Monday, July 27, 2009

Visitors, and more visitors

It's been a VERY busy few weeks. We've had tons of visitors, and TONS of fun. Rather than squish it all into one blog post, I'm going to attempt to do a few seperate posts in the next few days about them all!!

10 days ago, on a Friday, my brother came into town. That's my brother Uncle Tim, as opposed to Daddy's brother, Uncle Tim! Confusing ain't it!! Anywho... Uncle Tim came to town for a few days on his way to Montana. You see if you fly United, Chi-town is on your way to anywhere in the west, because all flights stop here, as it's a hub. So Tim made his layover 4 days long, and came to hang out with the boys and meet the little girl.

Friday, I picked him up at the airport. The boys stayed home with Daddy who had the day off, and were not happy that I was going to the airport alone. They were THRILLED when Tim and I walked in the door!!! From that moment, until his departure on Monday, he was required to spend any and every waking moment playing with them. They played cards, games, legos, cars, trains, and of course, tackle Uncle Tim. I'm honestly not sure what was their favorite!! But I know Tim's favorite was NOT tackle! They got him good!

Saturday we took a trip up to the nearby Renaissance Faire. It was cute, but more of a rip-off than I remember. There were things to see, but DOING almost everything was going to cost you a small fortune. And that's after paying the admission fee (thanks for covering us Tim!). For me, hubby, Tim, one of the more interesting parts of the day was watching all the people in their various outfits. Some were trully Renaissance style, but others were fairies, or more Medieval princesses/princes, and some were just weird clothes and slutty outfits worn to get attention!!! We watched the joust which the boys enjoyed, and they went on a few rides. But I think I've realized that it's just not the great expereience I keep thinking it will be, and I'm not going to push hubby to go again! (He will be THRILLED to hear that, as he never wants to go!).

On Sunday, we took Uncle Tim to the Milwaukee Zoo. The boys love the zoo and can NEVER go too many times. We never see all the animals, and something is always changing or different. This time we saw the rhino, the giraffes, the polar bears, the bats, the crocodiles, and all the monkeys. The boys also finally got to go on the Sky Ride since we had enough adults to go with them, and one to stay with Miss Iz. That was definetly the highlight of their day as they have been waiting FOREVER to go on it!

Monday we lounged around in the am, and then took Uncle Tim to catch his flight to Montana. The drive to O'Hare is a long one, so once we dropped Tim off (which was traumatic for the boys!), we went to a nearby park to run off some energy and feed Miss Iz. The boys loved the park as it's about a mile from O'Hare and they got to see TONS of planes take-off and land and it was very loud!!! They couldn't figure out which one Uncle Tim was on, but they kept trying to see him!!! They were also thrilled that the Icy Pickle Truck (that's the Ice Cream Man to you and me!) pulled up to the park, and mommy was actually willing to spend money and get them popsicles!!!

All in all, it was a great visit with Uncle Tim. I'm glad he managed to fit us in, and come stay (especially while combining it with another trip and saving some $$$). We all had a great time, and now he's having fun in Montana!

Pictures coming soon!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3 months and counting

Three months old today is little Iz. My how time flies.

And she's decided to make it a memorable day. I put her down on her mat to play this afternoon (on her back) and the next time I looked at her, she was on her tummy. What?!?!? You're only 3 months old...and you haven't even been trying to roll over! You've been happily lying on your back or your side. But suddenly today, poof, over she goes. And she's done it about 7 times at least, so it's not a fluke.

The question is, if Trevor didn't roll until 3 days before he was 4 months old and he walked at 9 1/2 months, what does that mean for how early Izzy will crawl and walk?!?!?!?

Other stats:
  • She's grown quite a bit, and is starting to outgrow her 0-3 month clothes (mostly by length).
  • She's now 11.7 pounds according to the Wii!
  • She's been sleeping about 6 hours at night before waking to eat, and then sleeping another 4-6 hours!!! This is definitely my favorite development!
  • She's a social little chatterbox more and more, exploring her vocal skills and 'chatting' with anyone who comes by her...especially her brothers!
She's had a busy month, with trips to the zoo, Great America, birthday parties, and her first fireworks. She's handled it all like a pro. And as long as there's no dairy in my diet, she's totally happy pretty much all the time!!!

She was rolling, and rolling, until I took out the camera. Then she stopped....

until I turned off the video, and then she did it.... so I got it last minute!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Whew...the busiest 4 days of my life!!

Wow! I think i'm feeling my age! Or more likely, I'm feeling the effects of the last 4 BUSY CRAZY days! But as tired as I am, it was a great great birthday weekend!

was Trevor's actual birthday. The day started with camp - their last day- and Trevor was thrilled that he got to bring cupcakes to camp! He has spent a mere 2 years in "school" settings, but has already noticed that all kids bring treats to school on their birthday's and then figured out that he doesn't have school on his birthday. That realization made him pretty sad earlier this year, and as a fellow summer-birthday-no-school-treats-sufferer, I fully understand. So, when someone else brought treats to camp for their birthday, T was so excited. He had to bring cupcakes. And the bonus was, we found Monsters vs. Aliens cupcakes at the store!! Woo Hoo!

After cupcakes and camp, we went to Grandma's for lunch. It was rainy and drizzly, but we were hoping that would pass so we could go to Great America. Well, the weather got better, so after lunch and presents with grandma (yay, for a new tball bat, and a tackle box!), the boys and I went to GA (we left Izzy to bond with G'ma).

A great time ensued at GA since we could go on all the rides that they need me for, since I had no excuse not to go on. So we rode the Roarin' Rapids and got soaked, the Triple Play (2 times for me, since only 1 kid could go with me at a time), the Fiddlers Fling, the Great American Raceway (2 times), and a few others. The kids had a great time, and we caught up with a good friend, so that T-man and his friend could ride on the cars together (they looked like kids driving off on their first date together!), and they were thrilled when a teenager got of Fiddler's Fling and puked!!! THey were laughing that a big kid got sick when they didn't!!! Kinda funny!

The highlight of the day was getting to be in the Parade! We rode in the trolley and were dancing and singing with the parade music, and waving to everyone! The boys had fun and Trev was telling anyone who would listen that it was his birthday!!

We finally came home, picked up Izzy and Daddy and went to Chili's for dinner. Chili's was Trev's request since they serve corn on the cob! After that we came home, opened presents, and sent the kids to bed! Trev was excited by his new 18" big boy bike that has no training wheels!! He has showed it to a million people, but hasn't tried to ride it yet!!!

morning started with me working. While I worked (and Izzy got admired!), Daddy and the boys worked on my "To Do List" and got the house ready for the party. The weather decided to cooperate this year and it was nice, sunny and warm. Perfect for Trevor's backyard pool/sprinkler/water balloon party! The kids and mom's started arriving at 2, and we had a fun afternoon! For quite a while, everyone played happily in the pool or a sprinkler, and then we threw the water balloons! After that, we came inside for cake and the pinata!!

Bob from Monsters vs. Aliens... another Daddy creation
Everyone pulling the pinata

After the busy party, Trev opened his presents, and was thrilled with everything. The boys played, and Daddy and I decided that we were too tired to cook, so dinner was drive-thru! Eventually, we got the boys to stop playing with the new toys and go to bed!

was my birthday! I was granted my favorite present....SLEEP! I was left alone until 9:15 am, and Izzy even cooperated and slept two 6-hour spans, only making me get up once at 3 am!!! What a treat!! Daddy and the boys cooked my requested breakfast of french toast and bacon...YUM! We lazed around a bit and then went to Grandma's for the family birthday party.

We spent the day with cousin's of Daddy's and the kids, as well as Uncles and Aunts, Granpa and lots of family! It was a fun day out in the yard with more time in the pool and more water balloons. There were a few massive water gun fights with Scary Steve, Daddy, and Grandpa. I think Trevor won at least 2 of the fights and the third one (with Scary Steve) was a draw! [Note: no his real given name is not "Scary Steve", but that is what the boys call their Aunt's boyfriend, as he seemed very scary looking to them when they were about 18 months old!!! He's not so scary anymore, but the name has stuck!]

Trev and Blake ready for the water gun fight!

Later at Grandma's, we opened gifts- yay for Batman and no duplicate gifts! - and had a great pirate feast! Eventually, the boys got tired and we dragged them home and dumped them in bed!!

Trev, Kate and cousins on the Treasure Hunt that Kate made for T to find his birthday present. It was done VERY well and I will have to add photos and details later!
Trev hitting the pirate pinata at the party Sunday! The darn thing was tough, and T had to really beat on it to get it open!

Trev opening presents, and being TOTALLY thrilled!

was supposed to be a boring day at home. A day to recover from party poop-ed-ness (is that a word) and to catch up on chores, cleaning, and laundry. However, while doing just that, and chatting on the phone, I looked out my back see a "small fire" at the corner neighbor's house. Well, the "small" fire quickly got out of control and we eventually watched 1/2 the garage and the back wall of the house go up in flames!!! Yikes!! We saw the family and pets come out the front of the house safely, so we stopped worrying SO much!

While the boys enjoyed watching the fire and the firemen spraying water and doing their jobs, we also took the time to talk about fire safety and how the family might be feeling right now. The boys ended up feeling pretty sad for them, since the family (most likely) won't be sleeping in their house for a while! What a crazy four days.....

Here's hoping the rest of this week is MUCH quieter!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

5 years ago today...

July 9, 2004 was a Friday morning and I got up to take a walk at about 6 am before working from home. About half-way around the block, something happened. I wasn't sure if my water broke or I peed my pants. Hmm??? How was I supposed to know the difference, all this was new to me!

So I came home, woke up hubby and tried to decide what to do. I called the Dr.’s office and they told me to come in. They were pretty sure my water had broken, and wanted to confirm. My mom was staying with us, so she could be here for the birth. We woke her up, waited around for her to get ready and left for the Dr.’s office. They confirmed that my water had broken and sent me to the hospital. I knew at that point that I had 24 hours to have this baby, or they would do a c-section....something I SERIOUSLY wanted to avoid!

We got to the hospital at about 10:30 am. They got me situated in a room and left me alone for a while to see if labor would progress. We waited a long time and not much happened. Daddy and I walked the halls of the hospital trying to get some contractions going, but no dice. Eventually, they hooked me up with Pitocin to get the contractions moving. That got things moving along, but didn’t stop me from enjoying the Cubs game- but I think they lost =(. Meanwhile, hubby and Mam-gu waited (somewhat patiently), and made me a little crazy!

Eventually, the real hard labor began at about 6 pm. The contractions were rough, and it took a lot of help from hubby to keep me focused. By midnight, it was time to push and they were calling the Dr. to come. I recall they told me not to push as the doc wasn't there yet, apparently she got a speeding ticket on the way to the hospital!!

After an hour and a half of pushing, Trevor was finally born, facing up into the world (opposite of what you’re supposed to do!). His nose was bent because of that, and he had the umbilical cord wrapped around one shoulder making his arm blue. But the arm was just fine, and eventually the nose un-bent. I remember Daddy cutting the cord, my mom taking a zillion pictures, and making faces like "ow, that looks painful".....thanks mom! ;)

Trevor Phineas born Saturday, July 10, 2004 at 1:39 am 6 pounds 13 oz, 20 inches.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm stepping on to my soapbox now

Yes, I am a semi-crunchy mama. What, you might ask, does "semi-crunchy" mean? Well, I'm not completely crunchy (as in granola) as in all things natural/organic/etc. for my kids.

I am a CD, BF, BW mama. Confused now? I am a Cloth-Diapering, Breast-Feeding, Baby-Wearing Mama. All things considered crunchy. However, I'm not a big organic person (I don't feel it necessary to pay for that label on all my products and I don't think all the additives have harmed me that much), I don't avoid vaccinations, I don't co-sleep, and I don't plan to home-school my children. Hence, why I'm only SEMI-crunchy.

All those things, I CHOSE to do, for my sake and my childrens. And for the most part, I try, I believe I REALLY try not to pressure others to do those things unless they feel comfortable doing them. I will encourage/educate people on the benefits, but if you say no, that's your choice. For me, the cloth-diapering is mostly about saving money and being green, and the breast-feeding is about doing something natural, increasing my childrens' health (and possibly intelligence) and saving money. I think both are smart and easy ways to benefit your child, your savings account, and the earth, but I realize it's not for everyone.

But now, I must step on to my soap-box about a topic that has slowly become near and dear to my heart: car seats.

5 years ago, when T was born, I went to BRU and got a car seat. I paid a basic amount of attention to how big he could be when in it, and what the ratings were (from consumer reports and parents in general), but I didn't pay much more attention than that. As directed by my pediatrician (a person with a medical degree, but not a CAR SEAT technician), I waited until he was both 1 year old and 20 pounds (for T, that was not until 17 months old) and then I turned him forward facing. The seat I had him in at that point, is a standard convertible car seat that would hold him in a 5-point harness until he was 4o pounds or a certain height. At that point in time, that seemed like ages away (and very big) and I wasn't really concerened about what I would do then.

Ditto the story for Blake... except he was 20 pounds by the time he turned 1, so he was moved to forward facing at age 1.

But slowly, through a good-friend of a good-friend I have come to change my stance on car seats and my understanding.

At age almost 5, Trev is still in a 5 point harness, and he is in a car seat that he can be harnessed until he is 65 pounds (which is ages away for him since he is a mere 37 now). Blake is in a seat that he can be 5 point harnessed until he is 65 pounds. Izzy is rear facing, and will be until she is 35 pounds, the rear-facing limit of most car-seats (and based on my kids, that will be about age 3-4).

Why? Because of this. A little boy named Kyle. It scares me to think of this happening. And I am not one who gets freaked-out and worked-up about things... I take life as it comes and I live by the phrase "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". But in this case, I make a BIG exception.

I think this is on my mind at the moment (when I should be sleeping) because SO many of my friends are having babies in the next year. And I'm sure most of them know only the bare minimum (just like I did) and will not have all the information (because you have to go LOOK for it, it's not pushed at you enough, IMO). And many of my friends, have their 2 and 3 year olds in boosters, because they are over 40 pounds. So here's the data for those of you, like my hubby, who need facts, about why 5-point harnesses and rear-facing are safest.

And so I find myself unable to sleep tonight, because I feel I'm not doing all I shoudl be doing to encourage parents to keep their children rear-facing and in 5-point harnesses for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!! (Angela, I need a magnet or two!) Because, if I ever have to find out that what happened to Kyle, has happened to one of my friends children, I will never forgive myself for not speaking up.

If nothing else, go read the links that I have included here, and educate yourself, before you make a decision. Go talk to a Child Passenger Saftey Technician vs your pediatrician. I love my pedi and value her medical knowledge, but few of them are very educated on car seats and they only tell you the minimum requirements.

And for those of you who want to talk about cost, because yes the boosters are cheap and the 5-point harness seats for kids up to 65 or 80 pounds are not, think about how much that seat costs you for every day of use (4-8 years times 365 days/year) .... it's pennies, and think about how much your child's life is worth.

Okay, i'm stepping down off the soapbox now.... I'm going to bed, and hopefully to sleep.