Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SPECK-tacular!

I took Josh for his ophthalmology appointment today. Turns out his cornea abrasion is all healed up and we don't have to do any more ointment, which is a blessing since it was almost impossible to get him to hold still so I didn't give him another good poke in the eye trying to treat his poke in the eye! But we did find out that he is pretty significantly nearsighted, especially the left eye. So nearsighted that they gave me a prescription for glasses. Not really a shocker to us. He's never seemed to have any trouble seeing, but Andrew was in glasses at 3 and I was in glasses at 4, so here we go down this road! I am actually quite excited about him wearing glasses. The eye doctor's office had a children's optical in it, so I got to try a few pairs of glasses on him, and OMG he looks SO cute! They make him look about 5 years old! I was really wishing I would have brought the camera. In addition to being stinkin' adorable, I think he won't want to sit so close to the TV anymore, and won't have to stick his nose in books. For some reason we never equated this to his vision. But I guess hindsight is 20/20. It all makes perfect sense now. The optical in the doctor's office didn't take our vision insurance, so we'll have to go somewhere else, but the frames he showed me were pretty kick-booty. The entire frame was completely flexible, and therefore virtually impossible to break. They cost a pretty penny (of course!), but I think it is worth it to spend a little more money on some frames that we won't have to replace in 3 months because he's a 3 year old who falls down a lot! So now I'm trying to get him excited about wearing glasses. My parents believe that he will want to wear them when he realizes how well he can see with them, so I hope they're right. They are the experts, you know. So I think finding some specktaculars for Josh is our mission for the weekend. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ain't That a Poke in the Eye

Poor Josh got a pretty good eye poke today. So bad we had to make an unexpected late afternoon trip to the doctor. Apparently the whole thing happened while he was playing on the playground at the mall. He somehow got poked in the eye, be it by another kid, himself or playground equipment, I guess we'll never know. But he quickly seemed to be okay, until later this afternoon when he started crying that his eye hurt. After that it was off and on every 10-15 minutes. He'd be fine, and then all of a sudden he'd be wailing in pain. So Andrew gave him a wash cloth to compress on his eye, and called the doctor who was able to fit him in this afternoon. Turns out he has a cornea abrasion. So tomorrow morning we get to go to the pediatric ophthalmologist to get it checked out. The rest of the afternoon and evening was more of the same with the pain. We gave him some Motrin which seemed to at least space out the spells of pain a little more, and he kept that wash cloth on his eye the rest of the night. What a sad little sight! But he's been a trooper and I'm sure he'll be just fine. The doctor said that these things heal with in a day or two so hopefully by tomorrow he'll be back in tip top shape. It tears your heart out to see your little guy in pain like that and not be able to make it go away. So hopefully the eye doctor goes well tomorrow, and more importantly, I hope that sleeping goes well tonight. Wish us luck!

Monday, December 29, 2008

THE MACHINE!!!


I am completely unashamed to say that I totally use bribery with my kids. Sometimes you do whatever works. My little trick to get Joshua to be a good listener in the grocery store is to dangle the idea of playing with the claw machine in front of him. Works like a charm! We have never actually won anything, but he still gets a big kick out of it. So yesterday, we took a family trip to the grocery store. Joshua was talking about the machine the whome time we were there, and was being a pretty good boy, so while Daddy was checking out, I took him over to the machine. After the two attemps we got with our dollar, we were so close to winning something, I just had to pull out another $.50 and try one more time. That was all we needed... we won! Josh ended up with a blue Christmas cap. To say he was elated would be an understatement. He started jumping up and down and shrieking at the top of his lungs "We got something out of the machine! We got something out of the Machine!" I look over at Andrew who is probably about 100 feet away at the checkstand, and he is cracking up. Apparently the whole store knew that Joshua had won something from the machine, from the sheer volume of his excitement. The whole way home we heard about 50 different recounts of the tale about when a boy named Joshua got something out of the Machine. What a magical day that was! Gotta love what excites a 3 year old!

Merry Christmas 2008!

Another Christmas has come and gone, and they just seem to get better every year! Christmas for us started at church on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve service is very different from every other week out of the year, with the biggest difference being that there is no children's programming. I cringe every year when I remember that my children will have to sit through an hour long church service! We sat with our friends the Millers and Schrotenboers, both who have kids our kids' age. The kids did awesome during church. Josh made a beautiful manger scene with stickers, and pigged out on some cookies we had brought. Hey dude, whatever keeps you quiet! Towards the end, everyone started to get a little antsy, so my friend Cynthia (aka my new hero!) pulled out some glow sticks and handed them out to the kids. Everyone was completely entertained the rest of the service and we made it out without a tear or tantrum. Merry Christmas to Mommy and Daddy!

After church we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa B's in Avondale for dinner and presents with the whole family (except Kerri and Jonathon... we missed you guys!). It was great. This year they decided to move the Christmas tree into their larger living room, which made all the difference from last year! The kids had room to run around and it was a completely enjoyable evening among family. Grandma and Grandpa went a little overboard! I didn't think the gifts for the kids were going to end! =) Everyone liked their gifts, and more importantly, we all enjoyed the company.

We got back home around 10:00 and after putting cookies out for Santa (which Joshua was about half conscious for) got the boys in bed. Our second Christmas present from the boys is that they slept until 7:30! That was awesome. We got to sleep in a little bit, and I was even able to get a jump on the coffee cake I was making for breakfast. I'll post the video so you can see Josh's reaction to all things Santa. it was great!

After opening our gifts, Grandpa and Grandma Maple and Auntie Andrea came over for breakfast, and of course more gifts. I made a yummy egg casserole and sour cream coffee cake. Just as we were sitting down for breakfast, our phone rang and it was a neighbor on the street right behind us saying that she has "Cooper". It took it a second to click that she was talking about Copper, our dog. We have no idea when she got out, but apparently she made it around the corner. Thankfully they were nice enough to take her in and call us, and that she still had the tag with our phone number on it. So I ran around the corner to pick her up. I suppose our Christmas drama could have been much more dramatic, but we are thankful that it wasn't! The rest of our time with Grandpa and Grandma was great. Auntie Andrea got Josh some Curious George books (one of his favorites) and as soon as he opened them he plopped down in Grandpa's lap to read them.

We finished off our Christmas day with homemade spaghetti and meatballs and a new garlic bread recipe that was really good, and then jumped in the car to see Christmas lights, as is our Christmas night tradition.

We wrapped up our Christmas celebration on Friday, December 26th with a delicious prime rib dinner with Grandma and Granddad. Josh got to play with Jacob, who sufficiently wore him out, and Ben and Grace (who is now a professional walker...yay!) got to play together.

As this Christmas as drawn to a close, I already find myself looking forward to next year when Ben and Grace will be running and talking 2 year olds, Cheyenne will be running around with everyone else and Baby Adria will be here. But until then, we will cherish the memories of this Christmas. It was a great one!


Lights, Lights and More Lights!

This Christmas season has been so much fun. We really decided to take advantage of lots of activities available around the Valley this year, since Josh is at the perfect age to enjoy the festivities, and Ben will go along for any ride as long as the tummy is full. Most of the things we ended up doing revolved around Christmas lights. What other time of year can you see millions and millions of different colored twinkling lights? Our first stop was at the APS Electric Light Parade float judging competition. Every year the floats for the parade are judged in the parking lot of the kids' school, and they make a big party out of it. The trip turned into a family affair, with my parents, my sister and her kids. It was a lot of fun. Ben was happy to chill in his stroller and take in all the sights, while Joshua set out on a mission to find any float that he could climb onto. After seeing all of the floats, we went back to Grandma and Granddad's house for some hot chocolate.

The very next night the City of Chandler was having their light parade and tumbleweed tree lighting. Our small group made an impromptu decision to all meet up and watch the parade together, which actually worked like a charm! (Thank God for cell phones!) Joshua thought the parade was the coolest thing he'd ever seen. It was so great to have his friends there and keep him entertained. Ben even enjoyed it, pointing at the brightly colored floats and clapping to the music.

Finally, as we try to do every year, we went to Zoolights. This year was so much more fun than last year with Mr. Grumpy Pants. We had invited our friends Jennifer and Brandon Miller and their boys to come along with us. It's always fun to do things with friends! The boys (Josh and Nathaniel) had a blast and got to ride the carousel together. It was a super cold night out, as it had been raining all week up until earlier that day, so we got to pull out our heavy coats and bundle up, which is a treat for us desert rats!

I'm so happy that we got to fully enjoy the season! Here are some photos of our adventures!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Sex Boo-Boo

I can see that I now have your attention! Okay, so it's a little bit of false advertising, but I couldn't resist! So, on to the Sex Boo-Boo story...

As we have mentioned numerous times before, Joshua is so great at so many things, but physical agility isn't yet one of them. So he frequently falls down and gets hurt in various ways. He has learned to take it like a man, and rarely cries about these things. So when Andrew picked him up from school yesterday, Josh told him that he got two boo-boos today. Andrew asked where, so Josh said "My first boo-boo is right there, and my sex boo-boo is right there." Too funny!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Out With the Old, In With the New

Ever since I went back to work full time, our mornings have been hectic to say the least. I'm up at 5, in order to be ready by 6 so that I can get breakfast and lunches ready. After that we try to get 2 kids dressed and groomed so we can get out the door before 7:00. It's a lot to pack into those 2 hours, but I absolutely refuse to wake up any earlier than 5:00. As Josh gets older, and comes up with new and improved ways to stall in the dressing and grooming department, our out-the-door time has gotten increasingly later. It is time for a new routine. We've decided to get the boys dressed, their hair brushed and shoes on before breakfast. That way the only thing left to do before we leave is brush teeth and hop in the car. Why we didn't try this earlier, I have no idea! I guess our concern was Josh getting syrup on his clothes. But I am totally over that concern. There are much worse things in the world than going to school with a blob of syrup on your shirt. Especially if you're a 3 year old! The last couple mornings have been so much lower stress, and we've gotten out the door a good 10 minutes earlier, so it looks like our new routine is the way to go. Thank goodness!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wii Fit

Merry Christmas to us! Andrew and I decided to go the old married couple route for Christmas this year, and just get ourselves something as a joint gift. We decided on the Wii Fit... of course the hardest to find gift of the season! After checking a couple stores, we actually ran across one at Toys R Us and snatched it up. It is the coolest thing! You can do yoga, strengthening, aerobics and balance games. You really work up a sweat, and man do your muscles feel the workout the next day. It is a smart system, which helps with your yoga and strengthening form, telling you where to keep your center of balance. I am hooked! One of the most fun things is hula hooping. You look absolutely ridiculous, but it is so much fun and really works the abs and legs. I am able to laugh at myself and how totally dumb I look, so I wanted to share so you can laugh with me. Thanks, Andrew for this little gem of a video! Ha ha! You can't see the screen very well, but I am hula hooping, and when I lean to the side, I'm trying to catch another hoop someone is throwing at me. video

The New Me!

I go through the same cycle with my hair every couple years. It will be entirely too long, start to drive me crazy, and then I'll chop it all off. The last time I had my hair cut was May of 2007, so suffice it to say, it could have used a trim. But who should I go to for the job? I had the stereotypical male hairdresser (if you know what I mean) for a couple years, but he constantly salon hopped, and I couldn't keep up with him. Then by happenstance, I found the blog of a girl that I went to high school with, and found out that she is a hair stylist. So last week I decided to go pay her a visit. It was so great! We got to catch up on the last 10 years and I got a great new look! Here's a before picture... not the greatest picture, but at least you can see all the hair.

And here is the new and improved look. What do you think?



(Believe it or not, Joshua took this picture of me.) I am so happy with it. Everyone keeps telling me that this is a great look for me... so I must look pretty bad with the long hair! =) Maybe I'll try a little harder to keep it short and cute. We'll see. The grand total that was cut off was 10 inches. She saved it for me and I plan on sending it to Locks of Love. So it's a win-win-win!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mr. Independent

I just have one question.... When did Joshua stop needing me? He has become so independent lately. On one hand it's awesome not having to do so much for him, especially with Ben needing so much attention. But on the other hand, where did my baby go? Among the things that he now insists on doing himself: bathing (we are present, but he does all the soaping and rinsing), drying himself off, putting the top buckle of his car seat on AND taking it off (thankfully he has only done this when we are ready to get out of the car); putting on his clothes and shoes, and the newest, putting himself down for his nap. This past weekend he pulled this trick out of his hat. He informed us that he was going to put himself to bed at nap time. After lunch, he went in the bathroom to go potty, came out to give us hugs and kisses, said good-night and went in his room. I went in to check on him after about an hour, and there he was, fast asleep in his bed with his covers pulled all the way up. He even informed me the other day that he doesn't need me anymore... except to do the little buckles on his car seat. So I guess other than that, old mom is obsolete. Oh well. At least I still have a couple more years of being useful to Ben until I am officially put out to pasture!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ben's 15 Month Checkup

I finally got Ben in for his 15 month checkup last week. I usually do pretty well at getting them in on time, but I kind of spaced on this one, so I was a couple weeks late. Oh well! He is doing awesome. He weighed 22 lbs. 6 oz which brings him all the way up to the 25%, which is incredible after being down below 5% just 6 months ago. He was 31 3/4 inches, which is righ at 50% for his age. When the doctor asked if he has any words, I rattled off his laundry list (including thank you, doggie, Joshua, peek-a-boo, uh-oh, Mama, Dada and diaper). She said that is a lot of words for this age, so we're happy that it's not looking like we're going to go through the same headaches with late talking as we did the first time around. The one piece of not so great news is that he is still mildly anemic. But we know that is entirely our fault. We have been terrible about giving him his iron drops and more often than not he wouldn't get them. The doctor asked that I take him to get his blood drawn, but I think I'm going to hold off on that and be diligent about giving him his iron over the next 3 months and have them retest him with the finger prick test. I don't want him to go through getting his blood drawn because we suck! =) If it is still down at his 18 month appointment, we'll take a closer look. But other than that, he is the picture of health and happiness, and for that we are very thankful.

Thanksgiving 2008

The long Thanksgiving weekend is over. I was so busy doing, that I had no time to blog about the doing! =) My weekend started on Wednesday (boy, do I wish I could say that more often!). It was a rainy, gloomy day outside... perfect to get cooking! As usual, everything that was to be served on the big day was to be homemade, so there was plenty to do. I made the pumpkin pie, the croutons for my homemade apple sausage stuffing and, for the first time ever, homemade cranberry sauce. It was such a fun day, being alone in my house, listening to Christmas music and cooking away. All the boys got home around 3 and I ran Ben to his 15 month checkup (see next post for the details on that), and ran a couple other errands with my littlest sidekick. Because our fridge was so stocked with the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner, and the fact that I would be cooking all day the next day, we decided that In n Out was the way to go for dinner. =) After the boys were in bed, Andrew and I set out to clean the house.

Thanksgiving day was awesome. My parents came over mid-morning, and we all had a pretty low key day, chasing kids, drinking wine and enjoying each other's company. Our new friends Wade, Cynthia, Lil' Wade (not Wade Jr.) and Mason, from church came over for dinner and we all had a really nice time. The food was awesome if I do say so myself. We had herb roasted turkey, apple sausage stuffing, fruited sweet potatoes with struesel topping, mashed potatoes with herb butter, steamed green beans, homemade cranberries and jalepeno cheddar cornbread muffins. You should be sorry you missed it. =) After dinner we took the boys to the park to work off some of that food, and then came back home for pie!

Somehow Cynthia talked me into going Black Friday shopping with her at the crack of dawn. She, being midly crazy, wanted to go to Toys R Us. Toys R Us. On Black Friday. Sounds like walking through the gates of hell to me, but maybe it won't be so bad. It was so bad. The 2 lines went from the front to the back of the store. After finding a few decent deals for her kids (she's got to buy 2 of everything having 2 year old twins!) we got in line and waited... and waited... and waited. We were in line for about 20-30 minutes, and had not yet gotten to the half-way mark. All that waiting gave her time to second guess her purchases, and in the end we ditched the cart and got the heck out of there. But we had a nice time anyway. =)

On Saturday we decided to put up our Christmas Tree. Josh did a great job helping decorate the tree, and of course wanted to hang three or four ornaments all on the same branch. =) Our tree looks awesome with all of our special memory ornaments. It's always so fun to talk about what each ornament represents. After the tree was up, we decided to go visit Santa at the mall. We got there early enough in the day that there wasn't much of a line, and the mall was virtually dead. We thought this would be the year that they wouldn't let us take our own picture, when we saw a sign asking us to "refrain from using your own camera." What? yes, I want a picture with Santa, but I'm not about to pay $14.99 for one 4x6. Sorry kids. Mommy is way too cheap for that. But I sweetly asked one of Santa's helpers and she told me it would be okay. It's not the greatest of pictures, but I got my picture so I'm happy. =)





On Sunday evening some dear friends that moved to Tennessee a few years ago were in town and came over for dinner. Thanks to them, we finally broke in our firepit that has been sitting unused on our back patio for about a year! It was so fun to sit and chat, roast marshmallows and make smores. I think that will have to be a tradition whenever they come to visit!

So now it's back to work, back to school and the normal everyday life. But the Christmas season is here, and I am so excited about all of the things we will be doing over the next month. I LOVE the holidays! =)

Fright Night

Our poor little Joshua has begun to have bad dreams. The first was about a week ago. We were all sleeping peacefully until we hear wailing coming from Josh's room, and then quickly increase in volume as he is running down he hall to our bedroom and jumping into bed with us. We cuddled for a few minutes and then went and put him back in his own bed, telling him that if he gets scared he should talk to God and ask Him to take the scary things away. Unfortunately, he didn't sleep very well the rest of the night and ended up back in our room about 3 more times. On each trip back to his bedroom, we would get a little more of the story. By morning we had gotten a pretty good idea of what was so scary. You see, a choo choo train was coming down our street, and then a big rock fell in the street right outside his bedroom and went "Boom Boom". And at some point he was being chased by a dinosaur. Poor guy. No wonder he was scared! But we moved on and didn't think a whole lot more about it until we saw this article in the Arizona Republic Wait a minute... Big rock? Check. Boom Boom? Check. Monsters? (Dinosaurs) Check. Now THAT is pretty darn freaky!

Josh has had a couple more bad dreams since then, but no more of them have predicted the future! Hopefully this will be a short-lived phase and we can all rest a little more peacefully.