Saturday, June 30, 2007

Think positive! (and get packing!!)

If there is anything Alan does consistently, it is be inconsistent! He slept great Thursday night, and slept all the way until 7:45 Friday morning. Last night we had a hard time getting him to sleep, and now he has been awake since 5:30!! Not great since we are making a 4 hour (one way) round trip drive today. I'm not exactly happy I lost my last hour of sleep before such a long day. Ah well, we'll see if Mr. Unpredictable will at least sleep in the car.

Not much to tell from yesterday. Greg & Dale went out together just before lunch for some errands. Alan & I never left the house all day. We also never got any mail at all yesterday...which means no wallet. :( Which means no driver's license, which means I can't help Greg with our drive today. :( I really hate that.

Dale played in the pool for a little while late in the afternoon. My mom & dad came over for supper - odds and ends other than the zucchini fritters I made from the huge zucchini Greg's mom gave us. Dale was so cuddly before bedtime, so we let him stay up and watch tv with us a little later than his usual bedtime. He is usually not a snuggly kid, so when he climbed onto the couch with me & settled in, I couldn't resist. (Don't tell him though, or he'd want to cuddle up for late bedtime every night!) :)
Earlier in the day we all watched a show together on Animal Planet about a baby camel in a small family-owned zoo. Towards the end of the show, the mother camel died of bone cancer and everyone was sad. This is the first time Dale has asked many questions about dying. He wanted to know what happened to the camel, why, where it was and how it got there. I felt so unprepared! I told him 'animal heaven'. Okaaaay....that's a far stretch and nothing that I actually believe, but it was the best I could do at the time. He asked why it died and I was sitting there trying to think of an answer other than "it was sick" since I have heard that some kids hear something like that and think they or their family will die when they get sick. Greg said, "It was sick." Ok. We obviously haven't been reading the same material! :) So I added, "She was a LOT sick." Oh yeah, mom's really on a roll. After he asked how it got to 'animal heaven' (I cringe here), I was still trying to think of an answer when he answered himself: Something about a good spell, or a good camel spell or something. I just let that one go. If we were talking about a person I would have felt better about my answers, but a camel?! But I'd rather talk about mama camels than real mamas. If I'm lucky he won't make the association this time. (Thanks a LOT Animal Planet!!)

Well, lucky me, Alan is back asleep and my alarm just went off (time to wake up!), so I will go start my day now. Got some gathering, packing and getting ready to do. (Yeah, ideally you'd do more of that the night before, but then there's no time for baby camels!!) :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

sugary snacks and big city trips

Doctor day! A few months ago, doctor day seemed to come up at least once every week or two. For now we are in a nice quiet time and it has been a month between visits!

(mmm....I'm eating Jelly Belly's as a write....first one was a root beer!)

Greg, Alan and I set out for Dallas first thing this morning. About a half hour into the drive Alan quietly went to sleep. He slept the entire rest of the drive...two hours!!! This was especially helpful the last 45 minutes or so, as we were in heavy rain, just as we hit the big city traffic.

Alan did great getting his labs drawn. Greg had to do all the registering where they copy your driver's license and insurance card since all my important stuff like that is in a post office somewhere. (See previous post if you are confused)

We decided to go cheap and simple today and packed a lunch to eat in the van. Nice choice, since it was still raining. This did give us a long lunch break to fill. We came back into the clinic a little early and explored the gift shop. 'Clinic' sounds kind of small, but this is a 5 story operation complete with lab and x-ray and all sorts of things we've never needed. But as big as the clinic is, the gift shop is the size of a walk-in closet, so that didn't take us long.

(Black licorice...put that one aside)

Once we were done with the gift shop we made a fun (and useful!) discovery. (mmm...bubble gum flavored) Next door to the gift shop is a "Family Resource Center": a mini library of children's books, magazines, and two computers with internet access! Woohoo! There is also a little side room with comfy couches and a phone, and another room labled 'multi-purpose' we didn't go into. Looked like maybe tables to eat at? We have passed right by this room so many times, but now we know where to go if we have time to fill! :)

Met a new liver mom today. I first saw her at clinic in May when we were there for evaluation. Her little boy was so tiny and yellow. :( Saw them again today and introduced ourselves. I asked how they were doing and she said they had had a transplant! I peeked into the stroller and saw her little guy (forgot to ask his name!) and he looked so pink and smiley! He is six months old. Very interesting to me was the fact they were only in the hospital 12 days after transplant!! I also noticed he still had his feeding tube. This is a reality that has just begun to sink in the past few days: you don't always lose The Tube immediately after transplant. I'm sure it's possible, but I'm glad my brain is getting the idea that it's possible to keep it too, so it won't be a big deal to me after if we go home with our Tube.

The actual appointment went great. Alan loves the crinkly exam table paper. It's great for keeping him entertained while we wait.

Time to head home and it was raining again. Pretty steady leaving the city - thankfully we were early enough to miss the worst of the traffic. Then about 30 minutes into the drive we got into a couple of downpours that made it hard to see. At one point it wasn't raining where we were, but there was a dark cloud ahead that was very obviously dropping a lot of rain. I have never seen it come down in such dark sheets like that before. I thought it was fascinating and tried to get some pictures. Of course, it doesn't show as good in the pic as it did in person. (It might have been better if I'd opened the window, but I was too afraid of leaving my camera in pieces on I-30!!)

Alan slept some on the way home. Dale spent the morning with my mom, lunch and early afternoon with Nana & PawPaw, and then my dad (Gramps) had him for the rest of the afternoon. Since Gramps was fresh (gotta be considerate to our sitters!) we went ahead and made a stop at Wal-Mart on the way home. Picked up some essentials and came on in to get our little buddy Dale! He had made friends with some singing/dancing stuffed critters and wanted to show them off to us. This is a very big deal to Dale, who has never wanted to have anything to do with anything that sings, dances, talks, snores, ho-ho-ho's, laughs, etc at the push of a button, squeeze of the ear, shake of the tail, whatever! He has always been this way (works out great for the hand-me-down toys...none of the sounds are worn out, lol!), and is very gradually getting braver. So after letting Dale show off his new friends and having a quick visit with Mimi, Gramps & Kristin we went home.

Nice to be all back together again, even if it had just been 24 hours.

(ooh! cinnamon! the jellybeans have been kind of boring, some citrusy stuff....a couple I couldnt need to interrupt with those!)

After a little play time we started all the bedtime rituals. Took a while, but everybody's asleep in bed (knock on wood), and Alan is medicated and snacking away...well...the pump's running anyway! :)
(dug down for one more cinnamon, and put the jelly beans away!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Whoo...not much sleep last night. Greg and I stayed up late and then Alan was up for a while in the night. Not fussy - very happy from what I hear. Greg stayed up with him and let me sleep. Then when Alan was up at his usual time this morning I got up and let Greg sleep. Can you tell we've been here before? :)
Mrs. Shelley (Alan's home nurse) came today. I think I've mentioned before how much Dale loves her visits. Today she came inside and Dale said, "Welcome to our home." LOL!! :) Alan has gained another couple of tenths of a kilogram...we were happy with that.
Greg left around lunchtime to go sign his new contract. Have I mentioned he has a new job? This all happened at the end of last week. More than being excited about the new job, we are very very thankful that he is out of the old one.
Soon after lunch the boys and I went to the library for a kids program. Illegally, I might add. Not that the library is's just when our family was here yesterday, Rick and I went out for a couple of errands and I left my wallet and keys under the front seat of their car...and my wallet and keys went to Arkansas. Oops. Rick was kind enough to mail them back to me, so now they are somewhere in between here and there....on their way back to me in the care of the USPS. :)
Anyway...library....I was pretty nervous driving without my license! Dale had a great time at the program. The kids played Musical Islands (much like musical chairs, but with floor mats as pretend islands to go along with the sailing theme) and Dale loved it. He giggled and giggled through the whole game!
From the library I drove (very carefully!) to Nana & PawPaw's for a quick visit. Alan was getting sleepy and hungry, so we didn't stay long.

Did this and that through the rest of the afternoon and went to church at 7. It has been while since all 4 of us went on a Wed. night. I was glad I did - Bro. Cecil has been going through the Psalms and it's really good stuff! :)
Dale went home with Mimi & Gramps to spend the night. Greg and I are taking Alan to Dallas - it's been a whole month!
I have a feeling this entry doesn't make much sense....but I'm tired and I've been doing 3 things at once while I quit! :)

But first...a few more pics from yesterday....

Aaron wearing Dale's goggles....from the closet, of course! :) These goggles even made it into the pool later!

Alan gets fed by Grandma while Greg & Scott visit.

Five cell-phones in the house...somebody was almost always on one! This time Grandpa Rick got a call from HIS brother. Brothers, brothers everywhere! :) (and cousins too) ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Greg's brother Scott, our nephew Aaron,
Greg, Alan, Greg's mom, & Dale

I didn't know when I started how time consuming blogging could be. Maybe I'm just slow. Or maybe I put in too much info? Or maybe I get interrupted too many times!!! Whatever the cause, it often takes me an hour from start to finish. This could be why I just don't some nights. But today was too full not too go ahead and give it a shot, anyway. Of course, halfway into my first sentence, Alan has woken up crying, after being asleep for 2 hours, and we don't know why. Go figure.

Spent the morning doing this and that getting ready for company. A pretty heavy rain and thunderstorm came over at one point.

Grandma, Grandpa Rick, Uncle Scott and Aaron arrived around 11:30. We had lunch, and then it didn't take the boys long to settle in together for a lot of side-by-side play. When you are a kid, two things are true:
1 - someone else's toys are always way more fun than yours
2 - your toys are way more fun when there is someone new to play with!
Based on these two truths, Dale and Aaron were hooked up for a great afternoon!

One of my favorite pictures of the day - Aaron digging deep into Dale's closet to see what toy he could find next. I think they pulled out just about everything that was in there!

There was an 80% chance of rain for the afternoon, but when Greg and Scott found themselves outside watching the boys in the sunshine, it didn't take long before they had filled the pool. And, once the boys were in the pool, it didn't take long for the storm clouds to gather! Needless to say, swim-time didn't last very long. Once it started raining, it really poured, and, had it been dark, there would have been quite a light show. As it was, there was just lots (and lots!) of thunder.

Late in the afternoon we decided to at least attempt to get the boys to take a nap. We put Dale in our bed and Aaron in Dale's bed. We saw them each in the hallway at least 3 times, finally set a timer for each at let them up at the same time. Oh well....they got some down time and the rest of us got some peace and quiet. (and some ice cream....sorry guys!)

The rain finally let up, and we ended up outside again. Greg and Scott have talked recently about playing "Annie Over" when they were kids. I'm not sure of exactly how it goes, but it involves one person on each side of the house. One yells "Annie!", the other yells "Over!" and throws a ball over the roof to the the other player. So today, Scott, Dale, Aaron, and I were outside in the front of the house. All of sudden, a frisbee comes flying over the roof at us. (from Greg in the backyard). Scott catches on immediately and starts shouting his part. Over comes another frisbee and a football. Greg came around to the front; one thing led to another, and before we knew it, Greg and Scott were playing frisbee in the street, with Aaron and Dale playing ball and riding a tricycle out there with them....and it was raining again!! So the four of them played and played, in the pouring rain, in the street for the longest time. From observing "Annie Over" Dale had decided that the football must be named Annie. He would throw it or retrieve it for Daddy or Uncle Scott, referring to it as "Annie" the whole time. Meanwhile, Aaron would get farther and farther away on the tricycle - he's got the pedaling down great, but steering he's still working on. :) Grandma, Grandpa, Alan and I all watched from the porch.

We hated to break up the fun, but it was getting late in the day, and our visitors had a long drive still ahead of them, so we all came in for supper. We were finishing up supper when Dale all of a sudden really wanted to go out in the front yard. It took us a while to realize what he was saying, but what he wanted to do, was "call for Annie". We let him go out, and he stood looking up at the house, yelling "Annie!! Annie!!" and expecting the football to come flying over! Greg couldn't resist this, and while I made sure Dale stayed outside, trying again for Annie, Greg went to the back and sent Annie over. :) Dale then began calling for the frisbees (I forget their names), but they weren't as cooperative as good ol' Annie. :)

At this point it was time to clean up, pack up and head home. So often when family or friends get together there are tons of activities you try to cram into a small space of time, but today was so different. There were no time-tables or to-do lists, and we had a great time visiting, laughing and playing. I just hope that it isn't another 18 months before we can do it again, and that next time Katie can come too! :)

(I've got more pictures, but the internet is not being I'll have to do them tomorrow. I'm an hour and a half in already for this entry!!)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Z,Y,X,W,V,U, T.....spaghetti! (and no complaining!)

Saturday afternoon we let Dale go swimming. He had barely gotten outside and we decided he'd be lonely, so Greg went to sit with him and took Alan out too. Not much later, I went to the back door to bring Dale's towel, and there sat all three in the pool! Alan I would have expected, but Greg too? Lol. But, of course, there was a story behind it. To let Alan 'swim' with Dale, you have to squat at the edge of the pool and help him sit up. Even then, if you take his diaper off, that little bottom is slippery. Well....there had squatted Greg, helping a splashing, bucking Alan keep his balance...and Alan "tipped over". Oops! (So that's why his hair was soaking wet!) So, to avoid further tipping, Greg climbed in too...clothes and all. :)
Dale certainly didn't mind. We've decided his love language must be quality time. (If you aren't familiar with love languages, we recommend reading the book! There is one for couples, one for children, and one for teens, all by Gary Chapman.) Anyway, Dale loves being with either of us. Either he is wanting in on what we're doing, or wanting us to join him.

Dale also loves sending email. Many of you know this, because you have received email from him. It just hits him that he wants to send an email. Sometimes he already knows who he wants to send to, and sometimes I have to ask. I rarely lead him to pick anyone in particular, and everyone seems to rotate around pretty regularly. This all started when I switched over from Outlook Express to Incredimail, the free download with lots of backgrounds and smilies. There are tons of emoticons doing all kinds of things and making all sorts of faces. He loves it!
Lately he's started mixing in actual words & phrases, with help spelling, of course. And always look closely, because he signs his name in each one! :)

The last Sunday of each month is pot-luck lunch at church. Combine a particularly lazy Sunday morning with cooking my lunch contribution, and we managed to be late to church. Oops. I would have hated to sit behind us this week. (I would probably hate to sit behind us any week, but this one seemed particularly bad.) After filing in late, it took us through 3 hymns, announcements, a special, and the introduction of the sermon to get settled! And I can only hope Dale sat still for the rest of the sermon (though I kind of doubt it) because Alan and I were in the nursery.
On to lunch...I've learned that if you put your dish toward the end, most people's plates are too full to get much (if any) of what you brought, and you end up taking some home. This can be good or bad, depending on if you want leftovers. :) This week I took my chances and put my spaghetti toward the front, and still came home with hardly any missing. Not a great compliment on your cooking, but at least you don't have to cook supper! :)
Mom, Dad & Kristin came over to help us finish it off, so we wouldn't be eating spaghetti all week!
Alan has had a great day today!! Apart from a half-hour this morning that I spent very frustratedly trying to get him to sleep, that is. I cannot figure out why it is so different when Greg does it. I better figure it out quick though, because once the summer is over I'm on my own again!!
Anyway, Alan had a big breakfast for the second day in a row, and spent the morning in a great mood. Once I finally got him to sleep for a morning nap, he slept for an hour and a half! Greg spent most of the morning mowing. That comes around a lot these days, with all the rain, but after two years of drought I will NOT complain! Everything is so pretty and green! (and my petunias are drowning!...but I will NOT complain!) :)
Dale and I had an early PBJ lunch - his idea, and I liked it!
Alan woke up at noon, in a GREAT mood. He was so much fun! It's really fun to watch him and Dale playing together more and more. Dale loves to make him laugh (like he did here, hiding behind his
highchair!), and is good about not minding when Alan gets one of his toys.
Alan had graham cracker for the first time this weekend, and loves it! So cute to see him eating like a big boy. :)
It rained again this afternoon (but I'm NOT complaining!) Dale and Alan each took a nap. It had to be Alan's longest nap ever. I am so happy! I would love to get him doing that every day.... it would be perfect!!! He woke up and ate almost a whole jar of babyfood mixed with cereal, something he hasn't done twice in one day before. He probably would have eaten the whole jar if I hadn't also been trying to get him to eat another kind (green beans & turkey) on the side. Ick. I don't think he likes meat very much. I've heard this is common with liver kids. Not sure with Alan if it is liver related or he's just not used to it yet.
We had a light supper, then went over to see Mimi, Gramps & Kristin for a little while. It was great to be out at 7:30/8:00 and still be warm and daylight outside. I love summer time!
Tomorrow promises to be a big day: Greg's mom, step-dad, brother (Scott) & nephew(Aaron) are all coming to visit.
We haven't seen Scott since December 2005! (Scott and Katie are in the Air Force, currently stationed in Utah). Aaron is one year and one week younger than Dale. (Almost 3, to Dale's almost 4.)
Dale's been talking about this visit for a couple of days. When he names off who all is coming, he keeps including Katie, but she isn't able to come. Today at breakfast he did it again, and we (again) reminded him "Aunt Katie has to go to work". For some reason this morning, that sent him off on a story (remember, Dale's stories are told all in one breath):

"Aunt Katie was on the phone with Grandma and she was going to sing the ABC's but she sang it backwards"
What?!? Greg and I about fell over in our chairs with that mental image, and I guess Dale thought his story was truth, because he then thought it was really funny that Aunt Katie sang the ABC's backwards! :)
So anyway...tomorrow....the population of our house is going to double proportionately. There will be 8 people here....6 males and two lonely females!! :) We'll miss you Katie! :) Oh...and there is a 70% chance of rain, but I am NOT complaining!!!
I'll take lots of pictures, and if I'm not too worn out maybe I can put them on tomorrow night. :) For now, I better go rest up!! :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Playing catch-up

Had a pretty lazy morning Thursday. Greg's Dad came that afternoon for an overnight visit.

Greg made sourdough pancakes for breakfast - his best ever! Mid-morning he was offered a new job he interviewed for on Monday. We thought, we prayed, we considered, and in the afternoon he accepted the offer. It wasn't an easy decision to make, and we have more decisions ahead of us, but we feel we did the right thing.

The bathroom walls are finally bare, and ready to be primed and textured!
Alan 'slept in' this morning until 7:30! :) Dale and I played Go Fish while Daddy worked on the bathroom, then Dale went out to play in his sandbox. Alan had a short nap, and now we've all gathered back in the kitchen for a hamburger lunch. Well, no hamburger for Alan, but he is in his usual place for when we eat: Daddy's lap!! :)

Short entry, I know, and that's after 3 days of no blogging!! I'll see if I can do better. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Feeling Jumpy?

Picture Day!
Today was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right, but you look back on it, and it wasn't a bad day at all.
Things started off pretty good: We wanted to leave the house by 8:00 to get to our picture appointment on time. We drove off down our street at 7:59! :) ....and drove right into a thunderstorm!
Got about halfway there, and the rain was pouring, the lightening was flashing, and the baby was crying. Even though he had had a pretty rich cereal/babyfood breakfast, I think he was wanting to nurse. It was probably partly because he hadn't been on his feed last night, and partly because it had been several hours sinced he nursed and he just likes it.

So, we pulled over and let Alan out of his seat for 5 or 10 minutes...he was more interested in the raindrops hitting the car windows than anything I had to offer. So....back into the carseat for Alan. Still got to our appointment 15 minutes early.

The air conditioning wasn't running in the little photo room, and it was HOT. And Mr. Alan was less than cooperative. We still managed to take, select, and order our pictures (some of all 4, and some of just the boys). An hour later we were done.

Next, and I will spare you the details, we chased our tails for 3 hours working on getting prescriptions filled. We did eat lunch and pick up a few groceries in the midst of all that, but as far as the meds were concerned, we felt like if it could go wrong, it did. I said I would spare you the details, but I can't help myself; here's a hint: it involved 3 different pharmacies, 5 different stops, 1 prescription being out of refills (how did I miss that?!), discovering 2 meds no longer being covered by insurance, and going home with just a few days worth of one med and without the other two!!! (Thanks to Kristin for picking those up on her way home from work...and she had to make 2 stops...they weren't ready the first time!!)
Had to put The Tube back in when we got home. :( *Sigh* Took pictures and kissed that little cheek before we covered it in tape.

Got on the phone and ironed out a couple of details with the insurance company and feeding supplies provider. Weirdest thing there? The subsidiary of the insurance co (didn't even know they had one until I got transferred to them on the phone today) had a mailing address for us that was 3 years old!! I dont even know the words to say. HELLO!?!?

Went to the library again this afternoon. Yes, this is just about a daily thing. Hadn't read Dale's books from yesterday though, so he didn't log any today. Getting ready to leave, find out there is a very big and VERY dark storm cloud coming in. VERY dark. I mean black. NO - BLACK. Boogied ourselves home to Greg just in time - started to pour as we got to our street. Followed by much lightening and very strong winds. And then: the power went out! Dale seemed kind of nervous, so we gave him a flashlight and he relaxed and had fun. We just sat in the semi-dark for a long time, watching the storm. My cell phone beside me rang. I checked the caller ID - unavailable. Hmmm...don't get many of those - my heart picked up a little bit. I answered. "Hello? Mrs. Devine? This is Lisa the transplant coordinator at Children's" Now my heart is pounding!!!! Why is she calling!?? "We got a request from 2 different pharmacies today regarding Alan's antibiotic refill. I wanted to check which pharmacy you wanted to use."


I think I managed to sound calm, when actually I felt a lot like you do when somebody comes up behind you and taps you on the shoulder and you didn't even know they were in the same building as you, much less the same room. I hung up thinking, "yikes! don't DO that to me!" Lol.

But it got me thinking...that's how it's going to happen one of these days. And we will be in the midst of doing something, or waiting on something....just living our life, and WHAM! Ugh...I'd rather not think about that.

We finally got up and started gathering flashlights and candles while we still had some natural light in case the power was out for a while. Just like washing your car makes it rain, the power came back on.

Alan had formula out of a cup tonight and loved it. I guess he just hates bottles - we had just tried to give him a bottle of water, and then apple juice and he would NOT have it. But formula from a cup? Yum! :)

Greg and Dale went to church. When they got home it was time to get everybody into bed. Now Greg is over in the kitchen working diligetnly to get the rest of today's meds and Alan's feed ready to go. (Thanks to The Tube we can do this in his sleep :) ) Guess I better go help with that. :)

Taking pics before we had to re-insert the tube:
(Dale was napping)

Kisses for Mama! :)
Watching the storm outside:
(lightening and wind died down by then)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vintage cars & dirty tractors

Another day...
Started like so many days lately have started...cereal, etc.

Greg got to work in the bathroom pretty early scraping off the remaining paper. It took all day, but he's done! Hopefully he/we can begin the next phase tomorrow.

Through a good part of the morning Dale stayed busy 'helping' Daddy, and Alan had a nap. That left me with the rest of the house all to myself, so I got lots of housecleaning and laundry done.

Alan's home health nurse came after lunch. Dale loves when Mrs. Shelly comes - he gets to 'try out her skefoscope' and get weighed on her scales. Alan has gained another ounce or two - glad for that.

Dale and I made a trip to the library mid-afternoon. Oops - still didn't get a pic of those dollhouses. Anyway, Dale traded out for 3 more books. He has an addiction for "Gumdrop" - it's a series of books about a man (Joe) and his vintage car (Gumdrop) and all their adventures. EVERY time he gets books, he HAS to get a Gumdrop book.

I actually COOKED supper tonight! I miss it a lot - lately we've been having a lot of sandwiches, hot dogs, & frozen pizzas.

Alan was sitting in his highchair with us while we ate. I looked at him, looked away, heard him sneeze, looked back, and the tube was out!! He's a quick little booger. But - I knew this would happen again, and I was prepared: I went straight for the phone and made an appointment with Sears to get our family portrait made in the morning! :) (Just don't tell Alan's dr's that we're skipping his feed tonight! - lol!)

So the supper cleanup got left to Greg while I scurried around trying to figure out what we're all going to wear. Thank goodness I was able to do all that laundry this morning! :)

Bathed the boys together, got what meds we could down Alan the old fashioned way (by mouth) and got them into bed. I expect to be up a time or two to feed Alan, since the feeds are what keep him sleeping through the night.

Went for a walk after supper last night. Saw a tractor parked in a vacant lot. Dale saw it and said it looked like Granddaddy's. Greg agreed, saying "yeah, his is a Massey-Ferguson too". Dale, in all seriousness repeats, "yeah, a Nasty-Ferguson". :D

Monday, June 18, 2007

Waffles & alligators

I love this series of Father's Day pics. Alan and Dale seem to have a mutual adoration for each other, and I love when it is so obvious in pictures. And then of course, there's Daddy, someone else they both adore! :) time. Sitting down to write a new entry is starting to feel about as good as settling in with a good book or a new project. Blogging is getting kind of addictive, but I highly recommend it!

The only thing I hate is when I miss a day. There is no way I can pull up what happened Saturday to write was too long ago, lol! :)

I do remember one story I wanted to tell, though: One evening last week, my mom, dad, and Kristin stopped by. They walked in the door and Dale said, "Hey, I remember y'all! You're my mom's parents!" LOL!! Also, Kristin had a new cell phone and Dale looked it over and told her it was 'stylish'. He is my favorite little kid in the whole world! :) I can say that for now, since Alan is my favorite baby. :)

I hope you all enjoyed Father's Day. I made waffles for breakfast. The only problem there is those are Greg's specialty. (Just about the one and only thing he cooks, but he does it well). I sort of made a mess of them. They were ok though. :)

On to church after that. Current routine is that Alan has a mid-morning nap, which means Greg & Dale go to Sunday School while Alan naps and I finish getting ready. Then Alan and I get there in time for church.

Went to my parents' (hey, I remember them!) for lunch. We were going to order pizza, but after being placed on hold FOUR times (three different phones) for a cumulative 10+ minutes we gave up and had Subway instead. There were several promises among us of a phone call to the manager...not sure if that ever happened or not.

Me & my DADDY on Father's Day!! :)
Several days ago I bought 3 bottles of finger paint (red, blue, yellow) for Dale. He asked all evening yesterday to paint, so after church we got Alan to bed and had Dale get completely ready for bed and we finger-painted together. He loved mixing the colors and seeing what new colors it made. We also did the trick where you drizzle the paint, fold your paper in half and get a pretty butterfly.

Greg hit the road early this morning to meet with another band director, so I had the boys all by myself until lunch. This had 2 results:
1 - I told Greg I was sorry for any time I ever complained that him being home messed up my routine
2 - What am I going to do when school starts back!?!?!!
Lol. He's just been home from school for a week and a half and I already can't do it without him. :)

It wasn't too bad. We all three had breakfast together (various cereals). Alan was in a pretty good mood even though he took a really short nap. Dale got to finger paint a little more. At one point Alan was in his crib and Dale was popping up beside it squealing 'hiii!' and Alan was laughing more and louder than I've ever heard him. Dale had him really giggling and giving some big belly laughs. I grabbed the video camera and managed to record some of it.

I went out for a quick shopping errand with my mom after lunch. A local antiques/gifts type shop is going out of business and everything is 50% off. I found a new piece for my amethyst glass collection - my biggest yet! Also got a little train plaque for Dale's wall.

Right now Greg & Dale have gone to Paris to fill one of Alan's prescriptions (boy, that comes around often!). Alan is asleep and a thunderstorm has blown up. Well - let me rephrase that: a thunderstorm has come up and a very loud clap of thunder just woke Alan. That's what I get for typing 'Alan is asleep'!! I should know better by now! Lol.

So... I guess that's my time is over!

But first, one more pic - this is Dale last night singing the new song his Aunt Kristin taught him:

Five little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator, 'can't catch me'.
Along came Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be,
And snatched that monkey right out of the tree!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Couldn't have planned it better myself

Woo-hoo! Two blog entries in one day! :) And what a wonderful day it was! :)

I wish every day could be modeled after this one:
"Stuff" around the house (laundry, mowing, etc)
Nap for Alan
Fun "stuff" (errands, books, etc)
Nap for both boys
Evening together
Bath & bed for both boys

Ahhhh...that was today's outline, and those are the kind of days I love and long for. Greg gets a lot of the credit for all of this. First of all, he has become the GURU for getting Alan to sleep. There have been a lot of high-fives and "you-the-man"s around here lately! I'm not sure how he does it (it involves a lot of bouncing, jiggling, & sound effects), but I told him he cannot leave Alan's side! :) So thanks to Greg, Alan had a morning nap, and an afternoon nap, and went down beautifully for each. Wow! So 'normal'!!!

Dale and I made our usual library excursion this afternoon. The display case has been changed out; it's now full of several miniature doll-houses. Dale liked looking at them...maybe I can get a pic next time.

Supper tonight was banana-chocolate chip pancakes. Mmmm...some of the best pancakes I've ever made!! :)

We went for a walk together afterward. It has been so cool out this evening...wonderful for the middle of June! After the walk we bathed the boys together (baths are a totally different experience with Alan now that he's been "swimming"). Got Alan in bed, got our special time with Dale and now here we are.

Ahhhh....what a day. :)

Aarg matey, a giant worm!!

Ironic: the fact that the very people I want to blog about are the ones that keep me from getting to it! Even now, I've been trying to write for almost an hour! For now, Alan is asleep and Dale is going outside with Greg, so ... here I go.

Wednesday was a "program day" with the summer reading program. The theme for the day was a Pirate Party! Before the party, though, Dale logged in 3 more books, and made it to the finish line! (He can keep participating, but the goal is to read 20 books, and he has read 21). Here he is under his boat after he moved it past 20:

I don't know how I'm going to explain to him next time we go to log books that he isn't going to move his boat. He's pretty accepting, so maybe it won't be a problem.

So...on to the party: after listening to a story, all the kids made pirate hats, and then colored parrots to sit on their shoulder:

Complete the look with an eyepatch, and you have a bona-fide pirate on your hands! Arrhg!

Yesterday was a get out and go to Paris day. Our first stop was the daycare ("Learning Center") where Kristin is working this summer. They have graciously agreed to work with us if we need a place for Dale the first few days following Alan's transplant - IF we get the call this summer. (If it comes in the fall Kristin will already be back at school.)

We then went on to visit one of Greg's coworkers. She hadn't seen Alan since we were in the hospital in January. It was nice to sit down and visit for a little while.

Last stop, on to pick up a prescription and get some groceries. We also got the supplies to proceed with the bathroom project! See! I told you in my first post you would be hearing about that! :) I just didn't know it would be so long, lol.

Just a few minutes ago, as I sat here writing this, Dale came in the back door to show me something. He had found the longest earthworm I've ever seen! I took a picture for you. :)

I'm so glad my Daddy took me fishing when I was a little girl so I can appreciate such a find. :) But I will admit - I didn't touch it, and "eww gross" was on the tip of my tongue more than once...but I didn't say it! :)

So, with that up-to-the-minute news, I guess I'll go for now. If I can sneak in just a moment's peace, hopefully it won't be too long before I can post again! :)

P.S. Yeah I pics of Alan this time. :( Believe it or not, I don't have any new ones! Shocker I know...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pacifiers, Powder, Pepperoni & Planes (& 2 new Pics)

If it's not one kid it's his brother...

You may get tired of hearing about the sleep habits of everyone at our house. But seeing as how it plays a very large role in how we start and end each day, it's a big deal! Yesterday Alan actually slept until after 7, but Dale was up not long after 6! Just when you get one to sleep in, the other decides to be an early riser! And this morning? They were both up by 6:15! What is with my kids??!

It doesn't pay to procrastinate!

The other day Greg and Dale went to Walmart and picked up 2 packages of new pacifiers for Alan. We had been meaning to do this for a while, since we only had 2 that he would take, and they were getting harder and harder to keep up with and be able to put your hands on one when you needed one. So even though they had bought the pacifiers, we hadn't opened them and done the whole 'sterilize in boiling water' thing. Yesterday morning Gerg was at work and I was in the shower (not a great idea leaving the boys unsupervised, I know, but see paragraph 1....kind of narrows my options for shower times!). Anyway, I was toweling off when Dale says throught the door: "Guess what Alan has in his mouth? I gave him one of his new orange pacifiers." I didn't want to get onto him for doing something nice, so I said, "oh thank you - I need to wash that first, though." (meaning 'sterilize in boiling water')

Dale says, "oh"

Next thing I hear is a dining chair being scooted to the kitchen sink...water running...and then Dale says through the bathroom door: "I washed it and gave it back to him".

I figure that boiling water thing is just a precaution, right? :)

Powder Trick

Dale has been loving his sandbox his Daddy fixed up for him. I never knew! Greg has accomplished with a simple sandbox what I have been trying to do for weeks: get Dale to play outside.

The only thing is, as you may know, put a kid sticky from summer heat into a sandbox and he comes out looking like a piece of sandpaper! But I remembered a trick a friend of mine told me about when she was working at a daycare: baby powder! Just give him a little rubdown with baby powder when he's ready to come inside and the sand falls away like magic! :)

Planes & Priorities

We went out to eat at CiCi's last night. I think it was Dale's first trip to a buffet, at least in his recent memory. He did great, even avoiding the classic buffet mistake of loading his plate with more than one can eat. He picked out 2 pieces of pizza - both with pepperoni, of course! When he was done with that he was ready for some dessert pizza, so I went back with him. They were just putting out a new pan of hot, buttery, cinnamon rolls, perfect combination of soft and the tiniest bit crispy at the edges, just the right amount of icing.....

Ahem - back to the subject: I put 3 on a plate thinking Dale and I would share, but one by one my little buddy at all 3 rolls! Lol! Can't blame him...they were that good. (Smart boy, leaving room for dessert) ;)

Cici's has a game room with 5 or 6 arcade way were we letting Dale blow quarters on those. They also have a ride-on train, but it is right against a row of tables that had people at them. :( They also have a crane machine that is full of candy and little plastic toys and is "Play 'till you win". Okay...that one is a sure bet; that one we can do. Dale caught 3 or 4 little packs & pieces of candy. There was one in the drop spot where you retrieve your goodies that he couldn't reach, so I got it for him. When I reached in I was amazed at how big that space was, so I ran my hand around and ....ha! ...found a little green airplane at the front where you couldn't see it. :) Dale was thrilled. :)

Well...I'm off to get my shower while Greg is here to supervise!

Little man is getting good at sitting up!

Dale loves his new "men".

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reading, rotting, and taking-a-dip

Sniff. Smell that? Kind of...rotten?....spoiled? I can identify that for you in one word: Alan! Lol. Yes....we've done it to ourselves. Mr. Alan Hold-me-all-the-time Devine. And don't just hold me - keep me moving; give me variety! :) We sat him in his high-chair at supper tonight, right up to the table with us. He was happy there, but not for long. Pretty quick he was whimpering and whining, and lost interest in his sweet potatoes after just a few bites. (But boy did he keep watching Dale!) Moved him to his 'usual' place in Daddy's lap, and Wow! - was he happy! Slapped the table, leaned in for every bite of sweet potatoes. And that was when I knew - yep ... we've spoiled him. *Sigh* Oh's easier at this point to keep doing what we're doing that try to undo. There will be plenty of time for 'doing it right' when he's feeling better. :)

Does this face really look like it could be spoiled?!?
(notice The Tube is missing...stinker pulled it out Saturday night! We took the opportunity for lots of pics.) :)

AND....can't believe I didn't tell this first.....Dale can READ!!! :) We've been seeing it coming, but that boy is really really reading! It's so exciting! Of course, he is at the very earliest stages, but he is off to a great start. :) He was tearing up Hop on Pop this evening before bed. I'm so proud of him! :) We had kind of slacked off on reading to him in the last couple of months, then a few weeks ago I decided it was important to re-start our reading time. Then with the start of the summer reading program at the library last week, things are definitely taking off.

Mama & Dale reading Cat in the Hat a week or two ago.

We got Dale a little back-yard swimming pool this weekend. He took his first swim Sunday afternoon. By Sunday evening Alan was wanting in on the action...and he loved it! (and this is the same baby who doesn't like baths!) We started him sitting on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water. He'd kick and splash and wiggle, and we kept moving him down until he was sitting on the bottom of the pool, water chest-deep. He kept kicking those feet, slapping the water with his hands. That would splash his face - he'd be startled for a split second then get excited and do it all over again.

Daddy went out today and bought the smaller-size pool to fill with sand for Dale to have a sandbox. Dale has been loving that as much as the pool. :)

Alan is still in his 'early-riser' phase, so I really, really, really need to get to bed! 6:00 keeps coming earlier every morning! :)

Friday, June 8, 2007

The ealy bird catches the sneeze..or something

Thought I would do something different today and go for the 'early a.m.' blog, since Alan has become such an early riser. 6:00 a.m. anyone? I can tell already that the problem with this is going to be the truthfulness of the phrase, "I've slept since then!"

Let's see what I can piece together...

For starters - Greg came home yesterday!! We were all very glad for that. The boys & I picked him up around 3 yesterday afternoon - smelling of 24-hour old sunblock. :p Lol. Of course, like any good traveling Dad, he came bearing presents. Dale's is already broken, and I'm seriously considering sending Disney a letter. ('Is this the only taste of Disney you want this little boy to have?') I've always thought it, and now after Greg having been there with a Dad's perspective, I know: I have no desire to do the Disneyworld thing. Beaches, shows, sightseeing, shopping - I can do all that...just not a big themepark person. (I'll be sure and leave that out of my Letter to Disney!)

In other news (lol) Alan has cut another tooth! That's two now! And he is not a graceful teether, bless his heart. This one gave him fits last night. And just when we thought we could go to bed early...HA!

Dale and I played NASCAR Monopoly, which turned out pretty well and amazingly resembled the actual game! I rounded off some of the prices and dealt mainly with $100 bills, but we basically followed the rules. Dale did get a little upset when Alan got into his money, but that is the 'typical' daily life sort of stuff that just warms my heart. :)

We all know that the sounds of puking, something breaking, and strange silences can all send a mother running, but living with the tube has added another 'alarming' sound....sneezing! Yes boys & girls, beware, a baby pulling out his tube will often sneeze like he's got a long-haired cat up his nose. So these days a sneeze can send me running as fast as any of those other tell-tale sounds! little morning buddy says a.m. writing time is up. Happy Friday, everyone! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Night shifts & road trips

Whew! Hectic evening, as far as all things Alan. He only had one nap today, and even though it was a good one (over 2 hours!) he was still super tired tonight. He fell asleep without getting his evening meds and before I could get him started on his NG feed. But ahh, the beauty of the tube. :) I felt like one of his night-shift nurses, quietly and busily bustling about in the dim light. All I needed was a blue LED pen light hanging from my name badge and a smart set of scrubs and I would SO be 'in'. :) long as he doesn't wake up again or puke from getting meds and feed so close together!

Dale is spending the night with Mimi & Gramps. Just sort of happened, but worked out great w/Alan being such a handful tonight.

Greg is on his way home - YAY! I told him he can never ever leave on a trip again, even if it means changing professions. He should be home by suppertime tomorrow night.

I did a big 'oops' and have run out of Alan's formula. I finished it up tonight. Our pharmacy has to special order it and it takes a day to come in (thank the Lord it's only a day!), so unless we can find some in stock somewhere tomorrow, it looks like Alan will miss a feed. I really hate that. I just thought I had another can put away!!! For now that falls under the category of worrying about tomorrow's troubles tomorrow. (and learning a lesson for the future!)

Do you regular bloggers take notes during the day or what? I'll have a thought and think "This will be good/funny/interesting to share in my blog", and then by bedtime I've forgotten it. Huh.

Dale loves corn on the cob. There. A random tidbit. :)

'Night All!! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Brownie bliss

Okay....this is getting can come home now Greg...really!

Florida - day 4. I dont see how single moms and military families do it. I've had plenty of help and great company, but it's just not the same as having my partner by my side.

Alan woke up at 6:00 this morning!! And I woke up with a cold. :( You aren't supposed to get colds in June!! And we have had so many this year! I feel pretty certain Dale is bringing them home from Sunday School, but I feel pretty jipped since we are being so careful about germs and handwashing, and yet we are still getting colds. :( And ...I think Alan has one too.

Even so, we all felt pretty good this morning:

Went to the library later for summer reading stuff. Dale's is the blue boat that looks like it's about to float into his ear. He has just passed the buoy marked '5'. He loved his little flip-flop eraser for passing 5 books.

Alan pulled out his tube around lunch time. This was 30-45 minutes before I was expecting our home health nurse anyway, so I just let it dangle until she got here. It was still taped to his face really well, so she washed it and poked it back in.

Had a short nap while the boys slept. Watched Rachel Ray. Her theme for today was cooking a meal even when you are 'under the weather'. It was a vegetable soup and an olive fritatta. Mmmmm....I really wanted that

Mom, Dad, & Kristin came over for a late supper. Alan pulled out his tube - again. He was sitting in his high chair and I saw it just as it happened, so I didn't even stop to think about it - just poked it back in ... again. M, D, & K helped me get the boys to bed. They probably hadn't turned off our street yet when Alan woke up. Another 20-30 minutes and I had him down again. Let's just hope it sticks this time!

And now I'm sitting at the computer eating a pint of "chocolate brownie overload" right out of the carton - the quintessential picture of a stressed woman. What can I say? I fit the bill.

So...two more days and my sweet darling will be home. :) Exhausted I'm sure, from 4 days of making sure 63 people have the trip of a lifetime, happily & safely, bookended by 24 hour rides on a charter bus. Ah well....the glamorous life of a band director! :)

And, yes - the chocolate brownie overload is wonderful: chocolate ice cream with hunks of brownie, nuts, & marshmallow. Mmmmm....It's Blue Bell. Good luck finding yours....mine is all gone. :)


Monday, June 4, 2007

Bookworms & earthworms

Well! I got to sleep in this morning (haha)....Alan didn't wake up until ten 'till 7! :-) I brought him to bed with me and Dale joined us within 10 minutes. We all got up around 7:30 and began breakfast, one by one. Cereal for all, but Alan's variety was different from ours. :-)

Dale rode his tricycle some - it was a beautiful morning outside! - while I did some things inside. (Including laundry, as usual.) Mid-morning, Alan went down very nicely for a nap and Dale and I had peanut-butter/jelly sandwiches and then read his library books over and over.

After lunch we went out. First to WalMart, then to the library. Dale got his first 3 books recorded (Gumdrop, Clifford, & a dinosaur book) and picked a blue sail-boat shape to set sail on the bulletin board sea. Picked out three more books (thankfully he didn't ask for another Gumdrop...I think those are tedious!)
Left the Library and went to see Nana & PawPaw. Seems like we stayed a long was an hour or two I think.

Dale had a late nap, and Alan should have, but I didn't have the energy to get him asleep enough to stay asleep. So...I 'let' him stay up. That decision could have cost me, but he was a good baby all the rest of the evening, so it worked out ok.

Dale has really gotten brave lately with bugs. He caught a 'butterfly' the other day (actually some kind of moth, but... hey). We think he probably injured it in the process, because it never flew away, but it wasn't malicious on his part.
Since then he has held snails, earthworms, and roly-polies. I just hope this new-found bravery doesn't come back to 'bite' pun intended!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Thinking about my boys

Wow...long time w/out a post. Definitely been busy.

So....Greg's in Florida tonight. Seems really weird. His truck is here at the house....Dale wanted to know how Daddy was going to get home. I said we would pick him up, meaning we would pick him up at the school when he got back. But now Dale thinks we are going to Florida to pick him up. Oops.

I thought without Greg here tonight I would go to bed early, since we usually stay up later than either one of should just because it's nice to have that time alone together. So I thought that without him I would fall into bed early...but here I sit.

Dale is excited about the summer reading program at the library. I took him Friday and got him signed up and checked out his first 3 books. So tomorrow we go back...we'll record his books and get 3 more, and he gets to write his name on a cut-out of a sailboat and put it on the bulletin board. I"m not sure how clearly he understands the sailboat thing, but he's been talking about it lots. It will make more sense to him when he sees it, I guess.

We've taken Alan out in public a few times now with his tube...nobody has asked us about it, and few have acknowledged it. What do you say, I guess? Sometimes I look at him and I don't even notice it, and sometimes I look at him and hate that it is there. I do love shooting those meds down it though! :)

I really really really need to make my list of things I want to pack when Alan 'gets the call'. In my mind it seems a long way away. Either I'm right, or I'm going to get a big shock!! No predicting that one! Either way...I better get that list posted if I want to get out the door in plenty of time and with all the right stuff! :)

Maybe tomorrow. Now I really am going to go to bed.