Thursday, April 29, 2010

Of Course I’m Cute…I’m Danish!

Last summer, my mother-in-law traveled to Iowa with a friend to visit the Danish community of Elk Horn.  According to Wikipedia, Elk Horn, “…Along with the nearby village of Kimballton, …makes up the largest, rural Danish community outside of Denmark.” 

Wow.  I did not know that.

I suppose I should mention that my mother-in-law is 100% Danish-American and grew up  in a small rural farming community in Iowa…just not Elk Horn.  One of those communities where everyone’s last name ends in –sen.  (Not unlike the urban community my parents grew up in where everybody’s last name ended in –ski!)

Anyway, this is what she brought back for Benjamin:

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And while he is pretty stinkin’ cute…I’m not giving all the credit to the Danes.  I think the Poles had something to do with his cuteness factor too!  ;)  (Did I mention that I’m 100% Polish-American?!!! Ha!)

By the way, just to show my uncanny ability to connect two random posts, did you know that Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Dane, was the founder of the LEGO company? (See yesterday’s post.)  Today,” Lego (trademarked in capitals as LEGO) is a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark.” (Wikipedia)

So I suppose it is only fitting that I have those tiny building blocks randomly strewn about my home! 

Also, a huge thank you to all of you that commented and left such great suggestions as to how I can warehouse this creative learning toy while keeping baby brother safe!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Houston…We’ve Got a (Lego) Problem!

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But seriously…I do have some concerns.  Seems that my little man (age 3 1/2 years) has discovered the world of Legos.  And I mean the real ones…not those huge Duplos.

Two years ago, Santa brought Benjamin his very own Lego table.  The first thing this mama did was take away the accompanying bag of miniature (or normal-size) Legos and provide Ben with his first set of Duplos.  You know… those “giant-size” Legos.

Earlier this week, Ben discovered the hidden bag of tiny Legos.  Since he no longer puts things in his mouth and loves to build with Duplos, I consented to opening the bag.  Big mistake. HUGE.  Just like the size of  a Duplo.

This is what I discovered this morning in upstairs hallway:

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Now that’s a choking hazard for a baby if I ever saw one.  Hmmm… looks like I’m gonna have to do some serious creative baby-proofing/design layout in the new shared nursery/preschooler bedroom!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Irony

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Believe me when I say the irony is not lost on me that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week sponsored by the wonderful organization RESOLVE

And while it is ironic that we hosted a “gender reveal party” on the first day of this awareness week, I think it is important for many to understand that having a baby (either by IVF, IUI, God’s Grace, etc.) does NOT remove a diagnosis of infertility.  Yup, when you join the “infertility club” you get a free lifetime membership.  UGH!

And while there are many ways to “resolve” this situation including medical technology (IVF/IUI/Injectables, etc.), surrogacy, adoption, and child-free living, in the end you still long for the one thing that you can not have:  CHOICE.  The choice to decide when and how many children you want to build your family.

Wishing all of you who are members of the same sisterhood as me, peace and/or a resolution to your struggles.

 

Daddy holding Mary Catherine, our IVF/ICSI baby, just minutes after birth.  We both have tears in our eyes!DSC00045

Mommy holding Benjamin after his delivery.  Benjamin is what the REs like to refer to as a “bonus baby”…a baby conceived without medical intervention after a successful full-term IVF pregnancy.Baby Benjamin Paul Kueter Day 1 021


Monday, April 26, 2010

Gender Reveal Party

It’s a…

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BOY!!!

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We had our “gender reveal party”/barbeque on Saturday.  The weather was miserable…Mother Nature did not cooperate with us at all!  Needless to say, the rain kept many a guest away…not to mention there were 1st Holy Communion, Birthday Party, and 1st of the season camping commitments.  Still, we had a great time with the friends and neighbors that were able to join and celebrate with us!

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Team Pink versus Team Blue…Team Pink is officially outnumbered, but it’s all good!  And although my heart breaks that my daughter will never have a sister, Benjamin is younger and therefore closer in age to this 3rd little blessing.

Hoping all of you had a wonderful weekend! 

And after seeing the above pics…I chopped about 2 inches off the length of my hair and made an appointment for highlights! Ha!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Rocks and Rabbits

Lots of exciting things have been going on around our household.  We’ve been busy, busy, busy!  In fact, tomorrow night we are hosting a little shin dig at our place…sort of a barbeque/gender reveal party rolled into one.  So, if you’ve been wondering if Baby K is a boy or a girl, only 48-hour until I go public!  :)

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In the meantime, it’s been soccer games, potty training, and nursery/shared bedroom planning.  I ordered the border for the ____’s room and the paint color has been decided upon.  I’ve also decided upon new bedroom furniture for Benjamin…poor kid has still been sleeping on the crib mattress on the floor!  Time to get to decorating!

Last Friday I hit a big milestone…24-weeks with this pregnancy.  As any pregnant woman can tell you, 24-weeks is when one can begin to breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Twenty-four weeks is considered, by most hospitals throughout the United States, the age at which  viability of a fetus/baby is considered achievable.  Of course, a 24-weeker would require extensive life-saving treatment, but it is attainable. 

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According to the March of Dimes, viability at 24-weeks is anywhere from 39 to 75% (depending on how many days into  week 24).  Today, I am 25 weeks and viability jumps to 50-80%.  And while I don’t expect to have a preemie, (heck, I’ve never even gone into labor on my own, let alone experienced it!) you just never know…especially when you are over 40 years old!!! 

One thing is certain, this pregnancy has been more challenging  when it comes to energy level.  I have been miserable at blogging, but I do want you to know that I daily visit and read your blogs .  I may not comment, but I do keep up with your gardens, decorating, baby milestones, etc.!  They make me smile, give me inspiration, and encourage me to push myself to keep house and stay busy with Mary and Ben when I just want to be a couch potato!  Some days though, I am just beyond exhausted.  Case in point…we never dyed Easter eggs! AAARGH!  My poor kids!

Unfortunately, Daddy was on-duty both Good Friday and Easter Sunday so it was a quiet holiday this year.  BUT, the little ones did get some really neat gifts from the Grandmas…hence the rocks and rabbits!

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Easter gifts from Mimi & Papa

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Gifts from Grandma Kueter…new sand buckets, hoodies, and wind-up bunnies!

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Well, I’m off to read a few blogs and then get to work cleaning house.  Mostly I just need to mop the hardwood floors, dust, and Windex the tiny fingerprints off the windows.  As endearing as I may find them, I’m sure my house guests would appreciate clean windows! Meanwhile,  fire hubby has been seasoning and marinating the meat for the party at the fire station…2 pork shoulders and a brisket.  YUM!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend,


Monday, April 12, 2010

First Holy Communion (Jacob)

It is hard to believe that a couple of weeks have passed since I last posted on our family blog.  I’m not sure where the time goes, or what I am doing in between (living life I suppose), but lately it seems like time gets away from me.  For sure there has been lots of cleaning and organizing going on, including trying out some new routines and systems to manage household tasks; as well as boxing up the children’s belongings so that bedroom moving can take place.  I really want everyone in their new rooms before Baby K arrives!

In the meantime, we celebrated Easter on April 4th and my nephew/godchild’s First Holy Communion on April 11.  Jacob was one of 5 children to receive this Sacrament in the Catholic church on Sunday.  He was so well-behaved (he can be a bit mischievous) and seemed very grown up that day!

My brother and his wife and kids live in this quaint little Missouri River community.  Their town is part of eastern Missouri’s wine country and located on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.  This is their sweet little Catholic church!

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Every bit as beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.

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My nephew’s banner that he made in PSR.

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Here you can catch a glimpse of one of the Stations of the Cross as well as a sample of the beautiful stained glass windows. 

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My nephew, Jacob, as part of the procession into Mass.  (You can see he’s trouble!) :)

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He did take his job of bringing up the Offertory very seriously!

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Presentation of roses to the parents.

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Here, Jacob is returning to his seat after having just receive the Body of Christ.

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Here, Jacob has just received his final Blessing, certificate, and First Holy Communion Bible.

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After Communion, Father invited those children that were too young to receive Communion, the opportunity to come forward and receive a Blessing.  Here are my two cuties (as well as the back of my brother and sister-in-law’s heads! HA!).

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All five candidates with Father.

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My brother, John, and sister-in-law, Julie, with their son, Jacob.

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My parents with Jacob.

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Party back at the house which involved delicious food (my sister-in-law is a total foodie!) and of course, CAKE!

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The rest of the afternoon was spent frolicking outside in the 80 degree weather…it was a beautiful day!  My sister-in-law’s sister (“Auntie Jill”) was kind enough to supervise (i.e. jump on the trampoline!) my kiddos.  Thanks, Jill!

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It was a wonderful whirlwind trip to St. Louis and back, but I am just so grateful that I only live 4 hours away instead of 8 or 10!  I will say that my ankles (or should I say cankles) are not really liking all this car traveling at this stage of my pregnancy, but it’s nothing that a little exercise and H2O doesn’t fix!

Hoping that everyone else had a lovely weekend and Easter holiday!  I am hoping to make some visits to your blogs tonight.