Saturday, October 29, 2011

Deck the Walls

This was at my mom's last weekend, when my sister and her kids were over.  My four year old nephew came running into the living room where the adults were talking, (and Hubs was being killed on the Wii by our 8 year old nephew):

Day have markers!
Who has markers?
Da babies!  Day marking da wall!

I've learned from a previous experience that Magic Eraser will take this stuff off in a second, so after snatching the markers away (and they weren't the Crayola Washables, fyi) I cut a Magic Eraser in half and gave them each a piece.  I wasn't going to let them off the hook this time!

My mom, of course, thought this was hysterically funny - read her comment on July's post - and wanted me to take a picture.  I told her, no way!  I don't want them thinking this is cute enough to photograph and give a repeat performance!  (I was pretty hot - not seeing the humor WHAT.SO.EVER.)  So she grabbed her cell phone and snapped this one because I refused.

I guess now, it's kind of funny, but that's only because it came off and now mom has stored the markers somewhere unreachable by two year olds.  (Right, mom?) 

If this happens again, though....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Veggie Victory!

I'm not sure what to file this under: milestones, lightning doesn't strike the same place twice, Festivus Miracle, or it's about time.

Yesterday, M came right up to me at 10 am and said, "I want a bejabow snack."

Say what?


Bowl of porridge? 

"No. BEJ-A-BOW!"



(Stunned pause) Okay!  Let's go!  Upstairs!  Vegetable snack, here we come!

It was grocery day, so I had exactly 2 bags of frozen broccoli and edemame, and 4 whole carrots other than the standard canned-green-beans for vegetables (the only one I can count on them to always eat).  I've never peeled and sliced a carrot so fast in my life!  The boys climbed up into their booster chairs with great anticipation of this vegetable snack, and with a flourish, both boys received a plate with 3 carrot sticks and what would become an unbelievable amount of ranch dressing. I suspected this might wind up being a snack of ranch dressing, where the carrots are used like a fun dip stick, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Look, Mom, I really am chewing it up!

N actually said, "I like carrots!"

Then, they asked for more.  HUH?!  Okay, carrot number two got peeled and sliced and it went down the hatch, too.  My battery was dead or I would have snapped a shot of them covered in ranch dressing, but I was happy to have even one photo of the miracle that happened in our house yesterday.  I didn't care what they ate the rest of the day because they each ate nearly a WHOLE carrot!

I swear on the Holy Bible this is true.  If I were making up miracles, it would have been that they woke up potty trained.

Big Boy Beds, all made up with spaceship sheets, airplane comforters, teddy and lovie.
P.S. In old news, we are all sleeping better this week.  The boys are settling down more quickly in their big boy beds and not banging their heads - much - N put a small dent in the wall jumping yesterday and has a bit of a goose egg to show for it.  They both have blue hue as well since the new TWIN size navy blue spaceship sheets' dye is bleeding, despite a washing.  I'll wash again in a day or two.  In the meantime, we are calling them smurfs.  And I'm sleeping mostly through the night since Baby has lifted off my bladder and out toward my front.  Thank the Lord for maternity pants - and veggie miracles.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Rehearsal

We spent the weekend visiting our families in Michigan, and since we're not going to be back at Halloween, I thought it would be brilliant to have them trick-or-treat at their grandparents' houses.  Here's how it went:

N hated it, even though I tried the fireman costumes on them earlier in the week and it was fine.  So I showed them how trick or treating goes: you know, wear a costume, knock on the door, say trick or treat, get candy.
Still, it didn't work.  There was no trick or treating happening yesterday.  Somehow, we still have a bag of candy for each of them -thanks, grandmas.  But I'm going to make them earn it.  Or it's mine!  All mine!  Bwahahahahahahahaha!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Delicious Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Since I just typed this out for a friend, I thought I'd share it with you, too.  I LOVE my crock pot, as you may well know.  This one is from my old "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook.  It's so yummy that you may never buy jarred sauce again.  And it makes your house smell great all day.  And it makes a TON.  Enjoy!

Italian Spaghetti Sauce

2 lbs. sausage or ground beef (next time I'm using Italian)
3 med. onions chopped
2 c. sliced mushrooms
6 garlic cloves minced
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes undrained
29 oz can tomato sauce
12 oz can tomato paste
2 Tbs. dried basil
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1. Cook sausage, onions, mushrooms and garlic in skillet over med. heat for 10 minutes.  Drain. Transfer to slow cooker.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients
3. Cover.  Cook on Low 8-9 hours.

We Did It!

Miraculously, we were able to accomplish yesterday's impossible task of Operation Bedroom.  It took 4 hours, 2 adults, 2 "helpers," 1 trip to Ace Hardware, and 1 delivery truck with the mattresses.  I had in my mind that I would take lots of photos to give you the virtual experience of such a momentous event, but alas, I could not.  Sorry, readers, but I wasn't thinking of you between 3:30-7:30 last night.  I was thinking: MUST FINISH PROJECT! 

Which is no easy task when you're pregnant, your "help" is running off with parts, the dust bunnies are forming an army, and there are three essential bolts missing even though Mr. Nice-Guy-from-Craigslist assured us all the parts were there - oh, and there are no directions, not even the useless IKEA directions. 

Thank goodness Hubs arrived shortly after 5, when I was literally under the first of the bunkbeds, attempting to screw the thing together with those pointless alan wrenches.  Are we not smart enough to use real tools, furniture companies?  We figured out together, because he really is my better half, and smarter, too, when it's 5:30 on a Tuesday night, which parts go where, and which 3 important bolts were missing.  The fellas watched a record number of Handy Manny episodes on demand last night, but I didn't care - the beds were being assembled!

I arrived with the substitute parts from Ace (because of course they didn't have exactly what we needed, so we have 3 Frankenstein bolts instead of pretty brass ones but oh, well) just as the delivery truck was backing in and the wet babies were streaking to get a look out the window at the "Sheep Truck."  I couldn't make this stuff up.

Much chaos and hilarity ensued as we finished assembly, dressed the boys, made the beds and attempted bedtime.  And silly me, in my haste to score a great deal on sheets, bought TWO FULL SIZE sets of airplane sheets.  Anyone need adorable full size sheets, used once, for just $12?  I'm your girl.  Needless to say, it was a very loooooooooooong bedtime, with much explaining of the New Big Boy Bed Rules.

  • Jump or Kick
  • Get Out
  • remove stuffing from the chair
  • play with the blinds or the lights
  • Read
  • Talk
  • Sing
  • Snuggle
  • Sleep
Thought that was simple enough, but immediately upon closing the door, N got out.  I went in and plopped him back with NO kisses or hugs, as he was warned.  So he kicked the wall.  So he got a spanking.  So he kicked the wall harder.  So he got another spanking.  He sobbed hysterically for many minutes, but the kicking stopped immediately. 

I was folding laundry, Hubs was finding new homes for two cribs and their assorted parts, when we heard more noise. 

Silly me!  I forgot the "No taking stuffing out of the chair" rule.  Out goes the chair, to N's cries of protest. 
So I amended our rules, changes are in red, above.

About 9pm, we noticed all was quiet and upon closer inspection, both boys were asleep in their own beds.


Here's what they looked like this morning:


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Begin Operation Bedroom!

I just put the boys down for their last nap in their "cribs."  Before I was a mother, I thought there would be much sadness and mourning at the passing of these baby milestones, but if you're a longtime reader, or a mom like me, you know there's not.  When I weaned the boys, I was happier than I'd been in many many months - I got my boobs back!  The kids are eating again!  And now that we're about to put them in really big boy beds, I think I'll be much happier when this milestone is passed, too.  Hopefully we'll all be sleeping comfortably again.

Last night we took the boys to the mattress store down the road and in what must be a record-time purchase - seriously, it took me longer to schlep them to Kmart today to buy the sheets - we dropped 200 bucks on two new Sealy bunk bed mattresses.  Taking all your wisdom into account (thank you for your sage advice), as well as the time and effort it would take to maybe save money hunting around for deals, we decided to go the quick, easy, and definently bedbug-free route and purchase new with our trusty credit card.  They will be delivered - FREE - this evening.

Today's schedule goes like this: get the kids to nap, wash the new airplane sheets, disassemble the cribs, clean their room (hello, dust bunnies!), reassemble the beds, make the beds, bathe the boys, and tuck them in.  And feed my family some kind of food and maybe just maybe clean up the kitchen.  But I doubt that will happen - the clean kitchen part.  Stay tuned for our progress tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bigger Big Boy Beds? Advice!

I'm beginning to think we need to move up to twin size big boy beds.  People warned me that toddler beds may not work, but since they didn't cost us anything (the cribs converted) I figured we may as well try.  Maybe they'll love them, I thought.  I think it bought us 3 months' time.  Here's why:
M and N in each others' beds.  Note the BIG rail and the drawer?
  • N is stronger than his brother, so he has the heavy-duty crib rail.  It clamps down and reduces the crib bedwith by about 4 in.  He can rock it back and forth so violently that he can flip the mattress and bed rail upside down on top of himself.  CRASH!
  • After that, he climbs into M's bed, which would, theoretically, be a little bigger if there were only 1 child in it.
  • After that, if we didn't respond immediately to the first CRASH (you kind of get used to it), chaos ensues.  Last night they were playing inside the drawer underneath M's bed, which used to hold items, but now remains empty to keep the items from being flung about.  However, with the empty bed-sized drawer, they were enclosing each other inside of it.  It cannot hold the weight of two toddlers.  CRASH! Again.
  • We've been separating them for naptime and at bedtime when they are very naughty, like last night.  M seems to LOVE the full-sized bed we use for this.  I think he knows the mattress is a better quality than the crib mattress.
  • With all this monkey business happening, the beautiful wooden blinds in their bedroom are now broken.  Guess they're coming down.
  • And we are going to need M's crib for the new baby in May.  Surprise!
Bedtimes aren't going well, obviously.  I'm not sure that new beds will solve this problem, but it certainly can't hurt. We purchased a nice-looking wooden bunk bed set (stackable and unstackable, btw) off of Craigslist this weekend - it was a good price and close by.  I didn't plan on setting them up till Christmas (look what Santa brought you!) when we actually got around to purchasing mattresses.  (Some gift, right?)  We'll leave it to Grandparents to buy the fun stuff I guess.  So now it's looking like bigger big boy beds are in our very near future.

But how does one go about purchasing mattresses for two yet to be potty trained two year old boys, affordably?

Do we need boxsprings or just the mattresses?

Do we go used off of Craigslist?

Do we go inexpensive, but new, at IKEA?

Do we just get brand spanking new stuff from the mattress store down the road, despite not really wanting to buy it with our credit card?

What did YOU do?

P.S. If you are one of my darling friends of two year old twins who are still sleeping in their cribs, don't reply.  Just count your blessing.  Then bookmark this page, because your day is coming!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Update and Thank You

Whew, we made it through last night and today!  N's x-rays were unclear, like I mentioned, so the pediatrician and radiologist can't determine whether his wheezing was due to asthma or pneumonia, so he's being treated for both.  We were discharged this morning with 4 prescriptions - antibiotics, steriods, nebulizer and albuterol.  What a load!  We're going to take it easy at home the rest of the week now.

There is lots of good news to be heard, though.  N responded well to the nebulizer, and by that I mean his breathing, NOT his behavior.  I endured the strongest toddler tantrum from him on record yet trying to give him a nebulizer treatment at urgent care last night and have the bruised shins to prove it.  Fortunately, the ER nurses were compassionate and helpful, so he actually got the meds in the second and subsequent times by NOT using a mask. 

He was a real trooper and enjoyed having a "super-arm" once the IV was put in and wrapped up - putting it in is another story altogether.  He especially enjoyed all the treats and attention he was getting.  At one point, our night nurse told us everyone was talking about him and his curls at the nurse's station.  I guess it's pretty exciting to get a two year old on steriods in the middle of the night on the old people's surgical wing! Whenever she would leave, N would ask, "Where Nursie go?"

Yeah, steriods.  I thought my kid was busy, but now I know he's just regular-kid busy, not a hyperspaz in real life.  The drugs not only kept him up all but 4 hours last night (he usually sleeps 11), they made him a spazzoid!  YOU try keeping 31 pounds of boundless energy in a hospital bed all night.  Eventually I just let  him climb up to the top of the incline and "slide" down the bed.  It was easier that way, until our morning nurse arrived.  (You know, the not-young-and-sweet-ones with all the seniority to have the day shifts.  Yeah.)  I was really glad he was feeling better and we were outta there by 9am.

I got about an hour of sleep during his 4 last night, so it was a rough day, but I have so many people to thank for their kindness during our emergency situation last night.  Our pastors' wives helped me out by encouraging me to take him to urgent care when I wasn't sure what to do, then stepped in to care for M most of the evening, when I thought it would just be an hour.  Then our next door neighbor relieved her and told me how much she enjoyed listening to M sing and tell stories to his bear while she waited for him to fall asleep and Hubby to arrive at midnight, who cut his business trip short and headed home asap when he heard the news.  Then all our family and friends who called and texted with love and support and offers for a nebulizer loaner when I thought insurance wasn't going to cover an expensive piece of medical equipment - thank you.  (By the way, a phone call cleared the confusion and it's covered :)

It was a crazy first trip to the ER with my kid, and while I thought that I would be a nervous wreck when (not if) the time came, I felt the peace of God and the presence of all of you supporting and praying for us from afar.  Thank you. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Prayers, please

Prayers please. I'm spending the night in the hospital with N. First urgent care for wheezing and shortness of breath, then ER, now admitted for observation with possible pneumonia. Thank you, friends, for watching M. N has had 3 nebulizers, 3 x-rays, 1 iv, antibiotics, 3 stickers, 1 applesauce, 1 jelly toast, 1 chocolate pudding, and 1 Thomas the Train movie (he chose it over Elmo, can you belivw that? Ugh). Wheezing is better, temp is low grade, but still breathing shallow. We are in good hands and I feel the peace of God here, so I know all will be well. Just hope I catch a few zzzzzz's tonight. Thanks all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Overheard Today

While I was folding laundry upstairs, I heard the following conversation take place between N and his Aunt L:
N: Whassis, Yins? (His name for her)
AL: It's a maraca.
N: No it's not.  It's a shaky!
AL: That's what it's called - a maraca.

I laughed right out loud! 

M has been funny today, too.  I don't know where he got it, but all day, he'll get my (AL's, Daddy's, our friend's) attention, then hang his head, sometimes putting it down on the nearest table or piece of furniture, and say morosely, "I'm so sad."  We've been asking him all day why he's sad - because other than saying he's sad, very sadly, he's behaving quite happily - but he just keeps repeating it.  I guess he does it because it's making us laugh, now, but I have no idea where it came from! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

3rd Annual Fall Family Photo Shoot

How many college educated adults does it take to shoot a family photo?  Answer: more than three!  We took the fellas to nearby Nerstrand Big Woods State Park because Daddy had the day off, we had our amateur photographer auntie, and it was a beautiful sunny 75 degree stunner today.  Could it get any better?  You decide.  
I ain't lookin at that camera, Dad.  This is just the beginning.

Man down!

Overexposed underbelly shot

I hate family photos, Daddy!  Don't make me take another one!

Cutie little N is happy to play Boy Scouts, as long as we're not trying to photograph him

All I need is a flint to make a spark...

What a lovely family...meltdown

Huh?  Camera?  Whassat?

Two mountain goats make a crazy mommy

One, two, three...RUN!

So organic.