Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Empty Nest


We haven't seen Mrs. Mamaduck in 3 days. Not since Early Sunday morning. At least I think I saw her Sunday morning, it may have been Saturday night for sure. Either way, she's not been around. And there are 3 eggs left in the nest. Its very sad.

On the other hand, they could be rotten eggs.

In the car last night, I mentioned to Eric that we might want to put the remaining eggs out with the trash. We wouldn't want a stinky front walk.

From the back seat, "NO! You can't throw out Mrs. Mamaduck's eggs. If we put them in the trash, if Mrs. Mamaduck comes back, she'll be sad."

True. So we didn't empty the nest. I guess we're still holding out hope for Mrs. Mamaduck and little ducklings. But the hope gets less and less. And I really don't want to make a mama duck and the Boy sad.

Meanwhile, my nest is a little empty today too. Because my back is still sad too, we sent the boys to play with Grandma all day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Running on Empty


Did you ever notice that in the evening the Kids get so crazy they can't stop moving, for if they do they'll collapse and fall asleep, and they don't want to do that? Yeah I have boys like that.

Where do they get that energy? And can I borrow some? The boys had a nice exhausting day of playing their hearts out with Grandma, and then this evening, they bopped till they dropped with their friends Bryn and Shay. I had the lofty goal of taking them to the zoo this morning, but in the end did very little with the boys except hug them. Sorry about the crazy photo today. I find that I am getting a bit burnt out taking daily photos; don't get me wrong, I am still constantly finding beauty in Life around me, my amazing boys or nature are my favorite things to photograph, but it's just getting hard to post daily for the whole 3 of you who read. And when I'm in pain, that motivation to take pictures of cute kids goes right out the window.

Oh yes, that's right, there's a story there. I hurt.

This morning as I was in the shower, I must've turned funny when I grabbed my soap because the next thing I know, a blinding flash of pain, and I couldn't move. I managed to stand up straight, thought I had it all under control...until I tried to get OUT of the tub. Luckily Eric was still home, and he helped me out. He suggested I lay on the floor to stretch it out, and that was ok, as long as I wasn't moving. I don't think it's a dislocation per se, because the bone didn't pop, but the muscles just seemed to let go and the hip and back can't bear weight.
So we called my super wonderful amazing mother in law for reinforcements. I took drugs, grabbed my heating pad and went to bed for an hour. Eric stuck around until Mom could come, she thought it might be easier to just Take the boys, so she did. She took my boys and kept them until just before Eric came home from work.
I had the afternoon entirely to myself, in a quiet empty house. It would've been fun, if I felt like playing. It would've been nice, if I could've been productive. But I pretty much did nothing, took another round of drugs, and another nap.

Can't say much bad about a 2 nap day.

Except when I move, my hip and back hurt...a lot. And when I think I feel good enough to do something, like tend the kids or something, well, my body quickly tells me just how wrong I am. Kids, cherish this time when you don't have chronic pain, or if you do hurt yourself, you still have the mind enough to complete a sentence. My pain has been in the high range all day. I had a therapist tell me once, they always ask you on a scale of 1-10 10 being the worst you could ever have, 5 is when you have trouble thinking. I've had it bad, but I never choose 10. 8s and 9s yes, today was a 7/8 day. I hate those days. Even drugged, I have trouble completing a thought, and when speaking I sound like an idiot. My poor yet wonderful family. Eric is such a champ, and I feel bad for the boys, because all I can do is sit and yell at them, they don't want to hold still enough to cuddle much. I was joking with Eric, are you going to trade me in for a younger, blonder, more bendable model? He laughed, and told me No, she'd be a brunette. Then he says, he couldn't, there'd be no way he'd have Time to have an affair. Well, I guess that's my Job Security. It's just so frustrating being a live lump. It's a pickle to be in, I hurt therefore want to take drugs. But the drugs make me sleepy and stupid, and I don't trust myself with the kids, but the kids need me functioning so I don't take the drugs (I got to today though!) so I tend to them and end up hurting more. Mom says I need to go find a new chiropractor. Not today. I keep thinking I'll feel better, and when I find some baseline I may go hunt for a new chiropractor, for maintenance, not when I'm so blinded by pain I can't drive. The real bummer is that because of these stupid spasms, I can't have any fun.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tough to be a Sweetboy


Sam got off to a bumpy start today. I pulled him out of bed at 6:30 to nurse and feed him some breakfast before he had to go NPO (nothing by mouth) for a test at Riley. He was No Fun. Following me around, wanting breakfast, whining, climbing up me, until finally he cried himself to sleep on my shoulder. For 5 minutes.

A friend of ours came over to play with Chris while we went. Sam perked up to see her. He even did well at the appointment. We got pretty good news, answered prayers in that it wasn't major but still something wasn't quite right; he only aspirated juice, so he will be receiving thickened liquids and therapy for a while. But No Feeding Tube -WOOHOO! After he demanded we eat lunch at the hospital we came home, and he played with our friend's baby for a few minutes in the Mr. Potato Head Mess left behind by big brother. Sam wanted to pet the baby, and even though they weren't exactly playing Together, they were still pretty sweet side by side. Oh, and FYI, I thought that Mr. Potato Head didn't have any choking hazards, but turns out those earrings can be entirely stuffed in a sweetboy's mouth, not actual choking, but still not exactly good either.

Since he'd eaten well at the hospital cafeteria, I just nursed him and threw him in bed (after changing his barium coated clothes). He napped for 2 1/2 hours, very nice, and when he woke up he was in a much better mood. He was happy, climbing all over the furniture, he figured out how to get Himself up on the couch. And he drank his new thickened milk. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Letter D

Today's pictures are brought to you by the Letter D.

D is for Dunkin Donuts. Daddy wanted to do some work around the house after we hit the early service at church, and Chris was screaming he was hungry. So I went on a Donut Date with my boys.

Chris told me he wanted a "Yeasty one just his size" as opposed to the Munchkins that Sam eats. He ate one, and wanted more, and ate that one too, and a couple munchkins. Sam ate 5 munchkins, and all but 2 hash rounds. Who says these boys don't eat?

D is for Duck.
I am beginning to think Mrs. Mamaduck is not going to win any mother of the year awards. I saw her first thing this morning, but then we haven't seen her all day. THEN last night, after introducing her to our friends, as we chatted in our front yard while boys stared at her, we found a dead duckling in the front yard with half a broken egg nearby. At the time I swore it wasn't Mrs. Mamaducks, her eggs weren't that big. But then today, since she was gone, and I got a good look at her eggs. They got bigger, and there are only 3 left.

She didn't even come back when it started raining, it was raining sideways, and filling all the flowerpots. And she has been nowhere to be found. It makes me sad, I had such high hopes of seeing happy little ducklings prancing about, and showing them to Chris.

D is for Dog Diving This has become Sam's new favorite sport. Today Sam has been crawling all over Fina. And she just sits there.

I think he may miss the cat now, and he's taken to playing with Fina instead. This was hysterical, he was actually riding and rocking back and forth on her. He plays with her ears, and nails, and she just takes it. What a good dog!

D is for Daddy drilling. We all went to Lowe's together this morning for drill bits so he could put up cement board. And while I didn't get an Action shot, Daddy has been working very hard on the bathroom all day. He has been drilling cement board into the studs over the insulation and putting in the tub.

Here's my new tub...almost. Well, at least we have walls...almost. But Almost makes me pretty happy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All about the Agua


Now see? THIS is what it's all about. You go to the pool, you chill with friends in the shade. All that's missing is a drink with a little wait that's me.

For Chris on the other hand, going to the pool means getting crazy. Today we went for Swim Lessons. And he got off to a great start. I knew he was going to do well, considering I found him doing the dog paddle earlier this week. He was kicking off to beat the band.

Then came the Dunk.

Apparently, it was Dunking Day for the preschooler class. And if they fought it, they got dunked anyway. As they blustered coming out of the water, the lifeguards would say Gimme Five, and confused and blustering with water, instead of a meltdown they gave 5s. OK, I went off to take pictures of Sam and Daddy, since Daddy was taking his turn with Sam in the Parent and Tot class.

Friends Sam and Shaylee both got to do class with their Daddy's today. It was pretty sweet, at one point the kids were playing footsie as they splashed foot to foot with each other.

The lifeguard supervisor for Chris's class came around looking for me, and said tha Chris was not cooperating and asked me if it was OK to "Make Him". I said sure, I approved, and am quite glad they asked. This was his face later. Red and crying, he was a tantrumy mess, he didn't appreciate the continuation of dunking. But We know he can do better, and it's important he not be afraid of the water.

So to reinforce the fun (not that he needs much more) when his friend Max came over this evening, we broke out the pool. Turns out both boys were in need of a nice fun swim. And so they did.

Even a leak in the bottom wouldn't stop them from playing in the water. Well, in, on, and around, anyway. Our pool had a leak, so we put duck tape on it, which held the refilling water, but once the kids got in, the leak busted open again, and it's sayonara jungle pool. Hmm....maybe we need another pool....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summery Day


What a Fun Day! All week Chris has been going to the Advent Lutheran VBS (Vacation Bible School) with his friend Emily. He's had a great time, and today was their last day, they had a 'Program' featuring all their songs this morning. Can you see Chris wearing the yellow shirt? All the kids are wearing the T-shirts they tie-dyed earlier in the week. Chris looks pretty good in yellow.

I didn't recognize the words of many of their songs, but I knew this one, "Father Abraham". You can tell the kids really got a kick out of Praising the Lord 'with the right, with the left, with the right foot, with the left foot, chin up, and spin around." A Good Time!

To Celebrate the end of VBS, we had a picnic lunch (ok we drove through McDonald's because Mommy was not with it enough to pack a full lunch, I was doing well to get the kids dressed. :) ) at the park, followed by putting the kids in their swimsuits and letting them run wild in the Sprinkler park. Sam had never been, but he'd done so well in the Indoor water park, I let him walk around. He loved the little streams of water, but was happier about little stones on the ground. He did walk around, and sit in the puddles, and had a good time.

Chris didn't last too long in the water park, he ran wild for a few minutes, and headed over to the Park portion, when he practiced being a monkey on the monkey bars. At one point though, while I wasn't looking, he fell, face first, and got mulch up his nose and in his mouth, and now he looks like Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer from the scratches incurred on his poor little nose. But the boy has Strong Arms!

One last cheesy picture of Chris and his friends Emily and Mary from VBS at the Park before we headed home. It was hard to get 3 tired kiddos to smile and mean it...the level of exhaustion is equal to the amount of fun had by all this week.

Happy Summer Days!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Crafty at Kat's


The kids have been doing VBS at Em's preschool this week, and the Mommies have been playing during a bit too. They brought home tie-died shirts they made today, Chris told me he 'tied' them. To get a little crafty, he and Emily broke out the foamy stickers and made pretty butterflies.

New happy decorations for our Front Door! Chris cracks me up with how Serious he gets when getting crafty.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hot Stuff


It was rather gross out today, high 95, and Very Humid. My glasses fogged up twice when going outside. Ugh. So when the picnic we had planned was cancelled, we moved it indoors.

But when we woke up from naps, and big surprise it was still grossly hot outside, Chris had the idea of going swimming with Grandma again. I liked this Plan. So we called Grandma and headed over to Uncle Ryan and Aunt Amy's again. I'm sure they are glad to know that their dogs are having a fine time chasing and kissing boys, and that the neighborhood is not being neglected in their absence.

Chris put on his swimsuit with the built in floatie, so we decided to do the Big Pool with the girls' boogie boards instead of the baby pool. Chris was Very Apprehensive, but Grandma was able to talk him into kicking a bit. He kicked a few steps to the steps, and then decided he wanted to hug the side, and work his way around the pool that way.

Meanwhile Sam was pretty content to just run around the pool. Finally, we got Sam IN the pool. He was fine, as long as he was holding on to someone...or rather someone's swimsuit straps.

We decided to get alittle crazy and blow up a fishy floatie and put Sam in it. Sam did pretty well, I even let go, and his arm strength kept him floating, but most of the time I was either holding his arms or bottoms. He did OK in it, but I think he wanted to pull on our hair or swimsuits more.

Suddenly while I'm messing with Sam, I hear Chris behind me. Oh yes, he was in the middle of the pool. By himself. Dog paddling!

He was able to swim doggie style with that floatie swimsuit all over that pool. And he had no fear, he was crossing the pool. I was having a bit of trouble keeping up with him. He did great! I'm so proud.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Evening Swim


Last night, the boys went for a lovely evening swim with Grandma. They slept All Night. Even with NASTY storms. Tonight, after Grandma joined us for NY fare of hot dogs, hot sauce, and loganberry drink for supper, she invited us to pop over for another swim. We went. And it was Good.

Sam learned a new word: Ball. We were suspicious yesterday when he said something like "Aba" and slapped his hands loosely together in the Sign for 'help' when we asked Chris to go fetch the ball. Sam gladly chased the ball around the baby pool, repeatedly asking for the "aba".

He had to fight big brother for it. Though Chris was having fun being a Turtle chased by bad octupus or octopi as both Daddy AND Mommy played octopus. Sometimes at the same time. ;)

There's just something fabulously relaxing about a cool swim after a long hot day, even if it's just soaking in the baby pool.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Lesson Learned


Today Chris had his first gymnastics class in a month. He had finally graduated to the 3 and 4 year old class...his own age group! He still hasn't done a forward roll, but his teacher said he was mature enough to handle the other requirements and the full hour long class. So today I got to take him to his class. Unfortunately, he was sound asleep at 4:45 p.m. I had to pull he and Sam out of bed to run them over to gymnastics. He misbehaved the entire hour long class. Now he wasn't the only one, but he was the most obstinent one.

At one point, his teacher sent him to me, that perhaps "sitting with your Mommy will help you listen better." He wasn't doing what she told him. At All. Oh yeah. Time Out. And oddly enough, after a little 'discussion' he did behave a little bit better. Not much but some. And it wasn't air conditioned in there. It was Ugly.

So the Lesson here is if Chris is sleeping, Let Him Sleep.

I will not wake him to take him to class. Better to be late, than to have an uncooperative Beast on my hands. He finally perked up, 40 minutes into the class. ;)

Then he was happy and went to play with Grandma while Daddy had a meeting, and Mommy went to the Melting Pot on a Mom's Night Out. Happy Day Redeemed!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!


Daddy and his Boys

Happy Father's Day Eric!

Cousin Katie is a Deaconess!

Eric's cousin Katie has been going to school for a few years to become a Deaconess in the Lutheran Church (MS). Today was her day to be officially Commissioned. It was THE most tear jerky service I've been to that didn't involve a funeral. Besides the fact that we're just achingly proud of Katie, for a. her accomplishment, and b. Accepting this Call, it was so Beautiful. She was so strong, yet sensitive, and happy, and she's going to really be a great blessing to the church in Wisconsin where she has been Called.
The awesomeness of the service was enhanced by the secondary homily given by her brother Sean, who is a Seminarian. And her Dad did a reading too. But when Sean gave his sermon, not only was it the best most inspiring sermon I've heard in a while, but then he started basically Thanking Katie for accepting this call, for being so loving, and in general just being awesome. I didn't hear all the Thank you's because I really got serious in my sobs. I sucked a sob in so loudly, I think Sean heard it, and it wasn't too long after that , that he lost it too. I think all the women in the first three rows (fam and friends of Katie) were crying. And some of the guys too. And it wasn't sad cries, that's what makes it so awesome, we were crying for Joy.

Anyway, I couldn't resist taking a picture during her Commission, this is Katie, and the tall young fella in the background is Sean, as she gives her Oath in front of God, Church, the Fam, and everybody. (Yeah I cried here too.)

After the Service, there was a cake and punch reception. The boys were getting the nibleez, so they had some cake. Since the cake said Katie, I told Chris it was called Katie Cake. Really it was Carrot Cake, though when Chris says Carrot Cake, it kind of sounds the same. ;) He and Sam both loved it. Sam was also pretty content making the rounds of snuggle too. Here he is with the guest of honor.

Now, you know Willman's. We Eat. So after the reception, we cleared out the church and headed for a Fam only Luncheon. Chris couldn't get enough of Katie. They are best buds now because last week at the Family Reunion (can it be that it was only last week?) Katie lent Chris her camera. He was troubled that Katie didn't have her camera today...but there were plenty of other folks taking pictures. Even Katie's sister Erin let Chris get crazy with her camera. Mostly though he was content to pretend people were ladders and climb up them, to sit on their laps and play.

It was such a great day! Although Eric wasn't feeling well, so he didn't make the Festivities, but it was a Great Day! This was Katie's hymn request. One of our favorites too.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Letter S


Today's pictures are brought to you by the letter S.

S is for Sam's Swim Class. Today was his first day! He wasn't a very big fan of actually swimming, he didn't mind bouncing, so we did that A Lot, and plopping him on the side and pretending he was going to 'jump' in.

S is for in waterSlide, here are Chris and his friends Emily, Bryn, and Mary all bopping around the froggy waterslide at the end of their swim class!

*Special Thanks to Kathleen for taking the swim class pics because I was busy in the water with Sam.*

S is for Seats. We Switched carseats so Chris and Emily could sit together as we went to lunch together post class. To sit together, not in the minivan, made their day!

S is for Swing. Chris and Emily played Swing in the Shade (also begins with S!) after our luncheon. But it started to get hot, and the children started to get snippy so our swingfest didn't last long.

S is for Sudsy. It was Bubble Time at Oma and Opa's where we supped for a slightly early Father's Day Celebration with my Sister and her girls Annie, seen below and Charlie.

S is for Silly. Yes, Yes we are.

The kids had a great time with the bubbles, and all in all we had a great day! It's been good to be getting back in the swing of things now that we're mostly recovered from our vacation.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sliding on


Today we didn't have much cooking, it's been a pretty quiet week, planned it taht way since we came home. So when opportunity for an impromptu playdate popped up, we jumped at the chance. The boys were thrilled to go to Bryn's house and play..and since play time was of the essence, they went in their jammies. The kids had a great time! :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Guest


The boys were playing outside early this evening, and Eric decided to do a little weeding in the front garden. As he neared the front door, he heard a rustle. He looked up and found Mrs. Mama Duck sitting on a homemade nest in our rosebush!

She was shaking with fright. Poor thing. Guess she moved in while we were on vacation. Who'd have thought we'd have a spot big enough to hide on our front porch in our rosebush? Ha! Anyway, he pulled Chris in and showed her. Chris thinks she's a goose. She has seven little eggs, and I'm just too excited to have them in our yard. It will be soon, they only incubate for about 4 weeks. This may be an excellent learning opportunity for Chris. Can't wait to see them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010



It's nice to be at home. To comfort ourselves we've been listing off things that we are glad to have now that we're home: our own beds, our dog, our fridge, to be able to shower in our own bathroom, to be able to drink out of any cup we want, and the ability to wander around in our jammies.
Today wasn't as crazy as it could have been. Got unpacked and some laundry done. The boys missed Daddy, so they got a little outdoor play time this evening. Yes, Chris slept in his Batman paint, and Sam is covered in Goo, but everyone is having a good time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Journey Home, Pt. 2


Only we could take a 3 hour trip and turn it into a 10 hour adventure. We began the morning leisurely on the north side of Columbus. I say Leisurely because the kids slept until 8, which was HUGE. Guess the not napping is catching up with them. We then joined Mom and Dad for breakfast in the hotel lobby, then a swim for the boys and I. Very nice morning for a swim, jump started our day! We came back to the room and got all packed up. Then I got some even better news, we were going to be
able to pop by and visit some friends.

The only problem, the limiting factor, if you will, was that Chris and Sam had a sign language class in B'burg at 4:45.

So first we got to visit Krysten, a friend from BU, and her daughter Sadie. The boys had fun playing with Sadie, or rather her Toys.

Sam was awful sweet with Sadie. I swear, we didn't intend for them to match. Our matchy shirts were the only clean ones we had just worked out nicely for this impromptu crazy day. We've been loving how the boys interact with Sadie as she gets older. Sam and Sadie are only 7 months apart in age. It was a big difference the last time we saw them, the differences are getting less and less... Doesn't it sound cute, "Sam and Sadie, sitting in a tree....".

After that all too brief visit, we moved on to visit our friend Lori, who used to be in MOPS, and church and lived just down the street. Her son Andrew is 1 year to the day older than Chris. And Chris LOVES him. Ryan is 14 mos older than Sam. But it was pretty cute that the older two just Took Off to play anywhere and everywhere, while the Mama's and youngsters stayed close. But they were pretty cute together too.

They just all didn't know what to do with each other when all 4 of them were together. But it was another visit that was too short. I think we may have to take a road trip to Columbus this summer, maybe stay a bit longer.

I liked this town. We weren't on the highway very long, before it became clear we were Not going to make it back in time for our class. Oh well. The boys were not just content to eat and take naps. And calming a screamy Sam required stopping. At one of our stops, we just plopped the boys in the grass, while parents powdered noses.

They were having entirely too much fun picking clover. Sam was rubbing it in his hair, and Chris was painting himself with it. And Daddy found a 4 leaf clover!

But the little break got us recharged enough to finally cross the border. The boys remained content with a steady stream of teddy grahams. We made good time until just past Greenfield when all traffic on the the highway Stopped. We ended up having to get off and take the scenic route to cousin Suzy's. By the time we got to her, she was at her part time job of lifeguard at the neighborhood pool. She was so excited that we brought her a 'new car', that she asked if we'd like to swim. That's like Asking if a boy would like Chicken nuggets. Um, Yes. So we did. We grabbed our suits out of the car (guess it pays sometimes to be living out of the car) and the boys and I went for a swim. I didn't realize how much I needed it until I was in the water. So good to get the driving pressure out of the joints.

And of course, the boys were thrilled. Chris figured out how to climb along the wall, and would work his arms sliding along. Sam wanted to do the same thing big brother was doing. Surprisingly, no shockingly, I put Sam's hands on the wall, and held his bottom, but his little feet latched on the wall, and I was actually able to let go of both boys as they clung to the wall of the pool. All. By. Themselves.

They grow too fast.

As Suzy escorted us to our car, Chris asked her "Suzy, would you like me to show you your New Car?" Oh yes, Chris she supportively praises him. He turns to the car, starts moonwalking backwards with his hands out like Vanna White. It was so hysterical, the photos don't do it justice. I honestly have no idea where he picked up that. Really.

With all our jabbing at Suzy, we didn't notice how the storms were sneaking in, but we did notice our bellies getting a bit hungry. We decided the kids weren't going to be happy on the 40 minute trip home, hungry, heck they were already mad we were leaving the pool and getting in the car. So we decided to head for the nearest Chick Fil-A. Turns out it was Family Night which means free kids' meals, and a Face Painting clown. Oh yes, Chris was in heaven. No better way in his book to end a vacation than by being batman.

Batman didn't make the trip home entirely conscious. Of course, I can't blame it, it took us 10 hours to drive a distance that should've taken us 3.

And after we arrived at home, safe and sound, the sun began to peep out through the rainclouds. Nothing says Happy Homecoming like a Rainbow over the house!