Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's nice to dream

When cleaning dishes, I let me mind wander.  I go down my to-do list, what I got done, something funny a kid did that day, and most importantly I pray.  I tell God thank you for His provision, food, family, friends, work, health, and I pray for my children's future spouse (seriously, it's on my mind already)! 

Lately, it's been nice to dream.  I think of the floorplan of my dream home.  I want a wide open floor plan. The living room, kitchen, dining room should all be in view of each other so I can see everyone easily.  The thought of being in a different room than my children is unsettling to me.  Plus, since I'm home with the children all day long, I herd them.  Wherever I am, they are.  If I'm in the kitchen, now, they are in there with their toys.  The bathroom, not so much if I can help it.  One of these days I'll take a picture of little fingers beneath the door.

I want acreage, a large area to play.  To be able to say "Go outside and find a bug!' will be the highlight of my day.  I have two little boys with enough energy for all of us.  For Christmas, my favorite present for them was a mini trampoline for them to jump on.  They run from one wall to the other as it is, pretending they are racecars.  Boys have energy, little ones have major energy to burn.  Plus, I want chickens and two goats.  Mainly for eggs, meat, and milk.  I've killed every plant I've owned, so I'm not so sure I want to go there yet.  But maybe, with enough of a area to cover, it'd be something to dabble in. 

A washer and drier is another exciting moment I'm awaiting.  We currently do not have any mostly because there is no hook up installed in our apartment.  We do laundry about twice a month.  Twice. A. Month.  We have a monster laundry pile hidden away that Kendall gets to when he can.  Kendall washes laundry so they children don't have to go sit at the mat, plus I'm usually pregnant and that stuff get's heavy.  We have known no different so it's not hard to deal with, it's just the way it is.  Usually there are three or four totes of laundry to be done.    To be able to put a wet blanket, a puked on tshirt, or dirty towel into the wash right then and there is not something to be taken lightly.  To not have to wait until the next day will be a breath of fresh air.  Now that we have two little ones in diapers, plus all three of the kids are on the young side, I have really seen the effects they've had on a simple laundry pile.

And, a garage.  You try piling three little ones, blankets, diaper bag, coats, and snacks into the minivan while a.) -10` windchill, b.)snow falling c.)rain that falls horizontaly d.)ice is all around you.  On second thought, what in the world is so important that we'd take everyone out in that kind of weather.  Anyway, a garage will be great, especially for Kendall and his projects.

$100 Visa Giftcard giveaway

Fiddledeedee is giving away a giftcard.  Scurry over there to enter it!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Never too early

Why no, I don't believe it's ever too early or children are too young to take some responsibility in the house.

Mom, can I swifer today?

Swifering and sweeping.  What a beautiful sight!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Biblical characters with my sleepy wrap

I purchased my Sleepy Wrap off of ebay after seeing a mom carrying her kiddo in it at the zoo.  Once again, it's sooooo amazing good on my back and is the best equipment I've purchased for kid-carrying.

Here, however, it has found a different use.  It is now a dressing for either Jonah or David from the Bible.  We have the Veggie tales version of Jonah.  And David kills Goliath by swinging around a rock. 

Both stories are way cool to a 4 year old.

A mess only a mother can love

There was so much spit up, I asked Kendall to take a picture so the moment will be forever remembered.

Kendall, LOOK AT ALL OF THIS! She is one well fed baby!

And this is why I have "Church clothes" which I immediately take off as soon as I walk through the door,
my "going out into public clothes" for fancy places like Walmart,
and at the bottom of the barrel are my
" we aren't going anywhere so I'm going to only brush my teeth today"-clothes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Around around she goes!

Ever since the week of Thanksgiving I have been slammed with business.  There have been appointments, social events and general stuff to be done.  Plus the weather outside has been more on the "no way am I taking all of the kids out in this weather!" weather.  Generally, I wait until Kendall is awake and can actually see Ernest trying to put something in a wall outlet before I leave for the grocery store with Ethan.  Ernest usually has a snotty nose and the baby is snuggled asleep, and we all know not to awaken a sleeping baby :).
This was the very first outfit I purchased for Ethan.  Now all three of them have worn it! 
And, seriously, could you awaken such a sweetie?

Back when I had only one kiddo, I wouldn't mind going out into the negatives.  Big deal, no problem, bring it on.

But now I have to think of layers, two different sizes of diapers, and wind chill.

Eleanor had her 2 month check up today and she is in the 93rd percentile for height and weight.  Big and well proportioned.  Amen. 

Today Ernest had an appt and his height and weight puts him into the 40%.  When he was 8 months old he was at 0.7%.  That sounds like the verge of death if you as me.

Our homeschooling has been...steady?  Ethan works his little workbooks about 30 minutes a day, focusing mainly on reading/writing and math.  He's starting to recognize the difference between 6,8, and 9.  Those are tricky numbers now that I think about it.  Same as b,d,p,q.  Who came up with this English language anyway?  We play dominoes, bingo, cards, and board games as a fun way to learn.
Whose chair is this?  Surely not the babies!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Don't lick a frozen pole.

Ethan got bundled up to "go check the mailbox".  I'm sure it was because this is daddy's job and since he's not around, typical little boy needs to take over for dad.  However, he was taking a bit too long and when I checked on him he was throwing some snowballs and being silly upstairs.  I don't mind this so much because he's a little boy with a lot of energy, too much for our little apartment.  A few minutes later he opened the door and was quite the site to see.  He wasn't screaming or crying so I knew nothing was broken or terribly injured.  The kicker was his jaw was covered in blood.

"Mom, my tongue is bleeding!"

Yes, Ethan and daddy have been watching A Christmas Story.  I'm sure the idea of licking a pole or whatever came into his head to see if it would really happen.

"Get to the sink!  What happend?  Did you lick a pole or something?"


Look at how much blood is on his jacket.  Poor little guy. 
No tears were shed in the recording of this catastrophe.
A few layers are missing on his tongue and a bit of his bottom lip got it too.

A pink swollen tongue.

My little ham.

Oh Ethan, you keep me on my toes.

Sunday Morning in Minnesota

This kid:

Plus these two:

Dressed like this:

In weather like this:

Just to get to church.

Everyone arrived clean, warm, AND fed (thankyouvermuch).  But as I pulled into the parking lot I realized I forgot my purse.  Eh, at least it wasn't a kid.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook 12/4/2010


Outside my window... beautiful snow!  It totally made me think of the hymn
"Nothing But The Blood of Jesus"

I am thinking... "I hope Kendall is doing well at work."

I am thankful for... we don't have all night so I'll mention a few: heat!, sleeping children, full tummies

From the learning rooms... the number 5

From the kitchen... my mother-in-law's porkchops with mushroom gravy.  yumm-tastic!

I am wearing... mom clothes that are boring but have no spit up stains!

I am creating... a scrapbook

I am going... get out "church clothes" for the kids so the morning will hopefully run smoothly

I am reading... some blogs!

I am hoping... to be a light upon a mountain for the lost.

I am hearing... "Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus" play, and Eleanor squiggle squaggle herself to sleep.

Around the house... calm.

One of my favorite things... Skippy brand peanut butter in 'creamy'.

A few plans for the rest of the week: CHURCH!, working in the nursery on Tuesday, ice skating Friday, Christmas with my inlaws next Sunday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


Ethan's first time meeting Eleanor. Love at first sight.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cool Christmas Poem

One of my favorite blogger's has this posted.  She's over at Yes, They're All Ours.

Twas the month before Christmas

When all through our land,

Not a Christian was praying

Nor taking a stand.

See the PC Police had taken away,

The reason for Christmas - no one could say.

The children were told by their schools not to sing,

About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say

December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod

Something was changing, something quite odd!

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down

At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears

You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith

Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded

The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say


Not Happy Holiday !

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whatever you hands find to do.

Kendall's unemployment stopped abruptly.  November 22 he was on the phone with the unemployment people asking if a mistake had been made.  There was no notification, no warning.  Our "pay day" came with no "pay".  He had mentioned to me in early November to not be worried but his unemployment would be ending "sometime in January".  Well, the calculations made we a little off.  So, November 22, Kendall went to The Work Solution dressed to the nines with resumes in hand.  I'm not to familiar with how temp agency's work.  I do know that they had to call all of his previous employers and do a background check to be sure he was legit.  It took several days but they finally called him back with answers. 

All of this took place the week of Thanksgiving. 
The. Monday. Before. Thanksgiving. Our. Income. Ceased. To. Exist.

My heart fell through the floor.  I don't feel convicted about it either.  I was devestated.  Ever since Kendall was laid off I handed our checkbook and bills over to him.  Out of sight out of mind works well in my little world.  I want to see buttercups and kitties when I wake up, not late payments.  That's all for the husband to deal with.  So now, with no income, what we had was what we had.  I didn't even want to know what we were sitting on.  We have food, our bills are paid up, we have diapers and toliet paper. (There have been moments when we have wittled down our list of needs to list of "what can we not make it without".  Toliet paper and diapers always come out on top.)

So we are fine financially.  There is no Bahama cruise for Christmas or a new sports car any time soon, but things WILL be okay.  And actually, looking back, we've been through worse.  Can you believe it?

In May, I left to pay the electric bill, and our power was shut off while driving to the utilities office.  Not. Kidding.  So, not only did they want us to pay our bill, but the total amount of the bill, a late payment, and a 'turn back on your power for a ridiculous amount of money' fee.  I started to cry right there infront of that lady behind the plexi glass window at the electric company.  You want me to give you HOW much to turn back on my electric?  It was also the day I had doctor's appointment for Eleanor.  So we packed up the kids, went to my appointment, walked around Cabela's to kill time, made phone calls and faxed information, spent the night with no power ("Tonight we get to keep all of the lights shut off and camp in our beds!  It'll be fun!"), 9:00am the next morning everything went through and we were back on again. 
And an fyi: we were not months behind or anything ridiculous, I was just waiting to pay them on our payday!  We are not fond of the electric company in this area, they also charge .13 p/kwh.  THEY are outta line.

Back to Kendall....

Monday and Tuesday, he worked from 4pm-2am at a local distillery.  Who knew this podunk town had a distillery?!?  Wed and tonight he is working at the local newspaper plant folding newspapers on some sort of machine from 3-11.  We are hoping he goes back to the distillery because it was longer hours and better pay.  He plans on working Saturday as well however I haven't gone there yet about Sunday.

Exodus 35:2 ESV
Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord.

I'm just sayin....

The kids are adjusting.  Ernest is taking it the hardest.  Think about it- all the kid has ever known is Kendall being home because he was already laidoff with Ernest was born.  However, Kendall was usually up at night and asleep during the day, so it's not too new to Ernest to not have dad around.  Ethan is a bit confused about dad being at work.  "Is dad at the garage for a sale?  Can I go to storage with dad?  Where's dad?" It breaks my heart.  He thinks dad is having a garage sale because that was how we 'worked' this summer.  He is confused about storage because I tried to explain to him dad was organizing the storage area at the distillery and being a helper.  Dad going to work is foreign.  Dad is supposed to be selling stuff on the computer (ebay), not leaving to work.  I've baked two batches of cookies this week and completely reorganized half of our house.  I'm keeping the kids busy and clinging to the silver lining.

Seriously, can I just be honest?  It is hard.  I feel bad for Kendall.  He is such a worker bee.  Can you imagine being thirty years old with a wife, three little kids at home, and starting a the bottom of the barrel again?  He's making $10 less/hr than when he was laid off.  PLUS, he was working two jobs at the time.
 He is bringing in a lesser amount of income working than when he was on unemployment.  Technically, we just took a cut in pay.  My husband is hurt and I am feeling the pain.
Back in August some friends of mine mentioned they were going to start a Bible study that talked about finances.  They were using Crown Financial.  I prayyyyyyyyyed about it and asked Kendall to attend because he's smarter about money and stocks and all that stuff than I am.  I don't do stocks.  Plus, I wanted him to see for himself what the Bible teaches about wise spending habits.  And wouldn't ya know it, Kendall attended that Bible study and brought home a wealth of new knowledge to implement into our families budget.  Amen and amen.  I also believe it gave him hope.  He finally, finally, finally did our taxes and we were able to pay off our minivan and purchase some much needed items for our homw. Like, pants.  We were able to pay up on some bills and drastically cut our bills.  Wow, thanks God.  A new peace fell into our home.  The day we did our taxes was also the day Eleanor was born.  I've noticed that God always waits until the last possible minute to unleash his miracles.  However, if a miracle occured any sooner, would it still be considered a miracle?  Deep thoughts.
This is what has happened in the last few days.  Has God provided?  Of course.  Two unexpected Visa gift cards came into our home a few months ago and we held onto them for safe keeping.  They have been used for gas in the minivan.  Our pantry is full.  We stocked up on diapers a few weeks ago.  We even have our beloved toliet paper.  Kendall's sister gave us her kid's old snowpants and coat for Ethan.  A friend stopped by with snowpants and snowboots just today.  Our children are fed and clothed.  Our home is warm.  Ethan is excited about Christmas and Ernest loves being a big brother to Eleanor.  My husband loves me and I really enjoy loving him.  This too shall pass has always been a saying to get me through hard times.  Just last night I turned to Kendall and told him how at our 50th wedding anniversary we'll look back and say 'remember when?' about this chapter in our lives.
Although it hasn't be ideal, it's been okay.  God has handed these trials to us and I'd gladly take them instead of a lack of faith or failing health. 
 (God, keep us healthy and help me keep my faith.  Don't take that sentence as a reason to give us a disease or anything funky.  I want to be sure we're on the same page, mmkay?)
Matthew 6:31-32

31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

and my favorite:

Luke 12:7

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Taken October 10 and, in my defense, I gave birth five days later.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fun times at WalMart :-)

Reindeer headband on Ernest.  Whata face.

Super Ethan with his Reindeer headband.  The Christmas aisle is fun!

Even daddy gets to play in the toy area.  Who says guitar video games are just for kids?
I love catching him when he's being a silly guy.

And for my Texas family.  This is what it takes to get out the door.  Ernest is actually in 18-24 clothes but his winter coat is Ethan's old 3t coat.  A jumbo coat, mittens, hat, and layers later- we can go! 
Opps, now he has a poopy diaper.  Ok, 20 minute later we can leave...

Fish picnic

While going through our homeschool books and deciding what to put in storage for the winter, we had a fish picnic!  One of Ethan's games was a letter sorting game that the kids "fished" for. 
Mom, is it good?  Let's eat our fish!

Our picnic. Such sweet memories.

Little Ernest's first hair cut

After!  I now have a ziplock baggie of his sweet little locks.  I love you Ernest, drool and all!

Full of thanks all day every day

 Clean clothes- clean clothes = the money was available to make the clothes clean. And we have clothes to wear and when they are dirty, get this, there are more clothes to wear!  Wow, only in America.  Amen.

Chairs and a table- have you ever had to eat on the floor?  More importantly, my kids and I are all sitting at the table to eat with no distractions.  When this happens, they eat more food and always walk away happy.  Sitting as a family at the table is something I treasure.

LIGHT- had your electric cut off?  How about lived in an area with rolling blackouts?  LIGHT is HEAT too if you have electric heat.  And in Minnesota, heat is an absolute es-sent-ial. 

 CLEAN RUNNING WATER- I was a part of a missionary team in Africa and there was no clean (ie: drinkable) running water.  We hauled water up from a well, put the bucket in a wheel barrow (WITH A FLAT TIRE of course), hauled the water up to where we were staying and used it in the bathtub.  There was one bathtub so all the girls would go in and sponge off and try to get clean.  My hair was long at the time so I kept it rolled in a tight bun and wore a handkerchief most of the time for cleanliness.  The only water we drank came in a bottle.  To this day I still say "Thank you Lord" every single time I get into my shower.

Church- my church is amazing.  We show up, the Holy Spirit rocks and rolls, go home relieved and refreshed ever week, repeat. Love it.  My husband once looked over me on our way home and said "He just doesn't preach a bad sermon does he?"  The music is contemporary with a few hymns thrown in evvvvvery once in a while but by golly they are talented.  And wonderful prayer, emphasis are always made on praying.  I am a firm believer in the power of praying so this one is a key note to me.

 Godly friends- all I gotta say is "Birds of a feather flock together" so I better get my ducks in a row and figure out who I want to parrot.  HA!  My old Sunday school teacher once stated "If you lay down with dogs your gonna get up with fleas."  Watch out who you hang out with!  Gossip, slander, foulness, jealousy, all of it!  Women can dance with the devil and not even realize it till you are waltzing down a road not knowing how you eve left the path.

Wonderful family, good health (nothing more than a tylenol can't handle), and having Jesus Christ as my very own personal Savior.  Seriously, need I say more?

Give thanks every single day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's a Tylenol Gelcap kinda day

I have a headache.  Eleanor has gas.  Serious.  Major.  Clear the room.  Gas.  I have been giving her sips of boiled fennel all day that have made her feel better for about a half hour, then she wriggles and toots and the process is repeated.  She doesn't want to suck.  She doesn't want to pacify.  She doesn't need to be changed.   Or swaddled. Or bounced.  Or soothed.  Yes, my head hurts.  What she needs to do, in my opinion, is poop!  She has not been a regular kinda girl, which freaks me out.  But she did sleep seven hours the night she was born, so I believe she's just going to be a freak-er out-er. 

Also, something or someone stank today.  I was even thinking it was me, so I was sniffing my hair, my shirt, the couch, cushions, socks, carpet.  What is that stink?  I finally discovered it was Ernest, who had pooped, in the kitchen and it was so rank I smelled it in the living room.  Seriously, what the heck did we ALL eat!?!?  So while I'm changing him and wrangling him down while trying to not get kicked in the face, Eleanor is sitting in her seat screaming that way too sad newborn scream, and Ethan is asking for help with his zipper so he can go outside and play in the snow because although he's still wearing pj's he can CLEARLY get the green light to go outside and play in the snow because he's wearing a coat.  Smooth move exlax.  This was all at 10:30 in the morning.  I think I started to count down the hours to bedtime at about this moment.

I needed coffee and I tried my new Peppermint Mocha creamer and it turned out to be a dud.  Big. Fat. DUD.  You have to use SO MUCH of it to get a hint of mocha and almost nonexistent peppermint.  And the first ingredient is sugar, not the peppermint or mocha I wanted!  I also purchased the Cinnamon Bun but it was a big tease because there's no cinnamon flavor in the doggone thing!  It tastes like normal creamer but with a bonus of sugar and chemicals.  My coffee is instant Folgers (it's a southern thing, mmkay?), milk, cocoa, a teaspoon of sugar, mix and it's a yummy/normal drink filled with stuff you can, get this!, PRONOUNCE!  Why do they have to add a bunch of mumbo jumbo chemicals?

Ethan needs a Minnesota winter coat and snow pants.  His coat would work in Dallas, not here.  He went outside and played in the snow only to come back soaking WET and freeeeezing.  Poor guy.  Tomorrow I'm going to search for a thick winter coat and snow pants for the dude.  Last time we were here for a winter, he wore those little kid looking snowsuits.  Now I don't know what I'm doing or how to keep him warm.  Geez.
She's starting to look more "baby" and less "newborn"! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not just size but by gender!

I am so excited to be organizing baby clothes.  First of all, we have been so blessed with clothing and baby items for Eleanor that it is above and beyond what I could ever have wanted!  Needless to say, I have been able to 'pay it forward' to our local used clothing store.  She's only in newborn sizes but we have so much, I know there is no way we would ever need so many onesises and (oh so cute!) outfits.  As much as I want to keep every single outfit, there are others less fortunate who could use those clothes for their precious newborn.  Thank you Lord for Your provisions!

Now, as I'm putting Ernest's size 12 month clothes away (sniff*sniff*) I am able to write "12 month BOY" on the boxes.  Before I had decided to pack up his clothes I had spent some time in prayer over those little belongings.  "Lord, are we done?  Technically, we got our girl and according to some people we have spoken to our family is complete.  I'm under the impression most people assume we are done.  Are we done Lord?  Place it heavily on my heart that we are no longer going to have more children."  And you know what?  It's not on my heart.  Nope, not at all.  Now we just have our children's clothes divided not only by size, BUT by gender.  And I'm totally loving it. :-)
I took this picture at her 5 day check up. 
Now tell me, why on earth would anyone want to stop this moment from happening???

My wonderful tough-guy husband holding and talking to her.

Two days old.  Precious baby!  She looks just like her oldest brother at this age.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


CONAN is back!  I'm so excited!!!  Conan is the one show that I always get a great laugh out of.  Kendall and I can sunggle on the couch and watch it after the kids are in bed, it's our 'married-person' time. 

We also had our pictures taken down by the park today by my friend Audra.  She is so good with camera PLUS she was even able to make Ernest smile!  I can't wait to see the pictures.  Then I can get my Christmas cards mailed out.  I can't believe I really need to be thinking of CHRISTMAS cards, but I have already been playing some Christmas music.  This year just FEELS more like Christmas. :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Feeling loved

Can I just dote on my friends and family?  I love them.  No, seriously, I love them.  I was just telling Kendall how much I love my friends and family.  I feel so much love from them.  I know that God has blessed us through them in ways they cannot even imagine.

I've had two people I don't even know stop by and drop off meals when Eleanor was born.  TWO.  One lady I have no idea where I know her from and she has no friend connection on Facebook or church... hmm...  angel?

I have a pretty small family and a pretty small extended family.  We send cards and emails and talk on the phone from time to time.  Very low key since everyone is busy or retired :-). But when we do come together is so nice to feel right at home, we pick up right where we left off.  We love on each other's kids like they are our own.   I want my kids to know my family, so we put up the prayer board with pictures of family so they'll know who in the world I'm talking about when I mention them.  Ethan still talks about Grandpa George and dad passed away October 2007.   My family is so special to me, every single one of them.

Kendall comes from a humungo family.  His parents divorced and then remarried so there are two families to keep up with.  And both of his parents came from large families to boot.  Christmas can be a bit tricky to handle to say the least.  I'm really blessed to have them all as my in-laws.  Eventhough I'm still trying to figure out who's kid belongs to whom because every time we all get together they've grown some more and I can't keep themy straight.  Plus they all look alike!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hair like Chewbacca

Today's hair looks like:

Could I at least look like this Chewy?

Monday, October 25, 2010

My love affair with Braunschweiger

Christmas of 2008 we were at my husband's father's home for a huge family potluck dinner. 

I think I was in charge of bringing chips.  Or cups.  Since I'm new to the family I believe they are breaking me in gently since Kendall's mom's and dad's sides both have around 40-50 people for any holidy "family gathering". 

Kendall's step sister presented a tray of B with crackers to which I inquired, "What is this stuff??"

And stuff replied, "Hello lover, my name is Braunschweiger.  And I take tastebuds for a spin."


It's like a spreadable HOT DOG!  It's bits and pieces of liver with spices and SALT.  Slap it on bread with mustard and cheese and the German folks eat that stuff up

But oh dear, that stuff is good.  It's my secret love affair.  Strong southern women don't like funky things from overseas!  We don't eat things with hidden vowels and silent w's. 

Oh my this wonder Braunschweiger has won me over.  And the worst part?  Walmart carries it year round.


New Eleanor

One word to describe her birth- quick.  My water broke at 4:45pm, about a half hour after Kendall had left to do some shopping at Menard's.  We'd spent the day in Elk River and walking around Walmart, so we came home to drop the boys and myself off, then he turned around and drove back to finish getting things on our 'before the baby comes' list.  I hesitated at first to call the store and have him paged, but have a few intense contractions, I decided it was best to get him home. 

"Hey, I wanted to let you know my water broke at 4:45."

"Your water broke?"

"Yeah, at 4:45, can you go ahead and come home?"


Ok, I guess he's coming home.

I had given Ernest a bath and when I bent over to get him out of his little tub I thought my bladder had lost a battle, but no, it was the begining of the end of pregnancy.  I made a few phone calls and my friends know what was going on as well as some family. 

Kendall came home and immediately started getting kids in pajama's and in the car.  He was NOT messing around.

We dropped the boys off at a friends house, ran down to the hospital, and while Kendall parked the car a security guard came with a wheel chair to take me to the third floor.  Super cool because Ernest crowned in the wheel chair last year. 

As we entered labor and delivery I told the nurse behind the desk, "Water broke at 4:45, contractions are about 4 minutes apart."  She nodded her head and directed us to the 'labor' part of labor and delivery.  I'm so glad they had a room ready because we didn't call ahead and let them know we were coming in.  As soon as I got there I spelled my name for her, let her know I wanted Dr Jensen, she took my blood pressure and temperature, then checked my dilation and I was at a 5.  Great!  I was a 3 two weeks ago.  I then asked "Am I done?  Can I get in the shower?"  Sweetness, I'm granted release from the prison of the wheelchair!  Kendall had made it upstairs by now and I didn't care who saw my butt I wanted in the shower with the hottest water on my back.  My nurses said I'd been in there about 30 minutes when they wanted to check me again, now I'm at a 7 and my friends have found my room.  I now know to have a designated photographer!  These are the most candid pictures of myself I've ever seen.
Between the contractions.  See?  It is possible to muster up a smile!  I think the idea of it almost being over gave me the patience to breath through every contraction.

During a contraction I'd try to swivel my hips around on the birthing ball in hopes that gravity and motion will help the baby on down.  Plus, my friend Lisa is digging into rubbing my back.  There's no such thing as 'too much pressure' on your lower back when in labor.

This one looks like a doozy.  My mind is in a completley other world of concentration and focus.  Mostly focus.  Also, my breathing reminded me of the song Hosanna so I was also singing while trying to breath and contract.  I'm a great multitasker.

She's out!!  Relief is an understatement.  It is such a good feeling to be DONE delivering a baby. 
 Men will never understand.

Seconds old.  Look at those cheeks!  And all of that hair!

Seriously, how precious is this picture!  See that pinky finger?  Yeah, he's totally wrapped around it.

FAT CHEEKS!  This is what an 8lb 15oz baby looks like at minutes old.

My crew.  Lisa, Anna, me, Jody holding baby Tessa.  Jody came as soon as Dan was home.  Lisa was my back rubber and 'quiet and calm' person.  Anna was my photographer and another 'calm and quiet' person.
Can we see a trend in the type of people I need around me during delivery? 

Ohhhh the pinks and purples and reds and yellows that filled our room. 
The girls brought a closet full of goodies and outfits.  Eleanor, girlfriend, you will be the
trendiest baby in town. 
And check out dad beaming over his newborn. :-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Due date = no baby

Bummed doesn't even begin to remotely start how I feel.  I've bawled two times today and slept most of the other times.  I'm feeling so discouraged from a lack of contractions, or at least of lack of real contractions that feel more like contractions and less like cramps.  Bring on the pain!  Let's do this already!  Lord, give me some patience and perseverence.  I'm hoping to look back in a few weeks and be able to piece together this puzzle to see why she isn't coming when I'd like her to.  Bleh!  I've been able to keep up with most of the household stuff despite being so tired.  I don't remember being this tired with the other two this late in pregnancy.  Is it because I'm going into this one heavier?  Is it because I'm older?  Is it mind over matter?  Or are women who are 40 weeks pregnant really this exhausted?

My oh so sexy cankles.  THIS is why I gained 9 pounds in one week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The morbid side of me

I can handle death, pain, and illness pretty darn well.  Part of it is from growing up in hospitals and clinnics from following around dad's cancer and COPD.  Usually, it doesn't phase me and I can see the person, not their illness.

However, lately I have been reading way.too.many. blogs about death and sickness.

Matt - lost his wife Liz to a pulmonary embolism when she got up from bed to meet their newborn.

Katie- a missionary in Uganda.  Oh my word, it makes me want to adopt from Uganda so badly!

Renee- another missionary in Uganda.  She has such faith that God will heal the sick.  Graphic pictures but I feel that they help to bring the stories to life.  Total reality check to appreciate America.

Karol- my pastor's wife.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2009.  Her caring bridge site is updated pretty reguarly which is nice because my church is large and I want to be updated on her health.  She called and left a message on our answering machine the weekend before her and her family left to California for some treatments.  She is always always always smiling.  Always.  And her hair and makeup look fabulous, you'd never know she had a cold much less cancer.  I want faith like Karols.

Ian- critically injured while serving in Iraq but is making an amazing recovery.  Totally floored because it is totally God!

The Reed Family- have adopted eight orphans so far bringing their family up to fourteen.  Wow! 

Raising Arrows- her daughter passed away and you'll need kleenex.  On the other side it's encouraging to see how well themom heals.  Just hug your kids tonight, okay?

Another side of my morbidity is my total openess to death with pregnancy and labor.  Let's face the facts- women die giving birth.  11 out of 100,000 in 2005 is not bad at all but still!  It could happen!

Sometimes I catch myself in a fog of worry over this issue. 

Does Kendall know where Ethan's socks are?  How about his folded undershirts? 

Would Kendall sing Jesus Loves Me to Ernest every night like I do?  Does he know Ernest needs to transition into sleep and can't just be laid down and told go to sleep?

He'd bathe the kids, right?  I mean, at least before church or something?

Does he know what size shoes Ethan wears?


Would Ethan grow up on Pixar movies and Veggietales day in and day out?

I hope he'd remarry on the sooner than the later, the boy's need a mother figure in their lives!

Thank GOD my sister in law has boys and all of his family is within an hour and a half.

Thank GOD we have an established church we attend.  Those women would step right in and help out if he needed anything.

Thank GOD I have friends out here in Minnesota who know me and my boys.  They would step right in and help out if he needed anything.

Scratch that- our church family, blood family, and friends family would step in to help whether he asked or not because they know that's what Crystal would want.

AND thank you JESUS I have all of our children's clothes organized and labeled by size AND gender.  I know I  have put Ernest in pink pajama's on laundry day but still, it's nice to know the kids stand a chance at getting something on in a size they could technically wear.

A trip to Sam's Club with Kim and the kids

Remember that friend I mentioned that has 6 kids under the age of five?  We went on a trip to Sam's Club last week, and made it out alive!

Everyone fell asleep.  It's about an hour drive down to the cities.

Karla 2, Hannah 3

Nicolas 1, Emily 3

Aryanna 4

And this kid, who lovesssssss the attention all those girls give him.

Of course we had to get a 97 cent ice cream cup!

Emily feeding Ernest.   Although to her it's pronounced "Oh-nestt"

Two carts for Kim

Enjoying the mondo sized carts

Another view.  Amazing stuff to me.

And on the way home.  Sam's Club, 8 kids, and ice cream would wear anyone out!

(Kim's oldest is 5 and he was in kindergarten that day)