Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Cuteness

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book Reviews

A while back we listened to an audio book titled Frindle by Andrew Clement. So fun. Some how we thought of that book again and found that Clement authored many books. We checked out a pile of audio books and have enjoyed each one better than the last.

A Week in the Woods - a rich city kid moves to a small town and small school. The entire 5th grade looks forward to a week long camping trip each year, but not the new kid...until...well, lots of exciting things happen leading up to the camp out and the climax of the story is when Mark gets lost in the woods and Mr. Maxwell embarks on a search for him.

No Talking - Again 5th graders are at the center of this story where Lindsay and Dave begin a no talking challenge between the girls and boys. The narrator of this story is perfect; he especially reads the chapter, Insults, with such perfection that I almost wet my pants from laughing so hard at his imitation of Lindsay. The kids pit the teachers against each other until the principal steps in and tries to stop the entire challenge, but she ends up with a challenge of her own. Cute story.

Frindle - Mrs. Granger has a reputation for being the toughest English teacher around, but Nick sees it as a challenge. When he tries to stall her to avoid a homework assignment, she doesn't take the bait, but assigns him his very own special assignment, involving the dictionary. That's when the real fun and headaches begin.

We will be checking out more of Clement's audio books not only because they are fun to listen to, but keep the decibel level in the van down, definitely a bonus.

Come Again?

after correcting his math assignment

Lee: Jeez, this is getting boring.

Me: What is?

Lee: Math, I got them all right again.

Diagnosis - STRESS

Labor pains are excruciating, but I've now experienced something worse....neck pain. The achy neck started on Wednesday, the third day of my head cold. I blew it off thinking it was just another ache due to the cold I was experiencing. By Friday night the pain was so intense turning my head was nearly impossible. Fearing the worst, meningitis, I went to urgent care. The physician assistant, after reviewing the nurse's notes, walked in and said, "Are you a type A person, always wanting everything just so?" I shook my head no, but DH shook his head in exactly the opposite way. The PA laughed, checked me over and then started palpating around my occipital ridge, down my neck and across my shoulder. I winced in pain and then came the diagnosis...STRESS. I wanted to argue with him, it must be something more than stress. But I figured if I tried to convince him of that it would just confirm the fact that I want things "just so". I bit my tongue, went off to Walgreens and bought Aspercreme and Menthol Gel, per his suggestion.

It's Sunday now and I'm still not any better. The cremes give a little relief for a while so I can actually stand up and move, but have to be showered away before nursing. The odor is quite strong and burns my eyes, I can't imagine Little J liking it too well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Autumn Beauty

True autumn in Wisconsin lasts only a few short weeks. First we have the cooler, yet sunny, weather which feels wonderful after a hot August. But to me that's not real autumn weather because everything is still so green. Then all at once the leaves start to change, the days become still cooler with a few more clouds. We marvel at all the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows as we look across the marsh or drive to town. We plan all kinds of outdoor activities to help celebrate the season and "get it all in" before the cold of winter sets in.....and then, all of a sudden we wake up one morning and the leaves are blowing in the wind, collecting in piles along the fenceline and edge of the woods. The trees resemble stick figures with a few last crispy leaves hanging on. The air has more of a bite than just a week ago. Harvest is in full swing and there's no time for any of those earlier planned outdoor activities. That's where we are today. The wind was bitterly cold, the trees are mostly bare, the leaves underfoot are crispy and their colors dull. Another autumn is ending. Sure it'll be a while before any measureable snow falls and the daytime highs never reach above freezing, but for all practical purposes true autumn, colorful autumn is quickly fading away.

Just yesterday I snapped a few more cranberry harvest pictures. Enjoy!

And Little J

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cranberry Harvest Week 1

The first week of cranberry harvest is officially over. The first day excitement has worn off and the extreme fatigue has set in. We've had some cold nights which means peiodically waking, leaving the warm bed and venturing out into the cold dark night to check the engine and sprinklers. Of course that's what dear husband is doing. I'm inside nursing our cuddly newborn and keeping the bed warm.

I love the above picture. Seeing the cranberries
in mid air is so cool.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Welcome Little J

A lot has happened since July 25, my last post. We welcomed Little J into the family on August 11, celebrated two birthdays - Lou's 7th and Grace's 11th, survived numerous doctor appointments and now have just begun the annual cranberry harvest. First let me introduce Little J. He was born August 11 and weighed in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. As of last week he weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. He's growing slowly, but is steadily climbing his way into the charts. Tomorrow he'll have a 2 month checkup; I'm hoping for 8 lbs. 8 oz. He hasn't been without health issues. Of course, there's the Down Syndrome and AVSD, but on top of that he's had some trouble keeping his temperature up and saturated oxygen levels high enough. Both have been resolved. He had a little thyroid scare, but after 3 sets of lab tests his results have finally come back within the normal range. He'll have that checked again in December. His ventricles are working inefficiently so he's on two meds to reduce blood volume and blood pressure. He'll have his heart checked by his cardiologist in just under two weeks. Needless to say he gets special attention around here, but it's not just me. All the kids are so gentle with him, kissing is head and holding him while they read. Lou holds him everyday while we do her oral math lesson and whenever I read aloud to her. Grace is very hands on with him. She changes his diaper, buckles him into his carseat and is always checking the diaper bag to be sure we have enough diapers and wipes with us. Lee's main mission is to ensure Little J never cries or even whimpers; he's always at the ready with a soothing touch, lullaby or pacifier. His next mission is to keep Little J comfortable by rolling blankets and sliding them along his side to prop his head up when he's in his bouncy seat. And Ray he just dive bombs Little J with kisses while I nurse him. So without further ado, Little J