30 March 2011

ingrid leafblad's house of curl


I gave Ingrid her first hair cut tonight ... an inch off the bottom to give her more of a 'bob' cut. Actually I probably didn't even cut off enough for an inch, but being that I have zero hair cutting skills I thought I'd better play it safe.


It, however, got me reminiscing about when her siblings had their first hair cuts and I couldn't help but notice the vast differences between parenting a first ... or a second ... or a third child ....

Take the first hair cut for example:

Child #1: was taken to a *real* barber. In fact, the one that cut Lars' hair all growing up. It was a big to-do and so exciting. Every second was documented. Heck, we probably took him out for ice cream afterwards.

Child #2: quite a bit less pomp and circumstance. To our defense, she really didn't have much hair at the time so it didn't seem necessary to pay someone to cut her hair. Nonetheless, her first hair cut was thought out and planned for. Had both parents there to document and experience the first hair cut. It was a family event ... and photos were taken.

Child #3: I made a rash decision after bath tonight that it might look kind of cute to cut her hair in the back. Only AFTER cutting did I realize that not one single picture was taken to document this first hair cut. And NO, it wasn't a *huge* hair cut by any means, but cutting those first locks of hair is a big deal. A milestone. And I felt, and feel, horrible. Not so much about the hair cutting itself, but more about the vast differences of being child number three compared to child number one (perhaps a blog post in the future?!) .... At least I remembered to keep a few locks to put into her baby book. *sigh*


So, back to her hair cut.... I started to panic a bit while cutting her hair wondering if I was going to be cutting the curl out. (Like I said, it was a rash decision and not well thought out.) I continue to be shocked and amazed that we have a child with curly hair. I wondered if her curls were merely the curly hair that babies can have that eventually straighten out as they age ... or it gets cut out. But based on the amount of curl she has I am banking she will continue to have curly hair no matter how many hair cuts I give her ... right??

And my other panic tonight about Ingrid's hair is her "bald spot". Remember how we had to give up the pacifier because she was developing a bald spot due to wrapping her hair around the pacifier and YANKING it out? Well, her hair is still noticeably thinner on top and I can still see the hair follicles of where hair should be growing, but isn't.


Not a pure bald spot, but definitely thin hair. She was pulling her hair out for just a few months so I can't imagine that would have caused permanent hair damage, but I am no expert. However if you are reading this and are in fact an expert, I'd love to hear you say, "don't worry about it. Her hair will grow back".

But only if you really mean it.

xoxo, the blad pad

29 March 2011

run, maren, run!

Now you wouldn't believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows.
From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running!
Forrest Gump


Recently I ran in my first race. It was the Get Lucky 7k and it was my first time running outside. Sound crazy? Up until the race I had been a 100% treadmill girl. I started running towards the end of October so by the time I started it was too cold to run outside ... hopefully I will be able to lay some tracks outside soon. That is if it ever does warm up.

I ran the race with a couple of friends - Cara who has participated in a bunch of races and Shawn who was also running her first race. We were looking forward to a beautiful, sunny 45-degree morning which ended up being a beautiful, sunny 25-degree morning. Yikes. It was freezing. Once we were running it was okay. But waiting for that start was a killer. My goals were to run the entirety of the course and to finish between 45-50 minutes. I succeeded at both!

This was the first race of a few that I am doing this spring. I have a few 5k's and a 10k ... all to get ready for running Grandma's half marathon in June which I will be running with my marathoner sister-in-law Kate! I have a panic attack just thinking about running 13.1 miles, but there is plenty of time to train. At least that is what people tell me.

me ... shawn ... cara

The half marathon will be almost 1 year to the day of when I signed up for my gym membership ... when I couldn't have run a mile, or a block for that matter, without wanting to give up. It was my first time joining a gym and I went into it thinking it would be nothing but a waste of money. Never in a million years when I started at the gym did I think I would be at this point. No, it's not climbing Mount Everest or competing in the Iron Man. But I *believed* I couldn't do it. All I kept thinking when I was running in the race was "wow, I am really doing this!" It's a great feeling to be proud of yourself.

Up next ... Goldy's 5k with Cara!!

xoxo, the blad pad

28 March 2011

like grandpa, like granddaughter

Think Ingrid has just a little of that Leafblad laugh in her?


You be the judge....


fearless





New family winter activity: swimming.

We are very lucky that Lars' gym has a heated pool. They crank the heat starting Friday afternoon so it will be nice and toasty for swimming lessons come Saturday morning (... and after those are over they turn the heat back down). We try to hit the pool late Saturday when it is still really warm, but no matter the temp of the pool it is a great place to forget about winter, put on a suit and play in the water.



Thankfully we have had fairly cautious kids around the water. There was never a huge threat of one of them jumping into the pool before they were ready or someone was ready to catch them. They have been able to wait for mom or dad. Wear water wings or life jackets.... That's not saying we don't exercise caution around water, we just have had kids we could keep under control around the water.

Until now.



Like everything else, Ingrid is a free spirit around the water. She is fearless. This past week we had Aunt Megan join us at the pool and I was so grateful because we needed one-on-one coverage with her. The more Ingrid is around water, the more adventurous and uninhibited she becomes. By the end we were literally chasing her between the hot tub and the pool trying to grab onto her teeny-tiny little arms before she could get the opportunity to fling herself into the water. Because she would. And man, does she have quick little legs.


After about an hour of making sure my kids' heads stay above water my nerves hit their limit and I am ready to head out... which is usually about the same time the kids are tired and ready to eat. It has been a great winter activity for us being that I am not a great winter mom. But anytime I can bring some warm weather activity into the winter for the kids .... I'm there!

xoxo, the blad pad

23 March 2011

messages

Bergen: Mom! Mom! Come and look what I wrote for you!
Me: Mad... mama...?
Bergen: Yeah, you are one mad mama. Isn't that cool?


I had two 'messages' from Bergen last week. The first message was sent via Cheez-it crackers. The Scrabble Cheez-it's to be exact. The kiddos are o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with them. Ingrid because she *loves* Cheez-its. Annika because she is at that stage where language is exploding and is beginning to connect the dots between letters and words. And Bergen because he loves to take a bunch of letters to see what he can spell... (more of a Boggle then a Scrabble, but anyway....). But as soon as I saw "madmama" I panicked.

Oh boy, he wrote 'mad'. I immediately thought about all the times I have failed as a mom and acted out of a place of anger when I should have acted out of a place of understanding/patience/compassion. I started to wonder if that is how my kids viewed me and if they felt like all I was, was MAD. Deep down I knew Bergen wouldn't write a message telling me that .... and I told myself I was being crazy for thinking more of it then it really was. But I felt like it was a sign. Those orange Cheez-its felt as if they were an orange DANGER sign. Spelling out for me that my worst fear was, in fact, coming true... I was failing as a mom.

The second message was in response to a note I left for Bergen on a rare, rare day when I was not there for the kids when they woke. One morning last week I had a 7am dentist appointment and wasn't too sure I would be back in time to hug Bergen before school so I wrote him a message (and a good thing I did because I didn't get home before he left) ...

and got the sweetest message back. Only days after I had received the first one. And instead of feeling that panic I felt with the first one, I felt so proud to be his (and Annika's and Ingrid's....) mom.

So I decided to interpret "madmama" as the urban dictionary would:
  • mad: "a lot " or "extremely"
  • mom (mama): The woman who loves you unconditionally, the one who puts her kids before herself and the one who you can always count on above everyone else
So, that is right. I AM one mad mama. Thank you Bergen for pointing that out.

xoxo, the blad pad

took the night off



and gave bedtime reading duties to Little Miss. She did an amazing job. She stayed on course even though her reading buddy couldn't quite sit still through a book .... or a page for that matter. Annika was so proud to be the one to read to Ingrid and I loved hearing her create stories as she would page through the various books.

Over the last few months Annika seems to have really grown in leaps and bounds. She has really started to take on much more of a loving, patient, supportive role to her little sister .... 95% of the time! The other 5% of the time is nothing more then I would expect of a big sister being annoyed with her little sister. And now that I think of it, is this perhaps the best it is going to get? Guessing when Annika hits 14 and Ingrid is 12, she will be annoyed more like 50% of the time? Or maybe not. Only time will tell.




...




All I know is that I enjoyed every second of watching her read to her little sister. Anyone know how to freeze time?? Seriously. Will give my left arm.

xoxo, the blad pad

17 March 2011

lucky




Today is St Patricks Day. The kids dressed up. We all wore green. We had fun decorations at dinner and St Patty's Day cookies for dessert. But we, however, are not very Irish. Maybe there is a sliver in the heritage pie, but St. Lucia's Day would definitely win over St Patrick's day in the blad pad.


But even though we aren't very Irish (that never stopped my mom from making corned beef and cabbage every year!) ... it got me thinking about the "luck of the Irish" and there are so many things I feel lucky for ....
  1. For a husband that truly understands the meaning of for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.
  2. For a kindergarten boy who has a heart of gold. Solid gold.
  3. For a preschool girl who teaches me about patience. Daily. And loves nothing more then a dress and tights.
  4. For a beyond busy toddler who I can't take my eyes off. Not for one second. And while she might turn my hair grey, I could eat her up she is so dang adorable.
  5. For family who has truly shown us what unconditional love is. For all the support they have given to Lars and me ... and all the support they give to the kids. We would seriously be lost without our family. Truly.
  6. For friends. I feel really lucky to have amazing friends. Friends who come over at the drop of a pin. Friends who ask how I am and really care to hear the answer to their question. Friends who offer to take the kids when the going gets rough. Friends who I lunch with. Friends who I am in book club with. Friends that I go on very much needed "girls night out" with. You girls know who you are. I am sooo lucky.
  7. For my house. Yes, I may complain a bit (or a lot at times) that I wish we could move .... and often send house listings to my dear husband who doesn't want to move. But I am lucky to have a house for my kids... our family ... to call home.
  8. For spring. Enough said.
  9. For my gym and how much life that has brought to me. I love that I can go there and see a friendly face every single time.
  10. For skype. It is hard having family that lives so far away. (And we don't have a lot of family that lives far away... so you know who you are!) I love being able to talk face to face. We don't use it nearly enough but, man, technology this 'day and age' is an amazing thing. We are really lucky for that.
  11. For Caribou Coffee. Seriously. I can't believe how much a cup of coffee can bring me peace during the storm. How I love thee white pumpkin mocha, skim milk, decaf ... it is my zen in a cup.
  12. For babysitters. I am a bit neurotic about leaving my kids with anyone but we have been really lucky to find some AMAZING sitters at a nearby college.
  13. For Facebook. I know, kind of a super lame thing to feel lucky about. But a job of a stay-at-home mom can be a really lonely one (which is actually another blog post in and of itself) and Facebook, for good or bad, helps me feel less alone.
  14. For the DVR. I don't know how I lived without it.
  15. For our van. I never ever ever ever ever thought I would ever ever ever ever own a minivan. But I love it. I love the automatic doors. I love the DVD player (that is right. call me a bad mom if you will, but man, that has saved me from some nasty headaches having the ability for the kids to watch movies). I love all the extra space. And the extra seats of being able to drive other kids. I love having a van.
  16. For take-out. I am a horrible cook. I feel lucky that we live by some great restaurants that have awesome food. To go.
  17. And right now, at this exact moment.... for sleeping kids, a full DVR, and a hubby to hang out with.


There you have it. St Patricks Day. March 17th and 17 reasons why I feel lucky. Or maybe I should say blessed. And as we celebrate the most commonly recognized patron of saints of Ireland, I am going to guess he would be okay with me feeling that way today.

Blessed.

xoxo, the blad pad

16 March 2011

happy birthday to dad


It was Lars' birthday this past week ... March 11th to be exact. It was at the end of what was a *really* busy week for Lars and at the beginning of a weekend away for the family. And since we weren't going to be home on his actual birthday, the kids had their hearts set on throwing him a birthday dinner the night before. But Lars ended up having to work the night before so I suggested we throw Lars a birthday breakfast (i.e. cake for breakfast) and the kids quickly got over their birthday dinner disappointment and happily (and easily) went to bed the night before. (Which made me think we should have cake for breakfast more often .....)

After our cake breakfast and Lars put in a half day at work, we drove to D-town to drop the kids off with Nana and Papa while we got some much needed time away. We had a great 2-night stay at a lovely B&B. It was peaceful and quiet ... a perfect birthday gift for Lars!


xoxo, the blad pad

10 March 2011

big girl hair


This has been the year of the pony tail with Annika. Last year was the year of the hats. She would wear one all.the.time. But now that she is a big girl she likes to have big girl hair ... aka. a pony tail. It is the first thing she asks for in the morning ("can you fix my pony?"), the last thing before bed and about one hundred times in between. The big question of the day is if she wants one, two, or three pony tails. Big time decisions for such a little girl.

Ingrid has beautiful curly locks (much to my surprise. Never thought I would have a child with curly hair!) and it is now long enough in the back for a pony. Annika has been wanting Ingrid to have pony tails too ... so they can "match". This morning we tried a few styles on Ingrid - the one pony and the two pony. I have to say both were super cute, but as you can see on her face Ingrid wasn't super excited about the whole idea. Poor Ingrid kept saying "ow, ow, ow, ow hair ... ow, ow, ow, ow hair ....".














They didn't last long, but boy, they were cute while they lasted.

xoxo, the blad pad

new stage

Bergen has started to watch BASKETBALL instead of his usual kid programming. We have been DVRing various college basketball games and he loves watching them. I am amazed at how much he understands of the game and the rules - he gets more then I do.

One afternoon Lars and Bergen were only able watch the first half of a Gophers game so at 6am the next day, Bergen was up and watching the second half while the rest of us slept. He RAN into the bedroom yelling "We won! The Gophers won!" He was over the moon excited.

I love seeing him take such a huge interest in this ... and have tried to find some sort of basketball activity, but was out of luck. Either too young or too late. Next year I will be more on the ball (ha!) .....

xoxo, the blad pad

hero

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.
Marc Brown




xoxo, the blad pad

07 March 2011

time flies


Today Annika had her early education screening. When I was explaining the testing to her I called it a "kindergarten readiness test" to which Annika about jumped to the moon she was so excited. She thought that meant she was going to start kindergarten. Today.

So after those tears were dried and a little more explaining was done (being very careful NOT to use the word kindergarten again) she was excited to go to her screening. And so was I.

I remember taking Bergen to his like it was yesterday and having a loooong drawn out conversation with the screener (the same screener we saw today!) on whether we should send Bergen to kindergarten at 5 or 6. Now that our decision is over and done, I look back at all those conversations I had with various people along the way on how to make the right decision. And we did make the right one. Holding him was the best thing we could have ever done for him... But Annika is a summer baby too and we will need to make a decision for her as well.


The nice thing this time around is that I don't feel the pressure to figure it out like I did with Bergen. I think I started stressing about this when he was three. Probably after his early education screening to be exact. But now that I have all this wisdom (right?) I know when the time comes for Annika we will know what to do ... and there is plenty of time before the time comes.

So, back to Little Miss. She rocked the tests which is no surprise. She, however, didn't rock the hearing screening which too was no surprise. We have had a question in our minds for quite some time about her hearing so guess it is time to have it checked out.

I just can't believe she is at this stage already. Preschool. Kindergarten readiness. What is next? College? Sure seems like it.

Man, time flies.

xoxo, the blad pad

ROAR

march came in like a lion for the blad pad this year.

5 out of the last 8 days i have been to our clinic's after hours care (aka urgent care) or the minute clinic for either ingrid or myself. and the visits went a little something like this:

visit one: "nope. while ingrid's lungs sound like she is struggling to breath, they are moving air quite nicely. she does, however, have an ear infection".

visit two: (this is when i was thinking ingrid might have a uti or bladder infection after being on antibiotics that were really tough on her little system) "ummm, there is over a 2 hour wait so unless this can't wait until tomorrow then i suggest coming back" ... "okay, then can i schedule an appointment for tomorrow" .... "ummm, yeah. we are all booked for tomorrow. but if you call at 7am you *might* be able to get in with our on-call DR".

visit three part 1: "oh man, your throat does look really painful and your lymph nodes are really, really swollen. but no, you don't have strep. however, you might want me to take a look at your daughters' eyes while she is here. they are looking pretty bad"

visit three part 2: "yup, looks like she has conjunctivas in both eyes. not sure if bacterial or viral. wait a couple of days and if it doesn't get better then start her on these (prescription given) drops"

visit four: (after ingrid's little blue eyes were looking much, much worse 12 hrs later) "while her eyes do look like they are infected are not. the redness and swelling should go down in a couple of days"

visit five: "while i can completely understand why you feel like your head is going to explode as you have fluid build up (ok, sorry, tmi) everywhere, you in fact don't and are just plain miserable. take a couple of these (mucinex) and you should feel better somewhat shortly".

so, all in all, i don't have much to complain about other then spending a lot of time in the waiting room at one clinic or another. i am really thankful for nothing major. but man we have had a lot of misery.

march came in like a lion and i surely feel like one when i am sick. however, sweet pea doesn't let sickness stand in the way of her and a smile.

she is our little lamb...


xoxo, the blad pad

04 March 2011

just cause

since i wasn't blogging this christmas (or the one before for that matter... ) i wanted to share just a couple of our sweet pea... just cause.


my name is annika


today while little miss and i were playing some board games i called her "anni" .... which just so happens to be our most common name we call her around the house. and then we went on to have a little convo that went something like this:

A: mom, they call me annika at school
M: would you like us to call you annika at home?
A: yes
M: no anni? no anni-banni?
A: no. my name is annika.

you got it big girl. you are my annika.

xoxo, the blad pad

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