Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2-22-11 About Caden and Con

Caden has been tinkering with the idea of becoming a full-fledge crawler. He is more interested in being a climber. He pulls himself up from to a kneeling position to reach new things and peer into baskets. Today he managed to pull himself up to the DVD player. He likes the view from this new vantage point. He is in the throws of teething with only his bottom two front teeth showing through. I can't tell which other teeth are close, but he's drooling by the bucketful. This makes him a little uncomfortable and he's had a hard time sleeping the last couple of nights, but for the most part he is still smiley and still loves to laugh it up. I'm some sort of baby comedian because apparently my version of peek-a-boo is riotous. Caden's hair is a beautiful shade of blond and it's getting a little long so the sides stick straight out. That with his big eyes and perfectly plump cheeks makes for too much cuteness.

What's going on in Conrad's head (and incidentally, also what he is saying):

7 AM and Con is wondering if he can drive his jeep in the snow.

Walking across McDonald's after buying his own lunch with his gift card, an onlooker told me that she heard him say, "I'm so happy"

"Dear God, thank you for this food. Please let this freaking snow go away." (I believe this was after I told him that he probably couldn't drive his jeep in the snow)

"Dear God, help me to laugh more."

2-21-11 Max gives an updated on his doctor visit

It's been a busy week of puking and pooing around here. We bid farewell to that awful virus, but apparently the word is out that we have a hospitable home for viruses. Because as that one was leaving, another was making its way in. Max started with a cough late last week and by Saturday I was convinced that both he and Caden had bronchitis. Out came our nebulizer. By Sunday night, I was pretty sure they both had ear infections too. It was another night of hardly any sleep and knowing that we would be going to the doctor in the morning.

And so today we went to see the doctor (Conrad got to hang out at a friends' house rather than endure the "sick side" of the waiting room). I managed to get both kids into the office without using the double stroller. . . could we really be ready to pare down??? And we waited for about 45 minutes. Max found the seven-year-old kid coughing his head off to be very entertaining and began imitating him - except Max covered his mouth.

The doctor checked out Caden first and gave him a clean bill of health. I honestly don't know how this is possible given his hacking cough, but I was relieved nonetheless. Max got the second check and when the doctor declared that he didn't have bronchitis I smiled and said, "Oh, good." But this coupled with no diagnosis for Caden made the mommy inside of me cheer, "Yeah!!!" and turn cartwheels. The only bad news was that Max had an ear infection. It could have been way worse. The doctor did bring up the topic of fifths disease because Max had one ruddy cheek. This was put to rest when I let him know that the red cheek was just caused by Max tripping and falling into one of the waiting room chairs.

When Joe asked Max if he went to the doctor today, Max answered in the affirmative. Then Joe asked him, "What did the doctor say?". Max paused for a moment and then his sweet little raspy voice answered, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2-16-11 Wordless Wednesday I

2-14-11 Sweetheart's Brunch

We got a special invite for a Sweetheart's Brunch on Valentine's Day. Conrad went the extra mile to create Valentine's for old and new friends that would be there. Max was under the weather and didn't participate much in the card-making. Conrad had his own idea of how to make each card. So did I. But I didn't insist on my plan, I let his creativity guide the process.

My friend went all out with a delicious brunch spread, a valentine's decorated table, and then a gathering of the little cupids for a card exchange and a round of "Won't You Be My Valentine?". Super cute song--we sang it all day.

My little cupid Max had to miss the festivities, his tummy was still turning. . .

Some people think Valentine's Day is a made up holiday and shouldn't be bothered with, but, why not? It's just one day when you make an extra effort to let special people in your life know that you love them.

Joe shocked me with a special treat. The shock part is what made it special, just a little gesture that says I listen to you, I think of you, and I love you.

2-15-11 4 out of 4 Boys are Sick

I may have commented a time or two about people who seem to be sleepwalking through life. It always seems such a shame. When my kids get sick, it instantly puts our family in slow gear. Plans get canceled, housework is put on hold and meeting the kids immediate needs for fluids, Tylenol, and snuggling get met. It was clear by 9 o'clock this morning that that would be the order of the day. It was 9 o'clock when it became evident that kiddo number three was also struck by the vomiting/diarrhea virus. I loathe the word diarrhea much less the actual substance.

We slowed down. Don't get me wrong, I have A LOT to do on "sick kid days", but I also make it a point to be more attentive and comforting. There's quite a bit of crying on these days and someone is constantly begging to be held. While Caden was asleep, I snuggled with Conrad and Max while we watched cartoons. I'll admit, I have my favorites. Franklin is one of them, Dora is not. My mind was wandering while Dora was navigating. . . okay, I don't really know what this episode was about because I was thinking about how differently than usual our day was going. I liked that we had slowed down. I didn't have a to-do list. I wasn't feeling guilty that I had no intention of fitting in an outing, a learning activity or some kind of craft. There was no to-do list or any intention of making dinner. There was a touch of peace in a chaotic day.

Sometimes my days are too busy, sometimes I have weeks that are too busy and in my efforts to create a full life, I can create one that I'm only skimming the surface of. I want to make each day count, but not in a checklist sort of way. Thanks to disgusting biological functions wreaking havoc on my kids, I've been thinking about what really makes each day meaningful. Sharing a laugh with my husband, connecting with a true friend, making my baby belly-laugh, reminiscing with a family member, dwelling on scripture, making a new discovery with the boys. . .

The floors still need washed, the laundry still has to be folded, and the toilets have to be cleaned (especially this week!), but this is the small stuff. And you know what they say about the small stuff.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2-13-11 Get Better Max

Max is sick today. He has been puking every hour since 5:30 last night. Actually it's slowed down this morning, but he's begging for water. He can't even keep down sips of water or Pedialite. He hasn't smiled since yesterday and that is hard to watch. He seems to get the stomach bug frequently, but this time is the most intense and to not be able to give him water or milk when he cries for it breaks my heart. Right now he's snuggled up in my bed fast asleep.

Throughout the night I was thinking about moms around the world who have children crying out for milk or water and they don't have it to give to them. I thought about the moms who have sick children that aren't going to get better. I was asking God to heal Max and let him get some rest and thanking God that Max is overall healthy. Thanking God that I have clean water for him and the money to buy milk for him. Thanking God that in a matter of days this will only be a blip on our radar.

I added a pic from August. One where you can see Max's personality when he's healthy. His eyes shout, "Hi guys! Come get me!".

2-8-11 Professional Birthday Celebrators

Lately, we're partiers just waiting for a birthday! Today we celebrated my mom's birthday. The boys are always excited about a trip to Grandma's (I heard Conrad tell Joe we were going on vacation to Grandma's), but even more exciting when the event requires making a present, wrapping it, and knowing there will be cake. The boys created this year's present and their artwork includes their hand prints. From the hand prints, it's hard to prove that Max and Caden each only have five fingers per hand. . . ahhh, that makes them even more sweet.

I wish there was a way to capture how happy the boys were to be making something special for Grandma and to note how much pride they took in picking which colors to use and how to apply them. Conrad commented that Grandma will like the picture so much that she will just yell for Pa.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2-6-11 Building Up for a Messy Time

Sometimes your kids get a Christmas gift and you're not sure if it's a good idea or not. If your child opens a present from Grandma and it has this many pieces (see picture) you should deem it a "Grandma's house toy". If the gift is window crayons, do not even consider taking it home. Leave it at Grandma's house for use there. This year I made a rookie mistake (please, I've only been mothering for four years). We brought home an assemble yourself wooden train kit and window crayons. Again, on the window crayons - DO NOT BRING THEM INTO YOUR HOME.

One day Conrad was on an adventure with Daddy so I wanted to do something special with Max. Out came the window crayons. And it was fun! We colored and created beautiful temporary art. No problem, right? Crayola boasts "washable". I washed it right off of Max's face and wasn't concerned about his clothes or my sliding glass door because Crayola has not let me down yet. Out came the Windex and the window washing began. More like window smearing. It was a continuation of our crayon fun, but about 12 paper towels and A LOT of Windex later the fun started to wane, for me anyway. The color was gone before the residue finally came off. All evidence was gone by the time Joe got home. . .

Joe usually does the building projects with the boys. They go to the project days at Home Depot, at Lowe's, and they make up new projects to do in the garage all the time. Conrad has grand plans to build a race car and a house that we can all live in. So, one day while Max and Caden were napping we opened the "build it yourself train kit". I was not deterred by all of the pieces. I had to read the directions, but my little builder did all of the hammering. I kind of thought he would need me a little more.

He really didn't until we were short on nails that we needed. Then it became clear why Daddy does the building projects and I don't. I took the screws we had and just muscled them in. When that didn't work, I got out the wood glue and, in my opinion, I solved our problem and completed our train. Conrad is still complaining about how I messed up his train because the wood glue ran a little bit and you can see it on the outside of the train. Nothing a little paint won't fix.

Ahhhh, for all of the ranting I started out with, I have a confession to make. I still have the window crayons on a high shelf and I have a "build it yourself airplane" kit stashed away. Neither are going to be returned to Grandma's yet. Messy or not, they were things I got to do with my boys and I just can't get enough of that!

Friday, February 4, 2011

2-4-11 Growing Pains

Conrad was crying in the night with pains in his legs. This has happened a handful of times and I hate it. There's hardly anything I can do for him. We always try the heating pad, massaging his legs, and last night we prayed. When he felt better, he told me God healed him.

Caden is cutting his second bottom tooth. He's miserable and he seems to be refusing to be miserable alone and wants to take us down with him. he was up in the night too. Poor baby is drooling and chewing on everything he can get his gums on. He also has dry, cracked lips. I read online that maybe he's not well-hydrated. This is possible, he's not taking his bottle very well lately. I poured him a sippy cup and now I think I should have filled it with juice instead of water. I'll do that tomorrow. I also read the suggestion to put lanolin on his lips. I had two extra tubes of this lying around from my nursing days. Never needed the lanolin for that, so it finally got some use! So, I'm keeping his lips dry, sippy cup full and applying lanolin before he goes to sleep. My easy baby was a bit high maintenance today.

Caden is going to crawl any minute now. I watch him closely and he gets through the motion and I think, that's it, he did it. But crawling isn't the kind of thing where the baby does it once. Either he's crawling or he's not. I have to say, he's not.

Max continues to warm my heart by doing things like leaning close to me and saying, "I kiss you". He has also been insisting on using the potty so I set up a potty chair. When I say that Max insists on something, I don't think I properly convey the urgency and desperation that comes across. He's hard to turn down!

2-3-11 Let's Go Camping!

What do you do with three boys when the wind chill factor outside drops below zero? You go camping in your living room! What was meant to be one days special activity has provided fun for the entire week. The boys' pup tent has been the venue for story time, flashlight fun, trail mix snack time, and even nap time one day for Conrad. Today it served as a wrestling ring until I intervened. . . Everybody knows what goes hand in hand with camping - s'mores! We microwaved the marshmallows; earlier this week Joe built a fire in the fireplace and the boys called it their campfire. Caden even belly crawled into the tent today. When the boys were violently shaking the tent, Caden was laughing like crazy. Max is buying into the camping experience 100%; he has been warning us about the bears in the living room. His expression and voice tone are very convincing. We run and hide from the bears on a regular basis.

One of the beautiful things about the boys being so young is that we can make such simple things into so much fun. Conrad has been aching for spring to come, but he was so excited to see the big snow drifts this week that recanted his prayer to God requesting spring to come sooner. I wish I could have recorded his excited prayer!

Joe bundled up the big boys and took them out to play in the snow. They're good buddies and I'm glad they have each other!

2-3-11 Mittens

Conrad found a cardboard die-cut book shaped like mittens today and immediately had a plan for it. So did I, but he was much more passionate about his idea than I was about mine. So he got out his ridiculously large pencil (another fabulous dollar store find) and began writing his story. I was putting things away in the kitchen and telling him letter-by-letter how to spell mittens without seeing what he was doing. After saying "s", I looked. He had written each letter. I couldn't believe it, still can't! We haven't really worked on writing letters. Sometimes I'll write a letter and he'll copy it. This was a whole new step.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2-2-11 Snowed In

2-1-11 Blizzard 2011

I don't follow the weather channel -- at all. Monday night I started getting emails with people asking if I had heard about the storm that was coming. Of course, I hadn't. I don't get anxious about the weather. Seems like it's never as extreme as they predict. I read a couple of scary predictions and figured we'd be okay. Until this morning when the snow started falling and the wind picked up. I loaded up the boys and we went and stocked up on library books, milk, water and formula. I pulled out two mega flashlights, candles, and matches. They got me, I started to fear the storm. Well, not fear it, but definitely wanted to be prepared for it. I read Conrad the two books about blizzards we had checked out. I had to edit as I read -- that stuff was SCARY!! Whiteouts, frostbite, how would I ever keep my husband from venturing out into it???

I started taking pictures.

2-1-11 Dinosaur Days

I love a good thematic study and our most current one is dinosaurs. What a boy topic! The plastic dinosaurs have been joining us for school time and our session has been ending with some very "active" dino play. Most recently, the dinos wreaked havoc on Misty Island. I'll attach pics of our dino puppets and Apatosaurus replicas. I just checked out some dinosaur books at the library so we're going to keep this theme going. I've been keeping a language development journal as part of our school, so there's a K-W-L for dinosaurs in it. I think we're going to have to google search "Did dinosaurs drive cars?" for an official answer. Mom's answer brought up good discussion about the timeline of dinosaurs and cars. Max is totally on board with learning about dinosaurs. I love hearing him try out new words like "extinct". Caden's on board with chewing on the dinosaurs!