Friday, December 11, 2009

Nathan's Pediatric Cardiology Appointment

Today is Nathan's 6 month follow up on his Aortic Valve Stenosis.

He had another Echocardiogram, during which he was an angel boy laying still and allowing the technician to get a great test.

We are overwhelming happy to announce that his levels are lower than 6 months ago.
Yes, that means he got BETTER!
His pressure was less. (this is good)
His left ventricle showed No signs of damage (pumping harder to get the blood thru the obstruction can cause the ventricle to thicken)

We got the "no surgery needed for now" verdict along with a great sense of relief that his body has changed dramatically in the last year and his stenosis has improved. It is likely that he could maintain this level for years with no surgical intervention at all.

This means very good things for Nathan.

We want to be sure to credit the Lord for this gift of good news.

For the great many of you who regularly and sincerely pray for our little man, we give you thanks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow day!

14 inches was my measurement in our yard.

It was cute last night when I could pull all the kids in the sled. Not so cute when 10 more inches fell overnight and I saw what the snow plow graciously left for us.

We made a snowman as big as Nathan - the next morning you could not see it.

Thank you Lord for this nice cozy warm house to live in and survive those elements!

Pictures of the kids are of the first 4 inches, imagine another 10 on top of that!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Good enough to leave the house

Nathan slept the whole night thru and so did mom.
Amazing what 1 good night sleep can do for ya!

Got some groceries and diapers and felt great to leave the house.
Nathan is improving with each day.
Mom had no reoccurring vomit and feels great from the nights' sleep.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nathan continues to improve

Lat night Nathan slept 2 stretches of 5 hours each. This was WONDERFUL. He is much happier today and has had no steroids in 2 days. Thank you all for praying for him, he is making progress.

Unfortunately for mom, I was up half the night running to the bathroom to vomit. At least my sickness waited 'til Nathan was getting better. I am able to function ok today, just a little nauseated. I am eating bread and saltines today. No, I am not pregnant, don't even ask such things!

We simply MUST get over this (all of us) before Dec 11. Nathans next Pediatric Cardiology follow up. Please continue to pray for that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting better

Nathan slept a 3 hour stretch last night - the longest stretch in the last 5 nights.

We did not need to go outside in the cold night air last night in order to alleviate his breathing problems either. Mom was happy about this.

He is making some progress. Keeping you posted.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update on Nathan

Nathan went back to the Dr, more steroids were prescribed.
We are home and our regular Dr is back to normal office hours after the holiday.
Probably we will be done running him into the ER as my Dr is allowing me to administer it at home. We have a great relationship with this MD and she is a mom who knows and trusts me.

Nathan is still really sick, but the ability to give him the meds at home is really going to relieve some stress. He is still sleeping poorly but he is eating and drinking ok now. He still had a fever today.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to the Dr for Nathan

Took Nathan back to Urgent care last night - more steroids were given. They are helping. He has a secondary infection now. He had a rough night but his breathing was good enough to not go back to the ER. Keeping you posted.

How do you get on the naughty list?

Recently Caleb,while clearing his plate and cup from the dinner table, sloppily dropped his plate into the sink breaking one of the plates.

1 day later while fooling around in the bathroom (he was supposed to be brushing his teeth) he dropped and broke my q-tip holder. "I was looking at it because it was sooooooo beautiful - and I dropped it in the sink. It broke."

Now fast forward 1 more day. Out of the blue Caleb is thinking about Christmas and asks. "Mom, how do you get on the naughty list?"

I can't help myself and say: "Well, by doing naughty things like being sassy or breaking your moms things."

You should have seen the eye brows go up! HA if you can't mess with you kids then there is no fun to life.

Of course I told him I was kidding. Then he said "Mom, that is not funny!"
It was to me.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

911 emergency

Out of nowhere last night Nathan got slammed with a rapid progressing case of Croup.

At 7 pm he began to sound like he was congested. Ok a cold coming on, I thought - 'tis the season you know.

By 9:30PM we had the vaporizer going and a baby sleeping upright on my lap on the couch.

By 1:30AM his breathing was so laborious, his heart was racing and he had a fever of 100.

We called the on-call pediatrician. Who at first was not the least bit alarmed until I told him Nathans Aortic Valve stenosis issues. In about 10 seconds our conversation went from "get him in a bathroom with steam" to " Hang up and call 911". Which we did. His heart rates were sky high and his blood pressure wasn't good either.

Hence our first speedy trip to UW Children's Hospital ER via ambulance.

Nathan was not responding to his medicine in a positive way so he was admitted to be monitored and given steroids and epinephrine at regular intervals.

Please pray for him as he may not have seen the worst of it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cleaning up our language

I can't believe I did it , but it is true.

I washed David's mouth out with soap.

Since he has been back at school he gets to hear all kinds of terrible stuff.
Now for the last few weeks we have been hearing some not so nice stuff come out of his mouth.

"My teacher is an idiot." (his teacher is wonderful!)
"Oh crap."
" You're a patoutskie."
" Wiener face."
Things like that, not swear words - true, but certainly not the garbage I am going to allow David to say (and Caleb and Nathan who genuinely think it is hilarious.)

John and I have had multiply discussions over this behavior with David and have tried to help him see the "heart behind the action " behavior here. We have talked to him about how the garbage he is putting in his head at school, in the playground, and the kids he sits with at lunch (it is assigned seating) , is causing garbage to come out his mouth. He flat out told me which kids it is coming from, so I know he is recognizing it, as it is happening. We have talked about what to do in order to prevent ourselves from being influenced by this garbage and that it is not acceptable to be swayed into this type of behavior.

He agrees, but it continues to reoccur. So in an effort to make this lesson memorable - I conclude we must make it uncomfortable.

So I washed his mouth out with soap after the last occurrence. (Which was on the way home from CHURCH no less.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Full Moon?

Is it a full moon or what? 'Seems like we are getting hit from all sides lately.

Thank goodness we went away for our anniversary because we have been PAYING for it in many ways since then. It has only been 5 weeks since back and these are the highlights.

Got home from vacation and kids were sick. H1N1 was found in one of the boys our kids stayed with while gone. Took 2 weeks + to get over that. Nathan was the only one who didn't get it - Praise the Lord, I always worry about him and his heart being vulnerable.

Our dishwasher stopped working. Repair bill. $100

Unexpected dental bill for Jenny - my portion $70 thank goodness we have dental insurance.

Johns cell phone literally broke in 2 pieces - new phone $68 - good deal on EBAY

Johns car needed a $400+ exhaust.

The toilet (which is only 1 year old and the second most expensive model) won't flush properly. Haven't spent money here yet - except in the upcoming water bill which is already ridiculous in my opinion.

The 1 year old back door handle got broken 2 days ago. aurggh - can't have anything nice!

Our tenants were 13 days late on rent. This never happens - we have THE BEST people in there.

The refrigerator door is broken - like don't let the kids open the door broken - we have to buy a new door for our 7 year old side by side - repair guy comes again says it takes 2 weeks to order - can't fix the current one as components inside the door are broke - hope it stays together because I have THANKSGIVING dinner in there, for goodness sake. New fridge $800 min - repair $500. Went to American to look at scratch and dents - no help there - getting the fridge fixed - sigh

We sign up for YMCA for something to do in winter. 1st day - 40 minutes after paying $, Caleb slips and falls and gets a concussion - vomit and the whole nine yards. Stellar.

Both John and I get some sort of stomach - dizzy sickness that last a day.

Someone steals our Baseball Tee (Nathans FAVORITE toy) and our wheelbarrow toy from our outside playhouse in our backyard. Who did that? I shake my fist at you!

'Have a sleepover and 2 of the 5 kids pee in the sleeping bag and all over the Futon and the ONLY pillow that has no plastic cover. Then leave pee clothes on the carpet. Ok now I need to steam clean the floor, somehow clean the futon, and do 2 more loads of laundry. Glad it was fun for the kids.

So today's devotional verse for me was really a good one. I am indeed thankful that we can actually handle all of these items without me going back to work or taking out a loan or pulling out a credit card. But there are a lot of other places I would have liked to see that money go, like Christmas.

The verse for me today was:

Psalm 100: 4-5
Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise :
give thanks to Him and praise His name,
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.
His faithfulness continues thru all generations.

What a good one as thanksgiving approaches. Our house in not in foreclosure (we have a few on our block), John is still working despite all the cuts at his employer, I can still stay home with my preschoolers, and our family is filled with love. We know our security is in the Lord as we have built our house on His firm foundation and His love endures forever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nathan's bedtime tonight

Just a quick post - Putting Nathan to bed tonight was so cute. He is speaking in full sentences much of the time now so this short baby like conversation was precious to me.

As I was reading him his bedtime bible story we notice 2 beetle bugs flying into his light. They are making a clink clink clink sound as they bounce around in the glass light cover.

Nathan hears them:"Huh! Bugs!" raised eyebrows
Me: "Yup, beetle bugs, they like the light"
Nathan: "GET ME!" back straight - eyes wide- hands over mouth
Me" No, they won't get you"
Nathan " GET YOU!"
Me" No they won't get me either"
Me:" Let's turn the light off"
Nathan: "O TAY"
Nathan: "not hurt me." statement with a shaking head as if he needed to convince me
Me:"Nope, Nathan they won't hurt you"
Nathan:" Not hurt you." statement
Me: "Nope, not hurt me either"
Nathan: "O TAY - 'Night" closes eyes to go to sleep

Solves that - It happened in about 15 seconds but it was just one of those great mom moments that you are so thankful to experience. Childlike faith - good lesson.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from our 3 action figures:

David Transformers Bumblebee

Caleb Venom (Spiderman villian)
Nathan Batman

Nathan did not say trick or treat until about the 5th house. That is when he realized if he held his bag out candy would be dropped in. By then all he would say was "treat" and smile real big and say "Tank OOH" (thank you for those who don't speak toddler)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back from Vacation

John and I took a trip (alone!) to celebrate our 15 year anniversary.

We traveled to the Smokey Mountains near Knoxville TN. We left the kids Thursday morning and did not return until Sunday evening. What a blast! We have not left the kids this long ever, and this was the first time we left for more than 2 days without kids since David was born.

Pictures are coming soon. But we drove there at the best time. The fall colors were really beautiful and the Smokey Mountains were Majestic this time of year. I love a good road trip. Too bad we have to go thru Chicago - no wonder they didn 't win the Olympic bid. Driving there is a nightmare.

We rented a 1400 Square foot 2 bed 2 bath log cabin with an amazing over the tree tops view of the Smokey Mountains. The cabin had a fireplace, pool table, Foosball, 2 decks and a 4 man hot tub on the second deck looking out to the mountains. It was just what the doctor ordered.

We connected with an old Air Force buddy who lives near by, got to meet his wife and enjoyed 5 hours of great company and great food.

We rented the 2010 Chevy Camero, yellow, and decked out like the Transformers movie. SWEET RIDE! We even had a 7 year old boy run up to us asking to take a picture. It was giddy fun.

We did a lot of hot tub time, but also went horseback riding thru the Smokey Mountains, forging a little stream and riding past wild turkeys all around the beautiful colors of Autumn. It rained and we were soaking wet, but we didn't care.

John made me breakfast in bed and cooked Steak Fajitas for me for one of the suppers. It was so quiet and peaceful. A beautiful time to celebrate our 15 years.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our anniversary

It is our 15 year wedding anniversary. Can you believe that. This Thanksgiving it will be 20 years since we met. What a pip!

I was fretting over my grey hair recently and in response John said it was great - my grey hair that is. When I asked why is grey hair great?!? He replyed that it just meant we were growing old together and that was great. Wasn't that about the best response to your wifes grey hair a guy could say? Wonder what he would have up his sleeve for "Does this make me look fat?"

We have really been blessed. We have experienced:

more richer than poorer
more health than sickness
more good times than bad

and we are blessed beyond measure. Thank you God.

Update on Nathan

Nathan is changing like the leaves on our beautiful silver maple tree out front.

Day by day,BOOM another baby trait gone.

You know how good ice cream is on a hot summer day? How those last few bites are just the best because you savor it the most knowing it will be gone soon? Well that is how I have been with Nathan lately.Savoring the last of it.

I just gave him a super short buzz cut and it aged him 6 months I swear. His head and face are less and less baby looking more and more looking like David. His neck seems longer and his body is more like a bean pole.

Every day his language skills jump to the next level. His temper is still EXPLOSIVE but he gets calmed down much quicker with words than before (especially if those words include do you want a spanking?)

His "cup of tea" battle cry is over - I won.

God has graciously renewed my fascination with my children. Probably because I am getting more sleep. Allowing me to have more energy. Or maybe it is indeed that savoring of the last toddlerhood in this home.

Whoever said it was boring to be a stay home mom wasn't paying attention to the amazing things going on all around them. Probably because they were tired and looking for their cup of coffee.

Now that Autumn (or rather winter) is here, we are spending more time inside. Nathan is really an outdoors guy so I am not sure how this will go. He is my sports kid. Always wants to play catch, play baseball, or do whatever the big boys are doing.

He is getting ready to potty train. He even lifts his shirt and stands at the tree like he is peeing on it. That is what his brothers are doing so that is what he must do. It is funny. I am not pushing potty skills yet. He is fascinated by watching the boys go standing up and yells and waves "bye bye pee pee" when the toilet is flushed. Then laughs and laughs.

So that is what is new here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update on Caleb

What a difference having the older brother in school makes. Caleb actually gets a word in edgewise sometimes. Between David talking non stop and Nathan demanding whatever he wants, poor Caleb is always interrupted. Not so when David is at school.

Caleb's biggest new development is his reading. We are continuing on the hooked on phonics. His light bulb is truing on more and more. He is farther than David was at this age and is already able to read over 50 words. That program is worth gold - GOLD I tell ya!

The boy is built like grandpa Art and he hasn't had a life of hauling bricks. Look out girls, the boy is going to be a lady killer. The hair is turning dark and thick, like the Baierl side, the dimple is mischievously cute and the mind is sharp as a whip! He is a nonconformist. During Cubbies (AWANA) he is a lone spirit. Little fart doesn't care one bit if he his not doing as he is told. He is going to be the one who has incomplete assignments but passes the school tests, just watch. He will understand and know the school stuff but he won't tell you that, nor will he conform to the expectations of the class teacher. The homework will be incomplete and he won't care a bit. That will blow David's mind. I can see it now :"Aren't you David Baierls' brother?" To which he will grin his dimple and say some remark like "No" just to send them in search of the school records scratching their heads.

While doing our bible stories at night he is constantly a body in motion. But he hears the whole thing and answers all the questions so you know he is listening. I think he likes not conforming and then being able to "show us up" by actually knowing what we are talking about. A part of me really likes this - after all I loved the fact that John was a rebel, Mr long hair. (clearly the "get good grades" didn't matter one bit in how successful John has turned out in life. Ha! Take that!)

One more thing about Caleb. The dude is a mirror. If you ever wanted to hear or see what I was saying or doing at home you just need to see or hear Caleb. His responses to Olivia or Nathan when I am in the other room are to the T my words and inflections. Thankfully this is mostly good, but ever once in a while you will see me cringe at this. It keeps me in check because I can really be sarcastic and he is getting this negative trait from me. It is like God pulling a mirror up to you when you are the least ready to look. I gotta work on that. Quick.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update on David

It has been a while since I posted. The days are busy as always. Time keeps on tickin'

The last few weeks I have been tyring to be even more intentional in reaching the spirits of the kids. For whatever reason I have really been sensing the "growing up" of the boys more and more.

David is now in T and T at AWANA. This seems almost unreal to me that my boy is a 3rd grader and in the big boy club at AWANA. His verses and sections are MUCH harder. He rarely needs me for anything at home anymore. He was a very inviting young boy who was always asking for me to play with him but now he is moving on to bigger and better things.

I was really struck this week at how tall he is and just how long his legs are. I pulled out all the winter clothes and was smiling at the outfits Nathan now wears and comparing them to the size of Davids jeans. My goodness. Remember that roly poly 99 percentile chub a lump baby? When did he become Mr. Lean Bean? I have been here the whole time but man Kapow you blink and they are half way to being a man.

His character is really developing nicely. I am so proud of him. Lately at bedtime I get to hear him "realizing" daily truths about the world around him. The last few weeks he has told me mostly about the kids in his class and what he thinks about them and their families. He as told John and I about how he notices whose parents are fighting, whose kids are unsupervised and allowed to say and do bad things, and whose homes are calm or chaotic. He told me that at lunch a boy wanted to trade snacks with David but the lunchroom supervisor said they could not do this. The boy told David "She isn't looking now -lets trade" but he said no because he knew God was looking and he was being tempted to disobey.

We had a parent teacher conference for the first semester and he is getting all A's except in spelling where he has a B. He is reading in the 5th grade instructional level. Oh and his handwriting is sloppy (there is no grade for this) no surprise there, ever read mine? Sorry kid you got that from mom.

He is a social butterfly, inviting the new kids in his class (1 moved from Alaska 1 moved from California) to playdates and asking us to write notes to welcome them to Evansville. Clearly he has no self image issues.

So just as Dr Dobsons book on bringing up boys says, David is really in the blissful period of parenting a school ager. No toddler battles no adolescent wars.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Blast from Past Post - David at 9 months

So Laura and Scot posted an adorable picture of their Eli on the blog yesterday. Eli now has a Johnny Jumper that looks just like the one David had and just adored. I couldn't help but look back for the absolutely funny clip we took of him in his Johnny Jumper. We actually sent it into America's funniest home videos once - oh about 7 years ago.

Now rest assured Laura and Scot, if you watch this, David turned out fine. He was 9 months old in this clip and Eli is still WAY younger than this.

He always wound it up on his own - I swear - and then after a good long time he would lift his feet and let it go like crazy. Then after 3 or 4 seconds of "getting his barrings" would start all over again. I kid you not. He did this so often, often enough for us to get it on tape - that hardly ever happens.

Enjoy the blast from the past. I am still laughing 7 years later.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nathan's birthday

So I guess when you turn 2 you get 2 celebrations.

We celebrated with family at Lake Emily a few days before his actual birthday. Then we celebrate with just us on his "real" birthday.

He loved your toy Grandpa Paul. It is still the coveted play thing of the moment for all the boys. Can you believe that? NEW TOY!!!!!!!

Here are some videos:

Pictures are on my flickr site in case you are interested in those:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nathan turns 2

My baby is 2. Can you believe it! I am so thrilled.

Nathan is truly 2 in every sense. He is so willful. How many of you remember Caleb's 2nd birthday party? Remember how when Caleb turned 2 and that day declared war? It was like a switch was flipped and he became instant willfully disobedient toddler. Well we have a repeat with Nathan.

This has been going on for a few weeks with Nathan. But I will take this over the baby stage any day of the week. Good thing too because I do get it every day of the week. HA! I am reminded of a comment Bill Cosby made YEARS ago. He said he could take over the world if he only had an army of 2 year olds. How true is that! I am amazed as to how many grown people cave at the shrill of a determined toddler. Dr Dobson said "If Jr is looking for a fight - don't disappoint them" I am sure he would sit back and grin at a day at the Baierls.

Nathan's favorite fight is over his beverage of choice. It pretty much is anything you don't have. Well come to think of it, he never wants milk, but then again it might be because we always have milk. Not sure. Mostly you hear him yelling. NO! CUP OF TEA! It sounds so funny coming from him. You would think he was a little Englishman. CUP OF TEA! CUP OF TEA! Not hot tea, he wants green tea - it is sweet and normally is what I am drinking.

Between this and his beloved blanket you will find a very independent mind. I think Nathan really believes in his head that he is one of the "big" boys. He is determined to walk down the stairs standing up like the brothers do. He wants to put on his own shoes. He wants to put together legos or Bionicles and play with action figures. He fights a good battle with a light saber. This is really good on some levels - not so much on others.

Last Sunday I moved him out of the nursery and into Jr Children's Church. There ended my stint as a nursery kid mommy. YAHOO! I no longer have to look at the number panel and wonder if the number on the screen belongs to my kid. It has been a long time coming. 8 years of having a kid in there is a long time. Nathan immediately gravitated to the train table in the children's room and actually sat thru the Sunday School class without incident.

So now I am trying my best to enjoy these days. And when I am not pulling my hair out or grinding/clenching my teeth, I am smiling at this last round of toddlerhood. Soon the storms we will be weathering will be of adolescence and not of toddlerhood and I am not in a hurry to rush into that.

I will post his birthday pics and videos soon, but right now I need to get a cup of tea - for me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

David starts 3rd grade

Off to a new school for David. The first time David will be the youngest class in his school. Evansville has K-2 at Levi Leonard Elementary. 3rd - 5th grade goes to the intermediate school, Theodore Robinson. His building was the old Evansville High School. So they have lockers about the same size I had when I went to high school. Pretty weird.

His new teacher is Mrs. Horgen who has 3 kids at home under 4. She must be crazy busy. So far David is adjusting to not having any good friends in his class. (Last year he had a really good buddy in the same room with him). But we are on week 3 and he announced last week: "Mrs.Horgen's class is STILL bully free!"

The first day of class he found out that a bully in his class last year (the one David punched) would be in his class again this year. Well, the first day of class the teacher was handing out the class jobs for each kid. When she read off this boys name she ripped up the papers and thru them in the trash and said:" Well since he moved I guess we are done with that!" David loved this of course, especially the dramatic finish of ripping up the pages.

Our newest challenge is that his teacher is much less a "mother hen" who takes care of her little ones. She has a much higher expectation of her students to be responsible for their assignments on their own. A good thing for David to experience. It is after all 3rd grade. The kids should be able to be responsible for a large amount of stuff.

His spelling is much harder. This is good and bad. His spelling last year was a JOKE! The words were kindergarten level, in my opinion. Unfortunately, now that he is getting words that are appropriate for 3rd grade, this is taking some time to adjust. So David is beginning to learn what it takes to actually have to put effort into school. It is about time.

He was suppose to be responsible for taking his spelling work home and he didn't do it. He forgot it at school. His teacher allowed him to, on the first time, have a consequence for forgetting it. He got a demerit on his reward card the 1st week of school. He was surprised by this. Not only did she have a bigger expectation for him, but she also followed thru when he didn't do as he was expected, the first time.

Obviously, we have moved up to the big kids school. David has always been a rule follower and always been ahead of his classmates in everything except spelling. So this will be very good for him to experience some disappointment and the need to actually work at his grades.

His teacher did make a remark about David's handwriting. In this same conversation she said a remark about David being home schooled. I think I will let this one slide. It better be the only one she makes. She has no idea just who she is dealing with - yet. But for now my guns are holstered. Should more eyebrow raising home school comments come this way, I will unholster them.

John dropped in unannounced to David's class yesterday. He sat in the math class and afterward had lunch with David. I don't feel it is necessary to announce we are coming in advance. That sort of defeats the purpose don't you think? So John was pleased with what he saw and heard. There will be more visits like that, we like to have a pulse on what the atmosphere is like in the class.

Overall, we are glad he has a teacher with higher expectations and I am sure she has figured out already, that we monitoring Davids school activities closely. So we are looking forward to seeing what the year holds for David in 3rd grade.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lake Emily Take 2

So we had so much fun (except for the freezing nights) at lake Emily back in July, we decided to have a repeat of camping one last time this year.
For Labor Day weekend we again rented 'rent a camp' at the grounds and had a great weekend.
We did an early celebration of Nathan's birthday while there too.
As you can tell by the infrequent posts lately school has started and I am way behind on everything so I will just post some pics on this entry of our weekend.
Soon I will write about David's 3rd grade and Nathan's official birthday at home once I get it all off the video camera.
Here are some pics from Labor day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last Summer Hoorah

This past Wednesday we did our last Hoorah of the summer. A trip to WI Dells to see the magic show.

I had a friend watch Nathan for me so John and I could just take the older boys. We went to the Rick Wilcox Magic show. We stopped at Moose Jaw for a pizza and games before the show and had a great time there. David and I are addicted to "deal or no deal".

The magic show was worth ever dollar we spent. Now that is a lot coming from me. I expect a lot when I spend $39 a seat for a magic show. If you have never seen this show I would highly recommend it. My boys were wide eyed and open mouthed thru much of the show. Caleb laughed out loud several times. We were CLOSE and could see how things were done - well sort of. At one point John asked Caleb "How did he do that?" to which Caleb replied "Magic!"

It was magic - thanks Rick for the great show and the end note of this summer.

oh and one more thing - they were selling light sabers and this time we bought them.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sun Praire Corn Festival

Sunday after church we went over to the Sun Praire corn festival. Enjoying our last fair of the season. We again ate all kinds of fair food - but no corn, funny. Man did I pay for that later - getting to old for this - sigh.

The boys ran thru the fun house and Caleb and David enjoyed the bumper cars. The smile on Caleb's face was HUGE!

Nathan got his arm painted with balloons and Caleb got the bat symbol on his hand. All 3 boys bounced around in the bounce houses for quiet a while. David got his first turn trying to shoot out the whole star with the shotgun shooting game. He really did good. We kept that paper star. It was sort of a right of passage - he really is growing up fast.

Caleb got to throw his first dart at the "pop a balloon" game. He actually popped one. We were all surprised by that. Of course his balloon was a point value of 1 and the light saber on display was 16 points. Oh well, it was a good lesson once again we don't get the light saber. 'Can't have every one you see you know. Maybe next time we told him.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Circus is in town

This past week we took all 3 boys to the circus. It was actually right here in Evansville. It was pretty 2nd rate but let me tell you my boys didn't care. The lions and tigers were CLOSE!! A bit unnerving to mom and dad - (Let's hope that cage is secure!) at the end of the video you can hear David saying that he is scared for the people in the cage.

The clown was actually funny. A first for us I think. The unicycle was absolutely amazing to Caleb who just learned to ride a bike with training wheels this summer.

Of course there was cotton candy and all sorts of assorted junk. We told the kids they could get cotton candy but not balloons or toys before heading into the show. Knowing full well the repeated asking for them would occur once we entered the big top. I think everywhere we go someone is selling swords or light sabers. This is just the thing Caleb is looking for. The vendors see us and think - hey 3 boys tlet's go over there with these light ups swords! It was a hard thing for him to go without but let's be real, it is a lesson he and all other boys and girls can stand to learn. We are so spoiled. We are continually discussing what is a need and what is a want. Sometimes I think we are getting thru, sometimes not so much.

Nathan was so excited about the animals and the close proximity of the jugglers and tightrope walkers he was a blast. Here is a clip.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Navy Pier

I almost forgot to post about our trip to Chicago's Navy Pier. We went the first week of August.

We did have some fun, but let me tell you, I would have to rank this as one of the bottom the list things we did this summer. Considering dollar for dollar it would definitely rank dead last in value.

Clearly the so called recession hasn't hit Chicago's navy pier. Yikes. $7 for a single scoop ice cream? That is $21 bucks for my 3 boys to get a single scoop cone! $24 to park the van for 2 hours? $6 tolls to drive there? That is $51 bucks to get there to sit at the pier and have a single scoop. Hmmmm. Add the cost of gas for our mini van and we are looking at $100 bucks for a trip to the shore and a little creamed milk. 0h and a 4 hour round trip van drive - not really worth it. It will be a LONG time before we take the kids back there let me tell ya. Pretty much a bust - but fortunately the only real bust of the summer.

'Did get one cute picture though:

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Celebration of Life

A "celebration of life" day it was indeed. Today we spent half of the day at a funeral and the other half at a birthday party. Pretty weird actually.

Our 3rd sons middle name is Russell, which is named after our dear friend Russ Seils. Russ died this past Wednesday and his funeral was today. Russ was an extraordinary man. As a friend at his funeral put it today: "He was a quiet man, but yet one of great substance." So very true.

As a new comer at Monona Oaks Church 14 years ago it was Russ and his wife Beulah who were among the first couples to welcome us Baierls. They invited us to their home, invited us out to eat an a few occasions and we began to learn more about this extraordinary man. He had a sharp whit, a twinkle in his eye for his bride, and a smile that was boyish (AKA Naughty) even in his old age. He was a World War II veteran (Pacific) who fought behind enemy lines. He gave John a sword bayonet that hangs on our office wall to this day. As he put it: "I picked this up off a dead Jap on the battlefield". Russ is so representative of that generation of men who served their country, lived during desperate times, and remained filled with joy. Men who knew how to stand in the gap, work hard, choose right, lead and provide for their families, and serve his neighbor with whatever they had.

This is so lacking today. I think we could benefit from some hard times, learn from our failures and provide for ourselves thru some good old WORK like they did before the welfare system was around. But sadly as Russ' generation dies the population drifts farther into the "gimmie gimmie generation". Frankly, we need a spanking and detention work, but I digress.

As I sat in his funeral today,my mind flashed back to St. Mary's Hospital 2 years ago. While walking the halls of the maternity ward in an effort to encourage Nathan to be born, John asked me revisit Nathan's middle name. Naming our children is serious business to me. I did much research on names and their heritage and meanings before assigning them to my boys. All of my boys have Biblical names after Godly men. They are all Hebrew in origin. Their middle names are all after men who we held in high respect. So this was no simple flippant discussion. But when he suggested Nathan's middle name be Russell after Russ Seils, I agreed. I called my friend to check the meaning of Russell between contractions in the hallway. (In case Russell meant "willfully disobedient" or worse - remember the boyish smile I wrote about above) She called back saying it meant "little red one".

Once Nathan was born, we both smiled at the small wonder of him, because he was our littlest one (8 lbs even - yes that was our smallest!) and he was indeed red. HA! Nathan Russell Baierl indeed.

For his sake, I pray we do right by his namesake, and teach him the character he needs to represent the name Russell.

Russ' funeral was a great funeral for my boys to attend. He lived a full life, he loved the Lord, and everyone was happy about his recent promotion.

The second half of the day we got to spend with family enjoying Zach's 10th birthday. We changed out of our church suits (the boys looked so handsome) and into our tank tops and shorts and grabbed the gift bag of legos. Back to the world of growing up, not growing old and that too was yet another celebration of life.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Couple of Caleb Quickies

I know I am repeating myself when I say that 3 and 4 are my favorite kid years. The stuff that comes out of kids mouths at that age is so darn fun. Here is a couple of Caleb goodies:

Mom: "Caleb, it is time to get ready for bed. I have your tooth brush ready for you in the bathroom. Please go potty, brush your teeth, rinse, swish and spit."

Caleb: "Ok mom" (imagine running feet to the bathroom, racing his big brother to the door, and a few giggles when he wins)

Mom after a few minutes: "Caleb?"

Caleb out of breath running to return to the living room:" Ok, I go'd potty, rinsed, swished and pissed."

Mom: "you what?" (trying hard not to die laughing at this slip of the tongue)

Next one

Tonight while sitting in the bathroom waiting for Caleb to finish his "big job" He looks over at me and begins this conversation - remember he is on the pot and I am privileged to have a front row seat:

"Mom when I sit on the toilet, the pee is first and then poop is second. But when I stand, the pee comes but I tell the poop not to come out. But the poop only comes out after I eat, not every time I pee."

Mom: "Ok, then I guess if you don't want to poop you should stop eating. That would solve that." (joking around of course)

Caleb: "I can't stop eating! Then I would die! You would miss me soooo much!"

Mom:"Yeah and you would get real hungry too, if you stopped eating, wouldn't you? and you are right I would really miss you terrible. giggle."

Caleb: giggle giggle giggle

Friday, August 7, 2009

Who invented this stuff?

We just got our new dining room floor installed. It is beautiful.

I spent a few hours the night before ripping up the old berber carpet and happily dragging it to the side of the road. (It reminded me of the post where I put the crib at the curb) I wash my hands of you old carpet. Curses to whoever made that berber junk and to me who was sold on the "quality berber carpet" that I foolishly put in the dining room (Give me some grace I didn't have 3 kids then)

Clearly the person who had made that berber junk did not have to clean it. Whoever invented that carpet should have done a test run in a family of little kids with mac and cheese and peas. I assure you it was not a housewife who made that stuff. Shame on me for being the one who bought it. But I have redeemed myself with this new pick (I have a few more years, and kids, under my belt now)

Now we have beautiful pergo laminate wood in the dining room that matches the original woodwork to the T. Not an easy thing when the house is 140 years old. I went to Home Depot and told the worker there "I have 3 boys, run a part time daycare and I want a floor that can be USED! Boy do I mean USED! I am talking matchbox cars, diecast airplanes, bouncy balls, action figure battlefields, dirty tennis shoes, snow boots and of course spilled food and drink of every kind times 3." She said - "You need laminate - either pergo wood or laminate tile."

Since home depot only had light colored laminate tile I went the pergo wood route. If they had something the color of good ol' fashioned dirt, I would have bought that. But this will do.

Now we can eat rice. :) It is sweep and swiffer, all done clean. I love it!

Whoever invented the swiffer should receive the nobel peace prize. What a dream, you spray, you push, you smile at the results. Even better it can be operated by a boy who needs a house job. :)

Speaking of house work. Yesturday I was at a physical for myself, and I was asked to describe myself using the following words on the card:

self employed

Hmmmmmmmmm what to say, what to say. I resist the urge to listen to the devil on my left shoulder and answer housewife. That is when it occurs to me, the word housewife is appropriate because when you stay home with kids, it really is the house you are married to isn't it? Notice how housewife was at the bottom of the list? - I did.

Who invented that list? Probably not the same person who invented the swiffer.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Caleb's first try at sports - baseball camp

After a summer of sitting in the bleachers watching big brother David play baseball, Caleb was ready to participate in his first organized sport. We enrolled him in Baseball camp (David too) and he is doing great. The ratio is pretty much one coach to one 4 and 5 year old and this is serving him well. When he has 5 free seconds he is playing in the dirt so John has been keeping him involved in the "organized" part of the sport.

After his 1st day at camp (1 1/2 hours/2 days a week) he informed me how to swing the bat correctly.

"Coach says you swing like this : LEVEL. You don't chop! LEVEL"

In print it really misses the candor of his eyes and hands and his voice which was very teacher like. As if I don' t know how to swing a bat, oh that is right I forgot, mom doesn't really know anything!

Nathan is also catching on to the sport after a summer of watching other kids play. He realizes that once the ball is hit, you run. I got a cute clip of his "running the bases".

I guess baseball really is America's past time. It sure is for us Baierls.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Little Prankster

So our whole family is sitting on the couch watching You Tube videos of Tim Hawkins. What a Hoot! If you have never seen any of his stuff, you really ought to check it out. Our favorite one is "Smells Like Birthday Cake".

Anyway, after watching several of these silly videos, Caleb gets the idea of being a little stinker and pulling a prank on dad. Caleb gets a glass from the cabinet in the kitchen fills it with water. He spills some on the floor so that someone will slip on it later. (We had just finished a video of slipping on a banana peel) Then he comes over with ZERO warning that he is up to something, and proceeds to dump the glass of cold water right over Johns head. Well, John took it in good humor and we all laughed and laughed. Thank goodness for all involved that Caleb did not pick me. I am certain my reaction would have been something quite different. :)

So after a good 2 minutes of belly roll laughing, Caleb decides to go get more water. Except he forgets about his "trap" and slips and falls in it himself. Now this would have been extremely funny had he not got hurt. But true to life, he breaks the glass and has not only a good bonk on his bottom and arm but also little glass pieces everywhere. Party is over! John and I run over and access the situation. Between sobs we discover that Caleb has a small glass cut but he is actually crying over the fact that he broke the glass, not over being hurt.

John tells him we don't care about the glass - it is replaceable. What we care about is Caleb because we can't replace him. He calms down and we clean up. 5 minutes later we are all laughing again over the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lake Emily Camping

I don't like camping but this 3 day 2 night adventure was actually really fun.

We drove up to Lake Emily because this is the lake and camping area John's family use to vacation in years ago. He spoke so highly of it and I could see why. The lake was super clean and camping area was free of mosquitos and it had real showers and flush toilets. Here are some cute pics Aunt Kiki took.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Evansville Police

Remember that David wants to be a policeman when he grows up and it will make this post even funnier.

Today at Jennys house of child care I had Olivia (3), Naarah (1), Parker (8) and my 3 sons. We are happily playing outside in the mid morning enjoying the cool 60 something weather.
Knowing that soon we will be going to the library for a scheduled class for David I begin to convince the kids to go inside for a snack.

As they are eating, I run out to the van to wrangle yet another car seat into the back bench of my van. I have half of my body in and half of my body out, twisting this darn seat into place when I hear it behind me. A low and very purposeful growling dog. I freeze. I move my eyes to see where the dog is. I see nothing but believe me I HEAR something very clearly telling me it is there. I turn my head - still I see nothing. I slowly and carefully back out of the van and now I see it. Not a dog I recognize. (there are plenty on this street - half of which at some time have been in my yard before) It is between my garage and the neighbors fence (about 2 feet in width filled to the overflow with tiger lillies in bloom) It is about the size and build of a German Shepard but it is white and brown. It looks like it might be stuck or injured but I don't stick around long enough to find out for sure.

As I looked it over a few seconds it gets more and more angry and vocal about its irritation with me being in its space. I walk backwards slowly to the porch. I stand there for a minute deciding if I will call the police or just go in grab my pepper spray and a baseball bat and get on with it. I go call the Evansville police - (I did have a grandma who talked some sense into me). Well truth be known I grabbed the baseball bat first, then reconsidered. 'Didn't think it would be good to have the kids see that. Imagine what Caleb would have thought the NEXT time I gave him the 3 count! HA!

40 minutes later the police show up. It is the officer in town that looks like he is 12. I kid you not. He has pulled me over before (for a brake light that was burned out) and I am thinking - oh wonderful. A houseful of kiddos and you are going to be the man standing between me and that dog - should have gotten the bat and pepper spray.

After a short amount of investigating he determines he needs help. (no kidding!) He calls animal control at the Rock County Humane Society. They will be 20 - 30 minutes in arriving. He asks if he can just pull into the driveway and sit in his vehicle to watch if the dog decides to venture out. I say sure, but if he would rather, he could sit on the back screened-in porch with me and my kiddos. He comes in.

David is elated! The police man is here - new blood to talk too! David announces:"My mom is in the middle of making Snickerdoodles -she makes the best cookies ever!" He smiles and I offer him one like the little Susie homemaker that I am. He accepts. In return he offers an Evansville 'Junior Officer ' badge sticker to each of my bambinos. Again David is elated. At this gesture David feels it is necessary to tell him every thing David can remember that is related to policemen. Including my recent speeding escapade.

David: "My mom was speeding, going 13 over the limit, and she forgot to use the radar detector and the police put on the lights, but luckily mom got grace because she, like never speeds, or anything."

David:" In Stoughton my mom got her purse stolen, by 3 people! The 2 women are out of jail now but the man is in prison because he did lots of other bad stuff too! and my dad he has seen like all kinds of accidents. Once my dad saw a man get hit by a car, right here on main street!"
Now in between all this story telling, you need to know the other kids are jumping in and interrupting with their own special stories. I bet he wished he would have sat in his car and had some peace and quiet.

The people from the human society arrive. They have these poles with a loop on the end to trap the dogs neck. As they begin to trap the dog we see it come out of its hiding place and realize it is not hurt nor is it trapped or stuck and it is very unhappy. I run and get the video camera because I am pretty sure we are going to have an insurance claim coming on behalf of that policeman, I really thought the dog was stuck or injured back there, but it wasn't. Thankfully it was hard for the kids to see what they were doing in the bushes because there was a lot of high pitched screeching and barking and then they emerge with dog in trap and they lead it/drag it to the cage in the human society van.

Thank goodness it never ventured out into the main part of our yard - can you imagine? How would I have protected all 6 kids against that dog? It really freaked me out when I realized it was free to roam about, but just didn't.

Before the policeman left he said thanks for the cookie and how now we would have a good story to tell. I thought to myself:"Dude we don't need an angry stray dog for a good story to tell - all we need is to get up in the morning - this mom business is loaded with good stories to tell and I have a years worth of blog entries to prove it."

Friday, July 10, 2009


Spelunking - that is cave exploring for those who aren't familiar to the word.

After church on Sunday we headed over to the Cave of the Mounds to go check out the natural wonder of the underground.

Does it seem like we are trying to live a whole year in the months of June and July to you? That is how it feels to me. It has been a whirl wind of activities for our boys. That is the thing about summer. You may not be paying $250 a month to heat your house but you are spending $250 a month to make the most of the little good weather you get! But let me tell ya I am glad to do it. I LOVE Summer about as much as I LOATHE winter.

We took the boys thru the 1 hour guided tour of the cave. David was really interested. Caleb enjoyed it, Nathan was a complete pill. Not only was he a stinker in attitude thru most of the tour he also pooped his pants about 1/4 of the way into the tour. I am sure the other guided tour guests where thrilled to be in the tour with us. Nathan was stinker, smell and all. ARGH! My arm went numb carrying him thru the dark, wet, slippery cave. My little wiggle poppy butt boy, what joy.

After we got out of the cave we mined for gold and gems at their "pan for gold" area. All the boys really enjoyed this. Caleb's treasures were fossils. David's treasures were gem stones and Nathan's treasures were arrowheads. (well and the diaper we thru in the trash was quite a treasure in its own)

We didn't get any pictures of it. Can't imagine why.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th of July

Yet another fair, parade, and fireworks at our friends the Chavez-Mueller lined our festivities to celebrate our nations independence.
Our little community is great for this kind of thing. We are able to walk to the parade route and see many of our friends in the floats. I love spending the 4th in Evansville, it is the pinnacle of small town goodness. As we watched the veterans go by I heard David say to Caleb "Those are the soldiers who went to war and came back without dying!"

Our baseball coach was driving one of the big fire engines and David was jumping up and down yelling "Coach Bill, Coach Bill" They throw candy, freezy pops and even string cheese - it is indeed small town WI.

The fair has cheese, cheese and more cheese. Cheese curds, cheesy games, and cheesy entertainment. But praise the Lord they have cotton candy too. So we had 3 boys a blue. (The cotton candy was blue and Very Messy!)

To top off the evening we went to a cookout at the Chavez-Mueller's and watched the fireworks and became the buffet for the hungry mosquito's. What a good time. We made an American flag cake with the kids and got some great pictures of the event.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stoughton Fair

We went to the Stoughton fair a few days after going out on the pontoon. We gave each child $10 to spend at the fair. (Yes we are cheap.)

We gave them the option to spend it on tickets for rides, cash for games, or for fair food. David picked rides, Caleb and Nathan picked games. This seemed to be consistent with their personalities. Except of course after all the money was spent we were still begged to buy cotton candy and cheese curds.

David got to go on the bumble bees, the fun house, and the bumper cars. It was a little weird to see David on the bumper cars this year. He was much more confident than last year and was much more the bumper than the bumpee. Again smiles from ear to ear.

Caleb and Nathan picked a turtle (used to be pick a duck game - guess they got bored with that and wanted to change it up a bit) and got a light up light saber as a toy prize. That is honestly all he needed to make his day.

So now in the weapon bin we have a pirate sword, 4 star wars light sabers, his fair light saber, 2 other swords with matching sheaths, a lego sword from Lego land, and a foam jousting sword. For goodness sake, that is a lot of swords for 3 boys. That doesn't include all the other nerf guns weapons - just our swords.

Nathan and Caleb played against each other in the squirt gun game (twice) so that each of them got a stuffed animal puppy. (Which are now in the stuffed animal bin that already contains over 30 stuffed puppies)

Afterwords we received the 25 requests for cheese curds and cotton candy. Which we said no to because their money was all gone. (well and we knew 2 days later we were going to the Evansville Fair which has no rides but lots of food). So off to the animals we went. This distracted them from the tempting food and the mean parents who stuck to the plan.

Nathan was soooooo cute in the animal area. He loved the roosters showing off and really enjoyed the cows. We were able to watch the cows getting milked and Caleb was pretty wide eyed watching that. Believe it or not we got thru all the animal houses without any kid stepping in poop.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our trip on the pontoon

John and I have lived in the Madison area for 15 years and we seldom enjoy the beautiful lakes here. So we decided to rent a pontoon boat last week and head out to fish and enjoy the lakes.

We found a great little place near Stoughton on Lake Kegonsa that rents canoes and pontoons. We called a bunch of friends and headed out after church.
The smiles on David and Caleb's faces were ear to ear when we started out. Non stop chatter of excitement to be on the lake. It was priceless to see Caleb's face when Aunt Kiki jumped off the boat into the lake. It was part amazement, part fear, and part jealous. Here are some pics:
(Thanks Merrick for running the show on the lake for us!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kid's really do say some funny stuff!

A few random phases I heard yesterday and today - thought you might enjoy:

Olivia -(3 year old daycare girl) -" I don't have to pray at my house before I eat."
My response - "You do here. "
Olivia "Thank you God for this food...... can I eat now?"

Caleb (at the lake fishing) "What is that noise?"
Me "Those are frogs"
Caleb "Oh, I thought they were dinosaurs"
Caleb again "Do dinosaurs eat people?"
Me "Yes, but they are extinct"
Caleb " They stink people!"
Me "No they are EXTINCT - that means they are dead and gone forever and the frogs don't eat people either"

Olivia "I don't have to say 'may I be excused' at my house I just yell I'M DONE!!!!!!"
Me - "You are not at home"
Olivia "May I be excused?"

David (at the grocery store) "Don't ask Caleb - you know mom will say no."
Me - I said yes just to throw them a curve (well they were oreos)

Nathan being disobedient at the library -
I give him the 3 count - he reaches 3
Caleb exclaims "That's 3 mom - (turning to Nathan) boy are you in trouble!" (add Librarian laughing in background)

2 minutes later I am checking out a book and I hear Caleb giving Nathan the 3 count - add more librarian chuckling

At the grocery store checkout - the woman in front of me says:
"I have been watching your kids all thru the store and I just want to say they are so well behaved! Here is 4 dollars buy them all a treat on me." ( I stand with my jaw on the floor)
David - smile from ear to ear - "Can I have a hershey bar?"
Caleb - "M and M's!!!! Thanks!!!!! I have to go potty!"
Nathan as I hand him a kit kat "Yes - yes"

Nathan at the lake - (I point out the weird bird/duck walking thru the swampy area) "Moo"
Caleb and I start laughing - Caleb - "That is not a Moo Nathan"

David at the lake fishing - "I am a master at casting - look mom"
He misfires and it plops into the lake about 1 inch from him. A minute later he casts but lets go and his whole pole ends up in the lake.

David at the lake fishing again - " I caught a fish - I caught a fish!'
Me "Reel it in"
as soon as it gets close he freaks out "It's splashing"
John "If you get it out of the water it will stop splashing."
David "I don't want to touch it"
Caleb "Can I touch it?"

David (HOT day when all 3 boys have their shirts off) "Am I the only one in this family that has no fat on them?"
Me "Are you saying I am fat?"
David "Uhmm (hesitated) No?"
Me "Ok then"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our new backyard pet - Croakie

Ok so Toadie is dead and has his own headstone in our garden. (It is a big peice of bark from our landscaping) The produce next to him is growing well! :)

A few days ago we caught another random toad jumping around our hasta bushes. The kids name him Croakie (I thought that was appropriate for reasons that were different than the boys' reasons -smile)

John explains to them that we can put him in the habitat but he can't live in there like Toadie. He is MUCH bigger and will surely die in there. So later in the day with a tear filled Caleb we let him go. We tell Caleb that we are doing what is best for Croakie and that we will probably see him again because he will stay alive this way. (knowing the "next one" we see will actually be some other toad).

Well sure enough a few days later we see him again and 1 day after that we see him yet again. Well this sure was a good "lesson" especially for Caleb. He is SUPER excited that Croakie is living in our yard and eating our bugs.

Yesterday we saw him shoot out his tongue and catch a mosquito. Double good because Caleb just got a mosquito bite and is thrilled there is one less in our yard.

So this toad has taken up residence in our outdoor playhouse. So if you are over playing in our yard - Watch your step - there just might be a camouflaged toad nearby.

Ready for Summer

So all of the boys (John included) are now sporting buzz cuts. (I wish I could do that to mine).
The pool is pumped up and filled. We have secured new water guns and have even bought a slide to go into the pool.

I have already had my first sunburn. David's hair is WHITE and his face is freckled. Nathan and Caleb both have the best farmers tans I have seen in some time.

I love summer.

I was getting my feet sandal pretty and Caleb requests for me to paint his toes too. I hesitate wondering if I should fill this request or not. What the heck - I paint his toes too. Then Nathan chimes in, he wants his done too. So both Nathan and Caleb have their toes done. I guess that is the closest I get to mom/daughter pedicures.

Mom - Do you want to get a pedicure with me?

Monday, June 29, 2009

boy noise

A quick post of the backround "music" I get to hear all the time.

I notice Nathan making boy noise - no I don't mean farting - while playing with matchbox cars and airplanes today.

So at 21 months he already makes all the appropriate noises that go along with his boy toys.

I wasn't fast enough to get it on film but here is a clip of what boy noise is (from the oldest 2 boys) I have to say that I would rather listen to this than that terrible elevator music that played at my last workplace.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The family birthday party

What a lucky kid- 2 parties in 2 days!
You know when you have 8 boys ages 6 - 9 come (plus your toddler and preschooler) a 2 hour party is enough - is it time for the parents to come yet?

But when you have a beautiful day and family you love (well and truth be told a better adult kid ratio) the party ends too soon. So it was for the family gathering on Saturday.

I was especially glad for Megan and Samantha my 2 nieces as they were the age to really have a good time playing together - good for them each to have another girl (there is a bit of a shortage of those around these parts).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

David's 8th Birthday

So this year we had a lego batman birthday party celebrating David's 8 years. (8 more and he will be behind the wheel of a moving vehicle!)

We played the batman theme song music as the guests were arriving. We greeted them in lego batman masks. Bat symbols hung from the ceiling in the living room and of course there were batarangs and legos galore.

Seems sort of weird to say but 8 has already proven to be a bit more Milestone - ish. He no longer needs a car seat, he finally gets to watch Pokeman (I should have made that provision 9years old) He moves up to Theodore Robinson intermediate school and he gets to be on the baseball teams that actually have numbers on the back of their uniforms - you know like the REAL baseball players have. (I remember when he dreamed of being on those teams when he was in t-ball - HA!)

Here are some clips and pics of the friend party - next post will have the details and pics of the family gathering that happened the next day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A week of good news part 3 Update on Nathan's Aortic Heart Valve

Friday Nathan had his Pediatric Cardiology follow up appointment at UW Children's Hospital.

He was so calm and cooperative. What a blessing! We brought a Backyardigans movie from home and the ultrasound tech played it in the dvd that is mounted on the ceiling. What a difference a 30 minute Backyardigans can make! Needless to say he remained still thru the entire echocardiogram and the pictures and results were great quality. I was amazed at this almost 2 year olds behavior!

Since his last appointment he has become a body in motion. When we were evaluated last he was still an infant - not walking or cruising. Now he is full fledged willful toddler who is constantly moving. So this particular appointment was important to measure how well his heart is coping with the additional stress of increased physical activity and forcing the needed blood thru the obstructed valve.

The news was indeed good. Although we are still praying for his valve to perforate as it should have thru the Great Physician, his results were full of grace.

His left ventricle showed Zero signs of thickening and his pressure has not increased. His pediatric cardiologist said that he could stay at this level for years with no need for intervention.

So John and I left with no action items - no list of doctors to contact - nothing. We take Nathan back right before Christmas for another echocardiogram and consult to track his stenosis. What a great summer gift! Praise to our Lord for a good report.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A week of good news part 2

So for 12 days I have not been able to find my wedding ring. For the first few days it consumed my thoughts.

I have looked in every drawer, every pocket, the van, the garbage, the garbage disposal, and every other reasonable and unreasonable place.

I remember taking it off to put lotion on my hands at night when I was REALLY tired. Actually I was close to sleepwalking I was so tired. I even said to myself "Don't put your ring here you are so tired you will regret it. "

Suspiciously Caleb's Ben 10 Alien Omnitrix watch was also missing. Really unusual because he ALWAYS plays with that toy. So last night I realize "Hey one day I remember Caleb putting the omnitrix watch in his bed. I wonder if it is under his covers?" (he makes his own bed so it is actually possible)

I look and sure enough not only the omnitrix but my wedding ring is there! I felt like the woman in the Bible who found her lost coin, I wanted to shout from the mountiantops "I found it - come and rejoice with me!"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A week of good news part 1

This past week has been one full of "Thank you God!"s

Tuesday David finished 2nd grade. It is great to see him more often. His teacher made all the kids a DVD of thier year, it was sweet. His report card was outstanding and we are happy to move on to the summertime fun.

Wednesday we went to visit Aunt Kiki. On the way there I got pulled over for speeding. I will never hear the end of it with David and Caleb. The officer came over adn asked for my licsense and left to check out my record. (which is clean by the way) Then David asked: "Mom, were you speeding?"

I said:"YES and now I will get a fine as my punishment."
Caleb pipes in and tells me "You shouldn't be speeding mom now we are in this ditch and not going to Aunt Kikis"
We wait and wait and wait. You know how hard that is when it is the 1st day of summer break you have somewhere to go and my 1st born is CONCERNED that we have pulled over into the ditch. Which he did not notice until his brother mentioned it.(it was just the side of the road but you couldn't convince him)

The officer returns with a warning. (I was going 13 over the speed limit no less!)
WOW I get GRACE! I don't think that has ever happened to me before - not getting a ticket when I deserved one. He must have looked into my van seen the crackers, the cooler of sippie cups, the blankie, the stuffed animal puppies, the boys telling me I was in trouble and the sleeping toddler in the car seat and realized I wasn't much of a threat to society. He probably knew I would be reminded for weeks to slow down.

Now every time I accelerate on an on ramp Caleb yells out "YOU'RE SPEEDING!"
(which I am not but you can't convince him)

more of the week in the next post

Saturday, June 6, 2009

David's new vocabulary

While David was playing at a park in Madison he learned a few new words. (I should mention he was there hanging out with a bunch of church friends after Sunday service no less)

David was running around "decoding secret messages". At least that is what he told me when I asked what game the boys were playing. Silly me I thought it was just a pretend game of spy.

Later that night John is reading the bible story and facilitating the bed time routine when David tells him about the game at the park.

Well come to find out the secret messages they were decoding were the things other naughty kids were writing on the park play equipment.

Now I am sure you have read that stuff just like I have, but this is the first time David had noticed it enough to read it. So he proceeded to tell us that he read the word f-ck. Yes he actually said that word out loud.

Thank goodness it was John who heard it first cuz I am sure it would have been repeated to see if my reaction could be duplicated.(probably by the little brother in the bottom bunk who has eagle ears no less)

John told David that was one of the worst words a person could say and told him that we would discuss it further at some time after sleep had occurred.

Fast forward 1 day and I am taking David to school - it is just him and I in the van. I bring up the subject of the bad word he read on the park walls. I asked him if he knew what it meant.

He said "it means that you really really hate someone - like when you give them the middle finger."

"HMMM how do you know about the middle finger?" I say trying not to overreact.

"Nick and Will told me about it. Don't worry I won't say that F - CK word or any thing like that mom."

So there it is folks - my disclaimer that it didn't come from inside this house. In the off chance you see or hear my oldest say that word or give you the finger. But you better tell me the instant it happens. :) Oh and there is no video or picture that goes along with this post - obviously.

Friday, June 5, 2009

So WI Airshow

A quick post to show some pics from the Southern WI airshow we attended this Saturday.

We took some buddies with us and had a boy festival there. We had David, James, Caleb, J.P., Nathan and John and myself. Plus a stroller, wagon, ear protection, diaper bag and a wad of cash.

We enjoyed ourselves until Nathan got frightened by a race that was between a semi truck with a jet engine and an airplane. The smoke and the loud BANG from the jet engine truck freaked him out. The smoke cloud looked like Hiroshima. I found it humorous because there was all kinds of advertisements for "Green" living. This place was exhaust city central! HA.