Monday, August 31, 2009

Lincoln's 3-month portraits

Lincoln had his 3-month portrait pictures taken at JCPenneys this morning. He did awesome, and thanks to a VeggieTales video, Emily was a quiet little angel in the corner. :o) It's so hard to choose. Here are the collages I had to pass up...

I'm counting on them coming back with something cute with this pose...

These are the two I ordered...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

34 months old

Emily is inching closer to 3 years old! She's still quite the feisty little toddler. After a horrifying screaming episode during nursery at church last week we have laid down some new ground rules. Emily had to spend some time in bed that afternoon as a consequence for her actions. She now talks about "cont-ah-quints" if she's misbehaving. I also put my foot down this past week, and after some decisive actions, took care of the screaming problem that has been developing over the last month (I hope!).

You may recall the secret photo shoot Emily did with Curious George. She is so fascinated by the digital camera that it has to be stored either on top of the fridge or in my purse on the top shelf of the back coat closet. If it gets left anywhere else I end up with random, mysterious pictures. On more than one occasion my memory card has been full.

As a result of another act of mischief, Austin had to replace the thermostat for the hot water heat system in the house. There used to be an old-school dial one on the wall in the living room. On three different occasions during the first 2 weeks of living in the new house I either smelled something warm or heard the boiler running. After a little investigation I discovered the heat dial had been turned up past 80 degrees. One day it was up to 78 degrees in the house and only 70 degrees outside with the windows open before I caught it. The little rocking chair pulled underneath the dial was a dead giveaway as to the culprit. Unfortunately, there was no "off" switch on the dial. Luckily, Austin found an extra digital thermostat in his boxes in the garage. Not only does it have an "off" switch now, I also can see at a glance what the current room temperature is.

Emily can be very good and helpful, too. With the new front-load washer & dryer she has become quite the laundry helper. She gets so excited when the clothes start spinning around. I'll have to try and catch that on video sometime. It may take a little while, but she can fill or empty a laundry basket wet or dry. She is even getting the hang of which buttons to push to turn it on. It won't be too long before I can tell her to go switch the laundry on her own! (If she still thinks it's cool to do so.)

Emily has learned how to whisper and wink this month. The whispering was necessary and welcome now that I have to try a little harder to get Lincoln down for naps. We are also working on saying "Yes" in response to a question rather than making a generic monkey noise. We're reaping the benefits of too much Curious George. :op Emily is doing quite well, though. She's also learning how to say "please" as part of a full sentence and not just as a result of a parental prompt.

For the most part Emily is really enjoying her new peach bathtub. :o) She is fascinated by her wrinkled fingers after bathtime lately. Unfortunately, she is also fascinated with sticking her fingers up her nose. Not exactly a fun stage. :op

One last funny: Emily listens to a music CD when she goes to bed at night. She requests CD's based on different aspects of the CD. "Pretty music" means anything without words. "Puppy Dog" music means the CD of kids songs with a picture of puppy dogs on it. "Old Nick Donald" means the Farm Songs CD of kids songs that starts with "Old McDonald". Her latest request has been "Green Fried Rice" or "Green Flied Lights". It took a couple days to figure out that meant the kids songs CD that starts with "Three Blind Mice." :o)

The August pictures have been uploaded to Winkflash and the August video player is below.

Weekend work

Austin got some serious organizational work done on the house this weekend. His "man garage" went from this...

to this...

Notice the the nice shelves under the window. They were constructed by taking off the swinging door between the kitchen/dining room and sawing it into three pieces. The doors in this house are 1 3/8" solid wood, so those are some sturdy shelves!
Also, the laundry area went from this...
to this...

The messy picture was taken over a week ago and doesn't do it justice because you can't see the rest of the cleaning & paint supplies piled on the floor and around the dryer. Everything is now neatly organized on shelves and I'm actually excited to do laundry tomorrow!
My accomplishments? Well, this was the rest of the family this afternoon...

Actually, we were all getting some much needed rest. Lincoln & I were in bed for 2 hours. Emily ended up taking a 3 1/2 hour nap. We took Cheney on a nice walk, too. I did sort through Emily's clothes and discovered she has almost nothing to wear this fall, and since fall has apparently already started, my goal this week is to do a little shopping for her. I made it through Lincoln's clothes earlier this week. Between gifts, borrowed clothes and hand-me-down keepers he has more clothes than days to wear them. Unfortunately, he has entered the drooly-monster stage and most of those cute clothes will be hidden underneath slobbery bibs for the next 6 months. :o( My goal this week is to tackle my own wardrobe. I have no idea where I'm at with things and was thrilled enough to finally locate a pair of non-maternity jeans and discover they fit!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Facebook status updates

So I think I'm totally addicted to facebook and might seriously need an intervention. I came to this conclusion the other day when I realized that I compose at least a dozen more "status updates" in my head than I actually share online. Maybe it has something to do with all the time I spend sitting in a chair nursing an infant.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with facebook status updates it's a way to share your thoughts about anything with your "friends". Status updates can be short or long-winded and usually fall into one of several categories:
  • Schedule (I'm doing or did this & this & this today)-->sorry, but often quite boring
  • Annoucements (I'm pregnant, moving, tired, bored)-->big announcements are fun, little ones are okay...sometimes
  • Questions (looking for feedback or simply rhetorical)-->can be very helpful sometimes
  • Humor (can be sarcastic comments, relating a funny event, or just random thoughts from your head)-->my favorite
  • General statements (everything else)
I enjoy the humorous updates and attempt to compose them for myself. Here is a sampling of some of the facebook status updates I have thought about sharing lately:

  • Megan Boote Lorenzen had an $0.88 double cheeseburger (no pickles) from Burger King and a can of Diet Mt. Dew as an "afternoon snack" because a) we received a coupon in the mail today b) Burger King is just down the street and I had to go to the Post Office anyway c) I was starving and nothing else in the house sounded good d) I desperately needed both the protein and the caffeine to make it through the rest of the day.
  • Megan Boote Lorenzen desperately needs more sleep at night. Or anytime, for that matter. Heck, I might even consider camping if it meant more than 4 hours in a row!
  • Megan Boote Lorenzen is starting to get annoyed with 60-year-old toilets. Why should I have to remember to "unflush" after flushing every time?
  • Megan Boote Lorenzen has been reminded of why we have to have covered wastebaskets in a house with a nosey dog. Used nursing pads are rather interesting coming out on the other end of things.
  • Megan Boote Lorenzen finally dealt with the abyss that had become my purse and came up with $2.96 worth of change. As a bonus I even purged the expired coupons from my coupon file!
  • Megan Boote Lorenzen is sick of getting peed on. Lincoln has completely soaked through his pajamas and mine 6 times in the last 2 weeks during night feedings. It has occurred with two different brands of diapers and right after I just changed him. Any suggestions?
  • Megan Boote Lorenzen has wasted yet another evening on facebook. :op
What are some of your favorite updates or ones you've never shared?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kuhlmann Park

After many days of rain, cold and clouds it was the perfect, sunny afternoon. So I packed up the kids for an afternoon snack picnic. I decided to check out Kuhlmann Park along the river in Waverly. At first Emily was disappointed we weren't going to the "castle park," but she had a lot of fun watching the water and counting and quacking at the ducks on the river. Lincoln enjoyed the fresh air. There are really nice walking trails and brand new benches, picnic tables and play equipment after last year's flood. Here are some pictures from our afternoon...

A quick side note: Emily insisted on wearing the cute red bow clip in her hair. She also insisted on leaving her Crocs sandals on the wrong feet the whole time. :o)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Emily's new room

We finished up painting over the weekend and moved Emily into her new room upstairs last night. She was very excited. I was worried that she would have a hard time transitioning to being upstairs by herself and with the bed in the middle of the room instead of up against the wall. But we had no problems at all. We decided to establish the rule that at bedtime she has to stay in her bed and can't wander around playing. This rule is going to be enforced thanks to a really cool video monitor with night vision. Austin & I were entertained watching her antics--especially since she actually took a nap in the afternoon and wasn't a bit tired when we put her to bed. There is a short video clip in the August video player. She did very well with staying in her bed. As soon as her feet hit the ground I just had to step on the bottom stair and she immediately got back into bed. After tearing the carpet up from the stairs and upstairs bedrooms there is enough creaking and squeaking of the hardwood floors that no movements can be hidden. That might turn out to not be such a bad thing with kids! I'll post more pictures of her room once it's a little more "finished" and has stuff hanging up on the walls.

Oh Emily's toothbrush?

Oh, Emily's toothbrush?

Oh, Emily's toothbrush?

Oh, where, oh, where, oh, where, oh, where, oh, where, oh, where, oh, where, oh, where, oh, where...

Is Emily's toothbrush?

After unpacking the last "bathroom" box yesterday I found the variety pack of toothbrushes I had purchased for Emily. Of course, she was excited to have new ones and played with them all day--even her stuffed Curious George got his "teeth" brushed. Just before supper she started fussing about the "red" one being in the sink or something. At bathtime I looked every where and finally found it--down the drain. The long drain cap thing (since I don't know the correct terminology) had been pulled out and was in the medicine cabinet--probably because it doesn't work. That leaves a significant hole that drops about a foot into old pipes before snaking up and into the wall. That was the end of the short lifespan of the "red" toothbrush. I had no idea how we were going to get it out since the top of the toothbrush was probably 5-6 inches down in the hole. However, while cleaning the bathroom this morning it floated up when I was draining the cleaning water along with a lot of other gross stuff. :op I had to hide it in the bottom of the wastebasket so Emily doesn't find it and get any ideas. The trash goes out tonight.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quick number updates

  • I stopped by Allen Hospital to weigh Lincoln this afternoon. He is now 13 lbs. 13 oz., which puts him at about the 65th percentile--right on track with where he has been.
  • The final tally to the poll question about the number of back & forth trips the Lorenzen vehicles would take to Waverly in the 2 weeks between closings came to 28. Most of those occurred through moving day since we weren't even around at the end of the last week.
  • In addition to vehicle trips I also kept track of the number of trips made to the Super Wal-mart in Waverly during the same time period. That final number came to 8, although 7 of them occurred the first week.
  • I thought about making another poll question about the number of gallons of paint we would go through repainting the inside of the house, but I'm not even going to bother keeping track of that. Too many!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

3 months old

Lincoln is 3 months old today! He has perfected gurgling and also likes to blow bubbles. He's generally very happy as long as someone is paying attention to him and willing to hold a conversation. :o) He can hold his head up quite well and can even maneuver himself around a bit by pushing off with his legs when lying down. I don't think it's a conscious effort, though.

We have discovered that Lincoln is a bit ticklish under the arms. He giggles almost every time his shirt/onesie is changed. He also seems to love being outside. It takes a very conscious effort to do that these days since I always have a hundred things to do inside the house.

Lincoln definitely went through his 3-month growth spurt. I'm very curious to get him weighed this week since I haven't in awhile. His once reliable 3-4 hour afternoon nap has been replaced by several 20-30 minute snoozes. That's not so great for getting any sort of unpacking or projects done around the house. But we love our little boy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cheney's surgery

Since Austin & I were both gone on Thursday & Friday last week, and since we moved away from our dog-sitting neighbors in Denver, we had some vet work done on Cheney that required boarding. He got his teeth cleaned, nails trimmed waaaay back and the lipoma (a.k.a. "fat ball") removed from his side. Everything went great, but Cheney is now sporting quite the hairdo. ;o)

10-year Class Reunion

The main reason I went back to Hull this past weekend (besides the desperate need to get away from the chaos of the house for awhile) was to attend my 10-year class reunion on Friday night. It's hard to believe it has been that long, yet it feels like a lifetime ago. We had a bonfire potluck at a classmate's pond. Nineteen of the 45 members of our graduating class were there with several others I knew wanted to attend but had scheduling conflicts. The food was great and I had a really good time catching up with a bunch of people I hadn't talked to in ages--some since the day we graduated. I'm REALLY glad I didn't make Austin come. He had a sales presentation in South Carolina that morning anyway. The kids were great for my parents and Lincoln went almost 5 hours for me since he isn't taking a bottle. A big shout-out to my cousin, Laura, for putting it all together!

R&R weekend

On Thursday afternoon my dad & I followed each other back to Hull for a long weekend of R&R. Emily rode with him and I had a sleeping Lincoln the whole way. While I spent a lot of time resting mentally and physically, Emily had all kinds of fun adventures. On Thursday night she went to Uncle Wade's (a.k.a. "Wave") family farm to see 3-day-old lab puppies and baby pigs.

On Friday morning Auntie Abbie & Uncle Wade took Emily to the pet store in Sheldon to pick out some fish for Abbie's 5th grade classroom. Emily had a blast looking at all the animals and took her job very seriously when it came to transporting the fish and introducing them to their new home. (Side note: It was a rather odd feeling sending Emily off with someone while I stayed behind with nothing in particular to do. Usually I'm the one dropping her off so I can run around like crazy getting something done. I guess that's what it's like to send your kids to school.)

After lunch I painted Emily's nails for the first time. She chose red for her toes and pink for her fingers. I think I need a little more practice (or shouldn't try to take a picture with my left hand while attempting to paint with my right hand with a stiff breeze blowing my hair in my face!).

My mom stayed home with the kids on Sunday morning so I could actually enjoy a church service. We then had a family dinner. Lincoln wore his new cow outfit especially for Grandpa Boote. They really bonded over the last week. I think it had something to do with all the hours Lincoln spent sleeping in Grandpa's arms. :o)

Grandpa Boote comes to visit

My dad (a.k.a. Grandpa Boote) was not able to make it to our house after Lincoln was born or when we started working on the Waverly house or moving weekend because of field & farm work. He had a few free days last week and made the trip. It was perfect timing because Austin was out of town for business.
I had plenty of projects waiting for my dad--including finishing his own guest room! He got a bed, hung the ceiling fan and put up the new blinds. Emily supervised. ;o) Dad also came in handy when we woke up after a 3 inch rain on Wednesday night and found water pooling in the basement. He was able to pull the plugs in the floor drain to let it drain away and help me move some boxes that had gotten wet. Good thing we caught it right away! He also helped finish up at the Denver house. I'm definitely glad to be done with that forever!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday morning adventure

Remember when Emily fell off the couch on Tuesday and kept favoring her left shoulder? She slipped and fell on some wet tile again on Saturday morning. On Saturday night I noticed some yellowish-greenish bruising on top of her left shoulder. Both of Austin's parents correctly diagnosed the problem. So on Sunday morning instead of heading to church I packed up the kids and headed to Urgent Care in Cedar Falls. We spent a quality 2 hours there that included a nursing, two diaper changes for each kid, waiting for the X-ray tech to arrive and spending 20 minutes in the hallway during a severe storm warning. Thankfully, both kids were extremely well-behaved the whole time. Emily cried whenever any medical personnel touched her (including taking her temp and standing on the scale), but that was it. The X-ray revealed a clean break of Emily's left collarbone. It's lined up straight for healing, so we were sent home with a brace Emily has to wear for a month. Yeah--that sounds like fun. This is how Emily felt about it...

We've had a couple meltdowns already and I'm sure there are more to come. She takes it off and hides it, but then tells us where it is as soon as we ask. It has been found in the wastebasket, laundry basket and in a box of books. If anyone has any ideas of how to make her keep it on I'd love to hear them. We're going to stop by the doctor's office again this week to make sure it's on right.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Moving Day

Saturday was the big moving day. Besides Austin's parents we had some great friends work very hard to help us out on one of the hottest days of the summer. It took two loads in a rented trailer + a UHaul truck + the guys' pickups. We definitely acquired more stuff since our last move 5 1/2 years ago! Emily even participated by helping with some last minute packing. We made sure the box of her stuffed animals was clearly labeled. ;o)
By the time we went to bed we had the furniture in the living room and two bedrooms arranged and the bathroom semi-unpacked. Thank goodness the kitchen was already done! We celebrated by having our first popcorn meal on the couch while watching our new HDTV channels. After a very long day a shower and bed never felt so good!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy 30th Birthday, Austin!

Austin turned 30 on Friday. He celebrated, of course, by working hard at the house in Waverly. We ordered pizza at night and his mom made him a birthday strawberry pie.

Waverly House Renovation Highlights

So I had great intentions to document our progress daily. Ha ha! All week we have been crashing into bed sometime between midnight-1:00am with a hundred more things to do. Blogging seems to have lost its place on my priority list. ;o) So here is a brief recap of some of the highlights:

Day 3: Angie & Austin spent the whole morning cleaning up after the popcorn ceilings were scraped. Austin says it's the messiest job he's ever done. Glad it's over with! Lincoln had a cranky day and hardly slept all afternoon, so I spent half the day taking care of him. I officially gave up on the foyer wallpaper for now and returned the rented steamer. At the rate I'm going it's going to take until Christmas just to get the wallpaper off. :op Angie basically painted the entire guest room upstairs by herself. She even picked the wall color. It looks awesome! We did discover that there is not hardwood underneath the living room/dining room, so we're just going to clean the carpets for now and after we're done with the dog's and little kids' messes we'll replace it with something else.

Day 4: Angie went home and my other college roommate, Sarah, arrived. Sarah painted the inside of the master closet and helped take care of the kids. She helped finalize paint color choices so I could go purchase lots and lots of paint. She also vacuumed my whole Denver house when we got home at night while I finished the laundry. What a blessing! Austin's brother, Tyler, also lent his muscles for 2 days and washed down all the walls and ceilings with TSP, among other things.

Day 5: I ran errands in Waterloo in the morning and my mom (Grandma B) arrived at noon. It was a traumatic day for Emily b/c she fell off the couch in the morning while watching a video and I think she hurt something. However, we couldn't get her to tell us exactly what hurt or where. It's a hard concept for a toddler to grasp the first time. We still don't know. It might be a pulled muscle in her left side. It was quite a kadoo getting in and out of the car seat 4 times. Lots of tears and screaming. My mom took her to the Bremer County Fair a couple blocks away in the evening. Emily had a complete meltdown when we got home at night.

It was also a disappointing paint day. Each day seemed to increase the timeline multiplier by one. We're up to 4 times longer than we thought. At one point the entire house was professionally painted with a sprayer. Everything was painted the exact same peachy/pinky color (walls, trim, everything). The paint was some kind of high quality enamel/lacquer something or other that is almost impossible to paint over. With all the trim we're down to washing it with TSP, scuffing it with sandpaper, wiping off the dust, priming and at least two top coats of white. Yuck! The ceilings have been washed with TSP and require primer and at least one top coat of ceiling paint. Luckily, the walls seem to cover in one very thick coat of paint after being washed with TSP. We've continually revised our goals. We're down to just wanting to get the living room & master bedroom done and working around the rest.

Day 6: Finally some wall color! Austin put on the first wall color and it looks great! My friend, Julie U., came and packed up my entire kitchen for me. After hauling it to Waverly in two vehicles I spent the rest of the day and night unpacking and trying to organize it in Waverly. That's a HUGE thing to have settled ahead of time. We ate free hamburgers at the fair at night. Emily had another bad day and a huge meltdown at bath time. It took both me & my mom to hold her in the tub kicking and screaming. But after 2 days at the fair and only a sponge bath last night skipping a bath was not an option.

Day 7: Austin rented a Rug Doctor to clean the carpet in the living room/dining room this morning. Our wonderful friend Rod came to help finish painting the master bedroom and tore up the carpets. The hardwood floor underneath is absolutely gorgeous and in great condition. Only the edges are a little yucky as the paint sprayers got to them, but most of that will be covered by dressers. We also discovered the baseboards went all the way down to the wood floor underneath the carpet, so there is some touch-up trim painting to do. Our friends Allison M. & Kevin D. stopped by at night to help scrape/clean up glue & residue. Rod & Austin stayed late to get the plasma TV wired and hung up above the fireplace mantel. Priorities! ;o)

Day 8: Today was mostly a clean-up day in Waverly in preparation for moving. Austin's parents arrived to help in the morning. Austin's mom helped me pack up the rest of the loose stuff in the basement in Denver. We also moved all the fridge/freezer food in two trips. Austin & I finished packing up the rest of the house by midnight. Ready or not--here we come!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Waverly House Renovation Day 2

Today was a very full day. After a big breakfast we all eventually headed to Waverly. Austin & Rod spent the entire day scraping ceilings and finished the whole house except for the bathrooms, which will be gutted anyway at a future date. Angie & I alternated between taking care of kids, cleaning up after the guys and scraping wallpaper. We definitely decided it was worth it to rent a steamer from the hardware store. It's still going to take forever to get that crazy stuff off. We also took the kids to Wal-mart for the second of many expensive trips for paint and other random supplies. Since we knew we would be standing around pondering paint colors for awhile we made sure Lincoln was asleep and we strapped the portable DVD player to the inside of the shopping cart for Emily to watch Curious George. It worked great and we even got out of a trip to the pet department to look at the fish! ;o) Emily was ecstatic to be dropped of at the "castle park" with Angie for awhile afterwards. She's been talking about doing that for 2 days. Emily did great the whole day playing with her puzzles and watching videos in the "play area" we set up. After friends delivered pizza I took the kids home to go to bed and Angie stayed to paint the entire guest bedroom while Austin & Rod finished ceilings. We are so thankful for great friends to help!