Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Results

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That's my man. His goal was to finish in 4-5 hours. He finished in 3 hours, 53 minutes and 54 seconds. Of the 1431 people who skied the Birke classic style, he finished 354th. (There were about 8,000 people in the Birke, but most people ski it using the skating style.) Knut does both, but his newest and nicest skis are classic, so he wanted to use those.

Here's him racing into the finish line, downtown Hayward. I think you can click on the picture to enlarge it. Yes, Hayward does truck in a bunch of snow and shuts down their downtown roads to host the finish of this race. Isn't that wild?



What's even more wild is that in a crowd as large as there was at the finish line, we ran into our friends the Mousers, and I got a picture of Knut and Matt. I believe this was Matt's 9th Birke.

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I took some pictures of the hundreds if not thousands of skis leaned against anything that stands and speared into the snow at the finish line. Knut tells me it is nothing compared to the lines of skis at the start. I was just waiting here, watching people as Knut changed back into street clothes and picked up some soup they were handing out to the racers.

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He finished. We are happy.

Race Day!

Today is race day!

We arrived yesterday afternoon, after driving since 6:30 am. We got lost a few times on the way, as apparently Google Map has never been to Wisconsin. The first time we got lost we were driving through woods without any signs or roads in site. This got us both grumbling about how stupid our maps were, which somehow got us going on Packer jokes (don't ask me how) and we used every opportunity to slam the Packers at ever wrong turn. (What can you expect? Packer fans probably made the roads.)

When we got there, the Packer jokes stopped, as we thought it wise to watch what we said outside the van while in Wisconsin. Telemark was the central hub yesterday, and Knut picked up his bibs, and we walked around at all the exhibits, as there was about every cross country ski vendor you could think of there.

The author of the children's book about the original Birkebeiner was there, and I got to meet her, and she signed a book for our kids, so that was fun for me! Knut got bought a new Birkebeiner ski hat, and I got some cheerleading equipment. ;)

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As soon as you walk in you see this huge fireplace. I told Knut that's how I wanted him to finish up our new fireplace this year. Here we've been pouring over magazines, and pamphlets, trying to figure out how to finish the outside of the fireplace, and it never occurred to put an enormous viking over the mantle. That's awesome!


Here's Knut standing along the wall of Birke winners.

Here's a torch. Kinda like the Olympic torch, but smaller. Kinda like the Birke. Like the Olympics...but smaller.


Freshly groomed snow at the starting line.



Here's my official American Birkebeiner cow bell. It's, of course, made in Norway, and has some nice sound. Last time I cheered Knut on an official event like this was at the Metrodome, in the high school football state championships. I was kicking myself that I didn't bring my old cheerleading windbreaker...but there's always next year.

Knut wanted to take my picture next to the Birke car that we kept seeing, with the vicious vikings on it. After we took this picture, the President of the American Birkebeiner got ready to get in it and drive away, but he stopped and chatted with Knut and I for awhile, which Knut really got a kick out of.


I'm sorry this picture is so blurry. It's Knut checking out the starting line yesterday, where he's going to start this morning.

Here's Knut before he took off this morning. His bib has brown edging, to show which wave he's in, and it has a big "C" on it to show he's doing the race classic style, not skating style. He also has his "skating for MS" pin that he got yesterday, to show his support for MS research. Plus, they randomly pick people wearing the pin throughout the race and give them prizes...one of which is an amazing new set of skis. Now, Knut needs new skis like I need new sewing machines, so yeah, he'd love to get those!

Knut's uncle just dropped him off at the starting line, and so he's getting all set up and trying to work out jitters. We're staying with Knut's aunt and uncle, who have a great cabin just a few minutes from the finish line. So I'm sitting here on their sofa, in front of a warm fire, overlooking a lake, and I have a huge bear rug in front of me. Lena came with us, and I'm a little afraid that we'll have to pry her away from Knut's aunt and uncle who wish for her to never leave.

Silje, David, and Elias I'm sure are having lots of fun with Grandma and Grandpa, and their 2 cousins who are also staying with them. It was my first time leaving Elias overnight, and that dawned on me as we were leaving. Leaving them, I think was the hardest part. On me, that is. They were still sleeping, as Grandpa was staying at our house until they woke up. So there were no tears or tantrums...on their part!

So keep Knut in your prayers today, that he will be sustained, and race hard, and finish with no injuries. His starting time I think is around 9am, and it should take him about 5 hours, he's guessing. He's never done this trail before, though, so who knows how his time here will compare to how fast he skis at home. Some good friends have given him some fast racing wax, and he spent the night before we left waxing his skis to perfection. He said he's a little nervous that his skis will be the fastest he's ever been on them, and hopes he gets the hang if it quickly!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Favorite Things

Today is picture taking day. All my work is going under the lens, and I'm busy typing things up. The internet has been spotty today. (Of course it has, on the day I've set aside to work on it.) That's been slowing me up, but I'm still getting things done.

I didn't get all of the wool finished yesterday, so some of it might have to be photographed when we get back, and I'll just finish it up while we're driving. I mean to only stock the store with items on the first of the month, but I might make an exception and stock on the 2nd with the wool. Maybe late on the 1st. We'll see.

As I'm going through pictures though, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite things.

Sock monkey longies. These is a diaper cover/pants combo. Seriously, sock monkey longies are "all the rage" in the cloth diapering world right now.

The back: monkey butt
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The front:
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Another "Hot Mama" diaper bag like Carolyn's. Except instead of an appliqued elephant, I used designer Alexander Henry fabric. I'm so in love with this, and I hope someone buys it before I change my mind and keep it.
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Some embellished All-in-one diapers:
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As always, I'm keeping busy with this. This is just a peek of the 30+ items that will start off my grand opening. Tonight we have parent/teacher conferences, and tomorrow we head into race country...and I guess I'll be sewing buttons on wool wraps along the way. Thank you all so much for all of everybody's encouragement. It has really been a lot of fun.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finishing Up

Well, we're getting down to the wire here. Knut has his big race on Saturday, and I have my grand opening on Monday. If I were to have thought it through more, I would have not planned it that way. I know nothing is making me open the store on Monday, but that's the goal I set, and once I push something back once, it seems to have a tough time getting priority. So I'm sticking to it.

Yesterday was my last sewing/knitting day. Today I'm finishing the fussy work on all the wool knit items like sewing on buttons and weaving in loose ends. I hate this part of knitting, and I keep telling myself I'm going to finish the fussy work after I finish the item and BEFORE I start the next one, but here I am...sewing buttons on 6 wool wraps in a row.

So, I decided to take a break and blog. Because I'm a procrastinator.

I did one final wash of the diapers going up for sale yesterday, to insure that all of the holes put in the waterproof fabric from the sewing needle are sealed up, thus becoming waterproof again. This morning, as I was sorting through them, I noticed that several of them have bleed marks from my fabric marker (where I mark my snap placements.) It's supposed to just wash out, and I've used it several times before and it's always washed out just fine. I guess it knew I was selling these diapers, and therefore wanted to make it more difficult.

What's worse, is some of the diapers mentioned were made with all organic fabrics. Not only is it expensive fabric, but it's not like I can just bleach it out, you know? So today I'm working on using all natural stain removal methods to get the washable marker out of my brand new--been working on them for months diapers. I'll admit...I'm nervous. Could use a prayer or two.

So I'm hoping to have all the items finished and picture ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm planning on taking pictures of everything for the website, and then finishing up my descriptions of each item. I probably should not have packed all the tedious things into 2 days, but that's the way I planned it, and now it just has to get done.

Tomorrow night I'm packing bags, and Friday, we're headed to Knut's race. I'll be blogging from there, I hope, and promise many good pictures of Knut in his professional looking racing suit, with bibs and all. (Did I mention that he was skiing at a lodge an hour or two from here a few days ago, and some Bengali guy was there and asked if Knut was a professional? Totally made his day.)

So Knut is already talking about other races he wants to do both this year and next year, and I'm already thinking of what I want to stock the store with next month. I'm thinking more aprons (I have some awesome fabrics that I'm dying to cut into for this), and if my bamboo fleece gets in, several more fitted diapers. The bamboo fleece I had shrunk much more than I thought it would in the pre-wash and I didn't get nearly as many diapers from it then I had planned for.

It's been a struggle for Knut and I to put our hobbies aside and get work done, but it does happen from time to time. He's almost done with framing up the new window in the kitchen, and I'm still holding on to some of the housework. It's not all getting done, but at least some of it is. That's kinda good, right? Lena still gets her bath, the floor still gets swept. Bills are getting paid and dishes get done. I'm still making meals too, so that's good. My family is thankful for that.

OK...enough rambling and procrastinating. Time to finish the tedious work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Walking

You know, according to meticulously kept baby books, Knut walked at 13 months. I walked at 13 months. Silje walked at 13 months, and David walked at 13 months. Elias, well...that remains to be seen.
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This boy is full of surprises. Since he came 4 weeks early, and hit every other milestone 1 month later than the other kids, I figured he'd walk around 14 months.

He's past his 15 month birthday now, and not a step closer.

I've heard it called "third child syndrome" and my doctor doesn't seem worried about it, as it seems as though he could walk, but sees no reason to. He has at his fingertips many servants (Lena probably most of all. OK...that's not true. I totally spoil him.) who will fetch for him whatever he desires. He has an older brother and sister who will entertain him, and play with him. Who needs to walk with such a life?
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I find that with each of my children, I experience a different dimension of parenting. With Silje, I got such a big head. This child put herself on a schedule. She did thing early or on time. Everything about her from coming right on her due date, to her by the book delivery, to walking and speaking, etc. has been what every parents hopes. I could not sympathize with parents whose babies would cry and cry and cry. I would think "they don't know their baby's cues! When Silje cries, it's for a good reason, and I just had to learn to read her cues!"

I would think "why don't they just put their baby on a schedule, and make life more simple?" Why would a parent ever bring a child out late, push them past their limits, incurring public meltdowns. Have a schedule. Stick to it. Read their cues. I was a A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Then came David...

David cried for no reason. A lot. He screamed whenever Knut held him. If he was sleeping and I handed him to Knut, David would wake up and scream. It's not like Knut had never held a baby before and didn't know what to do. David would not go on a schedule. He might have, if I didn't have a 15 month old running around and not letting him eat for more than 5 minutes at a time. As a toddler, he defined "strong willed" and that doesn't seem to be slacking yet.

I mean, before David gets a bad rap, let me say he's sweet, and compassionate, and eager to please. He's insanely athletic, and has a servants heart. But let's be real...that boy has a will of iron.

God's going to do great things with that... He better.

Then there's Elias. O, Elias. Coming not on time. My water broke with him, initiating labor, which never happened with the other 2 unless a dr. broke it for me just before they were out. He's had some minor health issues, but much more than the other 2 have had to deal with, put together. Elias is laid back, but more clingy than the other 2 ever were. I blame his hospital stays for that. I've had so so few sleep issues with him. Literally since birth, I'll lay him down, and he'll quietly close his eyes and drift off. What baby does that? I had never heard of one.

His timetable doesn't remotely touch my other kids. I remember being so eager for Silje to walk. Then I remember hoping David wouldn't walk so soon, but he did, and life got busy. So I haven't been really working with Elias intensely on this until these last few weeks.

It's not logical. I mean, mobile babies is a tough stage for me. He's mobile, but starting down that walking road and that's really mobile. There's something in me that desires him to measure up. To do his thing. Seriously, having a passive child like this after a child like David is quite the switch. Neither is right or wrong. I guess I should say that each is right, because each is acting in accordance with God's design. But still...I'm starting to feel like one of those moms that I used to pseudo-comfort in my probably patronizing "I have a perfect little girl" way by saying, "Your baby will walk in his own time. These things aren't scheduled. Babies don't read those books." And other very true statements.

But seriously...we're going on 16 months now, and he still won't do that little walking while holding onto mommy/daddy's fingertips thing. I mean, he walks around furniture, but not with ease, and certainly not very quickly. He does like climbing stairs probably too much, though, and he crawls like crazy. He's a speedy crawler.
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I'm not worried. I'm so not worried, but I'm starting to get impatient. I mean, come on here, Elias. You get an extra month because you came a month early. We'll grant you that. At the level you're at now, though, I don't see you walking even at 16 months. We'll shoot for 17 months.

It's amazing how God makes them all so different...isn't it?
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I can't believe I'm sharing some of this stuff this week...

I did not not know that my son had thrown up again, sometime...I don't know when, and not tell me so that his old throw up bucket did not tip over when he kicked it in his sleep, and old vomit did not land all over his sheets, but luckily not on him. (Did I write that right? I meant to say the negative of I didn't know that my son threw up in his old throw up bucket on the shelf on his headboard, and then he kicked it in his sleep, and vomit went all over the bed. He then woke up...poor thing.)

I mean, I would never leave a (I thought empty) vomit bucket in a room for days after he was sick. My kids' rooms are always spotless and can pass a white glove inspection. They always pick up their toys too.

This incident did not lead to the decision, as I have another twin bed in the room waiting for Elias to outgrow the crib, to completely move him to a new clean bed for the night. I then took care of his yucky bed as best I could in the dark (since Elias and he share a room) and waited for morning to do the rest. I've never been so grateful for a spare bed in my life.

I did not keep my daughter up past 9pm on a school night because of a small group meeting at church we joined. We would never put her through that, and then mercilessly wake her up at 6:30 the following morning to get ready to meet the bus.

I did not (really brace yourself for this one) not clean my fridge before we left on Christmas vacation...

.... ..... ....and then put it off until last week. Seriously, it wasn't as bad as I'd imagined...but it was pretty bad. I (real here) usually clean it out once a week. I never(fake mode again) put off jobs that I hate until they take over some part of my life. If you want proof, go look at my sofa in the den, and how free of mountains of laundry it has right now. (insert hysterical laughter here.) I mean...I'm always on top of everything...especially housework.

I did not feed my baby Honeycomb (the cereal) for 45 minutes of solid fist to mouth action just because it was the only thing keeping him from screaming. That was not followed the next day, but with Ritz crackers because we were out of Honeycomb. My kids eat healthy, vegetable-like foods for snacks and not cereal...all...day...long.

Well, that's it for now, and probably more than I should have.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Day of Extremes

There is a time to live, and a time to die.

This may turn out to be one of those posts that I write but never post. Maybe I will. I don't know. Didn't you know I have posts on my computer, waiting for me to press the "post" button, but stuck in cyberspace until I do? I have about 3 or 4 of them on there now. Normally it's because the subject matter is so close to my heart, that it's nothing but passion out there, and I need to go back an edit out all the stupid not true stuff that I really didn't mean, and then I don't always have time to go back and edit. Or I try, and just get worked up again.

My hesitation with this post, is that I'm not entirely sure this story is mine to tell. I'd hate to tell someone else's story without consulting them. I will try my hardest to share only my feelings and observations, and we'll see how it goes. Then, it might seem like it's all about me...which it totally wasn't. Today was about some amazing families I know. I just was a part of big days for them.

This morning, Knut and I dropped the kids off at his parents and headed into town. We were mildly dressed up. We were alone, and without the kids, and mildly dressed up, but this was not a date.
"I don't want to go." I said.
"No one wants to go to something like this." He said. "But it's good to go."
"I know it's good to go. We should go. But I don't want to. I don't think I can handle it."
"I know. We can't not go." He said.
"Well, it would be wrong not to go. We should go."

It was never really a question whether or not we would go. It wasn't the event so much that we dreaded as the reason for the event.

Then the subject changed for awhile, as Knut tried to tell me things from the week to keep my mind off of it. I however, was folding and refolding tissues in my purse, and getting them settled in a quiet spot so when I reached for them candy wrappers and receipts wouldn't go flying everywhere.

The morning was overcast, and in this part of the world, at this time of year, that means the ground is the same color as the sky: white. It was white everywhere, and even the trees had white drifts of frost on them. The whiteness of the day almost makes you squint.

We arrived at the church 30 minutes early, and the parking lot was nearly full already. We had arrived at a funeral. One of our classmates from high school lost a child. He would have been 3 months old tomorrow.

I'll be honest, I've never met her son. I knew that they wanted to adopt, and I knew he had been adopted. She had a blog, and some of you may know the strange intimacy that you form with someone through their blog. I knew he had gotten sick. I knew he needed a liver transplant. I stalked his caringbridge site from the hospital, and checked it every half hour the day of his transplant surgery. When she posted that he passed away, I found out 6 minutes after it was posted. I lost it, and Knut literally had to catch me.

Things like this aren't supposed to happen. Little babies shouldn't die, and parents who accept a child so unconditionally--without thought to a child's race, health, or place of birth. Those parents who save and save and fill out mountains of paperwork and drive half way across the country to claim a child they have never met should not lose a child. Not that it's ok for other parents to lose a child, but it seems extra wrong when parents have to work so hard.

I started crying as soon as we entered the church. I felt so stupid. His mom and I weren't not friends in high school, but we didn't run in the same circle of friends. She was super athletic and I was...well a cheerleader. And not those cool cheerleaders like in the movies, but the kind of group of girls who tried real hard (well...some of us...) but if we're real honest here...we weren't good at anything else. (Sorry Candis.) My old cheerleading coach reads the blog, so I ought to watch what I say.

Still, when there's a class as small as 50, you do know everyone, and there's a sense of camaraderie. Not only that...their child died. That's not something you can ignore. I suppose I was crying as a fellow mother. I was crying, because I have small children too, and I can't imagine that pain.

I mean, on normal terms, it doesn't take a lot to get me crying. I'm one of those people who cries watching commercials. (Have you seen those Olympic P&G commercials on Mom's? Tearjerkers.) If I need a good cry, I know I can put on "Steel Magnolias" and be guaranteed to cry, even though I've seen it a million times, and cry in the same parts each time...and I know what's going to happen!

Some sweet women who I've gotten to know over the years, and would consider dear friends came up to me and comforted me. I felt silly still. I was not burying a child that day. I, in fact, never met this child.

Little Elijah was there, though. His tiny white casket was open at one side of the hall, but I couldn't bring myself to go over. I thought about it. I wanted the strength to, but I couldn't. Knut didn't want to either. After hugging some more friends, we sat down. Some friends of ours sat in front of us, and before everything started, we got talking. For a brief moment, we laughed...until we remembered we were at one of the saddest events ever. I've learned in my small experience with grief, though, that laughter is such a welcome relief.

The service was amazing. What stood out to me most was the song choices. Each song made such a statement. We sang "He Knows My Name" and "Better is One Day", "How Great is Our God" and it closed with "Children of our Heavenly Father." If you know those songs, you haven't really listened to the words until you have sung them at an event like this. To be in a room parents who have just lost their most prized child sing "How Great is Our God! Sing with me, how great is our God, and all will see, how great! How great is our God!"

It brought back a memory of not too long ago when I went to a funeral for my Great-uncle Elder. He was a minister, and his funeral was an awesome testament to a life spent honoring God. While, I know this little child's life most definitely honored God, it was very different. It was one of those funeral where people there, had at one point or another, had questioned God's choice on this one. Maybe even doubted some part of God's character. This funeral wasn't just honoring the life of Elijah, it was putting God on the throne, and honoring, when we all didn't understand. It was powerful.

I had an argument with God after I found out about the death. After spending some time pouring my heart, God told me of his mercy. He told me of an orphan who was going to die, and was going to die alone...until he stepped in. He stepped in and gave this orphan a mother and father who loved him like crazy. A mother and father who would race to pick him up out of the crib in the morning, and tell him I love you 1,000 times a day. God gave mercy. God gave grace. It may not feel like it, but it still is. God still is. God has not changed.

Then we went home, got the kids down for naps, and got a few Saturday chores done. After naps, we had to switch gears big time. Silje and I went to a baby shower of a dear, dear friend of mine. Sure, she's Knut's second and/or third cousin or something, but more importantly my friend. (She loved the bag, by the way.) I thought it would be tough to switch gears, but you know what? Seeing her there, literally ready to pop with child, joy had to well up in all of us.

Elijah's funeral meant something because his life meant something to God. My friend Carolyn's child is God-breathed as well, and that's why he means something. It's amazing how so much sorrow, and so much joy can dwell together. Maybe it's because both have the same purpose: exalting God.

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

That was God's theme of the day was for me.


I don't understand why God does things, but often, we only question him when he does something we don't like. I mean, I don't weep and question God why he let Carolyn have a child. We rejoice over that. We should. Still, everyday I come to find out that not knowing God's thoughts is a comfort to me. If I could understand God's thoughts, and God's ways, what kind of god would he be? Something I made up? The little god in my pocket, that has catchy phrases, and makes me feel warm and fuzzy?

Knowing God is bigger, wiser, all knowing, all present, is a comfort to me, as I am none of those things. If I understood God...that would make us equals. If we were equal...we are all in trouble, because I would make a terrible god.

That, however, doesn't make my frustrations go away, but it gives me someone to entrust with those frustrations. There is not always answers, but there is peace, and peace is a powerful thing.

I think it's still essential that we seek God's thoughts, and most of all His heart. We must be careful to not cross the line, and demand to know all that God knows, or, in other words, to demand to be like God.

Not knowing demands faith. Not foolish faith, but certain faith. Grounded faith. Faith not in knowledge, but trusting in who God is. He is our rock.

So, there's your deep thought for today. I'm not really sure how to end it, but this is a totally informal journal entry on a blog, and so I'm okay with that. My prayers go out to the Johnson family and that God would continue to sustain them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Bet...

I bet you wish you were going to have a baby any day now.

I bet you wish that you were having a baby shower this weekend.
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Because if you were...you'd be getting this diaper bag from this diva.
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You would have gone fabric shopping with me, picked out this fun green polka dot fabric, and waited months for me to make this.
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You would like little elephants.
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(especially reverse applique green polka dot elephants.)

But...your name would have to be Carolyn. I hope she's not reading the blog this week, because this is her present! We can't wait for her little one to arrive!
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Me Monday!


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Dear people reading my blog, I'm sorry I haven't done a "not me" post in awhile. It is certainly not because I've had no lack of content! What can I say...life doesn't seem to be slowing down.

I do not let my kids watch t.v. all day when they are sick. I do not justify it in my head as "the right thing to do" because it's helping them rest when they're awake. I'm sure there are more beneficial activities for them to do when they're sick, but this is by far the easiest.

The couch in our den doesn't perpetually have laundry on it. As soon as I put all the clothes away, it doesn't show up again in a matter of hours.

I did not completely unravel a pair of longies (wool diaper cover pants) I was working on when it was 3/4 done, because there were too many things I didn't like about them. I would not waste my time like that, and I always catch my mistakes in time.

I have not completely gotten addicted to coffee again, after so carefully weaning myself off it a few years ago. I do not get a headache if I by 9am if I haven't had one yet. It didn't just start with me saying "I haven't had one in awhile, I'm sure one wouldn't hurt" a few days in a row.

I have my eyes on all my children at all times, and never walk into the room to find that they have taken out every single piece to every single board game, and are swimming in a big pile of pieces. That would simply be impossible.

I have not been watching the Olympics when there are other things I should be doing like preparing for Nerdy Gerdy Boutique opening in 2 weeks (want to peek into the store windows and see what's coming together?), doing dishes, or even sleeping. Nope, not me!

I did not just put a plug for my new store in this Not Me Monday post. I mean, that would be abusing some sort of power or something, right?

I better go, the coffee I'm not having, is not ready.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Random "boy" thoughts and stories

My boys are funny. They keep me laughing. My boys are huge snugglers. Silje was never really a snuggler, until she saw me snuggling with David, and then she decided to snuggle. She likes the competition.

Last night Elias got up at 11:30, and would scream if we ever dreamed putting him down. I changed his diaper, gave him a drink, gave him some medicine to compensate for his teeth coming in. I rocked him, walked with him, snuggled him. He was fine a long as I was holding him and standing up. Anything else and it was a bloody scream. Still, he's an awesome snuggler. He gets his head right in the crook of my neck, and just breathes. He had a bath last night too, so he smelled sooo good.

He didn't end up going back to sleep until after 2am, which was a bummer though, for me.

After the first hour or so, I took him downstairs so I could see him in the light and give his body a once over to see if anything was hurt. He went crazy for food in the kitchen. He had many frozen white chocolate chips...in the middle of the night. I know, but there is a place of desperation in the middle of the night that you will give your child anything to just make the screaming stop.

He's been trying to drop his morning nap, and I think it's throwing his whole system off.

David was bored yesterday, and needed something to do besides watch t.v. I noticed he had not played with his cars yet (his favorite past time). He still looked bored, and I said "Hey, I wonder if Doc Hudson and your Cheerios race car had a race, who would win?" (Doc Hudson is one of his cars from the "Cars" movie, and his Cheerios race car is another one of his favorites from a Cheerios box.)

He paused for a moment and said, "Mommy...they're not real."

But, it wasn't 2 minutes later that I heard a yell come from the basement where is his race track rug is:

"Gentlemen! Start! Your! Engines!"

I love my boys. I mean, I love my girl like crazy too, but this is a post about my boys.

Elias does this thing now, that we started about a week or so ago. I was holding Elias in one hand, and Knut came over and gave me a kiss. After a moment, Elias put his hands firmly on my cheeks, turned my face to his, and pressed his lips to mine too. He was looking around and giggling the whole time, trying to figure out why we do this.

We tried it again the next day to see what he would do, and that time he grabbed Knut's cheeks, turned his face to his and gave him a kiss...giggling the whole time.

He loves the whole kissing thing. That combined with his flirtation with any female in sight might be cause for worry in the future.

Both my boys have the sensory thing where they need a soft blanket by their face when they sleep. With Silje, she likes things that are beautiful. With the boys, they're all about texture. Funny.

I was going to add more, but my boys are calling...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines

Silje typically is a label girl. She loves the Disney Princesses and the Littlest Pet Shop, etc. I was surprised, then, when she didn't ask for a little box of valentines from Walmart for her class, but asked for a stack of computer paper.

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This didn't happen in a day. In fact, she started this project weeks ago. She drew a picture for every kid in her class, and wrote on a colored card a valentine's message for each of the adults she comes across at school from her main teacher, to aids, to the school secretary, and probably the lunch lady.

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Of course, these aren't random pictures. Each picture took her much thought, as she thought about what each person liked. The one for Ellie made me chuckle, as she and Ellie have had many conversations on "Hello Kitty."
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"Ben likes sea creatures" and "Anders likes to play catch" was what we've been hearing for weeks. It has been a project she has planned herself, and executed herself. She was given a list of names from her teacher, but that was the most help. Everyone got a note inside. She wrote out everything herself, with surprisingly few spelling errors. Tonight we'll attach a tiny bag of candy to each Valentine, as an extra treat.

My hope is that Silje knows how proud we are of her. I hope when she goes to school, and sees all those "label" valentines, she doesn't regret her weeks of work. I hope she just enjoys the ones she gets, because I know she will!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm Sorry

I haven't been here. I mean, I haven't gone anywhere, but I haven't been on here. David's had a bout of the stomach flu, and it's only 19 days until Nerdy Gerdy Boutique opens, and about 2 days less than that before Knut has his big race. Silje's social calender has quite picked up. That's life, I guess!

Since you've all been so patient, though, I think I'll post the pictures of some of our life of late. (Minus the hurling into buckets, of course. I don't have any pictures of Knut in his snazzy racing suit yet either. He forbids them on here until racing day.)

Daddy has learned to wrestle all 3 kids:
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at the same time.

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They're a squirly bunch!

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Lena is never far from Elias. He's earned the spot as Lena's favorite, and she, like any dog with a brain, sits under his high chair most of the time.

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It feels as though Elias has been getting a tooth a day lately. I've lost count as to how many he has, and how many he's gotten of late. It's been a bunch.
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I think this cherry diaper set is about my favorite. It's made of organic bamboo velour (the fabric made in heaven...) which is 4 times more absorbent than cotton, naturally anti-bacterial, and super super super soft. super.

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See...snap in soaker for quick drying. The wool wrap underneath it matches. I love matching...

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See, a little cherries hidden inside too. Seriously, it's too bad this thing is going to be peed on.

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And of course, a bunch of other "PUL" diapers that are full of color. I am seriously having way too much fun with these.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Return to the Classics

I know this is not the time that I should be picking up a book. Like I don't have enough to do already. However, I was talking with my sister the other day, in a conversation that ended up being about faithfulness.

We were talking about those situations where everything is normal, and you talk with God, and you see His ways clearly, or if you're sitting down with your husband, discussing how to handle a parenting situation, and when you're not in the situation yet, it all seems so plain and simple.

Then you get in a "situation" where you question what you know. You question your decisions, your morals, your previous "sanity". It's when the baby is screaming and your plans fall through. It's when your faith is no longer "fun" and pulls at your emotions.

It was at that point in the conversation, that I brought up my all time favorite novel: Jane Eyre. I did my senior thesis on Jane, and I think I've read it a few dozen times. Too many to count at least. I know when it comes to "old girl books" Pride and Prejudice usually comes out on top, but it's comparing apples to oranges when you compare those two. Pride and Prejudice is hands down the most brilliant romantic comedy. However, Jane Eyre is a Gothic novel. There is haunted castles, mysteries, but most of all (in my opinion) a time of insanity. There is a time when Jane questions everything that she believes in.

It's really not as dark as all that, but I find the book so challenging to my own life, that I adore reading it over and over again. I haven't picked it up for at least 2 years now, and after it came up in conversation, I had to start it once again.

The brilliant author, Charlotte Bronte says in her preface: "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last." I love that quote.

For those who haven't read it, Jane is an orphan, sent to a poor school where it is cold, and severe. As she grows up, the school improves because of tragedy, and with her intelligence, and the fact that she has no where to go, she becomes a teacher. She is very pious. Obeying God isn't something to fool around with for Jane. When she grows restless, she finds a job as a governess, and ends up teaching a little French girl who a was taken in my Mr. Rochester.

Jane and Mr. Rochester (predictably) fall in love, but he has a secret that makes it impossible to for them to be together. When Jane finds it out, she has a choice to make. Does she forgo her morals to be with the one she loves, or does she cling to them, because they are who she is.

What do you do when your faith doesn't make sense? When happiness, or love in any form is before you, and you have to turn the other way, and really try to remember why.

Jane says something, that I can't find right now in the book, but it's something to the effect of: "When I am insane, I must cling to what I knew when I was sane." You hold on tight to what you knew when you had sleep. When you heard God's voice so clearly. You hold on tight to your faith until it makes sense again, because it always does.

The whole process of questioning everything you know is so good for the soul. It makes you see which part of your life is convention, and which one is morality. It is completely useless to hold onto convention, or self-righteousness. Holding onto faith, and morals, and the Word, makes your faith real in the end. It's what you might call faithfulness. Having faith when there is reasoning before you that opposes it.

I could really...really go on and on about Jane Eyre. Obviously. It separates sacrificing for what you believe, and just plain martyrdom (as seen in the next man in her life, St. John).

So as you can see, she has drawn me in again, and since it has been a whole 2 years since I've read it, it is time again. There are some things that for which we make time.

P.S. If you've never read Jane, you must. The first time I read it, it took me 3 days because it was so good I couldn't put it down. My life shut down to read it. So beware.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One Apron Down

I finished my first little girl apron for the Nerdy Gerdy Boutique. It took me awhile because I drafted it from scratch, but it was so much fun figuring it out as I go.

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It has these cute heart pockets.
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Silje was such a great model.
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The back is solid gingham with a little stitching to reinforce the pockets. I love the scalloped edge!
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I am getting so so excited!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Moving On...

There are some new things entering out home. Not only am I typing on a new computer, but we've got a bigger treat as well.

Some of you have been to our house, and when we first moved in, the living room was kinda a storage area, and the dining room was a big toy dumping play room. As the fireplace was installed, the living room was quickly transformed from a storage room to an actual living room. Although there's just a hodgepodge of furniture in there now, I'm hoping by next winter, we'll get some nice stuff in there.

The dining room is about to go through such a transformation, as some sweet friends of ours offered us there old dining room table that they don't use anymore. We've been offered some tables before, by some compassionate people who have had pity on our empty room, but Knut and I had a particular kind of table in mind, so we waited.

Matt and Katrina (our generous friends) got the table free from someone else, and felt that they should pass it along free. It's double pedestal, which was just what we were looking for. The top is laminate, which isn't exactly what I had in mind for the dining room as it's not as formal, but for the stage of life we're in, I think it will suit just fine. Plus, if I want formal, I'll just use a tablecloth. I mean, our kitchen table has a wood top, and let me tell you...David could be a professional table distress-er at Pottery Barn.

They passed along 6 chairs with it, which weren't was I was envisioning, but Katrina pointed out that even if I get around to replacing the chairs, you can never have too many dining room chairs hanging around, as they add seating to any room when you have a crowd. So true.

Want to see it?
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The end chairs were already ours, but now they have a place to go.

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Of course, if you give a mouse a cookie...she'll soon think about how great it would be to have a rug under her dining room table. This small transformation has got me even more anxious to get the other things done in this room that we've envisioned. For instance, re-do the wallpapered walls, change out the chandelier, add a rug, and put some things on the walls, for starters.

I have to remember though, that today Knut is finally putting the woodwork back on the window that we replaced before Christmas, and he still needs to finish the cosmetic portion of the fireplace probably this year, and we plan on painting the basement and fixing the ceiling down there first, before this room is addressed. Likely, the upstairs bathroom and the boys' room will probably be repainted before this room as well. Poor, poor Knut. That's the one problem of marrying someone who is so good and things like this. He only has so many hours in the day, and we can't even remotely justify hiring someone to get something done that he can do for free...in time.

The really fun part of taking a bunch of junk, ahem, I mean toys out of a room, is you start to fix everything around the house that you've previously lost the motivation to fix. All of a sudden, I notice that the Christmas decorations are still up, and they need to be put away, because it's February for goodness sake.
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And, of course, as I take all of the junk, I mean toys, down to the playroom in the basement, I remember that I didn't have time to go through the toys before Christmas, which I normally try to do every year, and the toys have taken over.
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So today, I'll be separating all the toys into a few piles: things we'll keep out, things we'll store for another baby or a different day, toys to give away, and junk to throw away. When your house is full of cheap toys, those cheap toys break, and I refuse to superglue McDonalds toys and cheap garage sale toys for $.10 multiple times. When they break, they're thrown.

Hopefully, I can get that done, and return to the project I started this morning of prewashing and ironing some fabric from my stash as I'm planning to whip up some non-diapering items for Nerdy Gerdy Boutique:
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This is for two separate, but similar items that will be in the store. All fresh and ready for spring. Sadly, yes: I did just have this fabric lying around and I didn't buy it especially for my store. I'm thinking I'll be able to go most of a year pulling fabric from my stash and sewing up stuff for the "Things of Whimsy" category on the online store. I can't wait for this fall. I've got this gorgeous fall fabric that I got through a fabric co-op last year that I'm dying to cut into.

So I better sign off. As you can see, I have a lot to do today.