY sensitive nose and can smell things sooner and stronger than anyone I know

V-Vegetable?- potato in any form, but I love veggies in general

W-Worst habit?- I talk a lot

*Y-Your favorite food?- Well it's more like favorite meal--Thanksgiving dinner

Z-Zodiac Sign?- Cancer

*Hmmmm, why is there no X?

Monday, May 5, 2008

I "met" one of our neighbors last night

And it wasn't very pleasant. Actually, it was VERY unnerving. I have been trying to go for a walk every night to not only get some exercise, but also to get a little time each day to just me. So after a birthday party for little Clara last night, Andy set about getting the girls ready for bed while Sunny and I went for our walk (I always take her with as protection from other people or animals, just in case). I wasn't going to go the full walk because Desperate Housewives was going to be coming on soon, and the sun was starting to set a bit anyway. As we got about a half-mile up the road, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. Apparently Sunny saw it, too, because she instantly stopped, raised one foot slightly and the hair on her back stood up. I looked into the meadow where I'd seen movement expecting to see a deer, which is a common occurrence. But no, I saw something else. Something gray, fluffy and bigger than Sunny (who's a lab on the bigger end of the spectrum) This something stopped and just stared right at us, showing no signs of fear or anxiety over our appearance. That was enough for me. I quickly called for Sunny and we turned and headed home. I wasn't about to walk past that meadow.

I called Andy to get his thoughts on what it was and we both came to the same conclusion. The animal caught our scent (more likely Sunny's, as another canine) and came out to survey it's territory. It could have been a coyote-we hear them all the time at night, yelping and howling at each other. But they are small, very skiddish and usually scruffy looking. Not this critter. This animal was fluffy, bigger than Sunny and showed no fear. It was a wolf. They are in the area and have been spotted a few times by people we know, but we'd never seen one so close to home. I kept looking back as long as I could see the meadow (and so did Sunny, her hair never went back down until we were home) and it just continued to stare and watch us as we walked the route back home. As soon as I came in the driveway, Andy hopped in his car to see if he could get a look at it, but by the time he got up there, it was gone.

I learned 2 lessons from my walk last night: 1) don't go walking so close to dusk and 2) continue to take my cell phone and my protector Sunny with me. I have never gone on my walks without her and now I never will.

*I've posted a few times this morning, so check below!

Our newest bicyclist

Those of you who know us personally know that we spend a LOT of time outside, especially in the summer. We go for walks, play in the yard, play basketball or softball, ride horse, just enjoy sitting on the porch...We like to be outside, in other words. As a family, we also enjoy going for bike rides. Alayna rides her bike, Andy and I are on ours, and one of us pulls a trailer with Lilly in it (unless we don't go far and let her ride her tricycle) This year Mikayla is old enough to go along in the trailer but she needed a helmet. We found one this weekend and were worried about how she'd like it. Well...

She loves it! She didn't want us to take it off and as soon as she saw it yesterday morning, she wanted it on. So yes, she's sitting in her high chair, eating breakfast, wearing only her diaper and her new bike helmet. *sigh* She's such a goofball!

It's OVER!

The days of burnt crust but un-melted cheese on a pizza; burnt cookie bottoms but doughy tops; turning whatever I'm baking every 15 mins to avoid hot spots in the oven; only being able to use 3 of my stovetop burners...

That's right, I got my new range! I am so excited (though my excuses are no longer an option if I lose track of time!) Andy and I went shopping on Saturday and found a great range for a great price. We got it at Appliance Smart and it has a dent on the side but who cares? It's still brand-new and has the factory warranty, and we have cupboards on each side that cover the dent nicely. For a measely dent, who wouldn't want to save over $100?! So, without further ado, here's my new love...