Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Recap

We've been injured and ill: pneumonia, vomiting, torn ACL.  I am so fortunate that none of those actually applies to me, but my family has had a rough month.
I've been sewing: three make-up bags (though I wanted to get more of these done), two baby slings (per a special request), a crib sheet, a couple of potholders, and a maternity pants hack.
That's about it...I didn't manage to touch on how I am trying to get a Daisy Girl Scout troop up and running, or what the girls are really up to these days.  Light on content this year, but I always enjoy NaBloPoMo.  I think that I will try to pick a couple of days each month and get a blog post up just so I don't go months between posts!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This, my friends, is what it looks like when you plant, pivot, and tear your ACL.  It happened three weeks ago at Luther Bowl, and was confirmed when Tom finally saw the orthopedist today.  Looks like the first of the year will bring surgery and rehab.  Ironically, I chose the payroll deduction for Tom's flex benefits yesterday, before we knew that it was his ACL.  Fortunately we will have a "Qualifying Life Event" come April, so we can increase benefits then if it looks like physical therapy is going to burn through our benefits.

Monday, November 28, 2011


For the past three years my husband's grandma has been living in an assisted living facility (and now nursing home) about 25 miles from the church where she was baptized, confirmed, married, and baptized her children.  Since she moved out of her apartment (where she was able to carpool to church) she has not received a shut-in call or Holy Communion.  My in-laws took her to their church as she was able to go, but there are vast differences between beliefs about Holy Communion in Evangelical Free Church and the Lutheran Church*.  For 95 years she has had faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and with that "forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation**." To be denied that comfort and opportunity seems wrong.
Perhaps it was an oversight, the church now has two pastors caring for four different regional congregations.  Perhaps it just takes someone to today I called and left a message with the senior pastor.  I explained that with her declining health and recent diagnosis of cancer that it would be very nice if Grandma could receive a shut in call and receive communion for one last time.  I hope that I get a call back, and that one of the pastors will be able to follow through.  I am a little surprised that no one else in the family requested a visit, but I guess if communion is just a symbolic gesture in one's religion then it might not seem like a big deal. My own grandmother once told me (in her blunt German way) that a service without Holy Communion wasn't worth attending.  As an unconfirmed child I didn't really get it...but I do now.  It is the reason to go to church on Sunday, and to hunger and thirst for three years seems so incredibly painful.  I am kicking myself for not asking if she'd received shut-in visits earlier.

*I am an LCMS Lutheran, my husband's grandmother's congregation was rolled into the ELCA years ago.  Despite our doctrinal differences (most of which would appall grandma), I have no doubt of her belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the benefits it affords.

**Luther's Small Catechism, 1986, Concordia Publishing House

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Make-up bag

Making the teachers make-up bags to fill with goodies this year, using a Flossie Teacakes pattern:

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Whoops...Almost missed it.

Finished two baby slings and 3 make-up bags today.
-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Friday, November 25, 2011

Literally phoning it in tonight...5 days after the second kiddo got sick, and we decided it was safe to spend Thanksgiving with the relatives...the last kiddo finally fell and woke up vomiting.  Just for a couple of hours, but still no fun.  The countdown to "all clear" begins again.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Great day with lots of family...happy thanksgiving everyone!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Because making a swedish cheese custard that requires making your own cheese is a perfectly sensible thing to do on a Wednesday night.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not much going on here

We are waiting until the last possible moment to head out for Thanksgiving...if no one gets sick tonight or tomorrow night then we'll head to Grandma's for dinner Thursday morning.  Even so, I'm not going to rest easy for at least another week.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crib Sheet

What with all the sickness and laundry and lack of sleep I needed to do something fun and productive yesterday.  I bought this fabric last week with plans to make a crib sheet; yesterday I took the time to make it.  It always makes me feel guilty to see fabric sitting around for unfinished projects, so there's a combo of relief and accomplishment when I finally get something done!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So it continues...

Thea was hit by the stomach bug in the middle of the night last night.  She had it a little rougher than Käthe but seems to be doing alright now.  It was pretty much a guarantee that she would get amount of "please don't drink out of Kate's cup/eat her applesauce/etc." worked.  Thursday afternoon she guzzled a whole cup of Käthe's gatorade and reset the clock.
The sight of vomit, and cleaning it up, doesn't really bother me.  I don't retch and gag, but I do develop a psychosomatic nausea that plagues me until about a week after the last person recovers.  The thought that I might wake up shaking and nauseated is terrifying, and so I spend every evening thinking that I feel nauseated and praying it isn't so.
Now that we've had two get sick (especially the little one with the less than fastidious hygiene) I felt compelled to email my midwife and let her know what's running through the family.  As I have had bad experiences with GI bugs while breastfeeding (dehydration, emergency room for fluids, etc.) I questioned if having a pregnancy safe anti-emetic on hand might be worthwhile.  I didn't expect her to see it until Monday hour later she wrote back saying she had called in a prescription to the pharmacy.  At least if I do come down with it I don't have to worry about whether I will be able to keep down enough fluids to keep baby and me healthy.  I feel so much better knowing I have a treatment option in the wings.
What does worry me a bit is Thanksgiving...we are scheduled to be at my in-laws (an hour away) but with a three day incubation we could see someone getting sick as late as Tuesday or Wednesday.  Tom's grandma is in fragile health, so if there is a hint of illness we are staying put.  It would be our first Thanksgiving at home in 10 years of marriage.  I think I will probably pick up a few ingredients for the traditional dishes in case we are celebrating here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Shopping time

Usually I like to get all the Christmas shopping done by the end of October...I despise the crowds and the bustle and dragging the kiddos through a crazy mall.  This year, aside from things that I am making, I hadn't started until today.  I managed to find some great deals for our moms and get something for the dads as well.  The siblings are another story, both my brother and Tom's sister have December birthdays, which means that we have to come up with double the ideas for gifts.  We managed a few things for the girls as well, with a little sneaky use of a coat to cover things in the cart. I haven't begun to think about decorating, but we never do that until after Thanksgiving so I've got a little time!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snuggle Kitties...curled up in front of the fire.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, November 17, 2011


What a long day.  Last night, after a leisurely evening of staying up late and watching Downton Abbey on Netflix, I finally flopped into bed.  45 minutes later I heard someone in the bathroom, and since my 5 year old usually sleeps all night I went to investigate.  Turns out I had heard her unrolling toilet paper to wipe her mouth...she turned around and said "I threw up in the toilet, mommy."  She threw up through the night, and I laid awake waiting for her to vomit.  I managed to get back to sleep at 5:30 and get an hour in before the alarm went off.
I took my oldest to school and then came home and gave the little ones free reign on the netflix...I know that they watched Backyardigans, Veggie Tales, and Strawberry Shortcake.  I dozed in a stupor brought on by pulling an all-nighter whilst 22 weeks pregnant.  I managed to get us all a late lunch and make myself presentable in time to pick up Ella from school.
On the way home I ran by the grocery store to pick up things like Gatorade, disinfecting wipes, crackers, and applesauce.  Chances are, this isn't over.
On the bright side, Tom got home at 4:30, so at least if someone gets sick tonight I won't be going it alone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Kiddos are all asleep..I should do another load of dishes or sweep or something useful. Instead I am going to sit and relax and maybe have some ice cream. Babies need ice cream!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Seamstress

Käthe requested that Grandma bring her sewing machine, as it is superior to mine in the ability to lock the sewing speed no matter how fast one presses on the foot pedal.  She made a skirt for her American girl doll, and she and Ella and Thea made felt pies for the play kitchen.  The fun continues!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Daddy's gone away for a work trip for a few days, so we've got Grandma staying with us.  The girls had a day off school so we had lunch and took in a movie this afternoon, then prep'd cinnamon rolls (orange-currant-walnut) to pop in the oven tomorrow morning.  I love the "turn on at whatever time you set" feature on my oven. It's gonna wake up 15 minutes before I do so it's piping hot and ready to go when I want to roll out of bed and throw in the rolls (and bacon, because if the oven is on you might as well make some bacon!)  I apologize in advance to the teachers if Ella and Käthe are a little ramped up tomorrow!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's been a long weekend...

...but we are starting to get caught up around here.  I, however, am ready for bed.  Weekends are for posting pictures, methinks!
Käthe at her patriotic concert last week:

I'll have to dump the pics from Ella's concert a couple of days later and get one of her's up too.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Little Ones

Ella Evelyn, June 2003

 Käthe Aubrey, June 2006

Thea Fae, November 2008

Can't wait to see what the new little guy looks like!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Better day

The fear and weeping of yesterday seem to have subsided...this is a point in pregnancy that I tend to freak out a little bit anyway. With my first baby I had the luxury of working in a lab by myself most of the time.  I had nothing to do but think about my baby while I did experiments. There was constantly stuff to plan and prepare and purchase, classes to attend and names to choose.
About midway through my second pregnancy I found myself agitated because there was nothing we really needed to do to prepare...all the "stuff" could be pulled out a couple of weeks before the expected day, the boy name was still waiting in the wings and we had contenders for a girl.  I found it really important to buy just a few things as a way of focusing on making a place for this new person in our thoughts and home.  Same with the this time we did need some replacement gear and I was able to do a little planning for the sake of mental preparation.
When you have a few other kids running around and spend your days trying to get them hither and yon, fed and cleaned, there is precious little time for laying around daydreaming about this new person.  Taking some time yesterday to get a few little things like pacifiers and "boy" onesies went a long way in easing both the anxiety of the unknown and the unsettled, unfocused feeling that comes from a pregnancy chugging along all on it's own.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughts on babies...

This is my fourth baby.  I've gotten into a routine of sorts, having three girls.  I love pulling out their old clothes, relishing when the big girls wore them and thankful to watch another go round of clothes (and stages) that are all too fleeting.  They so often so such similar things as they grow that I am reminded of babyhoods gone by and little quirks I had forgotten.
This time, I didn't want to find out if we were having a boy or a girl...Thea (our third) was our first mid-pregnancy ultrasound, and I did find out so I could start collecting boy items at garage sales over the summer if they were needed.  I was happy to have a third girl, it was familiar and comfortable.  With my fourth pregnancy I have had a barrage of "aren't you hoping for a boy/trying for a boy?" sort of comments, and each one reverberates in my head as "your beautiful girls just aren't good enough."  I am sure that most people don't mean that, but it served to make me defensive of my girls and slightly hopeful for another, just so I wouldn't have to endure a lifetime of "finally got your boy" jokes.  If people say it, my wonderful fantastic daughters will hear it...and I can't bear for them to think that we had another baby just to get a boy.
So I didn't want to find out...I knew that if I waited and was handed a beautiful brand-new baby I would look at his or her face and the thought of anyone different would be unfathomable.  I had a suspicion that finding out I was having a boy would make me fixate on all the fears and frustrations that were already surfacing.  I was outvoted...the girls wanted to know and so did Tom.
It has been a rough day...I am happy to be having a healthy little boy.  I have had a rough time brushing off my anxiety about other people's comments, and letting go of my hope and expectations of having another daughter. Combine that with pregnancy hormones and overwhelming guilt for feeling anything other than utter joy (because who gets to feel sad about something so silly) and I have been a weepy mess all day.  I kind of want to curl up inside and hibernate until spring when I get to meet this little fellow and find out how completely wonderful having a son will be.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

And now for something completely different...

...looks like it's time to add this to my library:

I wonder how long it will take me to stop saying "all my little ladies?"

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Making potholders today, channeling my inner Lyle (the Kindly Viking). In other news, I have been out-voted on my desire to keep the baby's sex under wraps at the ultrasound tomorrow, so I guess we'll know who's cooking in there by tomorrow afternoon. (Unless baby is uncooperative...I can hope!)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Oh my long day...

Picture posting time!
Tom and I on our 10th anniversary trip to Chicago at the beginning of October, fresh off a windy boat tour in the windy city.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

DIY Maternity Pants

A few years ago a friend's mom worked at a clothing store that was going out of business.  He gave us a pair of 33x30 men's pants from their closeout in hopes that we could use them or pass them on.  They were too short for Tom and too big for me.  I didn't know anyone who could use them so I put them in the fabric pile and figured I'd do something with them eventually.  Turns out now was the perfect time to pull them out, chop off the waist, and convert them to maternity pants.
First, I removed the zipper:

Next, I sewed the fly shut and marked my cutting lines in white.  In the back I cut 1" above the pockets=1 3/8" below the waistband seam. In the front I marked where the elastic should meet the fly when I was wearing the pants and curved out to meet my measurements across the back.

The back in the midst of can see the cut line marked.  Another important step is to baste across the top of your front pockets and the side seams about an inch below the cutting line.  I didn't do this before I cut and they gaped open and made it difficult to cut evenly.  I ended up basting and realigning to make sure everything was even.  I did the "one leg inside the other" trick to make sure the front was cut evenly (as if I were sewing two halves of a pair of pants together at the crotch seam).

Because these were men's pants the pockets were huge...both wide and deep.  I made them smaller.

Added elastic that I measured to fit using a comfy pair of maternity pants.  Marked in eighths to evenly space around the waist, stretched and sewed in place with a 1/2" seam.  I have previously used elastic belting, but when my husband went to JoAnn Fabric* to get me more, they had no idea what he was talking about (despite my buying it there a week ago and sending a swatch.) This is 2" elastic but it is thinner and a bit more stretchy.  It is a little loose but I'm only ~21 weeks so I'll consider it growing room.
Finished...ignore the stretch mark scars around my belly button...they showed up when baby #3 hung out until 42 weeks!

And from the side:

*My husband graciously went to JoAnn today after church because I was home with a sick kiddo.  I had Christmas coupons to combine with sales...he bought me 14 zippers, 3 spools of thread, and my elastics based on a swatch card and his finely trained artist's eye.  He rocks!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Baby prep

We're at about the halfway point for baby #4...I'm sure the rest of the time will both fly by and drag on and on and on.... So far I've bought my first-ever crib (I love co-sleeping, but after so many years my shoulder is starting to protest) and a new convertible carseat (since one of ours will expire before this little one is ready for it).  Last up on the big prep items are a girl's name (boy's name still hanging around since we chose it in 2002) and a Baptismal hymn. I think I've settled on St. Patrick's Breastplate:

1 I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.
2 I bind this day to me for ever
By pow'r of faith, Christ's incarnation,
His Baptism in the Jordan river,
His cross of death for my salvation,
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.
3 I bind unto myself today
The pow'r of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to say,
His ear to harken to my need,
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The Word of God to give me speech,
His heav'nly host to be my guard.
4 Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile foes that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In ev'ry place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me those holy pow'rs.
5 I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
Salvation is of Christ the Lord!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Day four...

...hey look, it's November and Ella has pneumonia.  Took her in today because if she doesn't improve after a few days of asthma treatments it usually means pneumonia.  Often I feel we go in too soon, her lungs sound good, and then we're back in two days with full on sickness.  This time I expected the same - no fever, O2 great, but the PA said she was "a little crackly".  Thank heavens she heard it, so we aren't trying to get a chest X-Ray over the weekend at the ER.  Zithromax started today...she should be like a different kid tomorrow.
I, on the other hand, seemed to have OD'd on the Halloween sugar and succumbed to the bug that's been floating around.  At 3 pm my chest started to hurt, and now I'm full on coughing.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Pilates tonight for the first time in almost two weeks.  With my second pregnancy I did pilates for my first trimester, and I really think it make a difference in how I felt throughout pregnancy and postpartum. (Though being 6 years younger probably had a lot to do with it too.)  My third pregnancy was rough, I just felt like I was falling apart a lot of the time. This time I'd been doing pilates for about a year before becoming pregnant, and I'm still going at 20 weeks.  Tonight was the first time in a long while that I felt like my legs weren't made of lead...a nice change.  It's not getting any easier as I get bigger, but I think as long as I do something every week I'll be thankful come labor and delivery time.
I go to Rivercity Pilates...Carey is great and I highly recommend the studio if you are in the area!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Etsy Eventually

I would really like to get some of the things I've sewn up on Etsy. At this point I have done a few things that aren't for a specific personal use; it would be nice to do a few more and perhaps make this fabric habit of mine a bit more self sustaining. At this point I've registered for a state sales tax permit and Etsy shop...I need to figure out my paypal settings and get Tom to make me a store banner and I should be all set to start listing.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaNoBloMo take...I don't even remember

It's November 1st again...and my baby turns three today.  I cannot imagine how time manages to fly by so quickly.  From this*:
 To this:
In just three short years...they all just keep getting bigger!
*I thought this picture must have been out of order on my computer, as it came before her baptism (at 8 days).  Nope...that huge baby is a whopping 4 days old. Now she's so tiny it's hard to find pants that stay up.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Challenger Shuttle Launch photos

These photos were taken by my husband's grandparents, who spent their winters in Florida.  They were able to watch shuttle launches from the dock at the lake of their retirement community.  These are the photos they took during the Challenger shuttle launch - I directly scanned their enlargements, I have no idea why it appears to be night.  (My guess is that someone tweaked the exposure for more contrast when they made the enlargements).  I was in first grade, my class at Christ Lutheran School had filed next door to watch the launch live with the other first grade (not a TV in every room in 1986).  I cannot imagine what our teachers must have felt, trying to explain to a bunch of six and seven year olds that the first teacher to be sent to space had just died in the process.