Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Photos

Dad's Girlfriend P and Sister-in-Law J
The kids
Our family
Grumpa with the kids
Burbles, P, Grumpa, and WDW
Grumpa and P
Captain, Fiona, and Burbles
Ready for Trick-or-Treating
WDW wasn't terribly happy.
Burbles walking on the lawn
Captain and Fiona playing follow the leader.
Pretty girl
WDW and GGMa
Burbles with GGMa
Fiona kissing Burbles
WDW and Captain
Burbles was terribly tired after running about and collecting candy
Captain and Burbles with Grandpa G
Fiona and Great GMa

Captain and Great GMA

Our Front Yard

So, one of our huge projects this summer was to put in a new front yard. When I say that, what I really mean is that we took out whatever you would call what we had before and put in a front yard. It was a huge undertaking and because of equipment and the inability to do the project ourselves without waiting for sixteen years to get it done, it was expensive. We ended up getting a few bids from area contractors but ended up going with Horizon Landscaping from the Rochester, Minnesota area. I would recommend them to everyone. I will spare you the day by day progress photos that I had so much fun taking and I will give you the before and afters. It is amazing what can be done by three men and a machine in six short workdays!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holy Cow

So, today we woke up. Burbles hasn't been feeling well for almost a week. She started with this huge bump on her leg where she had her 18 month immunizations. I wasn't terribly concerned, but she said it hurt. Then, the day after I called the nurse about that, she started with a fever. At times it was high (over 104) and she was grouchy and clingy and sleepy. Overnight last night her fever broke. I was excited about this, because I was hoping to NOT have to take her to the doctor. Then I changed her diaper... She was rash everywhere. So, I called the nurse and the nurse said that she should be seen. Fundi was working today, so that left me and the kids, which was fine, but I had to move. I got them both dressed and we walked out the door less than a half an hour later. Pretty good huh? We got to the appointment on time and everyone was OK. The nurse said that she was impressed that I would take two little ones out on the town by myself. I was proud and a little happy that someone recognized this amazing feat. The doctor checked her out and said "Roseola" a virus which starts as a high fever for around 4-5 days which starts and ends suddenly with a lack of other viral symptoms. After the fever breaks, a rash appears first on the torso and then on the full body. This rash could last up to 5 days but should not itch or bother. No treatment necessary. Symptoms unrelated to vaccines.
We left the clinic and I was feeling pretty good. Both the kids were being relatively well-behaved (we have had major melt-downs for the past few days--I attribute these to not feeling well, in general, and maybe a lack of sleep or maybe just coming down off the Halloween candy buzz) and we didn't have any major illnesses, just a little virus. We decided that we were hungry and needed to get lunch and then do our minimal shopping. As we were driving, I asked Captain what he would like for lunch either Red Robin or Olive Garden. He said Red Robin, so I pulled in the parking lot. Captain was thrilled, he knows that Red Robin has balloons. Now, dining with two toddlers as an only adult is something that is ever-changing and is rarely mastered, so I attempt different tactics every time. This particular time, I asked the waitress if I could go with the kids to the bathroom while she got the highchairs and table set up. That was OK with her, so we all went. I was able to fit everyone in the handicapped stall, change a diaper, have Captain go potty and go potty myself. We washed up and were headed out the bathroom door when Burbles decided that she didn't want to leave the bathroom. (I think she was looking at the TV in the mirror or maybe the TV on the wall, but I can't say for sure.) I was holding both of their hands and we were going out the bathroom door when Burbles threw herself down on the floor. I heard a few "pop, pop"s and then screaming. Not knowing whether the screaming was because she was hurt or because she was mad she didn't get her way, we returned to our table. We sat down and we colored a little and ordered our food and Burbles cried some more. All the while, I watched her behavior. I quickly noticed that she wasn't using her right hand or arm at all. I didn't know what to do, but I thought that observation while eating was a good way to know if she was truly hurt or not. She ate her apples with her left hand and made me feed her the corndog. When she moved (voluntarily or involuntarily) her arm, she would cry and whimper. We ate quickly and grabbed our balloons on the way out. Captain picked Orange. Burbles picked purple. I took them to the van and tied the balloons to the seat and strapped the kids in. Before Captain was strapped in, he pulled the string of his balloon and it flew up into the sky. So there was crying. I strapped him in and went and got another balloon for him. Burbles was happy with her balloon (held in her left hand). I called the Pediatric nurse and asked what I should do. We made an appointment with Dr. VDL, who is their normal doctor, at 2:10 (only an hour and a half after leaving the clinic the first time). I felt like a dope. So, we drove around for a while. Burbles managed to fall asleep, but only a short while later, Captain burst his balloon. He screamed about that for a good twenty minutes. Finally we went to the clinic, and even though we were half an hour early, I hoped to get in early and I hoped that we could help Burbles to feel better sooner rather than later. Dr. VDL saw Burbles early (what a cool doctor, honestly) and did an assessment of her condition. He didn't tell me what he was doing, only that he was trying to understand what was going on. There was a lot of screaming, many tears, and a lot of hugging and then a little "pop". Dr. VDL said that Burbles had nursemaid's elbow, or a dislocated elbow. She is more likely to have a recurrance, now, and she is not to be lifted by her arms or swung or dragged around or anything of the sort, if at all possible. After fixing her elbow, Burbles was like brand new again. She was running around and picking up books and acting like nothing had ever happened. Dr. VDL said not to beat ourselves up about it, even if it happens again and again. Just to be careful. The rest of the day was OK. Burbles ended up popping her balloon too. We finally got home at 6, just as Fundi was getting home as well. The kids have been asleep since 6:30.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Results

Well, it is the day after... and I am happy. Even more happy that I have had pretty good results tonight as well. Captain is in bed or on his floor or by the door or wherever he may have fallen asleep. He is safe and sleeping. Mommy is happy. As for the morning: Fundi got home at 6 this morning and Captain was awake. Fundi went and changed his pull-up and took him back downstairs. I woke up at about 7:20. At about 7:30, I thought I heard someone, so I went and looked. I knocked on his door so as not to startle him but then I heard something in the other room. Burbles was awake, so I got her and listened while Captain snored right next to the door. He must have fallen asleep with his head next to the door because he was pretty loud. Burbles and I came upstairs and at about 7:45, Captain woke up. I'm terribly impressed! He and I were both in a much better mood today. We were hanging out, reading books, laughing, playing... just like we are supposed to and no one was short of sleep. Naps went well today too. I can only hope that we are turning a new leaf as far as the sleeping situation is going to go.
More news: we have a trip planned for December to Branson, Missouri. On a whim today, I called the resort we will stay at and asked if we should purchase show and activity tickets prior to arrival or look for deals once we actually arrive. Thankfully, I called... unfortunately the answer was that we should get our tickets prior to arrival as most shows are sold out during the Holiday season. This means that we have to make decisions, but in looking on the Internet and researching all of the things there are to do, I get more and more excited about the trip. Anyhow, that is what I'm working on right now. Oh, and I'm watching Baby Mama and Heroes tonight. We are going to the zoo this week! I'm excited, but so are the kids. Last night while we were in town, the American Queen was ported. I took the kids down to look and watch the beautiful boat. Today Captain was able to tell me what we had done yesterday. He told me how the boat lowered its smoke stacks and played the calyapy as it left the port. The kids were swaying to the rhythm and Captain even recognized one of the songs and sang along. It is so neat when little things like this happen and we are able to take the time to recognize new events and things that are going on. I can't help but think of other families and how they would deal with such things. Would they be too busy to pull over and walk in the park when something neat is going on or would they be ahead of the game and have planned for such events. Do people with kids play things by ear or is it necessary to plan every minute? Sure, we were late in getting dinner and we were late in getting home and we were late in getting to bed, but I would like to think that Captain, and maybe Burbles, got a little something out of the experience. Those are the types of things that are fun for me as a mom. The unplanned (or planned) learning experiences.

Recent Photos of the kids

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Locking Him In

I think that I need to start from somewhere and I will start with the latest episode of trauma. Captain (he needs a new name, or maybe not) recently upgraded from crib to big-boy-bed. This was all a result of his learning to climb out of the crib and then a week after that, learning to open the door. This past week he has started writing the book that every little kid reads: "1001 Excuses on Why I HAVE To Get Out of Bed". He tries each and every one out at least once per evening. Last night, his biggest excuse was that "I just need to cry, Mommy." It breaks my heart, but it irritates me as well. Add to that, I was suffering from a partial migraine and Fundi was at a banquet. It was not a pretty night... So, after discussing the situation with Fundi, this afternoon I decided to take the kids to town and buy those door knob child proofers. Now, I'm not all for locking kids in rooms, but I have seen Super Nanny recommend putting a child in a room and letting him or her fall asleep wherever they are just so long as they did not come out of the room. So, in hopes of making my life a little more sane and allowing everyone a peaceful evening, I put those knobers on tonight. I explained how they worked and let him know that he would NOT be coming upstairs once he was put in bed. He screamed and cried. After about 15 minutes, I checked on him and put him back in bed. He screamed and cried. After about 15 minutes, I checked on him and put him back in bed. He screamed and cried, and then it was quiet. About 45 minutes later, he screamed and cried again. I went down to check on him and he must have fallen asleep by the door and woke up there. I put him back down and he gladly stayed in bed.
Now, the other part of the problem occurs in the morning: Captain wakes up before the sun even comes up. He is up sometimes as early as 5:45, but definitely by 6. This irritates me as well. Now, people have told me to just put the kids to bed later (their normal bedtime is 7pm) and they will wake up later, but in my experience (and we have tried quite a few times, as the 7pm bedtime is flexible from fun extracurricular events) this is definitely NOT true. What really happens (at least with my kids) is that they wake up at the same times and they are short on sleep and terribly cranky. Then, they do not take naps that are longer than normal either. This all adds up to unhappy kids and unhappy Mom.
We'll see how things go. My plan for the morning is to go down and check on him when he wakes up and change his pull-up. Then, I will put him back in his room. He can play or do whatever he wants, but I will only be going to get him at 7am. I'll keep you posted.
As far as the rest of life goes, things are busy. You probably guessed from the lack of posts. I miss blogging. I really enjoy it, but once you stop, it is hard to get back in to because of all the things that have been missed.
A little update on each of the kids:
Captain is now 30 months. He is a big boy and he is basically potty trained during the day. I am thankful for this. He tells us when he needs to go. We have allowed him to experiment with going in different places (off the deck, in a hole, over the ledge of our retaining wall, etc) in hopes that he will be comfortable enough to pee in less than perfect circumstances. It has worked so far and even though he is nowhere close to being trained through the night, we only use one pull-up a day during his nap and it is almost always dry.
Burbles is now 18 months. She is getting so big and is just a delight. She is a happy little girl most of the time and is really easy going especially when it comes to her brother. She is such a beautiful little girl. She is happy to smile at almost anyone and is getting pretty good at interacting with strangers. She is also really good at giving hugs and kisses. She is totally into clothes and will put on any random clothes that are around, especially when I am folding laundry.
Fundi has been working and being a good dad. We had a terribly busy summer. We took a two week vacation to North Carolina and then we tore out our front deck and shrubs and hired a landscaper to make us a real yard. Then we painted the rest of the deck. HUGE Changes around our house this summer. I can't wait to show you photos. But, until later...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Vacation... have to get away

Ok, so I am back... We went on vacation for twelve days and we had a great time. Now, I don't know if there is anyone still reading, but I will start posting day by day photo essays of our trip and hopefully that will be fun for all of us.... so, here goes.

The first day, Father's Day, June 15th, we left after having brunch with Fundi's parents (after church). It was the perfect light get-you-on-the-road type breakfast. And, as many of you probably know, there were road closures throughout Wisconsin because of the terrible rains and floods we have been having here. Particularly in the Wisconsin Dells/Lake Delton area... more on that later. We would have thought that we would have been a little further into Illinois, but as it was, we only made it to Rockford before we had to get a room and put the kids to sleep. It was by far the earliest we got a hotel the rest of the trip, but it was a good start. We were on the road for about 6 hours that day, and we only took photos of us on the road, so that is what you see here:

The following day, June 16th, we left Rockford and drove some more. And we drove, and we drove. Illinois is a VERY long state to travel from top to bottom, but that is what we did. We ended up going through Kentucky and ending up in Nashville, Tennessee that evening. We had requested a room with a divider so that we were able to put the kids to sleep and then hang out past 8:00 with the TV on. So, that is what we got. And it worked well. As a matter of fact, I think we got pretty spoiled while we were on the road. We were able to find great rooms at a really reasonable price, as long as we didn't hold out for the super beautiful hotels.

That day we spent about 12 hours on the road. We left by about 9am, after breakfast, and checked in about 9pm. It was a long day and the kids spent a lot of time in their car seats, but it was really great to finally wake up the next morning and be able to stay where we were going to be for two nights.

Nashville was a good time. We drove around near the Grand Old Opry the next morning before anything was open. Then we decided that we would find something to do. We went to the Nashville Zoo. It turned out to be the perfect place to take the kids and walk around and spend some of that energy the kids had from the days of being stuck in the van. When we entered the zoo we got a map, as is customary. After walking shaded paths for a while, we came to an opening. To the right of the opening there was this huge (66,000 square feet, I think) play area for the kids. The kids were able to run around and be free. There was even an area that was completely padded with mats for the little kids. Burbles just learning to walk really enjoyed this area. She was able to fall and lay down and giggle when she fell instead of being on a hard surface. The zoo continued to impress us through our whole visit. It was well layed out and broken up into manageable sections with facilities located in the center. The other thing that really impressed us was the great shaded areas. It made me feel better about having the kids outside in the fresh air without worrying about over exposing them to the sun. I'm happy to say that no one got too much sun on the entire trip. There was also a carousel that we were able to ride. It had beautiful animals and the kids had a good time. It was so cool to see the kids so very excited about the animals. The zoo and the animals themselves looked very well cared for and they seemed to have plenty of area to move around, which is something that makes going to a zoo better than seeing animals in cages.

After the zoo, we went and took a nap in the hotel. Then we went to the Aquarium restaurant for a splurge on dining. We had a really good time and had a great waitress. It was neat to watch the fish swimming by as we ate.

That is the end for now, I'll write more soon.