Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back to school/work for the Motts

Last week Nick had pneumonia, and I had bronchitis.

We go to bed for a week and all the sudden... BAM!

Fall is here!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Stupid asthma, random pics

Nick and i are both feeling pretty crappy. Lying in my bed, sniffling coughing and wheezing. Stupid asthma.

And now for something completely different:

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Date Night

Grandma JM wrapped up her visit by babysitting for us so Tom and I could go out for dinner. We of course went out for sushi. We have a favorite place here now where for just under 60$, including tip, we can have all you can eat sushi that is actually awesome.

Tonight we tried several new rolls. I've kept track of the things we've tried and what we thought of each.

Top to bottom: Tropical spice roll, Orchard roll, Sea angel roll

Left to right: VA beach roll, Pacific roll

Left to right: Hawaiian roll, Orchard roll, Spicy tuna

After dinner tonight we could hardly move. We headed to the grocery store and sat in traffic for a good long time.

We are exciting people, let me tell you!

My notes, you know, for posterity and stuff:

Orchard roll- best one!
Volcano roll- fried (yummmy)
King roll- eel on top (good)
Dynamite roll- crunchies(good)
Christmas roll- red/green eggs on top(meh)
Crazy monkey roll- banana inside, topped w/crab (too much crab but good)
Sea angel roll (too much crab but good, spicy)
Tropical spice roll (special, very good!)
Va Beach roll (meh)
Pacific roll (meh, bland)
Hawaiian roll (too much cheese but good)
Spicy tuna (meh, ground tuna not much zip)

Appetizers and bar:
Gyoza (good)
Shumai (good)
Edamame (good, plenty)
Wakame salad (very good)
Ginger dressing (very good)
Miso soup (very good)
Kani salad (good)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Two fairy princesses and a tarantula went trick or treating tonight. And fir the first time ever Tom and I both went with them.

The girls were precious and Nick was the most courteous spider you ever saw. We just took the girls around the block, then Tom and Nock went around a little more.

Before trick or treat time, we had a pizza dinner and carved pumpkins. We're what you might call last-minute kinds of folks around here.

But we got it all done, and the kids had fun and stated warm. That was a bit of a concern since it was down in the forties. But I found purple and pink tights and shirts, and purple and black pants for the girls to wear under their dresses, and I sewed their wings onto their wool peacoats so they HAD to wear coats to have wings. I thought that was pretty clever.

Nick just had a black hoodie on inside out (so it was fuzzy and solid black) for his top and with the spider hood over that it was enough for him.

I had a hard time getting any good photos, but here we go:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy better not mess up trick or treating!

I've worked on Nick's tarantula costume for over 2 weeks. It better not rain Wednesday!

I sewed it all by hand using old t-shirts and pants for material, old pillows for stuffing and some eyelash yarn i had on hand. I got the idea for the design from here: http://www.eclecticmom.com/home/2011/9/26/halloween-costume-spider.html

Taking the eyelash yarn down by hand took the longest, about 10-15 hours I'd guess. He's gonna be a cute tarantula!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nick is doing great!

We are loving first grade and i think it is clear the benadryl deserves a lot of credit. Tom missed giving it to Nick one morning and it was very apparent from his behavior sheet.

But with just that little bit of help, Nick is doing awesome! He is in the living room right now reading a book to Grandma JM who is visiting. It's the book 'Snow' by P.D. Eastman.

This was his timeline project he turned in this month. His teacher raved about it and his oral presentation. Nana helped with her cricut machine and printing the photos. But he picked out the photos and events with me, came up with the sentences, wrote them, came up with the title, and glued it all down.

It's such a drastic change from the constant struggle of last year!

Photo interlude brought to you by Hurricane Sandy

Dinner at the real table in our real dining room. So nice to have space!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Photos up and Rearrangement done!

There has to be a better way to get all the things done that need doing AND be able to blog about them.

I did finally have to get the photos and videos off my phone. There wasn't anymore room, and I'd already had to delete some just to be able to take more.

Moving them off the phone and labeling them all with the dates and which girl was which took a good 3 hours last night. Choosing some and uploading them to photobucket took another hour tonight. But that's just the photos. To upload movies will mean I have to watch them all first, sort thru which to upload and then upload them. That'll take at least 4-5 hours of computer time.

GAH! There has to be a better way? How do people get their stuff off their phone and online efficently?

Anyway, I've been thinking about my mom and wanted to get some photos up for her. The kids are growing so fast! August, September and October are up. Videos to come when I find time.

On the home front, we have finished rearranging the house. Actually we finished last weekend. Every piece of furniture in the house except the sofa and recliner were moved. It was a lot of work, but it was nice to vacuum up the dustbunnies and get it all arranged. The kids room looks great. They have glow in the dark stars on the ceiling over Nick's bed, and the girls have butterfly wallies above theirs. then there are glow in the dark insects and spiders scattered around too. The girls pulled the drapes down, so they have no curtain. Not sure what to do about that. If I put it up they'll just pull it down again. It is on the 2nd floor, so not too big a deal, but the morning sun goes right in there and wakes them, hence we get woken up too. That kind of sucks on the weekends.

Our room is great except that it really needs to be organized now. I'll find the time somewhere...

The dining room is really wonderful! We do still have a round table in there piled up with kid crafts and games, but once I figure out what to do with those it will serve as a drinks table or something. It is so nice to have room for everyone AND all the food on one table now.

The den is ok, it's really a man-cave for Tom and Nick at this point. Computer parts and assorted electronics everywhere. I'm thinking I'll just let that be their responsibility to deal with.

The guest room is still in progress. The treadmill is in there but needs assembly. The kids' clothes are in there on the bed, but need to be sorted and put away. It's kind of between fall and summer right now, so once we can put away the summer clothes that will help. We have about a week to get it in shape for Grandma's visit though! JM is coming to spend Halloween here. The kids are excited!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The one kind of change that I actually LIKE

Keeping busy around here. Two weeks ago Tom had his wisdom tooth removed. That was lots of fun for everyone. Tom was in a lot of pain and pretty much had to stay in bed unconscious for about 3 days. I made him a awesome chicken soup from scratch with everything super soft and tiny bites. That kept him going till he could eat real food again.

Then the next weekend, last weekend, we moved our bedroom over to the larger room upstairs. Then this weekend we moved all three kids' beds up to the small upstairs room. It's only their beds and stuffed animals (stuffies). I used sticky-tack to hang up glowing stars above Nick's bed in the center of the room and then butterfly wall decals over the sloped ceilings over the girls' beds. It actually looks pretty good in there.

Last night the girls tortured Nicky for a while. I was in my room listening out for them and he was telling them to be quiet and they were yelling back at him. Basically revenge for him bugging them during the day. We ended up letting him fall asleep in our room and then moved him into their room after everyone was asleep. Tonight the girls fell asleep before dinner and were out. So we thought it would be easier getting Nicky to bed, but he had a hard time settling down and ended up going to sleep downstairs in his old room. Go figure. As of some time this week his old room won't exist anymore though, so he won't have that option for too much longer.

The idea between having the kids all in one room was to have them closer to us (I hated having them on a separate floor from us), have all of us upstairs so that it'll be warmer this winter and so I'd know the temperature in their room was akin to ours, and because Nick has wanted to sleep in a room with someone else for quite a while. He hates being alone at night. It probably isn't too fun considering everyone else in the family gets to sleep in a room with someone else. I'm sure he'll want his own space after a while, but while they're all little I think sharing a room will be fine.

Next is putting together a guestroom down in the girls' old room, including the treadmill. The kids' clothes are also going to all be down there too. I think it will just be a lot more convenient to have their clothes down there. Then next weekend we'll make Nick's old room the den with the computers, and the weekend after that we'll be turning the old den into the dining room.

Finally we'll be able to use our big dining table again! It was just getting too crowded around the round table in the kitchen. With the girls really uninterested in being in highchairs anymore we have been seating 5-6 people around this little 3ft diameter table in the kitchen. We can just about do it, but it is really crowded and there's not much room for the food! Now we'll have everyone in real chairs, or the bench, around the big table, and we'll also have the round table in there too (the room is huge) as a kids' table for big dinners, or as a homework/art table or something other times.

We're putting the big silver shelves back in the kitchen for storage of kitchen stuff, and then having a 2x4ft folding table in the kitchen against the window with just the girls' two metal chairs (without the highchairs anymore) for them to sit for breakfast/lunch time when it's usually just the two of them. They can watch the wildlife in the backyard. I think they'll enjoy that.

So we're pretty much moving around every piece of furniture in the house other than the living room. It'll mostly be done on weekends, so it's taking 3-4 weekends to get done. And there will be a lot of sorting and purging of stuff as well to go along with it. That'll take a bit of doing. But then we'll be in good shape for the holidays and visitors. We have Grandma coming up for Halloween, and hopefully Grammie coming up for Christmas. Not sure yet what's on the agenda for Thanksgiving. We'd thought about driving to GA, but I just think a 10 hr drive is too much for the kids (and me, with the kids). Maybe we'll get to talk them into coming here instead!

You know, it's funny. I typically don't like change. Moving is hard for me, I'm pretty easygoing and can find my niche and satisfaction in a lot of places, so it takes a lot for me to uproot myself. I always do fine and make friends and stuff, but getting going is hard. Heck, my mother and sister had to pack my bags for college because I was too in denial that I was leaving! But moving around everything in the house? Not a problem. I've been rearranging my living space since I was a kid moving around my room. LOVE IT. Tom...doesn't quite love it so much. Of course that might be because I let him do most of the heavy lifting. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Big Little Changes

Friday at work I finally had enough.

Friday @ 1pm:
Me: "Hello. Do you have any appointments available right now?"
Receptionist: "How fast can you get here?"
Me: "15 minutes."
Receptionist: "How about 1:30?"
Me: "I'll be there!"

I did a quick search on the internet and printed out this image, jumped in the car and about an hour later I came back to work.

Here's the before and after:
The Chopping, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I didn't even tell Tom I was doing it! I expected a huge reaction when I got home.

It was less than satisfying since he didn't really notice at first.

But to be fair, Tom had just had the lovely experience of having the girls removing their diapers and decorating their cribs and bodies with the results. This was the fourth time. Luckily so far it's only been Gabi who has been playing with the poo. Lily has been limited to puddles fortunately. But still, this is a giant mess. Twice the cribs, twice the bodies, twice the mess to clean up.

Because as we all should recall, we've been here before.

(In searching for that post I found I have way too many posts about poop on this blog by the way.)

The thing that finally worked for Nick though was moving him out of his crib. We had been hoping to put that off for a while with the girls, but now that we're having so much trouble with this we figured it was time to bite the bullet and do something about it.

Voila. Our Friday night (Lily's on the left):

We also figured it's time to try pushing this potty training a bit more. It is SO MUCH WORK with two though! They have to be naked apparently in order to sit on the potty, which takes time, then they have to sit on the potty of their choice (two little potties and the big potty... so many options. Gabi is a big fan of the big potty.) then they give up and have to be redressed, just to find out that no, they want to try again! Gahh!

But Lily did have the first pee pee in the potty a few weeks ago and then again on Saturday. Saturday she got a sticker for it and she was so proud! We made a big deal about it and she loved it. Then Sunday Gabi did the first poop in the potty! Again lots was made of this and she got a bite of brownie for it. (Stickers for pee, chocolate for poop. These girls LOVE chocolate!) Nothing since, but that's mostly because it's so much work. We might keep doing this a little at a time and then just go for it one day like we did with Nicky. With him, Tom and I got the flu and were just too exhausted to change him. So we just put the potty in the livingroom, had him naked and told him to go potty when he had to while I laid on the sofa. Hey, it worked. He was also three though and had been doing a little here and there. We'll see how it goes with the girls.

I think that's all the big news around here this weekend! New hair, new beds, and potty training. That's probably enough. Soon Nick will be starting first grade (September 4th) and we'll have to talk about that!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Where did June and July go?

Just going to jump right in here. No amazingly insightful things to say about taking an unplanned two month hiatus from blogging. Just been busy. And the more time since the last post, the more heavy the first post after such a break seemed to be, the more stuff there was to try to smoosh in there. It just turned into this weight on my shoulder that was easier to ignore than face.

So let's just jump in here with updates:

First, Nicky does NOT have sleep apnea. Shocked, but happy to not have to do the surgery. Shocked but kind of bummed to not have a possible 'quick fix' for his ADHD. Aw well.We'll see how this school year goes.

Second, we took everyone to the Dentist. Well, Tom went on his own and will be having a wisdom tooth extracted next week, and I am going in about two weeks (I haven't gone since about 2002, so that'll be fun). But we took all three kids at one time this week. Nicky does have one cavity, but he did great for his first visit. The girls both did wonderfully and have no cavities. They really did a whole cleaning on them too which I wasn't sure if they'd do on 2 year olds. I sat with Lily and Tom watched over Gabi while Nicky went between the two. This dentist has the chairs in more of a cubical kind of office instead of separate rooms so it worked out fine that way. They were asking Lily what flavor toothpaste she'd like. The hygenist said "cookie dough, chocolate..." and that's as far as she got in her list because Lily said "Chocolate?!" She KNOWS that word! She did just fine for the cleaning. Gabi also chose the chocolate. No surprise there! Nicky went for orange. He must take after me. I think we're missing the chocolate gene. We like it fine, but can take it or leave it.

Let's see, what else. I went to New York City for the BlogHer conference. Totally huge trip, exhausting and fun. I got to meet several of the bloggers I've been reading for years and it was so great to see them in person. Everyone was super nice too. I danced from 10-1am Friday and Saturday night, which was so much fun! I haven't really danced since college and I'd forgotten how much I love it. It took some guts to go out there and dance by myself, but I did it! And I'm so glad I did! I have a ton of stuff from BlogHer that I honestly haven't had a minute to look at yet. Hopefully I'll get around to it at some point soon.

My impression of NYC was that it smelled really bad. I know that's like the dumbest thing to have to say as my first impression, but we walked from Penn Station to our hotel (about 1 & 1/2 miles) with our luggage and that was really what stuck with me as we walked. Well, that and it's really ... vertical. There's so many buildings, so high, so close together that it's very close feeling and vertical. I guess I'm used to being able to see farther and used to having more horizontal space. It was interesting. But stinky. Maybe it was just because it was August? It wasn't crazy hot or anything though. There really wasn't much breeze though. I'm not sure if that's normal because of so many buildings or not. I spent some time trying to identify the smell, it was kind of a garbage/dirty diaper-ish smell. Not so much "pee" as "bathroom trashcan meets diaper pail." New Orleans was more of a pee kind of smell. I guess all cities have their own thing. :)

Maybe I'm just a small town kind of girl. But it really was something to be in NYC. I am not saying it was awful or anything. Just an observation about that particular experience. I think I would like to visit again with Tom so that we could really see the city more. Other than walking from Penn Station to the hotel and taking a morning stroll for breakfast Saturday, I really only walked between my hotel and the conference hotel, probably about 25 yards of sidewalk. I'd love to really see some of the history and sites the city has next time. And probably not in August. :)

Now that I've probably ticked off a bunch of New Yorkers (it's ok, Virginia Beach probably smells like salty rotting fish and Gainesville probably smelled like swamp to other folks),  I better get myself off to bed. First hurdle down! I sat, I typed, I posted. Now I just need to work on photos, movies, and more posts. Yeah, that's all.

That was one of the only things I really wanted out of BlogHer that I didn't find, an app or service that would make getting photos and movies off my phone and onto my blog (and preferably into photobucket) faster, easier, and more convenient. Surely there is an app for that!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where'd May go?

It took all evening last night, and about 30 minutes tonight, but all May's photos and videos from my phone are loaded up on photobucket.

Love you Mom! I know I always have you for a reader. You keep me blogging :)

Speaking of blogging. I'm actually going to BlogHer this year. It's a conference geared towards women who blog although it includes men who blog too, so I'm not perfectly clear on the target audience. But I'm hoping to gain some ideas and inspiration for my own blog. I was thinking about it earlier today. I've been blogging now for nearly seven years. That's a long time! It's been hard to find time for blogging, and as Nicky's getting older he's more sensitive about what I put on the blog about him. I feel like I need to figure out a direction/focus for my blog, and I could benefit from some tips on keeping up with blogging when I have so much else going on.

And speaking of trips (BlogHer is in New York City! It'll be my first time there!) I am leaving in the morning for ALA in California. It's going to be my first time at ALA and my first time in California. Looking forward to it! But super nervous too. No particular reason. I'm always nervous about traveling. I always have a great time and meet really cool people though.

Hey, maybe with all my traveling for work I'll finally be open to an actual trip with Tom outside of the country some day. :) Probably should go get a passport at some point.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Room of Loving

Nicky has a really hard time going to sleep lately. He's spent a lot of evenings falling asleep in my lap on the recliner or lying in my bed with me upstairs. (This is what I get to do in the evenings and why I've been reading on my phone instead of blogging or playing on the computer or anything else.)

On the one hand, it would be awfully nice if he'd just go to his own bed and sleep at bedtime instead of cuddling with me and trying to talk till 10pm every night. Heck, I would like to go to bed before 10 some nights!

But on the other hand, he is awfully cute and snuggly. Last night I didn't feel well, felt super-nauseated which was scary since a few folks at work have had a stomach bug over the last week or so. So I went straight up to bed after putting the girls down.

Nicky ended up joining me up there and was so sweet (cause he knew he was getting away with it, the little stinker) and told me he loved me and hoped I felt better in the morning.

After "reading" through the big book of shells (a huge shell reference book with color illustrations of all the shells in the world) and pointing out all the awesome shells he was going to find for me, he finally laid down to cuddle and sleep (at about 10 of course), and he said that Tom's and my room was "the room of loving" and that was why he liked to come sleep in our room. Not sure where he came up with that phrase, but I like it.

Now we need a sign for our room's door "Welcome to the Room of Loving" :)

Update on Nicky's stuff

Nick's sleep study went well. We watched a little tv and read a few stories before they came to hook him up. He was so tired when they finally came in to hook him up, around 9:30 probably. By 10pm he's usually going to sleep at home, but they were still working on putting all the little sensors on him at 10:30 and he was getting to the end of his rope. But he was very good the entire time.

He had his own bed, which he insisted have all the sides up (typical hospital bed setup). And I was on the other side of the room in a tiny slab of a bed. Seriously my arms would have fallen off the sides when I was on my back it was so tiny. Probably about the width of a crib mattress, although almost as long as a twin. I managed to sleep though until they woke us up at 6am.

We stopped off at IHOP on the way home so we could have a nice breakfast together. Of all the things on the menu, Nick had macaroni and cheese. *sigh*

They wouldn't tell me anything about how his sleep went though. So we'll have to wait till the end of the month to find out whether he has apnea and what kind of severity we're talking about.

As for the dermatologist, yeah, that would be me freaking out about a blackhead. They suggested using some oil free face wash for him, like Nutrogena. They were actually more concerned with the rash on his back from the adhesives they'd had on him from the sleep study. I told the doctors (at one point there were 5-6 of them in the exam room, I think they're a teaching hospital or something) that Nicky and the girls are all sensitive to the adhesives just like Tom and I. We're not really allergic but they welt up nicely on us all. And they noticed his mosquito bites, which he welts up like I do with those too (the girls also). So they gave us a script and a sample of a hydrocortisone cream to try for that. I've been using it on the girls' bites too. Especially Lily. Sunday we'd had everyone outside playing and Lily was eaten UP by mosquitoes. I have insect repellant, but we didn't get it on her fast enough obviously. Poor girl. So anyway, no worries about Nick's nose.

I haven't done my nails yet. I'm just dreading having to do the upkeep. I'm too damn cheap to commit to spending money on myself like that. I did do a pink and white manicure on my own nails Sunday though that looks nice. But they're still super sharp! I need something else to keep my hands busy while I read I guess. I think that's when I start scratching and not noticing it.

Coming up later this month I have a big trip coming up for work. It'll be the longest plane ride I've ever been on, and the farthest I've ever been from home. Heading to California! I've never been there before. No earthquakes allowed during my visit ok?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

On Birthdays, Sleep Studies, and Dermatologists

So since the last post, the girls turned two. Basically we had a cake that I picked up on the way home (carrot cake) and ice cream, which the girls love although Nicky still is really not interested in ice cream at all. Funny. We didn't actually do presents or guests or anything. I feel a little guilty about it I admit. But we have plans for some outdoor play equipment that we couldn't afford yet and that wouldn't wrap anyway.

We did do presents from Grammie that she'd given us at the wedding, but I had forgotten about them so they got those the next day. Then the other day gifts came from Grandma in the mail which they loved! So big party planned for next year and we'll call it good. I guess this is the manifestation of 2nd child syndrome. They have plenty of photos and videos, but a crappy birthday. Must do better next year as they'll be old enough to really get it.

Moving on!

Nicky's IEP meeting last week went well. I found out he did qualify for OT services, but the OT lady went to great pains to stress that Nick's behaviors are in no way aggressive, mean or defiant. He's just super-curious and impulsive and has a hard time tuning anything out. He won't be actually getting Occupational Therapy exactly, instead she'll be consulting on a monthly basis with the teacher and doing observations to pinpoint needs and possible accommodations. Sounds good to me! AND I found out that he passed the PALS testing! Not only passed, but did really well! He had to earn 81 out of 102 possible points. He earned 94. That's my smart boy! So the teacher confirmed that he will be promoted to first grade. I didn't realize how stressed I was about that until I was driving home and realized how much more relaxed I felt.

I also signed him up for summer school. It's limited, so he might not be selected for it, but I'm hoping he can get in. It's only 5 weeks and only about 3-4 hours a day, but it would be so great for him to get out of the house and hopefully get to do some academic work in a less stressed environment. I know when I taught summer school I used it as a way to do some more science and fun stuff that didn't get to fit into the regular school year. I'm hoping it will be the same here.

 Staying focused on the Nick, he recently had a double ear infection and did a course of antibiotics, which resulted in a second doctor visit this week for a follow up. I asked the pediatrician to look at a spot he's had on his nose now for over 2 months. I thought it was a blackhead, and Tom has been able to get some stuff out of it, but now it's looking more like a freckle, yet it's raised, which is weird. The doctor agreed it was worth checking out and so we have a dermatology appointment now for Monday morning. She suspects it might be a benign cyst. We'll see.

The dermatologist is at the children's hospital here, and lucky us, we know just where it is! Because we just went there yesterday for Nicky's ENT visit to talk about sleep apnea.

I was prepared for him to go have a sleep study and possibly a titration and then maybe come away with a cpap machine and deal with getting him to sleep with that. After all Tom and I have both been through this ourselves. What I was not prepared for was that they said the first course of treatment for kids, unless they present with small tonsils, is a tonsilectomy and adneoidectomy. I knew that some kids have extremely large tonsils and do end up with surgery, but I really hadn't at all expected that. They said his tonsils were large, but not the biggest by any stretch, but that usually they first do surgery because often that will totally cure the sleep apnea in kids.

We asked about the surgery, were told it has a very low rate of complications in children and results in about a week of recovery (at home) with just pain relievers. They said that surgery is usually tried first because it is a very likely cure, and they have trouble getting kids to comply with cpap therapy.

We asked what kind of effect that had on adult onset sleep apnea, but they didn't have those numbers at hand. Although they did say that they would not expect him to re-develop apnea as an adult unless there was a lot of weight gain later.

I just wasn't comfortable making a decision for surgery until I at least know for sure what kind of severity of apnea we're talking about at least. They were comfortable making the diagnosis based on his tonsil size, anecdotal evidence from us, and his extremely strong family history. But I want to have some proof first.

And then I will have to think about the surgery vs a lifetime of cpap therapy. Granted, I think Nicky would have little trouble doing cpap since both his parents use theirs religiously and he has so many other role models in his family that use their cpap machines. But I can also see that doing cpap is sometimes a big pain in the butt, especially for times when you're away from home and need to sleep or nap. I literally can NOT make a spontaneous decision to spend the night somewhere away from home without having my machine and mask. Nor can I just lie down and take a nap on a long trip or something either. With all the sleepovers and camps and things coming up in Nicky's future, it would be awfully nice if he didn't have to worry about apnea and a cpap machine.

But surgery is a big deal to me and I want more information first. So we decided to do a sleep study first. At first they actually had a cancellation for last night and we scheduled that. But as we were driving away from the parking garage we got a call that he'd been bumped by someone who needed a sleep study more urgently and while they were trying to increase the staff to open the lab on the weekend to help catch up but until they could do that he was scheduled for July 18th. Since it takes 2-4 weeks to get the results that would really push surgery (if we decided on that) far in the future and possibly we'd miss the window do this during the summer. But after only like 10 minutes we got another call saying that they'd gotten things arranged so that we now have an appointment for Saturday night.

So now Nicky and I will be spending tonight in a room at the children's hospital. They said there will be a bed for both of us there. It's specifically a pediatric sleep lab, so they know how to make the kids feel as comfortable as possible. We should have the results by the end of the month and by then I'll have done more research and be more ready to make an informed decision about surgery/cpap.

 Let's see, the only other things we have going on:

The sleeping plans of putting all three in the same room? Not happening. Nick was fine, but the girls would NOT stop talking and yelling at him for his attention. The girls really do need to get into the toddler beds though. They can totally climb out of their cribs if they have anything in there they can step on to gain a few inches. I caught Gabi on video doing it.

The stairs are still blocked with the gate, but Lily knows how to squeeze between the bars of the railing to get up there anyway. Gabi just went over the gate. So now we put the gate up higher and that at least discourages Gabi. Lily got her head stuck last weekend and scared herself, so it's been actually a quiet week on the stairs for a change.

I've gotten back to shredding myself with my nails, and so I'm prescribing acrylic nails for myself again. It's the only thing that keeps me from scratching myself bloody, even though I hate the expense. I was going to go today but the one place that I've had recommended to me so far has their nail techs on vacation till Tuesday. So maybe I'll wait till then. I've been looking for reviews but haven't found a place yet.

That's all I can think of for now.

Sorry Mom! I know it's been forever since the last post! I really need to figure out how to carve out more time for blogging.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

First 5k

Today I got up early and drove through rain out to the beach alone. I managed to find a parking spot (for 4$ and luckily had the cash for it) and walked two blocks to the beach where I picked up my number.

I met up with my teammates from work and decided there was no way I was eating one of the 50 dozen donuts they had up for grabs. But the bananas seemed like a good idea so i had one and picked up a bottle of water too.

Then I went to the starting line and got ready to do my first 5k.

It was overcast, windy and about 65 degrees. Maybe cooler even. My goal was to know when to turn around so that I didn't end up hurting myself. Didn't want a repeat of the 2009 trochanteric bursitis incident.

I walked out for 0.8 miles before turning around. That made the walk a 1.6 mile hike. Farther than I've walked by a long shot for years! I never got into too much pain which is great because since the twin pregnancy my back and more are usually screaming for a rest after much less walking.

Our whole team did great, a few even ran all or part of the way which was awesome. And most awesome was that we collected just over $1k to help the organization I Need a Lighthouse which is a local org dedicated to education about depression and suicide prevention, particularly aimed at high school students.

I remember well how depression felt as a teen and hope that my small contribution will help someone make it through as I did.

And now, after putting the kids to bed I'm enjoying myself with a typical evening of playing on my phone while having a glass of light cranberry juice and a napkinful of animal crackers. (other items are a confiscated flashlight, Nicky's school folder and latest IEP meeting invite- to discuss the results from his OT eval)

What? That's not how everyone ends their Weekend?

Monday, May 07, 2012

THe IEP Theme Song

I had an IEP update meeting last week where we did a referral for Occupational Therapy evaluation for Nick. Several of his behaviors make us wonder if he has some sensory processing things going on. (Aversion to loud sounds- unless of course he's the one making the noise, food aversions, repetitive sounds, etc.) I heard this song on my ipod on the way to work that morning before his IEP and it resonated as a message I should make sure to keep in mind. I think this should probably be required listening before every IEP meeting, by all the attendees.

We have an ENT appt for Nicky on June 1st to talk about a sleep study to check for sleep apnea, but we're pretty sure he has it. Even Nana heard him while we were out of town for Liz's wedding (whole nother post for that). But he tries so hard to do what he needs to do in school. And he has learned so much this year! He can read some words (when he focuses and tries), he can write all his letters (mostly facing the right way) and he can even spell phonetically sometimes. He couldn't do ANY of that at the start of the year. I'm just hoping that his teachers agree with me and move him up to first grade. He's just too bright to repeat Kindergarten and if that's what they want to do he would be so bored he would become a behavior problem. We'll see what happens. All we can do is keep trying to help him succeed while letting him be himself.
Nicky and his Lego Hero he made himself

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Update on Kenji

Heard on the Wednesday after taking Kenji to the SPCA that he'd already been adopted and gone to his new home!

Nicky still misses him, but we're happy to know he was adopted so quickly and not in a cage.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

About that "other" thing we had going on...

So about that "other thing". Well I can't recall, but I am pretty sure I've complained on here about Kenji and his peeing and pooping and jumping the fence. Cause it was driving me BONKERS!

Well we decided to give him another chance, thinking we'd spend some of the tax return on getting him fixed, groomed, flea meds, and crating him at night.

We got as far as getting him a crate, which for several days he just squealed in there all night till finally we put the crate in the laundry room. With a quilt over most of it (not smothering him, but enough to make sure he was warm).

Well he was finally starting to get the message, started calming down in the crate at night, Tom took him out more during the day, he'd still jump, but we hoped fixing him would discourage that maybe. We even borrowed a tie-down with about a 15 foot lead on it so that we could stake him out in the backyard on nice days while Nicky was out there.

But then, April 24th, Kenji bit Gabi. He didn't break the skin, but he marked her hand and scared her. They were both literally within arms' reach of me when it happened and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I didn't know what could have precipitated it. He was on the floor between the sofa and the bench that we have as a coffee table. She was behind and bent over him. Did she step on him, did he have a rawhide and she tried to grab it? Was she falling on him? I don't really know. I suspect he had a rawhide because after Tom put him outside Benjamin was lying in that same spot with one. But regardless of why it happened we knew we had to take that seriously and find him a new home.

I tried to ask around at work and the neighbors, but nothing easy came up and time kept marching on. The next weekend I was watching the girls while Tom and Nicky helped Nana move into her new place. (She's finished moving in and now lives only 3 blocks away!) I was changing Lily on the bench, Kenji was lying on the sofa with nothing, no toy, no rawhide or anything. And Gabi walked up to him (right in front of me) and reached to pet him. And he snarled and snapped at her hand. This time he didn't bite her, but that was it. I staked him out in the backyard for the rest of the day. They were both right there, two feet from me! And I knew she hadn't stepped on him or pulled on him or anything this time. He had to go.

Tom and I knew he had to go. It was just a matter of doing it. During the week is just too busy, and then there was Easter weekend, and then finally I found out the best place to take him was the Virginia Beach SPCA. They're a no-kill shelter and had room for him there. So Saturday, April 14th, Nick and I took Kenji, his crate, leash, brush and Advantage flea stuff to the SPCA and turned him over them. There was only a $50 fee to do it, and I was glad to pay it. Everyone there was so nice, and understanding. I'd written up an essay on Kenji's history, habits and why we had to let him go (but why he'd still be a great pet for someone without small kids) for my home-hunting before and I turned that over to them as well. They assured us that a small dog like him would be snatched up super quick and he wouldn't be there long.

Poor Nicky. While Tom and I are feeling relieved to have finally committed to the decision and are enjoying being a one-dog family again (because really, Bobo is the best dog ever, even with his quirks) Nicky has cried about Kenji several times. I feel awful about having to give away his dog, and we hope we haven't scarred him for life. I think taking him with me to the SPCA was a good idea. I'd let Nicky choose if he wanted to go and he did. And he go to see what a nice place it was. But still, it's really hard on him.

So that was our other big thing. Tom and I still feel guilty, but are also resolved that it had to be done. If Nicky had been the one bit, I admit I'd have probably said he deserved it. And if the kids were older I'd expect them to learn to read the dog's body language and act accordingly, and we could work on training him. But I just cannot risk it with two 1 year olds in the house. One slip could be one too many.

By the same token though, Benjamin is a stellar dog for the kids. Maybe it is because Tom and I had him as a little puppy and trained him about biting early on. He has no food guarding or anything like that either. Or maybe it's just that he's big enough that the babies can't hurt him so he doesn't worry about that like Kenji may have. Kenji was only 10lbs, he just looked bigger than that, but he was fragile under all those curls.

Anyway, the deal is done, Nicky is sad, we feel guilty, and we won't be getting another dog till the girls are older.
A happy boy and his happy dog

Loving on Kenji

Kenji home with his boy

Nick's Sixth Birthday: Revenge of the Sixth...

So, it's now April 17th. Must be time to do that birthday post for Nicky's 6th birthday. You know, the birthday that happened on MARCH 17th.

Nicky had a Star Wars themed party, and I must say, it was quite awesome. Kudos to me!

He had his two friends from next door come first. Then later, my friends from work came with their 2 year old. None of his little friends came from his class, but that's probably to be expected since I didn't know any of them or their parents.

First off, the invitations were super cute.

Then when the kids arrived I had a whole itinerary worked out for them.

First they had to prove themselves to be fearless warriors by using a blaster on the mockups of two of our Sith enemies: Darth Vader and Darth Maul. (Who were hung up on the side of the barn for the party.)

Darth Maul, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Darth Vader, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Upon proving their mettle, they were each awarded with a Star Wars tattoo of their choice to recognize their warrior skills.

Next they had to learn to use the force. To do this, they had to learn to use more than their eyes to see. They were each blindfolded, spun around and had to let the force guide them to pin the lightsaber on Yoda. (This was taped up on the outside of the dining room window. I wrote each padawan's name in sharpie on the lightsaber and we used a piece of double sided tape.)

Pin the lightsaber on Yoda, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Upon completion of their training in using the force, they were awarded their Jedi weapon, the lightsaber. The padawan who was closest to having the lightsaber in the right place, got to choose first. Yes, I made 8 of them. Turned out perfect as each kid got to take one home and that left Nick, Lily, Gabi one each - and one each for Tom and I :). I used the instructions I found here.

Pool Noodle Lightsabers, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Once they had all chosen, and decorated, their lightsabers (with blue and red glitter foam star stickers) they were turned out to the backyard for training. Unlike Luke Skywalker, whose remote would zap him periodically, the targets for our lightsaber practice were 20 blue balloons that were released into the yard. The idea at first was to try to keep them up in the air, but with a nice breeze blowing them all over, it quickly changed to wacking the balloon targets till they all popped.

When their lightsaber practice was over, it was time for them to receive their first mission from the Jedi Council.

Even now, as we celebrate Nick's birthday, up in outer-space is a terrible weapon, the Death Star. The Empire has brought this weapon and now seeks to use it to destroy Planet Earth! In order to save the planet, the Jedi Council has sent our padawans a scale model of the Death Star, and if they can use their Jedi powers to destroy the model, it will in fact, destroy the full size Death Star that is threatening to blow us all up. But a regular lightsaber will not do it (we actually tried it with our lightsabers, but alas, the Death Star's force-fields were too great). So the Jedi Council sent our group a very special lightsaber from their archives. It is the Golden Lightsaber, and it will take all our skills and concentration to use it to destroy the Death Star! (The Golden Lightsaber turned out super cool and I LOVE it. It was just a broom handle we used to use to block the sliding glass door. But add some silver and gold duct tape, and VOILA!)

Death Star and special Lightsaber, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

So we all took turns with Golden Lightsaber. And eventually we were successful! We destroyed the model of the Death Star, and in doing so, we released the treasures of the Empire for our Jedi to enjoy. It also made the real Death Star in orbit around the Earth explode in a spectacular display! Unfortunately it was very cloudy and so we couldn't actually see the explosion.

Mixed in here and there we also ate pizza, pretzel lightsabers which were dipped in colored candy melts, chips and then of course we had a lightsaber cake! Oh, and there were presents too. The kids were really great and knew that the little padawan was going to be arriving after his nap, and so they collected a whole cup of Empire Booty from the Death Star for him. I don't like doing too much candy in a pinata (too boring in my opinion) so it was full of red "lightsaber" crystals, diamond rings, silver, blue and red mardi-gras necklaces, Star Wars notebooks and confetti, glow sticks, and some fun size M&Ms.

The Awesome Lightsaber Cake! (That I made. Using rice crispy treats, icing, edible spray paint, metallic silver sprinkles, and edible black glitter gel.)
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

May the Snacks be with you!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Then since we just had the neighbor's kids, we let them watch some Star Wars (episode 4) and chill out for a while. Instead of the party lasting from 2-4pm it went on till I kicked out the neighbor's kids at about 7:30.

All in all I think Nicky had a great time at his party. I'm so glad he chose to do this instead of Chuck E. Cheese!

Friday, April 06, 2012

We're fine!

Just in case anyone is worried after hearing about the F18 crash in Virginia Beach, it was far from our house and my work and we're all fine here!

I still owe you a post about Nicky's birthday and the other thing going on. I haven't forgotten, just have been crazy busy!

But Nana is all moved into her new place, Nicky even spent the night there last night! That was fun for Tom and I, and I'll bet Nicky had a ball too.

Looking forward to some R&R this weekend, and maybe I can do those posts too!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just a quick update kind of thing

So much stuff going on!

Ok, so the weekend of Nicky's birthday deserves its own post. It was awesome and he had a great time. We had only 3 kids & 3 adults attend, but I think that actually worked out really well. The kids had fun with the games and because they were the neighbor kids and a coworker's kid they actually stayed into the evening. A whole day of Star Wars fun!

More on that later. Promise!

The other thing happening is that Nana is moving up to Virginia! She came up for 10 days around Nicky's birthday and found a place to rent. I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds great and the price is right for her. AND it's only 3 blocks away! We'll be able to walk to Nana's for a visit.

But you know the very best thing about Nana coming to live here? She said she's willing to come over one evening a week after the kids are in bed and let Tom and I escape for a date night! One night a week would be SOOOO nice!! I'm really excited about it. Nicky is too because if we can make this a Friday or Saturday night then he can stay up and watch a movie with Nana after the girls are in bed. I foresee popcorn and movies in Nicky's future!

The only shadow this week (aside from me having to face my student loans and OMG what a giant pile of debt that is!) is that we just heard that Nana got waylaid in Gainesville, Florida on the way here by a high fever. She's stuck in the hospital there. We're not sure what it is yet, they have her on an IV and antibiotics, but it must be serious because while she started in the ER, she's been admitted and is in a room tonight. So keep Nana in your prayers! The only good thing is that it did happen in Gainesville near JM (Grandma Mott) and so JM has stopped in to see her. At least this didn't happen in the middle of nowhere on the way!

Other than all that (which all that is quite enough!) we have the girls ready to move into their toddler beds. We almost changed them over Sunday night, but at the last minute we found we didn't have the right bolts to do it. But as soon as we find some they'll be in toddler beds! We already moved the big dresser out of there and into Nicky's room so that there shouldn't be anything dangerous left in there.

Oh, and one more big thing. I'll post about that later though. Promise!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

In Sickness and In Health, and hopefully in a new bed soon

Interesting. So my last post we'd just picked up Nicky's new glasses. And this weekend, I just took Nicky to have his glasses fixed. And here I'd thought he had them for about a month. Nope, apparently only 2 weeks. Gabi grabbed them from him in the car and bent one of the arms so badly that the entire frame had to be replaced. Thank goodness for replacement plans! They had the frame in stock and were able to replace it in a few minutes.

Nick had a cough/cold for about a week, and then Lily came down with it around Tuesday and Gabi followed her around Thursday. Friday we took them both to the pediatrician to check their ears (which were luckily ok). We were also given the go-ahead to give them benadryl to help dry them up. I think it's helped a lot. But they're still both coughing quite a bit. Last night was the first night since Tuesday that they both slept through the night without us having to get up to soothe them through a coughing fit. They do like their warm chamomile tea with honey though. That helps too.

Of course I had to come down with it too. This is the time of year I seem to get my month-long asthma attack anyway. My plan had been to get on a daily treatment in about January in hopes of preventing it, but of course I haven't bothered actually getting a doctor for myself yet. Might have to I suppose, but I'm hoping I can just shake this off. We'll see.

I finally ordered a king size mattress set for Tom and I. It should arrive in a few weeks. Here's hoping it doesn't suck. I figure it can't possibly be as bad as the mattresses we've slept on for the past 5 years or so, so there is that. I'm just really looking forward to the space! The two of us have been sleeping in the full bed since the start of December. And with Nicky being sick there have been several nights where he ended up in there with us. That is just too cramped!

What else... Oh, I'm going to BlogHer this year! So excited about that. It's in August, so it still seems far away, but the registration is bought and paid for, so it is official!

Speaking of official... Kenji almost officially overstayed his welcome. We cannot seem to get him to control himself in the house. He's been peeing AND pooping around the house, and I'm thinking that this is also the reason behind the mysterious puke-bugs the kids have been getting that Tom and I have missed. He was an inch away from going to the pound, but then I felt guilty and thought we'd get a crate and try crating him at night and when we're not home. (Not that this is the only time it happens, but it's a start.)

At first I didn't think that was going to work as he cried the ENTIRE FREAKING NIGHT the first night. OMG I was gonna kill him. I thought he stopped around 4am, but no. He actually somehow made the door of the crate FALL OFF and was out.

The second night he again cried all night, but he didn't get the door off, and I closed all the bedroom doors. I could still hear him though.

The next night I put the crate in the utility room and closed the door. THAT helped, although he still cried.

By about the fourth night though, I think he's getting the message that he might as well shut up. If he hears you nearby he'll fuss, but otherwise he's pretty quiet. We still have him in the utility though (with two towels and a blanket over most of the crate for warmth). I'm hopeful that this will take care of the nights.

BUT his other major issue is that he's jumping the fence and running off. Hell if I'm going to chase him though, so he will likely end up as roadkill if he keeps it up. I figured taking him to the pound to be adopted would be less traumatic on Nicky than having him smashed into smithereens right outside our house, but my co-workers came up with an idea for me.

Aside from getting him fixed, which hopefully will help (and one of my collegues gave me a link where I can call to have him fixed for a much better price than I was quoted at PetSmart), one of my coworkers gave me a tie-down with a thin lead of about 15 feet that we can use to stake him out in the yard. That way Tom can take him out, tie him up and actually go back inside while Kenji has some outside time. Before Tom had to stand out there with him, and that still wasn't a guarantee he wouldn't jump the fence.

So now he's been washed, groomed (by Tom- not quite grown out enough for a real grooming yet) and Advantage-d. So he looks better and hopefully with the fixing, crating and tying he'll learn to be a better dog and fit into the family better. Because I AM TIRED. And the last thing I need is more bodily functions causing other bodily malfunctions.

What else can I complain about?

Well I can't complain about Tom. He had his birthday this last week. He actually let me go on a work dinner ON his real birthday, which was really sweet of him. I had a great time with my co-workers (and got help on the Kenji situation at that time too). We celebrated his birthday on Saturday, with just a nice dinner (that he cooked actually) and a small cheesecake (which OMG the girls LOVED that!) Nicky signed the card I'd picked up for him, which was sooo sweet and it's just amazing how he is starting to sound things out and write!! So awesome! And we got him a gift certificate to Amazon (to supplement his gift to himself of a Kindle Touch). He seemed to like it. Tom's not much into big birthday bashes, and I think it was just his speed. We'll do a big shin-dig for when you turn 50 honey. (Which I'm pretty sure won't be for another decade or so since I'm staying 39 for a few more years.)

And I can't really complain about Nicky either. He's such a sweetheart. He IS driving me around the bend with wanting us to buy him everything RIGHT NOW, but he's earning his allowance a nickel at a time with his behavior sheets at school, and while he's not raking in the dough, it does seem to help motivate him. I'm not buying him anything right now though because his birthday is coming up and he just has to wait for that. So when we're at the store, I take his photo with things he wants.

An Eagle Kite. (Specifically the EAGLE mind you.)
Eagle Kite

This green Hex Bug Inchworm.
Hex bug- Green Inchworm

This Star Wars Remote Control Republic Fighter Tank
Star Wars tank

This Bakugan Battle Suit (whatever the hell that is)
bakugan thingy

This GloMate rechargeable nightlight that changes colors
GloMate- rechargeable and changes colors

These How To Train Your Dragon sunglasses
How to train your dragon sunglasses

He is also mad about legos, and getting more-so all the time. There are kits that make city-scapes he's interested in specifically, but it looks like some of them cost a zillion bucks. There are smaller ones though, and they have some of the specialized pieces that could go with normal legos. He's just going to build something completely new anyway, so I think that's fine.

He still loves transformers too, and the specific ones he's asked for are:
A transformer tank
Sentinel Prime- Voyager Class
Crankcase- Voyager Class
Optimus Prime- Voyager Class

He's also asked for:
"Real crystal rocks from a cave" (think geodes and crystals like that)

I'm putting together a Star Wars birthday party for him and we're actually doing it at home instead of at Chuck E Cheese. I am SO glad! It was going to be 213$ just for 6 kids and 11 adults. And that pizza is really horrible. I took Nicky there last weekend, just he and I to play games till we ran out of tokens. The food was no better. Ugh. We'll do his birthday up right from home though. He has about 6 kids in mind, so I can manage that here I'm sure.

It's going to be great. I'll have more details later. Here are pics of the girls to tide you over till my next post!

Lily cuddling Curious George:

Gabi enjoying a pear slice: