Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sunny Saturday

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today. Austin was out door-knocking. After breakfast Emily & I went up to the playground by the new athletic complex. It has all kinds of cool slides, but Emily just played in the pea gravel for 30 min. (go figure). Then we both walked home. Emily literally walked (or ran) all but two blocks, and it's exactly a mile away! It took us 40 minutes to get home, which included a brief stop to inspect water flowing into a storm drain, but it was fun!

While Emily was napping I also worked on a little experimental project. I dug a hole in the rocks on the south slope of our backyard landscaping jungle and planted a couple hills of pumpkin seeds. I've always wanted to grow pumpkins, and I figured the most I'm out is $.99 for the packet of seeds. I'll keep you updated on the progress.

Friday, May 30, 2008

19 months old

Emily is 19 months old today. We are both excited to finally be able to wear shorts/skirts, although her poor knees & legs sure take a beating without that extra layer of protection! Some fun stuff going on:
  • You can catch Emily trying to sing almost every day. Usually it's a bit of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." It usually goes, "". Sometimes it's random ABC's. Recently she even started singing/responding to the "Wee Sing Silly Songs" tape that runs continuously in the van. Her favorite song on that tape seems to be "The Ants Go Marching." She says "Hurrah!" on cue. :o)
  • Speaking of the van, that is also Emily's favorite play area. She shrieks with delight as soon as she's let loose from her car seat, and I swear she would be happy playing in there for an hour if you let her. I can unload and unpack an entire grocery shopping trip and then still have to carry her kicking and screaming back into the house. It's actually quite convenient and might really come in handy this summer as we sit around waiting for parades to start!
  • Emily also really enjoys playing with watering cans as she pretends to feed/water everything.
  • Emily recognizes basic shapes (see videos). She knows the names of a lot of letters and numbers, but in no particular order and not necessarily connected to a written character.
  • On a not-so-cute note, Emily says "Ouch!" really loud anytime you do something she doesn't particularly care for. This includes washing her face, wiping her nose, removing her from playing in the van, etc.

The May video player is posted below and our May pictures are updated on Winkflash. Happy viewing!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Last night I treated myself to a 30 minute professional massage by a lady in Denver. I had designated birthday money specifically for that purpose. Of course, that's a pretty sad statement considering the fact my birthday is June 24! I had literally been carrying cash in an envelope at the bottom of my purse for almost year. Anyway, it was wonderful. I do believe that if we would ever find ourselves independently wealthy I would consider indulging in massages on a regular basis... :o)

On a not-so-relaxing note, I ran errands in Waterloo today with Emily in the driving rain. I now know why I haven't really ever attempted that before. Toddler+Umbrella+full shopping cart in Target parking lot = comical sight.

Yesterday I received the email asking for baked goods for Orchard Hill to distribute to the storm victims and clean-up volunteers in Parkersburg. I was ecstatic--finally a great reason to bake up a storm without trying to figure out who was going to eat it all (besides me)! I happily dug through my recipes and loaded up with supplies this morning. I had just put the first pan of ginger cookies in the oven this afternoon when I received the second email--they were overwhelmed with the response already and didn't need anything more until further notice. Bummer dude! It's okay, though. I didn't have quite enough molasses for the second batch of ginger cookies anyway. They will freeze until VBS in a few weeks, and they are currently Emily's favorite treat--straight from the freezer. I just suddenly find myself extremely well-stocked with baking supplies. Now I just have to figure out how to use the 2 1/2 dozen eggs sitting in my fridge... ;o)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I finally did it...

After several weeks of suffering through an incredibly annoying squeaky swing at the park in the middle of town I finally remembered to throw the WD-40 in the stroller. I am happy to report that all the swings at Prestien Park in Denver, Iowa are now squeak-free. :o)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

After the craziness of last night, today was about as close as you could get to perfect weather. Denver had a very short parade and then a program at the cemetery. Emily was fascinated by all the flags and flowers and told everyone so. She also loved the High School marching band and kept asking for more "sound". ;o) My dear friend, Angie Doorenbos, visited us this weekend, too. We had a lot of fun catching up and just hanging out.

Wild Weather

By now most of you have probably heard about the storms that rolled through our area last night. Praise the Lord we were spared! Actually, we were quite oblivious. It rained REALLY hard and we got quite a bit of hail (up to 1"), but we never got any strong wind or the eeriness that usually proceeds a tornado. The lights flickered, but never went out. The sirens didn't go off, and we weren't even watching TV closely, so we had no idea how bad it was until people started calling to see if we were okay. Unfortunately, there were many people who were not okay. There are all kinds of connections to the devastated area. I just found out one of the families from my mom's group at church lost everything. They have 4 young children, including 2-year-old twins, and she just had a double-mastectomy last month. It sure puts things in perspective!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Grandma's Graduation Video

For anyone who's interested I've posted a graduation video I had fun putting together for Austin's mom to the May video player. It's at the end, so scroll through the videos using the arrows in the bottom right of the player.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Sometimes I feel like this when I step on the scale, too...

Toad in the beans

Emily & I found this toad sitting in our bean patch this afternoon. :op

Happy note

We had new neighbors move in two houses down today and Emily & I stopped by to say hello. TJ & Candace Bucholz are a young couple coming from Orange City, IA. They have two girls ages 3 & 3 months and a friendly dog. We are very excited to get to know them more!

Also, after her bath Emily asked to sit on her little potty chair without a diaper on. Nothing happened (and I had no expectations it would), but it's a big step in the right direction! :o)

Sad note

Yesterday Austin & I had the sad occasion of attending a funeral for the 14-month-old daughter of Austin's cousin. Rylee had been born 3 months premature and had had serious medical issues. Although we never met her, she obviously had a big impact on those around her. If you think of it, say a little prayer for their family.

Mark of Motherhood

I have decided that one of the true marks of motherhood is ending most days with snot streaks on your shoulders. ;o)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Misc giggles

I apologize for not posting for awhile, but nothing terribly exciting has been going on lately. Here's a few random observations from the past couple days:
  • Emily has begun taking after her Grandpa Lorenzen lately and often doesn't like getting her hands dirty or sticky--mostly while eating. This is a bit of a problem since she's still learning to eat with silverware and often gives up and just uses her hands. Sometimes I have to keep a washcloth at the table to wipe between every bite (think mac & cheese). I must say, however, the last couple mornings we have had the neatest consumption of oatmeal to date. I'm getting better at getting it the right consistency so it doesn't easily slide off the spoon yet is not so thick it's too hard to scoop up. :o)
  • Speaking of hands, Emily thinks it's quite amusing to take her socks off and put them on her hands as "mittens". She walked around for 15 minutes like that after her nap yesterday.
  • Grandma B would be proud--I think Emily has figured out how to correctly say the 'l' sound and likes to practice saying words like "closet" and "clothes" with a strong emphasis on the 'l'. She can also now say all the syllables in her name, but she goes really fast and sometimes her tongue gets twisted.
  • I laughed out loud this morning when Emily told Cheney to "sit". He obeyed and then she said "Horsie" as she tried to crawl on his back. Cheney just licked her and walked away. I was surprised b/c she's never done anything like that before, and although she knows what a horse looks like and points them out from the van, she has never seen one up close or seen anyone ride one. Maybe there was one on "Curious George" once when I was making dinner. ;o)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Frozen Fun

A couple days ago I gave Emily a Mr. Freeze/Ice Pop/Flavor Ice (whatever you grew up calling it) for the first time. She licked the top a few times and then abandoned it to melt on the table. It's going to take a little practice on that one. ;o)

Last night I thought it would be fun to give Emily an ice cream bar for the first time. She LOVED it and ate almost the whole thing! She definitely preferred the ice cream part over the chocolate coating, which she either picked off or spit out. It made a tremendous mess, but it was funny to watch. Check out the May video player for the video version.

However...I put Emily to bed at the normal time (7:30pm) in the normal way. At 9:00pm she was still (as in this had been going on for quite some time) literally bouncing off the sides of her crib. I could hear all sorts of movement and squeaks. Then I'd hear, "Jumpin'...Bounce...Funny!" along with many other random sounds and words. She fussed for a bit around 9:15pm and all was quiet by 9:30pm. I don't think she'll be ready for a "big girl" bed any time soon. Maybe we'll have to double-think giving her ice cream like that right before bed, too. ;o)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New car

I did break down and buy a new Cozy Coupe from Wal-mart last week and Emily LOVES it! We're still working on going forward instead of just backwards, but it's still a lot of fun!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a weekend!

It was a VERY busy weekend for the Lorenzen household! Friday night Austin had a house party fundraiser in Waterloo. It was fun to be out together while Emily played at a friend's house. When we got home Austin's sister & brother-in-law and their toddler son (Adam, Brandi & Asher Moss) had already arrived. They stayed with us for the whole weekend.

On Saturday morning Brandi & I walked to some of the Denver city-wide garage sales. I had my big find the day before when I picked up a cute little purple/pink/white Radio-Flyer tricycle that has a bell, streamers on the handle bars and can be folded up. Meanwhile, Austin took Emily up to West Union for a 5K Fun Walk sponsored by the hospital. Apparently Emily did great and chattered her way through the morning. She even won a door prize! She was very possessive of her Clermont Implement hat for the rest of the day! :o)

After lunch we all headed up to Fayette to join the rest of the family in attending the Upper Iowa University commencement where Austin's mom fulfilled a dream and received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education graduating Summa Cum Laude. The kids did great thanks to strategic bleacher seating and a bag full of toys, but they were definitely ready to be done! Everyone came to our house afterwards for a celebration meal.

On Sunday (Mother's Day) everyone went to church at Orchard Hill and then had lunch at our house again. It was a very fun weekend of enjoying time with family and for me, hosting everyone at our house. Emily especially enjoyed playing with Aunt "Tway-cee". She even woke up asking for her. :o)


However, there were some not so fun things about the weekend, too. On Friday it looked like Emily had a bit of a cold sore on her mouth. By Saturday she had sores all around her mouth and on her hands and by Sunday her hands, mouth, feet and bottom were covered in blisters. She slept terrible on Friday & Saturday night, which means I did, too. She didn't eat well either. Being a first-time mom I was freaking out by Sunday morning, so while everyone else went to church I took Emily to Urgent Care. Unfortunately, the doctor there had no clue what it could be and gave me an expensive antibiotic prescription just in case it was an infection. Just an FYI: filling a prescription on a Sunday morning can be very traumatic when you're already under a lot of stress and extremely sleep-deprived! On top of all of this I couldn't find my cell phone anywhere and figured Emily took it out of my purse and left it in the bleachers at Upper Iowa. Whew--talk about testing your "mothering" abilities!

Everything turned around on Monday. First of all, Emily slept 12 solid hours overnight. Then Austin found my cell phone rolling around in his truck (which I had taken garage-saling). I took Emily to our family doctor and he had diagnosed her just from the voice mail I had left. She has hand-foot-and-mouth disease, which is apparently a very common childhood disease that I had never heard of before. It's a virus, so the antibiotic is worthless and it just has to run it's course for 7-10 days. Emily is already on the upswing and everything is looking much better. The blisters on the outside of her body never seemed to bother her, but the blisters in her mouth did and still do a little bit. The worst part is that it's highly contagious. She was in the church nursery on Friday morning along with a friend's house on Friday night and with her cousin, Asher, all weekend. So I had to make some apologetic phone calls and send a regretful email. Oh well, I guess we all live and learn!


As I reflect on my current role of being a mother (along with my many other roles), I can honestly say I wouldn't want it any other way. Emily brings me more joy than I could ever imagine. Sometimes the cynical side of me wonders why any sane person would want to bring a child into a world that seems to be spiraling downward by the day. But then I look through the hopeful and excited eyes of a toddler and realize that amidst everything that seems to be so evil and wrong, God is good and His grace and mercy can overcome. What a blessing to be able to experience that wonderful grace and mercy through raising a child!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

18 month portrait pictures

I went ahead and kept our portrait picture appointment last week despite the scrapes and sores on Emily's face. She did beautifully. Below is a slideshow of the thumbnail shots. :o)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Emily has made us laugh a lot lately by announcing when things are funny to her. She'll be playing with something, giggle and then say, "Mmm...funny" all the time. It's especially cute while she's playing in her crib when she's supposed to be sleeping and we hear it over the monitor.

Also, Emily usually verbally requests which books she wants to read. We currently have one called Go Away, Dog and Emily calls it "Cheney, no!" :o)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tip-toeing through the Tulips

I have been waiting to do a tulip photo-shoot all winter. I got this dress on clearance last summer and have been excited to see how many of my recently planted tulips would come up. Emily semi-cooperated. I think this is the best shot I got. I had to hide her little stuffed bear (that she insists is a kitty) in the tulips for her to get close enough. I think this was my only chance b/c the tulips peaked today, and as I write this a severe thunderstorm is rolling through and the gust front may have torn them to bits. If you would like to see the complete collection of tulip photos feel free to view the slide show below. :o)

Flower Day

Today was one of my favorite days of the year--the day I get to plant all my flowers. I spent over an hour at Wal-mart this morning (along with my carefully diagrammed front & back yard map and long shopping list that I've had made out for weeks) while Emily played at a friend's house. Then I headed outside during Emily's nap time. It was perfect--80 degrees, sunny with a few passing clouds and just breezy enough to keep any early bugs away. To me there's nothing like a freshly planted pot of flowers. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. This is a picture of Emily examining some of my work later on.

Monday, May 5, 2008

This 'N That

I haven't had time to put up a new post lately because I have been very busy getting ready for a big family gathering at our house this coming weekend. I'm so excited about it! Here are a few brief glimpses as to what Emily has been up to:

  • The neighbor kids from across the street delivered a May Day bag of goodies to Emily. It included a blue sucker, which she has never had before. She sucked on it a couple times, used it to "stir" the popcorn and GoldFish crackers that came with it and then dropped it on the floor. It lasted just long enough to make her tongue blue. :o)

  • Emily has started referring to herself in the 3rd person sometimes. For instance, she imitated Austin & me standing on a kitchen chair to change a light bulb in the kitchen and said, "Emmy stand" over and over.

  • Emily has had a runny nose for almost 2 weeks now. It has changed from the yucky yellow cold snot to clear runny teething snot. She has two eye teeth starting to poke through on the bottom. That always makes for fun times. Today was a no nap day because of it. :o(

  • I picked up a cute little bug barn the other day and Emily has had fun playing with it. Luckily (sort of) there is an abundance of Asian Beetles in the house these days for easy catching. Emily seems less interested in the bugs themselves and more interested in the plastic tools. (also see video in May video player)

  • Emily requires quite the entourage wherever she goes these days. Her crib seems to be half full of stuffed animals along with her favorite baby blanket. She thinks she has to take all of it with her every time she gets in and out of the crib. It's funny watching her trying to desperately grab everything at once. It takes her arms and at least one load by me to carry it. Then she tries hauling various combinations up and down the stairs. Sometimes she just gets frustrated and ends up chucking them all down as far as she can.

  • Emily has also turned into a monkey climber. I've caught her twice trying to scale the outside of her crib to get at something still in her crib. The same day I walked into the scene in the video below...