Sunday, February 28, 2010

March

Wondering what was on the agenda for the week, I flipped the calendar to March today. I was greeted by a picture of a mountainside full of yellow poppies with purple lupine springing up in between.

This is an Arizona Highways calendar and the picture was taken somewhere East of Phoenix. Which makes sense because this morning, we were greeted with snow.




This picture isn't the greatest as I took it from inside through the window. The best pictures are when the kids don't know that I'm taking a picture.


There was not a lot of snow, but enough to make me long for warmer temperatures. Spring Break is 2 weeks away, and Emily still has to wear her ski jacket and mittens to school. We had our first snow flurries before Halloween.

I'm ready to March on to Spring.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shower For One

Emily and Ben have been showering together for over three years. We figured it killed two birds with one stone. We've talked about how long they will bathe together. We figured Emily would let us know when she felt old enough to not be taking a bath with her little brother.

As it turns out Ben was the one who let us know.

Usually the bath is pretty uneventful. There is an occasional squabble over a toy. Every night though there is the typical argument over who gets to get out first, leaving the other to put all the toys back in the net. The other night things got plain dangerous when Emily started crying. I ran in to see what the problem was and she said Ben tried to drown her. Now, I doubt it was that severe. Apparently it was more of a push than an actual holding her under the water. When I asked Ben why he did it, he said she was bothering him.

So, David and I talked about it and decided it was time.

Emily took her first solo shower tonight. She asked for toys. I had to tell her that the shower is for serious bathers and toys are not allowed. I went over the shampoo, conditioner and loofah rituals, adjusted the water temperature to her liking and she was on her own.

Then it was time for Ben to take a bath all by himself.

Emily sat on the side of the tub watching him and playing with toys.

Old habits are hard to break.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Superhero Quotes

The other day I asked Ben for help with something and this is what he told me.
video
I was confused at first, but he told me that's what Batman says.
Translation: I may not be a people person, but if you need help, and you will, call me.

And anytime we talk about being responsible, he gives us this line from Spiderman.
video

I think he may win an Oscar one day.
But if he stands any chance against Anthony Hopkins, he probably shouldn't end the line by picking his nose.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Boys

It still hits me sometimes...I have sons...as in plural.

Ben is an absolute riot. He goes to sleep every night with a collection of superheros. I think he thinks they will protect him. He's our champion sleeper at night, so whatever works.

When we got the Justice League movies that I won on ebay, one of them came with an insert showing several superheros on it. We could buy one for $2.00 off, but the coupon expired sometime last decade. Ben thought the insert was part of the gift. He was thrilled just to stare at the pictures.

He took it one step further and decided to add the piece of paper into his collection of superheros at bedtime. In this shirt, he calls him self the "Wafessional Superman" or the Professional Superman.


Two days into his antibiotic and Noah is feeling a lot better. I couldn't help but snap a few photos before he had two baths last night. Two because the second David came walking out of the nursery with a clean baby in clean pajamas, Noah puked all over the place.


He has seriously filled out. This is him at a whopping 4 pounds. That's a preemie diaper and it's swimming on him.


Some days I don't know how I do it, but at least my boys keep me entertained.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crying Wolf

At least three times this school year, I have picked up Emily from school and she had a fever. She started crying the second she saw me. When we got to the car, I'd ask her why she didn't go to the nurse. She always has the same answer. That she is scared.

Emily is a different child in school than she is at home. At school, she is quiet, shy, respectful and always does what she is told the first time. At home, well, she is rarely any of those things.

I thought about taking her to meet the nurse to reassure her that there was nothing to be scared of. I was also incredibly worried that it would come back to haunt me and the nurse would become her new best friend. I asked her what she was scared of. She told me she didn't want to raise her hand and tell her teacher that she needed to go to the nurse. Her fear had nothing to do with the nurse. But, she's comfortable with her teacher, so I didn't know what else to do.

I've tried to reassure her that she needs to tell her teacher when she isn't feeling well. She is infecting other kids by staying in class and she is miserable all day. Still, it doesn't seem to do any good.

This morning, she told me her tummy hurt. She wanted to throw up. Is she acting? I can't tell. She sometimes will say things like that or her knee hurts to get out of doing things. I thought she might have been wanting to escape eating breakfast this morning. She is not a breakfast person. Well, she is if breakfast is served 3 hours after she gets up. I told her she didn't need to eat breakfast today. She insisted her stomach hurt and she wanted to stay home from school.

What am I to do? She had real tears. I was worried that I would send her to school and she would get worse and she'd puke in her class and forever have the nickname of Emily Pukeyana. I couldn't do it to her.

I let her stay home.


About 12:30, she came alive.


I think I've been had.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays...Wait, It's Snowing.

After a rough night with Noah, I woke up this morning very tired. I was already feeling overwhelmed knowing I was going to need to take him to the Doctor. They always have a hard time fitting him in the same day, and every visit there is a minimum of 2 hours. Being in that office containing Ben and holding a cranky baby is never my idea of a good time.

And it was raining.

Being from Phoenix where weather doesn't change much, I usually enjoy a rainy day. But, it was just going to be another hassle for me today. Then, I looked out the window and saw flakes.

.

Snow makes me happy. Maybe it won't be a bad day.
Then, I called the doctor and they were able to get me in at 10:00. Then, I called my husband and he said he would meet me there and take Noah to the appointment, and I could take Ben to the library. God, I love that man.

In addition to those bottom teeth breaking through...


Noah also has another mild ear infection.


This makes his third antibiotic for ear infections in 3 months. We are doing everything we can short of locking him up to prevent him from getting sick. We never know if Emily is sick until she shows symptoms and by then, it's too late, little man is infected. Two more months of sick season and hopefully we will have a healthy spring and summer. Oh and David was out of the doctors office in an hour!

The snow picked up a little and everything looks so pretty.




Today is turning out to be better than expected.

I also can't help but mention something. A few weeks ago, I wrote about look alike celebrities and siblings. I've always thought that I've never looked like anybody.

However, I watched the Olympics the other day and I have to say that I think I might have a twin and we were separated at birth.
Yes, he's a boy, but I think I look more like him than Reba McEntire. At least the hair is pretty darn close. Maybe we are twins separated at birth. Unfortunately for me, he got the better bone structure and apparently all the talent.

If you haven't watched Shaun White snowboard, you are missing out. You can watch a sample here.
My stomach gets butterflies just watching him.

And Shaun, if you want to invite your long lost sister to the closing ceremonies, I'm totally available. But, only if I can wear your gold medal.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

At Our House

It looks like this outside today.


So, we are staying home and relaxing.

I won three Justice League movies on Ebay this week. They arrived today. I thought I bought them for Ben, but you can see who is enjoying them also.


Emily declared that she doesn't like Superheros. So, she went to playing with her dolls. Luckily, her friend Ellie just invited her over to play.


Rocko is recovering just fine from his surgery. We threw the dog collars in the trash.


Noah is sleeping the day away trying to get over the cold that has hit all of us. He is up all through the night mainly because he is stuffed up and uncomfortable.

When we bought this house, I got to create our kitchen. Dark cabinets, granite countertops and stainless steal appliances. I was happy. My stepmom tried to warn me about stainless steal appliances, but I wouldn't hear it. Now, I am cursing the fingerprints all over them and I didn't realize stainless steal is not magnetic. We had to buy a dry erase board for the front of the fridge. At any given time, you can find a love note, grocery list or dinner menu for the week.

Last night, it had a chronological listing of my events with Noah.


I keep a detailed list because at any time David will wake up and take over and he needs to know what happened, especially when medicine is concerned. After the 4:00 AM note, I rolled over at some point and saw the monitor was off, and I knew my husband was taking his shift and I got to sleep until 9:00.

He's a good man.
Maybe I will buy him more Justice League movies.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Vaccines

Last year, I wrote this blog post about the kids getting a chicken pox vaccine. I didn't understand why the vaccine was so important. I had chicken pox. I was uncomfortable for a week. I am fine. It seems they over vaccinate our kids these days.

Now, I can see how ignorant I was.

If Noah gets any serious disease right now, we will be air-evac'd to Phoenix again. We have a hospital up here, but they will be the first to tell you that they don't specialize in children's medicine, particularly preemies who are very ill. And to be quite honest, if my baby is sick, I'm going to the experts - not to a hospital that hasn't treated a case like his once in the past 2 years.

Emily came home with a note from school that stated there was a case of chicken pox in her classroom. My first thought was thank God she is vaccinated. Thank God Noah won't get it. Now, I know kids can get vaccinated and still get a milder version of the disease, but that's unusual. So, I was relieved that she was protected. She took the bullet for her preemie brother.

Then came the seasonal and swine flu shots. We don't normally get a flu shot. After weighing the pros and cons, we couldn't take the risk with Noah in the house. We all took the bullet for him.

Noah has started with all of the vaccines. I cringe watching vials of the magic elixir pouring into his little veins. It seems so much at a time. In December, our doctor recommended adding an RSV (synagis) vaccine. I knew that we cycle illness in our house every winter, and I didn't want to put Noah in harms way. We agreed to the vaccine.

The Doctors office has to order it from Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy and they overnight the vaccine. It's not common that they give it out. Actually, the nurse told me that she has only given 3 of these vaccines in the 5 years that she worked at 2 pediatricians office. Should I not be giving it to my son?

Then, I found out why.

We got a bill from Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy for $40. I called to figure out why. We paid our $15 co-pay at the doctors office for the nurse visit to get the vaccine. We shouldn't owe anything. They tell me the vaccine costs $1841. I said if it's only $18, why are we getting a $40 charge? No, no, no Gina...It's $1,841.00. I thought she meant $18.41.

One vaccine is $1,841.00.

I could not believe it. We were being charged a $40 co-pay for the vaccine because it was considered a prescription. Most insurance companies won't cover it. Ours does.

And apparently, babies should get the vaccine every month through the peak season. So, Noah had one in late December and he just got another one last week. He will get one more in mid March. The doctor said maybe in April too. And after reading this article from the newspaper in Phoenix, I'm thinking April will be necessary.

He'll get 4 RSV vaccines through this season for a total of $7,364. We will owe $160 of it. Now, I see why they don't give the vaccine out more often.

I thought for that amount of money, it might as well be liquid gold that they are shooting into Noah's leg.

If it keeps us out of the hospital, maybe it is.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Losing It

We've been home sick for a few days. Ben has watched back to back episodes of Batman on the Boomerang channel because he isn't feeling up to doing much else.


I think he may be starting to lose it.

This morning he told me I needed to dress up as Catwoman.


Call me crazy, but I don't think I can pull it off.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February Is Not Our Month

When we lived in Phoenix and Emily was not in any form of school, we rarely got sick. I think she was past a year before she even had a sniffle. Then, we moved up here and Emily started school and the winters are a nightmare with back to back illnesses, historically (meaning the last two years) February is by far the worst.

There was the February of 2008 where I got a cold followed by a severe sinus infection. The side effect was that I constantly smelled smoke. I'd wake up in the middle of the night with an evacuation plan because I was convinced a wildfire was quickly approaching. Apparently, you can get so infected up there that you can have phantom smells. Some people smell chocolate. I smelled an ash tray. Then, came the lingering cough that would keep me up all hours of the night and I'd cough so hard I'd vomit. That was fun. A trip to the ear, nose and throat doctor and an antibiotic did the trick.

The February of 2009 the same thing happened, but instead of smelling smoke, I couldn't smell or taste anything. I learned the meaning of living to eat because eating is nothing but a chore when you can't taste anything. The good part was experiencing Biggest Loser type of weight loss in a week. But, I'd rather be 10 pounds heavier and get to taste my food. Luckily, the same ear, nose and throat doctor gave me a prescription.

I know he is expecting a visit from me any day now.

And I'm seriously hoping that I disappoint him.

However, it looks like we are not out of the woods. Emily came down with a fever, cold and cough last week. She got better in 4 days. Ben came down with a fever, cold and cough last night. Noah came down with the cold and cough today. Praying the fever escapes him and that he doesn't develop another round of double ear infections. He's had two already.

We've starting in with breathing treatments and I'm pretty much going to be stuck at home for the better part of a week until everyone gets better. Hopefully, then it won't be my turn to get sick.

In the meantime, if anybody has some time on there hands, come up with a patent on a dog collar that has some pliability to it. Rocko is supposed to wear his for 14 days.

After 7, it looked pretty ghetto with duct tape over all the cracks.


I got a new one at the vet yesterday. She suggested I use surgical tape to close up the opening where the collar meets. So, I taped it really good. This is what it looked like this morning.


Our cat Max has gone missing. He does this every year, around February, at the first sign of warmer weather. He gets cabin fever being all couped up and then he wants to roam. He comes home after about 2 weeks, hungry, tired, skinny and dirty. He is truly the worst cat in the world. Completely anti-social, bites if you pet him and meows at all hours of the night if he's left inside. But, we love him and hope he comes home soon. He's been gone since Sunday.

The fun never ends...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Milk A What?

About a year ago, my kids saw their first commercial. We DVR everything and they watched preschool channels that don't have commercials. They weren't too fond of the interruption to their program.

I remember a conversation that went like this:
(As we were driving)
Me: That skunk stinks. What else stinks?
Emily: Commercials.

We saw this commercial during the Superbowl and the kids can't get enough of it. They think it's hysterical.



Whoever came up with these Etrade commercials is genius.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Four

Today is Ben's 4th birthday. I remember the morning he was born. We went to the hospital to be induced, but that didn't happen. I went from zero to baby quicker than you can say epidural, which also didn't happen.

Ben
Funny. Imaginative. Sweet soul. Handsome. Sensitive. Caring. Respectful. Generous. Self content. Gentle. Good sleeper. Loving.

Loves
Superheros. Ranch dressing. Caesar salad. Superheros. Dressing up. Out of the oven chocolate chip cookies. Puddles. Bacon. Sand. Reciting lines from movies. Barbeque chips. Books. Superheros.

He's one of a kind.
Happy birthday to our sweet Ben.
We love you so very much.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Just Like Wii

We had Ben's birthday party yesterday at the bowling alley. The kids had never been bowling. Emily walked in and exclaimed, "It looks just like Wii!"

The kids had fun. Ben enjoyed bowling, but he didn't enjoy waiting 5 minutes in between each turn.



He asked every 3 minutes when he could open his presents.


We had a spiderman cupcake cake.


Even Noah got in on the cake action.


It was a fun party and overall I think Ben had a good time. He would've had more fun if he had a lane all to himself and could've just bowled ball after ball. He bowled a strike though and had the highest score out of all 8 kids. 98! Go Ben!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm A Mother.

There are times that I still freak out that I actually have kids and I'm a parent.

How did that happen? (besides the obvious)
How in the world am I being trusted to raise three kids?

I'll find myself saying or doing something that only a Mom would do and for a second, I can't believe it.

I own a mini-van.
I drive carpool.
I am a Mom.
Holy shit!

Am I raising them right?

How many years of therapy will they need because of me?

Then, every once in a while, something happens and I think that I am doing this right. I am not failing as a parent.

Today Ben asked me if he could call Santa.

My first thought was that he was putting in a request 11 months early.

David was at work conducting interviews, so I couldn't call him. The only other man that will answer the phone whenever I call is my Dad. So, we called him.

I'm sure he was a little confused when I called him Santa, but he quickly caught on when I told him that Ben wanted to tell him something.

You know what Ben wanted to tell him?

Thank you for the Buzz Lightyear that he'd brought for Christmas.

Maybe my kids won't need a therapist after all.

A mother can only hope.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Call Me Batman

I'm wondering if Ben's obsession with Superheros has gone too far.

We went to a Valentine's party at a friends home after school yesterday. She has a two story house. She has stairs. I can't remember the last time we were at someones house with stairs. I was chatting with the Mom's in the kitchen and heard what could have been an elephant above us. I went to have a look. And there Ben is in his Superman shirt and cape flying from the top of the stairs to the platform in the middle. It was about 5 or 6 stairs and he made it all the way. The elephant was my son. He was about to fly down the second half of the stairs, which has double the steps, when I stopped him.

Me: "Ben what are you doing?"
Ben: "I'm trying to fly!"

Thank God we don't have stairs. Or bunk beds!

On our way out of our housing development, there is lots of undeveloped land. Every so often, about 30 cows will appear on the land to graze. Then one day, the cows disappear. Then I eat a cheeseburger and think about those cows that I drove by every day for the past three months. I feel a little sad. But, not sad enough to put down the cheeseburger.

A month ago, some horses appeared on the land (thanks for the photo Krista). I'm not sure of their purpose on the land other than to eat. I'm hoping they don't turn into glue one day. I enjoy looking at them when we go somewhere.

Me: "Look at the horses Ben." (They were right at the fence line)
Ben: "Don't call me Ben. Call me Batman."
Me: "Um, okay."
Ben: "Like you can say...Look at the horses Batman."
I'm so glad he used it in a sentence for me or I would not have understood.

Ben: "Now say it again, but call me Batman."
Me: "Okay. Look at the horses Batman."
Ben: "Very cool."

I'm not sure if he thought me calling him Batman was cool or the horses. At this point, they were 1/4 mile behind us, so I think it may have been Batman.

He does this often. Creates a script in his head or a dramatic scene and he needs us to act it out precisely. When I'm the dragon and he slays me, if I don't die correctly he will tell me how I'm supposed to fall.

Instead of being a superhero when he grows up, maybe he'll be a movie director.

A mother can only hope.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our House

It's always exciting at our house in the evenings.

Ben got a much needed haircut. You can tell he is really excited about it.


David took Noah for a walk. Noah thought it was exciting.


Rocko slept on our sofa. We don't usually allow this, but after getting his manhood chopped off I figure I could afford him that luxury.


The vet found the missing nut in his abdomen, so it cost $300. He had to get cut open in two different spots and is on antibiotics and anti-inflamitorys for the next week. Poor guy. It was necessary though. Dogs with a floating ball have an added risk of developing cancer at a very young age. Who knew? We are losing a dog a year right now. Don't want to go through that again for awhile.

Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentines

I talked about Emily's favorite parent last week. And it isn't me.

There is a bulletin board outside of her classroom and the teacher displays seasonal artwork that the kids have made.

Emily made a heart for Valentine's Day.


Much to my surprise and delight, she wrote this inside:

It says "I luv my Momy"

I was gloating and bragging at the dinner table about my heart.

The next day I noticed a lot more hearts were added to the board.

Emily added another one.

Which stated, "I luv Noah and Ben and Dady and Momy."

Talk about raining on my parade.

It was nice though that she included everyone.
But, I still have a heart dedicated just to me.

**I would've taken a picture of it, but I got enough strange looks when I photographed the first heart.

Monday, February 8, 2010

6 Months

Noah is 6 months old today. I can hardly believe it. According to our Wii Fit, he is 14.6 pounds and according to the cute measuring blanket that Auntie Barb gave us, he is 26 1/2 inches. Emily was 26 inches at 6 months and Ben was 27, so he is doing great on height and has caught up to other 6 month olds. He's still skinny, but I don't think he looks thin. Emily and Ben were both over 3 pounds heavier at 6 months. He is under 5% for his weight for kids his age. A little thin is never a bad thing, especially with our genes.

Here's a comparison:
3 weeks


3 months


6 months


He's the giant of the group now.

I think I need to get rid of the self tanning doll. Emily obviously hasn't played with her or dressed her in a different outfit in 6 months.

Noah is also enjoying his Bumbo seat.


And when he isn't using it, Ben likes it. I can't believe an almost 4 year old boy fits in a baby bumbo seat.


Noah has been giving us a run for our money at night lately. He is still swaddled at night, but he doesn't want to be. He ends up all over the crib and the blanket is all undone. Yet he can't figure out how to settle down without being swaddled. I'm trying to tough love it right now, but he's been crying in his crib for over an hour. Any suggestions?

Or maybe I should go back to listening to John Mayer.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Learning Something New

Ben is totally into superheros. No surprise there. But, he's never even seen one of the movies because I think they are too violent. I've tried to tape some of the cartoons on TV, but he gets scared quickly and we turn it off. For a kid with an over active imagination who already wakes up with nightmares once a week, I'm not going to have him watch anything that will scare him more.

We were at the library last week and we had already picked out 30 books. I let the kids look at the DVD's. The max they can check out is 7. So, I got a baby Einstein for Noah and the kids were allowed to pic out 3 each. Ben immediately had to get Justice League that features all of the superheros in one movie. Imagine his delight.

He was a little scared by a few of the characters, but he was more in awe than anything. He was so excited he yelled, "Mom, Mom, Superman is real!" He had never seen them come to life before. Wait until he watches the non-animated movies when he gets older.

He is now obsessed with watching this movie. And after being with my husband for 7 years, I found out something new about him. He loves the Justice League as well. He's just as fixated as Ben.

This week we learned that Superman is real and that my husband secretly loves superhero's too.

I should change my blog to Live. Laugh. Love. Learn.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Braids

Ever since I did this blog post about Quinn Fabray's side braid on Glee, my blog readers have gone from 20 a day to 80. It seems everyone is looking to find out how to copy her hairstyle. Imagine their disappointment when they find my blog.

Quinn has now taken over as the single most googled topic that pulls up my blog. Prior to that post, it was how to skin a rabbit and most of those searchers were from Australia. Do they really skin and eat rabbits down under?

Anyway, I was blog hopping today. The laundry is caught up, the dishes are put away and we are going to Costco to have pizza for dinner (can it get more exciting on a Friday night?), so I have some spare time. I came across the most fabulous blog on how to braid hair. Check it out here.

So for the 60 plus people a day who google "Quinn Fabray Glee side braid", please head to this ladies blog and learn a few things. She is amazing and even has video demo's.

I can't wait to try some new styles on Emily now that her hair is finally long enough.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lost Photos

I have an SD card in my camera and pictures get stored there. It's easy to take the card out and put it in my computer to retrieve images. Every so often, I forget to put the SD card back into the camera and a picture or two gets taken and stored in the camera's memory. I didn't know where the cord was for the camera, so I just forgot about the pictures.

I came across the cord today and was able to retrieve some photos that were stuck in the internal memory.

Here's Emily's first day of Kindergarten with me. Her real first day, I was in the hospital in Phoenix in a drug induced stupor to avoid having seizures. There was so much going on that week with having Noah 9 weeks early and being very sick myself. I remember being so incredibly sad that I missed this special day for her. I would cry whenever a nurse asked about my kids at home. I so wanted to be there to fix her hair, pick out a dress and pack her lunch. Her Dad was with her and for that I'm grateful, but I still wanted it to be me. When I came home, I got to have my moment. It wasn't her first day, but it was her first day with me.


Here's Ben saying hi to Noah. I wonder what Noah thought of his brother, the superhero. I can't believe how small Noah was. He was 4 1/2 pounds when we brought him home, so that's how much he weighed in this picture.


Here's Noah trying a candy cane. I think he liked it.


I'm so glad I retrieved these pictures off the camera.
Special memories don't belong stuck on an internal hard drive.

Last Night

After we eat dinner, it gets VERY exciting at our house.

The Claw always makes an appearance.


Ben defeats him with his Buzz Lightyear laser.


Rocko tries to get in on the action. (He was supposed to get neutered today at the Humane Society. David waited over an hour to find out that due to an undescended testicle, we have to go to a regular vet and pay three times the amount. Figures we get a dog with a missing nut.)


Emily plays with her new Yo Yo.
(I put the Wii Fit to good use as a foot stool for Noah's jumperoo. At least somebody is using it!)


Then she asks us to play no less than 27 games of Guess Who and Who Ate The Cake (Clue Jr). I tried to teach her about having a poker face. I can clearly tell what is under each piece by her expressions. She decided to smile every time as to not give anything away.


She's perfecting her version of a poker face.


And here it is again. Gosh, she's good.


If you ever want in on all that fun, you are more than welcome to come over.

And if you need more excitement, just stay until the morning. Within 10 minutes of waking up, your shoulder will look like mine.