A couple of weeks ago we headed to La Crosse to check out the housing situation. We stayed at a very cute north woodsy hotel. The girls had a night of Pool FUN! Then we spent an entire day driving about with the realtor looking at houses. To celebrate the girls being precious angels all day (really -- it had to have been divine intervention -- the realtor couldn't stop talking about how wonderful they were), we took them out for a stuffed animal that night. There was much excitement over the new furry friends.

So much excitement, that when we got home and unpacked the next day, I realized Meow Meow was not with us. After digging through all of our stuff and scouring the van, the only place he could be was back at the hotel. Four and a half hours away. Meow Meow. The one Ella has slept with almost every night since she was a tiny tiny baby. And I felt like a horrible mother. I always make sure we have the irreplaceables with us. Meow Meow is always on the list. And I didn't this time. I may have cried, but I'm not saying for sure.

Ella was concerned that Meow Meow was gone forever. But I assured her I would call the hotel. It took a couple of days to get a hold of someone in housekeeping. When I did, she was very nice. "Oh I understand! My 16 yr old daughter still has her blankie sitting on her bed." There are times in your life when you are sensible. And there are times in your life where it all goes out the window. I gave a random person in housekeeping my credit card info to mail Meow Meow back at whatever mystery cost it took. Lecture me later, people, it's MEOW MEOW.

And here he is, back where he belongs.
Welcome home, dearest Meow Meow, welcome home.

(Oh, and if you need a hotel in La Crosse, I have one I can recommend. She even called a couple days later to make sure Meow Meow had made it home safely.)


Zithromax, I love you

Here, for all the world to see, I pledge my love to Zithromax.

A month or so ago Natalie had a bladder infection. She started out on sulfa-something-or-another. Then we switched to Zithromax because she wasn't getting better and BAM. All good.

Yesterday Ella was fine. Last night she mentioned something about her head hurting. Overnight she cooked up quite a fever, and said her throat hurt. This morning, she still looked pretty tough and her throat hurt something awful. She was whispering. ELLA. WHISPERING. Ella. Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever heard her talk so quietly. And that's how I knew it was serious.

Thankfully, we have same day Saturday morning appointments here in Lake Wobegon, so we didn't have to use the ER. She had the throat culture right away -- poor thing. Sure enough it came up positive for strep. And then the doctor described her throat as "angry."

She looks tough today. Not hungry. Throat hurts. Tired. But Zithromax, I know you will come through. By tomorrow she'll be bouncing off the walls. And back to her normal volume.


I like cheese.

Cheddar, provolone, havarti, muenster, mozzarella, farmers, gouda, blue, feta... I love cheese. So we're moving to Wisconsin.

Ok, that's not exactly how it happened, but it's a lovely bonus.

Captain America got himself a new job in a new company, and we are loading up & moving to La Crosse. We'd never been there til last November, when we went for a wedding. As we drove down through the bluffs to cross the Mississippi river, our jaws dropped. There was just a bit of burgundy color left on some of the trees, and it was possibly one of the most beautiful things I'd seen.

Now, less than a year later, we're going to live there. It's exciting & intimidating to be moving. We are not nomads in any way. I've lived 28 of 31 years here in Lake Wobegon. We've lived here together for 10 years, almost exactly. We've lived in this house for eight years. That's some serious roots. We are going from our little Lake Wobegon, population 2500, to an area of 80,000 or more.

But we have asked for neon signs that this is the right thing, and we have received them over and over again. Only God could have orchestrated these details in this way. It's such a relief to be able to do this with confidence. We've built a life here. Our families, friends, church, the school -- it will all be hard to leave. Have I mentioned I love Facebook? And email? And blogging? It's also interesting to wonder what's next and really not have a clue.

I'll keep you posted on the ride. So far all I know is Captain America starts the new job July 7. We can't get into our duplex til July 10. Our house is on the market and who knows how long that will take. So, yeah. I'm not really sure yet. But I am oddly not worried about it.

Hey, there visitors from 5 Minutes for Faith! I am so excited to have a devotion published there today. I've been on a bit of a hiatus from my blog while all of this went down, but now I'm excited to share the journey! Thanks for stopping by!


Remember me?

So, we're moving to Wisconsin. How's that for random?

I'll have more later, but in the meantime I need to sell a house, find a place to live, and keep up with my regular work which is rather plentiful these days.

Oh, and I have a 6 yr old. She'd tell you all about it. Like she did to the Fed Ex guy today. All about how old she is, what we're doing today, in what order, we're moving, where, etc. Maybe she should get her own blog.


The zoo purge

Over the weekend I had the girls gather up all of their stuffed animals. I mean every last fuzzy little one.
No wonder floor sightings in their room had become so rare. There are no pillows on this couch. Only stuffed animals. No dolls. No other toys. Only stuffed animals. And two little girls.

I went through all of them, and pulled out the ones that were "special." The zebra Captain America bought for Ella at the Bellagio before she was born, etc. Precious Meow-Meow, Ella's sleeping companion. Natalie's VISA (Very Important Stuffed Animal) Curious George.

That yielded one small laundry basketful. Then we let each girl go through them and choose 10 a piece, very carefully. There was much trading going on. Finally, we loaded up almost 3 garbage bags full of stuffed animals.

I'm not one to throw things away. They'll probably go to Goodwill, unless you can tell me something else to do with them.


I'm ready, I'm ready

So last week we had the Big Kindergarten Graduation. So cute. They marched in wearing their graduation caps with crayon tassel, and said what they want to be when they grow up. Ella said she wants to be an explorer. Which doesn't surprise me. They sang some songs.

I was doing great by the way. Ella had her entourage (parents, sister, two sets of grandparents, one uncle and two aunts). She kept looking up at all of us and waving. All the time.

And then they sang the first grader song. (You know the Fast Food song? "A Pizza Hut, A Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut"? It's set to that, if you'd like to sing in your head)

A first grader A first grader Can't wait, Can't wait To be a first grader A first grader A first grader Can't wait, Can't wait To be a first grader I'm ready, I'm ready Can't wait, Can't wait To be a first grader

I'm not sure what happens after that. Because I had stopped listening with the "I'm ready, I'm ready." I realized I had blinked and her entire kindergarten year had just flown by. She's not only going to be a first grader, she's completely ready to be one. It was SO fast.

They moved their crayon tassels, and then paraded around through the aisles before heading back to their classrooms. Ella, of course, waved the whole way. To everyone.

Here is a picture of Ella and I outside both of our kindergarten rooms.

I give you...Ella, First Grader.


It's foggy

Or at least it is in my head. So sleepy, and yet I feel used to it. Natalie's had a fever on (no meds) and off (with meds) since Friday night. Not sure if she got really run down, has a funky bug or if we're the proud winners of another bladder infection, but we're finding out at 11:15.

When one of my girls is sick, I don't sleep. I sleep a little, but I never let go into a deep sleep. I'm trying to hear if they so much as whimper. I'm up checking the forehead. I'm counting the hours til we can do another round of ibuprofen/tylenol.

This morning around 4:45 or 5 we started musical beds. Natalie came in and plopped her hot potato self in between us. I got up for the thermometer and checked the temp. And I got up and got her some medicine. Then I got up and got her some water. Then I got up and got a cool washcloth. Then I laid there watching her for a while til Ella came in. At which time Captain America left for Ella's bed. A little while later it was clear Natalie did not plan on sleeping, so she and I headed for the living room. And sent Captain America back to bed with Ella.

Basically, I could use a nap.

Hey, remember when Ella graduated from kindergarten? That was awesome.

I survived the program and will maybe give it its own post tomorrow, after I've hopefully had some sleep.