Week 16 – April 16 – 22, 2012

Week 16 – April 16 – 22, 2012

Monday, April 16th:  I have wanted to take a photo of my children in this basket around Easter time every year.  I thought it was perfect timing to do it this year with our Easter baby.

Nola Mae had her one week visit from our midwife, Christie.  Here she is getting weighed.

Checkers after school.

Tuesday, April 17th:  I put these orange peels in vinegar the day we came down with the flu.  We ate a lot of oranges that day (and I haven’t eaten any oranges since getting sick) this is a half gallon jar.  Once the peels have soaked for a couple of weeks I will save the liquid in a spray bottle for a cleaning solution.  Click here for the directions I followed. 

Henry “making somefin” for me.  Just a mess for me and a little fun for him.

Wednesday, April 18th:  I was feeling anxious to get out of the house (actually off our property) so we loaded up in the car and went to my friend’s house for a playdate.  It was wonderful for me to hang out with a few wonderful moms and wonderful for Henry to play with other kids.


Thursday, April 19th:  I have been taking these supplements for over a week.  They have been helping me.

We tried out my pouch sling today because I needed her to breastfeed secretly.  Henry has been wanting to “nuk” every time Nola Mae “nuks”.

Friday, April 20th:  It snowed over night.  I wished I had the energy to get out our skis to ski around the yard!  The latest we have ever skied was the 27th of April (2008).

I made this pillowcase for Charlie’s friend.

Saturday, April 21st:  I had Jack take this pose of me with the intentions of a second photo with the baby on the outside.  Two weeks later we got the shot of the baby on the outside.  I am disappointed that I didn’t have my long sleeves on for the second photo so it would look similar to the first photo.


Sunday, April 22nd:  My Step-Mom, Lynn, came for the weekend.  I had a wonderful visit with her.   She spent quality time with each boy and did many jobs for me around the house.   On her last day we took her to my favorite spot, the Big Falls Hydro Dam.

Everything Breakfast Bars

Everything Breakfast Bars

Prep: 20 minutes  Bake: 15 minutes

Makes: 24 large bars or 40+ small bite size bars

(I have adjusted this recipe from the original recipe. I am sorry I forgot what recipe book I got this from.)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 C + 1 T vegetable oil

5 T water

2 T honey

2 T dried milk

1  14 oz package of fat-free banana muffin mix

1 1/2 C quick oats (or 2 C round toasted oat cereal)

1 C crispy rice cereal

1 C low-fat granola

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 C sliced almonds

3 T organic shelled hemp seeds (optional)

1/4 C dried cranberries

1/4 C dried blueberries (optional, increase cranberries)

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 13X9x2 inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of pan.  Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray; set pan aside.

2. In a large bowl combine eggs, oil, honey, dried milk and water.  Stir in remaining dry ingredients.

3.   Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan.  Use the back of a large spoon, press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan.

4.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges start to brown.  Cool in a pan on a wire rack.  Using the edges of the foil, lift baked mixture out of the pan.  Cut into bars.

The nutritional info for original recipe – 24 bars:  168 cal, 6g fat (2g sat. fat) 18mg chol., 181mg sodium, 27g carb., 2g fiber, 3g protien.

 Another recipe for “Everything Breakfast Bars” that I will have to try:


Week 15 – April 9 – 15, 2012

Week 15 – April 9 – 15, 2012

To see more photos of Nola Mae’s fist week please go to this post… Click here for my post titled Our first week with Nola Mae Margaret.

Monday, April 9th:  Today I posted a short post with info on our new baby girl with no name.  Click here to see that post.  Then our computer crashed.   One of my cousin who seemed as surprised as I was that I gave birth to a daughter (my first time writing that word) was wondering if the arrival of a girl in our house and our computer crashing was a sign that the world was coming to an end.

Today my Mom, Helen, my mother-in-law, and Jack were here helping around the house and spending time with the boys so I could rest and relax.

My Mom’s take of her visit here:

I had the most wonderful visit at Jack & Jenny’s today. I was greeted by Henry running across the yard (in a shirt, underwear, & boots – his usual attire) with arms out-stretched, yelling, “GRANNY, GRANNY”.  I’ve never had quite a welcome as that.  He was very helpful all day as we washed  & hung up clothes, swept & mopped floors, he helped with cooking, and when I said I had some things in the car to be brought in, he was out the door before I turned around.  He found some Smarties in my bag and of course I told them they were for him.   We found a place for them in the pantry and he helped himself to them all day.  He stayed in the kitchen to eat them where his Mama couldn’t see him.

 He still had some birthday cake left and he had to show me his rainbow cake. I asked him which color was his favorite and he pointed to the white frosting! After supper he had candles in his cake and we all sang Happy Birthday, including Henry. Then Mama (Jenny) suggested we sing Happy Birthday to the baby because she is one day old. Robbie got out his music and played Happy Birthday on the piano for the baby. And he played very well.

Robbie hugged me like he wanted to – not because he was told to. He was quite taken with his new little sister. He’d smile so sweetly at her as he held her. He said he made up a song for her and sang it to her.  I haven’t heard it yet, but I think Jenny got it on video.

 Robbie’s Joke:  Why is there a shortage of honey in Boston? 

                           Because there is only one “B”

 Jenny spilled a glass of water and before anyone could ask, Charlie was running for a towel to wipe up the spill. He was all sweetness.  He read a book to Henry and showed me his glow-in-the-dark tattoo that looked like it moved when he wiggled his fingers.

When Robbie was sitting behind me on the chair holding the baby he said, “I hope she won’t be a bossy sister. Some girls act they are a queen or something.” Charlie came over by us and heard the last part about the queen and said, “Then we’ll be her subjects and have to protect her. And of course she’ll have to get a husband.” Is there a Harry Potter influence?

Helen had come the morning she was born, though just missed her birth.  Today (Monday) she took Robbie and Charlie to piano lessons in the morning and then later in the afternoon they went to Susie’s library.  I was told that everybody loves to go to “Susie’s Library.”  Poor Henry was a little sad that he couldn’t go, but he napped most of the time they were gone.

 Jack made a nice lunch and the boys loved my wheat rolls.  Before supper Jack took the older boys to a highway clean-up project.

The whole day went by with only one altercation – Henry got a little carried away with his light sword and whacked poor Robbie in the head.  Not intentionally, of course, and there was no retaliation.  Maybe this little girl will bring a bit of calm to a house full of boys.  Besides the fun day with the boys and lots of time holding the new baby, I had a nice visit with Jack, Helen, and of course Jenny.  Jenny looks very well.  Jack took a bunch of pictures of all of us together before I left.

As I drove out of the driveway (beep, beep), headed for home, they all stood at the window waving…

Tuesday, April 10th:  The two older boys went back to school after their short spring break.  The house was a lot more quiet.  In the evening Grandpa Rob came to meet Nola Mae.  Jack was sick with the flu in the middle of the night.  I was thankful Helen was here, I just hope she doesn’t get sick.

Henry helped Grandma Hanna shred carrots for the soup that Granny made for us.

I am not sure that Jack finished this box the week Nola Mae was born.  I had to share something because he was able to get into the wood shop this week.

Our first week with Nola Mae Margaret

Our first week with Nola Mae Margaret

Nola Mae Margaret

The birth announcement for the newspaper was written by Grandma Helen (A.K.A. Hanna) the family genealogist:

A daughter, Nola Mae Margaret Vater, was born at home on Easter morning, April 8, 2012, to Jack and Jenny Vater of rural Iola, Wisconsin.  The birth was attended by In the Beginning Midwives – Jane Peterson, Christie Woodliff, and Korina Pubanz.

 She weighed 9 pounds and 3 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long.

 Nola Mae has brothers Robert (age 8), Charles (age 6), and Henry (age 3). 

Grandparents are Jerry and Alice Hamm, Owen, Robert Schroeder and Lynn Hunsicker, Milwaukee, Rob and Helen Blaha, Loyal, and Neil P. Vater, deceased.

Great-grandparents are Neil and Eileen Vater, Owen, Ed and Elma Eloranta, Owen, Richard Fabian, Sussex and Barb Hunsicker, Port Washington.

Here is the birth announcement that was made on Facebook by our midwives:

The joy and celebration of welcoming a daughter on Easter morning moved us all.  Her 3 brothers will have so much to teach her, like the biology lesson her brother Henry who watched her coming shared moments later with the vivid details only an amazed 3-year-old boy could tell with such excitement!! And her beautiful name is Nola Mae.

My favorite photos from Nola Mae’s first week…

Saturday, April 7th:  Jack woke me up early to take the last belly shot that I wanted because the lighting was perfect.  We didn’t know this was going to be my last morning with my baby belly.

Sunday, April 8th:  Nola Mae made sure she had her own birthday, one day after Henry’s.  I wasn’t too surprised that Henry woke up early enough to witness the birth.

Monday, April 9th:  Today was the last day for Robbie and Charlie’s spring break.  My Mom and Helen were here on this day working so hard keeping the boys busy, cleaning, doing laundry and cooking many meals.

Tuesday, April 10th:  Our boys learned how to Eskimo kiss from Jack.

Wednesday, April 11th:  Our first day out in the sunshine.

Thursday, April 12th:  Henry making sure Nola Mae’s clothes are okay for her to wear.

Friday, April 13th:  Henry reading books to Nola Mae.


Saturday, April 14th:  My Dad and Step-Mom, Lynn came to visit for the day.  They brought us lunch, played with the boys and we all went for a hike in the woods.

Sunday, April 15th:  Our first time “do two of them” in Henry’s words.

Week 14 – April 2 – 8, 2012

Week 14 – April 2 – 8, 2012

Monday, April 2nd:  We planted peas in the garden today.

I thought I was having some little signs of labor this evening, so I went to bed early.  Only to be woken up with an upset stomach and the start of puking my guts out began.  Henry followed me a few hours later and then Charlie a few hours after Henry.  We have an awesome bathroom for “camping out” during times of sickness.  This is where the three of us slept – Charlie in front of the washer & dryer and Henry and I slept on the futon covered in many layers of towels.

Tuesday, April 3rd:  Henry was cleaning my bathroom window while I did a little bit of cleaning after our night of sickness.


Wednesday, April 4th:  No photos because of our sickness.   It took me a few days to recover from the flu.  I was unable to eat any real meals until Saturday.

Thursday, April 5th:  A family photo after we were feeling better and before the baby arrived.

Friday, April 6th:  The big boys are on spring break.  They colored our Easter eggs.

We planted 100 trees.  The real story is that I planted about five, Henry planted one and Jack planted the rest.

Saturday, April 7th:  Henry’s 3rd birthday.  He was talking all week about getting out his “Happy Birthday Cake” from the freezer.  I am very glad that I made it a couple of weeks ago and froze it.

The rainbow inside!

We made firewood.

The boys played on the rocks in the pasture.

Sunday, April 8th:  Nola Mae arrived on Easter morning.  I am glad she has her own birthday.

Baby in Belly – Ready!

Baby in Belly – Ready!

I  can’t express how ready I am for this baby to arrive.  We have approximately 5 days until my Estimated Due Date.

We have had the flu in our house last week (Robbie) and now this week (me, Henry and Charlie).  I need to recover quickly from this flu bug.  I have never had sore tummy muscles from throwing up!  I am feeling better today after lounging around and sleeping all day yesterday.   It will take me a little time for the few extra loads of laundry, some disinfecting and getting caught up on sleep.  I am thankful this bug arrived before the baby.  The week Henry was born Jack, Robbie and Charlie got the flu at the same time and it was horrible.

Since the date of when it would be safe to have this baby at home has come and gone I have increased my activities.  We have been taking long walks, hanging clothes on the line, working the garden and planting a few things.  I am sweeping, mopping and believe it or not vacuuming more frequently than normal.  I also helped Jack and the boys make firewood over the weekend.

I have been entertained lately by many comments from friends and strangers.  Every time I go somewhere I can’t wait to hear what people will say as they see my big belly and know that I am getting close.

Last night when we went to vote one of the poll workers made a few comments… “another boy?” And then asked when my due date was. When I told her it was this coming Monday, she said “Thanks for coming to vote!” As if it was a big deal that I made it to the polls a week before my due date. Little did she know I was up all night puking my guts out and making sure two of my boys were puking in the toilet or a bucket.

There are more people in this world than I can count who seem to be more excited than I am for this baby to arrive.  Charlie came home from school last week complaining that everyone at school keeps asking him, “Is there a baby yet?”

One friend reminded me that my blog name will have to change.  I have forgotten about this!  It may take me a while to make a change because I am not creative and “Life with three boys” took me 6 months to come up with.

A couple other friends have told me that they would love to give me their girl clothes, which I would love too.  Most of my friends are dying with anticipation on whether this baby is a girl.  They of course have at least one girl and know how wonderful it is to have a daughter.

Robbie says he would love another brother and Charlie and Henry want a sister.  About 2 or 3 weeks ago Henry was very insistent that “when the next boy comes…”   Recently Henry started referring to his baby as a girl and that is about the time he told us, when asked, that he wants a sister.   I am unsure he understands genders yet.  Because Henry told me yesterday that I am a boy.  And when he grows up to be a Mama he is going to grow a big baby in his belly.

To be honest, I am terrified of having a daughter (now isn’t the time for me to go into those reasons).   I have come to realize over the last eight years that I can handle/tolerate and love the wildness, the cuteness, the love and the naughtiness boys bring to my life.  I don’t have any hope of a sister joining our mix of craziness.  So if this baby comes out a boy please don’t tell me how disappointed you are that I have another boy or how you wished that I had a girl!

Recently I had a conversation with Jack’s Grandma Siggie who had four boys.  She asked me if I thought this baby was a girl or a boy.  I said something to the effect, Do you really think I have a chance at having a girl?  Her response was, “No not really.  I never expected to have a girl when I was having babies.  Anyway, boys are much easier than girls.”  Grandma Siggie said a few other things that I can’t remember.  Her comments about the benefits of having all boys were all things that I have also thought.   It was reassuring to hear similar comments from another mama who I admire of all boys.

Henry and I often talk to this baby and tell him/her to come out soon.  A few days ago Henry said to my belly, “NOT NOW!  Jane not here to help us!”

Now we are just waiting and ready for this sweet little baby to join our family. I am trying to be patient!

Week 13 – March 26 – April 1, 2012

 Week 13 – March 26 – April 1, 2012

Monday, March 26th:  I made these “Knock You Naked Brownies” for my book club meeting.   I should mention that my book pick was The Birth HouseHere is the link to the book on Amazon.com.  It was a book enjoyed by everyone!  Thank you, Aunt Barbara for the recommendation!

Back to the brownies…

They were very yummy.  I shouldn’t have made them in my last weeks of pregnancy, because I wanted to eat them all!   While I was making them I realized I had made them before.  I had trouble taking them out of the pan (both times) while they were still warm, like the recipe says.  They were easier to remove from the pan once they were chilled.  It was frustrating and I swore I wouldn’t make them again (both times).  My friends’ response to the brownies convinced me that I will have to make them again.    Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, March 27th:   Henry played outside a lot today.

 Just before dinner we saw him on the small gate talking to Mystique.  Jack went out with the camera to see what he was doing.  I thought he looked cute until I saw these pictures of him aiming the toy gun at her.

Wednesday, March 28th:   Another beautiful evening and perfect for a walk.  I think the boys had some kind of monkey in them today because they seemed to want to climb on everything!


Thursday, March 29th:  Robbie played basketball in the barn a lot this winter and now he has been spending time on the cement pad outside the garage dribbling the ball.

Friday, March 30th:  I started cleaning out the garden.  Last fall I didn’t have the energy to pull the corn stalks and milo out.  Today I did.  It took me two days to pull about five rows out.

Saturday, April 1st:  I got a little help from Robbie today with the milo.

Sunday, April 2nd:  We headed out to the garden after Jack tilled an area for us.


Robbie planting our first row of sweet corn.  It might be a little too early for this!

 I guess this is how Henry digs for worms.   I also saw him doing a head stand in the big hole that he and Charlie dug.  “Me looking for worms!”

 We walked down to the edge of the field to make firewood, first stop was to climb on the rocks in the pasture,

 the second stop was to check out the fort,

 and finally we were able to help Jack with the firewood.