Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear Nana and Papa...

Dear Nana and Papa,

Hi from Danae!

I loved seeing you at Christmastime! Thank you SO much for the gifts you gave me (and Brother says "thank you", too). I really love my new art set, as shown below.

But Mommy and Daddy-O took away the scissors yesterday. I guess that would happen when you use them to cut Brother's hair instead of the paper that came with the set. I just thought it looked like a fun thing to do. Even though it was only about an inch or two, Mommy still thought that was too much and didn't think it was time for Brother's first haircut just yet. She also didn't know that safety scissors can cut hair that easily.


He now has a spike at the top of his head. I'm still his favorite, though.


I love you and hope to see you soon!


- Danae

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

We are currently in NJ, enjoying time with my family. We had a busy but fun day of presents, breakfast baked by yours truly (apple french toast and an egg casserole...yum!), and game-playing (mainly Super Smash Bros. Brawl on WII...yup, I now feel hip and with it). :o) We were able to get decent pictures of the four grandchildren all together, which was lots of fun.
Here are the four cuties: Meagan (16), Madison (9), Danae (3), and Caedon (almost 5 months old).

This was the first year we did a "white elephant" gift exchange on Christmas Eve with my family. We usually do a Secret Santa among us siblings and spouses, and this year we decided to add something new and have everyone involved. What funny items we had this year! (Christa, I need a pic of you in the blue-man suit. Yes, I will post it on here.) :o)

Miraculously, we even got a family picture on Christmas morning (minus my sleeping Caedon), and we are all smiling at the camera. Amazing!


We hope your Christmas Day was enjoyable, too! Tomorrow night will bring dinner and Christmas with Hubby's family, and I'll be sure to post pics from that! Adios!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bambi

Meet Bambi, coming to a dinner plate near you...well, a dinner plate in our house, anyway.




For more photos from our weekend away, click on "Ulrich Family Shutterfly Pics" on the left, under the Favorite Sites listing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What a week, plus some Danae-isms

It's amazing what can happen in just a few short days...

Last Sunday our laptop started giving us some problems...shutting down randomly, not starting up, etc. I took it in and had the problem resolved. Then, on Thursday afternoon, it decided to just not start at all. No lights, nothing. Now, mind you, this laptop was the only computer we used. No operating desktop here. Also, this laptop held the key to LOTS of things: accounting information for three businesses, plus all of my grant work, plus all of our pictures, personal information, etc. I was in a panic thinking I had lost all of my grant work and all tax information for the three businesses we are involved in. What a NIGHTMARE!

Thankfully, the computer experts believe the laptop can be fixed (in a week or so), but in the meantime we decided to purchase a desktop to keep things safe and so that I can meet my deadlines this week. We realized that it's not so smart to be traveling around with all of that information on a laptop that can easily be stolen or completely messed up. (Go ahead, say it: DUH.) Then, the Internet decided to stop working for the past day, so my wonderful idea of getting work done this weekend was shot down. Thankfully, the folks at Comcast sent a tech out on Sunday, and after replacing a few wires and a splitter, we have the fastest Internet I've ever experienced. (Thanks, Comcast...I'll curb the bad-mouthing for now.)


Now that the nightmare is somewhat over (once the laptop is fixed, my heart rate will return to normal), let me provide you with the next edition of Danae-isms. This week has been chock-full of them, and she has kept us rolling despite the elevated stress levels. Here are just a couple, and I'll be sure to post more when they return to my memory:



1) I see Danae picking her nose in the tv room.
Me: Hey Danae, what are you doing?
Danae: Digging for gold.

2) Danae's version of the saying "Mock my smock and I'll clean your clock": "Smock my clock and you'll clean my clock."

3) Danae is sitting in our bed, getting ready to take a nap. I walk in on her nursing a stuffed Eyeore.
Danae: Hey, Mommy...can you cover me and my baby with that blanket so that no one sees me or my baby?

4) We were in our church's Christmas play yesterday (a simple, 5-minute, no-line role), and here's what happened while we sat on stage on Saturday during rehearsal. The stage lights come on, and Danae and I are supposed to be playing together. I see that she's picking her nose instead.
Me: (whispering): Danae, get your finger out of your nose. Danae, do you hear me? Psst...stop picking your nose!
Danae: (yells back at me, and I'm sitting right next to her): Mommy, I LIKE picking my nose!

(Thank God she did not do this during the actual play.) :o)


On a final note, my Hubby now has a new baby: a 1999 Suzuki Marauder.


I was always against him getting a motorcycle, mostly for safety reasons. I guess I just realized that there are many worse things out there that can kill him, and as long as he's wearing his helmet, he'll be fine. (Okay, okay...I caved, really.) You should have seen his face when the shipping truck arrived. I was on my way home from a run and there he was, standing on our front porch, looking like Santa had just arrived. Pure childlike glee. Oh, and in no way does he feel that this baby takes the joy or place of his other two babies...just making that clear. :o)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Deer and the Princess

We're back from our fun weekend away, where the husbands hunted deer and the wives stayed in their pj's for 2 days straight...oh how glorious that was!

The outcome: We drove home with a deer (doe, to be exact) on the roof of our Jeep. Yeah, the looks we got were kind of funny. The deer is now at the butcher, and we'll have meat in 3-5 weeks! Hubby's first deer! He was excited, needless to say. Shockingly, Peanut was also excited and very interested in seeing the dead deer. Hey, she could have been screaming crying about it. :o)

Speaking of screaming crying: I think I'll refrain from posting the video of her haircut. After previewing it, it's more crying than words, and you'd think it was funny if you were actually here in person at the moment. So, no haircut video. In it's place, here's a video we took a day or two ago. I heard singing over the baby's monitor, put down the dinner I was in the middle of making, and found this. Keep in mind that Peanut and I had just finished watching "Sleeping Beauty", so apparently one of the songs was still in her head. :o) Enjoy!

video

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update

Hello from Busyland!

Sorry for the week off. It's been a little crazy here...I'm sure like many of your households. The holidays are definitely upon us!

And so is hunting season. This Saturday is the last day of the season, so we are headed out tonight with friends for the weekend. It should be a great time of relaxation, hair-dying (the girls), playing/movie-watching (the kids), and maybe deer shooting (the men). (I'll be sure to post a pic of the new 'do...hopefully Sarah won't turn me orange!) ;o)

Here's a little glimpse of what's been up this past week:

Baby: Still no rolling over. It's funny: Danae rolled over at 3 months old, and he's 4 1/2 months old and has no interest. Maybe it's his size. He's not huge, but he is a little bigger for his age. Who knows...I'm not really worried about it. He's still dealing with a stuffy/runny nose, and it's been almost a month of this. Ugh. Keep praying that it clears completely!

Peanut: She's too funny. Here's a conversation that took place:
Danae: Hi Mommy! (hugs my legs) Can I tell you something?
Me: Sure! What's up?
Danae: Sometimes you smell. And you are a little stinky right now. But other times you smell good.
Me: Oh...ok...

She also told me this week that, when she's older, she's going to feed a baby the same way I feed Caedon. Interesting. I don't want to think about her getting older. Why can't they just stay 3???

The other thing that took place this week was...A FIRST HAIRCUT for my Peanut! Yeah, I know she's 3. (Duh.) But I have been sooo reluctant to cut her hair that I've been putting it off for a long time now. I just love it long and didn't want it messed up. But, it has been getting full of knots, and brushing it has turned into a battle lately. So, between Hubby and I, we gave it a little trim. She cried at first, but quickly got over it. I'll have to post some of the video on here. Between Caedon screaming in the background and Danae crying, it provides a little comic relief. :o)

So, I think that's it from here! Enjoy your weekend! Over and out!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

4-month update

Hey world...it's me, Caedon. I'm baaack! :o)

Four months have flown by since I entered this crazy world, and I've just been a big ball of fun and excitement for my mom, dad, and sister ever since. I had my four-month check-up yesterday, weighing in at 16 lbs., 10 oz. and measuring 28 inches long. The doctor just chuckles every time he looks at my chart and sees how I'm growing. (Is he laughing at me or with me?) The downside of going to the doctor's office is getting those three shots in my chubby thighs...ugh. Man, those hurt. I was fine after a minute or two, though...especially since my big sister held my hand the entire time. She's awesome. I love her hair. Pulling it is a lot of fun. :o)

I'm working on rolling over, but hey...with this big head, I'm really not in the mood most of the time. I'm also trying to talk a lot to everyone, and they get a big kick out of it. Overall, life is good, and I'm a growing healthy boy...what more could I ask for? :o)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmastime is here...

...and so are the decorations!

I guess after a week of feeling downright lousy, I needed something to do/change/look forward to. So, we got the tree, took out the decorations, and went to town on Saturday! Here are the results:


The house


The tree before decorations


The tree after decorations

My little elves

Picking the tree took no time at all. I'm not a shopper or browser type of person. I like to get things done the right way and as quick as possible so I can accomplish more. So when we all agreed on this tree after being at the farm for about 5 minutes, I was beyond excited!

Oh, and the last picture was an attempted Christmas card pose. I'm not fond of the background, and the effort went to pot about two seconds later when both kids started crying. Attempt #2 will hopefully be tonight! :o)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

My life-long friend Amanda (who's now PREGNANT...I can FINALLY say something! YAY!), tagged me in her blog.

I need to go to "My Pictures" on my computer, pick the fourth file folder, and post the fourth picture in that file. Here's the result:

Oh, this is too much. This pic is from April of this year (Peanut was 2 1/2 years old). I had fruit cut up on a plate, ready to go with dinner, when all of a sudden it was not on the kitchen counter where I had put it. When I peeked into the living room, this is what I found: the little thief, enjoying her stolen goods. :o)
So now I tag you, Ruth!
Sickness Update:
We think the Holy War is now over. Vomiting has ceased, and we are slowly able to eat more food (and not just saltines!). The baby never came down with the bug, thank God! He is still dealing with stuffiness, but I'll take that over puking any day! Thank you for your prayers...we love having friends and family who are prayer warriors for us. :o)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Skipping Thanksgiving

Yup, you read the title correctly: we are skipping Thanksgiving this year in our household. It's not that we aren't thankful for many, many things in our lives. We could go on and on about God's blessings...this year has definitely been filled with them.

Nope, it's not that.

It's because of a silly stomach virus that has hit our family.

It went something like this (warning: those with weak stomachs probably shouldn't proceed):


* Monday morning, 4:00am: I wake up vomiting, ending the toilet tirade around 8:00am. Hubby stays home from work, takes care of the kids, etc. while I battle the bug in bed.

* Monday night: more vomiting on my part.
* Tuesday at lunchtime: Our little Peanut starts spewing. This continues throughout the day. So does the laundry. So does my fever and nausea.
* Wednesday morning, 1:30am: Hubby joins the ranks. He and Peanut continue vomiting throughout the early morning, sometimes together, but most of the time taking shifts. Because of every child's inability to correctly aim vomit, the washer and dryer take a beating all night long.

Thank God that my fever broke in the middle of the night and I was able to take care of Danae and the laundry...if not, I'm not sure what we would have done. Besides the comforter on our bed, there are no clean blankets in the house!

And thank God, too, that the baby has not gotten this virus. I think it would be rather scary for a 4 month old to go through this. I'd be going straight to the hospital with him.

Needless to say, I've completely ramped up my germ-killing powers to super-high mode. EVERYTHING gets Lysol-ed after being touched, the bathroom gets completely wiped down after EVERY vomit-fest, things are getting washed in hot or warm (I don't care if they shrink), I change my clothes after every vomit clean-up, my hands are slightly raw from being washed before and after I touch the baby, and we are going through wipes like crazy because I keep wiping Danae's and the baby's hands. I decided "crazy" was the way to go in order to get rid of this thing.


So, in your Thanksgiving Day prayers, please keep us in mind. Pray that this will pass completely and that we won't infect anyone else. We are now planning on staying home and not taking our trip to NJ to see my family. As much as this hurts, we know that's what we must do in order to get healthy and keep others from getting this.

Enjoy your turkey...we'll be thinking of you as we sip water and Gatorade and nibble on saltines. :o)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Today was a first (for this year, anyway).

I went for a run.

By myself.

As in, no children.

No jogging stroller.

No extra 65 pounds to push along.

And.it.felt.GLORIOUS.


This head cold, on the other hand: not rejoicing over that so much.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Similarities and Differences

Here are pictures of my little bubbies, both when they were 3 months old:


Danae

Caedon

I've been trying to see if my kiddos actually look alike or are completely different. Danae's face was rounder, and Caedon's head is bigger. Danae's eyes were lighter for a longer amount of time, whereas Caedon's are already turning brown. Danae definitely had more hair than her brother. :o) In the end, I think Danae looks more like me, and Caedon and is just a paler, dimple-cheeked version of his Daddy-O.

It's funny...in some ways they look the same as babies, and in others they have their own unique look! Isn't it amazing how no two living creatures are exactly the same, even if they are brother and sister? God's pretty cool like that. :o)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Turkey

Sorry I haven't been around much these days. Maybe because it's that time of year and the holidays add a bit more to your "to-do" list...maybe because I have about 50 million work-related things on my plate and some days feel like I'm drowning...or maybe because my little boy thinks that he needs to nurse like crazy in the middle of the night and keep me up from 4:30am to close to 6:00am, leaving me tired and begging for a cup of Seattle's Best coffee and a donut every morning. Could be any of the above.

Seriously, though, these days have been flying by, and I'm in shock that Thanksgiving is next week! You know Christmas will then be on our doorsteps, and before we know it, here's 2009! Where does it all go???

Speaking of Thanksgiving: I've been trying to hunt down some type of turkey outfit to put on my Little Turkey for the big day. Just thought it would be funny for him to wear...well, really, it would be more for everyone else's amusement. :o) BUT, there doesn't seem to be any outfits/costumes ANYWHERE! My sister and I scoured the lovely world wide web, but the only thing we came up with was this roast turkey costume you could make from Martha Stewart's website:

I find that a little weird, don't you? We decided to nix that one. (FYI: The baby above is NOT Caedon, even though there is a close resemblance.) :o)

We then found one other that you could make, but it was so involved and my sewing machine talents are so non-existent that I had to pass on that. So, if you have any suggestions of where to find a cute turkey outfit, (besides "You should have looked when it was Halloween, you big dummy"), size 6-9 months, let me know. My last option is to put an iron-on that I found onto a white long-sleeve onesie.

So, for now, I will enjoy my cup of half-caff coffee, homemade breakfast scone, and last few minutes of alone time...oh, wait...there goes my Brita water pitcher on the floor and my daughter looking at me sheepishly. Gotta run.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cold Day Fun

What we do on cold, stay in the house days: Stick the baby in a play stroller that is way too small.

Oh the fun. Funny-ness, rather.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my Hubby! The big "3-0" is now only a year away...and he'll always remind me that it's closer for me. :o)

Here he is with the happy Helper. She tends to think it's her job to help every and any birthday person open his/her presents. :o)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Danae-isms

Here it comes...Episode 3 of "Danae-isms"!

#1
While I am attempting to feed Caedon a bottle and eat dinner at the same time:
Danae: Mom, you have to hold it in his mouth higher. And sometimes he moves his head side to side, so just take it out and then put it back in later. You know?


#2
The Peanut comes into Caedon's room while I am nursing him to sleep.
Danae: Hey Mom...I need to come into the nursery to feed my baby.
Me: Okay, come on in.
Danae (sits down on the floor and proceeds to lift her shirt to nurse her Cinderella doll): There you go, Baby. (gives an exasperated sigh, then says to her doll) Ok, calm down, calm down. (to me) She's just crying because she's tired, Mom. I'm going to put her in her bed now. You need to be quiet because she's going to sleep, ok?


#3
To her baby brother:
Danae: (in a high-pitched, talking-to-a-baby voice): Good morning, my chubby handsome! Hello, chubby handsome! Did you sleep good? Did you? Did you? Did you? What's wrong, my chubby? What is it? Awww...


#4
Me: Hey, Danae...Can you sing a song to me? How about the ABC's?
Danae: No, not now...I'll sing it to my teacher when I go to school when I'm older.


#5
This one is understandable only if you have ever watched the show "Super Why" on PBS. Danae: Mommy, can I get all of the things in this magazine for Christmas?
Me: Hmmm...maybe some of the things. We'll make a Christmas list later.
Danae: But what about this scooter?
Me: I don't think so, honey...that's for bigger kids.
Danae: Well, I need to get it. It says so in my story...(pretending to read from a book), "I need to get a scooter."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Catching up

So much has happened in the past few weeks that I have not written about, so here's a "catch-all" post...

Our Peanut had a great birthday, and we had lots of fun bowling with the fam.

She had been saying for weeks that she wanted a horse cake, so after I baked a 9x13 cake, Hubby came up with this idea:
He used graham crackers for the barn and marshmallows and pretzels for the fence. How awesome!
I've also been trying to get some 3-year pics of Peanut...not sure which one I like the most. Any opinions?
#1

#2

#3

#4

#5


In other news...my little bruiser is now 3 months old...where has the time gone?! He's over 16 pounds and is still growing. Besides the frequent spitting up and crying (I'm cutting out the dairy now), he's been so much fun and is my little love-bug. :o)

Enjoy today!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is how we do...

...running in the cold weather...


...dress-up storytime at the library...



...and cold, stay-in-pj's-all-day days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So Much To Say!

Lately I've been having these epiphanies...awakenings...ok, so we'll just call them random thoughts/occurrences that get me thinking.

A few days ago the kiddos and I were at the grocery store. Here I am, pushing an infant in a shopping cart with a sassy 3 year old walking alongside me, me wearing Adidas pants and a sweatshirt, hair pulled under a hat, no make-up...the typical for a mama of two who sometimes feels like life is spinning way too fast. :o)

Now, imagine with me, if you will...

Walking down the aisle toward me is a tall, young (hey, I'm almost 30...I know I'm not 20 anymore), blond woman wearing her corporate gear, carrying her lunch (a salad the size of my fist), heading toward the checkout. She walked past me, and then it happened: I got the glance. You know what I'm talking about...the one that says it all:

"Thank God I'm not her!"

What?! Did that girl just say that out loud, or am I just reading her mind??? The glance truly said those words to me, clear as day.

That small event set off a day of thought for me. It started with some feelings of missing the working life...the "getting dressed in nice clothes and being around other grown-ups" life.

Then it led to feelings of inadequacy...I'm not good enough, I should be working more and contributing more to the income, etc.

That only led to feelings of guilt...I shouldn't feel bad for being home with my children, they should be my priority and I shouldn't be missing the way things used to be.

Here's the conclusion I came to: We are all in different seasons of life. Some of us are work-from-home moms while others are stay-at-home moms. Some are corporate workers while others are part-time waitresses. Whatever season you are in, enjoy it! Things change in an instant, it seems, and we need to be living up the life we currently have. My children will not be at home with me forever :(. They will grow up and move on, and life will change for me again.

So, for now, I will be the work-from-home mom, feeling lucky to get a shower each day and to be home with my precious cargo. No more feelings of inadequacy. God has blessed me to be who I am and where I am, with what I have, and for that I'm grateful. :o)

More thoughts on other topics to come...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Logan Clark Stoltzfus

The 18th of October will forever be in my mind. Three years ago today our friends Clark and Kara had a little boy, Logan, who lived for a few short hours and then went to be with Jesus. Kara and I were in the hospital at the same time. She visited when I was in labor, and she and her mom where some of the first people to meet Danae the next day. Logan was then born two days after Danae.
Clark and Kara, we are thinking of you today and remembering Logan along with you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Little Love

Three years ago today my beautiful, clever, talented little girl came into the world, and life as I knew it changed forever.

My Peanut has brought more energy, creativity, and joy into my life than ever before. She taught me how to be silly and talk to imaginary friends (actually, puppies). She encourages me to enjoy the little things in life and not worry so much about what's going on in this world. Nothing makes me prouder than hearing her belt out "Jesus Loves Me" or "This Little Light of Mine".

Happy Birthday, Danae...you will always be my little girl, even though you tell me you need to grow up and drive. :o) We love you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Beach

We're back!
We were blessed to spend this past weekend in Rehoboth with Hubby's family. What a time of relaxation and beautiful weather we had! Mid-70's for the middle of October is terrific! And even though taking two children to the beach (one being a nursing infant...yeah, YOU try nursing a baby on a slightly windy beach!) can be a bit stressful, I still relaxed and enjoyed the waves, sun, and sand.

And now it's back to the work week! :o) Enjoy today!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Canning

Thanks to my dear buddy Aimee, I've had a canning itch that I decided to scratch today. So, I bought several pounds of concord grapes and made me some grape juice! This was my first time canning by myself, and Caedon was a bit worried...

...but I made it through!
The results: 11 quarts of juice.
Well, actually, 10...the last one burst in the canner, broken glass and all. I won't show you a picture of that beautiful mess. But I will leave you with a picture of my happy boy.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fireproof

This afternoon we went to the movies (kid-free...can you believe it?!) with our small group to see Fireproof. We will be starting the curriculum this week and saw the movie to start it off. All I can say is that if you are married and this movie is in a theater near you, GO AND SEE IT! It starts Kirk Cameron (remember Mike Seaver from Growing Pains???) and others from a church in Georgia. Even though most of the cast are not professional actors/actresses, they still did a great job, and the entire point of the movie got across.

fireproofbanner

I'm excited to start the curriculum! Let me know if you go see the movie!

Hope your weekend was great!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Fair Time!

We had a great time with our small group buddies at Wednesday night's New Holland Fair Parade, and then on Thursday night Hubby and I took the kiddos over for dinner and a few rides for Peanut. She had a ball riding on the Dragon, a train, the Merry-Go-Round (with Daddy), and the Ferris Wheel (with Mommy). Danae wasn't afraid of anything. I got a bit nervous when we got to the top of the ferris wheel, but she loved it! Here are some shots from the evenings:


Avery and Danae


Ryan and Mommy Jen


Danae on the train

We're off to walk around again tonight and on Saturday! Have a happy Friday!