Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Time Travel

This is Snug when he was 14 months old at "The Pumpkin Barn"...same one I posted about here.

This is Baby J last Halloween :o)

This is Snug last Halloween...not a great photo, sorry.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Night

Because daddy usually works on Halloween and can't go Trick-or-treating with us, we have Pumpkin Carving Night on one of his night's off closest to Halloween.
Pumpkin carving night consists of carving pumpkins (shock), watching The Great Pumpkin (Charlie Brown) on TV, and eating roasted seeds, pumpkin donuts, and cider. Snug has the string to his first yo-yo in his mouth. A kind neighbor gave he and Baby J a bag of Halloween goodies*. There is a reason 3 year olds don't normally have yo-yos!

Sorry about all the red eye, I didn't remember to turn it on until it was too late. I can edit it out later before I print, but wanted to get these up. Snug liked to pull out the pumpkin guts ok, but kept putting the seeds in the trash! NO NO! We EAT those Snug! He was so confused as to why on earth we'd be eating those.

Baby J did not enjoy pumpkin guts. We kept giving him some, and he'd give us a icky look and shake it off his hand. It kept him busy, anyway.

Snug had told me he wanted a "nice" face, and not a "scary" face when I started carving. When I got about 1/2 way done with the mouth he said "now make it scary". No can do, kiddo. It is one or the other.

So here is the finished product. Even though we probably won't be doing very much Trick-or-treating, this pumpkin can sit on our porch and greet other beggars. We actually went a few nights ago to a local nursing home that hosts a little kid (non-scary) beggar's night and that was just about enough for me. We'll probably go to a couple of close neighbors and then be done. Snug gets hardly any candy (as in 1 or 2 pieces a month) and Baby J has only had a sucker during his first haircut. We recently cleaned out a cupboard that had Halloween candy in it from last year. It got tossed. About 99% of candy that our kids receive is thrown away. Really not worth the dentist bill.

*You should have seen the bags of goodies the kids got. They each got toothbrushes, festive kleenex, we got a Snoopy first aid kit, plush pumpkin, coloring book and colored pencils, pumpkin cookies, the yo-yo, and Goldfish crackers. Snug must think Christmas and Halloween are one in the same!

Please Pray for Stellan

Stellan is in the hospital again, doing terrible. Please please pray for this little guy. His first birthday is tomorrow, and he is fighting to get there. We've seen him in and out of the hospital so many times since last year at this time, and his mommy was so sick while pregnant with him. Please pray for their family, his little sick heart, and wisdom for the doctors. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Want To Buy My House?

I took a picture after we finished raking today in the front of our house...just in case the realtor's photographer (I think I spelled realtor wrong yesterday...) really doesn't get here until that tree in the back is all bare and skeleton like. That and my Weeping Cherry tree is about done having any leaves/color. I just figured it couldn't hurt to have a picture with it looking not all dead. We'll see if it gets used or not. Don't those soffits look nice? Great job #1!

Monday, October 26, 2009

On A Happier Note...

In my last post I highlighted many of the struggles we have been having lately. Life has been, well, chaotic to say the least. However, we are still having moments of sanity that I thought I'd share.
Today I took it upon myself to try and rake the front yard. I love that we have maple trees. I grew up with oaks, and those leaves are heavy and course and not so easy to rake. Maple leaves, on the other hand, are light and fluffy and crunchy nice. The raking might have been a bit easier, but I had one toddler and 3 preschoolers "helping".

It was bright and sunny and in the 60's...a perfect day to get some outside work done. I'm a little bummed that the realator's photographer will be getting pictures of our house in the late fall when there are no leaves on the trees and my flower beds are looking...sparse. I'm not too vain about my yard, trust me, but fall is not the best season to photograph it. The inside though is decorated in my favorite oranges and browns for the season, so on that side of things I feel I am putting my best foot forward.

It really was a great day for demolishing everything Miss Jenney raked jumping in piles of leaves with friends.

So I'll leave this post on a happier note than the one before...sunny skies, warm temps, crinkly leaves, and two of the most handsome little men I know :o)

P.S. it was SO SO NICE to not have my daycare on the road. We stayed home all day! WAHOOOO! We had pancakes for breakfast, had preschool, played outside, and didn't turn on the TV one single time! What a great day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kicking and Screaming

Hardly anyone would believe me if I told them about the amount of kicking and screaming that have been going on around here lately. My husband would. My mom would. Other than that, I'm sure that no one can imagine the amount of awfulness that can come out of this house. Isn't that uplifting? I thought so.

Look at that boy. Sitting nicely with the pumpkins we accidentally grew in our garden. All happy to be helping mommy out by carrying them to the front porch. That boy? Throws fits and is sassy?

Or how about this little cutie. Could it be that he is a champion hissy-fit thrower that his therapists have given the nickname His Majesty High Maintenance? Oh my, just look at that adorable face.

Oh look, here is a picture of Baby J right before he got his tubes in...he was on happy medicine, so he was pretty congenial. I would like happy medicine here at home. Just a dose or two a day would be fine. Seems how it was Valium (spelling?) and Tylenol, they weren't selling it at the gift shop.

But the kicking and screaming don't stop with those two. No sir. I feel I am doing my own fair share. I am moving out of my home kicking and screaming. Not literally, although my muscles and back and feet are indeed shrieking inwardly at me. I love my house. Really really love it. However, either we have to sell the house or a child. Now, there are moments during the kicking and screaming that the choice seems pretty obvious...but then reality hits and I realize that probably keeping the children is a better option in the long run.

Don't tell Snug that his hide isn't on the auction block for real. Although I {seriously} would never tell him I'd give him away or sell him to the highest first bidder, I wouldn't mind him having the fear that he will be next in a garage sale if he spouts the words "mommy, you drive me crazy" or "No, I won't" or better yet "Just stop it. You are not my boss". Oh that burns me up. We have done the corner, the spanking spoon, and are about to try soap (not liquid, liquid soap is toxic if ingested FYI). His mouthy fits are going to put me in an early grave. And I nip it in the bud...every time...and it isn't going away.

On a happy note, our garage sale last weekend went really well, and our house is starting to shape up. I feel like the sloppiest pig of a person as I use Q-Tips and toothpicks to get the grime and dust out of every crevice. How on earth? How did this house get so bad? Moving or no, this had to be done so that my children didn't get the black plague! I can't believe I never realized how dirty my house was. EW. People hire me to watch their children! The health department could have shut me down as a daycare or as a mom, either one I'm sure! My husband assures me that everyones' house is like this, and that people don't move everything out of the cupboards/garage/basement/drawers weekly to inspect for filth. It makes me feel a little better...but instead of our "to-do" list getting shorter, it seems to loom larger daily!

We had 15 people in this house sleeping all at once, so that should be a selling poing when we put the house up for sale, don't you think? Our basement was wall-to-wall people, but we did all survive the weekend. My mom and dad also installed a new light fixture in our dining room and painted our kitchen (THANK YOU!)

My chiropractor is quite sure I got my awful migraine two weeks ago was from doing too much too fast while pregnant. He would like me to have less stress in my life. And after I finished laughing and picking myself off his exam floor upon hearing that, I hurried home to make sure we were doing well on our "list".

As far as pregnancy goes, I am feeling better than I ever ever did with the better than I ever did the entire nine months seven/eightish months carrying either of them. I am SO tired all the time, and do have some tummy trouble...but other than that I am doing well. My face is breaking out like I am 13, but I'll take that over praying to the porcelain god 23 1/2 hours a day. Ah, those were the good days.

So I realize this post is dripping with sarcasm, but really we are blessed. Getting ready to sell our house is one of the hardest things we have had to do in a long time. Hours and hours of work and decisions have been involved. Baby J really is doing well after his surgery, we have been able to tell a big difference in his hearing (speech hasn't changed much, yet). The only set back is putting ear plugs in his ears for a bath. That has made one of his most enjoyable times of the day, one of his crankiest. Aside from being super mouthy, Snug has done very well through all of these transitions. He really does want to help in any way he can, and was very polite about selling quite a few of his things. #1 is working very hard...right now he is scraping the soffits (spelling?) and getting ready to paint them. that is what is going on with the Drays, today.

The Cutest Pumpkins In The Patch

Last night we visited our favorite pumpkin patch. It gets a little better every year, although it is quite commercialized these days. It gets extra points for entertainment, but not so many for "down on the farm" feel. Seems how we know what a farm is really like, and we have two small children, we are happy to go with "commercialized".
This year there was the addition of a bounce house. If that doesn't get your preschool/toddler crowd excited, you have many other options, but this was our first stop. We stayed for awhile while the boys got sweaty and #1 and I got wind blown. We were, after all, standing in a big field with nothing but the bounce house to stop the gusts. Although it made it to nearly 70 deg yesterday, the wind really kept things chill.
Every year the hay straw statue gets a little bigger. This year he was a huge scarecrow. I didn't post a picture of whatever it was last year, but looking back it is SO strange to see how small the kids were. Click here to check out last year's trip.

It is getting harder and harder to capture pictures of the boys, together, with both boys looking and smiling. This one will be a keeper.

Instead of crying the entire trip (see last year's post), Baby J very much enjoyed our outing. A lady from the church I grew up in made him his adorable pumpkin hat. I LOVE it. (He doesn't especially).

After about twenty tries, I got Snug to look, smile, keep his tongue in, and sit still for a shot in the patch. Whew.

This is a yearly tradition. We have a picture of him as a little baby, about 2 months old, in the bottom hole.

Dropping rocks into the bucket was probably right up there on Baby J's list of favorite activities for the afternoon...but there were so many favorites to choose from. Was it the bounce house? Maybe picking a pumpkin? Or...

...the petting farm! There is a petting farm at The Pumpkin Barn complete with goats, Llamas, a horse, a donkey, several pigs, turkeys, and chickens.

Really it would be hard to pick a favorite if I was them. But I'm not, and my favorite part of going to The Pumpkin Barn is...

...THE HAY STRAW PIT! I love getting in there with the kids and playing! My (from a real farm) husband informs me all about my lack of farminess. It is not hay, it is straw.

I do not however jump off the bales into the heaps of soft loose straw.

But it was one of Snug's favorite activities. He did it over and over and over. I thought it was a great activity to perhaps persuade his body to sleep in a bit this morning, but that didn't happen.

So until next year, I have these pictures to look at and remember our trip...and next year we'll be taking three :o)
*By the way, for those of you who live in SW Ohio...every activity you have seen pictured was FREE! We payed $2.50 for a pumpkin, and didn't do the (not free) "hay" ride. But the bounce house, straw pit, petting farm, and pumpkin browsing were at no cost to us.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tubes & Catch Up

Well I had a few minutes today to post pictures. But Blogger won't let me. So, I'll try again...maybe next week I'll have a few minutes. Probably not!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Just a real quick update. Baby J had his tubes put in his ears today and everything went very well. He is at home and sleeping off the anesthesia. Thanks for your prayers. His Roseola is almost gone too. I took some pictures today, and will try to post them later.

It has been very hectic here. I had to go to the hospital earlier in the week because of a migraine, we are getting ready for a garage sale, and a few other things are going on...I will post when I get time. (ha ha)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Bare Bear Bottom

(That is a balloon string tied to Snug's case you were wondering)

Heather over at "It's Twinsanity" needed some comic relief after a bad day today. I left her a comment, and then decided to share it on here. We are also having a very stressful time, lots of changes, and I am spent...but nothing compared to having 6 kids and my husband deployed!

Snug was running around this morning with nothing on, as is his favorite morning activity, and I told him to hurry up and put on his underpants because no one wanted to see his bare bottom.

He very seriously replied "I don't have a bear bottom, I have a BOY bottom" and then proceeded to try and inspect behind him to make sure it was indeed, a boy bottom.

Please pray for Baby J as he has Roseola. I had a couple of Draycare kids have it last week, Snug had a very mild case earlier this week, but Baby J had no fever and was eating like a champ. I thought perhaps it had passed him up. It was not to be. He woke up from his nap today with a fierce fever (103.? can't remember the . part) and that was taking it under his arm pit, which I think is hard on an little guy. I took it there after rectally it was 104.7. He also woke up from his nap with the rash from head to toe. The rash means you are NOT contagious...but it usually comes after the fever. He got them together. Anyway, please pray because his ear surgery (tubes) is a week from tomorrow and he is not allowed to have anything buy Tylenol. Typically Tylenol doesn't even touch his fevers, we always have to chain it with Ibuprofen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Therapist Update

Two posts in one day? Yikes.

Anyway, just wanted to leave a quick update on how things are going with Baby J (what are we going to call him when new baby arrives?). Currently he is getting weekly therapy sessions to help with some sensory processing issues. It has helped remarkably, as some of you know I was at the end of my rope with him back in September. He is a much calmer happier kid now that I am "giving him what he needs". We are finding the balance between what is sensory processing that needs therapeutic intervention, and what is naughty 15 month old behavior and needs a different kind of intervention.

Out in public is where we (usually) have the most success with him. Being that he is sensory seeking, being in a very stimulating environment usually holds his interest. The problems arise when there are stimulus he doesn't like (touching his hair, rubbing his skin lightly, hearing running water, or you initiating physical contact) or things get...well...boring (here at home). Not that there is ever a dull moment. In my mind there is WAY more than enough going on, however I don't enjoy tons of stimuli. For Baby J, when everyone is here doing the routine, he gets to being his special self and antagonizing everyone and throwing fits all over.

It may sound pretty normal, but his fits are not (at least not what we tolerate at this house) and the way to stop them is also not. We do quite a bit of squishing him with a pillow, tossing him on the couch, rocking him in the (soft) rocker so his head bangs against the back, patting him firmly on the head, and smacking his bottom, back, soles of his feet. I swear I am going to jail for child abuse.

Many of these techniques are probably "do not try this at home" due to the fact that we are trained how to do it please don't try it on your children when they are outta control (or on mine if he is for that matter!)

My next update might be from a jail cell, but Baby J has settled down enough that he can follow a few simple directions, shake his head "yes" and "no", imitate some facial expressions, and say "ough-oh". HUGE progress for him :o)

P.S. he broke the 21 lb mark (again) this week. He had gotten there briefly before, but was hovering at 20 lb 12 oz for about a month or so. All this walking and climbing has him burning calories faster than ever! However, he is a CHUNK these days!

Wordless Wednesday...Cedarville University's Homecoming

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Haircut

The first and most vital step for giving a little haircut is a sucker. Baby J had never had one before and held it for awhile deciding what to do with it.
The second step is to put an apron on to catch the hair and keep it off their clothing keep the sucker spit off their clothing.

Next you have the mother act really goofy down low so that the wee one looks in the right directions at the right time. I really didn't have to act too goofy, he was pretty cooperative.

Finally, you do it really fast so that the charm of the sucker doesn't wear off.

Wa-lah! You have a first haircut. It looks a bit...stiff in this picture. It was still wet, it really doesn't look quite like that, I assure you.
The last step is to take off the apron and simultaneously remove the sucker from the child's mouth*. That way they don't get too much sugar and their clothes stay halfway clean. He wasn't a big fan of losing the sucker, but being his first I don't think he really got what was going on. I don't think we'll get it away quite so easily next time.
*I in no way advocate taking candy from a baby. I do advocate not even giving it to them at all (except in extreme situations when they must sit very still so as not to get snipped with scissors!)