Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo 30 The End

We are sick...every last one of us. I am taking Ella and Thea in to the doctor this afternoon, and bringing Kate along for good measure. Here's to another $50 in least I have insurance!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaBloPoMo 29

Matching Jammies...tried to upload a picture but this is not my computer and it seems to be blocking me from uploading. I will have to do it at home!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaBloPoMo 28

We got our first choice of lot for our new home...we should have purchase agreement and closing date finalized before Dec. comes the fun part of picking out cabinets, fixtures, colors, etc. So Exciting!
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

NaBloPoMo 27

Waiting, waiting...our house preference choices are due today. I sent in ours last week, but I would expect to hear late this afternoon or tomorrow morning which lot is ours. Our realtor spoke with the program administrator early last week, and was told that our chances were very good that we would get our choice of home. I am still nervous - I guess until our house is sold and we close on the new one I am going to be anxious about it all.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NaBloPoMo 26

I am kicking myself for not noticing Ella's cough with a temp of 103 I think she probably has pneumonia.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NaBloPoMo 25

We made it to Grandma' to finish all the Thanksgiving prep. New matching jammies for all the little ladies means there are sure to be cute pictures forthcoming.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Haircut pictures yet, but I got it cut this morning and am very happy with it. I have decided that a haircut is worth the $44 when you take a picture and you get the haircut in the picture. Carl takes the time to dry and flat iron my wavy hair before cutting it, which is the best way to get a haircut that is the same length on both sides. Cutting it dry ensures that the waves are not playing with lengths and directions when the hair is wet. Plus I only get it cut there about twice a between I play the Great Clips roulette and hope for the best. But feeling good about your hair when you are bound to be photographed all through out the holidays is priceless.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NaBloPoMo 23

Small moment of panic, when I went to title this post with "23" and didn't see a "22" pop up in the selection box. I wondered if I had managed to miss a day...but I just didn't title yesterday's post. We did indeed make paper snowflakes to put them up in the window. I will try to get a pic up when we have them up.
In other 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 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

NaBloPoMo 22

It's Sunday, and my kiddos want to make Thanksgiving placemats and paper snowflakes. I WILL do a good chunk of my Christmas sewing today too! And so, sorry blog - maybe tomorrow!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaBloPoMo 21

Three weeks of posting each day...not that the content has been all that fantastic, but it's a start.
Yesterday when we were walking outside Thea noticed shadows for the first 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

NaBloPoMo 20

Pomplamoose hair merge. Her neck is much more svelte than mine, and obviously she is not the pasty transparent skinned girl that I am, but let's focus on the hair, OK? Yea or nay?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NaBloPoMo 19

I was hoping to do a short picture post...Tom was kind enough to merge my face onto that of Pomplamoose singer Nataly Dawn, because I love her haircut and wanted to see what it might look like on me. However, I am having trouble finding the image. I'll try to get it up later today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NaBloPoMo 18

Target, by the numbers:

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

NaBloPoMo 17

Dinner with college students: success! One brought a friend, so 5 students, 5 of us = full house. I still have to find room in the fridge for the leftovers...yummm, guacamole. Oh so tired, but will try to watch a movie that is due back tomorrow. I give myself 15 minutes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

NaBloPoMo 16

100th Post! It is a little sad that it has taken me three years to achieve 100 posts, especially since over half of them have occurred only in the months of November.
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.

Käthe, nearly two
...still looking a bit like a baby - soon after this she became all "little girl" with no trace of baby in sight.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaBloPoMo 15

Thanksgiving #1 complete. I am not in charge of the next one, so my holiday hostessing duties are finished for awhile. We may end hosting my parents for Christmas...Thea has an incredibly terrible track record for car travel. Lots of screaming - it is really awful. About an hour and a half seems to be her limit. It is 5-6 hours to my parents house if you have no children, 7-8 if you have good travelers. Driving in the middle of winter, with really no place to stop, is a recipe for two incredibly long days of travel. (Even a mall is good enough, to let them out and walk around...but between Des Moines and Norfolk the route doesn't even afford that.) I am hoping that perhaps the family will come to us this year, though I haven't been "home" since July 2008.
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

NaBloPoMo 14

Grand Total: 4 turkeys (75 lbs); 2 giant pans each cornbread dressing, green bean casserole; 90 whole wheat rolls (from scratch), 35 lbs sweet potatoes, one large bowl cranberry sauce. Bring on the Thanksgiving dinner for 75. After two days of cooking (with several things left to finish off in the morning) I am beat. I will try to take some pictures of it all tomorrow.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaBloPoMo 13

Turkey day! We are making Thanksgiving dinner for our church this weekend. In a magical turn of luck we traded our older children to grandma in exchange for her electric roaster, which means that the only child that needed entertaining while we spent 6 hours cooking was an easy-to-entertain Thea. The big girls, when I called to tell them goodnight, were busy painting a Nativity set for grandma. Ella had just finished a camel and was about to start on a donkey; Käthe had done a star and was working on a pig.
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

NaBloPoMo 12

I survived, though I was wimpy enough to call my doctor as soon as her office opened. A $25 copay for the visit and a $10 copay for 20 phenergan*...totally worth it to stop with the puking. Since Thea had the virus on Monday she had been eating very little solid food and nursing a ton. Consequently, with her nursing and my vomiting I felt like a fragile little flower wilting in the desert. By late afternoon I was brave enough to start with some Gatorade and even ate a bit before I went to bed.
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

NaBloPoMo 11

And...I've got the vomiting. Thanks kids, for all that you share.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaBloPoMo 10

One-third down, two-thirds to go. I can't really say that most of the posts have been interesting, but at least they are there, which must count for something. Maybe?
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

NaBloPoMo 9

A year ago today...
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 Jordan's banks were shown
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

NaBloPoMo 8

Poor little Kate is on her 4th day of fever. She is generally refusing all fever medication, which is okay with me as her fever is not too high and fever serves an important role in the infection control process. But I think she might be a little more comfortable with a little ibuprofen.
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

NaBloPoMo 7

Sooo tired today, these late nights with sick kids are really adding up. I did stay up to watch Jimmy Fallon last night, as a Friday night treat. Not that I get to sleep in on Saturdays, but at least no one has to go anywhere. As a bonus I got to see the Pixies on Conan, promoting their new anniversary tour. We had tickets to see them in Cedar Rapids several years ago, and the concert was cancelled due to poor sales. They are saying that this tour is sold out already. Maybe someday...

Friday, November 06, 2009

NaBloPoMo 6

....and the sick continues. Käthe's slight fever of yesterday is cooking away at 102 today. Poor thing woke up crying and shaking. I think that she is nauseated but she seems physically incapable of vomiting. I used to think she was really fighting it but now she complains that it 'just goes down' so I wonder if there really is a problem for her. Ella is no longer vomiting, and will probably be mad when I limit her to soft foods today. I am fine, except that I just used the last of the coffee and I am oh . so . tired.
How about a happy picture - my sweet little 6-month Ella.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NaBloPoMo 5

At three o'clock this morning I rolled over and thought "wow, that is a really acidic taste in my mouth, almost like vomit" which turned out to be an awful premonition; I was immediately pulled into full consciousness by the sound of Ella violently puking in the next room. Tom got up with her, as the baby immediately woke and demanded to nurse. Ella then threw up every half hour until around 9 am, when it stretched out to every we are going in 2-3 hour stretches. The poor thing slammed her finger in the car door last night, so it is purple and swollen and potentially broken. The past 24 hours have really sucked for her.
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

NaBloPoMo 4

Thea's one year stats:
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

NaBloPoMo 3

Today has been incredibly full - I cannot believe how much time I spend each day just driving around. My morning went preschool-post office-grocery store-gas station-home-Wal-Mart (Turkey, $0.40/lb)-preschool again-home. The turkeys were an unplanned bonus, as I am cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my church and need ~70 lbs of turkey. I got 44 lbs today (limit 2) and will likely send Tom back for 1-2 more this afternoon.
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

NaBloPoMo 2

The baby has been sleeping for 20 minutes, which feels like an eternity and means that I have about 15 minutes before she wakes up screaming. I have vague recollections of what it was like to have a kid who slept for 2 whole hours in the afternoon, but I try not to think about it too much, because it gets depressing. Thea does still take a nap in the mornings, usually...30 minutes tops. It tends to make my days feel like an exercise in futility.
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.

Crazy Little Indian

Happy Little Bat

Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaBloPoMo 1

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: