Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Remember to wash your mirrors

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I picked up my camera again yesterday. With everything going on I really slacked for the last month. These are some photos from last night. Nila loves to sing into this echo microphone she has... The last photo is of Jonas doing his "FREEZE" I asked him to say cheese and this is what I got.
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Done Moving

I think the move is OVER. We still have a bunch of garage stuff in the garage to unpack and we can not find our air popper (We are hoping it is in a garage box) but other than that we are all in. Now I just need to paint every room in the house and we need to find a couch.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Nila's Song

Nila loves to sing - all the time! The only problem is that she usually just sings nonsense and in a really high screechy voice so it does not sound like singing as much as yelling. This is such a constant thing that I have actually had to install rules like

1) No singing at the table
2) No singing in the car
3) No singing in the bathroom

I know, I am terrible, but I have to keep a little bit of sanity. I was super happy to hear a REAL song with WORDS on Friday night!

Here it is:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Way up in the Sky

How will you get down?
Maybe a person will climb up and get you.

But I think you will stay up there to wake me up.

I wrote it down to remember it and hopefully there will be more songs to come. We spent most of the weekend painting. Actually JASON did all the paining and I am in charge of the cleaning. I am so anxious to post photos of what he has done, but I am waiting until the last little bits of trim are done so we can have a fully finished product. We were a bit distracted all weekend so we took a break and walked into town for a bite to eat at lunch on Sunday. It was so nice to just pop both kids in the pushchair and walk over. I have downed the Phil and Ted's stroller before, but it is super convenient for walks around the neighborhood. We also went to a little ballet performance at the library. Nila was very very impressed. (No pics because we are totally distracted with this whole house thing.)

Oh and Nila cut off the left side of her hair....not sure what to do about that. Sorry Auntie Carla!
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Friday, January 22, 2010


Here we go again. I heard this VERY disturbing interview on Wednesday on the Diane Ream show with the authors of the book “Slow Death by Rubber Duck”. First off, let me just say that I love that title. I mentioned the book to Jason while Nila was standing there and she said “But rubber ducks don’t give you death”. Well, my dear, they just might. The book is authored by two Canadian researchers and they basically looked at the toxic expose an average person would suffer from using the normal products in our lives and it is HUGE! (Here is a synopsis of the book by a reviewer .) Since Nila was born I have been slowly learning about and trying to switch to a more natural lifestyle. But my slow and steady approach is just not cutting it anymore. Not with the startling results that these researchers found. I am serious now.

Or at least I am trying to be. I immediately threw out all the tupperwear and started rooting around in the cupboard for other plastics. It was not easy. I felt immediate regret about the tupperwear…look at all that money down the drain. Now I had to buy new glass dishes for leftovers…but I remained strong and left it in the recycle bin. I have yet to toss the IKEA rainbow plates that the kids use every day because, well, they are just so handy and I don’t want to replace them! And what am I going to replace them with. I also threw out our old Teflan pan…but have the griddle and the other bigger Teflan pan in the cupboard. This exercise is harder than it looks. Fortunately we just got our new SIGG bottles for the kids in the mail so I am safe there. (The old ones had BPA in the lining, but I was able to return them for free thru the company website.) I even threw out the rubber ducky from the bathtub! But now I don’t know what else to do. Do I really have to look at every toy and figure out if it has bad plastic in it? I guess the answer is yes. I am getting the book from the library, but does anyone else have any ideas or suggestions on good websites for help with this?

My parents and others think I am a little crazy since I go on and on about organic food. But the more research and reading I do the more protective I get. Although, it can be a big drain. After reading "The Omnivor's Dilema" I can barely stand to buy meat at the grocery and just cannot bring myself or the kids to eat at McDonalds or any fast food again. This just translates into more work for me in the form of cooking and searching out local organic meat. Oh why, oh why, do I do this to myself. For lack of a better picture, here are our new food storage containers that I just picked up at Marshalls. I found them a couple bucks cheaper there than our local Meijer. There are only four since, typically, these things are four times as expensive as regular tupperwear. Food storage – check! Now I just need the courage to toss the rest of the toxic plastics in the house.
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Monday, January 18, 2010


So the first night we arrived in France 10 hours late because of fog and after I got us lost in the new town we were going to live in, we finaly found a place open to get food. After looking at the all French menu and finaly just pointing we got a pizza in a box to go and went back to our hotel. When we arrived we opened up the box to find a half cooked egg in the middle to it. WELCOME TO FRANCE. Well after 5 years I kind of started to like it, Sarah made pizza the other night and we were low on toppings so... Anyways now Nila wants eggs on all her pizza.
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New Pantry

The shelves are done and stocked. We have a lot more room for storage at the top of the basement stairs now. Next we need to paint them but for now they seem to be holding up books and food ok.
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Time for the show.

Nila set up all these chairs with her favorate stuffed animals for a show. She was more interested in having us sit in the chairs and have her photo taken. This, by the way, is the way she poses whenever she wants a photo now.
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Sick again

Jonas has a high temp again. Last night nobody got any sleep in the house. Jonas ended up in bed with us and he has no idea what to do. He says "mommy, mommy, mommy" until you respond with "Yes" then he says "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" making sure I did not go anywhere. Repeat this for about 6 hours and you get a feel for how it went. Then Nila was up with nightmares. I think we all got some sleep around 4am until my alarm went off to go to work. I just turned it off and slept for another hour. Sarah found these trains for Jonas at the used toy story last summer and we saved them for Christmas. Nila and Jonas both love them.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010


Sarah has been keeping me busy with projects around the new house. I put up a bunch of shelves in the space at the top of the stairs. They ended up turning out OK and hold all the heavy stuff fine but I am sure if my old landlord Pascal saw my work he would say "quelle horreur!". I will need to put up another photo after they are painted.
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Happy Birthday Sarah

Sarahs mom made dinner and a cake and we had a little party for Sarah a couple days after her birthday. We keep telling Nila that the new baby is going to come...

After Christmas, Mommy's birthday, Jonas's Birthday, Nila's Birthday then Daddy's Birthday. Check one and two.
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The day after Sarahs Grandfathers funeral Jonas had another Seizure. She called a couple of regular pediatricians but nobody could see us. She called our doctor in Kalamazoo and they said we had to get him checked out and to go to the hospital. He was not in a great mood all morning but by 3pm when his fever was back down he was running around and having a great time. He is ok now but it was the end of three tough weeks for us. We are getting settled in now and figuring out how we want everything set up.

My new job is going well, I am also really liking my new 12 min drive to work in the morning (my old drive was 45 min each way).

I will start taking photos and posting again this weekend.

Sorry for the gaps.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Goodbye Gramps

Summer 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

May 2003

And finally - our sad news. My Grandpa passed away over the holiday. After a long and full life filled with much love and family he left us last Wednesday. Gramps was always a very active part of my life. I remember helping him in his work shed out back, getting three tootsie rolls whenever we visited, going on walks in the woods when camping...and much much more. We will miss you Gramps. The funeral will be tomorrow so please say a prayer for him.
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Wait - who was that for???

I must post this photo since we finally got it on film. You see, at our household you must start opening your presents very slowly because every Christmas since I was little always had one or two or maybe three moments where Mom would burst out...

"WAIT! Stop - that present is not for that is for Elisabeth."


"Umm...there should be one more. Let me just go look a minute. Oh here it is, must wrap it up quick!"


"Oh, wait, didn't you already get one of those? Just pass that over to Ben, that one is his."

or the best one

"WAIT! Stop - that is for...ummm...well, I'll just hold on to that a minute and think a bit."

So this year when Jason brought our wrapped presents over a couple weeks before Christmas he mentioned that all the wrapped presents in the basement had odd names on them like Dasher and Prancer or Rudolph. We were sure to be in for a disaster Christmas morning. But, this year Judy wrote down who the names corresponded to.

But we still had a few that got away.
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Maeve Grace

Our new niece Maeve Grace was just 10 days old for the festivatives. She is a perfect little angel and bearly ever cries. We all were fighting to hold her - or at least those of us that didn't have colds. When they first arrived at Grandma's house, Nila told me "I know how to hold babies. I already held Jonas when he was a baby." She absolutely loved little Maeve!
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Christmas Morning

Jonas ran in and upon seeing the tree for the first time he said "WOW". Then he ran to the kitchen where Papa was making coffee and excitedly pointed back at the tree saying "Wow! Wow! Wow!". It was adorable!

All the kids decked out in their Christmas PJs.

Let the craziness commence!

Nila got a cinderella dress, wand and royal crown and cape, and Jonas got a train - what bliss!
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Christmas Eve

Getting the cookies ready for Santa...wait who is eating the cookies!! Nila thinks that she and Jonas should get a cookie too.

Nila helping write a letter to Santa.

All ready for Santa.

Reading the Night before Christmas with Grandma.

See - no pictures at all of the move. The official move happened on Tuesday before Christmas. In a way I keep thinking it was a terrible idea to move just three days before Christmas, but on the other hand at least we got it all done and out of the way. On Tuesday morning Jas, both my brothers and a friend of Brian's met in the KZoo and worked like crazy for three hours to fill the truck. About half way thru I was sent off to secure an additional trailer (the biggest they had) since we realized there was no way all our stuff would fit in the truck. We filled the trailer and Jason still had to go back again with another trailer load to finish. To say that we will be having a massive garage sale soon is an understatement!

Christmas Eve Mass went well with both the kids behaving perfectly. They both came down with bad colds of course so we had them all kitted out in vicks rub with the necessary flannel for the whole week. The only thing that mared our celebration was a phone call from my Gram telling us she had just brought Gramps into the hospital.
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