Week 4 – January 23 – 29, 2012

Week 4 – January 23 – 29, 2012

Monday, January 23:  The older boys had a day off today.  It was snowing and the snow was idea for making a snowman.  Our first snowman turned into a Green Bay Packer snowman.  Robbie’s idea was to build the master piece on the north side of the house that gets zero sun so it will last until spring and it will be one they won’t destroy.

These two snowmen in the front yard were built for target shooting.

Tuesday, January 24:  I made the mistake of going back to bed at 7:00 after the boys were on the bus.  Henry woke up without me knowing and brought us breakfast in bed.  He also brought the camera and took this photo.  If I am remembering correctly the flash is what woke me up.

Then I had to take this one of him eating our (his) breakfast.

All three boys reading before bed.  This was the night that Robbie wanted to stay up and finish his book.  It was getting too late and he had one more chapter left.  He finished his first chapter book, reading it from start to finish all by himself, on the bus the next day.

Wednesday, January 25:  We met friends to ski this morning.

Thursday, January 26:  I finally finished this zipper bag with a water-proof liner so I can transport wet diapers home after a day out or a weekend away.

This evening I met my book club friends at the ski hill for a little night skiing.  On my way home I was driving very slowly on one of the side roads that is narrow, snow-covered and icy and a deer decided to come on the road and run in front of me.  Because of the narrow road there wasn’t a way for me to go around her (or slam on my breaks).  So I hit her with the car.

Friday, January 27:  Tonight Jack left with all three boys to visit his mom and grandparents for the weekend.  This was the first time for all three boys to be gone!   It was a much-needed break for me.   I expected to be very happy as they were driving out of the driveway and was surprised by my sadness.   I had a very rough week with the boys and that is all I will say about it.

After they were gone I cleaned the kitchen and downstairs area for a couple of hours and came upstairs to go to bed and found Charlie’s clothes bag that I packed earlier that afternoon at the top of the stairs and Robbie’s packed bag still in his room. 

 Usually I fold clothes for packing and I just lay out clothes on their bed and they do the packing with my instructions to “pick out three shirts, three pants, four underwear, four socks, and PJs.”   This way they know what is in there and they are happy with the choices.  And then they carry their bags down to the door ready for the car, along with their special blanket and pillow.  Since I did all the packing I wasn’t thinking about the rest of the steps. 

Saturday, January 28:  During our ski lessons I had the kids practicing their downhill and uphill.  I was surprised at how excited they were to keep working on the hills.  There has been a huge improvement and I am hoping they are ready to hit the trails this Saturday.  Some kids took turns kicking the soccer ball into our soccer nets, which is a very good activity for them to practice their balance without them even knowing it.

Sunday, January 29:  I spent the morning working at the registration table for the Norseman Challenge ski race.  I took my ski clothes just in case I felt like skiing.  After eating something I did feel like skiing and did for 1 hour & 40 minutes with my friend, Phil.  He is a good skiing partner because he stops to pick up all the leaves and sticks on the trail.  These delays helped me keep up with him.  I almost skied the whole outside blue and black loops, and falling two times while at very low speeds.  I am thankful that I was listening to my body and cut out one of my favorite downhills because of the .4 mile uphill climb. 

Week 3 – January 16 – 22, 2012

Week 3 – January 16 – 22, 2012

Monday, January 16:  In the near future I will attempt to make a Mei Tai baby carrier out of these two fabrics.  I admired the peacock feather fabric during a different trip to the fabric store and didn’t buy any of it because I didn’t have a project in mind.    Until my visit today when I found this green fabric and put these two together.   Now I can think of five other things to make with this fabric.


Tuesday, January 17:  Henry loves to talk on the phone.  When the phone rings I hear “Me get it! Me talk!” as he runs for the phone.   There have been times that he has beaten me to the phone and pushed the correct button.  It is very cute and sweet: “Hello, me is two” or “Hello, me is Henny”.  I think he answers the phone very politely for an almost three-year old.

When Henry has some kind of owie the first thing he wants to do is “Call Granny!” or “Show Granny!”   Today he had something that looked like a paper cut on one of his fingers and we called Granny.

Henry fell asleep in my arms while I talked to Granny.  I was able to transfer him to the chair where he slept for about two hours.


Wednesday, January 18:  We went to the library program this morning and the craft was to make this penguin with socks, craft foam and a soda can.



Thursday, January 19:  I was taking pictures of something  (something not good enough for this week’s blog) and Henry wanted me to take a picture of him.  I love those brown eyes, dirty face and handsome smile!  I want to remember this face forever!


Friday, January 20:  Charlie, again, amazes me with what his little brain can do.  He has always liked puzzles more than the other boys.    He got these Star Wars puzzles (100 pieces) from my sister after Christmas.  He put them together in a short period of time.  I stopped counting when he repeated putting the same puzzles together after the third time.


Saturday, January 21:  This morning we had our second ski lesson for the year.  The grass is still showing a little through the snow in some places.  The skiing on the trails is wonderful.  The temperature was 4 degrees at 10 AM. That didn’t stop the families from bringing their kids out to ski.  I counted at least 27 kids out of the 42 who are signed up.  It didn’t feel like 4 degrees to me. 

I tried to ski with Robbie and Charlie after our class.  It was horrible!  They complained the whole time, teased, tackled, and threw snow at each other.  I couldn’t ski fast enough to get away from them.  For the last 5+ minutes Charlie screamed “Mama!” and ended our ski crying.   I was a horrible mother for making them ski when they were tired and hungry and for trying to ditch my screaming child.  One big rule I have for parents is to stop skiing before the crying is close to starting.  I have no excuse.  I wanted to ski with my own kids and then they were being so naughty to each other I couldn’t stand it.   Later on I decided we would try again tomorrow. 

One good thing from Saturday morning’s lesson:  Robbie did some of the activities I had planned for the class, but in his own way (like always he has his own ideas).  He set up the little orange cones in a straight line on the down hill swerving around them to practice his turning.  I was impressed with how well he could do it and made a comment to him about it.  He said, “Yeah! That’s because you are the best teacher!”  We should have ended our skiing time for the day right then!


Sunday, January 22:   This morning’s ski was a little better, there was less crying than the day before.  Today was my first time skiing with all three boys this winter.  I was so unorganized and made many trips back into the chalet for forgotten things (one of them my own skis).  Henry was on his skis for the longest time so far this winter (15 minutes) and hated me pulling him in the sled.  So we had to race back to the chalet.  There was nothing worth taking a photo.  I will remember this weekend for a while!

We met some of our family at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum  for the last day of Boxes and Their Makers exhibit.  The exhibit was amazing.  The museum also has a wonderful children’s area.








A conversation with Henry – 1/10/12

A conversation with Henry – 1/10/12

Often I refer to Charlie as “Lego Man” because he loves Legos and can build anything with Legos. Henry of course hears this ALL the time!

Just the other day Henry and I had this conversation:

(I’m buckling Henry into his car seat)
Henry: We going?

Me: We are going shopping for sewing things. You are my sewing and shopping boy!

Henry: Me Lego Man and Tractor Man!

(While eating lunch at our favorite restaurant)

I was telling Henry how happy I was because he was eating so well and would grow up to be strong and healthy.

Henry: Me Eater Man

(While collecting eggs)

Henry:  Me Chicken Man!  AND Egg Man!

Week 2 – January 9 – 15, 2012

Week 2 – January 9 – 15, 2012

Monday, January 9:  I made another batch of fruit leather (my 3rd batch this winter) with some of my not so yummy applesauce.  I used some apple butter that I made a couple of years ago, applesauce that has chunks (the boys don’t like the chunks) and other batches where I added strawberries or raspberries.  The raspberry applesauce fruit leather was the best and biggest hit with the boys, my friends and family.


 I am working on another bag with a poppy on it with mostly orange colors.  This poppy didn’t turn out so wonderful.  I think the fabric I used stretched a little in the embroidery hoop, so the alignment was wrong, unfortunately I noticed it during the very last thread and many hours later.  I hope that I will have more success and next week there will be a completed photo of the bag.


Tuesday, January 10th:  Charlie stayed home from school today because of his cold.  He had a rough night and slept late into the morning.  There were a lot of tears when he realized that Robbie left for school without him.  Charlie and Henry cuddled on the  love seat this morning.

 Henry insisted on helping Charlie let the dogs out this morning.  He was out the door before I realized he wasn’t completely dressed!  At least he put a hat and boots on!

 The two boys got the mail together.


I have always wanted to photo of Henry napping on my bed because he looks so sweet and peaceful (and because naptimes don’t last forever).


Wednesday, January 11th:  We went for a hike around our property before the snow was expected to arrive.

Thursday, January 12th:  Henry was awake when the boys were headed out to the bus and he wanted to come to the end of the drive way with me.  I wrapped him in a blanket and threw him in the sling that I have.

Henry got this backpack from his cousin, Joey.  He wears it almost every day and tells me that he is going to school.  I frequently catch him packing it with “snacks for the bus” is what he tells me or like today I found him eating his snack that he packed.


Friday, January 13th:  The snow came, just a little bit, enough to ski on.  Henry was excited to make his own tracks.

 Done after 15 minutes!  We have a long way to go before I can get him to last half of the blue loop with me.

Java came in the house for a special treat to warm up by the fire.  Henry thinks she wants to listen to him read books to her and that she wants to build barns with him.   I think she likes to eat the crumbs off the floor, drink the toilet water and lay by the fire!

Saturday, January 14th:  Robbie and I spent the weekend together.  Click here to read my post, “My weekend with Robbie.”  

We skied, sewed, read books, went out to eat, watched the Packer game.



Sunday, January 15th: I have always talked with my friends and other parents about starting kids on skis at a young age.  It is good insurance that you will have a skiing partner for many years. I have always intended to be faster than our boys until they hit the teenage years and I have joked about them chasing me until then. Well, not today! I was chasing this boy all morning.

My weekend with Robbie

My weekend with Robbie

This may have been the first weekend I have spent with just Robbie since before Charlie was born (over 6 years ago)!

Jack must have been feeling brave taking Charlie and Henry for a weekend with his college friends and a trip to visit his mom and grandparents. I say that “Jack must have felt brave” because Henry was still in diapers and was breastfeeding before the weekend. When they got home he was still in diapers and still wanted to “nuk”.  Nothing has changed!   I don’t know how much money Jack paid out for someone else to change the poopy diapers that happened while they were away, my sister Emily wasn’t there to rescue him. 

This post isn’t about them it is about the wonderful time I had with Robbie.

We were left alone at 4:00 on Friday afternoon. We were waving good-bye from the kitchen to Jack and the two younger boys and there were no tears in the car or in the house.

After Jack, Charlie and Henry were out of sight we started to make our plan for the weekend.

Homemade pizza Friday night, I was missing Jack because his pizza is so much better than mine!  Robbie said my pizza was just as good as Papa’s.

Robbie helped me feed the dogs and take care of the chickens. We sat around playing with the Legos before bed. At bedtime we cuddled in my bed and read a Junie B book (my least favorite book). Just before we got started Robbie thanked me for reading with him.

Saturday morning we had a quick breakfast and went to the ski hill for our first youth ski of the year.  I worked with the new and very young kids while Robbie went off with other parents to play on a downhill.  I have a little anxiety when I am not with Robbie during these lessons.  If he is bored he tends to tease the girls, and not follow directions from the other parents.  The worst thing he did this morning was take the snow shoe trail back to the chalet with his friend.  The rest of the morning Robbie played and skied with his friends, we cleaned up the chalet a little and I did a few other jobs before leaving.

Aunt Susie stopped for lunch with us on her way home. She showed us her recent fabric purchases which involved a lot of pheasants.

Robbie was willing to spend time in the sewing room with me. He had a project in mind while I continued my sewing on this baby quilt that I am working on. Thankfully I have a couple of sewing machines set up for this very reason! Robbie thanked me for sewing with him, because “if Henry was here we would have to take a break for a nap and snacks!”

Robbie wanted to make this sign for his bedroom door.  He used my sewing machine for his name and picked out a variegated thread that matches this fabric perfectly.   This is as far as we got this weekend.  I am trying to talk him into something that is a little more functional.

Evening was approaching and we were starting to get hungry. How did the time go by so quickly? That is what happens to me when I work in the sewing room!  We went to Subway for dinner (a rare event) and Robbie thanked me for buying a sub for him.

Since we were in town we went to the IGA for some groceries on full bellies! I still agreed to buy Robbie a package of those cinnamon rolls that come in that round cardboard box. That is what he wanted for breakfast in the morning.

Saturday night we unloaded the groceries, took care of the dogs and chickens. Before bed we made our list of things to do on Sunday.

Robbie’s list:

Then we cuddled up to read a couple more chapters of Junie B.  I need to find boyish chapter books that we would like to read.  Junie B is so naughty and sassy!!

Sunday morning we went to Sunday school.  Not an activity on Robbie’s list, but it was on mine!   I packed food for us to eat at the ski hill so we wouldn’t have to go home after church.  We played Candyland while snacking on our food and then we went out to ski!  Robbie whispered a sweet little “thank you” while we were sitting there.

I have always intended to be faster than our boys until they hit the teenage years and joked about them chasing me until then.  Well, not today!  I was chasing this boy all morning.  Towards the end of our ski we were racing up and down the hills. And there were times I thought I was in a roller derby – this boy wanted to use me to go faster and tried cutting me off a few times.

Reading for 20+ minutes!

We got some jobs done quickly and headed to Northern Lights to watch the Packer game and have dinner (two very rare events).  Robbie and I played darts during half-time.  I got a few hugs and “thank you”s during the Packer game.  When the games started to get really bad we decided to go home.  I don’t think I could have lasted much longer!  We were hoping Jack and the younger boys would be home by this time.  They weren’t.  

Robbie and I read a few more chapters of that dreaded Junie B book and I tucked him into his own bed.  He was tired and missing Charlie.  Robbie fell asleep within 10 minutes!  We had a great weekend (51.5 hours) at home together!

25 Rules for mothers with sons

I found this list “25 Rules for Moms with Sons” post on someone’s blog and fell in love with it.  (click here to see orignal post)

I was touched and inspired by this list that I had to share it on my blog.  I hope that many moms with sons find this and read it (with a tissue).


25 Rules for Moms with Sons

1. Teach him the words for how he feels. Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment.  He’ll cry from fear and bite out of excitement.  Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference.  Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion.  Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

2. Be a cheerleader for his life There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games.  There is no doubt that he will tell you to “stop, mom” when you sing along to his garage band’s lyrics.  There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts.  There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you’ve been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade.  He will tell you to stop.  He will say he’s embarrassed.  But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry ..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt.  He may not always choose to do it.  He may not ever have to do it.  But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him. Emilie Buchwald said, “Children become readers on the laps of their parents.”  Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books.  Let him see you reading…reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles.  Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever.  Writers are the transcribers of history and memories.  They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important.  And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance. Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals.  No matter where you go, no matter who you meet – they have some form of the three.  It doesn’t have to be good. Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it’s perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity. The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform (like Batman and LaMarr Woodley) will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen (Mark Twain), and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity (Officer Frank Shankwitz), and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphne Blake, Princess Jasmine, and Britney Spears) will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Marie Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity. You already are all of those things.  If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything – remember this:  If you have done any of the following:  a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is suffering...you are a superhero.  do not doubt yourself for one second.  Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners because its nice.  and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won’t be able to be there.  Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people’s feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes.  You’ll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don’t waste your energy being angry about something inevitable.  Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes.  Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference between Gryffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song.  Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away.  Just go outside and follow him around.  Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions.  It’s like magic.

15. Let him lose Losing sucks.  Everybody isn’t always a winner.  Even if you want to say, “You’re a winner because you tried,” don’t.  He doesn’t feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed. And that’s a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids.  This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again…..) Instead make sure he understands that – sometimes you win – sometimes you lose. But that doesn’t mean you ever give up.

Source: None via Emma on Pinterest

16. Give him opportunities to help others There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help.  Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities.  Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together.

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect. This doesn’t just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life.  You become a better writer by writing.  You become a better listener by listening.  You become better speaker by speaking.  Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks – they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing.  Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip.  Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier. Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, “Why?” Answer him, or search for the answer together.  Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches).  Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself.  Someday, when he needs to ask questions he’s too embarrassed to ask you – he’ll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you. especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things …without interrupting about how to do it the ‘right way.’  If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, some day down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything. You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers.  And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom,  you will stay connected to what is happening in his life.  Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog.  Give him something to go crazy with – or he will use your stuff.  and then you’ll be sorry.

22. Build him forts Forts have the ability to make everyday normal stuff into magic.  Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders.  For the rest of his life, he’ll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

Source: None via Tabitha on Pinterest

23. Take him to new places Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

Source: None via Anne on Pinterest

24. Kiss him Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet.  They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day.  But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender.  So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, ‘what happens in between that made you lose that?’  Let’s try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they’re loving and kissing them even more when they’re wild. Kissing them when they’re 2 months and kissing them when they’re 16 years old. You’re the mom – you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets – and make sure he knows it.   p.s. (this one is just as important for dad’s too).

25. Be home base You are home to him.  When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back.  When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile.  When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you’re the only one who will listen that many times.  When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands.  When he is sick, he will call you.  When he really messes up, he will call you.  When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious.  Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun.  Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.

Week 1 – January 2 – 8, 2012

Week 1 – January 2 – 8, 2012

In 2011 I spent a lot of time blogging weekly under the theme of Project 365.  It was an idea that I found that motivated me to start blogging, take more photos of our daily life and to tell our story of our week’s events.  Most blogs that I have seen that focus on Project 365 are written by people who love photography and want to work on improving their skills.  My goals were to take more pictures of our adorable boys, take notes of what we have being doing so our faraway family and friends could stay up dated, to help me remember all the good times we have had and all the things we have accomplished.

Here I am, willing to keep blogging for a second year because I had so much fun.  I will plan to label my weekly posts with the date and post as many photos from our week as I can.  If I come up with anything creative I will change it.

Monday, January 2nd:   Our last day for our Christmas break.  I took the boys to the pool in town, if we had snow we would have gone skiing!

Charlie’s eyes are sensitive to the pool water, he also opens his eyes under water and if I had a good memory I would always make sure goggles were in our swim bag.  After leaving the pool he didn’t open his eyes for many hours.  He ate his snack without opening his eyes.

Tuesday, January 3rd:  I posted an update on my pregnancy.  Click here to read “Baby in Belly – over half way there”

This was my first day with just Henry at home since before Christmas.  The most important thing Henry wanted to do with just Mama was build barns and play with the animals.

Wednesday, January 4th:  We got back into the sewing room today.  Henry plays down there with the special toys I have for him, sometimes he watches a movie down there and other times he is wandering upstairs sneaking treats.  Today I found him reading.

This photo should have been posted last week.  I purchased this extension table for my sewing machine with my huge amount of reward dollars that I earned after purchasing my sewing machine from Sew n Sew in Waupaca.  It was a painful visit because of the cost (my reward money helped minimize the pain) but the most painful part of it was that I had to take all three boys to the store with me.  I had my list organized of what I wanted to spend my money on.  Our visit was quick but there was still a little wildness.

This week I was able to finish some projects I started last week.

Robbie finished the pillow for Henry that he wanted to give him for Christmas.

My second cloth bag.

My two homemade gifts from my step-mom.  The bag with the Nuthatch on it is lined with a machine quilted lining of the corn fabric the zipper bag is made out of.


I am trying to perfect zipper bags.  This is a small one I made.  I have a few other bags cut and ready to put together but just not enough time for sewing!

Thursday, January 5th:  I bought 40 pounds of oranges for $17 on December 27th.  We have finished 20 pounds of them so far.  The oranges are delicious and incredibly juicy.  I was sitting by the fire resting and Henry wanted to be by me with his snack of oranges.  It wasn’t such a good idea to eat in the living room after I noticed the juice dripping down his arm and from his elbows and chin.

I also purchased 20 pounds of grapefruit for $7.  I was hoping it was going to be pink grapefruit because I love it and so do the boys.  It turns out it wasn’t pink and Robbie loved it anyway.  Almost a week and a half later Robbie has eaten almost the entire 20 pounds.  He has it for breakfast, snack at school, afterschool and sometimes for a bedtime snack.

Today Robbie made this snack for me.

I ate the oranges and let him have the grapefruit.

Friday, January 6th:

I went to the ski hill to check the snow conditions for the Youth Ski Program that was supposed to start in December.  Our warm temperatures and lack of snow has delayed our first day.  I was hopeful that Saturday was going to be our first day of ski lessons.  I found very little snow at the ski hill and wanted to cry!

I went home and sent an email to all of the families canceling our lessons for tomorrow.  Then I looked on our computer and found last years photos from January 8, 2011 this made me want to cry, again:

Saturday, January 7th:  We went to Milwaukee this afternoon to spend time with some of my family.  I have no photos!  My sister, Emily, looked very well considering she spent last weekend in the hospital.  Her liver and kidney levels are increasing, she has more pain and is slowly moving higher up the liver transplant list.  She was very sleepy while we were there, very up beat and positive.

Sunday, January 8th:  We came home today and one of the first things Henry needed to do was collect eggs.  A new job Henry has started is putting the eggs into the cartons, separating the dirty ones for me to wash and counting them.

Henry was very excited to wear his new Lego man head lamp out to the chicken coop (and all over the house).  Thanks, Grandma Lynn!

Baby in Belly – over half way there

Baby in Belly – over half way there!

It has been a while since my post Baby in Belly. It is hard for me to believe that I am already past half way.  (I started this post when I was around half way there and haven’t  finished the post until now.)

I finally have a belly that indicates there truly is a baby in there. I feel wonderful, energized, full of love and life.  I don’t want this to end!

baby in belly front door w Henry

Henry wanted his own belly shot.

baby in belly Henry copying

I have wanted to be excited about this fourth baby since the beginning and to tell the whole world. But sometimes life can take a turn that you don’t expect and then there could be heart-break. I wasn’t ready or willing to have my heart-broken. I have this wonderful mechanism that helps me to be excited secretly but still not get my hopes up, I guess this is a nice way of saying denial. Since this baby will complete My Dream Come True story I wanted to make sure he/she was here to stay before I shared my news with everyone.

Side note: With every pregnancy I have this time period of denial, not because I didn’t want that pregnancy to happen. Because I was dying for it to happen!  It is hard for me to believe when it actually does happened because I have waited a long time for each of my precious babies. When I finally get a positive home pregnancy test I still can’t believe it (that is why I buy them in two packs). If I am remembering correctly I used three home pregnancy tests at the beginning of my pregnancy with Charlie. I know my non-existent menstrual period should also be an indicator, that just isn’t good enough!

I had my typical morning sickness hit during the same week as my past pregnancies and like clock work it arrived at the same time of day – 3:00 in the afternoon and it lasted until about 8:00 PM. This went on for two months or so and disappeared around the same time it did with the other three boys. I felt like my morning sickness was a little harder this time.  Due to the fact that we have three boys running around, I had to go on with my daily jobs and still feed everyone. The tasks of thinking of meals, cooking them and eating them were not things I could accomplish very easily. I had no appetite; no energy and feeling nauseated made it difficult for me to keep up with my garden, cooking meals, after school activities and our evening routine. I remember one of my most challenging days was when I rested on the couch for four hours not being able to find enough energy to move or get up. I loved it at least that is what I kept telling myself. The thought of this baby still growing inside of me made that day and other days bearable. I never complained. I have enjoyed every minute of this pregnancy since I accepted the fact that I am pregnant.

I feel brave to admit that this is my best pregnancy.  Or maybe because it is my last pregnancy and I am enjoying every second.  The things that are making it the best are:  the wisdom I have gained from the previous three pregnancies, I have three little boys and a great husband to share this with, I have two wonderful midwives that I love and trust, a great family doctor who agrees that it is okay to have a baby at home, I will be attempting my second home birth, I am not taking any medications or shots and my belly is beautiful and free of bruises (the heparin shots caused bruises that ranged in the size of a dime to a fifty cent piece).

There are days that I forget that I am growing a baby.  Those are the days that I stay up too late with friends, blogging, reading, and sewing or work hard with out sitting down to rest until I am completely wiped out.

Then there are days I am reminded frequently that we really are going to have a new baby in our house this spring: strangers have started making comments about my belly, my family and friends are starting to touch my belly and talk to the baby, the boys are always touching, hugging and kissing my belly, my belly gets hot when I am cooking on the stove, and wet when I am doing the dishes, and I no longer fit in my button and zipper pants. Finally I am feeling those wonderful fluttering movements on the inside.  The movements are getting stronger and more frequent with each new day.

April still seems so far away.  I am getting very excited about the things that will happen at our house this spring:

  • Spring time skiing is my absolute favorite thing to do! (according to Charlie all you need is your bathrobe and a fleece jacket.)

2011 spring skiing brothers

I won’t be carrying Henry on my back this year.

 2011 spring skiing w Henry

  • Making firewood.  My great-grandmother split firewood into her 90s, so why can’t I do it while pregnant and in my 40s?  I can only hope that I will still be splitting firewood in my 90s.

(These are photos just days before Henry was born)

4-4-09 making firewood Robbie mall

   4-4-09 making firewood smiles

  • Getting kisses in the woods from my boys while taking a rest from making firewood.

                       4-4-09 making firewood kiss   4-4-09 making firewood Charlie

  • Coloring Easter eggs with just three boys.



  • Giving birth to a happy and healthy baby that weighs less than nine pounds!

4-11-09 Jane weighs Henry


  • Holding my precious new baby while watching the three big boys build barns with their blocks and train tracks in my living room.  Or maybe they will be wrestling and I will have to send them outside.  (Henry – two days old)

4-9-09 Henry 2 days old


  • Being able to eat/drink my favorite things.  I have started a list of things I want to eat/drink (of course not at one time):  pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, my carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, my mom’s cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, frozen mini snickers bars, Sunny Caramels, caramel and cashews on ice cream or the best caramel cashew frozen custard from Kopps in Milwaukee,  and drinking my favorite beers – Guinness, Shine On, Mud Puppy Porter and maybe I would like to have one of Jack’s bourbon and Cokes because they smell so good to me right now.
  • Seeing flowers again.

4-8-09 spring flowers

Jack’s Aunt Bonnie told me when I was pregnant with Robbie, “Enjoy it now.  When they are on the inside that is when babies are the easiest to take care of.”   I agreed with her.   Although I didn’t really understand the truth of her comment until Robbie was born and wished he went back inside until he was ready to come out a little happier.

I am not going to rush this winter season or this pregnancy.  I am going to love every day we have snow on the ground.  I just wish enough snow would arrive so we can start skiing!  I will cross-country ski as much as possible.  I will continue to love every minute of this pregnancy and wait patiently for this baby to arrive.

Project 365 Week 52

Project 365 Week 52

Project 365: Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

12/26/11 (Monday) –  According to little boys, there one huge benefit of having a wood stove in your living room:  being able to roast marshmallows.  I wouldn’t call this a benefit for Moms.

12/27/11 (Tuesday) –  Christmas break has given Charlie many hours and days to play with his Legos.  He uses this box so he can build anywhere and anytime.

12/28/11 (Wednesday) – We had friends over this week.  They took a break from playing outside to read a little after Charlie’s friend fell on the ice in the driveway.

12/29/11 (Thursday) – Jack moved the Lego table out into the living room for better lighting.  Charlie found a wooden toy making book in Jack’s pile of books and wanted to build one of the wooden toys out of Legos.  (Notice the book propped up on the opposite side of the table.)  Charlie truly sees the world built in Legos and can build anything!

This is the Lego guy he built from the wooden toy book.  His creativity was contagious, I amazed myself by coming up with the idea to give this guy his eyes and mouth.

12/30/11 (Friday) –  I have been going through all my quilting books and magazines to find an idea for a baby quilt to make for the new baby.  I am looking for a design where I can use my scrap fabrics and not have to buy anything for this project.

 Awesome book:

Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration




12/31/11 (Saturday) –  I finished this cloth basket.  The dimensions are 16 1/2 X 16 1/2.  I have another one that I am making with different fabrics.  I haven’t been able to finish the second basket yet.  I may try a few more of these in different sizes.

The inspiration came from  Scandinavian Stitches: 21 Playful Projects with Seasonal Flair . A book I got from my library.  This book has tons of adorable projects.

 Scandinavian Stitches: 21 Playful Projects with Seasonal Flair

(Click here for a link to Amazon for the book) 

1/1/12 (Sunday) –  I have never gone shopping on New Year’s Day to hit the special sales, until today.  Hancock Fabrics had many great sales with 50% off items that have been on my wish list and $10 off this spool holder that I have been admiring for the last few months.

After our shopping trip Henry and I went to our favorite restaurant. I crave Chinese food terribly bad when I am pregnant.

This is the end of my year with Project 365 as a themed post. I am interested in continuing, but I am unsure what to call my weekly posts of stories and photos. I need to figure out how to title and categorize them so they are different from this first year. One suggestion I read on the internet was to go back and re-name each post “Project 365 Week 52 – 2011”.

Most Project 365 blogs are posting photos daily. I can’t do that! I need to keep it weekly. If anyone has any suggestions or advice I would love to hear from you! I have until next Sunday to figure this out!

Thanks for all the encouragement and comments in this first year!