Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jesse's First Year

With Jesse's first birthday coming up on Friday, I thought I'd dedicate this week's posts to him. So if you really like my sweet baby boy, you're in luck! If you really don't care you might want to wait until next week to check in again!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Not just another weekend...

With the passing of President Hinckley suddenly the weekend became unlike all the others. I've prepared myself for this for a while. Seriously, every time I would listen to him speak I would think, "I will be so sad when he leaves us!" But I was not as sad this morning when I got the news as I thought I would be. I was disappointed that I would not have the pleasure of learning at his feet any longer, but I found myself immediately thinking of what a happy leg of the journey this must be for him. How wonderful to be reunited with his wife and to get a break from the hard work and travel involved in presiding over the Lord's Church. As with most twenty and thirty somethings, I have felt like he was My Prophet. President Kimball was the first I remember hearing at Conference, but President Hinckley was the first I listened to, learned from, served my mission under, and looked to for guidance in raising my family. His place in the church will be filled, but not the place he holds in my heart.

Just another weekend

As you may have noticed in the sidebar, Lincoln is the #1 Dad. This weekend we each had a date with one of the big girls. On friday night Kennedy and I went to Pizza Hut for dinner, then shopping at Walmart for Valentine's decorations, then to Culvers for Ice cream (brrrrrr Kennedy!) and hot cocoa (smart Mama). While we were gone Lincoln built a blanket fort in the living room for the kids to sleep in. He had their sleeping bags set up in there and he even ran extension cords for their nightlight lamps. They had a lot of fun in there, but ultimately only Kennedy and Julia slept in it. Devon very much prefers his own bed and Renie decided to sleep on the couch.
Also on friday, the kids and I decided to put up a Valentine's tree. We have a small artificial tree that we put in the corner of the dining room and decorated with Valentine's ornaments. We made a whole bunch of plain heart-shaped paper ornaments and put them in a basket near the tree. These are for little love notes we want to write to each other. If someone does something nice for you, you can write it on the heart and hang it on the tree. If you want to tell someone something you love about them, you write it on an ornament and hang it on the tree. Kennedy has been really taking the time to notice nice things people do for her. It makes everyone feel happy and it's lots of fun. I've often wished we did a little something more for Valentine's Day to make it special for the kids. This seems to fit the bill.

Fort Fun

The Valentine's Day Tree

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Buy a Kirby!

I just thought I'd post a few pictures that i thought were kinda cute. Oh, and to rant a bit about the Kirby Company. I'll start there.
So some time ago Lincoln took a phone call from ACT Distributing. They said they wanted to come shampoo our carpet- for free. (Red flag) He said "You'll have to talk to my wife about that. Call another time." Got him off the hook, but put me in the hot-seat. So every time I saw ACT Distributing on my caller ID I didn't answer. (At this point I didn't realize it was the same call). I got so sick of them calling I finally decided to answer and tell them to leave me alone. Then I found out it was these people Lincoln had talked to and since he hadn't told them to just leave us alone I thought it was something he was on board with. (Note to self: Lincoln is never ever on board with anything being distributed over the phone. He just prefers to put them off, repeatedly.) So I say to these folks, "What is the obligation, what's your angle?" Them: Nothing. It's just the only way we advertise. (Red flag- who advertises by giving away their product? Obviously there is another motive). So I'm thinking I covered my bases. Probably they will come and try to sell me other carpet treatments. They will analyze my carpet and home and tell me I need the allergen reducer (for just $25!) and the pet scrub (just $15 more!) and with 5 kids all of that would be pointless without the stain guard (just an additional $50 and completely necessary!). But I know I'm strong dang it. They can give me their spiel, but in the end they will have cleaned my carpet for free and who will have the last laugh?! So I scheduled for 9am today. Well, last night they call to confirm and tell me it will have to be "closer to 10", (aka 10:30). So I say Ok whatever and hang up. Then the conversation sinks in and I realize they used a company name for the first time. They breezed over it very quickly, but I'm sure now that they said Kirby. The realization sickens me. I say to my husband, "They're going to try to sell me a vacuum." So immediately I start formulating plans to get out of it. Pack up the kids and spend the day at Walmart. Turn off all the lights and hide out in the basement watching movies all day. I finally decide to call the number on my caller ID and just cancel. (They conveniently never gave me a contact #). So I call and it rings and rings and rings and rings and rings. No answer, no machine. So, I think, I'll call in the morning, maybe they're just not in the office. (It's late.) So I start calling at 8 am and get the same thing. This is obviously not a number for receiving calls, just making them. Around ten my phone rings. At this point I'm thinking I'll just not take any calls. Maybe they will not come if they call and don't get an answer. I don't check the ID, but I don't answer. There's a message waiting so I check it. It's them alright. Calling to say it will be "closer to 11" before the guy can get to my place. But if I need to contact them call 555-555-5555. A breakthrough! I call them back immediately to cancel. It rings and rings and goes to an answering machine. Aaargh! Fine! I leave a detailed message about how they can save themselves the trip I'm done don't call me again CANCELLING! About 11 the phone rings. Hmmm, ACT Distributing. Maybe they got my message and want to find out for sure that I don't want them to come. I answer. The guy tells me his guy is at my house and I'm not there.
Me:Obviously he's in the wrong place because I'm here. But it doesn't matter, I called and cancelled this appointment an hour ago.
Annoying Supervisor Guy: You did?
Me: Yes. I was originally scheduled for 9, you changed it 10, then 11 and I don't want to do it now.
Annoying Supervisor Guy: Well what time do you need to leave?
Me: It doesn't matter. I'm done.
ASG: Well my guy drove all the way to Dodgeville from Madison.
Me: If someone had answered the phone when I called or checked the messages even, this wouldn't have happened. (ASG seems baffled to hear they have an answering machine)
ASG agrees to cancel the appointment, it will be easy because he has the Guy on the other line.
I hang up and go to the computer to google Kirby Company. I click on Customer Complaints About Kirby Company. I'm reading about a creepy salesman who wouldn't take no for an answer when suddenly i hear my front door open. Freaking out, i run to the door to find my husband home for lunch. Relief floods me- fleetingly because he says "Your guy's here". What?! There he is at my front door. I forcefully explain to him that I JUST CANCELLED THIS APPOINTMENT when I talked to Annoying Supervisor Guy 5 minutes ago. And I CANCELLED THIS APPOINTMENT an hour ago on the phone.
Guy: You cancelled this appointment?!
Me: AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaagh! YES!
Guy: I'm gonna slap my supervisor in the face. Sorry.
Me: Hit him once for me! (No I didn't say that because it just occurred to me)
Lincoln is mildly amused that I fell for this whole thing and got myself into this. I blame him. He took the first call ;) !!

So want to see some cute pictures?
Devon helping me make cookies.

I totally do NOT drug my children. She's fresh from a nap and a little grumpy.
Jesse practicing his new skill-Up AND down the stairs!
Renie giving Devon a horsey ride.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Are you cold yet?

So we had our first stretch of sub-zero weather this past weekend. That is what I've been dreading. Snow doesn't bother me, in fact, I rather enjoy it. But windchill of nearly 30 below? Not so much. We holed up this weekend, staying inside and watching movies. I did have to go out grocery shopping on Saturday. At one o'clock in the afternoon it had warmed up to a balmy 9 below zero. I had to stop for gas too. I didn't fill the tank, just $35 worth, but in that amount of time the cold had seeped right through my gloves and my fingers were getting pretty cold. Saturday night was the coldest. We watched Kennedy's friend that evening and when her Dad came to pick her up at 10pm it was unbelievably cold. When we opened the front door the warm air billowed out in a big puff. Our garage was completely frosted over on the inside when we got up for church on sunday. Cold cold cold and stinking cold. It's the first time this winter that I've thought longingly of NC and the 30 degree weather that's considered really cold there.
My darling son bit me yesterday. While nursing. In his defense, it was not with malicious intent. He was in his high chair methodically refusing all the food we put in front of him. It was all his usual favorites- crackers, fruit, cereal- when it occurred to me that when he does that it means all he wants is Mama Milky. So I pulled him out of his high chair and plopped down on the couch with him. He immediately got excited when I started fussing with my shirt, wiggling all over and wagging his fingers around. So excited, in fact, that he forgot to finish the cracker in his mouth- until he tried to nurse and it was in his way. THEN he tried to chew it up. I yelled. He cried. I bled, and nearly cried. I declared he was officially at that moment weaned. I skulked off to nurse my wounds (pun totally intended) and he went back to eating crackers. I didn't nurse him on that side the rest of the day. This morning I woke up leaking milk, engorged, and freakishly lop-sided. With great fear and trembling I allowed him to nurse on that side and happily did not experience anything more than mild discomfort which subsided once my breast was no longer melon sized. So all is well again in our nursing world. See those chompers?!
Don't worry, I'll spare you a picture of the wound.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

So it just keeps coming. School let out early today because the roads are terrible. Actually, the snow is stopping now and the sun is coming out-great timing. All morning it snowed big fluffy flakes that accumulated pretty quickly and left the roads a mess. Our friendy neighbor came and plowed our driveway with his 4 wheeler plow (benefits of bringing the neighbors Christmas goodies- our other neighbor snowblows our driveway for us. Our other neighbor that I sent goodies to is always out at 11pm shoveling his driveway so I guess he doesn't have the equipment. Maybe he'll weed my garden this summer?!) Devon and Renie had class today, which means I got to go to my exercise class. I love the class and I love feeling muscles that have been dormant for years! Unfortunately my leg with the DVT still isn't up to par. The clot resticts circulation so my leg gets very heavy feeling and intense workout burn. I'm no doctor but I assume that with restricted blood flow the wastes aren't removed as efficiently from that leg so the burn builds up. It's frustrating because running is one of my goals this year and my right leg does fine. I even feel like my lungs can handle it, but DANG that left leg. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill alternating 2 minutes running 1 minute walking during our class. There's this guy who runs at the gym (he's a stay at home dad and his daughter is in Devon's class) during the 2 hour preschool class. He runs the entire 2 hours. Fast. It's amazing to me, and a little sickening. When I "run" on the track he laps me. Sometimes twice on one of mine. Ugh! I've got a long way to go.
Here's what i tell myself to make me feel better-
He runs marathons. He's been training and running for years. You've been having babies. And blood clots. And frozen custard. Am I the only one who haughtily claims the rigor of pregnancy and childbirth is equal to that of climbing a mountain! or running a marathon! or pedaling around the entire world-twice! but hasn't even convinced themself? That's OK. I think there are a few men out there that have been duped by this. They don't dare dispute it- how could they possibly know? If they argue it they will be at the mercy of their wife's raging hormones. It's safer to agree and accept that there is no earthly way for them to ever really be sure. Said wife certainly seems to be tired. And is quite often short of breath. And apparently she hurts everywhere. And she has to completely wake up and call for a forklift if she wants to change positions in the night. Those things certainly seem like by-products of some extreme physical activity. So they begrudgingly believe. Except my husband. You see, I've had pretty easy pregnancies. Not to mention an aversion to being wimpy about it. So I never complained throughout my whole first pregnancy. The problem with that is that during subsequent pregnancies when I did have the occasional bout of discomfort in the form of a pinched sciatic nerve or exhaustion or some such thing, my husband didn't buy into it so much. But how did we get here?
As a result of those 5 babies it seems I get around to showering at weird times. Like now. It's 2:30 and i haven't showered yet. Luckily my big girls are home from school and they can watch the little ones while I grab a much-needed shower. I think I will indulge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008


So I know this won't be the most exciting news or enjoyable read you'll have today, but I'm going to share anyway.

It's official- Devon now poops in the potty!!! It will soon be a year now that he's been peeing in the potty, but he had major fears about pooping. He was caught up in the cycle of needing to poop, worrying it would hurt, holding it, finally pooping, and yup! it hurt because he had held it for so long. That would just confirm his fears so the cycle would be perpetuated. Anyway, he seems to have finally decided that using the potty is OK. Even without rewards/bribes. Hooray!

To top off that exciting news, Renie peed in the potty this morning! Oh glorious day! She's been sitting on the potty now and then for quite a while now but without success. Today she finally figured out how to release. Can you imagine if I was down to just ONE KID IN DIAPERS soon? Ok, ok. Let's not count chickens yet (remembering it was almost a full year between Devon's first pee and complete potty competence), but it's fun to fantasize! (Girls are easier, right?) Anyway, think positive thoughts for me.

So I mentioned in my last post that Kennedy was not going outside til summer. The next day...

I also mentioned the January Blahs. Don't worry, they seem to be heading out the door. We went to the pool friday night. Everyone had fun, even Jesse. He just floated around in his spring float thing and chewed on rubber duckies. Kennedy practiced her backstroke and Julia got braver about going in water over her head. Devon and Renie mastered their floaty suits (no arm rings!) and were able to be mostly independent. Now tomorrow we start back up with preschool and exercise class. I think I might actually start to feel like I'm back in the groove.

We'll see what this week brings...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Yup... It's winter

It's January in Wisconsin. After a bit of a January thaw which left patches of bare ground everywhere, it began to snow again yesterday afternoon. So our house looks like this again and our view out back looks like this. What? You're sick of seeing pictures of snow?! Try living in it! Actually, I'm very much still enjoying it. Kennedy, on the other hand, announced yeasterday that she is not going outside again until summer. Other than her three recesses at school. And when the next door neighbor wants to play Slay the Mighty Dragon. (Seriously, that's what they call it--I love it.) I knew that this would be the time we'd have to get very creative- When Christmas is over and there are still 3 1/2 months of winter left! Time to get a pass to the VERY small but fun indoor waterpark nearby. Time to get over to the Lands End fitness facility more often. Time to try out our new secondhand skis. Time to go sledding and skating. Time to have a party.

On another note, Devon asked me for a drink a few minutes ago. Me: Where's your cup? Devon: I don't know. Me: Well you had one. Where did it go? Devon: I dis-dappeared it.

Too funny!

This has been the longest week ever. Between the fog early in the week and Lincoln being sick it has seemed eternal. Not to mention we haven't had any "disposable" income this week so I couldn't go shopping and Devon's preschool class doesn't start up again until next week so I didn't have my exercise class to attend. TGIF! I need to paint something.

Our basement/family room/playroom area is a disaster area. I said to Devon yesterday, "This place is a mess! I'm sick of it. Why don't you clean up your toys down here today?" Devon: "Nah. That's hard work!" It's nice to see we're teaching him about having a good work ethic. Of course, I can relate. Cleaning the playroom is a thankless job. It gets trashed again so quickly. It's easy to adopt the What's the Point? attitude. Lincoln uses that attitude regarding bathing the dog. She'll just get dirty again. Thankfully he doesn't feel the same way about bathing himself.

So Happy January Blahs. I'll keep you posted on our cure for them! I'm sure with Lincoln feeling better the blahs will be banished.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

100 vehicle pileup near Madison

This fog is soooo dangerous. Check out this link to the Wisconsin State Journal from Sunday.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Then one foggy Christmas Eve...

So I've got to share this. I now know why Santa was so worked up on that foggy Christmas Eve. We have been buried under a deep fog for a couple days. In fact, the day we left for NY it was unbelievably foggy too. That evening we drove for six hours and the fog didn't let up at all. It's very disorienting and isolating. Anyway, I went out today and snapped some pictures. I hope you can get the idea from these. I'll post them with some pictures of a clear day

These are taken looking in the same direction from our deck. If you look closely you can see how it lines up by the evergreen trees.

These are looking directly across the street.

Some general back yard pictures. The one immediately above is our neighbors directly behind us.

Another back yard shot and one looking down our street. Amazingly, I looked out the window a few minutes ago and I think it's a little worse. I can barely see our back door neighbors now. On the way home from church yesterday in this, we saw a police car pulled over with lights flashing and flares lit and I could barely make out another set of lights just beyond. Apparently there had been an accident but we couldn't see anything. The officer was out of his car to direct traffic and he was barely visible, and that only when you were practically on top of him. Luckily we were turning ten feet before the cop and we didn't have to make our way through whatever was happening.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Vacation

What a great vacation we had! Really, it couldn't have been better. The weather was perfect for driving, perfect for Christmas activities, perfect for sledding. We got to see family we hadn't seen in a long time and the kids got to spend some quality time on Grandpa's farm. So settle in and let me share some highlights.
The Sunday before Christmas we went to church in the branch where I grew up and where Lincoln was baptized. We got to see old friends and listen to a great program. The choir in this tiny branch is phenomenal and my brother Bryan ,who is the Branch President there, gave a beautiful talk. After church that sunday we went to Grandma's house and took the above pictures by her Christmas tree.
Monday was Christmas Eve. We went to Lincoln's Dad's house and had Christmas with him. We got to see Lincoln's Uncle Timmy who we hadn't seen in close to 8 years, as well as his Aunt Sandra and all of her kids but John. Serena came down for a while with Emily and Courtney and Courtney's brand new baby Mason.

Tim Tatro-Renie had a lot of fun using Timmy's walker as a jungle gym. Timmy enjoyed that she liked it, but was also concerned for the welfare of his shiny new walker.

Grandpa Jesse and baby Jesse on Christmas Eve
Julia and teeny tiny baby Mason.

We missed Christmas Eve dinner at Mom and Dad's, but got there for the best part- reading the Christmas Story from the Bible and singing Christmas carols. After that the stockings were hung on the hall tree with care and the children were packed off to bed.
Christmas day we held the kids off until about 7:30, I think. Then we saw what Santa brought.

After a big pancake breakfast Grandpa took us for sleigh rides. It was perfect-sleigh bells ringing, snow tossed in the air from the horse's hooves, and rosy cheeks all around.

We got to spend some time with Lincoln's Mom, step-father, and Grandma on Christmas. His sister Sherri was there with her husband Karl and her daughter Kendra.

This is three generations, if we were smart we would've gotten a four generation shot with Lincoln in it. Oh well. Jesse, Grandma Brenda, and Great Grandma Thel.

The day after Christmas we had a get-together with my Mom's side of the family at the Hopkinton Town Hall. Everyone brought leftover goodies and games to play. Mom and her 3 siblings were there- Diane, Dick, and Allen. Diane's kids were there- Maria (and her 3 kids and son-in-law), Cameron, Darren (and his girlfriend), Karen (and her 4 kids and nephew who is living with her now). Uncle Dick's daughter Amy was there with her 3 boys, and all of my siblings and their families except for my sister Luella who stayed in NC for the holidays and was greatly missed.

Thursday was spent at Lincoln's Mom's again. We played Uno with Kendra and enjoyed a beautiful snowfall. Friday was the highlight of our trip. Grandma and Grandpa Burnett own an old house a mile into the woods down a dirt road. The house stands across the road from "The Old Place" where Dad grew up. Mom and Dad are slowly striving to make the house livable, or at the very least, campable again. They have put a lot of time, effort, and love into the place, cleaning, replacing rotted sills, adding a porch, and installing a woodstove. We spent the better part of the day there on Friday sledding down the hill out front. At lunch time we took a break and crowded into the house for Mom's chili and Ginny's corn bread, followed by Bryan's warm apple pie and hot cocoa. Then we went out to the hill once again. We had two runs, one down the front of the hill, long and banked up to direct you around the trees as you whizzed down, and one down the back of the hill, shorter but with a great jump at the end. I was really proud of the kids. They took some big spills but they took it well and and just enjoyed the moment. Everyone had a lot of fun and some great memories were created.
Notice the house in the background of this action shot of Kennedy. Here are some more great shots of the day.

Saturday we were able to spend some time with my cousin Karen and her kids. On Sunday we had Jesse's baby blessing. We went to the branch where Dad is serving a 2 year mission as branch president. We did the blessing and I sang with Bryan, Ginny, Jonathan, Nichelle, and Mom. I'm afraid that between not knowing my part well and not being 100 percent yet from being sick, I didn't add much to the performance. But everyone else did a great job and it was fun to be a part of it.

Jesse and the men who participated in his blessing- My brothers, Jonathan and Bryan Burnett, my father, Dale Burnett, and Lincoln.