Friday, December 23, 2016

Worst Storm Ever and Delayed Parties

This past weekend we had the worst storm ever to grace the plains of Minnesota.

Or, if you had watched the weather leading up to the day of the storm, that is what you would have thought. Schools were pre-canceled and everything.

The storm was supposed to start Friday and continue through Saturday, followed by frigid cold and wind. That last part was accurate.

Friday evening, about half an hour to an hour before I left work (just to make the commute ugly), a snow storm started. We probably got a good 5 or 6 inches out of it, nothing too terrible (they had been threatening a foot). However, I did have a mug exchange planned for that night which was canceled for the storm. More out of fear that people would come and then have a difficult time getting home. Also, I didn't walk in my door until after 6 p.m. and the party was going to start at 6:30.

The doorbell rang on Friday evening and it was our neighbor boy. He said he was trying to earn money for presents for his Mom and sister and was wondering if he could shovel our driveway. I asked him what he was asking, and he said $5-10. I'm thinking, "ABSOLUTELY!" However, we never have cash. I was going to offer him a check, so I said "We don't have any cash but..." and before I could finish he said "That's ok! I can just do it anyway!" Oh, sweet boy. I wrote him a $15 check. And we think he finished it twice, because the next morning when Chris went to start the snowblower, our driveway had been recently cleaned off.

The next day, the frigid cold started in. And wind. So our small group Christmas party, which was going to be on Saturday evening, was canceled. (I used the time to repaint the living room from awful skin-color-crayon yellowish to a gray color. Turned out slightly darker than I would have preferred but I still like it.) Storm: 2, Minnesotans: 0. Then the next morning, the temperatures were -20 (-30 windchill) going to church in the morning. Ouch. On the way home, my fingers were numb by the time I buckled Heidi in the car.

Monday evening we had a get-together with the Carpenters for Christmas. We gave them each individual mugs, and she gave the girls some fun presents. Heidi got some play foam and bath goo, and Sophia a bag that you color on. Now, the bath goo was bizarre and interesting. Some powder was poured into bath water and it was like the bathwater became bubble tea, with these gooey crystals all over the place. And it was dark blue. Grossed me out but the girls had a blast. Then we drained it, and had second bath! The girls made a beautiful Christmas canvas for me, with their little red handprints painted like cardinals. It apparently took 3 people to get Bethany to do her handprint, while she was sleeping!

Even more bizarre than the earlier weather, by Tuesday the temperatures were in the mid to high 30s, 50 degrees warmer than they were two days previously. It's also amazing just how quickly 35 degrees feels nice. One day of -20 and suddenly a day in the mid 30s is quite pleasant. We had our mug exchange, and I got (stole!) a giant, probably 20 oz. mug that says "This coffee is making me awesome". I love it.

Mostly, we discovered snapchat filters.

I'm writing this on Friday, Christmas eve eve, if you will, and tomorrow we are celebrating our family Christmas in the morning before our family arrives in the early afternoon. I can't wait to see everybody. As I get older, I realize I don't want gifts. It's hard to find things to ask for. I have been given the best gift in Christ, by a loving God, who sent his son to die for the ugly in my life. I value so much more family getting together; I just want everyone under one roof, spending time together, seeing my girls spend time with their cousins and just being around everybody. I CAN'T WAIT for tomorrow!

4 Months (8??)

BETHANY GRACE is 1/3 of the way through her first year of life and it is going like a speeding train.

Yesterday was her second time since she was born staying awake for an entire 3 hours between eating. She woke up at 7 a.m. or so and ate, and then at 10:30 when it was time to eat again she still had not fallen asleep. We went to the doctor, and she stayed awake during the car ride and everything. She did get her shots, poor thing, and was definitely screaming up a little storm. It breaks my heart when they are screaming so hard that they aren't making any sound.

I found out at the doctor that she was 27 inches long and 15 pounds even. Apparently, this is the average length of an 8 month old! I knew she was growing, I just had no idea how quickly. She is "off the chart" for her growth.

She finally fell asleep after her shots, around 12:15 or so, and stayed asleep past 3 (it really wore her out!) The girls and I all got our flu shots too, which I thought was a good idea with all of the family coming into town tomorrow... so we got ice cream on the way home from the doctor. Poor Bethany didn't get to really enjoy it (at least not right away, until it came out later through the breast milk).

She is a very smiley and very active baby. She is already working on rolling onto her tummy from her back. She will get all the way over on to her side and then roll back onto her back. When she is on her tummy, which she doesn't mind doing, she'll often flip herself over to her back. Lately, however, she has been more concerned with trying to crawl...probably wanting to keep up with her older sisters. She will kick and push her legs and try to get moving. Dr. Smidt did note that when he was holding her and she was standing on her legs, she did a lot better than most kids her age. Which makes me think I may have another little acrobat on my hands. Perhaps I should invest in padded walls now.

Bethany is so happy. As soon as she sees someone she's smiling away at them. She gets so easily distracted when she is eating because she likes to stop and look up at me and smile, it is just too cute. She also loves having her chunky little thighs and her ribs tickled. She's figuring out her hands and feet, and when she has bare toes she likes to grab and try to eat her toes. She is getting into the "everything-goes-right-to-the-mouth" phase.

We got her three month pictures taken a couple of weeks ago, which I will post in a separate post shortly. They are absolutely to die for. I wish I had had Katie do pictures for all of the girls for their milestones.

She is a bit of a sleep talker. When she's tired and fighting sleep, she will lie down and just talk to herself, it sounds like little complaints. She'll actually keep it going for quite a while, too. Sometimes even a half an hour. I will keep thinking that she's asleep because she isn't crying, but I'll listen closely and hear this subtle little complaint coming from her.

I can't wait to see the personality she grows into. I am so enjoying this sweet babe.