Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas in The Great "Brown" North.

Okay, you all know I live in Minnesota. You would think that we'd have some of that beautiful, fluffy white stuff, wouldn't you? Alas, but no, we spent another Christmas without snow. Now I'm sure many people are happy about this occurance, but I'm not one of them. Damn Global Warming. I'm sure this is the culprit. Part of the reason, I choose to live here is because I LOVE the change of seasons, and a season to me includes snow! Oh, I will admit that it is nice to not have to deal with all the snowboots, snowpants, hats and mittens that go along with the snow and two preschoolers, but we're missing out on a lot too. NO WORRIES we have LOTS of winter left and I feel pretty confident in saying that we'll probably get dumped on a few times yet.

Back to our Christmas...due to no snow, our front yard looked like this on Christmas Day:
Christmas Day...and NO SNOW!

rather than this (note this is our old house):
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

All in all, we had a very nice Christmas. We celebrated on Saturday, the 23rd with my family because the girls' church school Christmas program was on Christmas Eve night. We gathered at my aunt & uncle's home for dinner, which was too much! We were all stuffed. All the kids loved opening a few presents and playing together.

On Christmas Eve, I spent some of the day wrapping presents and then it was time to get ready for the program. The girls were dressed so cute and were so excited to be singing and reciting. They had been practicing "Joy to the World" and "Little Jesus in the Manger". We got there, brought them to their room, and then found a place to sit. They walked in with their class and then sat with their teacher. BUT, no singing from Lindsey and Sydney were to be heard because THIS happened:
My sleeping girls
4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Sleeping at the church program...PRICELESS!

Poor things...people were even taking pictures of them! It was pretty cute. We carried them out and they didn't wake up until we got to the car. After that, it was over to Grandma & Grandpa's for a lite supper of appetizers and some visiting. We left about 8 p.m. and got home and into bed. Sleep came very quickly for L & S.

Christmas morning was so magical! I heard Sydney and Lindsey coming up the stairs around 7 a.m. and Sydney was saying,
"Momma, I don't think Santa came to our house. I didn't hear the reindeer on the roof and we don't have a chimney!"
I told them that I'm sure he came and they better go check their stockings. They ran up the stairs and then:
"He came! He came! There's things in our stockings!"
Brice had driven down the night before so he was able to spend time with us that morning. The girls opened their Santa gifts first while we waited for Brice to wake up. I whipped up a wonderful coffeecake that I make every Christmas morning. And we proceeded to jump into the gifts. We had to rush in order to make it to church by 10 a.m. I popped the Breakfast Casserole in the oven before we left and Brice took it out on time. Then my mom & dad and Grandma came over after church to spend some time playing with the girls and eating brunch. Lindsey took a nap and Sydney & I watched a movie. Later, we went over to my brother's house, hung out and ate more. Just what we needed! We came home and watched Rudolph. A fine ending to a perfect day.

I have a few pics of the girls and our Christmas here. Check them out! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well. Ours isn't quite over. We'll be traveling to Dh's family this weekend for some more food, visiting and fun.

Seasons Greetings from Our Home to Yours!
Lindsey & Sydney singing Away in a Manger

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's not always "the most wonderful time of the year".

My mind cannot focus these past few days. I’ve opened Word on several occasions wanting to make an entry to my blog, but no words came, or they were a jumble of words that didn’t make sense.

You see, a dear friend of mine is suffering a lost so great right now. M is 25 weeks pregnant. Very soon, she will be delivering her precious daughter whose heart beats no more. It has been consuming almost all of my waking thoughts and even some of my sleeping ones. It is so tragic and senseless and I, like many others, will never understand why this happens. I do, have a faith in God, though, and I trust that His wisdom is infinite and that there are things that our human and finite minds just can’t understand. I don’t believe God causes these things to happen and I believe that he suffers along with us. We are His children, how could He not?

The thing is, I have been where M is. Soon, January 20th will be upon us, the day I gave birth to my angel son, Seth Allan. He was all of my hopes and dreams; after all those years of infertility, treatments, tests, and a miscarriage. Shattered. Sorrow. Darkness. Pain. Hurt that cuts like a knife and sometimes you can’t even breathe. Sleep that you desperately want, but somehow can’t get, because the tears come even when you sleep. Days go by and you wonder how you will make it through a day without crying or how you wonder if there will ever be a moment where your thought isn’t of him. No smiling, no laughter, no joy.

But then you turn toward others who have been where you’ve been. You cling to your spouse, who is suffering too, but is your ROCK. You find comfort in your family, friends, God, and people you don’t even know. You try to do some normal things. You seek out poems that make you feel better and you write poems to make you feel better. And one day, you laugh. And you feel bad because you shouldn’t be laughing, you shouldn’t be happy. But you work through those feelings and you know what? It IS okay to be happy. It’s okay to go on. You are still here with a life ahead of you, people who count on you, love to give, and gifts of yourself that you need to share.

When I lost Seth, there were many angels that appeared to me. My sister-in-law had told her church about us and they were all praying for us. One angel asked my sister-in-law for my address because she wanted to send me something. Shortly thereafter, I received a book that made a great difference in my healing and gave me comfort. She sent me a note, telling me her story of loss. She said that it was okay to lean on God and be angry with God, that he could take it. She said He will bring healing. And she had enclosed some laminated cards in her handwriting that I still carry around, now, five years later. I’d like to share these words with you.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Though you have made me see troubles many and bitter, You will restore my life again. From the depths of the earth You will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.” Psalm 71: 20-21

“And the God of all grace…after you have suffered a little while will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
I never met this woman. I only know her as Carla. I did send her a thank you, but I hope she REALLY knows what a difference she made in my life at a time when I really needed it.

So, today, the day of baby “Rs” birth, please say a prayer for M, G and their two little girls. Say a prayer for all the mothers of angels in Heaven; the fathers too. They sometimes get forgotten.

We are with you in spirit, M & G. We are with you in Spirit

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Another cute Lindsey & Sydney Christmas Carol.

Second verse of Away in a Manger.

The cattle are lonely...
the poor baby wakes.
Those poor cattle. I guess they could be lonely!

The girls had their Sunday School Christmas Program today. I was so proud of them. They did so good considering they missed the last practice due to being sick, and at the first practice they wouldn't even go up to the front or leave my side!

Here they are during the opening song ("O Come Little Children") after they walked in with the other kids.

Sydney & Lindsey Singing

And THEN, they got up by themselves and did this finger play called, "See the Baby Jesus".

See the baby Jesus
Lying in the hay.
He came to earth to show His love
And teach us how to pray.
See the little baby sleeping.
He came for you and me.
To save His people from our sin,
He died to set us free.
Complete with actions too!

Lindsey & Sydney doing their finger play...
I think Lindsey is feeling a little shy.

Next, we have their school (also a church) Christmas program which is on Christmas Eve. They have been practicing a lot! I know they'll do well!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Grammar...(no, not your grandma)

Fun stuff on a Saturday afternoon...

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It Blows.

Singing Christmas carols is a way of life around here. I hear them singing as they are falling asleep and I wake up to them singing. A current favorite:

"Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very
shiny nose, and if you ever saw him, you would even say it BLOWS!"

Oh...listening to them sing is good for my soul!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Note to self: Buy more twin mattress pads

Yes, having only two mattress pads when your kids are sick is NOT a good thing.

Saturday night we awoke at 1 a.m. to a little girl standing beside our bed saying:

"I coughed and then I puked in my bed."
Poor thing. It was all over and awful smelling (when isn't it?). DH headed to the bathroom to give her a bath because it was really gunked into her hair. I headed downstairs to take care of the bed. And what before my eyes did appear when I turned on the lights, but another little girl sitting in her bed covered in puke! UGH!

Long story, short...we were basically up all night, changing towels/blankets (we made a big bed on the floor), changing pajamas, numerous baths, etc. I did get a little sleep from about 4:30 - 7:30 a.m. and DH got to sleep from about 7:30 - 9 a.m.

I'm not sure what it was, viral, something they ate, but they did both end up running low grade fevers. By yesterday evening, they were doing much better and were pretty much back to being themselves this morning!

Me, well, I'm still finishing up all the laundry. Oh, and I'd better add those mattress pads on my list of things to buy. Although, I do think the big bed on the floor with layers of blankets works quite well. Just peel off a layer and back down they go!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

4 Year Check Ups...

...and the pediatrician SAID, "They're HEALTHY!"

I really didn't expect any surprises, but it's always good to hear those words. It's always so amazing to me think of where they started and to see them now. I'm just in awe, almost surprised, that when the doctor asks me, "Are they on any medications?", I can say NO. Or, "Are there any long term issues?" I can say NO. "Do you have any concerns about them?" I can say NO.

I'm a little late on the appointments, but since we've moved, I had to look for a new pediatrician. I spent quite a bit of time checking out different options (via the internet) in towns near us. I decided against seeing the local Family Practice. I did take Sydney there in August and was very pleased with the doctor we saw, but I just feel more comfortable, given their start in life, seeing a pediatrician.

I decided on the clinic in the town just to the west of us. The female pediatrician that we are now seeing, well, her name seemed very familiar to me, but I didn't really KNOW her. I also found out in my research that she has twin boys (another reason I chose her).

So, we got to the appointment and didn't have very long to wait. The girls were weighed and measured first. Sydney came in at 38.5" tall and 28.4 lbs. Lindsey is right behind her at 38" tall and 27 lbs. They are still so tiny for four, BUT...the doc told me that (GET THIS), they are actually ON the chart for their weight. FIRST TIME EVER! Sydney was in the 10th percentile for weight and 25th for height. Lindsey was in the 5th percentile for weight and 10th for height!

Now, I've never really been all that concerned about them being ON the chart. It was drilled into my head very early that they aren't concerned with that, just so that they are following the curve. They've just always been on their own curve. Anyway, it's a little exciting.

They had their hearing checked which Sydney "sort of" did and Lindsey wouldn't let the nurse put the thing in her ears. They also had a vision screening which they told me they both fell in the 20/30 - 20/40 range, but is within normal limits. They see the pediatric opthamalogist due to their ROP anyway, which I told her about.

The doc and I had a nice visit about them and their prematurity and come to find out, she was doing her residency at Children's when L & S were in the NICU. She told me that when she saw their names, she told her nurse that they can't be new patients because their names sound so familiar. That's why! She saw them every day for four months!

Oh, there is one other thing. She did hear a heart murmur on Lindsey. She asked if she'd ever had one before. No. She said it's probably nothing. We can just monitor it or she'd be more than happy to order an echocardiogram just to get it checked out. I decided to just wait for now. I need to talk about it with Brian. In the meantime, she ordered both of the girls charts from our old pediatrician. She said it's possible that it was noted previously in the chart, but they just didn't mention anything to me thinking it wasn't a big deal.

L & S both got the flu shot. The doc also mentioned the Hep A Vaccine. No rush in getting it. I passed on it and told her that I wanted to do more research. What do you all know about the vaccine?

Can I just RANT about something too? I brought a copy of L & S's vaccine records with me. WHAT THE HECK? How come can't they get these right? I mean, when we go for our check ups, BOTH of the girls are there, BOTH get the SAME shots on the SAME day. BUT...apparently, Sydney had the Chicken Pox, Polio, and Hep B on the same day, but Lindsey only had the Polio and Hep B on that day. No Chicken Pox. Then at another time, without going into details, Sydney had the MMR, but Lindsey didn't, and Lindsey had the Hib which Sydney didn't. Where is that banging your head emoticon when you need it? OH, here it is ==>

Anyhoo, all in all, everything went fine, was fine. It's all good. Hopefully, we won't need to see her again for another year! Wouldn't that be awesome?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Funkity, Funk, Funk...

I've been in a little funk of sorts the past few days. I spent a little time reflecting on it, because I'm not one to really get in funks. You know, I'm one of those "glass half full" girls. I don't generally worry about things; I just don't usually have down times for the most part. Especially during the holiday season. I LOVE this time of year and being in the holiday spirit.

I wasn't sure what was causing it, but I think it's a few things. One in particular is that I think it has to do with my free time this past weekend. DH left on Saturday morning for Green Bay. He went to the Packer game yesterday and will be back sometime today. The girls went to my parent's house on Saturday night overnight. It's an annual tradition they do with the grandkids and this is the first year that L & S get to partake. Everyone was excited for it. My parents also had my niece, C (12) and my nephew, D (9). They spend the night decorating their house and tree and then they go downtown for the "Deck the Falls" celebration. They have a short parade, hot apple cider and cookies at the merchants and then they light the big tree in the center of town. I'm glad that L & S are able to be a part of all of this now.

But back to my funk...I knew all this was happening earlier in the week. I decided it was a great time to do something with a friend. Generally, I'm a homebody. When DH takes the kids somewhere, I like to stay home, enjoy the quiet, a book, my pajamas, a movie, organizing without kids underfoot, whatever...just doing what I want to do in the house and not have to worry about anything else. BUT this time, I was really motivated to go out! I called several different friends to see about getting together; ALL of them busy.

My mom had run into an old friend of mine during the day on Saturday and she asked where I was. She works at the winery and told my mom to have me stop down later. I decided that was a great idea. After I dropped the girls at my parent's, I went shopping for a bit. (BTW, I did find a great rug for the girls room that I was looking for and some buffet lamps!) Shopping was a success so I headed back to CF and to the winery. I go inside and no S. I ask where she is and the woman tells me that she just left! They let her go home early!

Isn't that just my luck? I know I could've given her a call or something, but you know this time my homebodiness was taking over. My jammies were calling me.

I ended up having a nice evening, a glass of wine, comfy jammies and T.V. I watched the last episode of Big Love. I'm all caught up now. I'm very upset with the darn DVR though. I guess it's my fault because I didn't know how it worked. But, it deleted three movies that I didn't get a chance to watch because the disk was full. UGH! No warning, nothing. I had wanted to watch In Her Shoes last night. I've heard it was a good movie. Anyway, now I've figured out that I have to "Protect" the movie. Won't happen again. I'm prepared for the next time I'm Home Alone.
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