Monday, September 28, 2009

I Love Babies!

I got to spend yesterday afternoon holding a sleeping baby. Doesn't get much better than that! Joe and I left the kids at home (with a babysitter of course) and drove to Madison to meet Natalia Pearl Hackel. "Talia" was born on August 25th. Our friends, Jenn and Scott, are the proud new parents. Jenn and Scott are also responsible for the meeting of Joe and I. Here's the short version of how we are all connected:

1. Jenn and Scott went to high school together and continued to date while in college at Madison.
2. Jenn and I lived in the same dorm Freshman and Sophomore year and became fast friends.
3. Scott joined the crew team.
4. Joe joined the crew team.
5. I joined the crew team (although that doesn't really come into play)
6. Joe and Scott became friends.
7. Therefore, Joe and Jenn became friends.
8. I meet Joe through Jenn and Scott.
9. The rest is history!

Aren't you glad you know that now?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Updates and Such...

Ella had her 3 year old check-up the other day, and surprise surprise, she is still in the 95th percentile for height and weight. I mean, really...where does she get her height? She continues to meet all of her developmental milestones and the pediatrician had no concerns. He didn't really have any suggestions for the night terrors. He basically said they could go away tomorrow and when she's in third grade. Super. My poor kid wont be able to have sleep-overs because she'll be screaming in her sleep, freaking out all of the other kids! Let's hope she grows out of it quickly. She hasn't had one for a while now. Crap...I'm sure I just jinxed myself. But, she has been going to bed very nicely lately. I make a chart with three circles on it, and Ella puts it on her door. If she goes to bed without crying and getting out of her room, she gets a sticker the next morning. When she gets three stickers, she gets a treat. Ella likes to pick chocolate chips as her reward. Whatever. Ella is doing very well at preschool and she is learning letter recognition at Ms. Linda's. Ella also said her first swearword while in the bathtub the other night. She dropped one of her toys and yelled out, "Dammit!" I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. Joe and I have tried so hard to not swear in front of the kids, and for the most part, we've done a great job. Well, if you know Ella, you know that she has a great memory. So, Joe or I probably said the word one time, and she picked up on it. She hasn't said it since though, so hopefully she wont bust it out at preschool today. Oh the embarrassment!

Nathan is doing great as well. He goes to bed like an angel, and he pretty much sleeps through the night. It's not 100% consistent yet, but we're getting close! It's about time, dammit. I mean... He's pulling himself up to stand and is starting to cruise along the furniture. He's eating "big people" food for the most part. I still give him baby veggies and fruit if what we're having is too hard for him to chew. He is also starting to stand all by himself! The other day he stood, without holding onto anything, for almost 25 seconds! I can't kiss him enough!

Joe has lost 20 pounds! It's definitely starting to show, most noticeably in his face. All of his pants are getting too loose, to the point that he can pull them off without unbuttoning or unzipping them. I have lost about 9 pounds. I can't really tell much of a difference, except for maybe my pants and shorts fitting a little looser as well. I hope to lose about 5 or 6 more pounds and then work to maintain that weight. We've been consistently working out and eating healthy, with good portion control and moderation. We haven't been to a fast-food restaurant in over a month. We are really proud of each other and of ourselves!

The kids and I meet some Newcomers folks for apple picking the other morning. Ella thought it was great and now thinks it's really cool to eat an apple whole...without mommy having to cut it up and remove the skin. We're meeting with Newcomers next week as well for an indoor playroom outing and then lunch afterwards. I'm really glad I joined this group!

I teach my first Sunday school class this Sunday. It will be me, a parent volunteer, and about 15 Kindergartners. Whoa. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Ella

Happy Birthday my sweet Ella Charlotte. I can't believe it's been 3 years already. She is my joy, my blonde beauty, my baby. She makes me smile every day. I can't even put into words how much I love her and how lucky I am to have her as my daughter. This is what I wrote on Monday, September 25th, 2006:

Ella was born on Sept. 22nd at 10:57am. I went into labor on Wednesday the 20th, went to the hospital, got sent home, spent Thursday laboring at home, which was nice, went back Thursday night, got an epidural (wonderful stuff), labored (without pain) all through Thursday night, gave birth to Ella on Friday morning! That is the short and sweet version of Ella's birth! :)

Enjoy the video slideshow I created, documenting Ella's life thus far.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thinking Back...

Continuing with the theme, here is the entry I wrote on Thursday, September 21st, 2006:

Well, we went to the hospital last night because I was having pretty strong contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting about a minute, for over an hour. We thought, "Yea, this is it!" I got hooked up to a monitor, and sure enough, I was having contractions. The baby's head was really low and my cervix was "very favorable" but it just wouldn't dilate past 2cm. So at 2:00am, we decided to go home and get some sleep in our own bed. I was able to sleep and the contractions seemed to decrease overnight. Joe and I took a long walk this morning to get things going, and I am now having pretty strong irregular contractions. I'm obviously not working...I'm not sure how I would run groups having to deal with a contraction every few minutes! So, my maternity leave has started, minus a baby. I sure hope she decides to come in the next few days! If I continue to have bad contractions, I'll probably go back in and have my water broken, according to the nurse. Well, that's the update. Hopefully the next time will be the real thing, or at least closer to the real thing. Stay tuned...

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Baby is Growing Up

Ella had her first day of "Pre-3" Preschool last Friday. She walked right into the classroom without any trouble. I had to go over to her and ask her for a hug and a kiss before I left! She goes to a Lutheran church, located about 3 minutes from our house, every Friday morning from 9:00 until 11:00. That's where she is right now in fact! It's also the perfect time for Nate to take a nap, and for me to update my blog. (Or clean, or do laundry...)

Last Saturday, we celebrated Ella's 3rd birthday, even though she won't be 3 until the 22nd. I have a continuing education course all of this coming weekend, so we decided to celebrate a little early this year. Ella's cousins, aunts, uncles, Godparents, and both sets of grandparents were there. We were able to borrow a bouncy house from our childcare provider, Ms. Linda. I think it was a hit!

Ella seemed to thoroughly enjoy her "Dora" cake as well.

We had a nice visit with my parents, who like always, helped immensely, especially getting everything ready for the party. They met with the realtor again, and actually looked at a few houses, to get an idea of what is offered in certain areas. It was a little disappointing for them, but it is just the beginning. When they come in October for Nate's birthday party, they will check out some other areas, and hopefully it will be a bit more promising.

I attended my first "Ladies Night Out" with the Newcomers Group. We gathered at another member's home (which was gorgeous) and played poker! Nobody knew how to play, so it was quite comical trying to learn! I'm looking forward to attending more events, with and without kids!

Last night was Ella's first "Dance with Me" class. It's a six-week parent-participation class, introducing beginning dance concepts. Or, basically a bunch of 2 and 3 year olds running around in circles. It was cute to watch! I think Ella will want to take dance lessons when she's a little older. She likes to watch "So You Think You Can Dance" with me and twirl around to the music. She said the funniest thing the other day. I told her we were going to "Big Lots" to pick up a few things, and without missing a beat, she looked right at me and asked, "Well, why isn't there a Little Lots?" She's also been following me around, being my little shadow. I asked her why she was following me everywhere, and she informed me, "Because I like to. I'm your daughter." Well, she told me!

Nathan is pulling himself up on everything and has learned how to crawl up the stairs. And man, he's fast! Whenever I tell him, "No," he scrunches up his little nose and makes a little whiny noise. It's hilarious! I have to stop myself from laughing, or he'll never learn! He's been sleeping very well lately, mostly through the night. He just gets up a little too early for my liking...but it's better than having to get up 2 or 3 times a night, like in the past. I can't believe my baby boy will be turning one next month.

Thinking about how time flies, I wanted to post a little part of my on-line journal that I kept during my pregnancy with Ella. My friend April began posting some memories of her pregnancy with her son, who will also be one next month, so I thought I would do the same for Ella. I'll do the same for Nathan in a few weeks. This was written on Thursday, September 19th, 2006:

One week until my due date! I had my weekly appointment today, and unfortunately, no chance since last week. Still 1.5cm dilated and 90% effaced, although she said I might be a little more effaced since last week. We talked about induction, and she said we would induce on October 2nd, a Monday, if Ella decides to stay put. So, there really is an end in sight, and the would be in two weeks. I'm seriously considering starting my leave after this week because it's becoming very hard to work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nate's First Haircut

I no longer have a baby...I have a little boy! Besides cutting the front of his hair so it wouldn't get into his eyes, today was Nathan's first haircut! I took him to "Snip Itz," a hair salon for kids. Nate did fabulously! He sat perfectly still and didn't cry. I think he was a bit confused as to what was going on. After he was done, they took a picture and printed it out for me, along with a certificate and a little bag with some of his hair. I can't believe how old he looks now! Here is a picture of my handsome little devil after his haircut today, and a picture from two days ago! Enjoy the video of one of Nate's firsts!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Remembering 9/11 Blog Hop

I've decided to try this Blog Hop thing, where each week there is a new topic to blog about, with links to other blogs talking about the same topic. It's my first time, so we'll see if it works, and if I can keep up with a weekly, random, post. This week's topic is "Remembering 9/11."

I remember it was my very first day of OT school. We were all sitting in class, wondering what our professor was going to be like. I remember her saying, "This could be the start of World War Three." At this point, nobody really understood what was going on. When I got back to my house that afternoon, I turned on the news and just sat in awe. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I saw, in real time I believe, the second tower crumble. It might have the the first tower, but my memory is a little foggy. I remember getting tears in my eyes. I remember that Joe was supposed to go to Milwaukee for a Brewers baseball game, but it was cancelled. I remember wanting to find a church to go to and then sitting on our front porch with my roommates, lighting candles in memoriam. What an absolutely horrible day. A day we don't want to remember, because of the pain it caused so many people, but a day we must remember, as it will be written in history books, talked about in text books in school, be written on students' time lines that they have to create for homework. A day that brought people together in this country, made people hug their loved ones a little closer, and helped people realize what the important things are in life.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Book Review

I finished reading "Truth and Consequences," by Alison Lurie, the other night. I enjoyed it, for the most part. The author made me dislike some of the characters, which was probably her intention, and it made me think about the situations presented. What would I do in a situation like that? How would I treat someone dealing with what one of the main characters was dealing with? It was a quick read, nothing too confusing or hard to follow. It wasn't spectacular, by any means, but I didn't feel like it was a waste of my time either. That's always a good thing! I find that my problem is that I start falling asleep, so when I pick the book back up the next night, I don't remember what has happened or what I read last. Oh well, at least I am able to read at night again!

Friday, September 4, 2009


I'm not one to usually share my dreams, which probably stems from my mother's hate of listening to other people's dreams, but I couldn't resist this one. I'll keep it short. Basically, I was having an affair with Biz Markie. I know, weird. Joe hunny, you have nothing to worry about.

Since the weather has been so beautiful, I wanted to take advantage of it, and spend as much time outside. I decided to take the kids to the zoo today. Since school started, I figured it wouldn't be very crowded. We pulled into the parking lot about an hour after the zoo had opened and it was PACKED! As I looked around, I began to notice several buses...not school buses, but transportation vans from local retirement communities. It was senior citizen day! Once we were actually inside the zoo, it didn't seem that crowded. We did have trouble finding a table in the shade to eat our packed lunches though...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Under the Weather

The entire Dietrich household is sick. We all have colds. Kids produce so much snot, it's ridiculous. But, it didn't stop us from going to a playgroup this morning. It was at a park, so I figured we probably wouldn't expose anyone. It was a beautiful day and we met some very nice families. The playgroup is a part of the Newcomers Group I recently joined. There are a few more events I'd like to attend this month. I'm excited to have this resource, especially during the winter months when it's so hard to get out a do things.

Ella will be starting a "Pre-3" preschool class on Friday mornings, from 9:00 until 11:00. She misses the September 1st cut-off to start 3K, but this program was created especially for these types of situations. She will also be starting the preschool curriculum at Ms. Linda's, beginning next week. Based on what we see now, we think Ella will be ready for Kindergarten starting in September of 2011. She would start Kindergarten as a 4 year old, but would turn 5 21 days later. Our school district has special testing if parents want their children to start Kindergarten, even if they miss the September 1st cut-off date. But, it's a long ways off, and things could change. There are so many differing opinions about this subject, it's quite overwhelming. So, I'm just going to enjoy my time at home with her for now!

Despite being sick, Nate has been pretty much sleeping through the night. We've come so far with that! I think back to when we was only a few months old, and can just remember the sheer exhaustion. Those first few months were a roller coaster ride for sure! I wouldn't take back a minute of it.

Our diet is going very well! You may have noticed the weight-loss ticker on my left side-bar. I'm down about 4 or 5 pounds. Joe and I have kept each other going and I'm very proud of us. We've been taking walks almost every evening, and let me tell you, pushing that double jogging stroller adds a nice upper body work-out! We've tried some great new recipes that even I like!
(For those of you who don't know, I'm kind of a picky eater.) The best part is that I don't really feel hungry. I don't feel like I'm depriving myself at all, which makes it all the more easy to stick with the plan.

Enough about us! My very good friend, Christine, told me the most exciting news the other day. Click here to find out! God is great!!! Christine and I have been friends since early high school. We ran cross-country together and were co-captains of the team our senior year. She has an adorable little boy, who turned one this past March. They live all the way across the country, in Seattle, so we don't see each other nearly enough. Luckily, we can keep up to date through our blogs. She was my inspiration to start blogging, ya know. I am so thrilled beyond words for Christine and her family!

Head on over to my friend April's blog to enter a give-away! And then, while you're doing that, check out her new blog store, where she is selling the cutest hats and headbands for little ones! And plus, you can check out my kids striking a pose!

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Liz!