Monday, June 28, 2010

My Baby part 2

-Due in January

-Kendall + this baby = almost 26 months apart. 8 more than Allie and Detmer. 4 more than Detmer and Kendall

-The children have named baby "Michael Jackson". I think it's hilarious. Dave is not amused. Allie hugs me: "Mom, I'm hugging you and Michael Jackson." What's not to love? It's better then Kissala.

-Detmer wants a brother. Allie was saying she wanted a sister. She really wanted Kendall to be a sister so I was afraid she'd be think what she wants is what she gets (which is only the case 99% of the time). I said, "Allie, but what if it's a boy?" She said, "Then I'll be proud. I'll love either one."

-We will find out the sex sometime in January:)

-When we told Allie and Detmer, Allie said, "are you going to the hospital in the morning?" Her favorite thing about getting a new sibling is the opportunity for multiple sleepovers. Detmer looked down my shirt and said, "but I don't see a baby."

-Do I think it's a boy or girl? I don't have strong feelings yet. If I were to judge by my previous pregnancies, there would need to be four different sexes of baby, because they've all been very different.

-Telling Dave was awesome. Both of us were 100% sure we were pregnant because, why wouldn't we be? I still wanted to try and surprise him as much as I could, though, so I decided to test before he went to work, knowing he would expect me to tell him one night when he got home from work. The only problem was, this lead me to get zero sleep because I was so excited and nervous that I wouldn't wake up before he left. After tossing and turning all night I took the test at four a.m. and left it on the bathroom counter for Dave to find. The test was really light, and Dave likes a dark test, but I knew I could wait. I laid in bed with a huge smile on my face until Dave got up. When he saw the test he came out and laid by me and said, "you know you're not supposed to confuse me like that!" I said, "and you know I'm not going to leave a negative test for you to find." He thought he saw a faint line and I reminded him that it doesn't matter how faint. We were both so excited and giddy there in the early morning hours. Allie had come into bed with us, which we NEVER allow, but I was so excited I let it slide. She was giggling so much that morning, I guess she felt the excitement in the air. We wanted to wait for Detmer so we hadn't even told her but I'll always remember how happy she was that morning!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Baby

I wanted to do an update about my baby girl, Kendall. But it will have to wait. I'm too tired. It's not even 8:30 and I'm going to bed.

Man, growing baby number 4 is exhausting work!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What fun is

I'm pleased to report that the simple anticipation of our Lagoon passes was enough to make the torture worth it. The children were so excited and had such a fun time. Wait. That should say Allie and Detmer had a fun time. I sure do with Lagoon had more family rides then the four they have. Kendall likes rides, but only if she is with me or Dave, so she mostly watched.
We spent last weekend at the cabin. It was so sweet on Sunday morning when Allie was "reading" the Friend to Detmer. Listening to her, you would have thought she could read every word. Detmer was intrigued, whether it was made up or not .

Yes, this is last weekend. It snowed horribly! This picture doesn't even do it justice.
The children LOVE to play "bus stop" which they play more like charades with words. This is a two-headed monster.
Tuesday Allie put on her dancing clothes, brought her CD player out to the living room and danced for an hour. It was awesome.

Yesterday was the perect day to feed the ducks and play at the park.
Dave and I got a good laugh when Detmer came out in these jammies last night. The picture does not do justice for how small they were. Size 6-9 months. (When Allie put a diaper on her bear, Detmer decided he needed to put a diaper on a stuffed animal as well, so he's looking for his victim.)
Allie has been busy today potty training her care bear. Everytime Allie goes to the bathroom "Boo Boo" does too. Allie told me, "Mom, she is potty-training but still has some accidents so she still needs to be in a diaper." And proceeded to put one of Kendall's diapers on her. I loved it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why I want to Home School

(I could hear Dave cringe from here when he read that title.)

Reasons I Want To Home School

I always want my children to be with me. I'm going to miss them so bad!

I would love the flexibility of vacationing whenever we want and not worrying about missing school.

I love seeing my children learn.

I love coming up with different ideas for them.

I would be able to teach them what I want them to learn.

There would be so many amazing field trips we could do that would be way more enriching then sitting in a classroom all day.

I wouldn't have to worry about bad teachers, which equal bad years in school.

I could focus on special areas of attention they needed.

Reasons Why I Won't Home School

I'm too lazy.

I want my children to love school and be involved.

There are things you learn from going to school you could never learn by being home schooled.

I want them to have the opportunity to meet and interact with their peers and build close relationships with a variety of people.

Just my opinions, of course. I'm leaving out a lot of stuff on both sides but this is the jist.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What fun isn't

When I first told Kelly I was going to work at Lagoon this summer, she said, "I think you're going to hate it. You won't be able to stand being away from you children that long." Right then, I made a challenge to myself to have a positive attitude, be so nice to everyone, and have fun doing this nine day job. Which is when I was taught a lesson that a positive attitude CANNOT fix everything, and it certainly didn't make me enjoy working at Lagoon!

After being there about two hours on the first day I was so homesick for my children. Every minute I spent thinking of what we'd be doing if I was with them.

I thought it would be better if it was busier. The first day was so slow, I probably had fifty people come on my ride.

The next day was crazy busy. Which is when I learned on the skyride, it doesn't not matter how slow or busy, it will not go buy fast. I have never experienced such long days in my life! Thank goodness it was nine days. I couldn't have done it longer.

I mentioned it was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting.

Physically, obviously. I had to steady up to six hundred pounds of people, close their lap bar, walk continually back and forth. My hands were blistered and my muscles were cramped, but not in the satisfying "I just ran six miles way".

Mentally, seriously. I have never in my life had to use my brain so little. I repeated the same two lines over and over.

Emotionally was the worst and I was fully unprepared for it. Of course leaving my children was the worst. My children normally love going other places, but they got tired of going so many times (the nine days was over four weeks) for such long hours. Especially my mama's boy Detmer. He would always say, "Mom, I want you to stay with us today." I realized that not only do I love my life, but my family loves my life, too. My children love rolling out of bed when they wanted. Cuddling in the morning. Reading books. Eating a leisurely breakfast. Going to the gym. Playing outside. Dave loves having a decently clean house, dinner on the table, groceries in the fridge and pantry. A wife who moves from place to place rather than staying in one spot all night. I have truly loved and appreciated every second of being with them and am so grateful I have that opportunity. While most of my friends are at home, the friends I have who do work (at least the ones I could think of) do so because they want to. We are so blessed to be able to lead the lives we want. I also realized my friends who work have got a top-secret schedule that they did not share with me, because I could not make heads or tails of things while I was a "working" mom.

The first couple days of work I was shocked-SHOCKED! At how rude my twenty-year-old supervisors were to Kelly and I. (Kelly unloaded the skyride, while I loaded). They were so disrespectful. I can't imagine treating anybody as bad as they were treating us. Apparently Lagoon is not really big on mutual respect. Thankfully, Kelly got fed up with it pretty fast. She asked our supervisor, "I was wondering, why are all the supervisors so mean to the school days workers?" The shock on his face was priceless. I think he was shocked that we perceived him that way and very shocked at being called out on it. Kelly and I were well aware we could "lose out jobs" over our behavior, but something had to be done. Kelly had guests shortly after, so I went to the boy and said, "I'll just give you a couple tips, do with it whatever you want. Number one, we are not invisible, so no use pretending we are. When you come to open the ride in the morning, say hello! Number two, presentation. When you are going to ask us to clean the ride 'hey guys, would you mind washing down the carriers?' goes so much further then 'get rags and start cleaning.'" He took to it so well, we decided to try it out on pretty much all of our "bosses" (I have to use quotes, I cannot bear calling a twenty year old who makes eight bucks an hour my boss). Anyway, our tips were very successful and we ended up having great relationship with almost everyone, which came as a shock even to us. Everyone we had "the talk" with went out of their way to show us how friendly they really were and I think they just got so bored with their mundane jobs they didn't realize how they were acting.

I did have a little fun playing my own version of candid camera (without the camera). If you've ever been on the skyride, you know it stops about every two minutes. When it stopped, I gave a quizzical look to whoever I had just loaded in the carrier, "Um. What did you do?" They would innocently and sometimes defensively say, "I didn't do anything!" Me: "Do you have anything in your pockets that might have caused it to stop?" Them: "No. All I have is a cell phone." Me. "A cell phone! Are you serious? Did you not see the FIVE signs posted prohibiting cell phones?" (Of course, cell phones are allowed on the ride.) Oh man, it was great! They would get so freaked out. Kelly thought I was rude, but 99% of people thought I was as hilarious as I thought I was. One girl did come very close to hitting me, but even she laughed in the end. Sometimes I had to stretch it. This one group only had chapstick, but they still believed me when I said chapstick had made the ride stop and they would have to get off. Truly, working with the teenagers was my very favorite part of the job. Almost all of them were so incredible. I saw every different shape, size, color, sexual-orientation, hair-do, clothing style, you can imagine. But every single one of them had that same longing to be loved by those around them, and those who were treated respectfully gave the same in return. People would ask, "ugh, what's it like to work with teenagers all day?" Truthfully, awesome! They were so fun to observe and chat with. I loved complimenting their outfit or hair. They got me through!

A lot of different groups with kids who have special needs have a Lagoon day. Some didn't even have the ability to walk and mentally were not even able to communicate. The harder ones to see were those who looked perfectly "normal" but had deformed feet, or arms, or couldn't lift a foot when they walked. They were different from the typical teens I saw, and I wish I could have told them (with all my 28 year old perspective) they were not different at all. Each and everyone of us has disabilities, just not everyone wears it physcially for the world to see. "Look at that girl," I could have told them, "she's on anti-depressants." "You see her! She's has an eating disorder." "And that boy over there is so shy he can't even have a conversation!" Yes, I know all about disabilities. I've got plenty of them. And eventually, my children will as well. But I hope to raise them like this one boy I met while working the sky ride. His feet were deformed and he had to drag them along to get to the right spot to load in the carrier. My instincts told me to stop the ride. But then, I thought, no, this boy already feels conspicious enough without me stopping the ride. As he came to get on, his feet failed him just before he sat on the carrier, and it knocked him to the ground. He bounced right back up with a smile on his face. "Sorry," he said to me, "I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed." And he laughed. I told him my legs were tired and I was glad for the excuse to stop. We had some more laughs and he was on his way. If only all of us could deal with our disabilities as well as that young man.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

I was going to add this to my post below, but couldn't get the pictures to work. Now on June 1 I have as many new posts as I had the entire month of May.

Last night we had a Steffensen barbecue and family night. Grandpa Steffensen taught an awesome lesson and talked about his service in the military.

I'll be honest, I can't even imagine what it would be like to have a spouse in the military. After the lesson, I thanked Dave for chosing finance as his career path.
I would hate having a spouse who traveled for work, but having a spouse who travels into a war zone for work is beyond anything I ever want to imagine. I am so grateful there are people who chose that career path and that it is, in fact, the choice of every individual whether or not they want to serve. I can't imagine having lived back in the day where you could be called on to serve and not really have a choice if you called.

So I already forgot the terminology, but Grandpa showed the children each of his different "coats" (I know there is a more proper name for them. Fatigues, maybe?) Anway, the children thought it was awesome they each got to try one on. I loved how intently Detmer listened. Although I hope he never becomes too interested in becoming a soldier, I hope my children can learn apprecition of the sacrifice of the servicemen and women and their families.
Detmer had his eye on this one from the beginning. He knew he wanted to wear it.
Allie (with Maggie) just wanted to get one on as soon as possible, so she got this one.

Kendall in her "Army Strong" shirt.

Tips

If you are trying to combat post vacation depression DO NOT:

1. Come home and begin your million pounds of laundry and discover your dryer is broken.

2. Start a new job (at Lagoon) that is exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally.

3. Have husband working until the children are in bed asleep, so coming home physically, mentally, and emotionally drained and have no help, nor anyone to talk to about your day.
4. Miss your Mother's Day celebration.

5. Plan a weekend get away where you have to scrounge the house for clothes (no time to wash clothes and hang them to dry with new job), find time to grocery shop to cook meals for everyone, and make a mental note, said company does not like barbecue potato chips. Bring home another mountain of dirty clothes that will be spread all over the house in an attempt to dry.

6. Miss your make-up Mother's Day celebration (start to agree with Cami that Mother's/Father's Day should be cancelled).

7. Have a baby who sleeps for about five minutes on weekend getaway.

8. Have a broken garbage disposal. (I realize a lot of people don't even have one, but I did, and was used to using it and hated the inconvience of not having it).

9. Get very sick.

If you are trying to combat post vacation depression, DO:
1. Have your husband (with maybe a little help from his dad. You've heard about Dave's handyman skills...) fix the dryer and garbage disposal without having to pay someone else to do it!

2. Work with your hilarious sister at your new job and be able to spend hours a day laughing over it.

3. Keep your eyes on the prize. We are going to have so! much! fun! with our Lagoon passes this summer.

4. Put your baby's hair in pigtails. (and have her FINALLY start to WANT to walk instead of crawl).
5. Best phone call ever: Lagoon calling unexpectedly to say I don't have to come in the next day! It was like Christmas. It was better then Christmas.

6. Take your children mini-golfing. It was so fun at Cherry Chill. Also, they don't charge for children 4 and under and we had a buy one get one free, so we all golfed for six bucks. Allie and Detmer loved it and can't wait to go back.
7. Take your children running at the track. It's great because we could keep an eye on them wherever they were and still get a run in. They were awesome little runners. Allie ran a full mile as fast as she could and Detmer's little legs couldn't carry him very fast, but everytime he finished a lap he was full of positive affirmations: I am awesome! I'm the fastest! I'm the strongest! It was great.
8. Have awesome friends and family to help with children while I work.

9. Have a hot husband who gets whole-in-one at mini-golfing.
10. Enjoy a three day weekend. As you know, three day weekends can cure almost anything. And know that the good always outweighs the bad.