Sunday, March 30, 2014

Green is Good...Really Good!

We had an anomaly this week...Ava got 5 green days in a row!  We've had fun each day coloring the appropriate earned color on her Barbie calendar, and it hit me that this month, she's had a majority of greens with a smattering of yellow.  So proud of her for keeping that non-stop mouth under control!  And for that, she's earned a trip to the Barbie Dreamhouse at the Mall of America.  I won't lie, I'm also looking forward to it. :)

We actually haven't seen her since yesterday.  Ha.  That makes it sound like our little 5 year old is off wandering the streets of Minneapolis, getting into some crazy hijinks.  In reality, she's been with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey since after school yesterday.  They picked her up and surprised her with a trip to the circus this afternoon.  We'll have to see what she thought of it!  We're also bringing G up to their house for an overnight adventure.  Scott and I are going to celebrate with one of my newly married co-workers.  I'm looking forward to some excellent Indian food tonight! (Editor's note from post-party: the food was fantastic, and it was heart-warming to see so many people at this celebration!)

Everyone's health improved this week.  G got over his crappy croup, Ava healed from her sickly strep.  Even Darla, who has had something funky with her left eye is on the mend (anytime an eyeball oozes blood, it's a tad concerning.)  Scott took her to the vet and they gave her some ointment - she's looking so much better, thank goodness.

I had a great day off of work on Friday.  G didn't have daycare so he and I hung out at home and got a ton of stuff done.  That never ending pile of paper on our counter seems to have an end!  It was a great feeling to get caught up with so many tedious projects.  Still lots to go, but we made progress.  I think I just need to set bite-sized goals for each week, and not be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of things.  Before we know it, spring will really be here, and we'll have lots of fun landscaping projects to work on.  Out with the muddy front yard, and in with the sod!  And flowers.  And garden (maybe just an herb garden this year...)

This made me giggle...G was tucked away against the wall, almost hiding in the curtains one night this week.  It seemed like a good way to be camouflaged from his inquisitive big sister...

 I didn't realize that dogs spoon...they LOVE soaking up the sun!  It is nice and warm in our guestroom from that huge window.

Scott and I are off to enjoy breakfast this morning, while it's still just the two of us...and then chaos (+ her brother) will return.  I missed that chaos, and can't wait to put my arms around it and give it (her) a squeeze!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Should Have Knocked on Wood...

Remember when just a mere seven days ago, I said it was great that G hadn't gotten sick yet?  We SO should have found a 2x4 and pounded the heck out of it.  G developed a really nasty cough, and on Tuesday, I ended up taking him to the doc to get it checked out.  Turns out that G had croup.  Awesome!  He's too young for steroids, so we couldn't help the virus with medication.  Double awesome!

So, what do you do?  You pull out the humidifier, crank it up, and pray for the best.  G ended up staying home with Scott on Wednesday, but he was back to daycare on Thursday and Friday...and doing much better.  He still has a cough, but it's not as deep and bark-y as his croup cough was.  We felt so bad for the little guy.  And I am now a master of sucking snot out of his nose.  Motherhood is not as glamorous as it appears, people! Hahaha...that went out the window with poopy diapers, spit up, exhaustion, etc.  Good thing those kids are so darn cute.

On the other hand, Ava's on her last dose of medicine for her strep.  When I took G in to get checked out, they recognized him from his visit with Ava just three days prior.  Good thing we have insurance!  Ava's doing much, much better, but I think she's picked up a cold, too.  Man, when do we get to open up the windows and get the germies out of here?!

Let's see, besides illness, what's happened over this past week?  Scott actually took three days off from work....and worked.  At his side business, but at least he wasn't at his "real" job.  And he was happy.  So, I think we'll be seeing some changes in the future.  Which is great - life's too short not to be happy with a job.  Or anything that you spend that much time with, actually. 

G has been rolling a ton at daycare, but not here at home, so we're trying to get him to move a bit more on the floor.  I do giggle every morning when I wake him up...he's always in a different position in the crib.  But his hands are always up by his head.  He looks like such a little ladies man with his hands behind his head, snoozing away.

Tummy time!

Mommy and G time!

Time to get moving around the house - have a great week!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Circus Elephants

Strep throat made its way back into our household, exactly one month after Ava had it the first time in 2014.  At least we know the drill...strep test, medicine for 10 days, new toothbrush, and done!  Even better, Ava likes the medicine, so it's not a fight to get her to take it twice daily.  G has managed to remain healthy over the last 4 months, so we are knocking on wood that it continues on this path!  Or, maybe his immune system is amazingly strong for such a little guy.  Who knows?!

So, with the arrival of strep throat last week, Ava couldn't go to school on Friday.  Grandpa Whitey was nice enough to help us out, so I brought her up to SSP before driving into work.  As we were driving on the lovely Hwy 3, I was observing that the snow had really melted down over the past few warmer days that we had.  And then I noticed an animal of some sort on the side of the road.  Dead.  And this is how the conversation went from there:

Me: I hope that's not a dog.
Ava: What?
Me: Oh, there was an animal on the side of the road.  I hope it wasn't a dog.  Maybe it was a coyote.
Ava: What's a coyote?

(and then we spent a few minutes pulling up images of coyotes and discussing their pointy ears)

Ava: Why do you hope it was a coyote, and not a dog?
Me: Well, because if it was a dog, chances are it was someone's pet.  And a coyote isn't.  We can't have coyotes for pets.
Ava: Why not?
Me (my God, she asks a lot of questions!): We can't have wild animals for pets, right?  We can't have a lion for a pet.  Or a wolf.  Or a giraffe.  Or an elephant.
Ava (not even skipping a beat): What about circus elephants?  They're pets of the circus.
Me: (silence)
Me: Hm. You might have a point, Ava.

And we drive on, discussing the merits of circus elephants.  During which, I decide to take a "shortcut" to get to Grandpa Whitey's house...I've been there a million times, so no big deal.  Except that I end up in West St Paul, not So St Paul.

Me:  Darn it, I took a wrong turn!
Ava: I'm going to be quiet now, Mommy.  You are spending too much time thinking about circus elephants, and not enough time thinking about Grandpa's house.  Can you get us out of here?
Me:  Um, yeah!  Stop distracting me, Ava!!  (Generally she would ask me to take out my Garmin, so she knows we're not lost.  She must have had more confidence in me this time.)

Eventually we made it to Grandpa's house, but had a nice detour along the way.  Ava also mentioned to me that she's so smart, she should be in 2nd grade, and not Kindergarten.

We're going to have our hands full! ;)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Things on the Wall

We had Ava's spring conferences this past Wednesday...academically, she's doing wonderfully!  She's right where she should be, and reading at a higher level than average.  Almost every night she brings home a little book to read to Scott and me, and I often wonder if she has just memorized it, or if she's actually reading it.  Turns out, she's really reading it!  Her teacher told us we could test her by having her read the book backwards to us, so I did....and she did great! Her teacher also let us know that Ava picked out the Pledge of Allegiance sign that's hanging on their classroom wall.  She noticed that when they recite it, it ends with "for all"...and she saw that at the end of the sign, so she figured out that's what they were saying.  Such a smartie!  Turns out she's also a leader, which isn't a surprise to us...she's very social, not shy, and smart.  I think we have a dangerous combo on our hands...  The only problem is how much she talks.  Yeah, we're totally aware of that issue!!!

They didn't have school last Thursday and Friday (or tomorrow) so on Thursday, Ava went roller skating with the Kids Choice group.  I think she had fun as now she wants us to buy her roller skates!  Tomorrow they're going to pack meals for people who are less fortunate, and also make blankets (I think...)  I'm just happy that things are going well for her - although she challenges us daily, in the end, I think it'll be good that we have such a smart little kid on our hands!

Garrett had his four month check-up this week (12.68lbs, 25" - long and skinny!)  He's also doing well, but he ended up getting a low-grade fever from one of his vaccines.  Our provider was nice enough to let him stay the entire day, as she knew it was because he had his shots.  We're very thankful that people can be reasonable about those kinds of things!

I fed him rice cereal on Saturday morning and it went much better than when I tried a few weeks ago.  This time he acknowledged there was something different in his mouth, and he made an effort to smoosh it around and swallow it.  He pooped it all out within 5 minutes, but at least we're getting him used to the new texture. :)  And it was nice having him up at the table with us while we ate breakfast!

We FINALLY made the time to get some things hung up on the walls, get one of our TVs mounted, Garrett's video monitor up, etc.  Scott was teasing me about buying things to decorate the bathroom, so I told him it's my responsibility to bring the beauty into the house, while he can worry about the function.  And you know what?  He did a great job measuring/hanging everything so it looks nice!  We've got a long ways to go to get this house completely unpacked/decorated, but at least we're taking baby steps to get there.

Ava was having fun playing her princess piano for G.  Not sure he was so thrilled.

Hmm...interesting cereal...

What a great pic - thanks, Ava! ;)  (I'm tired.)

Helping Mommy make Grandma Goers' banana bread - so good!

Tonight, we're going to try some food from a new place in town...the House of Curry.  My friend, Emilie, is going to come over and we're going to get dinner to-go.  Looking forward to it - I've been craving curry/spicy food for a while, and I've heard this place is tasty.  Yum!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Five-Day Week?

What's this?  Did Ava actually go to school five days in a row this past week?  Why yes, yes she did!  I had forgotten what that was like, but before I get too comfortable with the idea, it's a good thing school is closed this coming Thursday and Friday for conferences...  The only good news about that is that we'll be meeting with Ava's teacher to see how she's doing.  We're back on a green day kick, but I do want to talk to her about those red days that Ava had been "earning."  It might be working to have the goal of going to the Barbie Dreamhouse at the MOA - she only needs three more green days in a row, and she'll have earned that fun trip!

G has his four month appointment tomorrow, which Scott will be managing on his own.  Pretty sure he's due for some shots, so that should be fun!  It'll be interesting to see how much weight/height he has gained...I think he looks a lot longer, and now he has a double chin, so...something is working right. :)

G and Ava spent last night with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey - it was G's first overnight away from us!  We took advantage of the kid-free time to have a nice dinner out.  The wait for a table was about an hour, so we cozied up to the bar, and ended up making friends with the people we were sitting next to.  I actually ended up trying some of her food, and even the bartender thought we were there as a group, and brought us a sample drink to share.  Before we knew it, 1.5 hours had flown by and we were finally being seated.  The manager felt bad that we waited so long to be seated and bought us an appetizer - which was amazing! It was a great atmosphere, good eats, and even new "friends" - all around, a very fun experience.  I talked Scott into making a longer night of it, and we went out for more drinks and pulltabs at a bar in town here.  Might as well live it up, since we didn't have any short people demanding attention from us!  We both had a lot of fun last night - it was a good reminder to take time to hang out with each other, sans children.

Yum, yum - red velvet pancakes!

Making pizza for dinner one night...look at that adoring face from Ava.  Pretty sure she was posing for this picture...

Another round of "this is real life photos"...

Both kids look scrunchy, and G's telling a hilarious joke to Butterfly.

Non-stop open-mouthed sounds from both of them.  Awesome!

At least Butterfly is looking at the camera...

This what happens when you leave a Boppy unattended, and within a dog's reach.  Cuddle up, Lucky!