Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Since my kids think they're virtually perfect and don't understand why they would need to make a New Year's resolution, I thought I would offer up some sample resolutions for them, in case they were interested.

I, Madeleine, resolve that for the whole of 2009 I will not roll my eyes, sigh whenever my mother speaks or hide my dirty clothes under my bed, in my closet or under my bureau.

I, Hank, resolve that for the whole of 2009 I will not sneak candy, cookies or other forms of sugar unless I ask, and I will not overreact to any situation or news-- this includes the request to turn off my Wii-- by yelling, shrieking or stomping my feet.

I, Elisabeth, resolve that for the whole of 2009 I will not require stitches, larger than average Band-Aids, cold compresses or anything that involves greater than average care, and I especially resolve not to need to go to the ER this year for stitches. Especially twice in one year. I further resolve to open my eyes and realize that while I am the youngest child, I am not the only child, and I will behave accordingly.

I, the unborn baby, resolve to stop making mommy nauseous and tired. I further resolve to come out easily, on time and healthy.

There, those ought to help the house remain peaceful and happy in 2009.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Guess What!

Despite intentions to be so at times, I have never been one of those women who can contain her good news more than a day or so. I am, and always have been, an open book, and when I'm pregnant I want the world to know.

So, world, I am pregnant! Joe and I are expecting a baby in late summer of 2009. While I'm too tired to copy Madeleine's reaction to the news (she shrieked for joy upon hearing that she was to be a big sister again) inwardly I'm shrieking with excitement.

Monday, December 22, 2008


We took the kids to see "The Nutcracker" on Saturday and in addition to the fun of all three kids enjoying the performance, it turned out that greeting in the lobby when we got there was Madeleine's friend Anna (the soldier closest to Madeleine). Elisabeth was a little scared of the mouse, as you can probably tell from her expression in the picture.

After the performance we headed out to one of our favorite local haunts which, according to Madeleine, wasn't that fancy because, as she informed us, "I've been to fancier." They did, however, have kiddie cocktails, so it eventually won all three kids over.  (Their combination of good food, proximity and acceptance of kids won Joe and me over a long time ago!)

What a fun day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eight Days to Go!

As most readers might have guessed I'm doing a lot of shopping, wrapping and baking and very little blogging. The good news is, though, that I'm feeling much more prepared for Christmas than I normally do. I have been determined this year to focus on and appreciate Advent without Christmas stress and, so far, I am succeeding. Blogging though, has suffered.

We're here though, safe and sound, buried under mounds of snow, enjoying our pretty Christmas tree, baking cookies and listening to Christmas carols and even attending three Christmas performances: Joe and I attended A Christmas Carol performed by the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Joe and I will attend the Milwaukee Symphony's "Cathedral Classics" performance this weekend with friends and Saturday we're taking the kids to see "The Nutcracker," which will be Elisabeth's first time seeing the production.

Only eight more days until Christmas, and I can't wait!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Madeleine's Christmas Wishes

Madeleine whipped out this list yesterday and slapped it on the fridge. Oh my goodness gracious; I don't think I started asking for a horse until I was ten or so, and even then it was one item on my Christmas list along with lots of toys.

Anyway, here is Madeleine's list:

My Christmas Wishes

1. horse
2. pony
3. foal
4. horse in labor
5. stallion
6. saddle
7. bit
8. stirrups
9. horse shoes
10. oats

Both numbers four and ten made me laugh out loud the first time I saw the list.

I hate to be a naysayer, but it's doubtful Santa is going to be able to fit a laboring horse into his sleigh. Think Madeleine will be disappointed?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

So much for a quiet cup of coffee...

Ah, is there anything that warms a parent's heart more than the sound of two children screaming at each other?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Peaceful Day

I came here to post about what a wonderful, peaceful day we are having. Everything that could go right has. The snow is falling gently outside, the kids and I are at home, safely, wrapped in our pajamas, bathrobes and slippers (and this at 11:28 a.m.!) yet we've had an amazingly successful day schooling already: catechism, math, spelling, reading, grammar, Latin, piano, handwriting; whatever was on my to-do list for school today is done.

And yet...

And yet I can't write the joyful post I had intended. When I checked my email moments ago I came across something that changed my mood entirely. I learned that somewhere out there a family I don't even know just lost their son, a newborn baby whose name is the same as my own son. I don't know the family; I don't even really know the family who posted the message from my dear list-serve of Lutheran home-schoolers, but I do know that somewhere out there a family has just lost their new son. And while I am still thankful for the wonderful day we've had and while I know that bad things happen every day in many different ways, I also know that some things touch us different days more than others and, today, this news touched me.

Today I will enjoy the peaceful day we're having, but I'm also reminded to hug my children a bit closer and to remember a grieving family out there-- somewhere-- who needs some extra prayers.

Monday, December 01, 2008


A couple of months ago I made the ill-fated decision to take Elisabeth into the bathroom at our local CVS after already leaving the store. Why? Well, once in the parking lot she announced to me she had to go potty. I should have ignored her. After all, she had a Pull-Up on and she had frequently made such pronouncements in the past only to arrive in the bathroom and be more interested in turning on water faucets and inspecting toilet paper rolls than trying to use the toilet. But the fateful decision was made: an almost three-year-old in diapers should be taken to the bathroom, even if it's futile, if interest is expressed.

Once in CVS's bathroom Elisabeth did try her best to use the toilet. She did. She actually sat on the toilet for five seconds, at least. And that's when it happened. After her lightening fast potty session (in which nothing went into the toilet that is supposed to) she jumped off the toilet too fast for me to grab her. And she tripped and fell... and fell right into the corner of a baseboard heater.

As soon as I saw the blood I panicked. I ordered Madeleine to run outside and get Joe (this was, after all, the beginning of what was supposed to be a peaceful family walk; I had run inside quickly to fill a prescription). The cut was small, but deep, so we walked home rather briskly and rushed Elisabeth over to Children's Hospital. There a short, friendly brunette whose name escapes me carefully stitched Elisabeth's nose after more than a few hours of waiting and now, a few months later, the wound is healing nicely.

Elisabeth was the first of my three children to need stitches. One ER visit for stitches in eight years? I assumed I wouldn't need to repeat the adventure for another few years, at least.

Not so. Last night it was Elisabeth again. The kids were dancing in the kitchen. Hank was sliding more than dancing, really, and slid right into the rug on which Elisabeth was standing. The rug pulled out from under her, causing her to fall. She fell hard and fast and didn't have time to break her fall. Her chin broke open, though this time the would was larger, but less deep. Once again, we loaded her up into the van and headed over to Children's Hospital. This time Madeleine came along to see what all happens in an emergency room and how it is, exactly, that you stitch up a wound. The wait time for this visit was less, though the wet, snowy roads made the trip a bit more treacherous. The doctor was again, female, but taller with shorter hair. She also very carefully inserted stitches in Elisabeth's face, though three this time, instead of two, and in her chin instead of her nose.

I love Children's Hospital. I really do. The doctors are great, they're so good with the kids and everyone makes it as easy as possible to be there under stressful situations. But I really, really hope we have no occasion to go back again for a long, long time.