Thursday, February 24, 2011

Did You Know...

that my sons are loud?  They have a ton of energy.  Last night we went to look at a house to rent and had to bring all three boys.  We talked about how to behave when we were in the car, but they all seemed to have forgotten that conversation.  For the most part they were good.  I'm not sure if our new landlord has kids, but it always makes you nervous when you are around a no-nonsense kind of guy.  At one point John said he had to go to the bathroom.  Our landlord told him he could use the bathroom and John proceeded to start going #2 without shutting the door.  At least he washed his hands.  After the bathroom break Hans had to hold Anders while I filled out the rental application.  Gus was not happy that his father was holding another kid.  So Hans was standing in the middle of the living room, John was running circles around him, Anders was crying because he was hungry and Gus was screaming because he wanted Hans to hold him.  This went on for a few minutes.  I'm pretty sure our landlord is glad he lives a few blocks away.

The good news is we have found a place to rent month to month.  It is a small 2 bedroom house, but will be just fine for a couple of months.  We are still diligently looking for a house and hope to get one soon.  At least we can get back to some kind of normal.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pardon Me

Please forgive me and my lack of communication.  I have been horrible about keeping in contact with my friends and family for a few months and I want you all to know I love you and think about you...I just can't get my stuff together enough to contact you.  And, if I'm being totally honest, I've never been good about keeping in contact with anyone.  It isn't that I don't want to.  My days consist of doing what I can to make it to the next relatively unscathed.  Between the sickness that seems to be passed around over and over again and the house hunting I have little time for anything else that isn't right in my face.

A few of you have asked about the house situation, so here is the deal.  The market here is a little better than Denver.  Meaning, we can afford a little more house for our money.  What's killing us are the taxes.  The house we originally wanted in Denver would have had taxes of $950/year.  Cheap, huh?  The taxes for a house like that here in Illinois would be more like $6000/year.  Just a little bit of a difference.  We have found a few houses we like and have been outbid on all of them.  I just wish the banks would tell us after a couple of days.  The most recent bit of bad news came 3 weeks after we put in an offer.  We now have an offer on a new place and we hope to hear about that soon.

Our agent and our mortgage broker are two outstanding women who have gone above and beyond to get us into a place.  While we aren't in a place of our own yet it is not because they aren't doing their jobs.  This is our first house so we are starting at the bottom.  We don't have a huge down payment and I don't want a huge mortgage payment.  I think it is funny how a lot of first time home buyers try to get a house that is similar to the size and quality of their parents house or better.  You have to remember that your parents worked hard to get where they are today and starting off there just might get you into trouble.  But I already have more kids and own more stuff than my parents did at my age.  Now I must find an affordable place so I can finally get all of my belongings back.

Again, please pardon my head in the sand.  I'll dig myself out eventually.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Tales of John

John is going to be my little evangelist.  The other night we were eating out...I feel like this is how I have started every story for about a month now.  I can't wait to get a house and not have to eat out.  Back on point, we were eating out and our waitress was talking to John about all kinds of different things.  Some how the conversation steered to Hans being a pastor.  Hans was talking about how we just moved into town and I could tell he was beginning to bring the conversation around to church when John interrupted, "Do you go to church?"  "Yes" said the waitress.  "Where?" asked John.  After she told him the name of the church he said, "How come you don't come to our church?  You should really come to our church."  This left us explaining to John that other churches do exist.  He gave us a look like, 'yeah, I know, but that doesn't matter'.  We obviously won't teach our children that our church is the only church.  But, I'm happy that he loves church enough to want people to go with him.  I think he will serve on the evangelism board someday.  How can you say no to this kid?  Well, how can anyone aside from his parents say no?

On a side note,  River of Life started up Sunday school a couple of weeks ago and John LOVES it.  He is constantly talking about what he learned in Sunday school and what he will learn (like he knows).  He loves his teachers and is truly excited for Sunday mornings.  I love that he is so excited.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rainforest Cafe

Hans and I decided it would be fun to take the boys to Rainforest Cafe in downtown Chicago.  I love that we live about an hour from the city.  It's a good distance.  We don't get the traffic and nonsense of the city and yet we are only a short drive away.  Have you tried to park in Chicago lately?  Be prepared just to hand over your wallet.  It was all worth it to see the boys faces as they walked around the restaurant.

 This huge fish tank is right by the entrance.  We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table and the boys just stood here the whole time.

 Anders is just happy all the time.

The boys loved this alligator and started growling at it when it would lift its head out of the water.

We had a great time.  My only complaint would be that, when our waitress came to take our drink order, she was holding a big plastic cup with a frog on it.  As if just holding the cup wasn't bad enough she said "Can I get you something to drink?  You can have it in this nice big frog cup."  Any kid is going to want the frog cup.  They just don't understand that the frog cup costs $15.  I understand that she was probably told to do this to boost sales, but I wish they wouldn't pit kids against their parents.  Don't we get enough of that as it is?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oh Metabolism, Where Art Thou?

I miss the days when I could eat anything my heart desired, which usually consisted of greasy bacon cheeseburgers and fries, and I wouldn't gain any weight.  Those days flew out the window the day I got married.  I'm not blaming Hans, I think it was just my age and the stress of marrying a soon to be pastor.  I guess I can add the moving to a new state, starting a new job and getting pregnant parts too.  Either way my metabolism went running for the hills, with out burning any calories on the way, and I haven't seen it since.

This is me pregnant with Gus.  Seriously.

I did manage to lose weight after I had John.  It took me almost 2 1/2 years to lose all that weight.  I had finally reached my goal.  Then I found out the next day that I was pregnant.  And, if you think I had time to lose weight between August and Anders you would be wrong.  So now I'm on a mission.  I am not one of those women that loses weight just because I'm nursing.  Supposedly nursing burns about 500 calories a day and I'm not sure that is actually happening.  One would also think that running after three kids...well, at least two kids, would burn some calories.  You've read my blog right?  My kids are not the quiet, sitting still type kids.  I am actually forced to run after them sometimes.  I'm also not a complete bum and I do workout, but not regularly.  Sometimes, instead of working out, I take a shower or sleep, luxuries around these parts.

So, I'm on a mission.  I have a big 70 pounds to lose and I'm going to do it. Hopefully it won't take me another 2 1/2 years.   My biggest problem is that I love food and find myself constantly hungry due to the all the nursing.  But, I'm going to do this.  I've done Slim in 6 in the past so I'll start that up again and I recently discovered Zumba so I'll give that a go.  If you have a work out program you love and/or some great low calorie foods, I'd love to hear from you.  I very well might be grumpy for the next few months.  This is your heads up.  And, if you see my metabolism around anywhere, will you send it back?  It might make things a little easier.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


John and Gus' first time sledding was in Zionsville with Grandma and Grandpa.  John loved going down the hill.  Gus felt it was beneath him to sit behind Machara...such a stinker.

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Fiene for taking the boys sledding.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Tales of John

John loves learning and using new words.  I'm not even sure where he learns all of these words because I'm not sure I actually use these words on a normal basis.  Watch out if you are around John because he has dog ears and can hear everything.  His latest words have been cute, like telling me we needed to take our car to the "washdown" because it was filthy.  I know he gets the word washdown from Thomas the Train.  Remember we watch a lot of that in our house.  We aren't even staying in a house of our own right now and John has managed to watch a fair amount of Thomas here.  Another saying he got from Thomas was 'It appears to be...'.  John woke up the other morning, looked outside and said "It appears to be snowing".  He just sounds so old using words like these.  However, his favorite thing to tell me lately is that I'm being irrational.  Irrational? Really?  When Hans asked him what irrational meant he said "it means you're acting crazy.".  My questions now are simple. 1. Where did he learn what irrational meant? 2. Why am I always the one acting crazy?  Our next step is to teach my dear son that it isn't appropriate to tell his mother she is being irrational, even if it is true.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hanging out in Indiana

A couple of weeks ago Hans went to Symposia in Fort Wayne, IN and I hung out with my mother in-law in Zionsville.  The trips are always too short when grandmas and grandpas are involved.  The boys had a great time running around like maniacs and I enjoyed the evenings with Solveig.

 Grandma bought some boys toys to keep at her house.  The boys had a great time with the planes.

 John has started to give this really cheesy smile, if he even looks at the camera at all.

 Uncle Christian bought Gus a Colts jersey for Christmas.  Even though the Colts are done for the season Gus still wears it with pride.

 John loves playing 'this little piggy' with Anders.

 Gus had a hard time getting to sleep at night without Hans.  He was exhausted.

The boys hanging out in their pajamas.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Texas Time

So we were in Texas for a week before moving to Illinois and the boys had a lot fun demolishing my parent's house.  They also had fun snuggling with Grandma.

 I bet anything they are watching Thomas.

 I'm not sure how Gus can be just in his diaper in the wintertime.

 Those are pinch-able cheeks.

 He starting smiling more while we were there.  Now he smiles all the time.

 We went to Mark's shop to get a family photo and I tried taking a picture of these three.  None of the boys were cooperating.

 Where is Anders?  Well, Uncle Mark seems to have his hands full with Gus.  But, he also didn't want to hold Anders since, just minutes before this, Anders had a blow out diaper.  Mark isn't ready for poop just yet.

 I can't believe everyone is actually looking up and in relatively the same direction.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Christmas in Indiana

The day after Christmas we traveled to Indiana to spend some time with Hans' parents.  They were watching our nieces, Eva and Machara, so we got to spend a few days with them as well.  The four kids play so well together.

 The first thing we did when we got there was open presents.  The girls were given princess outfits.  They LOVE being princesses.

 Gus wanted in on the fun too.  If the earring fell off he would find someone to help him put it on again.  (*Editor's Note: Hans is not happy about the world having access to this picture.)

 John and Eva had a good time playing prince and princesses.  John is just fine playing the prince as long as his princesses doesn't ask for a kiss.  Or for him to dance while touching the princesses.

 It didn't take long before the family room became the play room.  There were toys everywhere.

Machara loves babies.  She really wanted to hold Anders.  She held him for a long time before deciding he was too heavy.
 Not to be outdone by his cousin...and a girl, Gus wanted to hold Anders too.  Gus decided a lot sooner that Anders was too heavy to hold.

 Here is my big boy.  We've got the double chin and now are working hard on a triple chin.

 Kids who don't listen get put in the dog cage.  Too bad Gus liked being in there.  Sophie, the dog, didn't like her space being invaded.  This made my punk of a kid enjoy his time in the cage all the more.

Machara just loves her grandpa and wants to be near him all the time.

   Five kids under one roof is a lot of fun, a lot of work and requires a lot of energy.  Nap times are heavenly.
We couldn't spend 2 days with Eva without watching a princess movie.  John picked Sleeping Beauty...and he was the sleeping beauty until seconds before I snapped the picture.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Hotel Christmas

I didn't take a whole lot of pictures of our hotel Christmas because I was just enjoying the moment.  Hans asked the staff at the Wyngate if we could open our presents under the tree in the lobby.  I have to say the staff at the hotel were absolutely wonderful.  The boys had a great time opening up their presents and it didn't seem to phase them that they were in a hotel lobby.  John just couldn't believe that Santa knew where he was staying.

I'm sure the boys can't wait to actually play with their presents.  It will be like Christmas all over again when we finally get in a house.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Christmas in Texas

We had three Christmases this year.  We moved on December 6th and headed to Texas for a week.  Before leaving Texas we spent an evening having a great meal, opening presents and playing with all of the boxes and wrapping paper.

 This is William the hippo.  This is actually a backpack but Gus thought it would make a great riding toy.

 John got a camera and he was taking pictures of everything.  And I mean, EVERYTHING.

Every year my Grandmother makes mittens for the boys.  She used to make Mark and I mittens when we were little too.  The boys love their mittens and they always color coordinate with their coats.

Gus' big present from my parents this year was a basketball goal.  I still can't believe we got this thing disassembled and in the car.  You'd be surprised too if you saw our cars.  There wasn't room for even one more thing.

The box for the basketball goal was also a big hit.  There goes John taking more pictures.

 The boys got Toy Story 1 and 2 from Uncle Mark.  You can't really tell from the photo, but they really liked them.

 Of course it wouldn't be a gift giving occasion without some trains.

Here is my little boy with his little bow.  I love that his skin and hair are so light that the flash looks blinding.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

3 months

Anders is now three months and the time has flown by.  He is adjusting to the move and being without a home better than his brothers since he has never know any different.  He is a great baby and is usually in a good mood.  His brothers get a little intense for him at times, but he usually handles their kisses and hugs pretty well.  This month has been a little harder since he came down with RSV.  Poor kid is now on Pedialite and getting breathing treatments every 6 hours.  We seem to be on the mend.  It's hard when a kid this little gets this sick.  While we were at the doctor for the RSV he was weighed and measured.  Anders is now 16 pounds 4 ounces and 24 1/2 inches long.  This means that in a little over a month he has gained 3 pounds and grown 1 1/2 inches.  He is also wearing 6-9 month clothes.  I'd have to check the other boys charts to be sure, but I think he is my fasted growing kid.

My happy little porker.