Sunday, May 31, 2009

Things are looking up

Today was a better day. I took the boys to church. I figured out Ram could help me load Lamb 3 in the car between services. We got to church really early, but the Sunday School teacher helped me get everyone inside. The boys were able to be there for the last Sunday School before summer break. After church we had a little presentation for the teachers and students so I was glad they were able to be there. It was really hard to keep Lamb 2 and 3 in the pew with my injured foot. Ram brought communion to me in the pew. Ram helped me load everyone up after church. Thank goodness for cruise control and for power sliding doors on the van!
My foot feels some better. I still can't walk on it, but with the shoe from the doctor, I can put a little pressure on it now. I'm hoping to be able to walk on it in a few days.
Tonight we went out to eat at our favorite restaurant in the area. It was the last day to use Lamb 2's birthday coupon. I did fine with my crutches and we had a nice meal.
When we got home from supper we called Ram's parents and figured out our trip to CA and then we ordered the plane tickets. So I can check that off my to-do list.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh bother!

I have had a really hard time feeling like I am doing nothing with my sprained foot. I am frustrated with myself for doing this in the first place. (Ram says I should have asked him to carry the birthday box-but it wasn't that heavy!). I am frustrated that I need help to do the small things a mother should be able to do. I am frustrated that this entire week was wasted and not only did I get nothing done, but neither did Ram as he was helping the Lambs or me. I am disappointed that we can't go to church on Sunday and it is the last time for Sunday School. (Having a tri-parish makes this difficult. Of course it had to be the foot that I drive with.) I am thankful that my foot wasn't broken and I don't need a cast. I am thankful that Lamb 3 can walk and usually comes when called or I don't know how I would manage this. I wish that Lamb 3 could go down steps as this would be even easier. I am wondering when this will be healed up to plan our calendar for June and wondering if we will be able to go on our vacations to WI, CO, and fly to CA. The Lambs, especially Lamb 1, are very frustrated with Mama not being able to do "Mama things". I am frustrated because usually picking up after Ram and the Lambs is easier to do in a few minutes for me than to expect them to do it. So I haven't done a good job of "training" them to do things for themselves and to pick up after themselves.
All this time "off my feet", I should be reserving hotel rooms and buying plane tickets and stuff like that. But I wonder if I will even be able to go on these vacations. I started to look for hotels this morning and I just got overwhelmed looking for rooms in all these cities for all these dates. I really want to go to WI to see our friends and to the other two weddings to see family.
I got all 3 Lambs to rest this afternoon at the same time (quite a feat when I have to tuck everyone in while I am on crutches and put Lamb 3 in his crib too) and I took a long nap. Ram finished his sermon. Then Ram took Lamb 1 and 2 to a graduation party. I ate leftovers and fed leftovers to Lamb 3.
My sister says I shouldn't count out everything just because I'm on crutches. She's been on crutches for several months because of her knee surgeries. But she forgets that as difficult (she thinks easy) crutches are, she doesn't have a one year old that can't go down steps and two other Lambs to watch out for too.
After my nap I feel better and perhaps tomorrow I'll be up to tackling the mountain of laundry that has built all week (I've only done one load since last Friday) and making reservations for our June and July vacations. Perhaps this will be good experience for the Lambs to learn to do more for themselves too. And hopefully my foot will heal soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our family stats

Ewe's stats:
35 years old
tonsils out
tubes in ears twice
wisdom teeth out
no broken bones
one sprained elbow (I couldn't open up my Valentine's in kindergarten!)
one minorly sprained foot about 8 years ago
one majorly sprained foot now-first time using crutches

Ram's stats:
34 years old
one broken toe
kidney stones
2 wisdom teeth out

Lamb 1 stats:
5 years old
one spiral fractured leg
caps on 4 front teeth

Lamb 2 stats:
3 years old
no broken bones

Lamb 3 stats:
almost 14 months old
no broken bones

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lamb 2's Birthday Photos

"MY keys!"
Lamb 2's favorite present was some old keys and keychains.
"It even have white!"
Lamb 2 loves to do sidewalk chalk. If he only knew chalk used to ONLY be white!

This cookie set for their play kitchen came with refrigerated cookie dough. The Lambs had no idea what that was! I would guess most children today would be the opposite and not know how to make cookies from scratch.
"MY new tie!"

Lamb 1 and 2 took their grill outside to grill out while Ram grilled hamburgers for supper.
Even with my injured foot I got the cake made. Yes, it really was pink with pink frosting and Pooh sprinkles and Pooh candle. That's what Lamb 2 wanted! Lamb 2 is actually the most wild boy out of the three lambs. Plus Lamb 1 and 2 wore Superman shirts all day.
Lamb 3 enjoyed his piece of cake
Lamb 2 loved his cake!
Happy Birthday, Lamb 2! We love you! We're glad you had a great day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Lamb 2!

3 Years Old!
First family photo at the hospital (Ram, Ewe, Lamb 1 and 2)
I LOVE this photo-Lamb 1 was so excited to be a big brother!

We really did take photos of Lamb 2 by himself! I had a difficult time finding photos of Lamb 2 as a newborn. Our digital camera broke the day after we came home from the hospital. We bought a new one but we didn't get it until after his baptism. He was over a month old when we started using the new camera. He was born at 1pm and we went home the next day late in the afternoon. Here he is in his car seat ready to go home. I loved this car seat but we gave it away after Lamb 2 was done with it and had to buy a new one for Lamb 3.
Brothers-Lamb 1 and 2
I really like this one too!
Lamb 2 on his first birthday
Lamb 2 on his second birthday
We hope you have a special day today!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Short version of Not Me Monday!

I do NOT think I majorly sprained my ankle on Sunday night. I was being very quiet getting Lamb 2's birthday presents out of the room that Lamb 3 was sleeping in. First I took the heavy smaller box out. Then I went for the bigger box. While I was carrying the bigger box I did NOT miss a step on the steps up to our two back rooms. There are 4 steps, NOT 3 steps!
I did NOT yell quietly at Ram to not turn on the light and not worry about me because I was so worried about Lamb 3 waking up! Then I told Ram to put the rest of the presents out and not worry about me. I hobbled out to the computer and started blogging with my foot up.

I also planned exactly how to make Lamb 2's cake. I am the perfect mother with Lamb 2's cake ALL done. (That's right, I have no idea. And now, with a sprained ankle, it should be EASY to make that cake tomorrow morning.)

Lamb 2 gets a little Not me Monday on his birthday too. Of course since Lamb 2 is a boy, he would never want a pink cake with pink frosting. And also since he is a boy, he wouldn't have been the last one to eat at our friend's house last night because he was playing with their dollhouse. And he wouldn't be thrilled because he got to eat pink cake at the funeral yesterday when he thought he had to wait until his birthday.

Lamb 2's birth story

In honor of Lamb 2's birthday tomorrow, I am posting his birth story today.

During the pregnancy, the blood tests came back positive for Down Syndrome. We went to the Twin Cities for a level 2 ultrasound that didn't tell us any more. At this ultrasound we found out we were having a boy and we told people that wanted to know, but we didn't tell everyone.

My water broke about 3 am and we headed to the hospital 45 minutes away. Lamb 1 came just one hour after we arrived at the hospital so I wanted to go immediately for Lamb 2. We waited and waited and walked the halls until about 11:30am when they finally said I was far enough along to get in the tub for a water birth. I wasn't prepared for this long in labor after Lamb 1 came so soon. I was bored just walking the halls and waiting. Ram read a book most of that time. For Lamb 2 I had tested positive for strep B so I needed IV antibiotics when I first got to the hospital and then every 6 hours. The midwife had told me with my first birth being so quick that I would probably just need one dose. Wrong. The first dose was easy. By the second dose the last thing I wanted to do was to lay still on my back until the whole IV bag was in me! I now know why we want to labor any way besides on our backs. The only drugs I took for Lamb 2's birth were these antibiotics.

I got in the tub about 11:30am. They were in the middle of beginning a total renovation of the hospital. So I was in the tub with lots of banging and drilling and knocking down walls. The birth room with a tub was very small. The midwife laughed and said that all this noise would be worth it for future babies and their mamas to have better birth rooms. I didn't know at the time that she was right and I would have Lamb 3 in one of those beautiful new birth rooms.

I really felt like Lamb 2 was stuck the entire time I was in the tub. Finally the midwife told me to try a different position. I was in the middle of getting up on my knees when Lamb 2 decided to come out. The midwife caught him from behind. She says she will always remember his birth because he was the only baby that she caught in that position. (Maybe since he was born she has caught another one like that, but I doubt it.) He was born at 1pm. (I know I shouldn't complain because my labor was only 3am-1pm, but this was my longest even if it was uneventful!)

He was healthy- 7 lbs 7 1/2 oz; 19 1/2 inches. He was born one day before his due date. He was both my heaviest and shortest lamb.

I had a really hard time adjusting to two lambs. Lamb 1 then- dairy problems (MSPI), not potty trained at all, not talking at all (soon after Lamb 2 was born we had him evaluated by the school system), still had a pacifier at night, and still slept in our room. There are 2 years and almost 3 months between the first two lambs. I remember sitting in the house crying most of the day on the 4th of July, because I just couldn't get myself together and get everyone dressed by noon to go to the town potluck. Plus Lamb 2 did not sleep well at night (during the day he did ok) until we got the bright idea at 2 months old to take him to the chiropractor. He slept great after his adjustment at the chiropractor. We had taken Lamb 1 to the chiropractor from the beginning so I don't know why we didn't think of it for Lamb 2. So the first 2 months with 2 Lambs was terrible, but we survived.

Lamb 2 had a very easy-go with the flow-attitude that he still has today. I was thankful for this because Lamb 1 demanded so much from me.

Lamb 2 was born Memorial Day weekend so the hospital had different staff than normal. My midwife still was there for me and the small town hospital took good care of me, but it wasn't as much attention as normal. In some ways this was good. At night, the nurses took turns holding Lamb 2 and let me sleep from 10pm-4am (which was really nice after getting up at 3am the night before). And Lamb 2 got a lot of attention from the nurses. Ram was supposed to have Ascension Day service in the evening after Lamb 2 was born, but he canceled.

Lamb 2 was born with red hair that has lightened up quite a bit now to blond. Lamb 1 was a great brother and Lamb 1 and 2 are very close. We would have been happy with either sex, but I was very glad to have two boys in a row to be brothers and play together.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tiring Day

Today we attended Harrison's funeral (see my post from last week). We left at 7:30am. We missed a turn so we had to do a loop back around a few miles. I realized it was my first time I was at a Catholic church for a funeral and the only other time I had been to a Catholic service was for a few weddings. It was difficult to keep the Lambs in line during the funeral as they were at both an unfamiliar church and unfamiliar service. They had a delicious lunch of roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, bread, and desserts. We were one of the first ones to eat and then we had a few minutes to talk to Harrison's sister, our babysitter, Graceann and also to her mom.
Then we stopped for shopping at Walmart and the grocery as it wasn't that far out of the way. Then we went to a birthday party for the family that has children our age in Sunday School at their house. The oldest girl, the boy, and the mom all have May birthdays. It was beautiful weather, not too hot, so the kids had a great time playing outside until supper was ready. They grilled out hamburgers with lots of yummy salads and sides. It was a hard choice of frosted angel food cake or chocolate cake but I went for the chocolate. We were finally home about 9pm and quickly put the Lambs to bed and unloaded the car. You can't imagine how much stuff I had to pack to have dress clothes, shorts and jeans (I wasn't sure of the weather) for everyone for the birthday party, and then the regular diaper bag/snacks/food for Lamb 3 etc. We had all that to unload plus the groceries we bought.
When Lamb 2 came inside for supper tonight, he remembered there were toys inside the house besides the ones they were playing on outside. He was one of the last ones to eat supper because he was inside playing with the dollhouse. The Lambs love going to this family's house to play because they have girl toys that we don't have plus they have a lot more ride on toys than we have. All 3 Lambs also enjoyed playing with their pretend lawnmower.
It's finally time for bed for me-a short sleep tonight before we have to get up for church in the morning!

Friday, May 22, 2009


5 people in our family
+ 5 other church members (from 2 out of the 3 churches of our tri-parish)
=10 people at church on Ascension Day evening

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Becky posted on her blog about an upcoming move for her family. The Loopers (Lutheran homeschool e-list) have also been talking about moves for military families.
If I counted right, I have moved 18 times. As much as I have moved, I'm glad it isn't even close to my age! I have lived in IL, SD, IN, OH, WI, and MN. One move we even lived in a motel for a month while we waited for our house to be available. Some of those moves, my parents just couldn't fit everything on the moving truck. I think my mom regrets a few of the things that were given away/sold at that point. But most of the things were just stuff, and it was good to clean out and get rid of stuff each time we moved.
Our last move, we moved 10,000 lbs. We didn't have kids yet. We didn't have much furniture. Ram's parents brought us some furniture and several boxes of books after we moved here. For each of our birthdays, Ram's mom sends a box, usually about 40 lbs. Can you tell we love books?
I dread the thought of us moving. I should be working on cleaning out since we have been here for 6 years and collected lots of stuff. But I just don't have time with 3 little Lambs to take care of. We are hoping we aren't done with our family yet, so we can't really get rid of the baby stuff yet. Part of the reason I don't clean out stuff is I don't know where to begin. Which closet do I begin in? Which bookshelf? My scrapbook supplies? My files from teaching (I think a lot of it is trash, but some might be useful to homeschooling.) The Lambs toys?
As much work that I have to clean out, I feel like I'm always cleaning out closets, especially as the Lambs outgrow their clothes and need the next size. I don't want to hang on to shoes and the Lambs clothes until I have grandchildren like Ram's parents did though.
Have you cleaned out stuff? What was your strategy? Where did you begin? Or did you just wait until the last minute when you moved? I welcome any advice! Sometimes I think I should do Flylady style and work on one drawer or closet etc. for 15 minutes each day. But would I really accomplish anything with this method? And where would I find 15 more minutes? I am busy from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. I feel like I need a strategy to get my "stuff" under control.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Goodbye servant girls

Ram likes to call me the housemother. Part of my task as "housemother" was to provide direction to my "servant girls" aka babysitter and cleaning ladies.
Unfortunately my babysitter has been unable to babysit for several months because her brother was ill (see my post from a few days ago regarding this). Before that, I had her come one afternoon a week-basically to play with Lamb 1, but also with Lamb 2. I liked that she was homeschooled so she was available to come Tuesday afternoons, which is Ram's day for visiting nursing homes and the day that he is gone the longest. It was nice to have someone to talk to when Ram was gone for a long day. She did a great job really playing with the Lambs, not just watching them play. It was nice to get some small projects done during nap time for Lamb 2 and 3. Sometimes I took a nap while she was here. The Lambs enjoyed doing playdoh in the winter and going to the park in the summer with her. She lived in the house behind us when she first started babysitting for us. Then she moved to the town 7 miles away. Sometimes she would get a ride one way and sometimes we took her both ways. But it was worth the chauffeuring to get a good babysitter. I have really missed her since she hasn't babysat for us. I don't know for sure, but I think she will be moving away soon. I am going to try to get another babysitter, but we won't be able to get one that the Lambs like as much as her!
When I was pregnant with Lamb 2, Ram allowed me to hire a cleaning lady. She came every 2 weeks and "all" she did was sweep/mop the kitchen floor, and clean our 2 bathrooms. It wasn't that expensive, but worth it to get those areas done without a toddler trying to "help" me clean. Even though I am trying to clean with more natural products, it was worth having a cleaning lady while I was pregnant. A few months after Lamb 2 was born,my cleaning lady just didn't show up one day. I would have liked to have kept her longer, but it didn't work out. I waited until I was pregnant with Lamb 3 and got a new cleaning lady. She started by herself, but then she started bringing her sister with her to get done quicker. She had the same work (kitchen floor and bathrooms) as my first cleaning lady. I hired her to work for my pregnancy, but liked her so well that I kept her after Lamb 3 was born.
Have you ever wished you could afford a cleaning lady? Let me tell you, it's not worth it some times. When I was in college, one of my babysitting jobs, I babysat every other Tuesday and when I babysat the cleaning ladies came. While the baby napped, I was expected as babysitter to keep an eye on the cleaning ladies while the mother was out. The two school age girls "had" to pick up all their toys and clothes etc. that morning before they went to school so the cleaning ladies could vacuum their room. I vowed then that I would never let cleaning people make more work for my children. I think it would have been easier to expect the school age girls to pick up and vacuum their own rooms so many times a month than to go through picking up everything before the cleaning ladies came.
Don't misunderstand me, I really did like having clean bathrooms and kitchen floor every two weeks. But it was a pain to pick up everything in the kitchen floor area before they arrived in the morning. Sometimes (it began to seem like every time they were coming) we were gone the day before and got home really late (after visiting someone in the hospital 3 hours away or going to the doctor 1 1/2 hours away etc.). We couldn't just dump the diaper bag and groceries that didn't need to be put in the fridge on the floor and go to bed then. I always tried to clean the kitchen and do the dishes so they didn't accidentally knock a glass on the floor and they had a place to get water to mop the kitchen floor. I tried to pick up the step stools and potty chair etc. so they were ready to clean when they got here. If I ran out of time and didn't get these things done before they got here, I ended up paying them to do these little things because they were paid by the hour. They accidentally broke my soap dispenser and got bleach on my carpet. Ram always had to be sure to be out of the shower and dressed before they got here. Lamb 1 was afraid of the cleaning ladies and hid in his room the entire time they were here. All these things added up made me think, why am I PAYING for this?
So, I gave them notice that today would be the last day of cleaning. I told them we needed to take the summer off and we would see next fall. If I'm pregnant then, I'll probably get them to clean again. If I'm not pregnant, I probably won't.
I have great plans to try to continue to clean the two bathrooms and kitchen floor myself, every two weeks on the days that they would have cleaned. I want to involve Lamb 1 and 2 a little bit in this cleaning even if it initially makes more work for me. I don't know how these plans will work out with vacations and summer activities, but I'm going to try.
For me it comes down to a choice between being stressed the morning the cleaning ladies come or being disciplined to do the cleaning myself. Perhaps if I can do the cleaning myself, I'll reward myself with a small treat. Hey, I'm saving the money that I would have paid them, maybe after the summer I'll reward myself with a big treat! (Maybe something for scrapbooking?)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Well Mama Check-Up

Today I went for my annual exam with my midwife. She teased me that she thought I said I was coming in for my annual check-up but I was really coming in for a prenatal appointment. Maybe this is TMI, but I loved answering her that Aunt Flo hasn't visited since before I was pregnant with Lamb 3! (pregnancy and 13+ months) Plus I answered that I AM NOT pregnant.
I took some homemade granola as a gift for my midwife and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for the nurses. My mom takes homemade gifts to her doctors some times to thank them. I'm always too busy during pregnancy or newborn time, but they sure appreciated it today. It was nice to "chat" with my midwife-I missed seeing her regularly since Lamb 3 was born. She was my midwife for Lamb 2 and 3's birth.
I have to go back some time (45 minutes) to get blood work done. It's hard for me to believe that it's been 5 years since I had cholesterol etc. checked. I have to go back for a fasting test so I couldn't do it today.
Have you had your annual exam? This is important to not get pushed back on our calendars. It doesn't take very long (except for the commute if you live far away like me!). Plus you get some time to chat with an adult without your children (even if they are in the waiting room like mine were with Ram). Schedule it today, if you need to.
After the doctor's office then we went to the park. We didn't stay long because it was too hot. (high 80's) You know it is hot when the Lambs complain. This is a bigger park than our park a few blocks away from our house. Then we went to DQ for ice cream cones for the Lambs and peanut buster parfaits for Ram and me. Lamb 3 enjoyed lots of licks of ice cream. I just ignored my weight at the doctor's office a short time before DQ and enjoyed my ice cream!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Check this out

Cheryl had a pretty neat link to a You Tube about Obama. It puts a different kind of perspective on our National Debt. I'm amazed people can figure this out in terms we can understand and adjust for inflation. Unfortunately, the information didn't surprise me. No wonder why there were so many TEA parties!

Obama's Joy Ride

Thanks Cheryl, for pointing this link out to us!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Visit your local parks

The town 7 miles away had a visit your local parks kick-off today. We have all summer to visit and do activities at 7 parks. Then they will have party in August and give prizes to the children that complete the activities. We made clay tiles after collecting items on a nature hike. The sun was in their eyes so it was a little difficult. They asked if they could make a second one, because they enjoyed it so much. We also planted morning glory seeds to take home.
It was chilly, in the 40s. Lamb 3 had a difficult time being top heavy and trying to walk in his coat. He just wanted to be held until we put him in the stroller while we were eating a picnic lunch and he went to sleep. I don' think he will be our nature lover-but maybe when it is warmer, he will be.

Lamb 1 and 2 with Papa on their walk after lunch.

I wanted to take a photo of the Lambs at each park we go to. Lamb 1 was upset because he didn't get to jump over the stream so he refused to be in the photo. He finally asked to have his photo taken by himself when he realized we weren't going back to the stream. But I didn't get a photo of the Lambs together besides this one.
We'll be busy this summer doing the activities at the local parks. It should be fun. I like that is is free! Look for more photos on my blog of the parks that we visit this summer. Hopefully it will be warmer when we visit more parks.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goodbye...Talk to you later

Our babysitter, Graceann, her brother, Harrison, passed away today after fighting a battle with a very aggressive type of leukemia since December 2007. He had just turned 11 years old on Ram's birthday in April. Here is what his stepdad had to write today.

"Hello to all our beautiful prayer warriors and supporters who live literally all over the world. What a blessing you are!Heidi wanted me to tell you all that at 1:22 p.m. Harrison died. He lived and fought right up to the end. He never gave up. We never gave up. It was a beautiful and peaceful end to a beautiful life of a beautiful boy. Like the quote I posted before, indeed, Harrison lived right up to the moment that he passed away. A beautiful part for me was to see him with his mother. Heidi was lying at his side and was holding him as he died. He went very gently and peacefully. Your prayers mattered and helped us in ways that even we probably don't understand. Keep praying. Keep hoping. Live to the fullest. Heidi will have more to add soon.Peace and joy be yours," Dennis

Ram and I weren't real sure how to tell the Lambs about this. They knew Harrison well when he lived in the house behind us. But then the moved to the town 7 miles away a few years ago. Then he was in the hospital for several months-it seems like years to me. Even when he was home, we weren't allowed to visit in case of germs. I don't think Lamb 2 remembers Harrison at all and Lamb 1 probably doesn't remember him very well. But they love their babysitter, Graceann. She hasn't babysat for us for several months, but they talk about Graceann at least once a day. Ram had Ladies Aid tonight so I broke the news to the Lambs tonight at prayer time. The first thing Lamb 1 said, was "When Graceann goes to heaven, she'll be able to see and talk to Harrison again." It was strange after 1 1/2 years of praying every night for Harrison to not pray for him, but only pray for his family.

About a month ago, when I didn't even realize Harrison was so sick, Lamb 1 had a profound statement. He said, "If Harrison goes to heaven, he won't ever be sick again!" Lamb 1 made this statement to surprise me when we weren't even discussing Harrison then, nor had we told Lamb 1 how ill Harrison was.

I think Lamb 1 has a better understanding of death than I do. Oh, to have childlike faith again!My mom's brother died from leukemia when she was 6 years old. Ram has lost both his brothers. Lamb 1 is named after Ram's older brother and his middle name is named after my mom's brother that died from leukemia. So Harrison's death really hits home for me. We can't wait to see Harrison and our other family members in heaven some day! As Lamb 1 said tonight, we'll talk to them later.

Please keep Harrison's family, especially his parents and Graceann, in your prayers in the days to come.

Mom moments I love

First, both the Wordless Wednesday photos from yesterday were taken at a restaurant over the border in SD where we had a Mother's Day buffet brunch. Lamb 1 had a tie but refused to wear it because it was clip on and he wanted a "big boy" tie.

Last night I had a headache so I quickly did our bedtime routine of prayers and then quickly told the Lambs about our plans for today. I didn't stick around and chat afterwards. Lamb 2 got very upset that I didn't. I still left the room. I was so proud of Lamb 1 when he tried to say things to comfort Lamb 2 and then started singing hymns to him. I love overhearing this!

Then this morning, the Lambs were playing with their stuffed animal "babies". I overheard them doing the whole bedtime routine with their babies before they put their babies down for naps. It was a joy hearing them sing the Kyrie, Lord's Prayer, "I Am Jesus Little Lamb", and "Now the Light Has Gone Away". I am so blessed to be a stay at home mom to be able to hear this!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Well Child Visits

Yesterday we took Lamb 1 and 3 for their 5 year and 1 year checkups. I was surprised that Lamb 1 had 3 shots, blood drawn, urine test, vision test, hearing test, blood pressure, and height/weight check. He is finally up to 38 lbs! He'll be in a car seat for awhile at this rate.

Lamb 3 had it easy with only 2 shots, height/weight check, and blood drawn. He lost a lb a few weeks ago when he had croup. He gained that back. He's a little guy. He's 13 months and 17 1/2 lbs. He'll be backwards in the car seat for awhile longer.

We've noticed that our doctor has become more laid back these last few visits as even compared to a year ago. Maybe this is because he now has grandchildren. Maybe this is because he can tell that all 3 Lambs are developmentally doing well and healthy, but they are just skinny. Maybe this is because this is my third boy. For whatever reason, he is no longer concerned about the Lambs weight.

I was concerned that Lamb 1 isn't getting enough dairy. For the last 6 months or so he has refused to drink rice milk plain, eat cheese, or eat yogurt. The only dairy he gets is ice cream and sometimes we have cottage cheese. The doctor wasn't even concerned about this. He said to drink more OJ with calcium, eat more canned fish, eat more veggies, and offer dairy but not push it. The doc wondered if the dairy still bothers Lamb 1 a little and we wonder if the memories of the dairy bothering him (MSPI) would cause him to not want dairy. When the doc saw how skinny he was, he said to let him have a milkshake every day if he wants it. We used to have banana or berry smoothies almost every morning. We haven't done that for awhile. Perhaps we'll try to get back into that habit, especially for Lamb 1.

Lamb 3 was born with a bump on the back of his head, behind his ear. This was quite noticeable as a newborn, but has shrunk as his head got bigger. At birth they told us he would need to have a scan at about 1 year old. Yesterday the doc told us he will keep an eye on it at checkups but not to worry about it.

Lamb 3 was healthy and over his ear infection and croup from a few weeks ago. The labs came back good for both of them. I'm thankful that the Lambs are healthy and checkups are truly WELL child checkups. Lamb 2 turns 3 in a few weeks and then it will be his turn!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This is the first time I am writing a Not Me Monday. I just have a few things to share with you.
1. A mother that was very busy last fall would never have her three boys have their photo taken in their Halloween costumes in February. Especially so that she didn't have copies of those photos for herself and the scrapbooks for her children with only a few to give away to grandparents and aunt and no extras. It would be ridiculous to spend that much money for a few photos in Halloween costumes for just me. Nope, not me!
2. That same mother wouldn't feel bad that the third child, the baby, never had a photo taken in his Christmas outfit. Nor would she feel worse because the first child had several photos taken at 2 different photo studios in several outfits and poses for his first Christmas. So that same mother wouldn't schedule a photo of her baby in his Christmas outfit in May to try to make up for it. Of course that photo wouldn't be scheduled today. Nope, not me!
3. Having the photo taken several months later wouldn't make the problem that the baby doesn't have shoes that still fit him to match the Christmas outfit. Nope, not me! (Seriously, the outfit REALLY does still fit him.)
4. A mother would never have the same idea for a blog post, but not get around to posting it until a friend posts it, so she ends up not posting anything for Mother's Day. Nope, not me! You can see my (actually Ram's) idea for a post here.
5. A daughter/daughter-in-law/granddaughter-in-law would never be so busy that she gets the cards for the mothers and mother-in-law in the mail late so they don't receive them by Mother's Day. Nope, not me!
6. That same mother would never have to go out of town with her family for the day and end up not calling the mother-in-law until 9pm and not calling her own mother or grandmother-in-law at all on Mother's Day! Nope, not me!
7. Of course we weren't late to the reservation we made for a Mother's Day buffet at a restaurant because I had to stop to get a newspaper to see the front page article of MckMama. Nope, not me, we were on time! And then I wasn't surprised at all to see MckMama's husband's name and children's names. Nope, not me, I wouldn't be surprised that he has a name other than Prince Charming.
8. Finally, a mother would not be thrilled to open up 2 Mother's Day cards, first thing in the morning on Mother's Day, one from her husband, and one from her children. Nor would she receive a rose in the color picked out by each of her three children (well, the one year old had help picking his). Nope, not me!
Happy Mother's Day, a day late, from not me!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Being a tightwad

I picked up a copy of Tightwad Gazette book yesterday at the local library book sale. (Shows I'm a tightwad to buy the book over 10 years after it was published and paying 25 cents.) The beginning of the book has a article talking about the idea that baby boom generation having fewer opportunities and struggling harder than previous generations is an idea held by most Americans, but it is false.
The author says that she thinks the majority of Americans have much higher expectations. She gives some examples like we have more cars, more Americans go to foreign countries, we spend more money on hobbies and recreation, we have more items to choose in the grocery store, and we eat out at restaurants more. Only 25% of parents of baby boomers went to college vs. 62% of high school graduates in 1992. Home ownership is 15% more affordable than in 1980. Even though the average family is smaller, a new house is twice as big as the average one built just after WWII. 75% of new houses have central AC vs 34% in 1970. 50% have more than 2 bathrooms up from 16%. 58% of new homes had a garage in 1970, now 82% have them. Health care costs are on the rise because we expect more-high tech testing and cures for everything. The one area that Americans are right about is taxes. Since 1948 the federal tax and social security for the median family of 4 has risen from 2% to 25% of their income.
Some of these statistics are outdated (1996) and I know we pay even more taxes now. That is without current politics and the current economy factored in. But the author's point is if you are willing to live like people in 1960, you can be a stay at home mom too. Second incomes are often consumed with child care, extra taxes, and luxuries that were done without then.
I've been thinking about this whole topic recently. Most of our church members are older and they raised larger families (5 0r 6 kids) in much smaller houses than we live in now. Some of them don't have central AC and my parents only got central AC a few years ago. We have 2 cars and it is rare to use both cars at the same time except for Sunday morning. Many homes in our area don't have garages even though we live in the "frozen tundra". Americans seem to think going to college is a right, not a privilege, unlike my sister and I that worked VERY HARD to pay for college with help from my parents.
My parents were very good about knowing the budget for groceries-taking that much cash to the grocery, keeping track of how much they spent as they shopped, and not spending one more cent. When we got to the check out, if they miscalculated, then they put some items back. Many times we didn't get everything on the list-once we had spent the money budgeted, we went to the check out lane. My mom was very good about writing a grocery list with different categories-items we desperately needed, items on sale or coupons, and then items that would be nice to have but if we ran out of money then those were the first ones we didn't get. My dad was excellent at doing the mental math to see what the best buy was.
It was rare for us to shop at K-Mart or Walmart type stores because my mom knew she would fall into the trap of going in for one item and then coming out with many more items (usually items that we really did need, not just wants). So that was solved with us just rarely shopping at stores like that and doing without.
Even though I'm very frugal, I have no idea how much money we spend on groceries and other items. Since we live so far away from Walmart and a big grocery store, I'm more concerned about GETTING TO the store before the coupons expire and our cupboard is bare. I ALWAYS have a list going because I never know when we will be going to a bigger town to shop (when Ram has to visit someone in the hospital). Our cupboard is always stocked very full because we live 7 miles away from a small grocery store. We pay for our groceries with a credit card and pay it off each month both to get the reward points for our credit card and to not worry about how much cash to take on our trips to the grocery 1 1/2 hours away. Plus when something is on sale, I can stock up and not worry about spending too much money.
This post has become way too long, and I don't know what the answer is to Americans having such high expectations. I'm planning a Mother's Day post tomorrow and then maybe I'll return to this topic next week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Fun

My dad sent this to me as an e-mail and I changed it a little for my blog.


What letter does your last name start with? P
A 4 Letter Word: play
A Boy's name: Paul
A Girl's Name: Polly
An Occupation: photographer
A Color: purple
Something you wear: polo shirt or pants
A Beverage: purple cow (like orange julius with grape juice instead of oj)
A Food: plum
Something found in the bathroom: pee and poop
A place: Portland
A Reason for being late: (see something found in the bathroom)
Something you shout: oh pifle! (when my dad feels like cussing, he says this), also "Papa, Lambs, come!"
An animal: penguin

Does anyone want to play this game with me? Either put it on your blog or e-mail me or leave me a comment.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Sue!

This was the best photo I could come up with for my cousin Sue. Some how we send lots of photos of our children but very few of ourselves!
Sue is actually a distant cousin but she is the only relative my age that lived close enough to come to family events. Then when her husband was at Sem. we were able to get together more often. I went to visit them in CA while her husband was on vicarage. Since they moved to NJ, I haven't seen her. It's been too long!
Happy Birthday Sue!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Esther posted this great blog entry about her grandma in February. I really wanted to do a similar entry today because my grandma would have been 102 today. My grandma sounds a lot like Esther's. I haven't made any of our photos digital yet, so my entry is without photos.

Grandma had a HUGE garden every year. She lived next door to two of her sisters so they all worked together on the garden. My grandma ate really healthy, mostly veggies out of her garden either fresh or frozen/canned by her.

Grandma loved to sew. She made each of her grandchildren an afghan for confirmation or 8th grade graduation and a quilt for high school graduation even though she was over 90 when my sister graduated from high school. She made hundreds of quilts for Lutheran World Relief.

My grandma loved to bake. She made dozens of cookies for the fall festival at her church every year. The older she got the more she made. She made something like 30 dozen when she was 90. Of course she always had plenty of cookies left for her grandchildren to take home at holiday time or she mailed them to her far away grandchildren.

When I was little we lived with my grandma while my dad was at the Seminary. I heard everyone call her Frieda so I called her Grandma Frieda. The name stuck for our whole family. Until I was in high school we lived about 3 hours away from Grandma. We tried to spend most holidays at her house plus several weeks in the summer. It was great when I could spend a week with grandma all by myself. I would help her with her daily tasks and garden, but it was always fun working with her. We often had homemade banana splits after supper during these visits. Then we would stay up "late" playing board games and card games. Our favorite game was Chinese checkers. Then we would stay up even later and she would tell me stories of her childhood. I loved her stories of growing up with 3 sisters and one adopted brother on the farm. And stories of raising 2 boys and 2 girls. I loved to hear stories about my mom when she was little. She lived next door to two of her sisters and their husbands. It was great fun to go visit all of that family and just walk there. They were all very active in church and the 4 sisters helped together on many church activities.

Grandma taught 1-2 grade in Lutheran schools. When I began teaching she dug out some of her old files of things that might help me in teaching. Sometimes she would cut out things to get a whole art project ready for them-she did this on her own without me asking. She made fondant for my students at Easter time. The extended family remembers she would make cupcakes with homemade fondant eggs at Easter. It was great to talk to her about my students too.

Grandma was at our house for dinner when Ram asked my dad if he could marry me. My dad had me tell my grandma and my mom since we weren't there for that conversation. Grandma made homemade mints for the wedding reception-I think she made over 200. What is amazing about this is she had crippled hands and she was 94! She hosted a wedding shower for us at her house. Shortly after that she got the flu and had to go in the nursing home. We were all amazed that she was almost 95 before she left her home.

I quit my teaching job a few months before we moved here. Ram and I went to visit Grandma almost every day during that time before we moved. Her memory was so good, even better than mine sometimes! I worked on a few scrapbooks for her. She had it all organized so I put the photos in for her and when she had time and felt well enough then she did the writing. It didn't matter how much room I left for her, she always filled it all up! I treasure those scrapbooks and the memories of working on them together.

My mom had a baby shower for me at her nursing home so that Grandma could attend. She didn't feel well that evening but she still came. While I visited her that week we talked a lot about her births and babies. My parents took photos to her when Lamb 1 was born. She was so excited to be a great-grandmother again. When my parents came to the baptism she told all the nurses and staff that her great-grandson was being baptized that weekend. Grandma went to heaven the day after Lamb 1's baptism. She was almost 97. I regret that she never met any of the Lambs. I'm glad that she was able to see pictures of Lamb 1 though.

My mom recently found some writing that Grandma did. It is all interesting to our family-about the WWII war rationing, about Grandpa and Grandma's honeymoon, about when Grandpa died (car accident). We are hoping to type this up for the family. We can't ask Grandma to tell us the stories any more, but hopefully we can read them.

Grandma was a great example of her faith. She lived her faith by volunteering at her church and in her everyday life knowing that the Lord would provide and take care of her.

A few months after my grandma died I was talking to someone about her. They couldn't believe that I could be that close to someone without being raised by them. I know it will be more difficult because we live so far away from our parents, but I really hope that the Lambs get close to their grandparents like I did with my grandma. When they are old enough we plan to send them for a week or two with their grandparents like I did with my grandma. That is when memories were made for me.

I love Grandma so much. I miss Grandma so much. Grandma taught me so much. I will always think of Grandma on May 4. I can't wait until we are reunited in heaven!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Good Shepherd Sunday from Lamb 3!

The Lambs enjoyed singing "I am Jesus Little Lamb" at church this morning.

MY Day accomplishments

I got started a little later than planned and then took a long lunch break when the Lambs came over and everyone else finished and cleaned up earlier than I expected, but yesterday I did accomplish a lot. I put some baptism photos from Lamb 3 in a frame with cross stitch from my sister and when I got home Ram hung it on the wall for me. I opened Lamb 3's album from the plastic. I put all his professional photos in it with paper and stickers and some journaling. It went from his 12 day old photo to one year old photo. I worked on the other two Lambs albums a little bit and got it all organized but didn't get their professional photo albums caught up. Hopefully I can get those caught up in the next few weeks now that I am finally organized. I think I should have done some of this during our long winter. Now it is warming up and I need to spend time on yardwork and plant a garden. It was a beautiful 60 degrees yesterday so Ram took the Lambs to the park after they visited me for lunch. I'm hoping next weekend is nice weather for yardwork since I spent yesterday inside.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

MY Day and Monday's plans

Ram is such a wonderful husband to watch the 3 Lambs today so I can go scrapbook ALL day! He's going to drive 45 minutes one way to bring Lamb 3 to me at lunch (actually all 3 Lambs). With Lamb 3 being sick he would not be happy to be away from me all day. I am going to work on the pictures from our vacation 2 years ago and also work on the professional photographs of all 3 Lambs. I haven't started an album for Lamb 3 yet so I hope to get his started and caught up (the professional photographs-the rest of his album is hopeless at this point!).
On Monday we plan to go to St. Cloud (3 hours) to go shopping. Lamb 1 and 2 were supposed to go to the dentist but it got canceled. So now we have the entire day to shop without worrying about their appointment time. The Lambs have been promised a visit to Toys R Us to use their birthday coupons and money for several months now and we are finally going. One birthday coupon even expired (Lamb 1). Lamb 1 just received a bike and training wheels so I don't feel too sorry for him. We also need to hit Once Upon a Child and Sears because Lamb 1 has outgrown or put holes in all his jeans and several pairs of his dress pants. Plus we'll "have" to go back to St. Cloud in a few months when they can fit the Lambs in at the dentist. Those of you who live closer than 3 hours to major shopping and doctor visits should count your blessings. It makes a VERY long day, but sometimes we just have to go and that's the way it is where we live.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I am amazed...

at Lamb 3's verbal skills! Lamb 1 and 2 were nothing like this. On Easter Lamb 3 said "ball" when we were outside playing ball. Later we were all in the same room he said "Papa" several times until Ram paid attention to him and said, "What?". Then Lamb 3 said "play".

Today I asked Lamb 3 if he liked bananas and he said "yum yum". Lamb 3 is only 12 months old.

I finally understand when we had Lamb 1 tested for not talking-he was 2 1/2 and they said he talked like an 8 month old. Lamb 3 has already said many more words (and clear enough and makes sense in context) than Lamb 1 did when he was 2 1/2. Lamb 1 finally started talking when he was 3. Lamb 2 talked earlier than Lamb 1, but it wasn't until he was 2 1/2 that it was clear and in context and he really took off talking.

Plus, Lamb 3 is a very good listener and obeys. I'll say, "it's time to go downstairs" and he'll go wait by the basement door. I'll say, "it's time to go upstairs" and he'll get so excited that his body shakes because he gets to practice walking up the steps by himself. I'll say, "time for bath" and he'll go get the bath toys and put them in the bathtub. I'll say, "time to eat" and he'll go get a bib.

Maybe this is normal for 12 month olds, but Lamb 3 is the first one of my boys to do this!