29 June 2008

progress report

Some shots of the basement. . . slowly getting there. . . .

you go girl

Annika continues to grow stronger and stronger every day! When Lars went in to her after her afternoon nap today she was standing in her crib waiting for him. . . and judging by her tears she wasn't too happy about it, but we were! It is fun for us to see her start to hit this milestone!

26 June 2008


It has been quiet around the Blad Pad lately. I don't know where time is going (how is it July next week?!), but I do know summer is finally here because *I* have been - OUTSIDE! And for those that know me best, I LIVE for summer. After the long winter and spring we had, we have been enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. So now that the sun is down, the kids are in bed, and Lars is back at work, I thought it would be a good time to squeeze in some updates. . .

Bergen is now in full force with his summer activities. He started a park program through our community ed center on Mon-Thurs mornings. I was very concerned about putting him in an (almost) daily class during the summer and even the day before we started I was worried I made the wrong decision, but I am so glad I did!! He is L-O-V-I-N-G it! He has several friends in his group (many from preschool and ECFE) and really enjoys all the activities. When I drop him off in the morning we are barely even out of the car before he is saying, "bye Mom. . . see you later! Have a good morning. . . ." Any doubt I had about enrolling him in this program has been completely erased.

Bergen is also playing soccer on Monday nights. I am amazed by the number of kids playing soccer on Mondays. . . .I pretty much feel like every parent/child I have met through our community ed program is there. It is a great time to head to the field and chat with the other parents while the kids burn off any leftover energy before bed time. . . which frankly at the end of a summer day is not a whole lot. And if that wasn't enough; B has swimming lessons on Thursday evenings that Grandma B takes him to. He finally put his head under water for the first time last week! Since we are around the pool so much during the summer I am really hoping he can build on his safety skills!

Annika continues to grow and learn every day. She has been very resistant to standing so I have been working with her to practice bearing weight on her legs. The other day as I was putting away laundry in her room she pulled herself up and was standing in her crib. She stayed up for only a few seconds but that was a HUGE leap forward in her physical development.
She has also become a water baby. . . she absolutely loves being in the pool with her mom and big brother. The other day I tried to put her in the pack 'n play by the pool while Bergen and I swam a bit. She SCREAMED and SCREAMED (poor Nels and his friends who were trying to have a relaxing afternoon by the pool can attest to this!) until I brought her in the pool with us. She is like her Mom. . . I think I was a fish in a former life.
Oh, and she is back to two naps a day. Thank goodness!

In other exciting news, we are updating our basement. After much debate over the past year(s) on how to make our basement more livable we have finally decided to do minor work by putting in a new ceiling, changing the lighting, painting the oh-so lovely paneling, and adding a more color friendly carpet down there (I know, a couple of Swedes like us getting rid of the blue and yellow carpet down there! Shocking!). We are on the second week of work and while the work seems to be slow and steady. . . it already looks 100% better. We hired a guy referred to us by friends and he is doing all the work (other than the carpet). The only catch is that we are in charge of getting all the materials. So most of our free time at night and on weekends has been running out to the store to pick up whatever supplies Bill wrote down on a random piece of cardboard. I can already see the end result in my mind.. . . and it is going to be wonderful! Here are some action shots. . .

Tomorrow Lars and I are going to get an insider tour of an IVF lab at the U of MN. I am not quite sure how we were lucky enough to have TWO reproductive endocrinologists/faculty researchers take time out of their extremely busy schedules to meet with us and give us a view behind the curtain, but I am so excited. As I told my friend Kate, "that is where MIRACLES happen. I will be walking amongst ANGELS in action". And I can't wait!

17 June 2008

poor little honey

Every time I looked at Bergen today I had a hard time not saying, "oh sweetie, does your eye hurt???" because it sure looked like it did. Darn mosquitoes. He got bit when we were out last night playing in the yard and it started to swell immediately. When he woke this morning he had a hard time opening his eye and all day he had to tilt his head back just to be able to see out of his right eye. I actually think it bothered me more then him. . . I just felt so bad to see his eye all swollen and puffy.

My poor little honey.

great conversations

Me: Bergen what do you want to be when you grow up?
Bergen: A doctor
Me: A doctor?
Bergen: Yeah. So I can listen to my mama's heart.

Bergen: How many books can we read tonight mama?
Me: Two
Bergen: But I am not two anymore, I'm three
Me: Three? How did you get so big?
Bergen: (laughing) Not three, fifteen!
Me: Fifteen!?! Do you think you will still let me snuggle in bed with you at night and read books when you are fifteen?
Bergen: Sure you can
Me: Can I get that in writing?

15 June 2008

a happy father indeed

At our father's day breakfast this morning I thought it would be fun for all of us, or at least those of us that can talk, to say what we love most about our Dad. Bergen went first and after thinking for a few seconds he said, "playing in the pool with Uncle Nels". Once Lars and I had a good laugh with him about his answer, Bergen got a very serious look on his face and asked Lars, "now Dad, tell us what you love most about Mommy". Instead I requested that Lars tell us what he loves most about being a Dad. . . and as you can imagine the list was long.

As the four of us sat around the table, Lars and I couldn't help but comment on how happy and blessed we feel. Since starting our pursuit to parenthood almost 5 years ago, there has been underlying sadness of our struggle to become pregnant and from our miscarriages. That isn't to say we didn't experience happiness or joy over those years, but in all honesty they were hard.

The parenthood dream doesn't always comes easy and sadly sometimes it does not come at all. We always say a silent prayer come every Mothers or Fathers Day for those that are pursuing the dream of parenthood year after year but always falling short. I am attaching an editorial piece Lars submitted to our local papers last June. . . just another example of why we are so blessed to have this loving, caring and supportive Dad in our lives.

On the third Sunday of June we pause to celebrate the men in our lives who have successfully achieved fatherhood. We find just the right greeting card and debate the countless gift options to best honor the parenting skills of the recipient. What young man doesn’t expect that he, should he choose to, will join the ranks of feted fathers in the years ahead?

On this Father’s Day, I’d like to challenge my fellow Minnesotans to think about how our community can best honor and support those men desperately seeking to gain entrance into the realm of fatherhood but who have thus far been unsuccessful in their quest. You undoubtedly – but most likely unknowingly – see these men every day in your workplace, religious community, favorite coffee shop, and, perhaps, at your own family gatherings.

These men may have a medical condition that inhibits their ability to provide the necessary physiological components to produce a successful pregnancy, or they may be men married or committed to a partner with her own medical impediment. They also could be pinching pennies to save the money necessary to begin an adoption or artificial reproductive technology procedure.

Regardless of the cause, these individuals all are battling a silent but pervasive medical condition called infertility. Infertility is a disease or condition that results in the abnormal function of the reproductive system, which results in the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (or 6 months for a woman over 35 years of age), or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth. It affects men and women equally. In approximately 40% of cases; it is the female partner who carries the diagnosis and 40% of the time, it is the male partner. The remaining 20% of cases are attributed to a joint diagnosis or unexplained causes.

According to the CDC, there were 7.3 million Americans diagnosed as infertile in 2002. That represents one in eight couples of childbearing age. This number has increased by 20% since the last count of 6.1 million in 1995.

Men in particular face an isolating and solitary journey to fatherhood as they deal with infertility issues. The SPERRM (Society to Promote and Enhance Reproductive Rights for Men) Project serves as an anonymous e-support network for men dealing with infertility issues. If you, your spouse or partner, or a friend seek a network of other men who’ve dealt with or are facing the uphill battle to become a father, please email me at thesperrmproject@yahoo.com.

More than 6 million American families will suffer from infertility at some point in their reproductive lives, yet fewer than 1 in 4 employer-based insurance plans include any coverage for infertility treatment. While federally mandated coverage currently does not exist, 15 states offer some type of employer-mandated coverage, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia. Minnesota is not among them.

During the time that my wife and I pursued infertility treatments, we were fortunate to receive some degree of coverage from my employer. While we have been blessed with two natural successful pregnancies, this glimpse into the incredible financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual tolls exacted on those dealing with infertility has forever changed our lives and the lives of our family and friends who supported us.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) plans to introduce the "Family Building Act of 2007", to require coverage for the treatment of infertility. As with every complex public policy, there are supporters and opponents to the idea of expanding services to and resources for those individuals and medical providers seeking to help build families through infertility treatment or adoption.

It is an issue that won’t be resolved quickly or without discussion by all stakeholders – doctors, employers, insurers, and patients – but I’m hopeful that in a state that prides itself on the value of strong families, world-class medical products and services, and public policy innovation we can help lead the way in addressing this issue for the thousands of Minnesotans and millions of Americans seeking to become fathers.

In the interim, you can support aspiring fathers (and mothers) by becoming involved with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association’s Midwest Chapter, at http://www.midwest.resolve.org/,

In closing, to those fathers being honored, father well.

And to those men still striving to join them, strength and honor to

13 June 2008

new names

THE ANNITRON (a.k.a. Annika): The Annitron is at the seek and destroy stage of her babyhood. It is *amazing* how much of a mess an 11-month-old can make. She loves nothing more then to dive into a beautiful pile of toys and rip it apart. Bergen tries to stop her and her frustrated reaction is something I am going to have to get used to. When I was pregnant with Annika I heard that after a year siblings should work out the sibling wars on their own - otherwise they won't learn those great skills of sharing, compromise, etc. Well, being only a month away from that point I am not sure if I will be able to do that. . . but based on what I have seen with the Annitron, I think she will be pretty darn good at putting up a good fight with her big brother! Kind of reminds me when we had our cat (Max) and added a kitten (Simon) and we watched them duke it out for who would be the more dominant cat - and just so you know the kitten won!

MR. OPPOSITE (a.k.a. Bergen): Bergen has started to state the opposite of almost everything I say - or use his new favorite answers of "Nothing" or "I don't know" (I better get used to those, right?). Here are a couple examples of Mr. Opposite in action:

Me: Bergen loves chicken nuggets (which he does!)
Mr. O: No I don't
Me: Really? I thought you loved them
Mr. O: No! I! Don't!

Me: Did you have a great time at our play date today?
Mr. O: No I didn't
Me: I thought you had a fun time seeing your friends?
Mr. O: No

Me: How was school today (after picking up a happy, smiling boy)
Mr. O: Bad
Me: Really? I thought it looked like you had a great day?
Mr. O: No I didn't

Me: It is time for bath
Mr. O: No it isn't
Me: Yes it is
Mr. O: It is time to color

Me: How was your day today?
Mr. O: Bad
Me: Really? What was your favorite thing?
Mr. O: Nothing
Me: Did you enjoy (insert whatever fun activity we did that day)
Mr. O: No

And after Mr. Opposite strikes we will often see him slump into this pose:

He will now slump so low that his hands will actually hit the ground. And typically after "the slump", he will stomp into his room to "pout because I am so mad". Ahhhh. . . . the "fabulous" fours. I know he isn't technically four yet, but I think it is safe to say close enough!

my only question is,

where do i pick up my check? ;)

Click here: A Mothers Love

09 June 2008

and then there was one

Well, I think Annika is done taking two naps a day. I shouldn't be too surprised since Bergen stopped taking two naps a day when he was only 11 months, 2 days-old (no, I only wish my memory was that good . . . thank you Bergen's baby book!) I thought she was going to be different because she has been a much more consistent sleeper during her first year than Bergen was during his, but children have a way of always surprising us, don't they? Instead she beat his record by a whole week - she is 10 months, 3 weeks and 2 days. Those second born. . . always trying to out do the first!

For the past week she has been struggling to fall asleep for her morning nap - usually taking anywhere from 45-90 minutes to fall asleep. And then *if* she does finally fall asleep for her morning nap, she doesn't take an afternoon nap. Today she played in her crib for over 2 HOURS while I waited for her to fall asleep. . . which just never happened.

Bergen had the same behavior pattern. . . and he also did the same thing when he transitioned to no afternoon naps. One day he was taking 3 hour afternoon naps and the next he was done. Just like that. And for a mom that really enjoyed those couple hours of quiet time THAT was a hard transition.

So once again this mom is bracing for another hard transition. . . tomorrow we are going to do only one nap and see how it goes. Wish us luck!

06 June 2008

05 June 2008

yuck, yuck and YUCK!!!

We often sit on the front step on a nice evening and wait for Lars to come home from work. Last night as the three of us were patiently waiting I kept seeing this weird movement out of the corner of my eye. I kept looking over but didn't see anything . . . until I caught sight of these:

Hundreds of little army worms (not sure if that is their actual name, but that is what we are calling them) that have made quite a comfortable home in our already dying bushes. I am sure if there is *any* life left in these bushes it won't be long before they are officially dead. . . which opens up a whole new can of worms (ha, ha!) on what we need to do with the landscaping around the house. Lucky for us we have some family that knows a thing or two about landscaping. . . now we will just have to bribe them with something to get them to help us!

The goods news is that Bergen is finally free from his fear of bugs and is not afraid of these little worms at all! In fact, in usual 4-yr-old boy style he got out a stick and was trying to hit the worms off the bush; which he was quite good at and tended to hit the worms in my direction. I did my best not to run away doing my usual Mariah Carey high-pitch scream. . . but as these little worms flew through the air towards me, I wasn't all that successful. Yuck!

Here is a clip of what these worms look like in action. . . YUCK!

add another to the list

Who knew this could happen?

Dry Drowning

I know what many of you are thinking (especially you Barbara!) . . . stay off the internet and stop reading these horrible, tragic stories! But this was the story being told on the Today show the exact moment I turned the TV on for Bergen to watch some TPT this morning. I didn't seek out this story. . . it found me. These stories always seem to find me. Which doesn't help this already overanxious mom. . . .


04 June 2008

the great eight

It has been eight years (8 YEARS!) since our wedding. Now THAT is hard to believe. And as I sat to ponder these 8 years of wedded bliss, these words came to mind: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . .


We kicked off our anniversary celebration yesterday with a family breakfast. I got out the pancake mix and whipped us up a batch of nummy squash pancakes that everyone seemed to enjoy (Quite an accomplishment for me!) Then last night we continued the celebration with the 500 closest friends of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at their annual spring fundraiser dinner, but that was okay by me. It was the first night since Annika's birth that I wasn't home for bed time routine. That is to say, I haven't been away from the kids once at bed time for the past 10.5 months . . . and I was ready for it. It might not have been my dream date for our anniversary, but I got to spend it was Lars and that is what matters. Plus we are going out this weekend for a real anniversary date; you know, the kind where you don't have to listen to speeches and share your table with 8 other people! Kidding aside, it was a wonderful, inspiring event to be at and I am glad we could be there!

Lars and I rarely exchange gifts but he surprised me yesterday with Coldplay tickets! I am extremely excited. . . we haven't been to a concert together in years! It will be like the good 'ol days when we used to go to concerts all the time. Plus seeing Coldplay in concert will be amazing!

We are thrilled to be celebrating the great eight. As many of us married folk know, marriage is made of ups and downs (okay, I guess it really can be described as the best of times and the worst of times) but we both agree there isn't anyone else we would rather be on the roller coaster journey of life with. Looking forward to what the next eight have in store for us!

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