Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Many Faces of John

I haven't posted a lot of pictures of John lately and it isn't because I love Gus more, as I know I will hear that in a few years.  Rather, John usually takes pictures like this:

or this...

Just another example of the reason never to tell your kids to smile for the camera.

I've come to realize that, while John does not sit down and take a nice picture, he is truly showing himself in each one.  I'd rather have a photo album filled with pictures of the true John.

He always, always, always has something on his face.  I promise we give these kids baths and wash their clothes.

This is his time-out face.  Notice this blue tape on the floor?  He isn't supposed to cross that line...his toes are touching it.

He will surely hate me for this one day...but it is so John.

This is the  'I'm mad and Daddy is teasing me' face.

This photo was taken less than 30 seconds after the previous photo.

Now this is really John.  He just brings a smile to your face.

Monday, November 23, 2009

8 Months

I can't believe it has been 8 months already!  I don't have stats because we don't go to the doctor until next month, but he is growing like a weed.  For pants he is in 12 months since his legs are so long.  In this past month Gus has started crawling and pulling up on things.  He will even stand on his own for a few seconds before he starts getting so excited that he falls.  He is getting pretty loud, as he has to compete with his big brother.  In church he starts screaming excitedly during the hymns, I'm sure this is his version of singing.  He absolutely loves to explore things and, much like a dog, he will eat anything on the floor.  Sweeping is done every two hours or so around here.  The other day I was making something and didn't see the onion pieces on the floor.  Needless to say our little boy had onion breath for a few hours...gross.

"I'm ready to eat Mom."

Gus got his hands, and shirt and pants on some Golden Crisp cereal and loved it.  I think my boy has a sweet tooth.

Gus loves to eat now, but still on his own terms which means no baby food.  I love this picture because he has cereal stuck in this neck roll.

He also likes to pretend to drink from a cup.  There is very little water in here because he just dumps it down the front of himself.  Gus will pretend to drink from every cup he gets his hands on.  I love when John drinks and Gus copies him.  I have a feeling the copying will not stop at drinking.

He loves playing with any toy he can get his hands on.  He often tries to get his hands on something that his brother already has claim to and then we get to see this pretty face.

So sad. Doesn't he just look pathetic?
But, then John tries to make him feel better.

Which isn't always appreciated.

He is also getting pretty good at crawling, so he has decided to try out some different styles.

I try to tell him that when he is in athletics he will not want to do bear crawls.  But, he insists on doing them now.

He is also pulling up on things, so nothing on John's table or the coffee tables are safe.

John loved this toy when he was Gus' age.  Gus loves it too and likes to use it as a walker around the house.

Gus can also get up a stair or two.  He is pretty proud of himself when it does it.


In the next few pictures you will see him trying to stand...


Yea!  Notice my foot right next to him.  I'm not sure how my foot would save him from falling on his face, but I keep it there nonetheless.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Tales of John

We had another snow storm over the weekend so, needless to say, getting the two boys to church by myself was a very tall order.

  Hans was a wonderful husband and father as he shoveled off my car when he left that morning.  I miss the days when we had an attached garage.  I miss the days when we were able to put cars in the garage.  Our garage was built in the 1920s when cars were smaller.  When we first moved here I tried parking the small Sunfire in the garage and barely got in.  There is no way I was going to try to put the Explorer in the garage, just thinking about it brings back memories of the crunching, ripping and grinding of my side view mirror that didn't make it past the garage center post several years ago.  Anyways, back to the current situation.  I managed to make it to church 3 minutes after 10, so I was late, but still there.  Since I have a very active 3 year old it is a necessity to put him in his snow boots to get from the house to the car and the car to church.  Then we when get into church he doesn't want to take his beloved blue snow boots off.  After quietly talking to him and giving him the "mom eye" I finally got us into the sanctuary at 8 minutes past 10.  I was hoping for just this one Sunday to sit in the back so no one would notice that we were late.  But, OH NO, my son has to sit the same front row pew he does every week and he is not the quietest walker in the world.

Thankfully after sitting down we are on normal Sunday routine and behavior...for the most part.  On this particular Sunday we had a guest preacher.  John likes participating in the liturgy and may make some extra noises here and there, but when it comes time for the sermon he is usually pretty quiet.  When this pastor got up to preach he was not wearing robes and he decided against preaching in the pulpit and stood just between the first row of pews.  John listened for a bit and then continued to play, loudly.  At one point I leaned over and said, "John we need to be very quiet.  We are listening to Pastor's sermon."  John looked at me, looked at the pastor and then said, "He's not preaching a sermon, he's just talking."  You can't fool this kid.  If you aren't wearing robes or preaching in the pulpit then your "just talking."  It's funny how kids associate things.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Get to Vote

***You voted and I listened.  The paisley background won by a mile.  I closed the polls early due to the fact that no one had voted for the previous background.  Thanks everyone!**

Sometimes I spend hours on my blog.  I intend to sit down for 5 minutes and write a post and, before I know it, I'm in the wee hours of the morning.  I've changed my background several times but because of some layout changes that won't be the case any longer.  I have created two backgrounds and now, since I can never choose, I want you to choose.

The choices are the current blog background and header or this paisley one.

All you have to do from here is click on your choice to your right.

I have also changed the blog a lot by putting static pages at the top.  Have fun looking around and don't forget to vote!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The New Crib

I decided to give our changing table to a good home and was looking for a picture to send the new recipient.  I could have taken a picture of the actual changing table, but that would mean clearing the whole thing off as it is now used as a dresser/clothes organizer/junk table.  I'm glad I was lazy and looking for an internet picture because I found out that our crib had been recalled in July.  The manufacturer evidently went out of business sometime in 2008 and since then there have been two recalls concerning these cribs. Don't worry Heather, the changing table is just fine.  I guess I just relied on the fact that, since I registered the product, I would get notified if it was recalled, but then I realized that I registered the product with the manufacturer and this was a vendor recall. So, the next morning, Hans took down the crib and we loaded everyone in the car to return and purchase a new crib.  The return and purchase took us all of 20 minutes because I had all three guys with me, but I'm very pleased with our new crib.  Gus seems to like it too.

I love the fact that it sits lower to the floor and therefore it doesn't have a drop side.  The drop side was the reason for the recall on the other crib.

Hi Mom!!

Little Sleeper

Yes folks, he is on his stomach.  He's been able to roll over since he was 5 months old and ever since then he has slept on his tummy.  He sleeps really well that way.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An Amazing Story

Hans wrote this after a recent experience with a young man dying of brain cancer. It is a wonderful story.  This event happened Friday evening, November 13, 2009.

***Update***  Dominick passed away Sunday morning, November 15, 2009.  Dominick's family is in our prayers.  We rejoice as he is now with our Father in Heaven and suffers no more.


Tonight, I baptized Dominick with water from a macaroni and cheese stained cereal bowl as about 25 people gathered around his bed in the 11 x 10 living room of his home.

Dominick is dying of brain cancer. I met him three days ago, after one of my members, who is very close with his family, asked me to pray with Dominick, his wife and their children.

When I first walked into their house, I was immediately shocked by the man's appearance. Dominick is extremely emaciated, to the point of looking like the concentration camp survivors whose pictures I'll never forget seeing in middle school history books. A tumor is bulging out of his forehead. He is unable to speak, but can answer 'yes' and 'no' questions by squeezing your hand.

After talking and praying with his family the other day, I asked his wife if Dominick had been baptized. She said he had been, at least she thought his mom had said that he had been. But upon further investigation with Dominick's mother, apparently this turned out not to be the case.

And so, tonight, I read to the gathering of his friends and family from Romans 6. I talked to them about Christ's death and resurrection, about our Lord's mercy and forgiveness, and about the new life that He gives in His saving waters. I prayed with them. I went through the baptismal rite as Dominick's children, his wife, his parents and his friends wept. I held Dominck's hand and told him to squeeze mine for 'yes' when I asked him if he believed in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And after that, I baptized Dominick with water from a macaroni and cheese stained cereal bowl as about 25 people gathered around his bed in the 11 x 10 living room of his home.

And in that 11 x 10 room, the poor, miserable sinner that I am, so unworthy of Christ’s call to be a pastor, I was blessed to watch as the devil was crushed underneath the weight of our Lord’s forgiveness.

I was blessed to watch as a man, dead in sin, was given new life in the waters of Holy Baptism. I was blessed to watch as that same man’s dying flesh was given the right to rest in hope because it has now been united to the resurrected flesh of Jesus Christ.

I was blessed to watch as Christ’s Word of hope strengthened those children who have been watching their father die before their young eyes. I was blessed to watch as Christ’s promise of the Resurrection refused to let the devil and his despair penetrate those children’s tears.

I was blessed to hear a mother, a woman who has never set foot in a sacramental church in her life, confess the truth of this Sacrament when she comforted her children with the words, “its ok. Daddy’s saved now. Daddy’s saved now.”

Tonight, I baptized Dominick with water from a macaroni and cheese stained cereal bowl as about 25 people gathered around his bed in the 11 x 10 living room of his home. And in the midst of such great humility, in the midst of such great suffering, in the midst of such great heartache and fear and pain, Jesus Christ spoke His Word of forgiveness. He spoke His Word of mercy, of hope, of glory. And I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I am to have witnessed this miracle.

Some days, it’s great to be a pastor.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Tales of John

I haven't written tales about John in a couple of weeks, but don't think that is because I don't have material.  John always gives me material.  Just when I think he could not possibly do something else funny, interesting or outrageous, John decides to prove me wrong.  My goal isn't even to document only the outrageous moments, but to simply give you all a glimpse into our everyday life.

About a week ago, I was having some kind of argument with John that went something like this..."John, I said no."
"Well, I said yes."
To this I sat him down and explained that he was the child and I was the parent.  It was my job to tell him what to do and his job to listen and obey.  Later that day I heard Hans say, "John, I just said no." and John say  "I said yes, I'm not a child.  I'm three years old now!"  Yes folks, we have our hands full.  I've never heard of a child turning his parents words around on them at such a young age.  I just keep telling myself he will be a great adult.  That makes all the fighting now all worth it.

The last time a wrote I mentioned the terrible experience John had with the female nurse and the flu shot. I was pretty sure this would end the excitement of going to the doctor. We decided on Monday that it was time to go back in to the doctor.  This decision came about a few different ways:
  1.  John was sleeping better at night, but was still having coughing fits 
  2. John was actually asking for breathing treatments because he was having a hard time breathing.  It was actually very cute when he would say "Mommy, I think I need a breaving tweetment" as he was hacking in between each word. 
  3. During the course of one of his coughing fits he threw up.  Now this wasn't the first time he has done this, but this time it was on my bed...that was the last straw!
So, I made an appointment to see the doctor and I made sure we were actually seeing the doctor this time.  Just as we thought, John did not want to go.  He cried the whole way to the office and before we got out of the car he said, " OK Mom, I'll go.  But only Dr. Englestad or Jeff (the Dr's PA).  No girls.  They hurt me."  After that statement he was fine and went willingly into the waiting room.  Thankfully the one male nurse on staff called us back to the exam room and John was doing well.  For some reason the nurse gave John his stickers before the Dr. came in.  John was sitting on the exam table putting the stickers on his shirt then taking them off and putting them somewhere else on his body.  When he started putting them on the walls and medical equipment I told him to stop or I would take the stickers away.  Did my son listen?  No, he's three, I think at this age it is impossible.  So, I took the stickers and put them in my purse and explained that he could get them back when we were done.  What came next was a new and rather challenging experience for me.  Doing what I'm assuming is his impression of the "mom glare" John pointed his finger at me and said " No, you give me those stickers back RIGHT NOW."  Knowing everyone in the office could hear us I told him not to talk to me that way and that he needed to settle down. To which he replied, "I said to give me those stickers RIGHT NOW."  Running out of options I told him I was going to call his father and proceeded to punch in Hans' number.  John started crying,"No, don't call my daddy."  While waiting for Hans to answer I felt a sense of relief that I now had a weapon to use when in situations like this.  I put Hans on the phone with a crying John.  Hans said a few words to John, then John told me he was sorry.  After we hung up with Hans, John looked at me and said, "Mommy, I am the child."  I'm not sure what Hans said, or how he said it, but I wish I had it on tape to use at a later date.

When Dr. Englestad came in, John didn't hesitate to let him look at his throat, up his nose, or in his ears.  Turns out our boy has asthma, which isn't uncommon for kids who have had a bad case of pneumonia so early in life.  The treatment for now is more frequent breathing treatments which are just the highlight of my day.  Notice the hint of sarcasm.  Albuteral Sulfate, the medicine filtered through the nebulizer, makes kids hyper.  I mean really hyper.  For about 30 minutes after a treatment, John who is usually so calm, is climbing the walls.  This is a very trying experience for all of us, but it helps to look at him when he is sleeping.  This is the only time of day he is still.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creeping and Crawling

Gus is much happier now that he can get around on his own. He's been scooting himself backwards across the room for a couple of months, but backwards didn't always get Gus where he wanted to go. Now he can see something and actually go towards it. The other day he was so excited about something that John had that he took off like a rocket to go get it. That lasted all of 2 seconds before he fell flat on his face. He is still slow going, but going nonetheless. His crawl is rather funny; he more hobbles than crawls. It is very hard to describe so I've included a video for you to enjoy.

Getting strong arm muscles.

He is now a happier Gus.

It's all down hill for John now, as Gus can reach the toy shelf.

You can't really tell from this angle, but Gus is actually pulling himself up.

He's so happy with himself.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Eating, Eating and Eating Some More

It took a few hundred tries, but I believe we have found food that Gus will eat.  I'm sure my second most stubborn kid (for now) was saying to himself the whole time "Would you want to eat this crap?"  He just decided to skip the baby food all together and go for the good stuff.
mmmm, graham crackers.

All gone!
He loves to eat food himself.  This child of mine does not want to be fed.  We've also been trying the sippy cup with a straw, but like John, Gus does not want to work so hard.  For this reason I will not be moving him up in the bottle stage so he gets more formula for less work.   I've seriously thought about bringing him back to stage one to make him work harder.  My goal is to be bottle free by his first birthday...we'll see.

The gross chunky substance stuck to his chin is Gerber dried fruit.  I'm sure this piece has been in his slobbery hand, or even in his mouth.

Gus is just now mastering the pincher grasp, but his lack of fine motor skills didn't keep the food from going in his mouth.  Until recently this is how he ate.  Sometimes he'll still eat like this if he is really hungry.
I think his goal was to get his whole fist in his mouth to ensure that at least one piece of the food would be left behind.

What is that!?!

Don't freak out, it's just chocolate.  John had dropped some of his chocolate cake on the floor and I didn't see it, but Gus sure did.  Normally you wouldn't give kids chocolate until they are one, but since the damage was already done I thought I'd make it better by snapping pictures.

"Wow, that's good."

He's even checking again to make sure hasn't missed anything.

This picture makes me laugh.  While I'm sure I just caught this picture mid-blink, it looks as though he is savoring every last bite.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Birthday

I'm a simple girl with simple tastes.  Well, that statement isn't totally true, but I've never been one for extravagant gifts.  I got a lot of great things and before you scroll down and see what my boys got me, I have to say it was really what I wanted.  One of the gifts I got was the Pioneer Woman cookbook.  I saw the link for Pioneer Woman on one of my friend's facebook page and 5 hours later I peeled myself away from the computer to get some sleep, but was up early the next day reading more.  Ree (pioneer woman) was in Denver on Monday for her cookbook signing so Jan and I went...without kids.  Well, Jan had Anna, but she is 2 months old and is so cute and sweet.  Jan and I had a great time and you wouldn't believe how many people were there.  Jan and I got there around 6 for a book signing at 7:30. We were able to grab the last couple of seats in the last row and of course people kept coming and coming.  We got into the car to go home around 10:15 so I'm sure Ree was there until after midnight signing cookbooks.

Then, on Tuesday morning Hans cooked me an amazing breakfast and, while I went to work, the boys went shopping.

So here are my gifts from the boys and I feel I must explain them.
The photography book is from Hans.  My old digital just died a month ago (poor thing was about 6 years old) and we decided to invest in a nice camera.  I picked the Canon Rebel XS which is a great starter camera.  I love playing with the camera and learning new things, but I am by NO MEANS a good, decent or even semi-decent photographer.  My adorable husband who is ever so picky about framing a picture the proper way, gave me some more reading material and I have enjoyed it so far.  I will repeat again, if you ever see me somewhere with a nice camera around my neck, I will gladly send you pictures, but don't expect them to be good...I'm a beginner.

The Slurpee is from Gus.  He knows his mom needs some caffeine pumping through her veins if she wants to try to keep up with the boys.

John loved the Slurpee.  One of these days I'll get to enjoy a drink with out slobber on the straw...in about 20 years.

And John got me the...

trash can!!  He is very excited about this present.  My trashcan lid broke just a few days before and we were in quite the conundrum.  We could leave the lid on, but it wouldn't open, which makes it hard to put trash in.  The option of no lid at all was definitely not an option at all, what with Gus' STINKY diapers.  So, I asked my husband for a trashcan and I told him no less than three times that I was not kidding.

After opening presents Hans and John made a great lunch of homemade macaroni and cheese, because I eat like a five year old.
For dinner, Hans went all out and made a great roast, creamy mashed potatoes with gravy, fresh green beans with feta, homemade rolls and  my cake was a chocolate molten cake that was simply delicious.

I also received lots of cards, some money (still thinking about what I will get with that), a beautiful necklace and fantastic earrings.

Thank you everyone for making my birthday so special. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


John was excited about Halloween this year, but I think that is just because he gets excited easily.  He didn't remember trick or treating until we told him about it and he didn't seem to have a preference as to what he would be.  My mom sent me several Halloween costumes that she had made for my brother and me long, long ago.  John was just the right age for the scarecrow.  So, that is what John was, a scarecrow.
This is my brother and I in 1985.  I knew I was Dorothy one year for Halloween and I thought it was the same year that Mark was a scarecrow, but pictures don't lie.  Isn't Mark so cute?

My little scarecrow.

John came with me on Friday to the preschool and Kindergarten's Halloween party.  He has only been to school a couple of times, but he remembers everyone and couldn't wait to go.  He had a wonderful time and was bouncing off the walls.
sad scarecrow


John loves to dance so it didn't take him long to bust a move.

Musical Chairs
  He played musical chairs this summer at VBS so he knew what to do but he kept running around and around after the music stopped.  To my surprise he made it three rounds.

Making Mummies.
John loved the chance to unroll toilet paper and not get yelled at.  He did a lot of unrolling, but I'm not sure how much he actually helped to wrap it around the mummy.

Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin
They blindfolded him, but didn't spin him around.  I'd say he did pretty good, how about you?

Miss Muffet from the Butterfly Pavilion came out to teach us about spiders.  At the end of her talk the kids could hold the tarantula named Rosie.  John was very excited and didn't hesitate to take his turn.  When he held her he started laughing and said Rosie tickled him.

At lunch time the kids has a special lunch of octopus (hot dog cut in such a way that is had legs), monster snot (applesauce with green food coloring), and bloody fingers (french fries with ketchup).  Miss Renee just got finished telling the kids what was on their plate and John, who was still for the first time that day, threw up.  The two kids sitting next to him were very grossed out.

On Saturday night we went over to the Melius' house to trick or treat.  All of the kids were just so excited. It was hard to get a good pictures with them all bouncing off the walls.
Getting ready to go out trick or treating.

Checking out all of their candy.
Seriously!!!  So far we've been lucky because I put all the candy in a bowl and put in a cupboard and John has not asked about it.
After trick or treating, every time the doorbell rang, John would run up to the trick or treaters, stick out his bag and say "Trick or treat".
John and Rachel.  My mom made the Dorothy costume for me a long, long, long time ago.  Even though Mark and I weren't the scarecrow and Dorothy the same year I'm glad it worked out that these two pulled it off.

John had a great night and was bouncing off the walls by the end of the evening.  We were just thinking about heading home when John started doing a dance I'm all to familiar with, the throw up dance.  That's right, two days in a row!  No more candy or parties for this kid.