Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the old year

I enjoy taking a look at the past year, it makes me realize how blessed we have been and how much has been going on. Last year at this time I was crazy stressed out with being pregnant and having to deal with an upcoming surgery for Evan. We did not know if we were going to face a move soon after the birth of the baby. Kindergarten was something that was also weighing on my mind.

Hindsight lets me see that the surgery went fine and the baby came out nice and healthy. We got a reprieve on the move and Evan and Harry are doing well in school. I have adjusted well to having three kids to parent and haul around. We have been blessed with a steady job in a time when many people do not have work. We also welcomed a nephew into the family a few days ago. I am excited to not be the only one of my sisters that has kids.

Looking ahead I see the long wait to find out where we will be moving to. We will have to get the house ready for renters and find a place for us to live when we get where ever it is that we end up. Hopefully there will be more visits with family in the coming year. I also hope that Evan and Harry will continue to have the strong growth that they have had in school and that Daniel will continue to keep on track with his development.

To all my readers I send a happy new year and a hope that 2010 is a good year for you.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas photos for the grandparents

The boys were spoiled this year and we are still expecting a few more packages. I went a bit overboard this year as well, but stuck with simple yet fun things that should last awhile.

This is Harry showing off two gifts. One is the doctor's coat that I got each of the boys. Evan asked specifically for one and I told him that grandma would get him one only I forgot to tell grandma so mommy had to step up. They were both very excited to play doctor and I received a number of shots over the course of the morning.

The second is a gift that my mother in law made sure to tell me was the idea of my father in law. It is an air gun that shoots mini marshmallows. The boys do not know this important fact and run around puffing air at each other.

Doesn't he make a cute doctor?

Evan opening a large tow truck from my parents which he fell in love with instantly. Harry loves bugging Evan by trying to play with it.

Here is a dose of cuteness. Daniel is soo funny and huggable. He had a great time watching everything that went on and playing with the wrapping paper.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The presents are mailed and all the gifts have been bought. The weather relented a bit so that it was actually a nice cold instead of the awful hideous cold it had been making it a lot easier to get stuff done. A snow storm is supposed to come in tonight and give us a white Christmas. I don't mind a bit this time around because I have no reason to leave the house so I can hunker down and be warm.

I hope that you all have a great holiday and are able to spend it with the people you love.

(I would post pictures of the boys and Santa right here but my scanner is borked and won't scan them.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter pictures

Here are a few random pictures that I have taken recently.

Last night the k-2nd graders put on a musical concert. Evan is wearing his elf hat that he made himself. I had been dreading the thought of going (thanks to the crappy weather) but it turned out ok. The roads were okish and the program was short.

This is how Evan spent the majority of the program. He did stay in one spot and did not make a break for it like one little girl did.

Daniel's going out clothing. He is not normally this happy when he is bundled up like this but it keeps him warm. Note his fang face, he has two side teeth on the top but no middle front teeth.

Evan and Harry warming up after some play time in the snow.

Tuesday it rained for a little bit after the snow so it was actually wet enough to make showmen. Generally Kansas snow is quite dry and will not pack well.

A closeup of Harry's snowman, I love the teeth he put on it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I hate snow and I really hate ice

The weather here in Kansas has been awful!!! It if fricking cold (and by cold I mean it is snot freezes in your nose cold) and we had some snow on tuesday so all the roads are icy. Yesterday the kids had a snow day, which they were pissed about since they like school. I was less than thrilled to be stuck at home with two grumpy kids so I thought trip to Target you be fun. Boy was I wrong!

First off I had to dig the stupid car out of the snow which took forever and the whole time I was freezing my butt off. Then I had to get the kids all bundled up and ready for the cold. I think my first warning sign that this was a bad idea should have been one of the back doors being frozen shut. With the automatic doors there is no forcing them open or anything so Evan and Harry had to climb under the baby's rear facing car seat to even get in. I had to crawl over the front seat to get back to buckle the kids in.

I made it through the first stop light ok with a little bit of sliding but the second stop light I slid so much that I bumped into the car in front of me. Luckily all that was damaged was the front license plate holder and that was merely bent, but it freaked me out and we went right back home despite the weeping and wailing of the older kids. We ended up staying at home (I even missed my knitting group) all day and watching a ton of movies.

I hate snow and I hate driving in the snow and ice and I hate the city for not using my tax money to take better care of the streets. Yesterday there was no sand or anything on the road where I had the fender bender and it is a main road that is heavily traveled. Today there was finally something but this is a road that should have been plowed and it wasn't. I can't wait for this weekend when it is supposed to be a balmy 40 degrees so that the flipping ice will melt off the roads.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

You can lead a horse to water...

I love messing with my kid's minds, that is half the fun of having kids. When else are you given free reign to shape how another human being thinks and also maybe slip a few silly things into that noggin.

Lately Harry has been pestering me about what we will be having for dinner, not that he eats it, but he sure seems really excited about it up until it is on his plate. I have been telling him that we are having Baby Daniel for dinner. It started as just a smart ass answer to a question I had been answering a lot and then because of his reaction (disbelief) I have kept it up. Occasionally Daniel will nap during dinner prep time and so I will ask Harry if he sees the baby when he tells me that we could not possibly be eating the baby. That of course confuses him for a second until he thinks about it and comes up with the thought that the baby could be in his room napping.

This silliness backfired this evening. We are working on using up the leftover turkey and I have been substituting it in our normal dishes for chicken where ever possible. Tonight I did that yet again so when Harry worked his way through the whole we are not really eating Baby Daniel but are eating something else bit I told him that we were having turkey. He would not believe me! He insisted we were having chicken and nothing I could say would convince him otherwise. What made the whole conversation even funnier was his pronunciation of chicken and turkey. He says them "kiken" and "kurkey", it was soo hard not to giggle and laugh.

He is also convinced that in our only family picture that the baby in it is Daniel and not Harry (yeah yeah I know I need a more current picture). If I ask him where he is then he will pull out a newer picture of himself and put it on top of the family picture. He has figured out a way to edit himself into the picture with out a computer, what a creative kid!

Monday, November 30, 2009


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, I know that we did. I am now working my way through our leftover turkey desperately trying to eat it all before we are forced to consign it to the depths of our freezer in the hopes that some day we will remember we have it and actually eat it. My husband's cousin and her family joined us, so we had a full house.

Daniel and his second cousin. They are about a month apart in age.

The whole crew.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Harry's Birthday pictures

It is hard to believe but Harry is now 4! It has been a year filled with a lot of growth for him. He is really starting to become a capable young child who can do lots of big kid things.

Harry asked for a pumpkin cake. I have a friend that works for a bakery and she decorated this for him. He was very thrilled with his pumpkin cake and it was nice to have a small one so we did not have cake hanging around forever.

I got Harry Hungry, Hungry Hippos for his birthday. I knew it would be a hit since he thinks things eating other things is super funny.

Pug the pug dog. I made it for Harry but Harry picked out the very creative name. A sweater for it is in the works.

Daniel is a sitter and doing pretty good, he also is getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth. Crawling is around the corner.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Manic Monday

Yesterday was insane! It was insane is a pretty good way (for the most part) but still insane.

Evan's kindergarten class made a Thanksgiving dinner to have at for lunch and of course parents were needed to help out and make sure that the kids were not picking their noses and then touching the food. It was fun and there were plenty of parents to help supervise. Evan's class seems particularly blessed with a lot of willing and helpful parents. I think we are the envy of the other kindergarten classes because we seem to always have more parents helping with things than the other classes. As usual Evan was very excited to have me in school with him.

Later in the afternoon Daniel had his checkup. He is a healthy little guy and hitting all his milestones and growth curves. He was not thrilled with all the shots he got but quickly shook it off to flirt with the nurses.

During all my rushing around the weather was awful. We had our first snow of the season which had the kids all excited but mom not so much. I now realize why my parents were less than thrilled when it snowed. Yeah it looks pretty, but it is not fun having to drive in the stuff. I think my doctor has jinxed me or something becuase every time we go and see him the weather is terrible. Thankfully the snow did not stick around and we are just stuck with cold rain. Brrr!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Last weekend Harry went to a birthday party (his first of the year). The day before he carefully chose a coloring book for his friend and I added to the present a package of crayons that I had bought earlier during the back to school sales. An hour before the party I hastily wrapped everything and made a quick card (I have oodles of card stock so I tend to make my own cards for things like this). Harry had a fun time, mom not so much (it was super loud).

A few days later I cleared off a pile of junk that was on a side table and noticed a bag with a brand new coloring book in it. Yeah, I had grabbed an old Sesame Street coloring book on accident and wrapped that instead of the new un colored Sesame Street coloring book. I can't even make it right and give the poor little girl the new coloring book because she had moved and I don't have the new address.

It is upon you, my dear readers to help me not feel so bad. Please tell me that I am not the only frazzled mother that has done something like that.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Halloween is over but the candy still lingers. The boys got quite a haul between the ward trunk or treat and going around the neighborhood. I think the quality of the candy has also improved since last year, one of our neighbors was giving out king sized candy bars.

The Pumpkins

Evan's pumpkin. He drew the shapes on the face (except for the mouth) and I carved them. Now that the pumpkin is a little less fresh, the expression has changed into one of a pumpkin just about to blow an aneurysm. The teeth are less pointy so the mouth is more open and "what the heck!" looking.

Harry's pumpkin which was carved by my husband. The mouth is an homage to Daniel although Daniel's lone tooth at the time was on the bottom not the top (a fact that my husband did not appreciate me pointing out. The pumpkins this year were given to us by a great friend (thanks again Beth!) and a billion times easier to carve than the ones we had last year. Last year we had to get out the cordless drill to even pierce the skin of the pumpkins!

The Costumes

Harry's costume may look familiar as it was Evan's costume last year. For awhile Harry was insisting that he got to be a cat again even though he barely fit the costume last year. I finally convinced him that he could indeed wear Evan's costume from last year and nothing bad would happen.

Evan's dragon costume is a loaner (thanks again Beth!). We had a bit of drama with it. Evan wore it to school on the Wednesday before Halloween for the school party and parade. When he came home the pants were missing. A frantic call to Evan's teacher turned up nothing. I was rather bummed that the pants were missing since the costume was not ours to keep. Then on Monday morning as I was getting the kids in coats to leave for school I saw tucked in Evan's sleeve a pair of green pants (pale green pants with nobody inside them). They had been there the whole time!!! The weather had been rather warm (or rainy so we were staying indoors) so his coat had not been in use which is how I missed seeing them sooner.

Cuteness!!! This little guy was Friend Bear (a care bear for those not in the know). This was also Evan's first costume and they both looked adorable in it. This picture was taken five seconds before Daniel had an epic melt down due to over stimulation from the ward party. He went to bed early which really killed me when he woke up at 5am thanks to the time change.

The Celebrations

Here is Harry with one of his preschool teachers during the costume parade at school. The pictures are rather blurry, they were moving fast and I had a baby strapped to me.

Evan and his para during the parade. He was quite excited to see me there as you can tell.

At the ward party there was a game where you popped balloons and got the candy inside. Harry and Evan had a bit of trouble popping them. Harry even sat on his and was not able to get it to pop. Eventually my husband got his keys out to help them out.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It is like herding cats

On Thursday the Kindergartners went on their first ever field trip. Evan's teacher asked me if I would come along and I arranged it so I could. I thought it would be exciting to go along and I was right, it was just not quite the exciting I had been thinking about. There were 58 kids total. Luckily Evan's class had enough parents coming a long that the groups were at most two kids. The other classes were no so lucky and had much bigger groups. Evan's para went along and helped out with another class. The noise was epic. It makes me wonder how the teachers keep their hearing after having to listen to it all day long. We were finished with enough time that I could have gone home before having to go back to school to pick Evan up, but I ended up buying come chocolate and sitting in my car listening to the silence.

First stop, making pizza at Cici's pizza.

First you put the sauce on.

Then the cheese.

Then the peperoni (Evan just dumped the entire container on the pizza and coudl not understand why I had him spread them out more evenly).

Then we wait for it to cook.

And there is the finished pizza! Time to eat. The adults got to eat pizza that was not made by Kindergartners.

On to the museum of history

Looking through the window section of a piece of one of the first permanent wooden houses in Kansas.

Look a train!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

and that's the tooth

Yesterday while I was holding Daniel at Evan's OT appointment I felt a tooth in his little mouth. I knew that this was imminent due to his general crankiness of late and I am hoping that now that this one is cut we will have a bit of a break. I don't have any pictures, it is not like you would see it any way but I do have pictures of him eating solid food for the first time. We introduced solids almost a month ago and he is taking to them like a fish to water. He is starting to expect that at dinner time he will be getting some food too and when I try and skip it he will start fussing at me. I make him a baby mush with some pureed veggie or fruit mixed with the oatmeal baby cereal and a scoop of formula.

A big messy smile!


A hot off the press taken today picture. Daniel's new favorite toy. He finally has the trunk strength to play in his exersaucer. This kid has amazingly great trunk strength due to his odd love of tummy time. Harry and Evan loathed tummy time, but every time I put Daniel on the floor for play time he rolls right over on to his stomach.

Daniel's favorite toy on the exersaucer thanks to his teething.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


My kids are a bunch of wierdos (I have no idea where they get it from). Harry still wears a diaper at night due to him being unable to wake himself from sleep to go to the bathroom (Evan is the same way and wears a pull up to bed). This morning he took his diaper off and started sniffing it. He explained to me that he was smelling it and that it smelled like poop. He was so serious about it that I had the hardest time not bursting out into laughter. His preschool recently did a unit on the senses so I am guessing that is where the sniffing random stuff came from.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More about Evan

We had Evan's IEP refinement meeting today. It was nice to see all the people who were working hard to make sure that he will get the best education possible. The big change to the IEP was writing in the need for a para explicitly instead of implying it like it was before. Also added was that Evan will get an extra half hour of PT but instead of it being at the school it would be at another building where the PT has bulky equipment that she wants to use with Evan but can't take in her car. Evan's dream to ride a bus will finally come true and I am sure that will be the highlight if his week.

I was a bit aprehensive about taking him out of the class even more than is going on now but it will be during math time which is apparently one of his biggest strengths (unlike his math impaired mother). He blows his peers away in things like number recognition and counting. I guess I should not be shocked about that since he has obsessed over numbers since he was rather young. I do however need to work on teaching him his address and phone number which is something I never really thought about teaching him although I can see why it would be useful. He also needs to learn our last name and associate it with himself and that I am not just Mommy but I have an actual name. He knows my husband's name since I use it fairly often but my husband only seems to call me Honey so Evan rarely hears my actual name. I guess I should count myself lucky that he is not telling his teacher that his mother's name is Honey.

The adaptive PE teacher has a great goal for Evan which is to work on getting Evan to become more independent. Evan is the master at getting people to help him. There are girls in his class that seem to fall over themselves to help him. Any passing stranger falls under his spell and finds themselves assisting him. It was a crazy battle (and sometimes still is) to get him to dress and undress himself. He has the skills but sometimes just decides that he can't do something (naturally at the worst times).

Daniel charmed everyone at the meeting and flirted a lot. He got passed around a fair bit too and only looked for mommy when it was getting close to his feeding time.

I have been knitting and one of the things I have been knitting is so uber cute that it deserves a post of it's own. The problem is getting pictures since the kids will not let them out of their sight. Once I manage that you will be graced with some non baby (and some baby) cuteness.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Evan finally has para!!! I saw her with my own eyes this very morning. She should be good since she is a retired Kindergarten/1st grade teacher. It also looks like Evan will be staying in the same classroom he has been going to for the last few weeks, it was a change that was supposed to be temporary but as the weeks dragged on Evan became settled in the new classroom and it would be very disrupting to change him again. As much as I liked his old teacher I think this is a good change. Evan really seems to like his current teacher better than his previous one.

Another huge advantage of the class change is that all the various class party sign ups are full, so I only get asked to help out with the fun stuff. I just signed up to go with them on their first field trip later this month. I am hoping my husband can get the day off work so that I don't have to find someone to watch Daniel and get Harry from preschool.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

School pictures and other stuff

Evan still does not have a para. They said they would get him one and then the next day it was pointed out that his IEP did not state explicitly that he had to have a para (I am not sure why this ended up that way, I guess the person that wrote was just a little too subtle and gave too much credit to the school district folk's intelligence). Then the next day they sent out evaluators to see for themselves because the word of everyone else involved with him in school was not good enough I guess. They conceded that he did need a para but that they could not hire one, they would have to look at the existing para's schedules and transfer one to work with him.

Needless to say I am tired of all the bouncing around. The best news is that a review of Evan's IEP has been scheduled and that it will be rewritten to explicitly state that he needs a one on one para. After that the district will not have any wiggle room to try and screw Evan over with technicalities. Hopefully by the end of next week he will have the helps he needs and he will be able to progress to the full extent possible.

Check out my cute boys! They did great smiling for the camera.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cautiously optimistic

I am hopeful that my educational frustrations in behalf of Evan are over for the moment.

All week Evan has been going to another Kindergarten class that has a part time para so that he would get some help and several afternoons another para has been able to come in the afternoon and also help out. This morning the teacher told me that the district had had an amazing change of heart and that they were going to actually do what they were legally required to do in the first place which is get Evan a para. I am hoping that they do not drag the hiring of said para out really long in a further attempt to save just a little bit more money.

I find it rather telling that they only do it after I let the principle know (so he could tell them during a meeting) that I had contacted an advocacy group. They never really had a leg to stand on in the first place, so it is puzzling why they tried to mess around in the first place. I know the budget is tight but come on already, there is a clear need and he is legally entitled to have an education provided for him that caters to his special needs. I am hopeful that soon Evan will get back to his regular class room and have a full time para dedicated to his needs and who will learn his quirks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Sigh

I hate to make this be a whiny poor Awesome Mom blog but today was a heck of a day and not in a good way and I need to vent a bit.

While Evan's teacher and school has been amazingly awesome I am very angry at the school district. When Evan's IEP was written it was stated numerous times that he would need a lot of one on one attention and therefore needed a para to help keep him on track. The school district had plenty of time to go out and hire him a para so that things would be in place for his entrance into school. They failed to do so and so far he has been having substitute teachers come in and help him out. At the beginning of the year the talk was well we just have to find the right person for him and that any time now we will get someone permanent. Today that changed to sorry we are no longer providing him with a para starting Monday.

I am furious! First off they waited until the end of the week to tell us (I am sure on purpose) so that we are scrambling to get him help for the start of the week. Next they are ignoring the opinion of the evaluators that wrote the IEP, Evan's teacher, the principal of the school and me who all think he needs someone to help keep him on track. As soon as I got home after hearing the news I called an advocacy group to get some extra oomph to my momma bear growl. The school district is not gonna know what hit them, because Evan will get what he needs and I am not going to stop bugging them until he does. They will not try and save money at the expense of my son's education.

The second set of issues that hit me today was both boys got in trouble at school for hitting. Evan tried to head butt his teacher, something he tries with Harry when they are fighting. I had a talk with him, one that I hope will sink into his brain. I also plan on harping on it every chance I get over the weekend for both boys. Harry's was more out of frustrtion and tiredness. He has been skipping his nap lately and it is catching up with him and when something went wrong at school he just lost it. I try and keep the boys from being too physical when fighting but I can't be everywhere at once so it seeps in. I am hoping that these are isolated events and a stern talking to will be enough.

I need some chocolate.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Three cheers for the barf bowl!

I knew it would happen eventually. Schools are a cesspool of germs and other nasty things. All said I think we got off relatively easy. Evan missed his first day of school due to illness and he lost his second tooth.

Sunday evening I yoinked his tooth out, it was hanging by a thread and annoying me. The Tooth Fairy was a total slacker and did not come, but upon inspection of her gum stash it was revealed that she was missing the necessary supplies any way. Sometime that night Evan threw up in his bed and did not even wake us up, he just went back to sleep (odd kid). He seemed pretty ok if a bit too willing to curl up on the couch with his trusty barf bowl. Lunch time rolled around and we thought he was ok to eat a regular meal but he wasn't. The really surreal thing about lunch was that as Evan was loosing it Harry was eating his lunch and watching everything with great interest. That kid is utterly fascinated with the whole process.

The Tooth Fairy armed with fresh supplies tried to make her delivery Monday night only to smell vomit in the room. Investigation revealed that Evan had made use of the barf bowl and then went back to sleep despite us telling him to get us if he threw up again. The flashlight woke Evan and Harry up and the Tooth Fairy ended up having to quickly hide the delivery under a handy blanket. I never realized what a screw up the Tooth Fairy was since she was so reliable when I was a kid. Maybe they outsourced her job in order to save on labor costs.

The kids have been driving me nuts all day so I think they are all well enough to go to school tomorrow (fingers crossed).

Monday, August 31, 2009

Product Review

Disclaimer: I was given this toy free in exchange for this review.

My kids have a ton of toys, but the little kid inside of me can't pass up free toys, especially baby toys. Ebeanstalk sent Daniel a toy called a Skwish made by Manhattan Toy who specializes in developmental toys for kids. I had to wait awhile to write this as Daniel was not quite at the grab on and holding things stage when I received it. Daniel loves it, it has nice round knobs on the ends for him to gnaw on plus it has a tons of spots for him to grab on to. The toy makes a nice musical noise which helps keep Daniel interested in playing with it. The Skwish is deceptively simple looking at first glance but there are a lot of fun things packed into it for a discerning baby (even five year olds and three year olds seem drawn to it).

Now for what you all were waiting for:

Into the mouth.

Daniel is having a tough time deciding if he wants to suck his thumb or the toy.

So serious!

Bonus pictures:

Daniel has mastered both rolling from front to back and the tougher back to front. His favorite time to do it is when I am in the middle of changing his diaper.

Even more bonus pictures (I do have two other kids around here somewhere):

When I was taking pictures of the baby they wanted me to take a picture of the tow truck.