Tag Archives: Karsten

Chase’s Story [VIDEO]

Have you ever seen this video of Chase?

If not, I highly recommend it.  And even if so, feel free to watch it again…  We have been so blessed to partner with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation this year and are continually thankful for the platform they give us to share Chase’s story with so many.

-MbM-

[Our deepest gratitude to the incomparable Matthew Lackey for his mad, crazy video skills.  Also, a huge thank you to both Jane Hoppen and Kristen Thies for all they did to put together the finished product and the time spent filming it.]

Of Ending The Year With Our Foreheads On…

The year 2014 has less than a dozen hours left in it.  This year has seen us through many, many things and all along the way we’ve prayed for the strength to choose joy.  To that end -the joy part, or in this case, the hysterical laugh-until-you-cry part- I’ve compiled a series of actual status updates from my personal Facebook page; all of which were posted in 2014.  I chronicle these things (and have done so for some years) because life is too short and childhood is even shorter and there are too many parenting moments when you’re faced with the choice of either laughing or melting into a puddle of tears — so, as much as possible, we choose to laugh.  Many of the scenarios include personal hashtags: from the most common – #lifewithboys, to the most funny [playing off of our secret parenting fear that our children won’t get college scholarships] #notscholarshipmaterial, to a mini-series from our first family vacation for a wedding less than 48 hours before the October MRI#turningupinTulsa.  We’ve asked you to walk many hard things with us, so, for a brief moment, as we close 2014, enjoy our “normal“…

Note: due to the household including the addition of three boys in approximately three years, an abnormally large amount of the quotes have to do with bodily functions or bathrooms.  Consider yourself warned.

1.  “Don’t walk on the couch with a box over your head, Karsten.”  I just said this.

2.  My child just pledged allegiance ending in “...with liberty and crustless for all!”  We might be in trouble. #‎nationalismfail

3.  There wasn’t enough snow for snowmen, so the kids made snow heads. Can’t decide if the yard looks like Easter Island or a horror film.

4.  Someday I will understand the mysteries of the universe and be able to explain why there is a football in the shower.  Today isn’t that day.

5.  “Well I didn’t throw the toy at him…Uh, I dropped it and his head was just in the way!” #lifewithboys

6.  “Look, I don’t care if it IS the Death Star. You need to stop messing around and eat your orange.”

7.  “Uh, Mom? Uh, today…today, I’m going to uh, not spill my water three times at the table.” #‎aidangoals

8.  “Mom, I’m keeping this family picture so that when you die, I’ll remember you because you’re old and you’re probably going to die soon.”

9.  “I just came down from Kookie’s room to tell you I peed really, really big on the floor.”  The official moment you regret telling a child to come here if they want to talk to you.

10.  “Now we are engaged TO a great civil war…”: Aidan’s rendition of Gettysburg in which history lives, but prepositions take a hit.

11.  “Well, uh, Mom, I didn’t throw a Duplo at his head.  I threw the Duplo into the Duplo box and his head was in there because he was messing around.”

12.  “Mom, I didn’t trip him.  I was just standing there with my leg out and he, uh…fell over it.”

13.  “Graham crackers are for eating…not picking your nose!”  I need a raise.

14.  This is what Aidan does on his day off school.  Because when you jump off the toilet lid, you go big or go home… 

1618643_10151911956800583_1613537379_n

15.  Bob: “Karsten, you need a shirt.“, Karsten: “Can I eat it?”

16.  As Karsten watches the Olympics, he yells “Come on, Bears!”…because that’s what you yell at a TV during a sporting event, right?

17.  Darcy: “Mom, Karsten’s being a disastrophe.” Grammar takes a backseat to conflict resolution.

18.  Early morning questions: “Hey Mooooom?! When I’m 60 or 29, can I pleeease watch ‘The Battle of Helm’s Deep’?” #‎lifewithaidan

19.  Mom Log, 7:09am: Boy enters with teeth marks in forehead and another boy close behind, screaming “It was an ‘askident’!”  This should be good.

20.  “Yes, he shouldn’t have licked your books, but you should never sit in somebody’s face!”  This is how “reading time” goes down.  Real talk.

21.  “I’m sorry, Aidan, but ‘Hey, look! There’s a giant hamburger falling from the sky!’ is not a viable conclusion to your class presentation on the history of Legos.”

22.  Chase and Karsten are arguing about whether “Alligator” starts with “B” or “C“.  This should go well.  And by “this“, I mean the next twenty years.

23.  “If you ever get the kitchen stool and climb onto the counter and drop the watermelon to the ground again…”  Well, that was a first.

24.  “Mom! I learned how to sort all the laundry and now I know from everything into which thing it should be sorted into.”  Next lesson?  Grammar.

25.  “Mom, if you let me have a cell phone when I’m in college, I’ll totally text you, but first, you’ll have to tell me how to spell ‘good’ so that I can tell you that I am good.” #‎lifewithaidan #‎notscholarahipmaterial

26.  “Bapa, you never played hockey, but Grammie can still put you in the penalty box, right?” #‎lifewithaidan

27.  And then the training sesh ended with the lesson: “…and that’s why you never run with an anesthesia mask over your face.”

28.  Me: Do you know who the president was during World War 2?Aidan: Abraham Lincoln?, Darcy: Who is the guy with the horse in the picture in the hallway? (George Washington), Me: I’ll give you a *major* hint…it was a Roosevelt. Which Roosevelt?, Aidan: “Oh, oh!! It was John! John Roosevelt!!”  #‎historyfail #‎notscholarshipmaterial

29.  Somebody found the medical supply cabinet… #‎trouble

10362374_10152122060495583_1907516986929660606_n

30.  “Well, Mom, *this* is why you had a daughter…because I’m always right.”

31.  “Kookie, you be Dark Vader and I’ll be Fran Cello, okay?”  May the force (and the knowledge of actual Star Wars characters) be with you, my boys.

32.  This morning, Aidan informed me that he could sneeze in Spanish.  So glad we can check that off the list of needed life skills…

33.  That time Aidan walked into a dining room chair and split his eyelid open…again.

34.  That moment you’ve been in hold forever with the US Postal Service and they finally ask you to say a command and all the phone computer picks up in the silence is the sound of the 2 year old standing next to you saying: “I have poop, Mom.”

35.  Darcy is reviewing family members’ names with Chase: “Uncle Dave , Aunt Meg , Captain America…”  Say what??

36.  “But you NEVER said I COULDN’T throw a chair!”  Helloooooo, Monday…

37.  Family pictures at the horse farm…, Grandma: “Aidan, did you tell your mom about your experience in the barn?”, Aidan: “I touched a horse!”, Grandma: “…and what else did you touch?”, Aidan [hanging his head]: “Oh yeah… I toucheded the electric fence too.” #lifewithboys

38.  “Do not drop your dinner plate on the floor for the sole purpose of doing an air guitar with your leg!” — parenting with Bob Ewoldt

39.  “Um…Mom? How old will I be when I’m 25?” -Aidan #‎notscholarshipmaterial

40.  “Hey, Mom? When Auntie Meg has her baby, can I burp ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’ to it? I promise to burp in English!” -Aidan

41.  Let me be clear about something…just because I never specifically said “Hey, don’t take the cap off the milk carton, put your mouth around it, and blow into the opening.” does NOT mean it’s an acceptable breakfast table activity. #‎lifewithboys

42.  That oddly poetic moment when the coffee you’re about to make becomes that much more necessary to your day… 

10686706_10152291633685583_6197262155552441790_n

43.  “Aidan, tonight is your first night in Sparks, and you should be happy about that, and I know that you’re a lot shorter than most of the other kids, but you should try to have fun, and it’s okay, and you’ll grow up some day.”  Older sister pep talks are the best.

44.  I just walked into a flooded bathroom and two guilty little boys who informed me that it had happened because one was “President Business” and the other was “The Piece of Resistance”.  Everything is awesome.  So awesome.

45.  One of my children really knows the meaning of the phrase “Go big or go home”.  In other, totally unrelated news, anybody have a failsafe recipe for getting black Sharpie permanent marker out of anything and everything…hypothetically speaking??

46.  As we discussed today’s [Columbus Day] historical significance…, Aidan: “Mom what language do they speak in Spain?”, Me: “Spanish. Why?”, Aidan: “No, I’m pretty sure that’s not right. There’s a Spain language.”, Me: “Yes, it’s called Spanish.”, Aidan: “No, it’s a [emphasis] Spain language…” #notscholarshipmaterial

47.  “Mom! Come quick! The boys put toys in the toilet and Chase is telling Kookie to flush them!!”  Thanks for the sucker punch, Thursday. #‎lifewithboys

48.  6:49AM – Chase gets mad at Aunt Carrie for possibly not sharing her wedding cake with him…in two days. Aidan asks when we are going to cross the Mississippi Ocean. #turningupinTulsa

49.  12:20PM – stopped for lunch in a food joint crowded with service people in uniform and while Karsten pointed and called them “Heroes” and we had a patriotic moment, Chase took a swig of the pepper shaker. #‎turningupinTulsa

50.  1:39PM – pulled out the brand new, educationally promising coloring books detailing things like “Explorers of North America”.  Gave myself a pat on the back for thoughtful parenting.  Listened to weeping and gnashing of teeth because Magellan isn’t Spider-Man. #turningupinTulsa

51.  3:47PM – left Mo for “The Sooner State” and discovered pieces of blue crayon all around Karsten’s chair.  I was informed it had been eaten because it was blue.  Having been on the road for 12 hours, I deemed this an acceptable explanation. #‎turningupinTulsa

52.  8:00PM – Aidan starts doing handstands off the hotel wall.  Discussion of appropriate hotel behavior ensues, the finer points of which may include parents lack of knowledge on the nearest ER. #‎turningupinTulsa

53.  6:42AM – After she let us know she woke up early to “relax on vacation”; we had a lengthy discussion with Darcy on “the wedding party” being a group of people rather then an event.  It went something like the famed “Who’s On First?” sketch. #‎turningupinTulsa

54.  9:05PM – Chase vows to grow up and marry Aunt Carrie.  Aidan vows to grow up and marry Darcy.  Time for the first “Why you can’t marry your sister” conversation…also the “Why you can’t marry your already-married aunt” conversation.  Good talk, good talk.

55.  1:18PM – Tried the educational coloring books again.  Got asked if I had a butter churn when I was little.  Education is not my friend this weekend. #‎turningupinTulsa

56.  Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them, and still others chuck the whole battle for a peanut butter sandwich. #‎lifewithboys

10734236_10152373161440583_7086302213179333269_n

57.  “Mom! I got super frustrated and totally freaked out and flushed my clothes down the toilet! …but then I took them out again and they’re on the bathroom floor. Is that okay?”

58.  [later the same day as the clothes flushing]  In this house, to have one gross, bathroom-related Facebook status per day is pretty standard. To have TWO gross bathroom-related updates in a single day is pretty amazing…even for the Ewoldt boys. Karsten, for filling the sink with water and “painting” the bathroom with the toilet brush… This one’s for you.

59.  Just because I never *explicitly* said “Hey, don’t take graham crackers and crush them with a hammer on the living room table.” doesn’t mean it wasn’t implied.

60.  Bob: “So children, what did you learn in Sunday School today?“, Aidan: “Hey! Do you guys know how to do arm farts?” #lifewithboys

61.  I shook the freshly delivered Amazon box [full of Legos] to give the December boys a birthday present hint today.  Aidan’s guess?  A box of sweaters.

62.  So, apparently, when you hear “Hey Mom! Come quick! Chasey’s all tied up with tape!”, it could literally mean that Chasey is indeed all tied up with tape.  In other news, the 6-year-old just had his taping privileges revoked for life.

10477878_10152458039200583_4771305154566162203_n

63.  “It’s okay, Mom… I only carry dishes while walking backwards with my eyes open and I’m very careful.”

64.  “Mom, we’re really sorry for breaking your ironing board, but now that it isn’t flat anymore, it’s makes a really good slide. Is that okay?” #lifewithboys

65.  Bob: “…and that’s the story of the gospel and our advent reading for tonight…any questions?”Aidan: “Yes! Why don’t we do piñatas for birthdays??” #‎stayontarget

66.  Grief counseling for small boys in traumatic circumstances: “Son, if you insist on bench-pressing a full bottle of ketchup over your head, things like this are likely to happen…”

67.  Without a doubt, the best bedtime excuse I’ve heard in a long time… “But Mom, I can’t go to sleep without my forehead on.”

Goodnight and goodbye, dear old 2014…

Moment by moment.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  Psalm 16:6

First Year

Happy first year to our precocious, unflappable boy.  We love your smile and your cackle-laugh.  We love your rambling toddles and your grunting attempts to speak.

We are so excited to see who and what you become as you grow, and we are so thankful that you came into our lives.  Happy Birthday, Karsten!

My Mother’s Day In a Word…er, a Picture

Remember how I said that I would back-post on those missing 5 months?  I meant it, I really did!

This is my favorite, FAVORITE [emotional emphasis] picture from Mother’s Day:

“GIMME THE CAKE!!”

That right there was the sum of the day that celebrated my maternal role.

The End.

The Face On The Move

This child, affectionately referred to as “The Face” had a 7 month milestone recently.  He also celebrated a milestone of a different sort … the MOBILE kind!  I hope you’ll forgive me if I’m not jumping up and down just yet.  I 1) just realized that my house while Chase-proof, is shockingly un-baby-proof, and 2) my baby is growing up!  [moment of silence, please]

Okay, the moment is passed and I’m happy.  Seriously, how could you look at these adorable chubby-chub rolls and not be happy?  I dare you.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

(I just blew my cool quote arsenal for when he actually walks…)

Why Popcorn and Naps Don’t Mix

Last week, I had to sneak into the room where Karsten was taking a nap.  Even though the noise maker was running in the room, I told the other three children that I would be right back and that they were not to follow me into the room for obvious reasons.

While I was in the closet and in the process of hanging up some shirts [see also: hands occupied, unable to avert impending disaster], I heard the loud and cheerful sound of the “corn popper” being popped down the hallway towards the bedroom.

“He wouldn’t!”; thought the mother of four who was clearly in the throws of a major rookie mistake.  Oh, Yes.  He would.  He could.  And, he did.

Chase “corn popped” his way into the room and stood  -with his thumb in his mouth and a blank look on his face- staring down at the sleeping Karsten in his bassinet.  The hand that wasn’t in his mouth was idly pushing the popper back and forth on the floor with random “POP!” noises.  …in case Karsten had missed it the first time.

Why didn’t I “shush” him and get him out before he got that far?  Easy-peasy: Chase is a screamer (what should and probably will be the subject of another post).  Knowing that the corn popper only may wake up Karsten and Chase’s screams of protest at being ushered from the room certainly would wake up Karsten, I was forced into one of my many daily “Which hill do I die on?” moments.  Subsequently, Chase was forced into one of his many daily “Which side of the time-out chair do I want to sit on?” moments.

And this is the story of how Chase “corn popped” the baby awake.

The End.

Stay tuned for the second chapter  in the tome known as “Chase Blows Up Social Conventions” called It Goes Without Saying … Right?

A Place for Karsten

Lake Geneva, December, 2009

I looked up from my book; “Bob, this says that it’s dedicated to his son, Karsten.  Isn’t that a cool name?  Hey, if we ever have another child and it’s a boy, could we talk about that name?” 

Bob looked at me, and then 2 week old Chase sleeping next to me; an incredulous look on his face …“Sure … uh-huh … uh, we haven’t slept in like, a year and a half … and you’re talking about another?!”

“I know, I know … I’m just saying … it’s a cool name.”

Inspiration and creativity carried my train of thought a step further …

“Hey, Bob …”

[a deep sigh from across the room]

“What?”

“You know what?  We should use your grandfathers’ names too … Karsten Robert Charles … doesn’t that sound amazing?”

“Sure, Love … whatever you say.”

 

I am not a good pregnant person.  I like to be in control and being pregnant means being totally out of control for me.  After being pregnant twice in two years, it had only gotten worse.  After Chase, I fearfully and desperately wanted to be done.   But still, I couldn’t shake our Lake Geneva “conversation” from my mind.  I loved the name “Karsten”, and though I tried, I couldn’t get the idea of another little boy in our family by that name out of my head.  I just couldn’t figure out where to put those feelings or how to deal with them.  We had always talked about four children, but knew that any addition after Chase would be several years away.  … yet, I couldn’t shake it … this place in my heart for a Karsten. 

Lord, what are you preparing me for?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Out on some errands with Bob and the kids, we decided after a week of wondering that we couldn’t wait any longer and so I ran into the nearest drugstore, and then the Starbuck’s next to it.  Who takes a pregnancy test in a Starbuck’s?  Someday; I thought, I’ll think back on this moment and laugh

A few minutes later, I was back with Bob.  Not wanting to share with the children yet, he looked at me, and I nodded back:  Positive.

Winter 2011

I lay in bed too sick and weak to move.  My fever was high; too high for someone with a nine week old fetus.  I no longer wondered why they make a vaccine for influenza.  Then the bleeding started.  Was I really just coming to accept another pregnancy only to have it end?

Lord, help me walk whatever road you have for me …

In the Office, Two Weeks Later …

The doctor looked up from the ultrasound machine, a smile on his face; “There’s a nice, strong heartbeat.”  My baby was alive.

October, 2011

Being weak is humbling.  I don’t like being humble almost as much (if not more) than I don’t like being pregnant.  Yes, I’d made it through the year to a full-term pregnancy, but I was weak.  Always tired, anemic and unable to lift anything of significance due to a bad back, I chafed … I want to be strong, Lord, and instead, I have to depend on others to do my work for me or deal with it not being done at all!   The only way out is through.

Lord, teach me and  prepare me …

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

It’s been almost 48 hrs already.  So tired, I’d gone to the hospital to be checked on Saturday afternoon when my contractions were 5-7 minutes apart, and then everything stalled so I was sent home.  …and then again, after waiting several hours through Saturday night and into Sunday morning, labor stalled and again, I was sent home.  I don’t think I’d slept since sometime on Friday, and more than my bodily exhaustion, I was emotionally exhausted.  I was weary from the condescension of the nurses … the “Is this your first baby?” question … the continual and even painful contractions … the thought of something being wrong for all of this going so long and not progressing … and the thought that actual labor (the hard part!) was still ahead. 

That afternoon, I called a friend and as she prayed for me over the phone, I sobbed.  Lord, prepare me for whatever you have for me … I’m so tired, Lord.

I sat on my bed with my copy of “Calm My Anxious Heart”.  If ever I needed reminders of comfort and peace, it was now.  Reading hungrily, the Lord helped me to focus and re-impressed lessons and verses on my heart …in particular, this passage:

I know of no greater simplifier for all of life.  Whatever happens is assigned.  Does the intellect balk at that?  Can we say that there are things that happen to us that do not belong in our lovingly assigned “portion” (“This belongs to it, that does not”)?  Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty?  Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good.  As I accept the given portion other options are canceled.  Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.  A quiet heart is content with what God gives.”

[Elizabeth Elliot on Psalm 16:5]

 

9:00 PM:  “Bob, I think I want to go again.  I don’t know what I’ll do if they discharge me again, but I need to go.  Hey, if they discharge me, can you just deliver the baby at home?  I can’t handle it anymore.”  We laughed at the thought of him delivering the baby.  It felt good. 

Later: The nurse removed her gloves, “Oh Honey, you’re at a 5 or 6 …let’s get you into a room.  You’re going to have this baby tonight.”  Such relief.

Sometime after 10:00 PM:  …waiting on the anesthesiologist, we prayed.  Lord, prepare our hearts for whatever lies ahead.

11:30 PM:  It’s funny how hours feel like minutes at times.  The doctor was there and speaking to me: “Let’s get set up here and in just a few minutes, you won’t be pregnant anymore.”

Peace.  I feel such peace.  You fully supply all my needs.  You restore my weary soul again and again and lead me in your righteousness and peace.  You are my shepherd.  I shall not want.  I will dwell in your house all the days of my life.

12:04 AM, Monday, October 10th:  My arms reached for the warm and moist towel holding the bluish infant.  “Here he is!  He’s beautiful!”  Voices were talking around me.  The nurses arms reached out and began massaging and drying arms and legs as his mouth opened; letting out a first, strong wail.  The breath of life began to spread and he was turning pink as I heard myself repeating “It’s okay, darling, it’s okay.  Mama’s here.” 

Our Portion.  Our Karsten

Lord, prepare us for whatever lies ahead …