Friday, January 31, 2014

Matthew at 15 months

We had Matthew's 15 month appointment on Tuesday and hooray his ear is still clear despite colds!

Anyway, he is walking (took a few steps Christmas Eve and then here and there until recently), but he still has the woobly and slow "old man walk" and I love it because he isn't fast yet. He knows when he needs to get somewhere FAST (like when Luke opens the door to let the dogs outside), to drop down and crawl. But he is walking more and more so I suspect he will be done with crawling all together soon.

He says "ma" and "da" and "guh" (dog, lol) and "ish" (fish). He loves to point at EVERYTHING and he loves food. He also is still my velcro baby always wanting to be right next to me. Luke has been really mean to him lately so this sounds horrible but I can't wait till he can fight back a little more or at least he's a little more stable on his feet because Luke finds it endlessly amusing to knock him down. (And yes we don't just let him but none of the consequences we've tried have helped much yet so far. I mean it helps for an hour.)

Luke will be 3 in 3 months and has NO interest in using the potty suddenly, even insisting on diapers then telling us to change him. (Annoying!) He can count to 18 and knows colors and some shapes I think. (Definitely knows colors and he just pointed out a circle and triangle.) He LOVES building lately (Matthew loves knocking it down which results in getting pushed or hit which results in 2 crying kids and Luke in time out...ahhh siblings.) Kisses still fix everything and he says the funniest things all the time. SOOO ready for preschool next year!

That is all for now but I really need to catch up again soon.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in review

I have been so horrible about blogging lately, this seems a good way to catch up and recap. Stolen from Brooke .

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Took a road trip to Florida with a 2 month old and almost 2 year old. "Met" Thomas the train. Went to my first (of many!) Pure Romance party. Left Luke at preschool. Went to Ikea for the first time (also of many!) I actually feel like we did a pretty decent job of kicking butt in 2013.

 2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Did I make a resolution last year? If I did, it's pretty much a blur. I probably resolved to lose the baby weight from Matthew which did not exactly happen. (Well, some of it.)

I want to *finish* losing the baby weight, start exercising more regularly again, and spend more deliberate time just playing with the kids, get back to blogging regularly again.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yep, I have a few friends who had baby girls this past year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Fortunately, no.

5. What countries did you visit?
No countries. We did take road trips to Florida, Chicago, Kansas City, and Steelville, MO. The boys were awesome travelers.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Health! We were sick for so much of 2013. Thankfully nothing serious but it was one constant cold after another and we ended the year with Matthew finally (hopefully) recovering from his 2-month-long ear infection. His tear duct corrected itself on it's own after we stressed and stressed for weeks about doing surgery to correct it or not. (And after being told since he was older than a year it would not correct itself on it's own...WRONG. It did, about a week after we were told that.) A healthy 2014 would be awesome.  And I wouldn't complain about money either. :)
7. What dates from 2013 will remained etched upon your memory?
Luke's 2nd birthday, Matthew's 1st birthday, Christmas with the boys, Luke's first Easter going on egg hunts and first time trick or treating.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting out of the house, regularly, with both boys on my own. (Sometimes even on time.)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Potty training has gone horribly wrong.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
We have been sick a lot with one minor annoying thing after another. We had the stomach flu twice. We are usually pretty healthy so it was a rough year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our new fireplace and sectional. Also my Nook glowlight. For the kids, our backyard wooden playset and our zoo membership.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I think Joe may win for taking us along to Florida and KC. The Cardinals for making it to the World Series.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
 Agreed with Brooke on Congress. And America in general with the lame Duck Dynasty crap and whatever. And the Cardinals for playing like crap and losing the World Series. And the crazy parents and their stupid crap my teacher mom and other friends who work in schools have to deal with regularly. I am so glad I am no longer teaching.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Stuff around the house- furniture, tv, kitchen island.

15. What did you get really excited about?
Cardinals! Matthew taking his first steps. Christmas with the kids.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
 Sad but "What Does the Fox Say" is the first thing that comes to mind. Luke likes doing the "nah nah nah" part and Matthew stands there and dances when it comes on.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder?  happier  
 thinner or fatter?  slightly thinner but definitely a work in progress
- richer or poorer?  about the same

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
More blogging, more sleep (nothing crazy but getting 5 hours a night in a row would be amazing on a regular basis).

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
 Less online shopping--went way overboard for Christmas on "great deals", on the bright side, done with Luke's bday present.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas morning with my parents and siblings after the boys played on their ride on train, then to my paternal grandmother's house for Christmas with the extended family, then the cemetery to visit Olivia, then home where the boys finally opened their presents under the tree. It was a crazy whirlwind day.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Already was.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
So many. New to me was Suits. New in general Masters of Sex except now our free trial for premium channels ended so I missed the last episode. (If you have Showtime, it is a fantastic drama about an obgyn/fertility doctor doing a study on human sexuality. It is based here in St.Louis at Wash U and is not actually as smutty as it sounds. It also touches on subjects like infertility and pregnancy loss and does it spectacularly IMO. It has been nominated for awards.) Not new but in general- New Girl, The Mindy Project, The Voice.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hmm. Not that I can think of.

24. What was the best book you read?
Lots of smut. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton was the funniest, "best" is relative.

25. What was your favorite musical discovery?
Hmm. Jetty Rae. She is a folksy style singer who sings about losing her daughter, especially "Climbing Clouds"

26. What did you want and get?
So many great trips and happy memories with our kids

27. What did you want and not get?

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
We have only seen Catching Fire in theater, and liked it a lot (and btw, it was totally worth the extra money for the fancy heated massage seats and food service!) We really don't get to watch a lot of movies because there is almost always little eyes and ears up if we are both awake. (Maybe that should be another goal for 2014- more date nights/find a real babysitter besides family!)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
30- went to dinner with my family, tried to have a party the next day but it turns out as usual Dec.27th is a horrible birthday-date wise, so my best friend from hs only made it and we hung out and watched Magic Mike and drank wine. (I made Joe take the kids out for a few hours.)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Eh...having Olivia here? Winning the lottery? This question is kinda lame because what's the point?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
"I hate my body right now"/struggling to find things that look decent/don't want to spend a lot of money on new clothes when I'm working on losing weight= lots of jeans and tshirts

 32. What kept you sane?
Watching the kids play together, is the best thing ever.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I love Kate Middleton as well. And Channing Tatum. :)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The gun control stuff makes me insane. Agree with Brooke on the ACA too.

35. Who did you miss?

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Drawing a blank.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
This too shall pass.
It is HARD having 2 kids only 18 months apart. I don't remember the last time I slept through the night, and if it happened there was almost definitely a kid in bed with us. It takes me an hour to get both kids ready and in the car (to say nothing of getting myself ready). The kids already fight over toys, hit and bite and push each other. And we were sick a lot last year. And Matthew is still VERY clingy especially to me.

But it definitely has gotten easier as they get older. I know there will be someday when I do get to sleep through the night without a kid draped across me. And I will probably miss these days of blogging with Matthew napping nestled up cozy in my other arm (literally right now). And it is worth all the hard work and hard times. It definitely beats the alternative of not having them here. The boys fill our hearts and lives with so much love and light.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Mine would be you
Sun keeps shining, back road flying
Singing like crazy fools
Making up our own words
Laughing 'til it hurts
Baby, if I had to choose
My best day ever
My finest hour, my wildest dream come true
Mine would be you

-Blake Shelton

2013, road trips, lots of laughs, two healthy, happy kids (albeit sleepfree), our finest hour yet.

I am happy to put 2013 "in the books" as my old softball coaches would say and looking forward to all of the promise 2014 holds. I hope all of your new years are full of love and laughter as well.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas with Luke

Luke is so in love with everything Christmas-y this year, especially the lights and snow and Christmas specials on tv.

This was our first year ever putting up lights on the outside of our house. Luke LOVES them and helps Joe turn them on every night.  And still, every day, he says, "Look! Look! Lights! Wow!"

And then the snow came for Friday morning (well, more like a dusting then actual accumulation.) He was so excited to see it. He looked out the sliding glass door to our backyard and was saying, "Wow! Snow!" Then he ran to the front door and was really excited "MORE SNOW!" He points the the backyard and says, "One snow" then points at the front, "Two snow!" Love it!

No real time to post more, Matthew just finally fell asleep (on his 3rd round of antibiotics for a freaking ear infection that is not going away), but wanted to write these down so I don't forget.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


So far behind in blogging.

Matthew is 1 now. Well almost 13 months actually. He is still a peanut around 35%ile's for height and weight. Not walking yet but he gets around fast. Starting to babble more.."da" for dad we think and maybe "duh" for dog but one year olds are tough. He makes sounds a lot but hard to tell if it's just a coincidence.

Matthew's right eye finally cleared up his blocked tear duct around 9 months but the other eye was still blocked even at his 1 year appointment. After MUCH agonizing on it, we made the firm decision that we were NOT going to have the surgery to correct it done on him, mainly because he would have to go under general anesthesia. His blocked tear duct does not affect his vision and doesn't seem to bother him. I just couldn't stomach the risk for that, even if they are tiny.

Anyway, our ped had already been pushing about the surgery even a month ago so he wasn't thrilled about it and went on about how it wouldn't clear up on it's own at this point, and that the surgery has much greater odds of success the sooner it is done (though still a 10% fail rate). I did some googling just to see more experiences with the procedure and actually found a lot of people with stories about how their ped pushed it but they decided not to and the blocked tear duct cleared up on it's own between 1 and 2. A week later, Matthew woke up with his eye completely clear and it has looked perfect ever since...going on 2 weeks now of being completely clear. Our ped would have had him in surgery a month ago if it had been up to him. I'm glad we went with our gut (which was screaming at me to wait!) and I really am leaning towards trying to find a family doctor I like and switching us all to them, soonish.

Luke turned 2.5 the day after Matt turned 1. He was Thomas for Halloween and LOVED trick-or-treating.
The kid is hilarious and cracks us up every day. A couple things I remember of the top of my head...
A couple days ago we were leaving a play place and there was a fire truck parked in the parking lot. I pointed it out to Luke as we drove by it (yes he is still rear facing but has no problem seeing stuff out the window), anyway he sees it and responds "Ohh! That's amazing!"
Today we were going to Costco and drove past a pond a few feet from the road.."Look mom! A river!"
Love this age. He is already in awe of all the Christmas decorations we see out and about and in stores, he is going to love the next month especially.

So I am #115 on the waiting list for the ultrasound program which is kind of sucky but mostly okay with me because I'm not that excited to have to put both kids in daycare fulltime anytime soon, and now we know it won't be anytime soon. If we decide to have one more baby, we have time to do that too, while I am still home and not working. (Not trying yet, or in the near future, Matthew still doesn't sleep through the night and that is a huge hold up for me.)

We spent a week in Kansas City and had an absolute blast there. We went to the zoo twice, the children's museum twice, an indoor playground, the aquarium, and this train restaurant that has a train deliver your (not very good) food. It is always a bit crazy traveling with young kids on our own, but it was definitely worth the craziness. Luke cried and wanted to go "back to the room" our 3 hour drive home, though he was happy to see our dogs.

Joe's birthday was at the beginning of November, this week we have our anniversary plus Thanksgiving. Trying to gear up for Christmas decorating this year and ,gulp, turning 30 at the end of December.

So much going on, there hasn't been much time to write and then it just got farther and farther behind. I will try to do better!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Four years eve

This week has been rough and full of triggers.

Yesterday I took the boys to a park by our house with a pond that has fish that practically dive out of the water for bread crumbs, we ended up driving by my OB's office and it was like I was there again, sitting in the room with the numbers that didn't add up, my OB talking about possibly having to deliver at 24 weeks if she didn't have a big growth spurt, then being relieved that they scheduled my next ultrasound for 4 weeks later, when I would be 26 weeks, so surely we would make it to 24.

I remember sitting in the hallway crying to my mom after the appointment, so stressed out about the prospect of a micropreemie and the NICU and how that was all going to work out with my new job from hell, and so worried about why she wasn't growing and what it had to do with the horrible pain I kept having.

It still never really crossed my mind that she would die. Not until a week later, when we were in the hospital being told we had to deliver that day and she would be stillborn if we didn't. Even though Joe held out hope, and told them to do everything they could to save her, even when we decided to have an emergency classic/vertical c-section instead of being induced in the hopes of saving her...I will never ever forget sitting in the ultrasound room where the doctor talked to us, watching her move on the screens, and knowing she was going to die.  It never occurred to me before then that babies die all the time, still, back in 2009 and now in 2013. There are still issues in pregnancy that cause babies to die,in some cases their mothers to die, that has no treatment or cure.

Today we went to a different park and a white butterfly found it's way over to Luke as he was running around the playground. It found him and followed him for a moment and then was gone. I know Olivia isn't reincarnated as a butterfly (well, I guess I don't know, but I don't think so). But I do like to think she sends us butterflies to let us feel closer to her.

It is hard to believe it has been four years tomorrow. Even four years later, tonight it feels like yesterday.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Matthew 9 month pictures

Two smiling kids? Not gonna happen.

Matthew was not.impressed.

Love so much about this picture, especially the boys' expressions, it is so them.

He just stared at us like this most of the morning.Not crying, but not smiling.

This made him smile for .5 seconds

Again, not impressed.

He has the pouty lip perfected.

This made him smile for a second too.
We did these in early August. I am ridiculously impressed and happy with how they turned out considering how hard Matthew made us work for them and really wasn't sure she got much to work with. (She would have stayed for more but they were both melting down big time and so we gave up.) She said she has more but thee are my favorites of what I have seen so far. Love them! Even my non-smiley kid ones.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beware of the ostrich.

I don't know if I mentioned this on here, but I ended up pulling Luke out of the preschool program. It was way too much work on my part for how much we were paying for it and not to mention Luke was not getting anything out of it other then crying the whole time. We probably waited a little too long to pull him out because now he is super super clingy to me like he has never been. (On the bright side, anytime now we are leaving somewhere fun I just have to say, "Luke, it's time to go, come on." He is RIGHT.THERE. ready to go.He cries when I leave him with Joe, even to go take a nap...not.good.)  There is a preschool program at the high school near us (where I went to school), which is SUPER cheap, 3 days a week, and it's run by the child development teacher and some high school kids that she selects. We went and checked it out the other day, it looks good. It is really close to our house and is a mix of kids 2-5 (most of them are 3-4). We are going to try to start Luke in January so I have to get him potty trained between now and then (which I had already planned to do but then when the preschool drama started we took a break from messing with it.) Anyway, no preschool anymore. (Luke still cries about it too. The other day we went to one of those places that let kids paint items. When I asked Luke if he wanted to go somewhere to paint he started crying and saying 'no paint! no school mom!"...awesome.)

In the absence of preschool, we have been keeping really busy finding stuff to do out and about. Matthew had a double ear infection last Monday so we were busy with that. Then we've been doing lots of parks and indoor playgrounds, the painting place, the train store, the mall toy store party place, etc. It is win-win-win. I cannot stand to stay home with the kids all day, I get stir crazy, they trash the house faster then I can clean it or keep up with them. (And yes, they, because Matthew is crawling and is ALL OVER THE PLACE. Our house is mostly baby proofed but then Luke accidentally knocks a box of kleenex on the floor and I'll be in the kitchen doing dishes and 2 minutes later I glance in on them and Matthew has emptied the entire box...stuff like that.) Anyway, most days we (I) try to sleep in while Luke watches tv or netflix while Matthew sleeps in with me because he is the reason I need to sleep in. We eat breakfast and then head out for something fun whether it's the library train tables, playground, whatever. Then back for lunch or drive thru somewhere, naptime, then Joe gets home. We have fallen into this schedule pretty nicely and it makes for happier all of us although it isn't very conducive to getting groceries or meals at home accomplished.

This weekend on Friday night we went to the train store's family fun night. Luke played at the train tables for hours. Joe bought more track pieces that we "needed". Matthew watched all the kids playing in awe. It was a good night.

 On Saturday, we got Direct Tv installed (thank you god for not having our installer be our next door neighbor. Our neighbor is perfectly nice, it's just that our basement is a mess and our house is not really "have company over" clean...especially company in our bedrooms and basement and stuff. I know the installers have seen much worse but still I didn't want it to be our next door neighbor to see us every day and think about what a mess our basement is, etc.) Anyway, while Joe was home with the tv stuff, my mom and I took the boys to Lowe's kids' building workshop where they were building fire trucks. It is free and I registered Luke for it a few weeks ago. The recommended age was 5, so I was really really hesitant and hoping they wouldn't give us trouble bringing a 2 year old, (I had planned that we would have to do most of the building, but I figured Luke would like to watch and "help" and then have the fire truck to play with.) For some reason I was imagining that we'd be having to saw and paint and stuff, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that they handed us a "kit" with wood pieces we basically just nailed all together. They didn't even blink twice about Luke's age and there were at least a few other kids his age there too. He got a little bored with the watching but LOVED hammering and handing us nails and stickers and stuff. Thank goodness I brought my mom because I screwed up and used the wrong size nail early on which would have screwed up the entire project (I didn't realize they had 2 different sizes in the kit, they all looked the same when I glanced at it). Anyway, Luke has been playing with his fire truck that he made all weekend. We will definitely do this again and I highly recommend it.

This morning we got up and went out to "Wild Joel's Safari". It's basically country farm meets petting zoo meets small zoo. They have a couple buffalo, tons of goats, llamas, ostriches, emu, birds, snakes, zebras, etc. etc. It is not very far from us and we'd never been there and thought we'd give it a try. They sell feed cups and you get to walk around feeding the animals (that are fenced). Luke loved it and had a lot of fun. Matthew was pretty intrigued by the animals as well. Joe and I did most of the feeding and helping Luke feed them. We refilled our small cup a couple of times, and as we are getting towards the end there is an ostrich kind of off to the side in the back. I took note of the sign that said, "If you feed the ostrich, put your feed cup in so it does not have to reach. DO NOT feed from your hand!", but didn't really think that much about it. And as we neared the ostrich, I was a little distracted watching the zebras, and didn't really pay much attention when Joe said, "That ostrich sounds mean." So of course I put my feed cup towards the ostrich which leans over the fence, bites my hand and grabs the half full cup from me and pulls it into his yard. Okay, well that's my version...maybe what really happened was I screamed when I felt the ostrich's beak on my finger and let go of the cup and it took it from my hand. I definitely screamed, and my finger definitely got "bit" (it didn't actually hurt or break my skin or anything, just freaked me out), and our cup definitely ended up inside the fence with the ostrich. Good thing we were almost done. That thing was eyeing Luke in a way I did not like so I pushed him along to the other stuff. Joe shook his head and said, "I just said it looked really mean!" I didn't really plan to feed it, though, it just kind of happened. Anyway, I'm pretty anti-ostrich now. But it was a really fun morning and Luke had a blast.

All in all, it has been a really busy weekend. Our backyard may be in desperate need of mowing and our basement is still a mess, but we had fun. Somewhere over the past couple of weeks I broke my camera so I have no pictures from it, but it sounds like a 'grown up' camera is in my future.