Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Where to start???

Well, we're approaching 4 years for one and 4 months for another and its been quite a ride. Beckett's doing much better as he gets used to the idea of keeping Maysen around. He's listening more, yelling less and is pretty fun most of the time. He's still madly in love with his baby sister and to see her smile whenever he comes into the room, she must feel about the same.

Maysen's doing all the things she's supposed to be doing. Rolling over, blowing bubbles and babbling like crazy! She smiles at just about everybody and is truly just a joyful, happy baby. Sleep could be better, but we're getting there. Just when we thought we'd go nuts, she slept all night long so we now she can, its just a matter of when!

Daily life is just that - life. School starts up again after the first of the year, I'm considering taking fewer credits though simply to be able to keep up. I'll still be able to walk at graduation, I'll just have to take a class in the summer or fall to catch up. Not a bad trade though after all the years I've been in college! Work is still incredible! I cannot say enough good things about it. I'm hoping in the spring to focus more on work and move into full time by summer. Its such a wonderful company I can't wait!

Abby's still driving to Puyallup every day and we're antsy to move closer but just can't sell our house. Hopefully we'll develop a 2 year plan or so to be somewhere a little bigger and more permanent. I know it seems like forever now, but looking back 2 years is nothing and I know in my head it will just fly by, I just need to get my heart to agree!

With Christmas and New Years just around the corner its a logical time to reflect on where we are and where we're going. Everyday I'm amazed at the family and life I've been blessed with. My kids are beautiful and happy and healthy and Abby and I grow stronger as partners and parents each day. I am looking forward to next year and all the adventures that await but am savoring each day as it comes.

Happy Holidays to everyone and best wishes for a Happy New Year - I know ours will be a great one!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Candyce Lund Bollinger

We were going a little crazy with Beckett. In fact, we wondered if he was normal. In the last 6-months or so, he's changed from our sweet, little boy to a nutty, loud, tantrum throwing kid. We've often blamed it on day care. How does he even know what a gun is anyway? So, we enlisted the help of Olympia's premier parent educator. Most parents in Oly know who Candyce is. Katie has attended several of Candyce's classes since Beckett was about 6-months old. She's taken the last year or so off, but is headed back in January. However, Candyce also has a private practice and that was where we headed today.

Well, it turns out Beckett is perfectly normal. If 3 is 'oppositional', then 4 is 'intense'. Tell me about it. Everything is all or nothing with him right now. She gave us a few coping techniques. #1 is to write down 3-5 rules and post them. Things that we're not willing to compromise on. Those things that are our absolutes. For us, #1 is probably going to be 'no name calling'. It could be a bit difficult to change a few of the things that we've done, but it is important. We tried a few things tonight and actually had a very enjoyable evening. Now, we just need to go for consistency. Of course, there is an end in sight. Apparently 5 is the magic age. The age where they want to please you. My goodness, I can't wait for that.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sweet Cat looking for new home

Tagalong has been in our lives as long as Katie and I have been together. He was my first Christmas gift from Katie. Therefore, he holds a very special place in our lives. He was a wonderful, cuddly cat...until we had kids. Then it turned out he didn't like the little members of our family so well. He went to live with Grandma. He's done quite well there, however it seems that grandma may not have as much time to spend with him as she would like. Therefore, he's a tad bit neglected. So, we're on the hunt for a new home for Tagalong. We'd love to be able to have visitation rights. He gets along with other cats and dogs, apparently just not small children. If you're interested, please send us a note. We'd love to be able to find him a very happy family.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Abby's Medical Update

Well, I am quite stubborn. This I've learned in the last few days. About 3 weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night with pretty bad stomach pains. They kind of felt like really bad gas or hunger pains. So, I tried Tums, gas pills and eating right before bed. They seemed to continue to come back. However, by the time I woke up in the morning they were gone. So, it couldn't be all that bad, right? Well, Friday night I woke up with more pain and ended up vomiting this time. I felt a bit better and was able to go back to sleep. However, this time when I woke up in the morning the pain wasn't gone. I finally listened to Katie and went to the walk in clinic. I got there and the Dr. suspected a gallbladder problem and sent me to the ER. So, I spent my Saturday morning in the ER. They sent me to have an ultrasound and the news wasn't so good. The Dr. came back to talk to me and I had gallstones. Many women have them, but they don't normally bother you. I had one that moved into my common bile duct and it was starting to back up and bother my liver. It was a good thing I went in when I did, before my liver got worse. This meant that I needed surgery to remove my gallbladder and they wanted to get me in Saturday night. Not the news I wanted. I had only been back at work for a week after being out for 14 weeks. I was out of time off at work and we had stretched ourselves as much as possible. The Dr. wasn't sure if my surgery could be done with a laparoscope or if it had to be open. If it could be done with a scope, recovery would be much shorter.

I actually ended up going into surgery on Sunday morning. The Dr. wanted to be fresh rather than doing it late Saturday night. I agreed that was preferable to me too. I came out of recovery on Saturday morning about 11:30. Surgery went well and they were able to do it with a scope. They did a dye flush and got the stone out of my duct. Now it's just a matter of recovering. I should be out of work for about a week. Still not ideal, but better then the several weeks it would have taken with an open surgery.

I'm home now, after spending a couple of days in the hospital. Glad to be here. Can't lift more than 10-15 pounds, which unfortunately includes the baby. I can hold her, just can't lift her. I also can't breastfeed right now because they gave me morphine and even though I'm trying not to take it much, it's helpful at night.

In the meantime, at least I'm home and resting. Katie's done an amazing job at being single mom and both my mom and her mom have been helping out.

Thanks to everyone who has offered to help out, trust me - I won't be turning down any of it. It's hard to admit you need help, but when you do finally admit it things get better. I am incredibly lucky to have Katie in my life and without her pushing me to go to the Dr. and get better, I would have gotten even worse.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life as 4


I've put off this post for a while, thinking I'd come up with the perfect blog about how wonderful things have been the last 10 1/2 weeks... And they have been wonderful, more wonderful and amazing than I ever could have hoped - they've also been busy and frustrating and exhausting and draining and loud and and and..... I guess I could keep going, anybody who has kids can attest to that. I had no idea what was awaiting us as we entered into life as a family of 4. We had an idea, but not alot to go on. Its been more than we'd ever thought! Beckett has adjusted - sort of. He absolutely ADORES his baby sister and would do anything in the world for her. The two of them together is the best sight in the entire world. He's been a little angry at Abby and me though. He's testing boundries and pushing buttons and doing all the things that a 3 year old does - again... We sort of had this phase outgrown just as Maysen was born. Then he jumped right back into the thick of it. Its really just an attitude though. He's got an opinion and will absolutely tell you what it is - whether you want to hear it or not. He's got a ton of friends in school and just loves going in and being the 'big brother'. Its really very sweet - and if we weren't so completely exhausted it wouldn't be half as bad as it is. It does seem to be getting better though, he's close to 4 and he always seems to improve right around his birthday - his half years are rough, so we'll see where we are at 4 1/2!

In other things, Abby went back to work this week. Its nice since I'm off for Thanksgiving break so I can be home with Maysen. She'll start at daycare next Monday but only for 2 weeks until Winter Break. And the daycare LOVES her and is thrilled everytime she comes in. She's the youngest one in the Lamb Room and gets held and rocked most of the day. She finally decided to take a bottle on Saturday - 2 days before Abby went back to work. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. I've decided this is just who she is though - the same reason she was born on 9/10 and not 9/9 but did it between the hours of 6am and 2 pm. Very accomodating (sort of)!

I got a job over the summer at our new Olympia Trader Joes. Its been one of the best things I've ever done. I just LOVE going into work. After school I'll talk to them about going full time and possibly into management. They're are an amazing company to work for and I've never been so respected and cared about as an employee - me and my family! Its perfect for us! School is a bit of a task this quarter, but I only have 2 more left and am graduating in June. Hardly worth leaving now! My class is fascinating and I really like my professors, just alot of work that I really don't have the extra time for. I am learning some great things though - like how to read ancient Greek! I'm really pretty proud of myself and wish I could go to Europe with the class in the Spring. But really I'd like to take Abby with me, so we'll just have to plan a 'real' vacation sometime soon - maybe our 10 year anniversary... We celebrated 5 last August and its been quite the journey. I didn't have a clue that this is where I'd be in life, but I can honestly say that I am happy and content and look forward to every day watching my kids grow and change and become their own little people. So far I'm pretty proud of both of them and the family that Abby and I have created. We're a pretty cool little bunch!
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Monday, November 02, 2009

(late) Wordless Wednesday

I have a friend that blogs regularly and she does a Wordless Wednesday. I realize today is Monday, but these are from last Wednesday.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Maysen Adelaide Cole

Well, it's Sunday and it seems like as good a time as any to turn over a new leaf. Attempt to blog (again). Maysen Adelaide joined our family on September 10, 2009. She was 6 lb 14 oz, 19 1/4 inches long and absolutely perfect and adorable. She was born peacefully at home in the water. My second water baby and first home birth. I can't say enough about how wonderful her birth was. It was quiet and empowering. Beckett loves his baby sister. However, he is doing an awful lot to try to get attention from us. I can't tell you how many timeouts he's gotten in the last 5 1/2 weeks. Of course, even negative attention is attention, so I'm sure that is what he's going for. The rest of the family (dogs & cat) are feeling neglected I'm sure. I think the last time Lucky went for a walk or had a ball thrown for him was September 10, 2009. I'm sure that eventually we'll all get more into a routine. As Katie says, this (at least for now) is the new normal. Katie is working at Trader Joe's here in Olympia. She feels pretty special to have been hired there. They had over 2000 applications and hired 40 people. Those are pretty long odds. It's a great job and she loves working there. I love the crew member discount. :-)
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Sand Diego

We made it safely into San Diego yesterday. Jet Blue was amazing! The flight was very light. The pilot did his announcements from the cabin, not the flight deck. We had a choice of snacks. And the Direct TV at every seat was a life saver. We didn't get out a single toy for Beckett. He had apple juice, animal crackers and Nickelodeon. He was so well behaved. The landing was a bit rough on Beckett, but once we got off, he was OK. He got overheated and got a little sick. I have to say I'm not a huge fan of landings either, so I don't really blame him. The car rental shuttle was a bit stuffed full. Apparently Hertz is still doing well. I much prefer car rental counters in the airport. I understand about space though. Hertz did upgrade our car and give us satellite radio for free though. Happy Birthday Katie.

When we got into the car, Beckett continued to say "we're going to San Diego" We tried to explain we were in San Diego, but he wouldn't have any of it. He just kept insisting. Finally we asked him what it meant. He said "sand" and "Diego" as in Diego from Nick and a beach. Ah Ha! So, we stopped at our hotel, had lunch and then went in search of a beach. As we were driving, Beckett fell asleep in the backseat. So, we did some exploring while he napped. We ended up going the wrong way and had to turn around once we hit the military reservation. oops. It was then that we stopped at the local Sprint store and had GPS navigation service added to Katie's phone. Ah, much better. Gina the GPS would now guide us.

While exploring earlier in the day, we found Fiesta Island. Beautiful little place with a beach, just like Beckett wanted. Across the way, there was a huge playground. So, once he woke up, we headed back there. He had a great time running wild, climbing and playing on the swings. There was a beach right there, but the swings were a lot more exciting. The weather was beautiful and sunny, but it did get a bit breezy in the afternoon at the water.

We had a bit of a hiccup trying to find pizza for dinner, but we found In & Out Burger instead and that was fine by us. Beckett ate almost an entire cheeseburger with everything.

Back to the room for a movie. We were able to plug our portable DVD player into the TV. We watched "Bedtime Stories." Then by 8:30, the lights were off and the whole family was almost asleep.

The hotel is clean and comfortable. Pretty basic, but I didn't expect too terribly much from a HoJo for $80 a night. It'll do fine. Free breakfast in the morning and a shuttle if we needed it. The walls are a little thin. We heard the neighbor's TV last night. Good shower though.

We're off to SeaWorld today. I'm very excited for Beckett to see the animals. There's also a Sesame Street movie, a Sesame Street play area, 3 Sesame Street rides and fireworks tonight. Should be lots of fun. Hopefully, we'll be able to reach our friends and see them tomorrow.

All in all a wonderful stat to a relaxing family vacation. We'll post pictures as soon as I can find the mini USB. Assuming we packed it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bedtime Battles

Beckett has slept through the night since he was 4-months old. It was amazing and wonderful for a sleep deprived set of parents like us. Over the last 2 years and 4 months, we've had our ups and downs (sitting in his room until he fell asleep, waking up to find him asleep in our bed, and even night terrors) but nothing could prepare us for what started a couple of weeks ago. We have been at our wits end at bedtime. We have a pretty good bedtime routine - bath, PJ's, brush teeth, read books (or watch 1 show) and then bedtime. However, when we put him down for bed now, there is inevitably a tantrum that occurs. At first, several weeks ago, he only asked for extra things - a glass of water, rub my back, etc. Then, it was getting up every 5 minutes. Now, it's screaming. We've tried a number of tactics - take away privileges (i.e. the door being open, the music in his room, etc.), not engaging him when he has a fit, putting a baby gate in his door, closing his door, allowing him to fall asleep on his floor on the hall. And every night, it's the same thing - screaming and tantrums. It really can wear on a person after awhile. I'm also quite sure that it's affecting Katie and me. We went to visit Candyce's class today. She's a local parenting and child development expert. We just wanted to listen to other parents of 3-year olds and make sure we weren't alone. Thank Goodness, we're not! Normal or not - night after night it gets really draining and I hope that it passes soon. However, from talking to other parents, it sounds like that's just part of having a three-year old. Yea for us!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Year

Haven't posted anything for a while and I have a few minutes so I thought I'd say a few things... We had a great Christmas and actually rung in the new year for the first time in several years. Its was really a great holiday. Grandma Darlene came out from Iowa after a few cancelled flights and got to hang out with Beckett for Christmas Day. He had a great time with all his grandmas (and Papa)! We had close to 2 feet of snow over a couple week period around Christmas. It was pretty at first but the fun wore off pretty quickly after being stuck at home for more than a day or two. It was during my break and I was hoping to get a bunch of things done around the house while Beckett was still in daycare, but that didn't happen. Oh well, it was fun to be home and play around with the family for a few days. We've also had a sinus infection/cold bug going around the house, probably since school started in September! We've all been on antibiotics and Beckett is now on his second round with an ear infection added in... The runny noses and coughs and crankiness have well worn out their welcome, not to mention we're dealing with a really close to 3-year old who's tantrums can beat anyone's anyday!

So I know it doesn't sound like it, but things have actually been really, really good. Lots more to say, but it will wait for another day. Take care, I'll talk more soon!