Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Nick!

So today was Nick's birthday. He turned 3 today! I can't believe how fast time is flying. Lately he has been such a good boy and I am hoping it is a sign of the terrible twos passing (I'm keeping my fingers crossed). So we started out the day at Cracker Barrel, our favorite restaurant. Nick actually woke up asking to go to Cracker Barrel to have them sing and have cake. (we had pancakes instead)

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Nick loved being the center of attention. He has been waiting for his birthday for a while, he sings the birthday song to everyone!

After eating we went to play in the store for a while. Nick is always very good and today was no exception.

(a cold front just came through and we have been forced to start wearing jackets and pants, what a nice relief from the heat we have been experiencing. I believe it will only last a few days but it is exciting just the same)

Jeff had to work se we left him there and continued on to the library for story time. Nick and Alex both enjoyed it and while they don't interact much there, they remember everything for when we get home.

After Jeff got home in the afternoon we headed out for some errands and dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. While there they gave Nick a big cookie and ice-cream. He didn't like the ice-cream too much as it was too cold but loved the cookie. Both him and Alex were more interested in the macaroni than the dessert, kids can be so weird and funny!
After dinner we headed over to "Christmas Lane". It is a private residence that goes all out for Christmas. They had huge statues, moving objects, a 3 story tree, a Nativity and the highlight, a ride-on train for the kids. Nick loved it and was able to ride the train twice. Alex and Daddy waited in the car and took a little nap while Nick and I had a blast looking at all the lights and trains. All of the people working there were volunteers and it was incredible!

From this:
To this:
What a big change in his personality and abilities. It has been a great year and Nick has come a long way. We are so proud of him and his wonderful personality that just shines all the time.

And finally, here are some pictures of Nick from the past 3 years of life:

Monday, December 3, 2007

A day for Alex

So Alex had a great birthday. He got some balloons, we made a cake but didn't get a chance to eat it and he got a great Basketball present. He had a lot of fun and I know he will have even more at the boys' birthday party this Saturday. Here are some videos and pictures from that day that were just a lot of fun. I tried to stop at one or two but couldn't choose.
The birthday boy playing with his new balls.

The wonderful and best birthday balloon.
He just oozes happiness!

Alex right before bed-time when he gets really wired. He is apparently a night person, especially after his brother goes to bed!

Nick trying to get Alex to sing Happy Birthday into a recorder. Not likely.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Alex

I can't believe it has already been a year.

It feels like yesterday Alex was a week overdue and I was ready to rip him out of me by force.

Luckily he came shooting out in record time. There are still stains in the van from the infamous day.
It feels like so long ago we were holding that tiny little baby and recounting his story to every person we knew.

I remember making these wool pants while I was pregnant and then after one explosive "black tar" poo I accidentally washed them and they wouldn't even fit a doll after that. But I got the picture I had been planning for months!

Alex has been hugged and kissed and squeezed so hard we thought he would vomit. But he has lived to tell the tale.

He has always been a delightful baby and we hope his wonderful personality continues forever.l.
Alex loves to be the center of attention and loves to say "hi" to every person, car, tree and animal we happen to pass. He loves music and incredibly enjoys the horrible music that his Mommy sings to him. Books are his favorite along with any kind of ball.
It has been a wonderful year and I can't wait to see how much Alex will change over the next year.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

new Camera!

My old camera broke recently when the boys dropped it one too many times. It is now possessed and all pictures are blurry in the face only, much like a recent horror film.
I was pretty stoked to get a new one and did a lot of research before scouring the internet for the cheapest thing around. I finally found the exact one I was looking for at the best deal of the century. I got a Canon SD800IS Elph. It is the exact size of a credit card (we checked), a little thicker but still fits in my pocket. The screen is pretty big and it has 7.1 megapixels. It rocks in so many ways. So far I am getting used to it but it has a lot of really cool features like color spotting (my phrases for finding only one color in a shot) and it will do that while taking video. It also holds up to 30 minutes of video so I won't need a portable video camera. Here are the best shots I got at the park (not a lot as it is blurry and I am still working on figuring out its tricks) It usually ranges from $300-$500.00 new and I got it for a whopping $100 as almost new. I found it in Ohio at this price from a local newspaper add, found it on Oodle.com which was great! Not a scratch and it came with all the original equipment. What a steal!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


So we just got back a few pictures from Nachman Photography, our favorite photographers that do an incredible job!

This is Alex at his "9 month" appointment. I say that because he was actually 10 months. The golf shot was my idea and everyone that I was crazy but we all thought it turned out really good!

Doesn't he look big in these pictures.

Here is Nick on September 27th. He was so good and always gives really good smiles with Sandy.

Alex was having a hard time sitting up at this point.

The family pictures are from October 27th. I think they turned out really nice. It was a really rainy day and the boys were sick and tired but they managed to get a few smiles in.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Full frontal Vomit!

Many things about parenting are really great. Some things are not, one being full frontal vomiting.

Last week Alex and I had a great trip to see Uncle Milton. While being enjoyable, Alex was sick for a couple of days vomiting and sleeping very little during that time. I know I am sleep deprived and tired when I see him vomit in his sleep and just try to move him to a dry spot (the first time) after that I would just try to rearrange the blanket to a dry spot or place a new towel under him. The vomit itself didn't bother me too much as it was all breast milk, the smell on the other hand was a totally different issue.

So while it was difficult to keep my temper in check and to work so hard to keep Alex happy and not vomiting everywhere, we still managed to have a really good time. Uncle Milton offered to help with my bags for the first time in nearly 7 years so that is definitely a milestone.

Milton still loves Alex just as much, even though he doesn't listen and works to get into trouble, laughing at the face of danger (our faces as well). I don't think Milton ever loved Nick this much but at least Alex eats it up. He is actually starting to prefer the elderly when we go out, smart kid!

During the trip Alex seemed to make leaps in his cognitive abilities and now will copy many hand signals for songs or poems. It is really fun and cute.

Five little ducks went out to play. Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said "Quack Quack Quack"
But only 4 little ducks came back.

A great shot of some birds during the trip. I also saw 3 bald eagles but Alex was sleeping and I didn't dare wake him by stopping for a shot.

While Alex was very sick and vomited on me (and the carpet, bed, chair, tile) several times, I couldn't quite say I got a Full Frontal Vomit. So after my return trip Nick decided to catch the virus and spread it all over me, the couch, the bed, the bathroom, the shower curtain, the toilet, the carpet and of course, himself.

It has been a very long two days. Sunday was particularly great. After a horrible night of sleep with Nick in the bed and vomiting, actually dry heaving about every 45 minutes, Alex woke up at the wonderful hour of 6:30 a.m. sleeping in a whole 30 minutes late. (Jeff goes to work at 6 usually). So we let Nick sleep a little longer and Alex and I went to play. After Nick woke up I made a nice strawberry and bananna smoothie. While I was making this Alex was playing by the front door with our shoes. I gave Nick his sippy cup and while pouring myself a glass I glanced by Alex and noticed a big pile of vomit or poop by one of my shoes (on it as well). I thought, "the cat is locked up, it isn't her. The dogs just got up with me, it shouldn't be them" while I was thinking this I continued to look at Alex. He is covered in poop from head to toe with paper stuck on his butt and leaves stuck on his shirt. His diaper apparently exploded from the back and continued out onto my shoes, Jeff's shoes and everywhere else in between. Soooo, I continue into the bathroom to clean up the little one and Nick starts to cry that his smoothie is too thick for his sippie cup, he needs a new one. So while Nick is whining and crying I put Alex in the tub and continue with his impromtu bath. Everything is a mess and smelled Horrible! So after I finally finish with Alex I got Nick a new cup and Alex one as well. Not a great start but at last, it is over. Alex continued to spread his smoothie all over his outfit in about 5 minutes. I went ahead and took his clothes off and was about to start a load of laundry when Nick vomitted all over the couch (in Strawberry red!). I moved him and cleaned him up and continued to attempt to clean the couch. At this time Nick was begging and crying for more smoothie, oh no, I wasn't about to do that! So I had to take the couch cushion off to get it washed and while doing so in the garage I hear Alex screaming at the top of his lungs, not his usual whine by a painful cry. I run in to find his finger stuck in the entertainment center (usually locked) and smashed to almost nothing. I got his finger out and tried to calm him down. After contemplating rushing him to the hospital I determined it wasn't really that bad and he apparently has very flexible finger muscles that can flatten and then unflatten without a single cut!

So after getting Alex down for his nap Nick and I were just hanging out watching TV and he said he needed to poop, code for throw-up. I took him into the bathroom and just as I am about to turn him around to the toilet it comes flying out, all over me, him, EVERYTHING. So now Nick and I get to take a shower/bath. I was fine until the vomit hit me and I could smell the regurgitated smoothie! I almost lost it but controlled myself and managed to get it all cleaned up. He only threw up a couple more times that day and Alex wasn't in a horrible mood. He had been on a nursing strike for a few days and was in a really bad mood prior to Sunday so we were fortunate that he decided to eat that day so I was no longer engorged and he was no longer so hungry. Although he is still biting regularly, not as bad!

So, now we had to have our A/C repaired today and it had some major problems that required $400 to get fixed. Our A/C unit is too small for our house and we need a new one but can live off the one we have for now and for a while hopefully. We just have to get used to some serious heat at the right time of year. Tomorrow we are taking the van in to get the crunching noise checked out and hopefully it won't break the bank!

Nick didn't vomit last night and Alex is almost nursing normally and the house is actually cool finally. Perhaps the good luck will keep on flowing!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The luck of the felines

The boys being nice to eachother and playing in their car

The escape artist
A couple of funny things have happened recently. So, the first story. The other day I decided to hop in the shower and told Nick, keep an eye on your brother and let me know if he goes anywhere he isn't allowed. No problem, the door is open so I can hear both of them. Nick comes running into the bathroom to tell me that "Alex got out", I said "Alex got out of the sunroom?" Nick doesn't answer and just leaves. So, I assume he got out of the sunroom and since there is a babygate for every other room or dangerous place, no big deal. About 10 seconds later I rethink that and decide to get out a little early to be safe. I go into the sunroom and the back door is wide open. Alex is laying in the grass and have a grand ol' time. Nick told me it was hot so he had to open the door (as we had the day before). It was hilarious!

Alex playing with Shawnee and eating the grass as I think he already finished off the dog food.

So we have had some absolutely incredible weather lately, a nice cool 75 with a slight breeze. So after watching a little Dr. Oz on the Discovery Health channel I decide we need some exercise. I pull out the old bike and ride on up to Cracker Barrel for dinner and to see Jeff. Nick rode up front per usual on the way up and Alex rode up front for the first time on the way back. It was so much fun and Awesome as I didn't have any problems or difficulty so it turns out I am in better shape than I thought. I usually have to stop or slow down on the way and then the way back after eating is a disaster. Not at all this time (Yay!) and it was so much fun! Alex said hello to every person he saw as well as car I think. He loved it and we will be riding our bikes a lot more this winter!

Our newest biker, still wearing his candy corn diaper cover. And yes, he went out in this exact outfit!

Nick honking the horn with Alex

What a big boy he is becoming!

So, due to the great weather, we have been trying to save some money and energy and keep the doors and windows open. We have screens on everything but our back door. I have been enjoying watching the boys play out there and Alex and Nick just love it, the girls can come and go as they please and it really helps to keep the house cool. So the indoor cat, Jenie goes outside as well and explores but when the door is closed she comes back inside. Yesterday she went outside and decided to jump our 6' fence to explore a little further. I guess she is a little overweight and her body just couldn't handle the jump. She came up to the front door crying and not putting any weight on her back leg. I checked it out and it didn't seem broken but she wouldn't walk on it at all. So I took her up to the Vet's office to get it checked out. The doctor took a look and said that it was at the joint and either a break (requiring surgery) or a ligament tear (possibly requiring surgery or strict confinement and rest). I had to leave her in order for the x-ray to be taken that afternoon (and $200 later). The doctor called that afternoon to advise that it is a really bad ligament tear (worst she has ever seen for a cat) and that she has a call into an orthopaedic surgeon to determine if surgery will be necessary but I can come up to pick the cat up with a light bandage. I went to pick her up and while I was there the surgeon called and said that a conservative treatment plan would be okay and most likely surgery won't be required (if it were, we would likely have to put the cat down). So I was extremely happy and emotional and just ready to do whatever it took to keep the cat healthy if not somewhat of a gimp. So for the next 4-6 months she will be living in our bathroom and not jumping or moving too much. At the moment she is in a lot of pain and pretty pissed off in general. She wants out and has only escaped once. I got a dog kennel for her and some other things to help her stay comfortable. Lets hope she heals okay and is still able to jump at least onto the bed.

(picture of Jenie post accident to come soon)

This puts a slight snag in our plans as we are supposed to go to W. Palm on Monday (yes, again and so soon). So Jeff will be staying home with the cat and dogs and Nick and I will be taking Alex to W. Palm for a visit with Uncle Milton. Not too bad but hopefully Alex will be in a good mood and not have too much trouble with his teething.

Hopefully after our trip we will take the car into the mechanic and see what the crunching and sqeaking noise is while backing up and get all sorts of other things fixed at the same time! Lets pray it isn't too much out of pocket as I don't think we can handle too many more emergencies!

Alex in his wool shorts (just for you Shanda)