Friday, March 28, 2008

A Fabulous Mixture

What do you get when you mix:

an entertaining-curly-redhead, a storytelling-bead-a-holic, a color-lovin'-Chipotle-chick, and a snuggle-bunny-diamond-fan?


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

  1. Hot breakfasts...especially Banana Pancakes
  2. The new Biofit Uplift
  3. When Luke says, "Daydo Waywon Wide." (Thank you [for my] Wagon Ride.)
  4. Long lacey tanks
  5. The cute elderly workers at my grocery store
  6. No. 2 pencils (I love the feel of the erasers on top. I know. Weird.)
  7. Bringing up Boys by J. Dobson
  8. My husband's zest
  9. My pillow..and my soft bed.
  10. Colorful grosgrain ribbon

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our Morning...about Moose, Milk, and Many Germs

We went to Pipsqueaks this morning. Right after I got the girls up Luke woke the girls early from their morning nap, we loaded up, popped in our Moose CD, and headed out.

It's one of the only places here in town with indoor play for younger children during the winter months. We're very lacking in that area. If I could open a huge jumping gym in town, I would. Then I'd open a Child Development Center on a farm right on the outskirts of town and teach children about gardening, animals, and bugs..but that's a whole different post.

The big kids love the slides and riding toys, the little girls love being held/pushed around in the double/crawling around all the running children. I just love getting out. I know it's good for our children to engage in gross motor play at Pipsqueaks so I try to imagine that every child and adult that walks through the dirty door has thouroughly disinfected their hands, and continues to do so throughout their stay. Then I try to imagine what a day at Pipsqueaks would be like when Luke doesn't take other childrens' chocolate milk or crackers while I'm not looking.

Here's a picture of the girls enjoying a little sit on Momma's lap. I know it looks like Julia took the picture. But because I don't have 3 arms....this is how it turned out...but upside down, so I rotated it for you and your viewing pleasure.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Already Walking the Earth

The other day, during the girls' morning nap, the big kids and I were playing with blocks up in Julia's room. While castle building unfolded as usual, I began thinking this thought: There's a pretty high chance that Julia's husband is already walking this earth...even if she ends up robbing the cradle like her momma did.

How crazy is that?

So, I've begun praying for him...just like my mom did for me when I was little. And, what fabulous prayers she must have prayed!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Case of the Uninterested Subjects.

After going to our 10 o'clock Easter service this morning, we tried for a couple family children photos up front. As you can see, this was pre-naptime for the little girls. They were really missing their 9:15-11:00 nap. No luck for an Easter picture in this photoshoot.

After driving a little over an hour, back to our hometown for Easter lunch, we thought we'd try again at Great Grandma Eva's house. GG Eva is my dad's mom who lives on a farm 1/16th of a mile away from my parent's farm. However, the grandma pictured in this photo is Great Grandma L. She is my mom's mom who joins us in every holiday. As you can see, the twins are in better spirits, now it's the big kids who we need to work on.

Getting closer...Let's focus here people. What are you doing, Luke?

Perfect. Now move in the other two.

Finally, 4 happy children. No one's looking at the camera, but at least we have fingerfree noses, tearfree cheeks, and smiles. Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Soaking Tubs

If our little girls had hidden gills and fins that we didn't know about, it wouldn't surprise me. They both LOVE the water. As soon as I walk into the kids' bathroom with Hazel she starts kicking her arms and legs simultaneously while squeaking with excitement. She knows exactly what is to come.

Tonight I thought I'd do something a little different. I filled up two little buckets with water, one for each girl, and placed them in the bathtub. They each had their own mini soaking tub and seemed to love the freedom of sitting up by themselves. These Soaking Tubs obviously didn't cramp their style.

And, Norah loved being placed so close to the faucet.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Either. Or.

What a fabulous picture of Mr. Marvelous, his brother, and their dad...don't you think?
Either the Naples sun is brighter than normal or this photographer had one too many Appletinis.

Positive Technical Expressions

Yesterday, as I sat with Norah and Hazel in Dr. Kramer's office, I hung on each and every one of his medical terms while nodding through his "what-the-heck-does-that-mean" lingo. As I stared at his computer screen while he pointed to images of pretty polka dots the girls' kidneys, my mind momentarily drifted. I wondered this: do all doctors, like this Head of Pediatric Urology, find themselves thinking, singing, and breathing technical expressions? After all, most doctors with "Head" or "Professor in Honor" next to their name have obviously earned their title. I'm sure they've dedicated every muscle in their brain to medical schooling for 10+ years. The girls and I found it quite entertaining listening to him dictate their situation over the phone. They just sat and stared. Who knew there were even such words?

With that said, after I presented my questions in layman's terms, this plethora of walking knowledge confirmed what Mitch and I were believing for each of the girls' left kidney.

Both girls' kidneys are functioning perfectly. They both are draining completely. The scan shows that Norah's left kidney appears to be a tad bigger than her right, and appears to be draining slower--but it's not causing any problems. ( I mean, my love for dessert appears to be a tad bigger than most and that's not causing any problems, at least not yet.) He'd like to see her back in 6 months for a little Ultrasound and Hazel in 12 months. It looks to him that they are growing out of this. And, he "highly" doubts that the girls will ever need any kind of surgery for this.

(a sigh of relief)

Now, on to buying a couple of those SuperYard XTs.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why all is quiet in Blogville...

When you're solo while:

Packing, loading, and hauling for 1 overnight trip to grandma's and grandpa's


Attending 1 friend's little girl's Birthday party


Attending 1 cousin's Birthday party


Going to Hazel's Mag 3 scan (which she did fabulous during)


taking a trip to Joann Fabric with 4under3.2 and only 1 cart (which the kindest lady came up to compliment the "big kids" on how great their behavior was..Ohhhh!)


having supper at McD's playland then hauling out 2 unhappy hungry babies


tucking in 4 children many times for naps and bedtime


Going to Norah's Mag 3 scan (she followed in her little sis's footsteps)


taking a trip to Target for my assigned items for breakfast at MOPs tomorrow morning


wiping many ketchup blobs and yogurt splats during supper in the foodcourt at Target


bathing 4 wiggly bodies before bed....

...It leaves you with quite the mushy thought process, unpolished frame of mind, and lack of blogging.
(But don't you worry, Mr. Lobster is in flight headed our way as we speak.)

Friday, March 14, 2008


This is my second post ever. It is an ode to pommade based on a response in the past comment board. I used to be a gel guy! I loved everything about gel. It was cheap. It washed off my hands easily. I could buy it anywhere. On and on I could go.... Then one day my wife had pommade. I used it. I loved it. It made my hair shine. The hold lasted all day long. I went to work, played basketball, had sex, went to sleep, woke up, skipped a shower...and still the shine and hold were beautiful and one with my head. It was love. It was a secret love. But now I feel violated. I write the word pommade on my "Florida List" and my wife thinks her blogger crazies (ya, you) need to know that I have to bring pommade to Florida. I am embarrased and will no longer be using pommade. My effort is to rekindle my flame with gel and make sure to never include my bathroom products on a list that can be accessed by blogger maniacs. Thanks alot Tiff (and Angela).

What is Very, Very Wrong...

with this recently started checklist?
Added Information:
Yes, my husband is going on a golf trip tomorrow. He assures me that "it's not that big of deal." I do find that hard to believe since we live in MN and he'll be vacationing for 5 days with his dad and brother in Naples, F.L.O.R.I.D.A. Along with 2 Tee Off times a day and attending the MN Twins' (no he's not bringing our twins) Spring Training, he'll be soaking up temps in the low 80's. That's ok, though, because remember back to my 'Craft Camp on the Lake' a few months ago..well, next year it will be appropriately renamed 'Craft Camp on the Gulf.'
Raise your hand if your in.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Our First Crop Walk of the Year

...Yields Great Things.

After the kiddos woke from their afternoon nap, we had snack and ventured out on the promised "first walk of the year." When you have 47 degree weather paired with a wonderfully warm sunshine, what's a mom to do but remind her 4under3 what a sidewalk is? And, Ohhhh, the upregulated manufacturing of Vitamin D started almost instantly.

This is 5 minutes into our 75 minute trip. Yes, it was just me. And it really isn't that hard pushing the double with my right hand while pulling the wagon with my left. The challenging part comes at the hill up ahead...when Julia's little legs get "so tired" that she needs "to take a little rest." So, I thought I'd help the girl out by giving an occasional swift push from behind with one of my free legs.

Rushing water and loud splashing caught everyone's eyes. This was one of our very exciting finds of the trip.

A big hit with the little man of our crew. Of course he shouts, "Uncle D." (FYI: Uncle D doesn't drive one of these, nor does he drive a UPS truck, a school bus, or own tigers and bears.)

And do you see it? Our destination place? When we turn this corner, I hear the Ohhhh's & Ahh's instantly. We didn't play there. But we did walk all the way there just so the little ones understood why we wouldn't be playing there for a little while longer. Frigid standing water under monkey bars, slides, swings, and teeter-toters aren't as fun as they would seem. "When the sun dries up the puddles, that's when we'll play."

With about 25 minutes to go, Hazel decided she wanted a new seating arrangement. If this little big brother isn't a hoot to watch, I don't know who is.

Like I said, the sun was at its best well as these 4under3. How did you spend this fantastic day?

Thankful Thursday

Here's a little taste of what's to come. This is a little naptime project that I'm in the middle of. But...since I must only pick "100 Things I Like," I must choose wisely. As for now, here are some things that I'm thankful for today.

1. Amoxicillin
2. Little Tykes Slides
3. Sunshine
4. 95% Cotton/5% Spandex short sleeved shirts
5. Khaki pants
6. Sunshine 46 degree weather
7. Date Night
8. Strawberry Banana, Flaxseed, Honey, Kefir Smoothies
9. Being able to hear the twins babble when they wake (because their room vents come straight to ours).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back in the High Life Again

You'd be proud of me! (I sound like Juj when I say that.)

I did refrain from pounding my fists and pouting my bottom lip at those darn spikey temps that poked around at us these last few days. I acted like a responsible mommy and sang the "Hallelujah" chorus or hummed "Silent Night" when I felt like "all was [NOT] calm"..."or bright."

And look.
We're back in the high life again!

Norah is her giggly, smiley self. And, she's back to her peaceful nighttime slumber---7p to 7a.

It's undeniable that we've met our quota in the sick department this year. But I can put that behind us. Soaking up today's warm rays was just what the doctor ordered. Mother Nature is sure taking a turn for the best. I'm pretty sure all our efforts are paying off. There are no more runny noses to blow or wipe. No more aches and pains. Just a lot of bright sun, fresh breezes, and wrestling with daddy.

Even though this little guy got all the camera time, rest assure that all 4under3 gave daddy their best shot.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Knocked on Dreamland's Door

It's too bad that adults aren't allowed to throw tantrums like toddlers because I'd throw myself right down on the floor---kicking and screaming.

Our healthy one, Norah, started her fevers Friday night. I ended up taking her to Urgent Not-so-Urgent Care last night after her fever was 101.3 and it had been over 48 hours of off and on, off and on. The doc said her ears were red and prescribed her the same antibotic Hazel is on. He said, "Take this, and at least she'll sleep good tonight." Off to bed she went at 8'ish only to wake at midnight. I gave her some Tylenol and she drifted back to sleep. Then 3:00 rolled around and she woke hotter than hot at a steamin' 102.6. That's when I stripped her down, laid her on my chest and covered her head with a cool washcloth. Finally after hours of tending to my sick babe, around 5:15'ish I laid her on a blanket next to my bed and we both knocked on dreamland's door one more time.

So, needless to say, we've rescheduled her scan once again. Ta-ta for now! It's naptime for everyone today.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"I TwoTaday!"

It's been two years since our little Lukeman joined our growing family. I wonder if he knew what he was getting himself into, being the only boy plopped right in the middle of 3 girls? When people realize his birth order/sibling gender situation... it's usually, "Oh, you poor boy!" We correct them quickly explaining that his wife is going to thank his three sisters over and over again. There's no "poor" about it, he'll have it all figured out. He's quite the lucky one.

I fell madly in love with this wide eyed little guy the second he plowed his big head into this world. Over a pound heavier than his big sis, he made for quite the claustrophibic delivery. I thought he'd be stuck in there forever. I'm glad he wasn't.

This snuggly bunny loved to cuddle, and still does before every nap and bedtime. He would lay in my arms, sucking his thumb while I whispered sweetness in his ear. That's when I melt.

Those dimples get me every time. I still almost chew his cheeks off. This was one of the last pictures taken in his first house. I miss it for him, since he'll never remember the room he started walking in, or the bedroom he shared with Julia.

Here is his very first birthday. We threw a ginormous party at our new place. This was about 4 months before the twins were born. He was such a good boy. Do I remember it right when I think of him as a quiet, peaceful, and laid back boy during this stage of his life?

And now he's 2! As you can see. He's a 2-year-old full of bubbly laughter, fierce determination and decision, the sweetest sensitive little heart, and the cutest little dance moves you'll ever see. (The dude will break out a dance to the telephone ringing.) And, he'll tell you he's "Twotaday" whenever you ask him how old he is. Then he'll get out his chubby little fingers and show you.

Come to think of it, I'm feeling a little "Tootaday," also...I'm feeling like my only little boy is growing up TOO FAST.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Setting aside the rigid nap/bedtime/waketime schedule that our children are on, I generally just go with the flow. When it comes time for date night (which is tonight...yeah I picked HuHot!) or girls night out, I'm not really that picky and I'm up for whatever. When it comes to renting, watching, or going to movies...I'm game for whatever sounds exciting to the ones I'm with. (Except R movies, I WILL NOT watch them. It doesn't matter if the movie is about the Civil War, if it's screams blood and guts and I can educate myself about the Civil War with a book without the blood and guts)

With exception to they way to scrap a page (Melanie, you know what I mean), or craft an object, sew a table runner, bib, and shirt, the way to load the dishwasher, sort, wash, hang, dry and put away clothes...I generally fly by the seat of my pants. I really consider myself a pretty laid back kind-of-gal.

So I don't know whyyyyyyyy our oldest daughter must always do this while we build block castles together:

Julia: "Momma, would you build with me?"

Me: "Sure honey." (I scoot over to her and start building a base for Cinderella's castle.)

Julia: "Wait, mommy...let's put that over here." (She takes my first 2 pieces and places them the way she likes.)

Me: "Ok, that looks great." (I grab a piece to top her started pieces.)

Julia: "Oh, Mom. That one doesn't go there." (She takes my placed piece off-AGAIN-and sets it aside.)

Me: (I say nothing, figuring she's got it taken care of, so I scoot over to Hazel, roll on my back and toss her in the air.)

Julia: "Mom? I thought you were going to build with me? Can you come back over here?"

Me: "I was building with you, I just wanted to play with Hazel for a minute." (Hazel and I scoot back over to continue building. I grab a handful of blocks and start building again.)

The rest of the building "together" sounded something like this:

Julia (sincerely says):
"Just a minute..."
"How 'bout we do this instead..."
"I think we should take that one and put it here..."
"No, not there..."

At one point I really laughed out loud. She looked at me like..."what?"

I mean, what's the need for making block building such a set in stone, 1-way-to-do-it type of activity? ...And, really, why must all the children's outfits be hung to dry? My, she hasn't fallen far from the tree.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gosh. Gee. Mag 3's.

I've failed in telling you of two very important upcoming events. No, not Daylight Savings...but isn't that going to be fabulous? I love having the bright sun burst through our bedroom windows at 6:30a.m. then serenade me with a "Good Morning" song as I walk towards the shower. I really do.

The events that I've been meaning to tell you about are the girls' Mag 3 scans that are to be done soon. This Monday (10th) is Norah's, and the following Monday (17th) is Hazel's.

Mag 3 scans are scans of the kidney. In Utero, during one of our many weekly ultrasounds, they thought they saw excess fluid on each of the girls' right kidney. They weren't bothered by it but said after they are born they would do a dye test to see if fluid is reluxing from their bladders back up to their kidneys. They scanned, and they looked great. No reflux. They told us they'd do another ultrasound of the kidneys when they turned 6 months so that they could "cross it off their list" and send us on our way. They did that scan...but still found fluid. So here we are....going over to the big dog doctors for a Mag 3 scan. Doesn't it sound scary?

The day will look something like this. Wake early (5:30'ish), but no morning bottle, just clear liquids. (I'm not sure how that will fly.) In at 7:15 to start an IV, then they'll catheterize and give a liquid medicine to sedate. The girls need to sleep very, very still for about 45 minutes allowing for a scan of what the kidneys are doing. They want to know if there is a kink in one of the ureters? If there is, they'd put a dissolvable stint in and they'd be fine and dandy. However, I'm praying that the Urologist comes out and says something like this: "Gosh, gee, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong here. I don't know where the mix up was. Have a great day, Bye."

I haven't really talked about this because I'm believing that everything is going to be fine. Really, what's all the fuss about? (And tell me, what's faith without believing the unseen?) Everything will be...just..(deep breath)....fine. I know God is in control and I believe His promise to surround the girls with His "favor as with a shield."

So, if you think of it, feel free to shout out your prayers for a calm, keep-it-together mommy and comfortable babies. We'd really appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's Not Just the Piggybank Who's Proud

(Edited for your viewing pleasure. I've added a "zoomed in" picture of her responsibilities.)

I've really been enjoyed Dobson's The New Dare to Discipline and have filed many, many parenting ideas away in my corpus callosum closet.

The Job Chart is one "Miracle Tool" Dobson talks about using to teach responsible behavior to your children. This is Julia's Job Chart.

First we laid on her floor and talked about "what 3-year-old should be able to do." She gave me ideas, I gave her ideas, and we came up with a good list. Next we chose 10 of them to work on in March. We typed up a chart and drew thumbnail pictures for her to remember which is which. (Do you love how beautiful "Mommy" is?) Then we talked about the rewards. At the end of the night we go through her chart and give smileys and stars for each job she did. She is rewarded a penny for each one to put in her piggybank.

I do have to say, I think I'm as excited as she is about it all. I'll keep you updated on how long the excitment sticks around.

For all the Love in the World of clear nasal passageways. For the love of unirritated bronchi cells and unblocked middle ear tubes. For the love of soft hands and every sweet and salty mouth-watering flavor. For all alluring aromas. For all the LOVE.IN.THE.WORLD... Spring! Please make your entrance into our world. We'd love to open our windows, take long walks, and breath more clearly.

Yesterday Julia and I went to Luke's 2 year Well Check with him. We left with a couple of stickers and the knowledge that Luke has Bronchitis and Julia has a double ear infection. I'm pretty sure Hazel has something of the sorts. And I'm so tired of sneezing and the pressure behind each of my eyeballs.

Here's to getting it all out of our system and starting so-fresh-and-so-clean.

Here's Norah, our sideline cheerleader, who seems to be in tiptop shape.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Divine Secrets Sweetness of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

Growing up with two younger brothers around the house was fine by me. I loved making forts in the woods, clearing brush next to the creek that's just past our back pasture for our "Crooked Creek Campground," jumping bales in the hayloft, and riding in the tractor and combine. I never considered myself a true tomboy, though, since dressing up my doll and painting my nails were favorites of mine. But, since my brothers never cared to play with Ms. Peaches and Cream or paint their toes a pink glittery hue, I couldn't help but wish for a sister.

I remember meeting my mom in the kitchen one day, around the age 6 or 7, and asking for a sister. Since there was no possibility for that anymore, she replied with, "I'm sorry hon, but we won't be having any more children." It was obviously a huge letdown for me because I fired back with, "Fine! I'll just pray for one." Then I ran upstairs, flung myself on my Strawberry Shortcake bedspread and buried my sobbing face in my pillow.

Even though my prayers for a biological sister went unanswered, God heard my cries and gifted me with two remarkable sisters-in-law.

Loyal Forever, for all eternity...Ya Ya!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Full House...Even Fuller.

Yesterday my brothers and their wives came down to spend the night. There's no question that Luke looks up to "Uncle D" & "Uncle Nane." (Derek & Shane)

And why wouldn't he? They bring their A-Game when it comes to making him laugh.

Last night after the kids had their fair share of their aunts and uncles, off to bed they went. Then off to a high school basketball game the boys went while the girls went off to the craft room. We sang, we laughed, we glued, we watched every YouTube clip of scrumptious little David Archuleta.

We had such a fabulous time while they were here.