Monday, December 22, 2008

December 13th and 14th

Saturday we were supposed to have Aaron's work Christmas party but he ended up getting called into work instead. So I hired a new babysitter so I could go work out and have some mommy time. The kids loved her. Saturday afternoon I took the kids to the Holiday Sing-a-long at the library. We sang all the regular Christmas songs and then watched Alvin and the Chipmunks via YouTube on the big screen. It was great fun! Afterwards we did a craft and enjoyed yummy sugar cookies and hot cocoa! For some reason I didn't have my camera so I don't have any pictures to post. The kids went home to the Ford's afterwards and Mommy raced (safely) (no accidents like last year)to Cedar Rapids for the Symphony.

This is an annual holiday tradition that my mom, aunts and I have enjoyed ever since I can remember. It's too bad we still cannot convince my sister to join us. Unfortunately, the Paramount Theatre was hit by the unbelievable destruction of the June floods so the show was held at Coe College. All I can say is I love Timothy Hankewich the new music director. I must have thoroughly enjoyed the 23 years of Symphony under the direction of Christian Tiemeyer because I kept going back but I LOVE the surprise factor Hankewich adds to each show. No remember it is the Symphony so typically there is not a lot of singing. This year he had girls come out and sing "You'll be Swinging" which he wrote himself. They were dressed in army uniforms. My camera does not do this justice at all but I loved this. Next they sang "Mele Kalikimaka" Merry Christmas in Hawaiian and again did a fabulous job.

I know I said there's not much singing but they also always include the CR Concert Chorale and the Children's Discovery Chorus which also do a fine job. I love the arts and I only hope that my children will one day possess one of these great talents.

Great Great Great time had once again. My friend Carrie said she wants to join us next year. I hope she does. She certainly won't be disappointed.

I had to drive back home late Saturday night and almost hit three deer standing in the middle of the interstate licking salt off the road. Apparently I was interrupting their midnight snack and they weren't going anywhere for awhile.

Sunday the kids and I met up with a group of friends and went to a local store to paint pottery. Each of the kids chose to paint an ornament for the tree. We were unpleasantly surprised by the weather when we came out. It was 58 degrees all day, I was running around outside with just a sweatshirt on and then when we came out of the store it was pouring down rain. The rain soon turned to ice and snow. The rest of you in Iowa know where we now stand. BRRRR Yuck!

As soon as I pick the ornaments up I will post a picture. They did a very good job. I'm proud of them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 5th, 6th & 7th

My dad turned 50 on December 5th so the kids and I made the trek home. We had a surprise 50th Birthday Party on Saturday. Aaron stayed home and hunted all weekend. Friday night my mom, Dar, S, H, and N went to see Bolt since Madagascar was such a hit. N and S were old enough to sit and watch it. H on the other hand was not as interested. Cute movie, my mom and I laughed our butts off at the hamster.

My sister and I took my dad out to eat at Texas Roadhouse on Saturday night. We created a book consisting of pictures of us kids growing up on I think my dad teared up! I highly recommend this for any hard to buy person on your list.

After we ate we drove Dad to Bushwood Bar and Grill where his family and friends were waiting to surprise him. Based on the amount of shots of tequila ordered up for this old man I don't think many people remembered my Dad turned 50 not 21! I'm quite certain he did not feel so hot the next morning. But a good time was had by all. Thank you for coming to help us celebrate.

Not real sure what was up with the color of the cake. Perhaps Jule's thought it was my Dad's baby shower?!? I ordered a black and white cake for a male and this is what I got. Great tasting none the less but a little disappointing. I won't go into the glorious gifts my dad received but there were certain a few good ones.

The kids and I got up early on Sunday so we could get back on the road. At home we went over to our good friends house for a surprise visit from...
he had gifts for all of the good little girls and boys. And my we must know some pretty good kids!
We had a wonderful time! Thank you Ford's for hosting this great get together. It was a wonderful way to spend our afternoon.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Madagascar 2

We took the kids to see Madagascar 2 on Friday night. Aaron was less than impressed by my suggestion. His distaste was two fold, first he knew the theater would be crazy on the Friday after Thanksgiving and second, while his charming wife got up and went to work on Black Friday he decided to brave the crowds...okay not really he went to Sears. How many people go to Sears on Black Friday?...probably other unbrave men. JK, anyway he purchased a Blue ray DVD player and then headed straight to Blockbuster to rent videos so he was really hoping for a night at home.

When we pulled into the mall parking lot, I must admit I thought I was a tad crazy myself! The line to get into the theater was all the way out the door. The lobby was packed FULL of people trying to buy treats for the show. We waited and waited in line. N could hardly contain his excitement, I had to be the killjoy and remind him there was a possibility that we would get to the ticket window and they would be sold out. How heart broken he would have been. It was our lucky night. We walked in to an empty theater. A few more families trickled in but it was pretty much an empty show. (I think everyone else was seeing Twilight or Four Christmases, I want to see them too). We sang along and danced in our seat. The kids particularly liked, "I like to MOVE IT, MOVE IT!" It was a cute movie. Both kids did GREAT although they were both ready for bed by the time we got to the car. This makes N's third movie, he has seen:
Betsy and I took the kids to see the Wiggles live in concert in Ames. We stayed in the Adventureland Inn hotel. The next day we were super brave (or super crazy). I kind of forgot H was only 1 and thought oh yeah I can take her to see a movie no problem...uh wrong! I spent most of the time at the Bee Movie rocking her in the hallway and chasing her in the aisle. N enjoyed his first movie or maybe it was the Junior Mints he enjoyed so much...I can't remember.
Aaron and I planned a special birthday "date night" with N to see Horton Hears a Who. We got a babysitter for H and decided to take him to dinner and a movie since Horton came out in theater on his fourth birthday. Unfortunately, I had to go to CP for a funeral so Daddy and N go to have date night by themselves. N chose to eat at the Strawberry that night. That's his word for Applebee's!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dora or Puple Broder?

I need to preface this post with a little history. H-girl loves anything Dora, Princess or Purple. Dolls, clothes, plates, "braceleps", underwear, hair ties, washcloshes, towels, you name it even rocks. Yesterday she carried three puple Mancala rocks in her pocket until bedtime. Today she is carrying a puple Mega Block. Christmas should be easy this year ;)

More history...we are re-drywalling one of N's bedroom walls. We have all of his furniture, bed, bookshelf covered in plastic to help keep the dust off. The kids know they can't go into his bedroom until we have it finished. So last night N was having a mini melt down after his bath whining that he couldn't go in his room to get jammies, he would just have to sleep naked and be cold! DRAMA KING! We of course ignored his behavior wishing he would talk in a big boy voice instead of the constant whining. H turned around in her most sincere worried voice and said "Broder, you want to wear my Dora jammies?", my heart melted, I about started to cry. I thought it was the cutest thing on earth for her to offer up her favorite pair of p.j.'s especially since she has about 10+ other choices. Of course he turned around and sneered and said, "Nooo I don't want to wear your Dora jammies!" So then she said, "you want to wear my puple ones?" So sweet!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


If anyone can tell me how to post my pictures better so they aren't weird on the page please's making me crazy!!

Outside Holiday Decorations

I am weird, I have always had this burning desire to be like the Griswold's and go hog wild on the outside of my house with Christmas lights and decorations. I have NEVER been able to convince my husband to go along with my grand idea until today! Shh, don't tell him but we are easing into it. It started out with this little guy. Isn't he adorable? On the way home from church N kept asking us to turn up the music. We were listening to a Mannheim Steamroller CD gone techno. It put Aaron a bit over the edge. So I said we could go to Target and buy a new Christmas CD if he'd like...We went to Target (or the $100 store as we like to call it, still my favorite store but...) for a lint brush roller and maybe a CD let me repeat a LINT BRUSH ROLLER, and we came out with a bill of $234.13 YIKES. Dave Ramsey hates me right now, and truth be told I kind of hate myself..but anyway, we went to the Christmas decorations to find a stocking for H and a blow up snowman for N (for the front yard). He chose the little guy instead.
When we got home it was so beautiful out we decided to work outside for the day. I was hard at work raking 5 more bags of leaves to add to the 13 from last weekend! Aaron got stuck hanging Christmas lights (and that's not what we bought for $234.13, I have TOTES of lights I have been buying since who knows when) So Aaron got one string of icicle lights hung across the garage and came and said to me all nice and I'll do that, I know you have always wanted the lights on the house so you can go do it...let me remind you this was as I was on the fifth and FINAL bag of leaves. Thank you honey!
Well since he worked so hard getting one strand up I decided to leave it up. So we have icicle lights over the one stall garage attached to the house and the front door
and then I finished the rest of the house and the ground with the big colored lights
Aaron conveniently went inside to put H down for her nap and "accidentally" fell asleep.
N was such a little trooper. He went and found his tool box and got out his little hammer and helped me pound all of the steaks in for the lights on the ground. He even "held" the ladder for me as I worked on the roof. As you can see our tree still needs a few more lights. We are hoping for one more nice day so we can get it accomplished.
Next year I am hoping for a snowman family and lights around each of the windows.
As I was decorating this thought popped into my head. When we were kids we would complain about doing the dishes on a nightly basis. We BEGGED for a dishwasher. I'm sure it probably even made our Christmas list a time or two. My mom's response always was, "what in the world do I need a dishwasher for when I have three perfectly good ones?" I think my blood pressure would boil. But I was laughing to myself today thinking I should have had a few more kids so that someday I could have professional rake-rs and light hanger uppers.
Mom when my kids are 12 and 14 don't even think about telling them I was plotting this since they were 2 and 4!

Make it. Take it. Bake it.

So as I promised, here is my blog about this WONDERFUL experience! If you live on planet earth, and you have a busy schedule you must experience this!

But first, I made sure to leave B-town in plenty of time to reach Iowa City so I could stop here for a little taste of heaven! I love their Mochas and Sugar Daddy Lattes. It is a very good thing that I don't live any where near Iowa City. I swear to you I would weigh 200 lbs. I have never been addicted to a drug but I certainly know how it could happen. THIS IS MY VICE! If I could have a drink from here every single day of my life I certainly would make it happen. Even their cups are stinking adorable. Love it! Gotta have it! I would do anything to learn their recipes!

Okay so about our day. We selected the entrees we wanted to make from their website about two weeks ago. We showed up at 9:30a here is the entrance, you can see there's about 10 different stations set up. We put on our caps and aprons and got busy. Here we are ready to get Makin'

we went from station to station and prepared the meals that we previously selected. As we finished with one we placed it in the freezer complete with a label on how to cook it, PLUS calories, fat and fiber included! Yea!

The North Liberty newspaper was there taking quotes and pictures of us so we might even be famous sometime soon ;)

Here's Betsy hard at work at one station. We made 12 entrees before 10:45a. WOW! I selected Crock pot Chicken and biscuits, Bacon Potato Chowder, Philly Cheese steak sandwiches (complete with the rolls), Brushetta Chicken, French Toast Strata with apples, Chicken Caesar Pasta, Ham balls, Classic Lasagna, Brown Sugar glazed pork chops over mashed potatoes. I know that does not equal 12...I choose to make 2 8X8 pans of some of the same recipes.

You have to go on-line and place your order ahead of time so that they can order all of your ingredients fresh for you that day. I was very impressed. All of the products were high quality name-brand items. Very thick pork chops and chicken breast. No skimping. After our hour and fifteen minutes of hard work this is the only clean up we did...

we had to drop our aprons and caps into a crock! Naomi's Kitchen certainly gets eight thumbs up from my family!! The employees scurry around behind you and take your used utensils, and wipe up your mess. You need to be sure to wash your hands between each session or anytime you touch eggs or meat.

The owners of Naomi's Kitchen live in the front half of the business. So quaint and charming.

Naomi is their daughter. The had a son so they opened an ice cream shop called....I don't know about all of you but I hope they have more children! They said that husbands come and do this for Valentines Day and Mother's Day HINT HINT and ;) !! Naomi's Kitchen provides free soft drinks and water while you "make it" and a sample of one item on next months menu. I sampled Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder. Not something I would normally try but it was DELICIOUS! I will be making it in December for sure. So besides all of the obvious benefits, this will also allow me to try new recipes and then make them at home as well as venture outside of my comfort zone to taste new things. One person asked if we could bring wine and they said as long as someone else was driving us home and if we would still be able to finish in 2 hours. I invite all of you do to this with me in the coming months. If you can't figure out what to buy someone on your list this holiday season this is a PERFECT idea. We went to Sears last week and purchased a 5 cu ft deep freezer to store our loot! We can't wait for our first busy night so we can try one of the casseroles.

Our tree

Everyone was involved! Maybe even unwillingly.

We put the tree up on Friday night. Poor Emma girl even helped. She does not look too thrilled huh? I stayed up way too late considering I had to be on the road early on Saturday morning to make it to North Liberty by 9:30. It is Sunday night and finally all of the totes are put away and we can enjoy the finished product. I slept on the couch Saturday night with the tree lights on all night. I woke up a few times just to stare at it. I love looking at the tree when all of the lights in the house are turned off. Aaron and I did the math and figured out our tree is already 8 years old! Hardly seems possible. We hope to one day have a house big enough to hold about 6 trees! I love CHRISTMAS! I am finished Christmas shopping which feels GREAT! Now I need to get wrapping. I mentioned hiring a high school girl to do it and Aaron said no way, I will help you. We'll see. Secretly I like doing it and I can probably use it as an excuse to sit in front of the tv and catch up on a few prime time shows.

For my teacher friends! God Bless You!

Friday night at the dinner table N informed me that he had THANKFUL day at school. I said you did? What are you thankful for? I figured his response would really tear at my heart strings, I waited in great anticipation. His response was,

N: "My grandma" pause

Me: No surprise there (I thought)

N: "but not my alive ones just my dead ones"

It is true what they say, teachers hear EVERYTHING! I had to giggle a little bit. I could only remember this story that my friend Cara told me about her son. The kids were all in a circle at school singing a song, when the song ended he informed his teacher that he had a song and everyone should repeat after him. The song went something like this, my grandma is dead, my grandma has died, my grandma is in heaven...come on guys sing along. I don't even know how to respond to this except for my heart truly goes out to all of you in elementary education. You are very quick on your feet!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall Favorites

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year...I am sad to see it ending so quickly but I want to share a few of my fall favorites with you.




Warm comfort foods like lasagna & garlic bread, homemade soup, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, pumpkin bars. Yummy!

Great fall pictures at the pumpkin farm! I love ORANGE!

Cuddly sweatshirts

I know I am forgetting a few.

There is one fall activity I despise!!!

We raked the front and back yard for HOURS on Saturday. Two people called and offered us their football tickets to the Iowa game and we turned them down to do this!!! I love our massive Oak tree in the front yard. He provides hours of protection against the hot sun in the summer, certainly helping our energy bill, but this is the price I have to pay. Great exercise but YUCK! There is one thing I was sure to count my blessings for though. We were able to do it all in one day because the kids are getting older and can ride their bikes, help hold the bags, go play on the back porch and we don't have to stop every two seconds to pick them up, give them a drink, push them on their bike etc... I miss my babies and it is terribly sad to see them grow so quickly but it is nice that they could be outside right along side us and we could still have a feeling of accomplishment!

After our hard day at work we went to our cousin's house to help him celebrate his 4th birthday! A great time was had by all and we were so happy to realize that Thanksgiving is almost here so we will go back and help him play with all of his new toys in just a short while! Yippee!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

KinderMusik Creation

This semester N is learning about the weather in KinderMusik. He is learning about the sounds drops of rain make, we pretend we are splashing in rain puddles, etc. He has had fun homework assignments. This week he was suppossed to make a windchime. I had him go around the house and choose things that he thought would make cool noises. These are the items he choose...I found his choices quite creative.

windchime (l-r) earring, screw, belt buckle, jingle bells and a spoon

It really does make wonderful sounds! N knows Grandma Andria likes windchimes so he has the perfect place planned for his windchime at her house.

A few weeks ago he was tasked to make his own rain hat. He choose one of daddy's construction hats and a few things from the craft tote to complete his masterpiece.
And here he is sporting his digs

Not sure how dry it would keep him but great none the less!

Good News!

Yeah! H had her follow up appointment today at the U. The doctor was impressed with our progress. Two months ago they asked me to put Miss H on an antihistimine that causes rapid weight gain. Of course I researched this drug and asked everyone I knew what they thought of it. The pharmacists I talked to informed me it is an age old antihistamine and should be okay, however the pessimist in me kept thinking yea but every drug has side effects. And besides that she doesn't need to be on an antihistamine - it just happens to make kids hungry. I was scared. You are talking to a girl who doesn't even like to take tylenol for a headache so I agonized about it, prayed a lot and came to the conclusion that I would do my very best to ignore H's behaviors. If she was eating good at the table I would praise the heck out of her. If she wasn't I would ignore it, not say one word, and when her 20 minutes were up we would get down from the table and move on. I gave this a try for a week and wouldn't you know...she began eating like a champ.

Now I know 2 year olds can eat great one day and then eat like birds for a week so I was a little pessimistic at first. I couldn't help but think meal times would go back to being the worst part of my day. But that wasn't the case at all, we have had a very successful two months! Miss H gained 9.97 grams per day, which was at the 90th percentile for weight gain!! Yes, 90th! Woo-hoo! The prior four months her weight gain has been 2.7 grams per day. A child her age should be gaining between 5-10 grams per day and one that has some making up to do should be gaining between 10-15 g/d. They told me those stats but still said we did a great job. They said to keep calorie boosting everything she eats and ignore any negative behaviors having to do with eating.

We still have a ways to go. She is 2 years and six months and only weighs 21.5 lbs but we are making progress! I have to celebrate that. They would be really happy with 23 lbs.

pic: She had KinderMusik tonight after a long day of traveling. She did not take a nap so she is about falling asleep eating her ice cream before bed. She is wearing her warmy cuddly favorite DORA pjs so I'm sure she'll have a great nights rest.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Naomi's Kitchen

Betsy called yesterday and asked if I would like to join her and our friend Katrina on Saturday November 22nd at Naomi's Kitchen in North Liberty. I had never heard of this. However in my entrepreneurial day dreaming I have thought of such a thing! Probably wouldn't go over in SE IA but I'm certain it will make it in North Liberty anyway I recommend visiting their website but here's how it works. Each month Naomi's Kitchen posts a new menu. You log on and choose 12 meals that you want to make. You go make it all, they provide the dishes to take your meals home in, and THEY clean up the entire mess. You just bring a cooler and take it all home to your freezer for tasty quick meals! At first I thought it sounded a tad bit expensive but when you do the math it's not. Twelve meals for $200. I hate to admit it but I almost spend that much on 10 meals so I'm giving it a try. I forgot to ask her if we can bring our purees to add to the dishes or not. I'm sure they won't mind but I will certainly blog about this experience to let you now how it goes. If any of you Mom's are interested we are addicted to Jessica Seinfeld's recipe book Deceptively Delicious. We puree fruits and veggies and sneak them in to our kids favorite foods and they are none the wiser. For instance tonight we had homemade Chicken Noodle soup, YUM! I added an entire cup of pureed cauliflower to the soup that was already packed full of the veggies my kids will eat (like carrots, beans, peas, lima beans) and they gobbled it down.

Betsy and Katrina visited Naomi's Kitchen in October and they are hooked. In addition to taking the stress out of a few nights a month I will also have a standing date to visit my friends! Thank you sooo much for inviting me!

Grandma Klima

This may seem inappropriate to blog about but I want to remember this so I'm going to do it. Grandma Klima passed away on October 31st after a short illness. I had originally thought we wouldn't take the kids to the wake or to the funeral because they wouldn't understand at 2 and 4. However it was a Sunday afternoon (out of town) and the entire family was at the wake so I didn't have a choice. We had explained to N that Grandma passed away and she went to Heaven. Before we reached the door of the funeral home I decided I needed to explain a little more. I told him, "N, Grandma died, her body was broken and it didn't work anymore. The doctors nor God could fix it so she is going to live in Heaven, she will be very happy there. When we walk in here Grandma will be laying in a special bed and then tomorrow she will go to heaven."

We went in and he insisted on seeing Grandma in her special bed so we went in and said a prayer and told her we loved her. N then told me he needed to go potty. We went to the restroom and this was our conversation:

N: "How long will Grandma stay in her special treasure box?"

Me: "She will stay in there for two days"

N: "Then tomorrow after the funeral, God will shut the door and she will magically disappear to Heaven?"

Me: "Yes honey"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Sorry, it has been a little rough with Aaron being gone most of the summer assisting with FEMA trailers. He is back and we are going to start blogging again. Yeah!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blood work results

We received the report from the University and it indicates that Favorite Girl is a healthy little girl. Thank goodness! Thank you for all of your prayers.

The speech and swallowing report state, "The Bzoch-League Receptive Expressive Emergent Language Scale , with both parents as informants, revealed that FG's receptive and expressive language skills are at expected levels. In fact they are somewhat above expected levels. FG's speech and language development appear to be as expected, at this time. Her parents reported that they thought her language development was at the same level as other same age peers at her day care. FG's oral motor skills and swallowing appear adequate."

The report from the Pediatric Growth Clinic states...

Review of Systems
"FG is a healthy girl with occasional colds as noted in HPI, all other review of systems negative."

The report then lists the results of FG's blood and the acceptable range for a girl her age. There were 40 different tests ran on her blood. The only thing that came back to "review" was her Mean Corpuscular Volume. Hers was 79FL and the acceptable range is (75-90). I looked this up in a lab book at the hospital and it stated that it may be low in strict vegetarians and people that are anemic. I guess it makes sense that she is on the lower end of the range since she will not eat very much meat...other than hot dogs, and I'm not quite sure what nutritional value comes from a hot dog.

"Twenty-five month-old female with lack of normal physiological growth and behavior concerns"

1. FG should be fed in a high chair instead of a booster chair, so that she cannot remove the back of the chair. The high chair should be far enough from the table that she cannot kick he high chair over. Mealtime should be a pleasant time, avoiding tension and fights over food. If parents feel frustrated with feeding, they should hide their frustration from FG.
2. Distraction should be limited during mealtimes. TV off and put dog in a separate room during dinner.
3. Parents and children should sit at the table together during mealtime. If children want to get up from the table, they should not be allowed to return to the table to eat until the next meal or snack.
4. Meals should be limited to 3 full meals and 3 snacks per day without grazing between meals. Meals should last 20 min, and snacks 15 min unless active eating is taking place in which meal times may be extended.
5. FG should be offered solid foods first during mealtime and a drink at the end of the meal to prevent filling up on liquids.
6. Juice should be limited to 4 oz per day.
7. Water, pop, Popsicles, Kool-Aid, and other low calorie dense foods should be avoided. Instead, FG may eat fudgesicles, fruit with Cool Whip, whole milk or other calorie dense foods.
8. Meal time recommendations should carry over to daycare, so that FG receives calorie dens meals at daycare and avoid behavioral conflicts.
9. FG's father should take responsibility for the majority of the tooth brushing times to avoid conflict.
10. A follow up appointment will be scheduled in the Growth Clinic for 2 months from original appointment to discuss progress.

Everything they told us was common sense and things we were already doing except for FG did eat in a booster at the table, we did not limit meal and snack times to 20 and 15 minutes respectively. Each meal lasted about 1.5 hours at our house. We also offered water all through out the day, and prior to this appointment our kids did not get to dunk everything they ate into some high calorie dip or frosting.

We have made the changes they recommended and I thought we were doing really really well until Monday! FG and mommy were at their wits ends with one another and then on Tuesday mommy discovered FG's 2 year molars are coming in. I can tell she is in a lot of pain and the feedings definitely are not going so well but we will get back on track as soon as the teeth are in.

Daddy continues to live in CR helping everyone recover from the flood. We miss him lots!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Update on favorite girl

The day of our visit to the University I received a business card from the dietitan we met with. She told me to give her a call if I thought of any questions. I finally decided to call her since I have not heard anything yet on the blood work. She told me she would not be able to share any results with me but that she could look in favorite girl's chart and tell me if I will be cc'd on the results. She told me that some of the blood work would be "sent out" to the Mayo clinic so not to be alarmed that it is taking awhile. She looked in the chart and said that our pediatrician here locally and myself are both listed to receive the results so I will receive a copy in the mail. She said the chart had not been "closed" yet, indicating they do not have all of the blood work results back yet, so to be patient. Ugh! Easier said than done. We have our good days and our bad days. The same as all parents of toddlers. She eats really well one day and then hardly anything the next. If mac n' cheese is her favortie today it is "acky!" three days later. She was doing really well on the carnation instant breakfast in her milk but now she has caught on and if she sees me adding it to her cup she cries and won't take a drink...I have figured out that if I let her put on a Dora shirt and say drink your milk Dora is hungry she will drink it right down. I guess we will be purchasing more Dora shirts!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fat Foods

And just in case you were wondering Aaron and I spent our evening at Hy-Vee comparing labels looking for the highest calorie, highest fat content foods. This is what that looks like....and just so you know the Hy-Vee brand usually won.
For a much cuter picture of the kids check on Memories by Brandi's blog. Her link is on my page.

Picture Of Favorite Girl

Here is a recent picture of our Favorite Girl. It's kind of dark. It's picture from our vacation to the Omaha Zoo. At least you can tell she is not an ethiopian child. We love you too Favorite Boy!

Favorite Girl Update

I know many of you are waiting to hear an update. This is the best way I know to get the word out. As you may know Favorite Girl is off the growth charts and her Pediatrician became concerned at her well check. She has fallen to the third percentile for height and is not even on the chart for weight. She has now weighed 19 lbs for one year. We were sent to the University of Iowa Growth clinic today to see some specialists. We visited with a dietitian, a speech and language pathologist, a pediatric otolaryngologist and a pediatric speciality physician.

Overall they would not tell me what her height and weight goals are only that she needs to grow. Her diagnosis is, "abnormal physiological development for a 25 month old girl" and her perscription is, "she may not eat any naked foods". Everything she eats must be dipped in something, and whatever it is dipped in has to be the highest in fat and calories that we can possibly find. The list goes on and on but pretty much if you wouldn't eat it because you want to be healthy we should feed it to her. They said give her frosting, mallow cream, ranch, cheeze whiz, whipping cream, melted velveeta, melted butter, add jelly preserves to anything possible. If she wants ice cream she should eat it with the hot fudge, crushed peanut butter cups, oreos and cool whip with sprinkles on top, No Joke! That is really what they said. Any fruit she eats must be dipped in chocolate, pudding, heavy whipping cream. She may not drink any water, lemonade, juice, Kool-Aid. The only thing we should offer her is whole milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast added to it.

They are only concerned with her height and weight. As for her speech and language, they said she is beyond what they would expect for a normal two year old. The otolaryngologist watched her eat and drink to make sure her mouth "functioned" correctly, he said she is absolutley fine. The dietitian looked at Favorite Girl's food diary and said that we are doing well at offering well-balance meals but that she needs more than just the healthy stuff. Her other recommendation was no grazing. She said overall grazers eat less and therefore weigh less and so she has to have set meal times and then she cannot eat outside of those meal times. This is to help Favorite Girl understand that when we sit at the table we are there to eat, when we get down we are finished and we will not eat again until we sit back down at the table. They said to allow 20 minutes for a meal and 15 minutes for a snack, if she is eating well we may let her continue to eat otherwise she should get down and not be allowed to eat again until the next scheduled time. Obviously none of this is rocket science, now we just have to be very disciplined and stick to our routine.

They asked about other problems such as not sleeping through the night or not sleeping in her bed. We said she does just fine with bed and she has never slept anywhere but her crib or pack 'n play. They were very surprised by that. She thought for sure we would have other stuggles. Of course we went on to discuss other two year old struggles and behavioral issues we have and she explained to ignore all of the behavior. Walk away and do not give in to giving her any attention anytime she does something negative. Again things we all know as parents.

They asked whose personality she has and of course we told her mine. The Physician said if we can tell that Favorite Girl is trying to push my buttons that I absolutely must put on my poker face and not let her know that she is stressing me out (duh). Of course this sounds easy but we all know better that as parent's there are just sometimes when the buttons get pushed. Lord I pray for help because she is two and it sounds like she is already 14!

They also ran a bunch of blood tests, checking for a mega list of other things that could be going on. We will get those results later and I will update you.

In the meantime, we follow this plan for two months. We return to the local pediatrician here in a month for a height and weight check just as we always do and then we return to the growth clinic in Sept for a follow up. Obviously I asked about running into issues the other way with only eating "unhealthy" foods and they said we are doing this short term to get her where we need to be and then we will discuss future plans. Obviously after the roller coaster ride I have been on today I am exhausted so I am turning in for the night. At this point I don't have the energy to proof read this to ensure it even makes sense. Hopefully it gets the point across.

I need to add that I am praying that this is our only issue and it is not something larger than having an obstinate child. I feel this every single day, but especially after being in that speciality clinic today, I feel very blessed to have two happy healthy children. If all that is wrong is that she is small and we need to beef her up I promise to stop beating myself up over this and just thank my lucky stars for all that God has given me. Please say some extra special prayers for us. With love, Kelly

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Power Blog

Okay so I'm going to bring you up to speed very quickly on the rest of winter so we can get on with spring already!

This was my very first Christmas in all of my 30 years where I woke up in my own home with my own family. We decided to stay home since Christmas landed in the middle of the week and go to my mom's the weekend after Christmas. It was a pretty emotional one for me but I survived! My favorite holiday memory from this season is FavBoy's Holiday concert at preschool. He practiced his songs so diligently at home and he did a fabulous job. I couldn't be more proud of him. Of course I was all choked up that my little baby was old enough to be up on stage singing and doing his little hand movements but he did GREAT!

Aaron and I normally don't exchange gifts, but this year I surprised him with a trip to Las Vegas. We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in July, I turned 30 in September and I thought it would be an awesome surprise. He loved it. We went with our good friends Jeff and Carrie and we had a blast! Okay well I think they had a ball watching the drunken Kelly do her "I love you dance" with anything that had legs. Oh well, the last time that got out of the bag was years ago at Suni and Cole's wedding so I think it was about time :) We missed the kids terribly but it was very nice to have a mom and dad break. By the way I highly recommend Cirque Soilel "O" it was magnificent!

Two different groups of my friends have formed "mom's night" groups. We meet monthly and so something fun. In one group we have a book/movie club so each month we alternate reading a book or going to a movie. It's a lot of fun. So far we have read Eat, Pray, Love. I was the only person in the group that loved the book and everyone else hated it. In December and February we went and saw movies and I'm such a loser I can't even remember the names of them. Oh well it's fun and I highly recommend setting a date on the calendar and doing something just for you once a month!

My other group is tons of fun too. We can do whatever we want there is only one rule. If it is your turn to plan the next month - you have to announce at the month prior what we will be doing. We have the entire month then to look forward to the next big event! In December we had a potluck dinner. While we ate we sat around and read fun conversation starters and took turns giving our answers. Then we baked the night away preparing all of our holiday goodies! Yum! In January we went to a comedian at Penguin's Comedy Club in the Quad Cities. He was hilarious and we had a great time! February we had another potluck and we played board games. The night was sort of cut short because of bad weather but we still had a fabulous time. Are you starting to see a theme here? Yes, we love to eat! Unfortunately, I had a funeral of a very dear friend of mine and I had to miss our March event. The girls had a baked potato bar and watched movies. I can't wait to find out what's in store for April!

So far in March we went up to Coralville and celebrated our good friend Amy's 30th birthday with her. We had a great time catching up with both Amy and Tony!! We miss you so much!

And we have had parties galore for Fav Boy! He celebrated his birthday this month. He had a party at daycare, a party at preschool, a party for our family here and a party for our family up north! I think we are partied out! We went bowling here and up north. All of the kids had a blast.

We prayed a lot for Uncle Tony while he was away on all of his super secret missions. We are so happy you are in the states nice and safe. We can't wait to see you in person this spring!


Okay so January 15th, my domesticated husband started the dishwasher and then went down to the family room to play with the kids. Lucky for us we went downstairs that night! We have a bar in our family room with a small hand sink. There was water overflowing out of the sink all over the carpet from the dishwasher up in the kitchen. We quickly got everything shut off but the carpet was ruined. We tried to snake the pipe but Aaron just kept getting black gunk and the pipe would not clear. Of course he blamed it all on me for putting coffee grounds down the garbage disposal....ooops...but to think, I had been putting coffee grounds down the garbage disposal for months and nothing happened? I was so ticked at myself thinking I had caused all this damage for doing something I knew was wrong to begin with.

We called roto rooter the next day and they came out and said the black gunk was not coffee grounds and it would probably be much better for us if it was. That didn't sound good. He told me he was hitting mud about 15 feet out. He said the pipe was broken underneath the house and we would need to jackhammer up the entire basement floor to fix the pipe. Ugh! Of course we went round and round with the insurance company. First they were covering everything except the $80 broken pipe then the next day they were not going to cover anything. I found their next rebuttal quite interesting, they told me that because it was an act of nature and probably a result of the home getting older they would not cover it. However, if I accidentally drove my car into my yard and caused the pipe to break they would cover all of it. Hmmm, I would think I have some sort of responsibility to be a better driver than that but since you can obviously view my car insurance claim from exactly one month prior, I guess you know better - BASTARD! I was raging mad at this point.

Lucky for me, the lawyer that works with me, overheard my predicament and asked me to call back and have a copy of the home owner's policy faxed to her...oh what a novel idea Kelly, why not read the black and white policy before you die of high blood pressure! The insurance company complied with my request asking if there was some kind of problem...oh I don't know dumb ass? What do you think?

Not knowing about my day, Aaron called the claims department that evening to see what the status of our claim was. The operator that answered said just a minute I need to put you in to a manager. Apparently they flagged our account "wife is a psycho, lunatic b#@%&!, get the big guns"

The "manager" picked up the phone and said, "let me just start off by apologizing to you Mr. A______ I think your wife was given wrong information earlier this afternoon. We will pay for everything except the broken pipe"

Amazing what those lawyer types can you Cole!

Anyway, we packed up our entire basement so everything wouldn't be covered in cement dust. We did dishes in the bathtub for a week since it was the only thing we could use that would not cause more water damage. The plumbers jackhammered up the basement and fixed the pipe. Of course it was another two weeks until the insurance company told us how much we could spend on new carpet. Everything is all put back together, the new carpet has been laid and we even received a free Dyson vacuum out of the deal (it was an add on when we purchased the carpet!) Yippee. All I can say is that I am so so very thankful for home owner's insurance. But I hate crooked people!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm alive!

Check out my friend Brandi's blog if you want to see some really cute pictures of my kids. She is also my photographer and since I'm TERRIBLE about keeping up to date you can view last year's Easter pics and Favorite Girl's first b-day pics. ADORABLE!!!

I know I have been so terrible at this! So much has happened in this loooong cold winter too. We started the winter off dreading the 15ths (if that's even a word)

December 15th we were in a car accident. I just read my friend Jenni's blog and let's just say I felt the same way she did...if I would have been able to blog about it after it happened I would have used the same profanity she used to describe her awful Monday. Mine happened on a Saturday. The whole family was loaded up in the car headed to Cedar Rapids for the Holiday concert at the Cedar Rapids Symphony. We were minding our own business driving about 55 in a blizzard! Of course my charming, loving husband was sitting in the PASSENGER seat next to me NOT driving saying things like, "you should probably slow down...I'm pretty sure it's getting slick...I see other cars swerving..." Me being the loving, obeying, calm wife that I am...listened to him (for a second) and while "white knuckling" the steering wheel responded, "will you please shut the f* up" (okay because the kids were in the car I did leave out the f* part but I really wanted to say it) "I know how to drive, if I get us in a damn accident you can say I told you so when we are sitting in the ditch, and then you can drive!" And two seconds later that's what happened. Smart wife!

We were heading northbound on 380. A car heading southbound did a complete 360 in their lane. It freaked me out and I slowed down to 55. A car went racing by me going about 75 blaring on his horn. Aaron asked me what that was all about and before I could answer a semi went blazing past me. The wind caught my tail end and I started fish tailing. I tried my hardest to correct it. The car was sliding on a piece of ice. It felt like slow motion and we were about to slam into the side of the semi. Aaron yelled to crank the wheel so we wouldn't hit the semi, I overcompensated and we flew into the ditch. The light reflector on the side of the road scraped up the entire passenger side of the car and took off the passenger side mirror. It was awful. An off duty police officer stopped to help us. He was trying to tell me how to turn the wheels to drive myself out of the ditch. I was so shaken up, I had just watched my life flash before my very eyes, I could hardly breath, Favorite Boy was an absolute wreck. I told Aaron he was going to have to do it. I opened the car door and got out, Aaron got out to walk around to the driver's side. The "off duty police officer" hopped into the drivers seat of our car. Aaron started screaming, "hey get the f* out of our car!" (Unlike me, he went ahead and dropped the f* bomb nice and loud for our children's virgin ears). I thought I was going crazy. Here was this nice guy trying to drive our car out of the ditch for us and Aaron was yelling like a maniac at him. Thankfully the nice guy was really a nice guy and not a lunatic pedophile who could have easily drove off with our children. He drove us out of the ditch and then we were on our way. We were all safe. We were able to have the trailblazer fixed good as new. Our fun filled weekend did not end there. We went to the symphony and then went to Olive Garden to eat.

I forgot about my son's anxiety-belly problems. I have never blogged about this but he pukes every time he eats tomato based things like spaghetti, pizza, ravioli, etc...and has excitement in his life. So he eats a nice big bowl of spaghetti at the Olive Garden, we go home to my Mom's house and he hears me telling someone on the phone about our accident. He went running for the bathroom, but missed and well did his business all over my Mom's white carpet in the doorway of the bathroom and remember it was spaghetti, yippee! So I'm thinking sleep cannot come fast enough. This day has got to be over with and a brand new has got to begin right?

Well the new day starts and we go all the way back home. After we get all packed and settled back in I decide to go downstairs to the family room to wrap presents. Favorite Girl decides to come with me. I was not paying very close attention to my little darling and well she stuck an entire Styrofoam packing peanut up her nose. I don't know how she did it but obviously if it can be done she will find a way and that she did. The week before she stuck two peas up her nose. Aaron and I had become pros at nose surgery with tweezers and toothpicks (which I don't recommend). The tweezers and toothpicks did not work this time and so off to the Emergency room we went. I thought for sure DHS would be coming to visit my home after this but interestingly enough the Doc had fabulous stories to tell about what he has had the pleasure of pulling out of babes noses. Finally at 9:30 pm on Sunday evening we were back home safe and sound.

I know you are dying to know what happened on January 15th. I will tell you tomorrow night.

...because we want to keep in touch