Tuesday, February 17, 2015

No pictures again. :(

I don't know what's going on with my blogger account, but I once again am unable to load pictures today.  I'm super disappointed because I had a lot to share with you.  We've been very busy, and have had some big changes (big changes for a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old). 

A week and a half ago we loaded the car to head to Des Moines for a weekend get together with Luther friends (Nate's college roommates and their wives, who all also graduated from Luther, and the kiddos).  We didn't arrive until late Friday night so I dropped Nate off at the hotel and the kids and I went to Aunt Lisa & Uncle Brent's for the night.  The kids had a great time seeing everybody, and Grandma & Grandpa even came up for the night.  The next morning the four of us met up with everybody at the hotel and then went to the SkyZone to jump.  The kids had so much fun, as did the adults.  The guys had so much fun that that evening they were all popping Ibuprofen and getting adjustments from our friend Jason who is a chiropractor.  Sucks getting old!  :)  After jumping we headed back to the hotel for lunch and naps, and then hit the pool.  The kids had so much fun playing on the water slides and in the pool.  Grant has been talking about the trampolines and water slides for the past week and a half.  Grant went and spent Saturday night with Aunt Lisa & Uncle Brent, which was so nice.  We joined them for lunch on Sunday before heading back home.  We had such a great time reconnecting with our Luther friends and their kids.  We're looking forward to our next gathering already.   

This past weekend I took vacation on Saturday, not because of Valentine's Day, but because I dread my 12 hr night shifts so much.  Our neighbor Susan came over and took some pictures of Ava for her 5 yr old pictures.  Yes, 5 yrs.  I can not believe that in 8 days (she informed me of this this morning) that she will be 5.  It seems like such a big number to me, as so much will be changing as she gets ready to head off to Kindergarten.  I went and enrolled her last week and it was kind of surreal.  Where has the time gone?  I'm so excited for her as I know that she'll love it and is definitely ready for it.  However, I feel like this is the beginning of the slippery slope where I start to "lose her".  Perhaps that makes no sense to you.  I am so grateful that she is the independent and smart little girl that she is.  I know that she will thrive in kindergarten and I am excited for her to experience these new things.  On the other hand, it makes me sad that we won't have the random play dates to the zoo or Children's Museum.  My time with her is becoming more and more limited.  It's a love/hate thing really.  I love that she doesn't need me for everything little thing all the time, but also hope that she'll always "need me" or at least want to be with me.  I don't want to be her best friend, but want her to know that I will be her biggest cheerleader, will support her in good and bad times, and will always love her unconditionally.  Even when she's 33, she'll still be my baby girl!

As we get ready to celebrate her birthday, her theme changes from day to do.  The constant is that it's always a princess.  Her big change is that we took her 5 point harness car seat out of the cars yesterday and put in her booster seats.  This morning we went for our first drive.  She showed me that she could buckle herself in, and unbuckle herself.  The good thing is that this will save me time from being out in the freezing cold and strapped two kids in.  I just pray that they are as safe.  I would probably keep her in a 5 point harness until she was 16 if I could.  She's plenty big for the booster (Grant is big enough for it), I'm just overly paranoid/protective. 

Now to Grant being big...he's becoming more and more of a big boy every day.  Big news from him, he's starting to go pee pee on the potty.  Today we've already had three successful trips to the bathroom.  He is so proud of himself, and Ava is proud of him too (or she at least acts like it so that she can get an M&M too).  I love it!  What I don't love is how defiant this little man can be.  He definitely has a case of the terrible twos.  The bad thing is that he's 41 pounds now, so picking this kid up when he's misbehaving is getting more and more challenging every ounce that he gains.

On the health front, Grant had another ear infection.  We followed up with our ENT last week and he thinks that it would be beneficial to put in another set of tubes and take his adenoids out.  I agree and we will plan to proceed with this.  In the meantime, we have an appointment with a general pediatric surgeon to get Grant's umbilical hernia looked at.  If he's going under anesthesia I would like everything done at one time if it needs to be repaired.  I'm anticipating that he will need it repaired, and the poor little guy will have three surgeries while he's out. 

Other than that, our week has consisted for spending some time with Mema & Boppa on Saturday.  They came down for the day, and Nate and I got to run a few errands during the day which was very nice.  Mema helped bake cookies and decorated them, while Boppa got plenty of time playing ball with G-man.  It was a very nice, low key day. 

Thanks for checking in.  I'll be working on pictures.  :(  

Friday, January 30, 2015

I am happy to report that our house is now plague free.  We had quite a time with the pneumonia, RSV, and whatever else bug was floating between the kids.  Thankfully they both got healthy before Nate headed to FL a few weeks ago and I left for Kansas City.  Boppa was a single Boppa on Thursday night, and Mema came for some back-up on Friday night.  The kids had a great time, and were happy and healthy when we all returned home over the weekend.  While Nate was working in FL, I was able to sneak away to KC to see my best friend from high school, and meet her sweet girl Sadie who was born in Dec.  Loved spending time with their family, and seeing big brother Nick who is growing up so quickly.  I hate that they are so far away, but am so grateful that they opened their home to me for those four days so we could spend some time together. 

The following weekend, Nate was a single dad again as I had to work the weekend.  It was a busy week prior to that with dance, work, etc.  We also took Grant in to get tested for an immune deficiency disorder.  He's been so sick lately that we wanted to make sure that he didn't have it.  After a VERY long morning of 3 blood draws at two different locations we finally got the blood that they needed, and the kids got a huge cookie to celebrate.  Poor Grant had a very rough morning, and Ava was very brave as she watched everybody hold down her little brother to get the blood.  We got good news this week that the tests came back normal.  Grant just has what every other little kid in MN has this winter...lots of illness. 

This past week has been more of the same...ECFE, play date at the zoo, dance, work, etc.  Ava was very excited to get to see her recital costume for dance this week.  They've been practicing their recital piece.  They are so darn cute!

Tonight we're anxious to welcome Aunt Darlene, Great Grandma, Cousin Melissa, & Aunt Moe Moe to our house for the night.  Ava & I will be joining them tomorrow to watch cousin Carl perform in show choir in Bloomington.  Then Sunday we're going to  head over to a neighbor's house for a Super Bowl party.  Hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

I'm sad to report that I can not download any pictures on here today.  I'm not sure what is going on.  Hopefully I can get some up later this week!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sick & Cold

The start of 2015 has been a bit rough for us.  We started out with a trip to the pediatrician's office on new years eve with G-man.  He had a horrible cough and fever that came on suddenly over night.  I took him in because I was fearful that he had influenza.  Well, if he did we wouldn't know because our clinic was out of swabs.  Not a big deal since I later found out (after they swabbed Ava) that they are only 40% accurate anyway...giving many many false negatives.  I've learned through work that we also have more expensive swabs that are more accurate...but not always used.  Anyway, we left the pediatrician's office with a diagnosis of pneumonia, and a boat load of prescriptions, including the dreaded steroids that pump my son's body full of energy so he doesn't take naps.  I knew that it was serious when he refused to eat on new years day.  I thankfully have the best neighbors, and one of them came to watch the kids while I ran to Target to get some pedialyte.  I called in sick child on Friday and stayed home with the little man since he still had fevers.  By Saturday, he was good to go. 

So, back to new years.  Nate and I attempted to go to a party after the kids were down.  Unfortunately Grant woke up 15 minutes after we arrived at the party.  I just hung out with our sitter until Nate got home for me to take her home.  I just couldn't bear leaving him again since he was sick with such high fevers.  Nate was in bed early (for his super early flight to FL) and I went back to the party to bring in the new year with the neighbors. 

New Years day Nate was up way before the sun to catch his 6 am flight to the  Citrus Bowl game in FL.  He, Boppa, Uncle Wes, & Aunt Janna took a one day trip to FL to cheer on the gophers.  Unfortunately, the gophers couldn't pull off a win, but they had fun anyway.  Nate got home around midnight that night. 

I unfortunately had to work my 12 hr night shift Saturday.  I got off on Sunday morning at 7:30, stopped at home and picked up Ava, and took her to Urgent Care with a fever and cough.  They swabbed her for influenza, which came back negative (as she was throwing up in the garbage can).  She was super pumped when the Dr. brought her in a pedialyte freezy.  She's still talking about that "special Mr. Freezy".  She also got a diagnosis of pneumonia and some antibiotics.  It was noon by the time I got home, so had to call in ill child once again.  I'm glad I did, as her fever got up to 105.6 that evening.  After stripping her down, drugging her, and giving her a luke warm bath, we got control of her fever.  She has now been fever free since Monday night, but continues to have this horrible cough.  I'm hoping it will be gone soon.  It's such a nasty winter for illness everywhere. 

It's been a high of 0 degrees here for many days this week.  It's absolutely dreadful.  Even though the kids were feeling better, we were still trapped inside due to the cold temps and dangerous windchills.  Can't wait for the warm-up next week...28 degrees is feeling tropical.  :)

We hope that you all had a wonderful new years, and that 2015 has started off happy and healthy for you and your families. 
 
While Daddy was enjoying outdoor football in FL, we were shooting hoops in the basement. 
Naps on the couch during the gopher game

Ava building me a house
Snuggled up, looking at pictures
We were on a camping trip Thursday morning.  What do you do when you go camping?  You make s'mores by the fire of course (even if it is 10 am).
Nate, Boppa, & Wes at the Citrus Bowl

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas

We've been staying very busy with holiday preparation and celebration.  There are hundreds of pictures that I could post,  but I'll limit it to the following... 
These would be the glasses that Grant got from the dentist when Ava went.
 Decorating Christmas cookies, and then enjoying them.

We had a play date with our friends Maria, Syd, and Juliet.  We attempted to make gingerbread houses.  It's safe to say that I'd never live in a house that any of us built. 

One night we decided to do pj's, Christmas lights, and hot cocoa.  We invited some of the neighbors to join us.  The kids had a blast, and I'm pretty sure that Caribou couldn't have been happier to see a group of people leave. 





My little reindeer at Grandma & Grandpa's house.  We celebrated Christmas in IA the weekend before Christmas.  Everybody was able to be there except for Uncle Rick, who recently had back surgery.  The house was filled, and we all had a great time.  It's always hard to say good bye and come back home.  We left early Monday morning to make it back for Grant's ENT appointment.  He passed his hearing test, and his ears look good after that horrible infection.  They want to see him back in June, and if his tube is still present they will discuss surgically removing it (and if they want to proceed I'll get a second opinion). 

Ava was obsessed with "exercising" with the Wii.  As you can see, the kids really got in to it (Nate, not so much)  :)

Grandma & Grandpa with all the grandkids
Sisters...love these girls! (ok, technically one is my sister-in-law)
Santa & the Mrs. came again this year.

Ready for their Christmas program.  Both kids did such a great job singing.  Loved watching them "perform"!



Ava took this picture, she did pretty darn good. 
Ava didn't mention that she was going to be Mary at her program.  We were very surprised.  She did great, and didn't even drop baby Jesus!
Christmas eve

The whole family (minus Uncle Rick)
Grant loved playing the piano and singing. 
We had our own little Christmas at our place on Christmas morning.  Around 9:30 Uncle Wes, Aunt Janna, Mema, & Boppa came for brunch and presents.  Wes & Janna left after gifts, I had to leave shortly after 2:00 to go and work an evening shift, and Mema & Boppa stayed until almost 7 that evening.  It was nice that they were able to stay so that Nate didn't have the kids by himself on Christmas.  It should be my last Christmas to work (as long as I stay at the same hospital).  I couldn't be happier.  It was so hard leaving my babies on Christmas, and not being able to tuck them into bed on Christmas night. 
Grandma Great and the great grandkids

Playing a little late night soccer.  Grandma Great gave Grant his soccer net. 
Two happy kiddos on Christmas morning. 

We celebrated our last Christmas yesterday.  We spent the day in Hollandale for the Veldman Christmas.  Other than Grant falling and scraping his head on the wall just seconds prior to family pictures, and him missing his nap and crying "I want a nap" as we finally just carried him out to the car at 5:00, it was a great celebration.  We got to see all of the Veldmans, and meet baby Maci so I was able to get my baby fix.  She is so sweet and adorable.  We're ready to get back into our routine and stay home for awhile though.

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas.  Wishing you all a happy and safe new year!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving week

We hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to spend time with family and/or friends. We were fortunate enough to get to spend Thanksgiving with my family in IA this year. We had plenty of time to reflect on our many blessings during the 6 hour and 15 minute drive to Grandma & Grandpa's. Yes, that's a short nap, 3 movies, 2 near accidents, and some greasy gas station cheese balls. Needless to say, the weather was not good and the roads were even worse. At one point we were going to turn around, but Ava really wanted to keep going (even though she asked us 50 times if we were almost there). Thankfully we made it safely and were able to enjoy our time there.

Let me rewind to last Tuesday.  Tuesday was an eventful day in our house.  After getting off work I picked the kids up from day care and rushed home to get ready for swim lessons.  As I was unloading stuff in the kitchen Grant fell on the hardwood floor.  Now, Ava tells me that she didn't push him.  She may have however, "brushed up against him".  He cried for a short time and was then fine.  I looked him over, and as I did I found this...

Yes, Grant chipped his tooth and then swallowed it.  We made an emergency call to our friend "Dr Greg" in IA to consult him on what we should do.  Thankfully there was no blood, just a very sharp tooth.  We had little time to dwell on this, and rushed out the door to swim lessons.  Ava was a rock star in the pool and passed her test to move on to the next level.  I'm amazed at the progress that she made in that short month.  We'll start lessons up again in February. 

Wednesday morning Ava went to day care while I took Grant into a pediatric dentist for an emergency visit.  Of course he doesn't start on our dental insurance until January 1st.  Oh well!  They were great with him.  The looked it all over, smoothed the tooth out, put a little flouride treatment on there, and sent us out the door.  I dropped him off at day care so I could run an couple of errands and pack.  We picked the kids up after lunch and started on our long journey south. 

Thursday was our big family gathering. The kids had a great time playing with everybody, especially their cousins. I have never been a black Friday shopper, but did head into Younkers with my mom and sister after the kids were in bed (and Daddy was half asleep on the couch).  It wasn't crazy at all, since the store opened at 6:00 and we didn't get there until after 9:00.  I was not going to miss putting my babies to bed on Thanksgiving so that I could go shopping.  Seems so wrong!

Friday morning we were all up early to head to IA City to tailgate for the IA/Nebraska football game.  It was a cold one!  Aunt Lisa & Uncle Brent brought there motorhome.  Now that is the way to tailgate in the cold!  Nate went to the game and I stayed back in the heated motor home with Great Grandma & Aunt Darlene.  Somebody had to hold the fort down.  :)  That evening Grandma Great, Aunt Lori, & Uncle Matt came down for dinner and for some birthday cake and ice cream for Aunt Lori.  The kids and Grandma even put the Christmas tree up that night.  The kids loved decorating it. 

At 12:30 am on Saturday Grandpa woke me up saying that Ava was sick.  I went downstairs to a very steamy bathroom where Grandma was sitting with her.  Her breathing was very tight and she had a horrible cough and felt very warm.  The steam didn't seem to be helping much so I brought her upstairs to sleep in our bedroom.  Thankfully she was able to fall asleep and the coughing subsided.  Her airway still sounded tight, so I was up frequently to make sure she was still breathing.  Grant woke up that morning with a cough and felt warm as well.  We let the kids play for a bit, had an early lunch, and hit the road. 

We laid low the rest of Saturday with the kids not feeling well.  At midnight that night Grant woke up with a fever of 104.6.  Poor little guy had the chills and chugged a whole cup of water.  I stripped him down, gave him Ibuprofen, and rocked him until his fever came down to 103.  Then I prayed that he wouldn't have a febrile seizure if it went back up.  Thankfully Ava had a restful night and had just a slight fever on Sunday.  I took Grant to Urgent Care on Sunday and they couldn't find anything wrong with him.  He continues to have fevers >102 today, and now has copious amounts of green snot constantly oozing out of his nose and now out of his eyes.  I'm calling in sick tomorrow and we'll be heading to the pediatrician in the morning. 

Well, that pretty much sums up our week.  Here are some pictures for you...
Thanksgiving day.  So thankful for these two amazing kiddos.  They bring more joy into our lives than we could have ever imagined.  I wish I could freeze them at this age.  I love watching them play together.  Ava is so nurturing towards Grant, and Grant idolizes Ava copying everything she does.  I pray that they will always love each other the way that they do right now.
Filling up their piggy banks at Grandma & Grandpa's
Chill time with Zacky
These kids love looking at pictures (at least I think that's what they are doing with his phone)
Looking for Herky the cat
Grandma watched the kids while Nate and I went to the game on Friday.  They stayed very busy baking and playing.  Thank you SO much Grandma.  We enjoyed our day away, and they enjoyed their day with you!
The best part of baking!
Grant LOVED driving the tractor with Grandpa.  It sounds like he could use a little more practice. 
All the cousins
Celebrating Aunt Lori's birthday
Grant & his buddy Grandpa
Ava got to drive the tractor too.  She told us she wasn't a very good driver...Grandpa confirmed that this was indeed a true statement. 
Grant also got to "drive" Grandpa's semi.  He could have stayed in there all day.
Playing outside


Tailgating in Iowa City

Grant's favorite part about putting the tree up was definitely the train.