Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
We saw Fantastic Mr. Fox today...I anticipated that I would enjoy it - and I did. George Clooney is so funny, and the writing is quite witty. i may ahve to read the book!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
In other news...it looks like there is a good chance we will be moving this spring. The Eastern Iowa Council of Governments has grant money initially intended for flood victims and first time home buyers, but lack of interest has allowed them to open the program to anyone within income requirements. For Johnson county that means making less than the median income for a family of 5 ($82,000). Since I am not working we are well below that number! The incentive...buy a new home and receive 30% down payment grant in the form a five-year forgivable loan. This amounts to ~$50,000 free money, in addition to snagging a great loan rate because of the high down payment. Out of 54 homes available in Johnson county, only 31 people applied. From the first half of the group only seven homes have been acquired, mostly because of inability to procure financing. We had our pre-approval letter in hand before we even applied; having gotten our initial home loan and our refinance through one of the local banks participating in the program they are happy to loan us money again. So our only hurdles...get one of our preferred home choices (our top homes were all available when we put in our selection request, so this looks good) and sell our home. Since our home is both a good investment property and the price is at a point people can actually afford in this economy, the chances of that look good. So we wait and see, and I refuse to believe that it might actually happen. It seems to good to actually work out!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Yesterday when we were walking outside Thea noticed shadows for the first time...so funny to see her so intrigued. She is adding new words...I heave heard several sentences that are run together into one word: iceeyou (I see you, when playing peekaboo), earyoogo (Here you go, when she hands you something), and uvyou (love you - when giving hugs). She loves the itsy-bitsy spider, which is great, because it distracts her from the cold toilet seat when I sit her on the potty. She was happy to pee on the potty every time I changed her diaper, until it got colder. Then she would frantically start signing "ALL DONE" as soon as her bum touched the cold seat. Between a new seat (plastic...not so cold) and the itsy-bitsy spider she is much more willing to go.
We had conferences with Ella's teacher on Thursday - so much better than last year. She has progressed quickly in reading, starting the year just under the desired level and coming up to speed in the first few weeks. She is still having trouble keeping her hands to herself and being a bit take over the situation bossy, but her teacher has been so helpful. We have implemented a sticker chart at school for keeping her hands to herself at key times throughout the day, and she has a little sign on her desk as well. Her teacher thanked me for the desk card, saying she is able to point to it and remind Ella to keep her hands to herself without drawing everyone's attention. It is so nice to have a teacher recognize that Ella is impulsive about showing affection, and not being malicious. She praised Ella's empathy...her report was very much like Ella's preschool reports: things to work on but also recognition of her good qualities. All the more I am encouraged to believe that the struggles of kindergarten were largely part of a teacher who really didn't mesh with Ella. I can understand that, but as a teacher I think looking a little harder for some postives would be helpful. Ella really loves her teacher this year, which is something we saw in preschool but not in kindergarten. So nice to have an easier go of it this year.
I'll have to do a Käthe update tomorrow, as my hand is going numb. Too much typing.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
2 trips to the bathroom
1 change of pants for Kate, as the second trip to the bathroom was not expedient enough, due to the rest of the list
2 shoes to untie and retie
8000 kinds of shampoo, still unable to find the one I am looking for, possibly because I only know that is for colored hair and comes in a red (I think) bottle, and is sulfate free
37 wails and cries from a tired baby in the shampoo aisle
10 minutes of screams from said baby, while I nursed her sitting on the floor of the shampoo aisle, because her older sister pushed her down to the tile floor, resulting in
1 fat-lipped baby and
2 bloody shirts (mine and hers)
$71 dollars of random household items...shower curtain, socks, spatula, baby wipes, tissues, etc.
~ 60 - the number of minutes later than I thought it was when I left Target, meaning I leisurely meandered back through the mall, letting Kate hang out at Barnes and Noble because the sad, bloody, fat-lipped baby was finally asleep
3:04 pm - the time when I left the mall and looked at my phone for the time, finding it to be an hour later than I thought it was and realizing that Ella will be disembarking the bus in approximately 5 minutes.
1 - woman who lives down the street, standing in my doorway when I pulled in the driveway, whose name I didn't know until today, as Ella had brought her home with her because "the silver car isn't there and my mom isn't home."
1 - beer and 1 - nap = what I need to make this day end on a high note. Sheesh!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
But today is a picture post, because I have 4 people coming for dinner tomorrow night, and a giant mess to clean up in every room.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Ella and Tom are off to the annual Girl Scout rollerskating event; last year was Ella's first time on skates. I am curious to see if there is any improvement from last year:
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tom and I considered going to a movie, as babies are surprisingly easy to take to the theater. In the end we stopped by the video store and picked up a couple of movies to watch at home. Better popcorn here. And ice cream. And beer. Those three items are on my father's menu every night. (Fiber, and calcium, and that "one drink is good for your heart" beer. It's done him well so far.)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Today comes the aftermath...there is so much laundry, and I have so many dishes to wash. Ella is off to school, and a friend took Kate to preschool for me, so I have two and a half hours to see what I can do to whip things back into shape. Or maybe take a nap...still so tired.
* I love my doctor - she was going to give me 10 phenergan and asked if I'd like more. When I said yes she said - "I'll give you 20 so you have extra on hand - you can give half of one to the kids if they need them." So nice to have such a considerate doctor.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Today I showed Käthe our wedding video, which I haven't seen in ages. Probably the last time I saw it would be 3-4 years ago, when I showed it to Ella. I still remember her shaking and giggling as it started, exclaiming "I'm just so excited!!". Kate was excited too, and we were watching along just fine until the camera panned out and I saw my grandmother. She died nearly 4 years ago, while I was pregnant with Kate. As soon as I saw her I burst into tears...I was so shocked by the wave of emotions that passed over me. I can't say that I think about her all that often, but as I child I saw her nearly every day. But to see her again, so recognizable from her mannerisms, there at my wedding...I just hadn't really thought about her being there, that there was any video of her in existence. I remember watching the video with Ella, and noticing Tom's grandpa, who passed away before Ella was born. This viewing I noticed my grandmother, and it made me realize that there is likely to be another person gone each time I happen to watch it. Perhaps that's where the extreme sadness came from, the realization that all these people that loved us are also leaving us as time goes by.
Monday, November 09, 2009
our little Thea was baptized.
Her Baptismal hymn, by our dear Dr. Martin Luther, is a beautiful exposition of baptismal theology. I love it more each time I sing it:
To Jordan came the Christ, our Lord,
To do His Father's pleasure;
Baptized by John, the Father's Word
Was given us to treasure.
This heav'nly washing now shall be
A cleansing from transgression
And by His blood and agony
Release from death's oppression.
A new life now awaits us.
O hear and mark the message well,
For God Himself has spoken.
Let faith, not doubt, among us dwell
And so receive this token.
Our Lord here with His Word endows
Pure water, freely flowing.
God's Holy Spirit here avows
Our kinship while bestowing
The Baptism of His blessing.
These truths on
By mighty word and wonder.
The Father's voice from heav'n came down,
Which we do well to ponder:
"This man is My beloved Son,
In whom My heart has pleasure.
Him you must hear, and Him alone,
And trust in fullest measure
The word that He has spoken."
There stood the Son of God in love,
His grace to us extending;
The Holy Spirit like a dove
Upon the scene descending;
The triune God assuring us,
With promises compelling,
That in our Baptism He will thus
Among us find a dwelling
To comfort and sustain us.
To His disciples spoke the Lord,
"Go out to ev'ry nation,
And bring to them the living Word
And this My invitation:
Let ev'ryone abandon sin
And come in true contrition
To be baptized and thereby win
Full pardon and remission
And heav'nly bliss inherit."
But woe to those who cast aside
This grace so freely given;
They shall in sin and shame abide
And to despair be driven.
For born in sin, their works must fail,
Their striving saves them never;
Their pious acts do not avail,
And they are lost forever,
Eternal death their portion.
All that the mortal eye beholds
Is water as we pour it.
Before the eye of faith unfolds
The pow'r of Jesus' merit.
For here it sees the crimson flood
To all our ills bring healing;
The wonders of His precious blood
The love of God revealing
Assuring His own pardon.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
It may seem like kind of a wrong thing to say, but there is a positive to all the sick days - we don't have to go anywhere. To take time off of all the running around and activities and commitments and just spend time at home is wonderful to me; perhaps it's a wake-up call that sickness is seeming like a vacation!
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
How about a happy picture - my sweet little 6-month Ella.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Käthe woke up with a fever, and has a slight cough, but has not slowed her pace and is bouncing off the walls. She is currently wearing a duck costume (hooded top and fuzzy orange duck feet) that I bought for 75% off at Target yesterday. Post-Halloween sales are great for the dress-up wardrobe.
The baby seems okay for now but I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and see who gets sick next. Winter, I've had enough of you and your frequent illnesses, and it's only the 5th of November.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
19 lbs, 1 oz. Her weight has pretty much flatlined since she started walking at 9.5 months; she is looking to follow in Käthe's footsteps. (Although Käthe was still around 19 lbs at 2 years)
29" - She is about 50% for height, and for head circumference too. All in all a good checkup - she says lots of words: mama, hi, baby, hee-YAH, Ella, num, uht-oh, up. She signs for nursing (milk), please, more, and occasionally thank you. She runs, she climbs, and she tries desperately to jump. She is flying away from babyhood as fast as she possibly can!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I am trying to block out how much work the dinner is going to be. I plan to cook the turkey ahead of time and reheat in the large electric roaster. Sweet potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce will all be prep'd on Saturday - those that need baking will be put into the oven before church on Sunday.
I managed to get dinner in the crock pot while Kate was at preschool, and while Thea is napping I am off to render lard. I have been kind of avoiding the whole lard business, but I needed the fat out of the freezer to make room for the turkeys. Wish me luck, as I'd really rather not burn down the house!
Monday, November 02, 2009
Five people make an incredible mess without even trying. So far today I have unloaded, reloaded and ran the dishwasher - it will get run at least one more time toady, if not two. I have washed two loads of laundry and a load of diapers, none of which can be put away while the baby is sleeping, as my closet backs up to her bedroom wall. There are a couple of loads from the weekend to put away, and at least three more waiting to be washed. I have almost all of the girls clothes put away, but I don't actually have enough hangers to get the job done. I have swept the kitchen floor, but it is covered in playdough, dry rice, and the remnants of lunch. And though I really love my sewing table I am getting tired of looking at it but not actually using it. Fortunately I have most of the teachers' gifts cut and ready to sew, so I need to sit down and just get. it. done. But since anything other than sitting quietly will interrupt the princess's sleep, I am sitting here blogging instead, hoping that the clatter of the keys doesn't carry too far.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
We'll try it again - some years I fail miserably, some years I actually do pretty well. Either way I do love looking back and seeing what we were up to. Last year I was busy giving birth to Thea; I cannot believe that my baby is already a year old. It has been the shortest year full of the longest days I have ever muddled through. It has been crowded and crazy here, but things are looking up...we should be in a new house by spring, which will (hopefully) give all those things that are constantly out of place an actual place to be put away. And I have been promised a permanent sewing space, which is more exciting than it probably should be to me!
We had a fantastic time trick or treating last night, with my little Native American, Bat, and Elephant. I have so much fun putting their costumes together, and seeing them run around so excitedly. Throwing a birthday in the mix just added to the fun - I think we will be in for a lot of fun Halloween parties in the years to come.
Happy Birthday little Twinkle:
Thursday, August 13, 2009
But TDP has an OT reading every day, and I am reading things I have definitely never heard before. I really am enjoying it - it is like reading a novel, I find myself skipping ahead to the next days' readings to see what happens next. Currently we are deep in the David/Jonathan/Saul saga, and last night I read about Saul hiring a medium to conjure up the spirit of dead Samuel. Huh? Never before have I read this: (1 Samuel 28:15) Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?"
First off, I am a little dumbfounded by the whole mediums and necromancers thing, and then I am a little surprised that we have Samuel actually being conjured, and on top of that - sounding kinda pissed about being bothered. It is baffling to me now at 30 so I can understand why we glossed over it when I was 10. So not what I was expecting to read before drifting off to sleep last night. I don't know why it is so surprising to me - the Bible is full of the spirit world and odd happenings, prophecies and miracles, but I kinda thought I was familiar with the story until the spirit/ghost/??? of Samuel chews out Saul and then gives him more bad news. It's just...weird.
Totally unrelated - my big girls are going away for the weekend tomorrow. Grandma is picking them up in the morning, and then off to Chicago on Saturday for the aquarium and the American Girl Doll store and who knows what else. I am excited to have a weekend with Tom and Thea, for Thea to get some actual naps and for us to do something that is impossible with all three kiddos. (You can take a sleeping baby to a late movie, you cannot drag a 3 and 6 year old along and expect them to sleep through. Plus you have to pay for them.) But I know that as much as Ella and Kate drive me crazy I will miss them as soon as they are gone. And I will worry - about asthma and how they'll sleep and if I will remember to send things all the things they probably won't need. I worry about car seats. I am sending Ella's booster even though I'd rather do the 5-point because I feel like the booster is more likely to be used correctly. (Check out those 5-point Radian car seats...they are my favorite and on sale! I should probably by a third since Thea will eventually outgrow the Chicco). I am going to send an Evenflo for Kate because it is easier to transfer safely and hope that they remember to tighten the straps (if they remember to how to loosen them in the first place). I know that they'll be installed properly tomorrow when I put them in but I feel like can never count on them being used correctly and heaven help me if they decide to move them from the car to the van because I know that the van doesn't have LATCH and they will forget to lock the seat belts when installing and OH.MY.GOD. I have to stop. These people are very smart and have advanced degrees and Papa Dave can prescribe any medication I neglect to send if they really need it. They will not lose my children, everything will be fine but I am kind of a car seat usage freak. Must go find user manuals and type out detailed instructions. Just kidding. Maybe.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Even though almost every lunch is "Leftovers" we still end up having one or two meals that we don't get to at the end of the week; if we have the ingredients they will probably just get bumped to the beginning of the next week. Now to finish the grocery list.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
1. My baby blows raspberries when she gets excited.
2. When I snuggled Käthe as she woke up this morning she said "I love you little mama."
3. My attempt to transform Ella's threadbare-in-the-knees jeans into a skirt went far better than I expected, and she loves her new skirt.
4. While Käthe is at playgroup tomorrow I get to have coffee and sew while my baby sleeps*.
5. My in-laws impending visit means that I will have the motivation to finally get the house back in order.
*Assuming that baby naps - a rather hit or miss proposal. But I have decided that 2 hour naps in the swing are better than 40 minute naps in the crib (crawling baby means she only sleeps in my bed with me.) Thea taking a million short naps every day is doing neither of us any good. I am hoping to get her into the habit of sleeping for longer periods before transitioning into "sleeping for longer periods where I would prefer her to sleep".
Friday, May 08, 2009
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup sweet-potato puree
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder
Directions (My suggestions/comments)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square pan; set aside. Place cocoa powder into mixing bowl. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Remove pan from heat, and stir into cocoa. Let cool slightly. (This gets very thick - I had a hard time getting it from the pan into the bowl of my stand mixer).
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Stir...sugar and sweet-potato puree into cocoa mixture, then egg. In a small bowl, stir together vanilla and coffee until coffee is dissolved; add to cocoa mixture.
- Add flour mixture to cocoa mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain. Spoon into prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake until surface of brownies looks barely dry and an inserted knife comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving. I baked for about 30 minutes, it was very...um ...paste-like? They are definitely gooey and fudgey, but also kind of dry. I know that seems like an oxymoron; they taste good nonetheless. They do not have that nice crisp shiny sugar top that regular brownies have, they are more like a very sticky cake.
Directions were more complicated than they needed to be, if I do it again I will melt the butter and add it to the cocoa powder in my mixing bowl.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I have a hard time deciding what I want this "place" to be - journal of the girlies? My own thoughts - those tend to be pretty child-centric these days. So many different things this could be - a mommy blog, thoughts on postpartum depression, thoughts on being an orthodox Lutheran. I think about the blogs I see in my Google Reader - everything from the crafty, like Tree Fall to mommying: Balancing Everything; Looky, Daddy!; My Charming Kids; to the very Lutheran: Cyberbrethren; Weedon's Blog; St. Paul Chapel.
I guess what I am saying is that I don't know "who" to write to - because it seems that there are so many different genres that I enjoy. My best bet is probably to write whatever I want, if anyone likes it they will read, and if they don't they can just keep going.
Monday, May 04, 2009
A few things that I didn't do this past week:
I did not pack up my sleeping kids (one sick, one exhausted, one napping) at 6:00 on Saturday evening, put them all (still sleeping) in various strollers and carts, and push them around the home improvement store. And if I had, I would not have considered it the closest thing to a date Ehemann and I have had in months (conversation! without! constant! interruption!).
I did not spend a great deal of time upholstering new cushions for my glider and ottoman in my living room, sewing on this tiny Ikea table:
Because my kitchen table was covered in various other things - clean laundry, groceries that needed to be put away, various sewing accoutrement, etc.
I did not make my husband strangely happy by making strawberry jam and buying him laundry detergent with scent (because I wash everything in unscented detergent). That would just be weird.
And I refuse to acknowledge that this beautiful baby girl turned six months old on Friday, and is rearing to be on the go: Check out that plank pose - forward locomotion is just a few days away.
And I would be lying if I said I was not inordinately proud of making my uncomfortable ugly rocker into this much more attractive and non-rear-end-numbing specimen:
Friday, April 24, 2009
So updates about the girls, since I cannot seem to post more than every few months. (With the exception of NaBloPoMo - I cannot believe that I did it last year with a brand new baby.) My "brand new" baby is now half a year old - sitting up, trying to crawl (she does a mean plank pose but just cannot get all the motions coordinated). Though she hasn't hit the magical six month mark, I did start her on oatmeal a couple of weeks ago...I find that when they are starting to steal my food and make little chewing motions with their mouths then they deserve a taste of something. If they're not ready, that tongue thrust reflex shoves it right out. I ground some oatmeal in the food processor, and cooked it fairly thick. She swallowed like a pro and gave the the baby bird response: mouth open, arms flapping. She loves it.
Käthe is potty trained...after Ella was trained just a couple of weeks after her second birthday, I was hoping that the cloth diapers would do the trick again. No such luck...she was quite able to use the potty, but would rather not, thankyouverymuch. I had neither the time nor energy to embark on an intensive training before Thea arrived, but a few weeks ago we gave it another serious go and we seem to be over the hump. So nice not to have two kiddos in diapers. Käthe is fast approaching three, and she is hilarious. She is also mischievous, and my refrigerator and freezer now sport child locks on her account. As soon as I sat down to nurse I would hear the doors fling open, only to find her eating a smorgasbord of items as soon as I could get to the kitchen. She is ever considerate of her sisters, whenever she is offered anything (stickers at Target, samples at the grocery store...anything) her first reply is "one for my sister?" Still my little pixie girl, she is tipping the scales at a whopping 24 lbs. Thea is near 17 lbs, so I expect that Thea might outweigh Kate by her first birthday.
Ella is getting so big, both in body and intellect. She is reading well, and her constant artwork is now being captioned as well. My favorite drawing of late is "Through the Bus Window" - black window frame, the trees she sees outside, and ever so faintly a self portrait of her reflection. She also did a fantastic painting of a robin:
She has her first sleepover at a friend's house tonight, with her Daisy Girl Scout Troop. It is their "Fun Item: with their cookie money. For their service project with cookie money they made blankets for the Preemie Project at the University...I was so proud of their efforts.
I need to get her packed for said sleepover, as it starts in an hour. I am pretty confident that she'll make it through the night...nothing scares my adventurous firstborn (with the exception of Disney movies, which can be pretty freaky). Hopefully the film d'jour doesn't have any suspenseful music, or I will be getting a late night phone call!