Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve - Then and Now


  1. Buy cool new outfit
  2. Plan what bars to go to, or what person's house to go to
  3. Buy lots of beer/wine
  4. Start partying at about 6 or 7.
  5. Have a blast - dance, sing, and drink a lot.
  6. Party the night away, end around 1 or 2 am.
  7. Go home and sleep until I wake up.
  8. Spend the day lounging around, trying to rehydrate my body.


  1. Stay home with a sick baby

Yep, it's confirmed. Connor has his first ear infection. That, and a version of RSV most likely. They had 3 confirmed cases in his daycare room, so the doctor said that is what is likely causing all of the junk, he just doesn't have the bad version where you need a nebulizer or hospitalization. So, he's sick.

Oh, well. I won't have to spend the day tomorrow trying to pump myself full of water and food in order to recooperate. Our plan was to have the boys go to Kyle's parents house, but that won't be happening now. For some reason, Kyle still thinks it would be "fun" for Tyler to go over there. I'd rather save our "kids stay the night for free" ticket until a night where we can both go out and have a good time!

Oh, and we have a new child in our house. His name is Tyler. TOTALLY DIFFERENT KID! The biggest fight we had over the last day was making him put his shoes on this morning. No hitting, punching, yelling, yipping (that was his new thing), and a generally calm child. I really hope this continues! I'm thrilled!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Detox - Day 2, and our floor!

We started The Feingold Diet yesterday. I spent about 3 hours grocery shopping on Friday to find the right foods, and quickly became very interested in what the contents of food really are. I cannot even begin to explain what some of these things are, much less how to pronounce them. I was amazed though at how some of the common foods you wouldn't think about, are okay for Tyler to eat. He can have Fritos and regular Lay's Potato Chips, but can't have apples. Go figure.

Yesterday Tyler spent the day with his cousin Mason, and I think they ran themselves ragged. He was exhausted last night. Today he actually seems to be doing good. No tantrums this morning, was never thrown into time out, and never tried to hit or step on Connor. He did squeeze his hand a couple times, but hey - we're light years ahead of where we were! I can't wait to see what happens going forward. Of course, Tyler cannot eat ANY of the food they serve at daycare. Do you know what a pain in the butt it's going to be to pack a lunch and two snacks, EVERY DAY for him? I know this is for a good reason, and Tyler thinks it's pretty cool as well. I went through the fridge and pantry and put "Tyler" stickers on everything he could eat. (Seriously, we have stickers with his name on them), so he thinks that's neat that he has "special food". Even special gum!

And now on to the floor.... Kyle and I put a new floor in our kitchen about 2 years ago or so. Nice Pergo. About a month ago we noticed that when you walked behind the kitchen table, the floor was "squishy". We had Larry (who put the floor in) come over and take a look at it a week ago, and he took some of the Pergo up, and guess what - we need new flooring. It was SOAKED! The culprit - Sir Tyler! When he takes his baths, there is ALWAYS water that ends up on the floor, sometimes more than I know (when I have to step out for a minute). I've witnessed him taking entire cupfulls of water and dumping them on the floor. Our floor must have a slant just good enough that the water went under the trim, and soaked into the subfloor. So we had to tear up some of the bathroom tiles. It's okay under the bathroom, just where it leaked into the kitchen. Now we have to wait for the wood to dry, scrub off the mildew - likely do some touchup painting, recaulk, etc., etc. The cord you see is from the fan we have to dry up the floor, and yes, that is a matchbox car against the wall...

It never ceases to amaze me the fun we have around here!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Red Dye 40 and the "Demon Child"

When Tyler was a very small child (when he started eating his first solid foods), my mom mentioned that she had me on a special diet when I was a child. The diet was, I believe, the Feingold diet, which eliminates all artificial colors and flavors from the diet of a child. The theory is that these artificial ingredients have an adverse affect on behavior. My mom said I was always a very active child, and being a stay-at-home mom, she needed every bit of sanity she could muster to make it through the day with me. I found a fantastic article that has 25 years of research in that theory here. To sum it up, literally thousands of children over the year have participated in double-blind studies, and the conclusion is that artificial dyes and flavors have at least SOME affect on child, and in ADHD children, has a considerable affect.

Now, how does this matter to me...

It's no secret, Tyler has always been a very "active" child. (Being his mom, that's what I will call it!) I always chalked it up to him just being a boy, and let it go. When most people at work were looking forward to the weekend, I would just dread it. Sometimes, I would cry on the way home from work on Friday because I didn't know what I was going to have to put up with that weekend. I hated it. Hated it. Hated it. Although Tyler was only one child, I couldn't go anywhere alone with him - because I never knew when he would just "freak out", and if we wanted to go to Wal-Mart as a family, it literally took both of us to "handle" him. To this day, I will not take him to the store by myself.

Last night, Tyler got home from daycare and asked for his "Santa Snacks". My dad gave all the kids Gummie Life Savers for Christmas, and there is a Santa on the box - thus, "Santa Snacks". I opened the box and put about 10 in a bowl for him. He happily went into the living room to play with daddy.

Fast forward 15 minutes.... Tyler is literally bouncing on the furniture. He is running in circles, hitting Connor, trying to STEP on Connor, hitting his dad, throwing toys, and cannot even begin to contain himself. He is put in time-out, he is spanked, he is yelled at, etc. This is the exact behavior that happens every once in a while that I can't control. I always chalk this up to him just wanting attention, or just being a brat.

Last night, after the kids were in bed, I started surfing the internet, and happened upon a blog of an acquaintance that mentioned the affect that Red Dye #40 has on children. It caught my eye, and I read on. HOLY COW! THIS IS TYLER!!!!!!! I almost fell out of my chair, and continued to read every article I could find. There are some good ones here and here. I jump up from the chair and go to the box of "Santa Snacks" - Red Dye #40 (sorry Dad!), and read the box of Diego Fruit Snacks, same thing!

I'm really hoping I'm on to something here. Most of these behavior episodes, I can trace back to food containing Red Dye #40. Last week when I picked Tyler up from daycare on Wednesday, the owner of daycare pulled me aside and tell me that they had some "behavior issues" with Tyler that day. He was choking kids and telling them he wanted to kill him - seriously. I was beside myself. What do I do? I'm not there to punish him, and that's probably a good thing because I consider that COMPLETELY unacceptable, and that is worthy of more than just a time-out. So, What? You ask..... Tyler had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast that morning. Strawberry Jelly with Red Dye #40!

Frequently Tyler's Daily Sheets from daycare say "Tyler had an emotional morning". We went through a period where Tyler had Nurti-Grain Cereal Bars for breakfast - and what's in those. You guessed it. The weekends that were hell - by 10am Tyler was asking for fruit snacks (gummy snacks) and I would give in, "what could that hurt?", I would say. Red Dye #40 all over those fruit snacks! On top of the cereal bar he had for breakfast!

Okay - sorry I'm so excited about this, but I'm kicking myself over and over for not listening to my mom years ago when she mentioned this. As the articles I have linked in above say, most of Tyler's behavior grew to be normal for me, and when others saw it - you could see the look on their face that "That is NOT normal"!

I know a lot of Tyler is just Tyler - and he is exactly a combination of both his dad and me, which makes for a very active child that doesn't have a very long attention span. That I can deal with, but hopefully we can eliminate the out of control behavior that I'm thinking is caused by the dyes. Of course, these foods with the dyes are also high in sugar, which doesn't help, but I think everyone would agree that there is a huge difference between natural sugar and the "corn syrup" sugar found in most of these foods. Either way, elimination of them I'm certain will help.

So, I'm going to try to fit a new diet into our schedule - not sure how I will do that, but I'm going to head to New Pioneer Coop today (our local natural/organic grocery store) and see if there are substitutes for the foods we eat now that don't have all the artificial crap in them. And maybe I'll have to dust off my apron and start cooking again. Yuck! =)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

And then I turned into my mom...

When my sister and I were kids, I remember spending hours upon hours down in the basement listening to our "Wham!" record, or even better, the "Annie" Soundtrack. We listened to it about as loud as it would go, and would just sing and sing. Every once in a while - out of no where, my mom would appear, not say a word, and walk up to the record player and turn it off. She would then just turn around and walk away. My sister and I always looked at each other like, "Geesh, what's HER problem?" Yesterday I found out.....

Christmas Day 2007. Connor let us sleep in until 7:15, since he was up so late on Christmas Eve. I still didn't sleep with the cold I have, but it was nice to be "allowed" to stay in bed. So - leap out of bed at 7:15, that means just about 2 hours to get myself ready, cook corn casserole, put presents in car, get kids ready, fed...typical drill. I decide along the way the scrap the corn casserole and just bring the ingredients to my mom's house and make it there. Somehow we make it into the car by about 9:15. A new record.

We stop at the gas station. 2 large coffees, 2 packages of Pop Tarts, water. Looks like we're cramming for finals. We get on the road and enjoy counting the number of cars still in the ditch from the storm the other day, and Connor amazingly falls asleep. Then Tyler starts...

Tyler: "Mommy...Mommy....Mommy..."

Me: "What Tyler?"

Tyler: "A Big John Deere!"

(30 seconds pass)

Tyler: "Mommy....Mommy....Mommy...."

Me: "Yes, Tyler"

Tyler: "I have an ooowwwwiiieeee!"

Me (taking of seatbelt and turning around): "Where?"

Tyler (showing me a fictitious owie on his finger): "Right Here."

Me: "I think you'll be okay." (Turn around, put seatbelt back on)

(30 seconds pass)

Tyler: "Mommy....Mommy..."

Me: "What?"

Tyler: "I need gum."

Me: "Tyler, I don't have any gum"

I won't bore you with the rest, but this went on for the remainder of the trip. At one point me taking off my seatbelt and turned around to put Tyler back in his seat with the seatbelt on correctly. He knows if he climbs out completely that the cops will take him to jail. (That actually works by the way!)

Oh, how could I forgot to mention Kyle's new stereo. He bought a new stereo for his truck and his brother helped him put it in the night before. WAY too much bass for me, and how could I also forget the CD with 200 songs on it that Kurtis burned. Not sure if I would call these songs, but if you remember "2 Live Crew" and "The Beastie Boys", they were among the compilation.

I'm sitting there listening to Tyler, Kyle listening to his music, the sun beating in my eyes, and then I remember Kyle looking at me like I had lobsters coming out of my ears. I must've looked like I was going to blow. I didn't turn the radio off, but almost ripped it out of his dash. I think Kyle got the hint, and turned the radio way down, and then luckily enough we hit the Mississippi river so Tyler was distracted and looked at that for a while. It was then that I remembered those moments when my mom would walk in and turn something off, and we looked at her like she had lobsters coming out of her ears as well.

It all turned out okay, we made it in one piece, no one cried, no one went stark-raving mad, and no one got yelled at. SUCCESS! And now that I look back at it, my mom didn't have any problem at all except she knew what she needed to do to retain any sanity she had left with my sister and I!

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Tis the Season

Christmas Eve, 2007. Santa came to our house this morning, and tonight to my in-laws. Tomorrow to my parents in the Quad Cities. Tyler is wound tight as a top, and guess what, Connor is sick. Imagine that. His fever this morning was 100.5 - not too high, but enough to make for a VERY cranky baby.

The holidays so far have gone well, but I feel like I'm missing out now. I literally only bought on present at "the mall" - it was a purse for my sister at Von Maur, so I didn't even have to physically enter the mall. The rest of everything was bought at Wal-Mart, Target or on-line (most!), which is awesome, but kind of leaves me feeling like I missed out on something. I always do at least one mall shopping trip a year, but didn't do that this year at all. Maybe I'm just missing out on the crowds, hot stores, cranky people and long lines...

I missed out on Christmas cookies this year as well. The only kind I bought were the Pillsbury ones from the store - that have the pictures of the reindeer in them that you literally slide out of the bag, and place on your cookie sheet. Ta Da! Cookies for Santa, which he liked. And the reindeer got some cheese (Tyler's choosing).

Maybe it just felt like the holidays vanished this year. I drug my Christmas stuff out the day after Thanksgiving, and put as much of it out as I could (that could be positioned more than 4 feet off the floor). We did only have 2 broken Christmas ornaments this year, and one broken candle. Not too bad for the football games that take place in this house.

It never ceases to amaze me how fast life goes now. Especially at the holidays. I have to remember, while trying to make all the memories for the kids just perfect, that no matter how things go, there will be memories. I have such great memories from Christmas as a child - at home and at my Grandma's house. I bet my parents felt rushed as well, but they never let on.

Santa must've heard Tyler when he asked for "John Deere's" for Christmas! He scored big time!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

He's either going to turn into a prune... or a mermaid

New trick! When I need to spend time in the kitchen either cleaning it up (usually) or fixing something, folding laundry, etc., put Connor in the sink! He LOVES to sit in the sink, and will sit in there for as long as he can. I give him kitchen spoons, cups, towels, toys, etc., whatever he wants to chew on/play with.

Kyle made a huge breakfast this morning (I pretty much stopped cooking in 2005), and of course with a huge meal, comes a huge mess. Then Kyle and Tyler went outside to scoop snow, so I plopped Connor in the sink, and went to work. Did dishes (on the other side of the sink!), cleaned the counters, floor, folded laundry, got the crock pot going for tonight (that is something I can do), and got a clean baby in the process. He's also fighting his 37th cold since he's been alive, so the warm, steamy water helps his nose drain.

Because of this, he's going to get two baths a day for the remainder of break (at least!), but I figure if I just keep gooping the lotion on, he should be okay. I'm pretty sure he's either going to turn into a prune, or a mermaid!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not sure if I should dance the jig... or pass out.

7:15 tonight - both kids in bed....asleep. 6 months ago if you would've told me that this would've happened someday, I wouldn't have believed you. But, we didn't come upon this easily today.

Let me start by saying, I HATE WINTER! Well, winter in IOWA! We are cooped up in this teeny, tiny house with two small boys. Tyler is about ready to turn inside out because he can't stand to be cooped up, and doesn't deal well with those feelings. It feels sometimes like we're literally tripping over each other. Tyler cannot stand to not be doing SOMETHING, even if that means driving his parents crazy, and harassing his brother.

Here was a typical conversation today:

"Tyler, stop touching Connor. Stop touching him. Stop touching him. Tyler, knock it off! Tyler, if you don't stop touching him, I'm going to put you in your room. Tyler, STOP TOUCHING HIM! ----- KNOCK IT OFF! -----DID YOU NOT HEAR WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING TO YOU???------ LEAVE CONNOR ALONE!!!!!!!! ------TYLER! ------TYLER! ------ SSTTOOPP TTOOUUCCHHIINNGG HHIIMM!!!!!"

Repeat this conversation in your head 25 times, and that's pretty much what I did today. That, and 27 loads of laundry. Holy cow! I swear, the first spring day that we can be outside for more than 20 minutes at a time, I'm gonna park myself in a lawn chair in the middle of the driveway, and thank god for every minute we're out there - probably with a beer in my hand!

Little Boys and Trucks

I never realized just how much little boys love to play with trucks. Actually, I've found that the wheels on the truck are what they are most fascinated with. This past summer, Tyler spent more time digging in the mulch outside with his tractors than he spent sleeping - I would just park a lawn chair outside and sit and watch him in his own little fantasy world, digging up mulch, filling the tractor, hauling the mulch all over the lawn, and watching the wheels as he would move all over.

As I sit here now, Connor is playing with his new tractor he received for Christmas last weekend. The animals are pretty cool, he thinks, but I've found him staring at the wheels for the last 10 minutes. Attached are pictures of boys - and thier obsession with trucks/tires. I guess it's the simple things...

Here is also a video I took last weekend while in the car on the way to West Union. Tyler had been telling me a story about his teeth and crocodiles, so I decided to capture his random thoughts on tape. I swear this kid has ADD - then listen as he stops all thoughts to make a comment about the truck we pass...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

So what has changed?

I'll be the first to admit, my life is SO much different now after having kids. I never would've imagined how BIG of an impact, two small people would have. As I was arriving to work today, I started thinking about how my mornings are different now than they used to be. You tell me if there are any differences...


  1. Alarm clock goes off at 5:30, get out of bed.
  2. Head to shower, get clean, dry off, put on clothes/make-up, do hair.
  3. Get morning paper
  4. Look at headlines, make a cup of coffee in to-go cup.
  5. Leave for work around 6:25.
  6. Arrive to work at 6:50
  7. Open e-mail, check "hot stuff"
  8. Make pot of coffee (usually 1st one there)
  9. Go to cafeteria to get bagel for breakfast
  10. Go back to desk, eat bagel and leasurely read e-mail


  1. 4:15 - Wake up to Connor fussing. Holy Crap that was a short night!
  2. Make bottle, change Connor, feed him bottle, fight him back to sleep.
  3. Get into shower at 5ish (depending on how long it took me to fight him back to sleep).
  4. Shower, dry off, put on robe (hope Connor doesn't awake during rest of routine, keep robe on in case he does, and I get puked on)
  5. Put on make-up, do hair, etc., be ready by 5:45, just in case someone wakes up
  6. Go to kitchen, stealthly empty dishwasher.
  7. Turn on dryer to "touch up" clothes that were left in there last night
  8. Fold clothes on living room floor.
  9. Hear Connor waking up.
  10. Get Connor, get his clothes, bring him to the living room, change him.
  11. Finish folding clothes, put Connor in exersaucer. Leave folded clothes on living room floor, hope Tyler doesn't kick them over.
  12. Make Tyler's PB&J Sandwich and get juice ready
  13. Go start waking Tyler up. Kyle (who usually takes the kids to daycare), has to be at work early. Since I couldn't pick them up today, I take them.
  14. Turn on The Wiggles for Connor
  15. Force Tyler up (it's already 6:15), drag him to the bathroom.
  16. Tell him if he doesn't brush his teeth - the bugs will eat them. Tyler brushes his teeth.
  17. Take Tyler to living room - strip him and start putting his clothes on.
  18. Connor fusses - maybe he's hungry again - after all, he last ate 2 hours ago.
  19. Finish dressing Tyler - giving him sandwich and juice on floor, he's thrilled the "Hot Potato" by the Wiggles is playing.
  20. Get new bottle for Connor and start feeding him. Check time - it's 6:20. Connor has to eat fast.
  21. Tyler climbs on chair while I'm feeding Connor - now there are 3 people in a recliner chair. I apparently miss the peanut butter that gets smeared on my sleeve - that is so politely pointed out by my co-workers 2 hours later.
  22. As soon as Connor shows the slightest interest in being done, take bottle away, put him in carseat.
  23. Hunt for Tyler's shoes
  24. Find 1 shoe in kithcen, another in living room under stool.
  25. Throw Tyler onto counter - Kyle is putting on one shoe - me the other one. Put on coat and hat.
  26. Tyler does WANT to wear that Herky hat - he wants to wear the OTHER one!
  27. Find other Herky hat.
  28. Take Connor out to car.
  29. Come back in - grab Tyler, take him outside.
  30. Tell Tyler to get into the car.
  31. Tell Tyler to get into the car.
  32. Tell Tyler to get into the car.
  33. Tell Tyler to get into the car.
  34. Tell Tyler to get into the car so he can go see his friends.
  35. Tyler gets in the car, time is 6:40
  36. Peel out of driving, and spin out around the corner because it's slick, and I'm driving too fast.
  37. Arrive at daycare at light speed.
  38. Take kids into daycare. Answer Tyler 's question "Where are my friends?" 15 times - because his friends aren't there yet.
  39. Leave kids, and fly to nearest gas station. Need to buy gas cards for guys that work for me.
  40. Gas station has no gas cards except $25 gas cards - all out of $10 cards - abort mission, but get free coffee. (BP has free cofee until Christmas!)
  41. Drive 85 MPH to work because I have 27 minutes until my meeting with my boss.
  42. Cuss at driver on Collins Road for going speed limit.
  43. Arrive in parking lot at 7:20, 23 minutes - new record!
  44. Peel into parking spot on two wheels.
  45. Look at clock while waking in 7:25. A whole 5 minutes to spare.
  46. Get to desk. Drop purse and coat, turn on lights, grab notebook, go to meeting.

Ah - what a life!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

You're Making me CRAZY!

I guess I have to watch what I say... one of the last things Tyler told me before I marched him into bed tonight was "Mom, you're making me CRAZY!". Even with the right emphasis on "crazy", just as I would.

I really hope he didn't hear what I said to the cars in front of me leaving the mall last night at 6pm.

Christmas in West Union and Herding Cats

Today we made the yearly trip up to West Union to visit Kyle's Mom's side of the family. I've been going to West Union every year since about 2000. It's very intersting, since his Mom has 12 (I think!) brothers and sisters and they all have TONS of kids. We outgrew the Senior Center they used to rent, and moved to the local church hall. It's been very different the last couple of years since Kyle's grandfather passed away - there were fewer people there this year than ever (probably around 60 or so - maybe more, it's hard to tell with all the kids), but as everyone's family gets older, it's harder and harder to get together.

We had a great trip up there and back. Connor slept most of the way up there, and the whole way back (almost a 2 hour trip!). No one cried in the car, or threw any tantrums. No one spilled anything, or made any unreasonable requests for gum or candy. I almost wondered who those kids where! Since we took Kyle's Tahoe, I could sit in the back between the kids, which helped a lot. We stopped on the way up for McDonald's, so Tyler ate the bacon off my sandwich, and I could sip on my coffee. It was nice.

Connor is eating more and more food now - and I notice he's less and less interested in his bottle. He usually drinks a lot in the morning, then barely anything the rest of the day. He still has two meals (at least) of baby food, and LOVES it. Today he had some corn casserole, and loved the Jello too! I tried some stage 3 Gerber food last night, but I don't think he was too fond of the "Pasta Primavera". That just sounds wrong coming out of a Gerber Jar.

Here's the cute picture taken of the boys today, and then one of all the cousins together with Grandma and Grandpa. I took a whole bunch of pictures as we were getting set up. Trying to get all of those kids to sit together was like herding cats! Notice the 2 boys in the back - they are the "head cats"!

Third Shift

Tyler was up from 3:30 until 5am today. I think his fingers woke him up. He kept telling me he was sick in his bed, and I thought "Oh, Great, he puked in his bed", but I never did find out what that meant. No puke - his nose was just stuffed up. Anyway, he wandered around between 3:30 and 5 - I kept putting him back in his bed, and eventually gave up and let him come in bed with us, which also didn't help. He tossed and turned and flipped even more.

After he finally got back to sleep at 5, Connor woke up at 5:30. Kyle got him. I went back to sleep until 7:30 - which would've been awesome if I hadn't already been up two hours. Now it's after 8am, Tyler is still sleeping - Connor got almost 12 hours of sleep, and Kyle and I are exhausted!

We decided to stop at having two kids because we didn't want to be "outnumbered", but sometimes, I still feel like they're winning.

Connor did look awful cute in his Christmas jammies this morning, so I just had to snap this picture. What a happy boy!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh, What a Night!

Okay - who in their right mind would schedule a Daycare Christmas Program between the hours of 1 and 3? The ENTIRE daycare shuts their lights off every day from 12:30 to 2:30 so the kids can nap, and about 90% of them do during that time (I've seen it - it's amazing!). So why would they schedule a Potluck Christmas program during that time, you ask??? I have NO idea!

First, it should be considered an Olympic sport getting 2 kids dressed in their Christmas clothes, in under 20 minutes. I was literally sweating when I walked out the door, and it was about 10 degrees outside! We arrived just after 1pm, to a PACKED room of kids, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc., and easily over 100 sleep deprived kids, who were all operating on adrenaline at that point. We stayed just long enough for Tyler to sing his song, which he really didn't sing, because he was too busy skipping back and forth in front of the line of kids, and couldn't stand still to save his life. Everyone got a good laugh out of it, except his parents who were getting tired of chasing him down.
He slept in the car for about 3 minutes on the way home, then woke up too much when we brought him in the house - and decided then that he didn't want to nap at all. It was 3pm, which means it's too late to fight him down for a nap - because we will win, but it wouldn't have been until 4pm, then he would've napped until after 6pm, and the WHOLE night would've been a disaster. And we couldn't have cut the nap short. One VERY VALUEABLE lesson I've learned is "half a nap is worse than no nap at all". I used to think that a half hour would be better than nothing. WRONG! Then they're tired, and feel like crap. Kind of like someone getting you out of bed at 1am and pushing you along all day.

Tyler and I went to Target tonight, and he was pretty good, but the night went downhill after 6pm. Since he was too tired, he didn't listen, and because he didn't listen, he put his hand on the hot burner after we told him specifically to get away from the stove, about 24 times. He put his hand right in the middle of it, and now has burn blisters on three fingertips on his hands. I have a feeling we'll be hearing about that tonight, and likely for a couple of days. It looks like it hurt a lot!
We did have the most beautiful snowfall all day today - it's what I refer to as "movie snow", just like you would see in the movies, and it went on like that all day. There were times today when I thought what was going on could've been a movie (getting the kids ready, watching Tyler sprint around the rec center room, putting Spider Man band-aids on three fingertips!), but it's just our life. Although, I wouldn't trade it for the world...

And how laughing makes you exhausted

I'm totally exhausted today, and I think it's partially due to the fact that I laughed yesterday from about 3:21 until 8:45 PM at our work Christmas party. I am so blessed to have so many nice and funny people to work with. Our sides were splitting more times than I can count last night! It's stuff that like that makes me a better person, and a better Mommy!

The cereal bar in the tree skirt

It's amazing to me the interesting places I find "leftover" food now, from Tyler. Today as I was cleaning up the living room, I found a cereal bar in the tree skirt under the Christmas tree! I'm pretty sure Santa didn't leave it there, and I don't think Tyler has had a cereal bar since at least Wednesday, so it was pretty hard! Yuck!

I love Saturday mornings! Funny enough, it's the one time when I find myself totally disconnected from the world. I can't watch the news - we usually watch Dora. I get the Press Citizen newspaper from the driveway, not to read the news, but to read the ads that come a day earlier than the Sunday paper (IC doesn't have a Sunday paper). It's like a sneak-preview of the sales to happen. Not that I think by reading those ads it made me want to jump up, run to Target, and save $1 on an IPod or anything - but for some reason, it's my thing. That - and at least one entire pot of coffee!

Today is the kid's Christmas program for Daycare. That is usually SO cute, I love it! Hearing about a hundred kids, all under the age of 5, singing Christmas songs cracks me up. Santa will be there as well, so I'll have to post pictures when I get them. The one of Tyler and Santa will likely be a wide-lens photo of the whole room, because I'm pretty sure Tyler won't come within 50 feet of Santa. Something terrifies him about anyone over 6 foot tall dressed in a costume!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The little boy that did not nap!

Connor has never been a big napper, but Holy Cow! He slept a total of 45 minute today! He woke up at 6am today, and went to bed at 7pm. Between those house - hardly any napping! He was so tired tonight - he was in a good mood when I picked him up - but then cried the whole way home. He HATES riding in the dark car! I usually turn on the dome light - but that doesn't even help sometimes. So - we got home, both boys were beside themselves and I considered taping what was going on at one point - where Connor was screaming in his bed with his "rainforst friends" going (because that is a safe place to set him while I got changed), and Tyler was crying in the hallway. Kind-of reminded me of work - whining, crying, babies (an inside joke).

So I tried to feed Connor pears with Rice Cereal - but he had just eaten food at 4:15 because daycare said he got "missed" at lunchtime. (Translation - they were too busy to take the time to feed him - that ticks me off - so he had formula all day). Oh well - I tried to feed him, he had a couple bites, then chewed on his sippy cup for a while. Then he needs a bath - so I just put him in the kitchen sink which is going to work out GREAT! I got the whole kitchen cleaned while he was sitting there - and I proceeded to let him sit in there for almost a half hour just to keep him awake! I even got to have a 5 minute conversation with my sister on the phone with Connor in the bath!

On a funnier note - just before I put Connor to bed tonight I had him sitting on the living room floor, and Tyler was talking to him. I heard Tyler telling Connor all about the Toy Story movie that he was watching and about how cool Buzz Lightyear was! Sometimes I worry that Tyler is going to be a very agressive big brother - but I think he's going to look out for Connor too!

The picture I put on here today is one I took about a month ago when Connor was having a very bad night - and I finally just set him in his rocking chair in his room with his "puppy". He just needed some "chill time". I stood outside the room while he just sat there in the quiet - and he seemed to like it a lot. Some days after a long day of daycare and not a lot of napping, he just needs some peace and quiet. =)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Connor and Tyler - Which is which?

Tyler's snack at 10:30 this morning....

A cold hot dog with ranch dressing............. what in the world is wrong with this kid? That is the 4th day in a row. He specifically asks for a cold hot dog and ranch dressing. Not ketchup (like most kids would).

I'm pretty certain I'm going to have to take out a second and third mortgage when my kids are teenagers to feed them! We weighed Connor at the doctor last night and he was almost 23 pounds (with his clothes on). Holy Crap! That would explain my sore back!!!!

Ice Storm 2007 - Take 2

We're spending the day at home today due to the (hopefully) last ice storm of 2007. There is about 1/4 inch of ice on everything in North Liberty - and it's 32.5 degrees outside. All the schools are closed, and I didn't want to chance it driving to work today - so I'm working from home. Well - working is very relative when you have two kids and a cranky husband at home as well.

Connor seems to be doing much better - but had to dip in to my "co-pay bucket" last night when I took him to the doctor. When Kyle picked him up from daycare yesterday they said he'd been rubbing his ear all day, and I thought "Here we go - THIS is an ear infection". That would explain the being up every 2 hours, and being so sick.

I called the Dr. at 5:45 when I got home, and got him in at 6:30. One thing I can definitely say about the Doctor's office we go to is that they can get you in the day you call, no matter what. Especially if it's for a possible ear infection. Unfortunately, I had to see the doctor on call, who was Dr. Boyson. Not "Mr. Personality". Tyler is scared of him because he doesn't smile, and cried the last time he saw him. No one scares Tyler. He's a fairly good looking doctor, but totally negates all of that with his crappy attitude and solemn demeanor. When you talk to him he acts like you're speaking Chinese, and doesn't offer any solutions - you are treated like a number. But - that's what I get for service in 45 minutes.

No ear infection, just a virus. The Dr. said he sounds like all the other kids he's seen the last month - congested and junky. I'm still wondering though about seeing a specialist about his chest. He's been "junky" since he was 2 weeks old. My sister-in-law recommended a Pulmonary doctor to see if he could have the beginnings of Asthma, which is what I've always thought. I'm going to check in to that.

After all of that, he slept until 5am today, took a bottle, then went back to sleep until about 6:30, which is great for him. He is very happy now, and just keeps staring at me and smiling! I love the fact that he smiles at me all the time. I always tell him "I'm going to be his #1 woman for about the next 12 years"! =) Hopefully longer!

Tyler's snack at 8:30 last night

A cold hot dog with ranch dressing. Seriously. Is there something wrong with this kid, or what? =)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Now I remember

Now I vividly remember the nights where I was awake more than I was asleep. Last night was one of them. Connor has the same cough that he's had since he was 2 weeks old (he's always had it, just in varying degrees), and it's horrible now. And of course shotgun season opened yesterday, which means Kyle isn't home.

He started coughing at 11:30 last night. I woke up because I thought that would wake him up. I went into his room, and he was still asleep. I went back to bed and went back to sleep.

12:30 - coughing again, this time wakes up crying. I get some cough medicine because I realize this isn't going to get any better. I give him cough medicine and get him back to sleep. I get the vaporizor going, and put one of those "plug-in" vaporizors in the wall as well to hopefully help. I get back in bed, it's 1am.

1:45 - awake coughing again. This time he's coughing pretty hard, and is very unsettled. I make a bottle and he drinks the whole thing. Goes back to sleep. I get back in bed around 2:30ish.

3am - coughing again. Awake again. Now he's pissed. I try to comfort him some more, I'm pretty sure his top teeth hurt that are coming in, because he's not even been too interested in his pacifier the last couple of days. So now he's uncomfortable, can't sleep because he's coughing, and can't calm himself down. I think I get back in bed around 3:30 - but I'm near delirious at this point.

4am - coughing again. This time I let him go to see if he can put himself back to sleep. This just escalates until he's TOTALLY pissed off. Finally at 4:15ish or so (lost track of time and don't care at this time, just SO want some sleep!) I go get him, and he has no interest in going back to sleep. I end up making another bottle in while he gobbles down and goes back to sleep. I get back in bed at 4:40 and this time I'm thanking God it's not Monday where my alarm would be going off in 5 minutes.

6:30 - Tyler wakes up! ARGH! This is the same kid that we have to wake up almost every day of the week! I get up and think "at least Connor will sleep some more". I get out to the living room, looking forward to making some coffee and maybe reading some of the paper, and proceed to knock over my Pampered Chef Stone that's in the kitchen sink - making the loudest noise possible in the house. Connor wakes up. *sigh*

Tyler's Breakfast

Cold Hot Dogs with Ranch Dressing... Seriously.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Never dry off with your pajamas...

Yesterday was one for the books. The alarm clock went off at 4:45 as usual, and I headed to the shower. Both kids slept through the night, so I was fairly rested - well, whatever 6.5 hours of sleep (with one bathroom break) can give you.

After my shower, I opened the shower curtain - and realized that there were no towels in the bathroom. 0. (I had washed them the night before, and they were still in the dryer! I hadn't had time to fold the laundry the night before - but that doesn't mean much, because IF the laundry gets folded, it RARELY gets put away that night.) So I stand there, soaking wet, not wanting to leave the warm bathroom into the freezing house to search for a clean towel - so I dried off with the sweatshirt I had worn to bed the night before. Not my preference, but it worked.

When I left the house at 6:50 in the morning, both boys were up, though as I was walking out the door, Tyler was lying in the middle of the kitchen floor screaming because he wanted candy canes for breakfast. Not over my dead body. I told Kyle I owed him a million dollars for putting up with that, and I headed off to work.

When I arrived in the parking lot at 7:27 (Note: Staff with my boss starts at 7:30), I am literally trying to jog as fast as I can on 1 inch of ice, in 1.5 inch heels. That must've been funny. By the time I got to the guard shack I still hadn't found my badge in my purse, which I had been digging through while I was running. I walked into the guard shack and told the guard I just needed to put some of my stuff down so I could dig through my purse for my badge. He just looked at my really funny and said, "It's around your neck". Sure enough, I look down, and there it is. If there was ever a definition of a blonde moment - that was it.

By the time I arrived at my boss' staff, I was rounding the corner to hysterical, and I don't even want to know what my blood pressure was. I could just feel it - it there could've been a guage on my head, it would've been in the "Danger" zone.

The day went on - meeting after meeting after meeting, by noon I hadn't even been able to read my e-mails yet - although 138 waited for me. The meetings continued throughout the afternoon, and had my performance review for 2008 at 3:30 and at 5pm I had to tell her I had to leave to go get the kids. I felt bad needing to do that, but my husband couldn't get them. I literally sprinted back to my office, grabbed my coat and gloves, didn't even bother to turn off any of the lights, and left. Papers were falling on the floor, etc., but I had to go. I ran to the car, and drove home like a maniac. I passed two cars on Highway 965 that were going 45 miles per hour (ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!??!!??) And arrived at daycare at 5:41. At least they weren't the last kids there.

We got home, and Tyler was in a fairly good mood - but Connor was a crab. I held him, and guess what? He had a temperature of 100.3! Surprise! Poor guy, he's likely coming down with what his brother had last week. I'm home with him today - which is probably a good thing. I had about 1/2 hour free in my schedule today from 11:30 to 12, which would've likely been filled with some other bogus meeting to discuss something else that won't change - and would've come home tonight with 284 unread e-mails like the last 2 days.

Being at home, I can actually read e-mail, take care of the baby, and hopefully get my blood pressure down to the normal range.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mommy's New Purse

Last night, I was sitting on the floor with Tyler and for some reason or another, we were looking through a small Ebay catalog that came in the mail. On one of the pages there was a NICE Dooney & Bourke "Croco Bag" that retails normally for about $300 - Ebay must have one for about $160.

I saw the purse and said "Oh, should Mommy get that?"
Tyler's said, "You want a new purse Mommy?"
I replied, "Yes, Mommy would definitely like that purse!"
Tyler's response, "So you could put gum in it? You put in gum for Tyler, and Mommy's yucky gum too."

About a couple months ago, I started carrying around the large packs of gum in good flavors for whenever Tyler needs a distraction. If he's having a bad time in the car - give him a piece of gum. You want him to be quiet in the store, give him a piece of gum. You want him to sit still, give him a piece of gum. It works WONDERS! Sometimes though, I run out of the "good gum" and all I have left is the strong, minty Trident or whatever it is I'm chewing at the time, and he'll take it - but obviously doesn't prefer it! That's the "yucky gum"!

It's funny how those things that seem so small and minimal to me, are the most important thing that are in my purse, to him.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My temporary life with twins...

Thursday at around noon I received the dreaded phone call from my husband. "Daycare called, Tyler has a fever of 101 and one of us has to go pick him up." That's when the mom instinct in me wants to literally bolt up from my desk, try to remember to grab my purse, and burst out of the door to run and go get him. But what usually happens is we start to have to "What does your schedule look like" discussion. I ended up staying at work Thursday, then took the whole day Friday off. (Can't return until 24 hours fever free!)

I HATE trying to figure out what to do when sickness happens. I know - Life Happens, but so does my job. Of all people, I understand what it means when you have to be out of the office - by my Leadership - not so much. My boss never had children, and her bosses are all men with wives that stayed at home to take care of their children. They've never have to had this discussion, except when it was to decide who was going to drop the dogs off at the vet.

So, the twins part you ask - neither child has been sleeping through the night the last couple of nights. Friday night was a circus - between the both of them they were up 5 times. I got up all 5 times because I was worried. Last night they were up a combined total of 4 times. Not so bad, but it still makes for an EARLY morning when the baby wants to start his day at 6:30 on a Sunday. Heck, maybe I should talk some lessons from him and start going to bed at 8pm!

I did get some awesome Dunkin Donuts coffee beans yesterday when I went to Wal-Mart at 7am (yes - 7am!), and the paper has been delivered. Tyler saw to it that he used to be up before the paper was even at our doorstep most weekends. Pretty sad when you beat the paperboy!