Saturday, February 28, 2009

2009 Goals Progress

Here is my February progress report on our 2009 goals.

1. Potty-training: As stated at the end of January, we're in a holding pattern. We casually ask once in a while, but only had 3-4 successes the entire month. Two of them were when Emily played the "Have to go potty!" card after being put to bed. After 3 weeks of nothingness I told her if she came out she had better go. So she marched right over to the potty, did her thing and marched back to bed. Obviously, she knows exactly what she's doing and it's just a matter of her deciding she wants to be a "big girl"!

2. Moving Emily's room: We are making good progress in this area. I have packed away or found new homes for most of the things that had been stored/displayed in the guest room. I have a list of the things that need to be done yet, and my mom & sister are coming to paint next month. I'm so excited!

3. Deep-cleaning one room: This goes hand-in-hand with #3 this month. I didn't technically deep-clean a single room, but I spent several big days playing musical closets and reorganizing chunks of the basement in order to accommodate the stuff being moved out of Emily's new room. Almost every closet in the house was affected in some way, so I'm going to count that!

4. Grocery budget: I spent 75.23% of my original grocery budget this month--less than a dollar over my goal. Yay! Austin was out of town on business for most of the last week, but I also provided breakfast & lunch for a 10-person paint crew at a friend's new house today since I couldn't provide any physical labor help. I'm running a very lean inventory right now, so next month may be a bit harder.

5. Daily praying over Emily: I have come to enjoy this ritual as I reflect back on the day's events (both the good and sometimes not-so-good). I am so blessed to be Emily's mom!

How are your goals coming? Have you thought of anything new? I'd love to hear!

28 months old

Since Emily doesn't have an official monthly birthday in February, we'll call her 28 months old on the 28th! One rather disturbing development this month has been Emily deciding to add an "ah" sound to the end of a lot of words. She often calls herself "Emilia". I'm sometimes "Mommy-ah" and Austin "Daddy-ah". She asks to watch "George-ah" on the "T.V.-ah". She doesn't do it 100% of the time, but enough to sometimes get annoying. We told her she has 3 weeks until Grandma B comes to visit to kick the habit. My mom is a Speech-Language Pathologist and it will drive her nuts!

On a positive note, Emily has started napping again! She has taken a solid 1 1/2-2 hour nap every day for a week now except once when it got ruined by a 15 min. snooze in the car seat right before lunch. That has been great for my own well-being. However, the trade off is that she bangs around until later at night in her room and wakes up earlier in the morning. I think the earlier daylight is also a contributing factor. That's the only downside of spring coming!

Speaking of spring, we are all really ready for it to come! We enjoyed a couple nice days last week and took walks around the block. Emily & I will both be glad when going outside is regular option during the day. We built a snowman on Tuesday and on Wednesday Emily was gravely concerned by the fact that it had completely lost its head. She insisted that we, "get 'nother head and put it back 'gether!" :o) Emily was also fascinated by the fact she could see and actually walk on the grass (although it's still brown and crunchy). I was excited to see tulips and daffodils just beginning to poke up through the receding snow of the front landscaping this past week. But I have to remind myself it's still only the end of February and 70 degree temperatures are still a ways off!

Emily has been introduced to VeggieTales and Clifford this month and, of course, they are her new loves (although Curious George and/or Dr. Suess is never far from her mind). I think it just proves how true the saying is that "What our children see in the world depends on what we show them." We have a rock carved with that saying in our bedroom, and it is a good reminder to make wise choices when it comes to raising our children. But I digress. The Clifford books came from the library. Emily doesn't know there is a PBS TV show yet. VeggieTales has come from sing-a-long DVD's on road trips. It is hilarious to listen to her try and sing some of the songs. She's steadily improving on the theme song, although it's still "up and down the produce mile..." :o) She especially gets excited about Larry playing the tuba. Of course, she also quotes some of the lines with perfect expression and intonation. Her best, and funniest one, is from the Silly Song called "Barbara Manatee" and goes like this:

Bob: Larry, what are you doing?

Larry: Watching a little T.V.

Bob: Mmmmaybe you should go read a book.

Larry: Okay

Her other favorite funny quote is from The Lorax by Dr. Suess. She points her little finger and declares, "I speak for the trees!" Does that mean we're raising a little tree-hugger?!? ;o)

As we continue to make preparations for the arrival of the new baby I often wonder more about how it will affect Emily than me. Just in the last week or so she has occasionally shown some interest in "mothering" her only baby doll (i.e. feed bottle, change diaper/clothes). Up until this point she has largely ignored the doll and just played pretend with her stuffed animals. In addition, as I have been busy working on things, I have picked up on a distinct pattern of her acting out when she doesn't feel like she has been getting enough one-on-one attention. Although this is completely normal and understandable for her age, it is only going to get worse when the baby comes. At least I'm aware of it, I guess.
Our February pictures are uploaded to Winkflash and the (rather sparse) February video player is below.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Eating Crow

So much for bragging about Emily's good behavior! While I was busy blogging about grocery shopping she was upstairs being busy, too. I heard some clunking around and knew I'd find a mess of some sort. This was the result:

We have had an understanding for a long time that some of the drawers in the bathroom are "Mommy's" and some are "Emily's" and Emily is not allowed to open Mommy's drawers. Up until this point she has been pretty good about it, but it has become her latest boundary-pushing experiment. She decided it would be fun to empty all of Mommy's drawers in the upstairs landing. This included all my neatly sorted hair accessories from last month's deep-cleaning project. :o( I think they're just going to have to find another temporary home until this phase passes. It's not a big deal because I rarely use them these days, but I'm getting tired of re-sorting them!

After making Emily help me pick everything up I sent her to her bed for "rest-time". While she was protesting I found the mess in the guest bedroom. Along with scattering all her toys and books she had taken the dried flower arrangement off of the wall above the bed and started to dismantle it. I was honestly planning to get rid of it when we made the room switch, but I wasn't happy about having to lug the vacuum cleaner upstairs after Austin just finished vacuuming everything last night! Oh well. It's my fault for leaving her unsupervised for that long. At least she's sound asleep in her bed now. I think that's my next stop, too. :o)

Grocery shopping

Believe it or not, grocery shopping has actually been kind of fun with Emily lately. It helps that I have been concentrating even more than normal on an even shorter list and often getting by with only going to one store. It also helps to be well-stocked with licorice and fruit snacks. ;o) This is also what Emily does to entertain herself...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Donut Eating 101

Cake donuts were on sale for $.25 each when I got milk & bread at Kwik Star today, so Emily & I enjoyed a little treat. This is Emily's donut-eating technique...

P.S. As soon as all the frosting & sprinkles were gone she left the rest for me. :o)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Bad Car Day"

On Tuesday, Austin & I had what can only be described as a "Bad Car Day". It started off when I brought the van in for a routine oil change. In the process they found a leak in one tire (of which I had already been suspicious was the case) and a burned out turn-signal bulb (so that's why it sounded like it was going crazy when you turned it on). In addition, the back brakes need some serious work ASAP (which I also suspected because of a noise we had been ignoring for 6 months) and the front suspension also has some issues. Great. There goes the rest of our tax refund, which just arrived last Friday.

On the way home I decided to go through the automatic car wash in Denver because the van was terribly salty after driving to/from Des Moines this weekend. I was ecstatic that the credit card machine was actually working for once. I even splurged and paid $.50 more for the dryer at the end. However, when the wash cycle was done the front exit door didn't open. So I missed my dryer session. Plus I was stuck in the car wash. Thankfully, it was warm outside and the back door had never closed, so backing out was an option. Unfortunately, I was being so careful not to scrape against the pay station on the driver's side that I didn't notice the pole on the passenger side. The passenger side mirror became a sad casualty.

Meanwhile, Austin came home late from work. He was in the hills west of Denver when he hit a slick spot and slid off the road with his truck. He aimed for the snow bank, but got hung up enough that he had to walk to the nearest house to borrow a shovel and spent 30+ minutes digging his truck out in the dark while still in his work clothes. Thankfully, he was able to get out, but there was still so much snow compacted underneath the truck he decided to (you guessed it!) go through the car wash before going home. Sadly enough for him, the back door closes at night in the automatic bay. So he had to use the emergency exit door and pay for another car wash just so the back door would open and he could back out (mirrors intact).

Needless to say, it was not a happy "How was your day?" conversation when he finally got home at 8:30pm! In fact, the first thing Austin did was look up the trade-in values for our vehicles. It's still more economical to repair what we've got, so that thought ended there. The good news is that after many phone calls, the owner of the car wash is going to pay for the mirror repair and reimburse Austin for the extra wash. The brake issue still needs to be addressed, but luckily I had no plans to use the van the rest of the week. I guess we can just be thankful that no one was hurt and no one was stranded anywhere.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend in Des Moines

We had a Lorenzen family weekend in Des Moines. While we only got about an inch of snow in Denver on Friday, they got 7 inches in Des Moines, so there was some fun snow to play in! Emily and Cousin Asher went sledding with Grandma Lorenzen and made snow angels. Grandma also introduced Emily to eating snow. :o) Pictures are below and videos are in the February video player at the bottom of the blog.

Here is the best attempt at getting a picture of the three squirmy Lorenzen cousins. :o)

Valentine Play Date

Emily & I had a fun Valentine play date at the Ulven's last Friday. The kids did a picture frame craft involving heart stickers. Emily was more interested in sticking them on herself than the frame. :o) It was a good time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Nap or Not To Nap

That is Emily's daily question. (My answer is a no-brainer!) Last week I was holding out hope that Emily might start napping regularly again after taking a decent one three afternoons in a row. Alas, my hopes were dashed over the weekend, and after 1+ hours in her room having "rest time" while I laid down this afternoon, Emily is now on the couch watching her Dr. Suess video while I pray that she dozes off so I can get some work done and she won't be a bear tonight. I've figured out that she really needs 12 hours of sleep/day, but it's a toss-up how that will be broken down. If she doesn't nap she either gets cranky or squirrelly at night. If she does nap, it's either falling asleep to a video on the couch or in a funny position in her room. She seems to have an aversion to sleeping in her bed during daylight hours. Below are pictures of two positions I found her in last week. I don't know how she ended up in the bathroom in the second one. I was downstairs doing bookwork on the computer and only heard the slightest of stirrings over the monitor. Oh well, I'll take whatever I can get whenever I can get it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine cookies

Emily & I had fun making Valentine cut-out cookies today. Emily got to help with the sprinkles. She did pretty well except that she wanted to eat everything she decorated! She kind of lost interest after the first dozen and then just started picking up spilled sprinkles and eating them. :o) Below are some pictures of her concentrating hard and enjoying the fruits of her labor plus our final product. Not nearly as impressive as Aunt Courtney's, but pretty good for having to simultaneously frost and supervise a toddler armed with sprinkles!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Relief for my achy hip

I've been meaning to make one of these homemade rice heat packs for months now (the rice has been sitting in the cupboard). My right hip has been achy enough to finally compel me to dig out the sewing machine and scrap material. This is my finished product. I'm excited to try it out--especially after hauling the wagon up and down the street in the slush this afternoon. :o)

Fun outside!

With the beautiful temperatures this weekend Emily & I spent some good time outside. We even uncovered the wagon and took a 20 min. walk. Here's a picture of the snowman we made and one of Emily wishing for spring to come soon!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Truck Adventure

I had a close call with the pick-up last night. Emily & I met Austin in Waterloo after work to go out to eat with friends. (Great food, great company, crazy kid.) Austin took Emily home in the van while I did some quick grocery shopping with the truck. I'm not used to driving that big thing. I noticed the battery light was on, but didn't think much of it b/c I'm so unfamiliar with the vehicle. When I was about 4 miles from Denver I noticed the dash lights getting distinctly dimmer. Then I realized the radio was fading. Next went all the gauges. Then the headlights. I was starting to get a little panicky because I was still 2 miles out of town, it was 9:30pm, very dark without any kind of lights and a -4 wind chill. Plus, I had realized earlier that I had left my cell phone on the counter at home. I kept my foot on the gas and just prayed I'd make it to town. When I got there I decided to pull into Kwik Star, but at that moment I lost the power-steering and brakes. So I coasted to a stop along the curb right in front of Kwik Star where it died. I was able to use their phone to call Austin. After a bunch of back and forth to home and using the van to jump it twice we barely got it home to the garage. Austin charged it overnight and with no lights/heat/radio got it to the repair shop in Waterloo this morning. A brand new alternator later it's hopefully good to go. Good thing we filed our taxes this morning--I guess we'll be doing our part to stimulate the economy! ;o)

Picture captions

Here are some random recent pictures with captions...

Channeling the 80's

Animals on Parade

Art by Emily: Grapes in a Glass

Monday, February 2, 2009

25 weeks pregnant

Here's my 25 weeks picture. I think I've really "popped out" in the last month. Besides achy hips and the daily need for a nap I'm feeling pretty good. This baby kicks A LOT!