Saturday, May 31, 2008

Prayers Paid Off

If you haven't followed the story of the Medders family in Fargo, here's a recap. Kelly Medders became pregnant with naturally occurring identical quadruplets. Extremely rare! And full of risks. After numerous complications (including TTTS, which also almost took our girls), the family ended up with one surviving quad.

She finally made it home - 7 months after her very early arrival into the world.

I never met the Medders, but feel so very close to them at heart. I have prayed for them every day since first hearing about their story. When I read their blog tonight and learned the great news, tears streamed down my cheeks. God is so good.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I've tagged myself

The rules:
“The rules of the game are posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.”

1. What was I doing ten years ago?
I had just graduated with my English and Mass Communcations degrees and was already working at my first ad agency as a copywriter. I was working with a guy I nick-named The Gay Weasel, who I later became very good friends with. I had just purchased myself my first car with leather seats and was looking forward to lots of weekends at the lake. I also had just bought an adorable red bikini. Aah, the skinny mini days.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
-Bake Amish Friendship Bread.
-Finish writing thank-you cards for baby gifts.
-Wrap baby shower gifts for my sissy.
-Edit a chapter of a software user guide.
-Pray for my sister-in-law who had emergency back surgery today.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Yummy, yummy candy. Anything with sugar, for that matter. Fresh strips of red and yellow peppers. Sugar snap peas. Popcorn. Tapioca pudding. And fresh fruit. Lots of fresh fruit.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I would spend more time hanging out with my kids (because we'd have a house big enough to have a play room where nothing's off limits). I'd also rock abandoned babies at the NICU at least once a week to keep me in check. I'd find someone to take away my Bell's Palsy (or at least make my smile even again). And I would get a back rub.

5. Places I have lived: (I'm so wildly midwestern.)
-Edina, MN
-Eveleth, MN
-Little Falls, MN
-Sioux City, IA
-Fargo, ND
-Brainerd, MN
-Baxter, MN
-Moorhead, MN
-Fargo, ND

6. People I want to know more about:
I’m passing this on to: Prego Jodie, my long-lost friend Lettuce, Overcaffienated Katie, art-directing Andrea, Mama Maus, Ms. Huckins Punkins

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is it just me?

Is this the fastest spring ever? I just took winter hats and scarves out of the van to wash and put away, but it seems like we were just using them. Life continues to fly by and I'm still behind as ever.

Usually, if I put my plans in writing - and especially if I let others know about those plans - I force myself to live up to the precedent that I've set. Not so lately. I still haven't finished up with baby announcements (and thank you notes) and I still haven't dug out my skinny clothes. It seems like just when we're about to have a stretch of normalcy, something new comes up and the race continues. But I am getting to bed a little earlier - 12:30 or so - so at least I'm catching a few more zzzs.

We enjoyed the long weekend at the lake. My dad, uncle and husband worked on the porch addition on the cabin, and somehow, the girls learned to clap and shout "Hooray" each time someone made a cut on the saw. Talk about incentive to keep working! Lillian realized she's more than capable of climbing out of the pack and play. Both girls learned to say "Jeanne" and "Boonie Rocks" in reference to their great aunts. And of course, I didn't take the time to pull out the camera, so I have nothing new to share.

DH and I did squeeze in a date - dinner at Billy's Bar in Vergas. I had the best taco salad ever - it was huge and fresh and the chicken was perfect! Add in a neighborhood bocce ball game later in the weekend and we called it good. (Although I did pick up a dead mouse with my bare hand, thinking it was a leaf on Monday. Ick. I guess it's time to get in to the eye doctor again.)

Now here we are, back to the grind. We have out-of-town company coming on Thursday night to stay over to break up their trip to Rapid City. (Yay - they're one of our favorite couples ever!)Then Friday my folks are coming up and Saturday is my sister's baby shower. I have no articles in the hopper right now, though, so hopefully my snippets of freetime can be spent putting away clean laundry, getting out baby announcements, and finding clothes that fit. Let's see if my putting it in writing trick works this week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kinko Kinko

Breanna and Lillian surprised us this week with their rendition of Kinko Kinko Itto Tar. They made it through the whole thing, mostly in tune. They both sing, "How I wonder what you are" perfectly clearly. What fun!

And Grant surprised us this week by pulling himself up using his torso muscles so that he sits upright in the tilted swing. He now tries to pull himself out of the carseat, too. Uh oh. I hope this isn't a sign of gruelling road trips this summer.

The kids and I are leaving bright and early tomorrow morning (by 7:30). We're driving 2.5 hours to my parents' house to drop of the kiddos and then I'm heading to Saint Cloud for a 1:00 meeting. Hopefully the meeting will be fruitful and I'll be rewarded with some great projects.

Then on Friday, we're heading up to my family's cabin for the weekend. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my mom's side. It's been a while. And I'm certain the girls will love the freedom that comes with having a yard. (And all the attention.)

After I got the van all loaded (all 10,000 trips or so), I checked the oil tonight. First time I've done that in years. I've loved my Toyotas in recent years, and knew I never needed to worry about oil or anything else for that matter. Well, now that I'm driving domestic, I figure I'd better keep an eye on things a bit closer.

DH is going to work in town this week and then join us at the lake on Friday. He's doing a remodeling project on a nearby lake next week, so it's going to be convenient for him to get some alone time when the crowded cabin starts to feel to crowded. We're going to cram 10-13 grownups, 2 adolescents, 2-3 toddlers, 1 infant, and 1 fetus into the two cabins, which have a total of 5 bedrooms. Should be interesting. I just pray for no rain.

Enjoy the long weekend, folks!

Friday, May 16, 2008


We're finally returning to "normal." While each day is a bit different and we're always in the middle of stuff, we're kind of getting back to normal in that we're going to bed before 1 a.m.

DH has even been home in time for supper as a family this week, which we've all enjoyed! Last night, the G Man slept from 10 pm until 6 am, so hooray for that! I didn't get to bed until just after midnight, though, so I guess it wasn't that big of a stretch of sleep for me. Oh well.

We've been getting outside again (thank God for fresh air). The girls have especially enjoyed our neighborhood walks to see all the puppies (dogs, cats, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and bunnies). Grant has seemed to enjoy hanging out in his Moby wrap as we walk along. When trekked through an alley on Wednesday, Breanna kicked up some dust and said "Fuzzy."

As the girls continue to develop, their sentences are getting longer, and several in a row now. It's so fun to be able to understand them finally! And Master Grant, well, he's just the smiliest baby I've ever known. Returning to normal equates to returning to great.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pony Party

We celebrated the twins' second birthdays over the weekend with a double-twin party in Wild West Fargo.

When I looked outside Saturday morning and saw snow falling, all I could do was groan. Between the two families, a few friends, and a handful of pals that we have in common, this could end up being up to 60 people in one house. Luckily, the ponies were happy to be in the garage, and the kiddos took turns taking rides nicely. I hear that there was a kiddy tub with blankets and bunnies, too, but I didn't get a chance to peek in. The snow did not deter anyone and the place was full. Whew!

Of course, I was so busy running around as co-hostess and mom to a newborn that I didn't get a single picture. I know my mom and sis and brother-in-law all took photos, so eventually, we're bound to get at least one to post here.

I feel bad that I didn't get the chance to visit with the hostess' husband or really even introduce our kiddos much. The chaos was a blur - a very nice blur, though. I'm glad we did it, but I hope the girls don't come to expect this massive of a party again. At least until they graduate.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Graduation Day

With great pride, I'd like to brag a little bit about my dad. He's graduating with his second Master's degree tonight. Though I can't be there in person to see him and hug him, I can beam from afar. He's put in a lot of long hours to earn this degree.

Since he started his second career in high school special education (emotional behavioral disorders) after a full retirement from the US Army, he's thrown himself head-first into the field. He has more passion for his work than most people ever dream of. Earning this degree has been all about figuring out how to help his students better. Just ask him one question and he'll go for hours. He lives and breathes it.

Dad's a true advocate for his kids. They've been tossed out of the regular school system and are often on the verge of pure trouble. A lot of them come from royally screwed-up poverty-stricken families who don't have much chance of doing anything productive with their lives. But my Dad sees potential in each one and he works his tail off to help them figure out a way to make at least something of themselves. While most of them likely won't make it to law school or even a tech school, they at least get some understanding of the EBD problems they have and how to work with them.

A few years ago, Dad had a student whose family was so poor they couldn't afford hair cuts and the poor kid kept getting teased about his shagginess. My dad discreetly offered to cut the kid's hair before school. He brought in clippers from home and became a makeshift barber. And when another kid obsessively licked his lips raw, Dad became a big-time chapstick supplier. My generous mom has played a big role in helping Dad pull it all off. Their compassion is amazing - and inspiring.

If you come across an opportunity to help someone, even a stranger, even in a small way, go for it. This world needs a lot more generosity of the spirit. I know that when I find ways to help, I do it in honor of my parents, whose generosity is pure.

If you happen to know my dad and get a chance to congratulate him on this recent accomplishment, please do so. He certainly deserves great big accolades. Hooray for graduation day!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

How adorable is he?

G Man, as his daddy calls him. What a cutie!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Birthdays Galore

Our girls turned two on Saturday, but we didn't acknowledge it on the day (we're saving the celebration till the pony party this weekend). My dear old friend, KariAnn, brought over her almost 8-year-old for an afternoon of visiting and enjoying some fresh air.
Along with sweet baby gifts for Grant, she also brought pretties for the girls. Lilli LOVES wearing the headbands. And Breanna LOVES sucking on the barrettes.
Every day, I put something in each of their hair to try to get them used to cute hairdos. But they still rip the pretties out of each other's hair within minutes. One of these days, they're going to realize that it hurts and that they can keep the pretties in if they just leave them in.
The girls had a birthday party at daycare today, where Grandma Becky celebrated with princess and unicorn balloons, homemade cupcakes, and little gifts from her grandkids. Now the girls have more cell phones and some coloring stuff and My Little Ponies. And they love all of it.
We had a birthday party at our place tonight. Young DH turned 28. Though he was tired out and not excited about aging, he did enjoy the T-bone dinner and cheesecake. We taught the girls how to blow out candles, and repeated it a few times til they got the hang of it. By the time we get to the twin party this weekend, we'll have it down pat.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A pair of years

We have a pair of two-year-olds in the house! Holy moly! Sometimes, it feels like it's been 10 years and other times, they seem so very little. I think the terrible twos began in the middle of the night when the girls took turns waking up every other hour. Those darn bottom molars are rough. And the day was trying, as well. I considered for a moment not even baking their birthday cake. Luckily, they are sweet and cute as ever just as soon as I'm near the end of my rope, and then we all kiss and hug and cuddle and my blood pressure goes back down. Thankfully, my long-time friend, KariAnn brought her son over to break up our day a little bit. We all went for an afternoon walk, which did us a ton of good.

The Parade of Homes ended today at 5:00 and I'm delighted to have my husband back. He even joined us for supper tonight. A big fancy feast of pizza, pears, and Funfetti cake. We had a wonderful turnout at the house this past week - to those of you who came to visit - thank you sincerely. It made DH's many hours there fly by and he enjoyed hearing accolades about his work. This project has resulted in a ton of work, and likely much more to come. When he said he wanted to grow the company, I hope he was serious, because here we go.

By the end of this week, I hope to feel a bit more caught up with my life. This week, I WILL get to Grant's birth announcements, as well as thank you notes. And I will do my filing. And I will go down to the garage and find my boxes of skinny clothes. DH thought he was being mighty funny when he recently half-de-pantsed my transition trousers in front of the kiddos. Now Breanna tries to yank my pants down. Nice.

I was brave this afternoon (and extremely sick of being cooped up), so I took all three kiddos to a park all by myself. One split lip and one bruised elbow were well worth all the fun the girls had climbing steps and sliding down the slide. I started to get a little concerned when it was time to leave, and I couldn't round up both girls to walk back with me. They just couldn't understand that we needed to leave the slide. As soon as I'd get one to sit on the ground next to Grant's baby carrier, the other would start running back to the slide. And the cycle continued for more than 10 minutes. Eventually, a mom who was there with her one four-year-old who minded came to my rescue and helped me corral the kiddos back to the van.

And then we had some true family time before the girls went to bed tonight and it was absolutely lovely. Nothing fancy, but we all smiled a lot. We turned off the big light and instead lit the lamp in their room. And then we lounged on the floor. The girls climbed all over us, tickled, showed us their pretties (new headbands and barrettes) and talked up a storm. We all had a great time. Finally. Back to our family life. Hooray!