Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shamless Plea for Fundraising Orders

Trevor's in kindergarten and really enjoying it! Of course, now it's time for the annual school fundraiser. You know, the catalog of goodies that you can order from and his school makes money. So here I am, blogging about it. Can you guess what I'm going to say next???

Yup, he'd love to have your support. It's run by Market Day, and while I don't work for them anymore, I know the products are all top quality, from top name vendors. If there is any issue with any item, just return it for a complete refund, or contact me and I'll help you take care of the problem. This is an easy way to get a head start on your Holiday shopping, while giving support to education too. Approximately 45-50% of the profits of this sale, will go right back to Trevor's school!

The items that are for sale can be found online here. Once at that page enter the Sale ID: 207827. You'll see a screen telling you that you're ordering for Spring Grove Elementary School. Orders are due by Thursday 10/22 at 10 pm. Click the Select button, and start shopping.

Once you've filled your shopping cart, you can choose to have the products shipped to Trevor's school, or straight to your home address (shipping charges will apply). If you live around us, please feel free to ship them to the school. Just let me know and I'll gladly pick them up for you and coordinate delivery.

During checkout (when you're completing your order), you'll have a chance to give the credit directly to Trevor for your order. During "Step 2 Billing", at the bottom of the screen, complete the Sellers information as follows:
Seller First Name: Trevor
Seller Last Name: Kappel
Seller Order Form ID: 1648698
Seller Phone #: 815-675-9673

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cruise by the numbers

Miles traveled: at least 3,600 (ha ha, it's 1700+ to fly to San Diego, and only 68 as the crow flies from San Diego to Ensenada....our destination!)

Towel animals in room: 2 (elephant and snake)

Meals that involved shrimp, lobster, or steak: 6 I think.....none of that good stuff at breakfast, but I had Eggs Benedict instead! Yum!

Suitcases almost stolen by another shuttle passenger: 1 (more details in a separate post!)

Adult beverages enjoyed: at least 5.... they were WAY too expensive on the boat!

Steps taken per day: about 8,000 according to Gina's pedometer

Stores visited: about 50...between San Diego and Ensenada...good shopping!!

Gifts purchased for others: 7

Items purchased for myself: 1 (a calendar/planner-gawd how boring am I???)

Dollars spent in cruise spa: $150 for a haircut, style, and pedicure (this HAS to offset the stat above it, right?)

Deck chairs sat in: 7 or 8, each for at least 2 hours!!

Times I thought about the kids and wished I was home instead of on the cruise: ZERO

Bags of frozen milk still left in the freezer when I got home: 7..... yay me!!!

Stories, laughs, and good times had with the girls: Countless and Priceless! It was an awesome trip!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is it here yet?

Before I begin the important part of this post, I must tell you a background item. After T's birthday, we returned a duplicate gift, and waited for it's replacement (a Dragon Fortress). The replacement took close to a month to arrive due to processing issues, it arrived just after our camping trip in August. The boys were VERY anxious to receive the fortress and asked about it daily. Apparently I was not always polite and anxious to deal with their questions!!! back to the real post....

T & B are really good at creative, imaginative play. A lot of the credit for this, I must give to Grandma. During her many days of babysitting while I was at work, she had the kids playing some of the craziest games that she or they invented. Games like, "camping", "gingerbread boys", "motorcycle rides", "christmas trees" and many more.

Recently, I encountered them playing a very drawn out, invented scenario by themselves...

They built a house using various blocks we have in the house, and the house had a lovely garden of trees and flowers. In this house, lived Batman and Robin (the little action figures that we have). For a while, Batman and Robin played happily at home in their garden and in their hosue.

Often, Robin would ask Batman, "Is the Dragon Fortress here?" and Batman would reply "No". And Robin would ask Batman, "Is the Dragon Fortress here?" and Batman would reply "No". Over and over again. Robin continued to ask about the dragon fortress, and after a while, Batman's response would get ruder and ruder, and then one time Batman responded, "NO! NOW SHUT UP AND DON'T ASK ABOUT IT AGAIN!!"

Then they decided to go camping. After lots of packing of various items from their toy kitchen/grocery store, B & R went off camping by the fish tank (in the front room). They camped for 3 days and 2 nights, but had to stop camping and come eat in a restaurant (have lunch-Mommy insisted) during their trip.

After camping, B & R came home, to find a large box (2 boxes from an Elmo construction set) in front of their house. B & R opened the box to discover a Dragon Fortress inside. And Robin turned to Batman and said, "Yay it's here! Now you never have to yell at me again!"

And Batman & Robin lived happily ever after and there was no more yelling!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Isabelle-Chapter 5

Seriously, she's 5 months old! Holy cow! Okay, I know that sounds cliche, but I honestly don't know where the time has gone. I'm trying SO hard to appreciate every day, and snuggle and cuddle her as much as possible, and enjoy her being a baby before it's gone, because she IS the last, but somehow the time is still flying! (Sorry, that was a really long sentence!)

Regardless, she's at a REALLY fun stage right now. She's so strong, she holds her head up and loves to be tossed in the air and shaken up (gently, no shaken baby syndrome here I promise!). Both those things make her giggle. But her giggle is silent! You can see the laugh on her face, in her eyes, and her mouth is open wide, but rarely does she make any noise!

In fact she's really quiet a lot of the time. Yes, she'll babble and talk if there's someone (aka Trevor or Blake) to talk to, but much of the time, she just wants to sit and watch and stare and smile. When she starts to make a "lot" of noise for an extended period, that usually means she tired, hungry, or has a dirty diaper (or all three!).

While she first learned to roll over two months ago, now she does it with regularity and purpose. She does it when she wants to, and so she can see stuff. She can really get her head and chest way up off the ground now, pushing with her arms. So now she has a really great view of things going on in the room when she does roll over, and she loves it!

I've really gotten into the cute and so fun! (and so nice for the cool mornings in this weird summer/fall weather!)

She's also getting very good at picking up toys and moving them from hand to hand. In general, she loves to reach and grab for anything she can see....including, my hair, my shirt, Daddy's beer, my lunch (she went for my roast beef on white today!). I'm hoping she'll soon start pushing the boys away when they give her a little too much love!!!
Pirate Izzy (courtesy of Trevor!)
She seems to have figured out things to help her sooth herself t0 sleep. She now loves her nuk (pacifier) and blanket and music machine, and once she has those in her DARK room, she roll on her side into the corner of the crib and sleep! Bingo! Of course, it's not that easy... if she falls asleep for 20-30 minutes in the car seat, she wake up when we get home and think she's done with going back to sleep for her! But at least she wakes up happy!!

As I look at all the photos of her, with the boys, I see traits in her that look like both Blake (the nose) and Trevor (the eyes). I'm curious to see who she'll end up looking most like, but then again what's the point. Both boys looked so similar when they were very young (under 3 months) that I can't always tell which picture is of who! And, ultimately, she's going to look like herself....which is just fine with me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

HAPPY Friday!

Wow....what a really awesome day it was around here!!! Which is a really nice contrast to the semi-crummy week we've had (whiny, disobedient children).

The day started off with low expectations. Trev and Izzy have slowly been showing signs of a cold, and this morning I woke up with a scratchy throat and stuffy nose. Some zinc drops and echinacea tea have helped me feel better, and hopefully I'm beating the cold! Daddy didn't sleep well the night before so he worked from home to get an extra hour of sleep.

Trevor went off to school, Blake Izzy and I laid low and hung out around the house. After Izzy's nap we headed to the resale store to drop off some stuff and get 1 item....a winter coat for T. Initially I was ticked, as they were no longer accepting donations for the day. But then I hit the jackpot and found a great coat for T, and Izzy's Halloween costume. She's going to be a banana, which goes along with the boys costumes....but I'm keeping those a secret! I also got a winter coat for her, and jammies for Blake. Very successful trip.

We spent the afternoon doing much of nothing. The boys played hot wheels and legos, Izzy napped and I even snuck in a short nap! After that, Daddy 'commuted' home from the office upstairs, and we all spent some time outside. Blake decided to practice riding his bike, and he's gotten really good in a week! He made it up and down the driveway a handful of times, turned around at the bottom on his own, and didn't need a push up the slight incline coming back up the drive!!! Most of all, he was excited and happy about doing it and wanted to ride. We even managed a ride down the street to the cornfield!!! We'll be going round the block soon!!

Meanwhile, Trevor has spend the last week whining about not wanting to ride his bike. Not even the removal of Wii priveledges has enticed him to ride. Wow! Today, we eventually got him on the bike. How? By agreeing to put 1 training wheel on....yes one. He rode and rode and rode....with Daddy by his side the whole time. About 5 runs on the driveway, and then it was out to the street for a few laps up and down, and eventually a long ride down to the cornfield. Daddy sure got a running workout today!!! And he loved it, and he's ready to do 20 more laps tomorrow so he says!!! I'm just glad we got him back on the darn bike!!

All that is good, great even. But the high point of the night was actually a surprise. At about 5:30 a neighbor kid, E, showed up to play with T. Last year they went to preschool together and were good friends for a while, but things have changed. E wants to ride bikes around the block or go back to his house. I'm not okay with this as I think they need a little more supervision than they would get at E's house. E doesn't seem to like our house rules (like no Wii at 1:30 in the afternoon on a beautiful summer day) and doesn't seem to want Blake around playing with them, which is what B and T are VERY used to.

Anyway....E showed up, T went out to play with him, with the instructions to play in the backyard. Well, they never made it to the backyard. E wouldn't go. He kept trying to get Trev out on his bike, to the point that he was trying to force open our garage door to get T's bike out!! T kept telling him no, I want to play in the back yard, but no dice. The back and forth played out for 15 minutes. At times, we could see (as we peeked out the window at them) T getting visibly upset at E, the body language was obvious. T would keep starting to come inside, and then something would be said and he'd go back again and try talking to E.

The last straw was when E picked up some rocks from our garden (decorative ones) and started throwing them out into the street. T told him not to do it, and E wouldn't listen. T was SO upset, and started crying. So Daddy went out to bail him out and ask E not to do that anymore. T asked E to go home, and when Daddy repeated it, he finally went.

So why is this the high point of my great day??? Because when push came to shove, when between a rock and a hard place, Trevor knew what the right and good choices were and he stuck to them. I don't think he called E any names, or said many bad words, he never tried to push him (like he does to Blake often!) and he stood up for what he wanted and didn't want to do, and held his ground.

And after talking to Daddy and I for a while after E went home, I think he really understands that we are proud of him for making good choices and for standing up for himself!!! My little boy is really growing up!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Look up sad on and here's what you get:

bereaved, bitter, blue*, cheerless, dejected, despairing, despondent, disconsolate, dismal, distressed, doleful, down, down in dumps, down in mouth, downcast, forlorn, gloomy, glum, grief-stricken, grieved, heartbroken, heartsick, heavyhearted, hurting, in doldrums, in grief, in the dumps, languishing, low, low-spirited, lugubrious, melancholy, morbid, morose, mournful, out of sorts, pensive, pessimistic, sick at heart, somber, sorrowful, sorry, troubled, weeping, wistful, woebegone

That pretty much covers it.

Max and Maria have been taken after only 19 weeks with their mother. Their fragile hearts and bodies could not make it to join us in this world.

Some of you may say, "they are in a better place now". But really, what would be so wrong with them being here and living a full and happy life with the two wonderful parents they would have had in Linda and Ron. I think that would be a damn wonderful place for them to be.

Some of you may say, "everything happens for a reason". Really??? What on earth could be the reason? Two people who have wished and hoped and prayed for a child for so long. What reason could there be to put them through this.

As another friend put it, " It’s times like these when I have trouble believing in a God." Seriously....

I have spent SO much of today holding my three babies close, and thinking of the one I lost. Holding my kids and hugging and loving them and telling them I love them. To the point, that Trevor asked me if he was in trouble, or if I was leaving on a trip!

Today my heart is so heavy for the loss, the unexplainable tragic loss that has happenend to one one my dearest friends and one of the kindest people I know. So kind, she hates spiders but WILL NOT kill them.....she'll do whatever it takes (including almost dying) to save them and let them live, just not in her shower!

Oh how I wish I could do something....more than just "being a friend", even though I know that has quite a bit of value. I just hate feeling so helpless.

Max & Maria, you are loved, sweet babies. I miss you, even though I never knew you. Linda & Ron, know that you are loved by SO many, and that we all want to help any way we can.

Friday, September 4, 2009


For his birthday, T got a new 18" bike. He's ridden it about 2 times. Since it has no training wheels, this is mostly my fault. He needs my help to learn to ride it. We've tried to practice, but with Izzy etc. it's been tough to find time.

Yesterday we got out to practice while Iz slept. T did great, when I finally convinced him to try. Convincing him was not one of my better parental wasn't pretty! But he got out there, and he did great! He balanced and rode up and down the street with me letting go periodically. Eventually he was going about 50 feet without me holding him. Now to grow his confidence. Of course, since I was holding him most of the time, there are no photos!!

Since T got a new bike, his old one became Blake's. B seems to have no issue with hand-me-downs. Things that were Trevor's are cool, no problem that they are old, used, etc. So now he has a bike. However, the issue still remains that B does not like to pedal. He doesn't use pedals on his tricycle or his big wheel...instead he pushes on the ground with his feet. So I hoped and wished that he would suddenly want to pedal and use a big boy bike.

After more of the wonderful convincing skills by Mommy (I'm good at convincing reasonable people, but try reasoning with 3 and 5 year olds....its tough!), he agreed to ride up and down the driveway once. He did it with lots of help....he's confused about which direction to push the pedals to go forwards. But eventually we got there. And today, up and down the driveway with almost no help!

B on his "new" bike...

B's motivation... Trevor yelling "Blake come knock me down like a bowling pin!"

Fire Fire Fire

The day after my birthday, we sadly witnessed a neighbor's house burn. Thankfully, the family and pets got out safely.

Pictures from immediately after

It stood covered with tarps for the better part of the last 6 weeks, but recently they've started rebuilding. Turns out, the house was gutted mostly due to water damage. The boys are enjoying watching the construction.

The new garage wall.
Tearing off the shingles.

And tearing off the roof.Now the boys want to take walks every day so we can see the progress and watch the workers.
The new roof in place, 1 day later. Sadly we weren't home for the crane putting up the trusses. The boys would be bummed if only they knew what they missed!

They're moving fast and I hope to see the house complete and the neighbors back soon. T & B just want to know if they, and their decorations will be there in time for Halloween.

Random Photos

It's been busy lately....a download of my camera, provides the best possible update.

Izzy in a box. She liked it, the boys liked it, I found another box for what I needed. The boys pushed her (gently) around as if she was driving a race car! She thought that was great!My little fashionista in her first pair of BabyLegs. I love them!!!
Hanging with Daddy and laughing at his jokes!
The shirt says "Mommy's Girl" in case you can't read it! And boy, is she ever!

"We love our sister Mommy! But why is she wearing a Cubs shirt?" The boys have recently decided to become Cardinals fans. Seriously??? How dare they....I'm kicking them out of the house now! Izzy's first train ride! We took a short jaunt to go to a new park, and to satisfy the boys' desire to ride the train! Everyone had a blast!