Saturday, December 29, 2012
I'm a bit homesick now but am battling that by looking up flights and making plans for the next visit (flights are SO expensive right now, though).
Busy unpacking and enjoying Christmas gifts. Enjoy our own beds again! I managed to sleep from 9:15 pm until 8 am this morning, only getting up once with Noah. We've got to work on that (seeing that he's 19 months old!!).
All for now!
Friday, December 21, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Mostly this last week is to blame. It's been a rough one with everyone being so sick. Noah and Andrew were especially bad. I finally got it as the weekend approached and felt terrible on Saturday (I thought my headache might kill me!) but I am feeling much better tonight. I think I'll feel almost normal tomorrow. I haven't been to a Christmas concert or even been shopping for that matter. That's right, this year I did all our shopping online. Much easier than having to go out after the kids were in bed or drag all three with me. Would NOT have been good!
I'll be looking for ways to put myself into a Christmas spirit this week. We're approaching our bi-annual (that's right isn't it? every other year?) trip to Kansas. Preparations are needed to ensure a smooth trip (or at least as much as possible - hasn't been the greatest in recent years).
Not much point to this blog, I guess. Just remembering what happened this year in preparation for Christmas. I did buy the kids a little Advent calendar with booklets for each day but that went out the window with the sickness from last week. Maybe we can catch up and be on track this week.
Merry Christmas if I don't write again before then!!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
We haven't really been doing that much. I've been making yummy cupcakes for people so that has been filling up my time.
Abigail and I are still working through preschool/kindergarten curriculum. She's doing outstanding with everything. We just got a new "reading" program and handwriting. We haven't really started it yet since we've all come down with some nasty crud this last week.
Abigail had a terrible cold start on Friday with runny nose and an upset stomach. It has stayed fairly mild, thankfully. Then on Monday both my little ones woke up with fevers and coughing.
By Tuesday it was a very nasty bug. Noah ran fevers of 103 to 102 all the time without drugs to bring them down and help him be more comfortable. Elsie is equally as miserable, although her fevers haven't been as bad. I did take them to the doc but the diagnosis was "just a virus" so we're riding this one out.
They seem to be perking up a little tonight. Andrew is also coughing is head off. We're a lively crew!!
That's all for now. I'll be preparing for a big trip to Kansas at the end of next week to spend some time with my family for Christmas. Need to start making lists!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Elsie, you are such a sweet and silly girl. I love hearing you sing songs and be silly with your brother and sister. Just lately you've been very into snuggling and attached to me. This is wonderful (most of the time!). Just this morning I couldn't hold you since I was holding Noah and I said, "You can either sit right by me or go snuggle with your sister." You chose to sit with Abigail and it was so sweet! You're growing more and more everyday and we're learning to understand you too! Happy birthday, sweet darling!!
Elsie also had her birthday lunch at Grandma's on the Sunday before her birthday. She was so sweet and blew out all her candles there too. She loved having people sing to her and she joined in as well.
Friday, November 02, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
My baby (waaaa!) is almost 17 months old so I thought he deserved a little update. This boy surprises me every day with new things he does and says. Yes, says! I almost never believed parents when they said their one-year-old was talking. All babies babble to some extent and I have always been very critical of believing it is actually words until I'm sure. This time I am VERY sure my baby is talking. Here is a list of the words that I know he says and uses them in correct ways:
Light (points to it, says the word when it turns on)
On (flips a switch and then says "on")
Juice (if I give him water he cries for juice - ah!!)
Roro (says this when talking on the phone!)
Dewey (says this very clearly when he sees the dog)
And there is probably some others that I can't think of right now. He loves to run and the boy has no boundaries! When I took the girls outside at this age they would just calmly stay on the sidewalk or driveway but this boy will run wherever the whim takes him!! He is definitely a boy, very interested in hitting his sisters (and sometimes mommy!) which we are working on with him! He is also my most snuggly baby at this age. He will lay his head on your shoulder to rest for a few minutes (which the girls NEVER did), especially if he is being held by his daddy! He definitely gravitates to the male crowd and loves to hang out and do things with his daddy!!
He is still nursing before naps and bed (and during the night). I don't know how long we'll go on but I don't mind it and he still enjoys it and that's what matters. I was always pregnant by this point with the other two kids so I am enjoying the freedom to breastfeed as long as we want without having a pregnancy interfere with that.
He is a joy and a delight . . . a precious and precocious baby boy . . . who is really turning more into a boy than a baby these days!!
Monday, September 24, 2012
On top of that I participated in a garage sale at my church on Saturday. It took every waking moment to price and prepare for that. I made a little money so I suppose it was worth it. Pictures to come.
Everyone is on the mend and we're back to a regular schedule today . . . swimming lessons, school, and a dinner fundraiser.
Friday, September 07, 2012
That's right. You heard it here. We're "preschooling" at home. Feels like a big deal to me since it seems like everyone I know sends their child to preschool (in this part of the country anyway, not as much where I'm from). Anyway, I wanted to write a little post as to the "why" of this endeavor.
Here are some answers to frequently (or not) asked questions.
1. I'm at home.
My number one reason of wanting to keep Abigail home for preschool this year is that I'm at home. Very simple. I feel like our children's lives with us are so limited in the grand scheme of things, especially these toddler and preschool years. I'm home and I desire to be pouring myself into my children during this time so why would I send her away 1/2 day for 3 days a week?
2. I am interested (gasp!) in homeschooling.
I was public schooled and Andrew was homeschooled. We still don't know what we're doing next year. We have a while to decide. It really depends on which parent you ask and when you ask us. In all honesty, I'm probably 60-40% in favor of homeschooling for Kindergarten and Andrew is probably 60-40% in favor of public school for Kindergarten. Neither of us feels incredibly strongly and I think we'd both eagerly support whatever decision is made.When we know, we'll let you know! We both see both sides of the issue and all the benefits and downfalls of both and we're weighing the best option of our family.
3. Preschool's expensive!!
Not that we wouldn't try to afford it if we really felt it was necessary but it would severely limit our budget. We're able to put both Elsie and Abigail into gymnastics and ballet and we couldn't do this if we were paying for a preschool education.
4. Learning what she already knows.
I've been around a few preschools in my day and so I have a pretty good idea of what she's going to learn. This girl knew her alphabet before she was 2 and knows both Capitol and Lowercase letters. She can count to about 60, recognizes numbers up to 20, can do simple math, and is starting to READ! I'm not saying this all to brag (ok, only a little bit) but to say that since I'm at home with her, and know her well, I can continue to guide her into learning new things and not things she already knows that is mandated by a curriculum structure.
That's all for now. I get asked CONSTANTLY from random strangers about where she goes to school and what grade she's in (yes, I know she looks like she's 6 or 7 but she's 4!!!!). So it always takes a while to explain that she's not in school . . . then the mommy guilt starts on me. Yes I feel like I'm doing the best thing for her and our whole family but going against the grain is never easy for me to do, at least publicly. Those of you who know us well know that we've chosen an "against the grain" path for our kids starting from their very first moments of air-breathing life, which meant no drugs for me during labor. It's continued from there! I feel that this fits right in. :)
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
This girl is blessed with the gift of helpfulness. She'll even run up to me in the kitchen and say, "Mama is there anything I can do to help you with dinner?" Boy, I sure hope that lasts through the teenage years! :)
She can be a little TOO helpful at times but I still try to always applaud her spirit.
Monday, September 03, 2012
On Tuesday the two little kids started getting colds but it wasn't bad. Then on Wednesday Abigail started with a runny nose. In the middle of the night she vomited 3 times (as well as having cold symptoms) so by mid-morning on Thursday, I decided to take her in to the doctor.
(So blessed and thankful that my mother-in-law could come and babysit the little two and feed them lunch. I couldn't imagine having to bring them as well.)
Our doctor didn't have any open appointments (boo!) so I took her to the Urgent Care.
She felt so miserable!!
This time, not only did she have an ear infection, she had an infection in both ears and one ear drum was almost ready to burst! Wow! I have had that happen to me and the pain is extreme. I remember!
We got her on another antibiotic (her 3rd since July 1) and headed home to rest. She didn't bounce back from this one immediately either. It has taken several more days but she's finally on the mend now.
It's been crazy! Crazy pain for her and crazy sleepless nights for her dad and me. We are going to try an alternative allergy treatment at our doctors to help her with this chronic problem (we are thinking it is food allergy related). If that doesn't work, I would imagine we'll consider tubes for her ears.
So . . . that's what we've been doing. I'm hoping for a few weeks of health here before/if the next round hits us.
I'm trying not to let this get me uptight and picky about her getting sick but it is bound to happen. For my other kids, a cold is no big deal. They can catch one and have a runny nose for a few days and then feel better. But for Abigail these are turning into nasty infections that really knock her out so we'll be sanitizing for a while at least, to just give her body a break!!
Saturday, September 01, 2012
My husband is not one to pick out his own clothes. He usually tells me or another family member that he needs something and then it will appear for him! haha! Anyway, I was surprised when he told me that he'd ordered a shirt for himself from Amazon. This is what he bought. Good thing I appreciate his sense of humor!!
(On a side note, my husband has lost almost 20 pounds. Doesn't he look skinny here? And look at my darling baby boy!! He's in his favorite spot . . . his daddy's arms!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
For the longest time, it was the two girls riding up here when we were at the grocery store. Now Abigail is too big and Noah loves to drive his little car. I think it's so cute I had to share!! The greatest thing about our grocery store (not the organic food selection) is the wide selection of kid carts!
Monday, August 27, 2012
I've had requests for the poop story from last week so here it goes:
DISCLAIMER: this is pretty graphic and nasty so if you don't want to read a detailed description about kids and poop you may want to stop reading now.
Thursday morning began quite normally. Elsie was fussing up at storm for no reason that I could quite figure out so before I even made breakfast I was sitting in the living room holding her and saying my usually line, "Why is Elsie crying?" Never did figure it out.
While doing this Noah come walking out of the downstairs bathroom and is drenched and chewing on something. The only conclusion was that he played in the toilet water and was chewing on (fresh, I think) toilet paper.
Great way to start the day. (I always try to leave the lid down and the door closed, not sure why it was open).
So then we had breakfast.
After breakfast I thought, I'm going to put Elsie in panties today and see how it goes. I took her into the bathroom several times in the coarse of an hour and put her on the potty and showed her how to pull down her own panties. No luck.
Abigail and I got things underway with our school work while the little two played in Elsie's room. I hear a scream from Elsie and ran in there to discover a pretty giant size poop on the floor by her bed (big enough to clog the toilet later!). I immediately set Noah in Elsie crib to keep him away from any poop action, cleaned Elsie up and cleaned up the poop. I figured out that Elsie had taken her own underwear off during the coarse of play.
Did not resume the underwear wearing for Elsie. I thought she'd just pooped a lot and wouldn't need to go anymore. Abigail and I got back to school work and Elsie and Noah wandered upstairs to Noah's room to play.
A few minutes later Mr. Noah comes wandering back downstairs and comes over to me while I'm sitting at the table. I think I smell a poopy diaper so I get up to change him in Elsie's room. While in the midst of the changing, I discover that he does NOT have a poopy diaper but yet I still smell something . . . foul!!! So I sniff around only to discover the smell is
COMING FROM MY SON'S MOUTH!!!!!!
He also had some on his hand. GAG. ME. I called my ever helpful daughter, Abigail, to me and had her check upstairs for more poop (which, she found) and to try to contain Elsie while I gave Noah a bath. That boy got scrubbed and got his mouth rinsed out!
I got my baby boy upstairs, wet from his bath, only to discover that Elsie . . . after pooping foul smelling poop on the floor of her brother's room . . . which he proceeded to EAT, decided to scoot down the stairs on her bottom, instead of walking, and therefore left poop streaks down about 5 or 6 carpeted steps before getting herself fully carpet-wiped.
She had also went potty in a HUGE puddle right at the top of the stairs.
All the kids got placed into Noah's crib while my massive cleanup effort began. Lots of resolve carpet cleaner and screaming ensued!
My biggest fear was that she had pooped somewhere that I had not yet discovered. I had found two spots but was worried about more but after a big search effort on my part, I did not find more.
I was pretty distraught by this time . . .thinking my son was going to die a terrible death by disease from EATING HIS SISTER'S POOP so I did what any half-crazed American mother does and called the doctor.
That was an interesting conversation:
"Oh, hello nice Dr.'s office receptionist. Yes, my 2 year old daughter pooped on my floor. My 1 year old son picked up the said poop AND ATE IT (and yes I was crying by this point, out of fear and humiliation). Is he going to die?"
They were very nice and assured me that pooping on the floor during potty training and the poop eating was very normal for kids that age. They said he'd be fine.
And you know what. . .
He was. Not a sign that it even phased him.
I called my husband to tell him of the events while he was on his way to a company golf outing (and no I'm not bitter about that AT ALL) and he had a good laugh, especially at my crying.
I slapped a diaper on Elsie and called the potty training quits for a while!
And that's the story, folks!
I suppose it goes without saying that Elsie and Noah will always have a special bond!
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Off to work on reading with a certain little girl!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
You know I just can't bring myself to say the word "vacation" when it comes to traveling with little kids. I don't think I'm alone in this! :) I love them and spending quality time with them is definitely what enjoyment is to me on these trips but boy, they can be a handful!
Anyway, we've been in Gatlinburg for a few days exploring the area and I am blogging this in the car on the way home. We had a wonderful time despite all the kids coming home with runny noses!
We did some hiking, lots of eating, some people when tubing and ziplining, and we managed to make it to the aquarium one morning. It was very well done.
Fun trip but I'm ready for my own bed and some sleeeeeeep!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
After being home for only four days, I packed my bag (and Noah's) and headed to Chicago to see my new nephew and his family.
I did a lot of staring into this precious face and playing "cawrs" with the big boys and visiting with my dear sis.
Then we came home.
Monday, July 09, 2012
We had a wonderful wonderful wonderful trip! I feel sad if I dwell too much on the fact that my kids won't get to see their beloved RoRo, Papa, Uncle Brett, and Grandma Fern for months on end. I don't feel so bad when I plan out the next fun trip out there. Won't be too long and I'll be able to do it by myself, I'm thinking.
I am headed to Chicago this weekend (where I'll bump into my parents again) to visit my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and new baby nephew Aaron!! I'm excited even though it will be a short trip.
While we were in Kansas, my wonderful Aunt Ronda drove to Downs and picked up my wonderful Great Aunt Flo (weird to think she's my kids Great great Aunt - anyway). They drove down for a visit and it was so wonderful to see them. The kids all had a lot of fun playing with them. Elsie even got confident enough to say "Aunt Flo" and "Ronda" but she had a hard time putting the "Aunt" in front of "Aunt Ronda's" name. Still cute to hear!
We had a great time! I could use several weeks of solid sleep to catch up but then I'd be ready to do it again!
Everyone slept through the night last night. I had forgotten what it felt like to fall asleep and wake up when it was morning but I got to do that last night. This morning we have been busy as well, doing laundry, grocery shopping, discovering old toys, picking up toys, vacuuming, etc. I tried my hand at making homemade almond butter. It didn't turn out as good as I hoped but I think it is because I have a very cheap (like $20) food processor and it just wasn't up to the task. I may have to borrow one for next time. I processed the almonds for about an hour and then called it good. The recipe I was using said it would take 15 minutes but mine never did get as "buttery" as hers.
That's all for now!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I've tried posting a few times with pictures from my phone but it won't upload for some reason. I also had an issue with my SD card and lost some pictures. Bummer! Oh well.
The kids and I are really having a blast despite the Kansas heat. It's been over 100 degrees everyday so we're busy staying cool inside although a swimming trip is planned soon. We're slowly discovering all the lovely ways for Noah to get into things in this house and making it a little more babyproofed. I didn't forsee this being so much of an issue.
We miss Daddy so much. Noah has especially had some bad nights here and with Abigail having a lingering cough it has made for some long nights. I am looking forward to Daddy getting here so he can at least deal with Abigail's issues at night! :) He might not know this. Haha!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Anyway, they left today. Sad to see them go but thankful for a wonderful visit!
Now I'm very busy preparing to travel to Kansas on Monday to visit my parents, Grandma and brother. The kids and I will be there almost 3 weeks so I'm taking the packing very seriously! I don't want to bring too much but I definitely don't want to forget anything essential. I made some headway on it today and so that made me feel better.
Andrew's mom is going to help me drive the kids out there (bless her!) and Andrew is going to fly out for the last week and then drive us back. I don't think I'm quite ready to drive three kids 4 and under for 850 miles! I can picture myself being able to do it someday but . . . not yet!
I'll try to blog during the trip but no guarantees. Hopefully I will remember to take pictures, etc, although I'm bad at that too!
Saturday, June 09, 2012
When my husband and I first took these personality tests I was 90% extrovert and he was 90% introvert. Ha! This is one of those categories that has softened a little over the years. I'm now about 61% Extrovert and I don't remember his but I don't think it's quite where it was. I've learned that I can enjoy the peace and quiet (have kids taught me this!) but it is a conscious plan on my part. I still do not like being alone for too long. Having children has helped this, especially as they've grown and can converse now. I remember times when my husband traveled before we had kids and the horrible feeling of having to spend an evening alone!!
We've found a balance through the years of Andrew going to bed shortly after the kids are in bed to recharge himself and I do things for myself too to enjoy my "people" time. I have been going to exercise class, mom's groups, getting together with friends, having people over and even saying to Andrew "can we talk?". And by that I don't mean it is something serious, I just mean, I haven't talked to another adult all day! Help! :)
I feel that this is one of the personalities differences that we really understand in each other, recognize the need, and try to fill it. It's a good balance now, although I can always use more people time so if you're in my area, stop by!!! :)
Saturday, June 02, 2012
I do believe personalities can change a bit over time. I will address this more in another post.
Here's the link if you want to take the test yourself:
I'm going to start out with my strongest personality trait: Judging/Planning. I am around a 90% Judging/Planning personality type. Thankfully my husband is right on the border at 50% (he understands both sides of this issue) but is slightly on the side of the Perceiver/Journeyer (more of a free spirit . . . life is an adventure type of person).
The Judging/Planning personality traits that I identify with:
- I am extremely conscious of time and schedules.
- This is extreme in me . . . so much so that if I'm at the store and I have plans to be somewhere (even if it's not important) after I finish my shopping and I find myself running out of time, I will leave without getting everything on my list! Weird, I know but my inner calendar likes a schedule! I'm not one to try and "fit things in" if I have somewhere to be . . . or even if I don't!!
- My entire day is mapped out from the time I wake up until bedtime.
- I don't usually map this out on paper (takes too much time so it is in my head) but I actually remember making a schedule for my summer days when I was in the 5th grade . . .yes, this has been "me" for quite some time.
- One of my biggest life annoyances is if something messes with my schedule (which is everyday all day long).
- Sometimes I have to plan to be spontaneous . . . helps me cope with my plans being disrupted! My "plans" don't always include something tangible such as a trip or place to be but in my mind that doesn't make them any less important!
- I think of money has something that provides security. I measure success and progress by growing savings account numbers!
- Journeyers tend to view money as only worth the pleasure it provides and this is very difficult for me to grasp!
- I like to work hard first (get everything done!) and then play."
- I have to be careful of this because I often run out of "play" time.
- I am destination focused on trips/vacation!!
- This means I want to get there without ANY delays, dillydallying, stops, or side excursions. These things feel like extreme wastes of time to me!
- I know that I need to not be irritated by changing of "plans".
- I need to develop my sense of comfort when "going with the flow".
- I need to work on enjoying "surprises".
- I need to focus on the here and know and not worry about the distant future. I need to focus on "enjoying" and sitting back instead of always accomplishing, succeeding, planning, doing.
- Thankfully my husband and I aren't complete opposites on this point (cause we've got other ones to work on understanding each other through) but we have struggled some with changing and making plans together. He tends to bring something up by being very excited about it "let's do this" which irritates me since my plans are being changed. He's learned to say "Consider this for a moment . . . ". It doesn't take me long to be able to think through some plan changes and agree to a better or different plan and having the space to think about that is so helpful. That's why I love that phrase!
Thursday, May 31, 2012
I tried to sign her up for the next session but they were full and we were put on a waiting list. Haven't heard anything so I'm not hopeful that we'll get in. Hopefully we can find more soon because I don't want her to lose what she has learned!
So proud of my little girl for passing her first swimming lesson class!!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
for the maple cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened,cut into chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
2 cups pure maple syrup (I use grade B to bake with but any grade will suffice)
3 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Whole toasted walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening until ribbonlike. Turn the mixer to low and stream in the maple syrup. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is nearly uniform in color, about 3 minutes.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.
There are many ways to frost a cupcake. If you have a pastry bag, simply fit with the largest tip, fill the bag with frosting, and pipe enough to cover the cupcake in a big mound. If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the frosting and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake. You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes. Top with whole toasted walnuts.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Saturday, May 05, 2012
On Thursday, my actual birthday, he took me out to the Melting Pot for some delicious fondue. I love eating here because it isn't just a plate of food delivered to your table but a whole long process of eating slowly and having time to talk and connect, not something we do often. It took us two hours but it was worth ever single minute. A wonderful birthday memory for me.
Then today Andrew and I headed down to the Playhouse in the Park for Thunder Knocking on the Door, a rock-musical of sorts. It was a very good show and we had fun getting out again.
This week will be spent preparing for Noah's party on Friday. Can't believe he's almost a year. More on that later, I'm sure!!
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
I had heard reports that there could be severe tornado outbreaks on Saturday of this past weekend, April 14. I had emailed my parents (mostly jokingly) a few days ago and said they should just take a roadtrip (with Grandma of course) and come see us and just avoid the area completely. They declined. :)
So I was watching the weather in Kansas (online . . . usually Weather Channel). Noah woke up around 10:30 pm and I checked the radar then. I noticed a very strong line headed right towards my hometown but I was praying it would veer off and not hit my parents. I saw the tornado warning online so around 10:50 pm I texted my dad and asked him if they'd been missed by the latest storm.
His response was "Got us". Well, I at least knew he was alive but beyond that I had no idea. Thankfully my mom called a few minutes later.
Her report was not good. They were all safe, thankfully, but all the farm buildings, except their house had been destroyed and my grandma's house (a 1/2 mile away) had been severely damaged as well. I couldn't believe it.
I turned to Facebook for the rest of my news and a family friend that lives up the road kept me updated most of the rest of the night as to what else was happening with my family.
That is still all I know for now. I was able to talk to my Grandma today. She told me a few more details of her experience and didn't really seem shaken by the fact she no longer had a house. Perhaps that will come. I also talked to my mom and she just said they had a lot of volunteers and progress had been made at cleaning up.
I'm still in shock. I really wish I was there to help but that is not really possible. So I'm praying and waiting to hear of anything I can do to help!