Friday, June 27, 2008

Hunkered Down

This past weekend was Grandma's Marathon. To most people, that means you should drive up to Duluth to run or watch your friends run and wish you could muster up the strength to do it. Well, when we hear it's Grandma's marathon weekend, we do our grocery shopping on Thursday and "hunker down" in our house until the hundreds of thousands of tourists leave our town. Better yet, we just leave town and drive as far away as possible.

This year, we had the privilege of housing some buddies of ours: Ben and Cassie Thiem. I wish I could tell you that they drove up to hunker down with us, but instead, they RAN the Marathon!! Not the half marathon, nope, they ran the whole darn thing. Twenty six point two miles, to be exact. Good God Almighty, that's a long way. I don't even drive that far if I don't have to, much less attempt to bike or rollerblade it.... But Ben and Cassie did it WITHOUT WHEELS. I don't think the human body was meant to do that...but I guess if you train enough, you can do pretty much anything. They weren't even too exhausted when they got home! They laid down for an hour or so, spent some time socializing with our naughty two-year-old, and got back on the road to Chicago. Wow.Next, we have a few random photos....
Papa takes a minute-break from studying to hold baby Mary.
Julia and Mary, it looks like Julia is sleeping, but don't be deceived. She blinked.
Making something in the kitchen. We were breading some kind of meat. Julia was "mixing" the bowl of bread crumbs. I am still finding bits of breading under the cupboards and in the drawers below.
When I took a second look at this photo, I caught a glimpse of the *empty* bottle of Tequilla in the background. Mark, Allison, Mike, and I had a little rendezvous with it last weekend. We thought we were winning the battle against Jose; but a few minutes later, we realized that we were just plain wrong about that........
Julia Sniffs a tulip. The next day, the wind blew so strong that all the tulips were left with
naked little stigmas (that's the sticky thing inside the tulip...if I remember right from Mrs. Armstrong, my 5th grade science teacher...) They now look pretty ridiculous.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mary's Baptism

Little Mary Sarah Jayne was baptized on June 15th. Here she is, with her godparents, Mark and Allison Moldenhauer. Mommy's side of the family
Papa's side of the family
Papa and baby Mary at the baptismal font
Happy baptism, Mary!
I thought this was funny. After cutting the cake, I got a special message...since I am also Sarah Jayne....
Gramma Beth and Grandpa Dick, holding "the kids" while we cleaned things up afterwards. Julia was in desperate need of a "night-nighting."
The tiny picture below is a duplicate. I couldn't figure out how to delete it, so I made it nice and small....Mike is making fun of me right now.
Grandpa Dick and Mary.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

catching up...

Hello out there! I typed an intro paragraph for this blog and somehow it ended up at the end. So, if you don't mind, start down at the bottom of this entry and read as you scroll up. I can't hack enough computer skills to figure out how to get it to come up here. Oh well.

Spork and I....wouldn't it be nice if we lived closer together?
The highlight of Rachel's vacation was definintely the blueberries. She ate several pounds of them in two days....

Throwing rocks! What kid doesn't love to do that?

Julia and Rachel in the stroller with baby Mary.

Free entertainment!!! Julia and Gabie feeding the sea gulls. They ambushed us. Spork, who hates birds, didn't want to throw any saltines....but the girls sure did.

Gabie holds baby Mary.

Julia, Rachel, and Eliya enjoying the brownie batter bowl. Sadly, a few seconds later, the child on the right with the green apron on who will remain nameless....BIT the cute little girl with the yellow shirt on. I think Spork got a picture of that. Us moms had to go to the other room to laugh it off without the girls seeing us do so.

Julia enjoys Cheetos from the hotel room (we spent one evening at the water park in town. I didn't dare bring the camera into the pool area....) Julia did discover an inner love for cheesy poofs that night. She ate them for twenty minutes straight....

Last week was an eventful one for the Sprengeler household. On Thursday, Allison (Spork) and Mark Moldenhauer, Mary's godparents, arrived with their three fantastic kids in tow: Ellie (4), Gabie(2 1/2), and Rachel (1). Combined with our two-year-old and baby, we were pretty busy. The kids played well and had a great time. Us adults spent lots of time chatting and wiping up messes off of the dining room floor to keep the ant invasion at bay. Saturday night, after the kids (well, most of the kids) went to bed, I had the chance to try out my new blender. (I bought one that can crush ice cubes in case we needed to make a margarita or something......) Well, the blender worked. I do not, however, have any pictures of that particular event. (Mike adds: "for good reason.")

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead......

I think this world takes its stay-at-home mom's for granted. Especially those who have numerous children. I have no idea how they do it. When the little one is screaming out in pain or hunger or something, and suddenly another child is pooping all over the kitchen (she figured out how to take the diaper off....), plus the phone is ringing, supper is burning, and the dog is chasing some poor soul down the street, what do they do???

I can handle an ER situation with patients yelling, vomiting, and choking. I can run a code. I can keep my head together during an emergency c-section. But mothering a two-year-old and an infant is another story. It's like being on call in the psych ward. Only thing is, after a 24-hour shift, I don't get to go home and have a grain belt premium. I have to squeeze a beer in when they're both napping, if they are ever both napping.....

Speaking of the psych ward, our little Julia has been very bipolar lately. A professional would calmly call this a time of "adjustment." I would describe it as somewhere between Pollyanna and Animal (that crazy guy from the Muppets.) She will be very sweet and kiss Mary on the forehead one minute, then thirty seconds later, she'll try to kick her in the head. When we politely tell her to stop, she'll enter a full-blown temper tantrum, complete with throwing of anything within reach, kicking, and screaming. (Yesterday, the screaming lasted 45 minutes because she didn't want her toast buttered before the jelly came on.)

At any rate, we are surviving just fine. Mike has been working full-time, trying to get his six weeks of training in at St. Luke's. I have been home, and it's been cold and rainy, so we've been stuck in the house a lot. The girls and I are spending our days with lots of visitors. Some of my classmates' spouses came by today for two hours and entertained Julia (yay!!!), and then we went over to a friend's house for supper. On days without visitors, we have been going to the mall, where Mommy gets a coffee, and Julia plays on the little kids' rides where you put a few quarters in to make them go. (She doesn't know about the ride part, and mommy will never bring quarters to the mall.....) Or, we'll go to Abercrombie and Fitch and dance to the music in the front entry way. There's always a good beat, and if you can stand the perfumey stench, it's bound to be a fun time. The teenagers who work there either love us or think we're the weirdest people on the planet.

Sunday is baptism day. Allison and Mark Moldenhauer, Mary's godparents, will be bringing their family to stay with us starting tomorrow. We're in for a fun weekend.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

the "Kids"

All ready for church... Sitting with grandma Beth

Looking at Papa..

Hello out there in Blogland....

This morning in church, a friend asked me "how are the kids?"

It took me by surprise. Was he talking to me? Kids?? I turned around and nobody was standing behind me. He WAS talking to me.
"....great!....I squeaked."
Yes, I can now readily admit that I have "kids." Not just one, not just Julia, not "the child." We have recently doubled the amount of children living under our roof. We no longer outnumber them....and when Mike or I leave the house, WE are outnumbered. Good thing we've had such good help these past two weeks from the Grandmas.

They have been at our house doing dozens of loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining Julia while we get settled in. Grandma Beth came and super-cleaned out kitchen, including the "black hole"......the slot between the fridge and the oven where I cram all of the cutting boards and cookie sheets. (I think the last time it was cleaned was when Julia was born and Grandma Beth was here to help us again....)

So, several folks have asked me the story of the birth of Miss Mary...

As you know, I was a bit overdue and not liking it one bit. It wasn't because I was uncomfortable or hating being had visions of my placenta wearing out. I could just see little microcalcifications building up on it and then it wouldn't tolerate labor....and then I'd get rushed down to the O.R. for a red-light C-section. (Julia had come out blue, and I wasn't about to live through that again.) ANYways, so my medical brain combined with my pregnant brain and the few streaks of type-A personality that I have were working overtime to get me to have that baby before I ended up with a ten pounder and an old placenta. I tried many tasks to induce labor, even walking ten miles, doing the chicken dance, and other unmentionable acts...... until Thursday the 29th when I came home from work. Grandma Ruth was there and Mike had decided to mow the lawn after supper. I was looking miserable and anxious, and he jokingly offered me the chance to mow our lawn.

To his dismay, I jumped at the chance. Ten minutes later, I was out in the front yard with my mowing shoes on, ready for action. After Mike taught me how to start and use a lawnmower (very complicated, I might add...) I began my task. We have a little hill in our yard that slopes down toward the sidewalk. Instead of mowing straight across the incline, I went up and down, over and over again. A few minutes into mowing, I started to have contractions!!! I assumed they were just those silly braxton-hicks contractions that go away when you stop working (I had become very familiar with them), so I kept mowing. When I finished the lawn and surveyed my work, I noticed that there were several strips of missed grass pieces between the mow lines. I let my anal-retentive streak get the best of me: I re-mowed the entire lawn.....I wanted the lines to be straight without any aberrant long blades of grass. It looked SO pretty when I was done! It was after the second mow that my contractions became regular and a little annoying. I went inside and had a lovely diet root beer.

The contractions didn't go away. I went to bed at 8:15 because I was so exhausted from mowing for two hours. Unfortunately, I was unable to sleep much because those darn contractions were five minutes apart. By ten thirty, I called my friend/doctor and had her come over and check my cervix. (Yes, we nerdy doctor-types like to skip the hospital triage desk). I was five centimeters (had been three that morning.) Mike helped me pack a bag and we were off to the hospital. We arrived at 11:45. I noticed a big obnoxious sign on the computer at the nurses' station that said, "SAVE ROOM 652 for SARAH SPRENGELER." I love the nurses at St Luke's. Turns out they knew I wanted the room at the end of the hall with a private bath and had been keeping it vacant for me all week. How sweet. I waddled down the hall between contractions and settled into my bed. When they checked me again, I was seven centimeters dilated.

By this time, they were asking me what I wanted for pain relief. Despite the fact that I was in labor and quite uncomfortable, I wasn't about to ask for an epidural. You see, our insurance makes us pay 20% of all hospital charges and an epidural runs about $2500!!!!! (Whoa is right) There was no way that I would get any pain relief from something that was costing us $500. Mike told me I was nuts and I should just go for the drugs. Instead, labor became a little game: get through it without drugs and win $500! It kept me going, at least for a little while. Before I knew it, it was time to push, and 20 minutes later, little Mary Sarah Jayne was born. She came out pink, slippery, and crying, just like so many great-looking babies do. And at 8 pounds 14 1/2 ounces, she was definitely a keeper.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baby Mary

Here she is.....



Getting a hug from big sister J.