Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008 part 2

I won't even begin to complain about all the running and packing and unpacking and hauling boxes and garbage and putting away part of Christmas...because it's a downer and we really did have great moments of Christmas.

Some of the best moments
  • Parker giggling with delight and slapping his knee with excitement as he watched Santa stuff his stocking
  • being speechless as I look at my Grandmother's Nativity set up at my mom's house on Christmas Day
  • Parker being patient enough to open, assemble, and play with the toys before ripping into the next one
  • sleeping in until 8 am on Christmas morning (sure to be one of the last year's we are able to do this)
  • watching It's a Wonderful Life with my husband on Christmas Eve
  • for the wonderful meals we ate with our families
  • for my husband surprising me 2 years in a row with an unexpected gift...this year it was my new mom pendant with Emmitt's Amethyst birthstone

Some of the not-so-best moments

  • Emmitt crapping his pants during church and the diaper bag is in the car
  • Bear and Parker (who was napping) driving around in the car and missing church as a family
  • Papa Don missing Christmas Eve because he hurts too much
  • hurting for both of our mom's, with this being the first Christmas without both of them

We know that this is just the stage we are in in our lives...the stage where you pack up and run around like maniacs with the kids, but it is exhausting.

apparently he thought it was time for Emmitt to get off his new toy and to try it out himself

Christmas 2008

oh, the tree...I still can't believe we went fake this year...it started by me unpacking my work tree to haul and somehow it ended up in our living room-with lights and decorations and presents and all! We say it was all about Emmitt...he is into everything! I couldn't handle all the needles and him eating them and pulling them off the tree.
Parker had a lot of fun trimming the tree. He was excited about his ornament box and putting them all over the tree. I made a point not to rearrange them after he put them up there. My mom used to do that to us and we always picked on her, but I made inner symmetrical side was screaming to organize, but I left it be. Auntie Tammy taught him how to play eye-spy with the ornaments and we had fun just about everyday playing that game. Before long, he had them all memorized and we couldn't stump him.
Emmitt had fun grabbing at the branches, touching the HOT lights-again and again and yanking an ornament or two off and chewing on it. You think he would have figured out after 5 weeks of this tree being a fixture of our living room that he wasn't supposed to touch it!
The boys had fun with all the other decorations in the house too. Although most of them ended up on the armoire and out of reach. He had extra fun with the jingle bells. Still in the "puppy" phase of carrying everything in his mouth.

Monday, December 29, 2008

sledding on Bronco Hill

We made a few of our Christmas traditions happen this year. One, Parker went skating. And Two, we went sledding...first to Kerry Park hill and then we decided to upgrade to Bronco Hill. Emmitt actually went down a few runs and sort of enjoyed himself. After about half an hour he was done. Part of it may have been that he looked like the kid from a Christmas Story who couldn't move his arms. I had crammed way too many layers on him and then proceeded to shove him into a snowsuit.
The boys and mommy and daddy had fun. We got our exercise that day. Well atleast Bear and Papa Milo did. I mainly stood at the top of the hill with a camera and Emmitt. The guys did the hauling up the hill and pushing down. Over and over and over.
Parker smiled from the first time he went down until the moment he left the hill.


so we woke up Christmas morning to no more creatures stirring. as a bonus Christmas gift, we successfully trapped the mouse!

I had gotten up in the middle of the night to feed Emmitt and was in the kitchen and heard something drop to the floor...when I turned on the light I saw a cookie in front of the stove. Well who do you think put that there? So I run upstairs, freak my husband out by shaking him out of a dead sleep, telling him he needs to move the trap. So he does and we put a little Christmas cookie on the trap to attract him and it works!

Throughout this whole time of having a mouse in my house felt so intrusive. It took cookies off my cookie plate, pooped in my stove drawer and crawled on my counters! I am glad he is dead and I don't feel bad about it...YUCK

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


the night Emmitt and I were throwing up at 1 am, Barrett had to "take care of us"...or try to. In his defense he did take care of us and get the job done, but seriously?! I was up still at 1 am hugging the bowl on and off and heard Emmitt sputtering in the next room. I elbow Bear and say "Emmitt is throwing up, can you go help him?". Bear actually (or doesn't dare) say a word, he methodically gets out of bed to check on him. Not a minute later, I hear: "oh no, oh no, oh no" gag, gag, gag, stomp, stomp, blaaahhhh...he simply smelled the barf that covered Emmitt from head to toe and the crib bedding and could not stomach it...literally. I have called him, in the past, a sympathy barfer because he truly sees, hears or smells somebody else do it and he follows. So he, as nice as he can, asks. no begs me to take Emmitt while he changes the bedding and gets him a new diaper and jammies. "Sure" I say, as I peel myself off the bathroom floor. I do want to help my baby after all. So I run a bath for Emmitt, who through this whole experience is just staring at us both...and even has a smile for me when I am scrubbing barf out of his hair. I am clutching to the side of the tub for support so that I don't pass out and fall in, getting Emmitt dressed and Bear comes in and says he can't find the sheets or blankets or comforter or bumper for the crib. He is still gagging and rummaging through dresser drawers and closest shelves. It took one look from me and a saying that I have said from day one "if you put laundry away more often, maybe you would know where stuff is!" and then I called him a pansy and told him to suck it up and make the crib! I told him where the bedding was and that no we don't have another bumper and full crib set because those things cost money that we don't have! I sort of felt bad, but I was sick and not in the mood for sympathy. He usually shoots back with "well you are always moving stuff around so I can't ever find anything!" but this time he didn't. I think he could tell that was not going to fly. He made the bed and took my advice to layer the blankets just in case Emmitt had another episode, that way we could just peel off the top layer and continue on. He rocked Emmitt until he went back to sleep. He did it, basically on his own, with only a few choice words from his wife.

The next day I stayed home with the boys and had a jammie party, as I layed around and tried to be a mom that was sick. Funny how all you want when you are sick is your own mom, no matter how old you get. Parker ended up sick all night a day later and two days later Bear had it. None of us went upstairs when he was sick and once in awhile I would shout from the bottom of the stairs, "you need anything babe?"...nope. He made it all on his own.

My sister calls "just to tell me a funny story" and it made me laugh. She went to Walmart to make her photo Christmas cards and her kids had a lot of blue on in the pic so she chooses a blue-ish background...gets home and shows them to the family and they say "we aren't Jewish". She had totally chosen a menorah background and then had written "Merry Christmas" at the bottom! That made me feel better immediately!

So a couple of days ago I got an email from Steph that says, "this reminded me of your husband"
I had seen this video before and laughed and I think I laughed even harder seeing it now after the recent events at our house! And he has been known to gag at diaper changes also...


He looks so different now, it is actually hard to remember how long that crazy hair was. I was afraid to get it cut, thinking he won't be my crazy-haired Emmitt anymore. But that isn't the case. He still has a "top-curl" and it simply won't lay flat without some effort of applying hair product.

He went from baby to boy in a matter of minutes...he actually did very well getting his haircut. Parker went first, as if to show brother how big boys can sit still. Tina, a friend and stylist, just got a new puppy that happened to come to work with her that day and that was the ticket for distraction! He laughed at that puppy and watched him play with Parker and sat for a decent haircut.

Not looking to thrilled to have a camera shoved in his face, but a cute little boy haircut nonetheless!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Davina tagged me for this...you are supposed to take the sixth folder from the pictures file on your computer and pull up the sixth picture and post it.

Here it is...
This is my grandparents 25th Wedding Anniversary picture. I started this post at about 8:30 a.m and am now finally able to write about it. emotional!

So, I got this picture, as one of many, from when I was gathering photos for a scrapbook I was making for my Grandma. She had turned 90, December 27th, 2006. She decided she wanted a celebration for her Birthday the following April. The celebration actually happened on my birthday weekend. She made it very clear she wanted all of her family at the party. So I got to work and sent out a letter to my entire family to get me all of their information, photos, and stories for a Heritage Album. The mail started pouring in and it was an emotional journey for me to complete the album. I dove in head first and loved making the scrapbook for her. My mom smuggled the pics from grandma's house so she knew something was up. I interviewed my grandma over the phone and then used some footage of another interview she gave to a cousin of mine. Her mind was clear and sharp when she retold me stories of her childhood and the journey she had with my grandfather.

This is one of my favorite photos of my grandparents, I remember sitting in my little room making the album and truly being in awe of this picture. It is and still is simply breathtaking.

This post has been so touching to write because Grandma would have been 92 this December 27th...and looking back at all the years my mom bundled us four girls up and made the 8-hour trip south to New Ulm for her birthday are priceless. In the scrapbook I have scattered some of my families favorite memories of grandma and never put my own in there...so here it is, I loved how her house smelled, the many baths I had with her Caress soap and how slippery her water got when I was in it (she had a water softener). How, no matter how old I got, I could play with the farm animal set in the tub and I was never "too old" to do so. I will forever think of Grandma's house when I hear a cricket chirp~which is why I love "The Very Quiet Cricket" by Eric Carle and cried my eyes out the first time I read it to Parker and got to the end of the book...I especially remember when my grandparents came up north for my First Communion and Grandma and I went for a walk around my neighborhood-nothing special happened on that walk, other than we were together, just her and I, hand in hand.

I love that my boys have wonderful relationships with their own Grandmothers...it truly is something I can't describe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

who are they?

I feel like I am stuck in the song "Who Are They" by Tim McGraw.

Who are they? And why do we let society tell us how to raise our kids? I have really been struggling lately with all the information out there for us parents to absorb (or not absorb) with the best and worst How To's with kids and parenting...

They say you would rather have a Nuk sucker than a thumb sucker. It's easier to take away. Emmitt never had a chance to get attached...but he never really showed an interest. Some nights I wished he had one to suck on to put himself back to sleep.

They say to take away the Nuk around a year old...so I took Parker's away at 13 months. What was the big deal, I am sure he never would have taken it to kindergarten with him anyway.

They say to turn their car seat to the forward facing position at 20#'s and 1 year old. I turned Parker and 20# and 10 months. I am hating that Emmitt is still backwards with his knees in his face but he isn't 20#'s or 1 year. So I guess they win.

They say to breastfeed for a year. It's the best, right? So I did with Parker and you all know what is going on with Emmitt. Somewhere out there was a smart scientist who made formula that is just as nutritious for them. And we are all getting used to this new routine.

They say to go for the natural childbirth experience. So I went for it, until I almost ripped the bed rail off. And it was much more enjoyable with the shot of morphine.

They say to not let your kids sleep with you in your bed. But at 5 am I could really care less about where we are all sleeping as long as we are still sleeping. And I like to snuggle my boys.

They say...They say...blah, blah, blah!

But am I really supposed to teach my kid all his ABC's and numbers and colors and shapes and how to write his name, before he goes to preschool someday? Isn't that what school is for? And if I don't give in to them then am I condemning my child to be the "dumb" kid that doesn't know anything and squashing his self confidence or do I follow along with what they say and "work" with my 3 year old? I don't think so people!

Part of what I love so much about where the boys go to daycare is that it is playtime not sit-down-and-tell-me-how-to-spell-your-name-for-a-snack-time. Can't kids just be kids without being made fun of or teased for not being as smart, cute, best dressed, clean, healthy as the next kid? I really wonder what kind of world it will be when my kids are 60 and worrying about their grand children's future...scary

I just hate that they set us up for "failure" when really we are failing at nothing at all. We are raising healthy, happy, smart, busy, fun-loving, kids in a world with a heck of a lot worse going on in it.

not even a mouse

Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse...

oh wait-we've got one of those.

as Bear was loading up our vehicles this morning a little creature crept into the house, ran past Parker and up the stairs. Parker kept tip-toeing around saying "he's gonna bite me". He said he saw a little thing run up the stairs to his room! Bear went to check it out and sure enough, we have a mouse.

We'll see what the trap does for us today while we are gone...ick!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Watch Me Grow

Watch Me Grow
10 Months

As you can see we got ourselves a big boy haircut. I tried to just trim up around the ears and his bangs and butchered the poor kids hair. So we decided to get him in to Tina. This is the exact age Parker was when he got his first haircut. He was fairly happy yesterday when I took pictures, even though he must feel rotten. Last Wednesday the flu hit Emmitt and I. Friday it hit Parker and last night it got the best of Bear. Now we all just have another head cold.

Emmitt was so calm about the whole throwing up thing...I had been up that night myself and was laying awake at 1 am when I heard him sputtering and gagging in his crib and had Bear go check on him. Of course Emmitt was covered in puke and Bear starts gagging and repeating "oh no, oh no, oh no". He starts throwing up by just changing the bedding! I get Emmitt in the tub and he is smiling at me! Kids are resilient. He was calm as can be and I attempt to clean him up. I'm hanging onto the side of the tub so I don't faint and Bear is throwing up. I think at this point I said "you are such a pansy!". But Bear never did ask me for help changing out the crib, he made it. And Parker? He slept through it all. Bear rocked Emmitt back to sleep and the following morning we felt like we were run over by a mack truck.

Friday night at bedtime I hear Parker running into the bathroom, I go and check on him and he is standing over the toilet. I couldn't believe this kid spared me scrubbing carpets! At 3 years old, he has (sadly) puked enough to know to get to the toilet. So we slept on the pull out couch and he was sick all night.

We managed to feel okay throughout the weekend. Just really weak. Bear and I mustered up the strength to make Lefse all day Saturday, while Tammy had the boys. And Sunday we only left the house for Parker's Sunday School Pageant. He was a sheep and didn't make a peep! The pageant was so cute and Parker had been practicing his Baa, Baa Little Sheep song and knew it by heart...come time to sing it up front at church...no way. He stood there and looked at all the people. But he stayed up there! I was waiting for him to come back and sit with us and not participate at all.

With all the new snow I'll be sure to ski, if it could only warm up a bit now.

I did manage to take the boys' pictures yesterday in their matching sweaters for our Christmas card...I just ordered them last night so let's see how fast Shutterfly can get them to me?! It might be a New Year's card I'll be sending out.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Give Thanks

We had a wonderful weekend...we celebrated Thanksgiving with both sides of the family. It was 5 days packed full yet very relaxing. I think it was so relaxing because we didn't really have an agenda to follow. We did things on a whim and they all seemed to fall into place. Things like four wheeling in the snow, breakfast out at my mom's in our jammies, the parade, a movie...it was a great weekend. I cooked for Bear's side of the family. It was a quiet year for us there, just 6 adults and my boys. My mom cooked for all 16 of us out at her house. I hosted leftovers again on Saturday...so it was basically 4 days of eating the same wonderful food. It was great to see all the out of town relatives as always. The kids all played great together and we had lots of helpers with the boys. Christmas is really quiet up here since the families have all created their own traditions. Blake and Casey will host Christmas Eve in the newly remodeled home and my mom will host Christmas Day...it'll be fun all over again to be with family.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the things we do

oh, my poor kids...for the record I did not buy this hat and bib...my mother-in-law did.

"who the hell are these people and what is on my head"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Emmitt No No

I think my son has been renamed from Emmitt Jon to Emmitt No No.
Emmitt-no, no-the tree lights are hot
Emmitt-no, no-not up the stairs
Emmitt-no, no-leave the needles on the tree
Emmitt-no, no-don't pull your brothers hair

does the kid really understand what the heck we are saying? Because he is showing me that as soon as he hears 'no-no' that he is going to defy us even more and crawl faster to the tree, yank on a branch, eat it and smile the whole time he is doing it! He has a new middle name and classic second child syndrome!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

new found freedom

my new found freedom of not nursing or pumping has lead me into a crazy phase of life...I was up at 5:30 am to ski with my sister...in the dark...it was wonderful to not worry about him waking up and demanding to eat immediately. Parker however was up before 6 am, so him and daddy snuggled on the couch and I put a Christmas movie in for him. I got home at 6:30 and they were still on the couch and Emmitt was still sleeping. Go figure. On the other hand, Emmitt wouldn't take a bottle this morning! He was practically growling at me for food as he watched me eat Cheerios with banana. Eventually I shared with him. What next...

Monday, December 1, 2008

I've been rejected...

it has been 4 weeks since I nursed by baby boy. 4 weeks ago, I nursed him before daycare and I had no idea that would be our last. The next morning we were at the clinic and that was his first ear infection. He hadn't nursed that great that morning and we realized that he is smart! Not like we didn't already know that, but he had figured out it is a lot harder to nurse than it is to suck from a bottle. So when we went to the clinic he was put on Amoxicillan and home we went. That was Bear's first night back home after being on the road and Emmitt still hadn't nursed. Emmitt had spiked that high temp and through the night of crying I kept trying to nurse him. He would not have it. Every time I laid him down to nurse, he would scream. So I pumped and gave him a bottle. I actually found a bottle that is 90 degrees, so I could feed him sitting upright and take the pressure off that ear. He fought the bottle, no surprise there. He has fought that bottle every.single.day of his existence! He has not eaten milk "nicely" since. After a week or so he finally figured out this is the way it was going to be. I can't say I have ever had either of the boys, just lay back and take a bottle no questions asked, consistently. I have no idea how we managed to produce two kids who refuse a bottle. We are lucky Stephie loves us so much! And remember this is coming from 3 years ago when Parker got kicked out of his first daycare for not eating! So this whole time I have been pumping and giving him milk in a bottle. About a week of doing that, it hit me...hard! I cried over my baby not being a baby anymore, about him not needing me to sustain his life, not producing as much milk by pumping as I had been with nursing. Every time I would go to make a bottle I would start crying again. Thankfully my wonderful husband is helping me through all of this without telling me to put by big girl panties on and deal with it. So I had asked the doctor what physically develops between 10 and 12 months in their stomachs and if he thought it was a good idea to put him on whole milk. He said not much changes and to do what I felt was right. So I started alternating with the frozen milk I had stocked up and what I could pump and whole milk. It didn't seem to phase Emmitt. Bear and I talked again and decided that he is just too little to be on straight milk and for now he is still taking a bottle-to a point. So at 6:45 am this morning I was off to the grocery store for formula. You have no idea how hard it was for me to make that decision. I was out of milk and wasn't pumping what I thought he should be getting. I made him a bottle-pew-I had no idea that it smelled so rancid. He took it and drank a few sucks and pushed his eyebrows together and looked at me...then continued to pound 7 ounces. So here's to hoping he continues this highly expensive diet. Again, it makes me sad but also I need to look at my new found freedom. Bear gets to bond with him at bedtime now and I no longer have to pump! Gotta look at the bright side, right?