Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fluffy and Other Things

The boys have taken to calling Berean "Fluffy". I think it comes from the new favorite movie line from "Despicable Me" - you know the one, "It's so fluffy I am going to die!!"- Agnes.

When they pray at night they pray for Daddy, Mommy, Deacon, Roman, Lincoln and Fluffy. It sounds like we have a cat. And we don't. And we won't. Despite the boys new plan to get a dog, a cat and a hamster. No way. I don't need that in my life.

I am looking forward to the ends of things. You know,

-the end of Awana

-the end of winter

-the end of homeschool classes

-the end of school

-the end of preschool

-the end of ECFE

-the end of youth group

-the end of swimming

Basketball has ended. The snow has started to melt. The spring is when I can work on my yard, and I want to start.

The summer is when we can have fun, and I am planning to do a lot of fun stuff this summer. We are still going to do some school this summer, but we are going to make a lot of time for friends, parks and swimming.

We are going to go on adventures and do exploring and biking. This winter has made me determined to make the most of summer. Even if it means getting out of our routine, skipping naps and letting the housework pile up.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who Wouldn't be Scared of Battery Operated Rodents?

The above image is of a zhu-zhu pet. You can spend lots of money buying the fake hamster friends, outfits, tunnels, cages, racing tracks and all kinds of accessories.

And why wouldn't you? They are all the rage...and they don't even poop or require food!

Just push on their backs, and off they go scooting creepily all over the floor just like a real rodent- only you can also get them in green.

And they won't die in a trap.

We don't have any of these toys, but the boys are aware of them because wait...let me count...I think pretty much all of their friends have them.

Their girl-friends have pink and white ones with tutus. Their boy-friends have camo ones with armour and race tracks.

The boys don't seem to be too bothered by this, in fact, secretly I think they think that the hamsters are really too girly- even if they are in camo.

Over the weekend we were at a friends house and I thought that Berean might enjoy the Zhu Zhu pet. She watched it as it scurried around the floor. And then it came at her. I have never seen anything so funny in my life.

She screamed. She pulled her legs up. She hit at it with her hands. She cried until it was far away.

And yes, we did it again.

She reacted the same way.

I know that was mean.

But it was so funny.

So, if you want to laugh, and you don't mind laughing at the expense of a one year old, and you have Zhu Zhu pets, then invite us over.

It will be fun.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Love This Song

I have a soft spot in my heart for country long as it doesn't mention a beach or sand, that is. Country music shouldn't have beaches and sand. It should have barns burning down and a lot of angst. Thus, this song is perfect. I have been singing it a lot. And Roman has asked me to quit. So now, instead of Roman listening to me, you can listen to the Zac Brown Band. And no. I am pretty sure "colder weather" is not about drugs. At least, that is what I am going to continue to believe.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last Weekend, Part 2

Doesn't she look like a little Elf? I would put a comparison photo of Will Ferrel in "Elf" up, but I couldn't bear to put a picture of him in the same blog post as my sweet little girl.
She actually is not supposed to climb up on the dishwasher. You can see that she knows that by the look on her little face.

Unfortunately, when you pull out the camera instead of pulling her off, the misdeed becomes less serious...

Notice her outfit though? Sweater and tights?

Yep, while I was sleeping Noah took her to Cabela's and child care at the Y in a sweater and tights. Nice.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Last Weekend, Part 1

Last weekend was my work weekend. It is hard to get into it the first night, but after that I kind of get into a "work zone".

I don't talk alot about my job on here...there is confidentiality in working at a hospital and well, the subject matter in a Medical Intensive Care Unit is not always all that palatable to non-health care types. Let's just say that the job is very people-intensive. I deal with my patients, their families, my coworkers patients, their families, my immediate coworkers, physicians and ancillary personal (lab, pharmacy, radiology etc).

Some shifts are tougher than others, and I am very glad that Noah is supportive on the weekends, takes care of things around here and gives me time to sleep.

Last Saturday morning I was driving home from work (having not slept much the day before) and suddenly remembered that I had committed to bring a meal to someone at church for Saturday night supper.

I had intended to get everything purchased and planned on Thursday/Friday, so that I could easily pull it together for Saturday after I got out of bed. But I had forgotten.

I got home and told Noah about it. I told him to wake me up in a couple of hours so that I could call the people and organize a drop off time. I said I would just plan to pick something up after I got up to bring over there.

I woke up several hours later to an aromatic house. Downstairs, Noah was just putting food in the oven and told me that things would be ready to bring over in an hour. I kid you not, while I was sleeping, Noah:
*called the people to line up a drop off time
*got directions to their house
*found a recipe online
*revamped recipe online into something he thought would work
*took the kids with him to the grocery store to pick up ingredients
*purchased disposable containers for the meal
*made a jello salad for us and the family
*made three casseroles, one for them, one for us and one for our freezer
*got the meal organized and ready for drop off

Now that is an amazing man.
(By the way, the food was amazing too)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Some Quick Funny Things

*Noah brushes the boys teeth by the bathtub. It is easier for the short boys to spit in the tub, because when they spit into the sink it often dribbles down and makes a mess, etc. He was brushing Berean tonight with her baby toothpaste, and all of a sudden we noticed her bending down and "spitting" into the tub. She did it everytime he paused. Obviously, someone has been paying attention!

*We were doing our 50 day spiritual adventure with the boys tonight. Noah asked Lincoln what he does when someone hurts his feelings. "I kick them", Lincoln responded. Well, at least that is some brutal honesty.

Well, I think there were a few other things...but I can't remember them now...I should write these things down!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Written on a Day that We got 8 inches of Snow

Baby is sad. She has a fever.

Mama is sad. She hates the snow.

Baby has crunchy peanut butter hair.

Mama needs to brush her hair.

Baby is wearing a sweatsuit.

Mama is wearing just one step up from a Walmart adult sweatsuit.

Baby has taken a handful of steps, but quit over the last couple days.

Mama has been logging miles, but quit over the last couple days.



Our lives are tied together.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why Spend Money When You Have Talent?

One of my children really likes Bolt, the Super Dog.
I could buy him this cute, commercially generated stuffed dog

But why bother? He made himself a Bolt out of Legos

And his Grandma just turned his regular stuffed dog into Bolt.

Roman is happy.
Roman is creative.
And we all saved some money.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Raining Oatmeal

Situations like this are not uncommon when
*you are 1
*you reside on the floor
*you have 3 older brothers who are exuberant cookie batter stirrers,
and yet it is still traumatic, every time.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Here's The Deal

I work better under pressure.

My oldest went on a Spring Break trip with my mom, Grandma, and my two sisters (bless their hearts!) and is, by all accounts, having a great time.

The house is quiet without him here.

The little ones don't know what to do with themselves.

Lincoln seems happy, he has Roman all to himself.

Roman is a grouch, he misses Deacon and told me he doesn't sleep well without Deacon being in his room with him.

Me? Well, I have lots more time without homeschooling him and answering all of his questions.

But you know what? I have gotten a lot less done around here, that is for sure.

I need the push, the schedule, the list, to get things done.

He will be back soon, and we will get back in our routine.

I will have less time, but I will do more.

That is the way it goes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"You Just Do What You Gotta Do" part 2

*panicked announcement*

While looking for something else, I (just mere minutes ago) came across a stack of thankyou notes that I wrote but forgot to mail. From a year ago. And some pictures for Grandma Frances from 6 months ago that I apparently forgot to mail. They are now on the counter with the current stack of thankyous that also had gotten shoved under something and forgotten about. I have no idea how these things came to be missed in my very systematic Tuesday night "paper night". Or maybe I have some idea.

hangs head in shame.

really hanging out in a land of "why can't I get it together over here?" tonight.

But, without further ado, here it is,

Straight from our lives...

Last Saturday we came up with another brilliant idea: take the kids with us to the Y, work out while they were in kids stuff and then all go swimming as one big happy family.

After we announced the plan I had a very severe lapse in judgement: I decided to heed my children's request for a change to my very well laid out plan.

Every once in awhile my kids come up with a suggestion like "let's all ride scooters to the park that is 2 miles away" or insist "I DO NOT have to go to the bathroom right now!". Most of the time I open up my mouth and respond, "are you crazy...I will end up carrying all of you and your scooters!" or "I don't care, you are going to go anyway!" But sometimes I suddenly stop and say, "ok".

And that is usually a fatal mistake.

And that is what happened on Saturday. They said, "Let's go to the other Y!"

And I said, "why not?"

So we went. We got there without incident but as we walked toward kidstuff, I realized that the door was closed. Surely not...

But yes, they close their child care at 1pm on Saturdays.


All my plans of working out went through the window, and we decided just to go swimming.

We went into the family locker rooms.

Their family locker rooms don't have toilets in them.

How convenient.

I started tossing trunks to boys. We were one short.

I had forgotten Deacon's trunks.

He looked at me woefully, "this is why you should always count twice, Mom" he said.

Thankfully he had worn a tanktop and nylon shorts to the pool, even though it was about 28 degrees outside. (no jacket either- as of March 1st, he is done with winter and all it's shenanigans).

We decided he would wear his shorts as trunks.

After he was submerged I wondered what he would wear home, I doubted that even he would be interested in walking back outside in wet shorts.

I considered the situation after we got out of the pool.

Obviously, the first thing I did was list our assets:

*Noah had 1 pair of workout pants, one pair of shorts and a long sleeved shirt and a short sleeved shirt. What can I say, he was prepared.
*I had running capris, a tank top and a long sleeved tee
*Deacon had wet shorts and a tanktop
*Roman had one pair of (dirty) pajamas and a coat
*Lincoln had (relatively) clean pants and a (relatively) clean shirt
*Berean had footie pjs and little striped pants and a longsleeved onesie.

Basically Deacon's pant options were men's XL shorts or size 12 month pink striped pants. I also briefly considered fashioning him a sort of MC hammer pant out of Noah's shirt.

Not good options.

He ended up wearing my capris as pants, after all he is only about 80 pounds less than me; and I wore Noah's workout pants.

It was awesome.

I have to say though, I still managed to dash up to the treadmill and run an 8 min mile without Noah's pants falling off of me, and Deacon managed to make 21 baskets in the gym without the capris hitting the floor either.

And now I know, and I will always count twice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"You Just Do What You Gotta Do" part 1

Straight from our lives...

Last week I had the brilliant idea to drop the van off at the oil change place that is 2 blocks from the school where we attend ECFE. Now the reason that this was going to be so brilliant is that I decided to do it DURING ECFE. You know, park at the station, load three kids into the sit n' stand stroller, wheel it into the amazingly small reception area, give my instructions, awkwardly get stroller and kids out (while being stared at very unhelpfully by the 2 employees) and walk my kids and stroller to ECFE all on a 30 degree but very blustery day.

Brilliant. It seemed so much more efficient than just scheduling the service on a Saturday when Noah could take care of it. (by the way, we got a good deal on a series of oil changes at this particular place- which is why we go there even though they are the crabbiest people and I hate it. But soon, soon, I will pay more and go to a place where the people are happy and the mood is light. Someday...over the rainbow...)

Anyway, all was going according to plan right down to the awkward strollering and the stares of the employees. We got out and headed up the sidewalk. Or, rather up the half of the sidewalk that was no longer covered in snow. I am much more optimistic than realistic when it comes to snow removal in our fair state.

Things went smoothing for the First Block. The Second Sidewalk Block was completely covered in bumpy, lumpy, icy, snow. I pushed forward, however, and only started to sweat a little as I pushed 100+ pounds of kid over Mt. Everest. Or maybe I had forced Roman out of the sledge before we reached the Summit. Who can say?

That drama behind us, we pressed on to Block Three. Block Three was icy, but smooth. I started forward. CRACK. Yes, Block Three was a thin sheet of ice over a 3 inch puddle of icy, cold water. Down we sank, stroller and all. And I was faced with a dilemma. I could not push the stroller forward because the ice sheet was intact in front of us and blocking our wheels. So I had to lift the front of the stroller up on the ice. And it broke. And I did it again. And it broke again. So yes, we had to hobble down the rest of the block in the icy cold water lifting and sinking the stroller over and over again.

I arrived at ECFE with cold, wet feet and children who "wanted to do it again".


Friday, March 11, 2011

Things That Make Me Smile

1. During ECFE this morning Berean was doing the "wheel" motion to wheels on the bus. She was "dancing" during the other songs and even let the teacher do the Tick Tock song with her. No need to mention that she insisted on eating her star instead of waving it during "Twinkle, Twinkle".

2. My new Patagonia coat that my friend Renae gave me!

3. My new running pants that my friend Kim gave me!

4. The fact that my friends just give me clothes that don't fit them and then I don't have to buy anything!

5. Berean putting Luke Skywalker into Anakin's Starship thing and flying it around saying "woosh, woosh"

6. Roman constantly saying, "I've said it once, and I will say it again"

7. Deacon referring to the shore of Lake Superior as Minnesota's "coast"

8. This Conversation with Roman: We were driving in the car listening to Odyssey. Roman called from the back "Please turn it down, Mom!" I turned it down and he yelled, "Just wanted to tell you that I have made the decision to trust Jesus. Please turn the radio back up now." Apparently he didn't think there was anything further to discuss.

9. Lincoln talking more and more and using words that I never knew that he knew.

10. Getting to spend the whole evening with my sister!

11. Running 5 miles without feeling miserable.

12. Being able to add an occasional 8 minute mile to my running routine

13. Just starting to accrue PTO in January and I already have accrued over 24 hours! I used 8 of them...but that still means that if they call me and ask me to stay home I can do it twice and still get paid for it! Or I could save my time until I need a vacation or am sick, I suppose :)

14. Signs of Spring! (even though currently out my window it is snowing. again.)

15. The hope of a good family day tomorrow.

16. The fact that I scrubbed my kitchen garbage can today. Go me! Why not spend time doing an important activity like that when you have only slept a couple hours? But that is the way it goes, my weird jobs always get done when I am sleep deprived.

17. Berean sleeping with her new Pink Bunny from Grandma Joyce

18. My cousin Ryan's wedding is next weekend- I am not going to be able to attend, but still am excited for them! Congratulations Ryan and Sally!

19. The boys high energy levels make me smile even while they are driving me crazy with all their jumping, running, yelling,wrestling and generally (and constantly) boisterous behavior.

20. My sleep number bed. Goodnight, all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

10 things

1. After a long hiatus from my contacts due to constant irritation, I finally went to the eye doctor, had an exam and got new soft lenses. Only now one of my eyes is irritated and my vision is blurry in that eye as well. Grr...looking for a good lasik surgeon.

2. Yesterday we ran around doing our normal Wednesday activities...but here is the exciting part- we didn't wear jackets! Yeah! After we got home I thought to myself that I can take the kids to places all day long this spring and summer as long as I don't have to deal with jackets anymore! It is amazing how much easier to be jacket-free makes everything.

3. I am still trying to get someone to work for me so I can run a 1/2 marathon at the end of May. I started my training though, and even if I can't actually do the race, at least I will know on that date that I could run 13.1 miles if I wasn't busy saving lives :)

4. One of the cupboards in my kitchen is so poorly organized right now that I have to throw everything in and shut the door really quick so nothing falls out. Well, it may not be quite that bad, but it is close.

5. I am doing pretty well with my 2011 goals, but I am finding that with working every other weekend, that my bigger projects are not getting done. I am faithfully vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, tidying up etc, but the deeper maintenance is getting missed. I am not sure how to solve that problem.

6. I apparently lucked out with boys #1 and #2 because I now understand the frustration of people with little boys who CAN'T HIT THE TOILET! Oh, Lincoln, please pay attention!

7. When I get the english muffins together in the morning, I separate them into "my pile" and "their pile". My pile has butter and peanut butter and jelly, theirs just have PB and J.

8. We are all waiting for spring. This has been the longest, worst winter in my memory and I can not wait for all the dingy snow to be gone. Once we can get outside I can get down to the serious business of pulling dirt,pinecones and wood chips out of Berean's mouth.

9. I got a new science book for the boys that I am pretty sure I am loving more than they are. Learning is so interesting.

10. My weekend off is coming up and you should see the list of things I want to get done! It is amazing what can be accomplished in a Saturday if you have a plan!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Just read this article that a coworker posted on facebook.

What do you all think about it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Party Pictures

Well, Berean had her 1 year old check-up today, and the MD prounced her as "doing well and very cute". She did act quite charming at the appointment as she chewed on a combination lock, babbled and drooled.

She is currently
28.5 inches
18 lb 8 oz
Yeah, she is on the small side, but the doctor says that she is proportional and doing fine.

Lincoln manned the camera during the party. And yes, that is an oft occuring expression on Noah's face.

Shoveling contraband food into her mouth

4 generations

How does he always get in here?

She had already gotten into the cake, see the frosting on her hand?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Berean!

Berean turned 1 today

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

(no time for a long blog post now, but enjoy the pictures!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Progression to the Night Side

10 years ago this coming May I graduated from College with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. A couple of months later I took (and passed!) my nursing boards and started my first job. At that point we had been married for 1 year.

My first job as an RN was at the hospital that I had been a nursing assistant at. It was a day/evening rotation. Soon after I switched to an 11am-7pm shift with my weekends being evenings.

I liked day shift but hated getting up in order to be at the hospital by 7am. Yuck. I am not an early riser, that is for sure. Once I get up I am fine but that pulling myself up while it is still dark out...not my idea of fun.

Evening shift was crazy, but ok. I liked having my mornings to myself, but it seemed like I never got that much done. I would get home around midnight and Noah and I would sometimes go out. I certainly was never ready to go to sleep right after my shift was over.

I loved the 11am-7pm shift, mostly because I liked what I was doing at work. It was nice to sleep in and commute without traffic, but it did kind of ruin the whole day.

Then we moved to Indiana. I had never considered working nights, but in the non nursing union state of Indiana it became very clear that no new hire would ever get a day shift position in that town. Also, everyone worked 12 hour shifts and everyone worked a .9 with a couple of on calls a month.

And so I took a 12 hour night .9 position in an ICU in Indiana.

And guess what?

I discovered that I loved the night shift.

I found that I could sleep during the day.
I found that working at night without all of the chaos of a hospital by day was a nice change of pace.

When we moved back to MN I found a night shift position.
After all, with kids it is pretty convienent to be working when they are sleeping.

Of course I still need to sleep during the day, but sleep is more flexible than being at a job.

For example, the one weekday a week that I have to sleep ends up being quite fragmented. I sleep maybe 6 hours, but it is all broken up into 1 1/2-2 hour chunks of time over a 14 hour period between shifts.

It is not optimal, but then again, what is?

Last night the boys were at a sleepover with G & G.

Noah and I were hanging out with an overtired but super silly Berean. We finally put her to bed and Noah fell asleep and was still sleeping while I was getting ready to head out for work. I sighed a little as I turned the lights out, thinking he would probably nap for an hour and then get up and play video games or something with his 2nd wind (have I ever mentioned how much I hate video gaming?).

I was surprised to arrive home this morning to find that both of them had just woken up when they heard the garage door.

It is an odd feeling to leave people sleeping, drive to work, enter an awake world, work an entire shift, drive home and find the people just as you left them 10 hours before.

Now that? That may be an optimal way to live.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Elementary Parent

Things are different around here now that we have 1 1/2"elementary" aged kids. I have been in preschool/baby mode for so long, that I don't really know what to do with these "new" situations.

Here are a few of them:

1. As we were working on Presidents the other day, Roman asked if today we "were going to get to unlock a new character". whaaht?! A little too much time on the Wii, prehaps?

2. Deacon, Roman and I went swimming yesterday. We played pickle in the middle, volleyball, had races, and completed "swimming-under-obstacles" contests. Can I say what an enjoyable experience is to play in the pool with your kids without constantly having to save their little lives?

3. Deacon prefers to sit with his friends during supper time at church on Awana night.

4. We have to do all of this planning stuff: who is going to drop Deacon off at basketball? Who is going to pick him up? How exactly is he going to get to and from play practice on that particular night?

5. I gave Deacon a hex key the other day and asked him to tighten up all of the chairs. He did, proudly stating, "well, I guess I am the only man around the house when Dad is at work".

6. They can read over my shoulder words that invite more questions than answers.

7. We have had to set internet guidelines, because they are capable of navigating the computer into all sorts of areas.

8. We can do puzzles together and actually play games that are slightly interesting.

9. We can watch movies together that are actually slightly interesting.

10. I opened up the drapes today and noticed that someone had drawn a smiley face very hight up on the sliding glass door. Upon further inspection it appears that it was drawn with a jelly covered finger. Gross.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Almost One!

She looks so much like me in my one year pictures

if my scanner worked, I would show you

But until then, you will just have to enjoy the pictures of her!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So Much

I have been sitting here for a few minutes deleting word after word that I try to write.

Friends hurting, children needing, commitments waiting, problems rising

to the surface.

Things needing to be dealt with,

waiting on my list.

Appointments being scheduled.

Priorities shuffling.

Trying to squeeze in time to be.

Letting my mind relax.