Saturday, December 25, 2010
So back to Christmas. We had a very nice Christmas Eve quietly celebrated at home. And Christmas day went much the same way- we hung out, we opened presents, we hung out some more. The boys, aka Alexander, were up early so we opened some presents and about 1/2 way through he kinda melted down a bit so we stopped opening new presents and just focused on playing with what had already been opened. We had breakfast- mum made kippers- blech- but bottomless pit James dug right in! And after some food present opening continued (can you tell that the boys had maybe a few too many gifts!). We saved the kitchen for last and it was as big a hit as I had hoped for. They dove right in- and very promptly learned how to scale the darn thing! James had quite a bit of fun sitting in the sink! So after pretty much playing only with the kitchen after it was revealed James started to get pretty cranky so he and Xander went down for naps, Daddy headed off to church, and mum and I cleaned up some. That didn't last long before we decided that we were going to nap too. So I took a nice LONG nap- somewhere in the middle of which, mum headed out to go visit her other grandchildren. We had a nice rest of the day just hanging out, watching TV and the kids playing with all their new toys. Tomorrow I head back to work for a few days and Wed we leave for MO.
Friday, December 24, 2010
We had a lovely Christmas Eve at home. The tradition in Frank's family is to open family presents Christmas Eve so we decided to follow his tradition b/c who doesn't want to open some present but also b/c we thought it would be best to spread the present opening around a bit for the boys. That way they wouldn't get too overwhelmed and they would have chance to play with their toys as they opened them. So on Christmas Eve we opened a few presents each. I got a new camera- whoo hoo it's so tiny and light and fancy I can't wait to explore all the new options. Frank got a wireless controller for his PS2 so that we don't have to worry about the boys tripping over the cords. The boys got some new books and the all important new train set! Xander was pretty excited to rip into that one.
We had a delicious dinner of shrimp and then mom made cornish game hens and asparagus- yummm. We all went to bed too late but it was a very nice quiet evening at home!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
A few days later... we're are driving around doing some errands- it may have even been the day we went to go and get the washing machine.... and we stop at a light and thenthe truck just dies. Frank turns the key and it starts right back up- Whew! But then it happens again and again one more time before we get home. Not a good sign. So Frank takes it to the shop to be checked out. Luckily it wasn't the whole transmission but only every single fluid line in the transmission that needed to be replaced.. oh yeah and we won't even discuss how much that cost!?!?!? So Frank gets a loaner truck to get home but of course the truck they give him is a one seater (as opposed to our crew cab) and he can't even fit the car seats in it so then he has to come and steal my car while I am at work so he can go pick up the kids. Ok I can live with that until...
That night while I was at work our computer died- toast- won't even turn on dead as a doornail. It still at the shop- they might get to it by the end of the week- except that it is Christmas so who knows when we will see it again (oh and how much it will cost...). So it comes in threes right??????? Please tell me so b/c I don't know if I can handle anything else breaking right now!
So needless to say I probably won't be posting much for now seeing as I don't have a computer to post on.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
We had the kids dr apt's in the morning (hence the very lame and boring title of this post) which went well but really it always seems like a good idea to just get them done at the same time since we are all going to be there together anyway but by the time the apt was over I was wiped! A dr's exam room is no place to let lose two little monkey toddlers. Who's idea was it to have lever door handles on those rooms anyway?
Anyway James weighed in at 20 lbs 12 oz which puts him in the 7th percentile for weight so at least we are on the growth chart! He was 30 in tall which puts him in the 19th percentile for height so we're doing well there. His head has normalized out a little so he doesn't have such a giant head anymore. And in exciting news he has cut a new tooth- the bottom tooth on the front right has finally cut through and on the left there is a shiny bump but no tooth yet! He had to get several shots and we have to go back in jan for him to get the second 1/2 of his flu shot but he tolerated it pretty well and then he got some pretty stickers- which he was entirely uninterested in but Xander quite liked.
Xander weighed in at 27 lbs 14 oz, which puts him in the 27% for weight and was 34 in tall (3 inches taller than 6 months ago) which is 7% percentile but again at least we are on the growth chart there. I'm thinking though that one of the boys measurements is off b/c when they stand next to each other there is more than 4 in different in height. So I'm not entirely sure if Xander is taller than they said or James is shorter but in any case they are growing so what does it matter! Xander did not have to get any shots this time round- thank goodness giving how much he screamed just when Dr Walter tried to look in his ears. No ear infection this week and it appears for now that his tubes are patent. We go in April for a repeat Audiogram although if he continues to have ear infections monthly then we'll try to move that up to make sure his PE tubes are still patent.
All in all the are small but healthy little boys. Both continue to have terrible issues with diaper rash- somewhat related to what they eat but not entirely. Juice is a definite no-no for us- apple juice especially. They can only have it if it is heavily watered down and even then only in small quantities. Xander's PE tubes have made a dramatic difference in his speech. He is talking so much more it is just astonishing. So despite 4 ear infections in the 3 months since the tubes we are glad we did it. Luckily the ear infections don't seem to bother him that much- just yuckiness draining from his ears- but quite obviously it was affecting his hearing. Soon we will have his preschool transition conference as at age 3 he ages out of RISE services and if he still qualifies as speech delayed he will get his therapy through the school. He has his revaluation sometime in March.
James, on the other hand, seems to be following his brother's footsteps when it comes to speech. At 15 months old he is already somewhat behind where he should be and at the last 2 appointments we've had he's had "fluid" in his ears. More and more I am noticing him rub at his ears a lot so I wonder if it is just fluid or if he too is having regular ear infections. The speech therapist who comes to see Xander also noted that he was a bit behind. So we are going to watch him carefully the next 3 months and work with him and see if he makes improvement. But if by 18 mnths he isn't talking at an age appropriate level we'll begin the process again with referral to RISE for speech and hearing tests to make sure that he can hear. I'm not looking forward to the potential of more PE tubes in our future but it made such a difference for Xander that I'm more ok with the decision this time if it comes to that.
After the Dr visit we went to go and visit Reba and Naomi. You can read about her thought on our visit here but I have some videos to post too so they are coming soon...
Monday, December 13, 2010
So we had a busy holiday weekend. Every year my work throws a holiday party for all staff and we haven't been able to go in the past b/c I have been working but this year I wasn't, so Saturday morning we went to go and visit Santa at the hospital. I forgot my camera but luckily one of my friends was there and she took some pics for us- not that there was much to take pics of... Xander was excited to see Santa but only from afar! The minute that we got close to the actual man he clung to Daddy for dear life and James had about the same reaction, only clinging to mommy! So nobody sat in santa's lap but they got a nice close up look at him at least. After Santa we made some ornaments and then the kids favorite part- ate some cookies! After visiting Santa we ran some errands in town and went up to Walpole to the new Tractor Supply there. The kids enjoyed all the farm toys and James especially liked riding the stuffed pony! After Tractor Supply we went and picked up our real live Christmas Tree! This is the first time we have had a live Christmas tree since we have been married and I think for me since before Peace Corps- so it's a big milestone! I got it all set up this morning so when Daddy gets home from work tonight we'll have to trim the tree! Hopefully the kids will leave it alone but if not that is what the superyard is for!
Saturday night we went to a holiday party at the neighbor's house which was a lot of fun. There were a ton of kids there in a good age range from James all the way up to teenagers so basically we set all the kids lose and the parents all hung out without having to worry too much about how much trouble they were all getting into. So the boys had a great time and so did Frank and I. It's nice to have some decent adult conversation with someone other than your spouse outside of work!
Sunday we went to Pop's house and put in the rest of the storm windows and picked up his washing machine. Our broke last week so since we can't really afford to fix it or buy another one right now having the option of getting Pop's old one was a huige help! It's certainly nothing fancy but it works and that is all that matters! Now we can save up some $ to fix the old one or buy a new one- we're still trying to decide which would be the best option. Sunday afternoon we spent installing the new (to us) washer and moving the trailer into the sheep paddock to be their shelter against the weather. Frank hooked all the new heated water lines and the new sheep water tank complete with float so we (he) doesn't have to hand carry water now that we have entered into the freezing temperatures all day and night(except of course for yesterday and today when it rained ALL day).
Well I have to run into town to visit the grocery store, go to a staff meeting at work, and finish up the last few bits of Christmas shopping- stockings....
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I was laying in bed trying to sleep and not being successful so I tried something I read about in Guideposts which seemed very appropriate given that it is thanksgiving. basically you go through the alphabet and pray for each letter for something that you are thankful for or someone who maybe needs some extra prayers- although the idea really is to pray for someone/something that you wouldn't normally pray for. It didn't help me fall asleep but it did make me realize how very blessed I am in this life. I have food on my table, a roof over my head, both my spouse and I are currently employed, we have clothes to wear and 2 wonderful, if mischievous, exhausting, wear me to the bone little boys. When I was pregnant with James I wondered how I could possibly love another child as much as I loved Xander- it just didn't seem to me that there was room in my heart. Now I can;t imagine what life would be like without my little devil in cute baby clothing. I don't know that I love them in exactly the same way- I love different things about them, they aren't cookie cutters after all but it isn't as if my love for one child shrank to make room for another- it just expands until you are full to overflowing. Now as I gush about this let me be clear that there are time when I really would like to be able to give them up for adoption and go back to life before kids but.... I never would b/c I am so thankful that I am blessed to be the mother to such wonderful little men. And the wife to such a wonderful big man!
In other notes tomorrow it was one year ago that James was baptised into the the church so a few hours early Happy Christian Birthday to my littlest man. I hope that you will grow into a shining example of Christ's teachings- God Bless and keep you all the days of you life.
Now that my sleep schedule is totally out of whack I thought I would brave the Black Friday sales at Target and Joanns. Target for a new camera and some bed sheets and Joanns for $1.29 flannel and a new cutting table. So I am going to try and nap now, get up at 4am go shopping and then come back and nap all afternoon so i can go back to work tonight- we'll see how it works out! I guess I need to go start the alphabet again....
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This is a photo of the sun rising over the hill in front of our house this morning. It was way more impressive in real life- the sun was like this huge ball of fire flaming above the trees. Xander came to the front door and said, "moon?????" (I can't describe his inflection in type) and then he had a hard time understanding that it was the sun..he kept calling it the moon! We've been having a lot of very early mornings around here lately. Both kids have been waking up around 4:30 every morning. The time shift did have something to do with it but doesn't really explain it all b/c before "falling back" the boys were finally sleeping till about 7am every morning- what bliss! to have those days back.... James will often go back to sleep if I nurse him but Xander not so much...I have resorted to the dreaded TV to get a little extra sleep. It hasn't helped that the last few days I have had a sinus infection and laryngitis.
Finally I sound worse than I actually feel. It's hard to be on the ball when I can't even get off the couch! I've been pondering illness recently- I just feel like I have been sick a lot this fall, more so than usual. I got both the flu shot and the pneumonia shot in September and then promptly got really sick.... I don't actually believe that the shots cause illness but I to wonder if both shots together followed by being sick was just a big hit to my immune system. Anyway so in my ponderings of illness I have been trying to work on healthier lifestyle choices- pretty much a never ending ongoing work in progress. But today's manifestation led to a renewed effort in menu planning. Of course as per usual I did really well for a week and then got sick/life interfered and things didn't go quite as well as planned but luckily we had leftovers (and Kulick's daily dinner special...). So I have been trying to use the crockpot for the days that I work so that we all have something to eat and then cook dinner on the days that I am home and have Frank cook dinner on the days that he is home but I am working. For the most part it has been going well-although I don't actually have anything planned for tomorrow yet... I should work on that! On that note if anyone has yummy kid-friendly, nutritious, healthy crockpot recipes they would like to share (not asking much am I...) I am always up for trying something new!
So I haven't written much recently b/c I honestly haven't had too much to say. We've just been living our lives these days- working, sleeping (or not sleeping much as the case may be), playing, eating, cleaning, etc. It amazes me how much mess 2 little boys can make in such a short amount of time- I think I need to just chase them with a garbage bag pretty much at all times. James is just about as mobile as Xander these days...and Xander has perfected climbing into whole new art form so we've been spending a lot of time cleaning up after them these days. Last week somehow they got a hold of a 16oz bottle of baby lotion and while Frank was sleeping in the room with them managed to squirt the entire bottle all over the room- carpet and all! Luckily baby lotion wipes up pretty easily with cleaning rags and we have stainmaster carpet that is variegated (bought on purpose to hide the inevitable messes) but then I had to shampoo the carpet. Frank has been installing new doorknobs- ones that actually lock- to keep Xander out of every room in the house. His learning to open doorknobs was not a good day in my life! Next on my list is some bifold door locks and getting the dead bolt on the front door fixed- luckily now that the weather has gotten cooler Xander actually asks for his coat before heading outside without telling me. Thank goodness we live somewhere we he can go outside and play without me supervising his every move. I thought I was done baby proofing- nobody warned me about toddle proofing. BTW- don't let this sweet little face fool you....
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
So we headed off to MO for the funeral feeling vaguealy human but certainly not 100% ourselves. We didn't arrive at Frank's parents house till like 1am but we made it. Saturday was Craft Day in Hatton- which for those of who who don't know is "kinda" a big deal- as in a huge, major giant community event! So in some ways the timing worked out that we were able to be there for Craft Day. We saw lots of family and friends and Frank got to see a bunch of old school classmates. He managed to go and hang out with them Saturday night but the boys and I stayed home and went to bed.
Sunday we saw more old friend and family at church and back at Hatton for the post craft-day dinner. Xander really enjoyed going out with grandpa and riding on various farm vehicles. I think he would spend all day riding around on a tractor if we would let him! Monday was the visitation and Tues the funeral followed by a dinner and then we jumped back on a plane and headed home. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip but they always seem to be these days. It was nice to be able to see so many family and friends and reconnect, obviously it would have been more preferable under different circumstances but we wouldn't have had the chance to see every single member of the family under other circumstances.
We got back to the house at about 2am wednesday morning after a slight mishap at the parking spot. Xander had fallen asleep on the plane so we had picked him up in his car seat and set him seat and all in the stroller (not a good idea by the way...). Anyway on the way out to the car I was pushing him down a ramp and as we hit the end of the ramp I slowed down and kinda ran over a bump and Xander's seat went tipping off the front of the stroller and onto the ground. Luckily he just had a big old scrape across his forehead and he had bitten his tongue a bit. But it was kind a drama right afterwards- he was screaming, I was crying and then James woke up and he was crying....poor Frank was just standing there looking hagard! It's amazing how quickly kids bounce back though b/c a week later you can hardly even tell he had a humungous scrape on his head. So after this drama and getting home at like 2am Frank actually got up and went to work wed morning at 7am- I was so impressed. The boys and I got up a bit later and they went to daycare b/c I had to work that night.
So pretty much since we got back I have been working, unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning, and getting the last of the harvest in from the garden. Yesterday I did 6 loads of laundry and was feeling pretty proud of myself until I realized that I missed a whole hamper! But all the laundry is done- I just have 1 load to finish putting away and 1 load to fold and put away. The kitchen is pretty much a disaster at this point b/c I also brought in probably 50 lbs of tomtoes and have been busy making salsa and tomato sauce and soup. And we brought in 4 wagonloads of squash, much of which is still waiting to make it into the basement. I ended up taking some of the tomatoes (and 8 dozen eggs) to the food pantry b/c I just needed to get some of it out of my house!
Now I am back on a 3 in a row stretch at work which means not much else will get done for a bit but since the garden is done now I can pack away all the canning supplies and that will get rid of much of the clutter in my kitchen for now. I honestly don't know sometime show the 4 of us can create so much junk!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Happy Birthday Daddy!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
is looking like such a big boy.... Today I went to daycare to feed JJ on my way to work and Xander didn't even notice that i was there for like 25 minutes. It's good in a way to see him so wrapped up in his play to not want to leave but somehow it's a little sad that he didn't even notice me! I think if I had tried to make him leave he would have fought me tooth and nail so I guess it's good that I left them there to go to work!
This morning was interesting as the barn and apparently the house were both hit by lighting. The barn was a definite strike with a huge rumble of thunder. Poor Jake was in the barn when it hit and I thought for a minute he got hit too. It must have been pretty loud though and at least one of the light bulbs exploded. Thank goodness it didn't catch on fire seeing as there are about 1000 bales of hay in the loft right now. The house must have gotten hit before that b/c we heard the thunder- it woke us both out of a dead sleep but we didn't realize anything was amiss till the evening when we tried to turn on the TV and realized the satellite is toast! Oh well we were planning on getting rid of direct tv here soon so I guess this was just the kick in the butt that we neded to do it. Too bad it couldn't have waited one more week until all the summer finales were over.
Friday, September 3, 2010
James' 1st Birthday Party
Saturday, September 18, 2010
at our house
If you are planning on coming or need directions, etc just let us know. We'll have food- burger and dogs but bring your own drinks. You're welcome to bring a side dish to share but we don't expect anything but your company! Presents are unecessary but if you really want to get him something he loves books, anything he can chew on, wooden trains (like for the Thomas wooden train set), any Fisher Price farm toy, and his parents would accept donations towards a big boy carseat (why they have to be so expensive is beyond me!).
Hope to see you all there!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This morning we headed out to Lake City Hobby so the boys could try out the rideable Thomas. They weren't quite open when they were supposed tobe so we walked around Geneva for about 45 minutes- did a little window shopping at the Ashley Furniture Homestore... Finally they opened and we got to go check out the trains. The boys were so cute! Xander couldn't quite figure out how to push the button to make the train go- he'd push it but in order for the train to move you have to push and hold it. Xander had so much fun he tried to take Thomas with us when we left and as you can see it wasn't a little train!
After the hobby shop we headed down the street to the yarn shop. I love hometown yarns hops- they have such a nice cozy feel to them. I had fun picking out some yarn to begin my first ever sweater project! We'll see how long it takes me! I just hope that I get it done before Xander outgrows it- fingers crossed he deosn't have a huge growth spurt. I also got some yarn to make a sweater for James so the goal is that if I can get Xander's finished I'll make one for James but if not then at least the one I am making for Xander will fit James. I got some lovely painted yarn in a washable wool so they should be good for this fall.
Then the boys and grandma headed back to the hotel for lunch and naps and I headed out to the spa for some mama time. It was heavanly. I got a hot stone massage, my eyebrows waxed, and I to a pedicure. I had her do my nails hot pink! After my massage I got to take a shower and they had one of those giant shower heads, which if we ever redo the bathroom I am totally going to have to get, b/c that was awesome! After my pampering I went back to the hotel where I found grandma and James asleep together on the bed and Xander loose playing- the joys of him learning to climb out of the pack n play.
So then we headed out to the Waterloo Premium Outlets - man you could totally get lost in that place! We got Xander some new shoes at Stride Rite b/c his old sandals were really rubbing on his feet and giving him blisters; probably b/c we ended up buying him shoes that were 2 sized larger than what he was wearing! Now he is in a size 7. We also hit up Harry & David, Gymboree, Osh Kosh, and Carter's. I think in all honesty there were too many choices of shops. It was really overwhelming. Busted at Gymboree but major score at Carters. I go back and forth between those 2 store for boy clothes. Sometimes Carters is great and sometimes there is just nothing that I like- this time I liked everything. I think that I like Gymboree better for summer and Carter's better for fall/winter. I never find good stuff at Osh Kosk but my mom always does so I keep trying! Now though we are stocked up on PJs which is what we really needed. We got the boys some dinner and then headed back.
Then for the SECOND time that day- shocking I know- we left the kiddos with Grandma and Grandpa and Frank and I went out for dinner just the 2 of us. We actually went back to Belhurst Castle to the tavern there. We had yummy wine and cheese and dinner and another glass of wine and desert- it was true decadence, but so delicious. I was so full when we left I thought I might explode!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Our first stop of the day was at The Farmer's Museum. It looked really interesting to us and we figured it would give Xander a chance to really run around and stretch his legs. Also that way we could spend the hottest part of the day inside, instead of out in the heat. The Farmer's Museum is a 19th century village and farm. Xander really enjoyed the carousel... by the end. He really wanted to go on it but then when I took him he started to cry- until it started moving. Then he thought it was the coolest thing ever and I had to carry him kicking and screaming off of it. I enjoyed the exhibits of sewing and fiber crafts the best and I think Frank enjoyed a lot of the agricultural exhibits. They also had some animals, but mostly the same types of animals that we have at home- sheep, cows, chickens- so that wasn't too exciting for the kids. Although Xander enjoyed petting the calf. Before we left we went on a horse drawn wagon ride. Then we hopped back on the trolley and headed into the village of Cooperstown.
We had lunch at an overpriced street cafe but the food was good at least and we got to eat outside and watch all the people go by. Cooperstown on a Sat in July is a pretty busy place! The we headed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I think every baseball enthusiast has dreamed at some point in their life of going there and it didn't disappoint. There were lots of cool exhibits and trivia and memorabilia. We got to watch a bunch of neat videos and interviews- including a copy of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" which was hilarious. I especially enjoyed the Women in baseball exhibit and the baseball in the movies exhibit, as well as the team locker exhibits. And the Hall of Fame gallery itself is pretty impressive. Luckily both boys fell asleep for part of our visit so we were able to stop and read through all the trivia for at least part of the time. Museums are definitely not Xander's thing! Too much standing around and not enough moving.
After the Hall of Fame we went to visit Doubleday Field and happened upon a baseball game in progress so we stayed and watched for a bit. James happily sat on our laps and Xander climbed up and down the bleachers. Then we headed back towards the hotel and to find someplace for dinner. We ended up at Applebees, which was delicious despite the fact that Xander was shall we say not well behaved. The Applebees was in a mall so I took Xander for a walk after I finished my dinner and he happened upon a toy store with a table full of toys out front and he quite happily played there until we had todrag him away kicking and screaming. Poor guy was pretty tired by that point. So after a quick bath and a marathon bout of screaming by both children we all fell asleep!