Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Goals Progress Report

1. Potty-training: Trying to keep a house full of neutral carpet in constant show condition means I'm not even going to think about potty-training until we get to the new house with tile and hardwood floors.
2. Moving Emily's room by Easter: Check! :o)
3. Deep-cleaning one room: This has been changed to continual spot-cleaning.
4. Cutting grocery budget by 25%: I ended up spending 82% of my normal grocery budget this month. I was on track until I went to Sam's this afternoon. :op
5. Praying nightly over Emily & Lincoln: most of the time
6. Catching up on photo albums: I'm just happy to keep up with blog photos and uploading to Winkflash!
7. Spend at least 10-15 minutes of one-on-one time with Emily: This is still hard to do sometimes when there are so many other things that I need/want to get done when I'm not completely focused on Lincoln. I have been doing Emily's bath and putting her to bed more often lately.

32 months old

Emily is 32 months old today. In her picture she is sporting her favorite "cute outfit". Her clothing repertoire has expanded slightly, but is still limited to about 3 dresses and 3 outfits.

Emily's verbal conversations continue to get more sophisticated. Her video negotiations are hilarious until they get annoying. Her "No we're not" has been replaced by a very snippy "No!" She has also developed a weird and silly accent that I can't quite pinpoint, but it annoys me to no end. Now I know how my mom feels! ;o)

Emily is totally into anything that has to do with letters & numbers. She plays with multiple alphabet toy sets every day and likes to name all the letters as she plays. She also points out letters and numbers on clothing, street signs, buildings, etc.

Emily is showing a lot more interest in "helping" around the house. She is eager to help load the dishwasher, feed Cheney, give Lincoln a bath and move laundry from the washer to the dryer. That's one reason I'm excited about the new front-load washer & dryer we're inheriting at the new house!

Emily's current favorite color seems to be green. If she even hears the wrinkling of the Skittles bag from the next room she runs into the kitchen and asks Austin for "a green one." She also prefers green M&M's, her green flower jammies and the green popcorn bowl.

Speaking of eating, Emily has some abnormal habits for her age. First of all, she LOVES vegetables. Lately whenever I ask her what she wants to eat she immediately responds, "Broccoli!" She also loves bread--but mostly just the crusts. If you give her a folded over PBJ she eats the crust around the edge and usually leaves the middle. The same thing is true with any kind of toast. No wonder she loves eating the bread loaf heels straight out of the bag!

The June photos are updated on Winkflash and the June video player is below. It includes a tour of our current house in Denver, which is a bit long and maybe a little bouncy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

6 weeks

I had my 6-week postpartum checkup today and everything looks great after a bit of a rough week last week in the nursing department. Lincoln weighed in at a healthy 11 lbs. 7 oz. This picture is especially for Auntie Abbie & Uncle Wade. :o)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Curious George (a.k.a. Emily)

As everyone knows, "George was a good little monkey and always very curious." In my opinion the "good" description is sometimes a little debatable. However, he has been very curious about buckles lately...

...and sometimes just enjoys "hanging out".

First Smiles :o)

Lincoln started socially smiling and cooing this week. It is very rewarding after trudging through the first 5 weeks in mostly survival mode. I tried catching him with a camera on several occasions and got many funny faces. :o)

Outdoor follow-up

After re-reading my last post I felt really bad about the impression it might have left. It was composed after a bad day. Our air-conditioner quit overnight on Monday into Tuesday and it was 1:30pm and 86 degrees inside the house (95 outside with a 75 degree dew point) before the repair guy came and got it going again. That tends to produce a pessimistic outlook on just about anything!

We managed to spend an hour outside this morning while Austin was mowing the lawn and cleaning up the yard. I let my guard down a little and allowed Emily to run around barefoot. I absolutely loved doing that on the farm in the summers growing up, but after the whole sliver in the foot incident a couple weeks ago I have been hesitant to let Emily do it.

I decided that my current bent against going outside is partially a product of trying to manage the demanding and shifty schedule of a newborn along with a finicky, boundary-pushing toddler. Add to that trying to keep the house in show condition. I just don't have the time and energy to deal with any potential mud/sand/grass stains on neutral carpet disasters right now. The new house will have mostly tile and hardwood floors. Much easier to clean up! In addition, I'm currently on antibiotics for mastitis (another fun adventure this week :op) that make me extra-sensitive to the sun. I'm really not looking for a bad sunburn right now either!

I still get annoyed and cranky about heat, humidity and bugs, but I am thankful for summer. :o)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Not-So-Great Outdoors

The weather this week got me thinking. Most of you will probably not be able to comprehend this, but those who know me extremely well would tell you I'm not exactly the "outdoorsy" type. While I enjoy and sincerely appreciate the beauty of nature, I don't like being uncomfortable in it. I do like putzing around in the garden or landscaping; I enjoy a refreshing walk--especially with a good conversation partner; and I normally wouldn't mind taking a dip in a pool. However, if it's too hot, too cold, too humid, too windy or, above all, too buggy, I'm going to get cranky pretty quickly. Unfortunately, that pretty much takes care of about 95% of the time.

It's also a lot of work to go outside--particularly when it comes to kids. By the time you have them properly dressed, lathered in sunscreen, sprayed with bug repellent and outfitted with appropriate foot attire (not to mention fed, napped and diapered), you (and sometimes they) are almost ready to go back inside. If you do stay outside for any length of time there is bound to be some kind of clean-up operation needed at the end. I liked playing in the wet sand, mud, etc. when I was growing up. It's just a lot more of a hassle to get things cleaned up from the adult standpoint. Also, the older I got, the less I liked the feeling of being dirty. I'm definitely not a germophobe, but I have personal comfort standards.

For example: I have really enjoyed my back deck the last five years--from the comfort of my kitchen table. In my mind why would you haul out a dusty lawn chair that needs to be wiped down and try to concentrate on a book while constantly swatting at bugs and/or trying to keep your hair out of your face when you could sit at a clean kitchen table sipping an iced mocha latte and just enjoy the view through the sliding glass door/screen?

Parks and picnics are okay, but between keeping the hot foods hot, the cold foods cold, the bugs out of the fruit bowl and the wind from blowing it all away, it sometimes just seems easier to eat inside. I suppose I'm just being a party-pooper, but that's coming from the perspective of the person who has to plan it, pack it and put it all away.

Pools are tolerable, but you rarely escape without a painful sunburn on the one spot you missed with the sunscreen (or "sunscream" as Emily calls it). Then you have to deal with all the wet towels and suits and clothes. But I'll take a pool over a lake or a beach. I really don't like being in water where I can't see my whole body at all times. Just thinking about the living things I might step on, bump into or kick gives me the eebie-jeebies. Plus, you can never really get all the sand rinsed off.

And don't even mention camping. Besides pitching an old tent in the backyard a few times as a kid (complete with fans via extension cords from the house), I only remember two camping trips, neither of which were very enjoyable. I like my private bathroom and hot shower that don't require wearing flip-flops at all times, along with a comfortable mattress to sleep on. And did I mention no bugs? A Motel 6 is about as roughing-it as I like to get. I married an Eagle Scout, but luckily, working in the travel industry for 10 years has softened him to the point where he mostly agrees with me. :o) He jokes about getting an RV when we retire and traveling to all the NFL stadiums, but I get claustrophobic and car sick just thinking about it. :op

So before you think I'm just a grouchy hermit crab, you should know that I do attempt to spend time outside. I finally gave in and got out the baby blow-up pool (blown up by me) along with all the toys/accessories only to have Emily absolutely refuse to put on a swimming suit. After wrestling it half on I decided it wasn't worth fighting that battle and will wait out her stubbornness. Attempts to play out on the driveway usually last 15-20 minutes max before Emily is either asking to go back inside or just letting herself back in. That, of course, is after I spent 30-45 minutes trying to get everyone out the door. Did I ruin her that way?!? Even playing in the neighbors' back yards or at the park with our play group doesn't last more than 30 minutes before Emily is begging to go. We did manage to get out for a 45 minute walk/stroller ride outing this morning. The destination?--Kwik Star to cash in a birthday coupon for a free cake donut and fountain drink. (Can you feel the pregnancy pounds melting away?!?) ;o) We also managed to stop at a park for 15 minutes on the way home before Lincoln started getting agitated and needed to be fed and changed. Then we went the neighbor's yard to play for about 30 minutes. Emily was not exactly wearing play clothes (she picked out her own dress and dress sandals this morning) and managed to get her hands completely covered in tree sap from a fresh stump in another neighbor's yard. After three separate scrubbings with dish soap it is still not completely off. I'm just waiting for bath time now. Sigh...

So why do I not enjoy being in the Great Outdoors that much? Maybe I'm a wimp. Or maybe I'm just plain lazy. Whatever the case may be, I admire people who go out and enjoy the world. I'll just grab my iced mocha latte, open a window, put my feet up and blog about it. :o)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Photo shoot

I attempted the first photo shoot of Emily & Lincoln together. Here's how it went...
Lincoln doesn't like the idea
Emily posing

Pacifiers work wonders

Emily being cheesy

Aww...holding hands

Okay, I think we're done now

Notice that Emily is wearing a new, cute, purple butterfly dress. After I hid all her jammies on the top shelf of her closet she willingly picked out this dress and wore it all day. :o)

Friday, June 19, 2009

1 month old

Can you believe Lincoln is one month old already?!? In some ways it seems like just yesterday and in some ways it seems like he has always been with us. He weighed in today at 11 lbs. 0.7 oz. That's a whole pound more than last week Friday!

Lincoln has figured out nights & days for the most part, although I have a hard time considering 5:00am "daytime" some mornings even though it is light outside. ;o) I am thankful that I can pretty much count on Lincoln taking a 3+ hour nap at some point in the afternoon either in his crib or in his car seat depending on whether or not we had to go anywhere. He is very comfortable in his car seat and almost always falls asleep as soon as the vehicle starts moving. PTL! We look forward to sleeping times because he can be a bit fussy when he is awake--mostly during the evenings. However, I've been trying to decide for the last couple days if he is starting to smile for real and not just because of gas bubbles. Some positive interaction like that can go a long way!

I've mostly been operating in survival mode, which applies because of the house-selling as well as the newborn phase of life. You forget the sheer number of hours of one-on-one time it takes to care for a newborn. I have been able to take some naps lately, so that has helped tremendously. I look forward to the day we can establish some semblance of a routine again. :o)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jammie Wars

As mentioned in the monthly post about Emily, she has a small obsession with pajamas lately. It's all she wants to wear. Almost every morning (or afternoon on a bad day) finds us engaged in a battle to get dressed and usually includes tears or screaming. At some point later in the day Emily usually emerges from her room wearing pajamas again. I've tried the tactic of making her stay in her room until she decides to get dressed because "Big girls wear clothes during the day." However, she is usually perfectly content to play and entertain herself for hours on end in her room, so it doesn't phase her much. The other day she literally spent the entire afternoon in there. She came out several times and each time she was modeling a different set of jammies. She even started dressing her stuffed animals in her jammies! On another night she insisted on wearing her long-sleeved flannel monkey pajamas that are really too small by now and had to have them buttoned all the way up to the top.

At the beginning of this phase I thought it was safe and smart to keep her jammies in the top drawer of her tall dresser. Then she figured out she could reach it using the step stool in her room. I put the step stool in the closet and she tried other creative step combinations. Then she finally figured out how to scale the dresser using the drawer pulls and somehow manages to open the sticky top drawer. Did I mention that her CD's are also in that drawer? My only other option right now is to take out the entire contents of that drawer, put it in a box or basket and store it on the top shelf of her closet. Either that or wait for this phase to pass. It has been about 3 weeks, which is the average length of her phases. We'll see how motivated I am. ;o)

P.S. To top off the clothing battles, when Emily does finally get dressed (sometimes with the help of a video bribe), she is very insistent on what she wants to wear, and it's only about 4 different things, 3 of which are used play clothes. So much for all the cute tank-tops and sundresses I bought on clearance last year!

Where, oh where have the Lorenzen's gone?

Has it really been a whole week since I last posted? Where did the time go? And when did it all the sudden be the middle of June already?!?

Our lives in the past week have pretty much been consumed by the selling of our house. By this Friday we will have tallied 9 individual showings and an open house in less than 2 weeks on the market. There are a couple leads, including a second-look showing on Friday. I hope something comes out of it soon, because while it was exciting at first, staging, unstaging and practically living out of the van with 2 kids and a dog in the back has quickly grown old. I also feel emotionally homeless. My house is no longer my home (which is actually the way it's supposed to be when you put it on the market) and the new house is not yet a reality in my mind. I'm anxious just to get things somewhat settled, although that might not be a true reality until fall. If it doesn't kill me it will only make me stronger! ;o)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First bath

Lincoln's umbilical cord finally fell off on Monday (PTL!), so today was his first real bath. It turned into quite a circus. I had to dig the baby bathtub out of the basement and found the mobile I'd been wondering about in the process. After gathering all the necessary supplies we headed into the bathroom. Emily was very excited about helping and promptly dumped all her tub toys out in the bathtub. It turns out she really just wanted to splash around in the water with her Curious George tub toy. After the first initial scream of shock after being placed in the water Lincoln settled down and seemed to really like being in the water. However, right after taking this picture I lifted up the washcloth covering him and discovered he had pooped and it was all over the place. :op I think I managed to get him pretty cleaned up and even got his hair washed. I had forgotten how squirmy and slippery a newborn can be! I'm sure we'll all get better at it with more practice. :o)

Monday, June 8, 2009


I'm going to miss the front landscaping I have been working on for a couple years now, but there are even more fun possibilities at the new house. Here are some of the flowers blooming at our current house...

For Sale

Our house is officially on the market! The MLS listing can be found by clicking here. We already have 2 showings scheduled for tomorrow night and an open house planned from 1:00-2:30pm on Sunday. I'm not sure if the maximizer in me will ever be fully ready, so I'm going to have to convince myself that things are just good enough. :o)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend help

We enjoyed having my sister and brother-in-law visiting for the weekend. Courtney was a lifesaver by helping with staging and many other small projects to get the house ready, not to mention entertaining Emily and taking care of Lincoln. I think we're almost ready for house showings!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Done Deal

This morning we struck a deal on house, so we are officially moving to Waverly! It has been quite a whirlwind experience this spring with several doors opening and closing (no pun intended), but we are thrilled with the final outcome. We're not sure of a closing/moving date yet, but it will be before the end of July. There is a little bit of work we'd like to get done in the new house first and some bigger projects in the future (kitchen, 3 bathrooms, basement). The picture above is from the real estate listing. There are more pictures up on Winkflash. If you don't have the log in information please send me an email and I'll give it to you.

That means our house is officially on the market! If you know anyone who might be interested please let us know. I will post the real estate listing link as soon as it is available.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Successful shopping

Today was my first official shopping experience with both kids in a cart, and it went fine. I stopped at Hy-Vee with only 3 things on my list but ended up coming home with 3 bags. Lincoln slept through the whole thing. Emily was her normal self, but I was able to use a box of sale-priced VeggieTales themed fruit snacks as leverage to get her to stay seated in the cart until we got to the van. :o)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Praise God for Grandma!

Austin had to go to Maryland on business, so Grandma Lorenzen came up from Des Moines to help out while he was gone. Emily got a marathon book-reading session at bedtime. I got to go back to bed in the morning until 9:00am and actually accumulated 7 hours of sleep! I took Lincoln to a doctor's appointment this afternoon while Emily went to Oelwein with Grandma to visit some old friends. She also got a cute french braid in her hair. Then we all went to take a second look at a house we're ready to put an offer on. It was such great help and encouragement to have her here. Thanks Grandma Lorenzen! :o)

Monday, June 1, 2009

A snapshot of life...

Warning: The following post is not intended to garner a lot of pity and sympathy (although any is welcomed and appreciated!), but rather to record a snapshot of life for me and the kids to look back on and smile. :o)

At 6:15am today...after the sixth consecutive night of only 4 hours of sleep (one of which was unintentionally spent in the recliner) I was awakened by the simultaneous cries of a hungry newborn and a bawling toddler who was crawling out of her room on her hands and knees because her foot hurt. Apparently, after running around barefoot in the backyard of a friend's house the night before she had gotten a sliver in the bottom of her foot that was now red and painful. It took both Austin & I to hold her down and dig it out. She hobbled around the rest of the morning with sporadic crying fits but forgot about it for the most part by mid-afternoon.

At 10:00am today...after starting the day almost 4 hours earlier, we were finally ready to leave the house and run errands with everyone fed, dressed and bathed. During the short drive I had to blindly replace the pacifier in a moving target of a mouth while simultaneously handing out books to look at and navigating the stoplights of Highway 63 going through downtown Waterloo.

At 4:00pm today...I had a tired, cranky newborn who wouldn't nurse and wouldn't fall asleep. He was in his second outfit of the day because the first had been soaked through an hour earlier. I was also in my second shirt of the day because the first had been spit up on an hour before that. I had a stubborn toddler who had been running around the house wearing nothing but a "Dora" pull-up for the last 45 minutes because she insisted she "Don't like clothes!" and "Want to wear flower jammies." I had taken the jammies away, but was not able to wrestle clothes back on because of the screaming baby in my arms. After a while said toddler came down the stairs wearing this. I think someone has watched a little too much Star Wars with Daddy lately! ;o)

The kitchen was a disaster. The remains of a fruit punch juice box was puddled on the kitchen table after the straw had been prematurely removed. The dishwasher was half emptied with a sink full of dishes waiting to be loaded. I had a wonderful plan for a delicious supper but no strategy for actually getting it put together and on the table in time. I was seriously considering ditching the whole idea and sticking in the frozen pizzas we didn't eat this weekend. There was a still half-full can of Diet Cherry Coke in the fridge that I had started enjoying at one point during the afternoon and desperately need the remaining caffeine content, not to mention the brownie I hadn't gotten to at snack time. There was a load of laundry in every stage of the process except the folded and put away part. And my large box of 100+ birth announcements had just arrived in the mail and was sitting on the counter staring at me, daring me to figure out when I'm going to address them all.

I was about ready to cry.

However, in the spirit of full disclosure, God is gracious and gives you what you need when you need it. Lincoln eventually fell asleep and napped in his crib for over 2 hours. I got Emily dressed again and even got a decent monthly picture taken on the 3rd try. Of course, it was 2 days late (I cheated and back-dated the post) and I bribed her with the promise of a brownie and chocolate milk only an hour before supper, but that gave me an excuse to eat not one, but two brownies myself along with the rest of that precious Diet Cherry Coke. :o) The table got wiped, the dishes got put away and the laundry eventually got done. I even managed to pull off the broiled salmon/rice/steamed broccoli dinner I had been planning, although it required removing the batteries out of two beeping smoke alarms in the middle of trying to nurse Lincoln! The birth announcements can wait.

How funny life can be. I know I will look back and smile about this stage of life because, like everything, "This too shall pass..."