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!