Sunday, February 22, 2015

3 out of 4

3 out of 4 isn't usually a bad thing, when it comes to playing to win, right?  75% isn't super awesome if it's a test score.  And it's really, really not fabulous when it comes to the number of family members who have been sick with a stomach bug in the last five days.

On Tuesday night, I was in the family room, working on something, and heard G cough a little bit, and then he cried for a few seconds, and went back to sleep.  No biggie, he does that.  But when I headed up stairs to go to bed, and I noticed there was an...odor to the air.  I went right to his room and realized he had vomited EVERYWHERE.  In his crib, on the floor, in his hair, all over his pjs.  Ugh.  So, Scott and I cleaned up the mess (thank goodness for washing machines) and got everyone settled back into bed. 

G did that a few weeks ago when he had a certain brand of ravioli, and that's exactly what he had for dinner on Tuesday night, so we figured it didn't settle well with him.  I took him to daycare and gave a warning about the previous evening.  Unfortunately, G was doing a walk through the kitchen there, projectile vomited, and then kept on walking.  Didn't phase him!  He was fine the rest of the day (and has been since then.)  Just a quick 12-hour bug...and glad it was gone...

Until Friday morning when I took Ava to school, and before I knew it, she was puking in the parking lot. How do you clean up that mess when there are a ton of parents and kids around?  Turns out, you can't...and I felt so bad for leaving the mess, but we got in the car, and took off.  I had the day off so she hung out with me and G on Friday, although I made sure to keep the two of them separated, as I didn't need two puking machines in the house.  The nice thing is that when Ava throws up, she's very tidy about it, and keeps her hair and clothes out of the mess.  And then she was more throwing up that day, and she was better by dinner, just in time to eat...

...and just in time to pass it to me.  I should have kept myself further removed, as I then got sick on Friday night.  Apparently I'm a dramatic thrower-upper, and I'm pretty sure Ava thought I was dying during the process.  Scott took care of everyone that night, yet made sure not to come within 50' of either Ava or me.  And so far, so good...Scott's not sick yet!

The big bummer is that we missed out on going to the Raptor Center (at the U in St Paul) with some friends on Saturday afternoon, so we'll have to reschedule that.  We did have a nice dinner out as a family last night, and today holds a trip to the American Girl Bistro in the MOA for a birthday party for one of Ava's classmates.  Should be fun!

Scott and Ava were playing in her room earlier this week, and he had a good time doing her hair.  Yikes! :)

I chaperoned the first-grade trip to the Children's Theater this past Tuesday.  It was chaotic and fun, and made me realize for the 4 millionth time that I could never, ever be a teacher.  They are saints!

Waiting patiently for the play to start...

Ava's 1st grade class

It's me...on a school bus!

It's Ava...on the same bus!

We were also busy getting ready to celebrate the 101st day of school...which Ava then missed because she was sick. :(  But, at least we got her project into school the day before, so they could use it.  Counting out 101 grains of rice IS as tedious as it sounds!  Each child had to bring in 101 items of something...of course Ava said dalmatians, and I said no.  So I went for something small and compact...and rice was the winner!  Sure doesn't look like much, does it?

Lots of time at home meant lots of time with the kids (Scott was working) so in that sense, it's been a great weekend!

I'm holding out hope that he's a well-coordinated, athletic little guy.

Reading to Annie...ok, ok, this was a posed pic for a school project, and we figured that Annie would sit still better than G!

It's been a bit chilly lately.  Currently, it's -7, with a windchill of -28.  Yep, just a little chilly.  Brrrrrr!  So, it's been a welcome relief to watch my bulb garden bloom this week, and it helps keep in mind that spring isn't too far away.  The bulb garden contains crocus, hyacinth, and tulips, and man, it is fragrant!  They will make a lovely addition to our landscaping in the years to come!

Here's to staying warm on this wintry day!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Super smarts!

In the aftermath of being overworked for months, this past week was a pleasant surprise.  Is this what it's like to leave at a decent time each night?  And to sleep in until my alarm goes off (as opposed to waking up at 3am and working for hours before leaving for work)?  It was amazing!  And most likely short-lived, but I will enjoy it while it's here!

We had Ava's conferences this past Wednesday, but she wasn't feeling well, so Scott stayed at home with the kids, while I trekked over to her school and met with Mrs. M.  We had a fantastic discussion about Ava, kids, life, etc.  There was a 15-min break between our conference time, and the next session, so we were able to extend our discussion for a few extra minutes.  And then I made an impromptu stop at the book fair, and picked up some new books for both kids.  Ava's moving into chapter books, so that's a big jump - and it opens up so many new options for reading material!

A few fun facts from Ava's conferences:

  • The next family that came in belonged to the little girl with whom Ava has been getting into trouble.  It was nice to meet the parents, and we both agreed that the girls should stay far away from each other.  Sounds like they are both fairly smart, and end up feeding off of each other.
  • Speaking of smarts...Ava took a standardized test in December, and she scored so high on it that she is going to start attending an enriched/gifted class once a week.  Just Ava and one other little girl were selected to attend from her classroom, and it sounds like some classrooms didn't have any children chosen to attend.  We are so proud of her!
  • Mrs M. was describing how Ava is very matter-of-fact when it comes to doing things...and during her description, I realized that's exactly what my work style is.  "These are the facts, and if you don't like them, too bad."  I've been stretching myself at work a bit over the last year, and have discovered that awkward conversations with clients don't bother me anymore.  It is what it is.  And I'm glad to see that Ava is gravitating toward that style, naturally.  (Ok, that's more of a fact about me, but it's funny to see how children inherit our traits, without us pushing them in a certain direction.)
So, Wednesday ended on a high note.  But, remember that I said Ava wasn't feeling so great that night?  She was cold and shaky, had a headache, and her throat hurt.  Our guess?  Strep!  On Thursday morning, I kept her home from SAC (they didn't have school on Thursday, Friday, or tomorrow) so she missed out on the skating party...she was pretty bummed about that.  But, good thing I didn't take her...we went to the Minute Clinic, and she tested positive for strep.  We should be doctors! :)  Ava learned first hand how the pharmacy works, and also how you can spend a lot of time shopping in CVS!  We ended up heading home with new lip gloss, blush, nail polish, and penicillin.  That's my kind of shopping trip!

Ava's doing much better, and ended up enjoying the Reptile exhibit that came to SAC on Friday.  Initially, she had no interest in the exhibit, but it turns out she touched a snake and a turtle.  This is a huge step for have no idea how much she dislikes reptiles!

Little G has been doing really well...his newest thing when he's hungry is to walk over to the high chair and tug on the tray, or head to the pantry and try to open the door.  Makes it easy for us to figure out what he wants!  He had his first shower last night (Scott gave it to him) and it sounds like he did pretty well.  He didn't completely freak out when the water hit his head/face, so at least it was a positive experience.  G gets so excited when he sees our dogs, Ava, me or Scott...he squeals and gets this huge grin on his face.  He's such a fun little guy, and I hope that his happy-go-lucky attitude stays with him.  I figure that since Ava was sassy since birth, and continues to be that way, maybe G will remain easy-going and happy.  We have all of our fingers crossed!

Scott had to work yesterday, so the kids had ample opportunities to play together.  When Scott got home, we enjoyed a great lasagna dinner (he said it was the best one I have ever made) and a nice evening together as a family.  Scott skipped the flowers for Valentine's Day this year, and instead bought me a bulb garden.  I'm pretty excited to see how it does.  (I have no idea what to do with these plants, so I'll have to find someone who can give me some guidance.)

Fun on a lazy Saturday afternoon...

Such happiness in this one - love it!

Love this pic, even with G's stuffy nose!

Ava has been picking out her outfits lately...they certainly are colorful!

I am feeling very blessed to have such a wonderful family.  Things are very good!  Scott and I have a few neat dates lined up over the next month, and I just registered for an Irish 5K in March with a few friends.  It's nice to have fun things to look forward to, and not just endless amounts of work.  Hoping that it stays that way for a bit!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Whew...I had to take last weekend off from posting, as I worked both days to prepare for my big project launch this week.  Phase 1 has launched, and we're looking at launching several more phases over the new several weeks.  It's a great feeling to know that much of the pre-work is done, and now the ops team can come in and start to manage the project...and that my hours should hopefully drop down to a more manageable level.  I have a great director, who is very aware of my hours, and is doing what she can to get those back to a normal level.  It's been so nice to have work-free time at home this weekend, and spend time with my family!

G had his 15-month appointment on Friday.  He's in the 75% for height, and 34% for weight...tall and skinny!  Everything checked out great, and he took his shots like a champ.  He's had a bit of a reaction to his DTP vaccine (loss of appetite, throwing up, and a fever) but he's still managing to be a cheery little guy.  And, he also has his molars coming in, so we're going to have some fun times, shortly.  All of these new teeth certainly explain the copious amounts of drool!

We were in the exam room, and when the doctor walked in, he said hi to us, and then started looking through some papers.  G piped up with this tiny little "Hi" and the doctor whipped around and asked me if he had just said hi. :)  It was adorable, perfectly timed, and considering how well the rest of his appointment went, the doctor thanked us for starting his day off so well, especially since 15-month appointments can be difficult, due to the child's age.  Ahhhh, G is such a good little guy!

I ended up taking the entire day off (Ava was at school, and G then went to daycare) and had fun sorting through some larger clothes that had been given to G.  I'm so used to baby clothes being cutesy, so when I run across a few random, funny things, it makes me laugh.

There are so many things about this t-shirt that make me happy...

Because everyone needs an angry giraffe in their lives...

So, G is fantastic, like usual, but what about Ava?  Oh, Ava...Ava, Ava, Ava...  The last few weeks she's had mostly green days at school, and has been listening well.  But, that wasn't the case a few weeks ago...

Ava's school assigns days depending on the child's behavior; green is good, yellow is adequate (they need a few reminders to listen/pay attention/etc), red is bad (those reminders didn't do any good), and then there is blue...I didn't even know there was a blue day.  Blue is REALLY bad.  Bad, bad, bad. 

The week we were in Mexico, we talked to Ava several times.  She didn't have school on Monday, got a green day on Tuesday, a yellow day on Wednesday (too much talking), and a red day on Thursday.  The trend was going in the wrong direction, but never, ever did I think she'd end the week on a blue day.  As I was sitting by the pool on Friday afternoon, I realized I missed a call from her school (didn't recognize the number) and then I get a text from Grandma Deb that Ava had a blue day.  Turns out that she and another little girl in her class decided to try to flood the bathroom by stuffing paper towels down the drain.  Awesome! (Not.)  She got sent to the principal's office, and we had her write several apology letters to the staff (principal, teacher, and janitor) and explained how she had violated the school's cardinal codes. 

Turns out that she also told her teacher that she didn't have to listen because her parents weren't around (right, because we were relaxing in Mexico, blissfully unaware that our sassy daughter was headed for a life of crime!) 

Ava admitted that she knew what she was doing was wrong, so we explained why she just needed to walk away next time, and it seems that she understood.  So, imagine our surprise when we got ANOTHER call from the school the following Tuesday.  The principal called both Scott and me, and explained that Ava and the same little girl were sticking their tongues out at the lunch lady, and being very sassy toward them.  The principal tracked them down in the hallway and verbally laid into them, to the point where Ava started crying (Scott and I were both fine with that, for the record.)  Ironically, she got a green day that day. 

What it comes down to is that we ALL agree that Ava and this little girl need to stay away from each other...the little girl constantly gets sent to the principal's office, lies, and takes things that don't belong to her.  The principal, Ava's teacher, Scott and me, and even another little girl in Ava's class have told her NOT to play with her.  If another 7-year old is saying "stay away!" then things must be really rough with the other little girl.  That makes me sad for a variety of reasons, but I need to focus on my child, and make sure that she's making good decisions.

We're just taking each day as it comes, and are using these as life lessons for Ava (and us.)  No one ever said it was easy being a parent, right?  Right!