Saturday, August 29, 2009

School's in...

Last Friday, I had my first institute day. Thursday night I cried my eyes out for about 45 minutes. I didn't want to leave my kids. I knew they would be fine with Theresa, and they were. On Monday, Juliana had a rough day. She refused to take her bottle for Theresa. Since it was an institute day, I was able to leave during my lunch to try to feed her. She didn't eat well for me either.

This week was difficult for me. Every morning, I got up with the sad feeling of having to leave my babies. Noah didn't seem to mind. I was sure he was going to punish me- he did last year. Nope, every morning, he said to me, "put sister in seat. Go theresa's house now". Juliana did well too. She and Theresa are working out the feeding problems, and by the end of this week, Juliana was taking almost all of her bottles. Theresa has even been able to get her to take some really good naps.

But honestly, who would want to leave these guys?

This is Noah's "supermodel" pose

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Devin Hester of the Dog World...

Our Boxer, Finchy, is the Devin Hester of the dog world, and I mean it in the most flattering way possible. When he has a ball, no one can stop him. Finchy likes to play fetch, and he can hit his top speed very quickly. If he ever got out of the yard and got spooked, he would be miles away before we knew he was missing. My father in law, wanted to capture his speed on his camera. So, he sat on the ground by the fence, and told me to throw the ball so that Finchy would be running straight at him. Here are the pictures he captured, check out the power of Finchy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mahlberg Visit 2009

At the end of July we were able to host Ryan's family at our house. We had Grandma and Granpa Mahlberg, Auntie Diane, Auntie Candise, and cousins JJ, Anna, and Sammy- who Noah now calls "my Sammy". We don't get to see them very often. The last time we were all together was when Noah was 9 months old and we drove to New York. I wanted to post pictures from the visit, but we didn't take many, so I had been waiting for Grandpa John to send us the ones he took (he's a fantastic photographer). I just got the CD today, so here are some pictures from the visit...
Making coffee with Grandma Johnda

Playing in the bouncy house
Juliana and Auntie Diane
At the playground by our house
Juliana and Grandma Johnda
Juliana, Grandpa John, and Noah
At the playground by our house
Noah's Sammy (isn't he adorable?!?)
Auntie Candise and Juliana
Grandpa, Grandma and all the cousins

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


On Monday, I took Juliana (and Noah) to the pediatricians. Ryan and I had this big hope that she would have gained weight. I was hoping for 11 1/2 pounds, Ryan had high hopes of 12 pounds. She weighed in at 10 1/2 pounds. I wasn't happy about that, but she had gained a little over a pound since her 2 month check up. The doctor wasn't happy about it either. Fortunately, Ryan and I log her feedings and Ryan in his uber-nerdiness even graphs it so we can see a general trend (the line hadn't been going up), which gave the doctor a visual on how she eats. Basically she's eating the same amount as she did when she was 2 weeks old, which, obviously, isn't good.

So, now we have to add rice cereal to her bottle, in hopes that that will help her acid reflux and she will keep more in her (so far it seems to be working). We also have to start her on solids earlier than we would have liked to. I've tried rice cereal twice. The first time she projectiled it all over, and the second time, she spit it up and then refused to open her mouth for me no matter what I tried. Last night, Ryan was able to get about a tablespoon of sweet potatoes in her mouth before she clamped her mouth shut.

We go back on the 31st for a weigh in. Pray for us and for Juliana to eat, please!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Day Out With Thomas...

Noah loves choo choo trains. In an earlier post, I mentioned that Auntie Candise had handed down Thomas choo choos to Noah. We also have a train track by our house and Noah loves to watch the train go by (not in summer, because the trees have leaves then and he can't see the train). Anyway, Noah likes Thomas the Train. His favorites are: Thomas, Percy, and James. For the past few weeks, Noah has changed his focus from "Cars" to "Thomas". We watch Thomas, play choo choos and bring Thomas everywhere in his "man bag".
Papa Jim discovered that Thomas was going to be at the Illinois Railway Museum in August and wanted to know if Noah would like to go. We said yes, so Papa bought the tickets for A Day Out With Thomas on August 15.

Noah loved it! He would have stayed longer, but Juliana was getting really warm in the shade. He was able to see Thomas made of Legos, get tattoos of James and Thomas, ride Thomas and wave to everyone watching, and Papa and Grandma bought him a Thomas conductor hat.

Walking into the Railroad Museum with Papa Jim...

Lego Thomas

Grandma, Noah and the Army choo choo (Big Train- Noah said)

In the tattoo tent, they had a train table with lots of choo choos to play with...

Look! It's the Duluth and Iron Range Coach- reminds me of Grandpa & Grandma Mahlberg, & Auntie Diane

While waiting to ride Thomas, Noah got to get into the Union Fire Truck, it was high up!

Finally, riding on Thomas!

Asleep on Sunday's ride home (while Juliana cried the whole way)...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 14, 1999...

On this date, 10 years ago, I married the only man I ever dated; the only man I ever said "I love you" to (besides my dad).

When I transferred to Bethel College (now University), I never thought I would meet my husband to be. I figured I would be single for a while. Boys weren't interested in me in high school, and I wasn't too interested in them either.

So, there I was. My roommate and one of my best friends, Juli, and I went to the transfer students "welcome week". My group had 2 people in it, so our "leader" decided to merge us with another small group. Enter Ryan Mahlberg. I made small talk with him and the others in our group. He was a BioChemistry major at the time (later changed to just Chemistry), and I was pre-med Biology. We were together for the remainder of that time, but honestly, I thought he was interested in Juli.

We hung out off and on the first week, eating dinner together- our own little group of transfer students. I got a job driving the schools' shuttle bus on Saturday nights. On my first Saturday night, Ryan came out and asked me if I wanted to go see a movie with him and his roommate and another girl when I got off. I said sure. We went to see Conspiracy Theory. Every Saturday night after that, Ryan would pick me up after work and give me a ride back to Fountain Terrace (sounds like an old folks home, doesn't it?). Juli, Ryan and I would hang out and watch The Pretender and Profiler- Ryan's roommate had a TV and Ryan taped them so we could watch them.

I knew that I liked Ryan, but he was so serious about school. He studied constantly. On Saturday's he would be at the school as soon as it was open and would study all day until he picked me up at the end of my shift. Could he be a bigger nerd?

Skip ahead to January. I had done J-term classes, and Ryan was a TA. I'll be honest, I used him for a ride home, because I really wanted to go home. I had the intention of breaking up with him after we got back to Bethel. Did that happen? No. Back home, we took Ryan bowling and introduced him to the rest of my close friends. All of a sudden, there was a different Ryan. A Ryan that knew how to have fun and his personality came out.

Skip ahead again to the summer. Ryan went back home to Pennsylvania, and I went home to do summer school. Ryan drove out and proposed to me. I, of course, said yes. We spent the next school year, helping to plan our wedding, which would take place after we graduated.

August is usually a very humid and hot month. The church we were being married in didn't have air conditioning. The night before our wedding the temperature dropped into the 50's, and the prediction for the next day's weather was in the low 70's. And it was. It was the perfect day. My best friends stood up for me. My childhood babysitter sang, "If You Could See What I See" by Geoff Moore. We had our first dance to our song, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden (whatever happened to them?).

Once upon a time, a boy met a girl. They fell in love, had 2 children, and lived happily ever after.

Happy 10 year anniversary, Ryan! I love you more and more each day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Noah's "jars of clay"

In June, my sister Jaime, blogged about Liam's "jars of clay". For those of you who don't know what I mean by a jar of clay, it's referenced in the Bible: 2 Corinthians 4:7 - But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show us that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

I thought it was so cute that Liam was so attached to his bag that he slept with it at night. Well, a few weeks ago, Noah discovered his jar of clay. Ryan calls it his "man bag", and Noah puts his treasures in it to bring with him. Right now his treasures are a few Thomas choo choos that he inherited from his cousins. Before that, it was a few of his "Cars" cars- usually 2 McQueens, 2 Ramones, and then one other randomly selected car. When we tell Noah we are going somewhere, he yells for his "man bag" and fills it.

This past Sunday, Ryan and I couldn't find his "man bag" and we needed to leave for church. Ryan found a "man bag" for Noah, but that wasn't good enough for him, so we continued to look for Noah's "man bag". I finally found it- he had hidden it in the couch. Noah took his precious "man bag" and put it inside the "man bag" Ryan had tried to give him, and they all went to church with us.

Like Jaime said, it is a stretch to compare his bag to a jar of clay, but I really think that both boys' bags are their jars of clay with their treasures in it. Eventually both will move on to different jars of clay, more importantly the accepting of Jesus, but for now they have the jars of clay of 2 year old boys.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

3 months old and crying it out...

My little girl turned 3 months old on July 28. She is still a peanut, but had not been sleeping well. She went from getting up once at night, to getting up 2-3 times and sometimes not falling back to sleep when we had company, to getting up 4-5 times when Ryan was out of town. The last one was the hardest on me, because I didn't have someone to get up with her instead. My mom came and stayed 2 nights, and would get up with Noah in the morning so that I could sleep. But even I have to say, I looked like a raccoon. The day Ryan came home, I was running on empty. I told him that that night we had to have her cry it out, because I couldn't function this way, especially with school starting up again. He said, okay. Now, we weren't letting her cry it out instead of feeding her- we still planned on getting up for that, but we planned on letting her cry it out to learn to soothe herself to sleep.

That night she didn't start to cry right away. She waited until 8:45, 15 minutes before we went to bed (she's a smart girl). Ryan and I decided to let her cry until 10 and then Ryan would feed her and put her back down if she was still crying. At 10 she was still crying. Ryan got up and fed her, and then she fell right to sleep. She only got up once in the night, and then slept until 9:45 the next morning. I felt pretty good the next morning. It was nice to get some sleep. The next night, she cried for 45 minutes, then 20 minutes. For two nights there was no crying, then we were back to 10 minutes. Now, she only gets up once at night, and when she gets up in the morning, she's up for maybe an hour and then back to sleep she goes. She is a much happier baby now- thank you Jesus!

It was difficult to let her cry it out, especially since she has heart issues. The cardiologist told us to treat her like a normal baby, but still she's so small- much smaller than Noah was at this age when we let him cry it out, so I felt guilty... until I saw a much happier baby the next morning. It's nice to know that we made a good choice when we made the crying it out decision.