Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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Ka-neen Ka-nose

Surprise, surprise! I'm blogging early!! :)

A couple of years ago there was a commercial that showed people trying to hit a home run to win getting their mortgage paid off. Greg and I always got a laugh out of this one guy that struck out and then stomped off hitting himself in the forehead and muttering (very angrily) "stupid, stupid!!".
I feel just like that guy right now. I sat down to blog with both boys asleep. I thought I would do my blogging now instead of in the evening when Greg is home since our time together is so much shorter now. I looked at my camera and saw I had pics of Dale for today, but none of Alan. I thought: How sweet would it be to sneak in and get a pic of him sleeping? (This is where you sense the foreshadowing and start willing me "No! Don't do it!")

Walked up to the crib without making and sound, and ... Alan's eyes popped wide open. I was caught.
"Stupid! stupid!!!"

So now, here I sit, with my little buddy playing in his walker right behind me. I don't think he's too thrilled about being awake, but there is no way on earth I could get him back to sleep right now.

Thankfully, for some of the dumb stunts like that, I have to say I also have my occasional moments of genius. ;) Coming up with Kid Camp was definitely one of those moments! :) Yay for Kid Camp!!! :) The amazing thing is, it is so simple! We don't do anything spectacular or anything, but I guess having something to look forward to is what makes it work so well. I have always rotated Dale's toys, pulling out something 'new' and putting away the 'old' at random times. But knowing on Sunday that you're going to play with your instruments tomorrow builds anticipation, making it that much more fun when they come down from the closet.
Last week Dale's Aunt Sandra gave him 2 Thomas videos. (*Hi Sandra!! :) * ) He watched one the very DAY we came home from camping, and we saved the other one for Thomas Tuesday. We started it not long after breakfast this morning, and about halfway through I came in and gave him some of his trains.
Watching the story lines on tv must have given him a lot of inspiration, because he played and played all morning, with all sorts of new dialogue and adventures!
(Oops - actually, Sandra is my aunt, which would make her Dale's Great Aunt, but you get the idea!) :)

Got another early start today.... Alan woke up at 5:50! I nursed him. 6:00 - he was done nursing, but still awake. Greg gave it a shot until 6:10, but then he had to go to work. So... Alan and I entertained each other for a while. It's amazing how much a baby can love Itsy Bitsy Spider over and over again so early in the morning. Even more amazing is how much animation a mom can put into Itsy Bitsy Spider so early in the morning!! :) Even though it was an early start, the day seemed to get off to a slow start. Dale joined us around 7 or 7:30. A thunderstorm blew up about that time too. It was dark and rainy for a couple of hours. I had fleeting thoughts about how much I would loooooove to have been covered up in bed right about then, but - no use dwelling on that! (I'll just have another cup of coffee, thank you very much)

Started a load of laundry. I have to admit, I don't mind laundry at all. In fact, I sort of (*gasp!*) enjoy it! There is just something oddly satisfying about a job that has such definite, repetitive steps. It's always the same - start the machine, put in the clothes, put in the soap, let the machine do the work. And the results are always the same - clean, wonderful smelling clothes. I always feel so good putting them away, too. There is no question of where does this go? or what should I do with this? And even there is NO way to get every single item of clothing clean at the same time (at least not while still remaining clothed! :-o ) it doesn't even bother me that this is a task that has no end. Now doing dishes and sweeping the floor, well... that's a different story. ;)

Mrs. Shelley came today. It's been a while because she was on vacation and we have gone to once a month between visits. Come to think of it, we had to wake Alan up from his first nap of the day to get checked out by her - so he's been woken up twice today!

Got a call from the lady setting things up at our new pump supplier saying our current insurance coverage expires today. What!?! We knew things would have to switch over to the new district, but it is the same provider. Plus we thought this switch wouldn't happen until August 31st/Sept 1st, but apparently we were a month off. Made a few phone calls, and have been assured that there will be no lapse in coverage, but things are kind of in limbo until all the right paper-work gets done. Ugh. It's never easy is it? I wouldn't call this exaclty 'seamless' (as we were told it would be), but I won't complain. Just "thank you Lord" for insurance, right?!?!

Alan has forgiven me (sort of) for waking him up. I thought at one point I had him back asleep, (during my 'ode to clean laundry'), but that didn't work out. So for now he's happy playing in his high chair, and the race is on to see if I can get supper made while that lasts! :)

**And now - the explanation: My parents tell me that when I was little I often replaced my L's with N's. Thus, "clean clothes" became "cnean cnothes" (ka-neen ka-nose). :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Feeding pump blues and blue kazoos

Well! My week got off to an early start... 2am!! We have decided that our new pump wasn't calibrated right - it ran for 2 hours past when all the formula was supposed to be gone, and there was still some left! This meant Alan was hungry and woke up to nurse both Saturday and Sunday nights. So - he woke up around 2:00 this morning, but after I nursed him, he was wide awake. Greg was up with me, so at 2:30 we decided to take shifts sitting up with him. I went first. I made a dumb move trying to lay Alan down to change a diaper in the living room floor and tore his tube from the tape and nearly pulled it out! Greg had barely had time to get back to sleep, Alan was screaming, and I had to yell for help down the hall. Oops. I really felt bad all the way around about that one. I was supposed to wake Greg up for his shift at 3:30, but at 3:35 I laid Alan down asleep in his bed. Whew.
We traded for a new pump today, so hopefully tonight he will sleep through and get his whole feed.

Today was another Music Monday. Dale seems more open to songs and singing when it is part of a theme. Usually he'll try to make me stop, but today he seemed pretty interested. We sang the "Good morning to you" song at breakfast, a new one for him. We also got out the instrument box again today - Alan always enjoys that, too.

During Alan's morning nap we made a kazoo. Toilet paper tube, painted, with wax paper glued over the end. I was thrilled when Dale picked it up to play it and it really sounded like a kazoo!!

Greg is officially back to work for this school year now. We've been really spoiled the past few years with him being able to come home for lunch and even occasionally for a few minutes during the day. Now, after 2 whole months of all being together all day every day, Daddy is gone to work alllllll day. Not only that, but we've added on an hour+ commute!! :(
It was pretty funny though... he got home tonight just after 6. I had supper ready and the table set and everything. At one point getting ready for him to get home, I felt like I was playing house. Later Greg commented on the funny feeling of being a stereo-typical Dad...coming in to dinner on the table, 2 little kids playing. ....oh anyway... I guess you had to be there...but it was funny to us. :)

Even though it was a loooong day, both boys were really good. Alan had two great naps, and other than constantly asking to go somewhere, Dale behaved himself too. It seemed like we spent a lot of time just playing - and I even got in about a 30 minute nap too! :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

music genes & mac'n cheese

Humph. I guess I've quit taking pictures.... I have no new ones to share!

Today was church day. The last Sunday of every month is potluck lunch. Today I brought mashed potatoes and a peach cobbler. This time after lunch we all gathered back together for a devotion and singing. Dale did his first real singing in front of people! He sang Jesus Loves Me into a microphone while Mimi played it on the piano. He did a great job as far as not being nervous or acting silly or anything. And he really does have a good sense of pitch for a preschooler. Yay! He just may have inherited Greg's music gene!! :)

First night with Alan's new pump went ok... it's supposed to last 9 hours, but we still had formula left after about 10. :(? We decided to run it at a faster rate tonight and see what happens. Alan had a little nap during church and then a longer one in the afternoon. No 2 hour+ ones, but we all made the day ok. :)

Had tons of leftover potatoes and just enough cobbler to share, so we took them over to Mimi & Gramps' house to combine with their leftovers from today (mac&cheese). Even though he had just nursed, Alan was really wanting to eat off Mimi's plate, so we set him up in the highchair with some macaroni. I'm not sure how much he ate (if any), but wow squishing it in his fist was so much fun! Now that's where I should have had my camera! ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Italian food and orange balloons

For some reason lately, recounting my day seems tiresome and tedious, so I end up not blogging. But then I miss blogging. Hmmm....
I'm just going to start typing and see what happens.

Alan has been sleeping really well the last couple of days. Amazingly well really - kind of makes me wonder what's going on! Does he feel ok!?!? Lol. Worry when he doesn't sleep and then worry when he does. :) Our best guess is that he was teething these last couple of weeks and now that those top teeth have broken through he is feeling better. *sigh* I don't know. We can't figure him out. We're just glad he seems to be sleeping well for now.

We got our new feeding pump today. "New" as in new to us. This particular one is an older model and different brand. Doesn't have as many snazzy features as the previous one and will be slightly different to use, but hopefully having a local supplier will be worth the trade-off. Greg and Dale made the run to Paris after lunch to get our new supplies and pick up a few groceries. Our freezer was starting to look kind of empty! I've been challenging myself some this week to see what I could do without grocery shopping. Similar to the 'challenges' I've tried when making at altered book page (1 picture from this folder, 1 from that one, and two paint colors - for example) I've tried 1 thing from the freezer, 2 from the pantry and something from the fridge.....or something like that. I used to plan a week to 10 days worth of menus and make a grocery list from that. Don't seem to have time for that these days, but my pantry is full of an interesting assortment of canned goods that I'd like to start using - if for no other reason than to clear out a little space! :) My favorite creation from this week:

1/2 lb pork sausage - browned in skillet
1/2 med onion - added to sausage
1 small zucchini, cubed - add to sausage & onion
Salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, basil.
Boiled 8-12 oz spaghetti
6-8 Roma tomatoes, sliced - added to sausage mixture as onions begin to get soft
1-2 cloves garlic - added in with tomato
Mixed all together when pasta and veggies were done. Served w/Parmesan cheese and a hot roll. (A fresh salad would have been nice - oh well).

So...this didn't get rid of anything but spaghetti from the pantry, but I DID use that leftover sausage before it went bad. Same thing with the zuch & tomatoes.

Ordered pizza w/my parents tonight. Spent a lot of time at their house today working on those altered books again. It's very addictive. :) I just really like burying myself in a project for a little while!

Greg kept both boys this morning, then my Dad held Alan for his nap this afternoon.

I love watching as Dale and Alan are able to play together and interact more and more. Alan isn't quite to the point of copying Dale yet, but he usually wants his hands on whatever Dale is doing. Dale is ok with this unless he is lining his race cars up. He takes that very seriously and 9 times out of 10 does not appreciate Alan choosing which car wrecks!

Dale, however, will copy Alan. Tonight in the bathtub Alan started banging one of the toy cups against the side of the tub. So, Dale did too. I've noticed he does this a lot. I guess he thinks if it is cute when Alan does it, it will be for him too.

I think Alan is really feeling better lately. He was actually laughing this morning, a sound we haven't heard much lately. Dale handed me a little orange balloon to blow up, so I did. Then I turned it around and let the air blow out into Alan's face. He loved it! We played over and over again, until my vision started to close in around the edges from lack of oxygen. :) I decided that was enough balloon fun for me. (And for all you baby-safety types - yes the balloon is out of reach.) :) Oh - and since it WAS Dale that brought the balloon in the first place.... he sat right with us and loved every minute of the game, too. I guess a baby's laughter is infectious to everyone, even big brothers. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Where oh where has my little blog been?

One of the sweetest sounds to my ears:
"Mama, I want to hold your hand."
*Sigh* I know these days will someday seem so fleeting, so hearing phrases like that makes me want to drink them up.
This particular time was this morning. Dale and Alan and I went to see my Mom, and then walked a few blocks over to visit Nana too. I gladly pushed that stroller with one hand so my other would be free for Dale. :)
Don't get me wrong - there are also days that Greg and I look at each other and say (adamantly) - We are not having any more kids. And then there are moments when I actually wish I wasn't a mom at all. Thankfully those are pretty rare.
At any rate, I usually don't blog on those kind of days. :P

But - that is not the sole reason is has been over a WEEK since my last entry. We have been out of town! :) Left after church Sunday and caravanned to a nearby lake with my parents and grandparents. Stayed 4 nights and had a wonderful time! Very relaxing - well....as relaxing as camping with an often-cranky, teething 8 month old and an active, mouth-never-stops-running 4 year old could be. :)

First night, my aunt and uncle joined us for hamburgers. That made 11 of us!

Reading by flashlight before bed....now is that camping or what!?!

"Whhheeerrrre's Alan?"


When we were first setting up at the campground, we were happy to discover that one of our picnic tables was move-able. We pulled it to the center of our sites, and had a great common area. Good for eating together, but we spent much more time creating at that table than eating.

My mom has a unique (but rapidly growing in popularity) hobby called altered booking. This weekend she generously laid out all her supplies and invited us to join it. What fun! And how good for the mind to sit and unwind and create!
For more details of the hours we spent at the picnic table.... Click Here!

Not long into the trip, Dale found a pile of fine sand, just right for a little boy. Mimi supplied some cups and Dale was set. He spent a significant amount of time in that sandpile every day. What would we have done without it!?

One thing about camping with Alan - you get an early start to each day! He was a really good sport for the whole thing. He spent time in his stroller, play-pen, walker.....and mostly laps. :) There were just so many laps for a baby to choose from! This time it was PawPaw:

Let's not forget that even though we were away from home, Kid Camp continued. Music Monday's activity was the shaker that didn't get made last Monday. This worked out great, since Dale wanted in on all the picnic table creating. To see more kids making shakers (and where I got the idea for a balloon ending (what we are doing in the picture to the left)) click here. (scroll down to Saturday July 21st) (Hi girls!! :D)

Thomas Tuesday - I brought the big Thomas from last week with us, and wouldn't you know... Nana had a rug out at her campsite that had pictures of buildings, roads, and... train tracks! all over it. We also had an assortment of Thomas books with us, great for nap time. Water Wednesday - Dale went fishing out in a boat with Gramps and his other great grandpa (camped on the other side of the same lake as us). Thinking Thursday got skipped over, as that was coming home day.

Drinking from a cup is sooooo much easier when your whole face fits in! You can see what you're doing!! :)

More to tell later (I still haven't mentioned Kristin, the water mister, and other fun stuff!), with pics, but I promised Dale the computer quite a while ago!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Water slides and pizza pies!

Water Wednesday

On Tuesday, Kristin came to see Dale. When asked, he told her that Wednesday would be water Wednesday. Kristin asked him what he was going to do on Water Wednesday. Dale said (in all seriousness), "drink water." I will use this as an opportunity to let it be known that the reason Kristin came to see Dale on Tuesday was to take him out for a snow cone. He got to ride with her in her car and pick out the flavor himself and everything. There...whew! Better late than never. I sort of got in 'trouble' for leaving that out of Tuesday's blog!! Hope I don't find myself hoping to be treated to a snowcone anytime soon! :)

So...back to Water Wednesday... we set up the swimming pool and Dale's little slide close together, with the sprinkler in-between, running high enough to reach both the pool and the slide.
It took a little convincing to get him to slide down the slide, but he did a few times.

Before Dale's water time, Greg spent a lot of time Wednesday working on another of his house projects. Not the bathroom this time, lol! Of course, Dale was lots of help with that, asking a million questions and occasionally shining the light in Greg's eyes. About the time Greg finished up it was warm enough for Dale to get wet and time for Alan to take a nap. Greg was more than happy to sit inside with Alan and I sat outside with Dale, in the shade, reading a book. Ahhhh....
Dale got his fill of swimming and said he wanted a snack with lots and lots of things to eat. :) It does make you hungry, you know!

Our church and a few others locally went to another church's revival instead of our regular Wednesday services. This church is north of town, out in the country in a direction Dale isn't unsed to going. It seems like a long way, but it can't be much more than 10 miles. (If you aren't familiar with this area, you should know that a few miles west of town is another little town called Detroit.) So...we get out at this church that is unfamiliar to Dale, and he says, "We're between Detroit and Disneyworld!" LOL!!

I spent a lot of time on the phone Wednesday. I started out thinking I was taking a little shortcut, but it ended up being an all-out ordeal - long story short, we are switching companies that supply all of Alan's feeding tube supplies. Like I said, I didn't know when I started out that was what would end up happening, but I am very, very happy about it!! Instead of using the Dallas company the hospital assigned to us back in May, we will now be using the local pharmacy that does Alan's compounds. We've got our fingers crossed that this transition goes smoothly as we exchange pumps and get everything ironed out with insurance.

Thinking Thursday
Yes....thinking. I couldn't think of anything better that started with a 'th'. I think it's going to be ok, though. If we continue on for a few weeks, it will offer a lot of variety. Today I decided we would learn about turtles, since Dale asked last week what they eat and I could only guess. I got a notebook and one of Dale's jumbo pencils, and on the first page numbered 1-4. After number one I wrote: "What do turtles eat?". I left numbers 2-4 blank.

This afternoon we went to the library and took a couple of children's encyclopedias over to the kids' table. Dale and I sat down and started reading. He seemed to be about 70% interested (at the most). He was into the turtle thing, though, because almost as soon as we had walked in the door he went straight for the stuffed Franklin toy (For those of you unfamiliar with Franklin, he is a storybook character that just so happens to be a turtle.) I didn't make Dale stay seated by my side or anything, but everytime I read across a turtle fact I thought he might find interesting, I would call him over and we'd write it in the notebook. After we found four things, he picked out a Franklin book to take home. Later I found some turtle fingerplays and rhymes online and a turtle coloring sheet to print. We never got to those, but they will be good for another day.

I took my turn in the bathroom this morning while Greg had kid duty. We decided a few days ago that it would definitely need a second coat, and with a brush this time instead of a roller. I volunteered. Eh. I really, really wanted to whine and complain....it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. (Oh yes....that probably explains why I feel so tired right now!) But I didn't complain...mainly because Greg hasn't complained about bathroom duty once in all this time!!
Nana came by to see the boys this morning while I was painting. Dale has been talking about his birthday a lot lately (it's August 23) and has decided that his party will be at Nana & PawPaw's. Not sure why he thinks this!

After some debate and indecision, we decided to go to Paris for supper tonight. Went to CiCi's for pizza buffet. Yum - as always (and they play great Christian music!) :) Kristin went with us. We got there in a downpour with the sun still shining and a GIANT rainbow stretched across the sky - you could see the entire thing!! We sat by the windows to enjoy the view. Kristin's friend Brittney (a reader of this blog, or so I've heard! Hi Brittney!!!) stopped in for a few minutes not long after we got there.

By the time we got to dessert, everybody but me had migrated to the same side of the table, lol!

Dale got to ride on the train they have over in one corner, and we let him spend some quarters on a bouncy ball from one of the many candy & toy machines. We hardly ever, ever go for one of those things, but for some reason it seems to be part of the CiCi's experience. I don't know... cheap entertainment? :)

We went to WalMart afterward for some odds & ends shopping. My sunglasses snapped into two pieces the other day - right in my hands! - so that was one thing on the list. Greg decided it was finally time for new pillows, and we picked up some baby food. This happens to be on the same aisle as toilet paper, which we happened to be almost out of, so Greg picked some of that up to. Only thing is...those are some bulky items... What happened to Dale!?!?

Ahh...there he is! :) Comfy ride! :)

Got buckled into the van and ready to go home. Alan must have not liked Daddy's driving on the way over...we got ready to go and he looked like he was holding on for dear life!

He must not have been too afraid though, he ended up polishing off a bottle (Yay Alan!) and falling asleep on the way home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The nose knows - Sniff at your own risk!

Yikes! Two days to blog about at once!

First, Monday. Day one of "Kid Camp" - my own little invention. Not nearly as involved as it sounds, lol. (Also, please notice that I have avoided the clever "Kid Kamp" - I'm not big on that changing of the spelling thing).

Monday - Music Day
I had big plans for us to make an instrument of some sort out of a paper-towel tube, but didn't get to that. Instead, we just got down Dale's instrument box to play with and listened to music (CD, radio) throughout the day. Even with this minimal plan, Dale was big into the them, and mentioned several times throughout the day that it was 'music day'. This gives me a lot of encouragement that Kid Camp may go longer than one week! :)
How many instruments can you play at once?!?

Our friends came for their visit. Neal is the director of the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry) at Henderson State University, where Greg and I met. The BCM (BSU - Baptist Student Union, in those days) was a very big part of our lives. Neal and Teresa and their family are special friends to us. We hadn't seen them since Alan and their 3rd child, Ethan, were born. Ethan is 2 months older than Alan. (yeah, we noticed.... Ethan Allen! :) )
We enjoyed lunch together, and they were able to stay for a couple of hours, until it got to be the babies' naptimes.

Tuesday = Thomas Tuesday

Dale is a big Thomas the Train fan, so that was today's theme. First thing this morning, while it was still cool, I took the sidewalk chalk and drew a drive-way size train track. Dale has one Thomas that is bigger than the rest, so this was perfect to take outside for jumbo-sized fun. We drew a station, mountains, and lakes.

Here is Dale adding fish to our lake. This goes along perfectly with the book Thomas Goes Fishing.

I spy Thomas, peeking out! - We believe in going all out for our themes! ;)

Alan had fun outside too:

The only problem was, his walker was sitting on top of a big patch of blue sidewalk chalk, so he came away with blue feet! Twice this caused a double-take, once with me, and once with Mimi thinking he was losing circulation!

Talking about Thomas & friends in sidewalk chalk form got us to thinking about some of the Thomas stories we've read at the library. I was already thinking about it, when Dale said out loud, "let's go to the library!"
So we loaded into the van and away we went. We checked out two Thomas books (and some other stuff) and got home just in time to put Alan down for his morning nap. Just before Alan woke up, Dale and I started a batch of cookies. They turned out pretty good, but it took a while to get Alan to cooperate so we could actually make them!

After lunch, Dale was busy playing on his own and Alan and I had a fantastic game of peek-a-boo. :) The game has always amused Alan, but today was the first time he's played back! He was sitting up in his bedroom floor, and I was laying down on his level. He would hold the blanket up all the way over his head and wait for me to say "Wheeere's Alan?" before he would drop it down, with a big grin!! :) Soooo cute... soooo fun!
Greg went to work today, so this evening I got to show him and Dale Alan's 'new' game. Dale loved it! He laughed and laughed!

We were given fresh corn on the cob this afternoon, so I decided to cook some for supper. I can't tell you how good it felt to be shucking this perfect corn. I consider myself a novice foodie anyway, but all of my senses were loving working with this corn. The husks were thick and green, the silks were all shiny, every kernel of corn was in its place, and just the right buttery-yellow color. The whole thing smelled so earthy. I held one up and asked Greg, "Doesn't this look like it came straight from a cornfield?" Greg, clever one that he is, says, "I don't know - I've never been in a cornfield!" By now we had Dale's attention. If you remember, Dale loves corn on the cob, and he wanted in on this process. I showed him how, naming all the parts, and he got to work. He didn't want to stop! And all through the evening he kept saying, "I've never been to a cornfield!"

Supper brought another first for Alan - his first real table food! :) We had some boiled potatoes. I mashed a few spoonfuls up for him, and added a little formula, so it was like mashed potatoes. He was NOT impressed. But - I put a few little soft chunks of potato on his tray to feed himself, and he had a great time. I think he actually managed to eat some too. :)

I was reminded of one of the many roles of mother-hood tonight: Official Laundry Sniffer. I hadn't realized I had this habit until tonight when I was helping Dale get ready for bed. He had a couple of shirts and pairs of shorts laying around his room. I mentioned picking them up and he scooped them all together and brought them to me, saying, "here, you sniff them". LOL!
And...so I did. First a visual inspection, because anything obviously dirty does not need sniffing. Once they pass the visual, bring them up for a cautious whiff, right in the front panel, checking for that tell-tale scent of careless drips or I-almost-waited-too-long-to-get-to-the-pottyness. These of course, go into the hamper. If the whiff comes up with nothing, then it's safe for an all out, bury your nose in and sniff. Everything fresh or neutral goes into the drawer, the rest, Dale takes to the hamper. Apparently, this is more of a nightly ritual than I thought! Kudos to Dale for being observant!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sleeping and eating

So....Dale spent Friday night with Mimi & Gramps. That meant we only had one kiddo here Saturday morning. Said kid decides to wake up @ 5:50am!!! :-0 Greg and I worked together to get him back to sleep, but it just wasn't gonna work. Greg sent me back to bed (yay!) since it would be easier for him to get a nap later. I got to sleep until 9!! What a luxury!! Greg and Alan did their thing... cereal, meds, etc. When I got up, Greg had just gotten Alan down for a nap, and was about to get to work in the bathroom.
My Dad brought Dale home just before lunch. Everything had gone great the night before; yay Dale! :) After lunch I got my turn at working in the bathroom. The project of the day was re-caulking all we had peeled the night before. I was the clean-up crew: Greg caulked, and I went in and made it look good. :) Hey...makes sense... it was a lot like putting on makeup or icing a cake! :) We put Dale down for his nap, and Alan and I headed over to my parent's house so Greg could sleep. Also so I could shower to get ready for the concert, since our tub couldn't get wet for 36 hours! ;-)
Alan, Mom, Kristin & I ran a quick errand to the church, and took Alan with us. He fell asleep on the way back. We left him in his carseat and carried him upstairs in it with us. He slept for over 2 hours!!!!!!! For Alan this is just unheard of. It was getting closer and closer to time for me to go home and finish getting ready, but I was not about to wake him up, especially since he would be out late for his benefit concert. By the time he finally woke up and I got home, I had about 30 minutes to get him and me ready, and feed him. We made it. :)
The concert was WONDERFUL. Every song and singer were all so worshipful. I felt like I hadn't worshipped or praised like that in a long time. Even though the reason for having the concert was as a fundraiser for Alan's medical expenses, we didn't want the focus to be on us and what 'great people' we are and how well we're handling things or anything like that. We wanted all of the praises to go to God, and for Him to be lifted up, and wow, was He! Plus the messages of so many of the songs touched me very deeply - bringing back memories of Alan's diagnosis and first hospital stay. Kind of made me look back on what has really been a short journey, so far, time-wise, and realize how great God has been to us, not only through this, but all the way back to sending His Son to die for us, long before we were ever born. What love! Some of the songs sung were:
The Answers - a song all about how every answer we will ever need is in God's word
Four Days Late - reminder from the story of Lazarus that God's timing is always perfect, no matter how dire things seem to us
Redeemer - my favorite quote from this song: "the very same hands that hold me when I weary...they conquered death, to bring me victory"
The Anchor Holds
How Great is Our God

Grace - the singer wrote this song herself....it was incredible
Cry out to Jesus
There were quite a few more...loved them all!
And the money raised...? Well...we are just floored and humbled and honored and grateful at the generosity of our family, church family, and community. There are some expenses and possibilities that we won't have to worry about now. :)

So - we got home from the concert past the boys' bedtimes...got them into bed ASAP. Around 3 Alan woke up and had trouble going back to sleep. We gave him a dry diaper and I ended up nursing him (always nervous about this since he's on that continuous feed). Here is where things just get unbelievable.... That boy slept until TEN O'CLOCK this morning!!!! We kept checking on him to make sure he was breathing! He has gotten up at 7 or before for days and days and days now! Wow!!! Since he slept so late, just Greg and Dale went on to Sunday School and Alan and I followed in time for church. We let Dale stay in the nursery - we usually bring him into church with us - and decided to leave Alan too. It was just the second time I've ever left him, and the first time he made it through the whole service! :) It was SO NICE to be able to sit through church, and actually listen to the sermon with both ears and not have to constantly be wrangling and/or correcting a kid. Alan about wore out those poor ladies keeping the nursery though - he's a demanding little toot!

Spaghetti for lunch, and Alan ate cereal with us since we didn't have time before church. We napped and watched the race until church time. Invited ourselves over to Mimi & Gramps' for supper and watching the end of the race after church. (*waving* Hi Mom!! :D ) Had tacos and ice cream. Alan finished a whole 2 oz bottle of juice with a little bit of formula mixed in. This gives me a lot of hope for getting him to take a bottle of formula if I keep working with him.... I think I can wean him gradually off the juice and on to straight formula. I'll have to make him think it was his idea, though. ;)
Got home right at bedtime (a late bedtime) again tonight. Got both boys into bed pretty quickly.
Tomorrow is another big day. I'm starting a week of "Kid Camp" with Dale. Just something I made up so the two of us do something fun together each day. Tomorrow is Music Monday. Going to make a shaker instrument - whoohoo! :)
We also have company coming tomorrow - friends from Arkadelphia (2 hrs away) where Greg and I met and went to college. There is also an ice cream social in our neighborhood tomorrow evening.... we'll see if we make it to that or not!!! :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

How are you peeling?

Okay, this one's going to be a shorty. It's been a tough day. Alan has been SO needy. My only guess on days like this is that he doesn't feel good. Not sure exactly what/how, but a person with a vital organ in bad enough shape it needs to be replaced can't feel all that great all the time, ya know? So, he got held a LOT today... by me mostly. Greg spent the day in the bathroom - again. No.... not done yet, but he made lots and lots of progress!! It's starting to look like a real room again, instead of disaster area and/or work in progress!! :)

Dale started out the day pretty grumpy, but finally got over it by late morning. He finger-painted today, and also played Lego's. He's been wanting to spend the night with Mimi & Gramps, so we sent him over there tonight, wearing his Lego's shirt (his idea) with his stuff packed in his yellow Lego's bucket (my idea). The past couple of times he's stayed the night with them he's had some homesickness issues at bedtime, so I'm anxious to hear tomorrow how that worked out.

With Dale out for the night, Greg and I planned on spending the evening in the tub together. No, no, no...not like that .... peeling old caulk!! :) Alan was down for a late nap, so we worked together for a little while and then he was up again. He hasn't slept worth a darn today. He also wasn't very interested in his solids today, and threw up his vitamins. We haven't started his feed yet - it's all set up and ready to go, but we're pretty nervous about him staying asleep and the formula staying down...
Anyway.... back to the caulk.... once Alan was awake, I requested Greg take Alan duty and let me sink my mind into a project for a while. I'm exhausted from hauling that baby around all day today! That didn't last too long though.... Greg often has a way with Alan, but sometimes mommy is still best. :) So I nursed Alan and watched tv. Hey... tv or peeling old caulk? You decide. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

If you like to talk to tomatoes...

After fitting 5 days of camping into my previous post, this one may seem a little dry! Ah well... back to life as usual. :)

First thing this morning Greg went outside to get something and I heard him talking to our next door neighbor, but he was looking in the direction of the street. I was kind of confused... Turns out she was pointing out to him a turtle in the street! Greg went and rescued it and we put it in Dale's swimming pool (with just a little bit of water and some lettuce) in the shade for the day. Oops! I forgot to get a picture! Anyway... Dale enjoyed checking in on him throughout the day, and then this evening we released him into the fenced in backyard. I learned from experience when I was a kid that those turtles are pretty good escape artists, so I don't expect our new friend to hang around for long. Too bad... he might be able to cut down that mosquito population some!!
Greg and Dale went to Paris (again!) after breakfast this morning (my, that seems to happen often!). This time they spent the entire morning at The Home Depot getting everything needed to finish the bathroom project. Lesson #1 of home improvement projects.... it's always going to be a bigger project than you orginially thought!

Alan had a wonderfully long nap this morning, and I spent that time cleaning up around the house and doing laundry, laundry, and more laundry getting caught up from our trip. He woke up in a great mood and we played together for a long time. He played happily in his highchair while I got lunch ready for my returning shoppers.

After lunch Greg set right in on priming the walls in the bathroom. Tomorrow, actual paint goes up! After that will be detail work, and then...? Will we actually be done?!?

Dale has been on a big Veggie Tales kick lately. There is an old cassette of mine of Veggie Tales songs that he insists we listen to whenever we go anywhere. He has learned most of the words. Handy for him that it is summer garden time.... he got his hands on some of that produce on the kitchen table today and set right in with Bob & Larry, etc, singing the theme song and having conversations:

The tomatoes and squash were already sitting out - he requested the cucumber from the refrigerator himself!

And below... my work of the evening... the camping slide show!!

It is a great illustration for yesterday's blog entry, so be sure and read that first!! :)
Well pooey... I had it so you could watch the slide show right here in the blog.... I thought that was pretty cool! Except.... the blog margins were too small and the right 1/3 of the pictures were cut off. :( So... I have to settle for a link. *sigh*. Oh well....! :)

View this montage created at One True Media
July 2007 Camping Trip

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Camping Trip

Yay! Here we go ... Are you excited? :)
Our trip got off to an exciting start Friday. We have our loaner-camper parked at my parents' house. We were there loading up and hooking up Friday morning. We left Alan buckled in his carseat and Dale was entertaining him off and on. At one point, Dale says "Alan's dirty". Uh-oh...clue #1. How does Dale know Alan's dirty if he is buckled in his carseat? Clue #2 - Dale starts gagging. This cannot be good. So sure enough, Alan gets unbuckled, the seat gets cleaned out, and then I held Alan by his underarms while Greg took the water hose and hosed him off! I just love summer! :)

Once Alan was all cleaned up he and I left out ahead of Greg and Dale. We stopped about halfway and bought groceries. Greg and Dale caught up just as we were getting done and we all climbed in the van for a quick fried chicken picnic lunch before getting back on the road.

As we drove into the campground, one of the campers had a red flag out front with the Arkansas Razorbacks mascot on it. Dale saw that and said, "Daddy, why is there a big angry pig on that flag?" LOL!!

Not suprisingly, we hadn't been at the campground FIVE minutes before Dale had gotten dirty. I'm not sure if it was dirt or soot from the previous campers. No use getting worried about it though - little boys are supposed to get dirty when they camp! Grandma, Grandpa Rick and Aaron arrived within half an hour. They hadn't been there five minutes before the boys found an earthworm. Sad thing is, I can't think of that earthworm without thinking of it's untimely demise. Can earthworms regenerate like starfish? Let's hope so!!
Our campsite was very close to the playground (just a road and one other site between them), so we took the boys several times, including at least once the first day. I was very impressed with Dale's boldness with the older kids already playing there. One girl was just kind of hanging out at the top of a tall slide, and Dale went right up to her and said, "Move please! Go down so I can go!" Yay Dale!

Aaron was a brave little soul on these wobbly things:

Both boys loved going in and out of the campers, back and forth between our site and Grandma's. They had toys both places. At one point, we were all at Grandma's and Dale went to our camper to use the bathroom. At about the time I was starting to expect him back, I heard him crying really loud. I thought he must have fallen out the door and gotten hurt. I came running around the corner and he was still inside, still crying. As I went inside, I could understand what he was saying. Crying hysterically at the top of his lungs with the bathroom sink running full blast: "I can't turn the water off!!!!" Lol!

Day 2 - Saturday
After breakfast Dale was ready to get out and start his day, so we dressed him and watched him walk over to knock on Grandma's door. He was met at the door by Aaron... and they were dressed in exact matching shorts!
We went into town and spent the morning at a children's museum. Must have been a slow day for them.... we had the whole place to ourselves! :) The first room we went in was all about the body. One of the activities here was a kid-size smock with places to velcro on your vital organs. I later went back and put it on Dale so I could show the picture, but the first time I laid eyes on this activity, I couldn't resist this pic:
Alan gets a new liver!
Sorry....liver humor! :)

Here is what the smock looked like:

(You can tell Dale was impressed...)
Dale loved the giant sound-board. Every colored wooden puzzle piece could be pressed for a different musical note or sound effect. One of his favorites (of course) was the sound of an engine starting. If you held it long enough you could listen to it idle.

One of my favorite rooms was an upstairs room all about the senses. Here are Grandma, Grandpa and Alan looking at a display all about how our eyes see colors:

There are so many more museum (and other) pics I want to share, but I think I'm going to take a cue from my friend Sam and do a montage for you ... too many to post here! :) (Hi Sam!!)
Back at the campground we filled Dale's trusty green swimming pool and the boys had a blast together. There was a LOT of splashing involved. Overheard from their direction:
Aaron, talking about Dale's splashing: "He's gettin' me wet!"
Dale, to Aaron, about Aaron's splashing: "There won't be any water left!"

The rest of the trip passed pretty uneventfully. We ate, the boys played, we went for walks and to the playground. Late Sunday afternoon Greg took Dale and Aaron to the swimming area at the lake. One of the boys' favorite games was to make a fish (i.e. - grab a handful of sand) and throw it into the water saying "Go get it fishie!" ????

A stroller makes a great place for a nap!

The boys never got back into the little green pool after that one swim, but it was great to play at. One morning they sat looking at it for a while, and then began to throw stuff into it. This would entertain them for quite a while. (Why is it that their favorite games always involve throwing things!? Hmmm...)

Alan watching the action, taking lots of mental notes, I'm sure!

At one trip back to the playground I asked Dale if he wanted to climb this rock wall. He said, "Nah... maybe when I'm 15." :)
I'll end with a couple of jokes, and then I really have to go to bed! Eating supper one night, I told Dale this joke:
A daddy tomato, a mama tomato, and a baby tomato went for a walk. The baby tomato kept getting behind, and daddy tomato finally went and stomped him, squishing him flat, and said "Catch up" (ketchup)
Dale responded to this joke by telling one of his own:
Daddy mustard, mama mustard and baby mustard went for a walk. Mama mustard kept getting behind, so Daddy mustard stomped baby mustard and said, "Hot Dog!". :) We laughed 'till we cried!!
Wish I could share every little detail, but hopefully you can just imagine the great fun we had. I will be sure to post a link here if I get a montage/slide-show made!! Happy trails!