Sunday, December 6, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I am surrounded by talent of all ages here in Minnesota and our babysitter Katie Rundall, took Amelia on a photo shoot for her 9th grad photography class. She captured Amelia beauty and sweetness. I love her thick, long and dark eyelashes. (Sometimes I can't resist putting mascara on them, just because.) And her long, golden hair, that she let's me brush, braid and curl, but never cut, "Just a trim" is her phrase.
For her 4th birthday, (which was on October 12th.) She invited all of her girl friends for a Fancy Nancy/Pinkalicious tea party. The girls had crepes/pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream and maple syrup, hot chocolate & apple juice. (those were the "tea-ish" drinks.)
We read books, made fancy bracelets, and when it was time to go home instead of a swag bag they took home a "fabulous" tutu. (They were super duper easy to make and cost about $2-3 dollars each.) Notice in the picture, (Amelia's the one on the right.) that she doesn't have to be the center of attention. She was so happy to be surrounded by friends and that is how she truly is, humble and loving.
Okay and for the finally, my amazingly talented friends Sarah Smith & Christa Ogden made this OUT OF THIS WORLD cupcakes
Amelia also lets me play photo shoot with her. It was raining and I wanted to work on my shutter speed. She looked so adorable in PINK, and 5 different necklaces, 3 bracelets and a Hello Kitty watch that actually tells time. Her facial expression is hilarious. I love you Amelia.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Conrad originally wanted to be a mad scientist again, but then he remembered that he had an authentic Arab head dress, from Saudi Arabia, (a friend of ours went to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.) so with a little shoe polish and sunglasses he became a Saudi. (I think he looks like my brother Mason.)
No Arab would be complete without a white sheet and camouflage Birkenstocks.
My friend Stacy Miller (Noah's mom) painted all four of the army guys faces. She said while she was painting each of their faces, they had their game faces on. (see above) When she finished, they ran to the mirror, admired their reflections with an "Awesome!" and told her that she was their official camouflage expert. (now that's awesome.)
Riley originally wanted to be Concussion on the movie Zoom, but we couldn't find red, burgundy or maroon sweats anywhere. (go figure we live in maroon and gold U of M country.)
He remembered that some of his friends were going as army guys and since he had every piece of clothing in camouflage, he decided to work it. (even his Converse and socks are camouflage.)
Amelia was going to be a butterfly and I had visions of her being a magnificent monarch with huge hand painted wings. I almost had her convinced until she wanted to be Fancy Nancy to go along with her birthday party. For a split second she wanted to be a princess, but Fancy Nancy was going strong and then on Halloween day she wanted to be a butterfly again. I had no amazing wings or black and orange tutu, but she knew what she wanted and what a butterfly ought to look like. She found her pink butterfly headband, (no she didn't want antennas), pink fuzzy wings, pink tutu, pink galoshes and some pink hair spray. Of course no butterfly would be complete without tons of glitter and a black velvet unitard. It was a little chilly that night, so of course she donned her denim jacket and toted her gold trim purple leopard print treat bag. (She rocked it like the fashionista I knew she could be.)
Quinn has admirer of all ages. A friend from church gave him this oh-so-adorable pumpkin sleeper complete with beanie.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I must admit I was worried that the Conrad & Riley would be ambivalent about Quinn's arrival and that Amelia would be jealous, but they are all madly in love with their littlest brother. So much so that when they come home with their friends they say to them, "Come look at Quinn. Isn't he so cute? Do you want to hold him. You can kiss him if you like." It warms my heart that they adore him as much as Hans & I do.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
(Note: This is not related to the change of season or back to school)
Riley had another seizure (#2) on Tuesday morning on the bus to school. Conrad caught it. He told the bus driver, counted how long the seizure lasted and then called me from a friend's cell phone and while we were talking, the ambulance came. Fortunately, the seizure only lasted 57 sec. (according to Conrad) Riley was able to go to school 2 hours later with no problem. I was hoping that he we wouldn't have any more. Maybe he won't.
Conrad said this experience humbled him and made him realize that he needs to be nicer to Riley. He looked at Riley later that night and said, "You have to sit by me on the bus from now on and Mom I need a watch so that I can time his seizures more accurately." Conrad is feeling the mantel of being the oldest sibling. I'm glad. He stayed calm under pressure. That's a good thing.
But that's not all...
This last week, Amelia had a nasty night time cough that crept into her throat around 2 a.m. every night.
Hans started having a sore throat on Friday and by Sunday he went to the clinic and sure enough it was flat-on-your-back-with-the-fever- Strep. That Sunday night around 11:30 Conrad started puking until he couldn't puke any more. (Poor little guy. There's nothing more exhausting than watching your child dry heave at 3:50 in the morning.)
Fortunately Quinn and I are healthy. (knock on wood.)
Sweet Amelia was playing Florence Nightingale by bringing Hans water, covering him up with her blankets (notice the pink?) and patting him on head.
*I was going to end the post, but as I reread it and looked at Amelia's smiling face next to Hans' sick face, I realized that my kids are good kids and they love our family and want to help each other because... well they love each other. It's nice to have a realization of that from time to time.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
My first thought was, "Oh great. Time to pull out the Clorox disinfecting wipes. "
Conrad took a bath and I began the questioning, "what did you eat? You haven't been sick earlier today, so what happened?"
Come to find out that he and his friend, Crystal, (a fellow bunny enthusiast) had been playing, running skipping, laughing and then she accidentally stepped on the tip of a shovel. It was like the cartoons, with the whole "shovel handle to the face" gag. Apparently, the handle hit her mouth so hard that it knocked one of her adult teeth loose, with blood and bruising to go with it. Conrad came home soon after taking Crystal to her parents and the nausea started as he was coming home.
I had to laugh a little that my fearless, carefree, 9 year-old future veterinarian became a little squeamish at the sight of blood. Come to think of it, he did look a little green when he came home. Poor guy.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My aunt LaVona sent me this picture. It was taken in Thrify's, back in the day when there were Thrifty's Drug Stores and Thrifty's ice cream. Instead of hand scooping the ice cream with a traditional scooper they used a cylindrical shaped one. It was very cool (no pun intended) because it was so novel and what was even cooler (lol) was that the frozen flavors were super cheap.
My parents were out of town and Mason & I were staying with my Uncle Barry and Aunt La Vona. They took us to get some ice cream at Thrifty's. This was a rather normal event and all then of the sudden, LaVona put the candle on my double scoop cone, (I think it was mint chocolate chip and chocolate malt crunch) lit it and then sang Happy Birthday to me in the store. It was great to ring in my teens and one of those fun memories that always puts a smile on my face. Thanks Uncle Barry & Aunt La Vona.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Hans and I recently paid tithing. Then within a few days after I gave the tithing envelope to the Bishop a car repair bill came due, a bill for a conference that Hans attended, a doctor bill and student loans seem to flood our mail box. Hans and I (him more than I) try to be frugal and stay on top of things, but it seemed that I had not kept track of all the bills, and I was worried. I had the thought, “Maybe I can call the Bishop back.”
My thoughts raced with doubt. “We only have enough money for another month and then that’s it. How are we going to make it another month? I have to pay rent next month and buy groceries and gas and etc. I can’t ask my family or Hans’ family for money, they don’t have much extra either. I should have waited to pay tithing until after Hans received his next stipend. When does he receive his next stipend? We aren’t going to be able to do it.”
My anxiety level was making me sick to the point of tears. I then cried a quiet prayer, “How are we going to do this Heavenly Father?” As I my heart started pounding harder and faster, my thoughts then turned to my patriarchal blessing and scriptures. Malachi 3:10 kept repeating in my mind “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse… and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
My next thought was, “Call Hans and ask when the stipend will come.” After talking with Hans, my heart rate went back to normal speed; we would have enough for our needs, just like God had promised in the scriptures (even if I never balance the checkbook).
I know that God will bless us for paying a full tithing because I have seen His helping hand in my life when I have kept this commandment. I have a testimony of tithing because I do it. In John 7:16-17, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
We can only gain a testimony of tithing by paying a full tithe. And with that testimony, our troubled hearts will be calmed and God will do as he says and pour out His blessings to all of us.
Monday, September 7, 2009
I tell you this not to embarrass my sweet son, but because of this habit, Thursday night around 11:50, Hans took Riley to the bathroom and noticed he was drooling a lot. Hans woke me up to check it out and I noticed white foam accompanied the drooling and instead of a sleepy Riley with mumbling with half opened eyes, his eyes were wide open and unresponsive. Maybe a minute later his right hand and head started twitching rhythmically. I remember looking at Hans and his face expressed what I was thinking, "Oh no, this cannot be happening. He's having a seizure."
I then took Riley off the toilet (pulled up his underwear) and laid him on his side. I was screaming his name pleading with him to wake up. I looked up again and Hans was on the phone. He then scooped Riley up and told me he was taking him to the street so the paramedics could get too him sooner. Riley's body become more tense and he was still twitching.
I ran after Hans and almost the moment he got to the sidewalk, a police car drove up and within a minute later, the paramedics came. They took Riley into the ambulance and in a couple of minutes they closed the door. The ambulance then drove off and we followed them in the police man's car.
By the time we got to the hospital, they paramedics told us that Riley had calmed down and also told us that he had vomited and stopped breathing for 2 minutes. I'm thinking, "What does that mean? Is he going to be okay?"
In the emergency room at Hennepin County Medical Center (it's a learning hospital), Riley was the only patient, but there were at least 6 medical personal ranging from nurses, fellows, & residents. By then, Riley was asleep, but crying as they put in IV's, drew blood and stuck heart monitors all over his chest. He then calmed in to a deep sleep and they were able to run tests on him without him moving.
After Riley was transported to the Pediatric ICU, he woke up around 2 a.m. drowsy but normal. (I even quizzed him on his times tables and he was alright in the head.) Hans, with the help of Bishop Matthews, gave him a blessing and then he went to the bathroom, answered a few more routine questions from the nurse and fell back asleep.
Thankfully all of the results from the MRI, CT scan & EEG came back normal. The Neurologist was kind but confident that he would be fine and even went so far as to say he should get a check up in December, before she discharged him at 7 p.m. that same day.
We were told that he may or may not have another seizure and if he does and it last over 3 minutes we give him a Valium suppository. (no kidding, that should be fun, bleck!) If it goes longer than 15 minutes then we call 911. (I know, 15 minutes?) He will most likely out grow them when he hits his teen years and until then he must ride his bike with a helmet (oops), he can only take showers (no more relaxing baths), and he has to be watched when swimming.(thank heavens for lifeguards.)
I am so grateful he's alright. The whole time he was seizing and up until he woke up I was praying silently and verbally that God would help him to be okay and he is just fine. My sweet little Riley.
I am just so grateful.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday was just the same, it had been raining pretty hard all day and when it let up a bit I hauled my 4 children to Costco for a change of scenery, free samples, and some groceries. As we were inside the store, the tornado sirens went off, no one ran for the tornado shelter or started frantically stockpiling water bottles and raisins. People's paces were unchanged and even the old ladies serving samples, didn't miss a beat cutting chicken nuggets into bite size pieces. So of course my thought is, "When in Rome, do as the Romans," and finished up my shopping.
After we checked out, I noticed there was a huge line to leave and then all of the sudden the Exit and Entry doors slammed shut. The manager told us that it was his professional opinion that we stay in the store until the tornado passed. LOL. So the kids and I bought a couple of churros and waited out the near death experience.
We were only delayed for 10 minutes and then once the door were opened we went safely home.
I laughed inwardly at the people who were upset that they had to stay in Costco because of "the weather." May I be in Costco every time there is a tornado or when any sort of inclement weather passes my way.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Riley is without guile and always honest. He is willing to follow or lead and bend with other peoples wants. He is loyal to his family and friends and will fight to the death if someone messes with them. He is sensitive and wants to do the right thing. Riley is kind and when someone is hurt or sad, he doesn't just wait and watch, he gets down to that person's level and helps and comforts them.
It is so neat to have a child like Riley.
He's growing up and almost as tall as Conrad. His favorite things are Star Wars, Legos, Star Wars Legos, Pokemon, riding his bike, the color blue, math and reading, soccer, archery, Converse shoes, sports cars, computer games, ice cream, Chicken Parmesan, cereal, and baby Quinn.
Riley generally doesn't like his pictures taken. He hates the whole process: the time it takes to get ready, the itchy church clothes, the crazy person doing the shoot. This year I promised it would take less than an hour and it would just be me and him. We were outside on the State fair grounds and he got to pick out his outfit. Notice the Star Wars tee shirt, jeans & Converse? Yep, it was smooth sailing this time.
I realized that to get a good picture out of Riley, I had to let him pull a few funny faces.
Riley is rather picky about what he wears. He doesn't like polo or button up shirts, unless they are "cool". (whatever that means.)
Riley is losing his teeth and I adore his toothy grin and his sweet dimple on his left cheek.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
I've been thinking of ways to get back into shape and I've set a goal to run another 5k in September.
I found a partner and started jogging a couple of weeks ago to prepare myself for the grueling 3.1 miles. As I was going up a hill the other day I couldn't help quoting Joseph Conrad's, Heart of Darkness, "The horror! The horror!"
On a less painful note here are pictures of Hans & Quinn. I really love seeing my family dressed up on Sundays.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Bugs are gone. Autumn with its still in-between air sits in the wings while you savor the warmth of summer as it comes back for another bow.
I like it because of its unpredictability. With the straining effort aided by new technology of society to capture and predict, I appreciate the freedom and the surprise. -Robert Redford
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Conrad loves nature a lot more than me and he has become quite excited about the butterflies that visit our community. So far he has caught a 2 Mourning Cloaks and 2 Monarchs. He begged and pleaded to pin and frame them and so we framed one of each. He's hoping to catch a Swallowtail next. Apparently they are gorgeous.
Amelia is such a sweet little lady. Whenever she sees flowers she wants to pick them for me. (She learned from her brothers.) Sometimes its a dandelion, but her most recent pick was this puff of hydrangea.
Funny thing happened yesterday, while she was handing me an extremely large freshly picked dandelion, I looked and noticed their was a fat and fuzzy bumble bee still pollinating the flower. Amelia dropped the flower and alas I did not get anymore flowers that day.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Our community is all a blur with boys (including my two) between the ages of 5 - 11 zipping around on their bikes. They generally ride in a group, (I won't call it a bike gang) with my lovely Amelia trailing behind them. These are good boys and they are not trying to get away from her, rather she just can't keep up. But Amelia is a smart little girl and not easily daunted, so she finds short cuts and back ways so as to be with them as much as possible.
Amelia: I want you to take the training wheels off my bike.
Me: Oh really, do you want to go faster like the boys?
Me: Hmmm. (slightly perplexed) Then why?
Amelia: Because then Kinzie won't be able to ride it anymore.
Let me explain. Kinzie and her family just came from Egypt to live in our community and they are all very nice, but Kinzie only speaks Arabic. Ergo it is impossible to explain to her that Amelia has had a new brother come into her life and, although she doesn't know it, she is feeling displaced and needs normalcy in her life until she adjusts. AND she doesn't want to share her bike because it's her new toy AND she loves it AND if you keep taking it away from her, she's already made plans to push you off of it etc., etc.
Conrad's dream is to live on a deserted island and live off the land (definitely not my dream). And for a while he was not a big fan of Cub Scouts, but as more adventures are happening and outdoors skills are being learned he is discovering that Scouting will be his ticket to surviving on the island in LOST. This is his 2nd year of Cub Scouts and this past activity they went fishing. Well Conrad was happy to report that he was the first one to catch a fish and that it only took him 1 minute and it was a "Delicious Bass." (Actually it was about 6 inches long and he didn't eat it. I just wanted to quote Napoleon Dynamite.)
Hans & I have been busying Riley and Conrad with summer school, soccer and archery. Wednesdays are pretty long for everyone because of school, soccer and cub scouts, but Riley being the peacemaker and a cup half full sort of guy takes it all in stride.
Me: Sorry this has been such a long day.
Riley: That's okay. I like long days.
Me: Really, why's that?
Riley: Because that means I'm doing lots of fun things.
Isn't he sweet?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
While I was baby-mooning, (get it? instead of honeymooning.) Hans had his 33 birthday and Father's day on the same day. It was so sad, Hans wanted some new running shoes and while we were out on a random shopping trip, he picked out the ones he wanted and I said "Happy Birthday/Father's Day." No spontaneity, excitement or pizazz, just running shoes. :(
I did sort of make it up to him the next week, while my brother was in town. Mason's birthday is on the 26th, so on his birthday we had Hans' favorite meal: steak and potatoes and homemade mint ice cream cake (Mason's favorite.)
Mason came up to visit and help out a couple of weeks ago, just before he left for his mission to San Antonio, Texas. (Spanish speaking.) My kids were in heaven. He took them all swimming almost everyday, played chess with Riley, held Quinn, entertained Amelia and talked about scouting & out door adventure stuff with Conrad.
I think to make our mom jealous.)
Riley's birthday landed on a Sunday and he wanted to do the friend thing on Monday, so his birthday was fairly low key. But the kids did go out and play with sparklers and I got to play with my camera's shutter speed. (These pictures are all taken with a 10 second shutter speed.) Below are pictures of them all writing their names, err, backwards. ( I need learn how to invert pictures.)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The name Quinn is sticking and Hans & I are quite happy with our choice. (The boys wanted to vote on the name, but I reminded them that this family was not a democracy. What then does that make our family?) His name has already being morphed into nick names like "Quinners" and "Quinny" and my brother is excited to call him "Q".
I find myself wondering if his features have changed since birth. I look at him all the time, but when I remember, I try to look closer.
When the midwife put Quinn my chest, the first thing I noticed about him were his long fingernails. They were jagged, long and healthy. (It's funny what one remembers and consequently I didn't trim them for a long time so I could keep that first look and feeling in my mind.)
Conrad likes to snuggle and he has found out that Quinn likes to snuggle too.
Quinn is covered in soft downy hair and he has these long paper thin eye lashes that I have to look at every time I hold him.
I starting to wonder if Amelia thinks Quinn is actually a moving doll. If you notice in the picture the quilt covering him is Amelia's doll quilt.