Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rain + Rest Stop + Ring = "YES!!!"

Ramblings of a mom way up past her bedtime.

What a week it's been. It' seriously seems like it's been a non-stop whirlwind since last weekend and here tomorrow is Saturday already.

Last weekend, Marc and I took part in a beautiful wedding. As the Master and Mistress of Ceremony, we were on the run Friday night and all day Saturday. My parents came up to help watch the boys and of course, they had a wonderful time.

This week has been the week of meetings. With our 20's Bible Study starting next week, my ladies Bible Study starting this week, and a retreat coming up next weekend, one or both of us were at church three nights this week.

This morning, Marc and his buddy headed Up Nort for a fishing/camping weekend. So last night we had two of his buddies over to spend the night in order to leave early. Andrew was sleeping fitfully and dealing with him in the top bunk was too much, so I moved him into our bed, fulling intending to move him back once his 'bad dream' or whatever his problem had past.

Oh no, he woke up puking all over. In. Our. Bed. I repeat, All. Over. Our. Bed. We clean it up, stick him in the shower, deal with a few more 'episodes', clean them up, and by 1pm, he was a happy, healthy, perfectly wide awake boy.

However, after spraying our mattress down with Bleach/Water, it wasn't in any condition to slept in. I wasn't going to put Andrew back on the top bunk... just in case. So now we have the guest room already booked, the couch already booked, and no bed for myself, Marc, and Andrew. The guys ended up taking their party to a different house and we all ended up sleeping just fine... even the puppy.

Yes... puppy. I have the boys solo, however, we are also puppy sitting an adorable 14 week old dog. It's going very well, actually. The boys are big fans, as long as the puppy is on leash, behind the baby gate, or in his kennel.

Tomorrow we are taking advantage of Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day and going to the AirZoo. Hopefully, I'll get some good pictures. Truthfully, I am pretty excited about it myself.

Finally, Andrew finished week two of school and is still just as excited about it. This week he learned all about apples. He came home one day, went to the fridge, got out an apple, showed me the bottom and told me that that is where the apple tree flower used to be. And I did not know that. They tasted different colored apples and charted who liked what. And they have an orchard field trip coming up soon.

I was just getting ready to wrap up this post, up way past my bedtime, when not one but both boys start crying. Are you kidding me? Of course, they are, Marc is gone. Andrew has a nice gash on his elbow from an encounter with the sidewalk (that truthfully looks worse than AJ's ER-worthy lip) with a nice mosquito bite next to it. He apparently scratched it and when I went up there his arm was covered in blood. I'm not sure what AJ's deal what... but man, he was upset. Hardly consolable. Finally, they are both in bed... my bed (I didn't learn my lesson). But they are happy, it's after 1 in the morning, I am very tired, and off to 'couch' without hardly proof-reading... at least the dog is sleeping.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I want to see this.

I am not a big movie person. I enjoy them, but I don't get overly excited about them one way or the other. Only a few movies have really held me. But I can't wait to see "Fireproof". I really just stumbled on it. Maybe many of you already know about it. It opens this Friday and I just saw the trailer here. It, by itself, was captivating. And being a girl of the 80's - Kirk Cameron doesn't hurt either. Just teasin'.


Praise Jesus, more movies are coming out that honor Him.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Voices

Well, it's happened again. My voice is shot. It again sounds like I've smoked most my life. It's only a day before it's probably gone.

But, I will share with you what just might be the most angelic voice that we may hear this side of heaven. A video of AJ singing Jesus Loves Me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh what a night.

We had our second trip to the ER last night with the same results as the first.

Yesterday afternoon, around 4:30pm, the boys were playing outside in the gorgeous weather, while I worked around the house. I suddenly hear AJ cry. Moms, you know the cry... the get-down-here-right-away-this-is-serious cry. I race down and see AJ's mouth covered in blood. I am just thankful that I didn't get down there three seconds later, as he then wiped his very bloody hand (he was holding it to his mouth) over his eye and hair. If I would have found him in that state, I would have thought he was dying he looked so bad.

I bring him inside, try to calm him down, and clean him up. He has a nice gash right above his lip and it's bleeding pretty good. The blood doesn't bother me, as I know head wounds bleed more than other parts of the body, but the cut is good. Now my mind starts thinking. It looked to me like it might need a stitch or two. If it was anywhere else on the body, I would have stuck a band-aid on it and let it be, but this was right in the middle of his face. If the accident would have happened earlier in the day, I would have also just watched it for a while to make a better assessment about what to do. But at this point it is 4:45 and our doctor offices close at 5pm. Not a lot of time to wait and see, less we end up in the med center (more $$).

I call the offices first to talk to a nurse to see if a visit is necessary. After describing the nature and location of the cut, she tells me to bring him in. I quickly load up the boys (fortunately they were already dressed with shoes from being outside.) I call Marc, who was headed home, and tell him to meet me at the offices. If the boy ends up with a stitch, we might need the both of us to hold him down.Of course, we had to wait quite a bit at the doctor's office seeing as we didn't have an appointment and we were technically after-hours now. I am starting to question now if we should be there. His lip is still bleeding, though not nearly as much. He is happy and playing. We finally see a doctor (not AJ's normal pediatrician) and she gives his lip a good look before giving us two options. She could glue the cut in the office, or we can take him to ER to get it stitched. She says either way he will have a scar, but the ER option will probably be much less of one.

Ugh. Marc and I just stare at each other? We could get it taken care of right now and be done with it, but he could possibly have a good scar in the middle of his face. Or we can spend the evening in ER with a hungry, busy two year old just for 'cosmetic' reasons. I think the doctor could sense our hesitancy, so she offered, “If it were my child, I would take him to ER.” She mentions that the ER did stitches on two year old faces everyday with specialized pediatric doctors, etc. They would have meds to make him more comfortable and still during the procedure, and if necessary, they have a pediatric “plastic” team available. What?! I then mentioned that AJ still used a paci at night (intending to ask how that would affect any treatment), and at that she said, absolutely, ER was the way to go. Okay, then. At least they didn't charge us for that visit.

There is no reason the whole family needs to go to ER. Marc takes Andrew home, and I head downtown. It is dinner time and I know there will be no food other than vending machines available in the ER and who knows how long we may be there. I swing by McDonald's on the way to ER, which perks AJ right up. I packed it away in my bag to eat in the waiting room and we get checked in. I ask if it is okay for us to eat our dinner and she tells us, “no.” If AJ does need any sedation, he can't eat. Poor kid, plus we are smelling the whole ER up like french fries.

We sit in the pediatric waiting room until called back to triage. AJ did so well. Much better than expected. Although, I was starting to get the feeling that the ER personnel did not appreciate having a patient sent to them for something minor like a cut on their lip. Granted, everyone was nice and no one said anything blatantly rude.... but the message came across. After triage, we waited some more before being led back to the ER where we were placed on a hall bed. That is just how a sounds. Which is fine... I understand. After seeing some of the patients that came (or were rolled) in... they needed the rooms worse than we did. It was just that the halls were busy and trying to keep a busy toddler on the bed and out of the way was a challenge. We waited some more.

The doctors came around and again... that look of “why are you here” flashed across their face. However, the main doctor was very nice. She looked at the lip and cleaned it out well to see how deep it was. She/they determined that glue was not an option as it would not stick to the wound. They could A) do nothing, but put topical antibiotic ointment on it or B) place an IV in his arm to sedate him to put merely one or two stitches in it that wouldn't close the cut much more than it was already.

She left the decision up to me, but strongly felt that with AJ only being two, the risk and effects of sedation far outweigh the benefit of a stitch or two. She felt bad that our ER visit could potentially be for nothing, but it just wasn't worth it. I prayed in the hall that I would make the right decision for AJ and just not the easy one for the doctors, but overall, I agree with them. He is going to have a scar either way. It may be a tad worse this way, but not bad enough to put my little guy through all that. After having to put Andrew “under” a few times.... it is not a pleasant experience. So we went home with no glue, no stitches, cold smooshed McDonald's in my purse, and a large co-pay poorer.

This morning, AJ seems fine. I should have given him some Tylenol last night as he didn't sleep well (meaning I didn't sleep well), but his cut looks better already, even he has a fat lip. After seeing all the other poor children in the ER last night, if a cut on his lip that required no treatment was the only reason we were there.... I have no complaints.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

He's right.

Yesterday, as I was picking Andrew up from day two of preschool, his teacher came up to me and told that during circle time they work on days, dates, seasons, etc... She asked the class if anyone knew what that day was. She said Andrew immediately yelled out, "It's Waffle Wednesday!"

Leave Daddy and AJ alone in the bathroom...


...and AJ gets "Fancy Hair".


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So early?

So, I am making dinner the other day -which by the way ended up being a total bomb, so much that we ended up eating chicken nuggets and rice - when Andrew runs into the kitchen.

"Mom! I lost my tooth!" I immediately stop what I am doing, "WHAT?!" He repeats and points to his mouth. I clean my hands and start searching his mouth a little frantically not believing that my baby is ready to lose a tooth. None have even been wiggly... I know, I help him brush every night. (I know he wouldn't have knocked it out, he would have been crying.)

I don't see any tooth missing and sure enough he starts laughing. "Mom, I am just joking."

Are four year olds old enough to understand humor and joking? I mean, his father is like a constant clown, but is it possible for his offspring to pick up on that so early?

Of course, Andrew thought he was hilarious and the rest of the night I heard all sorts of "things" he lost.... just waiting for me to question him so he could tell me he was just joking. That kid lives for attention.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This is the day the Lord has made.

What a nice day today turned out to be! We lounged around this morning, while I made toast for breakfast (it is Toasty Tuesday), got dinner prepped for the evening, and fed my sourdough starter. The weather was crisp but pleasant, so the boys happily played outside for a while this morning, while I got quite a bit done around the house including paying bills (the not so pleasant part of the day.)

We had a quick PB sandwich lunch and then both boys napped for me, so I was able to make a boatload of waffles for breakfast tomorrow and for the freezer while still working around the house in two minute bursts (time between waffles).

Marc went fishing tonight with a fella from our Bible Study, so once the boys were awake and fed snacks we took a walk/bike ride. We ended up visiting at our neighbors house for a little while. We came home, called and invited another neighbor (Andrew's classmate) over for a dinner of homemade mac & cheese, sausages, apples, and snickerdoodles. It was a nice visit. I got to chat with another grown-up and the boys were happily playing in the toy room or outside.

When they left we were getting ready to take tubs when.... (drumroll please) AJ WENT ON THE POTTY!! We celebrated with cheering, clapping, and of course M&M's. Then he did again. More cheering, more clapping, more M&M's. We even called daddy on the boat so AJ could tell him. I'm not putting too much money on this, but also praying it wasn't a total fluke.

We ended the evening with our Bible stories and prayer. We read about Passover and Pharoah finally letting God's people go. Man, that's heavy stuff for a four year old who is a first born son.

Well, I haven't had a "here's what we did today" post in a while. We were due for it - even if they aren't very exciting. I need to go pull things together for Day Two/Waffle Wednesday tomorrow.

But No Zebras

In honor of September 11, our local zoo offered free admission. It's a nice, small zoo, but one that I struggle to justify spending the admission price for. However, for free, sure let's go. We packed a lunch and got there shortly after it opened.

Below, Andrew is describing how big the pelican is.





The boys had a nice time. He got to see penguins, camels, monkeys, etc... the usual zoo fare. They got to pet little pygmy goats. AJ was especially excited about the Lion King that we saw.

We really had a nice a day with beautiful weather. However, that evening, when Marc asked the boys how was the zoo, instead of the telling him all the fun we had, Andrew just said almost dejectedly, "There were no zebras."

Monday, September 15, 2008

We made it!

It's official. I am the mother of a preschooler. Today was the big day. Andrew picked his (practically too small) football shirt to wear. He very excitedly ripped off the last link of his countdown chart and got ready.
I dropped him off and he was practically gone. His teacher insisted he come back and give me a hug before I go. During school, it was kind of nice to have a little AJ time. We hit CVS before attending Library Laptime.
When we picked up Andrew, they were just coming in from playground time. He was bouncing ready to show us what he made, a picture of circles and lines, and a crayon crown like the one his buddy Gabe is wearing below in front of their cubbies.
AJ got to tell Andrew about our surprise lunch for him at McDonald's! Andrew talked straight from the time I picked him up until we were home from McD's. From the best that I can gather, since 4yr olds don't talk in chronological order, his day looked a little something like this with his own commentary:
  • Free play time for a bit where Andrew played with tools and his buddy played with pretend breakfast.
  • Potty break where he went all by himself and even locked the door behind him and washed his hands and didn't touch the floor because bathroom floors are dirty.
  • Circle Time where they each stood up and told the class their name, age, favorite food, something they like to do, and favorite color.
  • Stations, or according to Andrew, Four Play Times. I know what two of the four stations were. One making the crayon crown and the other drawing the picture. I couldn't gather the other two stations other than Andrew playing with a blue car.
  • Snack time with Teddy Grahams and apple juice (probably straight up). Andrew told me he kept biting the toes off and telling his friends in a "bear" voice, "Hey look at me, I don't have any toes."
  • Story time about a mouse's first day of school
  • God time. He said he heard a story about God, but couldn't remember it. They also sang the 'hammer song'. I do know this one because he also sings the 'hammer' song in church. It's "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock".
  • Playground time. He told me he and his friend were playing on the slides pretending to hide from the bad guys.
  • Final circle time that ended with prayer. Teacher dismissed them one at a time.

He is very excited to go back.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

'Twas the night before Preschool.


My goodness that boy can hardly contain himself... he's practically vibrating. He finished his first homework and has his backpack all packed with his homework, a box of tissues, and a change of clothes. We even went out today and bought him a inexpensive pair of sweatpants just to leave in his bag so we wouldn't tie up one of the few pants that actually fit him. I'll be sure to take a few pictures tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Redeemed.

Oh. I just finished this book. Wow. I am not far enough removed from it, I think, to put into words all my thoughts about this book other than I loved it. Want to read it again already, love it. Will probably need to own it, love it.

Reading this book led to worship. Our God is so good. I know I've been on a Francine Rivers kick lately, but if you read no other book I've mentioned, read Redeeming Love.

I will warn, as the publisher did.... it's not an easy read sometimes. A rating of PG 13 would probably be appropriate. But the unconditional love of Christ is exemplified beautifully in this writing.

I'm off to make the boys lunch then start reading the book of Hosea during nap time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The countdown has begun...

We are officially counting down. The morning Andrew breaks the last circle off his sign, is the morning that he starts preschool. Can you tell it's invaded this house? Just the thought of it sends Andrew into a tizzy.

Let me throw a little irony at ya. For the past 4+ years, ever since Andrew was born really, either he, or he and AJ, have gotten me up bright and early every morning. It was a rare day that I would get to sleep past 7-7:30am.

However, this past week, the week that was supposed to be our 'preschool trial run' week, meaning we would attempt to get us all up early, ready, fed, and out the door by 8:30am - is the week that the boys start letting me sleep in. In fact, they wake each other up, go downstairs, and start playing quietly by themselves. I have dreamt of this day!! (Insert chorus music here). It just happens to come at a time that I actually do need to be up and at 'em around 7-7:30am.

Ok, back to my preschooler. Yesterday, Andrew came upstairs to show us the airplane that he made. This may not impress you guys at all, and maybe his dad and myself are just biased, but check out this incredible airplane he made. This was made by a Four-Year-Old with no help!

Maybe he'll want to build airplanes when he grows up or even fly them!? (Maybe I am projecting a bit, eh?) Anyway, he sticks to wanting to work at a bank like his Grandma did. He really, really wants to send the tube through the drive-through shoot and pass out suckers. If only that's all there were to banking, buddy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How can I?

How can I possibly get mad at a blonde two year old who is supposed to be in bed, when he stands on the top step, peaks over the railing, and asks in the sweetest voice imaginable,

"Can I nuggle you?"

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bye-Bye Battle over Breakfast

Every morning was the same thing. I would ask the boys what they wanted for breakfast, they would go to the pantry, open the door and stare at the options that were available. After turning down the several requests for the snack/junk food they saw, they would eventually choose something acceptable however, different. Every time. Breakfast with indecisive, yet hungry boys was a frustrating way to start the morning. So, using inspiration from a couple other sources, I came up with a breakfast game plan that we have been using now for three weeks and I think has been pretty successful.
  • Muffin Monday - I made a big batch of banana chocolate chip and froze them. I prefer nuts over chocolate chips, but I'm not a breakfast eater and if a few chocolate chips sneaks bananas and whole wheat into my boys, I'll sacrifice. Muffins vs. bread makes it portable if necessary.
  • Toasty Tuesday - This has been thick slices of homemade toasted sourdough with butter and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. This is the easiest to make as the sourdough is usually on hand and surprisingly, for it's simplicity, it's one of the best.
  • Waffle Wednesday - Again, I made a large batch, flash froze them, and we just pop in the toaster. The boys eat them plain, so they make great on the go food.
  • Thinkin' Oatmeal Thursday - Baked oatmeal, cut, flash frozen and just nuked for a minute. My boys like it with peanut butter on top. If you can come with a better name please let me know. I'd like to keep oatmeal on Thursday, but need a better name.
  • Flapjack Friday - Same deal. Made a lot and froze. Nuke and eat. I make these small and again, my boys eat them plain, so they are portable.
  • Cereal Saturday and Cereal Sunday.

Did you notice how the portable foods fall on Monday, Wednesday & Friday? Hmm.... Andrew's preschool is on MWF. Coincidence? Actually, kind of, but I like it. I would prefer to the boys be able to sit down and have a nice breakfast before we need to leave, but I also know reality happens and an occasional breakfast on the road is quite possible.

Now, instead of the boys whining and waiting and waffling in the morning over what they want to eat, they ask me what day it is and then run around celebrating whatever food it is they get to eat that morning.

If I can stay on top of the baking, we will all be set. My thoughts are, if I make enough of each item to last 4-5 breakfasts (ie: 4-5 weeks), and can get them spaced out just right, potentially, I am only making one large batch of breakfast item per week. Does that make any sense? It does in my head.

Now excuse me, I've got flapjacks to clean up. Have a great Friday.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What an evening.

It's past 11pm and I just got home after attending a parents meeting for preschool, running home to help get the boys in bed, then heading off to our church offices for a late meeting. I am tired.

By the way, the parents meeting was a little chaotic due to the children present (including mine) who were so exciting about being there that they couldn't possibly hold still and remain quiet long enough for us grown-ups and teachers talk business. Andrew and his friend/neighbor, Gabe, were practically attached at the hip. Maybe we should warn Mrs. Doss of potential partners in crime.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Live'n it up.

So technically this past week was not the last week of summer like it is for so many who are going back to school tomorrow. Andrew does not start preschool until mid month. However, many of the fun things of summer end come Labor Day, so we tried to sneak in as much as we could anyway. It was a dream week for the boys.

It started out last Monday with the dentist. Most people (including me) dread the dentist, but my Andrew gets spoiled with his pick of toothbrushes, and bubble-flavored toothpaste, special sunglasses, and prizes from the prize jar. Oh, and he get's to play with their toys and watch cartoons while there. That evening, as I mentioned, we had a wonderful evening in Grand Haven, including dinner, ice cream, the pier, the lighthouse, and big boats.

Tuesday, his dad took him out to the local arcade/go-cart/putt-putt place. They way Marc described it, it was like crack for the kid. Andrew was so giddy and hyper, he was vibrating the whole time. He got to drive a go-cart himself, play putt, eat pizza and "pasketti", play skiball, etc... He came home talking 90mph. I wasn't sure if we would ever get him to bed that night.


Wednesday, we packed a lunch and met our neighbors at a nice school playground that obviously will be in use next week.

Thursday, we met took our other neighbors (and Andrew's future classmate) to the Garden's for the day. We were so blessed with amazing weather. It was cool in the morning, so we took our usual route backwards and save the water for the end. By then it was sunny and hot and wonderful.

Friday, we met some friends for the final day at the splashpark. It was so hot that the ice cold water felt great. I was even convinced to run through a few times and thoroughly get soaked. Of course, AJ preferred to stick to the sand most of the time (however, I have finally learned that sand in diaper = diaper rash something fierce. Pray for little man's bottom.) We had those same friends over for a dinner of homemade pizza.





(For those with blog readers - there is a splashpark slideshow here)

Saturday, we had a little get together at our home. 20 in all including kiddos. We grilled and played lawn games, while the kiddos played.

Sunday, we went to church and had nice afternoon naps. Marc went fishing in the evening, so we went back to the Gardens for the last hour they were opened just to play in the Great Lakes one last time. On the way back, we saw the HOT DONUT sign lit up at Krispy Kreme, meaning they give you a free donut when you stop in. The boys LOVE watching the donuts being made, so we ate dessert first. We picked up a few dollar menu items and ate dinner at the airport observation area before coming home to finish the day with Herbie and popcorn.

Today, Marc is off work and we didn't do much other than a little planning meeting get together over lunch for our 20-something Bible Study.

Looking back on this week, part of me thinks, "Ah, to be a kid again." But then again, here I am, 30, and still having just as much fun as they are. Happy Labor Day.
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