Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hurricane Elska

History is no stranger to tiny tyrants. Folks with a fuse to match their height are scattered throughout time.....Attila the Hun, Napoleon, Stalin, and more. We add to the list the Oncoming Storm of a certain little girl who will stomp her foot and pound on your chest with her tiny little fists if you do not move fast enough to fulfill her every whim. (We're pretty sure that she's yelling "peasants, I want a clean diaper and dinner" on a regular basis, and she even pulled on a whole handful of Daddy's chest hair last night. I couldn't stop laughing - he almost had tears in his eyes she had pulled so hard.) She has started to spread out the time between her diva tantrums though, so there is hope that the balance of power will shift someday.

We have been very thankful for those stretches of quiet the last few days since we have had to spend a bigger chunk of time out and about in public. Last week, the fuel pump went out on the car (the power steering has already been giving us issues for a couple of months now), so we have stepped up the time frame for getting a new to us vehicle. Amazingly enough, we have had zero meltdowns so far while at the dealerships or doing test drives. We are praying that this continues for us through the rest of the purchase process since it makes things a lot quicker and easier for us.

Also to note is that we are getting ready for outdoor gardening. This week I'll be starting seeds indoors for later transplant, and we have a couple of friends who will be joining our fun this summer with either vegetable swapping or help in the garden in exchange for a share of what's produced. Basically, we're planning to go all hippie co-op with the gardening this year. (We're also going to go ├╝ber-hippie with plans for foraging too. I want to do a few batches of blackberry jam this year if we can find some good patches, and I've got a delicious sounding recipe for dandelion jelly. As much as we want to do wine as well, we are going to wait until the basement is in better shape, so we have enough space.)

Other than that, the only "news" to report is that we are continuing to work on the daily routines that will keep the household from falling apart. Charlie has had clean clothes for work every day, and dinner plans have been figured out with enough time to have stuff thawed in time to eat at a reasonable hour. We're still a long way from where we were six weeks ago, but we're making progress. Maybe if I'm feeling REALLY adventurous, I'll bake some cookies. If anyone would like to help with cleaning, cooking, or baking, feel free to let me know. I am totally not too proud to have y'all take care of some of this....

Peace and God Bless!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Bash

Birthday Girl!
It is so hard to believe that it's been a month now since a certain little girl made her grand entry into the world. Because this weekend was crazy busy with a road trip to Green Bay and  a wonderful time visiting with family and friends, today's birthday celebration is rather subdued. Ok, so we've spent the day recovering....unpacking, laundry, and napping have taken up the majority of the day. We're going to have a nice dinner of chicken (Mamaw/Gigi style) and smashed potatoes and read a little of the story about Finsterhall. We'll just suggest that everyone raise a glass and toast the birthday girl. What did y'all expect? A big blowout bash? Not exactly the Sheffer style. It'll probably be 11 months from now before there's even a cake. We don't want to set the bar too high. This way if there are ever siblings, they won't feel jilted.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Intermission Between Meals

So, the grand plans of weekly updates this year have not exactly happened. I'd normally expect a very public verbal flogging for this, however, it's Good Friday today....God forgives ALL of our sins, so I'm hoping to be forgiven this one by everyone. We aren't where we want to be, but we're better than we were.

We have had a couple of very eventful weeks here at Chez Sheffer. Grandma came from Arizona to visit, and Aunt Katie made the trek into town to meet an adorable little girl - Mama and Daddy have no illusions that they were the reason for either visit. We have lost our status as primary characters in the story of Sheffers' Shenanigans and now have a secondary roles. However, since we have been relegated to roles of waitstaff and servants, we may soon find ourselves as extras in the background.

Since the baby book is somewhere unknown for the time being (sometimes even the first child doesn't have much written....), there were a couple of noteworthy milestones in the last two weeks. April 8, we did tummy time on the floor instead of in the confines of the bassinet, and someone decided that it was boring and rolled over onto her back. When taunted with, "I dare you to do it again," - she did. The other exciting thing was that this morning, April 18, our little girl discovered her happy voice. It was definitely a nice change from the angry voice that we normally hear around here.

In non-baby related news, the contractor has finished work on our house in Green Bay, and word is that it looks great. We're just working on finalizing all the paperwork and inspections before we can move to part of the process where we sell it.

Well, it's about the time where a couple of girls relax and listen to Frankie, Louis, Duke, and Ella on Pandora.

God Bless!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Fresh Prince(ss)

In the west of Wisconsin we lived our days
With our family and friends we worked and lazed...

Without trying to come up with more horrible rhymes, we'll just say that our lives have totally been flipped turned upside down.

Only a few weeks ago, our lives were slightly under control. We had our routines; homemade meals were the normal; bread was freshly baked a couple of times a week; progress was being made to keep the house clean and organized; and we hadn't been awoken at 3am by screaming since it got too cold to leave the windows open at night and hear the neighbors get into it on their lawn after bar close.

On March 14, we headed up to Osseo for our third annual Pi(e) Day trip to the Norske Nook. It was a gorgeous day for a drive, and the pie was amazing as always. A few day later on the 17th, we had our traditional viewing of The Quiet Man to celebrate St Patrick's Day. Then late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning arrived, and it was the beginning of the end of everything that we knew or even thought that we knew as the stork delivery service made final preparations for arrival.

At first, Sarah was pretty sure that this was just another false alarm - like had been happening for weeks. Attempts (unsuccessful ones) were made at sleeping, and Charlie nervously left for work reassured that if anything actually happened, one of our volunteer drivers would pick him up from the store. This was totally a case of wishful thinking though. After a late dinner, it seemed like it was time to head to the hospital to meet our little bundle. However, labor hadn't progressed enough to be admitted since we live close to the hospital. Home for a night with even less sleep than the previous (ok, none this time), we waited until late Friday morning when we called for our ride to head back to the hospital. This time, we were far enough along to stay. Our future diva wanted to ensure a build up to a grand entrance though, so she decided to wait until Saturday morning to make her debut into the world.

Being born is exhausting!
At 6:45am on Saturday March 22, 2014, this little girl changed our lives forever. Now, we are probably a little biased as excited new parents, but we think that she is absolutely beautiful. If you think otherwise, just keep it to yourself. We are choosing to remain completely oblivious to any contradictory opinions.
Who could have imagined that at 6lbs 11oz and 20 1/4in long she would make as big of a splash as the big guy at the pool doing a cannon ball off the high dive? Somehow, she did.

Ready to head home for the first time.
We took our time getting to know this little wonder before the three of us were able to pick what her name would be. We had gone to the hospital with a short list of both girls' and boys' names, but none of them seemed to be quite right. It took until Sunday night for us to finally feel comfortable her name is supposed to be Elska Rose Teresa Sheffer. Now it seems strange that it took two days to figure it out since it just seems so perfect.

Daddy carrying Elska into the house.

The ladies at the Franciscan/Skemp/MCHS hospital birth center were absolutely wonderful for our entire time there. To say that we got a little spoiled would be the understatement of a lifetime. Lois, Tammy, Jamie, and the rest took fantastic care of us and didn't bat an eyelid at all the times that we hit the call button not having a clue what to do with this little person we're supposed to take care of. We are eternally grateful for all of their advice and suggestions that made for a much smoother transition to parenthood. Also, knowing that they're still available to help is comforting. (Side note about the birth center itself: the whirlpool hot tub is awesome. There aren't a lot of tubs long enough where someone 5'11" can actually relax in the water.)
Cheers for making a stinky diaper!

 We have been home now for a little over a week now. We do NOT have this parenting thing at all figured out yet. The dining room table is somewhere under a huge pile of clean laundry, baby gifts, and probably bills that need to be paid; we forgot to bring in the mail for two days this week, and it's only Wednesday; nothing more challenging that scrambled eggs or a sandwich have been cooked at our house since coming home; and the garbage didn't get taken to the curb this week. At the same time, we have learned a few things so far:
  • Not immediately having a child's name decided causes a lot of people to freak out - and in a bigger way than not knowing in advance if it's a boy or girl. The instant access of the information age has caused a lot of folks to have no patience.
  • Cosco greatly exaggerated the weight range on the car seat that we had purchased. There is no way that a 5lb baby could use that thing. This caused Mama and Daddy a lot of stress on a cold wet day. Cosco - we did not need the extra panic thank you very much. We might be able to start using it when Elska gets to be around 8lbs. We had to get and install a second seat in order to leave the hospital. 
  • The level of sleep deprivation caused by college has got nothing on the zombie mode that a newborn can create. Also, it is amazing how long it's possible to stay functional under the circumstances. New babies should come with warning labels about driving though....exhaustion is probably more damaging to reaction time than alcohol. Just sayin'.
  • I totally forgot that now Mama will change my diaper!
  • Hiccups during a screaming session are completely hysterical. You just can't keep from laughing at how goofy it sounds.
  • Compared to the indignity of childbirth, nursing in public doesn't seem nearly as daunting as it did only a month ago.
  • The time that it takes to write a blog post increases from minutes/hours to days when you have a small distraction who insists on being held at ALL TIMES. You can even see it in her eyes...the look says, "Peasants! Bow to my every whim! Move faster!" We have prevailed upon Aunt Katie to refine these diva tendencies. We are hoping to move to the more manageable Barbara Streisand mode from the current full on Diana Ross that we have now.
  • It is possible to have a child prefer a wet/stinky diaper to the temporarily bare bottom required to change said diaper. 
  • It is possible to fall so deeply into a pair of big blue eyes that you never get out or even want to.
  • There is no way that we could ever thank our friends and family enough for the amazing support that they have given us in just the last few days. The prayers, meals, help with errands, and all the rest have made it possible for us to feel like almost competent parents.
 God Bless!