Sunday, August 31, 2008

1200 miles

Hello out there!

We are home again. The last week in the Sprengeler household has been quite eventful, albeit long and rather arduous. Mike and I took a week off and drove all over rural MN looking at potential practice locations. 1200 miles later, we are finally home. Before the week started, we had already checked out Grand Rapids, Park Rapids, and Staples. We are blessed to have such willing grandparents, aunties, and uncles to watch our kiddos while we drove all over the place, visited hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and towns, and spent some time with some truly great people. Monday was Ortonville, Tuesday was Paynesville, Wednesday was Mora, Thursday was Perham, and Friday was Long Prairie.

All in all, we were really excited and impressed with rural folks. They are such nice, generous, down-to-earth people. I am thrilled that we have jobs that can go anywhere...even a tiny town in the "middle of nowhere." Now we just have to decide. I think we will probably take a second look at a few places and have our minds made up by Christmastime. Now I have to sit and write out a million thank you cards for all the tours, homemade dinners, gifts, etc. Perham even babysat Mary for us while we toured!

...and if that wasn't enough to do in a week of craziness...we decided to make Saturday our annual trip to the State Fair. The camera died before we got in, so I sadly don't have any pictures. We did make it eight hours with Julia, who actually fell asleep in her stroller while sitting up, with her head drooping forward onto a metal bar. It was pretty funny. The new food at the fair this year (which I did not buy) was "chocolate covered bacon on a stick." Ew. I wonder if it was breaded....

We didn't get the bucket of Sweet Martha's cookies and do the Moo Booth (all you can drink milk) this year because it was just TOO crowded...but we did manage to eat:

Kettle Corn

Foot Long Hot Dog

a TWO foot long HUGE corn dog (whoa...)

Frozen Apple cider

a Gyro thingy

Deep Fried Candy Bar on a stick

Frozen Coffee thing

Mini Donuts

Fresh Potato Chips (a bowl the size of your head...)

...and FOUR things of cheese curds between six of us, plus Julia.

ugh...I should never do things like making lists of the crap I ate at the fair. That couldn't be a healthy move. So much for the postpartum dieting.... ;-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to the grindstone....

Well, here's an interesting story for all of you out there in blogland...

This week marks my first week back at work. As sad as it is, I have to face the fact that my maternity leave is over and I have to work again. However, as I am reflecting back on the last eleven weeks of my life, I am reminded of a few happenings that make me glad to be back in the hospital and not in my living room with two small children. The following story and photo date back to a couple of weeks ago. I was going to skip putting this one on the blog, but looking back, I have decided that it needs to get posted cause it's just too funny...and it would be a crime not to share it with you.

It all started with an ambitious mommy. I decided to run out to WalMart to buy some quilt binding for the quilt we had made for the LIC auction. So, for the first (and only...) time ever, I took both girls out alone into retail land. We arrived at WalMart and found what we needed. Julia walked beside the cart, Mary was content in her car seat. Julia only ran away once or twice, and we made it out OK. This is where I should have quit while I was ahead. But NO....I had to think, "Well, they're being pretty good! I should reward Julia with a trip to see the Thomas the Train set at Barnes and Noble."

So, we stopped by the mall and went in. I took the girls over to the play area where the Thomas set is. There were a LOT of moms there with their kids (way more than usual), and I had to sit on a shelving stool in the corner to feed Mary her bottle. I watched Julia out of the corner of my eye. A few moments after Mary began to eat, Julia disappeared to the other side of the children's section. As I was trying to mobilize myself while feeding Mary, a yuppie-ish, thin, stern-looking, million-dollar outfit wearing mom came over to me and said, "your child is over there."
"Well," I thought, "Julia must be amusing herself somehow." I thanked the lady. She did not look pleased.

Minutes later, I was dragging Mary in our huge double stroller across the children's section to find Julia. Unbeknownst to me, it was the "Tuesdays at 11:00" story hour. There is a stage with little benches around it for the story hour. The whole kids' reading area at B&N was decorated in a state fair theme, complete with little stuffed animals in paper fences, carnival rides made out of tinker toys, and game booths made out of tagboard. It was really neat, and it looked like the storyteller was about to begin. Then, I saw Julia. She was up on the stage, grabbing as many of the little stuffed fair animals as her arms would hold. The little horses and the chickens had been abducted from their made-up pens and held ransom by my two-year-old. If that's not bad enough, Julia had an audience. Not just any audience, but an audience of forty-something mothers of two perfect children dressed in babyGAP clothes with patent leather shoes and sweater vests. They were all sitting perfectly on their little benches, waiting for the story to begin. Behind them sat their mothers with their Starbucks coffee, glaring at my daughter like she was the ............
I abandoned Mary and grabbed Julia from the stage, which instantly caused a blood-curdling scream and a tantrum from my darling oldest daughter. I took her back to the corner and told her that if she didn't shape up, we would go home. That was my second mistake: I should have skipped the bargaining phase and gone straight to the "strap the toddler in her carseat and drive straight home: phase. I think I was weak because now Mary was wailing from the stroller...she was hungry and her dinner had been rudely interrupted twice now. I left her for another minute, went up on the stage, and replaced the stuffed animals to their temporary homes.

Then, I took the girls down to the other side of the children's section by the trains. It took me several minutes because I had to push the conversion van-sized double stroller across a crowded room again. Julia said that she didn't want to listen to a story and that she wanted to play with trains. So, I sat down again to feed Mary. This lasted two seconds. Julia ran back across the children's section AGAIN...and I had to drag Mary back across, this time abandoning our stroller and still feeding the infant. When I got back to the stage, the story lady was reading a story to the kids...and I stopped in horror when I saw what my kid was doing: she had grabbed a book on her way over and was standing on her tippy toes in front of the story teller, "reading" a different book aloud, trying to overpower the storyteller lady. I am not kidding. Now, imagine the looks I was getting from the yuppie patrol in the audience.....

I did what I had to do. I put my beautiful innocent infant on the floor. I ran up to the stage and scooped up my terrible twos toddler...who promptly had an enormous fit and turned her body into a screaming, wrything wet noodle. I dragged her across the kids' section, leaving Mary where she was, alone on the floor. I had to drape Julia across the stroller becasue she wouldn't sit up (wet noodle thing again). I went back and grabbed Mary, who was also screaming (now her bottle had been ripped from her grasp three times). On my way out of the children's section, I tried to put away all of the merchandise that had made its way into our stroller.

As we were leaving the store, I noticed one more piece of merchandise in our stroller: a pink book with a bunny on the front. Oh great, another kids book. Just what we need. I also noticed it had a clearance sticker for five bucks. I thought, "I am rather high-profile at the moment with these screaming kids....I can't just throw it onto a display...I'd better buy it or they will never let me back in here."
So, I went up to the cashier and threw the book on the counter. He was young and rather good-looking. He immediately asked me if I wanted a gift receipt. I told him "'s for us." I should have known something was amiss when he shot me a really weird look and then a tiny little smirk. What was this cashier-boy thinking? I have two screaming kids and I want to get out of here and get home....just take my credit card and let me run home!!!

Well, he handed me the book and out we went. I threw it in the back of the car, and after I got home and banished Julia to her bed, I went back out to the car to get the kids book that she had selected. This is what I had purchased: If you can't read the little grey fine print, it says, "How to Walk, Talk, Tease, and Please like a playboy bunny." AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Anybody want a free book?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random fun from the weekend

Papa and Mary enjoy the beach together.

I'm not sure what Mike is doing...perhaps attempting a smile? See the last photo in the blog for comparison....Beach exploration

Our hedge that we planted a few years ago is finally starting to give us some fruit! The Nanking Cherries are supposed to be bitter...but are sweet enough that you can eat them right off the bush!
Farmer Julia attempts to smile with the sun blasting her in the face........
I think I know where she got this expression from.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The LIC quilt auction

Last weekend was the Lutheran Island Camp quilt auction. Every year, we drive up to the camp that Mike and I both love and enjoy a day of "reunioning" of sorts. We have also made it our tradition to bring a quilt along every year and watch it hit the auction block. In past years, believe it or not, we have been able to squeeze a little time out of our schedules to make a quilt.
This year, with the new baby around, we thought it was pretty much impossible....

...but then My Husband kept moping around from time to time, whining that he was depressed because we hadn't made a quilt for the auction. So, after one too many mopes, I told him, "stop moping around and make a quilt already. We can do it...let's just pull an all-nighter like we used to do in college."

So, it was off to WalMart to buy fabric. We started the project at about 9pm and worked pretty much all night on the thing....I designed it and ironed like a fiend, Mike sewed and sewed. We recruited our friend Jessi to cut out what seemed like millions of squares. By four AM, we had the front all done . I made a trip back to Wally World the next day to buy some binding (that's the shiny stuff that goes around the edge, I learned....)

We felt great when we went to bed that night....but unfortunately, had a rude awakening a couple of hours later. You see, Miss Julia had been sleeping since 8pm the night before and was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 730. I had forgotten one important detail: we didn't have an infant and a toddler when we were in college. Oh well, it was worth it. Our quilt brought in $160!

Miriam (Bocca) and Ben (FunGuy) posed for a picture. It's so great to see friends....I wish I had a picture of Josiah to show you....he is darling!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Mary-bell had her two-month well child check today. When the nurse came in to give the shots, she complimented Mary on the size of her thighs....plenty of room to give four shots. Turns out Miss Mary weighed in at an impressive fourteen pounds. That's the 99th percentile. She also grew 3 1/2 inches since she was born. Boy am I glad they are born at nine months and not eleven.....OW.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Lord's Prayer...

Today, I had one of those "mommy moments" that makes you's all worth it: I was putting Julia to bed after she had been particularly know...screaming every time something isn't perfect, pouring quarts of water on the coffee table and then smearing it all over the carpet, poking the dog in the eye, etc...

When I laid her down in her bed and told her it was time to pray, she said, "I DO IT, MAMA..." I let her, expecting to hear something obnoxious, but we folded our hands...and she proceeds to recite almost ALL of the Lord's Prayer by heart. She needed a little help with "and lead us not into temptation," but otherwise it was just perfect. Wow. I wish I could have recorded that. I wanted to hold a microphone up to her mouth for all the world to hear.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Yesterday was a milestone for Julia. We knew this one was coming, but were reveling in the fact that it hadn't occurred yet.

She figured out how to open her bedroom door.

Gone are the blissful mornings where we lie in bed, hearing her in her room reading stories to herself because she is locked in her little prison... Instead, I awoke yesterday to a toddler sticking her finger in one of my nose holes saying, "find a booger?" which was shortly followed by "GET UP, MAMA!"

"Mike....did you let her out this morning?"
"No, did you?"
"oh crap."

Well, it was nice while it lasted. Now we just have to wait for the days where she doesn't want to get up in the morning until 11AM and WE can roust HER out of bed. Ha ha ha...payback.