Friday, September 30, 2011

Random Tidbits 2

(Mostly just "Random Rants" this week.)

1.  Note:  Noelle is not allowed ANY dairy.

This is what this weeks lunch menu for the daycare she attends looked like:
She attends Monday through Thursday every week.  (We feed her breakfast at home every day.  Especially since you have to pay extra for breakfast at the daycare.)  You will notice that the lunch each day she was there this week included dairy (aside from milk, they give her soy regardless).  Here is what she was actually given for her lunches:
It really irks me that the cook can not plan lunches at least 2-3 days of the week that the non-dairy kids can eat.  I HATE that she is given a different lunch than most kids almost every day.  Also, she isn't always given the equivalent of what the rest of the school is.  If the menu says a fruit AND veggie, she should still be given BOTH!  The lack of protein she receives at school also bugs me, but that is one I have to just give on.  And for the record Noelle had bread with jelly for breakfast, lunch, AND afternoon snack on Thursday.  Poor kid, it's no wonder she is starving every afternoon when I pick her up.  Two more things, who really wants to each a plain piece of bread with a slice of ham on it (DRY!!!) and why does the cook feel the need to butter the carrots when she makes them (is she trying to make the kids fat!).  UGH!!

2.  I am starting to bake more foods by scratch at home again.  I had no desire to spend time in the kitchen the last 4 months.  Thank goodness I'm over that.  When I don't have to use a box mix it is a lot easier for me to make sure there is no dairy in it.  My little Remy (Noelle) and I made Blueberry muffins this morning.  We substituted the oil for cinn. applesauce and used dried blueberries, since that is what we always have on hand.  They are a little dense and did not come out of the muffin papers well.  I would LOVE to know what causes them to not come out of papers well if anyone has a clue!  They are plenty edible and the kids are enjoying them!  A few pictures:


3.  Here's what my water bill looks like every month:

  • Water                   $11.60
  • Admin Fee            $5.00
  • N Project Fund     $25.00
  • Sewer                   $29.25
How is it that I only BUY  $11.60 in water but we more than DOUBLE what goes to the sewer?????  And what about the $30 in other stuff we pay.  The total bill has actually been exactly the sane the last 3 months.  That seems a little iffy to me.

4.  I received an interesting bill in the mail Tuesday from the Pediatricians office for my daughter.  BOTH my children had gotten the Flu Mist last Tuesday, one week prior to this bill arriving.  They wanted $40 for the Flu Mist vaccine.  It also listed a co-payment that was made in January of this year.  Obviously I knew something was wrong since it takes a good month normally to get this kind of bill AND it was only for one child who IS covered under health insurance.  I called them up and she told me to throw it away.  She was super nice and said it appeared they had never even billed the insurance but that she would get it taken care of.  YEAH for people who are friendly and personable in customer service!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Random Tidbits 1

Sometimes I just have something random to say or maybe I come across something I think someone else might like or find interesting.  I am going to try for writing this post every Friday since it is my day off and I usually have at least a couple minutes free time.  So here it goes:

1.  My kids and I went to the Denver Zoo today.  They took pictures and will blog about it this weekend.

2.  I figured out how to lessen this awful pelvic pain I am having with this pregnancy.  No more criss-cross-applesauce for me.  :(  For those of you that don't know, I almost always sit this way.  In a chair, on the sofa, on the floor, and even when driving (granted only my left leg is up in the position).  Um, yeah, I'm 30.  This is NOT an easy habit to get out of.

3.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Pediatric Dermatologist I took my daughter to today.  Dr. Swanson at Advanced Dermatology was very personable and great with Noelle who is very reluctant to let Doctors and Nurses anywhere near her.

4.  Apparently beetle juice can be used to treat warts.

5.  I enjoy listening to books on tape once in a while.  Right now I am listening to A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.  I am really enjoying it and look forward to being in the car alone so I can listen.  I chose this book on CD, instead of in book form, because I didn't think I would be able to actually read it and get through it in a timely manner while remembering what I was reading.  Sometimes that is just how it is.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Self Portrait by Noelle

Tell me that didn't just happen

Tuesday evening was one one those times you just want to pretend didn't happen.  I thought it was going to be simple and quick.  In and out, no tears, get on with our night kind of deals.  Boy was I wrong!!  I really underestimated what my daughter is capable of.

The kids needed their flu vaccines and we have done the mist the last couple years since my 7yo son is AWFUL with shots.  He gets it from me and I don't blame him.  I remember a couple years ago we had to put him on the table against his wishes and then he literally limped out of the office afterwards.  Seriously, a minute later!!  So last night I actually had him go first so Noelle could see that it was no big deal and just like using a nasal spray.  Didn't work!  First I had to pick up her 40 lb body and put her on the exam table.  (Remember I'm nearly 20 weeks pregnant and not used to lifting more than about 15 lbs.  Then I had to headlock her for the nurse to take an ear temp.  Next I had to lay her back in a headlock AND arm lock her while the nurse grabbed a hold of her chin and tried with all her might to get the syringe in her nostrils.  UGH!!  It was bad.  There was no reasoning with her, not that there ever is.  Next time the kid is getting the shot.  At least that will give her something to cry and fuss about!!

Unfortunately it didn't get any better when the deed was done.  She was extremely rude to the nurse when offered a sticker.  When we got to the car she refused to even get IN her booster seat.  So next I had to manhandle her into the 5-point car seat that just happened to be in my car from Saturday when I had transported a 1 year old.  And that's where she has to ride for the rest of the week.  I don't play around when it comes to car seats.

We stopped by the book store on the way home and she actually did well.  But the minute we got home she was uncooperative again.  With my husband at the elementary school to learn about the math program they use I was on my own to shower Noelle.  Not an easy task when my ability to bend and twist is as if I were 40 weeks pregnant already!  It was a disaster that I hope not to have to repeat soon.  Thank goodness J is usually home to take over shower duty twice a week!!

Noelle ended up in bed as soon as her teeth and hair were brushed.  It took me all of 5 minutes to plop my self in my rocking chair for the rest of the night.  Hoping for a much easier night tonight!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

I was very excited, if a little anxious the morning of, for the opportunity to attend this conference.  (Thanks Desiree!)  The 1 day event was put on by SITS Girls and they did an amazing job.  The atmosphere was great, the speakers were both knowledgeable and entertaining, plus there was great food (REAL food, not just a sandwich), giveaways, and swag!  The room was set up with many tables that allowed us to meet and talk with a variety of other bloggers.  We were also assigned a different table for each speaker, allowing us to meet even more of the other attendees.  I’m excited to look through the blogs of the women I met.  The event was sponsored by SONY, Mirassou, invisalign, collectivebias and blogfrog.  Sony gave away THREE Bloggie cameras!!  I didn’t win, but I’m okay with that since I couldn’t figure out what to do with the thing when I was playing with it, even if it was really cool.  I was excited to learn about invisalign since we are already on the orthodontic road with Adam.  It’s neat that he will not be limited to the gray, metal, hardness of traditional braces when the time comes.

The morning session was broken into 3 topics; Authentic Branding, Mastering the Creative Process, and Blog Design Basics: Cleaning Up Your Act.  I didn’t even know what Branding was before Saturday!  I am determined now though to find my “Brand”.  My creative process definitely needed a jump start and this was just the event to do it.  In my opinion I’m doing fairly well in the “Design Basics” part, but I didn’t know that going in.  I think that’s due to pure chance and luck.

For the “Break Out” session in the afternoon we were given the choice of attending either Business of Blogging or Writers Workshop.  I went with the Writers Workshop and was not disappointed.  Kathy Bouska (@Mamakatslosinit) and Francesca Banducci (@SITSGirls) were great at teaching Mind Mapping, Storytelling, and SEO (search engine optimization).  I have already implemented some of what I learned.  I’m excited to finish the “Where I’m From” poem and post it for you all to see.

I started this blog a few years ago as a way to keep our friends and family up to date on our lives.  We have a lot of family that either lives out of state or far enough away that we don’t get to see each other very often.  I also wanted it to be a way for me to look back when I am scrap booking and remember what we were up to, check dates, and that kind of thing.  Although I still want this blog to serve those two purposes I would love to take it a little further and find a “focus”.  I hope you will stay for all the changing and fine tuning to come!!

Well that was interesting!

Friday was the big ultrasound I had been anxiously waiting for.  We were able to learn that we will be having a little girl!  I’m a little nervous about another girl, but I keep reminding myself that this is a new child and NOT NOELLE!!  It is made worse by the fact that this baby has the exact same due date Noelle did, February 9th.  Part of me hopes this baby is just a day or two late so I have at least a couple weeks between the birthdays.  But since Noelle was 2 weeks early and Adam was 4 days early, I’m not getting my hopes up.

This is how we made the big announcement to our friends and family via e-mail and facebook.

My husband's artwork!  Drawn to scale and maybe too accurate with the elbow in the belly button.  (He always did like drawing on people, lol!)

Okay, so everyone wants to know why the ultrasound was so interesting.  (No we are NOT having twins, although I would love that.)  PAIN!  The ultrasound was incredibly painful for me.  I spent the entire half hour cringing and even called out a few times.  The tech was so intent on her screen that she never even noticed my cringes, but she did pay attention each time I yelled “Ouch!!”  To her benefit she was using a new machine/program and she was concentrating on glitches and talking a little to the lady observing and noting those glitches.  This baby tends to be very low and to my right side, so every time the tech was anywhere to the right of my belly button it hurt really badly.  The tech said that was very abnormal and I have never experienced it in the past.  It is very interesting to me though that this is the same area that was painful and originally sent me to the ER Labor Day weekend.  Which is by the way when and how we learned I was pregnant (after 15 long months of trying!)  I actually continued to have some pain on that side for the rest of Friday night, weird.  I’ll ask the Doctor about it when I go in in another 4 weeks.

The other part of the ultrasound that was interesting is the tech picked up a low HB of only 89 when she originally checked it during the ultrasound.  She went back to it later and was able to pick up the normal 159 HB.  She also had a lot of trouble getting some of the pics and measurements of the heart she needed due to baby girls positioning.  She was laying face out and wouldn’t shift to a different position.  The tech tried and tried but finally had to give up.  She believes the low HB was due to baby moving positions, especially since it went back to normal.  The doctor gave us the option of repeating the ultrasound with them in 2-4 weeks or going to have a fetal echo done at Children’s Hospital in that same time period.  We opted for the fetal echo.  I figure it is their job (at Children’s) to get it right and it’s better to just know ASAP if there is a problem that needs to be discussed and taken care of as soon as baby is born.  The heart looked perfect anatomy wise; I could actually pick out the 4 chambers and see the “hole” that closes at or soon after birth.  We really are not concerned, but better safe than sorry!

Our little girl!

All in all the ultrasound was great and the tech was AMAZING at explaining everything she was seeing/looking at to us.  She even engaged the kids throughout.  And absolutely no doubt about the gender!  I think Adam learned as much in that half hour as he would have at a full day of school and I’m so happy he could be there for it.

Playing Catch Up

I need more energy, time would be nice too!  There’s just no other way to say it.  Our week was really busy with work, family time, appointments, and commitments.

I LOVE my work as a Nanny.  That doesn’t mean I enjoy every minute of it though.  Little Evan, who is 5 months old now, is normally such a mild tempered , sweet, happy baby.  He spent last week with some teething pain though, which in turn made my job so much harder.  A cranky baby usually just wants to be held and walked around with.  Movement is NOT my strong suit right now, so walking around the house endlessly with a 14 pound baby is not fun and is actually pretty painful for me.  I feel sad that I can’t even talk him for long walks, only a quick walk to the park once or twice a week.  My pelvis just can’t handle more than that.  As part of my current contract I also cook a few meals a week for Evan’s dad who is on a SlimGenics program.  The meals are usually very easy and I follow a recipe, but it does put me on my feet when Evan is napping.  It has been a learning experience for me as well.  I am NOT a cook, especially when it comes to meat.  He hasn’t complained so far though!!

We were able to see many family members this last week.  We had dinner with my Dad on Tuesday and Justin’s sister Jenna on Thursday.    We hadn’t seen either of them in about 2 months so it was really nice to catch up.  My Dad let Adam pick a place to go to dinner so we ended up at Chile’s.  It was nice to get out and not have to cook or clean up, plus they serve a pasta dish with white sauce and shrimp that I really like!  We had Jenna to our house for hamburgers and corn on the cob (a staple in our house this time of year).  Jenna traveled overseas alone this summer and shared lots of great stories of her time abroad with us.  The kids spent all day Saturday with Grandma Sheri as well as getting to see Grandpa Ron for a while too.  I heard stories of Chuck E. Cheese and Power Wheels!  It sounded like they had a good time.  We are so thankful for all of our family and wish we could spend more time with them.

Justin and Adam played hooky from work and school on Friday in order to go to the big ultrasound appointment with Noelle and me.  There is only one baby and it’s a girl!!  I will write a separate post with all the details!  We went to lunch at Chick-fil-a afterwards and then shopping at Babies-R-Us.  We picked out a crib, changing table, and rear facing car seat for the baby.  Justin and I also found a bedding set we love and picked out a sheet, valance, and changing pad cover for her little nook in our room.  I will pick out fabric and make a few more sheet, curtain, and maybe a couple more changing pad covers to finish the space.  I think we are going to make a butterfly mobile that hangs from the ceiling as well.  Getting so excited for another child to join our family!!

I attended Bloggy Boot Camp on Saturday while Justin rested at home and the kids kept Grandma busy.  I had a fun time and will write a post all about it!  On Sunday Justin and the kids celebrated Max’s Baptism and I spent the day working with Bianca.

I’m not sure I’m ready for a new week, but I don’t have a choice in it do I?!  I do think this week will be a lot more relaxing though and our family, not to mention the house, are ready for that.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Family Nights

Justin and Adam decided on a movie night tonight and picked up Eragon and The Seeker while they were at the store.  They also got some fun snacks and dinner foods.  We ended up with 7-up, a variety of popcorn, spinach artichoke purses, mini crab cakes, mini corn dogs, mozzarella sticks, and dippin' dot style ice cream.  The movies were good even though Noelle was a little scared by The Seeker.  It was a nice treat and a VERY relaxing evening were I had a good excuse to keep my feet up all night.  LOL!  Oh, and I think this may have been Noelle's first time truly drinking from a can.  She LOVED it!  The most soda the kids ever get is sharing with J and I at Tokyo Joes or a few sips if they happen to ask (which Noelle will do rarely).  So having their own small can of 7-up was pretty special.

Noelle fully relaxed while watching The Seeker.

All of a sudden Adam has been really wanting to do game nights.  He has been allowed to participate in a small way when we have friends over for the last few months, but it doesn't happen very often that we are hosting on a regular game night.  It has been challenging since Adam can read and likes to play more mature games such as Apples to Apples.  It's a great game for his vocabulary and I think I will into if there is a kid version we can get for Christmas.  Clearly Noelle can't really play a game like that so she doesn't have as much fun and we have to be sure to also play games she can easily do without having an adult partner.  She is fond of Monopoly Jr. and matching games.

I work with Bianca on Sunday so who knows what Justin and the kids will do, besides the grocery shopping.  I do know that Justin wants/needs to build a table/shelf for his trunk to sit on top of so it can be moved and not be in the middle of the room.  He needs something to raise it off the floor since the spot it is going to is over a vent in our bedroom.  It will be interesting to see what he is able to build.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

So long has passed...

I have decided that it is time to get back to this blog.  If nothing else, just so I don't forget details of what we have done.  And I know there are some family members that really enjoy reading about what we have been up to and seeing the pics.

So where are we right now?  Well, we are 18 weeks pregnant!!  We are very excited for a new baby, especially since we tried for 15 months for this little one.  We find out in one week if we will be having a boy or a girl.  I have no clue what J wants, I would LOVE another boy, and Adam wants one of each.  Well, we know for sure Adam is wrong!  I can't seem to remember what Noelle wants right now.  We will be taking the kids with us for the ultrasound and they seem excited about it.  The first 16 weeks of this pregnancy were very rough.  The doctor finally diagnosed me with Hypothyroidism and got me stated on meds for it and I feel so much better now.  It's nice to finally have some energy and want to get things done.  The baby will share our room for at least the first 6 months to a year.  We have cleared out the nook that will be the baby's and just need to get the rest of the furniture moved into it.  I am thinking I will put up some sort of curtain to separate it from our room a little, give us some privacy, and trick the baby into thinking he/she has his/her own room.

Aside from the pregnancy I have been busy with a new Nanny position I started in early July.  I work M-Th there and then one weekend day up North with Bianca.  Noelle is NOT going to this job with me and I have to admit it is nice to have the distance and time away from her.  It really helps me like and appreciate her more.  I LOVE my job and the baby (E) I work with.  E is 5 months old, fairly easy going, and just a joy to be with. His mom works from home T, W, Th and is also very easy to be with.  She allows me to do my job and trusts me whole heartedly with her son.

Adam started in the 2nd grade in July and is doing great.  He still enjoys school and loves to read.  He goes to before and after school care M-Th and seems to like it.  A lot of his friends are there so I think that helps.  I am having some of my normal frustration with his school that I have every year.  I just need them to push him more, especially in reading.  He left 1st grade reading at a 3rd grade level and proceeded to read 4 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books over his 5 week break.  Yet when he started 2nd grade his teacher was sending home books several levels below what he ended with for 1st grade, and is still doing so 7 weeks later.  I plan on meeting with her after school today hopefully so I can understand why she dropped him.  I am also going to start working with him a little extra at home on his math skills once I find out how they are "supposed" to do their subtraction nowadays.  Things change so much over the years and I want to make sure I am teaching the way his school expects him to do it.

Noelle is going to daycare M-Th and really likes it.  I think the structure and consistency in her days is really good for her.  She and I both LOVE our Fridays though.  We usually  drop Adam at Math Facts Mania and then head to Safeway for donuts and a small 1/2 caff coffee for me.  Then lately we go to the park and library.  Last week she played with a little girl at the park and actually asked for her by name when we were headed there today.  I was kinda sad when she wasn't there since I had a good time talking with the mom.  Friendship has been Noelle's biggest accomplishment since starting daycare (school).  She has lots of friends there and actually talks about them and even wants to do playdates.  Before now she never made friends except Lexie and Audrey, who she spent a ton of time with.  It makes me so happy to hear her go on and on about her buddies at school, especially Hyundin, a little boy who only goes a couple half days a week and that she apparently adores!  Here are some pics from our morning today(taken on my phone, so the quality pry isn't the best)!

At our favorite park. Lots of play equipment of varying levels and they have swings!


Time to pick Adam up from school and go to the park again!  I am really enjoying this more seasonal weather we are finally getting!!