Wednesday, December 31, 2008


As a reminder:  He's 4 - he just turned 4.

Harrison has a small problem loving the cat.  He never physically hurts her, but for whatever reason he seems to think that every time he sees her he needs to get in 'monster stance' and let out a scary growl.  This sends the cat running.  We have talked at length about this and it doesn't seem to matter.  He thinks it's funny when she goes running from the room.  Anyway - this morning (and when I say this morning, I mean 3 minutes after I got out of bed.  Pre-coffee) he did this and I gently said "Oh honey, don't."  After I said this, Payton hadn't seemed scared enough so he did it again.  At this point I raised my voice and said "HARRISON - DON'T SCARE THE CAT!"  To which he responded:

"Prove it mom.  Prove that I scared the cat.  Because you can't."

He was seriously lucky I didn't slap him.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Home again, home again

My family went home to my granparents last weekend. It is a big crew we now bring but somehow we manage to fit in between grandpa and grandma's and Randy and Marcy's. Mom, Dad, Christopher, Harrison, Bennett and I stay with my grandparents while Nathan, Meredith, James, and Kaitlyn stay at Randy and Marcy's. Very cozy.
Grandpa came home from the hospital on Saturday. He had been in the long term care facility there for over a week and a half now. I worried that all of the commotion would be a lot for him to handle but I think we did a fairly good job keeping the kids quiet or at Randy and Marcy's so that he could rest. The cancer has done a number on him and he literally goes from good minutes to bad minutes. I hope that my grandma can handle all of this.

The kids had fun seeing each other again and they even got to play with Luke's kids Sean, Tom and Gage. It is fun to have them all together. It reminds me of Christmas's or other holidays where my second cousins and I all got together at Grandpa and Grandma Mohr's. There were 12 of us. Me, Chris, Dustin, Tome, Luke, Nathan, Amy, Marc, Celena, Jeni, Ben, and Jana. (I know I butchered Celena's name. It's not spelled like that!). We always had a great time and looking back now I can not figure out why our parents would think that it was a good idea to get all of us together in that little house. But it always worked. 2 great-grandparents - 4 grandparents - 10 parents - 12 children. That's 27 people and one meal. What an undertaking that must have been. Thank goodness I was too young to help!

I miss those times terribly and am trying hard to recreate those memories for my own children. We do split holidays where this year we are at Chris's side and next year we will be at my side. It is my hope that because we do this, Harrison and Bennett will grow up remembering big holiday gatherings and not road trips from this house to that house to this house. It will just be a time to get together, play with cousins, and celebrate. I took for granted that all of my dad's family lived within walking distance from each other. And when we did travel it was to one of my great-uncle's houses and that was big fun because you still only had to be in the car for either 15 minutes or 45 minutes max! The years that we went to Charles City were probably the most exciting because those were the years that Andy and Karen and Nikki and Amy were coming from New Jersey. To travel all that way just to see us! I don't remember being at my grandparents in Charles City for Christmas very often. It seemed like that was where we spent Thanksgiving or spent the holiday 'after' the holiday. And that worked for us too. More time to celebrate.

I guess I am rambling trying to remember all of the great memories. And there were so many great memories. On the years that I am not with my mom and dad on Christmas, it is a little hard on me. I love being with Chris's family. They are great and sometimes I can't actually believe that I get along with my in-laws as well as I do, but it doesn't replace mom and dad.

So, with new memories to create on this glorious day, I wish you all a happy holiday. God bless.

No Words

While Harrison has been able to speak since he was born, Bennett continues his quest to not talk until he goes to kindergarten. He continues to say his stand-by's of 'Da-da' for Dad and 'Du-du' for Douglas but we are struggleing everywhere else. I am totally unconcerned about all of this but I find it very humerous after having a child like Harrison. Now, just because Bennett doesn't speak doesn't mean we can't hear him. We hear him loud and clear. To get our attention he uses the phrase 'ya-ya' and if we don't pay attention right away, he uses it louder and louder and louder. Also, when he runs from place to place he makes noise. I am trying to figure out as to why this is. I think it is because he likes the way his voice changes as he bounces up and down while running. It is quite amuzing to listen to.
One thing I have managed to get Bennett to say is 'please.' He won't do it without prompting yet but it is the cutest, sweetest little 'pees' you have ever heard when it does come out of his mouth.
So we will continue with the pointing and yelling until he decides that there are other things he would like to try and speak.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm sorry to say...

Wordsworth, Harrison has a new saying. And it comes out at the funniest times. The first time I heard him say it was at a Chinese restaurant. We were ending the meal, and in a semi-exasperated voice Harrison say's, "Well, I'm sorry to say... (pause) but I have to go to the bathroom." I looked at him a little funny and off to the bathroom we went. Since then, he has used this phrase with me and pretty much no one else. It comes out in things like "I'm sorry to say, but Bennett needs a tissue." "I'm sorry to say, but Maddie is out of food." "I'm sorry to say, but I don't like this dinner." "I'm sorry to say, but you have had too much to drink, Mom." Maybe the last one is a stretch, but you get my point.

Inappropriate Toys

I am sitting here at my in-laws, watching my children play with inappropriate toys. Bennett has been crying almost all morning. Usually he has a few fussy periods but this morning he is just taunting my to drink the whole pot of coffee. After a few different trys at activities I finally walked away. He will have to do this himself. He follows me (of course) into the office. Here he sees a bowl full of pennies. This was 25 minutes ago. Since then, he and his brother have not said one word to me. 'Dump the pennies out. Pick the pennies up. Dump the pennies out. Pick the pennies up. Throw the pennies against the desk. Pick the pennies up.' Harrison is currently seeing how many pennies he can get to stay in his sleeve next to his elbow. I love how it sounds when he says elbow. So much emphasis on the the 'el.' So, after a stern warning about pennies in the mouth I have had 30 + minutes of semi-quiet bliss. Thank you inappropriate toys. Thank you choking hazards. Thank you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Miles and Harrison

I love the age difference between Miles and Harrison.  Harrison is just at the right age to be annoyed with some of the things that Miles does, but also know that Miles doesn't mean any harm.  He is just a baby.  And Harrison will take the time to play with Miles and try to tickle him and it is just so cute.  Bennett on the other hand.  Well, that's a whole nother story.  He would appreciate it if Miles would just go away so that he could have his mommy back...!  That is why you don't have babies 9 months apart!!!


It seems like whenever we get together with my family (Randy, Marcy, Marc, Mom, Dad, Nathan,  Meredith, etc) we play Trivial Pursuit.  I personally love this game.  I have 3 editions!!  Well, we all got together last Saturday and ended up playing for almost 3 hours.  It is not Meredith's favorite game but I think we will win her over some day!
They are sitting on the buffet watching all the action!

Home Improvement

I am embarrassed to say that I found mold growing in my home.  I have always hated the carpet in my kitchen, but the last straw was when I noticed actual mold growing on it near the refrigerator.  GROSS!!!!  I love my old house with all it's charm, but you have got to be kidding me.  Mold?!!  So the home improvement began...
First, I ordered Chris to take up the carpet in the entry way where said mold was found.  Luckily he follows orders quite well and that was mostly done within a day.  My dad came down a week or so later and helped move the fridge and get the carpet up under there.  Now, about this carpet.  Imagine that you have a paint can size can of glue.  Now imagine that you poured the whole thing on an 9 x 9 foot section of hardwood floor.  Can you imagine that?  I can't either,  but that is what these people did.  It was horrible.  The entry way wasn't as bad because there was linoleum underneath the carpet and that came up ok.  The kitchen was a nightmare.  Chris had done a couple of sections in there by himself and still had not made a lot of headway.  
Well, to my surprise my dad and Nathan showed up the Saturday after Thanksgiving and started working.  It took a lot of crowbar action and inappropriate pulling with back muscles, but eventually they got it all up.  It helped that about 2/3 of the way into the job, they figured out that if they cut the carpet into half foot strips it came up a little easier.  
Once the carpet was up, there was a decision to be made on what to do with the hardwood.  I had originally planned to go the cheap route and purchase peel-n-stick vinyl tiles.  But when I found out there was actual hardwood under the carpet I began to question that decision.  Well, the hardwood was in pretty bad shape so we decided to add more work to the day and we ended up pulling that up as well.  That wasn't as tough, just time consuming.
Next we were off to Lowes to get supplies.  Oh, but first it was lunch.  Mom had sent along a nice meat loaf.  Mmmm.  But.  Wait.  Where's the oven?  Oh, that's right.  It's in the middle of the dining room.  Hmmm - not going to work.  Although she did suggest an extension cord, but alas, it is a gas stove!  
Once we got back from Lowes, Randy and Marcy showed up.  Randy had power tools for a couple of minutes but that situation was remedied quickly.  He was given a pencil and some paper.  Measurements for the plywood were needed!  We were going to give the power tools to Marcy but she was found unresponsive.
Anyway, all of the plywood for the kitchen got put down.  I wanted to get the plywood in the entryway done, but decided that a night out without kids (and with martini's) sounded like more fun. 
We are still not done with the project, but I love the plywood floor a lot more than the carpet.  And yes, Bennett was a big help!

Big Boys

I am just wondering if my boys will get their butts whipped by their fathers in 25 or so years.  That is what happened to Nathan and Marc over Thanksgiving.  It wasn't pretty.  I don't even know what happened to initiate the whole altercation, but I do know that Randy and Dad came out on top!  It might have had more to do with Nathan than Marc.  Because I believe Marc might have been awoken by the whole melee.  But that is no excuse.  Your daddies beat you up, boys!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wool, gok!

Yesterday, one of Will's socks went missing.  It was 50 below outside, I was wearing 2 shirts and all of the kids except Miles (he had his listening ears on) had their socks off.  What is it with kids and socks?  Anyway, I decided that it was time to have socks back on our feet.  Harrison - 2 socks, check.  Bennett - 2 socks, check.  Will - 1 sock, hmmm.  So I asked Will where his other sock was and he went and got some cars to play with.  Not very much help.  I mentioned again that we needed to find Will's other sock.  Bennett decides to come to my rescue.  He bends over, kind of in a Hunchback of Notre Dame sort of way, and starts calling for the sock.  "Wool, gok!"  "Wool, gok!"  This is his way of saying "Will's sock, where are you!"  It was quite comical.  And when I finally did find Will's sock (in the bedroom under the pak-n-play) Bennett clapped his hands and patted me on the back for doing such a good job.  

I do appreciate praise from my supervisors.  It lets me know I am doing a good job.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Baby Story

I wrote this in a journal on December 29, 2004.

Dear Harrison - 
Your great-aunt Marcy gave me this journal.  I thought now was as good a time as any to get started telling you all about your baby days.  
I don't have much to compare to, but you are such a good baby.  You don't fuss much, you sleep good, you eat like a little piggie!  As I write this, you have been sleeping for almost 3 hours.  Your peaceful face is so full of innocence.  I can't wait to teach you everything.  That will be a challenge that I have.  You will have to learn some things on your own and I will have to let go just a little in order for you to do so.  It is hard not just to squeeze you all day long.  I love you so much.  
You are starting to wake up.  You must be hungry.  It has been 4 hours since you ate last.

January 8, 2005

Dear Harrison - 

I don't  know if i can tell you everything that I want you to know.  You are always doing the cutest things.  I just want to videotape you all of the time.
Right now, I think that you are really developing a feel for things you like to do.  For instance, you really like to use your legs.  If I lay you on your tummy and let you press on my hands with your feet, you will move.  You make the best sounds when you are doing this.  You grunt like you are trying so hard.  And you are!  You also like to 'stand.'  YOur face gets all excited and you grunt some more.  I want dad to get some video of you doing this.  Today I started  jumping you in the air while you are standing.  You bend your knees and everything.  It is so cute.  You are such a big boy!

I want you to know the story of your delivery.  I will try to be as accurate as possible.
First of all, you were late!  You were due on Friday, November 26th.  On that day, your dad and I went to Ames to go to an ISU men's basketball game with your Uncle Nathan, Grandpa Wilcke and great-uncle Andy (Aunt Karen and Uncle Andy were here from New Jersey for Thanksgiving).  I just knew that you weren't coming yet.  I had originally wanted you to be early.  I did not want a Thanksgiving baby.  But anyway...  We went to the basketball game on your due date.  If you thought being 30 - 40 minutes away from the hospital was a little foolish and risky, you will think what I did the next day was just stupid.  Your cousin Andy was getting married in Rock Island, IL on Saturday, November 27th.  And we went.  Your dad and I left that morning and went to your Grandpa and Grandma's house in Davenport.  We then went to the wedding and the reception.  Grandma had known we were coming, but hadn't told anyone just in case we didn't make it.  The whole evening was a lot of fun.  The ride to and from was a little painful!  Current sidenote:  Looking at the picture of the seven cousins and their girls is painful now!!!  I was as big as a house!
Well, the next few days were pretty routine.  I went to work, dad went to work.  Life went on and you didn't come.  I was still fairly comfortable when awake, but when I tried to sleep, that was something else.  I went to my doctor's appointment on Wednesday, December 1st.  Dr. Yeager checked me.  I was dilated to one.  Not very far.  They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and you were fine.  We decided to induce on Monday, December 6th.  She did make me get an ultrasound on Thursday to check the amnionic fluid around you.  That checked out just fine.
All of the real excitement started Thursday after the ultrasound.  I wasn't feeling exactly right so I decided to go home from work.  Dad was at work from 10 - 7.  I decided to take a nap.  I had talked to dad and Grandma Wilcke.  They told me just to take it easy.  After I took my nap, I took Maddie for a walk.  During the walk I started having real contraction.  I took it all in stride and realized that this could be false labor, but in the back of my mind, I knew that it wasn't.  Dad wasn't going to come home from work until he had to so I called Grandma.  Tap was in Ames for work and he was able to come down with her.  They kept me company while my contractions got quicker and harder.  I finally called Dad and told him he had to come home.  We were going to the hospital.  Dad called Grandpa and Grandma Neipert on his way home and they and Uncle Ryan decided to come from Davenport.
We got to the hospital and they hooked me up to a fetal monitor in triage.  Dr. Yeager happened to be on call so she was there and checked me.  I was still only dilated to one.  But they could track the contractions.  I was there from 8 - 10 and they sent me home.  I was so disappointed and somewhat embarrassed.  I wanted you to be here so much.  And I wasn't the only one.  Grandpa and Grandma Wilcke were at the hospital.  Uncle Nathan and Aunt Meredith were there.  Grandpa and Grandma Neipert.  Uncle Ryan.  Tap.  So many waiting for your arrival.  And home we went.
Grandpa and Grandma Neipert and Uncle Ryan spent the night at our house.  And what a night it was.  The hospital had given me a sleeping pill.  It didn't work so well.  I woke up every 5 minutes have a painful contraction.  At one point, I made your dad draw a me a bath (he let me fall asleep in it!!!).  I made it through the night though.  I ended up keeping your Uncle Ryan up a bit with me.  But not your dad.  He can sleep through anything!
At 7:00 am I called the hospital again and back we went.  They put me in triage and checked me again.  I was dilated to 3 this time and they decided to admit me.  Your dad and I were so excited.  You were on your way!
Methodist Medical center was very busy.  You were eventually #22 of 24 babies born on that day.  Because they were do busy, a lot of the rooms were full.  We were admitted into a room on the c-section side of the delivery unit.  The rooms are a bit smaller, but still very nice.
Anyway, we were moved from triage to our room.  Grandpa and Grandma Neipert and Uncle Ryan were there right away.  Uncle Nathan and Grandma Wilcke came around 9:30 am.  Grandpa Wilcke and Aunt Meredith were there by 11:00 am.  What a crowd!  
Around 11:00 am I asked for an epidural.  Contractions are painful!  After the epidural, the contractions slowed down a bit.  I had to have some pitocin to speed them up again.  Well, the pitocin sped them up and made them much stronger.  I eventually had another epidural.  The first one wasn't strong enough for me!
Everybody visited me throughout the day.  It was nice having everyone there.  They were very supportive and very excited.  6:00 pm rolled around and I was dilated to 10!  Everyone left the room except for your dad, the nurse and Dr. Hoegh.  It was time to push!
I pushed so hard and for so long.  I was so tired.  Finally, around 8:00 pm I just couldn't do it anymore.  We decided to go with a forceps delivery where they use instruments around your head to help pull you out.  For this procedure, we had to go to a different room.  It seemed like it took forever.  I was not a very good patient.  And everyone, now including Kaylee, Fuzzy, and Jean, were outside my room.  I wanted all of them to leave.  I didn't want anyone to see me or give me encouragement.  
When we got to the other room, it only took one contraction and you were here!  And you were a boy!  I totally thought you were a girl.  But instead I got wonderful, beautiful you.
Who knew I could love you so much?  I got to hold you right away.  You were beautiful.  And perfect.  And you smelled like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  You were so alert from the start.  Dad even cried.
I got to hold you when they wheeled us out of that room and back to ours.  We came through the doors and Dad said "It's a boy!"  He was so happy.  And proud.  The rest of the night is a blur.  But, besides all of your adoring family, what I remember most is how you took it all in.  You started learning so quickly.  Your eyes were so calm and so wide.  What an experience you had just been through!  You didn't end up sleeping until 1:00 am.  Thank heavens, because I needed a little sleep!
Shortly after you were born they tested your blood sugar and it was low.  You were given a special formula to help raise that up.  It worked!  The only down side was that i think it made you a little full.  It was a little hard to get you to nurse.
Your birth is the most special day I have ever had.  I am sure that you will provide me with many more special days.  I just know that my life changed forever on December 3, 2004.
Aunt Meredith took most of the photos.  This is your alien baby pose.  Your eyes had that gooey stuff they put in them to protect them from infection.
Horrible picture, but the only one we have of the 3 of us.  The nurse took some with our camera, but at the time that was a 35 mm camera.  Oh the horror!!!

I can't believe that I wrote all of that down!  And the things I forgot (I cried at the part about Chris crying!) and the things that I still remember like it was just yesterday (waking up every 5 minutes to have a contraction!).  Not 4 years ago!!!  And Bennett - you won't get a story as long as this because you were much more agreeable during the whole labor and delivery portions.  But we will visit that come April...

Happy Birthday, Harrison!  I love you!


Will and Andy are buds.  The friendship started a few weeks ago and has blossomed into a routine that Will loves.  When Miles and Andy get to the house in the mornings, Will goes to find the Magna-Doodle and then goes to find Andy.  They then sit down and practice their letters.  It is so cute the way Will looks at the letters and then at Andy.  And he often says the correct ones.  His favorites are 'E', 'I', and 'O' but he knows others as well.  The whole situation has also been good for Harrison.  He has never really been that 'in' to letters and I have tried not to push.  But now he seems to take an interest and goes to look and name the letters as well.  I have even gotten him to play some other letter games that I have.  The whole scene is so fun to watch in the morning!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So sad...

FYI for all of you wondering why I seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth. My computer has taken a turn for the worse. I am now praying over it but even though it is Sunday, it is not working. It has crashed and a trip to the Apple store is in my near future. I am going to have to start writing things down because it has been a very eventful week and more to come this week (My BABY turns 4!!!). Hope to blog soon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stop, Drop and Roll

So Harrison was running around the house yesterday.  I try to limit the 'running' in the house, but was pretty much ignoring him at this point.  He had been sick and it had been far to cold to really go outside and play so I was letting it be. 

Sometimes he does this run back and forth thing from the couch to the kitchen.  The whole time he is doing this he says (with his most tired and exhausting voice) "I can't stop running.  My legs just won't let me stop.  Oh, I just can't stop running!"  The whole scene is fairly amusing.

Back to yesterday.  Harrison is running around and is going from the living room, to around the table to the kitchen, etc.  Pretty soon I hear "My butt is on fire!  My butt is on fire!"  OK, hmmm.  "Harrison, what are you doing?"  "Mom, my butt is on fire!"  At this point he is making gestures towards his deri aire and fanning it as to put out the fire.  "Mom, tell me to stop, drop and roll!"  He now runs into the living room and I obediently tell him to stop, drop and roll.  He does so with gusto and lays on the floor quite tired.  He then stands up and says "Whoa, that was close."

Crisis averted, Batman!

Pretty boy

Did you know Harrison does his own make-up?  

At least it was after Sunday School!!!

Illness and doctors

This month has been a myriad of illness and doctors.  Everyone but Chris has been bitten by the flu bug this past week and Harrison, Bennett and Miles are not completely over it yet.  They are having some residual bathroom issues and I didn't even know about Harrison's until tonight when he said "Yeah!  I've had to poop a lot today mom!"  I guess I should pay more attention to his bathroom habits!

Bennett had his 18 month appointment yesterday.  He is 32 inches in height and that puts him in the 45th percentile and 21 pounds, 9 ounces which puts him in the 1st percentile.  I got the 'talk' about what he is eating and what he should be eating and making sure I put butter on everything... but what is there to say?  The kid eats more than Harrison!  I think I am destined to have children who grow up to be the size of my father.  No offense, dad.  There's nothing wrong with being 5 foot 6 inches, is there?!

Bennett also got the flu shot and his last hep b shot.  He woke up this morning with a fever and a runny nose.  And he was crabby all day.  Harrison never reacted to his vaccines but Bennett has run a fever after each set.  Just how it all plays out, I guess.

We are going home this weekend for the Neipert Thanksgiving and also to see my grandparents.  Gpa Wilcke went into the hospital a couple of days after my Gpa DeBolt went into the hospital (who got out yesterday!!!).  Gpa Wilcke was very weak and hadn't been eating much.  They did some tests and a biopsy and he now has cancer in his liver.  Then they sent him home 5 days later.  From what I hear, nobody was especially happy with the hospital stay.  Just not a lot of information or help.  Basically the cancer that he thought was gone is not.  It is traveling to other organs.  At least that is what we think.  They have a meeting with their doctor on Friday to see what the next steps are and get results back from Iowa City.  Overall, it seems pretty bad, but we will wait and take it as it comes.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

ISU - Losers again...

Pretty boring day at the Neipert household today.  It started out at 12:40 am as I was awoken by Harrison.  There he was, standing there in vomit covered pajamas.  "Mom, I got sick and spit up."  Spit up?  Umm, Harrison, I think they call that gooey, gross substance puke!  Thank goodness he was wearing one piece pj's and I didn't have to take them off over his head.  But, alas, I still had to put him in the bath tub.  He must have barely woken up and just thrown up while still on his back.  There was vomit everywhere around his neck and in his hair.  I tried to clean him up with the wash cloth, but it just didn't work.  He shivered like a wet puppy the whole time in the bath.  I got him out and warmed up and into my bed.  I clearly explained to him that the next time he had to throw up there was a bowl right here that he needed to use.  By 4:35 am he must have forgotten because now my bed sheets were being stripped.  Luckily, this time he was on his side and managed to not get it on himself (or me!).  So, now onto the couch.  Chris was already there so Harrison got the love seat and I got the recliner.  Not the most comfortable arrangement for me, but I was tired so it worked. 

Chris was going to the last home Iowa football game so I was not looking forward to a sick child all day by myself.  So when I was awoken at 8:00 am to "Mom, Bennett's awake" I was pleasantly surprised to find a very well Harrison standing in front of me.  No tummy ache, no body aches, no anything.  Hmmm.  

By 8:30 am I was reminded that just because a child feels better it doesn't mean they are better.  "Mom, I went poopy in my pants.  I don't know how it happened and I am so sorry.  Can you help me."  Ahh, diarrhea.  After 1 pair of pajama pants and 2 pairs of underwear, Harrison managed to control his diarrhea til he got to the toilet and by noon he was completely healed.  Weird stuff, the flu!

So I called Kari and Claudia to report that Harrison was ill and Kari informed me that Will had some mild diarrhea but otherwise he was fine.  I had left a message for Claudia and she called back to report that, in fact, Miles was sick.  Again.  He was throwing up everything she gave him.  Even water.  This was the 3rd weekend in a row for Miles.  First the salmonella, then pneumonia, and now the flu.  That poor kid can't catch a break.  And at this point I don't know if I feel more sorry for him or his parents.

Chris gets home from the football game around 5:00 pm and I couldn't be happier.  Bennett clings to me like no other.  I can't wait for a little daddy time so I can bury my head anywhere without children.  5:30 pm - ring, ring.  Who is calling me?  Oh - it's my cousin, Marc.  "What are you doing for the next couple of hours.  Want to go to the ISU game?"  "Didn't the game already start?"  I ask.  Before he can answer I say yes - but what am I going to wear?!!!  It's like 12 degrees outside!

We got to the game with about 6 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and ended up having a really great time.  It was really not quite as cold as I thought it would be and I like hanging out with Marc.  We live so close yet see so little of each other.  ISU of course lost, but there were glimmers of hope for next year.  Always next year... 

Now I'm at home, still wearing 3 long sleeved shirts and 3 pairs of socks, not yet quite warm enough to take them off.  So overall, I guess November 15th wasn't as boring as I had hoped it would be.  Here's to looking forward to a boring November 16th!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Where did he come from?

One more 'trip to school' story for you today.

I was getting the kids in the car this morning and I had Miles all buckled in and Harrison was getting himself buckled in.  "No mom, I CAN DO IT.  GEEZ!"  It was like he was emotionally hurt that I thought he couldn't handle the situation.

I went around the car and started getting Bennett all buckled in.  Here's the conversation that follows:

Harrison:  "Well, I see Will's not here today."

Me: "Yup."

Harrison:  "He must not be feeling well.  Remember that fever he had yesterday?  Poor guy."

Me:  shaking my head and biting my lip so not to laugh - "Yeah, I hope he feels better."

Harrison:  "Me too.  I don't want Bennett to be lonely while I'm at school with all my friends.  But Miles is here and he LOVES Miles."

Me: smiling "Yes, I think they will have..."

Harrison: interrupting "MOM - I can't get this buckled!  Can you PLEASE just help me?"

At this point there may have been strong words coming from me so I will spare you all the details that follow.  It was nice that he said please though wasn't it?


You know when you have kids and you think everything they do is just the cutest?  And then they do it again and again and again and you totally forgot how cute it was because now you could just pull your hair out if they do it one more time...

Will stayed home today.  He is feeling a little under the weather.  So when I took Harrison to school today I decided we could walk him in since it was just the 4 of us.  It is amazing how much easier it is with 3 kids vs 4.  Anyway, when you take Harrison to preschool, you have to walk through this big open entry way to get to the hallway that takes you to his classroom.  EVERY time that we go in to the entry way, Bennett produces these high pitched, short screams.  He loves the way they echo.  I remember the first time he learned about echos and I thought how cool that was that he was learning that.  Silly me.  He soon had Will doing it every time we went in and they would even linger to do it more.  Some days I would end up picking Will up and then dragging Bennett out of the entry way.  Have I mentioned that this is a church?

Sure enough, when we walked through the doors this morning (we hadn't taken Harrison into school for 3 weeks now) Bennett remembered exactly what he liked to do.  I just rolled my eyes and kept walking hoping that Bennett would too.  I turned around to see where he was and he made the scream noise again 3 times.  Much to my surprise, Miles piped up 3 perfect high pitched screams just like Bennett.  I looked at him and then at Bennett and they were looking at each other smiling.  I couldn't help but laugh.  It was way too cute the way Miles mimicked Bennett.  Bennett screamed one more time, this time much louder and longer (he now had a new trainee he was concerned about!) and I quickly grabbed his hand and off we went.  

The cuteness only lasted a couple of seconds but I think it was enough to get me through the rest of the hair pulling experiences!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So Inappropriate

I like music.  Of all kinds.  But mostly these days, all that seems to play on my radio is NPR.  There is news in the am and pm and classical music during the day.  It works.  

Well, today I decided to spice it up a little bit.  While making lunch I changed the radio station to KISS 107.5 FM.  This is a pop station that plays "The Hits."  It's not that I don't approve of the station, I would just rather listen to classic rock (KGGO) or something country.  What made me turn it on today, I don't know, but I can tell you that the kids loved it!  Both Will and Bennett were dancing around the kitchen and even Harrison came in singing 'Disturbia' which I did not know that he knew.  (Chris - anything you would like to share?)  Even Miles thought the whole scene was funny.  So after P!nk and Britney and Christina shared their tunes I decided that there had been enough womanizing going on and switched over to the tried and true 'Ralph's World.'  That seemed to be just as pleasing and a little less, shall we say, provocative!  :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Popcorn and a Movie

My baby is growing up.  Harrison is fascinating me in so many ways lately.  He does amazing things like putting on his own coat, setting the table, wiping his own butt, the list could go on and on.  But it really all hit me on Friday at the movie theatre.  

Harrison has never been to a movie before.  We try not to watch too much TV and I have always thought why waste the money.  Well, he has been seeing commercials (cause we don't let them watch to much TV!) for Madagascar 2 the past couple of weeks and decided it was time to go to the movies!

And it was great.  We were in a bit of a hurry to get to the movie because I wanted to go Friday night as Chris was going to be gone on Saturday (big win for the Skwakeyes, you know).  So there were a couple of different options, but the one I wanted was at 5:55 pm.  This meant that we had to leave AS SOON as Chris got home from work to make it in time.  Well, I don't go to movies all that often and I did seem to forget that there would be 30 minutes of previews.  30 minutes!!!  Anyway, Harrison was so excited about his 'kids pack.'  It was a little box with popcorn, a small soda and some fruit snacks.  He got up on his seat and I didn't hear another word from (except for 'Please open these fruits snacks') until the movie was over.   And this was not from lack of trying on my part.  I kept trying to get him to laugh or tell me what he thought about this part of the movie, but he wanted nothing to do with it.  It was like he was in a trance.  After the movie was over I asked if he liked it and he said yes and I asked if he thought the theatre was cool and he said yes and then he said "And that TV is even bigger than ours!"  

On the way home I asked him about the movie and he told me the parts that he liked and he explained why Marty the Zebra was upset so I knew he had comprehended the whole thing.  He even laughed while telling me what parts he thought were the funniest (those wiley penguins!).  I knew he had a good time even if he didn't show it during the movie.

Anyway, as I was watching the movie and watching Harrison all sorts of emotions came flooding over me.  Here was this little boy doing such a big boy thing.  He was so grown up.  Quietly eating his popcorn, taking a sip of his soda and then putting it back.  Wasn't he just a baby?  Wasn't I just holding him in my arms, keeping him in bed with me cause I didn't want to ever be separated from him?  And here he is at the movies!!!  I know what you are thinking.  The next thing I know he will be at the movies with a different girl.  Well, let me tell you.  That ain't going to happen!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pretty Fly for a White Guy

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and my in-laws, Greg and Pam came up to Des Moines to take us out to dinner (among other things like bringing me my new hutch!).  We went to the Latin King over on the east side.  I had never been to the Latin King, but I had always wanted to.  My dad had talked it up ever since he had eaten there back in his days on the school board.  I had also heard fabulous things from locals.  We were not disappointed.  The ambiance was great, the service was great and the meal was to die for!  I had the Filet Marsala and it was excellent.  I had never had a beef marsala dish before so I was looking forward to it.  Typically marsala dishes are chicken.  This marsala also turned out to be tomato based which was unusual but wonderful.  I ate almost all of it.  And I might have eaten it all if Pam hadn't kept giving me bites of her Steak Duburgo.  And boy was that wonderful!  Both her and Chris had that and Greg had the Stuffed Pork Chop that he said was awesome.  And can you believe that both my children acted like little gentlemen?!  Usually Bennett is a nightmare at restaurants.  There were a couple of times when I thought he might lose it but we always found ways to keep him happy.  Thank goodness!

Oh and dessert... Tira-Mi-Su!!!!!!!!!  Mmmmmmmm  

It comes in 3's

My Uncle Bob died last week.  He had suffered from diabetes most of his adult life and had exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam during the war.  Uncle Bob was an interesting man.  He was always smiling and laughing when we were around and his characteristic pony tail always made my grandma want to run and get the scissors.  His diabetes made him very sick and even more so since he was not good at regulating his food intake.  Both my mom and my Aunt Karen made trips to Vancouver, WA to help Uncle Bob and I do believe they helped.  Uncle Bob passed away in his sleep, in his bed, under a warm blanket.  I can't think of a better way to go.

Miles has salmonella.  I won't go into huge details about this but he was hospitalized over night on Friday and they think is worst day was Thursday.  Horrible stomach cramps and VERY tired.  They don't know where he got salmonella but if I had anything to do with it I will be mortified.  Watching a 9 month old grab at their stomach and then cry is heart-wrenching and nothing that I want to go through again.  And I am only the baby-sitter!  Regardless, Miles is feeling much better but may have symptoms for up to a month.   

My grandfather is in the hospital recovering from surgery that repaired scar tissue build up in his upper intestine.  This was from radiation treatment for prostate cancer about 5 years ago.  Very strange how something that was diagnosed, treated and recovered from can come back  to haunt you.  He is in a lot of pain and will be in the hospital for almost a week.  My mom went up to Charles City last night to be there when he got out of surgery.  We are all hoping for a speedy recovery.

So - it comes in 3's.  What that means for everyone around me is that you are now in the clear.  I am done with illness and drama for a little while.  I am going back to boring news like PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First Field Trip

October 23
Harrison's class went on a field trip today.  They are studying pumpkins this week so they went to Iowa Orchard.  They have a very large apple orchard as well as a large pumpkin patch.  It was freezing the day we went and it was also raining.  Luckily there was just enough space inside that all the kids could sit down and listen to the woman talk.  She was quite a woman.  I am sure the kids didn't notice, but she kept telling the parents what to do.  And it wasn't like she was mean or anything, she was just direct.  "Hey.  You.  Pick up that bag of apples.  See, children, those are red apples..."  It was very amusing.
Harrison and his class had a good time and even got apple cider to drink before they went home.  The horrible thing for all of us was that the ovens were right behind the woman that was talking and the employees kept bringing out fresh apple pies from the oven.  Cruel, very cruel.  (I would have bought one (crumb topping, Mmmmm) but they were $15.00 a pie!)

One year

Sunday, October 19
When we got to my parents house my dad was raking the lawn.  I was excited because last year at this time James and Harrison played in the leaves at my parents house and I knew they would have so much fun doing it again.  And you would be amazed what will turn up while you are raking your lawn.  Just ask Nathan.  Wallet's do magically reappear.  Anyway, the boys had a great time.  They chased everyone with leaves, got buried by leaves, and threw leaves on the parts of the lawn that were just raked by Grandpa and then laugh, laugh, laugh as Grandpa got 'so mad.'

October 19, 2007

October 19, 2008

Can you believe the difference a year makes.  Bennett and Kaitlyn were being propped up by leaves and a hidden pumpkin for those pictures!  Now Bennett's mowing the leaves.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the pie.  And it was a good pie.  But you would think that Harrison had just been given a free trip to the moon.  He was so excited about that apple pie.  And we had to have it before quiet time.  What a goof.  He kept saying 'Mmmmm, piiiiiiie.'

Pumpkin carving was the last great task for the day.  I don't know how I got stuck gutting and carving the pumpkin, but I did.  We purposely didn't do this on Saturday so that the dad's would have to do it on Sunday.  Hmmmm...
This picture isn't great.  James was not sad like this picture suggests.  Or maybe he was.  We had been trying for a while to get them all to smile and look at the camera at the same time.  Aren't they used to us taking photos of them yet?!!!

Get Your Ya-Ya's Out

Bennett continues to be a man of few words.  He has his standard Dada and duck and that is what he wants to stick with right now.  He did teach Will to say all done and/or all gone.  Will was already kind of saying these things but he took on Bennett's version of ga gon or ga don (the 'n' sound is usually not heard very well).  There is a difference but it is subtle and mostly it just comes out ga gon.  Will taught Bennett the sign for more so we have that communication A LOT!

I was so looking forward to when he would run to me saying Mama, Mama just like he does to his dad when Chris gets home from work.  Well, I am still looking forward to it.  He doesn't run to me when I get home from whatever errand I have just run and more importantly, when he does want me for something, he pats me on the leg and calls me Ya-Ya.  We are still working out why this is.  I can't recall that Chris calls me 'Hey, you' (which is what it sometimes sounds like) or that we have a copy of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood laying around that he could read so your guess is as good as mine at the moment.

Bennett just isn't a linguist like his brother.  Some would say that Harrison is too busy speaking for Bennett but I can't think that is the case in this instance.  If Bennett is tired of Harrison talking he just screams at the top of his lungs.  It makes for a very noisy dinner time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turn off the TV

So, I was sitting in the office, minding my own business when Harrison walks in.  Now, I should preface all of this with the fact that it was quiet time.  Everyone was sleeping.  So, when Harrison walked in I was a little startled.  He doesn't usually sleep, but he usually stays in  his room more than 10 minutes.

Anyway, Harrison looks at me and says:

"Mom, this girl on TV just lied!  And she was a grown up!  It's not ok to lie."

I am speechless.  Not only is he up, but he is watching Days of our Lives.  Next he says:

"Mom, why do you have to go to the doctor when you are going to have a baby?"

"Why do you ask?"  I say.

"Well, the girl on TV is at the doctor and she is going to have a baby.  And damn-it, the dad is not there!  Whoever that is!"

It might be time to get him implanted with that microchip now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Our cat is a funny cat, like most.  She does what she wants and will not cater to anyone.  Especially the kids.  Bennett loves her.  Absolutely loves her.  He loves all cats.  When we were in Florida in June he would manhandle Roscoe, Nathan and Meredith's cat, and Roscoe would pretty much take it.  Eventually he would get tired of it and bite Bennett, but Bennett didn't mind.  He would just start petting and pawing at him.

Well, imagine Bennett's delight when we came home from Night Eyes and Payton was in his bed.  He just couldn't get enough of her and for once she didn't mind, that much.

Return of the face

Bennett has decided to practice his smiling again.  Can someone please tell him the natural, unforced smiles are much better?!!!

Another day on the farm

Off we went to Center Grove Orchard again yesterday.  The lighting wasn't always the best, but here are some pictures from our trip!

This was a favorite part of the day.  We went to see the goats after the tractor rides and James said "Oh, but I want to go back to the tractor!"  But then he heard he big bad wolf was coming...

Harrison, James and Bennett were the 3 little pigs and I was the big bag wolf.  We went from house to house and they would scream "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!"  I t was way too cute.  This was them being scared in the brick house.

This is the big bad wolf having the tables turned!

The wagon ride was fun.  We had to peel the kids out of the corn pit to get onto the wagon, but other than that Bennett vroomed like a car and James held on tight because of the bumps!

I thought the jumping pillow would work out really nice.  A flat, cushy surface to fall down on.  And it would have been nice if some bigger people hadn't gotten on.  I think there was a little too much air bouncing for James and Bennett.  I barely got off the thing because they were glued to me!  Harrison on the other hand...

Nathan and James leave tomorrow.   We are going to Ames again today.  I wonder how I can fit James under my shirt when we leave...

Best Buds

I don't want Harrison to ever have a better friend than James (except his brother, of course!).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hi Everyone! I'm Baaaack!

Nathan and James got here Thursday evening.  It has been non-stop fun ever sense.  

It started right away at the airport.  There are  these big block shaped stones outside the short-term parking garage.  We had picked my dad up from the airport a couple of weeks ago and Harrison jumped on each one.  Up onto the block.  Down from the block.  There are at least 15 of them.  Walking back to the car, Harrison decided to repeat this fun adventure.  James decided to try as well.  There are several differences between James and Harrison (as with all children, I am sure), one of them being athleticism.  Harrison is just a bit more nimble than James.  Harrison was quite a bit ahead when James showed that he may be a bit wittier than Harrison.  Harrison would jump onto the block and then jump down.  When he jumped down he would look back to see where James was.  James noticed this and when Harrison jumped up, James would run around a block (skipping it) and jump onto the next.  Harrison was completely unaware and the 2 finished almost even.  I can't call it cheating, because they weren't competing and there were no rules to the activity.  I call it being the best you can be with what you've got.  And this time Harrison had the brawn and James had the brains!  

Mom and Dad were nice enough to take all of the kids for the night and that meant Chris, Nathan and I got to go out.  Out!  I didn't even know it was still legal for me to do that.  I must be getting boring.  Anyway, we met up with Marc and Emily and Josh Dobson and a couple of his friends at Mickey's Irish Pub.  It was a fun night.  I have to figure out how to do that a little more often!

Friday night I twisted Mom's arm and got her and my dad to bring the kids back to Des Moines for Night Eyes at the zoo.  And boy was she glad.  We had a great time.  There are too many funny and cute things that happened through-out the night but by far the best was the end of the train ride.  There are all sorts of families waiting to get on at the 'station' and we are just pulling up to a stop and James says (quite loudly, but not a yell) "Hi, everyone!  I'm baaack!"  It was way too funny and so much fun to try and think what must be going through his head.

The night went on with a lot of growling from Bennett (I think he thinks every animal except a duck and a dog growls!) and a lot of excitement from Harrison and James.  We ended up at the inflatables.  Bennett was a little tentative, but once he figured out how to 'dive' over the walls I didn't ever think we would get him out.  Harrison LOVED the slides and James thought the bounce house was something he really wanted to do until he saw Spider-Man in there and then that was out because "Spider-Man is mean to me.  I don't want to get hurt!"  Not sure where that comes from but it was really cute!
Cubbie player James wanted to keep his hat down so he didn't get scared.  I thought he was going to run into things all night long!

Get this giraffe off my head!

This is one of the only times we got Harrison the Dragon to keep his 'head' on!

Up in a tree

I don't really want to know how high up in the tree he really was.  That would ruin the the beauty of the picture for me!