Monday, March 31, 2008

In an instant!

It's amazing how fast things happen. Two days ago Ellie wouldn't put a fruit puff in her mouth to save her life. Today during lunch she probably ate 20 of them. Two weeks ago Austin was waking up at 5:45am. Now it's an hour later at 6:45. A lot of these changes I accept with a happy heart. An extra hour of sleep? Yes please! Being able to entertain Ellie with a snack on the go....that can buy me a scream-free checkout at Target when we're running late and encroaching on her mealtime!

There's also a lot of things that happen too fast. For one, our snow free lawn is on it's way to receiving 7 inches of that horrible white stuff right now. If the forecasters are accurate. It's only snowed about 1-2 inches so far. Weather inside our house seems to change in the blink of an eye too. We can go from a state of calm:





To a declared disaster area in about 2 minutes flat:



The tornadoes in our house alternate the names of Austin and Ellie. And this picture is only a small F2 that came through. It's really not that bad in comparison to others we've seen. There are still pillows on the couch, and if you turn the corner, there is still a whole bin of toys left to be strewn on the floor and at least half of their books remain on the book shelf. Plenty of damage left to be done.

I keep hoping that in my next blink of an eye Austin will turn into a neat freak.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Purple People Eater

We recently switched Ellie from her infant car seat carrier to the regular kind that stays in the car. This means she no longer has her comfy cozy car seat cover. Which, in turn, means she needed a winter jacket. One of our neighbors lent us this get-up. I just think she's adorable in it. Being her mother I'm biased of course, but I think most will agree.
As usual, Austin wanted to get in on the picture taking action.
I asked him to make Ellie laugh. Instead he turned toward her and roared. She wasn't sure what to think about that.
She didn't even flinch. A Purple People Eater can take on a Lion any day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I need witnesses

Austin was a late talker. It was very frustrating for me at first. I know you should never compare children against one another, but at the same time, it’s difficult to not do this when his best friend and our next door neighbor, Mia, was an extremely early talker (and she’s a few months older too). So, I was constantly reminded how “behind” he was. I got over it because what else was I going to do? But, within the last 6 months or so, Austin has definitely found his voice! He might still be hard to understand for some (including Rob) but that’s not always a bad thing. Especially in public. Here’s a few things that he has started saying in public and at home and I’m just waiting for child protective services to show up on my doorstep.

1) “Be gentle with Austin, Mommy!” (this is referring to me telling him he has to be gentle with Ellie)
2) “Don’t hit Austin, Mommy!” (again, a reference to being careful around Ellie and not hitting her or anyone for that matter)
3) “Don’t touch that, it’s private Mommy” (we are starting to discuss private parts)

He doesn't say these in an accusatory tone, he's just restating what I've told him. And maybe these statements wouldn’t be so incriminating but about 90% of the sentences that come out of Austin’s mouth end in "Mommy". Which turns everything into an indictment against me. Like I said, lucky for me, he doesn’t always speak clear enough for an outsider to understand him but it’s only a matter of time. In the meantime, I’ll relish the time I have left before Ellie joins in on the fun. Two against one will surely get me convicted.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter (Monday)!

Despite the snowstorm that bombarded us on Friday, we did make it down to West Bend for Easter. At 12:30pm on Friday we checked the road conditions, for the 20th time, and found something like the parting of the Red Sea. Everywhere around our route was labeled in bold red "Difficult Driving", but the stretch of 169 we take down to Iowa was a nice green "Good driving". So, I guess it was meant to be. And it was accurate. We did not run into any problems whatsoever.

Grandma Runchey had plenty planned for Austin to do. He dyed Easter eggs, decorated bunny cookies, and of course found his own entertainment in all the toys. Dyeing Easter eggs was a bit of a mess to say the least. Austin found dropping them from as high as his arms would reach to be the most effective method for getting them into the dye.
He was pretty happy with his results.
On Sunday we all went to church. I tried to get a photo of the kids together but Austin isn't a big fan of holding Ellie and after 3 pictures declared "I don't like him." and that was that. But we got a couple snapshots of the grandparents with the kids and a nice family picture too. Well, maybe not "nice" but a picture of the whole family. Austin all of the sudden turned shy on us and wouldn't look at the camera and Ellie did not have any smiles.
Church didn't go over well. I'm really not sure what we were thinking. It started at 10am, which is right when Ellie would normally take a nap. Austin was the first to crack and immediately wanted to go home. We bribed him with a sucker, his toy car, and a plastic Easter egg but nothing was working. So, I took both kids down to the basement. A place I'm quite familiar with from past attempts at church. It's actually pretty nice. Lots of room to run around and be noisy, bathrooms, chairs, etc. But, he did nothing but cry down there. Ellie was overly tired. It just wasn't pretty. Luckily, Rob came to my rescue halfway through the service with the keys to the car and the kids and I left and waited for the rest of the family to come home.
All in all a nice trip. As usual we ate too much food but don't regret one bite! We hope you all had a nice Easter as well!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring has Sprung!

Yesterday the kids and I celebrated the first day of Spring. We went for a walk, soaked in some sun, and drew dinosaurs on the driveway. Austin took out his shovel and played in the last small patch of snow we had left in our yard.

Today we woke up to this:
It's probably snowed about 6 inches so far. Rob left for work early to beat the traffic (which is impossible no matter what time you leave) and came back home about 10 minutes later. He said he slid through an intersection when he was trying to stop. He turned around and came home. I just talked to my dad who had the same thing happen to him on his way to an appointment. So, the roads aren't great to say the least. But on a positive note, the snow is perfect snow for making a snowman and giving Austin more practice with his shovel.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

April Fool's!

We have scheduled our ultrasound. It's set for 9am on April Fool's Day. I have already mentioned to the technician that I will not find any jokes funny during that time. Hopefully she takes me seriously.

Unlike our last two babies, this time we ARE going to find out if it is a boy or girl, provided the lil' one will cooperate. I'm ready to stash away some clothes whether they be pink or blue. The nursery is getting a bit too crowded for my liking and all the clothes Ellie has already outgrown were in nice piles (sorted by size) on the floor that Austin continually thought were fun to jump into. I've since given up on the nice piles.

There is a box on the left side of this website, cast your vote....do you think it will be a boy or a girl. Here's some things to consider in case you're into old wives tales. I'm not carrying high or low right now; it's pretty centered. I'm not nearly as big as I was with Ellie at this time. The beginning of the pregnancy closely resembled Austin's as far as sickness goes. I crave more sweet than salty things...anything else? Have fun and good luck!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cranky

I bet you think this is going to be about Ellie. Nope! She is doing great. Or at least significantly better. She now has an odd rash and is kind of spitty, but her mood is super so I'll take it!

This post is about Austin. I'm struggling with mealtimes. Specifically, I want my child to have good manners at the table and he is trying my patience with this topic. Is it too much to ask that he doesn't put his feet on the table, uses a fork, doesn't blow bubbles in his milk, and actually eats his food. Probably. Lately I've been more concerned with his eating than anything because it seems like he will go days eating only granola bars. And then I'll look at his legs and there will be all sorts of bruises here and there from tiny bumps he gets as he acts like a normal boy and flies around the house. This makes me think he isn't getting enough iron or nutrients in general. So, I was relieved when last night I threw some fishsticks and tater tots in front of him for dinner and he ate everything. Only, he ate them as Cranky the Crane. That is a character from the show Thomas the Tank Engine. He would hold his fork on his forehead and bend his whole head down to stab a piece of food, then raise back up and swing it into his mouth. A couple of times I asked him to sit up nice and use his fork the way he is suppose to, but it didn't go over well. I decided it wasn't a battle to fight that night. At least he was eating his food right?


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A weekend away!

Rob and I just got back (well, got back Sunday evening) from a weekend away. No kids! Austin and Ellie joined Maddie and Jake at my parents house for the weekend. Unfortunately my idea to have my parents take pictures of what I can only imagine as chaos at their house, and my other idea of taking pictures of Rob and my getaway slipped my mind when it came time to packing cameras. So, no pictures in this post. Sorry.

We went to Grandview Resort in Brainerd, MN. It was great! Probably an even greater place to take the family in the summer but the winter was a little blah. Actually, there was probably plenty to do in the winter too, but we weren't prepared for the cold weather. We mostly sat in our room and enjoyed cable (which we don't have at home), we went out to eat, we played ping pong (I won!), we played air hockey (Rob might have won I wasn't keeping track), and we played checkers (which came to a stand still because neither of us could move...is that even possible?). Most importantly, we slept. We took naps, we slept in...it was great! We also enjoyed their spa on Saturday and Sunday.

From what I hear, the kids enjoyed themselves too. Austin is pretty infatuated with his cousins so there was no doubt he would have a great time. Ellie was starting to feel better so she enjoyed watching the other 3 run around.

Unfortunately, it was back to reality rather quick on Sunday. They both went to bed fine, but then Austin had a meltdown from about 1:45am until about 4am. Inconsolable. It was bizarre. Then Ellie woke up at 5am (I think it's all a blur now) to eat and decided she wasn't very tired after that so she sat in her room and talked to herself loudly for an hour. Austin's lack of sleep left him pretty grumpy on Monday and I think we're still feeling the remnants of it today. Last night at 7:30pm I was getting Ellie ready for bed and he said "Whatcha doin' mom?" and I told him and he immediately started crying "I want to go to bed too!!!!". Which I had absolutely NO problem with. In fact, I stopped prepping Ellie and directed my attention right to Austin and getting him in bed. He was asleep before I could shut the door. And again today for nap time, he finished lunch and I gave him his 5 minute warning and he just said "Ok" and grabbed his cars and said "I want to go to sleep". And because of the time change, he didn't wake up until 7:30 this morning. That was a nice treat. I wonder how long before his body readjusts to the schedule? Maybe Rob and I can schedule another weekend away when that happens.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Health update

Rob took Ellie to the Dr. this morning. After going there 5 times last month, I'm a bit Dr.'d out. It was nice he was able to go in my place. Though, I sent him with a list of notes to mention. I guess I couldn't relinquish total control. Dr. Gears said rarely does a husband show up without a list from his wife. But she's never had a wife show up with a list from her husband. Anyway, all that is beside the point. Dr. Gears said that Ellie has fluid in her right ear (same ear as her earlier infection) but that it isn't infected (yet). It is probably causing her pain though. Ellie also has a small amount of pneumonia in her right lung. They had to squish her between some plastic boards and do a chest xray to diagnose it. Too bad I missed out on that. Sounds pleasant. She now has some antibiotics and we're crossing our fingers that she handles them well (read: no puking) and that we'll have a much healthier child on our hands in a few days.

Austin still has a nasty cough and runny nose. But his spirits are still up so I'm not too worried about him. I'm worried about the amount of laundry I'll be doing since he prefers his sleeve to a kleenex and it gets fairly saturated. Not a big deal, but he's a bit of a snuggle bug with me and so my shirts get his snot all over them and I am trying desperately to remain healthy so we have been changing shirts a bit more frequently the last couple days.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Identity Crisis

Every morning when Austin gets up he immediately tells us who he is. The identity he chooses is rarely Austin. This morning, at 6am, he was Scooby-Doo. Rob said he wanted to know where Shaggy was (that's me). I have tried to coax him into letting me be Daphne or I'd even settle for Velma, but rarely am I granted that request. So, I end up running around the house saying things like "Zoinks" and "Like, I think I see a ghost, Scoobs!". The nice thing about Austin's different identities is that it's easy to get him to do something if I use his alternative name. For example: "Sponge Bob...put your clothes in the laundry room." Works like a charm. The hard part is keeping up with not only who he is, but who I am. And sometimes even Ellie gets worked into the role play. Today has so far gone like this:

6am-9am -- Austin is Scooby and I am Shaggy
9-:9:15 -- Austin is Austin and I am Mommy
9:15-9:30 -- Austin is Lightning McQueen and I am Sally
9:30-10am -- Austin is a Shrek Baby and I am Fiona (Ellie is also a Shrek Baby at this time)
10am-10:30 -- Austin is R2D2 and I am Chewbacca (I have no idea how that's spelled)
10:30-11am -- Austin is either Cub Bear or R2D2 (it changed every few seconds) and I am either Father Bear or Darth Mater (Yes, "Mater", not Vader)
11am - 12pm -- Austin is R2D2 and I am Darth Mater. (Ellie has been assigned Princess Leah...lucky girl)
12-12:30 -- Austin is Austin and I am back to Mommy

Austin always turns back into Austin when he wants something like a snack or lunch. And no, he has not seen Star Wars, but Grandma Runchey has some books with these characters in them so he knows who they are. And "Darth Mater is kind of spooky". The most popular character today has been R2D2. Can you see the resemblance?



He walks around the house with his finger over his eye since R2D2 only has one "eye" and just says "Beep Beep, where's C3PO? Beep Beep."

And, Ellie even managed to smile today. Albeit briefly, but apparently she likes the title of Princess.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 26

Ellie has been sick for 26 days. But who's counting?

I am. The thing that stresses me out about parenting the most (so far) is sick kids. Specifically sick babies. Austin doesn't worry me near as much now because he can at least communicate effectively enough for me to know if it's his stomach, his ears, just a cough, etc. But, after 26 days, I still don't know what to think of Ellie. She started off with an ear infection and bronchiolitis. Then everything subsided for those 3 glorious days. Then it all came back. Minus the ear infection because she went to the Dr. to get those checked again and got the "all clear". I don't want to be the parent who runs her in to see the Dr. every week because she is coughing, but at the same time....26 days of coughing! And, it's not just coughing, it's a runny nose, a fever off and on, and general crabbiness (a bit more than usual). To add to the mayhem, she recently had 3 more teeth pop through. And every time she puts her hand anywhere near her ear I'm convinced she has an ear infection...again.

This is the pitiful face I see almost all day. I much prefer the Ellie that I can tease into a smile.
As for Austin, he just started Day 1. He has a cough. I'm trying to keep him inactive by bribing him with movies (maybe if he gets enough rest he will feel better sooner?) but this picture was taken about 1 minute before he literally jumped off the couch and started running around pretending he was Lightning McQueen.