Thursday, November 29, 2007

Micro Fleece Pajamas

I picked up a really cute pajama set at Penney's this week. I swear it is as soft as soft can be. Pink, with various colors dots all over them. OMG. I love, love, love them!!! I think I would wear them all day long if I could get away with something like that but just imagining the looks I'd get as I went about the days business makes me snap to my senses and save them for the evening hours. After bath time, when the kids are all snug in their jammies and ready for a story, I go and change into my new soft pajamas and sigh a huge sigh of comfortable contentment. They are a perfect way to end the day.

I am so loving it! And here's a nice bonus, the more they are washed, the softer they are getting. I've never before, as an adult, had fleece pajamas - what was I thinking??? Micro fleece is wasted on toddler-sized sleepers. Adult pajamas are a much better use of the material - we know how to really appreciate it! :)

If you are in Penney's in the next couple of weeks, look for them. You will know them immediately - they are so soft that you will want to snatch up a set and put them on right there in the store. :)

How Should I Word This On My Resume?

Kaylen calls from the bathroom because she is done going potty so I go in to wipe her. After I am done and we are putting her pants back on she says "Mom - you weally good at this. You a weally good poop scrapper."

Why......thank you.........I think.


That should look great on my resume, don't you think? :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Mall Experience

I met my friend Brenda out at the mall this afternoon. She was wanting to get Santa photos with her two little ones and we thought it would be fun just to meet up and hang out for a bit and fun it was! I love going to the mall mid-week because it is so much quieter and way less hectic than the weekends and with Christmas fast approaching (eeeeeek! I am soooo not ready!) the weekends are becoming extremely nutty. So many people coming and going and racing about that at times I wonder if it wouldn't be a smart idea to purchase travel insurance for mall trips. I don't know about you but I can't count the number of times I've been run into either by bodies, bags, umbrellas, and purses not to mention practically run over by a stroller or two. I know you know what I'm talking about. :)

I usually will try to be at a mall on a Saturday in December just to watch all the frenzy of activities but that's usually *after* I'm done with all my shopping. Having to be at the mall is so much different than *wanting* to be there. :) I'm not sure I'm going to have that time to spend watching people this year because well....let's just say I have barely started shopping. I have a sinking feeling that I am going to be one of those frenzied people you see running around (though not at the mall - I'm not crazy enough to be in that nuthouse when I *have* to shop.

I've considered just shopping from the comfort of my computer chair this year and for some things I have done just that but I guess you can't get it all that way....well you *can* of course, I just hate paying shipping. :)

Oh - and before I little girl made great strides in her Santa phobia today. She really, really wanted the candy cane he was offering but to get it, she had to go up and talk with him. She bravely held the hands of her brother and me and walked nervously towards him. Kelton whispered in her ear "Just grab it and run. It'll be ok." which just cracked me up! She didn't run though. She took the candy cane and when he asked her she told him her name and age and what she wanted for Christmas (this time it was a fake Christmas tree. I don't know...she seems to scan the room and just pick an random thing when you ask her what she would like.). She thanked him for the candy cane and, when he asked, she even gave him a hug! She was so proud of herself!

As she walked away she said "I hugged Santa and him really nice but I don't want my picture with him." :) Small steps, baby girl. Small steps. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Some Photos from Thanksgiving

Tis the Season for Figuring Out Gifts

Every year I think we will have a better handle on the gift giving season and maybe, just maybe get a jump on it. But this year, like previous years, it just sort of snuck up on us and we are scrambling to figure out good ideas for the kids. Dakota and I searched through some toy catalogs last night and came up with a couple things that we think Kelton will really enjoy but we're struggling with Kaylen. She already had inherited all the stuff from Kelton when he was her age so it's not like we can say "A leapster! She would love a leapster!" because yes she would and she already has one.

We looked through the Step 2 catalog and I am completely amazed by how much stuff they sell....BIG stuff! Where on earth do people living in average sized homes even put that stuff? But they really do have some great things that she would probably love to have - like a child sized vanity complete with makeup mirrors, or the castle bed set. But really - does a 2 year old really need all that? No. Because both Dakota and I know that she would be just as happy with some books and a few smaller toys. Still - those catalogs are really fun to look through. :)

Welcome Back from the Long Weekend

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend and that no one in your family and/or friends gathering showed a need for admittance to any of the alcohol rehabs. :) We had a really nice dinner with assorted family and friends and I have to say, two of the side-dishes that my brother's girlfriend's mother brought received two giant thumbs up! I was actually relieved that the kids showed no interest in their servings which meant I could sneak their helpings. YUMMY!

I just may have to see about getting those recipes! :)

Epazz Software

I have recently been made aware of Epazz which is a company that focuses on intranet software. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the intranet but basically it's a software program that business can purchase to put on their data on-line within the confines of their company. When I worked at a large HMO we had departmental intranets as well as company-wide intranets.

With Epazz there is a 30 Day free trial of their software and you can contact them to get it setup There is a 30 Day free trial of their software. Contact them to get it setup. A few of their great selling points are:

integration to backend systems - total manage hosted solution - website content management - group scheduling - business email solution
Seamless Integration - To all of your enterprise's back-end systems.
Powerful Collaboration - To improve workflow.
In-Depth Personalization - Down to the end-user level.
Enhanced Communication - Among managers and employees.
One-Point Secured Access - For all of the enterprise's on-line services; and
Thoughtful understanding - Epazz works with you from start to finish.

How can you go wrong doing business with a company who works with you from start to finish?

A Visit with Santa

Kaylen was terrified of Santa so they came up with this cute little trick. She had no idea he was back there which is great because when she first caught sight of him the poor girl almost had a heart attack. Luckily though, once safe in Dakota's arms, she settled down and there was no need to think further of life insurance for kids! LOL!!

This photo is actually the first Santa picture where she is not screaming her head off. Gotta love that! :) Kelton, of course, was his Santa lovin' self! He just loves the guy with the white beard and hey - the candy cane is a great bonus! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are heading out of town to celebrate the long holiday weekend with my side of the family. I am taking my laptop along with the hopes that while Dakota studies one night that I will get online. If that happens, you can bet I'll update but just in case it doesn't, I wanted to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope the list of all you have to be thankful for is long and plentiful!

Be well!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Horse?

Kelton was just talking with his cousin on the phone and they were comparing notes on what they were planning to ask Santa for when we make our annual visit this weekend. Kelton, much to my shock, said "I'm asking for a horse!" I about fell over. Does this mean I have to start looking for horse riding apparel? :)

Well no - that isn't likely but what I did do was remind him that Santa never brings animals for Christmas without approval from parents. So tough luck, buddy boy. There will be no horse for you this year under the tree. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Deck The Halls

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

This kids and I decorated the house for Christmas Saturday - well, everything except the tree. That won't go up for a few more weeks. I love the way the living room looks in the evening! So fun and yet it feels so impossible that it's this time of year already. But still - doesn't the fireplace look great? :)

Here are a few other photos of the kids:

My Daughter

I tell you - this girl is giving me a run for my money these days. She has another cold which sucks because honestly, I thought she was the one that started this last round that we are all fighting but apparently not.....or maybe so but it got her again? All I know is that two days ago she was no longer congested and today she is sick again. Dakota and I are still battling this cold but are finally on the other side of those miserable middle three days. Kelton, of course, had a mildly stuffy nose for about 12 hours and was back to being fine. I tell you - I want the kid's immune system. He never gets all the things the three of us get and if he does, it is short lived.

So yes, Kaylen has a cold which has only succeeded in making her sensory issue (or whatever it is) a million times worse. For the past three days everything is "too tight" and if you try to put a stitch of anything on her body, it's a fight. Dakota got to experience the full-on tantrum last night while I was trying to get her pajamas onto her but I've been enjoying it (she says sarcastically) for the entire three days. This episode has taken her normal complaining of things being too tight (especially her car seat) to a whole new level. Suddenly her usual level feels entirely do-able. This one that started recently is completely draining. For all of us. Even her. Or maybe that should read "especially her". We are all wiped out after.

Dakota half-jokingly said that maybe we need to get her some Valium or other anti-anxiety medication because the poor thing works herself into a frenzy like I've never before witnessed. But then, we'd probably have to find a toddler drug rehabilitation program for her down the road. So - not really an option. Tempting. But not an option.

Maybe she does need some sort of intervention or therapy. I really don't know. I just have no clue what to do for her. Someday I swear I will videotape one of these "too tight" tantrums and share it with you. I mean really - why should I have all the fun? :)

But in all seriousness - I really have no idea what to do to help her through this. Does anyone else have any experience with this?

Looks Like We Got Our Miracle!

A week ago today things looks very bleak but today - it's a whole new world! Here is the latest from Rachel regarding Brandon:

"They took out a lot of the IV ports today. He is talking a lot and giving people a bad time. All of his vitals are holding steady where they should be. When I left they were just taking him for a kidney/bladder test to see what is happening there. He still had dialysis today. He called Mikayla on the phone this morning before school and actually talked to her so I thought that was great! So, everything is looking up! ""

WAHOO!!! :) :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I am so completely touched and overwhelmed.

As we were getting the kids out of the tub and ready for bed tonight a knock came on the door. I called out "Who is it?" (we have no peep hole and it freaks me out to open the door at night) and I heard a familiar voice say "MOMS Club!" Surprised, I opened the door to find three of my wonderful MOMS Club friends standing there holding a basket of goodies. (I'll just add in here for your enjoyment that I had already changed from my day clothes into my well-loved pink sheep pajamas. I'm sure I was a sight! LOL!)

I didn't even know what to say! I think I said something like "What's this for?" (Classy, I know. I think my brain stopped working for a minute.) They said it was just a little something from my friends in the MOMS Club because they know it's been a really rough year for us. Seriously - it was so incredibly sweet I thought I might cry. It's filled with all sorts of amazing treats - three different Ghirardelli bars (the BIG ones!), clam chowder, Fiesta Chicken Tortilla Soup, homemade butter milk wheat bread, homemade corn bread muffins, homemade brownies, a gift certificate for babysitting and a gift card for Starbucks. AMAZING and so, so thoughtful.

I can't even begin to tell you what this means to me. Thank you all my MOMS Club friends - I am so thankful for all of you.

A Thank You From Rachel

My niece, Rachel, sent an email to night to update me on Brandon.

"They took him off the ventilator this morning. He has done fairly well and is able to communicate somewhat. He tries to talk but has a sore throat so he is very hard to understand. Also he is still doped up part of the time. He had another dialysis treatment today. His labs are looking ok except for the kidney function. Since they
took out the ventilator tube I brought the kids in so that they could see Daddy. I especially wanted Mikayla to go in so that she could see that we have been telling her the truth-that Daddy is in the hospital and is very sick. The visit went well. It was approximately 5 minutes which is all I thought they needed. I was very proud of Mikayla. Parker was a little bit scared but did talk to Brandon. Brandon even managed a sort of smile for Mikayla. They(the nurses) have been able to feed him ice chips and brushed his teeth with those sponge toothbrushes."

She also wanted to thank all of you for your prayers, good thoughts and well wishes. Unbeknownst to me, she has been reading my blog and has read all your supportive comments. They mean so much to her.

She also has a question and asked me if I would pose it to all of you so she could get some feedback. Brandon's brother took his 6 and 10 year old sons into the ICU a few days ago to see Brandon. This was when Brandon was still heavily sedated and on the ventilator. This upset Rachel greatly for a couple of reasons; the first being that she felt the ICU, and Brandon's room, was no place for children which was why she did not allow her own children to go to the hospital. The second reason was that if any children went into the ICU, it should have been Brandon's own children. Not nephews.

Once Rachel learned of the nephews being in the ICU, she placed a "no children" order on Brandon's chart. I completely agree with her decision. Brandon's family, however, does not and it has caused a rift. Apparently Brandon's family has ignored the order and even argued with the nursing staff about it. They are also giving Rachel a really hard time about it.

As you can imagine, this has only added to the stress and pressure that Rachel is under.

So she wanted to ask you all for a reality check; do you think children, not immediately related, should have been allowed in the ICU to see Brandon? And even if there was no order in place, would *you* have taken your young child into the ICU to see a relative that was so gravely ill? And if you would have, would you have done so knowing full well that the wife of the patient didn't feel it was appropriate? (Someone to watch the kids was not an issue. There were plenty of family around who could watch since only a couple people were allowed back at a time.)

Thanks for your feedback. I know Rachel will appreciate it. And again, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tag - I'm It.

I was tagged by Caroline. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

So, here are 7 facts about me that you may or may not know:

1. I changed my name. I changed my first name, then I moved my birth last name to my middle name and took Dakota's last name as mine.

2. Sometimes my kids drive me crazy and I wonder what on earth I was thinking when I thought kids were a good idea but then I hear them laughing and playing with each other or hold them in my arms, I remember why I wanted them in my life.

3. My favorite coffee drink is a Starbucks Raspberry Mocha. Venti size. :)

4. I feel like I'm slacking off because I haven't been scrap booking lately. I feel like I'm cheating my kids and I feel guilty for that.

5. Someday I want to live in a really big, beautiful house. One of those Street of Dreams kind of homes.

6. I have three older siblings and one younger but I am, chronologically the middle child. Five years from the oldest and five years from the youngest.

7. I haven't had 8 solid hours of sleep in at least 6 years. For that matter, I haven't had 6 solid hours of sleep in at least 6 years.

I tag:
Frazzled Mom
Patti-Cake Land

And because I think it would be fun...I'm going to tag one more:
Sheri (private blog)

The Queen of Tantrums

My daughter. Not me. Though honestly I probably could have taken her crown today - or at least shared it because I was not all that far from having a huge major meltdown myself (believe me, I had a few minor ones along the way). I swear to you - a person can only take so much and that little girl was like the darn energizer bunny today. She kept going and going and going.

She literally threw herself on the ground over and over during one display of two-ness. Even Kelton said "Why does she keep doing that over and over?" She was pissed off and out of control and it went on for TWENTY minutes. I briefly thought about videotaping her but just didn't have the energy to go get the camera. And I really didn't want to have to listen to it all again anyway.

Everything set her off. That particular time I had told her that it was time to either go in and go potty or put on a diaper (she had been running around without clothes which seems to be her thing this week) because..well, it was time. I'm cool with not wanting to go in and go potty but I'm not cool with peeing on the couch because she didn't *want* to go in go potty. I'm mean that way.

Well - she DID NOT want a diaper and she DID NOT want to go potty. I stood firm and so did she. Eventually, 20 minutes and hysterical sobbing later, she whimpered "Carry me to potty and me go." And she did. She had been crying and yelling so hard at me that she had those crying hiccup things going on. It was sad - and yet, I wasn't feeling the love at that moment.

It just went on and on today. All her clothes were "too tight". All her tags bugged her. Life bugged her. And she bugged me. :)

I was beyond exhausted and frustrated.

When Dakota's car hit the driveway at 3:30 this afternoon, Kaylen was once again having a screaming fit. I could not grab my keys and jacket fast enough. She walked in and I said "They are all yours. I'm done for now. Be back later." She looked bewildered (though she did know what was taking place because we had talked an hour before and then again 10 minutes before when I called and asked "When will you be here?") I headed to Target to pick up a new garland because the lights on our old one was no longer working (yes indeed, I decorated the house for Christmas today.). I walked around the store for 20 minutes before my head no longer felt like it would explode. I took my time and picked up things we needed and then I headed home. I was gone not quite an hour though honestly, I could have used much, much longer.

When I was driving home I saw the three of them out on a walk. I pulled up near them to say hello and it was great! Happy little kids greeted me and I was relieved that a break did us all some good. At least everyone was happy and calm for a moment in time.

I drove home, parked the car and then walked back to catch up with them. It was a nice walk and Kaylen was actually happy. The first time I think I'd seen her happy for more than 5 minutes.

Never fear though - we hadn't even walked into the house before it all started again. OY! We managed to make it through the next little while and then she and I curled up on the couch to watch Dora while Dakota and Kelton went to Subway to grab some dinner. Just a couple minutes later I looked down at her and she was sound asleep. I picked her up, took her to her room, changed her clothes and tucked her in. She never stirred.

I'm not sure who is more exhausted, her or me. It's been a long hard day.

Update on Brandon

For those interested in Brandon's medical crisis, I thought I would post an update. They have removed the sedation and have begun weaning him from the ventilator. He is calm and responds to commands.

Thank you for your continued good thoughts and prayers - I really believe that it has made, and continues to make, a difference.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Well - it was bound to happen sooner or later. Kaylen shoved a chocolate chip up her nose.

Thank goodness chocolate melts so quickly. :)

Kelton did the M&M's up his nose twice and PlayDoh in his ears once (that required a visit to the doctor) so let's hope Kaylen is a bit quicker on the "Nothing in body cavities" thing.

And speaking of PlayDoh...I was flipping through the What On Earth catalog that came yesterday and check out what I found: Play-Doh Spray Cologne. SERIOUSLY????? Some people have waaaay too much time on their hands. :)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

PS..I couldn't access the item on but here is another place that sells it. Wild!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Been a Day

Does it make me a bad mom that I did a happy dance as I walked out of my "just fallen asleep" son's room tonight? It wasn't him that I was glad was asleep - it was both of them. It was one of those days when bedtime couldn't come soon enough. I hate feeling like that but some days that's the way it is.

I was so desperate for bedtime that I agreed to letting them skip their bath. Wait - did I agree or did I suggest? Suggest. Yes, it was indeed me who suggested it. Only for the simple fact that I just couldn't take my daughter whining and crying at me for another second and when she started in after I said "Five more minutes and then it's bath time." I surrendered and decided to give in.

I. Just. Couldn't. Listen. To. It. For. Another. Second.

Dinner time had been a completely nightmare with her and I was feeling completely beat down.

She has been struggling with a cold for the past few days and she has seen to it that mommy has been as miserable as she. I finally looked at her today and said "Do you think you could stop whining at me for just a little bit today?" She agreed but that was short-lived. About 1.5 seconds of peace.

I know she wasn't feeling all that well but come on - a mom can only take so much!

Since we were skipping bath, Kelton wanted to know if he was going to have a bath in the morning. I looked at him like he had lost his ever-loving mind because who has time for that on a school day? I said "No. Why?" To which he replied "You said there is no skipping baths on school nights. Ever. End of story." Oh right. That was me (they hear "end of story" a lot and it cracks me up how they will repeat it back or use it when they talk with each other). I lamely said "True. And normally we wouldn't but this is special because tomorrow is Friday so it's OK." I have no idea why, but he bought that reasoning. It's sweet that he has no idea that makes absolutely no sense. :)

It's been a long, long, long day.

Oh The Heartbreak

Last night Kelton was acting up and out of control so I sent him to his room for 5 minutes. You would have thought I was sending him to Alcatraz for the rest of his life - oh the drama! I get that we were all tired but still - waaaay over the top. He kept yelling through his crying "Mommy? Do you still love me??" I would holler back "Yes but I'm not crazy about your behavior right now."

When he finally gained control and was back in the swing of life, all was good though he did ask me a couple of times if I still loved him. I explained how I will always, always love him but I don't always love or even like his behavior. Soon enough, life was back to usual.

A bit later I had to go into his room to put something away and I found that he had pulled out the book titled "You Are My Miracle" which is a very sweet book that I read to him. I returned to the living room to ask why he had taken the book out of the bookshelf and he said "Because I didn't think you loved me anymore and I wanted to remember when you did."

That boy knows how to break this mom's heart. *sigh*

Yes son - you really ARE my miracle and I will love you until the end of time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday Update

This is the latest from my sister regarding Brandon:

Cat scan this morning of the heart and abdomen showed nothing major....

The heart is stressed due to everything up to now so they are keeping him on heart medicine to keep bp up and heart rate stable. Moving him for the scan caused definite stress in those areas.

Dr has decided to just let things sit for 2 days and not deal with respirator or reducing sedation until then to try to give everything a rest.

Dr is leaning towards sudden onset diabetes but there still could have been an underlying infection.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

List of Recalled Toys

Mimi: This is for you but I'm sure others will appreciate having the info as well.

Here is a list of the recalled toys from the US Product Safety Commission. It's completely overwhelming.

You can also access recall info by clicking the links below:

Fisher Price Recalls

Finally - An Update

I talked with my sister just a bit ago and the news is encouraging. They have started the wean him from the respirator though it will probably take 4 days to completely get him off of it. He is on dialysis and apparently has been since yesterday. He has had a blood transfusion. The white count is starting to slowly come down which is good news.

His vitals are more stable with blood pressure being around 110/80.

The did rule out meningitis yesterday.

They still have no idea of the cause but today they are more focused on figuring it out as opposed to just trying to keep him alive (as they were yesterday).

All good things. So keep those thoughts and prayers coming and I will update again when I learn new things.

Keeping Busy

I'm trying to keep myself busy this morning while I wait for another update on Brandon. I started to think about (ok - stress out about) Christmas ideas for the kids. I have to say, all these recalls have me going a bit nutty in the toy department. Kaylen loves Dora. I mean L.O.V.E.S. I would like to get her some Dora stuff but so many Dora things were included in the recalls. So what is safe?

I learned a disturbing fact - did you know that you can still buy recalled products in stores and on-line? How does that happen? Just yesterday I saw a big ad for AuquaDots. Shouldn't those have been pulled? Maybe the ad was created before the recall but still - scary!

And speaking of the recalled AquaDots, we had some. The kids played with them for weeks before the recall. I would say we were VERY lucky. But here is a freaky part. When you buy stuff from ToysRUs or BabiesRUs they ask for your zip code. How then did they know how to contact me via email to alert me about the recall on a product their records show I recently purchased? Talk about big brother....on one hand, it's nice to know they are watching out for their customers on another - how did they track me down via my email address??? Weird.

So not what I was going to talk about. I'm just wondering how I can go about finding safe Dora toys for my Dora-loving girl. Anyone have any ideas?

It's That Time of Year

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is *next* week? I know. Me either. I'm starting to panic a bit about all there is to do. I haven't even begun to shop for the kids Christmas gifts and to go one step further, I have no earthly idea of what to get them. I look at that as a blessing, really. It means we have everything we really need and most of what we want. At least, from my perspective. Kelton is going gang-busters on his Wish List.

It's also time to start thinking of Holiday Cards, too. Before kids, I would spend Thanksgiving weekend writing my cards and getting them in the mail. Since kids - well...I aim for early December. This year I'm not at all motivated to write my annual Christmas letters so it looks like just a photo card for everyone. I think this year I am going to go through Vista Print for my cards. I've gone through a couple different places in years gone by but this year I have used Vista for a few things and I've been really happy with the outcome. If you haven't been over to their site, go. They have a whole section of free stuff - all you have to do is pay for shipping and the quality is so great that, like me, you will look to them for more of your needs.

I just popped over there a few minutes ago and I noticed they are having a half off sale on their Christmas cards. I am loving the photo collage cards where you can upload up to six of your favorite photos and have them printed on cards and get this - you can get ten cards for $6.49 which is great!! I usually go for the single family photo on a flat photo card (you know the kind, right?) but this year I am really leaning towards something different and the six photo collage just might be the ticket.

Of course I'll still have to get that one good family photo to put on it which is never easy when you are using the timer though it does make for some pretty funny shots. Oh hey - maybe that's the way to good family shot and then 5 of the "getting to the good one". That would be pretty funny! :)

I love being able to make my own cards online. Sometimes I use their pre-designed templates and sometimes I create my own and upload it. And Christmas is not the only time I make cards - I also make photo cards for invitations to the kids birthday parties. It's fun and they always make great keepsakes.

I guess through all my ramblings here I'm trying to say if you have plans to create photo Christmas cards this year - check out Vista Print. Take it from me, a faithful customer (and I'm so not kidding on that one!) you won't be sorry.

7:30 AM Update

I just opened an email from my sister (timed in at 5:30 this morning) and it says:

Brandon finally took a turn for the better last night.
His BP came up to around 120/70
They've taken him off of two out of three of the heart medicines
They're going to start weaning him off of the ventilator today

He's not out of the woods yet but there is hope he will live.

Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming. Please.

Monday, November 12, 2007

But It Had Been A Great Weekend!

My post today had been planned out last night - I had so much to share because we had actually had a great weekend. But, once that phone rang this morning, happy memories of the previous days flew right from my mind. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, scroll down to the posts below this.)

I was sitting here feeling exhausted, out of sorts and ticked off with myself that I don't feel like I have the energy required to do the project I had intended to do tonight when it dawned on me that I should still share our weekend. So here goes:

Saturday, after Dakota finished studying for the day, we decided to take a trip to the mall. I was on the hunt for Christmas shirts for the kids and believe it or not, I'm finding it near impossible to find anything (cute t-shirt type shirts. I'm a sucker for Christmas shirts and pajamas). While I didn't find shirts for them, I did find a pair of Christmas pajamas for Kaylen as well as a really sweet Christmas dress (on sale!). During my hunt though, Kelton noticed with great delight that the mall was decorated for Christmas which, of course got him asking about Santa. We told him we weren't sure if Santa was at the mall yet but that we would go to that section and check it out.

Sure enough - Jolly Ol' Saint Nicholas was there! Kelton was beside himself with joy and practically flung himself into Santa's arms. That boy has never once showed anything but pure love and excitement about Santa. Kaylen, on the other hand, doesn't so much feel the love. Once Santa and Kelton were finished, Santa came over to talk with a very hesitant and almost in tears Kaylen. She was in Dakota's arms but you could tell it took all she had to be able to talk with Santa. He asked what she wanted for Christmas and my sweet girl, with tears in her voice, said "A new rattle. I lost mine." Which was just about the saddest thing EVER for her mommies to hear. She saw a rattle about 4 months ago and fell in love with it so we bought it for her and she carried it everywhere. And I mean everywhere. One day it just disappeared. I looked for it but didn't find it. Every time she was upset in the past couple of weeks, she would cry for it, which broke my heart.

Well now - you know that two mommies were tearing this house apart searching for it Saturday night. Clearly our daughter was heartbroken over losing it - more so than we ever dreamed since it was the only thing she could think to ask for from Santa. Finally, we found it! It was at the bottom of the toy box in the car (the box sits wedged between the two car seats). Thank goodness!!!

We left it out for her to see in the morning and that thing hasn't been far from her hands since. My silly, sweet girl. :)

But the best part of the weekend was....well....are you sitting down? No really - sit down. This might shock some of you and I can't be held responsible for injuries you may sustain. Ready?

Dakota and I went on a date.

I know! I was surprised and shocked as well (we rarely get away without the kids because Dakota's work and school stuff takes her away from the family so much that we mostly stay as a family unit when we have time to spend all together). And get this - we went to a movie!! The real kind where you drive to a theater, pay money, buy popcorn and sit in seats. I did some quick figuring and realized that we hadn't been to a movie since my birthday last December. We saw The Santa Clause 3 and when we left the theater, it was snowing. So I know for a fact that I have not stepped foot into a theater since then. All the scents and bright lights practically made me dizzy! :)

All this came about because I had called Dakota on Friday to ask her to let her mom know that Kelton didn't have school on Monday (today) because of the holiday so I wouldn't need her to stay with Kaylen while I worked in the classroom. My sly little fox decided to slip in "So since you aren't watching Kaylen on Monday, how would you feel about watching both kids on Sunday so we can go to a movie to use the gift card you gave Casey for her birthday last year." Her mom agreed so I was hit with a surprise date! Wahoooooo!!!!

We saw Martian Child and we both loved it!!! Two thumbs up - waaaay up! Definitely worth your time. :)

And it just wouldn't be a weekend recap post without photos so here are a handful. Enjoy!

(and yes, I realize there are no photos of Kelton...or shall I call him "No photos, please" boy? Maybe next time. Kaylen, on the other hand, was really getting into posing. Way too fun!)

PS - Keep reading if you haven't read tonights update on Brandon

7:00 PM Update

Late this afternoon Brandon had angioplasty done to check for blockages/damage. Nothing was found and so the hunt to find a cause continues. The good news there is that they felt he was strong enough (and clearly was) to undergo the procedure. His blood pressure went up a bit but then quickly fell back to 70(ish) over 30(ish). They have not yet done the CT scan - something about not stable enough to go into a tube....I don't know. I just know they haven't done it.

My sister is wondering if he might have an infection that has affected/attacked his pancreas which would account for the high blood sugar. At this point - it's anyones guess.

I've gotten mixed reports about his white/red cell count but I believe both are very high.

The other good part in all this is that he made it through the past 20 hours since this all started. That's no small accomplishment. Every hour that passes is another hour that they have to figure it out and another hour that his body has for fighting.

Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers. It means a lot. Keep them going, will you.

FroggyMama: I don't really know about the meningitis though I would expect they have ruled that out. But again, I don't really know. I've gotten half of the info from my sister (mother-in-law to Brandon) and half from my brother who is relaying from my sister.


Things are not good. He has continued to decline and no one seems to know why. It's damn scary. How can a person be this sick and there not be a reason they can find? I just don't understand.

My heart is breaking for my niece and her children.

Please send thoughts....

My sister called this morning and started the conversation with "Has James called you?" Not a good way to start a conversation - it never fails to drop kick my gut. This call was no exception. Apparently my niece's husband collapsed last night and is now in the ICU, intubated and fighting for his life. His fever was 105 which they reduced to 99 with ice blankets but then even with the blankets it rebounded to 101. It is not looking good at this point.

They have two young kids, 6 and 2 years. He is in his early 30's and no one has a clue what is wrong with him. They are doing a CT Scan to see if they can find anything specific. His blood sugar is through the roof though they say that couldn't be the cause of what they are seeing. Maybe a symptom of something? His blood pressure is practically non-existent.

I'm almost 4 hours away from them and feel so incredibly helpless. The kids and I may pack up and travel up to help care for their kids - I'm waiting to hear back from my sister. She is trying to get a couple hours of rest before heading back to the hospital and will call with an update when there is one.

If you could send good thoughts and/or prayers, etc. up to them, I would really appreciate it. It is feeling like a miracle is going to be needed.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Gift Vouchers Up for Grabs!

Because of my past work for a company called Canvas on Demand I have received four gift vouchers for $25.00 off an order. I am going to be keeping one of the vouchers for myself which means I have three to give away to three people who would like them. They are good until April 1, 2008.

I love, love, love the canvas I had created. It hangs in the hall outside my bedroom door and makes me happy every time I see it. I plan to get an 8x10 of a photo with the voucher I am keeping. An 8x10 runs $59 regularly so with the voucher it would only cost $34 plus shipping. Totally reasonable for what you are getting!!

The voucher can be used at either Canvas on Demand or Great Big Canvas. So check it out and let me know if you would be interested in having one of the vouchers. I don't even need to mail it to you - they each have a specific code listed on them for you to input when you order. So easy!
November 9, 2007
Update: Thanks everyone! They have all been given away.
I'll let you know if I ever get more. :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Things I Learned Today

A coffee table, when flipped upside down, not only makes a great boat but it also makes a great bed for two snuggle bunnies.

When you are expecting four friends to come over for a playdate, it's always good to look your best. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.

You can learn a lot from kids.

What Is Your Parenting Style?

A friend in my MOMS Club found this quiz online about parenting styles. There
are only 4 questions/scenarios and you pick which one of the 2 descriptions for each most sounds like you. The quiz is loosely based on the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator:

So, what's your parenting style?

I had a difficult time choosing between some of the questions because I could see so much of myself in both options. I think the final outcome is pretty accurate though.

Mine is:

Your type is: isfj —The “Tender Loving Care” Mother

“I want my children to feel they have an ally, someone who knows them completely. I want to be a haven for them.”

Gentle and kind, the ISFJ mother provides her children with generous amounts of tenderness, affection, and the comfort of daily routine. Her aim is to “be there” for her children, physically and emotionally. She is sensitive to their feelings, offering closeness, understanding, and quiet support.

Loyal and devoted, the ISFJ mother has a strong sense of duty and consistently puts her children’s needs first. She delights in taking care of the little things that matter to a child, making each one feel loved and special.

To provide her family with security and warmth, the ISFJ mother tends to the practical and domestic, aiming for a smooth-running household and an attractive home. She also observes and conveys the value and importance of family traditions.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Animals, Coffee and Lunch

Today was a day off from school for Kelton however that did not translate to "sleep late" for the two smallest members of the family. We were up and at 'em early *YAWN* but at least I didn't have to rush around. I did indeed enjoy a *hot* cup of coffee and I was able to read the entire morning paper in one sitting. But by 8:30 I was left wondering what fun thing we could go out and do....just like in the days before school became a fixture in our lives. I came up with a trip to the mall. Now normally a trip to our local mall would be received with shouts of joy and plans of all the things we would do but today my son had another idea.

He sat and pondered my "Is there anything special you would like us to think about doing today?" question for a few minutes and then he said "You know Mom, I'm having trouble deciding if I want to go to Build-A-Bear Workshop or the Lego Store." I stifled a giggle at how grown-up he sounded and then said "Well - I'll make this easier for you. I'm not willing to drive all the way to the mall with the Lego Store (it's about an hour away) for the simple reason being you don't really play that much with your Lego's right now. When I see you building, creating and having fun with them for a few days in a row, I might be willing to do that but not today."

The boy saw his chance and he took it. He sighed sadly and said "Ok - then I guess Build-A-Bear Workshop." Like it was a sad, pathetic second choice. :) At first I said, "You know, I think maybe we should save that for another day. We don't have enough funds in our "fun day account" (which is how I describe money we can spend on fun) to buy friends and all the clothes that you guys like to have for your friends. Now if we didn't buy clothes for friends, we might be able to do that but I'm not sure how you would feel about that." I waited to see what he would say............."DEAL!" He shouted, "Friends yes, clothes no. Let's go!" How can you not be impressed with his ability to compromise?

He went and shared the plan with Kaylen and they were ready to roll in about 15 minutes. No easy task when they were still in their jammies. :)

I drove to the mall that has the Build-A-Bear Workshop (about 25 minutes south of us) and before long, we were in the store. Of course my talk of "Mom has the final decision of which friends we can get today..." went right out the window when they eyed the friends they realyl wanted but we ended up being close to the budget I had in mind. Clothes were a non-issue as neither one brought it up (which is good because their other BABW friends who came home with clothes are no longer wearing them....except for the pink poodle from Disneyland. She is still wearing her outfit). Oh my gosh - I wish I had my camera. They were so friggin' adorable picking out their buddies (no easy feat for them), helping to stuff them, etc. I just love to watch them when they are that happy and that excited about something. And you know, without the clothes and accessories, the friends are actually pretty affordable. Not much more than buying any other stuffed animal.

Before long, they were saying their pledge about loving their friends and we were on our way......for Mommy's treat time! I located the Starbucks and savored a peppermint mocha. YUMMY!!!!!! I rarely have the opportunity to visit Starbucks these days so it was a big, big treat for me. :)

After that, the kids wanted to ride the kiddie rides that seem to be in every mall. We finally found them in the food court and the kids had a great time riding a couple. And then it was time to head home....or so I thought.

I placed a call to Dakota and she and I came up with the idea of meeting at her office for lunch so the kids could show off their new friends so off we went. We ended up spending a couple hours with Dakota before heading home. By the time we arrived home, we had been gone six hours. UGH! And I still had a mountain of work waiting for me. Needless to say, I am exhausted but we had a great day! As Kelton kept repeating throughout the day "This is the BEST DAY EVER!" And doesn't every parent like to hear that? :)

Kelton with his buddy, Computer Bear (don't ask - I just go with what they tell me when it comes to naming their friends).

Kaylen with "Koala"

A Big Yellow Sticky Note

Note to self: Next time you smell minty freshness as you open a bottle of water to take a drink, don't just ignore it. Look inside the water bottle to be sure a child didn't spit their gum into the water and then replace the cap.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Kindergarten Picture and Regular Life

Just look at my handsome little guy. When did he get so big????? *sigh*

In other news of the day.....I skipped my MOMS Club today in favor of hanging out at home, running a virus scan on my computer, making banana bread, doing a couple loads of laundry and watching Dora with my daughter. Time well spent, don't you think? :) After we picked Kelton up at school, we went to the library to pick up a book I had on hold. While there the kids just had to find books for themselves as well. The love going to the library and selecting books. We decided that we will get one book each every time we go instead of choosing five or more at a time. Stacks of library books stress me out - trying to keep track of them, keep them safe and get them all returned on time is a job all by itself. So the kids agreed to one book each with the understanding that we will go to the library every Saturday and they can choose a new book. I love that they love the library!! :)

The rest of the afternoon went by in a blur with a sudden braking action when I reached into a cabinet to find a game part for Kelton but instead of retrieving the part I managed to shove a splinter under the finger nail on my right index finger. And I shoved it under there but good! OUCH! It took almost an hour of digging with tweezers and a needle (and a couple tears because of the pain!) before I decided to just do what I had to do to get it out. I cut my nail waaaaaay short - into the quick and then cut a V in the area where the splinter was. Finally I was able to get that sucker out of there and trust me when I say the pain in my mangle finger *now* is so much less then when the splinter was lodged under my nail! All things considered, it was a good call on my part because there is no way I wanted to have to make a trip to a doctor. You can bet that next time I reach back into that cabinet (it's a very old piece of furniture that I inherited from my grandmother) I will be a lot more careful.

Other than that - it's been a very uneventful day. Tomorrow is a day off for Kelton (half day for all other grades) and I am really looking forward to it. Call me crazy but I enjoy having my kids with me and I love relaxed, no stress mornings. Just the thought if slowly drinking my cup of coffee, instead of slamming it back as fast as I can, makes me really, really happy. :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Little Mommy

Isn't she just the cutest? This afternoon she insisted on taking Tad for a walk in her doll stroller. She would stop and take him out to show him things along the way and was talking to him about everything they were seeing. *happy sigh*

Sometimes this girl is just too sweet.


Yesterday, as I was reading through the Sunday Ad's, I discovered that a couple places had the storage system I have been thinking about getting on sale. A fairly decent sale, too, and since I have a couple of areas in my house that have been driving me up the wall I thought this might be a good time to do something about it. So, off we went.

We found the wooden unit at one place (the best sale price place - always good thought heir inventory is hit and miss to say the least) but the fabric cubes they had were only available in pastel green. thanks. So we headed off the other place that was having a sale. They had far too many color choices and I struggled to make the best choice. The set for Kelton's room was easy since his room is done in light and dark blue and I settled on dark blue and dark purple for the living room.

The the fun began! While Dakota and the kids built the units I went to work on cleaning up the disaster toy areas. I wish I had thought to take a "before" picture but alas, I was so thrilled to be able to bring organization to these two areas that it completely slipped my mind.

But here is the "after":
The living room toy corner (which previously had been the stack of containers, a huge oval wicker basket stuffed way too high of toys and a zillion toys stacked around everything). Believe it or not, I only discarded a few small toys. Everything else fits great inside a cube. I LOVE IT! The living room feels so much more peaceful in that area. Next on my "hit list" is Kaylen's doll corner. Wow. How many dolls does one girl need anyway? :)

This is Kelton's room. Instead of standing the until upright, I put it on its side for more stability. His laundry basket sits in front of two Lego bins and his Tinker Toys. The Safeway bag on top holds all his prized paper from the day (the boy has a "thing" for paper.....don't ask). Again, I tossed out precious little but now everything is neatly organized in a cube. It feels soooo good! He kept calling it "my new room" which cracked me up. :)

I tell you - I am on an organizational roll. Today the donation truck was scheduled and I happily send off eight over-stuffed kitchen-sized garbage bags of clothes removed from Dakota's and my closet as well as several other bags and boxes of miscellaneous house stuff. It feels sooooooooo good!!

Method Cleaning Line

Wow. Who knew by making a statement of fact of what I was doing would come to warrant its own post but hey - life is about learning and learning is good.

As it turns out, Method isn't a "green" cleaner line of products but they are better than the usually suspects in regards to toxic vs non-toxic. I admit open and honestly to not really understanding the whole "green" thing in its entirety (hey - I've been busy raising kids for the past 5.5 years and things slide under my radar. It happens. *grin*) and I figured non-toxic was at least a move in the right direction. And it is. At least this is true for me.

After talking with Dakota this morning, she did a bit of looking and sent me a link to Green Living Q&A where Method cleaners are discussed.

Here is a link to Mom Go Green which my faithful blog reader, Stacey, sent to me in the comment section of the previous post. (Thanks Stacey!) There is a good comment from someone named Cheryl - scroll down to get it.

From that website, you can get to a list of Natural Cleaning Products which I found helpful and informative. Hope this info helps and I apologize for misleading anyone. Live and learn, right? :)

Interesting info. And Stacey, I'd love to get more info on green, affordable cleaners from you. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Ahhhh - a rare moment on a Saturday to post. Gotta love that. I have been running out crazed all morning as I cleaned the house and put away Halloween decorations. I have to say, I'm a sucker for a clean house - I just love it! For fun, I even lighted one of those clean linen scented candles so that mixed with Pledge and Method window cleaner is truly making me happy. :)

Speaking of Method cleaners - have you tried them? I have used the all purpose one, the window cleaner and the tub and tile one and I have to say, I enjoy them! Especially the bathroom cleaners. They smell great *and* they are non-toxic. I'm trying to be more "green" where ever I can. Every little bit helps and while I can't afford to jump in lock, stock and barrel, I figure doing small bits here and there are totally manageable.

You know, of course, that the second I sat down and typed the first paragraph my children who were previously self-entertaining themselves and each other decided that they needed mommy's undivided attention and I ended up taking 15 minutes to write the second paragraph. Murphy's Law and all that but now they are once again happily playing. I'm sure it won't last long but nothing does when you have young children. :)

Dakota is off studying and should be home in about 30 minutes. Then it's grocery shopping time. I know, I know - our life is sooooooo cool. :) If that makes you all giddy with excitement just wait for what comes next....bill paying!

I know! We seriously know how to have a good time. :)

Since I started this posting I have had to change the girl, help her built a tent using laundry baskets and soothe many hurt feelings all the while the boy was busy bugging his sister causing the hurt feelings and playing with some toys. It's kinda funny (kinda not) how long it can take me to write a five paragraph, incredibly disjointed posting when I attempt to do so while children are awake. And I wonder why my posting level has gone from often to occassionally. :)

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Buckets of Candy

Oh my. We have a lot of candy in this house. After I put the kids to bed tonight I dumped their buckets and sorted through everything. I tossed out all the hard, potentially teeth breaking candy and ate a few of my favorites. They still have way more than any two children need and the thing is; we didn't visit all that many houses. I would say less than 15 (a few houses right around us, Dakota's sister's block and Grandma and Grandpa) and yet - we have 3.5lbs (yes, pounds!) of candy. Wait - there would have been more. The kids were binging throughout the day, some last night, I threw out a bunch and eat a few. So let's say 4.25lbs of candy.

That is insane!! And the kids are loving every second of having their own "loot". The happiness it brings is unreal...and a bit frightening to the mommy. That's a lot of sugar highs just waiting to come my way.....and with them bouncing off the walls I am sure to send them outside to run it off. If I'm not careful with how I dispense all this sugar, I'm sure to have our neighbors calling their friendly realtor just to move away from the wacky people next door to hype their kids up on sugar and let them loose in the world. :)

Don't you wish you lived next door to me this week? :) :) :)

November Already

After Halloween it's just one slippery slope into the Christmas season. Oh who am I kidding? It's already the Christmas season. The kids and I went to Target this afternoon to buy a few 50% off costumes they could use for dress up throughout the next year and I was caught off guard by the Christmas trees and decorations already cramming the aisles. Now I don't mind all that much because I love looking at the Christmas stuff and at least I'll be able to walk into stores with the kids and not have to worry about what freaky thing will set them off. (For instance, Kelton has been really bad about "freaking his head out", as he puts it. He wanted to see all the "spooky" stuff but once we got about 2 rows from the Halloween aisle, the poor boy would flip his top and start crying and begging us to turn around. It got to the point where I would dread having to go anywhere with him for fear of what might trigger him...and you just know that some of the houses last night about did him in. *sigh* Hopefully next year he will be better about it all and he won't feel the need to run as far as Las Vegas whenever he catches sight of something Halloween-ish.) But it was still so odd to see orange and black smashed in right next to red and green. In fact, one aisle was so mixed up that half of it was Halloween clearance and the other half was tree decorations.

Talk about "freaking out your head"! :)

So it's really November 1st, huh? It just seems impossible that the year is coming to a close already. Where did it all go? And why is it I can never find aisle's filled with Thanksgiving stuff? Does anyone else feel like Thanksgiving gets the short end of the deal in this one? Halloween; big deal. Christmas (or whichever winter holiday you celebrate); big deal. Thanksgiving? It's just a long weekend stop over for Christmas shopping.

Yep - it definitely got ripped off. :)