Wednesday, March 31, 2010


With the perfect weather this week the kids & I have really enjoyed some time out on our back deck.  I bought a battery-powered bubble blower and both kids love trying to catch the bubbles.  It sure beats blowing them all yourself, but I now understand why they sell bubble solution by the gallon!

Egg Hunt

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch and egg hunt today with a bunch of good friends hosted by the Ulven's.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  Emily's favorite was the jelly beans.  Apparently she needed binoculars to find all her eggs. :o)

The climber

Now that Lincoln has been cut off from the stairs he has found other things to climb.  The file box was serving as a nice blockade to the main power switch on the computer tower.  Now it creates a nice step up to the phone cord and mouse.  Lincoln sees Emily standing on the rocking chair trying to reach the VCR/DVD player and her videos.  Both the box and the chair have been removed.  What's next?!?

Tear down

The Washington Irving Elementary School building in Waverly is located 2 blocks from our house.  It was the home of all the 5th & 6th graders in the district.  The building was severely damaged during the flood of 2008 and has to be torn down.  Work began this week, and with the beautiful weather we have checked out how things are progressing almost every day.  It is quite amazing to watch and the kids are fascinated.  Emily refers to it as "the church falling down" because of the tall bell tower.  After I told her they had to tear it down because it was broken, Emily said, "Sue can fix it with tape."  Sue is the lady who leads story time at the library.  She apparently is one amazing lady! ;o)

It is also a bit emotional.  Although I'd never been inside the building, it still saddens me to see it being taken down.  It would have been nice to have the kids' school only 2 blocks away at a point when they could have easily walked or ridden a bike.  However, ground has already been broken on a brand new middle school building on the other side of the high school, which isn't terribly far away.  It will be nice to have a beautiful, new facility instead.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cut off

I finally got a baby gate up today.  I can't find the old, cheap tension ones we had for Emily, although I didn't look really hard.  They wouldn't have worked anyway because of the uneven surfaces on the banister post and the woodwork.  So, I had to actually go out and buy a decent adjustable one.  I guess I can justify spending the money since, ironically enough, while I was hauling it in Lincoln climbed up and for the first time fell back down the stairs.  All I heard was the thud and delayed wail.  He is now sporting a large, purple goose-egg on his forehead.  He's fast because I've turned away for just a minute and caught him halfway up the long run of stairs multiple times.  The downside, of course, is that Emily is also blocked off from upstairs.  That's not always bad considering some of the messes/trouble she has caused in the bathroom in recent days.  However, she often goes up to her room and plays quietly on her own.  I don't really want to discourage that.  Plus, whenever the gate is up she wants to be on whatever side she is currently not.  I hope that will quickly wear off with the newness.  In the meantime, we will work on teaching Lincoln how to properly climb back down the stairs.

Funny photos

Here are some recent funny photos of Emily and the explanations that go with them...

The kids have a collapsible tunnel they can crawl through.  Emily "wears" it and declares she's "playing a tuba just like Larry [the Cucumber]."
Emily loves being downstairs when Austin works out during the day on the weekends.  This was her "workout" outfit last Saturday.  It consisted of black dress tights, a 2-pack of tank tops from Wal-mart that are still attached together, her white dress shoes and the matching, ever-present headband.  Quite the get-up!
Emily has recently started creating "new beds" in odd places.  First it was the square landing of the stairs.  Then it was one of the shelves in the toy closet.  After telling her she couldn't lay on the shelf, she moved to the bottom of the closet in our bedroom.  She got mad about something the other night and after noticing it was suddenly very quiet, I found her sound asleep in the closet with the doors shut and everything (she had a flashlight with her).  She ended up taking a 2 hour nap.  Too bad it was from 6:00-8:00pm!

41 months old

If Emily is 41 months old does that mean she's over the toddler hill?!? ;o)  It's hard to believe we began the month with over a foot of snow on the ground and are ending the month with temperatures near 80 degrees.  In between it has been another month of growth and laughable moments.  Here are some of the highlights:
  • Emily is quite opinionated and has some unique descriptions of things sometimes.  She started out the month labeling anything that was offensive to her as "blechy" in an ultra-guttural way that often included spit flying out of her mouth.  Then everything was "blither".  Now everything is "shovey".  What those last two words exactly mean I still haven't quite figured out.  It changes depending on the situation.
  • Emily has actually started to be quite helpful with Lincoln at times (but only when she wants to be).  She loves picking out bibs for him and putting them on (him not her).  She often chooses his outfit, although I have veto power.  She sometimes helps feed him a snack in the van by handing him pieces of cereal one by one.  Once she even grabbed the diaper bag on her own, dug out his sippy cup of water and handed it to him when he was a bit fussy while I was driving down the road.  She usually refers to Lincoln as "Buddy".
  • Emily has started naming a few of her stuffed animals/dolls something other than the super-creative "Bear", "Girl", "Baby", "Princess", "Rabbit", etc.  She has one pink rabbit that is named "Jacie" (Jay-cee).  There is a girl in her Sunday School class by that name and I think they're friends.
  • I recently found out that one of the boys in her Sunday School class can't remember her name but always refers to her as "the girl with the dancing dresses." :o)
  • Emily definitely recognizes when there are words printed somewhere and insists that you read something on the cover and title page of books or she'll make you go back.  She recognizes her name whenever she sees it in print and knows how to spell it.  If you ask her what her name is she'll say, "E-M-I-L-Y 'renzen."  We were baking with M&M's the other day and she said, "Look, Mommy!  It's 'E' for Emily!" :o)
  • One skill Emily has been interested in practicing lately is cutting with a knife, albeit a miniature knife from the kids' silverware set.  She insists on setting out butter knives for everyone at every meal whether they are needed or not.  
  • At the beginning of the month Emily abruptly "moved out" of our master bathroom and "moved in" to the newly renovated half bathroom as her potty of choice.  Other than the towel ring incident it has been nice.  We were getting sick of constantly having to move the potty ring and tripping over the step stool, not to mention her basket of books.
  • After some very frustrating streaks, Emily has been doing terrific on the potty for the last several days.  Just today she had a successful trip to a public restroom (Fazoli's) for the first time ever.  I hope I don't jinx it!
  • Emily & Lincoln started taking baths together this month.  It has become a great time-saver and is a good place to learn lessons about sharing and being careful around other people.  For the most part Emily does very well.  One funny quirk Emily has had in the past is been totally against lotion.  Her poor hands were so red, dry and rough over the winter it made me cringe.  If I ever did get some on her she immediately tried to scrub it off with a towel or blow it off.  Within the last week she has abruptly changed her mind and now lathers it on--all by herself, of course.  Then she wonders why she has a hard time getting dressed afterwards!
  • Austin taught Emily how to fold laundry the other night.  She's very good at washcloths, towels and underwear. :o)

The March pictures are uploaded to Winkflash and the video player is below.  There will be some more pictures  and videos uploaded after tomorrow.

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    Panther Proud

    Although it was disappointing to see the season end for the UNI Men's basketball team, it was a thrilling ride.  We're proud to be Panther alums & fans!

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    If you can't beat 'em...

    Lincoln has discovered the front window, and I can't keep him away.  We had furniture in front of most of it for prime TV viewing and to keep the kids away from the vertical blinds.  However, after having to crawl back there and rescue Lincoln a few too many times I moved some stuff around and now open the blinds all the way in the mornings to allow full access and viewing.

    Baby walker

    Lincoln is loving the walker toy I hauled up out of the basement.  He can push it all the way across the room while walking behind it.  There is a video in the March video player at the bottom of the blog.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    A little trim

    Lincoln got his first haircut today!  Actually, it was just a little trim.  My friend, Candace, is a former hairdresser and agreed to do it while we were at her house for playgroup.  She cut around his ears and across the front with a little touch off the top.  It wasn't much, but I can tell a difference.  Lincoln sat really well.  It helped that there were lots of other kids to watch. :o)

    All smiles

    I don't know about this

    Are you done yet?


    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Weekend pictures

    Emily's art work "Puppy in snow" in honor of the light blanket of snow outside Saturday morning.  The puppy's name is Emily. ;o)

    Floor art by Emily in her bedroom.  Luckily, it's washable Crayola marker.  I discovered it when it rubbed off on my white sock. :op

    It looks like we need to get out the baby gates because Lincoln figured out how to climb stairs.  The problem is I don't know where they are.  I did a once-over of all the storage areas in our house and didn't see them anywhere, so now I'll have to dig a little deeper.  The bigger problem is that even if I do find them I'm not sure they'll work with our banister/woodwork.

    Lincoln looks all grown up in this outfit. :o)

    Lincoln loves the Cozy Coupe.  He steers the wheel and tries to beep the horn.  His toes barely touch the ground so he has to rely on someone to push him around (and hold him in).

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Christmas in March

    We woke up to about an inch of snow on the ground this morning.  Emily said, "Look--it's Christmas!" and then asked if we could listen to Christmas music.  Although it would be a nice change of pace from the "Tippy Boat" CD, I still declined.  Thankfully, most of the snow will probably be melted by noon and it's supposed to be sunny and in the 50's again this week. :o)

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    10 months old

    Lincoln is now 10 months old.  He's still a little peanut weighing in at 18 lbs. 6 oz. today.  He is built just like Austin was when he was a baby.  I think he also inherited some of Austin's former eating habits.  He barely touches anything at breakfast, snacks are hit & miss, but he can't get enough at lunch and dinner.  He pretty much skipped past baby food and hasn't been spoon-fed anything in the last month.  He eats just about anything you put on his tray and sometimes even out-eats Emily!  However, he's one of the few babies I know that probably won't eat his own weight in Cheerios.  He just doesn't seem very interested.  I started with generic brand and have since tried the slightly sweetened Multi-Grain and even the Fruity Cheerios for color.  I'm having some limited success with Chex and Life.  He does like just about any other kind of cracker, but they can get pretty messy and don't travel as well.

    Lincoln's mobility and agility increase daily.  He easily pulls up onto anything and cruises quite comfortably. This is how I am usually greeted in the morning. :o)  He is much more graceful getting down from a standing position than in the past.  He loves to explore and his #1 destination is now the toilet in the bathroom. :op  He is also fascinated with doors--mostly swinging them closed.  This is a somewhat dangerous activity for little fingers.  Lincoln also loves to wave and do "so big".

    With the nicer weather this past week Lincoln was able to get his first taste of grass--literally.  I also got him new hard-soled shoes so he could move around outside.  It will be nice when he learns to walk so he doesn't wear out all the knees in his pants!

    What's inside?

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Preschool visit

    Emily is currently signed up to begin attending Little Lambs Preschool at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waverly next fall.  Since Grandma Lorenzen was here to stay with Lincoln, Emily & I went on a preschool visit.  Emily was very excited.  She dressed herself up and even packed a backpack (containing her winter hat) to go to school.  She had her coat and backpack on and was ready to go 45 minutes before we were supposed to leave.  However, in typical Emily fashion, when the time came to actually leave she changed her mind and had to be physically carried and strapped into her car seat vehemently protesting the whole way.  After sitting in the parking lot at the church for a couple minutes she changed her mind again and was perfectly fine.

    We were there to observe center time and some large-group circle time.  Emily played with a giant dollhouse, colored a picture and looked at books in the "castle".  I got all my questions answered and am excited about the opportunities Emily will have (and the break I'll get) next year! 

    Visit from Grandma Lorenzen

    Austin's mom was on spring break this week, so she came to visit us!  She brought some fun projects for Emily, including making this lion mask.

    Everyone played dress-up--even Lincoln.  (Poor little guy!)

    We also enjoyed spending some time outside and getting out the wagon for the first time this spring.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Signs of spring

    The last of the snow has officially melted in our yard and I saw my first robin today.  Here are some other signs of spring in the Lorenzen household:
    • The kids & I made our debut trip to the "castle park" on Sunday afternoon.  Emily was overjoyed.  She ran around for 45 minutes swinging like a monkey on everything that is designed to be swung on since that activity has basically been banned at home.  Lincoln loved the baby swing and giggled almost the whole time.  However, he is going to have to learn to walk before we can really enjoy the park.  Now he just wants to eat all the pea gravel. :op
    • The grill is back on the deck and I can't wait to use it for the first time in months!  The Little Tikes picnic table and the new lounge chairs we received for Christmas are also out.  I'm still deciding on the placement of the sandbox.
    • The Cozy Coupe and tricycle have moved out of the basement and into the garage.
    • I took down the sad window plastic and untaped the drafty door leading out onto the back deck. 
    • I was holding out hope that I would be surprised by beautiful spring bulb flowers since we saw the house for the first time in June. This is the only thing I've found so far. It looks like a rabbit found them, too. Hopefully we'll still get a tulip or two. However, there will still be other fun things that were done blooming by the time we saw the house. Our landscaping has a lot of potential. (Read: improvements that can be made)
    • Austin shaved off his winter beard.
    • The snowflake dishes are packed away.
    • I did a sweater sort and changeover of my wardrobe.  Below is the before and after of the sweater organizer in my bedroom closet.  Using the wise advice of a great organizer friend, if I didn't wear it in the past year or I don't "love it" anymore, I eliminated it.  Then I moved the whole thing to the cedar closet in the attic for storage.  I also hung up the spring/summer clothes I had packed away.  Some are from last summer.  A few are hold-outs.  As in "maybe someday I'll fit into these again if I'm not 6 months on either side of a pregnancy."  If I don't wear them this summer there will be another major purge.  I'm already planning on having a big garage sale this fall.
    • I bought myself some new spring/summer clothes at Old Navy--including my first pair of Bermuda shorts. I know. I'm so fashion-forward.
    • I got out the kids' spring/summer clothes.  It's a never-ending task doing clothes sorting/switching for growing kids.  I had been stashing various items for Emily in the backs of closets as I acquired them.  As I expected, when I got them all out she immediately had to cut the tags off (herself) and wear them all.  I found a chunk of hair next to the pile of tags, so it must have accidentally gotten in the way.  Yikes!  I think she slept in her new ladybug shirt & skirt from Target last night.
    • I bought swimming suits for the kids.  This was a bit of a guessing game as far as sizing.  I got two for Emily.  Considering the fact that she refused to put on a swimming suit the entire summer last year, these went over amazingly well.  In fact, she slept with the top of the two-piece on underneath her jammies one night.  They are hanging up in the place of honor on the pegs by her door.  Hopefully that means we'll get to spend a little time at the pool this summer!
    • I'm still holding out on washing up and packing away the winter coats & gear until after this weekend.  However, I'm not sure I'd be able to convince Emily to put her winter coat back on at all.  She's too in love with her bumblebee raincoat. :o)