Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving at home. A little parade watching, a little dog show watching. And we relaxed by the fire.

I made a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, corn casserole, marshmallow fluff, and pumpkin bars. My mom made a jello salad that was a big hit with the kids. The meal was great and the dining room table wasn't scattered with Legos, Christmas sale ads, and craft projects! Both kids said they liked the table clean and asked if we could keep it that way!

Before we dug in, the kids reminded us that we had to go around the table and say something we were thankful for. I have always thought that sounded like a great idea but have never done it. Sara was in charge and decided the order of who was speaking. Adam was first--he was thankful for our house, which makes sense because we have about 10 drawings of our house hung on various walls right now. She chose my mom to go next and she was thankful for 3 grandchildren that are healthy. Then it was my turn. I was already feeling emotional over mom's comment. I was thankful that we were now a family of five and God brought us Evan. Dad? He was thankful for a house full of family. And finally Sara. She was thankful for Ivy, our dog, and Muffin who continues to get to nap in heaven.

Another thing I am thankful for is Sara's health. She had a visit a few days ago with Dr. Gordillo, her Pediatric Nephrologist, to check in on her kidneys. They had done a full blood work up and urinalysis the week before. She was such a rock star when they drew her blood. She watched the needle go in and didn't flinch or cry. She just amazes me. Everything looks great and her kidneys continue to function well. There is no protein in her urine, she is not anemic, her blood pressure remains in a very healthy range, she is growing, and she is gaining weight. All factors that we continue to watch as signs that her kidneys would begin to fail. She has actually grown 1 5/8" since her last appointment in April and gained 3 lbs. She has grown 3" over the past year! That is quite impressive for her considering that her growth had stopped when her kidneys were filled with kidney stones before her Boston surgery. This appointment was the most she has ever talked to Dr. Gordillo. Usually she says she is going to ask him questions and then she gets shy and backs out. But this time, she told him all about how she tripped on the way to the bus, put holes in both knees of her pants, and we are going to cut them off above the knee to make shorts. She is to continue her daily blood pressure medication and antibiotics and go back in 6 months. Both kids have renal ultrasounds scheduled for January.

I am also incredibly thankful for this little guy. Evan hung out in a chilled environment at 5 days of life for 6 years until we were able to rescue him. Going thru the infertility process is on the list of one of the most difficult things I have had to endure. It takes an extreme amount of commitment for doctor appointments and injections, not to mention the emotional roller coaster. Our family of five is now complete!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Out of the mouths...

A few days ago I was feeding Evan in the nursery. Sara was standing outside the door with a small stuffed animal rabbit in her arms, swaying back and forth. She had a nipple from a bottle shoved inside a play ice cream cone and was feeding her "baby" while having a conversation with me.
My baby is 6 weeks old. She was soooo tiny when she was born. With all my pumping and eating and brushing my teeth, I don't have much time left in the day.
Yeah. Well, I used to have 2 babies but I gave one away. I just didn't have enough time.

Sometimes our mornings getting ready for school are...well...challenging. I never know if it is going to be a meltdown day. Sara can wake up in the best mood and then when she walks upstairs to get dressed she turns into a different person. She can complain about every little detail and then change her mind until her head spins. On one particular day, she was arguing with me.
I don't want to go to school...all they teach is phonics. I hate phonics. I don't want to go to school.
I don't want to go to school. You're not even listening to me.
Yes I am. I don't care.
I don't want to go to school.
I lost count how many times she told me that over and over and over again. Too bad I'm nursing or it would lead me to drink. All the way downstairs while getting shoes on. All the way down the driveway. Then she sees the bus coming and starts running.
Bye, Mommy!
And off she went. *whew*

Adam and I were having a conversation about his social life at school.
Mom, I don't have any friends.
I thought you told me the other day that you had 3 friends.
Well, Kathryn didn't want to be my friend. I gave her a nice rock and she gave it away to Charlotte cuz she said it was dirty. That's what I got out of her. I told her I washed all the dirt off and dried it but all she did was complain.

A few months ago we got a new car. Sara and Shannon were talking about what to do with the truck that we were going to sell.
Now that we don't need the truck why don't you just leave it at the dealership so someone steals it?
I have things still in there that are important to me.
Well, clean those out and then someone can steal it.

I was trying to talk to Adam about some issues he had been having at school. Shannon said he mentioned that maybe some kids were bullying him.
Adam, Dad said you told him some kids at school aren't being nice to you. We have parent teacher conferences coming up so if I need to talk to your teacher about something, you can let me know.
Mom, do you know who I'm in love with?
Do you know who I'm in love with?
I thought we were talking about kids being mean to you.
Kathryn. She's soooooo C-UTE!

Sara noticed that sometimes I breastfeed Evan from the left side and sometimes the right.
Mom, why do you switch sides when you feed Evan?
Well, my body makes milk all day so if I only feed him from one side, the other side will get really big. It's like a water balloon. What happens when we keep putting water in a water balloon?
Oh my! That's not quite what I was going for. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Welcome Evan Michael

September 26. I slept on the couch all night. Shannon got the kids ready for school and on the bus and headed to work when my mom arrived.

Around 8:00 I started feeling really bad again. I could barely walk to the bathroom without being hunched over.

At 9:00 I took a bath to see if it would help me feel better and relieve some of the pain. Guess I needed a bigger tub because the water was exiting the emergency valve and I couldn't even submerse my belly. (Note to all the people who kept telling me how small I was.)

At 10:10 I texted Shannon "Contractions hurting worse than yesterday. This isn't fun anymore."

My mom really didn't know what to do with me. I couldn't walk. I was doubled over, moaning in pain, but fearful that if I went to the hospital they would just send me home again.

At 11:51 I started spotting and contractions were 2 minutes apart. There were many times I had contractions 2 minutes apart over the past week but since I was spotting I decided to go to the hospital. I called the neighbor to ask if she could get the kids off the bus because they had a half day. Mom was a nervous wreck because she didn't know how to get to the hospital.

At 12:00 the bus came early as mom and I were in the driveway. Adam came running across the yard to greet me and about knocked me over. Sara was strolling along, enjoying the day, as I'm doubled over in pain and I hear her say "Look mama a butterfly!"

15 minutes to the hospital, waiting for mom to park in the crowded parking lot, the long wheelchair ride to the other end of the hospital from the Emergency Room, getting dressed in hospital garb and hooked up to monitors.

Finally at 1:03 I texted Shannon "Water bulging. Dilated to 3-4."

1:08 "Admitting me."

They drew blood to test for various things in order to get an epidural. When she told me it would be at least 30 minutes to get results, I knew things were moving too quickly and the pain meds were not going to be possible.

I got wheeled into my delivery room and lots of people were in and out. They checked me again and I was dilated to a 5-6. Not five minutes later a doctor on call came in and said he wanted to check when I was having a contraction...dilated to a 7-8.

At 2:13 I called Shannon "WHERE ARE YOU?" He said "I had to finish some things at work. I am just now leaving." Apparently the urgency of the situation had been dulled by my previous 2 false alarm hospital visits. And people had been bugging him about missing deadlines throughout the previous week. Last I checked, medical issues with your wife should trump work deadlines but I guess that is not the case at Big Yellow.

I called my boss to see if he could help with Adam and Sara for the evening. We have been friends with his family for years. Thankfully, I only had to give one sentence of an explanation and he said "I will take care of it" and I didn't have to think about it again. He coordinated with my neighbor to get the kids, clothes, have them spend the night, etc.

At 2:21 my water broke. Actually I discovered it wasn't my water. It was blood. Now the fun began. Some of the worst fun of my life.

I gave my mom and her queasy tummy permission to leave the room. Since she had someone else take me for shots when I was younger and wasn't in the room when I got stitches in my broken finger, that was probably a good call.

Around 2:45 Shannon finally arrived completely out of breath. It's amazing how quickly time goes by when you are pushing every few minutes. I know it was terribly hot in the room but they couldn't turn the fan on because it would make the baby too cold. I remember seeing the two people from the NICU standing in the corner with the isolette, just waiting. And at least 5-6 people around my bed. I was exhausted from not sleeping well over the past week and already being in labor. After a while they put an oxygen mask on me for some reason. Apparently they thought I looked tired, too. Another doctor came in for a consult. They really didn't want to use forceps because a preemie's head is even more sensitive. Whoever came up with the idea that she should put her hands in me to help should be shot. And whoever handed Shannon the washcloth to wipe my forehead while he got distracted chatting with people should be...well, you get the point.

After 2 hours I think everyone was sleeping on the job. I was getting annoyed. Apparently enough for one good push while playing towel tug of war and...out he flew! Talk about a good way to get people to jump!

4:27pm, 7lb 2oz, 20.5" meet Evan Michael

For the first time I got to hold one of our babies just after birth instead of seeing them across the room with a team of doctors and then being whisked out of the room. It was a very surreal moment.

He's perfect. Just perfect.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

2nd trip to the hospital

After spending a few days in the hospital and being released, I was pretty miserable at home. Contractions off and on, painful to walk because I was holding so much water from the IVs, very little sleep. For 2 days I suffered thru and either Shannon or my mom was always with me. Shannon's parents came on Wednesday to visit for Grandparents activities at Adam and Sara's school. They spent the day helping with laundry, getting the nursery ready, putting together the stroller, installing the car seat, and fixing some things around the house.

Thursday morning Shannon dropped everyone off at school early for the Grandparents event.When he got home, I told him my contractions were worse and I thought we should head back to the hospital. We made arrangements for my neighbor to pick up the Grandparents and headed back to OSF. For the 2nd time in less than a week. No surprise that the staff remembered me and said "Weren't you just here not too long ago?"

While they confirmed the contraction were intense, they just weren't affecting my body and there was no change in my dilation. Still 2-3cm but thin so when things do progress, they will do so quickly.

I was so upset when they sent me home again. I was absolutely miserable  and had no idea when I should head to the hospital if that wasn't the right time. That was September 25.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Short hospital stay

Saturday early afternoon I was at our semi-annual twin sale helping with a light duty task while seated. I got up to go to the bathroom and felt a sharp pain in my lower belly.  The pain kept getting worse and I was barely able to drive myself home. An hour later Shannon and my cousin Emily got home. After not being able to get myself off the couch to walk to the bathroom and shaking with chills, I finally conceded to a trip to the ER. They took me right to the Labor and Delivery floor. I was running a fever and in unbearable pain. An ultrasound revealed the baby was just fine and there was no impact on my cervix. However, I was having contractions 1 minute apart and could not tell at all. They started an IV for fluids and antibiotics, drew blood, and got me ready for a room in Antepartum. Epic fail for the first nurse trying to put in the IV. I finally had to cut her off after she rooted around in my arm for the vein she couldn't find for quite some time.

Unfortunately, it was a teeny room with a roommate. The worst part was that she ordered in extra spicy Thai food for dinner that stunk up the whole room. Kudos to the nurse who got me a fan to be pointed out the door to help clear the smell.

They pushed Tylenol trying to get my fever down and kept the IV fluids going throughout the night. Not enough fluid to make me have to go to the bathroom. Yeah, right. Every hour or two I was calling for the nurse. It took both her and Shannon to get me out of bed and help me walk to the bathroom. I was in tears the pain was so bad. Contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart and I was feeling them less than half the time. At least I got to enjoy breakfast in the morning.

Sunday morning my ob, Dr. Kindred, rounded to check on me. I had gone from a closed cervix to dilated to 2-3 and very thin in less than 24 hours. They moved me to a Labor and Delivery room immediately, expecting Baby Mo would come that day. All food and liquid was stopped and the IV fluids were increased. They didn't want me to have a full belly in case I delivered. A terrible stab to my thigh welcomed the first sterroid shot to help with his lung development. Contractions remained 2-3 minutes apart until Sunday night when I decided to have some IV pain meds to help me sleep. Thankfully late Sunday night the original pain in my lower belly subsided greatly and I could get out of my bed and walk on my own. The nurse said my contractions were improving, which meant 2-5 minutes apart. How is that improving? My unexplainable fever finally broke. I also got the 2nd nasty steroid shot. Rather than the standard 24 hours apart, they administered them 12 hours apart just in case.

Monday morning Dr. Kindred rounded again. He was shocked that I didn't deliver. Contractions were 2-8 minutes apart and there was no change to my cervix in the past 24 hours. He ordered the IV be stopped, allowed me to eat breakfast, and suggested I move around a little more to see what happened. He was considering discharging me. "The baby will come quickly with the condition of your cervix so just pay attention to your contractions." Now how am I supposed to do that when I have been saying I can't tell I'm contracting? Talk about making me nervous. Basically we are making sure I am not left alone. I enjoyed breakfast, took a shower, and they decided around noon to discharge me. Then I waited over an hour and a half for an electronic signature to authorize my discharge. They finally just let me go.

Instead of coming home with a baby, I came home with these beauties...10 pounds of weight gain in my legs from the IV fluid. Painful and very difficult to walk.

I had a follow up OB appointment this morning. Weekly appointments from here on out. Limited activity for 2 weeks so we can try to make it to 36 weeks and avoid NICU time. Suggested something else for my heartburn that is awful--or what's another word for awful? Sleep inclined. The swelling will go down in my feet but probably very slowly. Lay flat and elevate my feet above my heart. So one position helps my feet and the other position makes me feel like throwing up from the heartburn. Choices, choices!

As for Baby Mo, here he is...

Can you see his face looking right at you on the right side?

He continues to measure 3 weeks ahead and is about 7lb 7oz right now. Holy cow!

The amniotic band is completely gone--woo hoo!

I can't end this post without saying a big thank you to my mom. When I left the house Saturday, she took care of everything with no questions and no complaints. Feeding and wrangling the kids, handling bedtime, keeping them entertained, packing school lunch, getting them ready for school and on the bus, cooking dinner, etc. It makes for a long day and she certainly isn't used to getting up at 6:30am. Thanks mom for your selfless sacrifice to step up when I have needed it.

Also to my most awesome neighbor who went grocery shopping and tag-teamed getting the kids ready for school with my mom. It made for a much smoother transition without any meltdowns!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Our first shoe tie-r!

Finding Adam shoes that do not tie is a challenge. His feet are so big that the size typically has laces--he is wearing a 13 now. With him going to school, I felt like it was time to learn how to tie on his own. Over the past month I would teach him more and more of the steps as we had time and patience. He wears flip flops so much in the summer that it wasn't very often he even had tennis shoes on. A few weeks ago we finally got to the point that he really could do it on his own but he didn't have much confidence or it wouldn't be very tight. One day before running errands I was trying to encourage him to do it but he just wasn't having it. He did part of one shoe and then whined for me to do the other one. I refused, which led to a huge meltdown. He walked outside to get in the car with one laced and the other dragging behind him in the wet grass screaming at me. Once he got in the car he undid the only shoe that was tied and kicked them both off his feet. Mean mom that I am, I made him get out of the car, put his shoes back on, and tie them.

Where were we headed? Shoe shopping of all things! He tried his first pair on at the store and I told him I wanted him to tie them and I was going to stand behind him and not look to see if he could do it. He finished it up and was grinning from ear to ear, so proud of himself, as I gave him a big high five. The next day, he got himself dressed for school upstairs and came down with shoes on and they were already tied! Now tell me, what was the point of that melt down the day before?

He is concentrating so hard! I can't believe how big he looks in these pictures!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Since the kids aren't in the same Kindergarten classroom, they typically do not bring home the same papers each day. But this day they both brought home the same exercise on the number 10. I was reviewing Adam's paper and he did very well except for his tally marks. I kind of laughed that his "Draw 10 objects" were 10 ovals that he colored in.

Then I switched to Sara's page and started belly laughing out loud! Her "Draw 10 objects" are very different from Adam's. It is such a good example of how different they are!

Yes, if you count, there are 10 items in her box - 2 asterisks, 3 smiley faces, and 5 girl figures. Sara is getting so creative and detailed about her drawings lately. And 80% of the time, her school page she brings home has some kind of drawing on the back.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

32 weeks

It's hard to imagine 8 weeks ago I was on bed rest and now I have 8 weeks to go! The last ultrasound showed a small portion of the amniotic band was left intruding on Baby Mo's space but it was mostly pushed out of the way. I feel blessed that it hasn't been an issue for the baby and I haven't had to see a high risk doctor. Most of all, I love that when I was praying with Sara before bedtime the night before my appointment, I prayed for the baby and then Sara said "Mom, let's pray for that band to go away."

The last ultrasound also revealed the baby is measuring ahead in size by 3 weeks in all areas they check--head circumference, belly size, and leg bone length! He is about 5 pounds now.

Also measuring ahead in size is my belly and it feels like it! I am now bigger than I was when I had the twins! Please don't come to me saying how tiny I look. When you start out smaller, it's all relative, but that doesn't mean I feel like I agree with you. I will respond with stories of how I can't keep my pants up, my belly keeps running into things, I pee every 30 minutes, I get out of breath walking from one end of the house to the other, and I have gained over 25% of my body weight.

I have started having some swelling in my feet and ankles over the past week, more on one side than the other. I never had that with the twins so it is interesting. The doctor wants me to keep resting when I can and putting my feet up. Because my blood pressure isn't elevated--it was 94/62 at my last appointment--he isn't concerned. He also thinks it affects one leg more than the other due to how Baby Mo is positioned right now.

The kids are still super excited. Adam likes to pat my belly like a drum. Sara is just attracted to my belly like a magnet--constantly talking to the baby, hugging me, giving my belly a kiss, etc.

I feel good about where I am but I am also trying to get as much done as possible because I am aware with my history that things can change very quickly from one day to the next. When the baby is ready to be here and my body says enough, then it will happen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Adam's new ride

Adam and Shannon went on a bike ride down the main road, which is a big deal to not just ride to the end of the cul de sac and back!

I was wondering why they were gone so long...

They stopped at the neighbor's across the road and he had his mustang race car out. Adam knows all about our Ford preference and is always telling us a vehicle with the blue oval is tougher than something else driving down the road, whether it's a Ford Ranger or an F450! And he definitely knows a Mustang, certain that he will be getting a lime green one when he is older.

He was quite excited about getting to sit in the race car!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

K Tales

Last week was our first week of Kindergarten and it seemed like every day there was some kind of story that we had no idea how much of it was true! Shannon said the parents in each of the classes need a private Facebook page so we can compare stories!

Tuesday was the first day of school and it was a half day. During lunch, I noticed a bite mark on Sara's arm. Sara told me it happened on the playground and she was trying to climb a tall tower to a slide and then a boy wanted to go down the slide at the same time so he bit her. She said only her class is on the playground at a time so it must have been a boy in her class. Being a new mom to school-age kids, I didn't want to overact but at the same time I wanted to find out if there was anything we needed to do about it. I checked in with the teacher the next day and she talked to Sara about it. Sara also told her that it happened on the playground. However, they did not go on the playground that day. Then Sara said it happened on the bus on the way home. But Sara's teacher rode her bus to help with kid patrol and she sat directly behind Sara and nothing happened. So we are dismissing it as a big question mark and just telling Sara the next time something like that happens she needs to tell a teacher right away.

Wednesday was the first day the kids took their lunch. They had decided they wanted to buy a milk at school to go with their lunch. I told them I had put money in an envelope and the teacher would take care of getting it turned in. When they got home I asked if they got a milk. Adam had looked all over in his backpack and couldn't find the money I left him so he was quite upset that he couldn't get a milk. I explained again that I gave it to the teacher so he didn't have to worry about it. He needed to try again the next day.

Sara did get a white milk. However, one of the other kids said it tasted like eggs and that was enough to make up her mind. We talked about how that was silly and she shouldn't believe what other kids say. The milk tasted like eggs and there was no changing her mind. Adam thought that was ridiculous and he was going to try a milk the next day.

Thursday, the story continues. Sara refused to get a milk, well, because it tasted like eggs. Adam got a chocolate milk and verified that it did not taste like eggs. The next day he was going to try white.

Adam was also struggling to find a friend. He is just so social that he has a strong pull to find a buddy right away. He told me he had asked everyone in his class if they would be his friend and everyone said no because they already had a friend. Some of them even ignored him and just walked away. He asked each person if they could just have a second friend but no one agreed. I tried to tell him it might take more than a few days but he was still disappointed. I'm sure he will keep trying.

On the milk front, Friday arrives and Adam tries to get a milk. They told him he couldn't because he didn't have a hot lunch ticket. But he didn't need a hot lunch. He must have sweet talked someone because he says he got another chocolate milk and I wasn't charged Thursday or Friday. He did confirm, still, that the chocolate milk does not taste like eggs.

Then the weekend hit and I passed my cold along to both the kids. I had been sick for a week, with it now settling into my chest and exhausting me so much I had days that I was taking 2 naps of over 2 hours each and still felt like I couldn't even get off the couch. Battling runny noses, terrible coughs, and low fevers, the kids missed 2 days of school this week. We'll see what tomorrow brings and if they are feeling better.

Stay tuned for more Tales from the Kindergarten room...maybe you can help decipher what is true and what is a great, imaginative story coming from a 5 year old!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Last night we had a supply drop off and meet the teacher time. Both the kids agreed that we could all go to Adam's classroom first. His teacher is Mrs. Felix and he was very excited to distribute his supplies to the different areas of the classroom.

I couldn't believe the rooms actually have a smart board in them for Kindergarten!

Shannon and I made the decision early in the summer to let the kids be assigned to the teacher or teacher(s) the school chose. Some parents of multiples feel strongly about keeping their children together, for various reasons. We felt like Adam and Sara would be fine in the same classroom, but they would also be fine in separate classrooms. We have had them do quite a few things independently. They still have a strong twin bond but we encourage them as individuals. Sara can have a tendency to be bossy and sometimes Adam doesn't let Sara do something on her own because he thinks he can do it better. There is also a tendency when you have twins that many things are a competition or a comparison. We thought this would help them be individuals.

Off we went directly across the hall to Sara's classroom and to meet Mrs. Brown. Sara was excited her room was decorated with an ocean theme. Remember that comparison comment? Adam was disappointed that his room was just plain! Sara had to fill out a scavenger hunt sheet, finding various important areas in the room, to earn a prize.

Today was their first day of Kindergarten. They were both up at 6:15 and ready for me to get them breakfast. We moved thru our morning routine quickly with no meltdowns and had plenty of time for pictures before heading to the bus stop. I know for sure not every day will go as smoothly as today!

They ran down the driveway ahead of me. It was neat to see them experiencing the same thing for the first time together. Adam stopped along the way and wanted to pick a pretty purple weed that was blooming for his bus driver but he couldn't get it pulled off the stem.

This is my absolute favorite picture and is such a good depiction of how Adam has been protective of Sara and watched over her since they were babies. When they were around 1 and had moved to separate cribs, he would stand in his crib, waiting for Sara to be put to bed. Once she was tucked in, then he would lay down. Once they saw the bus coming (7 minutes early!) Adam said "Come on Sara" and walked her to the door. I waved to them and got a little choked up as I yelled have a good day. I am so excited for them to start this next phase of their life!

I didn't really know what time the bus would drop them off since it was a half day but I calculated it based on the bus stop route we received. I was certainly caught off guard when I saw the bus thru the front door 10 minutes earlier than I was expecting! I hurried down the driveway and the bus driver was hesitant to let the kids off but the neighbor waiting for her kids convinced her that I was coming.

They had a great day with lots of exciting stories to tell. The only downfall was that someone bit Sara on the arm I think during recess. The marks were still red with every tooth defined as we ate lunch. She treated it like no big deal but I called the school to inquire about the situation and what to do.

We ate an early dinner and they were tucked in bed at 6:30. Tomorrow is their first full day--I wonder how exhausted they will be!

And I received a nice little anonymous gift to brighten my day - thanks, friend, whoever you are!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Miniature golf

A few weeks ago we decided to have some family time by playing miniature golf. It made me laugh when the kids came downstairs dressed because they wanted to match what Shannon and I were wearing.

Sara didn't think it sounded very fun because it was golf but once we got there, she changed her mind.

They especially liked the holes with the water features. I'm not sure how many balls we dug out of the water on this hole. Then when Adam discovered he wasn't hitting it hard enough, he really smacked it and sent it over the ramp and thru the trees.

This one was pretty fun because it had a cave at the end, although Sara didn't really want to go in there because she claimed it was too dark.

The weather was perfect that morning--not too hot. It even started sprinkling at one point and the kids thought we should leave right away. How come when they are home they want to go out and play in the rain but if we are out, they don't feel the same way?

We had a great time and I look forward to many more fun little outings.

They really did a great job and even got some in the holes with just a few shots.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Vacation Bible School

The kids were so excited to participate in Vacation Bible School again this year and had been asking all summer when it was going to start. Of course it was one of the weeks I was on total bedrest so I couldn't go see any of the decorations when picking up and dropping off. My neighbor had to drive them on the night Shannon was teaching a night class. Mom stayed late each day to help with dinner and getting them wrangled for each of the themes.

These pictures from Super Hero Night just crack me up! Sara wanted to be Wonder Woman. Adam wanted to be Captain America. We did our best with random supplies from home.

Then it was Mismatch Night. It's hard to see from the photo that Sara has vertical pin stripe shorts on. They both picked their own outfits.

And Wacky Hair Night!

Every night they flew thru the door to tell me what they talked about, a new button they got, the games they played, and the "snack" they were offered. It was a mad dash for Shannon to get them into bed because they were so exhausted they couldn't even function since it was 2 hours beyond their normal bedtime. Thus, it was also nap week!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Out of the mouths...

The kids say so many things that make me laugh or seem much older than they are, it's hard to remember and record them. Here's just a few that have made me giggle lately.

Yesterday we were checking Sara's flower box to see if the flowers needed a drink. After finding her watering can and noticing it had mulch and dirt in the bottom she said "There's still all this crap in it!" I paused for a moment and asked her to repeat what she said. Yep, that's what she meant to say. My mom was quietly giggling to herself even though Sara probably learned the word and correct connotation from her as I was explaining that was not a word Sara got to use.

A few weeks ago the kids were in the bathroom as I was using some mouthwash out of a brand new bottle. As soon as it got in my mouth, I was screaming with my mouth closed and finally had to spit it out. Adam asked what was wrong and I told him the new bottle Dad bought was really spicy. Adam said "You better get used to it, Mom...Dad bought a really big bottle."

My mom is a little hard of hearing and it doesn't help when the kids talk fast or mumble a little. Instead of just asking them to repeat themselves and slow down, sometimes she makes a ridiculous guess of what they said. Recently Sara got frustrated and told her emphatically "Grandma, you don't hear very well--you need a hearing test!"

While I always have cute stories to tell, I also have to document officially that it is not always a picnic with these two. They have their moments of drama and not being sweet or cute. In fact, Adam and Sara when you are reading this down the road, know that we have gone thru some very trying days lately. Sara can act like she is about 15 with an eye roll, hand on hip, and glare that goes along with a disrespectful tone that expects everyone to do things for her. Then when she is mad she will either stomp off or bang her hand on the table while glaring at me. Or give me a tone when she declares "I said I didn't want that."

As for Adam, he can be sweet one minute giving me a kiss and 15 seconds later he is upstairs tackling Sara and "roaring" loudly in her face. If I tell him to do something he isn't interested in lately he will blatantly tell me no and storm out of the house, crying because he didn't get his way. He just seems to have moments the past few weeks where he is totally out of control. Last night I told him his behavior was disrespectful and unacceptable and if it continued all his stuffed animals, including his beloved blankie were coming down out of his bed for bedtime. His response? He stuck his tongue out at me. Needless to say he was not happy I followed thru with my warning. Then we spent the next hour listening to him pound on his wall, kick and scream and cry, complaining that his bed was so uncomfortable. In fact he just came in the house crying telling me one story and Shannon corrected him that he was hitting Sara over the head with a baseball bat! Hopefully we can figure something out soon to hit his reset button before he gets expelled from Kindergarten in the first week!

4th of July trip

Our spontaneous 4th of July trip started by heading to Dubuque, Iowa for the fireworks. We got there in time to drop our bags and head to dinner. The kids loved the hotel room--I think it's just fun for them to be away from home. We found a good parking spot and caught the last bit of an air show.

While we waited, there was plenty of people watching to do. And since our blanket was right next to a funnel cake stand well, why not! It was about 3 tiers tall and covered in powdered sugar. It better be good for the $8 they charged us for it!

More people watching, then watching a couple guys get in a fight and the paramedics had to work on him in the dark. Fun times!

It was after 10:00 before the fireworks started. They were great, one of the best I've seen. But about halfway thru, Adam said "Mom, do you know what I would really like to do at the hotel? SLEEP! Can we go there right now?"

I was so glad I brought the wagon. We caught the end of the fireworks while walking back to the car. What a madhouse getting out of there. It took us over an hour to get back to the hotel (which was only a few miles away) and we finally got the kids tucked in bed around 12:30.

Adam had decided he didn't want to sleep on his cot because it was starting to poke him in the back. He was starting to reach the weight limit. Instead he wanted to sleep with Dad like they did in Boston when Sara and I were in the hospital. Adam was very excited about it, Shannon not so much as he wasn't left with much room.

The next morning we headed to a great little family cafe for breakfast and then hit the waterpark inside the hotel. I thought it would be a bigger hit, especially with Sara. But she had a bit of a cold and was running a very low grade fever so she kept getting chilly. She was not feeling very dare-devilish.

Their favorite part was the lazy river.

Shannon said "Sara...I'm toe-ing you!" I'm surprised she got his pun.

After a few hours we got dressed to head to the Mississippi River Museum.

This photo of Sara totally cracked me up. She started out being afraid of the statue, walking way around to avoid it. Then when I sat down and started telling her about how Mark Twain wrote books, then she wanted to sit in his lap and talk to him.

After the museum we headed to Cedar Rapids for dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Mollenhauers and to spend the night. The next morning we headed to Dyersville for the Tractor Museum.

I think Shannon would have liked a little more time looking at the older tractors, especially the ones he remembers driving on the farm as a boy. Adam and Sara were very excited to have a little money to spend from the grandparents. Sara picked out a little stuffed animal cow and a sticker book. Adam bought a red disc implement which he later decided he needed a new tractor to go with it.

It was nice to get away for just a few days and enjoy some family time.