Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Look at Me! I'm an Airplane!

So we are at the park. It is the perfect Wisconsin summer day. Hot, humid and infested with mosquitos.

It is myself, my niece Lisa, my day care girl Olivia, and of course my 3 sons. You know I just never envisioned myself actually filling all the seat belt slots in the van. (I am smiling now at the memory of being a one-kid mommy)

Olivia, Nathan, David and Lisa are all under the play scape having a grand time in the sand (shade). Caleb is on the swings. Can he swing on it like you are suppose to? Of course not. That would be what a rule following older brother would do.

So he is laying on his belly on the swing. Arms out wide like an airplane. He starts out cautiously. Then progresses to the point where he is not only shooting his arms out wide but lifting his feet up too. I am actually impressed. He really does look like an airplane. Then it happens. He is mid laugh, mouth open wide, arms out, legs up and BLAMO the swing breaks. I actually see him ricochet, somewhat like a skipping rock over the pond.

Sand in his eyes, in his mouth all the way to his molars, in his hair, neck, ears, you name it.

I run over concerned he may actually have broken his nose. After we calm down and clean up I think -"I wonder when Hollywood will have its next writers strike?" I could make a fortune. Too bad I wasn't filming him.

What the heck are the chances that the swing would break on that kid?

Yes, an airplane all right, crash landing and all.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yet Another Caleb Pee Story

Ok so 3 really is my most favorite age. If a professional comic ran out material, all they would need was 1 week with a 3 year old. I will miss 3 year olds, when mine get older.

Saturday night is bath night. I am running around getting Sunday clothes ready, getting 3 naked boys clean, dry, nails clipped, hair brushed, and dressed in PJ's. We do our nightly devotions and prayers and they are out like lights by 9:30. I am exhausted and John and I marvel that it is only 9:30 the chores are done and the kids mouths are closed!

Hi! Want to sit with me and watch a tv show? Whoa a tv show. You mean one that doesn't teach the ABC's or plays Classical music to a puppet show? Oh my! What is on the Tv now a days?

I climb in bed at 11 pm and just start falling asleep.

Cue Caleb.

I hear him calling for me. I get up and go see what the problem is. Caleb is standing there next to his bed asleep. He is standing, calling for me but is actually sleeping.

I figure he must have woke himself up because he has to pee. So I ask "You have to go potty?" No response.

Silly question, of course he has to go potty. I get the potty chair (we have only 1 bathroom and is downstairs - not a good idea when you are standing up ASLEEP)

I tell Caleb "I am going to have you sit on the potty chair to pee, ok?" No response.

I pull his pj bottoms off and immediately he begins to pee, all over the carpet and David's clothes dresser.

I shreek "Caleb,wake up, you need to sit down to pee on the potty chair!"

He turns his body looks like he is about to sit (eyes still closed) and proceeds to pee standing up the other direction. All over the sheets, his comforter, the window, the floor and my legs.

You know I should have just let him pee the bed. It would have been less clean up!

I wake him up enough to get him to sit on the potty and finish his business only to realize the potty chair isn't really put together correctly and pee is leaking all over the floor under the chair bottom.

Why did I even bother? That is it! Everyone wears diapers til they are old enough to operate the steam cleaner.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


If any of you are a snorkel fan you will understand this next post.

When you breath thru a snorkel to look at the amazing sights in the "deep blue", you tend to get lost in the moment and forget how little air you are breathing. Until you "surface" and take off your breathing hose and breathe in a full breath of cool, clean air.

That is how I have been feeling these last 2 days. I feel like I am finally surfacing.

This past week I not only enrolled David in "regular school', but I also stopped nursing Nathan.

I can't tell you how amazing it feels to have made it this far. I have been "swimming in the deep blue" for so long I hardly remember what it feels like to take a good breath and let myself relax for a minute.

Now that Nathan is finished nursing, I feel more like myself and less like a moo machine. (cue the song "I feel Like a Woman" by Shania Twain)

It is like taking one long, good, full breath and letting the body drink in all the oxygen. I cut my hair, I painted my toenails a pretty pink french manicure, I wore a non-nursing moo bra. Whoa!
Stand back world, sound the alarms, Jenny has officially surfaced.

I must say the view of my "deep blue" is worth every minute of the reduced breathing, but every once in awhile a big breath doesn't hurt.

As excited as I am to have enrolled David in school, I am elated to have invested the 2 years of home school. The kid is such a joy.

The 10 1/2 months I nursed Nathan have been worth it too. I am just happy to be on this end of it instead of back in the beginning.

So the last 2 days I have had my fill of deep Jenny breaths. I am refreshed enough to get back to my mom job with renewed strength. But if you see me walking with a bit lighter of a step or see me mouthing some words to a silent tune, just know Shania Twain is reminding me that I am not just a mom. I am also a woman.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Different Mommy

I just got 5 inches of hair cut off and colored my hair back to its original color.

I was tired of the blond with dark roots and the damaged ends. For a year I have been growing out my bangs and so I had my stylist cut all my hair to the same length as my bangs.

I have to admit it is a pretty big change.

I walk in the door and David exclaims:"MOMS HOME!!! I like your new hair!" He actually ran to the door to greet me.
(see note on previous post about just once being the fun parent)

Nathan looks at me and takes a double take. Who is that? - oh it is mom! Hi!

Caleb says: "Mom you look like a different mom, did you cut your hair?" "You look like an ugly mom."

Gee thanks, son.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ambitious Day

It was an ambitious day. I had my 3 boys and our daycare girl Olivia and a list of things to do.

It was one of those days where everything worked out perfectly. The kind you want to remember and pat yourself on the back for accomplishing.

I loaded everyone in the van at 9 am to set off to the sanitary landfill in Janesville. Nothing spells fun like a trip to the dump. Yes, a trip to the dump. I am a pitcher by nature. My husband is a keeper. Together we try to not irritate each other too much. I am sure I will annoy some of you by saying this but I really do believe everything should be disposable. Diapers, wipes, kids clothes, etc.

My boys love the dump. Big trucks, stinky smell, huge piles of junk. What is not to love? To me it is freeing. Open the hatch, pitch, ditch, drive away. My kind of entertainment. Sort of like molting. Can you tell I live in a world of boys?

Next stop, Good Will. See comment above about being a pitcher by nature.

Next,Target to retrieve the portraits that have been waiting for a month. Here is where it gets exciting. You know everywhere I go at least one person says: "Boy you sure have your hands full".

I have all I can do to restrain the old nature Jenny when this happens. What I would really like to say is "Yes, want to help? GREAT! Here is one of them and half my list, meet me out front in 15 minutes" The new me just thinks it and smiles. Yup, hands are full. (mind getting out of my way?)

While in Target all the school supplies are out and we roll past the kids lunch boxes. There it is, the object that today will be the source of the fight. An Optimus Prime Transformers lunch cooler. Caleb eye spies this from across the store. I sigh knowing right now this will not end well.

Of course we go look at it and he shows me how perfectly it fits in his hand. "Look it has a nice handle. Can we buy it?" It is times like this I use the line: "I am not sure, we will have to check with daddy." When in doubt, pass the buck to dad. After all he isn't here to be the bad guy. By the time he gets home, the thought has long sense left.

One day, just one day, I would like to be the one who gets to walk in the door and have them all run to me with arms wide open. To not have told them "no" or "stop that" 17 times already today. Ahhhhh to be the fun parent whose kids jump up and down just when the car pulls up.

But, that is ok. I am not in it to win the popularity contest.

After a bit of coaxing Caleb agrees that today we will not buy Optimus Prime. We have the money for the $10 lunch box (and the $3 fish crackers and the Gatorade requests that followed)but I am more interested in molding their character than giving in to their whims. Kids today are more than spoiled and nothing is a treat. Too many kids (and adults) going around with an entitlement attitude. How can something be special when you get it all the time? Doesn't anyone have to EARN it anymore? Well my kids do.

We leave Target to proceed to Woodmans. The grocery store. A necessary evil. I really dislike the grocery store.

God was merciful to me today. David pushed Nathan in the stroller. Both of them thoroughly enjoyed this. David felt like a big man and Nathan loved the Mach 2 ride. Caleb and Olivia rode in one of those "kid carts" You know the ones that you need a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) to steer. After 70 minutes of loading up the cart, we proceeded to check out.

We drive thru to get the groceries and drive the 25 minutes home. We get home at 12:45 and no one ruins their nap by falling asleep in the van! It really is a stellar day! Everyone goes inside and plays nicely. Is it a full moon? No fights, no baby crying, no constant cries of "I am HUNGRY".

Then tonight, to remind me that God surely has a sense of humor, David prays" ....... and God please keep Caleb safe while I am playing at Aedons house tomorrow and let us earn enough money to buy the AA batteries and the gallon sized Gatorade.....Amen"

A small giggle escapes my mouth listening to David pray about the things I said no to today. To which Caleb says: "Mom! Shhh it is sleep time!"

A good day indeed!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Even the Zucchini is a Weapon

I tell ya, I really needed to have a dad.

I am still, after all the years of being a boy-mom, trying to figure them out.

Today we discover in our garden that the 1st zucchini has arrived.

I tell the boys to come and check it out. They look and are so excited that it got so big in the last few days.

I let Caleb take it off the vine.

The 1st thing they do is make it a weapon and hit each other with it. Sigh. It is a vegetable for goodness sake! This is not a bomb, a gun or anything else.

Guess I have a long way to go in civilizing them.

Nathan's 1st Haircut

Along with his first tooth this month, Nathan gets his first haircut.

I think the pictures tell the story in itself.

I don't think he liked it. What do you think?

Friday, July 18, 2008


Youth is wasted on the young.

I remember hearing "If I could go back knowing what I know now" as a child and thinking - boy that is a dumb statement!

Of course I thought it was dumb. I did not yet know the "what I know now" part, then. Did you follow that? Someday, David will say that too about how he treated his little brother Caleb.

Today I am watching the boys interact as brothers. I wonder if David will remember when he is an adult how merciless he sometimes is to Caleb. In the same moment of David being incredibly unkind to Caleb he will walk over to Nathan and delight in him, play with him and have such compassion for him.

I am such a sucker for the underdog. I need to keep myself in check constantly so as to not always take Caleb's side. I just feel for the kid. Poor middle child.

Today, David had a friend over for a play date. Caleb was experiencing his first "you are not part of this club" letdown. David is yelling at him "Go away, I need some space from YOU!"

Caleb's reply just about melts me into a puddle. He says thru tear filled eyes:"But, But, But I don't want to give you space - you're my best friend!"

Now I know someday David will see the value in having brothers, but that day isn't today. (of course someday David will also regret picking on Caleb, especially once Caleb is bigger than him) That day will come sooner than he thinks!

They did eventually allow the "little brother" into their club and Caleb and David ended the day as "Friends".

Friday, July 11, 2008

Under A Shady Tree - You and Me

If you are a mom of a toddler you probably know the title of this post is also the title of a song sung by Laurie Berkner. I love her songs. They are catchy, clean, and relevant to what really matters. The time you spend making memories.

Anyway, after the whirlwind of this AM's Dr appointment, our family went to Warner Park for TDS FEST. This is a very nice carnival/fair that John's employer puts on for their employees and families. It is very well done and everything is free to the TDS families.

It was HOT. about 86 degrees and muggy. So after an hour of running around in this my boys are hot and sweaty.

TDS has thought of everything. They give you a sport bottle for each child and free beverages. Plus, they have a snow cone stand.

David fuels up on lemonade and runs toward the obstacle course.
Caleb wants a snow cone.
Nathan just wants to be pushed around in the stroller for a breeze.

John takes Nathan and David to one side of the park and I take Caleb to get a snow cone.

This is grand for me. I always had the opportunity to do things like this with David because there were no other kids when he was 3. (so far 3 years old is my FAVORITE age) Not so with Caleb. Poor middle child has to deal with his older brother and then just to make matters worse we went and had a little brother too!

I enjoy jumping over mud puddles on our way to the snow cone area. We stand in line all dripping in sweat. Caleb decides he wants a Bubble gum flavored snow cone. (ICK!) I get lime.
Caleb says:"I'm sweaty! Let's find some shade." No small task since TDS FEST has like 1200 people and all of them have the same idea.

We actually find a nice spot under a shady tree. After we cool down and share eachothers snow cones, I ask if Caleb if he wants to go play the games. He says: "No I want to sit with you under this nice, shady tree." So I start singing the Laurie Berkner song. He and I have a great heart connect moment that about makes me melt as he sits on my lap slurping melted snow cones. Giggling that it is dripping all over our shorts. Who cares!

It gets better. We are driving home and David says: "That was the best fair ever!"

We get home, get cleaned up and in bed. Caleb and I have a clash of the titans because he does not want to go to bed (Umm it is 10 PM little man!). I am telling him as he goes up the stairs that his job is to obey and my job is to make sure he obeys. So he climbs in bed all sad and pouting. Then he turns and says "Friends again, Mom?" I agree:" Friends"

I ask Caleb and David what was their favorite parts. David talks about this bouncing pit that he loved and Caleb turns to me and says: "The snow cones! Thanks for sharing your lime snow cone with me mom." This in itself is so sweet, but even more so after our clash of wills 2 minutes previous.

So the boys drift off to sleep as I sing to them "Under a Shady Tree".

What a great life. What a great memory. Thanks God.

Nathan's Heart

We just got home from Nathan's Pediatric Cardiology appointment.

The Cardiologist said the following:

He has a moderate case of Aortic Valve Stenosis
His Aortic Valve does not separate into three pieces to allow blood flow thru (as shown normally above). He separates into two pieces.

This impedes the blood flow and causes more pressure to the left ventricle when pumping the blood to the body(45MMGH for those of you who know what that means). If his blood pressure was taken on his arm and it was 100 over 60 it would mean his blood pressure inside his heart is actually 145 over 60. Make Sense?

At this time he recommends no additional treatment. Nathan will be seen again in 6 months to measure to what degree the pressure has gotten worse (if at all). He will have regular EKG's and Ultrasounds of his heart to measure the pressure of his valve.

Once the level gets to over 50, then treatment begins. At first they do a non-invasive opening of the valve with a balloon. Balloon Mitral Valvotomy is it's official name. This is done in an effort to allow enough pressure relief to get him to his adult hood. He may need this valvotomy done in 1 year or in 18 years - depends at what rate the pressure worsens.

Our goal is to get him to adult hood before he will have his heart valve replaced. Which is his long term prognosis. So that he only has to have the heart surgery once and have it with a valve that doesn't need to get bigger in size.

There is no restrictions on his physical ability today or for when he is toddler or preschooler. However, strenuous resistance types sports are to be avoided. (like wrestling and football, weightlifting etc).

This is a genetic heart defect - nothing could have prevented it and there is no medicine that makes it better, it does not go away.

Ok with all that said I want to stress that what I have written here is what Dr Ralph told me today. I have yet to hear from the Lord as to His plan for Nathan's life. I don't want you to get the impression I have accepted this hook,line and sinker and plan to have a pity party.

As I was driving home I was reminded pf Proverbs 3 that talks about not "leaning on your own understanding" and also Matthew 7:7 - 11 "...How much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

I wanted to get this posted to keep all of you who have been praying for Nathan informed.

When We get the prognosis from the Great Physician we will also post that here.

As for now, we will hold close to the fact that God is still on His throne and He still reigns. (Isaiah 30:18) Therefore, me and my house will continue to serve the Lord, anticipating the day we can rejoice together in Nathans amazing healing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No Training Wheels!

David can now ride his bike without training wheels.

Hold onto your shorts mom, your first born has officially left that last bit of preschool-like behaviors behind. (get a grip mom, he is 7 after all!)

Our local park has a skateboard ramp area. Since it is day 1 with no training wheels, David and his buddy Noah, decide they are ready for the ramps. (Is this when a mom begins to wrap their kid in 6 inch thick bubble wrap? Does Sam's Club carry this by the case?)

I was actually busy attending to Nathan and Caleb to not witness this. Good thing John was supervising. I would have had eyeballs the size of saucers.

As John is telling me about the boys' ramp adventure, I am reminded of the words of my mother-in-law (God bless her). She always said that John's bike was in the air more that it was on the ground. Oh No! Did she give him the mother's curse?! (You know the: "I hope you have a child just like you!")

I am not sure how to feel about this. I mean, John lived right? He only broke his bones from the bike once. I think.

I better start wearing my dental night guard. I can feel the clenching and grinding coming on right now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Gas Station Memory

The holiday is over and we are back to the daily grind.

David resumed his regular baseball schedule today. Since his games are at the local park, it is fun for Caleb and Nathan as well as David.

It has become somewhat of a Baierl tradition to fraternize our local BP gas station for a fun summertime beverage. Lemonade after a ball game, a wagon ride for an ice cream sandwich, a lollipop stop after our hair cuts. You see when you live in a small town there really isn't that much to do. When my kids are grown I will miss the trips to the BP.

So today, after the game, we are in search of our lemonade. Surprisingly, the BP is completely sold out of lemonade. So off to Citgo we go. Knowing they don't sell lemonade there I ask:" How about some flavored water or maybe a Gatorade?"

David agrees. Yes Gatorade is a good idea.

Caleb, not wanting to be left out in any way, decided he wants Gator Eggs too (whatever that is).

You know life is so simple when you are 3 years old. Let's go to the store to buy Gator Eggs, surely they sell them. Oh and get the red ones, they are the best.

I have never liked the taste of Gatorade, but I can bet sometime when my kids are gone and I am real old, I will stop to buy a Gatorade just to remember Caleb's Gator Eggs.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Summer, Summer, Summertime!

As I was walking to the 4th of July parade today, I noticed that all the members in my family were wearing hats, except me. That would be because everyone in my family is male, except me.

I had to smile at my family of guys. How great it must be to just throw on a hat and your hair is done. I think I will get a crew cut too. Wouldn't that be funny!?!

Here are a few snap shots of my men at the parade. All three boys got candy. Yes even Nathan. He literaly got hit in the head from a flying piece of tootsie roll.
Ahhhh Summer, Summer, Summertime.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Rhyme Time

Caleb has discovered how to rhyme.

This is the new game of the moment.

So he walks around and whatever he sees, he makes up new rhyming words.
Toys - boys. (A few more steps) Stairs - pears. etc.,

You experienced moms ALREADY know where this is going don't you.

He walks into the kitchen. Hmmm kitchen - can you think of a word that rhymes with kitchen?
Perhaps a word that starts with a B? Yup, you guessed it - out comes his rhyming word - his very first swear word. sigh. Can you visualize this (all that was missing was the hand gesture)

Now of all the letters of the alphabet to pick - he has got to pick B. Why wasn't it Kitchen - pitchin'. Because God thought I needed a laugh, that's why.

So John and I are doing all we can not to laugh out loud, as that would surely bring a repeat performance.

I tell you what, I can't even enter my kitchen without thinking about it. As a matter of fact as I type this (in the kitchen) I can't help but smile.

Now why am I surprised?