Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 2010 videos

Apparently I only took two videos the entire month of November.  I also took significantly less pictures than usual.  I'm sure that will pick up again in December. ;o)

Here comes trouble...

4 + 1

Since it's too much work to do the math to figure out how old a kid is much past 24 months, I've decided to rename Emily's monthly posts with the year + month.  So now she's 4 + 1 and already talking about how she'll be 5 at her next birthday.  Sigh...

An interesting development this month has been the arrival of some imaginary friends.  "Alice" seems to be the favorite, although she tends to be a bit of a troublemaker.  For instance, I once asked Emily about a half a roll of TP that had been unrolled and stuffed into a basket in the upstairs bathroom.  She promptly blamed it on Alice.  Sometimes all the colored washcloths in the bathroom also get laid out in a line in the hallway at night for Alice.  Alice often plays preschool with Emily.  One time Emily referred to Alice as her sister, but when asked Emily usually says Alice is her "house girl", whatever that is.  Another friend is named "Jella".  Emily likes to make up strange sounding names that makes you think she's reading from the Old Testament or something.  Anyway, Jella also plays preschool and other games with Emily.  It's kind of fun listening to Emily's imagination churn out loud. 

A not-so-good development this month has been frequent nose-picking.  I know every kid goes through this stage at some point, but it's kind of maddening.  I've thought about instituting a strict policy where each and every time I catch her picking her nose she has to march straight to the bathroom to wash her hands with soap and water.  Although it's a very good idea to do it anyway, I haven't had the energy to actual enforce a policy like that the way it would need to be in order to be effective.  So if anyone has any easy shortcuts I'd be interested in hearing about them! ;o) 

One of the reasons I haven't gone ahead with it is the fact that washing hands is often a long, drawn-out process that involves multiple distractions, lots of reminders and another little monkey named Lincoln always getting in the way.  We're just aiming for remembering to wash hands (with soap!) after going to the bathroom.  Fortunately or unfortunately, it's pretty easy to tell whether or not Emily has done it.  If the water faucet is still dripping, the soap bottle is out of place and the towel is on the floor than she has most likely completed the task.  If everything is still in place she probably hasn't.

Another battle area this month has been seating arrangements at the kitchen table.  I usually sit in a certain spot because it offers the easiest access to getting things to and from the table and for assisting Lincoln.  However, at breakfast time it's looser since Austin usually isn't there, Lincoln doesn't need as much help and Lincoln sometimes sits on a regular chair instead of in his booster seat.  Anyway, Emily decided that she wanted to sit in "my" spot all the time and not just at breakfast and/or snack time.  I made the mistake of letting her a few times when I was too tired to fight her on it.  She has thrown fits, refused to come to the table and given lectures about how next time she's going to sit in that spot when she doesn't get her way.  Thankfully, I think we're starting to move past it.

Emily discovered the game of Hide-and-Seek this month and we have had some fun times with it.  She's not the most clever seeker yet, and our house has a lot of great hiding places, so it's pretty easy for me.  I often sneak out and just scare her from behind a corner, thus preserving the secrecy of my best hiding spots.  Both kids love been startled.  Lincoln just runs around laughing.  Emily is also not a very good hider yet.  As soon as you say "Ready or not" she immediately starts yelling from her hiding spot, and if it's not the second or third place you look she just jumps out.  I'm sure as her game evolves we'll have even more fun times.

Emily has become very interested in signs this month and is always asking what they say.  She can recognize some words on them.  I think I've explained "Left/Right turn lane must turn left/right" at least ten times.  This one is particularly interesting to her because she recently figured out right and left.

I'll close this month with a funny quote.  All of the Halloween candy is in a plastic container in the cupboard.  Every once in awhile she asks to pick one out for a snack or dessert.  Oftentimes when she does it takes her a long time to decide.  When pushed to make a selection she has said on more than one occasion, "Hmm... but I want to pick something healthy."  Sorry, honey, there ain't nothing healthy in there! :o)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Decorating for Christmas

I love the day after Thanksgiving not for the shopping (hello, sleeping in with no alarm!), but for the tradition of decorating for Christmas.  I have always looked forward to it every year.  This year Emily was very excited to help.  She even dressed up for the occasion.

Lincoln was pretty fascinated by the lights and "talked" to them for quite awhile.

I decided to let Emily decorate the whole tree herself.  The beautiful, coordinating decorations from the first 5 years of our marriage bit the dust.  Last year I put up many of my childhood ornaments except for the breakable glass balls.  Emily still managed to break 3-4 ornaments.  So this year we're doing kid-friendly hodge-podge.  The nice thing about having large storage areas in the basement is that you can carry your tree up the steps in one piece, pull off the garbage bag and have an instant Christmas tree with lighting left on from the year before and only minor fluffing required.  The bad part is discovering that one strand of lights is dead.  There are so many lights going in all directions on the tree that it actually took me awhile to even notice.  Maybe if I'm motivated enough I'll try to untangle and replace that one strand.  In the meantime, Emily had fun putting a "necklace" on the tree. 

Then came a few sturdy ornaments with the kids' names on them.  My 4-H project cross-stitch ornaments are on the top half of the tree.  We added a bow from the decorative days and a few colorful pictures thanks to an ornament coloring craft kit that was half off at Hobby Lobby this week.  This is what the tree currently looks like.  I say currently, because it changes multiple times a day.  I'm sure we'll be adding and subtracting all sorts of things throughout the season. :o)

Emily did bundle up and venture outside with me to help decorate the front porch.  However, after spilling (and picking up) an entire box of nails and shattering a glass ball on the steps, she eventually gave up.  I bought a bunch of stuff on clearance after Christmas last year with big dreams of ways to decorate our new house inside and out.  There was also some salvageable greenery left behind in the attic above the garage when we moved in.  However, a lot of it is going to have to wait until I have more motivation and/or the kid-friendly days are past.  ;o)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

We spent Thanksgiving Day in Waukee with Austin's family.  It was a great time with great food and great conversation.  The kids had a lot of fun playing with their cousins.  We are so thankful and blessed!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another portion

Remember that nice post I wrote exactly two weeks ago about praying for my daily portion of patience and grace?  Well, I had another opportunity to observe God's provision (and record events for Emily's entertainment/embarrassment at a future date).

I absolutely had to go to Waterloo this morning for bookkeeping business.  I also had stops at three stores on my agenda.  I knew the weather was going to get nasty after lunch, so waiting until afternoon was not an option.  However, the kids did not get the memo.  Both slept in late, but both woke up cranky.  Lincoln refused to wear a bib and had three dirty diapers before we left.  Emily decided she just plain didn't want to go.  At 9:00am I had to physically dress her from head to toe.  I just about lost it.  I had the van running and was prepared to carry her out and strap her into her seat kicking and screaming come hell or high water, but I somehow managed to regain my composure and decided to wait her out instead.  After a good 20 minute tantrum of tears and piercing screams she was able to get herself together and we finally walked out the door calmly at 10:15am.  Luckily, none of things on my shopping list absolutely had to be purchased today.  It was starting to rain as we headed home.

I had already decided on a "project" for Emily after lunch.  My sister, BIL and nephew stayed with us this past weekend.  After they left, Emily decided she wanted to "move in" to the guest room.  This occurred on Monday night after she was put to bed.  She apparently ended up sleeping in there on top of the covers.  She also hauled in three boxes of toys from the toy closet, all of her hair accessories and took all of her hanging clothes out of her closet and dumped them on a big pile on the guest room floor.  I did not discover all this until Tuesday evening at which point I decided just to shut the door and deal with it later.

So, at lunch I informed Emily that her job for the afternoon would be to clean up and put away everything in the guest room before she could come downstairs again.  I figured this banishment of sorts would be met with much protest, but she was actually fine with it.  However, it became quite a process.

After almost an hour I went upstairs to check on things.  Emily had indeed removed almost all the clothing from the guest room, but it was now in a giant heap on her own bedroom floor.  She had also found some jigsaw puzzles in the toy closet and had one of the 100-piece puzzles put together on her bedroom floor with the other pieces scattered around.  After a little encouragement and direction I went back downstairs.

My next trip upstairs was to investigate her claim that she was making bubbles.  She had discovered a bottle of bubble bath in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom and apparently had been trying to make bubbles in the sink and tub.  She was also using bubble solution from a party favor she found.  We put a stop to that and I went back downstairs again.

At about 2:30pm Emily came downstairs to say she was done.  She helped me make a batch of Monster Bars and then we went up to check.  The floor and bed of the guest room were pretty much clear.  However, I checked under the bed and discovered Emily had tried to take a little short cut.  I hauled out everything from under the bed and told her she needed to finish putting it away for real.  She also needed to hang up all the clothes back in the closet.

The next progress check revealed that the guest room was finally back to normal and most of the clothes were hung up.  She needed help with a few items.  She had also taken my suggestion to pick up all the magazines in her room and put them back in the their box.  Her bed was neatly made.  However, the floor still looked like a war zone.

At 4:00pm Emily came down for a snack.  We then went back upstairs together to finish the job.  While she had sorted most of the toys into the appropriate labeled boxes, there were still puzzles on the floor and quite a bit of stuff just shoved under her bed.  We hauled it all out and got everything put away.  It is now safe to walk through her room again. :o)

The whole cleaning process was quite ironic, because in addition to the MOPS project I mentioned in a previous post, when she had to list the things she's thankful for on a leaf for her preschool Thanksgiving tree, the first thing she wrote was "a clean room."  Never mind the fact that her room had already been a disaster area for four days.  I'm just kind of curious how this whole thing will play out in the years to come.  Is she going to be a super messy teenager?  Are we going to have many more battles over picking up stuff?  Only God knows.  And only God knows what portion of patience and grace it's going to take. :o)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lollipop Concert

This morning Emily & I enjoyed another fun mother/daughter outing to a Lollipop Concert put on by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony in the lobby of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at the University of Northern Iowa.  These are free concerts geared towards kids ages 4-10.  Today's feature was the percussion ensemble.  After listening to several selections using a wide variety of instruments--including one just with clapping hands--the kids got to enjoy an instrument "petting zoo".  Emily was quite wiggly throughout the concert part because she was so excited to get to blow a trumpet afterwards.  She actually managed to get some sounds out!  She also tried a violin and a variety of percussion instruments.

It has been really fun to do these little outings the last few weeks.  It's something I've dreamed about doing even before actually having kids.  Emily is now at an age and maturity level where the doors are opening to a wide world of possibilities.  I'm so thankful to have so many opportunities available where we live.  I look forward to discovering and experiencing more fun things together in the future!

Friday, November 19, 2010

18 months old

Lincoln is now 18 months old.  He has grown up and changed quite a bit this month.  He is now up to six teeth with another just about ready to poke through.  He has figured out how to make some fun clicking/smacking noises with his mouth.  I am going to try and attempt to catch them on video.

Peekaboo Farm (Touch-And-Feel Action Flap Book)The most exciting development this month has been Lincoln's rekindled interest in reading and looking at books.  For a long time he really didn't want anything to do with them.  Now he'll easily sit through six books at bedtime.  He definitely prefers interactive books with flaps and/or sounds.  His current favorite is the Farm Peekaboo book because it contains both a cow and a tractor.
Lincoln's language skills are still very slow in coming, but there has been some progress.  In addition to "ma-ma" and "da-da" he also says "ba" for ball.  I'm probably the only one who can distinguish them, but he also has words for shoes, outside and slide--his favorite things.  He says "mmm" (moo) for pretty much any four-legged creature.  He makes his motorboat sound for anything with wheels, and for any kind of bird he makes a sound like "caw-caw" only without opening his mouth.
As can be expected, Lincoln has become quite the honchipick.  For those of you unfamiliar with this Dutch term (that I don't know how to spell), it pretty much describes any kid this age whose curiosity often gets them into trouble.  One of Lincoln's favorite activities is still climbing on top of the toilet to turn on and putz in the water in the bathroom sink.  He also pulls out the sink drain.  If the doors to the bathroom are shut he pulls out kitchen chairs to climb up and stick his hands in the fish tank.  He tries to "help" whenever I'm making something in the kitchen.  The table cannot be set for a meal until the absolute last minute.  Sometimes the coffee pot has to go on top of the fridge.  He has also figured out how to get lids off of markers, so all of Emily's markers and crayons also have to be kept out of reach and/or closely monitored.

Lincoln has also officially entered the "terrible twos" stage.  With Emily we could pinpoint the day this happened when she was 16 months old.  With Lincoln it has been more of a gradual onset, although I have been suspicious for awhile.  He has thrown a number of decent tantrums, a few of which have included a deliberate drop to his belly on the floor for more dramatic effect.  He often resorts to his sad, square-mouthed cry if he doesn't get what he wants.  But we've had lots of practice with Emily, so he'll just have to learn the hard way, too. ;o)

Despite all this, another positive thing this month is the fact that we've rarely had to use the baby gate on the stairs.  I trust Lincoln going up and down by himself.  He also does a pretty good job of not going upstairs so I don't have to go chasing after him.  Emily usually keeps her bedroom door closed anyway, so that removes most of the incentive for going up there.  It's nice not to have to deal with a gate all the time!

Lincoln's check-up is next week so I'll post his measurements then. :o)

Bag week

This week's projects involved the many bags of stuff in my life.  I sorted through one bag each day, usually taking less than 15 minutes.

The first was Lincoln's diaper bag.  He has reached the point where it is time to downsize from the big black bag to a smaller, boyish drawstring bag.  Half the time I don't even grab it when I leave the house.  It's mostly just for leaving with him in nursery or other childcare situations.

The next two days were dedicated to unpacking the park and swimming bags.  This summer I had put together separate bags for the park and the pool, each of which contained diaper changing supplies and just about anything I'd possibly need for either activity down to an extra pair of contacts in the swim bag.  This was very handy when we made last minute decisions to go do something.  I didn't have run around for 10 minutes trying to think of everything I should bring.  I just grabbed a bag and headed out the door.  But now that park and pool season is over they were just taking up unnecessary space in the closet.  I put away most of the contents and stored the bags in the attic for next summer.

One day was not exactly a bag, but close enough.  It was my stationery box containing writing paper, blank thank you notes, birthday cards, addresses, etc.  I cleaned out lots of out-dated and mismatched stuff and ended up giving a large stack of unused envelopes of all shapes and sizes to Emily.  She has had a lot of fun playing with them.  She likes to write "emails" to her preschool friends. :o)

Last, but not least, was my bowling bag of a purse.  I think it kind of looks like a bowling ball bag and feels almost as heavy sometimes!  I have purposely been using a larger one to carry stuff for Lincoln so I don't always have to have a diaper bag, too.  But his needs are decreasing, and it was time for a good cleaning-out.  I'm not sure in what form it started out, but the cookie/cracker dust was pretty deep in the bottom.  The most surprising thing I found was a paint can opener.  Not sure why that was in there.  I also found a total of six ink pens, which is funny since I can hardly ever seem to find one when I need it to cross things off my grocery list in the store.  I tried downsizing back to an older, smaller purse, but it didn't have the number and size of pockets I like to have for certain items.  So I'm keeping the big one for now with enough room to spare to pack an entire lunch. ;o)  I did manage to reduce the overall weight of the purse by 22% by declutterung it.  Leave me a comment to guess how much you think my purse weighed when I started and I'll announce the closest guess.  Note: At the time of the weigh-in my purse did not contain any water bottles or sippy cups, which it often does.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

4 year portraits

I got my workout in by taking the kids to the JCPenney Portrait Studio for pictures.  As has been the case lately, Emily was wonderful.  That may or may not have had something to do with the promise of going to "the new old McDonald's" in Waverly for lunch afterwards. ;o)  I had a hard time choosing.  Here are the best ones...

We also attempted to have Lincoln's 18-month pictures done.  Unfortunately, he was kind of set up for failure.  He woke up several times the night before and then for good at 7:00am.  I tried to take a long time driving to and around Waterloo in the hopes he'd snooze a little bit, but he didn't.  By 11:00am he was too tired and hungry to cooperate.  After 20 minutes of all kinds of tricks and two packages of fruit snack bribes, we gave up.  There was really only one decent shot.  However, this was kind of a blessing in disguise, because when I started picking a package I found out I couldn't use a portrait package coupon on each kid unless they came on different days for different sittings.  Since that's by the far the most cost-effective way to buy portrait pictures, it would still be cheaper to just pay for this sitting and come back another day to reshoot Lincoln than purchase portraits from the disappointing selection.  So we'll just make another trip to the mall in a couple weeks. :o)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A fun trip to the dentist

Is that an oxymoron?  Not necessarily.  Emily had her first dentist appointment today.  I was feeling bad for putting it off for so long, but I'm really glad I waited because she was wonderful, and I'm pretty sure that would not have been the case even three months ago.  Emily hopped right up in the chair and opened her mouth before they even told her what to do.  The hygienist was great.  Emily got to look at and feel all the different instruments she used.  Then Emily calmly let the hygienist polish and rinse her teeth and didn't even flinch about the vacuum.  She also got a fluoride treatment.  Of course, she was quite distracted with watching IPTV the whole time.  The dentist said her teeth look great and are nicely spaced, which means plenty of room for permanent teeth to come in nice and straight. :o)  Emily was very excited about the fancy new toothbrush she received.  I'm relieved that she did so well and for a great report!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I had a fun little mommy vacation this afternoon when I attended a bridal shower for my dear college friend and roommate, Sarah, in Ames.  I'm a bridesmaid in her wedding on New Year's Eve.  I was also super excited to find out my other long-time friend and college roommate, Angie, got engaged on Saturday to another friend from college.  Ahh, love is in the air! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A slower project week

This past week was a slower one for cleaning projects.  I had some busier days and did more regular cleaning rather than sorting/organizing.  Plus, I had to do at least one load of laundry almost every day for various reasons rather than just my normal twice weekly routine.  And there was that one day I wrote about.  But enough excuses.  The one project I did manage to do was sorting through Emily's clothes.  When she outgrows something or I need to put it out of reach because it is no longer seasonally appropriate, clothing gets thrown up onto her closet shelf.  It had reached the avalanche stage, so it was time to bring the tubs out of the attic and do some major packing up.  I also sorted through and reorganized and re-labeled all her drawers.  It's actually a little shocking how relatively small her winter wardrobe is. 

I felt pretty good about completing this much-needed task, and Emily was pretty impressed when she got home from preschool.  She now thinks that whenever she's at preschool I have to label something for her before she gets home. :o)  The most rewarding thing, though, occurred the next day at MOPS.  Emily worked on a little Thanksgiving project in the preschool room, and when she had to list what she was thankful for she put "a clean room."  *sniff*  Now if that's not motivation I don't know what is!

Funny note:  I recently purchased a new flower-themed pop-up laundry basket thing for Emily's room because her old one was falling apart.  She was so excited about it that she "filled" it with random clothes from her closet.  Unfortunately, I did not discover this until laundry day after they had been stuffed in with all the actual dirty clothes for a couple days.  So Emily's laundry pile is a little larger this time around. ;o)

Another side note:  I was ecstatic to find out that I will have my first niece in the spring and I will be able to share all the many tubs of girl clothes I have so carefully been packing away! :o)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A portion of patience and grace

At the Rise and Shine Retreat I recently attended Lysa TerKeurst gave a message on God's will for your life using the passage 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. "

I was struck by several of the points she made as she broke down the the three parts.  One of the big takeaways, though, was praying every day for my portion.  Lysa related this to the Israelites receiving their portion of manna in the desert--exactly the amount they needed, nothing more, nothing less.  One of the more well-known verses talking about portions is Psalm 73:26
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

This has become quite evident to me over the last two weeks.  As Lysa suggested, I have tried to spend some time in prayer at the beginning of each day asking for my portion of patience, grace and energy just for that day.  And the Lord has provided in many ways.  Today was one of the best examples.

We had already had a very busy day and were returning from running errands in Waterloo. This included a big shopping trip to Target that started off with Lincoln & I hanging out in the back of the van while Emily finished a little tantrum and decided she was ready to go inside and cooperate.  Then, for the first time, neither kid rode in/on the cart.  That's quite a parade/circus! ;o)  Lincoln was a bit fussy in the van on the way home.  I only got one bag unloaded before we had to just sit down and cuddle on the couch because he was obviously not feeling well.  After half an hour I thought I better try and see if he would eat anything before going to bed early.  However, as soon as I stood up he started projectile vomiting.  The poor kid even had it coming out of his nose!  Thankfully, it was mostly liquid, and it mostly just got on very washable things like our clothes and the bathroom rug.  After a drink, a quick bath, and clean pajamas, Lincoln was running around just as good as new.

After cleaning up everything else and starting a load of laundry I started on my already late supper.  As soon as I put the chicken chunks in my most-loved skillet pan I knew I was in trouble.  The black non-stick coating had been starting to peel and tonight was the last straw.  Every piece of chicken had black flecks stuck to it.  So the whole thing went into the trash--beloved pan and all.  Thankfully, for some reason I had decided not to cut up all the chicken and still had some left to start over.  So we had a mostly vegetable stir-fry made in the stock pot.  It was late, but it was good.

Just as we were finishing up supper Emily accidentally knocked over her full glass of milk and spilled all over herself, the table, chair and floor.  Surprisingly, I hardly flinched and calmly poured her another glass, which she had to drink before she could go.  Thankfully, she wasn't too upset about being wet.  I was doubly thankful that Austin cleaned up the whole mess, including mopping the whole kitchen floor, during Emily's bath.

I left Emily to get dressed in the bathroom while I checked on things downstairs.  I'm not sure what she was doing up there, but it was quite a loud and raucous affair.  Then I heard a cry for help.  I walked in to discover a large deposit of poop in the middle of the bathtub and smears along the edge where she crawled out.  To borrow one of Lysa's phrases, "Mercy!"  I didn't completely lose it at that point, but I was definitely done.  Thankfully, it was one solid piece.  I made Emily pick up the mess herself with toilet paper and sent her straight to bed in tears (which she got over in less than 5 minutes).

On top of everything, Austin's boss is in town this week, and he had invited her over for supper one night since I haven't ever met her.  I had been really looking forward to this.  Thankfully, she couldn't make it tonight. 

I truly believe that after my little prayer this morning God gave me the exact portion of patience and grace that I needed today to endure all these things without getting upset, yelling or crying.  Does that mean I'm never going to get upset, yell or cry again as long as I pray a prayer?  No way.  But I think it's a great reminder throughout the day to check my attitude and reactions towards life's little messes and to find something to be thankful for in every situation.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Emily & I had a special girls outing this afternoon when we went to see the Waverly-Shell Rock High School's performance of Cinderella.  It was a great show, and I think Emily really enjoyed herself.  We even dressed up for it. :o)  Of course, there were some funny moments, too.

I knew Emily might have a little trouble seeing over people, but I didn't count on the fact that she barely weighs enough to keep the fold-up seat down.  We made it work, though. 

Emily also had some funny commentary.  When Cinderella ran off as the clock struck midnight Emily asked quite loudly, "Where is she going, Mom?"  You could hear the chuckles rippling around us.  Then when all the girls were lined up to try on the glass slipper Emily declared, "That slipper belongs to Cinderella actually."  More chuckles.

I was impressed that Emily made it through the whole show.  She did declare about 3/4 of the way through that she was done, but she was a trooper (albeit a wiggly one) and made it to the end and through the cast speeches and director thank you gifts.  When we were walking out to the parking lot I asked her if she enjoyed the show.  Her response was, "I had to be very patient.  I had to sit still for a long, long time!"

She did have a big disappointment at the end.  She had said that if she behaved during the show she would get a tissue paper project to take home.  I wasn't sure what she was talking about until we were leaving the school.  The last (and only) time we were in the high school was for the magic show this summer that included a balloon animal stand.  She remembered getting an orange balloon hat, and since that hat "died" (her words), she thought she would be getting a new one.  Oops!  I thought I'd make up for it by offering to take her to the ice cream shop.  However, we struck out there, too, because it's closed on Sunday.  So we settled for ice cream sandwiches at home. :o)

I look forward to attending more fun performances with my little princess!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekly cleaning projects

My focus this week was in two areas.  The first was fall yard work.  While the kids played outside at the beginning of the week I cleaned out flower pots and planters and cut down dying perennials like peonies and lots of hostas.  I also tried out the vacuum/mulch function of our new leaf blower to try and make a dent in the leaf piles.  I actually really enjoy yard work of any kind.  However, for some reason it's always hard for me to pull out still-green plants from pots and dump them.  I feel like I'm cruelly cutting their life short or something.  As if letting them die a slow, painful death from the cold is any more humane.  I guess I'm just weird like that.  Anyway, Austin took the day off of work today to finish raking and hauling away all the leaf piles I and the wind had created over the last couple weeks.  I think it took 6-7 trips to the yard waste dump with the truck.

My second focus was my new reading corner in the basement.  As I mentioned before, I plan on spending a lot of time down there this winter with the kids.  While there are hours and hours worth of cleaning and organizing projects staring at me (including at least five boxes of stuff that still have not been unpacked from the move), I decided to start with a place to relax.  The book shelves were already set up down there.  I just brought in a reclining lounge chair from the deck, the basket of newspapers from upstairs and added a great little end table/floor lamp I found at Goodwill this week to hold my water bottle and a box of Kleenex.  What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Emily's check-up

Froggy Goes to the Doctor
Emily had her well-child check-up this morning.  I was a little nervous because after seven years with a wonderful family doctor in Cedar Falls, I have decided to switch doctors to one of the clinics in the hospital across the street from our house.  It just makes more sense.  The kids' new doctor is a female pediatrician, and she seems great.  She has kids of her own almost the exact same ages, so she can totally relate to everything.  I was also somewhat dreading the visit because in the past Emily hasn't even made it past measuring height and weight without screaming bloody murder, let alone get shots.  However, she absolutely astonished me by happily and completely cooperating with everyone and everything.  I attribute some of this newfound maturity to the book, Froggy Goes to the Doctor, which she received for her birthday.  It's a rather ridiculous book, but whatever helps! 

Emily measured 41.75 inches and 40.5 lbs., which is perfectly proportioned and right on track of where she's always been between the 80th and 90th percentile.  She had her first vision screening with an eye chart of pictures and shapes.  When she got to the + she called it "the thing when people get an owie".  In other words, we live next to the hospital and see/hear the ambulances come and go.  The nurses got a kick out of that one!

Emily did have to get three booster shots and the flu mist at the end of her appointment.  She laid down on the table so nice, but fell apart when she realized they had poked her and it kind of hurt.  The drama for hours afterwards was actually very comical.  She thought she could barely walk and kind of shuffled along  stiff-legged until she temporarily forgot about it.  She insisted on having help getting in and out of the van.  Tears welled up in her eyes for almost an hour as she laid out on the couch.  She begged not to have any more shots over and over again.  Thank goodness she most likely won't need any more until middle school!!  She did manage to strap on her rollerskates in the late afternoon, so you know it wasn't too bad.  ;o)  I also finally convinced her she could take the band-aids off and get in the bathtub before bed.  She has never kept a band-aid on for longer than 2 minutes up until this point.  We're just thankful for such a super-healthy, growing girl!