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Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Late Christmas Surprise

While Lauren was at her dad's this week, I worked on an extended Christmas present for her.  All through the season, she asked for a kitchen.  I kept telling her that she had one at Daddy's and one at our house, so she didn't need one.  Then, one day I was organizing the closet in the toyroom and I got an idea...to turn the closet into her kitchen.  The planned was set in motion...

Step One of the Plan - get kitchen related presents - check.  I got her an apron set, a food set and an appliance set that included a stand mixer, a coffee maker and a blender.

Step Two of the Plan - transform the closet - check.  It started like this...
Step Three of the Plan - Style it up!!! (I may have watched one too many episodes of Project Runway today).  I had a little help from Stacy Brown and only had to make one trip to Spencer to get my desired results.

Step Four of the Plan - The Reveal

video



I do love my girl and am so glad to be in this together with her.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas = Tired Girl

Presents with Daddy yesterday morning.  Family at our house and church last evening.  Hanging out at the Siebrecht's where Mrs. Claus delivered the jammies.  Spending the night at Grammy and Hampa's.  Presents from Mommy.  Stocking.  Presents from Grammy and Hampa and the Siebrecht's.  Playing. Nap.  Back out to Grammy and Hampa's for extended family time.  Home to cuddle with Mommy.  No wonder we have a tired girl on our hands.  That is a lot for 36 hours.

Here are the Mrs. Claus jammies (and, yes, she's pretending to pick a boogie to irritate me)...
And here are two of Lauren and Grammy working on the tradition of cinnamon rolls...

There are many, many more pictures...but they are all the way across the room.  Tired Girl = Tired Mommy!!!!  I am so glad we are in this together.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Another Step Toward Bigdom

She had been talking about it for a few weeks.  Daily, she asked if she could wear her pretty girl dress that was hanging in her closet with the tapping shoes.  And who can leave out, "Do I getta go to school and sing today?"

Then, today, it was finally time.  Daddy brought her up and stayed for the event.  The tights went on.  The dress went on.  The shoes went on.  The hair was brushed.  Finally, off we went to the First Hour of Power Christmas Program.

We got to the church and Little Lauren marched herself down to the basement with all the other kids to get ready by getting her angel outfit on...leaving her mommy and daddy behind.  All we could do was go upstairs and sit and wait.  We watched the church fill up.  Then, the moment was upon us...

She marched her little self in, holding Maddie's hand, ringing and singing.  The second she saw mommy and daddy, however, it was done.  She wanted to be with us.  I finally got her up with the group and she sang a little bit.  Then the big kids started passing the microphone around to say their lines, to which Lauren responded, "I WANNA TALK."  Of course she did, she is mommy's girl after all.  Then she wanted to go in the tent with the Nativity Silhouette.  What can I say.  My girl knows what she wants and she's only three.  That's why we are in this together.


Friday, November 25, 2011

A Beautiful Day

Thanksgiving is such a blessing in the fact that 60ish of our closest family members gather at my Aunt Retha's house for time together.  This year we were doubly blessed with the fact that it was PERFECTLY beautiful weather out.  The kids were outside all day playing without their coats on...not bad for Iowa in late November.  Mother Nature can keep this up for another month before she can give us a little bit of winter for a week or so. 

Lauren took advantage of the time to try her hand at rollerskating, which is one of my biggest memories of Thanksgiving at the Harrington's...either in the basement on Court Street or at the Skate Palace.  It is always amazing how these traditions carry on in different ways. 

As always, I am thankful that this little thing and I are in this together.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness

November is the month where we, as Americans, are especially aware of our thankfulness.  Again, this year I am taking the 30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge.  For each of the 30 days of November, I will be posting on Facebook about the things that I am thankful for.  I, of course, have to start with this...
The minute I knew of her existence, my life was changed.  And until July 20, 2008 at 2:45 in the afternoon I never knew how much it could change.  That day, I was just thankful that she was here...

And she has been there for me and I for her through so much.  She is my girl and I am her mommy.  How could you not be thankful for this...

I love you, baby girl and I thankful for everything that I am to you and that you are to me.  We are in this together.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween.  It was totally different with a three year old.  We did a little trick or treating and she was very outgoing and cute. Then had supper with family and friends. This is how new traditions start. Daddy even came up to go get candy with us.

And Mommy had to give the Monkey a ride home...
Another time full of fun and excitement...together.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just had to share...

I am finally getting around to ordering pics that my friend, the lovely and talented Amy Rockwell, took of Lauren and I this summer.  This one is my fave...I just had to share because I love it so much...

And then I have to share this one because I love it so much, too....

And I could not leave this one out...

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Miss My Mommy

I spent the weekend with my daddy, which was totally awesome.  We went to the zoo and the Children's Museum and went shopping at Target where I got a new Clifford stuffed animal.

Then I came home on Sunday and had a fun afternoon with mommy.  We hung out on the couch having 'hopcorn and watching Toy Story.  Then we went out to Mommy Juju's for supper and had hot fries.  I took a bath with Cody and got my jammies on.  Then, the silliest thing happened...my mommy left me at Juju's house.  She said she was going bye-bye for a couple of days.  I got to spend the night with Juju, Uncle Ry, the boys and Missy Missy.  Mommy Juju even took me to Josie's today...but not before taking my picture with Missy Missy.
And now I am at Grammy's taking my nap and being a good girl...my mommy hopes, anyway.  The weirdest thing I heard, though, is that Juju is picking me up at Grammy's tonight and I am spending the night again tonight and mommy won't be picking me up until tomorrow night just before bed time.  I miss her a lot...but not as much as she misses me.


Monday, October 3, 2011

It's October...

It has been quite a while since we have gotten a post in and boy, oh, boy have we been busy.  Busy doing what you may ask?  I ask myself that same question almost daily.  It never feels like we get anything done, but yet everything that needs done seems to be getting done.  We all know that the stuff like dishes, laundry and cleaning can wait til later when you have a three year old because here are the things we are busy doing instead:
                  1) Enjoying this wonderful weather...seems like payback from the hot summer, although we can do without the little black bugs that have shown up.
                  2) For two days we had a blast at the Clay County Fair!  One days was with Aunt Juju and Cody and the other was with our friends The Peats.
                  3) Lauren spending time with her daddy.
                  4) I have gotten the school year of to a successful start.  I think, anyways.  Can't believe it is almost the end of the 1st quarter already.
                  5) Lauren has totally adjusted to her new daycare and has been talking a lot about Lucas. Our new daycare goddess, Josie, has been awesome.
                  6) Have I mentioned we have been enjoying the weather?
                  7) Lauren has started her first non-daycare learning activity...she is attending First Hour of Power at our church and is totally LOVING it!
                  8) And.......drumroll, please.....I would like that announce that we are fully potty trained in the #1 department and are becoming very successful in the #2 department.  This has been a long time coming and it just goes to show that slow and steady wins the race.

Here are some things we have to look forward to during October:
                  1) Halloween, of course.  You can expect the world's cutest monkey at a doorstep near you.
                  2) #2...you knew it was coming.
                  3) Harvest.  Although Hampa's beans have already been combined, we are going to try to get a ride somewhere else.
                  4) Hopefully enjoying some more wonderful weather through this month.

Whether it is all that has happened or all that will happen, Lauren and I are truly blessed.  We have great friends.  We have wonderful family.  Most of all...we have each other.
                 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Simple Lesson

Lauren would like to introduce you to her friend, Kyleigh.  Kyleigh is one of our Firecracker Friends.  She is three and up until last week, she lived in Schoharie, New York.  Then Hurricane Irene came through and ruined her house.  The only home she has ever known.  Kyleigh's mom, Amy, is my friend.  Over the last week, Amy has taught me a great lesson and one that I will definitely pass on to Lauren.  Take a look at this picture and see if you can tell what that lesson is:
I am having a hard time finding one word or phrase that sums up what the lesson is.  Grace.  Love.  Gratitude.  Teaching.  Humbleness.  Amazing.  There...I searched long enough.  It is simply amazing.  Here is a woman and her three year old daughter currently living at her mom's where they share a room with Daddy and baby sister and all of their possessions in that one room.  But through it all,  they both have a smile on their face and love in their hearts.  They are sending out a simple thank you.  Simple, only in the fact that it is written on a plain 8.5x11 piece of paper with a marker.  It is a thank you to people they know and love, and to complete strangers.  It is a thank you for the big things that have been given to them, but also to the smallest of the small.  What a lesson to teach.

Amy, Kyleigh, Kane and Stella...Lauren and I love you guys so much.  You are amazing people who don't deserve what happened, but we just wanted to send a big THANK YOU right back at 'cha for teaching us how to be strong, grateful and amazing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brayton the Brave and Strong


Many of you know, and some don't, of our friend, Brayton. Brayton came into our lives before Lauren and Brayton were even born, through a group for pregnant women on iVillage (this is where the Firecracker Friends were born). Brayton was born, a few weeks before Lauren, with Tracheoesophageal Fistula and Esophogeal Atresia.  It is a defect where his esophagus is not properly connected and his trachea and esophagus are abnormally connected.   He spent the first ten months of his life in a hospital while Lauren was home with us being our baby.

We celebrated when Brayton got to come home after such a long time in the hospital.  We wept tears of joy at the photos that another Firecracker mommy took of Brayton's first day of freedom and his trip to the beach.  Those were the best tears.

Over the next two years, all the Firecrackers rallied as Brayton would be in and out of the hospital for surgeries and sicknesses.  Our little ones have become very proficient at remembering B in their prayers (or whatever form of wishing their mommies have them make) and we have always gotten to cry those happy tears when Brayton got to go home.

The tears this time are different.  Brayton went into the hospital again in mid-July - the month of the Firecrackers.  Our praying knees got their exercise, and then some, over the past few weeks.  Brayton was brave and strong through a couple of surgeries, one lasting the better part of the day.  But, last night, August 28, 2011, Brayton made his final trip home.  This time it wasn't to his home with his mom and his sisters.  This time he went home to be with God and Jesus.  That's how I had to explain my tears to my three year old.  The tears this time are different.

Brayton will never get to go to school, to prom, drive a car, learn multiplication, fall in love, write a love letter or graduate from college.  He won't be there when his sisters walk down the aisle and get married. He won't get to call his mom and say that he has found that special someone.  He won't get to do these things himself.  He will get to do these things - all of them - because he will live on in the hearts of all the Firecrackers forever.  They will carry a little piece of him with them forever.

There is little to say to comfort.  Maybe these words will help someone...

"So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you."  John 16:22

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." - From a headstone in Ireland.

"No cry, mommy.  Baby an angel."  Lauren, Age 3

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where we were...

It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted here...and for good reason.  Along with Grammy, we went on a ten day trip to Ohio.  After a full day in the car (including taking 1.5 hours to go 13 miles), the first half of our visit was spent with Grammy's sister, Vivian, and her family in Wapakoneta.  While hanging with them, we also went to Berlin, Ohio to visit Amish country.  It was a very pretty country and we got to see lots of "neighs".

The second half of our trip started at the Columbus Airport, where we picked up our friend Kristy and her daughter, Addie Shea!  They came all the way from California.  Then we drove a little further south to Logan, Ohio and a beautiful cabin in the hills.  When we got there, there were many of our Firecracker Friends (a group of kids who were born around July 2008) to play with.  Lauren had many new friends to play with - Kyleigh, Tali, Cameron, Leah, Cael, Noah, Alexis, Maddie, Xander, Arielle, and our old buddy Elliot to play with.  Two more friends came to play with us for a day and they were Marley and Alli.  Mommy had Amy R., Jaime, Allison, Beth, Patti, Dawn, Heather, Christy, Nicole, Jessica, Meghyn and Laura and Erin to hang out with, too!  Cousin Caleb went with us and he got to play with Miranda, Chloe, Maddy, Aubrey, Ilish and Kai.  There was even twos toddlers, Lydia and Solomon, and two babies, Kaelyn and Adelyn, to keep us busy.

Then it took us two days to drive home because we were tired and our patience for being in the car was running thin.

Whew...now you see why I didn't have time to post.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3

The tradition that started on the day she was one month continues.  On the 20th of every month for the first year and then on the "big" ones after that, Lauren has gotten her picture taken in the rocking chair.  What a way to see her grow.  But it only shows her outward growth.  You can't see how she has grown in her thoughts, her actions, her words and her love.  The things she thinks of amaze me.  Everything she does amazes me.  The words she can say amaze me - my current favorite it flamingo.  Her love amazes me. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lauren's New "Baby Song"

The two year old wasn't as asleep as I thought.  She came out with her Bunny Bunny and blankie in tow and said, "You rock me and sing the baby song me?"  How could I not?

While rocking her and singing "Rock-a-bye Baby" and realized how much I don't like the lyrics.  So, as I rocked my two year old for the last time, I started messing with the lyrics.  Here's what I came up with:

Rocking my baby, long as I can.
Where the time goes to, no body knows.
For now I will take all that you give.
You are my baby as long as you live.

I like mine much better.

The Last Day of Two

My two year old is asleep.  When she wakes up, she’ll be three.  Well, not technically until 2:45 p.m., but that’s a technicality.  Lauren has been in this world for 1,095 days.  When she is 30 it will be 10,957 days.  All day today, I thought of what those next 9,862 days will bring.  It is kind of mind boggling, especially when it makes me stop to think that I will 62.  I think I stick to the next year when I wonder.  So here is what I wonder about the next 366 (2012 is a leap year remember)…
…I wonder if she’ll be going pee pee on the potty full time.  Yes, I know this will happen, but it seems like a long way off as we are in the potty training trenches.
…I wonder if she will know all the letters of the alphabet.  She already knows m, d, c, j, r, g and l.
…I wonder if her counting pattern will change from, “one, two, tree, pive, beleven”
…I wonder if she’ll still dip her hot dogs in ranch.  My guess is yes.
…I wonder if she’ll still tickle the phone when she is talking to her daddy.
…I wonder if she’ll still call my dad “Hampa”.
…I wonder if we’ll still share a bowl of Lucky Charms on weekend mornings.
…I wonder if she will still want to take her Bunny Bunny with her where ever she goes.
…I wonder if she will still want to watch Wow Wow Wubbsy every night before she goes to bed.
…I wonder if she’ll ever pick up the toy room by herself.
…I wonder if she’ll ever add the word “with” to her sentences, although I love to hear “Mommy, I lay you?” when she comes in my room in the morning.
…I wonder when she will stop thinking she is being sneaky when she takes my pop can and drinks it “all gone” when it was already empty.
…I wonder when she will sleep later than me.
…I wonder if her hair will be long enough to donate to Locks of Love.
…I wonder if she can get any cuter.
…I wonder if I can love her any more.
On the last day of two, she got to hang out and play with Lexi.  We had a party with Grammy and Hampa, Mommy Juju and Uncle Ry, the boys, Lexi, Aunt ‘inda and Uncle Joe and Aunt ‘ouann and Uncle Nyle.  I went back in and gave her that last two year old kiss five times…just because I could.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Could Have Been

Three years ago today, we got up extra early and headed to the University of Nebraska Medical Center to get the birth process started.  There was so much excitement at the unknown of what was coming.  We were one of the few holdouts who didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, a Quinn or a Lauren.  Either way, though, we were beyond excited for what the day would bring.  Little did we know that the day wouldn't bring anything...and neither would the next day.  For those of you keeping count on your fingers, today is July 17th and Lauren didn't show up until midafternoon on the 20th.  That would be FOUR fingers you're holding up.  One for each day we had to wait to meet our little Lauren Kathryne.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vacation



Our annual family vacation to Minnesota has come and gone.  We went to a new-to-us resort this year near Alexandria, MN.  It was awesome to be back in the area again after an absence of many years.  We first came to the area in 1981 to go to Ironwood Resort, which friends of my parents owned.  We went there for 20 some years until it closed.  We have been search for a new home away from home since then...we think we found it this time.  Our cabin was literally feet from the water.  There was no traffic and good neighbors, so the kids could run wild.  Most important - we were all together.  I am 35 and go on vacation with my parents.  I can only dream that Lauren will go on vacation with me when she is 35.
Lauren and Cody share a moment during our packing.


Taking a potty training toddler on vacation was an experience,
but she was wonderful. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Tale of the Potty

The words that I have uddered most this summer vacation have been, "Do you need to go potty?"  I bet I have said the word potty at least a thousand times this summer.  My sweet, stubborn, loveable little girl is getting the hang of it - SLOOOOOOOWLY.   We have 2-3 successes in a row.  Followed by 2-3 accidents in a row.  She is starting to go on her own, including pulling down her own pants.  She even has gone on the big girl potty once or twice.  We have even had the elusive #2 on the potty!!! 

I feel bad for her because we missed the window of her being ready - twice.  So this is a process that we are working through together.  Just like everything else...we are working through it together. 

I am hoping that by the time going back to school rolls around (which can hold off for a while yet) I won't have to say potty a thousand times a week...maybe we could just get down to a hundred or so.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We R Back!!!!!!!!!!!

After a year's absence, Lauren and I are back in the BLOGworld!  Lots and lots have changed int he last year.  We have a new address in a new town.  We live not that far from Grammy, Hampa, Mommy JuJu, Unc Ry and the Boys.  I have a new job.  Lauren is between daycares currently.  And we are currently enjoying summer vacation and the countdown to Lauren's third birthday!   Check back with us often and share in our lives!!!