Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas....

So I am just going to say that there are going to be a flood of blog posts following this one. I have been writing them but without a working computer at home it has been slow going and then when we were travelling things weren't getting done AND I somehow lost my brand new camera! with all the pics from Christmas on it! And since then I have been crippled by a undesire to take pics with crappy old camera! Somewhere along the way coming home from MO my new camera got lost and I kept hoping that somewhere by some miracle it would turn up but it has been missing for a month now so, alone with the airplane puzzle piece, I have given up hope of finding it back and thus must post must lameness without pics! And I had such an adorable pic of the boys with their kitchen wearing their chef's hats! Luckily my mother took pictures so I can mine her camera for some good ones and I downloaded all the pics I took onto my MIL's computer before we left MO so they exist- I just have to find someway to convince my BIL he wants to copy them all and send them to me...hint hint! As I recover pics I will probably add them into these posts. It hasn't been a good picture season b/c previously mentioned not working computer suffered a massive hard drive failure and we lost absolutely every single thing that was saved on there! Luckily I have been pretty good about have back-ups of pictures but there are some gaps...oh well. It wasn't as severe as losing our complete address book or the big one: all of our financial documents for the last year- 2010 taxes are going to be super-fun to recreate- please note the sarcasm dripping heavily from my written voice!

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

Christmas Eve

video

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

It comes in threes... the week before Christmas...

So last week our washing machine broke- in the midst of monday laundry the water stopped draining from it. So I call the "Appliance Pros" (really that is their name...) and they come trucking out to tell em that it needs a new motor and pump and it will cost $150 to replace- ugh... So the question becomes new washer or fix the old one?... then steps in very smart hubby who says "isn't there a washer just sitting at Pop's house?" Round of phone calls later procures us a used, but free washing maching AND dryer- whoohoo! So we go and pick it up and Frank miraculously gets everything hooked up and working and then laundry can begin again!



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

Visiting...


So Wednesday after the Dr's appointments we went home and had lunch. Smart mommy that I am I figured if I fed the kids then they would nap on the way down to Reba's- which they did! So I had a nice quiet car ride down and they got a good 90 minute nap and both promptly woke up as soon as we pulled into Reba's driveway. So in we went and the kids all played together and the mommies talked about life, husbands, kids, work, etc. It's so nice to have adult conversation every once in awhile! I always think of Naomi as being Xander's age but really she is closer in age to James, in any case they actually played quite nicely together- not too much hitting or rough behavior on the boy's part. We had a nice snack all sitting at the table together and amazingly both James and Xander sat without having to be restrained. James' chin was right at table level so that was a bit silly and involved once episode of his chin whacking the table until he figured out he could sit up on his knees and actually see his food.

After snack and watching a short disney program we headed to the mall. Now I realize that most people probably don't find the mall to be a fun outing but when you live 90 minutes to the nearest mall it can be quite a fun excursion. This was the first time I braved it with only a single stroller and we managed alright- only a few episodes of Xander temporarily disappearing in stores. But the whole purpose of the mall outing was to go to Gymboree b/c I had coupons. So we made our stop at Gymboree and then as we headed back to the car we had to go by the train and sucker that I am I had to take all the kids for a ride on the train. I must have looked ridiculous on that train with 3 kids under 3 but we enjoyed it. The kids got to see Santa again, whom they were quite happy to admire from afar, and they got to ride a train... what more could they want! I was actually really impressed with Xander b/c we took him on a ride one other time and he had a total hissy when it was time to get off. This time I talked with him about it before we got on saying that we were only going to ride one time and when the train stopped it was time to get off. He was totally cool with it- when the train stopped he got right off and didn't fuss. It was Naomi I had to chase down as she ran in the opposite direction of the mommas!

So after the train it was supper time so being as we were in a generous mood we took the kids to McDonald's where they have a playspace. We attempted to distract them with food first, which worked well for the littles but not so much for Xander, and then hit the playspace running. At first there were a lot of big kids (really too big to be playing there) there but then they cleared out and we had the place almost to ourselves. Xander loves that thing- he could run and jump and climb until his heart was content. James stayed on terra firma for the most part except when he was trying to climb up the slides and even Naomi ventured up into the tubes. We were a little afraid she wasn't going to come back out but Xander went up and got her for us! I think Reba was dreading the thought of having to climb up into the tube. One lesson we did learn was that Mcd's coupled with playpace equals three poopy children so make sure you bring plenty of diapers! For some reason we left the diaper bag in the car (may have had something to do with trying to wrangle 3 toddlers) and then we ended up making 4 trips out to the car for diapers and clothing changes- why I didn't just bring it back in with me the 1st time still escapes me! So after playing their hearts out this mean momma made them put on their pjs and jump back in the car to head home. We swung by Reba's house to pick up sippy cups and Xander's new toy truck (which I bought him at Rite Aide the day before b/c I didn't feel like dealing with the tantrum if I had made him put it back- plus BOGO 1/2 off- plus $5 coupon with purchase- and he didn't let of go of that truck for 2 whole days- he even slept with it!); so we couldn't leave the new truck behind! After that we headed home.

Unfortunately the ride home was not uneventful. Apparently I was having a bad night! The first half of the trip went fine but then somehow when I made the turn onto Route 2 I got on Route 2 east instead of Route 2 west- so ok no big deal you just turn around at the next exit. So I get off trying to turn around and then I missed the turn. So I keep going a little bit and and then make a u-turn and try to go for the turn again and somehow miss it a third time and end up back on Route 2 east! I would like to blame it on poor signage but really I think it was my fault. Anyway I finally get going on the right road with no more mishaps and then ran off the road completely on Route 78! It had started to snow a bit but it was just flurries and we had been travelling along without any noticeable bad roads until we go to 78. I swear that road was an ice skating rink all the way home. The very first curve on 78 I came around the corner and as the road curved away the car just kept going straight. I had a very "Jesus Take the Wheel" moment as the car was sliding sideways down the road. Somehow I managed to get us straightened out and as we ran off the road on the opposite side I thought we were toast b/c all I could see in slow motion was a stone wall with giant boulders right in front of us, but the brakes finally must have gotten some traction as we hit the shoulder b/c we stopped just a few inches from that stone wall! So as I sat there with my heart about to pound of my chest chanting words that must not be repeated in public domain I look back and both boys are still sound asleep- they didn't even move! Of course my next thought was is the car damaged and how the heck am I going to get back on the road. Amazingly though there wasn't even a scratch on the car and I was able to back right up and back out onto the road and finish the drive home. All I can say is thank God there wasn't a car in the oncoming lane of traffic b/c that would have been very bad! So we took it VERY slow and easy the rest of the way home and once we hit the NH state line the roads got much better (what's up with the MA DOT, huh????). Then of course I barely made it up the driveway but I did and the kids slept all the way to their beds so all was well! Of course the first things I am doing next week is getting my studded snow tires put on!
And now for your viewing enjoyment- Xander the monkey child at the playplace!

video

Thursday, December 16, 2010

James' 15 mo & Xander's 2.5 yr appointments

I've been working on this post for awhile but it didn't get published till about a week later- whoops! See next post for reasons why....

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

Two weeks to Christmas- Yikes!


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....