The Right Perspective

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010 - Santa's Gift

Emily asked Santa for a dollhouse for her Barbies this year. Since she didn't really specify the actual Pepto Bismol pink plastic (junky but expensive) Barbie house, Santa brought her this one for Christmas.

Word has it that Santa had his eye on a different model from Amazon, but Amazon decided to play games with Santa and jack the price up from $99 one day to almost $300 the an eventual all-time high of $1200.

Santa doesn't like Amazon all that much...or so I hear. He opted for the more affordable mortgage option from Walmart.

Santa's elves are pretty good at assembly. We figure they might actually be geniuses. All the estimates said it would take 2-3 hours and a power screwdriver for assembly. Santa's Indiana elves only needed one and half hours and a plain non-electric screwdriver. Geniuses, I say!
Barbie's house is not small. She needs space to party!

She also needs a fully furnished model, with elevator, baby grand piano, canopy bed, chandelier and a balcony. A girl's gotta live!

And Emily was quite happy. Perhaps a little overwhelmed. Her reaction was was non-existent. But since she's played with it every day since, I'm pretty sure she likes it.

And this is after a long day of partying in Barbie's house. On the first floor, Babs is ready to ride up in her elevator to visit Kelly, who is regaling Cinderella and Snow White with a little ditty on the baby grand.

And on the third floor, Susie is waving to all her adoring fans from the balcony while her horse sleeps in the bed. And to all....a good night!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Some Christmas Pictures

We attempted Christmas pictures yesterday afternoon. The only time that we could get in was right after school, so I picked up Emily and off we went. Ethan had just awaked from his nap and Emily was worn out after a long day at school, so I knew that I was quite possibly playing with fire. But we still went.
And the following are some of the better shots.
Ethan stays still for approximately .02 seconds after we position him.

This one just makes me laugh.

Ethan is one ornery kid. You can just tell by looking at him!

Miss Em is sweet and posed as always.

Ethan in his "Old Man" pajamas.

If you can drum on it...he will drum.

A boy and his (fake) cookie are not easily parted. (And yes, he did try to eat it.)

Sweet and innocent?

Pure adorable orneriness!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!
So, hopefully I'll get my Christmas cards addressed and in the mail sometime soon. I think we got some cute pictures.

Friday, November 05, 2010

This is Wrong!

This is wrong...on so many levels.
We left home to get some dinner and two hours later, this is what we found.

I'm not ready for this.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Bumblebee and the "Hunny"

Not too much to say tonight, just a few halloween-ish pictures to share with friends and family.
Above: Em and Ethan sitting beside their pumpkins. I can't believe how big Emily looks.

Above: Emily as the Bumblebee and Ethan as the "Hunny" Pot. I figure this is the only year I'll be able to get away with dressing him like this.

Above: Ethan next to "his" pumpkin.

Above: Emily, posing for the camera

Ethan enjoyed his costume...he also enjoyed carrying around his sister's pink princess trick or treating bucket. Dad wasn't impressed!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Rented Ride

Well folks, grab a drink, find a comfy seat and settle in for a little (long) tale:
Pictured below is our "new" (rental) car. Allow me to explain, if you will, just how we arrived at this point.
Last Thursday, it was a bright and sunny day (I think) when I walked out to the mailbox. I took out the various letters and junk mail and political fliers and there, innocently mixed in, was a letter from Ford. The front of the envelope said something to the effect of "Important information regarding a recall of your Ford vehicle". Oh joy.

So, with some minor annoyance, I opened up the envelope and quickly realized that this was a bigger deal than any other recall notice we'd received before. The short version was that our Windstar minivan was being recalled, along with many others, due to a design flaw that caused the rear axle to, in areas where there is heavy road salt useage, collect the salt. The corrosive salt sitting on the metal axle over the course of years apparently results in a corroded (who would have guessed?) rear axle that can crack or completely break in half, with no warning, and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. This has the potential to be very dangerous. Sounds like a good time, right?

Apparently, Ford and the NHTSA have been investigating claims that this was happening for some time, but I had no idea. So I've just been driving my handy minivan, with my two young children strapped into their safe (but huge) carseats, like it was a perfectly safe vehicle, which in fact, it was most definitely not.

Well, I wasn't thrilled with this news, but I decided to go ahead and take the van in to the dealership (but not our convenient normal one because after my last encounter there, I now know I cannot trust them at all) because I know enough about cars to know that I don't want the rear axle to break. So Friday morning, I very carefully drove Emily to school and then Ethan and I headed off to find a Ford dealership.

We dropped the van off at the service department, where we were told that it would only take about 30-45 minutes, and headed into the waiting area (just a bunch of chairs) in the showroom, armed with only a diaper bag, a sippy cup of water and a bag full of Cheerios.

It took longer.

Ethan and I sat for a while, then it became apparent that the boy, who doesn't love to be held still anyhow, was not going to be happy with that arrangement any longer. So we walked. He wandered all around a very small area at first...then got a little bolder....and eventually we wandered the entire showroom. He was especially fascinated by the fall displays of straw bales and pumpkins that were scattered around. I think he thought the straw was a chair, and since he's recently mastered the idea of backing up and sitting down in a chair, he kept trying over and over, but he's not nearly tall enough to sit on the bale...he'd just plop down in front of it.

After about 2 hours of waiting, the service guy that initially took our van came back in and informed us that we couldn't have our van back. It was not safe to drive. The rear axle was indeed already cracked. We were one pothole away from disaster. So he told us that Ford would arrange a rental car for us until the axle could be replaced, which according to the recall letter would be....sometime in the first quarter of 2011!!! The other option, at Ford's discretion, would be a possible buy-back offer, which of course will not be for anything close to what it will cost to replace the van.

Oh, and have I mentioned that the van is finally paid off this month?

So, we waited some more and finally the Enterprise rental car guy came to pick me up. Now understand, when the Ford service guy told me we would be leaving in a rental for at least a few months, I specifically requested a vehicle large enough to accomodate two large carseats (Emily's is the largest carseat made, literally) and a big stroller (which coincidentally was also recalled the day before). So what did the first rental car look like? Well, let me put it this way. There was no trunk. The stroller BARELY fit in the back of the vehicle-that-wasn't-a-car-or-SUV-or-van. The carseats technically fit in the car, but there was absolutely no legroom in either front seat. I mean, the guy and I could get in, but it was in no way safe to drive or ride like that...yet we had no option, we had to take it back to the rental car place to even exchange it.

I have no idea how the guy drove like that.

Anyhow....this Kia Optima was a better option, but we're still feeling like sardines in it. It would fine for a couple of days, or if we didn't need to lug around a stroller and carseats and diaper bag, but it's NOT fine for months on end. Nor is there any extra room to pack, for say, Thanksgiving or a trip anywhere. Yes, plenty of families with two kids make do with a car, but they don't have carseats built to fit in a van or huge strollers. They have things that fit in a car. We don't.

The above picture is from today. Ethan doesn't really care either way, though he will when I finally (and it WILL happen) hit his head on the door frame while putting him in his carseat. Emily has little legroom, but she'll have to deal, just like the rest of us.

I really want Ford to step up and either go ahead and buy back the van ASAP so we can move on, or at least provide a larger rental. I need to take a bunch of stuff to Goodwill/consignment stores, but realized that I can't just put a big Rubbermaid tub into the car. Instead, I'll be making many, many trips. We've had to purchase another garage door opener because I used something built into the van called "Homelink" that opened the door...and then when my paid for van was basically repossessed, I had no way to get in.

Pray for our sanity. I know it's not a big deal. I'm very VERY thankful that the problem was discovered before we were placed in a highly dangerous situation. But it still stinks.

And that, my friends, is why for the foreseeable future we'll be driving a red Kia rental car with Michigan license plates. Wave if you see me!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Long Time, No See

I know, it's been a while since I've posted anything. But real life gets busy, what can I say?
Here's the little guy. He's not much of a ham, huh?
This is the face he makes whenever a camera comes out these days.

These are Ethan's first stitches. Nice. Poor little guy tried to climb into his toy basket and when it tipped over, he hit his head on something hard enough to make a walnut-sized lump and cut an inch-long gash in his head. So, off to the ER we went, at 6:15 on Saturday evening. We got home around 10 pm, and what was the first thing Mr. Ethan did? Climbed into his booster seat (it sits on the floor) and waited for his dinner to be served! (He hit his head just as I was taking dinner out of the oven.) You don't mess with the boy's dinner plans. He WILL eat.

Here are both kiddos. Miss Em is doing very well in school. Her behavior has been nearly perfect. She's learning tons and she seems to like it. She is not currently eating at school, however, so we're trying to get to the bottom of that issue. She's growing by leaps and bounds and is about 50" tall at 6 years old. She's almost a head taller than all the kids in her class.

This is the morning after Ethan got his stitches. Emily, Ethan and I stayed home from church because I had to rouse up Mr. E every couple of hours over night to make sure he didn't have a concussion, plus, he's sporting some pretty nasty hair right now. We have to keep antiobiotic ointment on his cut 4-6 times a day for 6 days and we can't get his hair wet. It's going to be icky by Friday!
Ethan LOVES to wear glasses. These are his current favorites. They belong to Emily and are girl's sunglasses with little fish on either side. He will walk over to me, hand me the sunglasses and wait for me to put them on him. Then he walks around the living room grinning like a crazy man.

And finally, a picture from today. What a sweet little guy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life in the Fast Lane

It's been a while since I last posted, so I thought I'd catch you all up on what we've been doing.

Miss Emily is just about to turn six (on Wednesday, to be precise). She's doing extraordinarily well in Kindergarten so far. In fact, we've been pleasantly surprised with how well she's adapted. She still has a few teary moments now and then, but I think she really enjoys her class and recess and all that she's learning.

She did have a bit of mishap about two weeks ago. When I picked her up from school, the teacher handed me a note. I drove off (we were in the pick-up line, had to keep moving!) and read the note as I drove through the parking lot. It said that she had had a rough day and that she'd fallen off the monkey bars at recess and hurt her foot. She'd cried a lot and kept asking for me. So I asked Em about it and she confirmed that she had fallen and cried and wanted me and then she kept trying to show me her foot, which I kept telling her to wait and do at home. She was still kind of teary the whole way home.

When we got home, she took off her shoes and showed me her foot...and her big toe was all bruised and swollen. She didn't want to put any weight on her foot and was just very upset in general. However any suggestion that I made that we might need to go get it checked at the doctor made things 500 times worse. Andrew and I went back and forth on whether to take her for x-rays at the urgent care clinic, and finally decided that we should. So by this time it was around 7 pm and so off to the urgent care place we went. (Andrew stayed home and put the E-man to bed, while I took Miss Em.)

As you might imagine if you know Emily, it wasn't a pleasant trip. It didn't help that she was exhausted and terrified. Not a good combo even at home...but add the doctor's office and the possibility of x-rays...well, let's just say that it got a bit ugly. By the time we got x-rays, we'd already been waiting about 2 hours, maybe more. I had to physically place Em on the x-ray table (after grabbing her when she tried to run...but thankfully the toe injury slowed her down!). When I did, you would have thought someone was sawing her in half. Oh the drama! However, once she realized that what we had ALL told her was true (that nothing would touch her and that it was just going to be a picture of her toe), she was chattering away with so much relief. It's always eventful at the doctor's office, to say the least.

The x-rays were read by the urgent care doc, and he declared her toe just really bruised and sent us on our way. Em walked around for 2 more days, and then late Friday afternoon, we got a phone call from the urgent care clinic that the radiologist had read her x-rays and that her toe was indeed broken. So there we were, late on a Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend, scrambling to find a post-op shoe for the poor girl to wear to keep her foot protected until we could see the pediatrician. I ended up going back to the urgent care clinic and asking if they had one we could use. They did, but the smallest size they had was a women's small, that was at least 3-4 inches too long and way to big to really imobilize her foot. But she wore it like a trooper...until her orthopedic appt. this past Thursday, where she finally got a shoe that fit. Now she just has to wear that shoe for about two weeks (at least until the 23rd) and then we'll go back to the orthopedic doc, get another set of x-rays and go from there. All because of the dang monkey bars! Who knew recess could cause so much trouble?

In Ethan news....guess who's walking? I tried my best to post a cute little video of the E-man walking around like a miniature Frankenstein, but despite my efforts, it won't load, so you'll just have to take my word for it. He walks all over the place now, falling down every few feet with a little thud, and then gets back up and goes again. His current loves: Beach balls, balloons and anything electronic or with wheels. He's already figured out how to turn on the tv with the remote and he's managed to break my computer. We might rename him "Destructo-boy"! He will be 14 months old this Friday and he's still a little squirt. He barely tips the scale at 20 lbs. and all the fall pants I bought him in size 12 months (thinking they would surely fit) still fall off him. He's got 6 teeth fully in and two more that are working their way in this week. All in all, he's just a happy, easy-going little fellow...just don't try to wake him up from his nap before he's ready. That's all he really asks in life...a little food and lots of sleep!

So there you have it....a quick update on our fast-paced life!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day Of Kindergarten

Today was Emily's first day of Kindergarten! She is going to a Christian school with a class of 11 children: 8 girls and 3 boys. Last year, she was one of only 4 girls and a bunch of boys, so we'll see how things go.
Below, a picture from this morning. She's sporting her fancy new school uniform (one of several style options) and looks pretty excited.
The picture below is from the first day of school last year. She just keeps getting taller!

Em and her new backpack. She has her own little hook for her coat and backpack outside the classroom door. She also has her own cubby hole for her extra tennis shoes and supplies. She sits at one of 4 tables with two other kids, a boy and a girl.

Emily will be going to full-day Kindergarten (from 8-3) this year. She was fine as we left home this morning, but by the time we reached her school, she was getting a bit worried. She got into the school building and said that her tummy hurt and that she felt sick, which is common when she gets anxious, but she managed to put her things away and pick out a picture to color. There were some tears, and Ethan helped me stroke her hair and hug her and tell her that we loved her. When I left, she was sitting at her table, trying to color. What a brave, sweet little girl! I made it out of the school before my tears started. Hopefully by the end of the day, she'll have learned the joy of recess and lunch with new friends.

The cupcake "cake" that Miss Em will be having to celebrate her very first day of Kindergarten. We are so proud.

Here's hoping for a great first day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ethan is One Year Old!

Happy 1st Birthday!
You are One Year Old! The time has flown by so very fast.

You weigh 19 lbs. are 29.5 inches long and your head circumference is 47 cm. All this means that you are in between the 4th and 5th percentile in weight, almost the 40th percentile in height and your head is...well, almost in the 70th percentile (must be that fast-growing brain!).

You can still wear your 6-9 month size clothes, but that's mostly because they are shorts. You've pretty much outgrown your 6-9 mo. pjs. You can fit into most 12 month size clothes too, though they're still plenty big on you.

This month, you've been busy as usual. You make all sorts of fun noises and you "talk" to us in some sort of language all your own. You love to blow raspberries and you purr like a cat. You also love to dance whenever you hear music with a good beat. Sometimes you simply sway back and forth to the music; other times you prefer to bounce and wave your arms.

You've become a VERY fast crawler and you delight in trying to make your escape. You are a proficient cruiser all around the furniture and you just learned how to stand up all on your own. You had a great time letting go of whatever you were holding on to and clapping when you realized your were standing all by yourself.

You are a pretty mellow little fellow...except when you don't get your way (or when we dare to change your diaper!). You have, shall we say, a bit of a temper. You mostly go with the flow, but look out if someone tries to take the remote away from you!

You are a sweet, sweet little boy and you bring joy into our lives each and every day.

We love you so much, little birthday boy, and we can't wait to see what the coming year brings!

First Birthday...Part One!

Ethan has a lot of extended family...but unfortunately none of them live physically very close. So when it came time to celebrate Ethan's first birthday, we had some traveling to do!
We drove down to visit Andrew's side of the family the weekend before Ethan turned one. Since several great-grandparents can't travel as well as they used to, we brought the party to them. We had yummy food, plenty of smiling faces and even a few presents.
Here's the birthday boy, opening some presents.

He had plenty of help.

Figuring out just how everything works!

Oh boy...another one!

Yay....a tractor. He loves anything with wheels.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Vicodin, Pennicillin, Promethazine and Triazolam

Happy 4th of July! Oh wait, that's been over for a few days now. Well, for some of us, the fun was just getting started.

Our family spent a lovely weekend together, doing all sorts of fun things like going to a minor league baseball game, major yard work and going to the county fair. Everything was quite nice, until we headed home about 10:15 from the fireworks/fair on Sunday night. We had pushed Ethan just a little too far (he was up WAY past his bedtime), so he was melting down. We had all been out in the heat (holy moly it was hot) riding rides and eating fair food and Emily was not far behind her little brother in the melt-down department...and then, I noticed it. We were only a mile or so down the road from the fair when something just didn't feel right...on my wisdom tooth. I still had them all, and the upper right one was starting to break off. This could not be good. I saw the writing on the wall and it wasn't a happy message.

Allow me to briefly break away and list a few things I'd rather do than go to the dentist, even for a check-up:

~ natural childbirth
~ cleaning the bathroom every single day for the rest of my life
~ weeding the flower beds every single day....
~ running a marathon (I don't run, by the way)
~ exercising

I could go on, but you get the point. However this time I knew I couldn't avoid the inevitable...I had to go to the dentist, and I would be having my wisdom teeth out. So, on Monday morning, I called the dentist and got an emergency appointment at 12:00. I got there and they told me that the tooth needed to go and if they were going to get rid of that one, how did I feel about the other 3? I told them that if they were going to do one, they might as well get rid of them all, because I wasn't going through this more than once. What I didn't know was that I would be having it done THAT day. Since they were all four "fully erupted" they didn't require any oral surgery, so it would be fairly simple. They gave me the option of having nitrous oxide (laughing gas) so that I could drive myself home or taking an oral sedative and having Andrew drive me. While not normally a wimp in the pain department, this all changes with regard to my mouth/teeth, so I opted for the oral sedative. I got my medicine packets, paid ahead of time for the removal of my wisdom teeth, dropped of my pain med prescriptions to be filled at the pharmacy and headed home so that Andrew could load us all four up and take a then-sedative-filled me back to the dentist.

All I can say is a big "thank you" to whoever came up with Triazolam. That's some good stuff when it comes to relieving anxiety and relaxing you. I wasn't sure what to expect, but understand that Sunday night, I was so worked up about just going to the dentist, nevermind the whole wisdom tooth removal, that I couldn't sleep. However, I popped that little pill before getting in the van to head back to the dentist and while I was still fully conscious and able to respond normally, I was SO relaxed. In fact, I fell asleep in the dentist chair while I was waiting for them start. That would NOT have happened otherwise.

I was awake the whole time. Along with the triazolam, I was also getting a nice dose of nitrous oxide, which I'd never had before, along with an anti-nausea medicine (Promethazine). The whole procedure was pretty quick, and then I headed home. This was all around 3:00 pm. By around 7:00, I was starting to get kind of sore, so I took 1 Vicodin (first time around with that) and waited for the fun to begin, but I didn't really feel any different, nor did it do much for the pain. So the next time I could take meds, I took two. I was feeling no pain and actually feeling pretty good...just slightly dizzy at times and kind of tired. I slept a little Monday night and didn't feel terrible, but took two more vicodin around 9:45 Tuesday morning....and then started getting some really nasty hot flashes and waves of nausea. Not fun, but since I hadn't eaten much, I decided that I just needed to try to eat more.

Yesterday was sort of a nasty day. I wasn't in a ton of pain, much to my surprise, but I didn't feel good either. I battled nausea on and off all day, and my late afternoon was starting to work on a pretty good headache. Andrew came home from work, took Emily with him to the store for a list of things I needed and by the time he got back, I was feeling pretty lousy. As he was taking the kids up to bed, I was running to the bathroom. I managed not to puke, but it wasn't fun. I tried eating some more, but I just couldn't get much down between my head aching and the waves of nausea.

And then I did what I've managed not to do for 10+ years. I vomited in front of Andrew. Even when I was so sick while pregnant with Ethan, I always managed to make it to the bathroom....but not this time. I did (sort of) make it to a trash can, but in front of Andrew. And I felt better for about 15 minutes....before round two hit, and then another 15 -20 minutes and round 3. It wasn't pretty. We called the pharmacist and Andrew went and got me some ginger ale and Emetrol. I took two doses of Emetrol and then a dose of Excedrin, since I hadn't taken any pain meds since early that morning and my head hurt worse than my teeth, and promptly vomited all that up too. By this time, it was about 10:30 pm, so of course, there was no one to call in anything for me for nausea. I tried calling our family physician's emergency line, but as soon as they heard that it was a dental issue (well, sort of), they wouldn't help, so their advice was to go to the ER. Well, I really didn't think I wanted to sit in the ER half the night, feeling ( and looking) like I did. Although I really don't have any bruising or swelling, I hadn't showered in a few days and my breath could have killed a horse, forget stunning it. So I did what I try never to do...I self-medicated. I had some old Promethazine for nausea that I had taken when I was pregnant with Ethan. It expired about 6 months ago, but I was desperate and I figured it couldn't really hurt me too much, but dehydration and vomiting could, so I took it...and the vomiting stopped. It made me sleepy enough that I was able to sleep a little bit, but my head still hurt enough that I kept waking up every hour or so. When four hours had passed, I took some more excedrin and this time kept it all down. The headache finally went away and I've sworn off Vicodin for the rest of my life.

This was definitely one case of the cure being worse than the injury. I'm sticking with Ibuprofen for now (and my week's worth of Penicillin) and so far have felt much better today. I've done a little housework and run to Meijer, so I think I'm on the mend. My teeth (or their now-gaping holes) actually don't feel too bad...just really swollen and strange, but I'll survive as long as I don't ever have to take any more Vicodin.

So, it was definitely a fourth of July that won't soon be forgotten!

I'll have some pictures up soon. (Not of me, but of more fun things!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fun Stuff

It's been a little crazy around here lately. Here are a few snippets of life around here:

First, our visit to the pizza place: About two weeks ago, we were trying to find somewhere different to eat. We decided that pizza would be good, but wanted to try a new place, so we chose a well-known local chain of pizza restaurants. As soon as we walked in, shall I say this? I'm not sure the health department visits often...or maybe ever. It wasn't outright dirty, just really dingy and not at all impressive, but after dragging two hungry kids out of the car, we just decided to give it a try. We were the only customers there, so we sat at a table and ordered our pizza.

A couple of minutes after ordering, an employee came out, got his salad and pizza, and turned on the huge tv up in the corner opposite Andrew and Emily. The tv was blaringly loud, but the best part was the choice of show. The employee (a 50-60-something man) had chosed some show on the true crime network (or something like that) and I believe the title of the program was "World's Most Shocking Criminal Acts". It was one of those shows where the crime is reenacted while a narrator (and sometimes the actual victim) describes in excrutiatingly graphic and gory detail what happened. So our meal went a little something like this:

Us: Trying to have a conversation while eating pizza

Tv: "The robber grabbed the helpless store clerk by the hair and violently slashed her throat. As she lay there, her arteries spurting more blood by the second, the clerk desperately attempted to dial 911, but the would-be robber viciously stomped on her wrist, shattering it in a hundred pieces. As she lay there moaning in pain, the store clerk remembered the panic button and pressed it in the hopes that someone, anyone might be able to save her life."

Us: "Emily, don't look at the tv. So, what did you like best about your school year? Emily, honey, please don't watch the tv. Let's talk about something else...."

Tv: "In one of the most brazen robbery/murder attempts of our generation, the would-be robber shattered the window and began shooting, guns blazing, instantly riddling 3 innocent children with deadly gunshot wounds to the head, stomach and face. Their mother huddled in the corner, trapped and unable to come to their rescue..."

Seriously, this might be the worst dining experience we've ever had.

Next up, last Friday night: We went to a corporate picnic/baseball game at the local minor league stadium. The picnic started at 6:00 pm. with the game to follow. This is a yearly event and one in which the schmoozing is at a minimum, so we usually try to put in our face time there. Emily was very much looking forward to the game, which was supposed to be followed by fireworks. Both kids took a late nap (Em never naps anymore.) Andrew got home, we piled in two cars (since Ethan wouldn't have lasted for the whole game) and off we went, despite the very ominous-looking sky off to the west.

By the time we park and get into the stadium, the sky is almost navy blue and there is a rumbling in the distance. We arrive at the picnic deck to find absolutely no one there. Apparently the picnic was cancelled, but no one bothered to email/text that. We stood around, knowing it was going to storm, but trying to decide whether to wait it out and see if it would pass quickly or just go home. We waited too long. We were told that we were under a severe thunderstorm warning and that we had to all go up to the main concourse and wait it out. Thankfully, we were already there and the stadium was no where near full.

And then the heavens let loose. Wind, rain, more wind, lightning, wind and a nearly 20-degree temperature drop. It poured so hard you could hardly see. We happened to be standing near a ticket/info room that had a tv, so we watched as a MASSIVE storm was being tracked on radar. We were probably there for about an hour, standing in the same place, with two kids who hadn't eaten and had nothing to do, waiting for the storm to pass, or at least settle down enough that we could make it back to the cars.

When we finally did get back to the cars and started driving home, we saw a ton of trees down, power lines down and property destruction. You literally could not drive a block on any street anywhere in several towns, without seeing trees down. It was easily the most destructive storm I've seen in the last 10 years of living in this area. Thankfully, we don't have any major trees around our house, so the only "damage" we had was the grill cover having blown off the grill.

And finally, last night: Just as extra power crews were finally restoring power to the last few customers who hadn't had any since last Friday's storm, we got hit again. We were putting Miss Em and Ethan to bed, and had just finished reading Em her story. We got quiet so she could pray and heard...the tornado sirens. So, we all headed down to the basement, which isn't a nice finished one, but rather a catch-all for anything and everything over the last 6 years. Which is to say, there's a lot of boxes, dust and spiders. (Oh, the spiders! Just the night before, less than 24 hours prior, I had to screw up my courage and kill a huge nasty spider down there. I told Andrew that if I saw another one like that, we WOULD be calling the exterminator, and I was absolutely not kidding!) We spent the next hour down there cold, cramped and scared, listening to the weather radio report all kinds of reports of rotation and high winds. We even spent a few minutes huddled under an old table under the stairs. To be fair, the kids did great given that they were very tired and there was absolutely nothing to do. Still, it was not fun for any of us.

And so, here's hoping that the rest of the summer is completely and utterly uneventful and boring!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ethan at 11 Months Old!

Ethan: You're 11 months old! Only one more month until your first birthday...oh how the time has flown!
You weigh 18.5 lbs. and are 28.25 inches long. That puts you in the 5th% for weight and the 16th% for height. You have 6 teeth (four on top and two on the bottom) and your hair is...growing in several places. It almost needs to be cut in the back and over your ears, but the top is still a bit sparse.
You love all things electronic...including the remote. As I type, you're changing the channels on the tv. You're fascinated, as all men are, with gadgets. It's definitely a trait you're born with! You are also a good eater. You like just about anything we give you, but I think your favorite has been spaghetti. It's messy, but oh so tasty. You can eat enormous amounts of spaghetti for such a little fellow. You've also discovered the joy of chocolate chip cookies. You've only had a taste here and there, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't mind a whole lot more of them!

You're a very, very busy little guy. You crawl fast. You pull up on everything and you're cruising the furniture pretty well too. We had to put up a baby gate in the living room...something we never had to do for your sister. You enjoy petting (more like beating) the animals. I don't worry to much about Bella...she's a big sturdy dog, but the poor kitties with all their fur...and you're finally bigger than both of them and I think they're slightly scared. You try, sometimes, to pet them gently, but it's just a lot more fun to beat them, and us.

You play hard and sleep hard. You sleep through the night, on your belly and sometimes with your little bottom up in the air, knees tucked under you. I give you your bedtime bottle and then kiss you goodnight and lay you in the crib on your tummy and you crawl over to the spot where you want to sleep...and you sleep. No fussing, just sleep. It's a completely different experience from trying to get your big sister to sleep...still!

You are a happy little guy. You make all sorts of interesting noises with your mouth. You blow raspberries, you click your tongue, you (try to) blow kisses, you do a purring sound by rolling your tongue and of course you snort like a raging bull...In short, there's a lot of noise. No words yet, but lots of sounds and babbling. We didn't hear any of this with Emily, so it's new to us this time around.

And speaking of noise, whenever we get anywhere near an elevator, you go nuts. You start squealing and laughing like a hyena. You bounce up and down in your stroller and basically have a blast. I have no idea what it is about elevators, but it's pretty funny to watch.

You're a fun, happy and busy little boy and we love you more than you could know!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


We recently took a little trip south to visit some Great-Grandpeople. They don't travel much anymore, for health reasons, so we brought our traveling circus (I mean, kids) to them.
Above, Ethan with Granny. Sorry it's so dark, but the sun was shining behind them.

Above: Ethan riding Great-Grandpa's horsey. I think they both had a great time.

Both kids with Great-Grandpa

Ethan and Granny again. It's hard to get a good picture with the wild man.

Above: Ethan, sitting on Great-Grandma Hazel's lap. She's 98, I believe. Emily was her first she has three, with our two and their cousin.
It was a good trip, good weather, good times and a wonderful family.