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. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Football, snow, & playdates...

Those are just a few of the things that we've been busy with over the past couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago we headed out into the cold Saturday wind to watch the IA/MN football game.  Our friend Erin, and her adorable little guy Carter spent the night with us on Friday so they joined Nate & me as well.  Ava & Grant just loved Carter.  They are still asking about him.  Ava is so sweet with babies, very nurturing.  Grant was also very gentle with him and just loved him.  Ava & Grant did not join us for the football game.  We bit the bullet and hired a sitter for the day.  We had such a great time tailgating with friends and enjoying the great game and HUGE victory over IA.  With 4 pair of pants, 4 shirts, 2 pair of socks, and my winter gear I didn't even get cold.  :)

Sunday morning we tried out a new church about 10 minutes from here called Hosanna.  Ava was excited to go to Sunday school, and Grant was actually pretty good hanging with us in church.  I wasn't quite ready to see if he would be ok in the 2 yr old room, since it seemed to be quite full with a few crying kids as we walked by.  We really enjoyed the service, and went back again last week.  Ava likes it there, and so do Nate and I.  I'm hopeful that we have found a new church for our family that doesn't require a 45 minute drive.  As much as we will miss Plymouth Covenant, it will be so nice to have a church so close to home.  One that we can drive to even if the weather isn't optimal.  I'm very excited about this!

Big news on the swim lessons front, Ava passed out of her current class last week.  She will remain in the same class for the next week, but has passed all of her skills to advance to the next level.  She has improved so much this session.  She's now swimming with her head under the water for short periods of time, back floating, and jumping in.  She loves it and is always excited to go.  Almost as excited for swim lessons as dance class, which she is still loving!

Grant is still talking up a storm, and is officially a non-cryer at daycare drop off.  This makes us so happy!  Eventually we'll head back to the gym and see if we can conquer the gym daycare so that I can actually go work out.  I've been waking up at 4:40 on my days off to go running with some of the neighbor girls.  It's been quite chilly.  The windchill this morning was -1.  Once you get going it's not bad.  It's just kind of a cruel way to wake your body up so early in the morning.  It always feels good to get it done so early though. 

This past weekend was the gopher's last home football game.  I decided to take one for the team and stay home with the kids (in the nice warm heated house with the fireplace on), while Nate got to go and enjoy tailgating and the game in the beautiful cold snow.  He said it wasn't too cold, and that he had a great time.  Great energy at the stadium that day.  Mema & Boppa came down and spent the morning with us.  The kids were so excited.

Speaking of Mema, she started radiation this past Monday.  She goes 5 days a week.  She's hoping to finish up before the end of the year, but it all depends on how many days she can go around the holidays.  We're all looking forward to the new year, as this past one has been a difficult one for her!

Other than football, and the usual schedule the kids and I have been busy with play dates.  We are so fortunate to live in such a great neighborhood with so many kids around Ava & Grant's age.  We had a couple of play dates here at the house, went to the local community center with an indoor playground and gym, and on Tuesday I took the kids to the Children's Museum.  It's never a boring day around here. 

We are looking forward to our trip to IA next week, where we'll get to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  Wishing you safe travels and a happy  Thanksgiving filled with family and lots of blessings!
 
Avery, Ava, & Caylin loved riding this bikes at the gym.
Carter's first tailgating experience.  He did great!
Kersten, Kate, Meredith, Anne, & me tailgating
Nate, Great, Matt, Nathan, & Josh
The Veldmans and the Voights

We were supposed to get over a foot of snow two weeks ago so we had to try everything on to make sure it fit.  Thankfully the meteorologists were wrong once again.  We lucked out and only got a couple inches at most.

Some snuggle time as we waited for Grant to wake up one morning
Cooking me up a burger at the Children's Museum
The kids loved the new Clifford exhibit
Grant was all about touching the live snakes.  Ava was happy with just observing. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Chemo, candy, and a tooth

We hope that you all had a safe and fun Halloween. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and then Christmas. I would say the Christmas season, but I feel like that started a month ago in all of the stores. I'm usually not big on Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, but I'm just about done with the kids already. Not that I normally stress around the holidays, but it will be one less thing to think about when I would rather be snuggled up on the couch when it's snowing outside. Speaking of snow, it's supposed to make it's first appearance here either tomorrow or early next week. I am Not excited about this!!! Getting the kids strapped into their car seats with big winter coats on, and the time it takes for boots, hats, mittens, etc. Not to mention that just thinking about the driving gives me anxiety. What are you going to do? It's only 6 months right? :)

Back to Halloween, we had a very busy day. We started the day off with Grant's 2 yr well child check. He is a big healthy boy weighing in at 38.2 lbs and is 37 1/2 inches tall. He continues to have his umbilical hernia, but it is very small so Dr. Saxton doesn't think that it needs surgical intervention unless he would have to go under anesthesia for another reason.  I was pleased with that, since the last time he had anesthesia he had a horrible wake-up.  Both of the kids got their flu shots and then we were off to surprise Mema for her last chemo treatment.  The kids and I went and got balloons that morning (which was a slight nightmare) and they made cards/posters for her.  She was very surprised.  Then Boppa treated us to lunch at McDonalds.  That evening they came over for dinner and handed out candy while Nate and I took the kids trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.  They brought back tons of candy.  Thankfully they were happy with just going around the block, as it was quite chilly out.  Ava loved getting the candy, Grant loved knocking on the doors. 

I had to work on Saturday and Sunday.  On my way home Sunday evening I got a text from Nate with a picture of Ava captions "Notice anything missing?"  Ava lost her first tooth.  I was shocked.  I was even looking for facial trauma thinking that she must have fallen and got it knocked out.  Well, she didn't fall, but it didn't happen entirely naturally either.  She told me that she bit into Grant's soccer ball to see if the air came out of the black dot.  When that happened her booth evidently bent a good 45 degrees backwards into her mouth.  There was blood and whining, and then Nate plucked it out.  They called our friend "Dr. Greg" to make sure that everything was ok.  Ava was reassured that he said she would be ok.  Monday night she left her pillow on her bedside table and the tooth fairy brought her a nice dollar bill.  She informed me Tuesday morning that the tooth fairy came and brought her a dollar bill.  Then she said, "sometimes the tooth fairy brings $5.  Thanks Grandpa B for telling her that.  From now on we'll make sure to bring her teeth to your house. 

Wednesday Ava had dance and they started to work on their recital piece.  Yes, it will take them 6 months to learn this.  I am already looking forward to the recital though (hopefully I can get that day off work).  They are all so cute!

We have a fun weekend planned.  Our friend Erin is coming to visit for the night and bringing her sweet little man Carter.  He may be the happiest baby I have ever met, and I can't wait to see him again.  Tomorrow morning we have Maddie coming over to babysit for the day.  I'm hoping that Grant doesn't freak out when he wakes up and she's here, since she'll be here all day.  Nate and I are heading to the IA/MN football game.  Of course the weather is supposed to be "blustery" with wind gusts up to 30 mph.  It will be a chilly one, but I'm sure a great time spent with friends that we don't get to see very often.  Sunday we are hoping to check out a new church by our house.  We're still looking for a new church to call home.  It's kind of difficult to do with two small children that are used to going to Sunday school rather than sitting through an adult service.  Hopefully it goes well and we find something that feels like "home" soon. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


Mema was surprised.  This was her last chemo treatment...YAY!!!  Unfortunately, next week she will start radiation 5 days a week for 28 days.  Praying that this is easier on her than the chemo!  We can't wait for this chapter to come to an end.  Ava is ready to have sleep overs again.  :)
You wouldn't be able to tell from this picture that he was on the floor screaming"off,off,  want to watch football with Boppa" three minutes prior to this picture
Our puppy and Cinderella
Miss Ava missing her bottom tooth.  My baby girl is growing up way to fast.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A weekend of celebrating

This past weekend Grant had his "Thomas party". There was nothing Thomas about his party except for his cake. He wanted the Thomas cake, and napkins, hats, and plates with balls on them. He called it his Thomas party and he was so excited about it. So excited that he fell asleep 30 minutes before it started.  It was good though, he was in a much better mood after I woke him up to have lunch.  There were about 20 people here to celebrate, which was perfect and low key.  The weather was great so Nate got to grill for lunch.  Grant couldn't have been more excited to hear everybody sing to him and to blow his candles out.  He was pretty excited about his presents as well.  A huge thank you to everybody who came to celebrate our little man, especially those in my family who drove 4 and 5 hours.  We are so blessed to have such a supportive family.

The fun actually started on Friday evening.  Aunt Lori and David came Friday afternoon just before Grant woke up from him nap.  They read stories, played lots of catch, played games, and had dinner with us.  We were so happy that they could come and spend some time with us that evening.  After dinner Aunt Lisa, Zacky, & Reece arrived.  Needless to say, the kids were up late playing and having a great time.  Grandma & Grandpa Becker, as well as Grandma Great didn't arrive until around 11:30.  We didn't stay up for them. 

Sunday morning we had breakfast, said good bye to Aunt Lisa and the boys, and got ready to carve pumpkins.  By we I mean Nate, David, and myself.  The kids watched us clean them out (ok, Aunt Lori, David, and Nate cleaned them out) and lost interest very quickly.  They played with Grandma & Grandpa while Nate, David, and I carved pumpkins.  Nate did the kids's names, and did a great job at them once again this year.  David carved one free hand, making sure that every detail was perfect (and it was).  I on the other hand cheated and used a pattern from one of those books that you buy.  They all turned out great, as you can see below. 

This week has been very busy.  I worked Monday through Wednesday, and every night I have rushed home to get ready to leave again.  Monday evening Uncle Wes came over to watch the kids so that Nate and I could go out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.  It was so nice to get away, just the two of us.  We arrived home 20 minutes after bedtime to find Grant running through the house with a football and Ava playing in the living room with the TV on.  She told me that she "tricked Uncle Wes" into letting her watch TV.  They were having a great time.  We finally corralled them into bed.  Uncle Wes stayed to read Ava her bedtime stories.  Thanks Uncle Wes for the babysitting.  It was very much appreciated!

As I mentioned in my last post, swim lessons have begun, so we're doing those on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Ava's instructor told me after Tuesday's class that Ava had improved so much and was doing good.  That made me feel so much better.  Ava informed me that it's because she was wearing her goggles.  I guess she'll be wearing them again tonight. 

Last night Ava had dance, which she continues to absolutely love.  They got measured for their recital costumes.  The recital isn't until next spring, but I can only imagine how cute it is going to be. 

Tomorrow is a busy day.  We have errands to run in the morning before Grant's 2 yr well child check, which will include immunizations for him, and a flu shot for both kids.  He's going to once again hate going to the dr.  We then have a big fun errand (will update on that next blog post) to run after our appointment.  Then it's back home for naps, snack, and getting ready to go trick-or-treating in the frigid cold.  Mema & Boppa are planning on coming down for dinner and will then hand out candy so that we can both take the kids trick-or-treating.  Should be a fun day!

Wishing you all a wonderful and safe Halloween.  Don't forget to turn your clocks back this weekend!
Opening presents on his actual birthday

Reading his new book from Auntie Lisa P, Uncle Craig, & Nick

This is the look of a little girl who has to take a step back from being to helpful opening gifts
He loved wearing his sleeping bag backpack around. 

I love his face in this picture.  He is filled with delight and excitement.  Wish I could freeze him in this moment forever. 
He loved his new helmet so much.  He wore it around the house and outside to mow
Grandma took the kids outside to play for a little bit.  Sad how early it gets dark!
The kids wanted nothing to do with getting their hands dirty with pumpkin guts. 
Instead of carving pumpkins they had a picnic with Grandma 
 
The final results of the pumpkin carving. 
David's pumpkin that he did free hand.
 
 
I forgot to post this picture last time.  It was taken in the photo booth at cousin Daniel and Vanessa's wedding.