Friday, December 24, 2010


Thank you dear Santa.  My heart is so thrilled you granted my Christmas wish.

Otherwise I would have missed seeing my sweet girl play Mary and my little boy play baby Jesus in our first annual nativity.

Or seeing my chubby little babe cooing in front of the Christmas tree.

Or missed seeing the stockings you lovingly stuffed for my dear ones.

So grateful we are able to celebrate our own little miracle on the eve we celebrate the best miracle in the world - the birth of our Savior.

Merry Christmas to all.  And to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Wish

Dear Santa,
My Christmas wish is simple.  I just want to spend Christmas Eve at home, with my family.

(Which would mean my sweet baby would be on the mend and no longer struggling to breathe from RSV in a children's hospital and that I would get a full night's rest without nurses and doctors interrupting my slumber all night long.)

I have tried to be good.  I promise.


Carsten chillin' in his crib at CHOC Mission Hospital.
He is a HUGE flirt with all the nurses here.  Even other 
nurses not assigned to us have come to meet Mr. Congeniality
and be awarded with his smile, belly laughs and coos.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fall Behind

Fall has come and gone with relatively very little posts, few and far between.  We did, however, celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Here are some pictures to prove it.

We attended the Pumpkin patch as a family.  

Elisabeth and Papa attended her Halloween party at her preschool.

We spent Halloween day having dinner at Elisabeth's BFF's home.

The Smemoes & the Riecks

Carsten was our little pumpkin this year.

Lance and Kristi went to see Beauty and the Beast at the OCPAC and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Grandma Becky babysat one night.  Kristi's friend Heidi babysat the other.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house and had Lance's brothers' (Loren & Chris) families stay with us for four days.
Elisabeth especially loved playing with her cousins and Uncle Chris.

Elisabeth loved matching her girl cousin, Arianna

We blessed our son Carsten and gave him a name at Church.  (This occasion deserves its own post. More later)

The Smemoes that visited for Thankgiving and attended Carsten's blessing.

Letter to Mom: Christmas Edition

A bell I with my mom's name on it. So she can be
with us in spirit every Christmas.
Dear Mom,
I baked cut-out cookies with Elisabeth today. Just like how you used to bake cut-out cookies with me every Christmas from the time I can remember.  I found a little cookie sheet, toddler-sized and showed her how to roll out the cookie dough and how to jiggle the cookie cutters so the cookies would come out easily - just like you did with me. You would have been proud.  And loved to see the look of accomplishment on her chubby little face when the cookies were on her little cookie tray and in the oven.  And just like you, I forgot to document it with my camera.

This is the season where I miss you the most.  I miss baking with you.  I miss seeing your boxes of cards and hand written Christmas greetings cluttering up the living room.  I miss your decorating flare and how even the window sills were adorned with Christmas nick nacks you had accumulated over the years. I miss spending hours in the freezing basement, wrapping the multitudes of gifts you got for everyone.  I miss your oyster stew and the lutefisk you made every year for Dad.  I miss attending Christmas Eve Lutheran service with you and singing joyous songs about our Savior's birth together with the rest of the congregation.  You were the epitome of Christmas spirit.  And we all loved you more for it.  You made Christmas special for us.  So much that I still want to still believe in Santa Clause and want my children to see the spirit, magic and wonder of Christmas - the same why you did for us.

I am trying desperately to create the same spirit of Christmas here in our home with our wee ones.  From the nativity scene at the base of the Christmas tree to baking so many sweets we are bound to be diabetic, you live in my heart and are part of your grandchildren's Christmas each year.  We love and miss you.

Your daughter,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Babysitting Co-op

Tonight we watched three other children that were not our own.  In our care were the following:  a 7 month old, a 13 month old, 2 two year olds and a 2 month old baby.  The night was utter chaos.  Between a teething baby who sobbed if he wasn't being held, crazy two year olds who are learning how to share and use the potty, a newborn that needs to eat every two hours and needs to be cuddled often and another little crawler who grabs and gets into everything, we barely survived.   At one point I was nursing Carsten and holding a sad baby in my lap at the same time.

As four children slumber peacefully upstairs and Lance snores in the Lazy Boy, I would consider the evening a success.  Despite having to get two babies down to bed at the same time, Elisabeth pooping in the bathtub while she was taking a bath with her best friend, and the 7 month old dumping a pitcher of water all over the table, herself and the floor during dinner time - yes, a success.  I still need to bleach my tub.  That will have to wait until tomorrow.

We are part of a babysitting co-op with three other families in our area.  Each couple picks a Saturday or Friday each month when they are available to watch the children of the other families.  If everyone participates on the given Saturday, there are 7 children total - two infants, one young toddler, three toddlers and one school-aged child.  The five hours we have these kids are probably the longest five hours in the month.

But having three date nights a month where we don't have to pay a babysitter - totally worth it.  The idea is actually ingenious.  Don't you think?

Lance amidst the chaos.