Tuesday, January 30, 2007

At least I'm saving money on gas...

Other than the freezer, we didn't do too much this weekend. AJ was still under the weather and covered with scabs, so we played it safe and stayed home from church. I was bumbed that we missed but today I was thankful we didn't go because at lunch I noticed...



I talked with his doctor and because he had the vaccine, his case should be milder and shouldn't scab over like AJ's. So far, he only had about 20ish on him and they don't seem to be bothering him. But, again, he is contagious - so we are stuck at home for another 5 days or so. So no library day tomorrow or no (and this one breaks my heart) Bible Study yet again for the second week. And probably no church again on Sunday. TTHHHPPPBBBB!

We did however, go to MOPS today before we realized we would again be exposing the world to our family virus. And MOPS was, again, really nice. I baked banana bread and biscotti yesterday since my group was in charge of brunch. And the biscotti was a huge hit. Then, of course, we babysat a little boy in our home yesterday for a few hours while his mom had doctor appointments - exposing him as well. (Although he was already exposed from AJ at Bible Study).

All right enough whining... Here are few pictures to remind you (and me) that chicken pox or not - things are still all good.

My Boys

I have to restock this bookshelf hourly.

Super Cute - scabs and all.

Mission for you...

This bottle seems to good to toss. It's from my Aldi's hazelnut creamer. I go through these bottles on a regular basis and they just shout that they would be perfect for something... but what? Every time I empty and clean one (for recycling), I hang on to it for a day or two waiting for inspiration, but end up tossing it. My thoughts so far are... some kind of crafty snowman or 'pins' for indoor bowling. But I would love your thoughts. Leave ideas in the comments section as I have yet to toss this one.

A face a mother can love

Saturday, January 27, 2007

He reveals deep and hidden things...

You know that I am in this amazing Bible Study of Daniel. And we've been challenged to memorize Daniel 2:20-23 over the course of the study. Now, this is somewhat a lengthy passage and even though I memorized the first half fairly quickly... I just couldn't seem to retain the second half.

In addition, it's really been laid on my heart in the last couple weeks, the extreme importance of memorizing scripture. There is an amazing woman in my Bible Study group who can pull scripture out of her head at the most appropriate and God given times. And she confesses that she has to work at memorizing but feels as the Bible is God's Word, God's teaching, God's direction, it's our responsibility to know it. She has inspired me.

I am making a new resolution to add to my others. From this point out, I would like to memorize one verse/passage a week, starting with Daniel 2:20-23. So, I was doing a little research on memorizing scripture (instead of actually memorizing scripture) and came across a free download called the Scripture Memory System. It is the coolest! It's a quick simple program where you put in the verse/passage you want to learn and it takes you through different steps to learn it. It gives you memory drills where you repeat after the computer (yes, it reads your verse in sections out loud for you to repeat after). It gives you games such erasing a few words at a time to see if you can still repeat it or scrambling the words for you to put in the right order. Plus there are few more visual drills you can work on before the program actually tests you. And depending on how you do, it will catagorize your verse as new, in progress, complete. Then, it goes into a rotation of all your verses and will make you keep 'testing' them so you retain them. Then it also has all this touchy-feeling stuff in an organizer like setting your goals, focus, opportunities, evaluation and checklists.

Ok, I am making this program sound like a Bible Drill Sergent, and really that's what it is, but a cool drill sergent (is that possible, dad?). Anyway, I wanted to test it. I put in my Daniel and voila, not much later, I have the passage memorized! AND, I've been able to repeat it hours later. (Ask me again, tomorrow and we'll see how that goes.)

How to babysit your freezer...

...decide to finally defrost it after three years.

  1. Wait for a freezing cold day. Gather all your laundry baskets and place all your food from your freezer in them. Place baskets full of food on your back deck and pray the temperature stays below freezing. (It was snowing, I wasn't too worried).
  2. Unplug freezer and gather every towel in your entire house.
  3. Boil water in pots and place in freezer after you've put towels down to catch the melting ice.
  4. Keep water hot all day by continually boiling water in every pot you own and every heating unit you own including the stove pot, microwave and coffee maker.
  5. Keep your towels moving about every 15 minutes from freezer, to washer spin cycle, to dryer, back to freezer, etc...
  6. Add warm water and rubbing alcohol to spray bottle and spray down ice each time you rotate towels.
  7. Clean freezer out completely. Dry freezer completely using two towels and a box fan.
  8. Plug freezer back in and allow to cool. Replace food - pulling out the items that started to thaw for next week's dinners (yea, apparently it wasn't below freezing all day), writing down the food that you put back in the freezer on a list (so you have an 'at-a-glance' idea about what's inside, so you don't have to open freezer so much, so defrosting the freezer next time won't be such a HUGE job.)

Now, consider steps 4 - 6. Every fifteen minutes, you need to start the towel/spray/switch water cycle and that cycle takes 5 minutes to complete. That really only leaves about 10 minutes in between cycles for other non-freezer related activities. Oh, wait...but you have to keep water boiling and you have two kids underfoot 'cause your hubby is being a sweetie and helping a friend move. I started around 9:30 this morning and finally finished around 6:00 this evening.

Oh, well, it needed to be done. I have double the freezer space and a great feeling of accomplishment now that it's done.

Friday, January 26, 2007

What's up, Doc?

We took AJ in today for his 9mo well baby check up /post pox doctor's appointment. His doctor said that he got hit with a 'super' strain of chicken pox and she was in awe during the appointment as she discovered more and more scabs. He is covered with them. And as I mentioned yesterday, is not feeling well with a low grade fever. So he cried the entire check-up. Poor guy... it's been a rough week. Two teeth, the super chicken pox, and now a cold with a fever.

Anyway - here are his stats.

Height - 28 1/8 inches (about 50 percentile)
Weight - 18lbs 2oz. (about 15-20 percentile - dropped, but dr. not concerned and chalking it up to him not being well).

So, pray my little man returns to his happy self soon... I miss him!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

What could be better than a noodle heart?

We've been keeping Andrew busy lately with crafts, attitudes, and potty training. We worked on birthday cards earlier this week...

His future's so bright...
And today - macaroni pictures
One for the picture, one for Andrew, one for the picture...

(yes, they were uncooked, dry noodles.)

The Final Result

And... we've been potty training. Which means we get half (if that) done during the day.

AJ on the other hand was not feeling well today. I think he picked up a cold while his little system was down with the pox. He was running a fever and just a little extra needy.

But perked up during tub time!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We are surviving the pox...

And I think we are in the homestretch! For the first time since Friday, my happy baby boy was back with only a few itch related freakouts today. He still looks dotted and I still found a few new spots today, but I didn't have that, "oh no" feeling when I undressed him this morning... like I did the past few days. And we didn't have to have four baking soda baths in the sink today either. There is a nice thin film of baking soda all over my kitchen since AJ discovered how to splash. The four baths a day routine also meant that I have quite a bit of laundry I am working on. I wanted to change his clothes after each bath to prevent infection of the spots. I wanted a new towel after each bath for the same reason. And I need dry clothes after each bath since he learned his new skill. So - each day is getting better.

Technically - today is supposed to be the last day that he is contagious, though I still don't think I am going to take him anywhere for a few days yet. Plus, I can just see others scramble to hide their children when they see AJ's polka dotted little face. I'm not sure how long those will last. Many of the spots are quite big and may take a while to heal. He has his rescheduled 9mo appt on Friday, so maybe I'll have more answers then.

Well, because of the pox, we haven't done too much else. Not much else to post about. Oh, wait. We officially moved Andrew's mattress onto the floor in our bedroom. We were making such progress with AJ getting him to sleep through the night - that we just wanted to keep at it. And it's much easier when Andrew is not in the room also. But Marc and I got tired of taking turns sleeping on the couch so Andrew could sleep in our bed. So - in our three bedroom house, three of us are all in one room. I think Andrew is loving it.

Ok, I am heading the bed. I hope this post made sense. Marc and I just sat down and crunch numbers for a good stretch right before I posted, so my brain might be fried.

Monday, January 22, 2007

...that feeling of helplessness...

...I just found out my ex-boss's daughter died in a car crash last night. I feel sick for her. Her daughter was a faithful Christian and is rejoicing in Heaven I am sure, but I wouldn't wish what my boss is feeling on anyone. Please pray for her.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

See Spot. See Spot itch. See Spot itch miserably.

Day Three of the Pox and they keep coming. Before noon, the kid has already had two baking soda baths. The spots seem to stay in clusters. So there are parts of him with barely a mark and other parts have been completely attacked - like his head/ears/face. I feel so bad for him. He just wants scratch and scratch. His belly and diaper area are hit hard as well. I've been giving him tubs each time I change him because I can't bear to wipe him, he's so broken out. And kept telling him, "no itchy" when I would gently remove his hand from digging in his skin that now when I just say "no itchy" he starts crying. At least I trimmed his nails short.
Stupid shingles - now I wish they would have just been the spider bites we originally thought they were (although that totally gives me the hebee jebees).

Friday, January 19, 2007

AJ found us!

Check out the third comment! If you are reading... Hi AJ! Thanks for introducing yourself!

Here a Bawk, there a Bawk, everywhere a Bawk-Bawk.

So – it’s been a busy week. We’ve been everywhere this week – the grocery store, MOPS, laptime at the library, Bible Study and today the doctor. And because we were everywhere this week (along with having family up last weekend and friends over on Tuesday), I was on the phone all day today calling people to tell them…

…AJ has the CHICKEN POX!

A mere three months shy of the vaccine and he gets the pox. The poor kid has had a rough week. I drag him place to place messing up his nap schedule, he gets two (that’s right, two) teeth and now the pox. And of all things – guess who gave them to him. I did.

I got shingles over Christmas (though I didn’t know they were shingles until the second week of January when my labs came back). And our primary care provider (whom we are not impressed with for several reasons) never mentioned that I would be contagious to my kiddo – not that it would have mattered by the time we got the labs – the shingles were pretty much gone at that point. But that’s neither here or there.

Anyway. I took him into the doctor's office this morning. And even though everyone was so sweet - it was like he had leprosy. We were ushered immediately to a room where are doctor met us, no waiting in the waiting room. Once we confirmed the pox, we had to reschedule the 9 month check-up since they wouldn't even put AJ on the scale since he was contagious. The doctor went up front and rescheduled for us and then we were ushered out a side door rather than walking back our the front. Unclean! Unclean!

So now I’ve got a poor spotty itchy baby. I’ve been keeping him medicated with Tylenol and Benedryl every four hours. The first two hours are good and he’ll usually sleep. The third hour is iffy and the last hour we just put on his winter hat and count down until its time for more meds. The hat is to keep him from scratching his pretty little polka dotted head. I feel kind of mean putting it on, but it’s better than a cone.

So, we are stuck in the house for the next 5 days. Since we are getting dumped on by serious lake effect snow - it's really not too tempting to leave right now.

And Andrew did a good job today staying busy, since Mommy was busy trying to keep a baby happy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oreo Firsts

I was just killing some time re-reading some posts and I came across this post which I found interesting since I just posted this. I totally forsee a scrapbook page in my future!!

Challenge or Stress Relief?

The object of the game is to move the red block around without getting hit by the blue blocks or touching the black walls.If you can go longer than 18 seconds you are phenomenal. The US Air Force uses this for fighter pilots. They are expected to go for at least 2 minutes. Give it a try but be careful...it is addictive!!
~thanks Shannon

Not for nothing...

Well, all of AJ's crankiness and crabbiness the past week finally produced results today when the tip of a tiny tooth poked through. And by feeling his gums, I won't be surprised if another one is close by.

Along the lines of AJ... last night was Night Two of not feeding him at night. And again - we made it until 6am. But it was a harder night. It breaks my heart to hear him cry. If Marc goes in to pat his back, he calms somewhat. If I go in there and not feed him...WOWSERS - he freaks out. F.R.E.A.K.S.O.U.T. And hearing him scream and not do anything about it makes me feel physically ill. Fortunately, the episodes (about 2-3 a night) only last so long and he cries to sleep. So now we are on Night Three and he's only been down for about an hour - but so far so good.

This morning was my first MOPS meeting. I really wavered over joining since we are already committed to a couple other things each week. But I am really glad I went. Andrew did great in his class and got to play with his friend Thomas and make a snowman that he is SO proud of (the bottom is 'see through' with glitter). AJ did great - although he was spent by the time I picked him up. But he did take an incredible afternoon nap, his only nap. I even got to make a craft at MOPS too and have an nice brunch.

Ok, I need to go get my hubby. I put AJ down about an hour ago, Marc put Andrew down at the same time - but didn't come back down. I have a feeling he fell asleep and we have '24' episodes to watch!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Tickle Me AJ

Lights, Camera, Action!

With Gideon's imagination and Andrew's dramatics, we determined that when they grow up... Gideon will be the script writer and Andrew the actor. Between the two of them, at one point I almost believed there really were crocodiles (not alligators) in my kitchen. Here are some pictures from this weekend.

AJ's First Oreo

Grandma took the Oreo when it got small enough to choke on.

Potty training buddies.

Originally trying to make octagon shaped cookies

Sleepless in Grand Rapids

Andrew is doing great. The paci is now a thing of the past. It’s not asked for or missed in the slightest. He’s been sleeping well and even going potty on occasion. He does seem to get banged up and bruised quite a bit, but since he lives at 90mph – it’s not surprising.

AJ’s been a stinker lately. He’s teething and had been a 9-month-old monster for about 4 days. Just overall cranky and crabby. And he wasn’t sleeping worth a lick. There were 4 days in a row where he would sleep less than two hours in a row (meaning I was sleeping less than two hour blocks). Then Saturday evening, it’s like his teeth stopped shifting and he turned back into his happy cheery AJ. So last night we decided that we would cater to him no more. We let him cry a bit – with only Marc going in on occasion to pat his back and re-insert his paci. He did wake up three different times but overall made it until 6am without me feeding him (and I gave in at that point because I was very uncomfortable and I wanted him to sleep longer.) But because Marc got up with him throughout the night and because Marc’s office had no power this morning and he was home… my dearest hubby got up with Andrew and let me sleep until 9am! That means I slept from midnight until 9am only getting up once around 6am. I haven’t done that in over a year. I was up until midnight because we started watching the third season of ‘24’. Man, once you start those – it is hard to stop! Anyway - hopefully this was the first night of something beautiful!

Cookies & Duck-Duck-Goose... life is good.

Where do I begin? Last week was busy busy as we really got back into the swing of things with Bible Study and library days starting back up. Plus, Marc and I took up some projects around the house that kept us hopping, along with getting our home ready for my family that came up this past weekend. Busy Busy. It was really nice to have my family up. Marc skipped town and went on a 'fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants' trip with his buddy to Indiana. Us girls and the two boys really just hung out. Andrew and Gideon had a ball playing together. We did get out of bit and hit the store one day and the airport and McDonalds the next day. The airplanes were exciting, but it was oh-so-cold that we didn't stay long. We made cookies and played duck-duck goose and refereed the kids when it got close to nap/bedtimes. It was just a nice visit.

Today I am just getting the house back in order, catching up on some laundry, etc… Andrew and I had a nice game of pretend baseball going earlier. He can really hit that pretend ball hard! The rest of our week is pretty busy, so we very low key today. Tomorrow I am starting MOPS across town, Wednesday is library story time, Thursday is Bible study, and Friday we have AJ’s well baby appt. So we will have to be up and out each morning.

And, finally, winter decided to show her face around here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Ta Da!

This will be Andrew’s third night pacifier free. He would only get the paci at night and naps, anyway. But last week, Marc decided that starting Sunday night was the night. So we talked it up and counted down the nights. And each night, Andrew was totally fine and didn’t seem upset at all by the paci talks. Then Sunday came and Andrew went to bed like it was no big deal. He was big boy and didn’t need his paci anymore. Marc told him if he made it the whole night without crying for his paci in the middle of the night, he would get two Oreos the next day. That was motivation enough. He made it, got two Oreos yesterday, two Oreos today and hopefully some sort of treat tomorrow (our Oreos are gone). Then that’s it – three days are enough. Yep - he's my big boy, now.

How many more wake-ups?

It has been a busy busy couple of days.

Let’s see what I can report. We got our house somewhat back in order after getting our carpets cleaned. We’ve been doing lots and lots of much needed work around the house… like taking all the boys clothes and separating them into boxes by size, weeding out the small clothes and or unwearable clothes, etc…

Plus, we have company coming this weekend and we are so excited. We are counting down the wake-ups until they get here. It’s mostly females from my family – so Marc will be skipping town. Plus we need his bed since there will be 8 of us in our little house. But Andrew’s cousin, Gideon, is coming as well. So he is super exciting about “racing” with him. He keeps telling me that “I (Andrew) will get the red fire truck and Gideon will get the yellow dump truck and you (Kelli) will say ‘Mark, Set, Go for Andrew and dad will say ‘Mark, Set, Go’ for Gideon”, etc…. He has the whole plan worked out in his head.

Yesterday afternoon, we ran on errands, which took way too long (everyone and their brother was at the grocery store with like two checkout lines open with two hungry kiddos). Anyway, got home quick enough to unload food, make a quick dinner of oatmeal for the boys and headed back out to the library for an activity hour. We got to hear stories about snow and Andrew got to make three snow crafts.

Today was another busy day, but nothing too exciting. Just working around the house and constantly removing AJ from everything that he shouldn’t be into. However, tomorrow morning – we are going back to the library. I have the boys signed up for Wednesday morning ‘lap time’. It’s just a story time each week. Should be nice.

Thursday is Bible Study and Friday…. Gideon comes!!

Please stand by...

We are experiencing technical difficulties....


Sunday, January 7, 2007

He's been out longer than he's been in.

Things have been a little nutty around here the last couple days. We got our main floor's carpets cleaned on Friday. So Thursday through now - our house was in an odd state. First we had to clean clean the main floor. Then we had to totally empty it. Just our entertainment center and large couch left. Nice open running space for Andrew. The rest of our 'living' rooms were packed with furniture from the main floor, so we really couldn't be in those rooms. Our dining table was also in our kitchen, blocking the oven, dishwasher and most of our drawers. Completing a simple task of making lunch turned into quiet a chore. Couple that with, once I do figure out what to make, we have no where to sit to eat it.

Friday evening was the trickiest. After the carpets were done - they were wet. We could walk of them for short stretches, but it was recommended to not put furniture back or anything on the floor that could soak up the application for 24 hrs. Well, with a baby - that pretty much means we can't be on that floor at all. And again, the other rooms weren't really liveable either since they were packed out. Fortunatly - the carpet cleaners came during nap time and the boys blessed me with decent naps. When they woke up - we went for a nice long walk. (Yes - we took a nice long walk to a playground in January in 50 degree weather - definate perks of global warming.) We timed it so we would get home when Marc did, and pretty much packed back up and headed out for the night looking to kill time until bedtime. We ate dinner out and walked the mall for a while.

Yesterday - we did a lot of work around the house and had dinner at some friends house. So with all this going on, I really haven't been able to get online long enough to post that...

...AJ turned 9 months yesterday and is officially crawling and pulling himself up onto things.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Final Ford Post... maybe

Again! We saw them! The planes cames - and since we knew they were heading south to north, we knew we would see them before they were on TV. So we were standing right at our door watching the canon salute on tv ready to run out as soon as they finished. I took pictures but they didn't turn out well. And blogger is not letting me post the pictures I did take - so again, my friend took good pictures and I will refer you to her.

It's funny. Just two days ago, I was commenting to Marc about how I didn't understand why people our age and younger was showing all this interest in Ford and all the services, etc... I mean, we didn't know him, wasn't around when he was in office, etc... I wasn't necessarily critizing them, but I just didn't really get it either. So, needless to say, when Marc found out I bundled up the boys, disregarded naps, and stood in the cold to watch dark windowed cars, he gave (is still giving me) a hard time. And of course, to top it off, I've been glued to all things "Ford Funeral/Grand Rapids" since then. And really, I am/was much more interested in the historical aspect of the "event" in my own town (sorry that sounds so cold) than the man of Gerald Ford. But then, after watching the days unfold and the final flag folded so beautifully and given to Mrs Ford and watching her give the flag the sweetest slight kiss - it no longer was "just an event." He was a husband, a father, and a grandparent who will be missed by his family.

Ok, I'll get off my Ford kick and try to get back to my regularly scheduled posts about boys, and lessons, and housework, and food, etc... Stay Tuned.

His ears look fine? Darn.

I haven't got much done today. Last night was our second night in row that was just plain terrible. T.e.r.r.i.b.l.e. AJ has this cold that for the most part doesn't bother him except for at night - when he screams. Not sure if from pain, if because he can't breathe through his nose and therefore can keep in his paci or nurse, or if he just wants held. This in turn wakes up Andrew and he ends up in our bed for night. So Marc and I are dragging today. I called today to take him into the doctor. Not for the cold - I know they can't/won't do anything for that... but I was sure he had an ear infection. And nope - his ears look great. Which is good... I guess. But that doesn't offer me hope for tonight like antibiotics would have.

Side note: Around Thanksgiving - he did have an ear infection and I wouldn't have brought him in except he was due a flu shot and I thought "let's have the doc check quick since we're leaving town". This time - I would have bet money and made a seperate doctor appointment just to have them looked I was so sure - and nothing. My mom-dar is off.

So - after our appointment we hit the store for more meds, before coming home for quick lunch before overdue naps. Now, I am just sitting here watching the Ford Funeral on tv. Around 3:30 or so, is supposed to be a cannon salute that we might be able to hear from our home. And then a 21 aircraft flyover in 'missing man formation' will head over Grand Rapids from south to north that I am hoping we will catch sight of from our house too.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Impromptu History Lesson

Photo Strip Above Courtesy of WoodTV

Well, along with lighthouses and the vocab word "Beacon", today Andrew got a lesson in history. Whether any of it sunk it or will be retained - who knows. See, after my last post, I got to thinking. After Andrew got up from a nap, I was planning on taking the boys for a walk. Well, if we headed out a bit earlier, we could actually head to Ford International Airport and watch the motorcade ourselves. So I watched the news until Airforce One touched down and we took off. Outdoor time, walking AND a once in a lifetime event. I wore AJ on my front and my diaperbag on my back and with Andrew in hand we trekked toward the airport after parking a good distance away. There we tons of people there and eventually they closed the intersection and we got to stand right in the middle of the road and get a first hand look at the motorcade's processional start. From the airport, it would travel downtown probably lined by people most of the whole way. It was interesting and I am glad we went.

Remembering Gerald Ford 1913-2006

This afternoon, right before lunch - 10 fighter jets flew right by our home. It was a very exciting moment for my 2 year old and his mama. President Ford is from our city and was brought back today to be buried at the Ford Presidential Museum downtown. Very historical time for our city. I've been watching the news quite a bit today. From what I hear another set of fighter jets will be flying over at 2:15. The motorcade (75 vehicles) will be going pretty near our home as we live near the Ford International Airport and traveling along the Ford Freeway. (Can you tell he was honored around here?) I am going to cheat and refer you to a friends blog who did a great job on a Ford Memorial. Much better than I could have done. Check it out.

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year's Resolutions.

I have a "Read Through the Bible in a Year" Bible. But I start it every year and every year I fail a couple weeks or months into the year. Because of this, there are some parts that I've read several times and many parts I have never read. So I am going for a new plan. I like this one I found. Will you join me?

Some other resolutions: (I probably shouldn't be posting these publicly.)

  • Go to bed earlier and get up before boys on a regular basis.
  • During my time up before the boys - walk on the treadmill a modest amount of time and read my daily reading (see above).
  • Drink 8 glasses of water and take my vitamins every day.

I a few other small ones (like do a better job making my bed each day, etc...), but the ones above are my big ones.

Happy New Years!

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